Bush Responds to Anti-Iraq War Critics

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:16 pm

Kevin R wrote:John,

Your ignorance of this topic (and Reagan in general) is astonishing. I must wonder if you have read anything on his presidency. All you can do is post inane personal reflections, as if they are any evidence of Reagan's role in the ending of the Cold War. As Barry stated, those leaders in the Soviet Union have a much different view of Reagan than you (and so many on the left who simply won't give the man ANY credit in this area). What do you know that they don't?

Or what about those who lived under Soviet domination? They also have a much different view. Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic (born in Yugoslavia) stated: “Ronald Reagan, then — for us who were born in tyranny — will always be remembered as the man who gave us back our free will.” Lech Walesa simply said: “We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.” I guess these two men don't know what they are talking about, but you do.

The leftist gibberish about his intelligence has been thoroughly refuted, and it is amazing that you simply repeat them from pure habit. You could really benefit from doing some reading in this area.
I don't have to read about what I lived through as an adult, Kevin. I don't need sophisticated analysis to revise what was extremely obvious at the time. Great personal charm does not make up for stupendous lack of wits. Reagan was not called the teflon president for nothing, and if he had been faced with a real crisis he would have been completely at a loss. He was a fashion president, a show without substance, and we are just lucky that Iraq did not invade Kuwait while he was in the White House. Those who praise Reagan for his role in ending the Cold War are engaging in fallacious thinking. If I were in an auto accident and some imbecile happened to to be the one to call 911, I would also be grateful to him, even though he had only done a very ordinarty thing.

Nobody wants to believe that we have had insipid and even stupid presidents any more than anyone wants to believe that a single loony shot JFK. We want our presidents to be persons of stature who have careers of importance with closure at some heroic level. It just doesn't happen that way all the time.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:34 pm

John is correct.

The consensus among academics (i.e. non-partisan thinkers) is that the Berlin Wall fell and the Communist Bloc collapsed not because of any active work by Reagan (though I could imagine it did help he had this charming demeanor, to make everything look easy). These things happened because the USSR just couldn't hold up its empire any longer; it was falling apart at the seams. Gorbatchev setting Glasnost in motion turned out to be an irreversible step towards liberalisation.

So Gorbachev is the real hero. But of course the American mind cannot conceive of anything in which it is not the main player. Same way with the liberation of Europe in 1943 - 1945.

I'm afraid Barry's lengthy quote of Reagan gobblydegook as a specimen of RR's "moral clarity" (another piece of GOP - Bush code language seeping in?) is just a piece of cheap demagogics. Both the USSR and the USA staked out an empire after 1945 and "imposed their will" on "friendly" nations. (Why do you think John is on an army base in Bamberg, Germany?) None was able to take over the entire world.

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:20 pm

herman wrote:I'm afraid Barry's lengthy quote of Reagan gobblydegook as a specimen of RR's "moral clarity" (another piece of GOP - Bush code language seeping in?) is just a piece of cheap demagogics. Both the USSR and the USA staked out an empire after 1945 and "imposed their will" on "friendly" nations. (Why do you think John is on an army base in Bamberg, Germany?) None was able to take over the entire world.
Moral relativism at its worse, and from the continent where such thinking is king.

It is obvious that our military was in Germany and other parts of western Europe to stop them from being overrun by Soviet forces. The Berlin Wall, on the other hand, wasn't built to keep our troops out, but instead to keep those suffering under Eastern European communism in. That alone should shed light on the ridiculous attempts at moral equivalence between the U.S. and Soviet policies.

The man saved your bacon and all you can do is snipe at his reputation. Talk about ingratitude.

And by the way, I didn't say Reagan deserves ALL the credit for winning the Cold War. Gorbachev played an important role, but it needs to be stated that he didn't intend for things to go nearly as far as they did. If one reads Reagan's earlier writings, he intended and planned for things to turn out basically as they did and thought they would if he pushed the Soviets to follow our military spending at a rate they couldn't keep up with.
Other U.S. presidents from the post-war era who stood firm against the Soviets also deserve credit; Truman not the least among those for being the first one to do so and setting the course that future presidents would follow.

You're also flat out wrong that there is a consensus among objective historians that Reagan did not play an important role in bringing about the end of the Cold War sooner than it otherwise would have occured if not for his policies. The man's presidency has been over less than two decades and there is a growing number of serious books out there by scholars who reach a different and much more positive conclusion on Reagan. The trend is definately moving in that direction. It was pointed out in the seminar that I watched on C-Span last night that a positive consensus on Truman didn't fully develop until the 70s. One is starting to develop on Reagan much sooner than that. Indeed, in the most recent poll of historians on the ranking of U.S. presidents, Reagan had already moved into the top ten. These polls feature scholars from all over the political spectrum (and if most of them are in academia, you know there are plenty of liberals). Of course, if you're going to claim that anyone who has a positive view of RR wasn't objective, what's the point of discussing it.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Kevin R
Posts: 1672
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:15 am
Location: MO

Post by Kevin R » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:55 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Kevin R wrote:John,

Your ignorance of this topic (and Reagan in general) is astonishing. I must wonder if you have read anything on his presidency. All you can do is post inane personal reflections, as if they are any evidence of Reagan's role in the ending of the Cold War. As Barry stated, those leaders in the Soviet Union have a much different view of Reagan than you (and so many on the left who simply won't give the man ANY credit in this area). What do you know that they don't?

Or what about those who lived under Soviet domination? They also have a much different view. Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic (born in Yugoslavia) stated: “Ronald Reagan, then — for us who were born in tyranny — will always be remembered as the man who gave us back our free will.” Lech Walesa simply said: “We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.” I guess these two men don't know what they are talking about, but you do.

The leftist gibberish about his intelligence has been thoroughly refuted, and it is amazing that you simply repeat them from pure habit. You could really benefit from doing some reading in this area.
I don't have to read about what I lived through as an adult, Kevin. I don't need sophisticated analysis to revise what was extremely obvious at the time. Great personal charm does not make up for stupendous lack of wits. Reagan was not called the teflon president for nothing, and if he had been faced with a real crisis he would have been completely at a loss. He was a fashion president, a show without substance, and we are just lucky that Iraq did not invade Kuwait while he was in the White House. Those who praise Reagan for his role in ending the Cold War are engaging in fallacious thinking. If I were in an auto accident and some imbecile happened to to be the one to call 911, I would also be grateful to him, even though he had only done a very ordinarty thing.

Nobody wants to believe that we have had insipid and even stupid presidents any more than anyone wants to believe that a single loony shot JFK. We want our presidents to be persons of stature who have careers of importance with closure at some heroic level. It just doesn't happen that way all the time.
How very sad. You want no analysis of the situation?! That is a breathtaking statement.

Having lived through it as well, I felt the same way at the time. I despised Reagan and what he stood for, and worked hard to discredit the man at every opportunity. But on further reflection (which Barry, at least on the foreign policy side, has also done) and after the fall of communism my outlook changed. Your reluctance to examine the facts is understandable, for to do so might cause great soul searching. Better for you to be wrapped up in your cocoon of ignorance.

And you know who also lived through it? Mr. Welesa. But I guess you were closer to the events than he was.
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

Kevin R
Posts: 1672
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:15 am
Location: MO

Post by Kevin R » Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:13 am

herman wrote:John is correct.

The consensus among academics (i.e. non-partisan thinkers) is that the Berlin Wall fell and the Communist Bloc collapsed not because of any active work by Reagan (though I could imagine it did help he had this charming demeanor, to make everything look easy). These things happened because the USSR just couldn't hold up its empire any longer; it was falling apart at the seams. Gorbatchev setting Glasnost in motion turned out to be an irreversible step towards liberalisation.
Wrong. I assume you have not read the recent literature either. Reagan's stock (as Barry pointed out) has been going up dramatically in the last 10 years or so. Just read the last 10 years of articles from the Presidential Studies Quarterly. It is astounding to see the changing views of his role. Most importantly for those who have been championing Reagan's accomplishments for a while is the work of the preeminent Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis. Gaddis (though I don't agree with everything he has written) brings Reagan's role more to the center where it belongs. Another indication on the lack of a consensus has been the backtracking of former critics. His role in ending the Cold War is now acknowledged by the likes of Arthur Schlesinger (who says Reagan deserves "considerable credit") and Walter LaFeber, among many others. Your view is not taken seriously anymore.
herman wrote:So Gorbachev is the real hero. But of course the American mind cannot conceive of anything in which it is not the main player. Same way with the liberation of Europe in 1943 - 1945.
The Gorby myth has been a very reassuring one to many on the left since the end of the Cold War. Basically it is: gave Gorby the credit and ignore the idiot Reagan. Gorby undoubtedly loves the accolades and likes to take credit for much of what transpired, but in some moments he forthrightly acknowledges Reagan's role. In one interview (when asked about the crucial moment to the end of communism) he responded that that moment occurred at Reykjavik. I'm sure you understand the significance of that.

