Tuesday, November 07, 2006

After the Elections

Now that the Democratic Party has taken the House and has an extremely good prospect of taking the Senate it's possible to speculate about its consequences. The Israeli experience probbly provides a good comparison. Faced with the difficulty of a security threat they retreated, some would say, into pacifist fantasy. But the enemy eventually brought parts of Israel under threat and the response, when it came, was still half-hearted. Olmert temporized and another war in Lebanon is expected presently. Is this the fate that awaits America?


Maybe. Not in particulars but in structure. There is now a much smaller chance that the terrorist problem can be resolved at a low level of conflict. There is a greater likelihood that it will be allowed by neglect or paralysis to metastize into a canker which will develop into a catastrophic confrontation in five or ten years time. A likelihood, but not a certainty.

The comparison with Israel fails in that the US is the world's security Central Banker. The sheriff of last resort. Other countries could wobble as long as the Central Banker stood firm. Now the Central Banker itself is wobbling. The UK, Europe, etc could count on America to be the security underwriter of last resort. But where do you go when the reinsurer fails?

If America is lucky then a bipartisan national security consensus can be rebuilt before any catastrophe overtakes. But America's lucky streak has just run out. Two things now have to happen. The Democrats have to start responding to the threats that they will face now that they are in legislative power and they have to resolve the tensions between their left and right wings. In that respect, the election of Lieberman is some kind of proof that not everyone in the Democratic party is a Pelosi-ite. But a whole lot are.

At any rate, it's a new political game. With North Korea, Iran, Iraq on the burner and Nancy Pelosi running the House there will be enormous challenges to simply hold against the threat. The time of easy security is past. Nothing is assured.

The coming months will be ones of great opportunity. Reality provides one very powerful service: it shows what does not work. And it provides clues to what will work. A lot of the effort should consist of thinking out approaches from first principles. One obvious effect will be to shrivel the deadwood -- intellectual and otherwise -- out of the way. We are all free in a way that we couldn't otherwise be without today. That's a good thing and after I finish up for the day, I'm going to drink a beer or maybe have one of Jimmy Joe Shank's mayo and peanut butter sandwiches.

161 Comments:

Blogger 49erDweet said...

And the very devil will be in the details. (No pun intended).

11/07/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Jacko said...

There is no doubt that we feel exposed now. That so many folks may not be ready to fight is an incredibly frightening thought.

And yet, is that really the case? I would suggest that the MSM literally finally won this election for the Democrats. That the country would generally feel negative during one of the strongest economies in recent times and while we are inevitably winning the grind in Iraq is a testament to the negative blanket that the MSM has thrown over us for the last 4 years.

It may be that in the short run, it is impossible for a Republican President to effectively lead in this country. And when the going got tough, the newly born conservative blogosphere folded and declared a well deserved defeat with all the import of your post at stake.

We are well and truly too myopic to get it. Even on the right. We will now retreat to the Shire with Gondor unprotected. And those of us in Rohan tell them they deserve it.

We are in trouble. And only a relatively short time is on our side. There is no articulate Churchill on the horizon to intelligently rally the right, and unlike then, most of the competents have long ago fled the arena. Who shall we look to: Allen, McCain, Romney, Guiliani? God help us.

Let us sit and ponder and gather our resolve; there are strategies to build both national and personal. For we must gather ourselves. The road will be steeper than it had to be, and the right is inarticulate and without much clarity.

Sooner or later though, it will be time again to hoist the flag. Be ready to win.

11/07/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wretchard, my answer to your question is "yes".

And Jacko, you could not be more right.

11/07/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention Harry Reid running the Senate.

At least we know Bush won't fold on Iraq. But he'll have to learn how to triangulate.

11/07/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Alcibiades, you don't recognize that the war in Iraq just ended? And we lost?

We ought not lose another kid, now. Get 'em home, let 'em start building their home ethanol stills.

11/07/2006 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz will serve District 27 for another two years.

The Democratic congressman has represented the district that stretches along the Texas Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Brownsville for nearly 24 years.


70% of Vote

11/07/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The most profound effect is that the USA loses the battle at the southern border.

This means that the movement toward a north american superstate --on the way to a new world superstate--on the way to one world government ... continues apace.

I don't know. It doesn't even look like the pubbies are going to hold the senate. the dems can write their own border bill which will bring in millions of new democrat voters which will bring in millions more. the republicans are going to be shut out of Texas and Arizona for starters but more will follow.

Instead of a wall at the border there will be wall around individual neighborhoods like they have in Latin America.

11/07/2006 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

This is hardly the end of the world, though it will make things harder and there are opportunities embedded in the situation. First of all, the US government is designed for gridlock. The Republicans couldn't "rule" with both houses, the executive and a preponderance in the USSC. The Democrats can't "rule" either. That party is split.

Plus, from here on in, the Democrats have got to be real careful that no major security breach happens because of post hoc procter hoc problem. In other words they must avoid being accused of sending the wrong signal. In the best of all possible worlds it could provide an opportunity to create a bipartisan consensus on the War on Terror, which the country sorely needs, as it needed a bipartisan consensus during the Cold War.

I am unpersuaded this will happen because the Democratic Party has internal problems. Watching them put together a policy will be interesting. All the same, while things will be harder and great dangers await, there are opportunities.

11/07/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Hard to buy Bush as the American Churchill anymore.

The voters appear to believe that we are in plenty of danger, with dangerous domestic trends like loss of competiveness and fiscal train wreck - and the lowest standing America has ever had overseas...even worse than the Carter years.

It's not that they don't see the danger - they just think that the Bush Team and a rubberstamp, mired in corruption Republican Congress aren't the competent forces able to deal with all the domestic and international messes Bush failed to deal with or created.

Bush will be happy about one thing - once he gets over crying he may lose his tax cuts and other favors for the wealthiest Americans as the Dems deal with the needs of "lesser people" - but the Dems will likely give him the one thing he wants as much - Open Borders and amnesty for all the Illegals.

In hindsight, Kerry's blunder may have been completely undone by Bush running around the country saying we were winning in Iraq and that he would stand 100% by his man Rumsfeld and what Rumsfeld's boys are doing, no matter what, for the next 2 years.

Meanwhile, the "Architect" must be looking gap-jawed at the political wreckage that is the Republican Party he helped the "Decider" steer into a bridge abutment.

Ironies abound. The best Democrat, Harold Ford, didn't get in. The best new Republican, Steele, barely failed and would have won in any past election. The people that crafted this disaster, from the White House and Congressional leadership, largely survived without consequence (so far) or retired to accolades before the wreck. The best Republican was one of those despicable RINOs who "the Base" scorns - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

11/07/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Watch the Christopher Hitchens video interview at Pajamas Media with Richard Miniter. The atmospherics are great. There are smokes! And a glass of what looks to be scotch or maybe bourbon.

11/07/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Time to turn your ire outward, C4.

You have won the Battle of Bush.

Now the 'other' kind of enemy--the kind who want to kill you--has won a huge victory, too, and will be rampant.

You need to re-focus, as soon as the victory party is over.

11/08/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger rasqual said...

NYT: "Democrats easily clinched a majority of House seats."

Silly Times. Translation: it's easy to count. We can do it without fingers! Reality: Dems had to select conservative candidates -- genuinely conservative candidates -- to make it happen. Wretchard ain't kidding that it's going to be interesting to see what kind of policies come forth from Dems. They can't throw mere bones to the candidates that put them over -- so they have to recognize that conservative shift. They finally pitched the big tent, but only of pragmatic necessity. Now there are even more disparate voices in the party. Good grief.

Yah, this is going to be a weird two years.

11/08/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If Hitler hadn't come along Churchill would have been remembered as the architect of Gallipoli. I forget which of Churchill's Imperial Chiefs of Staff described his job as keeping the PM from losing the war.

I think GWB comes in for his share of lumps but it's probably fair to say that the political system has failed in so many ways that we haven't seen the end of it. The intelligence agencies and the diplomats come to mind. All of that was broken before GWB and it's still not fixed.

Adversity is typically the fire that burns away the deadwood. Well some Congressmen and Senators have been thrown on the pyre, but as Cedarford points out, they were not necessarily succeeded by worthies. So maybe the fire has to burn a little longer until it clears out the brush. Shudder at the thought. But it's hard to imagine everything being all right just because Nancy Pelosi is here.

11/08/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are probably right, buddy larsen, though I note that the deciding Senate vote is Lieberman and he is pro war and somewhat pissed off at Democrats - which is a wonderful irony in itself - and that a number of the new democrats - particularly in the house - are very conservative.

Webb is against the war in Iraq, but he is basically a paleo-con otherwise.

And now that they control the house and the senate they'll have to have a plank - the one they resisted articulating thus far.

Are the centrists going to want non-stop investigations of the Bush administration? How is that going to be popular?

If Pelosi doesn't show herself to be pragmatic, she won't last either.

11/08/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know if there are any Senate seats open next year? Assuming that is that the trend doesn't deepen.

11/08/2006 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

well, bless you all for diligently suggesting silver-linings.

11/08/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Sammler said...

A mild mustard is better than mayonnaise on your peanut butter sandwich.

11/08/2006 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Peanut butter & Salami is great--esp on Rye, with some tater chips or Fritos imbedded in the p-butter (for crunch).

11/08/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Buddy,

Rough night - I'm out in the field this week - long hours - I slept through most it this evening - might have been a blessing...

Can't help but wonder if this trend all but guarantees the thing that I've worried most about:

Mass Casuality Event #2

Got to get back to sleep - big day coming workwise. Will check back tomorrow.

Wish I was home - would like to hug the kids.

11/08/2006 01:07:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I made my first major post-election decision by not eating Jimmy Joe Shanks' peanut butter sandwich with the beer. With apologies to Jimmy Joe it seemed best to go for the $7.50 cook-it-yourself special at the neighborhood grill at which I opted for two large marinated chicken skewers plus a salad bar (new potatoes and celery was what I loaded up on) with a $3.50 beer.

Thus fortified, I realized that the position wasn't so bad at all. We can anticipate the future, if only dimly. It's practically certain the enemy will exploit the situation. After Israel pulled out of Lebanon common sense would have told you what was coming next. Sophistication drives out common sense, but it's false guide. Stick to common sense. The enemy will be coming. Count on it.

So we can usefully employ ourselves studying the threat. Learning as much about it as possible. Thinking out the responses. Because the threat will come and Ms. Pelosi will probably not have considered what to do in that eventuality. The advice of the $7.50 grill special is to keep focused on the enemy and not to worry too much about partisan politics.

11/08/2006 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I agree with Wretchard -- there be opportunity aborning in these election results.

When the Democrats were stuck watching on the sidelines, all they did was carp. When things got worse, they just carped harder and piled on.

Now that they have some real responsibilities, they will have to step up to the plate or risk discrediting themselves for a long, long time. Like Wretchard, I'm not confident they can pull it off, the business of acting like responsible adults, but at least they now have an incentive to do so.

The only principles they hold fast to, as a group, are ambition and power. If they can work with President Bush to satisfy their own needs, then that is what they will do.

Until they actually drop the ball and screw up, I will wish them well and hope they enjoy a very successful leadership.

The other thing to remember here is that the congressional Republicans were relying too much on the War on Terror as a rationale for their power. I think that this was partially a result of a somewhat hide-bound leadership in both houses.

Since that less-than-stellar leadership has been discredited, there are now opportunities for the Republicans to chart a better course as well.

For example, I for one will not miss Senator Santorum, and I believe that Senator-elect Casey is likely to be a more-than-adequate replacement.

All-in-all, I'm not convinced that a new policy of appeasement is in the cards. Not as long as President Bush is in office.

My best guess is that Americans won't stomach cutting-and-running from Iraq when our fighting men and women are re-enlisting to put their lives on the line there. And Democrats won't stomach going against the will of most American voters.

If most Americans decide to stay engaged in Iraq, the congressional Democrats will be the last ones to stand against the public's wishes, no matter what pacifist/appeasing/defeatist principles they might have. So the real question is: what will America decide to do?

11/08/2006 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

The advice of the $7.50 grill special is to keep focused on the enemy and not to worry too much about partisan politics.

Well, there is more than the threat of evildoers on the plate. And Partisan politics does have great consequences - 34 of the governorships are in Democratic hands, this election appears to have had Hispanics voting 75-25% for Democrats, the Reagan Democrats swinging back to the Democrats, and a Presidential election 2 years away to replace the lame duck. With 30 million new Amigo Americans coming in thanks to the Bush amnesty he gets to pass.

Despite Buddy's laments, Dear Leader is not indispensible in keeping us safe, and every policy emenating from Bush's inner circle should NOT be unquestioningly swallowed hook, line, and sinker - as a matter of some supposed patriotism.

It was only after 9/11 that the Republicans set up their massive corruption projects, told the public no sacrifice was needed other than to enjoy our tax cuts, buy lots of Chinese stuff, and cheer the "heroes", and really began on their reckless spending spree that has put us 3 trillion extra in debt.

It is bad enough that engineering grads I work with are encouraged NOT to apply for interviews with US automakers because the presumption was that Bush would continue to gut America of industrial jobs with his free trade policies or use foreign labor to run them, and the "Big 3" were tracking to die in about 5 more years.

Yes, there is more to life and American problems than "evildoers" our American Churchill is reluctant to name, and his beloved tax cuts and pork dispensing machine for the wealthiest.

The Republicans were taken to the woodshed by the American public. For betraying their trust in what they said they would do in devolving into a morass of corruption and arrogance as bad as anything the Democratic Congress did before 1994. And for doing what they did - incompetently -Katrina, containing health care costs, failure to get a national energy policy, seeing a great economy also helped the inferior lesser Americans outside their Owner Class, Miers, Schiavo, the bungled 3 years in Iraq and the loss of American global credibility in gaining allies or effectively deterring other gathering threats, and finally, running down the military's reservists, active duty, and every sort of platform under Rumsfeld.

I'm a little young to remember Watergate and the beating that happened after that - but some news guy said the repudiation of the Republicans and their dismal Leader (Sorry again, Buddy) was almost as bad. As then, NOT A SINGLE sitting Democrat up for office in Congress, the Governorships, and apparantly in 45 of 50 states LOST!!

That wasn't done by "not being conservative enough, not using wedge issues" - the gay marriage bans passed everywhere, the "disenchanted base" turned out. What changed was Hispanics, Independents, Moderates, Reagan Democrats either stayed with the Dems or shifted over to them again after being with Republicans until the corruption, fatcat favoring, and general ineptitude became too much to bear.

I am very leery of the "enemy rights" love the liberal Democrats have, but for 6 years, the Republicans have only managed to compound the messes we are in.

As they sit in the wreckage of what they thought was "Redder every day" America's Dominant Party back in 2004 - they can begin to start thinking long and hard about how they fell so far, so fast. And the Dems now have a chance to own Congress again for another 40 years after the colossal screw-up Bush, DeLay, Hastert, Stevens, Frist, and Rove caused....as long as the Dems don't lose it the way the Republicans did in short order after chucking the Gingrich Revolution and waddling off to the K-Street feeding troughs and by mindless devotion to whatever gut hunch "The Decider" went with.

Some losses are so bad that you can't pretend the other side was lucky or a few minor tweaks will fix things. This self-destruction by the Republicans is deep, hits many issues, and was years in the making.

Only people in real denial are claiming it was all the media's fault, the Republicans are geniuses for doubling the number of billionaires available to "trickledown" their part of the China/Japan IOU booty, or that The American Churchill is leading so well and so above the average person's perception and ability to grasp his genius ways of "evildoer fighting" that he was "bound to be misunderstood".

11/08/2006 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

For the past few years I've been reading those Iraqi bloggers, who at first were very gung-ho for the new Iraq that America was helping them to create.

But so many of them have been continually noplussed by the way we've handled things after that spring of '03. Despite their suggestions, we seem to have continually made bad mistakes and have been unwilling to listen or change our tactics.

Now that the Democratic party is in control, and we're hearing about a change in tactics in Iraq, I'm wondering what that change could possibly be, other than retreat.

We seem to be going from bad ideas to no idea how to win the war in Iraq.

11/08/2006 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Wretchard:

As usual, you look under the curtain from a different perspective and ask some troubling post-election questions from a national and world security standpoint.

While I do not necessarily disagree with anything you wrote, please note that:

* It is a fiction that Democrats have been weak on national security.

* Many of the Democrats elected yesterday are moderate and (gasp!) conservative on security and social issues.

* I do not anticipate a sea change, but rather a log jam.

* Bush is in a world of hurts and has no one but his arrogant self to blame.

* Bush will pay lip service at a press conference today on reaching across the great divide to the Democrats.

* I will be shocked if this actually happens.

* Confronted with the Republican congressional landslide in 1994, Bill Clinton actually worked with, and in some instances co-opted, the new Gingrich-led majority.

* Given his wretched record as a divider and not a conciliator, it is difficult to imagine Bush hitching up his trousers and doing a Clinton.

11/08/2006 04:04:00 AM  
Blogger HadleyB said...

Oh for God's sake! Who cares what Israel did or does? Seek guidance from some Israeli "Profiles in Courage", Sharon or Likud if you want to, but this is America, with American problems and by-God homegrown American solutions. I would no more look to Israel than I would look to the French or Mexico.

11/08/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger betsybounds said...

Well I don't know who Jimmy Joe Shank is, but I love peanut butter and mayo sandwiches! I grew up eating them, my mom loved them, and whenever I tell people that they think I'm completely crazy. You go, Wretchard!

11/08/2006 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

As a classical liberal, I was a Republican by default most of my life; and after 9/11, I have been (and remain) a single issue voter: for me national security is a lexicographically ordered issue. If a party is not right on the war, I cannot support it, no matter what my views on other issues.

As a war voter, I see absolutely NO silver lining or good opportunities in this election. Any attempt to find them is spinning. Well-intentioned, but spinning nonetheless.

I cannot wish the Democrats well, and I do not believe they will act responsibly -- why should they start now, they have been utterly feckless on national security since 1968.

The winners in this election in the short-to-medium term are America's enemies, and the enemies of freedom.

The conflict with radical Islam will metastasize over the next 10 years of Democratic control (because the Republicans have no candidates worth voting for) until it becomes a real war with Islam, a real war that will probably be settled with the massive use of nuclear weapons - started by Islamic (probably but not certainly Iranian) use against Israel. I think if I were an Israeli now, I'd be looking for ways to get an American or Australian passport and get the f* out of dodge. Sad to say.

The best thing for the world that could happen would be Bush really cutting loose now, and taking a series of actions to destroy Iran and Syria -- he'd be impeached by the Democrats, but not convicted, but the good work would be done.

11/08/2006 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Shaud D. Mullen wrote:

* It is a fiction that Democrats have been weak on national security.


Excuse me, Shaun, but what planet have you been living on? The Democrats cut off funds in Vietnam, hobbled our intelligence agencies in the mid-1970s (for which we are still paying), gave away the Panama Canal, allowed the Shah of Iran to fall and did nothing about the hostage taking, opposed Reagan's defense build-up, supported the communists in Nicaragua, opposed Gulf I (a majority), did nothing about the '93 bombing of the World Trade Center, and gutted the military in the 90's. Lately, of course, the have tried to dismantle the Patriot Act and have sought to get our enemies treated to American courts with counsel rather than being shot on sight as they ought to be.

Utterly, utterly feckless on all matters involving national security, without a shadow of doubt.

11/08/2006 05:04:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

I'll believe the wishful thinking here that declares many Democratic conservatives won when I see their voting tendencies. My recollection is that they run as conservatives because they have to hide who they really are.

The trend is ever toward socialism and we are taking a giant leap in that direction. With the conservative base apathetic due to lack of spending constraint by a Republican legislature and chief executive, we just took a giant step backwards toward higher taxes (not just for the wealthy, C4), more social programs for the unworthy, still higher public education costs with no net results, chaotic and ambivalent social and moral direction, more of the same multi-culti BS that will eventually turn US into another Euro-morass.

And as for national security and the war. Look for that to move closer to US as enemies everywhere step up activity & rhetoric to shackle every Bush attempt to take the fight to them. The world just became a much more dangerous place.

11/08/2006 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Top Issues on the Democrats' agenda:
1-Stem Cell Research
2-Medicare Reform
3-Minimum wage

From Tim Russert this sunny AM on GMA.

11/08/2006 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

"I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawlin' out as I was a-crawlin' in
I got up so tight I couldn't unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in"
Kenny Rogers & the First Edition with backup by HABU.

11/08/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Democrats, in order to win, nominated and elected candaidates who could have easily run as Republicans. That pushes the Democrats to the center. The American public likes the center. Every generation needs to learn their own lessons. They tried what they thought was the Republican Conservative way. Many Conservatives thought they were trying the American Conservative way. It was far from conservative, but Bush donned the title as a Conservative. The brand image has been tarnished.

I bought a Volvo once, and it was the worst car I ever owned. I never bought another one. Likewise, the Bush Administration, short of a miracle in Iraq will not be remembered for successes. He has Republican emblazened on the hood and was marketed at a GOP, Conservative.

