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Democratic Party Policy: "regime change and bombing campaigns"
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, November 20, 2006

Atrios:
I wonder if it occurs to any of these people that maybe, just maybe, the repeated calls for regime change and bombing campaigns by prominent pundits and senior administration officials might you know, be perceived as a genuine threat by people in and around the Middle East.
The Democratic Party position on Iran:
Carrots are not enough:
  • Iran should be concerned that it has no realistic possibility of making its enrichment and reprocessing facilities operational.

  • Accordingly, Iran should understand the existential threat of a military response under some conditions.
For those of you keeping track at home, this means the Democratic Party's official policy includes regime change and bombing campaigns.
 
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I wonder if it occurs to any of these people that maybe, just maybe, the repeated calls for regime change and bombing campaigns by prominent pundits and senior administration officials might you know, be perceived as a genuine threat by people in and around the Middle East.
For those of you keeping track at home, this means the Democratic Party’s official policy includes regime change and bombing campaigns
It was Clinton’s policy towards Iraq and Koscovo....didn’t hear any Dem. complaints then.

OOOOOPS :)

PS- To Atrios and the left, I say this:

I wonder if it occurs to any of you people that maybe, just maybe, the repeated calls for America’s and Israel’s destruction by prominent heads of rougue states and terrorists might you know, be perceived as a genuine threat by people in and around the U.S. and Israel
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It’s different when Democrats write it because EVERYONE KNOWS they really aren’t into regime change...just bombing, from 15,000 feet.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Is this my daily "the left is still chocked full of idiots" lesson? Isn’t Mkultra enough?
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Is this my daily "the left is still chocked full of idiots" lesson?
Actually it is an example of how being in the minority is quite different from being in the majority and having to govern.

Now they have to either claim their policies or back off of them.

And, of course, this is all being done in a civil and bipartisan way in an air of collegiality and respect.

Heh ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And, of course, this is all being done in a civil and bipartisan way in an air of collegiality and respect.
don’t forget the unicorns!
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Both parties have given in to the desire for imperialism, heading the most powerful government on earth. That’s why our current foreign policy can only be seen as a natural consequence of a big, powerful, centralized and rich government. American foreign policy is certainly anti-libertarian. Abstract power plays and political calculation trumps all. People imagine the power of the state in themselves when they rationalize and play the power rhetoric game. Power corrupts.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Now that’s something on which I can easily agree with Scott.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
I wonder if it occurs to any of you people that maybe, just maybe, the repeated calls for America’s and Israel’s destruction by prominent heads of rougue states ....
If you are implying that the President of Iran somehow has the power to make this happen, he doesn’t. He is at most a figurehead. His power lies not in Iran, but in the neocon West.
For those of you keeping track at home, this means the Democratic Party’s official policy includes regime change ....
Not that facts matter, but where precisely does the 123 page PDF file say that?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
American foreign policy is certainly anti-libertarian.
Okay, why? Be specific... there’s nothing illiberal about power abroad in and of itself.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I’m not necessarily saying you’re wrong, but I need a better idea of exactly what you mean. If by "anti-libertarian" you mean we trample on what would be a foreigner’s Constitutional rights if he were an American, I disagree. If you mean that our policies destroy liberalism here at home, I’d like to hear your particular case for it.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
If you are implying that the President of Iran somehow has the power to make this happen, he doesn’t. He is at most a figurehead. His power lies not in Iran, but in the neocon West.
And figureheads get their information from where MK???? From the neocon west? Riiiggghhhhttt. Jeez, I would have guessed he got his marching orders from the Mullahs.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
If you are implying that the President of Iran somehow has the power to make this happen,......
Try reading for comprehension next time, thanks
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
=Iran should understand the existential threat of a military response under some conditions. "
==

UNDER SOME CONDITIONS. This is such a vague statement, that only over-heated minds on political blogs can use this to have a ritual fight. Under some conditions, any government would attack any other governement.

And where is there anything about regime change?
A regime change that may or may not occur after a military attack is totally different than threatening an attack in order to achieve a regime change.

Some of you, I think, could find insidious political messages in today’s cloud formations.

 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
"...where precisely does the 123 page PDF file say that?"
"the existential threat of a military response". "Existential" = existence. The Iranian regime should understand that a military response will threaten the existence of their regime.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
American foreign policy is certainly anti-libertarian.
Okay, why? Be specific... there’s nothing illiberal about power abroad in and of itself.

I’m not necessarily saying you’re wrong, but I need a better idea of exactly what you mean. If by "anti-libertarian" you mean we trample on what would be a foreigner’s Constitutional rights if he were an American, I disagree. If you mean that our policies destroy liberalism here at home, I’d like to hear your particular case for it.
I find it odd that you think there should be differentiation of rights based on if someone is a foreigner or not. Libertian and liberal thought sees rights as transcending the state; if rights depend upon being a citizen and being covered by a constitution, then you’ve already moved away from liberal (as in libertarian) thinking.

I would see a true libertarian foreign policy as focused on defense of the nation, not on trying to expand influence and engage in imperialism. Our current foreign policy, whether from Clinton or Bush, is essentially a hyper-statist policy of centralized power, extending control over political outcomes to other parts of the world (forcing the Serbs to give Kosovo autonomy, trying to force Iraqis to accept a western style democracy, trying to force others to have oil markets that fit our long term economic interests). You may think those policies are good or necessary, but I can’t see them as being at all libertarian.

I also think that there is a direct connection between the expansion of American global power and the strengthening of the federal branch of government at the expense of states. There is a correlation between the growth of Presidential power after the National Security Act of 1947 and increasing intrustion by the federal government into the power of states, and the freedoms of individuals. By becoming a superpower, our government became more "imperial" — beholden to special interests, big money and now big advertising — and less of a true Republic.

These are issues I’ve been working through in my head for some time. For instance, if you’d asked me in 1996 or so if I thought there should be centralized guaranteed health care in the US, I’d have said yes. I was leaning more towards the social democratic approach, and I still disagree with the trust American liberatarians have towards the market — I think there are deep flaws in capitalist market economics. But the big government alternative seems increasingly to be flawed as well, both by creating the temptation to abuse power (what I see in US foreign policy), and government programs that stifle innovation and create a kind of dependent psychology.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Imperialism -

"you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means".

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Imperialism -

"you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means".
Or perhaps it doesn’t mean what you think it means. In modern political science usage it certainly does not mean just the old notion of conquering and holding territory.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Ah, I like it when words morph to take on new negative connotations while still holding on to the old traditional negative connotations as well, especially when they are used in a derogatory fashion about the United States.

So, you’re using this in the Marxist sense then that we’re economically conquering then?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

Ah, I like it when words morph to take on new negative connotations while still holding on to the old traditional negative connotations as well, especially when they are used in a derogatory fashion about the United States.

So, you’re using this in the Marxist sense then that we’re economically conquering then?
No, imperialism is simply the attempt to exercise control over what other actors in other territories do. In the past the most efficient way was to conquer and engage in long term occupation/control. Now it’s usually a mix of economic, political and covert means to maintain control — direct occupation is too expensive and has too many disadvantages.

 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I like it when words morph to take on new negative connotations while still holding on to the old traditional negative connotations as well, especially when they are used in a derogatory fashion about the United States.
It is only fair, after all it was Americans that gave Imperialism its negative connotations in the first place. The rest of the world was quite happy marching on to foreign soil, planting flags and claiming empires then a bunch of ingrate colonials jump up to rebel against Imperialism.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Libertarianism has absolutely no position against "influence". In fact, we see market-based influence as the most appropriate of all ways to engage the world. We believe we should use it precisely because our ideas of freedom, representative democracy, free markets and (to some limited extent) culture are better...and they will win in a free market of ideas.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
No, imperialism is simply the attempt to exercise control over what other actors in other territories do.
Ah, the Imperilist UN, how can you stand them sir?
or
for example, Sweden’s recent attempt to ban cluster munitions on a global scale.

By your definition, anyone with a foreign policy and the machinery to implement it, is an imperialist.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Ah, the Imperilist UN, how can you stand them sir?
The UN’s only avenue for imperialism is Security Council resolutions, which can be vetoed by any of the permanent members, including the US. The US has used the UN rather adeptly as a foreign policy tool.

for example, Sweden’s recent attempt to ban cluster munitions on a global scale.

By your definition, anyone with a foreign policy and the machinery to implement it, is an imperialist.
Things like cluster munitions can only be banned on a global scale through treaties, which are reached voluntarily by sovereign states, or a UN Security Council resolution. Moreover, only the UN Security Council (or national courts) can enforce international law.

No, imperialism is when a state has the power to force other states to engage in policies and actions they would otherwise not want to do, but must to avoid penalties from the powerful state. Moreover, this has to persist over time to be truly imperial — a state has to be able to shape the choices of external states. Moreover, I’d say that pure market power (by private actors not colluding to pervert market outcomes,not states trying to control or manipulate the economic environment)would probably never constitute imperialism.

Theoretically a group of states could band together to do this, but in the case of the UN, it would have to be the UN Security Council members banding together.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No, imperialism is simply the attempt to exercise control over what other actors in other territories do.
No no Scott, your definition specifically said "simply the attempt" - and attempt is not something that indicates the outcome of the effort, it’s just trying to do something with or without certainty of outcome. Just as I can attempt to presuade you that the US is really not half as ’imperialist’ as you feel it is at this point in history.

But there’s not much point in the dicussion, you have no intention of seeing the United States in it’s current form as being anything other than imperialist.
I’m sure you think you have a version which would be better and I’m sure you’ll continue to tell us what it is, even if it means changing what you mean, and what you say, on a regular basis.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
No no Scott, your definition specifically said "simply the attempt" - and attempt is not something that indicates the outcome of the effort, it’s just trying to do something with or without certainty of outcome. Just as I can attempt to presuade you that the US is really not half as ’imperialist’ as you feel it is at this point in history.
Playing definition games, eh? In other words, you can’t counter any of the substance of what I wrote, and want to word dance. Sorry, that gets old quickly.
But there’s not much point in the dicussion, you have no intention of seeing the United States in it’s current form as being anything other than imperialist.
I’m convinced that we are engaged in an imperialist policy. I haven’t seen a counter argument presented, and absent one, then I have to reason to question my analysis. Provide a counter analysis, or argue against the definition with rationale, and then there can be discussion. But yeah, there is no point when you disagree but don’t explain why.

I’m sure you think you have a version which would be better and I’m sure you’ll continue to tell us what it is, even if it means changing what you mean, and what you say, on a regular basis.
I’ve been more consistent than most in my critique of American foreign policy, irrespective of political party (I harshly condemned Clinton’s foreign policy). My position is based on principle; if you want to discuss principle, we can. If you want to word dance, it’s not worth the time.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott, if I occasionally read something you wrote where you viewed or put the US in a favorable light it would be different.
Everything we do as a country can’t be bad, well, I suppose it could be, but I just haven’t seen it over the course of my life, we’ve done ’good’, we’ve done ’bad’. I’m not sure what your gold standard is for countries that won’t be forced to say the same, unless they’re countries that don’t do much on the world stage.

Point in your favor though, I agree, you are consistent in your appraisal.
That doesn’t mean you’re always right, you do understand that I trust.




 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Scott, if I occasionally read something you wrote where you viewed or put the US in a favorable light it would be different.
Everything we do as a country can’t be bad, well, I suppose it could be, but I just haven’t seen it over the course of my life, we’ve done ’good’, we’ve done ’bad’. I’m not sure what your gold standard is for countries that won’t be forced to say the same, unless they’re countries that don’t do much on the world stage.

Point in your favor though, I agree, you are consistent in your appraisal.
That doesn’t mean you’re always right, you do understand that I trust.
We do a lot of good things. In general I’m skeptical of power politics and American foreign policy. I find myself agreeing with the skeptics of the Spanish-American war back at the turn of the 20th century, but applying it to day.

Maine’s Republican Speaker of the House, Thomas Reed, worked in vain to try to stop imperialism, arguing that America’s values dictated we avoid military intervention. As it became clear the US was moving towards embracing imperialism, Charles Eliot Norton in 1895 said "I fear that America is beginning a long course of error and wrong and is likely to become more and more a power for disturbance and babarism..." (Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower, p. 140) Later on page 166 she quotes Norton again: “I reach one conclusion, that I have been too much of an idealist about America, had set my hopes too high, had formed too fair an image of what she might become. Never had a nation such an opportunity; she was the hope of the world. Never again will any nation have her chance to raise the standard of civilization.”

As to not being always right, having changed views on political matters often in my life, I am absolutely certain I’m wrong on many things — to me testing and potentially changing ones’ beliefs is the main reason for this kind of discourse. This particular blog and its discussions draw me because 1) I disagree with many of the views taken; and 2) they are intriguing and challenge my existing ideas. I’d much rather engage that then read stuff I already tend to agree with.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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