Sunday, February 11, 2007

John Howard Versus Barack Obama

Barrack Obama Versus John Howard on Iraq.

US presidential hopeful Barack Obama has blasted as "empty rhetoric" Australian Prime Minister John Howard's attack on Obama's plan to bring US troops home from Iraq. The 45-year-old senator waded into a major foreign policy row just one day after formally announcing his candidacy, telling Mr Howard he should dispatch 20,000 Australians to Iraq if he wanted to back up his comments.

"I think it's flattering that one of George Bush's allies on the other side of the world started attacking me the day after I announced," Mr Obama told reporters in the mid-western US state of Iowa. "I would also note that we have close to 140,000 troops in Iraq, and my understanding is Mr Howard has deployed 1,400, so if he is ... to fight the good fight in Iraq, I would suggest that he calls up another 20,000 Australians and sends them to Iraq.

"Otherwise it's just a bunch of empty rhetoric." Mr Howard earlier attacked Obama's plan to withdraw US combat troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008.


Commentary

First the facts. In 2006, the population of Australia was estimated to be about 20.26 million people, according to the CIA factbook; the population of the US was calculated at 298.44 million. There are therefore approximately 298.44/20.26=14.77 more Americans than there are Australians. On a per capita basis, Australia has the equivalent of 1,400x14.77=20,670 troops currently in Iraq -- not inconsiderable, but fewer than America on a that basis. But Mr. Obama's request to send another 20,000 Australian troops would be run the calculation the other way -- the equivalent of asking John Howard to send 295,400 in per capita terms. The correct matching per capita contribution would be about another 1,400 for Australia to send "another 20,000 Australians".

I think this dust-up has the potential to play in very unpredictable ways. First, many Americans will resent commentary by any foreign leader on a US Presidential campaign. Captain Ed is already of that view and in fairness, he would probably feel the same way if the commentator were Jacques Chirac or Osama Bin Laden. On the other hand, many Australians, including people who might be John Howard's domestic political opponents, will probably say "who the hell does Barack Hussein Obama think he is?" Many Australians are acutely aware of the commitments by this small nation, in population terms, not only in Afghanistan, but in Fiji, East Timor, Afghanistan, Indonesia and the Philippines. If there is one country in the world Barack Obama ought not to have twitted about not pulling its own weight, it would be Australia.

How things go from here depend to some extent, on how well Howard and Obama handle the follow-up events.

68 Comments:

Blogger Vince P said...

As an American, let me say how grateful I am for Australia's sacrifice in contributing to the effort in Iraq. Obama, like the party he is a member, is a disgrace for attacking our allies.

2/11/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Government Man said...

as kevin rudd (opposition leader oz), this is unprecedented and stunned many of us, someone has set obama a ambush and he walked straight into it.

2/11/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The Obama Doctrine: Debase yourself before the allies who won't help you and screw the ones who do.

2/11/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Obama has just proven that not only have the Democrats not been paying attention to the War on Terror in Iraq, but they also haven't been paying attention to who have been in our corner during it. He probably also thinks Chirac is an ally.

I don't really have a problem with Howard commenting on Obama. When the Brits start sending us e-mails suggesting that we're too stupid to figure out how to vote, and if we were smart, we'd vote for Kerry, *then* I get annoyed. But I figure that Howard has just as much right to his opinion as anyone else, and is welcome to voice it for all the good it will do; i.e., none.

2/11/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Because it's small size, Australia is inevitably a junior power in world affairs, like a minority shareholder in a large enterprise. Yet despite the danger of being seen to "talk out of turn", Australian Prime Ministers have to speak out for their share of the stock because there is always the danger they may be ignored by majority shareholder politics which will do with the joint enterprise what it will.

The British in World War 2 used Australians unsparingly in Burma, North Africa and Europe. What opinions Australia expressed as to their use were sometimes ignored. No Australian ever forgets that reservists had to blunt the Japanese advance on the Kokoda trail -- tailors, teachers and truck drivers -- while the Britain had the pick of the men for Tobruk -- and even for the Bomber Command offensive against Germany. There were Australian objections, of course, but they were often met by British admonitions to mind their place. Iraq is one place in which Aussies too have died. Howard may have been impolitic, but I think it must be fairly said he has bought his right to express an opinion. In the hardest currency of all.

On reflection, I now know why Obama's remarks struck me in such a peculiar way. This "prove you are man enough" dare is nothing but a rehash of the gibe the British were fond of making in the Great War: that Australia should shed more blood to win a voice at the table; that it could erase, by more sanguinary exertions, the Convict Stain. The Convict Stain. I'm not saying that's how Obama meant it. But it can sound like that, if you know what I mean.

Nationality will distort the issues, but I should say that purely as men -- "imagine there's no country, I wonder if you can" -- it is perfectly clear to me who I would like to have watching my back in some dark forest at 2 am. Public officials describe themselves through their words and deeds. Both John Howard and Barack Obama have described themselves. As men at least. And in that sense, whatever the political implications, I am glad that both spoke up.

2/11/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Australia has been our most steadfast ally so naturally the fifth column that calls itself the Democratic Party needs to attack them.

We should be hammering them on why we believe the Iraq was is just

We simply cannot allow them to continue to portray this war as the wrong war at the wrong time fought for the wrong reasons.

2/11/2007 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I think this phrase is more revealing that Mr. Obama intended:


"I think it's flattering that one of George Bush's allies on the other side of the world..."

All this time I had assumed that Australia was an American ally. This is evidence of a particularly small-minded, unstatesmanlike core that gives the lie to the "Barney-the-dinosaur" persona Mr. Obama is apparently so calculatedly presenting.

2/11/2007 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

What is it that John Howard is hoping against reason to accomplish in Iraq? Does he want to strengthen the pro-Iranian Shiite Islamist gov't of Nuri al-Maliki? The US and its allies are trying to push back at Iranian influence while the democratically legitimate Irqi gov't is INVITING more Iranian influence in, both overt (engineers, medical personnel, business) and covert (militia and EFPs). For God's sake people wake up: Iranian agents were captured in a compound owned by SCIRI's Hakim! (SCIRI is the second largest coalition party in the "unity" gov't and Hakim its leader).