I see several good things in this:

Intitiatives to pass English as an official language passed. That shows some hope for immigration reform short of amnesty.

Iraq must stand up and pay attention. they now can see that they may get what they "say" they wish for, an early American withdrawal.

The Europeans may pay attention and see that if we do not get some agreement about Iran, the US may withdraw to isolationism. That is a bigger problem for Europe than the US.

There could be good that comes form this and then again maybe not, but Republicans better not think that this was just a normal mid-presidential election cycle correction. That would be wishfull thinking. It would be foolish thinking.

11/08/2006 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Buddy,
I do believe you're right .. let's get the troops home. That mess is now all Iraqi.
And yes Wretchard, this can do nothing but embolden our foes, as it should. Were I against the US I would be jumping for joy.
George certainly got the spanking of a lifetime.
But in truth having Democrats in charge of a third of the government isn't the end of the world...it just might hasten it a bit.

11/08/2006 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Sam Basso said...

No doubt, the fanatics will test the resolve of the West to defend Israel, to see what this election means.

11/08/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

What senior jihadist commander wouldn't push for full scale attacks on American interests in Iraq now? This election clearly proves that Americans are seriously divided not only on how to actually combat jihadism on the ground but how to prevent it. It is called vulnerability, a distinct tactical edge. The homeland is entirely safe when so many subsidaries of our interests are available and almost totally vulnerable. I would escalate the violence in Iraq to the max and drive the US out in a matter of 6 months, then concentrate on Israel. My attacks on American targets elsewhere would be small and sporadic during this phase of operations. Who is there to stop me - Nancy Pelosi?

11/08/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

enscout,

With the plans already in place and moving forward for the North American Union I don't think you have too much to worry about with the socialism aspect.
The country already works "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs) a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. The phrase incorporates the ideal that, under a communist system of government, every person shall produce to the best of their ability in accordance with their talent, and each person shall receive the fruits of this production in accordance with their need, irrespective of what they have produced.(Wiki)
Our method is the IRS collection and Congressional redistribution of wealth. No difference at all.

11/08/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

The upside, at least after the Bush impeachment hearings commence, will be a downtick in the screeching of the moonbats.

11/08/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Catorenasci:

In this day and age, security issues are much too important to look at through a partisan prism as has The Decider in Chief. ("You're either with us or you're a traitor."

You and too many of your fellow travelers are intellectually constipated because you are unable to see things beyond a Red vs. Blue perspective.

(By the way, I am a registered Democrat who voted yesterday for more Republicans. The candidate is what matters to me, not the affiliation.)

2164th:

Oh thank Dog that English As Official Language initiatives passed. I feel safer already.

11/08/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Well Shaun, being a believer in America, and believing in the concept of a Nation State, and a democracy based on a knowledgeable civics minded citizenry, and seeing what a mess multi-culturism has made for us, I think the cohesion of a common language is a good thing. A quaint idea, but a good thing. Don’t you agree?

11/08/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

habu1 said:

The country already works "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs) a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program.

And Marx grabbed that godless communist dialectic from the... uh...Bible!

ACTS 4:34-35 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

11/08/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Sorry to be harsh but the American people looked into the eyes of the enemy and blinked. What will follow will not be either parties fault, the blame will lie solely with the American people.

America Blinks follows Spain into voting for appeasement

11/08/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If Bush has been looking for a reason to pull out of Iraq, he's just been given it on a silver platter.

I wonder if Maliki understands the avalanche that's about to roll down and over him. Or any of the rest of the stupid, lazy, recalcitrant Iraqi's who've been bitching about the "occupation" the last several years.

11/08/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Sorry to be harsh but the American people looked into the eyes of the enemy and blinked. What will follow will not be either parties fault, the blame will lie solely with the American people.

I'm not at all sure this is about terrorism. From a few quotes this past week, it seems to me that lots of people out there in America think we should be paying more attention to the car industry's difficulties and internal issues like immigration - that American government should be paying attention to the American worker, and American issues, and taxes, adn things like that.

Fighting the world's wars for them is *very* expensive, and we're sure not getting any thanks for doing it. Those dollars which have been being spent on enormously expensive sewage systems in Baghdad and keeping Arabs air conditiong running for them could be funneled into creating jobs for unemployed auto workers in America and research on getting away from oil dependency.

I'm seeing in the MSM that personal scandals a la Foley also had something to do with it, but I don't know that I believe that. I think that may just be them patting themselves on the back for blowing it out of proportion.

But I'm going to be seeing this election personally as individual American voters' not necessarily saying that the war on terror is a bad thing, but that the Arabs we've been trying to give democracy and a better life to have not lived up to our expectations and aren't worth our support any more -- if they ever were.

11/08/2006 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

If Bush has been looking for a reason to pull out of Iraq, he's just been given it on a silver platter.

Bush has no incentive to do so, he's not running for a third term and he has no more House majority to protect for the Pubs.

11/08/2006 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm actually counterintuitive this morning.

Bush will now get very, very tough overseas. That will rally the base to him. Expect to see the Iranians manhandled in the near future. Expect to see Al-Sadr put into early retirement.

Only by getting extremely tough overseas can Bush keep any mojo. I think he knows this. Why?

I heard Ken Mehlman use the term "Islamic Fascism" this morning. Conciliation at home, bare knuckles abroad. Bush will channel Truman and go for victory in Iraq and Iran. Just a hunch, but it's all he can do.

Expect the Israelis to be told to go all out at the Boy President when the war heats up again, around the New Year. Hell hath no fury like a President who doesnt' need to face the voters again...

11/08/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

2164th:

You see multi-culturalism as a threat. I see it as a beautiful thing.

This does not mean that, for example, there needs to be real immigration reform, not a multi-gadzillion dollar fence that even The Decider did't want.

My brother and his Filippina wife live in a community with the following makeup:

White (58 percent), Indian (16), African American (7), Chinese and Hispanic (6 each), Filipino and Korean (2 each), Japanese, Vietnamese and Pacific Islander (1 each)

Who are these residents, how old and how established are they?

They are evenly divided between male and female, are an average 36 years old and 64 percent own their homes.

What's the point of all of this number crunching?

Barely 20 years ago, the borough was nearly all white and had a crime problem.

Ten years ago, it was 75 percent white and had a diminishing crime problem.

Today immigrants run the borough government and lead the school board. There is no crime problem to speak of, although my brother did have his car stolen from the parking lot of the train station in the next town.

The public schools have improved markedly and ethnic markets and restaurants have proliferated.

And lest a hungry xenophobe who finds himself in the borough be concerned, you can order dim sum, saag paneer, pho tai or a berger and fries in English. You see, nearly everyone speaks it or quickly learns it.

But you would see all of that as a bad thing. How very sad.

11/08/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Shaun wrote:

In this day and age, security issues are much too important to look at through a partisan prism as has The Decider in Chief. ("You're either with us or you're a traitor."

You and too many of your fellow travelers are intellectually constipated because you are unable to see things beyond a Red vs. Blue perspective.


As have written on other fora, I am a classical liberal who has supported the Republicans mostly by default. I grew up in California back when its politics were such that intelligent people could support some Republicans and some Democrats, and local politics was offically (if not completely) nonpartisan and people of both parties were used to working with each other on many issues.

Since 9/11, however, I have become a single issue voter: national security is the absolutely foremost issue. No matter how good an individual candidate may be, it is impossible to support him or her if the party with which he or she caucuses is not rock solid on national security.

on that basis, I cannot support any Democrats right now, no matter how bad the Republicans are, and believe me, I often am disgusted by them. But, on national security, the record of Democratic presidents, and Democratic congresses since 1968 is absolutely abysmal. If I thought the Democrats couls be relied upon to run the war against Islamofascism and to protect the country, I'd look at other issues again, but I see absolutely no sign of it.

Rangel has vowed to cut off funds for the war. Conyers vows impeachment. What kind of signals does that send to our enemies?

The American people will pay in blood for the fecklessness of the Democrats - unfortuantely most of them won't be the ones to bear the brunt of it, unless the bad guys manage to do New York again or Washington, D.C.

11/08/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

I don't think you understand. It's not the presence of other ethnic groups, it's the refusal to integrate into the community.

Shaun, it doesn't sound like that is, or has been a problem in your community at all.

11/08/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Benjamin Franklin's Powerful Speech
"America's God and Country"
| June 28, 1787 | Benjamin Franklin

Posted on 11/08/2006 7:00:16 AM PST by Nancee

"On Thursday, June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin delivered a powerful speech to the Constitutional Convention, which was embroiled in a bitter debate over how each state was to be represented in the new government....Benjamin Franklin, being the President (Governor) of Pennsylvania, hosted the rest of the 55 delegates attending the Convention. Being the senior member of the convention at 81 years of age, he commanded the respect of all present, and, as recorded in James Madison's detailed records, he rose to speak in this moment of crisis:

'Mr. President: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all around Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances. In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Devine protection.-Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.'"

11/08/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Coyle said...

Some things to look forward to.
Fidel is dying and should be gone in a couple of months.
Ted Kennedy is a year older.
Jon Kerry is done.
Hillary is cutting the knees off Al Gore.
None of us will be exhausted anymore from listening to the wit, wisdom and caffeine fueled ideas of Denny’s Hastert.
The Democrats ran to the right and won.
Old industrial states like Massachusetts, New York, Michigan continue to lose population, especially businessmen and the young (Nice trend lines of declining tax base, expensive entrenched union state labor force and welfare/illegal low wage low education values low productivity. We will see Detroit writ large.)
I was happy when Rostnkowski and Speaker Wright got it, so too Republicans. A thief is a thief.
GWB is going to do what he wants. No one else has the balls to take on Iraq.
Another multi million service members experience leftist media and Democrat party at war.

Other things to look forward to.
Education cost will continue to increase per student. Result will continue to decline.
Concrete/Asphalt/Farm/Union labor subsidies will continue.
Learn Spanish if you want to get ahead.
More communities will be swamped with rural, poor, young unaccompanied males from down south. Some reports attribute ten murders a day to illegals, expect that to rise.
Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd are happy. Bend over America.

MSM, dying every day to the Internet, is happy.
Democrat Netroot wacks were taken out by evil forces yet to be uncovered.
Lastly, maybe the Republicans will get an idea. Even a little, teeny weeny one.
Maybe.
It’s theoretically possible.

11/08/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Shaun is about to wet himself, overjoyed with muticulturalism.

I asked Santa if I could get a vest like his, oh I hope ,I hope..then I can hide behind some reeds and it'll soften the comb over effect.
Life is good in America.

