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Bloggingheads 03-31-2011 12:05 AM

Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 

chiwhisoxx 03-31-2011 12:46 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Wow. I think like 24 hours ago Eli and Hussein had a tweet exchange about how they should do a bloggingheads. I like the speed BHTV!

Ugh. Started listening, and they will not let each other talk. Eli let's Hussein go for about 10 minutes at the start, but after that they seem to want to interrupt each other about every 5 seconds. They're both quite knowledgeable and opinionated, and I understand the instinct to not let things go, but jeez. Makes it hard to listen at this level.

brucds 03-31-2011 01:33 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
"Obama is now an American exceptionalist."

Oh Christ...who gives a flying F...!

ohreally 03-31-2011 02:44 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
>> no congressional approval.

Ibish: Big deal.

>> How's Glenn Greenwald looking at this?

Ibish: Couldn't care less.

Ibish: There's a good chance anti-Gaddafi forces will win.

Ibish: Israel and Saudi Arabia kept Bush from attacking Syria.

I'll let the sheer inanity of these comments speak for itself. Instead I'll correct Ibish on a point of logic. Ibish said that our interests trump our values when the two conflict (as in Bahrain). Earlier he said that it's the confluence of our interests and values that made us act in Libya. He doesn't seem to understand that both propositions cannot be true. So why talk about value except as a way to lower the signal-to-noise ratio? Perhaps too much butting-in and out-of-control logorrhea gets in the way of clear thinking.

Hume's Bastard 03-31-2011 03:43 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
I certainly hope my government is composed of men and women with more gravitas and stones than Ibish obviously feels they should. But, Vijay Prasad does argue for a Coalition-protected refugee corridor, to allow rebels to escape into Tunisia or Egypt. Allowing innocent civilians to leave the war zone wouldn't undermine the other feel-good tactics Ibish advocates - the Coalition would even be allowed attack with impunity after a reasonable amount of time.

Wonderment 03-31-2011 05:38 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
QUOTE]I'll let the sheer inanity of these comments speak for itself. [/QUOTE]

My favorite remark was the comparison of the bombing campaign to the Hippocratic Oath.

Although I concede that Congress: "Big deal!" was also noteworthy.

Hussein's idea of the "vengeance agenda" is far-fetched and contrived. Just more of the Kadaffi=Hitler hyperbole.

The discussion of Obama the Exceptionalist (L'État, c'est moi) was interesting. Why anyone is surprised, however, that O is gloriously and theatrically embracing his inner exceptionalist is beyond my comprehension. When did he not?

Florian 03-31-2011 07:24 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 202571)
QUOTE] Hussein's idea of the "vengeance agenda" is far-fetched and contrived. Just more of the Kadaffi=Hitler hyperbole.

Do you have evidence that is was far-fetched? Kadaffi explicitly threatened to put down the rebellion, he sent his mercenary troops to Benghazi, and there were numerous reports of civilians being killed. I have seen estimates ranging from several hundred to several thousand. That doesn't make him a Hitler, agreed, but who is making such an absurd claim?

Quote:

The discussion of Obama the Exceptionalist (L'État, c'est moi) was interesting. Why anyone is surprised, however, that O is gloriously and theatrically embracing his inner exceptionalist is beyond my comprehension. When did he not?
And maybe you are embracing your inner anti-exceptionalist! Aren't you stretching the definition of "exceptionalism" a bit here? I interpret the idea rather more narrowly. It is the belief, going back to President Wilson, that the foreign policy of the US is inherently just because it favors the legitimate, democratic aspirations of all peoples to govern themselves, which is the precondition for world peace (Wilson took his ideas from Kant). On this view the US only goes to war for one of two reasons: in self-defense (like all other states) or in order to promote the right to self-determination of other peoples, and thus peace.

Of course, Wilson thought that the US could only achieve these ends by working with other nations through a "League of Nations" (Société des Nations), the predecessor of the United Nations. The US Congress, reflecting the isolationist tendencies of the American people at the time, elected not to join the League. You could say that American exceptionalism, in the bad sense of the word, combines Wilsonian idealism with isolationism and cowboyism à la Bush.

look 03-31-2011 08:09 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 202568)
>> no congressional approval.

Ibish: approval shmroval.

look 03-31-2011 08:20 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
[QUOTE=Wonderment;202571]
Quote:

The discussion of Obama the Exceptionalist (L'État, c'est moi) was interesting. Why anyone is surprised, however, that O is gloriously and theatrically embracing his inner exceptionalist is beyond my comprehension. When did he not?
Exactly.

Stapler Malone 03-31-2011 10:46 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Is anyone else reminded of Buster Bluth right here?

Don Zeko 03-31-2011 11:09 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stapler Malone (Post 202584)
Is anyone else reminded of Buster Bluth right here?

Heehee. That's spot on. Now if only Eli were reaching through the camera and giving Ibish an awkward back rub...

graz 03-31-2011 11:36 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 202571)
QUOTE]
Why anyone is surprised, however, that O is gloriously and theatrically embracing his inner exceptionalist is beyond my comprehension. When did he not?

