TCS Daily


How About a Commission to End Commissions?

By James H. Joyner - December 4, 2006 12:00 AM

Washington is eagerly awaiting the report from the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Bush 41 Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton, to point the way out of the war in Iraq. Sure, there are tens of thousands of years of professional military experience at the Pentagon with every incentive in the world to get things right. But what do they know compared to a bipartisan commission led by such distinguished gentlemen?

On the domestic front, conservative columnist Cal Thomas recently argued that the way for the Republicans to recharge their batteries after losing the majority was to "assemble a bipartisan group of former members of Congress, such as Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn and Missouri Republican John Danforth. They would be commissioned to draft a bipartisan team to find solutions to common problems and challenges."

The idea that blue ribbon committees of greybeards can come up with novel ways of solving problems that everyone would then agree on has long had great appeal. We're positively overrun with the Blue Ribbon Panel on This and the Bipartisan Commission on That.

Just a quick Google search reveals the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (aka "The 9-11 Commission"), the National Commission on Social Security Reform (not to be confused with the 1998 National Commission on Retirement Policy or the 2001 President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security), the bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy, the Commission on No Child Left Behind, and the bipartisan Commission to Strengthen Confidence in Congress. The gold standard has to be the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, which was headed by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. It just doesn't get any more bipartisan, moderate, and statesmanlike!

It's intuitively satisfying, after all. Surely, if we would just put politics aside, we'd all agree on the way ahead. Unfortunately, the sage advice of Rodney King notwithstanding, the world doesn't work that way.

Any solution that Baker, Hamilton, and their colleagues could agree to was destined to be so watered down as to be meaningless. Get more international cooperation! Make the Iraqi leadership take responsibility! Make a more concerted effort to solve the Palestinian crisis! Because nobody currently in office ever thought of those things?

Indeed, snippets of the report leaked over the last few days indicate that, like the old joke about a camel being a horse designed by committee, they are going to recommend a mishmash policy that takes a little bit from everybody's plan. More troops to secure Baghdad and more troops to train Iraqi security forces—but no overall increase in troop levels! A total withdrawal of combat forces by early 2008—yet with no timetables! As Sen. Carl Levin, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, described it with no apparent irony, "It's a welcome change in course, although it's not as specific, or it's not as pointed, or it's not as clear as I would like."

This is playing out as these things usually do. We elect leaders to decide important public policy issues. In turn, those leaders pass the buck to blue ribbon panels when there are no easy solutions. This simultaneously allows postponing action until the report comes back and provides political cover for voting for whatever the commission decides.

The 9/11 commission was a classic example of this. After nearly two years of hearings, and almost three years after the terrorist attacks themselves, we got a watered down document that told us what we had long known and essentially advised that we continue doing what we were already doing but with more unity, cooperation, and spirit of togetherness. And, of course, the creation of an additional bureaucracy, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, to help alleviate the problems caused by too much bureaucracy in our intelligence community.

Sure, both parties got some talking points and were able to take great credit for voting to enact the commission's recommendations. Just in time for the 2004 elections, no less. But is the country any more secure against terrorist attacks as a result? No.

That requires making hard decisions.

The same will doubtless be true for the Iraq War. If there were easy, obvious solutions that had strong bipartisan support, they would have been implemented long ago. Even if we ascribe only base political motives to our leaders, Bush and the Republicans had every incentive to fix an unpopular policy before the midterm elections and Reid, Pelosi, and company would have been glad to take credit for getting us out of Iraq without having to fight off charges of cutting and running.

The same principles apply to domestic policy. Cal Thomas' premise—that holding power should not be more important to politicians and parties than actually putting one's policy preferences into effect—is a good one. Inevitably, however, the former takes precedence over the latter once a party has been in office more than a few years. The initial enthusiasm about policy ultimately peters out because the best ideas get adopted early and the hard ones can't get past political roadblocks. After that, both sides just dig in and attack the other side, hoping the public does not notice that neither party is offering constructive ideas.

The solution, though, is not bipartisan committees of Yoda-like gurus but rather new blood and fresh ideas. Inevitably, the party in power overplays its hand and, as happened to a moribund Republican party recently, is asked by the electorate to some time in the minority.

With exceedingly rare exceptions, it is ideas, not compromises, which spawn great policy achievements. American Independence was achieved by a group of men willing to risk everything to achieve their vision. Slavery was ended only after a new political party rode that issue to the White House and then fought a war rather than compromise. The major social transformations wrought by the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement were not the product of bipartisan panels, either, but bold ideas and bitter political fights.

Both parties have think tanks, magazines, and young leaders waiting in the wings to generate these ideas. That's ultimately much more productive than dusting off Jim Baker and Sam Nunn every few years.

James H. Joyner, Jr., Ph.D. writes about public policy issues at Outside the Beltway.


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61 Comments

How About A Commission To Point Out That NeoCons With Racist Tendencies Know Very Little?
So another racist NeoCon writes an article that is against pulling out of Iraq and for "staying the course". Same old tired premises, i.e.- "If we'd stayed the course in Vietnam we would have won". so...."If we stay the course in Iraq, the people will be subjugated and become the 14th colony of colonial AmeriKKKa".

That's all that's being said, over and over, on TCS by the same old tired NeoCon thinkers.

We've already lost in Iraq, we lost this racist war, just like we lost the racist war in Vietnam.

You NeoCons hate our children so bad you send them off to get killed for your OWN RACISM!!

The lone Racist at TCS speaks
Spewing vile hatred and venom as he goes. You have a very tired rhetoric, it would be a good thing if you actually changed your tactics.

A joke for Beatles1...
How many Vietnam vets does it take to change a lightbulb?

YOU DON'T KNOW, MAN! YOU WEREN'T THERE!

I always get a giggle out of that one. So do most Vietnam vets.

By the way, I love the "AmeriKKKa" thing. Vintage idiotic, child-of-the-sixties thinking.

How Many Moronic Statements By Titloc Does It Take To Make One Sensible Statement?
......we all know the answer to that is that Titloc isn't going to make one sensible statement; everything he says is self-hating and non-sequitur.

You can't accept the fact that I served my country and I grew from it.

While you, a readily admitted person who could join the Military and serve his/her country, choose not to, out of cowardice and rationalizing that other's dieing for your racism is somehow "okay".

What you want to bet racist, that I'm not who I say I am?

Yeh, I thought so.

You're a coward who attacks humans who've wised up to what's going on this country, as racist, colonialist and just plain sick like you are.

The Non-Alone Racist PaulUnEd Speaks About Racism While Spewing Racism
it's hilarious that a racist like PaulUnEd spews vile hate and racism as he blames me for his and every other NeoCon's vile racism.

If you remember PaulUnEd, you are the one that supports killing Muslims and Arabs around the world, and that is really what is bothering you, because that desire comes out of your own self-hatred.

I pity you, I really do.

Nice to start off hearing from the lunatic fringe.
It's nice to know that all whites and all Americans are racist.

Don't bother thinking, just let the DNC do your thinking for you.

self defense is now killing all muslims and arabs?
Sad what racism can do to a brain. Assuming you ever had one.

Our resident racists is also brain dead and clueless
Great intellect you show dhimmie. Tell us how everyone else is a racist but you. Does that come from you Imam or did you actually read the racist rhetoric somewhere? Naw, it had to be your trailer-trash mom; people like you are unable to read.

Tell me how do I support killing Muslims and Arabs around the world? Enlighten us all oh great one.

Really? Prove you served. When, where, with what unit, what was your MOS?
Yeah, I though so. Faker!

Titloc? Oh, I get it now! Tee-hee!
>"......we all know the answer to that is that Titloc isn't going to make one sensible statement; everything he says is self-hating and non-sequitur."

Love the "Titloc" name. Never would have thought of that... outside of a grade school playground that is.

I don't get the self-hating thing. I love myself quite a bit and rightly so considering my many talents. As for "non-sequitur"... well... all I can say is that you look fat in those jeans.

>"You can't accept the fact that I served my country and I grew from it."

I can accept it and respect it. What I can't respect is growing into a ignorant, leftist, screecher-of-slogans that you have become. If you really are who you say you are... LeMule. Really, your writing style comes through no matter what your name dujour is.

Thankfully, most of our military personnel actually grow positive qualities by serving their country. This is why service in the military needs to remain voluntary, to keep out the idiots with weak principles.

>"While you, a readily admitted person who could join the Military and serve his/her country, choose not to, out of cowardice and rationalizing that other's dieing for your racism is somehow "okay"."

I readily admitted that I was not allowed into the military due to physical conditions. Never said I chose not to. LeMule has a difficult time with reading comprehension to.

By the way, you have yet to define the racist nature of the Iraq war or the Vietnam war for that matter. Keep dancing around but it only makes you look as stupid as you most likely are.

>"What you want to bet racist, that I'm not who I say I am?"

I'm a gamblin' man. How can you prove it and how can we transfer the money?

>"Yeh, I thought so."

Again you believe that I should somehow respond between sentences in the very same post. An interesting mental deficiency to be sure.

>"You're a coward who attacks humans who've wised up to what's going on this country, as racist, colonialist and just plain sick like you are."

I am just a patriot and a logical thinker. The hate, stupidity, and filth all flow from you and your hatred for America. How sad and pathetic you are.

One can not even muster the energy to hate you as much as you seem to hate yourself.

MarkdeSmall Misses the Mark Again With His Stereotyping - Typical NeoCon Racist Thinking
I am not a 'Democrat' MarktheSmall, just like you are not Mark the Great. You are a small minded racist of whatever color (probably white, or wannabe white).. who posts no coherent thinking or responses; just silly childish racist monologues.......

'BORING' Mark the Small.

I pity your stupidity and small-mindedness.

I am white and you NeoCon white racists do not represent anything but a small minority of self-hating racist Kooks.

Ever Notice How Be-Dulls1
Sounds like some cheap imititation of an already hyperbolic but dull moveon.org tagline? Living proof, if your only tool is a hammer, your every problem is a nail.

Hah Hah Hah
I pity your stupidity and small-mindedness.


Hey Be-Dulls, seriously man, have you considered professional help? Small mindedness? Everything is a racial issue to you-that's small minded.

Vote:
How many people think Be-Dulls is Eric's newest personality?

I vote yes
Since I'm not a Democrat, I only get one vote. Too bad.

Anyway back to the subject.
I agree with this piece in the most part. However I can't help pointing out the if the experts were allowed to come up with the plan if the first place then we would be in better shape now. however the reality is is was a political choice to go in and it will be a political choice on getting out. For REps they are going to blame the Dems, and the Dems are going to blame the Reps, same old same old.

Have you noticed?
Have you noticed that the commissions are usually composed of people involved in past incidents that lead to the current situation?

For instance James Baker was the Secretary of State when we stopped slaughtering the Republican Guard on the "Highway of Death". We could have got rid of Saddam in 1991. The trials of Saddam are primarily about incidents that happened after the cease fire. So now we have James Bake giving advise on a mess he helped create.

Too true
Unfortunately these dolts can't even handle a hammer!

It has to be, there can't be two of him!
He tries to hide it behind the racist blather, but he sounds exactly like eric when confronted.

I vote yes.

Hmmmmm…
notice he isn't answering as to proof of his service. I have no trouble telling people my entire military service, it is pretty hard to forget.

You Clowns Haven't Confronted Anybody About Anything Of Substance, Only Affirmed Your Own Racism
Oh my, how emotionally upsetting to have 3 low-brow NeoCon racists say I am some other person. You silly racist kids have no experience with war, with the world, with anything but your own self-miserable, self-hating worlds.

I am not the least bit bothered by a bunch of racist zombie clones saying I am some one else. What's next, ask for my NeoCon Racist Club card?? And then point fingers because I don't claim to be George W. Rapist Bush?

You can't handle having someone point out that you're just a little parrot for NeoCons further up the chain-of-fools, and don't have one original thought in your little pea brains. At least the blathering idiots that you guys worship have speech writers who make the rehash's of the small racist idiocy sound like it came from them. You clowns imitate their racism and can't even do it with a bit of racist gusto!!

I am ashamed that such low intelligence clowns claim to be "Americans".

I pity all of you.
I laugh at your sadness and depravity,
I pity you all.

And I find humor in your defensive "he's a commie" "he's eric" he's Stalin, he's Mao,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you're all cows following insane racist indoctrination that proves how mindless and numbed out you really are. How's the pain in there cows? Any vestiges of humanity left?

Give me some more self-deprecating nonsense, why don't you?

Somebody call the DNC quick, their chief strategist escaped and is on the prowl
There's a moon out tonight.

Pauled I think this guy is an excellent example of Leftist tolerance and moderation
As long as he's got his Hannibal Lector face mask on.

We need more commissions!
Just like we need more Lone Racists.

Seeking a second opinion
The conduct of this war has taken us on a disastrous course, but what need do we have for a commission that can give us a second opinion as to where we might go from here? Our job is to take a stand behind General Custer, and follow orders implicitly.

My favorite observation in the article is this:

"If there were easy, obvious solutions that had strong bipartisan support, they would have been implemented long ago."

Yes, that's the George Bush we have come to know. Never obstinate or bull headed. Always ready to seek counsel, and willing to deflect course when others don't concur in his opinions.

In fact this article is just speaking out for Bush, against the idea that anyone else can tell him what to do. He'll stay the course, damn it, and to hell with everybody! Who's the Decider around here?

On setting someone straight
Paul-- I haven't been following this thread, but was attracted by title of your comment-- "Our resident racists is also brain dead and clueless". And I sensed something interesting was going on.

Apparently this fellow beatles1 has come up with some rash and unpopular statements. The interesting thing to me is the response he has elicited in you. You're calling him a "dhimmie" and talking about his "trailer-trash mom".

Such language!

I know you are capable of more rational discourse than that. If he is wrong, certainly you can find a way to point that out more effectively.

I will only offer one comment of my own. As I recall, you're not one to call for indiscriminately "killing Muslims and Arabs around the world". But you would be aware that many of us posting here are of that inclination. Because they say so, in no uncertain terms.

It may be that our beatles1 has been following such rants, and has here addressed those people, who advocate killing a couple of million of them to teach the rest a lesson. You know the fellows I'm talking about. Don't take it so personally.

Cheers,

I Only Sling Insults At Racist Remarks & The Racists Who Make Them, There Are So Many Racist Stereot
Like Roy Bean said, there are people posting here who talk about all Arabs and Muslims in a totally dehumanizing way, consistently i.e.- tlaloc, Mark, Pauled, Superheater, you, Thomas, and just about every article "author" on TCS. Arabs and Muslims are the new "niggers" for NeoCons and conservatives, including Libertarians. Maybe not every Libertarian or even Republican, but for a large majority that are "vocal" enough to post on this site.

It's common to hear some "final solution" thrown about; the final solution being mass killing of Arabs and Muslims like is going on in Iraq today, or even more of a mass killing, i.e. - nuke them. How sick is America to have produced a crop of people who have made Arabs and Muslims our new "niggers". It's very sick. And people like Paul, Mark, etc are the perfect examples of how fully dysfunctional and diseased our society is.

Iraq did not attack us. We attacked and invaded and occupy them with a total brutal iron fist. People based in Afghannistan did attack us, so yes we had to go in there and take them out. But past that, we have become mass murders and racist occupiers in Afghanistan now, too.

Saddam is evil, sure, but now the racist war in Iraq has painted us just as evil. Soon we may pass the "standard" of Saddam's evil because despite being uncertain what the final number is of innocent civilians we have slaughtered out of blind racist dehumanizing hatred, it is very evident the number is going to be "too high" for America to ever claim to be "liberators" again. Will Germany ever be able to claim they are "liberators"; NO!! And neither will America ever again. The racist war in Iraq has destroyed America's image abroad and for good reason; the rest of the world sees the photos and legitimate recounting of our rapes, torture and mass murder, and most of it is true. Only a racist would deny the brutality of what we are doing there and how we have completely dehumanized all Iraqi's, Arabs, Persians and Muslims.

The troops routinely call the people there "hajiis"; a slang term that is even more derogatory than "******"; and it is the official "non-official" label we have created to justify our mass slaughter in Iraq. We don't kill people, we kill "hajiis". see http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:3GvcMThIKc0J:chat.veteranlove.com/archive/index.php/t-20.html+hajiis&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2&client=firefox-a

http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2006/01/chickenhawk-squawk.html or
http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:Rae2yxSLee8J:civiced.indiana.edu/papers/2003/1053033772.doc+hajiis&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=10&client=firefox-a or run a search on "hajiis" and see how sick America is.

I'm white and grew up in the south with white racists just like NeoCons all around me. You don't politely ask a racist to get off your families back, you throw the SOB off in a very robust way, and he/she won't get back on after that. After all, all racists are cowards and TCS is full of coward racists who've never served their country in the least. "Chickenhawk cowards" is a fit and applicable term to the racist cowards posting here.

If the shoe fits, wear it. Or get in therapy and become a human being for the first time in your life.

I worked in Graves Registration at the U.S. Army Mortuary in Vietnam, 1968-1969 and I saw the result of America's racist killing, both in the loss of my brothers and sisters from America; and the loss of my brothers and sisters from Vietnam.

Chickenhawk armchair racists like the type that write articles here and post here must be confronted. I don't tolerate racist monologue's justifying the mass killing of innocent people, whether in this safe anonymous website or in public.

No decent human being will.

We have over a million of our kids that have cycled in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan and they are coming home just as screwed up as the Vietnam Vets did. Our whole society will pay for this racist war for decades to come. Not standing up to NeoCon racists, like those here on TCS is a shame.

Shame on you racists. And shame on you few who may not be racists but allow these 'loud and proud' racists posting here to get away with their racist monologues without telling them just what they are "racist trash"; and unfortunately most of the racist trash here is white. Not a very good reflection on the rest of us so-called "caucasians."

Luckily...
we never hear racist or "final solution" type rhetoric from Muslims. No sir. Unless of course you count every major Muslim news outlet and government.

"Hajiis" is term that refers to someone who makes a pilgrimage to Mecca. The "Haj" as it is called. Tell me again how referring to someone as a "hajii" is worse than "******"? Two totally different meanings but perhaps you don't like the rough way it is bandied about by the troops? I am sure people use the word "******" is kind and reverent tones right?

The only stable part of your rant is the drumbeat of the word "racist".

I have never made a single post calling for any mass killing, deportation, or "nuking" of Muslims. In fact I have taken no end of heat for arguing against those very things. If you had any history here you would know I have several family members that are Muslim. I am able to differentiate between those who support Islamofascism and those who don't. I doubt you know half as much about Islam that I do considering your overall ignorance.

But don't for a minute think that you are correct in your characterization of Iraq and Afghanistan, or Vietnam for that matter, as acts of "racism". Your use of that term is merely a convenient method of avoiding the strain of engaging in actual thought and debate.

Knowing a good many Vietnam vets I can say that a great many are not as screwed up as you claim. Most say the war was not the reason for the bad feelings. Those started when they came home to a country whose intellectual elites and hipsters demonized them the way that you now do.

Be angry. Wear your military service like a depressing lead cloak. Feel bad about being white and American if that is your wish. You have the right to do all these things as an American.

But don't expect one ounce of respect for your idiotic, simplistic view of American foreign policy. Your rants are nothing new and are basically just a compilation of hippie-speak and buzzwords.

I salute your duty to our country (if you served) and I give you a one-finger salute for your stupidity.

Cmon Rev Al tell us what you really think!
This is Al Sharpton isn't it? I mean really? Or maybe some neurotic pederast like Barney Frank? Come on admit it.

Hmmm we can all recall the Commissar & Co staunch support for the troops and the war
As Patton said, "he'd rather face a division of Germans than have a division of French behind him."

The Nightstalker Commissar and his ilk are our French.

What a rant!
And full of sh it as they come. I spent 6-years in the U.S. Navy from Nov. 1979 to Oct. 1985. I did two West Pac cruises and, while I was not directly involved in combat, we did send air cover to Beruit, as well as some other work around little hot spots. I attained the rank of E-5 (Petty Officer Second Class) and was an I-Level F-14 Firecontrol technician (designation AQ). I was stationed with an F-14 squadron out of Miramar, north of San Diego. I served aboard the Constellation and Ranger. While on the Ranger our ship caught fire, the #4 MMR exploded and we had major fire control issues throughout the ship. Six died, more than a hundred were injured, suffered heat stroke, serious smoke inhalation, etc. I may not know about combat, but I do know what playing with dangerous equipment, out on the cutting edge with people's lives on the line, is all about.

I have no problem telling about my service, giving my rank, MOS, service times and places, etc.

You, on the other hand, will not. It is a nice dodge to just call me, and other here, names. Unfortunately some of us actually served, did you? Try proving it; but be careful! While I was too young for Vietnam, I have three uncles who did serve in combat and two who were in Vietnam; I have four family members who served in Iraq. There are others here who know even more about who was where and when. Therefore, if you lie, there is a pretty good chance you will get caught out; better to just tell the truth.

So, if you were in Vietnam, where, with what unit and when where you there? What was your MOS? If you don't care to share, I have no choice but to assume you are lying.

What a pack of lies
I have never threw out some "final solution". This is a combat situation and you must fight it as such. That doesn indeed mean people will die and that sucks. I just happen to believe we can't afford to lose this one or pull out. You are certainly entitled to disagree, but i doubt it will save any live if we do leave.

I'll repeat was I posted above - I spent 6-years in the U.S. Navy from Nov. 1979 to Oct. 1985. I did two West Pac cruises and, while I was not directly involved in combat, we did send air cover to Beruit, as well as some other work around little hot spots. I attained the rank of E-5 (Petty Officer Second Class) and was an I-Level F-14 Firecontrol technician (designation AQ). I was stationed with an F-14 squadron out of Miramar, north of San Diego. I served aboard the Constellation (CV-64) and Ranger (CV-61).

While on the Ranger our ship caught fire, the #4 MMR exploded and we had major fire control issues throughout the ship. Six died, more than a hundred were injured, suffered heat stroke, serious smoke inhalation, etc. I may not know about combat, but I do know what playing with dangerous equipment, out on the cutting edge with people's lives on the line, is all about.
I have no problem telling about my service, giving my rank, MOS, service times and places, etc.
You, on the other hand, will not. It is a nice dodge to just call me, and other here, names. Unfortunately some of us actually served, did you? Try proving it; but be careful! While I was too young for Vietnam, I have three uncles (Make that four; I forgot about Henry) who did serve in combat and three who were in Vietnam; I have four family members who served in Iraq. There are others here who know even more about who was where and when. Therefore, if you lie, there is a pretty good chance you will get caught out; better to just tell the truth.
So, if you were in Vietnam, where, with what unit and when where you there? What was your MOS? If you don't care to share, I have no choice but to assume you are lying.

How about an Administration with Minimal, Basic Competence?
One that doesn't turn every problem it addresses into a catastrophe.

Nobody wants to have to be ringing the alrm bells and trying to reconstruct after a disaster in planning and execution. But it's happening again and again. This is a comment on a catastrophicall incompetent administration, not on a national penchent to commissionize everything.

From who again?
>"The conduct of this war has taken us on a disastrous course, but what need do we have for a commission that can give us a second opinion as to where we might go from here? Our job is to take a stand behind General Custer, and follow orders implicitly."

By all means let us listen to the man, Baker, responsible for Saddam staying in power in the first place. What did his "realism" and love for globalism bring about in 1991?

In 1991, for those who keep insisting on the importance of sending enough troops, there were half a million already-triumphant Allied soldiers on the scene.

In 1991 Iraq was stuffed with freshly-used weapons of mass destruction, just waiting to be discovered by the inspectors of UNSCOM.

In 1991 the mass graves were fresh.

In 1991 the strength of sectarian militias was slight.

In 1991 the influence of Iran, still recovering from the war with Iraq, was limited.

In 1991 Syria was, due to Baker's "realist" concession of Lebanon to them (yet another triumph of "realism"), on our side.

In 1991 the Iraqi Baathists were demoralized by the sheer speed and ignominy of their eviction from Kuwait and completely isolated even from their usual protectors in Moscow, Paris, and Beijing.

In 1991 there would never have been a better opportunity to "address the root cause" and to remove a dictator who was a permanent menace to his subjects, his neighbors, and the world beyond.

Instead, Baker ushered in a 12-year period of sanctions that helped to enrich Saddam and to create the miserable, uneducated, and unemployed underclass that is now one of the "root causes" of the social breakdown in Iraq.

So yes, by all means let us listen to the wisdom of the ISG... and then be fully prepared to promptly ignore it. Is this the "realism" you seek Roy?

How About A Commission To Rank Bush In Comparison To Other U.S. Presidents?
WHERE DOES BUSH RANK?

The Washington Post's Outlook section this week devotes considerable space to famous historians' assessments of where Bush will place on the list of our country's greatest presidents. Unsurprisingly, the consensus is that Bush 43 will rank, well, close to 43rd. In his sensible conclusion that the current president is really, really bad, but not as awful as Nixon, David Greenberg lists some of Nixon's sins:

While Nixon had his diehard defenders, something close to a national consensus emerged over the idea that his crimes were unprecedented and required his removal from office.

No such consensus exists for a Bush impeachment. On the contrary, in this fall's election campaign, Democrats pointedly quashed any talk of seeking his ouster if they were to win control of Congress. One can argue that Bush's sanctioning of illegal wiretapping by the National Security Agency constitutes an impeachable offense.

Either way, judgments about the impeachability of Bush for such offenses are far less clear than those rendered in 1974 about Nixon's law-breaking. Many presidents skirt the edges of unconstitutionality. Only Nixon transgressed it so blatantly that impeachment became, to use a Bush-era phrase, a slam dunk.



Watergate was bad, to be sure, but historians have a tendency to ascribe more significance to things like electoral corruption than to other much more consequential actions. By what measure was that "third-rate" burglary, for instance, nearly as bad as, say, bombing Cambodia? Or giving the green light to Pakistan in their slaughter of thousands of Bangladeshis? I understand that it's easier to impeach presidents for blatantly illegal actions than disputed and confusing wars, but, with hindsight, shouldn't we be judging our chief executives by their most consequential actions?

--Isaac Chotiner

How about a Commission to rank...
Eric's most annoying incarnation?

Beatles1 tops my list followed closely by Fortunato.

When history looks back, if it does so objectively, Bush will be seen as prescient of the dangers of Islamofascism. Not to mention fully justified for going into Iraq and Afghanistan.

How about a commission to buy Tlaloc a clue?
But it's good to know we have a true believer here.

> Bush will be seen as prescient of the dangers of Islamofascism.

Sure he was. Got a memo entiled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US and did nothing at all about it.

>Not to mention fully justified for going into Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, sure. Iraq?? That's just been a huge success in every way, hasn't it. Getting better every day: we can all see it!!!!

good point; and true

Hey all, Beatles1 is a fraud, must be eric again; never served, never went across the street
His mom still won't let him go out alone, poor dittims.

Obviously Beatles is a fake; he won't answer some simple questions about his service, even when I volunteered such information about my time in the military. He is a fraud, a liar, and probably, eric.

If it is eric, he is sinking to a noew low, even for him.

The limited, modified, cut, run and stay the coursish plan
Actually I'm with you on this issue (surprise!). I was truly pissed when we trounced Saddam's regular army and were set to march on Baghdad to confront the Republican Guard, and then turned around and went back home. I would have preferred taking out Saddam-- which would have been greatly justified at that moment in time, unlike in 2003-- and left the place for others to put back together.

But it didn't happen that way. The main reason, of course, was that that time we entered Kuwait on a UN mandate-- which was only to drive Iraq out of the country. We had no mandate to effect a regime change, so G Bush One decided not to do it.

The thing that really got to me was that we encouraged the Shiites to rise up and destroy the regime. Which they did, thinking we would stay to assist them. Well, you know what happened. It was treachery on our part to leave them hanging out like that after encouraging them.

BTW I've listened quite a lot tonight to James Baker and Lee Hamilton explaining their 38 point prescription for maybe-not-success but not-quite-failure. I'm not too impressed with the plan. But maybe they left something out of their presentation on camera. I saw them on three different networks.

The Term "IsloFascism" Is A White Racist Term That Is Not Accurate & Displays the Bigotry of Sayer
Are there "terrorists" using a "religious hatred" as a driving force to kill innocent people? Yes. How many?? only a few thousand. These few thousand who claim to be of Islam are not recognized by 90% of the world's muslims.

Are there "terrorists" using a "religious and race based hatred" as a driving force to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent People right now in Iraq? Yes - they're wearing U.S. Military uniforms; ordered to kill in a racist war created by NeoCon Rightwing Fake Christian War Criminals, i.e. - Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Bill Frist, Fox News etc.

Who's committing the most evil??? U.S. Leaders and racist Military Forces by far. THIS IS NO WAR OF LIBERATION, IT IS A RACIST OCCUPATION!!

We're racist occupiers, occupying a land by invasion and mass murder; the world's biggest terrorist nation by far.

And don't bother making me laugh with the old "america, love it or leave hate crime attitude" you're packing around. I'm not leaving, I'm watching you NeoCon traitors/dinosaurs pass on into the dustbin of history, where you all belong. I paid my dues risking my life in the U.S. Military, while you cowards have stayed safe here at home; full of excuses. Sending other people's children to die for your sins of greed, racism and idolatry in Iraq, all for your self-hatred and horrible life full of misery.

Goodbye, you are not missed.

The voice of Leftist reason and moderation
Proving once again that Leftism is by far the more lethal and disgruntled collection of misfits and craven dogs of the two suicide cults America confronts today.

Indeed you will not be missed except by your warders there Insect.

Usually resulting in GIGO, garbage in, garbage out
This report is a sham. It's not an attempt to deal with realities but to pray on what is popular and what feels good instead of doing the difficult thing and explaining the repurcussions of bailing on Iraq to the public, looking at long term objectives and going against the stream in explaining what a threat Saddam was.

It's pure cowardice to just say "Well, 'everyone' is against the war so we don't want to upset people, we'll just go along with the media-conditioned false premises of the war and be lazy"

www.regimeofterror.com

Pauled Thank you
For your service-it must be rewarding to have served at a time when the military began to receive the respect it deserved but was not provided in the '60's and '70's.

Beatles Really Sounds Disturbed
Ranting incoherently, illogically and repetitively really sounds like somebody in desperate need of prozac, or perhaps something stronger than an SSRI.

James D (Dhimmi) Baker -Tool of Big Oil.
You might be surprised, then again, maybe not to know the "has-been" (his own self description) is associated with a law firm that gets big bucks from Saudis-where are the cries from the left about "big oil"?

Yes and no, transistion is difficult
I came in during the end of the carter years and the post Vietnam hangover. Moral was pretty poor and discipline was lax. That all changed when Reagan hit the Oval Office. By the end of 1981 the deadwood was being pushed out, the drug problem was being dealt with and self-respect and discipline was being restored.

But the transistion in 81 and 82 was a tough one for many, some of them my friends and close associates. By 83 the force in place was a much different one. The esteem for the military of those still in it was very high. The respect from the civilian population echoed the feelings of pride servicemen and women showed. When you walk tall people take notice.

I feel sorry for those who served in the 60s and early 70s. It had to be tough to virtually have to hide being a service member, or face redicule. Yes, I had it much better and I am thankful for that. But many of those who served were proud of their service in-spite of it all. That tells me that moral never sank as low as some would like to believe. Those guys still impress me! My good friend Bernie is one. He never hung his head and, while he doesn't talk about it much, he doesn't avoid talking about it either. This in spite of the nasty crap he took from the hippies when he returned from his second tour in 1971. A very good man!!

The clue be yours to find LeMule/Beatles1...
>"Sure he was. Got a memo entiled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US and did nothing at all about it."

What does "no actionable intelligence" mean to an idiot such as yourself? Nothing obviously. Considering Clinton's lack of effort when he had the chance I would not blame Bush for not acting on the TITLE of a memo. Although I know titles carry great weight to you...

>"Afghanistan, sure. Iraq?? That's just been a huge success in every way, hasn't it. Getting better every day: we can all see it!!!!"

So "justified" now means a "huge success"? Thank you for showcasing your reading comprehension skills once again. Huge success? Hardly but I never expected a quick turn around like some of you attention deficit disorder babies out there.

But yes, dummy, we were quite justified in going into Iraq. The Clinton administration agreed as did many prominent Democrats and what we have found there does indeed justify our presense. The fact that you are unwilling to actually research a POV before spouting it in no indicates that you have an actual basis in reality.

BTW: I do like what you have done with your new persona. More combative and more leftist. Good job!

Ummmm...
Not much to respond to here that hasn't been spouted before... All the popular myths and conspiracies are represented. You must have some kind of check list to make sure you hit most of the points.

Not surprising...
that this is Eric. His low gets lower with every post.

I knew beatles1 was a fake. More of a cartoon or Oliver Stone characterization of a Vietnam vet than a real one. I bet true Vietnam vets get so angry when one of these losers pops its head up.

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