Monday, January 07, 2008

C’est Moi

Who's the best person to handle a possible terrorist attack? Boston.com reports from Dover, NH where Hillary Clinton has been speaking.



She pointed out that the day after Gordon Brown took office as the British prime minister, there was a failed attempt at a double bombing in London and Glasgow.

“I don’t think it was by accident that Al Qaeda decided to test the new prime minister,” she said. “They watch our elections as closely as we do, maybe more closely than some of our fellows citizens do…. Let’s not forget you’re hiring a president not just to do what a candidate says during the election, you want a president to be there when the chips are down.”


20 Comments:

Blogger sbw said...

I don't think there is any question that the Iranians would like to promote a reaction in the Straits in the hopes there would be a backlash at home that would springboard a Democrat to victory. Any tactical loss at sea by the Iranians would pay significant foreign policy benefits with an Obama in the White House.

1/07/2008 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If HIllary breaks into tears because the media are being mean to her on the campaign trail, that does not bode well for her having the gumption to nuke Tehran when the time comes.

I want a mean, stern President who will hold our borders against the swarming Mexicans and the militant Muslims. A touch of crazy a la Nixon might not be amiss either.

Unfortunately, HIllary's version of mean, stern and crazy is more dominatrix than Sun Tsu.

1/07/2008 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

"Any tactical loss at sea by the Iranians would pay significant foreign policy benefits with an Obama in the White House."

The principle virtue of Jimmy Carter's dismal presidency is that he cleared the weeds for Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan had a definite policy message as far back as Goldwater's candidacy. In Obama's case, I am looking for predictors of what he would be like. From what I can see it's less a case of "Hope" than "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here".

But I'll say this: Obama has correctly sniffed out a revolutionary air. In America, revolutions don't take the form of mobs in the street but the election of wild-card Presidents. This is how people sometimes revolt. Of course, revolts are rolls of the dice, and as Forest Gump once said, "you never know what you're going to get." Or sometimes some voters don't care.

1/07/2008 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

In America, revolutions don't take the form of mobs in the street but the election of wild-card Presidents. This is how people sometimes revolt.

In America we do have the option of impeaching the SOB if he does too bad of a job and throwing him out. I had always thought that procedure was part of the definition of "democracy" but it's amazing to me that countries like France and Canada don't do it when they have an obvious crook in office.

1/07/2008 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger |3run0 said...

The singing dude sounds like a cross between Sir Robin and his Minstrel in Mony Python's HG. I pity his squire.

1/07/2008 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The singer is actually Franco Nero of Django fame. Who the singing voice is I have no idea.

But regarding impeachments in places like Canada, I had a conversation with someone who understands Australian politics to its roots. He asked me why the American form of government, unlike the British parliamentary system, did not provide for a way to remove the chief executive when he had "lost the confidence" of the legislature. As you probably know, in parliamentary systems there are "no confidence" votes.

I replied that the US government was not particularly designed to do anything, and that much of the Constitution actually consisted of language to prevent government from doing things, such as is ennumerated in the Bill of Rights. In a lot of countries the Constitution consists of an ennumeration of government structure. There's no concept of the Bill of Rights, except in custom.

If America were a parliamentary government, it would change Presidents every time the Legislature changed hands. There would be a President Pelosi. The difficulties in removing a President are there by design to keep the powers split up.

There are those who will seriously argue that America's government is designed for paralysis. However that may be it was designed, at least in the beginning, to be small. A visit to the original government building in Philadephia is pretty shocking in its modesty.

Maybe the Founders foresaw the colossus America would be and wrote in all those checks and balances.

1/07/2008 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

A loss at sea does not equate an Obama win. Rather an Obama loss.

Obama is only a reasonable play if you think the world will be safe and "negotiating" with essentially reasonable people ala the West Wing is a smart bet.

Obama's got going for him: Black, not Clinton. That's it.

Any issue that increases insecurity among Americans wrt foreign threats produces a rush to leaders and parties that offer toughness to ward off threats. In 1976 there were thought to be no threats, by 1979, Carter's weak handling of the Hostage Crisis guaranteed Reagan's victory. The end of the Cold War and victory in Iraq paved the way for Bill Clinton.

Obama draws adulatory crowds ginned up by the media. For foreign threats he's offered a "world apology tour for America" the notion that we could negotiate like an episode of the West Wing and that people would "like him" because his granny lives in a mud hut in Africa.

None of that will alleviate fear of real threats: AQ with Pakistan's nukes, Iran with nukes (NIE notwithstanding), NK selling nukes, Pakistan cutting off resupply to Afghanistan forces, Iran closing the Straights of Hormuz, or threatening to do so.

Given the instability and threats in Iran and Pakistan, it's a good bet that we will see Obama's appeal fade quickly.

1/07/2008 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

sbw,
"Any tactical loss at sea by the Iranians would pay significant foreign policy benefits with an Obama in the White House."

I disagree. Actions like that from the Iranians are more likely to help a Republican candidate than a Democratic candidate.

1/07/2008 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Nahncee,

Hillary's tears are for Hillary. Doesn't mean she'd lose any sleep nuking Pakistan.

I can imagine her to have a somewhat robust foreign policy, for a Dem anyway, while sending the country down the socialist sinkhole. Obama on the other hand is a socialist with a kumbayah approach to world affairs, and thus even worse.

1/07/2008 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

Maybe the Founders foresaw the colossus America would be and wrote in all those checks and balances.

The Constitution was designed to force us to unite when we want to get something done - the checks and balances were designed to be difficult, but not impossible, to overcome.

This point has been the motor driving the US Constitution's extraordinary success from the beginning. As the founders put it:

'E Pluribus Unum'

1/07/2008 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Wretchard,

You have it down and the difference is centered in a division of power. The founders recognized certain functions were ill suited to one form of government. Frequently, the example of fighting war by committee is example brought up.

Congress is mostly about money, the executive is about the use of force, and the judiciary is about figuring out right from wrong in society.

You are also correct in the fact our constitution was not in place to tell government what it could do so much as what it could not do.

Anyway on a potential Obama presidency. Yeah, any carteresque bumblings he may pull off may remind the nation why they generally vote Republicans into the Whitehouse but more setbacks like Carter and how will Southwest Asia be then? Carter's abandonment of the Shah is a bag of flaming $#!+ we are still trying to scrape off our shoes and we are facing a very similar situation in Pakistan.

There is no doubt the radical jihadists are going to pose a test to the new President, but I think we would all rather have a president that would send significant fire and steel rather than token fire & steel and reams of indictments.

1/07/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

He asked me why the American form of government, unlike the British parliamentary system, did not provide for a way to remove the chief executive when he had "lost the confidence" of the legislature.

I'm not sure what it proves exactly, or if it's good or bad, but the Clinton impeachment proved that an American President can "lose the confidence of the legislature" while still retaining a majority of popularity among the voting electorate. NO one - ordinary voters - wanted Clinton impeached for his daliance with the buxom inern. That was all ginned up by the media and the politicians in DC; and it's also interesting to note that most of those politicians screaming for impeachment were themselves voted out of office at the very next opportunity in retribution.

1/07/2008 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

An obama presidency would be like a carter presidency. it would clear the way for someone like a duncan hunter. however, I don't think that will happen. Ted Kennedy is long in the tooth and the mideast war is being won not lost. there never were any students rioting on campus. this time round the technology is moving as fast or faster than people's expectations. Obama is riding a wave. He is not leading.

I didn't even think that Obama would get the democratic nomination until today. I thought rather that --after a couple of obama wins --the dems would wake up to the possibility that he might be the nominee -- and return to hillary

After today its possible. Hillary invited everyone one to her pity party. If she does that one more time she's done. Even one time looked really bad for her.

This campaign is going to take some very very strange twists. For one thing if obama gets the democratic nod--imho the hispanic vote will shift heavily over to the pubbies--even though the pubbies are turning hard against illegals.

1/07/2008 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Hillary allies control the National Enquirer.

Get set for stories on Obama's drug dealing while in college. Reminiscences from his pals in the terrorist madrassa. His wacky, hate-whites Pastor. His nutty wife. The astonishing stuff he put in his Autobiography (he hates whites, did not want to marry into a white family, dropped a half-brother who was not "black enough" etc.)

So much for Mrs. Nice Hillary.

1/07/2008 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

THE very last thing a Democratic candidate wants is a terrorist incident or Iranian mischief during the campaign. It will play into the strengths of the Republican candidate. Someone like Rudy or McCain will ride that favorable "wind" to the White House. But I think the terrorists and Iranians are aware of this and I believe will be on their best behavior for the next ten months. Last thing they want to the see the election of an American President with a mandate to continue the war against them in earnest.

1/08/2008 01:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Iranian mischief during the campaign. It will play into the strengths of the Republican candidate. Someone like Rudy or McCain will ride that favorable "wind" to the White House.

It is a big mistake to equate "talking tough" and having former military combat - experience with being a good strategist.

We need Mr 9/11 because he "talks tough" and worships the Cults of Victimhood and Uniformed Government employees as heroes? Please. The guy is a strutting Mussolini who still is spouting about how Islamists only hate us for our freedoms, not policies.

After Bush, we should beware of "my way or the highway" arrogant fighter jocks. Who shun other's advice and prefer to make "gut decisions" they never revisit until their jaw drops because they lost control of Congress through their incompetence.

McCain is a strategist because he crashed two planes on error, lost the one that started the Forrestal fire after a Zuni hit his jet, and "suffered" as a POW?

No, in this pack I would say Hillary, Romney (business), Thompson (gov;t and foreign affairs) are the possible strategists. And all three have proven their ability to listen to the true experts.

As does Obama, likely.

The other key thing to strategy that Bush never understood is that "All Military" is not viable strategy anymore than playing chess openings with just 2-3 favorite pieces is a winning strategy.

Diplomacy is critical, even in wartime. Eisenhower was made Supreme Commander not for tactical genius but for his ability to orchestrate agreement and consensus between civilians and military of some 18 nations. Major economic and technological tools exist. And just as critical a leader must constantly articulate and educate the public what is being done in a crisis, what things have hurt the struggle and even cost America considerable blood (things like Abu Ghraib, the Times becoming Al Qaeda's recuiters & propagandists over Abu Ghraib, the Bremer Decision is being reviewed, even propaganda like the inexcusable neglect of recognition of high performers in the military, state Dept, very useful allies like Singapore while haranguing the Brazilians for free riding... And show honesty and ability to rethink poor decisions - and recognize the audience is both domestic and international.

If we look at great strategists of the 20th Century, they are not "real combat heroes" who fired bullets in battle for the most part. Part of the bloody waste of WWI and WWII was "battle vet" Generals that insisted fighting as only one who knew the stink of battle best made one understand grand strategy automatically..being lethal idiots.

Non-Vets or vets that saw light or no combat personally that number in the best of Strategists include Eisenhower, JF Dulles, Forrestal, Nixon, Reagan, Stalin, Kissinger, Lee Kwan Yew, Mahan.

True war heroes like Adolf Hitler, Petain, Ludendorf, Tojo, Admiral Nagumo - can be horrible strategists. Add in "fighter jet" jocks like Bush and McCain who know best - or someone who misunderstands international strategy operates in a law enforcement or lawyer-prosecutor mentality. (Feingold, Giuliani, Reid).

1/08/2008 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Cedarford, you've been reading too many Democratic talking points disguised as news.

Bush has been doing the diplomacy walk, he just doesn't get credit for it. There have been occasions where I fear he's been too patient with the diplomatic jaw-jaw.

And I really wish the DoJ would prosecute employees of the NYTimes at least for accessory after the fact.

1/08/2008 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Nomenklatura said...

The Constitution was designed to force us to unite when we want to get something done - the checks and balances were designed to be difficult, but not impossible, to overcome.

This point has been the motor driving the US Constitution's extraordinary success from the beginning. As the founders put it:

'E Pluribus Unum'
///////////////
In my neighborhood here in the suburbs of washington dc--I've seen lawyers with t-shirts that read
'E Pluribus Faggotum'

1/08/2008 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger jpfreemon said...

The Republican party is shot and will take years to rebuild any credibility. Might as well get used to the idea that the Dems are going to win this one. They are incapable of fixing anything that's broken, but it's their turn to loot the Treasury.
My wife still believes there's clear sailing ahead. She's really excited about Obama's prospects. I don't think it matters much any more whose name is painted over the Skipper's cabin. The Marine band may be tuning up to play 'Hail to the Chief' on the aft pool deck, but the rising water is already carrying off the forward deck chairs. Me, I'm looking for a way off this garbage scow before all my savings become as worthless as Confederate money.
Personally, I support Ron Paul. He doesn't have a chance in Hell. I'm a Cubs fan too, so that should tell you something.

1/08/2008 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

I heard Ron Paul speaking on the Laura Ingram show. He blames all the problems in the world on America.

Might I suggest a good VP for him would be Noam Chomsky?

1/09/2008 10:56:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger