Monday, September 10, 2007

The Lies of McBride – Bin Laden and the Dems

Has is really only been four months since WTMJ barged in and ripped their microphones from the Bucher-McBride household? One day, McBride was basking in the unearned glory of her non-sports night wing-nut spot on Wisconsin’s only powerhouse AM station. The next day, after a childish piece of ridicule aimed at Journal-Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane, McBride’s home-schooled mic was silenced and they changed the locks on Capitol Drive, just in case she decided to darken the corridors of Radio City.

After whining about the loss of her radio entitlement for a week or so, McBride settled in to her new diminished life as a UWM "lecturer" for (gasp!) journalism and the occasional column in the Waukesha Freeman, which apparently will run nonsense from any wing-nut, anywhere. But you can tell McBride misses the high profile that can only be achieved from three hours of free airtime to read GOP talking-points in her own inimitable style on a mainstream right-wing radio station. She has made several attempts to throw bombs on the very thin vanity blog that she converted to after TMJ took down her page, but no one noticed because, hey, who was that again?

But, over the weekend, McBride posted her most outrageous post yet, throwing herself on the sacrificial altar of the Republican campaign to impugn the integrity of anyone who disagrees with them. Declaring that, on the new bin Laden tape, the terrorist leader "sounds like so many of [the Democrats] do", McBride proudly plays her tiresome role as surrogate for the GOP, saying the worst so Bush doesn’t have to. "[T]he liberal abuse blogs will write, frothing at the mouth..." she predicts in her post on Saturday night (always a productive time for Jess), deliberately mistaking honest criticism for "abuse" and "frothing" for, well, saying anything, I guess.

Like all wing-nuts, McBride hopes that her readers won’t actually look at the source material that she provides a link to – a transcript of the bin Laden video – letting her deliberately deceptive description of it stand as the basis to make her phony points. In fact, the bin Laden screed is an appallingly obtuse mash of gibberish – about what you’d expect from a religious fanatic with a megalomaniacal streak. It reads much more like Pat Robertson than any Democrat I know of. "Don't blame me. I'm only repeating what bin Laden said," claims McBride, except that she’s not – there is not one direct quote of more than a single word in the whole post. As usual, the wing-nuts won’t let the facts get in the way of a good political hatchet job.

In the video, bin Laden offers laughable moral-equivalence justifications for his own criminal behavior on 9/11 – pointing out that the Holocaust did not happen in the Middle East but in mid-Europe, and "we" aren’t like that because "burning living things is forbidden in our religion". And how did too many of those poor souls in the Twin Towers die, again? He also praises himself for leaving millions of Christians alone in Egypt and elsewhere, "whom we have not incinerated and will not incinerate". For this lack of incineration, we are duly thankful, you murderous asshole.

McBride claims that he "expresses disappointment that Democrats" haven’t ended the war in Iraq. But bin Laden doesn't do any such thing. In fact, he can’t express disappointment in a result he fully expects. He offers a garden-variety, college sophomore version of how capitalism distorts democracy. "Those with the real power and influence are those with the most capital," he says, sounding like a student on a deadline for a Chomsky book report. "Democracy" is a fraud, a front for the corporate state, and blah de blah blah – he cites Chomsky, but could just as easily have chosen Nader. But he doesn’t say anywhere that he was glad Democrats won in ‘06 and is now so sad they haven’t succeeded in ending the war. He considers our entire system a sham and doesn’t see a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties. McBride claims: "He clearly was happy they won, but is growing disappointed." This is simply not true, and she can’t point to any thing in the transcript to back it up. Like much of what she writes, just because it’s nonsense doesn’t mean she won’t say it.

In fact, her entire premise is ridiculous. There isn’t one phrase or one idea (to the extent you can figure out what he’s talking about) in the bin Laden speech that any mainstream Democrat, anywhere, would agree with. "Or are you secretly thinking," says under-employed mind-reader McBride, "‘you know, I can't admit it, but in a lot of ways he makes sense.’" Um, no, Jess, we’re really not. Oh, and she says, since we "hate" Bush and bin Laden does, too... Again, sorry to disappoint. As I have explained before, Bush isn’t personally involved in anything enough to "hate" him. We do hate what he does in our name. I would say it is more likely that we "hate" bin Laden personally, for what he actually did and still does. Get it straight: don’t hate Bush personally; hate bin Laden. Now, go spin that, McBride.

The GOP sends willing lackeys like McBride out to spout this junk for two reasons. First, it is a classic smear to say that Democrats and bin Laden want the same thing. But second and, more importantly, with bin Laden popping up just before the 6th anniversary, it distracts from the fact that the bastard is still at large, his stature unduly enhanced in the rest of the world by his very survival. In his wildest dreams, bin Laden could not have envisioned the impact of the 9/11 attacks; not so much in the unspeakable violence of that day itself, but in the reckless, destructive reaction of the Bush administration, who have managed to take the weeks of international unity after the attacks and turn the whole world against us by their arrogance and stupidity.

History will show that the 9/11 attacks were a turning point, all right. It will forever mark the time when American influence and respect in the world took a perhaps permanent turn for the worst, due not to any outside threat, but to the disastrous mistakes of our "leaders" after the fact. In the end, bin Laden is just a murderous religious punk who got lucky with a series of brutal criminal acts. But the vast majority of damage from 9/11 in not due to bin Laden. It is self-imposed.


Unknown said...

Astute! Keep up the good work sir.

Giselle said...

Not only did Bush respond with a stupid, flaying foreign policy that has turned the world against the US government (but for the most part not against its people), but it has given Bush license to push every conservative wet dream which has been destructive to our national economy.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis.

Why aren't you writing for the newspaper?

Seven Star Hand said...

Hey Mike,

Actually, it sounds like someone has been reading me and is now trying to discredit me and others of like mind as "fellow travelers." Also, why would Gadahn try to discredit progressives in such a clearly underhanded way? To understand the true source of this diatribe, all you need to ask is who this tactic benefits the most! Can you say Neo-Cons...

Very curious indeed that the US released this Bin Laden video before Al Qaeda did! Very curious indeed! Likewise, other people have pointed out that all references to recent events come during the still frames. And how about the dated reference to Kerry during an election cycle when he's not running? Curious indeed!!

Right on cue, "Al Qaeda" releases another video, precisely when Bush/Cheney and cohorts need to scare congress into towing the neo-con line on the war. Now another tape is being annouced. Perhaps they think they'll get it right this time?

How many times must this occur before the corporate media outlets start asking some hard and pointed questions about the uncanny timing and synchronicity between Bush/Cheney and crew's political needs and Al Qaeda's video's and other activities. This is much more important than Larry Craig's follies.

How many more unlikely coincidences are necessary before more people discern a strong pattern in the noise?


Anonymous said...

Mike, do EVER have anything else except calling people like McBride "wing nuts" or saying that they're getting their "talking points" from the GOP/Rush/Rove?? It's a common theme among all of your politically-charged points and frankly it's getting a little tiresome and predictable.

All you did was shoot/massacre the messenger and not actually demonstrate how much of what democrats have said mirrors that of OBL.

Did not OBL call out the democrats for not living up to their promise of removing the troops from Iraq?

Mike Plaisted said...

Anonymous 1:48 --

I say many things here. I am sorry that the radio and blog surrogates for the Republicans spend most of their time trumpeting GOP talking-points, but that is what they do. Especially third-level chumps like McBride, who get trotted out to say the most outragious things so others don't have to. I'll keep saying it until they try to deny it or stop doing it, neither of which will happen any time soon.

As for what OBL did or didn't say, the link is up there -- read it yourself. He didn't "call out" the Dems for not ending the war; he purported to inform his American audience about why the Dems didn't/can't do it (they are capitalist tools, etc.). He doesn't even bother addressing the Democrats directly. He tries to drive a wedge between the Dems and the voters, like anyone would listen to him. If he "calls out" anyone, it is the American voter, who is so silly as to believe in the democratic system and not convert to Islam. That's how mcuh of a whack job he is.

As for what the Democrats have said that "mirrors" OBL, that would be: NOTHING. Go ahead -- read the transcript and find one thing that "mirrors" Democratic positions. It's punishment enough to have to read the damn thing, much less make some sense of it. McBride sure doesn't.

Anonymous said...

OBL wants the US troops out of Iraq.

The Democrats want US troops out of Iraq.

'Nuff said.

Other Side said...

Fot two entirely different reasons, you putz. Democrats and OBL like to breath air, too, but that doesn't make them allies.

Anonymous said...

But does not the democrats reason/rationale lead directly to a victory for our enemy?? Evidently the dems don't see that.

Mike Plaisted said...

What victory? What ememy?

It was a foolish and historically disasterous enterprise, but we won "victory" when we overthrew our supposed "enemy" Hussein.

Now, we are losing the occupation, not because of anything we are doing wrong (militarily) on the ground, but because it is unwinable. "Victory" is as difficult to define as "enemy".

OBL is not in Iraq and would probably just as soon keep us pinned down there, sapping our lives and resources. He doesn't say anything about us staying or going in the transcript.

"al Quaeda in Iraq" is not OBL's al Quaeda -- it is mostly Iraqis who stole the tradmark. That group has pissed off so many of the other combatants and others in Iraq, we are probably protecting them from complete annilation by putting a damper on the violence to the extent we can. If we were able to somehow wipe out everyone claiming to be "al Quaeda", there would still be hundreds of thousands of people shooting at our troops over there.

Calling people "surrender monkeys' does not change the fact that there is no war to win. The war in Iraq ia a civil war. We need to get out of the way, let them take care of their business, and see who is standing when the smoke clears. And don't be surprised if whoever is running Iraq in the end is ten times worse than Hussein. We brought that on ourselves.

Other Side said...

No. Abandoning the task of tracking down bin Laden when we had the chance instead of embarking on this path of revenge and guarenteeing our oil supply has emboldened and strengthened our enemy. Hell, we're exactly where he wants us now ... where it's easiest to kill Americans.

It is conservative arrogance that has led us to this quandary and to thousands of innocent deaths.

You should be ashamed of yourself for condoing this ... of course you'd have to be human.

Anonymous said...

I assume you're referring to the tracking down of OBL when we had the chance from 1993 - 2001? I agree, we should have got him when he was being hand-delivered to us on a silver platter multiple times.

Since the both of you only can cast stones about our involvement in the Middle East, why not actually propose a strategy that would WORK in your estimation.

I know you both are Olympic-level complainers/Monday Morning QBs but can you actually come up with something other than doing that?

Anonymous said...

I assume you're referring to the tracking down of OBL when we had the chance from 1993 - 2001?

I assume you're referring to the drug-induced fantasies of Cyrus Nowrasteh?

why not actually propose a strategy that would WORK

Step #1: Stop voting crazy retards into high office.

Mike Plaisted said...

Yeah, Anony, all I do is complain about the bone-headed moves the Bushies have made that will forever stain our stature in the world community. Never mind how we got into Iraq! We broke it, you fix it!

Here's a fix for you: Just Get Out. Get a cab. Make like a tree and leave. Hit the long dirty road back to Kuwait. Try not to let the door hit us on the way out.

Iraq has always been ruled by the biggest son-of-a-bitch in the land -- Hussein was nothing new. Now that we have opened the door to a theocracy -- something Hussein would never allow -- we will get one. Let's get out of the way and see who it is. We might get to keep the giant base and embassy the contractors are building for us there, but not for long. The theocracy might look like Iran, or worse. Israel will be less secure and the Middle East will be far less stable than it was before we bumbled in.

And, you know what, Anony? Even if it doesn't happen now, it will happen in two or five or ten years. Whenever we are ready to let it happen. Whenever we are sick of our Unnecessary Dead on our doorsteps; when enough limbs of our brave soldiers have been scattered in the desert sand.

What I want to know is: where will you be when it's over, when the folly is evident even to you? I suggest we get you and all the other name-calling Bush-enablers in a room with all those who suffered so much pain because of your Stupid War. The families, the soldiers with one or two or three or four missing limbs. We'll pair you up with one of the guys who was maimed this week and maybe the families of the seven troops who were killed just today; make sure they were killed or injured during this period of time, when people like you are still spinning, still excusing, still blaming other people for the foolish choices of your precious Bushies.

Let's see how you fare trying to get out of that room, Anony. Just remember, however bad it is, it will be nothing like the hell you vistited on them by your adherence to the absurd Bush agenda.

Other Side said...

Your return comment is exactly why it's useless to engage in discussion.

You want the dems to pull your lame asses out of the fire you created. It took six years of conservative incompetence to get us where we are today ... you expect miracles within eight months or so.

If only you had listened to the professionals rather than charging straight ahead ... thousands of lives later and over half the nations on this planet alienated ... hey, great strategy!

Anonymous said...

There goes mike and his twin Other Side. All emotional BS. Sure we'll go appologize to the dead and maimed, all of them throughout history, but at least to us they are real people, to you all they are only Bush Agenda.

Go on and tell yourself that Al Queda doesn't hope and pray that there is a Move-on candidate in 08. Go on and try to convince yourselves that your words don't prompt bombings. (and yes, plaisted, there is a storm coming, but your left will have lond since crippled us) Just focus a little more anger on Bush. Just challenge the integrity of a few more generals. May be you'll get what you want. Just smile in private while your leaders comment in public that setbacks in Iraq are quickly made into gains at the pulls--but anyone who challenges your patriotism by pointing out where the rehtoric of the enemy matches your own doesn't grasp the obvious truth. Just tell everyone how Clinton or obama would be tough on terror and protect us from SUV's and corporate profits, and fatty foods, and smoking bans. We'll sleep much better. Tell us how we should fall on our knees at the UN where Iran and Cuba control the human rights council. Tell us how retreat from Iraq will make the next ruwanda or darfur less likely. Tell us how the first dirty bomb in New York should be met with swift condemnation, and the second with a pause for introspection. Tell us how we should lie down and capitulate our responsibility like the other failed nations who, like the new Britan, are too impotent to be outraged while the mass graves of Iraq slowly fade into memory. Tell us of the glorious new progressive ideal--perpetual investigation and rumors of impeachment while your Billionaire King Soros manipulates the fortunes of millions and convinces you he's the good capitalist. Keep it all rolling, and for your opus mundi, claim you have the authority to speak for the dead and maimed who you backstabbed from the start. It just rolls on and on.

Mike Plaisted said...

Wow. You are a mass of symptoms, my man. I didn't think anyone could cram so much bullshit in one paragraph (well, it is a run-on), but you did it. Congratulations!

1. Al Quaeda doesn't hope for sanity in U.S. politics, it's too easy for them with Bush recruitment posters.
2. Less arrogance and stupidity = less chance for bombings.
3. The rhetoric of "the enemy" does not match my own (please read post again).
4. Anyone would be tougher on "terror" than Bush -- he has just made things worse.
5. The UN follows the lead of a U.S. that the world can respect, not the other way around.
6. The first dirty bomb anywhere should be prevented with good police work and asses should be kicked of whoever manages to set one off.
7. "capitulate our responsibility"? With all the death we have caused to innocent civilians, watch out who you are accusing of forgetting mass graves -- they are still being filled.
8. "King Soros"? You wish.
9. I didn't backstab anyone -- I'm trying to get them out of harm's way. It you who wants them out there in the shooting gallery, for no good reason.

You said a mouthful, my friend. Please keep it up. With "thoughts" like this, in 2008 we are going to kick your ass into the next century. If then.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Bushie Backer -- it really ought to have occurred to you by now that this administration needs Bin Laden to still be "out there."

Since they convinced so many Americans that going to Iraq was striking back for 9/11, which was Bin Laden's work . . . then it would follow that if he had been caught, those Americans would figure that the reason to be in Iraq was over.

So capturing Bin Laden would add to the call for the war to end. See it?

Anonymous said...

Capturing bin Laden does nothing. He's merely a figurehead hiding out in a cave with no real controlled network or terror cells. We capture/kill bin Laden it doesn't change the minds of those who hate us as a matter of their own religion.

I love Mike's earlier challenge that I posed to come up with a plan: GET OUT

Look Mike, I get that you want out of there for political reasons only (victory in 2008), but once we pull out, THEN WHAT? Do you think pulling out will magically end terrorism against the US or stop the ingrained hatred against innocent civilians??

What is your PLAN to EFFECTIVELY deal with terrorism??? And don't mimmic what Clinton did because obviously that didn't work, we got attacked regularly on our soil and overseas US military targets.

I'm all ears for your hawkish answer....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you obviously have an adgenda; kick Mike in the nuts. Why not come out of the closet and be brave enought to let him know who you are. No doubt you must know and dislike him, it's written all over your comments. Not as clever as you thought?

Anonymous said...

Justin - huh? What difference does it make if I like Mike or not? I could make up a name and you'd never know the difference so who cares? If he doesn't like anony replies then he needs to disengage that function on his blog, it's really quite simple. If you're so adament about knowing who everyone is, why not list your full name, address, and phone number?

All I'm asking him to do is answer a question that he seemingly doesn't want/know how to answer.

Anonymous said...

Here's your answer, concern troll.

Mike Plaisted said...

Anony: I'm answering all your questions, you just keep trying to move the goalposts by asking new ones. Since I like circles, I will continue to let you run me around in them.

I don't want to get out of Iraq "for political reasons only" or for political reasons at all. 1. We shouldn't have gone there in the first place. 2. Once we got there, the whole idea of a "viceroy" and an occupation was absurd and as offensive to the Iraqi nationalists and Arabs generally as anyone would have predicted. 3. We now have our troops stuck between parties in a civil war, and they are getting killed for no good reason.

Are you trying to say that, if the polls showed people wanted us to stay there, I would support that? That's crazy. I was against the war from the beginning. Oh, and, by the way, when do we get recognized for being right? I won't hold my breath.

As for the rest of it, I defer to the brilliant exposition linked-to in the comment by gnarlytrombone, above. It is written by a guy named Jim Henley in Maryland, and I agree with every answer he gives to a similarly determined right-winger playing gotcha games. Read it twice and call me in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I read it three times, basically what I got was that we should pull out then hope and pray they go away because it's a long way from the ME to the US.

Can someone say isolationism?

Anonymous said...

Thick. As a brick.

Read it again, asking yourself this question: "What is it that I'm assuming about my political opponents' positions that make me think they would take my "questions" seriously?"

Anonymous said...

Enough with the insults, grow up and act like an adult.

I read it, read it again, and read it again. TO ME, it sounds like they're advocating isolationism mainly by stating the obvious fact that the US is a great distance away from the Middle East ergo making any attack on innocent Americans or US troops much more difficult instead of the easy access the terrorists have now to our nation's best and bravest in Iraq/Afghanistan now.

Sorry, I simply do not agree with that line of logic. Isolationism has led us into World Wars and attacks on our home soil. To me that's not good.

Anonymous said...

advocating isolationism mainly by stating the obvious fact that the US is a great distance away from the Middle East

It doesn't say that at all, not even implicitly. Like I said, if you would stop reading in what YOU think opponents of the war believe, you might get the point.

Anonymous said...

Really? How about this quote:

"But withdrawal from Iraq would make their jobs much harder, if we really withdraw. For the first time since 1990, we would not have an obtrusive military presence in the heart of Arabia"

Translation, if we pull out, it will make it harder for them to kill Americans because they'll have to come to our shores to do so.

Anonymous said...

See, you just did it again with your "translation."

If you'd stop and think for 10 seconds, you might be able to figure out what he's referring to when he says "jobs."

He means that it would be much harder for the jihadists to build a movement - and attack the United States homeland - when the US isn't justifying the accusation that it is out to kill Muslims and occupy their land.

Anonymous said...

A little hint, these jihadists hated America and wished for our death long before we attacked Saddam.

Anonymous said...

No shit, Sherlock. When did make a claim otherwise?

Iraq is one link in a chain of examples of Westerners abusing Muslims that goes back to the 19th Century that the jihadis use to justify their actions. Bin Laden's declaration of war was based on American troops "Occupying the land of the Two Holy Places."

The jihadis themselves are nuts, and are engaged in a mystical religious battle that only exists in their heads. But they are telling a narrative of Western oppression that resonates with most Muslims because it appears to them that Westerners are hell-bent on suppressing their religion and stealing their land and resources. The current war in Iraq fits into that narrative, regarldless of whether our motives are noble or not.

If westerners would stop invading, overthrowing governments and killing people, the jihadis would have no hope of convincing people that their cause is just and they couldn't raise money and recruits to their cause.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so it's all our fault that they hate us and want to kill us. The USA is bad, bad, bad!!!

Anonymous said...

No, America good.

Wingnuts who drink stupid juice and enable worst foreign policy fuck up in American history bad, bad, bad.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that Saddam was really a nice guy. What were we possibly thinking in taking him out?

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
-- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
-- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
-- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:29, you're correct: They hated us before we attacked Iraq to get Saddam.

And now they hate us more.

And we're still there.

And now we hear that we will be there for many years more.

So you call this "success" in securing our safety, here and abroad? You say this war was a "success," because we got Saddam?


Anonymous said...

I's certainly impressed with your ability to hit the wingnut talking point macro. I takes real skill to press down both the control and 'v' keys.

Don't trouble you're pretty bitty brain over the 1.2 million Iraqi dead, the 2.5 million refugees and the 2.2 million internally displaced.

And when the US is attacked by a vengeful Iraqi, you can swallow the blue pill and support the next effort to kill a few million more in response.

Anonymous said...

Why are you such a defeatist? By your measure, we should not have fought the Revolutionary War because it was too bloody, same goes for the Civil War. Since when is war bloodless? Nearly every country who enjoys freedom today has shed a lot of blood to get there.

How is it not a success when we captured Saddam, allowed for multiple democratic elections in Iraq, hunted down and captured/killed a significant number of al-Qaida in Iraq and elsewhere, and Osama is constantly on the run only able to put out videos once a year? He was never on the run until 2001, he was harbored by governments free to do whatever he wanted. No longer.

nulldevice said...

You know, as what I like to consider myself - a fairly pragmatic dem - I think both sides have got it almost completely wrong. There's a lot of us-or-them bluster, we should never have used military strength, yadda yadda.

Reality - and middle-eastern geopolitics - has always been much more subtle.

Problem one: both teh dems and the republicans treat iraq as though it were one natural entity. It's not. It never was. It was a false state drawn by the british encapsulating one nice big geographical region with a few hundred microcultures with millenia of animosity. And we expect 130,000 troops to hold THAT together? It took a brutal autocratic regime to even come close to that, and I don't think we want a repeat of that.

And, afgter a few hundred years of Britain, Russia, France and others ("the west") redrawing borders and playing "the great game" in central asia and the eastern mediterranean, any western interference needs to be handled extremely delicately - history has taught these countries to expect that they're all targets, whether or not they actually are.

Problem 2: the belief seems to be all-or-nothing when it comes to military response. Do I think we shouldn't have gone into iraq? Yes. I think it was a terrible mistake. Do I think we shouldn't've engaged in preemptive military action against Al Qaeda and other terrorist cells? Certainly not. Iraq was just a lousy target for it. Afghanistan was a great start. I'm sure Pakistan would've loved some help pacifying Taliban militants in Waziristan. Help the house of Saud get out from under the thumb of the Wahhabi clerics (where OBL gets his rhetoric), people will be happier there (not that I like the house of Saud, but displacing them would *really* piss off the arab world)

Problem 3: We keep forgetting about Iran. They're the 800-lb gorilla in the room. And - they're not arabs, they're a religious minority (shia), and they're not strictly speaking islamists. They don't share Nasser's glorious pan-arab nationalism or the islamist caliphate-dreams and consider most of that rhetoric to be worrisome - and they're going to do whatever it takes to preserve their standing as an independent power in the region. A war with Iran would be disastrous, as we could expect almost no indiginous support.

Frankly, I think GW had the right idea at one point, set up a stable democracy that can effect regional change. And he had the perfect opportunity with Afghanistan - nobody really *liked* the Taleban, the people were aching for change, and we had no problem convicing our allies and enemies alike that hey, Afghanistan's a mess that needs cleaning up. we were *this* close, and we abandoned it in favor of a pipe dream with a persian gulf port. Iraq - not a good choice. Wasn't thought through. Even stalwart secularist Turkey is freaking out about it because of their own Kurdish nationalist "issues."

We're now in a situation in which there's no decent possible outcome. We leave, we look weak and iraq devolves into an anarchic state. We stay, we fight a long war of attrition for an iraqi goal that has very little to do with our own national security aims.