Isn't it interesting that it was originally those who were on the losing side who first gave Reagan (and not Gorby) credit in the Cold War. At one conference Genrikh Trofimenko (who was a former adviser to Brezhnev and authority on the US at the Soviet Academy of Sciences) stated: “Ronald Reagan was tackling world gangsters of the first order of magnitude. Ninety-nine percent of Russian people believe you [US] won the Cold War because of your president’s insistence on SDI. Yet the greatest flimflam man of all time, Mikhail Gorbachev, was made the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.” That was, however, a number of years ago. Reagan's efforts are now being recognized.
herman wrote:I'm afraid Barry's lengthy quote of Reagan gobblydegook as a specimen of RR's "moral clarity" (another piece of GOP - Bush code language seeping in?) is just a piece of cheap demagogics. Both the USSR and the USA staked out an empire after 1945 and "imposed their will" on "friendly" nations. (Why do you think John is on an army base in Bamberg, Germany?) None was able to take over the entire world.
First of all, your Cold War history is sadly lacking. I would again urge you to read Gaddis and other Cold War historians who have looked at Soviet archives when they became available. There is simply no question that the Cold War was started by the Soviets. The once bold and brash "revisionist" historians have been routed (though on occasion, one will attempt to get off a shot for their failed thesis). The orthodox school was right all along.

And it was an excellent quote. Reagan's moral clarity was indeed needed. He was willing to state the moral dimensions of the conflict. The Soviet Union was the "evil empire." Remember how liberals howled at that line? How dare Reagan bring such morality to this deadly situation. But, of course, he was right to do so (just as Lincoln had done with slavery and Churchill had done with Nazism and communism). This was a moral conflict.

And what of the victims of this "evil" state? What did they think of Reagan's moral lucidity? Natan Sharansky wrote in 2000: “Nearly 20 years ago, confined to an eight-by-ten cell in a prison on the border of Siberia, I was granted by my Soviet jailers the "privilege" of reading the latest copy of Pravda, official mouthpiece of the Communist regime. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire."

Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, prisoners quickly spread the word of Reagan's "provocation" throughout the prison. The dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth--a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.”

It is a truth many on the left have yet to understand.
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:09 am

Kevin R wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Kevin R wrote:John,

Your ignorance of this topic (and Reagan in general) is astonishing. I must wonder if you have read anything on his presidency. All you can do is post inane personal reflections, as if they are any evidence of Reagan's role in the ending of the Cold War. As Barry stated, those leaders in the Soviet Union have a much different view of Reagan than you (and so many on the left who simply won't give the man ANY credit in this area). What do you know that they don't?

Or what about those who lived under Soviet domination? They also have a much different view. Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic (born in Yugoslavia) stated: “Ronald Reagan, then — for us who were born in tyranny — will always be remembered as the man who gave us back our free will.” Lech Walesa simply said: “We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.” I guess these two men don't know what they are talking about, but you do.

The leftist gibberish about his intelligence has been thoroughly refuted, and it is amazing that you simply repeat them from pure habit. You could really benefit from doing some reading in this area.
I don't have to read about what I lived through as an adult, Kevin. I don't need sophisticated analysis to revise what was extremely obvious at the time. Great personal charm does not make up for stupendous lack of wits. Reagan was not called the teflon president for nothing, and if he had been faced with a real crisis he would have been completely at a loss. He was a fashion president, a show without substance, and we are just lucky that Iraq did not invade Kuwait while he was in the White House. Those who praise Reagan for his role in ending the Cold War are engaging in fallacious thinking. If I were in an auto accident and some imbecile happened to to be the one to call 911, I would also be grateful to him, even though he had only done a very ordinarty thing.

Nobody wants to believe that we have had insipid and even stupid presidents any more than anyone wants to believe that a single loony shot JFK. We want our presidents to be persons of stature who have careers of importance with closure at some heroic level. It just doesn't happen that way all the time.
How very sad. You want no analysis of the situation?! That is a breathtaking statement.

Having lived through it as well, I felt the same way at the time. I despised Reagan and what he stood for, and worked hard to discredit the man at every opportunity. But on further reflection (which Barry, at least on the foreign policy side, has also done) and after the fall of communism my outlook changed. Your reluctance to examine the facts is understandable, for to do so might cause great soul searching. Better for you to be wrapped up in your cocoon of ignorance.

And you know who also lived through it? Mr. Welesa. But I guess you were closer to the events than he was.
He loved Big Brother.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:19 pm

Vaseena wrote:
pizza wrote:If that's what Democrats are all about, not to mention their irresistible penchant for lying and hypocracy for perceived political gain.
Oh shut up!.... What are you talking about??
You know damn well what I'm talking about . That's why you leftist loonies want us to shut up. It sticks in your collective craw when your lies are exposed. The lie that Bush lied is the biggest one you have going now. That's what I'm talking about, just in case it slipped your mind. The very people who supported him when it was apparent that Saddam had WMDs and was working toward nuclear capability are the ones who are now pretending they were "misled". That's pure unadulterated bull crap. I'll bet even you can recognize it if you're honest for a moment -- but based upon previous discussions I know how difficult that must be for you.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:28 pm

Should I start a thread about Commedia dell'Arte and CMG membership? Pizza is undoubtetdly our Pantaloon. I can almost see him waving his cane at posters he is scolding in his high squeaky voice.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:41 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Should I start a thread about Commedia dell'Arte and CMG membership? Pizza is undoubtetdly our Pantaloon. I can almost see him waving his cane at posters he is scolding in his high squeaky voice.
I'll bet I'm in a helluva lot better shape than most insulated ivory-tower schoolteachers including you, John. I'm 74 and can still pitch 7 innings of fast-pitch softball against kids 1/4 my age. Chances are an ossifying '60s relic like you will be using a cane long before me. Save your schoolboy efforts for the leftist loonies with whom you identify.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:47 pm

pizza wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Should I start a thread about Commedia dell'Arte and CMG membership? Pizza is undoubtetdly our Pantaloon. I can almost see him waving his cane at posters he is scolding in his high squeaky voice.
I'll bet I'm in a helluva lot better shape than most insulated ivory-tower schoolteachers including you, John. I'm 74 and can still pitch 7 innings of fast-pitch softball against kids 1/4 my age. Chances are an ossifying '60s relic like you will be using a cane long before me. Save your schoolboy efforts for the leftist loonies with whom you identify.
I sincerely hope that a softball is the only thing you pitch to any of our nation's youth.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:51 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
pizza wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Should I start a thread about Commedia dell'Arte and CMG membership? Pizza is undoubtetdly our Pantaloon. I can almost see him waving his cane at posters he is scolding in his high squeaky voice.
I'll bet I'm in a helluva lot better shape than most insulated ivory-tower schoolteachers including you, John. I'm 74 and can still pitch 7 innings of fast-pitch softball against kids 1/4 my age. Chances are an ossifying '60s relic like you will be using a cane long before me. Save your schoolboy efforts for the leftist loonies with whom you identify.
I sincerely hope that a softball is the only thing you pitch to any of our nation's youth.
Our nation's youth have been exposed to the loonie left for so long that anything else is a breath of fresh air.

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:05 pm

herman wrote:
pizza wrote: that's what Democrats are all about, not to mention their irresistible penchant for lying and hypocracy for perceived political gain,
says the man who spends his days foaming at the mouth defending a war based on lies from start to impending finish - a war created to keep a Republican in the WH.
Poor creature -- still trying to keep up the pretense, Hermie? Either you're certifiably nuts or the Dutch stuff you're smoking isn't very good. Or both.

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:50 pm

pizza wrote: The very people who supported him when it was apparent that Saddam had WMDs and was working toward nuclear capability are the ones who are now pretending they were "misled". That's pure unadulterated bull crap.
I don't see the problem.

People were told Saddam had WMD and was getting ready to nuke Tel Aviv, London or New York City "in 45 minutes" - remember that claim?

It was supposed to be a reliable claim.

That's why people supported this claim, even though other (foreign) intelligence agencies reported they didn't trust the US / UK material.

In the meantime it has become clear that the claim was never more than very very shaky and that both Blair and Cheney / Bush suppressed all counter-evidence and exaggerated the non-evidence.

