Monday, December 15, 2003
previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (4)
Grading Dean's speech
Howard Dean's major foreign policy speech is now available on his web site.
I'll get to the content in a second, but some free advice to the Dean people -- is this the picture you really want on the front page of your web site when talking about foreign policy?:
Howard Dean -- he'll be as tough as Warren Christopher!!
OK, the speech. Quick hits:
1) According to Dean:
Hey, that sounds familiar... oh yes, here it is:
2) Describing Dean as a pacifist would be a mistake:
3) The "big idea" is a global alliance against terror, "a commitment among law-abiding nations to work together in law enforcement, intelligence, and military operations." Iraq aside, there's actually been a fair amount of international cooperation on this front. What is Dean proposing that's different? I read through the speech and found nothing specific on this. Is Dean talking about a global NATO? A stronger IAEA? What, exactly?
4) Here's Dean on the connection between our foreign economic policies and national security:
Sounds like a great idea -- you know, a plan to expand economic opportunities in developing nations through greater access to U.S. markets. I'm sure Dean would support that. Oh, wait a minute....posted by Dan on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM
Dean's been consistent on trade for ages; he just spins it carefully. In a nutshell: Dean wants NAFTA plus guaranteed unionization rights. This can be played as either pro-trade, or pro-union, depending on the situation.
His longer-term strategy is obvious: trade is a great thing, but if the other country's comparative advantage is horrible labor laws, the US middle class will be slowly eroded. It's a pretty obvious trade position for a centrist, even if you think it's wrong.
Look, you can listen to this from the Democrats, or from Buchanan in 8 to 12 years. The conservative coalition is only held together by cultural issues; further blue-color wage decline will sink you.posted by: EK in east VT on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
gregg reynolds, among others, has picked up on another failing of dean's speech, i.e., the simplisitic and flawed notion that poverty breeds terrorism. now i am all for alleviating poverty and suffering, but to postulate that terrorism is caused by material want fails to acknowledge that atta, et. al. were all living comfortable middle class lives. furhter,osama is a multi-millionare. unfortunately today's terrorism cannot be cured by only addressing material concernsm, or for that matter ramping up homeland security. for what drives osama is not anger about material poverty, but rather his rejection of liberalism, radical self-determination, our crass consumerism, materialism, hedonism, and profound securalism. (for more on this see berman's terror and liberalism.)posted by: jk on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
So, we throw more US taxpayer money at the world hoping to buy them off so they stop killing us???
They hate us because we have the money and we're successful, they hate us because we try and help them--humiliation on their part because they cannot provide for themselves, and they'd hate us if we didn't try and help them--humiliation because we actually let them wallow in poverty.
Bend over and drop your drawers for a good buggering by "the world" that's what I took away from this.
And I'm supposed to tolerate it for the sake of our allies.
posted by: Sandy P. on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Dean says "Right now, the United States officially contributes a smaller percentage of its wealth to helping other nations develop than any other industrialized country"
which I've heard ad nauseum from Europeans. I've always wondered where that statistic comes from. Is it simply the OMB's "foreign aid" line? Does it include the savings a say, South Korea gets from *not* having to spend the full costs of defense since the US picks that up? Does it include remittances from US citizens: the lower US tax rates allow US citizens to keep more of their own money, and if they so choose, they can send it back to the Old Country. I thought I had read somewhere that during the Ponzi meltdown in Albania, more cash rolled into the country from US (& I believe Italian) ex-Pats than all other sources combined.
So yes, in percentage of per capita (or percentage of total budget) terms of pure "foreign aid" the US gov't *doesn't* spend the most, but I'd like to see how the numbers shake out when *all* cash/service exports are rolled together.posted by: Chad P. on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
One of my friends had a quip that I heard repeatedly as the debacles accumulated early in the Clinton Administration - this would never have happened if Warren Christopher were still alive.posted by: Tom Maguire on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Dean's position on trade seems to me to be one of "fair trade," and not simply "free trade." As I hear it, he says that if companies whose goods are manufactured in other countries are to be allowed unfettered access to U.S. markets for those goods, those companies need to meet environmental and labor standards that are "fair."
If draining the swamp of support for terrorists is part of the battle, then shouldn't we use what leverage we have make sure that the benefits of the global economy are actually experienced by the people in countries like, say, Indonesia?
Remember that globalism is often viewed, whether accurately or not, as coming from America. We can't afford for people in other parts of the world to conclude that America doesn't care whether they suffer. Why wouldn't promoting decent working conditions and some kind of environmental standards be a rather cheap and painless element of efforts to 'bring the fight' to the terrorists?
No one, as far as I know, is suggesting this is all it will take. But if "fair trade" is one of the arrows in our quiver, it doesn't make sense not to use it.posted by: John McCrory on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
“Howard Dean -- he'll be as tough as Warren Christopher!!”
Well, that’s just about the truth of the matter. Howard Dean will be on his knees begging the United Nations and the Old Europeans to be nice to us. This mealy mouth speech stayed away from any awkward specifics. Dean wants to have his cake and eat it too.
“Describing Dean as a pacifist would be a mistake”
True, but that’s not saying much. Howard Dean is first, last, and foremost, an appeaser. His policies will endanger our safety. Dean won’t do anything without Jacques Chirac’s permission.
“The conservative coalition is only held together by cultural issues...”
Try telling that to Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds who does not even consider himself to be a conservative. I’m a theological modernist who does not attend church services. The Evangelical Christians are not my cup of tea.posted by: David Thomson on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Should Dean be elected, we will unilaterally surrender the war on terror, it is as simple as that. Electing Dean will be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the man has NO idea or ideas...posted by: Scott on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Geez, I thought, when first confronted with that picture, Dean is really off his rocker! Warren Christopher? The guy in charge of Gore's failed attempt to steal the Presidency in 2000? Seriously decrepit gravitas is what Dean is seeking, I suppose, but Christopher only qualifies for the 'decrepit' part. Next he'll be posing with witchy Madelaine Halfbright's arm around his shoulders! Might be a mistake, though, 'cause she's probably taller than he is (unless he wears his pumps).posted by: redshank on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
One of Dean's many problems is the general cheapening of the media due to relentless overhype. He may say centrist things but, even if he sincerely means them, it is increasingly likely to be lost in background noise, especially of the not-so centrist, and more media noteworthy things he has said - both of the red meat he tosses to his supporters, foot-in-mouth stuff and extreme things he really does believe.
Image-building isn't easy these days. Dean's own supporters in this internet age can create an image of him that he'd rather they didn't.
It may be that this has already become irreversible.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"What is Dean proposing that's different."
That Dean and the Dems be doing it.
That is the major beef Dems and the left have - that it's Bush and Republicans doing it.
Appearances matter. Deeds, not so much.posted by: Steve in Houston on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Dean: "Bur first, I'd like to introduce my Golem..."posted by: snellenr on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
His comments regarding the capture of Saddam were delivered with the satisfaction, relief and joy we have come to expect at the Democratic Underground website when good news rears its' ugly head. I especially loved him mumbling, face down, "Catching Saddam was a good thing".
