Leftist nuance

We’ve not been fighting and killing the Taliban as enemy, per se:

Joe_bidenWe’re engaged in a reconciliation process. Whether it will work or not is another question. But we are in a position where if Afghanistan ceased and desisted from being a haven for people who do damage and have as a target the United States of America and their allies, that’s good enough. That’s good enough. We’re not there yet.

Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us. So there’s a dual track here:

One, continue to keep the pressure on al Qaeda and continue to diminish them. Two, put the government in a position where they can be strong enough that they can negotiate with and not be overthrown by the Taliban. And at the same time try to get the Taliban to move in the direction to see to it that they, through reconciliation, commit not to be engaged with al Qaeda or any other organization that they would harbor to do damage to us and our allies.

That from Joe Biden, in an interview with Newsweek last Thursday. The White House yesterday doubled down on the idiocy when White House press secretary Jay Carney got into it with Jake Tapper:

Carney: “I think it is important — I know you’ve written about this — to understand what most Americans I think know, which is that we didn’t invade Afghanistan, we did not send U.S. military personnel into Afghanistan because the Taliban were in power. They had been in power. We sent — we went into Afghanistan because al-Qaeda had launched an attack against the United States from Afghanistan. “And what the vice president was reflecting is that, and this is related to the reconciliation process that I was just discussing, is that the Taliban per se, while we are fighting them, it is not the elimination, the elimination of the Taliban is not the issue here. The objective that the president laid out when he laid out his Afghanistan strategy made clear that the number one principle here is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately to defeat al-Qaeda, as well as help stabilize Afghanistan. And that’s what we’re doing. “Part of that process is our support for the Afghan-led reconciliation talks. The conditions for reconciliation for the Taliban are very clear. But reconciliation has to be a part of the long-term process in Afghanistan if Afghanistan is going to evolve into a peaceful country.” 

Tapper: “I understand that. Obviously, there isn’t much of an al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan. Leon Panetta, when he was CIA director, told me a year or two ago that there are fewer than 100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. We’ve been devoting a great deal of blood and treasure, focused almost entirely on defeating Taliban insurgents, Taliban fighters. I understand that ultimately that there is going to have to be some sort of reconciliation. I just wonder if the language was regrettable at all.

Carney: “It’s only regrettable when taken out of context that I just explained. It’s regrettable to present it out of context because it is a simple fact that we went into Afghanistan because of the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. We are there now to ultimately defeat al-Qaeda, to stabilize Afghanistan and stabilize it in part so that al-Qaeda or other terrorists who have as their aim attacks on the United States cannot establish a foothold again in that country. So what is also completely clear is that Afghanistan’s future has to include within it reconciliation, and that is why we support the Afghan government-led effort there.”

Here’s what President Bush said to a joint session of Congress 9 days after the 9/11 attacks:

And tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of Al Qaida who hide in your land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats, and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist and every person in their support structure to appropriate authorities. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating. These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.

Seems to me the Taliban are/were indeed our enemy.

No per se about it.

Obama lied, people died
Weep hysterically or we will kill your family members
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  • herddog505

    This puts a new spin on “declaring victory”: claim that you actually haven’t been fighting the people that you’ve been fighting, so there really hasn’t been a fight, so you can stop not fighting because you haven’t been fighting all along.

    Or something.


    Unless I missed something over the past TEN F*CKING YEARS, we were after the Taliban because they were providing safe haven and support to AQ and unless we destroyed their hateful, barbaric regime, they’d do so again.

    I suppose that Barry’s next move will be to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of A-stan and perhaps even invite Mullah Omar to the White House for wagyu and a ceremonial beheading or stoning.

  • Anonymous

    The stupid is strong in this administration.

  • Anonymous

    I believe Biden. The Taliban is not their enemy.
    The enemy of the left is the american people as evidenced by their policies and pronouncements.

  • Anonymous

    One thing that’s reliable around here, is that y’all will buy into bullshit without question.

    Who are “The Taliban” today, right now?  Are they the same people that were harboring Al Qaeda ten years ago?  I doubt it.  Most of those guys are dead or retired in Pakistan.

    Or is the term “The Taliban” now just a label for Pashtun guys who want the foreigners the eff out of their country?  The way you and I will, when the Chinese invade the broke-ass USA in about 20 years. Can you imagine that there’s propaganda on our side: “Hey, lets call all of the guys fighting us ‘The Taliban’ – that sounds evil.”

    If history teaches us anything, it’s that there will always be guys in Afghanistan fighting to kick the foreigners out so they can continue their fine traditions of poppy-growing, boy-love, and child brides. 

    But let’s not forget that “The Taliban” don’t look so bad now in comparison to our nutty backstabbing friend Karzai and his corrupt government.  At least “the Taliban” have some moral principles, however warped.

    Is it worth it for good Americans (and Brits and Italians and Germans and Canucks) to continue dying to make the place safe for democracy and DWTS?   I suppose it’s worth it to y’all, because y’all ain’t going.  Is it worth a tax hike to pay for the billions being spent on the war?  Hmmm, think about that one.

    • jim_m

      Who are “The Taliban” today, right now?  Are they the same people that were harboring Al Qaeda ten years ago?

      Short answer:  YES.  It’s not about the individuals (reports of Mullah Omar’s death remain disputed and no evidence has been produced apart from the claim).  The issue is their belief set and that hasn’t changed.  You might as well try claiming that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard must be different because its membership has turned over.

      • Anonymous

        Nice Wilsonian liberal interventionism there.  We have to “change their minds.”

        • jim_m

          I wasn’t implying that we should be trying to change their minds.  I was saying that despite the turnover in leadership they still have the same ideals and goals.  You are saying that because the names have changed it is a different organization.  That is just stupid.

          Frankly, I would advocate killing the lot of them.  I don’t believe that we can change their minds.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, too bad genocide is out of vogue after WWII.

          • Anonymous

            Hmm. Rwanda and Cambodia come to mind quickly to sabotage your snark.  However, I agree, those despots rule because they are better at keeping their power and forcing themselves on the other people of the area.  How do you feel about the drug cartels in Mexico?  

          • jim_m

            Um.  It’s not genocide to eliminate an opposing army.

          • Anonymous

            There’s no way of “killing them all” in a counterinsurgency in which the insurgents are amongst the local populace, without killing the local populace, too.  

            Which is why “reconciliation” with “the Taliban” is being pursued, the same way Petraeus “reconciled” with “the Sons of Iraq” or “the Awakening.”

        • Oysteria

          “I suppose it’s worth it to y’all, because y’all ain’t going.”

          Ah yes, employing the ever so subtle chickenhawk argument … again.

        • Anonymous

          No, actually we need to kill enough of them so that they no longer remain a threat.

    • Anonymous

      Speaking of HORSE SHIT!

    • herddog505

      ZOMG!  Stalin’s dead!  Cold War’s over because the Soviets aren’t the Soviets any more!

      / sarc

      Yeah, I’m sure that the Taliban DO want us the f*ck out of their country so that they can get back to the business of running a 9th century theocracy that miiiiiiight just include inviting AQ or a similar terrorist group right back in (assuming that they don’t want to get revenge on us themselves).

      Tell me: has it EVER been worth people dying (and TAX HIKES) to make the world safe for democracy and DTWS?  Or democracy and The Honeymooners?  Or democracy and Jack Benny?  Democracy and ragtime?  When HAS it been worth it?  Will it be worth it if the Red Chinese do try to invade?

      And, yeah, a tax hike for defense WOULD be worth it.  The problem is that I’m not stupid enough to think that the Congress and Barry wouldn’t take that tax hike and blow it on other things.  Barry’s 2012 budget proposes^:

      $761B for Social Security*

      $485B for Medicare

      $269B for Medicaid

      $612B for unemployment (thanks to having about 13 MILLION people on the dole)**

      $553B for the DoD

      $118B for “Overseas Contingency Operations” (whatever they are)

      So, spare me the crying over “billions” for the war; we’re spending (wasting) FAR more on social programs.


      (^) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_United_States_federal_budget

      (*) In 2011, there were 60.5 million people on Social Security; this works out to about $12.5k / person for the year.


      (**) This is a staggering $46k / person for the year.  Where the hell is the money going????


      • Anonymous

        Yeah, Social Security and Medicare are such a waste, those geezers should be supporting themselves.  If they can’t, time’s up!  Who cares if they “paid into the system” — they should have known the only treasury obligations the USA pays are to banks, the Saudis and the Chinese.

        Ditto for Medicaid, if those kids don’t have rich enough parents, let ’em die, it will improve the gene pool.  Plus almost all of that money is spent in the USA, not helping “our friends” overseas.

        Only $118 billion for the wars this year?  That’s a trifle.

        Why, it’s much better to fork over more money to Gulf Arab and Paki subcontractors who rip us off blind and cycle some of the money back to “the Taliban” to buy stuff to kill and maim our own.  Plus spend money on drones that will wipe out a wedding party every few months so that they will want “revenge on us.” That’s called “sustainable.”

        • herddog505

          Yes, they should be supporting themselves, which (somehow) older Americans managed to do for decades prior to the 1930s and which most current Americans are expected to do (why else pensions, 401k funds, IRA’s, etc?).

          We’re not facing national bankruptcy and Red Chinese invasion because of overspending on the military.

          Honestly, I thought that this sort of isolationism went out in 1949 if not 1941.

        • jim_m

          For the last year with a real budget (2009) the spending was:

          Social security: $644B
          Medicare:         $408B
          Medicaid:         $224B
          Total:                $1.276T

          So you bitch about $10% of that spent on military actions?

          Delusional ass.  How much waste is there already documented in Medicare and Medicaid?  We could probable finance the whole war on fraud and government waste alone.  Heck, we could probably finance it on making the workers in those bureaucracies pay for their own health care and pension plans and making those plans equivalent to the private sector.

          • herddog505

            For that matter, how many people could we insure if we simply divided up the money and gave it as a stipend with the proviso that it MUST be spent purchasing health insurance?

            Not that I advocate such a thing as I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.*  It would be would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.**  Charity is no part of the legislative duty of government,*** and Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.^


            (*) President Grover Cleveland, 1877

            (**) President Franklin Pierce, 1854

            (***) President James Madison, 1794 

            (^) President Thomas Jefferson, 1817

          • Anonymous

            We live in the 21st Century.  I’m sure I could dig out some quotes from Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, let alone the Roosevelts or Clinton, to contradict your 18th and 19th century presidents.

            People have already paid into the SS trust fund, which whether you like it or not, is supposed to be a treasury obligation just like all other debt
            service.  I note you did not list the interest costs of $242 billion paid to the Chinese, Saudis and banks above.

          • herddog505

            I wasn’t aware that we moved past Constitution v1.0, or that there were amendments that contradict the earlier presidents on this subject.  That more recent presidents – even Reagan – might think so does not make them or government charity constitutional or even a good idea.

            Or do you belong to the “dude, like, that document is, like, more than fifty years old!” camp?

            I didn’t discuss debt because it’s a painful subject and not especially germane to this topic, just as I didn’t list the money requested for the Depts. of the Interior, the Treasure, Veterans Affairs, or even Homeland Security.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry, the Supreme Court disagrees.  Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are constitutional.  What does “promote the general welfare” mean?

          • herddog505

            Unfortunately, I cannot argue the point that the Supreme Court, initially through a combination of chicanery and intimidation (Court Packing) and then through custom, has agreed that “general welfare” does not mean EXPLICITLY what the authors of the Constitution EXPLICITLY said that it means.

            What we’ve found as a result is exactly what Madison et al warned would happen: a government with the authority to do anything to promote “the general welfare” has the power to do ANYTHING it pleases.

            Uncle Sugar might even claim that, to promote the general welfare, the government can lock people up without trial, wiretap without warrant, bomb the sh*t out of any foreign country it so chooses, etc.

            To paraphrase (IIRC) James Madison, if the government has the constitutional power to “promote the [undefined] general welfare], then what other powers does it explicitly need?  Indeed, the phrase even appeared in the Articles of Confederation; if it carries such a meaning, then why was it necessary to replace the Articles with our present Constitution?

          • retired.military

            Umm anything the liberals want it to mean apparantly.

            You know like right to privacy = abortion. 

            It is right there in the constitution.

          • jim_m

            People have already paid into the SS trust fund, which whether you like
            it or not, is supposed to be a treasury obligation just like all other

            But Chicao,  You claimed that the trust fund actually held the money that people put into it. Now you are saying that it is a debt that the Treasury owes.  Which is it?  Either the Treasury has the money currently or it does not. 

            The fact is that the money has already been spent and all that remains is a bogus IOU

          • Anonymous

            I never said the SS Trust Fund holds cash, quite the opposite.  I said no fund of that size could just hold cash – and that t-bills were supposed to be a “safe” investment.

          • jim_m

            t-bills were supposed to be a “safe” investment.

            Really?  While T-Bills have been reliable the bond rating is slipping and there is no way the government can pay them off without major changes in spending taking place, none of which are supported by your chosen candidate. 

            What you have are a bunch of empty IOU’s that the government fully intends to pay off by borrowing more money because they know that there isn’t any money to pay them off and there will not be.  Hence why people call it a Ponzi Scheme.

          • Anonymous

            Default on the debt to the Chinese and Saudis first, then.

          • retired.military

            Which will go up terffically with the added $4t that Obama has given us in 3 years.  Heaven help us if he is in office another 5 after all that should double the amount of interest the debt that we pay just from the debt he will add.

          • When the discussions were going on re Obamacare, I came up with the following proposal.

            First – let’s say there’s 20 million uninsured.  (May be 10 mil, may be 30, let’s go with 20.)  If they’re on public assistance (which, if they’re on unemployment/welfare/ADC or the like – they are…) then add a $1k/year stipend to their aid, to be used to pay for doctor visits or an ER down payment.  If you use more than that, you’ll be covered.  If you don’t use it, that $1k rides over to the next year.  If you use part of it, you get topped off to $1k.

            That can ONLY be used for doctor visits and prescribed services and prescriptions.

            Got a family?  It’s a total of $1k per member.  Got 5? You’ve got $5k.  Remember, that money can ONLY be spent on medical services.  There’s no use-it-or-lose-it, you will NEVER see a thin dime of that in actual money.  If you don’t use it, it stays in your account for the next year.  If you get off the program you’re on, be it unemployment or whatever and get gainfully employed, you can tap that until it’s empty for doctor visits, you just won’t get it refilled.

            With supposedly 20 million people needing that program, it’d be easy to link it to current aid programs – meaning minimal new bureaucratic additions.  Even with a $25 ‘paperwork handling fee’ per person per year, the cost would be less than $21 billion a year, and the cost would go DOWN a few percent the second year as accounts rolled over. 

            But it’s not expensive.  It’s not wide-ranging.  It doesn’t establish a measure of control over the population that’s not already there. 

            It WOULD be sufficient to get uninsured people minimally insured… but that’s not what was really wanted, was it?

          • Anonymous

            Not bad, worth considering.

          • Thank you.  It was roundly panned on the sites I posted it on, because it wasn’t ‘fair’.  If someone who paid into their health care plan had something better, then the person who had nothing and had paid nothing should have a plan that matched it.

            Seems to me like something is a lot better than nothing, and if you crash the system you’re going to end up with nothing.

            I think one big problem with Washington is that they’ve gotten out of the habit of looking at relatively simple solutions in favor of specifiying just HOW something is going to be done  down to every last detail, instead of going “Okay, here’s money you can use for this particular function only.” and then letting the user decide.  Do they go to Rite-Aid or use a WalMart pharmacy?  Do they use a ‘Doc-in-the-Box’ pharmacy clinic, or go to an ER?  Right now they go to the ER because it’s nominally ‘free’ – to them, but the cost is much higher overall.  Going to a doc-in-a-box for a sinus infection would be a lot cheaper. 

            If you’ve got chronic conditions, then an application could be made to raise the stipend (for, example, insulin and diabetic supplies…) – but again, it’d only be used for medical needs.

            What I think is that if Obamacare ever becomes operational, there’s going to be a restricted list of doctors and pharmacies which will be allowed to dispense care under that mess of a bill.  Overall costs will zoom, overall care will decrease.  The group of clowns currently inside the beltway have no concept of ‘unintended consequences’ at all, and given their current success rate with smaller stuff, I’m not sure I’d trust ’em to apply a band-aid properly, much less handle the medical sector of our economy.

          • Anonymous

            I’m all for simpler solutions based on human market behavior, which is not the same as “the market” that big insurance companies or health combines want to create.  Your solution might actually foster some cash clinics that might make simple medical needs easier.

            As long as people get basic care, and quality coverage for serious illness, I’m OK with it.  I don’t have to worry about it because I have double coverage, with Tricare at 60, but it’s a big problem for the working poor.

          •  “Your solution might actually foster some cash clinics that might make simple medical needs easier.”

            They’re already out there.  Various ‘doc-in-a-box’ clinics at Walgreens, Rite-Aid and the like suffice for the simple stuff.

            But Washington isn’t the land of the simple solution any more.  And the problem I see is that the folks in Washington, while great at inside-beltway politicing and getting re-elected, haven’t got a friggin’ CLUE about what the consequences of what they pass are going to be, aside from a generic ‘Well, we MEAN well on all this, so that’s good enough, right? Even if it all goes pear-shaped, that’s okay, because we MEAN well!”

            Anyhow, I sent it off to my representative and senator, a bit more fleshed out – but I got back a generic “Thank you for your concern” letter.

            Well, when it’s tar and feather time I’ve got a couple of pillows to donate to the cause…

          • Anonymous

            10% is a lot of money.  If it was for something like roads or high speed railways in the USA, you’d be bitching about it.  Of course, all that would do would get us jobs building the railway and then the railways, plus the multiplier effect.

            Well, what do we get out of the military actions, except dead and wounded U.S. troops?

            It’s a total waste.  What did the Iraq war get the USA?  Less than nothing.

            If you think invading stone-age countries and occupying them for years does anything but waste lives and money, you’re deluded, or maybe wanking off on vicarious military action.

          • herddog505

            I don’t think we’d bitch about roads as they are (1) within the constitutional purview of the federal government and (2) tend to be useful.  High-speed rail – which, IMO, could be considered constitutional – has proved a boondoggle from the beginning.

            If I may put on my nasty ol’ war profiteer hat for a moment, who do you think produces the aircraft, tanks, HUMVEEs, rifles, body armor, munitions, uniforms, etc. that the troops use (I note that part of the New Deal was building up the armed forces, especially the Navy)?  Military spending not only creates jobs (in many cases hi-tech jobs) but also happens to be another of those enumerated powers in the Constitution.

          • Anonymous

            Military spending has the least positive effect on the economy than any type of government spending.  Particularly in these wars, in which operational costs are outsourced to foreign contractors.

          • herddog505

            I would ask you to provide a source with supporting evidence for that assertion, but I suspect it would simply lead to a lefty economist and argument by assertion.  Why passing out unemployment checks allegedly stimulates the economy like nothing else while making military hardware supposedly causes barely an economic ripple is beyond me, but liberals seem to think that these things are so.

          • Anonymous

            Well, first because procurement is probably contained in the regular defense budget, and the item for “overseas contingency operations” goes to operational costs, which heavily are spent outside the USA.

            Second, because spending on HUMMVs and MRAPs and helicopters that are worn out, destroyed or abandoned outside the USA creates an opportunity cost – money, time and resources spent on those are not spent on things that would be beneficial to the US population as a whole and help create growth in secondary way, like railroads, educational facilities and other longer term benefits.

            The opportunity cost seems pretty clear.

          • jim_m

            If it was for something like roads or high speed railways in the USA, you’d be bitching about it.

            Damn straight if it was for a BS boondoggle like high speed rail I’d be bitching about it. Why should we be lining the pockets of some crony capitalist handout?  I suppose that you are only against the other guys cronies and you are all for obama’s.

    • Sure, Chico – and now that you mention it, haven’t all those “old” WWII-era Nazis died off?  So “today’s” Nazi Party could be kinder, gentler, “not our enemy per se,” right?  Are you rushing out to join the “new KKK” since all those bad guys from the ’20s are long dead?

      What a Taliban-hugging, sick, perverted, America-hating leftist freak!

      • Anonymous

        You missed my point.  If I, or a US Government public affairs officer, calls you a Nazi, does that make you a Nazi?

      • Whoever allowed that turd to graduate from recruit training needs to be tried for dereliction of duty.

        • Anonymous

          Rodney, life is unfair, especially when you consider that I outranked you in real life and have a nice pension coming from the reserves when I turn 60.  Should be about $2700 a month. But have another drink, it will make you feel better.

      • And the more he babbles here the less I believe his soi dissant curriculum vitae.

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect, the final decision on the Afghan Taliban does not belong to the United States.  That decision lies with the government of Afghanistan, for better or for worse.  

  • No need for an explanation or to mince words.  Joe got it right, even if he didn’t mean to let it slip out.  The Taliban is not the enemy of The Obama Administration.  Anyone trying to destroy our economy and way of life would see The Taliban as an ally.

  • Anonymous

    Barrys looking forward to golfing among the poppies with his new partners. Maybe they can perfect that gun runner thing so the Taliban will know he cares.  

    Not to far out is it?

  • Anonymous

    If war is the only solution that you will consider, you will always be at war.  Are you willing to serve?

    • jim_m

      I will just point out that under Bush retention and recruitment in ther military was not the problem. I wil further remind you that we have a professional military and it performs better than a corps of draftees.

      Somehow it is always the left that insists on crippling the military with a draft.

      • Anonymous

        I will just point out that under Bush retention and recruitment in ther military was not the problem.

        Are you kidding me?  The Army and the USMC lowered their standards significantly 2004-2007, allowing more convicted felons and those in the lowest mental categories to enlist.   Obviously you know nothing about what’s been happening in the military the last ten years.

        I really despair for the future of the country in the face of such (1) ignorance of military matters, (2) aggressive warmongering. It’s a dangerous combination, and an argument for a draft.




        Lower standards help Army meet recruiting goal
         Posted 10/9/2006 12:18 PM ET

        WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year,
        helping the service beat its goal of 80,000 recruits in the throes of an
        unpopular war and mounting casualties.

        The recruiting mark comes a year after the Army
        missed its recruitment target by the widest margin since 1979, which had triggered a boost in the number of recruiters, increased bonuses, and changes in standards.

        • jim_m

          Military retention & recruitment was very successful from 2001-2005.  It wasn’t until 2006 that recruitment standards were lowered.

          Retention remained at 100% or over 100% for nearly all services (the Marines were 110% in 07).

          So My point was that recruitment and retention were not a problem and they have not been.  You claim that they relaxed their standards and that is true.  But then you friends in Congress claimed that we needed a draft and that was never the case.

          • Anonymous

            My argument for the draft is that the potential jim_m has to serve and get a dose of military life, including the war risk, to inform the rest of his life.

          • After serving 23 years in the AF and AFR, I don’t want to see the draft reinstated.

            1.  There’s no need for it.  Air power has significantly changed things, so has the ability to precisely target pretty much any point on the globe for a MOAB strike. Our goals now are to go in, take out targets, then get out. You don’t need anywhere near as many people when that’s the goal.

            2.  Do you seriously want aircraft or vehicles maintained by draftees who don’t want to be there?  A 6″ wrench, left in an engine intake, will trash a million-dollar engine.  Loose oil drain plug? Another wrecked engine. Improper maintenance on bearings? No, better to have folks there who WANT to be there.

            3.  There’s not enough jobs in the military.  In the ’90s, a lot of functions were outsourced to contractors.  Base maintenance, logistics and troop feeding and the like were taken over by civilians.  Before that, you could be drafted, go through a brief school, then get assigned a base, and spend the next 4 years painting rooms on that base.  (Had a friend who enlisted, she got pushed into that. Lost touch with her close on to 30 years ago…)  Admittedly you’re learning a trade, as well as (hopefully) learning to pay attention to detail, and an awful lot of people learned enough skills to make a living on the outside (let’s see… clerical skills, plumbing, cooking, electrician, painter… outsourced and pretty much gone)  – but now?  It’s a much leaner military.

            4.  It seems you’d be using a draft for punishment.  Not a good idea, IMHO…

          • Anonymous

            I’m not really in favor of it, but six months training plus a six year reserve obligation would be good for the country in some ways, in an increasingly stratified society.  It might also put the brakes on military adventurism of the Iraq and Libya type.

          • That’s doubtful.  Think about it – you’re setting things up so you’ve got a LOT of Reserve cannon fodder.  And there’s idiots inside the Beltway that would see it as a humanitarian necessity to ‘help out’ the folks who are in East Bumfukistan and regularly raided by the West Bumfukistan militias with that cannon fodder providing the means to make them feel good about themselves.

            Either that or we could just take over Canada, ya know, for their oil…

            Re stratification – there’s mobility if you want to work.  If you don’t, if you want to stay in that part-time job sharing an apartment because you’re enjoying the free time you’ve got… then so be it.  But the upward mobility begins when you go “This shit just doesn’t cut it.” and you start looking for options. 

            My brother was happily stratified, working at WalMart for the last few years of his life.  He had enough to get by on with part time work and Social Security – that’s all he cared about.

          • Anonymous

            But if those “idiots inside the Beltway” were subject to recall, or their children were, it might slow things down.  Plus we might need the reserve cannon fodder when the Chinese invade Alaska for the oil.

            Re stratification, I just see a society where one class goes from good suburban or private schools to top universities to elite professional jobs, and the other class goes from crappy urban and rural schools to marginal employment, some into the enlisted ranks.

          • Oh, it’s always ‘someone else’s problem’ when that happens, Chico – the powers that be always find a way to exempt their own kids if need be.  (One exception was Bush – for all the blathering about how safe it was flying a jet stateside, the F-102 didn’t have a reputation for being an easy flyer, or a safe one.)   Military aircrew get hazard pay for a reason.

            Re stratification – I don’t see it, honestly.  There aren’t barriers in place to keep the proles down – there’s always movement up and down the ladder.  25 years back, I was getting by on $5k a year, mostly because I was satisfied with what I was getting by on – it was when I got off my ass that my pay and lifestyle started to improve.  Now – the little guy’s going to a private school (hey, when the public school you’re zoned for is in the bottom third for the state, and you’re in the 49th state, you can teach him “Do you want fries with that?” and be sure he’ll be employable, but we wanted more) and my lovely bride has worked her way up the food chain in the hospital she works at from bedpan jockey to Research Manager, and occasionally hobnobs with the high ups in the hospital admin.  We’re upper middle, and I started out lower and dropping.

            Overall, I think you’re taking a snapshot of society at large and insisting that what you see is a true representation, ignoring the fact that (like the ocean) it’s constantly in motion and turning over.

            And I don’t know any way that government can mandate someone get off their ass if they’re satisfied enough with their lifestyle that they have no real drive to change it.

            I did.  Lots don’t. Sucks to be them, but beyond a certain point government just can’t do anything to affect that.

        • retired.military

          Hey i have an idea.  Every liberal that calls for govt health care gets marched to the recruiting staiton and gets enlisted.

      • Anonymous

        Would you also say that it is easier to always recommend a miltiary solution if it does not cost you anything?
        By the way, it was an army of citizens that won the civil war, World War I, and World War II.  George Washington (I guess you would call him a leftist) warned against a professional military in his farewell address and his words were respected and honored until the left rebelled against the draft after the Viet Nam war and started the professional military.

        From: Disqus
        To: [email protected]
        Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 10:31 AM
        Subject: [wizbang] Re: Leftist nuance

        Disqus generic email template

        jim_m wrote, in response to ackwired:
        I will just point out that under Bush retention and recruitment in ther military was not the problem. I wil further remind you that we have a professional military and it performs better than a corps of draftees.
        Somehow it is always the left that insists on crippling the military with a draft. Link to comment

    • Anonymous

      War is a last resort. The Taliban will not voluntarily disband. I suppose you could bribe them with cash and weapons but they would just become more of a problem down the road. 

      You could withdraw and pretend they do not exist. But we have seen where that ends. We could hold out an olive branch. But appeasement does not work with barbarians.

      It appears logical to deal with them where they are. That is, unless nuance and talking out your ass is your M.O.

    • herddog505

      Strawman: nobody is suggesting the war is the only answer.  However, it certainly seems that “negotiations without preconditions”, “sanctions”, and “sharply worded notes warning of even more sharply worded notes in the future” are not the answer, either.

      I add that I find it puzzling (not!) that the left, which spent soooo much time questioning Bush’s motives, hasn’t stopped to wonder why Barry was in such a hurry to stomp on Libya.

  • Anonymous

    Uniter not divider.. Give Barry another Nobel.

  • Doug Mataconis

    We don’t belong getting involved in Syria and more than we belonged getting involved in Libya or Iraq

    • Oysteria

      For the record, many of us here were not real happy about getting involved in Libya.  And Iraq was an entirely different story and a different time.  So far, this administration has been on the wrong side of Egypt and Libya.  In one case, crowing about blossoming democracy in Egypt and the “moderate” “non violent” Muslim Brotherhood and in the other, backing people they don’t even know or understand.  Why would we want them getting into the Syrian mess?

      Furthermore, we wouldn’t have to actually get involved in any kind of physical hostility with Syria if we could at least appear to be coming from a position of strength.  Something we’ve been sorely lacking.

    • Anonymous

      Doug, I give you a like, because you are so nicely exhibiting what I see as an irrational position.  

      You are saying we don’t belong in Syria and Libya or Iraq.  You do not say whether you are referring to the political involvement or military involvement.  

      Are you a Paulbot isolationist, or just saying no over military involvement?

      If you are an isolationist (which I doubt), then I have not much to say other than past efforts in that direction with this country have not ended well for the world.  We ARE heavily involved with the political turmoil in the ME right now, and with very negative results from the active efforts of this administration.  That does not mean we should not be involved at all, but does say that the naive, or horribly purposeful push to extremist polarization, needs to be stopped and replaced with a firm but less destructive plan.  Egypt is a horrible example of “good” intentions gone horribly wrong.  

      If you are whining about military involvement, on the surface you may have some traction.  I really don’t think we had any business in a half-hearted support of a Libyan campaign allowing Libyans and supportive extremist foreigners to slaughter other Libyans and mercenary foreigners with the end result another despot or group of despots running the country mercilessly.  But in the real world we live in, the weight of any political argument, after economic and power moves are considered, is the the threat of kinetic, radiologic, bacteriologic or chemical destruction.  If we don’t wield our military stick from time to time in the service of preventing wholesale slaughter of a people, then at least we should threaten to use it when our interests are threatened by an unstable political meltdown across the globe.   

      Promising NOT to use it in word and action, that’s untenable.

  • Anonymous

    Hey!  Barry wants to go on vacation!  HE can’t wait!

  • Anonymous

    How many died because of Obama, exactly?

    Bush’s “audacity” got thousands of Americans killed and maimed.  Plus 100,000+ Iraqis dead.  He and his military-age daughters are safe, though.

    My role here is to point out the elephant in the room, I guess.

    Do you think any of those guys could read that sign?   I wonder who wrote it?  “Procrastination,” yeahhhh, riiight.

    • The Iranians won’t let us in to count how many died because Obama wanted to suck the mullahs’ asses.  Syria won’t give us a hard count either.

      But here YOU are, licking Obama’s anus, as predicted.

      • Anonymous

        Is your objection that no Americans are dying in Syria?

    • Oysteria

      Can you ever make a point without invoking the chickenhawk argument?

      • Anonymous

        The environment is too target-rich.

    • PBunyan

      “Bush’s “audacity” got thousands of Americans killed and maimed.  Plus 100,000+ Iraqis dead. “

      You’re statement is based on a false premise, at least implied, that no one would have died had Bush not invaded Iraq.  At the time of the invastion about 5,000 Iraqis, mostly women children and the elderly, were dying every month as a result of international sanctions.  So I’d say better to have 100,000 die in eight years than 480,000. 

      As for Americans killed, somehow I think Sadam with a nuclear bomb (which the far left biased Dulfur report stated would have happened in 1 to 3 years after 2003– which means by 2006 or sooner) would have killed and maimed far more than the Iraq war did.   Of course I can’t prove that, so only those with common sense will agree with that point– no Democrats or Obama voters ever would.

      Was the war in Iraq a good thing?  Hell no, it was an atrocity, as are all wars– but it was likely the BEST option given the circumstances.  THAT is the elephant that most all leftists and people like you (who aren’t left or right, but in a whole different category) choose to not be able to see.

      Finally, your last paragraph is downright racist to the core.

      • Jay

        Saddam was busy fighting Iran.  Odds are his people would have revolted given the fact that the factions he was suppressing were much larger than his own.  Further, the US put him into power in the first place.  Yeah, we knock him over, make Iran look good, force Syria, Iran, and Iraq to play nice, and weaken our position in the ME.

        Great job breaking it, US.

        • PBunyan

          “Saddam was busy fighting Iran…US put him into power in the first place. ”  

          When in the leftist minds did that evil bastard Bush develop the ability to travel throught time and effect past events?  Those things happened many decades ago.

          “Odds are his people would have revolted given the fact that the factions he was suppressing were much larger than his own.”

          Yeah, just like they did after Desert Storm in ’91.  Oh wait…

          “weaken our position in the ME.”

          That actually happened over the past few months.  Damn that time travelling George Bush!

          “Great job breaking it, US. “

          You have no clue what has been slowly, methodically, and purposefully broken these last couple years.   Those guys holding that sign do. Here’s a clue for ya: it’s bigger than Iraq.

    • Oysteria

      They spelled procrastination right but misspelled occupied.  Does that balance it out?  So maybe they got someone who speaks better English to write it for them, so what.  More fun to imply they were staged and have no idea they’re being used by someone whose intentions you disagree with, right?

      • jim_m

        So maybe they got someone who speaks better English to write it for them, so what.

        Well it wasn’t a teacher’s union member. They can’t even keep straight the difference between “are” and “our”.

    • jim_m

      How many died because of Obama, exactly?

      To paraphrase another smug leftist:  “How can you ask someone to be the last person to die for obama’s mistake?”

      But seriously Chico.  I know you don’t care how many Iraqis die for obama’s mistake. They’re just brown skinned foreigners anyway. The left doesn’t care about those kind of people.

      • Anonymous

        Make up your mind.  “Brown-skinned foreigners?”  In the last thread you wanted to “kill them all,” in this one you’re whining Obama’s not protecting them the way Bush “protected” the Iraqis – by starting a war that kills tens of thousands of the innocent.

        Hmmmm, come to think of it, I’d bet you’re totally on the “kill them all” side, it’s just what bullshit you fling that changes.

  • Ray Dawson

    Obama Lied; Syrians/Iranians/Mexicans/Egyptians/Americans Died.

  • PBunyan

    Obama Lied.  Liberty Died.

  • Anonymous

    Please clarify what “lie” of Obama’s got people killed.

    • Anonymous

      Just as soon as you explain exactly what “lie” of George W Bush’s you leftists always refer to.

      • Stephen

        In other words – none.

        • PBunyan

          Thanks for acknowledging that Bush didn’t lie.

      • Anonymous

        *I* didn’t say Bush lied. *Rick* says Obama lied. I’m asking him what lie Obama told that got people killed. Or, if you like, Genius, I’m asking YOU.

        • retired.military

          Obama’s “Days not weeks” (which turned into months) speech.

          That is one.  People died.  Noone said Americans died.  Just people.


          • Anonymous

            Nope. Try again.

          • retired.military

            What do you mean “Nope try again”

            Obama said the conflict would last days and not weeks.  He also said no boots on the ground.

            Both were lies.  You asked for it you got it.  Toyota.  Oh wait with Obama it is GM isnt it.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks, RM, for spanking L’il Brucie’s ass

            Of course D’OHbama lied. It’s all he does.

          • Anonymous

            “L’il Brucie” wishes you’d stop fantasizing about his ass, Cap’n. Especially re: spanking.

          • Anonymous

            Hey, you’re the one who lost the debate, not me.

          • Anonymous

            Obama said “we anticipate the transition” will take days or weeks, not months. How did that statement cause people to die? And, in case you didn’t notice, there ARE no boots on the ground in either Libya or Syria.

          • retired.military

            Actually Bruce we did put advisors in Libya.  Also Obama was lying when he said :”We anticipate” when he knew it would take longer.  And people died as a result of his actions and his lies.

          • Jay

            Bruce, he lied about Gitmo.  And his civil liberties track record is nonexistant.  He made a lot of campaign promises that he could not keep.

            If you need a list of civil liberties, it’s a big one.  Cell phones, Wikileaks, SOPA, NDAA…

          • Anonymous

            I agree with you about his civil liberties record. I don’t think you can characterize the Gitmo backtrack as a “lie,” and even if you could, how does that lead to people dying?

          • retired.military

            Has anyone died at GITMO since the year was up?  Has anyone died in transport to GITMO or in part due to a threat that they would be taken to GITMO or killed themselves because they thought if they were captured they would be taken to GITMO (which was supposed to be closed).  Also it wasnt a backtrack.  Obama knew that he wouldnt be able to close GITMO in a year.  If it was that Simple Bush would have done it.   Instead he lied about it.

            Also another lie by Obama

            “Have troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2009

            Have troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2009
            see video here

            Or if you like we can start going through all of Obama’s lies


            There are only 16.7 million google hits there.

    • Would it have been better Brucie if I had written “Obama exaggerated, people died”?

      • Anonymous

        No, Rick – I believe the thread title is fine. Proof is that Bruce got his knickers all wadded up over it.

        Also, Obama does not exaggerate all that much. He either lies or just plain gets it wrong.

      • Anonymous

        Please identify which lie OR exaggeration of Obama’s led to people dying. Please trace causation directly from the alleged lie to actual deaths.

        • Anonymous

          retired-military did that back up-thread.

          You may deny it all you wish, but his Libya speech was a lie.

          We could always go into Operation Fast and Furious, but D’OHbama’s been stonewalling so much that he hasn’t had the opportunity to lie. Holder has been lying his ass off, though.

    • Here Brucie… read it and weep… and note the use of exaggeration, something you should personally identify with…

  • jim_m

    Cause if your religious practice includes breaking the law you can get away with that

    Nope. Because this religious practice has been legal since time began and only now has obama decided that he wants to make it illegal.  There is nothing wrong with what they are doing.  The law was crafted to make the practice of their religion illegal.  You’re obviously too thick or too obtuse to recognize that fact.  But that is what I would expect from a self avowed Communist.

  • Anonymous

    These people must be doing OK – All have nice coats.

  • Anonymous

    Barry lied, the economys fried!

  • retired.military

    Stephen  – REf Socialism

    Socialism /ˈsoʊʃəlɪzəm/ is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production[dubious – discuss] and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system.[1] “Social ownership” may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises, common ownership, autonomous public ownership or state ownership.[2] ‘

    Obama wants to socialize medical care in the US (amongst other things). It isnt a stretch to say that his admininstrations attacks on the Catholic church dont further that agenda. After all this thread was about Obama’s attacks on the Catholic church and its policies.

    • Stephen

      There have been no Obama attacks on the Catholic church, and nothing in this thread has anything to do with socialism — but you did a wonderful job of cutting and pasting meaningless information at an inappropriate time. Really stellar. Proves you really don’t know what you’re talking about but just disagreeing with anyone you choose by spewing nonsense.

      Proud of yourself? You should be… really proud.

  • Anonymous

    It does take audacity to invade a country that has done nothing to harm us and is incapable of attacking us.

    I’m afraid I can’t find the “lie”.

  • jim_m

    There have been no Obama attacks on the Catholic church,

    Excepting, of course, the law which this whole thread was about.  I mean the US Conference of Catholic Bishops might say that the law is an attack on their freedom of religious expression, but who the hell are they?  It’s not like the Bishops speak for the church.

    nothing in this thread has anything to do with socialism

    Excepting, of course, your own attitude nd responses toward religion.  Then again, my position was that they were not really socialist, but more communist in nature, and I will note that you have never contested that.

  • Anonymous

    Alexis de Tocqueville said “religion is simply another form of hope”, so we may be back to that, as the banner call for the GOP, to rally first Iowa, then the nation.

  • Anonymous

    Thinking about the picture and its possible provenance, including its initial publication on Rachel Abrams’s website, could this be an inept attempt at “information operations” by a foreign intelligence service, to try to influence elections in the USA?

  • retired.military

    a. The thread was too thin up in the apporpriate place.

    b. Obamacare attacks the Catholic church’s teachings and doctrine on abortion

    c. Obamacare is the first step in socialized medicine in the US. You can deny it but that doesnt mean it is not so.

    d. The author of the thread stated “At what point will Americans see the threat to religious liberty posed by this administration?” and was specifically talking about an attack on the Cathoilc church’s doctrine of providing abortion.

    e. About the only person I have disagreed with on this th
    read is you. In fact it seems that just about everyone on this thread disagrees with you.

    f. I feel no pride in correcting idiots who choose to ignore basic facts. I am simply doing what your mother obviously failed to do. If you dont believe me you can call up your basement stairs and ask her.

    g. I keep getting a stupid message from Discus stating I need to sign in to comment that I have to enter a comment to save my post even though I have commented in the appropriate block and this prevents me from replying to a specific post at times but not from making a new comment at the bottom . . I will be sending in a screen shot to the board so they can try to figure out what the issue is.  You can blow up the image below to see what I am talking about.

  • Tanuki Man

    I almost said “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas” but then I thought, “No. It’s The Stooges. Can’t diss The Stooges.” But I still detest “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”  Funny? No. Not even a little.

    • All I want for Christmas is my new front teeth, because a dentist recently pulled what was remaining of my front teeth. I have a temporary partial, but it is uncomfortable.
      So the song about the front teeth is meaningful to me.

  • Hay Hay! Ho Ho!

    That jug eared Jesus has to go!

    Hay Hay! Ho Ho!That jug eared Jesus has to go!

  • It’s Bush’s fault!

  • See, Dad, you can watch paint on TV, which is better than anything actually on!

  • “Cover the World!” You have to start somewhere…

  • “I’m just preparing for my career as Inspector General of the Justice Department!”

  • No use crying over spilt milk, unless of course it’s paint.

  • Kurt Duncan

    “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”, tied with “Wonderful Christmas Time”.

  • I asked the question about the worst song because holiday songs have been broadcasted inside my workplace (a Wal-Mart ) since before Thanksgiving. If you think that waterboarding is torture, then try listening to holiday songs non-stop for 9 hours.

  • Anonymous

    Where is Jay Tea? 

    Again, I’m worried that he froze to death holding a sign for Gingrich all day in NH.

    • Anonymous

      Its not even cold out?  lol

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