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Bloggingheads
02-12-2008, 05:44 PM

samuelsd
02-12-2008, 08:47 PM
Well, I would like to come up with a smart and witty thing to say about this diavlog, but if I did so, the terrorists would have already won (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8702?in=00:03:35&out=00:03:46).

Namazu
02-12-2008, 08:50 PM
She continued: "They like this war. They want this war to continue. We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we need a new direction in Iraq. To affect that we need redeployment of our troops with a goal of a year to do that. But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is just not George Bush's war, this is the war of the Republicans in Congress."
[Nancy Pelosi showing how her Party isn't so quick to impugn the motives of the its rival party.]

piscivorous
02-12-2008, 09:09 PM
M witty response might be along the lines of NATO Says Taliban Not Surging (http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-02-06-voa56.cfm) or Canadians 'winning' in Kandahar
(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080211.AFGHANSECURITY11/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/) or one of the best I've seen in a while Miliband: UK has moral duty to intervene (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/feb/12/foreignpolicy.iraq).

But then again I'm just a right wing warmongering fanatic handyman in south Florida so what do I know in relation to these foreign Policy Experts.

TwinSwords
02-12-2008, 10:15 PM
She continued: "They like this war. They want this war to continue. We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we need a new direction in Iraq. To affect that we need redeployment of our troops with a goal of a year to do that. But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is just not George Bush's war, this is the war of the Republicans in Congress."
[Nancy Pelosi showing how her Party isn't so quick to impugn the motives of the its rival party.]

But of course, everything Nancy said is true. Can you impugn the motives of the rival party with factual statements? Are Republicans so detached from reality that they think it is slander to tell the truth about them?

piscivorous
02-13-2008, 01:30 PM
The constant harping about how America is isolated because of our unilateral actions and going it alone is also becoming quite tiresome.

We persuade 5 other countries to join us in the negations to get North Korea to disarm. Now when North Korea dishonors their commitments we have the Chinese, North Korea's primary support mechanism, as partners and they don't particularly like being embarrassed so pressure gets applied on the North Koreans by the one country that might actually have an effect on their behavior but we are going it alone.

We allow the Big Three of France, Germany, and Great Britain to negotiate with the Iranians, as futile as that appears to be, are lectured by the world that we should now engage the Iranians in one one one discussion because you know the Big three have been such a Big Success.I also find it strange that we are being excoriated for acting unilaterally and not negotiating unilaterally with Iran; but lets not let facts get in the way of the meme that and we’re going it alone.

In Afghanistan we get NATO to commit troops, outside the confines of Europe, get them to take command and responsibility for the Afghan mission and we’re going it alone.

We get thirty some nations to join us in the Iraq invasion, but because these nations are not Germany, France or Russia they don't count and we are once again going it alone.

These are just four of the many examples of were we are you "going it alone" according to this leftist narrative; contrary to the facts of reality but hey the evidence doesn't matter it is the meme that counts.

Dilan Esper
02-13-2008, 02:06 PM
The problem with Hurlburt's position on Hillary is that she overrates the coherence issue and underrates the specific ways in which Hillary's foreign policy decisions have been absolutely awful. John McCain, after all, is coherent, but lots of Americans will needlessly die if he is elected President.

Similarly, 4,000 brave American servicemembers died because Hillary voted to send them to Iraq. She also voted for the awful Kyl-Lieberman bill to start a war with Iran, even though it turned out Iran had stopped its nuclear program. Indeed, as far as I know, in her "35 years of experience", she has never had the guts to stand up once and oppose a US military intervention.

I am sorry, but the hawk-dove contrast is, right now, the single most important question in American foreign policy. We can't do any of the multilateralism or diplomacy that Hurlburt loves until we repudiate the idea that we have the right to intervene wherever we want whenever we feel it serves our interests. Further, we will continue suffering terrorist blowback.

Hillary has made it clear-- her only problem with George Bush's military policy is that it was not conducted competently. Obama's right, we need to change the mindset. Let's do that, and then Hurlburt and others can argue under an Obama presidency how to best use our soft power to move towards a better world.

piscivorous
02-13-2008, 04:04 PM
Part three of the series looking at Iraqi politics in now up Iraqi politics – Part 3. Examining the legislative branch (http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/02/inside_iraqi_politic_2.php)

piscivorous
02-13-2008, 06:02 PM
Actually a pretty good read analyzing Senator Obama's history on the Iraq issue in the New Republic Cinderella Story (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=aaad0724-dd13-4ffa-810b-d5d3220ff055)

bjkeefe
02-13-2008, 07:26 PM
pisc:

Those are some reasonable-sounding counterexamples that you offer, but I don't think they are sufficient to outweigh the claim that the US has been awfully unilateral for a long time, and especially so in the 21st century. I know that the perception is certainly that way, rail against it though you will, and in international relations, perceptions count for a lot.

Start with the withdrawal from the Kyoto treaty. Maybe a bad treaty, and certainly arguable that it was against US (short term) interests, but that doesn't change the fact that half of this country and pretty much all the rest of the world looked at that action as completely selfish.

Shortly after that, of course, we had 9/11. On 9/12, the entire world was ready to do whatever we asked ("nous sommes toutes Americains"), even including the Iranians, and the Bush Administration tossed all that goodwill in the trash.

Next, the invasion of Iraq. With the exception of England, none of our long-time allies thought the US was right to behave the way we did. We disrespected some of our best friends in both intelligence and diplomatic circles.

Now, yes, we did get some help in Afghanistan and Iraq, and once we sort of left Afghanistan for Iraq, we got more help in the former. But the reality of our supposed coalitions is a combination of token help and grudgingly joinging up in response to arm-twisting, bribes, or both. In particular, to argue one of your examples a bit, the "thirty-some nations" were a joke. Iceland, anybody? Marshall Islands? Japan? I think those three countries contributed a combined total of two soldiers. It's become a cliché to talk about the Bush Administration's Orwellian use of language; on the other hand, the names they choose have become a certain indicator for just how opposite to the truth they are. I mean, come on: "Coalition of the Willing?" That's as bad as "Healthy Forests," "Clear Skies," and the PATRIOT Act.

Finally, I think you undercut the credibility of your argument with your insistence on labeling the perception of the US as a unilateral actor a "leftist narrative." The guiding principle of the neocon right, in fact, was that the US should do whatever it wanted, and no other country's input mattered. Recall "Old Europe," for example. Recall "you're either with us or you're against us." This state of affairs is what the right wanted. It has only been recently, since things have become such an obvious disaster, that there's been any attempt to reach out, and to spin the story that the US is interested in working with allies.

piscivorous
02-13-2008, 08:29 PM
pisc:
Those are some reasonable-sounding counterexamples that you offer, but I don't think they are sufficient to outweigh the claim that the US has been awfully unilateral for a long time, and especially so in the 21st century. I know that the perception is certainly that way, rail against it though you will, and in international relations, perceptions count for a lot. The most significant word in the paragraph and "perception" is often based on what information one is exposed to no? pisc:
Start with the withdrawal from the Kyoto treaty. Maybe a bad treaty, and certainly arguable that it was against US (short term) interests, but that doesn't change the fact that half of this country and pretty much all the rest of the world looked at that action as completely selfish. Do yo think that China, which some now say is the largest producer of CO2 shold be given a pass. I think only one of the European countries that are signatories are actually meeting their obligations. Not only are much of their claimed savings are done through carbon offsets which may have some effect but that too is questionable. So it is better from a "perceptions" point of view to sign the treaty, which the Senate voted not to pass by what 98-1 or something like that before Clinton even submitted it, even though we probably wouldn't be able to make the targets but the world will like us more as hypocritical liars, like most of the signatories, instead of saying no it's a piece of shit treaty and we aren't going t sign it. Or that exempts two of the largest producing countries, that we are currently in direct economic competition with; we should better their competitive advantage as we concurrently bitch and moan about exporting our jobs instead of saying no it's a piece of shit treaty and we aren't going t sign it.pisc:Shortly after that, of course, we had 9/11. On 9/12, the entire world was ready to do whatever we asked ("nous sommes toutes Americains"), even including the Iranians, and the Bush Administration tossed all that goodwill in the trash. I agree we may have missed an opportunity with Iran others say it wasn't serious but from what I see it looks like a mistake not to have perused it. pisc:Next, the invasion of Iraq. With the exception of England, none of our long-time allies thought the US was right to behave the way we did. We disrespected some of our best friends in both intelligence and diplomatic circles.

Now, yes, we did get some help in Afghanistan and Iraq, and once we sort of left Afghanistan for Iraq, we got more help in the former. But the reality of our supposed coalitions is a combination of token help and grudgingly joinging up in response to arm-twisting, bribes, or both. In particular, to argue one of your examples a bit, the "thirty-some nations" were a joke. Iceland, anybody? Marshall Islands? Japan? I think those three countries contributed a combined total of two soldiers. It's become a cliché to talk about the Bush Administration's Orwellian use of language; on the other hand, the names they choose have become a certain indicator for just how opposite to the truth they are. I mean, come on: "Coalition of the Willing?" That's as bad as "Healthy Forests," "Clear Skies," and the PATRIOT Act. I suppose that Italy, Australia and Japan are chopped liver when it come to being "long-time allies" and "some of our best friends" where as France and Germany have treated us as kissing cousins. pisc: Finally, I think you undercut the credibility of your argument with your insistence on labeling the perception of the US as a unilateral actor a "leftist narrative." The guiding principle of the neocon right, in fact, was that the US should do whatever it wanted, and no other country's input mattered. Recall "Old Europe," for example. Recall "you're either with us or you're against us." This state of affairs is what the right wanted. It has only been recently, since things have become such an obvious disaster, that there's been any attempt to reach out, and to spin the story that the US is interested in working with allies. I agree that the political rhetoric got out of hand, as often rhetoric in emotionally tense circumstance does, when so called friends are working behind the scenes to actually undermine your position. AS far as only recently I guess that means 2003 1st round (27 Aug – 29 Aug 2003) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-party_talks#Timeline) and the Big Three talks started in the fall of that year as well. I imagine that there was quit a bit of negotiations going on prior to the actual start of these talks between the US and the other participants prior to their actual commencements.

cragger
02-13-2008, 08:44 PM
Heather always brings her "A game". I hope she gets a position in the next administration that lets her bring that vision and intellect to bear on policy making regardless of the candidate that wins.

bjkeefe
02-13-2008, 09:04 PM
pisc:

The most significant word in the paragraph and "perception" is often based on what information one is exposed to no?

I guess I agree -- that perception comes from received information -- but I don't see what your point is.

Do yo think that China, which some now say is the largest producer of CO2 shold be given a pass.

No, certainly not carte blanche, anyway. On the other hand, are we a global leader or not? Sometimes leaders have to, you know, lead. Sometimes leaders have to go first and set a good example. Some times leaders have to understand that others are not in the same fortunate position that we enjoy.

I'm not going to argue the details of the Kyoto Protocol. Whatever the shortcomings of the technical details, whatever the slimness of the chances of the Senate accepting the terms, none of that matters. The important part, especially for our discussion, is that the way the whole thing was handled by the Bush Administration sent a clear message to the rest of the world: Fuck you, Jack. I got mine.

I agree we may have missed an opportunity with Iran others say it wasn't serious but from what I see it looks like a mistake not to have perused it.

You kind of dodged here. Maybe it was my fault for tossing Iran in. My main point was that we dissed, and pissed off, most of the rest of the world, when they were so eager to help, right after 9/11.

I suppose that Italy, Australia and Japan are chopped liver when it come to being "long-time allies" and "some of our best friends" where as France and Germany have treated us as kissing cousins.

First, what part of "some" do you not understand?

Second, I'll give you Australia, but the other two were not part of the invasion force. Italy's mission was mostly peacekeeping in (then-) quiet areas (note their casualty figures), and Japan's soldiers were entirely dedicated to humanitarian missions. Their numbers were hardly more than token in any case, when compared to the number of US personnel.

I agree that the political rhetoric got out of hand, as often rhetoric in emotionally tense circumstance does, when so called friends are working behind the scenes to actually undermine your position.

Don't know what you mean by this.

piscivorous
02-13-2008, 10:29 PM
pisc:I guess I agree -- that perception comes from received information -- but I don't see what your point is. Perception and reality are not always one and the same. Shifting and changing perception, to be more in line with reality, is one of the functions of the executive that I think President Bush fails miserably on as he is not the inspirational type speaker like Lincoln, FDR or Reagan and in a time of turmoil like we are currently experiencing the ability to shape perception is a characteristic that is important for a President to have. pisc:No, certainly not carte blanche, anyway. On the other hand, are we a global leader or not? Sometimes leaders have to, you know, lead. Sometimes leaders have to go first and set a good example. Some times leaders have to understand that others are not in the same fortunate position that we enjoy.

I'm not going to argue the details of the Kyoto Protocol. Whatever the shortcomings of the technical details, whatever the slimness of the chances of the Senate accepting the terms, none of that matters. The important part, especially for our discussion, is that the way the whole thing was handled by the Bush Administration sent a clear message to the rest of the world: Fuck you, Jack. I got mine. I personally am not sanguine that that the reason for the current warming is anthropogenic, for numerous reason over which we can debate another day, as it will be a long and divergent discussion, but sometime leadership also means leading by saying no. Not to long ago I read an article that listed the actual rates of increased CO2 production by country. America had a lower rate than all but 2 or 3 of the European signatories of the Kyoto treaty. I'm not talking about the rates considering purchased CO2 offsets but the actual rates of CO2 production in the countries. (I'll try and find it again but no promises.) So if the our rate of CO2 increase is actually less than that of the signatories is not that leading by example. pisc: You kind of dodged here. Maybe it was my fault for tossing Iran in. My main point was that we dissed, and pissed off, most of the rest of the world, when they were so eager to help, right after 9/11.

First, what part of "some" do you not understand? I guess it must be the o. as in O I had misinterpreted your meaning. pisc:
Second, I'll give you Australia, but the other two were not part of the invasion force. Italy's mission was mostly peacekeeping in (then-) quiet areas (note their casualty figures), and Japan's soldiers were entirely dedicated to humanitarian missions. Their numbers were hardly more than token in any case, when compared to the number of US personnel. I would essentially agree with your points about not being part of the invasion force. But there are numerous reasons for this some of which are strictly strategic and tactical military reality. England is probably the only other country, in the world, that is fully capable of projecting the kind of coordinated kinetic maneuver that our military executes when it actually goes to battle. We have practiced for years with them so coordination is fairly seamless. any forces you incorporate that are not capable of this integration is an accident waiting to happen, and in war that means fratricide. Secondly as you say many of the contributions were symbolic in nature, but to me that doesn't imply that the contributions were meaningless. To get the Japanese government to first commit to supply tankers for navel resupply and the fuel to go with it, and then to send troops, even limited and restricted as they were, given the nature of the Japanese constitution, since we imposed democracy upon them and wrote their constitution for them at the point of the gun, and the societal aversion foreign adventures was far from meaningless. Many of the contributions of troops in Desert Storm were also of the "arm-twisting, bribes, or both" theme, as are most endeavors of a multi-national nature. There was plenty of bling and assistance in that instance as well. pisc: Don't know what you mean by this. It is one thing to say to your friend no we wont participate and a totally different thing to actively solicit other countries not to participate as well.

bjkeefe
02-13-2008, 10:50 PM
pisc:

It is one thing to say to your friend no we wont participate and a totally different thing to actively solicit other countries not to participate as well.

Thanks for the clarification.

I'm not sure I agree. If you think your friend is doing something stupid, and he won't listen to you, it seems reasonable for you to enlist your other friends. Either you hope they combine to convince your friend to change his mind, or at least, you try to ensure your other friends don't fall for the bad reasoning (as you see it).

There's nothing wrong with building coalitions, is there? You like them when they in favor of something you agree with, after all.

piscivorous
02-13-2008, 11:11 PM
pisc: I'm not sure I agree. If you think your friend is doing something stupid, and he won't listen to you, it seems reasonable for you to enlist your other friends. Either you hope they combine to convince your friend to change his mind, or at least, you try to ensure your other friends don't fall for the bad reasoning (as you see it).

There's nothing wrong with building coalitions, is there? You like them when they in favor of something you agree with, after all. I personally don't have a problem with that and it really didn't bother me that some of our friends didn't agree with what we were going to do but I can't control the reactions and words of others. So yes the vitriolic rhetoric surrounding the issue, coupled with the inevitable propagandizing of it, was unfortunate and caused some egos to bruised and certain aspects of the relationships to suffer. From all accounts I see other aspects of the relationships survived unscathed. Take intelligence cooperation for example. I don't recall have seen any articles saying this was damaged and quite a few claiming that there was in fact no damage and throughout this time period grew stronger and better.

bjkeefe
02-13-2008, 11:15 PM
Okay. I'm going to leave it there. G'night.

Sgt Schultz
02-13-2008, 11:19 PM
Talking about Iraq "embarrasses" ? Better to drop the subject?
Because she does not see a Republican in the White House next term.
Were McCain prohibitively favored she'd never write or utter such claptrap.

I'll bet she thinks she's not transparent in this regard.
Oh, and clearly she can't ever be embarrassed.

T. More
02-14-2008, 05:09 PM
Kudos to HH for admitting that the "He wants 100 years of war meme" is disingenuous nonsense from Obama and Hillary. But she can't quite let go and dismisses that truth to something of interest to "academics" and not real people. So does anyone here really believe that real people are not relieved to know their sons or daughters in the military have been assigned to Germany rather than Iraq? Please, please give ordinary people some credit, rather than saying, effectively, "well, its' a dishonest critique, but only smart people will figure that out so I think Obama should run with it."

I have no doubt that Obama can beat McCain by being honest about their differences on the war. I even have some modest hope that when the actual campaign rolls around he might do so. At the moment, however, he's just lying.

AemJeff
02-14-2008, 05:32 PM
Similarly, 4,000 brave American servicemembers died because Hillary voted to send them to Iraq.

Do you really want to lay that at Hillary's doorstep? Whatever the problems with the idiotic war in which we've engaged in Iraq - pinning the blame on Senators for voting to authorize is lazy and wrong. I'll go out on a limb and pat those members who voted against authorization on the back for their prescience; but blaming people for voting with their President - or for bowing to political realities, for that matter - at that particular time is an egregious application of hindsight.

I've said here, more than once, that the war is a strategic disaster, an ill thought out boondoggle that we'll be paying for, figuratively and literally, for a long, long time. I carry no water for Mrs. Clinton - I'll probably vote for Obama when my state's primary occurs - but I lay the blame for this travesty entirely on the shoulders of those who planned it, and sold it (dishonestly, at that). In fact, I'd have been disappointed if the authorization hadn't passed - whatever I think of George Bush and his administration, there was little evidence at the time of the scale of their mendacity. All things being equal the president should be given the benefit of the doubt in matters of war.

I can imagine somebody arguing that Hillary's rhetoric didn't back away from support for the war until pretty damned late. It's true, and it's no profile in political courage; however, that fact does not shift the moral cost of this war onto her shoulders in any significant way.

Thus Spoke Elvis
02-14-2008, 05:54 PM
She continued: "They like this war. They want this war to continue. We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we need a new direction in Iraq. To affect that we need redeployment of our troops with a goal of a year to do that. But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is just not George Bush's war, this is the war of the Republicans in Congress."
[Nancy Pelosi showing how her Party isn't so quick to impugn the motives of the its rival party.]

At the time the authorization to use military force was considered, the Senate was controlled by Democrats, and a majority of them voted in favor of the war in 2002. A significant percentage of Democrats in the House (over a third) also voted for the war. Despite taking control of both Houses in 2006, the Democrats keep voting for bills funding the war.

The fact is, while lots of people -- especially on the Democratic side -- regret the war, few are really prepared to end it. It's much more politically convienient to keep funding the war while blaming the other side for its continuation.

TwinSwords
02-15-2008, 01:08 AM
Do you really want to lay that at Hillary's doorstep? Whatever the problems with the idiotic war in which we've engaged in Iraq - pinning the blame on Senators for voting to authorize is lazy and wrong.

Not to mention the fact that the lawless Bush administration would have gone to war without authorization if Congress hadn't buckled under. I think Cheney would have actually preferred it that way.