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  #1  
Old 05-11-2011, 11:58 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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  #2  
Old 05-11-2011, 01:14 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Jim generously admits he thinks David is probably a smart guy.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 05-11-2011 at 01:26 PM..
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2011, 05:19 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Jim Pinkerton omitted Marx's most famous line from "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoléon:"

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historical facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

If Newt Gingrich were to become president, would it be farce or tragedy? Incidentally, Louis Napoléon, like Newt, was quite womanizer, although his lawful wife, la Princesse Eugénie, reported that she found sex with him to be disgusting.
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2011, 05:23 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default US government performed poorly in OBL hunt.

David Corn uses the successful discovery of OBL to tell all that the US government works and works well. To the contrary, if the Pakistani government knew where OBL was, then the CIA and NSA are doing a terrible job of discovering what established institutions in Pak know and what they are doing.

The US state dept is doing a bad job of managing the relationship between Pak and the US. We pay all sorts of money to Pakistan, there are large numbers of people from the Pakistan establishment that pass thru our educational institutions. Pakistan needs us as much as we need it. Yet we seemingly have no influence on how the country is governed.

And what about the US government being held accountable for the poor level of understanding by Americans of what Afg/Pak society is all about. I do not understand how the Taliban and Islamist fundamentalist in the tribal regions are a threat to Americans. The US government is the entity which is pushing for war in Afg and Pak. It is doing a terrible job of explaining itself. That is a major failing in my judgement.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2011, 05:55 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: US government performed poorly in OBL hunt.

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
... Pakistan needs us as much as we need it. ...
Except for the matter of logistics most of your comment makes sense.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:15 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Corn is wrong. Obama's decision to kill OBL was a win-win. The worst case scenario? The helicopter crashed. Wait, the chopper did crash. OK, the worst case scenario is that a bunch of SEALS get killed while crashing an ISI-sponsored orgy for CIA agents, with no OBL in sight.

So what? Unlike in 1980, US soldiers are dying and choppers are crashing on a regular basis in AfPak. Just another ill-fated raid. Big deal. This has been going on for 10 years. Why would Americans hold it against Obama? So I don't think his decision required any political courage whatsoever. The comparison with Carter is entirely spurious.
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Quote:
If Newt Gingrich were to become president, would it be farce or tragedy? Incidentally, Louis Napoléon, like Newt, was quite womanizer, although his lawful wife, la Princesse Eugénie, reported that she found sex with him to be disgusting.
Ben Franklin was also a womanizer and I can't imagine his wife or other partners having a different opinion of him...

I'll be glad when we get to the real primary season and we can stick to talking about the real candidates (Pawlenty, Romney, Hunstman, hopefully Daniels) instead of the attention seekers (Gingrich, Santorum, Cain) and the right but marginalized (Johnson).
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
I'll be glad when we get to the real primary season and we can stick to talking about the real candidates (Pawlenty, Romney, Hunstman, hopefully Daniels) instead of the attention seekers (Gingrich, Santorum, Cain).
Nice summary of the Republican predicament. Let's get the clowns out of the way (Gingrich, Santorum, Trump, Palin, Bachmann), so we can move to the human sleeping pills (Pawlenty and Romney). Can't wait to watch that Pawlenty-Romney debate. Ooh, the excitement! The "Bring Your Own Pillow" debates are the best!
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:31 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

More undeserved attention given to Newt. The republicans have shown they can win races but the big prize, the president, seems to be beyond their reach. All these has beens and wanna bes are grabbing the attention: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Huckster, Palin, Romney, Santorum, and Trump for starters. It's turning out to be a joke. As I said before if they can't get anyone that piques the public's attention they shouldn't field a candidate in 2012.

Last edited by bkjazfan; 05-11-2011 at 07:36 PM..
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:36 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
Nice summary of the Republican predicament. Let's get the clowns out of the way (Gingrich, Santorum, Trump, Palin, Bachmann), so we can move to the human sleeping pills (Pawlenty and Romney). Can't wait to watch that Pawlenty-Romney debate. Ooh, the excitement! The "Bring Your Own Pillow" debates are the best!
Don't forget Mitch Daniels (if his wife lets him run), a dynamic speaker if there ever was one

I don't mind a lack of charisma though. We've had two plus years of terrible policies from an empty suit with a charisma; I will welcome a boring, bland candidate with a history of actually governing, making decisions, and understanding economics.
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:56 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Don't forget Mitch Daniels (if his wife lets him run), a dynamic speaker if there ever was one

I don't mind a lack of charisma though. We've had two plus years of terrible policies from an empty suit with a charisma; I will welcome a boring, bland candidate with a history of actually governing, making decisions, and understanding economics.
what with all the spending cuts that have to be made in the years ahead, I don't think any of the republican candidates could govern the country. I could accept Obama if he was not so heck bent on allowing more immigrants to come in. Christie could govern, but you have to worry about his inexperience with FP.
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2011, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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what with all the spending cuts that have to be made in the years ahead, I don't think any of the republican candidates could govern the country. I could accept Obama if he was not so heck bent on allowing more immigrants to come in. Christie could govern, but you have to worry about his inexperience with FP.
Why would you accept a candidate who derides negative liberty, believes in socialized medicine, an expanded welfare state, social justice, and corporatist policies?
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:00 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
Corn is wrong. Obama's decision to kill OBL was a win-win. The worst case scenario? The helicopter crashed. Wait, the chopper did crash. OK, the worst case scenario is that a bunch of SEALS get killed while crashing an ISI-sponsored orgy for CIA agents, with no OBL in sight.

So what? Unlike in 1980, US soldiers are dying and choppers are crashing on a regular basis in AfPak. Just another ill-fated raid. Big deal. This has been going on for 10 years. Why would Americans hold it against Obama? So I don't think his decision required any political courage whatsoever. The comparison with Carter is entirely spurious.
You know it would have been held against him. The completely irresistible narrative for his enemies would have been spectacular incompetence ("Carter" as adjective, noun, and verb!), and they'd have pounded that theme from now until the end of time. The deaths in Afghanistan are relatively anonymous, sadly. This mission is an obvious, extreme attention magnet and was never going to be viewed as simply part of the context of a larger engagement.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:30 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Why would you accept a candidate who derides negative liberty, believes in socialized medicine, an expanded welfare state, social justice, and corporatist policies?
I figure the republican congress can keep Obama in check on a lot of the bad things he wants to do. Look how much the republicans were battered in Wisconsin when they started to try to reign in government. Multiply by a factor of 20 the resulting protests once food stamps, SSDI, unemployment, student loans and the EITC are reduced. The protests and public disruptions will not be as great if a democrat is president.
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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I figure the republican congress can keep Obama in check on a lot of the bad things he wants to do. Look how much the republicans were battered in Wisconsin when they started to try to reign in government. Multiply by a factor of 20 the resulting protests once food stamps, SSDI, unemployment, student loans and the EITC are reduced. The protests and public disruptions will not be as great if a democrat is president.
Interesting, and not a bad strategy, politically speaking. But remember that the longer Obama is in office, the greater the chance is that he gets to replace another SC Justice or two. If, on the other hand, Pawlenty or Daniels gets elected, there'd be a good chance that a sound, Originalist-leaning judge would be appointed, hopefully to fill Ginsberg's seat. That could have HUGE ramifications in the long term.
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  #16  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:48 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Hold on now. Famed leftist Noam Chomsky said the assassination of OBL was cold blooded murder. He claims the alleged terrorist was as pure as the driven snow and had nothing to do with 9/11. Chomsky is also a Holocaust denier so his knowledge on the subject may be tainted.
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
Hold on now. Famed leftist Noam Chomsky said the assassination of OBL was cold blooded murder. He claims the alleged terrorist was as pure as the driven snow and had nothing to do with 9/11. Chomsky is also a Holocaust denier so his knowledge on the subject may be tainted.
For good measure he also basically equated George Bush with the Nazis (which is to both smear Bush and diminish the evilness of the Nazis).
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2011, 08:55 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Y This mission is an obvious, extreme attention magnet and was never going to be viewed as simply part of the context of a larger engagement.
But if it had failed, it would NOT have become an attention magnet. Just another failed raid into a safe house. And if the SEALS had been captured, a deal would have been made with the ISI to let them go, just as they did with CIA operative Davis. We're at war, so people expect such screwups. Very different from Carter's harebrained mission.
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

When 18 months before an election, most people answer the question "Do you like Mr X" by saying "X who?" you can safely scratch that name. Daniels is DOA.

Something tells me that Republican leaders are reconciled with another Obama term. Obama has been carrying out Republican policies, both foreign and domestic, and has allowed Congress to move back to the R camp. They'll take a pass on '12, try to regain control of the Senate, and get Huntsman, Christie, Rubio, etc, ready for '16.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:19 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
But if it had failed, it would NOT have become an attention magnet. Just another failed raid into a safe house. And if the SEALS had been captured, a deal would have been made with the ISI to let them go, just as they did with CIA operative Davis. We're at war, so people expect such screwups.
Unaccustomed as I am to agreeing with ohreally, I think this is a good point. It's quite likely we would never have heard much of anything about this. The US would have said little or nothing, unless the failed operation was forced into the open by the Paks.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 05-11-2011 at 09:22 PM..
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:22 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
But if it had failed, it would NOT have become an attention magnet. Just another failed raid into a safe house. And if the SEALS had been captured, a deal would have been made with the ISI to let them go, just as they did with CIA operative Davis. We're at war, so people expect such screwups. Very different from Carter's harebrained mission.
I didn't think Carter's mission was especially harebrained, they took a risk and it didn't work out. There were a lot of lives at stake, not to mention intangibles like political and diplomatic prestige. I'm sure they felt they had to act, and obviously they felt constrained to keep the mission to certain scale. Carter rightfully bears the blame for the failure, but I think the scorn that's been heaped on him in hindsight is purely opportunistic.

An attempt to kill OBL that gets as close as the compound where's he's currently living is an automatic 10 on the political Richter scale. If one of those copters had gone down ten miles from Abbotabad and resulted in a firefight, that would have been one thing. But we're talking about political risks, and had that mission failed on the ground fifty feet from OBL, it's hard to argue that that would have been kept secret for very long.
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:32 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
Unaccustomed as I am to agreeing with ohreally, I think this is a good point. It's quite likely we would never have heard much of anything about this. The US would have said little or nothing, unless the failed operation was forced into the open by the Paks.
It seems pretty clear that the ISI isn't a wholly unified organization, and some of the factions are on opposite sides of a war. Holding Davis was a gambit, just as revealing CIA station chiefs' names occasionally has been. Nothing as explosive as attempt on OBL was involved with those events. How sure could a planner be sure that somebody there wouldn't see an advantage in leaking something as big as that?
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  #23  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:51 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
It seems pretty clear that the ISI isn't a wholly unified organization, and some of the factions are on opposite sides of a war. Holding Davis was a gambit, just as revealing CIA station chiefs' names occasionally has been. Nothing as explosive as attempt on OBL was involved with those events. How sure could a planner be sure that somebody there wouldn't see an advantage in leaking something as big as that?
Right, but the US will just say "Yeah, we had some casualties in Pakistan, but we can't say any more about it". This is a case where the richly-deserved superiority of American credibility over Pakistani credibility would be exploited to dampen the concern and modulate public opinion in this country.
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  #24  
Old 05-11-2011, 09:59 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Interesting, and not a bad strategy, politically speaking. But remember that the longer Obama is in office, the greater the chance is that he gets to replace another SC Justice or two. If, on the other hand, Pawlenty or Daniels gets elected, there'd be a good chance that a sound, Originalist-leaning judge would be appointed, hopefully to fill Ginsberg's seat. That could have HUGE ramifications in the long term.
Note to Daniels: "Lose the combover."
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  #25  
Old 05-11-2011, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Note to Daniels: "Lose the combover."
Second note to Daniels: Stop being such a beta male!
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  #26  
Old 05-11-2011, 10:22 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Right, but the US will just say "Yeah, we had some casualties in Pakistan, but we can't say any more about it". This is a case where the richly-deserved superiority of American credibility over Pakistani credibility would be exploited to dampen the concern and modulate public opinion in this country.
Ugh, I mangled that last sentence. I disagree with both you and ohreally here. Something this explosive is hard to control, especially if there are people who view leaking it as consistent with their self-interest; though it's certainly possible that it might be contained, depending on a lot of things. But the issue at question is whether or not this operation represented a substantial political risk to the Administration. I'm arguing that it's easy to imagine conditions where it would have been impossible to contain the news of a failed attempt on OBL that cost American lives.
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  #27  
Old 05-11-2011, 10:24 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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I didn't think Carter's mission was especially harebrained, they took a risk and it didn't work out. ... Carter rightfully bears the blame for the failure, but I think the scorn that's been heaped on him in hindsight is purely opportunistic.
If you think Carter's mission was sound, then why should he be blamed? He took the right decision and it failed. If D-Day had failed, why should Roosevelt be blamed? He would have done the right thing under the circumstances.

My problem is that I cannot see for the life of me how that mission could have succeeded. Someone must have watched too many Rambo movies. There you have the US embassy, protected by the full might of the Iranian regime in the middle of Tehran, and you barge in with a few choppers and SEALS and expect smooth sailing. This is beyond insane. It's a good thing it failed so early else it would have been a bloodbath. Carter deserves the blame for a mission that was destined to fail.
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  #28  
Old 05-11-2011, 10:39 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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If you think Carter's mission was sound, then why should he be blamed? He took the right decision and it failed. If D-Day had failed, why should Roosevelt be blamed? He would have done the right thing under the circumstances.

My problem is that I cannot see for the life of me how that mission could have succeeded. Someone must have watched too many Rambo movies. There you have the US embassy, protected by the full might of the Iranian regime in the middle of Tehran, and you barge in with a few choppers and SEALS and expect smooth sailing. This is beyond insane. It's a good thing it failed so early else it would have been a bloodbath. Carter deserves the blame for a mission that was destined to fail.
Blame and scorn aren't the same thing. The "full might" if the Iranian regime? They were in disarray, in the process of taking over after a revolution. I have no idea what they had arrayed at the embassy against a coordinated assault; but it's safe to assume that they didn't have a fully professional army at their disposal, and I also assume the American planners had some intelligence regarding what the assault team was facing. It was mechanical failure that stopped them, not Iranian resistance - so I think speculation about what might have been, had they arrived in one piece, is awfully hypothetical.
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  #29  
Old 05-11-2011, 11:38 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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It was mechanical failure that stopped them, not Iranian resistance - so I think speculation about what might have been, had they arrived in one piece, is awfully hypothetical.
Awfully hypothetical? So you think there was a good chance it could have worked, except that nothing of the sort has ever worked before. Even the OBL raid nearly failed because SEALS, apparently, are not good enough pilots to land a chopper without breaking it apart. So they couldn't take home bin Laden's relatives. And the resistance they faced consisted one a single armed guy.

Now compare this with the US embassy in Tehran, under the constant watchful eye of Khomeini's thugs.

Again, too many Rambos out there.
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  #30  
Old 05-11-2011, 11:49 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Someone must have watched too many Rambo movies.
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  #31  
Old 05-12-2011, 12:20 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Unaccustomed as I am to agreeing with ohreally, I think this is a good point. It's quite likely we would never have heard much of anything about this. The US would have said little or nothing, unless the failed operation was forced into the open by the Paks.
Or by the president's domestic political opponents, of whom there are many within the agencies that would have had knowledge of the operation, and who would have been more than happy to leak the news to damage him.
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  #32  
Old 05-12-2011, 01:36 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Hold on now. Famed leftist Noam Chomsky said the assassination of OBL was cold blooded murder.
Though it is not one I agree with, this is not exactly an unusual position. Indeed, on this point, Chomsky is in strong agreement with operative: No one in the forum has attacked the mission as an "extrajudicial execution" as frequently as he has. There are many others, on the left and right, in the forum and elsewhere, who share this view.


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Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
He claims the alleged terrorist was as pure as the driven snow and had nothing to do with 9/11.
There are two claims here, and both are wildly inaccurate. You don't strike me as the malicious or mendacious type, so I'll assume you're just being sloppy and lazy. And I would suggest you read what Chomsky actually wrote in the controversial op-ed to which you allude; you will discover that Chomsky never said bin Laden "had nothing to do with 9/11." Indeed, even ten years ago, when smoke was still rising from the site of the attacks in New York, Chomsky said that belief that the attacks originated with bin Laden was "plausible, at least."

So, what did Chomsky say in the op-ed to which you refer? He expressed another conventional viewpoint shared by many others, that the evidence presented by the government to prove bin Laden's involvement in 9/11 fails to reach the standards of evidence required to obtain a conviction in a court of law. Andrew Sullivan describes this as Chomsky's belief that suspects are innocent until proven guilty -- a radical idea, to be sure, but not an uncommon one, and hopefully one still familiar to Americans.

Freddie deBoer, in responding to Christopher Hitchens' recent attack on Chomsky, says:

Quote:
Hitchens writes ... "it is remarkable that he should write as if the mass of evidence against Bin Laden has never been presented or could not have been brought before a court." It's remarkable? I find it demonstrably unremarkable, considering that, well, the mass of evidence against bin Laden has never been formally presented in a legal setting-- the way we answer questions of crime and legality, or we did, when we were the society of our ideals.
Your other claim, that Chomsky thinks bin Laden is "pure as the driven snow," is just as inaccurate and cannot be supported by anything Chomsky has ever said.


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Chomsky is also a Holocaust denier so his knowledge on the subject may be tainted.
This is another lie. Chomsky has acknowledged the holocaust countless times. He's described it as "quite certainly real, there's no question about that." He has said the holocaust was "the most fantastic outburst of insanity in human history." He said "The Holocaust was the most extreme atrocity in human history, and we lose our humanity if we are even willing to enter the arena of debate with those who seek to deny or underplay Nazi crimes."

From these quotes, we can see that operative is lying, too, in his response to you.
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  #33  
Old 05-12-2011, 01:38 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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When 18 months before an election, most people answer the question "Do you like Mr X" by saying "X who?" you can safely scratch that name. Daniels is DOA.

Something tells me that Republican leaders are reconciled with another Obama term. Obama has been carrying out Republican policies, both foreign and domestic, and has allowed Congress to move back to the R camp. They'll take a pass on '12, try to regain control of the Senate, and get Huntsman, Christie, Rubio, etc, ready for '16.
I wouldn't be so sure. Considering the steps the GOP is taking to purge voter rolls and disenfranchise voters in states across the union, it won't be at all surprising if Obama fails to win 270 electoral votes in next year's election.
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  #34  
Old 05-12-2011, 03:26 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Though it is not one I agree with, this is not exactly an unusual position. Indeed, on this point, Chomsky is in strong agreement with operative: No one in the forum has attacked the mission as an "extrajudicial execution" as frequently as he has. There are many others, on the left and right, in the forum and elsewhere, who share this view.



There are two claims here, and both are wildly inaccurate. You don't strike me as the malicious or mendacious type, so I'll assume you're just being sloppy and lazy. And I would suggest you read what Chomsky actually wrote in the controversial op-ed to which you allude; you will discover that Chomsky never said bin Laden "had nothing to do with 9/11." Indeed, even ten years ago, when smoke was still rising from the site of the attacks in New York, Chomsky said that belief that the attacks originated with bin Laden was "plausible, at least."

So, what did Chomsky say in the op-ed to which you refer? He expressed another conventional viewpoint shared by many others, that the evidence presented by the government to prove bin Laden's involvement in 9/11 fails to reach the standards of evidence required to obtain a conviction in a court of law. Andrew Sullivan describes this as Chomsky's belief that suspects are innocent until proven guilty -- a radical idea, to be sure, but not an uncommon one, and hopefully one still familiar to Americans.

Freddie deBoer, in responding to Christopher Hitchens' recent attack on Chomsky, says:



Your other claim, that Chomsky thinks bin Laden is "pure as the driven snow," is just as inaccurate and cannot be supported by anything Chomsky has ever said.



This is another lie. Chomsky has acknowledged the holocaust countless times. He's described it as "quite certainly real, there's no question about that." He has said the holocaust was "the most fantastic outburst of insanity in human history." He said "The Holocaust was the most extreme atrocity in human history, and we lose our humanity if we are even willing to enter the arena of debate with those who seek to deny or underplay Nazi crimes."

From these quotes, we can see that operative is lying, too, in his response to you.
The Chomsky Holocaust kerfuffle comes from his signing a petition to allow a French historian to print some research in a magazine or something that allegedly shows the Holocaust didn't happen. Chomsky said he signed the petition because he wanted to protect the dudes free speech. Fine. If you believe in free speech, you have to believe some speech you don't like is tolerated. Problem is, Chomsky went to praise the guy (I think his name was Faurisson or something) as having done quite serious historical work, and that his research was worth taking seriously, and that the guy wasn't an anti-semite (when he was associated with neo-nazis). If you're going to defend him on free speech grounds, great. But don't pretend like Holocaust denying nonsense is something we have to take seriously.
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  #35  
Old 05-12-2011, 06:56 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Though it is not one I agree with, this is not exactly an unusual position. Indeed, on this point, Chomsky is in strong agreement with operative: No one in the forum has attacked the mission as an "extrajudicial execution" as frequently as he has. There are many others, on the left and right, in the forum and elsewhere, who share this view.
Curious, isn't it? As Pascal said, les extrêmes se touchent, the extremes meet. Chomsky likes to invoke international law when he wants to condemn the actions of the US or of Israel, and in some instances rightly so. But contrary to a widespread misunderstanding, international law does not outlaw war or acts of war in certain circumstances. Whether or not you think, as I do, that the assassination of OBL could be justified as an act of war against an enemy of the US (and of mankind), you cannot equate the civil law (le droit civil) or the criminal law (le droit pénal) of a state with international law.

Last edited by Florian; 05-12-2011 at 06:58 AM..
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  #36  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:02 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Ah, the problem of the one dimensional principle followers!

There's this common problem of someone holding one principle well above all else, and following that principle to its most extreme end, relatively disregarding other principles or considerations that would be in tension with it.

The blind follower of free speech that wants to allow everything, anything, to protect someone's free expression even if that expression is deeply hurting others. Or the principle of sacredness of life, which fights for the unborn while ruining the mother's life, while abandoning (and condemning) the born child to unfortunate circumstances.

Principles are always in tension with each other. It's a complex "mathematical" equation that can bring balance only through compromise between opposing principles. But it does require a lot of bending and flexing, processing many considerations at once, and indeed, holding some general overarching principle that applies to the situation such as lesser harm or equality. By the principle of lesser suffering, an unborn child doesn't suffer for not being born, lacking awareness of it all, while a woman forced to bear an unwanted pregnancy is condemned to suffering during and after her pregnancy. But these general principles need to remain fluid and require a careful consideration of all circumstances involved since two seemingly comparable situations can be fundamentally different by virtue of some odd aspect attached to it.

So there will always be the Chomskys and Hitchens of the world, drawing an audience by articulating a sentiment, an ideal or frustration, even when impractical or removed from reality. We should be able to differentiate their rhetoric and idealism from pragmatic reasoning. I'm always skeptical of any line of reasoning that holds only one principle and minimizes or neglects others.
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  #37  
Old 05-12-2011, 09:40 AM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Let's see if I can clean this up a bit.

Noam Chomsky believes there is no evidence - "nothing serious" - that OBL played a role in 9/11.

Writing a piece in a publication called "Guerica"on May 6th Noam Chomsky said he didn't believe the assertions by OBL that he was complicit in the killing of 3,000 people on 9/11, nor the evidence gathered by the 9/11 Commission, the grand jury indicting him, and the numerous confessions and claims by al-Qaida operatives.

I was sloppy here. Writing in defense of Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson's claim the the so-called Holocaust was a fraud perpetrated by the Jewish people, Chomsky assured his readers that "nobody believes that there is an anti-semitic connotation to the denial of the Holocaust whether he believes it or not."

Last edited by bkjazfan; 05-12-2011 at 09:56 AM..
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  #38  
Old 05-12-2011, 11:11 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
The Chomsky Holocaust kerfuffle comes from his signing a petition to allow a French historian to print some research in a magazine or something that allegedly shows the Holocaust didn't happen. Chomsky said he signed the petition because he wanted to protect the dudes free speech. Fine. If you believe in free speech, you have to believe some speech you don't like is tolerated. Problem is, Chomsky went to praise the guy (I think his name was Faurisson or something) as having done quite serious historical work, and that his research was worth taking seriously, and that the guy wasn't an anti-semite (when he was associated with neo-nazis). If you're going to defend him on free speech grounds, great. But don't pretend like Holocaust denying nonsense is something we have to take seriously.
Alan Dershowitz compiles Chomsky's worts bits, including his PR work for the Khmer Rouge and his support of Holocaust denialism, here: http://www.newsmax.com/AlanDershowit...5/11/id/396027

Chomsky is a genuinely horrendous, deranged, vile person who would become a genocidal dictator if he ever gained power. The Earth will be a better place when he is dead.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:03 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Ah, the problem of the one dimensional principle followers!

There's this common problem of someone holding one principle well above all else, and following that principle to its most extreme end, relatively disregarding other principles or considerations that would be in tension with it.
Well said. Chomsky has a long history of carrying his political principles to extremes and appealing to international law to justify them. He flings around the words "criminal" and "illegal" as if he were an oracle of the law. One can agree with him on some issues on moral grounds, but morality and legality are not the same thing!
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:36 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Drum Roll, Please! (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
The Chomsky Holocaust kerfuffle comes from his signing a petition to allow a French historian to print some research in a magazine or something that allegedly shows the Holocaust didn't happen. Chomsky said he signed the petition because he wanted to protect the dudes free speech. Fine. If you believe in free speech, you have to believe some speech you don't like is tolerated. Problem is, Chomsky went to praise the guy (I think his name was Faurisson or something) as having done quite serious historical work, and that his research was worth taking seriously, and that the guy wasn't an anti-semite (when he was associated with neo-nazis). If you're going to defend him on free speech grounds, great. But don't pretend like Holocaust denying nonsense is something we have to take seriously.
I know little about the affair, but my impression was that what Chomsky wrote was this piece, which doesn't praise Faurisson, but just says, after the main point about freedom of speech, that he thinks the anti-semite accusations are weak. I don't really agree (I find it hard to believe that you would be a Holocaust denier without something of that sort behind it), and I strongly disagree with a lot of what Chomsky has written about other things. However, it seems like his defense of Faurisson was against a defamation charge and perhaps threats -- not even pressuring any particular publication to publish him. If that's correct (and like I said, I've not been particularly interested in this matter, so maybe I've missed some key elements), he's basically supporting freedom of speech as the ACLU would, and not doing anything that would justify Holocaust-denier claims against him.
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