You say it like it's a bad thing. Why has your nuance failed you?

piscivorous 03-31-2011 12:27 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
So we have gone from a war against Weapons of Mass Destruction to one against Words of Mass Destruction.

look 03-31-2011 01:23 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Again, kudos to Eli for his prescient pre-election article on Obama foreign policy:

http://www.tnr.com/article/contra-expectations

Meng Bomin 03-31-2011 01:56 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Honestly, I see this Libya war as a manifestation of liberal interventionist buffoonery, just as the Iraq war was a manifestation of neoconservative buffoonery and it's convenient that we have representatives from both camps here. That said, I do agree with the assessment of these two men that there is an incongruence between the assumptions of the systems of international institutions such as the UN Security Council and the actual international balance of powers and the implementation of UNSCR 1973 is an excellent example of that incongruence.

It's been interesting to see Bloggingheads participants like Heather Hurlburt and Robert Wright voice such faith in the processes of international deliberation, when from my perspective, they've clearly been exploited in a rather cynical, if poorly thought through manner to achieve ends that don't line up with the stated goals, in the case of this Libya action. While the international system is set up to act as a roadblock to the Eli Lakes and Hussein Ibishes of the world who'd like to use American power projection for their ideological adventures and thus generally in line with what I'd like to see happen, they have shown themselves to be nearly useless to that end. Lack of UN support didn't prevent Bush from pursuing his ends and this time around, Russia and China were content to watch us traipse into our next folly.

I think that in the end, this "humanitarian intervention" will act to the discredit of its internationalist proponents as it further weakens the legitimacy and force of UN Security Council Resolutions while making its actors look silly, just as the results of the Iraq war served to discredit its proponents (such as Paul Wolfowitz, who, judging by his frequent mention in this diavlog, is the subject of an altar that Eli prays to every night before bed).

chamblee54 03-31-2011 02:35 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Mr. Lake says that Syria is an enemy of the United States.
Syria has taken in over a million refugees from the holocaust in Iraq. A firestorm that was started and perpetrated by the United States. If Syria had not taken in those refugees, there would probably be a million more dead Iraqis.
With enemies like that, who needs allies.
Chamblee54

Jay J 03-31-2011 02:47 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Can someone flesh out the distinction between criteria and theory? Between "doctrine" and pragmatism? There was a link to the Michael Hirsh article (which I read) and there was the discussion by Hussein Ibish in the diavlogue:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/351...9:37&out=19:59

For the record, so I don't come across as coy, I'm skeptical of this distinction, but not 100% convinced either way. As for me, I'm satisfied saying Iraq was a bad idea, Libya seems OK, but the difference is not that one is justified by theory and the other by mere criteria. I mean, I didn't realize theory was necessarily myopic and narrow, and criteria flexible and pragmatic. This distinction sounds like a way to draw a line in the sand between Obama and Bush. Maybe there needs to be a line, but I'm skeptical that this is the one.

B back in a few days.

Wonderment 03-31-2011 03:21 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

You say it like it's a bad thing. Why has your nuance failed you?
That was a good post by Marc K. I will try to keep up on the nuance, bro. :)

Wonderment 03-31-2011 03:35 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Do you have evidence that is was far-fetched? Kadaffi explicitly threatened to put down the rebellion, he sent his mercenary troops to Benghazi, and there were numerous reports of civilians being killed. I have seen estimates ranging from several hundred to several thousand. That doesn't make him a Hitler, agreed, but who is making such an absurd claim?
The White House, through Dennis Ross, leaked the 100,000 corpse figure. I don't think we can go to war based on conjecture about a "vengeance agenda."

Plus, I don't need evidence to demonstrate that a hypothetical scenario is untrue. You would need the evidence to assure me that it is true, and I haven't seen such evidence. But even if we stipulate that Kadaffi was hell-bent on mass murder, there were other ways to prevent and/or mitigate the crisis without bombs.

I certainly concede that Kadaffi is a mass murderer, but we've known that since he blew up a civilian airline decades ago and since he murdered over 1,000 prisoners in one day (many of them from Bengazi, and of course no one in the West made a peep of protest).

Quote:

And maybe you are embracing your inner anti-exceptionalist! Aren't you stretching the definition of "exceptionalism" a bit here?
Here's what Obama said, which I find preposterous:

Quote:

For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom.
And:

Quote:

Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.

graz 03-31-2011 03:36 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 202603)
That was a good post by Marc K. I will try to keep up on the nuance, bro. :)

I hope to see the proposed dv between you and Bob Wright. You've already made a case for what humanitarian intervention can or ought to look like. I wonder if Bob will be able to make a case for this current adventure being anything other than war with benefits for the usual suspects -- not the supposed beneficiaries?

stephanie 03-31-2011 03:56 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 202571)
The discussion of Obama the Exceptionalist (L'État, c'est moi) was interesting. Why anyone is surprised, however, that O is gloriously and theatrically embracing his inner exceptionalist is beyond my comprehension. When did he not?

Quite true.

bjkeefe 03-31-2011 07:06 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
@Eli:

Looks like we got the old you back today, sadly. It's a real shame that you hide what you have to offer behind such an obnoxious manner. Do we need to pair you with Heather again, to whip you back into quasi-adulthood?

I gotta say, it's really tedious to listen to someone asserting with certainty a whole range of opinions, all of which can be connected to a dislike for Obama and an urge to burnish the legacy of Bush and his invasion of Iraq, and then on top of that have to hear frequent invocations of the "I'm a reporter" mantra.

Also, please go back to first grade and this time, pay attention to the lesson about taking turns.

Also? Tell it to the Koch brothers. Glad Hussein didn't let you skate on that one, at least.

JonIrenicus 03-31-2011 07:34 PM

Arab opinion
 
I found this snippet interesting.


http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/351...8:34&out=39:10



I think this falls into the category of defending stupid beliefs, which I have near zero patience for. To me, it's not enough that people believe something, it needs to be TRUE. And this attitude where people KNOW certain beliefs about the world are untrue, and provide cover for them anyway, or legitimize them..

No, just no.

I cannot stand that. So if you tell me that 80% of Arabs think, say, the biggest problem in their lives and prosperity is Israel or the US.. I don't have to honor that belief, because it is bullshit. I don't care if someone believes that, it's wrong. Why should I respect wrong?

chiwhisoxx 03-31-2011 08:02 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 202648)
@Eli:

Looks like we got the old you back today, sadly. It's a real shame that you hide what you have to offer behind such an obnoxious manner. Do we need to pair you with Heather again, to whip you back into quasi-adulthood?

I gotta say, it's really tedious to listen to someone asserting with certainty a whole range of opinions, all of which can be connected to a dislike for Obama and an urge to burnish the legacy of Bush and his invasion of Iraq, and then on top of that have to hear frequent invocations of the "I'm a reporter" mantra.

Also, please go back to first grade and this time, pay attention to the lesson about taking turns.

Also? Tell it to the Koch brothers. Glad Hussein didn't let you skate on that one, at least.

The inability to take turns was a problem for both people in this diavlog, and it kind of ruined it for me.

badhatharry 03-31-2011 08:10 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay J (Post 202597)
Can someone flesh out the distinction between criteria and theory?

Iraq wouldn't have been a bad idea if it had gone better. Libya won't have been a good idea if it turns out badly. People judge actions by end results. That's my theory and criteria.

chiwhisoxx 03-31-2011 08:23 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 202664)
Iraq wouldn't have been a bad idea if it had gone better. Libya won't have been a good idea if it turns out badly. People judge actions by end results. That's my theory and criteria.

You seem to be indulging in the competency dodge with Iraq. I think there are a lot of reasons to think Iraq was a bad idea regardless of execution. And I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that if you supported the war at one point. One of the things Libya has revealed is how despite the cross cutting nature of foreign policy ideologies across the partisan spectrum, the response from the pundit class seems to be pretty solidly partisan (with notable exceptions). I don't think we should continue to let partisanship color Libya or Iraq.

badhatharry 03-31-2011 09:02 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 202666)
You seem to be indulging in the competency dodge with Iraq. I think there are a lot of reasons to think Iraq was a bad idea regardless of execution. And I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that if you supported the war at one point. One of the things Libya has revealed is how despite the cross cutting nature of foreign policy ideologies across the partisan spectrum, the response from the pundit class seems to be pretty solidly partisan (with notable exceptions). I don't think we should continue to let partisanship color Libya or Iraq.

I'm unfamiliar with the term competency dodge. For my part, I'm unpartisan and actually agnostic when it comes to Iraq and/or Libya.

In the long run what most are interested in is outcomes. That's what gets written down in the history books and that's the narrative that gets told over and over. After a while the details fade, except in the world of historians, (and even they often disagree). Right now the common wisdom is that Iraq was a bad idea. I realize there are still many holdouts who believe it was essential.

But fifty years from now, if the Middle East is stable and democracy is the norm it's possible that Iraq will be pointed to as the beginning of that phenomenon. And if Libya leads to endless war and unsavory power grabbing maybe this NATO idea will be ridiculed as a huge mis-step.

stephanie 04-01-2011 01:56 PM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 202666)
One of the things Libya has revealed is how despite the cross cutting nature of foreign policy ideologies across the partisan spectrum, the response from the pundit class seems to be pretty solidly partisan (with notable exceptions). I don't think we should continue to let partisanship color Libya or Iraq.

I'd nitpick and say we knew that already, so nothing's been revealed, but generally I think that's right. It's a reason why considering how the principles on which you justify (or reject) intervention in one area would apply to other situations.

Mannish Boy 04-02-2011 07:41 AM

Re: Legitimacy Promotion (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Why is Obama's intervention for humanitarian reasons in Libya proof of American exceptionalism? He was pushed into it by Britain and France, who intervened with even less national interests at stake.


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