Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FOREIGN POLICY FOR DUMMIES....I'm afraid that a substantive review of Rudy Giuliani's latest attempt to pretend he has a foreign policy is beyond me at the moment. Instead, I'll just highlight this passage from his recent Foreign Affairs piece:

The world is a dangerous place. We cannot afford to indulge any illusions about the enemies we face. The Terrorists' War on Us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past. A realistic peace can only be achieved through strength.

Was this written by a nine-year-old? Jeebus.

UPDATE: Jim Henley has the nickel summary here.

Kevin Drum 10:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (70)

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Comments

Was this written by a nine-year-old?

No, it was written by our big strong Daddy who will check under the bed for us every night!

Posted by: jb on August 14, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Was this written by a nine-year-old? Jeebus.

No doubt it will have a lot of resonance with the "serious" community of FP "experts".

Posted by: snicker-snack on August 14, 2007 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Was this written by a nine-year-old? Jeebus.

Isn't that what all the "serious people" in Washington, D.C. are? Just look at O'Hanlon's trashing on Greenwald today in some radio interview.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on August 14, 2007 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Was this written by a nine-year-old?

No: but it sounds like it was written for nine-year-olds.

Which is a good illustration of what Rudy Giuliani and/or his campaign team think of the American public.....

Posted by: Jay C on August 14, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy Giuliani has now come full circle, and is just what we need in these dangerously unbalanced times -- another dangerously unbalanced leader.

Or as my friend Todd from the Big Apple said, Giuliani's a spitting image of one of his predecessors in the mayor's office, Fiorello LaGuardia -- only without any of the humor, empathy, competence, ability and Joie de Vivre.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on August 14, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Do we really need another President for Dummies?

Posted by: corpus juris on August 14, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Terrorists' War on Us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past.

So he's blaming America first, eh?

Also, if he thinks this "Terrorists War on Us" thing is going to catch on, he's got another thing coming.

Posted by: Jason G. on August 14, 2007 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

The Terrorists' War on Us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past.

Well, come the general election, maybe he'll claim that this paragraph was actually veiled criticism of the Iraq invasion.

I didn't think it was possible for him to win the nomination, but now I really hope he does. Americans are not nine-year-olds; except for the 27-percenters, they are opposed to the Iraq war. I think Giuliani would be demolished in the general election.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg on August 14, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, TWOU is kind of catchy!

Posted by: Smithers on August 14, 2007 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, you should be in some store buying all the milk and toilet paper.


d'ya ever wonder why people buy milk when expecting their power to go out? I can't think of a food that spoils quicker.

Posted by: absent observer on August 14, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Rudi is staying well clear of the other conservative issues that would work against him it would seem while trying to be seen as authoritarian.

His speechwriter apparently has little to work with.

Posted by: BRS on August 15, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Shows Kevin doesn't have kids. Either of mine would have been embarrassed to produce that dreck at the age of nine.

Posted by: Gene O'Grady on August 15, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Elvis:
Do you really think Rudy would get demolished? Not with this MSM he won't. Just look at Tweety.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on August 15, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Holy crap. He already had his "Freedom is Slavery" moment, now he's really bringing out the "War is Peace"?

Holy crap.

Waiting for next week's "Ignorance is Strength" speech.

He's going to be our next President. Turn on your telescreens.

Posted by: anonymous on August 15, 2007 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the new and improved Ronald Reagan, actually.

Posted by: Jake D. on August 15, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

OT- just something I noticed-

Wouldn't that be weird if sometime, well between 6am and 12 midnight eastern standard time, during a weekday, basically no one posted a comment to Eschaton?

Or during three hours- same period of time- their were only twelve or so comments on Political Animal?

That would be consistent with 80% or or so of the regular commenters on sites like that belonging to a single, coordinated source. Any other explanation for most of the commenters disappearing would be much less likely. After all, we already know that Republican campaign staff put on a fake (so-called) "middle class riot" in Florida in 2000, and posed as fake gay rights demonstrators outside majority black polling places. Why couldn't they be fake liberals on the Internet?

Just saying.

Posted by: Swan on August 15, 2007 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Well, what did you expect? It was ghosted for him by Norman Rogers.

Posted by: fyrelye on August 15, 2007 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

As Kevin points out, the article was undoubtedly ghostwritten. However, it's worth reading the article, because it's likely that the people who wrote it are the people who will define Rudy's foreign policy if he's elected. From the article, I conclude that Rudy would conduct a neoconsertative foreign policy.

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 15, 2007 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

Jim Henley's critique was spot on. While there are a few substantive points to disagree with--and be alarmed about--it's mostly sophomoric drivel.

It reads as if it was written based on nothing more than a few bullet points in a powerpoint presentation.

Posted by: has407 on August 15, 2007 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

neoconservative? hmm... I've always preferred to use direct and simple words. Wouldn't the phrase hopelessly naive and willfully stupid-minded better indicate Il Duce's approach to the world? Then again, maybe neoconservative is good as a kind of shorthand.

Posted by: snicker-snack on August 15, 2007 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: ...it's likely that the people who wrote it are the people who will define Rudy's foreign policy if he's elected. From the article, I conclude that Rudy would conduct a neoconsertative foreign policy.

If they are, they sure don't seem to know how to articulate policy. I can't remember a FA piece that took so many words to say so little, or to make a few salient points so badly. From that I conclude that Giuliani doesn't have a foreign policy--more like some half-baked thoughts based on a few bullet points.

Edwards has a piece in the Fall issue along with Giuliani. Obama and Romney have pieces in the previous Summer issue. The contrasts are interesting. In particular, Giuliani seems stuck in 9/11-land; Romney does better, but not by lot.

Posted by: has407 on August 15, 2007 at 4:40 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: "From the article, I conclude that Rudy would conduct a neoconsertative foreign policy."

Did you come to that conclusion all by yourself? Or did you have help from a nine-year-old.

Posted by: Kenji on August 15, 2007 at 4:58 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy hit the nail on the head. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by: Al on August 15, 2007 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think he hit you on the head.

Posted by: Al's Mom on August 15, 2007 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK

Giuliani's message can be boiled down to:

TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR-TERROR

Thank you, elect me.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on August 15, 2007 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

"The world is a dangerous place. We cannot afford to indulge any illusions about the enemies we face. The Terrorists' War on Us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past. A realistic peace can only be achieved through strength."

Well, to be fair, he was talking about liberal bloggers.

Posted by: Culture of Truth on August 15, 2007 at 7:11 AM | PERMALINK

Wait 'til you read his essay in "Ferrets Monthly"!!!

Posted by: Culture of Truth on August 15, 2007 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

Now, even Josh Marshall is scratching his head as to why the MSM gives Rudy such a pass on all his naughty behaviors and affairs...just another "bringing ethics and morality back to government" Republican in the mold of those that we've seen go before...they give HYPOCRITES a bad name! But the boogeyman won't get us.....

Posted by: Dancer on August 15, 2007 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know where Julie gets off thinking Americans are clamoring for more Rovism Fear Doctrine anyway.

Julie knows he's in a lot of trouble with the raising tide of Huckabee and Romney so why not throw in the old Rovism theme song and dance thing, the one that cause Rove to be old hat. Crushed old hat!

It looks like Julie isn't even a bit player - but I guess a lot of those Southerners must have noticed the pro-rights for women thing among Julie's many other nullifying attributes. I don't think Julie was every really a contender except to those Northern conservative moderates - those conserative think tank types who don't really relate to their Southern brethren.

Don't look now but the Rovism scheme to "just lie like those there is no tomorrow and make shit up" is now DOA. Julie was late to the party, but really, who invited the loser anyway?

Posted by: Me_again on August 15, 2007 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

I knew it was all Clinton's fault.

Posted by: Pat on August 15, 2007 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

"The Terrorists' War on Us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past."

1) Carter's response to Iranian hostagetaking: 1979.

2) Reagan/Rumsfeld's response in Lebanon 1982 -- first placing US Marines as a buffer force, then shelling the Bekaa Valley making our guys a target, then abandoning Lebanon entirely after more than 200 dead.

3) Failure to respond comprehensively to first WTC attack.

4) Clinton's adventure in Somalia -- the failure to provide our guys with the armor they needed to protect themselves, or to change the mission (Blackhawk Down) to fit the equipment.

5) Republicans' wholly political response to Clinton's Sudan raid; compounded years later by using the creation of DHS as a wedge issue.

6) Bush's failure to take "Al Qaeda Poised to Strike in US" seriously, notably including his first team at the INS who were appointed partly because they had fought monitoring student visas (Borderline Insanity, Washington Monthly).

7) 9-11 response -- Bush failed to get bin Laden, hasn't closed the deal in Afghanistan, invaded Iraq.

Anything to add?

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" reads Giuliani's deranged, paranoid, bloodthirsty rant that piles on the fearmongering to scare the American people into supporting further disastrous military actions like Iraq, which those same American people have rightly concluded as not in the American interest -- and certainly not worth the sacrifices loyal Americans are making now, let alone those Giuliani calls for -- and concludes he supports "a neoconsertative foreign policy."

Thanks for clearing that up, jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on August 15, 2007 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently The Onion still has it pegged. Still, it would be nice if a magazine that fancies itself to be serious abour international affairs wouldn't let writers refer to The Terrorists as if there were only one kind of terrorism in the world.

I don't want to get better news coverage from comedy shows and I don't want international affairs magazines printing analysis that is worse than Weekly World News (may it rest in peace).

Posted by: freelunch on August 15, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

The anonymous liberal has a pretty funny post about this article.

http://www.anonymousliberal.com/2007/08/anyone-but-giuliani.html

Posted by: MikeB on August 15, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

>"Do we really need another President for Dummies? "

Based on the results of last two presidential elections, yes.

"It is a good thing for the leaders that men do not think"

-- Adolf Hitler

Posted by: Buford on August 15, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

4) Clinton's adventure in Somalia -- the failure to provide our guys with the armor they needed to protect themselves, or to change the mission (Blackhawk Down) to fit the equipment.

Uh, that was GHWB's adventure in Somalia which he bequeathed to Clinton as a going away present.