Cheney didn't want no business with the CIA and appointed a by-pass CIA office which had no investigators on the actual ground, so as to construct a casus belli.

The English word for this kind of behavior is "misleading."

It is perfectly legit to change your position when you find out your prevous position was based on misleading information.

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:19 pm

Kevin R wrote:And it was an excellent quote. Reagan's moral clarity was indeed needed. He was willing to state the moral dimensions of the conflict. The Soviet Union was the "evil empire." Remember how liberals howled at that line? How dare Reagan bring such morality to this deadly situation. But, of course, he was right to do so (just as Lincoln had done with slavery and Churchill had done with Nazism and communism). This was a moral conflict.

And what of the victims of this "evil" state? What did they think of Reagan's moral lucidity? Natan Sharansky wrote in 2000: “Nearly 20 years ago, confined to an eight-by-ten cell in a prison on the border of Siberia, I was granted by my Soviet jailers the "privilege" of reading the latest copy of Pravda, official mouthpiece of the Communist regime. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire."

Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, prisoners quickly spread the word of Reagan's "provocation" throughout the prison. The dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth--a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.”

It is a truth many on the left have yet to understand.
First of all - I'm not "on the left". If it looks that way to you, I guess you're quite far on the right. I'm in the middle.

Your Sharansky story, as proof that Reagan's "moral clarity" brought the USSR to its knees - well, sorry that's just history à la Disney. One can see those sweating politcal prisoners (good-looking sweating prisoners; otherwise, why would we care?) tapping on the walls the message of impending freedom. It's a movie.

There's just one downside to this sentimentalized IQ-80 picture of the end of the Evil Empire. These guys were in prison, remember? They were powerfless to change anything in society. So it's nice Reagan brouht some relief to these prisoners, but as a step towards ending the communist bloc it's pretty meanigless. The USSR collapsed from within, because it was getting impossible to keep the communist empire running.

Also it's rather unfortunate you bring up this political prisoners thing, as an emblem of the Evil Empire. Apart from Guantanomo Bay the US has been renting empty old-style communist prison buildings for some time now, in Poland and Russia, and is flying in people they have captured as "terrorists" without any form of investigation or process to torture them for "information" (information got under torture is meaningless) and make 'em disappear off the face of the earth afterwards just like Hitler, Stalin and Pinochet did - no matter whether these people had any terrorist intent or were just caught in the headlights.

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:28 pm

Barry Z wrote:Moral relativism at its worse, and from the continent where such thinking is king.

It is obvious that our military was in Germany and other parts of western Europe to stop them from being overrun by Soviet forces.
Well, since you are the guy who knows everything for sure (and somehow it always turns out the US are the good guys - that's "moral clarity"®), I'm sure you can help me out on this one:

John is still at that US army base in Bamberg. The communist bloc collapsed 15 years ago.

Who are the American troops keeping "out" after all those years on all those European bases?

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:17 pm

herman wrote:Also it's rather unfortunate you bring up this political prisoners thing, as an emblem of the Evil Empire. Apart from Guantanomo Bay the US has been renting empty old-style communist prison buildings for some time now, in Poland and Russia, and is flying in people they have captured as "terrorists" without any form of investigation or process to torture them for "information" (information got under torture is meaningless) and make 'em disappear off the face of the earth afterwards just like Hitler, Stalin and Pinochet did - no matter whether these people had any terrorist intent or were just caught in the headlights.
Every time I want to start liking you, you make some incredibly stupid post like this. The US does not have prison camps in Poland and Russia where we hold people under tortuous condtions. The US does not have prison camps in Poland and Russia at all, nor would we ever dream of such a possibility. Is that incredibly imbecilic assertion actually what you intended to say?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

operafan
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:18 am
Location: San francisco

Post by operafan » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:44 pm

http://www.2la.org/syria/wmd.html This is where the WMD are supposed to be after Saddam maybe had them transported out of the country between January 6-10, 2003. Our warships were off the coast of Syria at the time (Woodward Plan of Attack), the pix purportedly came from Israeli intelligence originally. Why didn't we or someone bomb the WMD before they went to ground? Maybe they were not there.

Other people think the WMD are in the Bekka Valley of Lebanon, (which may be why fighting is going on there now according to Aljazeera and six other Arabic news sources) but there had better be someone with real credentials on hand when they find them, because otherwise everyone will think they were planted by the Bush folk.

There are yellowcake (unenriched uranium ore) documents about Nigerian yellowcake that Saddam DIDNOT need because he had the tons yellowcake Bush1 left underseal. I've already posted the urls with translations and analysis. After the CIA, FBI, and the Whitehouse had them, the UN concluded the docs were fakes on March 7th. War commenced on March 19th.

So where are the WMD? We know Saddam had them - used them on the Kurds. Where are is the sarin, the anthrax, the small pox? Where are the aluminum tubes, the mobile weapons labs that Powell aluded to? Where? Where is the smoking gun that was supposed to have the potential for mushroom clouds? Somebody is lying. Maybe Saddam's people destroyed the WMD and lied to him. Chalabi lied. Curveball is known to have lied about the mobile weapons labs for 6 years, and the Bush people knew it 2 years before the war started. It is easy to say 'Bush lied' because - does not the buck stop there? If Bush folk omitted giving analysis and other info to the various Congressional committees, is that not a lie? Can Congress be blamed for voting for a war with half the info they needed to make an informed decision?

Were we ever going to set up a democracy? No one could believe that after looking at Paul Bremer's plan (first head honcho after the invasion) to let Iraqis own the farms, the state was going to get the oil, and outsiders the rest (banks, insurance, etc.) was a formula for a puppet gov. - Bush folk probably had Chalabi in mind. Currently, outsiders are going to get the oil, Iraqis get the rest of the mess. Rebuild with what money? It is a setup for disaster. Hope they change the plan. Saying that Iraq is going to be a democracy is stretching the truth to the breaking point.

There are 1000 pages of nuclear documentation that walked into CIA offices, the delivery person is now thought to be dead, and the country of origin is saying that the docs are fakes - that would be Iran. Whom are we going to believe ??? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... Nov18.html The mistruths, the halftruths, the mis-leadings, the cherry pickings and the rest that can easily be called 'lies'm will be taken into account when looking at the next crisis.
'She wants to go with him, but her mama don't allow none of that.'

Elementary school child at an opera outreach performance of "Là ci darem la mano!" Don Giovanni - Mozart.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:19 pm

Just in case nobody knows this, it is fantastically difficult to fabricate nuclear weapons. Difficult almost beyond the dreams of human imagination. It is a miracle that it was possible in 1945, when they didn't even have central air conditioning or anything resembling a computer.

These weapons were never meant to exist and were only developed, at the most extraordinary cost, to bring to their knees vicious enemies who would surely have plunged the world into an unimaginable dark age.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:28 pm

herman wrote: Well, since you are the guy who knows everything for sure (and somehow it always turns out the US are the good guys - that's "moral clarity"®), I'm sure you can help me out on this one:

John is still at that US army base in Bamberg. The communist bloc collapsed 15 years ago.

Who are the American troops keeping "out" after all those years on all those European bases?
Any super power maintains troops and bases in various parts of the world. That's what world powers have done for thousands of years (of course they were more like regional powers than true world powers several thousand years ago). We protect our interests and with our presence disuade other potential hostile nations from taking aggressive actions. Although in the case of Germany, from what I understand, we're reducing our troop presence there, if not yet, in the near future (I've also heard that many of the Germans in those communities will NOT be happy to see those bases closed). I seem to recall reading that not too long ago. Perhaps John will tell me if I'm wrong about that.

But whether that's the case or not, are you going to tell me the U.S. military is oppressing anyone in Germany in the manner that the Soviets oppressed Eastern Europe? We aren't harming anyone with our presence; nor were we oppressing anyone in West Germany during the Cold War. Are you going to tell me the same is true of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe?
The two situation are simply not morally equivalent.

The U.S. hasn't stayed within its borders waiting for us to be attacked since prior to World War II. You can accept that that's the case or live in resentment about it. It's not going to change. To pull our military back within our borders for the most part would unquestionably invite other nations to become more aggressive. If you don't believe that, you have a naive view of the human nature and how states have interacted for all of recorded history.
Last edited by Barry on Sat Nov 26, 2005 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Werner
CMG's Elder Statesman
Posts: 4223
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: Irvington, NY

Post by Werner » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:57 pm

Let me add a few words to Barry's, Herman. Barry knows that I differ strongly with him on Iraq, where I believe we made a big mistake, due to the ineptness and incompetence of our current administration.

