Monday, September 20, 2004
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Will Bush pull out of Iraq in January?
Robert Novak says the answer is yes in the Chicago Sun-Times:
The bolded portion of the piece provides me with the greatest skepticism on this subject. On what planet is Paul Wolfowitz going to get confirmed by the Senate, even a Senate with a slight Republican majority? Only this June, the Los Angeles Times had a piece on how this was a non-starter. Naturally, that piece is no longer availably for free, but Robert Tagorda excerpted it in this post:
OK, so Novak is talking about Wolfowitz for DoD rather than State, but I don't see anything that's changed since June.
Which means either Novak's source is not as plugged in as Novak thinks -- or that Novak's source is plugged in but highly delusional.
BELATED UPDATE: I've had a few conversations with people who have much better administration sources than I. Their collective assessment is that the speculation in the Novak article is -- to use the technical term -- "bulls**t"
Or the source is Wolfowitz himself, if the definitite descriptions "not plugged in" and "highly delusional" are not a sufficient tip-off.posted by: Monstertron on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
or that Novak's source is plugged in but highly delusional.
Hmmm, wouldn't that qualify at least half of the high-ranking officials in the Bush administration right now? Cheney still spouts the gospel on Iraq/Al Queda. I'm just wondering when he's going to start to tell us WMD were found in Iraq too.
Let me just say, this is *hilarious*. There goes democracy in Iraq. It's just one big-cluster fuck now. Maybe he's just trying to hedge for constituencies -- either way, doing that on such a big issue I guess would qualify him for flip-flopper of the year right guys? Can I get an amen from the wing-nut corner?
I have a feeling that the hall of infamy, Mark B., David Thompson, Kelli, tre, etc. will be absent from this thread.
On what planet is Paul Wolfowitz going to get confirmed by the Senate, even a Senate with a slight Republican majority?
How 'bout, a planet where Porter Goss can get confirmed as CIA director?posted by: EH on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
posted by: Jon H on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Say the Iraqi government decides to ask us to leave after their elections? That would be a higgedly-piggedly retreat, yes? That IS a possibility.
So: Condi Rice calls up Novak and breaks the news the 'bad' news: the spreading democracy in the Middle East thing is dead meat. Unhappy neos.
However, as compensation, a neutral in the neo/everybody-else-war moves into the SoS position, removing the hated Powell, her XO gets a promotion (same deal), Rumsfeld goes for many many reasons, and the neos get some red meat by giving DoD to Rumsfeld's XO. Bonus: everybody gets out of Iraq after the election is over, cuz we're all getting a bad fscking headache.
Condi thus is positioned as fifth in presidential succession just in time for 2008. Neos maintain their powerbase in DoD except now they run the show, so it's all OSP all the time.
It could be running in the other direction TO Rice and the President: 'We'll give up Iraq in exchange for...'
It's a PROPOSAL.
The key is not that we bug out of Iraq, it's that State and Rumsfeld buy it (the CIA has already gone down, yes?), and that little spy problem goes away.
(Note: obviously, in so many ways, this could be a put-up. None the less.)
I agree that the Wolfowitz nomination makes no sense. If you're going to admit that Iraq is a debacle, then why nominate the bonehead who came up with the idea? It gains you nothing politically or any other way.
I'd vote for Bush in a heartbeat if I thought this was true, since Kerry and the Dems can't admit defeat without being tarred as traitors. But this sounds a lot like Nixon's secret plan.
Incidentally, here was how Iraq was supposed to turn out, according to Arnaud de Borchgrave, the former editor of the Washington Times
Wolfowitz was presumably one of those "prominent neoconservatives."posted by: Carl on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Mr. Novak received his information via a memo typed on an IBM Selectric II and faxed from a Kinko's in Abilene, Texas.posted by: JP Sobel on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"On what planet is Paul Wolfowitz going to get confirmed by the Senate, even a Senate with a slight Republican majority?"
Answer: On the same planet that confirmed John Ashcroft as Attorney General.posted by: JKC on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Who knows why Novak ran this particular story now? Certainly not me. But then, neither does anyone else, and that's not stopping them from opining.
Two things spring to mind. One, that Novak may be smarting (dya think?) from the whole Plame affair blowing up in his face. Who knows what his feelings are toward this administration, particular cliques within it, or theirs toward HIM? Certainly, until Rather shifted the spotlight (hope Novak sent him a box of chocolates) he was the posterboy for dodgy journalism tainted by overt politicization. But I guess that's too far back for guys like Jor to remember, so we'll just accept Novak's column as the gospel truth (when it suits our need) right guys?
Second thought: what if this is a trial balloon from a segment of the Republican Party? A kind of "me tooism" of the cut and run school of thought made so popular by the Kerry/Edwards team. Maybe it's like when you feel you are being taken for granted by your partner, so you drop hints about heading for the door, hoping the miscreant gets the hint and begs you to stay, promising to behave better from now on. Read Iraq the Model today for something along those lines.
There, I've already devoted more time to this piece than Novak probably spent writing it. I'm done.posted by: Kelli on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
David Brooks puts it best in the New York Times today:
Does [Bush] really want to imply that 1,000 troops died for nothing?
Brooks then goes on to praise Kerry for laying out a plan how to clean up the mess and turn Iraq around.
(Actually, Brooks attacks Kerry's plan to turn Iraq around and claims that Kerry's plan implies that 1,000 American soldiers died for nothing. I assume Brooks did not know about Novak's article at the time he wrote his piece. Meanwhile Bush is expected to adopt some of Kerry's proposals in his speech at the UN today - although this won't be admitted by his campaign, of course, and the press pundits will definitely not point it out and will definitely not call it a flip-flop.)
I'm sorry, which part of the comment was sarcastic and which was simply nonsensical? I'm confused. Do you read? The WaPo, NYTimes, even the Beeb have today applauded Kerry's decision to make a decision (and him just 60 years old! what a special child) but asked what in his "plan" is different from that of the man he would replace. Of course, if the ideas were Kerry's in the first place (did his Momma write his name on them for him?) then you are correct, Bush is set to "steal" them today at the UN. If not, you may want to follow Alice down the rabbit hole. Maybe the ideas are really HERS!posted by: Kelli on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
I am actually quite amused at the tremendous mental gymnastics it obviously takes to discount Novak's piece. Novak is hardly a friend of Kerry, and occams razor leads us to the inevitable conclusion that some folks in the adminitration think we made a mistake by invading Iraq and want to cut our losses!
Kelli wins the prize by managing to slime Kerry yet again as captain of the "cut and run" team when there is no evidence that he will "cut and run". Novak source was an _administration official_ - hardly a Kerry supporter. To borrow from Jor, cognative dissonance.posted by: TexasToast on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Alternate explanation: Novak is channeling what he wants to happen. Novak never wanted to go to Iraq, certainly doesnt believe Arabs are capable of democracy, and is choking on the amount of money being spent in Iraq that could be going towards tax cuts or corporate welfare. Novak is an isolationist of the old school and should be ignored.posted by: Mark Buehner on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
of course this may just be spin for the electorate. A large proportion of potential republican voters are wobbly on Iraq and would like to beleive that its all going to end soon. Novak re-assures them that if they want to believe this then its ok voting for Bushposted by: Giles on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Think you are wrong to give this story much credence. Not only is our source blathering about Wolfie taking over as SecDef, but he claims Wolfie would support a pullout from Iraq. Even in the blinkered world that is the Bush administration, the promotion of a fellow whose signature policy is a self-confessed multi-billion dollar failure is beyond belief.
Love to know who Novak's source is. Because someone floating this kind of dog turd as a policy direction should be immediately dispatched on a Falluja fact-finding mission.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Novak is an isolationist of the old school and should be ignored.
Many (most?) Bush voters are isolationists. They believe that Saddam had to be taken out in retaliation for 9/11 (that's why it's so important that Cheney keeps lying about the connection). Unlike you, Mark, and others here, they don't believe that American tax dollars should be spent to rebuild Iraq or to spread democracy in the World. A flip-flop back towards isolationism, which was preached as recently as in the 2000 Republican platform, wouldn't surprise me a bit. And don't worry, you'll be buying the reasons once they are laid out for you in the talking points. 9/11 changed everything, you know. Maybe we'll just have to abandon those globalization ideas and get back under the turtle shell.
Kelli: Got some arguments, too, or just ad hominems against Kerry?
Far more likely is that this is just internal jockeying and politics. Now that Bush looks to be the clear favorite, some people have their eyes set on internal prizes and a few well placed leaks can help there.posted by: erg on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Maybe proposing Wolfowitz as Secretary of Defense is supposed to make Rumsfeld look good.
Or it's supposed to prepare the setting for some "compromise" candidate who would otherwise be considered unacceptable.
On the one hand we have this report from Novak.
One hardly knows where to look anymore.
I kind of liked the idea after I thought about it.
Would I rather have Bush mismanage the occupation for 4 years, or mismanage a pullout?
Now that I think about it some more, it looks pretty bad either way.
Bithead, a callup makes sense whether or not we stay in iraq.
One thing we learned from this is that we don't have enough troops even to occupy a nation like iraq. So if we want a credible threat against nations larger than panama, we need more troops.
If we stay in iraq we need a lot more troops to kill iraqis.
I don't know if you can dismiss it that easily. The piece doesn't say that
Its also consistant with the fact that Bush was never really in favor of "nation building". "Democratization" was just the second to last in the changing list of reasons for the invasion.
Its actually consistant with the current (and possibly now the last) reason for the invasion. "Saddam was a bad man and now he is gone. Mission accomplished. Se ya later!" (smile)posted by: TexasToast on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Thing is, JT, it's not Iraqis we should be killing. It's the ones coming in from elsewhere. And while I agree a small call-up would be needed to rotate out troops already there in any kind of a roll-back, I have my questions about the numbers being presented. They decidedly do NOT mesh will what Novak is on about.
posted by: Bithead on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Trial balloon? Possibly, but the premise is believable because reelection would no longer be a factor, thus the neo-cons' usefulness to Bush would be over. He could then get back to his "tax shift to the middle" business full time.
(ps - refering to Kerry's goal of obtaining more international help as an "old saw" doesn't diminish it's merit.)posted by: wishIwuz2 on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
But they do all claim Wolfie would be in favor of a pullout. That to me sets off the alarm bells that this story is Bogus with a capital B. Unless, of course, someone can point me to where Wolfie has foreswarn the Neo-Con faith.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
What's our commitment to the rebuilding contracts - $110-120 bil? Does the U.S. still have to honor them if we pull out?
(just fanning the flames - sorry. Really hard to swallow this story.)posted by: wishIwuz2 on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Unless, of course, someone can point me to where Wolfie has foreswarn the Neo-Con faith.
But what exactly is the "Neo-Con faith"?
I think that "spreading democracy" is just a recently adopted marketing strategy.
Just look at the one-paragraph summary on the PNAC home page. The word "democracy" does not even appear. Or look at their list of "Global Issues". Interesting selection, isn't it? The only one that has anything to do with "democracy" (but not so much with spreading it) is "Indonesia and Democracy", a memo from 1999. Search for "democracy" in the other articles.
Even when they do talk about "Democracy Now", the message is mixed. Read the 1 1/2 page paper:
Kagan and Kristol evidently see democracy as a means to an end, not as the end itself. The real goal is stability and thus security for America.
They explicitly say at the end that "if someone has a better idea, we're happy to hear it." To me that implies that if there is a way to achieve the goal of stability and security without democracy, they would entertain such an approach, too.
Another thought: The real reason for a withdrawal from Iraq may be to have troops available to start the next war, with Iran being the most likely target.
'Saying you're gonna fix Iraq by getting more multilateral help is like saying you're gonna balance the budget by making all the tax dodgers pay up. Great in theory, not happening in the real world.'
True. thats not going to happen. No country will want to commit combat troops to action in the ungodly mess that Iraq has become. At least no democratic country -- India must be thanking their stars that they didn't contribute the 1 division that was asked for earlier.
That is not a reason to vote for Kerry. The reason is that Bush has got us into a hideous mess in Iraq because of his incompetence. A Kerry administration may be at marginally competent, which would put it a notch above Bushco.
posted by: erg on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
*Saying you're gonna fix Iraq by getting more multilateral help is like saying you're gonna balance the budget by making all the tax dodgers pay up.*
Too many all-or-nothing's in that sentence. Kerry doesn't say that more help alone will fix Iraq, just that it's one of many ways to do a better job fixing Iraq. And it doesn't fairly compare to the scenario of going after ALL the tax dodgers.
Just ATTEMPTING to get more international help with something other than threats and/or strong-arm tactics would be a good move.posted by: wishIwuz2 on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
> I'm not attacking Kerry so much as I am shining
This is why no-one decent runs for president anymore. The job consists of getting shat on by a bunch of hick fucks.
Kelli: Given your excellent understanding of how the "real world" operates, I'm sure you will dismiss the following ideas as delusional?
I propose establishing a democracy fund within the United Nations. This is a great calling for this great organization. The fund would help countries lay the foundations of democracy by instituting the rule of law and independent courts, a free press, political parties and trade unions. Money from the fund would also help set up voter precincts and polling places, and support the work of election monitors.
To show our commitment to the new democracy fund, the United States will make an initial contribution. I urge all other nations to contribute as well.
Surely Kerry must have been "drinking the Kool-aid" again, right?
Pulling out before securing Iraq is going to like defeat. (Probably because it IS defeat.) Americal will look weak, the terrorists emboldened...Hmm, that doesn't sound very neo-con acceptable to me.
Your second theory is a plausible rendering of a state of mind. I don't see how Bush would be able to pull it off, though. (Hey America! I just lost you a war we never should gone into in the first place! So let's now go do another war!! Yippee, don't you feel more secure!!)posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
This is why no-one decent runs for president anymore. The job consists of getting shat on by a bunch of hick fucks.
You mean like Mr. Bush has been putting up with for five years now?
posted by: Bithead on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
gw: After hte way the UN handled Oil for Food, giving the UN more money now is like giving a 13 year old the keys to the Corvette.
Appalled Moderate: Pulling out before securing Iraq is going to like defeat. (Probably because it IS defeat.)
I have said long before the Novak column that I believe that Bush will declare "Mission (Really) Accomplished" soon after the Iraqi elections. He's already calling Iraq a "sovereign" nation, something even most of his supporters commenting here seem to tacitly assume it isn't.
The administration will argue that once Iraq has held elections, we can pull out because Iraq will then be fully in charge of its own problems. It is not our task to fix someone else's problems. We'll only get involved again, if Iraq is starting to look like a threat to us. Once we pull out the "insurgents against the occupation" can easily be re-classified as "domestic terrorists". And we don't get involved in Chechnya, so why get involved in Iraq? Chechnya is Russia's problem; Iraq is, well, Iraq's problem. (Or rather "Falluja is Iraq's problem" etc.)
Your objections against the plausibility of a second war are well taken, but if sensible objections mattered and couldn't be cast away as unpatriotic, helping the terrorists or worse (how about: "You are just helping the mullahs get their nuclear bombs to attack us, you liberal traitor!"), then we wouldn't be in the mess we are in and we sure as hell wouldn't be looking at polls in which the man responsible for all this isn't behind by at least 20 to 30 points.
Bithead: After hte way the UN handled Oil for Food, giving the UN more money now is like giving a 13 year old the keys to the Corvette.
And yet you are willing to give Bush the keys to the whole country...
"Getting out of Iraq would end the neoconservative dream of building democracy in the Arab world...."
Huh?! What an astonishing thing to say! What do the neo-cons know about democracy? They perverted the 2000 election with Regal Tory vote rigging specifically to defeat democratic processes. They're fakirs and the republican party will be well rid of them.
Oh, and BTW, we don't have a 'democracy' here. The founders were well aware of the demagogic excesses of the Greek city-states, and so they said (right there in the Constitution!) that we have a "republican form of government". Patterned after Platos "Republic".
If this is the American plan, I hope someone tells Allawi or the next Allawi before they decide to run for office. Talk about a crummy job with a high morality rate.
...The old imperial powers understood this; a proverb on the Euphrates once had it, "If two fish fight in the river, the English are behind it." Chaos lurks at the heart of imperial rule, and the true imperialist employs it to his advantage. Americans are not imperialists by nature; that is, they are both too generous and too ignorant to run an empire. Do not count too much on them. At some point they will declare victory and go home.--Spengler
"Possibly, but the premise is believable because reelection would no longer be a factor, thus the neo-cons' usefulness to Bush would be over."
Bush believes in that 'neo-con claptrap', listen to the guy speak.
Here's the thing, Bush isnt a puppet and he isnt a moron. Thats all just fever swamp stuff that keeps the left underestimating Bush and losing to him. As I've said before, the most dangerous thing about Kerry is that he doesnt believe in what he says, the most dangerous thing about Bush is that he does.
'Here's the thing, Bush isnt a puppet and he isnt a moron. Thats all just fever swamp stuff'
'We might prod Bush into cleaning up his act, we can never prod Kerry out of state department mode.'
But Bush has shown no signs of cleaning up his act. Admittedly, its too close to the election now, but last November or December would have been a great time to clean house. Starting by sweeeping away the neocons. The fact that he hasn't done that is a clear indication that he does not even recognize the enormity of the problem that has been created for us by his administration's ineptitude.
Could Kerry be worse ? I don't see how. Carter was bad in some respects yes, but he also started the support for Afghani rebels against the Soviets. As far as the Iranian revolution goes, no one has yet explained to me exactly what the US could have done to stop it after Carter's coming to power. A popular revolution (KHomeini was overwhelmingly elected to office) like the Iranian revolution is not stopped by anything sort of a full-scale invasion, which would have been hard to impossible in Cold-War days anyway.
*Bush believes in that 'neo-con claptrap', listen to the guy speak.*
I've never believed I could learn anything about the man from his speechwriter's work. If there's any truth to insights from Paul O'Neil and John DiIulio (certainly debatable), he's been effectively "handled" in all aspects of his term. Any given minute of "ad lib" has confirmed this for me.
I agree he's no moron, but he's not particulary intelligent either. He's average, very average, and in some areas - economics, science, world views - below average. That would be fine for you or I, but not for the leader of the free world. The position warrants an individual with above-average intelligence.
The devil I know hasn't done a very good job. I don't reward that at the office, even when I know a replacement is an unknown quantity.
Mr Drezner - If you are still looking for reasons not to vote for Bush, here is a quote from his speech to the UN today.
''A democratic Iraq has ruthless enemies,'' Bush added, asserting that ''a terrorist group associated with Al Qaida is now one of the main groups killing the innocent in Iraq today, conducting a campaign of bombings against civilians and the beheadings of bound men.''
We can assume that Bush is referring to Zaqawi. It has been thoroughly documented that this Jordanian terrorist has been shunned in the past by the bin Laden al Queda network people. He resorted to attempting to run his own competing terrorist camp in Afghanistan. No one in Iraq (including top military brass, reporters, Iraqi bloggers, Middle East experts) has a clear idea of how strong a presence Zaqawi has. It is unclear how he is funded, how many followers he has, how much of his following includes foreign jihdists, how much responsibility his group has for suicide bombings.posted by: ABB on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
To all wondering about whether there will indeed be a large call up additional reservists, national guard and ready reserves just after the election. A family member of mine (Lt.Col) just attended the National Guard Officers convention in Las Vegas. There was unanimous acknowledgement that this call up will happen among those in the know at the convention.posted by: bobc on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Bithead: After hte way the UN handled Oil for Food, giving the UN more money now is like giving a 13 year old the keys to the Corvette.
As far as I am aware, we still have not been able to retrieve the Oil for Food documents that Chalabi squirreled away. I have not read anywhere that Paul Volcker has received any of it, nor anyone else. My understanding is that the only info out there is the stuff leaked (verbally, no supporting documentation) by Chalabi and originally printed in Iraqi newspapers. While I have no doubt there was a great deal of graft, etc., when you consider the reliability of previous Chalabi press feeds, I wonder at the wisdom of simply repeating the Chalabi line as gospel.posted by: Cali on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Will President-Re-Elect Bush call up the
I suggest you get Dan Rather to investigate
"I've never believed I could learn anything about the man from his speechwriter's work. "
Wise. But in this case Bush's rhetoric has matched his actions. Otherwise we wouldnt be in Iraq at all.
"That would be fine for you or I, but not for the leader of the free world. The position warrants an individual with above-average intelligence."
Perhaps, but IQ is overrated in a leader. Firmness, moral courage, and vision are far more important. Ronald Reagan, case in point. I'll take a guy with average intelligence but strong character over a brilliant man with no spine any day. Its been said that the most intelligent people tend to be the most easilly paralyzed by data, whereas a lesser intelect tends to fall back on their gut when the crap hits the fan.
You are right that competance is a completely seperate issue. I think that in a sense, Iraq has been disparaged both too much and too little. Too much based on the fact that there is much good happening there, and that we can still definately make it work. Too little because of what needed to be done early on, much of which I think Bush's detractors would have screamed bloody murder about, such as installing a supreme governer with total authority from day 1. Also blowing out every bit of red Washington tape when it comes to getting Iraq rebuilt. I would have given Halliburton (or whoever) a truck full of million dollar bills if they turned the lights on in Iraq in 3 months. Any question there would have been swoons and squeals from the left at that? Instead we play the usual procurement game and practically nothing gets done in a year and a half. Ultimately the responsibility falls on Bush, and he has not been equal to the task. Sadly Kerry has no record at all to run on (i did hear he was in Vietnam though). As a senator, all I basically know about him is that he tried to play nice with the Sandinistas and got humiliated, and he's been all over the map in his votes on the use of force around the globe. I despair at what will happen in places like Libya and Iran if Kerry takes over. He's made it clear what tools he will use and what he wont, that takes half our credibility off the table. Thinking France will fill the gap takes the other half. Bush knows the snakey people he has to deal with around the world, I get the impression Kerry thinks they just dont like Bush and will bend over backwards for him. I dont want Kerry finding out the truth the hard way. There are no permanent allies, only permanent interests. Nothing out of kerry's mouth has shown me he understands that in the least.
posted by: Mark Buehner on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
There is firmness, and then there is bull-headedness, stubornness etc. Its far, far worse to be a strong decision maker making a catastrophically wrong decision than a decision maker who analkyzes his actions.
As far as Iran goes, we know the first Bush solution aka the Ledeen solution (Invade, and it will all be fine) probably won't work. An option to invade should be on the table, but it should be the very last option, not the first one.posted by: Jon T on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Mark is correct that Bush is not stupid. He is intellectually lazy and he is quite stubborn. If we reelect Bush, we will never "prod" him anywhere. An "unrestrained" Bush is not a thought I enjoy contemplating. With a republican congress, there would be little to moderate his more radical conservative impulses. The problem I have with Bush is he doesn’t seem to have the ability to recognize error, much less correct it. If Novak is correct, than we have “released the furies” in Iraq and intend to leave after one “democratic” election. That is not honorable or responsible.
So, what about John Kerry?
Mark says “He has no record at all to run on”
So what are we left with? Only impressions.
Mark’s impression seems to be that Kerry has will not use all the tools at his disposal and will put consensus in front of interest. I don’t agree. I think the lesson of the Bush presidency is that we have the power to go it alone, but we have very little wiggle room unless we do things exactly right. We not only have not done things exactly right – we haven’t gotten anything in Iraq right after our “catastrophically” successful military invasion. If you insist on doing all the driving, you have no one but yourself to blame if you end up in the ditch. We need allies to help us get out of the ditch. We need to make them see that it is in their interest to help us get out of the ditch.
Yes, there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests. We are going to have to recognize that others’ interests must be acknowledged if we are going to expect to receive any cooperation and/or support from them. My impression is that Kerry understands this. It’s not his competency that gives me pause - its his passionless nature. He probably is not the best man to “lead a charge” – but he probably will be the better man to repair the damage, and there is a whole heck of a lot of damage.
Response to Pragmatist (5:11 post)
Screw you buddy. I have a family member and friends in the same Guard unit sitting around right now filling out wills and powers of attorney. Who gives a rat's a## about Dan Rather?
In answer to your question, the results of the election will not effect the large send up because it will happen in late November and, in case you are unaware, the next presidential term doesn't start until January.posted by: BobC on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
So much of Bush administration foreign policy is done on an ad hoc basis that predictions of its actions even a couple of months down the road have to be taken with a whole shaker of salt. I thought Novak's column was a weird conflation of what Novak would like to see (some way out of Iraq next year) and what he is afraid of (neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz at the State Department. In other words it said more about Novak than it does about the administration.
A note about Russia: Russia was the academic specialty of NSA Rice, who not only has a good understanding of Russian history but rather more sympathy for Russia's quest for internal order than many scholars (or many Americans generally). If I had to guess who is cutting off administration criticism of Russian efforts to fight Islamist terrorism by stripping non-Muslim Russians of their right to elect their regional governors, I would guess Ms. Rice is.posted by: Zathras on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"Your objections against the plausibility of a second war are well taken, but if sensible objections mattered and couldn't be cast away as unpatriotic, helping the terrorists or worse (how about: "You are just helping the mullahs get their nuclear bombs to attack us, you liberal traitor!"), then we wouldn't be in the mess we are in and we sure as hell wouldn't be looking at polls in which the man responsible for all this isn't behind by at least 20 to 30 points."
Holy crap! You don't think that the prospect of the Iranian mullahs getting nuclear weapons warrants some kind of direct action to prevent? Is there anything in the world that we should use force to prevent? You think that objections to sitting back and letting these guys get nuclear weapons is mindless partisanism?posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Bush hid in a class of children because he is impotent when he is under attack.
He cannot deal with confrontation.
He ignored the intelligence that warned of this attack and then blamed everyone else for his being asleep at the wheel.
I don't belive this...Bush get's caught with his pants down on 9-11 and then he "wars-it-up" to cover his disengaged ass and folks want to reward him?
He went AWOL on 9-11 like he has through out his life.
He was a coward in 1973 and on 9-11, cowards should not be President.
Bush is a failure as a cheerleader, a soldier and a President!!!posted by: NeoDude on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"If this is the American plan, I hope someone tells Allawi or the next Allawi before they decide to run for office. Talk about a crummy job with a high morality rate."
I doubt that the morality rate is all that high for jobs like that. ;)
Questions for the pro-Bush folks here:
Do you think the war in Iraq has gone, is going, well?
Do you approve of the tactics used thus far?
Do you believe the military decisions made by the WH have produced the desired result? (If so, I'd be interested in hearing your definition of "desired result.")
If you do think the way the war has been handled so far is just fine, thanks, then I imagine you're hoping for more of the same over the next 4 years.
If you don't think the war has been handled so far is just fine, thanks, then I would very much like to know why you think there will be an improvement over the next 4 years.
I'm curious, because Bush sounds like he thinks everything's going according to plan; no one now in charge of the war seems to think there were any serious miscalculations in tactics or strategy; and so far as anyone knows, the people who've run the war so far are going to still be running the war in a second term.posted by: CaseyL on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"Do you think the war in Iraq has gone, is going, well?"
About as well as can be expected, given that the other side isn't ready to give up yet. The only way it could go better is if we had one of those orbiting lasers like they had in Real Genius and enough real-time surveillance to blast the bad guys while they were launching RPG's... then we'd have them all dead in a day or so. Unfortunately, this is the real world, and we have to do it the hard way.
The insurgency isn't over until the losers say it's over. That could take a while. Look up the history of Reconstruction sometime.
"If you do think the way the war has been handled so far is just fine, thanks, then I imagine you're hoping for more of the same over the next 4 years."
If by "more of the same" you mean preventing the Iranians from building nukes, then yes, that's exactly what I'm hoping for. It's interesting how some of y'all are enthusiastically spinning conspiracy theories about Bush and how he plans to screw us over, but don't see anything horribly wrong with the Iranian mullahs gaining the means to set off nuclear explosions. It's almost like you consider Bush more dangerous than the Iranian leadership.posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
So you're saying the war in Iraq will never end. Or, if one uses your Reconstruction model, not end for 100 years. Thanks loads.
Why do you think a war with Iran will not also bog down in a perpetual insurgency? Or does that not matter, either?
Let me see if I have this right: Bush's WoT, as endosed by his supporters, basically consists of sowing chaos and instability, country by country, in what is already the most volatile part of the world. Yes?posted by: CaseyL on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
And yet you are willing to give Bush the keys to the whole country...
Damned right, I am.
Bithead, thanks for your always insightful comments.
So, to recap: Bush is proposing something that is, in your own words, as irresponsible as "giving a 13 year old the keys to the Corvette", but you are still firm in your support for him?
Ken: Thanks for proving the point I was trying to make with Appalled Moderate.
I am quite aware the "we must invade Iran" vibe is out there. (Reading Mark Buhener and Tom Holsinger comments is enough to cement that impression -- I didn't need Ken.) Since I don't think the country has yet become a Tom Tomorrow cartoon, consideration of intense political opposition (and likelihood of 0 allies) will squelch the invasion.
(I will reconsider my comments if I start seeing people accost penguins in the streets for their lack of 100% all-american patriotism.)posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
CaseyL: Bush's WoT, as endosed by his supporters, basically consists of sowing chaos and instability, country by country, in what is already the most volatile part of the world.
I think you brought up an important issue.
One question I have for the war hawks (including especially the more moderate ones like our host Dan): When are you expecting to reap the benefits of your policies? Your ideas of "democratization" seem to imply a major upheaval first - one that may well last several generations. Given that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians hasn't gone away after 50 years, we may well be looking at a second phase of an expanding conflict that will engulf the whole World for the next 100 or more years.
Widespread war and terrorism isn't something I'd be looking forward to for the rest of my life.
But you guys seem to have come to the point where you can't think of peace anymore without thinking of appeasement. After reading some of the PNAC stuff, I almost got the impression that the absence of war is perceived as a weakness by the neo-cons. This is a very unhealthy situation for the whole of humanity.
gw and all you neos reading this:
I know that the main thing I am looking for from the world as a citizen of the USA is not to have to worry that I will have my way of life taken from me. I do not want to have to worry about terrorists bombing my building or sending me anthrax by mail. I want to make sure that our nation's energy needs continue to be met. I want continued access to low priced international goods (except, of course, that produced by exploited child labor) I do not want international treaties administered by unelected transanational bureaucracies to have much say on how my life is led. I also do not want my standard of living worsened by some international ecological disaster.
That's pretty much it. And it is a fairly negative list. And, like the Republicans I tend to associate myself with intellectually, I do not see how activist democracy promotion gets us there. Bush has sold democracy pomotion as a defense against terror. But the one place where this approach has been put the test seems to have become a breeding ground for terrorists. (And, since the war is adding to the deficit, and eventually to taxes, it will adversely effect my well-being.)
All of this is very cold analysis -- I am aware of that. I am also aware that the Pottery Barn rule (you break;you fix) is a moral imperative in Iraq.
The world would certainly be better if it were more democratic. (If for no other reason than more publics would have attitudes like mine, and be inclined to stay out of wars.) But will it be so substantially better that it will impact positively the things I (and most of America) care about? And do these policies get to positive results quickly enough that I will live to notice the positive effects? (Reagan's brilliance on the cold war was realized in less than a decade. What's the neo time-line?)
Probably too late on this thread to be posting something like this. But gw (as usual) tends to get my brain functioning with his questions....posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"So you're saying the war in Iraq will never end. Or, if one uses your Reconstruction model, not end for 100 years. Thanks loads."
An insurgency is over when the losers decide it's over. Now we could follow the same course as we did in 1876 and wash our hands of the whole mess, if we want a later generation to have to redo the progress made to date and finish the job. But I'd prefer that we not do that.
"Why do you think a war with Iran will not also bog down in a perpetual insurgency? Or does that not matter, either?"
Depends on what you mean by "perpetual". I'm just pointing out that your threshold for declaring an operation a complete failure might be a bit low.
I'd much rather be fighting a similar insurgency in Iran for the next fifty years than let the current leadership of it get nukes.
"Since I don't think the country has yet become a Tom Tomorrow cartoon, consideration of intense political opposition (and likelihood of 0 allies) will squelch the invasion."
On what grounds? That the Iranian mullahs in posession of nuclear weapons is nothing to worry about? Seriously, why does this not worry some people? Why do you think the Iranians would not seize on their relative invulnerability to do very bad things to us? We are their Great Satan, in case you've forgotten.posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
And we've made it abundantly clear that the only way to keep the US from messing with you -- to treat you like North Korea, rather than like Iraq -- is to *have* nukes.
This is a lesson that other countries are paying attention to. Imagine an all-out scramble for an Insta-Nuke arsensal (aided by those old supplies in Russia that we decided not to bother buying back) by countries like, say, Syria.
This is Bush's Brave New World: can we invade enough countries fast enough to prevent the proliferation our boneheaded policies ignited?posted by: Ciel on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Your point of view has not been sold to the public. Nobody in the administration has attempted to sell your point of view to the public or Congress. So, as of today, there no great groundswell of anything towards Iran.
Now consider. Our intelligence re Iraq was badly wrong. So, if the President should talk about the "gathering threat" in Iran, who in this county is going to believe him? Forget about the Demos -- how is Bush going to get the Chuck Hegels and Olympia Snows and the Dick Lugars to back him. I think you can imagine how the press will treat it.
Also, consider our troop situation. If Bush is going to beat up on Iran, the schoolyard taunt of "You and what army?" is surprisingly relevant
So, how is the President going to invade Iran? gw suggests an appeal to gross Nationalism will be what Bush does, and it will succeed. I, myself, think the country would rebel against another war, particularly since the only really valid reason for the current war was shown to be mistaken. Rove, who values a GOP empire over a middele-eastern one will talk the president out of it.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"I, myself, think the country would rebel against another war, particularly since the only really valid reason for the current war was shown to be mistaken. Rove, who values a GOP empire over a middele-eastern one will talk the president out of it."
Shown to be mistaken how? The sanctions weren't going to last forever. Do you seriously believe that Saddam wouldn't have worked on WMD's once he wasn't being so closely watched?
"Also, consider our troop situation. If Bush is going to beat up on Iran, the schoolyard taunt of "You and what army?" is surprisingly relevant"
That's what recruiting is for. Our current military is smaller than the one that we started the first Gulf War with, and that one was drawn from a smaller population. I'm appalled that we haven't been busy recruiting a larger military force for the past two years. But even with our current force size, we could take on Iran, especially if we retask some of the guys currently babysitting Iraq. Since many of the troublemakers in Iraq are being backed by the Iranian leadership, the best way to end the "uprising" in Iraq might be to go after those backers. I'll tell you one thing... if the Iranians get nukes, the Iraq "uprising" will never end. It'll be a situation of two nuclear-armed powers fighting an endless running battle in a third country with no hope of taking the fight directly to the enemy. That kind of reminds me of an earlier military operation... John Kerry might remember it. I recall it didn't go so well.posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Ken: Do you seriously believe that Saddam wouldn't have worked on WMD's once he wasn't being so closely watched?
Without the context I would have assumed this sentence to be some left-wing satire making fun of the ever-decreasing bar for proving that Saddam was a threat...
Look, nobody here is in favor of Iran acquiring or building nuclear weapons. In fact, many of us are quite dismayed that Bush hasn't done anything to prevent this from happening. Many here are equally dismayed that Pakistan was allowed to become a nuclear power.
But your approach, to invade Iran, is hardly the only conceivable practical solution to stop them. In fact, many would argue it is not a practical solution at all.
But apart from that, please do consider these questions for a moment: Why do many Iranians think getting a nuclear weapon is a good idea? Don't they say it is to defend themselves against an aggressor - like the one that just invaded their neighbor on false premises? And here you are, giving credence to their fears. You are talking about invading another country - which will surely lead to killing thousands of innocent Iranians, many of whom currently lead a decent life. You are talking about destroying a country's infrastructure that currently isn't all that bad. You are talking about attacking a country that has a leadership not liked by us or many of its people, but that is, at least in the big cities, a fairly well developed and civilized place.
You are planning to kill a lot of people and destroy their country so that you may have the illusion of feeling a little safer, at least for a while. Why should we value your desire for an illusion of safety higher than the average Iranian's desire to be allowed to live?
"Without the context I would have assumed this sentence to be some left-wing satire making fun of the ever-decreasing bar for proving that Saddam was a threat..."
Damnit, no one, not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not anyone engaged in planning or selling this operation ever said that Iraq was an imminent threat. What they said was that we couldn't afford to wait until Iraq was an imminent threat, that Saddam could not be trusted, that containment wasn't going to last forever, and that we might not realize in time when the threat had become imminent. That's where the bar was, that was the basis on which Congress and the American people approved of the operation, and that was the basis on which it was fought. And we found out that Saddam did indeed try to restart a WMD program, and most certainly would have met with much greater success if we had just let him lie low until the sanctions fell apart. The fact that we didn't find the weapons invalidates none of this.
"But your approach, to invade Iran, is hardly the only conceivable practical solution to stop them. In fact, many would argue it is not a practical solution at all."
Fine. How do we stop them? Remember that "pretty please with a cherry on top" has already been tried, and it has been a complete failure.
"But apart from that, please do consider these questions for a moment: Why do many Iranians think getting a nuclear weapon is a good idea?"
Well, the Iranian leaders think that getting a nuclear weapon is a good idea because it allows them to stir up a lot more trouble without any pesky invasions spoiling their fun. They probably won't set off a nuke in Manhattan, at least if they think there's the slightest chance they'll get caught, but their terrorist network can have a lot of fun with conventional munitions either here or in Iraq. (If you think the insurgents are causing us problems in Iraq, just wait until they're backed by a nuclear power like the North Vietnamese were) What are we going to do then? Just roll over and take it? Start a nuclear exchange? Invade, which amounts to the same thing? I'd rather not find out.
"Don't they say it is to defend themselves against an aggressor - like the one that just invaded their neighbor on false premises?"
You mean the "false premises" that they violated the terms of a cease-fire in a war that never actually ended? That's usually considered a rock-solid reason to recommence hostilities. And of course the Iranian leaders are going to say they just want to be left alone, but surely people who think that George Bush is hatching all sorts of devious plots might be open to the possibility that the Iranian mullahs are being somewhat less than honest with us?
"And here you are, giving credence to their fears."
You mean their fears that they might not be given the chance to acquire a nuclear umbrella under which they can cause all sorts of nasty trouble for us?
"You are planning to kill a lot of people and destroy their country so that you may have the illusion of feeling a little safer, at least for a while."
No, I am planning to kill a few people and destroy very little of their country. Carpet-bombing isn't the name of the game anymore. And in return, we get the reality of being a hell of a lot safer than we would be if the Iranian leaders had nukes.
"Why should we value your desire for an illusion of safety higher than the average Iranian's desire to be allowed to live?"
Why should we value the desire of the Iranian leadership for a nuclear deterrent shielding them for retribution from the evil deeds that they would like to do higher than the reality of safety and the average American's desire to be allowed to live? And, oh by the way, success in Iraq as well, once the backers of many of the troublemakers there are out of the way.posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
'No, I am planning to kill a few people and destroy very little of their country. Carpet-bombing isn't the name of the game anymore. And in return, we get the reality of being a hell of a lot safer than we would be if the Iranian leaders had nukes'
And the net results of this would be
1) The Iranian nuclear program would probably continue. A lot of it is underground, well dispersed etc, since the Iranians learnt from Osirak.
An attack on Iran, even a full fledged attack is something that should always remain on the cards. But it should be the last option. People who seem to want to make it the first option display the same blinkered attitude and lack of careful thinking that led us to invade Iraq in the first place.
Invading Iran would be a monumental task, it would require the reinstatements of the draft, costs ranging up to half a trillion. It may prove to be necessary, but it must be the last option, not the first option that the Ledeenite lunatics want it to be.
It need hardly be added that the Iranian mullahs are indeed genuinely concerned about survival. If the US can strike a no-aggression pact with Iran, which allows for dismantlement of Iran's program,. that would be the best way to go.
I think gw has the advantage on me on describing how your approach is wrong as a matter of policy. I don't think you realize just how impossible it is as a matter of politics.
Bush talks steadfastness better than anyone. But where's the effort for more troops? Where's the demand that, as long as this nation remains at war, some tax cuts are just going to have to be foregone? Where's the frank discussion that Iran must be next, because there will be direct harm to the United States if we don't act. Where's the honest vetting of this issue in the political campaign?
Despite the fears of the left, Bush will not be able to sneak into war with Iran. He has failed to lay the groundwork, because he figures that will cost him reelection. And because he has not laid the groundwork, or "made the case", he will have no support for a sudden move to Iran from anyone except the most devoted neos.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Damnit, no one, not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not anyone engaged in planning or selling this operation ever said that Iraq was an imminent threat.
What they did say is compiled here: http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=24970
You may note that on at least three occasions White House spokesmen answered in the affirmative questions by reporters whether Iraq posed an "imminent threat". And Rumsfeld talked about "the immediate threat from biological weapons".
Remember that "pretty please with a cherry on top" has already been tried, and it has been a complete failure.
Amusing to read, but is your statement based on any facts? You also seem to forget that Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iran in 1981.
In the rest of your post you are ignoring the fact that I was talking about ordinary Iranians' desire for nuclear weapons as a deterrent, not about the Iranian leaders.
And in return, we get the reality of being a hell of a lot safer than we would be if the Iranian leaders had nukes.
No, in return for killing a few thousand Iranians we'll get more people hating us and willing to become terrorists. They may take a few years to train and to hatch another 9/11-style plot, but your perception of safety will be very temporary, that's for sure.
*Damnit, no one, not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not anyone engaged in planning or selling this operation ever said that Iraq was an imminent threat.*
They were very careful never to string the actual phrase together. But the implication campaign was successful - nearly %70 of American's believed Hussien was ready to pounce, and Cheney is still preaching the Saddam/Al Qaeda link, long since discredited.
The very fact that WH spokesmen continued to defend Bush's rationale by saying "He never ACTUALLY said..." reveals the care taken towards this deception.posted by: wishIwuz2 on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"1) The Iranian nuclear program would probably continue. A lot of it is underground, well dispersed etc, since the Iranians learnt from Osirak. "
It's going to continue even after the Iranian government is gone? Who's going to pay these people to keep working on nukes?
"2) The Iranian mullahs would get the support of the vast majority of Iranians for once. Any prospect of reform would be set back at least 10 years. "
Until the Iranians see for themselves what life under the Great Satan's government is really like. A number of Iranian visitors have already come away from Iraq with a positive impression.
"3) South Iraq would truly explode, as the Iranians would provide lots of cash and arms to insurgents. Note that till now, the inusrgents have been largely Sunni (with the exception of Al Sadr). Imagine half a dozen Al Sadr's in Iraq. It would reduce the chances of stabilizing that country from slim to none."
Again, how would the Iranian leaders accomplish this after being removed from power? Not only that, what makes you think that this won't happen after the Iranian government has a nuclear umbrella to ward off any response from us?
"An attack on Iran, even a full fledged attack is something that should always remain on the cards. But it should be the last option. "
But it'll "remain on the cards" only as long as the Iranians don't have nukes. When they get them, that option will be off the table. If we want to keep it on the table, we have to keep nukes out of their hands.
"Invading Iran would be a monumental task, it would require the reinstatements of the draft, costs ranging up to half a trillion. It may prove to be necessary, but it must be the last option, not the first option that the Ledeenite lunatics want it to be. "
The only way any military operation would require the reinstatement of the draft is if the goal of that operation is for us to lose. Recruitment is what we need to win, not the draft.
"Bush talks steadfastness better than anyone. But where's the effort for more troops? Where's the demand that, as long as this nation remains at war, some tax cuts are just going to have to be foregone?"
Why just tax cuts? Why can't free money or services currently being handed out to people be up for cutting - shouldn't they sacrifice as well? Or is it only taxpayers and draftees that need to sacrifice for this one?
And maybe we don't need more troops. Babysitting Iraq isn't as important if we take the fight directly to the backers of the "insurgency" there.
"Where's the frank discussion that Iran must be next, because there will be direct harm to the United States if we don't act. Where's the honest vetting of this issue in the political campaign?"
Maybe the Administration isn't all that interested in tipping our hand and giving the other side a full year of warning like we did for Saddam Hussein. That might not have been the best idea, giving Saddam a full year to hide whatever he was working on and cook up some contingency plans for after the fall of Baghdad. After all, FDR didn't broadcast his intention to jump into the war all through the 1940 campaign, did he?
Or maybe neither Bush nor Kerry will do what needs to be done to stop the Iranians from getting nukes and completely derailing the War on Terror, in which case we're pretty well screwed.posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
'It's going to continue even after the Iranian government is gone? '
Through what magic are you going to do this ? The Iranian Government is not a one-man rule ala Iraq (and even there we see how resilient a power structure can be). Power extends far beyond Khamenei deep into the hierarchy everywhere. Even if you kill the leaders (very unlikely, others will rise up to replace them).
And we've seen Shirin Ebadi, the dissident Iranian woman who won the Nobel Prize last year strongly criticize the US for invading Iraq. There may be no love for the mullahs, but the iranians are a highly patriotic people with a deep culture. Iran's nuke program actualy began under the Shah. You can bet that any attempt to attack Iran would lead to an upsurge of political support for the government, just as Saddam's invasion did 25 years back. Memories of the Shah are not completly dead in Iran, and many people, even reformists feel their country should have nukes as a matter of national pride if Pakistan, India and Israel can have them.
You still haven't explained how you're going to accomplish this miracle.
Think about this -- there are 170K troops in Iraq, 140 K american and they're having trouble keeping a lid on things. For Iran, we would get exactly zero support from the rest of the world. Even Britain wouldn't provide any soldiers. Indeed, they can't -- between the Falklands, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Iraq, they have none. Iran has 3 times the population of Iraq. In Iraq, the base for the insurgency is Sunnis, who account for 20% of the population. In Iran, its Persian and other elated groups, who probably acount for 70-75 % of the population. We would need probably need half a million troops, how are we going to get those without the draft ?
'Babysitting Iraq isn't as important if we take the fight directly to the backers of the "insurgency" there.'
Fever Dreams. The bulk of the inusrgency in the Sunni areas seems to have little do to with Iran. Iran is certainly providing Shia groups with support, but other than Al Sadr none of them are really attacking Americans.
'That might not have been the best idea, giving Saddam a full year to hide whatever he was working on and cook up some contingency plans for after the fall of Baghdad'
Oh, please. I thought that anyone not deluded had given up on the "Saddam hid or moved everything to Syria" meme. Even US intelligence doesnt claim anything like that. As for contingency plans, whatever plans Saddam cooked up didn't save his sons, didn't keep him out of jail. If you're trying to imply that he orchaestrated this whole insurgency, thats just more nonsense.
"We would need probably need half a million troops, how are we going to get those without the draft ?"
By recruiting them. If we can't recruit even half a million troops, this country is screwed over the long term. I don't believe for a minute that we'd have trouble getting that number if we actually tried.posted by: Ken on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
"Damnit, no one, not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not anyone engaged in planning or selling this operation ever said that Iraq was an imminent threat."
Wasn't there something about 45 minutes? That sure sounds imminent.
And there was that fleet of UAVs ready to bring WMDs to the continental US....
Given the Bush administration's track record about "no one ever said" I'll expect Bush to start a draft unless he specificly says on TV "I will not start a draft under any circumstances." Unless he says that, if he wins the election it's predictable he'll start the draft in late November and you'll be telling us "No one ... ever said there wouldn't be a draft.".
People are still way to trusting of these signifiers. After the number of times they've heard Bush not ever say the things they thought he was saying, they should know better. Don't believe anything Bush says until a great contract lawyer has looked it over and promised he could hold Bush to it in court.
And even then he could be lying. Anybody remember "Read my lips. No new taxes."?
"Despite the fears of the left, Bush will not be able to sneak into war with Iran. He has failed to lay the groundwork, because he figures that will cost him reelection. And because he has not laid the groundwork, or "made the case", he will have no support for a sudden move to Iran from anyone except the most devoted neos."
What if terrorists set off a bomb that spread radioactive waste all over Boston? And the heavily-purged CIA announced that the group that did it was primarily supported by iran?
WOuldn't that be enough?
"We would need probably need half a million troops, how are we going to get those without the draft ?"
"By recruiting them. If we can't recruit even half a million troops, this country is screwed over the long term. I don't believe for a minute that we'd have trouble getting that number if we actually tried."
That actually makes sense.
We have a million fewer jobs now than we did when Bush took office. Lose a couple million more and we'll have plenty of people so desperate for a paycheck that they'd fight in iraq or iran to get it.
All we need is a deep recession and we can recruit as many troops as we want.
Bush hid in a class of children because he is impotent when he is under attack. He cannot deal with confrontation
Ah, yes... hypocracy at it's finest.
Tell us, please...Should we also recall that according to John Kerry's own words on Larry King on July the 8th, after the same attack, John Kerry sat for 40 minutes and said -- and they're his own words -- that he was captivated and couldn't move. For 40 minutes, he sat in the Senate room?
Here's a partial quote of that interview:
"I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting - we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation."
You'll forgive me if I fail to be impressed by your posturing.
Next!!!!posted by: Bithead on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Bithead recites another Republican propaganda lie to divert from the real issue of his hero's poor leadership:
Should we also recall that according to John Kerry's own words on Larry King on July the 8th, after the same attack, John Kerry sat for 40 minutes and said -- and they're his own words -- that he was captivated and couldn't move.
Complete and utter bullshit. Kerry didn't say anything about not being able to move. And Kerry didn't say anything about 40 minutes. Kerry said he saw the second plane hit the WTC. This was played back on TV again and again, so we don't know WHEN he saw that. You, Rush Limbaugh and the other distorters out there are just assuming that he must have seen it happen live. Even if he had seen it live, you have no way of telling what he meant with "shortly thereafter" - that might have well been close to 40 minutes later. After all, it sounds as if the Pentagon was hit almost immediately after they sat down at the table.
It's quite ridiculous that one has to dive into these kinds of silly details, but this new absurdity has been on Limbaugh's show and is making the rounds on the Internet.
I suppose there is an interesting mechanism at play here. People like Bithead find these pieces of distorted "information" and use them to reassure themselves that Kerry is just as dishonest as Bush. They also use the fact that the "MSM" doesn't pick up these distortions as further evidence of their "liberal media" theory. So this turns Bithead & Co into warriors for truth in their own minds. When in reality they are helping one of the biggest distorters in US presidential history to be re-elected. Interesting dynamics.
You forgot to mention that Bush saw the first plane hit the WTC on TV before going into the classroom. Or rather that he made up seeing the first plane hit the WTC on TV before going into the classroom. That's what your man does best - making stuff up.
Bithead recites another Republican propaganda lie to divert from the real issue of his hero's poor leadership,
It must be a BITCH trying to type while covering your ears going "LALALALALALAL I CAN'T HEAR YOU"...
Complete and utter bullshit. Kerry didn't say anything about not being able to move
Well, that's true. What he actually said was that none of them couldn't THINK, which is as good an explaination for what passes for Democrat policy as any I've ever heard.
The bottom line here is the myth of Mr. Bush not being able to deal with a crisis has been debunked several times, and yet the Democrat loyalaists can't let go of it. The reason they can't is simple enough; they've nothing else to go on.
Trouble is, as the polls are now showing rather clearly... "I'm not George Bush" isn't nearly enough to run a successful campaign on.
posted by: Bithead on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
Nothing has been debunked. George Bush froze for 7 minutes after being told the country was under attack. He didn't even friggin ask who what where when. He was the only one who by law could tell the military they could shoot down a civilian aircraft if they needed to, but he just sat there in that classroom. His claim of not wanting to upset the children is funny when you consider he didn't mind putting their lives in danger by remaining among them. Some commander in chief.posted by: moot on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
ANd are you privy to what he was told?
But of course it should be pointed out that like John Kerry, you'll complain about anything Mr. Bush does.
No matter what it is.posted by: Bithead on 09.20.04 at 11:10 PM [permalink]
ANd are you privy to what he was told?
I guess that depends on whether we should assume that Bush and his people tell us the truth about such matters or not. Maybe they just made up that Andrew Card told him, as has been widely reported in the press, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."
I'll repeat because one has to explain things to you very slowly and carefully: Card told Bush that America is under attack.
If Gore had been President and had reacted like Bush did, this would presumably be one of the top Republican talking points today. Instead it's just used to confirm these days that Michael Moore is a mean guy and all Democrats are unpatriotic. And for good measure, a ridiculous attack on Kerry is thrown in. And then the whole thing is considered "debunked".
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