Next you'll be complaining about how Clinton fucked up at Ruby Ridge.

Posted by: Disputo on August 15, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Good for Rudy - pulling up Ray Kroc's Keep It Simple Stupid policy.

Ah, the Golden Arches of Foreign Policy.

Well, at least Rudy gets the Stupid part down pat, and FAUX-Lib will be one his fry cooks.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on August 15, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo is, of course, correct. Contrary to the assertion in Americanist's post, Somalia was the brainchild of George Herbert Walker Bush. What's also worth pointing out is that after Clinton was elected, Republicans (Gingrich & Co.) soured on Somalia and began efforts to CUT OFF FUNDS FOR THE U.S. MILITARY based there. Supporting the troops, you know.

Posted by: shystr on August 15, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Was this written by a nine-year-old?

No, it was written by our big strong Daddy who will check under the bed for us every night!

Posted by: jb on August 14, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Anything more would be gilding the lily

Posted by: jonathan on August 15, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I love it when the children and the easily excited at this blog try their little hands at foreign policy.

So precious.

Do you even know who you're talking to here?

The fact IS -- if any of you could READ you would know this -- I have all the relevant information and you have none. Not by any objective measure. By MY measure.

No, I don't need to PROVE this with FACTS and KNOWLEDGE. Simply asserting my superior mental acuity in increasingly hysterical terms is the extent of my contribution.

M'kay?

As I am corrected, I just blow HARDER.

Capisce?

Posted by: Saving the real "Americanist" some time on August 15, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: Was this written by a nine-year-old?

In effect; it was written by George W. Bush who has the mentality of a 9 year old. Guiliani is just borrowing Shrub's schtick.

OT (slightly): CNN - U.S. eyes terror tag for Iranian force

This should be fun.

How long before other countries start declaring the CIA and the U.S. military terrorist organizations, start confiscating funds and equipment associated with them, and begin an open season on their members with full international legal justifications provided courtesy of the Bush administration.

Posted by: anonymous on August 15, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

And don't forget, Clinton didn't send tanks to Somalia because he deferred to the Chairman of the Joint Cheifs, one Colin Powell. So he was only doing what W. says you should do, listen to the generals. In hindsite, Clinton screwed up - he trusted Powell's judgement.

Posted by: fafner1 on August 15, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

[don't feel this worthless troll]

Posted by: mhr on August 15, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"GHWB's adventure in Somalia which he bequeathed to Clinton.." and the listened to Powell shtick: this is all true, but it isn't really helpful: Clinton was in charge, therefore he was responsible.

And if that's ALL we've got to add or amend to the list, it's a place to start, no?

The point is, if you take Giuliani FWIW, the worst mistakes (measured by American deaths) are ALL Republican errors -- Lebanon (228, IIRC), 9-11 (3,000), compared to Somalia and... well, what?

Judo, folks. When somebody charges you, get out of the way and let 'em fall.

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

OT (slightly): CNN - U.S. eyes terror tag for Iranian force

Yeah, this is quite ironic given that the US is not only supporting at least four different terrorist groups operating in Iran (including an AQ affiliate), but has also deployed Special Forces into Iran.


More OT: I'm beginning to wonder if Cheney pushed Rove out because he wouldn't get onboard with attacking Iran.

Posted by: Disputo on August 15, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy scored a coup by having his article published in the serious, respected journal Foreign Affairs. His opponents can try to make hay over the fact that his article is more simply written than most articles in FA, but they're only kidding themselves. Most voters like simple, straightforward writing and speaking. That's why Reagan and Ike were so popular.

Incidentally, the article has plenty of content. It says

-- we should make war on terrorists because they have already declared war on us.
-- the terrorists are like fascists.
-- we must succeed in establishing stable governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than withdraw.
-- we need more defense spending
-- we need a missile defense system.

At some point, I think the Dems will have to stake out their positions on these issues. If they disagree with Rudy, they will have to argue why their positions are superior. They won't be able to ignore his foreign policy by simply criticizing his writing style and calling his policy "pretend."

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 15, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Fixed your inaccuracies and inconsistencies for you. You're so very welcome. Here you go, numbnuts:

1) Carter's response to Iranian hostagetaking: 1979.

Which wasn't Carter's fault at all. Hello? The US installation of the Shah is what caused the whole thing in the first place. The Brits and the Dulles brothers loved them some Iranian oil. They couldn't get past the actual legitimate leaders of Iran to get it. The Iranian people got the Savak in exchange for poverty. And how did Carter cause all that? By letting an old man get medical help?

2) Reagan/Rumsfeld's response in Lebanon 1982 -- first placing US Marines as a buffer force, then shelling the Bekaa Valley making our guys a target, then abandoning Lebanon entirely after more than 200 dead.

I think having the US Missouri throwing massive exploding shells into civilian areas--that *might* have also been part of it. Saying we "shelled" the Bekaa Valley simply doesn't do justice to the pathetic cutting and running of the Reagan Administration in Lebanon and their childish response. Didn't they also shell Beiruit? Not a great day for American military power or American foreign policy. It set off years of hijackings and kidnappings.

3) Failure to respond comprehensively to first WTC attack.

Jailing the perpetrators after being tried in a court of law with a vigorous defense? Hello? That's the kind of thing that actually makes people admire us. What comprehensive response should there have been? This country followed the rule of law and punished lawfully those who perpetrated the attack. We also did exactly the same thing with respect to the Oklahoma City bombing. What a concept.

4) Clinton's adventure in Somalia -- the failure to provide our guys with the armor they needed to protect themselves, or to change the mission (Blackhawk Down) to fit the equipment.

Dumbass--Bush 41 sent those troops into Somalia, not Clinton. Bush 41 didn't deploy those troops with what they needed. What is it with Bushes and their continual deploying of US troops on wild adventures throughout the world without the necessary gear, no clear mandate or mission and no workable goals? It's as if Somalia was cooked up by W on a cocaine binge in the basement as Daddy was packing up his Tom Clancy memorabilia. The fact that Clinton tapped Les Aspin to run the DoD was a huge blunder. However, as big of a blunder as Somalia was, it was no where near the colossal and massive blunder that invading Iraq turned out to be.

You forgot that Clinton also took as many steps as the Republican Congress allowed him to take to actually kill Bin Laden, contain Saddam Hussein and stop Milosovic. The Clinton administration actually did something about homicidal dictators. We might not have liked it, but his hands were tied by people like John McCain and Tom Delay, who, on a daily basis in the 1990s, did every single thing possible to undermine Clinton as commander in chief. What a signal that must have sent to terrorists the world over--a US Congressman actually conspired with the Russians AGAINST a US President while US Forces were attacking the Serbian military. Think that might have inspired a few? Don't forget--a good many of the men who are still being held at Gitmo were taken from their homes in the Balkans just after 9/11. Many people don't know that it was members of the US Army's 29th Infantry Division who captured the first al Qaeda terrorists.

5) Republicans' wholly political response to Clinton's Sudan raid; compounded years later by using the creation of DHS as a wedge issue.

Whhhhaaaaat are you on? We hit the Sudan in August of 1998; At that time, no one could have even contemplated that, in June 2002, we would stand up DHS. There is simply no correlation possible of the two events. None. Sit down and shut up. You are babbling.

6) Bush's failure to take "Al Qaeda Poised to Strike in US" seriously, notably including his first team at the INS who were appointed partly because they had fought monitoring student visas (Borderline Insanity, Washington Monthly).

It was called "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" and it was a failure to heed the hair on fire warnings of Richard Clarke, actually. This group of which you speak were far more interested in a missile defense shield than terrorism.

7) 9-11 response -- Bush failed to get bin Laden, hasn't closed the deal in Afghanistan, invaded Iraq.

Actually, the real response to 9/11 wasn't a series of military blunders or misfortunes but a systematic campaign of fear mongering designed to re-elect the President.

Anything to add?

You take stupid to new and dazzling heights.

Posted by: Pale Rider on August 15, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy scored a coup by having his article published in the serious, respected journal Foreign Affairs.

LMAO. FA is printing articles from all the candidates. That's hardly a coup.

Posted by: Disputo on August 15, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

FAUX-Lib is soooo correct - Keep it simple and we can all understand.

On a far away day in the 50s, Ike said,

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarrented influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the diastrous risk of misplaced power exists and will persist."........

But, then I also loved the straight talking and simple manner of John Boehner and Tom DeLay in 93 when, not only calling for the removal of troops from Somalia, but voting for cutting funding. Cut and Runners before they were a'gin it.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on August 15, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Pale comes back to re-define stoopid.

1) Carter's RESPONSE wasn't his, um, responsibility?

2) "the US Missouri throwing massive exploding shells into civilian areas--that *might* have also been part of it..." Um, it was the New Jersey, and it was done when Rumsfeld, than Reagan's Special Envoy, called Reagan from the bomb shelter in the Ambassador's residence basement, because the compound was taking fire from the Bekaa. If you're gonna AGREE with me, Pale, get the facts right -- as you know, I'm sorta particular about the facts AND the reasoning.

3) "What comprehensive response should there have been?"

We should have instituted a check-in/check-out system for temporary visas, cracked down on student visa abuse, and linked the various law enforcement databases, just to name three. Read Borderline Insanity -- ya know, the article I cited?

4) "that Clinton tapped Les Aspin to run the DoD was a huge blunder..." No argument there. Which is my point -- I don't CARE who got us into this, that, or the other foreign policy mess before the next President takes office: I want THAT President to take responsibility for it, instead of pulling a Bush and pretending it's Somebody Else's Fault.

Like your post tried to do, Pale: thus, your impressive attempt to re-define stooopid (and not leave it to Guiliani).

5) "Republicans' wholly political response.." A pretty fair example of your stupidity, Pale, in being unable to see what's obviously the same in both cases: hitting at bin Laden in 1998 was a national security move. So was creating DHS. When Clinton bombed Sudan, the Republican reaction was wholly political -- there was NO sign, none, that any Republican took it seriously AS A NATIONAL SECURITY MOVE.

Likewise, DHS was originally a Democratic proposal (Lieberman, following up on Silver Reyes' idea of combining the Border Patrol and Customs, which in turn followed up on the late Barbara Jordan's bipartisan proposal to break up the INS into services and enforcement). Bush was against it, until suddenly he was FOR it -- but not because it was better for our national security. He realized it was costing him politically to be against it -- and then brilliantly played a minor legislative disagreement into 'Democrats weak on national security', e.g., Chambliss and Cleland.

In both cases, treating real national security issues as opportunities for cheap political points weakens our POLITICAL ability to make effective political decisions about national security.

I realize (c.f., #1) that literacy isn't your strong suit, but -- get it now, Pale?

6) You're right, of course "Determined", not "Poised". Wow, what an insightful mind you have.

7) "designed to re-elect the President..." Especially when you catch on to what you're been arguing AGAINST, as if it was your idea in the first place.

Carter's response was HIS responsibility. (We can't go back and reinstall Mossedegh.) Personally, I'd like to hear a Democratic candidate for President muse out loud how much might have been different if the Marine guards had machine-gunned the mob that took over the embassy, to get time to airlift out guys out. Yeah, Iran would have been pissed at us -- but I dunno as things would be WORSE today than they are.

And what if Reagan had told Rumsfeld -- "yeah, I know the Middle East is fucked up, that's why I sent you to Lebanon. But they're not shelling ME -- they're shelling my Peace Envoy. So I'm not calling the New Jersey, I'm hanging up so you can get to work."

We SHOULD have done a lot of things differently after the 1993 attack on the WTC -- pretending that we didn't have the opportunity to defend ourselves better than we did is folly, and a sign we STILL haven't learned the right lessons, cuz guys like Pale miss the point and ask all the stooooopidest questions.

Hell, Pale doesn't understand what good questions LOOK like.

What if Clinton had asked Powell -- gee, what are we going to do if a helicopter gets shot down? That CAN happen, right general -- they can get shot down? How do we go get guys on the ground in a hostile city?

What if we took immigration policy seriously, instead of as a screen to project all kinds of fantasies against?

And what if progressives looking at 2008 acted like grownups, both intellectually and politically -- instead of, um, like Pale's post?

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy's great plan in immigration:
…Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, told the crowd of roughly 70 that securing the U.S. border is necessary before changing the requirements for becoming a citizen.
“It’s got to be taken in steps,” Giuliani said. “The first step has to be to end illegal immigration.
“Build the darn fence,” he said, referring to a 700-mile wall approved by Congress. “It will help reduce illegal immigration.”
The Giuliani immigration plan would require a new identification card for immigrant workers, which would include a thumbprint and another date intended to prevent fraud. The card would allow the United States to track workers entering and leaving the country.
Giuliani also said he would require illegal immigrants to pay a penalty and wait to become citizens. Immigrants would have to pass an English test, as well as one on American ideals….

American ideals from a social dominator sociopath?

…I conclude that Rudy would conduct a neoconsertative foreign policy. ex-lax at 3:24 AM

I concluded that when he hired Norman ‘bomb Iran’ Podhoretz.

Posted by: Mike on August 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lax at 11:51 AM:
-- we should make war on terrorists because they have already declared war on us.
Now who has overthrown governments in the Middle East, who supports friendly dictators and who supports a group occupying middle east land? That would, if I' m not mistaken, us. Perhaps what goes around comes around.

-- the terrorists are like fascists.
That soooo enlightening. What is it supposed to mean, that it takes a fascist to deal with fascists?

-- we must succeed in establishing stable governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than withdraw.
No, it's up to the people of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan and all other nations to decide what they want. The US has no credibility and any action we support will be viewed unfavorably.

-- we need more defense spending
Nonsense. We're spending trillions now. The trouble is, we're spending it foolishly.

-- we need a missile defense system.
The holy of holies of RepubliConTarianism: Star Wars! And it's going to stop who what when?

theAmericanist at 12:27 PM:
....Carter's RESPONSE wasn't his, um, responsibility?...
His response was that of a mature president until his Operation Eagle Claw spoiled it.

it was the New Jersey, and it was done when Rumsfeld…
The shelling was strategic error"
… On 14 December, New Jersey fired 11 projectiles from her 16 inch (406 mm) guns at hostile positions inland of Beirut. …
On 8 February 1984, New Jersey fired almost 300 shells at Druze and Syrian positions in the Bekaa valley east of Beirut. Some 30 of these massive projectiles rained down on a Syrian command post, killing the general commanding Syrian forces in Lebanon and several other senior officers….
Although New Jersey performed her job expertly during the intervention in Lebanon some have criticized the decision to have New Jersey shell Druze and Syrian forces. Members of this camp allege that this action forced a shift in the previously neutral U.S. forces by convincing local Lebanese Muslims that the United States had taken the Christian side;[24] New Jersey’s shells had killed a number of Muslim civilians living in the targeted area.[25] In his memoir, General Colin Powell (at the time an assistant to Caspar Weinberger) noted that "When the shells started falling on the Shiites, they assumed the American ‘referee’ had taken sides."

Memories are long in the Middle East.

…We should have ….
We should have had a president who paid attention and gave a shit. Until then, no policy is effective.

…. but I dunno as things would be WORSE today than they are….
Labeling people as part of an "axis of evil' instead of encouraging moderate leadership didn't help.

…We SHOULD have done a lot of things differently after the 1993 attack on the WTC...
Here's a partial list of terrorists attacks on America. Pick the one you want to start learning from.
[Apropos nothing, I was close enough to feel the Faunces Tavern bombing.]
Clinton leaned quickly: pay attention to threats; shake the system. The potential Millennium attack was thwarted. As an article of faith, Bush chose to ignore all warnings. Still, if the nation is going to be a player, enemies and dissenters will fight back by any means available to them.

Posted by: Mike on August 15, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

His opponents can try to make hay over the fact that his article is more simply written than most articles in FA, but they're only kidding themselves.

Another typically dishonest post by "ex-liberal." You really do get a sick thrill out of posting the most disingenuous, transparently phony bullshit you can, don't you? Almost as much as you seem to mouthing neocon propaganda, you cur.

Most people are "making hay" out of the fact that Giuliani is batshit insane. I know it gives you a chubby that Rudy is calling for bombing everyone on Earth, you disgusting neocon toad, but in the real world your neocon policies have been shown to be so much banana oil, and worse yet, deadly to American lives, treasure, security and prestige.

Throw in the fact hat you and Rudy still cling to the fantasy of a missile defense system -- which doesn't work now, and will never, ever be able to overcome decoys as cheaply as decoys can be deployed against it, meaning that it never will work even if its components do, which they don't -- only makes your smarmy, insulting faux "seriousness" the more ridiculous. Why Kevin's moderator(s) tolerate you pissing on the floor in here is quite a mystery.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on August 15, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, the article has plenty of content. It says

-- we should make war on terrorists because they have already declared war on us.
-- the terrorists are like fascists.
-- we must succeed in establishing stable governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than withdraw.
-- we need more defense spending
-- we need a missile defense system.

You really are the stupidest, bootlickingest fuck that ever dragged these threads down, aren't you?.

First - Who gives a fuck what a bunch of stateless whack-jobs think? You empower them when you piss down your leg in fear of them.

How are terrorists like fascists? How are they blending corporatism with government? That term more aptly applies to those you fellate. (Wipe your chin, son)

How the hell do you propose that we establish stable governments in countries we have systematically made sure we don't understand. (Everyone wants to be like us, right?)

More defense spending. Puh-lease. Can I assume you would be in favor of paying taxes for this folly you propose?

Why do we need a missile defense boondoggle? That won't do a damned thing to protect against a suitcase bomb or terrorism.

You really have no fucking clue, basing everything on the talking points that your overlords pimp.

Now be a good little toady and run aliong and find some more disingenuous bullshit to peddle, you sycophantic dipshit.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on August 15, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, my bad.

Yes--the New Jersey was the battleship that shelled Lebanon.

The Missouri and the Wisconsin participated in the first Gulf War.

Well, I guess that settles it--The Americanist is now the smartest and the most intelligent commenter who ever commented on a blog thread. I bow to your immaculate wisdom and I withdraw exactly 5% of what I said.

Posted by: Pale Rider on August 15, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

It's pretty stupid for folks who think "wipe your chin, son", is either rhetoric OR good invective, but FWIW: "How are they blending corporatism with government? "

The Saudi government is a fair example. It's essentially a family business, rather than a 'corporation', but in all other ways it's a blending of business, religious imagery, bribery as trade and a military-industrial complex aimed at profiteering that has all kinds of similarities to fascism.

It's also the wellspring for a very large chunk of the world's terrorism.

Saudi Arabia isn't a garrison state the way, for example, Manchukuo was, but it's hard to look at the Saudi economy and see anything BUT the family with its extended relations: moral, political, economic, strategic and theological.

So if you take Mussolini's 1932 definition of fascism and substitute the Saud family for 'the state', it rings pretty clear: "The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State...."

So Saudi Arabia's brand of Wahabi Islam (excuse me, the Salafists), their takeover of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Egypt, the worldwide maddrassa movement... it all fits, excepting of course that the US fights its wars AND serves as its primary Adversary.

Which is a pretty impressive innovation, but still: fascism doesn't seem too far fetched a comparison. (Unless of course you consider 'wipe your chin, son' to be a rebuttal.)

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, you can't do better'n THAT, Pale.

For one thing -- do you REALLY think that Carter wasn't responsible for.... his response?

There are two schools of thought on this. The first is the one Mike offers -- that Carter was smart to tolerate the takeover of our embassy and the holding of diplomats as hostages, until he ordered the rescue that failed. (Mike doesn't make clear if the mistake was that the rescue failed (which begs operational questions about why and how it failed), or to have ordered it in the first place.) But either way, Mike's idea is that somebody attacks us, and we... talk back. THAT's the plan.

The other is that in retrospect, Carter's decision to negotiate endlessly, or to attempt a rescue rather that to regard the "students" as agents of a government committing an act of war, was a serious erosion of the rule of law in itself. Some argue that at least after all this time we should CONSIDER that we'd be better off today, if Carter had suddenly become TR: 'we will NOT negotiate. You give us every hostage back, or we are going to HURT you... and we're not gonna say how. Call us soon, cuz we're not waiting.'

