Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"People hearing without listening"

David Corn is depressed at the inability or incapacity of Congressional Democrats to discredit the Surge.

The committee Democrats missed an opportunity to confront vigorously the front men for Bush's war in Iraq. It was not as if they hoisted a white flag. They did cite facts and figures that undermine the overall thrust of Petraeus' and Crocker's presentations. They raised pointed criticisms. They griped about the costs of the war. But it did not add up to much of an assault on Bush's policies. Given that congressional opposition to the war has lost much steam in the past year, perhaps this was to be expected. After all, Democrats in Congress appear to have given up on passing any legislation that would alter U.S. policies in Iraq. They know the public agrees with them on the war. (Warner noted that up to 80 percent of Americans don't believe the war was worth it.) But the Democrats have been stymied by a president who refuses to pull back in Iraq.

With Petraeus and Crocker spending two high-profile days on Capitol Hill to appear before four committees, the Democrats have a chance to undercut the White House story—which has gained traction within the media (if not within the public)—that the surge has been a success. In the opening round, they did not do much to inconvenience Petraeus and Crocker. It was not an entirely triumphant appearance for the pair, but it was good enough for anyone who favors a continuation of the current course in Iraq, and that includes their boss in the White House.

Corn thinks the "big news" in Petraeus testimony is that there isn't going to be a definite drawdown to pre-Surge levels any time soon. He may wish to consider another candidate for the headline. Admiral Fallon left CENTCOM amid rumor that he and Petraeus had clashed over the subject of how to respond to Iran. A recent spate of articles quoting Petraeus shifting the focus of operations to Iranian and Iranian backed groups suggests that the real context of the Surge and what follows is no longer driven by events in Iraq, but in its Islamic neighbor. That change in emphasis the "real news". Petraeus said in his testimony to Congress:

Though a Sadr standdown order resolved the situation to a degree, the flare-up also highlighted the destructive role Iran has played in funding, training, arming, and directing the so-called Special Groups and generated renewed concern about Iran in the minds of many Iraqi leaders. Unchecked, the Special Groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.

In his testimony, Petraeus argued that a framework for the nonviolent resolution of ethnic differences now existed and would eventually succeed unless it was derailed. "Ethno-sectarian competition in many areas is now taking place more through debate and less through violence. In fact, the recent escalation of violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq was dealt with temporarily, at least, by most parties acknowledging that the rational way ahead is political dialogue rather than street fighting." Though many challenges remained the train was on track to reach the station unless someone dynamited it. The two parties who aim to do the dynamiting are al-Qaeda and Iran. Regarding Iran, Petraeus said:

We have also focused on the Special Groups. These elements are funded, trained, armed, and directed by Irans Qods Force, with help from Lebanese Hezbollah. It was these groups that launched Iranian rockets and mortar rounds at Iraqs seat of government two weeks ago, causing loss of innocent life and fear in the capital, and requiring Iraqi and Coalition actions in response. Iraqi and Coalition leaders have repeatedly noted their desire that Iran live up to promises made by President Ahmedinajad and other senior Iranian leaders to stop their support for the Special Groups. However, nefarious activities by the Qods Force have continued, and Iraqi leaders now clearly recognize the threat they pose to Iraq. We should all watch Iranian actions closely in the weeks and months ahead, as they will show the kind of relationship Iran wishes to have with its neighbor and the character of future Iranian involvement in Iraq.

This statement must have hung in the air in Congress like a cloud of undissipated cigarette smoke, at least over whoever was listening, because it raised the question of 'what happens if Iran doesn't stop its campaign of subversion in Iraq?' What then? Petraeus provides no answer except to suggest that the key lies in strengthening Iraq against Iranian encroachments.

It's hard to say what lies ahead. My guess is that Petraeus himself doesn't know how the confrontation with Iran will play out. And that is the fascination with watching events unfold between Maliki and Sadr: it is freighted with information about how all sides (the Iraqi government, Iran and the Coalition) are going to deal with this conflict. Interestingly enough, Petraeus has explicitly mentioned the role of the "Lebanese Hezbollah" in training Sadr's men. This suggests that Petraeus regards the problem in theater-wide or regional terms, not simply as a problem that is confined to Iraq.

Corn seems to think that the proper role of the Democratic Congressmen was to discredit or attack the Surge. I would have thought their first duty was to listen to Petraeus and think about America's strategic choices in the region. But then it's 2008 and we all know what that year signifies.




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31 Comments:

Blogger putnam said...

Wretchard,

you forget. all you need is love.

4/08/2008 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Michael Yon has reported in his dispatches that several times now he has been approached by Iraqis and unsolicited they have told him basically, “When you (the United States) go to war against Iran, Iraq will be at your side in the fight.” I have stated several times on this blog that both the Syrians and Iranians must be watching the emergence of an American-trained, American-equipped and American-supported Arab army with great trepidation. Iraq could end up with an army that would have been Saddam’s dream and given its new found ally, it would become the regional powerhouse. Their only hope is to kill the “infant” in its crib, and thus they back the Sunni and Shia ‘rebels’ in Iraq. The problem is the more they foment unrest in Iraq the larger the Iraqi Army will grow to meet the threat, the more they risk sparking the desire for payback from the Iraqis and the more they risk war with the United States. I have long wondered if the real reason for the liberation of Iraq was to pre-position the United States Army on Iran’s doorstep. What wasn’t counted in that plan was the ease at which Syria and Iran sabotaged it, as well as Saddam’s version of “Plan Orange” (one of Wretchard’s topics).

4/08/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger druu222 said...

tarnsman - Given that "no war plan ever survives contact with the enemy", I do wonder if Syria, Iran and Plan Orange were in fact accounted for, in terms of flexibility of our response, at least.

What was not counted on I think was the sheer number of fat, happy and free Americans and Western politicians, artisits, journalists, and academics, some of whom we heard from today, who would categorically and forthrightly join the other side, and use all the tools at their personal disposal to undermine the operation.

Yeah, maybe that caught the admin etc. off guard. Wether they should have planned for THAT before starting operations is I guess a question for another day.

4/08/2008 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Brock said...

I've been trying to figure out for a while now why we're being so passive on Iran's involvement in Iraq. I know that trying not to take on too many responsibilities at once is important, and getting Iraq functional is very important, but maybe another key thing we're waiting on is for the political mood in Iraq to realize that Iran is Iraq's enemy and that Iraq and the USA should fight side by side to subdue them.

It would be as if we rearmed Japan and Germany immediately after WWII in order to kill the Cold War in its birth before the USSR got the bomb.

4/08/2008 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Egypt's blowing up now, too. Rioting in the streets by thousands. Is that Iranian influence, American pushing, or just general Islamic unhappiness with the state of their lives?

4/08/2008 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

What we are seeing here is not simply a certain attitude but a basic disagreement over what constitutes a democratic country.

Surgeons do not poll the general populace before deciding if and how to operate on a patient. Airline pilots do not ask the passengers what altitude and airspeed to use. Engineers do not ask the people who will be driving over a bridge if it should be made of primarily steel or mainly concrete. Lawyers and judges do not even ask what general attitudes or beliefs are in legal matters, even though they are based on often arbitrary human decisions and not the laws of nature.

But, on the basis of some poll or a perceived “consensus” of some self-appointed group, some people think that vast national strategic decisions should be altered.

That ain’t how it works. And it won’t.

4/08/2008 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger LTEC said...

No one who is serious about discussing Iraq war issues will refer to it as "Bush's war".

4/08/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Corn misses the point. Americans don't like the conduct of the war, don't like the cost, don't like Muslims much, don't think Iraq is worth it. And they don't want to ....

LOSE.

Simple as that. America is finally "winning" and Dems don't want to snatch defeat from the Jaws of victory. They are above all dependent on votes. They don't want to pull the plug on troops fighting in the field, getting victory, and hand Republicans a massive vote winner that could turn over Congress. Bush is entirely unpopular. But losing in Iraq is even more unpopular.

Dems are caught between the American people demanding a victory, and their base (Media, Hollywood, Academia, hard-left rich people, minorities) demanding defeat as "morally good for God Damn America."

As for Iran, they have already defeated us and it's only a matter of time before we are driven from the Gulf. They announced something like 6,000 new centrifuges, new ones that make fuel for nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad is boasting, because he knows America is weak. If the people can prevent a direct loss in Iraq, the elite can prevent an attack on Iran. Ahamdinejad knows this.

As soon as he has nukes, he can and will demand a withdrawal from Iraq and the Gulf on pain of US cities being nuked. We will have no choice but to withdraw, the elites will see to that.

But that withdrawal, and the alliance of the elites with Iran, inflicting a defeat on the US, will have catastrophic political consequences. A complete betrayal of America's interests (to "win" not lose) and humbling by Iran again will like Jimmy Carter's embrace of defeat and weakness will produce a Reagan. One that will fight Islam and Muslims worldwide as Reagan fought the USSR.

Petraeus cannot say what will happen with Iran because he knows that all he can do is stave off defeat, politically, a little while longer. Hope for some miracle. Establish the honor and success of the US Armed Forces and show the betrayal of Democrats and the Elites.

[See Rockefeller's characterization of all US pilots as war criminals, particularly McCain.]

Once the NIE came out, Iran won. They will have their nukes, force us out of the Gulf, and make us grovel and bow. Dems will embrace this ("era of limits") because the elites hate and fear the people and the nation. Eventually, due to the tribal nature of Iran, we'll lose a city or two anyway and end up rising in a fury against the elites and Iran and Muslims world wide. It will not be pretty. All the more because it was preventable until Dems/Media/Elites gave into their hatred of the people and nation.

4/08/2008 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

of course there should be talks with Iran

The term "oppressor" is used by the clerical government to refer to the United States

perhaps some agreement can be reached as to how to deal with an oppressive american government and society

4/08/2008 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Chavo said...

Tarnsman said" "I have long wondered if the real reason for the liberation of Iraq was to pre-position the United States Army on Iran’s doorstep."

Me too. With Iraq on the western flank and Afghanistan on the eastern flank it would seem to be quite a vice on the mullahs in Iran.

I've always thought this was one of the unsaid primary strategic objectives of the Iraq War (front).

4/08/2008 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

The Nasrallah Interview

From an interview conducted shortly before the ceasefire by reporters from the Turkish Labor Party daily, Evrensel.

Q. What is the current state of your relations with the Socialist movement?

Hasan Nasrallah:
The socialist movement, which has been away from ...international struggle for a considerable time, at last has begun to offer moral support for us once again. The most concrete example of this has been Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. What most of the Muslim states could not do has been done by Chavez, by the withdrawal of Venezuela's ambassador to Israel. He furthermore communicated to us his support for our resistance. This has been an immense source of moral strength for us.

It is possible to see the posters of Che, Chavez and Ahmadinejad side by side in the streets of Beirut. Are these the signs of a new polarization?

Hasan Nasrallah: We salute the leaders and the peoples of Latin America. They have resisted the American bandits heroically and have been a source of moral strength for us. They are guiding the way for the ....oppressed peoples. Go and wonder around our streets..! You will witness how our people have embraced Chavez and Ernesto Che Guevara. Nearly in every house, you will come across posters of Che or Chavez.

4/08/2008 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

It would be as if we rearmed Japan and Germany immediately after WWII in order to kill the Cold War in its birth before the USSR got the bomb.

Wasn't something like that Patton's plan, for the Germans at least?

Should've done it!

4/08/2008 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

Corn and even most of my Right Wing Nutcase friends miss the "Elephant" standing in the room.

GWB gas nothing to gain or lose at this point...he will finish his presidency..draw a nice pension...make a bundle on his memoirs and speaking tours.

The NEXT president has EVERYTHING to lose from a premature drawdown.

Patraeus cutting to 12 in December 2008 doesn't benefit the NEXT president one bit. Holding at 15(Just to make sure things are settling out in Iraq) until Hanuary 2009 allows the NEXT president to announce a 'bold' drawdown.

President Obamasiah or Hildebeast or McCain will be the want to be the ones to announce 'victory is at hand do to my stewardship if the war effort over the last 10 minutes'.

Just like Bill Clinton was so fortunate to announce "The Recession had ended do to my fine stewardship" even though it takes 6 months for any economic policy to haven any effect. George Senior missed the pullout from the 92 recession by a couple of months and "Bill the economic genious" got credit.

All we are seeing now is the Democrats whining and winging to make sure every knows that if things don't get better by the time they take the Presidency it won't be their fault.

If it does go right...they will be able to announce a 'dramatic change in course'.

GWB cuts to 10 by the end of the year...there won't be any more dramatic drawdowns to be had...assuming 5 brigades will be 'end state' until Iraq gets some serious Armor and Air assets.

4/08/2008 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Forty years of a Leftist saturation of media, law, and education are bound to have an effect eventually, and I strongly think we are seeing the fruits of the Gramscian long march through the institutions and Saul Alinsky's devotees pay off. The Older Cohort of Baby Boomers are now starting to retire, but in those abovementioned institutions they managed to find enough GenXers to take their place in their Gramscian legacy.

It is difficult for those who live in rural Red states to understand just how awesome this achievement has been, because since 1968 we have managed to see the elites in the big cities and university communities not have quite enough numbers to get over the hump. But, they are now getting the numbers to get over the hump. Also, they have consolidated their gains by making sure that there truly is no atmosphere conducive to free thought and speech in those institutions they control.

I agree with Whiskey that the American people do not like losing, but that mainly represents the sentiment of the over-40 crowd. Under that age, the population is overwhelmingly liberal-Leftist.

No one know this reality better than those of us who used to be Leftists years ago. I've watched my former comrades work their plan tirelessly, relentlessly, and very successfully. They didn't have the numbers to get over the hump while there were still plenty of WWII era generation Americans alive to still go to the voting booths. But, sadly, as they are dying off by the bushel their places are being taken by a very different demographic with entirely different educational and life experiences.

I think a lot of these kids can learn from experience, but that experience is going to be painful for many of them, as they will be compelled to re-evaluate what they were indoctrinated into.

We have not hit bottom yet and until that happens, the Left will continue to consolidate its gains and grow in influence and political clout. I just pray to God that the nation can survive this difficult period we are entering. I believe in the nation and the ability of Americans to rally when the chips are down.

I have no faith in John McCain's stated strategy of "taking the high road" when he faces the Golden Mouth this Fall. Plus, the Golden Mouth, however hollow we wise ones perceive him to be, is better at shape shifting to wow the rabble. Also, I do not think John McCain can inspire confidence in those Left-leaning Independents. The Golden Mouth will peel them away and take the ring.

The entire world does not yet grasp what it is sleepwalking towards. But, when we recover I believe we will be made into awesome killers and it will be the end of dar al Islam. That's the tragedy we are heading for: a bloodbath that will shock us and sting us at first. We'll suffer plenty, but the enemy will be blasted into smoldering glass.

4/08/2008 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

---"I have long wondered if the real reason for the liberation of Iraq was to pre-position the United States Army on Iran’s doorstep."

tarnsman and chavo,
you make it sound conspiratorially. but it was said at the time by analyst after analyst: one advantage of being in Iraq would be that we'd be IN IRAQ, with Iran on one side, and we'd be in Afghanistan, too. Yes, we were trying to create some actual political strength and military strength, too--for our national security.

Don't you remember time and again people talking about how the point was to shake up the status quo in the Mideast? That wasn't code. Thtat wasn't a secret. We were--and we still are. It's in our national interest to be able to have some leverage over Iran, Syria, etc. How did you not notice that at the time?

4/08/2008 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Fred, the younger generation does not vote. Voting is like participation in charitable organizations, PTA, etc. It's something middle class family people do. Not tragically hip twenty somethings.

Losing goes against deeply held sentiment. Every football fan wants his team to win. Defeat is not wanted. Just as the anti-War films failed because men want to see "manly adventure" and sitting around being a victim and whining is not it, it's a tough sell to any man that the US should LOSE.

Obama has no clue how to talk to men, particularly non-Academic white men. He's got blacks (12% of the population) and the Academic vote. But most of the students (hate and loathe their professors) particularly male students want to be winners not victims. All Obama has on tap is a complex victim-caste status with once again, Straight White Males being told to "shut up" which is a losing proposition.

The Golden Mouth is likely to discover that America is a lot more than Whicker Park and South Side Chicago.

4/08/2008 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Brock,

I believe the answer you seek lies in the timing of the upcoming Presidential election. That is the reason for our patience.

If W bombs Iran now (and it will be an air war)the entire election complexion is altered with the results totally unknown as to who would come out ahead, Dems or Reps.

However if he waits until after the election he's in a win -win situation.
Say McCain wins...McCain would bomb Iran in a heartbeat so W is saving Mac from being tarred with that act.
If Obama is elected, presuming Hillary doesn't take him on a picnic to Fort Marcy Park, the Obama is confronted with a foreign policy problem of huge dimensions that can't be talked away and will occupy his time like 9-11 did with W. It will also force Obama to keep troops in Iraq for his entire term because Americans aren't going to pay $10 a gallon for gas and our oil companies can begin pumping sooner rather than later.

Syrian will be taken out by the Israelis in a simultaneous strike.

Bet the kids college fund on this scenario. It's a win-win for Bush and the Iraqis and the free world.

Plus there's nothing that can stop him from ordering the strikes right up to inauguration day. It's gonna be fun to watch Iran being turned into rubble.

4/08/2008 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Salt Lick said...

It will also force Obama to keep troops in Iraq for his entire term because Americans aren't going to pay $10 a gallon for gas and our oil companies can begin pumping sooner rather than later.

Can someone play the devil's advocate here and explain this from the foreign policy viewpoint of the Obama camp? I'm serious. And I'm asking for what they really believe, not campaign talk.

My assumption is that if Obama wins, the nation's elders will impress upon him that Middle East "stability" hangs like the sword of Damocles (sp?) over his presidency, so he won't make drastic changes vis a vis Iraq, etc. However, just the other day I heard Rush Limbaugh slap down a caller by saying we get only a small percentage of oil from the Middle East (most of it coming from Canada and Mexico), so all the "blood for oil" is nonsense. I was startled at the denial of how critical Middle East oil is to the American economy. So, what's the truth?

And if Rush is wrong, how will Obama handle the fact that our economy will fall apart if Middle East oil is disrupted? And I'm not talking about campaign rhetoric, I'm talking about what he REALLY, REALLY believes and how he will handle the strategic and geopolitical problems.

Thanks.

4/09/2008 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Salt Lick said...

It will also force Obama to keep troops in Iraq for his entire term because Americans aren't going to pay $10 a gallon for gas and our oil companies can begin pumping sooner rather than later.

Can someone play the devil's advocate here and explain this from the foreign policy viewpoint of the Obama camp? I'm serious.

My assumption is that if Obama wins, the nation's elders will impress upon him that Middle East "stability" hangs like the sword of Damocles (sp?) over his presidency, so he won't make drastic changes vis a vis Iraq, etc. However, just the other day I heard Rush Limbaugh slap down a caller by saying we get only a small percentage of oil from the Middle East (most of it coming from Canada and Mexico), so all the "blood for oil" is nonsense. I was startled at the denial of how critical Middle East oil is to the American economy. So, what's the truth?

And if Rush is wrong, how will Obama handle the fact that our economy will fall apart if Middle East oil is disrupted? And I'm not talking about campaign rhetoric, I'm talking about what he REALLY, REALLY believes and how he will handle the strategic and geopolitical problems.

4/09/2008 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger geoffb said...

salt lick said:
"I was startled at the denial of how critical Middle East oil is to the American economy. So, what's the truth?"

The price of oil is dependent on supply/demand. The demand is very inelastic, it does not vary much with price, so if a large amount of the supply is taken offline then the world price will go up alot. Take out the Middle East oil and the price goes however far we and the other nations are willing to pay at least for a while. $300 a barrel would bring on much new supply and alternates to oil.

4/09/2008 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Roger J. said...

Mid east oil accounts for less than 20 Percent of US imports. Moreover, as the price of oil continues to rise (due in part to ethanol mandates) American Oil Shale is going to become economically viable. The notion that US security is somehow dependent on mid east oil flies in the face of hard facts.

4/09/2008 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger InternetFred said...

Iranian power absolutely depends on oil money. The US is also efected. The US needs oil for industry and the military, of course, but there are alternate sources.

Saddam would not have been able to make trouble if he did not have oil money. It is oil money that makes troublemakers strong enough to matter. The US would be hurt by the withdrawal of Mideastern oil, but would recover.

Also, do a web search on the 'Bakken Formation' for info on a newly productive US oil field. It might change the whole situation.

4/09/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Roger, shale oil is economical now. At any price $30/bbl and up. The problem, as Shell Oil understands, will be getting the political permission to proceed. Which will also affect the development of the Bakken Formation. And we need more refinery capacity. And electrical generation capacity. All of which take years to deploy.

Oil is a commodity, tighten the supply anywhere and the price goes up everywhere. With China's economy growing and developing, oil producers will not lack for customers.

4/09/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

The largest known oil shale deposits in the world are in the Green River Forma-
tion, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil
resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion
barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable. For potentially recoverable oil shale
resources, we roughly derive an upper bound of 1.1 trillion barrels of oil and a lower
bound of about 500 billion barrels. For policy planning purposes, it is enough to
know that any amount in this range is very high. For example, the midpoint in our
estimate range, 800 billion barrels, is more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi
Arabia. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per
day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, 800 billion barrels
of recoverable resources would last for more than 400 years.

Is Central Asia and the Mideast important because of oil or is oil important because of the Middle East and Central Asia

4/09/2008 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jim in Virginia said...

"I was startled at the denial of how critical Middle East oil is to the American economy. So, what's the truth"
Petroleum is fungible. It doesn't matter much where it comes from. The US does not get a lot of its oil from the Mideast; but Europe, Japan and China do. If that supply were cut they would have to buy it somewhere else. A reduced supply with the same demand drives up the price.
The last time Japan ran out of petroleum they bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded Singapore. What would the Chinese do?

4/09/2008 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Kurgan said...

W,

Ironic that as the "blame" for what will go down in history as one of the greatest military feats ever begins to wane, we switch to the self-induced economic troubles.

Following logic, if I blame the current administration for this past six months of down cycle, can I congratulate them on a job well down for the previous 7 years of prosperity?

Ooops.. Sorry,..that silly "logic" things keeps coming up.

Won't happen again

Kurgan

4/09/2008 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Salt Lick said:

"how will Obama handle the fact that our economy will fall apart if Middle East oil is disrupted? And I'm not talking about campaign rhetoric, I'm talking about what he REALLY, REALLY believes and how he will handle the strategic and geopolitical problems."

Who or what is Barack Hussein's political power base? Is it the elite of the Democratic Pary? If so, why aren't they supporting Hillary? Why has the MSM given Barack Hussein a free pass? Where did all of Barack Hussein's money from? Why is that money going to Barack Hussein and not to Hillary?

Is what Barack Hussein "REALLY, REALLY believes" even relevant? After all, he is just a junior senator with no proven executive skills but with a knack for public speaking.

Who's the guy behind the curtain pulling the levers? If Barack Hussein wins, who really becomes President?

4/09/2008 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Michelle

4/10/2008 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger RoadtoSerfdom said...

Whiskey has it right.

Corn is what he has always been - another boring leftist clone, America-last guy, who thinks h eis somehow clever in speaking nonsense to power.

4/10/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Jim in Virginia: The last time Japan ran out of petroleum they bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded Singapore. What would the Chinese do?

Nothing much, lest they call down on their heads what James Michner called the "Lightning Midway of the Continents"

4/10/2008 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Fen said...

Can someone play the devil's advocate here and explain this from the foreign policy viewpoint of the Obama camp?

Sure, its actually very simple:

Today: "We should not attack our enemies ...while they gather their strength"

Tomorrow: "We should not attack our enemies ...they have grown too strong"

Basically, Obama and Clinton will use "soft power" (another 12 years of feckless UN resolutions) to kick the can down the road and avoid any tough calls that will affect their approval rating.

4/11/2008 06:27:00 AM  

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