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Which one of these two voted for the Iraq war? Just asking.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may (or may not) have hugged it out, but there is no mistaking that the former secretary of state is looking to create some distance between herself and the president she served. In her interview with The Atlantic, when Jeffrey Goldberg spoke of finding "harmony between muscular intervention—“We must do something”—vs. let’s just not do something stupid," clearly referring to the thinking of the current and most recent former presidents, Clinton characterized both approaches as "extremes." She instead advocated a middle path that, in essence, splits the difference between W. and O.

Going further, she criticized what has become a shorthand for the president's first principle of foreign policy, arguing that "great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don’t do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle." What this great nation does not need, I would submit, is a president whose foreign policy is only going to be half as destructive as that of George W. Bush.

But first, let's clarify what "don't do stupid stuff" actually means, below the fold.

It means don't send our armed forces somewhere unless there would be serious consequences to our security if we didn't, and, additionally, unless there are no other alternatives. And, within those parameters, avoid a major commitment of ground forces unless no other military option would suffice. It's much more than a throwaway line. If you want a fuller description of President Obama's foreign policy that still fits in a sound bite, it's this: "Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail."

That's what the president said in a West Point commencement address barely two months ago. He also said that he would not send troops into battle …

… simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak. ... America must always lead on the world stage ... but U.S. military action cannot be the only—or even primary—component of our leadership in every instance.
That is an organizing principle worthy of a great nation, a nation that seeks peace and stability for the world, and security for its own people. That is the kind of nation we ought to be.

And whether it's "don't do stupid stuff" or "just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail," please think about how much stronger our country's security and overall health would have been in the past seven decades if our presidents had conducted foreign policy with the Obama Doctrine at the front of their minds. As Obama himself noted, "Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint but from our willingness to rush into military adventures without thinking through the consequences."

In 1953, an American- and British-backed coup overthrew the elected government in Iran led by Mohammed Mossadeq. Why? Because we thought he would move his country into the Soviet orbit. The result: our puppet, the Shah, took power and suppressed the secular opposition. A quarter century later, the shah was overthrown by the theocratic, Islamic government that turned Iran into a bitter enemy of the U.S. The Soviets are gone, but the ayatollahs are still there. Count that as one for the Obama Doctrine.

That's not the only instance of covert U.S. interference in another country during the Cold War, many of them on behalf of, ahem, less than fully democratic regimes. Even more destructive than Iran or any of these was our disastrous war in Vietnam on behalf of a population that didn't want us there, and that rejected the government with whom we were allied. Imagine what our country would be like today if it hadn't been torn apart by Vietnam. And then, as David Axelrod reminded us, there was the stupidity that was invading Iraq.

Just to clarify:  "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.
In surveying the current landscape, Hillary Clinton expressed concern about "the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States." Certainly, they are dangerous and should be a primary focus of our foreign policy. Then she added that jihadist groups ...
… are driven to expand …. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat. You know, we did a good job in containing the Soviet Union, but we made a lot of mistakes, we supported really nasty guys, we did some things that we are not particularly proud of, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, but we did have a kind of overarching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. That was our objective. We achieved it.
The idea that jihadi groups—brutal, aggressive, and, yes, as ISIL's mass murders have shown, evil as they are—represent a threat that requires us to muster a response similar to our containment of a nuclear-armed world power is, to use the word of the day, stupid. And remember what was said above about Iran and Vietnam. We overreacted during the Cold War as well. To her credit, Clinton recognizes those "mistakes," but what she fails to realize is that the "overarching framework" and the need for an "organizing principle" is exactly what led us into those mistakes.

During the Cold War, our policy of containment had a core strategic element: the domino theory, which led us into a war that we did not need to fight in Southeast Asia. The strategic model itself bears a significant share of the blame. It is very tempting to create a model of how the world works and to try and shoehorn events and trends into that model. But it's a bad idea.

In criticizing the Obama Doctrine, Clinton bemoaned its lack of an overarching vision, some kind of model. That is, however, its strength, in particular given our position as the Number 1 status quo country on the planet. We are, without question, the world's preeminent military power. We devote more funds to military forces than do the next eight countries combined.

When I say we are, or at least ought to be, a status quo power, I mean that our main goal should be to make sure no other power threatens our security or the stability of the world. A successful foreign policy has to assess each threat according to the principles of the Obama Doctrine. Having an "overarching framework" (again, see Iran and Vietnam) can cause a president to inflate a situation beyond the threat it actually poses. The invasion of Iraq under George W. Bush is a separate case because, well, that country posed no threat to us at all.

During the Cold War, if we'd been more confident in the ultimate superiority of our political and economic system—despite its serious problems—compared to that of Soviet communism, we could have avoided those mistakes by recognizing that, in the long run, we were going to win. Just like Muhammad Ali, Barack Obama understands that when you are the smarter, more talented competitor in the ring, you can let the other guy swing wildly until he tires himself out, the old rope-a-dope strategy. The Soviet Union ultimately collapsed, unable to keep up with us in terms of the freedom or economic opportunities democratic capitalism offered. Our interventions on behalf of anti-communist thugs, whether they "succeeded" as in Iran, or abjectly failed as in Vietnam, had no effect on that collapse.

Hillary Clinton calls for us to embrace a more robust organizing principle for our foreign policy than "don't do stupid stuff." Her reference to the Cold War is telling, and at least suggests that she sees expansionist jihadist groups as a fundamental threat reminiscent to that posed by the USSR. Sounds to me like a new "Global War on Terror," the kind of thing that could potentially lead us into another unnecessary and destructive conflict. Talk about stupid.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I think it's perfect policy. (20+ / 0-)

      "Don't do anything stupid" is sound advice. Our conscience will tell us what is stupid and what is not. We all have a pretty good idea of what the definition of "stupid" is. I tell my kid this all the time - it covers all possibilities.

      And if you don't have a conscience, then you probably shouldn't be in charge of shit.

      "I did not have sex with that bridge"

      by Scottsdalian on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:34:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aw, come on. This President is nuanced. "Stupid... (10+ / 0-)

        ... stuff" - while a valid concern - does not tell us much about how to make day-to-day decisions about foreign policy - and it's certainly no overarching principle.

        It's a catch phrase, and a ridiculous one to try to have a sensible dialog about. Particularly about the events of the last few weeks. It's on the same level as Fox commentary.

        Hillary Clinton should be ashamed.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:48:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This Diary Frustrates Me (11+ / 0-)

        I really do not want to support Hillary for president - clearly I am "not ready."  And clearly, she is not either.  The last 6-8 weeks have shown us that he still has residual issues left over from the 2008 campaign that cost her the nomination.

        So many on this site are supporters of Warren but she has stated clearly she will not run in 2016.  As a movement, all we seem to being doing is complaining about Hillary but as a movement, what are we really doing to assist someone that we could support to run?  Nothing.

        Running for president takes a lot of support, money, commitments, etc., so unless we all get to it and start promoting/urging folks who are thinking about, running, it's going to be Hillary.  At the very least, we need to have someone in the race to keep challenging her on issues so she can't move right.

        And for Progressives, we need to flood the caucus states like we did in 2008 for Obama and prevent her from winning them in an attempt to keep the primary going.  All of this means working with MoveOn, Daily Kos, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, etc., to nail these caucuses.  There are not enough establishment types in these caucus states for Hillary to compete.

        "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

        by unapologeticliberal777 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:44:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who would you propose running... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz, Tuffie, akmk

          that could also have an excellent chance of winning? I'm not arguing with you - I'm asking seriously.

          While I don't adore HRC, she gives Dems an excellent chance of retaining WH. I would LOVE to see Warren run, but I don't know if she can win. Hillary can win.

          Losing the WH is not an option.

          "I did not have sex with that bridge"

          by Scottsdalian on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:05:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  2020 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I doubt that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee in 2016, but if she is nominated and then goes on to win the general election I think there will be a disconnect between President HRC and younger, more liberal Democratic citizens. As a result I think that would pave the way for a Republican to win the White House in 2020. A Republican presidential victory in 2020 would be a disaster as 2022 is the earliest that Democrats can hope to retake the House of Representatives.

            "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

            by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:00:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think any woman who would be in a position (5+ / 0-)

          to be President in 2016 would have to do some "tough talk" on foreign policy in order to win, and Hillary can't be the "uber-peace-nik" in any case because of her vote on Iraq so she's going to have to "thread the needle" between embracing Obama's success in foreign policy (and he's had a lot of success) and pulling our military back and returning to a mostly law enforcement model for dealing with terrorism and a mostly diplomatic approach to global crises. And he's been demanding that other stakeholder nations in these crises step up and shoulder more of the burden, which is why he's accused of "not leading".
          So, I think regardless of who wins, (with the exception of Grandpa McCain), we will continue on the foreign policy direction laid out by Obama.

