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What with Jim Brady and Ann Althouse and other theoretically not stupid folks wondering what hit them in the Left Blogosphere it got me to thinking -- do these people think we just out of the blue got angry and strident about the Bush Administration and Republicans? Have they ever thought about what has happened to our country since November 2000?

Let me start by establishing my centrist and bipartisan credentials - I've written it before but it is important to my story, so I repeat it here - I think George H.W. Bush, Bush 41, on the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm, performed as well as any President has in my lifetme. In fact, I do not believe ANY President in our history could have performed as well.

You see, I wholeheartedly supported Desert Storm. I thought it was an absolutely essential action, necessary for the well being and national security of the United States. Yes, like Howard Dean, on Desert Storm, I was more hawkish than Sam Nunn, who opposed Desert Storm.

Apart from the decision, Bush 41's execution of the war was brilliant - diplomatically, he built a coalition of 34 nations that included 17,000 Syrian troops, 40,000 Egyptian troops, 118,000 Saudi troops, 40,000 UAE troops, 25,000 Omani troops not to mention over a 100,000 troops from our NATO allies; (and in addition, Bush committed over a half million U.S. troops to the operation. When you go to war, you do not half ass it.); economically, he got the Japanese, Saudis and Kuwaitis to foot the bill; militarily, the ground war ended in 4 days with minimal Coalition casualties.

Bush 41 got UN approval. Bush 41 made sure that war was the last resort, as the famous meeting between James Baker and Tariq Aziz a week prior to the commencement of hostilities made manifest to the world.

And finally, Bush knew when to stop. His decision to NOT march to Baghdad was roundly criticized by a whole bunch of folks for ten years. Not by me. Ever. As today events demonstrate, Bush 41's BEST decision was stopping Desert Storm.

And I said this LONG before the nightmare that George W. Bush might be President was even a possibility.

More on the flip.

Is it only blogs that have reacted strongly to this Administration? Consider Paul Krugman. If you only went by Andrew Sullivan, Bill O'Reilly and the Wingnuts, you would think that Paul Krugman arrived on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times after serving a long stint at the Comintern (which reminds me, for those of you who don't know, I am virulently anti-Communist, anti-Castro, dislike and distrust Chavez, and believed the Soviet Union was an Evil Empire.) But Paul Krugman has always been a highly distinguished economist, at or near the top of his field.

Do these folks wonder what happened to Krugman to make him "The Shrill One"?

Do they wonder at all? Can the last five years of lies, failures, incompetence, illegalities, warmongering, McCarthyism, and just plain stupidity not register at all to these folks?

Do they wonder why we distrust the Media? After watching its performance during the Clinton Administration and now watching it during the worst, most mendacious Administration since Nixon?

When is "shrillness" and "stridency" ever justified to them? What should our reactions be in their minds?

You know, it would have been unfathomable to me ten years ago that the Media and the DC Elite would have been told that the President was deliberately violating the law IN ORDER TO SPY ON AMERICANS and the sum of their reaction would have been "how does it play politically?"

But that is exactly what I expected from today's Media. And the Adam Nagourneys, Sheryl Gay Stolbergs, the Dana Milbanks and the Jim Vandenheis did not disappoint.

This is what they are - incompetent, clueless, souless, amoral - and unreliable. That they wonder why we rage is not surprising.

Indeed, that they wonder is just another indictment of them.

If Watergate would have happened today, it would have been a a story for about a week, and then forgotten. And those screaming about it would have been called "shrill" and "strident." But if a blowjob were involved, Sally Quinn would not rest until the President were held to account.

Originally posted to Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:13 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This was bubbling up inside me (4.00)
    You folks know all this. but I had to let it out.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:13:57 PM PST

    •  Watergate (4.00)
      I just have a hard time imagining "Nixon" and "blowjob" being used in the same sentence.

      Oops I guess I just did.
      -----------------------------------

      "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Pynchon

      by HairOnFire on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:17:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  love your sig line! (n/t) (none)

        "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" --Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hear that, George??)

        by still small voice on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:19:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •   a first and a last time I'm sure. (none)

        -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

        by calebfaux on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:22:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about "Sally Quinn" (none)
        and "blowjob?" Yeeesh!
      •  Some problems (3.92)
        Armando goes to great pains to demonstrate that he is a "moderate" by

        1. Declaring his support for an earlier U.S. imperial adventure (the restoration of the Kuwaiti Petroleum Plantation to to its proper owners),

        and

        2. Establishing his rabid anti-communist bona fides by regurgitating right-wing talking points disparaging the progressive and democratically elected government of Venezuela.

        Politics makes for strange bed-fellows and, pinko though I be, I am happy to have Armando and everybody else sounding the alarm about the Christian fascist loonies who now have command of the White House.

        But I want to encourage folks here to bring some of the critical sensibilities they have developed around the Bush regime to the larger social and political system that gave rise to it.

        The current fiasco in Iraq is rooted in a larger long-standing bi-partisan commitment to U.S. military domination of Mid-East oil field that has kept an assortment of military dictators, corrupt monarchs and clerical fascists ruling over much of the region for the better part of a century.

        One of the most effective tools used by our corporate rulers to keep us loyal to a system that consistently screws over the majority to the benefit of the super-rich has been anti-communist hysteria. Maintaining that hysteria depends on feeding the American people a highly distorted picture of the (complex) character of socialist governments that have attempted to chart an economic course independent of domination by U.S. based multi-national corporations.

        I've got my beefs with Fidel Castro, but he remains a popular figure in Cuba and across Latin America, perhaps because with considerably fewer resources compared to the U.S., the Cuban people have a lower infant mortality rate, a higher literacy rate and aren't left to drown when it rains. While Chavez is not shy about expressing his admiration for these accomplishments of Castro it should be noted that he has won multiple fair elections and tolerated a hostile corporate media establishment in league with coup plotters who attempted to unseat his democratically elected government. The image of Chavez as a despot just doesn't square with the facts and it is frankly shameful to feed that beast.

        "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

        by Christopher Day on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:23:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but it is how i feel (2.60)
          i don't hold it against you that you are a dupe for castro - the brutal dictator.

          that is your cross to bear.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:34:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh I get it... (4.00)
            If someone says they have a beef with Castro they are ranked as supporters of a brutal dictator. And when the ex-head of the CIA works to secure US military dominance in the mid-east it is brilliant. I suppose you thought bombing Serbia was good politics too.

            Leave that aside, but I do have one question. Why is it important to describe your history before making your point? Is it because you would prefer not to be linked with people like Russ Feingold who opposed the bombing of Serbia and Desert Storm and are proud of that position?

            Regardless of your answer, I am willing to look beyond poor past political judgements of yours, mine and anyone else who is willing to move ahead and help bring down the neocons and their supporters. I read a good diary today about comments made by Paul Roberts as to the state of the US economy. If we are to move forward, people have to realize that someone may have something positive to contribute even if they once supported Reagan (Wesley Clark) or opposed Clinton (Feingold). I don't see the need to point out your past political view before making a point, unless you trying to score points. Are you running for office?

            •  you are incapable of reading (none)
              do you even understand what this diary is about?

              as for your love of communist dictatorships and hatred of america, that is your cross to bear. i am not concerned about it.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:34:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can't believe you just said that. (none)

                Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

                by Erik the Red on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:42:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No surprise (none)
                  How come I get the feeling that the attacks on me as a Mccarthyite are heartily approved by you?

                  see, this hypocritical sanctimony gets no respect from me.

                  Take it somewhere else.

                  The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:31:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wow (none)
                    "How come I get the feeling that the attacks on me as a Mccarthyite are heartily approved by you?"

                    Actually, they're not, but you're not saying much to help refute them.

                    as for your love of communist dictatorships and hatred of america, that is your cross to bear. i am not concerned about it.

                    Does that statement remind you of anyone?

                    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

                    by Erik the Red on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:40:38 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  he describes his positions... (none)
              ...because it situates his opinions and paints a clearer picture of where he's coming from. Specifically, that its different from where I'm coming from. That makes his post more illustrative (to me) of the broader point he's trying to make -- that this rage crosses a broad ideological range. That's significant, and a fundamental part of his thesis, from my reading.

              undercaffeinated

              by odum on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:39:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  a big old 4 for Armando here (4.00)
            One of the things that irritates me about being in a leftwing community is the inane support of communist dictatorships that I see percolating up from time to time.

            I mean, holy shit.  Communist dictatorships are BAD.  

            I know several people in Minnesota who are descended from "Red Finns", the Finnish socialists who came here after the Finnish civil war and settled in certain areas (ever wonder why the Iron Range is so consistently Democratic?).  There are cemeteries in northern Minnesota where you can see the hammer-and-sickle on the gravestones.  They were that into it.

            Many of these Red Finns, including a lot of young people who were born in America, went back to Stalinist Russia to support the "workers' paradise" in Karelia.  The vast majority of them were massacred in the purges.  A few came back to tell their stories.  Nobody back home wanted to listen.  They still had this grand ideal about how communism was so wonderful.  They didn't want to hear any nasty stories about Stalin the brutal dictator.

            Let's not be those people.

            Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

            by hrh on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 10:04:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He deserves more like a 1 (none)
              Armando is very biased and his views on some things are really crap.  Castro is understandable, but extending that to Chavez is bizarre.  As I recall, Armando also dislikes Argentina because they went against the economic consensus (which had failed) and defaulted on their debts.  It's clear to me that the real issue is that Armando is pro-globalization and unrestricted free trade (even though it's been shown not to work) that is really why he "distrusts" Chavez and other leftist leaders.  

              In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

              by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 01:50:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since (none)
                you simply lie about what i write and believe, i give you the 1.

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:35:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  deserves a 1...? (none)
                ...because he is "biased" (uh, news flash...we ALL are), and "his views on some things are really crap"?

                In case you didn't know the rules around here:

                Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate

                Thats from the FAQ.

                I'm really tired of this BS contact sport of recreationally attacking Armando every chance one gets. You dont get along with him? Move on, and dont subject the rest of us to it, please. Treat him like we tell right-wingers to treat every other thing on the web/television/video game they find offensive. Move on, and leave it (him) to those of us who appreciate his contribution. Is that really too much to ask?

                undercaffeinated

                by odum on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:36:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Communism (none)
              One-party police states in general ARE bad. But if that is the extent of your analysis then you are missing a whole lot. Because of the depth of anti-communist propaganda in the U.S. we tend to sloppily confound right-wing and left-wing authoritarian regimes in ways that do damage to important historical differences.

              Authoritarian governments that have their roots in genuine popular revolutions have a decidely different character than those brought to power by military coups or the like. These are frequently reflected in their social policies.

              Several years ago China, for example, had a per capita income 1/10 that of Brazil, but a much much higher rate of literacy and much much lower rate of infant mortality. Those are two very important indicators of the social condition of poor people. I would argue that this difference is a product of the fact that China underwent a Communist-led revolution.

              I think that competitive elections and guarantees of basic democratic rights like free expression are impotrtant. But I also understand that they are not the only measure of the goodness or badness of a government. A formal multi-party democracy can mask an effective class dictatorship of capitalists and land-ownwers while a one-party state can be genuinely popular and be carrying out policies that really reflect the aspirations of the (poor) majority.

              This was particularly so in parts of the Third World where the ruling party was forged in the course of a struggle against colonialism or neo-colonialism. In those circumstances the one-party character of the state is a reflection of the original need for national unity in the face of an occupying foreign power or powers or a puppet dicator (like Batista). In China, Vietnam and Cuba, Communists led national liberation movements that produced a high degree of national unity once they came to power. The failure to establish spaces for oppositional voices must be criticized, but its also critical to understand that this occurred in the face of very real military threats from foreign powers (the U.S.) with a demonstrated willingness to intervene directly.

              We all know well the willingness of people in the U.S. to give up their civil liberties on the strength of the largely imaginary threat from Osama Bin Hiding. Imagine then, if you can, when the threat of foreign military intervention is muc much more REAL and you will get some idea of why Cuba is the way that it is.

              I think there are huge problems with the Cuban government. But I also recognize Castro as a hero who stood up to U.S. corporate power and said that the wealth of Cuba should be used to raise up the living standards of Cuba's poor majority. The successes of the Cuban Revolution in this regard are amazing if one considers the full consequences of the embargo and the constant threat of covert and overt U.S. intervention.

              We should also understand that it is the effective (bi-partisan) foreign policy of the U.S towards governments that defy systematic looting by U.S. corporations to inflict on them conditions that will undermine any positive example they may represent to other countries. Chomsky made this point in explaining the willingness of the U.S. to waste billions of dollars killing millions of Vietnamese peasants when the immediate profitable interests of the U.S. in Vietnam were comparatively slight. The logic is that the poorer and smaller a country is that stands up to the U.S. the more crucial it is to punish them so that  other countries not be emboldened by their example. One way to achieve this is to threaten them in ways that drive their government towards increasingly repressive measures against percieved "fifth columns." The Bay of Pigs and repeated CIA attempts to assassinate Castro undoubtedly had something to do with making Cuba a less open society than it looked like it might become earlier on in the revolution.

              "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

              by Christopher Day on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:56:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sheesh (none)
                Blame America First.

                Castro is a brutal dictator because of the Bay of Pigs?

                Apologists for brutal dictatorships of the Left are jus as abhorrent to me as apologists for brutal dictatorships of the Right.

                You want to argue the relative merits of Hitler vs. Stalin next?

                Here's the bottom line for me, they both, Left and right dictatorships, are abhorrent.

                Is that so hard for you to say?  

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:26:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I prefer to place my blame... (none)
                  ...on a big wheel, so that whoever seems to get blamed "first" just depends on what part of the wheel the argument is taking place on.

                  Unfortunately, in a place like this, where the eye-of-scrutiny is placed so often squarely on our own government, it can read as a little unbalanced. I posted a diary about Chechnya a few weeks back and the US was way down the list of blame, I swear.

                  Of course, it got about 1 comment...this aint really an international sort of blog. I should have posted at Welshman's place.

                  undercaffeinated

                  by odum on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:47:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  bullshit (none)
                Authoritarian governments that have their roots in genuine popular revolutions have a decidely different character than those brought to power by military coups or the like.

                Absolute bullshit.

                You've been fed too much propaganda.

                Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

                by hrh on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:10:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  It's been bubbling in all of us. (4.00)
      But this is why I love Daily Kos.  It's the place to let out some of that steam.

      Thanks for capturing the feeling so well.

    •  Didn't know you supported Desert Storm. (none)

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:23:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Before Margaret Thatcher did (none)
        We can discuss that issue if you like.

        It had to do with the oil. Yes, blood for oil was my policy preference.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:30:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's okay. (none)
          No doubt your reasons make sense to you.

          -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:39:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the cost of oil (none)
            in lives is something people ignore.

            To me the thought was simple - did you think it was a serious threat to our national security to have Saddam Hussein control 40% of the world's petroleum?

            To me the answer was a clear Yes.

            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

            by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:43:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Blood for oil, Oil for food, Blood for food. (4.00)
              Only it turns out the Kuwaitis were lying about how much oil they had, bless their slave-holding hearts.

              Saddam remained in control of Iraq's oil for the next 12 years, and didn't threaten our national security any. He left that up to our allies.

              -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

              by SensibleShoes on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:11:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  As one who served (none)
                as a 100% volunteer in the Gulf during Desert Shield / Storm, there were many valid reasons beyond "oil".  While one could not forget the oil, it really seemed a moment where there might actually be an opportunity to change how the world ran. Saddam had ever so clearly violated international law -- and the international community got together to put an end to it.

                Now, would Bush 41 have done this for it it had been South Africa or Zimbabwe invading Botswana with the only economic issue on the table being access to good safaris?  Absolutely not!  Thus, can't leave oil out of the equation, but there seemed to be clear reasons for why I was willing to risk my life in that conflict.

                The one way I disagree with Armando on this is that the language from Bush 41 Admin re Saddam was over-the-top, a la language from Bush 43.  There I was, in harm's way, being told that Saddam was a Hitler ... if that was so, you don't leave him in power. In the end, the best line re Saddam that I ever heard came from the diplomatic historian Paul Schroeder:  "Saddam Hussein was no Hitler. He was closer to an Arab Mussolini."

                9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                by besieged by bush on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:22:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  and it doesn't bother you (none)
              that Bush Sr. was among those who built Saddam up, or that U.S. Ambassador April Gillespie is supposed to have informed Saddam that the U.S. had "no opinion" on his border dispute with Kuwait?

              Two alleged excerpts from her 25 July, 1990 meeting with Saddam.

              Bush 41, now there's a guy who knew how to manufacture a war, enrich the Military Industrial Complex and keep control of petroleum reserves.

              •  Of course it bothers me (none)
                but not in the way you want.

                It bothers me that you weant to play the fool and think Hussein's actions were dictated by his conversation with a mid level diplomat as opposed to his own megalomania.

                The obvious desire of so many of you to think Hussein's invading Kuwait was BUSH's fault is too remartkable to even satirize.

                Talk about blame America first.

                you folks have reached new heights in this.

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:26:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Then, you must support the current war in Iraq (none)
              It was for the same reasons and both wars were instigated by us.  We let the first one happen.  

              You don't believe me?

              Remember April Gillespie.  I said the same things earlier which are posted down below.

              •  Sorry (none)
                You are being simple minded.

                The Iraq Debacle has been and was always destined to be disastrous.

                Seriously, think things through before your hurl charges.

                You are not making sense.

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:23:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Armando (4.00)
      I'm sure you've made it clear before, but what is your position on the embargo of Cuba? Even if Cuba has done some good things, I think no thinking person who looks at the history, or just reads, say, Before Night Falls, can hang on to his/her Castro worship for long. But what of the embargo specifically?
      •  I oppose it (4.00)
        because it does nothing good, only bad.

        I do not think it immoral, just incompetent.

        For example, I supported the embargo on apartheid South Africa, because it WAS effective.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:29:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The quickest way to get rid ... (4.00)
          ...of Castro, at least since the end of the Cold War, is to get rid of the embargo. The Cuban caudillo has used the embargo as an excuse for repression, for the failures of the regime and as a means to unite Cubans who would otherwise oppose him. In other words the embargo has been counterproductive, almost from the get-go.

          Now, with Castro showing his age, we have all the more reason to dump the embargo, helping to lay the groundwork for the transition to a new era in Cuba when Castro passes from the scene, a new era that merges the benefits of the revolution - education and, previously, health care - with the benefits of freedom and democracy.

          Unfortunately, the majority of both our political parties are in thrall to the fascist wing of Cuban-American exiles, men and women who, frankly are as obsolete in their thinking as Castroism.

          •  I am woefully... (none)
            ...uninformed about Cuba.  Is Castro's presumed successor already known, and if so, is a peaceful transition likely when Castro dies?  

            Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

            by Barbara Morrill on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:36:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Still expected to be brother Raul, no? (none)
              As for a peaceful transition -- that depends a lot on us, I expect.  Unfortunately it's hard to imagine a middle ground between what they have now and what they had under Batista, which is what I'm afraid the powers that be here would like to see again.  I'd be happy to get Armando's and MB's views on that.

              Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

              by Major Danby on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:53:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  His brother? (none)
                Fidel must be nearly 80, right?  How old is his brother?  And what happens when he goes?  Oh, and thanks.  ;-)

                Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

                by Barbara Morrill on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:58:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wikipedia sez (4.00)
                  that Vice President Raul Castro is 74.  Fidel is 79.  I don't know who is expected to succeed Raul or if there's even a process in place.

                  I can't imagine that converting Cuba to a Swedish-style paradise has been made easier by the Bush Administration's penchant for turning island nations associated with the U.S. into slave wage territories.  (Talk to Jack Abramoff about that.)  As an Amnesty Int'l type I expect that I might well be in jail if I lived in Cuba, but I also expect that if I weren't I would be very wary about "help" for my society coming from the U.S.

                  Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

                  by Major Danby on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:05:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Certainly (none)
            it would not hurt to lift the embargo.

            It can only help.

            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

            by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:29:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  US evicts Cuban delegation from Mex, City Sheraton (none)
              The embargo proves what exactly? That the US hubris knows no bounds, it looks like.

              Heard on Latino USA* tonight that the US gummit forced the Mexico City Sheraton to evict a 16 person Cuban delegation there to meet with Texas oilmen to discuss off shore drilling in Cuba. The American delegation's leader was William Rogers, a Republican and former Undersecretary of State. Both Cubans and oilmen moved down the street to a Mexican owned hotel, and the US Treasury was richer by the $6,000 deposit that the Sheraton handed over.

              The columnist suggested this was part of an on-going US effort to embarrass Fox and to interfere in Mexico's upcoming elections, because only the PRI is thought to be strong enough to keep international drug cartels and northward migrants under control - to keep Mexico from becoming "a failed state".

              *Found it in the Mexico City edition of the Miami Herald.

          •  how can anyone trust the US in this? (4.00)
            This talk of "laying the groundwork" for the post-Castro future scares me, based on the US record with small countries in the Caribbean and Central America.

            What our government does is fuck these countries up for the most venal of motives. Recently we adopted a child from Guatemala, which gave us occasion to review our country's history with Guatemala.

            Two very low points -

            in 1954 the US undid the democratic process in Guatemala, because we thought the elected guy was too left and would get in the way of United Fruit's extraction of profit from the work of dirt-poor indigenous people.

            in the 1980's, the army and paramilitaries killed tens or hundreds of thousands in the civil war there. the killers were supported by the US govt and some were trained in the US.

            If I were Cuban the last thing I would want is help from the US in planning the post-Castro future.

            an ambulance can only go so fast - neil young

            by mightymouse on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:46:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You have a very good point ... (4.00)
              ...I spent a good deal of time in Guatemala in the '80s when Ronald Reagan's pet general, Efrain Rios Montt, was ordering the slaughter of Mayans, sort of the third round of slaughter consequent to that coup.

              But as I made clear, the Cuba I'd like to see is one that combines the good from the revolution - and there has been some - with real democracy and real liberty. Obviously, the last thing Cuba needs is a return to the likes of Batista. But, let's face it, right now in Cuba we've got some of the worst of the ancien regime without Batista, prostitution, black marketeering and corruption. I don't think the lifting of the embargo need lead to a Cuba run by a U.S. puppet.

              •  good vision for post-castro cuba (none)
                Your vision is one I can agree with. And clearly you know whereof you speak.

                I am just afraid that some in the US may be naive about our government's role in "helping" our neighbors to the south.

                the other thing that bothers me is that people run down Castro, Chavez and other leftists without putting them in the proper reference, that is, comparing them to other governments in the region.

                Many of which also have problems.

                an ambulance can only go so fast - neil young

                by mightymouse on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:50:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Don't worry... (none)
              Armando is probably pro overthrowing leftist Central American governments, whether elected or not.  It's pretty clear what his MO is from his dislike for Chavez and some of his previous statements.  

              In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

              by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 01:57:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Truisms (none)

            I'm not greater fan of embargos than anyone else here, but that said, we never seem to learn much about how little impact opening up countries can have.

            Reforming China through trade turned out to be one of the biggest jokes we ever perpetrated against ourselves.

            Not that we shouldn't trade with them (China OR Cuba), just that we shouldn't get all starry-eyed about it.

            "Almost every desire a poor man has is a punishable offense." - Louis Ferdinand Celine

            by goneblank on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 10:52:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  On Cuba and Castro (none)
          In 1959 when Castro and his brother came to the UN they were on the Jack Paar show where I saw them. Films were shown of Batista's wife's hundreds of shoes and other things I have forgotten. Castro talked about the distatorship of Batista and how it oppressed the Cuban people. He said he wanted to open up trade with the US (he was not a Stalinist). He was intelligent,sincere and hopeful fo communication between the two countries. Which was why he wa on the Tonight Show which was The Jack Paar Show at that time.

          Women in Cuba have free PAPS tests evey year,people's cadres were sent in the mountains to bring literacy to far flung peasants,and friends of mine joined Vinceremos(sp)to go to Cuba and help harvest the sugar cane and live there.

          After World War I the western world put up a curtain around the Soviet Union to encase it,to block it off to western communication,to contain the disease of communism,which Stalin then turned into an iron curtain of immense strength. The Cuban blockade was instituted for the same reason. To stop the spread of socialism in South and Central America. Much preferred were the right wing dictators in alliance with the USA. All South America looked to Cuba as the ideal of their own salvation. If Castro could do it,then they might also. It supplied them with the hope they needed.

          If Cuba is harsh,more Stalinist than in the bginning,we have ourselves to congratulate. Castro was forced to turn to the Soviet Union for economic aid,and of course,they expected certain reciprocity from him,i.e. a hard line I am sure. He used and was used in turn by the Soviets,and we were the catalyst that forced this response.

          We planned to assasinate him for years,and tried numerous times. What do we expect from him except hate? and we do the same with Chavez. But he returned love when he wanted to send help and doctors to New Orleans,albeit for his own political purposes. I mean,how does it look when America has to rceive aid from Cuba for a natural disater that Cuba,a Communist country,has prepared for and handled so well on its own that they can send help to us. And we refuse it to cut off our nose to spite out face.

          But I agree wih Bernard Henri Levy. Socialism and capitalism lead to totalitarianism,althought by different routes and philosophies. And,as he says,a pox on both our houses.

          •  i do not believe that (none)
            Castro was a Marxist-Leninist. He lied to the Cuban people when he said "this Revolution is as  green as the palms."

            The joke was it was "green like a watermelon."

            Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and Raul Castro did not become Marxist-Leninists on a whim.

            Indeed, it is rather an insult to them to argue that "the US pushed them into it" if you ask me.

            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

            by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:28:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't Castro.... (none)
              ....essentially just a Marxist-leaning nationalist?
            •  I am not so sure Armando (none)
              I can remember very well when Castro was only a rebel
              fighting against Batista because of the corrupt rule that
              Batista represented. I lived in south Florida and I followed
              and I  was in the service at the time and followed both
              sides of the issues in his revolution pretty close.

              At that time he appealed to the US for help in his groups
              struggle to oust Batista. The US refused but Russia did
              not and they gave him the backing that he needed.
              Even right after he was in power he expressed the
              desire to have good relations with the US, but again
              we refused. Instead we set the embargo.

              Regardless of the fact that the man has lead his nation
              under the old russian style dictatorship, he did have some
              very good ideas and goals when trying to oust the corrupt
              ruler. However his ideas about getting rid of corruption
              would not have fared well for the rich here that was
              profiting quite heavily from that Cuban corruption.

              If the US had not wanted so desperately to maintain the
              Batista regime in  power or someone that was their
              puppet like he was, it would have seen the wisdom to
              give Castro the aid he needed.   The problem was that
              they knew that the main reason Castro was fighting
              to get rid of the corrupt garbage that was fed
              and fueled from our country.

              So our country bears a lot of the blame for the things
              that have fallen on the Cuban people over the past 40
              plus years.

              Aint scared of nobody cause I want my freedom. Aint scared of nobody cause I want my freedom now.

              by eaglecries on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 09:27:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  well dad knew enough not 2 go 2 bagdad... (none)
      many were still against first gulf war nonetheless.
    •  EXACTLY (none)
      The millions spent on Clinton investigations----I simply can't fathom the present malaise (well, a Repubnikan majority helps).  I want to slit my wrists....ok, I'll wait until November....
    •  Wrong...They'd apologize for the Blow Job (4.00)
      It's many ways its worst than you articulate.  

      I think if bush got caught with his pants down, they'd find a way to either ignore it or act in their capacity as court apologists.

      I mean really, after Katrina how could anyone shake his evil hand, and yet they still fawned over him, at the X-mas party.

      •  As the press fawned over him... (4.00)
        ...when he presented the asinine film of him looking for WMD's in the Oval Office.  

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:38:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As did Lance Armstrong (none)
        biking with him in Crawford. I bet Cheryl Crow gave him hell over that. I think he ended it to have a financial and political career he could not have had with her a his wife.

        Do not support him in the future. He is a turncoat.

        •  When was he ever good? (none)
          The man rode a fucking bicycle, since when does that make him a beacon of intellectual enlightenment?  Some of you guys take this hero worship BS too far.  Just because someone is a good athlete, it doesn't really say jack shit about them otherwise.  I, for one, have never cared one way or another what garbage spewed out of Lance Armstrong's mouth, enlightened or not.  

          In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

          by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:03:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If Bush got a blowjob (4.00)
        in the Oval Office, it wouldn't be a big deal, because we'd learn all about how the woman was a doped up crack whore who managed to get through the Secret Service.

        Then we'd hear testamony from Dr. Frist (on the Senate floor) about how it is possible for an experienced crack whore to blow a man even as he fights valliantly against her.

        There would be a couple of Baptist ministers who would go on the talk shows and proclaim how all the evil liberal crack whores are forcing the good God-fearing Baptists to spill their seed against their will. One or two of the ministers would tearfully break down and confess that THEY had received "forced oral sex" from crack whores, and that the claims they paid for it were just the police trying to frame them, because the police are all part of the giant anti-Christian conspiracy.

        Eventually, we'd learn that the woman once shared an apartment with another woman. (and Hannity would point out that she's probably a lesbian crack whore.) Bill O would be busy looking for his loofah, and Rush would talk about how drug users should be locked up for life. (Except for those people who become addicted to prescription pain killers, because they are the victims.)

        Finally, the whole episode would fade into our distant memory, as the time that the President heroically fought off the deranged, terrorist crack whore who only managed to suck him off three times before he singlehandedly restrained her and gave her the spanking she deserved.

        Thank God we have heroes like George W. Bush in the White House. Who knows what would have happened if an evil, terrorist, lesbian crack whore broke into the White House while Bill Clinton was in office. He might have actually ENJOYED IT!!!!

        congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

        by bartman on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 09:16:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good rant. Perhaps... (none)
      ...some music would help you feel better.

      Dunno if you'd seen some of my recent comments in open threads, but I've been requesting that mix and old rock/alternative stations play "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" by Styx and "Dirty Laundry" by Don Hendley.  Each time I request one or the other, I provide a dedication to the appropriate cretins of the moment.

      Give the tunes a listen, but instead of letting them get you further down, think instead of what the reaction would be if they came over the radio with a dedication to "George, Richard, Karl, Arlen, Bill and "the Bug Man""...

      Thanks for ranting - seems like your rant made me feel a lot better, too.

      ;)

      Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
        Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
      Tempest even in reason's seat.

      by GreyHawk on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:47:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My "Journalism and the Law" professor (none)
        told me that she wanted to play "Dirty Laundry" in her classes.

        But, she said, most of the kids woudn't get it. After all, Don Henley is just some fat old has-been from an oldies group, never mind the message.

        •  Put together a slide show... (none)
          ...in PowerPoint or something, and have basic text with screenshots to illustrate the insanity of folks like O'Reilly (his invitation to bomb the Coit tower) or Coulter (her crap about killing Justice Stevens), and definitely include Terry Schiavo and a headline re: the emergency Congressional session timed for the "is the head dead yet" part of the song.

          Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
            Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
          Tempest even in reason's seat.

          by GreyHawk on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:37:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those kids still wouldn't get it. (none)
            They all wanted to be sports or entertainment reporters. Or TV reporters, which amounts to the same thing.

            None of them read newspapers themselves, unless it was required for class. How's THAT for irony?

            And they all grew up on tabloid TV. Writing papers about first amendment issues or colonial printers who were jailed for opposing the Brits just bored them to tears. They wouldn't have been there if it hadn't been a required course.

            No sense of mission or calling. No sense of responsibility about the traditional role of the fourth estate. Just a desire to become famous and associate with famous people.

            I had too much wine with dinner, so if I sound a little cynical, please forgive me.

            •  Well...at least you know (none)
              what a true journalist should be.

              I'll be looking forward to your stuff.

              ;)

              Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
                Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
              Tempest even in reason's seat.

              by GreyHawk on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:49:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  an obese gym instructor (4.00)
              a corrupt cop
              an ignorant educator
              an indifferent nurse
              a profligate conservative
              an incurious journalist

              "everything is the opposite of what it shall be"

            •  Look who's talking (none)
              You're insulting the same demographic which is overwhelmingly liberal and who voted heavily for Kerry against Bush (those who voted).  Maybe you should take your holier than thou attitude and shove  it up your ass.  I agree that young people are disconnected and too many are not paying attention, but it's not us who are fucking things up.  It's all the forty-something white morons who think they deserve a tax cut, and ra-ra Bush and his wars, knowing full well they won't have to fight them.  

              People of all ages are more or less equally stupid, but at least those in the 18-30 demographic actually vote for something good when they deign to step into the voter's booth.  

              In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

              by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:07:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You can't generalize (none)
                either way.

                A large percentage of the 16 - 25's where I live are wingnut fundie hate-spewing automatons...they're being bred, through home-schooling with a Bob Jones University curriculum package, social isolation, and brainwashing to be good little straight-Rethug voters.

                "Above all, do not question the Holy RNC."

                It's a very disturbing trend.

              •  I was insulting no one. (none)
                I was speaking about the kids in my Journalism and the Law class. Were you there? Did I miss you somehow in the discussion?

                Maybe you should take your holier than thou attitude and shove  it up your ass.

                Nice. Such maturity. You sure convinced me.

                I agree that young people are disconnected and too many are not paying attention

                Then what the hell is your beef? I wasn't even casting as wide a net as you.

                but it's not us who are fucking things up.  It's all the forty-something white morons

                Read it again, hothead. How do you presume to know my age and what racial group I belong to? You're the one who is generalizing.

                Maybe --to take a page out of your book-- you should grow up.

                Cheers. Have a pleasant night.

        •  Nope, not fat (none)
          I saw the Eagles a few months ago and they were as good as ever.  Plus, when launching into "Dirty Laundry", Henley dedicated it to Nancy Grace.  I also saw tape of him dedicating it to Rita Cosby.  Totally awesome.

          As for your professor's idea, I think she's giving up too easily.  A song with a message is still a song with a message, regardless of the messenger.  (Although I think the messenger, in this case, rocks.)

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." ~Carly Simon

          by Nancy in LA on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:50:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You won't hear any argument from me (none)
            on that count.

            I played that song a lot as an antidote to what I heard on NPR on my way to classes each morning.

            You have no idea (well, maybe you do!) of how cleansing it felt to sing "We all know that crap is king!" at the top of my lungs during the hour-long drive after having to listen to Barbara Bradley Haggerty apoligize for the Jeebofascists at the top of the hour, or on the way home after hearing a classmate quote Chris Wallace to bolster an argument on the role of the press in wartime.

        •  This is such utter bullshit (none)
          More of them would understand it than you think.  You should tell your former professor that she should just retire if she is so burned out that she isn't even going to try to reach out to anyone anymore.  I'm sure it's a hell of a lot easier to just throw in the towel than attempt to make a difference.  It's also easier to justify your own apathy rather than accept it.  

          If you want to get a message across to people, you need to inspire people to get it.  Not just expect them to get it on their own, or otherwise just give up.  

          Look who the people writing the articles are today...they're not today's young people, they are the yuppie trash whose first political experience was under Reagan in the 80s.  Today most of those in college were reared in the 90s with Clinton as President, and with greater acceptance for homosexuals, etc.  Blame the right demographic, it's not current college students who have made the media such a piece of shit.  

          In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

          by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:13:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just a tad defensive, aren't we? (none)
            Blame the right demographic, it's not current college students who have made the media such a piece of shit.

            No one said that, except maybe you.

            I'm talking about playing a pop song in a college class.

            A class that you were not enrolled in. Full of students you never met. Who hadn't graduated and had yet to snag jobs. So how could I blame them for making the media "such a piece of shit"? I didn't make that accusation -- you did.

            Sheesh. Maybe you should get that chip off your shoulder before you start projecting your insecurities onto others.

            Pleasant dreams.

    •  Krugman... (none)
      is the only thing worth the register at the Grey-Lady.  That is if username: "dailykos@dailykos.com" password: dailykos still works.

      Trayendo abajo del imperio, un tecleo a la vez.

      by theleftknew on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:52:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget Bob Herbert (4.00)
        They don't come any more liberal or articulate than Herbert.

        (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

        by SueDe on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:45:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent points (4.00)
    And the "angry Democrat" card has been being played a lot lately.  I don't understand why our official response is, "You bet we're mad.  Anyone who loves this country should be mad at the..."  <fill in the sickening laundry list from the last five years>

    I, for one, am not in the least bit shy about saying I'm mad as hell...I just want to know when the Party isn't going to take it anymore.

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:18:00 PM PST

  •  Media? What media? (none)
    Move along folks, just another Armando steam release.  

    Nothing new here.

    Don't trouble yourselves to think or examine what's being said.

    Move along there.

    Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

    by Mi Corazon on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:19:52 PM PST

  •  Glaring Difference this Time (4.00)
     The times a different imo becaues we really see how dangerous this Adm. is. I haven't been in the Fray since Nam Protests. Duhbya scares the bejesus out of me. I was worried before he ran the 1st. race for Pres. I bailed from the market the day he declared.
    •  it surprises me (none)
      I never thought anyone dumb and incompetent could scare me this much.  After all any combination of those features should be easy to beat or easily ignored, right?
      I've always been a little cynical, but I had some general belief that people were mainly good at the core.  These last few years I've come to think of Americans as ignorant, vicious, and selfish. Because there is no other way that this atriousity that claims to be our goverment could stand for so long otherwise. Dumb and incompetent would have been easy to beat if Americans were what I'd so secretly thought they were in a heart that wasn't cynical all the way through.
  •  I edited the 4th graf (none)
    It was pretty mangled.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:20:09 PM PST

  •  Well done (4.00)

    The Blue sea seethes with reason.

    What will survive of us is love

    by howth of murph on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:20:23 PM PST

  •  When did they buy the news media?? (4.00)
    Which corporate merger tipped the scales? Somewhere, journalists stopped being about news and started being about protecting financial interests.

    We don't rage enough.

    •  Since the owners of the newspapers (4.00)
      and networks decided to be more concerned about profits and took over other media outlets. I hate to disappoint anyone, but, news media of any kind do not represent the will of the people, they represent corporate profit interests. Knight Ridder, the NYTs and WAPO are not non-profit organizations. If it suits their stockholders and sponsors, they will appeal to that aspect and market their product accordingly.
      •  They don't do news (4.00)
        they do whatever it takes to make money.  News never made money.  What's happened in the past twenty-five or thirty years is that the news corporations were taken over by guys who learned their trade in business school, where the point (and the only point) is making money.  There are a lot of ways to make money, but among the legal ones are shaving quality, cutting inputs, checking to see if the competition gains market share when you do, and when they don't do more cutting.

        Treating the news purely as a business was sooner or later to drag everything down to the level of discourse that makes you buy a Pontiac rather than a Ford. It's all marketing.  That's what they learned in business school.

        •  Most reporters (none)
          at ground-level are more liberal than their bosses.

          Not that they feel empowered to do anything about it.

          Those that aren't liberal are generally just out of college and are clueless.

          I saw a lot of this. One of my colleagues in the newsroom, a Temple grad, said she "didn't know much" about Bush but was voting for him because Kerry "seemed stuck up and elitist."

          Based on no facts at all. She neither read widely nor had much of an inquiring mind.

          But boy, could she churn out copy. I bet she'll go far.

  •  did you read greenwald's latest? (4.00)
    he posted one of the clearest and most compelling criticisms of Bush apologists that i have read yet.  check it out.

    "There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who believe there are only two kinds of people, and those who know better." - Tom Robbins

    by beedee on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:30:46 PM PST

    •  this is classic (4.00)
      Her primary argument in support of this theory is that I have "attempted to pulverize the talented John Hinderaker and Jonah Goldberg," that I hold "the brilliant Jeff Goldstein" to a "higher moral standard," and that I say unkind things about the "relentlessly talented and courageous Michelle Malkin."

      Heh. Glenn has a very dry sense of humor. He delivers the line flawlessly, with nary a smirk.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:34:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is certainly a good post (none)
      The comments are spicy too.

      Greenwald would, however, profit from some judicious editing - he can be a bit too verbose, but his analysis is always thorough and well argued.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:54:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ridiculous (none)
    if you really believe that anti-communist views make you seem more personally palatable to ANYBODY, you're either really shockingly stupid, or you're just blatantly patronizing people who are so ill-informed and hateful to think that any such stance makes a lick of sense.

    Evil Empire.  how dare you purport to spend an instant breaking down government propaganda, falling for something so fucking idiotic as that?  my respect for you has plummeted.

    •  Thank you very much (4.00)
      And likewise.

      If you don't know what a Communist regime is thewn you would have the reaction you just demonstrated.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:38:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you have supported (none)
        Joseph McCarthey and his red scare against liberals and communists in the 40s and 50s? Is that how anti-communist you are? Do you go as far as destroying the lives of innocent people just because they believe in socialism over capitalism? Please elaborate what your belief of communism as practiced by Stalin and Castro is vs. actual the actual Marxist dialectic.
        •  wtf? (none)
          What does that have to do with what the Soviet Union was and what Cuba is?

          Do you only support COmmunist totalitarian regimes or do the Right Wing ones have your support too?

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:08:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Soviet Union (4.00)
            was a dictatorship. Stalin was an evil bastard whether he was a communist or not. Castro is a dictator too. My only contention with your anti-communism is that I was around during those red scare days and many people I knew, including family, were caught up in those anti-communist do-gooders frenzy. Anti-communism was just another way of politicians looking for a boogeyman to be against. In America, our system thrives on being against evil. It what we proselytize to the rest of the world. Ours is the perfect world, while communism, Islamic governments and anything that practices anything but capitalism is evil. No I don't support right or left wing dictatorships, including this one. I only know people who claim to be heroic because they wear the anti-communist label are no better than the assholes who hounded my family during the early 50s. Those of my family who were persecuted for their left wing beliefs in the 40s and 50s were not evil, and they did not believe in dictatorships either.
            •  My take on Communism (none)
              I'll trot out what I wrote 3 years ago on the eve of the invasion of Iraq:

              "Whether an indirect approach, not necessarily a containment policy, would work effectively against fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East is impossible to know, as while both religion and ideology have the ability to inspire populations, religion tends to outlast ideology - particularly an ideology like communism/socialism which in order to reach its final, utopian state requires some fundamental changes in the behavior of all people which are highly unlikely to ever occur. For that reason, Karl Marx' "Communist Manifesto" made some interesting reading, but I'd probably have graded it a "D" and sent it back to him if he'd told me he was really serious about it."

              I'll go out on a limb here and assume no more and no less that Armando, who is often straight-spoken and pragmatic in his own way, doesn't give a crap about flavors of "Communism" (Chinese, Cambodian, Soviet, Cuban, etc. variants) or takes a lot of stock in the old domino theory (I guess we saw how that one turned out; ditto prediction for Wolfowitz & Co.'s "reverse domino" theory of cascading democracies in the Middle East).

              See, the problem with Communism and Anti-Communism is both sides were as fucked up because they both believed in something that didn't make sense and in practice showed time and again that it didn't make sense.  "Communism" was simply a crappy wrapper used to run a totalitarian and ineffecient system, which is what it's really about.  I'm pretty much against that.

              It's a damn shame people on both sides took the malarkey so seriously.  Then again, common horse-sense doesn't exist in everyone's gray matter; and belief can sometimes trump that little and oft-ignored tinny voice of reason.

              Now, if human nature were inexplicably modified such that one's concern for others and the whole was greater that one's concern for one's own self, and this applied to all members of society, well then socialism or communism or whatever variant one wishes to name and describe would actually be quite nice.  

              My take on Communism and its so-called application on numerous countries is the same as my take on Bush's push to "transform Iraq and the Middle East" - rather than thinking he can wave his magic wand and transform Iraq into a democracy that's Western-emulating, he might as well just say:  "Starting next week, all Iraqis will be transformed into 3-foot-tall Norwegians.  And the desert portions of Iraq will be transformed into lush and verdant rainforests."

              •  There never were any real Communists (4.00)
                Just Totalitarians who mouthed the words.

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:11:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I tend to get wordy; you're always succinct (none)
                •  communism castro chavez... (none)
                  If you said that you were  'virulently anti communist', and believe that 'there were never any real communists', what were you virulently against?  
                  Chavez is redirecting oil proofits in his country towards helping his people even if you don't like him. There has already been a U.S. backed coup against him, that failed because Venisualans would not accept it. Let's not create another Castro.
                  Don't waste your time complimenting Bush I, He did enough terrible stuff to bring him right down into the gutter. Do you remember the Christmas Eve Pardons?...
                •  Trotsky came close, didn't he? (none)
                  Of course, we know what happened to him and people like him for keeping the faith.

                  In any case, I think you erred somewhat by conflating being anti-communist and being anti-Soviet Union. As you pointed out, the USSR was never really communist, just totalitarianism with a pseudo-communist facade. There was never a "proletariat of the people" there. Nor in any other so-called "communist" regime. Communism is just a hugely impractical ideology that can likely never be put into practice, and like right-wing chauvanistic jingoism, has just been used to justify and enable totalitarianism by another name.

                  To be truly anti-communist, you have to be against the political and economic theory, not just its various faux implementations (not that you can't be against both, of course), in the same way that being anti-conservative is not the same thing as being anti-Bush (not that you can't be against both as well).

                  Anyway, you're right, today's media "elite" either can't or won't get it--or worse, they get it very well, but just don't care, and seek to either profit from it, or at least not pay the price for doing their jobs properly. Integrity went out the door with Nixon and Reagan, and we've been stuck with this bunch of greedy sychophants ever since. Just as all the Ervins, Dirksens and Fullbrights are all gone, so are all the Cronkites, Murrows and Sevareids. Instead we have guys like Lieberman and Frist, Matthews and  Brooks. God help us.

                  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

                  by kovie on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 11:26:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Sad (none)
                It makes empiricists weep. The 20th and 21st centuries will be known as the Age of Belief since most views, theories, etc rely solely on belief with little to no evidence.

                I wonder if OP read the Communist Manifesto? Can the OP read?

                A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

                by Tux on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:34:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  That is a different point entirely (4.00)
              Being anti-Communist is not being a McCarthyite.

              It really galls that the techniques of the McCarthyites  are being used unwittingly here to try and play the anti-Red Scare with me.

              You see the Soviet Union was a REAL threat to the world.

              Not a pretend one like the one Bush 43 puffed up in Iraq.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:10:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not that I ever espoused (none)
                Soviet style Stalinism, but we did not consider them a threat when they were sacrificing 25 million people when they fought Hitler. They were a threat because we made them a threat. As far as I know, the Soviet Union never used a nuclear bomb against a civilian population during any war, we did twice. Yes, the Soviets had evil men run their empire, but I would pose this question. Do you know what was worse to the average Russian, living under the Tsar or living under Nikita Khrushchev? Or doesn't that answer matter to an anti-communist as long as we get out of the relationship what is good for us?
                •  are those their only two choices (none)
                  the Tsar or Nikita Khrushchev?  If you don't like the soviet union you must support the work of McCarthy?
                •  These false choices (none)
                  are the ones the Pinochets of the world argue are necessary.

                  I choose NEITHER.

                  I choose democracy.

                  The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:07:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  WTF are you talking about Pinochets (none)
                    of the world. You choose democracy? You made a statement in your diary that promoted the fact that you are anti-communist, as if that is a badge of honor or that we should take you more seriously because of it. I challenged you because my generation of liberals had the same feeling about your ilk that you have against the current administration. Anyone who dared to speak of friendly relations with the Soviet Union was ostracized and accused of being a communist. Many were sent to jail, many lost their jobs, their livelihood and more. Yet you write in a liberal blog and chastise any idea that challenges yours about communism. I've read comments of yours that calls for Americans to fight against the very thing you are arguing with me about. In other words, if you are anti-Bush, you are ok to be considered a liberal, but don't speak on this blog about anything to the left of what your position is. Is that what it's about? I only asked you a question at first, now I get the feeling you perceive my question was that I promoted communism. I never promoted communism, I promote tolerance, including tolerance of those who are communists. That's what got many of my people thrown in jail.
                    •  My ilk? (none)
                      First of all, fuck you for tarring me with the anti-communist persecution your family suffered. I repeat, fuck you.

                      You see MY family was and is persecuted by Communists but I don't hold YOU resaponsible for it.

                      You wrote "Do you know what was worse to the average Russian, living under the Tsar or living under Nikita Khrushchev? Or doesn't that answer matter to an anti-communist as long as we get out of the relationship what is good for us?"

                      Replace Batista or Pinochet or Franco for the Tsar and replace Castro or Allende for the Soviets and you might start to understand my point.

                      I rail against the Fascists who use Communism as their excuse for authoritarianism.

                      I rail against the Communists who use Fascism as their excuse for Totalitarianism.

                      I repeat, I reject your choice. I resent your smear and I tell you to go to hell with your bullshit.

                       

                      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:03:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Is that all you can do (none)
                        is show your intolerance of someone who challenges you? I respect your views, as I have read much of what you have written. Yet, you choose to lose your cool because someone happens to believe in something you are not tolerant of. Why do I, an old man cause someone of your obvious intelligence to argue in such a way? As I said, you write in a liberal blog. You should not be surprised that many readers maybe more liberal than what you expect. Many are my age and lived in a different generation. You preach a liberal and tolerant message in all your other blogs, but this one topic causes you to betray your intelligence by lashing out at someone who is too old to fight. Is that what your obvious education taught you. Is that what you expect me to use to argue against your tirade. You disappoint. This was not about anti-communism, this was about tolerance. You don't seem to have much if you are challenged. If you are insulted by the word ilk, I apologize.
                        •  i responded substantively (none)
                          and emotionally to your slur.

                          your refusal to retract it tells me about you.

                          you didn't challenge me. you insulted me.

                          you didn't make an argument.

                          you hurled a smear.

                          reread my diary on why i am angry.

                          you do not address MY argument at all.

                          is that your style?

                          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:29:36 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  There was no slur (none)
                            nor was there an insult, unless you are that thin skinned that you have to debate like a little child. I looked over your diaries and comments this morning with my wife. We were both struck by how someone who is obviously a leader of this website illustrates in his writing a temper which betrays his philosophy of liberalism. I did not equate you with anyone. What I did expose is you have intolerance of others' opinions. You react like a teenager who is ready to punch anyone out who dares to cross your street. You were itching for a fight from the very first sentence of your post. Be careful what you wish for. Going after me is superfluous to the issue you tried to project. I am no one but an old man who reads and writes. I do not have any ambition to be a famous and influential writer. You definitely do. I was waiting for you to tell me to meet you on the street so you could kick my butt. What is sad to me is the anger you reflect in your generation. I have long dismissed any hope your generation would show any respect toward older people. It is illustrated throughout your writings as it is illustrated on a vast number of comments on many websites. Sorry to make you so defensive.
                          •  Ah like a republican (none)
                            You smear with the "anger" meme.

                            That you are older does not mean ypou get a free pass for your slurs.

                            This is what you wrote in this thread to me;

                            Joseph McCarthey and his red scare against liberals and communists in the 40s and 50s? Is that how anti-communist you are? Do you go as far as destroying the lives of innocent people just because they believe in socialism over capitalism? Please elaborate what your belief of communism as practiced by Stalin and Castro is vs. actual the actual Marxist dialectic.

                            . . . I only know people who claim to be heroic because they wear the anti-communist label are no better than the assholes who hounded my family during the early 50s. Those of my family who were persecuted for their left wing beliefs in the 40s and 50s were not evil, and they did not believe in dictatorships either.

                            . . . Do you know what was worse to the average Russian, living under the Tsar or living under Nikita Khrushchev? Or doesn't that answer matter to an anti-communist as long as we get out of the relationship what is good for us?

                            . . .WTF are you talking about Pinochets                                 of the world. You choose democracy? You made a statement in your diary that promoted the fact that you are anti-communist, as if that is a badge of honor or that we should take you more seriously because of it. I challenged you because my generation of liberals had the same feeling about your ilk that you have against the current administration.

                            Sorry sir, but there was a slur in every comment, a McCarthyite tactic in every phrase.

                            Your technique of challenging whether I supported McCarthyism was offensive in the extreme.

                            It is exactly what you criticize, but against those of us who abhor Communism.

                            As for your armschair psychoanalysis, it is worthy of Bill Frist.

                            Truly the sins of the Republicans have been demonstrated by you in this thread.

                            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                            by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:28:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I did not have a tactic (none)
                            you just react as if everyone not agreeing with you is an enemy. You wish to make it a slur, that is something I cannot control. I asked questions of you. I was not even trying to incite anything in you. If you wish to lump me in with Republicans, that's ok. I am not ashamed of myself for having republican friends, or even agreeing with republicans from time to time. I am not the one insulted when someone disagrees with me. I am also not the one who has the most influence on the bloggers of this website, you are. I made the point that anti-communists went along with all the frenzy that caused many to suffer. I asked you if you agreed and went so far as agree to destroying lives. Obviously you were not around back then. My question asked you if you agreed with those who persecuted communists. You could have just said no. But you read into the question that I was accusing you of being a McCarthyite. Now you are projecting back at me by insinuating I am deploying a republican trick against you. I am just trying to have you look at your own temperment as a writer because you have a great deal to offer. Your writing is important. Your anger and defensiveness detracts from that importance.
                        •  Don't waste time arguing with Armando (none)
                          He has some good points sometimes, but when he disagrees he just goes into full-bore attack mode and refuses to debate intelligently or reasonably.  

                          In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

                          by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:21:23 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  He equated me with McCarthy (none)
                            You embrace HIS disciourse?

                            The intolerance is all on your side of this one.

                            Asak, you have no room to talk. As intolerant as they comde you are.

                            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                            by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:15:08 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, he does.... (none)
                            "He has some good points sometimes, but when he disagrees he just goes into full-bore attack mode and refuses to debate intelligently or reasonably."

                            And does that trait remind you of anyone?

                            Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

                            by Erik the Red on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:59:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Be an adult (none)
                        Accept their challenge and explain yourself or go to the kids' table. Have some honor for once.

                        A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

                        by Tux on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:37:40 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Come on! (none)
                      Being anti communist is not the equivalent of McCarthyism.  That's the bullshit that the right wing would have you swallow, that you'red either a wingnut or a commie.  Communism is as anti human as Bush "ownership capitalism".  Both are religios propositions that assume things about the human condition that DO NOT obtain, and never have.  Both require centralized power and planning, state control of the economy, for really the same actual purposes, and require a fervent belief in the Leader.
                        It's very sad and unjust that relatives have been persecuted or blacklisted because of beliefs, but it's just as sad that reactions to that include ignoring the evil of the ideas, the harm to the people, the spirit-deadening sequelae to the Russion Communist experiment.

                      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                      by StrayCat on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 12:10:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  False statements? (none)
                    You say you choose democracy, but then you are agaisnt Chavez just because you just don't agree with his political views, even though he was overwhelmingly democratically elected.  Chavez is further from a dictator in the making than Bush is.  

                    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

                    by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:19:02 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  "Uncle Joe" (none)
                  Stalin was portayed positively in the western media during WWII for a simple reason--desperation. The Western Allies couldn't defeat Hitler alone, they needed help on the other side. That doesn't mean they weren't considered a threat--just that Hitler was a far more immediate threat. Some people believe that the real reason for using the atom bomb was to demonstrate to Stalin the power of the new weapon in hopes it would intimidate him...little knowing that he was well on his way having the bomb himself.

                  "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                  by Alice in Florida on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:27:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Both sides of my family were turned into refugees (none)
                  by that monster Stalin, my mom's side in the 30's during the horrific farm collectivization program in Uzbekistan, and my dad's towards the end of WWII when, after having survived the Holocaust in what until then was relatively safe (for Jews) Bulgaria, they had to flee because Stalin's agents were moving in after the red army pushed the Nazis out and were sending anyone they deemed a capitalist (my grandfather was an accountant for a large Italian firm) to the gulags. So don't give me any shit about how Stalin wasn't such a bad guy--if anyone was more evil than Hitler in history, it was him.

                  And while I agree that Khrushchev wasn't anywhere near as bad and was actually trying to reform the USSR, he was pushed out by the party before he got much done, so he's not a good example of the worst that that evil empire (and yes, it was both evil and an empire, making it an evil empire, and I don't care if that idiot Reagan co-opted this phrase for his own use, as it was still true no matter who used it) offered up.

                  As for being their ally during WWII, what other choice did we have? Without their help there was no way we could have won the war. When a guy like Hitler is threatening to destroy western civilization, you don't start subjecting your potential allies to morality tests. And the moment the war ended, they went back to being our enemy, and this temporary alliance ended--do you actually think it would ever have turned out otherwise? It was the right thing to do--and that's coming from someone whose family suffered from him and absolutely hates his guts.

                  Think, dude, before you post such nonsense.

                  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

                  by kovie on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 11:42:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There you are very wrong. (none)
                  We always considered them a threat.  Quite a lot of our strategy in WWII was developed with an eye towards containing Stalin in the aftermath of the war.  
            •  You two aren't even speaking the same language (4.00)
              Asserting disdain for the Soviet breed of communism is hardly tantamount to asserting support for the McCarthy breed of anti-communist witchburning.  Understanding this distinction is absolutely critical as we are living through the perfect analogy.

              To some extent, like fundamental Islamism, communism was a boogeyman.  But to some extent, the Soviet flavor of communism, especially in the era it was being projected into the second world, was dangerous.  Hysteria and ignorance about either blinds us to the conditions that bring them about and allow them to thrive.

              "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

              by The Termite on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:11:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, but I would contend... (none)
                that the Soviet threat and domestic anti-communism were parts of the same thing.
                The Soviet threat allows for creation of the National Security State and increased military spending to keep US out of a depression.  While domestically anti-communism is used to stifle dissent, cripple the unions, and compress the area of "acceptable" political ideas.  

                Bush - the New Hoover. He really sucks.

                by slick riddles on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:30:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  What is amazing to me... (none)
                Is not how terrible the Soviet Union was, but just how terribly similar both super powers acted.  Making the point about how the USSR was worse, doesn't really excuse how we employed the same tactics (propaganda, demagoguing).  The US did as much damage in the world, especially in the Middle East and Latin America, as the USSR did.  

                Stating you are virulently anti-communist is embarassing, in my opinion, because it just continues to parrot the old propaganda, while white washing all the atrocities we have committed.  There were two Evil Empires during the Cold War.  If ours was less evil than theirs, that's very little consolation to me.  

                In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

                by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:26:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What's embarassing . . . (none)
                  is your seeming inability to ackowledge the converse of you argument.  Simply because bad things were done in the name of fighting communism does not mean communism was good.  In the abstract, it sounds great.  But in every actual manifestation, it has been a scourge on the planet.  What does it say about you then that you defend it?
        •  McCarthy et al. (none)
          Some anti-communist Albanians I know equate Republicans with anti-communism and praise McCarthy. They don't get the fact that they've traded one totalitarian regime for another, even though I've pointed it out to them. As a consequence, I don't talk to them.

          I followed the discussion here a bit, til the "fuck you". You sound like a pretty reasonable person to me.

    •  Reality check, Embryo (4.00)

      There is the story of an African dictator in the 1960s who mentioned to a Western guest that his son was attending university in Prague. The guest was shocked, and asked "Aren't you afraid he's going to come home a communist?"

      The dictator replied, "No. If I'd sent him to Harvard or Oxford he would have come home filled with Marxist ideas. I thought Prague would completely eliminate that problem."

      What will survive of us is love

      by howth of murph on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:01:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He is, to me (none)
      After learning the way he thinks.

      Ironic, isn't?

    •  I don't mean this as an insult, (none)
      but you sound very young.  Anyone who lived as an adult through the "cold war" knows that those times are not comparable to these times.  Evil Empire is not a Bushism, but a mislabel that he likes to use.  To come off as so strident when you don't seem to know or have experienced history, makes what you are saying shockingly stupid.  If indeed you are an older individual, then please explain how you can come off as not having experienced the two eras and their differences.
      •  The times are different, but the playbook is not (none)
        The whole anti-communism crusade was very much a boogeyman, just as the current anti-terrorism crusade is.  The Republicans are still playing the same game, using propaganda and demogoguing tactics to discredit their opponents or anyone who offers any sort of dissent.  

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 02:30:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I also supported Desert Storm (4.00)
    I think it was done in the right way. This new gulf war, is an example of how not to do things.

    Katrina Blew--Bush sucks!!

    by Louisiana Fury on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:38:59 PM PST

  •  this quote explains it perfectly: (4.00)
      "There is a name for a system of government that wages aggressive war, deceives its citizens, violates their rights, abuses power and breaks the law, rejects judicial and legislative checks on itself, claims power without limit, tortures prisoners and acts in secret. It is dictatorship."

    -- The Nation, Jan. 9, 2006

    THAT is why I am angry.  Angry as hell.  Angrier than I ever thought I'd be at my own "government".

    What's so hard about THAT for them to understand?

    "Nordic, one of the most obnoxious people at Daily Kos." -- DHinMI

    by Nordic on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:39:17 PM PST

  •  Thank you Armando!!! (4.00)
    I often wonder about those that become fixated on what others are doing in their private sex lives.  

    To those that have stood by and allowed this administration to do whatever it chooses I say:

    What goes around, comes around.

  •  spin 2 evade legitimate anger 4 illegal policies (none)
    ie, you're not allowed to get angry and shout foul or protest dems cuz we need to carry out corrupt illegal outrage of freeper agenda without any needless interference. it's all very third reich totalitarian + dictatorial, god forbid we have any checks + balances, debate, reason, dissent, free speech or constitutional liberties. sequel to the freepin mccarthy era. completely unacceptable + illegal. we are being told to lie down + play dead so they can destroy our democracy, republic + society while we keep quiet. bullshit. i don't think so. they can go right back to hell where they came from.
  •  Thought, re: "Supporting Desert Storm" (4.00)
    I may have trouble making my point here, but...

    What does it mean to "Support Desert Storm?" I understand what you're saying, but think a little more deeply for a moment: how can you disentangle the war from the context in which it ocurred?

    US support for dictators across the globe throughout the cold war... the utterly cynical US-Western policy of fueling the Iran-Iraq war with material and weapons support for both sides, in the name of "letting them kill each other"... The US ambassador April Gillespie's well-known mixed signals to Saddam on the eve of the invasion of Kuwait...

    So, then, what does it mean to say you supported that war? "Oh, all that is very nice, but we're dealing with reality here and Bush I did a great job."

    If so, then we're totally fucked. I'm sorry, but if we don't find some type of cure/therapy/whatever for the root cause of these militarism/energy/obscure-geopolitical-calculus fueled wars, then I fear the next 200 years will be apocalyptically awful.

    The right is killing America

    by grushka on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:50:46 PM PST

    •  You understand what I am saying (none)
      Then you know what I support.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:58:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's off in his own world again (3.50)
      Bush I, the diplomat?  That's knee-slappingly hilarious . . . .

      During this time, the administration of President George Bush (Sr.) engaged in active sabotage of any diplomacy which could have resolved the crisis without bloodshed. As Noam Chomsky put it,

      "Professing high principle, Washington moved vigorously to block all diplomatic efforts, restricting its own contacts with Iraq to delivery of an ultimatum demanding immediate and total capitulation to U.S. force -- what George Bush called "going the extra mile to achieve a peaceful solution." Europeans were warned not to deviate from the firm U.S. rejection of any form of diplomacy or any hint of willingness to negotiate. Washington also sternly rejected any "linkage" with regional issues, expressing its moral revulsion at the very thought of rewarding an aggressor by considering problems of armaments, security, and others in a regional context. The effect was to minimize the likelihood that Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait might be arranged without the threat or use of force. It is difficult to imagine that this was not the purpose of the rejection of "linkage," also an unprecedented stand.

      These solemn declarations of high principle were generally accepted at face value, leaving unchallenged the pretexts offered for war. Debate was therefore limited to tactical questions of U.S. interest. In this limited frame, the Administration is sure to prevail, and did. The rhetorical stance, in contrast, could not have survived the slightest challenge. The general abdication of critical standards was thus a matter of no small importance -- not for the first time. [42]"

      As the deadline for Iraqi troop withdrawals drew closer, the U.S. Defense Department published estimates of Iraqi strength at 540,000. General Schwarzkopf, commanding officer of the coalition forces massing in Saudi Arabia, claimed that his forces faced 623,000 enemy soldiers.[43] Huge numbers such as these were cited as the main reason for the buildup of coalition forces to a massive 700,000 men.[44] However, as Secretary of Defense Les Aspin stated after the war, "the one certainty is that there never really were 547,000 Iraqi troops in theater...many [Iraqi] units were sent to the theater substantially understrength." [45] Though Aspin claims that this fact was not known until after the war, his arguments are unconvincing. It is hard to believe his statement that "Washington, concerned with avoiding any situation that could lead prematurely to war, decided not to fly any reconnaissance aircraft over Iraq or occupied Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield." [46] Even if the U.S. Air Force has not replaced the retired Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird with a more advanced aircraft,[47] and even if the Air Force decided not to risk one of its radar-invisible 'Stealth' fighters on such a mission, the fact remains that the old U-2 spyplane was still in service. From a height of 80,000 feet, this aircraft is capable of looking at least 35 miles into enemy territory without crossing the border.[48] Given the small size of Kuwait, the shape of the Saudi-Kuwaiti border, and the proximity of the Persian Gulf on Kuwait's eastern frontier, U.S. planners certainly had a good picture of the opposition. In any case, the media continued to dutifully quote official Pentagon estimates of Iraqi troop strengths. In doing so, they allowed the Administration to paint a picture of a fearsome, if fictional, Iraqi army.

      By allowing themselves to be used in such a fashion, the media made Bush's "war option" seem much more plausible and attractive. A massive, highly trained force of over half a million combat veterans who kill infants and obey the orders of a man who is "a second Hitler"[49] is a very credible offensive force - perhaps this mythical army could have swept south and captured the Saudi oil fields. However, the sad reality of Saddam Hussein's understrength, poorly trained military machine was such that a much smaller coalition force could have prevented any offensive move while sanctions and diplomacy had more time to work. Once again, according to Noam Chomksy:

      "Two weeks before the deadline for Iraqi withdrawal, the possible contours of a diplomatic settlement appeared to be these: Iraq would withdraw completely from Kuwait with a U.S. pledge not to attack withdrawing forces; foreign troops leave the region; the Security Council indicates a serious commitment to settle other major regional problems. Disputed border issues would be left for later consideration. Once again, we cannot evaluate the prospects for settlement along these -- surely reasonable -- lines, because the offers were flatly rejected, and scarcely entered the media or public awareness. The United States and Britain maintained their commitment to force alone."[50]

      The United States and Britain blocked a last-minute attempt at peaceful settlement which was put forward by France in the form of a proposal to the U.N. Security Council on 14 January 1991. Very few people in North America ever became aware of the absolute rejection of diplomacy by their leaders.

      more

      •  Riiiight (none)
        Tariq Aziz and Saddam Hussein had NOTHING to do with it.

        Chomsky.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:24:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess this is my point: (none)

          The right is killing America

          by grushka on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:34:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They were pawns, no doubt (none)
          Playing their decades-long CIA-supported charades (won't these stooges ever learn that never turns out well - couldn't they see what had just happened to Noriega? or maybe they were in too deep, owed too much for the chemical weapons recently given them, or whatever to get out)

          In any event, it's been eye-opening that you bought all the Bush Sr. propaganda bullshit lock stock and barrel.

          I'll keep that in mind when reading any of your posts in the future.

          Oh, btw, I hear that the Irani soldiers are tossing babies out incubators.  Let the invasion begin!  With my full support!!

          •  My point, exactly (4.00)
            Why do we give credit to the same 'master strategists' who were fucking the world up for so long - and quite pointlessly, at that?

            Wow, they sure can manage their blowback (sort of).

            If we as democrats/progressives continue to try to play the game within the context of the rules as currently constituted (meaning, rules set up by the guys who armed, encouraged, then fought Saddam twice), we'll never, ever, ever win.

            If we can't see the overarching issues and deal with them, and instead keep responding to individual phenomena and personalities, we'll never, ever win.

            It's kinda like pointing a finger at Abramoff and acting like it's a scandal or something. It's the tiniest tip of an iceberg of the way politics has been done in the US for 25 years now.

            The right is killing America

            by grushka on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:44:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Desert Storm (none)
              do you give credit to FDR for the War against Japan? Becaude we were woefully unprepared for that war.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:21:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Woefully unprepared? (4.00)
                Nearly a century of western intervention in both Iraq and Kuwait led to Gulf War I.

                Most of us know the U.S. possesses satellites able to read the license plate on a Toyota pick-up.  I will never buy the line that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was a 'surprise' to anyone in D.C. I will go further.  I do not believe that the convoy of Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles that drove over the Kuwait border was not observed, and that the initial killing invasion of Kuwait was not 'allowed' to take place as an excuse to go after Iraq.  Let us not forget that sanctions after the first Gulf I slaughter led to the deaths of half a million Iraq children, leading Madeline Albright to conclude that it was all "was worth the price."  Gulf War I was indeed a down payment on $$trillions of dollars worth of energy.

                I base my conclusions on a reading of the history between Iraq, Kuwait and the Western powers.  While no text written can get to the truth on the ground, there is enough comment in front of us from both western and middle eastern thinkers to allow us to think.

                For anyone who wants to understand why the West went after its earlier 'comrade' Hussein, here's a short history with references, written prior to the current occupation of Iraq.  

                It is about oil, it has always been about oil, and it will be about oil until the last Iraqi drop is dry.

                http://www.csun.edu/...

                Further, it is about oil in Iran.

                I'm sorry Armando, but there is no glory in Gulf War I.

  •  Dean (4.00)
    It always got my goat the Dean was labeled the anti-war candidate by the media. It just goes to show either the mainstream media can't hold a thought in their pretty little heads more complex than "pizza good" or they really are all shills for the GOP.
  •  Granted... (4.00)
    ...that I was only 4 y/o when GHW Bush decided to invade Iraq, I feel that his diplomatic skills were possibly at their peak during the run-up.  After all, there is a reason so many people in the American left wing feel GW Bush should be more like his father.  How many people could have gotten the delicate situation required for conflict to work out as well as it did?  Who else could have gotten Israel to stand down and get the Saudis and the French to stand side by side?  It's very hard to do, but he did it somehow.

    This Bush doesn't seem to grasp the concept of "diplomacy", and our country has been hurt by it.

    You must understand, Preston, that...it is not the message that is important, it is our obedience to it. -- DuPont, "Equilibrium"

    by DH from MD on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:55:16 PM PST

    •  Diplomacy is a 4-letter word (none)
      He can't see any value in diplomacy because, to him, all these other countries and peoples are 'lesser.' He feels that treating with them diminishes the U.S.(him) and asking them for aid is humiliating and absolutely beneath us(him).

      Assigning them a role of influence or power would be acknowledging that we need cooperation, that we can't unilaterally dictate the course of history -- and the very idea is anaethema to him.

    •  Diplomacy is the art (none)
      Diplomacy is the art of giving someone else a little of what they want so that they give you most of what you want. (IMO)

      Bush always seem to resent that the head of the world's only superpower should have to bow, even a little, to another country's demands.  I wonder how much success Powell and Rice have had explaining to Bush the way diplomacy is supposed to work and how one gains and keeps allies.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:12:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please let's not make the Father into (none)
      more than he was. He had very little to do with the diplomacy.  James Baker did all the running around, and I mean running around all over the world to get things lined up.  But it was a tiny little war, and the world was a totally different place, then.  We were just coming off of the fall of the Berlin wall, including Reagan's part in it, which was admired through the world.  A lot will argue that the pope and some other things had a lot more to do with it than Reagan.

      There was a lot of good feeling about the direction things were going in the world, like countries toppling in the direction of democracy, that the cooperation of at least the west was an extension of that.  With places like Syria, they looked at Sadam as a major threat, and trouble maker, and so saw some advantage in helping to control him.

      It was a feat, but maybe not as much of one as it looks.

      •  Not deifying him (none)
        Just stating the facts.  Bush the Elder may have been surrounded by slimy people, but they knew how to get the job done.  The job of getting the conflict prepared correctly was very tricky, and the fact that his people could do it says a lot.  I can consider him a fool while still respecting his accomplishments.

        You must understand, Preston, that...it is not the message that is important, it is our obedience to it. -- DuPont, "Equilibrium"

        by DH from MD on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:39:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No skill set for diplomacy (none)
      The lack of skill set is shocking isn't it? I was thinking about this the other day: who would lead a high-level delegation? The regime has either dumped or given the good people the cause to move-on, that there must be very few left.

      Nevertheless, I think it goes beyond the lack of ability. The current administration has decided on a "package" that is highly dependent on the cowboy, guns blazing image. Having demonized anyone who wants to conduct dialogue, they have purposely fostered the unilateral pose. Thus, while they have been sliding through a few back-doors lately for second-party conversation, they will not, prehaps cannot, give up what they see as their trump card.

      Sadly, they have politicized foreign policy to such an extent that they willingly sacrificed the security of our nation and others. Last night, Clark appeared on CSpan interviewing an author about the end of humanitarian intervention. When the next crisis arises, real crisis, it is doubtful that our nation will have the mindset to intervene. For any Rwanda in the future, bush, by framing Iraq as a struggle to help people fight a ruthless dictator, has condemned many others to death.

      I'm rambling now...sorry. This is a very fine diary. Thx.

      The American People want their security protected, and they also want a Constitutional government with checks and balances-Wes Clark

      by Donna Z on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:21:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Diplomacy requires the ability to listen (none)
        to those who have contrary views and goals. Bush has never been willing to listen to an opinion that does not support his own. Nor has he been able to disguise his infamous sneer, so evident during the debates, when confronted with information that he does not wish to hear. Bush simply turns people off and is extremely obvious about his contempt for them. It is perhaps not so out of character for someone as immature as Bush. He is as ill-suited for this job as he is ill-tempered with dissenters. It is remarkable that his friends and family did not try to discourage him from running for President, a position which requires a great deal of tact and diplomacy. We have had boorish Presidents from time to time. However, even those administrations had at least one skilled diplomat to deal with foreign relations. The Bush White House does not even consider this a defect. Somehow, they believe that arrogance and abrasiveness are diplomatic assets.
    •  C'mon,can't you see an Oedipal conflict (none)
      when it's rubbing your nose in it.
    •  The problem with comparison to "W" (none)
      is that he makes ANYONE look like a master diplomat by comparison. I don't think his father was that great--let's not forget the clusterfuck in Somalia--but to give him his due, he recognized some limits, which he somehow neglected to teach his son to do.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:38:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not great, no (none)
        But competant.  I don't expect someone who would rival Jesus in people skills, just someone who can do their job.  GW has failed miserably.

        You must understand, Preston, that...it is not the message that is important, it is our obedience to it. -- DuPont, "Equilibrium"

        by DH from MD on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:30:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  GOP: Keep Quiet, Dems-yur interferin w/ propaganda (none)
  •  Big, Fat, thank you (4.00)
    This needs to be said again and again. Maybe some Democrats "the pros", will read it (fat chance)

    The GOP understood after Nixon and Vietnam that they needed to control the media.

    They do today.

  •  Nixon (none)
    Since Nixon?
  •  I did not support the 1st Gulf War. (4.00)
    Nor do I support the second.

    "The last thing people want is an opposition party vigorously opposing things." - jasonwhat

    by the new yorker on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:02:49 PM PST

  •  Hmmm, (none)
    "do these people think we just out of the blue got angry and strident about the Bush Administration and Republicans? Have they ever thought about what has happened to our country since November 2000?"

    They are not surprised.

    What they don't like; the internet allows the average citizen (and many of them) to write criticism directly, unlike the AM dial or Fox News.

    To the underlying question of 'being on our side', when reading some of the diaries on this site, don't you ever feel like you're standing in an echo chamber?

  •  Well (4.00)
    Watch that spittle spraying rage from the Kos path.
    Whatever the hell Althouse et al means by that.

    We go from weak on defense to rage filled maniacs without a pause in-between. These people haven't got a clue. FWIW I used to consider myself a moderate but the radical right has managed to turn me into a left of center liberal. I supported the first Gulf War and embarrassingly I even bought the lies about WMD from this administration. Dkos saved me from my own foolishness and contributed substantially to my peace of mind. I'll happily stop spraying spittle when these buffoons are out of office!

    Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought- John F. Kennedy

    by vcmvo2 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:08:50 PM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    You know, it would have been unfathomable to me ten years ago that the Media and the DC Elite would have been told that the President was deliberately violating the law IN ORDER TO SPY ON AMERICANS and the sum of their reaction would have been "how does it play politically?"

    Of course it would be unfathomable; Clinton was President then.

    Jumping on the politicalcompass.org bandwagon: (-3.63, -3.03) - Does that make me part of the right wing here?

    by someone else on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:08:52 PM PST

  •  You Read My Mind (4.00)
    I had to frame this from your post:

    You know, it would have been unfathomable to me ten years ago that the Media and the DC Elite would have been told that the President was deliberately violating the law IN ORDER TO SPY ON AMERICANS and the sum of their reaction would have been "how does it play politically?"

    Since when did clearly breaking the law become a politically debatable issue?  This has been bugging me for weeks.  Worst of all, instead of crying out in unison for the President to resign, be impeached or at least stop breaking the law now that he got caught, most Dems. appear fully willing to take the Republican bait and engage in a debate over whether the President has the power to conduct such warrantless wiretapping.

    Armando, got any thoughts about what Dems. should be doing with regard to this?  I'm sure if this were Bill Clinton, the Repubs. would be clamoring  for his impeachment and subsequent arrest and trial, don't you?

  •  Non-political Person Turned Activist (4.00)
    Personally, I really hate politics. Was completely non-political until about seven years ago.  It took Bush and his dismantling of the foundations of America for a non-believer like me to get actively involved. The run up to the war was the catalyst that began my involvement. It was so apparent that nothing was going to stop him from his unwarranted, pre-emptive strike on Iraq. It was so transparent that this administration was lying about Iraq's connection to 9ll or we were in any danger from that country.  It boggled my mind that any one was buying into this fakery. And this was only the tip of the iceberg. The complete incompetence of the war effort just blew me away. Though completely against this war from the beginning it infuriated me that we would send our troops into harms way without any planning or without proper troop strength or equipment to complete their mission. As I listen to reports on the ground in Iraq, it seemed almost inconceivable that the architects of this fiasco knew so little about the area and the people they had invaded.

    Well I worked in the Kerry campaign and will contribute to numerous campaigns and will work for Democratic candidates in my state this year. It seems I'm now a reluctant activist.

    My anger probably stems from the fact that so many people are such willing accomplices to this obvious distortion of the facts and the manipulation of the American people.  I don't understand why the media game is more important than the welfare of our nation or why so many people are so blind to what is going on.

  •  Well... (4.00)
    I'm not pleased with the current administrations' constant lying, smearing, torturing, treason, extra-legal domestic spying, destruction of our fiscal position, ruination of our image abroad and the fact that we're in a never-ending war in Iraq that is being handled incompetently.

    But I'm angry about Brady's use of the term "directed" as applied to Democrats because it is blatantly inaccurate and he should know better.

    Let justice reign though the heavens tremble

    by Viceroy on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:12:40 PM PST

  •  correction: (4.00)
    But if a blowjob were involved, Sally Quinn would not rest until the President a democrat were held to account.
  •  What was evil about Gorbachev? (none)

    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

    by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:15:11 PM PST

    •  What was NOT evil about (none)
      the SovietUnion's totalitarian regime.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:28:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (none)
        Gorbachev's program of multi-party socialist democracy for one.

        One might also suggest:
        Free health care.
        Free education.
        Upward mobility.

        oh, and there was that DEFEATING THE NAZIS thingy too.

        and know scholars really believe in the totalitarian thesis anymore.

        Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

        by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:51:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose if you call (none)
          standing in line all day for a roll of toilet paper  upward mobility.

          If you really want to know what was wrong with the soviet system just ask anyone who escaped from it.

        •  Gorbachev's program? (none)
          Hmm, I remember it differently.

          Glasnost and perestroika did not speak to POLITICAL reform.

          Sorry, Gorbachev had feet of clay.

          The driver of political liberalization in Russia was the much maligned Yeltsin.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:03:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you can't remember it right (none)
            I'd suggest you read:

            Breslauer. Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders.
            McDaniel.  Agony of the Russian Idea.

            Daniels, ed. A Documentary History of Communism in Russia.  There you'll see the various Party programs under Gorbachev.

            Yeltsin was a disaster who brought us back to state-run media, corrupt capitalism, destroying a democratically-elected parliament, and Putin.

            Sorry, you've got feet of clay.

            Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

            by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:08:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We're discussing (none)
              political liberalization, not the governing under that liberalization.

              I suggest you read an archive and find out where it was that Gorbachev liberalized politics in the Soviet Union and whether he had any say in it at all.

              I suggest you get off your high horse and relieve yourself of the notion that you are the only person who has read a book.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:19:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Gorbachev (none)
                at the June 1988 19th Party Conference and the December 1988 meetings of the Supreme Soviet pushed through the creation of a Congress of People's Deputies that was elected in March 1989.  While 1/3 of seats were chosen by institutions of civil society (including the CPSU), 2/3 were elected in full, open, secret, universal suffrage.

                I suggest you get a clue about what you're talking about.

                Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

                by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:36:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I thought you refused to read books (none)
                that don't agree with your views?

                Now, which is it?

                Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

                by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:38:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'll help you out (none)
              This from a review of a book by Steven Kotkin:

              He opened the party up to democratic elections to attack recalcitrance within the party. In the guise of rejuvenating the old "soviets," a series of elections were held resulting in the formation of a new parliament - a Congress of People's Deputies. Similar elections occurred in the republics.

              Unused to seeking public approval, Communist party members failed miserably in the elections. Even those that supported perestroika found little support among a public suffering from rapid economic decline. Only the top leadership had been exempted from the elections.

              The Secretariat - the instrument of power that had brought down Khrushchev - was reorganized to disperse its power. Accustomed to powerful central control, Gorbachev apparently knew not that he had thereby dismantled the only source of that control.

              These efforts were accompanied by party reorganization to disperse the power of the Communist Party Secretariat. Thus, Gorbachev protected himself from the only political body that could threaten his position. The Secretariat had been the instrument of power that had brought down Khrushchev.

              However, by thus weakening the party apparatus, Gorbachev also weakened central control of the vast Soviet Union itself. Without realizing it, he was turning the centralized Soviet Union into a federal system - but unlike the U.S., this was one that included 15 republics based on ethnic lines. Only the pervasive organization of the Communist Party had held it all together.

              Kotkin notes that, after Stalin's death, Lavrenti Beria - the brilliant, murderous KGB leader and leader of the military-industrial complex that had won WW-II - also tried to free the state administrative apparatuses from their parallel Communist Party shackles. But Khrushchev and the other party leaders reacted effectively to this attack on their power base in the party. As a result, the party's role was further enhanced (and Beria was executed for treason).

              Gorbachev succeeded where Beria had failed - but accustomed to powerful central control, he apparently knew not that he had thereby dismantled the only source of that control. There was nothing left to take its place, and Gorbachev made no move to replace it.

              "Now, with the party's central control mechanism shattered and its ideology discredited, and the tentacles of the planned economy disrupted, Gorbachev discovered that the Supreme Soviets of the republics began to act in accordance with what he had unintentionally made them: namely, parliaments of de facto independent states. In March 1990 -- the fifth anniversary of his ascension to power -- he maneuvered the politburo into authorizing, and the USSR Supreme Soviet into voting, an executive presidency for him. But central power had been dispersed, and the survival of the Union was in doubt."

              Gorbachev couldn't understand that his real problem was the impossibility of achieving the productivity of capitalism without the instruments - the maligned "exploitative" instruments - of capitalism.

              The plot that brought down Khrushchev had been orchestrated by Mikhail Suslov - the party's influential ideologue. His position was now filled by Yegor Ligachev - who had serious doubts about Gorbachev's maneuvers. But Ligachev, as Kotkin points out, was no Suslov. He confined his actions to a series of letters to Gorbachev -- who filed them in the archives without response.

              There remained the army, the interior ministry ("MVD"), and the KGB. But these were blunt instruments - no adequate substitute for the pervasive party structure. There were a couple of military actions against secessionist republics, but these just caused bloodshed and increased opposition - and the reforms had undermined the KGB's ability to intimidate.

              "Their use, moreover, was now subject to debate in the revamped Soviet parliament as well as in the republic legislatures."

              As late as 1990 - even after the fall of the Berlin Wall - Gorbachev was still fixated on his struggle with the conservatives. He couldn't understand that his real problem was the impossibility of achieving the productivity of capitalism without the instruments - the maligned "exploitative" instruments - of capitalism.

              "The conservative 'resistance' during perestroika - - - was inept, while Gorbachev's 'sabotage' of the system, though largely inadvertent, was masterly. Thus, the 'real drama of reform,' obscured by fixation on the conservatives, featured a virtuoso tactician's unwitting, yet extraordinarily deft, dismantling of the Soviet system -- from the planned economy, to the ideological legitimacy of socialism, to the Union."

              . . . But the rot didn't stop there. In 1990, the Russian Republic, under Boris Yeltsin, declared its "sovereignty" vis-à-vis Moscow. The Soviet Union, itself, was becoming unhinged.

              Gorbachev frantically tacked between conciliation, confederation, and market mechanisms on one side, and the mechanisms of central control and order on the other. Like the Sorcerer's apprentice, he could no longer control what he had loosed upon the scene. Only a massive resort to force - in a region awash in nuclear, biological and chemical weaponry - could now have restored central control. Stalin would have had no trouble with this. But Gorbachev was no Stalin.

              Boris Yeltsin was a natural populist who - unlike almost all of the other party apparatchiks - loved mixing with and playing up to the crowds. As a provincial first Secretary, he achieved notable results and was duly brought into the Moscow government where he quickly rose to boss of the Moscow party committee.

              Yeltsin quickly made enemies within the Moscow and Soviet party machines, and soon was reduced to a secondary post. But his baiting of prominent apparatchiks made him widely popular with the public, and he was elected to the Congress of People's Deputies with a landslide 90% vote. He quickly became the unofficial leader of the "democrats." The televised proceeding of the Congress made him a national figure.

              By May, 1990, Yeltsin had also been elected to the Russian Congress, and was then elected chairman of its Supreme Soviet. Gorbachev ruled the Soviet Union - but Yeltsin ruled Russia.

              To gain a public mandate for the Soviet Union, Gorbachev tried a referendum. Yeltsin appended a second question to the referendum - approval of a Russian presidency. Both won, and Yeltsin won the Russian presidency in 1991.

              Now, with a weakened hand, Gorbachev entered into negotiations with the various republics over the shape of things to come. The resulting secret Union Treaty "dropped the word 'socialist,' devolved most ministerial functions to the republics, upheld the supremacy of republic laws, called for the dissolution of the USSR Supreme Soviet, and made clear that Union membership was voluntary." The negotiations also called for the removal of every top Soviet Union official.

              . . . [THE COUP]

              The KGB - ever efficient - knew all, and chose to leak all. Their own positions now at risk, the top party apparatchiks finally decided to act.

              However, these were not Bolsheviks. They were not a resolute and ruthless Leninist revolutionary party. They were just a bunch of party hacks. Several of the coup leaders went home and got drunk. Troop deployments were timid and uncoordinated. The coup leaders timidly attempted to stay within the confines of the Soviet constitution.

              Yeltsin was able to return to the White House - the center of Russian government - and energetically rally support. The troops that had surrounded the White House received no further orders from the coup leaders, and their officers were soon in talks with Yeltsin. Media coverage soon revealed the ineptness of the coup leaders, and showed the rising opposition in Moscow and Leningrad. No attempts were made to control telephone and other communications.

              Yeltsin officials were quickly in contact with military and KGB officials, urging them not to get involved. Most took that advice. At a televised press conference, the irresolute and shaken coup leaders succeeded only in convincing most people that they couldn't succeed. On 21 August, 1991, the military leaders ordered the troops back to barracks, and the coup collapsed.

              Yeltsin publicized the involvement of the Communist party in the putsch - decreed an end to its existence - and left Gorbachev as the head of --- nothing. Gorbachev acceded to Yeltsin prodding to disband the Soviet parliament and to grant independence to the Baltic states.

              This was no victory for the forces of democracy. It was the victory of Yeltsin and similar politicians who had the courage, energy and political savvy to make the right moves at the right time.

              Republic leaders like Yeltsin in Russia and Kravchik in Ukraine had been energetically gaining widespread support, while Gorbachev's world kept disintegrating. Even Soviet Communist party officials joined the Russian republic Communist party and supported Yeltsin in the hope of unseating Gorbachev and maintaining their influence.

              Ultimately, party apparatchiks just wanted to keep their jobs and perks. They reacted like ordinary politicians threatened with loss of incumbency - or like a professorate threatened with loss of tenure.

              "[As] Yeltsin's success in fortifying alternative Russian republic institutions became manifest, his constituency at the top expanded beyond a small group of naïve, inexperienced 'democrats' to officials of the USSR state, who saw a chance either to preserve or to increase their power."

              "Thus, the larger truth about 1991 was that the triumph of 'democracy' involved a bid for power by Russian republic officials, joined at various points by patriots and opportunists from the all-Union elite -- a process paralleled in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other national components of the Union."

              The Soviet Union's demise was "national in form, opportunistic in content." Separatist movements quickly swept the Central Asian republics.

              Kotkin convincingly contrasts the actions of India - which had used force ruthlessly and decisively - killing thousands of separatists in the 1980s - without tarnishing its democratic credentials. Gorbachev's irresolute use of force in Georgia and Lithuania was worse than doing nothing. It fed the opposition and demoralized the military and KGB. Even right up until the end, many of the republics were more intent on autonomy than on sovereignty.

              It is possible that, by this time, the Soviet economy was incapable of supporting widespread military actions and occupations. Even now - with coffers once again filled with oil revenues - Russia has its hands full just in little Chechnya, where ruthlessness - albeit not on a scale that Stalin would have employed - has clearly not been enough. However, fortunately, few leaders have the stomach for the Stalin level of ruthlessness.

              After the coup failed, the rats left the sinking Soviet Union ship in droves. Hundreds of thousands joined Yeltsin's Russian Federation government - many others joined governments in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other republics.

              "Thus, the larger truth about 1991 was that the triumph of 'democracy' involved a bid for power by Russian republic officials, joined at various points by patriots and opportunists from the all-Union elite -- a process paralleled in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other national components of the Union."

              After the coup failed, those republics that had not yet declared independence did so. Yeltsin and Kravchik led the way in taking charge of those Soviet institutions and facilities on their soil. The military was informed that there would be drastic cuts in their budget.

              Gorbachev unwittingly created the conditions for Yeltsin's sudden, spectacular success in peacefully bringing down the Soviet Union.

              . . .  Kotkin concludes that Gorbachev unwittingly created the conditions for Yeltsin's sudden, spectacular success in peacefully bringing down the Soviet Union. Gorbachev - fixated on the threat from party conservatives - brilliantly defanged the party and then refrained from instituting martial law. The party apparatchiks - (bureaucratic placemen now, rather than Bolshevik revolutionaries or Stalinist toughs) - hated Gorbachev for what he was doing, but "were petrified of being left without him."

              "Flabbergasted by the fact that his socialist renewal was leading to the system's liquidation, Gorbachev more or less went along. In sanctimonious, selective, and occasionally distorted reminiscences, he presents this acquiescence as an activist strategy -- a disingenuous and, ultimately, superfluous exercise. Yugoslavia's bloody break-up, as well as the careers of Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman, and their tinpot henchmen, will forever provoke additional shudders over how events might have turned out across northern Eurasia and the satellites of Eastern Europe."

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:44:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  and how (none)
                doesn't this support my position?

                "He opened the party up to democratic elections...."

                Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

                by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:59:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Except (none)
                  the top levels.

                  In order to ram his view through the PArty and to protect his power.

                  Gorbachev was rather stupid of course, as Kotkin points out.

                  YELTSIN insisted on democracy - not appointed Presidency for Gorbachev.

                  It's right there if you can understand it.

                  Maybe you are unfamiliar with the issue.

                  The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:16:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're kidding (none)
                    Gorbachev had all the power he needed, why would he ditch the Party and place all his power in a democratically-elected Congress?  Do you even understand the basics?

                    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

                    by philgoblue on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:28:24 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  As for NO scholars (none)
          I believe what I know. I don't need any scholar to tell me about Communism thank you very much.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:05:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Reading about (none)
          a plan for the Soviet Union, is not the same as it's reality.  If you think that their system of Free health care is attrative, you should do some research about what that means.  I'll help you with this website so that you can see the mortality rates in Russia.  At the end of the cold war, the mortality rate for men, which is lower than for women, was in the low 60s.  It fluctated, but to continue with that, following the end of the cold war it did not improve, it fell another 5 years.  If you would prefer to live in a system like that, then that is your choice for a fantastic system.  Not mine. http://www.rand.org/...

          Are you actually doing any real research on condiditons in communist countries or just reading theory?  

  •  You don't rant hard enough (4.00)
    It's absolutely amazing to me as well just how corporate the major media has become. I see puppets on strings when I see Brian Williams, et al.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:16:44 PM PST

  •  Well... (4.00)
    Ok.

    We are, as usual, going to have to agree to disagree on a lot, and agree to wholeheartedly agree on a lot.

    It's about 50/50, maybe 60/40 agree/disagree...

    I am of the opinion that the first Iraq war was eminently avoidable, unnecessary, and ginned up/manufactured.

    I see your point about Castro, Chavez, and will probably agree with some of your angst about Morales, when that angst makes itself known (which it will)...but I think that you should take a minute and see where those of us who are less critical of those leaders are coming from - NOT from the point of unqualified support, but rather from the point of looking at things over the historical time-frame, see why those leaders arose, why they retain power and popularity despite their obvious (and, to be frank, seriously overhyped in the US, via that same media that you so eloquently denounce) flaws, failures, and egregious abuses.

    There is a lot of room to work together despite these disagreements.

    I think the same can be said for the often-strident disagreements over Israel/Palestine.

    Clearly the Israeli Right and a large component of the Israeli Center-Left have done and continue to do terrible, anti-democratic, inhuman, and inhumane things that perpetuate the nihilistic conflict...

    Just as clearly, condemnation of Israeli brutality/excesses/stupidity without equal condemnation of Palestinian brutality/excesses/stupidity is foolish and shortsighted.

    Anyway, cheers.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:20:47 PM PST

    •  Ginned up? (none)
      By Hussein you mean?

      Did I miss the part where the Us invaded Kuwait first?

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:29:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More like we saved one dictatorship from another (none)
        It's not like Kuwait is a democracy. But we must also admit that Bush 41's skill in building that large of coalition made the job go very fast. And the Highway of Death put most of Saddam's remaining troops permanently out of commission, even though some may have a problem with wiping out retreating armies.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

        by bewert on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:48:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ginned up: (none)
        April Glaspie

        Incubators

        And more.

        That's what I mean by ginned up.

        As for your "I have no illusions" comment - I think that you do not have any illusions regarding the Blood/Oil equation.

        Question: Have you read "Blood and Oil" by Michael Klare?

        You should read it.

        The main point is that that kind of entanglement - based on the explicit treatment of oil as a national security issue, and all of the ramifications and consequences of that kind of policy...will essentially guarantee incessant and repeated conflicts and series of conflicts similar to the one we are in now.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:24:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry (none)
          Selling the war is not the causus belli.

          To equate or even argue in the same sentence the two Iraq wars is ridiculous to me.

          You can argue the merits of fighting the war - Sam Nunn said we should not, Howard Dean said we should - but they are not worht discussing in the same conversation as to whether they were "ginned up."

          One was. One was not.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:10:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I use "ginned up" in (none)
            clear distinction from "totally fabricated"...

            You do not.

            I can deal with that.

            Let me explain: I use "ginned up" to mean that the rationale as it stood (Iraq invading Kuwait) did not appear to be compelling enough to gain popular support. The underlying, real rationale (oil security) was deemed to be too crass and possibly inflammatory ("War for Oil" has an ugly ring to it)... so (in my parlance) additional rationales were "ginned up"...

            Whereas, in contrast, the rationale for invading Iraq in 2002 was completely fabricated from whole cloth.

            It's a minor quibble about semantics, but does that help explain where I am coming from on this particular topic?

            The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

            by RedDan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:18:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My belief (none)
              did not require ginning up.

              I expressed MY view, not the view of the country.

              Your point is not relevant to mine.

              see, the vice President did not make up a reason to go to war in 1991. Hussein made the reason - he invaded Kuwait and he threatened Saudi Arabia.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:54:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  He did invade Kuwait... (none)
                he may have been thinking that the US still viewed him as an asset in the region (given our unstinting support for him during the Iraq/Iraq war, and the nebulous language used by our diplomatic corps, e.g. Glaspie)...but that is irrelevant. He DID invade Kuwait, as you say.

                however, the claim that he threatened Saudi Arabia is another one of those "ginned up" thingies..

                as reported in the St. Petersburg Times there was no evidence for any buildup of troops or armor along the Saudi Border. None.

                Here is another recap of the same story from the Christian Science Monitor.

                Again, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Full stop.

                But don't start bringing up the ancillary justifications used at the time by the US government - most of them are weak, at best, and some are outright falsehoods.

                Apparently the fruit (bush) does not fall far from the tree (Bush sr.)

                The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

                by RedDan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:19:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  nonsense (none)
                  of course his invasion of kuwait was a threat to saudi arabia.

                  puhleeeaze.

                  The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:31:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ummm... (none)
                    except that it wasn't.

                    Because there was, and remains no evidence that he ever threatened Saudi Arabia. There is no evidence that he ever massed troops or armor on the border, and there is no evidence that he threatened Saudi Arabia.

                    Period.

                    Is that so hard to accept?

                    read the links - the info is there.

                    This is the point I am trying to make, Armando - you spend a lot of time castigating Bush and his cult about the illegal, stupid, damaging invasion of Iraq, and you conversely praise Bush the Elder for his excellent adventure...the problem is that there are many, many problems with the original justifications for that invasion.

                    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

                    by RedDan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:40:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Doctors, Attorneys, Accountants... (none)

    ...Dentists, Engineers, and other "professionals" are -- jokes and Alberto Gonzales notwithstanding -- expected to comport themselves with some degree of, yes, professionalism and integrity.

    Journalists, especially overpaid, Media Heather, bobbleheads and prima donna WaPo and NYT drama queens (you know, like Brady) fancy themselves "professionals" but, especially of late, are more amateurish than we, the "amateurs"!

     Go figure!

    BenGoshi
    __________________

     

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:22:37 PM PST

  •  It's good to let off steam (none)
    every now and then and scream into the void. One thing that has been percolating through my brain recently is exactly how it is that supposedly reasonable people spout Republican talking point nonsense with a straight face just as if they were making sense.  Some of the idiots no doubt believe what they say.  But at least some of these otherwise intelligent people must have some incentive for all the lying, no?  What is their incentive?  Does it come from their bosses (who are trying to curry favor with the powers that be), directly from the White House and its minions, or some of each?  My vote is on the latter.  

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:27:32 PM PST

  •  What's different (none)
    is totally the media. LBJ said "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." And he lost Middle America and more.

    WeThe country have no Walter Cronkites to hold the government accountatble. It's now up to people like you to set the record straight.

    Thank you for all that you do.

  •  Today's media are not (none)
    incompetent jounalists - they are soldiers in the war on America planned 25 years ago. They have been planted throughout the years only to emerge in full-uniform after Nov 2000.

    With Clinton they were still acting covertly; when Bush was elected they walk in full view for all the world to see.

    It reminds me of what happened at the plants that housed the Manhatten Project to build the bomb for WWII. After the war guys that everyone knew as just fellow co-workers walked into work in the military uniforms no longer having the need for secrecy.

    The difference this time is that the soldiers coming out didn't perform a service for the country they've been in hiding to complete the coup.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:30:53 PM PST

  •  The Echo and the Herd (4.00)
    The behavior of the media has been a pet-peeve of mine for years.

    In less than three months, Oliver North went from a caught dead-to-rights criminal to becoming the closest thing the conservatives have ever had to 'Billy Jack'... and Iran-Contra went from being a clear case of criminal wrongdoing to a muddied pond where nobody could nail anything down, and the traditional media didn't see it coming.

    They still don't. We are facing legions of reporters and news editors who refuse to aknowlege that the echochamber exists, let alone admit that they are influenced by what was born out of Iran Contra and is now personified in Fox News. It is easier to believe that progressives are 'angry' than it is to believe that Conventional Wisdom is now generated via an echo. The traditional media is like the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover's era claiming that the mafia isn't real long after the mafia was known by the planet to be very real.

    They are slaves to the conventional wisdom, as they were looong before Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and Fox News, and they don't see how conventional wisdom has been hijacked by people who have an agenda to make opinions facts and facts opinions... so they get angry when what is obvious to everyone else (on the minority side without the echochamber) is pointed out to them, no matter if it is rudely or politely pointed out. If your choice is to believe that you are wrong and that you are ignorantly helping to snow people, or the whistleblower is a fucking loon, 'those people are fucking loons' is the easy out.

    It is a sign of how well the right has snowed so many in the media that they don't get it and they don't want to get it. And that the Washington Post, the New York Times, and so many others will not investigate what happened to the media like 60 minutes investigated how the tobacco industry screwed America for years.

    Why is that?

    Baaaaa-baaaaaa.

    It's just easier.

    The Washington Post takes the gold for most dishonorable partisan hack as an ombusperson

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:33:08 PM PST

  •  I didn't support the Bush I mistakes (none)
    which helped contribute to Desert Storm, but his response - militarily - was very good.  The PR and self-protective politics were obvious to me, and I was simple disgusted to see them resurrected by GWB.

    I only saw the Communists as evil, devils, etc. when still in the hold of my far-right cultural upbringing, but realized that corrupted governments are simply corrupted governments, everywhere.  And, that we are just as militant and provocative with nuclear and other imperialistic notions.  After losing my far-right programming, Reagan scared me more than Gorbachev.

    What's different?  I said before GWB took office that this would be the last-gasp, major grab by white corporatists for everything.  Bush Sr. was a stealth asshole in this regard, but this Administration would barely attempt to hide their actions beyond simple quotes to the electorate, because their sheer brazenness would never be accepted by the mainstream as being extreme - it would be unthinkable for a militant government overthrow by elite corporatists to happen here.  And, frankly, they'd be too busy sinking in their hooks, corrupting and owning key parts of most critical systems before anyone could effectively organize a counterforce.  I warned many people in online political fora of the neocon example as a place to see this already in the open.  I was ridiculed as an extremist, naturally.

    I was right, though.

    Any place is capable of extremes, and now BushCo is the new Red Menace.  For some of us who have followed the far-right and extreme capitalist movements for a few decades, our own US leadership has always been this menace - it's only hit the natural, Final Days level of concentration just now :) .

    I have little respect for the left-leaning analysts who could learn more objectively from even recent history.  Far too many people go with party lines, IMHO.

    Oh, and the cure is to accept these slow minds as realization dawns on them, and take the next step: ask them when things were not moving towards the inevitability of a BushCo Administration.  Then, let's move together with an activist revolution, which is right now the only solution: our entire system needs bolstering from both the outside and inside.  Which I think that Kos has been expressing pretty well at this site and in his book, actually.

  •  That Leftist Krugman (none)
    The one who served as an economic advisor to Reagan?  Heh.

    "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

    by bink on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:48:35 PM PST

  •  The things that Daddy Bush did on (4.00)
    a technical level were admirable, for example building the coalition, and indeed stopping at Bagdad was, too.  

    But the same old things stand out in my mind.  The babies dying in incubators turned out to be a lie.  They were made up by a PR group to get us all whipped up for a war.  So very typical of a Bush administration.

    We started a rebellion in Iraq and egged on the people to overthrow Sadam, and then did absolutely nothing to help them.  That formed the backdrop for the hard time, the bad feelings, and distrust that we now have in Iraq.

    I also remember that in order to get the win that we got, we buried alive hundreds if not thousands of Iraqis in the dessert, some of whom were children pulled from their homes to fight for Sadam,with backhoes and with sand.  That was called softening up the Republican Guard.

    Funny, I remember a back page commentary in Time magazine.  One of the few places that they even mentioned the burying alive aspect.  There was a sentance in the comments contemplating that there must have been a loud woosh of souls going up to heaven with the number of people lost in such a short time.  Kindof like 911.

    And then, my last memory is of the Kurds walking barefoot through the mountains, with old people dying from the cold, and starving.  Daddy didn't do anything about that either, until forced to do something by public outcry at his lack of compassion.  The switchboards at the whitehouse were blocked with callers the entire day, until he gave in and started air dropping supplies.

    Yeah, all of this info came through the press, but not without a huge amount of arm twisting.  If you dug in back pages of papers and listened into the middle of the night on the news, the information came, but not easily.

    The presses cooperation with the govt. was even worse in that war.  It just wasn't noticed because it was so short.  It was disgusting to listen to the news in the morning and hear the tone of the reporters practically bragging that we had toppled some little village in a tiny country that we were at "war" with.  

    Come on Armando.  That was a miniscule battle.  Of course it looked like an amazing success.  It was so blatently unbalanced it was embarrassing.
    The press has been bankrupt for a lot longer than we think.

    •  On one point (none)
      I am sure you'll probably disagree with me.

      For the President of the United States, it is his job to save American lives. It is true that tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed in Desert Storm in order that many less Coalition soldiers be killed.

      To me, Bush was doing his job.

      So was Truman when he used the Bomb on Japan. Truman saved thousands of American lives by avoiding the need to invade Japan.

      Truman was doing his job too.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:20:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know what you are saying, that (none)
        there is a responsibility to protect people who are putting their lives on the line to protect the country.  But things are so convoluted in the types of wars that we are involved in.  That would be the right approach, in my opinion, if we were truly threatened, in our own country.  

        How can we justify imposing ourselves on other countries and then killing thousands of them, to make sure we are safe.  We are so morally wrong in our attitudes about war and our rights in this country.  We should not be able to justify only 20 deaths or whatever it was, with thousands of deaths of others.  It is just not right, and we distort our values or morals to justify our killing.  That is partly to do with our policeman role that we should not have.  The Kuwaitt(I know that is not spelled right)people of soldier age were in other countries like Egypt partying in clubs if I remember it right, while we were doing there work for them.  Do they still not have a big enough army to protect themselves?

        World War II was on a different level, no one knows for sure what would have happened without the bomb, nor is there much question about our reasons to get involved.  In fact we were threatened on our own homeland in that war.

      •  On the Highway of Death (none)
        retreating Iraqis and their families were shot down. Was this brilliant strategy.

        I have yet to figure out how Saddam's attack on Kuwait endangered American lives.

        This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

        by Agathena on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:14:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  History (4.00)
    When the area of Iraq was carved out and named by the British empire,Kuwait was carved away also and was created as an independent state,separate from the new Iraq. Before this they were together along with the Kurds who remained part of Iraq. It was not out of the blue that Saddam wanted to take back what had always been a part of the area before it had been carved up and labeled by westerners.

    And when April what's her name was asked at a social function what would be the US position if Iraq were to invade Kuwait she responded with the party line that it would not be the business of the US to interfere. Now that's a green light if ever there was one,so Saddam went in and was suckered. No wonder he hated the Bushes. From his point of view he was just taking back what belonged to Iraq.

    But yes,I agree the senior Bush did bahave exceedingly well and intelligently. I remember reading about it in Singapore and they were furious at the war there. But I thought that as long as we were there we should finish it. I don't think the problems would have been the same then as today. Sanctions against a county affect the weak the most,create a society of lawlessness and black market expertise.  Iraq had ten years or so for this anarchy to develop and become institutionalized. And Saddam certainly knew how to divide and conquer which was how he controlled this vicious factionalism we see today in Iraq. Not much different than the Soviet Union which kept it all under control with an iron boot. And we are finding to our dismay that that is the only way you can control primitive tribal societies.

    Democracy depends on an educated enlightened citizenry. We no longer have it and the results are catastrophic. Iraq does not have it. Japan got a superb constitution from MacArthur,but a military occupation was there to enforce it until it became socially accepted. The Japanese were also willing to surrender to power and authority as their emperor ordered.

    Our present media has been poorly educated from elementary school on. To expect them to write with integrity is foolish of us. They were not educated that way and it was not demanded of them,so where were they to learn it? The boomer generation is simply doing what they have always done,but the media have never been really accountable in past history.

    I am going to stop and leave you with a quote from Solzhenitsyn when he was first interviewed by the American media,whom,he thought,would really want to hear the truth from his lips.

    Hedrick Smith and Robert Kaiser arrived with a microhone and a list of prepared quesstions (of surpassing triviality). But I,too,had already prepared the whole substance of the interview (if I could not get this across,the entire interview would be quite pointless) and I had it all written down. Ignorant as I was about Western journalists and their newspapers,I imagined that they would be content to accept it in this form_after all it was sensational material,wasn't it? Not a bit of it;they found such a proposal offensive and humiliating.

    And so they took the bulk of the great man's wordss and hashed them up meanwhile asking their trivial questions about Yevtushenko and the like.

    So that was how it was done. Two major American newspapers made mincemeat of the underlying design of my piece and garnished everything of importance with their own fatuous observations and arguments.

    From:Invisible Allies pp 251-55

    This was in 1972 when Solzhenitsyn had been awarded the Nobel and couldn't leave the Soviet Union to accept it as he would not be allowed back in and his family would not be allowed out.

    So this media crap we are going through is not new at all. And they must come down along with theis administration. And the instrument of their downfall will be us,the people.  
             

    •  It wasn't a social function, btw... (none)
      And when April what's her name was asked at a social function what would be the US position if Iraq were to invade Kuwait she responded with the party line that it would not be the business of the US to interfere. Now that's a green light if ever there was one,so Saddam went in and was suckered. No wonder he hated the Bushes. From his point of view he was just taking back what belonged to Iraq.

      It was April Glaspie. And it wasn't a social function. It was a deliberate state visit to discuss the US response should Saddam send tanks across the border into Kuwait.

      There is a reason the Bush 41 white house plopped a bunch of fake witnesses before Congress to discuss the barbary of Saddam. Reference: that Kuwait royal who is the tearful face to America about the barbary of Saddam.

      What's interesting is that Kuwait is today jonesing for some disputed port land that Iran has been controlling.

      LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

      by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:17:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  we're poles apart on several issues (4.00)
    you mentioned, but I think you're spot on about the woodenheadedness of today's media.  Another remark that pisses me off no end is how the media puts everything down to "partisanship."  As if having a ringside seat to torture, domestic warrantless spying, blatant corruption and ojecting means you're partisan.  
  •  Thank you! (4.00)
    I was once a Republican. Voted for Bush 41. Reason? I felt that I wanted continuity in our government during the heady days of the fall of the iron curtain. I, too, believed then (and still do) that the USSR was the evil empire. My parents have proof of the matter after having grown up in Communist Hungary. I also personally spent most summers from '72 onward visiting my relatives; I saw quite clearly that our form of government -- a free press, freedom from search and seizure, freedom to move about, etc. -- was far superior to their form.

    That's why I cannot believe what has happened here in such a short amount of time. That we're even having to waste an ounce of breath talking about blogging worries or worrying over what we write in defense of our troops, etc. etc. etc. is something I never in a million years could have guessed happening. This fear that has risen up out of the Compassionate uniter-not-divider Conservative era is stunning.

    And revolting, too.

  •  Well.... (4.00)
    I didn't support Desert Storm. I didn't think it was necessary...I actually thought that Bush I helped create the situation just so we could go to war. I was only 13.5 though...so perhaps I didn't know everything.

    I DID and still do however respect the fact that Bush I got together a coalition and got UN support, etc. etc. And at least he didn't "half-ass it".

    I also never thought of the Soviet Union as an evil empire...and I never really thought communism was a bad thing. But again, I was young, and the Berlin wall came down when I was like 12...so it didn't seem like a big deal. Looking at history though...obviously communism isn't all that great...and the Soviet Union wasn't in cahoots with our government to try to create fear and therefore boost a sort of war-time economy without exactly having a war (yes...I've been a paranoid conspiracy person my whole life...even when I was a kid:) lol...don't worry though...you won't see me touting conspiracy theories as truth here...I'm aware I have no evidence and never will...but that doesn't mean I can't be suspicious).

    I still (now that I'm 28 and quite versed in Marxism) think communism is a good idea...but I also think it's never been put into practice successfully (although neither has Democracy), and I doubt it ever will.

    I didn't know you were so centrist, Armando:)

    Funny how "to the left" you seem due to Bush Jr.....I probably look like Karl Marx himself to these folks!

    •  I tell people that I am a Radicalized (none)
      Centrist.

      Bush 43 did this to me.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:16:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you don't think the Soviet Empire was evil (none)
      then you haven't been paying attention. Solzhenitsyn single handedly pulled out the cornerstone of rightousness of that empire all by himself with his incomparable Gulag history.

      Also the American Victor Herman who went their as a boy of 16. His story will finish off your idealism. It took him 45 years to get back to the US. And he spent the last 10 years of his life trying to get The Grey People out of there,Americans who went there voluntarily to build a plant for Ford and who were never allowed to come home.

      And Ford never paid him the money he(Henry Ford) promised his father (who died there)and hired lawyers to fight his request when he returned. They delayed it so long he died before it was over and his widow never got it. She now lives in senior housing and has no money. She is his Siberian wife from his exile period after 10 years in the camps.

      Galina and I have written a screenplay on Victor's life.

      •  Oh no....I didn't say that (none)
        I don't think they were evil....I said that when I was a kid I didn't think they were evil...not because of communism anyway. Of course...now that I'm older...I'm aware of the history (while before I wasn't)...so I'm aware of the murder, etc. etc.
  •  Armando (none)
    I post online in a mixed forum and  conservatives tell me I'm bashing Bush when I simply state facts.  

    They think I'm like THEY were during the Clinton years, when they had urinals with Mrs. Clinton's picture in them for sale and felt no shame about it.  
    Unreasoning hatred? No, that's not me. That's them. That's projection.  

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:23:41 PM PST

    •  It is projection (none)
      and when I read Well's History of the World it became apparent that every time a tribe or nation wanted war with another it accused them of aggression against them and so they invaded it. Over and over and over. I don't think it is conscious,which means that governments throughout history have been unconscious. And that is scary.

      No idea they are projecting,which is the definition of projection:it is a defense mechanism,which means it is unconscious.

      •  I didn't know that. (none)
        This is something I'm going to have to read.  So these neocons actually feel threatened by my flood of articles taking Dear Leader to task?  

        War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

        by Margot on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:26:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The government and corporations (none)
    have spent literally tens, if not hundreds, of billions since 1950 for the express purpose of learning how to use media to manipulate public attitudes, one for the rulerships interests, the other for financial interests. Now they've completely merged.

    Why don't we have mandatory broadcasts, even commercial-length spots, along the lines of "Debating Tricks, No. 17" or "How Marketing Works on You" or "Don't Be Fooled By Words"? Some basic counter to the vast resources and skills--hell! the forefront of science--being used against the individual.

    But that would need a free press, and no one has any ideas on how to get that.

    Duping and spreading DVDs, like casettes were used in the old days...?

  •  I fully agree with Armando on Desert Storm (none)
    Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was illegal invasion of a foreign country. So is American invasion of Iraq 2003. If you condemn one, you must condemn the other.  
  •  Re: Desert Storm (none)
    You see, I wholeheartedly supported Desert Storm. I thought it was an absolutely essential action, necessary for the well being and national security of the United States.

    Yeah, what made you draw that conclusion--was it the phony satellite photos from Cheney that did it for you? Apparently that's what convinced Saudi Arabia. Now I agree that that war was an incredible success, especially when compared to the current Iraq war, but that still isn't justification enough for war.

  •  Thanks Armando! (none)
    What are your objections to Chavez?

    It's time to be a Democrat!

    by annefrank on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:41:29 PM PST

  •  What's different this time (none)
    is the death of the press and the death of the American conscience. From these deaths, the death of the Constitution is sure to follow. But maybe they're not dead. Maybe the press and Jimminy Cricket, toe-tagged down in the morgue, will suddenly sit up, projectile vomit Bush 2 across the room and say 'what the fuck happened?! I was was mugged in the Everglades back in 2000 by Barbara Bush and a bunch of fat crewcut Rovians and after that it's all a blank.' When told they've missed the Iraq Invasion, the Patriot Act, Katrina and the bankrupting of a nation, maybe the cricket will go locust and the fourth estate will publish all the stories they missed, recycling all the ink they wasted on Cinton's dick. Then again, maybe we'll all get invited to go quail hunting with Dick.

    What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:43:07 PM PST

  •  You're so rude... (none)
    "...After watching its performance during the Clinton Administration and now watching it during the worst, most mendacious Administration since Nixon?"

    That is such an insult to Nixon.  ;)

    "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy

    by zknower on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:46:57 PM PST

  •  the end result (none)
    What really gets me, in the end, is that the whole mess we are in, the inevitable result of choices made by the powers that be fifty years ago and hence, all of it is really, banally, just small-minded Babbits lining their pockets.  Post WW2 history is a constant stream of decisions, policies that benefitted certain economic interests over others.  

    The War Industry, armaments, so hugely profitable, was not dismantled after WW2. The swords were not beaten into plowshares, as Ike so eloquently pleaded for. Instead a never ending stream of threats was manufactured, starting with the Communist Menace (TM), to justify squandering the nation's treasure on the Arms Race.

    Oil, auto manufacturers and Big Construction teamed up, concurrently with the rise of the Military/Industrial complex, to reshape American life around the automobile and subsidised cheap energy: the Freeways and the Suburbs, creating vast wealth by constructing an, ultimately, unsustainable infrastructure while destroying elements of older and human-scaled communities that we now wish we still had, like railroads and lightrail public transit (remember trolley cars?) and the neighborhoods that sustained community.

    Decades upon decades of bad decisions, the consequences of which we are all stuck with, and all those decisions, one by one, were based on crude economic self interest, short-sighted pursuit of profit.  Grubby little men and their sleazy little schemes and the politicians who paved their ways. The America we have is the product of Capitalism, the celebration of greed, the triumph of Self over Society.  This is what you get.

    The only shreds of simple human decency we have left, the legacy of the New Deal, FDR's compromise with socialism that, as it turned out, briefly leveled the playing field and gave the working classes a chance to rise up into the middle class, the astounding prosperity of the American Dream, the envy of the world, all that is now under full assault, the Wealthy driven to slaughter the Golden Goose of the middle class consumer economy for yet more instant profit.

    And, even here at dKos, some still dance and prance on the grave of CommuSocialism, having forgotten in the mad rush towards freedom and wealth that, no, all this didn't come  about solely because you are meritorious. This came because, for a brief and shining moment, a working compromise, a socialism-lite, in this country, gave ordinary people the chance they needed, and they prospered. Sure, they worked hard and played by the rules, but the rules had been made by and for people like them, not by the Wealthy for their own benefit.  Your parents and grandparents, but not you.  Now the rules have been changed, the final dismantling of the New Deal well under way.  You youngsters get to find out what REAL corporate capitalism is all about, now that all the protections so hard won by the blood and tears of generations of working Americans have been lost.  Good luck.

    Now, of course, we've had new threats "emerge" to replace the worn out old Communist MenaceTM.  This is to distract us from the utter failure of the market driven economy, now that the middle and working classes no longer benefit from the "discredited" former policies that sustained them.  All of the wealth, the promise of the Cybernetic Revolution that was going to free us from slave labor, the vast wealth created by the vast increase in productivity that Cybernetics gave us, that wealth has been seized by the investor classes. This is the logical outcome of laissez faire capitalism, the Republican's vision for America.

    In the end, it is still small-minded, greedy little men, frantically grubbing for profits, each little deal another chunk of the commonwealth stolen.   In the end, it is still all about balance; right now things are way out of balance and that inbalance is not sustainable; the forces that gather to correct that inbalance are tectonic.  

    Dinner's on. Gotta go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

    -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:47:03 PM PST

    •  World War II Vets (none)
      will tell you they were bombed by Germans using bombs made in the USA. Also guns etc. They were being killed with weapons from their own country. This bunch is a bunch of sour disillusioned individuals. At least the ones who didn't get to profit from their service. You know,the grunts in the trenches etc.
  •  I am disappointed (4.00)
    The first Iraq war a sham. Bush sr being better than Bush jr is totally irrelevant. Look what he said on September 11, 1991. ("A New World Order") Oh my god when are people going to wake up. I am sick of people supporting Desert Storm so they can try and appear politically correct and more credible. Look at the 11000+ Gulf War veterans who are now DEAD. Or the half million on disability. Crediting Bush sr for anything is beyond disgusting. Quit trying to be an apologist for this madness. Read My Lips: You are making a huge mistake.
    •  And the 67% (none)
      of genetically deformed babies born of a 200+ sample of vets from it who had previously had normal children. And they can't get VA help medically and must impoverish themselves,so they can get on medicaid, to pay for treatment for their children.

      If you want the link I can get it for you.

    •  Excuse me (none)
      I supported Desert Storm because I supported it THEN.

      Nothing has changed my mind and your labeling it a "sham" is not persuasive.

      Of cpourse to call it a sham is absurd in that no one denies that Hussein invaded Kuwait. Not even Chomsky.

      Perhaps you meant another word.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:00:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who Wrote This, Lieberman??? (4.00)
        Sorry, Armando, you must not remember the particulars of the '91 War, and the build up to that war.  Two days after the '90 midterms that fucking wimp Bush41 switched from a defensive position to a fast-track position for war-- a war we could have avoided.  On Thanksgiving weekend of '90, the cynical, wimp Bush41 played for the cameras in Saudi Arabia with a "kick ass" line, right out of the Atwater-Rove playbook...

        And, jeez, to mention the Baker-Aziz last-minute meeting as a sincere effort on the part of Bush 41 is so outrageous-- it was all for fucking show.  

        You're post here is the type that convinces me that our country is fucking doomed.  Time marches on, the warmongers control the media and the way we remember history, and the mistakes of the past are repeated.  Fifteen years from now, some asshole who either doesn't remember or doesn't care, or some asshole who wants to posture to score political points on a blog, will write how great Bush43's Iraq invasion was, and how sincere he was because he was just using the information he was given, etc., etc...  

        -N.B.

        "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

        by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:30:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember the particulars in great detail (none)
          Excuse me, the key words were AFTER THE MIDTERMS!!!

          Do you remember the particulars of 2002?

          Your comment convinces me that you have very little to add to this discussion.

          Go enjoy your tin foil.  

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:50:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Posted More Below On This Thread... (none)
            "after the midterms" means that Bush41 decided to specifically be deceptive and cynical.  You're defending this?

            "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

            by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:06:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Specifically deceptive and cynical? (none)
              WTF? How so?

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:13:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Deceptive and Cynical... (none)
                75 million Americans go to their polling places on a Tuesday, and vote based on thinking the President will keep the Gulf strategy a defensive one.  

                Two days later, flipping on a dime, the President tells us that he's switching it into an offensive strategy, sending an additional 300,000 troops to the Gulf.

                Deceptive?  Cynical?  Maybe I should have described it as "criminal".

                "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

                by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 10:34:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  And you calling it the perfect operation is absurd (none)
        but to each his own.

        LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

        by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:07:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  About Bush 41's "brilliant execution"... (4.00)
    ...don't forget the incident regarding plowing under the Iraqi troops, so there wouldn't be any piles of war dead to offend George.

    Kinda gives the words "brilliant in execution" a whole new taint.  (not your words - you said "execution of the war was brilliant", but that kinda ruined my point, so bear with me, K?)

    Here's the ref, from one of my previous diaries:

    War without death
    The Pentagon promotes a vision of combat as bloodless and antiseptic
    by Patrick J. Sloyan, Sunday, November 17, 2002

    Leon Daniel, like others who reported from Vietnam during the 1960s, knew about war and death. So he was puzzled by the lack of corpses at the tip of the Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Iraq on Feb. 25, 1991.

    Clearly there had been plenty of killing. The 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) had smashed through the defensive front line of Saddam Hussein's army the day before, Feb. 24, the opening of the Desert Storm ground war to retake Kuwait. Daniel, representing United Press International, was part of a press pool held back from witnessing the assault on 8,000 Iraqi defenders.

    [...]

    It wasn't until late in the afternoon of Feb. 25 that the press pool was permitted to see where the attack occurred. There were groups of Iraqi prisoners. About 2,000 had surrendered. But there were no bodies, no stench of feces, no blood stains, no bits of human beings.

    [...]

    "Where the hell are all the bodies?" Daniel said.

    "What bodies?" the officer replied.

    Daniel and the rest of the world would not find out until months later why the dead had vanished. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers, some of them alive and firing their weapons from World War I-style trenches, were buried by plows mounted on Abrams battle tanks. The Abrams flanked the trench lines so that tons of sand from the plows funneled into the trenches. Just behind the tanks, actually straddling the trench line, came Bradleys pumping 7.62mm machine gun bullets into the Iraqi troops.

    [...]

    One reason there was no trace of what happened in the Neutral Zone on those two days was that Armored Combat Earth Movers came behind the
    armored burial brigade, leveling the ground and smoothing away projecting Iraqi arms, legs and equipment.

    It's not a pretty article, but - interesting, in how many of the same players are back for the "new Bush League", and they've learned from their "mistakes" about controlling the media, and the message.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:56:06 PM PST

    •  That was what we watched for (4.00)
      days and days before the war started.  It was called softening up the Republican Guard.  People were satisfied to let that alone, whatever it meant, they didn't want to know or even care.  But it was burying people alive in their trenches with sand.  

      The media talked very little about this in the United States.  It was only mentioned here and there.  The press was cheerleading the whole thing, and the public was mesmerized.  I have never been able to look at the American Flag the same since then, I was so sickened by the Nationalism displayed.  I am not against nationalism, but I felt sufocated by it in that war.  It was in many ways, far more supported by the media than this war.  

      Other countries were not as impressed.  I live about 100 miles from Canada, and at that time could get a Canadian station.  I loved to watch the news at night to get a different perspective on the US.  Following the war, the US had a military parade with all of our war machinery on view.  It reminded me of Russia's mayday parades that we used to get a glimpse of on TV when I was little.  But by that time the Canadians were pretty calloused to our chest thumping, and reported the parade with much digust in their manner.

  •  For what it's worth (none)
    there is a prophecy that says the next great social system will come out of Russia.  Not communism and not capitalism but a balance between the two in combination with a very keen eye on resources and sustainablility.
  •  Wrong.. (none)
    "But if a blowjob were involved, Sally Quinn would not rest until the President were held to account."

    This is just absolutely wrong. If it were the truth, the fact that right-wing WH-press stooge and fake-marine manwhore Jeff Gannon came into the White House 187 times, often at night, often with no checkout time, would have be pounded on until it was investigated.

    The MSM let it drop. If it were a Democratic president, he would have been impeached for it, if he had not already been impeached for sleeping at the wheel prior to 9/11, or lying us into war.

    "objective truth is not the same as the consensus reality"--djheru

    by rhetoricus on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:50:32 PM PST

  •  This Is An Awful Post. (4.00)
    Horrible Post
    This is an awful, horrible post.  Ordinarily I'd ignore it, but not enough people have commented against it here.

    Short Memories
    The writer, and the people who support him, must not remember the particulars of the '91 War, and the build up to that war.  Cynical. Bush41 Wimp Factor.  Two days after the '90 midterms, Wimp Bush41 turning our postion from a defensive one, to an offensive one.  Buying off every country possible.  How could you think that anyone in this Bush entourage, especially James Baker, could be anything but a manipulative skink.

    The Actual Reason For The '91 War
    [But actually, broken down into its simplest form, the Gulf War in '91 was about seeking/ creating/ finding/ maintaining/ a new boogeyman to replace the Soviets after the collapse of the Berlin Wall-- to justify the unnecessary bloated military budget of the day.]

    An Obvious Bullshit Meeting
    The Baker-Aziz meeting was a bogus Rove-ish, Atwater-ish PR event-- in fact, as it was happening, Wimp Bush41 was holding a war rally at a Patriot Missile plant or a Flag Factory-- something like that.  To specifically call out that meeting as a good-faith effort on the part of Bush41 means that your post here is not serious-- it's probably a ploy to both sway readers who don't remember it, and to try to gain hawk credentials within your geeky blog world.

    We're Doomed
    You're post here is the type that convinces me that our country is fucking doomed.  Time marches on, the warmongers control the media and the way we remember history, and the mistakes of the past are repeated.  Fifteen years from now, some asshole who either doesn't remember or doesn't care, or some asshole who wants to posture to score political points on a blog, will write how great Bush43's Iraq invasion was, and how sincere he was because he was just using the information he was given, etc., etc...  

    from Ted Kennedy's Senate Speech in early January '91:
    "...with no meaningful consultation with Congress, the President unilaterally decided on November 8 to move away from a sensible policy that had stopped Iraq in its tracks, and that was working effectively to achieve the goals of the United States and the world community, without the need for war.

    Two days after the November elections, President Bush inexplicably declared his policy of deterrence and sanctions a failure, abandoned Operation Desert Shield, and took up Operation Desert War.

    The confrontation in the gulf was initially the world against Iraq. But since November 8, because of the `High Noon' atmosphere created by President Bush, the conflict has become increasingly America against Iraq--and if the shooting starts, it will be almost entirely America against Iraq.

    Our policy went off track on November 8 but that is no justification for Congress to ratify it now. Giving peace a realistic chance was the best course for America and the world before November 8, and it is still the best course on January 10. There is still time for Congress to insist that sanctions and diplomacy be given the full and fair opportunity to work that they deserve, before Congress takes the fateful step of authorizing the President to send American men and women to die in war in the Persian Gulf..."

    -N.B.

    "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

    by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:58:14 PM PST

    •  This is an awful comment (none)
      Ridiculous, without authority and totally bullshit.

      It makes no sense. WHY in blazes would Bush 41 have waited until AFTER the Midterms to make this change?

      What nefarious reason can you think of?

      Here is a simple question for you - did Iraq invade Kuwait? Did Egypt, Syria, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia form part of the Coalition?

      Was the WHOLE WORLD in on your tin pot tin foil theory?

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:10:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You forgot one question, Armando. (none)
        Did Saudi Arabia grant the USA a choice span of land for military operations. Seems I recall a fanatic who had a problem with that.  Seems I recall direct retribution for that. Seems that retribution has laid the groundwork for a new world war: War on Terror.

        LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

        by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:34:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We Were Close Enough To Vietnam... (4.00)
        Why Would Bush Wait Til After The Midterms
        We were close enough to Vietnam in late '90 where the GOP felt changing to an offensive war would hurt them politically.  You'll note that every military action we performed from 1973 to 1990 involved a quick hit, small force action-- Panama, Lybia, Grenada, the stupidity of Beirut...  Get in, blow up some insignificant resistance somewhere, declare victory, and get the hell out.

        As it turned out, the average bone-headed American liked the idea of blowing up things.

        Did Iraq Invade Kuwait
        Yes, Iraq invaded Kuwait-- after getting permission from Glaspie, etc., etc.; so, pre-August 2nd, Bush41 doesn't think it's an important enough issue to warn Saddam-- yet 2 days later, it's important enough to send 200,000 troops to the Gulf.  

        Oman, UAE, Etc...
        I agree, Iraq shouldn't have invaded Kuwait.  So?

        "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

        by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 09:12:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am so glad you let this burble out.... (4.00)
    Because now I truly understand where you are coming from when you say, "oh, we won't go to war with Iran. We don't have the political capital. We don't have the money or man-power."  

    Reference: some thread a week or so ago where you castigated anyone saying Bush was drummin' for an iran attack as 'idiots' and other insulting things.

    see: any sundry of story out today talking about the US plans to hit Iran Nuke facilities followed up with even more stories about the number of estimated dead when/if we do make these hits, along with estimations about the longer military conflict that is predicted to ensue.

    Now I understand that you see only the little parts that make the picture work for you.

    So, Armando, it would be futile for me to present any information about the 500,000 iraqi children who died as a result of the gulf war sanctions, which would have been pointless had we not invaded.  

    I will also not present any of the facts associated with Kuwait's cross drilling into Iraq oil fields, which pissed Saddam off to say the least.

    I will also not point to any references of our Ambassader April Glasbie (sp?) sending a distinct THUMBS UP GREEN LIGHT directly to Saddam from James Baker for Saddam to take action against Kuwait with no fear of US military intervention.  "We will not intervene, Mr. Saddam, Sir.  How are those chemical warfare tools we gave ya working for you, btw?"

    I wouldn't want to put any cracks in your good feelin' armor:

    I think George H.W. Bush, Bush 41, on the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm, performed as well as any President has in my lifetme. In fact, I do not believe ANY President in our history could have performed as well.

    You see, I wholeheartedly supported Desert Storm. I thought it was an absolutely essential action, necessary for the well being and national security of the United States.

    Armando, it seems that military conflict on this earth is a necessary evil for you.  And that's fine. You fit in well with the current evolutionary state of the human spirit.  Not ALL human spirits, but a good majority.

    I am going to go watch the recording of the final song for the opening of the Olympics on Sat night. Yoko reciting Lennon's IMAGINE, followed with Peter Gabriel singing the song. Now that was inspirational.  It made me believe for about five minutes that humans could be peaceful.  

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:03:33 PM PST

    •  Excuse me (none)
      I can't get past this:

      Reference: some thread a week or so ago where you castigated anyone saying Bush was drummin' for an iran attack as 'idiots' and other insulting things.

      Can you give me an ACTUAL reference, say a link, to where I said that? I deny your charge.

      I called SMEARING people as NEOCONS as idiotic and uncivil.

      I'll be waiting for your reference.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:07:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  okay, so you know the diary..... (none)
        it was the one that had neocon and mcjoan in the title.  And, yes, the entire thread is filled with your assertions that we could NEVER get into a military conflict with Iran.  I won't take the time to look up the diary link. I will save that move for when we DO make our first strike on Iran.....

        LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

        by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:24:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks "letsfight"... (none)
      Excellent post "letsfight".

      -N.B.

      "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

      by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:10:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I will also note (none)
      how you saw Saddam's warmaking as somehow justified.

      Apparently, when Saddam made war, it was not so objectionable to you.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:12:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  All war is wrong. (none)
        But I do believe that Kuwait had illegally cross drilled INTO Iraq. A response was required. I sure wish the great white USA had put pressure on Kuwait to back off.  Imagine... us helping to avoid the ENTIRE conflict?  Now that would have been presidential perfection on the part of Bush 41.

        LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

        by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:22:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a different point (none)
          word's mean something. i specifically state that i am discussing bush 41's performance from the invasion on.

          I specifically exclude what went before.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:24:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clgggthafotttt.... (none)
            Sorry, your comment made me choke on a cookie that I was eating...  

            "i am discussing bush 41's performance from the invasion on.

            I specifically exclude what went before."

            Wow.

            "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

            by npb7768 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:27:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's like watching the History channel... (none)
              Let's talk about the orchestration of a military escapade... and NEVER talk about what led to that military action.  Like those are two distinct notions that should never be contemplated together.

              Whack.

              LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

              by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:37:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excuse me (none)
                what is this diary about?

                What was my purpose in explaing my support for desert storm?

                i tell you what is amazing - the lack of reading comprehension. is that insulting to you? Well i think you are hardly in a position to complain.

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:41:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  what is your problem with it? (none)
              that is the problem bush faced on august 2, 1990.

              i find your reaction to be bizarre at best.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:39:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I can appreciate that. (4.00)
            I can. Yep, Bush 41 went in there in the proper way.  But can you not see the utter insanity in the NEED to go in?  And that the insanity of military action that could have been avoided pretty much nullifies how well said military action is executed?

            It's ALL insanity.

            LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

            by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:27:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  It may be a function that.. (none)
    ..I have lived a lot longer than Armando but I disagree with him about his support of Desert Storm.

    Others have put up some very good arguments why some of us feel this way and I won't revisit them.

    And I am willing to say that I had a lot less certainty about my view of the wrongness of events that led up to Desert Storm at its start than I did about the current Iraq war.

    No, I find Armando's arguments disheartening. He speaks as if there is no continuity, no pattern in what happened in Vietnam and what is happening today and what has happened between then and now.

    If that was a bad war, that was a good war and this is a bad war then the inevitable historical progression and the underlying fault lines are not being understood and may never be learnt.

    A pity. It may take five hundred years to get a proper perspective on the last fifty. In the meantime your tax dollars are being spent to arm and design appropriate weaponry for the Chinese conflict in due course of time. As are the Chinese spending their Yen.

    I'll be long gone. Armando may not be. Your children will be here for sure.

    Hey you don't want all these tax dollars wasted do you. Gee, remember way back, around the 1980's or sometime, we had a very good war. Armando told us.

    New International Times, the place where Kossacks and the world meet.

    by Welshman on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:12:18 PM PST

    •  There were NO wars (none)
      that were justified in your mind?

      Your age gives you special insight?

      Are you older than Dick Cheney?

      It is disheartening that you would caricature complex issues. do you think your comment makes an argument that somehow rebuts mine. I don't.

      but my post was not about my reasons for supporting desert storm. i did not elaborate on why
      i did.

      your comment is supposed to explain why i was wrong to support it. It does not.

      unless 'give peace a chance' is supposed to be convincing.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:19:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (none)
        I am a year older than Dick Cheney.

        I did not make an argument, because I acknowledged that others had made it well to support my view so repetition was an unnecessary.

        I made an observation. I did not know this was forbidden.

        Age does not give me greater wisdom or a keener intelligence. It does give me the experience of having been born at the start of World War 2 and having experienced the events of every war since then.

        I have never doubted that I would have fought in World War 2.

        And yes, I do believe that "give peace a chance" is a convincing argument for those who are still open to listen to it.

        New International Times, the place where Kossacks and the world meet.

        by Welshman on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:27:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  which argument are you adopting? (none)
          i found them all specious.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:35:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  BTW (none)
          that gives you korea over me. that's it - from an american perspective of course.

          so my feeling is that your mention of age was gratuitous and irrelevant.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:37:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ..and World War 2 (none)
            Even before the age of five I suffered all the privations and desperate disruption of all those Liverpool refugee kids disrupting my Welsh home!

            But my bestest friend was the German prisoner of war who worked on my Aunt's farm. Never understood why everyone hated him. He showed me how to fold paper into the form of a boat and sail it in the water trough used by the cows. I remember that we didn't have many toys at that time.

            And there you have the origination of my "give peace a chance" belief. It's because I am still tryin' to figure out why everyone hated my German prisoner of war friend.

            New International Times, the place where Kossacks and the world meet.

            by Welshman on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:49:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo. (none)
      It's like... what the HELL are humans even trying to accomplish while we are here?

      LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

      by letsfight on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:29:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  for all you folks convinced (none)
    i am a nincompoop, you will have to carry on without me tonight.

    I am signing off.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:38:20 PM PST

  •  I supported Desert Storm too (none)
    I recognize that if GHWBush hadn't had his head up his ass, Saddam wouldn't have invaded, but so what?  He did.  In fact, I have often blamed Bush for ruining my life, since I've never been the same since being deployed to desert Storm.  But I think the war itself was the right thing to do.  And I suspect the alleged American atrocities during the war are just as overblown as the ones ascribed to Saddam in Kuwait, the people flogging those stories have similar motivations.

    Having said that, I also think that the aftermath of Desert Storm was Bush 1's biggest failure.  While it's true that not marching on Baghdad was the only course, stopping the war and leaving it a stalemate where we had to constantly bomb Iraq for a decade was not a solution we should have sought.  And encouraging the uprisings while letting them fail was a disaster.

    I've never voted for a Republican, and unless forced, I never will.  But I have always been pretty moderate.  The republicans and the media elite have slid to a radical un-American part of the political spectrum that can't be addressed in comfortable terms.  The bush administration is a dictatorship that hasn't chosen to fully show its nature.   Not being shrill at a point in history like this is ignoring the responsibilities of citizenship.

  •  Finally! (none)
    Agreed, Armando!

    Especially about Milbanks and Quinn, which I never hear much about.  Cowards and weirdoes.  I say, give them the DC "social scene" and smart folks will cover the news. Something that boring -- they deserve!  Can you imagine a party given by Sally Quinn, with Dana, Chrissie, etc attending?  And they think we are jealous?  ROFL

  •  I hate to say it... (none)
    But Armando, did you ever think that Sally Quinn is jealous because she doesn't know how to give a good blowjob?
  •  The Education of Armando (none)
    A cynical person (such as I) would see in your remarkably candid, even naive, confession, an explanation on how you could have been fooled so easily in the last few years since you've been fooled so successfully before.

    I've watched "The Education of Armando" on Kos in real time those last couple of years and I think it's sad that such a smart, well educated person whoser hart is so obviously in the right place can be so naive.

    In that you do epitomize America.

  •  It's funny (none)
    that Shrub came in, trying to vindicate his father's apparent lack of resolve in going after Baghdad by taking it by storm ... thus saving the family honor

    Yet perhaps in the end he has saved that honor by rendering explicit the wisdom in not pursuing vainglorious, overreaching visions in the desert

  •  Loser (none)
    You say your anti-communist. Ever consider that communism is just another half-assed philosophy designed to be a social protest at best or just a kooky economic philosophy at worst?

    Centrists are just as pathetic as conservatives. Always have to be anti-something to define themselves. Why not promte something instead like liberalism, Open Source, strippers, anything other than bitch about a philosophy, over a century old, that lost all, remote validation once the middle class appeared?

    I had to say that. Seems to me that most people aren't living the 21st century nor the 20th century.

    A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

    by Tux on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:29:38 AM PST

    •  If you believe (none)
      that communism is 'just another half-assed philosophy designed to be a social protest at best or a kooky economic philosophy at worst', then you couldn't be more naive.

      I'm shaking my head on that one.

  •  Is this true? (none)
    "But if a blowjob were involved, Sally Quinn would not rest until the President were held to account."

    Account for what?  That there was, in fact, a blowjob? -- or that she (Sally Quinn) was not in on the /action?:)

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 04:39:36 AM PST

  •  Your centrism bores me ... (none)
    In Dante's Divine Commedy, Hell's lobby was reserved for the good "centrists" who were unwilling or unable to pick a side.

    Centrism will be interesting when Bill Clinton is considered fully on the right of the American political centrism.

  •  Here's a shocker (none)
    I disagree with Armando.  

    I recall the first Persian Gulf War and I was one of the 10% that did not, and to this day do not, support that first war.

    In fact, it is practically unarguable that the first Bush's rush to war is what (directly) led to, if not caused, 9/11.  In addition, the war was unnecessary and most likely provoked by the Bush.  

    It was a war for Middle East oil-something Bush never admitted to although I believe Baker did.  

  •  I think that's B.S (none)
    that the first Persian Gulf War was paid for by the Kuwaitis, Saudis and whoever else you mentioned.  

    The U.S. was never reimbursed in full.

  •  If Bush really wanted to avoid the war (none)
    why did he let Gillespie tell Saddam not to worry about the U.S. if he chooses to invade Kuwait????
  •  You mean the most cowardly (none)
    Maybe my comment is over the top, but your presumption to know why Bush stopped short of Baghdad is not known to anyone.  It is one of the bigger mysteries about that war.  

    Were chem. weapons used?

    Please also remember that many, many returning Vets, their families AND CHILDREN suffered horribly as a result of their service in Iraq and the intentional, or unintenional exposure to thousands of toxins such as DU.

  •  You are a Reagan Democrat??? (none)
    You probably think that Reagan was a GREAT president and, worse, a great man.
    •  Liar (none)
      You folks are no better than the fucking Neocons.

      You can't understand that democracy is what is needed.

      Supporting Communist dictatorships is repulsive to me. So is supporitng Fascist dictatorships.

      IO abhor Castro AND Pinochet.

      you love castro.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:31:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't love Castro (none)
        I do, though I admit I don't know much about him, like Chavez.

        I admit that I am troubled when I hear (or read) reports that he is anti-Zionist or suppresses the press in his country.  Of course, I have not been able to substantiate either charge, and should I learn that he is anti-Zionist then I may change my view of him.

  •  After being shrill for 8 years of Clinton (none)
    the right are super-defensive about the favor being returned.  They cannot bear the thought of it.

    And there are some Democrats who've bought that crap, that we're 'just' returning the favor.  Because the fact of the matter is, that shrillness during Clinton damn near destroyed our presidency and certainly demeaned it, and they don't want to see it happen again.

    I have a friend who thinks that my despising Bush policies is simply my returning the favor, not serious.  Even when I show him exactly why I believe what I believe, with facts, it still comes down to I'm just returning the favor.  

    I said, even before Bush's election, that his policies would destroy the middle class.  It has.  I said his 'compassionate' conservatism would be to stab someone in the back with his arm around his/her shoulders.  I said that his election would take women's issues backwards.  I said that he was just the palatable face for a group (Cheney, et al) who were, without doubt, the most corrupt Americans in history.  

    Shortly after his election, I said he was looking for a war, any war, and would poke and prod till he found one Americans would stomach.  

    Now, is that being shrill, or is that being prescient?

    But to go back to these people, Democrats, who think this is all about ABB, or returning the favor, there's something else.  I think that they also, like this friend, like some aspect of Bush.      I think they've bought into the fear that the right delivers, in some way.  

    Whether it be a secret wish to have women put back in the genie bottle, or the masculating feel of raising our fist against the rest of the globe, or  fear that our multicultural society will wreck their 'norms', there is some fear that the right has touched.

    So they've swallowed hard.  

  •  small correction (none)
    But if a blowjob were involved, Sally Quinn would not rest until the President were held to account.

    Actually, it would be more accurate to say "But if someone with a (D) after their name were involved".

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:31:57 AM PST

  •  Well, as a Desert Storm vet... (4.00)

    I will agree that, particularly in comparison, Bush41 was exponentially superior to the current creature inhabiting the Whitehouse.  He was not as good as his follow-on (that would be Clinton, blowjob or no blowjob).  I do take some issue with the ra-ra on Desert Storm, and its "necessity".

    Have you actually ever looked into how it came about?  Really?  Considered the way it came about and contrasted that with the fact that Saddam was our best buttbuddy all the way up to a few months before Desert Storm?  See, I do NOT see (any longer) that Desert Storm was "right" or "necessary" at all.  In the weeks prior to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, our own diplomat, in essence, told Saddam that how he responded to Kuwait's cross-drilling (that would be theft) to get at Iraq's oil AND how he responded to the coordinated and harsh squeezing he was getting from various M. East actors (Kuwait, UAE, etc) was a matter for Iraq and the other players.  It was not our business.  That, in effect, he could do whatever the f*ck he wanted.  He indicated, directly, that his intent included invading Kuwait to take over its northern oil fields in retaliation for the cross-drilling and squeezing.  We said, "Whatever, just try not to make too big a mess, m'kay?".

    We practically told him that the issue between Iraq and Kuwait was between them and not our business.  That is tacitly giving him the green light to invade.  He invades and, poof!, what we just told him a few weeks before suddenly goes out the window and Saddam is now a threat to the universe.

    Now I don't defend Saddam, per se, he was a nasty dictator, certainly...but no worse than virtually ANY other dictators that we've propped up or inflicted on other countries (Oh, like IRAN when we inflicted the Shah upon them because we didn't like who they were freely electing...we know how THAT ultimately turned out).  It's great, in particular, that his sadistic shithole sons are pushing up the equivalent of desert daisies, but c'mon!

    At the time I was fighting in Iraq (B-52s dropping bombs all over bejeezus), myself and all my compatriots bought into the party line.  It was a necessity that we go in and save the Kuwaitis from an "evil" man who invaded without provocation.  As a matter of fact, I had to keep repeating to myself the entire war that, "We are here to save the Kuwaitis and repell an unjustified invader, NOT to fight for oil.  Oh PLEASE don't let this really be a fight for oil.  PLEEEEZE don't let me be part of killing an unknown number of poor bastards on the ground for oil."  Well, it actually appears that it was the oil thing that was actually behind the "necessity" to nail Iraq.  Maintaining a geopolitical balance, largely for the benefit and sake of Saudi Arabia (perhaps one of the LEAST deserving of our "friends" in the M. East).

    I have no idea how many men died as a result of my crew's bombardment.  In some cases we were simply bombing map coordinates in the sand (after the first week of the war, all our flights were conducted at >=33,000 to get us out of the range of MOST of the AAA) that we were told were Republican Guard positions.  Other targets were more identifiable:  runways/airfields, ammo depots, etc).  The only connection we ever had to our targets were what we would see afterwards on CNN and wonder if what they are showing now might be part of our specific operation.  I have become ambivalent about Desert Storm and do NOT see it as having been necessary or "right".

    Below is an excerpt from one of several sites that provide information and analysis of the diplomatic meeting with Saddam a few weeks before he invaded Kuwait.  It definitely muddies the waters as to whether Desert Storm was really right or not.  Visit the site link to read the transcript of the meeting:

    Iraq`s Invasion of Kuwait

       Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
     From: Jude Wanniski
     Re: Background to the 1991 Gulf War

    Early last year, I decided there were so many public misconceptions of what was going on in Iraq that I would write a book about the roots of the 1990 Gulf War and the events of the last decade. I wrote several chapters but abandoned the project when I could find no publisher interested in a book that would view that history from the Iraqi perspective as well as from Washington's. Here is an excerpt from the chapter on Saddam's rationale for invading Kuwait, material largely forgotten in the years since, but worth reviewing today. It consists largely of a letter from Saddam to President Bush and the transcript of a conversation with the U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad.

    * * * * *

    On July 25, 1990, a week before Iraq invaded Kuwait, a neighbor so tiny one American diplomat called it a gas station in the desert, Saddam Hussein summoned the American Ambassador, a career civil servant named April Glaspie, to his office. To critics of the Gulf War, what happened at that meeting has been known since as the green light.Saddam essentially explains his economic predicament, complains of the economic warfare being waged against Iraq by Kuwait, and asks for the official U.S. government view. Ms. Glaspie, acting under instructions from Washington, knows the situation in the neighborhood is tense, as the Iraqi army has massed at a short distance from its border with Kuwait.

    The transcript provides the best sense of Saddam Husseins calculations on how to proceed and also leaves the impression, especially with Ambassador Glaspie, that things will almost certainly work out in the weekend discussions between Iraq and Kuwait. Note she says at the end of the meeting that she thought perhaps she might delay her vacation trip, but given the tone of the meeting with him, she will proceed to Washington and perhaps be able to deliver his letter to President Bush in person. As you see here, the transcript of that meeting was not made publicly available until it appeared in the New York Times more than seven weeks later. By that time the Bush administration had already determined that Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was an aggression comparable to the fascist power grabs of the 1930s. The charges that he had gassed his own people in an Arabic holocaust were dusted off after having been dismissed earlier in 1990 by a U.S. Army War College report. Most of the best informed political leaders in Washington have never read the transcript, let alone the American people. I would be astonished if I learned that President Bush ever even knew of its existence. It is reprinted here in its entirety, with my comments at the conclusion:

    Go to: http://www.wanniski.com/... for the remainder, or visit: http://www.rense.com/...

    Reichstag fire is to Hitler as 9/11 is to Bush

    by praedor on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:39:22 AM PST

    •  thank you! (none)
      We live in a nationalist corporate militarized nation state that props up the facade of democracy in the form of a brittle old piece of parchment called the Constitution written at a time when the majority of citizens were land owning farmers.  

      Your description of your experience in Desert Storm speaks volumes and I demand that Armando respond to the clear evidence of Sadam being duped in the name of Bush wanting to raise his approval rating for a second term and in the nameof cheap oil.  

      Armando, have you read American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips?  If so, how can you make the arguement you made in this diary?  If not, read it.  To run around tooting your horn about being a realist on military matters and pouncing on communist regimes is absurd.  Bush 41 was wrong just as Bush 43 is now.  If 41 had won a second term, there's no telling what kind of corruption would have brewed given what was already festering in his first term.  

      We live in a nation in which our executive branch and the CIA have developed a devestatingly bipartisan complicit relationship the rocks the foundation of our democracy with their covert wink and a smile foreign policy that lives in the bureaucratic phantom world of satellites, electronic surveillance, and good old fashion smoke and mirrors.  To simply blindly support any of these military excursions as you have is foolhardy and naive.  

      I take political action every day. I teach.

      by jbfunk on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:11:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well (none)
        that is not very convincing to me.

        Your argument I missed in your comment.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:19:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Explain (none)
          how Desert Storm was a just war.  Explain what it accomplished for Iraq and Kuwait.  Explain what the goal of the war was from a foreign policy persepctive inside our own country.  How did it benefit us as citizens?  

          Explain to me how Sadam's military action was deemed unprovoked and dangerous by Bush 41 in the context of all of his previous actions as well as the Iraq's actions in general being supported by presidential administrations from both parties going back to 1955.

          Finally how can you support that military action and not this one given that it is being driven by the very same men and is based on an almost identicle military objective?   The only difference being that this time Sadam was removed and that time inside the Whitehouse people wanted him removed even though he was not.  In both cases the administration had a growing concern about a dictator that was no longer listening to his puppeteer.

          I take political action every day. I teach.

          by jbfunk on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:53:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since none of those premises (none)
            underlies my support for Desert storm, why should i?

            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

            by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:12:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just (none)
              don't understand why you are trying to argue one over the other given that they are really the same conflict evolving over the past 20 years and that they involve 2 ruling families both of which are wreaking havoc on their countries.  Those 2 families being the House of Saud and the Bushs.  Both conflicts are symbolic of a much larger systemic problem in this country of the military industrial complex and its role in dictating our foreign policy through the marriage of the CIA and executive branch of the government.  This corporate imperialism is the underlying force behind our foreign policy at this point.

              Why waste time trying to show how one war was better than the other when the first made the second possible.  If the first had never happened than we wouldn't be here now having this arguement over W's conduct in Iraq.

              Finally, if whether or not Desert Storm was a just war is of little consequence to you than what exactly is your premise for supporting that war?  

              I take political action every day. I teach.

              by jbfunk on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 09:55:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yes I have looked into it (none)
      I actually was alive during it.

      Your point on the failures PRIOR to hussein's invasion are hardly to the point of what to do once hussein invaded.

      that to me is the equivalent of criticizing the allies for fighting Hitler because they did not stop him at Austria.

      In short, it is not to the point of what happened AFTER the mistakes.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:18:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love this diary (none)

    excellent, excellent contribution sir.

    I distrust Chavez and dislike Castro. I see the difference between them, but do not support either of them.

    The article recently posted by kos regarding the Glenn Greenwald musings has me thinking, particularly after reading this diary and its responses...

    I wonder if my skeptisim towards people like Chavez and Castro makes me a "conservative" in the eyes of the liberal labelers, much like I am labeled a "liberal" by my conservative friends since I stopped supporting Bush.

  •  Whose oil is it anyway? (none)
    armando said:

    To me the thought was simple - did you think it was a serious threat to our national security to have Saddam Hussein control 40% of the world's petroleum?

    The world's petroleum?  The world's?

    So is Venezuela's oil the "world's" as well? What about Texas oil?  Or [insert natural resource of choice here]?

    It seems to me that this issue is at the very heart of the debate over our foreign policy.  Are we, as a nation, so arrogant and greedy as to believe that a sovereign nation's natural resources are the property of the world (read:  the US)?  Well?

    Of course control of petroleum reserves is essential to national security - I wouldn't argue against that.  I would suggest, however, that it might not be such a threat if we weren't so fucking high-handed about claiming for ourselves resources to which we have no inherent right.

    Sure, Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait was reprehensible, but I honestly can't see much difference from what we've done lately ourselves.

  •  Did you see this from Media Matters? (none)
    Another Chris Matthews special:  they think we're the wingnuts!!!

    NYT's Brooks: Democratic Party has more nuts than GOP

    http://mediamatters.org/...

    During a discussion on how Republicans would "handle" a 2008 presidential bid by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), New York Times columnist David Brooks stated, "[T]he weakness of the Democratic Party, they've got the blogs and the netroots, who are semi-nuts and who insist on a Stalinist line of discipline." Later in the conversation, after Brooks said, "It's true for both parties, you've got [the weblog] Daily Kos on the left, you've got Pat Dobson [sic] on the right,"

    Matthews asked Brooks, "Which party has more nuts by your count?" Brooks responded, "Objectively, the Democratic Party." Brooks made his comments on the February 12 edition of NBC's syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, during a discussion that included host Chris Matthews and Time columnist Joe Klein.

    From the February 12 edition of NBC's syndicated The Chris Matthews Show:

    MATTHEWS: Welcome back. Shrill Hill? It's only 2006, and already Republicans are telegraphing their punch. How are they going to handle Hillary Clinton? We're seeing it.

    [...]

    BROOKS: Well I think whoever the Democratic candidate -- that is the weakness of the Democratic Party, they've got the blogs and the netroots, who are semi-nuts and who insist on a Stalinist line of discipline.

    MATTHEWS: You know what -- I just love objectivity. But go ahead -- fair enough --

    BROOKS: That is objectively true -- I did the psychoanalytic test.

    KLEIN: As opposed to the gun advocates in, in, whoever --

    BROOKS: Yeah, It's true for both parties: You've got Daily Kos on the left; you've got Pat Dobson [sic] on the right.

    MATTHEWS: Which party has more nuts buy your count?

    BROOKS: Objectively, the Democratic Party.

    Contact:
    David Brooks dabrooks@nytimes.com
    Contact:
    NBC NBC News
    NBC News
    30 Rockefeller Plaza
    New York, N.Y. 10112
    Contact:
    The Chris Matthews Show The Chris Matthews Show

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