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View Diary: Pro-war people were wrong (309 comments)

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  •  Let's avoid internecine war (4.00)
    I agreed with you, Kos, on the war, but I think it is counterproductive and probably not accurate to lump in center-left types who supported the war (or withdrew their support when it was too late).  Although I disagreed with them and agree that you just don't go around casually invading other countries because you think you might be able to do some good, I thought there were two liberal principles they could point to:
    1.  Ending the sanctions regime, and
    2.  WMD Nonproliferation.
    We now know that the thought that number 2 was a goal of the war was a fraud.  People like me suspected it all along, but I have a hard time criticizing other people for having believed it at the time.

    So I don't think it is fair, accurate or productive to lump in leftist war supporters as part of the "Explosions are cool!" crowd.  We need solidarity and I would be happy with just an acknowledgment from the leftist pro-war types that the anti-war crowd was right, and let's move on to a discussion of how the hell to get out of this mess.

    •  I don't think (4.00)
      Kos was trying to link people like Josh Marshall or Matt Yglesias with the "war porn" crowd. Yglesias at least admitted he was wrong, but he's still trying to claim that the anti-war voices were wrong too, which is irritating. Not every single anti-war prediction has come true, but a whole bunch of them have (including most of the main points) and I suspect that some of them may yet prove true, now with the Sharon plan being endorsed by Bush.

      So when does WWIII start? On one side we have America and Israel, and on the other we have the Islamic world. I think Europe is on our side, although we don't act like it. How about Russia? China? Seriously, I feel like it's about 1912 right now.

      I'm not necessarily an isolationist, but sometimes I think the only way to deal with anything that's going on right now is to just withdraw everything from the Middle East altogether, focus on alternative energy sources, and quit fucking with the rest of the world.

      •  Don't hold your hopes (3.00)
        Too high.
        If the Islamic world makes open moves at World war against "the West", targetting Europe as well as Israel and the US, the Europeans will do what the Americans did in Decembre 1941. If the Likud or Bush decides to blow stuff up everywhere in the Middle East and goes to total war against Islam, most of Europe will sit on its hands looking at these fools killing each other, since frankly, a world where both Islam and US will be weakened can only benefit the EU.
        The US helped European countries in WW I and II because they were victims of aggression. Europe would help the US when they are victims of aggression (which explains the huge support after 9/11 and the wide coalition against Afghanistan); going after Iraq was none of this, and going after Syria or Iran isn't an answer to these countries attacking the US.
        There will be a few countries that will follow the US whatever they do, but anyone can see that this group is quickly decreasing.

        Note that in case of massive regional war in Middle East, the US will be forced to develop alternative energy sources because the main source of oil will be cut.

      •  There's not way to read (none)
        Kos' post and not think that he was lumping everyone in with the "explosions are cool" idea. It was sad to see Atrios a sore winner, turning rhetorical fire on people who generally agree with him, and it's even sadder to see Kos do the same.

        It's also see Kos pretend that the policy of leaving Saddam alone had no costs or consequences and to see him act as if sanctions could have gone on forever. Or maybe he was in favor of lifting sanctions, acting as if Iraq were just another state in the global system, and watching it become an inheritable dictatorship.

        With this childish "nyah-nyah we were right" post Kos ignores all the reasons Iraq was a real and difficult problem in foreign policy. I'm disappointed; I'd expected more from him.

    •  Please (4.00)
      Look, that's all well and good, but it's bullshit. It wasn't some random reason I opposed the war, I actually read some Iraqi history and a history of the Iraqi Army. Once I did that, this all had a sad, familiar ring to it

      The pro-war people WERE wrong. I don't really give a shit about their politics. They endorsed a war which has killed 699 Americans to no effect. The CPA is getting mortared every day. Our supply lines are cut.

      It's all good and well to do mea culpas, but the evidence that this would happen was around in December 2002. Ken Pollack's book was a joke and filled with crap you could refute on Google. Yet, Josh Marshall and the rest embraced it. Even though he was humiliated on Oprah by Jessica Matthews. As was Tom Friedman.

      It's a little late now to ask for a do-over. They chose their side and now they have to live with it.

      •  Yglesias (none)
        I did think it was proper of Yglesias to frankly admit that he was wrong (I don't think Josh Marshall has, has he?), but as with Steve, the post grated a bit. He explained his error as do to vanity, wanting to have a more sophisticated position than the silly in the streets anti-war crowd. It's easier for an intellectual like Yglesias to admit to a personal failing like vanity that to a purely intellectual failing. But Steve is right: they did not think it through, did not read enough, did not do the intellectual work. So for me while I did appreciate the apology, it didn't quite ring true.
      •  On Oprah? (none)
        Really?  On Oprah?  I must have missed that one.
      •  I sat on the fence for a long time... (none)
        I was undecided for months during the run-up to the war. I didn't have to know a lot about Iraq's history to know that invasion would be a horrible undertaking fraught with peril and geopolitical downsides.

        BUT...I also worried about the WMD situation. So I waited to hear the evidence. Surely, I said, if what the administration is charging is true, they will provide some incontrovertable evidence. And I waited and waited. And I realized that all I was hearing, even in Powell's U.N. speech, were allegations, not proof. All through that fall and winter the allegations got louder and louder, but there was no real proof.

        That's when I knew it was bogus, but by then troops were being transported and it was evident that nothing would dissuade Bush from the war he wanted.

        •  WMD? Was ALWAYS A Buncha Crap (none)
          I knew from the get go that the WMD was a load of horseshit.

          But for anyone who did believe that there was a damned simple cure for that.

          Put a PERMANENT inspection team over there in Iraq.

          Find em? THEN unholster your gun if Saddam did not destroy them inmmediately.  Been a whole lot cheaper and smarter.

          I KNEW it from the begginning and how the Bushie's "fooled" so called intellectuals is beyond me.

          Many good antiwar folk were shouting this from the rooftops - and if you didn't see the truth of that, then YOU sure as hell didn't fool me.

          The prowar folks didn't WANT to see that when a blind man could have.  So, they wanted to be fooled.

          Old Indian saying "You cannot wake someone who is pretending to be asleep."

          You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

          by mattman on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 07:53:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  what's wrong (3.50)
        that I see is that even those here for eg who as a huge majority opposed the war on Iraq, the language used still clearly promotes American interests over Iraqi lives.

        For eg, Kos and others talking about the (military, political) history of Iraq as points for and against invading, reinforces that the invasion and destruction of Iraq by overwhelming military force is some distant and event that Americans (and western allies) feel no real connection to. Have no real understanding of the consequences that the Iraqis are paying.

        This is then further compounded by the constant emphasis on the loss of American life, the military wounded and the insufficient support for their families.

        There are at least 20,000 dead Iraqis to 700 dead Americans. That's more than 28 dead civilians for every American soldier. No-one even knows the figures for Iraqi wounded. Whole Iraqi villages, towns, cities have been substantially destroyed. There sure as f*k isn't any nice food bank for a lot of Iraqi families.

        The whole country is now riddled with depleted uranium, leaving a horrifying legacy for years to come, as we saw from the first gulf war -  a war and subsequent sanctions that much of IRaq had yet to recover from.

        The argument against this war should come from the position of the *primary victims, and that is the Iraqi people. Not the American military, who ultimately caused the deaths of the Iraqi civilians.  

        The world thankfully is not black and white, and there is room to mourn for the American dead as well as the Iraqi dead; but it smacks continually of a pervasive and dreadful racism? bigotry?  - they are not really the words I want, but I can't think of better - when the consequences of this shocking war are talked of here only in terms of what it has cost Americans.

        America wasn't invaded, riddled with DU, had thousands of civilians killed, and its assets sold off to the highest fat-cat-corporation bidder.

        Fianlly it smacks of people still trying to prove to some insidious pro-war "them" out there that they can talk the hard stuff, can talk 'realpolitick' when all that is mentioned is the American dead and war deficit. Stop pandering.

    •  Straw man (none)
      Defending the principle of going to war to rid Saddam of his WMD is a straw man argument, as I suggest at bopnews. It's obvious now, as it was before the war, that there are better things to do with our resources if we cared about proliferation. Like focus on Pakistan, and finishing the Afghan war.

      We'd be a lot better off trying to figure out the real reasons BushCo went to war, assessing those reasons on the merits (some of them do have merit, even if they could be accomplished by more effective means), and finding a solution that can address those real reasons rather than trying to continue to defend the WMD excuse.

      •  From a fellow bopster (4.00)
        The key point in Marcy's piece is that there were real reasons the neo-cons wanted to go into Iraq. These reasons were, in fact, stated - but in places that only right wingers were going to read. And no one believed that policy would go from right wing think tank to implementation, by passing the entire mechanism of conversation. Or at least, no one with enough credibility to stop it.

        And this is what is important: the right wing has been destroying the conversation, destroying discourse, with a relentless attack on universities and the press - to make it conform to their idea of what universities and the press should be for: to teach the dogma promulgated by a few "elite" thinkers. This is, of course, traceable as an idea to Leo Strauss - the real founder of the neocon philosophy, such as it is.

        This process - of unvetted, and untested, policy being imposed isn't new. It is how we got "supply side economics" - which was cobbled together by a bunch of jorunalists out of some work done by Mundell - and sold for completely different reasons.

        Politics as product doesn't work, and Iraq is the culminating example that it is time for this particular order to come to an end. It's had almost 25 years, and all it has managed to do is borrow its way to the point where it needs to go questing for wars to keep itself going.

        •  Let's not leave out 9/11 (4.00)
          Perhaps I am being naive, but I don't think this administration could have pushed this war through without 9/11. They wanted to do it before 9/11, but it was the nationalist response to 9/11 and its intimidating effect on the moderate liberal to moderate conservative center and indeed the whole SCLM that made this possible. I remember when Katha Pollitt wrote that Nation column objecting to her daughter flying the American flag and saying it was the flag of war and imperialism (I'm quoting from memory here but something like that), I thought she'd gone overboard. I thought the flying of flags in my neighborhood was a healthy patriotic response. Now I'm inclined to think she was right and I was wrong, adn that there was a line connecting the flying of those flags and the invasion of Iraq. What do people think?
          •  9-11 (none)
            I think you're absolutely right.
          •  I struggled with that (none)
            on the one hand - if "we" don't fly the flag - we cede a powerful symbol to the far right - I don't want to do that - damnit it's my flag too - and should be a symbol of all that's right with this nation - one I love enough to stand up for...

            in 10/03 or so Doonsebury had a great cartoon where the liberal radio host is happy that the flag was once again a symbol for all americans, not just republicans - the conservative in the strip was taken aback and said something like "yeah, yeah, it's great - but, um - we may want it back..."

            Symbols are tricky things - and if, upon looking down my block - my flag is seen as an endorsement of their policy - then, well, yeeeargh.  I have the same problem with my faith - symbols of Christianity have been co-opted by the far right.  I don't want to give them up - but I also don't want to be percieved as endorsing them.  Something I struggle with.

            On the flag  - I settled on flying the 13 star circle flag, along side either a Don't tread on me or a POW/MIA flag.  I find this deepens the symbolism.  This IS the greatest nation on eath - flaws and all - but the ideals and values that make the US so great are sadly the very things the Bush administration is currently trampling.

            Time to take our country - and it's symbols - back.

            the only thing that trickles down in a trickle down economy... is the bill.

            by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 03:23:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not the flag per se (none)
              I wasn't so much interested in the flying of the flag itself, but what sentiment it was conveying. My sense at the time was that it was conveying a sense of civic solidarity at a moment of tragedy, uncertainty and challenge. What I came to feel is that sentiment was there but mixed with a rather chauvinistic nationalism embodied in the sentiment "This IS the greatest nation on earth", a statement that if taken to its logical conclusions implies the Bush foreign policy of granting priority to the policies of the greatest nation on earth. The US is one good nation among many and should behave as such.
          •  Keep the flag, dump the President (none)

            In a just world, the American flag, under which British imperialism was repelled twice, slaves were freed, Europe liberated and Germany and Japan redeemed, would not be property of the Right.  Crimes were committed as well, but that goes for every flag on the face of the earth.  If life were fair, Bush's flag would be the axe and fasces, not the Stars and Stripes.

            It's bad enough that the right wing has the White House, the Congress, most of the States and is one Justice from getting the Supreme Court.  Must we also surrender our flag to them?

    •  Excellent (4.00)
      This "I told you so" exercise that kos and atrios are engaging in is simply not productive nor, if I may say, very cool.

      Yes we were right.  Now Yglesias acknowledges that and he gets -- brickbats back?

      Why not say I glad you realize that now instead of saying you should have known then.

      I mean, from kos especially, who supported Edwards after Dean dropped, there is something of a disconnect here.

      •  It depends on the weather, I think. (none)
        Or maybe something else. Hey, I'm still puzzled by the warm embraces for Arianna Huffington. And yet, I see your point and probably would have blurted out the same thing if I was on the spot.

        So I guess that means that worrying too much about whether or not this is very cool isn't all that cool, either. Depending, of course.

        •  Cool? (none)
          No, but I think timely in that we are trying to build coalitions, on Markos is the best at that, the best - he bridges many points of view here, despite the nonsense you hear from Wingnuts, and brings us to common cause - electing Dems.

          This seems out of character.

          •  This is the same debate we always have here. (none)
            Well, before I go on, I'll just say that I'm not entirely ready to come to rest on one side or another of this question myself.

            But that said, Kos does a lot of things here. Building bridges is one of the better things, I'll agree. But bridges aren't worth much if you don't cross them once complete. There are two competing theories of how to exploit this kind of reversal, which I blathered about in some other poor soul's diary just a moment ago. You can take a conciliatory and welcoming stance in the hopes of building mutual trust and strengthening bonds for the future, in the hopes that next time they'll turn to you for your input. Or you can throw your full weight against the door the moment they crack it, taking history as your guide in guessing that they're never going to show you anything more than that crack.

            Personally, I would have to admit being partial to the bridge building theory, although we all know that there are plenty among the dKos constituency willing to raise hell in condemning it. And of course, Kos has to maintain his bridges to that part of his constituency, too.

            So in many ways it's the same game all over again. Last time it erupted over fundraising for the DNC, and Kos went with the bridge builders. So now, the door crashers are due for one.

            •  Ok (none)
              Markos doing some bridge building.  I like that.
            •  I'm not that calculating (none)
              War is a seperate issue for me than pure electoral politics. Politics is about building coalitions, yes. But war ...

              Donating money to the DNC is one thing. Advocating policies that will send people to their deaths is another. Not that non-Veterans can't argue for war. But to do so without real evidence, and so, well, flippantly, is infuriating to me.

              So I'm not interested in building bridges on this issue. I'm interested on impressing on people the need to tread carefully when war is at stake.

              •  He's unconsious! He's in the zone! (none)
                If every bridge built by politicians was built consciously and calculated in advance, we'd never have done something as stupid as jump into this war with both feet.

                If I had to guess, I'd say probably less than half of political plays later adjudged to be "brilliant," or even just well thought out, were really planned the way they came out.

                I think it's also true that political analysis and punditry, like literary and artistic criticism, is all about assigning motives after the fact -- backfilling explanations that fit events that have already unfolded, often for completely different reasons.

                You probably think you didn't calculate this, but my spin works so much better for political junkies, who see calculation in everything, that by next week what I've said will be true and you'll be getting questions on Air America asking how you're able to walk such a fine line and keep each of your disparate constituencies so thoroughly charmed.

      •  Warning: venting (4.00)
        This "I told you so" exercise that kos and atrios are engaging in is simply not productive nor, if I may say, very cool.

        Yes, there is some I told you so-ism going on over here, but you know what? Fuck it. We were right. I am glad that Marshall and Yglesias and Drum reversed themselves eventually, but c'mon, they weren't just wrong, they got duped.

        They endorsed a war. The arguments presented for the war were not built on solid ground. The facts were broadly known at the time. Collectively, we (the anti-war left) pointed this out, and got ridiculed, admonished, warned, accused, browbeaten, ostracized, and worst of all ignored. I got called a Saddam-lover many times over the last two years, and frankly I resented it at the time and I still resent it. Now that we've made a complete mess of Iraq, it's my problem too, even though I wanted nothing to do with it. That makes me angry, and I'm not inclined to just dismiss the fact that some people should have known better. If they're on my side now, good for them, we'll need all the help we can get for sure, and I don't want to alienate them.

        On the other hand, I think Kos and Atrios and other anti-war voices should have the opportunity to remind people of this. Imagine: if every neocon circlejerk fantasy had come true, we on this side would have our good names impugned for years and years. Cowards, traitors, seditious, you name it. But since we were right and not the hawks, we're supposed to be magnaminous about it.


        Anyway, not yelling at you, Armando, and I'm not angry with people like Yglesias anymore. But I'm not going to let people just ignore everything that's happened over the last couple years.

        (P.S. I'm a pacifist. I take all manner of shit about this constantly--not here, but in the real world. Suddenly, there's an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance going around as it dawns on everyone that the doves/hippies/pacifists/whatever actually might know what they're talking about occasionally. It flies in the face of CW for the last, what, 40 years?)

        •  Were you against Afghaninstan? Were you (4.00)
          one of the people protesting Clinton going after Osama?

          The people supporting Iraq were wrong, but to some extent, people like Matt Y jumped with them, because the anti-war left has been against everything all the time.

          Signal to noise ratio is important.

          •  Good point (none)
            and one which I suppose I should address.

            I was very very angry after 9/11, and for about a month, yeah, I thought let's bomb those fuckers. I'm still ambivalent about Afghanistan. I think overall, net good could have been (but has not been) acheived in Afghanistan. Whether invading actually could have helped, well, who knows.

            Clinton shooting cruise missiles during the impeachment crisis, no, I can't say I was happy about that. How many missiles was that? 4 or 5? That doesn't constitute the sort of undertaking Iraq was, or even Kosovo (which I'm also ambivalent about).

            But in general, yes, I'm a pacifist. No matter how tedious or ridiculous diplomacy gets, it's still better than bullets and bombs. There's an African proverb--"when the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers."

          •  Afghan War, You Ask? (none)
            You bet I was against the Afghan war.

            If you need to ask why, take a good, hard HONEST look at Afghanistan today and tell me how well things turned out!

            Did we stop Al Queda and get Osama and put a lid on terrorism?  Is Afghanistan a funtional democracy?

            Someday, you are just gonna have to learn that bombing is not the answer.

            The ONLY reason we are not in deeper shit there than we are is that the Russians did the heavy lifting before we went in.

            And now I just can't see how we are not closer to Armgeddon then before.

            You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

            by mattman on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 08:17:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a pacifist... (4.00)
            ...I was against the invasion of Afghanistan, and I did not support Clinton's attacks on a pharmaceutical factory, or whatever that turned out to be.

            I'm against war.  It's not the way civilized people should resolve their difference.  It means killing a fucking lot of innocent people and I never like that.

            Yeah, I guess this is why people think I have no credibility:  Because I am willing to realize what war is.  It's killing.


            •  Thank goodness (none)
              I'm against war.  It's not the way civilized people should resolve their difference.  It means killing a fucking lot of innocent people and I never like that.


              I'm a pacifist and I'm really tired of being acccused of all sorts of things because of that stance, especially because nobody takes a pacifist stance because it's cool or something. A gun does one thing: kill. That's the only thing it's good for. Same with a military: it kills. That's what it's there for. We're approaching the half-trillion dollar mark in spending per annum on "defense." (What the hell are we defending?)

              Someone else noted there's a lot of "I'm a pacifist, but....." on this thread. It's okay, folks....I believe that if homo sapiens could get past slavery, we can get past war.

        •  Want to be clear (none)
          I was anti-Iraq War from the moment it was first mooted.

          For all the reasons mentioned, but most particularly for the realpolitik reasons that it was a disastrous strategic mistake.

          Look, if this is gone in  a day or two, fine.  Let's hope that is so.

        •  They didn't just "get duped" however (4.00)
          They were taken in by their own arrogance and need to "appear knowledgable" and "on the inside".  Look at what they say: anti-war protesters are "kooky" and don't know anything.  "Tell people to get off the street and engage in something pragmatic and practical".  

          That's not just being duped, its a willingness to accept from the beginning certain premises upon which their own careers and stars are balanced while dismissing very valid and in many many cases very knowledgable constiutencies.  

          The culture of expertise which simply dismisses protest (a vital form of democracy if now overused by an unimaginative left) -- these protests were markedly different in tone, size, and make-up yet all the "experts" dismissed them. Many of the groups active in the protests were groups who had been active in US-Iraq policy for a long time: the first Gulf War gave rise to a movement that worked tirelessly and without any kind of recognition or respec, to try and adjust for the gross inequities of the post Gulf War policies.  These people certainly knew more about what was going on "on the ground" in Iraq than our own intelligence agencies did. And instead of recognizing this, the label "Saddam lover" got thrown on anyone and everyone who disagreed with US policy throughout the 90's (as mentioned above).  That's not just a case of willingly being "duped" by a duplicitous WH/Administration, that's also a case of demonizing others in order to puff up your own credentials as one of the "reasonable, professional types".  

          JMM and MY and even folks like KD with their tut-tutting and their strategically placed disdain for the left as "never serious" or "impossible to fathom" helped create the situation that duped 'em. So I don't have any sympathy there.

          "By focusing fear and hatred on the Tutsi, the organizers hoped to forge solidarity among Hutu." -- Human Rights Watch

          by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 03:59:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow (none)
            In one sentence you pointed out a whole raft of problems that no one even notices, it seems like:

            The culture of expertise which simply dismisses protest (a vital form of democracy if now overused by an unimaginative left) -- these protests were markedly different in tone, size, and make-up yet all the "experts" dismissed them.

            1. The "culture of expertise" (great phrase, can I steal it?) does indeed think that protest is passe. I also tire very quickly of battling the tie-dye hippie anti-war protester stereotype. Not everyone who opposes the Great Republican War Machine is Timothy Leary.
            2. Protest has become overused. Mass rallies need to be saved for major things like anti-war protests. Staging demonstrations against like Starbucks is dumb. I also really hate it when I say "no blood for oil" signs, because it's just reducing a huge amount of philosophy to a bumper sticker (an inane one at that). The Iraq thing is about way more than oil.
            3. Anyway, your main point--that some on the left piled on the anti-war left in order to appear more centrist--is dead-on. I'm not going to hold that against them....but I want the punditry's loathing of protest to GO AWAY NOW because, well....we were right and they were wrong.
          •  Class (none)
            It's probably useful to think of this in terms of class struggle.  Many in the working class opposed this war, and they used the tactics of the working class to fight it.  Many in the "intellectual" class used the tactics of the intellectual class to promote the war.  And they looked down on the working class, take-it-to-the-streets tactics.


      •  Actually, it's very important (none)

        There's a reason that it's important to have this conversation now.  Even today, the liberal hawks, while making some repenting noises, are continuing to assert that those who opposed the war all along are too radical, too "out of the mainstream", to have any credibility.  This is not a good sign assuming, as I do, that we will succeed in driving Bush from office.  The shape of the Kerry administration is at stake.

        Even when the "liberal hawks" apologize, too many of them claim that there were no responsible anti-war voices.  They pretend that the war opponents were all ANSWER members with no analysis any deeper than "no blood for oil".  These claims have an effect; they will help determine who gets hired to set policy in the Kerry administration.

      •  Yes, but... (none)
        He throws in the snipe at the anti-war crowd.  That's irritating.
    •  hmmm. No, here is where I part company (4.00)
      and frankly forever til they re educate themselves (or stop breathing the gaseous fumes of the beltway, or buying the themes of the Ken POllacks of this world):  
      The center-left, center leftish (or whatever they are) Trusted Bush.  Full Stop.
      And they thrilled to empire, under the dirty topping of do goodness.  Do gooderness.

      Get a clue and get it fast.  Those last summer who said, "Oh no we must stay, we broke it we fix it" and in fact waged rhetorical war agaisnt some of us... to the point I stopped posting for several months about withdrawal (which is not cut and run but real quick, but graduated, withdrawal) must also get a clue.  We made it worse.  It was Bush you say.  Sure it was.  Who else.  
      But the trick is don't trust him and his to do other thn what that sort does.  His sort plays on that response.

      Since last summer what did we do in theatre?  And remember, tho there are those here who are ginger about believing the Fallujah reports from aid workers, NGOs, hosptial staff (the hospitals we did not bomb in Falluajah, that is...) also get a clue:  
      Other countries are debriefing their aid workers, NGOs and others.
      They are building portfolios on what our mil did in theatre.  Clue.

      So, we stayed, to please Bush, to wage war, to steal to empire.  We did no fixing we went on breaking, we are breaking it now.
      And where are we now? But damn we stayed.

      No be wise, be smart, know with whom one is dealing:  BUSH.

      I'll pass on another little thought y'all might chew on.  Sure the world wants to see regime change here in America.  
      But they are not stupid, not one little bit about how our government works.
      We will be held apart, as tho we smell a bit.  I think the odor is other peoples' blood. And rather too strong a wiff of the right wing being the center in this country.
      Further, regime change to someone who threw in with Bush, trusted Bush to threaten war... geesh...Mr Kerry will be splaining to the foreign corps, to the leaders of many nations. Fine, he needs some re-education himself in my view. If smart he will get it.

      The EU will be looking long and hard at the countries who threw in with Bush, you think they won't be a bit chary til we appear to be serious.
      We arrive back on the world scene nearly with no bona fides.

      •  Part company (none)
        I take this to mean find suspect their arguments - that's fair and right.  I think that process occured for all of us when they supported the run up for war and the war itself.

        If you mean a sort of excommunication from Center and left thought, that I don't agree with.

        •  Circular Firing Squad ... (4.00)
          Is what I find worrisome about this whole thread.

          I opposed this anything but Excellent Adventure from the get-go, and yeah, it was all too predictable that it would come down the way it has. (The one thing that surprised me was that I thought there would be a honeymoon period before things went sour - never happened; it started going sour from day one.)

          So in that regard, yeah, I could say that people like Josh Marshall screwed up, and so did Kerry in a more consequential way. And I could feel righteous as all hell about saying it. But here we are, or there we are, in one big jam, and the four saddest words in the English language are "I told you so."

          We need a coalition of the wised-up as well as the wise, and this is the last of times to go around imposing retrospective purity tests.

          -- Rick Robinson

          John Kerry - Elitist New England Liberal Mekong Delta River Rat

          by al Fubar on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 02:27:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't want (4.00)
            a purity test, but I don't people who were wrong telling me not to be right.

            I hate the CFS too, and I am totally convinced that the left will maintain unity (!) til at least November. Marshall, Yglesias, and Drum are all people whose opinion I value. At the same time I'm not going to sit here and pretend like they didn't make a mistake.

            The moral of the story is:

            Never trust anyone who says a war will be easy.

        •  Of course it is (4.00)
          Hold Suspect.  Why not.  It is but a week ago that Yglesias was taking the Liberals to Task over Lack of Reaction to Negroponte.
          In a word, no, sit back for a bit and do not point fingers.

          And the reality is we are still in danger.  It is like the Democrats learn to take back national security cred now, right now, or surrender it (again) for ever.

          Good lOrd, one day of discussion under a thread devoted to it, and people are nervous we are discussing being right.  This is a ntion flabby in the brain.  Really.  Lack of rigorous national debate. Before, during and after too?  
          God help us. This will never be resolved as Vietnam was never resolved.

          Look: they enabled war based on the assumption,  baseless even as unfolding, and proved to be baseless, that they were right.

          End of argument.

          •  Discussing being right (none)
            I think we discuss that every day.

            I worry about the J'Accuse nature of this discussion.  More so than kos, atrios sets some  responsibility on our centrist friends for the war.  That strikes me as unfair and inaccurate, not to mention not helpful.

            What I think is fair is to take a jaundiced eye on their comments, I  know I do.

            Why?  Well they got this one, the Big One, spectacularly wrong with little to exscuse them frankly.

            Was it flabby thinking on their part?  Worse really, but I can't imagine that we can feel worse about it than they do - due to vanity if nothing else.

            One objection I due have and one kos makes is their mantra that welll I supported the war so my view has credibility - that's just stupid.

            •  2 reasons (4.00)
              why the thinking of our so-called "centrist friends" as you've identified them is flabby and worthy of some contempt:
              1. it enables moves to the right, but once that move occurs they immediately set themselves apart from the right - i.e. it is an attempt on their part to avoid responsibility by locating it elsewhere and continues the same fallacious thinking that has gotten this country into trouble since the mid 1980's.
              2. it directly and repeatedly "blames" the left, i.e. the people who were not only right, but the people that our "centrist friends" consistently seek out for blame in order to bolster their own positions.  This is the biggest problem I have with Kevin Drum, but the others are equally guilty of this slimy move toward self-aggrandizement.  The "center" constantly wants to tout its superiority to "either extreme" but in actual practice is far too ready to sell off its left flank in an attempt to elevate its own so-called "cred".  This is both dishonorable (given the fact that of the two the left is far weaker) and stupid (given the fact that the more the center helps to bury the left the more it signals its own demise).
              Same old, same old, but these handful of bloggers are folks who engage in this process not simply for ideological purposes, but for personal advancement of some sort or another. You want to tell me why someone like Kevin Drum now has a nice little gig at WM while someone like Rahul Mahajan doesn't? Tell me who knows what he's talking about and how doesn't...Tell me who's willing to put himself and what he knows on the line and who isn't.  

              "By focusing fear and hatred on the Tutsi, the organizers hoped to forge solidarity among Hutu." -- Human Rights Watch

              by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 04:15:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's a serious charge (none)
                and ceretainly backed up with some evidence.

                I hope you're wrong, but I can not say with any confidence you're wrong.

                I think your points are valid but am not sure how this exercise carried out in this way, helps us here.

                I think that holding them accountable is a less confrontational way would work better.

                OT- did you just here Woodward?  The Saudis promised to lower oil prices to hel Bush win?  WTF?  And what , pray tell, do the Saudis get in return? Unbelievable

                •  Funny (none)
                  I thought what I was engaging in was "holding them accountable".  Pointing out not only their mistakes, but the mistakes of logic that underlies those mistakes is one way to hold them accountable not only to the past errors, but to prevent future ones to be made.


                  "By focusing fear and hatred on the Tutsi, the organizers hoped to forge solidarity among Hutu." -- Human Rights Watch

                  by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 04:31:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Less confrontational (none)
                    manner.  That's my point, if I have a point.

                    And I think I do.

                    •  Well (none)
                      to be fair to me this is the first time I have ever expressed my long-time disdain for KD; I really loathe the stuff the guy puts out and have for a long time, but kept still because so many others around here seem to grant him respect and good intentions.  No need to constantly rock the boat.  This then seemed like the appropriate time to speak up.

                      "By focusing fear and hatred on the Tutsi, the organizers hoped to forge solidarity among Hutu." -- Human Rights Watch

                      by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 04:46:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You're right (none)
                      Of course, you're absolutely correct. You do indeed catch more flies with honey than vinegar....but sometimes the flies earn the vinegar. My feeling is vinegar for a day or three and then I'll go back to taking a deep breath and grit my teeth and go back to dishing out as much honey as I can stand.
            •  Reaching a national (none)
              consensus of what went wrong, who led "the people" astray and who followed and why is how nations keep safe.
              France (merely as example since it is topical) did it over Algeria and Vietnam.  Of course they also fully understand that a comfortable (relatively, certainly for the ordinary person in many ways compared to the US) stable life is the trade off.  They also have:
              No fundie religions to screw everything from the schools to medical science.
              No Rupert Murchoch and lost media rigor and vigor.
              And the hard right skew is the minority and viewed with suspicion.
              Life is not perfect but continental Europe avoided some enormous hurdles that will bedevil us forever, in my view.
              So I don't hold much hope.

              We need to get it.  Or count, starting now, to the next Big War.
              I personally am very much hoping I don't live to see it.  
              No way on earth this nation could endure the self examination of the South African Truth and Resolution Commission.  Literally going thru that means a nation has some intention, however troubled, of going forward together.  Or they make a vital decision that survival counts.

              No real consensus on Vietnam, I suspect there will be none on this utter horror.  References to Tonkin vote, well even Dianne referred to it in the run up.  Then damn she voted for IWR.  She gave lip service.  Well, references to Iraq War Resolution will join it.

              Let's mush forward very quickly.  Lest we really think.  As a nation.

              •  American Exceptionalism (none)
                an expression now much derided (I believe it in a certain way, but that's another issue) does create a great barrier to self examination.

                And I guess I'm calling for "settling" here for something much less than that.

                Your question is, I think, if not now, when?  I don't have a ready answer for that.

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