Monday, January 23, 2006
As Power Line observes, "[k]eep that in mind next time someone tells you that the Kos Kidz are just a bunch of unemployed teenagers, and not the heart and soul of the Democratic Party."
Kerry's piece is basically a rehash of his old campaign argument, valid to a point, that we messed up the capture of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in 2001. I thought in 2004 and still believe that it is politically dumb to keep bringing this up. First, it didn't work the first time. Second, what does he say when we do capture OBL? That it should have happened years ago? That would only reinforce the widespread perceptions that Democrats cannot rejoice in victory and that John Kerry is a churl.
The "meat" of his argument, such as it is, is that we "outsourced" the capture of bin Laden and failed to "seal off" miles and miles and miles of unfamiliar, mountainous terrain that it would have taken literally thousands of troops familiar with the area to adequately handle.
So...what does one normally do in this type of situation (i.e., we DON't have the required numbers troops and we AREN'T familiar with the area????)
Ummmm...bring in local people who are ... ummm let me guess? familiar with the area? Of course that has risks associated with it.
Maybe if Kerry had served out his entire tour in 'Nam instead of fleeting out after 3 1/2 months for a cushy tour as an admiral's aide in DC, he might have a better grasp of the difficulties faced by US commanders in a foreign country.
Seriously Screwy, I hope the DNC takes him out behind the woodshed and gives him the once-over.
I can't imagine a worse disaster for the party than to see him get the nomination again. Everyone says it will never happen, but I've seen so many bizarre things happen in politics that nothing would surprise me anymore. Believe it or not, I want to see you all put up a credible candidate in 2008. Who are you favoring?
Who am I favoring?
I'm favoring someone who is willing to call a spade a spade, and I haven't seen that person emerge yet.
John Kerry was, with the exception of Joementum, my least favorite candidate in the race. I'm no Hillary fan, but I'll get behind her if the rest of the party wills it. Wesley Clark is an option as is Mark Warner.
As a Howard Dean supporter, I'll be waiting to see who picks up his mantle.
I agree on Feingold. He is a liberal I respect.
Mind you I don't agree with the man, but he's honorable and, I think, a truly honest and principled man. A classic liberal of the kind this country needs to keep the debate lively and vigorous.
Lord how I'd love to see just one election be about ideas instead of BS. With Feingold, that might actually happen.
Of course, the not so amusing irony here is that if we committed 5,000 casualties to the elimination of 1 guy in those mountains, the recriminations would be awesome.
SH - when you slyly ask the rhetorical question about why we haven't caught bin laden, it implicitly criticizes a bunch of people -- all of which you are entitled to do -- but then please don't climb down and say you've never criticized the military. First of all, that's pc bullshit. The military often deserves criticism. It doesn't make you any more credible to say you "support the troops", when you consistently denigrate the mission and call the CINC a criminal. Did you notice that you're criticizing the military then? Or when you wax poetically about GITMO? That too is criticism of the military.
I LOVE GITMO.
Nonsense. By your estimation, any criticism of anything government related is a criticism of the troops. Go get your Sieg Heil somewhere else, kid, I'm not on board with the empire building game.
I think bin Laden hasn't been caught because we haven't chosen to dedicate the resources necessary to capture him. This is not a criticism of the 22-year-old stationed in Afghanistan, it is a criticism of the brass and of the President.
Cardinalpark, I give you a lot of latitude because I'm a guest over here, but if you're saying that one can't criticize the President without denigrating the troops, then you've jumped the shark. That's crazy cuckoobananas talk.
I'd like to hear your criticisms of the military that don't offend the troops. Then maybe I can learn how to talk so you won't be mad.
Get off my back.
My my. Not a very sturdy back I'd say.
One could criticize, for instance, the decision to walk away from Fallujah in April 2004. I see where you and I might differ, though. I consider "the brass" troops too. Of course, you don't I bet. I suspect you also have a deeply stereotypical view of labor and management too. But that's another topic.
You're more than welcome to criticize the CINC. Go for it. I never told you to shutup. But don't think for a moment that when you call the President a criminal, you aren't impugning those who are acting on his orders. Because you are. Criticism is one thing. Alleging criminal wrongdoing -- incorrectly by the way - is hysterical and wrong.
There is an LA Times piece today written by a pacifist named Joel Klein. Not surprisingly, I disagree with most of his diatribe. On one point though, I had to give the guy his due. He basically said antiwar types should stop it with the "I am against the war but for the troops" charade. See, I think he's an ass and I disagree. But at least he has a philosophical consistency. He gets it. If he is antiwar, he is implicitly and explicitly not supporting the troops.
Oh look, SH, if it makes you feel better, send the troops roses. I don't really care how you feel at all. I just think if you polled the troops (and the brass too why not), most of them would say antiwar carping undermines them; it doesn't support them. What do you think?
Your crazy cuckoobanana, just talkin' is all...
Oh, and another thing, about your Seig Heil wisecrack...
As my family represents a long line of seig heil survivors (and some, sadly, not), i recommend you think carefully before whipping out completely offensive and factually incorrect, to say nothing of stupid, remarks. They are unbecoming. Though if you would like to convince yourself that I must be a fascist, and worse a nazi no less, go ahead. If being wrong about me makes you feel better about yourself, go for it.
The whole bin Laden thing is really just political theater.
It is silly and unbecoming when we have larger things to worry about.
Terrorism analysts all agree that al Qaeda is decentralized. Anyone who is serious about this war needs to ask themselves one question: If bin Laden dies tomorrow or we capture him, does the war stop?
Answer: Of course not.
Does it even slow down?
Answer: Almost certainly not.
Question: that being the case, how many American servicemen are we willing to kill to see him captured or killed?
How many troops should we divert from the war effort - for how long - to capture or kill a man whose capture or death won't significantly help us... nor hinder them?
Question: so why do certain people keep bringing up this question?
"Alleging criminal wrongdoing -- incorrectly by the way - is hysterical and wrong."
It's hysterical to suggest that when the President ignores the 4th amendment he might be breaking the law? I'd say it's hysterical not to. Again, if the President would allow a little oversight we might get to the bottom of this, eh?
I don't trust the President. He hasn't given me any reason to.
If criticizing the boss means that I'm slandering the underlings, then I imagine you've got a very bizarre (one might say Sieg Heil) view of labor and management.
"As my family represents a long line of seig heil survivors (and some, sadly, not), i recommend you think carefully before whipping out completely offensive and factually incorrect, to say nothing of stupid, remarks."
As your family represents a long line of seig heil survivors (and some, sadly, not) I recommend you think carefully before casting your lot in with the next great empire builder, who has a terrible tendency of using offensive and factually incorrect, to say nothing of stupid, remarks.
You Love Gitmo? That's lunacy, CP. Loving indefinite detention? Loving it? Cuckoobananas.
We may have to stop talking.
Well, without necessarily admitting that I "love Gitmo" (notwithstanding my propensity to quote Col. Jessep), all detentions during war are "indefinite." And don't give me that this isn't a war -- al Qaeda quite specifically and articulately declared war on the United States in 1998. We just didn't notice until 2001.
Now, you might say that we don't know that everybody in Gitmo is associated with al Qaeda or one of its affiliates. True enough, but that is because al Qaeda does not wear uniforms or carry identification. When the enemy uses civilians as camouflage or for shields, if some of those civilians die when we shoot back it is the enemy's fault, not ours. Similarly, if there are innocents in our detention centers because the enemy does not wear uniforms or identify himself, by any measure of morality that is the enemy's crime, not ours.
So, no, I don't love "indefinite detention." But, I would have no problem detaining people until Islamic terrorism has run its course, and if that is the better part of a lifetime I have no problem with that, either.
As for some of the other stuff:
You don't really believe that Bush is an "empire builder," do you? I'm hoping that is just the partisan in you talking. Bush is obviously no empire builder. If he were, he would not be pushing the democratization strategy, he would have dealt with Iraq totally differently, and you would have seen evidence of the tendency before September 11.
Finally, I don't think that CP was arguing that "criticizing the boss means that [you're] slandering the underlings," as you suggest in the last comment. Heh. If only you knew who his last boss was. Of course you can criticize the president without denigrating the troops. But it does depend on how you criticize the president.
SH - as to you taking my family history and suggesting as a result of that, I should have nothing to do with Bush, I would suggest you have no idea what you are talking about, and again diminish yourself via namecalling. Jews can vote for whomever they want. So can blacks, hispanics, and immigrants. They need not be against Bush or Republicans for some stereotypical reason which I am sure you will invent -- whether it's "empire building" or "some other ism" about which you fantasize. Condi Rice is black and obviously thinks highly of Bush. What does thi say about her? Colin Powell? the Attorney General? and on and on...
I love Gitmo, yes. I really do. I wish we had no need for it. But we do. We are at war. With an enemy who pays no heed to rules like the Geneva Convention. With an enemy who doesn't distinguish between civilians and military. With an enemy who is funadamentally incompatible with us, who wants all of us dead or enslaved to him (and I mean him). So we need Gitmo. We need it to incarcerate benevolently those who would kill us otherwise. Who will implacably seek the end of us and each of our citizens or friends. Without Gitmo, Screwy, we would have to kill them all. Without a Koran and three square meals a day. We would have to kill each and every one who would otherwise seek to do the same to us.
Now we will occasionally send the wrong person to Gitmo. But that's not Gitmo's fault. That's human error. And it's not Bush's fault either. Stuff happens in war.
Gitmo, just like Abu Ghraib, or Sing Sing, or any number of prisons, is not going to be beautiful, or perfect. But I suspect it is a better place, believe it or not, than most maximum security US prisons for those incarcerated. I am also certain that it is a far better place than prisons most anywhere else on this planet.
So as a moral matter, once again I would argue that we are behaving in a far better fashion, both relatively and absolutely, than the antiwar folks would choose to believe.
So I proudly sport an I love Gitmo t shirt, given to me by a former marine named Cyril, who now runs 2 fun bars and restaurants - one in Montauk (Long Island) and the other in Anguilla.