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-   -   Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6709)

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 05:27 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by handle (Post 207728)
Exactly, and all idealistic posturing aside, if blowing the figurehead off a perceived enemy avoids the kind of collateral damage we've seen in Iraq, the there's only one common sense solution.

The Saddam case is a little trickier. As opposed to the invasion as I was, I do think that even if he could have been cleanly taken out, Iraq would have been plunged into chaos.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 05:28 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207731)
Manuel Noriega was just a CIA employee gone rogue. There was no legitimate national security reason for his arrest, much less the invasion of his country.

If we didn't think we still owned Panamá because of the long imperial history of the Canal Zone, the invasion would never have happened.

The invasion of Panamá was condemned by the UN by a wide margin of votes.

Be that as it may, I was only considering the issue with the decision about getting him having been a given.

Diane1976 05-06-2011 05:29 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 207645)
I've been following this Canadian vlogger on YouTube for years. He's just posted a vlog on the recent elections:

The Canadian Election - No Worries

I actually tried to get him to do an Apollo diavlog a year or so ago. He's quite brilliant.

Enjoyed the video. Thanks. I thought he was very good. I think he's definitely an NDP (social democrat) supporter. I can tell because he thinks Liberals have no principles. :-) I was surprised by his prediction that if Stephen Harper takes actions that are too far right, as I supect he will try, the NDP will engineer protests. I hope they can because in the British Parliamentary system, when a PM has a majority, there's not much else the Opposition can do but talk. Michael Ignatieff, who lead the Liberals to their stunning defeat, says that the survival of the Liberal Party will be guaranteed after 4 years of a Harper majority government and an NDP lead opposition. He might be right.

I don't really see this as a shift either left or right among the population. A lot of Canadians don't see a difference between the Harper Conservatives and the old Progressive Conservatives they swallowed and replaced (I do and the name change was not for nothing). The strength of the NDP comes mostly from Quebec. They just decided to replace the sovereignist Bloc Party with the federalist NDP, but they're similar ideologically. Some think this means they've all become federalists but that's not true. They're probably still a mix of federalists and sovereingists and people in the middle. They just decided the Bloc had outlived its usefulness in federal Parliament and they took to the NDP leader, Jack Layton. He's really the only attractive political leader among the lot.

What happened in Canadian politics seems dramatic. It's something like as if the Republican Party had self destructed a few years ago, and re-united as a new party more dominated by Tea Party types, then had taken over the presidency and Congress. This recent election is as if that new right wing party became even stronger, the Democrats nearly self-destructed, and the main opposition in Congress was something like Ralph Nader's Party or one lead by Dennis Kucinich. Jack's not personally like them, though.

That's how much a change it is from the past, but I don't mean these as exact comparisons because Canadian parties are all a little left of US counterparts, Canada being mostly like a blue state with pink spots.

stephanie 05-06-2011 05:35 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 207722)
Your recall of liberals' criticisms of Bush is a little incomplete.

Sure, there were people who opposed all wars ever, and I think they are just as vocal as ever, they are just no longer as likely to be joined by the people who opposed Iraq specifically, and thought Afghanistan was the better war. (Obama was very explicit about this point, and if people didn't believe him when he said it, I don't know what that says).

As well, a common liberal criticism of Bush wasn't that he was willing to kill bin Laden, but that he was willing to kill a bunch of people *other than* bin Laden. Indeed, Bush's failure to focus on killing bin Laden (and instead his focus on killing a bunch of unrelated Iraqis) was indeed a big piece of the criticism of Bush from mainstream Dems.

You may not have liked those criticisms and they may not have resonated with you, but they were out there, even among some of the people who might have joined the more pacifist set at "out of Iraq" rallies.

Your memory is similar to mine, miceelf. I did think -- and said -- during the Bush admin that the absence of strong and well-articulated mainstream Dem criticism to some of the actions taken led to some confusion, namely that the objections to Bush were based on some idealistic leftwing POV (or a pacifist one) that has never been consistent with US policy or even the typical positions taken by the leftmost half of the country (or the Dems or "liberals" generally).

Indeed, one place where the conservatives were right (and I said so at the time) was that at least some of what Bush was criticized for wasn't much different than what Dems had done in the past and likely what Gore (or Clinton) would have done. There was way too much "this is contrary to what the US has always stood for" about actions that were, in fact, consistent with how the US has typically conducted foreign policy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Now, it's fair game to criticize these things anyway (and Bush went beyond what was typically done, IMO), but to suggest that the fact that country is not, in fact, all that far left on foreign policy issues because of liberals abandoning long-held principles due to Obama (long-held principles reflected in the Clinton admin? the Cold War?) seems to me historically inaccurate.

I'm all for having a discussion about the issues here, but let's not pretend that the reality is other than it is. My views on civil rights and war and so on haven't changed since the Bush administration and are, if anything, more to the left than they were during the Clinton admin, and I don't see any reason to claim that that's not the case for most other liberals supporting Obama today (or Dems, if you prefer). (I don't want the term "progressive," so perhaps those who share Wonderment's anger at the views of people like me can find a purer meaning for that one, although it's probably too late.)

miceelf 05-06-2011 05:36 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Well, but this is where I am having trouble following you (or possibly the logic of the people you talk to who "can't distinguish between Obama the candidate and Obama the president".

Obama *the candidate* pledge to focus on the "good war" (Afghanistan) and to kill bin Laden (remember McCain's criticism of this pledge as "an invasion of Pakistan").

Did the people you refer to who can't distinguish between Obama the candidate and Obama the president not *believe* him when he said he would do these things?
or is it possible there's more consistency between the two Obamas? (and, I am not claiming a lot of consistency in general, just in these two very specific areas, which seem to be the current foci of discussion).

I guess I am not clear on how a vote for candidate Obama should necessarily lead to criticism of president Obama WRT Afghanistan or the killing of bin laden, given that these are two areas in which the two Obamas quite closely align.

miceelf 05-06-2011 05:37 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
I contain multitudes. ;-)

stephanie 05-06-2011 05:39 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207717)
I may have used the terms "liberal" and "ACLU-type" loosely

My response to your points as well as miceelf's comments are included in a response to miceelf's post.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 05:40 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207726)
Those are good points, but you're ignoring the disconnect between Obama-candidate and Obama-president. I come across many people who still think O-C is the same person as O-P. They don't believe their lying eyes.

I don't dispute that there are some people who still have nothing but stars in their eyes, but I think you should keep in mind that many people who were enthusiastic about Obama the candidate were, in the backs of their minds, always realistic about campaign promises and rhetoric compared to actual governance.

I think you should also consider that there are doubtless many people who strongly supported him as a candidate, who might now even be disappointed on some specifics, who nonetheless feel that he remains a lot better than what the alternative would have been, and what any possible alternative will be in 2012. And on a related note, I suspect some of these people look at the unbelievable hysteria of the criticism of him, from the right, and from quite a few on the left, and conclude, "Why add anything to this noise?"

operative 05-06-2011 05:44 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207726)
Those are good points, but you're ignoring the disconnect between Obama-candidate and Obama-president. I come across many people who still think O-C is the same person as O-P. They don't believe their lying eyes.

Wonderment, I am curious: it seems that you agree with Gary Johnson on more issues than you do with Barack Obama. Would you support Johnson for president?

miceelf 05-06-2011 05:47 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 207739)
Your memory is similar to mine, miceelf. I did think -- and said -- during the Bush admin that the absence of strong and well-articulated mainstream Dem criticism to some of the actions taken led to some confusion, namely that the objections to Bush were based on some idealistic leftwing POV (or a pacifist one) that has never been consistent with US policy

Yeah, although I suspect that part of that was the natural inclination not to rock the boat and get into distinctions that would have split the opposition. Not good long term thinking perhaps and kind of slippery, but understandable.

I used to refer to the pacifist lefty folks as Kucinati, and I think that was a little dismissive, but I have to admit I am a little surprised by the surpise, and I wonder if wonderment isn't displacing some of this, in terms of where the self-deception post election resides. (of course, it's a big country and there's enough diversity of experiences that both camps could be right in their understandings of their particular interactions).

But what seems *to me* to be happening is that some of the pacifist idealists either assumed that obama was with them and was just being a pol when he said all those things about killing bin Laden and keeping the eye on the ball in Afghanistan, or they believed so strongly in the inherent attractiveness of their position that it would become self-evident to a smart guy like Obama once he became president (and to the American people, given that they had been smart enough to elect Obama) that Obama and America in general would adopt it.