But my recollection goes back a bit further, and I'll have to tell you that over all, I see this country's role as the "good guys," whatever you may say.

It's perfectly true that the days of World WAr II - in which hardly anyone would question the merits of the US' role, are long gone. It was a long time after the war that we did serve as a bulwark against threats from the East. True, that's a long time ago, too, and Mr. Gorbachev did tear down that wall - becauise Reagan told him to - :) and things do tend to get institutionalzed unless there is a reason for change - but I don't see where we are doing any harm or exercszing control as an occupying power would.

So let's keep talking and respecting each other's integrity and positive values. We'll do a lot better that way, in confronting those who really want to get at us.
Werner Isler

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:29 am

herman wrote:
Kevin R wrote:And it was an excellent quote. Reagan's moral clarity was indeed needed. He was willing to state the moral dimensions of the conflict. The Soviet Union was the "evil empire." Remember how liberals howled at that line? How dare Reagan bring such morality to this deadly situation. But, of course, he was right to do so (just as Lincoln had done with slavery and Churchill had done with Nazism and communism). This was a moral conflict.

And what of the victims of this "evil" state? What did they think of Reagan's moral lucidity? Natan Sharansky wrote in 2000: “Nearly 20 years ago, confined to an eight-by-ten cell in a prison on the border of Siberia, I was granted by my Soviet jailers the "privilege" of reading the latest copy of Pravda, official mouthpiece of the Communist regime. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire."

Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, prisoners quickly spread the word of Reagan's "provocation" throughout the prison. The dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth--a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.”

It is a truth many on the left have yet to understand.
First of all - I'm not "on the left". If it looks that way to you, I guess you're quite far on the right. I'm in the middle.

Your Sharansky story, as proof that Reagan's "moral clarity" brought the USSR to its knees - well, sorry that's just history à la Disney. One can see those sweating politcal prisoners (good-looking sweating prisoners; otherwise, why would we care?) tapping on the walls the message of impending freedom. It's a movie.

There's just one downside to this sentimentalized IQ-80 picture of the end of the Evil Empire. These guys were in prison, remember? They were powerfless to change anything in society. So it's nice Reagan brouht some relief to these prisoners, but as a step towards ending the communist bloc it's pretty meanigless. The USSR collapsed from within, because it was getting impossible to keep the communist empire running.

Also it's rather unfortunate you bring up this political prisoners thing, as an emblem of the Evil Empire. Apart from Guantanomo Bay the US has been renting empty old-style communist prison buildings for some time now, in Poland and Russia, and is flying in people they have captured as "terrorists" without any form of investigation or process to torture them for "information" (information got under torture is meaningless) and make 'em disappear off the face of the earth afterwards just like Hitler, Stalin and Pinochet did - no matter whether these people had any terrorist intent or were just caught in the headlights.
Another Eurotrash production from Holland.

The USSR collapsed because the US and the free world kept the pressure on. Otherwise you'd be drinking cheap vodka now instead of smoking the weird stuff you get in Amsterdam.

Your take on Sharansky shows what a certified idiot you are. Aside from the well-documented history of his arrest, imprisonment and release, of which you obviously know nothing but pretend to, those of us who have met him and have spoken with him at length know what suffering he endured and what he has accomplished. What a piece of crap you are, Herman. Only a dreg of humanity would attempt to put down a true hero while at the same time cry crocodile tears for enemies of freedom.

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:31 am

herman wrote:
pizza wrote: The very people who supported him when it was apparent that Saddam had WMDs and was working toward nuclear capability are the ones who are now pretending they were "misled". That's pure unadulterated bull crap.
I don't see the problem.

People were told Saddam had WMD and was getting ready to nuke Tel Aviv, London or New York City "in 45 minutes" - remember that claim?

It was supposed to be a reliable claim.

That's why people supported this claim, even though other (foreign) intelligence agencies reported they didn't trust the US / UK material.

In the meantime it has become clear that the claim was never more than very very shaky and that both Blair and Cheney / Bush suppressed all counter-evidence and exaggerated the non-evidence.

Cheney didn't want no business with the CIA and appointed a by-pass CIA office which had no investigators on the actual ground, so as to construct a casus belli.

The English word for this kind of behavior is "misleading."

It is perfectly legit to change your position when you find out your prevous position was based on misleading information.
Your reading comprehension problems are serious. In a post a page or so back, it was reported that:

"Bush, Cheney, and the administration have the truth on their side. Exhaustive and authoritative examinations of the prewar intelligence, by the bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004, by the Silberman-Robb commission in 2005, and by the British commission headed by Lord Butler, have established that U.S. intelligence agencies, and the intelligence organizations of leading countries like Britain, France, and Germany, believed that Saddam Hussein's regime was in possession of or developing weapons of mass destruction--chemical and biological weapons, which the regime had used before, and nuclear weapons, which it was working on in the 1980s.

To the charges that Bush "cherry-picked" intelligence, the commission cochaired by former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb found that the intelligence available to Bush but not to Congress was even more alarming than the intelligence Congress had. The Silberman-Robb panel also concluded, after a detailed investigation, that in no instance did Bush administration authorities pressure intelligence officials to alter their findings. Much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. But Bush didn't lie about it."

"Misleading" pretty well characterizes your post.

Kevin R
Posts: 1672
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:15 am
Location: MO

Post by Kevin R » Sun Nov 27, 2005 2:27 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Kevin R wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Kevin R wrote:John,

Your ignorance of this topic (and Reagan in general) is astonishing. I must wonder if you have read anything on his presidency. All you can do is post inane personal reflections, as if they are any evidence of Reagan's role in the ending of the Cold War. As Barry stated, those leaders in the Soviet Union have a much different view of Reagan than you (and so many on the left who simply won't give the man ANY credit in this area). What do you know that they don't?

Or what about those who lived under Soviet domination? They also have a much different view. Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic (born in Yugoslavia) stated: “Ronald Reagan, then — for us who were born in tyranny — will always be remembered as the man who gave us back our free will.” Lech Walesa simply said: “We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.” I guess these two men don't know what they are talking about, but you do.

The leftist gibberish about his intelligence has been thoroughly refuted, and it is amazing that you simply repeat them from pure habit. You could really benefit from doing some reading in this area.
I don't have to read about what I lived through as an adult, Kevin. I don't need sophisticated analysis to revise what was extremely obvious at the time. Great personal charm does not make up for stupendous lack of wits. Reagan was not called the teflon president for nothing, and if he had been faced with a real crisis he would have been completely at a loss. He was a fashion president, a show without substance, and we are just lucky that Iraq did not invade Kuwait while he was in the White House. Those who praise Reagan for his role in ending the Cold War are engaging in fallacious thinking. If I were in an auto accident and some imbecile happened to to be the one to call 911, I would also be grateful to him, even though he had only done a very ordinarty thing.

Nobody wants to believe that we have had insipid and even stupid presidents any more than anyone wants to believe that a single loony shot JFK. We want our presidents to be persons of stature who have careers of importance with closure at some heroic level. It just doesn't happen that way all the time.
How very sad. You want no analysis of the situation?! That is a breathtaking statement.

Having lived through it as well, I felt the same way at the time. I despised Reagan and what he stood for, and worked hard to discredit the man at every opportunity. But on further reflection (which Barry, at least on the foreign policy side, has also done) and after the fall of communism my outlook changed. Your reluctance to examine the facts is understandable, for to do so might cause great soul searching. Better for you to be wrapped up in your cocoon of ignorance.

And you know who also lived through it? Mr. Welesa. But I guess you were closer to the events than he was.
He loved Big Brother.
A Telling rejoinder
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

Kevin R
Posts: 1672
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:15 am
Location: MO

Post by Kevin R » Sun Nov 27, 2005 2:38 am

herman wrote:First of all - I'm not "on the left". If it looks that way to you, I guess you're quite far on the right. I'm in the middle.

Your Sharansky story, as proof that Reagan's "moral clarity" brought the USSR to its knees - well, sorry that's just history à la Disney. One can see those sweating politcal prisoners (good-looking sweating prisoners; otherwise, why would we care?) tapping on the walls the message of impending freedom. It's a movie.
You missed the point. The story has to do with the fact that an American president was willing to break with the Nixon/Ford/Carter philosophy of speaking in measured tones, as not to upset the Russian Bear (recall when Solzhenitsyn was not invited to the Ford White House), because the Soviet Union was always going to be there. Reagan, since at least the 1960s, believed it could be vanquished. Reagan (by his words) gave those prisoners hope that things were changing, as they were about to. He spoke to the true moral underpinnings of the conflict, when others would not. He was not afraid to say who was right and who was wrong.
herman wrote:The USSR collapsed from within, because it was getting impossible to keep the communist empire running.
Of course you provide no evidence for your empty assertion. You were wrong in your original post and you are wrong now. Unless (surprise, surprise) you are about to provide some facts to back up your assertion.
herman wrote:Also it's rather unfortunate you bring up this political prisoners thing, as an emblem of the Evil Empire. Apart from Guantanomo Bay the US has been renting empty old-style communist prison buildings for some time now, in Poland and Russia, and is flying in people they have captured as "terrorists" without any form of investigation or process to torture them for "information" (information got under torture is meaningless) and make 'em disappear off the face of the earth afterwards just like Hitler, Stalin and Pinochet did - no matter whether these people had any terrorist intent or were just caught in the headlights.
Are you really saying the actions of Bush are similar to the actions of Hitler and Stalin? Who is the Lavrenti Beria of the Bush WH?
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:58 am

Barry Z wrote:Any super power maintains troops and bases in various parts of the world. [...] We protect our interests [...]

[...]
The U.S. hasn't stayed within its borders waiting for us to be attacked since prior to World War II. [...] You can accept that that's the case or live in resentment about it. It's not going to change.
Well is that the language of empire or what? "We will station our military, fight wars, like it or not."

I do neither accept it or resent it, I just call it empire building, and you're denying that's so. You attach all kinds of moral good-bad things to it. I just call it like it is.

You would have to admit it's a little funny logic to build bases and then say we build our bases to protect our interests = those bases. Just as it's rather peculiar to send troops out to fight wars and say you're doing that to prevent from being attacked, when your troops are being attacked wherever you send them.

As I mentioned above, EU governments are sending their lawyers to DC to ask about these mystery flights that have landed in Amsterdam and Germany and other places, CIA planes carrying unidentified "terrorist prisoners" that are being shipped to Poland and Russia where they will be detained and most likely never see the light of day again. Guantanomo Bay in Europe. That is a objectional (and illegal) use of friendly airspace, landing rights and territory that is objectionable. I am aware you have already found a way to condone torture and "accidental death" of prisoners (even though its common knowledge you can make a man say anything under torture, and not necessarily the truth) when it's the US doing the torture. However in the EU we object.

I think the problem is you are the kind of American who is intellectually unable to think the US are capable of doing not-so-good things. The US would be the one nation on earth blessed with this. I think differently. I think countries aren't persons, and certainly not saints. Every nation as a policial entity connected in power games does bad things, and a thinking rational person who does not recognize these actions for what they are has IMO a moral problem. He's becoming the subject of a totalitarian state rather than a free citizen. In my years in the US I have only met people who could talk in a friendly, non-hysterical, and rational way about these things. None of these people would say "torture is evil, but if the US does it, I guess it's a differen thing."

I'll make it a little easier for you, since you guys are always saying I think this way only about the US. In colonial times the Netherlnds have done bad things. I don't say these colonial practices were good because these were Dutch and they profited Dutch companies. I don't feel ashamed of living in Holland either. But I do think a moderately intelligent person should call a spade a spade. At the moment the US is one of the most powerful nations on earth; it has developed a habit of engaging in military actions across the world for various reasons, not all of those necessarily for the good of all concerned, and as a consequence America is the focus of a lot of critical attention. I say deal with it.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:13 am

Since this has come up several times, I will comment. The US is not like the former USSR. It does not maintain bases in other countries on the basis of coercion, but with the free cooperation of the states involved. If the German government passed a law tomorrow that said all US forces must vacate at once, that is exactly what would happen.

In fact, this situation is unique in world history. No nation has ever allowed out of free will a military presence by another nation on its soil. Why is the situation kept up so many years after WW II? Well, for one thing, the countries that allow us to have bases there like us (there are frequently economic advantages, among other things). More importantly, it is not at all obvious that NATO is obsolete even though it is, apparently, no longer needed to fight the Cold War.

There have been many drawdowns to US forces in Europe and around the world, and one is going on now (I have no idea how long Bamberg will remain open and may have to finish my career in Korea if I'm lucky). But I know that there is a happy symbiosis here, and that most soldiers consider themselves better off here than in the God-forsaken ghettos or otherwise questionable backgrounds they came from, in spite of the dangers of being deployed to Iraq.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:06 am

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

War's two exit strategies: Victory or defeat
MARK STEYN, THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 26, 2005

Rumors of Abu Musad al-Zarqawi's death may be exaggerated. He was reported by several Arab TV networks to have been among eight terrorists who self-detonated in Mosul last Sunday. Still, whether or not he's sleeping with the fishes or the 72 virgins, he's already outlived whatever usefulness he had to the jihad.

Last Friday, the allegedly explosive "Arab street" finally exploded, in the largest demonstration against al-Qaida or its affiliates ever seen in the Middle East. "Zarqawi," shouted 200,000 Jordanians, "from Amman we say to you, you are a coward!" Also "the enemy of Allah" - which, for a jihadist, isn't what they call on Broadway a money review.

The old head-hacker was sufficiently rattled by the critical pans of his Jordanian hotel bombings that he issued the first IRA-style apology in al-Qaida's history. "People of Jordan, we did not undertake to blow up any wedding parties," he said. "For those Muslims who were killed, we ask God to show them mercy, for they were not targets."

Yeah, right. Tell it to the non-Marines. It was perfectly obvious to Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari and his missus what was going on when they strolled into the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel.

Still, Zarqawi has now announced his intention to decapitate King Abdullah. "Your star is fading," he declared. "You will not escape your fate, you descendant of traitors."

The Hashemite kings are descended from Muhammad, so I'm not sure what family tree he thinks he's barking up there. But it was just a passing slur and Zarqawi quickly cut to the cut. "We will be able to reach your head and chop it off."

You and whose insurgents? I don't know what Islamist Suicide-Bombing For Dummies defines as a "soft target" but a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding in the public area of an hotel in a Muslim country with no infidel troops must come pretty close to the softest target of all time. Even more revealing, look at who Zarqawi dispatched to blow up his brother Muslims: Why would he send Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, one of his most trusted lieutenants, to die in an operation requiring practically no skill?

Well, by definition it's hard to get suicide bombers with experience. But Shamari's presence suggests at the very least that al-Qaida's Iraq branch is having a hard time meeting its recruitment targets. Though the "insurgency" is much admired in the salons of the West, armchair insurgents such as Michael Moore seem to have no desire to walk the walk. Moore compared the Zarqawi crowd to the "Minutemen" of America's revolution, pledged to take to the field of battle at a minute's notice. Alas, the concept of self-destructing Minutemen depends on the often misplaced optimism of the bus stop: There'll be another one along in a minute.

Mrs. Shamari's brother, Thamir al-Rashawi, Zarqawi's right-hand man and the so-called "Emir of al-Anbar" (i.e., the Sunni Triangle), was killed by US troops in Fallujah last year. Her other two brothers and her brother-in-law all died in engagements with the enemy this year. Sending a surviving member of your rapidly dwindling inner circle to blow up a Palestinian wedding is not a sign of strength.

TRUE, HE did manage to kill a couple of dozen Muslims - not even Shi'ites, but his fellow Sunnis. And what's the strategic value of that? Presumably, it's an old-fashioned mob heavy's way of keeping the locals in line. And that worked out well, didn't it? Hundreds of thousands of Zarqawi's fellow Jordanians fill the streets to demand his death.

Did they show that on the BBC or CNN? Or are demonstrations only news when they're anti-Bush and anti-Blair? And look at it this way: If the "occupation" is so unpopular in Iraq, where are the mass demonstrations against that? I'm not talking 200,000, or even 100 or 50,000. But, if there were just 1,500 folks shouting "Great Satan, go home!" in Baghdad or Mosul, it would be large enough for the media to do that little trick where they film the demo close up so it looks like the place is packed. Yet no such demonstrations take place.

Happily for Zarqawi, no matter how desperate the head-hackers get, the Western defeatists can always top them. In the US, a Democrat Congressman, Jack Murtha, has called for immediate US withdrawal from Iraq. He's a Vietnam veteran, so naturally the media are insisting that his views warrant special deference, military experience in a war America lost being the only military experience the Democrats and the press value these days. Hence, the demand for the president to come up with an "exit strategy."

In war, there are usually only two exit strategies: victory or defeat. The latter's easier. Just say, whoa, we're the world's pre-eminent power but we can't handle an unprecedently low level of casualties, so if you don't mind we'd just as soon get off at the next stop. Demonstrating the will to lose as clearly as America did in Vietnam wasn't such a smart move, but since the media can't seem to get beyond this ancient jungle war it may be worth underlining the principal difference: Osama is not Ho Chi Minh, and al-Qaida are not the Viet Cong. If you exit, they'll follow. And Americans will die - in foreign embassies, barracks, warships, as they did through the Nineties, and in nightclubs in Bali, and eventually on the streets of US cities, too.

As 9/11 fades into the past, that's an increasingly hard argument to make. Taking your ball and going home is a seductive argument in a paradoxical superpower whose inclinations on the Right have a strong isolationist streak, and on the Left a strong transnational streak - which is isolationism with a sappy face and biennial black-tie banquets in EU capitals. Transnationalism means poseur solutions - the Kyotification of foreign policy.

So, just as things are looking up on the distant, eastern front, they're wobbling badly on the home front. Anti-Bush Continentals who've been assiduously promoting the perception of American failure in Iraq ought to remember some of the other fronts in this war: Europe is both a home front and a foreign battleground - as the Dutch have learned, watching the land of the bicycling Queen transformed into 24-hour armed security for even minor municipal officials.

In this war, for Europeans the faraway country of which they know little turns out to be their own. Much as the Euro-naysayers would enjoy it, an America that turns its back on the world is the last thing they need.

The writer is senior North American columnist for Britain's Telegraph Group.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:32 am

The best strategy for exiting war is like the best strategy for stopping smoking: Don't start in the first place. Obviously, that has not always been an option, and obviously, it doesn't help even in doubtful cases once you have already started.

I find that article a pointless self-indulgence on the part of the author. As I have mentioned before, I myself do not think immediate withdrawal from Iraq is a good idea, but every time I say that my heart races because of what eventually happened in Vietnam. The US has no stomach for an endless conflict and eventually the political pressure to pull out will outweigh everything else. Only whatever gods there be know if anything significantly and irreversibly positive will have been accomplished in the interim (it certainly was not in Vietnam).

I also have to question the assumption that calling it quits in Iraq would result in an upsurge of worldwide terrorism. I am aware that our involvement there has had the unintentional effect of inflaming terrorist activities, but I don't see how leaving would make things any worse. More likely, the people who live in Iraq would be so intent on killing each other in the ensuing power struggle that suicide bombing the western world from that base would be at least temporarily forgotten.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:19 am

jbuck919 wrote:
More likely, the people who live in Iraq would be so intent on killing each other in the ensuing power struggle that suicide bombing the western world from that base would be at least temporarily forgotten.
If you knew the first thing about the various sects engaged in terrorist activities in Iraq, and who is funding, recruiting and smuggling them in, you wouldn't make such a ridiculous statement. It isn't the mainstream Iraqis who are responsible for the so-called insurgency -- they would like to live quietly and peacefully. It's the same radicals who have been at war with the US since the early '80s. They won't go away if we leave Iraq.

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:26 pm

herman wrote:
Barry Z wrote:Any super power maintains troops and bases in various parts of the world. [...] We protect our interests [...]

[...]
The U.S. hasn't stayed within its borders waiting for us to be attacked since prior to World War II. [...] You can accept that that's the case or live in resentment about it. It's not going to change.
Well is that the language of empire or what? "We will station our military, fight wars, like it or not."

I do neither accept it or resent it, I just call it empire building, and you're denying that's so. You attach all kinds of moral good-bad things to it. I just call it like it is.

Actually, I'm not denying it. I embrace it, but I also say that all of recorded history indicates that it's virtually impossible to have a world without empire, and you should be thanking your lucky stars that the empire is a U.S. one, rather than a Soviet (or some other) empire, because not all empires are created equal. I would venture to say that in all of recorded history, we've done more good than any empire. Our interest is in spreading Democratic Capitalism and seeing that other nations don't disrupt that. Our seeing to that has kept you and your fellow Europeans out of chains for decades, whether you want to admit it or not.

As I mentioned above, EU governments are sending their lawyers to DC to ask about these mystery flights that have landed in Amsterdam and Germany and other places, CIA planes carrying unidentified "terrorist prisoners" that are being shipped to Poland and Russia where they will be detained and most likely never see the light of day again. Guantanomo Bay in Europe. That is a objectional (and illegal) use of friendly airspace, landing rights and territory that is objectionable. I am aware you have already found a way to condone torture and "accidental death" of prisoners (even though its common knowledge you can make a man say anything under torture, and not necessarily the truth) when it's the US doing the torture. However in the EU we object.

I'm getting to the point where I'd be thrilled to completely pull out of Europe to watch you sink further into oblivion without our protection. Unfortunately, it's not in our interest (nor yours, again, whether you're willing to admit it or not) to do so.

I think the problem is you are the kind of American who is intellectually unable to think the US are capable of doing not-so-good things. The US would be the one nation on earth blessed with this. I think differently. I think countries aren't persons, and certainly not saints. Every nation as a policial entity connected in power games does bad things, and a thinking rational person who does not recognize these actions for what they are has IMO a moral problem. He's becoming the subject of a totalitarian state rather than a free citizen. In my years in the US I have only met people who could talk in a friendly, non-hysterical, and rational way about these things. None of these people would say "torture is evil, but if the US does it, I guess it's a differen thing."

Actually, I'm the kind of American who is capable of comprehending that it's a complex world out there. It's not possible for a power to always do what would be considered good or moral if looked at in a vacuum. A great quote I recently read (it's from a Kaplan book, but he may have been quoting a famous figure, I forget who) is that "in order for good men to accomplish good things, they need to be able to do bad things." (paraphrase) The left (and whether or not you're a moderate over there, you're on the left over here.......I'm a moderate here, but I realize I'm a right winger by European standards and have no problem with that) is simply incapable of looking at anything outside of this vacuum. Look at it this way, again going back to World War II: taken in and of itself, going to war with Hitler in '38 would have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and that would have been bad. But it would have spared millions who were killed a few years later. So doing something that appears to be bad can actually be good in the long run. I know it's tough to wrap your mind around that. But I'm the "kind of American" who can do that. And the fact that we've had leaders who understand that for decades has kept you in freedom.

I'll make it a little easier for you, since you guys are always saying I think this way only about the US. In colonial times the Netherlnds have done bad things. I don't say these colonial practices were good because these were Dutch and they profited Dutch companies. I don't feel ashamed of living in Holland either. But I do think a moderately intelligent person should call a spade a spade. At the moment the US is one of the most powerful nations on earth; it has developed a habit of engaging in military actions across the world for various reasons, not all of those necessarily for the good of all concerned, and as a consequence America is the focus of a lot of critical attention. I say deal with it.
See above. The United States will continue to do what it believes to be in its interest. Thankfully for most of the world, that also happens to be in their interest.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:54 am

On his blogsite, Andrew Sullivan posts the following email sent to him:
I certainly agree with Zalmay that stakes are high in Iraq – precisely because we’ve put all of our chips, so to speak, on this wild gamble in the Middle East. But Bush has nobody to blame for dwindling public support but himself. This is a President that refuses to acknowledge that there is such a thing as “the American people” and that he is accountable to them. And he shows no signs of this changing. Every significant speech is made to cherry-picked crowds at military academies. Scott McClellan’s briefings have become unintentional comedy sketches. And his surrogates just buzz and strafe Sunday morning talk shows every so often to parrot the same useless talking points. Imagine how much public opinion could be shaped and how much criticism could be defused if he simply addresses the American people to tell us what 'the course' that we must supposedly 'stay' is. What IS the mission? How many Iraqi battalions being independent and battle-ready will it take before we can at least begin to draw down? When can we expect this to occur? What is he doing to draw the Sunnis more into the political process and away from the insurgents? What is he doing with neighboring nations like Iran to stop their meddling and to seek their help in securing the borders? There are countless other questions – the answers of which could be used to explain in detail our progress, our plan, and a clear direction for America in the Middle East.

But when he is silent and hiding away from his critics, it’s only reasonable for people to begin to assume that he has no progress to report, no plan, and no direction. It would be sad if the hard work of people like Gen. Casey and Zalmay is all for naught because their boss was too much of a fool to explain the rather significant benefits of what they're now doing in Iraq.
Sullivan replies:
Sad but true... There are times when I wonder if the president is capable of such an address. And the reason I say that is that any candid, credible discussion of where we are now would require an acknowledgment of a series of previous misjudgments and errors. I don't think Bush is psychologically capable of this. It requires nuance, self-criticism, an abandonment of Manichean rhetoric, and a political decision to unite the country rather than dividing it. All these things he has so far refused to so. Alas, I see no evidence that he has changed, or is even capable of change. And so we stagger on.

