Free Markets, Free People

The epic decline of American influence and power

And it has primarily happened under this administration as Bret Stephens outlines in his Wall Street Journal piece.  The Snowden chase has been most instructive in how little influence American now has.  When your naive foreign policy is to have other countries “like” you instead of understanding the respect is currency you should be dealing in (and also understanding how you earn that), then the results are predictable:

At this writing, Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive National Security Agency contractor indicted on espionage charges, is in Moscow, where Vladimir Putin’s spokesman insists his government is powerless to detain him. “We have nothing to do with this story,” says Dmitri Peskov. “I don’t approve or disapprove plane tickets.”

Funny how Mr. Putin always seems to discover his inner civil libertarian when it’s an opportunity to humiliate the United States. When the Russian government wants someone off Russian soil, it either removes him from it or puts him under it. Just ask investor Bill Browder, who was declared persona non grata when he tried to land in Moscow in November 2005. Or think of Mr. Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, murdered by Russian prison officials four years later.

Mr. Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong, where local officials refused a U.S. arrest request, supposedly on grounds it “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.” That’s funny, too, since Mr. Snowden had been staying in a Chinese government safe house before Beijing gave the order to ignore the U.S. request and let him go.

“The Hong Kong government didn’t have much of a role,” Albert Ho, a Hong Kong legislator, told Reuters. “Its role was to receive instructions to not stop him at the airport.”

Oh … so those freedom loving countries couldn’t do anything?  Both just ignored us.  That’s right, because they knew what?  There’d be no reprisal nor would they suffer any harm for ignoring us.  In fact, today it was decided that ignoring the US would have no lasting or negative effect on US-Chinese relationships.  In fact, China shot back:

China rebuked the United States on Tuesday for accusing it of facilitating the flight of fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, and said suggestions that it had done so were “baseless and unacceptable”.

Oh, what the heck.  We all know a toothless tiger when we see one and the US is perceived as such right now.  Don’t believe it?  Look at how well our new SecState “negotiated” our position in Afghanistan:

Merely to get the Taliban to the table for a bogus peace process, the administration agreed at Pakistan’s urging to let Mullah Omar come to the table on his owns terms: no acceptance of the Afghan Constitution, no cease-fire with international forces, not even a formal pledge to never again allow Afghanistan to become a haven for international terrorism. The U.S. also agreed, according to Pakistani sources, to allow the terrorist Haqqani network—whose exploits include the 2011 siege of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul—a seat at the table.

Yet having legitimized Haqqani and given the Taliban everything it wanted in exchange for nothing, the U.S. finds itself being dumped by its own client government in Kabul, which can always turn to Iran as a substitute patron. Incredible: no peace, no peace process, no ally, no leverage and no moral standing, all in a single stroke. John Kerry is off to quite a start.

Stunning.  Not surprising, given the cast of characters, but stunning in its demonstration of the level of incompetence this administration demonstrates daily.

And Russia – they’re so unimpressed with this administration that they’ve redefined “reset” to mean they can pretty openly cheat on the 1987 missile accord and fear no consequences.  That while the Taliban, after getting all they wanted from Kerry, then turned around and attacked the Afghan presidential palace in a brazen attack.  Obviously they fear no meaningful consequences for that either.

Oh, yeah, they’re on top of it all aren’t they?

So sure, after doing such a great job in the areas mentioned, and don’t forget Libya and Egypt, by the way, this disastrous crew want to involve us in Syria?

No thanks.


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105 Responses to The epic decline of American influence and power

  • But Obama gave a rousing speech so it is all good when ideological perceptions trump reality.

    • Maybe it’s just that Obama hasn’t engaged enough with them.  A good speech in each of these countries via a long slow boat would help to make them “like” us more .. or something.

      • Actually, I was think a a series of speeches, about one or two a day, over a period of 3 years from, this is the most important part, the Malvinas islands or better yet, Atlantis.

  • See what happens when you let dead Progressives and their pets vote in elections?
    You end up with an empty suit that smiles a lot, but not just any empty suit, one that particularly dislikes America and Americans.

  • Considering what is going on in Syria, why in the world would Russia help us?  How much of a raging idiot does one need to be to figure out that they’ll say ‘no’ simply out of spite?  The disconnect from reality is stunning.
    Obama asks the Chinese president to put a curb on Chinese hacking.  Then, when it comes out that the NSA is doing its own hacking in China the administration is still clueless enough to ask China to press Hong Kong on Snowden.  Really?  Is this administration so drunk on narcissism not to figure out how that one was going to turn out?
    Quote of the day:

    “The chances that Beijing will ask the Hong Kong government not to cooperate with the U.S. are quite high,” Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who specializes in Chinese politics, said in a phone interview today. “Irrespective of whether Mr. Snowden will talk directly to the Chinese authorities, he has provided a service to the Chinese government by exposing hacking activities of the U.S. government.”

    Is there nobody at the White House smart enough to figure that one out?  Let me call your wife ugly and your kids stupid and then pretend not to know why I don’t get invited to the weekend BBQ.  Cause… damn.

  • “We know the costs of these events can be measured in lost lives, and lost livelihoods.”
    —Pres. Snoop-Dog

    Now, was he speaking of…
    1. the effects of ObamaCare
    2. the aftermath of Benghazi
    3. Gorebal warming/cooling/disruption/chaos/thingy

  • At least we knew with George W Bush that, even though they didn’t love us, they most certainly respected us.

  • America is getting what it wanted and deserves.
    What’s the problem? They voted for it.

    • And lately the torches for “let it burn” are being lit at a record pace.

      • Like a forest fire removing underbrush, you let it burn to rejuvenate everything.

  • They attacked the Presidential palace yesterday in Kabul, maybe they did that so Kerry could get another Silver Star since he wasn’t around for Tet.

  • As bas as Obummer is the decline in American power and influence really began with George Herbert Walker Bush.  He got us into an illegal police action in Panama, in which we violated our own treaties to oust a leader in a coup. Then he invaded Iraq, but then stopped short of removing the dictator. He then suggested that Iraquis would be helped if they rose up against Saddam, but refused to help and there was a bloodbath. It continued under Clinton who refused to take any action against several terror strikes but did bomb the hell out of the Serbs who were fighting Islamic terrorists. Then there was GW Bush and we all know how much he screwed the pooch.   Obama is just taking a trend and bringing it to it’s logical and extreme conclusion. 

    • You forgot Truman not winning Korea. Imagine if we had done that…no North Korea problem…
      Should woulda coulda is always fun.

    • So history started with H.W. Bush?

    • And Noriega GOT to be leader of Panama how?    Mist-erious explosions of airplanes during previous Panamanian administrations….
      …that was before that Bush fella…..That was back there in Shining city on a hill morning in America.

    • Or take it back to FDR sending Russia supplies and equipment at the cost of Americans on Corrigidor.
      Or Teddy Roosevelt, our first imperialist president…

  • {chuckle} How many times have I told you dense righties that America is in decline and becoming more like Europe, and it’s a good thing. We need to repudiate our imperialist past and pay for our sins against the noble brown people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because it’s clear that those wogs noble brown people could never actually attain any degree of open, democratic self-government.

    Nor should they. If they want a theocracy that beheads gays, it’s their noble brown heritage and we should not object. Celebrate diversity, I always say, from my perch here in academia. And no fair pointing out that this moose college town in Maine is about as diverse as a meeting of the NAACP executive board. Just because all the kids are white, we’re still diverse! We have many different viewpoints here, from outright Marxism down to pragamatic moderate leftism.

    Anyway, those wogs noble brown people in the Middle East should be free to find a different path to governing their exotic society, and not be subject to our influence. As Cindy Sheehan and I often have said, if we just diminished our influence over them and understood why they hate us, and then sent them loads and loads of money and aid to prove how sorry we are, then they would love us and become happy, peaceful members of modern society, with only a few beheadings and women executed for being raped per month. And they certainly would never try to come here and commit terrorist acts, once we respected and celebrated the diversity of their ancient and grand religion. I decree it.

    Yes, Obama of the christlike visage understands all this, and our decline is part of his grand plan to make the world a better place. He understands who his true enemies and true friends are. And shut up about how he thinks tea partiers are his true enemies and had the IRS target them. He never did that! He never gave any directives, and you can’t prove he did! And that’s the end of it, no matter what you think. So shut up about how that’s not even what you claim, since I know what you’re really thinking. And this stuff about he makes jokes about targeting political enemies and that encourages the IRS to do so – that’s right out of the Onion. Unless it happened under a Republican, of course, in which case it would be an impeachable offense, because we know how mean and vicious Republicans can be. LOL.

    Yes, the so-called scandals are breaking down, so you should stop doing posts about them. Why, I just saw how terms like Occupy were used just as much as terms like tea party. So there wasn’t anything politically targeted about the IRS stuff. And this isn’t either just a bogus piece of misinformation put out by the IRS management to establish a new narrative that makes them look innocent. It’s not, it’s not, it’s not! I’m just glad it’s all coming out at last, showing that there are no scandals. None. Just hyped up efforts by republicans to make Obama look bad, peace be upon him. {chuckle} {giggle}

    Let me just crow one more time about how this whole decline thing is exactly what I predicted, and of course you thick righties never did. So don’t put up any links claiming you did. And don’t bring up the 2010 elections or Arab Spring or climate change or any of that other stuff you claim I got wrong. I was right about all of it! That election, for example – why I said that the Democrats would be lucky to hold the House a few days before the election. I did! I swear! It was in a conversation with a moose that was hanging around campus, and so I don’t have a link to it, but still! So don’t you dare link to the stuff where I said the Republicans wouldn’t get more than two dozen seats! Just don’t do it! And I did too get the climate change stuff right, so stop it with those charts and graphs. You know they give me hives.

    And shut up about the Arab Spring stuff. Everything happening there is good and necessary, and it will all turn out great. Our power is diminished, and that’s good, and Obama has done exactly the right thing everytime, from doing exactly what Bush was doing in Iraq for two years (even though it was wrong when Bush did it) to doing nothing in Egypt to doing a lot in Libya to doing nothing in Syria to stepping up our presence in Afghanistan and then reducing it. It was all perfect. Stop laughing.

    So just calm down and accept that America is in decline, and Obama is completely controlling it for the good of everyone. Just as I stay calm and accept the magenta caterpillars with Sarah Palin’s face and ample bosom. Besides, I’m learning to like them. It gets pretty lonely in this tiny apartment where I have to live after my wife kicked me out for being a pompous jerk said I needed to give her a break from the wonder of my intellect. Sometimes seeing those ample bosoms perks me right up, as long as I ignore the face and naughty librarian glasses.

  • Funny how you forget that the decline was most dramatic during the Bush Administration when the US couldn’t even get a majority in the Security Council to support the Iraq war, with France and Germany aligning with Russia against us.  You also miss how that war damaged US prestige, sapped US resources, undercut any domestic will to use power, and left us tattered and weakened.   No, just blame Obama – it fits the ODS diagnosis.  Of course, Bush can’t be blamed either, part of this is natural change.  I just find it amusing (and telling) how myopic and one sided your perspective is – you force reality to fit your bias, even if the fit is really bad.  Oh well, keep avoiding cognitive dissonance!

    • “I just find it amusing (and telling) how myopic and one sided your perspective is – you force reality to fit your bias, even if the fit is really bad.  Oh well, keep avoiding cognitive dissonance!”
      Well Dr. Dork, considering Obama should have FIXED all that by now….5 years in with your Messiah.
      remember he was going to fix it?
      Remember the world was going to love us now, and respect us now, and we were resetting from all the shit that George W. Bush caused to happen?
      We weren’t going to spy on everyone anymore, we were going to close Gitmo, Europe Looooooooved us, the world loveeeeed us, Russia was ‘reset’ (well, overcharged was the correct translation, but what the hell…) we were
      going to stop blowing shit up in foreign countries like Eeeeeeeevil George Bush did….
      Remember?  You biased deluded one sided myopic cognitively dissonant asshat.
      So after 5 years, we get to point out that ‘The Won” is turning out to be at least as big an asshat as Bush ever thought of being in relations both foreign and domestic.

      • I thought I told you to eff off, wanker.
        Like the UNSC means ANYTHING lol

        • 🙁
          dammit, those NSA btards told you didn’t they!!!!!!!!
          Now my only alternative will be to run for mayor of New York!

      • Not something you can fix in five years.  Nor is it something Bush really broke (he just hastened the decline with some bad first term judgments).  There is no messiah, Obama is a good President, but just a man.   No one ever thought otherwise.  You’ve clearly got a bad case of ODS.  I suggest you hang around with some BDS sufferers.  They’ll help you learn how you can survive this.   Obama’s biggest critics have always been on the left.  He’s a centrist, a pragmatist, doing the best he can, but no miracle worker.

        • No one ever thought otherwise.

          Wow.  That is an astounding moon-shot from reality.  Seriously, you’ve achieved escape velocity.  Obama thought…and still thinks “otherwise”, you boob.
          IFFFFFF he were REMOTELY “pragmatic”…or even merely incompetent…we wouldn’t have a 1.8% growth rate.  Far below Mexico and Canada, btw.
          But no.  This situation is by design.  And the ONLY reason we have that pitiful rate is BECAUSE THE MARKET IS PERFORMING despite all he can do to suppress it.

          • “And the ONLY reason we have that pitiful rate is BECAUSE THE MARKET IS PERFORMING despite all he can do to suppress it.”
            Up next,continue to kill the pipeline, coal mining and coal fired power plants, probably more job killing, incoming killing regulations for the plebeians to adhere to and a massive society changing/draining/killin immigration en masse action securing the Democratic electorate base for years to come.

        • but just a man.   No one ever thought otherwise.

          >>> “Lightworker”

          Now go home and get your effing shinebox

          • It’s an abject lie to assert that “no one ever thought otherwise [than Obama is just a man]”.  Two Time Magazine covers, countless articles, plenty of glassy-eyed sycophants looking like crazed Moonies in front of the cameras.  Anyone who follows politics knows this.
            Pure revisionist history.
            Besides that sort of crap, Scott is not completely wrong about Bush screwing things up.  Invading Iraq was a huge mistake.  My problem with Scott is that he and his ilk showed a certain amount of smug satisfaction in the US military failures.  It was all over his articles on Usenet.  Just after the fighting started in early 2003, Bill Maher on Jay Leno told fellow “liberals” to take heart, knowing that soon enough there would be failures (implying that such failures would give them a political boost).

            When al Qaeda bombed the trains in Madrid, Scott called the resulting election shift “good news”.
            Then, when Obama, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize, goes to war against Libya, suddenly the previously pacifist Scott learns to love the smart bomb.  Meanwhile, people of principle continue to oppose the use of aggressive military force, while the bulk of the anti-war protesters found other things to do when Barry took over, despite his increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, starting a new war, and increasing the use of drones.
            Rather than being a man of principle, Scott has done his best to rush around with a fire hose, trying to spray water on all of the scandals, including the use of the IRS to discriminate against political opponents, the misuse of power to track reporters, and the vast misuse of power via PRISM (which, of course, is a continuation of what started under Bush).  “Nothing to see here.  Move along, citizen!”

        • “no one ever thought otherwise”
          Even if you didn’t, and as much as it pains me to admit it you probably didn’t (and I don’t care enough to look because even if you did, you’ll claim you didn’t, so let’s just presume you didn’t), there were certainly masses of others who did.   Barack himself being one of them, the man who reversed the rise of the rising oceans.

    • I mean…..BILL AYERS for chrissakes!
      Bill freakin Ayers….has this to say about Dear Golfer…
      fantastically misleading sensationalist headline aside, he says he’d give Obama a failing grade on his presidency’s policy and politics
      Bill, freaking Ayers.   And we all know, he’s a wise pragmatic progressive just like you.  and he was a real Professor at a big time real college!
      So who do we believe, the know-little dead ender from Maine Moose U, or the widely known and oddly respected Bill Ayers?

      • Staying away from this one huh Scotty?

      • Of course, the far left hates Obama.  He’s a pragmatist, the far left, like the far right, have their heads stuck in their ideological arses.

        • …if by “pragmatist” you mean “total Collectivist utilitarian who will say anything and adopt any position expedient at the moment in utter political cynicism”.
          Personally, I stand with Barrackah, Hill-larry, Schumer, and Balless Bill Clintion on gay “marriage”.

    • US couldn’t even get a majority in the Security Council to support the Iraq war.

      You mean the UN…that body dominated by Third World depots, Islamists, and run by kleptocrats…???
      You really are too stupid to live.

      Of course, after a major attack on our homeland that crippled many sectors of our economy for months, BOOOOOoooosh still managed a growing economy, with nearly full employment, etc.
      But he was not “managing a decline”.  And, as we know, “Decline is a choice”.
      And Obama made it.  Consistent with his Frankfurt School indoctrination.

      • A few people went paranoid after 9-11 and fantasized about a war against Islam and other such silliness.  They’ve been proven wrong.   Obama has improved things since 2008 – but the structure of world politics is not a choice.  I can help you learn to understand if you’re a willing student.  I do some on line courses.   You’ll have to learn to think, though, not just voice mindless partisan mantras.  Up to that?

        • I would sooner grab a 240 volt conductor than submit to having you “help” me understand what you claim you do.
          What an amazing narcissist.  And what an amazingly empty “mind”.

          • Oh well, if you’re willfully ignorant that’s Ok. There are many who are not.

          • No, moron.  I am willfully not going to submit myself to indoctrination by a narcissistic boob whose views I find somewhere between laughable and dangerous.
            Who was it who schooled you on the reality of the Frankfurt School, and the lies you’d swallowed about the Benghazi “doctered emails”?  And you are called ME ignorant…!?!?!  LOVE THAT DECLUSION…!!!

        • A few people…quite a few at the time…came to the realization that Islamism WAS at war with the Western world.
          A remarkable people in the West have gone back to sleep.
          The Islamists are still quite active, as is apparent all over the world.  To anyone with a brain.

          • A few people…quite a few at the time…came to the realization that Islamism WAS at war with the Western world.

            >>>> They were the ones flying the planes.

        • ” Obama has improved things since 2008″
          Oh my, even some of the most loyal don’t believe that, the signs are all around us.   You really are delusional.

        • A few people went paranoid after 9-11 and fantasized about a war against Islam and other such silliness.  They’ve been proven wrong.

          There are no radical Islamists in power.  Nearly all Muslims are peaceful, enlightened people who respect the rights of women, acknowledge the Holocaust, treat people of other religions with respect, expect no special treatment, accept criticism of their religion and their prophet with grace and maturity, tolerate homosexuality, respect the freedom of conscience raising no objections to people changing religion, being atheists, expressing criticism of Islam, and marrying people of different religions, deciding for themselves how to raise their children.
          Any notion that there is widespread intolerance, hatred, oppression, and murder is just propaganda from Fox News.  There is proof.  Scott has it in the top drawer of his desk.  Believe me, it exists.

    • So…serious question this time…
      Booze or drugs, Erp….???

      Heh.  And Obama “supports” our troops.  In a pig’s eye.
      And Obama supports Israel.  In a flock of pig’s eyes.

    • The Security Council that was in bed with Saddamn Hussein?
      Geez, you’re an utter psycho.

      • yeah, and ignore the oil deals the French planned on doing with Iraq once sanctions were lifted in regard to their security council veto.

      • The Security council that understood there was no threat and the war would be a disaster.  France even gave up lucrative deals to go against the US (the US promised to fulfill contracts that under sanctions could not be).  France said no, choosing principle over profit.   Because they know there would be no profit when the war went bad (as the US learned as China, France and others get Iraqi oil deals).

        • You are COMPLETELY delusional, Erp.
          But that has been established, time and again.
          You are also a liar.  Again, established time and again.  As in Benghazi “doctored emails”.
          Hence, you are just another repeater for the Lie0thon that is the moonbattery.
          Or a tool.

          • Yet the “scandals” are gone.   The IRS targetted progressive groups as well.  You have been proven wrong.

          • I have to wonder where you are keeping your head, Erp.
            Just yesterday, another IRS thug took the 5th, and Issa issued 4 subpoenas on Benghazi.  There are A LOT of people we have yet to hear from, including everyone there that night.  Surely a pragmatic centrist like you would want to have all the facts.
            The America people do…
            President Barack Obama’s job rating remains upside-down — no big change there.  Yet for the first time in a Fox News poll, more than half of voters find Obama unlikeable.
            In addition, only about a third of voters say they trust the federal government, and most want Congress to continue to investigate Benghazi, the IRS, the government’s electronic surveillance program and the Justice Department’s monitoring of journalists.
            The new Fox News national poll of registered voters was released Tuesday.
            More voters disapprove than approve of Obama’s job performance on every issue save one:  terrorism (on that the president receives positive marks — 52 percent approve, while 41 percent disapprove).
            In contrast, majorities disapprove of his handling of the deficit (63 percent disapprove), the economy (58 percent), gun control (57 percent), health care (55 percent) immigration (53 percent) and foreign policy (50 percent).
            Voters are also unhappy with the president’s handling of the National Security Agency’s surveillance (61 percent disapprove) and the treatment of conservative groups by the IRS (55 percent).

          • The IRS targetted progressive groups as well.

            See, Erp?  Those are just talking-points from the Collective and its moonbattery.  They are fundamentally LIES, which you are republishing here.
            Just a tool…  Just a lying tool.

          • No, the IRS claimed they targeted progressive groups.  It’s so clear that is a mere front, that it ‘went on longer’ than we all thought, that they targeted progressive groups.
            First it was a couple rogue employees in Cincinnati, remember?  Now it’s a couple rogue employees in Cincinnati going rogue for years….uh huh….
            You’re such a putz Scott, I understand if you can’t carry around accurate history from 30 years ago in your tiny brain, but Jesus, I mean, can’t you even keep history straight over the last 2 months?
            And as to the scandals being gone…
            Sure they’re gone.
            So is the reporting on the dead kid the FBI pumped 7 rounds into a couple weeks ago while they were investigating the Boston Marathon bombing,
            So is the reporting ON the Marathon investigation itself and how it happened under the nose of the mighty DHS, NSA, FBI and other organizations that are intent on checking your underwear every day
            so is the hunt, capture and prosecution of the guys who attacked the embassy in Benghazi,
            so is the ‘war’ with North Korea that captured the headlines for 3 weeks (missiles here…boats there….Kim Jong Un….every where)
            so is the weekly death toll out of Chicago on the south side
            Highly selective media attention, which works well for people like you with a micromini attention span.   Look Scott, a squirrel!!!!!!!!

          • Here you troll, try some facts for once instead of inventing shit yourself or regurgitating shit invented by others.
            Read for comprehension, read for retention.

          • ““While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of tea party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails, and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” Mr. George wrote.

            Read more:

          • What’s funny, looker…???
            It is apparent that Erp does not read outside of the fringe moonbattery.  Yet he has the hubris to call others “ignorant”.
            I read their shit.  I know their talking-points, and daily test them…and what I read from Conservative sources…for soundness.
            Erp, as demonstrated here and many times before, just slurps up whatever they shoot in his mouth.

          • The IRS targetted progressive groups as well.

            Erb, you are either ignorant or a liar.  In any case, you are wrong.


          • Scotty is a good little Obama House Mouse-club member, he puts on his pointy headed Obama House Mouse hat at the appointed time and sits down to watch the show to get tomorrow’s marching order memes.

          • Yet the ‘scandals’ are gone.

            And there are no US tanks in Baghdad, never.
            Your schtick is getting tiresome.

            The IRS targetted progressive groups as well.  You have been proven wrong.

            Some Jews killed some Germans in Warsaw.  Therefore, the Holocaust has been proven wrong.  It was just a war in which both sides killed each other.

        • Yeah, I missed Putin’s government approving our intervention on behalf of the Islamic rebels against the Assad government.
          feckless fool.

    • Did Obama get any UN approval or Congressional approval for Libya?
      How about Syria?
      So please don’t whine about Bush.
      Bush at least got Congressional approval.
      p.s. Kosovo didn’t have Russian approval either. I wonder why? Maybe Clinton was as bad as Bush? Or maybe…just maybe Russia has its own interests.

  • You also miss how that war damaged US prestige

    You mean the one Biden and Pres. Snoop-Dog insisted was a great victory?
    Or do you mean the one Pres. Sleeper declared is “over”, since al Qaeda is so dead…???

    • “al Qaeda is so dead…???”
      Decimated even!
      The teleprompter genius meant that in the modern sense, but I think the original meaning applies.

    • Unless you want to claim Biden is a source to be taken at face value, that is no counter argument.  Do you really want to say everything Biden says is true?

      • Do you want to admit everything he says is a lie?  You are such a dummy, and you thought that was so clever.
        (Dark laughter ensues…)

        • No, not everything is lie, nor everything is true.   You know that the US lost a lot of prestige and clout because of the Iraq war – it was a major mistake.  Admit it.

          • Explain Libya de-nuclearizing afer Saddam was caught. Right there that is a major, major success of the Iraq war.
            Also, the Arab Spring has its roots in seeing Iraqis vote.
            Finally, you need to consider that allowing sanctions to run down would be a loss of prestige, and that allowing Saddam to re-arm and use them again would be a loss of prestige, etc. Its not like you can sit on your hands and magically gain prestige.
            Keep in mind a Labor government in the UK agreed to go to war with us in Iraq…you ever wonder why they would do that?
            I mean with 20/20 hindsight of course it looks weird as hell, no? Maybe you should reflect on that for a while. Ruminate.
            I also blame the US far less than I used to after seeing Syria go to civil war. Most of the violence in Iraq would have happened if we had never gone there – Saddam would die and then they would have a civil war just like Syria is having now. Except maybe it would worse if we had NOT been there.

          • There were two wars in Iraq, and both were successful, if too costly.
            The first was the liberation, a brilliant stroke that liberated something on the order of 25 million PEOPLE, and carried out an America policy since at least Clinton.
            The second was an insurgency campaign that brought in Islamists from all over the world to be killed in Iraq.
            Erp is a fool.

          • You know that the US lost a lot of prestige and clout because of the Iraq war

            What I know is that the Collective here and abroad waged an unprecedented campaign of mis and disinformation for years, aimed at tearing the U.S. down, and demonizing us, our government, and our military.
            And they used tools like you to do it.  Still are…

          • The collective was intent on making Iraq into Vietnam as long as a Republican was in office.
            They stopped talking about it when the Democrat took over.
            If the economy was rip roaring and the US was great guns in the world, it would ALL be the result of brilliant Obama today, over the last 5 years of undoing George W. Bush.
            As it is they just continue to ride the total failure Bush story coat tails they created for the 2008 election.   How convenient.

      • And Biden, unfortunately for President Big Ears, often speaks the truth in ways that are highly damaging to the administration.
        If Joe weren’t such a blithering idiot I’d almost rather have him as President, he’s clearly just too stupid to lie sometimes.

  • Rags, you have no clue what the Frankfurt school was about (hint: it was about freedom).  You’re caught in a right wing narrative meme that is divorced from reality – and increasingly politically impotent.   As for Libya, I credit the EU with pushing them towards the choice to give up their nuclear program.  To say it was because Saddam was caught seems laughable to me.  In the world of international relations scholarship it’s a given that the US is in decline and that the Iraq war and the post 9-11 over-reaction (unilateralism rather than building consensus) is a primary cause.  Obama has repaired lots of the problems — and in fact, I credit Bush in his second term (I think he was a good President in his second term – if the GOP had followed him on immigration they wouldn’t be in the dire straights they’re now in) for starting that process.  The US had to learn the hard way that we aren’t some unipolar power which can shape the world to our whims.  Bush learned that lesson and made adjustments (bringing in Gates, shifting the goals in Iraq from wanting a US presence and dominance in the region to a ‘peace with honor’ withdrawal) and Obama continued them.  Obama and Bush in the second term have had very similar foreign policies, even if the ideologues left and right want to continue their emotion-driven mindless “blame the other side for everything wrong” silliness (eyes rolling)  McQ, you’re not dumb, but you’ve really fallen into this partisan ideological mindless way of thinking.   You can do better.

    • How to say this succinctly…???
      How ’bout, “Erp, you are a lying, delusional Collectivist tool, and totally full of yourself and shit…not necessarily in that order”.
      Yep.  I think that works.

    • “In the world of international relations scholarship” – translation “my class room and the faculty lounge”
      “Obama has repaired lots of problems” – translation “proven to have virtually no foreign policy beyond apologizing”

    • the Frankfurt school was about (hint: it was about freedom)

      Lessee, Communists…who fled OTHER Collectivists in Germany…were all “about freedom”.
      The Walter Duranty Award for the month of June goes to Erp, Collectivist tool nonpareil.

      • They were anti-Communist.  You’re clearly ignorant about this.

        • So were National Socialists.  All Collectivists, though.  All parts of a whole.  All BIG GOVERNMENT types like yourself.

    • You’re not even fit to mention the word “freedom” you feckless cretin.
      You are to freedom as AIDS is to good health

      • Thank Goodness there were stouter men from Maine 160 years ago than apparently exist today.

      • Heh.  I teach what freedom really means.  Shaping the minds of the next generation 😉

        • Everyone here knows that truth of that.  And it is one of your self-parodies.  (Chuckle)

        • I teach what freedom really means.

          Who knows better what freedom is than someone who always sides with those who impose big government mandates?
          Who better to teach about freedom than a man who will never acknowledge that you own your own life, who despite this idea, credited to Locke (c. 1689), being ubiquitous in discussions of individual rights for centuries, declares that such an idea is crazy nonsense that nobody ever heard of.
          Yeah, fantastic source for ideas about freedom.
          Next, we’ll have Mohamed Morsi teaching classes on feminism, the Holocaust, gay rights, and evolution.

          • Next, we’ll have Mohamed Morsi teaching classes on feminism, the Holocaust, gay rights, and evolution.

            Looks like he’s free for the job.

    • In the world of international relations scholarship it’s a given that the US is in decline and that the Iraq war and the post 9-11 over-reaction (unilateralism rather than building consensus) is a primary cause.

      Right, because Bush didn’t build a coalition of over 30 countries to fight in the global war on terror.  That’s not a consensus.

      As for Libya, I credit the EU with pushing them towards the choice to give up their nuclear program.  To say it was because Saddam was caught seems laughable to me.

      Except that Khaddafi himself said at the time that the war on terror, and especially the part of the war in Iraq, was the impetus for dropping the nuclear program.

    • Rags, you have no clue what the Frankfurt school was about (hint: it was about freedom).

      Marxism is all about freedom.  If individuals have the freedom to make their own decisions about their own values, including economic transactions, they are enslaved.
      Therefore, wise leftists must spare them from this slavery and give them freedom by taking away their freedom to live their lives on their own terms.
      I know, it’s complicated, but you’re a backwoods redneck inbred ex-military crazy nut if you don’t get it.

      • Yes.  (Sigh)  I am doomed to live in the world of reality.  Nothing for it…

    • McQ, you’re not dumb, but you’ve really fallen into this partisan ideological mindless way of thinking.   You can do better.

      Scott, you are dumb, and you’ve stayed in this mindless partisan way of (not) thinking.  You’ll never do better.
      So, drink up.  Dull the pain.  Keep entertaining us.

  • Once again Erb enters the fray and Beclowns himself with BS
    statements.  For example:


    Erb: “Obama’s biggest critics have always been on the left.  Of course, the far left hates Obama.”


    Your opinion or is it shared by anyone else.  If so, provide a link.  My opinion: the far left does not think Obama
    is Left enough and pressures him to go even further left.  You call him a centrist because you believe
    you are and he mimics your own beliefs. 
    Trust me, you are not a centrist.


    Erb: “France said no, choosing principle over profit.”


    Your opinion or is it shared by anyone else.  If so, provide a link.  When has France ever chosen principle over,
    well, anything?


    Erb: “Yet the “scandals” are gone.  The IRS targeted progressive groups as well. You
    have been proven wrong.”


    Not according to the IRS Inspector General.  His latest letter to Congress states “Progressive
    groups were not targeted in the way conservative groups were.”


    The money sections:  “Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the
    ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases
    between May 2010 and May 2012.”  The
    inspector general also stressed that 100 percent of the groups with ‘Tea
    Party’, ‘patriots’ and ‘9/12’ in their name were flagged for extra attention.  “While we have multiple sources of
    information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we
    described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other
    documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that
    ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political
    campaign intervention,” George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the
    tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. 
    George’s letter says that the ‘progressive’ identifier on BOLO lists was
    not in a section used for selecting potential political cases, and that the IRS
    had developed inappropriate criteria to flag Tea Party applicants as
    potentially political.


    Erb: “Rags, you have no clue what the Frankfurt school was
    about (hint: it was about freedom).”


    No, it was really a school of thought that took exception to
    the radical approach of Marxists.  From
    Wikipedia: “The Frankfurt School was a school of neo-Marxist
    interdisciplinary social theory, associated in part with the Institute for
    Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main. The school initially
    consisted of dissident Marxists who believed that some of Marx’s followers had
    come to parrot a narrow selection of Marx’s ideas, usually in defense of
    orthodox Communist parties. Meanwhile, many of these theorists believed that
    traditional Marxist theory could not adequately explain the turbulent and
    unexpected development of capitalist societies in the twentieth century.
    Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the
    possibility of an alternative path to social development.”


    Erb: “As for Libya, I credit the EU with pushing them
    towards the choice to give up their nuclear program.”


    Your opinion or is it shared by anyone else.  If so, provide a link.  My opinion: If the US had not gone into Iraq,
    Libya would not have had anything to fear from the EU.  What could the EU offer them that was not
    already available?

  • Marx was concerned with liberty.   He thought that the state would wither away and humans could live without government.  Far left and libertarians want human freedom, they just disagree on how to achieve it.  The far right, however, wants to enforce their own bigotry (anti-gay, etc.)

    • Oh, YEAH…!!!  Your Collectivists have given tens of millions their “freedom”.  Freedom from choice, and from life itself.  You are a lying, delusional tool.

    • Pure communism is a wonderful principle, it just doesn’t work in human society.
      Everyone selflessly does what they should and effectively does away with their personal ‘wants’.
      Perhaps if we were bees, or ants.   My, that sounds appealing doesn’t it?
      Up the collective.

    • The record of Marxist regimes and rebel groups is one of mass murder.
      Marx was an utter failure.  He failed to grasp human nature, and thus his predictions were all horribly wrong.  If he was “concerned” with liberty that’s irrelevant, because he never did anything to further liberty.  On the contrary, those who followed his crackpot theories ended up abolishing freedom for billions, murdering tens of millions, and making the world a far worse place.
      The “far left” does NOT want human freedom.  They want to impose a blueprint on humanity, suppressing individual choice.  There is no advocacy of human freedom without acknowledging that each individual human being owns his or her life.  “Leftists” refuse to do so, arguing that your life belongs to the collective.
      “Leftists” often push their own bigotries.  Religious groups, ethnic groups (e.g., Ukrainians, Hmong, whites in Africa), homosexuals (yes, they have been persecuted in several socialist/communist countries), intellectuals, entrepreneurs.  Many “leftists” make bigoted attacks against whites, males, and other groups which are deemed to be guilty of the actions of people in history who looked like them.

  • i read a later post first and just got here… Ott Scerb – Scott Erb… there has to be a book in there somewhere.

  • 10 Years After the Fall of Saddam, How Do Iraqis Look Back on the War? “For those of us who lived under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and understand what tyranny means, … the difficulties of today, the pains of today, and the disappointments of today — and they are very profound, because Iraqis deserve better — these pale in comparison to what we had to endure.”
    Huh.  Iraqis HAPPY to have been freed.  Well, what do they know…