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To hell with George Bush

One of the classic motivational quotations is from a fellow named Judson B. Branch, who opined:

"There is no limit to the good man can do if he doesn't care who gets the credit."

In that vein, let me discuss President George W. Bush.

I voted for him in 2000, and again in 2004. For the most part, I think he's done a better job than Al Gore or John Kerry would have done -- and that were the choices available at the time. I agree with some of his policies, I disagree with others. I think, at his core, he's a decent guy who tries to do what he thinks is the best.

Personally, though, I don't like him.

I've heard him give speeches, and there's something about his speech pattern annoys me. There's an attitude, a personality quirk, in either him or me (or both), that just sets my teeth on edge. It might be interesting to meet him, but I would not enjoy a prolonged discussion with him. I don't see me wanting to pal around with him (except to ingratiate myself to his daughters), exchanging phone calls, having dinner together, swapping e-mails.

But there is one inescapable fact: George W. Bush is the President of the United States, and pending extraordinary circumstances (that have occurred exactly seven times in over two hundred years), will remain so until January 20, 2009. He is the Head Of State for the United States, and that means that in nearly all matters of national and international policy, he is the voice of the nation.

This is a very troubled time in the world. The threats to our nation are many, both open and covert. The forces behind international terrorism are shadowy, and only a few nation-states (Iraq and Afghanistan) have been brought to task for their deeds, while others (Iran and Syria, just to name two) are feeling a bit nervous.

Iran, in particular, is the one I find more troubling. As I have said recently, I am greatly concerned about their quest to possess nuclear weapons, and have frequently made no bones about their willingness to use them. Those who calls me and those who agree with me "alarmists" are basing their arguments on a rather slender reed: the rationality of Iran's leaders. As a wise man once said, "one cannot reason someone away from a position they did not reach by reasoning." Or, more succinctly, as commenter kevino put it,

"The Iranian Mullah's would have to be crazy to try it.

I think they're crazy."

"Crazy" might be too harsh a word. In their own way, they are acting perfectly in accordance with their culture, their perceptions, their goals, their world-view, their beliefs. By their standards, we are the crazy ones.

That's a bit of the standardPC crap. It's the makings of a fine philosophical argument, but it doesn't address the fundamental question: the conflict between those two perceptions will most likely not be settled by debates, but by force. The other side has already made it abundantly clear that discussions are a way to buy more time to prepare for the fight, not to avoid it. Pressure is what is needed -- economic and political pressure might do it, but in the end I fear the overpressure of large explosions might end up being needed.

The United States, realistically, has no choice in the matter. Iran has laid out its goals: the removal of all Western elements from the Middle East, as a starter. That includes Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, Western warships in the Persian Gulf, Western culture on the TV or radio. And the biggest element of Westernism: the existence of the nation of Israel, which they perceive as an invasion and occupation of the West's Jews on sacred Muslim land.

Towards the achievement of those goals, Iran has laid out its methods: terrorism, through Hizbollah and other terrorist groups. Economic forces, through its own oil exports and its strategic position astride the Straits of Hormuz, through which 25% of the world's oil supply flows). And, if they can get them, nuclear weapons.

Yesterday, I outlined a nightmarish scenario that could develop if Iran gets nuclear weapons. While I pulled actual casualty figures out of whole air, I think it is a plausible outcome. I have little doubt that should Iran get nuclear weapons, they will use them -- and use them against a nation with a never-acknowledged but widely-known nuclear capacity of its own. And it is a widely accepted truism that any nuclear-armed nation that suffers a nuclear attack will retaliate with its own nuclear weapons. Toss in the volatility of the Middle East and its key role in the world economy, a nuclear exchange will have devastating affects across the world -- not to mention the millions of people who will suffer directly.

I don't want that to happen. I want it stopped.

Realistically, there is only one nation that has the means and interest in doing so. That nation is the United States.

Realistically, if the United States is to head off this nuclear holocaust, either tomorrow or five years down the road, the President must be committed to doing so. And until Januray 20, 2009, that president will be George W. Bush.

I don't give a tinker's damn about George W. Bush, more than I would any other human being. But he is the President. As he put it, he is "the decider." The whole point of a president is to be a Chief Executive, to make decisions, to execute policy. I need him to make the decisions that will keep this from happening.

Were John Kerry president today, or if we were halfway through Al Gore's second term, I would be saying much the same thing. (Admittedly, I think my tone would be different, but the substance would be unchanged.) Because in the end, this is not about who is in the Oval Office -- but what decisions are made there.


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Comments (54)

The only thing that gives m... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

The only thing that gives me any hope if the mullahs get a Bomb is that the Red Chinese made the same kind of saber-rattling noises throughout the '60s. It's a puffer-fish kind of thing: make people think you're absolutely crazy-dangerous, and they'll leave you alone (and never find out how weak you really are).

Fingers crossed...

Good point docjim - and tha... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Good point docjim - and that may be exactly what is at work here - and when faced with a posturing bully it is usually counter-productive to puff up and act meaner -- it usually just causes an escalation. Hopefully that won't happen, and cooler heads will prevail.

I think it may very well be... (Below threshold)
Santay:

I think it may very well be about who is in the oval office. If it were someone other than Bush the situation in the middle east may be entirely different. Unfortunately he was the best we could do in 2000 and 2004.

And we have to play the car... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And we have to play the cards that are dealt us. I don't think the situation is at all hopeless. Fear-mongering is a political tactic that is used by politicans frequently as a means of bullying Americans into supporting agressive policies. This site has many good examples of that...

JayIt's not writ i... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Jay

It's not writ in stone that Bush's presidency has to last until January 2009.

This man, who has been entrusted w/ the leadership of the greatest nation the world has ever known, hardly reflects the caliber of a man needed to lead that nation, and the world, for that matter. In any of his preceeding roles, he typically rendered a mediocre performance.

Barring impeachment or some other device conceived by his Party's leaders, yes, we will have to endure his presidency. However the rest of the dominating Majority Party could render a far greater service by letting this limited decider know that he is not free to take this nation down w/ infantile thought & analysis & moronic decision-making.. The Republicans, under Goldwater, performed a similar national service, when they brought Nixon to voluntary resignation.

George Bush is not "ready for prime time" and never was. He is a significantly limited man who was used as a stalking horse by others determined to gain control of this nation, but who otherwise, lacked any credible leader. Bush had the name of a former president & it was simple to install him as a governor in Texas w/ the help of theSvengali Rove. With Texas in hand, and with the use of hot button issues and the currying favor w/ the religious right, a mediocre man was launched on a meteoric rise.

Bush's judgement cannot be trusted nor can that of the neo-cons that he installed in policy roles. The proof of that is in the vacuity of all the promises & statements made by these various individuals on the road to Baghdad.

When the US had the support & empathy of the entire world, Bush ought have used that power of world support to lead a police action to depose the Taliban, get UBL and make sure that Afghanistan was set on the right course. That action became half-assed with his turn of attention to a non-threat, Iraq, and his administration's sounding of the war sirens to embark on a new venture, having left the Afghani task halfdone and half-baked. Bush's half-aqssed job in Afghanistan is becoming more mundone w/ every passing month.

It is the mark of a mediocre man, that he moves to another task before completing the first. Instead Bush ratcheted tthe post 9/11 venture to an endless war on terror, with no end strategy and no end-point in sight. This war on terror that he has attempted to define will make the 100 Years War appear but as a flash in the pan.

The success that Bush might have attained in Afghanistan would have become a much more powerful platform from which to attend to Iran. As with his oil business, it has become mostly squandered--mediocre, if not catastrophic, result from a mediocre leader/decider.

There is no reason that there can't be an 8th instance in US presidential history. Agnew resigned and Nixon resigned...the upheaval of impeachment & conviction not even required.

The recent polls make it quite clear that 2/3 of this nation is not content w/ Bush's leadership & this situation seems likely to descend much further, particularly if his Iran strategy? leads to $100+ oil as seems more and more likely. It is time for the Majority party to give up the ghost, and in the Goldwater manner, devise a method to supplant and/or remove this lame and mediocre man. That would be the standard of real statesmanship over politician.

Bush is in way over his head and I, for one, cannot be content w/ accepting his decidership thru 1/2009.

Yeah, its not like they gea... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Yeah, its not like they geared up to spread Islamic Fundamentalism across the Middle East by force. Oh wait, they did.

Iran depleated its initial post-Shaw resources in the Iran-Iraq war. After the war dragged on, oil production (aka income) fell dramatically and is roughly half of what it was pre-Shaw).

Saddam had the world's 3rd largest military in the early '90s for a reason. Since that time we've had a presense there.

Iran has been kept at bay by their relatively poor economy and potential military opposition in the form of Iraq and the US.

Thinking they're just making noise is a pretty little story. There's good enough reason to believe it doesn't apply here which means Jay's nuclear senerio in one form or another will happen if we just cross our fingers and hope they go away.

I pretty much agree with yo... (Below threshold)

I pretty much agree with your beginning paragraphs. Bush is not a good speaker and it can be grating to listen to him. I respect his leadership in the war and on moral issues. However, he seems to be a "big governemt conservative" (oxymoron?). He, along with the senate Republicans have just about killed the fiscal conservative. They have seriously weakened the ability of future conservatives to campaign on the issue of "smaller government." And Bushs insistence on the amnesty issue makes me want to puke.

As for the Iranians, nuke '... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

As for the Iranians, nuke 'em from orbit. it's the only safe thing to do. When a man with a gun says he is going to kill you, believe him.
As for the Democrats there are not enough drugs and booze on the planet to take them to take them seriously. For all of Bush's failings, what did the dimms offer as an alternative? Al Gore the eco-lunatic and sore loser and John "traitor boy and gigolo" who won't release his records liar Kerry?
Please!! At best they are sputtering incoherent frothing at the mouth morons and at worst in bed with our enemies. I would not be surprised if a number of high ranking dimms are indicted by the fall for espionage related charges.
Face it libs there hasn't been an openly lib candidate elected president since LBJ and that was 42 years ago. And there most likely will not be another lib elected president in your lifetime.
And if the Iranians get ahold of the bomb that may not be such a long lifetime. Nuke'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure .

Jeff BLWNo preside... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Jeff BLW

No president who grandstands w/ midnite dashes to DC for Schiavo bill signings and who puts his jack-boot on the neck of stem cell research thorugh federal funding or who whines over stem cells while launching pre-emptive wars has any claim to moral leadership.

Bush shines as a modern-day Pharisee.

Only those w/ blinders would call Bush moral. All the "God blesses" cannot erase moral hypocrisy.

JayIn regard to yo... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Jay

In regard to your earlier thread, it is posters like Cubanboob above who illustrate exactly the kind of posting to which I referred on Listening to Frothing Loonies.

BTW add in Virgo to that lot.

I have to say I like W, and... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I have to say I like W, and he sounds corny sometimes, but that is part of the appeal. I'm a southerner as well, so it doesn't sound so "stupid" as the mostly white northern liberals suggest.

I find him much more trustworthy than the dem. Presidents before him, and he did not violate a pledge such as, "no new taxes." He usually does what he says he'll do. If that's a character fault, or shows lack of "nuance," I'll just have to sit here in my trailer drinking my Schlitz and laugh.

No one much outside the oval office shows a serious moral purpose these days. I have to think that most of the 40 Million or so Iraqis and Afghanis would find his moral actions persuasive. But, like me, they live in a mud hut or some such, and they, sniff, are just the little people.

mak44Thanks for maki... (Below threshold)
Rick:

mak44
Thanks for making those many visits to Iraq and Afghanistan. I realize it takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention danger and personal sacrifice, to thoughtfully and concisely asses the situation on the ground in that much of the middle east. I mean, you couldn't have possibly just hunkered down in Kabul or the Green Zone and come by so much personal knowledge. Additionally, many thanks for sharing that knowledge. Most folks, you must surely understand, only present as facts, those 5th hand regurgitations they overheard whilst' they enjoyed their most recent glass of Ferrari Carano reserve Chardonnay.

"I'll just have to sit here... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

"I'll just have to sit here in my trailer drinking my Schlitz and laugh."

You heard it, everybody: he drinks Schlitz. You gonna trust this guy's judgement? Reminds me of Clinton. The guy smoked marijuana but didn't inhale. What kind of leadership is that?

Q: Why is drinking American beer like making love in a canoe?
A: Because it's fucking close to water.

RickI actually spe... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Rick

I actually spent over a month in Iran & Afghanistan on a hippy bust to Nepal way back when one could travel through that region.

And you know what? Those people were some of the kindest & most helpful people I've ever encountered in any of my travels. Back then, they were very much like us in regard to human feeling & interaction, albeit some of their customs & lifetsyle were as alien to me as if I had traveled to Jupiter.

Much history has happened since then. But I can assure you, they are just as human as we consider ourselves to be. If you prick them ,they bleed.

Back then, there was great admiration for the US. That has been squandered for many reasons and has become hatred. But those people did not just one day take some "hate the US" pill.

Jay Tea:Thank you ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Jay Tea:

Thank you for your posts concerning the Iranian nuclear program. They have started some lively discussion. And thanks for calling out my comment(s).

I would remind readers that my comment about the Iranian Mullahs being "crazy" centered on a future nuclear exchange. Their public position on their nuclear program is not crazy at all: they are reacting directly to public opinion in the United States. They are afraid of or will react to the threat of invasion by the US. Nothing else, including bombing missions or trade sanctions appears to be any concern to them.

The reverse is that the Mullahs do not consider us crazy. We are immoral, decadent, lazy, and cowardly.

I would like to see more discussion of a basic point (probably needs a separate topic):

The position stated by many on the Left is that this issue can be solved by negotiation. I would like for those people to explain their negotiating position. What, exactly, will you offer the Iranians in exchange for halting either nuclear program and for their full support for inspections? The Mullah's position is basically:
1. All Muslims must be totally committed to the work of Allah, His name be praised. Muslims are prepared to die for what they believe in and to do their duty.
2. Americans are casualty-averse: if you send a few American soldiers home in body-bags, the American public loses their will and gives up. Therefore, they won't invade.
5. Americans may bomb us or try to create trade sanctions, but that will only serve to unite our people and harden them against the West.
4. The Europeans are irrelevant.
5. The UN is helpful to us. Any US administration that requires UN action is irrelevant because our Chinese and Russian allies will prevent even the mildest reprimand from the UN.
6. Numerous scholars point to the fact that it is the sacred duty of every Muslim to acquire WMD for the service of the Islamic State.
7. By having these weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran can potentially wipe out the Jews that infest the sacred soil of the Middle East.
8. No nuclear power has ever been invaded. These weapons will guarantee the future of our Islamic Republic.
9. The Sword of Islam has been the goal for Muslim countries for decades. Great power and prestige goes to the first Middle East country to test a nuclear weapon.

QUESTION: If the US tries to negotiate to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, what is the basis of this negotiation?

For example, I have heard moral arguments. The Mullahs consider their work to acquire WMD to be a great service to Allah, His name be praised forever. While they consider us to be corrupt infidels. Within their moral, ethical, and legal system, they are doing the right thing, and the West is not.

I have heard ideas about how we need to gain their trust. They have allies already that will give them what they want - except for one thing (see below). They have no reason to trust the US, and even with full trust, they have no reason to give up their goals (or, sacred duty, if you prefer).

The EU-3 and the UN are worthless and weak, and the Iranians have had great fun "negotiating" with them to buy time to do what they want. What do the wizards on the Left (e.g. President Clinton or Carter) propose to do? What can the bring to the table to get the Iranians?

Well, we can give them Israel. I don't mean land-for-peace. I don't mean selling Israel down-river the way previous administrations have done. I mean total evacuation. The US allows the UN the totally condemn Israel and demand that Israel cease to exist. A new Jewish homeland is created in Europe, and the US helps to transport any people who want to go there. Now THAT would interest the Iranians.

I don't see any other basis for negotiating this problem.

(By the way, as much as I would enjoy debate, I cannot participate in my usual way. I've got a lot to do for the rest of the day to get ready for a three-day weekend.)


KevinoNo negotiati... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Kevino

No negotiation is possible when you have your opponent already deciphered and defined as you have above.

Iran has put out feelers about discussions w/ the US, but as in the case of Korea, Bush has generally rejected them as essentially dead-end. Given the potential developments in the Middle East, that strikes me as irresponsible.

Bush's injection of the US into Iraq along w/ the 39 year US history of acquiescing to Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank & Gaza has severely poisoned any negotiating table.

Israel has been in violation of UN Res 242 for 39 years. Occupation of the Palestinian territories is a false matter of nation-securing and is far more reflective of the Zionist movement which has historically expanded the state of Israel at every conflict juncture.

No one can affirm ahead of time that bringing Israel into line will suddenly launch an Islamic love fest of the US, but it sure as hell would be a good starter. And it would certainly bolster an image of US fairness and international leadership that has been sorely lacking in the ME for 40 years.

Now, had something like this been attempted and had Bush not launched his Iraqi war at any cost & not done so w/ deception that all the rest of the can easily see, the ME likely would be far less inflamed than present.

MakYour the leftwi... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Mak

Your the leftwing kook here, not Me.

mak44:Thank you fo... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned:

mak44:

Thank you for confirming what I've always believed about the Left. You believe that if we cast Israel to the wind and let the rest of the Middle East finish what Hitler started, the mullahs and imams will leave us alone.

Bog-standard leftist anti-Semitism. Sorry to say, I'm not shocked.

You're apparently not very ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

You're apparently not very bright either, Cap'n.

Sane policies don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Nothing Mak has suggested is anti-Semitic, and he hasn't advocated burying our heads in the sand.

Hmmm.My biggest is... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

My biggest issue with Bush is over illegal immigration.

I frankly think it's ridiculous that the more US money is being spent to secure Iraq's borders than America's.

[email protected] mak44... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

@ mak44

For God's sake man, stop being an asshat.

Captain NedOh if o... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Captain Ned

Oh if only it were so simple maybe you'd grasp it.

If insisting that our declared ally follow international law is anti-semitic, I make no apologies.

With the crap you posted above, it is no surprise that you label the Left as you do.

You simply do not know the history and you are abyssmally ignorant to what Israel has done to the Palestinians in the settlement areas that they have acquisitioned. When you steal another man's historic lands and displace those families, abuse the water supply in favor of your illegal kibesutz where you have bulldozed another from his historical familial lands, then you engender the deepest hatred imaginable. This is the result of the actions of Zionist fanatics who have governed Israel most of the past 40 years.

BTW Don't bring up that Zionist garbage that god gave the jews a deeded title in the bible to those lands.

Mak44, would you care to ex... (Below threshold)

Mak44, would you care to explain why the evil jooo's were bulldozing farms?
Was it because of terror attacks being launched from them, or the fact that these barbarians sent their children to committ mass murder?

Your equivicating for the scum of humanity is disgusting

Blovisall that you... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Blovis

all that you post is essentially after the fact of the appropriations by Israel. Those Israelis, who also happen to be Zionist, believed the Wset Bank was their biblical right & so they took it.

Then you got the terrorist attacks and the shellings of the Israelis who sat astride former Palestinian land.

You simply have no idea, apart from the land grab, what has been inflicted on the Palestinians on the West Bank & Gaza.

Iran is not a threat to the... (Below threshold)
RA:

Iran is not a threat to the US. We should not be tasked with Israels dirty work. Let those at greatest risk take on Iran.

mak44Isreal is not... (Below threshold)
frankfucszeroiq:

mak44

Isreal is not now or has ever been or ever will be the new palestine,if there is no biblical, or historical claim to isreal,then it matters not what the Isrealis do to the jordanians/assyrians..at any rate by your mummified thinking there is no God accept yourself, so theres no one to be held accountable to. therefore it,s kill or be killed..there are no consequences for there is not a God..

frankfucszeroiqNot... (Below threshold)
mak44:

frankfucszeroiq

Not quite sure of what your point is.

But as for your "kill or be killed" & "there's no one to be accountable to," most of what was blogged, particularly yesterday was exactly that, and that despite the fact that most of these posters are believers and they still don't give a crap about accountability for what they are propounding.

And as far as no consequences, you are dead (ptp) wrong: the consequence is dead. And you don't appear to have good enough genetic programming to avoid that.

Do not be so sure that Bush... (Below threshold)
robert:

Do not be so sure that Bush is doing so little.

Starting with tipping Pakistan over to our side early in office, this administration then moved to eliminate the A.Q. Khan network that supplied the axis of evil. That this was done while simultaneously moving closer to India was fairly tricky. Lest one forget, India-Pakistan was at least as threatening as the Cuban missile crisis.

Though much has been made of the emerging China, India has similar growth and potential and has been drawn closer to us.

Libya has surrendered its nuclear program and provided valuable intelligence on the underground network.

Former Soviet sphere countries have been freed from the fairly heavy hand of Putin and many of the "Stans" have opened to the West.

Puppet tentacles are on the way out in Lebanon, with the help of the French no less, although much work needs to be done. Egypt, of all places, has started holding local elections.

The Israel-Palestine situation has been clarified by some straight talk and new thinking - we are going to have Hamas and a fence. No President has been a stronger supporter of Israel, period.

The UN has been exposed.

North Korea is at least a prospect for peace, and will be as long as China wants it to be. Bush, one will remember, was the first in a long time to stand up to the Chinese, again early in office, over the spy plane thing.

The Taliban is gone now and Afghanistan is now on the right road. Saddam is gone and Iraq is probably on the right road, at least a better road than before.

One cannot take the entirety of the past five years and not conclude that, in geopolitical terms, much progress has been made.

Bush is well aware of the Iran risk as he is the North Korean one, and bluster will continue to emanate from North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and elsewhere.

But, while is it probably fair to bash Bush on the speaking thing, it is not, to my mind, reasonable to think him too timid or stupid to act. He has proved otherwise.

The risk of a violent response in the region to any US action in Iran is also an important consideration, as others have said. I think this is what the Iran Mullas are hoping for.


CubanBob is right on about ... (Below threshold)
frankfucszeroiq:

CubanBob is right on about these terrorist states!mak44 is completely wrong about these terrorist states. case closed..."

mak:Let's review U... (Below threshold)
OCSteve:

mak:

Let's review UN Res 242:
Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force

So even though the first principle has been mostly met by Israel, that second is far from being realized. As usual, only one side in this conflict actually has to bend to the UN and the international community.

You simply do not know t... (Below threshold)
OCSteve:

You simply do not know the history

Those Israelis, who also happen to be Zionist, believed the Wset Bank was their biblical right & so they took it.

Who needs a history refresher? One fine summer day in 67 the Zionists just decided to take the West Bank because it was their biblical right....

Mak44, you are proof that i... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf:

Mak44, you are proof that illegal drugs do have long term, lasting effects. If Bush were the monster you claim, he would have silenced you long ago, which proves you a liar. Why you chose to infect this website is a question begging an answer. Idiots like you believe the end justifies the means, as long as it is your ends and means. Mak, if you are stupid enough to believe those Mullas believe in freedom of religion, I suggest you find a 12 step program right away. See, I do suggest solutions. If you can rationalize what those Mullas did during the Iran-Iraq war, that is, sending children, unarmed. With plastic keys, to open the gates of heaven, to the front. To attack mine fields and barbed wire only to be killed in the tens of thousands. I am willing to listen momentarily. That would be just until you say someone else did something similar as a justification. Historical note. Israel has historical claim to the land they are on. The Romans removed them, illegally. If you are a communist, and you are, why don't you go live in a communist country? You could be a guest worker. Mostly Mak44, STFU and go away.

OCSDon't know wher... (Below threshold)
mak44:

OCS

Don't know where you've been when you claim that Israel has fulfilled the 1st requirement for the most part.

The current state of some 200,000 W Bank Israelis living in enclaves that leave the Palestinian map looking like fractured pottery is hardly compliant w/ that requirement. What is left of the W Bank Palestinian state is a jigsaw puzzle aof walled enclaves and Israeli access roads that leave the W bank totally a non-contiguous fractured land.

No people would ever tolerate that. In addition, the Zionist settlers have snatched much of the most desirable parcels on the W Bank.

Get real...if this had been done to your people & your homeland, you'd be plotting any manner of acts of resistance.

OCSteve. Is that the same ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf:

OCSteve. Is that the same war that they took the Golan Heights? Who was it that instigated that fight? Could it have been Egypt and Syria? Did Jordan play a role? Or is it that you are claiming Israel, inspite of what historical facts exist, unilaterally attack Egypt, Syria, and Jordan for the sole purpose of gaining land, with no oil under it, because the Bible says God gave that land to them? Please note the size of the combined strength of the opposing armies.

Mak44, you still here? I w... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf:

Mak44, you still here? I will tell you this, Israel has the military power to wipe the Palistinians off the map, yet they do not. Enduring time after time the killing of their citizens by suicide murders, who target innocent people. I ask you to name one nation that would endure such, from a sworn enemy. By the way, Jew hater, don't you think the world owes the Jews something for letting them be killed in the millions during WWII?

Sieg Heil Zelsdorf... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Sieg Heil Zelsdorf

Your post is mainly ignorant blather & reflects the lower end of the spectrum of the extreme right-wing mindset.

Get out of the 60's w/ your commie name-calling. That has always been the style of people of your ilk.

Your debate skills suffer from a lack of Reason; but then people like you always do reject anything that remotely smells of Reason, because Reason & Rationality are your enemies.

If fascism is to your liking, then be enough of a man to admit it.

Zelsdorf or was it Zelsdoof... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Zelsdorf or was it Zelsdoofus

How apropos-sounds like a Strangelovian character to me.

Mak44 you state <blockquote... (Below threshold)

Mak44 you state

You simply have no idea, apart from the land grab, what has been inflicted on the Palestinians on the West Bank & Gaza.

As far as I understand the West Bank and Gaza were lost when their former owners attempted to push Israel into the Sea. By your logic, the Americal Indians should immediately agitate for the return of the continental US and Mexico.

Any society that glorifies the suicide bomber is diseased and frankly rabid.

You don't coddle and 'understand' a rabid dog. You shoot it in the streets before it attacks someone else.

You are an apologist for terrorists and no better than a filthy Palestinian yourself.

blovisThe simple-m... (Below threshold)
mak44:

blovis

The simple-minded seem always to reduce it to the simple.

Where in any history of the ME did you dig up this for your post: "As far as I understand the West Bank and Gaza were lost when their former owners attempted to push Israel into the Sea?"

It pretty much illustrates that you have no understanding. Unless your Ministry of Truth has managed to rewrite history, Israel launched a pre-emptive war in 1967 & seized the W Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai. There was no push.

After every Paslestian/Israeli conflict post the 1948 creation of Israel, Israel has increased its land holdings: the '67 land grab was by far the largest ever.

mac44:RE: "No negoti... (Below threshold)
kevino:

mac44:
RE: "No negotiation is possible when you have your opponent already deciphered and defined as you have above."
I have carefully laid out the probable position of the Iranian Mullahs. I think that the list is accurate. If you don't think so, you're welcome to show how they are incorrect.

RE: "Iran has put out feelers about discussions w/ the US, but as in the case of Korea, Bush has generally rejected them as essentially dead-end. Given the potential developments in the Middle East, that strikes me as irresponsible."
Negotiations with North Korea are on-going with the other players in the region. When dealing with a culture from that part of the world, that is a sound strategy. The EU-3 and the IAEA are negotiating with Iran, and they certainly believe that they can get the result and that US involvement would not be helpful.
In any case, you're avoiding the question.

RE: "Bush's injection of the US into Iraq along w/ the 39 year US history of acquiescing to Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank & Gaza has severely poisoned any negotiating table."
So, is it your position that negotiations are so "poisoned" that a negotiated solution is not possible?

RE: "Israel has been in violation of UN Res 242 for 39 years. Occupation of the Palestinian territories is a false matter of nation-securing and is far more reflective of the Zionist movement which has historically expanded the state of Israel at every conflict juncture."
Irrelevant.

RE: "No one can affirm ahead of time that bringing Israel into line will suddenly launch an Islamic love fest of the US, but it sure as hell would be a good starter. And it would certainly bolster an image of US fairness and international leadership that has been sorely lacking in the ME for 40 years."
What does "bringing Israel into line" mean? If your negotiating position is that Israel will be forced back into some smaller space but allowed to exist at all, I don't think that that is going to appease the Iranians. They support an organization that thinks that Israel must go away completely. And certainly you are aware of the Islamic teachings proposed by hard-line Islamic extremists about Jews in general (not just the Jewish state).

Besides, if I'm the Mullahs I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll accept your offer. I'll give you IAEA inspections and a total halt to all uranium enrichment. And I will gleefully accept the praise and respect of every Islamic country for making the Great Satan jump through hoops and roll over on the floor like a dog. And I will abide by our agreement - right up until the last Israeli soldier leaves the Middle East - and then I will go back to building the Sword of Islam.


The question has been raised:
If the US tries to negotiate to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, what is the basis of this negotiation?

I would like to see someone put together a real negotiating strategy.
I hear this all the time: we don't have to threaten them, we just need to talk.
(As if a good negotiator can negotiate anything from any position. If you believe that, let's see you buy a new Lexus for $100.)

Does anyone have an answer?

(I won't be back for quite a while.)

i am amazed at how weak som... (Below threshold)
hnav:

i am amazed at how weak some are...

i should not be, but i have hope...

fashion is a funny thing...

it reveals so many who cannot see...

i really enjoyed this posters fine offering...

some reality in the face of hyperbole...
Do not be so sure that Bush is doing so little.

Starting with tipping Pakistan over to our side early in office, this administration then moved to eliminate the A.Q. Khan network that supplied the axis of evil. That this was done while simultaneously moving closer to India was fairly tricky. Lest one forget, India-Pakistan was at least as threatening as the Cuban missile crisis.

Though much has been made of the emerging China, India has similar growth and potential and has been drawn closer to us.

Libya has surrendered its nuclear program and provided valuable intelligence on the underground network.

Former Soviet sphere countries have been freed from the fairly heavy hand of Putin and many of the "Stans" have opened to the West.

Puppet tentacles are on the way out in Lebanon, with the help of the French no less, although much work needs to be done. Egypt, of all places, has started holding local elections.

The Israel-Palestine situation has been clarified by some straight talk and new thinking - we are going to have Hamas and a fence. No President has been a stronger supporter of Israel, period.

The UN has been exposed.

North Korea is at least a prospect for peace, and will be as long as China wants it to be. Bush, one will remember, was the first in a long time to stand up to the Chinese, again early in office, over the spy plane thing.

The Taliban is gone now and Afghanistan is now on the right road. Saddam is gone and Iraq is probably on the right road, at least a better road than before.

One cannot take the entirety of the past five years and not conclude that, in geopolitical terms, much progress has been made...

Posted by: robert at April 27, 2006 03:15 PM"


Tort Reform...

Bankruptcy Reform...

Judicial Conservatives Confirmed...
(including Alito, Roberts...)

TAX RELIEF...
(empowering an amazing economy despite 9-11, Katrina, GWOT...)

Liberating Iraq, Afghanistan, directlly...

Affecting the liberation of Liberia, Haiti significantly...

Encouraging positive changes in Lybia, Lebannon, Pakistan...

even the UAE...

ENDING the Appeasement of North Korea, Syria, Iran, al Qaeda, etc...

Ending the empowerment of the UN folly...

Stopping the Kyoto disaster and International Court lure...

Strengthening the US MILITARY Forces, with pay raises, investment, leadership, respect...

Historic alliance with INDIA...

the PATRIOT ACT: ending the Gorelick Wall

Building FREE TRADE: CAFTA and the Trade Act 2002

Increased border and immigration control (right direction-not enough-but improved greatly since Clinton Negligence):
Since President Bush took office, agents have apprehended and sent home more than 6 million people entering the country illegally - including more than 400,000 with criminal records.

More than 600,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended through the Arizona Border Control Initiative last year - an increase of more than 50 percent increase over the previous year.

Last year, it took an average of 66 days to process a non-Mexican illegal immigrant. Now, the process is taking only 21 days.

Since President Bush took office, funding for border security has increased by 66 percent.

The Border Patrol has been expanded to more than 12,000 agents, an increase of more than 2,700 agents, or nearly 30 percent. The President's FY07 budget funds another 1,500 new agents.

IN fact, while everyone in Washington DUCKED-ignored this issue, this President put forth a plan to deal with the problem on something that was never going to please everyone, that is leadership. Guest worker programs are healthy, trying to get illegals out of the darkness is wise, and he did call for tighter controls NO one seems to recognize...

The Energy Bill: first time a President tried to get a National Energy plan rolling: way ahead of anyone else, who ignored the problems, which Democrats blocked for years...

I could go on for a long time, pointing out the positives...

IF there is one serious plus for GW BUSH, he has totally frustrated the Liberal Democrats...

They have embraced a form of insanity, revealing a very unstable nature...

This President has exposed the MSM, where most Conservatives knew of the bias, so many more are aware of it today...

THE NY TIMES, the POST, LA TIMEs, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc., have all reduced their influence dramatically, trying to destroy the Republican in Office...

So many Democrats have jumped over an irrational cliff, trying to slander this President, and it has exposed their unethical, misguided agenda...

Sorry, but this President REMAINS A very good ONE...
Even a GREAT One...

Few could have led the Nation in this impressive manner after 9-11, fewer would have had the guts to use force in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and it was essential...

So many are losing their perspective and a healthy context.

Nothing is perfect, and Washington is a true Swamp...

Many Conservatives once abandoned Ronald Reagan in his SECOND TERM...

The CYNICS will tire with any status quo...

But this President hasn't caved to Hamas or IRan...

THANKFUL for his Leadership and his Presidency...
Thankful more for Goss, Rummy, Rice, Bolton, Snow, Gonzales...

ALSO POSTED ON PREVIOUS THR... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

ALSO POSTED ON PREVIOUS THREAD:

So where does this leave us?

Those of us on the right think that Iran is going to acquire nukes if we don't stop them. We believe that the mullahs are not entirely rational and will either use the Bomb against Israel and / or us, or give them to a terrorist organization in an attempt to give them at least a semblance of cover. Even if the Iranians do NOT use their Bombs right away, they have made it clear that they will proliferate the technology. The balance of terror that existed during the Cold War was predicated in part on only a few nations having the Bomb and in tacit agreement NOT to proliferate.

We also believe that diplomacy will probably not stop this process. The Iranians have learned that the Euros will not back with force their demands that Tehran cease its program, and presumably hope that the Russians and the red Chinese will give them cover in the UNSC in exchange for sweetheart oil and arms deals. They are also banking on the fact that we are too distracted by Iraq and lack the political will to strike. Therefore, they have little to fear if they proceed with their program. Further, as we learned in the Oil for Fraud scandal, sanctions will simply not hold up over time; even if we get them in place, there are plenty of nations willing to supply Iran with whatever it needs if the price is right.

In such an environment, the only certain way that we see to stop the mullahs from getting a Bomb is to destroy their program by military means, though a couple of people have suggested that we rely on our developing ABM technology to shield us and our allies from attack.


As I understand the left's view, it runs rather as follows:

Some believe that Iran isn't trying to get a Bomb at all. If this is the case, then the Iranian leadership is even more crazy than we on the right think they are: they are risking war to build nuclear power plants that they really don't need.

Most on the left seem willing to admit that the Iranians are trying to build a Bomb. Aside from this, their opinion is fragmented. Some claim that while the Iranians are up to no good, they won't be able to build a Bomb for years to come, leaving plenty of time for diplomacy to solve the problem. Hans Blix has recently expressed this opinion.

Others claim that, even if the mullahs get a Bomb, they will be rational; they only want it as deterence against a hostile US / Israel. If we cease threatening them, they will stop their program.

A few others admit that the Iranians might be crazy enough to use a Bomb, but haven't got a delivery system to hit the United States (corollary: screw everybody else so long as we're safe).

The one thing that the left seems to agree on is that America in general and Bush in particular are to blame, and that Bush is making a bad situation worse because he's stupid and incompetent. No surprises there, really...

Broadly, then, here are the options:

1. Do nothing, either because this isn't really a problem because:

--- the Iranians aren't trying to build a Bomb, or because they aren't mad enough to use them even if they get them, or;

--- we'll shoot their missiles down if they ARE crazy enough to try launching them, or;

--- they can't hit us anyway.

2. Try diplomacy and hope the mullahs are receptive.

3. Hit 'em.

Whining and griping about who caused this problem, whether it be the British Empire, Ike, Carter, Clinton, Bush, or Lord Voldemort, isn't going to help us.

What are we going to do?

docjim: Nice round... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

docjim:

Nice round-up. Now, here's a question for some on the Left:

If the Iranians are, say, five years from a Bomb, and five more years from an ICBM, that gives us ten years to do something.

Would the Left support national missile defense, an all-out research, development, and production effort, so that any Iranian ICBM would be met by an ABM system?

No..but they would support ... (Below threshold)
John Kerry:

No..but they would support giving away more of our technology to "level the playing field" in this lopsided war on terror..

LO,I think we know... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

LO,

I think we know the answer to that question...

Why some people seem to think it's a good policy to leave our nation open to missile attack is beyond me.

hnavnice try... (Below threshold)
mak44:

hnav

nice try

This is a great laundry list of accomplishments.....for the top 10% of the economic scale in the US.

All the economic accomplishments that you attribute to Bush go to the benefit of the top economic strata. The average & above average wage earner has seen his net real purchasing power remain static at best, if not decline since 2001. There is now what amounts to a war on the Middle Class in America.

Unless you're getting 1000's of dollars in tax cuts, any tax decrease for the average American has been wiped out by the Gas Tax increase, i.e. fuel costs, significantly exaccerbated by the ME instability brought on by his foolish war of choice in Iraq.

By the time Bush mercifully leaves office, he will have essentially doubled the national debt that has accumulated under all previous 42 presidents, thus hastening a devastating collapse of the dollar if there is ever a switch to Petro-Euros which is increasingly more likely. The B.O.P. deficit is at an all time high, further adding to the problem above.

Job growth is anemic w/ most of the increase in jobs at basically subsistence wage jobs, further destroying America's Middle Class.

The Bush no-energy policy, save for top secret energy industry/Veep meetings & Bush's abandonment of energy to so-called market forces, has delayed, by 6 years & counting, any implementation of policy that might begin to mitigate America's energy problem.

The Mississipi Delta & Gulf Coast are still slowly twisting in the wind, despite Bush's pledge last year for recovery at full speed ahead.

He has no environmental policy other than to let corporate America pillage & rape the land & deceitfully call it "Clean Energy."

You did get 2 right-wing SC judges, but they are quite likely to be just as "activist" as any of the justices about whom your side has always moaned . After all, what could be more activist than superceding the will of the electorate & appointing a president?

Bush has trashed this nation in the eyes of most of the rest of the world with his policy of deliberate deception in steering this country into his disastrous Iraqi cowboy adventure. Never again, under his leadership, will there ever be the world unaniminity w/ the US that we had at one time post 9/11. That was squandered in Iraq, and now that we could use it in regard to Iran, we are essentially alone. No world nation of any significance would ever again trust his leadership.

As to Aghanistan, the Taliban has increasingly begun to emerge once again, financed by poppy funds that the Bush Afghani policy has failed to interdict or eliminate. TThe afghani policy was never completed and is beginning to show signs of coming apart. And , of course, America's greatest offender, UBL, remains at large in spite of Bush's pledge of "Dead or Alive" 5 years ago. UBL will undoubtedly die sooner or later of natural causes & at that time you & Bush can label it the triumph of Buxh Afghan policy.

If that's not enough, a group of historians, from across the political spectrum, has voted Bush the worst president in US history; that vote included a number of conservative historians &, that survey was taken back in 2004 when things had not descended as far as they have today.

And, another indicator of Bush accomplishments was the Wm. Buckley essay declaring his Iraq war a failure. Surely you'll not quibble w/ the Father of Amerrican Conservatism

To top it all off, only 1/3 of the nation approves of Bush's job, which has now been sustained longer than any other president's decline in approval in the history of polling. Looks like much of America has been deprived of reading your depraved list of Bush accomplishments.

Even further in the basement, are the right track/wrong track poll numbers which now hover around 24% right track & 70 some percent wrong track.

Looks to me, that from your perspective, everybody in the nation must be wrong, not to mention ungrateful, save for you, the WH staff, the Bush family & the staff at Fox Network.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, the most recent Fox poll found Bush's approval at 33% after that dastardly CBS poll a few weeks back that tried to stab Bush in the back w/ a skewed 34% approval.

But, in your favor, there are a lot of Americans who think he did a nice job w/ his My Pet Goat reading. He does very well reading books at his intellectual level.

hnavI forgot 1 mor... (Below threshold)
mak44:

hnav

I forgot 1 more thing. The Bush/India policy that you touted, actually allowed India a go-ahead w/ nuke proliferation. But man, are we ever going to have great buys on mangos!!! Maybe we can engineer a combustion engine to run on fruit.

I'll just address this for ... (Below threshold)

I'll just address this for now, mak:

Bush has trashed this nation in the eyes of most of the rest of the world with his policy of deliberate deception in steering this country into his disastrous Iraqi cowboy adventure.

You mean the same world that was saying the same things as this Administration -- and the previous Administration -- was re: Iraqi WMD?

Never again, under his leadership, will there ever be the world unaniminity w/ the US that we had at one time post 9/11.

The "unaniminity" was there, only because the atrocity was so obvious it couldn't be addressed with diplomatic rhetoric alone ... and keep in mind that opposing Al Quada and the Taliban didn't threaten the gravy train for the Coalition of the Bribed; i.e. Oil-for-Food and other forms of commerce with Saddam.

If your wonderful "international community" had any real morality, they would be in Iraq with us ... and welcomed by us, instead of treated with suspicion. Their history of treating dictators and democrats with the same deference speaks volumes as to their morality ... as does their double standard regarding Israel and the regimes around it.

That was squandered in Iraq, and now that we could use it in regard to Iran, we are essentially alone.

Same song, second verse ... Russia and China see Iran as a gravy train for them, as well as a way to stick it to America ... morality and peace be damned. And, if I were Russia, I'd be very careful ... for their Iranian neighbors could turn on them.

No world nation of any significance would ever again trust his leadership.

Yep ... things have changed ... no world nation can trust America to be a paper tiger or a lapdog that will tolerate their idiocy if it presents a threat to free people ... thanks to George W. Bush!

And if you think that Iraq did not present a threat to free people ... you need to think past the next move on the chessboard.

For most of my life, I watched thug regimes grow stronger and bolder when we tried to negotiate/acccommodate/proxify and even "contain" them.

Only when we had "cowboys" in the Oval Office who ignored the siren song of the "international community", and acted decisively to eliminate threats, have we seen millions liberated from them and the threat of war reduced.

Evil must be confronted, or it will spread.

I ask: Show me one totalitarian tyranny, with expansionist tendencies, that stopped its expansion and forswore totalitarian rule ON ITS OWN, in the absence of a credible threat of force.

Spin all the stats and approval polls you want ... it still doesn't make you right, in absolute terms.

No more so, than maintaining a sterile, yet deadly facade of "peace" for decades over a foundation of realpolitik made the "international community" right in absolute terms.

Just a comment from a regis... (Below threshold)
Cliff Nickerson:

Just a comment from a registered Democrat:

On the Iran issue, Bush has to take action soon, because there is a risk that the Republican majorities will be lost in the midterm elections. When that happens, forget any military action against Iran.

The time for action, whether it be coalition or a lone wolf US action, is now. The Iranians cannot be allowed to continue to develop nuclear technology. I agree with an early Administration pledge: The Iranians shouldn't be allowed to have even one centrifuge running.

Let's look at the facts: Iran doesn't need nuclear energy. They have a cheaper source of energy already. The only possible reason for them to be developing Uranium based nuclear power is to generate weapons. There are nuclear energy options that do not create weapons-grade materials, but Iran isn't following that path.

That being said, you people are nuts. The Iraq experiment isn't working. Not to say it can't, but it isn't working now. I supported ousting Hussein, and not because of the WMD. It was because he was a horrible dictator. Afghanistan is a failure, and the Taliban is stronger now than ever, pushing more opium into the world than ever before. The principle of freedom of religion is actually worse in Iraq and Afghanistan now that before the invasions. Don't you care about how our fellow Christians are faring in these countries? That should be the focus of American policy, not appeasing the Muslims.

Huge tax cuts that only significantly benefit the richest Americans and the biggest spending increases in history... Hmm, I must not understand what Conservative and Right political positions mean. I guess borrowing money from unborn future Americans is fiscally responsible? If you support the President, pay for his programs. Now, the only way possible. Either cut real spending (and you can't pretend to ignore that the government spends far more than in the budget that is approved at the beginning of the year) or pay more taxes.


Or is it that you are cl... (Below threshold)
OCSteve:

Or is it that you are claiming Israel, inspite of what historical facts exist, unilaterally attack Egypt, Syria, and Jordan for the sole purpose of gaining land, with no oil under it, because the Bible says God gave that land to them?

Should have included the sarcasm tags I guess. I was responding sarcastically to mak, trying to tell him he was the one ignorant of history.

I am well aware that the conflict started with Egypt closing the Straits of Tiran to Israel, blockading the port of Eilat. That in itself is an act of war. The US and UK were supposed to prevent that from happening by agreement after Suez war. Johnson proposed an international force to open the straits, but surprise - there was no international support. There had already been an air battle over the Golon Heights with Syria before that. Syria and Egypt joined forces, Jordon joined in and forces were massing on Israel's borders. Other arab states including Iraq began mobilizing.

Israel's pre-emptive attack was strctly self-defense. And the biggest Arab rout in history :)

Looks like Iraq's getting t... (Below threshold)

Looks like Iraq's getting their shit toegether. Al Sistani's calling for militias to stand down, their government's coming together, every day there's progress.

Looks like Iran's getting froggy. They've told the IAEA they ain't gonna play nice.

Time's getting short, and the diplomatic dance over there's coming to an end. I don't think anyone's going to be happy with the outcome.

In my earlier comments I as... (Below threshold)
kevino:

In my earlier comments I asked the fundamental question:

If the US tries to negotiate to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons, what is the basis of this negotiation?

I guess I have my answer: those on the Left don't have an answer, and they don't care. They'll just let the Iranians build a bomb the same way that the North Koreans did. It's certainly disappointing that the GOP had the vision to really change the world for the better, but couldn't get it done. They will be replaced by the Left in 2006, creating a power vacuum that let's the Fascists dominate the planet for the next several decades. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people will die, millions of people will suffer under tyrannical regimes, and women throughout the Islamic world will be brutally oppressed by systematic sexual apartheid. But the Left doesn't care. As long as the US isn't at war, they're happy. The fact that others are suffering is irrelevant.

This is a turning point in history. Many years from now, historians will look back at the world and say that this generation of Americans could have turned back the Darkness, but they failed.

To kevino:I think I'... (Below threshold)
Cliff Nickerson:

To kevino:
I think I'm on your Left, and I am diametrically opposed to what you are saying, as are practically all of the "Lefties" that I know.
Democrats (the people, not the power brokers) believe basically the same things that you do. We need to make the world a better place.
Don't buy into the nonsense that the American Fascists are feeding you: there is no Right/Left divide in the US. Maybe one in a hundred "Left" people are those insane homosexual marriage/anti-Christian maniacs that your leaders tell you that all Democrats are. The majority of people are reasonable and will listen to reasoned arguments.
And according to recent news, the Right is withdrawing its support for the war as well. How is that related to the mythical liberal threat? Suddenly Republican politicians are listening to Liberal Democrats on their strong issues?
As long as the US has a professional volunteer military, I'm all for US military intervention. However, I support the draft only for American soldiers to serve protecting US soil.
Summing up, the US needs to act on Iran now. Drop bombs, organize the local resistence, whatever. Negotiating with the iranian government will prove jsut as effective as negotiating with Hitler. I am on the Left, kevino. I agree with you!
To JLawson:
Al Sistani is calling for the militias to disband? did you see how many victims there were of militia violence yesterday (as reported on the BBC)? Don't trust this guy any more than Hussein. He'll say anything he thinks the US wants to hear in order to strengthen his position. These claims shouldn't be used as an excuse for the US to weaken its position in the Middle East.

Cliff Nickerson:Th... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Cliff Nickerson:

Thanks. Sorry to say that bombings won't work. It won't destroy their centrigue sites because they are too well hidden. The Mullahs probably see it as a way to gain sympathy from their neighbors and help rally their own people. We can cripple their economy, but the moment we tough their oil fields, Russia and China step in.

Your idea to organize anti-government forces is a good one.. I though of that myself.

But the real problem is a political one. President Bush is beyond lame duck. The Iranian Mullahs have been seeing all of the protest signs that say, "War never solved anything." They now see that as the majority opinion in the US. Real armed conflict is not going to happen because most Americans don't want it. Bush could bomb for 60 days, then he needs approval that he won't get -- especially from the Democratic congress (coming soon).

The US is weak -- not weak militarily or economically. We have no will to stand up against these people. They know it.

My question about negotiation comes to an opinion constantly expressed by the Left: war is never the answer; the answer is negotiation. Bush is failing because we aren't negotiating well.




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