100 Years in a Country That Had Nothing to Do with 9/11. . .

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Ouch!
bill burton twn.JPGBarack Obama’s spokesman Bill Burton just sent out a release of his own reaction to John McCain’s war-mongering criticism of Senator Obama that the latter has no experience in national security and warfare.
Well, frankly, I’m impressed with Burton on this one.
Here is Bill Burton’s statement:

Barack Obama doesn’t need any lectures from John McCain, who has consistently misunderstood American national security and the history of the Middle East in arguing for an invasion and 100-year occupation of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
Instead of spending trillions of dollars on permanent bases that the Iraqis don’t want and that won’t keep the American people safe, Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq and finally press Iraq’s leaders to take responsibility for their future.

What a powerful and true line: John McCain is “arguing for an invasion and 100-year occupation of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.”
I do have concerns about Senator Obama’s experience — but completely agree that the arrogance about experience that both McCain and Clinton have shown and the resulting bad decisions is a really serious problem.
What we need from these camps is a bit of humility about the times and situation America finds itself in — and a discussion about how experience is going to be requisitioned and deployed to deal with tomorrow’s very real problems.
Burton is exactly right in pointing out over and over again that this strident war-mongering is focused on a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

31 comments on “100 Years in a Country That Had Nothing to Do with 9/11. . .

  1. David says:

    Hoist one for me, Paul, and waft a few chords southward to the peninsula state, America’s flaccid member.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    An attack on Iran may change all this. To the worse.
    If that happens, I doubt that there will be a withdrawal of
    American troops in the foreseeable future, because the future
    will not be foreseeable anymore, regardless of who becomes the
    next president. Imagine the potential mess, from Israel,
    Lebanon and Syria to Iraq, Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan and beyond
    in any direction….
    But enough pessimism for today! I don`t want reflect on these
    sombre prospects any more this weekend. Just got myself a new
    instrument today, a real Moog synthesizer, – handmade in the
    USA and paid in Norwegian currency – and want to play some
    music and have a few beers…
    Cheers!

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And who will clean up the mess? The Iranian backed Shiite majority, after they have laid waste to the Sunni population, undoubtedly.
    Its inevitable.

    Reply

  4. David says:

    Paul,
    I think you’ve captured the essential dilemma in the nutcase shell in which its perpetrator lives. We and the Iraqis are well and truly screwed. Since I think there is in reality no good that can come of our presence there, withdrawal as expeditiously as possible seems to me to be the least bad choice.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    Error:
    “…one of the reasons why the democratic party is spilt” – read
    “split”, or “devided”.
    Of course there are a lot of other reasons too. Most of the
    democrats who supported the war in the first place did not do
    that for humanitarian reasons.

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    And let me add one thing to my last post: one of the reasons
    why the democratic party is spilt, is a direct result of the fact
    that W created a Balkan in the already conflict ridden Middle
    East. The US soldiers should withdraw. Yeah. But should they
    withdraw today, or in a year, in five years? Should all of the
    withdraw? After all, there is a Balkan situation there. There are
    humanitarian reasons for staying there for a while. After all,
    Clinton and Nato invaded the Balkans ten years ago. Perhaps
    you could withdraw, and than invade the area again a couple of
    months later, as a humanitarian operation, aided by NATO?
    If the Iraq invasion, or rather the results of that invasion, had
    been more clear cut, and the anti-war democrats in Congress
    simply could say: get out (without the nagging doubt that this
    would generate new tragedies), they might eventually have had
    the courage to attack Bush for his crimes in office. But willingly,
    and aided by incompetence, the man had created a mess of
    such proportions that he is safe in office, and probably after
    office too.
    As they say: owe the bank a thousand dollars that you can`t
    pay back, and you have a problem. Owe them a million bucks,
    and the bank has a problem.
    It seems like Mr. Bush, even before he became the president,
    had decided to spend as much political capital as he had, and
    even some more. If you add the dollars he has spent, it`s not
    him, but you, and the rest of the world, us, who have a
    problem.
    If you read history, you`ll see that Zbigniew Brzezinski during
    the Carter years was partly responsible for creating the failed
    state that we still call Afganistan, by tactics that made the USSR
    invade the country in 1980. (he wanted to give the russians a
    “Vietnam”) No 9/11 without what unfolded there during the
    next 20 years. Brzezinski, the elder statesman and respected
    expert is now, as far as I know, a foreign policy advisor for
    Obama, Great!
    And then: enter Bush, the big spender.
    And now the bill. In political, military and moral capital, as well
    as dollars, blood and suffering. Nobody knows how to deal with
    it. And Bush will retire to his ranch.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    “We, and the Iraqi people, are screwed if we stay, and screwed if
    we leave.”
    This Catch 22 conclusion is how I`ve seen it too, in the last two
    or three years. The tragedy is that I doubt that any brilliant
    minds, within the White House, opposed to the WH, or moving
    into that house next year, nor anybody in the US military, at
    Harvard or in Brussel, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, Moscow, Addis
    Abeba, Teheran or Cairo has any workable idea that is worth
    trying. (but there is no lack of bad ideas, well intended and not
    so well intended).
    What was his words, Rumsfelds words? Stuff happens?
    The truth is that stuff happens, and will continue happen,
    because, despite and totally independent of any strategy or
    brilliant ideas from outside. One of the reasons are that the
    actors in the “world” (outside the USA) have their own agendas,
    their own motivations, interests etc. And there is a limit to how
    much anyone can manipulate these players, who are playing
    their own game in a different context than the US, or the “world
    community” or whatever.
    This is how I see it (with an analogy from recent history):
    When the old Yugoslavian leader and ex-partisan Tito died, and
    communism died in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, the
    glue that had held that nation together didn`t work anymore.
    The civil wars during the 1990`s in that area, were the results
    of that glue (which held together an artificially created national
    entity) being removed.
    The historical blunder of George W. Bush was that in 2003 he
    killed the Tito of Iraq (Saddam) and its ideology (Baathism), the
    glue that held that artificial entity together. He created a new
    Balkan mess in the ME. This may have happened 10, 20 or 50
    years from now anyhow – we`ll never know. But G.W. Bush did
    that. He set fire to that house. And nobody knows how to deal
    with this fact. And just like in the Balkans, other players went
    into the region, trying to promote their own agendas. And there
    we are, everybody, more or less clueless of what really
    happened, and how to “fix” it. This was a blunder of historical
    proportions, and I would guess that a “solution” will take a long
    time to unfold, aided by, or hindered by tactics, strategies,
    “missions” or agendas from outsiders.
    The culprit, the arsonist himself, Mr. W. is correct: only history
    will tell.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Those millions of Iraqis are part of the bill. And for the good of the American people, the US can`t just run away from that bill, by acting as if it did not happen”
    The tragedy behind it is that the “cut and run” premise is all too true. We cannot morally abandon the country to the chaos and destruction that this bastard Bush and his satanical partner in crime, Cheney, have wrought by their criminal malfeasance and ineptitude.
    But, the Catch 22 is that we cannot afford to remain there either. Nor does our presence, militarily, or as an agent of aid, guarantee that we can pull the country out of the abyss in which we have thrown it.
    In short, when simple logic is applied to the issue, sans all this think tank horseshit, pretension, and agenda driven “analysis”;
    There IS NO solution to the unbelievable clusterfuck that Bush and Cheney have created in Iraq. We, and the Iraqi people, are screwed if we stay, and screwed if we leave.
    The only party that has a solution, sees a light at the end of the tunnel, is this monkey Bush. He will simply hand this mess off to the incoming Administration, then retire to Crawford, to torture frogs and cut brush, between bouts of falling off his bicycle.
    And in the end, after trillions of dollars and countless deaths, the clueless little Daddy’s boy will never be held accountable. And the rest of the world will never forget, or forgive, that fact.
    This hapless little buffoon has brought us to our knees. Who needs terrorists when you’ve got George Bush?

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    Cee,
    thanks for the link to Frank Schaeffers article.
    My comment: Beware of people giving advices based on their
    attempt to correct former personal mistakes.
    The first paragraphs were admirable in their honesty, their clear
    view on civilian versus military matters, and how McCain fits, or
    rather does not fit into that in the current context of Iraq.
    But then the former McCain (now Obama) supporter Frank
    Shaeffer says:
    “The next president will inherit the mess George W. Bush
    created with a big assist from Senators McCain and Hilary
    Clinton, and from other members of congress. If we are to get
    out of the mess they made we need good judgment and a
    ruthless disregard for any concern other than for the good of
    the American people.
    Above all we need a completely fresh start.”
    I can`t resist an analogy here: your arsonist brother has set fire
    to the neighboring house, and your solution to the problem is a
    ruthless disregard for any concern other than for the good of
    your own family. A fresh start indeed.
    And reading the rest of the article, it`s clear that Mr. Shaeffer is
    well aware of the enduring horrors and suffering in the neighbor
    house.
    There is no simple solution to the mess created in Iraq. But Mr
    Sheaffers “solution”, or, to be more precise, the attitude behind
    his suggestion, seems much worse than the former mistake he
    seeks to correct: supporting the invasion in the first place.
    The result: Hundreds of thousands dead (or more), millions
    mutilated and millions of refugees — and than talking about a
    “ruthless disregard for any concern other than for the good of
    the American people”?
    Those millions of Iraqis are part of the bill. And for the good of
    the American people, the US can`t just run away from that bill,
    by acting as if it did not happen. In US history, a fresh start is
    too often an ability to forget past crimes. But the people
    suffering those crimes don`t forget so easily, and one should,
    after what has happened in resent years, expect that the
    Americans, including Mr. Shaeffer, have learned that basic
    lesson.
    One of the big problems regarding what is happening in the
    burning neighbor house, is obvious: that this fact can be used
    as a new trap, to legitimate long term occupation (“100
    years…”) for other reasons than the good of the Iraqi people. A
    mess indeed, but Frank Shaeffer is the wrong man for
    suggesting solutions: Like McCain and his Vietnam experience,
    Shaeffer is too much buried in his past mistake to make a “fresh
    start.”

    Reply

  10. Paul Norheim says:

    David,
    thinking about it: perhaps “ambiguity” is a better word than
    “ambivalence”.

    Reply

  11. Cee says:

    David,
    This addresses concerns about McCain
    Sometimes Honor Is Wrong — The Problem With John McCain
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/sometimes-honor-is-wrong-_b_94524.html

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    POA…
    your reason seems valid to me.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul………
    I have chosen this monicker, and this demeanor, for a reason.
    Always remember, there cannot be a “middle”, without two ends.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    David: nice post, and I agree with almost everything you say
    here.
    On “ambivalence”: I don`t consider that as a negative thing per
    se.
    “… staying open-minded on issues for which there is not a
    simple, Bushistic “answer.” ” I may ad: nor a simple anti-
    Bushistic answer – and there you may have a definition of
    ambivalence.
    But more to the point: I think there may be a contradiction
    between being a “progressive” – if that concept contains a
    certain amount of “good intentions” or idealism – and a “realist”
    in a foreign policy context, which implies the tradition of seeing
    every nation as an entity ultimately acting out of “national
    interests”. These things are not clear cut in real life/politics, but
    I think you get my point. I would not consider Kissinger an
    “idealist” – but perhaps he sees himself as a “patriot”, and it
    may somehow be difficult to draw a strict line line between
    idealism and patriotism.
    I absolutely agree with you that the host of this site has
    principles. But since I don`t know him personally, I would
    perhaps hesitate to paint such a rosy portrait of him as you do.
    Then there is the factor of being close to power and fascinated
    by the game. This obviously makes some of his readers a bit
    perplex, even furious – me too sometimes.
    But yeah, I think he is ambivalent, and consider that one of the
    strengths of TWN. If I knew in advance his position on every
    question and every politician, I certainly would not visit his blog
    as often as I do.
    On the other hand, I enjoy reading the not-very-ambivalent
    PissedOfAmerican, who to me seem to be more of a WRITER
    than a politician, creating a kind of poetry out of his invectives.
    Oh, he would hate me for saying this, but I enjoy him more like I
    enjoy the prose of the European novelists Louis Ferdinand
    C̩line and Thomas Bernhard, Рmasters in monotonous
    repetitions of invectives and a no-compromise attitude – than
    as someone who provides his readers with political insights that
    are somehow useful in a practical way. Still: the sources of his
    language are political. And somehow, this mode of expression
    provides political insight too.
    Their mood tells a lot: Steve Clemons`s enthusiasm tells us that
    everything is possible. POA`s desperation tells us that nothing
    is possible (but still: I write).

    Reply

  15. David says:

    I have to disagree that Steve Clemons is ambivalent, unless you mean by that staying open-minded on issues for which there is not a simple, Bushistic “answer.” His great values are that he goes everywhere he can, talks to everyone he can, and draws on a vast array of informed thinkers. The quest for insight is always tricky, and always a journey. But it seems to me that when a conclusion is apparent and called for, he draws it. Two obvious examples: our Cuba policy and the invasion of Iraq. And he’s not ambivalent about Chuck Hagel, who justified Steve’s political respect in spades Monday night on The Daily Show.
    The problem with Israel is not Israel per se. It is the Likud Party, the neocons of Israel, and it is that Israel too often is to the Palestinians as European-Americans were to the native Americans. Liberal Jews at the moment get the same kind of pounding as do other liberals. And both America and Israel, like most every nation on earth, are entirely too enamored of wars and warrior kings/presidents/prime ministers. This is something endemic to governments and the societies that elect those governments. Look at who the French just elected, and how the British admired Maggie Thatcher for deciding a shooting war was the right response to the antics of a drunk Argentinian general. Meanwhile, the Australians came back to their senses, as might America in this election cycle.
    On John McCain: he was a pilot dropping bombs on North Viet Nam. He did what our nation sent him to do. Some people, including John McCain, think it was a noble cause. I do not. My respect for Americans in uniform is restricted to my respect for their personal conduct. I feel personal compassion for what John McCain had to endure as a pow, and for the North Viet Namese who suffered the consequences of the bombs he dropped.
    To McCain’s credit, he joined with John Kerry to facilitate the opening up of US-Viet Namese relations.
    I restrict my general gratitude to the Allied servicepeople who turned back the Axis attempt to conquer the world, to all of the people in every branch of public service who do countless acts of good, including people like a soldier who does something good for an Iraqi even in the midst of this madness called Bush’s War, to members of the Guard who stand ready to respond tirelessly to natural disasters, and to the soldiers who protected the black students who entered Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957, including the unit commander who rose above his racism on that day when his commander-in-chief called on him to carry out a worthy order, and to the policeperson who stands ready to put her- or himself between me and a criminal’s bullet. This list is by no means exhaustive, of course.
    John McCain neither understands the Viet Nam War or the Iraq War for what each was/is, nor does he demonstrate anything remotely resembling the judgment requisite to being commander-in-chief, sharing this leadership deficiency with the current c-in-c. He is both temperamentally and ideologically unfit to lead America. I have no trouble understanding why Hagel would call him a personal friend but at the same time basically totally reject the idea of a McCain presidency.

    Reply

  16. Carsick says:

    I’ve never been critical of McCain before and did not intend to disparage his service. Still, what I asked must be asked.
    Why does that make him more qualified than any other candidate?
    I understand he’s also reconsidering his opposition to torture.
    What does the man even stand for?

    Reply

  17. carsick says:

    Cee
    I agree about Matt Maupin. He’s a local boy and his parents, friends and neighbors needed closure. RIP Matt.
    On the other matter though…my father was a pilot and navigator in WWII off Tintin. He said “there but for the grace of God, I came home.” We ask much of our soldiers and airmen. Sometimes even going behind enemy lines with little back up. I will not vote for McCain but I will never disparage his service…especially as a captured warrior.

    Reply

  18. Cee says:

    I’m going out on a limb here to say something that I never thought I would.
    Why do we want to hear anything about experience from someone who was CAPTURED?
    Does McCain want more of our young men and women to go through what he went through?
    R.I.P. Matthew Maupin

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul………..
    Ackerman’s piece makes prolific use of the boogieman, Al Qaeda, yet pretty much ignores the huge role Israel plays in shaping our ME policy.
    How is that different than the standard line of shit we are fed ad nauseum about our motives in the ME?
    Any President that wants to change directions in the ME, or seriously diminish the threat of radical Islamic hatred focused towards the US, will have to completely revamp our policies towards Israel, and pursue a far more balanced treatment towards the Palestinians and their grieviences. To ignore that fact is folly. There is more at play in the ME than just the actions of the standard boogiemen that are offered as the justification for militaristic meddling in ME affairs. I have seen NOTHING from Obama that signals that he is will to cut Israels gravy train. In fact, I have seen the opposite, through his rhetoric about Iran, and his recent slip of the tongue during his so-called “race speech”.
    Of course, Hillary or McCain are no better in this respect, and their subservience to the Israel agenda is not a supposition, it is a given. But any “hope” that Obama will deviate from our standard posture towards Israel is just that, “hope”, and not a fact based opinion we can form by his statements or campaign speeches.
    Bottom line, we have three choices. Two of those choices have already sold out, and the third choice gives every indication that he is willing to sell out, if he hasn’t already.
    There is more to “foreign policy”, as it applies to the Middle East, than making sure you incorporate the phrase “Al Qaeda” into every explanation and rationale.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Micheal Scheuer has recently asserted that he feels the “terrorists” would much prefer a McCain presidency.
    (Of course, who knows just who the hell was the “terrorist d’jour” on the day he made that statement.)

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks, JohnH, for linking to Steve Ackerman`s article about
    Obama, his advisors and their reflections on foreign policy. It
    was more informative than anything I have read for a long time
    about the candidate.
    I would urge everybody here to read it, including the host, Steve
    Clemons, and one of his most frequent guests,
    PissedOffAmerican. Ackerman is not an Obama fan boy in this
    article. Nobody knows how Obama will act if he becomes the
    president, and Ackerman is well aware of that. But his article is
    food for thoughts.
    And by the way: I don`t expect you, Steve Clemons, to endorse
    Obama, and don`t even want you to do that: your strength as a
    blogger (and your weakness too, as a shadow that sometimes
    grows rather large) is your ambivalence!
    And POA: I don`t expect, nor want you to be convinced either.
    We all know that you don`t listen to any politician who has not
    asked for the usual suspects in the White House to be executed
    immediately.
    But take a look at that article. I would say that it does not
    contain so much of that crap/bullshit/horse shit/slime that
    usually meets your eyes when you open them.
    You may start to think like Dan Kervick, that there is, after all, a
    certain difference between McCain and Obama.
    But the more i read you, POA, the more I`m convinced that your
    strength is linked to the fact that you “don`t do nuances”. When
    this is combined with the ambivalences of Mr. Clemons, you
    have a great blog.
    But please, both of you, read Ackermans article about Obama!

    Reply

  22. Dirk says:

    Uh Oh, the Republican’s are at it again:
    Information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence…to pass the U.S. message. … On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.
    An alternative strategy is to “make” a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however, and depending on the person running the blog, may impose a significant educational burden, in terms of cultural and linguistic training before the blog could be put online to any useful effect. Still, there are people in the military today who like to blog.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/31/military-report-secretly-recruit-or-hire-bloggers/
    If Steve starts supporting McCain all of the sudden…

    Reply

  23. Dan Kervick says:

    This retort is similar in it’s confident, and even aggressive, tone to the one Obama used last year in his response to John Howard’s ill-advised foray into US domestic politics, with its foolish attempted insult of Obama. Howard had said,
    “If I were running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats”
    Obama took Howard down hard. Obama said he was flattered that one of Bush’s allies had started attacking him the day after he announced, and then added:
    “… I would also note that we have close to 140,000 troops on the ground now and my understanding is that Mr Howard has deployed 1400. So, if he’s ginned up to fight the good fight in Iraq, I would suggest he calls up another 20,000 Australians and sends them up to Iraq. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of empty rhetoric.”
    So for his troubles, the Bush acolyte Howard got a swift rebuke, including an embarrassing knock on on his chickenhawk posturing and even a coy insinuation about his drinking problem. Howard is now gone, of course, and Obama is still standing. In this latest case, Obama has a surrogate issuing the harsh rebuke, but the attitude is the same.
    This is one thing I really like about Obama. With him, we aren’t going to get the usual apologetic, insecure, namby-pamby Democrat – full of self-doubt and fretfully intimidated by Republican phony toughness and cheap talk radio machismo. Obama has made it clear for some time that this is a national security he is very eager to have. We can expect him to get right into McCain’s kitchen from day one of the campaign, and take on the addled and ignorant Bush-McCain worldview directly. I am excited about seeing the hysterical and crude graphic novel fantasies of Bush and Co. taken apart week after week by a confident man who knows his way around an argument, and will expose them for the mound of horseshit they are.

    Reply

  24. David says:

    Bill Burton really did nail it. And I’ve got to second the plug for Steve Ackerman’s piece. I’ve said elsewhere that I am really looking forward to Obama taking on McCain in the general election, as apparently do the Obama people – a very good sign. I think Obama will bring the greatest capacity for good judgment to the presidency, to go along with his intelligence, knowledge, and capacity for insight. I think Hillary would also be a capable president, but she won’t do as good a job of using the general campaign to help Americans know and understand.
    I agree that John McCain really is more dangerous than George Bush.
    I would take a Hagel vice-presidency, although I still agree with Steve that the ticket needs to be the winner and the runner-up. And I think that once Hillary knows Obama has the majority of delegates, she will accept that reality and work for a Democratic administration. She just doesn’t yet believe Obama is going to win. At this point, I find myself wanting the superdelegates to meet and declare their intentions in June.

    Reply

  25. Jim says:

    Barack Obama doesn’t need any lectures from John McCain,
    who has consistently misunderstood American national
    security
    To me, that’s the money quote, and the underplayed story of
    this political era. The most inconvenient truth, if you will.
    McCain has absolutely no idea what’s going on in Iraq or the
    larger ME. He doesn’t understand who or what al Qaeda is, how
    Iran relates to the different Shia factions, nothing. He is more
    dangerous than Bush.
    Benjamin: What’s missing from your analogy is the part where,
    after the robbery, you drive to another neighborhood, whack
    some guy in the head with a monkeywrench because he sorta
    kinda looks like the guy who robbed you in the street, then tell
    him if he can’t stop bleeding and get up off the ground, it’s his
    own damn fault.
    In theory, I agree that we have some obligation to the Iraqi
    people, but I don’t see any realistic way we can fix what Bush
    (and McCain) broke. Staying there waiting for a deus ex machina
    is just foolishness

    Reply

  26. JohnH says:

    Steve Ackerman has a great piece on Obama’s foreign policy. It goes well beyond addressing what Steve calls the arrogance that “both McCain and Clinton have shown and the resulting bad decisions.”
    For Obama, “Ending the war is only the first step. After we’re out of Iraq, a corrosive mind-set will still be infecting the foreign-policy establishment and the body politic. That rot must be eliminated.
    Obama is offering the most sweeping liberal foreign-policy critique we’ve heard from a serious presidential contender in decades. It cuts to the heart of traditional Democratic timidity. ‘It’s time to reject the counsel that says the American people would rather have someone who is strong and wrong than someone who is weak and right,’ Obama said in a January speech. ‘It’s time to say that we are the party that is going to be strong and right.’
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032808F.shtml
    Obama goes on to question the need for all the secrecy surrounding national security policy. As others have said, one of Obama’s strengths is that he talks to the American people like they’re adults, capable of understanding the great issues of the day.
    But the arrogant, entrenched foreign policy establishment treats Americans like they’re too stupid to be involved in anything remotely involving foreign policy. Therefore the real agenda must be hidden and surrounded with false pretenses.
    It’s about time that the entrenched foreign policy establishment had its basic ambitions, values stategies, policies and tactics questioned. Once all the secrecy is exposed, maybe Americans will see whose agenda the foreign policy mob is really serving.
    Though I don’t expect Steve to respond, it would be interesting to hear, first, whether he agrees with Ackerman’s analysis, and, second, whether he agrees with Obama’s call for a fundamentally different mind set embodying fundamental American values.

    Reply

  27. Spunkmeyer says:

    The only thing that Hussein and Bin Laden have in common is that
    each found strong support from the U.S. when our governments
    felt that to do so was in their strategic interest. It was Bin Laden
    against the Soviets in Afganistan and Hussein against the Iranians
    in the Iran-Iraq war.
    In each case, it became “be careful what you wish for.”

    Reply

  28. carsick says:

    Benjamin,
    It doesn’t help your argument when McCain voted and supported failing the state in the first place.
    Or to use your analogy, is it better for your safety to go after the neighbor who beats their kid or the one that shoots his neighbors? Yes, both are horrendous but in self defense, you must set priorities.

    Reply

  29. Benjamin says:

    Nothing to do with 9/11? Okay, sure, if we follow the literal translation. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with Bin Laden and Afghanistan and the planning of September 11th. I grant you that.
    But it’s overly simplistic to think that way. The broader view that I wish McCain, of which I am a supporter, would iterate is that the circumstances that created Afghanistan ARE the circumstances in which we find ourselves in Iraq: a failed state and our attempts to fix it, because failed states can come back and rock our world.
    Isn’t that the lesson that we should take from Bin Laden and Afghanistan? We aren’t in a “Global War on Terror”, we’re in a fight against failed states. While Al-Qaeda is a very important ingredient in many of these failed states, I don’t think our focus should entirely be on two guys in a cave. This way of thinking would also provide necessary flexibility on the future of troops in Iraq; it may not be boots on the ground that’s going to solve the problem.
    Think of it this way: let’s say you get robbed outside your house. Of course, you want to see justice for the person who robbed you. But the larger solution involves cleaning up crime in your neighborhood.

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  30. carsick says:

    By the way, Steve, though I don’t want to see Hagel as VP (uncertain times and all that), I do think he’d be an excellent selection for Sec. of State or Defense. Even better if it was announced before the convention.

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  31. carsick says:

    Your man, Hagel, is on Olberman’s show in just a few minutes. Does he throw McCain under the bus (there’s that phrase again)? I think so.

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