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:19 pm

So it all becomes a matter of flawed public relations according to the two bloggers above.

Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:07 pm

pizza wrote:So it all becomes a matter of flawed public relations according to the two bloggers above.
Not all. But even Corlyss has made the point repeatedly that one of Bush's biggest problems is his inability to make his message clear and convincing to the American people.

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:06 pm

Alban Berg wrote:
pizza wrote:So it all becomes a matter of flawed public relations according to the two bloggers above.
Not all. But even Corlyss has made the point repeatedly that one of Bush's biggest problems is his inability to make his message clear and convincing to the American people.
I've also said that and still believe it. But I also believe that while the overall support in the country for the war might be higher if Bush was doing a better job of communicating with the public, a lot of Democrats would not have supported the Iraq war and won't change their mind about it no matter what Bush would have said or what he may say in the future (and he's giving a speach about the war tomorrow, I assume on national TV).
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:35 am

The problem is not Bush's perceived communication skills. The problem is there is very little to communicate in terms of a plan. Once Shock and Awe had been accomplished there has been no real strategy in Iraq and all action has really been re-action.

It is true Bush is not a great communicator (though his likeablity used to be fairly high), but the truth behind this is the man is just clueless and irresponsible in the true sense of the word. The large majority of the American people (not to mention people of any other nationality) are of no concern to him. This has been shown over and over again, most vividly perhaps after Katrina. More than 9 / 11 (though that was pretty terrifying, too) his callous clowning about when he finally got around to visiting Miss and Lousiana broke the camel's back of his approval ratings.

Bush thought he was communicating great - acting like the guy people would like to have beer with sometime. What he was communicating was the same as what his mother said: this was a great opportunity for poor black people to drown or become homeless, and for New Orleans to be rebuilt as a all-white tourist trap.

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:35 am

U.S. to Respond to Inquiries Over Detentions in Europe

By STEVEN R. WEISMAN and IAN FISHER
Published: NY Times November 30, 2005

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 - The Bush administration, responding to European alarm over allegations of secret detention camps and the transport of terror suspects on European soil, insisted Tuesday that American actions complied with international law but promised to respond to formal inquiries from European nations.

The administration's comments came after the new German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, raised concerns on Tuesday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about reported American practices in the handling and interrogation of captives, according to American and German officials.

In addition, European officials said the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, sent a letter to Ms. Rice on Tuesday on behalf of the European Union asking for clarifications. Britain currently holds the union's presidency.

"The United States realizes that these are topics that are generating interest among European publics as well as parliaments, and that these questions need to be responded to," said Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman. He added that Ms. Rice said the administration would respond to any official request for more information.

The question of whether European nations have been complicit in the administration's actions has seized the attention of Europe's press, public and politicians since The Washington Post first reported on Nov. 2 that prisoners had been secretly held in bases in Europe or transported through them.

The newspaper withheld the names of specific nations at the request of the Bush administration, which has not confirmed or denied any details since then. Several European governments have denied playing a role or have demanded explanations.

"Like I said, and we have said many times from this podium, we're just not in a position to confirm those reports," Mr. McCormack said Tuesday. He added that confronting terrorism was "a shared responsibility of all countries" and that perpetrators of terrorist acts "don't comply with any laws."

"All U.S. actions comply with U.S. laws," Mr. McCormack said. "They comply with the United States Constitution, and they comply with our international obligations." Mr. McCormack declined to answer whether he was sure American actions complied with European laws.

European and American officials say Ms. Rice is beginning to realize that the issue has become so inflamed that she will probably have to prepare a more lengthy response before traveling to Europe next week.

"It's becoming one of the public issues she's going to have to address on her next trip," said a European official, asking not to be identified in discussing the delicate matter of pressures on the United States. "The mood in Europe is one of increasing concern over what people call the American 'gulag' and the reports of all these stopovers in Europe for prisoners."

European and administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity both out of protocol and because they are legally barred from discussing intelligence matters, say that no matter what has occurred, the standard practice of not commenting on clandestine operations has made the United States vulnerable to harsh, even potentially debilitating criticism.

"The truth is these are only allegations within newspapers at the moment, but they are allegations that are playing strongly in Europe," another European official said. "What European leaders are doing right now is asking questions and hoping for some clarifications."

There are two investigations of American practices under way, one by the 25-member European Union and the other by the Council of Europe, a 46-member group founded after World War II that specializes in human rights inquiries. The United States sits on the council as an official observer.

A European official said Mr. Straw presided over a tense meeting of European foreign ministers on Nov. 21, where several of them voiced growing unease over the allegations of secret prisons and harsh treatment that some view as torture, a characterization the administration disputes categorically.

In response, Mr. Straw agreed to draft a letter to Ms. Rice seeking "clarifications."

Mr. McCormack said the letter had not arrived as of Tuesday afternoon. It was not known whether Europe would demand to know the locations of detention facilities, whose operations would have to be arranged with at least the tacit permission of the individual governments.

After The Washington Post reported that detention camps had been used in unidentified Eastern European countries, Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups in Europe said that based on aircraft flight records, Poland and Romania might have been host to such sites or might have otherwise cooperated with the Americans. Both countries have denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, separate allegations spread in Europe, raising questions about the possible use of European airports or air bases for the transport of terror suspects.

On Monday, the justice and home affairs commissioner for the European Union, Franco Frattini, said in Berlin that any member found to have permitted detention camps could face "serious consequences," including a loss of voting rights in the union. But other European officials say there is no legal basis for such an action.

Administration officials said this week that they were taken aback by the intensity of the European reaction to the reports. They acknowledged that the furor had been fed by two years of disclosures about American treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.

The uproar has been especially strong in Spain, Germany, Italy, Romania and Poland. Although the British press has covered the issue extensively, the government there has not been critical of the American position.

The Council of Europe's investigation has been led by Dick Marty, a Swiss lawmaker, who said last week in Romania that he did not believe there was a prison in the region comparable to the one in Guantánamo.

"But it is possible that there were detainees that stayed 10, 15 or 30 days," Mr. Marty told reporters. "We do not have the full picture."

Administration officials say that despite the bad publicity in Europe, the United States is continuing to work closely with Europe on various issues and that those efforts have not been affected by the controversy.

Steven R. Weisman reported from Washington for this article, and Ian Fisher from Rome.

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:59 pm

Los Angeles Times

Nov. 30, 2005


Max Boot:
White flag Democrats
AND THE DEMOCRATS wonder why they are considered weak on national security? It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's because a lot of people doubt their judgment and toughness.

As if to prove the skeptics right, Democrats have been stepping forth to renounce their previous support for the liberation of Iraq even as Iraqis prepare to vote in a general election. Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, John Murtha — that's quite a list of heavyweight flip-floppers.


Clinton characteristically wants to have it both ways. He says the invasion was a "big mistake" but that we shouldn't pull out now because "there's a lot of evidence it can still work." (You mean, Mr. President, that we should continue sacrificing soldiers for a mistake?) The others are more consistent. Because they now think the war is wrong, they favor a withdrawal, the only question being whether we should pull out sooner (Murtha) or slightly later (Kerry).

There are some honorable exceptions to this defeatism — Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and Wesley Clark have remained stalwart supporters of the war effort — but they are clearly in the minority of a party steadily drifting toward Howard Dean-George McGovern territory.

Just a few years ago, it seemed as if the Democrats had finally kicked the post-Vietnam, peace-at-any-price syndrome. Before the invasion of Iraq, leading Democrats sounded hawkish in demanding action to deal with what Kerry called the "particularly grievous threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. But it seems that they only wanted to do something if the cost would be minuscule. Now that the war has turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated, the Democrats want to run up the white flag.

They are offering two excuses for their loss of will. First, they claim they were "misled into war" by a duplicitous administration. But it wasn't George W. Bush who said, "I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons [of mass destruction] again." It was Bill Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998. As this example indicates, the warnings issued by Bush were virtually identical to those of his Democratic predecessor.

The Democrats' other excuse is that they never imagined that Bush would bollix up post-invasion planning as badly as he did. It's true that the president blundered, but it's not as if things usually go smoothly in the chaos of conflict. In any case, it's doubtful that the war would have been a cakewalk even if we had been better prepared. The Baathists and their jihadist allies were planning a ruthless terrorist campaign even before U.S. troops entered Iraq. Their calculation was that if they killed enough American soldiers, the American public would demand a pullout.

So far the terrorists' plan seems to be working. Even most Republican senators are demanding a withdrawal strategy. But it is the Democrats who are stampeding toward the exits. Apparently the death of about 2,100 soldiers over the course of almost three years is more than they can bear. Good thing these were not the same Democrats who were running the country in 1944, or else they would have pulled out of France after the loss of 5,000 Allied servicemen on D-day.

The Democratic mindset — cakewalk or cut and run — has already had parlous consequences. It is the reason why President Clinton did not take meaningful action against Al Qaeda in the 1990s. He figured that a serious military response — an invasion of Afghanistan or even a covert campaign to aid the Northern Alliance — would run steep risks, like body bags coming home. So he limited himself to flinging a few cruise missiles at empty buildings, leading our enemies to think that we were, in Osama bin Laden's words, a "paper tiger" that could be attacked with impunity. A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq today, aside from sparking a Balkans-style civil war in which hundreds of thousands might die, would confirm this baleful impression and encourage Islamo-fascists to step up their predations.

"Things may develop faster than we imagine," Al Qaeda's deputy commander, Ayman Zawahiri, apparently wrote to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the top terrorist in Iraq. "The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam — and how they ran and left their agents — is noteworthy." Even more noteworthy is that so many Democrats seem so sanguine about letting history repeat itself.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAX BOOT is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Werner
CMG's Elder Statesman
Posts: 4223
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: Irvington, NY

Post by Werner » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:33 pm

The same nonsense over and over again. If Bill Clinton said something about the Iraqui threat in 1998, he did it based on the information avaioable to him then.

It was on Bush's watch that we plunged into a war on false intelligence, with insufficient men, equipment, or any idea of what we'd run into on the ground. Mr. Boot, Mr. Cheney or Mr. Pizza (incognito, yet) can't change that fact.

Yes, "cut and run" is not an option, as any responsible commentator knows. And Mr. Boot et al don't serve their own reputation by laying that phrase on those who see our troops in an impossible situation. The problem is how to extricate then from the position our halhassed strategists got them into, and that can't be a sudden thing, as everyone knows.

The callous dismissal of 2100 deaths over three years - and comparing this omany way to the World WAr II situation marks this commentator as a sinking Boo(a)t.
Werner Isler

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:48 pm

Disagree with you, Werner.
This Boot hit its mark dead-on.

And the information available to Clinton in '98 was basically the same information available to Bush in '03. The difference was that '03 was after 9/11/01. But if Clinton had acted more firmly against Al Quaeda, perhaps 9/11/01 would have been just another day.

I voted for the man (Clinton) twice, and don't regret those votes. But I'm not going to give him a pass for his mistakes either.

Bush has made mistakes in his handling of the war too (more of them early than late, and going in the first place wasn't one of them IMO). The important thing is correcting them (and steps have been taken in that direction for some time now) and winning the war; not being defeatist and saying it's hopeless; because it isn't.

I saw a general on TV this morning talking about how strongly supportive the overwhelming majority of the troops who are serving in Iraq still are of the mission. The one thing they ask for is our support and that they be allowed to see it through. They don't view standing firm as being callous about the 2,100 who have been KIA. They would view leaving too early as not honoring the memory of those who have fallen. Putting a timetable out there for a pullout would be a big mistake IMO.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:19 pm

Werner wrote:Yes, "cut and run" is not an option, as any responsible commentator knows.
But as Mr. Boot indicated, not all of those in the Democratic leadership are behaving responsibly:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051130/ap_ ... ess_iraq_5
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Werner
CMG's Elder Statesman
Posts: 4223
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: Irvington, NY

Post by Werner » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:39 pm

Perhaps, Bary, if Bush had reacted intelligently to 9/11 by concentrating against Al Qaeda and eliminating them - which may well be what another President might have done,- we'd be rid of them, and able to consider what to do about Iraq, instead of storming into Iraq and wrecking the place - even if it might have taken longer to get rid of Saddam. For all the threats that Cheney et al told us about, and still do, this guy lost every war he ever fought. If we could subdue the Soviet Union, we could have got the best of Saddam.

But now that we are in our present fix, it's easier for the Bush apologists to throw mud at the opposition than to find a way out of the mess.
Werner Isler

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:59 pm

Werner wrote: But now that we are in our present fix, it's easier for the Bush apologists to throw mud at the opposition than to find a way out of the mess.
Werner,
You're contradicting yourself at this point. You said that no responsible person would call for an immediate withdraw. I agree with you. But some among the Democratic leadership don't, and I think they're both irresponsible and playing politics with our national security at stake (I don't include Murtha in that last part of the statement.....as misguided as I think his position is, I don't think he's the sort to make such a statement for political reasons).

So were you wrong when you said no responsible person would suggest withdrawing or are you wrong now?
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:52 am

Werner wrote:The same nonsense over and over again. If Bill Clinton said something about the Iraqui threat in 1998, he did it based on the information avaioable to him then.

It was on Bush's watch that we plunged into a war on false intelligence, with insufficient men, equipment, or any idea of what we'd run into on the ground. Mr. Boot, Mr. Cheney or Mr. Pizza (incognito, yet) can't change that fact.

Yes, "cut and run" is not an option, as any responsible commentator knows. And Mr. Boot et al don't serve their own reputation by laying that phrase on those who see our troops in an impossible situation. The problem is how to extricate then from the position our halhassed strategists got them into, and that can't be a sudden thing, as everyone knows.

The callous dismissal of 2100 deaths over three years - and comparing this omany way to the World WAr II situation marks this commentator as a sinking Boo(a)t.
Nonsense isn't the exclusive domain of the right, Werner.

Assuming your short term memory is somewhat intact, you surely must remember that the war began in '91 and was interrupted by a truce which Saddam violated for 12 years, during which he gave no indication whatsoever of meeting his obligations, among them the full disclosure of his WMD program and the destruction of his weapons; the protection of minority Kurds, Turks, and Swamp Arabs; the proper administration of the Oil for Food program that was instituted for the protection of the Iraqi public, rather than as a vehicle to allow Saddam, his cronies, and a few European thugs posing as diplomats to line their sleazy pockets.

We had every right to bring the farce to an end and to rely on the available intelligence in order to do it. You of all people ought to know that this isn't an Iraqi war but a war against Islamo-fascists who aren't the least bit shy about stating their objective of ruling the world under Sharia law. They have no international boundaries. Should they get a pass in country A and be destroyed in country B? Should they be removed from Afghanistan but not from Iraq? They will attack American and Western interests anywhere they can find them.

It isn't more equipment and more troops that will decide the outcome. It's superior intelligence, perseverance and patience. If we're not willing to give that much, then give the bastards what they want and go home.

herman
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:00 am
Location: Dutch Sierra

Post by herman » Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:09 am

Barry Z wrote:You're contradicting yourself at this point. You said that no responsible person would call for an immediate withdraw. I agree with you. But some among the Democratic leadership don't, and I think they're both irresponsible and playing politics with our national security at stake
There seems to be a sort of reality disconnect here. The ones who are most eager for a fast withdrawal of troops are not Democrats, but GOP politicians, sice these are most likely to suffer in 2006 midterm elections if things go on as disastrously as they have been going.

There's a two-pronged GOP effort going since a month or two: blame Democrats for as much as one possibly can, never mind how convoluted the accusations are; and try to get some troops from your district home before the midterm elections, so as to claim the vote. Just check how many GOP representatives are still eager to be in the same photo frame as Bush.

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:03 am

herman wrote:
Barry Z wrote:You're contradicting yourself at this point. You said that no responsible person would call for an immediate withdraw. I agree with you. But some among the Democratic leadership don't, and I think they're both irresponsible and playing politics with our national security at stake
There seems to be a sort of reality disconnect here. The ones who are most eager for a fast withdrawal of troops are not Democrats, but GOP politicians, sice these are most likely to suffer in 2006 midterm elections if things go on as disastrously as they have been going.

There's a two-pronged GOP effort going since a month or two: blame Democrats for as much as one possibly can, never mind how convoluted the accusations are; and try to get some troops from your district home before the midterm elections, so as to claim the vote. Just check how many GOP representatives are still eager to be in the same photo frame as Bush.
Any Republican who calls for a fast withdraw, or even a timetable for withdraw, is being irresponsible too. Although I haven't heard any members of the Republican leadership call for a fast withdraw (there have been calls for more frequent updates and a strategy to get to the point of withdraw, but none that I've heard for just getting out......of course, I could have missed it if it happened). What I've seen from more Republicans is an admission that mistakes have been made in the way the war has been fought, which I've agreed with all along. I just don't see it as productive to keep dwelling on them when moves have been made to correct those mistakes.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests