Friday, November 10, 2006
Tuesday's result made a lot of people very happy.
Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said here Friday that Republicans' defeat in this week's midterm legislative elections show public opposition to the US' war mongering policies.
"That can not be considered a mere domestic event, rather it marks failure of the war mongering policies of (the US President George W.) Bush worldwide," said Ayatollah Khamenei in an address to a group of locals on the third day of his tour of Semnan.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Republicans' elections defeat can also mean victory of the Iranian nation in this juncture.
According to Stratfor($), Beijing's pretty happy too:
The Chinese breathed a sigh of relief this week as Democrats were voted into power in the U.S. House and Senate. Beijing sees the next two years -- in which the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government can be expected to get in each other's way quite a bit -- as a window of opportunity to push forward its own domestic and regional agendas more aggressively, without fear of U.S. meddling.
Although the United States has had its hands tied in Iraq for some time, Washington still has had enough bandwidth to accomplish at least some of its agenda in Asia. The new Congress, however, will be focused on domestic issues and on cleaning up Iraq. China, likewise, will continue to focus on its own domestic issues -- but now more intently than before.
Now, before all our friendly lefty commenters go bananas, I am not suggesting that the Democrats agree with all the various dirtbags who are rejoicing their victory. I am, however, willing to say this: When you cite "world opinion" of George W. Bush as a reason to vote against him or his party, you cannot then object if others cite the opinions of enemies and adversaries who delight in your victory.
You know, that's one of the biggest defeats of this election. Democrats = weak America. That was shoved down voters throats by Republicans everywhere and they still voted Democrat. Explain that. My interpretation - Americans know that's a crock of crap.
"When you cite 'world opinion' of George W. Bush as a reason to vote against him or his party.." - There were so many reason to vote against George Bush, and world opinion was not one of them. How many people who voted Republican last election that switched to Democrat (which was a lot) cared do you think about world opinion. And as far as world opinion, there is a difference between an anti-Bush Brit and an anti-American muslim cleric even if they both think Bush sucks.
Democrats care about working with nations to solve problems, if that's the world opinion you're referencing. It's a big world, we're going to need help. Pretending to be an all-American "My way or the highway" cowboy only gets you an ass-handing-to in wars, world events and mid-term elections.
Congratulations, Catchy the Dems have the reins of congress. No more blaming Bush for everything come January, its time for show me, don't tell me.
I hope I'm wrong but I believe that all this is going to do is raise the butcher's bill.
You guys have been blaming Clinton for 6 years. Can't we get that kind of mileage out of Bush. Heck, he's at least still in office. But maybe you're right. Everything seems to be going so well right now. Why did we go and take a chance on change.
Catchy, I had hope for your intentions after your comment on the previous post, but now I am more suspicious.
"Democrats care (how revealing a word) about working with nations to solve problems." Bush has worked with many nations, and if you think otherwise, a billion people in India and a 100 million in Eastern Europe, and 100 million in Central Asia will think you a fool. Our relations with the UN have deteriorated, but our relations with the nations of the world individually are on balance, better than under Clinton.
"Pretending to be an All-American "my way or the highway" cowboy..." Great choice of words for a civil discussion of substance rather than of stereotype there.
"ass-handing-to in wars, world events, and mid-term elections." suggests that you think we are losing the war. I think the war is going about as well as the economy - great, but not perfect, with the opposition determined to highlight the negative. All that is happening is that Americans get tired of wars after 3 years and want to leave.
What "world events" have we got our asses handed to us on? And the midterm elections were what they always are in the second term of a presidency (except Clinton got his in his first term - quite an achievement). The rhetoric of the press in 1958 and 1986 was that the voters had engaged in this vast repudiation of Republican policies. History showed that to be wishful thinking on the part of the press.
You would like to see yourself, I think, as an objective person who wants what is best for America and tries to weigh both sides. Ask yourself this: how did you come to believe everything that Bush's political opposition says about him? Do you believe the DNC engages in no spin, no exaggeration, no convenient portrayal of data? Then how did you come to believe exactly what they wanted you to?
It's sad, just terribly sad, how the management of impressions trumps the facts nowadays.
Gentlemen, I can see that some of you are pissed, some elated with the election results, but the world goes on. What was a threat a week ago, is still a threat.As a not to disinterested by-stander I found the relief of Iranian murderers and Chinese communists to be somewhat less than re-assuring.
Terror still stalks. What are the new kids on the block gonna do about it. John Bolton is under threat, and for many Americans his departure from the UN may be the final straw.
This happened yesterday across the puddle. It is probably happening in the US. Where are the policies from the donks?
Terrorist threat to UK - MI5 chief's full speech
Following is the full text of a speech delivered on November 9, 2006 by Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of MI5, on the terrorist threat facing the UK:
The International Terrorist Threat to the UK
I have been Director General of the Security Service/M15 since 2002. Before that I was Deputy Director General for five years. During that time, and before, I have witnessed a steady increase in the terrorist threat to the UK. It has been the subject of much comment and controversy. I rarely speak in public. I prefer to avoid the limelight and get on with my job. But today, I want to set out my views on:
* the realities of the terrorist threat facing the UK in 2006;
* what motivates those who pose that threat
* and what my Service is doing, with others, to counter it.
I speak not as a politician, nor as a pundit, but as someone who has been an intelligence professional for 32 years.
2. Five years on from 9/11, where are we? Speaking in August, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch of the Metropolitan Police, described the threat to the UK from Al-Qaida-related terrorism as ‘real, here, deadly and enduring”. Only last week the Home Secretary said the threat will be “enduring — the struggle will be long and wide and deep.” Let me describe more fully why I think they said that. We now know that the first Al-Qaida-related plot against the UK was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb in the UK. Let there be no doubt about this: the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan, and before 9/11.
3. In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the UK, but were disrupted. This run of domestic success was interrupted tragically in London in July 2005. Since then, the combined efforts of my Service, the police, SIS and GCHQ have thwarted a further five major conspiracies in the UK, saving many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of lives. Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases. Of course the presumption of innocence applies and the law dictates that nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial. You will understand therefore that I can say no more on these matters.
4. What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don’t know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified. What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow’s threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.
5. The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers. We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer……. thirty that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany.
6. A word on proportionality. My Service and the police have occasionally been accused of hype and lack of perspective or worse, of deliberately stirring up fear. It is difficult to argue that there are not worse problems facing us, for example climate change... and of course far more people are killed each year on the roads than die through terrorism. It is understandable that people are reluctant to accept assertions that do not always appear to be substantiated. It is right to be sceptical about intelligence. I shall say more about that later. But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.
7. There has been much speculation about what motivates young men and women to carry out acts of terrorism in the UK. My Service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it, as far as that is possible. Al-Qaida has developed an ideology which claims that Islam is under attack, and needs to be defended. This is a powerful narrative that weaves together conflicts from across the globe, presenting the West’s response to varied and complex issues, from long-standing disputes such as Israel/Palestine and Kashmir to more recent events as evidence of an across-the-board determination to undermine and humiliate Islam worldwide. Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir and Lebanon are regularly cited by those who advocate terrorist violence as illustrating what they allege is Western hostility to Islam.
8. The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by:
* perceived worldwide and long-standing injustices against Muslims;
* an extreme and minority interpretation of Islam promoted by some preachers and people of influence;
* their interpretation as anti-Muslim of UK foreign policy, in particular the UK’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world.
