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a great leader
Incompetent and a criminal
March 1, 2007
Iraq war recalls other U.S. controversies
By Victor Davis Hanson
Given this country’s past wars involving intelligence failures, tactical and strategic blunders, congressional fights and popular anger at the president, Iraq and the rising furor over it are hardly unusual.
Imagine if the House of Representatives had debated a resolution to authorize the president’s use of force in Iraq only after the bombs were already falling. And what if after the debate, in the middle of the war, with our troops already in combat, Congress had suddenly denied such approval?
That is precisely what happened to President Clinton during the Serbian war of 1999.
[most of the article snipped; google it if you want to read it in its entirety]
Since World War II, our intelligence agencies failed utterly to foresee the Chinese invasion of Korea, the Yom Kippur War, the fall of the shah of Iran, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the sudden spread of Islamic fundamentalism, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Cambodian and Rwandan holocausts, and the acquisition of the bomb by Pakistan and North Korea.
Nor have past wars been any easier on other presidents than Iraq has been on President Bush. Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon left office despised. Exhausted wartime presidents Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were either assassinated or died in office. The controversial aftermath of World War I was a likely cause of Woodrow Wilson’s stroke.
The high-stakes war to stabilize the fragile democracy in Iraq is a serious, costly and controversial business. But so have been most conflicts in American history. We need a little more humility and knowledge of our past — and a lot less hysteria, name-calling and obsession with our present selves.
The high-stakes war to stabilize the fragile democracy in Iraq is a serious, costly and controversial business. But so have been most conflicts in American history.
To sum up that article – ‘war is tough’. Maybe you are trying to say, we need to give Bush a break.
Tough, it doesn’t work like that. Read that articles of impeachment link above. I think some of those might fall under treason. And the whole Bush funding Al Qaeda Thats pretty serious stuff!
Welcome back anyway. I have to admit, I quite enjoy trashing your arguments. :)
“To sum up that article – ‘war is tough’.”
that’s not how I would sum up the article.
“Maybe you are trying to say, we need to give Bush a break”
no, I’m not. (did you google the article and read it in its entirety?)
this article refutes the liberal claim that bush is uniquely incompetent.
further, both the author and I believe that bush is not only not uniquely incompetent, but not incompetent.
bush IS unique, however. on that perhaps we can agree.
“I quite enjoy trashing your arguments”
you certainly do trash my arguments.
you should try refuting them instead.
you should try more debate and less trash-talk.
Interesting how you interpret that article, I still disagree.
I’ve refuted your arguments from the beginning. You are beyond reason. Are you a fundamentalist?
He makes my head and my heart hurt.
jojo you are so cool.
Thanks electronchelle. :)
hes an a$$hole
jojo: “I’ve refuted your arguments from the beginning. You are beyond reason”
you said earlier that we should not stand up to bullies when life and death are on the line.
that’s not a very resonable position.
It is interesting that you have interpreted it that way.
(And it was starting to get boring around here)
Check out the Republican nominee Ron Paul: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hfa7vT02lA
He made the point of of referring to the CIA report on blowback from the Middle East (from all the US-Middle East intervention over the last few decades). He didn’t go as far as saying that the US was the bully. But the US is.
No I don’t have a problem standing up to the bully. But I do have a problem with going to war when there was no clear evidence. And in this case there was none. So in effect – it was a pre-emptive war – much like the Chompsky quote you mentioned (the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour).
If you are just going to stick to Fox and CNN , of course you are going to be uninformed.
Salle: “unless we’re talking about heaven (or shangri la, neverland, etc), the ONLY way to achieve peace is thru force or threat of force.
police maintain the peace domestically thru force or threat of force.
to support this claim, I would like to mention schoolyard experiences that most of us have had:
we’ve been the victims of bullies. sometimes our parents or other adults intervene. but sometimes there are no adults around. in the minority of cases are we resourceful enough to talk our way into his leaving us alone (or even better: into becoming our ally).
sometimes one must stand up to the bully; by this I mean hit back. this strategy has a better success rate. you pop the bully.
most bullies are put off by someone hitting back.
the american military maintains the peace internationally.
to support this claim, I would like to mention japan and germany.
the japanese made a mistake in attacking the US at pearl harbor. it was an evil thing to do and the US was correct in retaliating.
the japanese, fierce fighters, only surrendered after being nuked.
they have since become a rich nation, a democracy, an ally of the US, and a positive force in the world.
dialogue between salle and jojo on bullies:
Salle: “sometimes one must stand up to the bully; by this I mean hit back. this strategy has a better success rate. you pop the bully.”
Jojo: “Great for kids, but the bully usually doesn’t get killed. (And the innocent school friends around them)”
Salle: “So this is our disagreement: I say the paradigm holds on both the micro and macro levels. You say the paradigm should be changed on the macro level. Fine. why should the paradigm be changed?”
Jojo: “I thought it was obvious – the risk to life.”
Salle: “What’s “obvious” to you might not be so obvious to me.
Let me get this straight: You’re saying that it’s okay to stand up against bullies unless the stakes are life and death? So if the stakes are life and death then one should not stand up to bullies? Is that right?
the bullies that are reading this thread—what do you think they think?”
Jojo: “I figured a while ago that you can not be persuaded. I felt your superficial statements needed a rebuttal. (Not for you, but for people reading this with reason and wisdom)
These topics have much more depth, than framing it the way that you do. I’m not going to start now (as I said I feel the environment is a much more important issue). But I will say one thing. You speak Dogma. Osama Bin Laden, Iran and North Korea have dogmatic regimes. In the end, its all dogma. Religion (Islam, Christianity), Patriotism, Fascism, Soviet Communism, Nationalism – dogma. Out-dated. Stuck. Dead or Dying. The future: Reason, Science, Technology, the Environment. Either it happens or we’re dead.”
You can make mention any analogy you want about bullies. (I wont disagree). If you want to live in a police state, and live in an authoritarian regime, that’s up to you.
You are missing the elephant in the room. Iraq didn’t strike against the US or its allies. Saddam had no link to terrorism. Iraq had no WMD . Iraq was subdued in the first Gulf war and from sanctions. If you have the smoking gun – show me.
So you understand the context of my previous position – when it comes to matters of life or death, damn straight you better have some real evidence. When you don’t – who is the bully then?
You can tear down my case – show me evidence. If I am missing something, I’m happy to listen.
Did my dogma diatribe bother you?
Hes a stupid, dumb freemason!
liberals are not swayed by reason. they are persuaded by meeting conservatives, christians, and republicans and realizing that they are not as they have been led to believe they are.
“George Bush has also on numerous occasions been referred to as a Freemason.The confusion as to President Bush being a member arises from the swearing in ceremonies at his inauguration. President Bush took his oath of office on the George Washington Bible which belongs to St. Johns Lodge in New York City. Because the Bible belonged to a Masonic Lodge many writers assumed he was a Freemason. The Bible was used at the request of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
This Bible was first used on April 30, 1789, by the Grand Master of the Masons in New York, to administer the oath of office to George Washington, the first president. Other presidents who took their oath of office with this Bible are Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter.”
I can’t blame Bush for the problems in the world. I would say that given his position, he’s no worse of a President than I would expect any human being to be under similar circumstances. The man is merely a focal point for which we as a people can attatch our own societal faults and weaknesses. He has done nothing that his country didn’t give him prior written permission to do. You can make your “selected, not elected” arguments, but whether that’s true or not, the decision making in this country eventually traces back to we the people. There’s no such thing as an abuse of power. Only freedom to use your power as you wish. We should consider this when we decide how much power can be controled by imperfect individuals, and all individuals should be assumed to be imperfect.
Even though the majority of the public claims to distrust politicians, in reality we seem to hold them in high reguard, and expect them to be more than we are. I’m more inclined to assume that Congress is just like any other office job in America. This guy’s cheating on his wife, that guy’s using his job to steal stuff, and this woman over here is addicted to some kind of holucinagen. I would trust a politician with about as much power over my life and nation as I would my own coworkers.
But still, here I live, where politicians have way more power, because we are a nation of children who value safety and luxury over self-reliance. We think we’re being generous when we support humanitarian programs like universal health care, welfare, social security, and public schooling, but we ignore the difference between generosity and forced contribution.
Then we glorify authoritative programs like wars, toughness on crime, relentless border patrol, and the monitoring of our citizens, but in the end we’re just forcing each other to pay somebody else to watch our backs, because we’re too afraid to do it ourselves.
Then we say we want high paying jobs, and environmentally friendly companies, but we are unwilling to pay for anything manufactured under such restrictions.
And of course, rather than change our own habits, we point the blame at our president, and our congress, and our companies, when in the end the root problem is our willing dependence on them, our lack of compassion toward our own fellow man, and our desire to earn more than we contribute.
Bush is an idol. It’s like blaming the devil for your own evil. In a few years, he’ll be gone, and we’ll have to point at somebody else in office. But when you point your index finger at another person, the other three fingers tend to be the most honest.
Thanks again Salle for your input.
I think we’ve hit your cognitive limit. (Actually I think we hit it a long time ago). If anyone has seen Idiocracy by Mike Judge, I keep thinking of the line “It has electrolytes”.
By the way I consider myself a libertarian more than a liberal. Liberals in Australia are more like your conservative party (well at least they are truer to their modus operandi).
Just so you know Salle, for the rest of us, you can’t turn up here – make simplistic and broad assertions, throw in a long anecdote to prove your generalised point, ignore salient information and then call everyone who doesn’t agree with you irrational. Where is the reason in that?
Mr. Monster – fantastic point.
I was talking about this the other day with a friend – does an apathetic species deserve extinction? This was in context of a conversation about how we treat the environment. Most people keep deferring responsibility to the government, and we know how that is going.
I doubt I’m in any position to say what kind of death we deserve, but I lean toward the philosophy that everyone who dies deserves the death that they get.
What every American should know about Iraq
Well, the article is deceptive, when it proclaims that it will point out the facts, objectively, and with no bias. The first clue that it is going to be biased is in the first paragraph, where it explains that it will only address the opinion that those who disagree with the American invasion and occupation of Iraq are “either a bleeding-heart liberal appeaser, a George W. Bush hater, a blame America firster, an underminer of the troops, a traitor, or a geopolitical naif.”
It lumps these arguments together, and insinuates the other side is made of nothing more than name-callers who don’t have any intellectual arguments. This is simply not the case, but from this article, one would get the impression that it is. In fact, nowhere in this article does it quote or address any specific arguments made by the iraq war advocates.
The second clue is when it promisses to deliver “a fairly complete account of the relevant facts one might wish to consider when evaluating America’s policy in Iraq.”
The reality is that it follows by defining for the reader what facts are relevant, which of course only include the facts which an Iraq War opposer would consider relevant.
Personnaly, I don’t support the Iraq War, but I generally just don’t like the government doing anything, domestically or internationally. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that any complex argument that supports one position is completely objective.
In fact, I should retract what I said about which was the first clue… the real first clue that it wasn’t objective was when somebody who we already knew was against the war decided to post a link to the article.
I’m glad someone with a brain has finally made a valid point about some of these articles I’ve been posting.
I would love to hear other facts – maybe you could point out other sources? Maybe you have your own? So far we have some solid information to give context the situation. But I want to hear the other side if there is one, that is beyond jingoism.
There are some logical-sounding arguments out there. As someone who disagrees with the other posistion, you are unlikely to agree with them, but that doesn’t make you or them any less logical. The fact is, on a subject of opinion, each side will find all kinds of enginuative avenues of thought to justify their own point of view. I used to argue about religion and politics all the time, but ultimately I always reached the conclusion that the only reason I did so was not to convince the other side to agree with me, but to seek out new ways of enforcing my out beliefs.
An argument against your own point of view is like a logic puzzle. We like hearing them for the same reason we like playing chess, checkers, risk, and tic-tac-toe. It gives our brains something to solve.
In other words, a human mind is usually not one which seeks wisdom, but resiliance. We don’t realise how annoying we’re being when we ask people to argue with us, though. And worse yet, usually we don’t realise that asking for an argument is what we’re doing. You really start to understand how annoying debates are, when your own family gets in on the action, and disagrees with you. I can’t go to my parents’ house without hearing at least one of them drop some snide, and unwarrented remark about some political figure.
I hate it, but I probably diserve it, because of how long I did the same thing to other people around me and to complete strangers over the internet.
I don’t have a lot of obvious vices. I’ve never been drunk or high, and have never had a cigarrette. But I’m certainly a recovering argueholic. And in some ways that’s just as bad.
Oh, Honey, this is the place for “argueholics.” ;)
I’m really trying to understand this from another point of view. I have a friend who explained the current US politics from a Machiavelli perspective, which was pretty cool.
So you’re against the idea of having a position. More power to you. Arguing can be counter productive. To be honest, I’ve had bit of fun, found value, expressed ideas, improved my own understanding and made friends.
I think it’s been worth it.
It’s difficult to resist writing a response that tries to negate yours. I’ll say this: I have a position. I, with my current ideology would have avoided conflict with Iraq, had I been in George Bush’s position at certain important times. However, I do not defend that position, I will not explain the so called “logic” of it, and I do not believe that I am in any position to judge another person’s position, even if it is direct conflict with my own. For all I know, things might have been much worse if you or I had been in charge, and at this point, it seems that should-haves and would-haves are futile.
oh shut up everybody. bush is an idiot. lets say that again. GEORGE W BUSH IS A FUCKIN IDIOT. HE FRICKIN M<ADE A POINTLESS WAR FOR NO REASON. SHUT UP CALLE> I HATE U.
Oh, I'm sure there was a reason. Whose best interest that reason was meant to serve is something of which I am not sure.
I miss Clinton.
I miss Reagan.
i miss watever good prez there ever was
I think the whole country missed that president. Someone could write a bestselling book about everything each US president did to help advance the encroachment of the government on the lives and liberties of its citizens.
hey monster, could u loosen up? ur so proper with ur language why? any way if hillary clinton is prez next ill fukin scream
Sorry. I used to play a lot of chess. Chess players don't know how to loosen up. Communication is a strategy.
Yes, I'm fine. How are you?
ummmmm…alrite….? so since u play chess u have to be proper?
Every behavioral pattern has an extensive influence on one's personality. I try to word things as carefully as I would decide where to move a chess piece. I don't do it intentionally. I've just gotten so used to thinking that way that it has become what makes me the most comfortable. To me, this is loose.
wats proper then?
I'm not sure, to be quite honest.
look at the alien :P
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