Monday, June 19, 2006

"A Choice, Not A Referendum"

Joe Klein, in an opinion piece in Time, incredulously asks how the President can "with 2,500 U.S. solders dead, no discernible progress on the ground" still "be winning the war at home". He answers himself by saying that President Bush has the Democrats to help him out.

A good part of it is flawed strategy. Democrats keep hoping that the elections can be framed as a referendum on the Bush policy, and Republicans keep reminding the public that elections are a choice, not a referendum.


And what choice on the war do the Democrats offer the public? Klein provides this sad example:

Kerry said, to wild cheers. "It's essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake." It was an appropriate act of contrition, but then—as is his awkward wont—Kerry overreacted and called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of the year. It was a proposition that garnered all of six votes on the Senate floor when Senate Republicans gleefully submitted Kerry's idea to a vote later in the week.

Taylor Marsh says Hillary Clinton is never going to win without defining herself sharply. Saying "pwease, oh pwetty pwease, tell us your plan, Mr. Pwesident", isn't going to do it. And Taylor Marsh is a Democrat. It's not enough to convince the voters that Bush's plan "isn't working"; what the voters are looking for is an alternative. John Murtha recently presented what might be described as Plan  B in an interview with Tim Russert in which he stated, in response to a Rove video clip, his intention to defend the Middle East from Okinawa.

MR. ROVE: Congressman Murtha said, “Let’s redeploy them immediately to another country in the Middle East. Let’s get out of Iraq and go to another country.” My question is, what country would take us? What country would say after the United States cut and run from Iraq, what country in the Middle East would say, “Yeah. Paint a big target on our back and then you’ll cut and run on us.” What country would say that? What country would accept our troops? (End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: What’s your response?

REP. MURTHA: There’s many countries understand the importance of stability in the Middle East. This is an international problem. We, we use 20 million barrels of oil a day. China’s the second largest user. All these countries understand you need stability for the energy supply that’s available in the Middle East. So there’s many, many countries.

MR. RUSSERT: Who?

REP. MURTHA: Kuwait’s one that will take us. Qatar, we already have bases in Qatar. So Bahrain. All those countries are willing to take the United States. Now, Saudi Arabia won’t because they wanted us out of there in the first place. So—and we don’t have to be right there. We can go to Okinawa. We, we don’t have—we can redeploy there almost instantly. So that’s not—that’s, that’s a fallacy. That, that’s just a statement to rial up people to support a failed policy wrapped in illusion.

MR. RUSSERT: But it’d be tough to have a timely response from Okinawa.

REP. MURTHA: Well, it—you know, they—when I say Okinawa, I, I’m saying troops in Okinawa. When I say a timely response, you know, our fighters can fly from Okinawa very quickly. And—and—when they don’t know we’re coming. There’s no question about it. And, and where those airplanes won’t—came from I can’t tell you, but, but I’ll tell you one thing, it doesn’t take very long for them to get in with cruise missiles or with, with fighter aircraft or, or attack aircraft, it doesn’t take any time at all. So we, we have done—this one particular operation, to say that that couldn’t have done, done—it was done from the outside, for heaven’s sakes.

Blackfive pours scorn on the entire proposition -- it's easy to do -- by pointing out that any sortie from Okinawa would have to fly across China, unless it was willing to take the 10,000 mile route around India. But Blackfive's most telling point is this:

The other interesting thing about this guy is that he is literally the only Democrat in Congress that has actually put forward ANY kind of alternative military strategy in Iraq. ... As an ex-Marine Colonel, Murtha is probably the senior military veteran in the Democratic Caucus which somehow earns him a pass on his ridiculous military proclamations. ... The Okinawa Option should be plastered all over the DNC in the 2006 elections, and we'll see how long the Dems are willing to stand behind this kind of irresponsible and unserious policy ...

Well, actually the Democrats say they do have plan -- at least one suggested by one of their think tanks. Think Progress say:

Opponents of the President’s strategy have laid out a serious alternative strategy for success in Iraq and against terrorist networks worldwide. It deserves to be treated seriously by people like Joe Klein. (For details, read CAP’s plan for success and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops, Strategic Redeployment 2.0.) [from the Center for American Progress].

The key points of Strategic Redeployment 2.0 are reproduced verbatim below. 

Accordingly, we are calling for a comprehensive strategic redeployment from Iraq by the end of 2007 that will:

  • Restore the strength of U.S. ground troops 
  • Exercise a strategic shift to meet global threats from Islamist extremists 
  • Prevent U.S. troops from being caught in the middle of a civil war in Iraq 
  • Avert mass sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq 
  • Provide time for Iraq's elected leaders to strike a power-sharing agreement 
  • Empower Iraq's security forces to take control 
  • Get those Iraqis fighting to end the occupation to lay down their arms 
  • Motivate the U.N., global, and regional powers to get more involved in Iraq 
  • Give the U.S. the moral, political, and military power to deal with Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons 
  • Prevent an outbreak of isolationism in the United States.

The end goals of this strategic shift are clear, but to accomplish it the United States must implement a policy of strategic redeployment that:

  • Reduces U.S. troops to 60,000 by the end of 2006 and to zero by the end of 2007, while redeploying troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf 
  • Engages in diplomacy to resolve the conflict within Iraq by convening a Geneva peace conference modeled on the Dayton Accords 
  • Establishes a Gulf Security initiative to deal with the aftermath of U.S. redeployment from Iraq and the growing nuclear capabilities of Iran 
  • Puts Iraq's reconstruction back on track with targeted international funds 
  • Counters extremist Islamic ideology around the globe through long-term efforts to support the creation of democratic institutions and press freedoms.

This is frightening in its own way, not only because it contains obvious internal contradictions (shown in the table below) but because it never comes to grips with the fundamental questions that have been raised, but never answered about the strategy in Iraq.

Restore the strength of U.S. ground troops Reduces U.S. troops to 60,000 by the end of 2006 and to zero by the end of 2007, while redeploying troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf  Does this mean you fly troops in and then fly them right out again after a few months? Or does this mean increasing the strength of ground forces in general without deploying them to Iraq?
Prevent U.S. troops from being caught in the middle of a civil war in Iraq  Avert mass sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq  How is this done if you get out of the middle?
Provide time for Iraq's elected leaders to strike a power-sharing agreement  Reduces U.S. troops to 60,000 by the end of 2006 and to zero by the end of 2007, while redeploying troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf  Anybody got a calendar?
Avert mass sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq Engages in diplomacy to resolve the conflict within Iraq by convening a Geneva peace conference modeled on the Dayton Accords  The Serbs and Gypsies have already been driven from Kosovo. The former Yugoslavia is broken up.

 

The two issues that Redeployment 2.0 evades were succintly articulated by Rumsfeld critic General John Batiste writing in the Salt Lake Tribune. Batiste makes two criticisms which have been the subject of intelligent debate among scholarly circles and the blogosphere. These are that a) there were always too few troops in Iraq to stabilize it; and b) it was a mistake to disband the security forces of the old regime and rebuild them from scratch because this led to chaos.

... we needed at least 380,000 coalition forces in addition to the Iraqi security forces to impose security and prevent the insurgency. We were undermanned by a factor of at least three and could not secure the country during a very crucial period. To compensate for the shortage of troops, commanders were routinely forced to manage shortages and shift coalition and Iraqi security forces from other contentious areas to counter growing threats in places like An Najaf, Tal Afar, Samarra, Ramadi, Fallujah and others. ...

The Secretary of Defense's decision to stand down the Iraqi military resulted in uncontrollable chaos and the dismantling of the extensive Iraqi security force infrastructure that we are still working to rebuild today. This decision gave the insurgency an unlimited supply of manpower, weapons and ammunition. Further, when Saddam's well-appointed military garrisons were abandoned, the Iraqi people looted them and carried away every brick, door and piece of glass. There was nothing left but concrete slabs all over Iraq. Chaos reigned.

It's not the purpose of this post to discuss either of Batiste's criticisms here; but simply to assert that both issues are not only successfully evaded, they are never contemplated in Redeployment 2.0 or any of the Democratic strategy papers. There are calls for "more boots on the ground" followed immediately afterward by calls for a pullout. Heads are shaken when recalling the disbandment of Saddam's Sunni security forces. Then heads are shaken even more vigorously demanding the US "avert mass sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq". Well who do they think gassed the Kurds, Arabized Mosul, drained the Mesopotamian Marshes and sent refugees as far as Saudi Arabia but the very security forces it was a mistake to disband? 

The people at the Center for American Progress are not stupid. Presumably Congressman Murtha knows, or at least knows by now, that Okinawa is in Asia and Iraq is in the Middle East. How to account for alternative strategies that are ludicrous on their face? Taylor Marsh provides the insight. She describes the night when Hillary Clinton was booed by her Democratic audience. Describing her Iraq strategy Clinton said:

"I do not think it is a smart strategy, either, for the President to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government," said Clinton, before turning to the anti-war liberals' core beef with her. Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain. I do not agree that that is in the best interests," said Clinton, prompting loud booing from some at the gathering. ...

Jeer? The crowd booed, loudly, flatly and unapologetically. Senator Hillary Clinton was clueless this could happen. It was amazing. ... If Senator Hillary Clinton runs for President, keeping the stance she took today on Iraq, it will foreshadow the biggest fall from political grace since Gary Hart was caught with what's her name? When I think of another word for bombed, I'll let you know.

This incident encapsulates the Democratic problem. A large part of their base sincerely believes that an almost immediate withdrawal from Iraq is the correct thing to do. Whatever is said about "more boots on the ground" or "preventing ethnic cleansing" is nothing to the point. Or rather nothing more than a talking point. What Hillary discovered is that the bottom line is that much of her base wants to quit and quit now. The problem that both Hillary and Joe Klein are grappling with is that there is no way to disguise this. And while it may be desirable to portray criticism like General Batiste's as their own, it's nevertheless a fact that Batiste is never going to run for President, but Hillary will. And Hillary has no Iraq policy. Even Redeployment 2.0 seems no more than a fig-leaf to lend respectability to a program of withdrawal as fast as evacuation ships can be loaded. It would be more honest to say: yes, we want to withdraw now because it is, we believe, the right thing to do. The antiwar crowd is correct when it accuses its politicians of moral cowardice for refusing to come out and say it. And that weaselly behavior engenders distrust; which is why despite everything, Klein senses that Bush is still winning the war at home. People are unlikely to entrust politicians with their lives against an armed enemy when these same persons don't have the conviction to stand for their own beliefs.

71 Comments:

Blogger Smacko said...

Comment by Rusty on a Protein Wisdom thread about Mad Murtha's latest:

Proof positive that nobody is behind the wheel of the democratic clown car. Damn that’s some funny stuff. November is going to be a riot. All those goofy democlowns jumping out of the little car. propeller hats turning, big red noses going beep-beep-beep.
And the best part? They’re absolutely serious. It just keeps getting better and better.


Bout sums it up

6/19/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

After the War of Northern Agression, Republican candidates always touted their war service and painted their Democratic opponent as a Copperhead. By being so downright silly on serious life and death issues, the Democrats sentence themselves to decades of having the bloody shirt waved at them while they keep losing elections and become ever more irrevelent.

This may be good for Republicans, but a two-party system in which one party is reduced to incoherent BDS-inspired moonbattery is really a one-party system.

Our service members deserve better from the Democratic Party.

6/19/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Murtha admits he has become the enemy

6/19/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger MOTR_Dude said...

I'm not so sure Hillary needs to have a coherent strategy for Iraq right now. By 2008, either the situation will have improved immeasurably, or staying in Iraq without a drastic change in strategy will be untenable. Perhaps she's smart to wait.

6/19/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

"We've Become the Enemy"

6/19/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Dana Irey -- U. S. Congress

6/19/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

It's as if the republic itself is now divided into a red buttock and a blue buttock permanently cleaved by the bicycle seat of war.

6/19/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Thank the 4th Estate. The opposition party in our two party system is hobbled by a base that is “coming in broken and stupid.”

Their transmissions (a real debate about Iraq and the GWOT) have been garbled because the frequency (the MSM) has been compromised.

Cascajun

6/19/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

When I first started reading blogs, before I had my own, in the fall of 2004, one of the best sources of election coverage I found was Jay Cost. He seemed to have his stuff together.

Cost predicted the way nearly all of the swing states would go. He called the election for Bush months in advance. I followed the results on his blog, the Horserace Blog on election night, and it was uncanny. Ever since then, I've had a very healthy respect for any opinions he offers.

For months, Cost has been predicting that the Republicans will lose 8-10 seats this fall. He did a three part series on this at RealClearPolitics. It was based on all kinds of statistical analysis tied to political theory (he is pursuing a PhD in politics at UChicago).

Anyway, I'm going to trust his opinion. Every time I read of this being like 1994 again, I remember Cost's prediction. And every time I read this absolute nonsense that is spouted from the Democrats, it solidifies my viewpoint.

Intrade.com has a contract for the results of the congressional votes this fall. It's trading around 51 that the GOP will retain its majority. Buy now, my friends, and you can double your money come November.

6/19/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Since 1960, whether the Presidential candidate I approved (Democrat or Republican) won or lost, I have never been wrong in projecting an outcome. Since conventions nominate Party candidates barely ten weeks before an election, this means that partisan outcomes become evident 18 to 24 months beforehand, i.e. after or before midterm Congressional elections.

Whatever else one makes of such a claim, it seems that I am somehow representative of the American voting public. Odd, but there it is. This leads me to give strong odds for two eventualities: First, that if Hillary runs, she will not survice the primaries; second, that if by some miracle she writes a Hillary - Ferraro/Vacaro ticket (what other dolt would plunge?), she will join McGovern and Mondale as rotten mussels in a Republican bouillabaise.

Hubby's first act was to fire all the Federal prosecutors and burn their files. His last was to pardon everyone who might --how you say?-- share his concern for openness. MzBill would no doubt seek to, ah, drown out her chorus of lesbo-femmer intimees... how do you enforce Kopechne-type wells of silence, after all?

Maybe someday a nice, "minority" (sic) female opera singer who's just lost a leg will victimize the Democrats successfully. Until then, may they live in Hope (intended).

6/19/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I can hardly wait to see Murtha's plans for defending South Korea from...

Iowa?

Chile?

I know! The Canal Zone! No.... Carter gave that away.

Anyway, we have to avoid getting caught in the middle of a civil war in Korea, at all costs.

And Okinawa is too close.

6/19/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Seriously, though (VERY seriously!), Murtha of Okinawa, Pelosi of the Face Lift, John Conyers, who whines all the time... they represent a lot of voting Americans. That's the trouble with a democratic system: the voting public has to be held responsible for its representatives (ie, like the Palestinians, by the way...)
Makes me think, that does. Especially if/when Iran starts flinging around nuclear bombs...

6/19/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Left Can't Tell Between Victory And Defeat

6/19/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

"As long as Democrats have influence, Terrorists have hope."
-- attributed to Captain's Quarters commenter NoDonk

6/19/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

heather,

We're only responsible for the ones we vote for, or failed to vote against.

6/19/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Anecdotal evidence for Heather's assertion that lots of imbeciles vote,a guy at lunch today was touting Algore's global warming spiel saying "There something America is not doing to stop it,but I can't remember what it was."I bit my tongue and went back to my tamale.

6/19/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Diana Irey Slams Murtha On Fox

6/19/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Leaders in the Democratic Party have no choice but to be weasels, cowards, and two-faced liars. If they take the hard leftist line, they lose the general election. If they honestly support the war effort, they won't make it through the Democratic primaries.

Remember John Kerry. He was completely two-faced about Iraq, where he voted for a bill before he voted against it. The Republicans caught him on it, but he effectively had no choice. The Democratic Party base is horribly split and its leaders know it.

John Kerry may not have been the Democrats' best person for President, but he was the best presidential candidate the Democrats could have had for he kept the Democratic Party together in one piece.

I think we should not necessarily assume that the Democratic leadership wants a Democratic victory, especially if it means that the Democratic Party would need to change in any significant way; the Democratic leadership wants a Democratic victory under its own leadership. I suspect that, for the present leadership of the Democratic Party, creating a perpetual illusion of possible victory in the next November elections is at least as important as any chance for a real election victory in the fall.

The first step to winning back political power is to discover why one has lost it. Yet, the Democratic Party has refused to concede that it has actually lost recent elections. Instead, it papers over its divisions and hopes the Republicans crack first. Soul searching is simply not on the Democratic Party's agenda, and how could it be without undermining the power of its present leadership?

6/19/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger snowonpine said...

We've lost 2,500 troops and there is no "discernable progress on the ground"? Maybe Klein thinks he can get away with this ridiculous statement because the MSM has been so successful in censoring any good news from Iraq, that his audience is totally duped. What a piece of crap! This is an objective report and analysis by an expert? I sure hope the Internet has made it impossible for him to get away with this garbage.

6/19/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Reminding us why we fight:

Al-Zarqawi's death puts the tragic struggle for Iraq back into perspective. The campaign waged in that country and against terrorism everywhere is waged against people like al-Zarqawi-people who exploit the disenfranchised and the poor.

They indoctrinate their followers with intolerance and advocate a policy based on violence and terror.

Why we Fight

6/19/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Fenrisulven said...

b) it was a mistake to disband the security forces of the old regime and rebuild them from scratch because this led to chaos.

I know its not your intent to get into this, but we should recognize that the "experts" would arm-chair any decision we made.

If we HAD used old regime forces, and Baathist elements within had massacred Shiites, the very same "experts" would be moaning that we SHOULD HAVE disbanded the security forces.

6/19/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

As much as I desire to have principled conservatives elected, it’s clear that the Democratic Party is heading for the precipice. And even more important than having Conservatives running things in the short term is the LONG term survival of a robust 2-party system.

Part of the reason the Democrats are having such difficulties now is precisely because of their many decades of domination of the American political landscape from the time of Franklin Roosevelt to the mid-1990’s. The fact is that a great many people wanted the governmental services that the New Deal began, but they didn’t anticipate the avalanche it has become. Because of the “spoils system” that allows the winner of elections to fill many appointed offices with persons sharing their politics, the influence of One-Party Rule is pervasive. Once a party gains the ascendant, it enjoys all the natural advantages of incumbency, particularly if rules against partisan activity by government employees can be bent, ignored, or changed.

This is true for any party, and it becomes increasingly difficult to root out corruption except by a “clean sweep.” I’m not saying that the Republicans have been in too long. But it’s fair to predict that a Republican majority returned to office at the Federal, State, Regional, and municipal level for sixty years would be as corrosive to the culture as having that situation persist for the Democrats.

Better to alternate, so neither party gets a permanent lock on the cookie jar.

In this time the most important consequence of more than half a century of Democratic control of the country is the party’s disconnection from their own supporters’ exasperation. Simply, their domination of the electoral process for so long allowed them to mistake invulnerability for infallibility. Gradually, reality has intervened with the voters, who really can’t be fooled all the time. The persistant dissonance between the Left’s description of the world and the same world as seen, touched, and felt by the voters finally cannot be ignored. They begin to switch to candidates offering a more convincing description of the problems and solutions.

We need to keep engaging with Democrats. I dunno how, but a least I don’t go over and toss stinkbombs into the discussions at Leftist blogs. I’ve heard reports that some conservative organizations have been providing funding to keep Air America broadcasting. Whatever my feelings for Al Franken, I think there has to be a value in demonstrating the conservative’s commitment to diversity by keeping his life support plugged in.

6/20/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The Mad Fiddler said...
"As much as I desire to have principled conservatives elected, it’s clear that the Democratic Party is heading for the precipice."

The Democratic party is the precipice. They are so used to the tortured twisting of language and so practiced in deceit they will say anything to accomplish their goals.

In this same post, Heather said...
"Seriously, though (VERY seriously!), Murtha of Okinawa, Pelosi of the Face Lift, John Conyers, who whines all the time... they represent a lot of voting Americans. That's the trouble with a democratic system: the voting public has to be held responsible for its representatives (ie, like the Palestinians, by the way...)"

I wish. But wasn't Ray Nagan just re-elected as Mayor of New Orleans? The people's choice has decided to bring back the National Guard to do what his police department should but cannot. The Democrats lifeblood depend on votes from people too stupid to pull a lever correctly and base their political future on doing anything to get the electorate to include illegal entrants to the US. The entire election process has been dumb-downed to a shameful disgrace of civics gone wild or AWOL. The intelligent members of the Democratic Party know they can only achieve their true eltitist agenda by the practiced artful use of deceit. No Heather, unfortunately and sadly, a nation of victims does not have to be held responsible for anything.

6/20/2006 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Poor ol' Joe, he can't help it. He's just as flummoxed as the rest of his party. Yes, it's the BDS. He's trying to analyze the problem but he can't quite "make it out." Notice how he was about to see something but then the BDS flared up and the war calumnies clouded his vision?

As to Murtha: Well, Okinawa is certainly "over the horizion."

As to Democrats: They would maintain an Army which would see no deployment. After some time of inactivity, they would see less need for an Army and cash in the "peace dividend" while pointing critics to the "European model."

Excellent post, Wretch!

6/20/2006 01:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trangbang,
You should have spewed your lunch all over him and shouted:
"You're right!
And when They Outlaw Hot Tamales,
Only Outlaws will Eat Hot Tamales!
G_d I'm Sorry!
"

6/20/2006 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger Clioman said...

Kerry: Cut and Run
Murtha: Cut and Wander
Clinton: Cut and Ponder

6/20/2006 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Murtha is a sad, ridiculous man. His moment is over, though his followers might not know it yet.

The Strategy Document is also a joke. As Wretchard duly noted, it rings a little hollow to list out objectives (even disregarding their internal contradictions) and then say that we should get out by this or that date. It tells the voter the objectives are important until they aren't.

Also, no mention is made of working with the Iraqi government to achieve something. The list is entirely one of avoidance--of further American blood, and with it our responsibility and honor. Let the international community do it (they won't). Let diplomacy replace our military efforts (it can't). Put Iraq's reconstruction back on track with international money (was it the money that was holding us back? -- I thought it was something about violence). Counter Islamist extremism through long-term efforts to support the creation of democratic institutions -- by, in our largest current effort, declaring defeat and going elsewhere. Prevent an outbreak of isolationism by humiliating ourselves on the world stage -- that is how we get the political and moral will to confront Iran.

The reason why all other options sound ridiculous is not because the Democrats are insane. It is because they want power and need to distinguish themselves, but the strategy we are already pursuing is the best we can do (the execution might be questionable). Only if it becomes clear after thoughful deliberation that our objectives are no longer possible will the Democratic message of immediate pullout begin to make sense. Until then, tying our strategy to anything but the accomplishment of goals is outright irresponsible.

6/20/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This is the Real. All that other mess is fake.

6/20/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, it is true that the Democrats seem conflicted, the same cannot be said of our Iraqi allies.

They have the Maliki Plan which Mr Bush did endorse, while visiting Baghdad.

Mr Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's newly appointed national security adviser, lays out the Goals of the Maliki Plan.

"... With the governors of each province meeting these strict objectives, Iraq's ambition is to have full control of the country by the end of 2008. In practice this will mean a significant foreign troop reduction. We envisage the U.S. troop presence by year's end to be under 100,000, with most of the remaining troops to return home by the end of 2007...."

He goes on to say quite a bit more.
About getting out of the US's shadow and what not. It is the "Plan", designed by Mr Maliki, endorsed by Mr Bush.

A "roadmap", that's what Mr Mowaffak al-Rubaie calls the "Plan".

Time to be engaged in Garrisoning negotiations, 'cause the "occupation" is about done.

6/20/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Griswel said...

The sad part is that the Dems desperately need this war to continue. That's why they panicked when talk of an amnesty in Iraq was floated (because it seemed to make ending the insurgency a real possibility).

That there was no amnesty is unimportant: what would happen if the insurgents chose to stop killing people? The urgency of the pleas to flee Iraq are based entirely on the decision of the insurgents to continue to kill.

Every act of terror strengthens the Democrats, every increase in the Democrat's authority helps the terrorists.

6/20/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Let me tell you what we are up against. Just the other day I was talking to my friend--valedictorian, Princeton grad, high honors, degree in German philosophy, post-grad degrees, etc., really smart guy--about the Iraq war and President Bush. We hadn't seen each other in a few years -- we had quite a bit of time to kill over some beers at the local pub -- so I decided I would get to the bottom of what he thought about Life, the Universe, and Everything -- specifically, the current situation we find ourselves in.

It was a humbling experience. Not because I was outmatched intellectually, and not because of his devastating retorts; no, it was humbling because the problem we here at the Club always talk about--the problem of communication, of perspective, of accuracy in language, of context, of belief, etc.--exposed itself as the unforgiving, uncompromising, nigh indomitable Leviathan it is. I had four hours and trust and I could not break into the fortress he had set up around his smug self-certainty.

Some examples, perhaps?

1. Bush is a Fascist. I tried the Socratic method first, tried to get him to define the word and then give specific examples of actions that could reasonably fit under that definition. Of course, I got Gitmo, Eavesdropping, Torture, Abu Ghraib, lying to the American people to go to war, and stealing elections. I took them one by one, bringing up American jurisprudence and Constitutional Law, history, and the finer details of these events, but I soon found out it wasn't his facts that he cared about. It was his opinion. It was as if he jumped on a conclusion and then raked to himself any factoid that could support it in argument. The facts themselves were disposable, because it was the opinion that was important. And the opinion was indestructable.

2. Bush and Cheney are Felons. This was never discarded, even after I explained that the word Felon has a specific meaning, a meaning that is tied to a specific lexiconic universe, and that in that universe Bush and Cheney are almost certainly not Felons. He couldn't, or wouldn't, understand. For him, to label someone a Felon was not a legal judgment, but an emotional one. I gave up.

3. Condoleeza Rice is a house nigger, and the Republicans are the party of racism. He actually said that, and I'm still pissed off. If you want to know where you can find racism, my friends, look no further than elite Leftists. They talk like this casually. (!)

4. Bush lied.

5. Iraq is a failure.

6. Terrorism is America's fault.

7. 9/11 was a Conspiracy.

8. The Government is Listening.

My friend is an hyper-intelligent elite Ivy Leaguer, plugged into the top echelon of society, steeped in the new religion of Smug, and these are his earnest beliefs.

You want to know scary? We're producing more of these jackasses every single day. Articulate, smooth, persuasive -- jackasses.

6/20/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

It's nice to know you try my links, Rat.

6/20/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

Let's see...

Restore the strength of U.S. ground troops

and

Reduces U.S. troops to 60,000 by the end of 2006 and to zero by the end of 2007, while redeploying troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf

That does sound like a contradiction until you know the secret details of the plan. The strength of the US ground troops is to be restored by a program of calasthenics, protein supplementation and bombardment with gamma rays, combined with the issuance of uniform trousers that turn purple when the wearer becomes angry. We can then reduce our force on the ground in Iraq to one PO'd green guy and that would be plenty.

6/20/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Actually, we are winning the war in Iraq. Kline just has the wrong benchmarks. Winning isn't ending ALL violence, something that will never happen, but rather establishing some sort of consenual government (AKA:Democracy).
Using body counts as a benchmark is typical 'moving the goal post' tactics. Those tactics no longer work.
A lie oft told is seldom believed.
And if Body counts were the benchmark, then the almost 3,000 from the WTC have to be included, as well as those from Afghanistan and the 4700+ from 1979 to 2000. Klien is practicng typical FUD techniques. Once agin the lie oft told.
To balance out the body count formula, since 1979, there has been aprox 12,000 US fatalities. Since 2001, the enemy has lost at least 50,000.
That is why the military refuses the body count approach. It is not a valid measure of victory OR defeat for either side.

"It is clear that war is not a mere act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political activity by other means"
This is from a translated version of "On War" from 1976

Clauz's theory is generally accepted as correct, which means a political solution is the ONLY possible outcome. Given that the Iraqi government is representative of the Iraqi people and serves with the consent of a majority of the Iraq people, then a political soultion has been achieved. Having a toxic mixture of counter-revolutionaries, criminals and 5th columnists killing people doesn't change that fact.
Klien is building his theory on a flawed premise. As always, that produces a flawed theory.

6/20/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Always check the mornng news, aristide.

You have a two or three hour headstart, each morning.

Your observations about the Ivy Leaguers are telling. Mr Murtha and his crowd play well to your friend's perspectives.

6/20/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

OT
Bill Whittle is back at ejectejecteject.com:

The forces of ignorance and barbarism – bearers of ruin and despair wherever they make camp – are growing in confidence. But beside their will to destroy and die they have nothing. These Death Cult barbarians think this is all they will need – that, and an initial alliance with the forces they most despise. I still hold out hope that they will crack open a second book – a history book, say – that might at the eleventh hour give them some insight into the avocado nature of the Civilization they seem determined now to assault: soft and pulpy on the outside, impenetrably tough and hard within. They are going to do more than chip a tooth on us, these raving, bloodthirsty lunatics: they are about to make, I think, the same mistake that others have made before them – to see the Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores as representative of a corrupt and dying culture, rather than what they really are: somewhat entertaining animal acts we Westerners use to pass the time while waiting for the next opportunity to pull the gloves off, and kick some new inhuman, barbaric horde onto the ash heap of history, where reside Aristocracy, Slavery, Fascism and Communism, holding in common only the mark of our boots on their asses.

6/20/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the Maliki Plan is successful and the bulk of US troops are out of Iraq by mid '08, what do the Democrats run on, in the fall of '08?

Domestic issues?
Iran & Korea?

If the plan fails, the War will be paramount. To the Democrats advantage.

Success or at least some vestages of success is very important, if there is an Enemy beyond Iraq.

In the NY Post, Amir Taheri says that on "Iran: The World Punts"

While in the NYTimes there is an interesting piece that, while spun in an antiAdministration way, does provide background on the Russian and Chinese economic ties with Iran.

6/20/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Aristides: Y'all may tire of me saying this, but your "conversation" with your old friend confirms an observation I made several years back:

Many people - even educated ones - know many things that they have not learned.

They have not learned those things because there is no place they can go and refer to a reputable authority and learn them. They just "know" them.

Perhaps that is the real essence of modern Leftism: the right to believe things which have no basis.
They are men of "faith."

6/20/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Aristedes:

Most people are at bottom conformists, valedictorians or not. I'm sure your friend's opinions allow him to nestle in comfortably where he lives, which is what he appears to desire above all else. It's not unusual.

If he lives in the sort of environment I imagine he does, and his opinions were different and he didn't keep his mouth shut, his life would be very difficult, which is not what he seems to want.

It's not a very heroic way to live but as you see yourself it's easy for him to conclude that he's not going to be changing many opinions, whatever he does.

The funny part is that his existence has quite a lot in common with that of a member of the sort of conformist religious sect I'm certain he despises.

6/20/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

Trangbang68,
Here's a little salsa for your tamale:
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
--Winston Churchill

6/20/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Donna Rice was the name of the woman Gary Hart was caught with. And there was a boat that figured in the story--I think the name of the boat was the "Monkey Business."

I have thought for a long time that these contradictions in Democrat party are bound to lead to a confrontation a la Chicago 1968, when similar contradictions--surrender now versus surrender later--arose in the party. The democrats took a while to recover from what happened at Balbo and Michigan. The more strident among them may have forgotten the damage that the party suffered; as I remember the echt dems hated Hubert Humphrey for his stance on the war as much or more than they hated Nixon.

Is Hillary shaping up to be the HHH of 2008? Couldn't happen to a nicer person, I'd say.

6/20/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

RWE
Perhaps that is the real essence of modern Leftism: the right to believe things which have no basis.
They are men of "faith."
/////////////
They are men of "faith."

Its helpfult too for conservatives to establish precisely just what those "faiths" are.

Aristedes hit some of them.

6/20/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Dear Aristides,

I am frequently in conflict over my own association with Yale, having graduated in the very early 1970’s after observing Wm. Sloan Coffin’s smug grandstanding for a number of years. I’m one of the public-high school guys that R. Inslee Clark recruited to diversify the socioeconomic spread. This placed me among the small group of ... oh, seventy or eighty thousand folks in the Yale community that steeped in the ambiance (I prefer “ambulance”) of a campus simultaneously graced with the presence of the youthful George W. Bush, Scooter Libby, Garry Trudeau, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham, and Ben Stein, and a few other worthies. (I used to go over to the law school and try to hit on some of the lady students. I’m pretty sure it was Hillary that threatened to call security on me one fine spring evening...)

But seriously, you’ve fingered a defining characteristic of a Ivy League icon. It is a desperate frantic need to be perceived as infallible. Imagine the typical experience of young Smugly Gitful, who arrives with his suitcase as the acclaimed Valedictorian, class president, and multi-threat athlete, and awakens the first morning as a freshman surrounded by a thousand clones of himself. He is no longer anything special, just another Clearasil-dabbed bumpkin, about to be revealed for the lackwit he really is.

By the end of my first year, having accepted early on that I was academically eclipsed by 90 percent of my classmates (my skills were in art and music) I began to recognize a tactic among certain students. It was to aggressively spew what might be termed “suppressive fire” — a torrent of promiscuous factoids. If you took the trouble of attempting to responsibly deal with any single item, your argument was inundated with scores of additional assertions. I most frequently observed this with graduates of the “elite” preparatory schools, who were generally legitimately intelligent and well-drilled in vocabulary and literature. But it became clear that this was simply a technique of bullying; the individual assertions were frequently chaotic, logically unrelated to the proposition they were meant to support, and even (Heavens!) WRONG.

But this tactic effectively intimidated and deflated even some of the less confident instructors. I chalked it up to the prep schools emphasis on training students in oral debate. It is a perverse and deliberate prostitution of rhetoric. But it’s how an unholy number of attorneys approach things...

Those guys confused cleverness with intelligence. Some in the fullness of time repented of their sins, and learned to do the tedious work of actually studying a problem, rather than just trying to dance around it. But a lot of people never progress beyond that technique, and continue to use it, to the ruin of our society. This is the weakness of an educational system limited to a linear stream of tidy little semester packets like so many steroid injections.

The fact is you can get a great education almost anywhere, if you catch the excitement of discovery. Tragically, a lot of people emerge from some of the best schools less able to contribute to a wholsome culture than when they entered.

6/20/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

The writer of the Washington Post article linked in the Aristides post of 6:37 am is identified as Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie.

That's howz cum Aristides says it's the REAL...

6/20/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

John Samford said "Klien is practicng typical FUD techniques. "

Please explain "FUD techniques"

Thanks.

6/20/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Charles:

True.

I think a bestselling book could be made on the topic of "What You have To Believe in Order to Be a Modern Leftist."

6/20/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Gates of Vienna has a mind-stretching post about a conference last week at a Danish University on "Islamism and European Security."

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/

If you have time to scroll down the page you will find a passle of well-written articles, lot of 'em on Denmark and its dealing with Islamic extremists.

6/20/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

The Mad Fiddler,

FUD is as far as I recall, the acronym for fear, uncertainty and doubt. Spreading FUD was used as early as 1970, as a decription of IBM's marketing tactics, with regard to plug-compatible-hardware and -software, which was just being introduced to the computing (mainframe)environment.

6/20/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

I imagined it was a slander against the Leftist beast, as in:

F-ing
Underhanded
Demoncrats

Acronyms Anonymous 12-step program--- visit a chapter near you!

6/20/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Supreme Leader Murtha: Iraq's Security Problems Solved Only through Withdrawal of Occupying Troops
Opps, make that Seyed the Supreme:
TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei stressed that the present security problems in Iraq may only be solved through withdrawal of the occupation army from that country and transfer of security affairs to the Iraqis themselves.

6/20/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I would expect a Fiddler to support "Acronyms Euphonious" unless of course said Fiddler is Mad.

6/20/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

RWE said...

I think a bestselling book could be made on the topic of "What You have To Believe in Order to Be a Modern Leftist."

Ann Coulter has a book out that hits a lot of the points. Its called "Godless: The Church of Liberalism"

6/20/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Princetonian Qualifications:
Joschka Fischer -
Fischer dropped out of high school in 1965, and started an ...
---
Joschka Fischer, Former German Minister, Joins Princeton Staff
- Bloomberg - Jun 17, 2006
Brett Marston: JOSCHKA FISCHER AT PRINCETON
In case you missed it, read The Daily Princetonian's account of German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's speech at Princeton yesterday.
Captain's Quarters
Princeton has invited former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to teach at the university starting this fall.

6/20/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Finally, he said, political deterrence is necessary to destroy totalitarian organizations like al Qaeda"

6/20/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He studied the works of Marx, Mao and Hegel here.
He was a member of the APO
Extra-Parliamentary Opposition), as well as a militant in a group called Revolutionary Fight.

He was the leader of several street battles fought by the anarchist Putzgruppe which systematically attacked the police, injuring some of them severely.

6/20/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

The Current crop of Democrat Party leaders need to have their rear ends blistered.

Once they can sit again, they need to figure out exactly who it is they would like to LEAD.

As Alexis so ably described, their current base is certifiably schizoid. To lead groups whose goals are so conspicuously antagonistic to each other, and to the larger community of the nation, makes impossible demands. Promises made to one support group necessarily violate the aims of several others.

It ain’t necessarily evil to have ambitions to leadership.

It is evil to place that ambition above the good of the country.

A lot of moderates and centrists would be attracted to a Democratic party that had the guts to renounce the extremist groups it has allowed to dominate its programs. The Democratic Party has made assisted suicide both a literal and figurative goal. As it is currently constituted, it’s heading for disaster, whether or not it regains control of the Senate, or House, or the Presidency; sad for the party, catastrophic for the country.

The 2-party system is not dictated by the U.S. constitution. And it doesn’t always give us what we want, or even what would be best for the country. But it’s a damn sight better than the circuses and knife-fights we see going on in a lot of other representative governments. To save itself, and the 2-Party system, and possibly the whole country not too far down the road, the they need to sober up, and swear off the hard liquor.

Hey, Democratic Party! Cut loose from the liars, cheaters, thieves, whiners, quitters, loafers, and the rest of the sorry rascals you’ve been partying with. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, change your unawares, de-louse, bathe, and put on a god-dam TIE when you come around looking for a JOB!

And don’t lie on your application.

We know your work history.

6/20/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Extree! Extree! Princeton Professor Joschka Fischer Beats Up Cop!
Get Yer Photos Here!
---

Photos, of a German documentary about the whole 70's German Terrorist zeitgeist
.

Dies ist der spätere Außenminister Fischer. Mit Helm und Lederjacke.
Hier schlägt er auf einen Polizisten ein.
Militante Demo oder
"Der Typ in Uniform ist kein Mensch?"
Ziemlich schmaler Grat zwischen roher Gewalt und alternativer Politik.

6/20/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will we get some on the scene reports from Tigerhawk in the future?
His Babe Halfbright Assures us it was our invasion of Iraq that caused the NORKS to fire up the Nukes.
Such a Brainy Babe she Is!
---
Did it on Foreign Soil, of course, which is de rigueur for ex Clintonistas.

6/20/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I hope this long post doesn't offend. It's a response to an editorial in the Philly Inquirer, a supposedly serious large newspaper that ran 21 straight editorial endorsements of Kerry and now runs a regular DNC-loyalist blog on the front page most days. The writer of the editorial was having a hissy fit and calling Karl Rove a coward, a typical lib freak out.

----------------

Dear Mr. Satullo,

You speak of Sen. Kerry and Rep. Murtha as military heroes of Vietnam, and the "efforts of Rove surrogates to defame (his) service." However, it is not Kerry or Murtha's military service that is the object of the opponents' protest. The inspiration for the Swift Boat Vets comments on Kerry was his defamation of his fellow troops, which is beyond any question since Kerry published it in his book, it is captured on film with sound, and he gave it in testimony to Congress. Likewise, Murtha has accused and judged guilty the Marines in Haditha, calling them cold-blooded murderers.

This is what Kerry testified to the Senate Council on Foreign Relations on April 21, 1971: " They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
http://www.c-span.org/vote2004/jkerrytestimony.asp

According to the "Army Times" of May 18, 2006, " Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19. ... “It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported."
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1808360.php

It is these vicious slanders that many of us from military families find repulsive. While you may insist Murtha and Kerry were heroes in Vietnam, these are their actual words concerning our military. Whatever they may have achieved in uniform, it does not excuse these vicious, demoralizing attacks on our troops and our nation.

In political terms, you object to describing Murtha's and Kerry's policies as "cut and run." Here are words from Murtha's resolution which he proposed in the House: "Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date." The version of Murtha's proposal that was voted upon in the House was defeated 403-3.

Likewise, here are Kerry's own words on the war our military is fighting right now: ``It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake -- to say the simple words that contain more truth than pride. . . . It was wrong and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution." The Senate voted on a proposal for surrender along the lines of Kerry's proposals, and it was defeated 93-6 this week.

Most Americans see these slanders of our troops and these proposals for surrender for what they are, we don't need sophisticated analyses to teach us the meaning of "is" or to convince us to disbelieve our lying eyes.

In the larger picture, anyone who has read "The 9/11 Commission Report" knows the price to be paid for inaction and timidity in the face of declared and active enemies. As we now read of Al Qaeda leaders like Zarqawi we always hear that they trained in Afghanistan in the 90's. At the same time, the Democratic Administration worried about doing anything because if the results were difficult, "we will get blamed for it." Latest translations of captured documents from Iraq depict a long-running collaboration with the Taliban, the host and enablers of Al Qaeda in the 90's. And while the Clinton Administration followed policies similar to those recently proposed by Murtha and Kerry, the awful attacks of 9/11 were being planned. Clinton's ignominious retreat from Somalia was seen by Osama Bin Laden as proof that America is a paper tiger, and emboldened him to attack this weak giant repeatedly during the 90's. Any one who has taken the time to inform themselves know what the weak policies of the Democrats lead to, and we fully support the alternative of actively engaging our known enemies. And while Democrats repeatedly and pointlessly insist that "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11" it is very clear that our Islamofascist enemies see Iraq as the center in the war on terror right now.

Beyond the substantive issues that you briefly refer to in your article, your undisguised anger and hatred for Rove and Republicans are childish and irresponsible, and once again define the Philadelphia Inquirer as a blatantly partisan outlet that would be better suited as a blog rather than disguised as a serious newspaper.

Sincerely,

6/20/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

From Aristides 6:37 am link:

While Iraq is trying to gain its independence from the United States and the coalition, in terms of taking greater responsibility for its actions, particularly in terms of security, there are still some influential foreign figures trying to spoon-feed our government and take a very proactive role in many key decisions. Though this may provide some benefits in the short term, in the long run it will only serve to make the Iraqi government a weaker one and eventually lead to a culture of dependency. Iraq has to grow out of the shadow of the United States and the coalition, take responsibility for its own decisions, learn from its own mistakes, and find Iraqi solutions to Iraqi problems, with the knowledge that our friends and allies are standing by with support and help should we need it.

It would be interesting to know which 'influential foreign figures' he is referring too. Also, check out the nice 'conservative' sound bite --eventually lead to a culture of dependency....

This guy could write for NRO!!!

6/20/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

(D)e·men·tia: Deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain. It is sometimes accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes. Madness; insanity.

6/20/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Nice research on Mr. Fischer, doug. Thanks for sharing. When Kerry was trying to become emperor, he kept cozying up to the European pukes, and I felt compelled to do some research of my own. The only item of any substance I could add is that Joschka Fischer admitted in a German trial of the Bader-Meinhoff Gang that during his fiery days as an anti-government militant he had allowed his apartment to be used as a safe-house by terrorist fugitives

That such a man could be ELECTED by the german population, OR appointed to such a high office in the German government, speaks volumes about the fundamental INSANITY of the current European culture.

Well, that’s what I thought during the 2004 election.

I can’t believe though that the Joschka Fischer of today is still the turdling streetfighter of the 70’s. How can he have served as Foreign Minister for Germany without gaining some wider perspective?

Or is Princeton just determined to piss off its alumni, like Yale seems to have done by enrolling a former spokesman for the Taliban in a non-degree program?

I thought when I first heard of it that some horse’s butt running a special academic program at Yale had brought in the former Taliban ambassador-at-large Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi under the radar, just to piss off mindless reactionaries. Once his presence was public knowledge, the University administrators felt obliged to defend the decision on the grounds that it should be good for the community to be exposed to such unaccustomed viewpoints.

There’s a pretty good article about the controversy available online at the Yale Alumni Mag site:

http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/
“Should Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi be at Yale?”

At least in the cases of Princeton and Yale, they are private universities with substantial private endowment (although they do accept government funding for some programs.) This means at least that they’re not pissing away taxpayer moneys to pay for insults to those same taxpayers.

It’s certainly worth looking into Princeton’s deal a little closer, anyhow. The worth of even a snake's presence in academia can depend on how the larger community responds. Ward Churchills may proliferate, and untill they can be ejected for the intellectual frauds they are, we commonfolk need to challenge the administrators in ways that insure the illumination of context that might otherwise remain obscure.

6/20/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Aristides, nice post at 7:26. Reminds me of a lot of friends I argue with, lawyers for example, who should be able to manage logic and facts. As for facts, they absolutely refuse to read things like The 9/11 Commission Report, and they mock any reference to any history between Ancient Greece and 1/20/01. As for logic, forget it, they have "feelings" not thoughts that can be argued, as you have noted.

My main beef with your post is small: the jackasses are NOT persuasive. They are whining children. I can't wait to share the election results with them this November.

6/20/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"challenge the administrators in ways that insure the illumination of context that might otherwise remain obscure"
---

Running the pics of his Cop-Kicking Days in the Campus Newspapers would certainly be worth several thousand words in terms of diverting attention from the obscure to the obvious!

Even the local paper would do!
...handouts and the like too.
Let the man explain the context and what he thinks about it all now.

6/20/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony:
Here's one for you and RWE.
---
Flight of the Spruce Goose
---
El Toro Preserved
An image of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station will appear upside down and flipped left to right on a sheath of light-sensitive fabric after being projected through the tiny hole in the hangar's metal door. The fabric is the length of one-third of a football field and about three stories tall.

Guinness World Records has created two new categories for the project - world's largest camera and world's largest photograph - and will certify the records once the photo is complete.

The photographers are using a nearly 31-by-111 foot piece of white fabric covered in 20 gallons of light-sensitive emulsion as the "negative."

6/20/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Doug,

Thanks for the pointer. Btw, I loved that Howard Hughes movie, those first flying scenes brought tears to my crazy eyes. It was too exciting!

Hey, what do you think of us activating Star Wars - finally! Even though it's only the most modest piece, the ground-based intercepters and AEGIS trackers. I thought we mighta had a shot at the Taepodong with Standard SM-2's, but I suppose not. It would be a spectacular demonstration if we could shoot that sucker out of the sky. I guess it wouldn't count as an act of war, just another little armistice violation.

Btw, weird fact for you and RWE - it took us 45 years to get from Kitty Hawk to Mach 1. Ten more years to get to Mach 2. Seven more to get to Mach 3 in the magnificent Blackbird A-12/SR-71. The A-12 first hit Mach 3 in July, 1963, and for the last 43 years, that's it. So 45 to get to Mach 1, and apparently more than 45 to go from Mach 3 to Mach 4 in an operational plane.

Damn, things were a lot more interesting when we were young!

6/20/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tell Chuck Yeager about it!
Did you see where his kids were taking him to court?
...something about his money, of course.
(saw that somewhere about 2 wks ago)
---
I liked the way Howard looked like he was sitting in an office while piloting that Great Goose.

6/20/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
Jed Babbin is talking to General McInerney, who says we should take it out on the pad with a B-2.
(after warning them to play by international laws regarding the launch and where it's going)
---
Kerry would rather wait and watch.
Levin, et al.

6/20/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This may be good for Republicans, but a two-party system in which one party is reduced to incoherent BDS-inspired moonbattery is really a one-party system.

Our service members deserve better from the Democratic Party.


I agree. I am a conservative Republican who has problems with some of Bush's decisions about the war, but I would rather keep my mouth shut than be associated with the insane, troop-hating comments of the Left.

It is very unfortunate, because for the sake of the troops we need a real, friendly debate while fighting a war. A debate about the best way to accomplish the mission and the political decisions between the countries fighting, not about whether to surrender by pulling out.

6/20/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I'm just glad we are finally fighting back in the war that has been ongoing against us for a long time.

That "not make them mad" approach has been verified to NOT WORK. We tried it in the 90's. Just because it's being re-proposed now does not change the probability that "not make them mad at us" and "spend the war money on child care" has been verified to NOT WORK.

I hate war as much as the next guy. IN fact, I wish the Islamofascist suiciders hated War as much as I do.

Once War is fully underway, America tends to use machines to overwhelm the enemy.

As Vonnegut says, So it goes.

In 3 months on just Okinawa, just for the Air Base domination arguably - like Iraq - we lost three times the KIA we have lost so far in OIF in 3 YEARS.

Why was that one island worth 3X the cost over one-twelfth the timeframe? Because we wanted to Win the War.

Why are we stumbling around like a blind, drunken giant now?

Because a majority feel we are invincible, and can fight back dilletantsihly here and there, without any real worry of a threat we have to be scared about. (What about 9/11? Hum.)

Luckily, most people who bother to vote know that there is a war going on, and surrender and retreat has already been tried and proved to NOT WORK. It was called the 90's.

And, sad as it is, we have proven to NOT be Invulnerable.

Therefore, if any enemy should declare war on us, they get the WWII resolution.

Of course, that's a wild fantasy. There's no war going on except the one's caused by Bushhitler and his Strangelove Halliburton krewe.

6/20/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger bandit.three.six said...

If this knucklehead reporter thinks that we aren't making any "discernable progress" in Iraq he obviously isn't reading the reports to congress.

I broke down some of the finer points into pre-chewed, bite-sized morsels for "sheeple" like this guy:
http://bandit36.blogspot.com/2006/06/b36-news-20-jun-2006.html

6/21/2006 12:06:00 AM  

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