Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's Really Happening

For the first time since 1992, the Democrats managed to nominate a charismatic, optimistic, and energizing candidate instead of an effete, pessimistic introvert. He's going to win this thing and he's going to shift the national discourse back towards the left for a generation, the way Reagan did it for the right.

And he's going to be America's first black president.

230 days until our national embarrassment is gone and we have a president we can be proud of again.

73 comments:

Lubab No More said...

230 days!?
Is it really that long?

Anonymous said...

I would not be too sanguine about Obama's chances - the electorate will not be confident in his ability to handle the national defense.

He will be pummelled by Hilary and her minions (aside from McCain) if she's not chosen as a running mate.

The corruption charges, the pastor-association, the paltry record in the legislature will all produce a McCain victory in November.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Tigerboy said...

Obama is so totally gonna win.

asher said...

How this guy got as far as he did just shows the power of the media and how folks can be (for lack of a better word) bamboozled by hype. At least JA admits it's not cause he's black (or half-black) that Obama appeals to him, but that he's as leftist as left can be. Not liberal, but leftist. Putting your trust in someone with such a specious record, a background that lacks anything resembling leadership or even committment to anything really gets me worried.
Reagan was called an empty suit because he just told you what you wanted to hear in flowery terms. But, who was the last person who stood before huge glowing crowds to their adjulation while talking in platitudes with no concrete context....give you a hint...he failed his application to art school.

Tigerboy said...

Perhaps, I should elaborate.

First of all, the current administration has been such a complete travesty, I believe that there are many, many people who feel much like people did after Watergate.

People are so totally over the Republican bullshit. This president is the most reviled since Nixon. The Democrats could nominate Peter Cottontail, and he would hippity-hop, hippity-hop right down Pennsylvania Avenue.

As it is, the Democrats have FINALLY nominated someone of whom we can all be truly proud.

Barack Obama is an extraordinarily inspiring speaker. It has been so long since we have had a president who could even get through an entire speech without inserting his foot in his mouth. The ONLY compelling thing about Bush's speeches was trying to figure out how he was going to get the other foot in there, too. He was a complete embarrassment. He still is, but I just can't wait to start describing him as "was."

Barack Obama will make history. That has excited, and will continue to excite, a LOT of people. And rightfully so. It is high time. The American Electorate is sick and tired of being seen as racist. And sexist. They are more sick of being seen as racist.

Because of the unique nature of this history making primary, with so many people being just as excited about the potential of a woman in the White House, I believe that Obama will choose Clinton to be his running mate.

If he does, they are unstoppable.

Tigerboy said...

asher:

I love your clarification "Not liberal, but leftist."

The days of "liberal = a dirty word" are already waning.

Orthoprax said...

I like Obama on a good number of issues, but on the most pressing issues (read: foreign policy) I think McCain has it right.

In either case, even though I'm wary of sweet talking politicians, I think both men show depth of character and principle so I'm hopeful no matter who gets elected in November. It won't be like last election when I was voting for 'least bad candidate.'

The Candy Man said...

Man, you totally captured it with this post. Obama actually has *charisma* -- the secret ingredients that the Democrats have been lacking!

Let's hope he picks a veep with some charisma, too. Then we'll be looking at 16 years of good governance.

FedUp said...

It tickles me to death that he's made it this far. I think I'll pass out from sheer joy when he wins the General Election.

An obvious thing that I only became conscious of today... Many if not most notable Republicans focus on criticizing, condemning, and discrediting Obama without telling us why we should vote for McCain.

I listen to "Intelligent" Conservative (isn't that an oxymoron?) Talk Radio for a number of reasons, one of which is to keep my feet on the ground about Obama, as I could see myself in a constant state of swooning from every word he says. MedVed, Limbau, and even McCain himself, about 70% of their talk is about "that's not change we can believe in" or "Obama has NO experience" or, ::gasp:: "What a liberal!" and other negative statements about Obama.

Obama on the other hand is all about the positive. He focuses on hope and change. He wants to better America and he spends little time speaking negatively about his opponents. I always admired how he spoke so kindly of Hilary.

It's exciting to have a politician that you can be proud of and actually like as a person. I really like the guy. He seems like the type of guy you'd want to have around while putting down a couple of cold ones with the guys, just talking.

OP,
What exactly don't you like about Obama's foreign policy and in what way is McCain's better?

Unfortunately, the poor guy can't keep his notes straight and he's a god-awful speaker. I can't make heads or tails of this supposed "straight talker."

The only way for McCain to win is by using fear, fear of threats to national security, fear of inexperience, and fear of change for the better. Fear is very powerful and motivational.

Have the audacity of hope to vote for change in a better America.

OBAMA for PRESIDENT 2008!

Holy Hyrax said...

>First of all, the current administration has been such a complete travesty, I believe that there are many, many people who feel much like people did after Watergate.

Yes, we all heard these same slogans, but here is something interesting that people over look:

Less widely appreciated are Mr. Bush's achievements in Africa, which are worth marking...Mr. Bush has committed $15 billion to fight AIDS and HIV in Africa, and the result is that the number of Africans benefiting from anti-retroviral drugs has soared to 1.3 million today from 50,000 a few years ago.

Mr. Bush hasn't gotten much credit for this among the American public, but, as a BBC interviewer noted yesterday, his approval rating in Africa is in the 80% range, which is astonishingly high. The numbers are borne out by the Pew Global Attitudes survey. Critics of Mr. Bush seize on the low numbers in that survey for people's opinion of America in the Europe or in parts of the Arab world. But a 2007 Pew survey found 88% of those in the Ivory Coast view America favorably, 87% of those in Kenya, 80% of those in Ghana, and 79% of those in Mali. These numbers top the Pew charts.


http://www.nysun.com/editorials/bush-of-africa/71401/

Orthoprax said...

Fed,

"What exactly don't you like about Obama's foreign policy and in what way is McCain's better?"

We've gone over this before. I don't think it's smart to leave Iraq if the consequences are unstopped ethnic conflict and anarchy which will be a hotbed for extremists and terrorist-types. And not only is that dumb, we messed with the status quo in the first place and it's plain wrong to leave before we put things back into a semblance of order.

I think Obama is wrong when he wants to unconditionally sit down with America's enemies since negotiating without leverage is a sign of weakness. Does he think he'll disarm Iran with his charm?

For the record too, in case you didn't know, this isn't foreign policy but Obama wants to cut NASA which I don't like at all.

McCain seriously has the experience and moral credibility to know when to play hardball with our enemies while redeeming our image overseas by, for example, forthrightly rejecting mistreatment of prisoners. I think he knows firsthand how the world doesn't fit itself into neat abstractions and that he holds a more realistic approach to international relations.

But yes, Obama does speak very nicely. I just *hope* his dreams don't blow up in our faces.

Holy Hyrax said...

>Fear is very powerful and motivational.

As if the other side doesn't use it. Fear of loosing your rights. Fear of a fascist state. Fear of the environmental doomsday scenarios. Accusations of bigotry and racism are overused to silence any discussion.

btw- I like that slogan; "Change," its nice and vague and gets the crowd jumping in support and looks great on bumper stickers.

Holy Hyrax said...

For the record, I think Obama will win, even though I am against his policies.

I think McCain will not be able to sell himself the way Obama is capable of. Lets face it, people are comparing him to Kennedy, and are simply attracted and yurn for the charm and that really drives many of the voters.

I also think the media in general is in love with him and that will help him.

Orthoprax said...

We have a running contest in my house. I had it predicted way back in January that Obama'd win the general election.

CyberKitten said...

Orthoprax said: I don't think it's smart to leave Iraq if the consequences are unstopped ethnic conflict and anarchy which will be a hotbed for extremists and terrorist-types.

Erm... That's what its like *now* - BECAUSE we invaded & trashed their country.

If McCain wins & the US stays in Iraq for the LONG haul (didn't he say something about 100 years?) I suggest that you're going to need a *lot* more mercenaries because you certainly won't have any allies.

You'll also need to do something about your economy if your going to be able to afford a LONG term occupation as well as any future wars the US in intending to start with other 3rd World countries.

Orthoprax said...

Cyber,

"Erm... That's what its like *now* - BECAUSE we invaded & trashed their country."

And therefore we should just leave before they have a decent chance to regain law and order? How does that follow?

I wasn't enthusiastic about the war when it started and I was among the Bush bashers early on for getting us into an unnecessary conflict but it's dumb and wrong to leave before the job is done.

"If McCain wins & the US stays in Iraq for the LONG haul (didn't he say something about 100 years?)"

He seems uncommitted about the length of time troops are there - and I agree with him. The goal is about the conditions on the ground not whether American soldiers are technically on Iraqi soil or not. If American troops are there the same way they are in South Korea or Japan, who cares?

"You'll also need to do something about your economy if your going to be able to afford a LONG term occupation"

And you don't think the costs would be much higher if we find we need to go back into Iraq in 10-20 years? Not to mention the windfall it would be for Iran to suddenly have unopposed influence in the country.

Finish the job. We can make an American ally in the heart of the Middle East and have our troops come home without making their sacrifices for naught.

CyberKitten said...

Orthoprax said: And therefore we should just leave before they have a decent chance to regain law and order? How does that follow?

Just how long do we need to stay to clear up our own mess? Another 5years? Another 20?

Orthoprax said: I wasn't enthusiastic about the war when it started and I was among the Bush bashers early on for getting us into an unnecessary conflict but it's dumb and wrong to leave before the job is done.

The job being stability? That could take quite a while... and quite a lot of lives (on both sides) in the process.

Orthoprax said: He seems uncommitted about the length of time troops are there - and I agree with him. The goal is about the conditions on the ground not whether American soldiers are technically on Iraqi soil or not.

So, you're happy for American soldiers to be fighting any dying in Iraq for generations to come? Is that even sustainable?

Orthoprax said: If American troops are there the same way they are in South Korea or Japan, who cares?

Good question. Why exactly *are* US forces in S.Korea & Japan? For that matter why are UK forces still in Germany?

Orthoprax said: And you don't think the costs would be much higher if we find we need to go back into Iraq in 10-20 years?

And we would need to do that because......?

Orthoprax said: Not to mention the windfall it would be for Iran to suddenly have unopposed influence in the country.

Ah, of course... the new 'baddie' on the block... We can't let IRAN have a free hand can we? [laughs] What about CHINESE influence in Africa. Should we be sending troops *there* too to make sure that their plans aren't unopposed...

Orthoprax said: We can make an American ally in the heart of the Middle East and have our troops come home without making their sacrifices for naught.

So, now that we've made a complete hash of things we'll keep sacrificing lives until we have a situation we can live with? Now *that's* a great foreign policy!

Orthoprax said...

Cyber,

"Just how long do we need to stay to clear up our own mess? Another 5years? Another 20?"

I don't know, but as a matter of policy we should be more concerned with success rather than retreat. I'd be more than happy if American troops were all home next year, but it's just dumb to leave before the job is finished.

"The job being stability? That could take quite a while... and quite a lot of lives (on both sides) in the process."

And it would take fewer lives if we gave into anarchy?

"So, you're happy for American soldiers to be fighting any dying in Iraq for generations to come? Is that even sustainable?"

Like I said, if they were there like they're in Japan. When's the last time an American soldier died in Japan?

"Good question. Why exactly *are* US forces in S.Korea & Japan? For that matter why are UK forces still in Germany?"

I don't know about UK troops, but the US has an interest in maintaining a military presence abroad. In SK and Japan we are protecting them - especially since Japan is constitutionally bound to not have any serious armed forces of their own.

"And we would need to do that because......?"

Because where there's anarchy and Muslim extremists there are terrorist breeding grounds. And America is a huge target.

"Ah, of course... the new 'baddie' on the block... We can't let IRAN have a free hand can we? [laughs] What about CHINESE influence in Africa. Should we be sending troops *there* too to make sure that their plans aren't unopposed..."

I don't see why you laugh. Iran is a serious threat who seeks regional hegemony and to harm us and our allies. China is just our rival who abuses human rights.

"So, now that we've made a complete hash of things we'll keep sacrificing lives until we have a situation we can live with? Now *that's* a great foreign policy!"

Yes, of course. Unless you prefer a situation we can die with.

Ok, that was a little over the top but there are two paths in front of us. One that leads to greater peace and democracy in the world and another which leads to anarchy and dangerous theocratic hegemony. I prefer the first path.

jewish philosopher said...

I think Obama is a reincarnation of Jimmy Carter, but that may be better than an other George W. Obama's got my vote.

wake up said...

i gotta ask, what has obama done for this country? [except for a whole lot of talking, which if you pay close enough attention to, you will realize amounts to nothin at all] what does it mean if all of our enemies from castro to al-naseera, from hamas to al queda, from bin laden to ahmenjijwhatever, the evil, and unjust ones, want obama in charge? these are people who would like to see the destruction of our country, in fact we dont even have to go so far, his spiritual mentor, his pastor, the man who baptized his children, officiated his wedding, and guided him politically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually for FIFTEEN years would also like to see the destruction of america, white america ["goverment invented crack to keep the black man down,god damn america, louis farakana a white hating, antisemetic sick creepy scumbag is my hero,the white man rapes our children"] but obama will unify us all.SURE. right after all the 'change' he will do. im very excited about the 'change', i really cant wait for barack hussein to 'change' us all what a load on monkey stink. i concede he looks nice and sounds nice but youre not dating him and hes not running for a beauty pagent, come on were talking about the next leader of our country he dosent have to be charming or eloquent, we dont need style we need substance, smarten up

Jewish Atheist said...

Orthoprax:

Ok, that was a little over the top but there are two paths in front of us. One that leads to greater peace and democracy in the world and another which leads to anarchy and dangerous theocratic hegemony. I prefer the first path.

How can you be so confident in your two paths? It's not clear to me that 1) there's anything we can do to reach the goal of greater peace and democracy w/r/t Iraq or 2) that staying would get us closer than leaving would.

Everybody would be for staying if it meant leaving behind a stable, democratic Iraq in a few years. The problem is that it seems more likely that staying five years would ultimately leave us the same result as leaving in one... but with a lot more dead Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars down the drain.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

Against my expectations the surge actually seems effective and violence in the country has been way down from the almost daily attacks of last year. Cease fires have been drawn and the different factions now seem to be on the verge of making an accord to bring stability and order. It has been reported that Sunnis now are overwhelmingly eager to engage in a democratic contest rather than continuing violence.

None of this would have been possible if our troops were not present.

If things continue as they have been then we can be confident that Iraq is capable of being the stable democracy for which we all hope.

We're not out of the woods yet, of course, but maintaining troop presence is key for continuing the political progress.

Jewish Atheist said...

There's no question the violence has gone down but that doesn't imply that stable democracy is likely. How long would you estimate we have to stay, and at what levels?

I also think that if it's clear by next year that things really are heading in the right direction in Iraq and that our continued presence will help, Obama will not just yank out the troops willy-nilly. Actually, I think both he and McCain are likely to do what they think is right in Iraq rather than what's politically expedient. I'm just more worried about what McCain is likely to think is right. (Even if it turns out he was right about the surge, he was wrong about the far larger question of the war.)

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"There's no question the violence has gone down but that doesn't imply that stable democracy is likely. How long would you estimate we have to stay, and at what levels?"

The fact that each faction has shown willingness to engage in a democratic process and turn away from violence is a good sign that a stable democracy is within reach. Troops levels have already begun to decline and if things go as well as they have then I suspect we could potentially see US forces cut down by a third or more by next year.

The point is I believe our military presence should depend on facts as they are rather than a timetable which will tie our hands.

"I also think that if it's clear by next year that things really are heading in the right direction in Iraq and that our continued presence will help, Obama will not just yank out the troops willy-nilly."

Perhaps. I don't know. After all, he has campaign promises to keep. But it's not just a matter of this particular policy, it demonstrates a kind of understanding of international relations which McCain seems to understand and Obama really doesn't.

"(Even if it turns out he was right about the surge, he was wrong about the far larger question of the war.)"

Well, yes, but at the time and given the information he had it was the right call. Saddam was posturing as if he had 'WMDs' and that he was willing to use them.

It turned out he was just pretending and Bush was playing a little fast and loose with the facts, but I don't think it demonstrates a blow to McCain's judgement.

CyberKitten said...

Orthoprax said: And it would take fewer lives if we gave into anarchy?

You mean a greater level of anarchy? It's pretty anarchic out there as it is. Of course most of the attacks are being made against American troops and their allies. If US troops withdrew - wouldn't the level of attacks drop... probably at a far faster level than those apparently caused by the 'surge'.

Orthoprax said: When's the last time an American soldier died in Japan?

I've no idea - but it probably helps that they're not universally hated and being fired at on a daily basis.

Orthoprax said: In SK and Japan we are protecting them - especially since Japan is constitutionally bound to not have any serious armed forces of their own.

I can understand the logic of US forces being based in South Korea - but who exactly are the US protecting *Japan* from? I also understand that the JDF are going through a period of sustained growth and are even talking about building nukes.

Orthoprax said: Because where there's anarchy and Muslim extremists there are terrorist breeding grounds. And America is a huge target.

Oh, you mean the present situation that *we* caused by invading for no valid reason? Maybe we shouldn't have attacked them in the first place? Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? Maybe we'll think a bit harder before we or the US attack yet another country?

Orthoprax said: I don't see why you laugh. Iran is a serious threat who seeks regional hegemony and to harm us and our allies.

Iran is not a 'serious threat' to the West. It is an irritant & an annoyance but a threat? Hardly! By 'our allies' you presumably mean Israel? Are you saying that we should 'stay the course' in Iraq in order to prevent Iran from attacking Israel at some unknown point in the future?

Orthoprax said: Yes, of course. Unless you prefer a situation we can die with.

I would prefer a situation that didn't revolve around killing thousands of people over the next 5, 10 or 50 years in order to make ourselves look good and assuage some of our guilt for causing this 'situation' in the first place.

Orthoprax said: there are two paths in front of us. One that leads to greater peace and democracy in the world and another which leads to anarchy and dangerous theocratic hegemony. I prefer the first path.

Gotcha... Attacking countries, killing people and causing chaos in an already unstable region is the best way to peace and democracy in the world. Sounds like a sensible plan to me [laughs].

Orthoprax said: We're not out of the woods yet, of course, but maintaining troop presence is key for continuing the political progress.

I think I've heard that one before - about a year ago... or was it two... maybe three. I also wonder how long people can keep saying that with a straight face. "Just give us one more year... things are improving. See I told you that we could get things back on track - and we haven't even reached 50 years yet... despite attacking Iran...." I can just hear the excuses....

Jewish Atheist said...

But it's not just a matter of this particular policy, it demonstrates a kind of understanding of international relations which McCain seems to understand and Obama really doesn't.

Really? Obama got that this was an unnecessary war. McCain didn't. And for all of McCain's decades in the Senate, I see no evidence that he's learned anything about foreign policy. I'm sure he still thinks Vietnam was a good idea.

Well, yes, but at the time and given the information he had it was the right call. Saddam was posturing as if he had 'WMDs' and that he was willing to use them.

Come on, the whole WMD argument was stupid even if he had them. He was no threat to us because he had no delivery system. Iraq was not a threat and McCain either should have known that or did know it but didn't care. Also, either he knew the Bushies were BSing about the costs and time it would take or he displayed no understanding at all about what it would take to pacify such a country.

FedUp said...

It turned out he was just pretending and Bush was playing a little fast and loose with the facts, but I don't think it demonstrates a blow to McCain's judgement.

You got to be kidding be. That's the understatement of the year. There was ZERO reason to go into Iraq. Bush had an obvious bias to pick Iraq to traipse into with his war machines.
This article goes through the process and shows the gaping holes. We should have never gone into Iraq and we need to leave and let them govern themselves, just like every other country.

Honestly, I can't understand how any rational person could defend the war on Iraq. It was unjustified and the longer we are there the more stupid we look. If we leave, it will not be a defeat. You can only be defeated in a war. This was just a military intrusion led by a two bit president who feels he can send soldiers to die at his whim. Sure, we might be able to do some good in Iraq and we may have improved things but we can't just shove democracy down a country's throat. Sure, we can't just disappear in a flash now that we're neck deep in horse shit but you can't go to war for no reason and you can't keep a forced active military force in a country for no reason.

We need to get back our good reputation. America is seen as a bull-headed bully by the free world. Where are our allies? Where is our support?

FedUp said...

One that leads to greater peace and democracy in the world and another which leads to anarchy and dangerous theocratic hegemony. I prefer the first path.

And I suppose a military invasion of every theocratic, or dictator run country in a state of anarchy is the path you choose? WTF?

Get involved in a messy war for no reason, send troops to die for no reason, spend billions on dollars on said war for no reason. Stay as long as we can stoop the american people so that more people can die and more money can be spent. Sounds like a good path to peace. HA!

Try diplomacy and peaceful negotiations unless and until there is a real threat and no other option but to go to war? How stupid can you be?!

Honestly!

Holy Hyrax said...

>He was no threat to us because he had no delivery system.

I don't understand. So you wait till he HAS a delivery system? (whatever that means).

>Honestly, I can't understand how any rational person could defend the war on Iraq.

What Orthoprax is saying is its irrelevant now if it was a bad move. You are in. You need to fix it. And though I agree that you cannot shove democracy down someones throat, what is the alternative RIGHT NOW? Leaving is ridiculous. Attacks are down and from what I here, and I may be wrong (but I guess who you ask). The surge is working. Attacks are down both on military and civilians. So even though you can't force anyone to accept anything, the best thing to do NOW is fix what you started. What would leaving help?

CyberKitten said...

Holy Hyrax said: So you wait till he HAS a delivery system? (whatever that means).

No. What we *should* do is to attack any countries that *say* they have WMD without any credible evidence that they do *actually* have any - just to be on the safe side.

Oh, and a 'delivery system' is just another way of saying 'bomb' or 'missile' without upsetting people too much - a bit like 'collateral damage' often means killing innocent women & children.

Orthoprax said...

Cyber,

"You mean a greater level of anarchy? It's pretty anarchic out there as it is. Of course most of the attacks are being made against American troops and their allies."

No, most of the attacks are against Iraqi civilians. American troops and allies are saving lives every day.

"who exactly are the US protecting *Japan* from?"

That's why they're there. Whether they still need to be there or whether they ought to be there are interesting questions but not particularly relevant ones.

"Iran is not a 'serious threat' to the West. It is an irritant & an annoyance but a threat? Hardly!"

Ok, well I'm glad you're not in charge then. I guess you believe that Iran is just purifying uranium for power plants, huh?

"By 'our allies' you presumably mean Israel? Are you saying that we should 'stay the course' in Iraq in order to prevent Iran from attacking Israel at some unknown point in the future?"

Yes, 'our allies' includes Israel. And yes, I think it's good policy to keep Iran from attacking Israel. And that is helped by not giving Iraq over to anarchy and Iranian influence.

"I would prefer a situation that didn't revolve around killing thousands of people over the next 5, 10 or 50 years in order to make ourselves look good and assuage some of our guilt for causing this 'situation' in the first place."

And that would involve what? Allowing tens of thousands of people to kill each other, severely destabilizing the region and giving a windfall to our enemies? No thank you.

"Gotcha... Attacking countries, killing people and causing chaos in an already unstable region is the best way to peace and democracy in the world. Sounds like a sensible plan to me [laughs]."

No, I didn't say that. Obviously. I don't get it. Why do you bother posting if you're just interested in scoring 'zings' rather than listening to what I'm saying?



JA,

"Really? Obama got that this was an unnecessary war. McCain didn't."

Yes, I think he got lucky. He also wasn't in a position of responsibility so he could afford to play the dove. He happened to be right, but I don't believe it was based on the facts - especially the classified ones which he didn't have access to.

"And for all of McCain's decades in the Senate, I see no evidence that he's learned anything about foreign policy."

I think his voting record shows a good understanding of it.

"Come on, the whole WMD argument was stupid even if he had them. He was no threat to us because he had no delivery system."

We know that _now_ but at the time Saddam was strutting his stuff. Virtually every intelligence agency in the world was convinced he had WMDs.

"Also, either he knew the Bushies were BSing about the costs and time it would take or he displayed no understanding at all about what it would take to pacify such a country."

Yes, you're right about that. He clearly thought it would've been an easy victory and that our troops would be celebrated in the streets. But as soon as the insurgency began McCain was the only one in Congress calling for a surge in troop levels - which, as it turns out, seems to be exactly what should have been done four and a half years ago.

Holy Hyrax said...

>No. What we *should* do is to attack any countries that *say* they have WMD without any credible evidence that they do *actually* have any - just to be on the safe side.

I was responding to JA's comment about Iraq not being a threat even if they DID have them since they have no means of delivering it.

Jewish Atheist said...

HH:

I don't understand. So you wait till he HAS a delivery system? (whatever that means).

Missiles capable of reaching the U.S. He had none. He was not a threat to us. He couldn't have gotten them without us figuring it out, either. Besides, we can't go overthrow every single country that has WMDs, can we?


ortho:

Yes, I think he got lucky. He also wasn't in a position of responsibility so he could afford to play the dove. He happened to be right, but I don't believe it was based on the facts - especially the classified ones which he didn't have access to.

Classified facts which said what that could have made this war a good idea?

We know that _now_ but at the time Saddam was strutting his stuff. Virtually every intelligence agency in the world was convinced he had WMDs.

We now know (if you believe McClellan, Perle, and others) that Bush deliberately skewed the intel to play up the idea that he had WMDs. And anyway, as I pointed out above, "WMDs" other than nukes aren't particularly relevant anyway.

Yes, you're right about that. He clearly thought it would've been an easy victory and that our troops would be celebrated in the streets. But as soon as the insurgency began McCain was the only one in Congress calling for a surge in troop levels - which, as it turns out, seems to be exactly what should have been done four and a half years ago.

So he's 1 for 2, with the one he missed being the more important?

Obama saw EXACTLY what was going on in 2002:

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne...

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.... The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.


He saw all that then. Why didn't McCain?

Holy Hyrax said...

>Missiles capable of reaching the U.S. He had none. He was not a threat to us. He couldn't have gotten them without us figuring it out, either. Besides, we can't go overthrow every single country that has WMDs, can we?

So an Iraq with nukes is acceptable to you? What about other countries in the region?

>Besides, we can't go overthrow every single country that has WMDs, can we?

I don't know, personally I think we should go for France next. But no, I obviously don't agree we should go for every WMD carrying country unless they are a threat.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"Classified facts which said what that could have made this war a good idea?"

Classified CIA documents which strongly pushed the idea that Iraq had WMDs.

"He saw all that then. Why didn't McCain?"

Because McCain saw a dictator who sponsored terrorism (which he did) and was very likely stockpiling all sorts of WMDs which he'd use to blackmail his neighbors and the world. And as he knew the given intelligence, invasion was a prudent course of action.

Orthoprax said...

Fed,

"And I suppose a military invasion of every theocratic, or dictator run country in a state of anarchy is the path you choose? WTF?"

No, I never said any such thing. As I said, I was unenthusiastic about the Iraq war before it started. But I think there was a reasonable argument for war at the time, given what they knew, and that it's foolish to leave now without finishing the job.

Jewish Atheist said...

HH:

So an Iraq with nukes is acceptable to you?

Nukes were never plausible in 2002.

What about other countries in the region?

We have to weigh the harm of other countries having nukes with the harm of whatever we want to do about it.

But no, I obviously don't agree we should go for every WMD carrying country unless they are a threat.

So you still maintain Iraq was a threat?


ortho:

Because McCain saw a dictator who sponsored terrorism (which he did) and was very likely stockpiling all sorts of WMDs which he'd use to blackmail his neighbors and the world. And as he knew the given intelligence, invasion was a prudent course of action.

Prudent. Right.

Holy Hyrax said...

>Nukes were never plausible in 2002.

How come? I mean, is a warhead with biological weapons better?

>We have to weigh the harm of other countries having nukes with the harm of whatever we want to do about it.

No, I meant other countries being in missle fire range.

>So you still maintain Iraq was a threat?

From what I know now, no. But that is separate from the question of whether we should go or stay.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"Prudent. Right."

Do you think McCain supported war for other reasons than what the intelligence suggested? Or do you think he should have somehow known that the intelligence had failed?

FedUp said...

Do you think McCain supported war for other reasons than what the intelligence suggested? Or do you think he should have somehow known that the intelligence had failed?

I don't know why he or anyone else supported an unbased military invasion into Iraq... maybe they were just plain stupid. I think he should have paid attention to the facts before supporting rushing mindlessly into Iraq.

I think there was a reasonable argument for war at the time, given what they knew, and that it's foolish to leave now without finishing the job.

Well, there certainly was no reasonable argument at the time or ever and there is no job to finish, just a mess and we have to clean it up. But let's do it as efficiently as possible.

Holy Hyrax said...

>maybe they were just plain stupid.

I guess then every other country like England and Australia were all stupid as well, because we all know you sat down with them looking at every piece of information they received.

Orthoprax said...

Fed,

I don't think you're being very fair. Dam lekaf zchut - you genuinely don't believe they thought Saddam didn't pose a threat based on the intelligence made available to them?

Tigerboy said...

The world is full of "threats."

Who should we invade next? How about after that? These bad guys are just going to have to wait their turn.

I always thought it very funny that they called the invading forces "The Coalition of the Willing." A lack of a true coalition was precisely the problem. Calling it "The Coalition" always sounded like wishful thinking.

FedUp said...

Dam lekaf zchut - you genuinely don't believe they thought Saddam didn't pose a threat based on the intelligence made available to them?

It's very hard to dan lekah zchus someone with so many deaths in his hands. He and all who supported the military invasion of Iraq, f*cked up big time. Fes up and get out! Be a man! Don't let more of your people die because of your grave mistake.

See war is something you have to be 100% certain of or at least as much as possible. There were politicians that were against it. There was OPEN AND CLEAR evidence to the contrary. But no, Bush and McCain were hot and heavy to have American soldiers put their lives on the line for their supposed "miscalculations and misinterpretations."

Come on!

HH,

I honestly don't know why anyone would be in such a rush. Maybe America twisted their arm, maybe they had delusions of granduer i.e. they thought it was gonna be bing bang thank you mam in Iraq. WTF do I know.

Soldiers are dieing on FALSE PREMISES. Don't you think that's a little bit of a problem?

Orthoprax said...

Fed,

"Fes up and get out! Be a man! Don't let more of your people die because of your grave mistake."

One bad mistake doesn't justify a second bad mistake.

Holy Hyrax said...

> Fes up and get out! Be a man! Don't let more of your people die because of your grave mistake.

You haven't responded at all to any of the comments above as to why that is a horrible mistake as well.


>I honestly don't know why anyone would be in such a rush. Maybe America twisted their arm, maybe they had delusions of granduer i.e. they thought it was gonna be bing bang thank you mam in Iraq. WTF do I know.

Well give it some thoughts then. Maybe, just maybe they DID believe the evidence was sound and they needed to assist the US. I give countries more benefit of the doubt in going to war for simple delusions of granduer.

FedUp said...

One bad mistake doesn't justify a second bad mistake.

or a third or a fourth or a 4092nd. Why is human life so cheap that we will let people die to clean up our shit?

Listen, I said we can't just pull out in a flash. Obama doesn't plan out ordering plane tickets for all our troops the second he gets elected. But we gotta get out as fast as we can.

How can you ignore the incredible cost of this war that is/was based on FALSE PREMISES!?

Orthoprax said...

Fed,

"How can you ignore the incredible cost of this war that is/was based on FALSE PREMISES!?"

I'm not ignoring anything. Why do you think serves the lives of all those innocent Iraqi civilians to run away and let the warlords take over? And let the terrorists set up camp? And let Iran set up shop in Iraq?

FedUp said...

HH,

I assume you are referring to how we should pull out of Iraq... See my comment at 4:58 and 7:48.

Well give it some thoughts then

I'd rather not... I keep seeing dead soldiers.

Maybe, just maybe they DID believe the evidence was sound and they needed to assist the US.

Damn son, I could justify Hitler, Stalin, Mao, the Japanese, Vietnam and every other insane war with that logic. Good one!

Holy Hyrax said...

Is this what you are talking about?:

Sure, we can't just disappear in a flash now that we're neck deep in horse shit but you can't go to war for no reason and you can't keep a forced active military force in a country for no reason.

So which is it then? Do you leave it ASAP no matter what, or do you clean up your shit and make something better there?

>I'd rather not... I keep seeing dead soldiers.

Right. Emotions over rides thinking.

>Damn son, I could justify Hitler, Stalin, Mao, the Japanese, Vietnam and every other insane war with that logic. Good one!

HUH? What does that mean?

FedUp said...

OP,

Why do you think serves the lives of all those innocent Iraqi civilians to run away and let the warlords take over? And let the terrorists set up camp? And let Iran set up shop in Iraq?

Nice, we finally get to the crux of the matter and you think we need to save the whole wide world from evil. Typical delusional American sentiment.

Please don't make me compile a list of bad guys in the world that we have to rid the world of. I can't waste my time on such idiocy.

We should be at war with a large percentage of the world right now, including China for their invasion of Tibet, half of Africa, the Palestinian Authority, and a host of other countries that host terrorists and warlords. We'd have to invade ourselves!

I hate that there are innocents dying in the world. But I'm not God , and neither is the US Military for Christ's sake!

Holy Hyrax said...

Nice, we finally get to the crux of the matter and you think we need to save the whole wide world from evil. Typical delusional American sentiment.

Please don't make me compile a list of bad guys in the world that we have to rid the world of. I can't waste my time on such idiocy.


ARRRGGGGGHHH

Dude, can't you read what he is saying??? This is such stupid extreme liberal rhetoric. Come on.

He is not saying you have to save the world from all evil or invade every country. He is saying:

We invaded Iraq

It was a mistake

Leaving now is going to make matters much worse

Since we invaded, we should be the ones to fix it and hopefully make things better than they were before.

Orthoprax said...

Fed,

Please, take a breather. I don't understand why we can't discuss this civily.

Tigerboy said...

When something is a bad bet, you don't throw good money after bad.

The Sunnis and the Shia have a hatred for one another that goes back a LONG way.

Going into Iraq was a bad bet six years ago. Assuming we can fix the problems between the Sunnis and the Shias, and create a stable democracy, is a bad bet now.

Even if we had invaded without all the incompetence, who's to say what would have been the outcome.

Our very presence in the Middle East ENRAGES Muslims. The only thing the Sunnis and the Shia can agree on is that they want us out. Islam has yet to have its reformation. Hopefully, the world will survive the process. But our military presence inflames their fundamentalist religiosity.

You want to recruit terrorists? Stay in Iraq.

Holy Hyrax said...

>Our very presence in the Middle East ENRAGES Muslims.

Oh please. Drawing a cartoon enrages the muslims.

CyberKitten said...

Holy H said: I guess then every other country like England and Australia were all stupid as well, because we all know you sat down with them looking at every piece of information they received.

Actually we were lied to & manipulated both by politicians and the media. Our government *knew* that their intel was unreliable but went to war anyway. We never knew for certain that Saddam had WMD, we never even strongly suspected he had them. WMD were an *excuse* for attacking Iraq, nothing more.

Jewish Atheist said...

HH:

How come? I mean, is a warhead with biological weapons better?

I don't think ANYBODY has a warhead with biological weapons, let alone tinpot dictator Saddam Hussein.

No, I meant other countries being in missle fire range.

So any country anywhere within firing range of Israel must be invaded and occupied?


ortho:

Do you think McCain supported war for other reasons than what the intelligence suggested? Or do you think he should have somehow known that the intelligence had failed?

I don't know if he supported it because he believed in the neocons' new-domino theory or because he believed they had WMDs. In my opinion, both are bad reasons. Saddam had chemical weapons all through the 80s and we weren't exactly invading him then.

Jewish Atheist said...

And we thought he had them in '92 and we didn't invade then even with an existing war and troops on the ground. The whole WMD argument is pure BS.

Holy Hyrax said...

>Actually we were lied to & manipulated both by politicians and the media. Our government *knew* that their intel was unreliable but went to war anyway. We never knew for certain that Saddam had WMD, we never even strongly suspected he had them. WMD were an *excuse* for attacking Iraq, nothing more.

How does this answer the question of the rest of the countries being stupid? Did they just get a phone call saying they need their help and merely said yes on the spot? WHy did the other countries agree to enter the war?

Holy Hyrax said...

>I don't think ANYBODY has a warhead with biological weapons, let alone tinpot dictator Saddam Hussein.

Then why would Israelis fear the falling scud missles from ol' tinpot saddam?

Jewish Atheist said...

Then why would Israelis fear the falling scud missles from ol' tinpot saddam?

They were worried about chemical weapons.

Holy Hyrax said...

And if they were?

Jewish Atheist said...

If they were what?

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"And we thought he had them in '92 and we didn't invade then even with an existing war and troops on the ground. The whole WMD argument is pure BS."

I believe the point was that with our new terrorism consciousness, it was believed that Saddam would be very willing to partner up with some terrorist group and give them WMDs.

That was his 'delivery system.'

Jewish Atheist said...

Ortho:

But the same could be said of any number of countries, including Lybia, North Korea, etc. Why did we invade only Iraq?

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"But the same could be said of any number of countries, including Lybia, North Korea, etc. Why did we invade only Iraq?"

The western world and the UN had standing orders with Iraq - that Saddam was not permitted to possess or try to posses WMDs and that it was his job to prove that he didn't have any. He then proceeded to play cat and mouse games with the likes of Hans Blix. Unlike other states, Saddam had shown a propensity to use his weapons and attack his neighbors.

You must understand this all in context where Iraq had been a continuing issue in international politics for decades.

Additionally, it should be noted that both Lybia and North Korea gave up their advancing (nuclear) weapons programs (Gaddafi explicitly) due to the Iraq war proving that the US isn't bluffing when it says it may invade.

Jewish Atheist said...

He then proceeded to play cat and mouse games with the likes of Hans Blix

You mean the Hans Blix who publicly contradicted the Bush administration on the WMDs and said they were playing up the threat to help their case for war?

Additionally, it should be noted that both Lybia and North Korea gave up their advancing (nuclear) weapons programs (Gaddafi explicitly) due to the Iraq war proving that the US isn't bluffing when it says it may invade.

NK gave them up due to negotiations and diplomatic pressure. "Cat and mouse" games aside, Saddam was already in the same position.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"You mean the Hans Blix who publicly contradicted the Bush administration on the WMDs and said they were playing up the threat to help their case for war?"

Is there another Hans Blix you are aware of? Clearly the administrations thought Blix was a pushover.

"NK gave them up due to negotiations and diplomatic pressure."

Yes, in part. But also in part to the threat of military action.

""Cat and mouse" games aside, Saddam was already in the same position."

Not likely, as evidenced by the fact that he wasn't cooperating. He was stuck posturing because he strategically needed to be seen as the strong man of the Middle East and he never believed the US would invade.

CyberKitten said...

JA said: NK gave them up due to negotiations and diplomatic pressure.

..and of course NK knows that the US will never attack them because they already *have* nukes and can deliver them (at least to SK and Japan).

It seems that there are basically two ways *not* to be attacked by the US. Either be an Ally (willing or otherwise) or be a nuclear power. Knowing that, would non-allied states be attempting to gain nuclear capability or shying away from it....?

Oh, it also helps to have a top-notch air-defence system as the American favourite method of intimidation is bombing with the odd cruise missile thrown in for a bit of variety (probably as they come up to their use-by date).

On a more serious note: I wonder if sales of anti-aircraft weapons are up in the 3rd world.....?

Anonymous said...

"230 days until our national embarrassment is gone"

Who are you talking about, Reid, Kennedy, Durbin? They're going to be around for longer than that.

"and we have a president we can be proud of again"

We have a president we can be proud of.

I would just hate to have you say later on, "Obama -- well it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ichabod Chrain

Peter L. Winkler said...

Since toppling Hussein, the US military hs been served as the government, police and national defense force for Iraq.

The Iraqis can't mount a coherent force to govern their country or defend it from external threats. No significant progress has been made to resolve the Sunni-Shia conflict. We can occupy Iraq idefinitely, but only the Iraqis can stop fighting each other and govern themselves.

They have shown precious little inclination to do so so far, especially when we continue to ty to do it for them.

tommy said...

I think Obama will win it. However, I also suspect Obama will prove an empty suit. His diplomacy will achieve nothing, his domestic policies (particularly regarding the toxic combination of immigration and affirmative action) will continue to erode America, he won't be able to deal with increasing gas prices or China any more effectively than Bush, and his education policy will consist of more of the same tired formulas that satisfy teachers unions while failing students. He has no desire to bring needed reform to entitlements, but instead will increase the size and scope of those programs to the detriment of younger people like me.

The only advantage Obama holds in my mind is that he would get us out of Iraq. But recently his campaign has been stating that he may not be able to get us out until 2013 -- after his first term in office. Even McCain has recently hinted at an exit by around that time.

The only question I have is whether Obama will be widely recognized as a disaster for this country before or after he leaves office.

Asher summed up the best reason to vote for him: so that the American electorate won't be perceived as racist. Or, more accurately, so that well-educated white liberals can brag to fellow whites how "super not racist" they are.

Tony said...

Don't count your chickens before they come home to roost. :)