          Not that there's no room for improvement.

          I think H. Clinton cares about, and sees herself as the potential champion of, improved conditions and rights for women and children, globally and domestically. This perspective touches on war and peace, a middle class economy, health care, access to justice, global warming, education for all, etc.
          This makes her a progressive.
          I think she'll do the politically expedient, but she will move as far in a progressive direction as she is politically allowed or pushed.

          I understand people's concerns with her cozying up to Wall Street, etc. Anyone, man or woman, who makes it to the WH is going to have to compete with the big money people. That's just a fact right now.

          I think progressives should not pin their hopes on her, but work to gain power in Congress and in the states, and push her or whoever the next Pres. is in the right direction.

          I have no problem with the idea of primary challengers.

          However, it's time we had a woman President, and now that we've finally got one with the moxie, drive and the political capital to win, we're tripping over ourselves to reject her.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:28:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not Hillary (9+ / 0-)

            Hillary wasn't right in 2008 and she's not right now. Just because its time for a woman doesn't me it should be the wrong woman no matter what.

            Dems need a better candidate. She has too much baggage and it comes popping to the surface like it did recently in that interview.

          •  I agree that the next president should be a woman. (5+ / 0-)

            Hell, the next couple dozen presidents should be women.  That doesn't mean that any woman should have the backing of progressives.  A former Walmart board member who voted to attack a country without provocation of any sort should not be making the shortlist for anybody who is a progressive.  

            I don't doubt that she would be better on the issues you mentioned than a Republican, but that's something to talk about after she wins the primary (and I don't doubt she will win).  Until that happens, there's no point in heaping unfounded praise on her (and even then, it will still cause me to gag a little).

            •  I don't think I'm heaping praise of any kind on (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              her. I'm just offering some alternative thoughts for consideration.
              There was a time when Walmart wasn't universally recognized as evil. They used to hype their "made in the USA" products at one time.
              With all politicians, somewhere in there is a sincere human being, and then there's the political animal. and then there's the advisers and pollsters, etc. who are constantly "crafting their message".

              I don't think progressives should choose a "champion" who will wave their wand and vanquish the right-wingers.

              Progressives should build power on multiple levels, from school boards to Congress to the WH, (and board rooms, as progressive policies are actually good for sustainable business ,emphasis on sustainable) and push the media to do honest reporting, and push any President in a progressive direction.

              If an alternative progressive 2016 choice who can win and be President comes along, that would be great. Otherwise I think Hillary could be a good President for progressives, if we push.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:55:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Amen! I think too many times progs have bet on (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Progressives should build power on multiple levels, from school boards to Congress to the WH, (and board rooms, as progressive policies are actually good for sustainable business, emphasis on sustainable) and push the media to do honest reporting, and push any President in a progressive direction.
                individual people/personalities ("saviors" or "champions"), to the detriment of organizing around principles. We need both insiders and outsiders (kinda like the false dichotomy of "LBJ v. MLK"--I submit it took both to pass civil rights legislation)!

                Of course, I include myself among the guilty.

                "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                by bartcopfan on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:59:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I've posted 3 diaries and multiple comments (7+ / 0-)

          pushing O'Malley for President. I've also been advocating for him on twitter. That isn't a whole lot but it is about all I can do until he declares. And he is clearly acting like he's running for president.

          The netroots by and large backed Edwards in Iowa. Obama's team on the ground is what pushed him to a win in Iowa. O'Malley is meeting with many of those same organizers in the state. Let's hope he is equally successful.

          Sinbad on dodging sniper fire in Bosnia - "What kind of president would say, 'Hey, man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so I'm going to send my wife...oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.'"

          by askew on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:40:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  O'Malley? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, Ian Reifowitz, Sychotic1

          I like him and he has expressed interest in running for president.

        •  Keep attacking Hillary until she looks beatable (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gratis4, chuckvw, roadbear, keetz4

          That's the best way to encourage someone to challenge her in the primaries.

        •  Bernie Sanders (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stringer bell

          That is one I would support and send money too...even though I have no money - I would find it somewhere....every paycheck....

          Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

          by Whitewitch on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:27:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  We should start with an end to the idea that (10+ / 0-)

      we are this "indispensable nation that must lead."

      I'd much rather we take our place among the nations, equal to them, not better. Because since we've taken on the role of superpower, we've been worse than most, and since we became the lone superpower, worse than every other nation as far as starting the most wars and wreaking the most havoc.

      Add to that our first place status when it comes to pollution and waste per capita, carbon footprint per capita, incarceration per capita, inequality among developed nations, and a health care system ranked 37th . . . . we really have no business bragging about such things.

      It's political suicide, of course, to say any of the above, or even hint at a general pull back in the world, but it's the right thing to do. And by that, I don't mean the Ron Paul kind of anti-intervention, which includes gutting humanitarian aid as well. I'm saying we should actually increase that, but demilitarize ourselves to such an extent, we couldn't even expand our empire if we wanted to, and we shouldn't want to. We should want to shrink it, dramatically, and concentrate on what ails us here.

      This should be where the left steps in and makes the moral and ethical case for rolling back empire. That would win over young people for generations, and pull them away from the Paulians. Their rationale for shrinking empire is purely selfish and based entirely on cutting taxes for the rich and privatizing society even more than it already is. The moral and ethical route would do it so we can live in peace and harmony with the world and with nature, doing everything we can to improve quality of life for all.

      “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe . . . {Economic Left/Right: -9.12 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.77}

      by diomedes77 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:00:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stop flogging yourself so hard. You all aren't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz, jdsnebraska, roadbear

        all that bad.  And when overwhelming natural disasters strike, there's no other country in your league when it comes to helping out.  

        Nice analysis of the Paulians.  

        Speaking of Paulians, I believe they've been ousted from their takeover of the Iowa Republican Party.  

        Interesting that their organization for Ron Paul may have already rotted through and may not help Rand too much.  Pure speculation on my part.  

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

        by Observerinvancouver on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:05:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You've killed your straw man thoroughly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But where did Hillary say that ISIL needs a containment comparable to that used on the USSR?

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:23:45 AM PDT

  •  The messaging is all wrong! (14+ / 0-)

    Don't Do Stupid Shit (Stuff)!

    As opposed to "What can we do to turn this into a bigger Cluster Fuck."

    Triangulation Sucks!


    "..... people don't come to Daily Kos for meta. That stuff is a tiny (if loud) fraction of overall activity on the site." Kos

    by Joes Steven on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:24:06 AM PDT

  •  Obama is already in the middle ground. (36+ / 0-)

    Obama's interventionist foreign policy that limits the scale of military engagements is the middle ground. He made progress with cutting defense spending and nuclear non-proliferation. He's neither pacifist or hawkish.

    Clinton's war hawk talking points leftover from the cold war are anything but middle. She's confirming the fear that her hawkish inclinations would maker her Presidency a threat to world peace. No, I don't want her answering the phone at 3am because I don't want another President who appeals to fear, whether its cold war fear, war on terror fear, or ugly campaign commercial fear.

    •  Obama is the middle ground (12+ / 0-)

      Between isolationism and the neocons. Now, to be sure, Hillary is no McCain/Bush. But she is trying to out herself in between Obama and Bush, as the above quotation in the post shows.

      •  Obama is the middle ground (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Choco8, commonmass

        …unless you consider what is going on in Africa right this very minute -- which is about to become the largest intervention in US history.

        For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
        - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

        by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:38:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you mean Ebola or S Sudan? (4+ / 0-)

          failure to intervene in both (not militarily, but intervene) would be a moral failure comparable to Bill Clinton's admitted worst blunder, hands off Rwanda.

          There's no such thing as a free market!

          by Albanius on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:49:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your are aware that we flew all the African (6+ / 0-)

            …leaders to the White House last week.

            (Note:  I am using CIA mouthpiece, NYT, for the source below. The non-anglo news of the world tells it like it is.)

            Washington Meeting of African Leaders Opens to Protests

            WASHINGTON — Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the State Department on Monday, the start of a summit meeting here of more than 40 African heads of state, to denounce some of the leaders as “torturers” and “killers.”

            The protesters, who were mostly from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said they were angry that the White House was looking to enhance economic ties with repressive governments. “Stop financing dictators,” the crowd chanted. “President Obama, shame on you.”

            Obang Metho, director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, referenced Mr. Obama’s message to African leaders during his 2009 trip. “Africa doesn’t need strongmen. It needs strong institutions,” Mr. Obama said at the time.

            “Now he is sitting with strongmen,” Mr. Metho said. “Where are the strong institutions?”

            On Tuesday, Mr. Obama will host the leaders at the White House for dinner and will then take part in a series of meetings on Wednesday, mostly focused on increasing United States investment in Africa and promoting peace and stability on the continent. As the summit meeting began, the White House also announced that it would institute new programs and foreign assistance aimed at promoting gender equality in Africa.

            Read on:

            US military presence in Africa:

            Source:  Mother Jones, 2014.


            My sources tell me we have already complete the US supply chain highway all the way up the center of Africa. We are good to go.

            For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
            - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

            by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:09:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  US should strengthen civil society, esp health (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              … and education throughout Africa.  But "strong institutions" cannot be built overnight.  

              Sometimes there are no good options.  CIA-installed strongman Mobutu headed perhaps the most corrupt kleptocracy in the world, but his overthrow resulted in a civil/regional war that killed some 5 million people, mostly civilians IIRC.  I am not saying he should have been propped up, but MUCH more should have been done to stop that war in its early stages.

              The best practical general policy would be to support civil society with billions of dollars of new aid through multilateral channels, while using diplomacy to prevent and/or end wars.

              There's no such thing as a free market!

              by Albanius on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:16:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  US should give the money to the UN (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gratis4, chuckvw, gulfgal98, flowerfarmer

                …and let them do it.

                Because everything the US touches, turns to shit.

                For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

                by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:36:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The UN was on the ground in Rwanda. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  They were told to do nothing, the few that were left who that were protecting some of the Tutsi were forced by order to leave. The Tutsi they were shielding from the slaughter of the Huti were summarily executed upon their forced departure.

                  The UN sometimes has a marvelous way of turning things to shit too, largely in their ineptitude and their desire to make platitudes and issue toothless proclamations.

                  Charlie Crist for Florida Primary date: August 26, 2014, Election Date: November 4, 2014

                  by aimeehs on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:29:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  True, for peacekeepers. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    The comment I was responding to was about setting up educational and social systems improvements. The UN has many parts to it, and the work they do in those areas is pretty great.

                    The US doesn't have that kind of set up. They just have guys with guns.

                    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                    - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

                    by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 08:30:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Link (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The Startling Size of US Military Operations in Africa

              That map isn't any better to distinguish purple from blue markers.

              Given the 13 articles on US military in Africa since 7/12* in MJ alone, it would be really helpful if 'someone' could distill them down to an informative overview of what is going on. ;)

              (*11 are by Nick Turse, author of several books on the US military + VN.)

              I had heard about the new approach for military in the African command, but not the level of new outposts, etc. Given the mess that too much of Africa is, I am not surprised the US military has developed intervention plans for much of the continent.  Many of them will be dependent on having infrastructure, equipment and supplies preplanted. Not to mention in-country forces better trained to cooperate.

              The first use of this is very likely to be any day in the ebola outbreak - desperately in need of major international assistance.  

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:58:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The point is to eject China from Africa. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ginny in CO, gratis4, flowerfarmer

                So we can privatize their oil with US oil companies while the Africans off fighting the civil wars we are fomenting and the "terrorists" we are funding.

                I think Nick Turse covered it well. Pepe Escobar gives the Hunters S Thompson overview.

                For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

                by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:41:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I knew there was oil in Africa (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  but didn't realize that much... Fuzzy memory had China after special metals used for electronics. (Which could be true also.)

                  So much for "don't do stupid shit".  OTOH, rereading your sig line, does it qualify for insane?

                  "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                  by Ginny in CO on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 03:10:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: and

        by cany on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:02:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, she's more middle than middle. (16+ / 0-)

      She's so middle that no matter what policy you mention, she can give a more middle answer even if the question is "What is better than the middle?" the answer is more middle. There is a sole exception, that is if her opponent is for more middle, then she will be most middle, just to be sure.

      If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

      by Bryce in Seattle on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:36:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shades of "Reason Magazine" (3+ / 0-)

        It's delightful reading super-centrist,  (small O) objectivist, independent and non partisan Sensible People like Cathy Young singing the sweet siren song of "a Pox on both your Houses" ... with a chorus of "They Both Do It"  as an encore.

        Yet ... is surely does appeal to both the pro-business anti-union position that Newsday's editorial managent has been quickly drifting towards for years -- AND to the "I am not political"  difference-splitting low information voter.

        As I see it the coming Presidential primary will offer 50 Shades of Hawk ... and a choice among candidates whose first loyalty will be to their  Banking, Extraction, or Global Trade sponsors.

        "Labor is an expense, not a constituency"

  •  Disagree with your description of containment (6+ / 0-)

    which was excellent foreign policy.

    The domino theory was the necon corollary to it that misunderstood Kennan's argument.

    Good post though.

  •  A side point: (27+ / 0-)

    Vietnam was utterly stupid (and corrupt).

    But Iraq was pure Neocon evil (in service of the PetroDollar and in service to the Saudis and Israel.)

    I don't think Hillary would consider it stupid. She knew exactly what Iraq was about. The WMD bullshit was for the unwashed. She was sub-President for 8 years. She knew what was going on.

    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
    - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

    by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:28:33 AM PDT

    •  Note Alelrod's carefully worded Twit: (14+ / 0-)
      Just to clarify:  "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.
      Oh, the games they play.

      The attack and slaughter was fine, but once the oil was secured and denationalized and would continue to be sold for PetroDollars (rather than gold or Euros as Saddam had threatened three months earlier) -- "occupation" was a "stupid idea."

      They are all bastards.

      For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
      - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

      by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:34:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a really excellent point that, for (18+ / 0-)

      some reason I'd never really considered.

      Hillary had spent 8 years in the White House. Are we to believe that somehow, in the 1 & 1/2 - 2 years since Dubya took office, that Hussein had started up a WMD program, let alone any kind of one that presented any danger to the US, let alone one that was one worth 4,000 American and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian lives?

      She knew what the deal was. To accept explanation that her vote was some "terrible mistake" is to give her too little credit.

      •  Americans have no training in how to (6+ / 0-)

        …process information critically. By design.

        For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
        - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

        by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:16:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Americans are daily bombarded by spin (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz, Pluto, mikejay611

          from our corporate media. Spin works. That is why corporations spend billions to spin their products, and to control all information.

          Most Americans get all of their news and opinion from TV. It's only the small percentage that is willing to work and do independent research, that will even have a chance of knowing the truth--especially concerning all foreign affairs news.

          War is costly. Peace is priceless!

          by frostbite on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:11:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it was a terrible mistake. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz, semiot

        We had this messy no-fly zone situation with Saddam.
        Saddam was getting around our sanctions against Iraqi oil.

        We were afraid Saddam would fall or another war would start with Iran, putting the oil supply at risk.

        The neocons wanted to have Iran in a vise between Afghanistan and Iraq and for the US to have another permanent base/ally other than Israel, which would take some of the Arab pressure off Israel.

        At the time I didn't think the wmd argument held water, but I assumed that Dems like Kerry and Clinton knew something about the situation that we didn't know. I didn't think they would do it out of purely craven political cowardice.

        We still have political leaders who were in a position of responsibility during that time. Do we chuck them all out and accept gop governance until the next generation of Dem pols grows up, or do we support them conditionally and expect them to make up for their mistakes?

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:21:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can't say what Hillary knew. I just know her (13+ / 0-)

      Vote was wrong, and it cost her the White House six years ago.

      •  Much more trivial "stupid stuff" shorthand ... (6+ / 0-)

        ... and she'll cost herself a good shot at 2016.

        I've been for Sen. Warren after Hillary is out. Or at least so far down she can't climb back up. I didn't believe Hillary Clinton would start this campaign BS so early and in such an ill-considered manner, given that she was part of this administration and understands why you don't so gratuitously undercut a sitting president in the thicket of things.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:57:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't be too certain that hurt Hillary. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eztempo, Ian Reifowitz, David54, lotlizard

          After all:

          In 21st century America, no US President will be crowned without the full backing and support of the nation's Defense [MIC] and Finance sectors [Wall Street].

          I don't see how Warren gets there. Unless she sacrifices all of her principles.

          For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
          - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

          by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:20:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The issue isn't that pure. Your "full" part ... (5+ / 0-)

            ... in particular, doesn't describe the landscape.

            Wall Street and other financial moguls do not think alike, at least politically. They, like defense contractors, play both sides of the fence.

            Campaign money goes where the political action is. If bank regulation is important, you can bet that money flows to Democrats. Open Secrets describes the finance/insurance, real estate sector giving this way:

            The sector contributes generous sums to both parties, with Republicans traditionally collecting more than Democrats. Yet in the past two election cycles, bankers have suddenly shifted their cash toward Democrats. The sector gave at least 55 percent of their contributions to the GOP from 1996 to 2004, but actually gave a slight majority of their donations to Democrats in the 2008 cycle. This reversal may suggest an effort to remain influential as a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress consider new market regulations in response to the specter of economic decline.
            While it is true that defense contractors favor Republicans more than Democrats, the imbalance is not as great as you might think. Note, for example, where military installations are - in a heckuva lot of Red districts. In 2012, defense political spending was roughly 60/40 in favor of Republicans.

            It's true that Warren terrifies banksters and other financial interests. And Yes, Senators from Wall Street - which accounts for every senator from New York including Mrs. Clinton - have to toady to ... Wall Street. It's called serving "constituents' interests." But even then, it's not "fully." The rhetoric of the bankers, especially the bankers, is steamy, their lobbying intense and highly targeted, but as for their political contributions, they are much more pragmatic.

            Besides, by 2016, much of this hassle over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will have subsided. Those cats will want to be able to work effectively with the White House and with regulators and legislators of both political persuasions. They'll play both sides of most of the campaign streets, especially at presidential and Senatorial levels.

            2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:00:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. I kept track of the lobby money (0+ / 0-)

              …distribution sources, above, during 2008. I am aware that they were hedged across the board.

              However, that leads to an alternate conclusion -- the flip-side of the same coin parties are careful to pre-vet candidates so they are committed to serving Our Overlords. Hence, the way that Ron Paul's delegates were pulled at the last minute.

              Was there ever a question in your mind that Romney would be the candidate? Or Hillary, for that matter. Although Biden is a willing player, particularly for the finance sector. For some, there is little doubt that Romney will again be the candidate in 2016.

              Thus, those sectors will hedge again, fool the people, and look like they are not picking sides again in 2016.

              For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
              - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

              by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:53:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, but who are the power brokers who ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... would vet Hillary Clinton and declare her wanting?

                2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 03:05:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  For one thing, Hillary is not wanting (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greenbell, lotlizard, flowerfarmer

                  …in the least. She panders to the MIC and Wall Street. And Israel, for that matter. She's smart.

                  Warren's smart, too, but she knows the NSA would tear her and her family to pieces if she ran where she wasn't wanted -- and got even close to the nomination.

                  This is the 21st century.

                  As for naming names -- You know the sun is in the sky NOT by staring at it, but by looking at the shadows that are cast across the landscape.

                  If the pattern is consistent election after election after election and the economic policy the country is on a non-wavering trajectory of crushing the quality of life for theAmerican Colonists while feeding the war golem more and more and more of the nation's treasure for international murder sprees and foreign resource seizure decade after decade without exception -- then you pretty much understand the laws of political physics.

                  For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                  - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

                  by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 03:19:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  We should assume that Hillary read (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz, Pluto, JVolvo, flowerfarmer

        the pre-war Iraq news. On a daily basis we were informed that the UN inspection team was always coming up with zeros. Everyone in Congress had that same information.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:14:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dumping on the Senator from New York for (0+ / 0-)

          voting for that war is silly.  Once the media was on it, there was no way she could do anything else.  Let's focus up on where the blame rests- an honest media would have made opposition powerful and principled.  As that situation played out there was no chance in hell we were going to avoid Iraq.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:23:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  everybody knew (5+ / 0-)

        Colin Powell knew

        Congress knew

        Democrats knew

        Everybody knew that the Iraq war and the 'war on terror' was/is bullshit

    •  It would be hard to beat Vietnam for evil (11+ / 0-)

      Iraq is certainly in the running.

      There was nothing stupid about McNamara (flat out) lying to Johnson about the incidents in the Gulf of Tonkin, nor was there anything stupid about Nixon and Kissinger undermining peace talks to fix an election. All very cool and calculated...

      Evil and stupidity are often travel companions, it's true.

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

      by chuckvw on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:49:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your real problem (9+ / 0-)

    is: what ideals does this country offer the world by intervention?  So-called free market capitalism, that is, neo-liberalism?  

    There are three predominant powers in the world right now: fundamentalist religion, neo liberalism in the economic sense and nationalism.  None of them are good alternatives.  In fact, they all promise disaster of one kind or another.

    The alternatives set forth by the occupy movement look pretty good in comparison.  But of course that failed.

    Is it better to lose than be lost?

    by Publius2008 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:28:41 AM PDT

    •  Your comment on the failure of... (6+ / 0-)

      ...the occupy movement reminds me of something that Gandhi supposedly said when asked his thoughts on the American revolution, "too soon to tell".

      Course I may be wrong on who asked who and what was asked and what the answer actually was get my point.

      Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

      by Arilca Mockingbird on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:39:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The new to-go word the US uses (6+ / 0-)

      …is "humanitarian intervention."

      When it comes from the US, it is essentially a declaration of war and the words "humanitarian intervention" signal the destruction of your country.

      The 47 nations of Africa are frozen in terror over those words right now. They know what's on its way from the US. A proxy war with China over oil. They are dead men walking.

      For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
      - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

      by Pluto on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:44:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The occupy movement got us Senator Warren. (5+ / 0-)

      If you think that's a failure, well, I can see you've got to be a Hillary supporter. ;)

      "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

      by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:44:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a pretty modest accomplishment. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Lying eyes, Sky Net

        Wow, we got a liberal senator from our country's most liberal state!  

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:07:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it could also be argued that... (6+ / 0-)

          ...the occupy movement by focusing the conversation on economic inequality helped to get President Obama reelected.  

          Not sure if occupy wants to take credit for that though.

          Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

          by Arilca Mockingbird on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:11:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I find the hostility to occupy here on DK to (4+ / 0-)

            be very interesting. See my reply to Rich in PA above for why.

            "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

            by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:16:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not hostile to Occupy. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I think it squandered an important historical moment because it was (self) absorbed with process and let people with fringe agendas side-track its initial and compelling agenda, but that's called clear-eyed analysis rather than hostility.

              It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

              by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:36:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And I think it changed the entire dialogue (5+ / 0-)

                in this country which I see as a greater success than some student sit-in in the 60's. You know, the Freedom Riders were a "failure" and those rides were very soon suspended. They faced about the same level of police and vigilante brutality that Occupy did.

                History, however, shows us that the Freedom Rides--which were really short lived--actually changed the dialogue. That's what Occupy did. Occupy changed the tone. Perhaps in a different way, but they did. Like it or not. No one was seriously talking about those issues before Occupy. Now, several years later, EVERYONE is talking about it.

                "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

                by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:46:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I gotta tell you, my mother never lost her (5+ / 0-)

            60's idealism and we really relate to one another given the times she lived in (I was only born in 69) and the times we now live in together. She recently told me something like "I wish we had done better, so your generation wouldn't have to do what we did all over again and it's sad that you probably won't have a much better result."

            Ma and I used to demonstrate every year marching in the march against police brutality in Houston, Texas back when both of us happened to be living there. She's still a spitfire and so am I.

            "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

            by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:24:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of your mother's generation (4+ / 0-)

              and while we could have done better, our primary failure was in thinking that having achieved worthy goals, they would endure.  We didn't think the opposition would regroup and dismantle not just our work, but that of our parents generation.  And for that, I do apologize.

              My daughter worked to support her teachers' union last fall (they won most of what they demanded) and my son and daughter-in-law participated in a support for Ferguson rally last Friday.  The work goes on.

              •  I really don't think it's necessarily a failure. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Everything seemed to be opening up until Reagan hired the Nixon people to turn back the clock and were successful because of economicissues, ones they couldn't fix long term, but their legacy endures. Michelle Bachmann, for instance, is nothing more than Anita Bryant redux on moral issues and nearly every Democrat in this country sounds more like Reagan than Roosevelt. Or Carter, for that matter, who inherited a tremendous mess.

                I don't think your generation failed in your efforts, so much as got a bit complacent in victory JUST long enough to be caught off guard by the opposition.

                Shit happens. Don't worry. Your daughter's and my generation are picking up where you left off and we're damned proud to be doing it. You know, kids have to have examples. Sounds like yours and my parent's kids have good ones, too. My brother, "bastrop", is a Kossack, too and an activist, too, and both of us have been public school teachers.

                "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

                by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:30:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  First of all, Massachusetts isn't as liberal as (7+ / 0-)

          you think it is. This is not the diary to go into too much detail but suffice it to say that Massachusetts is essentially a one party state (Democratic) that often has Republican governors and the liberals and conservatives are mostly two wings of the Democratic Party. In fact, Republican former governor Bill Weld was LEFT of Democratic challenger John Silber who was a homophobic and racist bigot. That's Massachusetts.

          Senator Warren is an electoral result of a larger paradigm shift which Occupy really led: because of Occupy, there has been an ongoing national dialogue about income inequality. That started with Occupy, this national shift in the conversation. Warren I suppose IS a modest accomplishment of the larger accomplishment of the Occupy movement: a US Senator who has taken the lead in that national conversation.

          Maybe we have a generation gap here, Rich. My 70 year old parents got Occupy--they were young in the 60's.

          "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

          by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:15:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You may be understating the Warren (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz, commonmass, Sychotic1

        accomplishment in winning her Senate seat. She did beat and attractive Republican candidate that had won his Senate seat in Massachusetts by winning the prior election. It's not like the seat was handed to Warren by some act of God.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:27:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong three (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      I disagree with your three predominate powers.  I think there are only two - neo-fuedalism (aka corporatism) and rationalism.  Religion, nationalism, terrorism, racism (actually all of the -ism's) are just strategies or tactics

    •  The occupy movement was barely getting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      any attention until the police went nuts in NYC.

      Then it took off for a while, and finally income inequality became a topic for discussion in the national media.

      Before that, income inequality could get no traction . The media and the pols would only discuss the debt and the deficit.

      So finally, income inequality is a thing, it's being discussed, the voters have wised up, and the debt and deficit hawks are having a hard time making their case now.

      So that was a big deal. If people were still camping in the park, the nation would be "ho-hum, the dfh are sleeping in the park..."
      Occupy lasted as long as it needed to.
      It needed to be replaced by action against the corporate media, and electoral action.
      It remains to be seen if progressives have the persistence to move this forward, but I'd say it succeeded.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:33:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right on. Of course, the Very Serious People an... (4+ / 0-)

    Right on. Of course, the Very Serious People and the Villagers will decry this sensible line of thinking as naivete or worse.

  •  HRC: (14+ / 0-)
    "Don’t do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle"
    It might have been a good organizing principle for your campaign though, if you're running for president, Hillary.

    It might also have been advisable, Hillary, if you're running for president, or even if you're not, to have saved your stupid commentary until after the midterms, rather than providing talking points to the opposition.

    This Democrat respectfully thanks you, not at all.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:29:47 AM PDT

    •  Clinton is blamed for losing... (0+ / 0-) people who wanted her to lose!  How fucked up is that?

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:33:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •   Sybil Liberty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sybil Liberty
      to have saved your stupid commentary until after the midterms
      It appears she wants to piss off and disassociate herself  from the peace nick left who derailed her in 2008 , because we are already making too much noise , what reasoning can she have to muddy the waters right now?

      She may have already decided to try and destroy whats left of the FDR dem party , by going for the war monger corporate dem , and disaffected GOP voters ...Maybe she is ready to go on a ronny reagan , dick nixon hippy bashing campaign next ?  

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:55:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry (15+ / 0-)

    HRC is Neocon in D clothes. She's proved it several times, and in this case again. No amount of "Clap for Hillary" spin is going to change my mind.

    As I've said before, and will repeat, no more SPEC, 3rd way, DLC, Dems for me! Having an R is just as good, (in reality) so a no vote is my vote. Either we support real progressives, or I'm out.

    You have your right to your opinion, I will grant you that, but do not denigrate my right to mine!

    by MrQA on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:30:08 AM PDT

  •  Our foreign policy is now a single question: (11+ / 0-)

    bomb or don't bomb, intervene or don't intervene, invade or don't invade.  It's entirely militarized.  It is only and always about military power.

    A humanitarian foreign policy in which intervention doesn't equal destruction but instead equates to food, medicine, clean water, education.

    A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:31:16 AM PDT

    •  Is it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In Afghanistan recently, we have been making a major intervention in the election.

      It isn't a military intervention. And it isn't an intervention for food, medicine, clean water, and education either.

      It's an intervention at the level of the leadership and policy and political structure of Afghanistan, as our own military draws down.

    •  This doesn't work. (0+ / 0-)

      When you have a nihilist armed movement hanging around, the US can't lead with peaceful development because the nihilists destroy it and kill the locals who associate with it.  

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:32:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For me, "Don't do stupid stuff" all boils down to (14+ / 0-)

    my child is not going to be expected to sacrifice his life for a lie, nor is anyone else's.

    It means I cringe a lot less when I hear news from around the rest of the globe.

    It means I don't feel like apologizing quite so much for being a clueless American.  

    Is US foreign policy perfect?  Nope.  But it's orders of magnitude better than it has been for most of my adult life.  

    Great diary.  

    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley

    by koosah on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:31:30 AM PDT

  •  This is the sort of discussion that needs (9+ / 0-)

    to take place in a lot more places than it currently does, but we lucked out this afternoon because you've put it right up here for us to have a look at, Ian.  Thank you.

    Before our Democratic candidates decide they want to be president-- before any primary contest is scheduled, never mind held -- he or she needs to very heavily ponder what their personal relationship to Power is.  Power as an abstract, Power as actual influence and force-supported decision-making, and Power as a means to advance principles.  

    John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were two very different sorts of temperaments and different kinds of problem-solvers, but it seems to me, reading about their administrations, that they undertook that sort of personal inquiry of Self to Power.  They were not always successful in wielding it.  But from a civil rights perspective, for instance, those two very different men did notably well.  

    Before we see blue names on our primary ballots in 2016, I want our potential candidates to have covered the ground Ian suggests is crucial and definitional before I pledge allegiance to a candidacy.  

    There's a line in a Paul Newman film -- is it WUSA? -- when he says (paraphrased), "Someday we'll go to Tibet, sit on top of a mountain, and work it all out."  

    Our presidential candidates aren't aimed for that mountain or the contemplation and introspection that comes with it.  They headed for a fast-paced power center with launch codes.  

    There's very little room for stupid stuff.

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:34:18 AM PDT

  •  Clinton is a hawk who has no sense of (17+ / 0-)

    diplomacy and who finds it easy to lie about things like being under sniper-fire, thus radically underestimating what war even means. She has been radically destructive in her statements when campaigning, promising to nuke Iran, she voted for the war in Iraq and for the cluster bomb which killed so many kids there, and she thought the drawback in Afghanistan was a poor idea.

    She has the foreign policy wherewithal of a termite. Her Nixon-loving roots are showing.

    "Don't do stupid stuff" should include letting Hillary Clinton anywhere near conversations, let alone policy, concerning the world.

    Just my point of view.

    "That nice, but how do we keep it from going back to business as USUAL?" - Elon James White on Ferguson, MO

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:37:09 AM PDT

    •  Well said (6+ / 0-)

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

      by chuckvw on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:52:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, that was well said. (3+ / 0-)

      I've made way too many comments on Hillary but your 1 comment just summed it up perfectly. Thank you.

      Sinbad on dodging sniper fire in Bosnia - "What kind of president would say, 'Hey, man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so I'm going to send my wife...oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.'"

      by askew on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:45:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not just that she has no real principles.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      which people almost always agree on, it's also that she's not actually very smart, and never gets anything right the first time.  Failing the bar exam the first time is the perfect example: she's hard-working as hell, but just not that smart.  Give her the chance to blow something the first time when real judgment is required, and time to prepare for the next time, she'll do ok.  

      Her instincts are bad, whether it's blowing her first chance for health care reform or her biggest vote in the Senate or the last primary campaign.  As president, she won't get do-overs.  She'll be facing all new situations, for the first time, and her instincts will always, as they have in the past, take her to the wrong conclusion.

      She's just not very smart.  

      To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

      by joesig on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:27:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  some context? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sportsman885, CJB2012, Lying eyes

    This whole "thing" is a lot of nothing. If you read the whole bit from Hillary, she goes into a lot more detail about what she means & what she thinks the president meant. And it was generally supportive.

    She was only saying that "don't do stupid stuff" is 4 words, and requires a bit more meat to fully explain what one's policy is. She wasn't even criticizing Obama for using that phrase. I think she & Obama are in agreement that there's more to foreign policy than a 4-word phrase... And they're in general agreement on quite a few things.

    There may be plenty to criticize Hillary about, but this particular item doesn't get me worked up.

    Freedom isn't free. That's why we pay taxes.

    by walk2live on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:37:12 AM PDT

  •  I don't think Hillary can quite grasp the... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Ian Reifowitz, askew

    11th commandment 'Don't Do Stupid St*t'. Basically President Obama is saying 'don't do something to be seen doing something or occupy a space, just because you can'. Hillary's instinct for political triangulation hurts her sometime, but I do believe her heart is generally in the correct place.

  •  I'll vote for her if she's nominated, but I'm (7+ / 0-)

    hoping inevitable doesn't mean what she thinks it does.

    Can we at least have a platform fight?

  •  I certainly see a generation gap here, and I think (10+ / 0-)

    you've spelled it out exactly. Political people of Hillary's age--with quite some exceptions, but some of them--were never comfortable with the vacuum (short lived that it was during the Yeltzin era) created by the end of the Cold War. To their rescue came things like the Bosnian war--more World War I than Cold War, for sure once the death of Tito took the lid off the pressure cooker--and for a while, we had "purpose". (For the record, intervening in the Genocide in Bosnia and other parts of the former Yugoslavia was the right thing to do and done in pretty much the right way--as a US-led UN action).

    It didn't last long. Since WWII, it seems the US (and Russia) cannot live without the bogey-man lurking under the bed.

    Eisenhower was right: the failure to de-militarize after the Second World War and in fact, to escalate the footing of permanent war as financially, socially, and politically created a United States and a world completely contingent--economically, too--on permanent war, ideology or common sense be damned.

    We should have learned from the British that ultimately, Empire is not sustainable. Sadly, we're too busy being "exceptional" to notice anything at all.

    "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

    by commonmass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:41:31 AM PDT

  •  Here is what I wrote... (10+ / 0-)

    ...when the Ready for Hillary PAC wanted to know why I wished to unsubscribe from their email list.

    From the recent Atlantic interview that Hillary Clinton gave it would seem that she has learned nothing from her disastrous vote for war when she was in the Senate or from her time as Secretary of State. If and when Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy I do not plan on contributing time or money nor will I vote for her in my Democratic primary. If and when she starts to see the wisdom of not doing "stupid shit" I might change my mind but In the meantime I will try my best to support democrats who keep faith with our party's ideals.
    I wrote a diary about it.  Yours is much better.

    Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    by Arilca Mockingbird on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:44:20 AM PDT

  •  Another NeoCon Fantasy (7+ / 0-)

    Hillary's "plan" probably would not have worked.

    "the idea that more U.S. support for the FSA [Free Syrian Army] would have prevented the emergence of the Islamic State isn’t even remotely plausible."
     - Marc Lynch

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:51:11 AM PDT

    •  Even NeoCon Fareed Zakaria concedes tht arming.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit, Ian Reifowitz, Patango

      ....the "moderate" opposition in Syria would not have worked.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:32:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Arab League refused to stop Assad (0+ / 0-)

      while he ended up destabilizing his own nation , how does that fact end up being an American presidents fault ?

      Besides that , Hillary and all the other neocons are blaming Obama for doing nothing , yet he wanted to send in cruse missiles , but congress , the American people and the world all had a shit fit and said NO!!!!


      U.S. marches closer to strikes on Syria: John Kerry delivers damning statement demanding 'accountability' for 'undeniable' chemical gas attack

      Kerry made the remarks as the U.S. moves naval forces closer to Syria in preparation for a potential missile attack against Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime

      Read more:
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

      Now Hillary and every conservative talking head on the Sunday Shows are blaming Obama for "doing nothing " and therefor creating "ISIS" ....Every sane voting American should be completely offended by this propaganda about President Obama

      This is all like a rush limbaugh takes over the MSM moment , with Billary undermining dems for the Nov elections


      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:03:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hillary's a very smart person. (4+ / 0-)

    In general, however, being very smart does not immunize one from taking some very stupid positions.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:54:07 AM PDT

  •  Hillary needs to wait, at least until the 2014 (4+ / 0-)

    elections are over. She does herself no good by talking, triangulating or distancing. People pick up on these maneuvers much better now; they are old hat. Though she may well be smarter, she does not have the natural charismatic gifts of her spouse.

    You show a little grit and you lands in jail.

    by cal2010 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:54:22 AM PDT

  •  We're still stuck with the stupid people who (6+ / 0-)

    thought Vietnam was a good idea. They created the mess in Iraq.

    Unfortunately we may not survive their influence if they don't die off soon.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:57:14 AM PDT

  •  I don't think a simpleton world in which the... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, suka, bobbygoode

    ...governing principle of US foreign policy is a variation on "everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten" is very compelling.  There's a lot to be said against Clinton's views--not that I'm the one to say them--but this fetishistic reliance on an off-the-cuff statement is a little silly.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:06:09 PM PDT

  •  All our potential 2016 ticket candidates (5+ / 0-)

    have time and (enough) resources to collect good advice.

    Whether you like Hillary Clinton or not, she simply did not do this in her 2008 campaign.  She stuck with a group of high-functioning big-money hacks and it cost her the nomination, at least in significant part.  

    My god she lost the Iowa caucus to Obama and Edwards, coming in third.  This after over a year of commanding polling leads.  

    I'd love to see all our potential candidates father far more disparate minds and voices.  Call a summit of alternative global views.  Allow for the whole range of expression.  Make sure scientists and historians are well represented.  Bring a handful of states' poet laureates.  

    Feed everybody well and listen very carefully to what they have to say.  Gather good minds and hear them out.

    It could even grow to be a routine protocol for anybody who aspires to the presidency.  

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:07:46 PM PDT

  •  I really hope she screws up (0+ / 0-)

    I know she will be far more palatable than the Republican nominee and the Notorioius RBG ain't getting any younger.  So I'll vote for her, if she's the nominee.  But I think she will be at best a place holder president, and more likely, a disaster for the country's foreign policy.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:10:58 PM PDT

  •  Great post! (6+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:12:59 PM PDT

  •  Another excellent post on an important subject (5+ / 0-)

    Its not really a question of pacifism or intervention.  Its a question of political priorities.

    As President, one can always gin up the public to justify a war or sending in the troops.  But as President, you have to set priorities based on your time limiited political capital. Combine that with the unforseen factors of Congressional make up, current events, etc.... and you have limited amount in the bank to work with.

    Do you spend it on roads, bridges, education, economic opportunity, tax reform, expaned health care?  Or do you spend it on "arms to the Rebels", boots on the ground, garnering support of UN Sanctions, NO enrichment, naval blockades, etc....

    Its been said elsewhere, HRC could ram through a couple of needed reforms, but not if she is unnecessarily tied up overseas.  Based on past and current comments, she still hasn't figured that out.


  •  still too early - we're not even at the moment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in time prior to the actual election for example, when PBO declared his candidacy for POTUS, so 2015 Spring will be the time to start dissecting foreign policy positions from folks not even in government anymore, just as we may see as in PBO's case a newly emerging challenger to the presumptive nominee, which did seem to be HRC in 2007.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:28:17 PM PDT

  •  That's nice. (0+ / 0-)

    Your role is to write nice stuff about elites.  If you have some mild criticism of her foreign policy stance, why should she or her minions care?

    "Here in America, the difference between Democrats and Republicans — we’re fighting inside the 40-yard lines." -- Barack Obama

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:30:54 PM PDT

  •  "Let's Just Not Do Something Stupid" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Ian Reifowitz

    is not an extreme Hillary.  It does not mean that Obama isn't going to do anything.  It means that whatever his response is (and he may decide to do nothing), it will not be a "stupid" response.  

  •  Comparing: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Ian Reifowitz

    "Don't do stupid stuff" > You can't make a freedom omelette without helping foxes kill a bunch of innocent chickens

    On The Daily Show recently, Clinton gave her plan for American foreign policy: clap louder for how great America is.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:31:51 PM PDT

  •  There were and are people who LOVE Stupid Stuff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Ian Reifowitz

    They are called defense contractors, who saw Korea, Iran, the Cold War, Vietnam, Iraq, etc as piggy banks.  They give a lot of money to political candidates who then gin up fear. and say stuff like "except for some bad things, the Cold War was pretty effective". Not sure if Halliburton and GE are throwing down $$ for the Secretary, but she sure seems to be wanting to make a point for somebody; hence giving this longggg interview to Jeffrey Goldberg(!? Why not Jonah?)  instead of, say, Bill Moyers where there might be a little push back and probity. Obama II, where are you?

  •  But You Have to Have a Guiding Principle (0+ / 0-)

    And in her case, that's do whatever Netanyahu wants and don't do anything he doesn't want.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:33:56 PM PDT

  •  No, that is just a platitude (0+ / 0-)

    No one can argue with that bumper sticker. But it doesn't define specific policy, goals, or mission. You have filled in what you think it means, as we all can. Maybe Hillary should counter with "Only do smart things" ?

    And doing nothing while things fall apart in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and Gaza is not "smart diplomacy".

  •  Triangulation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Hills had better knock off that 1990's triangulation bullshit tut suite, if she expects my work and support!

  •  Don't so stupid stuff means doing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    things that are in the long-term interests of the United States.  

    The US has a history of doing things for the wrong reasons and without considering whether, in the long run, what the US is doing will be beneficial for the US.  

    The author uses post-WWII examples, but even before WWII the US often acted out of a short-sighted desire to "fix" what was perceived as a "problem" for the US even though it often was a problem more for a large American company or group of companies than for the US itself.  For example, our meddling in Central America to protect the interests of the fruit industry not only created long-term problems for the US in that area, but also gave rise to the term "banana republic."

  •  Terrific post, I just have one gripe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, Ian Reifowitz, Patango

    Your image caption?

    It's not really fair. Obama was a State Senator during the AUMF vote and thus did not and could not cast a vote on that bill.

    So there is no way of really knowing if he would have. Of course, his 2004 Democratic Convention Keynote Speech tends to make me think that he would have voted NO if he had been able to.

    But I dislike using rhetorical questions to delve into a person's heart. They are usually not answerable with any bit of certitude.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:51:55 PM PDT

  •  Yeah. "Stupid Stuff" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Then how come the planet is aflame, the US is no where to be seen?  How long you think we can be safe here in "Fortress America" and our two lovely oceans?  That is so 20th Century.  Just saying...

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:52:21 PM PDT

  •  You might think (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, Chi, askew, Ian Reifowitz, Choco8, Sychotic1

    That the woman who lost the White House because she got Iraq wrong to the guy who got it right wouldn't want to call attention to her foreign policy differences.  But if logic mattered, John McCain would keep his mouth shut, too.

  •  Perhaps they're both right... (4+ / 0-)

    Compared to the grossly incompetent and embarrassing foreign policy of President Obama's predecessor, George Walker Bush, "Don't Do Stupid Stuff," is a genius foreign policy. Hillary's right, however, that perhaps it's time to get a little more sophisticated than just not doing stupid stuff to..."Don't Do Stupid Stuff while supporting People Power throughout the globe (in terms of facilitating local democratic progress whenever and wherever possible).'s quite possible that both President Obama and Hillary Clinton are right.

  •  The simple brilliance of "Don't do stupid stuff." (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, eztempo, Ian Reifowitz, FiredUpInCA

    There is an inherent brilliance in this phrase, and it rests in with the very qualities that Hillary criticized. It isn't some overarching ideological statement about the projection of power. No one is going to seriously argue that any specific decisions are in violation of his stated foreign policy views. It is inherently non-ideological. We should all thank our lucky stars that President Obama is the one making decisions about war for us at this time. I certainly hope a viable opponent to Hillary emerges.  

  •  One of the hallmarks... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, eztempo, Ian Reifowitz, FiredUpInCA

    of the "Obama Doctrine" seems to me to be his understanding of the subtleties of Leading While Being A Team Player.
    Being able to navigate America's position in that regard with our allies.
    President Obama has ushered in an era of diplomacy which does in fact place America at the center, the 'leader' if one is stuck on that particular word, while insisting that our our allies and international organizations, NATO, The UN, become and remain engaged, are at the very least kept up to speed and not publicly ostracized by his administration should they disagree.
    Having been Secretary Of State, indeed charged with, [partially] responsible for carrying out this 'doctrine', it surprises me that HRC does not discuss this more often.
    Assuming she isn't SO hawkish as to be willing to initiate unilateral American military interventions...
    Does she agree with this approach, and if not how does SHE see America's role within the international community?

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:14:44 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps "Don't do stupid stuff" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Ian Reifowitz, Bryce in Seattle

    isn't a sufficiently comprehensive basis for a foreign policy outlook and stance, but it's a damn good start, and probably as fundamental and essential as they come, along the lines of medicine's "Do no harm". If Hillary finds it to be a silly way to look at and conduct foreign policy, then she's clearly learned nothing from her 4 years as Secretary of State, 8 years as senator and 8 years as first lady. Of course, if you already know everything you need to know, there's no point in learning anything new, right?

    My god, the imperious arrogance and self-infatuation of her, it's stunning.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:20:54 PM PDT

  •  The coup was carried out because (5+ / 0-)

    Mossadegh had nationalized his country's oil industry. He was not steering Iran toward the Soviet Union, as he was determined to to keep Iran independent and neutral, even going so far as to refuse the Soviets an oil concession.

    With God On Our Side-Dylan

  •  She's reminded me why I was so vehemently (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush, greenbell, Chi, Ian Reifowitz, gratis4

    behind BO in the '08 primaries. He's turned out to be far more to the right than I thought, but she's still much worse. Not in the category of a better D.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:34:47 PM PDT

  •  As a foreigner, I'm 100% in favour of "Don't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo, Ian Reifowitz

    do stupid stuff." as the organizing principle of American foreign policy.  

    I was too young to know anything about the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953 but was aware in later years of American interventions in Central and Latin America.  And if only Lyndon Johnson had felt confident enough, early enough, to grill his military advisers, the world would have been a better place.  Think of all that Johnson accomplished despite the Vietnam millstone around his neck and ponder what more he might have been able to do.  

    The U.S. has done a lot of good in the world but it has also stomped all over too much of it like Godzilla and hardly any Americans seem to grasp that.  Kossacks excepted, of course.

    Lastly, I just loved this from your post:

    What this great nation does not need, I would submit, is a president whose foreign policy is only going to be half as destructive as that of George W. Bush.

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

    by Observerinvancouver on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:49:02 PM PDT

  •  Does don't do stupid stuff mean (0+ / 0-)

    that we stand by and watch as genocidal authoritarian and totalitarian governments and leaders engage in obvious war crimes?

    We had the power to end ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and genocide in Rwanda. What happened? Now we are watching as the Chinese conduct ethnic cleansing of minorities in western and south western China. In China it's a slow motion genocide as the Han Chinese move into these areas for the resources and push the minorities on to marginal lands. The Han Chinese get the plum jobs while the minorities get at best menial jobs very close to slave labor and can't support families. So we cynically shrug our shoulders and say, "well, that's capitalism." History doesn't repeat but what is happening in China is very similar to what happened here as the aboriginal tribes were moved onto reservations in the 19th Century. Just cynically shrugging our shoulders and accepting what the Han Chinese are doing is stupid.

    China has a national industrial policy, as does the European Union, Japan, India, Brazil, most African nations, and Asian nations. Except the US doesn't. This is because of the institutionalized corruption in Washington, DC between our political and business leaders. Allowing a bunch of brain dead corporatists thinking only in the "short term" running the economy of our nation is the most stupid fucking thing any nation could do. Obama does nothing to correct this stupidity. Hilary won't. She's in on the Wall St. shenanigans.

    Saying "don't do stupid stuff" is a disgusting fucking platitude. As a nation we should never put up with this kind of hypocrisy.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:03:07 PM PDT

  •  "Don't do stupid stuff" would have prevented WWI. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, Tony Situ, Ian Reifowitz

    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

    by expatjourno on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 02:25:47 PM PDT

  •  Flooding Middle East civil wars with more weapons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    ...just to be seen "doing something" isn't an Organizing Principle, either.  Especially when the weapons are going to poorly organized, ill-vetted, novice "opposition" forces that change allegiances with the changing wind.  Rather than "containing" Islamic militants, that just amplifies the violence of the unrest, and too often simply means our own forces end up facing a better armed enemy when they are deployed.

    And that's just stupid.

  •  Which of them voted to end it? (0+ / 0-)

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 03:07:09 PM PDT

  •  I don't remember the Illinois state Senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Taking an Iraq vote.

    Just sayin.'

    And who appointed HRC his Secretary of State?

    Just askin.'

  •  Oh goddess.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    I got a bad bad wally feeling about this one.  I am not saying she is Hawk in the ranks of Darth Cheney and his Sock Puppet Bush.....

    I think Mrs. Clinton might be a Hawk nonetheless and I fear she will be out candidate as well....scary scary place to be as a democrat.

    Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    by Whitewitch on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:23:10 PM PDT

  •  What is "Stupid stuff"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    When you kill a suspected terrorist, and thereby make 10 lifelong enemies of that person's friends and family, you have committed stupid stuff.

    It doesn't matter whether you killed an innocent or a terrorist; the end result is the same. You've made a bunch of enemies.

    The enemies you make today will be your downfall tomorrow. This is as true in Iraq, as it is in Ferguson. Making enemies is stupid stuff.

    We did smart stuff at the end of WWII (Marshall Plan) by spending our efforts toward rebuilding the two nations who were our former mortal enemies. A pity we didn't learn a lesson from that.

    Primo pro nummata vini [First of all it is to the wine-merchant] (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:05:57 PM PDT

  •  That interview was a mistake by HRC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, askew

    on a few levels.  Politically, she should have known that the Democratic party opposes neocon or neocon light policies. What voter group was she attempting to woo or placate by making such statements?  Republicans are not motivated or animated by foreign wars either. They ceded that issue to Obama long ago?  Do neocon friendly think tanks get more votes than regular folks?

    She also made the mistake of over-reading poll numbers. Do you think she would've said anything against Obama if his approval rating were 50%?  I doubt it.  Polls are ephemeral and don't mean much in off-election years when a lot of people don't pay attention.  Even Bush would've won the GOP primary in 2008 if he had been allowed to run and probably would've fared better than did McCain because of the residual support of people who have actually pulled the lever for him in prior elections.

    If she did want to pick an issue to distinguish herself from Obama, then maybe something more populist a la Elizabeth Warren. She has made such statements where she has essentially copied Warren almost word for word...but this interview trampled over that message.

    In addition, HRC has to know that the younger progressive wing of the party doesn't love her the way they love Obama.  It didn't make sense to pick a fight with them and rekindle the doubts people had about her foreign policy judgment.

    This is still spring training, but these are the kind of mistakes that she can't make when people are really paying attention.  

    From a policy standpoint, she is just plain wrong about the Middle East and about Obama's policy. Obama is doing something remarkable right now in forcing Arabs to take care of their own business.  That forced a change in leadership in Iraq which could help stabilize the region.  I've followed HRC for 3 decades and I know she is much smarter than this. She has to get operational control over her 'campaign' and not outsource these issues to designated trusted advisors. With Obama, every position he takes is well thought out, even where I don't agree. He owns every issue and is willing to reassess his views based on evidence, which is why Democrats trust him.  

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit

    by khyber900 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:20:33 PM PDT

  •  small corrections on Iran 1953 (3+ / 0-)

    Yeah, Hillary's a hawk, always has been, no surprise there. Her regret for voting for the Iraq invasion is crocodile tears, she only regrets it because it turned out badly, not because it was wrong to begin with.

    Anyway, just want to give a historical perspective on Iran 1953 - experts feel free to chime in. The paragraph said:

    "In 1953, an American- and British-backed coup overthrew the elected government in Iran led by Mohammed Mossadeq. Why? Because we thought he would move his country into the Soviet orbit. The result: our puppet, the Shah, took power and suppressed the secular opposition. A quarter century later, the shah was overthrown by the theocratic, Islamic government that turned Iran into a bitter enemy of the U.S. The Soviets are gone, but the ayatollahs are still there. Count that as one for the Obama Doctrine."

    The British actually were all about the oil, not wanting to honor their contract to pay royalties to Iran, and being in a snit because Mossadeq and Parliament (Iran was a democracy) nationalized it. They went whining to Truman, and he told them to pound sand. So, they waited for Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers to come in, and sold them the coup idea as a "containment" of supposed Soviet expansionism (ridiculous, since the Iranians have historically deeply mistrusted the Russians). But, as with so much else, it was all about the oil. Look up TP Ajax, most of it's been declassified.

    Then, the revolution overthrowing the Shah - was not done by the theocracy primarily, but rather by secular forces, who took power immediately after the revolution. The theocracy took over after the US cold-shouldered President Bani-Sadr and thereby weakened the secular government, which opened the way for the students to take the US embassy hostage -- and they were correct, the Embassy was a nest of CIA spies, who had supported the Shah's brutal secret police, SAVAK (we taught them torture techniques, there was a manual and everything). In the aftermath of that, the cessation of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran, paved the way for the radical theocratic regime, as the moderates could not gain any benefit from Washington for their policies. That dangerous situation continues today -- Bush Jr passed on an opportunity to strengthen the moderates, and Obama almost did -- it's still touch and go. We'll have to make nice, ultimately -- the Shiite-led Iran is about the only remaining powerful counterbalance to Sunni Wahabi (sp?) extremism - ISIS (wonder how the Goddess feels about having her name usurped thusly??), along with the Kurds, who can actually take the field against them. Israel can't do it, unless they want to set the whole region in flames for certain.

    Those corrections are quibbles, really -- the basic point of how "don't do stupid stuff" would have been wise in that whole shared history with Iran, remains valid.

    A note: TP Ajax was the first CIA-sponsored coup d'etat in the postwar period. It succeeded almost by accident, and was marked by miscalculations and abominable ignorance of Iranian history and society. (See Mark Gasiorowski's work for authoritative history.)

    The reason that's significant, is that that Cold warriors in Washington, and the CIA, took the lesson that coups d'etat were a great and useful policy instrument, so, during the remainder of the Cold War, they busied themselves overthrowing democracies around the world, and installing compliant dictators who subjugated their peoples in often genocidal ways (see Guatemala, Chile, Iraq, Congo, and many others).

    Americans are mostly ignorant of this history -- imagine those countries' reaction when Americans asked "why do they hate us??" after 9-11! This was all while our leaders were invoking "city on a hill" rhetoric to sell American policy as promoting democracy around the world, while with their other hand, with plausible deniability, they were in fact promoting fascism and genocide, especially of indigenous peoples who were in the way of ... oil (plus mineral resources).

    We are not who we think we are.

    My apologies, I'm probably preaching to the choir here. Democrat and Republican administrations alike have followed this methodology -- it is so deeply ingrained in CIA/Pentagon/State, that most all of the presidents have found it easier - and safer - to go along with the program. We've been lawless for a long time. Ukraine kind of has that smell to it.

  •  Hillary DIDn"T vote for IraqAttaq (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She voted for an authorization for the president to use force against a new sort of enemy. Her error was trusting that certain president. Any president at that time would have needed some room to move, but bush lied and went to the wrong place.
    Trusting a president is not a killer error.
    bush is the guilty party here, not Hillary.
    I do, however, think she is a bit too aggressive on foreign policy, but I believe she can and will learn to do it right.

    What if Obama did a stint at SecState? Huh? Let's see him with actual hands on.

    I was for Hillary during the 2008 primaries because I felt she could fight the real enemy better. The real enemy of America is the Republicans. I have been proven correct.

  •  Fortunately, we have Barack Obama as President for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bananapouch1, Ian Reifowitz

    another 2 plus years.

    I fully support him in almost every way.  If that is the point of the diary, I like it.

    I will not bash HRC at this time or in the future, should she turn out to be our candidate.

    POTUS trusted her as Secretary of State...and she excelled in that position.

    Let's focus on supporting POTUS in the middle of the world's many crises right now and getting him more support in Congress in 2014.

    We have a Supreme Court at stake here also.

  •  Be careful with the use of force. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Had the country's leaders thought twice, Iraq and Vietnam would have been avoided. I'm not saying that a military solution is always off the table, but it should be done according to the criteria Ian presented.

    The current operation against ISIS could be justified given that:

    1) A fanatical jihadist group had established itself in the heart of the ME, and was threatening genocide against minorities plus destruction of a stable, pro-American region of Iraq (Kurdistan).

    2) The operation is limited in scope to repelling threats to Kurdistan and providing safe passage for the Yazidi minority. Boots on the ground are not an option, and any further military aid will require a new, inclusive Iraqi government.

    3) We know who is receiving the help. The Kurds are long-time US friends, and they have done a great deal by helping refugees from ISIS.

    Promisingly enough, Maliki has agreed to leave office, with the promise of greater aid following a new government. Sometimes, more limited action can achieve more. Imagine if full-scale bombings of ISIS began early on, and Iraqis interpreted it as support for Maliki. Everyone would have been screwed.

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