I live in a neighborhood where the doublewide is king. The ild scool busses work just fine if you caulk the winder's real tight. The neighbors all deal drugs to the white collar workers so it's all good. but with winter com'in and all I best get dem cracks in the two holer out back patched up.
It is a great country.

11/08/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Bold, Unmistakable Colors, With No Pastel Shades.
RNC Speech
^ | August 19, 1976 | Ronald Reagan

Posted on 11/08/2006 6:41:22 AM PST by Hostage

Remarks of the Honorable Ronald Reagan At the 31st Republican National Convention August 19, 1976

This speech was delivered impromptu at the Republican National Convention at the urging of President Gerald Ford.

Thank you very much. Mr. President, Mrs. Ford, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Vice President to be--(Applause and laughter)--the distinguished guests here, and you ladies and gentlemen: I am going to say fellow Republicans here, but also those who are watching from a distance, all of those millions of Democrats and Independents who I know are looking for a cause around which to rally and which I believe we can give them. (Applause)

Mr. President, before you arrived tonight, these wonderful people here when we came in gave Nancy and myself a welcome. That, plus this, and plus your kindness and generosity in honoring us by bringing us down here will give us a memory that will live in our hearts forever. (Applause)

Watching on television these last few nights, and I have seen you also with the warmth that you greeted Nancy, and you also filled my heart with joy when you did that. (Applause)

May I just say some words. There are cynics who say that a party platform is something that no one bothers to read and it doesn't very often amount to much. Whether it is different this time than it has ever been before, I believe the Republican Party has a platform that is a banner of bold, unmistakable colors, with no pastel shades. (Applause)

We have just heard a call to arms based on that platform, and a call to us to really be successful in communicating and reveal to the American people the difference between this platform and the platform of the opposing party, which is nothing but a revamp and a reissue and a running of a late, late show of the thing that we have been hearing from them for the last 40 years. (Applause)

If I could just take a moment; I had an assignment the other day. Someone asked me to write a letter for a time capsule that is going to be opened in Los Angeles a hundred years from now, on our Tricentennial. It sounded like an easy assignment. They suggested I write something about the problems and the issues today. I set out to do so, riding down the coast in an automobile, looking at the blue Pacific out on one side and the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was going to be that beautiful a hundred years from now as it was on that summer day.

Then as I tried to write--let your own minds turn to that task. You are going to write for people a hundred years from now, who know all about us. We know nothing about them. We don't know what kind of a world they will be living in.

And suddenly I thought to myself if I write of the problems, they will be the domestic problems the President spoke of here tonight; the challenges confronting us, the erosion of freedom that has taken place under Democratic rule in this country, the invasion of private rights, the controls and restrictions on the vitality of the great free economy that we enjoy. These are our challenges that we must meet.

And then again there is that challenge of which he spoke that we live in a world in which the great powers have poised and aimed at each other horrible missiles of destruction, nuclear weapons that can in a matter of minutes arrive at each other's country and destroy, virtually, the civilized world we live in.

And suddenly it dawned on me, those who would read this letter a hundred years from now will know whether those missiles were fired. They will know whether we met our challenge. Whether they have the freedoms that we have known up until now will depend on what we do here. Will they look back with appreciation and say, "Thank God for those people in 1976 who headed off that loss of freedom, who kept us now 100 years later free, who kept our world from nuclear destruction"?

And if we failed, they probably won't get to read the letter at all because it spoke of individual freedom, and they won't be allowed to talk of that or read of it.

This is our challenge; and this is why here in this hall tonight, better than we have ever done before, we have got to quit talking to each other and about each other and go out and communicate to the world that we may be fewer in numbers than we have ever been, but we carry the message they are waiting for.

We must go forth from here united, determined that what a great general said a few years ago is true: There is no substitute for victory, Mr. President. (Applause)

11/08/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

One need only to look at whether the terrorists are celebrating today.

They are.

They know they have won a great victory. They know they can now turn their attention to the United States.

They will, and we will suffer for it.

11/08/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

CatoRenasci,

How can you doubt Shaun on his claim that the Dems are soft on our enemies?
He's been around, he knows.
Besides he has a like way cool picture, all adventure like.
I'd say taken at Busch Gardens in Tampa.

11/08/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Bonnie,
No fear. They only rape small boys and goats.
Just watch out for the dirty bombs at the football stadiums,malls,Wall Street,and all over DC.

11/08/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Considering the much more momentous topics under discussion, this is just a sotto-voce nudge for C4, but, sir, can you please tell me how, exactly, trade-protectionism is going to make life better for the little guy?

How we're going to protect American auto worker's jobs, short of subsidizing them via tariffs on imports?

How tariffs will not raise the prices of cars on those least able to afford it?

How this doesn't benefit a few at the expense of the many?

11/08/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

How can you doubt Shaun on his claim that the Dems are soft on our enemies?

umm, actually Shaun claims the 'Rats are NOT soft on our enemies.

That claim, of course, is risible.

11/08/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger InvisibleForces said...

As one of the comments noted, it wasn't really a vote against conservatism given the social conservatives that won. It wasn't also a vote against the war and testament to that is Lieberman's (and Hillary's) victory despite the full weight of the leftist blogosphere against him. It is really a vote to change course in Iraq (plus corruption etc.) which is as it should be. Iraq isn't a conventional war and it boggles the mind why we insist on fighting it that way. America definitely wants to save Iraq but it doesn't like the body count trickling in everyday in the news. Can you blame them?

Just change the tactics. Recognize what isnt working and consult with someone(CIA) who really knows how to fight this kind of dirty war. Remember, it was the CIA who spearheaded Aghanistan - success with minimal use of forces (and casualties). That is their specialty.

The prez sets the country's foreign policy and controls the military - not the congress or the senate.

All is not lost.

11/08/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No talk of "Master Plans" nor of poker playing, my oh my.

The chicken hawks across the country have come home to roost.

11/08/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger mal said...

Sometimes the left can be the most vicious in war.

11/08/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right on, rat. Us chickenhawks will now set awhile in our chickenhouses and lay eggs and tremble, while you lead Shaun and C4 over the top against the defeated rear guard of the Bush Royalists. Have mercy on us, all we ever wanted to do was exploit the shit out of our fellow Americans, making money off sending them all to hell.

11/08/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

The day after, flush with Dem promise to grow stem cells, raise taxes, lower Gaia’s temperature, treat our terrorist prisoners with due dignity, and to bring us back into the international fold of peace, love and consensus, are we on our way to becoming a shining city on a hill, again?

11/08/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Habu, you're right to be studying up on Marx and Engels, out there in the library wing of your caulked-up skool bus. Special attention to the "inevitable forces" chapter.

11/08/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Good point, Catherine--maybe this will spark up that old RR attitude. We can hope.

11/08/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger InvisibleForces said...

"No talk of "Master Plans" nor of poker playing, my oh my.The chicken hawks across the country have come home to roost."


As one general said on CNN - "Why don't we just beat ourselves to death. It's almost like we really want to lose."

We would never recover from a defeat in Iraq. Not even if we engineered something to "save face". As Powell commented if we had lost GW1 "The military in this country is finished".

Chicken hawk or not, that is the reality. Treat it like our lives depend on it - because it does.

11/08/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well articulated, buddy.
Must be why the GOP did so well.
Principles well explained and defended by those that cared, sitting in positions of power.

Success in the continued Reagan Revolution, so well extended by Mr Gingrinch and then mismanaged by Mr Bush and Mr Rove.

As Mr DeLay said this morning, buddy,
"You don't win by not losing"
.
That should be the mantra for the Bush Doctrine, in Iraq and in the rest of the "Global War".
To bad it is and was not.

11/08/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As the Army rolled into Iraq, public support was at 60+%

3.5 Years later it's down to 40% or less. Who bailed out, and went home to roost, other than the Chicken Hawks, Sunshine Patriots & Summertime Soldiers?

The real Hawks?

11/08/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

It's been nothing but bloody fractricide this past year, the vote, and now our recriminations (to include this one!)

I'd like to add that I think Iraq is not THE central issue, anymore, since Hussein is gone and because our being there and in Afghanistan was to put the squeeze on Iran, Syria and the KSA rads.

But they're putting the squeeze on us by undermining Iraq and enjoining a Muslim nuclear race. If Bush doesn't strike at Iran and maybe Damascus before the next Congress is seated (with Israel taking on Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria), then we will spend the next two years stabilizing Iraq for little effect.

The bigger picture is our security and world respect, which adds to that security. The ME is becoming more dangerous despite our solid gains and, like the Dems, quite disdainful of American power.

Focusing mostly on Iraq and using dumb damnable diplomacy wrt to proliferation is like putting our finger in a hole in a NO levee, when the waters are bound to breech it, anyway.

11/08/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Clyde said...

Cross-posted from my blog:

There's an old saying that "it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

A majority of the minority of the American electorate that actually votes has spoken and removed all doubt.

The Democrats have promised a "NewD irection for America." Congratulations, voters. You're screwed. I'm screwed. We're all screwed. All of us.

I'm going to get a bumper sticker next year that will say "Don't blame me; I voted Republican." For those of you who didn't vote or who voted for Democrats, you deserve what is going to happen to you in the next couple of years.

Here are a few things you can expect:

1. Your taxes will go up. The Democrats will claim, "Oh, we're only going to raise the taxes on the rich who aren't paying their fair share." A number of people who thought that they were middle-class are going to be shocked to learn that the Democrats have decided that they are "rich" and thus deserve to pay more in taxes. Well, open up your wallets, you kulaks! "For the Greater Good!" (which will be Hillary!'s campaign slogan in 2008, since "Peace! Land! Bread!" has already been used.)

2. The stock market is going to slide. That 12,000 Dow? Your bullish retirement funds? Kiss 'em goodbye, sweetheart. That's for rich folks, and they're gonna be facing more taxes and regulation that will make it more difficult for business. Also consider that many of the owners of small businesses will be included among those "rich" folks who will be paying more in taxes when the Bush tax cuts are allowed to lapse by the Democratic congress. Bad times are coming for the economy.

3. The minimum wage will be raised, leading to higher unemployment and inflation. Wonderful for those poor folks at the bottom of the ladder, right? Wrong. It will just lead to higher unemployment among the minimum wage demographic AND to inflation as well, since the increased cost of labor will be passed on to customers. Enjoy your $10 Big Mac in 2007, as well as your $40 meal at a downscale restaurant. Maybe we can break out the old Gerald Ford 1976 "Whip Inflation Now!" buttons for 2008.

4. Illegal immigration will no longer be a problem once the new Democratic House signs off on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform package. They won't call it "amnesty," but that's what it will be. Esperanza que no es una problema para Ustedes!

5. The Iraq War and the War on Terror are over. The American people were given a choice between the Stupid Party, which took them seriously, and the Dangerous Party, which does not. The voters chose the Dangerous Party. Expect the Iraq War to be de-funded and the troops quickly pulled out, just as the Democrats did in Vietnam in 1975, and also expect the Iraqis to get the same treatment that the South Vietnamese got: Having their financial and military assistance slashed to nothing and being left to the tender mercies of the wolves in their neighborhood.

Remember the scene in the movie "Animal House" where the Deltas have taken Flounder's cousin's Lincoln Continental out on a road trip and trashed it, and Flounder is sobbing about what his cousin is going to say. One of the leaders of the frat house says to him, "Hey, you f*cked up! You trusted us!" THAT is how America will be remembered if we abandon Iraq the way we abandoned South Vietnam. Unfortunately, it is exactly what I expect from the Democrats. And it will damage our foreign policy efforts world-wide for decades to come. No one will ever trust us again, nor should they if we cut and run.

The Democrats will block anything that is effective in the War on Terror. They will bend over backwards to preserve the non-existent constitutional "rights" of terrorist suspects, and will block wiretapping of possible terrorists overseas. The end result of all of this is predictable:

6. The odds of terrorist attacks will increase exponentially beginning on January 20th, 2007, because our Democrat congress will make it easier for our enemies to pull them off.

As I said, if you voted for the Democrats or failed to vote for Republicans, you deserve what is going to happen to you in the next two years. You buy it, you own it. I only hope that the body count isn't too high, and that if it is, we'll finally get serious about the War on Islamic Fascism. I don't expect that to happen unless something a couple of orders of magnitude worse than 9/11 happens, and I don't take much solace in the fact that most of the victims are likely to be Democrat voters in big cities in blue states. This time, though, unlike 9/11, they won't be able to say that they didn't see it coming.

11/08/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The "Dems ran to the right and won". The Dems ran to both the left and right, like one of these cartoon characters who is able to split himself and run down two paths. Webb and Lieberman epitomize the first and some other Dems the second. But unlike the cartoon character the two doppelgangers won't be able to merge so easily. In fact, the underlying reason they couldn't run integrated was they were really two beings joined by a common history. That history is commonly said to have diverged in Chicago, 1968. Maybe.

But be that as it may, the challenges of terrorism will bring those two Democratic doppelgangers into collision. They will merge somehow or rebound off each other. I am not confident that there exists sufficient statesmanship in Washington to create what is essentially the coalition between the 2 Dem wings and N Republican factions needed to pursue the war. Coalitions typically form under outside pressure. The problem with the War on Terror is that it manifests itself only intermittently. One moment the sun is shining. Then a flash and crack and the charring and the blackening.

Under those circumstances it is hard to retain focus. It's much easier to coalesce around pork. I was listening to one of the Pajamas interviews by Evan Coyne Maloney and some sections of the Democratic Party are already drooling over a peace dividend. Save $400 billion on Iraq and spend on the inner city. And then there's global warming and the UN. The reality is that to keep the Democratic Left wing happy, it will be necessary to buy them off. That's democracy in action. How soon those who demand more troops in Iraq forget who reduced the Army from 18 divisions to 10.

But it is the outside threat which is the strategic driver. That's the ball we lost sight of all through the sleepy 1990s and which we must never lose sight of again. While eating my cheap $7.50 grill dinner I realized I didn't give a hoot about partisan politics but did care about whether we were headed toward a new world conflict; and whether we were appreciably nearer it. As for all the rest ...

11/08/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Yashmak:

As opposed to camo-wearing gun nuts who hole up in their trailers and only come out to go to the 7-Eleven or vote for their local neo-Nazis every two years? Now that's true community integration.

Just kidding.

11/08/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

We would never recover from a defeat in Iraq. Not even if we engineered something to "save face". As Powell commented if we had lost GW1 "The military in this country is finished".

The U.S. military would have never recovered from losing Gulf One because that war was a "Good War" to reverse an invasion by looters. The U.S. military will recover from losing the Iraq War because that was a "Bad War", an invasion by us initiated by Bush, planned as early as 1999, and justified by trumped-up intelligence of WMD.

11/08/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As so many said, and so many others seem to believe, the War on Terror could only be lost by the US, here at home.

The War Policy of the President lost the House and Senate.
Blame the voters, not the poor Policy that was rejected by them.

Now that is Projection.

11/08/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

wretchard,

re: How soon those who demand more troops in Iraq forget who reduced the Army from 18 divisions to 10.

The slashing was bi-partisan, which I hope was your point.

11/08/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Catherine is right. The solution to problems in Iraq, NoKor, Lebanon, rests in Iran. The electorate sent a signal to Mr Bush. Less talk and more action would be appreciated.

11/08/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Catherine said...

"If Bush doesn't strike at Iran and maybe Damascus before the next Congress is seated (with Israel taking on Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria), then we will spend the next two years stabilizing Iraq for little effect... using dumb damnable diplomacy wrt to proliferation is like putting our finger in a hole in a NO levee, when the waters are bound to breech it, anyway."


Catherine is correct. Unfortunately I can't forsee what happens past initiating this upcoming Middle Eastern war. That's the problem with war, its outcome is so unpredictable.

11/08/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Rumsfeld is going to resign, per the AP, via FOX

11/08/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Mr. Rumsfeld is to resign, according to a report on Fox.

11/08/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Rumsfeld's resignation is effective immediately.

11/08/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Fred Barnes is twisting the knife in Mr. Rumsfeld. The Iraqi stumbling is Mr. Rumsfeld's fault, don't you know.

Long live the King!

11/08/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

That would be so funny if Rumsfeld should resign today. When it matters the least the Decider in Chief throws him overboard. I can't for the life of me figure why Bush would do that today of all days. But then he's made odd decisions in that past....

11/08/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger InvisibleForces said...

"The U.S. military would have never recovered from losing Gulf One because that war was a "Good War" to reverse an invasion by looters. The U.S. military will recover from losing the Iraq War because that was a "Bad War", an invasion by us initiated by Bush, planned as early as 1999, and justified by trumped-up intelligence of WMD."

Yes, it was trumped up intelligence but the ultimate goal(s) wasn't bogus which were:

1) To liberate the Iraqis from the dictator
2) To spread democracy in the region as a means of countering Islamic facism
3) And so on...

Even if we acknowledge that Saddam didnt have WMD , there was no guarantee that he would not have developed a future program to use against us. Or that he wouldnt have diverted funds to Al Queda for example. If you look at it, those would've been more likely the case hence the preemptive doctrine.

Iran (probably) doesn't nukes but the Israelis are practicising how to strike their reactors regardless.

It turned into a "bad war" primarily because of how it was fought. Initially it was conventional warfare and we fought it as it should be. Victory was indeed achieved in the onset because we are unbeatable in that kind of scenario. But then it transitioned into an insurgency warfare which to this day we refuse to switch tactics to defeat. We have this huge conventional force that is just sitting there being chewed day in and out to the point that the losses are no longer acceptable to the public.

We know how to fight and win an insurgency war. We have had enough history on it to draw on to prevail if we really choose to.

Also, no one foresaw that there would be a civil war in Iraq. Not the left, not the right. No one foresaw that the Shias and Sunnis would go at each other. It was assumed (and with good reason) that because we were liberating them that it was what they wanted.

And that is the current scenario.

Two sects battling each other for power with anti american jihadists filtering into the region.

If we abandon it, someone will get massacred, the insurgents will be more emboldened, Iran will be more powerful and so on and so forth.

What is done is done. We are right smack in the middle of it.

What do we do next?

11/08/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's a laugh, all right, ash.
Listening to the Decider in Chief as I type.

Robert Gates, member of the Baker Hamilton Commission, gets the call.

11/08/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Nicolas said...

excellent blog and storys!

find it! love it! sell/buy it!

11/08/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Maybe, maybe, by tossing him overboard now Bush is saying to the Dems " OK, he's gone - now whattaya wanna do" And dump the next two years on the dems.

11/08/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger InvisibleForces said...

"Mr Rumsfeld is going to resign, per the AP, via FOX"

Good! And he's replacement will be Bob Gates who led the CIA =) LOL!

11/08/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well said, Clyde. We both know you have barely scratched the surface. "The Graduate", at the beginning of another signal era change, got the advice "plastics". A re-make today might use "canned goods".

Rat, sorry I was inarticulate, I was going for a humorous image. But I wonder, now after reading you these many moons warning that we are in trouble, do you imagine that after yesterday we are now in less trouble?

11/08/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, not at all, buddy.

Mr Gates is part of the Baker/ Hamilton team. Listening to Mr Baker in the past weeks leads me to think we'll be pulling back. Consolidating on the mega bases, getting less aggresive.

Doubt the Iranians are going to be bombed, there is more than a 1% Cheney Standard chance they already have a NorK supplied nuke.

We do not have the momenteum and we are not going to gain it soon.

11/08/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

A Baker approach will be prudent and suicidal.

I remember someone somewhere saying that when people reach their fifties they often want that second place, a farm or ranch, in the country. Next year will be my time, and now there’s no choice. Canned goods in the farmhouse larder it’ll be, along with bullion (and not the soup kind.)

11/08/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Gates, another of his Dad's men.
Wikipedia tells all?

11/08/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Good plan, Catherine. Both Bullions, tho. Can't eat that shiny kind.

Can anyone post up a good graphic--maybe one of those pencil-drawn schematics with the separate steps drawn in sequence, of how to tie a turban?

Preferably so that any corner stitching, such as, say, "Holiday Inn" or "Motel 6", doesn't show?

11/08/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Re: towel

Thanks for the laugh on a dismal dark day, Buddy!

11/08/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Buddy,
I dun looked at my library in the skool bushome and I thunk this is what you mentioned.

The “Manifesto” ends with this famous appeal: “The communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!” But this appeal is self defeating, for Marx denies free will. Everything is fated; the revolution is “inevitable” whether I choose to join it or not. You cannot appeal to free choice and at the same time deny it

That thar Marx guy..I git the feel'n that some of his followers are gonna be on that North American Union train.

11/08/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's the "Peace Train", habu, get on board or be left behind

11/08/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Although Donald Rumsfeld made a gesture of giving credit to others after the U.S.'s semi-lightning fast victory against Saddam's enfeebled Republican Guard (and considerably more together Fedayeen) in the spring of 2003 and has been relentless in shifting blame to others during the myriad setbacks since then, the Iraq war is singularly and distinctively his.

Rumsfeld anticipated the war years before George Bush was elected.

Rumsfeld planned the war while the fires from the 9/11 terror attacks still burned.

Rumsfeld executed the war through Tommy Franks and other compliant generals who kissed his ass to protect their careers while giving little thought to protecting their men's rears.

And Rumsfeld has relentlessly pursued the war even as his assumptions have been revealed as fraudulent, over 2,800 American men and women have come home in flag-drapped coffins and his hubristic goals have fallen by the bloody wayside.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

11/08/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

yeh, Cat Stevens sang about it, before he became a Mohammad something or other. He gettin a little older now, maybe he'll re-release it as "Pee Strain".

11/08/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right On, Shaun, brother! We want our corpses to disappear from reality, like the ones in the World Trade Center.

11/08/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Wells i rekon da 'lection be ova 'cause folks is all happy 'cpt dem dats not.
like i gotz a neighbor ole Swann Mullet. he be down at da Citgo station git'n a moon pie an a ROC cola talk'n 'bout versity.
he has a beautiful voice. i knows cause i hurd da Vienna Sausage Bouys Qwire CASTRATI sing'n on day radio..wuz jus like beauty Swann Mullet

11/08/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Rumsfeld stood shoulder to shoulder with Mr Bush, has for the entire tenure of his term.

Never out of step with the President. For better or worse.

11/08/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Ursus said...

I forsee an early withdrawal from Iraq reminiscent of our bug-out in Vietnam, with similar pictures of the last helicopter out but, with better color and resolution.

I also forsee that as a result of this withdrawal, any promise to another government of U.S. help or protection will never be believed again.

I too anticipate that a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, probably far exceeding the damage caused by 9/11, just got a lot more likely and a lot closer in time.

11/08/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Wretchard,

re: 18 - 10 divisions

The Bush administration is allowing the Air Force to reduce its manpower by 40,000 over the next three years. This cannot be laid at the feet of the Democrats.

The Air Force is completely up front as to the cause of the force reduction - the Air Force cannot have both new aircraft and personnel. That is real leadership.

It will prove interesting to watch Ike Skelton, who has promised more funding and a larger active armed force.

11/08/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

DR,

I'm not vexed. I got to buy a good man some Chivas the other night and it was deserving.

I just hope that that 800 yard wide super highway from Mexico to Canada via our heaatland has more than 55mph on the signs.
I want he man speeds. 85-90 and in the go fast lane it's all you can do!!!
Course I'll be over in the far right lane do'in 65 so I can catch those short naps.
And it will have a train down the middle of it..a Peace Train.

11/08/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

....and when the dirty bomb goes off in NYC...

Oh, it's cryin' time again, you're gonna leave me
I can see that far away look in your eyes
I can tell by the way you hold me darlin' Oooh
That it won't be long before it's cryin' time

11/08/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

What War on Terror? ABC News gives up the good news of the Dem Congress to come:

Conyers could take over the Judiciary Committee and investigate Bush over Iraq and secret Prisons. Waxman is set to whack Halliburton and other big corporations, on principle. More Abramhoff, Delay and Cunningham investigations.

There'll be investigations over defense contractor “corruption” in Iraq. Hearings on corruption and Katrina as they relate to the Bush administration and corporate contractors, certainly not to the local Dem machine. Investigations over pre-war intell and the CIA, so that it becomes even more politicized, CYA minded and less effective than before.

Then the new Congress will lower Medicare prescription prices because Dems say the government should pay for what ails us. Especially after making us sick, I suppose.

11/08/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

So, poor Bill Clinton was once again slandered over Operation Desert Fox. Turns out it wasn't a wag-the-dog thing to cover Monica's testimony, it was that wily old Rumsfeld that made him do it!

And you can see the logic of ignoring Iraq after 9/11, because you can see how wonderfully well that strategy played out. Let's see, we have a declared enemy is is actively at war with us, either shooting at our planes or blowing up our embassies and ships, and the cool move would have been to just ignore Iraq after 9/11. Yeah, you can see the hubris in that, can't you?

Rumsfeld was a fantastic leader, and if he were a Democrat, he could now drift off and assume whichever Senatorial or Congressional seat he pleases. A la Hillary in New York, or here in PA, where the disgraced Admiral Sestak moves back after 30 years away to assume his baronial right as Congressman, earned through his service under the imperial Clintons. He is another failed, pompous chump like the Fresh Prince of Massachusetts, and you know how Democrats love their royalty.

11/08/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger snellenr said...

shaun d. mullen said: Many of the Democrats elected yesterday are moderate and (gasp!) conservative on security and social issues.

So, which the more powerful ranking members in the House will Pelosi push aside to reward these new "moderate and (gasp!) conservative" members... Waxman, Rangel, Conyers, Skelton, or Dingall?

11/08/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger James Stephenson said...

You can not blame the Auto Industries problems on Foreign competition. You can lay the blame solely on the unions.

Every American Car sold has a 2000 dollar hidden cost because of Unions.

How is it that Foreign Cars made in America are better than American cars, cost less and last longer?

Two words, No Unions.

So please do not place the blame of the Auto Industry on anyone but the Unions and the Auto Industry.

11/08/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Rumsfeld anticipated the war years before George Bush was elected.

I'm sure it's not very hard to anticipate a war you drag the country into fighting by selecting intelligence and by sheer force of will. Too bad he didn't anticipate the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, there would be 2800 civilian Americans alive today.

11/08/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

James Stephenson,

The American Auto is engineered for a life of a 3 year lease. This has NOTHING to do with foreign competition or American labor unions.

11/08/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Let's see, we have a declared enemy is is actively at war with us, either shooting at our planes or blowing up our embassies and ships, and the cool move would have been to just ignore Iraq after 9/11.

We should have just gone after the enemy that was blowing up our embassies and ships, and pulled our planes out of the country where the enemy was shooting at them. Then we wouldn't be worried about Iran right now.

11/08/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Ah yes, Resistance is futile. I get it. So why worry, be happy, mon!

11/08/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Too bad he didn't anticipate the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, there would be 2800 civilian Americans alive today.

Yes, too bad Rummy didn't prevent 9-11. Let us bow our heads and shake them in sanctimonious scorn for the liars, deceivers and unpreventers of the Bushie administration.

And, dear Allah, let us both decry preemption and rue how Rumsfeld missed his chance to preempt, all in a day's judgment.

11/08/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger epictetus said...

Yes and now that Rummy's gone and the Democrats control congress, all our problems will disappear and the world will unite behind us in glorious harmony.

Wow! That was easy!

Thank goodness none of our problems were, you know, outside of our complete and perfect control. If any future "problems" pop up, maybe Shaun and Catholic Woman could "fix" them by typing on their computers. Cool!

It's amazing how our leaders become more and more incompetent as we become more and more perfect.

11/08/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

In a time of change, cliches take on the force of truth. In this case, to wit: An ending is also a new beginning.

As an aside, living in the belly of the Jim McDermott (D-Washington State - famous for going to shake Saddam's hand two weeks before we attacked him) beast, here in Seattle, I have to ask myself: what are all these crazy leftoids celebrating? Especially now that they have a chance to see if they really believe their own poetry: "A more sensitive war," "recover the world's squandered goodwill" "respect the rights of combatents" etc..

Back to the new beginning. I agree with Wretchard; this is the end of the low-level war. The Dems will let things go slack and the jihadis will strengthen themselves. For 6 years the Dems screamed bloody murder over Bush and his anti-terror policies while they extended unbounded equanimity to jihadis. All of us here know what this means - hang on to your shorts - things are going to get hot.

11/08/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

"We should have just gone after the enemy that was blowing up our embassies and ships, and pulled our planes out of the country where the enemy was shooting at them. Then we wouldn't be worried about Iran right now."
-WomanCatholic

You'd honestly prefer we'd have given Saddam a free hand to resume gassing 10's of thousands of his people? Yeah, excellent solution. You're a real humanitarian.

What on earth makes you think Iran wouldn't be a problem anyway? Do you honestly think they had no plans to go nuclear before we took out Saddam? Laughable.

11/08/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Just as an aside, why was there no "anti-war movement" in the 90's? It's not like there wasn't any way, after all, according to the "9/11 Commission Report" the reason we couldn't pursue Richard "The Former Mad Bomber Turned Peacenik" Clarke's proposed rolling attacks on Al Qaeda was because after all the attacks on Iraq, Sudan, Serbia, Afghanistan, etc. in the 90's, America would be seen as "bomb-happy" if we actually actually tried to fight back against our self-declared enemy in Al Qaeda.

Seriously, why no fervent anti-war movement in the 90's?

And if Democrats are so peace-loving, why are the most loyal Democratic-voting districts the murder centers of the USA? Don't the holier-than-moi Democrats care about their own? According to the FBI, there were 16,692 murders in the US last year. According to icasualties.org, there have been 2,839 US deaths in Iraq since the start of the latest hostilities in March, 2003, which works out to about 53 deaths per month. To match America's annual own death rate, this war to change the world will have to go on at this rate for another 26 years. That is, 30 years of war in Iraq will equal one year of peace(?) in America's cities.

So why don't peace-loving, saintly Democrats call for peace in their own districts, rather than hating the noble Rumsfeld?

Ahh, that's too complex a question. Here, take the easy one: Why was there no anti-war movement in the 90's?

11/08/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Oh ye of little faith.....failing to see the glory of the ultimate rovian plot. It is obviously so complex that even I have yet to grasp the nuances....all I have been able to utter thus far is a whispered "whiskey tango foxtrot"

11/08/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

InvisibleForces,
Saddam had'em...WMD's, don't be a fool. They were moved by the Spetsnaz to Syria. Are you one of Lenin's useful idiots or what?

11/08/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Double, double toil and trouble,

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble,

Conyers Waxman Leahy Rangel,

Reid Pelosi Frank and Dingell,

witches brew to make you tingle.

11/08/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Anyhoo, congratulations, and good luck, to everybody who wanted big policy changes. Sincerely.

11/08/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Scary Third Conjecture comment, eh...

Maybe. Not in particulars but in structure. There is now a much smaller chance that the terrorist problem can be resolved at a low level of conflict. There is a greater likelihood that it will be allowed by neglect or paralysis to metastize into a canker which will develop into a catastrophic confrontation in five or ten years time. A likelihood, but not a certainty.

The only thing I can say since about April 2006 onward is that I am very glad we are the third most populous nation on the earth. We are going to need the cannon fodder - and I don't think the casualties will be at some military front lines...

I almost asked a question that should never be asked. Hopefully, this to will pass.

11/08/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

go ahead, boghie--ask it.

11/08/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Here Goes...
The question that should not be asked...

Are all attacks on American soil equal?

The Libs will not fight for targets symbolizing capitalism and military power. What will Conservatives not fight for?

We are a nation of 300,000,000. We could not get our gander up for the mass murder of a mere 3,000. Fully half our country simply wanted to give a good and emotional send-off to the victims of a tragedy. They had their month of mourning and unity. Those 3,000 are the collateral casualties of trade policies and warmongering.

Again, are all attacks on Americans equal? What will the other 50% do if only a couple of thousand symbols of liberalism vanish in a tragedy.

Personnally, I fight. I, however am starting to think that our society is too fractured to unify. If we do not fight after the next strike will we be in perpetual decline?

Do we matter?

11/08/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Solomon Rush said...

The coming months will be ones of great opportunity. Reality provides one very powerful service: it shows what does not work. And it provides clues to what will work. A lot of the effort should consist of thinking out approaches from first principles. One obvious effect will be to shrivel the deadwood -- intellectual and otherwise -- out of the way. We are all free in a way that we couldn't otherwise be without today.

I just hope this feeling of getting back to conservative principles is not lost after a few weeks, much like the comradarie we felt after 9/11 went away shortly thereafter. The lesson is a hard one to swallow but let's take our medicine and not forget it, lest we repeat our mistakes. "Shrivel the deadwood" indeed.

11/08/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The transition from trust society to fear society, boghie? I thought the conservative movement could turn it back. But--all bets are off, now, you are right.

Maybe Shaun, with his cartoon truths about that hard man on the walls, Rummy, will find us some more truths to answer your question with.

11/08/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Are Americans Americans?
Or are we Balkanized?
Is this game over?
In all ways?

I am not confident that we can unify even under a Third Conjecture scenario. To get to the point of a Third Conjecture Fourth Turning Epoch requires the fecklessness we are soon to see. At the end of that period of truces and paperwork and resolutions will we just slip into history? Will the Right just watch our culture fail a little bit more - simply because they are playing Roman Senatorial politics and because it is a joy to watch Pelosi and Kennedy and Leahy et al. squirm? Will the Right view the next portion of this fight as a temporary setback that can be used politically? Do we think we are invincible - and thus we do not need to unify in the common defense?

I hope our adversaries have been hit hard enough to prevent them from standing up. But I think not.

11/08/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

invisibleforces - Also, no one foresaw that there would be a civil war in Iraq. Not the left, not the right. No one foresaw that the Shias and Sunnis would go at each other. It was assumed (and with good reason) that because we were liberating them that it was what they wanted.

That is not true. Country after country in the region screamed at us that if we invaded we would defeat the Iraqi Army in short order, only to find ourselves in a tribal insurgency, then in the middle of a Civil War. Arabists in our country, UK, France, Russia, Turkey screamed that we had no idea of the blood feuds and tribal forces and how Iran and others would exploit a power vacuum.

Unfortunately the neocons and Likudniks like Sharansky had Bush's ear. They talked of liberation, cakewalks, grateful Iraqis. The Bushies disbelieved that the noble purple-fingered freedom-loving democracy-hungry people wanted anything other than a secular Western-style nation friendly with all it's neighbors, including the Bushie's "Special Friend". As the waited for certainty of Afghan women to "cast off their burquas now that they are free".

The American who had it most right and made the best case...not the "any new war must be Vietnam" crowd opposing the "any new war must be WWII and the President is Churchill" crowd was Joe Biden. Who predicted a massive insurgency, Iran &NORKs&China&LA creeps like Chavez free to run rampant with 60% of US ground forces committed. And Biden was convinced in 2002 of eventual Iraq civil war.
********************

Allen - re: 18 to 10 Divisions

The Bush administration is allowing the Air Force to reduce its manpower by 40,000 over the next three years. This cannot be laid at the feet of the Democrats.


The Bushies were the ones that believed new exciting high-tech wondertoys were the answer to "Transformation" and planned gutting the AF conventional force, the Navy, and going further on "needless Old-style Army Divisions from 10 down to 8, with those 8 being lighter, less armored and "faster".

As Dear Leader adulators continue - the AF began rapid attrition of fighters and tankers both from Bush doing dumb things like burning their frame lifetimes out flying donuts over US cities for 2 years for no valid military reason - then losing more from Bush not replacing destroyed or burned out equipment from heavy operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The tanker and air logistics fleet is rapidly becoming worn out, and the Bushie answer is to spend 6 years not buying new tankers and to try to shut down the C-17 logistics fleet line to save money. Same with the F-117 fighter bomber fleet Bush budgets have the AF considering scrapping.

The Navy continues to implode. Reagans 600 ship fleet is down to 280.

Reserves have been - even commanders admit - abused away from their assigned mission to become a regular replacement component for a too-small active duty military that Bush, DeLay, Hastert, and Rumsfeld refused to expand except for components Rummy wanted like "high tech special ops". Growing the military would jeopardize tax cuts for the wealthy.

Spec Ops now being blown up doing jobs that less-trained conventional soldiers that Rumsfeld refuses to hire could do - manning checkpoints, backing Iraqi soldiers, and guarding convoys of Starbucks and Burger King trucks headed to mega-bases where the typical soldier hunkers down, never ventures out.

Allen refers to what many Branches of the military believe - the American Churchill's Field Marshall is a disaster for most military branches and top officers are on their way to disgracing themselves like the Vietnam top brass was by refusing to reveal what they know are lies because of ingrained deference and loyalty to civilian leaders like MacNamara or Rummy. So they make hard choices and will weaken themselves in some areas - staffing, current mission capability, F-117 capacity, to keep long range weapons procurement on track. All the expenses Bushies are pushing out - deferred subs, tankers, replacement M1A2 tanks - can be done faster in a real war than recreating shelved F-35 or F-22 programs.
**************

11/08/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, one thing you can be sure of, boghie, enemy moneymen all over the globe pulled out their checkbooks this morning, and started writing.

Bonuses all around, for a job well done.

Stay tuned (how could one not?), more and better yet to come, sure as night follows day.

11/08/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Why are you still bitching, C4? You WON yesterday.

Now, it's your turn, fix all that sh*t, wouldja?

Apply all that certainty, should be a cakewalk for ya.

What do we do next?

11/08/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The only thing you can't do, of course, is "stay the course", because like you've said 1,000,000 times, the course is all wrong.

So, what's next?

Kill off Islam? Sign over the deed to the country? Just Wait For Whatever Comes? Cyanide the kids and commit suicide? Something else? What might that be, pray tell?

11/08/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger snellenr said...

...this is the end of the low-level war.

I agree too, but for a different reason. There is too much "benefit" (politically) to divisiveness in our system to sustain an extended war, especially when that war is organized as a quick smashing operation followed by a long-term "nation-building" engagement.

In future conflicts (Iran, N. Korea, for example) our objectives need to be sharply defined and time-boxed in a way that Iraq wasn't (either GWI or GWII). If our objective in Iraq had been to eliminate WMD technology & Saddam clique, for example, we should have stayed in "smash" mode from beginning to end. No touchy-feely, "we wanna be friends" stuff which puts our guys in *more* danger. No cultural understandings and accomodations -- if there is fire coming from a mosque, it becomes a non-mosque in short order. No months-long hand-wringing about the poor people of Fallujah -- but give them the same ultimatum as we gave the Taliban.

Once we've satisfied ourselves that Iraq is (at that moment) no longer a threat (no WMD, no Saddam and ilk), we tell them that we'll return if they act up again, wave bye-bye, and leave.

11/08/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

Boghie,

The American cultural tectonic plates continue to slip and the earthquake yesterday signals to me that America is sliding into oblivion. Not with a bang but a whimper.

Americans no longer believe in American exceptionalism. American will is fractured. There will be no healing because progressives and traditionalists are too far apart.

And frankly, I think that Americans have earned what the ummah will be delivering in the coming decade.

Herald the new Dark Ages that are coming.

11/08/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I would think that, after such dramatic and prolonged opposition to the current policies, you would have already had well-studied alternatives prepared and ready-to-go.

Anything else would be irresponsible, wouldn't it?

11/08/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I'm with you, Lugh--can i move to Ireland?

11/08/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ireland is booming, ever since it lowered taxes. Oops, shut my mouth, that's heresy, now.

11/08/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Kill off Islam? Sign over the deed to the country? Just Wait For Whatever Comes? Cyanide the kids and commit suicide? Something else? What might that be, pray tell?

Master Sun Tzu said, "First make yourself invulnerable to defeat. Then exploit the weaknesses of the enemy."

11/08/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Again, you're quicker on the draw, Buddy, but I was just going to answer your question to Cedarford. To fix what's wrong we must RAISE TAXES ON THOSE $#%@^* RICH AMERICANS!

"Rich" means most of us here who have a couple of nickels to rub together.

But Cedarford is right about the cuts our military has been sustaining over the years. The transformation has been sexy tech heavy, reliable equipment and grunts light in order to be modern and save money. Looks good on paper and some of it is needed, but the light component doesn't hold ground.

And so, political solutions with military pricks is the future. Will this be adequate- I don't think so, but the current regime has let this be and the Hillary reign to come will recast our military into international peace forces. (Did I say that? Wow- am not a Bircher or Buchananite-- maybe need some peanut butter to get blood sugar levels up.)

11/08/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Oh, thanks, Tess. but, with no attacks here since 911, wasn't Sun Tsu's dictum pretty much what we were trying to do?

11/08/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Neal Boortz (no pinko liberal he) says, "The Republicans worked very hard for this defeat. They've earned every lost seat. The Republican majority that was sent packing yesterday bore little resemblance to the Republican majority that rode to power 12 years ago. In 1994 we were promised less government. Over the next 12 years the Republicans more than doubled the size of the government. We were promised control over runaway spending. In the last six years discretionary spending has doubled. We were promised fiscal responsibility. We got a bridge to nowhere in Alaska."

11/08/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Dhun said...

Quote "* It is a fiction that Democrats have been weak on national security."

Fact.... John Kerry voted against SDI, the very program that brought the Soviets to their knees.

11/08/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

And so, political solutions with military pricks is the future.

That's not what I meant :) How about, political solutions with military quick hits is the future.

11/08/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

It looks like Cedarford and 'Woman Catholic' can caucus together and find a solution.

Build that 600 ship Navy and fight em in Afghanistan.

Maybe the Lamentors will back your desire for a large Air Force to take command of the skies over the Sudan.

Then again, there is just to much poverty in the world to spend resources on meanies in pickle suits.

As far as ground forces, both the Army and the Marine Corps have far more personnel than in FY2000. Far more. At least 60,000 more well trained ground pounders. The Marine Corps at the end of the Clinton era numbered 162,000 personnel - they now number 185,000. And those are grunts. The Army has grown similarly - but they are restructuring in the Marine Corps model. So you will not see a huge Division count - you will see the equivalent of MEFs and the like.

11/08/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But, Catherine, what if we go back to the IRS recpts we used to collect back when taxes were higher?

Won't there be *less* money for the gov't?

But, I guess for some types, taxation is more of a tool to punish success, and create disincentives to private enterprise, than it is a system of funding the government.

11/08/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

C4,

The late Republican Congress forced the DoD and Air Force to accept delivery of 10 new C-17s. Until recently, Air Force brass appeared before prior Congresses swearing that nothing less than a 230 plane C-17 fleet would do. Even with the forced sale above, the fleet will not exceed 180 - 190 planes.

By keeping the C-17 production line open, the Air Force is guaranteed spare parts for the existing fleet; apparently, something the Air Force was willing to forego.

11/08/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

A Freudian slip is showing.

11/08/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Buddy, it's not the principal the gov collects, it's the principle. Class war!!!!

11/08/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

A Freudian slip is showing.

Hope it weren't mine, Bobalharb. I like the military and always wear my slip two inches above hemline.

11/08/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Also, while I am grousing...

Reagan did make good use of the 600 ship Navy - didn't he...

We were able to quickly bail out of Lebanon.

By the way, if I am not mistaken, the brilliant forsight of President Clinton led to a Navy of less than 200 ships. Unlike the ground forces I can be wrong on that. But I distinctly remember being pissed off by the Navy dropping in the 190 range in 1999/2000.

I am waiting with baited breath for Shaun Mullin's opinion. Slicing your military in half is definitely a non-fiction story. And, who was the El Presidente who did so - It's the Economy Stupid. Who left Bush II with an Army/USMC ground strength of about 500,000 personnel when he started his eight years with 900,000 personnel. And, then to rant that we didn't use 4/5ths of them in Iraq.

11/08/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

"pho tai" - Shaun

Talk about multiculti confusion. The point, in any case, is not whether the *economic* marketplace can bring us all manner of cuisine, and even dubious attempts at fusion. The point is can a *political* marketplace be multicultural and still allow for democratic or republican self rule? I see no evidence it can. In fact multiculturalism in politics is also know as elitist back-room dealing in the emperor's court. The more imperialsism is attempted the more the centre cannot hold and eventually the thing will rip apart. Which is why the oldest nations - Israel, Ethiopia, Armenia are far older than any empire, and why England survives Britannia. The democrats are the party of imperialism, despite the left's rhetoric. Make no mistake about it. As an ignorant Canuck, however, may i as if Pelosi, as speaker, gets a government house in which she can rent bedrooms to Chinese?

11/08/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

C$, here's a tip: before you order everybody off the ship, make sure you're at the dock.

11/08/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

10 August 2000

Link

“Persian Gulf War…At that time, there were 18 Army divisions, and a total of 2.2 million people in the U.S. armed forces…”

“President Bush -- with current GOP vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney serving as Defense secretary…[cut] the Army from 18 to 12 divisions as part of the post-Cold War reduction in the size of the U.S. military. That left 1.6 million men and women serving in the armed forces."

“The Clinton administration made further cuts, reducing the Army to just 10 divisions. Now, there are 1.4 million people serving in the U.S. military.”

Current size of active force: 1,426,713

___ Army reduced by 6 divisions under President George H. W. Bush

___Army reduced by 2 divisions under President William Jefferson Clinton

“You can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts.”

11/08/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Yo, I don't want to pound ground unless we're doing it from orbit.

This nation-building thing might slowly work out, but it's not going to be Disney World and our troops are the park workers, dancing around in Mickey outfits by day and scrubbing the streets by night.

The smart guys write about how evil ol' Capitalism has civilized and peace-ified large parts of Asia. If capitalism works where all you have to sell is raw materials and hard work, it should work pretty well where you have bloody Oil to sell. It could take hold here, slowly suffocating this fever of jihad.

Whatever, you gotta give Bush and Rummy props for at least giving it a shot.

Our rate of progress in Iraq not only gives the peace-lovers pause, it gives the super-hawks pause, too. As I said above, from here forward, if we're going to pound the ground, I vote we do it from orbit.

All towards the objective of a loving peace all 'round the world.

11/08/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger InvisibleForces said...

"Arabists in our country, UK, France, Russia, Turkey screamed that we had no idea of the blood feuds"

===========

It isn't necessarily a blood feuds. Did you ever see a carbomb go off in a Sunni neighborhood with Sunni casualties during the first year or two of the war in the news?

The insurgency is primarily a group of powerful Sunnis who miss their hold on power and all its benefits. Corrupt Sunni generals who miss their kickbacks etc. Early in the insurgency, it was already suspected that it was the ex Bathists who were behind it. They are the ones who have access to the arms, explosives etc.

Prior to the invasion, the principal concern(at least here in the US) was the losses we would suffer as we went in. Losses that would be due to urban warfare which we might have to fight as we went in to Baghdad. There was no talk of a Sunni (ex Bathist led) insurgency a few months down the road because we were going to destroy their powerbase anyway ie the army etc.

Apparently, what they did was a "hide and fight another day" routine or that we didnt really destroy enough of them.

There are many Sunnis who are willing to give the new Iraq a chance. Not to mention Iraq isnt that clearly divided anyway. There have been many intermarriages etc. over the years.

11/08/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

Israel just got their notice:

"Iran's your, not ours.

11/08/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

Boghie said...
Also, while I am grousing...

Boghie, it was the Veep who campaigned on "Help is on the way," in 1999 to the military guys and gals, who were still reeling from an intensive deployment schedule under Clinton.

The point of the comment was "end strength," and unfortunately no increases were forthcoming. I give you Clinton's response to the Peace Dividend, and the slicing in half of the military, but the Republicans are the ones who put us in a situation after 9/11 where the 250,000 invasion force proposed by Gen Shinseki as "required" for Iraq, was also impossible to maintain.

All the high tech in the world cannot hold ground, it can only destroy it. This country needs people, not just F-22's.

11/08/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

When it comes to politics I am a contrarian. I truly believed that Bush lost his mandate by trying to play cool with the Left with his “compassionate” conservatism which was to say, look, I am a neat guy and am just like you. Hooey. Bush compassioned us to a stand still in Iraq and compassioned us into a lose-lose stand off with the Latin American insurgents that have overrun our borders. He has compassioned himself into a losing team with his ‘til death do us part” cronyism. He is so compassionate that I think he would blush before he broke out the veto pen and you can bet the Libs are going to be bringing mandate on. They will rub his compassionate face into the dirt between now and ’08 and humiliate all who fervently backed him up because we were just sure that he a brilliant uber plan up his sleeve to make it all right. I think of the Jihadi’s are smart (they aren’t, they are zealous religious fanatics) they’d lay low a few years and let the Liberals take over the nation again. They would let the once fine American armed forces wither on the vine and let the Libs once again commit the peace dividend to decades of social spending and BRAC the whole US military to nothing. Since the administration is hoping that the Iranians and the Syrians will help in Iraq, maybe we can outsource our naval commitments to China… Wall-mart can certainly get us in contact with the right people in the PRC, and, finally, whereas the wolf wants to be known as a nice sheep hugging SNAG, conversely, if the Jihadi’s try any crap on President Clinton’s watch and Pelosi is speaker, they will learn what is meant by “hell hath no fury but that ‘a women scorned’”.

11/08/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

I complained about a Supreme Court nominee who was clearly unqualified.

I was told I was stupid, sexist and mean-spirited.

I complained about a Ports Deal that gave a Muslim country a presence in one of our most vulerable areas of national security. There was no advanced preparation with the logical and clear reason why this was a good idea.

I was told I was incredibly stupid, Islamophobic, and myopically unsophisticated.

I let my representatives know I wanted the border secured.

I was told that I didn't "get it" that I was immigrant-phobic, stupid, and mean-spirited.

In short, the Republican in chief told me what I would have expected to come from a Democrat in chief.

I quickly discovered, that I had "no" representation in Washington. At least not anything representing what I voted for.

But I guess I was stupid, I mean really stupid, just like the President told me for the last two years, because I continued to support the troops in Iraq and I voted yesterday and all my conservative guys won.

But over the last 2 years, I no longer had a party.

11/08/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

Funny thing. That was all without any mention of Iraq.

I still want 250,000 troops there..

Enforcing border security...

Allowing for the free selection of Supreme Court justices...

And keep the Iranians out of the management of Iraqi ports...

I am a simple man...of very simple means, and very simple goals:

Winning, with overwhelming force...ruthlessly.

11/08/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I can't read this whole commentary;my eyes are glazing over.A few quick observations.
I am surprized Cedarford is too young to remember Watergate.It's hard to imagine anyone under 85 spewing that much bile.
The enlightened conservative new Dhimmicrats will quickly fall into line behind Pelosi and these other leftist tools.Along with the governors redistricting and new advances in voter fraud;we may be in for a long march to socialist serfdom.
I live in a neighborbood like Habu,they call it Boogertown,full of rednecks on meth,hip hop desperados,fat 'ho's,you name it.A jive little dwarf like Shaun wouldn't last 5 minutes down here.Pelosi I can tolerate .It's glib smarties like Shaun spewing their insufferable platitudes that turns my stomach.
Catholic Chick(hey ,your hair fell off!)Stating that the community portrayed in Acts is proto-Marxism is utter horsecrap

11/08/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

---We are in trouble. And only a relatively short time is on our side. There is no articulate Churchill on the horizon to intelligently rally the right, and unlike then, most of the competents have long ago fled the arena. Who shall we look to: Allen, McCain, Romney, Guiliani? God help us.

re: the lack of a Churchill: Churchill saved the Western World from Hitler, but he could never save Britain or Europe.

Truer words were never said when he said that if the British empire last 1000 years, men will still say that that was their finest hour.

Whether he realized it at the time or not, Churchill was prescient: it was the end of the British empire. They had gone too far down the road of isolationism and pacifism. All he could do was keep them from extinction until the Americans arrived. And he did--but he could never return Britain to glory. She was the world's only superpower, and she could not live up to that.

We not only lack a Churchill, but we lack the foresight to see the existential crisis present for the US as well. Being the world's only superpower is not good for surviving complacency. We may yet spend the next decade coming to grips with our own end of glory. Perhaps we too will survive the war, but as what?

11/08/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Allison, as "consumers"?

11/08/2006 11:21:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger