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Bloggingheads 04-16-2009 10:21 PM

When Bobs Collide (Robert Wright & Robert Kagan)
 

Tim O 04-16-2009 11:08 PM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Wow, Kagan is a complete dick.

Lawrence Wilkerson and Colin Powell both said that Cheney, Feith and company were stovepiping "intelligence". Combine that with the nationalist frenzy and Congress was easily bulldozed into voting for the war.

No one can argue that Congress as a whole is either courageous or super intelligent, save a few.

Condi warning of mushroom clouds was precisely the kind of disinformation that was being spewed out of the White House.

bjkeefe 04-16-2009 11:10 PM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
1 Attachment(s)
Shorter first seven minutes of Kagan:

Quote:

Bush didn't do that. Every president does that. Bush didn't do that! I can name fifteen presidents who did that! That wasn't the reason!!! Every president uses that reason!!!1!

Also: Clinton.
Hope it gets better.

[Added] Heh. I think the look captured on Bob's face when I paused to type the above pretty much says it all. This is a "drink!" moment, I believe:

Tim O 04-16-2009 11:14 PM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Ridiculing Obama's idealism in his first hundred days is pretty much a cheap shot. From day one the GOP has been hell bent on destroying any agenda, idealistic or realistic as they did with Hillary Care.

That's the game plan. Ridicule, discredit, defeat, ridicule.

bjkeefe 04-16-2009 11:26 PM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
This was truly surreal. I'm surprised Bob Wright's head stopped at a quarter-turn. Mine went all the way around, twice.

bjkeefe 04-16-2009 11:33 PM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
I am now about fifteen minutes in, and I have come to the conclusion that we should rename the Gish Gallop to be the Kagan Clop-Clop.

[Added] And that feeling continued for much of the rest of the way, though at a slightly less frantic pace. I think Kagan does not want to exchange ideas on very many subjects, but just wants to hear enough so he can steamroll whomever he's talking to. And when he's on the defensive, it gets really bad.

What would be so hard about admitting that invading Iraq was a mistake? I'd even let him get away with saying, "We made an honest mistake." It would boost his credibility, in my eyes, anyway.

pampl 04-17-2009 12:03 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Yeah, I didn't like the beginning much either. I think it got better when they moved past Iraq, although the pirates are getting to be really boring topic considering how irrelevant I think they are on any big-picture perspective. On the tempest-in-a-teapot scale they rank somewhere between Israel/Palestine and Michelle Obama's upper arms.

A little bit of a funny moment when Kagan asks if Wright agrees with the position he said one second ago. Watch as the wild Wright cautiously approaches its meal, using its superior sense of taste to test the air for traces of any predators lying in ambush. (Not that I think he was wrong to be suspicious, I just enjoyed the moment)

claymisher 04-17-2009 12:08 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim O (Post 110632)
Wow, Kagan is a complete dick.

That's not very nice but it's absolutely true.

I can't believe anybody ever listened to this guy.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 12:29 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pampl (Post 110637)
Yeah, I didn't like the beginning much either. I think it got better when they moved past Iraq, ...

Agreed.

Quote:

... although the pirates are getting to be really boring topic considering how irrelevant I think they are on any big-picture perspective. On the tempest-in-a-teapot scale they rank somewhere between Israel/Palestine and Michelle Obama's upper arms.
Agree with your sense of the size of the problem, but nonetheless, I liked Bob's idea a lot. When some of us were talking in the other thread about the pirate problem, I did like the idea of nations working together on it, even if it turned out to be mostly symbolism (in part, because I don't think the actual problem is that big). So, I like Bob's idea for that reason, and I like it even better at the thought of the UN being able to do something.

One problem he didn't address that Farley and Drezner agreed was a problem: Never mind the port authorities, how do you get the merchant ships to agree to let guns on board? I wonder if they'd accept UN personnel. Maybe if some large fraction of them did, that would be good enough to make most pirates think it wouldn't be worth the gamble.

Anyway, I wasn't bored with that part of the diavlog, even if it is kind of a minor problem.

Quote:

A little bit of a funny moment when Kagan asks if Wright agrees with the position he said one second ago. Watch as the wild Wright cautiously approaches its meal, using its superior sense of taste to test the air for traces of any predators lying in ambush. (Not that I think he was wrong to be suspicious, I just enjoyed the moment)
Yeah, there were a few moments like that. Hard to blame Bob Wright for that attitude. You know what they say: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me ... fool ... once ... You can't get fooled again!

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 12:29 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim O (Post 110634)
Ridiculing Obama's idealism in his first hundred days is pretty much a cheap shot. From day one the GOP has been hell bent on destroying any agenda, idealistic or realistic as they did with Hillary Care.

That's the game plan. Ridicule, discredit, defeat, ridicule.

Could not agree more.

Thanks, dad! 04-17-2009 12:36 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
well, ya don't say! somehow all the "facts" fall in kagan's favor....again! isn't that just so convenient how he's never wrong about anything?....oh wait, his philosophy couldn't be more discredited....unless he added libertarianism to his belief system. once again, why do these people get paid to write their worthless opinions? robert k., just cuz no one challenges you doesn't mean you're right....it means we're too polite to point out how full of shit you are. do you really think we're dumb enough to buy your worthless macho "realism" or whatever you want to call it? all you are is a well studied bully who talks over people and refuses to truly examine other angles. just the same macho b.s. as VDH, pipes, etc....worthless.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 01:21 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pampl (Post 110637)
On the tempest-in-a-teapot scale they rank somewhere between Israel/Palestine and Michelle Obama's upper arms.

I should have said this before, but to my mind, you've specified two endpoints of a scale that stretches pretty damned far. Do you not consider I/P of major significance?

I sure do. Try to imagine how much things would change if you could just wave a magic wand and have Israel and a Palestine state, getting along the way, say, the US and Canada do. Or anything even anywhere remotely near that.

Lyle 04-17-2009 01:29 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
He doesn't believe invading Iraq was a mistake, just like Christopher Hitchens. They acknowledge the positive consequences of having invaded and occupied Iraq. So I doubt he'll ever say the war was mistake.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 01:39 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 110646)
He doesn't believe invading Iraq was mistake, just like Christopher Hitchens. They acknowledge the positive consequences of having invaded and occupied Iraq. So I doubt he'll ever say the war was mistake.

You're probably right, but unlike Hitchens, who last I heard was still giving the same argument as I've always heard him give, Kagan seems to get tied up in knots pretty quickly while trying to spin things. There's a lot of rewriting and denying, not to mention bluster, in the beginning of this diavlog. Agree with Hitchens's argument or not, at least he doesn't get defensive about it.

In fairness, Hitchens has the luxury of being an idealist (if a manichean outlook can be said to be idealist), while Kagan does have to present himself as a Serious Person.

Anyway, that different affect of Kagan's is I guess what made me think, "Why doesn't he just apologize and be done with it?"

Lyle 04-17-2009 01:49 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Yeah, that and Kagan is just a different kind of a guy from Hitchens.

Starwatcher162536 04-17-2009 01:50 AM

Everyone hates Bush for all the wrong reasons....
 
Unlike most here, I do not think of Bush negatively for his decision to invade Iraq, I happen to think we would of eventually gone anyways because of how crazy Hussein's sons were. Not to mention, other then Israel, Iraq had the most "american" population in the whole region. If we ever had a chance to build a nation in the region that was pro-america, it was Iraq.

I think negatively of Bush/Rumsfield because how piss poor the post game was planned and how it was sold to the public dishonestly.

Also, I am not really sure why the idea that the Bush team failures are such a strong discredit for a neocon foreign policy is so popular.

Anything can be done badly.

SpikeTedAgnew 04-17-2009 01:52 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Bob K. your a warrior. Hey Bob W. remember Libya in 2003! The "liberal hawk consensus" please Bob just come out and say Joe Lieberman. The liberals were a non-factor and most John Kerry and Hillary (as Bob K. points out) were right on board (wrote this before Bob K. brought up the same point). Bob W. do you remember that the Iraqis were evasive, we believed they could move weapons before insepectors arrived and they had a number of duel use facilities?

Bob W. ,come on, do you really believe that this country went to war because we thought that Saddam had a bomb on hand if anything we thought he was trying to build one!!

"Does stand in contrast to THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN" hahaha. Obama campaign way to let the truth slip out BOB.

Bob W. good call with HAMAS we should be dealing with them. Man Bob you need to listen in the China conversation. You do want to have it both ways. Way to walk in Obama's footsteps.

Just make sure that every Captain is as well trained and armed as Stever Zissou!

Bob W. not happy that "any given nation has the world as it jurisdiction" good to hear! Too late for Pinochet. Why would the Taliban make a deal? The mujahadeen fought the Soviets for how long. The good war is a lie. On those divisive notes.
GOOD TO SEE YOU TWO IN CONVERSATION and DEBATE. Damn right the cuts are right the defense budget is an abomination.

Markos 04-17-2009 01:52 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
I'm not sure the two Bobs' BB guns would do quite as well as Bob W. thinks against the pirates' AK47s.
But I'm impressed with Bob W.'s bravery.

Lyle 04-17-2009 01:53 AM

Bob's "Blue Helmet" Blackbeard Solution
 
The one thing I'd disagree with is the argument that all of the big 5 on the Security Council would support taking on the pirates. The one country that might shirk on this idea is China. China is often in bed with their Triads and uses the Triads for whatever nefarious stuff they want done, which includes piracy at times.

Lyle 04-17-2009 01:54 AM

Re: Everyone hates Bush for all the wrong reasons....
 
Your latter point is true, and I agree with the former point as well. My views are similar to Kagan's and Hitchens'.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 02:06 AM

Re: Everyone hates Bush for all the wrong reasons....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 (Post 110650)
Unlike most here, I do not think of Bush negatively for his decision to invade Iraq, I happen to think we would of eventually gone anyways because of how crazy his sons were.

Wait. I thought Bush's only children were two daughters.

;^)

Starwatcher162536 04-17-2009 02:09 AM

Re: Everyone hates Bush for all the wrong reasons....
 
oops, well, its been a long day

claymisher 04-17-2009 02:12 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 110647)
In fairness, Hitchens has the luxury of being an idealist (if a manichean outlook can be said to be idealist)

That's it! That's what Hitchens's deal is. It's all good guys and bad guys with him. Sometimes he's worshiping Kurdish terrorists, excoriating some Palestinian terrorist, praising a different Palestinian terrorist, etc. He's all over the place, but he feels VERY STRONGLY about everybody.

a Duoist 04-17-2009 02:17 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Much better performance by BW this time, giving as well as taking some good shots.

BK impresses an especially fierce intelligence, while BW impresses as an especially moderate intelligence, so their disparate views receive the typical trite applause/condemnation of their respective ideological supporters.

Blue helmets to combat piracy is a good idea, though. Very, very good, so long as the Rules of Engagement at sea do not duplicate the sad state of the UN's Rules of Engagement on the ground.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 02:23 AM

Re: Everyone hates Bush for all the wrong reasons....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 (Post 110661)
oops, well, its been a long day

Oh, no prob at all. I am not laughing at you, just at the mistake in the abstract. I do that sort of thing all the time -- since I know who I'm thinking about, why shouldn't the pronoun suffice?

Wonderment 04-17-2009 02:31 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

What would be so hard about admitting that invading Iraq was a mistake? I'd even let him get away with saying, "We made an honest mistake." It would boost his credibility, in my eyes, anyway.
Because it wasn't honest and it wasn't a mistake? The war was immoral, illegal and driven by an indefensible ideology.

What if, before he died, Timothy McVeigh had said, "Look guys, blowing up the Federal Building didn't turn out well, but it was an honest mistake."

I will led repentant Dems slide under the (lame) "Bush and Cheney duped us" excuse, but hardcore apologists for the war have nowhere to hide. The war was colossally stupid and criminal. Period.

Lyle 04-17-2009 02:33 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
I disagree. The world is much better off without Saddam Hussein and his sons in it. The Baathist regime in Iraq was an abomination to human rights. The Iraqi people now have a nascent democracy and the hope for a better future.

Hope and change is what the invasion of Iraq brought to Iraq, hope and change.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 03:13 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 110667)
Because it wasn't honest and it wasn't a mistake? The war was immoral, illegal and driven by an indefensible ideology.

What if, before he died, Timothy McVeigh had said, "Look guys, blowing up the Federal Building didn't turn out well, but it was an honest mistake."

I will led repentant Dems slide under the (lame) "Bush and Cheney duped us" excuse, but hardcore apologists for the war have nowhere to hide. The war was colossally stupid and criminal. Period.

Obviously, I agree about the war itself. I was just trying to see things from Kagan's perspective, which I assume means, among other things, a sincere belief that Saddam really did have an active nuclear weapons program that was getting close to completion, and lack of access to know how the intelligence that created that impression was cooked.

I think the McVeigh comparison goes a little far. I would agree with it as applied to Dick Cheney trying to say, "Look, it was an honest mistake." (Which of course will not even happen before this.) Kagan, while culpable for helping to sell the war, did not actually launch it.

However, your point about being a continuing hardcore apologist is a good one. It does compound his crime.

piscivorous 04-17-2009 03:13 AM

Re: Bob's "Blue Helmet" Blackbeard Solution
 
I believe I read the other day that China had just dispatched at least one more warship to that area and I actually think that it was two more. They already have one there. There survival depends on shipping so they may be,to a degree, anxious to cooperate. We have had a number of high level military meetings and some lower level show and tells. It is an opening that needs to be pursued. China is not a western nation with western sensibilities as to what constitutes reasonable rules of engagement so it could get interesting. Perhaps we will have to wind up protecting the pirates from the Chinese. That would throw a wrench in the new world order don't ya think.

brian p. 04-17-2009 03:17 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Whether or not I agree with him, I really like it when Kagan comes on because he's a such a strong and intelligent debater. He's one of the few guys who I think stacks up to Bob Wright as an intellectual foe on bhtv.

He also (along with Eli Lake) is a refreshing rebuke to those who think you can write off all neocons as simplistic or delusional. Again, whether you agree with him or not, Kagan thinks hard about his positions and backs up his arguments impressively. He forces Wright to work his ass off to defend his points.

There are two kinds of good bloggingheads episodes: those between two very intelligent people having smart discussion about common interests, and those between two very intelligent people who fiercely disagree and challenge each other's positions rigorously. Bob and Mickey alternate between the two; Bob and Bob never fail to disappoint as an example of the latter.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 03:19 AM

Re: Bob's "Blue Helmet" Blackbeard Solution
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 110673)
[...] China is not a western nation with western sensibilities as to what constitutes reasonable rules of engagement so it could get interesting. Perhaps we will have to wind up protecting the pirates from the Chinese. That would throw a wrench in the new world order don't ya think.

Hilarious. Imagine Matt and Mark telling us some Sunday how the Chinese ambassador stood up in a meeting of the General Assembly and accused the US ambassador of being a "pirate-lover."

Wonderment 04-17-2009 03:25 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

I think the McVeigh comparison goes a little far. I would agree with it as applied to Dick Cheney trying to say, "Look, it was an honest mistake." (Which of course will not even happen before this.) Kagan, while culpable for helping to sell the war, did not actually launch it.
Yes, I agree that there is an important distinction to be drawn between the ideologues like Kagan and the actual perps like Bush, Cheney and their co-conspirators.

timba 04-17-2009 06:22 AM

you're right about the democracy premise
 
No doubt whatsoever that the central justification given by everyone from Bush to the NYT was that Iraq would be made into a shining beacon of democracy, resulting in a secularization of the entire region, undermining terrorism.

timba 04-17-2009 06:30 AM

Okay, I'll say it
 
The only senator I can think of with any courage is Russ Feingold. There are probably one or two others, but most of the others, including Clinton, Biden, Feinstein, Schumer, all of the Republicans, etc. have no courage no integrity and no sense of their responsibility to history.

Bloggin' Noggin 04-17-2009 07:46 AM

Article including Pakistani polling data
 
I couldn't catch the name of the author of the article Bob Kagan mentions that incorporates polling data on the drone strikes in Pakistan. Jane something....--did anyone catch it, or does someone have a link?

I had the unpleasant feeling last time these two talked that Bob K "won" the argument. I'm pleased that Bob W was a much better match for Bob K this time.

It's AWFULLY difficult to argue against neo-conservatives, because they seem to be running a kind of argumentative insurgency -- they are all spread out, sniping from hidden positions all over the place. You criticize the Bush administration and they defend it, and then when you follow up, the issue is no longer the Bush administration, but what this particular neocon was bootlessly (and secretly?) counselling the Bushies to do all along. Individual neocons all had subtly different positions, so attacking them or the Bush administration is like attacking a cloud or a guerrilla force, which melts away as soon as you turn toward it.

The Bushies went from listening to the neocons to sidelining them toward the end of the administration. The continuity between this later, saner Bush administration and the Obama administration is cited as evidence that Obama is just like Bush. (In the case of the SOFA, of course, it is more correct to say that Bush was eventually forced to become more like Obama, when Maliki specifically preferred Obama's timeline approach.) Are we to take the agreement between Obama and Bush as evidence that these policies are dictated by reality? Well, one of the main things both administrations seem to agree on is this: Don't listen to neocons!

Florian 04-17-2009 08:21 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
The British Foreign Office was sceptical of Bush administration claims that the WMD were the real reason for the Iraq war. Have people forgotten the famous Downing Street Memo, leaked after the invasion, in which some official reported to Blair that "the intelligence about WMD was being fitted to justify the policy" ? Or words to that effect.

Simon Willard 04-17-2009 08:25 AM

Re: Article including Pakistani polling data
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin (Post 110689)
I couldn't catch the name of the author of the article Bob Kagan mentions that incorporates polling data on the drone strikes in Pakistan. Jane something....--did anyone catch it, or does someone have a link?

He's referring to the NYT article by Jane Perlez:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/wo...stan.html?_r=1

brucds 04-17-2009 08:31 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Maybe it's just because so much of what he says is transparent bullshit, but the worst thing about Bob Kagan is that he comes off as a bully who is desperate to "win" an argument more than to engage in a dialog or respond to a counter-view coherently.

bjkeefe 04-17-2009 08:43 AM

Re: When Bobs Collide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 110690)
The British Foreign Office was sceptical of Bush administration claims that the WMD were the real reason for the Iraq war. Have people forgotten the famous Downing Street Memo, leaked after the invasion, in which some official reported to Blair that "the intelligence about WMD was being fitted to justify the policy" ? Or words to that effect.

Thanks for the reminder. That had slipped my mind.

David Edenden 04-17-2009 09:14 AM

Forget Iraq, Iran ... What About Pakistan
 
Bob (Wright) please don't try to debate Bob (Kagan) he is to slippery for you and you have a knowledge deficit. Get someone who knows what he is talking about to debate Kagan ... preferably someone with a PHD in political science to their name.

Discussing the start of the Iraq war is low hanging fruit and a waste of bandwidth. Put a moratorium on the Iraq war.

Iran is a problem, but my suggestion is for both of you to use your superior decision making capabilities on the issue of Pakistan by way of Afganistan.

That is what scares me.


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