Skip to main content

Ross Douthat
It's almost like something turned
the conservative world upside-down
Ross Douthat today:
For those with eyes to see, the daylight between the foreign policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama has been shrinking ever since the current president took the oath of office. But last week made it official: When the story of America’s post-9/11 wars is written, historians will be obliged to assess the two administrations together, and pass judgment on the Bush-Obama era.

The death of Osama bin Laden, in a raid that operationalized Bush’s famous “dead or alive” dictum, offered the most visible proof of this continuity. But the more important evidence of the Bush-Obama convergence lay elsewhere, in developments from last week that didn’t merit screaming headlines, because they seemed routine rather than remarkable.

One was NATO’s ongoing bombing campaign in Libya, which now barely even pretends to be confined to humanitarian objectives, or to be bound by the letter of the United Nations resolution.

Imagine, for a moment, that these were George W. Bush’s policies at work. A quest for regime change in Libya, conducted without even a pro forma request for Congressional approval. ... Imagine the outrage, the protests, the furious op-eds about right-wing tyranny and neoconservative overreach.

Ross Douthat less than two months ago:

In its month-long crab walk toward a military confrontation with Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Obama administration has delivered a clinic in the liberal way of war.

Just a week ago, as the tide began to turn against the anti-Qaddafi rebellion, President Obama seemed determined to keep the United States out of Libya’s civil strife. But it turns out the president was willing to commit America to intervention all along. He just wanted to make sure we were doing it in the most multilateral, least cowboyish fashion imaginable. ... This is an intervention straight from Bill Clinton’s 1990s playbook, in other words, and a stark departure from the Bush administration’s more unilateralist methods. There are no “coalitions of the willing” here, no dismissive references to “Old Europe,” no “you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Instead, the Obama White House has shown exquisite deference to the very international institutions and foreign governments that the Bush administration either steamrolled or ignored.

Two weeks ago, these guys "thought" that Barack Obama was a Kenyan socialist Islamo-terrorist.

Now they "think" his presidency is the logical extension of George W. Bush.

Do they even take themselves seriously?

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Douthat is a tool (16+ / 0-)

    who writes whatever he believes will serve the interests of the right.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:46:49 AM PDT

  •  This whole issue can be diluted down to (10+ / 0-)

    a phrase the women in my family would ask whenever they could tell that I was asking for the location of something, that they figured I either knew full well where it was but was just stalling for time, or that if I sat down and used my head a little bit, and applied a little elbow grease, I could stop holding up the entire family process and find the thing I was seeking, the loss of which I was responsible for since I was the last one to have it in my own two hands:


    I think Mr. Obama just stopped the stalling, and went and looked.

    "Ha! Obama wouild have to kill Bin Ladin before he'd ever get my vote again! HA HA HA HA.....wha-? fuck."

    by Detroit Mark on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:54:10 AM PDT

  •  Ross As*hat: Mr. Toady's Mild Pride (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama, moondancing, raincrow

    We are all DFHs now! You have nothing to lose but your trust-funds!

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:56:34 AM PDT

  •  seriously (4+ / 0-)

    There are some people on this site that will say the same thing Obama is Bush.
    In all honesty all i can say is wow. really?
    There is no comparison and those who would argue are picking the beans out of the rice.

    What I can not tolerate is intolerance

    by rageagnstmach on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:56:40 AM PDT

  •  The "Bush-Obama" era? (22+ / 0-)

    Bullshit.  Obama got Osama.  Bush failed.

    Conservatives failed on the economy (the Great Recession) and in national security.

    We have to keep throwing this in their faces.

    Republicans = losers.

    WWRHD? What Would Robin Hood Do?

    by TomP on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:57:19 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, I posted a sarcastic response to (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton, sherlyle, vets74, dewtx, raincrow

    Douthat's column this morning on the Times' website. What a hypocrite.

  •  Lying asshats will be lying asshats. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, annieli, raincrow

    How many people read this guy ? Sr'sly ?

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:01:21 AM PDT

  •  They never heard of "the Google." These (6+ / 0-)

    bozos are hilarious.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:01:26 AM PDT

  •  Yes, they take themselves seriously.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, raincrow

    but how do they get these positions in the first place?  What is wrong with newspaper editors?

    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

    by jhannon on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:02:48 AM PDT

  •  mutual amnesia.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, raincrow

    "gold-fish pundit"..... they can't remember what was in their last column.

  •  This quote is not true: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One was NATO’s ongoing bombing campaign in Libya, which now barely even pretends to be confined to humanitarian objectives, or to be bound by the letter of the United Nations resolution.

    Aside from some arms embargo provisions, the only thing expressly forbidden in the UN Resolution is an occupation. Anything else, so long as the Security Council is convinced it is in the interest of the Libyan people, is in line with the language of the resolution. We should know, we actually read the language rather than rely on relatively unsophisticated pundits.

  •  When You Have A Morally Bankrupt Ideology (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Better Days, sherlyle, raincrow

    That's devoid of any logic, all you have left is to lie through your teeth.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:06:15 AM PDT

  •  "Do they even take themselves seriously?" (5+ / 0-)

    It is a feature of their collective narcissism that yes, they certainly do.  

    •  All Republican'ts care about is maintaining power (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, MrJersey, Fireshadow

      They will sell any lie, contradict any previous statement, commit any crime, etc., etc., etc. if they think it will help them stay in power.

      We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

      by Samer on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:25:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do they even take themselves seriously? (0+ / 0-)

      Indeed they do.

      The question is "should we?"

      The answer is no.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by lcbo on Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:10:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  1) Short attention span, 2) hypocrisy is the new (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Mistral Wind

    black, 3) I said what? NO I DID NOT!, 4) If Obama likes it, it must be bad.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:08:17 AM PDT

  •  Seems to Me Someone "Took" (0+ / 0-)

    a pithing probe to Douthat's brain.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:09:10 AM PDT

  •  Wow this is freaky (8+ / 0-)
    The death of Osama bin Laden, in a raid that operationalized Bush’s famous “dead or alive” dict

    It's like a brain disorder.  They just claim whatever they want with no sense of irony or shame and you get the feeling that it's easy for them to believe themselves as well.  Like a little kid saying "I'm a horsey," as they jump around and really getting that feeling that they're a horsey.  It's cute with kids.  When it's a large and powerful segment of our society, it's kind of terrifying.  

    Forget it, he's rolling.

    by Sun dog on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:10:14 AM PDT

  •  Someone provided a link to reader comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind, Ex Real Republican

    on a Springfield IL newspaper last night..couldn't believe my eyes.  Someone out there thinks the R party will have a hard time winning in '12 "unless they can find someone the caliber of Reagan or Bush Jr."
    Seriously??  They want to see the return of Bush Jr.?
    GW "never saw a project I couldn't f**k up permanently" Bush.  

  •  In Republican World you go through the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Mistral Wind, Samer, michelewln

    looking glass of this world and suddenly everything that went wrong while Republicans were in charge is now, magically right.

    9/11 attacks were Clinton's fault.

    Economic meltdown and Wall St. bailout were Obama's fault.

    Killing OBL was Bush's success.

    Simple, really.  Just reverse the truth, repeat that reversal everywhere, all the time and WIN!

    LOL.  People who embrace this obvious shit are such CHUMPS.  When are they gonna get tired of being played like this?

    Thanks again, President Obama.  You're exceeding my wildest expectatations on a daily basis.  You're the

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:13:24 AM PDT

    •  "Winnerrrrs!" Charlie Sheen has nothing (0+ / 0-)

      on these GOP's..... This is a long overdue meltdown and harsh awakening for the Right Wing. I feel sorry for them creating their own self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon as they cling to God and Country while weeping and gnashing their teeth in desperate denial. Should we pity them?

      "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

      by Fireshadow on Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:07:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Ross Douthat Incoherent, Driven By Partisanship" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, vacantlook, lcbo

    That's hardly breaking news.

    The question of the relationship of Obama's and Bush's foreign policies is an interesting one, but--like every other issue of any importance--Ross Douthat predictably has nothing of value to add to the discussion.

    Not that you asked, but here's my take:

    Like a number of other aspects of his adminstration, Obama's foreign policy represents an clear improvement on, but not a radical departure from, Bush's foreign policy, at least as practiced during the last two years of Dubya's final term.  

    In general, there's far more continuity in US foreign policy that the most partisan voices in our political discourse would have you believe.  Though Bush's foreign policy was significantly worse than Clinton's foreign policy, there were also many continuities there (regime change in Iraq as an official US goal; extraordinary rendition; etc.).

    •  Fair comment imo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  Though (0+ / 0-)

        it does understate the magnitude of the Iraq Debacle and its idiocy.

        •  I didn't mean to understate that at all. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando, lcbo

          But I do think that what changed between the Clinton years and the Bush years--or to put it another way, what caused the Iraq War--was more an increase in arrogance and incompetence than a vast alteration in American foreign policy.  The underlying faith in the US military as instrument of American foreign policy and the (incorrect) belief that Saddam Hussein was a grave and present danger preceded the Bush administration.  

          Though certainly 9/11 added to the atmosphere, Bush had no trouble getting solid bipartisan majorities (including a majority of Democratic Senators) to back his Iraq misadventure in late 2002 and early 2003.

    •  I tend to agree with this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but as follow up to it, I'd say the reason Douthat is wrong about this being a Bush-Obama era is because Obama has not and never will knowingly lie us into a war while Bush would likely have done that multiple times if given the chance. This simple fact in and of itself is enough to break these two presidencies into completely separate entities.

      •  I think you're probably right. (0+ / 0-)

        I continue to feel that it is important that Obama opposed the Iraq War at the time.  On the other hand, his Secretary of State supported it.

        The Iraq War was a huge debacle, and like most huge debacles it had a lot that was wrong with it. Among the things that were most wrong with it were its essential dishonesty and its incompetence. These two aspects of it have been significantly improved under President Obama.

        But other things that were wrong with Bush-era foreign policy have not changed nearly as much as I'd like them to. These include Executive Branch claims of war-making (and other) powers (including, now, the ability to target US citizens for assassination with no judicial oversight whatsoever), the international pseudo-penal system sybolically represented by Gitmo (though it's not just that facility that's the problem), the use of the military as the primary asset of US foreign policy, our continuing military involvement in Afghanistan etc.

        •  Interesting take, but not mine. (0+ / 0-)

          The difference between Bush and Obama on finding Osama is as stark as Bush shooting at target signs saying he's hunting bin Laden and Obama actually going after him.

          It's the difference between Bush shooting his six guns trying to hit a fly and Obama picking up a fly swatter and getting the job done!

          It's the difference between don Quixote Bush charging at imagined armies that are really sheep & goats with Thor's hammer, and Obama going to Osama's home and surgically removing him from this earth!

          Oh yea... so similar... /snark.

          "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

          by Fireshadow on Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:18:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's like I said before: they just throw faeces (7+ / 0-)

    at the wall and sit back to see what sticks.

    In 2009, the Dickster makes an appearance on Meet the Press to press the case for seeing Obama as a "dangerous" threat to U.S. foreign policy. Now, he comes back on the tube to say that there is zero daylight between Obama's policies and W. Bush's, and so the latter is to be given full credit for the recent victory. Which one is it, Dick? Is Obama veering crazily off to the left, or is he pretty much doing what you were doing?

    Gingrich one moment is all about the boots on the ground in Libya, smoke 'im out of his hidey-hole, all that sort of thing. Barely two weeks later, he's all, "Oh, I don't think I would have intervened." Suddenly he's a peacenik isolationist.

    But there's no one so full of shit as an erstwhile neocon in the Bush administration. Rummy, Condi, Dick... it's only a matter of time before Paul Wolfowitz, with his distinctive saliva-based hair product, crawls out of the woodwork to claim "his" share of the credit.

    It's like I'm reliving 2003 all over again. Get these dirtbags off my TV screen.

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:15:31 AM PDT

    •  Can someone please explain (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, Mistral Wind, Dale

      what all this threatening to prosecute Obama for "murdering" Bin Laden by invading a sovereign nation stuff is all about?
      I heard it at least twice, once from Rummy himself, on tv yesterday.  Rummy was threatening to do this in retaliation if Obama did not drop the investigations into torture allegations.
      First off, I didn't realize anyone was actually investigating that.  I'm very very happy to hear that.  And to hear that they are feeling seriously threatened about it.  
      Next up..these guys tried this "How DARE you think of invading a sovereign nation" stuff back during the '08 campaign..remember that?  The question was, "If you had actionable intelligence that indicated Bin Laden was in Pakistan, would you go after him"?  Obama said yes, yes he would.  The howling ensued.  The public seemed quite okay with that, though, and the R's withdrew that talking point.  Now they want to try it again??  Really??

      •  It's Orwellian doublethink, is what it is. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, Terminus, Mistral Wind

        Back in 2003, the decision not to invade another "sovereign" country would have been seen as "French." Now these erstwhile neocon PNACers are clutching their pearls about the same thing. The only thing that might put it beyond garden-variety hypocrisy is the thought that these guys have totally, in their minds, adopted this new, "peacenik" position in all sincerity, having flushed their old "hawk" position down the memory hole.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:40:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Boggles the mind, doesn't it? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jjgreek, Mistral Wind, Dale

          They are complaining about invading a sovereign nation.  After what they did in Iraq.  While still believing what they did was the only correct way to do things.
          Think it all boils down to this - if THEY do it, it's good and right and proper.  If WE do it, it's evil and wrong and bad.  
          While they're so stupidly condemning anything and everything Obama and the Dems do, we should maybe take them up on it.  Let's have Obama personally propose every stupid item on their agendas.  They will of course condemn it out of hand.  If only they wouldn't turn right around and propose it again themselves, we could destroy their entire agenda just by proposing it ourselves.  

  •  if today's Republicans were (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    around in WWII they would have fought FDR/Truman as hard as the old isolationists did, then they would have complained he "made too big a deal out of winning the war", then they would have taken credit for everything after the fact.

  •  Obama's Foreign Policy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have no comment on the consistency (or lack thereof) of the right; however, there can be little question that Obama's foreign policy is a continuation of the same imperial hubris that motivated the Bush foreign policy -- except Obama's is even worse in certain critical respects.  As far as we know, Bush never authorized the assassination of U.S. citizens.  When Bush wanted to invade Iraq, he had least made the case -- as false as it was -- that Iraq was an imminent threat.  Not so, Obama on Libya.  Bush got congressional authorization for his Iraq debacle, but Obama felt this was unnecessary.

    Anybody who thinks Obama's policies aren't part and parcel of the post-WW II bipartisan consensus of our Rethuglican and Democrap "leaders" is sadly misinformed.

    •  last time I checked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the US didn't invade Libya.
      But hey dont let facts get in your way

      •  Libya and Invasion (0+ / 0-)

        Actually, there was a U.S. invasion in the form of CIA operatives supporting the Libyan rebels; however, even were that not the case,  Obama attacking a sovereign nation to support its rebels in a civil war is certainly an act of war and is certainly something that Congress should be consulted about before its a fait accompli.  Of course, Nixon's unauthorized bombing of Cambodia was one of the Articles of Impeachment drawn up against him.  

    •  Ummmmm.... NO! Bush viewed hunting for (0+ / 0-)

      Osama as  WAR on some giant evil "Spectre" of an enemy and elevated bin Laden to an equal adversary worthy of a Nation's full power and might and MONEY!

      President Obama saw Osama as the lowly criminal he is and re-activated the CIA unit that Bush disbanded that was tasked to Hunt for Osama bin Laden.

      There's absolutely NO continuity in the hunt for Osama there except they both had the word "President" in front of their names.

      "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

      by Fireshadow on Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:35:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Assassination (0+ / 0-)

        Although my point did not have anything to do with bin Laden, the notion that reactivating a CIA unit shows Obama's commitment to use the criminal justice system in the hunt for Osama bin Laden is ludicrous.  The CIA and the military are basically the same thing.  It's the CIA contolling the drones, which are most definitely part of a military arsenal.

        In any event, I guess it would have been too much to ask that bin Laden be taken alive and accorded the due process rights afforded most people charges with crimes.  Instead, we have the assassination of a man who offered no resistance.  So how is this unlike what Bush would probably have done?

  •  'Success' got fathers coming out of the woodwork. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind, annieli, sherlyle
  •  except that W killed the US economy (0+ / 0-)

    and left the banksters alive

    in a raid that operationalized Bush’s famous “dead or alive” dictum,
    and the only dictum is the limp one in his jeans, coddled by Douhat in the "Bush-Obama Convergence" not unlike Hale-Bopp and the Heaven's Gate cult.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:20:49 AM PDT

  •  the thing to ask yourself... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maynard, tsk, paytheline

    is exactly just how much Obama's national security policy differs from neocon practice. The "Patriot" Act, Gitmo, and though Iraq is winding down, we still intend to maintain a significant presence, though it'll be attached to the embassy and not subject to the lack of SoFA with Iraq, unregistered detention centers . . . . The refusal to prosecute torturers was, in retrospect, a highly accurate indicator of where this administration intended to go.

    Douhat may be trying to score cheap political points, but from my POV, I'm not seeing a whole lot of effective difference between Bush and Obama in this regard. The war on terror remains the paramount US foreign policy effort and other international initiatives which need attention languish. Obama shows more willingness to observe the forms is all, while Bush was more than willing to flip the bird at the UN, however the trajectories are very similar.

    At best, one might say that Obama is finishing the tasks Bush claimed he intended to undertake. Different from Douhat's point, but there's a point to make to make here.

    "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
    Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

    by papicek on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:21:56 AM PDT

    •  "Diplomacy" was re-defined during Bush (0+ / 0-)

      era to mean a "six-gun". President Obama restored diplomacy to it's original meaning and use, and observed things called "LAWS".  

      "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

      by Fireshadow on Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:38:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not necessarily... (0+ / 0-)

        for instance, resolution 1973 says nothing about regime change - remember when all the resolution was supposed to call for was a no-fly zone? Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama played fast and lose with the "all measures necessary" language, a last minute addition, to expand the mission. That's a breach of international law right there, because the present mission was never endorsed by the Security Council.

        R2P, which is NOT a treaty but nonetheless has some force in international law as a widely accepted international norm should all this come before the ICJ, specifically prohibits conquering a nation, and it has been argued that installing a friendly regime of one's choice is effectively the same thing. How important are norms in international law? Stronger than treaties and conventions. As spelled out in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the principle of jus cogens (Article 53), peremptory international norms possess the power to invalidate any treaty or convention completely.

        Of course, there's Gitmo there, large as life and there for everyone to see. The Obama-era secret detention facilities in Afghanistan are also a contravention of international law as well.

        So the facts don't support your assertion that international law is being observed. At best, it is being observed in exactly the same degree as in the Bush administration - both presidents skate right to the edge of what can be called out as a serious breach. When it comes to national security policy the two administrations are remarkably similar and this has been noted here on DK for years.

        There is one way in which the US gets away with much of what is generally regarded as illegal behavior: we never sign the treaty. This goes for the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which I mentioned above, though we informally announced that we'd abide by its provisions. This is not quite acceding to the treaty, because that would be binding. The US signed but never ratified the Rome Statute establishing the ICC. Condi Rice then sent a letter to the UN denouncing the treaty. We still refuse to sign the ban on the use of mines as well as the use of certain weapons whose effect unnecessarily puts civilian non-combatants at risk. Like napalm. Here's why the Obama administration gave as its reason: it wanted to let commanders in the field determine which area munition would be most appropriate.

        So, you're right. When we napalm a city (napalm was specifically used as an example), we are not breaking the law because we never signed the treaty. However, with a demonstrated attitude like this, who gives a shit? Seriously.

        The US has stated that it wanted to retain the capacity to napalm cities and lay land mines in Korea. We refuse to allow our citizens to be tried for war crimes and have even passed a law stating that the US must invade the Hague should any American find himself tried there for a war crime (the American Servicemember's Protection Act, courtesy of Jesse Helms). The US still likes to avail itself of every loophole and advantageous interpretation of international law possible - which we just did again concerning S/res/1973 (2011) - and we've been doing so consistently for 60 years.

        So don't talk to me about the US and it's disdain for international law. I happen to know better.

        "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
        Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

        by papicek on Mon May 09, 2011 at 05:11:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the list of the countries... (0+ / 0-)

        who filed official objections to the US refusal to abide by Protocol III of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (the protocol banning the use of incendiaries in civilian areas) included:

        Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

        110 countries signed that treaty. None of them had any problem refraining from firebombing cities.

        Just the US.

        Which is a fine example of exactly how the US operates internationally. We do it time and time again, and we're doing it today. The US strives for as much flexibility as possible in all its treaty commitments so that basically, the treaty is useless when applied to us.

        "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
        Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

        by papicek on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:41:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ha. Ha. Ha. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Douthat is the resident clown at the NYT. You know, the goofball  in a buddy movie.

    It is impossible to take him seriously.

    Thanks for highlighting this.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:22:01 AM PDT

  •  if pundits didn't do stupid shit like this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Mistral Wind, Noamjunior

    Jon Stewart would be out of a job.  he'll be turning it up to 11 with Newt vs. Newt and Mitt vs. Mitt, and this is just the latest two-facedness by the conservative right!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:22:26 AM PDT

  •  I take them seriously (0+ / 0-)

    as propogandists.

  •  An air campaign == Lying us into war? FALSE! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Noamjunior

    Fuckhat wants eveyone to think Bush's Iraq war is pretty much the same thing as what Obama's has authorized for Libya. Asshole.

  •  I guess the Obama Admin is also an extension (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Mistral Wind

    of Bush administration economic policy as well.

    Right, Ross?

    I mean, GWB fucked up everything about OBL, and here is Obama getting it done.

    And GWB fucked up the economy, and Obama is trying to fixed.

    Past is prologue. Wow.

    Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit.

    by cultjake on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:31:14 AM PDT

  •  Ross has a special toilet on the ceiling. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He poops with the top of his head facing the floor.

    Watch Rex, Political Dog give hell to Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and various rightwing lunatics on Twitter.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:34:45 AM PDT

  •  I have a question for you Jed (0+ / 0-)
    Do they even take themselves seriously?

    Why act surprised by this? We know that they have no souls.

    "Without LOVE in the dream it will never come true..." -Hunter/Garcia

    by US Blues on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:54:40 AM PDT

  •  I don't blame them for their sudden about-face (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The whole world changed on 5/1.

    "What about the headless bodies, Governor?" --- Members of the press yelling after a fleeing Jan Brewer, 9/1/2010

    by Pangloss on Mon May 09, 2011 at 09:00:01 AM PDT

  •  Woth 1000 words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind

    The upside-down photo that accompanies this post is fantastic because low information radical, racist, republican, redneck (4THers) process pictures one hell of a lot better than words, ideas, concepts or facts.

    The number of 4THers who are in the lower 98% of wage earners and routinely vote against their own best interests, is astounding.  What can be done to “fix” these people?

  •  The Repugs try to re-write history...according (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Fireshadow

    to them, this is the Obama recession, Bush caught Bin Ladin, 911 happened on Clinton's watch, Reagan saved the universe....etc etc etc

  •  One for the Public Editor? (0+ / 0-)

    I think you should send this post to the Public Editor at the Times.

    You'd think a serious paper would be a little less tolerant of 180 degree rewrites like this. I've never understood why they feel the need to have a mediocre right wing columnist on the payroll, but it drags the paper down when they let them go in for this sort of revisionist nonsense.

    Should send the two pieces to the Public Editor and ask who if anyone is overseeing the opinion columns.

    Remember to kick it over.

    by sprogga on Mon May 09, 2011 at 09:22:35 AM PDT

  •  Andrew Sullivan just put up some (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, DEMonrat ankle biter

    differences between Obama and Bush "doctrines." Check it out.

    O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." --Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

    by Wildthumb on Mon May 09, 2011 at 09:27:38 AM PDT

  •  The Bush/Obama legacy as historians will see it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bush vacationed while the 9-11 warnings sat on his desk, said Osama Binladden wasn't that important, then invaded the wrong country

    Obama made killing Binladen a priority and his administration will get credit for what Bush utterly failed to do

  •  I am confused... (0+ / 0-)

    is this:

    This is an intervention straight from Bill Clinton’s 1990s playbook, in other words, and a stark departure from the Bush administration’s more unilateralist methods. There are no “coalitions of the willing” here, no dismissive references to “Old Europe,” no “you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Instead, the Obama White House has shown exquisite deference to the very international institutions and foreign governments that the Bush administration either steamrolled or ignored.

    an insult? That sounds quite nice.

  •  Cato Institute Tells How Bush Lost OBL (0+ / 0-)

    Shows why the Douthat revionism is such a crock of shit.

    A few months after Tora Bora, as part of the preparation for war in Iraq, the Bush administration pulled out many of the Special Operations and CIA forces that had been searching for bin Laden in Afghanistan, according to several U.S. officials who served at the time.

    Even the drones that U.S. forces depended on to track movements of suspicious characters in the Afghan mountain passes were redeployed to be available for the Iraq war, Lt. Gen. John Vines told The Washington Post in 2006. Once, when Vines’s troops believed they were within half an hour of catching up to bin Laden, the general asked for drones to cover three possible escape routes. But only one drone was available — others had been moved to Iraq. The target got away.

    That’s right folks! The Bush White House lost whatever opportunity it had to get bin Laden by diverting scarce resources to  Iraq. Of course, it should go without saying that even if America hadn’t gone into Iraq, it would’ve been difficult for Bush to have captured or killed bin Laden. But what really “grinds my gears” is to hear members of the Bush team claim credit for bin Laden’s recent demise—torture was “critically important”—while simultaneously ignoring their culpability for not helping to capture bin Laden when they had the chance.

    Aside from the military, other vital resources were spread thin. Iraq diverted international funds, journalistic resources, public attention and criticism, and adequate Congressional oversight. Iraq also dealt a severe blow to NATO’s unity of effort in Afghanistan. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that many European allies “have a problem with our involvement in Iraq and project that to Afghanistan.” Those forthright remarks were echoed by Dr. William Maley, Professor at Australian National University, and Mr. Daoud Yaqub, Research Scholar at Australian National University. “[T]o many observers in Europe,” say Maley and Yaqub, “Iraq is a war of choice, and as a result Europe has no particular duty to shoulder a heavier burden in Afghanistan. The Afghan government and people are victims of this tension.”

    Thank you, Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfled, Ms. Rice, et al. for taking your eyes off the ball.

  •  Douthat makes me puke. (0+ / 0-)

    Gods, what a dreadful whore.

  •  I think I figured something out... (0+ / 0-)

    I think "W" acted unilaterally simply because it was a lot of work and he didn't really know how to do international politics. It was just a lot easier to say "fuck it", and deal with the consequences later. I think it's really that simple. I see people do stuff like this in my regular life all the time... They're just not usually president.

    Statesmanship is a skill, partly learned, partly innate. W simply didn't have it.

    Freedom isn't free: Pay your taxes!

    by walk2live on Mon May 09, 2011 at 12:06:15 PM PDT

  •  Technically... (0+ / 0-)

    "Do they even take themselves seriously?"

    The technical term for what their noise machine does, is -- and I shit you not, this a quite serious philosophical distinciton, with an extensive literature -- "bullshit".

    Both lies and bullshit involve saying things that are not factual.  But in a lie, there is intent to deceive and therefore knowledge that the statement is not truthful.  The bullshitter simply doesn't care to distinguish fact from fiction, is often quite incapable of that distinction.

    They wouldn't know how to begin to take themselves seriously.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Mon May 09, 2011 at 01:32:21 PM PDT

  •  In this article I have now read more, by several (0+ / 0-)

    orders of magnitude, words written by Ross Douthat than I have previously in his entire lifetime.  Good to know I made the right call.  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Mon May 09, 2011 at 03:02:23 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site