Howard should keep his yap shut not because he's wrong to critique an American democrat, but because he's abandoned conservative principles to embrace an utterly failed policy of liberal internationalism. To support the present Iraqi gov't is to support Shiite Islamo-fascism and Iran. As Lt. Gen. (ret.) William Odom put it:

2) We must continue the war to prevent Iran's influence from growing in Iraq. This is another absurd notion. One of the president's initial war aims, the creation of a democracy in Iraq, ensured increased Iranian influence, both in Iraq and the region. Electoral democracy, predictably, would put Shiite groups in power -- groups supported by Iran since Saddam Hussein repressed them in 1991.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/09/AR2007020901917.html

Victory Is Not an Option

The Mission Can't Be Accomplished -- It's Time for a New Strategy

By William E. Odom
Sunday, February 11, 2007; B01

The new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq starkly delineates the gulf that separates President Bush's illusions from the realities of the war. Victory, as the president sees it, requires a stable liberal democracy in Iraq that is pro-American. The NIE describes a war that has no chance of producing that result. In this critical respect, the NIE, the consensus judgment of all the U.S. intelligence agencies, is a declaration of defeat.

Its gloomy implications -- hedged, as intelligence agencies prefer, in rubbery language that cannot soften its impact -- put the intelligence community and the American public on the same page. The public awakened to the reality of failure in Iraq last year and turned the Republicans out of control of Congress to wake it up. But a majority of its members are still asleep, or only half-awake to their new writ to end the war soon.

Perhaps this is not surprising. Americans do not warm to defeat or failure, and our politicians are famously reluctant to admit their own responsibility for anything resembling those un-American outcomes. So they beat around the bush, wringing hands and debating "nonbinding resolutions" that oppose the president's plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

2/11/2007 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Intrestingly enough, Howard is not backing down. Alexander Downer, the Foreign Minister has just reacted to Obama's comments:

"That would be half of our army. Australia is a much smaller country than the United States and so he might like to weigh that up," Mr Downer told ABC radio.

"It's entirely appropriate the Australian Government expresses its view in a free world. You won't get anywhere trying to close down debate."

2/11/2007 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Senator Obama will say whatever must be said to clench the nomination of his party. As presently constituted, the primary system attracts the most "active" partisans. For Mr. Obama and other Democrat contenders that translates into Bush hating partisans. Mr. Obama's statement is another in a series made over the past week to place him incontestably to the left of Mrs. Clinton. Because substantively so little is known of Mr. Obama, it may be possible also that he knows no better.

As to Australian power, it may ink a “treaty” with Japan during the coming week. Its resources and Japans technology could place uncomfortable pressure on China, for example.

2/11/2007 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Pierre Legrand said...

We simply cannot allow them to continue to portray this war as the wrong war at the wrong time fought for the wrong reasons.

Them? Them?! Pierre, I realize that you've just woken up from a four year nap, but you really should endeavor to get up to speed quickly. Even the neocon national security gurus who dreamed up this fiasco have signed off, admitting it was a mistake. Surely you've read Vanity Fair's "Neo Culpa" interviews by now?

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/neocons200612

The Iraq Fiasco, at its core, is a LIBERAL misadventure, a misplaced faith in the ability of American gov't and welfare spending to -- in a region were the balance of power is not in our favor -- remake a hostile Arabic culture . That's why many liberal internationalists and Trotskyites were so eager to join the fray: Thomas Friedman, Ignatieff, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Hitchens, ad nauseum.

True conservatives opposed this war on sound Burkean and realist priniciples and its a sad commentary on how thin the "conserative movement's" grasp is of those first principle. Hard lessons that are being relearned by those who have finally brought themselves to admit that this war was a mistake. Pierre, you should read up some of the more recent writings on the subject by Robert Novak, William Buckley, Charles Krauthammer and George Will.

Opposition to this quagmire has long ago gone passed the bounds of petty partisanship and entered the realm of ideology. If you believe in liberal imperialism, the power of the welfare state and the wisdom of building up state and military capacity for a bunch of thuggish Shitte Islamo-fascist, then by all means continue to support this idiotic errand. Do you Pierre? Do you want to spend the lives of our soldiers and countless billions to prop up a corrupt Shiite gov't allied with Iran and Hezbollah?

2/11/2007 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Obama is unelectable as President. But as a democratic nominee he might kill Clinton's chances for President by carrying the "progressive" vote.

2/11/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

mat,

All contestants, Republican and Democrat, will be democratic.
;-)

2/11/2007 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Hahah! That's what you think.

:D

2/11/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

neocon,

chum: [noun]
chopped fish, fish fluids, and other material thrown overboard as angling bait.


That's what Iraq is. Be Patient.

2/11/2007 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

The Vanity Fair interviewees faulted the President's HANDLING of Iraq. Any reservations expressed by them about the struggle in Iraq were couched in those terms.

2/11/2007 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Allen,

Thanks for the correction.

==

Reocon,

Sorry. Looks like you are the latest victim of me typing skills.

2/11/2007 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

US population 300,000,000
Austrailia population 20,264,082

That is 6.7%

150,000 US troops deployeed
6.7% would be 10,050.

Equal per capita representation.

Seems Mr Howard is a bit light, at 1,500, by a factor of about 7. Mr Obama he be heavy, by double.

Pot callin' the kettle black.

2/11/2007 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

allen said...
recon,

The Vanity Fair interviewees faulted the President's HANDLING of Iraq. Any reservations expressed by them about the struggle in Iraq were couched in those terms.


Incorrect and easily disproved. Pick up the issue at your local libraby and turn to pg. 85:

[Richard] Perle goes as far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not advocate an invasion of Iraq:"I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist."

Really, Allen, for your own vision, nay, enlightenment even, you should pick up the issue. If you've been engaged, as I have, in arguments about this war among conservatives as far back as '98, you will realize how stunning this admissio is.

2/11/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Obama is revealed today as an ex-Muslim. That should pretty much put all she wrote to any further discussion of him as being important about ANYthing.

I wonder if Mr. Howard knew that before the American public was informed.

2/11/2007 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

In addition, Allen, check out Adelman's quotes about putting Iraq in a drawer under "Can't Be Done." Hmmmm, are you sure you read the article?

2/11/2007 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Them? Them?! Pierre, I realize that you've just woken up from a four year nap, but you really should endeavor to get up to speed quickly. Even the neocon national security gurus who dreamed up this fiasco have signed off, admitting it was a mistake. Surely you've read Vanity Fair's "Neo Culpa" interviews by now?

I have never been a "Neo Con"...never been a Democrat mugged by reality, no resemblence to people like Podhoretz or Perle...never bought into the lets turn the Islamic world into a Democratic heaven.

Also thought your realism side of the argument had not gotten us anything but a lot of people dead in NYC. What I have always been for is the idea of going in and destroying any states capability to make mischief. I don't buy into the entire 4th Gen war shit. No one makes war without State backing...didn't happen in Vietnam, didnt happen in Lebanon and isnt happening in Iraq.

I don't give a shit about making democracies...kill them in big enough numbers and perhaps it might strike a few of them that being nice and not trying to kill us results in a lot more of them dying of old age. If it doesnt then I am just as happy killing them until they do figure it out. Worked in Japan with a lot more dedicated warriors than the Islamic cowards.

I have never been a Democrat...I have always been a person that if you hit me I will hit you ten times. Have always believed that showing weakness encourages attack...Neo Cons are idealistic fools. And realists are cowards who try and buy everyone...when somone cannot be bought they are stumped.

I am a Jacksonian...don't screw with me and I don't care what you do...screw with me and we have problems. Threaten my family and I wont rest until you are no longer a threat.

My method of war was best described by Admiral Halsey KILL JAPS !KILL JAPS !KILL MORE JAPS !
You will help to kill the yellow bastards if you do your job well"

There is not a Neo Con alive who subscribes to that sort of bloodcurdling war cry...which is why we will lose until we remember how to fight and win.

2/11/2007 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Reocon,

Please google the following:
Iran is providing weapons to insurgents in Iraq



Be patient.

2/11/2007 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

“‘The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly.… At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.… I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty.’".

[…]

"‘I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.'”

Again, I say, Perle finds fault with the administration, rather than the war per se. In short, clearly, Mr. Perle believes the handling of Iraq to have been, at best, incompetent and, at worst, quasi-treasonous.

2/11/2007 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/11/2007 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"‘The problem here is not a selling job. The problem is a performance job.… Rumsfeld has said that the war could never be lost in Iraq, it could only be lost in Washington. I don't think that's true at all…’”

"‘The most dispiriting and awful moment of the whole administration was the day that Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to [former C.I.A. director] George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and [Coalition Provisional Authority chief] Jerry [Paul] Bremer—three of the most incompetent people who've ever served in such key spots. And they get the highest civilian honor a president can bestow on anyone! That was the day I checked out of this administration. It was then I thought, There's no seriousness here, these are not serious people. If he had been serious, the president would have realized that those three are each directly responsible for the disaster of Iraq.’"

Tell me again, how do Adelman’s quotes make your point of the endeavor being a mistake? Adelman attacks the execution as cause for his disenchantment.

Neo Culpa

If you need to insult people, linking is always good form.

2/11/2007 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

For the record, I liberally quoted here from the article at the time of its publication to make the point that the Bush administration was hopelessly incompetent. That opinion has not changed. So, “Hmmmm”…I did read the article, if that makes you feel better.

What is it about blog commenting that compels ill-mannered foolishness? Or, is it blogging?

2/11/2007 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Wretchard, IMHO John Howard has earned Australia an equal standing in the OWOT. Barack O'Bama hasn't earned enough face time to matter yet. Hence the fact that he's more mouth than face.

If Obama continues on this path he'll fix himself up as good as sKerry in terms of being CinC.

2/11/2007 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

allen said...

Tell me again, how do Adelman’s quotes make your point of the endeavor being a mistake? Adelman attacks the execution as cause for his disenchantment.


It's quite simple. The Bush adminstration lacks the bureaucratic capacity to have ever made Iraq a success, ergo, Adelman's admission that Iraq should have been put in a drawer labelled "CAN'T DO". Not, "POSSIBLE WITH A DIFFERENT PRESIDENT", but "CAN'T DO".

So too with the continuation of the quote you leave off of Adelman's about Rumsfeld and losing the war in Washington: Adelman believes we're also losing in Iraq.

What is it about blog commenting that compels ill-mannered foolishness? Or, is it blogging?

You culled the quotes and blatantly misportayed some of the most damning indictments about the very feasibility of the war. Gets my goat, it does, as it would any honest conservative.

Pierre Legrand said...

I have never been a "Neo Con"...

Ah, but Pierre, you're missing the point. You seem to lable "Them" as only being Democrats, when every day more and more of the conservative movement is returning to its senses, even Jacksonians.

And realists are cowards who try and buy everyone...when somone cannot be bought they are stumped.

Realism of the Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, John Adams, Eisenhower, Truman, Nixon and Kissinger has much more depth and balls than you portray here Frenchie. Look to that list and tell me they're all cowards.

What I have always been for is the idea of going in and destroying any states capability to make mischief.

Uh, huh. And after you've nuked Tehran, what then? The Jacksonians get a glimpse of the interconnectedness of the world and lash out in blind fear: destroy! destroy! Which is why we can never have a Jachsonian foreign policy without destroying the nation, for Jacksonians have no understanding of the world or how to consolidate gains after a military victory. What the world reaction would be to an American pre-emptive nuclear strike is simply beyond their imagination, as is the cosnequences.

2/11/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Extraneus said...

Interestingly, Australia is about the only "western" country where we've heard about vigilanties opposing Muslim radicalism so far. Nevermind that the Prime Minister seems to have his head on straight.

2/11/2007 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Realism of the Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, John Adams, Eisenhower, Truman, Nixon and Kissinger has much more depth and balls than you portray here Frenchie.

Interesting finding commonality where there is none except for Nixon and his crony Kissinger. Realism brought us Reagan running away from Lebanon, realism brought us Bush Sr. allowing Saddam to continue his existence. Realism brought us hand holding between a US President and a Saudi King, realism has brought us to this state we are in now where states attack us with impunity because of folks like you who think that the barbarians must be breaking down the gates of Washinton DC before we can respond...ignoring of course that they have already broken down the gates on a clear September morning. Realism brought us allowing a maniac to overthrow a Shah leading to much of this mess. Realism is desperately finding a way to make peace with a philsophy that only wants to destroy.

We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.Hussein Massawi, a former Hezbollah leader

Frenchie? Are you attempting to insult me? Do you believe that I might consider that an insult? Are you crippled if you cannot use insults?

2/11/2007 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

Barak Hussien Obama- what an absolutely usual name for a President of the United States of America...wouldn't you say?

2/11/2007 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

I culled the quotes? You have got to be kidding. I used "lengthy" germane excerpts from the article you cited to prove your argument falacious. Then, for the benefit of the reading audience I provided a link for comparison. And you did what, other than gratuitously engaging in diatribe, at the expense of honorable men such as Perle and Adelman?

You obviously project.

2/11/2007 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Pierre Legrand said...

Realism brought us Reagan running away from Lebanon, realism brought us Bush Sr. allowing Saddam to continue his existence.

Again, you evince no understanding of int'l relations, consequences, or the balance of power. What was Reagan suppossed to do? Occupy Lebanon? Good luck. Take a long look at the Israeli occupation of Lebanon to see how that would turn out. As to Bush 41 and Saddam: to desposed him would have tipped Iraq over to Iran. Who wanted that? SCIRI and Dawa, the parties that led the Shiite uprising in the south were adjuncts of Iran, don't you know? So what else do you suggests in these complex situations? NUke em? Further evidence that Jacksonianism was best confined to the Democratic mob of the early 19th century. It has yet to discover the larger world or the ways of which it operates.

Realism brought us allowing a maniac to overthrow a Shah leading to much of this mess.

You are confusing realism with Carter. The Shah was a decent ally.

Realism is desperately finding a way to make peace with a philsophy that only wants to destroy.

For this to be true, Islamism would have to be the governing ideology of all states outside of ours. Besides, you have it backwards. You support this war and the efforts to stabilize the Maliki gov't, don't you Pierre? Who's trying to make peace and with what philosophy? What do you know about the "philosophy" of Dawa and SCIRI?

Frenchie? Are you attempting to insult me?

Not unless you consider being French an insult. Own your heritage with more pride Pierre.

allen said...
recon,

I culled the quotes? You have got to be kidding. I used "lengthy" germane excerpts from the article you cited to prove your argument falacious. Then, for the benefit of the reading audience I provided a link for comparison.


I too provided a link, and did more so, I provided a page number for the actual print article you did not mention nor acknowledge. Furthermore, the Perle quote citing that if he were "delphic" he would have oppossed the war is unambiguous. Are you really denying that it is? Read it again:

[Richard] Perle goes as far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not advocate an invasion of Iraq:"I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist."

Allen, what part of "he would not advocate an invasion of Iraq" do you not understand?

2/11/2007 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

You wrote,

“The Bush administration [LACKS]* the bureaucratic capacity to have ever made Iraq a success…”
*Emphasis mine

Yes, the Bush administration “lacks” administrative competence, in my opinion. That it “lacked” administrative competence was an unknown in 2003. Perle, Adelman, and innumerable others cannot be faulted for lack of pre-cognition; a trait you apparently impose. Well, this is a standard impossible for mere human beings. If, however, you think otherwise and are so blessed, then, do you rely on theology or parapsychology to foresee the future?

Had Perle or Adelman known in 2003 what they know now, one assumes their behavior would have been otherwise. My behavior certainly would have been different. But, they did not know then what they know now. There is nothing more stunning about them saying they would have done otherwise now than then than Mr. Lincoln saying he would have missed the show that night. You make much ado about nothing.

2/11/2007 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Resilient Hawk said...

Howard believes what he says. He has too much on the line to be insincere about issues so critical.

Whether Osama bin Laden is rooting for Obama, Hillary, or Newt Gingrich is an interesting question, but a moot one. Unless bin Laden feels threatened or shut down, whomever is President in the USA makes no difference. I doubt we'll be closer to catching him no matter who takes on the White House gig. I do not see a terrorist thug like him being daunted by anything other than dirt on his grave.

Hillary Clinton for President: A Free Speech Blog

2/11/2007 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

It is possible to disagree without impuning the intelligence,motives and/or integrity of others. Insult does have its place, from time to time, but you confuse chronic bad form with wit. In your rejoinders to Wretchard and others, you are noticeably difficient in good manners and the skills required for reasoned debate.

And yes, believe it are not, I do understand a tiny, non-contextual excerpt when I see one.

2/11/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"Anyone who wants to post insulting comments or make this into a political debate should be forewarned your comments will be deleted."

[...]

"I'm shutting down the comments in this thread. I've deleted enough childish comments for the day."

Bill Roggio

Evidence of Iran supplying weapons, expertise to Iraqi insurgents

***

2/11/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Again, you evince no understanding of int'l relations, consequences, or the balance of power.

No I simply do not believe your view of the world is healthy.

The murderers of the Marines, Hezb'Allah was/is funded trained and equipped by Iran. The only way that Iran could be a threat was for us to allow it to use proxies. Conventionally it is a typical worthless bunch of suicidal maniacs. Certainly holding it responsible for the use of proxies against the Marines would not have required "Nuking" Tehran...but it would have required that they understand that attacking us had penalties. But realists like you always see more problems than solutions. There is always another reason to swallow the humiliations, the deaths, the attacks. Instead of nuking Tehran it would have been a simple matter to eliminate a few of their Military bases and a few thousand of their troops. We did not and that started the idea that you could kill Americans and nothing would happen. To realists that is an acceptale price...

For this to be true, Islamism would have to be the governing ideology of all states outside of ours.

No it would not. It would merely have to be the governing ideology of those states at war with us...and it is.

Besides, you have it backwards. You support this war and the efforts to stabilize the Maliki gov't, don't you Pierre? Who's trying to make peace and with what philosophy? What do you know about the "philosophy" of Dawa and SCIRI?
I supported the invasion and deposing of Saddam. I don't support the attempt to bring democracy to the Middle East because I do not believe the culture desires it.

Not unless you consider being French an insult. Own your heritage with more pride Pierre.
hehe...Yea "reocon" at least I will wear it with far more pride than you wear your actual name. Apparently your words are not important enough for your to stand behind with your actual name. Anon tags are for script kiddies...not for folks discussing politics.

2/11/2007 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bob W. said...

I wrote a post today on this same subject; it is located here.

2/11/2007 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

I gotta agree with Pierre here. The realists have brought hell down upon us because they showed weakness. Maybe Reagan gets a pass because he had bigger (Russian) fish to fry. But the US has consistently showed weakness to islamists just so we can have our pampered lifestyles.

I always thought that we went into Iraq as a convenient place to draw in and kill islamists. To hell with the Iraqis. Savages all. We could pull out tomorrow but there will always be islamists that need killin. I'd rather we kill them in their homeland than here.

Reocon wants stability. He probably will have it until a nuclear device goes off in America. We all know it eventually will. Then as now, there will lots of hindsight and finger pointing...by those still living.

Why don't we all just come together and KILL ISLAMISTS! KILL ISLAMISTS! KILL ISLAMISTS! If each of us does our job we gotta chance for victory. And what is the alternative?

2/11/2007 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Pierre Legrand said...

I supported the invasion and deposing of Saddam.


Ergo you supported tipping Iraq over into the Iranian axis, no? If not, then what would you have done with Iraq after the invasion? What form of go'vt would you have established to consolidate American gains after victory?
At least the neocons had a (spurious) vision for the war's aftermath, a Jacksonian "solution" can't even think that far. Which is why Jacksonianism is not an ideology but an impulse of the 19th provincial American unschooled in world affairs.

But realists like you always see more problems than solutions.


There are no "solutions" to world problems, only more crises too manage. Q.v. The history of the world thus far.

Instead of nuking Tehran it would have been a simple matter to eliminate a few of their Military bases and a few thousand of their troops.

So in the middle of a war with the hated Saddam Hussein, you would want to take out a "few military bases" and a "few thousand Iranian troops"? Wow, you really are incapable of thinking of consequences on a int'l scale. How, do you think that might've benefitted Saddam at that moment? You know, junior colleges still offer "Intro to IR" courses for adults.

Anon tags are for script kiddies...not for folks discussing politics.

Tell that to Publius. (Sigh. That's the Federalist Papers.)

No it would not. It would merely have to be the governing ideology of those states at war with us...and it is.

I think you've this wrong is a most fundamental form. True Islamism is not the state ideology of Iran or Saudi Arabia. Islamism, of the AQ variety seeks a transnational from united under a caliphate. This is both anethema to the Shiite clerics of Iran (who are part of a schizoid Republic) and the monarchy of Saudi Arabia,(which would not want its authority turned over to a bunch of clerics beyond its control). Iran and KSA are states and should be dealt with as such.

2/11/2007 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

KSA is an oilfield ruled by sheiks that have been propped up by the US since the British walked away. Their days are numbered.

Iran is an oilfield ruled by kleptomullahs with visions of grandeur. They have been propped up by US unwillingness to stand on principle and dethrone them.

In both cases we prefer stability for our pampered lifestyle.

The difference between Iran and KSA, is that KSA covertly deflects their problems to us while Iran knows it must expand or collapse. And Iran is developing nukes and ICBMs.

The 13 trillion dollar question is can Iran develop their WMD and expand before they collapse...while we sit on our asses in luxury hoping for the best?

Inertia is just another word for laziness.

2/11/2007 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

bob w,

Talk about serendipity, I was just pulling up some WWII numbers, thinking of your thread, when the great Viagra issue at the Elephant Bar popped-up, as it were.

Your point of America carrying the manpower ball is almost entirely correct, except for WWII. Take a look at these numbers.
Casualties by branch of service

We would be well advised to use the Roman method: the legions carry the load with politically correct "assistance" from our "little sisters". In fact, I would argue that has been the case since WWII, although it would be impolitic to admit.

Technically, it is hard to fault Senator Obama. His criticism would be equally correct for all our allies generally. That said, he will come to regret having made the point. As one blogger said (Winds of Change, I think.) he is quick on his feet. However, he reminds me of a former mayor of St. Louis who had the reputation of "ready, fire, aim".

2/11/2007 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

allen said...
recon,

Insult does have its place, from time to time, but you confuse chronic bad form with wit. In your rejoinders to Wretchard and others, you are noticeably difficient in good manners and the skills required for reasoned debate.

My dear Sir, I doth protest! My stooped and gnarled form makes claim to being gritty, but never witty. And I think you know quite well that we're too deep into the big muddy for there to be much civil discourse between the realists who warned against this war and the neocon apologists who can neither own up to present nor the truth.

And yes, believe it are not, I do understand a tiny, non-contextual excerpt when I see one.

Huh. Richard Perle states that he thinks the Iraq War a mistake, and you think it "tiny, non-contextual"? Let me assure you that this was huge, both witin the pages of the National Review and in the chattering classes of DC. And Perle continues to blab off his mouth in this vain. See the WaPo in late October and a January speech he gave at the 92nd St. Y in New York City.

Perle, Adelman, and innumerable others cannot be faulted for lack of pre-cognition; a trait you apparently impose. Well, this is a standard impossible for mere human beings. If, however, you think otherwise and are so blessed, then, do you rely on theology or parapsychology to foresee the future?

I make no claim to being the sole possessor of that "trait". Thousands of commentators, analysts, area specialists and pundits knew that the Shiite Islamist parties were the strongest, best organized in Iraq, and would sweep to power in a democratic election. Listen to CIA hands like Bob Baer. He was one of thousands who "called it" as did Brent Scowcroft in '91 and '02.

Its called, not precognition, or parapsychology, but a dose of area knowledge, a little notion of balance of power, and the remainder is common sense.

No, the more relevant question is why you thought Iraq would become a model liberal democracy? Neocon Kool-Aid? Did you actually find Chalabi and his exiles cogent instead of making them for the snakes and con-men they are? Did you read nothing, absolutley nothing, about the strength and size of Dawa, SCIRI and the Shiite Islamist clerics in Iraq and Iran before the war?! Hmmmm, maybe if one were completely ignorant of the region, and truly bought into the liberal internationalist fantasies of the neocons, then, yes, such a purblind chump would indeed see any forecasting of the inevitable as "magic". Fiat lux.

2/11/2007 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

re: No, the more relevant question is why you thought Iraq would become a model liberal democracy?

I had no such thought. EVER. As a realist, the idea did not occur to me. Your single sized pigeon-hole does get tedious. Consider for a moment the outrageous possibility that it is possible to disagree with certain of your assertions without being an ignorant imbecile. A novel thought, to be sure, but give it a minute before outright rejection.

I have no idea, at all, the number of people in the world who agree with you. My policy about avoiding reliance upon what a majority think about anything came at the age of 5, when I learned that for millennia most people thought the earth flat.

Yes, Southwest Asia is a bad neighborhood. It reminds me of an investment of mine in a unique 19th C. house in a ghetto. When all was said and done, it turned a handsome profit. Unless and/or until you find some short-term substitute for petroleum and the leverage it gives the US over the policies of other governments, we are stuck with patrolling the neighborhood. That is realism.

2/11/2007 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

allen said...
no such thought. EVER. As a realist, the idea did not occur to me.

Ummm, right. Well, then, what DID you think would happen to Iraq after the invasion? Surely, you wouldn't have advocated invading Iraq only to lose it to a bunch of Shiite Islamists? I mean, even the President (on Jim Lehrer in January) called the old Iraq policy under Rumsfeld "slow failure"! If you supported the war you must have had some vision of a beneficial future for the victor. What was that vision? Because what your saying is that you supported the President's rational and strategy but disagreed with his ends.

Unless and/or until you find some short-term substitute for petroleum and the leverage it gives the US over the policies of other governments, we are stuck with patrolling the neighborhood. That is realism.

Ah, but there is a sharp difference between "patrol" and "occupy". And as to a realist take on the wisdom of the Iraq War, let's go to the experts:

http://www.realisticforeignpolicy.org/static/000025.php

2/11/2007 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard - Many Australians are acutely aware of the commitments by this small nation, in population terms, not only in Afghanistan, but in Fiji, East Timor, Afghanistan, Indonesia and the Philippines. If there is one country in the world Barack Obama ought not to have twitted about not pulling its own weight, it would be Australia.

Agree. Of all the nations out there, Australia would be one of the Last to be chided for not doing it's fair share (China, Latin American nations, Arabs are notorious no-loads).

My only complaint with Australia is I wish there were 220 million of them, not just 22 million.

****************
Obama will need to watch his challenges to other nations. He came off sounding like a true Indonesian about Iraq AND Australia.

Obama lacks military background. It shows.

He is also unlikely to know that Australian special forces played critical roles in both the Gulf war and the Iraq invasion phase in desert ops.

2/11/2007 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

re: Ummm, right. Well, then, what DID you think would happen to Iraq after the invasion?

I don't know, oh great Karnak. Why don't you tell me; then, I will be truly enlightened.

On that note, I retire for the night.

2/11/2007 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

allen: I have no idea, at all, the number of people in the world who agree with you. My policy about avoiding reliance upon what a majority think about anything came at the age of 5, when I learned that for millennia most people thought the earth flat.

I think it goes way beyond that. Due to the fact that a significant percentage of Americans are born (and indoctrinated) abroad, or have been indoctrinated by their parents to think of themselves as primarily citizens of the old country, a significant percentage of Americans (probably around 20%) don't even think in terms of American interests first. Non-citizens will, of course, put the interests of their countries first. In many cases, their interest is to weaken the US so as to strengthen their countries (since power is everywhere a relative thing, and pretty much a zero-sum game). Where they stand on an issue depends on where they sit.

2/12/2007 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Crankshaft said...

It doesn't matter how many troops Barack Obama challenges Howard to send to Iraq.

I think Howard is more concerned about his own image back home if the US withdraws its troops and cuts its losses.

Bush is on his way out. Nothing can hurt him now. Howard has plenty to lose. And I'm sure he remembers all the Australians who were affected by the past bombings in Bali.

2/12/2007 02:45:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Gentlemen, gentlemen.

Love the sound and fury.

But aren't you tending towards self-hate - everything that's wrong in the world is America's fault.

And ne'er a mention of the villianous gobshites that we came to save.

The American people haven't lost interest in the project. They are abjectly sick of the ungrateful neanderthals.

I'll say it again. The greatest argument against Christ is that some parts of humanity are not worth saving.

THAT is what we have to face. That's the scientific evidence.

ADE

2/12/2007 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger Government Man said...

it seems many of you miss the point, if this is how he deals with a friendly country, what will it be like when hes critisized by russia or china?

2/12/2007 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Nothing 2 Special said...

I think a relevant query concerning this topic is what percentage of the Australian population supports military action in Iraq? Or an increase in troops? Do Howard's comments fall in line with the population he represents.

My contention is Obama should highlight a conflict in Howard's representation of Australia instead of creating a competition in manpower.

If the majority of Aussies support the military occupation or a troop increase then Howard's challenge creates a real obstacle for Obama's policy.

Does anyone have these statistics they could provide?

2/12/2007 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

allen said...
recon,

re: Ummm, right. Well, then, what DID you think would happen to Iraq after the invasion?

I don't know, oh great Karnak. Why don't you tell me; then, I will be truly enlightened.


Allow me, Allen, to point out the complete incoherence of your thought regarding the Iraq War. (Not as Karnak or Prometheus, but as Epimetheus) You start out this thread by defending the neocons and claiming that one would have had to possess "pre-cognition" to know that their plans for Iraq would fail. When I pointed out that many thousands of analysts, commentators, area specialists and pundits easily predicted that democracy would not take root in Iraq, you claimed that you never thought so either. Then why defend the neocons, chum?

As the above quote of yours reveals, you're dodging the issue of what you thought the post-conflict situation would be in Iraq. If you didn't think it would be a liberal democracy, then did you reason that it would be OK to put Iraq into the hands of pro-Iranian Shiite Islamists? Or, more likely, did you not think about the CONSEQUENCES and AFTERMATH of the war AT ALL?

Lastly you claim to be a realist, and as I'm sure you're aware, any realist of distinction, merit or understanding opposed this war for, by now, fully validated reasons. Not much of an effort here, Allen. If you're indicative of the last gasp of neocon apologists then truly, it is feeble whisper.

The Iraq War was a mistake and the sooner we all acknowledge this the sooner we can pull out and let the Sunni-Shiite war that needs to happen . . . happen. It is useless for us to spend American blood and treasure to provide family counseling to Saddam's invidious orphans.

2/12/2007 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger ben said...

Now there, Reocon, is an interesting topic, one worthy of pondering:

"What the world reaction would be to an American pre-emptive nuclear strike is simply beyond their imagination, as is the cosnequences."

Beyond their imagination? I don't know, people can be pretty imaginative. Never assume you know the limits to others' imagination. Maybe they would react to the USA, under those circumstances, just like they react to any other brutal, unpredictable, dangerous state: indulgence and appeasement.

Ben

2/12/2007 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

gm: it seems many of you miss the point, if this is how he deals with a friendly country, what will it be like when hes critisized by russia or china?

He will bow and scrape before Russia and China so as to find out from them why they hate him. Obama's a leftist totalitarian - Russia and China are his role models, not his nemeses. Besides, the odds of Russia and China criticizing him are slim to none. Do you really think the Russians would criticize Obama for handing the Baltic Republics back to them? Do you believe that the Chinese would criticize Obama for taking over the responsibility of subsidizing the North Korean regime and handing Taiwan over to China?

Besides, Clinton spent two terms coddling America's enemies and screwing its friends. Why would an Obama administration, which would be further to the left, be any different? The sad thing about today's Democratic Party is that if there's something inimical to American interests, the Democrats will find a way to enact a law making it mandatory.

2/12/2007 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

recon,

Clearly, you have found me out. How could I have imagined myself able to hide from the glaring light of your superior truth. I am unworthy.

2/12/2007 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

If not, then what would you have done with Iraq after the invasion? What form of go'vt would you have established to consolidate American gains after victory?

This same question could have been asked prior to the war with Japan. What shall we do with Japan after we are finished defeating it... We couldn't be sure that after Japan's defeat it would be amenable to a complete rewriting of its way of life...should that have stopped us from winning the war? Or from even going to war?

What about Afghanistan? There is no guarantee that Democracy can work there either. Matter of fact I am inclined to believe it cannot. And yet we had to go to Afghanistan. Or do you think that we should not have gone to Afghanistan?

When one is defending ones self from a murderer you don't tend to ask yourself what sort of person you will make of them afterwards. You tend to simply find the most expedient way to defeat him. If our nation is left exposed because we can only go to war with those we can improve after we defeat then we will be defenseless.

So in the middle of a war with the hated Saddam Hussein, you would want to take out a "few military bases" and a "few thousand Iranian troops"?

Yes absolutely, better that then to merely do nothing. There was a whole range of options availible and none were chosen. Realists are too cute by a mile...usually because they are not the ones who suffer because of misjudgements.

You know, junior colleges still offer "Intro to IR" courses for adults.

I will keep that in mind...thanks. What courses did you like?

Tell that to Publius. (Sigh. That's the Federalist Papers.)

I would rather tell that to the signers of the Declaration of Independence who stood behind their words.

I think you've this wrong is a most fundamental form.

hehe...Perhaps you might recommend some courses on this as well?

True Islamism is not the state ideology of Iran or Saudi Arabia. Islamism, of the AQ variety seeks a transnational from united under a caliphate. This is both anethema to the Shiite clerics of Iran (who are part of a schizoid Republic) and the monarchy of Saudi Arabia,(which would not want its authority turned over to a bunch of clerics beyond its control). Iran and KSA are states and should be dealt with as such.

Giving yourself some more reasons to stay home instead of defending the nation?

2/12/2007 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Government Man said...

Obama lives in a fantasy world and seems to think he can put the djinni back into the bottle by running away from the problem.

beware the populist politician, the less policies he has the more he will beat the anti-war drum.

i used to like the democrats till i found out the disdain they hold us in.

when Obama IS elected president, i think its time to bury the ANZUS alliance and walk away and engage asia more.

trick us once shame on you, trick us twice shame on us.

2/12/2007 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Edwards said...

Reocon, "Even the neocon national security gurus who dreamed up this fiasco have signed off, admitting it was a mistake"

Well they're wrong. It was exactly the right thing to do, and Bush executed it almost perfectly. The currently high murder rate is militarily irrelevant. The Sunni Kurds don't seem to think that they're living in an Islamofascist Shiite state. Any imaginary problems with Iranian "influence" are easy to solve by liberating Iran next. The Iraqi government is an ally. The Iraqis have a Bill of Rights. A whole lot of Al Qaeda who were previously on the loose converged to die against hard targets, an added bonus. This is the most wonderful thing to have happened since the collapse of the Soviet Union. More information about why Bush's actions have been near-perfect can be found here:

http://antisubjugator.blogspot.com/2007/02/iraq-war.html

2/13/2007 01:42:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

I've been reading this thread, and others, for weeks with great interest. "reocon" strikes me as a long-winded bully. At least "cedarford" has some manners. I take exception to his attacking Piere's ancestry (I am also of French ancestry). His defense of the insult is even more grating; instead of extending a due apology "reocon" uses it as an opportunity to take the low road again.

2/13/2007 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

fred,

re: recon a bully?

Not so. Bullies succeed. No, recon is like the religious or Marxist nut job that used to show up in front of the university bookstore every Friday at lunch to harangue amused undergraduates.

2/13/2007 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Pierre Legrand said...
Or do you think that we should not have gone to Afghanistan?

I fully supported the Afghanistan War but disagree with efforts to build a consolidated democratic state around Karzai. Too much of the Northern Alliance's power has been curbed under a constitutional patchwork that divides military capacities. The Bush administration started to think too late about the aftermath of their actions, especially in comparison to WWII, in which FDR began all manner of policy programs and reconstruction efforts long before the defeat of Germany and Japan. See John Dowers' superb "Embracing Defeat".


When one is defending ones self from a murderer you don't tend to ask yourself what sort of person you will make of them afterwards.


I know this is hard for you to grasp, Pierre, but states are not individuals. Recidivism, rehabilitaion and the recontruction of a war torn society are vastly different human undertakings. Frontier justice is not statecraft, which is why Jacksonianism never survives for long within modern foreign policy bureaucracies.

Yes absolutely, better that then to merely do nothing. There was a whole range of options availible and none were chosen. Realists are too cute by a mile...usually because they are not the ones who suffer because of misjudgements.

Ah, now your hedging. I know I'm asking something that is beyond your capabilities but do give it a try. You recommended bombing Iran as retaliation for the Lebanon barracks bombing in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War. Now think carefully: what impact would taking out a few thousand Iranian troops and some prime Iranian miltary bases have had on that War? Would you've be satisfied to have aided Saddam on the battlefield, perhaps allowing him to triumph over Iran in '83? Do you think that might have been a concern for the Reagan administration, ergo they would never attempt something so blatantly dumb? It was in our best interst to let Iran and Iraq fight it out as long as possible, just as it is in our best interest to pull out now and let the Sunni-Shiite civil war rip. You mention "a whole range" of other option yet decline to list them or put them into any context of what their results might be to international relations and the balance of power. Who would they really hurt or benefit? As to the realists not suffering for the misjudgements, what American statesmen does? McNamara's still around and living well, Rummy's retired to his four houses, Tommy Franks has a shiny medal. Pity them for their errors.

Giving yourself some more reasons to stay home instead of defending the nation?

Pardon me, I forgot that you were on the frontlines. Seriously though Legrand, how is it "defending the nation" to have our soldiers fighting to support an incomptent, thoroughly corrupt, pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iranian Iraqi gov't composed of Shiite Islamists? Can you answer that one for me? I don't think you can. I think that it is profoundly detrimental to our national security to prop these thugs up and can't believe that a patriot like yourself believes that anything good can come from Maliki, Hakim or Sadr.

How does a Jacksonian end up defending Maliki? And if you do not, then what do you think we should do in Iraq now that we've overthrown Saddam? What are we trying to accomplish in terms of state consolidation and regional balance of power?

2/13/2007 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

allen said...

Not so. Bullies succeed. No, recon is like the religious or Marxist nut job that used to show up in front of the university bookstore every Friday at lunch to harangue amused undergraduates.


And yet, despite my harsh methods, unruly demeanor and trail of bruised feelings, I've encountered no good arguments or rebuttals. Allen obviously knows nothing about the neoconservative movement, its origins, schemes or Wilsonian ideology and no one has even tried to defend the administration's efforts to prop up a pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah Shiite led Islamist gov't in Iraq!

Wretchard has posted articles showing that some of Dawa's highest members were responsible for shedding French and American blood in terrorist bombings in the 80s and Nurik al-Maliki himself ran the Jihad Office out of Damascus at that time. Iranian agents have been detained in the very compound of SCIRI's Ayatollah Hakim and the Iraqi gov't is openly inviting in all sorts of Iranian influence: engineers, medical assistance, Iranian banks and, of course, weapons for their Shiite militias.

So sure, fixate on my bad manners and "bullying" of goblins (too small for trolls) who know not what they talk about. Just don't ask yourself what the hell we're attempting to do by allying ourselves with our OBVIOUS enemies. Why support and separate them when the are so eager to kill each other if we'd only get out of the way?

2/13/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Chambers said...

Come on Howard is a douchebag and so are right wing blowhards alighting on the blog...

2/13/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

And yet, despite my harsh methods, unruly demeanor and trail of bruised feelings, I've encountered no good arguments or rebuttals.

You have a high opinion of yourself...

You are exactly like those marxists...you ignore arguments that you have no answer for and answer questions that have not been asked.

You were for the Afghanistan invasion even though it would descend into the same Iran controlled anarchy as Iraq were the US to leave. Either you don't think that Saddam posed the same level of threat that Al Qaeda having a base inside of Afghanistan posed or you believe that Afghanistan can be left to its own devices or you believe that the US can create what you claim the US cannot create in Iraq...a democracy able to defend itself.

I know this is hard for you to grasp, Pierre, but states are not individuals.

Well gee I am still waiting for that list of courses you found fascinating at your local junior college in the hopes that I might better understand. Till then let me splain it for you.

Are you claiming that unless we can guarantee we can leave a nation better off after we defeat it that we not defend ourselves from attack by that nation?

Finally the Iranian problem is not that difficult a problem unless you actually believe that they pose some sort of threat outside of our allowing them to use proxies against us?

School me oh great master...

2/13/2007 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Hello,
In Reply to Reocon "....Howard should keep his yap shut"

Sorry mate, like the US too many of us have died fighting to ensure the right of ourselves and most certainly the right of our Prime Minister to OPEN our "yaps" as you so elequently put it,to either offer an op[inion or as in the case of PM Howard answer a question in an honest and forthright manner,PM Howard is one of a few leaders in the west still with the balls to be counted on to do that when required.
Sorry if I offend you but he also said this as well, strange concepts indeed for the leader of a nation to express publicly:

"I hold the strongest possible view that it is contrary to the security interests of this country for America to be defeated in Iraq," Howard said.

"Let me make it perfectly clear, if I hear a policy being advocated that is contrary to Australia's security interests, I will criticize it."

Yours faithfully,
Kevin,Sydney Australia.
http://aussie_news_views.typepad.com/aussie_news_views/

2/14/2007 11:13:00 AM  

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