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How bad is BDS?
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, November 10, 2007

We're approaching Veterans Day. The President of the United States decides to visit wounded soldiers at a rehab center in Texas:
George W. Bush had a shoot-out with the "bad guys" in Iraq on Thursday, playing a computer game with war veterans that simulates a firefight in Baghdad, the White House said.

Bush tried his hand at the game with two soldiers during a visit to a rehabilitation center in Texas that treats veterans wounded in Iraq.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush helped "shoot the bad guys" in a Baghdad neighborhood, albeit virtually.

She said the president saw several "cutting edge virtual reality games" that allow recovering soldiers at the center in San Antonio to simulate riding in a car or boat.
Seems a pretty innocuous story and one that hightlights something a president should do. Any president. And he gets involved with an activity the wounded apparently enjoy.

But to some, no matter what he does, it's just another occasion to take a cheap shot:
It's a good thing they mark the "bad guys" in those games because if Junior had to tell the difference between civilian, insurgent, terrorist, Sunni, Shia or anything else, he would have gotten all frustrated and smashed that stupid old game all over the floor.
The comments are twice as much fun.
 
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I agree that a lot of attacks on the President are unfair and even disgusting. One request: as you condemn that kind of obsession with personally attacking Bush, keep that in mind when you engage in similar attacks on Carter and others. You know, the bit about seeing the speck in anothers’ eye and not noticing the log in your own.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
What is it about Saint Jimmuh and Dr Erb? Are you guys related? Jimmuh takes a pounding because he deserves it Doc.

1976-80.
Well let’s see cuts Defense and Intell, but then is surprised when the CIA and is blindsided by the Shah’s fall and his DoD can’t find enough Passive Night Vision Goggles or helicopter maintenance folks to mount a rescue.

Then let’s see some more…well he let’s the Shah fall, but then let’s the Shah into the US, and suddenly the US Embassy is taken. And the Second Oil Shock comes along, and Carters does nothing to combat the first major rise of Islamo-Fascism. Along the way, Carter decides to “reflate” the US economy and the result of that is massive Stagflation. So in terms of his domestic and foreign policy he produced disaster. Throw in his “Shock” at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and I think it’s safe to see why Saint Jimmuh is loathed or ridiculed, Dr. Erb. and that forgets Windfall Profits Taxes on Oil Companies and the government’s actions making the Oil Crisis worse. His problems were of his own making…

Post 1980.
In the beginning hammering nails for the Poor made him one of the best ex-Presidents. Since then however, there has been no nasty regime that Carter won’t rise to the defense of, Kim Jong-Il, Kim Il-Sung, Chavez, and the Palestinian Authority. And now we have Jimmuh calling Israel an “Apartheid State.”

In short Jimmuh is derided and disparaged quite rightly Doc. I don’t suffer Carter Derangement; he deregulated the airlines and trucking. Not everything he did was a disaster, just the big things.

Now Dr. Erb I understand why Jimmuh is well liked by you and yours, after all he was as much an Anti-Anti-Communist as you are, you know the sort of folks who fear our “inordinate fear of Communism” or Islamo-Fascism than the Communism or Islamo-Fascism. And is one to blame the world’s problems on the US’ role in the world, but most of us don’t suffer from CDS. You simply love him more than is rationally possible. The mental disorder is not in those around you, but is apparent when you look in the mirror…we have no Carter Phobia, YOU have a Carter Mania.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Jimmuh takes a pounding because he deserves it Doc.
No time to go into details, but suffice it to say that I disagree with your analysis of both the Carter Presidency and his time afterwards. His Presidency had real problems, though I’d still rank him above Bush on most counts.

Now, the point is, it’s OK to disagree on that, or about Bush. Those who build on their interpretations of a President’s politics or policies to a point that they engage in ridicule, smears, and what appears to be hate and disdain are acting alike, whether the target is Bush or Carter. Of course both sides will say their smears are OK because they are accurate and the other side isn’t. That kind of relativism (anything ’my side’ does is OK because we’re right) simply isn’t rational. It’s wrong from the left, and wrong from the right. And wrong from all the other spaces and directions as well.

Also, Carter started "Cold War II" and the defense build up Reagan continued, and he was clearly anti-communist. Reagan, on the other hand, held faith that the Iranians could be dealt with up until the end. The world isn’t as clearly defined as "one guy bad one guy good" as you seem to think. It’s complex with a lot of shades of grey. Today’s political discourse tends to ignore that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, stagflation has more to do with international economic conditions and especially the second oil crisis than Carter’s economic policies (which I agree were suspect, Reagan made a number of necessary changes). The Shah was a tyrant, and I really don’t think even if we’d propped him up longer it would have altered the long run inability of that authoritarian regime to survive — it was horribly repressive, there are reasons why the Shah got along well with Saddam.

The mistake was to prop up such a dictator and not realize the long term implications. In any event, Islamic fundamentalism rose after Carter started to support the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, but Reagan supported them at a much higher level, so both Carter and Reagan share in ignoring and even aiding the rise of Islamic extremism.

Again, all of this is complex, and defies the kind of simplistic analysis you offer. Indeed, CIA failures were systemic and were a result of processes that preceded Carter. Same with military readiness.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Carter started "Cold War II" and the defense build up Reagan continued
Why yes Dr Erb, in 1979 he suddenly saw the need to increase defense spending...
Oh, stagflation has more to do with international economic conditions and especially the second oil crisis than Carter’s economic policies (which I agree were suspect
Uh yes, he and the EU (EEC then) decided that they needed to reflate their economies via fiscal policy and the result was high interests, high inflation, AND high unemployment...it was the death of Keynesian Economics. But please don’t try to pawn it off as "Society’s fault" or "We’re all to blame." Jimmuh and his Congress gladly, willfully set down the Keynesian course.

In any event, Islamic fundamentalism rose after Carter started to support the mujahedeen in Afghanistan
And failed to confront it in Teheran.
The Shah was a tyrant, and I really don’t think even if we’d propped him up longer it would have altered the long run inability of that authoritarian regime to survive — it was horribly repressive, there are reasons why the Shah got along well with Saddam.
Are you insane? Or do you just think, "Ha I’ll just wing this and these buffoons will fall for it?" Saddam and the Shah were arch-rivals and enemies. Each armed the others opponents, and each used the Kurds in the others countries to launch proxy wars of aggression, there were extensive artillery duels between Iraq and Iran in the 1970’s (Shah’s Iran), the Iranian Army was being built around Airmobile Infantry and an Armour Corps designed to secure and strike deep into Iraq, covered by a sophisticated Air Force-which should sound vaguely familiar, it’s the Israeli model of armed success. The Shah and Saddam got along...dude pack it in today.

So tyrants are bad, UNLES they’re in Baghdad, attempting to destabilize the region and THEN they’re OK. That would be you’re idea. Or as long as they hate the US we can tolerate tyrants, Saddam, the Mullahs, just if they are US allies they’ve got to go? I see why you and Jimmuh get along so well now.


 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/10/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often.
This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.
 
Written By: David M
URL: http://thunderrun.blogspot.com/
Joe,

Yes, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, on the heels of the Iranian revolution, led many in the Carter White House, esp. Brzezinski, to see the possibility of a Soviet victory in the Cold War if they managed to subvert the Iranian revolution and bring the Communists to power in Iran. They feared Afghanistan was a step along those lines (turns out we know now that the Soviets feared Islamic extremism bleeding over into the USSR, but at the time, the Carter White House wasn’t sure).

Also, I think you misunderstand Keynes. Keynes wanted to deficit spend to counter a recession, but pay that back with surpluses when the economy was booming. By the 1970s Keynes was being ignored, governments simply pumped up their economies and had policies that would have been opposed by a great economist like Keynes. I think many of the changes Reagan and Thatcher brought were absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, neither Reagan nor those who came afterwards were able to bring fiscal discipline to the country. Maybe the late nineties, but that was built on an unsustainable stock bubble.

You also seem to be forgetting the deal that the Shah and Saddam made in 1975 after the Shah armed the Kurds. Essentially, the Shah feared a strong Iraq and wanted to destabilize the new Baathist regime. Saddam (not yet President) convinced the Shah that their mutual interests were similar. Saddam did not want the Shi’ites in Iraq to be helped by Iran, knowing that the Shi’ite majority could overthrow the Baathist Sunni minority. The Shah hated religion, and had no desire to help Shi’ite Arabs. They two managed to realize they had similar interests — each were secular, each feared Islamic extremism, each were authoritarian (Saddam ultimately totalitarian, but in the 70s the Baathist state wasn’t that far gone yet).

And where do you come off thinking I say any tyrant is OK? I just don’t agree in bombing other countries and going to war to remove them all — that does more harm than good, as the Iraq case demonstrates.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I thought this was about BDS?

Tell you what, Erb. The next time Carter says or does something stupid, we will wait and let you fire the first shot. But don’t be surprised if we then question why your nose is stuck up Carter’s *ss when you don’t.

Fair Enough?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Perhaps, before you suggest that calling Bush a petulant dimwit is a result of irration hatred of the man, you’d like to present some evidence that he isn’t, in fact, petulant and dimwitted.

Just to start the ball rolling I’ll offer three reasons to think that Bush deserves such opprobrium: Harriet Meirs, Abu Gonzales, and Donald Rumsfeld.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Perhaps, before you suggest that calling Retief a petulant dimwit is a result of irration[al] hatred of the commenter, you’d like to present some evidence that s/he isn’t, in fact, petulant and dimwitted.

Just to start the ball rolling I’ll offer three reasons to think that Retief deserves such opprobrium: every comment offered at QandO; her/his inability to comprehend any particular post written at QandO; his/her knee-jerk response to anything resembling a slight upon the cannot-be-questioned-should-always-be-exalted opponents of George W. Bush, regardless of facts, logic or general common sense.

Certainly that is a fair framing of the argument, eh, Retief?
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Well MichaelW, that framing is perfect if your purpose is to avoid having to defend Bush on the merits. Of course that is the point of screeching BDS, BDS, BDS. It avoids any need to consider the perfectly legitimate derision Bush has earned.

I’ll see your three reasons and I’ll raise you a "heckuva job Brownie."
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Harriet Meirs, Abu Gonzales, and Donald Rumsfeld
Retief is against women, hispanics, and the elderly.

Shame on you!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Well MichaelW, that framing is perfect if your purpose is to avoid having to defend Bush on the merits. Of course that is the point of screeching BDS, BDS, BDS. It avoids any need to consider the perfectly legitimate derision Bush has earned.
Riiiggghhhht. Calling Bush a "petulant dimwit" is arguing the merits of his presidency. Got it.
I’ll see your three reasons and I’ll raise you a "heckuva job Brownie."
Well, do tell! What is it exactly that you are referring to here? FEMA’s response to Katrina? Do you even have a clue as to what actually happened in NOLA?
Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest—and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm’s landfall.

Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day—some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, "guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways," says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.

These units had help from local, state and national responders, including five helicopters from the Navy ship Bataan and choppers from the Air Force and police. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dispatched 250 agents in boats. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state police and sheriffs’ departments launched rescue flotillas. By Wednesday morning, volunteers and national teams joined the effort, including eight units from California’s Swift Water Rescue. By Sept. 8, the waterborne operation had rescued 20,000.

While the press focused on FEMA’s shortcomings, this broad array of local, state and national responders pulled off an extraordinary success—especially given the huge area devastated by the storm. Computer simulations of a Katrina-strength hurricane had estimated a worst-case-scenario death toll of more than 60,000 people in Louisiana. The actual number was 1077 in that state.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Retief, I don’t think you know what "petulant" means. Here’s the dictionary entry for the word: rude or insolent in word or behavior. I don’t think the example you give (nominating Miers, Gonzalez, and Rumsfeld) is anywhere close.

As for being a dimwit, he’s managed to fly supersonic aircraft and earn a Harvard MBA. We all should be so dim.

In short, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Calling Bush a "petulant dimwit" is arguing the merits of his presidency.
Well yea... especially if your fists are clenched, your feet are stomping, and you can’t stop ammending Bush with "itler." What an irony impared lot.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." — The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)
Ever appropriate.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Steverino, you need a better dictionary. One that makes some mention of the capricious ill humor, unreasonable irritability, or peevishness that is actually the dominant meaning in these modern times.

MichaelW, how does your excerpt, saying that first responders performed amazing rescues in spite of FEMA, exonerate FEMA? Here’s a link to 218 pages of the DHS’s own IG saying criticism of FEMA was largely deserved.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://

 
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