TCS Daily


"To Hulk With Them" Conservatives

By Douglas Kern - August 3, 2006 12:00 AM

I have found the solution to all our problems in Iraq, and his name is Saddam Hussein.

He's tanned, rested, and ready.

He's got a plan to restore order in Iraq. He knows how to deal with insurgents. He's got a proven track record for keeping the peace between Shiites and Sunnis. He's an avowed secularist, a staunch enemy of Iran, and a big fan of cheap plentiful oil for the West. What's not to like?

I know he brings some baggage to the table, but come now: let bygones be bygones. Sure, he plundered Kuwait, fought against American soldiers twice, tried to kill President George H.W. Bush, and gassed the Kurds. In fairness, we invaded twice, slapped him in jail, killed his sons, and took all his stuff. I say we call it even.

Our moral betters in France, Germany, and Russia will be delighted to have him back. They never much minded him in the first place. And the left won't object, either. For as much as they hated the war "on" Iraq, and for as little as they cared about Saddam Hussein's depredations before the war, they should be ecstatic to have an old friend back in power.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Kern, you're just pitching this rotten idea because you're suffering from a massive, gaping head wound, and maybe you'd better get to an emergency room right away before that shattered skull gets any worse." But put aside my mental impairment for a moment. I've been meditating upon the wisdom of the new thinking in conservative foreign policy that's gaining adherents all over the right-wing world. It goes by different names: "To Hell With Them Hawks;" "Endgame Conservatives;" "We Need to Shore Up Our Credibility Even Though Things are Faring Poorly in Iraq, But We Don't Want to Sound Like Defeatists or Wusses Conservatives;" etc. These courageous thinkers reject the absurd notion that major clashes between civilizations need more than three years to be resolved in a satisfactory way. They have no interest in building freedom or democracy in the Middle East; they simply want to snuff the Bad Guys hard and fast and then go home, leaving the heathens to their pagan folly. I prefer to think of them as "To Hulk With Them" conservatives, as their preferred foreign policy relies heavily upon the insights of that noted neo-Jacksonian thinker, The Hulk, e.g. "Hulk SMASH!"

But The Hulk's struggles illustrate a limitation in his foreign policy guidance. Since his inception in 1962, The Hulk has fought the same supervillains over and over again. No matter how many times he may thwart the evil plans of his malevolent detractors, no matter how many times Hulk Smash!, nary a year passes before his enemies reappear, none the worse for wear. "To Hulk With Them" conservatism will suffer from a similar problem: no matter how many times you blow up the radical Islamicist death cultists, they'll come back. They're like Doritos: crunch all you want, we'll make more!

And while I appreciate the pleasures of seeing anarchy and chaos descend upon my enemies as much as the next guy, I wonder: do we really want uncontrolled bedlam in nations that control significant percentages of the world's known oil reserves? Is it really worth blowing up Ba'athist Regime X only to see them replaced by al-Qaeda Regime Y? And even if we bomb our enemies into the Stone Age, how will we move that precious, precious oil from the bomb-scarred ground into our SUVs?

No, mass indiscriminate bombing of our enemies is the beginning of the answer, but not the end. We need a more enduring solution, something that won't require us to wipe cities off the map every five years. We need something that will break the very souls of our enemies, not for today or for next month, but for all time. And when it comes to breaking souls, Saddam should be your #1 fantasy fanatic draft pick.

Oh, you spineless neo-conservatives may object; "human rights" this and "we fought in vain" that. But if you give Saddam just a few weeks of death squads, rape rooms, human shredders, and secret informants, the insurgent problem will go away. Neocons may flap their gums about solving the problems of the Middle East through such comically unlikely neo-Wilsonian concepts as "democracy" and "liberalism" and "winning hearts and minds," but Saddam knows what the sniveling neocons dare not admit: that there's nothing wrong with the Middle East that enough poison gas won't fix. Restore Saddam to power, give him some strongly-worded suggestions and some well-written oil contracts, and he'll have Baghdad orderly and humming in a matter of days. Iran? He wrote the book on savage wars of attrition against the Iranian menace. And he'll create Iraqi jobs by the score! Those mass graves won't dig themselves.

What's that? Having some humanitarian misgivings, are we? Yes, it's all fun and games when we're daydreaming about magic missiles that kill our enemies on the cheap, but it's not so fun when napalm sticks to kids, eh? Welcome to the manly, unflinching world of "To Hulk With Them" conservatism, where everything makes sense once you realize that the lives of Middle Easterners matter in the sense that plankton matter: only in the aggregate, and even then, not very much.

My oozing head wound has given me an epiphany about the limits of human reason. The Middle East has been in turmoil for millennia. We don't have the power or the wisdom to change ancient hatreds and rivalries; we lack the omniscience to change the habits of poverty, delusion, and clannishness that have hobbled the Middle East for generations. Nothing we say or do will ever make the Middle East or anyone in it fit for democracy or freedom. A man who is not free and who cannot be made fit for freedom is not a man: he is an animal, and a dangerous one at that. And it's absurd to worry overmuch about the rights and dignity of animals. "To Hulk With Them" conservatives know that the entire Middle East is a jungle teeming with venomous monsters. And scary jungles need wardens who know how to work a whip.

Once you accept the "To Hulk With Them" insight that the Middle East is incorrigibly opposed to freedom -- and once you acknowledge that even the most retrograde of people will eventually learn how to build atomic weapons -- then you're left with only two sensible Middle East foreign policy choices: genocide or permanent subjugation. As a sop to our neurotic neoconservative brethren, I say: permanent subjugation. Therefore, let us install sickening dictators all throughout the Middle East. Let Iran and Iraq and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan and Syria each have their very own secular, survival-minded psychotic tyrants. Let us enrich these tyrants with money skimmed from massive oil profits, with the understanding that they will keep gasoline flowing freely into the West. Let us arm them with the best small arms and torture devices on the market, again with the understanding that Islamicist radicals shall find their way into the tiger cages and concentration camps forthwith. Of course, these tyrants will torment millions of innocents even as they cruelly betray every Middle Easterner who ever looked to the United States for a better way to live. But remember: you're a tough, realistic, "To Hulk With Them" conservative now. You don't care. And neither does Saddam Hussein! It's a match made in heaven!

We love freedom for ourselves, but for our enemies, we have learned to love Big Brother. We will not be safe until the Saddam Husseins of the world have imposed a taste of North Korea on every living soul in the Middle East. Our wealth and security take precedence over human decency, and anyway, the surly muggles deserve no better. You want to see the "To Hulk With Them" vision for the future of the Middle East? Imagine a boot stomping on a Middle Eastern face - forever. And the boot has "Made in the USA" etched on the sole.

You don't like my solution? Propose another. You can surrender in the Middle East, and let the terrorists have what they want. You can rely on "sanctions" or "containment," which will amount to surrender as soon as they fail. You can commit genocide against radical Islam wherever you find it. You can fight for democracy and freedom, in the slender hope that those seeds will grow in the infertile Middle Eastern soil. Or you can learn to love Saddam Hussein and his fellow perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Those are your only choices. Pick one.

Doug Kern is a lawyer in Northern Virginia and TCS Daily contributing writer.

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249 Comments

Popeye
I believe Popeye said it best: "I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more."

The world is too small to contain dictators, tyrants and terrorists.
They need to be crushed like cockroaches.

What the USA and other western countries have demonstrated is that every ethnic group in the world can thrive in an environment of liberty.

Good intentions are not enough
"Good intentions are not enough" is the title of an essay on mathematics education by Richard Askey. (Well meaning education "reform" without competent "content providers" will not make kids learn more.) Disempowering Saddam without "winning the peace" has left Iraqis even worse off than before.

Nobody knows how to solve the present Iraq mess, but it is very clear whom to blame -- Bush and the Neocons. To quote Richard Nixon running for Vice President in 1952: "You can't expect those who made the mess to clean it up." The best thing Americans can do for Iraq right now is to play the blame game until somebody with a little more brains gets in the White House.

Very nicely aimed...
at the morons, you know who you are, who believe that the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam. "Oh, he was bad but not THAT bad."

I am often amazed at the insipid isolationists on both sides who believe that simply removing ourselves from the playing field of global matters will somehow shield us from the evil that is Islamofascism.

Case in point...
LiberalTalkingPointsMan would rather play the blame game than clean up the mess.

Bush has the answer: Democracy. He is not encumbered by nuance or the liberal disease that inflicts people with the inability to understand that living free is preferable, if somewhat more dangerous, to living under the boot of a tyrant and his family.

Liberals, Democrats, and isolationist Conservatives took mere weeks to call the liberation of Iraq a quagmire. Since that time they have taken every opportunity to enforce that feeling and wish for the worst. Shame would be the emotion they should be feeling but that emotion is extinct to those people.

>"The best thing Americans can do for Iraq right now is to play the blame game until somebody with a little more brains gets in the White House."

How utterly defeatist. It makes me wonder how you gauge intelligence without possessing any quantity of it yourself.

We Love Big Brother!
"We love freedom for ourselves, but for our enemies, we have learned to love Big Brother. We will not be safe until the Saddam Husseins of the world have imposed a taste of North Korea on every living soul in the Middle East."

You betcha! In fact, we also love Big Brother style government when it comes to our allies like Egypt, Saudia Arabia, and Pakistan.

These Boots Are Made For Hulking
arl Zinsmeister is a U.S. journalist. In May 2006, he was appointed the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy to U.S. President George W. Bush, replacing Claude Allen.[1]

Zinsmeister is a graduate of Yale University and has also studied history at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. While in college, he won national rowing championships in both the U.S. and Ireland. He is a sixth-generation resident of New York, where he lives in a rural village with his wife and three children.

As a journalist, he has mainly been active for the American Enterprise Magazine, where he has been editor in chief since 1994. According to the Washington Post, "his columns for the magazine included pieces praising Wal-Mart's efficiency and extolling the role of religion in forming the glue that bonds communities."[2]

He also covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an embedded journalist and shot a documentary film about soldiers in Iraq, called "WARRIORS", for PBS. He defended the decision to invade Iraq in three books: Boots on the Ground: A Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq, Dawn Over Baghdad: How the U.S. Military is Using Bullets and Ballots to Remake Iraq, and So bizarre has the Neiverse becime that in real lifw, Americn Enterprise Institute editor Karl Zinsmeister, whose embedded reportage became the book "Boots on the Ground " went on to author Marvel Comics " Combat Zone: True Tales of GI.s in Iraq "

Now for the Marvelous part- Karl is now Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy at The White House


He earlier was a legislative assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).

Choices
“Those are your only choices. Pick one.”

There is another choice. It works like this:
1) Identify countries that irreconcilably support terrorism and/or have plans to develop WMD’s.
2) Warn the target to change their ways…or else.
3) If a satisfactory response is not forthcoming, occupy target country with established “shock and awe” tactics.
4) Employ as much native manpower as is necessary (under marine and special forces supervision) to completely disarm the target country and to reliably control its borders.
5) Train a one-million man army/police force and arm it to the hilt.
6) Facilitate the rebuilding/improvement of commerce, transportation and public service infrastructure.
7) Facilitate the formation of a democratic government, turn over control to the new government and fade into a support role (or withdraw completely if the new government so desires).
8) Move on to next target…if necessary!

The above was the plan for Iraq…sort-of. The reason it has not yet quite worked has to do with point #4…or more specifically, the fact that there was NO Point #4. However, the Iraqi government and the coalition forces could still implement disarmament and border control. Granted that it is 3+ years late…but points 5, 6 and 7 will be very difficult to implement until Point #4 is successfully accomplished.

Neocon dream
This is the neocon dream. The Bushies have gone to second base with Iran and North Korea. Why did they stop there?

1. There is no army left to try and "shock and awe" Iran. It's still stuck shocking and awing Iraq.

2. Unlike Iraq, Iran has a huge loyal army and population who might be shocked and awed by American bombing but would not cut and run.

As for steps 4 - 7, maybe you can learn from the Iraq example how that might actually play out. The natives might be more interested in their ethnic group than in furthering the interests of the invaders. They might be unwilling or unable to disarm militias (like the Badr corps in Iraq). Resistance fighters might distroy infrastructure as fast as we try to build it.

Clue for the clueless: the real world is not a video game that can be reporgrammed and restarted at will. People will not act in a certain way just because you wish they would or think it's in their best interest.

And yes, we've made life harder for Iraqis. Saddam killed an average of 30 people/day. Violent killing is moving even faster than that now. There used to be 15 hours/day of electricity in Baghdad. Now it's barely 7.

Good intentions are not enough. We should learn from our experience in Iraq. Or not. To quote Bush: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice . . . you can't fool me twice."

Except in Lebanon
money, mouth...

>Bush has the answer: Democracy. He is not encumbered by nuance or the liberal disease that inflicts people with the inability to understand that living free is preferable, if somewhat more dangerous, to living under the boot of a tyrant and his family.

So the people of Lebanon stood up & kicked out the Syrians, and had elections. That was a year ago. And Bush applauded and said this was evidence Democracy was the answer - but just said, good luck, and kept on walking. He did nothing to strengthen the government and help it disarm the Hezbollah militia. With the results we now see. But Bush "has the answer." Sure.

This is odd
Bush is doing all these things in Iraq, and yet instead of praising him, you condemn him.

I suspect that had Bush been "interfering in" Lebanon, like you want him to, you'd have spent the last year condemning Bush for his cowboy diplomacy.

Stuck on stupid
>"So the people of Lebanon stood up & kicked out the Syrians, and had elections. That was a year ago. And Bush applauded and said this was evidence Democracy was the answer - but just said, good luck, and kept on walking. He did nothing to strengthen the government and help it disarm the Hezbollah militia. With the results we now see. But Bush "has the answer." Sure."

We are going over this one in the other forum but I guess I have to beat you up here to.

What you are saying Bush should have done is intervene in the policies of a democratically elected government. Most of your posts show that you object to Bush deposing of tyrants yet you now wish for him to play one faction of that elected government against another one?

I prefer to let the Israelis take care of Hezbollah rather than have us do it. They have more at stake in this than us as well as having the actual will to do it. Once they are done the government of Lebanon can attempt to rebuild without influence from Syria and Iran.

If this is how you really feeling then we should be pumping all sorts of incentives into countries that have independent militias within there borders. To do any less would be neglecting our duty. Right?

"nothing more than Cicerone's personal opinion"
Weren't you the guy who said an official presentation of the NAS position by the President of the NAS was nothing more than the presenters personal opinion??

You've got nothing to say here or anywhere worth listening to.

Sorry, it's not me being inconsistent
There's no inconsistency from my side. Iraq was a disaster. Bush used trumped-up grounds to invad a country that posed no threat to the United States, did not have WMDs (as documented by the Duelfer & Kay reports) and was not supporting Al Qaeda terrorism. (And please do not bring up discoveries of useless, denatured two-decade old junk as WMD stockpiles).

In Lebanon, no invasion was proposed. All that was proposed was aid to a legitimately elected governent, working through coalitions and international organizations. This is in the US interest, and in the interest of other Arab states, who might do what they haven't done in Iraq: help. Now, we're going to have to pick up the pieces.

On the other side, the inconsistency is glaring. Bush says democracy in the middle east is job 1. So we get a chance to help it, in a promising place. And do zip. Just say, "good luck guys."

As for this:
>I guess I have to beat you up here to.

You have to make a case, *******, which you haven't made.

Ahh the old we democrats would have done the samething but done it better...
...position.

Yeah right.


One quible with the author we do not need middle east petroleum...
...Smaller lighter vehicles, less driving, tar sands coal to liquid Gas to liquid, etc., etc. Even at the current price the above are economical and the rise form 30/barrel to $70/barrel did not through the world into economic recession/depression. Now it would not be without pain but our pain would be small compared to the pain in middle-east petroleum exporting countries if they could not sell their products.

NOTE: I am not suggesting we stop importing petroleum from the middle-east at this time I think that would be a mistake for various reasons but I just want to set the record straight.



NAS studies are done by large numbers of scientists
The quote you gave, was nothing more than the idiots personal opinion.

One that is easily refuted by the available facts.

Sort of like the drivel you usually post.

Let me guess, you think that your posts are official NAS position papers as well?

"nothing more than Cicerone's personal opinion"
The quote I gave was Cicerone reading from an official NAS position paper on human caused climate change as a presentation to a committee of the Senate of the United States of America.

>Let me guess, you think that your posts are official NAS position papers as well?

No, they are my opinion. However, when the President of the National Academy of Sciences appears before a committee of the U.S. Senate to present an official NAS position, that is not his personal opinion.

You have nothing worth to say worth responding to.

Ah yes:

>"One that is easily refuted by the available facts."

Please bring forward some available facts to refute it, then.

Really hard to see how anyone could do it worse
I mean, where's the shining success story from this administration?

Bush Haters
"The truth is: People don't believe the 9/11 story because they hate George Bush and don't believe anything he says.

If he says Usama did 9/11, they don't believe it. If he says the Twin Towers were felled by two hijacked jetliners, they don't believe it. If Bush says there were 19 hijackers and they took four airliners and crashed all four in the largest attack on American soil ever, they don't believe it.

So now we have one-third of the American people as blinded by hate as many Europeans and many Canadians and many Arabs. They're so blinded they cannot see or hear the hundreds if not thousands of experts who have told them exactly what happened on 9/11.

Instead they rush to so-called evidence and so-called investigations that are much closer to alien spaceships than they are to observable and verifiable"

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206974,00.html

There were so many reasons to invade Iraq. Congress supported the President's actions and now you all blinded by hate that some will say Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

After Pearl Harbor the entire country supported war with Japan and Germany.

Now after being attacked for decades by Islamic radicals, people like yourself do not want to support your own self defense because it might help the other party.

With citizens like that we deserve to lose.

What have you done to support it?
?

Mark the tiny has a very diffierent idea about what facts are.
Fact for this bloke are any wide ideas that he likes and lies are anything he doesn't. He lives in his own little world where he knows everything.

actually that's what you were doing in Gaza.
You were training the exe PLO so that they might gain full control. But isreal kept foiling your plans. You didn't want to touch Leb for reasons like 82. You guy's still don't get how you defeat terrorism and the funny thing is it's easy. You just can't bring yourself to do it.

neocon dream
Your facts about Iraq are bogus.

"Resistence fighters"? You should go help them and see for yourself, you filthy lying coward. I risked my neck there, but I was on the US side. And I walked around with a shirt with my name and US Army sown on it for all the world to see.

George Washington is known today...
as the "Father of his Country", but to the Indians of the time he was the "Town Burner" because that's how he dealt with their "insurgency". It worked, too.

Yes, liberals I know , he was a bad pale ***** person and all. Remember though, that your patron saint, that WASP patrician FDR bungled at Pearl Harbor, threw US citizens into concentration camps, executed sabatuers after military tribunals and fire bombed cities killing a million or so civilians.

So it's all my fault???
The administration would have gotten it right on WMDs in Iraq if only I had been rooting for them hard enough??

They would have doine everything just right during Hurricane Katrina if only I weren't so critical?

This is a remarkable breakthrough -- every mistake the Bush adminstration has made has to be blamed on their critics. Thank you for explaining it.

Give me a break
The fact is that the Bush administation has been flagrantly incompetent across the board. The invasion of Iraq was justified on faked and wrong information about WMDs, and carried out in comedy routine of bad decisions, one after another. And they still can't get it right.

And blaming "citizens like that" for their screwups is looney. It's not "citizens like that" who went to sleep during a briefing about "Bin Laden determined to strike inside US." It's not "citizens like that" who fired Shinoseki for saying that we'd need a much larger force to occupy Iraq. It's not "citizens like that" who said "heckuva job, Brownie."

Better off under Saddam
We've been over this before. As bad as Saddam was, Iraq is actually worse off now.

Best estimates show Saddam as having killed about 200,000 people over a 25 year career. That comes to 8,000 victims each year on average.

We've put an ungovernable chaos into place that is killing 100 people every day. That's 36,000 victims each year. And there is no end in sight. The elected government has just thrown up its hands and admitted it is powerless to reverse the situation. So we are sending more troops back in, to preside over the slaughter into the indefinite future.

Saddam was a cruel dictator. But what we have created is 4.5 times worse. We need to come home and tend to our own business.

And Abe Lincoln suspended civil liberties
I suppose your point is that since every leader does horrible things to civilians in other nations we should just learn to accept it, and ignore it.

Is this what they call moral clarity?

What have you done except *****?
?

Read UN 1440 and the resolution by Congress.
Look it up for yourself.

But since you have made up your 'mind', stay in your fantasy world.

"tend to our own business"
Like murdering in their sleep neighbors you disagree with?

Aid and Abett the enemy
Will to fight.

Criticism of US policy abroad emboldens our enemies as evidenced in North Vietnam, Beruit '83, Iran '79, Somalia and Iraq '90.

Our enemies know that if we don't achieve immidiate victory, political pressure will be applied to pull out.

You and others contribute to that pressure encourging the enemy to hold out.

I'll try again
You're trying your best to distort my message. Anyone who wants to come to my country and share it with me is welcome. Anyone who wants to replace me here and have it to himself dies.

Not hard to understand now, is it? Now apply it to Palestine as the Europeans were arriving.

"A plan that seems to attract many Zionists goes like this: If it is impossible to get an endorsement of Zionism by Palestine's Arabs, then it must be obtained from the Arabs of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and perhaps of Egypt. Even if this were possible, it would not change the basic situation. It would not change the attitude of the Arabs in the Land of Israel towards us. Seventy years ago, the unification of Italy was achieved, with the retention by Austria of Trent and Trieste. However, the inhabitants of those towns not only refused to accept the situation, but they struggled against Austria with redoubled vigor. If it were possible (and I doubt this) to discuss Palestine with the Arabs of Baghdad and Mecca as if it were some kind of small, immaterial borderland, then Palestine would still remain for the Palestinians not a borderland, but their birthplace, the center and basis of their own national existence. Therefore it would be necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs, which is the same condition that exists now."

--Vladimir Jabotinski, from The Iron Wall (1923)

What have you done?
For example.

But this is silly. I disagree with the Bush administration on lots of things. But I'm supposed to.... what? Lie & say they're doing a good job for the good of the country???

This is ridiculous
Exhibit A: The Russians didn't have a free press when they went into Afghanistan. They didn't have legislators holding hearings, they didn't have newspaper stories about their mistakes, they didn't have tv shows saying that the government was lying about its successes. They lost anyway.

We're not talking about giving tactical information about troop movements in advance. We're talking about citizens getting information they need about what they're own government is doing. If you don't want to live in a place where this is possible, there are lots of alternatives.

I've read both
Neither makes the invasion of Iraq a good idea. The legal issues are a whole other argument. I haven't argued that it was illegal, and that's really beside the point. The point is, was it a) necessary, and b) advisable.

The answer to a) is, clearly and obviously no. Iraq did not pose such an emergent threat to the US. that the only way to deal with it was invasion. And the answer to b) is clearly, "conceivably, if we had an administration that was competent."

But they aren't. Everything they've touched has been a screw-up. From the looting to the rip off contracts to the failure to restore services even to the level of Saddam Hussein three years later, it's been one screw-up after another. LIke Katrina, but with lots more people dead.

>But since you have made up your 'mind', stay in your fantasy world.

I think you should look in the mirror on this one.

Washington, Lincoln, et al
My point is:
1. Historical perspective is useful and generally lacking in the US.
2. Compared to past leaders to include democrats, liberals, heros, President Bush has been extremely circumspect in the use of force at home and abroad in this war.
3. The civilians of the enemy populace are always a target in some sense as governemtns at war strive to compel the other side accept somthing they don't want. Sherman's march to the sea demonstrated to the Southerners that their government could not and would not protect them and their property - they would be left destitute. Nasty, but it worked and the bloody, costly war finally ended. Sure, Lincoln could have ended it by giving up - that was the Democrats platform in the election of 1864. The soldier's vote put Lincoln over the top. The ones who were actually making the great sacrifices wanted to win and those not involved wanted to quit, much as it is now. The losers in the US Civil War formed a veterans group caled the KKK which became a murderous terrorist group. If the Union veterans had been "stabbed in the back" (to use an expression made popular by German WWI veterans) what would have happened? We can only guess. There are no easy, morally clear solutions availablde to the statesman at war.

War crimes OK now, according to consensus?
"Compared to past leaders to include democrats, liberals, heros, President Bush has been extremely circumspect in the use of force at home and abroad in this war."

Bush would compare only with James K Polk, who declared war on Mexico, and Howard Taft, who invaded and occupied the Philippines without such a declaration, and John F Kennedy, who allowed himself to be talked into invading Vietnam. These were all unnecessary, elective wars that took hideous tolls in civilian deaths. We started them.

Bush has been anything but circumspect in acting on his doctrine of the unilateral use of force against nations constituting no threat to the United States.

Afghanistan, you will recall, was open to dialog on the matter of extraditing Bin Laden when we decided instead to invade and to occupy.

Bush recognized the need for a convenient war, so the public would be distracted and support a president that would otherwise have been an unpopular one-termer for his domestic agenda. 9/11, caused in part by his inattention, fitted conveniently into this plan.

Sherman doesn't excuse the next guy for becoming another Sherman. War criminals are war criminals. We should leanr to recognize and expose the type for who they are.

Cyclonezz.
1.) THank you for your service.

2.) Facts mean nothing to our resident left. Its all about feelings with them and since they are delusional and bitter, their spin is replete with angry psychosis.

A solution
Great piece. A modest proposal from a modern Jonathan Swift.

Actually, the neocon's answer is right. Self government and prosperity. In other words democracy and capitalism (only way kiddies, sorry). The problem is the one raised by LiberalGoodman, quoting Dr Askey. A proper strategy only works if you have good tactics. "Development" is a technical process; best strains of rice or low inflation. "Nation building" is political. They both have the same objectives, but very different means. All we have done is "development" thinking that if we just "get the numbers right" all else falls into place. Balderdash (Swiftian, eh?).

Ain't got no skinkin' boots

Its true, we haven't enough boots to put on the ground all over a world filled with horrid, corrupt, muderous dictators. So what do we do? There is no one answer. No formula. Solutions are a bit of everything most of which cannot be mapped out in advance.

Though let me offer bootless solution for Iran that is only mildly satirical. Iran says, over and over, that they want nuclear technology for power only. OK, tell them fine, we don't care. Do what you want for nuclear power. But let us find irrefutable evidence that you are making nuclear weapons and Tehran will be lit by something other than streetlights.

Jews PURCHASED property
Were the sellers forced?

Lead, follow or get out of the way.
There are less public ways Congress and the media could offer advice.

Demands of immediate pullout by Kerry, Murtha, et al
are carried far and wide in the Arab world. Great moral booster for their troops.

Again, tell the Russians about it
They didn't have to worry about this in Afghanistan. How much good did it do them?

Nuclear Iraq and Iran
Had the USA not ivaded Iraq, the pressure was on to reduce sanctions which would allow Iraq to develop nuclear weapons, ostensibly to defend against Iran and Israel.

Just wondering if an nuclear Iraq and a nuclear Iran would be a stablizing force in the Middle East?

Ah yes: advice
this is really a hoot:

>There are less public ways Congress and the media could offer advice.

It's been offered every possible way. The result is always the same: nothing is wrong, we're going to stay the course.

Why liberals love the Arabs and hate the USA and Israel
"Victimization turns out to be the real creed of the Middle East, uniting disparate Shiites, Sunnis, dictators, theocrats and terrorists. "They did it to us" offers an easy explanation of why Islamic states are now weak and offer little hope to millions of their poor, who, ironically, emigrate to the much pilloried West by the millions."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/08/its_not_just_about_land.html


Liberals need victims to have power.

mythology
part of the mythology of liberalism is that they are the guys who support the underdog.
They honestly believe that they and they alone support the victims against the cruel aggressors of this world.

As a result, they have to translate any and every situation into a victim, oppressor template.

The victims are by definition weak and helpless, the oppressors are, by definition powerfull and evil.

The result of this dichotomy, is that liberals see whoever is loosing as the victim. Doesn't matter who started it, whoever loses is the victim.

They also see anyone who is powerfull as inherently evil.

Soviets fighting the Taliban?
Were the Soviets fighting the Taliban?

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