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Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday

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( a little encourgement for JoAnn)

Why, thank you Norm. With all of the depressing news these days, it is indeed comforting to read this.

...although I guess that online surveys don't properly account for the knuckle-dragging, gap-toothed hillbillies hell-bent on dragging this country into the dark ages.

Would that 'depressing news' include Obama's statement that he's going to reconsider his Iraq position?

It's not as if he's really changing anything - you could always go to his website and read that he fully intended to keep our troops in the country indefinitely, just like McCain - but now he's actually going to come right out and say it.

And you know why?

Because it's become impossible for the left-wing naysayers to continue to claim that the surge didn't work. Because the security gains it brought about persist, and because Iraq is actually now a safer combat region than Afghanistan.

Tell me, will this make Obama a 'warmonger' in your eyes? Since, of course, a 'warmonger' to a left-winger is anybody who actually wants the US to win a completely winnable but unpopular war, rather than run home crying (and leave the people of the abandoned country to die in droves).

It amazes me that devotion to a party allows people to continue to pretend Obama is the better choice. He has no new health care or economy ideas. His position on Iraq mirrors McCain's (although he'll only admit that when it's popular). He's openly courting the religious zealots, something McCain isn't doing. He's even against that liberal pet project, gay 'marriage'.

Two conservatives running, but only one actually protects us against having a single controlling party. And only one actually stands for something, and has the guts to say it. Vote for your smooth-talking huckster if you want, it's a free country. But his 'change' is an illusion.

Would that 'depressing news' include Obama's statement that he's going to reconsider his Iraq position?

It's not as if he's really changing anything - you could always go to his website and read that he fully intended to keep our troops in the country indefinitely, just like McCain - but now he's actually going to come right out and say it.

And you know why?

Because it's become impossible for the left-wing naysayers to continue to claim that the surge didn't work. Because the security gains it brought about persist, and because Iraq is actually now a safer combat region than Afghanistan.

Tell me, will this make Obama a 'warmonger' in your eyes? Since, of course, a 'warmonger' to a left-winger is anybody who actually wants the US to win a completely winnable but unpopular war, rather than run home crying (and leave the people of the abandoned country to die in droves).

It amazes me that devotion to a party allows people to continue to pretend Obama is the better choice. He has no new health care or economy ideas. His position on Iraq mirrors McCain's (although he'll only admit that when it's popular). He's openly courting the religious zealots, something McCain isn't doing. He's even against that liberal pet project, gay 'marriage'.

Two conservatives running, but only one actually protects us against having a single controlling party. And only one actually stands for something, and has the guts to say it. Vote for your smooth-talking huckster if you want, it's a free country. But his 'change' is an illusion.

...although I guess that online surveys don't properly account for the knuckle-dragging, gap-toothed hillbillies hell-bent on dragging this country into the dark ages.

Right..

And just when there was some light... Well, there goes that lovin' feelin'...

And then a disingenous comment from Calligraph..or was it Syngas... or was it from the Unity-my-ass Hillary Clinton supporters?

There goes that lovin' feelin'..

Anyway, I give up. You're right Norm. You're right Calligraph. You're right Syngas.

Obama is too inept to win this election.

Youpee! And we will continue the war in Iraq no matter who is elected president. And after Iraq? Iran? We shall continue to wage ware against one country, year after year.

U.S.A.! Death penalty! Let's kill then all! To hell with all of the Prius-driving hippies! U.S.A.! Death to the terrorists!

Hell yeah!

Because it's become impossible for the left-wing naysayers to continue to claim that the surge didn't work.

The purpose of the 'surge' was to create breathing room for political bargaining. Without denying "progress"--if you count, oh, only a couple hundred a week dying from bombings and other peaceful activities--the political solutions are mostly stalled. Sincerely, violence has been reduced to some degree. But it is still dramatic, and part of the reduction had nothing to do with sending troops but with paying militias to put down their weapons. So to paint a minor correction in the myriad of the Bush Administrations outright failures, is a little much. See, for instance, here

In pursuing those political aspects, I found it much more rewarding to talk with Iraq specialists at American and British universities and think tanks who, traveling into and out of the country, are less beholden to government dogma. It was from them that I learned that the Bush administration, in addition to launching the much-publicized military surge, had mounted a little-known political surge as well [...] About a year has passed since the campaign began. And from talks with several Green Zone visitors who are familiar with it, I learned that, by and large, it has been an utter failure. "Dysfunctional" is how one visiting adviser described it, citing bitter interagency battles, micromanagement from Washington, and an acute mismatch between the skills of the advisers and the needs of the Iraqi government. "What we have," he said, "are cattle calls—a bunch of random people sent over with widely varying skills who can't speak the language, who've never worked in this type of environment, and whom the Iraqis didn't even ask for." (Much more than mere disorganization and incompetence may be involved. According to a recent BBC investigation, as much as $23 billion in US aid allocated to contractors working in Iraq may have been lost, stolen, or not properly accounted for. "The money that's gone into waste, fraud, and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous," Henry Waxman, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, commented, adding that this "may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.")

PS. Obama didn't change his position on Iraq. He has always said that conditions on the ground matter, and it would be utterly foolish to rigidly stick to a set of abstract principles and "goals" with utter disregard for those conditions. Of course, I realize that, as a republican, that alternative strategy, of living in fantasy land, might be familiar to you, because it has been Bush's. You might have thought, for instance, that we'd be "greeted as liberators," that the war would magically pay for itself in oil revenue, and that you can send freshly minted graduates from 4th tier Christian "Universities" (the scare quotes are deserved) to a country where they don't speak the language and know nothing about the countries history, social divisions and ethnic tensions, and much else, to run it.

I don't care if Obama does it in 16 months or in 3 years. What I don't want is permanent basis in Iraq. That is what McCain wants, and that's where they differ. Also: What do you make of McCain's magical claim that immanent "victory" in Iraq and Afghanistan will somehow miraculously produce revenue to pay for his tax cuts?.

What I don't want is permanent basis in Iraq.

Bases. Typo.

Two conservatives running,

Funny how you say that as part of a bitter rant rather then a celebration of you ideological superiority.

Reality is that it just isn't true. Obama is highlighting his moderate stances at the moment, but they are the same stances he has held, he has changed his vote on FISA but his statements on the issues are consistent, he is just accepting a much bigger compromise then he was before.

His stance on Iraq is no different, If I was a candidate I would likely say the same thing, "Our Mission will be to leave safely." beyond that I don't really think politicians should plan all our national policy with only campaign staff and advisers in the room.

That does mean that we will need to trust a politician not to take too much license, and that is frightening.

But with McCain, we know how bad he intends to be and if elected we know how bad intends to be and could only fear how much war he could create and how horrifically he might mismanage our country.

Sorry JoAnn. On the brighter side, it seems Obama's website -- merely a "social networking" tool for supporters -- is turning out to be a powerful tool for sending him a message. The "group" for opposing telecomm immunity is the largest one there is... and it has grown from 19k to 25k since Glenn Greenwald's articles came out. It's not too late to call your Congressman as well as to put a bug in B.O.'s advisor's ears.

...although I guess that online surveys don't properly account for the knuckle-dragging, gap-toothed hillbillies hell-bent on dragging this country into the dark ages.

Good point. But, there are some surveys of these people. And they aren't terribly enthusiastic about John McCain. With Bush, they motivated to come out and vote. Maybe not a lock solid reason for hope, but certainly their existence shouldn't be cause for doom.

That's why I was a McCain supporter in the primary (after the media decided Kucinich was a non-starter). Heh, heh, heh...

Vee haff our veys.

a 'warmonger' to a left-winger is anybody who actually wants the US to win a completely winnable but unpopular war, rather than run home crying (and leave the people of the abandoned country to die in droves).

What makes John McCain a warmonger is his singing "bomb, bomb, bomb - bomb, bomb Iran" and discussing the place as if he can't wait to do it. Anyone who thinks the war in Iraq is completely winnable by the US is a jackass - but then we already knew that about you, calligraph. At this point, there is little doubt that the only clear-cut winner in Iraq is Iran.

The US is bogged down. The surge has improved the security situation somewhat - and much of that improvement is due to the completion of the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad - one a largely Sunni city - now overwhelmingly Shiite. The political situation, indeed the entire cultural landscape of Iraq, has changed one iota. The US military is dispirited, and the stop-lossed officer corps knows full well that they're just keeping the lid on. The political leadership in the US has continued to function as in an amazingly incompetent and corrupt fashion - even after their disastrous CPA lunacy should have taught them better.

If US forces leave in 16 months and a bloodbath ensues, I'm sure we'll be hearing calligraph rant about how we abandoned them people of Iraq.  I've got news for you. pal, the people of Iraq have consistently supported an American pullout for years.  And whether we leave in 16 months, 3 years, or ten years, the Iraqis are likely to sort themselves out in much the same way - absolutely nothing about the 5+ years we've been in Iraq already can be convincingly cited to support any other conclusion.

The rest of the truncated post:

If US forces leave in 16 months and a bloodbath ensues, I'm sure we'll be hearing calligraph rant about how we abandoned them people of Iraq.  I've got news for you. pal, the people of Iraq have consistently supported an American pullout for years.  And whether we leave in 16 months, 3 years, or ten years, the Iraqis are likely to sort themselves out in much the same way - absolutely nothing about the 5+ years we've been in Iraq already can be convincingly cited to support any other conclusion.

The rest of the truncated post:

If US forces leave in 16 months and a bloodbath ensues, I'm sure we'll be hearing calligraph rant about how we abandoned them people of Iraq.  I've got news for you. pal, the people of Iraq have consistently supported an American pullout for years.  And whether we leave in 16 months, 3 years, or ten years, the Iraqis are likely to sort themselves out in much the same way - absolutely nothing about the 5+ years we've been in Iraq already can be convincingly cited to support any other conclusion.
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Whenever you get down about Obama, just listen to one of his speeches. It always works to make me feel better.