There are nuances to that (telling somebody who didn't control the students but COULD that we're gonna hit THEM hard -- so they better get control over the students, might have had a certain practical focus), but the basic approach of an ALTERNATIVE isn't such a bad idea to consider, don't ya think?

Unless, of course, you persist in the notion that Carter wasn't responsible for... his response. (This is a pretty fair example of why many people have trouble trusting Democrats with national security. We need more JFK taking responsibility after the Bay of Pigs - which was, after all, an Allen Dulles/Ike deal, but JFK owned up to it.)

Likewise with all the others -- you AGREE on Somalia, you just want to pretend somebody other than Clinton was responsible when our guys got killed.

You recognize that what you did in your post is exactly what Republicans did about Sudan in 1998 and about creating DHS years later: treating REAL issues that affect us as ONE nation, as if they're merely opportunities to score cheap political points. (And man!, yours are overpriced at nothing.)

I don't buy the idea that the first thing to do when a Carter or a Clinton, much less a Reagan or a Bush fails in office is to find some way to blame the other party (and neither do you), which is why I regard your response as stooopid.

And in your heart of hearts, so do you. So improve already.

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's essentially a family business, rather than a 'corporation', but in all other ways it's a blending of business, religious imagery, bribery as trade and a military-industrial complex aimed at profiteering that has all kinds of similarities to fascism.

Just like every other kingdom throughout history, which apparently theIdiotanist also believes are Fascist. Well, at least he is far from being the first idiot to abuse the term.

I blame the public schools....

Posted by: Disputo on August 15, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Reality outidiots parody.

Who could have predicted that?

Posted by: theEnnuist on August 15, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Some argue that at least after all this time we should CONSIDER that we'd be better off today, if Carter had suddenly become TR: 'we will NOT negotiate. You give us every hostage back, or we are going to HURT you... and we're not gonna say how. Call us soon, cuz we're not waiting.'

[yawn]

Still ranting and raving? How does making empty threats we had no intention of backing up constitute any kind of foreign policy? What you cite looks like GWB on a good day. How about real negotiations and real, substantive proposals, like releasing Iranian assets and selectively negotiating through third parties? How do you think things get done in the real world? With schoolyard taunts or by greasing the wheels and making sure everyone gets a slice of the pie? No endorsement from me, of course. Negotiating with terrorists is just not smart. The real result was a flood of shoulder fired SAMs into the region and a shaky deal to send money to right wing death squads in Central America. Anyone surprised John Negroponte has had a hand in the death squads in both Iraq and El Salvador?

Another rant by the Amercanist goes of the rails, based on some pop psychology learned in a classroom taught by a lunatic back in the days when the Americanist was lurching through his education like a crazed biker full of crystal meth. Did you retain any of your brain cells? Or did they disappear when the fuzz cracked your skull down in the student union?

What is it with people who have half-baked ideas and points of view best regurgitated with warm beer in the morning after binging on ecstasy?

The answer to every issue is not, as you suggest, to pine for the days of Teddy Roosevelt and lament the fact that modern politicians do not act the way that TR did. I wish they had his candor and his character and his ability to do the right thing when necessary; his bluster and his impetuousness wouldn't do us any good right now. (I think we've seen what those qualities lead to--"bring em on" "mission accomplished" "last throes of the insurgency.")

You can lament how Carter handled the Iranians. You cannot blame him for their revolution, nor can you blame him for the policies that caused that revolution to create what Iran is today. You cannot blame him for the fundamentalism or the export of terrorism. You can't keep fighting the issue over and over again with phony posturing.

How did the affair resolve itself? By virtue of a back-door deal between the Republicans and the Iranians, one that effectively undercut the (still in power) President of the United States. It would be as if John Kerry won the 2004 election and, in the weeks leading up to his inauguration, cut a deal with the Iraqi insurgents to stop the fighting.

How does the Amercanist fare? Like a cheap man in a cheap suit, full of cheap rhetoric and cheap catch phrases.

We're laughing at how shabby you are.

Posted by: Pale Rider on August 15, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Duh-mericanist: Some argue that at least after all this time we should CONSIDER that we'd be better off today, if Carter had suddenly become TR: 'we will NOT negotiate. You give us every hostage back, or we are going to HURT you... and we're not gonna say how. Call us soon, cuz we're not waiting.'

Hell, if you are going to go back to 1979, why not go all the way back to the real impetus for the Iranians anger? The 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected Mossadegh. His big sin? He nationalized the oil company and irked the Brits who got indignant. That was their oil under the Iranian sand, after all!

Your selective memory, coupled with your conviction that you are the smartest guy in the room is really quite grating, when in reality...you aren't. No wonder everyone beats up on you for sport.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on August 15, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, you guys are SO cute. Really, no kidding, Lucy: Mossadegh? Wow. How... profound. (Extra bonus brownies for anybody who knows the TR connection there.)

Pale, evidently you really can't do any better. I apologize for overestimating you. I actually thought you had the brains and the class to recognize that a President of the United States IS responsible... for his responses.

Whatever else anybody might want to argue about Carter and the hostages in Iran: he didn't exactly prevent more terrorism later, did he?

Nor did Reagan in Lebanon -- in '83, btw.

I dunno as there is such a clear, if indirect connection with the Blackhawk thing in Mogadishu -- but it sure as hell didn't cause folks to say: leave Americans alone, they're dangerous.

Pale, you asked, and I cited three very specific steps that were proposed immediately after the first WTC attack. Didn't you notice?

Or is that sorta clarity beyond you? As somebody put it in the Washington Monthly, if we'd had the kinds of checks in place in 2000 and 2001 that had been proposed in '93-4, designed and built and tested and implemented by '99, then derailed first by Clinton and abandoned by Bush, as least four of the 9-11 hijackers would have been investigated and two, likely arrested, months before the WTC and Pentagon attacks. That's not speculation, it's recognizing what all that design and testing MEANT.

Stooopid progressives like Pale and Lucy are a pretty good reason why we didn't get it done before 9-11: it's all about political preening rather than SOLVING.

See, it's not enough to have the cred to point to BUSH'S failures before 9-11, which were most direct. He hired guys to run the INS who were absolutely opposed to what we needed to do.

But -- those things should have been done already. The reason they weren't -- is a long story.

So now we're looking at '08, and Lucy wants to blame.... 1953?

And Pale figures that knowing that Carter was responsible for his own reponse is.... well, gee: who is missing the point there, Pale?

LOL -- I don't post here cuz I know it all. I post here cuz I find it useful probing the blind spots of folks who ought to know better.

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Just like every other kingdom throughout history..."

No, the Saudis are actually quite modern, which is why the parallel with fascism is apt. Just look at their use of information technology to AVOID opening their society. They're doing better than the Chinese, which is saying something.

In the olden days, the European model for monarchy was remarkably open. There was an independent source of power in all European states, the Roman church. (There is no such independent power structure in Saudi Arabia and, increasingly, not in Islam itself.) Kings were constantly trying to run the church, at least in their own kingdoms and anyplace else they could get a grip -- appointing bishops and abbots and what not.

And the church would often make (and occasionally, break) a king. But Saudi money runs Islam now, and increasingly DEFINES it. So the idea that the Saudis are just one more kingdom is false: they are monolithic in a way no European royal family could have ever hoped to be, not to mention MUCH richer.

But there was no industry worth the name in the European model for monarchy, not much comparative advantage and international trade, hell, they were barely nations. This was true all the way up through the first world war, when most of 'em fell: what was modern about monarchies caused the war, and they didn't survive it cuz they weren't modern.

The Saudis are nothing like that. They supply the lion's share of the lifeblood of the modern economy: oil. As it happens, so much oil is in nations that were essentially colonies of the industrial west, that the Saudi's essentially royal FAMILY structure also brokered the (Venezualan invention of) OPEC, which is the single biggest shift in economic power from the industrial west to anybody else in the past half century.

Nothing to scoff at -- and a helluva lot more important than Mossadegh. (BTW, we stiffed the British on that deal -- Mossadegh nationalized Iran's oil to stiff the Brits, we knocked him off and put the shah in, and he promptly nationalized the oil in OUR favor. Strive to pay attention, kids, class moves fast.)

F'r example, the ORIGINAL oil price jump in 1973 was NOT done by the Saudis, but by the Shah, in the spring. It was only after the Shah showed it could be done that OAPEC (the Arab members of OPEC, leaving out Iran and Venezuela) did it again, harder.

Unlike the medieval (much less modern figurehead) monarchies but LIKE fascism, the Saudi's are modern, monolithic, they crush dissent, they are ferociously sexist... golly, how many parallels to fascism do you want before you concede something so obvious?

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

That would be his grandson Kermit, you know-it-all jackass. We are better informed than you give us credit for in your hubristic bubble.

Memories are a lot longer in the middle east than you want to acknowledge. Not every culture is distracted by shiny baubles and boobies on the teevee. Since the Shia and Sunni are still duking it out over a murder that happened hundreds of years ago, yeah, it's reasonable to assume they are still nursing a grudge over something that happened in 1953, when the reward they reaped was poverty and the Savak.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on August 15, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't post here cuz I know it all.

Well, that's fortunate...

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on August 15, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

[Thread killing deleted]

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah, small thing: Kermit was TR's son, not grandson.

(But of course, Lucy has trouble with keeping most things straight, so there's no point in holding her to ordinary standards of accuracy.)

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 15, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah, small thing: Kermit was TR's son, not grandson.

I do believe, and correct me if I am wrong, that I corrected that very error for you not long ago, Paul.

I do believe I will not come wading further into this fever-swamp, however.

G'night.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on August 15, 2007 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

You're right.

Posted by: theAmericanist on August 16, 2007 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

You're right.

Not bad. But "You're right, and I look like the world's biggest ass for gratuitously mocking Lucy's accuracy when I knew damn well I'd just been corrected for this same mistake" would have been more to the point.

Still, you can't expect more of people than the limits of their mental health allow.

Posted by: The WM readership, having a heart attack after TA admitted an error on August 16, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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