Wow Howard, ya think?
Perhaps Dean-o was just having a Martha Stewart moment, but based on the text, the most important parts of which Daniel caught, it would appear Dean has given up running for president of the United States and is gearing up for a run at the presidency of France.
Go for it, Howard! That's something within your reach! It'd raise the I.Q.s of both countries...the perfect example of multilateralism for Satan Bush and His Evil Minions.posted by: DennisThePeasant on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
I have found interesting what Clark has said about Bosnia and Kosovo, actions which he obviously supported, and how they differed from Iraq. His explanation has been almost incoherent. So my interest was piqued when I read in WaPo's account of Dean's speech that (according to WaPo) Dean said he would use force unilaterally "to defend the country, to stop an imminent threat and, in some instances, when world bodies failed to resolve problems like genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo."
And I thought, HUH?! So, according to Dean, in some cases we CAN act unilaterally simply because world bodies have failed to resolve problems??? How does THIS square with Dean's criticism of Iraq???
So then a took a look at Dean's actual speech, and he says much LESS than what WaPo attributed to him. Dean merely states that:
"During the past dozen years, I have supported U.S. military action to roll back Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, to halt ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, to stop Milosevic's campaign of terror in Kosovo, to oust the Taliban and al Qaeda from control in Afghanistan. As President, I will never hesitate to deploy our armed forces to defend our country and its allies, and to protect our national interests."
I couldn't find any other mention of Bosnia or Kosovo, and my skim of the speech doesn't turn up anything else close to the subject. So I was disappointed. Dean tries to portray himself as being hawkish under certain circumstances. Obviously a move back toward the middle, but fine, that's expected. But what are the circumstances under which unilateral military action is warranted, according to Dean? Why did he support Kosovo (no UN approval, no imminent threat) and not Iraq? Because of humanitarian concerns? But surely there were far greater such concerns in Iraq than in Kosovo! Dean simply doesn't tell us. Help me out, Deaniacs, has he given the reason elsewhere?posted by: Al on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Regarding Warren Christopher, he was introducing Howard Dean because he is the co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the "western arm of the Council on Foreign Relations." Unless anyone knows otherwise, his introduction was not an endorsement of Dean. Nor is Christopher one of Dean's advisors. The Dean campaign's choice to feature a photo of Dean with Christopher, nevertheless, does give an impression that Dean has a good relationship with establishment Democrats. That's about all it does.posted by: John McCrory on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"...has he given the reason elsewhere?"
Let's narrow this a bit. You want the search on this planet only or the universe as a whole?
Plus, please stipulate as to whether the reason is required to be coherent and/or conform with reality as we know it. Further narrowing.
Howard Dean/Martha Stewart '04
Obviously, Al, the difference is that in Bosnia and Kosovo the west hadn't been giving the green light to the Serbs to engage in ethnic cleansing in the past. You can only legitimately intervene when you haven't been appeasing in the past, apparently.
Oh, wait, the west did stand by and do nothing while the Serbs and Croats carved up Bosnia among themselves. So much for that theory.
New theory: military action by the United States is justifiable in all circumstances except when both George W. Bush is in the White House and the opposing country's name ends in a "Q".posted by: Chris Lawrence on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
and Dennis, Don't forget "Damn the luck"
Think of the hours of 'Gore the Kingmaker' coverage that got dumped sunday morning. I'm sure K-man wasn't the only one dropping the f-bomb at that wake-up call.
Plastic Turkey? I got your plastic turkey right here, pal.posted by: TommyG on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Nice snark, Chris. Hopefully you'll get SN back up and running for a review of the speech (among other things) :-)posted by: Matthew Stinson on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Wow! It appears Chris Lawrence gets on the first try. Very impressive!
Have a home baked cookie.
posted by: DennisThePeasant on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
EK in east VT wrote:
“The conservative coalition is only held together by cultural issues...”
And what pray tell holds the “leftist coalition” together – crazy glue?posted by: Thorley Winston on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
ChadP: Your demand is fact an accurate one to truly determine the total dollar amount that the United States government and its citizens contribute in "foriegn aid".
For instance I claim the max exemption in charitable donations every year in the monies that I send to christian missionaries in Africa and the Middle East. But I don't stop there. I contribute even when the money is not exempt. It never hits the government accounting records.
Plus in places like Germany many of the religious contributions are taken directly from income through taxes and then are equally dispersed to churches, mosques, etc.
There's a lot of spinning in Dean's speech that's certainly deserving of a
So, we throw more US taxpayer money at the world hoping to buy them off so they stop killing us???
Counter-terrorism 101, pretty much:
1) Figure out what's giving terrorists their new recuits (poverty? exploitation? religious nuttery?) and fix it. No new terrorists. This involves some tax dollars and possibly some wars.
2) Kill or imprison the existing terrorists.
Some variation of this strategy alledgely worked well with tons of ugly little European terrorist movements, including the Red Brigades.
I’m a theological modernist who does not attend church services. The Evangelical Christians are not my cup of tea.
Well, the Evangelical Christians are the conservative group most likely to embrace economic populism--remember William Jennings Bryan. They're the ones who will bolt your coalition if blue collar workers get screwed badly enough.
(Actually, as a center-liberal, I'm quite fond of the evangelical Christians in the long run, as long as they keep church and state reasonably separate.)posted by: EK in east VT on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"Remember that globalism is often viewed, whether accurately or not, as coming from America. We can't afford for people in other parts of the world to conclude that America doesn't care whether they suffer. Why wouldn't promoting decent working conditions and some kind of environmental standards be a rather cheap and painless element of efforts to 'bring the fight' to the terrorists?"
Well, that would be the best possible way to demonstrate to the whole world that America doesn't care whether they suffer, and that America will strike down any attempt by its corporations to bring about improvements in the lot of those very foreigners because they don't meet our environmental and labor standards.
Not that Osama and company really give a rat's ass either way on that issue, but blocking attempts to give people jobs in the name of "helping" them is not going to win us very many fans in the area.posted by: Ken on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
And what pray tell holds the “leftist coalition” together – crazy glue?
You're not that far off the truth. :-) The economic progressives have been silently abandoning the Democratic party for the past 10 years. After all, what did Clinton do for them?
The Democrat's recent willingness to talk about civil unions will not help party unity, either--lots of people support civil unions, but plenty of them are on the Republican side of the aile. The old Catholic labor democrats are not enthused with civil unions, certainly, and neither are the Zell Millers in the South.
"Targeted and effective expansion of investment, assistance, trade, and debt relief in developing nations can improve the climate for peace and democracy and undermine the recruiters for terrorist plots."
And yet the Democratic party tried to saddle Iraq with $10 billion more in loans.posted by: scott h. on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
jk writes: "fails to acknowledge that atta, et. al. were all living comfortable middle class lives. furhter,osama is a multi-millionare."
It's entirely possible that they could be motivated by the poverty of others, and/or the conglomerate poverty of Muslims, seen as the result of oppression. It's pretty likely that your typical terrorist has witnessed neighbors, relatives, countrymen, coreligionists, living in poverty. Even wealthy OBL.
Martin Luther King, Jr. could have had a nice existence in the north, instead of working to remedy conditions in the south. He and his wife met in Boston, after all, when they were in college. It probably would have been easy enough for them to move on to a comfortable middle-class life, instead of, you know, getting shot at.
Not to say that MLK was a terrorist, or to equate him with OBL!
I just want to point out by example that people sometimes are motivated by conditions that effect others, even though they themselves are not subject to those conditions.
It's not safe to assume that because the 9/11 terrorists were middle-class, that they necessarily had an attitude of "I got mine, screw everyone else".
I am no fan of Howard Dean, but I am confused here by what is the line against Dean. Dan seems to imply that he is basically saying the same things as Bush, with the very notable exception of Iraq. Meanwhile many of the more aggressive proponents of Bush's policy in Iraq on this comments section seem to think that Dean will unilaterally surrender to terrorists and Europeans (!?) It can't be both...can it?
My take is that electing anyone but Bush will do two things. First is that America will get some goodwill back from most of the world that is nominally our allies. Bush has pissed a lot of the world off, and whether that is really his fault or not, a change of leadership would make getting cooperation from the rest of the world a bit easier at least in the short term.
The second thing is that the new President will have to demonstrate that the US will continue to be firm and be dedicated to fighting the war on terrorism. Regardless of how one feels about the war in Iraq, I think that most would agree that Bush is not going to back down from any threat or violence our troops are faced in Iraq. Some might call this reckless, but really it is the only way that we can be assured of victory in the war against terror. We have to be smart about where we pick our battles, but it does take some guts to fight those battles through to completion. I would expect that in each of our battles around the world our real enemies (i.e. terrorists and states that are not even nominally our allies) will try to take advantage of the new President's will, and that will lead to some difficult decisions.
A final note I want to add is for all those that think we are just "fighting" evil all over the world and not buying people off. We are keeping the "peace" in Afganistan by fighting the Taliban, and basically trying to buy everyone else off to keep the relative peace for as long as possible. The backroom deals with war lords don't make headlines, but they do contribute to keeping that nation together. My only point is that we should not idealize the moral purity of our current war against terror. It is sometimes dirty, and sometimes that is the best way to fight a battle we did not choose, but that chose us.posted by: Rich on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
On the poverty thing: My experiences around Arab culture suggest the key is your family's situation more than individual achievement. That said, I have trouble seeing a direct poverty-terrorism link. What poverty can do, however, is break down existing social networks in conjunction with other factors like urbanization or rapid cultural change. This last is not to endorse the "enraged at modernity" theme touted by Bernard Lewis, which I think is a distortion.
In any event, to make the final connection to terrorism you really need to look at ideology. Poverty has been around for thousands of years, terrorism for a very few decades, depending on the precise definition you want to use for it. However, it is in the modern world where we have state apparatuses more intrusive than any in history, high levels of cultural and social dislocation, and so on. Lone individuals will either develop or adapt ideologies which they see as providing easy answers. And technology has reached the point where a lone individual can do a fair amount of damage.
This is my vague impression anyway, admittedly a bit jumbled. I think this is the right set of factors to consider, though.posted by: Brian Ulrich on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Hmmm, so Bush's "unilateral war" in Iraq was good; but Bush's repealing the ill-advised protectionist steel tariffs was bad?
Notwithstanding the first was in our national security interest and the other simply a maladroit domestic political play; how does Dean square the circle?
Either you play by multilateral rules or you don't; but if you choose to have exceptions, what do they hinge upon? National security seems a far better reason than domestic political considerations, especially during a war on terrorism.
Regardless, post-November 20004, we won’t have Dr. Governor Howard Dean to worry about anymore.
P.S. That wasn't Warren Christopher in the photo - it was a mortician's cosmetic mannequin – the jaundiced, plastic look is a dead giveaway.
Notwithstanding the first [the current Iraq War –AJL] was in our national security interest and the other simply a maladroit domestic political playAn official entry in the World Series of Begging the Question! posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
--So, we throw more US taxpayer money at the world hoping to buy them off so they stop killing us???
Counter-terrorism 101, pretty much:
1) Figure out what's giving terrorists their new recuits (poverty? exploitation? religious nuttery?) and fix it. No new terrorists. This involves some tax dollars and possibly some wars.--
We've been paying people off for 60 years, look where it's got us. Forgot one BIG recruiting reason - Israel. I consider the Palis Europe's proxy to finish the job they started.posted by: Sandy P. on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
you do realize the difference between going after actual nuclear weapons and invading countries because their dictator lusts for them in his heart, right?posted by: Katherine on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"you do realize the difference between going after actual nuclear weapons and invading countries because their dictator lusts for them in his heart, right?"
Yes. One halts an imminent threat, the other heads off a threat that isn't imminent, thus stopping it from ever becoming so.posted by: Noah on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Yeah Katy, the difference is a little something that we like to call the Doctrine of Preemption. How's the new Dell?
Who's we? Oh, you know, the sovereign states of America, united. You may have heard of us?
As they say on CBS, Read more about it:
Hint: The 'nss' suffix stands for National Security Strategy, genuis.
It's a fairly quick read (I mean, C'mon, I like the guy, but this is George we're talking about) but straight to the point. (oh, yeah - that's why I like the guy)
Why don't you give it a try before you open your gob again. Love to have you stick around, but don't waist our time.
(and, yeah, I mis-spelled 'genius'. But I like the comic effect, so I'm leaving it - sorry to take that away from the gallery)posted by: TommyG on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
More standard conservative dishonesty from Drezner. Look at the way that Dean talks about how the U.S. contributes a too small amount of money to help other countries develop and Drezner sneeringly says that a plan to give "greater access to U.S. markets" would indeed be good, if Dean supported it. That's not a coutnerargument. That's mere misrepresentation of what Dean actually said. Greater development aid is not the same thing as greater access to U.S. markets.
But I've come to expect this from Republicans. You guys no longer have the ability to present a reasoned argument; it's just smear, smear, smear. In this particular case, Drezner pretends to be shocked that Dean's foreign policy ideas are somewhat conventional. No doubt if they were any less conventional, he'd pretend to be shocked by that.posted by: Rich Puchalsky on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Well, Noah and Tommy, if it were true that the wish be the same as the deed—regardless of feasibility—fifty million women would be divorcing their husbands for infidelity with Paris Hilton.
They aren't, and that's why our "imminent fantasy threat" standard makes complete mockery of existing doctrine of just war. It's also, of course, no relation to the war as sold, which revolved around existing WMD and nuclear programs within a year of fruition. I believe at this point every single claim Colin Powell made to the UN to justify war on Iraq is unproven.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
What I really want to know is how much Howard Dean paid Jimmy Carter to write that speech.
Having Warren Christopher up there was a nice touch, though. He looks like a centerfold in 'Mortician's Monthly'.
So what are you saying, Andrew? That Bush lied?
Does anyone else know about this? This is news!posted by: DennisThePeasant on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Couldn't let your misreading of Drezner's comments stand. Let's look at Howie's own program for the eradication of terrorism: "investment, assistance, trade and debt relief." You choose to focus on the second, while Drezner touches on all four. If you missed the engaging debate last fall (on this very site) re. the difficulty of getting an accurate account of American charitable giving, check the archives. Who has time to go into all that again?
So, rather than smear, smear, smear critics of the new "Dean Doctrine," let's see whether Drezner has half a point. Is it logically consistent to promise much greater FDI, trade and debt relief (all of it, courtesy of American taxpayers, who may have a thing or two to say about this plan to open their wallets, by the way) while at the same time railing against the destructive tendencies of freer trade policies on American workers? Maybe Dean, the rebel genius, has devised a scheme to have his cake and eat it too. I await the details with bated breath.
The one point with which I take issue in the general thrust of Dan's comments is his argument (echoing Dean's) that we are getting lots of cooperation from allies and erstwhile allies in shutting down terrorist operations abroad. Did no one read the paper this weekend (too much holiday shopping, I guess) in which a UN panel (go figure!) reported that al Qaeda financiers are openly, flagrantly carrying on their laundering operations in such hotbeds of terrorism as Italy and (naturally) various Middle Eastern states. This, with Bush turning the screws and taking the hits. Can't even imagine what limp noodle Dean would get out of our allies in the War on Terror.
Even if the criticism of Dean is all on the money the stark reality of the administration of George Herbert Hoover Bush is far, far worse.
Did you see Bush's press conference yesterday, he truly believes that the Iraq fiasco was a legitimate response to 9/11!
Will someone give Warren Christopher a decent burial? He and Eagleburger should be tried in the Hague for complicity in the genocide in Bosnia - but I digress.posted by: claude tessier on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"Did you see Bush's press conference yesterday, he truly believes that the Iraq fiasco was a legitimate response to 9/11!"
Most intelligent people think that our policies regarding Iraq needed to be seen through the prism of 9/11. Here is what one Sen. Clinton said, in her floor speech on the vote in Senate on the Iraq war:
"And finally, on another personal note, I come to this decision from the perspective of a Senator from New York who has seen all too closely the consequences of last year's terrible attacks on our nation. In balancing the risks of action versus inaction, I think New Yorkers who have gone through the fires of hell may be more attuned to the risk of not acting. I know that I am.
So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed."
So, Claude Tessier, what do you know about 9/11 that Hillary Clinton doesn't know?posted by: Al on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Bin Laden and most of the terrorists are Saudi. The Saudi economy has been in a very quiet meltdown for the last quarter century. (In 1975, Saudi GDP was an inflation-adjusted $17,000+. It is now barely $10,000.) Most of that money went to the princes, but enough has stopped trickling down, especially to the middle class, to suggest that it is reduced circumstances, rather than poverty per se, which is the motivation. (Similar to the terrorists in Germany or Japan after the war, responding to reduced position and wealth, and post-civil war Klan action in the US.)posted by: rvman on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Note to Dean, rvman, and all other strict materialists out there:
Let's follow the logic you've laid out for us, shall we? Things are tough in the Middle East (declining GDP, tyranny, etc.) soooo, logically, jihadis decide to incinerate themselves and thousands of Americans in a jet-fuel fireball. Is there something missing here? Oh, yeah, a rationale.
Why don't you stop screaming about W long enough to learn something about the history of jihad, why bin Laden has it in for you and your family, and why a bunch of brainless fanatics are willing to go to their graves on behalf of his vision. The macroeconomics of Saudi Arabia have nothing to do with it, except that they depend entirely on oil (which, by the way, Allah gave to Arabs so they COULD finance jihad against the godless West--check your al Qaeda handbook).
You are not willing to connect the dots because it makes you very uncomfortable to have to acknowledge that all this hate stems from a marriage between an ancient hate-code (jihad) and the natural resource that makes our world go round (oil--yeah, it's all about the OILLLL!). Grow up. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and I wouldn't vote for him next year either if any of the Dems had a single testicle to their name (I know, not fair to Lieberman or Hillary, but they won't be on the ticket, will they).posted by: Kelli on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
In response to Andrew J. Lazarus
"Well, Noah and Tommy, if it were true that the wish be the same as the deed—regardless of feasibility—fifty million women would be divorcing their husbands for infidelity with Paris Hilton."
Fantasies about Paris Hilton are equivalent to attempts to develop nuclear weapons? Are you expecting me to take this arguement seriously?
"They aren't, and that's why our "imminent fantasy threat" standard makes complete mockery of existing doctrine of just war."
Were you -sure-, before the fall of Iraq, despite a decade of deceit and posturing to the contrary, that the threat of Iraqi WMD was a 'fantasy'? Imminence notwithstanding - it was never stated to be imminent by the admin. at all. If you would like to continue that line of arguement, please cite a source. As for 'just war', exactly how many dead, and of what nationality/ethnic group are required for that condition to be fulfilled? Please cite status and number.
"It's also, of course, no relation to the war as sold, which revolved around existing WMD and nuclear programs within a year of fruition."
Where was the 'within a year of fruition' standard stated? And even were it used as one, why should we wait until it was event that close? If we wait, and are wrong, then we've failed to keep them from developing WMD. Now it is absolutely assured, that the Hussein regime of Iraq will never have WMD. This is a far better guarantee than you offer.
List and rebut them, then.
I would also add that 'unproven' and 'disproven' are two -very- different things. Especially in this context.posted by: Noah on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
You confuse hallucination with digression.
Beyond that, it appears you would prefer Howard Dean who consorts with war criminals such as Warren Christophoer to a George Bush who consorts with war criminals such as [insert name here, who can choose just one?].
Is there a reason for preferring one over the other if they are both in league with criminals? A reason that makes sense, that is.
Dean is not a pacifist. Pacifists have been known to stand for things, even at the risk of their lives. Dean is a coward, he wants to buy off the world and curl up into the fetal position and hope for the best. He has no vision for the world, and say what you want about Bush and the neocons, at least they have a vision. Dean thinks we can go back to 97, when if we've learned anything its that the 90s were an abberation, we were living on borrowed time. History never lets you go backward. My question is what kind of world does Dean invision going foward.posted by: Mark Buehner on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Noah, as it happens, I was very skeptical that Saddam had WMD, although I thought he might have had some small-scale CW. But I would hardly have taken my own word for it. Luckily, our pressure on Saddam had forced him to re-admit the UN inspectors. However, working ass-backwards, we assumed that the inspectors' failure to find WMD represented their own incompetence (I didn't notice we had apologized to them yet) married to Saddam's deceit. The possibility that, say, the "defector intelligence" we had generously paid for was so much crap—which is now Conventional Wisdom—was never entertained at high levels.
Not all of Colin Powell's claims are 100% disproven (yet), although of course the burden of proof in a matter like this rests on him and you, but many of them are. His claim about the centrifuge tubes was not believed by our own experts at the time. There's no evidence to be found at various sites he mentioned. Zilch. Isn't it embarrassing that we can't justify even one of his Power Points?
So, in the total absence of any WMD finds, the Administration moved to so-called WMD programs. Now, if you read between the lines, they don't amount to anything either. Laboratories "suitable" for CW development would include my son's school laboratory. A single vial of harmless botulin is hyped as a botulism threat. (I've read that Iraq bought that strain of botulin at a chemical supply house.) There were scientists in Iraq who understood nuclear physics (I can imagine the reaction if Saddam had shot them all). So we pretty much had to give up on the WMD programs, none of which were active processes that would lead to tangible weapons.
As a last stab, just to provide a fig leaf for what we really did, which was make a statement about our capacity and will to mount unilateral military action at the President's whim on any flimsy pretext, we started talking about Saddam's heart's [he had one?] desires.
Well, if we're talking about desires, it's time to bring Paris Hilton into the mix. Sure invading Iraq is a guarantee against their developing WMD. What the hell standard for war is this? If your wife cuts off your you-know-what, she doesn't have to worry about your sleeping with Paris. Somehow I don't think you find this "Well, he'd like to, so stop him now" standard makes sense in any general context. It's just a rationalization now that our better arguments—if Saddam had truly been a year away from a nuclear bomb, I would have supported the war—turned to ashes.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
[Kelli says] Is it logically consistent to promise much greater FDI, trade and debt relief (all of it, courtesy of American taxpayers, who may have a thing or two to say about this plan to open their wallets, by the way) [emphasis mine]I take it, then, you oppose James Baker's European trip, in your solidarity with French and German taxpayers. Oh, wait! Not that debt relief?!
posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
C'mon. That's the best you can do? Why should I give a crap about French and German taxpayers when they seem perfectly happy to be fleeced by their elected governments? A more relevent question is why Iraqi taxpayers (a new species, I grant you) should pay French and German companies for crooked business deals knowingly cut with their former murderous dictator which, it deserves to be noted, flouted "international law" as dictated by the United Nations (quel horreur! someone call Villepin!)
For the record, I support debt relief for the Third World, provided it is done in such a way as not to encourage moral hazard or bolster corruption. And I'm far from being a purist on free trade, for that matter. I simply don't trust Mr. Dean to protect my family and make the world a safer place. Period. Now why would that be?posted by: Kelli on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Andrew J. Lazarus wrote:
I take it, then, you oppose James Baker's European trip, in your solidarity with French and German taxpayers. Oh, wait! Not that debt relief?!
Since we’ve just apprehended the man they loaned money too, I’m certain France, Germany, et al will be welcome to make their own civil claim against him for his unpaid debts after his criminal trial has been concluded.
posted by: Thorley Winston on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Dean's position on fair trade is little different from Paul O'Neill's.posted by: praktike on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Speaking for myself, I don't find Paris Hilton all that hot.posted by: Steve in Houston on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
I'm not claiming that poverty justifies terrorism. For 30 years the Saudi's have been robbing and mismanaging their country, and blaming everyone but themselves. When their people complain, they either execute them or point them toward religion - when people are in reduced circumstances, they turn to their deity. (See Job) A quarter century of feedback cycle on that loop - lower conditions, more religious fanaticism, even lower conditions, even more fanaticism - has bred a group of middle-class superfanatics. And their entire life they have been told that it is the Jews and the Banks and the Americans (and the Communists) who are responsible for their condition, and that the way out is Islam and Arabia. So they lash out at those "oppressors". First in Israel, then Afghanistan, then New York.
It is stupid, it is irrational. It is also completely predictable. When a society suffers setbacks, its people lash out at those they believe are responsible.
Look at depression-era Germany. Look at revolutionary France. Imperial Rome and the Christians. Cromwell and the Catholics. Iran and the Shah, and the rejection of westernism. The South after the war.
The "cure" is to remake and rebuild those societies, but that can't be done without cooperation from the existing leadership, or their replacement. Material loss, military loss, and oppression all can lead to this state - in the last 30 years, the Saudi Arab people have seen all three.
When the Arab peoples do cast off their dictators, I suspect that the Saudi princes will, in their last moments, wish they had it as good as Ceaucescu or Mussolini. It often works out that way - the monster they created to control the people will finally turn on them.posted by: rvman on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
For the record, I support debt relief for the Third World, provided it is done in such a way as not to encourage moral hazard or bolster corruption.I find this (sensible position) rather hard to reconcile with version 1.0.
I must confess, I remain mystified George Bush why taking out Saddam made Americans safer. To show off our military prowess? It seems much more like a strange symbolic ritual than anything to do with a genuine Iraqi threat. (Or did we find some WMD yesterday?) Are you sure you aren't confusing truculence and security?
LOL. The mysteries of life, indeed...
What I cannot understand is the Left's inability to come to grips with the obvious. Must be some sort of strange, symbolic ritual.
"I must confess, I remain mystified George Bush why taking out Saddam made Americans safer. To show off our military prowess? It seems much more like a strange symbolic ritual than anything to do with a genuine Iraqi threat. (Or did we find some WMD yesterday?) Are you sure you aren't confusing truculence and security?"
Well, considering a nation 50 times more backwards and with a tiny fraction of Iraqs resources managed to abet the murder of 3000 American civilians, I find this statement provacative. I believe that that is the crux of the difference between foriegn policies now, those that think of 911 as some sort of natural disaster (albiet provoked by our own hubris and dedication to capitalism), and those that look at 911 as a possible prelude of things to come should we allow our declared enemies to go unchallanged as we have. Historically speaking, allowing ones enemies to hang around is often a recipe for unforseen disaster, and thats the point. If terrorists were using Baghdad as a training HQ, possibly milling anthrax or sarin for an attack on Baltimore, how would we ever know? We might well never even backtrack and prove the link. Of course Iraq was a threat?! Capabilities wise there can be no doubt, a half dozen jihadis with an envolope of anthrax could reek havock, much less something more massive. The only question is intent and motive. We know Hussein had the motive, the only question was the intent. There are two kinds of people, those who believe they can understand the motivations and aspirations of a man like Hussein, and those that are not idiots. Hussein made a career of doing what we never believed he would dare. If we have done nothing else, we have removed that unknown from the equation. Claiming that he was never a danger to the US is absurd on its face and simply showcases the ignorance of the danger that even a tiny power with limited resources can put to our society.posted by: Mark Buehner on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Stupid or obtuse, which is it?
"Version 1.0" as you refer to my original post made no value judgments regarding the proferred policy positions of ANYONE: Dean, Bush or Dan the Man. It called into question the logic of their statements, and HINTED that the grandiose (albeit contradictory) nascent "Dean Doctrine" would go the route of Clinton's ill-fated healthcare "solution," should we be so unlucky as to get this bozo in the White House next year.
As for the effectiveness of the Bush Doctrine, which of us has a crystal ball and can give you the answer you so crave? Did Clinton's foreign policy make us safe, or did he stave off disaster for another day?
Picture, if you will, an alternate universe in which the pusillanimous Chamberlain is replaced by the hard-edged Churchill in the mid-30s; he and FDR strike a deal to save Czechoslovakia, war breaks out with Hitler's Germany BEFORE its war machine is fully ramped up, and much of the worst bloodletting of Europe is averted. Would FDR and Churchill have been thanked by those whose chose not to join their "unilateral" action? How would any of us know the millions of lives that had been saved?posted by: Kelli on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
How many times does it have to be said? " The man ran a police state. A POLICE STATE. You think that maybe, just maybe, he was able to accomplish quite a bit during the last decade regarding the americans?
No, not that, It wouldn't occur to him to conduct such affairs as to constitute a danger to us, would it? No history of that, no language that would suggest...right?
posted by: TommyG on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Geez, Kelli - you're in rare form today. Sick 'em - I'm going to dinner.posted by: TommyG on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
The Paris Hilton analogy does work, but only if you add a caveat:
If said husband already had numerous three-ways with Jenna Jameson and Pamela Anderson.posted by: tsmonk on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Wow, TommyG, Saddam ran a police state, in ALL CAPS YET. I know that.
Now that the WMD argument has fallen to pieces, that's what you have to offer? There are dozens of police states. Are you suggesting that it's appropriate for us to invade them all? If not, then you have to come up with something better than "He had a police state." After all if that were enough, even allowing that we can't overthrow all police states, why didn't we say so in the first place, instead of terrifying everybody with untrue scare stories.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities.Mark Buehner writes
If terrorists were using Baghdad as a training HQ, possibly milling anthrax or sarin [neither of which we have found in Iraq–AJL] for an attack on Baltimore, how would we ever know? We might well never even backtrack and prove the link.but the terrorists weren't using Iraq; if anything they were using places like Hamburg, Germany.This is precisely why the War in Iraq does nothing to improve national security. Bush admits Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Dean is right: Bush is selling fear. By the Bush standards that you have adopted, disaster could come at any time from anywhere. Do we invade Hamburg next? Even if itwere true that we are almost defenseless against terrorists, a massive military campaign against a country which was not involved with Al Qaeda is a very indirect way to inhibit terrorism. (Somehow, in arguments like yours, I also hear an echo of the idea that they're both Arabs, they're both Muslims, close enough.)
Kelli, you're being disingenuous. Your original post was clearly intended to ridicule Dean's campaign speech advocating debt relief. You just forgot, I guess, about James Baker's campaign for debt relief.
Before you call Neville Chamberlain pusillanimous, you might try reading Churchill's eulogy of him. Your description, in line with your take on security, is oversimplified.
I think you'll all find that Jonah Goldberg summarized your view well:
But, since everyone's looking for a single persuasive equation, I should say the kicker for me was simple: We needed to kick someone's butt (other than Afghanistan) and Iraq was by far the best candidate. Indeed, nearly a full year before the war - in April of 2002 - I wrote: "The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense."Kicking butt. Well, he's honest: we aren't in Iraq to frustrate actual terrorist plans. We're there to play our own psychological game against terrorists, and I think that's a misguided plan. posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
I love the idea of eulogy as character reference. Note that Churchill said that of Chamberlain precisely because he was dead. Generally, eulogies are not intended to be seen as analysis. Using Chamberlain's eulogy to defend him is original, but not quite as funny as the strange, symbolic ritual thingee.
The Jonah Goldberg quote is good, too. Nice touch. Nobody would ever accuse that boy of rendering complex foreign policy issues into oversimplified, psuedo-intellectual psycho-babble, would they? No, siree, they wouldn't do that.
Please tell me you're doing this for laughs. This really can't be the product of one class in Psych and an urge to see Howard Dean in the White House, can it?posted by: DennisThePeasant on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Yes, we needed to go to war with someone in the area. The reasons for that, and the reason for choosing Iraq, was made clear to me 1-1/2 years ago. The presence of a dangerous U.S. in the Middle East is already producing some token backpedaling by other rulers in the area. The presence of a prosperous and democratic (on their terms) Iraq will blow things wide open.
BTW, I have a fairly open marriage. My wife and my late girlfriend were genuine friends. I wouldn't do Paris Hilton, even if my wife set it up for me, even with your equipment. What a skank.
Note that Churchill said that of Chamberlain precisely because he was dead.Rubbish. He was also generous to Chamberlain in his history of the Second World War, and what's more, until his cancer was too far advanced, Chamberlain sat in Churchill's War Cabinet.
I'd say triticale's remark proves my point: Since Arab Muslims committed 9/11, war on any other Arab Muslims is somehow justified. A novel, and I might add, unpleasant proposition.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Sometimes the truth hurts Andrew, and sometimes it's just plain ugly. Frankly what counts now is strength, nor morality. We got hit. We want to be strong. That's why everything has happened has happened. Clinton, whom I don't quote often, had that insight. Right now, people would rather have someone wrong but strong, than someone weak but right.posted by: Oldman on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"So, we throw more US taxpayer money at the world hoping to buy them off so they stop killing us??? "
You say that as though going to war, getting hundreds of our soldiers killed, and killing thousands of "others," is cheap or something.
You know, like it DIDN'T just cost the U.S. taxpayers almost $200 billion (and we're not done yet!).
If that idiocy is what passes for intelligent criticism, then Dean's gonna kick some ass next November.
posted by: Hesiod on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Incidentally, Dan...your snarkiness misses the point of Dean's speach.
He's basically saying: "George W. Bush is so incomopetent, he can't even execute GOOD ideas properly. Let me take the reigns and fix this mess."
Sounds like a pretty powerful (and accurate) argument to me.posted by: Hesiod on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Bush is an incompetent moron. Fix that idea in your mind and hold it for about 12 months.
I wrote a bit about Bush's incompetence here and why it is a losing proposition:posted by: M. Simon on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
The WMD thesis has not fallen to pieces. Like the Al Q/Iraq connection it has yet to be fully uncovered.
Since Bush heads the government I would expect the uncoverage of such info to proceede at a pace favorable to him and not his opposition.
The more fully you entrench your position the harder it will be to change your direction when the attack comes from an unexpected direction.
This is Bush's favorite tactic. He has been doing it for years. Yet his opponents never seem to catch on. Must be because he is a moron.posted by: M. Simon on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
If what I have seen here is the quality of the opposition I will confidently predict the 2004 election.
Bush in a lanslide. Because Bush is a moron and incompetent.posted by: M. Simon on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"So, we throw more US taxpayer money at the world hoping to buy them off so they stop killing us??? "
You say that as though going to war, getting hundreds of our soldiers killed, and killing thousands of "others," is cheap or something.
You say that as though, when they are ready for another payoff and attack New York again, killing thousands of our citizens and causing 3 trillion dollars in damage, that will be cheap or something.
I'd prefer to do something about the problem rather than paying tribute, but hey that's just me.
Keith Johnsonposted by: Keith Johnson on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Good call, M. Simon. I think it's been referred to as his "rope a dope" stat for quite some time now. It's no secret, yet his opposition never seems to catch on...posted by: TommyG on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Hey, M. Simon—when exactly will it be time to give up on finding WMD and Al Qaeda links? I'm tired of weasels like John Kerry who aren't willing to commit themselves on questions like this. If WMD turn up, Howard Dean's campaign is a goner. People respond to the fact he's willing to make such a commitment.
Funny how the complete absence of any of the tangible threats we paraded before the world prewar doesn't embarrass you, though. Indeed, we're playing with the deck stacked against us. Your incorrect predictions just get shrugged off. Hey, no WMD?! So what, he had torture chambers.
As far as Bush's re-election, I think (a little late) we are catching on to his electoral strengths and stratagems. You must admit, he made it last time only by the skin of his teeth, if that. Incidentally, I'm not from the "moron" school; just the "uninformed" school.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
I get tired of all the "what about other nations like Iraq" argument.
This entire thread (which took on a life of its own I realize) has not mentioned one important detail.
Saddam invaded a sovereign nation and neighbor in attempt to take it over for himself.
The world, through the UN, was united in its desire to see him out of Kuwait, but split on whether this act should force him out of power in Iraq. Sadly, the voice that carried the day was for Saddam to go on "probation".
In other words, the world said, you can keep running Iraq and doing what you want to your own people, as long as you abide by a few rules so we know you won't attack any other nations in the future.
He did not cooperate with the UN which passed several resolutions saying "stop it now" but did nothing until the US-led coalition of dozens of nations decided Saddam had broken his probation long enough and was time to be brought to justice.
This is how I would explain it to the average 6th grader, Howard Dean or the entire French populace but I think only the kids would understand it.
Now, the left can howl about WMDs all they want, but President Bush has been very clear and repetitive that Saddam was being eliminated primarily for refusing to abide by the 17 or so UN resolutions WHICH HE WAS REQUIRED TO OBEY AS TERMS OF BEING ALLOWED BY THE WORLD (UN) TO STAY IN POWER.
The fact a couple of his trading partners in the UN were against enforcing their own resolutions was not an issue for the President.
That is a Cliffs Notes version I realize, but it is the key detail and what makes Iraq unique from other nations at the moment.
The Iraqi foreign minister sure understands the UN was no friend of his people..if you read his remarks from yesterday..posted by: Steve_in_Corona on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"The Iraqi foreign minister sure understands the UN was no friend of his people..if you read his remarks from yesterday.."
Take into account, that the Iraki foreign minister is there at the US' bidding and will. And we are no friend of the UN right now.posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
I guess Colin Powell wasn't informed by Steve about the real reasons for invading Iraq. In his presentation to the UN, he devotes literally one sentence to Iraq's prior breaches of UN Resolutions, except for 1441. He then goes on to accuse Iraq of WMD and involvement with Al Qaeda, in violation of 1441. AFAIK, despite our conquest of Iraq, we haven't found evidence to support even one of Powell's claims.
Sixth grade is just about the right time to learn that so-called grown-ups often lie to get what they want, just like children. I don't think that's what Steve had in mind, but it is what he recommends.posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
As for as saying that the US had the right to do the UN's bidding against the UN's wishes stretches the bounds of sanity. But I guess that's why only a 6th grader would fall for your crock of crap.
You Dean-haters are rather pathetic.posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
And Bill Simons,
Two points for you to ponder: 1) if it took 8 months of concentrated effort to locate and capture one man in his cozy little 8' by 3' digs, how long do you think it might take to find substantial evidence of WMD? and 2) do you really think it wise for the Dems to take this Vegas style crapshoot on the presidency (as long as they DONT find wmd, and as long as they DONT settle things in N. Korea--don't look now boys, that's on the way--and make no progress economically--oops--and as long as... well, you get my drift.
I'd be all over a Democrat who said "I'm not going to entrust your safekeeping to Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan" but where is he? I will say this much for Dean, within six months in office he would be at the top of both JC and KAs' shitlists, because he is just as bullheaded and intolerant of fools as GWB. But therein lies the problem--what is to be gained in the exchange, besides a temporary but dangerous loss of street cred in the wider world? Thanks but no thanks, I'm not hanging around while another greenhorn gets up to speed on this "international relations" thing. And that, ch2, is why your man Dean is doomed.posted by: Kelli on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Lazarus, I mention Bush's remarks..and you quote Powell back to me..
ch2...take a deep breath..think..THEN post..3 posts in about 15 minutes?? I understand you wanting to get the last word, but wait until someone replies first..LOL
Now, I am glad to see you stay true to form in insisting the Iraqi FM is also either A) lying or B) just repeating words Bush puts in his mouth..he certainly can't mean the things he is saying, right? No, not in your world..What does this schmuck know about Saddam's treatment to the Iraqi people?
I see you all jumped on the 6th grade comment, but failed to reply to the substance of the post dealing with UN resolutions and Saddam's "probation".
I guess if we arrest a child molester, and don't put him in jail , but rather on probation, on the condition he does not become involved with children in any fashion..and you guys watched him for several years hanging around the playgrounds and ballfields...there would be no reason to stop him..no proof of wrongdoing of course..who cares about the probation..sounds like a very liberal, ACLUish point of view.
And for what it is worth...I am no Dean hater..I love the guy and am hoping he will win the nomination since he is the best thing to happen to the Republican party since Hillarycare in 1994!!
With Ed Koch, Roger Simon and other lifelong Dems (like almost the entire South) rejecting Dean for Bush, I can only imagine what he will do to the general electorate come NOV 2004.
Can't wait to watch the Dems try and hold those 5 Southern Senate seats that are opening with Dean on the ticket. May it be so!
It truly is fascinating watching an entire political party in meltdown...The Lieberman/Gephardt and others camp..battling with Dean and his camp...going to be a fun election year.posted by: Steve_in_Corona on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Are you for real ?
Let's see 8 months for 1 guy in a hole ? How long for 30,000 tons of gas, centrifuges for uranium enrichment, large mobile labs.... Uuuuhh: less time ?
The Dems actually have a platform beyond the war: sucky economy, ballooning deficit, etc. So the Vegas crapshot thing pretty much says nothing. If you had READ the speech you would see that Dean is talking about restoring our badly frayed diplomatic might. True, whether one vial of anthrax will be found or not. How does settling North Korea hurt the Dems one way or another ? Patently ridiculous.
I sure hung around while your stupid green horn got up to speed, so you'll have to suck it up kid. International street cred ? What kind of nonsense is that ? Dean is saying "make smart use of other countries and allies, instead of pissing them off continually", how that gets twisted in your mind with "entrusting Chirac and Anna with our safety" is beyond me.