*I* had been assuming that they by and large assumed Obama was the best of the options available and were voting for a lesser of two evils. But that may have been my miscalculation in terms of our relative optimism/pessimism about human nature. The pacifists I know are nothing if not optimistic.

Diane1976 05-06-2011 05:49 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 207696)
I do think that it's true that some on the left who are defending the extrajudicial execution of OBL would've criticized it had it been Bush doing it. By the logic used, we should've just executed Khalid Sheik Mohammad when we found him.

Depends on where you found him. OBL at least was in more or less a war zone. KSM might have been having lunch in a restaurant in Paris for all we know. I should check.

PS. I checked. He was captured in Pakistan by the Pakistanis and turned over. I guess that counts as a war zone more or less too. So, I guess you're right, but I suppose it depends on the circumstances. I don't feel that torturing people and killing them later is better than killing them right off, though, from a human rights point of view.

handle 05-06-2011 05:50 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 207733)
The Saddam case is a little trickier. As opposed to the invasion as I was, I do think that even if he could have been cleanly taken out, Iraq would have been plunged into chaos.

Eh, maybe not all that much worse than rummy (bush?) deciding to completely dismantle the infrastructure but point well taken. I will concede it's a bad example due to the evasiveness shown by saddam in desert storm. I just meant given the choice.
I'm pretty sure quite a few innocent lives would have been lost if we extended our Afghan. operation into Pak. just to root out al queda.

piscivorous 05-06-2011 05:50 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Yea like Hitler, Stalin and Mao religious fanatics all.

operative 05-06-2011 05:52 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 207748)
Depends on where you found him. OBL at least was in more or less a war zone. KSM might have been having lunch in a restaurant in Paris for all we know. I should check.

He was apparently captured in Pakistan, the same as OBL (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/washington/22ksm.html). I don't know if I would really quite describe either as a true war zone, particularly OBL--the city was hardly in a state of chaos. It's not like he was in the lawless border region.

Ocean 05-06-2011 05:55 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tara Davis (Post 207666)
Freddie said it best:

"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."

Yes, I very much agree with that.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 06:02 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 207747)
But what seems *to me* to be happening is that some of the pacifist idealists either assumed that obama was with them and was just being a pol when he said all those things about killing bin Laden and keeping the eye on the ball in Afghanistan, ...

A good reminder. Certainly, there was no end of commentators who said at the time that many Obama supporters were projecting their wishes onto him. (Which probably happens with every new candidate.)

Quote:

... or they believed so strongly in the inherent attractiveness of their position that it would become self-evident to a smart guy like Obama once he became president (and to the American people, given that they had been smart enough to elect Obama) that Obama and America in general would adopt it.
I suppose there were some of these, but I'd think it was a very small fraction. That seems like highly unrealistic thinking, even for an idealist.

AemJeff 05-06-2011 06:02 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 207743)
..
And on a related note, I suspect some of these people look at the unbelievable hysteria of the criticism of him, from the right, and from quite a few on the left, and conclude, "Why add anything to this noise?"

That's right. I'll go further and say there's so much over-the-top criticism coming from both sides that it seems futile to even try to raise measured criticism. If it was mostly just coming from the Right, it might seem possible to carve out a space in which a rational conversation might be possible; but as it is, any such attempt at an assessment is just lost in the din, and any effort one might have put to such an attempt seems better spent trying to provide a counterweight to all of the screaming.

Diane1976 05-06-2011 06:12 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thouartgob (Post 207687)
I think the president's concern about the electorate is a more complicated thing. It's about managing the visceral fear that 9/11 caused in the american people. Bush et al. used that fear, stoked that fear to do get done what he wanted to get done. I believe that Obama, on the other hand, understands that the fear that americans feel affects their decisions in disastrous ways and is not something to mess around with. From that point of view I think Obama want to re-engage people's frontal lobes again in this country and removing bin laden as a threat and removing him from the world stage is going to be part of what needs to be done to do so.

Personally I was glad Bin Laden was taken out. I found myself bemused at the happy reaction people had but that was catharsis. That was fear falling away. I didn't see the actual events of 9/11 until I got back from work. That gave me at least a little distance from the fear of the event so that in time I was able to ease my anger to manageable levels. People who watched the events unfold in real-time had a existential sense of fear ( as in their lives could really be in danger ) and that's way more traumatic. I might not agree but I understand where the revelers are coming from and that joy will quickly dissipate and life will be a bit more normal from now on now that this particular chapter has ended.

I think this was a very good post, very understanding. That's the way I feel about Bush and Obama too, and that's why I always end up supporting Obama, even if he frustrates me sometimes and I get impatient that he hasn't righted all the wrongs yet. I don't see his decision on OBL as a wrong, or it's a wrong for a greater good.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 06:14 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by handle (Post 207749)
Eh, maybe not all that much worse than rummy (bush?) deciding to completely dismantle the infrastructure but point well taken. I will concede it's a bad example due to the evasiveness shown by saddam in desert storm. I just meant given the choice.

Okay.

Quote:

I'm pretty sure quite a few innocent lives would have been lost if we extended our Afghan. operation into Pak. just to root out al queda.
Seems to me that's already happening. Haven't we already accidentally killed some civilians in the northwest provinces? (Granted, it's been isolated strikes as opposed to a full-out crossing of the border, but still.)

Diane1976 05-06-2011 06:26 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 207690)
I didn't think so. Struck me more as a young idealist.

Very disappointed young idealist. Some day, maybe when he's securely re-elected, or retired, Obama should talk to people like him. I think he used to be sort of them a long time ago, going by his book, anyway, in a different time and way.

Wonderment 05-06-2011 06:51 PM

Violation of the covenant by Obama.
 
Quote:

Well, but this is where I am having trouble following you (or possibly the logic of the people you talk to who "can't distinguish between Obama the candidate and Obama the president".
Glenn lays it out very clearly right here in what he calls the "violation of the covenant." Is he hallucinating?

miceelf 05-06-2011 06:52 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Yes, that's why i didn't say religious and specifically included people who believe in abstractions rather than deities.

miceelf 05-06-2011 06:55 PM

Re: Violation of the covenant by Obama.
 
I was very specific in talking about people who are disappointed about the Afghanistan war and about the assasination of Bin Laden. I am not saying that there are no legitimate complaints about Obama vis-a-vis his promises. I am saying that the two things above: 1) Afghanistan, and 2) bin Laden, are not areas in which liberals who support Obama can legitimately be said to be unable to distinguish between candidate and president obama. Those are two areas in which he has kept his promises, very specifically.

Wonderment 05-06-2011 07:03 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Wonderment, I am curious: it seems that you agree with Gary Johnson on more issues than you do with Barack Obama. Would you support Johnson for president?
I am not familiar enough yet with Gary Johnson to have an informed opinion. I will do some homework and get back to you on that.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 07:06 PM

Re: Violation of the covenant by Obama.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 207763)
I was very specific in talking about people who are disappointed about the Afghanistan war and about the assasination of Bin Laden. I am not saying that there are no legitimate complaints about Obama vis-a-vis his promises. I am saying that the two things above: 1) Afghanistan, and 2) bin Laden, are not areas in which liberals who support Obama can legitimately be said to be unable to distinguish between candidate and president obama. Those are two areas in which he has kept his promises, very specifically.

For those who may be interested, here's a re-post of something I put up a short while ago, when some other claim was made about Obama's campaign promises.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 206448)
He did not promise that. He promised to wind down US involvement in Iraq. Here's how Politifact scores aspects of that.

He also promised more aggressive action in Afghanistan. Here are the Politifact scores on that.

Here are Politifact's scores on all his military-related campaign pledges, which include the Iraq and Afghanistan aspects, plus some others.


handle 05-06-2011 07:06 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 207757)
I think this was a very good post, very understanding. That's the way I feel about Bush and Obama too, and that's why I always end up supporting Obama, even if he frustrates me sometimes and I get impatient that he hasn't righted all the wrongs yet. I don't see his decision on OBL as a wrong, or it's a wrong for a greater good.

Thanks for calling attention to this, I missed it before. I had mercifully (for my brain) forgotten how the bush admin. used to play the fear card like a Mississippi cardsharp. Although I don't know how I could possibly forget cheney campaigning at a "town hall" saying something like "my fear is that we vote the wrong way, we will get hit again" and thinking really? Is this how we are going to deal with this? Isn't this exactly the kind of mindset that the attack was intended to promote? THEN IT WORKED, and I was furious. That could have been their opportunity to say shit happened, give us another term, and we will fix it, but I guess that was a little to old school for the neo-cons.
To be fair, and in hindsight, attempts were made at damage control, as everyone was enjoying the housing bubble... but I stray.

Wonderment 05-06-2011 07:08 PM

Re: Violation of the covenant by Obama.
 
Quote:

I am not saying that there are no legitimate complaints about Obama vis-a-vis his promises. I am saying that the two things above: 1) Afghanistan, and 2) bin Laden, are not areas in which liberals who support Obama can legitimately be said to be unable to distinguish between candidate and president obama. Those are two areas in which he has kept his promises, very specifically.
Okay, I won't dispute that. I don't think candidate Obama led the country to believe we'd be escalating Afghanistan or waging the kind of war we are or spending the kind of money we are, but I get what you're saying.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 07:10 PM

Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 207759)
Very disappointed young idealist. Some day, maybe when he's securely re-elected, or retired, Obama should talk to people like him. I think he used to be sort of them a long time ago, going by his book, anyway, in a different time and way.

I hope he reaches out to those people a lot sooner than that! Anytime between now and November of next year would be good.

My smartassery aside, you make good points.

bjkeefe 05-06-2011 07:22 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 207756)
That's right. I'll go further and say there's so much over-the-top criticism coming from both sides that it seems futile to even try to raise measured criticism. If it was mostly just coming from the Right, it might seem possible to carve out a space in which a rational conversation might be possible; but as it is, any such attempt at an assessment is just lost in the din, and any effort one might have put to such an attempt seems better spent trying to provide a counterweight to all of the screaming.

Speaking of screaming, did you know that Obama went to Ground Zero just so he could take down the American flag???

Ask Michelle Malkin!!! Or Matt Drudge!!! Or Director Blue!!! Or Weasel Zippers!!! Or Fire Andrea Mitchell!!! Or Say Anything!!! Or the Freepers!!!

See LGF (h/t: Twin) and Media Matters (h/t: Stuef and Newell) for comedic details.

brucds 05-06-2011 07:53 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
badhatharry: "The threats we are seeing today have nothing much to do with the wars we have fought in the past, since symmetry is gone. And so the old rules no longer apply. I think the conflicts we engage in in the future will have much more to do with surgical strikes based on intelligence..."

Were you writing for The Nation in October-November of 2001? I seem to remember a lot of that kind of argument about "surgical" actions vs. invasions. In fact, you might be the very person who was the last straw for Christopher Hitchens in telling KVH to go F- herself!

Who the-F knew ? Sorry I've been so hard on you...

bkjazfan 05-06-2011 08:05 PM

Re: Canada Election Vlogging
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 207735)
Enjoyed the video. Thanks. I thought he was very good. I think he's definitely an NDP (social democrat) supporter. I can tell because he thinks Liberals have no principles. :-) I was surprised by his prediction that if Stephen Harper takes actions that are too far right, as I supect he will try, the NDP will engineer protests. I hope they can because in the British Parliamentary system, when a PM has a majority, there's not much else the Opposition can do but talk. Michael Ignatieff, who lead the Liberals to their stunning defeat, says that the survival of the Liberal Party will be guaranteed after 4 years of a Harper majority government and an NDP lead opposition. He might be right.

I don't really see this as a shift either left or right among the population. A lot of Canadians don't see a difference between the Harper Conservatives and the old Progressive Conservatives they swallowed and replaced (I do and the name change was not for nothing). The strength of the NDP comes mostly from Quebec. They just decided to replace the sovereignist Bloc Party with the federalist NDP, but they're similar ideologically. Some think this means they've all become federalists but that's not true. They're probably still a mix of federalists and sovereingists and people in the middle. They just decided the Bloc had outlived its usefulness in federal Parliament and they took to the NDP leader, Jack Layton. He's really the only attractive political leader among the lot.

What happened in Canadian politics seems dramatic. It's something like as if the Republican Party had self destructed a few years ago, and re-united as a new party more dominated by Tea Party types, then had taken over the presidency and Congress. This recent election is as if that new right wing party became even stronger, the Democrats nearly self-destructed, and the main opposition in Congress was something like Ralph Nader's Party or one lead by Dennis Kucinich. Jack's not personally like them, though.

That's how much a change it is from the past, but I don't mean these as exact comparisons because Canadian parties are all a little left of US counterparts, Canada being mostly like a blue state with pink spots.

You taught me more than I have ever known about Candain politics since I don't follow it but I should. A shameless bragging right: my great grandfather was mayor of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in the late 1800's.

brucds 05-06-2011 08:14 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
The far left's view of the Osama kill:

"You know, if...you're trying to gain the support of another country, then you want to do everything you can that they would act in a cooperative fashion. When you announce that you're going to launch an attack into another country, it's pretty obvious that you have the effect that it had in Pakistan: It turns public opinion against us."

Pretty weird that the same guy who expressed those Nation-worthy sentiments also chose Sarah Palin as his VP candidate...but "conservative" incoherence and opportunism is the order of the day.

Diane1976 05-06-2011 09:05 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Religion is used something in the way nationalism is too, in a way that really is just sort of hooked to religion as the common identity, not having much to do with the faith itself. As opposed to promoting war by telling people the nation is threatened, people are told the religion is threatened, and the way of life that goes with it. They may be very religious people or they may just be attached to it culturally.

A lot of the Al Qaeda leaders are highly educated people who have spent time in the West. I doubt if they're fundamentalists in the same way as some local imam somewhere. I think they're angry about all the real and imagined wrongdoings of the West towards their people and they use the bond of religion to inspire holy warriors.

Today there's only a mild version of that in Christianity I think, for the most part, unlike in the past. But there's a little. I've gotten messages from relatives with links to articles on the Internet about standing up against supposed attacks on Christianity, like people saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas or the government supposedly slighting Christianity in some way. These people are like me and haven't been in a church in years, except for weddings, etc.

Diane1976 05-06-2011 09:14 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
I listened to the diavlog. I was with Glenn on his lonely planet where people aren't celebrating death, except I agree with David that, all things considered, the president was justified in his decision which I think, overall, was the best option.

I'm very glad Glenn continues to stand up for principles of justice, though. I think that it may be reasonable to apply what one of them called the "war paradigm", the notion of unlawful enemy combatants (Bush) or unprivileged belligerents (Obama) in the "war on terrorism" (Bush) or the "war on Al Qaeda" (Obama) with the legal process that goes with that, to the likes of OBL and KSM who were directly involved in 9/11, but, I think Bush stretched it way beyond what was reasonable and any number of people were tortured and/or mistreated because of that.

David says Bush "corrected course", but he did only in the sense that he was forced to begin the legalization of a lawless system, involving torture and abuse, by Supreme Court decisions. I think David minimizes and trivializes the wrongfulness of the original Bush system and if Obama, as candidate, criticized it he was not wrong.

It's true that Obama took up where Bush left off, as David says, and that he still hasn't lived up to his promise of dealing with the injustices still present at Guantanamo. But I don't yet believe it's because he has come to realize Bush was right and adjusted his own approach. I think it's because he's had roadblocks put in his way by Congress, but I also have the impression he's gone beyond just refraining from prosecuting Bush Admnistration officials. He's covering up, which disappoints me. I don't know, as Glenn said, why this is. It could be about Obama needing to gain trust in his credentials as fighting against terrorism, and the OBL killing could help that. That's a happy thought.

David said Glenn lives in an upside down world. I must say David's world looked upside down to me, where Nuremberg was illegitimate and Gtmo is fine. I bet there are very few people on that planet.

I thought it was a very good discussion and hope to see them back. It would be interesting to see if their planets ever get a little closer together.

handle 05-06-2011 09:24 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 207723)
It seems to me that all of the talk of rules of engagement has become anachronistic. The people of the US are sick of boots on the ground and building new societies for those who hate us and would like to see us gone.

And yet we must protect ourselves from threats. The threats we are seeing today have nothing much to do with the wars we have fought in the past, since symmetry is gone. And so the old rules no longer apply. I think the conflicts we engage in in the future will have much more to do with surgical strikes based on intelligence, like the one that took out Osama Bin Laden.

Of course, as those who oppose us catch on, this won't be as easy as it was last weekend, but it should suffice for at least a while. It will serve, for a while, to let our enemies know we are watching and will allow no mischief without consequences. This has got to be preferable and certainly less expensive than what we are currently engaged in.

And of course, this will set up a lot of questions about new rules of engagement and the way foreign affairs will be conducted in the future.

Just a suggestion, but in place of the phrase I have bolded, you might want to opt for "will be more difficult than" or not, up to you.
I get what you are saying, it just looks a little odd to me to see that word used in this context.

But as to your substance, the Israelis have long practiced this sort of deadly "diplomacy" and It can get pretty sticky, to be sure. Taking out the Munich perpetrators seemed justified to me though.

badhatharry 05-06-2011 10:30 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 207802)
It's true that Obama took up where Bush left off, as David says, and that he still hasn't lived up to his promise of dealing with the injustices still present at Guantanamo. But I don't yet believe it's because he has come to realize Bush was right and adjusted his own approach.

I bet he's come to realize a lot that he never imagined existed when he was a community organizer, a professor or even a senator. The presidency focuses the mind.

http://www.nationalreview.com/sites/...indication.jpg

Ocean 05-06-2011 10:42 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Great discussion. I'm always impressed by Glenn's verbal facility.

I found David's patriotism (?) test at the beginning quite pitiful. It was disappointing to see that he had such difficulty understanding that people may have a variety of reactions to OBL's death, separating the fact of his death from the moral/legal implications of killing him and that there are quite a significant number of other aspects that can influence one's reaction.

Overall I found the discussion quite interesting and if not particularly informative, at least thought provoking.

Every time I hear someone talk about Obama's promises as a candidate, I can't avoid thinking that I never take candidates' promises too seriously, or at least not to every little detail. I prefer to have a general sense of what the direction the candidate may be taking, his personal qualities, trustworthiness, and who is behind him. The rest seems to be mostly keeping one's fingers crossed.

TwinSwords 05-06-2011 11:11 PM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/7...calendarlg.png



(Source)

eeeeeeeli 05-07-2011 03:10 AM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 207668)
Exactly. As I pointed out elsewhere, if OBL had been killed soon after 9/11, either by assassination or by some other means, his death would have been considered an act of war and justified as such. No one would have talked about "human rights," for the plain and simple reason that there are no rights, human or civil (though perhaps divine.....) when there is a state of war between individuals or states. Soldiers on the battlefield have no rights vis a vis the enemy.....until they surrender.

Yet I'm not sure we don't know OBL didn't surrender. To my understanding, the moral question here - that Glenn kept pushing Frum on - is to suppose that OBL could have been safely captured, whether then killing him would have been justified, either for utilitarian or retributive purposes. I'm open to the former, but I see no reason for the latter, nor Twin Sword's concern that people will think a crazy response (according to him) is crazy.

Those of us bothered by the glorification of OBL's death are to an extent making an accusation against the "feelings" of those doing the gloryifying. So I get the defensiveness. Personally, I think I understand it, and don't really begrudge anyone. Yet I guess there is a humility that I think is an important value, and I want to stand up for it. To the extent that I have any accusation to make, it would be what Glenn said so much better - that as a civilization we should be aspiring to more, even when it may be the hardest; the least among us may be the most important.

Florian 05-07-2011 05:08 AM

Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 207823)
Yet I'm not sure we don't know OBL didn't surrender. To my understanding, the moral question here - that Glenn kept pushing Frum on - is to suppose that OBL could have been safely captured, whether then killing him would have been justified, either for utilitarian or retributive purposes. I'm open to the former, but I see no reason for the latter, nor Twin Sword's concern that people will think a crazy response (according to him) is crazy..

I wouldn't call such people crazy, just a bit self-infatuated, like many American liberals, with legalism. Political leaders often have to make decisions that might offend the conscience of a private citizen, especially in wartime and when the safety of the collectivity is at stake. Whether or not OBL surrendered or would have surrendered, imo, is pretty irrelevant. States do not have to treat their declared enemies--in this case an enemy who had already done immeasurable harm (and not only to the United States) with the sollicitude with which they treat common criminals. They do not even have to treat pirates that way. And, as I have said elsewhere, a trial of OBL by American courts would have inflamed passions and accomplished nothing. I believe that Obama acted in this instance by "raison d'état," i.e. he put the common good above the law.


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