Column: Why Liberals Are Angry





Mr. Carpenter is a historian and syndicated columnist.

Akin to politically motivated charges of rising liberal incivility is the seductive, if not surprising, topic of very real liberal anger: seductive, because pondering its origins is fun; surprising, because anger seems so out of character with liberals' rather spineless image they themselves allowed to prevail. When liberals got fingered by militant detractors for unraveling America's moral fiber (a neat trick the liberals pulled off with satanic glee, of course), they abruptly laid low and even cowered to the point of denying their identity.

But no longer. Liberals are pumped – and p-oed.

Some say liberals are ticked because the rest of the country hasn't yet conceded that George W. is a duplicitous bumbler with emperor envy. Some say it's only because liberalism has suffered a long decline. Others say a stolen election, a seedy impeachment, an illegal war and the pack-mentality media account for liberal wrath.

All these are true. But there's a more seminal cause of liberal anger. In view of it, the only surprise is that the anger took so long to erupt.

The post-Watergate movement of the “New Right” – a well-orchestrated confederation of political action committees, think tanks, neoconservatives, religious rightists, social-conservatives and libertarians – introduced into American politics a fresh supply of advanced disingenuousness. In a 1980 Washington Post interview, one of its founding strategists, John Terry Dolan of the National Conservative Political Action Committee, described its tactical approach as “the cutting edge of politics.”

New Right activists fueled by massive infusions of cash, Dolan injudiciously bragged in a self-satisfied and rare moment of truthfulness, “are potentially very dangerous to the political process.” We “could be a menace,” he boasted. We “could amass this great amount of money and defeat the point of accountability in politics. We could say whatever we want…. A group like ours could lie through its teeth.”

And that's just what Dolan's group, “Nickpack” – along with dozens of likeminded groups – did. To discredit what it liked to call the failed Liberal Establishment, the New Right bullied opponents with outrageously false attack ads, painted differing opinions as disloyalty and contaminated America's political consciousness with an unprecedented barrage of innuendo, half-truths and whole untruths about liberal motives, the “liberal media” and the liberal agenda in general.

Paul Weyrich, a right-wing PAC-man contemporary of John Terry Dolan, effused in 1980 that the fight against liberalism was “the most significant battle of the age-old conflict between good and evil … that we have seen in our country.” That zealous excess inspired the right to bar no holds. Any expediency drafted in the cause against godless liberalism was legitimate. The end, quite simply, justified the means.

Success soon followed. The new conservatism flourished like no political movement ever flourished before – leading to the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions and the revolution now in progress – because the New Right “could,” and did, “lie through its teeth.”

There are, of course, softer and more diplomatic terms than “lies” to describe the right's rhetorical record, but none so plainly accurate. Intimidated liberals used to call them “fabrications” or “distortions.” All that's over: hence best-selling titles like Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, David Corn's The Lies of George W. Bush and Joe Conason's Big Lies .

Today it's no more Mr. Nice Guys, but their angry lingo was long in the making.

In their rush to political supremacy, conservative strategists such as Weyrich and Dolan forgot a basic law of human behavior: Even the intimidated, the vanquished, will take bullying just so long. In time they'll get mad and push back. In time they'll explode.

Paul Weyrich forgot, that is, until the recent avalanche of published liberal anger triggered a wake-up call. “Republicans had better worry,” he acknowledged a just few days ago. “Angry people are motivated to get out to vote.”

He oughta' know.

Sure, liberals still seethe from a doubtful election, an illegal war and political prosecutions. But there's a genuine anger out there engendered by something rooted far deeper in the past: a quarter-century of callous right-wing tactics. Its purveyors now carping about liberal anger have no one to blame but themselves.

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katya likhovtseva - 7/19/2004

I can understand how the author feels. i came from a foreign country with a very idealized notion of the US, I think that everybody is equal etc. but the reality isn't like that. everybody is created equal, but the different environments and cultures people are brought up in make different people behave differently, and a group of people sharing a roughly similar culture and living environment may end up having roughly similar attitudes. groups of people, e.g. blacks, arabs, etc. have survived terrible times in the past and most of that experience have made them bitter--so here I tend to see a lot of blacks behaving very, very badly, almost to the point that I just want to say I HATE THEM!!! although I know there are exceptions and that as a Christian I should love people since they're God's creation. so I don't think it's their fault, nor is it mine, it's Satan's who's telling all of us to be bitter and angry and hateful toward one another. We can only break this through Jesus Christ's love, although it'll forever be a struggle. hope this opinion helps.


Bams - 12/31/2003

Bush visited both Washingon and NY after the 9/11 bombing. Unlike Clinton he understood how to protect the US against thugs.

If Bush had understood how to protect the US against thugs, there wouldn't have been a 9/11.

Clinton ignored the threat,
Clinton drove al Qaeda out of Africa, and developed the intelligence to pursue them in Afghanistan

Bush stood up to it
By mothballing Clinton administration plans to defeat bin Laden

and provided the world leadership
Is it really 'leadership if you can't convince anyone to follow you?

As a result of making the Palistine/Israeli (P/I)issue a top priority, (with he in the photo-ops), he energized the Muslin world against Jews
Yes I remember the glorious pre-Clinton days when Israelis and Palestinians lived together in peace and harmony, and Israel could always count on its Arab neighbors for support.

We were attacked several times under Clinton's leadership, culminating with the 9/11 attack.
Yes, like the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, terrorist attacks on US citizens began when Clinton took office, and ceased the moment he left.

Bush is a leader who understands the "real world". Clinton was just a kid from Hope with a naive view of the "real world."
That's true. Clinton didn't understand that in the 'real world' it's not enough to merely fight terrorism, you have make sure that you're funnelling billions of dollars to your corporate allies in the process. Bush, the great realist, understands that lies and fear-mongering are necessary tools for rallying support for unnecessary wars.

Out of 12 paragraphs on the first one talks about the Liberal anger. The next 11 is his normal rant against Bush and republicans. Ho, Hum. Makes good reading before bed time.
In the first paragraph, he presents his thesis that liberal anger is caused by the harmful policies of Bush and republicans. The next 11 describe those harmful policies. Thoughtful, well-reasoned debate is just such a bore.


Ben - 12/31/2003

Show me where any one of your "Stalinists" Peter Jennings or Dan Rather has ever said or wrote anything like Ann Coulter's Townhall.com column of Sep. 13, 2001. You know, the one about invading, killing, and converting.


Dave Johnson - 12/31/2003

Regarding your accusation that liberals file lawsuits, I refer you to The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law at http://www.commonwealinstitute.org/reports/tort/tortreport.html


Don Williams - 12/22/2003

In my December 11-12 comments above, I discussed Conrad Black (Richard Perle's patron), other rich men who make huge political donations, and their agendas. I then asked why the New York Times
never discusses these men and their agendas when covering the events which they influence.

I just noticed that the Times has an article this morning re Conrad Black --some slams on Conrad Black's conservative allies, but little to no mention of the Israeli linkages. Why am I not surprised that the Salzberger-Ochs newspaper would decide not to discuss this?


dan - 12/17/2003

Yeah, Bush's Genius is to be in a Party that owns the media...

And, like all of Bush's other "skills," he was born with this one, too.

Always someone there to bail him out and dust him off.

Dan


Steve BRody - 12/16/2003


“However, I believe that these programs were accelerated after Bush made his comments, given the direct threat Bush made to them.”

Cram, I went back and read the relevant portions of Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech, (the “axis of evil” speech), and I think you overstate the case a bit when you refer to Bush “directly threatening” NK and Iran.

He pointed out that both were developing nuclear weapons and, in NK’s case, advanced missile technology. He pointed out that Iran supports terrorists. He then says:

“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.
We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack. (Applause.) And all nations should know: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security.
We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. (Applause.) “—GWB, 1/29/02

I think you have to stretch a bit to find a direct threat in there. What he really did was put them on notice that we knew what they were up to and wouldn’t allow it.

As for whether they accelerated the programs based on Bush’s SOTU speech, who knows? I can’t refute your belief. These programs are being conducted behind a thick veil of secrecy. We’re lucky to know they even exist. We certainly don’t have enough information to judge whether they are being accelerated or not.

Another thing, Cram, This speech was made less than 2 years ago. How much could NK or Iran have “accelerated” the program? And would we really be better off if we pretended that the WMD programs didn’t exist and found ourselves in exactly the same position we are in now, say six months or a year down the road?

“Both countries came out with these programs, and admitted to violating the law very close togerther, and around the time of the Iraq war and right before.”

Actually, NK admitted their cheating on the Nuke weapons when a Bush Administration official travel to Pyongyang and confronted the North Koreans with our evidence. Iran was caught red handed by the IAEA with undeclared uranium enrichment capabilities.

“N.Korea even admitted that it doesn't really want them and will give them up for assurances that they will not be the next US target.”

Cram! Give me a break. NK has been developing these weapons for years. Do you really believe that NK “doesn’t really want them”? Let me ask you this: If “they really don’t want them”, why did they start developing them, long before Bush was Pres?

That they are willing to give them up in some extortion scheme really isn’t evidence that they “really don’t want them”. We’ll see if they’ll give them up for some assurances. My belief is that when the time comes, they will want a lot more than “assurances”.

“I would ask in return that you at least acknowledge that the fact that "the coalition has not found any signs of such weapons since the toppling of Saddam's regime in April" is (to say the least) alarming. “

Agreed. I must say that I’m surprised that none have been located. I guess that someday we’ll know all there is to know about Iraq’s WMD’s. But, I honestly don’t remember anyone seriously questioning that Iraq had them before the war. Everyone seemed to agree that he had them; some just thought that we should stick with inspections.

“the only rationale that was definitely correct was Saddam's brutality, precisely the type of humanitarian interventions conservatives have been against for DECADES?!? Remember the old slogan, we can't be the world's police?”

Funny, I remember that as a liberal Mantra. Besides, if you support the Bosnian war on the grounds that “the killing had to stop”, which was precisely the grounds offered, then how can you argue that it was wrong to stop the vastly more extensive slaughter that Saddam was engaging in?

“PS I know this if off topic,…”

Many thanks, much appreciated.


Cram - 12/15/2003

Steve,
lol, you are right about the crap I took about spelling... I don't know why of all things, I would choose to be offended at your innocent comment. Must be all the coffee I am drinking. Didn't mean to be so sensitive (although I am a bleeding heart liberal, remember :)

1) "Cram, I think you’ve mixed up your time line a little. You claim that the military build up occurred, and then Bush spoke at the UN. Not so. Bush spoke at the UN on 9/12/02. The military build up really didn’t get started until 11/02."

Steve, I am pretty sure troops were sent before the speech, but I may be wrong on that. I can't locate the article, so I am willing cede the point.

01/02: Bush calls Iraq part of the "axist of evil"
05/02: Cheney said in a speech to the U.S Naval Academy that the war on terror might expand to Iraq
07/02: The New York Times published an article stating that a U.S. military planning document contained a plan to invade Iraq from Kuwait using tens of thousands of marines and soldiers
"With pressure from critics mounting, the Bush administration took its case to the United Nations. In a September 12 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Bush said the UN risked the possibility of becoming irrelevant if it didn't enforce its own resolutions against Iraq."
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/09/30/sproject.irq.regime.change/index.html

2) "What would you say are the three biggest UN success stories in Nation Building?"
Based on what I have read:
East Timor
Cambodia
Sierra Leone
http://www.cfr.org/background/nation_building.php

3) "Both countries have been desperately seeking these weapons since long before Bush was around. This is really no different from Don William’s preposterous assertion that 9/11 occurred because of Bush, despite the fact that it was planned long before Bush was President."

Both Iran and N.Korea and many other states have wanted WMD for a long time. This is no one's fault, it is the nature of the international system. However, I believe that these programs were accelerated after Bush made his comments, given the direct threat Bush made to them. Both countries came out with these programs, and admitted to violating the law very close togerther, and around the time of the Iraq war and right before. N.Korea even admitted that it doesn't really want them and will give them up for assurances that they will not be the next US target.

I don't blame Bush for their violations (in fact, I am willing to accept that it is better now that they are out in the open rather than convertly building them), but I do believe that we are seeing an administration that seems, on surface, to simply be against diplomacy. How is it in our interest to scare other countries when that pushes them to accelerate their WMD programs?

3) "Presidents Clinton and Bush disagree. Colin Powell disagrees. Tony Blair disagrees. The heads of state of Italy, Spain and 68 other countries disagree. Given that so many people disagree, will you at least admit that it is an open question and that reasonable people can differ on the question of whether Saddam was a threat to world peace?"

I think that is a fair request. I will admit that it is a open question, one that as many countries disagree on than agree on.

I would ask in return that you at least acknowledge that the fact that "the coalition has not found any signs of such weapons since the toppling of Saddam's regime in April" is (to say the least) alarming. Yes, we might still find them, yes, he might have hidden them or gotten rid of them, I am willing accept any of those theories as a possibility. However, as of this moment, lacking WMD, and 9/11 links, despite the pre-war rhetoric to the countrary, the only rationale that was definitely correct was Saddam's brutality, precisely the type of humanitarian interventions conservatives have been against for DECADES?!? Remember the old slogan, we can't be the world's police?

I think many conservatives simply support the war because it was instigated by one of their own (as an extention, I am willing to label the liberals as equally hypocritical for oposing the same humanitarian crisis we fought in Kosovo).
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/12/15/sprj.irq.uk.saddam/index.html

PS I know this if off topic, but I know you and NYGuy will appriciate this:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/12/15/sprj.irq.saddam.palestinians/index.html


Steve Brody - 12/15/2003


So, George, you subscribe to Don's theory that the war in Iraq was done at Israel's behest? You must also agree with Don that the Jews control the Government and the Press.

Since you've withdrawn your support of Barbara Cornett for President, can an endorsement of Don be far behind?


George Oilwell - 12/15/2003

Well said, and all true, Mr. Williams.

It's astonishing how few people seem to understand the 9-11 lie known as the "Official Legacy" and the devastating hit our country has taken since the unelected fraud has occupied the White House, courtesy of the stolen election in 2000.


Steve Brody - 12/15/2003


“But, I do think that the Bush response to 9/11 and Saddam has more to do with extending US power and as Thomas Gallatin pointed out, about getting re-elected, than with any coherent approach to the problem of terrorism.”

Our (yours and mine) positions are no doubt colored greatly by our feelings about Bush. I maintain that it is easy to ascribe evil intent to any action by Bush, if you don’t like him. Likewise, if you do like him, it’s easier to take him at this word. I’m willing to look any evidence for this position that you may have, but I do require evidence.

“You ask for evidence, I cite the PNAC and the fact that a number of its proponents are holding high level government jobs and that US policy seems to be following the path laid out therein.”

I maintain PNAC is evidence of nothing. It is an obscure 501c3 corporation that does not represent US government policy.

“but now I have both publication deadlines and a rotten case of the flu to deal with.”

Luckily, LE has no “publish or perish” dictum. I am, unfortunately, acutely aware of the flu and wish you well


Steve BRody - 12/15/2003

Cram, all that crap you took about your spelling from that stuffed shirt Phil and not one word of complaint! You begrudge me one measly “your beloved Europe “ reference. Sheeesh!

Actually, if you were offended, I apologize. I included that reference as an ironic needle in relation to your support for European style socialized medicine and meant no disrespect. Sorry. :-)

“First, we send troops to the Persian Gulf, then we warned the UN that we didn't need their approval in any event, we then said that if they did not give us approval, not only we would do it anyway, but the UN would be: irrelevant." Finally, after all that, if my chronology is not mistaken, Bush went before the UN to present his case (possibly the best speech I ever heard him make, after the one before Congress following 9/11).”

Cram, I think you’ve mixed up your time line a little. You claim that the military build up occurred, and then Bush spoke at the UN. Not so. Bush spoke at the UN on 9/12/02. The military build up really didn’t get started until 11/02.

As for threatening the UN, calling them irrelevant, etc, as I’ve said, Bush told them that they risked becoming irrelevant if they refused to act on Iraq’s many violations of the many UN resolutions applicable to Iraq. The UN must have agreed. The Security Council passed a resolution giving Saddam a final chance to show complete cooperation or to face serious consequences.

When Iraq produced a sham of a Weapons Declaration, Saddam showed his hand. He was clearly not going to cooperate.

Frankly, if anyone has been arrogant and high handed, it’s France, who threatened to veto ANY resolution involving the use of force, “ whatever the situation”.

“I believe (although we may never know) that if Bush showed as much skill and diplomacy that his father showed, this would be an international effort today.”

I believe you’re wrong on this. French intransigence was never going to be overcome by diplomacy. They made that clear. I think that France, Germany, and Russia were all being guided by commercial interests and were unlikely to be won over. At any rate as long as France had indicated that they would veto any resolution involving force, No UN action was possible, no matter how many other SC members would have gone along. It provided a convenient out for Germany and Russia.

You know, Cram, you’ve posited the notion that the UN is the nation building expert. What would you say are the three biggest UN success stories in Nation Building? And just to humor me, leave out actions like South Korea, where the UN only acted after being “bullied” by a US President and provided no serious support or guidance.

“As for Iran and N.Korea, it is my belief that regardless of the timetable, the proper way to deal with the situation was not to try and scare N.Korea and Iran into building a bomb to ward off an invasion. “

Cram, why do you keep insisting that Bush “scared” Iran and North Korea into building nuclear weapons? This is demonstrably false. Both countries have been desperately seeking these weapons since long before Bush was around. This is really no different from Don William’s preposterous assertion that 9/11 occurred because of Bush, despite the fact that it was planned long before Bush was President.

“As I have said before, and will repeat, I don't think Saddam was really a threat to world peace..”

Well, Cram, you are certainly free to hold this opinion. I disagree. Presidents Clinton and Bush disagree. Colin Powell disagrees. Tony Blair disagrees. The heads of state of Italy, Spain and 68 other countries disagree. Given that so many people disagree, will you at least admit that it is an open question and that reasonable people can differ on the question of whether Saddam was a threat to world peace?


Don Williams - 12/15/2003

The media's depiction of Bush's "great victory" over Iraq is rather ridiculous when one sees that Iraq's defense budget circa 2001 was $1.4 Billion versus the US's $350 Billion budget.

Plus the US military is the CUMULATIVE result of decades of high spending. The Pentagon wargamer James Dunnigan's internet page
"Strategypage.com" has a database with ratings of the world's military powers -- see
http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/armies/default.asp

In that database , Iraq had a combat land power of 84 which, when multiplied by a low efficiency rating of .15, yields a combat value of 12.6.

By contrast, the United States has a raw power rating of 2488 , which multiplied by an efficiency rating of .93, yields a combat
value of 2314.

Only the US corporate-owned news media would make the Iraqi invasion to be anything other than shooting fish in a barrel.

Hussein was never a credible threat to the US -- he was taken out because (a) some wealthy campaign donors in the US thought he might be a bad neighbor to Israel --in the same way that wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods consider black ghettos a bad neighbor --and (b) Dick Cheney's friends in Houston wanted a puppet government installed in Iraq that would write sweetheart deals giving them access to Iraq's huge oil reservoirs.

The real problem for the average American --other than the huge costs of Bush's military adventures -- is that some major military powers in Europe , our longtime allies , are beginning to wonder if the US government in which they placed their trust is a two-faced, lying psychopath bent on world domination.

A nuclear-armed unified Europe covertly allied with Russia and China will be a formidable opponent -- a million times more dangerous than Hussein could ever have hoped to be. There are several premptive attacks on the US economy that could reduce the US to a second rate power within a decade -- and which would be untraceable to their source. I know that if I was the leader of Germany or France, I would start investigating my options.

THe enormous devastation of World War II was brought on by the stupid, greedy manipulations of political whores at Versailles.


Don Williams - 12/15/2003

If you looks at the comments by NYGuy and other Bush supporters here, one sees a lot of airy proclamations re the greatness of Bush with few citations of facts and little to no grounding in reality.
This unthinking, abject sycophancy has more in common with the "ministers" surrounding Saddam Hussein than it does with political debate by citizens of a free republic.

The FACTS are as follows:
1) By any standard, Bush's Administration has been an enormous disaster for the American people --and the effects will be even more malign in the future.
2) Sept 11 occurred nine months into Bush's Administration. Bush allowed Sept 11 to happen even though he commanded the most powerful military and intelligence organizations in the world.
For several years, Bush has stonewalled a Congressional investigation into how Sept 11 was allowed to happen. No one in the Bush Administration, the Executive Branch, the CIA, or the Pentagon has been fired for allowing that attack to happen. The Republican Congress that wasted huge sums and time on trival matters --$77 million on the Whitewater Investigation(with no results) and years of valuable time on the Clinton-Lewinski matter -- has been strangely reluctant to investigate an event that cost 3000+ lives and $1 Trillion.

3) The image of Bush being strong on defense is utter bullshit.
As Sept 11 showed, the US military, the $400 Billion/year defense budget, and Rumsfeld's Pentagon have nothing to do with the defense of the United States -- they are concerned about grabbing oil reservoirs for Houston's Big Oil, about protecting the foreign investments of Republican campaign donors, and about twisting the arms of foreign rulers on behalf of some wealthy special interests on occasion.

If the purpose of the Pentagon is to protect the US, why was it necessary to create a Department of Homeland Security? (An additional $50+ Billion/year)??

Even under Clinton, the US spent roughly $320 BILLION/year on defense, more than the next 23 largest military powers. Bush has increased that to $400 billion/year.
See http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=1040&StartRow=1&ListRows=10&appendURL=&Orderby=D.DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=15&from_page=index.cfm

This "defense myth" is bankrupting the US. Bush's own budgets --available at whitehouse.gov -- shows that he now projects the federal debt in 2008 to be $9.3 Trillion -- $3 Trillion higher than what he had projected only two years ago (See Feb 2001 and Feb 2003 budget submittals --Internet URLs to the Bush Tables available on request).

Based on the taxes paid by income groups, middle class taxpayers in the $40000-$100000 income bracket have had $70,000 !!! in additional debt dumped on them by Bush.

That debt is real --just as real as a mortage-- and just as the Reagan-Bush1 $3.3 Trillion debt was real. Real tax relief will not be possible for decades because $hundreds of Billions in tax dollars have to be paid every year just on the Reagan/Bush1 federal debt.

But George W Bush's tax cut for the rich has made the situation much much worse for middle class Americans. The richest 8% of households own over 53% of the nations' wealth. The richest 5% receive most of the nation's income. Because of that, the richest 5% share of the $5.5 trillion federal debt at the time of Bush's inauguration was roughly $3 Trillion. Bush's tax cut relieved them of about $2 Trillion by stealing from the Middle Class's IRAs/401Ks:

In order to meet federal debt payments, Bush's budget shows that he is borrowing $3 Trillion from the Trust Funds for Social Security, Medicare, government employee retirement, military retirement.

The $3 Trillion in IOUs that Bush is writing will have to be paid back to the Trust Funds when the Baby Boomers begin retiring in 2011. This is $3 Trillion over and beyond the regular US tax revenues! The only way to make those payments will be to heavily tax (e.g., at 60% !!) withdrawals from IRAs/401Ks that middle class will make as they begin retiring.

Most of the huge middle class savings stuck away (i.e., Trapped!!) in IRAs/401Ks are in "before tax dollars" and can be taxed at any rate the federal government chooses (e.g., at 99% ). Middle class workers have been misled into thinking that those savings would only be taxed at low rates --say 15% -- but Bush's $3 Trillion in debt has made that impossible.

US voters are about to discover that when you elect a lying con artist to be President, he can bankrupt you by writing checks that you have to pay.


Cram - 12/15/2003

NUYguy,
1) "First I am a citizen of the US not of the UN so I am not sure why they should have greater control over our destiny then our own government, particularly since they have such a poor track record."

Actually, when it comes to nation-building, they at least have the training and experience better then we do. As for control, I never supported given them any control over our destiny. However, unless we want Iraq to be American property, some kind of colony, I don't see why we need to monopolize all the power there. Is the goal to rebuild Iraq or to control it, as part of our destiny?

2) "If the UN were as important as you believe they are in keeping world peace than they would have gotten a coalition of countries to oppose Bush's coalition that went into Iraq. But then again the UN did nothing to oppose the terrorists so I guess we could argue that they are an equal opportunity disappointer."

As I have said before, and will repeat, I don't think Saddam was really a threat to world peace and therfore cannot blame the UN for inaction in that particular area. In any event, I never suggested that they were important in keeping world peace and I think you should know better by now. Are we colonizing Iraq oe rebuilding it? If the latter, what does keeping world peace have to do with anything?

3) "But we can't wait 10 years to make a decision in such a dangerous world as we have seen with 9/11 and other recent terrorist attacks.

As I have said before, I believe this was a war of choice that, to the extent that we wanted to go to war, could have been done far better.

4) "I think the type of debate about the US actions against Saddam in both Gulf Wars is instructive for those who are interested in why Hitler was so successful in the beginning."

Hitler invaded Czechlosovakia, annexed Austria, and conquered France when we went to war. Iraq invaded Kuwait and we went in. This time, Iraq invaded no one and was not likely to anytime soon. What makes Iraq any different from its many dengerous neighbors?

5) "The inaction of the UN was encouraging terrorists to become bolder by its procrastination and permitting countries with WMD to ignore the rules of the UN."

This I cannot disagree with you. You are absolutely right.

6) "If the UN were as effective as you think they are and they carried out their mission they would have stopped the US and the coalition from invading Iraq."

Once again, I must repeat that we are talking about rebuilding Iraq, not making the world safe for Democracy. That is what I am talking about, not whether we should ask the UN to go to war.

7) "I believe the cost, based on the US leadership, is a lot less today in terms of both money and people."

The principle difference is that Hitler was a threat to the world... Iraq was not, nor have I been convinced of otherwise. I never suggested we do nothing, as many pro-war groups say was the alternative. I simplt believe war should have been the last step, not the first.

8) "Bush has sent a very clear message to everyone, “We will live in peace or we will live in terror”. The major world leaders recognize he is right and that is why no one opposes the coalition actions."

Many oppose the coalition action, but no one tries to stop it because they are afriad (accurately) that the US will destroy them.

9) "Certainly if there are people who disagree with this position they will have a chance to vote for Dean in 2004, “the UN in and the US out.” That may make some sleep easier at night but not many."

It will the families of troops being killed on a daily basis. Given the impossibility of Saddam ever returning to power, that is good enough for me.

10) "The world deserves better than the UN and Anan it deserves real leadership from a man like Bush and the coalition he has put together."

The world does deserve better then the UN, but it certainly does not deserve the bully style leadership of Bush... leaders of countries support us because they are afraid of us, not because they love us. They are afraid we will blackmail them economically, or worse. In human history, this form of authority has never lasted and it is not what I call leadership... strength, yes, but not leadership. Just look at what it cost us to put the "coalition of the billing" together?


Elia Markell - 12/15/2003

Oh, come off your high horse, Cram. The only people making this a partisan issue are conservatives!??! They are the only people who WANT it not to be a partisan issue. Here is only the first of several Galloway Awards (you will have to check to see what that means)given by Sullivan today, along with his pithy comment:

"GALLOWAY NOMINEE I (for thinly veiled disappointment at the capture of Saddam): "I can't believe this. I'm crying here. I feel that we now don't have a chance in this election." - poster Carrie B. on Howard Dean's campaign blog. Way to get your priorities straight, Carrie."

So don't kid me, Cram. You know damn well there are thousands of Carries out there, crying today -- as they should, but for other reasons. For the rest of us, it is a glorious day. A day we will never forget. A day for thanks.


NYGuy - 12/15/2003

Cram,

Always enjoy your comments but cannot agree with you on the UN.

First I am a citizen of the US not of the UN so I am not sure why they should have greater control over our destiny then our own government, particularly since they have such a poor track record.

If the UN were as important as you believe they are in keeping world peace than they would have gotten a coalition of countries to oppose Bush's coalition that went into Iraq. But then again the UN did nothing to oppose the terrorists so I guess we could argue that they are an equal opportunity disappointer.

Meanwhile, there are still disagreements about whether the U.S. was justified in waging war against Iraq the first time and over whether the war was prosecuted far enough. But we can't wait 10 years to make a decision in such a dangerous world as we have seen with 9/11 and other recent terrorist attacks.

We come from different generations and have different experiences. I think the type of debate about the US actions against Saddam in both Gulf Wars is instructive for those who are interested in why Hitler was so successful in the beginning. The arguments for peace were just as strong during the 1930’s. The difference between that period and today is that the WMD and the time required to deliver them have become more deadly and more difficult to predict and stop.

Since the UN lacks an effective peace keeping force and Europe has put its money into social programs, the only true force to insure peace in the world is the US, particularly after it has been attacked. The inaction of the UN was encouraging terrorists to become bolder by its procrastination and permitting countries with WMD to ignore the rules of the UN. How many times must the USm and the world suffer terrorist attacks before they can defend themselves and who makes that decision the UN or the American people when they are attacked?

If the UN were as effective as you think they are and they carried out their mission they would have stopped the US and the coalition from invading Iraq. But, they did nothing to either stop terrorism or to stop US aggression. This was similar to our experience in stopping Nazi Germany as many peaceniks then also wanted peace at all costs and we got it at a high cost. I believe the cost, based on the US leadership, is a lot less today in terms of both money and people.

Bush has sent a very clear message to everyone, “We will live in peace or we will live in terror”. The major world leaders recognize he is right and that is why no one opposes the coalition actions.

Certainly if there are people who disagree with this position they will have a chance to vote for Dean in 2004, “the UN in and the US out.” That may make some sleep easier at night but not many.

The world deserves better than the UN and Anan it deserves real leadership from a man like Bush and the coalition he has put together.


NYGuy - 12/15/2003

Verena,

Always nice to see an in depth analysis and not get a bunch of cliches. We need more postings such as yours to stimulate debate, except that you have covered everything and there is nothing one can add to your thinking.


Steve Brody - 12/15/2003


“Those who think Saddam not our greatest threat may ask, So?”

Ken, if you doubt Saddam was a threat, perhaps you should read Clinton's remarks on the occasion of the start of Operation Desert Fox. A few samples:
“The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.”
“I made it very clear at that time what "unconditional cooperation" meant, based on existing U.N. resolutions and Iraq's own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning”

“The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with the new Iraqi government, a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people.”

---Bill Clinton, 12/16/98

“Bushes policies on the environment will cost many times the American lives as ever Saddam. Tobacco; many, many times. McDonalds, too, will costs many amore. Firestone tires will kill more. More kids will from lack of health care due to budget cuts due Bush's tax cuts.”

Can you document any of this?

“Bush was willing to sacrifice up to 4,000 dead American soldiers and $400billion in order get Saddam.”

Check your stats, Ken, they are way high.

“Now you would have us all believe it's the greatest and the thousands dead and more wounded plus $billions spent were worth it? As for me, any price was too high for seeing this small mean man strut around like a rooster.”

All over the civilized world, people rejoice that a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of a million or more people has been captured. But here on the HNN, Ken Melvin and a coterie of bitter liberals wail and gnash their teeth because they see their dream of unseating Bush being dashed. Pitiful.


Steve Brody - 12/15/2003


“Those who think Saddam not our greatest threat may ask, So?”

Ken, if you doubt Saddam was a threat, perhaps you should read Clinton's remarks on the occasion of the start of Operation Desert Fox. A few samples:

“The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.”

“I made it very clear at that time what "unconditional cooperation" meant, based on existing U.N. resolutions and Iraq's own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning”

“The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with the new Iraqi government, a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people.”

“Bushes policies on the environment will cost many times the American lives as ever Saddam. Tobacco; many, many times. McDonalds, too, will costs many amore. Firestone tires will kill more. More kids will from lack of health care due to budget cuts due Bush's tax cuts.”

Can you document any of this?

“Bush was willing to sacrifice up to 4,000 dead American soldiers and $400billion in order get Saddam.”

Check your stats, Ken, they are way high.

“Now you would have us all believe it's the greatest and the thousands dead and more wounded plus $billions spent were worth it? As for me, any price was too high for seeing this small mean man strut around like a rooster.”

All over the civilized world, people rejoice that a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of a million or more people has been captured. But here on the HNN, Ken Melvin and a coterie of bitter liberals wail and gnash their teeth because they see their dream of unseating Bush being dashed. Pitiful.


Steve BRody - 12/15/2003


Jerry, you’re starting to sound a little shrill.

“I mean everybody who supported him, including those who used him against Iran.”

We tilted towards Iraq during the Iraq/Iraq war. We gave Iraq some intel and that was about it. Contrary to popular urban legend, we did not give or sell Iraq significant amounts of conventional weapons or any chemical weapons. We did give Iraq some Anthrax samples under a CDC program whereby countries could obtain Anthrax samples for research purposes. Many other countries also obtained these samples under the program.

The fact of the matter is that the Germans, Russians, French and Chinese provided Saddam with almost all of his weapons. We provided Iraq with less than 1% of the total between 1982 and 2000. Right behind Denmark. That’s right; Denmark provided more weapons to Iraq than we did.

Not only that, most of what we sold Iraq consisted of civilian helicopters. Not real weapons at all.

So, Jerry, we didn’t “create” him, nor did we “turn him loose on the world” as you stated.

“That Saddam is under lock and key is a good thing. “

Glad to here you say it. I was beginning to think you were going to join the caterwauling of liberals who are angry that Saddam has been captured. Why are they angry about it? Because they’re afraid that this is the final nail in the coffin of there hope to unseat Bush next year.

“But, we should never let such momentary events gloss over the real issue of how he got to be who he is in the first place,”

Saddam came to power the old fashion way, he murdered his way to the top. Without any help from the US.


Cram - 12/15/2003

Steve,
At the time leading up to war, I often wondered what the American public would think if we, or NATO were treated the way the UN and individual countries were. First, we send troops to the Persian Gulf, then we warned the UN that we didn't need their approval in any event, we then said that if they did not give us approval, not only we would do it anyway, but the UN would be :irrelevant." Finally, after all that, if my chronology is not mistaken, Bush went before the UN to present his case (possibly the best speech I ever heard him make, after the one before Congress following 9/11). We went in with the attitude (still shared by many) that we don't need anyone, and then were appalled that they did not contribute to this war.

I am more than aware of how morally bankrupt the UN is, but to me, it made for bad diplomacy for no reason that I can think of. I believe (although we may never know) that if Bush showed as much skill and diplomacy that his father showed, this would be an international effort today.

Remember that the military coalition in THAT war (just military here, not counting monetary support) consisted of Afghanistan (believe it or not), Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The war also was financed by countries which were unable to send in troops. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were the main donors. More than $53 billion was pledged and received.


I don't know how many US troops would still be in Iraq, but judging from past international conflicts, I have to conclude that while still a majority, US troops were FAR fewer as a percentage than currently. Furthermore, US troops were always under US command in the past, so I see no reason why letting the UN in would change that.

I agree 100% that "we should redouble our efforts with the military to capture the remaining guerrillas." The primary objective at this point however is to rebuilt Iraq. Stopping insurgents is simply a means to an end, as far as I am concerned. The fact of the matter is that while it is not good at much, when it comes to nation-building, the UN really is the place to go. They have the experience in underdeveloped countries, and the expertise to do what Americans have (since Vietnam, and reinforced since Somalia) disdained: nation-building.

I don't know if the UN or anyone else will reconsider going in, but my opinion (nothing more) is that they will under a different president. A person who can open contracting to all nations interested, and who are willing to work with the UN, not against it. I don't know this, and if you get your way, we may never know :)

As for Iran and N.Korea, it is my belief that regardless of the timetable, the proper way to deal with the situation was not to try and scare N.Korea and Iran into building a bomb to ward off an invasion. They believe (accurately) that we are a threat to them, which is why N.Korea at least is asking for a non-aggression pact from us. Because they have listened to Bush and are desperate to do what they never needed to do before: Get an atomic bomb to deter a US invasion.

While it is true, N.Korea "cheated" on the treaty, a fair analysis shows that we did as well, not just with regards to the water reactors (a relatively minor point) but with regards to the normalization of relations, promised in 1994 and never carried out. Don't get me wrong, this does not change the fact that they are a tyrannical regime that cannot be trusted. I merely point out that on this particular issue, I think that Bush's rhetoric inflamed a situation that might otherwise have been contained (arguably).

Finally, Steve, I really must say, in all of our conversations, this is the first thing you have ever said that I thought crossed the line:

"unemployment in the US is much less than in your beloved Europe."

The tone of the statement and the use of the world "beloved" reveals a low blow on your part, I have to say. I have no loyalty to Europe or anywhere else in the world except here. However, when I believe a country is being treated unfairly by us, be it France, and even the despotic N.Korea, I will continue to speak up about it.

I have no control over their countries, but I can control my own through my right to vote and speak up. The issue should not be how good or bad these countries are, or how we need them or don’t need them. The issue is, why make enemies when you can accomplish the same goal without? Why alienate the world as Bush has in my judgment, when it is simply not necessary.

I will not argue that Bush is helping the terrorists recruit, even in normally friendly nations because of his policies (as Newsweek recently said), I will say however that the explosion in anti-Americanism surely does not help us.


Jerry West - 12/15/2003

-
I am not surprised that we actually agree on things, Steve.

But, I do think that the Bush response to 9/11 and Saddam has more to do with extending US power and as Thomas Gallatin pointed out, about getting re-elected, than with any coherent approach to the problem of terrorism.

You ask for evidence, I cite the PNAC and the fact that a number of its proponents are holding high level government jobs and that US policy seems to be following the path laid out therein. You dismiss it. Granted, it is circumstantial, but like I said before, if it walks like a duck....

Personally I find the PNAC only the latest manifestation of a very long US history (not to say other countries are not also guilty) of economic and political expansion around the globe, often to the detriment of indigenous peoples and democratic forms of government.

If this discussion carries on for a few more days I might have more to say, but now I have both publication deadlines and a rotten case of the flu to deal with.




Jerry West - 12/15/2003

-
NYG:

Professionals are saying that the burden of health care costs are destroying the economies of people who have socialized medicine.

JW:

Check and see what those professionals have at stake in a market driven system and what they or those who pay them have to gain from private healthcare.

I know doctors and nurses and administrators that say single payer healthcare is a better model.

Private insurance companies are the big winner in a privatized system.


Jerry West - 12/15/2003

-
Steve Brody wrote:

You must mean the French, Russians, Germans and Chinese.

JW:

I mean everybody who supported him, including those who used him against Iran.

Perhaps it would be fitting for Saddam to be put with our other out of favor lap dog, Noriega.

That Saddam is under lock and key is a good thing. But, we should never let such momentary events gloss over the real issue of how he got to be who he is in the first place, him and many like him, including Pinochet and a legion of others.


Ken Melvin - 12/15/2003

If in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king, so in the land of the simple minded seeking simple answers George Bush is a genius. Else this grouping, I know of no one who thinks so. Saddam was merely a petty dictator of the sort America coddles when it suits, a straw man. He isn't close to being one of the two or three most dangerous men in the world. Care to take a couple guesses who they might be?

When history is writ for these past twenty centuries, the greatest waste of mankind during these years will be the $trillions wasted on the cold war. Why and How? Corporations, politicians and bureaucrats played of peoples' fear and ignorance. Some spoke up but they were booed and belittled. Today's ‘we're at war crap' is more of the same. Rather we make the same stupid mistakes, a lot of people need to speak up and a great many of the paranoid fear and ignorant crowd need to wake up. This use of fear, ignorance and patriotism didn't come from the left my friend. It came from the right. Other these things, you got the Hitler part right. His tactics are indeed those being used today by the right and the current administration.


Verena Weissenegger - 12/15/2003


If every voter (are you a voter ?) were as closed-minded as you, we would not need elections. We could turn the country over to Halliburton, turn on Fox "news" and vegetate. And blame all our problems on foreigners and immigrants, like the 9-11 terrorists.

However, some of us believe in democracy and in an America that is respected around the world, and cooperated with, not despised as a land of arrogant cowboys and mocked as a nation of uneducated simpletons who cannot write or spell in their own language. So there will be elections in 2004. And some of us will make up our own minds who to vote for, and not pick candidates like we pick mouthwash or deodorant, based on what we thought we heard someone sell us on TV.


Cram - 12/15/2003

1) "Cram: you make unverified comments about health care."

I thought I had verified them with the Maryland study based on the WHO reports?

2) "Professionals are saying that the burden of health care costs are destroying the economies of people who have socialized medicine."

This I am completely unaware of. I have never heard such an accusation from anyone before, although that is not to say that it exists. In truth, I would need to read more about any such a charge.

3) "Not sure if the French experience with thousands of elderly dying during the heat wave supports or detracts from your theory, except that it did no good for the victims."

The purpose of universal healthcare is not to prevent death (an impossible goal), it is merely to offer medical service to everyone. Several children have dies from the flu in this country, but I doubt anyone would blame that on the quality of our healthcare.

4) "Beside as you suggest these countries can do it by letting the US bear the cost of defending these countries. So your argument is that we should cut back on our defense and become a vulnerable nation to terrorists, China, Russia and other threats."

NYGuy, I think you know better then to put words in people's mouths. I will forgive you though, since I always enjoy these debates.

No, I advocate no such thing. In fact, I said the exact opposite, that their decision to not have a miitary was unrelated to their welfare policies. I am not advocated a socialist state like Switzerland, in which the state pays for vacations, maternity leaves up to a year, and much much more. I don't think that model would fit this country at all. I do think however, that universal healthcare ought to be a public good, just as quality water, clean air, and inspected foods.


NYGuy - 12/15/2003


Cram: you make unverified comments about health care. Professionals are saying that the burden of health care costs are destroying the economies of people who have socialized medicine. Not sure if the French experience with thousands of elderly dying during the heat wave supports or detracts from your theory, except that it did no good for the victims.

Beside as you suggest these countries can do it by letting the US bear the cost of defending these countries. So your argument is that we should cut back on our defense and become a vulnerable nation to terrorists, China, Russia and other threats. Sorry. I rather feel safe then sorry. If people want free social benefits let them go to California they have learned how to juggle the books and are sympathetic to your theories.


NYGuy - 12/15/2003


Ken
Now you would have us all believe it's the greatest and the thousands dead and more wounded plus $billions spent were worth it? As for me, any price was too high for seeing this small mean man strut around like a rooster.

NYGuy,

Ken I don't know where you get your statistics but they are wrong.

Meanwhile you comments remind me of the same thing they said about Hitler. People who could not see beyond their noses and had bleeding hearts felt sorry for Hitler not his victims and said let him go. Sounds like you have no policies to safeguard the world except that you feel your tears for poor Saddam will make everything right. Here is one example of forgetting the past will hurt the world just like in 1939.


NYGuy - 12/15/2003

Thom,

Your argument seems to be that we can never have a good President since their only policies is to win the next election. Pretty cynical.

Even if you are right at least Bush's policies have achieced a safer world, and a growing world economy. Even if your arguemenet is correct, Bush still did the right thing for our country and has to be given credit for his success.

Dean appears to be in a quaqmire of the past and prefers to have Saddam killing his people in order to get elected. I prefer Bush since his policies are more humane, even if your cynical view suggests that their motives is to only get elected.


Ken Melvin - 12/15/2003

Those who trumpeted war, including most of the media, will cheer. Those who think Saddam not our greatest threat may ask, ‘So?'. A la Panama and Grenada, America has chosen a weak nation to beat up on so as to show how strong we are.

Bushes policies on the environment will cost many times the American lives as ever Saddam. Tobacco; many, many times. McDonalds, too, will costs many amore. Firestone tires will kill more. More kids will from lack of health care due to budget cuts due Bush's tax cuts. Bush was willing to sacrifice up to 4,000 dead American soldiers and $400billion in order get Saddam. He repeatedly lied to the nation in order to go after Saddam.

Now you would have us all believe it's the greatest and the thousands dead and more wounded plus $billions spent were worth it? As for me, any price was too high for seeing this small mean man strut around like a rooster.


Steve Brody - 12/14/2003


“They should turn him over to the ICC.”

No, he should be wrung out like a sponge and then tried by the new Iraqi government.

“Too bad we created him in the first place and turned him lose to do his damage.”

Jerry, you make my point for me. Something good happens and the liberals have to put a negative spin on it. That is why Dean, while he may get the nomination, has little chance of getting elected. The American people don’t like angry, negative politicians.

As for “we created him”; I politely say “bunk”. We didn’t create Saddam or even significantly support him militarily. And since 1991, we’ve actively opposed him.

“The trials of Saddam should also befall all of those outside of Iraq who supported him and used him.”

You must mean the French, Russians, Germans and Chinese.


Steve Brody - 12/14/2003


See what I mean, Ken?

Every silver lining has a cloud, if you're a liberal.


Steve Brody - 12/14/2003


“I agree that the UN has said it will not help but I blame that more on how Bush approached (/threatened) the matter than anything else. The point of having the UN in Iraq is not just about troop nationality (although it would be certain that far fewer American troops would be there than right now- after all, there are large number of foreign troops in Afghanistan, as there should be).”

Cram, I can’t agree with your assertion that Bush “threatened” the UN. He challenged them to enforce their own edicts. The only “threat” to the UN comes from their own inaction. Bush pointed out the danger to the UN of becoming irrelevant should they fail to act.

I also can’t agree that “far fewer” US troops would be in Iraq if the UN took over. None of the counties that have chosen to “sit this one out” are likely to suddenly provide significant numbers of troops to a UN effort. Thus my belief that even should the UN suddenly take over in Iraq (a very unlikely event, IMHO),it is unlikely that significant numbers of US troops would be released from duty. They might be wearing the blue helmet, but they would still be US troops.

Besides, now that Saddam has been captured, we should redouble our efforts with the military to capture the remaining guerillas. This will require Spec Ops soldiers. The kind that only the US, UK and Australia have in sufficient numbers. You flood Iraq with a bunch of small, regular military units from a lot of different countries and your just providing more targets for the guerillas.

“I also believe that another president would be able to bring foreign troops in, as the UN has been willing to discuss the possibility, but has been continuously ignored, threatened, and lectured to by this President.”

The UN just pulled out of Iraq and they’re talking about doing the same in Afghanistan. Look, Cram, countries didn’t decline to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom because they don’t like Bush. The French also didn’t support Operation Desert Fox, and not because they didn’t like Clinton. Countries do things or don’t do things because they believe that it is or is not in their national interests to do or not do those things. In the case of France, Russia, and Germany, these countries all had political and commercial interests with Iraq that were threatened by Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thus their opposition and in France’s case outright sabotage of our efforts.

What evidence do you have that any of these countries or the UN would be more receptive to a President Dean’s entreaties for assistance?

“I am not an economist as well, so I like you, must rely on the opinion of professionals, and they are in disagreement on what this all means. By election of 2004, maybe we sill see huge job creation.”

Cram, as I said, I’m not an economist and I don’t play one on TV, but most economists I’ve heard are pleased and optimistic about the GDP growth. Economics is a game of trends. Right now the trends are good. I believe that is what people are looking at now.

Besides, unemployment in the US is much less than in your beloved Europe.

“Iran was not a nuclear problem before Bush came to office and threatened them with potential invasion,”

Cram. I think your wrong on this. Iran’s attempt to create nuclear weapons has been whispered about for years. Iran didn’t suddenly begin its attempts to enrich uranium after Bush was elected. The IAEA has documented sub rosa shipments of enriching agents, delivered from China to Iran, beginning in 1991. Bush is simply the first President to talk openly about the elephant in the parlor.

“ would hardly call a treaty that prevented N. Korea from being a nuclear power in 1994 "ignoring the problem." Today N. Korea IS a nuclear power (so they say). In 1994, they were not, thank's to Clinton.”

Clinton does deserve credit for the treaty. But he took his eye of the ball and allowed NK to cheat. He even ignored evidence of the cheating when he was made aware of it. Bush didn’t make NK cheat on the treaty; he merely called them on it. Now he’s dealing with it.

“ have also expressed my belief on prior posts that both N. Korea AND the United States broke that treaty, under a Republican Congress.”

I’ve not seen your prior posts on this, but my own admittedly limited study of this issue differs. The chief NK complaint seems to be the slow progress on the light water reactors. My information leads me to believe that NK is the cause of most of those delays.


Cram - 12/14/2003

Paine,
While I agree with some of your analysis, this is the History NEWS network, not just the History network. Almost every article here is "Ranting editorialism." People who agree with the conclusions praise the article as excellent and those who disagree complain that this is not "really" history or attack the author. That is the nature of this site.


Cram - 12/14/2003

The capture of this monster is great news, not just for Americans here at home, but for our troops stationed in Iraq and perhaps most imortant, it is great news for the Iraqi people that know that no matter what the future holds, Saddam Hussein will never again rule their country.

Frankly, the only people making this a partisan issue (at least as of right now) are the conservatives. No matter. What we do with Hussein and what it means for Bush and the Democratic contenders is something I can debate another day. For now, let us all be grateful for our troops who were able to find this animal and finally bring him to justice.


Cram - 12/14/2003

Jerry West wrote: "Healthcare should be treated like national defense, fire and police services, a necessary part of maintaining and protecting society, not a profit center. Investment should be driven by policy, not economics."

Absolutely and well said!! It is all about priorities. This country has some of the greatest minds on the planet and the richest economy. Every other industrialized country in the world has healthcare for all.

Yes, we have better technology... so if you have a rare lymphatic cancer, here is your place... if you have the flu, you would be better off in Canada (or France, or Britain, or Germany, or Italy, or Spain, and on and on).

Again, it is all about priorities, let's put healthcare on the agenda as a PUBLIC good and start catching up to the rest of the world in this area.


Ken Melvin - 12/14/2003

Nah, the liberals are happy because Bush borrowed half trillion dollars from the working class of America and gave it to the rich so that he could be reelected.


Jerry West - 12/14/2003

-
Good to see him out of the picture, and most of the world will agree. They should turn him over to the ICC.

Too bad we created him in the first place and turned him lose to do his damage.

The trials of Saddam should also befall all of those outside of Iraq who supported him and used him.


Frankie - 12/14/2003

And where the anitsemitism comes in.

You hold Jews to a different standard. Non-Jews can support or oppose Israel, but Jews who support Israel are disloyal to the US.

Wouldn't you agree, at least in theory, that an American Jew can be loyal to the US and still support Israel? If not, how can a non-Jew do it?


Steve BRody - 12/14/2003


Jerry, I will answer your and Cram's points in due time. Right now, I would just like to bask in the satisfaction that all Americans should feel about Saddam's capture.


Jerry West - 12/14/2003

-
Steve Broady wrote:

Why do you want to wreck a system that provides the finest health care in the world?

JW:

Finest for who is the big question. You need to deal with the information posted by CRAM on this.

SB:

People who live in “single payer” health care countries come to this country for their health care, if they can afford it.

JW:

If they can afford it is a key phrase. And only then if they can't get it instantly in their own system. Imagine having to wait several months for non-vital elective surgery? How inconvenient.

I have experience in both the US and Canadian healthcare systems, there is no doubt that overall the Canadian one delivers better average healthcare at affordable prices to all of its citizens, despite the whinings of a few cry babies.

Healthcare should be treated like national defense, fire and police services, a necessary part of maintaining and protecting society, not a profit center. Investment should be driven by policy, not economics.



Elia Markell - 12/14/2003


I wonder how fast P.M. will act now to revise his own prediction that Bush is preparing to cut and run from Iraq.

Steve is correct here, that good news for America is bad news for the Democrats. The sheer insanity of running a relentlessly negative campaign when the news is relentlessly positive is sinking them. But since they appear to think they know better than everyone else, there is little reason to think they will turn to the only sane voices left among them (Lieberman and Gephardt).

The Dems and the left operate on an utterly failed conspiracy-saturated misunderstanding of what is happening, one that will continually trip them up between now and November 2004. And the biggest stumbling block to their getting smart is exactly the sort of bone-headed Bush hatred that leads P.M. to his inevitable underestimation of the man. Underestimating his intelligence, his character, and his moral clarity.

Just as the anti-war Democrats are being dishonest in saying (as they have been on TV today) that this is a great day, so I would be dishonest if I said I hope the Democrats wise up between now and next fall. I don't. And I do not think I have much to worry about on that score either.


Thomas Gallatin - 12/14/2003


I agree with most of Jerry's comments here and most of Steve's comments on Jerry's comments.

Where I part company from both (and why I believe "liberals" have good REASON to be angry - which is not the same as BEING angry) is with this notion that going into Iraq was about extending the "global dominance" of the U.S. or fighting a "war" against terrorists with "global reach".

9-11 did happen. What did not happen was a sensible response by competent leaders. There has been no proper investigation, no proper accounting, and no coherent attempt to deal with the now obvious safety issues and long term root causes.

Yes, the PNAC clique et al have for years had their fantasies about global power. And the dry drunk president often mouths their pre-packaged sound bites. But he has his own agenda, which is to be ELECTED president for the first time. The Iraq invasion and occupation was a cynical and opportunistic attempt to make a weak incompetent president look like a war hero in the TV ads next summer and Fall. That's all it ever was. It was not about fighting a "war" against "terrorism" (a linguistic and geopolitical idiocy even if relevant to Iraq which it was not), nor was it “about oil" or “weapons of mass destruction”, nor about some new Machiavellian or Jeffersonian Pax Americana. It was and is about winning in 2004. The turkey dinner was an upgrade on the carrier landing, and now, perhaps, Saddam himself will furnish additional footage for the coming ad blitz. If "liberals" want to be "angry" about how their country’s foreign policy has been reduced to a series of election campaign manipulations, I hope they find a way to channel that anger effectively (for once).

Howard Dean for president.


Steve Brody - 12/14/2003


In watching the subdued and grudging reaction of Howard Dean to the capture of Saddam Hussein, the answer to Carpenter’s question suddenly struck me.

Liberals are angry because they have managed to get themselves into a position whereby good news for America is bad news for them.

Bush has had a pretty good December.

The Dow hits 10,000. Good news for America, bad news for the Liberals.

The Economy grows at its fastest rate since WWII. Good news for America, bad news for the Liberals.

Bush passes a prescription drug benefit. Good news for America, bad news for the Liberals.

Saddam Hussein is captured. Good news for America (and Iraq and the rest of the world), bad news for the Liberals.

Democrat congressman Charles Rangel accused US troops of murder after Uday and Qusay shot it out with them and got killed in the bargain. I wonder if he’ll accuse our troops of false imprisonment for capturing Saddam.

Why are Liberals angry? They’ve had a very bad December.



NYGuy - 12/14/2003

Steve,

So do I and I appreciate your support as one American to another.

Great news for the US and for the world today. Have a drink on me. But we are not gloating since it masks our true intent which is to protect the US and hope for a safe and prosperous world in 2004.

Cheers.


NYGuy - 12/14/2003


Cram, I won't go through the laundry list again. Yes history will judge both Clinton and Bush. I gave my observations that as historians look at the escalation of terrorism in the world they will conclude that Clinton was naieve in putting himself in the middle of the mid-east negations and giving the leaders worldwide statue since they only represented about 7 million people while he failed to deal with more serious world problems. Such policies just magnified and intensified the hatred between Jews and Arabs. We will see who is right.

As for the economy Steve is correct about job creation as are most professionals economist. You make a meaningless comment with the “not even one net job will be created. First of all the reasons we lost about 3 million jobs is because of the Clinton recession and I agree with you. But Bush has created new jobs and what you don’t understand is how complex the job data is. Unemployment is measured by those looking for jobs and as new workers entire the job market and say they are looking for a job they are called unemployed. In addition as a result of the technology revolution that I have emphasized in my analysis, jobs go overseas. So the argument that no new jobs have been created under Bush is incorrect. And as Steve says it is a lagging indicator. As you said Bush Sr’s economic policies produced an economic expansion that lasted 107 months. Giving Bush the same time frame you will see that Bush will have created more jobs than Clinton even though Bush had to start from scratch.

The UN will not only fight for human rights, but it is also a corrupt organization. I prefer Bush’s approach to provide the necessary leadership and then get the rest of the world to cooperate which has been happening and will increase with the capture of Saddam. Now that Saddam has been captured we see the wisdom of his vision. So I don’t see Iraq falling apart. actually I see Bush restoring the US prestige and both becoming even more important in creating a peaceful and economically growing world.

Your saying you don’t see the link between 9/11 and Iraq does not make it so. I might add that being older then you I understand why Hitler was allowed to do what he did. It was because many did not want to stop his terror and brutality. Saddam has killed over 400,000 muslins and he is now out of power. As a result of Bush’s leadership the world now has a choice to limit the proliferation of WMD or face the consequences. As I said Bush got a great reception in Asia recently, his allies from Spain, England, Italy have stood behind him and I believe he will now get even more support. The UN failed not only in Palestine/Israel but also in many other operations. I will stay with Bush, his genius has finally been revealed. Only liberals want to return to the past.

This is not a love/hate discussion. Liberals started off by saying Clinton was brilliant and Bush was stupid. Now as we look back on history we find Bush is the genius and Clinton was too smart for his own good and did not know what he did not know. Seems Clinton is now the stupid one with no legacy.

I don’t remember when there was 50% of the population that opposed Bush’s policies. He has always had the overwhelming support of the American people. That is why the stock market has been so strong, consumer confidence and the economy is so strong and important world leaders have supported Bush in his war on terror.

If Bush does something to hurt this country I will be the first to critize him. America first.

Remember the Twin Towers.



Cram - 12/14/2003

Steve,
I agree that the UN has said it will not help but I blame that more on how Bush approached (/threatened) the matter than anything else. The point of having the UN in Iraq is not just about troop nationality (although it would be certain that far fewer American troops would be there than right now- after all, there are large number of foreign troops in Afghanistan, as there should be).

I also believe that another president would be able to bring foreign troops in, as the UN has been willing to discuss the possibility, but has been continuously ignored, threatened, and lectured to by this President. I have no great love for the UN, as many prior posts attest to but since the "war" part is basically over, I say get them in there! If the situation in Iraq falls apart (as I believe it will) let it be on their shoulders, not ours.

I am not an economist as well, so I like you, must rely on the opinion of professionals, and they are in disagreement on what this all means. By election of 2004, maybe we sill see huge job creation. All I am saying is that substantive job growth is not assured and almost all economists believe that it would take an economic miracle to create even one net job before his term is up. If this were a Democratic president, I don't think conservatives would be so patient.

Iran was not a nuclear problem before Bush came to office and threatened them with potential invasion, but as for the other problems, I would hardly call a treaty that prevented N. Korea from being a nuclear power in 1994 "ignoring the problem." Today N. Korea IS a nuclear power (so they say). In 1994, they were not, thank's to Clinton.

I have also expressed my belief on prior posts that both N. Korea AND the United States broke that treaty, under a Republican Congress. If you would like to blame Clinton for not being able to bring that under control, I will be more than willing to agree, but I can't agree that his stalling of a catastrophe counts as ignoring the problem.


Steve BRody - 12/14/2003


“Again, I don't see Iraq as part of the war on terror. It is nation-building now, and the UN has more experience for that kind of think (as Bush acknoloedged in the second 2000 debate with Gore)”

Cram, this point is moot. The UN isn’t going to help. Bush has been trying to get them to since 2002. Besides, “UN troops” is a misnomer. Any UN operation would require a force that would be overwhelmingly composed of US troops. US troops under UN control? I think I prefer US troops under US leadership. But I digress. The UN just isn’t interested.

“Also, I don't care if we have the highest growth rate in history. This measured only the growth, not the net economic gains. In other words, if I had $5 and then I had $10, I just saw a 100% growth in my money. But ultimately, it is only $10. Let this gunius leader create one net job, JUST ONE, and then I will see.”

Cram, I’m not an economist (I only have a minor in the subject), but even I know that employment is a “lagging indicator”. First comes growth, then comes jobs. If you doubt this, check the BLS web site. They have all the economic data from the last zillion years. You’ll find that economic growth always preceeds job growth.

“Again, you and I have a very different interpretation of world events. I don't see a nuclear armed N. Korea, a potentially nuclear Iran, and an ongoing bloody war between Israel and the Palestinians as being under control.”

Cram, you must agree that acknowledging the problems with NK and Iran, as Bush has done, rather than ignore them , as Clinton did, is the start of getting them under control.


Steve BRody - 12/14/2003


NYG, I wish I lived in NY, so we could get together and toast a great President and a great Military, on this fine morning.


Cram - 12/14/2003

1) "If we did not provide for their protection do you think they could afford to have the welfare programs they have? Even with us bearing the burden of their defense they still suffer from a heavy social welfare burden which is now being judged to be the wrong policy for these coutries."

I don't think anyone can answer that queation. It is all about priorities. If we did not have social security, people would say we could not afford it... but we do so obviously we can. We pay more per capita than any of these other countries so I don't see how that saves us money. I am not suggesting we assume European welfare models, but I am saying we should not have to chose between defense and medical care for all Americans.

2) "But even under that scenario US troops would still be “murdered”, as would US civilians who would be murdered in the US."

Since I see no lik between Iraq and 9/11, I simply do not follow that logic.

3) "And although the UN lacks the will to carry on the war on terror you would feel safer."

Again, I don't see Iraq as part of the war on terror. It is nation-building now, and the UN has more experience for that kind of think (as Bush acknoloedged in the second 2000 debate with Gore)

4) "I explained to you how Clinton inherited a boom economy from Bush sr. then handed Bush Jr. a recession."

No you didn't. Simply saying it is not explaining it. You would have to show me why ALL of Clinton's economic policies, including his balenced budgets, took years to take into effect, while Bush I's policies waited just until he was out of office.

5) "Bush’s brilliant economic policies have enable us to have the highest economic growth in 20 years and he is in office only 3 years. More than half this country supports Bush’s policies, but with a little wordsmithing you try to dismiss that fact."

First, I could argue just as you have that we owe that to Clinton, not Bush. After all, if you theory is right, Presiden't owe their economy to their predecessors. Of course, why would I want to blame Clinton for all this. I don't dismiss the fact that 50% of the country supports Bush, but since your argument is how brilliant and popular a leader Bush is, I ask you to acknoledge the other 50%.

Also, I don't care if we have the highest growth rate in history. This measured only the growth, not the net economic gains. In other words, if I had $5 and then I had $10, I just saw a 100% growth in my money. But ultimately, it is only $10. Let this gunius leader create one net job, JUST ONE, and then I will see.

6) "What peace are you talking about? I thought you told me that you read weekly magazines."

In 1978, the Camp David Accords was an agreement reached between long time enemies Israel and Egypt. Are you serious?

7) "Clinton made the welfare of only 7 million people the cornerstone of his foreign policy."

How can that possibly be when he didn't start the negociations into well into his second term. How could it be the cornerstone? Remember something called Kosovo?

The idea of Clinton being responsible for anti-Semitism and for Muslims hating Israel is simply devoid of historical understanding of the situation. The first intifadah occureed under Reagans term. Does that mean he caused it?

8) "I present reasoned arguments and you characterize them as hateful."

I am sorry, but I have seen little reasoned arguments. You say Clinton caused 9/11, and your only evidence is that he tried to make peace between Israel and the Palestinains, which you say caused anti-Semitism and hatred of America. The timeline of 9/11 planning and the planning of the 2nd intefadah disagree with your conclusions. You say everything bad in the country is because of Clinton, everything good is because of Bush but you have not identified any causal relationship. Furthermore, your termonology clearly indicated contempt for Clinton beyond policy differences and your praise of Bush goes well beyond policy agreement. To me, it is hateful, even if that was not your intent.

9) "You are suggesting that the decision on Clinton has been finalized by historians and anyone who presents a reasoned argument against him is ignoring the “true facts” and is hateful."

I suggest nothing of sourt. In fact, that is precisely what I am trying to defend. Most of what I have read is not a reasoned argument from a dispassionate observer, but an attempt to blame anything and everything on Clinton, except for all the good stuff, which was really Bush I or Reagan. I will let historians judge both men in time. For now, I will defend what I believe to be unfair accusations.

10) "Hmm. Novel, I don’t think I heard that one before."

I would suggest repeating your comments to a political scientist or a historian who studies the presidency, I believe they will say the same.

11) "We agree that there was an economic expansion that Clinton inherited from Bush sr. The point is because of his failed economic policies he could not prevent the recession that Bush jr. inherited. Those are the facts and we both agree."

I am not really sure what part of this entire conversation would make you think that I agree with that.

12) "We are at peace, terrorism has been reduced, the world economy lead by the US and Bush’s economic policies, are leading toward economic growth and there are still people, particularly the Democratic Presidential candidates, who only see the sky falling. That is what makes this country so great."

That is because we are not at peace, we are at war. Terrorism has not been reduced, it has been redirected against targets in Turkey, and in Iraq, and the economy is still BELOW what it was under Clinton. If this is the sky, then yeah, I would say its looking pretty close.

13) "Meanwhile North Korea, Iran and the Palestine/Israel situation are all now under control and being handled properly and the US economy is undergoing a strong recovery."

Again, you and I have a very different interpretation of world events. I don't see a nuclear armed N. Korea, a potentially nuclear Iran, and an ongoing bloody war between Israel and the Palestinians as being under control.

14) "You read what ever paper you want and if you come to a conclusion that Bush is a failure that is your opinion. I think he is one of the finest leaders the world has seen as do many more than half of the people in the US."

I would like to see one piece of polling data that even suggests such a thing. As for our respective opinions on the man, you are absolutely right. There are those who love him and there are those who hate him and neiother side is going to be arrested or killed for it. That is what makes democracy so great.


Josh Greenland - 12/14/2003

The creator of this must have had HNN's comment boards in mind:

http://www.comics.com/wash/candorville/archive/candorville-20031214.html


NYGuy - 12/14/2003

Read the newspapers watch TV Josh and I think you will get an answer to your questions


Josh Greenland - 12/14/2003

If there is more liberal anger, and I'm hoping you're right about that, how will it manifest at the polls, and could it override the advantage Lt. AWOL Cokefiend gets from being the post-9/11 commander in chief?


NYGuy - 12/14/2003

Cram

Just so we are clear, so that you recognize that even if you disagree, there is no inconsistancy: I support the war on terror, Iraq is not part of the war on terror, so I am against the war in Iraq.

NYGuy,

Are you trying to tell me I am wrong? No, no that could not be the correct interpretation. :)

Cheers


NYGuy - 12/14/2003


Cram,

I think you must have misunderstood what I was saying. I am responding to your insinuation that their welfare plans CAUSE their lack of strong defense, when all evidence point to the reality that Europe CHOSE to have small defense forces because they can. They had the US and NATO for the past 50 years, and have opted not to build up their military. This is a choice, not an unfortunite side effect of providing medical care for your people.

NYGuy,

I think you misunderstood. I never said that there was a cause and effect although there is. It is similar to the “guns or butter” argument. You are correct that the US has provided much of the defense for the world and bore the cost for it. This enables other countries to have bigger welfare programs. If we did not provide for their protection do you think they could afford to have the welfare programs they have? Even with us bearing the burden of their defense they still suffer from a heavy social welfare burden which is now being judged to be the wrong policy for these coutries.

Cram,

So you honestly would rather see US troops murdered every day than UN forces? You would really rather have the entire expense fall to taxpayers instead of the international community? The Democrats (and many, MANY Republicans) disagree with you.

NYGuy,

You agree with the democrats then, “the US out and the UN in.” But even under that scenario US troops would still be “murdered”, as would US civilians who would be murdered in the US. And although the UN lacks the will to carry on the war on terror you would feel safer. Sorry, I don’t share your optimism and since I live in a target area for terror I don’t want to take the chance. When you have to ride subways each day you may think differently.

Cram

And I have tried to demonstrate how all of these things are wrong. His economic policies have not yet helped the economy since he has been in office, support for Iraq war is only half of THIS country, and not even that of other countries, which see Bush as a fool. Pick up ANY weekly news magazine (TIME, U.S. News, Newsweek) and you will find articles talking about the failure of much of his policies. Are they ALL bias? Perhaps, but no less so then anything you can offer me.

NYGuy

I explained to you how Clinton inherited a boom economy from Bush sr. then handed Bush Jr. a recession. Now that is what I call a failed policy. Bush’s brilliant economic policies have enable us to have the highest economic growth in 20 years and he is in office only 3 years. More than half this country supports Bush’s policies, but with a little wordsmithing you try to dismiss that fact.

Your argument is that Bush should follow Clinton’s lead and run the country by reading weekly news magazines. But since they lack Bush’s brilliance we would have the same failed programs that Clinton had and our citizens, (particularly those in large cities such as NY) would be in greater danger and the world economy would be headed for a recession.

Cram

Again, you may have misunderstood my comment. I provided a list of amazing economic accomplishments during the Clinton years, accomplishments that would not have been possible without Clinton's economic leadership. You are trying to tell me that Bush is doing in 3 years what Clinton couldn't in 8, that is, effect the economy. I don't buy into such double standards. If you credit Bush for economic recovery, you must, in fairness, credit Clinton for much more, musn't you?

NYGuy,

You told me about an economic recovery that lasted 107 months and I showed you that Clinton was only in office for 96 months and therefore he benefited from the Republican’s economic leadership. Since you are familiar with economic cycles you must be aware that getting the cycle started is more difficult than resting on one’s oars when the recovery is underway. Clinton’s failed economic policies resulted in the recession that Bush inherited. Some believe it was deliberate so that Hillary could run for President in 2004. As you know, Greenspan warned Clinton many times about an overheated economy and he did nothing. Yes I am telling you that it is more difficult to restart the economic cycle than to keep it going, since it requires the confidence of the people in their President. That is why Bush will be reelected since he will have a strong economy and peace in the world and the people trust him. Pretty good for someone who is in office for only three years.

Cram,

Huh? Now it is I who am misunderstanding, I really don't know what you are saying here? How did I prove your point, and how have these been proven false?

NYGuy,

It is a math problem you have to understand, not a history problem. 107 less 96 equals 9 months of sound Republican economic policies before Clinto inherited a sound and growing US economy.

Cram

Do you believe Carter's peace plan was a good thing? In fact, do you believe that ANY peace plan is a good thing? When is it OK to try and work out a peace deal? I have heard people say that Clinton gave too much, and I have heard people say that he didn't given enough, but you are the first person I have ever heard allege that he was wrong to even try, or that it was he, not terrorists, not anti-Semites, he personally that caused the rise in anti-Semitism.

NYGuy,

What peace are you talking about? I thought you told me that you read weekly magazines. Well figure it out. Clinton made the welfare of only 7 million people the cornerstone of his foreign policy. That is smaller than the number of people in the NY metropolitan area and just about everyone of our states. By his grandstanding the entire world was focused on the Palestine/Israel situation. The failure to achieve a peaceful settlement merely inflamed the world Muslin community and gave terrorists the propaganda they needed to recruit new members. In the process the hatred toward Jews was intensified and Clinton caused himself and the US to become a lightning rod for the escalating terrorist attacks we saw during Clinton’s administration which resulted in 9/11. Meanwhile with the growing Muslin population in Europe it intensified the hatred for both Jews and the US. Read the EU report. The full report is being withheld because the EU has concerns about the disruptive impact it will have on the Europeans and the realization that Arabs and Muslins are a significant irritant in their society to cause great unrest. Evidently Clinton did not understand this. Some people are too smart for their own good.

Cram

As I have said before, this is not partisan disagreement, it is an incredible hatred for Clinton that is no different from that some have about Bush. Although you may believe it is not hate but the facts, I see nothing factual about your opinions regarding the so-called incompetant Clinton (even though there was never a monthly calender highlighting Clinton's verbal flobs, as there is for Bush).

NYGUY,

I present reasoned arguments and you characterize them as hateful. I though that historians wanted to have a time distance before they could fully evaluate a President or a major world event. You are suggesting that the decision on Clinton has been finalized by historians and anyone who presents a reasoned argument against him is ignoring the “true facts” and is hateful. Hmm. Novel, I don’t think I heard that one before.

Cram,

But they are not, and neither is much of the world. As for market theory, I advise you to again, check the facts and see how the market was doing under Clinton. I would take Clinton's economy and Clinton's world under Bush's so-called vision any day.

NYGuy,

We agree that there was an economic expansion that Clinton inherited from Bush sr. The point is because of his failed economic policies he could not prevent the recession that Bush jr. inherited. Those are the facts and we both agree.

Cram,

Actually, none of the Democrats running for office were ever in the Clinton administration.

You seem to keep dwelling on the whole "real world" idea that you and Bush know but no one else does. I don't know this "real world" in which Bush is hailed as a great leader by people far and wide. All I know is what is going on in THIS world and in THIS world, the economy is picking up, but still pretty bad, Iraq is falling apart, and Bush is going to be out of the White House in 2004 for his failed policies.

NYGuy,

Seems I recall some of these guys were Democrats serving in Congress during Clinton’s Presidency and would have to be considered as part of Clinton’s failed policies.

We have a continued argument about the future and the past. Your training is on the past while my experience and training is analyzing the future. So we do have different definitions for the real world. As I said the liberals do see the sky falling as you suggest but I see a much brighter future now with Bush as the world leader.

Cram,

For a person who puts a lot of credit on international opinion, what a surprising comment. Mendela is a leader because the world SEES him as a leader. You claim that the world sees Bush as a leader even though they don't, and yet when one of the most internationally respected figures speaks out against him, you ask, what is he?

NYGuy,

You raised the question of Mendela as a leader. He does have a small following but I would not put him on the same level as a President of the US. By definition, however, the President of the US is a world leader and probably the most powerful human being on the world stage. I am more interested in the heads of states and not someone with an agenda of his own. We are at peace, terrorism has been reduced, the world economy lead by the US and Bush’s economic policies, are leading toward economic growth and there are still people, particularly the Democratic Presidential candidates, who only see the sky falling. That is what makes this country so great.

NYGuy
But, Bush is and is currently recognized as the current world leader"

Cram,

Where? By whom? By the countries who march against him in the hundreds of thousands? By the leaders who don't openly support him? Or by the administrations in other countries (I am thinking of Canada) whose ministers call him a "moron"? What paper do you read, because I would like a copy.

NYGuy,

As I have said before my training is as an analyst. Some feel that if they throw out a lot of verbiage or small facts they prove their case. One has to properly weigh factors in their analysis. The fact that Canada calls Bush a moron, or the French and Germans don’t support us because they have heavy muslin and anti-jewish factions at home does not carry your augment that Bush is not respected or listened to. His trip to Asia was a big success and the countries involved agreed and supported his vision of the war on terrorism. Meanwhile North Korea, Iran and the Palestine/Israel situation are all now under control and being handled properly and the US economy is undergoing a strong recovery. You read what ever paper you want and if you come to a conclusion that Bush is a failure that is your opinion. I think he is one of the finest leaders the world has seen as do many more than half of the people in the US.


Paine - 12/14/2003

Ranting editorialism under the guise of history will fool some of the people into believing it is factual. The article is the work of of an embittered columnist rather than a dispassionate historian. A discourse of the real causes of liberal anger would have been far more interesting, as well as worthy of the author instead of the vast right wing conspiracy canard.


Cram - 12/14/2003

NYGuy,
1) "Can you show me how countries with high welfare programs outperform the U. S, or have the capacity to protect themselves? I think not."

I think you must have misunderstood what I was saying. I am responding to your insinuation that their welfare plans CAUSE their lack of strong defense, when all evidence point to the reality that Europe CHOSE to have small defense forces because they can. They had the US and NATO for the past 50 years, and have opted not to build up their military. This is a choice, not an unfortunite side effect of providing medical care for your people.

2) "Put in the cowardly UN and pull back the U. S. troops. This is certainly a short sighted and cowardly position by Democrats to protect Americans."

So you honestly would rather see US troops murdered every day than UN forces? You would really rather have the entire expense fall to taxpayers instead of the international community? The Democrats (and many, MANY Republicans) disagree with you.

3) "I have presented my reasons for Bush being a genius, his brilliant economic policies that has produced a strong recovery from the Clinton recession, a strong well thought out program of fighting world terrorism that has gained the support and respect of the world leaders and is enabling the world to have a growing economy and peace."

And I have tried to demonstrate how all of these things are wrong. His economic policies have not yet helped the economy since he has been in office, support for Iraq war is only half of THIS country, and not even that of other countries, which see Bush as a fool. Pick up ANY weekly news magazine (TIME, U.S. News, Newsweek) and you will find articles talking about the failure of much of his policies. Are they ALL bias? Perhaps, but no less so then anything you can offer me.

4) "Now let me understand your point. Clinton was President for 8 years. Eight times 12 equals 96. So you agree with me that Bush Sr. and Reagan had put into play a strong economic recovery 9 months before Clinton took office, and Clinton inherited a strong and growing economy. But then Clinton squandered his legacy and passed on a depression economy to Bush Jr. Isn’t that what I said."

Again, you may have misunderstood my comment. I provided a list of amazing economic accomplishments during the Clinton years, accomplishments that would not have been possible without Clinton's economic leadership. You are trying to tell me that Bush is doing in 3 years what Clinton couldn't in 8, that is, effect the economy. I don't buy into such double standards. If you credit Bush for economic recovery, you must, in fairness, credit Clinton for much more, musn't you?

5) "Since your comments on this topic are proven false with my comments above I have nothing to add. You have already proved my point."

Huh? Now it is I who am misunderstanding, I really don't know what you are saying here? How did I prove your point, and how have these been proven false?

6) "Clinton is responsible for the escalation of terrorism and anti semitism in the world with his escalating of a minor dispute between 7 million people into a world issue so he could get the Nobel Prize for Peace."

Do you believe Carter's peace plan was a good thing? In fact, do you believe that ANY peace plan is a good thing? When is it OK to try and work out a peace deal? I have heard people say that Clinton gave too much, and I have heard people say that he didn't given enough, but you are the first person I have ever heard allege that he was wrong to even try, or that it was he, not terrorists, not anti-Semites, he personally that caused the rise in anti-Semitism.

As I have said before, this is not partisan disagreement, it is an incredible hatred for Clinton that is no different from that some have about Bush. Although you may believe it is not hate but the facts, I see nothing factual about your opinions regarding the so-called incompetant Clinton (even though there was never a monthly calender highlighting Clinton's verbal flobs, as there is for Bush).

7) "Of course there are those Clinton supporters, liberals and Democrats who live in the past but don’t understand marketing theory which identifies the leaders and the followers, (lossers) in the marketplace. Bush ranks as a true leader that can provide the world with a stable, growing and peaceful world. That is why all Americans should be thankful."

But they are not, and neither is much of the world. As for market theory, I advise you to again, check the facts and see how the market was doing under Clinton. I would take Clinton's economy and Clinton's world under Bush's so-called vision any day.

8) "Since the ones you mention were part of the Clinton administration it is difficult to accept you assertions that being in congress for many years qualifies them for understanding the real world."

Actually, none of the Democrats running for office were ever in the Clinton administration.

You seem to keep dwelling on the whole "real world" idea that you and Bush know but no one else does. I don't know this "real world" in which Bush is hailed as a great leader by people far and wide. All I know is what is going on in THIS world and in THIS world, the economy is picking up, but still pretty bad, Iraq is falling apart, and Bush is going to be out of the White House in 2004 for his failed policies.

9) "What has Mandela achieved except that he has a lot of black guys and liberal white guys who say he is important."

For a person who puts a lot of credit on international opinion, what a surprising comment. Mendela is a leader because the world SEES him as a leader. You claim that the world sees Bush as a leader even though they don't, and yet when one of the most internationally respected figures speaks out against him, you ask, what is he?

10) "But, Bush is and is currently recognized as the current world leader"

Where? By whom? By the countries who march against him in the hundreds of thousands? By the leaders who don't openly support him? Or by the administrations in other countries (I am thinking of Canada) whose ministers call him a "moron"? What paper do you read, because I would like a copy.


Cram - 12/14/2003

NYGuy,
1) I find your statement nothing short of amazing. You say the following: "Many do not know what is best for them that is why we need leaders like Bush."

What? WHAT? Bush, the same guy whose compaign mantra was "I trust the people, my opponent trusts the government" is being applauded as a guy we should listen to since the people are stupid to know what is best for them? Seems to run counter to our entire system of government, and specificlaly, the entire mentra of the Republican party, doesn't it

2) "Of course if you believe Dean is correct with his bring home the troops and put in the cowardly UN and it makes you feel better that can be understood."

Yes, putting the UN in so our brave troops are not being murdered every day would make me feel a lot better, as a matter of fact.

3) "However it seems inconsistent with the Democratic position that was the first to want to establish a Homeland Defense organization. How can we reconcile a need for homeland protection but saying that we don't have to protect ourselves overseas and bring home the troops? Hmm. Strange philosophy but that is what makes America so great, the right to be wrong and inconsistent."

NYGuy, I have tried to explain this many times. I don't believe invading Iraq was the right move in the war against terror. Therfore, I don't see the need to keep sacrificing our troops if we can find a way to get them out and the UN in so we can use those troops to fight the real terrorists. What is inconsistant about that message? You don't seem to understand that the war with Iraq was NOT consistant with the war on terror, according to us liberals.

Just so we are clear, so that you recognize that even if you disagree, there is no inconsistancy: I support the war on terror, Iraq is not part of the war on terror, so I am against the war in Iraq.


NYGuy - 12/14/2003

Rod and Cram,

Two wrongs do not make a right. Your lack of understanding of the real world does not not qualify as affirmative government policies. Many do not know what is best for them that is why we need leaders like Bush.

Of course if you believe Dean is correct with his bring home the troops and put in the cowardly UN and it makes you feel better that can be understood. However it seems inconsistent with the Democratic position that was the first to want to establish a Homeland Defense organization. How can we reconcile a need for homeland protection but saying that we don't have to protect ourselves overseas and bring home the troops? Hmm. Strange philosophy but that is what makes America so great, the right to be wrong and inconsistent.


NYGuy - 12/14/2003

Cram

The difference between you and I is that I see no evidence that their economic situation is related to their healthcare plan. After all, has out county been free from economic recessions? Or terrorist attacks for that matter?

NYGuy

My comment referred to economic growth for the US which is leading the world out of the Clinton recession. Can you show me how countries with high welfare programs outperform the U. S, or have the capacity to protect themselves? I think not.

Cram

I don't know a single Democrat running or in office that has EVER even come close to suggesting that there is no threat from terrorism.

NYGuy,

While democrats are ambivalent on the war, their solutions speak volumes. Put in the cowardly UN and pull back the U. S. troops. This is certainly a short sighted and cowardly position by Democrats to protect Americans even though as you said they were the first to ask for Homeland Security against terrorism, but had no program on what to do.

Cram

If Bush is a genius, I would hate to see a fool as President. I, for one, have seen far more bad than good in this president and his policies. Even if I thought he was not a poor president (which I do) I don't think I could ever agree that he is a genus (especially given his rhetorical disfunctions).

NYGuy,

Your comment is without proof of your assertions. I have presented my reasons for Bush being a genius, his brilliant economic policies that has produced a strong recovery from the Clinton recession, a strong well thought out program of fighting world terrorism that has gained the support and respect of the world leaders and is enabling the world to have a growing economy and peace.

Beside as I said, “It takes one to know one.” :)

Cram,

Huh? In February 2000, the United States entered the 107th consecutive month of economic expansion -- the longest economic expansion in history, 22.2 million new jobs have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single Administration -- and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms, 91 percent (19.9 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years, unemployment was down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.0 percent in June 2000, and in April the unemployment rate was the lowest in over 30 years.
The poverty rate has fallen from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 12.7 percent in 1998. That’s the lowest poverty rate since 1979 and the largest five-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years.

Nothing, you say? Let me guess, nothing to do with him right?

NYGuy,

Now let me understand your point. Clinton was President for 8 years. Eight times 12 equals 96. So you agree with me that Bush Sr. and Reagan had put into play a strong economic recovery 9 months before Clinton took office, and Clinton inherited a strong and growing economy. But then Clinton squandered his legacy and passed on a depression economy to Bush Jr. Isn’t that what I said. So you think someone who was an incompetent and squandered his leadership on 7 million people in the MidEast to get a noble prize is the one you support vs. the true leaders of our country who protect Americans and make it a better and safer world to live in. Hmm.

Cram

This sounds a lot like the magic bullet theory: The Bush I plan skipped him entirely, waited until Clinton was in the White House, then lasted 8 years, until Clinton left office. After Clinton was gone, the magic economy dissappeared and then Clinton's policies kicked in the moment Bush II took office. A pretty impressive economic plan.

NYGuy

Since your comments on this topic are proven false with my comments above I have nothing to add. You have already proved my point.

Cram

Clinton did more to combat terrorism than any other president that has come before him. I don't have enough space to list them all, but here is a site that talks about some of them. Clinton certainly did more then Bush ever did BEFORE 9/11 hit him in the face with it.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/pearly/htmls/bill-terrorism.html

NYGuy,

Clinton is responsible for the escalation of terrorism and anti semitism in the world with his escalating of a minor dispute between 7 million people into a world issue so he could get the Nobel Prize for Peace. Meanwhile thousands, or millions of black guys died because this “First American Black President”, didn’t want to distract attention from his program for a Nobel Prize by focusing on millions of black guys being killed and maimed in Africa.


Cram,

I expect he will go down as a one term president who, like Johnson will be remembered for starting an uneccessary war. In any event however, do you honestly believe that the world is safer today than during the Clinton years? You really think you are in less danger today than in 1992-2000??

NYGuy,

You support a liberal democratic party that has no policies for this country and has nothing to say except to put down this country and you want to vote for such a party. No wonder the U. S. is in trouble and the terrorist thinks we are wimps.

Cram

And this is a typicaly Ann Culter comment that shows such utter contempt for liberals that it is really no different from those protesters calling Bush a Nazi and saying that the US is the greatest terrorist state. Both extremes simply cannot comprehend how anyone can disagree with them. As someone who tries to see both sides of the issue, despite my own partisan leanings, it can be frustrating.

NYGuy,

Bush is providing long needed leadership. If you sense some extremists it is from those on the far left who don’t understand the current world and how it is changing and want to remain in their 1970’s quagmire.

Cram,

You are aware that you are talking about the same China that has one of the worst human rights violations in the world, right? You just said in your post that Clinton did nothing to stop human rights abuses, and yet you cite CHINA as evidence that Bush is a great leader?!?

NYGuy,

The sign of a true leader is someone like Bush who recognizes the rapid changes in the 21st Century and understands that these changes if properly understood could lead to peace and prosperity. Of course there are those Clinton supporters, liberals and Democrats who live in the past but don’t understand marketing theory which identifies the leaders and the followers, (lossers) in the marketplace. Bush ranks as a true leader that can provide the world with a stable, growing and peaceful world. That is why all Americans should be thankful.

Cram,

General Clark not only understands it, but wrote a book on military warfare in the 21st century that has been praised by liberals and conservatives alike. Kerry, Leiberman, Edwards, and Gephardt has been in Congress so long that it would be simple denial to believe that they have no clue what is happening, they are the one's who are making the laws in this century!!

NYGuy

Since the ones you mention were part of the Clinton administration it is difficult to accept you assertions that being in congress for many years qualifies them for understanding the real world. Nothing has changed and they still do not understand the current real world. Besides, actions speak louder than words and their actions indicate that they still live in the past.

Cram,

I don't know if it is God you ought to be thanking. I for one believe that once a true leader emerges (and I am not saying that one of the Dems will be the one), people will look back on Bush and realize what an embarrassment to the world has has become, as other true leaders, like Nelson Mandela, has said.

NYGuy

What has Mandela achieved except that he has a lot of black guys and liberal white guys who say he is important. He is not a world leader and Africa is still regarded as the lost continent. Bush is influencing not only Africa but also Asia, Europe, Latin America, etc. and the rest of the world. Mandela is a good guy, but like Arafat and Sharon is not a world leader. But, Bush is and is currently recognized as the current world leader and unlike Clinton he understands that promoting the above as world leaders only leads to hatred of America. Too bad Clinton, the brillant, never learned this lesson. But we do have some wonderful pictures of a loser.


Cram - 12/14/2003

Steve,
I disagree with the following:
"The US is known far and wide for it’s superlative health care. Why F it up by changing to “single payer”. Then we’d have as mediocre healthcare as the rest of the World. The reality is that those 43 million do get healthcare, insured or not. And it’s better healthcare than they would get in most other countries."

In fact, according to a 2000 report by the World Health Organization, health spending per capita is the higher in America than in any other 191 member countries, far more than its closest competitor. For spending more than anyone else, it should be good... for those who can get it.

The US is also the only industrialized country in the world other than South Africa that does not provide healthcare for all its citizens.

We also have the highest infant mortality rate of any OECD country, ranking 26th in 1996 (Italy was next).

In short, our system should not be compared to the worst, it should be compared to the best. We should strive not just for the best economy and the best military, but the best starnard of living. I am not asking for our system to be perfect, but I do think America has a history of trying to be the best. In the area of healthcare, no one should be content.

http://dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf


Steve BRody - 12/14/2003


“Because none of our leaders have had the good sense or guts to bring in a public single user pay health insurance plan that would cover all citizens according to their ability to pay premiums.”

Why do you want to wreck a system that provides the finest health care in the world?

If 15% of Americans don’t have health insurance, that means 85% do. “Mend the system, don’t end the system”(with regrets to Jesse Jackson). Maybe some government program could be started to provide health care to the poor. They could call it Medicaid. Oh, wait a minute, they already have it. Maybe they could start a program to provide health care to the elderly poor. They could call it Medicare. Oh, never mind.

That way, you wouldn’t screw it up for the 260 million of us that are happy with our healthcare.


All smart-ass aside. People who live in “single payer” health care countries come to this country for their health care, if they can afford it. The US is known far and wide for it’s superlative health care. Why F it up by changing to “single payer”. Then we’d have as mediocre healthcare as the rest of the World. The reality is that those 43 million do get healthcare, insured or not. And it’s better healthcare than they would get in most other countries.


Cram - 12/14/2003

Just a few of the many articles out there that may be relevant to our conversation on Bush's so-called leadership:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,561414,00.html
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3687620/
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3692749/
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/031222/usnews/22secrecy.htm

A genuis? I think not, and nor do others.


Cram - 12/13/2003

Rod,
That fact that Bush's policies have forced you to recognize that you are indeed a liberal and that it is nothing to have to cover with the guise of "moderate," is the best hope that I can have.

Liberals have allowed conservatives to define them for far to long, it is time they started defining themselves and that is why Dean is so popular. It is not that he some radical (he favors a balanced budget, gets high ratings from the NRA, once said affirmative action should be based on class, not race, and he supports states rights on a number of issues), it is just that he has been able to capture that anger you and others feel so well.

I share in your hope.


Steve Brody - 12/13/2003


“I suggest that there is little differnce between the two. When we are talking Bush vs Clinton or Republicans/Democrats or what passes for Liberals/Conservatives these days we are discussing minute differences between two ducks in a flock, not about differnt kinds of birds.”

I actually agree with you, Jerry. Can I get a time hack, here? I believe you’re basically correct. There is not a huge difference between Bush and Clinton on a lot of issues.

I believe Clinton had a pretty good domestic policy and was weak on recognizing that a war was declared on this country in 1993 at the time of the first WTC bombing. He subsequently failed to credibly answer the AQ attacks in Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. He also failed to keep his eye on the ball in North Korea. As he left office, the Economy was winding down, which was probably the result of cyclical forces, which he had little control of.

Bush has gotten the Economy going again and as a result of 9/11, joined the battle against terrorism. He is also confronting NK.

Let’s be honest. Until 9/11, the Bush Administration looked a lot like the Clinton Administration. If 9/11 hadn’t happened, it probably still would. Before someone screams about the “Bush tax cut”, let me say this. Bush’s tax cut is pennies in relation to the GDP. The Federal income tax is still solidly progressive, much more than it was at the end of the Carter Administration. And as for the deficit, Bush didn’t invent deficit spending as a way to prime the economy. It has been a time-honored way of fighting recession.

So, in my long- winded way, I’m saying that I agree with you. The differences between the two are primarily style and personal baggage.

“As long as the American people accept the current political dichotomy with only two widely acceptable parties which are really factions of one bigger, unamed party,..”

Right again. The American people accept it, they like it, they’re comfortable with it. As is their right. Third parties have existed. They rarely do well. Lately they seem to attract unelectable crackpots like Pat Buchanan or Ross Perrot. The Green Party, American Socialist Party, etc are on the margin and act chiefly as spoilers to the Republicans and Democrats.

“As for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I suggest that Al Qaeda and Saddam are convenient excuses or only catalysts for kicking into gear an existing plan to extend US power into the Mid East and strengthen global dominance.”

Yes, Jerry, you’ve made that “suggestion” before. What you have never provided is any evidence to support your “suggestion”. The fact of the matter, Jerry, is that 9/11 happened, and it had to be answered in a strong and dramatic way. Except for a few conspiracy buffs, who somehow blame Bush for 9/11, most people accept that AQ was responsible for 9/11 and that the Taliban was harboring them. Bush gave the Taliban ample opportunity to render UBL and they chose not to. We thus entered Afghanistan. There is no evidence that I’m aware of that the war in Afghanistan was some convenient excuse or contrivance. If you’ve got some, cite it.

As for Iraq. There is no doubt that some in our Government have wanted to be rid of Saddam since 1991. Many of these people wrongly assumed that the Iraqi people would take care of Saddam back in 1991. That was their error.

It is too early to say, IMHO, just how robust Saddam’s WMD programs were at the time that the Iraqi war started. Few people doubted that he had them. Go back and examine Clinton’s statement made on the initiation of Operation Desert Fox. He stated that Saddam was and would remain a danger to his people, his neighbors and the world as long as he reigned. He also stated that the best way to end this danger was a new government in Iraq.

If the war in Iraq was contrived, was Clinton part of the conspiracy?

“Debating whether Bush or Clinton was right, wrong or indifferent in these relationships misses the more important issue of whether we should be expanding our world empire, or even maintaining it at Cold War levels overseas.”

Still waiting for that evidence, Jerry.

“Also, more important than the question of what to do about terrorist is the question why are there terrorists. Without the answer to the second one we will always be faced with the first,..”

Jerry, you’ve posited the notion before that the problem is world poverty. I’ve questioned that in relationship to Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism and your reply was essentially “unhappy campers are more likely to be terrorists than happy campers”. That is really a dodge.

I believe that AQ attacks us and others because we stand in the way of their plan to make the Mid-East a Wahabist paradise. I don’t think giving more money to end world poverty can successfully fight it. Would that help? Maybe at the margins. But at the margins is not where AQ will be defeated. I believe that success can be achieved by getting AQ and anyone who supports AQ running for their lives, while at the same time supporting programs likely to lead to the democratization of Islamic governments, ala Turkey. It would be a diversion to start fighting that which is a small part the problem at the expense of the much larger part problem.


Cram - 12/13/2003

1) "Yes you are right every other industrial country has advocated give away programs and their economies have suffered and they are now defenseless against terrorist attacks."

The difference between you and I is that I see no evidence that their economic situation is related to their healthcare plan. After all, has out county been free from economic recessions? Or terrorist attacks for that matter?

2) "And of course if there is no threat from terrorism why do the Democrats want a Department of Homeland Security and then say we should pull our troops home."

I don't know a single Democrat running or in office that has EVER even come close to suggesting that there is no threat from terrorism.

3) "Bush is a genius and that is why he can provide the leadership and vision to protect us and the world and make it a peaceful and prosperous place for all."

If Bush is a genius, I would hate to see a fool as President. I, for one, have seen far more bad than good in this president and his policies. Even if I thought he was not a poor president (which I do) I don't think I could ever agree that he is a genus (especially given his rhetorical disfunctions).

4) "Clinton was in office for two terms and he did nothing about those 43 million people."

Huh? In February 2000, the United States entered the 107th consecutive month of economic expansion -- the longest economic expansion in history, 22.2 million new jobs have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single Administration -- and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms, 91 percent (19.9 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years, unemployment was down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.0 percent in June 2000, and in April the unemployment rate was the lowest in over 30 years.
The poverty rate has fallen from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 12.7 percent in 1998. That’s the lowest poverty rate since 1979 and the largest five-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years.

Nothing, you say? Let me guess, nothing to do with him right?

5) "Bush the elder gave Clinton a booming recovering economy and he ended his term by giving the current Bush a recession and as you say we still have 43 million people without health insurance."

This sounds a lot like the magic bullet theory: The Bush I plan skipped him entirely, waited until Clinton was in the White House, then lasted 8 years, until Clinton left office. After Clinton was gone, the magic economy dissappeared and then Clinton's policies kicked in the moment Bush II took office. A pretty impressive economic plan.

6) "Bush’s brilliant economic policies are now pulling us out of the Clinton recession and the U. S. is providing the engine of growth for world prosperity. Although you like to talk about the past you conveniently forget 9/11 and are not familiar with Keynesian economics."

Kenyes advocated deficits to fund social programs in order to kick start the economy, do you dispute this? He is the one liberals claim, not conservatives! He NEVER advocated increasing spending, funding programs, while at the same time cutting taxes for the rich and going to war.
-- http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/KeynesianEconomics.html

7) "Unlike the liberals Bush recognizes that WMD are not only deadly and highly destructive but as shown on 9/11 they have the potential to be delivered anywhere in the world which can happen without warning."

NYGuy, I think you are letting your hatred of liberals get aheard of you. Are you saying that liberals don't think WMD are dangerous or can be delivered anywhere and without warning?

8) "He understood that the UN was a cowardly organization, as was the rest of the industrial world who had spent all their money on welfare programs and were unable to defend themselves. He and the US have provided the leadership to make a better world and he is being applauded for his leadership for making America safer. The visit to the US by China officials confirms this view that we can have a peaceful world without WMD and murderous thugs."

First, you seem to assume that welfare and defense are mutually exlcusive. Don't we have welfare programs that do not hamper our defense? Also, I simply have a factual dispute with you, Bush to my knowledge is one of the most hated leaders in the world. Right or wrong, justified or not, that is a fact. I am not saying that everyone hates Bush, but polls do show that his opinion is far lower than almost anyone else in international news. You can still think he is the greatest think leader in world history, but that does not change what others in the world believe.

9) "Clinton is responsible for the escalation of the terrorist movement and the growing anti-Semitism in the world today and we are only now beginning to realize that."

I will not waste too much time on this, all I will say is that I find such comments as puzzling to me as those who say Bush is a Nazi. I simply have seen absolutely no evidence that Clinton did anything other than try to achieve peace in the region.

10) "His failure to recognize, or more likely his unwillingness to fight terrorism against the US, reducing our armed forces and tying the hand of our intelligence network encouraged terrorist to strike us on several occasions with no response and resulted in 9/11."

Clinton did more to combat terrorism than any other president that has come before him. I don't have enough space to list them all, but here is a site that talks about some of them. Clinton certainly did more then Bush ever did BEFORE 9/11 hit him in the face with it.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/pearly/htmls/bill-terrorism.html

11) "GW who is in office for just 2 years has changed that and made this a safer world. No wonder people expect he will go down as one of our greatest presidents."

I expect he will go down as a one term president who, like Johnson will be remembered for starting an uneccessary war. In any event however, do you honestly believe that the world is safer today than during the Clinton years? You really think you are in less danger today than in 1992-2000??

12) "Cram, this is a typical response from liberals who hide under their bed and pray that the morning will come so those terrible shadows they see will go away."

And this is a typicaly Ann Culter comment that shows such utter contempt for liberals that it is really no different from those protesters calling Bush a Nazi and saying that the US is the greatest terrorist state. Both extremes simply cannot comprehend how anyone can disagree with them. As someone who tries to see both sides of the issue, despite my own partisan leanings, it can be frustrating.

13) "Remember China representatives visited us not because they were fearful but because they recognize a great world leader that will help China, and the rest of the world live in peace and prosperity."

You are aware that you are talking about the same China that has one of the worst human rights violations in the world, right? You just said in your post that Clinton did nothing to stop human rights abuses, and yet you cite CHINA as evidence that Bush is a great leader?!?

14) "Which of the Democratic Presidential candidates has shown any understanding of what is happening in the 21st Century and addressed the problems of a rapidly changing world?"

General Clark not only understands it, but wrote a book on military warfare in the 21st century that has been praised by liberals and conservatives alike. Kerry, Leiberman, Edwards, and Gephardt has been in Congress so long that it would be simple denial to believe that they have no clue what is happening, they are the one's who are making the laws in this century!!

15) "Thank God for giving us a true leader in Bush."

I don't know if it is God you ought to be thanking. I for one believe that once a true leader emerges (and I am not saying that one of the Dems will be the one), people will look back on Bush and realize what an embarrassment to the world has has become, as other true leaders, like Nelson Mendela, has said.


George Oilwell - 12/13/2003

Anti-Semitism is alive and blatant. You are a classic bigot.
I hope, but don't have much confidence that you will overcome your ignorance and prejudice.


Ken Melvin - 12/13/2003

The problem isn't my religion, your religion, or anyone else's religion. Such is my, your, their business. The problem is anyone's religion being brought into our government's domestic and foreign policy. A problem with fundamentalist world wide is their propensity to impose their religion on others. The declaration of the right of all to worship or not to worship as they please is a main tenant of liberalism as I understand liberalism.

Rhetorically? If a president who didn't know what to do or how to figure out what to do asked his god what to do and thought that his god told him what to do, did what he thought his god told him to do and it was wrong; whose fault?


Barbara Cornett - 12/13/2003

and "WE" wonder why "THEY" vote republican


http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/121103Arendt/121103arendt.html

They hate us liberals for our freedom

By H. N. Arendt
Online Journal Contributing Writer

December 11, 2003—Most liberals found G.W. Bush's soundbite, "They hate us for our freedom," to be laughably counter-factual. They cynically pointed out that Bush was preventing future attacks by canceling our freedoms.

As informed citizens, instead of docile corporate news consumers, liberals knew that America had been shooting up the Middle East for decades—at first by proxy, more recently with our own military.

But, to merely add this sentence to the ever-growing list of Bush's manipulative generalizations and lies misses something important. By accident, Bush's speechwriter may have said something for liberals to think about. Consider the meaning if "us" are liberals and "they" are fundamentalist Christians. Then it reads:

"American fundamentalist Christians hate American liberals for their freedom."

Now this makes sense! They hate our urbanity, our education, our rationality, our religious tolerance, our respect for women, gays, and people of color as equals. A moment's consideration should make this obvious. If you said to an average New Yorker, "American hicks hate the Big Apple's freedoms," you would get little disagreement. I'm saying the same thing.

If you think about it this way, Bush's soundbite is a two-fer: the fundies get to project their open hatred of liberal America onto fundamentalist Arabs, and then they get to put their righteously angry words into the mouths of liberals, many of whom were sad, not angry, about 911. We know now that the Bush administration's solicitude for New York City was phony because New York's public health and rebuilding were blown off as soon as the media spotlight turned away. (Lying about post-9/11 air quality; welching on the promised funds to rebuild.)

But the administration's projected anger at Arabs was genuine. They used this anger to solidify their position with Americans beyond their hardcore fundamentalist Christian supporters. Now it is true that the fundamentalists do hate Arabs. If you wonder where this came from, consider their epithet "sand nigger". But, the leaders of the fundamentalist Christian movement in America have always defined the main "enemy" to be godless, decadent liberalism.

So, the fundies already had an external enemy to motivate them. But, non-fundamentalists needed to have their own external enemy if the country was to be united in hatred. So Arab fundamentalists were a perfect choice. They allow non-fundamentalist Americans to vent against an external fundamentalism, while keeping the spotlight away from the religious fruitcakes in the Bush administration who have a hard on for Armageddon soon in the Middle East.

Unwittingly, non-fundamentalist Americans have bought into one of the oldest traditions of the Middle East: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Many Americans have looked upon the bellicosity and outright murderousness of fundamentalist Christian rage against Arabs as a good, patriotic thing. Lack of sufficient hatred has been called "unpatriotic." This mainstreaming of hatred is a huge victory for fundamentalism.

Americans who have bought this line ought to be thinking about what happens when, not if, that mayhem gets unleashed at home. Liberals know better. They have been experiencing right-wing violence for over a decade: abortion clinic bombers, doctor assassins, Olympic bombers, WACO cultists, crazed neo-Nazi random shooters. And with the installation of Inquisitor General Ashcroft, things have gotten worse. Instead of chasing terrorists, he is attacking medical marijuana, assisted suicide, and other matters of a very personal nature.

So, I suggest that liberals take ownership of this soundbite, and make a list of the freedom's which the Bush administration hated enough to destroy. The list is already long. Check any website keeping track of such things.

The freedoms which Christian fundamentalists hate and destroy are the basis of our form of government. Their hatred for the Enlightenment and, by extension, for the Constitution as a quintessentially enlightened document, is out in the open. For example, there is a certain Howard Ahmanson who owns a stake in ES&S, one of the major voting machine companies. He is also an avowed Christian Reconstructionist who wants to replace the Constitution with Biblical Law. Where I come from, that is treason. But no one in the media seems to care. Why doesn't someone say Ahmanson hates us for our freedoms?

I think that exposing these codewords is vital to preventing Americans from becoming further bamboozled by the torrent of anti-democracy propaganda and actions emanating from the religious right and from its agents inside the Bush administration. George Bush is breaking the law with his "faith-based" breaching of the wall of Church and State; although I expect Antonin Scalia to rise to Dred Scott levels of hypocrisy when such a case comes before him. He will do so because he is another avowed theocrat, another traitor to his oath of office and a constitutional felon in the 2000 Selection.

Liberals need to say it out loud. The religious right has crossed the line. They are traitors to the U.S. Constitution; they are hate-mongers and hypocrites. They are merciless, and they have almost the entire government in their hands. And most of all: "They hate us liberals for our freedoms."


Rod S - 12/13/2003

It amazes me that our President and his administration have gone unchecked for so long. It further amazes me that Mr. Bush's approval ratiung is still bobbing around 50%. But what truly amazes me is that the "Liberals" in power have let it go on as long as they have.

I always considered myself more of a moderate than anything else, but I guess I am a liberal. What I mean to say is... I am angry. Like a lot of other people who post here, I am truly angry at the direction of the country and the policies of the Bush administration. But I am happy, because I see this anger in so many people that it gives me hope that, as the author suggested, people may start to do something about it.

Perhaps its foolish hope, but its hope just the same.


NYGuy - 12/13/2003

JW:

I didn't suggest that at all. I just pointed out the more likely reasons for not following the traditional mid 20th Century conservative stance on China. I am no liberal, but I must say that some of your arguments seem to be that Bush is, which of course is true to a degree.

As for leadership, Bush is to leadership as a hood ornament is to an automobile. he may be out in front, but he is neither providing the power nor steering the vehicle. :)

NYG:

Jerry you are correct you did not suggest that we take a cold war stance but the tone of the thread was, I thought, that the posters were saying we are selling out to China, which I don’t believe is the case. I have tried to show that I start from a current/future perspective on the world and I believe that China will become a world powerhouse in trade over the next 5-10 years. We then have a difficult choice. Trust China and work for greater prosperity and peace for the world or take an aggressive stance toward them. This is a difficult question to answer and I don’t want to sound naive on this topic, but I do believe that China, at this time in its development, finds it more advantage to them to engage in peaceful trade relations with the rest of the world. Longer term I don’t have the answer and want us to be vigilant. As such I think that Bush’s policies are currently the correct one.

And of course if he plays his cards right he will probably be able to get 2-3 times the political contributions from China that was taken in by the Clinton-Gore team. :)

Meanwhile, your portraying of my favorite President is hurtful. But, I will try to carry on. :)

JW:

Because none of our leaders have had the good sense or guts to bring in a public single user pay health insurance plan that would cover all citizens according to their ability to pay premiums. Healthcare in the US is a nightmare for many people because of that.

NYGuy

Re the 43 million people without health insurance we have a basic disagreement. What I am seeing is that those countries that have spent their money on all these social programs have slower economic growth than we do. In addition, they have become weak and have no real defense programs to defend themselves.

The first rule of economics is: "There is no such thing as a free lunch." I share your concerns about those with no health insurance, but I don’t believe anyone is being turned away, particularly if you are an illegal immigrant. If anyone has a problem let them go to California, (35 million people and bigger than many countries), where the government has unlimited funds to pay for such services and they continue to expand their social policies. :)

Cheers


Barbara Cornett - 12/13/2003

Thanks for the link to opendemocracy where people can check to get facts about the issue.

blogs are good ways to get propaganda out but they are also easy for anyone to have and anybody with any idea can make use of them so Reynolds doesn't have a monopoly or anything like corporations have with tv. I would imagine that very few people read most blogs anyway. I don't know what kind of readership numbers Reynolds has??

If people in West Virginia are not talking about the middle east then that means that people who are obsessed with it are the ones who are living in the wilds. They should be discussing doing like John Kennedy did when he set the goal of putting a man on the moon. We should set the goal of finding and implementing alternative sources of energy and leave the oil where it is. All the money going into the middle east could be used to subsidize expensive alternatives until they could be made affordable for all Americans. America should be leading the way in this instead of making pre-emptive wars against half of the world.


Don Williams - 12/13/2003

See my link to the opensecrets.org site in my post above "Afraid not, Barbara"


Don Williams - 12/13/2003

When it comes to political donations--"the mother's milk" -- our national leaders go to where the money is. The butts they kiss are largely in Manhattan, Hollywood -- and to a lesser extent, Silicon Valley, Houston, and Chicago. See Opensecrets' "The Geography of Political Fundraising" at http://www.opensecrets.org/newsletter/ce71/02geog.asp

PS I grew up in southwestern Virginia, roughly 150 miles from Knoxville. When I visit my relatives, they and their neighbors are not deeply engrossed in the intricate details of Middle Eastern politics nor do they go into emotional rants about Israel's enemies. Hence, my puzzlement for what motivated Glenn Reynolds to spend so much time attacking Iraq and other enemies of Israel.

What strikes me about Internet blogs like Instapundit is the way in which their design supports one-way broadcasts of propaganda -- similar in nature to the Nazi sound trucks which circled around public squares in the 1940s. Much different from Internet chat rooms or sites with a mechanism for discussion/feedback comments. (Even Free Republic allows for discussion/debate)
It seems to me that blogs provide an interesting way to evade
federal limits on political advertising and FEC mechanisms to track donations supporting political advertising/electoral propaganda.


Jerry West - 12/13/2003

NYG wrote:

If you are suggesting that we take a cold war stance against China and engage them, then I assure you we will have a world depressions which will increase the threat of world terrorism. Fortunately Bush understands this although the liberals don’t. :)

JW:

I didn't suggest that at all. I just pointed out the more likely reasons for not following the traditional mid 20th Century conservative stance on China. I am no liberal, but I must say that some of your arguments seem to be that Bush is, which of course is true to a degree.

As for leadership, Bush is to leadership as a hood ornament is to an automobile. he may be out in front, but he is neither providing the power nor steering the vehicle. :)

NYG:

....as you say we still have 43 million people without health insurance. Why?

JW:

Because none of our leaders have had the good sense or guts to bring in a public single user pay health insurance plan that would cover all citizens according to their ability to pay premiums. Healthcare in the US is a nightmare for many people because of that.


Barbara Cornett - 12/13/2003

One reason that I get angry as a liberal is how I am treated by the democratic party. Read this article entitled "Do Democrats Need the South" which is one of many on the web with similar views.

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2003/120103.html

Evidently the democratic party is an entitiy that exists in the northeast or California where its leadership makes all the decisions. I don't know what that makes me since I'm from the south. I am constantly insulted by the progressive writers of the democatic left and the party leadership and treated as tho I am "they" while people who live outside of the south are the "we".

If northeastern and CA democrats are the movers and shakers then I suppose that means that they are the ones who presided over the downfall of our party. They are the ones in charge when republicans like Zell Miller and other conservatives infiltrate the democratic party and drive it to the right. They are the ones who are sticks in the mud and who are stuck in the 60s and who offer nothing new and dynamic to the party.
They are responsible for the problems the party now faces.

Perhaps its time for southern democrats and democrats in western areas besides CA and of course Seattle to come together and reenergise and revitialize our party and bring it back to life.

We could start by respecting the beliefs of the people in the Southern Baptist Convention. They could be encouraged to seperate their religious beliefs from their public life if they were treated with more respect rather then being treated with scorn and hatred. There are plenty of Christian democrats but they are lumped together with the political so called Christian right and treated in a dispicable manner by the party up north. We need to take our party back.

Here is an example of Christian democrats for those who can't tell one from another.

http://www.sojo.net/


Barbara Cornett - 12/13/2003

I think Don should be congratulated for making an enormous effort to raise the level of the debate. He offered facts and stats which can then be interpeted and debated however a person chooses which I think is the proper way to debate and I'm glad someone finally did that. Now Cram and others can take issue with this as they choose and the facts can be argued with rather then personalities. Thank you Don for your research and links and intelligent approach. I think you have taken the debate to a new and much more appropriate level.

You pointed out that oil plays a major role in all of this as well as Israel and I think it could be argued that it plays a central role and Israel is just a by-product. I don't think republicans care about Israel either. I don't think democrats care about Israel. I think Jewish Americans care deeply about Israel and that most Americans want Israel to exist in safty and peace. But I think we would deal entirely differently with Israel if not for the oil and its importance in our econmic supremacy and the role Israel plays as proxy military presence for the US.

The only factor that would affect what degree of difference we would show toward Israel is of course the power of their lobbies. politicians would be afraid to go against Israel.

Jews are a minority in the US. But they are a wealthy and powerful miniority. That is why they are so controversal sometimes. No other minority exercises such power and presence. That is not meant to be a negetive or positive comment but just a fact. Maybe that is one reason the NYT doesn't tell what is happening. How might the majority react?

I live within a few miles of the 'wilds of Knoxville'. I thought we were the center of the democratic party. I thought everything in the United States and the world revolved around us. Are you telling me this is not true?


NYGuy - 12/13/2003

Cram

All of the serious contenders for the nominations are arguing for universal healthcare, a radical proposition that every other industrialized country in the world has advocated. How is this, or other policies, living in the past? Especially in light of the fact that it was the Democrats who first urged Bush to create the Department of Homeland Security.

NYGuy

Yes you are right every other industrial country has advocated give away programs and their economies have suffered and they are now defenseless against terrorist attacks. And of course if there is no threat from terrorism why do the Democrats want a Department of Homeland Security and then say we should pull our troops home. Simple, they don’t get the big picture of what is happening in the world in the 21st century. Bush is a genius and that is why he can provide the leadership and vision to protect us and the world and make it a peaceful and prosperous place for all.

Cram

When ONE SINGLE net job is created under president Bush, then I will applaud the economic recovery. However, as Malcolm X once said, you do not stab a man in the back 10 inches, pull it out 6 inches, and call that progress. Also, I personally do not consider 43 million Americans (15%) without health insurence, 6% unemployment, 12% impoverished, with a national debt over 6 and half trillion dollars real economic progress.

NYGuy

Clinton was in office for two terms and he did nothing about those 43 million people. I am not sure they are all Americans. So he was a loser. Yes I guess he was. Bush the elder gave Clinton a booming recovering economy and he ended his term by giving the current Bush a recession and as you say we still have 43 million people without health insurance. Why? That is easy, it is the failed liberal democratic policies during Clinton’s leadership. Bush’s brilliant economic policies are now pulling us out of the Clinton recession and the U. S. is providing the engine of growth for world prosperity. Although you like to talk about the past you conveniently forget 9/11 and are not familiar with Keynesian economics.

Cram

You are starting from an a priori assumption that Iraq is part of the war on terror. If people like myself do not share in that assumption, then it is the Democrats who are looking at the future and Bush bogged down in Iraq.

NYGuy

We are talking about leadership. Clinton made such a mess of the world that Bush has a bigger job that requires a leader that can see into the future, (a genius if you would), and who understands what is needed to clean up a hornets nest. Unlike the liberals Bush recognizes that WMD are not only deadly and highly destructive but as shown on 9/11 they have the potential to be delivered anywhere in the world which can happen without warning. He understood that the UN was a cowardly organization, as was the rest of the industrial world who had spent all their money on welfare programs and were unable to defend themselves. He and the US have provided the leadership to make a better world and he is being applauded for his leadership for making America safer. The visit to the US by China officials confirms this view that we can have a peaceful world without WMD and murderous thugs.


Cram

The eight years of Clinton were the most prosperous than almost any other time since the 1920's. Clinton had a vision of the world called cooporation and because of that, neither Iran nor North Korea was threatening to declare themselves nuclear powers, our military activities were carried out with NATO and other international support, and he didn't need to be locked in a cage everytime he wanted to visit another country.

NYGuy

Clinton is responsible for the escalation of the terrorist movement and the growing anti-Semitism in the world today and we are only now beginning to realize that. His focus on the Palestine and Israel conflict and putting the US prestige on the line resulted in increase anger and hatred around the world at Israel and the US. His failure to recognize, or more likely his unwillingness to fight terrorism against the US, reducing our armed forces and tying the hand of our intelligence network encouraged terrorist to strike us on several occasions with no response and resulted in 9/11. Meanwhile while our “first black president” was dallying millions of black guys in Africa were being killed and maimed. Because we lacked leadership during the Clinton years we had no one to look out for the protection of our country. GW who is in office for just 2 years has changed that and made this a safer world. No wonder people expect he will go down as one of our greatest presidents.

Cram

I am not really sure what you mean by world leader. If you mean, we can kick anyone's butt, I agree 100%. But when the world lookes at the United States, they do not see leadership, they see danger.

NYGuy

Cram, this is a typical response from liberals who hide under their bed and pray that the morning will come so those terrible shadows they see will go away. Remember China representatives visited us not because they were fearful but because they recognize a great world leader that will help China, and the rest of the world live in peace and prosperity.

Perhaps you have defined the difference between Bush and liberals. Liberals offer no solutions but constantly cry the sky is falling. Which of the Democratic Presidential candidates has shown any understanding of what is happening in the 21st Century and addressed the problems of a rapidly changing world?

Thank God for giving us a true leader in Bush.

JW

If you are suggesting that we take a cold war stance against China and engage them, then I assure you we will have a world depressions which will increase the threat of world terrorism. Fortunately Bush understands this although the liberals don’t. :)

Cheers to both of you. Always nice visiting with you both.


Jerry West - 12/13/2003

-
Steve Broady wrote:

I suggest that Bush took Clinton’s advice.

JW:

I suggest that there is little differnce between the two. When we are talking Bush vs Clinton or Republicans/Democrats or what passes for Liberals/Conservatives these days we are discussing minute differences between two ducks in a flock, not about differnt kinds of birds. It is a focus that serves to keep people from looking at issues in a light not conducive to the welfare of the people behind the Reps and Dems.

As long as the American people accept the current political dichotomy with only two widely acceptable parties which are really factions of one bigger, unamed party, the folks with all of the money invested in the government can sleep well at night knowing that whoever is in power they will face only mild fluctuations in their status.

As for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I suggest that Al Qaeda and Saddam are convenient excuses or only catalysts for kicking into gear an existing plan to extend US power into the Mid East and strengthen global dominance. Debating whether Bush or Clinton was right, wrong or indifferent in these relationships misses the more important issue of whether we should be expanding our world empire, or even maintaining it at Cold War levels overseas.

Also, more important than the question of what to do about terrorist is the question why are there terrorists. Without the answer to the second one we will always be faced with the first, and on our present course expending evermore buckets of blood and cash in the pot holes of the world treating a symptom rather than going after the disease.

Cram wrote:

http://hnn.us/comments/25927.html

JW:

Good rebuttal, that. Interesting points to consider.




Steve BRody - 12/13/2003


“however believe that the mannor in which it was conducted and the rationle behind it cost Bush any credibility to much of the world (including myself”

Cram, what Clinton said at the time was that the bombing had set the Iraqi missile program back a year and had inflicted “significant damage” on his WMD program. Clinton also stated, “So long as Saddam remains in power, he will remain a threat to his people, his region and the world,"

Since over four years had passed since Operation Desert Fox, I think it safe to say that Saddam had recouped the one-year set back caused by Operation Desert Fox. And then some. Incidentally, the French opposed Operation Desert Fox according to your citation. Was Clinton being “unilateral”?

“It is true that there was no UN resolution, but then again there was not international outcry over the action. Furhturmore, Clinton's justification for the offensive did not turn out to be false (as I consider Bush's justification).”

That there was no outcry, despite Clinton’s failure to obtain a UN resolution is exactly my point. There is a double standard afoot here. Clinton doesn’t obtain a UN resolution and everyone whistles and looks the other way. Bush goes to the UN and does get a resolution threatening dire consequences if Saddam fails to cooperate and he’s branded a “unilateralist”.

As for Bush’s justification being false, that remains to be seen. The Kay report does document numerous violations of the UN resolutions restricting Iraq’s arms programs. He also has only examined about 10 of 130 weapons dumps, including some that are the size of Manhattan. It’s possible that the weapons were moved to Syria. I believe the answers will be available in due course.

“can't agree on that one. I submit the following comments, which is FAR more sever than anyone in the Democratic leadership has said about Bush:”

You and I will never agree on this one. All of the quotes that you referenced indicate suspicion as to the timing of Clinton’s decision. It was the day before the impeachment vote.

What Democrats have suggested is that the war” was a fraud cooked up at the Crawford ranch.” as Ted Kennedy has stated. Tom Daschle said that it was Bush’s failure at diplomacy that caused the war.

Cram, did three Republican Congressmen go to Baghdad before Operation Desert Fox and suggest that American’s should “take Saddam at his word” about his WMD programs, as Democrats Jim McDermott, David Bonior and Mike Thompson did?

“ Well, I don't know. All I know is that everything I am seeing says that it is worse than it has ever been in a long time.”

Two things I noticed about the surveys you cite, Cram. One, the survey was conducted in 2002, which, of course, predates the war in Iraq. Two, the survey states that America’s popularity in the world has been declining since 2000, which, of course, predates Bush’s Presidency.

“So far, we have found little if anything. The argument for war was that Iraq had a full arosnal will tons of WMD ready to strike. If we waited at all, we were told, the proof could come "in the form of a mushroom cloud." Until and unless we find such an arsonal, I belief that this war was based on a lie.”

That we have found little is not evidence that we will not find WMD’s in the fullness of time. Bush never said that the threat from WMD’s was imminent. On the contrary, he stated that we could not wait for a “smoking gun”.

“ I would argue that due to the resources and costs of Iraq, we will be unable to respond to those other countries unless they do something really, REALLY obvious in a big way.”

Be honest. We would only go into those countries if they did “something REALLY obvious in a big way” anyway.

“Clinton went into Iraq because Saddam was not cooporating with inspectors. The implication was that inspections work but withouth them, we cannot be sure.”

What Clinton said at the time was that “in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed.”—Bill Clinton, 12/16/98.

Likewise, Bush gave Saddam a chance. When Saddam produced for the UN a sham of a Weapons Declaration, he acted in defiance of the UN inspection process.

In that same speech, Clinton stated “The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with the new Iraqi government, a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people.”

I suggest that Bush took Clinton’s advice.


Cram - 12/13/2003

NYGuy,
1) "Liberals, as shown by the Democratic presidential contenders show they are living in the past."

All of the serious contenders for the nominations are arguing for universal healthcare, a radical proposition that every other industrialized country in the world has advocated. How is this, or other policies, living in the past? Especially in light of the fact that it was the Democrats who first urged Bush to create the Department of Homeland Security.

2) "Notice I told you 8 months ago about the economic recovery but they still chant about meaningless economic problems. So, nothing positive has changed in the Democratic political rhetoric about the economy."

When ONE SINGLE net job is created under president Bush, then I will applaud the economic recovery. However, as Malcolm X once said, you do not stab a man in the back 10 inches, pull it out 6 inches, and call that progress. Also, I personally do not consider 43 million Americans (15%) without health insurence, 6% unemployment, 12% impoverished, with a national debt over 6 and half trillion dollars real economic progress.

3) "I also spoke about the need for a war on terrorism and democrats and liberal have nothing to say that addresses this problem. By the time they understand the real issues in the world the Democrats will wake up to find out they did not know what hit them."

You are starting from an a priori assumption that Iraq is part of the war on terror. If people like myself do not share in that assumption, then it is the Democrats who are looking at the future and Bush bogged down in Iraq.

4) "I prefer a world of growing prosperity and security than one in which the Presidential leader is a lawyer who had no vision about the world and is willing to put the U. S. security in jeopardy so he could feel good about himself."

The eight years of Clinton were the most prosperous than almost any other time since the 1920's. Clinton had a vision of the world called cooporation and because of that, neither Iran nor North Korea was threatening to declare themselves nuclear powers, our military activities were carried out with NATO and other international support, and he didn't need to be locked in a cage everytime he wanted to visit another country.

5) "Bush looks out for the American people and this great country and that is why we are again the world leaders."

I am not really sure what you mean by world leader. If you mean, we can kick anyone's butt, I agree 100%. But when the world lookes at the United States, they do not see leadership, they see danger.


Steve Brody - 12/13/2003


“George Bush's approach has always been to split the Democratic Party --first by pandering to the Hispanics with lavish immigration quotas. Now by pandering to the supporters of Israel. This political game is less excusable since it brought on Sept 11 --hence the need for the massive coverup and news manipulation by the White House.”

Don, not this again. Every time you blame Bush for 9/11, you get called on it. You never address the fact that UBL started planning 9/11 long before Bush even announced his candidacy. You’ve pussy-footed around this issue by saying ambiguous things like “there’s a difference between developing a capability and carrying it out”. I now again call on you to make your position clear. Are you saying that if Bush hadn’t been elected, that 9/11 would not have occurred?

And what “massive cover-up” and “news manipulation” are you referring to, Don?

“The Republican target is a small number of wealthy men who are the major financiers of the Democratic Party and who are also supporters of Israel.”

Don, you constantly refer to the Republicans as “whores” for trying to steal away wealthy Democrat Party donors. What you constantly overlook is that if that is true (I don’t think that it is), then the Democrats were the “whores” in the first place. You’re chief complaint seems to be that the Republicans are “out whoring” the Democrats.

“Nonetheless, a Fortune magazine survey of Capitol Hill insiders showed that AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee) was the second-most powerful lobby in Washington (after AARP--American Association of Retired Persons).”

Don, this survey is over SIX YEARS old. It was conducted early in Clinton’s second term and could not possibly have anything to do with Bush.

“Delay and Bush are clearly not Christians”…” I strongly doubt that the Republicans really give a damm about the ultimate fate of Israel”….”utterly devoid of any moral principle and concern for the fate of average Americans --including Todd Beamer's sobbing widow and children.”

All meaningless statements of your personal prejudice and hatred of the Republicans. I quote you here only to provide the motive for what is obvious a pathological need to blame Bush for 9/11—without any evidence.

Frankly, Don, I find your whole comment somewhat muddled. You start with the premise, never really explained, that Bush was somehow responsible for 9/11. You then move on to the proposition that Republicans are “whores” for big money donations from rich, pro- Israel donors. The final two thirds of your comment is a list of big money Democratic Party donors, most of whom are Jewish. You never establish in any convincing way that these Jewish donors are pro-Israel or that their donations were intended to influence the US government’s policy on Israel. Furthermore, THEY ARE ALL DEMOCRATIC PARTY DONORS. If you’ve proven anything (I don’t believe you have) all you’ve proven is that some people with Jewish sounding names have given a lot of money to the DEMOCRATIC party.

So what.

“ PS Ask yourself why the New York Times,etc never inform American citizens of the people and agendas I've noted here”

As I’ve ask you before, Don, what is more likely: A Jewish conspiracy exists with the intent to conceal the conspiracy theories of Don Williams from the American public OR Don Williams theories are weak and unsupported.





Jerry West - 12/13/2003

-
A couple of assumptions are being made here:

1. Nixon and Bush are conservatives

2. Underneath the public smoke and mirrors there is a significant difference between conservatives and liberals in the US.

Of course the driving force in China policy could have nothing to do with political ideology altogether. Perhaps more compelling reasons are we can't risk having them as an enemy any more, and maybe more so, money. Over 200 years of US history in the Far East points to dreams of wealth as a major ingredient in our actions there.


NYGuy - 12/13/2003

Thanks Ethan and Steve. You prove my point.

Cram,

Not sure I suggested that the liberals are the one’s who see China as a threat. My point is that liberals have no idea of the changes going on in the world and therefore Marianne can make a meaningless statement about Bush’s policies. Does she want to got to war over Taiwan or does she want peace and prosperity. Liberals can’t understand the world changes so they have no meaningful policy to put forward in today’ rapidly changing world.

China may have been a target for decades, but the technology expertise that is shaping the world today was also not available decades ago when these policies were in place. Just shows liberals have to wake up to the new century and it potential.

Cram,

Any suggestion that somehow the liberals are behind in the times because China is our friend now is ignoring the fact that China was the conservative’s enemy for a long time (look at the pressure from the conservatives during the plan hostage crises in 2001).

NYGuy

Your rearview mirror approach to the world is exactly what I am saying. Liberals, as shown by the Democratic presidential contenders show they are living in the past. Notice I told you 8 months ago about the economic recovery but they still chant about meaningless economic problems. So, nothing positive has changed in the Democratic political rhetoric about the economy.

I also spoke about the need for a war on terrorism and democrats and liberal have nothing to say that addresses this problem. By the time they understand the real issues in the world the Democrats will wake up to find out they did not know what hit them.

I prefer a world of growing prosperity and security than one in which the Presidential leader is a lawyer who had no vision about the world and is willing to put the U. S. security in jeopardy so he could feel good about himself. Bush looks out for the American people and this great country and that is why we are again the world leaders.

Thank you Bush, you are truly a genuis.


NGuy - 12/13/2003

Ralph,

You come close. Bush is a liberator, not a liberal. He is bringing us out of the Clinton recession, stopping the worldwide mess Clinton made with his empahsis on 7 million in P/A while our first black president did nothing to stop the killing of millions of black guys in Africa. Is this your idea of a leader?

Meanwhile, Bush is bringing peace and prosperity to the world unlike the mess Clinton left us in.

No wonder he is called a genuis.


Ralph E. Luker - 12/13/2003

Mr. High, Given this characterization of what a "liberal" is and what the Bush administration has done with the size of the federal government and its budget, I assume that you have no problem saying that the Bush administration is exemplarily liberal.


Hugh High - 12/12/2003



Having observed that most American "liberals" want immense amounts of government intervention, and thus control, into the lives of individuals, one must conclude that there is hardly anything liberal, i.e. "liberating", about such people.

In short, "liberals" aren't !!!!


Steve Brody - 12/12/2003


No, Marianne, what he is saying, I think, is that your question is a non-sequitor. Since Nixon, our relations with China have ceased to be a conservative/liberal issue.

It’s akin to asking. “ Do you walk to work or carry your lunch?” It just doesn’t have any meaning in a liberal/conservative context.


Ethan - 12/12/2003

Can you imagine the dynamic between Chinese traders and their government?

In time, the traders will win, and the Chinese Communist Party will eventually become the Chinese Reform Party or something similar.

HSBC is not purely, or even mostly, Chinese, of course. They are players, though. They want to make money the old-fashioned way, trade. In the meantime, give the ChiComs some face. Let them retreat gracefully. At least they brought some order, admittedly at great price, to the collapse of dynastic China.

Regards.


Marianne - 12/12/2003


NYGuy,

I was responding to ethan's comments like this one:

The task for both is similar: how to continue extending the control of the state over the economy and to engineer the thought of the populace without the Communist model as their touchstone. It is a Liberal crisis of existential proportions.

And the comments i shared re Bush's coziness with the Communist government of China were the CNN reporters, not mine.


Cram - 12/12/2003

Steve,
I am sympathetic with your argument and find it compelling, but not yet convincing enough for me to support the war. However, much (but not all) of our disagreements are differences in philosophy more than factual disputes.

On the the more specific points you made:
1) "You’ve claimed elsewhere that Clinton then pronounced the Iraqi WMD problem solved by Operation Desert Fox and hence a WMD problem no longer existed in Iraq. I would like to see your authority that Clinton ever made such an assertion."

I don't know if I ever said that Clinton said that Iraq had no WMD, although if I did, I should clarify. What Clinton said was that "The operation is complete in accordance with our 70-hour plan" and that "I am confident that we have achieved our mission. We have inflicted significant damage on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction."

I am also aware that Clinton believed that future conflict with Iraq was likely, however believe that the mannor in which it was conducted and the rationle behind it cost Bush any credibility to much of the world (including myself).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/crisis_in_the_gulf/latest_news/238878.stm


2) "Likewise, These same Libs said nothing when Clinton intervened in Bosnia, without a UN resolution."

It is true that there was no UN resolution, but then again there was not international outcry over the action. Furhturmore, Clinton's justification for the offensive did not turn out to be false (as I consider Bush's justification).

3) "There was very little Republican criticism of Operation Desert Fox. Certainly nothing like what is now seen by the Democrats."

I can't agree on that one. I submit the following comments, which is FAR more sever than anyone in the Democratic leadership has said about Bush:

"After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons."
-- House Majority Leader Dick Armey

"I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time... Both the timing and the policy are subject to question."
-- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott

"It is obvious that they're (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it."

Asked if he was accusing Clinton of playing with American lives for political expediency, Solomon said, "Whether he knows it or not, that's exactly what he's doing. When you put our troops in the air or on the ground, you are risking their lives. This president ought to know better. I don't know if he does or not, because he's so unpredictable."
-- Gerald Solomon (R-New York)http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/congresstional.react.02/

4) "In reality, this support was a mile wide and an inch deep. Europeans will continue to support the war on Terrorism where they believe it is in their interests to do. That is all they ever intended to do anyway."

Well, I don't know. All I know is that everything I am seeing says that it is worse than it has ever been in a long time.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec02/kohut_12-05.html
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=165

5) "But, I believe that the gain was worth the cost. I also believe that ultimately we will find a WMD program existed in Iraq. The only question will be how robust a program."

So far, we have found little if anything. The argument for war was that Iraq had a full arosnal will tons of WMD ready to strike. If we waited at all, we were told, the proof could come "in the form of a mushroom cloud." Until and unless we find such an arsonal, I belief that this war was based on a lie.

6) "The argument that we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq because it prevents us from going into Iran or Syria is a hollow one. There is and was no chance that we would intervene in any serious way in either of those countries."

I would argue that due to the resources and costs of Iraq, we will be unable to respond to those other countries unless they do something really, REALLY obvious in a big way. I will agree with you in part however. IF I really believed we should have gone into Iraq, the argument that it will prevent future action holds no water.

7) "Further, if as you put it, AQ has been left relatively free to attack, why haven’t they? It has been over two years since 9/11 and not one attack on US soil. AQ has been driven to attack “soft” targets in other countries. Targets that, in the main, are not easily defensible. Do you have any evidence that these AQ attacks wouldn’t have occurred if Iraq hadn’t been liberated?"

I never argued that AQ is as strong as it was before 9/11, after all I suppoerted 100% going into Afghanistan. Whether or not we could have dome much more without Iraq is purely speculative.

8) "If you believe, as most do, that Clinton’s Operation Desert Fox was justified by the existence of WMD programs that Clinton GUARANTEED us existed, then you must agree that these programs flourished under a UN inspection regimen that was much stricter than anything that Saddam had agreed to in 2002. That being the case, containment had obviously failed in 1998 and was even more likely to fail under the weak inspections that Saddam had agreed to in 2002."

Clinton went into Iraq because Saddam was not cooporating with inspectors. The implication was that inspections work but withouth them, we cannot be sure. Bush alraedy got Iraq to let inspectors back in and more. Had he stopped there, my opinions of him would be very different.


Don Williams - 12/12/2003

-- warblogs like Instapundit.com, in my opinion, greatly resemble the Islamic madrassas they criticize. They were especially pounding the wardrums in the runup to the Iraq invasion.

Instapundit chews up a lot of costly bandwidth. I wonder who drops money into Glenn Reynolds' Paypal tipjar, how much, and why.
I can not understand why someone in the wilds of Knoxville Tennessee would be so engrossed in urging an invasion of Iraq --especially given the huge costs to average Americans. Or have alleged "libertarians" changed their platform re government coercion and tax collecting?

The blogs tipjars have the lovely feature of not requiring FEC soft money reporting. heh heh heh


Don Williams - 12/12/2003

eom


Don Williams - 12/12/2003

1) There are roughly 6 million Jews in the USA --most of whom are middle class professionals. Neither their
numbers nor their wealth is enough to influence Republican policy.

2) The Republican target is a small number of wealthy men who are the major financiers of the Democratic
Party and who are also supporters of Israel. George Bush's approach has always been to split the Democratic
Party --first by pandering to the Hispanics with lavish immigration quotas. Now by pandering to the supporters
of Israel. This political game is less excusable since it
brought on Sept 11 --hence the need for the massive coverup and news manipulation by the White House.

Republican leaders like Tom Delay try to cover their whoring by citing some Christian link to Israel but in my
opinion this is sheer deceit. For one thing, Delay and Bush are clearly not Christians. Moreover,
I strongly doubt that the Republicans really give a damm about the ultimate fate of Israel. Their goal is
sheer power -- to win reelection. For that they need to acquire money and to cut off funding to their Democratic
opponents. Think of it as "market-driven politics" --utterly devoid of any moral principle and concern for the fate of average Americans --including Todd Beamer's sobbing widow and children.

3) There have been some supporters of Israel who have been right wing -- I already described Conrad Black. The
recently deceased Walter Annenberg --the Philadelphia billionaire -- was a long time supporter of the Republican party.
(Probably because Franklin Roosevelt contrived to send Walter Annenberg's father to prison after a dispute over a
Democratic primary in Pennsylvania.)

4) None the less, wealthy Jews have been the major financiers of the Democratic Party and many of those Jews have been
supporters of Israel. There is a wide range of policy here , however. On one end, there is simply the desire that Israel
continue to exist--within some reasonable border -- and that she remain secure while making a reasonable provision for a Palestinian state. Many, probably most Americans would support this.

At the other end is an extreme Zionism -- a desire to greatly extend Israel's borders by hook or crook. There are some who
feel that the Palestinians should be driven off of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank , for example. Likud recently came close to voting against creation of a Palestinian stae.

Since the people in this group know that most Americans would not support the resulting genocide of Palestinians, this group tends to keep their agenda covert , relying on false gestures, deceit, and footdragging to slowly accomplish their goals.

In between, there is the policy of "My Israel --right or wrong--but my Israel." This group might privately disagree with oppose Sharon and Likud
actions but will not speak out publicly or act against them.

Note there are wealthy American Jews who make large political donations but for causes other than Israel. Steven
Kirsch, for example, is a major campaign donor but as an advocate for benign social policies and is also a major giver to charities. See http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/mojo_400/19_kirsch.html

Finally, there is Jewish billionaire George Soros, who has pledged at least $15 million to the destruction of George Bush in
next year's election --evidently because he is opposed to the Bush/Neocon drive for a global empire.

Finally, there are a number of powerful special interests in American politics besides the Israeli lobby. Some of those, like Big Oil and Defense Contracting, have major interest in Middle Eastern policy.

Nonetheless, a Fortune magazine survey of Capitol Hill insiders showed that AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee) was the second-most powerful lobby in Washington (after AARP--American Association of Retired Persons).
See http://middleeastinfo.org/article61.html

This site shows that AIPAC gave over $2 million to Congressional candidates in the 2000 election and the
members receiving the largesse: http://www.washington-report.org/aipac/

5) Even the powerful AIPAC is only a small part of the story , however. A look at Mother Jones' list of the 400 largest
individual campaign donors in the 2000 election shows that Jewish billionaire S Daniel Abraham is at the top, having
given $1,518,500 . See http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/mojo_400/1_abraham.html

Mr Abraham's political interest is expressed via his Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation: http://www.centerpeace.org/ . The material at the site seems to date largely prior to Bush's administration. There
seems to be a push to engage the Palestinians in peace discussions and problem solving. The Center seems to have worked with Peres in the past. I see no complaints about Sharon or Likud. However, a man is known by his enemies and this Likudite
site castigates Abraham as follows:
-------------
"An early backer of Ariel Sharon, he has moved in a different direction and lately has been operating through something called the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation. He has surrounded himself with some of the most left-wing advocates of appeasement on the Middle East scene. The most charitable view of his activities would be that he is, to borrow a line from Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent," a "well-meaning amateur."

He has made some serious missteps. One occurred in October 1997, when President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore held a a small dinner at the White House for Ezer Weizman, then president of Israel. At the table were leaders of the American Jewish community. Next to Secretary Albright sat Mr. Abraham, who is one of the biggest financial contributors to the Democratic Party. At one point, Mr. Abraham asked, "Look, does anyone here really think that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu wants peace?"

The dinner became famous -- or infamous -- after the Jewish Forward newspaper reported that the guests sat with their chins in their soup until Mr. Weizman, a political foe of Mr. Netanyahu, spoke up. Yes, he felt it should be said, Mr. Netanyahu does want peace. Mr. Clinton finally chimed in to say he agreed. But the moment gave outsiders a glimpse of the degree to which the left was prepared to attack the personal bona fides of a sitting prime minister of Israel behind his back in the intimacy of a White House setting. "


Ref: http://israelbehindthenews.com/Dec-15-00.htm

6) Second on MoJo's list ( http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/mojo_400/browse.html )
is Jewish millionaire Bernie Schwartz, of Loral. Bernie used to be involved in defense, but sold most of
that off to Lockheed Martin. Bernie has fallen on hard times with his Globalstar venture (Oy vey!) and previously was known more for dealing with the Chinese than the Israelis. Mr Schwartz is listed as having given over
$1,300,000 to the Democrats.

7) Third on Mojo's list is Davidi Gilo, an Israeli with dual US citizenship who keeps the R&D division for his
communications firm in Israel. Mr Gilo is listed as having given over $1,300,000 to the Democrats.

8) Fourth on Mojo's list is Peter L. Buttenwieser, who was once denounced by DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe
as a "kook" --apparently because Mr Buttenwieser thought it was wrong for Clinton operatives to offer him
something in exchange for a $50,000 contribution. See http://www.opensecrets.org/newsletter/ce76/interview.asp
Mr Buttenwieser is listed as giving over $1,300,000 to the Democrats in 2000.

Mr Buttenwieser seems to be a genuinely decent man -- his gives a great deal to charity. His only connection to Israel that I see is his donations to Jewish progressive The Shefa Fund, which promotes benign causes including Israeli-Palestinian
peace. An excerpt from Shefa Fund report:
---------
This year was a period of deep
sadness for people who believe in
a peaceful, two-state solution to the
Middle East conflict. To support
those working to end the deepening
violence between Israelis and Pales-tinians,
The Shefa Fund:
• produced a grantmaking briefing,
Promoting Middle East Peace and
Justice, offering progressive Jewish
funders a cogent analysis of the
current situation, along with con-crete
funding recommendations of
groups involved in grassroots edu-cation
and organizing, human
rights monitoring, community eco-nomic
development, and research
and strategy development.
• created a fund for the educational
work of young Israeli reserve sol-diers
who are refusing to serve on
missions in the West Bank and
Gaza that they believe will only
hurt the chances for peace.
Through an email network of pro-gressive
Jews, speaking tours by the
reservists themselves, and Shefa’s
grantmaking briefing, we collected
more than $160,000 in our Israeli
Reservists Fund for distribution to
the Israeli organizations Courage
to Refuse and Yesh Gvul.
• continued our collaboration with
the Israeli organization Rabbis for
Human Rights, granting about
$50,000 for their work to replant
Palestinian olive groves destroyed
during the violence of the last two
years.

9) Fifth on the list is Israeli billionaire Haim Saban, who holds dual US citizenship. While MoJo lists Mr Saban as having
given (only) $1,250,000 to the Democrats, MoJo evidently was confused by Mr Saban's penchant for splitting up
his donations into multiple chunks. My understanding is that Mr Saban gave over $15,000,000 !! to the Democrats
in 2002 -- see http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topindivs.asp?Cycle=2002 , http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2002/03/22/dems-check.htm, http://www.commoncause.org/publications/oct02/Chart5.htm

Mr Saban's political interest in Israel is expressed by his funding of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy
at Brookings Institute. That press release announcing it's creating noted one mission:
"One unique element of the Center's work will be the development of educational programs for mid-level government officials, congressional staffers, and corporate executives. Produced in conjunction with the Brookings Center for Public Policy Education, the courses will provide future policymakers with a better understanding of the complexities of the Middle East and the process of developing effective policies to deal with them."
See http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/islam/pr051302.htm .

Here is one of the Center's policy briefs , date January 2002, re an attack on Iraq: http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb93.htm

Note however, that Mr Saban also has given $100 million to health and education charities -- see
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m5072/26_25/105476921/p1/article.jhtml .

10) Skipping down, for the moment, to number 20 on list is Mr David Steiner, a former President of the Israel lobby AIPAC (discussed above) who resigned under interesting circumstances.
See http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/mojo_400/20_steiner.html .

There are about 100 other names of interest on MoJo's 400 list but I will discuss them later.



Steve Brody - 12/12/2003


Tip of the hat.

Damn, HSBC holds my first mortgage also. Those wily Chinese.


Steve Brody - 12/12/2003


Cram, I believe David is right on this. Most of the Libs who denounce this war said not one word when Clinton bombed the hell out of Iraq during Operation Desert Fox. Clinton used the same argument that Bush did to justify Operation Iraqi Freedom. You’ve claimed elsewhere that Clinton then pronounced the Iraqi WMD problem solved by Operation Desert Fox and hence a WMD problem no longer existed in Iraq.

I would like to see your authority that Clinton ever made such an assertion. I don’t believe he did and I think it unlikely that any aerial bombardment operation would or could be counted on to eliminate a WMD weapons program.

Likewise, These same Libs said nothing when Clinton intervened in Bosnia, without a UN resolution.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Clinton was wrong and Bush was right. I’m saying both were right and that the Libs who supported Clinton and deride Bush are hypocritical and that their opposition is partisan and not principled. One needs only to examine the statements of support for Operation Desert Fox by Democratic leaders to see the starkness of the hypocrisy. There was very little Republican criticism of Operation Desert Fox. Certainly nothing like what is now seen by the Democrats.

“Now what have we lost:”


“International credibility and cooperation and goodwill in
the aftermath of 9/11,”

In reality, this support was a mile wide and an inch deep. Europeans will continue to support the war on Terrorism where they believe it is in their interests to do. That is all they ever intended to do anyway.

“Hundreds of soldiers”

Can’t argue with you there. But, I believe that the gain was worth the cost. I also believe that ultimately we will find a WMD program existed in Iraq. The only question will be how robust a program.

“Billions of dollars”

Can’t argue with you here, either. But the same argument applies.

“A potential quagmire that could prevent us from taking
further action against country that really are a threat to us
right now (Iran, Syria) given our lack of allies and resources”

Iraq is a potential quagmire. But there exists far less resolution for action in Iran or Syria than existed for action in Iraq. The argument that we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq because it prevents us from going into Iran or Syria is a hollow one. There is and was no chance that we would intervene in any serious way in either of those countries.

“Resources badly needed to fight AQ have been diverted to
Iraq, leaving the real perpetrators of 9/11 relatively free
from attack (compared to before Iraq that is.”

Questionable. Highly Questionable. The war in Afghanistan, which is the primary military front on which AQ is being fought, wants not for military assets, but rather military targets. Every time the Taliban or AQ show their faces, we kill them. Show me any evidence that more military assets would assist the war against AQ.

Further, if as you put it, AQ has been left relatively free to attack, why haven’t they? It has been over two years since 9/11 and not one attack on US soil. AQ has been driven to attack “soft” targets in other countries. Targets that, in the main, are not easily defensible. Do you have any evidence that these AQ attacks wouldn’t have occurred if Iraq hadn’t been liberated?

“However, I can say the same for Southern Sudenese, Syria, Iran, and Egypt (although in reality, Saddam was probably the worst of these).”

Do you really argue that if we can’t act everywhere, we shouldn’t act anywhere? Iraq represented a threat to the world that these other states did not.

“…especially given the fact that containment could have worked,..”

Another highly questionable assertion. If you believe, as most do, that Clinton’s Operation Desert Fox was justified by the existence of WMD programs that Clinton GUARANTEED us existed, then you must agree that these programs flourished under a UN inspection regimen that was much stricter than anything that Saddam had agreed to in 2002. That being the case, containment had obviously failed in 1998 and was even more likely to fail under the weak inspections that Saddam had agreed to in 2002.



Peter K. Clarke - 12/12/2003


Hurrah for ignorance !


Ken Melvin - 12/12/2003

Oh I've no problem with Christianity and I too think it best to keep religion out of politics and government; it's the mixing of the two that is the problem. Many of us don't think the espousings of the likes of Tom DeLay, George Bush, Falwell, Robertson et al reflect Christianity. Bringing Christianity into government in the US is wrong. Bringing this crap they espouse and trying to impose it on the nation is unpardonable.


Don Williams - 12/12/2003

From http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=574&ncid=574&e=3&u=/nm/20031212/wl_nm/mideast_dc_49

***************
"... But a poll published in Maariv Friday showed 50 percent of Israelis felt Sharon was unreliable, compared with 40 percent last August. Forty-seven percent see him as trustworthy now.

A Maariv poll published last week found that 55 percent of Israelis were not satisfied with Sharon's performance -- his poorest rating since his re-election in February.

The former general also increasingly suffers from perceptions by Israelis across the political spectrum that he has failed to come up with a realistic strategy for lasting peace, beyond tactics to keep the conflict on a low boil.

The new poll reported that 62 percent of Israelis believed Israel should evacuate most settlements for a permanent peace. "
******
I do not object to Sharon's building a wall -- that should have been done long along. What I do object to is Sharon building the wall well inside of the West Bank and unilaterally stealing part of the small lot of land left to the Palestinians.

But what I really object to is our whore of a President making a token protest and winking to Sharon. I object to our Israeli whores in the Republican-controlled Congress --people like Tom Delay -- accepting this unjust act simply to court Sharon's wealthy supporters away from the Democrats.


ethan - 12/12/2003

Salutations.

Ever since Nixon made his initial overtures to China, normalizing relations with it has been a bipartisan effort. There are good reasons for this.

A) the fallout from Mao's Cultural Revolution scared the crap out of a lot of loyal party members and led subsequent leaderships to be (for the ChiComs) more flexible.

B) Chinese culture, as Thomas Sowell and others have observed, is among other things a middleman culture, a trading culture. Hong Kong did not become an economic powerhouse simply because it was controlled by the British. Consider that throughout Asia, ethnic Chinese businesses are extremely successful. Also, consider how carefully Beijing handled Britain's handoff of Hong Kong and its ongoing drama with Taiwan. China can crush Taiwan at will. That it has not reflects the respect it has for the island's economic success and its desire to bring it into the fold in one prosperous piece.

Reform in China may be moving at what appears to be a glacial pace at times, but the movement is evident. Look at the origin of the consumer goods you buy. They say made in China, as opposed to, say Russia. Like Nixon, Clinton, and Bush I am optimistic about China.

On a personal note, I bought a house recently with the aid of a mortgage broker. At the closing I found out the holder of the mortgage was HSBC, Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation. The rate is good, too. Imagine that. And they did not send me a little Red Book or anything!


Cram - 12/12/2003

Mr. Melvin,
A thoughtful and well concieved plan.

Personally, I would not endorce it because I do not believe Israel should have to give up land it won in a defensive war in 1948, after the Arabs rejected the original resolution.

Nevertheless, I appriciate your post. At least it something that addresses Israel's security concerns, which is more than I can say for most advocates on this site.


Kenneth P. Melvin - 12/12/2003

Back in March, I sent thThoughts from yesterday's afternoon walk:

A Modest Proposal

by

Ken Melvin

Proposed: The UN security council meet forthwith and approve a resolution requiring Israel to immediately withdraw all forces and citizens to within its 1947 borders and declaring all occupied and disputed territories to be apart a state to be known henceforth as Palestine. This state Palestine shall be declared a nation in all matters and ways with permanent borders. Such borders encompassing all the lands of Palestine outside the 1947 borders granted Israel not apart any nation other Israel. For all times hence the resolution, Israeli borders shall be limited to those delineated in 1947. A UN peacekeeping force of no less 40,000 combat troops along with deemed necessary accompanying air power should be quickly assembled and dispatched to ensure compliance with this resolution. Such air power to be provided by those UN member nation having most modern air forces such as France, UK, Germany and the US and be of a minimum a par the Israel air force including any and all types of airborne machines and devices useful in combat. The status of this UN force shall be permanent until or unless the UN shall decide by two-thirds majority in the Security Council to change its status. This UN force shall at all times be under the command of a UN officer with combat experience at the rank of army or marine general. Any act in opposition to this resolution by Israeli or Palestinian combatants should be summarily met with full military force. Any civil opposition shall come under the purvey of Palestinian civil authority with such authority subject to UN review until such review is relinquished by two-thirds majority vote of the UN Security Council. Hence the UN resolution, no Israeli citizen shall hold citizenship in any nation other Israel and no Palestinian citizen shall hold citizenship in any nation other Palestine. Israeli homes within the formerly occupied territories and disputed territories shall be awarded those Palestinians whose homes within Israeli were appropriated or destroyed by the government of Israel and those whose homes in the territories have been destroyed by Israeli forces per a scheme approved by the UN Security Council.
is to Sens. Feinstein and Boxer:


Cram - 12/12/2003

Barbara,
A serious question that I have been meaning to ask.
What is your recommended solution to our little "Jewish problem"?

IF the Jews control the world, the media, etc., simply electing a new President and administration is obviously not enough. If YOU were in complete control of the country, with NO limitations, what would you do to combat this problem?


Cram - 12/12/2003

Barbara,
Are you saying that you believe Jews commit terrorist acts in the United States, and have sleeper cells all over the world (seriously)?

It sounds as if you are talking about Al Quida and other Islamic terrorist organizations.

As for the Presiden't inner circle, he has more African-Americans advisors than Jewsish advisors?


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003

Yes Jews control the government and they control the moon and fairly soon they will control Mars since China is sending a probe there which they will certainly take control of.

Actually Jews don't really control the white House. They couldn't possibly control that even tho they are master control freaks because they are unable to outwit the master thinker George Walker Bush, the sucessful and brilliant business man whose brilliance allowed him to become a millionaire by the time he was born.

A brilliant statesmen who asks "Is our children learning". Jesus said let the little children come to me and forbid them not. Bless George. Bush also stated that books are great things and a good thing about them is that some of them have pictures. God bless him.


Hebrews are too busy controling Japan and Australia right now so they don't have the time to bother with the White HOuse. Its really George Bush who is controlling the White House. He got mad at Saddam because he put out a hit on Bush Sr and decided to invade and take out Saddam so his brother Neil could rake in millions when Jewish American companies get to rebuild what Bush bombed in his attempt to get rid of one of the devil's evil dictators.

The Jews are too busy figureing out how they can get their hands on all of the taxpayer dollars flowing into Iraq because they control all of the world's banks. The Congress which is also controled by Jews is hoping that Bush will come up with a reason to invade Canada so they can make even more money.

Jews also control ExxonMobile and it is delicious that they now control Iraq's oil to go with it.

They are making repeated attempts to wrest control of the white house from the clever and wiley bush but are hampered in their efforts by the likes of anti-semites such as Pat Buchanon who is famous for making critical remarks about Jews when everyone knows that negetive remarks about Jews is a clear indication of anti semtisim and simply is not done.

Howard Dean is another suspected anti-semite because he arrogantly and viciously suggested that we actually have evenhandedness in the middle east which is of course hearsy. We don't need to be giving evenhandedness to no stinking palestinian suicide bombers. Everyone knows that Arabs are a blight on the earth and rank right up there with the lowly negro whose gettos are controled by Jews who also control the KKK. Buchanon would do well to hate Arabs like everyone else does instead of picking on Jews.

The Bush's have put up a Christmas tree which is a clear indication of the lack of inroads the Jews have made in their attempts to control the white house. There is not one present under the tree from Santa Claus for Jewish children which makes it even more imperative for jews to wake up and take control.

The Jews are eager to take control of the white house because bush is on a tear to take out evil doers and they fear for the life of Ariel Sharon.

It is only by the grace of the Christian God who inspires Bush with brilliance and protects him from the Jews that allows Bush to carry on God's will of rearranging the middle east so that Jesus can come back and take all Godly people like Bush home to heaven where they can live in a world without arabs and Jews in the eternal presence of the loving God. The Jews are having a tough time outwitting Jesus who obvioulsy loves little rich Georgie. Only Georgie and Jesus stand between the Jews and their control of the white house. Lets all have a moment of prayer as we pray for Georgie and the godly Christians like brother Ashcroft who in the name of god controls our beloved christian and godly white house. Onward Christian soldiers. Amen and amen.


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003

When Cubans commit terrorist acts in the United States and have dangerous sleeper cells all around the country and Cubans make up the inner circle of the President of the United States and take us into endless war using plans developed by Cubans to benefit Cuba at the expense of the United States and her citizens then I will post about Cuba.


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003

No I am not going to deny it. I won't dignify it with a denial. Your family may be Jewish but my immediate family and my aunts, uncles, cousins, newphews, neices and everyone else are Christian. I do not appreciate having a target on our backs because of Israel. I do not apprecaite having sleeper cells crawling around my country waiting for an opportunity to kill Americans because of Israel. If you think that you and your interests take precendent over everyone else because your family is Jewish then you are in for a rude awakening because I don't think so. If your loyality is to Israel then move there. You have no right to take over my government and use it on behalf of Israel.

You may be willing to sacrifice your family for Israel but I am not and the last time I looked I am as entitled to my opinion as you are.

Its bad enough that the middle east is a nest of madness and constant killing between Arab and Jew but I have every right to demand they keep it in the middle east if they want to live in a daily death zone of constant war and chaos.

If we had statesmen in the White House and Congress rather then oil men and Zionists we could make an effort to find alternative sources of energy and use the money that is now going into Haliburton's pockets to implement and subsidise it until it could be made affordable for all Americans.


Cram - 12/12/2003

Mr. Ericson,
It pains me to hear your agreement with Barbaras fear of the all mighty power of the Jews. My Cuban comment (if you actually cared to think about it for a moment) was to suggest that if Jews are all powerful because they determine the fate of a state, than it is just as correct to say that the Cubans are all powerful because they determine the fate of a state. Do you disagree with this, or would simply like to dismiss this logic as a "bogus question"?

PS you call some candidates spineless and yet blame Deans retreat on his comment to "the Jews." Interesting definition of a coward.


Cram - 12/12/2003

NYGuy,
I am not sure if I understand your post correctly, but you are suggesting that the liberals are the one's who see China as a threat but Bush sees them as a partner? I really hope not because it would be an amazing rewritting of history. China has been a conservative target for decades. Even in 2000, Bush was talking about China as a threat and a competitor. This has been the conservative mantra for years, not a liberal one!

Come on folks, I know we all love Bush and all that great stuff, but any suggestion that somehow the liberals are behind in the times because China is our friend now is ignoring the fact that China was the conservatives enemy for a long time (look at the pressure from the conservatives during the plan hostage crises in 2001).


Cram - 12/12/2003

I don't speak for other liberals, but my opposition to the war stemmed from the fact that I believe it was not in our best interest. Bush's rationale for the war was simple and consistant: WMD, and then a link between Iraq and AQ.

When those things seemed to be in serious doubt, the later rationale was that Iraq was to be the first domino in an effect of democracy that would span the entire region, and then finally, to liberate the Iraqi people.

Now the conservatives, those same folks who were saying in 2000 that nation building was wrong, we can't be the worlds police, our military is stretched to thin, are now saying think of the children. I believe there is hypocracy on both sides.

I for one, am happy for the Iraqi people that Saddam is gone and believe that almost any governmet is better then being ruled by a monster. However, I can say the same for Southern Sudenese, Syria, Iran, and Egypt (although in reality, Saddam was probably the worst of these). The question is, what did we gain and what did we loose.

I believe we gained the following:
- rid the world of Saddam
- Potentially thwart a future threat to us
- liberate the Iraqi people

Now what have we lost:
- International credibility and cooperation and goodwill in
the aftermath of 9/11,
- Hundreds of soldiers
- Billions of dollars
- A potential quagmire that could prevent us from taking
further action against country that really are a threat to us
right now (Iran, Syria) given our lack of allies and resources
- Resources badly needed to fight AQ have been diverted to
Iraq, leaving the real perpetraitors of 9/11 relatively free
from attack (compared to before Iraq that is.

Again, I am happy for the Iraqi people... but sorry for my own people, as I believe we lost far more then we gained, especially given the fact that containment could have worked, and war under the guidence of the UN could have been used as a last resort (instead of a first one).


NYGuy - 12/12/2003

Marianne,

You comments on China just prove what we Bush supporters have been saying, "The liberals don't know what is going on in the world, and are angry because of their ignorance."

China is becoming a new world trading partner with us and the rest of the world. The only people who don't understand this are the liberals. They are still mired in the quagmire of the past.

Eliminate all holidays and send people back to work so we can remain competitive with low wage rate countries.

American First.


David - 12/12/2003


Bush has done for human rights in Iraq what 10,000 letters from Amnesty Intl. would never have accomplished. Are the false humanists of the Left jumping for joy? Of course not. Shutting down Saddam's rape dungeons should have had the humanitarian set dancing on their chairs. So why the long face?

These professional bleeding hearts, who had for 10 years protested the sanctions on Iraq (the dead babies, remember?), quickly changed their tune after Bush's successful invasion.

When Bush asked the U.N. to promptly lift the sanctions on Iraq so as to help her rebuild, the same false humanitarians of the Left reversed themselves and protested Bush's call to lift sanctions. Presumably, they thought, lifting the sanctions would reward Bush's agression. So much for the babies.

That's how much they hate Bush. They hate him so much that they're willing to lay bare for everybody to see the racket that is their "compassion." It's a flim flam. (For this, I am eternally grateful to Bush.) And that's how insincere their false humanism really is. It's a hoax, and nothing but cover for their anti-americanism.



Geoff Ericson - 12/12/2003


The "line connecting" the Jewish vote and the recent stupid bullying of Dean is and was obvious, and it was absurd of Cram to imply that Barbara was somehow concocting a flimsy connection. In the event of a successful smear of Dean the "odds" were certainly not "overwhelmingly" against New York state voting for Lieberman or Kerry, thus giving one or both of those spineless Iraq-fiasco-enabling cowards a potential bargaining bloc at the Dem. convention. There are plenty of legitimate issues to debate between Barbara and others without having to invent imaginary bones of contention.

When Cram posts 150 comments about Cubans (instead of re Jews and Israel), it will make sense to start exposing his bogus "questions" there as well.


David - 12/12/2003


Small wonder that hate seems to be the best thing that Liberals can come up with in response.

It's a classic case of projection. They accuse everybody else of "hate", but it is only the hate in their empty, nihilistic hearts. Of course, they call it "anger".

Lest I offend any of them and be accused of "hate", let me not publicly wish you a merry Christmas, but rather a happy winter holiday to you and your loved ones.

Cheers


George Oilwell - 12/12/2003

Sadly, you don't deny it. You don't seriously think that anti-semitism will be an easy sell here on HNN, do you?


Steve Brody - 12/12/2003


Don, have you read the “innocuous” column by Taki? If you have and consider it “innocuous”, then I can see why you have a hard time accepting that Buchanan might be anti-Semitic.

I found it to be a somewhat offensive rehash of the “Jews control the US government” argument, espoused by Barbara Cornett and others.


Marianne - 12/12/2003



Else how to explain his chumminess with "Red" China?

From CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/12/09/china.straits/


On his first major diplomatic foray, [Chinese Premier] Wen could certainly tell his colleagues at the supreme Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee that he was able to extract a sizeable concession from the White House: Bush has stated his unambiguous opposition to Taiwan "unilaterally trying to change the status quo of the Strait", such as by holding referendums on issues of statehood.



Jerry West - 12/12/2003

-
In answer to your question: 3d Mar Div, artillery & infantry, Dec. 1965 - July 1967

And, I never went away from the list, some days are just busier than others.

I thought that you might have picked up on my comments here:

http://hnn.us/comments/25556.html

But that thread seems to have died.


Cram - 12/12/2003

Barbara,
I see nothing more then what you post.


Cram - 12/12/2003

Barbara,

1) "Please explain something to me. Why are we in Iraq?"

Because Bush was convinced by Cheney, and Rumsfield that Iraq was a threat. An excellent Newsweek article 2 weeks ago had their cover story on Cheney's history with wanting to go into Iraq.

2) "Do you think the arthur of the article that I gave you is a Jew who just wants me to think that he agrees with me?"

I was being sarcastic, I think the author is a Jew who, like many white people in this country, feels the need to demonize his own people in order to cleanse his conscience of crimes he holds his people responsible for. Villionize the Jews, and you absolve yourself. That is my speculation about his motives.

3) "Are you saying that Jews did not play a role in getting Cynithia McKinney defeated for reelection?"

I don't know about this situation so no comment here.

4) "Are you saying the Israeli writer was misstating the facts regarding Jewish lobbies?"

No, I am saying that his INTERPRETATION of the facts is wrong, just as you believe Bush's interpretation of the so-called facts about Iraq are wrong. He has no more "facts" than anyone else, what he has is a hypothesis of Jewish conspiracy backed up by anticdotal speculation.

5) "Are you saying that Howard Dean was not silenced over his comment about evenhandedness in the middle east?"

He was certainly not silenced. However, he did clarify his statement, arguing effectively that he was not saying we should change out long standing policy of friendship towards Israel. What pressured him to clarify? His Democratic opponents who tried to make it a political issue.

6) "when Clinton was in the White House did white male Arkansasans control the white House?"

I am not really sure what you are getting at by this. Clinton had Jewish advisors just as Bush does. However, Clinton and Bush have 2 very different visions of the world and they are expressed in their policy.


Josh Greenland - 12/12/2003

Carpenter is absolutely right about the creation during the late 70s and the turn of the 80s of the New Right network of organizations, with consequences ever since, but I'm not so sure that there is any more liberal anger than there has been during any recent Republican presidency. I think there should be, given the war and Shrub's dubious electoral victory. But it isn't clear to me that liberals are any more angry and energized than they've ever been since Reagan was first elected president.


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003

Cram you have a way of twisting things and seeing just what you want to see.


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003

you eagerly jumped at the opportunity to accuse me of anti semitism without having been given one shred of evidence.


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003


Please explain something to me. Why are we in Iraq?

Do you think the arthur of the article that I gave you is a Jew who just wants me to think that he agrees with me?

Are you saying that Jews did not play a role in getting Cynithia McKinney defeated for reelection?

Are you saying the Israeli writer was misstating the facts regarding Jewish lobbies?

Are you saying that Howard Dean was not silenced over his comment about evenhandedness in the middle east?

when Clinton was in the White House did white male Arkansasans control the white House?


Barbara Cornett - 12/12/2003

If you express that attitude toward Christians you'll be lucky to escape with your life.

The best stragety would be to respect people's religious beliefs but encourage people to keep their religion out of government.

Putting down Christianity is the best way to make people dig in their heels and vote republican and I don't blame them.

How does this sound

I must beg forgiveness if I cringe when I see states like NY and CA do their social regress; these days we are seeing and hearing far too much old testament-Zionist crap from too many of the region's spokesmen too often. It's enough to gag a maggot. It's also frightening.


Cram - 12/11/2003

Mr. Ericson,
What you are basically saying is that if Dean did not backtrack, he might loose New York. We can certainly argue over whether this was a legitimate fear or not (given the overwhelming odds against New York voting for Bush over a relatively innocent, if misunderstood gaffe).

However, if this is all that was meant when Barbara said that the Jews were silencing Dean, then I would agree with it, but would add that it seems pretty outragous to simply target the Jews. Why not talk about how Cubans are silencing Dean since he can't talk favorably about Cuba, or how blacks are silencing Dean since he can't say he is going to cut off aid to Africa? What about the power of the Mexican-American vote, or the Chinese-American vote. Dean once said that affirmative action should be based on class, not race. Do blacks control America now?

IF you honestly believe that Barbara simply meant to say that Dean didn't want to risk loosing New York, then I would be happy to concur about the importance of the Jewish vote in New York (even though it is NOT a swing state).

However, it is my contention that the comment was meant to signify how, as Barbara freely admits, she believes that Jews control the country, and used their powers to silence Dean.


Geoff Ericson - 12/11/2003


"I would like you to show me the line of connection between "the Jews" and Dean's backtracking."


1. Howard Dean's remarks promoting an even-handed U.S. policy towards the Mideast provided the occasion for a smear campaign against him (accusing him of being anti-Israel etc.).

2. Had Dean not "backtracked", this smear campaign might have seriously damaged his image with Jewish voters, particularly in state of New York.

3. Without a majority of New York's Jewish voters backing him, Dean might have serious difficulties winning the New York primary, and thus the overall nomination.

4. Without winning New York in the general election, a candidate Dean would have poor chances of obtaining an overall majority in the electoral college for that general election.

Steadfast denial of these obvious realities may not be a justification for "anger", but it does call into serious question the intelligence and/or objectivity of those doing the denying.


Dave Livingston - 12/11/2003

David,

Your assessment appears to be accurate, IMHO.

Indeed, Dean the certified Liberal is a card-carrying member of the N.R.A., which latter cheers me considerably, lest he be elected. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to be such a terrible thing for me to consider voting for either Kerry or Clark, fellow Viet-Nam War veterans & Catholics. Despite those attractions, it is likely although not a Republican I'll vote for Bush, because to win the Democratic nomination a candidate must swing Left on Abortion (evil), gun control (counter-productive & threatening to the law-abiding citizen)and other social issues. On economic & financial issues there doesn't seem to be much to chose between a Democrat or a Republican and whoever is in power is going to continue to wage the war against terrorism.


Dave Livingston - 12/11/2003

Cram,

Thank you for posting the link to Will's essay. Will is one of my favorite commentators.

As you may be aware, Will has a Ph.d and he used to be a university professor teaching political science.

Dominus tecum,

Dave


Dave Livingston - 12/11/2003

Jerry,

I'm pleased you're back. If you wouldn't mind, please share with me/us when and where you were posted in Viet-Nam the nineteen months you said were there. And with what units.

Any war stories you'd care to share too would be appreciated.
As one fellow said, & wih which I agree, about 'Nam, "It was an experience I wouln't repeat for a million dollars, but it was one I wouldn't have missed for two million."


Dave Livingston - 12/11/2003



Here I must agree wiyth Cram, the losers are not necssarily bitter and angry. Ed Muskie wasn't. He was disappointed and sad, but not angry. And as far as I know, the same could be said about Thomas Dewey, Adlai Stevenson & Barry Goldwater.

This intense partisanship that has morphed into anger and bitterness is a recent, or perhps rerecurring(Certainly there was anger and bitterness manifested after Lincoln was elected and to a lesser degree when Jackson was elected), development.

It appears from my perspective that the recent onset of such a deeply divided nation first made itself evident with the first election of Nixon. The Left was beside itself that he a staunch anti-Communist, social & economic conservative here at home became President. From the moment he was elected it was clear that the major News media was hellbent upon destroying him.

One reason this became evident to me before my majority was that my father, a life-long Democrat, hated Nixon with a passion. He didn't hesitate to express his disdain of either Nixon or of "Time" magazine, back in those days, a more or less conservative publication.

After Nixon Ford, a decent man, took office & after him, another decent man, although subject to character assissination now that he's safely dead and cannot defend himself, J.F.K. was elected. The Johnson/Goldwater race was not a polite one, in historical terms, but that seemed less of a division between the parties as it was men who were intensely political animals & determined to win.

Of course, the anti-war movement aroused bitter hostility toward L.B.J., not surprisingly, IMHO, undeserved animu--because it wasa basically Communist generated.


Cram - 12/11/2003

Barbara,
1) "I would like to see exactly what it was that I said that exemplifies my antisemtic tendencies mr cram."

OK, here is one: "I am saying that Jews control this White House and the reason I say that is because they do. I never said they control America or Europe but if you look at what is happening that would also be true right now." Any other questions?

2) "I even posted an article by an Israeli that talked of Jewish lobbies and actions in the US that demonstrates the power that Jews have but you and others refused to acknowledge that or to address what he said."

Allow me to address it. Just as racists of the 1960's would use black apologists as evidence, so to can one find many people (Noam Chompsky ring a bell) who hate Israel and who hate Jews even if THEY are JEWISH! They are often referred to as "self-hating" Jews and your citation of them does nothing. (

(PS How do you know that your Jewish author wasn't just trying to use his Jewish powers to make you THINK he agrees with you?)


3) "The thing that gets to me is your holier then thou attitude. That kind of thing always gets me poed. You sound so sweet its sickening."

I don't think I have ever displayed such an attitude, but it is hard to tell from this end. All I do is challenge your predjudice assumptions, nothing more.

4) "No other group has taken over the White House and used it on behalf of another nation or religion. Yet that is exactly what the zionists are doing... If saying so makes me an antisemite then so be it."

In that case, Barbara, consider it said.


Cram - 12/11/2003

Barbara,
I appriciate your concern for people you may have offended, but found the rest of your post a direct counter to that by saying in not so many words that the reason people hate Jews is because Jews are bad, except for a few that act out of the ordinary.

Specifically,

1) "I am saying that Jews control this White House and the reason I say that is because they do. I never said they control America or Europe but if you look at what is happening that would also be true right now."

So basically, the Jews control the world.
How ironic that a man who most groups consider to be the most Christian president in recent history is being controlled by the Jews. Where is your proof of this "fact"? The VP, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, and most if not ALL cabinet members are Christian, and to top it off, Jews don't even vote for Republicans!!! Again, your "truth" is nothing more than rehashed accusations the likes of which have been leveled against Jews since long before Israel came into being.

2) "You get an incredible advantage from all of the good will that is given to Jews and Israel."

The world despises Israel and has for a long time now. Check your chronology, the UN called all people who supportes Israel racist in the early 1970's (the Zionisn=racism charge) and much, much more. Where is the advantage? Where is this good will? Can you back any of this up?

3) "No one had a right to silence Howard Dean but it happened. That means there is plenty of power being excercised by Jews Cram and you cannot deny that and they are using that power on behalf of Israel as tho none of the rest of us matter."

So, in other words, it was not the other candidates that were oppossed to what seemed like a change in American policy towards Israel, it was all the Jews? How exactly did they silance him, Barbara? I would like you to show me the line of connection between "the Jews" and Dean's backtracking.

4) "You are also going to have to confront the horrible ugliness of what Zionists are doing and how they are committing a holocaust."

Really? The real question then is how there are any Palestinians alive at all today. Tell me Barbara, where are the camps? Where are the crematorium? Where are the women and children taken to be slaughtered en masse? The medical experimentation, is that happening at the University at Tel Aviv? Why does Israel not simply carpet bomb the West Bank? They have the milutary technology to do it without hitting a single Jewish settler, why not? If you are right Barbara, the Palestinians were wipped out a long time ago, and all that remains are Zionist lies about the entire situation.

5) "It seems that being pro Israel is more american these days then being a white southern American."

IF being pro-Israel means being pro-democracy and anti-terrorism as a political tool, then I find it perfectly compatible with good old fasioned American values.

6) "You yourself have stated that you too are a Zionist and evidently you endorse anything done on behalf of Israel even if it hurts the people of the US"

Come again? How do you extrapolate that from my posts?

7) "then you call me - a fiercely loyal American - an anti-semite because I won't go along with what is happening."

No, I call you, a so-called loyal American, an anti-Semite because you think that Jews control the world and that they are a danger to America.

8) "You are lucky to have it as easy as you do but perhaps you should find a way to deal with all of this because I don't think it is going away."

Tell me Barbara, what school did I attend? What city do I live in? What is my annual income. I only ask because you seem to think you know anything about who I am or how lucky I am to have it as easy as I do, which is how easy exactly?

You are right about one thing. This anti-Semitism and Jewish scapegoating for all the worlds problems is going to have to be dealt with because it isn't going away.


Barbara Cornett - 12/11/2003

A Rose By Another Other Name

The Bush Administration's Dual Loyalties

by KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON

former CIA political analysts



Since the long-forgotten days when the State Department's Middle East policy was run by a group of so-called Arabists, U.S. policy on Israel and the Arab world has increasingly become the purview of officials well known for tilting toward Israel. From the 1920s roughly to 1990, Arabists, who had a personal history and an educational background in the Arab world and were accused by supporters of Israel of being totally biased toward Arab interests, held sway at the State Department and, despite having limited power in the policymaking circles of any administration, helped maintain some semblance of U.S. balance by keeping policy from tipping over totally toward Israel. But Arabists have been steadily replaced by their exact opposites, what some observers are calling Israelists, and policymaking circles throughout government now no longer even make a pretense of exhibiting balance between Israeli and Arab, particularly Palestinian, interests.

In the Clinton administration, the three most senior State Department officials dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli peace process were all partisans of Israel to one degree or another. All had lived at least for brief periods in Israel and maintained ties with Israel while in office, occasionally vacationing there. One of these officials had worked both as a pro-Israel lobbyist and as director of a pro-Israel think tank in Washington before taking a position in the Clinton administration from which he helped make policy on Palestinian-Israeli issues. Another has headed the pro-Israel think tank since leaving government.

The link between active promoters of Israeli interests and policymaking circles is stronger by several orders of magnitude in the Bush administration, which is peppered with people who have long records of activism on behalf of Israel in the United States, of policy advocacy in Israel, and of promoting an agenda for Israel often at odds with existing U.S. policy. These people, who can fairly be called Israeli loyalists, are now at all levels of government, from desk officers at the Defense Department to the deputy secretary level at both State and Defense, as well as on the National Security Council staff and in the vice president's office.

We still tiptoe around putting a name to this phenomenon. We write articles about the neo-conservatives' agenda on U.S.-Israeli relations and imply that in the neo-con universe there is little light between the two countries. We talk openly about the Israeli bias in the U.S. media. We make wry jokes about Congress being "Israeli-occupied territory." Jason Vest in The Nation magazine reported forthrightly that some of the think tanks that hold sway over Bush administration thinking see no difference between U.S. and Israeli national security interests. But we never pronounce the particular words that best describe the real meaning of those observations and wry remarks. It's time, however, that we say the words out loud and deal with what they really signify.

Dual loyalties. The issue we are dealing with in the Bush administration is dual loyalties-the double allegiance of those myriad officials at high and middle levels who cannot distinguish U.S. interests from Israeli interests, who baldly promote the supposed identity of interests between the United States and Israel, who spent their early careers giving policy advice to right-wing Israeli governments and now give the identical advice to a right-wing U.S. government, and who, one suspects, are so wrapped up in their concern for the fate of Israel that they honestly do not know whether their own passion about advancing the U.S. imperium is motivated primarily by America-first patriotism or is governed first and foremost by a desire to secure Israel's safety and predominance in the Middle East through the advancement of the U.S. imperium.

"Dual loyalties" has always been one of those red flags posted around the subject of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, something that induces horrified gasps and rapid heartbeats because of its implication of Jewish disloyalty to the United States and the common assumption that anyone who would speak such a canard is ipso facto an anti-Semite. (We have a Jewish friend who is not bothered by the term in the least, who believes that U.S. and Israeli interests should be identical and sees it as perfectly natural for American Jews to feel as much loyalty to Israel as they do to the United States. But this is clearly not the usual reaction when the subject of dual loyalties arises.)

Although much has been written about the neo-cons who dot the Bush administration, the treatment of the their ties to Israel has generally been very gingerly. Although much has come to light recently about the fact that ridding Iraq both of its leader and of its weapons inventory has been on the neo-con agenda since long before there was a Bush administration, little has been said about the link between this goal and the neo-cons' overriding desire to provide greater security for Israel. But an examination of the cast of characters in Bush administration policymaking circles reveals a startlingly pervasive network of pro-Israel activists, and an examination of the neo-cons' voluminous written record shows that Israel comes up constantly as a neo-con reference point, always mentioned with the United States as the beneficiary of a recommended policy, always linked with the United States when national interests are at issue.

The Begats

First to the cast of characters. Beneath cabinet level, the list of pro-Israel neo-cons who are either policy functionaries themselves or advise policymakers from perches just on the edges of government reads like the old biblical "begats." Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz leads the pack. He was a protégé of Richard Perle, who heads the prominent Pentagon advisory body, the Defense Policy Board. Many of today's neo-cons, including Perle, are the intellectual progeny of the late Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a strong defense hawk and one of Israel's most strident congressional supporters in the 1970s.

Wolfowitz in turn is the mentor of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, now Vice President Cheney's chief of staff who was first a student of Wolfowitz and later a subordinate during the 1980s in both the State and the Defense Departments. Another Perle protégé is Douglas Feith, who is currently undersecretary of defense for policy, the department's number-three man, and has worked closely with Perle both as a lobbyist for Turkey and in co-authoring strategy papers for right-wing Israeli governments. Assistant Secretaries Peter Rodman and Dov Zachkeim, old hands from the Reagan administration when the neo-cons first flourished, fill out the subcabinet ranks at Defense. At lower levels, the Israel and the Syria/Lebanon desk officers at Defense are imports from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank spun off from the pro-Israel lobby organization, AIPAC.

Neo-cons have not made many inroads at the State Department, except for John Bolton, an American Enterprise Institute hawk and Israeli proponent who is said to have been forced on a reluctant Colin Powell as undersecretary for arms control. Bolton's special assistant is David Wurmser, who wrote and/or co-authored with Perle and Feith at least two strategy papers for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996. Wurmser's wife, Meyrav Wurmser, is a co-founder of the media-watch website MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), which is run by retired Israeli military and intelligence officers and specializes in translating and widely circulating Arab media and statements by Arab leaders. A recent investigation by the Guardian of London found that MEMRI's translations are skewed by being highly selective. Although it inevitably translates and circulates the most extreme of Arab statements, it ignores moderate Arab commentary and extremist Hebrew statements.

In the vice president's office, Cheney has established his own personal national security staff, run by aides known to be very pro-Israel. The deputy director of the staff, John Hannah, is a former fellow of the Israeli-oriented Washington Institute. On the National Security Council staff, the newly appointed director of Middle East affairs is Elliott Abrams, who came to prominence after pleading guilty to withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra scandal (and was pardoned by President Bush the elder) and who has long been a vocal proponent of right-wing Israeli positions. Putting him in a key policymaking position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is like entrusting the henhouse to a fox.

Pro-Israel activists with close links to the administration are also busy in the information arena inside and outside government. The head of Radio Liberty, a Cold War propaganda holdover now converted to service in the "war on terror," is Thomas Dine, who was the very active head of AIPAC throughout most of the Reagan and the Bush-41 administrations. Elsewhere on the periphery, William Kristol, son of neo-con originals Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, is closely linked to the administration's pro-Israel coterie and serves as its cheerleader through the Rupert Murdoch-owned magazine that he edits, The Weekly Standard. Some of Bush's speechwriters ­ including David Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" for Bush's state-of-the-union address but was forced to resign when his wife publicly bragged about his linguistic prowess ­ have come from The Weekly Standard. Frank Gaffney, another Jackson and Perle protégé and Reagan administration defense official, puts his pro-Israel oar in from his think tank, the Center for Security Policy, and through frequent media appearances and regular columns in the Washington Times.

The incestuous nature of the proliferating boards and think tanks, whose membership lists are more or less identical and totally interchangeable, is frighteningly insidious. Several scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, including former Reagan UN ambassador and long-time supporter of the Israeli right wing Jeane Kirkpatrick, make their pro-Israel views known vocally from the sidelines and occupy positions on other boards. Probably the most important organization, in terms of its influence on Bush administration policy formulation, is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Formed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war specifically to bring Israel's security concerns to the attention of U.S. policymakers and concentrating also on broad defense issues, the extremely hawkish, right-wing JINSA has always had a high-powered board able to place its members inside conservative U.S. administrations. Cheney, Bolton, and Feith were members until they entered the Bush administration. Several lower level JINSA functionaries are now working in the Defense Department. Perle is still a member, as are Kirkpatrick, former CIA director and leading Iraq-war hawk James Woolsey, and old-time rabid pro-Israel types like Eugene Rostow and Michael Ledeen. Both JINSA and Gaffney's Center for Security Policy are heavily underwritten by Irving Moskowitz, a right-wing American Zionist, California business magnate (his money comes from bingo parlors), and JINSA board member who has lavishly financed the establishment of several religious settlements in Arab East Jerusalem.

By Their Own Testimony

Most of the neo-cons now in government have left a long paper trail giving clear evidence of their fervently right-wing pro-Israel, and fervently anti-Palestinian, sentiments. Whether being pro-Israel, even pro right-wing Israel, constitutes having dual loyalties ­ that is, a desire to further Israel's interests that equals or exceeds the desire to further U.S. interests ­ is obviously not easy to determine, but the record gives some clues.

Wolfowitz himself has been circumspect in public, writing primarily about broader strategic issues rather than about Israel specifically or even the Middle East, but it is clear that at bottom Israel is a major interest and may be the principal reason for his near obsession with the effort, of which he is the primary spearhead, to dump Saddam Hussein, remake the Iraqi government in an American image, and then further redraw the Middle East map by accomplishing the same goals in Syria, Iran, and perhaps other countries. Profiles of Wolfowitz paint him as having two distinct aspects: one obessively bent on advancing U.S. dominance throughout the world, ruthless and uncompromising, seriously prepared to "end states," as he once put it, that support terrorism in any way, a velociraptor in the words of one former colleague cited in the Economist; the other a softer aspect, which shows him to be a soft-spoken political moralist, an ardent democrat, even a bleeding heart on social issues, and desirous for purely moral and humanitarian reasons of modernizing and democratizing the Islamic world.

But his interest in Israel always crops up. Even profiles that downplay his attachment to Israel nonetheless always mention the influence the Holocaust, in which several of his family perished, has had on his thinking. One source inside the administration has described him frankly as "over-the-top crazy when it comes to Israel." Although this probably accurately describes most of the rest of the neo-con coterie, and Wolfowitz is guilty at least by association, he is actually more complex and nuanced than this. A recent New York Times Magazine profile by the Times' Bill Keller cites critics who say that "Israel exercises a powerful gravitational pull on the man" and notes that as a teenager Wolfowitz lived in Israel during his mathematician father's sabbatical semester there. His sister is married to an Israeli. Keller even somewhat reluctantly acknowledges the accuracy of one characterization of Wolfowitz as "Israel-centric." But Keller goes through considerable contortions to shun what he calls "the offensive suggestion of dual loyalty" and in the process makes one wonder if he is protesting too much. Keller concludes that Wolfowitz is less animated by the security of Israel than by the promise of a more moderate Islam. He cites as evidence Wolfowitz's admiration for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel and also draws on a former Wolfowitz subordinate who says that "as a moral man, he might have found Israel the heart of the Middle East story. But as a policy maker, Turkey and the gulf and Egypt didn't loom any less large for him."

These remarks are revealing. Anyone not so fearful of broaching the issue of dual loyalties might at least have raised the suggestion that Wolfowitz's real concern may indeed be to ensure Israel's security. Otherwise, why do his overriding interests seem to be reinventing Anwar Sadats throughout the Middle East by transforming the Arab and Muslim worlds and thereby making life safer for Israel, and a passion for fighting a pre-emptive war against Iraq ­ when there are critical areas totally apart from the Middle East and myriad other broad strategic issues that any deputy secretary of defense should be thinking about just as much? His current interest in Turkey, which is shared by the other neo-cons, some of whom have served as lobbyists for Turkey, seems also to be directed at securing Israel's place in the region; there seems little reason for particular interest in this moderate Islamic, non-Arab country, other than that it is a moderate Islamic but non-Arab neighbor of Israel.

Furthermore, the notion suggested by the Wolfowitz subordinate that any moral man would obviously look to Israel as the "heart of the Middle East story" is itself an Israel-centered idea: the assumption that Israel is a moral state, always pursuing moral policies, and that any moral person would naturally attach himself to Israel automatically presumes that there is an identity of interests between the United States and Israel; only those who assume such a complete coincidence of interests accept the notion that Israel is, across the board, a moral state.

Others among the neo-con policymakers have been more direct and open in expressing their pro-Israel views. Douglas Feith has been the most prolific of the group, with a two-decade-long record of policy papers, many co-authored with Perle, propounding a strongly anti-Palestinian, pro-Likud view. He views the Palestinians as not constituting a legitimate national group, believes that the West Bank and Gaza belong to Israel by right, and has long advocated that the U.S. abandon any mediating effort altogether and particularly foreswear the land-for-peace formula.

In 1996, Feith, Perle, and both David and Meyrav Wurmser were among the authors of a policy paper issued by an Israeli think tank and written for newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that urged Israel to make a "clean break" from pursuit of the peace process, particularly its land-for-peace aspects, which the authors regarded as a prescription for Israel's annihilation. Arabs must rather accept a "peace-for-peace" formula through unconditional acceptance of Israel's rights, including its territorial rights in the occupied territories. The paper advocated that Israel "engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism" by disengaging from economic and political dependence on the U.S. while maintaining a more "mature," self-reliant partnership with the U.S. not focused "narrowly on territorial disputes." Greater self-reliance would, these freelance policymakers told Netanyahu, give Israel "greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure [i.e., U.S. pressure] used against it in the past."

The paper advocated, even as far back as 1996, containment of the threat against Israel by working closely with ­ guess who? ­ Turkey, as well as with Jordan, apparently regarded as the only reliably moderate Arab regime. Jordan had become attractive for these strategists because it was at the time working with opposition elements in Iraq to reestablish a Hashemite monarchy there that would have been allied by blood lines and political leanings to the Hashemite throne in Jordan. The paper's authors saw the principal threat to Israel coming, we should not be surprised to discover now, from Iraq and Syria and advised that focusing on the removal of Saddam Hussein would kill two birds with one stone by also thwarting Syria's regional ambitions. In what amounts to a prelude to the neo-cons' principal policy thrust in the Bush administration, the paper spoke frankly of Israel's interest in overturning the Iraqi leadership and replacing it with a malleable monarchy. Referring to Saddam Hussein's ouster as "an important Israeli strategic objective," the paper observed that "Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly" ­ meaning give Israel unquestioned predominance in the region. The authors urged therefore that Israel support the Hashemites in their "efforts to redefine Iraq."

In a much longer policy document written at about the same time for the same Israeli think tank, David Wurmser repeatedly linked the U.S. and Israel when talking about national interests in the Middle East. The "battle to dominate and define Iraq," he wrote "is, by extension, the battle to dominate the balance of power in the Levant over the long run," and "the United States and Israel" can fight this battle together. Repeated references to U.S. and Israeli strategic policy, pitted against a "Saudi-Iraqi-Syrian-Iranian-PLO axis," and to strategic moves that establish a balance of power in which the United States and Israel are ascendant, in alliance with Turkey and Jordan, betray a thought process that cannot separate U.S. from Israeli interests.

Perle gave further impetus to this thrust when six years later, in September 2002, he gave a briefing for Pentagon officials that included a slide depicting a recommended strategic goal for the U.S. in the Middle East: all of Palestine as Israel, Jordan as Palestine, and Iraq as the Hashemite kingdom. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld seems to have taken this aboard, since he spoke at about the same time of the West Bank and Gaza as the "so-called occupied territories" ­ effectively turning all of Palestine into Israel.

Elliott Abrams is another unabashed supporter of the Israeli right, now bringing his links with Israel into the service of U.S. policymaking on Palestinian-Israeli issues. The neo-con community is crowing about Abrams' appointment as Middle East director on the NSC staff (where this Iran-contra criminal has already been working since mid-2001, badly miscast as the director for, of all things, democracy and human rights). The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes has hailed his appointment as a decisive move that neatly cocks a snook at the pro-Palestinian wimps at the State Department. Accurately characterizing Abrams as "more pro-Israel, less solicitous of Palestinians" than the State Department and strongly opposed to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, Barnes gloats that the Abrams triumph signals that the White House will not cede control of Middle East policy to Colin Powell and the "foreign service bureaucrats." Abrams comes to the post after a year in which it had effectively been left vacant. His predecessor, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been serving concurrently as Bush's personal representative to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban and has devoted little time to the NSC job, but several attempts to appoint a successor early this year were vetoed by neo-con hawks who felt the appointees were not devoted enough to Israel.

Although Abrams has no particular Middle East expertise, he has managed to insert himself in the Middle East debate repeatedly over the years. He has a family interest in propounding a pro-Israel view; he is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, one of the original neo-cons and a long-time strident supporter of right-wing Israeli causes as editor of Commentary magazine, and Midge Decter, a frequent right-wing commentator. Abrams has written a good deal on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, opposing U.S. mediation and any effort to press for Israeli concessions. In an article published in advance of the 2000 elections, he propounded a rationale for a U.S. missile defense system, and a foreign policy agenda in general, geared almost entirely toward ensuring Israel's security. "It is a simple fact," he wrote, that the possession of missiles and weapons of mass destruction by Iraq and Iran vastly increases Israel's vulnerability, and this threat would be greatly diminished if the U.S. provided a missile shield and brought about the demise of Saddam Hussein. He concluded with a wholehearted assertion of the identity of U.S. and Israeli interests: "The next decade will present enormous opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East [by] boldly asserting our support of our friends" ­ that is, of course, Israel. Many of the fundamental negotiating issues critical to Israel, he said, are also critical to U.S. policy in the region and "require the United States to defend its interests and allies" rather than giving in to Palestinian demands.

Neo-cons in the Henhouse

The neo-con strategy papers half a dozen years ago were dotted with concepts like "redefining Iraq," "redrawing the map of the Middle East," "nurturing alternatives to Arafat," all of which have in recent months become familiar parts of the Bush administration's diplomatic lingo. Objectives laid out in these papers as important strategic goals for Israel ­ including the ouster of Saddam Hussein, the strategic transformation of the entire Middle East, the death of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, regime change wherever the U.S. and Israel don't happen to like the existing government, the abandonment of any effort to forge a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace or even a narrower Palestinian-Israeli peace ­ have now become, under the guidance of this group of pro-Israel neo-cons, important strategic goals for the United States. The enthusiasm with which senior administration officials like Bush himself, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have adopted strategic themes originally defined for Israel's guidance ­and did so in many cases well before September 11 and the so-called war on terror ­ testifies to the persuasiveness of a neo-con philosophy focused narrowly on Israel and the pervasiveness of the network throughout policymaking councils.

Does all this add up to dual loyalties to Israel and the United States? Many would still contend indignantly that it does not, and that it is anti-Semitic to suggest such a thing. In fact, zealous advocacy of Israel's causes may be just that ­ zealotry, an emotional connection to Israel that still leaves room for primary loyalty to the United States ­ and affection for Israel is not in any case a sentiment limited to Jews. But passion and emotion ­ and, as George Washington wisely advised, a passionate attachment to any country ­ have no place in foreign policy formulation, and it is mere hair-splitting to suggest that a passionate attachment to another country is not loyalty to that country. Zealotry clouds judgment, and emotion should never be the basis for policymaking.

Zealotry can lead to extreme actions to sustain policies, as is apparently occurring in the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Feith Defense Department. People knowledgeable of the intelligence community have said, according to a recent article in The American Prospect, that the CIA is under tremendous pressure to produce intelligence more supportive of war with Iraq ­ as one former CIA official put it, "to support policies that have already been adopted." Key Defense Department officials, including Feith, are said to be attempting to make the case for pre-emptive war by producing their own unverified intelligence. Wolfowitz betrayed his lack of concern for real evidence when, in answer to a recent question about where the evidence is for Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, he replied, "It's like the judge said about pornography. I can't define it, but I will know it when I see it."

Zealotry can also lead to a myopic focus on the wrong issues in a conflict or crisis, as is occurring among all Bush policymakers with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The administration's obsessive focus on deposing Yasir Arafat, a policy suggested by the neo-cons years before Bush came to office, is a dodge and a diversion that merely perpetuates the conflict by failing to address its real roots. Advocates of this policy fail or refuse to see that, however unappealing the Palestinian leadership, it is not the cause of the conflict, and "regime change" among the Palestinians will do nothing to end the violence. The administration's utter refusal to engage in any mediation process that might produce a stable, equitable peace, also a neo-con strategy based on the paranoid belief that any peace involving territorial compromise will spell the annihilation of Israel, will also merely prolong the violence. Zealotry produces blindness: the zealous effort to pursue Israel's right-wing agenda has blinded the dual loyalists in the administration to the true face of Israel as occupier, to any concern for justice or equity and any consideration that interests other than Israel's are involved, and indeed to any pragmatic consideration that continued unquestioning accommodation of Israel, far from bringing an end to violence, will actually lead to its tragic escalation and to increased terrorism against both the United States and Israel.

What does it matter, in the end, if these men split their loyalties between the United States and Israel? Apart from the evidence of the policy distortions that arise from zealotry, one need only ask whether it can be mere coincidence that those in the Bush administration who most strongly promote "regime change" in Iraq are also those who most strongly support the policies of the Israeli right wing. And would it bother most Americans to know that the United States is planning a war against Iraq for the benefit of Israel? Can it be mere coincidence, for example, that Vice President Cheney, now the leading senior-level proponent of war with Iraq, repudiated just this option for all the right reasons in the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991? He was defense secretary at the time, and in an interview with the New York Times on April 13, 1991, he said:

"If you're going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein, you have to go to Baghdad. Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you will do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Ba'athists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists. How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?"

Since Cheney clearly changed his mind between 1991 and today, is it not legitimate to ask why, and whether Israel might have a greater influence over U.S. foreign policy now than it had in 1991? After all, notwithstanding his wisdom in rejecting an expansion of the war on Iraq a decade ago, Cheney was just as interested in promoting U.S. imperialism and was at that same moment in the early 1990s outlining a plan for world domination by the United States, one that did not include conquering Iraq at any point along the way. The only new ingredient in the mix today that is inducing Cheney to begin the march to U.S. world domination by conquering Iraq is the presence in the Bush-Cheney administration of a bevy of aggressive right-wing neo-con hawks who have long backed the Jewish fundamentalists of Israel's own right wing and who have been advocating some move on Iraq for at least the last half dozen years?

The suggestion that the war with Iraq is being planned at Israel's behest, or at the instigation of policymakers whose main motivation is trying to create a secure environment for Israel, is strong. Many Israeli analysts believe this. The Israeli commentator Akiva Eldar recently observed frankly in a Ha'aretz column that Perle, Feith, and their fellow strategists "are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments and Israeli interests." The suggestion of dual loyalties is not a verboten subject in the Israeli press, as it is in the United States. Peace activist Uri Avnery, who knows Israeli Prime Minister Sharon well, has written that Sharon has long planned grandiose schemes for restructuring the Middle East and that "the winds blowing now in Washington remind me of Sharon. I have absolutely no proof that the Bushies got their ideas from him . But the style is the same."

The dual loyalists in the Bush administration have given added impetus to the growth of a messianic strain of Christian fundamentalism that has allied itself with Israel in preparation for the so-called End of Days. These crazed fundamentalists see Israel's domination over all of Palestine as a necessary step toward fulfillment of the biblical Millennium, consider any Israeli relinquishment of territory in Palestine as a sacrilege, and view warfare between Jews and Arabs as a divinely ordained prelude to Armageddon. These right-wing Christian extremists have a profound influence on Bush and his administration, with the result that the Jewish fundamentalists working for the perpetuation of Israel's domination in Palestine and the Christian fundamentalists working for the Millennium strengthen and reinforce each other's policies in administration councils. The Armageddon that Christian Zionists seem to be actively promoting and that Israeli loyalists inside the administration have tactically allied themselves with raises the horrifying but very real prospect of an apocalyptic Christian-Islamic war. The neo-cons seem unconcerned, and Bush's occasional pro forma remonstrations against blaming all Islam for the sins of Islamic extremists do nothing to make this prospect less likely.

These two strains of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism have dovetailed into an agenda for a vast imperial project to restructure the Middle East, all further reinforced by the happy coincidence of great oil resources up for grabs and a president and vice president heavily invested in oil. All of these factors ­ the dual loyalties of an extensive network of policymakers allied with Israel, the influence of a fanatical wing of Christian fundamentalists, and oil ­ probably factor in more or less equally to the administration's calculations on the Palestinian-Israeli situation and on war with Iraq. But the most critical factor directing U.S. policymaking is the group of Israeli loyalists: neither Christian fundamentalist support for Israel nor oil calculations would carry the weight in administration councils that they do without the pivotal input of those loyalists, who clearly know how to play to the Christian fanatics and undoubtedly also know that their own and Israel's bread is buttered by the oil interests of people like Bush and Cheney. This is where loyalty to Israel by government officials colors and influences U.S. policymaking in ways that are extremely dangerous.

Kathleen Christison worked for 16 years as a political analyst with the CIA, dealing first with Vietnam and then with the Middle East for her last seven years with the Agency before resigning in 1979. Since leaving the CIA, she has been a free-lance writer, dealing primarily with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her book, "Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy," was published by the University of California Press and reissued in paperback with an update in October 2001. A second book, "The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story," was published in March 2002.

Bill Christison joined the CIA in 1950, and served on the analysis side of the Agency for 28 years. From the early 1970s he served as National Intelligence Officer (principal adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence on certain areas) for, at various times, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Before he retired in 1979 he was Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis, a 250-person unit. They can be reached at: christison@counterpunch.org


Barbara Cornett - 12/11/2003

I would like to see exactly what it was that I said that exemplifies my antisemtic tendencies mr cram. As far as I'm concerned I only expressed what is true. I even posted an article by an Israeli that talked of Jewish lobbies and actions in the US that demonstrates the power that Jews have but you and others refused to acknowledge that or to address what he said. I guess its not so easy to call him an antisemite or to make the lobbies that he mentioned and what they did which proves my points just disappear into thin air.

Hollywood has already conveniently made me into a symbol of racism so your accusations of antisemtism are like water off a duck's back. The thing that gets to me is your holier then thou attitude. That kind of thing always gets me poed. You sound so sweet its sickening.

No other group has taken over the White House and used it on behalf of another nation or religion. Yet that is exactly what the zionists are doing. Bill Kristol was never elected to anything. The memories of these zionists are in Europe and not the US. Their interests are in the middle east and not the US. If saying so makes me an antisemite then so be it.


George Oilwell - 12/11/2003

I have Jewish relatives (including my father and two half-brothers), so I don't take kindly to folks I perceive are soft on anti-Israel Arabs (or anyone else similarly inclined).


Barbara Cornett - 12/11/2003

Yeah you better distance yourself from me mr oilwell.


Barbara C - 12/11/2003

how ironic cram, your number 1 question seems to be quoted directly from this White House. I have never seen such open, unadorned hatred and its results as what this white hosue is doing. You already have my response to it.

I have to admit that at times I have previously lumped all Jews together and accused them of supporting Israel and for the times I did that I'm sorry, obviously I shouldn't have.

There are many soldiers in Israel who are laying down their guns and refusing to kill any more. There are plenty of Jewish people and groups in the US who are against what is happening and I should have acknowledged them. I'm sorry if I have offended you or others because I can see how pervocative that behavior is and I am aware of how pervocative I often am.

I am saying that Jews control this White House and the reason I say that is because they do. I never said they control America or Europe but if you look at what is happening that would also be true right now.

One reason I have been so forceful in what I have been saying is because everyone seemed to be denying it and I felt like I was on a mission to get the truth out. Then I begin seeing other people speaking out such as the Buchanan article and the Tim Russert question. That is all I wanted. I wanted people to recognize and be aware of what is happening. It is not right for Jews to be able to hide behind a propaganda machine and be above critisizm. People should be able to express what they see happening. It is not right for a minority to take over the US gov and use it on behalf of any other nation.

No one had a right to silence Howard Dean but it happened. That means there is plenty of power being excercised by Jews Cram and you cannot deny that and they are using that power on behalf of Israel as tho none of the rest of us matter.

For every action there is an equal reaction. People are reacting to what this white house is doing. I wouldn't feel the need to push so hard if I know that you are not pushing against the truth of what I am saying. This subject could fade away if you would just acknowledge the truth of what we are saying. Most people are inclined to support Israel but Ariel Sharon is making that impossible these days. You get an incredible advantage from all of the good will that is given to Jews and Israel. How in the name of God do we take out a man like Saddam and leave one like Sharon! You are willing to take all of the advantages like this obvious one but you then expect to be able to refuse to tolerate any negetive blowback from it all.

Everyone is not that lucky. Walk in the sandals of an Arab for a day or two. Acknowledging the truth about the control that Zionists have over our foreign policy is something you are going to have to confront and figure out how to deal with. You are also going to have to confront the horrible ugliness of what Zionists are doing and how they are committing a holocaust.

My family has to pay for all of this that goes against everything the US is supposed to stand for and it benifits us nothing. Of course I feel angry. As a Zionist you can't seem to see that. Nor do you seem to register the horror of it all. Or maybe you do see the horror and are not willing to acknowledge the major role that Jews are playing or that it was the brainchild of Zionists at PNAC.

I can relate to your confusion and hurt and I can also relate to how you would defend something you don't even believe in because you resent others attacking Jews. I do it all the time. I would even put a rebel flag in my car. Not because it means anything to me but just to show my support for all of the poor uneducated people who are used as foils for political purposes by people who are assholes. The use of the rebel flag is a lot more complicated then nothern liberals like to make out. It mostly reflects the lack of education and poverty of the people who have it which should be obvious if it weren't such a good way to stereotype southern people as evil.

I commonly get lumped with every other person in the south and dumped on.

Here is an example of what I have to put up with. I have complained to democrats.com for their anti southern remarks and it seems to have fueled them to do all they can to belittle the south

excerpt from ONE newsletter -

I don't agree with the punishment but the tone of the excerpt is to make fun of the south and this is from democrats.com - I get this stuff all the time as a matter of course.

School Refuses to Apologize for Reprimanding Second Grader's 'Gay' Remarks

"Lafayette Parish's school superintendent Wednesday said there would be no
apology over an incident in which a lesbian mother says he son was disciplined
for saying he has a gay mom... Easton said the grade two student was disciplined
for behavior problems. Sharon Huff says her son was reprimanded and forced to
repeatedly write 'I will never use the word 'gay' in school again.'... ACLU's
Joe Cook released a behavior report signed by teacher Terry L. Bethea which
states, 'Marcus decided to explain to another child in his group that his mom is
gay. He told the other child that gay is when a girl likes a girl. This kind of
discussion is not appropriate in my room,' Bethea wrote... Cook also showed a
'behavior contract,' sent to the mother which said, 'He explained to another
child that you are gay and what being gay means.' The 7 year old was required to
fill out a form, in which he wrote, 'I sed bad wurds.' In a space for 'What I
should have done,' he wrote, 'Cep my mouf shut.'"
http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120303laNoApology.htm

and

Neil Bush Carries on the Bush Family Bidness - War Profiteering

end excerpt

I put up with this stuff all the time. It may seem minor but its the small things in life that rankel and democrats.com pours it on. And sites such as tompaine.com would be better called arielsharon.com from the things I read there. It seems that being pro Israel is more american these days then being a white southern American. You yourself have stated that you too are a Zionist and evidently you endorse anything done on behalf of Israel even if it hurts the people of the US then you call me - a fiercely loyal American - an anti-semite because I won't go along with what is happening. You are lucky to have it as easy as you do but perhaps you should find a way to deal with all of this because I don't think it is going away.

You have lead a sheltered life. Welcome to the real world.


Dave Livingston - 12/11/2003



Of course, the Left has been on the short end of the stick these past few years. After all, within the past two years Republicans won five of six races for Governorships. The only race they lost was when in Louisana the Republican candidate was a) non-White & B)a youngster. But what truly irks Liberals most these days is that although they yet control most of the news media, i.e., ABC, CBS, NBC, "Time," "Newsweek," "USA Today" and most large newspapers but they no longer, thanks to talk radio, Fox News & conservative websites on Al Gore's "invention," the internet, have a monopoly on the dispersal of news.

More & more people are forsaking the Sytalinist propaganda of Peter Jennings, Dan Rather & their ilk by getting their news & political opinion from Fox News, "Townhall.com," "WorldNetDaily.com," "Front
PageMagazine.com"

Unfortunately for Liberals their goal of achieving George Orwell's nightmare society has become much tougher to accomplish than before CBS & ABC began bleeding viewers to Fox & before Al's invention. Boo-hoo!


Cram - 12/11/2003

Don,
After thinking about your post, I believe I owe you an apology. I should have directed my post in question solely to Barbara. You have never demonstrated any anti-Semetic tendencies, or even suggested anything that could be construed as such and it was wrong of me to group you with Barbara (although I still await a reply from her). I can assure you, it was not deceit, merely sloppy reading on my part instead of making sure I have the name of the poster correct. I hope we can continue our debate without too much bitterness towards my folly.

As for Israel, my position has always remained that no civilized country can negociate with an enemy that wished its total destruction. The terms for peace are the same today as they were in 2000, 1993, and beyond: End the terrorism against Israeli civilians and you end the occupation.

If the Palestinians expressed genuine desire to live at peace with Israel, and vowed to crack down on terrorists, there would be peace. However, as far as I am concerned, there is nothing Israel can do (even unilaterally withdrawing from the territories) that has any hope of peace without some reciprication on the other side.

Again, sorry for the false accusation.


ethan - 12/11/2003

Cram, David, I do not think Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson were pro-Communist. Neither was Roosevelt pro-Communist. Nevertheless, their social policies were heavily influenced by individuals who took inspiration from the perceived successes of the Soviet Union in its march toward a classless, atheist utopia. They expressed their ideology through otherwise laudable goals, African-American civil rights, for example, using them to extend the control of the state via various wealth redistribution schemes in the name of social justice and for ginning up an endless proliferation of new rights. They also turned Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state from a sensible prohibition of a state religion to a prejudiced prohibition of religion by a state.

It is no coincidence that with the fall of the Soviet Union came frantic efforts to reformulate the Liberal message and not just in the U.S. Witness Clinton's New Democrat line and Tony Blair's New Labour posture. The task for both is similar: how to continue extending the control of the state over the economy and to engineer the thought of the populace without the Communist model as their touchstone. It is a Liberal crisis of existential proportions. They have gone from "Communism is Socialism in a hurry" under Roosevelt, to "Socialism is Liberalism in a Hurry" under Truman/Kennedy/Johnson to "Liberalism is something or other -- we're not sure what but we'll get back to you -- in a hurry" under Clinton and the current slate of Democratic candidates. Their utopian compass smashed, Liberals cannot navigate. Conservative thought, never monolithic, at the moment is by no means completely coherent, but it is a global positioning system in contrast. Small wonder that hate seems to be the best thing that Liberals can come up with in response.

I do agree with you David, about one thing. If being a Liberal still meant what it used to mean, I wouldn't be a conservative today. I particularly refer to John Stuart Mill's Liberalism with its stresses on private property and the greatest degree of liberty consistent with the orderly function of society. Ah, for the good old days.

In keeping with the season, let me wish you both a very Happy Merry Newness, a Spirit-free sentiment that cannot possibly offend anyone.


George Oilwell - 12/11/2003

I withdraw the nomination of Ms. Cornett for President. I didn't know about her anti-semitism.


Don Williams - 12/11/2003

Consider Cram's post "Questions for Don and Barbara" . posted at 12:53PM

1) He first sets up two scenarios re hating Arabs in order to support a metaphor to hating Jews. But all this is (a) irrelevant to my points and (b) a smear for even suggesting that I think all Jews should be hated for the actions of Sharon, Likud, and their US supporters. I have repeatedly noted that (a) Neocon hawks do not speak for all Jews, in spite of their pretensions (b) that even many Israelis do not support Likud and (c) that dumping responsibility for Sharon/Likud's actions on all Jews is unfair and is itself a form of anti-semitism.

2) Yet Cram states to me:
"Your argument is this:
Jews control America
Jews support Israel, thus
Hating them is really their own fault "

Given my repeated statements, I can only see his depiction of my position as deliberate deceit.

3) My argument has been:
a) After 60 years, the UN's legal partition of Palestine has not come to pass.
b) The Israelis have occupied far beyond what was given to them and have a annual per capita GDP of roughly $17,000. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have lived in deep poverty within refugee camps for 60 years and have a per capita annual GDP of roughly $1600.
c) Due to US massive aid (over $91 Billion past aid,$3 billion/year in ongoing aid, massive arms sales including roughly 250 F16 advanced jet fighters), Israel is the most powerful military power in the Middle East. Israel has long had the power to establish peace with the Palestinians, but past efforts have been repeatedly sabotaged by Sharon and Likud.
d) Because the US government created and sustained Israel, it has a moral responsibility to see the Palestinians established in their own viable state. Because of the US government's massive support for Israel, the Islamic world holds the US responsible for the fate of the Palestinians and for Sharons's/Likud's aggression and hypocritical footdragging in the peace roadmap.

e)By Bin Ladin's own words --in 1998 and Nov 2001 , US support for Israel was one of the causes for the Sept 11 attack.
This was hidden from the American people after Sept 11 --they were misled and lied to by Israel's supporters.

f) There was no rational reason --only corruption -- for the US government's one-sided support of Israel prior to Sept 11. There's even less reason for it given Sept 11 -- yet neocon Likudites are dragging the US into a ruinous war with 1 billion Muslims and possibly EU/Russia/China for the sake of Israel.

It is one thing to defend Israel's right to exist within the 1967 borders --it is something else to support Sharon's creeping seizure of the West Bank, Gaza, and all Jerusalem plus as much more of the Fertile Crescent (Syria? ) as he can grab. It is something else to make enemies of world because they see the US government as a deceitful psychopath -- willing to invade countries like Iraq ,not because they are a threat to the US, but merely at Sharon's bidding.

g) This is not in America's interest-- we have already lost $1 Trillion and 3000+ dead. Millions more Americans will die years before their time because the neocon wars are plunging us into deep debt. Because of that debt, most baby boomers will receive substandard medical care in the decades to come.

h)As I have noted, the fault is not with Jews as a group. The fault is with a group of very wealthy men --some of whom are not Jewish -- who are manipulating the US government with campaign contributions. The supporters of Israel are allied with two other interests -- defense contractors and Big Oil. Their collective agenda has caused and will continue to cause great harm to the American people.


Dave Livingston - 12/11/2003



"quick change intellectuals"? To verify the validity of this accusation there is an easy test to administer. The DJs for our classical music station are fond of saying, "One is a true intellectual if upon listening to the William Tell Overture, one hasn't thought of the Lone Ranger."


George Oilwell - 12/11/2003

Ms. Cornett, thank you. On behalf of those of us less gifted in communication skills and the ability to use them to carefully and devastatingly deconstruct the theft of our democracy, and the looting of our national treasure by the crooked, unelected fraud and his cronies; accept my gratitude and that of millions of other Americans.

Move over, Mr. Carpenter. Make room for the Trumpeter Swan who just came in.


Don Williams - 12/11/2003

During the Conrad Black-Taki spat last year, a former Thatcher official, Lord Gilmour, let Black have it with both barrels.
Following is a copy of Lord Gilmour's letter, by way of
http://www.mideastjournal.com/blackism.html
************
Conrad Black's sinister agenda - The Independent (London)

March 20, 2001, Tuesday

HEADLINE: MEDIA: CONRAD BLACK'S SINISTER AGENDA; A NEWSPAPER
PROPRIETOR VILIFYING HIS STAFF IS ONE THING; TRYING TO INFLUENCE WORLD
EVENTS IS ANOTHER, WRITES LORD GILMOUR

BYLINE: Lord Gilmour

OVER THE last hundred years, Britain has not been lucky in its
newspaper proprietors. They have mostly been megalomaniac,
mischievous, interfering, and often well to the right of even
right-wing Conservatives. There have, of course, been some exceptions.
The Canadian Lord Thomson of Fleet was certainly one; the Canadian
Conrad Black is certainly not another.

A few months ago, The Independent's Robert Fisk, this country's
leading Middle East journalist, complained of being vilified for
telling the truth about the Palestinians. But at least he was not
vilified by The Independent's owner for doing so. Conrad Black,
however, who owns The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The
Spectator in Britain, and hundreds of papers in Canada, the United
States, Israel and other places, has taken to vilifying his staff for
daring to criticise Israel's lethal and wholly disproportionate
violence in Palestine.

A few weeks ago, Taki, one of The Spectator's columnists, wrote a
wholly innocuous column in which, referring to Israel, he talked about
"those nice guys who attack rock- throwing youths with armour-piercing
missiles". There was, in fact, nothing to complain about in the
article, but if Mr Black did not like it, he could have picked up the
telephone and conveyed his displeasure or he could have sent Taki a
note. Unfortunately, Black fancies himself as a writer - mistakenly,
as his writing is ponderous and bombastic - and decided to write an
article in The Spectator fatuously accusing Taki of being
anti-Semitic, and alleging that what he had written was "almost worthy
of Goebbels". Black also claimed that "most of the relevant sections
of the BBC, Independent, Guardian, Evening Standard and the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office are rabidly anti-Israel".

>From all this it can be gathered that Mr Black is not a very good
judge of these matters. Both he and his wife are almost fanatical, if
under- informed, Zionists, whose credo is "My Israel right or wrong",
and who regard any criticism of that country as a demonstration of
fierce anti- Israeli bias.

A decade ago, Black, to the great detriment of Israel, bought The
Jerusalem Post and turned what had been a fine liberal Zionist paper
into what a distinguished member of the British Jewish community
called "one of the most rabid Jewish publications in the English
language".

I wrote a letter to The Spectator defending Taki and reminding its
readers of what Black had done to The Jerusalem Post. This so enraged
Mr Black that he was even more grotesquely abusive and defamatory to
me than he had previously been to Taki. For all his editors, and many
other people employed by his Group, the sight of Black making such an
exhibition of himself must be deeply embarrassing, but there is little
they can do about it.

Black's defective grasp of proper proprietorial behaviour was further
revealed in his treatment of a letter to The Spectator from three
distinguished writers - William Dalrymple, Piers Paul Read and A N
Wilson - who pointed out that "under Black's proprietorship, serious,
critical reporting of Israel is no longer tolerated in the Telegraph
Group". That is certainly true, and it is not the fault of the
journalists on the spot or in London.

That letter was eloquent and cogent, but it contained one error. Well
before publication, the authors recognised the error and telephoned
The Spectator to correct it. They were told that Conrad Black had
already written an answer underneath their letter, so it could not be
corrected or withdrawn. That was a shameful decision, since Black
should not have written anything underneath their letter; he should
have sent a letter to the editor the following week. And, much more
importantly, for a proprietor to insist on an error appearing in his
paper because, proud of having detected it, he wants to point it out,
is bizarre, childish and unethical.

Black's behaviour in this controversy clearly has wider implications.
As Robert Fisk pointed out in his article in December, no newspaper in
America, except for some very small ones, now dares to put the
Palestinian side of the case. They are all in thrall to Israel, and
the chief reason why they are in such an ignominious position is that
the Israeli lobby has succeeded in equating criticism of Israel with
anti-Semitism. That, of course, is pernicious nonsense, as well as
being what Robert Fisk has called "McCarthyism".

Many decent Israelis are severely critical of the Israeli treatment of
the Palestinians. Indeed, there is more enlightened comment on the
Palestinians' plight in the Israeli press than there is in the
American. Even so, although the pretence that critics of Israel are
anti-Semites is a transparent fraud, it has proved an enormously
successful blackmailing tool. Americans are so frightened of being
labelled anti-Semitic that they keep quiet and allow the Israeli lobby
a free run.

The most sinister feature of Black's recent activity is that he is
seeking to reproduce that situation in this country. He is not only
stamping out dissent in his own camp, he is also trying to stop the
BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, and the Evening Standard telling
the truth about Palestine, and hoping to force the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office into weak compliance with Israeli wishes.

But, strong as it is, the Israeli lobby is much weaker over here than
it is in America, and many people in Britain are far better informed
about what is actually happening to the Palestinians than they are in
the United States.

Fortunately, therefore, Conrad Black will fail. But the attempt does
him no credit.
----------------
Lord Gilmour is a former editor and proprietor of The Spectator' and a
former foreign office minister in Margaret Thatcher's government

************
Hmmmm. I'm surprised that a "liberal" could have been a foreign office minister in Margaret Thatcher's government. Maybe that delightful fluff Ann Coulter could write a book about how "they" have secretly infiltrated everywhere.


Cram - 12/11/2003

Don,
I can only assume in your diatribe that the "Likudnik" is referring to me and my post.

However, I have difficulty in responding to your critism as you do not mention a single thing in my post that you have a problem with or think is inaccurate or "clumsy rhetorical tricks." Please be more specific so that I can address your concerns and show you precisely where you are mistaken.


Don Williams - 12/11/2003

Let's look at leading NeoCon Richard Perle, mentor of Paul Wolfowitz. While many news reports speak of Perle as being an
intellectual from the American Enterprise Institute, it seems to me that the rather rotund Perle has feasted on sinecures provided by Canadian news magnate, Conrad Black. According to this site, Perle has been Chairman and CEO of Black's Hollinger Digital, and Director of The Jerusalem Post, one of the newspapers owned by Black (http://www.benadorassociates.com/perle.php ).

While not Jewish, Conrad Black has been a strong supporter of Sharon and the Likud. Last year, he used his power as owner to publicly criticize one of his columists, Taki, because Taki had noted Israel's control of US politics. See
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4153170,00.html .

Recently, however, both Richard Perle's and Conrad Black's business dealings have ..er.. come under review.
A recent (Dec 5) Washington Post article noted how Richard Perle had lobbied for a billion dollar tanker lease deal
for Boeing without disclosing that Boeing had invested $20 million into Perle's Trireme venture. The article also notes
that Perle resigned several months ago as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board due to a perceived conflict associated with his lobbying on behalf of Loral and Global Crossing.
See http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37059-2003Dec4?language=printer .

Meanwhile, Conrad Black recently resigned as chief executive of Hollinger Internation. Mr Conrad allegedly resigned
under pressure due to $millions of unauthorized payments taken by him -- see
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,103275,00.html .
The SEC is reportedly investigating -- see http://media.guardian.co.uk/city/story/0,7497,1088660,00.html
and http://media.guardian.co.uk/city/story/0,7497,1090397,00.html . According to the Washington Post story above,
Perle is on the Hollinger Board.


Note: The Guardian's suggestion that the Bush SEC might levy criminal charges against Conrad Black is hilarious
to those of us in the States who see Jeffery Skilling and Ken Lay (Enron CEOs) walking around free. Although
I do wonder if "Neocon" will come to mean "Neo-convict" if a Howard Dean administration starts up in 2005 and puts some teeth back into US law.


Note: I posted a copy of this comment on the EU Anti-Semiticism thread below


Don Williams - 12/11/2003

It seems to me that Likudites ,when challenged re their charges of
anti-semitism, always have to resort to clumsy rhetorical tricks.
Among those tricks are:
a) restating a critic's position and greatly distorting it in the process -- and then attacking their self-constructed strawman
b) evading the main issue by seizing upon some trival aspect of the discussion and beating it to death, in a desperate, hard-breathing attempt to avert attention from the main issue
c) making up stories about the hidden motivations of the critics. A variation on this is a interesting form of telepathy, in which the Likudites claim the ability to read the mind of the critic and discern what he REALLY thinks. Theories about the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler seem popular as well.


Kenneth P. Melvin - 12/11/2003

Perhaps an acceptable format within which others could speak to their concerns about the perceived undue influence of Israel on US policy? I for one find the anti-Semite shtick bullyish. I'll not be so intimidated. Better for all that there be free and open discussion. Things valid can well stand the light of day.


Ken Melvin - 12/11/2003

Interesting, this possibility of a Landrieu like coalition in other southern states. We California, and I guess NY too, liberals must beg forgiveness if we cringe when we see states like Tennessee and Alabama do their social regress; not that we of the land of the gropenfreak have any room to talk, but these days we are seeing and hearing far too much old testament-christian crap from too many of the region's spokesmen too often. It's enough to gag a maggot. It's also frightening.

This concept of such a democratic southern strategy is oft discussed amongst my liberal grouping here in Northern CA as an alternative to the Zell Millers and John Breauxs. If possible, it is a most attractive solution to many of the current problems. How possible, in your opinion?


Cram - 12/11/2003

Don and Barbara,
I would like you to read the following 2 statemtns and tell me your reaction to them:
1) I am glad Israelis kill Arabs and hope that the US and Israel kill as many as possible, because I hate Arabs. But, I am not racist or anything, I just think that since Arabs were behind 9/11 and there seems to be a lot of support for terrorim in the Arab world, it is really their fault that I hate them, not mine. Maybe if Arab governments would change their ways, people like me wouldn't hate Arabs.

2) I hate all blacks, but it isn't my fault. I live in a city where a lot of crime is commmitted by blacks and it is really their fault that I hate blacks. I am not racist and have many black friends but they are the exception. In general, blacks are bad. But it isn't my fault that I hate them, it is theirs.

Here is the question for you 2: Is there anything wrong with the above statements? If so, how are they different from your point that Israel is to blame for the rise in anti-Semitism?

Finally, are you at all familiar with Nazi rationale and Hitler's speeches on the Jews. If you listen to them, you will hear much the same as your arguments. They went something like this:
Jews control Germany
Jews support communism, thus
Hating them is really their own fault

Your argument is this:
Jews control America
Jews support Israel, thus
Hating them is really their own fault

Is that accurate?

I would really recommend reading the article on this site that cites an EU report on anti-Semitism. I think you will find it interesting, assuming that you do not believe Jews control the EU as well (an assumption that can't be ruled out, given your beliefes about the Jewish people).


Barbara Cornett - 12/11/2003

These things may very well be true Don but you will quickly become persona non grata for saying them. People are terrified to say anything negetive about Jews or Israel and with good reason. Look what happned to Howard Dean when he made the simple statement that he thought we should be evenhanded in the middle east.

I think that by not stating these things people are merely giving Jews all the rope they need to hang themselves. Anti-semtisim is on the rise around the world and people need to take off their blindfolds. You cannot bully people and treat them the way that Israel and the US are doing and expect to get away with it for long. Israelis are at Fort Bragg training our troops in how to fight in the middle east. All of this is wrong and at some point we will pay for what we are doing and people are aware of the role that Zionists are playing in all of it.

I remember when the very first news reports about PNAC started coming out and I was bombarded with a surge of anti-Christian articles where progressives were attempting to scapegoat Christians for our middle east policy in what I believe was an attempt to protect Jews and Zionists and deflect the blame onto Christians and let them take the brunt of the anger for our middle east policy. No one knew how people would react to the information about PNAC. They could do this because of the Christian Zionists and the fact that Bush claims to be a Christian. This of course just caused me to feel great resentment.

This whole thing is really a mess. There are dozens of sites on the web by Jewish people who are as against what is going on as we are but I think if some kind of blowback happens they will get caught up in it the same as Zionists will.

Here is an article by an Israeli

The Sharon government is a giant laboratory for the growing of the anti-Semitism virus. It exports it to the whole world.

http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/index.cfm/action/tikkun/issue/tik0211/article/021111f.html


Elia Markell - 12/11/2003

The anti-Semitism comes into play not only because these Jews are the ones always identified with neoconism, but because of the absurd conspiracy and ominpotence attributed to these men. After all, Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice and Rumsfeld are none of them neocons. Nor are the vast bureaucracies of State, CIA or Defense heavily ladden with neocons. But somehow we are to believe these four Jews, a very tiny tail indeed, have figured out how to wag this very large dog. If it's not anti-Semitism, it's some other insanity equally idiotic if not as vile. Take your pick.


Elia Markell - 12/11/2003

Even one out of four would only be a .250 batting average, Marianne. But Irving Kristol, about whom you are correct, is NOT the Kristol usually included among the Four Jews of the Apocalypse normally ID'd as bringing down upon us all the plague of Neoconism. It is his son Bill, who has always been a conservative, plain and simple. Moreover the notion that Irving Kristol's views (or those of any of the others) can be characterized as "extreme right" only demonstrates in another way the absurdity of current leftist paranoia and solopsism. In today's academy, anyone who defends capitalism over socialism, I suppose, is extreme right. No other way to comprehend it.


Elia Markell - 12/11/2003

Conservatives are, as on many matters, divided "substantially" over the current growth of government. I'd recommend Niall Ferguson's NYTs op-ed a few days ago if you want to see my particular take on it, and on why it does not bother me.

As for this of yours,

"With your phony war leaving hundreds of my countrymen dead for nothing,"

I can only say it's amazing how that renowned liberal compassion shows itself with respect to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who will now NOT die at the hands of a butcher because of what we did "for nothing." There was a time when liberals and lefties claimed to care about the down-trodden of the earth. No more. It's a cruel compassion, now, is it not?


Don Williams - 12/11/2003

Liberals are not the only ones who are angry at Bush and the Neocons. Real conservatives like Pat Buchanan are angry at
Neocons turning America into Sharon's whore and at the huge expansion in the federal government, financed by a enormous $3 Trillion explosion in government debt. Real conservatives oppose globalization and the huge ,oppressive federal government required to sustain it. Real conservatives oppose driving the living standards of the average American citizen down to the level of the Asian peasant via specious, deceitful economic arguments for "globalization". Real conservatives think that America's leaders should be loyal to this country's people --and that the wealthy have some obligation to the average working citizens who fight this country's wars and whose hard work creates this country's wealth. Real conservatives oppose Neocon deceit driving this country into a greatly damaging Cold War with Europe --who are valuable allies -- for the sake of Israel , who has never given the US anything.


See ,e.g., the following articles
in "The American Conservative":

a) "Righteous Anger-The Conservative Case Against George W Bush",
Dec 1,2003, at http://www.amconmag.com/12_1_03/cover.html

b) "Whose War --The Loudest Clique Behind the President's Policy";
March 24,2003 at http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html

c) "American Story --Our Allies No Longer Believe our National Narrative" , Dec 1,2003 (Not available online)

d) "Iraq Invasion --The Road to Folly", October 7,2002 at
http://www.amconmag.com/10_7/10_7.html

e) "The Madness of Empire" , Feb 24,2003 at http://www.amconmag.com/02_24_03/index1.html

f) "Wall Street Journal vs America", Nov 3,2003; at
http://www.amconmag.com/11_3_03/buchanan.html
-------------

Interesting enough, the December 15,2003 edition of The American Conservative (no available online yet) has an article on Howard Dean ("Party Pioneer",p. 25) which suggests that Dean could be the forerunner of a Democratic rebirth -- as Al Smith was for the Democrats and Barry Goldwater was for the Republicans -- and that he might be more successful in 2004 than those men.

The article raises the questtion of whether Howard Dean is the "pioneer" --the one who shows a party the path to power -- and whether he will manage to recruit the "great white middle-class suburbs, essentially conservative and Republican ever since 1972, back into the Democratic Party's ranks."


Barbara Cornett - 12/11/2003

A few years ago when I got my first computer and begin to discover and explore the internet I thought that all democrats were the same. I never gave a second thought to where my news came from. After years of reading the progressive news on the internet I have discovered that I am not like other democrats after all, especially the ones from NYC and California where most all of my internet progressive news comes from. I have discovered that to these people all southern white people look alike. They cannot distinguish between the Christian right and other Christians. They hate all Christians.

I have had people ask me why I don't try to form a southern democratic party because of how I am treated by democratic leaders in the party and the progressive media. I don't wonder that the south goes republican.

I think that southern blacks and whites should work together and stand together on progressive issues and that we should play a greater role in determining the direction of our party.

There is a phenomon that is happening in the democratic party where conservatives run as democrats and that has happened in the south. Zell Miller for instance. I am very proud of people like Robert Byrd and Frtiz Hollings.

The people of the south are just like people all across the country in that most of the time they know little about politics and they base their votes on what a candidate looks like or how appealing his sound bites are. In looking for a candidate to support they hear someone like Bush say that he is a Christian and that decides their vote. It is unfortunate but that is how it is. If we had an honest media that gave people the facts rather then pro business republican propaganda the outcome might be differnet. So place some of the blame on the rich media people out of NYC. Why should the poor people of the south be critisized for their conservatisim but the rich get a pass?

The democratic party out of the northeast have a vested interest in treating the south the way they do. By using us as their foil and a way to make themselves feel superior they get their liberal credentials. They love to stereotype us and look down their noses at us. They would rather do that then try to reach out to southern people and get our votes. So part of the blame lies with democrats themselves.

I am a Ted Kennedy kind of liberal but I can't help but notice the arrogance of Kennedy and his superior attitude when it comes to the south. The Kennedy family blamed the people of Texas for John K assasination. They are bitter against the south which they were condesending to in the first place.

Another liberal who was always unable to hide his contempt for the south is Phil Donahue. I used to watch his old morning talk show and he would champion everyone on the planet from transgenders to rapists. He could see every pov and every side of every story. But he could not bring himself to see anything good about the south nor could he hide his feelings. He couldn't even be nice to Bill Clinton.

The republicans have filled the vacumum that resulted from democrats ignoring the south. When you look at the actions of the whole democratic party from Tom Dashchle to Nancy Pelosi to Howard Dean I do not think you can make the case that the south is any more conservative then any other part of the country.


Don Williams - 12/11/2003

In his March 23,2003 article "Whose War" in the American Conservative, Pat Buchanan described the origin of the Neocons:
-------------
" Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism’s long march to power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.

A neoconservative, wrote Kevin Phillips back then, is more likely to be a magazine editor than a bricklayer. Today, he or she is more likely to be a resident scholar at a public policy institute such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) or one of its clones like the Center for Security Policy or the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). As one wag writes, a neocon is more familiar with the inside of a think tank than an Abrams tank.

Almost none came out of the business world or military, and few if any came out of the Goldwater campaign. The heroes they invoke are Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, and Democratic Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (Wash.) and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.).

All are interventionists who regard Stakhanovite support of Israel as a defining characteristic of their breed. Among their luminaries are Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, and James Q. Wilson.

Their publications include the Weekly Standard, Commentary, the New Republic, National Review, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Though few in number, they wield disproportionate power through control of the conservative foundations and magazines, through their syndicated columns, and by attaching themselves to men of power.

Beating the War Drums

When the Cold War ended, these neoconservatives began casting about for a new crusade to give meaning to their lives. On Sept. 11, their time came. They seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America’s rage into all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic “rogue states” that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.

The War Party’s plan, however, had been in preparation far in advance of 9/11. And when President Bush, after defeating the Taliban, was looking for a new front in the war on terror, they put their precooked meal in front of him. Bush dug into it.

Before introducing the script-writers of America’s future wars, consider the rapid and synchronized reaction of the neocons to what happened after that fateful day.

On Sept. 12, Americans were still in shock when Bill Bennett told CNN that we were in “a struggle between good and evil,” that the Congress must declare war on “militant Islam,” and that “overwhelming force” must be used. Bennett cited Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and China as targets for attack. Not, however, Afghanistan, the sanctuary of Osama’s terrorists. How did Bennett know which nations must be smashed before he had any idea who attacked us?

The Wall Street Journal immediately offered up a specific target list, calling for U.S. air strikes on “terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt.” Yet, not one of Bennett’s six countries, nor one of these five, had anything to do with 9/11.

On Sept. 15, according to Bob Woodward’s Bush at War, “Paul Wolfowitz put forth military arguments to justify a U.S. attack on Iraq rather than Afghanistan.” Why Iraq? Because, Wolfowitz argued in the War Cabinet, while “attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain … Iraq was a brittle oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable.”

On Sept. 20, forty neoconservatives sent an open letter to the White House instructing President Bush on how the war on terror must be conducted. Signed by Bennett, Podhoretz, Kirkpatrick, Perle, Kristol, and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, the letter was an ultimatum. To retain the signers’ support, the president was told, he must target Hezbollah for destruction, retaliate against Syria and Iran if they refuse to sever ties to Hezbollah, and overthrow Saddam. Any failure to attack Iraq, the signers warned Bush, “will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”

Here was a cabal of intellectuals telling the Commander-in-Chief, nine days after an attack on America, that if he did not follow their war plans, he would be charged with surrendering to terror. Yet, Hezbollah had nothing to do with 9/11. What had Hezbollah done? Hezbollah had humiliated Israel by driving its army out of Lebanon.

President Bush had been warned. He was to exploit the attack of 9/11 to launch a series of wars on Arab regimes, none of which had attacked us. All, however, were enemies of Israel. “Bibi” Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister of Israel, like some latter-day Citizen Genet, was ubiquitous on American television, calling for us to crush the “Empire of Terror.” The “Empire,” it turns out, consisted of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, and “the Palestinian enclave."
------------
At the beginning of his article, Pat Buchanan explains why Neocons respond to criticism with allegations of "Anti-Semitism" against their critics --and why that convenient smear is misleading and false. See http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html


NYGuy - 12/11/2003

Cram,

Bush visited both Washingon and NY after the 9/11 bombing. Unlike Clinton he understood how to protect the US against thugs. Clinton ignored the threat, Bush stood up to it and provided the world leadership to fight the war on terrorism. Don't remember Clinton provided any leadership in world affairs.

Oh, yes I do, Clinton raised a minor world issue involving 7 million people to an international crisis, while our first "Black President" (now living in Harlem), watched millions of Africans get slaughtered as a result of inaction by the UN.

As a result of making the Palistine/Israeli (P/I)issue a top priority, (with he in the photo-ops), he energized the Muslin world against Jews and enable Muslin extremist to recruit terrorists to their cause. In my opinion that is the reason for anti-jewish and anti-Israeli rising in Europe and throughout the world. Europe is starting to understand this, but they are reluctant to say it clearly.

Meanwhile, since Clinton was personally involved and the US had a history of supporting Israel, the US also became a target of Muslin hatred. We were attacked several times under Clinton's leadership, culminating with the 9/11 attack.

Clinton knew nothing about the world beyond P/I. Musins and arabs were streaming into Europe and Cinton's failed policies resulted in great unrest among that population. This has caused instability in countries such as France and Germany making it impossible for us to again have normal relationsships wih these countries because these immigrants are now a significant part of the electorate and are influencing France's reactions against the US.

Meanwhile, Bush has added clarity to the world wide problems of terror. He has gained international support for this fight and and an added benefit was that we learned that the UN is a gutless and useless world organization when it comes to creating a peaceful world.

Bush is a leader who understands the "real world". Clinton was just a kid from Hope with a naive view of the "real world."

As for Carpenter, the more things change the more they remain the same as he once again uses his bait and switch tactics.

Out of 12 paragraphs on the first one talks about the Liberal anger. The next 11 is his normal rant against Bush and republicans. Ho, Hum. Makes good reading before bed time.


T. Gallatin - 12/11/2003


Sentence 5, correction in CAPs

...the best WAY of achieving [regime change in Washington DC is to reach the 2000 non-voters]...


Thomas Gallatin - 12/11/2003


The way to end this litany of horrors is to give G. W. Bush a new job. Something he is qualified for and capable of discharging. Owning a baseball team, for example. Or marketing pretzels. And the best of achieving that career change is to reach potentially sympathetic voters -especially those in swing states- who did not bother to vote in 2000. You can be sure that they will be bombarded with Karl Rove's deceptive soundbites, come next Fall. Got any relatives in Florida, Barbara ?

A close second in priority is to make the asinine federal Congress a bit less asinine, by retiring a few morally and educationally unqualified incumbents. The hypocrites of that House Judiciary Committee, for example, who made themselves a laughingstock of the world, impeaching Clinton in late 1998 for something most countries would not have bothered even censuring him for, while utterly blowing an excellent opportunity to go after Saddam. Remember them ? Nothing against you or your region of the country , Barbara, but most of those arrogant lawyer liars were not from the same part of America as their arch-hypocrite leader, Henry, the youthfully indiscrete, Hyde.


David - 12/11/2003


Or do you really mean that Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson were secretly rooting for the communists?

They were Cold Warriors, even "rabid" anti-communists by contemporary Liberal standards. They would have no place at the table if they were alive today.

If being a "Liberal" still meant was it used to mean, I wouldn't be a conservative today.


Cram - 12/11/2003

David,
The point I am trying to make is that Bush was a politician, just as Dean is, no better and no worse. He attacked McCain in some of the worst, nastiest campaign ads I can think of, and then won the primary, portrayed himself to be a new kind of conservatism, what he called "compassionate conservatism" in which he would work in a bipartisan way and reach out to the other party, essentially portraying himself as a slighly right of center moderate.

When he came into office, he has turned out to me one of the most conservative presidents in recent memory. This is great if you are a conservative. But conservative or not, the man reinvented himself to win a campaign, as all politicians must.


Cram - 12/11/2003

I think you are confusing liberlaism in the political sense (i.e. the liberalism that manifests itself in elections, commonly found in the Democratic party) and liberalism in the social, more radical sense (commonly found in 3rd parties and globilization protests). Or do you really mean that Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson were secretly rooting for the communists?


Cram - 12/11/2003

This editorial is just one example, but there are numerous others.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A6853-2003Feb26?language=printer


Ethan - 12/10/2003

Until about 1990, the Liberal project assumed that the success of Communism provided it a model. Remember the old CPUSA line: "Communism is just Socialism in a hurry?" The U.S.S.R. and its Liberal apologists attempted to show, at least until the facts appeared, that a worker's utopia is possible if only central control could be exerted and a new Socialist person could be created. The New Deal, the New Society, and the other Liberal Newnesses depended on that assumption in order to be tenable. Without it, Liberalism is adrift, offering nothing more than bribes to some and extorting from the rest. As there appear to be fewer of the former than the latter, who tend to dislike being robbed, this is not a winning message. Enter the hatred stragegy. Hate Bush, hate the Right, hate yourselves for being so utterly wrong.

What is the next step, Liberalism? Get even and kill 30 million or so? It worked for Stalin, for a while. Have a nice walk in the wilderness, kids.


Cram - 12/10/2003

Bob,
Did you support Bush's war wirh Iraq, and if so, how can you be sure that it was not for pure political reasons, like (as you say) Clinton? What was the difference, other then the fact that Clinton acted after the UN said that Hussein was NOT coororating and Bush acted basically out of nowhere?


David - 12/10/2003


Cram, Bush had a consistent message during his camapaign, and to the extent that his administration has since been overtaken by events, he may or may not have deviated on certain aspects of his platform.

Now, you can criticize him for that, but not for the inconsistency we see Howard Dean display even before the tire has his the road.


Ken Melvin - 12/10/2003

Good listing. Well said!


Stewart Riley - 12/10/2003

Elia,

That attack on Neocon ideas, and their capture of far right politics by the use of the "terrorist threat" and other devices is not some concealed anti-semitism. You read far too much into the idea that some of the principle Neocons are nominally Jewish (and I say nominally, since most are hardly religious.) There is enough real anti-semitism in the world without adding imagined conspiracies of liberals to it. The focus is always on policy with the Neocons (and quite rightly) rather than on their origins. No one really cares about what religion they may or may not follow (least of all their new christian right friends) but about the idiotic secular policies they have inserted into our current government's actions.


Barbara Cornett - 12/10/2003

In giving us the beginnings of the current strageties of the republican party and summing up their short history, Mr Carpenter didn't even mention what the lying republicans have done lately. He barely mentioned anything about the stealing of the presidency and the crimes that happened in Florida.

While we spent eight years of constant harrassment of the Clintons and investigations into their private lives which severely cramped their ability to accomplish their goals for our nation and then seeing our legally elected popular president impeached over lying about a sex act by men who were divorcing their wives and marrying their secretaries, we were put through hell by hypocrites, the media and lying republicans.

We were constantly told that 'we are a nation of laws and not men'. Lies by Presidents were high crimes and misdemeanors and impeachable offenses.

Then we watched as the felons on the Supreme Court gave Bush the Presidency, stating that it was a one time thing and never to be done again. Never to be done again! Of course it should never be done again! It should never have been done the first time because it was illegal and those partisan felons and criminals knew it but they did it anyway. The creepy Renquisht who wished Clinton good luck at his innaguration and told him "you're going to need it" was the very one who then presided over the farce of his impeachment and then turned around and annoited Bush president illegally. who wouldn't get mad?

Then suddenly the world turned upside down. We were told that Bush's lies which took us into an illegal holocaust against the Iraqi people were "no big deal".

The story changed from 'Saddam has wmd that he is going to use against us' to 'we're freeing the Iraqi people'. Rightwingers are too stupid to keep up. They stupidly and adamently and forcefully stated that we had to take out Saddam because he is a threat to us. Then when that turns out to be a lie they just as adamently claim that we have to free the Iraqi people. They think all of the time that they themselves actually have princples that they are upholding. They don't seem to realize that Bush can say one thing one day and then do a 180 and say something different the next day but their support of him never alters. They think we are freeing the Iraqis while our GIs are building bobwire fences around Iraqi communities using tactics taught to them by Israel who secretly has worked along side our Army.

I don't know if they actually believe what they say or not. Perhaps they are just willful and determined to 'win' by any means and the principles of what is really going on is of no concern to them. Perhaps they have extraordinary capacity for self deception. who knows given their capacity for supporting lies and liars.

We watched as Cheney refused to turn over to Congress the records of his secret meetings with engery corporations who drafted US energy policy and which has committed fraud in California and stolen the people's money and which bankrupted CA and then resulted in the recall of the democratic governor there and installed a republican governor who now is cutting social programs and programs for retarded people because, he lyingly claims, too much democratic spending has bankrupted the state.

Cheney can hide in his secret bunker with his secret government and hide documents from Congress and we hear not one peep from the corrupt corporate media or any of those righteous people on the right who spewed bs about us being a nation of laws and not men for 8 years.

It makes me sick to hear rightwingers talk about democrats being losers. What the hell do you think you are? Do you own Hailburon? Do you own ExxonMobile? Are you an Israeli?

When a democrat gets back into the White HOuse and raises taxes to pay off our 6,949,735,319,283 debt are you going to get out of paying your share of those taxes because you are independently wealthy? Losers. At least democrats know what the score is here but you think you are a winner just because you vote republican. I guess those think tanks and money rasing pacs paid off for the republicans since they've certainly suckered you.

The estimated population of the United States is 292,736,637
so each citizen's share of this debt is $23,740.57.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$2.34 billion per day since September 30, 2003! But Bush has not lied when he has stated that the economy is doing better and Wall Street is staging a comeback. Halibuton is certainly doing better and so is the military industrial complex.

All of the hate directed at Clinton was hate generated by think tanks and rightwing radio dogma which was lapped up by the unthinking against a man whom they had to make up reasons to hate him. Clinton had powerful lawyers, some of the best minds in the country and tons of money being used against him. He was the most investigated man in the world. They could not find one crime that he had committed. They had to get him for lying about sex. It was all fixed and crooked.

On the other hand we have legitimate reasons to hate bush. He stole the election. He lied about Iraq. He refuses to turn over to Congress information so they can investigate what he knew and when he knew it regarding 9-11. He is trashing the enviroment and bringing on another ice age so he can line his own pockets. He is a corporate criminal. He turned Iraq's oil over to Exxon Mobile and makes us pay to rebuild Iraq. He spent the surplus and ran up a debt. He is Santa Claus to the rich and just like all the other rightwingers to him the end justifies the means.

We have reasons to hate Bush. Going after Clinton was just dirty politics from rightwing think tanks. Still the rightwing mantra today is that we liberals unjustifialbly hate Bush. Actually the reverse is true and Clinton was unjustifiably hated. The rightwing thinktanks know that Language is very important. So they put the message out there that liberals are acting in a strange and unjust way and there is something wrong with them because for some unknown reason there is this strange phenomon where out of the blue they hate our dear president for no better reason then he is fighting terrorism.

Yeah language is important but its no substitute for thinking. The rightwing chatter about democrats hating bush is about the critical use of language in combating opposition to republicanism. When rightwingers are chattering about democrats hating bush then everyone is distracted from what is actually going on and Bush actions get no critial look. Its not bush after all, its just those crazy liberals who hate him for no reason.

Its interesting to listen to C-Span callers and hear the republican lines of the day and their stragety of language. Meaningless language that could just as easily be spoken by a talking parrot as the talking dittoheads who are the most clueless people on the planet.


Cram - 12/10/2003

Was President Bush any different when he was running? Look at his slogans during the campaign (compassionate conservative, united not a divider, I trust the people, my opponent trusts big government) compared to his philosophy after coming into office.

Of course conservatives tink little of Dean, he is a Democrat challening Bush, and I can assure you nothing that he does will be of any significance to solid Republicans. Thats just the nature of the campaign season.


Bob - 12/10/2003

"I don't hear any conservatives asking to repeal the Social Security Act, nor do I hear any asking for a repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, or the voting rights act, or the numerous other liberal ideas that led to desegregation and higher quality of living for the working poor. As for the lawsuit, remember something called Bush v. Gore (Bush comes first since he was the one who filed the suit)"

Apparently you're not familiar with Republican plans to privatize social security. This wouldn't repeal the Social Security Act but it would amend it drastically. I didn't say Republicans want to repeal the Civil Rights Acts. Why would they? All of those acts ban racial preferences. It is racial preferences they want to repeal, not acts that prohibit racial discrimination.

Bush filed the case in Federal court, but Gore filed originally in the state courts. After Gore lost every single case in the lower courts, all of them heard by Democrat judges, the Florida Supreme Court came through with a decision that was as absurd as it was unconstitutional. And it was unconstitutional on more grounds than the 14th amendment, but the Supreme Court only had so much time.

" 4) "It was liberal Democrats, as I recall, who first advocated budget deficits."

Yeah...to fix the Great Depression!"

Wrong on that one. FDR did not succeed in balancing the budget during the depression, but he tried. Lord Keynes book advocating budget deficits was not published until 1938.

5) "It was liberal Democrats who first insisted that there would be no racial preferences as a result of civil rights laws."

"They insisted that after 400 years of discrimination, desegregation was the only solution."

Desegregation is not a racial preference. Racial preferences give advantages to one race over another.








Bob - 12/10/2003

You're looking at too short a time frame. When Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in 1964, Democrats swept to a 2/3 majority in both houses of Congress. Johnson won 44 states and carried 61% of the popular vote. Republicans have moved steadily uphill since that time. But that still have been a minority. Even in the Reagan years they controlled the Senate for six years but never controlled the House. And they were always in the minority when it came to control of State legislatures.

That is not so today. Republicans are ahead everywhere. They control the Senate, the House, the White House, the majority of governorships and the majority of state legislatures. They haven't had that kind of edge since Hoover.


Bob - 12/10/2003

Saddam Hussein did not kick the U.N. inspectors out of Iraq. Bill Clinton told the inspectors to leave because he was going to bomb. After the bombing, Hussein refused to allow the inspectors to return (Why should he, if he's going to be bombed anyway). Clinton trumped up a reason to bomb Iraq to distract attention from his sexual escapades. Yes, there was no way to cover it up at that point, but remember, he was still denying that he had had sexual relations with her.


David - 12/10/2003


Being angry is liberating, and the newly liberated Dean doesn’t have to worry about having a coherent political philosophy. See how Dean says things on one day that no liberal could say, and attempt to argue he’s actually a centrist. On another day, pick out the things no centrist could say and perhaps conclude that he’s quite liberal.

But the liberated Dean is beyond categories like liberal and centrist because he is beyond coherence. He’ll make a string of outspoken comments over a period of weeks — on “re-regulating” the economy or gay marriage — but none of them have any relation to the others. When you actually try to pin him down on a policy, you often find there is nothing there.

A perfect example of this, when asked how we should proceed in Iraq, he says hawkishly, “We can’t pull out responsibly.” Then on another occasion he says dovishly, “Our troops need to come home,” and explains, fantastically, that we need to recruit 110,000 foreign troops to take the place of our reserves. Then he says we should not be spending billions more dollars there. Then he says again that we have to stay and finish the job.

At each moment, he appears outspoken, blunt and honest, even justifiably angry. But over time he is incoherent and contradictory.


Charles V. Mutschler - 12/10/2003

Bravo, Mr. Catsam.

You've made the obvious point that many of the most vocal partisans are avoiding. The majority of the American public is essentially centrist. a centrist candidate of either party can probably do fairly well, but I don't look for either an Eisenhower or a Truman any time soon. The Democratic party field seems to be moving rapidly in favor of Dean. While he has a great deal of appeal to the Democratic party's liberal wing, Lieberman would be more likely to appeal to the centrist, undecided voters who will be essential to elect a candidate from either party. Dean's anti-war stand sells well to the left, but it could also make him into a William Jennings Bryan redux, especially if the centrists rally round the flag and the President.



Charles V. Mutschler



Matthew Flowers - 12/10/2003

Substantial is a word that you use to refer to the ideas of the conservatives, yet it should be a reference to the size that they have grown the size and expense of the Federal Government. The Conservatives, once in power, have become the party of gigantic government growth. Your statement should have been changed to, "The conservative idea is simple: grow government in any way possible" Even when the military is removed from the equation, Federal spending under Hastert and George II has grown by %19. Liberals are the party of fiscal responsibility, Homeland security (Bush's funding levels are a joke), and middle class growth (insted of Bush's Leave no Billionaire behind plan). With your phony war leaving hundreds of my countrymen dead for nothing, and the jobless recovery causing millions to ask where that growth is going (Halliburton), keep hiding behind your "No ideas" charade


Derek Catsam - 12/10/2003

Democrats and liberals are not one and the same, of course, but they are not exactly dissimilar either. Democrats have gotten the majority of the votes in three consecutive elections. The Senate has been in a virtual deadlock, decided by one vote either way for most of the past decade. The House is fairly solidly Republican, but it is also the most volatile of the elected bodies. It strikes me that things are a wash right now, and to claim that "the left" is angry because they are losing misses out on some fairly salient facts. If anything, I think America is pretty divided along party lines, but the general tendency either way is toward centrism, which, interestingly enough, is apostasy to both staunch conservatives and ardent liberals.


Cram - 12/10/2003

rg,
Thank's for the tip. After reading your post, I read a whole bunch of history books as you said... guess what? My comments were valid.

1) Cram .. get hold of a few history books and read them.

4) "Roosevelt DID NOT "fix" the Great Depression via any econonmic policy he had."

Actually, that was not the point of my quote. I was saying that FDR advocated deficits to fix the depression, not whether it worked or not, simply that the depression was the rationale. It was in response to your comment that liberals have little right to complain since they advocated deficits.

2) In response to my point that it was Bill Clinton who balanced the budget during his term of office, you wrote,
"The President (regardless of who he is) DOES NOT write, create, pass and administer the budget. Appropriations Committess, Ways and Means ... ring a bell?"

rg, well, one 1 out of 4 ain't bad. In fact, the President DOES write and create the budget, and then it is submitted to Congress, who must pass it. Of course, there are amendments, changes, alterations, and so forth, but it is all with the consent and negociation of the President (otherwise he could veto). By the way, when the budget is passed, it is administered by the chief executive (that means the President).

3) "Bill bombed Iraq in a fruitless effort to distract the American people from his rather successful efforts of turning the White House into a whore house."

Ah yes, of course. It still amazes me how conservatives can blast Clinton for not doing enough for terrorism and then condemn him for attacking Iraq, all with a straight face (assiming that you were not giggling as you wrote that). Good to know that conservatives would have preferred a president crippled by personal scandal over a president who can do his job during a time of domestic witch hunts. I do apologize that Saddam chose to throw the inspectors out just as the conservatives were nailing Clinton, but hey, such is life.

4) "While there is no end of liberals who condemn President Bush for the war on Iraq I have yet to hear from a single liberal hypocrite who'll condemn militery action against Iraq to cover up the fact that he's "doing" girls his own daughter's age."

There is a simple reason for that: there is nothing to condemn. Clinton acted when and how he should have, destroyed Hussein's facilities WITH international help. Plus, your chronology is off: the affair was already public by the time Clinton had started the Iraq campaign, so he could not have been doing it to cover up anything.

Just a question: What do YOU believe the correct course of action would have been when Hussein kicked out inspectors? Should Clinton have been too afriad to act, in your opinion? OR should we be thankful he ignored conservative cries of hypocracy and did the right thing?


Jerry West - 12/10/2003

-
Right on, James.

It always amuses me, in a sad sort of way, that so many people look upon politics more as a sporting event than as a serious business of making society a decent place for all citizens to live in.

They pick a team and defend it tenaciously, no matter how good or bad it is, and whether such a defense is based on logic or not.

Witness many of the comments that we see on HNN that have more in common with the drunken bravado of fans at a football game or WWF event than with any form of reasoned logic.

Truth of the matter is that Conservatives (whatever that means these days), Liberals (again, whatever that means now), Socialists, Libertarians and so on all have valid points to bring to the table. Simply picking one over the others and defending it blindly is like playing without a full deck.


rg - 12/10/2003

Cram .. get hold of a few history books and read them.

4) "It was liberal Democrats, as I recall, who first advocated budget deficits."

Yeah...to fix the Great Depression!

Roosevelt DID NOT "fix" the Great Depression via any econonmic policy he had.


6) "It was Bill Clinton who said it wasn't feasible to balance the budget during his term of office."

But, it was Bill Clinton who DID balance the budget during his term of office

The President (regardless of who he is) DOES NOT write, create, pass and administer the budget. Appropriations Committess, Ways and Means ... ring a bell?

7) "and it was Bill Clinton who first accused Saddam Hussein of harboring weapons of mass destruction."

It was also Bill Clinton who, after bombing Iraq (to the chagrin of the Republicans, by the way) said that Iraq was being contained and there was no need to go further.

Bill bombed Iraq in a fruitless effort to distract the American people from his rather successful efforts of turning the White House into a whore house. While there is no end of liberals who condemn President Bush for the war on Iraq I have yet to hear from a single liberal hypocrite who'll condemn militery action against Iraq to cover up the fact that he's "doing" girls his own daughter's age.




James Morrison - 12/10/2003

As is pointed out elsewhere on this comment board, many of the arrogant and ignorant neo-conservatives currently polluting American public discourse began their careers as arrogant and ignorant proponents of the "New Left".

What goes around comes around.

There is a lesson here, kiddies. Those whose spend their time and energy bashing others because those others comb their hair "on the right" or "on the left", tend to have underutilized gray matter beneath their scalps.


New Grammar - 12/10/2003


Thanks to our great team captain, Baghdad will become just another Houston, with plenty of K-Marts everywhere so that everyone can put food on their family and their family on the table, and then the Texas Rangers can be world champignons again.

Illiterates for the Recertification of the Hanging Chads


Marianne - 12/9/2003


Mr markell, you wrote:

"The idea that they all gravitated from the extreme left (Trotskyitism, I suppose) to the extreme right is as much a lie about their beginnings as it is about their end points to date."

Indeed, Irving Kristol DID "gravitate" from Trotskyist" (his term) to extreme right.

See:

http://www.pbs.org/arguing/nyintellectuals_krystol_2.html

From Memoirs of a Trotskyist by Irving Kristol

" I was graduated from City College in the spring of 194O, and the honor I most prized was the fact that I was a member in good standing of the Young People's Socialist League (Fourth International). This organization was commonly; and correctly, designated as Trotskyist (not "Trotskiyite," which was a term used only by the official Communists, or "Stalinists" as we called them, of the day)."


C.R.W. - 12/9/2003


As an independent voter who pays little if any regard to party affiliation in an election, I am not unsympathetic to every idea that comes out of the political right. But if winning is predicated on the conflicting interests (financial and otherwise) that are too quickly becoming the bastion of the right, the left is better off appealing to the kind of unapologetic pot-shot populism espoused by Howard Dean.

Money will only get the conservatives (or anyone else) so far...


Cram - 12/9/2003

David,
I don't know if I would neccessarily agree with your analysis of the article, but I think we see eye to eye on the fact that the minority party will always be "bitter and angry."


David - 12/9/2003


Cram, I have to agree with you on that one. Conservatives foamed at the mouth because of Clinton; and his happy-go-lucky attitude was cause for even more fulminations on their part.

Liberal temper tantrums are nothing more and nothing less. The author's attempts to justify such childishness with accusations that "conservatives are liars" and "bullies", but that's bunk.

Liberals lie too, and are just as mean, if not meaner (just read Barbara Cornett's posts, aka Sinister Southpaw for singular Leftist meanness on this forum).

The losers are always bitter and angry, that's all.


Elia Markell - 12/9/2003

Rather than comment at length, I'd simply suggest that this ...

"The conservative idea is simple: shrink government in any way possible"

... only indicates that dangerous levels of insularity and the utter failure to "know thine enemy" now afflicting the left. Instead of wallowing in P.M.'s type of invective, liberals really ought to spend some time finding out how vastly more substantial conservative ideas are than this simplistic statement suggests. I mean you ought to if you ever expect to win again. As for me, I do not mind all that much if you don't.


Elia Markell - 12/9/2003

Like Freddy, this just won't die, will it?

"Always, there seems, those quick change, ‘intellectuals' ready to join a such a movement. Enter from the extreme far left the Kristols, Krauthammers, Perles, Wolfowitzs, et al. But then it really isn't all that far from the extreme far left to the extreme far right, is it?"

Yes, it's the NEOCON CONSPIRACY! -- or warmed over Protocols of Zion. For in fact, what these four (almost always the four cited) have in common -- in fact, the ONLY thing they have in common, is that they are Jews. The idea that they all gravitated from the extreme left (Trotskyitism, I suppose) to the extreme right is as much a lie about their beginnings as it is about their end points to date. Anti-Semitism is coded in many and wondrous ways these days -- as culture, as national pride (Zionism) as neocon ideology. No matter, the wolf is the same no matter how many sheep skins it dons.


Elia Markell - 12/9/2003

Like Freddy, this just won't die, will it?

"Always, there seems, those quick change, ‘intellectuals' ready to join a such a movement. Enter from the extreme far left the Kristols, Krauthammers, Perles, Wolfowitzs, et al. But then it really isn't all that far from the extreme far left to the extreme far right, is it?"

Yes, it's the NEOCON CONSPIRACY! -- or warmed over Protocols of Zion. For in fact, what these four (almost always the four cited) have in common -- in fact, the ONLY thing they have in common, is that they are Jews. The idea that they all gravitated from the extreme left (Trotskyitism, I suppose) to the extreme right is as much a lie about their beginnings as it is about their end points to date. Anti-Semitism is coded in many and wondrous ways these days -- as culture, as national pride (Zionism) as neocon ideology. No matter, the wolf is the same no matter how many sheep skins it dons.


Elia Markell - 12/9/2003

Rather than comment at length, I'd simply suggest that this ...

"The conservative idea is simple: shrink government in any way possible"

... only indicates that dangerous levels of insularity and the utter failure to "know thine enemy" now afflicting the left. Instead of wallowing in P.M.'s type of invective, liberals really ought to spend some time finding out how vastly more substantial conservative ideas are than this simplistic statement suggests. I mean you ought to if you ever expect to win again. As for me, I do not mind all that much if you don't.


Cram - 12/9/2003

Interesting, the same thing was true of Clinton's response to angry conservatives, even during the impeachment. Back in those days, we liberals were saying the same thing.

Furthermore, for an ideology that claims some of the most hatful speakers anywhere (see Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage), it is funny to see the conservatives try to play down liberal complaints.


David - 12/9/2003


Leftists are mad and throwing their little temper tantrums at Bush, and that's funny. But best of all, he just ignores them. He goes about his day as if they never existed. He makes cracks about free speech, i.e. Australia, and continues on with a smile. They make such asses out of themselves on a daily basis trying to hurt him politically that he needs only to ignore them.


Cram - 12/9/2003

George Will, no angrey liberal by any means, gives a brief overview of the new "now-that-we-are-in-charge-anything-goes" attitude of the conservatives.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/999364.asp?0dm=s17Bk


Ken Melvin - 12/9/2003

Angry because they foresaw social, economic, and environmental problems in the sixties and brought solutions to bear thereon in the sixties and seventies only to have the Reagan era crowd say that were no problems, that what was at play was Jesus Christ's own brand of Social Darwinism, that liberals were all wusses, that indeed the word liberal itself was like snot to be slung off the hand, and then proceed to try to undo all the social and environmental programs enacted since 1932 much as hoards of Huns/Mongols once destroyed earlier human progress.

Who better to fund such a retrograde, regressive movement than a few wealthy right wing nuts thinking themselves to be of strong background in the biological science and of deep understanding of biological systems and of Darwin's insight hence their reading of Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead? Enter stage right the likes of Coors, Scaife, the Bradley brothers, Buckley, etc.

Always, there seems, those quick change, ‘intellectuals' ready to join a such a movement. Enter from the extreme far left the Kristols, Krauthammers, Perles, Wolfowitzs, et al. But then it really isn't all that far from the extreme far left to the extreme far right, is it?

Who would provide the necessary political support for such regressive policy in this the last one-half/one-third of the twentieth century? White southerners, or ducks as Goldwater called them, of course, and others not so bright but to think that the most important thing in the world was to the preserve the status quo as perceived by they themselves as they were told to perceive same by those who pandered such and pandered to such. Crowds to be positioned as desired.

Was it farce or tragedy, this march to the rear? Such greed, avarice, and rudeness had not been seen in land of America since the 19th century. Drivers of Mercedes and Cadillacs parked where they wanted when they wanted and told the peasant class to go screw themselves and that if only they weren't so lazy and evidently inferior they too could have a Mercedes or Cadillac and the good taste that goeth therewith. America became third world with fenced enclaves and all. Universities were once again free of intellectual riffraff of the sixties and fratenities again ruled. Problem solved. Leading by example.

Act two(or Intermission?): Too brief the respite when sanity and civility again prevailed in America and in her relations abroad. Again, for an all to short time, America looked to the future, sought to ensure a future for many a future generation, and asked the present generation to pay its own way and to provide for the future.

Act three: Enter a small minded bully of a president from one of the most socially backward states and his cadre of regressive warty retrograde advisors their greatest wish being to insure the position of the privileged and assign any costs incurred to future generations of the working class. To date, to insure re-election, this lot has spent some half-trillion dollars of our children and grandchildren's money (costs three times as much to elect in the first place and he didn't really win then but the buyers got their money back and then some with more to come). So, today, again, on her street, in her public places, and abroad; Americans are again rude, inconsiderate, greedy and act as bullies so as to be patriotic because the president acts as a bully and to do else would be unpatriotic.

Act four: Next


Cram - 12/9/2003

Bob,
A few comments on your post.
1) "But it wasn't lies that produced the conservative success. It was ideas. The liberals simply didn't have any and still don't."

I can accept a conservative backlash after the liberal high of the 60's, or a conservative resuurection based on increase unity, but to suggest that libeals had no ideas? The conservative idea is simple: shrink government in any way possible. Liberals were the ones who came up with environmental protection, immigration reform, medicare, medicaid, federal regulatory agencies, etc. and now they are proposing universal healthcare, and fiscal responsibility... sounds good to me.

2) "After forty years their stock answer to every question is still to expand the welfare state or pass some form of "civil rights" law, or better yet, file a lawsuit."

I don't hear any conservatives asking to repeal the Social Security Act, nor do I hear any asking for a repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, or the voting rights act, or the numerous other liberal ideas that led to desegregation and higher quality of living for the working poor. As for the lawsuit, remember something called Bush v. Gore (Bush comes first since he was the one who filed the suit)

3) "P.M. propounds at length about all the conservative lies but fails to document a single one. Even conservatives could do better than that."

Like Hannity, Limbagh, and Coulter, who spew out lies on a daily basis? Read one chaper from Al Franken's book or any others the author mentions, trust me, there is no shortage of lies on the right, and they have been documented in any bookstore.

4) "It was liberal Democrats, as I recall, who first advocated budget deficits."

Yeah...to fix the Great Depression!

5) "It was liberal Democrats who first insisted that there would be no racial preferences as a result of civil rights laws."

They insisted that after 400 years of discrimination, desegregation was the only solution.

6) "It was Bill Clinton who said it wasn't feasible to balance the budget during his term of office."

But, it was Bill Clinton who DID balance the budget during his term of office

7) "and it was Bill Clinton who first accused Saddam Hussein of harboring weapons of mass destruction."

It was also Bill Clinton who, after bombing Iraq (to the chagrin of the Republicans, by the way) said that Iraq was being contained and there was no need to go further.


Bob - 12/9/2003

Forty years ago there weren't any conservative think tanks and very little conservative media. Politically the conservative house was divided. They were the minority in both political parties. They've come a long way since that time and liberals just can't stand it. But it wasn't lies that produced the conservative success. It was ideas. The liberals simply didn't have any and still don't. After forty years their stock answer to every question is still to expand the welfare state or pass some form of "civil rights" law, or better yet, file a lawsuit.

P.M. propounds at length about all the conservative lies but fails to document a single one. Even conservatives could do better than that. But one side's "truth" is the other side's "lies, distortions, and propaganda." It was liberal Democrats, as I recall, who first advocated budget deficits. It was liberal Democrats who first insisted that there would be no racial preferences as a result of civil rights laws. It was Bill Clinton who said it wasn't feasible to balance the budget during his term of office, and it was Bill Clinton who first accused Saddam Hussein of harboring weapons of mass destruction.


Cram - 12/8/2003

An interesting article.


Elia Markell - 12/8/2003

I've got news for P.M. from the vast right-wing conspiracy. We are not carping. We are quite happy. Happy that so many on the left think their anger is so patently justified that it will also be good politics to vent it. In fact, unless, you all get a grip, you are headed for oblivion.

Also amusing is P.M.'s notion that right-wing bullying has brought the left to this boiling point. Yes, of course, all those right-wingers, for example, who've been hauling students into administrative hearings on campuses for failing to stand up and salute the flag at football games. Or for not saying Mr. and Mrs. when addressing their professors. I mean it really is an oppressive, Orwellian world for anyone who want to wear his hair long and chill out at the student union.

Or perhaps P.M. has in mind the plethora of signs equating Nancy Pelosi with Madamn Nhu or those hammer and sickles pasted all over the DNC building, or the accusations that Ted Kennedy killed his brothers so he could shine in the Senate instead. Or the calls for Earl Warren's impeachment (opps, that last is too ludicrous to bother with.)

Earth to P.M. Read Al Franken today. Now, read him ten years ago. Or read Chomsky 25 years ago, when he was blaming the Khmer Rouge on the CIA. Face it, the left's anger is nothing new. It is in fact definitional. All that "struggle" this, "smash" that, "build" this and "contest" that. When you are in a hurray because you have a new world order to construct, the real world tends to stub your toe pretty quick. Ever hear someone who just stubbed his toe in the dark. That's the angry left. As W says, bring 'em on.


David - 12/8/2003


This piece is more suited to the LA Times op-ed section.

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