Skip to main content

View Diary: A Liberal Foreign Policy: The Lessons Iraq Debacle Opponents Did Not Forget (163 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  not so much up on the full history here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol

    with respect to this dude.

    as confessions/mea culpas go this seems pretty sincere.

    perhaps i would feel more outrage if i saw the cheering and hand holding of the bush admin first hand.

    alas, i have not.

    but if someone can point me in the right direction that'd be great.

    i just want to place this sentence:

    If democracy couldn't provide economic opportunity it would lose people's faith.

    next to this sentence:

    And I did not grasp the critical link between the invasion's credibility in the world and its credibility in Iraq.

    just to see what they look like together.

    "No, I understand that. But I - I would really like to have a chance to discuss what you keep telling me what I'm not discussing." -- Rep. Barney Frank.

    by BiminiCat on Thu May 11, 2006 at 07:51:15 PM PDT

    •  Search Armando and Beinart (0+ / 0-)

      and you'll see some of it here.

      "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

      by Armando on Thu May 11, 2006 at 08:14:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ok... wait a second... (0+ / 0-)

        this beinert..??

        [A]n insightful guide to how the Democratic Party can retake power -- Peter Beinart, NY Times

        "No, I understand that. But I - I would really like to have a chance to discuss what you keep telling me what I'm not discussing." -- Rep. Barney Frank.

        by BiminiCat on Thu May 11, 2006 at 09:13:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This one I write about (0+ / 0-)

          "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

          by Armando on Thu May 11, 2006 at 09:19:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This guy (0+ / 0-)

          Kerry was a flawed candidate, but he was not the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem was the party's liberal base, which would have refused to nominate anyone who proposed redefining the Democratic Party in the way the ADA did in 1947. The challenge for Democrats today is not to find a different kind of presidential candidate. It is to transform the party at its grassroots so that a different kind of presidential candidate can emerge. That means abandoning the unity-at-all-costs ethos that governed American liberalism in 2004. And it requires a sustained battle to wrest the Democratic Party from the heirs of Henry Wallace. In the party today, two such heirs loom largest: Michael Moore and MoveOn.

          In 1950, the journal The New Leader divided American liberals into "hards" and "softs." The hards, epitomized by the ADA, believed anti-communism was the fundamental litmus test for a decent left. Non-communism was not enough; opposition to the totalitarian threat was the prerequisite for membership in American liberalism because communism was the defining moral challenge of the age.

          The softs, by contrast, were not necessarily communists themselves. But they refused to make anti-communism their guiding principle. For them, the threat to liberal values came entirely from the right--from militarists, from red-baiters, and from the forces of economic reaction. To attack the communists, reliable allies in the fight for civil rights and economic justice, was a distraction from the struggle for progress.

          Moore is the most prominent soft in the United States today. Most Democrats agree with him about the Iraq war, about Ashcroft, and about Bush. What they do not recognize, or do not acknowledge, is that Moore does not oppose Bush's policies because he thinks they fail to effectively address the terrorist threat; he does not believe there is a terrorist threat. For Moore, terrorism is an opiate whipped up by corporate bosses. In Dude, Where's My Country?, he says it plainly: "There is no terrorist threat." And he wonders, "Why has our government gone to such absurd lengths to convince us our lives are in danger?"

          Moore views totalitarian Islam the way [Henry] Wallace viewed communism: As a phantom, a ruse employed by the only enemies that matter, those on the right. Saudi extremists may have brought down the Twin Towers, but the real menace is the Carlyle Group. Today, most liberals naïvely consider Moore a useful ally, a bomb-thrower against a right-wing that deserves to be torched. What they do not understand is that his real casualties are on the decent left. When Moore opposes the war against the Taliban, he casts doubt upon the sincerity of liberals who say they opposed the Iraq war because they wanted to win in Afghanistan first. When Moore says terrorism should be no greater a national concern than car accidents or pneumonia, he makes it harder for liberals to claim that their belief in civil liberties does not imply a diminished vigilance against Al Qaeda.

          Moore is a non-totalitarian, but, like Wallace, he is not an anti-totalitarian. And, when Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and Tom Daschle flocked to the Washington premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11, and when Moore sat in Jimmy Carter's box at the Democratic convention, many Americans wondered whether the Democratic Party was anti-totalitarian either.

          "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

          by Armando on Thu May 11, 2006 at 09:21:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wallace and Stalin (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gogol

            Wallace broke with the Stalinists (including Paul Robeson) whose help he had previously accepted, over the issue of the Korean war, which he supported. Wallace was not blind to the menace of Stalin as Beinart writes, but he considered racism a great evil as great an evil as Stalinism, and I agree with him. Wallace opposed the Marshall plan, but later supported it when it included economic as well as military aid to reconstruct Europe.

            Stalin was indeed a menace, but the menace of both Stalin and Wallace was and is inflated by people like Beinart in order to secure meal tickets for opportunists like themselves as cold warriors. See the latest book by historian Gerhart Weinberg on this. Beinart considers people like Wallace and Michael Moore to be as bad or worse than Stalin and Osama, which is absurd, if typical.

            It is a slander to suggest that Michael Moore does not oppose terrorism or  considers the Carlyle group a worse menace. Yet the Carlyle group is a menace to democracy and ethical goverment -- and war, racism, and imperialism are evils that are causing deaths as we speak and ought to be opposed -- and not put on the back burner because of terrorism.

            Truman did speak up for civil rights, though arguably he did little to advance the cause -- and much to retard it  -- in failing to oppose loyalty oaths.

            •  Well (0+ / 0-)

              Having to break with Stalin at all is quite an indictment frankly.

              "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

              by Armando on Thu May 11, 2006 at 09:47:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes Armando, we should have opposed the Red (0+ / 0-)

                Army with all our might in World War II.

                Oh, I forget, you are a naif on anything pre 1959.

                Are you saying the that in WW II, Hitler was right and the Soviets, the British, the French and the US   were wrong.

                Why Armando, just what kind of a hawk are you?

                •  Ummm (0+ / 0-)

                  Dude, he didn't break with Stalin until Korea is the claim.

                  You seem to not being able to hold an idea in your head.

                  "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

                  by Armando on Thu May 11, 2006 at 10:36:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Well, some perspective here (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Armando

                  Stalin was Hitler's partner until he was betrayed. He was fully prepared to let Hitler rape the rest of the world. He was a monster almost on par with Hitler - especially in his treatment of his own people. That should not be forgotten. Whatever hopes there was of an equitable socialist society in Russia died about the time Emma Goldman lost faith in Soviet leadership - before Stalin, that is.

                  The Soviet Union was an evil empire, and their aims were imperial, as Russia's (unlike China's, for example) aims historically have been. No less than Britain, Germany, and France, they were all about the land grab.

                  The Soviets were not up to good things post WWII. I wish it were otherwise, but it was not. We were right to oppose them, though often not right in doing so.

                  However, in at least one respect you have to give Truman credit: he felt the best way to oppose Soviet hegemony was to side with emerging nations in their efforts to toss off the yoke of 19th century colonialism. He sided with native independence movements. He fought with the old colonial powers over their attempts to resurrect the pre-war colonial conditions.

                  I know he is credited by Gore Vidal (whose love of John Adams and defense of Timothy McVeigh, among other things, make some of his judgments and pronouncements questionable in my book) among others with ramping up the Cold War, but to pretend that the Soviets weren't trying to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the Nazis is also IMO misreading history. The Soviets were as bad as, or even worse, in their sphere than we have been in Latin America.

                  •  Hitler and Stalin as partners (0+ / 0-)

                    Stalin and Hitler's actions in the matter of dividing up Poland were horrendous -- his murder of the Polish officers even worse, nevertheless, Stalin was not "Hitler's partner" -- Stalin also had signed a non-aggression pact with Hirohihito in 1931 (or so). It was his nationalist-"real politik" modus operandi when he didn't feel ready or able to fight.  

              •  Wallace and Stalin (0+ / 0-)

                He did not "Break with Stalin" -- he broke with the Moscow-influenced Marxists, such as Robeson, who had campaigned for him. Maybe he admired Robeson until the question of the Korean war came up. And why not? Robeson was a hero of sorts even if mistaken in some things. I don't know when he said these things in praise of Stalin, but it could have been in the midst of WWII when Russia was leading the fight against Germany. I think everyone agrees that had Hitler won he would have exterminated and enslaved more people than Stalin ever did.  

                Wallace was never a Marxist. He was a Christian who believed in social justice and who had become closely attached to the black biologist George Washington Carver who boarded with his  family when Wallace was a child.

                Your trouble is the similar to Beirnart's -- in that you prefer slogans to historical facts. If you want to know the latter you should read the biography of Wallace, "American Dreamer," recently published.  

                I don't see why American communists, most of whom became communists in the 1930s because they opposed Hitler and favored civil and labor rights (and not because they endorsed Stalin's brutality) should be demonized and Trotskyite Marxists given a pass. Both brands of Marxists were (rather intellectually lazy and naive) ideologues. But the Trotskyites, then as now in the forefront of smears on Wallace, seem to have gone on worshipping violent Leninism to this day.

                Wallace and Robeson deserve due credit for their bravery in fighting Jim Crow and the arms race.  

              •  Wallace and Stalin (0+ / 0-)

                He did not "Break with Stalin" -- he broke with the Moscow-influenced Marxists, such as Robeson, who had campaigned for him. Maybe he admired Robeson until the question of the Korean war came up. And why not? Robeson was a hero of sorts even if mistaken in some things. I don't know when he said these things in praise of Stalin, but it could have been in the midst of WWII when Russia was leading the fight against Germany. I think everyone agrees that had Hitler won he would have exterminated and enslaved more people than Stalin ever did.  

                Wallace was never a Marxist. He was a Christian who believed in social justice and who had become closely attached to the black biologist George Washington Carver who boarded with his  family when Wallace was a child.

                Your trouble is the similar to Beirnart's -- in that you prefer slogans to historical facts. If you want to know the latter you should read the biography of Wallace, "American Dreamer," recently published.  

                I don't see why American communists, most of whom became communists in the 1930s because they opposed Hitler and favored civil and labor rights (and not because they endorsed Stalin's brutality) should be demonized and Trotskyite Marxists given a pass. Both brands of Marxists were (rather intellectually lazy and naive) ideologues. But the Trotskyites, then as now in the forefront of smears on Wallace, seem to have gone on worshipping violent Leninism to this day.

                Wallace and Robeson deserve due credit for their bravery in fighting Jim Crow and the arms race.  

          •  interesting (0+ / 0-)

            on the one hand he says a new kind of dem will need to emerge from a transformed grassroots.

            on the other hand, he takes shots at moveon and michael moore.

            thanks, i never read beinert before.

            but i do have to say if i was making the case for not going to war in iraq, i wouldn't be doing it by saying, rhetorically, literally, in any manner at all that terrorism is no greater threat to american lives than automobiles.

            i just wouldn't go there at all.

            i'll confess i don't know the diference between a non-totalitarian and an anti-totalitarian.

            taking shots at moveon though.  

            that's stupid.  i bet there's more than one person at moveon who doesn't agree with every thing michael moore has done or said.

            that bushco whipped up a frenzy about terrorist threats to convince america to swallow their defective, selfish, and destructive policies does not actually mean there's no terrorist threat.

            i'm not confronting your reading of beinert.

            but i do agree with beinert about moore, i guess.

            "No, I understand that. But I - I would really like to have a chance to discuss what you keep telling me what I'm not discussing." -- Rep. Barney Frank.

            by BiminiCat on Thu May 11, 2006 at 10:17:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And the 'softs' and Carter and Moore are correct. (0+ / 0-)

            And Armando is a Democratic Hawk.

            Get a grip.

          •  This quote (0+ / 0-)

            is pretty amazing. Is this view held generally by centrist DLC-type Dems or is it just Beinart? I'd always assumed that when Dem hawks spoke in support of the Iraq War and the GWOT that they were just pandering because they were afraid of looking like weenies. But if they actually have a philosophy behind what they're saying - this philosophy - that's just stunning. If you don't believe in "totalitarian Islam" and equate it to the communism of the Soviet empire of the Cold War you can't be considered reasonable or "the decent left"? My head spins to read:

            Moore is a non-totalitarian, but, like Wallace, he is not an anti-totalitarian.

             
            Another post on this could be quite worthwhile, IMO.

            There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. - McLuhan

            by Alien Abductee on Sat May 13, 2006 at 09:14:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site