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But the right-wing has the bigots and racists
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, October 05, 2006

Or at least that's the conventional wisdom.

I've got to tell you, the left gets more and more twisted every day. First you have Jane "black-face Joe" Hamsher at FDL and then this clown. But I'm sure they'll tell you how much they respect blacks (and want their votes for Democrats).

 
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The sad thing about all this is that I am not a true conservative, I am a libertarian conservative, and I am not a true blue Republican, I hate a lot of things about the party. BUT GODDAMMIT! The Democrats have gone so bone jarringly
batshiat crazy we just do not have a viable two party system anymore.
They are so consumed by hate its no long amusing, its frightening. So I am stuck with defending the stupid party, because it really is the lesser of two evils.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Welcome to the club.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Yeah, that sums it up.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Dittos.

It would actually be interesting to have a serious debate on Iraq. The left’s overpowering hatred swamps whatever good arguments they have.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Talk about ’twisted"

It’s possible to discern some real intelligence in some of the blogs here, but this is not one of those times. Defining the "Left" or "Democrats’ with one person’s opinion makes no more sense than the ’Left" accusing you of sending suggestive E-mails to young boys, just because one on your side did it.

You keep on picking on some detail to create a false picure of everyone that disagrees with you, and then you attack that false image. Are eyou channeling Bush? Gimmick, gimmick, gimmick.



 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
It’s possible to discern some real intelligence in some of the blogs here, but this is not one of those times.
Hey, it’s not our fault that you posted to the thread...
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I’ve got to tell you, the left gets more and more twisted every day. First you have Jane "black-face Joe" Hamsher at FDL and then this clown. But I’m sure they’ll tell you how much they respect blacks (and want their votes for Democrats).
Do you really believe that Jame Hamsher is a racist? Robert Scheer? Seriously? Do you believe that? I don’t. What evidence do you have that they are racists? Have they written anti-black screeds? Attended white supremacist meetings? Used racial slurs? Advocated for segregationist policies?

Speaking of that, where is George "Macaca" Allen more likely to find a home, with the Dems or the GOP? (Actually, he seems more at home with the Council of Conservative Citizens, successor to the segregationist White Citizens Council. Remember that photo from 1996? The noose? The confederate flags?)

With respect to Condi, the criticism has always been that she is a member of a party and a political wing that acts against the interests of the black race. Portraying her in a subservient manner through the use of sterotypical graphics makes the point more directly, I suppose, but that is the point.

The same phenomenon is now on display with the Foley affair. Foley was an "in the closet" homosexual associating with a wing of the political spectrum that is clearly bigoted against gays and that has used hatred of gays to its political advantage. There is a certain amount of self-loathing that naturally accompanies any such association. In Foley’s case, we can see how destructive that self-loathing can be. The same self-loathing might go a long way in explaining why Condi is willing to debase herself now for the sake of the Bush administration by lying about the July 2001 meeting.

Given American history, right wingers are naturally afraid of being labeled as racists. And it’s natural that they will make any effort to make themselves believe that it’s really the left that is racist. It’s silly, just as it is silly to suggest that the left is homophobic. But the efforts nevertheless persist.

But Americans aren’t stupid, fortunately. When a leading presidential candidate on the right gets up in front of an audience and points at the only person of color in the audience and effectively calls him a monkey, it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to figure out where the right comes down on issues of race.

Nice try though, McQ. Hey - if it makes you feel better about yourself to call the left racist, go ahead. We understand.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Do you really believe that Jame Hamsher is a racist? Robert Scheer? Seriously? Do you believe that? I don’t.
Yeah, who you gonna believe? mkultra or your lying eyes?

Disgusting.
 
Written By: jinnmabe
URL: http://
When a leading presidential candidate on the right gets up in front of an audience and points at the only person of color in the audience and effectively calls him a monkey, it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to figure out where the right comes down on issues of race.
Kind of like when a leading presidential candidate on the right calls New York "Hymie Town" and says it’s full of "Hymies", right?

The "only person of color" in the audience also happened to be the only operative for Allen’s opponent in the audience...which might be why Allen singled him out. Since we can’t get inside Allen’s mind, we can only guess.
Foley was an "in the closet" homosexual associating with a wing of the political spectrum that is clearly bigoted against gays and that has used hatred of gays to its political advantage. There is a certain amount of self-loathing that naturally accompanies any such association. In Foley’s case, we can see how destructive that self-loathing can be.
Oh, this is rich: Foley started going after 16 year olds because he was too repressed as a Republican! Tell me: were you the lawyer for Dan White?
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Do you really believe that Jame Hamsher is a racist? Robert Scheer? Seriously? Do you believe that? I don’t. What evidence do you have that they are racists? Have they written anti-black screeds? Attended white supremacist meetings? Used racial slurs? Advocated for segregationist policies?
In the context that the word "racist" is used by the left today, they fit it to a tee.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ, do we know if the author of the article you linked to is the late of the LA Times, Robert Scheer or another guy with the same name? If it is LA Times Scheer, then, frankly, I’m amazed.

After all, Scheer (Castroite and partner of Tom Hayden in their Red Family days) was a leading advocate of the Black Panthers back in the day. He was also best-of-buds with Eldridge "Kill All the White People" Cleaver [maybe this is what MK means when he claims that Scheer isn’t racist?]. Later, he was a joyful member of the Red Sun Rising commune and an ardent devotee of Kim Il-Sung (poppa-san to everyone’s favorite world dictator, Kim Jong-Il). All of this, of course, before he was fired from the LA Times. What an impressive resume. Add this together with the fact that he rubs elbows with Sidney Blumenthal, James Carville, and President Clinton and we have the makings of a real mover and shaker amongst leftists. I mean, no way could he be a racist with friends like these, right?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Republicans are much more racist than Democrats.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://

It would actually be interesting to have a serious debate on Iraq. The left’s overpowering hatred swamps whatever good arguments they have.
This cuts both ways. It seems the pro-war side (I’ll avoid left and right because you have Joe Lieberman and Pat Buchanan as examples of those bucking that trend; antiwar.com is a libertarian/conservative anti-war site, for instance) refuses to admit the real problems in Iraq, and often seems caught up in wishful thinking, or cherry picking bits of news one can interpret as promising while rationalizing away the rest. Three years and violence worse than ever...yes, we NEED a serious debate, and both sides need to go into it with a clear head, and without an emotional ’gotta protect/attack my/the other side’ attitude.

Moreover, to me the essential issue is tactical. How do we extricate ourselves from an expensive war of limited value to our national security (and with increasingly limited chances of success) without creating a situation that is even worse. So far, it seems the only answer has been "find a way to hand it to the Iraqis" which seems a strategy that will likely bring failure, but a failure we can at least blame on someone else. Or it’s "stay the course" because this battle is "essential for our civilization" ... but if that were true, we wouldn’t have just a third of the troops there that we had in Desert Storm of Vietnam.

I still put forth a strategy of engaging Iran and Syria to join us to negotiate a settlement with the various Iraqi factions for either a partition (with compromises to share oil wealth) or a strong federal or even confederal system. Iran and Syria have influence; Iran is Shi’ite fundamentalist, Syria is Baathist secular. Yet Iran and Syria are allies. Iran and Syria have a desire to see the US leave, and to see Iraq stable. My approach means a rethinking of the current paradigm of treating Syria and Iran like they have cooties, but hey, this is Realpolitik. You don’t just talk with your friends! And maybe outside the box thinking is necessary now.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Republicans are much more racist than Democrats.
Brilliant, William.

It’s comments like this which make you such a valued contributor here.

[/sarcasm]
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Republicans are much more racist than Democrats."

Oh. Now I get it. Why didn’t I see that before?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Iran and Syria have a desire to see the US leave, and to see Iraq stable.
From an Associate Professor of Political Science at that.

Having Iraq fall completely under Syrian and Iranian influence would be indistinguishable to defeat. That’s also the end state we would have gotten by treating the 2003 invasion as a punitive expedition.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Scott Erb: re Iraq

Sen. Levin (I know, he’s a Demcrat, gasp) makes a lot of sense. Referring to how the Iraqis only got their constiturion written with deadlines and a lot of pressure, he suggests that the same approach be taken regarding gettimg the militias under control amd to clean up the police force. As I understood it, his idea is to keep giving them deadlines for a GRADUAL withdrawal even if we end up moving the deadlines back. Sen Levin thinks that ’stay the course’ encourages the Iraqi government to spend their time squbbling among themselves and depend on the US to solve everything.
The GRADUAL withdrawal deadlines seem a good idea, and putting the Iraqis on notice might light a fire under the government to settle their asset-sharing and other issued.

It’s quite possible the Administratioon is now or is planning to do somehting along these lines, but is waiting to announce it publicly in order to get full credit.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
The left gave us political correctness (and damn them to hell for that). With it came a double standard wherein non-leftists who use a term like "macaca" are prima facie racists for having said it. However, leftists are free to use the same terms without judgment of racism against them. When Hamsher, the "Reverand" Jackson and others of the lefty persuasion make their remarks we either hear that they are simply not evidence of racism (whereas they would be for others), or we hear the sound of crickets chirping as the left’s response.

If Charles Johnson or Michelle Malkin used a picture of Cynthia McKinney and portrayed her as Aunt Jemima there would be screeds of outrage across the left section of the blogosphere. If it’s Condi portrayed that way it’s perfectly acceptable.

This double standard applies politically as well. It is the "politics of personal destruction" when Publicans retort, but factual and deserved truthiness when the Dems do it.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com

Having Iraq fall completely under Syrian and Iranian influence would be indistinguishable to defeat. That’s also the end state we would have gotten by treating the 2003 invasion as a punitive expedition.
They will be under some Iranian influence in any event — the parties that now form the government are close to Iran. I don’t think any scenario will change that.

But while the Wilsonian idea of spreading democracy is nice, think a bit Bismarckian for a bit. Syria and Iran are very different states — Iran is Shi’ia fundamentalist, Syria is secular Baathist. Their alliance is based as much on convenience as anything else. Syria and Iran have the capacity, through influence they already have (and are unlikely to lose) to be able to pressure various groups in each country. They also have the capacity (especially Iran) to rachet up pressure on the US tremendously if they wanted to — that’s an ace up their sleeve they’re holding until they need it.

So while they can play a role in helping stabilize Iraq as the US leaves (not with troops, to be sure), Iraq won’t ’fall completely’ under the Syrian and Iranian influence (the use of that term illustrates the inaccurate assumption upon which your position is based). More likely, Iraq if it stabilizes will influence both Iran and Syria, likely in positive ways. Since I’m not calling for total unconditional withdrawal but rather a timed one based on regional negotiations, the US has a lot of say in how this would work. Moreover, this could yield other benefits in combating terror, improving conditions in the Mideast, and ultimately even moving towards a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Our current policy just isn’t working, and in fact has been making things worse — not just Iraq, but our Mideast policy in general. We need a new approach, and part of it is to recognize that internal splits within the region (religious, cultural, political) make a unified Arab or Muslim threat virtually impossible, and that we can be more effective with smart diplomacy than brute force. George W. Bush was Kennedy and Johnson, wanting to spread liberty and having an ideology-based foreign policy. Now we need a Nixon and some realism.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
So while they can play a role in helping stabilize Iraq as the US leaves (not with troops, to be sure), Iraq won’t ’fall completely’ under the Syrian and Iranian influence (the use of that term illustrates the inaccurate assumption upon which your position is based).
Just look at the job they’ve done with Lebanon, where their proxy recently started another war. I don’t think anyone wants that for Iraq other than Iran and Syria.
We need a new approach, and part of it is to recognize that internal splits within the region (religious, cultural, political) make a unified Arab or Muslim threat virtually impossible, and that we can be more effective with smart diplomacy than brute force.
Just what is it you think we’re trying to do by brute force? We took overwhelming force off the table 3 years ago in perhaps our biggest mistake yet.
Our current policy just isn’t working, and in fact has been making things worse — not just Iraq, but our Mideast policy in general.
Clean elections with huge turnout, deposed tyrants, Libya’s nuclear program moved to Oak Ridge, Muslim Arab governments beginning to crack down on terror, Hamas and Hezbollah losing regional support (which, granted, they’re replacing with leftist support), populations calling for democratization...

Yeah, it’s a real horror show.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
So while they can play a role in helping stabilize Iraq as the US leaves (not with troops, to be sure), Iraq won’t ’fall completely’ under the Syrian and Iranian influence (the use of that term illustrates the inaccurate assumption upon which your position is based).
Just look at the job they’ve done with Lebanon, where their proxy recently started another war. I don’t think anyone wants that for Iraq other than Iran and Syria.
Hezbollah kidnapped some soldiers, but they’ve admited they wouldn’t have done so if they knew Israel would react by launching an all out war. But that’s part of why we need to alter the relationship. Hezbollah is not going to be defeated by Israel, nor is there a magic bullet to somehow defeat Iraq and make all this go away. That’s the point — the region is a mess, and it’s not something military force is going to fix, especially given how unpopular the use of American force has become domestically. We need a new approach.

We need a new approach, and part of it is to recognize that internal splits within the region (religious, cultural, political) make a unified Arab or Muslim threat virtually impossible, and that we can be more effective with smart diplomacy than brute force.

Just what is it you think we’re trying to do by brute force? We took overwhelming force off the table 3 years ago in perhaps our biggest mistake yet
.

So if we can’t get it done by brute force, then we need an alternative approach — you seem to be conceding the point, unless you’re arguing for an expanded force (which I think is politically infeasible even if it would work — which I doubt). If Syria and Iran are hard core enemies, the problem will not get resolved, and Iran is actually an ascendent power right now. If we can find a way to bring them into the system (just like Nixon did with China and the USSR — and Mao’s quotes were just as crazy as Ahmadinejad’s) that could provide a solution.

Clean elections with huge turnout, deposed tyrants, Libya’s nuclear program moved to Oak Ridge, Muslim Arab governments beginning to crack down on terror, Hamas and Hezbollah losing regional support (which, granted, they’re replacing with leftist support), populations calling for democratization...
Your list is vacuous. Elections don’t create stability or solve the problem. Libya’s change in policy was in the work for years, even before 9-11, with extensive European involvement. Moreover, it was the result of a willingness to talk and work with Libya and change the dynamic. Libya is proof that states are not eternal enemies, and can be worked with. I’m not sure I buy your claim that Hamas and Hezbollah are really losing support — but if so, it’s not due to anything we’re doing. It’s like you want to find anything good that might be happening in the region and assert without support a claim that it’s because of our policy. But even trying to do that, you can’t come up with much.

Yeah, it’s a real horror show.
Yes — Iraq’s sectarian violence/civil war is at its bloodiest, corruption is rampant, militias roam, American deaths are spiking, Iran’s hardliners won their first elections since the revolution as Iranian youth and others responded to America’s policies/rhetoric with a spike in nationalism, Iran has moved to a position of increased power, peole do not fear America any more, nor do they respect us. Iraq has shown the limits of our ability to project power, and given a guide on how to handle it if the US does try to attack.

You have to let go of wishful thinking and recognize that we are facing a set of strategic circumstances which can’t be spun away, or won’t simply change if we give it long enough. At the very least recognize that I’m not just saying "get out of there," but trying to figure out an approach that could achieve positive results while recognizing the position of strategic weakness we now occupy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Republicans are much more racist than Democrats. They have done studies.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
Hezbollah kidnapped some soldiers, but they’ve admited they wouldn’t have done so if they knew Israel would react by launching an all out war.
And that would have been okay with you? It’s an act of war by a quasi-non-state actor Iranian proxy.
That’s the point — the region is a mess, and it’s not something military force is going to fix, especially given how unpopular the use of American force has become domestically.
The problem is military force. Islamist military force. Hezbollah, Hamas, the Sadr brigade, etc... Political persuaion is not going to disarm these groups. That doesn’t mean it will be the American military that disarms them. If the UN weren’t so useless, there might have been a solution there.
Elections don’t create stability or solve the problem.

They express the will of the people, unlike the Iranian elections that express the will of the Mullahs.
Libya’s change in policy was in the work for years, even before 9-11, with extensive European involvement.
Nonsense.
The acknowledgment of a nuclear program marked the first time Libya has ever done so. The U.S. and British governments said Friday that Libya has agreed to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and to allow international weapons inspectors into the country.
That you teach Poli-Sci frightens me.
I’m not sure I buy your claim that Hamas and Hezbollah are really losing support — but if so, it’s not due to anything we’re doing.
Egypt, Jordan and SA are all afraid of an ascendant Iran, which is to our benefit. Hamas has shown itself to be both intransigent and incapable of governing and even the Saudis have pretty much had it with them. Egypt sees them as a direct threat. And yes, not everything that happens in the ME is a result of our policies. Such as:
Yes — Iraq’s sectarian violence/civil war is at its bloodiest, corruption is rampant, militias roam, American deaths are spiking, Iran’s hardliners won their first elections since the revolution as Iranian youth and others responded to America’s policies/rhetoric with a spike in nationalism, Iran has moved to a position of increased power, peole do not fear America any more, nor do they respect us. Iraq has shown the limits of our ability to project power, and given a guide on how to handle it if the US does try to attack.
The bolded ones are false, the italicised are not a direct result of anything we’ve done in the ME, and some are both. As for the last, that must be a guide on how to lose a country to us, twice. That is what actually happened. And I thought the lessons learned from watching "Black Hawk Down" were supposed to stop us from being able to do that.
You have to let go of wishful thinking and recognize that we are facing a set of strategic circumstances which can’t be spun away, or won’t simply change if we give it long enough.
It isn’t a matter of waiting and hoping. It’s a matter of building an indigenous force that can protect the citizenry and support a government expressing the will of that citizenry, which is a long but ongoing process. Iraqis support that goal, and are moving toward it.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Republicans are much more racist than Democrats. They have done studies.
Oh, I’ve got to see those, william.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Scott Erb and William:

You guys are part of some comedy troupe, right?

I love a good laugh in the morning:
Libya’s change in policy was in the work for years, even before 9-11, with extensive European involvement.
 
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
Republicans are much more racist than Democrats. They have done studies.
LOL!

Gawd ... you just can’t make this stuff up!
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It seems to me that the left gets a lot more latitude than the right on politically incorrect racially tinged comments, actions, and images. I can’t imagine there is much argument on this point.

The argument would likely be why this is the case.

As a former Republican, who was absolutely NOT racist, but often accused of supporting racist policies when I was a Republican, I understand and empathize with Republicans who like me, were not remotely racist, but opposed AA because it violated closely held libertine principles and also because they believe it just doesn’t work. I understand and empathize with Republicans who like me, were not remotely racist, but opposed welfare because it violated closely held libertine principles and also because they believe it just doesn’t work.

It is unfair and inaccurate for someone to consider those positions to be racist in and of themselves.

States rights squeaks a little closer to that fine line. I can understand someone feeling that the level of federal control is violative of the Constitution, and there is a valid states rights argument. However, when one advocates states rights where it gives allowances for discrimination, but denies states rights arguments in other areas, I find that suspect.

When you put all of the policy positions together, plus the relationship between some Republicans and groups like the CCC, Bob Jones University, the history of the Southern Strategy, the migration of Dixiecrats like Strom Thurmond and many others, the voter purge failures that happened to be highly racially biased in the voters who were wrongly disenfranchosed, the Republican’s total failure in building relationships with NAACP and other organizations purportedly representing the interests of black Americans, the default understanding is that Republicans are at least disinterested in the issues of black Americans and that many are simply hostile to the interests of black Americans.

With all of that on the table, when a Democrat does something racially insensitive, it is viewed completely differently than when a Republican does.

It may not be fair to all, but for one not to understand why this happens would appear to me to be either willful ignorance or a great degree of naivete.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Hezbollah kidnapped some soldiers, but they’ve admited they wouldn’t have done so if they knew Israel would react by launching an all out war.
And that would have been okay with you? It’s an act of war by a quasi-non-state actor Iranian proxy.
No, it would not have been OK with me. But you made it sound like Hezbollah wanted the war last summer. That wasn’t the case.

That’s the point — the region is a mess, and it’s not something military force is going to fix, especially given how unpopular the use of American force has become domestically.
The problem is military force. Islamist military force. Hezbollah,
Hamas, the Sadr brigade, etc... Political persuaion is not going to disarm these groups. That doesn’t mean it will be the American military that disarms them. If the UN weren’t so useless, there might have been a solution there.
I’ve got news for you — these troops are not going to be disarmed by American, Israeli or even Iraqi military force either. That’s the point, the whole equation needs to be changed, and ultimately we need to develop a dynamic where either they will choose to disarm out of political desire/necessity and/or lose support.

Elections don’t create stability or solve the problem.


They express the will of the people, unlike the Iranian elections that express the will of the Mullahs.
Actually, Iran’s democracy elected moderates from the revolution on, both to the Majles and to the Presidency, not the side the religious leaders wanted to have win. And over those twenty years Iranian society opened up considerably with a slow process of reform. The right wing won last time precisely because that’s who the people voted for — in part as a backlash against US policy (indeed, I blogged that perhaps the most dangerous consequence of the US invasion of Iraq was how this helped the hardliners in Iran regain popularity and finally win elections). I think that’s a short term backslide from slowly and gradually building their democracy, but we’ll see.

Libya’s change in policy was in the work for years, even before 9-11, with extensive European involvement.
Nonsense.

The acknowledgment of a nuclear program marked the first time Libya has ever done so. The U.S. and British governments said Friday that Libya has agreed to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and to allow international weapons inspectors into the country.
Long before it hit the news discussions and negotiations were taking place, even before 9-11.

That you teach Poli-Sci frightens me.
I can tell from your insult you realize you’ve got the weaker argument here. But it is political science that drives my analysis — there is a lot of evidence that democracy is not something easy, and becomes increasingly unlikely if you have high corruption, instability, an authoritarian political culture, ethnic divisions, and a lack of tolerance/compromise. For Iraq almost all of these indicators point to poor prospects for stable democracy. Unless those structural issues change, the probability is strongly against what you think can emerge.

I’m not sure I buy your claim that Hamas and Hezbollah are really losing support — but if so, it’s not due to anything we’re doing.

Egypt, Jordan and SA are all afraid of an ascendant Iran, which is to our benefit. Hamas has shown itself to be both intransigent and incapable of governing and even the Saudis have pretty much had it with them. Egypt sees them as a direct threat. And yes, not everything that happens in the ME is a result of our policies. Such as:
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia never were pro-Hezbollah, they have long worried about Iran (that’s why the Saudis and Kuwaitis supported Iraq against Iran in the 80’s).
Yes — Iraq’s sectarian violence/civil war is at its bloodiest, corruption is rampant, militias roam, American deaths are spiking, Iran’s hardliners won their first elections since the revolution as Iranian youth and others responded to America’s policies/rhetoric with a spike in nationalism, Iran has moved to a position of increased power, peole do not fear America any more, nor do they respect us. Iraq has shown the limits of our ability to project power, and given a guide on how to handle it if the US does try to attack.
The bolded ones are false, the italicised are not a direct result of anything we’ve done in the ME, and some are both. As for the last, that must be a guide on how to lose a country to us, twice. That is what actually happened. And I thought the lessons learned from watching "Black Hawk Down" were supposed to stop us from being able to do that.
Your assertion is unsubstantiated because you can’t support it. None of what I wrote is false, and US policy had an impact. You can claim it didn’t, but to me that’s more evidence that you are not dealing with reality. Bottom line: we are neither feared nor respected any more, and that limits our capacity to achieve results.
It isn’t a matter of waiting and hoping. It’s a matter of building an indigenous force that can protect the citizenry and support a government expressing the will of that citizenry, which is a long but ongoing process. Iraqis support that goal, and are moving toward it.
That isn’t working. You’ve got slogan and vague goals, but you aren’t dealing with reality. How many more years of failure will it take before you do? We can’t have a real discussion on this if you don’t want to hear anything that goes against what you believe/want to be true.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
No, it would not have been OK with me. But you made it sound like Hezbollah wanted the war last summer. That wasn’t the case.
Then why did they start it? They want war, Scott. They want the Jews dead and gone. It’s really very simple, and Nasrallah makes no bones about it, nor do the Iranians. It is not a reaction to American policy. It’s deep seated Judenhass.
I’ve got news for you — these troops are not going to be disarmed by American, Israeli or even Iraqi military force either. That’s the point, the whole equation needs to be changed, and ultimately we need to develop a dynamic where either they will choose to disarm out of political desire/necessity and/or lose support.
Jihadi theocrats won’t get it done either, and they’re the only option left if we don’t support the democracies. We’ve already done more to create the cultural climate that will reject them than anyone else has done ever. 50,000,000 can now vote for their leaders, thanks to US. Popular support now matters more than it ever has in recent ME history because of US.
Long before it hit the news discussions and negotiations were taking place, even before 9-11.
We had no idea what they had. Please provide a link that supports your assertion.
But it is political science that drives my analysis — there is a lot of evidence that democracy is not something easy, and becomes increasingly unlikely if you have high corruption, instability, an authoritarian political culture, ethnic divisions, and a lack of tolerance/compromise.
Science starts with facts, Scott. You have a terribly tenuous grasp on them for a professor. Saddam’s regime was all of those things you list. Now he’s in the dock and a fledging democratic government is finding it’s legs. Iraqis are learning the fine art of political compromise. That it isn’t progreesing as quickly as we might like doesn’t change the fact that it is progressing.
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia never were pro-Hezbollah, they have long worried about Iran (that’s why the Saudis and Kuwaitis supported Iraq against Iran in the 80’s).

They were also never anti-Hezbollah, which they are now. But I’m glad you’ve noticed that Muslim arabs can fight each other without it being our fault.
Your assertion is unsubstantiated because you can’t support it. None of what I wrote is false, and US policy had an impact.
Let’s go through them. Sectarian violence has long been horrific in Iraq. It is not at it’s bloodiest, unless you’d like to ignore the vast majority of contemporary history. When Saddam was slaughetring thousands of Iraqis, it was sectarian violence. That was not a result of our policy, and that those animosities remain is not our doing. We’ve only upset the previous balance.

Rampant corruption? Compared to what? Examples please. Of course there is corruption, there always is, everywhere. Please explain how it’s a particularly rampant Iraqi problem and how we created it.

Militias roam, as they have since time out of mind. When have Arabs NOT segregated into tribal, ethnic and sectarian fighting forces? It didn’t start in 2003, I can assure of that.

American deaths are not on the rise. That’s just wrong.
Iran’s hardliners won their first elections since the revolution as Iranian youth and others responded to America’s policies/rhetoric with a spike in nationalism,
The only canidiates that run are those allowed by the mullahs. They’re all hardliners, unless you think Rafsanjani is a softie, in which case we have very different ideas about what a hardliner is. Again, this is none of our doing. The elections are completely rigged.
Iran has moved to a position of increased power
By rattling a nuclear sabre. We made them do this? No, I think it is simply the manifestation of the Mullahcracy’s aspirations.
peole do not fear America any more
Tell it to Bashir Assad.
nor do they respect us

All of the Gulf States, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, the House of Saud... OK, aside from them, maybe.
Iraq has shown the limits of our ability to project power
We haven’t tested the limits of our ability to project power. We’ve got plenty more we left on the shelf.
and given a guide on how to handle it if the US does try to attack.
Again, if you want to know how to lose your country to Americans, yes we’ve shown them how to do that. I don’t see that as a bad thing. And I think that exhausts your list.
That isn’t working.
Yes, it is. Not as well as it could be, but it is.
You’ve got slogan and vague goals, but you aren’t dealing with reality.
There’s nothing vague about it and I’m not trading in slogans. Reality is not whatever you’d like to pretend it is, Scott.
How many more years of failure will it take before you do?
How many years do you think these things are supposed to take? Three years is not all that long to eliminate a government and build a completely new one from scratch. You want an instant war, and they don’t exist. They never have. This is a historical blink of an eye.
We can’t have a real discussion on this if you don’t want to hear anything that goes against what you believe/want to be true.
Then put some meat on the table. Hollering that the sky is falling without any facts to back it up is not real discussion.



















 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
I can tell from your insult you realize you’ve got the weaker argument here. But it is political science that drives my analysis — there is a lot of evidence that democracy is not something easy, and becomes increasingly unlikely if you have high corruption, instability, an authoritarian political culture, ethnic divisions, and a lack of tolerance/compromise. For Iraq almost all of these indicators point to poor prospects for stable democracy. Unless those structural issues change, the probability is strongly against what you think can emerge.
Think back 230+ years ago. If the hero’s of the American revolution thought the same as you, we never would have become this great nation.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
I can tell from your insult you realize you’ve got the weaker argument here. But it is political science that drives my analysis — there is a lot of evidence that democracy is not something easy, and becomes increasingly unlikely if you have high corruption, instability, an authoritarian political culture, ethnic divisions, and a lack of tolerance/compromise. For Iraq almost all of these indicators point to poor prospects for stable democracy. Unless those structural issues change, the probability is strongly against what you think can emerge.

Think back 230+ years ago. If the hero’s of the American revolution thought the same as you, we never would have become this great nation.
You make my point for me. First, the US had a tradition that was conducive to democracy, Great Britain had been democratizing for a long time, gradually. Moreover no one pushed us at a pace beyond our capacity. We had slavery for 80 years, women couldn’t vote for 140...we did our way at our pace, gradually, building on our culture. That’s the way it needs to work.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
American deaths are not on the rise. That’s just wrong.
Have you been reading the paper the last two weeks, there’s been a spike.

And Iraqi sectarian violence has gotten worse. Look you can make all the assertions you want that fly in the face of reality. You can pretend we’re not overstreched militarily, you can try to pretend that Iraq has gotten worse rather than better, than Iran hasn’t benefited immensely from this war, or that the US is neither feared nor respected like it was before. You can put on a brave face, and I guess that’s harmless as long as you’re not in a position of responsibilty.

But in the real world one ignores facts at a price. One ignores that people like me who warned that every "turning point" was an illusion have been proven absolutely correct. That those who claimed we’d be ’greeted as liberators’ or ’there less than six months’ or that the insurgency was in its ’last throes’ or that the war would be ’paid for by Iraqi oil revenues,’ etc. have been proven utterly and completely wrong.

All you got is spin and denial. State of denial is an excellent term for this. We can talk about ways to remedy the situation if you can find it within yourself to at least recognize reality. The more time that passes, the more embarassing it will be for you. Are you so caught up in your wishful thinking that you truly brush aside all the facts that should cause you to at least question your views a bit?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Have you been reading the paper the last two weeks, there’s been a spike.
Great. Provide a link to it, as I did to support my assertion. (And I used icasualties, no friend of the administration)
And Iraqi sectarian violence has gotten worse.
Worse than what? Worse than yesterday? Worse than Saddam? Because if it isn’t worse than under Saddam, it’s better than it was when we got there. Worse than what?
You can pretend we’re not overstreched militarily, you can try to pretend that Iraq has gotten worse rather than better, than Iran hasn’t benefited immensely from this war, or that the US is neither feared nor respected like it was before. You can put on a brave face, and I guess that’s harmless as long as you’re not in a position of responsibilty.
You can keep expressing your feelings, but knowing that you’re filling young minds with this frightens me. Feel free to present something other than your opinion at any time, Professor. A verifiable fact or two would be interesting. Meanwhile, have you seen a draft gearing up? The only one I’ve seen started in Charlie Rangel’s office.
That those who claimed we’d be ’greeted as liberators’ or ’there less than six months’ or that the insurgency was in its ’last throes’ or that the war would be ’paid for by Iraqi oil revenues,’ etc. have been proven utterly and completely wrong
Great. Sketch it out. Toss in some historical comparison. Do a before/after analysis, and color in the outlines that are so obvious to you. Use the facts on the ground. Provide something probative or something to rebut.

Your last paragraph reads a lot like "Lalalalalalalalalalaaaa!!!! I can’t hear yoooooooou!!!" I’ll do you the favor of disregarding it.


 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Great. Provide a link to it, as I did to support my assertion. (And I used icasualties, no friend of the administration)
So you aren’t paying attention to the news, eh? Go here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15145106/

Now, how about a friendly test of our positions. I predict that this "battle for Baghdad" is not going to yield a fundamentally changed or improved situation. The sectarian violence will continue, the government will remain weak, and a half year from now we won’t see the situation fundamentally improved. The battle is supposed to extremely important — if afterwards there is a true improvement (less sectarian violence, significantly weakened militias, a stronger, more effective government) then I’ll admit that my expectation was wrong, and evidence for your position exists. Why six months? That’s the figure Gen. Casey gives:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061005/pl_afp/iraqusmilitary_061005174756;_ylt=AtZ6Pn6ciRnfoVxZsEU.yDtX6GMA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

So, how is this a test for our analyses — we’ll set April 2007 — four years after the fall of Saddam — as the time to compare Iraq then with now, and assess if there has been significant improvement.
You can keep expressing your feelings, but knowing that you’re filling young minds with this frightens me. Feel free to present something other than your opinion at any time, Professor. A verifiable fact or two would be interesting. Meanwhile, have you seen a draft gearing up? The only one I’ve seen started in Charlie Rangel’s office.
Methinks thou doth protest too much. You have not been providing facts, you’ve been making vague, unsubstantiated assertions. I’ve given my analysis, explained it, and you haven’t been able to respond except for silly insults and bravado. As for teaching — you are an example of the kind of political argumentation that is the problem in America today, and I do try to teach students to recognize such tactics and not be fooled by them. You are trying to spin, "win" for your position, and not listen or try to engage the other person on issues of substance. Insult and emotion rather than reason and analysis.

Reality: Iraq has intensive sectarian violence, a weak government, no stable democracy, increasing numbers of civilian deaths, a lack of general services, continued sabotage of oil and other industires, and has cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars, overstretched the military, frayed alliances, weakened our hand in dealing with North Korea and Iran, and has more than half of the country believing the war a mistake which weakens the efforts to combat terrorism.

If you can at least admit that the war has not gone as most expected, that there are real problems and difficulties, we can discuss just how bad the situation is or the best way to move forward. Or you can stick your head in the sand, say things are going well, and embrace a state of denial. Your choice. If you show a sense of reality, and that it is not weakness to admit things haven’t been going well (something even the White House and certainly many in the military admit) then we can have a reasonable discussion. But if you want to just see anyone who opposes the policy as an enemy to be attacked/defeated with rhetoric, then you really aren’t worth the effort.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
So you aren’t paying attention to the news, eh? Go here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15145106/
At least 13 American soldiers have been killed around Baghdad since Monday — the highest four-day U.S. toll in the capital since the 2003 invasion.
You’re kidding, right? You’re going to use a 4 day period within a very specific part of the country and call it a casualty "spike" as compared to any historical period in this conflict? If that’s where we’re operating, that’s where the casualties are going to be. You have to spin the crap out of that to call it a spike. And better yet, you’re going to try and use this:
That count is likely to rise higher as the U.S.-led forces step up their campaign to root out the extremist militias, death squads and terrorist cells that have turned the city into a collection of armed, ethnically divided camps.
...as proof that things are going terribly and no one is doing anything about it? This is the plan in action, Scott. No slogans involved and it’s quite specific.

So, how is this a test for our analyses — we’ll set April 2007 — four years after the fall of Saddam — as the time to compare Iraq then with now, and assess if there has been significant improvement.
Again, that’s already been accomplished. Iraq is in much better shape with Saddam in the dock than it was when we went in. As for progress over the next six months, I expect the capabilities of the Iraqi forces to improve as those forces grow and mature. Training takes time. Building unit loyalty and esprit de corps takes time. These are young forces doing things in ways that were alien to them a few years ago. They can’t help but get better as time goes on.
Methinks thou doth protest too much. You have not been providing facts, you’ve been making vague, unsubstantiated assertions.
I was thinking the same about you, and I think I’ve pointed to evidence for most of what I’ve asserted. But let’s not stand on another vague unsubstantiated assertion. Tell me where you think I’ve come up light on the facts and I’ll fill in the blanks for you. Meanwhile, you can show me the basis of one of your claims by providing some support for your notion that we knew all about Libya’s nuke program and all but had it in the bag long before Saddam fell.
You are trying to spin, "win" for your position, and not listen or try to engage the other person on issues of substance. Insult and emotion rather than reason and analysis.
Some support for your "facts" would be nice, Scott. I’m listening, but vague, unsubstantiated assertions and your chosen spin on the obvious stuff aren’t convincing argument. I’ve repeatedly asked you for specifics of your argument that you decline to provide. If I want to insult you, there will be no doubt that I have done it. I’m beginning to consider it.
If you can at least admit that the war has not gone as most expected, that there are real problems and difficulties, we can discuss just how bad the situation is or the best way to move forward.
Of course that’s true. War never goes as you expect it to (The battle plan is always the first casualty), and it’s always ugly and difficult. It’s war, ferchrissakes! What else would you expect it to be? What cotton candy campaigns are you comparing it to? What comprably sized war is this one worse then, by any quantifiable measure?

I’ve got a great way forward. Get the Iraqi government and it’s security forces to the point where they can express the will of their people throughout their sovereign territory, and provide for their security and stability. The job is well underway and we should finish it. We’re at the point where the Iraqis are beginning to take over and become autonomous, and we should be pushing them to completeing that task. What’s your plan?
But if you want to just see anyone who opposes the policy as an enemy to be attacked/defeated with rhetoric, then you really aren’t worth the effort.
How many words of substantive rebuttal do I have to type before I can be considered as having addressed the issues? How much more attacking the messenger are you going to do instead of arguing your case?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Pablo, I don’t think you’ve offered much substance at all — vague assertions seems your forte. But I’ll end my participation in this discussion. I have my general assessment of people like you on today’s blog entry (October 8).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Sorry, my blog address has been wrong throughout these threads. It’s
http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Pablo, I don’t think you’ve offered much substance at all — vague assertions seems your forte
Well, I’ve asked you for specifics, and I’ve offered to answer any specifics you’d like to present for substantiation.

You’ve declined to engage on either count and continue with pure ad hominem attack, so what you think matters not a whit to me, as you cannot and will not defend your thinking as I am fully willing to do. I’ll leave it to the reader to scroll up and see who comes up short on facts. Your performance is lacking, Professor. Should you ever decide that your position is both defensible and worth defending, you let me know and we’ll try this again. In the meantime, Good DAY, sir!
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
You’ve declined to engage on either count and continue with pure ad hominem attack, so what you think matters not a whit to me, as you cannot and will not defend your thinking as I am fully willing to do. I’ll leave it to the reader to scroll up and see who comes up short on facts. Your performance is lacking, Professor. Should you ever decide that your position is both defensible and worth defending, you let me know and we’ll try this again. In the meantime, Good DAY, sir!
And, as you’ll observe in other threads with other commenters, that is the typical MO for Erb. Always has been and always will be (from my experience with him during the good old USENet days). That’s why, for the most part, those who know him ignore him.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And, as you’ll observe in other threads with other commenters, that is the typical MO for Erb. Always has been and always will be (from my experience with him during the good old USENet days). That’s why, for the most part, those who know him ignore him.
Your ad hominem is noted. Yet I made real arugments and analysis. You did not, nor did Pablo. He claims I didn’t give specifics, but I did, and he replied with vauge claims about how things "are better" in Iraq already. I mean, how can I take that seriously?

I think the reason you want to insult/ignore is that you realize my approach doesn’t buy the assumptions you start from, and thus it becomes frustrating that I don’t follow what you think a line of argument should be. Rather than try to actually go through and work out the differences, you prefer to simply ignore another voice. I guarantee I hold no grudges, and certainly have tried to avoid ad hominems (I called one person an idiot, but apologizezd the next post). Given the realities from Iraq, something numerous former war supporters have pointed out, and something which has led many in the GOP to change their position, and has turned in this into a war far more unpopular than Vietnam, I find it amazing that you don’t think you need to defend a belief that somehow this can be won and we did the right think. No, just insult me. (And if you want to go back to usenet, I can recall some people trying to argue that only humans can reason, and that humans no longer have instinct — something obviously refuted by current scientific research).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
BTW, I see that even hawks like Ralph Peters are recognizing the obvious problems in Iraq, including a lack of real strategy (despite McQ’s vague claims there is one — his only proof being to ask me to state it). Peters sounds pessimistic, even while insisting Iraq isn’t lost "yet." But he’s far more optimistic than most, since a vast growing spectrum of opinion recognizes that Iraq is, indeed, a failure. In fact, even in Peters’ best case scenario it’s simply a limiting of damage, not truly a victory. Reality bites. The discourse that some (Pablo and McQ) is an example of post-modern politics where it doesn’t matter what reality is, it’s whether you can spin it to sound like it’s what you want it to be (perhaps intentional, perhaps to avoid dissonance due to the emotion of the debate). That doesn’t work over the long haul. I really don’t want to sound like a kid saying "I told you so," since I would have rather been wrong in my assessment of what would happen in Iraq. I’d rather be able to sit down and say, "this got really messed up, where do we go from here," and talk in a mutually respectful manner about how to proceed. Yet you guys seem to want to deny the horrendous situation in Iraq (esp. Pablo) or engage in ad hominems. (Or to falsely claim that criticism of your argument and style is an ad hominem — it’s not). Get used to reading and hearing more about the failure in Iraq — and decide whether or not you want to confront reality or take the easy way of trying to blame the "left" for not having the fortitude to "do what is necessary."
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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