This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 16, 2007 10:34 PM. The previous post in this blog was Portland-style "progressives" at it again. The next post in this blog is What was that?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Most of America is not this stupid

Do you know who's responsible for America's miserable failure in Iraq? Why, of course -- it's anyone who suggests that maybe we ought to cut our losses and start getting out of there. The defeatists -- it's all their fault!

If we'd just support the Chimp and "stay the course plus," we could achieve our goals.

And any day now, we'll tell you what those are.

Forget what the majority of the country wants. Follow our battle-tested genius of a commander-in-chief. Anything else is treason. Victory in Iraq! And let's take on Iran next! Vote for more of this in '08!

What a sick joke.

Dear Lord, I know we don't deserve it, but please let this country and the world somehow survive for another 23 months, so we can then begin the 50-year process of trying to correct what has been done by these awful people.

Comments (34)

I hope you're right--"most of America" re-elected him.

But that was long before the last three months or so, when it's become clear to virtually everyone that in addition to being incompetent, he's truly delusional.

Then, when there are no lies left - nothing they can do or say that can possibly hold off the truth of this disaster for another second - they'll act humble for a moment, and simply say, "Yes, but that is old news now. It's time to move forward, and not dwell on the mistakes of the past."

"most of America" re-elected him

Not really. How much of America doesn't even vote any more?

I don't want to be an apologist for voter apathy, but the reality is there's a growing disconnect between "poliics" and people in their daily lives. I wish people were more engaged, that's what makes a stronger democracy, but we systematically discourage involvement by often offering up lame sound-bite candidates, without substantive differences between them.

I truly believe the Bush administration has reached new highs of criminal misconduct...but then I think back to the phony "Gulf of Tonkin" baloney that led to Democrat Lyndon Johnson's escalation of that war, and I shake my head in amazement and disappointment.

We've been at war with a country (or two or three or more) my whole friggin' life...with a permanent war economy that's not just eating up our treasury but also our soul.

Jefferson nailed it when he said to avoid "foreign entanglements." Our military bases around the globe are killing us as surely as the terrorist attacks that so threaten our future.

I think the ultimate weapon was already threatened by Saddam -- pricing oil by something other than US Dollars.

There is no (real) business that is as profitable as that of printing money. Since Keynes we have strategically devalued the currency each year to achieve full utilization of labor (jobs jobs jobs) to serve folks that need no job other than to stand first in line to get newly minted dollars to lend out. Asset price inflation creates an illusion of wealth.

The "ownership" society where folks buy homes that produce absolutely nothing of value for the market is instead just a mechanism today to maximize the potential for a lender to obtain roughly one-third of the wage earnings from most of our citizens, quite independent of home price or interest rate or income disparity of the masses.

Are you willing to value your home in something other than US Dollars? ---- I would price it at a level that a younger buyer can payoff to a seller in roughly ten years time at their effective wage. (I would eliminate the tax code inducement to borrow money to buy a home to so as to direct that money to Wall Street in the form of "retirement" savings. This disturbance just creates a dual sort of dependency for maintaining an illusion of wealth in both one's home, but only upon resale, and on stock price levels in things like Exxon. This creates a political constituency alliance for lower tax rates on increases in capital relative to labor, which is fully supported by both the left and right.)

Oh yeah, there is this notion of "Islamic" banking and the "religious" notion of a prohibition on usury. Strip away ALL THE RELIGIOUS CRAP (an intentional Animal Farming of the debate today) and do the math, the equity of it all, and focus on the classic function of currency as nothing more than a means of exchange -- rather than a paper pledge to cough up the fruits on one's labor for 30 years or more to another and likely remote master; absentee owner.

I could say that we should celebrate that our military submits to civilian control. But that simply does not lead directly to a solution to the domestic problems in the domestic arena that make resort to the use of the military a preferable option to resolving these local problems. The economic-political constituency for the use of our military to preserve the usefulness of the OIL/US-Dollar peg is coterminous with oil wealth and the holders of that oil wealth -- much of it crammed into stock prices as a last resort for "storage" and the target beneficiary of our national retirement savings-inducement schemes to redirect our own private savings, away from real local uses or real local investment.

For review -- What line did Saddam cross? And, can you learn from it? Are you willing to sacrifice it all to cross it -- and quit measuring personal wealth in US Dollar denominated terms?

Flailing about aimlessly is too ineffective to be satisfying.

Jack, it has been interesting to see your political journey to independence and finally declaring it. I know my scumbag radar had spotted Goldschmidt, and many of the towns faithful dems, thought I was crazy in my distancing myself from his very successful machine over 15 years ago long before the child rape came out.

I remember finding your blog and thinking WOW someone gets it, what a farce the political system is in this country. But in the timeless words of the Bard, the fault dear Brutus in not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.

Many of the politicians I have run into are nut cases. You would have to be to run, a timely viewing of Redford's The Candidate comes to mind. When the only way a candidate can be elected is being defined by sound bites, handlers, and a media circus we deserve what we get.

I admire folks like Darlene Hooley and Peter DeFasio who seem like they have thier heads screwed on strait, and at least in Darlene's case the Bush Clone challenger didn't prove to be a real threat to her with the garbage he spewed during the last election, but still the hateful garbage in those commercials has to take a tool on your psyche and make you leary of having honest conversations where the least little slip of the tongue can be sensationalized, taken out of context, and repeated over and over again on radio and TV with the proliferation of the right wing talk show hosts.

Bless the sane people that do subject themselves to this madness for the good of our democracy.

Have you noticed how smoothly these "incompetents" in our national government have directed debate away from whether or how we should engage Iran toward the narrower question of whether Iran is a source of arms for insurgent activities in Iraq? That way, once the "facts" point clearly enough to Iranian involvement, the debate is over. And the media? They follow this without the slightest question or hesitation or evidence of awareness. They're the real incompetents. We underestimate our national leaders, their motives, their methods and their objectives at our peril.

Now you know how the R's felt during the last two years of the Carter Administration.

Mr. T, is this really just partisan politics? Republican principles include pre-emptive war, unilateral attacks on sovereign nations, indefinite detention without counsel or judicial review, fabrication and distortion of intelligence, inadequate equipping of soldiers, elimination or reduction of veterans' benefits, torture, extraordinary rendition, and no judicial or legislative review of executive actions? How does a Republican reconcile these principles with the constitution?

There were a lot of defeatists during the US civil war. President Lincoln went through a number of Generals before picking General Grant. That was what it took. Grant knew what to do and the North won the war.

President Lincoln could have given up and we would not have the nation we have now. Let us hope that General Petreaus is President Bush's equivalent of General Grant.

We cannot afford to lose this war. We will have to stay if it takes us 10 years. If not we will fight a much bigger war and lose a lot more soldiers and probably a huge number of civilians.

Wayne, who are we fighting? What would you call a "win" or a "loss"? We're taking sides in a civil war. We've been tricked from day one into helping the Shia kill the Sunnis. The Shia - who are the "terrorists" in Iran. The Sunnis - who are our "friends" in Saudi Arabia. This is the most boneheaded thing the US has ever done.

Don't take this comment to mean that I supported the war. It was certainly a mess to begin with. But isn't there some logic to the idea that if we leave too early we'll have caused more harm that good?

I can see the logic of leaving early if one is able to accept that causing more harm than good is acceptable. And, who knows, maybe it is at this point. For those of you who support bailing now, how do you reconcile the fact that we would leave Iraq in a state of civil war? Is that okay to you? And if so, can you tell me why?

This is the most boneheaded thing the US has ever done.


What I can't understand is why the gag reflex of the public has not kicked in yet. Something is really, really wrong, --and one would never know it most of the time.

Vietnam eventually carried on and its economy is now a thing to behold.

I supported the war in Iraq from the beginning, and I still do. My main objection to the current strategy is the substitution of "stable democracy" in place of mere stability (I believe Bush set the "measure of success" too high). Admittedly, the White House has done a lousy job of communicating how Iraq fits into the broader war on terror. As Clausewitz wrote: "war is the extension of diplomacy by other means"...if you can't wage war, then your diplomatic efforts will have no teeth. Think of the U.N. "blue helmets" and you'll know what I mean.

Saddam Hussein was a volatile and anti-American monster with designs on 40% of global oil reserves. The "progressives" don't like to talk about the Rape of Kuwait, the Halabja poison gas attack, or the thousands of ordinary Iraqis murdered by his regime... In their eyes, Bush is the homicidal maniac, and Saddam merely failed to stay bought. HORSE MANURE!

There is NO REASON to believe that Saddam would have stayed within his own borders. If he attaked his neighbors twice, why wouldn't he do it a third time?

The Pollyannna world view of the American Left works just fine if you're France (or a Portland City Commissioner). It does not serve the interests of the United States, the last global power with sufficient military strength to make despots shudder and discourage other foil hat sovereigns from instigating the next world war.

Of course force is the ultimate exercise of executive authority. All we've managed to do in Iraq, Mr T, is expose our limitations in this department. Far from disemboldening despots and terrorists, our inept squandering of our forces has given them hope. Just have a look at Afghanistan.
Even if I don't subscribe to your views, I do like what you and the Mrs. do with tomato juice.

More to your points, Mr T, concerning the war against Iraq: characterizing Saddam Hussein as a continuing threat misconstrues events before, during and after his fall. We had reliable reports from UN weapons inspectors as to the absence of major weapons or programs. We had the history of his being easily defeated and driven from Kuwait. We had effective containment with economic sanctions and the no-fly zone. We had no reason to think that any further military adventures outside Iraq's borders would succeed. And, of course, we had a short "war" with limited causalties to remove him from power, proving that, in the event, he was not a threat at all. What happened after that completely undercuts the argument that he posed a significant threat. A much more serious and intractable problem has replaced his regime. All of this was foreseeable and foreseen, understandable and understood, in advance.

Saddam was a threat with or without weapons of mass destruction. Ask Iran or Kuwait: he did plenty of damage in both courntries with only limited WMD deployment.

His military was targeting American combat air patrols (flying under U.N. mandate to enforce the "no-fly" zones); he plotted to murder H.W. Bush (41st President of the United States); he was using the "oil for food" program to bribe U.N. bureaucrats in order to buy weapons to rebuild his armed forces; he was paying cash incentives to homicide bombers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip....Blah, blah, blay.

He was given a final warning and offered safe passage out of Iraq: 48 hours or we'll come and get you. He sealed his own fate.

The next U.S. President who provides a similar "48 hours or else" ultimatum will have credibility to the extent that George Bush has demonstrated (contrary to the Islamist's expectations) that Americans are not too fat, lazy, and disaffected to actually fight a war of unknown duration and suffer large numbers of casualties.

The enemies we are likely to confront in the next 50 years will only doubt our resolve if we walk away in defeat. Compare North Korea to South Korea and you'll know that even a stalement is better than an outright defeat.

Go ask the South Vietnamese how cut and run worked out.

Saddam was a threat??? Are you kidding me?? That is about as delusional as the Chimp in Chief. Iraq's military was in shambles prior to the invasion and the few times they were stupid enough to illuminate a jet in the no fly zone, they were bombed. They could not have waged a war against a flight of pidgeons. Who were they going to threaten? They obviously did not have WMDs so what country in the region could they have threatened?

Saddam a violent thug mobster? Assuredly. The oil for food program largely went to fill his own personal coffers. If paying Palestinian families to send their son's to blow-up innocent Israelis is your criteria for invasion, then go ahead lets plan on invading Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia next.

Look at just about any Dem plan for Iraq you would still see a garrison of about 50-60K military in Iraq. "Cut and run" is just another pathetic shill phrase.

Bush to our troops: "You will be fighting in Iraq for a noble cause. Some of you may die, but that is the risk I'm willing to take."

You and your stupid f---ing wars. Every war, and every "peace-keeping operation" forces thousands and thousands of women and children into prostitution and sex-slavery, or simply subjects them to rape. Way to go, boys.

Sadaam is a monster--- what an excuse.

Mister Tee,
You comment that, "Saddam was a threat with or without weapons of mass destruction. Ask Iran or Kuwait: he did plenty of damage in both countries with only limited WMD deployment." But that is not supported by Bush officials prior to the Big Lie. In 2001, before this Iraq War marketing campaign started, Colin Powell said: "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." Condi chimed in 2 months later: "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." So I suggest you're overstating Saddam's military capibility when President Bush took office.

However, even if Kuwait or Iran was in danger, you are missing the larger point: It's one thing to ask young Americans to die defending America. It's another to lie to the soldiers and tell them Iraq was a threat to the United States, when it wasn't.

Bill: while I respect your comedic talent, your knowledge of military threat analysis leaves something to be desired.

I'm sure you still have some admiration for the Clinton Administration, here's an excellent summary of how they viewed the threat posed by Saddam Hussein:

Politics often requires diplomats (and even politicians!) to bend the truth to suit their circumstances. The truth is oftentimes subject to the policy objectives that are being debated at that time. That's right: THEY LIE when it suits their policy objective! For example, Saddam and the Taliban both received American military aid when it suited our foreign policy interests (when they were fighting Iran/USSR), but would later represent a direct threat to American interests in the region. When Saddam was our ally, we were willing to understate the despotic/horrorific nature of his regime; when he was viewed as a threat, we were willing to exaggerate the threat of WMD development in order to get the imprimatur of a U.N. Resolution.

While I dispute the oversimplified "war for oil" allegation, it is certainly true that our continued ability to purchase oil from the region is of VITAL ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE to the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America (our major trading partners, ex-Canada). If you are willing to accept that oil is a critical input to world economic output and quality of life, it seems obvious that Saddam's ability to threaten/dominate the region's oil reserves constitutes a threat to American interests. And don't forget the hundreds of oil wells that were ignited by Saddam's goons as they began their retreat from Kuwait (I wonder if Greenpeace protested that with any civil disobedience in Baghdad?), not to mention all the crude oil that flowed into the sea and the deserts.

Simply put: Saddam doesn't need an ICBM to threaten the U.S.; his ability to dominate the region's oil reserves was (by itself) a clear danger to U.S. interests.

Not to mention the fact he plotted to murder a Bush 41 in 1993, and was fomenting anti-Israeli sentiment and homicide attacks, and consistently did his very best to limit access to U.N. weapons inspectors. Finally, it is naive to suggest that he didn't have any WMD's simply because we haven't found them. If you put 200,000 soldiers into Syria, I would give you three to one odds they would find poison gas with Iraqi markings on the shells.

Mister Tee: Are you really Dick Cheney?

The Weekly Standard? Now there is an unbiased news magazine. Next you will be pulling quotes from the American Enterprise Institute.

Saddam had almost zero influence in the region. Heck he had zero influence in 1/3 of his own country. What could he have done thrown rocks across his border?

Mister Tee,
I appreciate the pragmatic nature of your remarks about the oil in the Gulf. Growing up there, I would wander around the desert and see things a saboteur could destroy with little more than a wrench and a match. I realized then that an oil industry can't operate in a country where the citizens hate the people in charge. Seeing as how 60% of the known oil is in the Gulf region, this is an area where we need stability - not the havoc of the Bush vision.
Invading Iraq took oil from the 20 to 30 dollar range, up to the 50 to 80 dollar range. Who knows how high it will go if we attack Iran? I can't figure out why the Bush administration doesn't understand our position here. We're the oil junkies - as Bush noted - and the oil producers are the dealers yet we're begging them to cut us off. It looks like we're determined to screw up the world's oil supply. Of course, ExxonMobil and the other companies thrived because of the higher prices, but I refuse to accept that Bush and Cheney are doing all this just for their profits. They wanted to seize the oil in Iraq, and I could have told them when I was around 7 years old, that it wasn't going to work. That kind of industry is extremely vulnerable to civil unrest. Maybe these Republican supporters should set a price for a barrel of oil when they'll admit this was a bad plan. Maybe not for ExxonMobil but for the rest of us.
Finally I worry that our warlike approach will cause the other big countries who are funding our debt, to pull the plug on the dollar, and crash our way of life. Maybe then this will be seen by everyone as the disaster it is.

How dissillusionist or delusionist do the group of idiots in control need to become before the plug is pulled. And why does the dialogue not heavily feature Ralph(the ego) Nader. As much as no one wants to talk about it he could have saved us from 8 years of indentured idiocy by simply doing the right thing. Thanks to him we have the chimp, an unwinnable, never ending conflict in wherever and the missed opportunity to spend our hard earned tax dollars on our infrastucture rather than a Haliburton built checkposts in Iraq(or Afghanistan or wherever) that will shortly be destroyed(and repalced-by Haliburton). Will it ever end?


If President Clinton had kept his mind on national security instead of...well, you know...then Osama Bin Laden would be dead, or in federal custody.

But Bubba didn't want to offend anybody (now we know why he didn't light his cigars), and the kid glove treatment for Islamo-Fascists continued.

Baby, would you mind humming "Hail to the Chief" while you do that?

What did our invasion of Iraq have to do with Osama, 9-11, and 'Islamo-Facists'?

Mr. Tee must not have seen the pictures of President Bush playing golf in August 2001, with Condi Rice standing next to him holding the report saying that Osama was about to attack the US. The president kept playing golf, and said something like "Ok, you've covered your ass now."

Or the pictures of Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam in the 1980s, during his trip to help Saddam stay in power and fight Iran. The US probably gave Saddam the chemical weapons he used on Iran and the Kurds, but even if not, we certainly didn't object for 15 years.


So much for accountability.

Terrorists benefit from the patronage of either a failed or dictatorial state sponsor that will refuse extradition, issue "real" passports with fake identities, provide safehaven for finance/training activities, and provide other "sovereign protections" (see http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/kelly081402.asp). Once Afghanistan became inhospitable, the Islamo-Fascists would need a new safehaven, and Pakistan or Iraq were their most convenient destinations.

And, YES THERE WERE multiple Iraqi ties to September 11th (see http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp

as well as the 1993 WTC bombing(see:http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-09-17-iraq-wtc_x.htm)

That is not to say that Saddam knew about, or supported the 9/11 attacks per se, but he certainly shared their anti-American ideology and (as they say in the middle east) "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"...

When you can't argue foreign policy just bring up 9/11 and Bill Clinton.

Just forget that Reagan and Bush I supported Hussein with money, weapons, and diplomacy. They, in fact, prevented the Senate condemnation of the Halabja attack because that would be too hasty. Hussein was a monster, but he was a US supported monster for decades. Let's never forget those mass graves in Southern Iraq, you know, the ones of those who rose up against Hussein in 1991 expecting US support in removing their country's dictator only to have the US military betray them to Hussein's forces. People in the US don't remember that (or never bothered to learn in the first place), but the Shiites do. Do people think they've forgiven the US? And these are our allies, the muslim fundamentalists who are allied with Iran's fundamentalists and who remember how the US had them slaughtered? It's as disgusting as supporting the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, another band of monsters, just like the US supported Taliban before them (but they were our allies in the 80's, just watch Rambo III).

Welcome to the world of geopolitics. Better learn who the players are. It's the only way what the US is doing makes sense. And what they are doing is deliberately pushing the price of oil higher to benefit the oil corporations and the Saudis who are lending the US tremendous amount of money to finance current government spending (along with China and Japan; so those 3 countries are whom our children will be in debt to for the entirety of their lives).

BTW, with all the talk of how evil Iran is it's pretty funny that government of Iran is quite happy with the fact that the US has removed their chief enemy in the region and placed a Iran-friendly government in its place. Yes, Iran has been a big supported of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. As has Saudi Arabia. With friends like these... well you know the rest.

Saddam was a threat with or without weapons of mass destruction. Ask Iran or Kuwait: he did plenty of damage in both courntries with only limited WMD deployment.

Since we're here in the US, and probably all citizens of these United States, perhaps it would be worth reflecting on why vast numbers around the world view the United States as "a threat with or without weapons of mass destruction." Hint: it might be worthwhile asking Iran (under the Shah), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Grenada, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, the dark-skinned of South Africa, Greece under the colonels' junta....plenty of damage in all these countries, either by the US or our proxy despots, with no WMD deployment.

Makes me proud to be an American.

On second thought, let's not reflect on any of that stuff. The rest of the world is populated by a bunch of whiny, limp-wristed snot-nosed brats who want to immigrate here (especially if their brown skinned and can come illegally) and live off the public dole. So...

Let's drop the Big One and see what happens.

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