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Bloggingheads
01-23-2008, 10:07 AM

Joel_Cairo
01-23-2008, 11:34 AM
That North Korea discussion was one of the most dazzling displays of Weekly Standard Operating Procedure for Message Discipline I have ever seen. No matter how hard Blake tried to distract Michael from his talking-point and trap him in discussion, deploying devious tricks such as "questions", "hypotheticals" and "alternatives", Michael's steely resolve proved impervious: "Nothing could be worse than it is today." "Nothing." "Nothing." If it weren't for BHTV's visual component, one might have thought Michael actually had his fingers in his ears and was just chanting the mantra over and over.

ohcomeon
01-23-2008, 11:52 AM
So true. I kept thinking that those guys at the Weekly Standard don't have much imagination.

Joel_Cairo
01-23-2008, 12:29 PM
I dunno about that ohcomeon. After the Iraq War, maintaining that your "when in doubt, start more wars" model still holds water would seem to require quite an active imagination indeed.

jjb
01-23-2008, 01:19 PM
I think you're both being unfair. Whatever the Weekly Standard line may be, nowhere does Goldfarb suggest that "start more wars" is the answer in North Korea. He acknowledges that a unified Korea would be a better outcome than Chinese control of North Korea. He just thinks that either outcome would be better than the current situation. I have a hard time disagreeing.

bjkeefe
01-23-2008, 01:49 PM
I found Michael's callous disregard of the humanitarian consequences (of telling North Korea to take a hike) astounding.

jjb
01-23-2008, 02:56 PM
What about the humanitarian consequences of continuing to prop up the North Korean regime?

Wonderment
01-23-2008, 03:42 PM
I found Michael's callous disregard of the humanitarian consequences (of telling North Korea to take a hike) astounding.

Me too.

He argued for denying North Korea "food aid or fuel," quipping, "Let nature take its course."

When Blake says the result could be "massive refugee flows, chaos, and thousands of people dead," Goldfarb responds with the same sadistic smirk, "How could that be worse?"

piscivorous
01-23-2008, 04:40 PM
I would hope that you and all the others that comment on how callous and inhuman Mr Goldfarb's attitude towards the NKs will carry over into your thought patterns when you argue that we should abandon Iraq. Some how you both seem to sound the same the only difference I can see is the part of the world you are willing to see people suffer and butchered in!

Wonderment
01-23-2008, 05:00 PM
I would hope that you and all the others that comment on how callous and inhuman Mr Goldfarb's attitude towards the NKs will carry over into your thought patterns when you argue that we should abandon Iraq. Some how you both seem to sound the same the only difference I can see is the part of the world you are willing to see people suffer and butchered in!

You make a fair point. Now that the US government's has destroyed Iraq with shock, awe, slaughter of civilians, torture and every other kind of humanitarian and human rights disaster imaginable, it is important to ask how we can prevent things from getting worse. It is not acceptable to assume Goldfarb's position on NK of "Fuck it. Bring it on! Thousands of corpses? Who cares? They'll thank us someday."

But I haven't heard anyone say that. Who has said Iraqi refugees don't matter? Who has said, pull out the troops and let the chips fall where they may? On the contrary, everyone realizes withdrawal won't be easy. The criminal masterminds of the Iraq War have left us with a terrible burden and all the responsibility that they so cavalierly disdained.

red
01-23-2008, 05:11 PM
Goldfarb's saying we should change up our approach in North Korea because nothing -- not even a mass refugee exodus, with its attendant chaos and the potential for mass deaths and Chinese annexation -- could be worse, from a humanitarian perspective, than the continuation of the current concentration camp state, which has already killed millions.

If I heard right, Hounsell's arguing that the People's Liberation Army standing 30 miles from Seoul would be worse.

And Goldfarb's the one displaying callous disregard for humanitarian considerations?

TwinSwords
01-23-2008, 05:35 PM
You make a fair point. Now that the US government's has destroyed Iraq with shock, awe, slaughter of civilians, torture and every other kind of humanitarian and human rights disaster imaginable, it is important to ask how we can prevent things from getting worse. It is not acceptable to assume Goldfarb's position on NK of "Fuck it. Bring it on! Thousands of corpses? Who cares? They'll thank us someday."

But I haven't heard anyone say that. Who has said Iraqi refugees don't matter? Who has said, pull out the troops and let the chips fall where they may? On the contrary, everyone realizes withdrawal won't be easy. The criminal masterminds of the Iraq War have left us with a terrible burden and all the responsibility that they so cavalierly disdained.

Bravo, well said. And to your points I would add:

A lot of people, quite reasonably, believe that the US presence in Iraq is making matters worse, and that the best way to stop the violence in Iraq would by leaving. Is this actually true? I don't know. But it's perfectly reasonable to believe that people will fight us when we occupy their country and steal their resources. (Whether piscivorous thinks we are "occupying" Iraq or "stealing" its resources is irrelevant, because Iraqis do believe that, and they will act on their own beliefs, not William Kristol's.)

This reminds me of the words of a lowly Confederate soldier captured during the Civil War. He didn't own any slaves, he didn't care about the Constitution. So they asked him why he was fighting for the Confederacy. His answer? "Because you're down here."

People don't like it when you occupy their homeland. If Saudi Arabia occupied Piscivorous's hometown next week and set up check points at all the intersections, how long would it be before Piscivorous picked up a rifle and became an insurgent? No, not insurgent. "Terrorist." Not long at all.

Isn't it funny that piscivorous, who (I presume) was an enthusiastic proponent of the invasion and destruction of Iraq is now lecturing us on concern for the well-being of Iraqis? How did that happen? How does the guy who set the fire get to warn us against burning people?

TwinSwords
01-23-2008, 05:39 PM
the current concentration camp state, which has already killed millions.

We can't deny it's a concentration camp, and that it should end as rapidly as it can be ended. But regimes become dangerous when they are destabilized. This is a nuclear power. If they become desperate for resources, they might do crazy things. We need to bring them into the community of nations -- even if it's difficult. Not drive them into a corner and see what starvation does to them.

jjb
01-23-2008, 05:49 PM
Twinswords:
You make fair points. I don't think it's clear whether instability in North korea would be worse than the current state, but I acknowledge that's a reasonable possibility. But a substantive disagreement about the best course in a bad situation is different from saying that Goldfarb is being callous or disregarding humintatiran concerns. Whether one agrees with him or not, it seems to me that humanitrian concerns are his chief consideration.

jjb
01-23-2008, 05:50 PM
Exactly, Hounshell's basing his argument solely on his view of American interest. Goldfarb's at least considering humanitarian consequences.

TwinSwords
01-23-2008, 05:59 PM
Twinswords:
You make fair points. I don't think it's clear whether instability in North Korea would be worse than the current state, but I acknowledge that's a reasonable possibility. But a substantive disagreement about the best course in a bad situation is different from saying that Goldfarb is being callous or disregarding humanitarian concerns. Whether one agrees with him or not, it seems to me that humanitarian concerns are his chief consideration.

Sure, I agree with that. There's just something about the smug demeanor, and it's a common trait among Goldfarb's crowd. I think the Goldfarb's and Kristol's of the world literally never visualize the consequences of their proposals. They never stop to think how carrying your children and your belongings on your back for days through the snow-covered mountains while your fellow refugees drop dead around you is actually still worse than subsisting on rations. And even if you put that image directly into Goldfarb's head, I still don't get any sense he would care, or feel the least bit of human compassion. Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit, and maybe I'm blaming him for the callousness displayed by other neocons. I'll grant those possibilities.

Furthermore, sometimes an apparently inhumane policy is actually more humane. Heart surgery is no day at the park, but it beats cardiac arrest.

General George McClellan was famously reluctant to shed his men's blood in battle during the Civil War, and the result was MORE death, not less. It was the aggressive action of Generals Grant and Sherman that spilled a lot of blood in a short time but ended the war and allowed life to return to normal, sparing more lives than it cost. It's beyond my abilities to know what is the right answer in North Korea, but I will agree that Goldfarb's shock treatment could be the better answer. It's just that if you're proposing a shock treatment that could become a humanitarian disaster costing thousands of lives, you should show a little seriousness and regard for consequences when you propose it.

Instead, too often, the neocons appear to succeed by signaling their callousness and indifference to the suffering of others. If neocons could at least fake some compassion, it might help them sell their policies the the people who do have hearts.

Wonderment
01-23-2008, 06:47 PM
Isn't it funny that piscivorous, who (I presume) was an enthusiastic proponent of the invasion and destruction of Iraq is now lecturing us on concern for the well-being of Iraqis? How did that happen? How does the guy who set the fire get to warn us against burning people?

Cognitive dissonance. Goldfarb also managed to blame the victims of the bombing in the Israeli invasion of Syria. The maniacal John Bolton was his point of reference. It made perfect sense to Goldfarb/Bolton to demand an explanation from Syria and North Korea, the assumption being that if Israel bombs the shit out of you, you must be doing something inherently evil.

The logic: We (and our surrogates) are the good guys. Good guys do only good stuff. Therefore, all the stuff we do is good.

piscivorous
01-23-2008, 06:52 PM
No I would have fought them on the beach as the old Indian said "today is a good day to die" and the beach would be better than most places. I can't think of the old Indians name or provide the context but I sounds something that and Indian would say. As far as destroyed Iraq perhaps you should look at some pictures of what most of the major and mid sized German cites looked like after WWII. You may actually understand what that word really means after that. Or perhaps it would help you understand if you did a search for "Iraq Mass Graves" or "Iraq Kurd Gas Attack" and you then might come to a better understanding of the meaning of how humanitarian acts; except for your BDS you might too be able to see that liberating the Iraqi population was a humanitarian act. I guess it is all relative sitting in front of your computer safe and sound in your own little fantasy world.

ohcomeon
01-23-2008, 07:16 PM
I really don't believe that the German war machine marching across Europe in an attempt to take over the world compares to what was going on in pre-war Iraq. No one on this thread has argued for no war under any circumstances. The argument about Iraq is whether or not the destruction we have caused and continue to cause in Iraq is worth the benefit to mankind. Most people in the world and even the US probably feel it wasn't.

piscivorous
01-23-2008, 07:25 PM
I am now way equating the two only commenting on what the nature of destruction looks like when it comes to war. If such hyperbole was not used there would be no reason to have to remind anyone of the difference.

samuelsd
01-23-2008, 08:43 PM
Or perhaps it would help you understand if you did a search for "Iraq Mass Graves" or "Iraq Kurd Gas Attack" and you then might come to a better understanding of the meaning of how humanitarian acts; except for your BDS you might too be able to see that liberating the Iraqi population was a humanitarian act. I guess it is all relative sitting in front of your computer safe and sound in your own little fantasy world.

Piscivorous,

That's a totally reasonable argument. I wish it was one we could have had prior to the invasion of Iraq. Instead, we had wild goose chases after barely-existent WMD's (refer back to Bob and Mickey's old discussions of 2 years back about chemical weapons and anthrax, and whether they even count as WMD's, before responding here), and constant intentionally misleading references to Iraq and al Qaeda from the VP's office.

However, hopefully you are not saying that our actions in Mesopotamia have been an unqualified good, for us or the Iraqis. That would be simply untrue. Of course they have had good effects. In my opinion, the bad outweighed the good, but I can see possible alternative weightings. It's not an unarguable 'humanitarian act' if more bad things than good happened.

jmcnulty
01-23-2008, 09:12 PM
Why is it that in iraq we condemn the Bush administration for being "unrealistic" and that we should pull out "whatever the consequences," but in North Korea we have to be concerned with "humanitarian" effects, not national interest or the "realism" of letting the chips fall where they may. I guess the North Kirean regime has been somehow put on welfare, a permanent ward of the government. The more they refuse the cooperate, the more we are obligated to ship them food and fuel. I guess our rule that "realism" and naked national interest must rule all considerations only applies to Iraq, where the Left is bound and determined upon withdrawal and defeat. Maybe we should ship food and scrap metal to Gaza. They can eat the food and use the scrap metal to cure their "rocket shortage."

Glaurunge
01-23-2008, 09:14 PM
It seems like Goldfarb's whole reason for bringing up the missile "defence" program is to propagate the notion that Iran poses a "threat" to anyone. His arguement takes as a given that Iran is either going to or has plans to conquer Eastern Europe. Does he have any basis for saying that?

Iran has a third-rate military and they couldn't even defeat Iraq back in the 80's. How then can they even hope to over run Eastern Europe? It sounds like Iran is about as much of a threat to Europe as Iraq was to the US before the invasion. This is just absurd.

TwinSwords
01-23-2008, 09:28 PM
One of your most charming qualities, McNulty, is your belief that you are clever. I can see you sitting there smiling at your own wit when you write "their rocket shortage."

piscivorous
01-23-2008, 09:54 PM
You know it is about time you people that continually cry about we were told this and that and what ever and accept the reality of the fact is that we are there, we removed the evil SOB, and that we now need to spend the time money and lives necessary to bring a reasonable calm to Iraq irregardless of what reasons were given.

There is a song by the Eagles, from a few years ago titled "Get Over It." Or one could say grow up.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 12:03 AM
You know it is about time you people that continually cry about we were told this and that and what ever and accept the reality of the fact is that we are there, we removed the evil SOB, and that we now need to spend the time money and lives necessary to bring a reasonable calm to Iraq irregardless of what reasons were given.

There is a song by the Eagles, from a few years ago titled "Get Over It." Or one could say grow up.
What if the reality is that there's a hotbed elsewhere like Afghanistan or Pakistan and our troops are needed there? What if the reality is that it's no more calm in Iraq 5 years from now? What if the reality is that it's worse in Iraq 5 years from now?

The actual reality (if you're strong enough to take it piscivorous) is that the open-ended commitment to Iraq that Bush & Co. want is a CYA thing. It's not about morality, or security, or what's right for the region. It's that Bush & Co. hope and pray (probably more praying) that troops someday help Iraq really calm down so they won't look like the idiots 5 years from now that they are in they eyes of the world today.

People who think like you, piscivorous, are the ones who need to get over it. Iraq was a big screw up. Plenty of time and money has been poured into trying to fix it. Enough's enough - get over it and get out.

samuelsd
01-24-2008, 01:17 AM
You know it is about time you people that continually cry about we were told this and that and what ever and accept the reality of the fact is that we are there, we removed the evil SOB, and that we now need to spend the time money and lives necessary to bring a reasonable calm to Iraq irregardless of what reasons were given.

There is a song by the Eagles, from a few years ago titled "Get Over It." Or one could say grow up.

Piscivorous,

Really? "Get Over It" is the best you can offer?

Nothing personal, but I expected better from you. Of course we are there, and of course we have to do whatever we can to make the best of a bad situation. Nobody is arguing that, although there are many good-faith arguments which can be made about what difference we can make, and how best to go about it. It appears to be hard for you to imagine this, but many liberals actually want to make the best of the clusterf*** that the Bush administration allowed to happen in Iraq, too. We just have different ideas about what might bring it about.

But, if I recall correctly, this topic came up in the context of what to do vis-a-vis North Korea. Now, it doesn't seem entirely irrelevant to that discussion to talk about how we got into Iraq, and whether or not the reasons given were legitimate, or proffered in good faith. Yes? In light of today's study (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22794451/?GT1=10755) documenting over 900 false statements made by Bush administration officials in the 2 years leading up to Iraq, this seems very relevant to me. Unless, of course, you are arguing that the ends justified the means when it came to Iraq, in which case I assume that the same course of action is called for in North Korea as well...

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 02:04 AM
You must be related to Karnack if you think that the future is reality. The future is determined by the events and actions we take today. If you think that there are no effects of the US giving it's word to a country and then abandoning those same people then your reality is no more sound than than Karnack's musings.

Until the Iraqis can stand on there own, providing security to there population from both internal and external threats we will be there. I don't care who is elected president we will be in Iraq for quite some time; the area is just to important to the economic stability of the world. There are only two choices in the real world we currently live in. We are there, in sufficient strength, to direct development in a positive direction or there with strength of force that is sufficient only to react in a retaliative manner. I prefer the former you obviously prefer the latter.

I would wager that if one was to keep a ledger of places in the world we paid the price of staying, to influence and direct, on the left side verse those where we cut and ran one the right; on the basis of an unbiased assessment of which turned out for the better, in the long march of American overseas involvement, the left would show considerably better results than the right side of the ledger.

While I wish that humankind had advanced to the point of development that brute force were no longer required, much of the West and developed world has reached this state of enlightenment but much of the underdeveloped world and the developing world has not reached this state. Unfortunately we will have to deal with this part of the world in the terms and actions that they understand and respect and at this point in time that means by force of arms and to a certain extent forced development in the right direction. Just ask the Germans and the Japanese.

But since you prefer the latter if I were King I would appoint you as ambassador at larg to conduct negotiations with AQI and their ilk; give you sufficient staff of like minded individuals and set you down in Diyala Provence with the best of wishes for success. I'm pretty sure what the results of those negotiations would be and even more sure that the results wouldn't look anything thing like the results we have achieved in Al-Anbar province. But hey maybe I'm wrong and your sweet rhetoric and obvious powers of persuasion will accomplish the miraculous of moving them from a 7th century frame of thought to one a 22nd century frame in the matter of minutes. If that happens I may need to reconsider the possibility of a Supreme Being and the reincarnation of Jesus has actually occurred.

Baring that I prefer to kill them where ever and whenever we can get them to try and make a stand and currently that is Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 02:07 AM
Oh you mean the George Soros funded report. I've already looked at it and it is about what I expect from and organization that was essentially setup by George and still draws much of it's funding from him.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 02:16 AM
Piscivorous, you are so deluded it's pointless to discuss this with you.

Next time you write a rambling missive could you try to at least write "too" instead of "to" when you mean also; and "their" instead of "there" when you want the possessive pronoun.

I'm thinking ... piscivorous ... hmm ... can't write too well, can't think too well.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 02:28 AM
AS far as North Korea goes I would ask you two questions. How many artillery pieces does the North have within the range of Seoul? The last estimate I saw was about 20,000. Each capable of firing 3-4 shells per minute each shell caring some 10-50 pounds of high explosive. How many minutes would it take for the North to deliver the equivalent HE payload of say the Nagasaki atomic bomb?

Answer the second and you will see that military action against the North was never and is still not a viable option so Goldfarb's rantings were less than impressive.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 02:30 AM
Sorry for offending your grammatical sensibilities but hey if you can't counter the arguments attack the individual. I mean it works for the Clintons.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 02:42 AM
Sorry for offending your grammatical sensibilities but hey if you can't counter the arguments attack the individual. I mean it works for the Clintons.
You didn't offend - you detracted from your argument. I wasn't attacking you personally, I was pointing out that you weren't careful enough in your expression. And actually, the ad hominem is a favorite trick of the right. Rush Limbaugh lives for the personal attack.

It's actually you who didn't respond to my points, not the other way around. The real problem with Iraq is that all of our fighting force is tied up there. If there is a crisis in Afghanistan or Pakistan -a fairly likely scenario - that requires US troops, we need to send them there.

Should we take troops out of Iraq if that occurs? Of course.

Better, we start taking troops out of Iraq now so that we have a reserve in case of such a (real) emergency. The problem with Iraq is that we are spread too thin. If Iraq only required 10% of our fighting force, I might agree with you that we should remain.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 02:56 AM
Well let me address this one. What is the total force available to us. Between the Active army, Army Reserves, Nation Gaurd, Marines. Marine reserves, and the Ready Resevers. Exclude the Air Force, and Navy Personnel that are deployed in support positions. I think if you do the math you will find that if are using 10% of the forces available to us it would surprise me.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 02:59 AM
Well let me address this one. What is the total force available to us. Between the Active army, Army Reserves, Nation Gaurd, Marines. Marine reserves, and the Ready Resevers. Exclude the Air Force, and Navy Personnel that are deployed in support positions. I think if you do the math you will find that if are using 10% of the forces available to us it would surprise me.I said 10% of our fighting force not of the active force. About 80% - 90% of the fighting force is in Iraq.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 03:00 AM
Oh you mean the George Soros funded report. I've already looked at it and it is about what I expect from and organization that was essentially setup by George and still draws much of it's funding from him.

pisc:

The MSNBC article says that two organizations compiled that database of Bush Administration falsehoods: the Center for Public Integrity and The Fund for Independence in Journalism. I've looked at the donor pages for CPI (http://www.publicintegrity.org/about/about.aspx?act=funders) and TFIJ (http://www.tfij.org/about/donors/), and I didn't see the name "Soros" on either. Could you please explain why you say this is a "George Soros funded report?"

By the way, for those interested in the report itself, the start page on the CPI site is here: http://www.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 03:05 AM
One of which is a funded subsidiary of the other. How convenient.

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 03:08 AM
Piscivorous,

Is it true that you can't attack the facts, and therefore attack the source?

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 03:16 AM
Because Soros was involved in the creation of Center for Public Integrity and is still funding them. Fund for Independence in Journalism was initially set up by guess who .... Center for Public Integrity. Its the old Mafia and Corporate shell game. And besides two "independent" organizations looks sooooo much more authoritative than one. No!

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 03:21 AM
Pisc,
Would it be fair to characterize your position this way:

"I can dismiss the facts, because I don't like the people reporting them."

Is that about where you stand?

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 03:22 AM
They fact that statements that are made based on intelligence which latter turns out to be false intelligence does not imply deceit. If if it does take a look at the number of Democrats, foreign leaders, foreign intelligence services that are equally guilty of participating in this deceit. While I not convinced that Bush is as stupid as he sometime sounds it would take a quite a genus to assemble such a large conspiracy and I'm sure that those that attack him for being less than intelligent will grant him that level of ability.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 03:35 AM
... it would take a quite a genus to assemble such a large conspiracy and I'm sure that those that attack him for being less than intelligent will grant him that level of ability.

I think you mean genius, don't you? (The irony of misspelling this word when referring to Bush is just too rich.)

Anyway, assuming you did mean this, why do you think it would take one to pull of the conspiracy of lies? Are the conservatives so dumb that they are impressed with something that every child masters in elementary school? It's pretty easy -- you tell a lie, tell your friends to repeat the lie or they're not you're friends anymore, and call everyone who disputes your lies names.

Still waiting for evidence that Soros funded the report, btw. Especially as you seem to be so predisposed to ask for evidence whenever anyone else makes some kind of accusation.

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 03:36 AM
There's a big difference between those perpetuating a hoax and those who believe it. There was no massive conspiracy because the overwhelming majority of those who repeated the "lies" were people like you who swallowed them whole. If anything, the fact that the media and so many Democrats went along with what they were told by the Bush administration should destroy some of your assumptions about the media and the Democrats.

If the Bush Administration had been so confident of its case for war, and if the global intelligence your side constantly refers to really was so unanimous in its agreement that Saddam had WMD, then there would never have been any need for Cheney to camp out at CIA headquarters for weeks twisting arms and threatening analysts. And there would have been no need for Colin Powell to present his elaborately constructed case before the United Nations Security Council. And there never would have been any need for the White House to set up the Office of Special Plans to fabricate the "intelligence" they weren't getting from America's real intelligence services. And there never would have been any need to destroy the career of Valerie Plame in order to send a message to the rest of the intelligence community that they'd better not dare stand up and tell the truth.

See, Pisc, the truth is already known about what happened in the run-up to the war. You just refuse to acknowledge it. That's OK. You can go to your deathbed believing it was all just a big mistake and that everyone really believed Saddam had WMD.

Even if we were to accept that there was universal agreement that Saddam had WMDs, there was never universal agreement that invading Iraq was the wise reaction. Clinton is said to have believed Saddam had WMD, but you may notice he did not invade.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 03:44 AM
Got him with both swords on that one, Twin! Let's see how he tries to wriggle out of these truths.

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 03:50 AM
Got him with both swords on that one, Twin! Let's see how he tries to wriggle out of these truths.

Thanks, David. He may need to consult Rush Limbaugh's Big Book of Bullshit to find a suitable response. :D

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 03:57 AM
Thanks, David. He may need to consult Rush Limbaugh's Big Book of Bullshit to find a suitable response. :D

And I predict that among the gleanings from that book will be something along the lines of "we're already there, so it doesn't matter how it started."

Oh, and, "we're winning (aka 'The Surge(tm) is Working (tm)!')" *

=====
* Or is it (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/world/middleeast/24sunni.html)?

David_PA
01-24-2008, 04:00 AM
He he ... triple-Rush alliteration might be wasted though.

Well, let's make him dig a little deeper into the Rushed-thinking pages and into the Hannity Heap too:

Ok, we're there. Now, why is it that staying is important to our national security?

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:01 AM
Actually I didn't swallow them whole or masticated either. As far as I was concerned the presence or absence of WMD had little influence in why I supported the decision, and still do. I'm more of a root cause kind of guy and the root cause of radical jihadism is in my belief that it is the form of government in the ME. While I don't dispute that we were complicit in supporting those structures at, various times for larger strategic goals, it was time to but in placce the changes that are needed to destroy the root. The second reason I supported was the humanitarian aspect of removing the evil that ruled Iraq. As far as possession of WMD it was only important to me in the aspect that the inhuman sanctions the UN was enforcing against the people of Iraq, which was in itself deadly and repressive, was failing and with Saddam still in power and no sanctions WMD were sooner or later inevitable. No sanctions no inspectors.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:04 AM
Actually I have never listened to Rush as I really don't agree with his on air persona, as it has been portrayed in numerous places, more of which I am sure you are familiar with than me.

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 04:04 AM
And I predict that among the gleanings from that book will be something along the lines of "we're already there, so it doesn't matter how it started."

Oh, and, "we're winning (aka 'The Surge(tm) is Working (tm)!')" *

=====
* Or is it (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/world/middleeast/24sunni.html)?

Yeah! It's funny. These are the people who've been telling us we've been winning since the first week of the war, and they remain as convinced as ever.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 04:05 AM
Back to the present ... why is our staying in Iraq important to US national security?

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 04:06 AM
So, who is it, then? Mark Levin?

Hey, as long as we're all here chatting, Pisc, maybe you can answer a question. What's with the white hot rage of right-wing radio personalities? I was reading about the whole Bob Grant scandal the other day, and found some Mark Levin on YouTube. Man, he is one angry dude!

What's up with that?

Is it because he's the Jew of liberal fascism? <-- joke

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 04:07 AM
Off topic: I think it's kind of funny that every post in this thread has the title "Goldfarb has earned a biscuit." LOL!

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:12 AM
It is a little hard to try and keep up with 3-4 lines of attack so I hope that some of grammatical and spelling errors may have to be overlooked. Obviously you had a good idea of what I meant. No harm no foul.

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 04:13 AM
In light of today's study (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22794451/?GT1=10755) documenting over 900 false statements made by Bush administration officials ...

Man. Bush is looking terrible in that picture at the link. He makes Cheney look healthy! I think Bush might have started to realize that there are history books about failed presidents, too. For so long he took solace in the fact that historians praise George Washington and Harry Truman. Maybe someone told him there are also books about Presidents Buchanan and Grant.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:15 AM
I actually have no idea as to what transpires on talk radio. If I am listening to talk radio it is NPR believe it or not.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 04:17 AM
I actually have no idea as to what transpires on talk radio. If I am listening to talk radio it is NPR believe it or not. Then there is hope ...

TwinSwords
01-24-2008, 04:21 AM
Then there is hope ...

Yeah. I was going to say that's a good sign. (Not that he listens to NPR, but that he doesn't submerge himself in the rage and irrationality of talk radio.)

However, I would add: Fox News is really the talk-radioification of cable news. The Republicans observed the success of talk radio and decided to launch a cable news network on the same model.

(Oops, posted this in response to the wrong post.)

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:27 AM
No it is just Sun-Tzu's sage of advice of know thy foe and the ground on which will contest.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 04:28 AM
Piscivorous: I'm still waiting to hear why our staying in Iraq is important to our national security.

The neo-con argument goes something like this: 'We have to stop the Islamo-fascists there'.

Counter: What about the radical Islamo's in Pakistan, Afganistan, the Phillipines, Iran? There are more there.

Neo-cons: We have to stay in Iraq, so Iraq is stable.

Counter: How does that help the US be more secure?

Neo-cons: We have to stop the Islamo-fascists in Iraq.

Counter: What about the radical Islamo's everywhere else.

And so on ...

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:28 AM
Actually I do listen to NPR on a daily basis.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 04:35 AM
It is a little hard to try and keep up with 3-4 lines of attack so I hope that some of grammatical and spelling errors may have to be overlooked. Obviously you had a good idea of what I meant. No harm no foul.

Yes. If you think about it, I only make fun of spelling errors when there's something particularly funny about them, as with the case of "genus.'

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:42 AM
I don't know where yo live but I was talking to a friend of mine in Chicago last evening and she happened to mention that it was colder than a witches tit up there. She happens to heat her house with fuel oil. As oil is whats the term a "fungible resource" which in this case I take the definition that what effects the supply in one area has effects everywhere that resource is a necessity of life as we enjoy it. If you wish to see that proof of that let the ME deteriorate to the point of constraining world supply and I believe that it will become eminently obvious as to what are security interests. So yes to preemptively answer the next serious of comments "it's all about the oil" to the degree that ME stability is about the energy supply yes. The liberation of Iraq and the effort to establish a representative form of governance in the ME is a separate but not unrelated issue.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 04:45 AM
Yes I know and thought that the tenner of my reply implied this as opposed to a previous comment, of mine, when presented with a similar comment about hurried typing errors.

David_PA
01-24-2008, 04:50 AM
Iraq has made the ME less stable. And it's drained our resources. Think how much further along in developing alternative energy sources we'd be with 500B (1/2 the cost of Iraq) and 5 years having been put into that instead of Iraq?

If a dem gets elected, that's what will happen. No more Iraq and a concerted effort on energy independence via alternative fuels.

piscivorous
01-24-2008, 05:27 AM
That is an interesting but highly speculative opinion.

From Senator Obama's WEB site
Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

From Senator Clointon's WEB site

Starting Phased Redeployment within Hillary's First Days in Office: The most important part of Hillary's plan is the first: to end our military engagement in Iraq's civil war and immediately start bringing our troops home. As president, one of Hillary's first official actions would be to convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her Secretary of Defense, and her National Security Council. She would direct them to draw up a clear, viable plan to bring our troops home starting with the first 60 days of her Administration. She would also direct the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to prepare a comprehensive plan to provide the highest quality health care and benefits to every service member -- including every member of the National Guard and Reserves -- and their families.

Securing Stability in Iraq as we Bring our Troops Home. As president, Hillary would focus American aid efforts during our redeployment on stabilizing Iraq, not propping up the Iraqi government. She would direct aid to the entities -- whether governmental or non-governmental -- most likely to get it into the hands of the Iraqi people. She would also support the appointment of a high level U.N. representative -- similar to those appointed in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kosovo -- to help broker peace among the parties in Iraq.


Looks to me like both are leaving quite a lot of wiggle room and we will be there awhile yet.

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 05:44 AM
What could be worse?

1. PLA ROKA snipers knocking off refugees to "protect" the Tumen River and DMZ borders with DPRK?

2. North Koreans turning on each other - both gulag inmates against guards, and vice versa, as well as others defending what little they can grab against interlopers? in other words, mass slaughter, followed by even more slaughter as well-meaning foreign troops try to establish order?

3. Mass exodus of fortunate KPA and KWP personnel, and then reprisals against former officials by lesser officials and people?

4. Army coups by province - as in the 90s?

5. Oh, who has control of the NBC? Missiles and artillery?

6. The ROK and other East Asian stock markets tank, followed by the rest of the economies?

7. An even more thuggish government in Pyongyang?

8. Mobilization of all regional armed forces with what chances for misunderstanding?

9. Deaths of ROK citizens in Kaesong and other vacation spots leading to a response from Seoul?

10. PLA invasion?

11. ROK invasion?

12. Japanese invasion?

13. US invasion?

14. Some coalition of the top four?

15. Kim Jong-il and/or his family survive, or are retained in some deal with Seoul?

The current configuration on the peninsula is the stablest the Korean pivot has had for centuries. One has to return to the Three Kingdoms period to find an era when Korea was both a matter of dispute and the center of the regional balance of power. One also has to recall that unification after that required judicious jujitsu of Chinese diplomatic machinations by Silla's rulers, and a weak Japan. But now, both PRC and Japan are equal powers. Goldfarb might not like the current human rights situation (but, honestly if I cry for North Koreans- and my South Korean family doesn't and is prepared to repel the KPA en bloc -I would have a stroke by the time I finished crying for all the other wretches living in other geographical no-man's-lands globally.)

South Korean public opinion is much more nuanced than Goldfarb could ever comprehend. He's not Korean. He's not even family. He should desist from causing trouble because he can't control his conveniently effeminate feelings (he can't even stop smoking!). He doesn't have to defend his home. He needs to make America the subject of his dangerously simplistic ideology.

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 05:47 AM
What about the humanitarian consequences of another mistake like Iraq? And, in DPRK's case, there's only the vaguest rumor of a resistance, no organized diaspora movements, and very little knowledge of the map itself.

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 05:52 AM
The same moral reasoning and studious collection of intelligence applied to the question of whether staying or leaving in Iraq should also be applied. I agree. But, really, more importantly, we should ask much more earnestly what would happen if Pyongyang's ham-fisted, blunt autocracy were lifted. We should realize that governments just do not arise spontaneously.

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 05:58 AM
Gordon G. Chang has made the same argument, that US (and Chinese) aid keeps the Kim regime on life support. I can conceive of solutions, but it would take a perfect combination of six-party coordination, money, and good luck. I'm highly skeptical five states could agree to one plan that would require decades for implementation. East Timor and Kosovo provide some solace, but not much, particularly since all these projects (plus Afghanistan and Sudan) are causing donor and peacekeeping burnout.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 06:02 AM
Yes I know and thought that the tenner of my reply implied this as opposed to a previous comment, of mine, when presented with a similar comment about hurried typing errors.

pisc:

Far be it from me to castigate anyone for firing off a reply in the heat of the moment; I'm as guilty of that as anybody.

One recommendation: Use Firefox, and turn on spell-checking. This feature works "on the fly" whenever you're typing in a web site's text box. Of course, it's not going to catch errors like tenner when you mean tenor, but it will catch a lot of mistakes.

BTW, I think I figured out where you got that "Soros-funded" meme. Was it Captain's Quarters?

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 06:07 AM
Good points!

DPRK has nothing to lose- actually clearing the rubble of their hollowed-out factory relics and scorching the fertilizer-bleached earth would be beneficial. But, ROK can't afford one missile falling in Seoul! And, neither can the world economy.

How heinous and ridiculous was Qaddafi's reign, but the US let him stay in power. Go to church, confess, and get absolution. But, really, all this blather is more dangerous than Yodok!

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 06:18 AM
Since when has humanitarian feelings become such an important part of US policy? Did Carter become President again? Rights depend upon government, which is built on a foundation of just law and order. Both the PRC and DPRK act like states. They're heinous, embarrassing, and eventually untenable, but they're not Martians. They represent an aspect of human propensity. On the other hand, the US angry that the North Koreans are playing their hand better than the Americans. Since 1952 at Panmunjom, the North Koreans have played the diplomatic game better than the Americans. Pyongyang wants respect from Washington, and Washington acts as if it's holier than thou. The Americans should pray they could do as well as Pyongyang if the roles were reversed. In the meantime, India is our nuclear friend, but Pyongyang is our lunatic enemy. The US has to reconsider its entire nonproliferation strategy, not act as if missiles were guns, and look for good people to squeeze triggers.

Remember the Pueblo!

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 06:19 AM
No, ideological talking points are his chief concern!

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 06:24 AM
Humanitarian consequences of what? America's flawed policies in Korea since the 1940s? America's rent proliferation policies?

Goldfarb (and Hounshell) care as little for DPRK as they do for any failed state. It's a point in an argument. Period. And those arguments in this diavlog are sterile.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 06:48 AM
... so Goldfarb's rantings were less than impressive.

pisc:

You deserve notice and a hat tip for criticizing someone from the right. It will make me respect your opinion more in the future.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 07:01 AM
Baltimoron:

You make a good point:

Since when has humanitarian feelings become such an important part of US policy? Did Carter become President again?

Sadly, I agree. Human rights have lately been at best an empty talking point for pretty much all American political leaders with any clout. They're often trotted to bolster a case which is desired for other reasons; e.g., "free the Iraqis," but neither side really seems to care.

I have a little more trouble with this:

Since 1952 at Panmunjom, the North Koreans have played the diplomatic game better than the Americans.

In a narrow sense, I might agree. NK gets to act bat-shit crazy and the US doesn't appear to be making gains that are easily touted. In the larger sense, I disagree. NK is isolated to a degree that I'd call comic if it weren't for the humanitarian costs imposed upon its own people. They have no real allies; at best, they get a little help from countries that want to use them vis a vis the US. Perhaps most importantly, they haven't started a war in the last half century.

Diplomacy is an art form that works from the axiom that talking is better than shooting. As frustrating as things are in the short term, and as non-trivial as NK's role in nuclear proliferation is, I'm hard-pressed to think of anything NK has actually won in the diplomatic game, apart from moments of being able to crow about making the US lose face for a few news cycles.

Baltimoron
01-24-2008, 07:38 AM
I'm hard-pressed to think of anything NK has actually won in the diplomatic game, apart from moments of being able to crow about making the US lose face for a few news cycles.

It's here you have to understand Korean culture. It's something I've struggled with for years, but then I have to because of my wife and family. But, the Kim regime has survived. That's it. The Kim Dynasty is DPRK. The rest of the North Korean people are just appendages. I'm not agreeing or condoning, rather explaining. The South Koreans are really little different. MY family survives. I don't care, except in the sense that cooperation is the other side of conflict, about the family across the street.

bjkeefe
01-24-2008, 10:05 PM
It's here you have to understand Korean culture.

Fair enough, and I'll be the first to acknowledge that I don't. Nonetheless, from my (American) point of view, I don't perceive the NKs as having won anything of significance via their diplomatic efforts, especially not as such gains could be thought of as losses by the US.

If it's a big deal that the US lost face here and there, as perceived by the NKs, and that's all the NKs care about, then I'm happy with that. It's far better than fighting a war.