You clearly should not lift anything, heavy or light.posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
First the mea culpas:
6th grader shot= cheap
As for the FM, I'm just saying that he didn't blame Saddam, but the UN ! The UN actually condemned Saddam, instituted sanctions to help defang his military, tried to do it with the least civilian pain by instituting food-for-oil program, and now this FM wants to blame the organization ? He can blame specific member states (including the US) who aided or abetted Saddam's long career, but the UN has actually tried to help instead !
Your analogy is imperfect. I fail to see how Saddam hung around playgrounds ? Are you one of those who "believes" ? Are you waiting for the tons and tons of WMD to be found any day now, in a large warehouse ? If not, then your analogy fails. Dissing the ACLU is rather crass, IMO.
Re: your pro-Dean attitude.
As for the South, Dean will crack that nut open as well. Did I miss something ? Is there no economic stagnation in the South, everyone has healthcare ?
respectfully,posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
As for the South, Dean will crack that nut open as well. Did I miss something ? Is there no economic stagnation in the South, everyone has healthcare
As to economic stagnation, I live in CA..but I would not bet too heavily on a terrible economy sinking the President. The wallet is always key in elections, but the dynamic in a post 9/11 world has changed too. Obviously if the economy is REALLY hurting (not that we simply are told it is) then that is one thing..people know for themselves of course how bad financially they are. But they also know how important the war on terror is as well.
As to healthcare issue. Are you suggesting that the electorate (in the South no less) is now open to a Hillary-care sort of system? Does Dean have something up his sleeve here. I truly do not know any details, but I am sure I will learn them if/when he gets the nomination.
It will be interesting to see how Dean pitches his health care plans (and how he suggests paying for them) versus the President who just added a drug benefit to Medicare and who will talk a lot about tort reform to lower medical costs..(something no Dem can even whisper in public)
If the Dems were smart, they would agree with everything Bush says and does on the war on terror and take the issue away..then try domestic rhetoric to seek the victory.
Presidential history shows it is very tough to defeat an incumbent President..Bush is not like his father (who was no friend to conservatives), Dean sure ain't no Clinton, and there is no Perot factor (except possibly on the left with Nader again)...
And foreign policy was a non-issue in 1992 after the wall fell..hardly the case now...
It should be fun to watch..I am realistically expecting 2 Senate pickups at minimum..and about 6 or so House seats..posted by: Steve_in_Corona on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
I love the 'Bush better start looking for work in '04' theme going here.
6th graders can learn how to whistle past a graveyard at night...posted by: DennisThePeasant on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
And strike what I said about trash-talk school. We'd better get you some remedial spelling help first. Too bad you were too late to benefit from W's "no child left behind" initiative. Or is the 6th grader barb actually close to the mark....hmmmm.
Here's a starter course:
Kelli, as usual you keep on underwhelming me.
That's all you got ? Typos ? Actually Irak=Iraq are both acceptable.
UN usurp control over the internet ?
You're minor league kid. Or you're masochist looking for a verbal smackdown.posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"Well, you have to admit Dean has not gotten off on the right foot with some comments about the South in past weeks."
I admit. But I also see a bit of a double standard. When Bush seems to go off the track, I don't hear the press and pundits hounding him the way they are hounding Dean.
The healthcare plan of Dean is actually nothing like Hillary's and is one of the mildest of the Dem candidates. It's similar to the one he brought to VT. It focuses on kids and the young unemployed (up to 25 or so). It's not everyone, but it's an at-risk population where health check-ups help save a lot more money by reducing emergency treatment later. It's rather cost effective (in the "costs a penny, saves a pound" sense).
His plan is a lot cheaper than the Medicare drug plan. I agree with you about tort reform, the Dem's in congress may yet come around.
"If the Dems were smart, they would agree with everything Bush says and does on the war on terror and take the issue away..then try domestic rhetoric to seek the victory."
I am not sure that's the best strategy. But we can argue that some other time. Nader may well come out again. Oh well.
I really have not yet thought about how I would handicap the Senate and House races.
1. Have to agree with you on Warren.
As far as what he's saying in the speech, it sounds to me like he's advocating an increase in foreign aid. I did notice one poster characterized this as "paying them not to kill us." While I can see that point of view, I'd prefer to look at it as spending my tax dollars to improve the lot of the world's poor instead of to kill them. We've spent billions in Iraq--killing US soldiers, allied personnel, aid workers, and Iraqi citizens. If there's a benefit to the cost we've paid in blood and dollars, I've yet to notice it. But perhaps that's because I don't own preferred stock in Haliburton or Bechtel.
However, when we spent money on the Marshall Plan after WWII, we gained:
Not a bad investment, and one I'd rather make than the one that's been forced on me in Iraq. Chrisposted by: Chris Finnie on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
ch2, If Dean's healthcare proposal is mild as you say and quite detailed, I do not see how that becomes much help in a campaign.
As far as the double standard..Bush took his beating in 2000 when he was a candidate too (remember the foreign leader quiz)..
The House seats are fairly safe for all due to redistricting, except for what happened in Texas which may earn the Repubs a few..
But as to the Senate..All I look for now is how many Dems are running in red states..anyone running now was last elected in 1998 which was a good solid year for the Dems. Likewise, they won in 1992..with winning Clinton on the ballot.
So 2004, with an incumbent President, especially if the election is a landslide, will be very tough on Dems in red states and on open seat battles in red states. I have been following Senate election news quite closely in terms of candidates, fundraising and the like..The incumbent Republicans are very safe except in Alaska, and there are only 2 retiring seats (Illinois and Oklahoma..the latter should easily stay Rep and the former will go Dem)
South Carolina is in the bag for the Repubs..so that pickup offsets the Illinois likely loss. So with what is left, the Dems will have to do VERY well (and hope against a Presidential landslide) if they want to lose less than 2 seats.posted by: Steve_in_Corona on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
As for Ch2,
Well, since you've declared victory and done a little dance on my grave (boo hoo) I guess there's not much else to say. I defer to your superior mind--though I couldn't help but notice that you're the one who finds everyone else hard to follow, while none of us have gotten lost in the heady forest of your logic. Well, nevermind.
I'm sure Dean will win, and when he does he'll have you and all the other hundreds of gauloise-smoking warriors, fresh from their life-altering experiences (JYA!)in Europe, to thank for his victory. At great risk to yourselves you braved the bloggy wilds of uncharted rightwingism to convert those suffering false consciousness and hearts several sizes too small.
I repent, Ch2, I repent. Dean is now my personal savior too. That feels better.posted by: Kelli on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Alright, alright !
I've said my piece. I'll be more civil next time.
Sincerely,posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
"If Dean's healthcare proposal is mild as you say and quite detailed, I do not see how that becomes much help in a campaign."
Dean's is pretty moderate, and it doesn't really help him so much against the Dem field, but it could in a general election.
Your analysis of the races sounds pretty solid, thanks for breaking it down.
regards,posted by: ch2 on 12.15.03 at 06:42 PM [permalink]
Post a Comment: