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Sunday, July 23, 2006

World pariah

Portland Freelancer explains.

Comments (1)

C'mon. Everybody knows the right to life is extinguished by birth.

Posted by: Allan L. at July 23, 2006 05:31 PM

The Lebanese Hezbollah need their own flag.

Posted by: Ron Ledbury at July 23, 2006 07:01 PM

The Lebanese Hezbollah need their own flag

Nah. Just look at the pic and see all the appeasing useful idiots ready and willing to do their bidding.

Posted by: Rusty at July 23, 2006 07:40 PM

Let's extract ourselves from the Mideast and let ShellMobilTexaco hire their own security force.

Someone said in a previous thread that it isn't our presence or support of Israel that is making things worse, it's our faith. Yeah right. Just read any statement from Osama or other Wahabiist muslim clerics. Never do they cite that Christianity is wrong, they just want us out of the region. Fair enough. Wouldn't this country get nervous and militant if Syria invaded Mexico?

Does anyone actually think terrorists would attack us on our faith alone?? Let's not forget that many of our enemies were agnostic about the U.S. at one point, when we provided financial support (see Saddam, Osama)

Israel wouldn't be so bold and aggressive if they knew the neocons weren't in power in the U.S. If we said, "you sleep in the bed you make... our involvement only makes things worse", Israel wouldn't escalate tensions with Hamas and Hezbollah.

Posted by: TKrueg at July 23, 2006 08:42 PM

all the appeasing useful idiots

It's been fun having you comment here.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 08:45 PM

uh, he was talking about the left side of the cease fire ledger, I think. I don't agree with it either, but MAN do you have some kind of itchy trigger finger for anyone who even hints at disagreement with you!

Is there any room for discussion here, or is it just your personal echo chamber?

Posted by: chill! at July 23, 2006 09:00 PM

Anyone know if that was the same 'Rusty' from Metroblogging-Portland? Just wondering...

Posted by: TKrueg at July 23, 2006 09:09 PM

Chili: U do have a valid point. This forum does a great job concerning local issues. When it enters the national and international areas, it seems to take a hard left turn and simply cannot accept that their are folks in this world who have other opinions. This is serious sign of weakness in a worthwhile site. Hellsing

Posted by: hellsing at July 23, 2006 09:26 PM

I agree that this space does a great job on local issues. I also agree that on the 'world stage', it is to tolerence of dissenting opinion what Masterpiece Theatre is to comedy.

This blog lives in the echo chamber of Multnomah County politics. A concave of lefties fed up any National conservative initiative....yet at the same time fed up with all of this local liberal BS that is directly robbing their paychecks. Kind of the 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality. Wonder is Babs Streisand is hang-drying her laundry this weekend?

Posted by: tscrib at July 23, 2006 09:34 PM

MAN do you have some kind of itchy trigger finger for anyone who even hints at disagreement with you!

Anyone who leads their first comment to a thread with the word "idiot" is gone.

Just like you.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 09:45 PM

what Masterpiece Theatre is to comedy

serious sign of weakness in a worthwhile site

Both gone. Anyone else?

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 09:47 PM

(No, it's not the same Rusty from Metroblogging Portland...)

Posted by: Betsy at July 23, 2006 10:31 PM

For the record, many commenters on this blog disagree with me -- about the air show, about the wars, about the city, to name just a few topics -- and they get a great deal of leeway. People who throw around words like "idiot" are not welcome, however, particularly when they're using a pseudonym.

And if you would like to review this blog, or criticize my decisions to ban or not to ban commenters, you will have to do that on some other site, as many others do. A Google search will quickly show you which blog hosts would be glad to help you air your complaints against me. But I don't want to read them here.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 10:54 PM

Hmmm... well, being in the distinct minority doesn't mean you're wrong... so while visually striking, the image of all those flags on one side against the U.S., U.K., and Israel doesn't by itself make a convincing argument.

However, on the issue itself (as in so many foreign policy issues) I think we are on the wrong side here.

Yes, the situation is complicated and yes, Hezbollah engages in terrorist tactics. But the continued violence against Lebanese civilians isn't making Israel any safer, and our automatic support of everything Israel does lends further proof to those in that region who look for it that we are anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, and generally anti-Humanitarian.

I'm not saying that we are those things, of course, but that our actions certainly make it look that way.

I firmly believe that we'd have a TON more credibility in the region if we'd just, once in a while, actually make some overt effort to curb Israel's excesses. I wish it could happen, but I don't hold much hope for that.

Posted by: David Wright at July 23, 2006 11:19 PM

At least Clinton had Warren Christopher hopping all over the place on old man legs showing that we cared. Bush and Condi obviously couldn't care less. Let the innocent blood flow. Pass the butter for the rolls.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 11:22 PM

I googled "Bojack" to visit a site airing complaints and a Wikipedia link said this:

"Bojack is a big, muscular alien appearing in the DBZ the Movie # 9. He somewhat resembles a pirate, with a blue-green skin, long orange hair and a long scar over his face, but when he transforms his skin turns green, his hair becomes red and his clothes from the waist up are torn off."

I don't know what DBZ is but I find information disconcerting. I've seen Jack's face change color when he lectures. I've seen shirtless photos of him on this site. Now I envision him walking and hitchhiking on the shoulder of some rural highway after every blog posting, a slow piano melody accompanying.

I wonder if he's a nuclear physicist in his spare time...

Posted by: Anahit at July 23, 2006 11:38 PM

No, that's not me. Neither is this guy (scroll down).

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 11:53 PM

Getting back to the post... Right or wrong, the President of the United States is clearly no longer "the leader of the free world." Is there a new label that should replace that one? (Remembering to keep this civil...)

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 23, 2006 11:55 PM

Um... "Decider-in-Chief"?

"Tony Blair's Puppeteer"?

"Bleeder of the free world"? (Well, of the Third World anyhow...)

Tasteless. I am ashamed of myself...

In all seriousness, I think "President of the United States" is about the extent of his effective authority now. It'll be interesting to see how much (if any) of our international prestige a new occupant in the White House come 2009 will be able to restore.

It's not the man so much (we've had pretty goofy leaders before)... it's the policies that have lost us our credibility.

Oh, and the fact that we, as a people, re-elected the guy knowing exactly what we'd be getting ourselves into.

As I say, this goes way beyond the man himself.

Anyhow, the old "free world" tag is so 15-years-ago. It was a way to distinguish the head of opposition to the Soviet Bloc. Now that there's no Soviet Bloc (uh... yet... but give Putin a few more years...) is there even a distinct "free world" to lead?

Posted by: David Wright at July 24, 2006 12:13 AM

Yeah, talk about 'scope creep'... Bush's domestic policy is actually his foreign policy, which relies heavily on meddling, and well... you know where that gets us, given that we've always had a target on our backs. His supporters cry 'isolationism!' whenever there are calls to focus on policies that help Americans or protect jobs. Well, Mr. Bush, go lead the U.N. instead if that's your calling. (busts out in laughter)

The goons that got banned claim intollerance for conservative views on national issues? (laughs again) I think, given most people in this country and our world see the obvious about Bush, they've avoided seeking out anything other than punditry that stokes their hate-filled fire. I'm a lefty, and I read this blog and comment much more than I do at BlueOregon. Why? Because if you have an opinion and you're passionate about it, you have an obligation to converse with other viewpoints. I don't find comfort and support in an amen choir.

Posted by: TKrueg at July 24, 2006 08:35 AM

Now that there's no Soviet Bloc . . . is there even a distinct "free world" to lead?

Maybe that's the reason behind Bush's Democracy push -- he's jealous that Reagan had a free world to lead, and he wants one too!

P.S. I agree that Jack's a bit quick on the trap door lever, but it is his site...

Posted by: Ken at July 24, 2006 08:36 AM

Jeez, Jack, I hope it was just the heat that made you so cranky.

Posted by: tscrib at July 24, 2006 08:39 AM

Also... How does that guy get to use 'bojack' if his name is Jack Morrisey?? Because it just sounded cool? Did he like Cojack?

Posted by: TKrueg at July 24, 2006 08:40 AM

How does that guy get to use 'bojack' if his name is Jack Morrisey.

Because Mojack doesn't sound as cool.

It's time for the world to lead. An international force led by the French and Germans might be just the trick.

Posted by: Chris Snethen at July 24, 2006 09:45 AM

Anyone know the tipping point for all the new violence?
Here's what hasn't been reported:
"A letter from Chomsky and others on the recent events in the Middle East (July 19, 2006): The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press."
Just a heads up! Peace-not likely!

Posted by: genop at July 24, 2006 11:34 AM

Genop, how about a cite for your quote? Or do you really mean that this hasn't been reported? ;=P

Posted by: Allan L. at July 24, 2006 12:00 PM

My dad called GWB a wide-eyed toddler when he ran in 2000 and I think he is more puppet than puppeteer. Rumsfeld's marionette. As for Tony Blair, that Jack a** has been spouting fiery war rhethoric to rile up the US military machine at least since Bill Clinton bombed Belgrade on Orthodox Easter (was in 1999?). It concerns me that the US will use up its materiel on these "moral" missions and leave the mainland vulnerable to attack.

Posted by: Cynthia at July 24, 2006 01:28 PM

I still can't get this image out of my head:

"A concave of lefties" - Is that like a big hole full? Or just a shallow depression? :)

Not that anyone cares, but it certainly seems that we meddle our way into more and more meddling. We poke anthills (or hornet's nests, if you refer) and are then upset when said ants (or hornets) come 'aswarming. So we break out the Raid (pun intended) to push back the swarm. Swarm retreats, gets another nest to support it, and comes at us again. We then pour gas down the nest, light it on fire and are really surprised when the whole colony gets pissed at us and swears aalegiance to the ant (hornet) who stands up and says, death to the attacker!

I'm not a lefty-peacenik who thinks America had it coming on any score. But frankly, the Islamist thing certainly seems to stem from us sticking our nose in where it doesn't belong.

A great lefty-pacifist said, "Free-trade and open realtions with all nations, entangling alliances with none," when giving his farewell address to the United States of America in closing out his, our first, presidency. The good George.

If the greatest power in the world starts taking sides, it has a whole lot of people to start being afraid of. If we usher in a new non-interventionist era (as ooposed to and distinctly different from isolationism), we might see a simmering down of many tensions across the globe.

Or I might be a naive ninny. One of the two.

Posted by: Don Smith at July 24, 2006 01:34 PM

No, not naive at all. The current regime knows exactly what happens when you poke a hornets nest. It's just hard to believe they're too stupid not to know the basics of diplomacy. The GOP, especially the neocons, can't get elected to the White House unless they have a boogeyman to scare voters. Capturing Osama would be too counterproductive. Peacetime is too BORING... and unprofitable.

Posted by: TKrueg at July 24, 2006 02:27 PM


I think my point is that we have been poking nests since 1947. The theory, I suppose, was to prevent the next rise of Nazis or Imperialist Japan rather than dealing with them as major forces, but the theory has been proven a failure, hasn't it?

Yet we continue, one more nudge, one more "regime change", one more CIA operation. I believe that at this point, we (Washington) feel(s) that the die is cast and there is no backing up now, for fear of showing weakness.

It's not the neocons. It's just good ole American policy. Neocons have taken it to a different level, but the levels to which we've gone are a result of Korea-era policies.

Posted by: Don Smith at July 24, 2006 03:00 PM

If the premise of my critique of the graphic is the invalidity or insufficiency of the conclusiveness of Nation-State boundaries then:

Multi-National-Corporations could each have a flag too.

Then, by extension or extrapolation:

(Rule: Corporations in the US derive their privilege and perpetual existence from any one of the member, and sovereign, states.) If Iran/Syria is held as the responsible party for supplying ideological and manpower support to places beyond their territorial boundary then the same could be applied to the supply of ideological and manpower support from the territory of the state-of-incorporation of US-based Multi-National-Corporations. Such a flag might be represented as the flag of Corporation X of Delaware.

Also, the persons who obtain the beneficial interest from these corporations certainly do not precisely overlap with the members of the democratic territorial entity giving them direct aid through the privileges of incorporation and from investment, and finally . . . the blood of able bodied youth.

I view any religious and ideological rationalizations as secondary and little more than useful ad hoc PR tools to cloud the amoral competition for economic resources.

Is there a local Oregon remedy other than joining a three hour tour in the street?

How about an initiative that places a precondition on any Oregon tax breaks (or reductions of "income" found federal income tax filings) for any retirement-related incentive to save that the private entity that receives the investment be exclusively an Oregon resident or be incorporated in Oregon and owned, if an incorporated entity, predominantly by Oregon residents? The extension of the privilege of reduction in taxes (and claimed "income") would apply uniformly to all, regardless of the character of the employer or occupation. It would be voluntary, from the perspective of the resident-saver, and thus not interfere with liberty any more than any current state intrusion into the realm of economic development. Upside-down-economic-development things like enterprise zones that today accommodate whomever could be confined to limit participants to those that are eligible to receive investments from Oregon savers. (The notion of giving a tax break to someone to ultimately place their investment overseas, like in Indonesia or China, or in big oil beyond our borders is sheer insanity.)

Why is it that we must project power abroad? For who's benefit? Anyway, this Wild Economist thinks that there has to be some practical steps to take other than that of choosing a purely moralistic stance between blind-militaristic-patriotism and something less blind.

Incomplete Democracy is a notion that invites strategic arbitrage by Multi-National-Corporations of local folks via the malleable electoral process, and poisonous PR; and that is slightly more likely to lead to conflict, unrestrained by people that must be assumed to be moral.

"The Dutch East India Company was established on March 20, 1602, when the Estates-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia."

Sound familiar?

Posted by: Ron Ledbury at July 24, 2006 06:03 PM

It's always good to get historical perspective for our current dilemmas. Hopefully it won't be lost on the public that, in the past, imperialistic nations suffer tragic fates. Each generation frames the debate a different way to lose comparisons to similar, fateful endeavors. Always a relative handful of rich men with greed and wreckless ambition to spare.

I want to know, how 'born-again' and rightous can this crowd be ignoring so many deadly sins?

Posted by: TKrueg at July 24, 2006 10:23 PM

"The Lebanese Hezbollah need their own flag."

They do here it is http://www.adl.org/images/terrorism/hezbollah_flag.gif

Here is another symbol from Israel the early years

Read about Irgun, they had a very good year in 1947. Menachim Begin was there last leader.

Posted by: Tom at July 24, 2006 10:39 PM

It's time to cut Israel off. Sacrifice the few to save the many. If they really want to lord it over their own section of the Middle East and threaten the peace, let them do it.. by themselves.

Posted by: Pete at July 26, 2006 08:01 AM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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