mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

September 17, 2007

Bogs

Filed under: Politics — mlah @ 10:01 am

Asstard unemployed war protesters

iraq is not a quagmire.

it is a warzone though.

since i have already dispensed with the liberal bullshit claim that iraq is undergoing civil war, i’ll address the quagmire label here, and show how the label ‘civil war’ applies to the democrat strategem of discrediting the war in iraq to discredit the republicans by proxy.

quagmire. the intent here is for the democrats to label the war in iraq (something which the vast majority of the democrats all voted for) as something negative. vietnam is perceived as something negative by them.

personally, i view vietnam as a mistake. the french should never have tried to go back in to indochina post wwii. i mean think about it. the french had it. the japanese took it from them by force. the vietnamese, led by ho chi minh, kicked them out by force. they at least made it so difficult for the japanese to rn the place that it was of no assett to the emperor.

wwii ends. so the french try to reassert themselves into what the japanese booted them out of. if the indigenous vietnamese were successful against the japanese, whatever possessed the french to think they could again establish themselves in indochina?

arrogance.

and then we tried to bail them out.

the soviets then entered on the other side against us. that’s the making of a quagmire. the play of superpowers fighting in indochina by proxy.

withdrawing from vietnam was not losing to the vietnamese. only. it was losing to the russians.

and we all know the left are a bunch of red shirted pinkos deep down anyway, so they view that as a good thing.

the modern day democrats are trying to make political hay out of the war in iraq. never mind that they all were party to its instigation. they want the us to fail so that they can point at the republicans in the ’08 elections and say ‘see! see! the dirty republicans are war mongers and want you sons to die for their bank accounts’

never mind that the democrats are the ones who pushed females into combat roles. by their logic, the democrats want our sons and DAUGHTERS to die for their bank accounts.

don’t believe it? look at the money the democrats are taking from big china. they don’t care. it’s all about the money to the dems. just as much as anybody else.

but. back to iraq.

democrats want the us to lose. now, mind you, being seen as someone who wants the us to lose is in bad taste during an election. so they all say they ‘support the troops’ just not the war.

if the us wanted to leave iraq. it would be a simple matter of flying out. people freak out and say then iran would move in.

nah. listen. if the shi’ite and sunni and kurd insurgents can fight off the us, the world’s only superpower, don’t you think they can fight off iran too?

and mind you, iran is not ethnically pure. of irans 65 million people, 35 million are aryan. those other 30 million? the vas majority of those are kurd, and arab shi’ite. iran has to be very very careful, or the insurgency on iraq will spill over into their country.

hint hint hint.

but if we leave, the shi’ite will win power and some local asstard will set himself as emperor, pretty much the same as saddam did. only change in post us iraq would be that a shi’ite is in charge, and not a ba’athist sunni.

yeah, we will have failed in our effort to setup democracy in iraq, but we will have succeeded in removing saddam and sons. we have in fact removed the international terrorist organizations from iraq. abu nidal is indeed dead. and others.

we have accompished much. and can accomplish much more, if we get the time.

but that’s the rub.

for the democrats to win in ’08, iraq HAS to be a failure.

don’t believe it? ask yourself.

if iraq was a complete success, what chance would the dems have in ’08? i mean, the economy is stronger than it ever was under clinton. no new terrorist attacks on us soil. and victory in afghanistan and iraq?

and all the democrats can do is stand around and decry how terrible we are as people for imposing things like toilets and innoculations on those foreigners?

they have no chance.

democrats HAVE to make iraq a failure. their very existance as elected officials depends on it.

never mind that the rate at which us soldiers are dieing in iraq is little more than the murder rate in washington dc.

y’all realize that it almost safer for an african american male 18-25 to join the us army and patrol in baghdad, than it is for him to walk the streets of dc?

ask yourself. is dc a quagmire? should we flee from dc?

the stats and numbers just don’t add up.

post wwii germany had 6 million us occupation troops in it. how many brits and french? 10 million russians. close to 20 million occupation troops.
there was postwar violence in germany til 1949.

and winning the peace? rebuilding germany? the marshal plan didn’t happen til ’49. we are so far ahead of that schedule now!

the democrats are so invested in us failure in iraq. they were even calling petraeus a liar before he ever spoke in front of congress.

stalin once said. if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true.

he had many famous sayings. but this one is a favorite tactic of the left. there is NOT a quagmire in iraq. there is not a civil war in iraq. there is a game being played by the american left though. and they’re lengthening a war and costing american lives to try and win elections.

46 Comments »

  1. should we flee from dc?
    well yes, actually. It’s so full of crappy politicians that you can’t relax one bit.

    I recall learning that the French essentially blackmailed us into sending troops to Indochina/Vietnam to help pull their chestnuts out of the fire. Otherwise deGaulle was threatening to be passive, and not uphold his NATO obligations, if the Soviets crossed into West Germany. Since Europe was our most important foreign policy battleground against the Soviets, we decided to rescue the French position in Asia. And then we got mired in a bloody Cold War standoff against the Soviet and Chicom backed Viet Cong — Communists — and their NVA allies (Soviet and Chicom “advisors” shooting it up against our “advisors” and such). That’s when we decided we had to uphold the Vietnamese domino.

    Post-withdrawal Iraq would be lead by the Shi’ites, who would be heavily influenced if not outright controlled by Iran. Iran supposedly has already broached the subject of Kurd containment with Turkey….

    BTW, how about that Israeli strike on the Syrian nuclear materials cache earlier this month? Some damn fine warfighting by the IDF.

    Comment by yup — September 17, 2007 @ 10:29 am

  2. heavily influenced by the iranians. but once secure in their land, they would soon begin to assert their power.

    the turks and iranians are scared to death of kurdish independance. even though the kurds were guaranteed a state by peace treaty. the brits and the turks just never let kurdistan come into being.

    Comment by mlah — September 17, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  3. Mlah: “since i have already dispensed with the liberal bullshit claim that iraq is undergoing civil war”
    Hardly. You said it wasn’t one, but you didn’t say why it isn’t one, or offer a more comprehensive term for the situation.

    “the war in iraq (something which the vast majority of the democrats all voted for)”
    “never mind that they all were party to its instigation.”
    In the House, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 garnered 81 Dem “yeas” and 126 Dem “nays”:
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2002/roll455.xml
    In the Senate, 29 Dem “yeas” and 21 Dem “nays”:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237
    So, you’re profoundly mistaken (or lying) once again.

    “quagmire. the intent here is for the democrats to label the war in iraq… as something negative.”
    When in reality it’s something really positive?! Yeah, it’s awesome. Everybody loves it. Don’t forget that some Republicans aren’t too happy with it, either.

    “arrogance.”
    You got it!

    “withdrawing from vietnam was not losing to the vietnamese. only. it was losing to the russians.
    “and we all know the left are a bunch of red shirted pinkos deep down anyway, so they view that as a good thing.”
    That’s what you think was driving the anti-Vietnam war protests? That it was good for the Russians? In reality, it was about all of our kids dying needlessly. Get a clue, bro.

    “the modern day democrats are trying to make political hay out of the war in iraq.”
    The voting public has made it an issue. That’s why you’re going to lose the next election.

    “democrats want the us to lose.”
    No. Enough of them went along with it to give it a chance to succeed, but it hasn’t succeeded and everyone’s sick of it now. If it had turned out better by now, the advantage might be to the R’s, but it just hasn’t. Bush took a roll of the political dice and lost.

    “mind you, being seen as someone who wants the us to lose is in bad taste during an election. so they all say they ’support the troops’ just not the war.”
    It’s not about the troops.

    “but if we leave, the shi’ite will win power and some local asstard will set himself as emperor”
    That might be an improvement, actually.

    “we have in fact removed the international terrorist organizations from iraq. abu nidal is indeed dead.”
    Saddam’s men were watching him for months and went to arrest him. He was killed (or committed suicide) during the shoot-out. The US didn’t have anything to do with it.
    We have killed some foreign terrorists there (not many), but they weren’t there before we invaded. Most of the insurgency is home-grown, so your saying that we have “removed the int’l tairist orgs” doesn’t mean much. That’s not why we went in. And W keeps saying “Al-Qaida, Al-Qaida, Al-Qaida”, so there are obviously still int’l tairists there.

    “for the democrats to win in ‘08, iraq HAS to be a failure.”
    No. They’re gonna win, anyway. Even if there were decisive victory there between now and then (which is unlikely). Y’all have fucked the pooch.

    “i mean, the economy is stronger than it ever was under clinton.”
    Ha! You haven’t been paying any attention to financial news lately, have you? Former Fed chair Greenspan said today there is more than a 1 in 3 chance of a recession. The subprime mortgage market crash is only deepening.

    “and all the democrats can do is stand around and decry how terrible we are as people for imposing things like toilets and innoculations on those foreigners?”
    Ah, yes, that’s all we’re bringing to Iraqis. That’s why everyone who can afford to has split.

    “never mind that the rate at which us soldiers are dieing in iraq is little more than the murder rate in washington dc.”
    Show me the stats you base that on. I assume you’re including Kurdish-controlled areas and all the other areas that are relatively violence-free.

    “y’all realize that it almost safer for an african american male 18-25 to join the us army and patrol in baghdad, than it is for him to walk the streets of dc?”
    Bullshit. Gimme the stats just for Baghdad.

    “the stats and numbers just don’t add up.”
    Right back at ya!

    “stalin once said. if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true.”
    W and Fox News and YOU are doing the same thing.

    Comment by Gus — September 17, 2007 @ 11:00 pm

  4. Mlah: “never mind that the democrats are the ones who pushed females into combat roles. by their logic, the democrats want our sons and DAUGHTERS to die for their bank accounts.”
    Oh, fuck you. This was before the idiotic Doctrine of Pre-emptive War had been broached. We assumed they would only be deployed in a wise fashion. W’s the one who sent them to this QUAGMIRE.
    Do you have a problem w/ women there? Didn’t they freely choose to enlist? Haven’t they been just as hard-working and heroic as the men?

    Comment by Gus — September 17, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

  5. Gus: This was before the idiotic Doctrine of Pre-emptive War had been broached.

    Actually, the doctrine of pre-emptive war has been around for much longer than that the Bush administration. The Truman administration even formulated a pre-emptive war condition in its acceptance of the UN Charter, given the short fuse of a pending nuclear strike and the obviation of the diplomatic option in such a circumstance. If you go back to the arguments on the Iraq deal, the fear of a nuclear attack originating from a terrorist organization supported by the likes of Saddam was a motivator to the Bush determination tp resort to the pre-emptive war strategy. Beside that, Saddam’s Iraq was in breach of its cease-fire obligations from 1991 etc etc. I know you don’t agree, Gus, so we will dispense with the argument on that issue. My point is that pre-emption predates GWB.

    Gus: The subprime mortgage market crash is only deepening.

    True. When did these mortgages become popular? Was it during the recession that GWB took the blame for in 2001? Or did they predate his administration? Curious. And have you noticed ANY effort whatsoever to change the spending habits of the American people? Are we too addicted to the Madison Avenue way of life to change? How many people still shop at Wal Mart despite the fact that China has us by the economic cajones? Hmmm? And which administration was the one that pinned our relationship with China on the import of cheap consumer goods? Is it all GWB’s fault?

    Gus: We have killed some foreign terrorists there (not many)

    Statistics, please. What is your definition of “not many”?

    Gus: the anti-Vietnam war protests…it was about all of our kids dying needlessly.

    Was it? Who sponsored many of the demonstrations? Which organizations doled out the agitprop? Where did the leadership of the “anti-war movement” get its talking points?

    Gus: it hasn’t succeeded and everyone’s sick of it now.

    Well, being fed a constant dose of doom and gloom by the MSM and one entire political party does have its effect on the popular will. I am amazed at how much the argument today coming from the Democratic Party parallels the Copperheads. (Granted, the situations are different, but the sentiments are very similar.)

    Beyond that, I believe our society has become accustomed to instant gratification and no longer has the cumulative will to carry out any sort of struggle which demands constant attention, effort, and even minimal sacrifice. Wars today apparently should be over and done with in the span of a miniseries, like when we invaded Granada and Panama. But that’s my own diagnosis. You have yours: the Republicans are evil greedy pigs who took us to war for Halliburton and Iraq’s oil, and the American people are sick to death of that abuse of power.

    Gus: Right back at ya!

    Touche!

    Comment by yup — September 18, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  6. Yup: “Actually, the doctrine of pre-emptive war has been around for much longer than that the Bush administration. The Truman administration…”
    I was referring (without having the term on the tip of my tongue) to the “Bush Doctrine”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine
    Which can be distinguished from older doctrines this way:
    “While previous preemptive actions have been justified on the basis that the threat was imminent, the Bush Administration’s view, as stated in the strategy paper is that “military preemption” is legitimate when the threat is “emerging” or “sufficient,” “even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.”

    “When did these mortgages become popular? Was it during the recession that GWB took the blame for in 2001? Or did they predate his administration? Curious.”
    These mortgage products started becoming popular when interest rates were substantially lowered after 9/11 to stimulate the economy. The low initial rates get people in the door. But they’ve existed for quite a long time before that– at least since the 70’s, as far as I can tell.

    “And have you noticed ANY effort whatsoever to change the spending habits of the American people? Are we too addicted to the Madison Avenue way of life to change? How many people still shop at Wal Mart despite the fact that China has us by the economic cajones? Hmmm? And which administration was the one that pinned our relationship with China on the import of cheap consumer goods? Is it all GWB’s fault?”
    Some good points, until you bring up administrations. Perhaps even worse than all the outsourcing of our manufacturing to China is all of our debt that China has bought up. So the Chinese finally decided to play the capitalism game– isn’t that better than their being commies? Efficiency is the presumed brilliance of the Market, isn’t it? That their beating us at our own game is nobody’s fault but our own as a society– the blame can’t be laid solely at the feet of Clinton or Bush or anybody.

    “Statistics, please. What is your definition of ‘not many [foreign tairists killed in Iraq]’?”
    From a July LATimes article: Of 19,000 “insurgents” held by the US military in Iraq, only 135 are foreigners. I can’t imagine that the rate of killed insurgents is that much different from captured ones.
    http://www.juancole.com/2007/07/few-foreign-fighters-in-iraq-many-are.html

    “Who sponsored many of the [anti-Vietnam war] demonstrations? Which organizations doled out the agitprop? Where did the leadership of the ‘anti-war movement’ get its talking points?”
    Come off it, Yup. You’re old enough to know better than that. The mood on the American street (at least in cities and campuses) wasn’t that sophisticated or informed. Commie groups may well have had some organizational input at some points (I doubt as widespread as you think), but the kids were all high and just didn’t want to get drafted and die (or see their peers or brothers or sons get drafted and die). It wasn’t about “talking points”; it was about stopping senseless dying. You can’t rewrite history that way. Go back and look at the media and listen to the music of the period. The emotion was real. Peace, man!
    Likewise, millions of people (including myself) protested the invasion of Iraq without knowing (or caring) who A.N.S.W.E.R was.

    “I am amazed at how much the argument today coming from the Democratic Party parallels the Copperheads. (Granted, the situations are different, but the sentiments are very similar.)”
    Hmm, I’d never heard of them. But it seems like they’re only similar in being anti-war. Different in almost every other aspect.
    Ooh, wait, some things never change:
    “Indiana Republicans then used the sensational revelation of an antiwar Copperhead conspiracy by elements of the Sons of Liberty to discredit Democrats in the 1864 House elections.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperheads_%28politics%29
    The biggest difference (besides the fact that they were blatant racists) is that while they were fringe-dwellers, a majority of American citizens now want to end this war.

    “Beyond that, I believe our society has become accustomed to instant gratification and no longer has the cumulative will to carry out any sort of struggle which demands constant attention, effort, and even minimal sacrifice.”
    W squandered the opportunity for unity and sacrifice– which was indeed alive after 9/11– by opting to go into Iraq.

    “But that’s my own diagnosis. You have yours: the Republicans are evil greedy pigs who took us to war for Halliburton and Iraq’s oil, and the American people are sick to death of that abuse of power.”
    I think we can agree that any measure of CONTROL we could gain in the Middle East would be a plus for our interests, yes? Whether it was wise is another question. But there was no imminent threat, with the UN inspectors doing their job there (only the domestic political calender accounts for our haste). Greenspan just said that he told W it was a good idea *economically* for our oil security (he also said that a WH aide told him that “we can’t talk about oil”, but it obviously had to have been pondered and Cheney likely came to the same conclusion). Things just didn’t go according to plan. US companies were in fact prepared to go in and privatize EVERYTHING, but the insurgency blossomed and they ran for their lives.

    Comment by Gus — September 19, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

  7. Gus Re Copperheads: Ooh, wait, some things never change

    Uh, Gus, I hate to say it but there is much more to the Copperhead issue than what Wikipedia has to say. I have some electronic copies of contemporary accounts (hey, get this: New York Times articles!) that spell out a very different picture than you paint. The Copperheads actually wrote the Democratic platform for the 1864 election. They were not some lunatic “fringe-dwellers” that only got attention because the Republicans made an issue over them in Indiana. Or are you trying to relegate them to the fringes because “the fact that they were blatant racists” besmirches the name of the modern Democratic Party, which has the Grand Dragon from West Virginia as one of its elder statesmen?

    Gus re Domestic Economy: Some good points, until you bring up administrations

    Actually, the Clinton administration made increased trade with China a central tenet of our relationship with that country. This move was rooted in the liberal idea of complex interdependence which posits that higher levels of interdependence reduces the likelihood of conflict between the parties. You can see the trade imbalance balloon in the mid-1990s as a result of this new focus on Chinese trade. Don’t you recall all the arguments over MFN?

    But you are correct, insofar as you agree with me: our economic problems, and with particular reference to China, are our own fault as a society.

    We are hooked on Chinese imports. They’re cheap and abundant (that they could kill or harm us is beside the point, as Mattell is quick to point out). Even the gift shops of our nation’s spy agencies, including the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc., carry an array of merchandise conspicuously marked “”Made in China”! (Or so I hear….) This despite the recent revelation that Chinese (and Russian) spying against the U.S. has all but reached Cold War levels. Now that’s irony!

    Gus re China Trade: So the Chinese finally decided to play the capitalism game– isn’t that better than their being commies?

    Actually, as a society they are no longer communists, but neither are they capitalists. I see them more as market socialists. They still have a command economy, with government focus on certain issues, including R&D, manufacturing capacity, and the like. They still have government regulation of the domestic economy, with the yuan not linked to foreign currencies and artificially overvalued in order to support domestic PPP — one of the sticking points in our present economic relationship with them. Rather than using the huge export profits to fund imports — which in turn ties their currency to others — they have been hoarding the capital. The rapidly increasing $1.3 trillion in foreign currency reserves (largely in dollar holdings) is now recognized by China as an economic weapon to be aimed at the U.S. The point I’m making is that the Chinese are NOT capitalists, and are not operating according to market efficiency or any of the rules practiced by the more capitalist states. They are a socialist state (not the democratic socialists we find in Europe) using the market to fund development. They are playing a different game than we are, because we limit the scope and power of our government to regulate the market and the economy. Their government regulates the scope and power of the market and its influence on the economy.

    Their being “Commies” has not changed. The Chinese Communist Party still controls every aspect of life in the country. The CCP has relaxed its stance on, for instance, the market, and has allowed entrepreneurs to join the Party. But the Party still trumps all else in that country. There are spots of wealth — often associated with the families of senior Party leadership or otherwise flourishing at Party sufferance. But the idea of rampant and unrestrained capitalism flourishing in China is a myth.

    Gus re Terrorists in Iraq: I can’t imagine that the rate of killed insurgents is that much different from captured ones.

    For the sake of argument, might we consider that the foreign fighters are more inclined to fight to the death? I know body counts are horribly out of style, given the inflationary braggadocio that we saw in Vietnam, but is there anything more substantial that Gus’s imagination that could back up his assertion that there have been “not many [foreign tairists killed in Iraq]”? And I return to the main question of how many is “not many”? And how do you qualify that “not many” is not worth the amount of effort expended? Because “not many” foreign terrorists caused an awful lot of damage on that September morning in 2001.

    Gus: W squandered the opportunity for unity and sacrifice

    Hmm. Perhaps. The invasion of Iraq was certainly a divisive point. However, even before then he squandered the opportunity for sacrifice when he asked us all to go out and spend money immediately after the attacks. At that point he set the tone for national sacrifice in the conflict, which was to say, he defined our sacrifice as “nothing.” Of course, he had to do that to keep people form panicking and worsening the recession he inherited from his predecessor. Had the recession worsened, he would have had much worse domestic problems to contain and less resources to spend on the GWOT. And besides that, there was even immediately following the attacks a loud and blatant chorus of people who declared it was all our own fault (’cause we’re all a bunch of “little Eichmanns” you see). The “unity” of which you speak was being undermined even before Iraq became and issue.

    Sorry, have to go to ballet.

    Comment by yup — September 20, 2007 @ 5:55 am

  8. Yup: “Sorry, have to go to ballet.”‘
    ?!?!
    I always knew you were a little French fruit.

    “Uh, Gus, I hate to say it but there is much more to the Copperhead issue than what Wikipedia has to say.”
    It gives a good enough overview. What are the other similarities (missing on Wikipedia) that you see, and are they at all instructive to us in the present day? Or is this just you patting yourself on the back for knowing arcane Civil War factoids?

    “the Clinton administration made increased trade with China a central tenet of our relationship with that country.”
    And W hasn’t changed that since he came in, so this is not an issue w/ partisan implications.

    “Actually, as a society they are no longer communists, but neither are they capitalists. I see them more as market socialists.”
    Fair enough. But insofar as WE are buying their shit and losing OUR manufacturing to them, they are indeed playing our game– or at least throwing us off our game!

    “For the sake of argument, might we consider that the foreign fighters are more inclined to fight to the death?”
    Are you sure you read the numbers right? 19,000 Iraqi vs. 135 foreign captured fighters! I grant you that the foreigners’ death-wishes are probably stronger, but not at a rate that would account for those differences. It is a myth that Iraq is inundated with foreign fighters. Any further discussion awaits merely your verifiable stats to the contrary.

    “And I return to the main question of how many is “not many”? And how do you qualify that “not many” is not worth the amount of effort expended? Because “not many” foreign terrorists caused an awful lot of damage on that September morning in 2001.”
    I’m not talking about pure numbers, only the # of foreigners compared to the # of Iraqis making up the insurgency. Much of the pro-war crowd justifies our presence there as taking the fight to bin Laden’s Al-Qaida, which, in reality, has been about 1% of the insurgency (and they weren’t there before we arrived). Invading Iraq has killed untold thousands and caused millions of people to flee and wreaked millions of dollars of damage. Sure, every dead tairist is a good thing, but I don’t believe, say, a few hundred dead ones justify the total mayhem we’ve set in motion. We should have stuck to Afghanistan, dammit, where they would have gone anyway if we hadn’t gone into Iraq, doncha think?

    “However, even before then [invading Iraq] he squandered the opportunity for sacrifice when he asked us all to go out and spend money immediately after the attacks.”
    I was gonna make the same point, but yes, he had to send a send a strong signal to the markets, so to speak. Maybe that is our sacrifice? We all have to do our part to keep the economy afloat? Not very romantic but there’s probably some truth to it.

    “a loud and blatant chorus of people who declared it was all our own fault”
    That was always a small minority. You may be illegitimately including in that group those people who wanted to understand OBL’s actual beefs, as opposed to simply “hating us for our freedom [fries].”

    Comment by Gus — September 20, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

  9. Gus: In re my comment that I must go to ballet. I always knew you were a little French fruit.

    How to respond? Well, firstly, I do have a level of cultural appreciation that you apparently lack. I can even dig the Cheetoz and Dr Pepper culture that you, Gus, have been trying to tell the world does not define you as an IT professional. Secondly, I have a daughter who is taking ballet lessons. I have the opportunity now to enjoy watching her doing this, and I take it. I am shamelessly indulging in a bit of being a Daddy. I recommend you read up on the cultural aspects of being a parent (since you so obviously are not inclined to be one in the forseeable future) to get some background on why I might do such a thing. Thirdly, there are a number of professional athletes — including American football players — who turn to exercises such as ballet and yoga to maintain flexibility and balance. I would seriously like to see you flash that same comment to one of those athletes. Besides which, your comment reveals a certain lack of respect for “fruits” French or otherwise which in today’s America could be translated to mean you have made a derogatory comment regarding gay people. That is a Class One Felony Thoughtcrime punishable by long-term incarceration in a re-education camp. Shame on you! Report to Hillary for sentencing.

    Gus: In re Bush telling America to keep on spending following 9/11. Not very romantic but there’s probably some truth to it.

    Do I actually see Gus defending, however weakly, a Bush policy decision?

    Gus: In re invasion of Iraq: We should have stuck to Afghanistan, dammit, where they would have gone anyway if we hadn’t gone into Iraq, doncha think?

    How do you respond to the masses around the world who demand that America, as the Hyperpower, use that power to Do Something to solve the world’s ills? Iraq was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of action. How else could you gibe the demands for immediate withdrawal from Iraq with the concurrent demands for immediate occupation of the Sudan — from prominent members of Congress?? But I do not wish to debate the decision to invade with you for the umpteenth time.

    Please justify your contention that the terrorists would have gone only to Afghanistan had we stuck it out there instead of widening the battlefield to include Iraq.

    Gus: In re China trade: And W hasn’t changed that since he came in

    Don’t forget that Daddy Bush was first ambassador to Beijing and the family has longstanding ties to China. Without further comment, I give you this story to remind you of said ties: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_50/b3862062.htm

    I don’t believe you’ve ever read unswerving devotion to the entirety of the Bush agenda on Mlah’s blog. So don’t expect every decision of W’s to be defended here.

    Gus: In re China’s trade successes: or at least throwing us off our game!

    Check out today’s abject public apology from Mattel to Li Changjiang. This is classic Chinese punishment. Too much money invested in China, too much potential profits, for Mattel not to kowtow and earn forgiveness from the Chinese mandarins. http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=623807&category=&BCCode=&newsdate=9/21/2007

    Perhaps I’ll return to this discussion later. I’m off to the playground.

    Comment by yup — September 21, 2007 @ 9:19 am

  10. Yup: “Well, firstly, I do have a level of cultural appreciation that you apparently lack.’
    A gentle ribbing, my friend. I only happen to have fallen into the IT world– at heart, I’ve always been a bohemian aesthete, having created poems, songs, paintings and sculpture for my jollies. I applaud your your fatherly indulgence.

    “Do I actually see Gus defending, however weakly, a Bush policy decision?”
    I dunno if he really needed to say that (and I’m not sure that it could really be called a “policy decision”). People shop as they need/want to anyway, as long as they can afford to. I think his target for that remark was more likely Wall St. per se, except insofar as he was simply telling the rest of us to go about our regular business of living and not to hole up in our backyard fallout shelters.
    I agreed with his initial immigration plan and going into Asscrackistan, off the top of my head.

    “Iraq was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of action.”
    You let the inspectors do their job, like you said you would, and keep military action as a last resort, like you said you would. The huddled masses of the world were not demanding that we take out Saddam– in fact, the worldwide demonstrations against it were unprecedented.

    “How else could you gibe the demands for immediate withdrawal from Iraq with the concurrent demands for immediate occupation of the Sudan — from prominent members of Congress??”
    I see the irony, I do. But Saddam’s best genocide days were behind him (most date from when he was still our pal). Do you think we should be in Darfur?

    “Please justify your contention that the terrorists would have gone only to Afghanistan had we stuck it out there instead of widening the battlefield to include Iraq.”
    It just stands to reason. “We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Set out the honeypot of US targets wherever, and it will attract the tairists, no? Why would Saudi, Algerian, etc. jihadis go to Iraq if we weren’t there? The Way of the Mujahadeen is to go wherever the infidel are trespassing on Islamic lands.

    “So don’t expect every decision of W’s to be defended here.”
    True enough. You and Mlah never got on the evangelical bandwagon, for instance, and I appreciate your principles.

    Comment by Gus — September 21, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

  11. Gus: In re Iraq invasion: The huddled masses of the world were not demanding that we take out Saddam

    I was refering to U.S. national policy and the ability to achieve a desirous (from the U.S. standpoint) outcome. The vaunted National Interest. We unfortunately cannot become the world’s policeman, as was demanded throughout the 1990s, but we also could not do nothing and see Saddam essentially reclaim a position in “polite society” without forcing him to live up to his obligations vis-a-vis the numerous UN Resolutions and his cease-fire agreement. That would have bared our power as inconsequential.

    You might wish to begin an argument that our inability to subdue the Iraqi population as completely as, say, the populations of D.C. or Baltimore (or London or Paris) — where one never need fear harm to one’s person or possessions because of the Government’s guarantee of safety — has bared our power as inconsequential, but that path of discourse can await a different opportunity for discussion.

    Gus: In re Saddam mellowing and therefore not being a threat: Saddam’s best genocide days were behind him

    Would you have made the same argument for supporting Hitler’s, Stalin’s or Pol Pot’s entree into society? Do you think we should be sending Hollywood-admirer Kim Jung-Il tickets to Grauman’s for Premier night without insisting he come clean on his WMDs? Would you have insisted that any of them live up to their cease-fire agreements prior to even beginning to trust them?

    Gus: Do you think we should be in Darfur?

    I am glad you see the irony of the situation. My personal sense of irony on the subject deepened when I recalled that the atrocities in the Sudan had been going on for years even prior to the flare-up in Darfur, with the Northern Government (Islamic) forces flaying the Southern rebel (Christian and animist) forces, forcing the prisoners into slavery, and the like, for well over a decade and only a few activists (such as Gregory Kane) bemoaning the fate of the Sudanese victims; whereas the sudden demands for intervention did not arise until the North-South war was tied up and the Government (Islamic) forces began fighting the Darfur rebel (Islamic) forces, and the anti-Iraq crowd needed a “just” use of force to detract from Bush’s Iraq venture.

    But to answer your question, no, I do not see the need to have U.S. forces occupying Darfur. I think the solution crafted in the UN, to wit, the forces of the African Union taking the active peacemaking role, while the U.S. and Europe essentially provide supplies and logistical support from the sidelines, is the best answer all around. That, in fact, is the basis of our new strategy with AFRICOM. We work in cooperation with the AU on a continental scale, ECOWAS and other regional groups on a regional scale, and bilaterally on a State-to-State scale, but Do Not establish a large footprint in the area from a boots-on-the-ground perspective. (And I’ve really come to hate that phrase “boots on the ground” over the past several years). Granted, Camp Lemonier is already in situ but that will have the role of supporting two missions (securing the flank of the Middle East operations as well as the mission of AFRICOM once it is absorbed into that Majcom) and will be, as far as I can tell, the only sizeable presence on the continent.

    Why one answer for Iraq and another for the Sudan? Well, primarily, it goes back to National Interest. As Greenspan noted, the clearing of Saddam would arguably make Middle East oil supplies safer in the long term. There is no such sizeable interest in the Sudan or that part of Africa. Will you simply boil that all down to “It’s all about the oil?” I suppose you could. After all, oil’s the sole reason Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and the sole reason Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Right?

    Gus: In refuting the logic of fighting jihadists in Iraq: The Way of the Mujahadeen is to go wherever the infidel are trespassing on Islamic lands

    Gus, it’s not just Islamic lands, it’s wherever the infidel are. You imply that you are sympathetic to the cause of the illegal immigrants, since you agreed with [Bush’s] initial immigration plan but there has never been a real effort to staunch the flow of illegals across the borders. And suddenly (as if no one could’ve seen it coming) there is a problem with terrorists sneaking across the border. Just a thought.
    http://www.aim.org/guest_column/A5169_0_6_0_C/
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={AEB39FF3-E0E8-4E1D-8353-BE0D004E2785}
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/011219.php
    http://thenaturaltruth.blogspot.com/2006/07/illegal-immigration-has-nothing-to-do.html

    Comment by yup — September 22, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  12. Gus: “The huddled masses of the world were not demanding that we take out Saddam”
    Yup: “I was refering to U.S. national policy and the ability to achieve a desirous (from the U.S. standpoint) outcome. The vaunted National Interest.”
    No, you weren’t. You were referring to

    How do you respond to the masses around the world who demand that America, as the Hyperpower, use that power to Do Something to solve the world’s ills? Iraq was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of action.

    I don’t see how you get “national interest” out of that.

    “we also could not do nothing and see Saddam essentially reclaim a position in ‘polite society'”
    “Would you have made the same argument for supporting Hitler’s, Stalin’s or Pol Pot’s entree into society?”
    He was neutralized. He wasn’t going to any more debutante balls.

    “My personal sense of irony on the subject deepened when…the anti-Iraq crowd needed a “just” use of force to detract from Bush’s Iraq venture”
    That’s not my recollection. All of my ideas about the conflict were just learning about its existence (I never knew) and feeling bad about the atrocities that have happened. Purely humanitarian, nothing partisan about it.

    “There is no such sizeable interest in the Sudan or that part of Africa.”
    FYI:
    “Currently oil is Sudan’s main export, and the production is increasing dramatically.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudan#Economy
    and:

    “the U.S. government imposed a trade embargo against Sudan and a total asset freeze against the Government of Sudan under Executive Order 13067. The U.S. believed the Government of Sudan gave support to international terrorism, destabilized neighboring governments, and permitted human rights violations. [5] A consequence of the embargo is that U.S. corporations cannot invest in the Sudan oil industry, so companies in China, Malaysia and India are the major investors.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Sudan#Embargos_and_sanctions

    “Will you simply boil that all down to ‘It’s all about the oil?'”
    C’mon Yup, I never have done that and I never will.

    Gus: [In refuting the logic of fighting jihadists in Iraq:] “The Way of the Mujahadeen is to go wherever the infidel are trespassing on Islamic lands”
    Yup: “it’s not just Islamic lands, it’s wherever the infidel are.”
    But they are much more likely to do it in their own neighborhood than they are to cross the frickin ocean.

    Comment by Gus — September 26, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

  13. Gus: I don’t see how you get “national interest” out of that.

    There was a confluence of circumstances there: the post-Cold War world demand that we Do Something to alleviate global suffering, and the U.S. need to maintain its credibility and prove that it is not the ‘paper tiger’ that the ‘Arab Street’ saw us as. (And it’s worth noting that the UN had proved its inability to contain violence in the years following Desert Storm; the only way violence was being stopped was by unilateral, non-UN sponsored use of force: British in Sierra Leone, Coalition forces in Iraq, NATO in Bosnia and Kosovo. Pay attention: the UN provided post-facto multilateral support to those actions, but did not initiate them or even legally condone them. In fact, Kosovo was widely damned as an illegal act, yet praised by a World Court justice as the ‘morally correct’ thing to do.)

    You claim that Saddam was contained but think beyond the obvious. The support for the containment efforts was eroding, and were UN sanctions to go away, he would again have been free to do whatever the heck he wanted, including reconstitution of his weapons arsenal. Which he never demonstrated that he had dismantled in accordance with numerous UN demands, by the way. The uranium buying expedition in Niger was seen as a precursor to such events, one of many on which decisions were based. (And by the way, the subsequent politically- and financially-motivated sniping by Joseph Wilson are not a subject I wish to begin arguing over again. That’s so 2005.) Were Saddam allowed to resume his military programs unfettered by UN sanctions, he would have demonstrated conclusively the impotence of the UN, the U.S., and the West in general. And left him in a position threaten Gulf and Middle East resources. Greenspan recently bolstered this argument, with his revelation that he told Bush that removing Saddam would in the long-term improve the security of oil resources in the Gulf region.

    As for the Doing Something part, you are correct, the huddled masses of the world were not demanding that we invade Iraq. However, the whole neocon idea of building a democracy in the region to undermine dictatorships and bring about a democratic renaissance in the Middle East, with concomitant improvements in the economy bringing up the GDP, resulting in better quality of life for the people living therein, can be used as a shorthand. The administration was trying to Do Something. However, their methodologies differed from many of those who had their own ideas on what, exactly, the U.S. was supposed to do. (Which, it seems, would have been more along the lines of ‘give us loads of money, and keep giving it to us, without any strings attached; then, give us veto power over all aspects of your national policy which might concievably affect us; and finally, allow us to do whatever the heck we want without trying to interfere or protect your own interests.’)

    So you see, the Iraq thing was at the confluence of Do Something and protecting the national interest. Any choice made would have been the wrong one.

    Gus: In re the Sudan and Darfur: All of my ideas about the conflict were just learning about its existence.

    That merely underscores my point. The mainstreaming of concern over the Sudan did not happen until the anti-Bush/anti-Iraq War crowd needed to find a ‘just’ use of force with which Bush should have concerned himself, instead of ‘illegally’ invading Iraq to ‘take its oil’. The oil reserves in the Sudan and throughout Africa, and the security environment in the region, is a lesser concern to the U.S. that those of the Gulf region. (And Bush has placed increased focus on Africa, making more aid available to the region than any previous president, and has arranged the strategic framework within which our security interest will be built by establishing AFRICOM and making its mission less warfighting than conflict resolution/post-conflict reconstruction). The natural resource reserves in the Sudan and Africa are less immediately available to exploitation and are of lesser amounts than found in the Gulf region (and the Caspian, for that matter). Moreover, the governments in the Gulf (Kuwait, Saudi, UAE, Qatar) are stronger — meaning they can better control their resources — and right now are more inclined to play ball with the U.S., perhaps because they do not have the lingering post-colonial problems destabilizing their populations and perhaps because of a 50-plus-year history of working with the U.S.

    My point is that the exploitation of Africa’s natural resources is a future concern and does not trump our current interests in the Gulf. Your use of Wikipedia to “prove” otherwise does not make a strong argument.

    Gus: In re engaging jihadists: But they are much more likely to do it in their own neighborhood than they are to cross the frickin ocean.

    First I have to ask you on what basis your opinion is formed. Did you ask Osama? If you did, do you really believe his answer? Do you really believe that the vast ocean expanse between the U.S. and the Islamic world –that same ocean expanse that for years was seen to protect the U.S. until one morning in December 1941 — will keep us safe from jihadists in an ever-more-connected world? Didn’t 9/11 demonstrate to you that the U.S. is not safe from harm at the hands of the jihadists? Do you discount the likelihood that such circumstances as AQ Khan’s efforts will eventually allow the jihadists to gain control of WMDs? Second, I would like to sell you some prime real estate in Louisianna……

    Comment by yup — September 27, 2007 @ 7:54 am

  14. Yup: “the U.S. need to maintain its credibility”
    Ooh, yeah, invading Iraq really helped with that!

    “You claim that Saddam was contained but think beyond the obvious. The support for the containment efforts was eroding, and were UN sanctions to go away, he would again have been free to do whatever the heck he wanted, including reconstitution of his weapons arsenal.”
    We bombed him lots of times between Gulf Wars I and II. He couldn’t do shit. The UN sanctions still held when we invaded. Why didn’t we let the weapons inspectors finish their work? What was the rush?

    “The uranium buying expedition in Niger was seen as a precursor to such events”
    No. Sorry. Fuck you. Our intel svcs knew that was a forgery.

    “That merely underscores my point. The mainstreaming of concern over the Sudan did not happen until the anti-Bush/anti-Iraq War crowd needed to find a ‘just’ use of force with which Bush should have concerned himself, instead of ‘illegally’ invading Iraq to ‘take its oil’.”
    It does not underscore your point. I, and most liberals, have not made much of a fuss at all about invading Sudan. We are only concerned and wonder what can be done to halt the atrocities (as, presumably, conservatives do, too). We are not clamoring to push aside the current plan for Darfur that you outline in favor of US military action, to make some anti-Bush point. As for timing, I can’t find any indication that the issue simply didn’t take a long time to achieve critical mass in the MSM and that time happened to be the early 00’s, and now that it has it’s not in the form of a partisan issue. Where are you seeing it played as such?

    “My point is that the exploitation of Africa’s natural resources is a future concern and does not trump our current interests in the Gulf. Your use of Wikipedia to “prove” otherwise does not make a strong argument.”
    I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I labeled it FYI, as in “Just in case you weren’t aware of it…” I agree that Africa doesn’t trump the Gulf.

    “Do you really believe that the vast ocean expanse between the U.S. and the Islamic world –that same ocean expanse that for years was seen to protect the U.S. until one morning in December 1941 — will keep us safe from jihadists in an ever-more-connected world?”
    Most of them, yes, absolutely. Of course some will try and a few will get thru– that’s all but inevitable. But most won’t even ever try, and you know that. Most will go to where they can walk/drive.

    “Do you discount the likelihood that such circumstances as AQ Khan’s efforts will eventually allow the jihadists to gain control of WMDs?”
    I’m sure they’re trying as we speak. What of it?

    Comment by Gus — September 27, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

  15. Gus: Ooh, yeah, invading Iraq really helped with that!

    You obviously disagree with the solution that the Administration chose. Which solution was it that you favored to solve all of the problems I cited?

    Gus: In re timing of the invasion of Iraq: Why didn’t we let the weapons inspectors finish their work? What was the rush?

    You’re right. We should have waited another 12 years to see what they could find. Because they were so effectively and successfully making the no-notice suprise inspections as called for. Saddam’s government was being completely open and honest with the UN. Yep, I see now that the year-long lead-up to the invasion was just way too fast.

    Gus: In re Saddam’s yellow cake shopping: Our intel svcs knew that was a forgery.

    You are incorrect.

    Gus: In re Darfur: most liberals, have not made much of a fuss at all about invading Sudan.

    Go back and review the utterances of various Democratic Senators and Representatives. Go back and review the statements by many of the anti-Iraq War protest groups. I will not do your work for you. Just because you were clueless about world events and chose to respond to the agitprop when it was unleashed doesn’t mean that some sudden critical mass was reached all of a sudden.

    Gus: In re jihadist attacks against the U.S.: But most won’t even ever try, and you know that. Most will go to where they can walk/drive.

    Yep, you’ve convinced me. None of the jihadists will attack us because they’re too damned lazy to get across the ocean. We will have a few “all but inevitable” attacks on our soil but that’s just the price we pay. A few dead Americans is just a crying shame. Hey, did you see the latest Madonna video? Oh, and LiLo is so fugged up again. Paris has a new parfume, so hot!

    Gus: In re jihadist acquisition of WMDs: What of it?

    Well, some poor fools in America will be killed dead. But that serves the little Eichmanns right, doesn’t it? Hopefully they will all be Rethugs! And besides, the jihadists will simply kill all the jooos in Israel, which is fine because then we will have peace in the Middle East.

    You’re right, Gus. Now I see the light. I can think clearly now. Brother, where do I send my campaign check for Hillary? Or shall I support Kucinich? You tell me. I will follow your lead. Please think for me!

    Comment by yup — September 28, 2007 @ 7:15 am

  16. Gus: In re Saddam’s yellow cake shopping: “Our intel svcs knew that was a forgery.”
    Yup: “You are incorrect.”
    From Congress’ “REPORT ON THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY’S PREWAR INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS ON IRAQ”
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_toc.htm
    The State Dept’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research said “the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR’s assessment, highly dubious.”

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-e.htm

    On October 2, 2002, the Deputy DCI testified before the SSCI. Senator Jon Kyl asked the Deputy DCI whether he had read the British white paper and whether he disagreed with anything in the report. The Deputy DCI testified that “the one thing where I think they stretched a little bit beyond where we would stretch is on the points about Iraq seeking uranium from various African locations. We’ve looked at those reports and we don’t think they are very credible.

    ———————–

    Immediately after receiving the documents, the INR Iraq nuclear analyst e-mailed IC colleagues offering to provide the documents at a previously planned meeting of the Nuclear Interdiction Action Group (NIAG) the following day. The analyst, apparently already suspicious of the validity of the documents noted in his e-mail, “you’ll note that it bears a funky Emb. of Niger stamp (to make it look official, I guess).”
    (U) The INR Iraq nuclear analyst told Committee staff that the thing that stood out immediately about the documents was that a companion document – a document included with the Niger documents that did not relate to uranium – mentioned some type of military campaign against major world powers. The members of the alleged military campaign included both Iraq and Iran, and was, according to the documents, being orchestrated through the Nigerien Embassy in Rome, which all struck the analyst as “completely implausible.” Because the stamp on this document matched the stamp on the uranium document, the analyst thought that all of the documents were likely suspect.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-g.htm
    —————————-

    U) On January 13, 2003, the INR Iraq nuclear analyst sent an e-mail to several IC analysts outlining his reasoning why, “the uranium purchase agreement probably is a hoax.” He indicated that one of the documents that purported to be an agreement for a joint military campaign, including both Iraq and Iran, was so ridiculous that it was “clearly a forgery.” Because this document had the same alleged stamps for the Nigerien Embassy in Rome as the uranium documents, the analyst concluded “that the uranium purchase agreement probably is a forgery.”

    U) Two CIA Iraq WINPAC analysts told Committee staff that after looking at the documents, they did notice some inconsistencies.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-h.htm
    ————————-

    (U) Conclusion 16. The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that “Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake” overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq’s possible procurement attempts.

    (U) Conclusion 19. Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-k.htm

    Comment by Gus — September 30, 2007 @ 1:14 am

  17. Yup: “You’re right. We should have waited another 12 years to see what they could find. Because they were so effectively and successfully making the no-notice suprise inspections as called for. Saddam’s government was being completely open and honest with the UN.”
    The inspections — including surprise ones– were going well.
    Excerpts from Blix’s Mar 7, 2003 UN report:

    “at this juncture we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq”
    “No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found.”
    “Iraq has since accepted that these missiles and associated items be destroyed and has started the process of destruction under our supervision.”
    “there has been an acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of January. ”
    “How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks? …It would not take years, nor weeks, but months.

    http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/SC7asdelivered.htm

    “Go back and review the utterances of various Democratic Senators and Representatives [on Darfur]. Go back and review the statements by many of the anti-Iraq War protest groups. I will not do your work for you. Just because you were clueless about world events and chose to respond to the agitprop when it was unleashed doesn’t mean that some sudden critical mass was reached all of a sudden.
    You still don’t get it, do you? I have NO partisan consciousness about Darfur. None, yesterday or today. If anyone has made it an “agitprop” issue, they’re not doing a very good job of it, cuz it hasn’t filtered down to me as such.

    Gus: In re jihadist attacks against the U.S.: “But most won’t even ever try, and you know that. Most will go to where they can walk/drive.”
    Yup: “Yep, you’ve convinced me. None of the jihadists will attack us because they’re too damned lazy to get across the ocean. We will have a few “all but inevitable” attacks on our soil but that’s just the price we pay. A few dead Americans is just a crying shame.”
    I don’t know why you’re acting so retarded and obnoxious about this. First of all, I never said “none”– we all know that, as I said, “some will try and a few will get thru”. And I certainly never suggested in any way that that was somehow acceptable, idiot. If you’re saying that we’re just as likely to be attacked here in the Homoland as in Muslim countries, I think our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would tell you otherwise.

    Gus: In re jihadist acquisition of WMDs: “What of it?”
    Yup: “Well, some poor fools in America will be killed dead. But that serves the little Eichmanns right, doesn’t it? Hopefully they will all be Rethugs! And besides, the jihadists will simply kill all the jooos in Israel, which is fine because then we will have peace in the Middle East.”
    Lose the attitude, you slobbering dingleberry. I acknowledged the danger and hope it never comes to pass. I was trying to figure out why you brought it up– it doesn’t follow directly from our previous conversation. It doesn’t somehow prove that we are just as likely to get killed here vs. in Muslim lands.

    Comment by Gus — September 30, 2007 @ 2:17 am

  18. Gus: In re Saddam’s yellow cake shopping: “Our intel svcs knew that was a forgery.”
    Yup: “You are incorrect.”

    You stated outright that the U.S. intelligence services KNEW that the documents you reference were a forgery.

    That is incorrect.

    There was suspicion that the document in question was a forgery. There was NOT universal IC concurrence with that position. Had there been, it would never have been included in anything sent to the president. Moreover, the information you provide from the Panel Report does not show any such universal agreement. There are post-facto conclusions that there were discrepancies with the data that tend to support one analyst’s view that they were false. But nothing showing that the U.S. intelligence services KNEW that the data in that particular piece of evidence was false.

    Ipso facto.

    Your contention that the intelligence services (BLANKET STATEMENT INCLUDING ALL MEMBERS OF THE IC) knew the documents you cite were false is incorrect.

    And besides, I did dangle the yellow cake into your face to get a rise out of you. There was additional information that Saddam was pursuing his nuclear development program, and even the INR (which you so helpfully cite above) agreed that concluded that Saddam Hussein “continues
    to want nuclear weapons, and that available evidence indicates that Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapons-related capabilities.”
    rpc.senate.gov/_files/Feb0806IraqMythsMS.pdf

    Gus: In re UN weapons searches being “successful” citing Blix’s Mar 7, 2003 UN report.

    Well shucks, the U.S. had already spent a lot of money and effort to move its invasion forces to Saddam’s borders by that point (recall that we actually invaded on 20 March). I suppose it’s not even worth considering that Saddam was pretending to cooperate with Blix in order to stave off the invasion. But sure, the U.S. should have kept its troops stationed along the Iraqi border for several more months to allow Blix to make an exhaustive search through compliant Saddam’s secrets. Care to consider the logistics of such an effort? And besides, where was this vaunted cooperation from Saddam prior to our troops standing on his borders? Tell me, is that how we should do it? Arrange for U.S. troops to amass on the borders and just keep them there indefinitely as a threat-in-being to force compliance with the many UN resolutions issued over the previous 12 years? Why did it take such a monumental effort to force him to even pretend to cooperate with Blix?

    But sure, we should have blinked, stood fast on Saddam’s borders, and just let Blix’s flaks traipse through the country for a few more months (as temperatures crept ever higher) so we could be absolutely certain that we gave Saddam every last possible opportunity to be a nice guy. Because any effort, any cost, any compromise, is better than war.

    Gus: In re jihadist attacks in America, here in the Homoland

    Watching Ahmadinejad’s press conference, are we Gus? I thought, since you play for both teams, you wouldn’t resort to using labels like that. It gives the radical Christians something to glom onto in criminalizing your lifestyle.

    Comment by yup — October 2, 2007 @ 4:30 am

  19. Gus: “Homoland”
    Yup: “It gives the radical Christians something to glom onto in criminalizing your lifestyle.”
    Heh. I first coined the word just to piss off right-wingers, and because “Homeland” itself has such creepy, 3rd Reich overtones. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how it handily captures the FREEDOM that we enjoy here in the good ole USofA, which is what we fight for, right?

    “There was suspicion that the document in question was a forgery. There was NOT universal IC concurrence with that position.”
    True enough. CIA and DIA were alerted by State to the probability of it being a hoax but didn’t follow thru, which is not the exact same thing as “knowing” it was. I take your (quibbling) point.

    “There are post-facto conclusions”
    Stylistic note: If you mean “after the fact”, say that instead of nonsense Latin phrases.

    “But sure, we should have blinked, stood fast on Saddam’s borders, and just let Blix’s flaks traipse through the country for a few more months (as temperatures crept ever higher) so we could be absolutely certain that we gave Saddam every last possible opportunity to be a nice guy. Because any effort, any cost, any compromise, is better than war.”
    Yes, why not? You’ve got a lot of nerve bringing up the issues of cost and temperature. Waiting some months for the inspectors to do their job would have been much more economical than the current war– which will soon have cost us 1/2 TRILLION dollars, O fiscal conservatives!– and not have subjected thousands of troops to much misery over 5 summers of heat (not to mention all of those killed and injured).

    Comment by Gus — October 2, 2007 @ 8:30 pm

  20. Gus: In re U.S. troops presence in Iraq: and not have subjected thousands of troops to much misery

    Well gee, it’s so heartening to see how concerned you are over the sacrifices others who have absolutely no connection to you other than as the butts of jokes you share with your fellow liberals (eg, in John Kerry’s view those stupid and cretinous losers who have no other job prospects). The raw passion and emotion you feel on behalf of these people and their families. I can’t tell you how touched I am that you care so much for me, my friends, and my family. Will you send me a Christmas card this year?

    This gets us back to the “Do Something” part of my argument. As I have previously stated, you do not agree with the decision made by the administration. Fine. However, by invading when we did, we removed Saddam from the picture — because his 30 years of history as leader of Iraq showed that he would never fit into the mold of polite society (although you argue that he had mellowed in his old age and was sufficiently rehabilitated to rejoin society; again I applaud your apparent empathy for this man and his regime, and I am certain you would have shown the same Christian compassion toward Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Kim Jung-il in their bids to convince the world that their atrocities were merely indiscretions of youth and they and the governments they lead were worthy of full and equal participation in international congress. Perhaps you should begin a movement for the historical rehabilitation of these evil men?)

    The U.S. does not like the term “nation building” for Clinton botched it in the early 1990s. However, we have engaged in said undertakings time and again since George Marshall laid out his Plan in 1947. And such an effort is not an overnight affair. We did not even completely secure Germany until around 1948-1949, at which point we began the reconstruction effort. It did not end until the 1960s. And Germany did not have the Soviets or other neighbors sending armed forces into the country to kick up trouble for the Army of Occupation — which Iraq does from Syria and Iran. I have previously pointed out to you some research done by a prominent liberal theorist that reconstruction efforts do not even begin to bear fruit until the middle of the first decade after fighting has ended!

    The decision to invade Iraq, and subsequently to rebuild the country into one which has a modicum of respect for universal human rights, is governed by a polity which has broad popular support, and has an economic system which is moving toward free trade — in short, a minimally functioning government with promise for continued growth — was not made willy nilly. Although the military planning only focused on the defeat of Saddam’s government forces, and assumed someone would pick up the ball and carry it from there, the commitment to the whole reconstruction effort was implicit in the deal. In other words, unlike William J Clinton’s promise to “bring the troops home by Christmas” as he did to the Senate in order to get approval for our participation in Kosovo (oh wait, do we still have troops in former Yugoslavia? Hmmmm?), George W Bush committed to the invasion of Iraq to (1) ensure accountability for the many demands of Saddam that various UN resolution had made over the previous 12 years, and (2) remove Saddam and rebuild Iraq to allow its people the chance to live without the murderous regime he had built and intended to pass on to his thuggish children, (3) in the hopes that this would prove a watershed event in the Middle East in which a modicum of democracy could be spread to make the peoples’ lives better. The effort was made knowing that a long-term commitment of some sort, including the expenditure of billions of dollars, would be required of us. There were 23 “whereas” clauses in the AUMF-Iraq, which I invite you to read, which lay out the strategic thinking behind the whole invasion. As a reminder, removing Saddam implies and requires the installation of a new government.

    So “fiscal conservative” is an appellation you may use on most conservatives when it comes to domestic spending. There is a much more fractious view amongst conservatives when it comes to foreign policy. Apples and oranges, my firend.

    Gus in re the “Yellowcake memo: I take your (quibbling) point.

    Why thank you. “Qibbling” is not my point. I am pointing out that you were incorrect. (I am also trying to make you understand that your knee-jerk, reactionary outrage with its blanket condemnations is not based on a sophisticated and nuanced appreciation of the known contemporary facts, but rather on a particular analysis made with the benefit of hindsight and subsequent in-situ investigations in which the U.S. government did in fact hold the ultimate authority for discovery akin to that it holds domestically, which particular analysis was propagated by those with whom you share a common sociopolitical frame of reference.) Alas, our society is no longer sophisticated and nuanced enough to appreciate these critical differences. Again remind you, as I did much earlier this year, that the ‘burden of proof’ for foreign intelligence and decisions of foreign policy are completely different from those you see used in CSI episodes on your television set. Foreign intelligence has a much lower threshold of proof than the basic civil law courts of our own society. Because in the domestic courts, the government is presumed to hold the authority and capability to force discovery. Not so on the international realm. Think it through, and if you have questions I will try to point you to some edifying readings.

    In case you could not comprehend the previous paragraph, here is the Cliff’s notes version: I merely pointed out that your statement was incorrect. I did not “quibble.” Moreover, trying to force domestic court levels of proof and substantiation onto foreign policy decision making and the foreign intelligence on which it was based is not appropriate.

    Gus: In re holding our invasion of Iraq in check, with hundreds of thousands of troops on Saddam’s borders, so that the UN inspections could be continued for months on end — since Blix had promised it was only a matter of months! Yes, why not?

    Here we again come to differences of opinion. I frame the world in a Hobbesian reference, where people are innately going to use power to dominate others, which leads to all sorts of trust problems. You live in the Rodney King-ian world, where “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” is the raison-d’etre, themesong, and bumper-sticker slogan of your existence. Make sure you include a tape of your campfire “Kumbaya” rendition with that Christmas card, Gus!

    Gus: In re his dislike for Latin phrases.

    Well, I suppose this goes back to the cultural appreciation I mentioned recently, or more specifically, to your lack thereof. For your amusement, I have included a French phrase today.

    Comment by yup — October 3, 2007 @ 7:35 am

  21. Gus: In re his dislike for Latin phrases.
    Yup: “Well, I suppose this goes back to the cultural appreciation I mentioned recently, or more specifically, to your lack thereof. For your amusement, I have included a French phrase today.”
    I like Latin! Took 4 years of it. And 10 of French, mon frère! And the fact remains that “post-facto” doesn’t mean “after the fact”, you snide elitist manqué.

    “John Kerry’s view those stupid and cretinous losers who have no other job prospects”
    Watch it again (or maybe for the first time, if you only took Rush’s word for it at the time). It was obviously about W.

    “The raw passion and emotion you feel on behalf of these people and their families.”
    What’s your fucking problem? You’re getting in my face because somehow my option to leave them in Kuwait for a few months “as temperatures crept ever higher” is somehow less compassionate to the troops than yours to send them into harm’s way for 5 summers (and counting) where they can get PTSD and their legs blown off?! We didn’t have to send them in there. You’ve got a screw loose, mister. My disagreement is wholly w/ W, not the troops, and I’m getting mighty sick of bullshit insinuations to the contrary.

    “you argue that he had mellowed in his old age and was sufficiently rehabilitated to rejoin society”
    No, only that Saddam was penned in and couldn’t do jack. When he was doing his worst, we were still allies.

    “The effort was made knowing that a long-term commitment of some sort, including the expenditure of billions of dollars, would be required of us.”
    We’ve already spent way more than any of those who sold this war to us predicted. Nevertheless, W insisted on vetoing a few million $ for kid’s insurance this week. What a dick.

    Rummy’s deputy Paul Wolfowitz was such a whizz at the economics of it all that he confidently told us that Iraq would “really finance its own reconstruction”. Rumsfeld himself reported that the administration had come up with “a number that’s something under $50bn” as the cost of the war. Larry Lindsey, then assistant to the president on economic policy at the White House, warned that it might actually soar to as much as $200bn – with the result that Bush did as he habitually does with those who do not produce convenient facts and figures to back up his fantasies: he sacked him.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/200703120024

    “a sophisticated and nuanced appreciation of the known contemporary facts”
    Wait, isn’t that what got Kerry in trouble? “Nuance” is fuckin’ French! You guys don’t need “reality-based” facts; you are the visionary history-makers!
    I get it, douchebag. I made an imprecise statement. And you are quibbling. Now try applying that same logical rigor to your own party’s statements for once.

    “which particular analysis was propagated by those with whom you share a common sociopolitical frame of reference”
    Does that mean that the State Dept guy was wrong and partisan? I think not.

    “Moreover, trying to force domestic court levels of proof and substantiation onto foreign policy decision making and the foreign intelligence on which it was based is not appropriate”
    Did I say anything about domestic courts levels of proof? I sure didn’t. Are you saying likely hoaxes shouldn’t be looked into further if they prop up your prejudices?

    Comment by Gus — October 3, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  22. Gus: In his belief that there is a political party to which I belong: to your own party’s statements

    I didn’t realize there was a Independent/No Choice Party established anywhere in the U.S. Please point me to their contact information. Contrary to your obvious belief, there are more than just the Democrat and Republican Parties in the country. Not all conservatives are required to belong to the Republicans. Just as there are a number of liberals who belong to, say, the Communist Party of the USA. But in the last state in which I was registered to vote, I fell into the category which I described above. I suppose you need to be a bit more nuanced to understand the political realities of our country, eh?

    Gus: In re his education: I like Latin! Took 4 years of it. And 10 of French, mon frère!

    Well good for you! An American who is conversant with more than just English is certainly a rare thing among the older crowd — that’s the ‘over-40’ demographic I’m talking about. Please tell me you have actually traveled abroad (or even to Canada) to practice the languages you worked so hard to study.

    Gus: Complaining about Bush’s vetos: W insisted on vetoing a few million $ for kid’s insurance this week.

    Well, I didn’t realize we were discussing domestic spending and government management of health care. Color me mistaken.

    Gus: In re being nuanced: isn’t that what got Kerry in trouble?

    I suppose you saw my cheeky remark for what it was, then.

    Gus: In re the cost of the Iraq war: We’ve already spent way more than any of those who sold this war to us predicted.

    Well, to be honest, I have to ask you whether those figures you bandy about so readily included the cost of reconstruction. Also, tell me whether the analyses on which the estimates were based factored in Saddam’s orders to his army to disperse rather than fight, so as to engage in a guerrilla war — or whether they anticipated Saddam’s army would stand and fight (and be crushed) as a unified force. Because that changes things, you know.

    Gus: In defending his favored analysis of pre-war intelligence: Does that mean that the State Dept guy was wrong and partisan? I think not.

    Did I dismiss the State Department analyst? You made a blanket statement that the Intelligence Community writ large knowingly provided false intelligence to the President on which to base his foreign policy decision. That was patently false, and I demonstrated your error. The panel report relied of evidence collected after the fact (happy?) which tended not to support the entirety of pre-war intelligence estimates. However, the liberal side has taken the single analyst’s beliefs as representative of the entire IC, and twisted that into some falsehood that “Bush lied, people died!”

    My inclusion of the warning about evidentiary standards — which leaves you scratching your head in wonderment — is merely to show you the analysis conducted after-the-fact is not and cannot be used to condemn the foreign policy actions made based on previous intelligence estimates. The best you can learn from such analysis is that there are flaws or weak spots in current intelligence collection and processing procedures, and work to repair those areas. Unless, of course, you can prove that the intelligence was ‘cooked’ or false information was knowingly presented as fact (and there has been a lot of innuendo from the Left to that effect, but nothing that would hold up in a court hearing of the issue; which, of course, is why the ‘court of popular opinion’ has been courted so aggressively by those who oppose the president and his decisions).

    Gus: Getting testy over my appreciation for his concern for my family and friends: My disagreement is wholly w/ W, not the troops

    Well gee, didn’t I state my appreciation of your extreme angst and concern for me, my family, and my friends? And here you treat me like some sort of cretin. Could it be because of my connection to the military that you treat me so contemptuously? But since I see how sincere your aggravation is over the Bush deployment of volunteer military forces to Iraq and elsewhere, and how much it bothers and discomfits you, making you squirm in your comfy ergonomic workstation located in your nice air-conditioned IT job in New York State, and seeing that you have such a high personal stake vested in the accomplishment of any mission the military is given, then I will cede to you the right to decry the misuse of me, my family, and friends. Obviously, my viewpoint is not valid.

    Oh, and since you have such an advanced appreciation of the logistics behind such as massive military deployment as Bush had ordered prior to the March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq, and seeing as how you have a better understanding of the strategic use of military force than I (including the formal use of threat and its efficacy over time), and seeing as how you clearly understand the issues so much better than I, then I will similarly cede to you only the right to discuss the Iraq invasion. (That’s what liberals want, right? To shout down dissent?) I’ve obviously got a screw loose, mister. So here’s to you, Gus! You are champion! You are the king! You shall lead us to a better tomorrow!

    Kumbaya!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by yup — October 4, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  23. Yup: “But in the last state in which I was registered to vote, I fell into the category which I described above. I suppose you need to be a bit more nuanced to understand the political realities of our country, eh?”
    So you’re not a registered Republican. Good for you, but big deal. I was going on your habitual slamming of Democrats and support for policies that in general are associated w/ R’s. I vote Green when they field the rare candidate who has a chance (or when my vote won’t endanger the Dem running). But the only real game in town nationally, as you know, is R’s and D’s. I imagine you have voted only R and never D for many years, yeah?

    “Please tell me you have actually traveled abroad (or even to Canada) to practice the languages you worked so hard to study.”
    Oui, I spent some time in France. The Latin won’t come in handy anywhere except Vatican City, and that’s not my scene.

    “Well, I didn’t realize we were discussing domestic spending”
    We were discussing spending and fiscal conservatism.

    “I have to ask you whether those figures you bandy about so readily included the cost of reconstruction.”
    That would imply that they actually had a post-invasion plan! Heh.
    Anyway, Wolfie obviously was.

    Mr. Wolfowitz spent much of the hearing knocking down published estimates of the costs of war and rebuilding, saying the upper range of $95 billion was too high, and that the estimates were almost meaningless because of the variables. Moreover, he said such estimates, and speculation that postwar reconstruction costs could climb even higher, ignored the fact that Iraq is a wealthy country, with annual oil exports worth $15 billion to $20 billion. “To assume we’re going to pay for it all is just wrong,” he said.

    http://globalpolicy.igc.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/consequences/2003/0228pentagoncontra.htm

    “Also, tell me whether the analyses on which the estimates were based factored in Saddam’s orders to his army to disperse rather than fight, so as to engage in a guerrilla war”
    And whose fault was that?

    Senior U.S. officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, conceded in recent weeks that the Bush administration failed to predict the guerrilla war against American troops in Iraq.

    http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2003/msg04236.html

    “Well gee, didn’t I state my appreciation of your extreme angst and concern for me, my family, and my friends?”
    Hmm, for some reason, I interpreted your statement as being imbued with extreme sarcasm.

    “Could it be because of my connection to the military that you treat me so contemptuously?”
    No, simply because you can be such a skanky spaz-wit.

    “(That’s what liberals want, right? To shout down dissent?)”
    Oh, that is truly rich. How many Bush appointees have been fired for disagreeing with King George? Who sets up “protest pens” miles away from his speeches, then crows about “the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings”?
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/01/04/INGPQ40MB81.DTL

    Comment by Gus — October 4, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  24. Gus: Making some sort of statement which is truly discombobulated: How many Bush appointees have been fired for disagreeing with King George?

    The last King we had was George III, and his control over us ended in 1783. Are you refering to the current president? Hmm, let’s see: political appointees = those who serve at the discretion of the president. Period. Seems to me if you accept a job from your boss, who has the inherent right to terminate your employment for whatever reason s/he desires, you have no cause to complain if you are in fact terminated. For whatever reason. Which leads me to the following thought: since W made such an effort to ‘bridge the gap’ with his Democrat opponents in his first term (please don’t ejaculate all over the screen here with your screed; Bush made all sorts of public affirmations of his attempt to be bipartisan) and as a result continued the employment of many of his predecessor’s political appointees (including the DCI and other bureaucrats, including a majority of the U.S. Attorneys), all of whom he could have fired and replaced with persons of his own choosing, and all of the subsequent disagreements he has had with those people — which included firing them — has caused him nothing but political grief, do you really think Bush’s successors will make the same mistake?

    Gus: In re the guerrilla fighting in Iraq: whose fault was that?

    Gee, Gus, you cry if the miltary makes war plans for various contingencies, such as conflict with Iran or North Korea, then cry if the self same military does not plan for every outcome of the opening engagement of a war. You have shown yourself to be inherently anti-military owing to your condemnation of all things that the military does. But you go ahead and feel free to tell me how much you support the troops. As any military professional can tell you, as soon as the bullets start flying, the finely-detailed plans on which the campaign was based are out the window.

    The planning by Rumsfeld and his clique in the Pentagon was based on historical precent of Saddam’s previous campaigns. Never before had Saddam directed his army to purposely disengage in order to hide incognito amongst the population and wage guerrilla warfare. Indeed, such a move by the government forces of any state in history is rare. And Rumsfeld and his clique were also responding to years of Congressional insistence that the military ‘do more with less’ using ‘force multipliers’ which could win the battle without the ‘boots on the ground’ that was needed in previous wars. That some of his generals tended to disagree was beside the point, as they were — and remain — beholden to the politically appointed civilian leadership. The generals and civilian leadership had learned the political game all too well (as have the bureaucrats in the IC, btw), and the internicene conflict was waging furiously when the planning for Iraq was finalized. I can’t help but wonder, had the generals not back-doored Rummy by going directly to Congress, might he have been more open to listening to their arguments on Iraq? Simply a ‘what if’ and you need not respond, Gus. Because then I would have to read your ad nauseum screed against Rummy and the ‘neo-con cabal.’

    To put this in terms you might understad, if you actually have any responsibilities for anything more than ensuring routers are properly connected and running, pretend you are an IT company bidding on a contract. You win with the lowest bid, but then discover that the supplier you were going to procure from went out of business, or is owned by China or Israel, and your client refuses to accept the product you were planning to use. Or say the core of your team was subsequently hired away by a competitor. What then? You are beholden to complete the contract, but your alternative solutions are more expensive than you planned. You can request a modification and hope the client agrees to pay the higher price. Or you can pay out of pocket for the difference. Or you can decline, go to court, and pay loads of money for breech. But the military of course cannot pay out of pocket, nor can it go into ‘breech’ — so the only option is to go back to the people doing the funding (Congress) and request more money. And besides, show me a military engagement which was ever done within the budget alloted it.

    As for the rebuilding, the planning assumed that Saddam’s Iraq would be handily defeated (it was), that the population would be supportive of Saddam’s ouster (2/3 of it was), and that Iran and other outsiders would stay away from the ruckus (they haven’t). These would allow the country to be pacified and rebuilt with a minimum of trouble — much like Bosnia after we actually used the force we had been threatening for years after the UN exited the picture and NATO took over. However, Saddam suprised us by ordering his Sunni armies to melt into the civilian population and engage in guerrilla warfare; Iran suprised us by manipulating the Shi’ite population and getting them active against us (for instance, the Mahdi Army of al Sadr), and of course the arms,money and personnel coming in from the outside to keep the terrorists in operation were something that we have proven slow to staunch, implying a lack of attention to that aspect in the original planning. Because of outside interference, and Saddam’s suprise tactic, the pre-invasion planning has proved insufficient to the reality.

    Gus: In re pulling the $35 billion health-insurance-for-over-median-income-families plan into the argument: We were discussing spending and fiscal conservatism.

    And I explained to you that political conservatives tend to be fiscally conservative for domestic spending but much more fractious when it comes to foreign policy. Pay attention.

    Comment by yup — October 5, 2007 @ 5:48 am

  25. I’ve finally realized something about the liberals who condemn the use of the military but scream from the rooftops that they support our troops. They remind me of fundamentalist Christians who condemn the sin but embrace the sinner.

    You hear that, Gus? Your ilk remind me of fundamentalist Christians. You act just like them. How do you like them apples?

    Comment by yup — October 5, 2007 @ 6:31 am

  26. Yup: “Seems to me if you accept a job from your boss, who has the inherent right to terminate your employment for whatever reason s/he desires, you have no cause to complain if you are in fact terminated.”
    We’re not talking about employment law here. Or people only brought in by Clinton. We’re talking about people that W himself chose to put in who, when doing their jobs honorably, were shit-canned because their message didn’t jibe with the administration’s. There has been an unprecedented number of high-profile break-ups (with subsequent character assassinations) like this in major policy arenas items for W: Treasury Sec’y Paul O’Neill, Office of Faith-Based Initiatives guys John DiIulio and David Kuo, Colin Powell, Richard Clarke (in his case, he was around since Reagan).

    “Bush made all sorts of public affirmations of his attempt to be bipartisan”
    You might be the only person who believed him. His actions spoke otherwise.

    “do you really think Bush’s successors will make the same mistake?”
    I can only hope and pray that all Bushistas are purged from the system. As I’ve said before, everyone agrees that W’s has been the most partisan WH ever.

    “Gee, Gus, you cry if the miltary makes war plans for various contingencies, such as conflict with Iran or North Korea, then cry if the self same military does not plan for every outcome of the opening engagement of a war. ”
    When did I cry about too many military plans? I did not. I assume we have plans for many scenarios on the shelf. They didn’t have long enough to plan for Iraq because the domestic political calender overrode it. We went to war with the plan we had, not the plan we wish we had (or should have had), to paraphrase Rummy.

    “You have shown yourself to be inherently anti-military owing to your condemnation of all things that the military does. But you go ahead and feel free to tell me how much you support the troops.”
    Fuck you, scumbag. The military is a tool that can used well or misused by the civilian leadership. I have nothing against the troops. I can identify with any low-wage worker who has a stupid, lying, vainglorious boss!

    “ad nauseum”
    Trying to redeem yourself with another Latin phrase… and falling flat on your ass! It’s spelled “nauseam” (2 A’s). Give it up, ya “cultured” chump.

    “And besides, show me a military engagement which was ever done within the budget alloted it.”
    Another excellent reason not to start one in the first place!

    “As for the rebuilding, the planning assumed … that Iran and other outsiders would stay away from the ruckus (they haven’t)”
    Why would that have been assumed? Mighty dumb, if true, but probably not true. I think we knew we were setting up our troops as fly-paper for jihadis, and possibly also to set up a confrontation w/ Iran (we’re on 2 of their borders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they were already in the Axis of Evil).

    “Iran suprised us by manipulating the Shi’ite population and getting them active against us (for instance, the Mahdi Army of al Sadr)”
    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Iran & Iraq’s Shiites are natural allies and it’s not surprising in the least that they have good relations. Tell me how Iran “manipulated” Iraq’s Shiites. SCIRI (they changed their name recently, but I forget what to) was in exile in Iran until we invaded and now they’re some of our closest chums in Iraq. SCIRI’s Badr Corps was trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. We knew all that shit. Sadr père and fils, on the other hand, never went to hide in Iran under Saddam– Mookie is a nationalist. The Mahdis have always been anti-occupation, from day 1, and with no prodding from Iran. Mookie spits on Iran. Some erstwhile Mahdi fighters no longer take orders from him, true, and may be getting EFP’s from mysterious elements in Iran (not yet proven to be the al Quds force).

    “Because of outside interference, and Saddam’s suprise tactic, the pre-invasion planning has proved insufficient to the reality.”
    You make them seem like pitiable victims of circumstance. You forgot that we disbanded the army (probably our worst mistake) and didn’t guard major weapons depots (but did guard the Oil Ministry).

    “I’ve finally realized something about the liberals who condemn the use of the military but scream from the rooftops that they support our troops. They remind me of fundamentalist Christians who condemn the sin but embrace the sinner.
    How do you like them apples?”
    Whatever it takes you to get it thru your thick skull, buddy boy! The problem with the analogy is that it’s a bit back-asswards. In the case of religion/gayness, it’s the fleshly, action part of the equation that is condemned, whereas in your formulation, the fleshly, action part (troops) is exonerated.

    Comment by Gus — October 5, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

  27. disbanding the army is one of the smartest things we did. clinton hired and fired more attorneys than bush ever did. easily. every smart comment you make shows you to be ever more anti-troop. you can identify with underpaid workers? no gus. you think you can, but you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Comment by mlah — October 6, 2007 @ 3:21 am

  28. Gus: Decrying Bush’s hirings and firings: We’re talking about people that W himself chose to put in who … were shit-canned

    Again, they accepted their appointment to serve at the discretion of the president. They were not given appointments for the duration of his administration, nor were they given life-long appointments. You cite a number of people as being ‘fired’ who simply resigned (Powell among them). If you wish to place some sort of conspiracy theory reasoning onto their resignations, then so be it. You merely show yourself to be a paranoid delusional nutcase.

    Gus: In re the contention that he is anti-military: Fuck you, scumbag.

    My my my my my. How pithy, how reasoned your response is Gus. Certainly you show us the benefits of that higher eduction you have taken. I bow to your mastry of the debating arts.

    Gus: In re how much he supports the troops: I can identify with any low-wage worker who has a stupid, lying, vainglorious boss!

    So why is it you have such a hard time seeing my point of view? And you do realize that the military’s wages are not so low, as compared to age-based peers with comparable formal education. The military invests signifigant money into training its people — one of the reasons many join the service these days! The people leaving the military are by and large better off, from the standpoint of education, training, experience, and post-employment benefits (such as the GI Bill, VA loans, etc) than when they entered. Can you say the same for those the great majority of people who take entry level jobs right out of high school? Or even college?

    And before you get onto the whole, yeah but the military is getting people wounded and killed! scred, well duh! That’s a risk associated with the job, doofus! Do you think the military’s function is to sweep up the streets and distribute newspapers? Ans since we have an all-volunteer force, anyone who signs up does so knowing the risks of being placed in harm’s way. Especially if they have joined since 9/11!

    Gus: Trying to prove his superiority by pointing out my spelling mistakes: falling flat on your ass!

    Well gee, Gus, had I been writing for a formal audience I would have paid more attention to my spelling. If you’ve noticed the occasional “hte” or similar misspellings in my postings, then I suppose you might see how much I value your attention as an audience.

    Gus: In re debating the costs of war: Another excellent reason not to start one in the first place!

    You merely show your anti-military bias in this response, son. You would prefer, I am sure, to have some sort of national humanitarian corps, rather than a military force — never mind the expense such a force would generate, and the dollars spent abroad being all humanitarian-y (which is the root of your particular argument against using military force). So be it — get government to enact the laws and get rid of that evil old military of ours. Then we will never use force against others. And we can all sing kumbaya together.

    Gus: In re anticipating active Iranian opposition to our reconstruction of Iraq: I think we knew we were setting up our troops as fly-paper for jihadis

    Sources please. Or are you just saying that you, given the benefit of hindsight, and your collig edukation, and your experience running routers and networks, and your belief in the utterances of gurus such as J. Cole and Noam Chomsky, are therefore smarter than everyone in government?

    Gus: Voicing his doubts that Iran is meddling in Iraq, and has no influence on the Shiite who are in arms against us: not yet proven to be the al Quds force

    Wow, your sources of intelligence are superb. Did Ahmedinejad tell you this personally?

    Gus: Decrying our post-invasion planning: You forgot that we disbanded the army (probably our worst mistake)

    Hmm. Yes, OK. That puts you firmly on the opposite side of such liberal thinkers as Johan Galtung. But heck, we’ll just tell those little Iraqi people that we will continue to allow Saddam’s army, which had been a source of such unending misery to them what with their penchant for gassing villages and shooting up refugees, to provide security for them. Because with Saddam no longer in charge, the army genuinely and deeply regrets its previous atrocities and promises to work for the benefit of all Iraqi civilians.

    As for your belief that we should not have guarded the Oil Ministry, well, the entire economy of Iraq, both pre- and post-invasion, is based on oil. It was in our best interests to protect the economic infrastructure of the ocuntry, especially given Saddam’s previous history of attacking the oil infrastructure (see what he did in Kuwait). It’s a lesson taken from liberal post-conflict reconstruction thinkers.

    Gus: In re his response to my statement that he condemns the use of the military but supports the troops: Whatever it takes you to get it thru your thick skull, buddy boy! The problem with the analogy is… the fleshly, action part (troops) is exonerated.

    Wow! You just agreed that you deplore the use of the military — which by definition makes you anti-military! AND you also state that you have a problem with the troops on a personal level being “exonerated” for…being troops. So you not only lay out yout anti-military bias, you also show how much a lie your contention is that you “support the troops.” Thank you, Gus, for finally being honest with the world.

    Comment by yup — October 6, 2007 @ 4:45 am

  29. Let me clarify before you make a mountain out of this molehill: It was in our best interests to protect the economic infrastructure of the ocuntry was meant to reflect that it was in our best interests as the state concerned with post-conflict reconstruction to protect Iraq’s economic infrastructure. Because if the oil network is destroyed, the Iraqi people will not be able to get on their feet until it is rebuilt. That it was in our best interest meant that it was in the best interests of getting Iraq back on its feet, and the Iraqi people self-sufficient. And that, by the way, is why the terrorists keep attacking the oil distribution network. The terrorists want to make the Iraqi people suffer.

    Comment by yup — October 6, 2007 @ 4:54 am

  30. Gus: In re how much he supports the troops: I can identify with any low-wage worker who has a stupid, lying, vainglorious boss!

    As Mlah alluded, how can you Gus — a white, middle-aged, college-educated, professional member of the IT savant corps which is leading the information revolution in the economy, who are no doubt highly paid for your minimal physical exertions on the job, and who are no doubt in a high-income bracket (particularly since you have no dependents) and most certainly above the national median income, and whose threats to life and limb consist of accidentally electrocuting yourself by forgetting to unplug the router before you open it up or perhaps having a traffic accident on the way to the air-conditioned, ergonomically-designed office — how can you possibly “identify with low-wage workers” anywhere, much less anyone in the military? How totally hypocritical of you!

    Comment by yup — October 6, 2007 @ 5:04 am

  31. Mlah: “disbanding the army is one of the smartest things we did.”
    Yup: “we’ll just tell those little Iraqi people that we will continue to allow Saddam’s army, which had been a source of such unending misery to them”
    Nope.

    [Retired three-star Army general and 1st CPA head Jay] Garner was taken by surprise by the decision, and has made it clear that he considers it a mistake.

    The most damaging criticism of the way the decision was made comes from Paul Hughes, who was then an Army colonel on Garner’s staff. “Neither Jay Garner nor I had been asked about the wisdom of this decree,” Hughes recalls. He was the only person from Garner’s administration then talking with Iraqi military representatives about the terms of their re-engagement. On the eve of the order to disband, he says, more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers had submitted forms to receive a one-time $20 emergency payment, from funds seized from Saddam’s personal accounts, which they would show up to collect.
    My Iraqi friends tell me that this decision was what really spurred the nationalists to join the infant insurgency. We had advertised ourselves as liberators and turned on these people without so much as a second thought.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200512/iraq-army/2

    “This was a mistake, to dissolve the army and the police,” said Ayad Alawi, head of the security committee of the Iraqi Governing Council. “We absolutely not only lost time. The vacuum allowed our enemies to regroup and to infiltrate the country.”
    Retired Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a vocal opponent of the war, calls the move the Bush administration’s “worst mistake” in postwar Iraq.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A63423-2003Nov19?language=printer

    Joint Chiefs Bypassed in Decision to Disband Iraqi Army: Pace
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0218-06.htm

    British sources described the move to disband the Iraqi army as a huge error.

    It is clear that British policy-makers are still seething at the American decision.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1187360,00.html

    The army, along with the navy and air force, were subordinate to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, unlike the Republican Guard, which reported directly to the presidency. After 2003, the CPA’s failure to differentiate between these terms had drastic consequences. To see the Iraqi Army as a monolithic unit, as Bremer did when he disbanded it, revealed a lack of knowledge of the tensions within the Iraqi armed forces.

    Even post-2004, former Defense Minister Hazim al-Sha’lan, who was working with the United States, declared that following the dissolution of the Iraqi Army, the problems of “anarchy” and “lawless behavior” were exacerbated: “Through this lawlessness, certain groups built dens of deceit, crime, and corruption. Had the Iraqi Army remained, these things would not have happened.”

    http://globalpolitician.com/articledes.asp?ID=3544&cid=2&sid=38
    Oh, and one more:

    Mr. [George W.] Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”
    But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/washington/02book.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1
    Hmm, turns out Bremer didn’t think it up and won’t allow himself to be hung out to dry:

    In his memoir, published last year, Bremer wrote that he was handed the orders—and told to announce them as soon as possible—by Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy.

    http://slate.com/id/2173554/

    Comment by Gus — October 9, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

  32. Mlah: “clinton hired and fired more attorneys than bush ever did. easily.”

    In contrast to the 2006 dismissals, Presidents rarely dismiss U.S. attorneys they appoint.[69][70] Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice, noted in a January 9, 2006, e-mail to Harriet Miers: “In recent memory, during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Presidents Reagan and Clinton did not seek to remove and replace U.S. Attorneys they had appointed, but instead permitted such U.S. Attorneys to serve indefinitely under the holdover provision.” (underlining original).[72] There is no precedent for a President to dismiss several U.S attorneys at one time while in the middle period of the presidential term in office.[73][74]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy#Dismissal_of_U.S._Attorneys_under_previous_administrations

    M: “every smart comment you make shows you to be ever more anti-troop.”
    Like which comments? Show me my first “anti-troop” comment and then show me how my next one (if any exist in the first place) is even worse. Or admit you were mistaken (or lied) just now. (And are you saying that some of my comments aren’t smart? Which ones? I think most everything I say here is smart, whether you agree with it or not.)

    M: “you can identify with underpaid workers? no gus. you think you can, but you have no idea what you are talking about.”
    Y: “no doubt highly paid… no doubt in a high-income bracket… and most certainly above the national median income
    I’m always most amused by you guys imagining what my life is like. I’ve never made more than 35K. I’ve only been in IT for 10 years, so I had 20 years of shitty jobs before that. Yes, I will accept your apology, should you deign to give it.

    Y: “You cite a number of people as being ‘fired’ who simply resigned”
    For the purposes of our discussion here, there isn’t much difference between a) being fired b) resigning “voluntarily” under pressure “to spend more time w/ one’s family” and c) resigning because one is fed up and disgusted by one’s employer.

    “You merely show yourself to be a paranoid delusional nutcase.”
    This stuff is all out there in the open, no conspiracy-mongering needed. If you can’t see it, the only reason is that you don’t want to open your eyes.

    “How pithy, how reasoned your response is Gus. Certainly you show us the benefits of that higher eduction you have taken. I bow to your mastry of the debating arts.”
    I think my outrage was justified. As for logic, I said: “The military is a tool that can used well or misused by the civilian leadership. I have nothing against the troops.” Which is all true and quite obvious and which you cannot disprove. You are the ones failing to show how I/we somehow hate the troops. Y’all are in such desperate straits politically that all you can do is try to glom on to the high regard that people hold the troops in and say that libs/Dems don’t. And it’s getting more pathetic every day. I was for invading Afghanistan, but not Iraq– am I still “anti-troop”? If I didn’t like troops, I would tell you that. It’s like the discredited way some people said that if you disagree w/ some actions of the state of Israel, then you’re anti-Semitic. Duh. No one who wants to be taken seriously bothers with that one anymore. How’s Rush’s “phony soldiers” comment working out for him? It’s all a basic logic problem, trying to make identical group A and group B, when there is only some measure of overlap. Some people really do BOTH hate Jews and disagree w/ some Israeli gov’t decisions (e.g. David Duke), but it is entirely possible for one to only disagree. Similarly, some people really do BOTH hate the troops and disagree with W’s war in Iraq (e.g. Al-Qaida, who also hates Jews), but doing one doesn’t necessarily make one guilty of the other.
    I know you guys are just winding me up and have a better grasp of basic logic than you let on, but still, I will play along for as long as you care to engage in it and not accept any such insinuation.

    “And you do realize that the military’s wages are not so low, as compared to age-based peers with comparable formal education.”
    Sure, it is a good place for poor, unskilled kids to go (does that make me “anti-troop”?). Then again, some of them do still need food stamps and other charity:
    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/moneymatters/a/foodstamps.htm
    http://www.militaryoutreachministry.org/

    “Well gee, Gus, had I been writing for a formal audience I would have paid more attention to my spelling.”
    Within the context of our earlier Latin fray, you ought to have been more careful if you didn’t want to look stupid. Ha ha!

    Gus: In re debating the costs of war: “Another excellent reason not to start one in the first place!”
    Y: “You merely show your anti-military bias in this response”
    I repeat: Afghanistan, good; Iraq bad! Does “anti-military” mean the same thing as “anti-troop”? I don’t think so. Do you? I might prefer that we try non-violent action first, but I recognize the need for a strong military– for defense, anyway. These are policy issues, not personnel (or PERSONAL, as you’re trying to make it) issues about the troops.

    Comment by Gus — October 9, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

  33. Yup: “You would prefer, I am sure, to have some sort of national humanitarian corps, rather than a military force”
    As I say, a strong defense is awesome. It’s not an either/or thing (humanitarian concerns vs. military strength), except in your mind and the mind of anyone else like you who is intent on nonsensically demonizing libs/Dems.

    “never mind the expense such a force would generate, and the dollars spent abroad being all humanitarian-y (which is the root of your particular argument against using military force)”
    That’s only one of my many concerns about Iraq, and one which some *truly principled* conservatives (unlike you) also worry about.

    Gus: “I think we knew we were setting up our troops as fly-paper for jihadis”
    Y: “Sources please.”
    Are we not “fighting them there (Iraq) so we don’t have to fight them here”?

    “Wow, your sources of intelligence are superb. Did Ahmedinejad tell you this personally?”
    What is it, exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) you believe Iran has been proven guilty of doing in Iraq?

    “As for your belief that we should not have guarded the Oil Ministry”
    Was there a lot of oil in the Oil Ministry? No, just paper. We should have guarded it, but not at the expense of not guarding arms depots.

    “Wow! You just agreed that you deplore the use of the military — which by definition makes you anti-military! AND you also state that you have a problem with the troops on a personal level being “exonerated” for…being troops. So you not only lay out yout anti-military bias, you also show how much a lie your contention is that you “support the troops.” Thank you, Gus, for finally being honest with the world.”
    I don’t follow you. It proved no such thing. You’ll have to spell out how you think it does. You’ve totally mangled what I said. First of all, I don’t deplore in a blanket sense the use of the military (see Afghanistan remark). Second, even if did, peaceniks aren’t by definition anti-troop (not for me, certainly). Third, I have no problem with troops being troops. You’re fucking ridiculous.

    Comment by Gus — October 9, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  34. Gus: What is it, exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) you believe Iran has been proven guilty of doing in Iraq?

    Your definition of proof? Or shall we go back to the old discussion of courtroom proof levels versus levels of ‘proof’ used in intelligence and foreign affairs decision making? CENTCOM has identified the Iranians as supplying arms to the people fighting against us in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. What levels of proof (EXACTLY) are you willing to accept before you believe in Iranian culpability?

    As for the rest, you grow tedious. You are hasty to append ‘but I support the war in Afghanistan’ when you are demonstrably on record as stating that you disapprove of the use of military force. You waffle even there, by proclaiming that ‘defense’ is an awesome game to play — this tells me that you are all for a military used only to defend our own borders. This is a fine argument to make, since it is what many of the libertarians and conservatives use to decry our involvements abroad, and is at the root of the fiscally conservative view on foreign affairs (and as I have stated a few times in this thread alone, which apparently you are skipping over, there is a difference of opinion within conservative ranks when it comes to foreign expenditures, whereas many conservatives are on the same fiscally conservative page when it comes to domestic expenditures). You, Gus, as a liberal, make a funny-looking horse to be running in a fiscally conservative race. Since years ago, gee, at least since Tommy Jefferson and his Barbary ventures (and including that uber-liberal Woody Wilson, not to mention the father of our modern social welfare state, FDR), we have used the national interest as basis for the engagement of our troops abroad. Should we actually turn our backs on the rest of the world, withdraw into our own borders, and leave the world to fend for itself (as we essentially did between the world wars), that argument might be useful. But even defense within our own borders can be problematic — tell me, boy, what would you say if the F16s had actually launched missiles to down UA93? You are quick to state that you ‘support the troops’ even though you lament that these self-same troops are ‘exonerated’ of being troops. Talk in circles, go ahead.

    Your concern for the troops, you claim, is real and valid. I’m touched. I’ve already asked you whether I should expect a Christmas card from you. However, you dismiss the opinions of Mlah or me simply because we do not agree with you. Since Mlah and I have both worn the uniform, and our families are military families, then don’t you think we actually have some inkling of the subject matter in question? Sure, point to food stamps and WIC. When an E-3 has five members of his/her family to support on that E-3 pay, there can be some difficulties. If that same person were working at McBurger, or perhaps even at Jiffy Quick Oil Change Company, the difficulties would be even worse. Food stamps and WIC are federal subsidies to support such people. Shall the military pay that entry-level E-3 the same money as a veteran E-5 (never mind the additional money the E-3 is getting by virtue of having dependent family members) just to make liberals happy that military members no longer ‘require’ food stamps? Would you take it kindly if an entry-level IT apprentice (the E-3 of this argument) was paid by your company more than you, or even the same as you, who have 10 years’ experience (the veteran E-5 of this argument), just because s/he has a family? Does that make business sense from the standpoint of the company? You chew on that for a while, ok boy?

    You accept the military as a good place for poor, unskilled kids to go which merely shows your bias, which is in line with that pithy “joke” John Kerry made a few months ago that you keep telling us was only a joke. Did you get that? You, Gus, show your anti-military bias when you write such words. Mlah and I both come from middle class families, we both went to college, yet we both enlisted. And the military served us well. If your life was so “shitty” for 20 years before you accepted a low-paying IT job, perhaps the military would have served you well, too. However, the military is not a jobs program, which you make it sound like. The requirement to place yourself in harm’s way is implicit in the contract. The requirement to do so is present whether the nation is at war or peace.

    The liberal effort to pillory Rush Limbaugh is a blatant attempt to silence critics of the “Betray Us” add that the liberal champions at MoveOn.org ran in the NYT. People like Jesse Macbeth — who was the primary subject of the ‘phoney soldiers’ remark — who tell spectacular lies in order to damage the credibility of the military or the president, obviously have an agenda (funny how that happens to be the liberal agenda). Hell, I’ll throw in Scott Thomas Beauchamp, who, although he wears the uniform, does not have the personal integrity and honor which it signifies and so shows himself to be a “phony Soldier.” This is how I read the transcripts of the Rush comment and the meaning behind his words. Unlike the outright dastardly attack on Petreus for his report to the American people which just does not conform to the message of the liberals at MoveOn.

    You make no differentiation between people who quit their jobs and people who are fired, claiming that those who did quit were forced to do so. Well golly gee. I didn’t realize that a voluntary action was the same as an involuntary action. You certainly made me realize that whenever I have quit my job, it was because of threats and pressure from my employer. I was coerced into doing so. I deserve pity! I am a victim! I demand compensation!!!!

    As for the “firings” of administration officials, recall that they serve at the discretion of the president who appointed them. You make some sort of hay about the U.S. Attorneys because it is so inconceivable that Bush should fire them halfway through his term in office — how many of those Attorneys were holdovers from the previous administration? Is the president beholden to holdovers of the previous administration — who serve at his discretion — to allow them to serve throughout his entire administration if he doesn’t fire them as soon as he takes over the White House? Seriously. Is that what you are arguing? You are also arguing that, despite the fact that any of these appointees serve at the discretion of the president, once appointed, the president loses the right to fire them at his discretion — that is the essence of the letter you cite from Sampson. Moreover, I read Sampson’s letter to indicate that Reagan and Clinton tended not to fire the attorneys they themselves had appointed. Not that their predecessors had appointed. Clinton asked for the resignation of all 93 US Attorneys when he took office, and fired 89 of them. Bush fired 8 who had been appointed by his predecessor and ignited a firestorm in the media and amongst his political opponents. Come on, does this make sense to you?

    I’ll tell you why I think this is such a big deal. It’s about curtailment of the Presidential powers and attempt by Congress to usurp those powers. The hiring and firing of administration appointees has been subject of such a tug-of-war since at least the time of Andrew Johnson. The whole “imperial president” boilerplate that we hear from Congress shows this. But it’s also about weakening George W himself, as the Democratic Congress wants very much to rein in the White House until they can take it in 2008. (And yes, Gus, I am saying, as I have previously said, that the Dems have a very good chance at winning the White House in 2008 given the historical record of the U.S. electorate since WWII).

    As for not making over $35k and being in the IT field for 10 years — you REALLY need to find a new job, or get some new schooling under your belt. You are grossly underpaid for your knowledge. Unless of course you are not being truthful, just to try to score points by somehow falsely demonstrating that you live beneath the national income average. In the 10 years you have been in the IT field, the wave has crested. You were one of the early riders and should be out in front of most others. Without sounding overly judgmental, which I know drives a liberal like you absolutely mental, if you truly are making so little, it is your own fault for not seeking higher compensation (and making the sacrifices, such as moving to a different location, which such a decision might have entailed). If you have made the choice to remain at your present wage level, by not seeking new employment, then you simply cannot complain of having a low wage (which is what you do when you “identify with” low wage earners), because it is something you chose to live with. If anything, your argument should be aimed at yourself for making the choice to live with the low wage instead of seeking higher wages elsewhere.

    Comment by yup — October 10, 2007 @ 4:19 am

  35. Yup: “CENTCOM has identified the Iranians as supplying arms to the people fighting against us in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.”
    Really? Or have they simply ID’ed said arms as having been manufactured in Iran? The black market can take items far from their source, thru many different hands.

    “As for the rest, you grow tedious.”
    You, too, old man…

    “You are hasty to append ‘but I support the war in Afghanistan’ when you are demonstrably on record as stating that you disapprove of the use of military force.”
    Are you saying that I have said ALL military missions are wrong? I have said no such thing. I take them on a case-by-case basis. I have not contradicted myself.

    “what would you say if the F16s had actually launched missiles to down UA93?”
    Fine by me. That would obviously be a terrible decision to have to make, but seeing 2 airliners used as missiles already, and attempts to contact, warn and threaten whoever is flying the plane attempted to no avail, I would have to approve of shooting it down. I highly doubt this would have become a mainstream partisan issue.

    “You are quick to state that you ’support the troops’ even though you lament that these self-same troops are ‘exonerated’ of being troops.”
    I asked you to clarify how the hell you came to that erroneous conclusion re: your little analogy. You have not done so. Now you simply repeat that conclusion because you know it didn’t make any sense the first time. Try again.

    “Shall the military pay that entry-level E-3 the same money as a veteran E-5 (never mind the additional money the E-3 is getting by virtue of having dependent family members) just to make liberals happy that military members no longer ‘require’ food stamps?”
    Obviously not. No one’s asking for that. This thread of our discussion only came up because I (half-jokingly– you did get the joke, right?) said that I can identify w/ any low-wage worker. (Hint: it was a half-joke because of the implied socialist “worker solidarity” thing, the snipe at Bush, and because it’s not one of the top real reasons for which I can say I support the troops, but you seem to have taken it awfully seriously.) The fact remains that one can still be poor in the military.

    “You accept the military as a good place for poor, unskilled kids to go which merely shows your bias, which is in line with that pithy “joke” John Kerry made a few months ago that you keep telling us was only a joke. Did you get that? You, Gus, show your anti-military bias when you write such words.”
    Save your outrage. From your own words, I gather that you would agree (for it is hard to deny) that the military is, indeed, a good place for poor, unskilled kids to to into. Why else would you contrast it w/ burger and lube joints?

    “Mlah and I both come from middle class families, we both went to college, yet we both enlisted.”
    Wonderful! But that wasn’t was we were talking about. I never said it was ONLY a good place for the poor and uneducated, did I? I have no doubt that it can also be a good place for those like you from other classes and education levels.

    “However, the military is not a jobs program, which you make it sound like.”
    You did, too. You touted its as such thus:

    The military invests signifigant money into training its people — one of the reasons many join the service these days! The people leaving the military are by and large better off, from the standpoint of education, training, experience, and post-employment benefits (such as the GI Bill, VA loans, etc) than when they entered. Can you say the same for those the great majority of people who take entry level jobs right out of high school? Or even college?

    “People like Jesse Macbeth — who was the primary subject of the ‘phoney soldiers’ remark”
    He used the plural, so a single individual cannot be the “primary subject”, and made no differentiation between troops who simply happen to disagree w/ the war in Iraq and any individual.

    “Unlike the outright dastardly attack on Petreus for his report to the American people which just does not conform to the message of the liberals at MoveOn.”
    A verbal pun towards a single (highly politicized) general, in a political debate, is worse than leaving the impression that all soldiers who disagree w/ Rush are “phony”? OK, whatever you say…

    “I didn’t realize that a voluntary action was the same as an involuntary action.”
    When leaving high positions, in the public or private spheres, people are usually given the chance to save face by “resigning” first.

    “how many of those Attorneys were holdovers from the previous administration?”
    None. W nominated them all in the first place.

    “You are also arguing that, despite the fact that any of these appointees serve at the discretion of the president, once appointed, the president loses the right to fire them at his discretion”
    When it’s only for political reasons, that is “crossing the line”. Why do you think so many people tried to lie about it?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/washington/23cnd-monica.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    “You are grossly underpaid for your knowledge. Unless of course you are not being truthful”
    Oh, I’m being truthful alright. And I think I’m well paid for my level of skills and knowledge. You have some idealized view of the IT field wherein we all have Computer Science degrees. There’s a lot more to it than that. You can stick your condescending career advice you-know-where.

    Comment by Gus — October 10, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  36. Gus: You have some idealized view of the IT field wherein we all have Computer Science degrees.

    Actually, no. I worked in the IT field for a while. And had no CS degree. Yet made much more than you claim to. Friend of mine doesn’t even HAVE a degree and is a VP-level executive of a Fortune 500 IT services company.

    Gus: The president is not allowed to fire his political appointees When it’s only for political reasons, [because] that is “crossing the line”.

    Oh, so the president can appoint people to positions because they are on his ‘team’ and will work toward his political goals and adhere to his political beliefs, but once they have the job, and he feels that they are not doing so, then he has no right to fire them? Because that is “crossing the line”? Even though they serve at his pleasure? That’s one of the reasons why Johnson was impeached, you know.

    But wait, you are talking apples and oranges here!!!! The link you provide discusses career employees, who are covered by civil service guidelines, and not political appointees, such as the U.S. Attorneys. Which is it, hmmm? Are you talking about faceless Jack and Jill Bureaucrat, or are you talking about the likes of Carol Lam and Kevin Ryan? Or do you even recognize the difference?

    Gus: You touted [the military] as [a jobs program]

    Actually, no. I simply compared the benefits of military service versus the benefits of private industry. And showed that military service provides better benefits, by and large, than its civilian competitors for employees, particularly for those at the entry level, whether they be enlisted or officer, with only a high school diploma or a college degree, respectively. I also noted that in exchange for these benefits, certain expectations are made of the military employee, to wit, to go into harm’s way. Which is another of your major complaints. Since it is an all-volunteer force, and the expectation of danger is explicit in the job, then the complaints that the low pay and high risk associated with the job are simply — complaints. You were the one who started whinging about how low-paid the military is because of some who are on federal assistance programs. I demonstrated why your argument was wrong. I also noted that you could have benefited from some military service yourself, since you think so poorly of your first 20 years of adulthood. A military career could have (1) provided you some skills you could transfer to a civilian job; (2) provided you with the confidence needed to be successful; (3) provided post-employment benefits including the GI BIll and VA loans; and (4) after 20 years would have immediately begun paying you a retirement stipend to supplement your second career income. So the less-than-$35k you currently make would be bolstered by at least $12k and other benefits. A military career, however, isn’t for everyone so number (4) would likely not apply to you — as it didn’t to me.

    Gus: On disbanding of the Iraqi Army being hte biggest mistake, ever.

    You cite a number of professional who support your viewpoint, I could cite a number of professionals who disagree with your professionals. However, I choose not to. I have to go to lunch. Which reminds me, what sort of search process do you use to find your material? Do you simply Google, or do you go to Wiki, or do you just collect little snippets that you like and squirrel them away for future use? Just curious.

    Gus: Condemning Rush Limbaugh (which is a favorite sport of liberals): He used the plural, so a single individual cannot be the “primary subject”

    And just to make you happy, I threw in a second individual, making your distinction moot. I don’t even listen to Rush, yet I have to go read the transcript because you make so much hay over it. And I invite you to peruse the transcripts of the Rush show from that airdate to see the context of his remarks. Although I know that you will ignore anything that does not fit into your political reality.

    Gus: Deriding GEN Petreus was merely A verbal pun towards a single (highly politicized) general, in a political debate and so it cannot possibly be worse than leaving the impression that all soldiers who disagree w/ Rush are “phony”?

    As stated, your comparison is invalid. I — who do not listen to Rush — have reviewed the transcript of his show and do not see him implying that all soldiers who disagree with him are “phony.” Have you? And as for the claim that Petreus is “highly politicized” well, as a class, general and flag officers tend to be very political. It helps when they are dealing with senior administration and congressional figures, not to mention the senior bureaucracy. That seems to be a trend that is developing over time, eg, the more time we have our professional all-volunteer force, the more politicized these senior officers become, as a class. However, your comment implies that Petreus was merely mouthing the words of the administration — the president for whom he works — rather than giving an honest evaluation of the military and political situation we face in Iraq. Since there is no benefit to his lying for the president (he is already at the pinnacle of his career and can retire as a general, for instance), then his report should be taken for what it is. However, since it does not jibe with your — and the Liberal — point of view, because he is armed with the knowledge of events on the ground as well as the benefit of secret intelligence and planning reports, and not merely reliant on a political machine in whose interest it is to paint Iraq as the Vietnam-like quagmire which cannot be won (never mind the military reality of the situation) and the culpable press in bed with that machine (to go back to the point of Mlah’s post), then you and MoveOn simply dismiss his message as partisan political hyperbole. And then make partisan political attacks against him.

    Gus, not everyone in the country is interested in partaking in the partisan political fight on which you thrive. The general’s job was not to justify an invasion which was directed by his commander-in-chief, which is what you and your ilk wish to continue until everyone else just gives in to get you to shut up, his was to describe the mission of reconstruction, identify where we are in the process, and assess whether we can get to the desired end (which is seeing a minimally functioning Iraq government which has a relatively secure environment and which pays heed to international humanitarian norms including democratic principles and is working toward economic liberalism). The desired end here is NOT, as you would wish, for us to immediately pull out our troops, allow the whole effort to collapse and millions of people to die or become enslaved to a militant dictatorship.

    But hey, liberals didn’t give a damn about the Vietnamese people, so why should you care about a bunch of hajjis, right?

    Comment by yup — October 11, 2007 @ 4:20 am

  37. Yup: “Actually, no. I worked in the IT field for a while. And had no CS degree. Yet made much more than you claim to.”
    Congrats. But there’s still more variety to the jobs within the industry than you seem to be aware of, as well as regional pay differences.

    “Oh, so the president can appoint people to positions because they are on his team and will work toward his political goals and adhere to his political beliefs”
    That’s where you go wrong. US AG’s are not supposed to be political at all. Maybe before they got in, but afterwards political issues are supposed to go out the window in favor of blind justice as they see fit.

    “The link you provide discusses career employees, who are covered by civil service guidelines, and not political appointees, such as the U.S. Attorneys.”
    I linked to that article to point at the lies involved (McNulty in this case, but I could have linked to Fredo, too).

    And she [Goodling] said that former Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty had misled Congress, intentionally or otherwise, in his testimony about the firings by minimizing the role of the White House.

    “certain expectations are made of the military employee, to wit, to go into harms way. Which is another of your major complaints.”
    Not one of my complaints. I know they know that, all too well. Whether it was wise to send them off to fight and die in Iraq is my problem, not their (blindingly obvious) job duties.

    “Actually, no. I simply compared the benefits of military service versus the benefits of private industry.”
    You sounded much more like a military recruiter than me, that’s all I know.

    “I demonstrated why your argument was wrong.’
    You tried anyway.

    “I also noted that you could have benefited from some military service yourself”
    Yes, I heard you the first time. What do you want me to say to that? I’ve already told you guys the story of my almost joining the Navy in 2003, but I didn’t trust Bush.

    “Do you simply Google, or do you go to Wiki, or do you just collect little snippets that you like and squirrel them away for future use? Just curious.”
    All of the above, and more.

    “And just to make you happy, I threw in a second individual, making your distinction moot.”
    That’s too bad, cuz Rush himself said he only had Macbeth in mind, not Beauchamp at all. You’re putting more words in his mouth than me! The “plural” criticism stands.

    “And I invite you to peruse the transcripts of the Rush show from that airdate to see the context of his remarks.”
    Aye, I did. Before the “phony soldiers” remark conversation with a pro-Iraq war active-service member was a conversation with an anti-Iraq war former service member. There was no mention of Beauchamp or Macbeth before.

    Limbaugh told the second caller, whom he identified as “Mike, this one from Olympia, Washington,” that “[t]here’s a lot” that people who favor U.S. withdrawal “don’t understand” and that when asked why the United States should pull out, their only answer is, ” ‘Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.’ … ‘Save the — keeps the troops safe’ or whatever,” adding, “[I]t’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.” “Mike” from Olympia replied, “No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.” Limbaugh interjected, “The phony soldiers.”

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200709270010?f=h_top
    Are you sure you got the full transcript? Cuz the version that Rush played when the controversy first arose, which he claimed was the “entire transcript”, had actually been edited by 1 min. 35 sec (not smart!) to make it seem like the Macbeth stuff directly followed the “phony soldier” comment.
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200709280009
    In sum, he left the impression that he could have been referring to any anti-Iraq war soldier as “phony”. He could have narrowed and contexualized his comments to avoid that impression. If Rush caught some shit for this, it’s no different than all of the Right’s bullshit anti-troop “gotchas!” suffered by libs/Dems since 9/11. Wah! Poor Rush!

    “However, your comment implies that Petreus was merely mouthing the words of the administration — the president for whom he works — rather than giving an honest evaluation of the military and political situation we face in Iraq.”
    The WH was planning to write the report, until that fact became public knowledge. Thus there was reason to believe things would be skewed. There is plenty of room for debate about the stats he used:
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/10/counting_civilian_deaths_in_ir.html

    “Since there is no benefit to his lying for the president”
    Hahahaha! There are many, many benefits to lying for the president! Just ask Ari Fleischer. And many, many reason not to cross him (ask the folks I mentioned above who did so).

    “The general’s job was not to justify an invasion which was directed by his commander-in-chief, which is what you and your ilk wish to continue until everyone else just gives in to get you to shut up”
    Oh, so the changing public opinion poll numbers about the Iraq war can all be chalked up to Americans “just giv[ing] in to get [liberals] to shut up”?! Hee hee. You’re out of your cotton-pickin’ mind.

    “But hey, liberals didn’t give a damn about the Vietnamese people”
    Why do you say that? Which Vietnamese people are you talking about? (Some of them didn’t like us very much.) There was no implosion or genocide when we left Vietnam.

    Comment by Gus — October 12, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

  38. Gus: “the story of my almost joining the Navy in 2003”
    Sorry, that was 2002.

    Comment by Gus — October 12, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

  39. Gus: Somehow claiming that the fall of South Vietnam was not a bad thing and that life was roses after we finally quit killing people in Southeast Asia. Which Vietnamese people are you talking about? (Some of them didn’t like us very much.) There was no implosion or genocide when we left Vietnam.

    Nope. Just a bunch of South Vietnamese (and let’s not forget the subsequent victims in Laos — where a third of Hmong were killed — and Cambodia, home of the ‘killing fields’) who were gunned down, or if lucky, those who didn’t escape were simply rounded up and stuck in ‘re-education camps.’ Eventually, after several years, the Communist government made a “humanitarian” decision to release many of these people from the “re-education” camps, and those people joined hundreds of thousands who had preceded them, and left Vietnam in rickety boats. Or have you never heard of the Vietnamese boat people? But hey, we can simply choose not to call that ‘genocide’ or ‘societal implosion’ or what have you if it makes you feel good.

    Gus: Whining about his poorly-paying job But there’s still more variety to the jobs within the industry than you seem to be aware of, as well as regional pay differences.

    Go back and read what I wrote. In our highly-mobile society, you had the choice to move to a different region where you could have obtained better pay. Your life is the consequence mainly of your own decisions.

    Gus: Gloating over public opinion pols so the changing public opinion poll numbers about the Iraq war can all be chalked up to Americans “just giv[ing] in to get [liberals] to shut up”?!

    Go back and re-read my statements. the American people are subjected to overwhelming levels of negative propaganda from the liberals who oppose Bush, and the mass media who share their beliefs. Public opinion polls show the effectiveness of this sustained propaganda. As Mlah has noted in this and other posts.

    Comment by yup — October 13, 2007 @ 5:46 am

  40. Yup: “Just a bunch of South Vietnamese (and let’s not forget the subsequent victims in Laos — where a third of Hmong were killed — and Cambodia, home of the ‘killing fields’)”
    I’m no student of the Vietnam War. I was just a kid when it ended. But please just tell me why you believe those things wouldn’t have happened anyway, even if the US had hung around (and how many casualties– us and them– you estimate would have occurred *while* we hung around).
    It is my understanding that Pol Pot– the worst of what you mention– had been on a roll with the evacuation of citydwellers since 1968, and that it was little more than historical coincidence that the Khmer Rouge took Phnom Penh right around the same time as the Fall of Saigon. And who finally put a stop to him within 4 years? Our enemy Communist Vietnam!
    Show me where you get your numbers on the Hmong. I don’t believe that many died because we left (*during* the war, fighting alongside the CIA, yes, maybe, but not in the aftermath).

    “Your life is the consequence mainly of your own decisions.”
    Get off it, Ayn Rand. I wasn’t complaining about my pay! I am fairly compensated. I can still identify with those who are low-paid because of my many years of busting my hump in the service industry.

    “the American people are subjected to overwhelming levels of negative propaganda from the liberals who oppose Bush, and the mass media who share their beliefs. Public opinion polls show the effectiveness of this sustained propaganda. As Mlah has noted in this and other posts.”
    Good lord. They’re not that dim. You can’t expect them to support this clusterfuck forever with so little tangible progress. They’ve been quite patient enough already, and you ignore that at your peril. The propaganda from W is finally wearing off, and the patient is waking up screaming.

    Comment by Gus — October 15, 2007 @ 8:50 am

  41. Who is John Galt?

    Comment by yup — October 16, 2007 @ 7:56 pm

  42. Yup: “Who is John Galt?”

    Some greedy asshole.

    Comment by Gus — October 17, 2007 @ 3:41 am

  43. Gus: Warning me of an impending explosion amongst Liberals (which apparently means everyone in America except me and Mlah): you ignore that at your peril

    Ah but you see Gus, I am merely an observer. Should the American people decide to explode in an orgy of conservative-purging kumbaya singing, then I shall continue to observe. While secretly keeping the Federalist Papers and Atlas Shrugged tucked away under the floor boards where the commissars can’t find them. At least until I can smuggle myself and my family to that mountain paradise where freedom continues to survive.

    Comment by yup — October 17, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

  44. we ignore the inpending liberal explosion at our peril. there go the peace loving liebrals threatening violence again. funny how that works.

    Comment by mlah — October 17, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

  45. Hmm, that’s not quite what I was getting at, but it is an interesting image you conjure up. All I meant by “at your peril” is that if you expect your favorite conservatives to get elected, you ought to keep an eye on the polls of Americans’ opinions about Iraq. If you keep insisting that it’s all just the “liberal MSM” driving the debate– as opposed to simple reality– your friends and neighbors are gonna start lookiing at you funny. No violent outbursts necessary. You guys are getting silly.

    Comment by Gus — October 17, 2007 @ 9:43 pm

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