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Uri Friedman, an associate editor at Foreign Policy, asks, Did Mitt Romney just rehabilitate George Marshall?

Most of us have heard about the general's Marshall Plan for war-torn Europe. But what's less known -- and perhaps of interest to Romney, who's employed aggressive rhetoric against China -- is that, during the same period, Marshall faced withering criticism from figures such as Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy and U.S. General Douglas MacArthur for the 1945-1947 Marshall Mission, a failed effort to mediate China's civil war between the Nationalists and Communists, which Mao Zedong's forces ultimately won. In the early 1950s, as Republicans blamed Democrats for "losing China" to communism, McCarthy and MacArthur pointed fingers at Marshall and the Truman administration.

"It was one of the greatest blunders in American diplomatic history for which the free world is now paying in blood and disaster and will in all probability continue to do so indefinitely," MacArthur wrote in 1951, in reference to the Marshall Mission. He accused Marshall, who, as secretary of state, had opposed U.S. military intervention in the Chinese Civil War, of weakening the Nationalists by using "the potential of American assistance as a weapon" in trying to force the two sides to form a coalition government.

McCarthy was even harsher during a Senate speech several days later. [...]

All this isn't to say that Romney shouldn't have made Marshall's work an organizing theme in his address. But it does speak to the ironies of the GOP candidate invoking the statesman's legacy. Romney, for instance, demanded that the United States confront China's "assertiveness" (Republicans accused Marshall of appeasing Beijing), pledged to arm the Syrian rebels (the GOP slammed Marshall for not assisting the Chinese Nationalists militarily), promised to "reaffirm our historic ties to Israel" (Marshall urged Truman not to support a Jewish state), and called for conditioning U.S. aid to Egypt on the country's government embracing democracy and maintaining its peace treaty with Israel (in announcing the Marshall Plan, which did call for economic reforms in exchange for U.S. aid, Marshall declared that "our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos").

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2002Tenet didn't get the script:

Jeez. Here we are -- hearing about how Iraq is within weeks of dropping a thermonuclear warhead on NYC or DC or the Golden Gate Bridge unless we launch a massive invasion to stop him -- when the head of the nation's intelligence services gives us the real scoop:
"Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or cbw (chemical and biological weapons) against the United States," said the 2-1/2 page letter signed by Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin on behalf of CIA Director George Tenet.

"Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions."

So, let's see ...

we're attacking Iraq as part of the global war on terrorists and terrorist states.
Iraq doesn't plan on attacking the US.

But if the US attacks Iraq, then they could launch terrorist attacks against the US.
Therefore we should attack Iraq.

Well, this is actually progress. We've gone from no logic to circular logic. With this administration, I'll take what I can get.

Tweet of the Day:

Vice presidential debate is  1 1/2 hours long meaning that Paul Ryan will later claim to have completed it in one hour #lyinRyan
@tbogg via web

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's VP Debate Week, but all the talk is still about last week. In-house polling experts Greg Dworkin and Steve Singiser update us on the data and where the races up and down the ticket are headed. In the 2nd hour, more "dot connecting," in a reading on the "wisdom" of free market, and cost-benefit analyses, plus a roundup of Roll Call's Top 10 most vulnerable Members of Congress. Don't forget to vote and keep voting in the Stitcher Awards!

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