McCain isn't conservative, Callgirl. He wants amnesty for illegals, as he said yesterday. He wants the government to subsidize home loans and buy up bad loans made by the 'free-market', (of course, after Obama tossed out the idea and got a better reception than McCain's initial "screw em all" stance).

McCain wants to increase government subsidies to build a better battery. McCain wants to continue the 4 Billion dollar tax break given to oil companies so he can help support the 'free-market'.

I think you're just mad that there is no illegal-hating, gay-bashing evangelical for you to vote for.

Don't worry, McCain will take whatever position the republicans tell him to, even if it means voting against bills he previously Sponsored (McCain-Kennedy) or not remembering if he stood for it ("do I support abstinence programs, let me look into that.")

Or, worse of all, McCain doesn't even want to support Senator Webb's bill that increases benifits of soldiers only up to WWII levels. Heaven forbid we give our soldiers an education when they come back.

IF I were conservative, I'd be a forum troll too, because I'd have no facts to support my party.

Obama is too inept to win this election.

But I don't actually believe that. I'm sanguine with the concept that he will probably smooth-talk his way right into the office. It just amazes me that he has people so brainwashed that they don't even really know what they'd be voting for. And when you really analyze the positions of the two candidates, McCain is clearly the better choice.

Obama didn't change his position on Iraq. He has always said that conditions on the ground matter, and it would be utterly foolish to rigidly stick to a set of abstract principles and "goals" with utter disregard for those conditions.

Another Obamaniac who doesn't even read his website? From barackobama.com:

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.
I have been pointing out this outright lie - directly refuted by the statements beneath it that state he will keep combat troops in Iraq as long as necessary for protection and strikes against Al Qaeda - for months. Even now, as he publicly states that his 'cover my ass from every angle' Iraq position is mutable, and even as his brainwashed devotees keep trying to find ways to doubletalk for him, these contradictory statements remain on his website.
What I don't want is permanent basis in Iraq. That is what McCain wants, and that's where they differ

Really? Where do you think Obama will station the troops he wants to keep in Iraq?

And understand that I support Obama's actual position. Know why? Because it's McCain's! It's the position McCain has adopted since day 1, and has been very straightforward about: we will continue to work towards removing the bulk of our troops from the country, as security improves, but we will have to keep some troops there indefinitely. Just like we do in many other countries.

Funny how you say that as part of a bitter rant rather then a celebration of you ideological superiority.

Actually, it's a bit of both. The fact that both candidates are classical conservatives is both interesting and amusing to me. It seems that two straight losses to a chimp in a suit have taught the Democrats one thing: you can't keep running far-left wackos. You have to run someone who soothingly strokes the far-left wackos while actually promoting classically conservative ideas.

What makes John McCain a warmonger is his singing "bomb, bomb, bomb - bomb, bomb Iran"

If making one ill-advised and unfunny joke makes someone a warmonger, what does attending the services of a racist and anti-American priest for 20 years indicate?

Whenever you get down about Obama, just listen to one of his speeches. It always works to make me feel better.

Yeah, propaganda tends to have that effect. If I were a liberal I'd probably insert a Hitler analogy here. Aw, what the hell: Barack Obama! Uber alles!

Really? Where do you think Obama will station the troops he wants to keep in Iraq?

This was discussed in a debate, some troops would be stationed at the embassy in the Green Zone.

Trainers and the like would not require a base of their own.

AN anti terrorist task force would be region and likely based in Kuwait.

All three groups would likely be the target of terrorist attacks and removed at some future time.

All three groups would likely be the target of terrorist attacks and removed at some future time.

well, hell, lets get right on that then.

calligraph: making one ill-advised and unfunny joke makes someone a warmonger...

What makes McCain a warmonger, among other things, is his open admission that he’s a warmonger. Nothing makes that clearer than his endorsement of the Bush doctrine of “preemptive attack” – the now classic neoconservative euphemism for waging aggressive war.

Jan. 5 Republican debate in New Hampshire:

MR. GIBSON: Let me just ratchet up the question slightly and ask you if you believe in the Bush doctrine. Because in September 2002 — up for years, our foreign policy has been based on the idea that we form alliances, international consensus. We attack — retaliate if we’re attacked. But in 2002, the president said we have a right to a pre-emptive attack, that we can attack if this country feels threatened.
And on that basis, WMD, we went into Iraq. We’ve cited the threat of a nuclear Iran to leave the military option on the table.
Do you agree with the doctrine, Senator McCain, if you were president, or would you change it?
SEN. MCCAIN: I agree with the doctrine.

You can keep selling your Reverend Wright horseshit if you like - as you are so fond of saying, it's a free country. It convinces no one and makes you look like a fool anyway.

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