What Intelligence can do
9. As I said earlier, I have been an intelligence officer for some 32 years. And I want again to describe what intelligence is and is not. I wish life were like ‘Spooks’, where everything is (a) knowable, and (b) soluble by six people. But those whose plans we wish to detect in advance are determined to conceal from us what they intend to do. And every day they learn. From the mistakes of others. From what they discover of our capabilities from evidence presented in court, and from leaks to the media. Moreover intelligence is usually bitty and needs piecing together, assessing, judging. It takes objectivity, integrity and a sceptical eye to make good use of intelligence: even the best of it never tells the whole story. On the basis of such incomplete information, my Service and the police make decisions on when and how to take action, to protect public safety. Wherever possible we seek to collect evidence sufficient to secure prosecutions, but it is not always possible to do so: admissible evidence is not always available and the courts, rightly, look for a high standard of certainty. Often to protect public safety the police need to disrupt plots on the basis of intelligence but before evidence sufficient to bring criminal charges has been collected. Moreover we are faced by acute and very difficult choices of prioritisation. We cannot focus on everything so we have to decide on a daily basis with the police and others where to focus our energies, whom to follow, whose telephone lines need listening to, which seized media needs to go to the top of the analytic pile. Because of the sheer scale of what we face (80% increase in casework since January), the task is daunting. We won’t always make the right choices. And we recognise we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets committing an atrocity.
And the Service?
10. As I speak my staff, roughly 2,800 of them, (an increase of almost 50% since 9/11, 25% under 30, over 6% from ethnic minorities, with 52 languages, with links to well over 100 services worldwide), are working very hard, at some cost to their private lives and in some cases their safety, to do their utmost to collect the intelligence we need. The first challenge is to find those who would cause us harm, among the 60 million or so people who live here and the hundreds of thousands who visit each year. That is no easy task, particularly given the scale and speed of radicalisation and the age of some being radicalised. The next stage is to decide what action to take in response to that intelligence. Who are merely talking big, and who have real ambitions? Who have genuine aspirations to commit terrorism, but lack the know-how or materials? Who are the skilled and trained ones, who the amateurs? Where should we and the police focus our finite resources? It’s a hard grind but my staff are highly motivated: conscious of the risks they carry individually; and aware that they may not be able to do enough to stop the next attack. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and I thank them. On July 8 last year I spoke to all my staff. I said that what we feared would happen had finally happened. I reminded them that we had warned that it was a matter of when, not if, and that they were trained to respond — indeed many had been up all night, from the intelligence staff to the catering staff. I told them that we had received many messages of support from around the world, and that we, along with our colleagues in the police and emergency services, were in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. And we did. And we have done so since.
11. My Service is growing very rapidly. By 2008 it will be twice the size it was at 9/11. We know much more than we did then. We have developed new techniques, new sources, new relationships. We understand much better the scale and nature of what we are tackling but much is still obscure and radicalisation continues. Moreover, even with such rapid growth, we shall not be able to investigate nearly enough of the problem, so the prioritisation I mentioned earlier will remain essential but risky. And new intelligence officers need to be trained. That takes time as does the acquisition of experience, the experience that helps one with those difficult choices and tough judgements.
What else can others do?
12. That brings me on to my final point. None of this can be tackled by my Service alone. Others have to address the causes, counter the radicalisation, assist in the rehabilitation of those affected, and work to protect our way of life. We have key partners, the police being the main ones and I’d like today to applaud those police officers working alongside us on this huge challenge, those who collect intelligence beside us, help convert it into evidence for court, and face the dangers of arresting individuals who have no concern for their own lives or the lives of others. The scale and seriousness of the threat means that others play vital roles, SIS and GCHQ collecting key intelligence overseas, other services internationally who recognise the global nature of the problem, government departments, business and the public.
13. Safety for us all means working together to protect those we care about, being alert to the danger without over-reacting, and reporting concerns. We need to be alert to attempts to radicalise and indoctrinate our youth and to seek to counter it. Radicalising elements within communities are trying to exploit grievances for terrorist purposes; it is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens, or their early death in a suicide attack or on a foreign battlefield.
14. We also need to understand some of the differences between non-Western and Western life-styles; and not treat people with suspicion because of their religion, or indeed to confuse fundamentalism with terrorism. We must realise that there are significant differences between faiths and communities within our society, and most people, from whatever origin, condemn all acts of terror in the UK. And we must focus on those values that we all share in this country regardless of our background: Equality, Freedom, Justice and Tolerance. Many people are working for and with us to address the threat precisely for those reasons. Because: All of us, whatever our ethnicity and faith, are the targets of the terrorists.
15. I have spoken as an intelligence professional, describing the reality of terrorism and counter-terrorism in the UK in 2006. My messages are sober ones. I do not speak in this way to alarm (nor as the cynics might claim to enhance the reputation of my organisation) but to give the most frank account I can of the Al-Qaida threat to the UK. That threat is serious, is growing and will, I believe, be with ç us for a generation. It is a sustained campaign, not a series of isolated incidents, It aims to wear down our will to resist.
16. My Service is dedicated to tackling the deadly manifestations of terrorism. Tackling its roots is the work of us all.
On the subject of Mr Bolton and the UN, Claudia has her say
If Congress is absolutely determined to reject the best UN ambassador the world has seen in about a quarter of a century — John Bolton — then the only alternative if President Bush wants to keep him is another recess appointment. For that, Bolton would have to work without pay. It’s enough to make a person want to suggest that if you really care about trying to do some good in the world via the UN, stop sending your kids out to collect for UNICEF, and start sending them out to collect donations to keep John Bolton in office. Bolton, from everything I have seen, is far more honest and competent on every level than UNICEF, any of the other UN agencies, or most of the senior staff walking the halls of the UN, let alone many of the UN ambassadors whose limos cruise the streets of New York.
I would normally be against any such private meddling in U.S. foreign policy, or in matters relating to the public institution that is the UN. But the State Department in 2001 blithely accepted a $31 million check from left-leaning Ted Turner to fill a gap in U.S. dues to the UN (and thus free up much larger sums of U.S. taxpayer money to flood Turtle Bay). And the UN itself has been trumpeting its joy over its ever-expanding agenda of “public-private partnerships.” These set-ups are all very bad ideas, and someone needs to be asking why on earth both the U.S. and the UN should be franchising out public policy matters (and financing) to private players with their own agendas. But without John Bolton there, no one at the UN is going to be asking about anything very much…we will see the dawn of a new era of even greater UN impunity, moral bankruptcy and financial corruption. Why should only the left wing of U.S. politics have a private hand in UN affairs?
So, in the interest of fighting fire with fire, I wonder if anyone will start a campaign to scrap the UNICEF cans (they are not all about feedling wide-eyed children; they double-billed and padded their budgets in Iraq), and start collecting for Bolton.
(There is plenty more to say on all this, and more seriously, of course… Roger Simon asked for a comment, and these are quick thoughts on the way out the door to give a talk on the UN. It is staggering that in a time of real world crisis, our legislators, of whatever stripe, could turn down a man who is honest enough to talk straight to the American public, skilled enough to navigate the UN swamps, and sane enough to manage both without going out of his mind. Congress is throwing away the best we’ve got — and somewhere down the line, we will all pay for it).
but I believe that all this is going to do is raise the butcher's bill.
~3,000,000 dead due to our cut and run out of SE Asia.
I believe the dems can probably top that this time because the Islamofascist war on America won't be over after we leave. They're going to keep coming because their motivation is not political in the usual sense.
Has anyone made any kind of estimate of how many voters for the Democrats listed, as a remotely significant reason for their vote, improving the view of the USA in "world opinion"? Methinks I sense a straw voter argument.
If there are any examples of this kind of voter, he or she would be as much of a crank as any voter who pulled the elephant lever because it would piss off the terrorists. But with as many USA-oriented policy reasons to vote for a balance against the GOP in this election, I doubt there were many of the lefty crank variety in attendance at the polls. Even the squishiest of Dems could point to a dozen other more legitimate reasons. Doesn't take much amid Abramoff/K-Street, Foley/moral hypocrisy, Iraq incompetence, Osama being at large and Bush saying he doesn't care about finding him, outsourcing/economic issues, religious right histrionics/gay bashing, reproductive rights curtailment, ports exposure/lack of follow up from 9-11 commission, tax cuts, increasing the debt/deficit spending, Katrina response and immigration-bashing, just off the top of my head.
There are perfectly reasonable disagreements to be had on these actual, non-straw issues. Focusing on motives about "world opinion" improvement in order to score a "gotcha" point patronizes and ignores the overwhelming majority of voters with very real beefs.
As for China and Iran, I would be much happier interfering with China's policies without being in hock to them to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars and I would love to make Iran economically bankrupt by encouraging innovation with respect to alternative fuels at home and exporting technologies that make petrosupremacy extinct. Our national security can be protected in a lot of ways other than the administration's ham-fisted failures at belligerence and bellicosity. If they're happy Bush will be restrained, I can't really help it, and I sure as shit wouldn't let that affect my vote. For what it's worth, I'd like to make Iran and China look back on these days as the good ol' days.
"...Beijing's pretty happy too"
My friends in China are unhappy about the U.S. election results.
The Chinese are very worried about the positions of many Democrats on international trade issues.
In addition, there is this from the AP:
"China is uneasily anticipating a bumpy road in relations with the United States now that the Democrats' victory in midterm elections has placed one of Beijing's most ardent critics in charge of the House of Representatives."
Catchy, you crack me up.
China concerns me. I think the fact that they own a good piece of our ~$8,590,000,000,000 debt weakens our world standing already. The nuclear power with a billion people and like half the manufactuing in the world is totally content to let us pretend to be the only superpower. Hey, they'll even help pay for tax cuts and adventures to the Middle East...so long as our children are willing to pay them back with interest. The Bush administration has given China an economic axe to hold over our heads. It's time to fix that. Otherwise you can abandon all claims to fiscal conservatism.
My comments were pointed to the "a vote for a Democrat is a vote against American security." Which is what I believed that post was about. George Bush gave himself the reputation for going it alone. I base my view of that on Iraq. Do see a large group of coalition nations. That's your cue as a Republican to list the small group of decent nations (who are now backing out) followed by four guys from Liberia and a mechanic sent from Saskatchewan.
"Our relations with the UN have deteriorated, but our relations with the nations of the world individually are on balance, better than under Clinton." -- Okay Mr. Substance guy, back that statement up with facts. I find that incredibly hard to believe.
""Pretending to be an All-American "my way or the highway" cowboy..." Great choice of words for a civil discussion of substance rather than of stereotype there." -- If you were offended by that then you must be offended a lot.
What "world events" have we got our asses handed to us on? And the midterm elections were what they always are in the second term of a presidency (except Clinton got his in his first term - quite an achievement). -- That's the new Republican talking point. As well as "The Democrats didn't win, the Republicans lost" good to see you're keeping up with those. Of course sweeping you guys out of power is just a natural thing. Like the changing of seasons. Not based on anything related to performace. Talk about denial. My "world events" sentece was a part of statement that we needed to work with other nations, not a list to be parsed for examples. But if you need one I think the environement is a perfectly good world event that Bush seems to fighting everyone else on.
"ass-handing-to in wars, world events, and mid-term elections." suggests that you think we are losing the war. -- Umm You may not have noticed that many people suspect we're not doing to well. From Generals to politicians to voters, many seem to share that opinion. I guess everyone who feels that way has been sucked into the Democrat mind-meld.
"Ask yourself this: how did you come to believe everything that Bush's political opposition says about him? Do you believe the DNC engages in no spin, no exaggeration, no convenient portrayal of data? Then how did you come to believe exactly what they wanted you to?" -- What a simplistic interpretation of my views. Of course I don't believe everything from any party. I get my views from a large variety of sources. I'm commenting on this blog and not Kerryisawsome.blogspot.com right? Your question borders on juvenile. Do you believe that everyhing Bush does is correct and his perfomance has been flawless. Why do you believe everything the Republicans say about themselves and Democrats? ...See how that works.
"It's sad, just terribly sad, how the management of impressions trumps the facts nowadays." -- I know I know. I think of all the facts you just listed in your response to me and I think... wait there wasn't any facts.
On the question of "citing" world opinion, perhaps I should have been more explicit. John Kerry, the erstwhile leader of the Democratic party and its last presidential nominee, brings up world opinion in virtually every speech he makes. Go check out his website and read the transcripts, if you can manage it. Now, you can all say that Kerry is an idiot, but the last presidential nominee is the closest thing we have to a party leader in our system, at least until there is another presidential frontrunner. So I stand by my point of view: Democrats, and not just Kerry, made America's low standing in world opinion an almost constant refrain, part of the "incompetence" indictment. I made the fairly narrow point that one cannot cherry-pick world opinion. It either matters or it doesn't.
Now, one might say that some world opinion matters more than other world opinion. I'll say it: India's matters a lot more than all of continental Europe.
It seems like your post was more of an excuse to quote leaders who express optimism that a Democrat victory means they themselves have won something or that America is weakening because of the election. Democrats in power = weak America. I'm not really finding any other point you've made outside that. These leaders are just happy that someone stuck in to Bush, but in the big picture they're going to very disappointed that things are going to go they way they hoped.
Why would Al Qaeda or Iran be disappointed in Dems?
Dems wont' vote for missile defense or any measure to confront Iran before it gets it's full complement of nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. In the real world, Dems = weak and vulnerable America subject to Iranian demands (essentially, leave the Middle East, don't assist Israel when we finish Hitler's job etc). On this last Dems are mostly favorable. Go see Daily Kos, My DD, Firedoglake etc where Israel existence is viewed as a war crime and the Iranian Holocaust cartoons were supported. You'll see commenter after commenter supporting the nuking of Israel by Iran as morally correct and justified. That's the Dem Party.
Dems won't vote for measures to monitor terrorists or interrogate them. Such as KSM the 9/11 Architect who was waterboarded and gave up info that saved American lives by stopping more terror plots. Dems don't fundamentally believe terrorism is a threat, and if it is we "deserve it." Dems = weaker, vulnerable America afraid to do anything to fight terrorism because it's un-PC and they like/identify with terrorists.
The new Minnesota Congressman (a Dem) is a hardcore supporter of HEZBOLLAH and Hamas, has appeared at their rallies and at his victory had his supporters chant "Allah Akbar!" (Keith Ellison).
Dems want to give the UN, France, Germany, Russia, any other country a veto on any US military action to stop any attack on the US or retaliate for the same. Dems = weaker and more vulnerable America.
Quick imagine Nancy Pelosi voting to use military force against any nation. Then stop laughing.
I'm pleasantly surprised that intelligent people think that the Democrats have the balls to do what is in the country's best interest (as opposed to what is ideologically required) but I'll believe it when I see it. There's a reason that Hamas and Al-Qaeda declarations spoke in favor of a Democratic victory...
Catchy and the rest may be able to fool themselves. With the help of their agents in the news media they might even be able to fool a good part of the country.
But they're not fooling our enemies, and those are the ones that count.
Weakness, or the perception of weakness draws invites attacks. They see what they see, and what they're seeing now looks like weakness to them.
What Catchy thinks doesn't make any difference at all.
I wouldn't bet the farm on the Democrats longevity as a majority. My older sister must have knocked on a thousand doors on their behalf. She's been picked to be a staffer for a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I had dinner with her last night. She believes that Americans voted overwhelmingly for European style socialism. And her and her allies are going to push hard for the Progressive agenda. In order to govern from the center the Democrats are going to have to tell my sister and her comrades to go to hell. And their not going to like that at all. The Caucus has a socialist laundry list. And their going to demand that it be enacted.
Catchy. Much better relations with India. There's a billion people right there.
China - about the same, maybe slightly worse. Russia, about the same, maybe slightly better. Japan - better, better, better. SEAsia - mixed but mostly better. Central Asia - much better. North Africa - marginally better. West Africa - some better. East Africa - probably worse, if that were possible. Eastern Europe - better. Western Europe - about the same, despite wild rhetoric. Southern Europe - slightly worse...
Middle East, mostly worse, but with notable examples of much, much better.
I can't imagine you want me to keep going. But I can, if called on, and even break those regions down further, though I don't pretend to more than a passing acquaintance with some.
The remainder of your response seems to be "Yeah, well a lot of people agree with me." OK, fine. I'll let my previous argument stand against that.
Catchy sure likes talking to herself.....thus perfectly portraying today's political climate. Since Clinton took office in '92 democrats have been savagely attacking republicans. They escalated their attacks in 2000 when Bush "was appointed" President. Catchy reveals her animus with comments like "for six years you've been blaming Clinton...". Oh really? All this time I thought we were supporting President Bush (she must be refering to discussions on where N. Korea got it's nukes, or whether clinton tried to "kill" bin Laden)
Democrats have poisoned the politcal waters. What reason do I have to think they will change now?
"[A]ss-handing-to in wars"? By what standard? 1. Both the casualty rate and number of casualties in Iraq are substantially less than in other wars we won (e.g., the Battle of Tarawa: 20-23Nov43, 1009 U.S. KIA., 2101 U.S. wounded) 2. Re-enlistment rates have been high in the Iraq war. By neither metric are we getting crushed or losing.
"Democrats = weak America. . . . Americans know that's a crock of crap." The two reasons that come to mind as to why Republicans and Independents like me (I originally favored Kerry until I decided Bush's stance on Iraqi WMD was basically the same as Clinton in 97-00) think Democratic politicians are weak: (1) the fact that you, for example, think the troops are taking an "ass-handing-to" in this war; (2) the fact that 60 members of congress approached George "Bring America Home" McGovern immediately after the election; (3a) Democratic politicians seized on the leaked 2006 NIE to claim that we are generating more terrorists with our presence in Iraq, but are not intellectually honest enough to come to grips with the NIE saying that a withdrawal of forces will embolden the terrorists and a win will crush them; (3b) Democratic hawks such as Rep. Murtha still insist that we withdraw our troops, even though it will give positive reinforcement to terrorist acts against the U.S. and its forces; (4) Democratic politicians upon winning majorities in 2006 do not seem to have any desire to find a strategy to win in Iraq or even to consider that question.
If Democrats were committed to winning the war, I would probably vote for them. The fact that Bush won re-election in '04 and enlarged GOP congressional majorities suggests there are a lot of people like me.
Davod: It's the same way a drug pusher scores sex with addicts. By providing or threatening to withold that which the junkie needs. China's a loan shark, feeding our addiction. We blow about 406 billion dollars on interest payments on our national debt. That's enough to pay for Iraq, permanently fund tax cuts, build our infrastructure, or do just about anything else on either party's wish list. Our battles with superpowers will not be military, they'll be economic. We're selling out our advantages.
discussion of "china owning the US debt" are off topic, but what the heck. I always chuckle when people make arguments that it's a bad thing to have trade or budget deficits funded by foreign loans. It's a good thing to have other nations fund our exploding economy and our "investments" in the future.
I remember 25 years ago people so worried that Japan was going to "own" America because of their huge investments here. But alas, hard times came to the Asian market and they sold their investments for a dime on the dollar.
Now, you can all say that Kerry is an idiot, but the last presidential nominee is the closest thing we have to a party leader in our system, at least until there is another presidential frontrunner.
So Bob Dole was the party leader until 2000? Really? And George H.W. Bush was the party leader between 1993 and 1996, not, say, Newt Gingrich? Come on. When candidates lose, they lose their leadership mojo. Not only is Kerry not a party leader, but also he is an embarassment for not having the class to fade into the woodwork like anyone else who lost the presidency. No doubt it helps the GOP to act like Kerry is our leader, but as a Democrat I say he is most assuredly not. If his 2008 hopes weren't already misguided, his "botched joke" hopefully put the nail in the coffin of his presidential aspirations.
More importantly, your original point was about what people "cite...as a reason to vote against [Bush]." The millions of people who voted did not cite "world opinion," whether or not any politicians, leaders or not, cited it. Either your point is about voters and how they should now have a "be careful what you wish for" moment, or your point is about Democratic non-leaders with off-message messages and how they should have a "be careful what you wish for" moment. The prohibition on crossing the streams isn't just for "Ghostbusters."
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