« President No Long Responsible for Economy | Main | HuffPo Caught Hotlinking Again »

Well, at least they're recycling...

I had high hopes for Wizbang Blue. I figured at its best, it would be a good place to see the views of the "other side," to have in-house dissenting voices, where we could disagree without being overly disagreeable. And even if that didn't work out, if we gave the whackoes their own little sandbox, they'd stop bothering the grownups.

Last night, I meandered over there and was a smidgen disappointed. Two pieces in a row were not only pretty damned poor, but not even fresh and original.

(Author's note: in the interest of full disclosure, this piece is a recycling and expansion of my own comments on the pieces in question.

The first was this story charging that the White House video of President Bush's speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq had been "doctored" to remove the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner. This is based on a YouTube video one whackjob had cooked up. The problem is that not only has it been thoroughly debunked, it was debunked about six months ago, when it first surfaced.

Michelle Malkin did a nice little roundup here, with links to a rebutting video here and links to Allahpundit's articles here and here.

The only reasonable conclusion? Some whackjob found himself a conspiracy theory and ran like hell with it, then did what any self-respecting whackjob would do when confronted with inconvenient reality: expanded the conspiracy to show that the countering facts are merely proof of "how big the conspiracy really is."

Six months ago. Last November.

The second piece is a reworking of something that was tossed around in the 1960's. One variant I recall is "It will be a great day when schools have all the money they need, and the Air Force needs to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

The conceit of the piece is to take the total estimated cost of the war in Iraq and see just how that same amount could have been spent on domestic, social issues.

I think it could be enlighening to turn that around, and also start back in the 1960's.

One of President Lyndon Johnson's major legacies was his "War On Poverty." It's been going on since 1964, and the cost has been astronomical -- my own rough estimate puts it at between 2.4 and 2.6 zillion metric assloads of money. With all that, one would think that we killed off poverty ages ago.

But we still have the poor.

Years ago, I read P. J. O'Rourke's classic work "All The Trouble In The World." In that, he did an in-depth study on the problem of famine. He came to two conclusions that are incredibly hard to accept, but also incredibly hard to rebut:

1) All famines in the past few centuries have been caused not by ecological factors or other natural phenomena, but by political factors -- either accidental or by design.

2) No nation with a democratic form of government and a free market has ever had a famine.

With those two elements in play, I find myself wondering: how many lives would have been spared if we had taken even half the money we spent fighting poverty in the United States and instead channeled it directly into the military, and charged them with overthrowing dictatorships around the world and replacing them with democratic governments dedicated towards preserving free markets? The Ethiopian famines, for one, would never have happened.

We would still have the poor -- let's face it, the "War On Poverty" is about as likely to succeed as the "War On Drugs" -- but we would at least put a major dent in world hunger. And since I can't recall a single incidence of two democracies going to war, it would greatly increase world peace in the long run.

(And to head off one line of criticism, one major difference between the above "Wars" and the "War On Terror" is that the War On Terror is actually being fought by warriors. It's not just a bit of overblown rhetoric.)

I still have hopes for Wizbang Blue. But based on this admittedly-small sampling, it's got a long ways to go.

Then again, one of my first pieces (apparently lost to the aether) was a call to get rid of the $20 bill...


Comments (60)

There's a real battle for i... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

There's a real battle for information going on right now. We're even to the point where the accusation doesn't have to be true -- it's just has to feel true.

Unfortunately, when that happens we all lose.

Wanting to see what 'blue' ... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Wanting to see what 'blue' libs write is as repulsive as wondering what Rosie's ass looks like.

Most people will do just OK w/o it.

I change my over/under esti... (Below threshold)
kat:

I change my over/under estimate of the demise of Blue from 6 months to 4. *bows*

Jay Tea, I've got to say I ... (Below threshold)
89:

Jay Tea, I've got to say I share the same impression of Wizbang Blue, but I hope it gets a little better with time. After all, it takes a bit of adjusting from derailing discussions to starting your own.

Now, I have two objections to your post

1: Democracy and free markets are not necessarily a cure for famine. Sure, we've seen plenty of examples. It is mostly a function of surpluses, distribution and food storage capability, and that may exist in strict plan economies as well. In fact, market speculation may also create artifical market scarcity of a product. So I think it's poverty, and not just a lack of market-economy that makes these societies

2: Nominal democracies do in fact sometimes end up at war with each other. Democratic peace theory is a well established field (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/BIBLIO.HTML). The Kargil War between Pakistand and India is one oft-cited example, and the Spanish-American war is another.

Consider also that wars these days more often are civil-wars and regional conflicts that are not necessarily between states.

Preview is my friend.... (Below threshold)
89:

Preview is my friend.

Point 1 was supposed to end

"So I think it's poverty, and not just a lack of market-economy that makes these societies vulnerable to hunger. After all, poor countries often have volatile and rather unregulated street markets."

and point 2 was supposed to end

"The Kargil War between Pakistand and India is one oft-cited example of an exception to this, and the Spanish-American war is another example."

Good thoughts 89. I'd think... (Below threshold)
Metprof:

Good thoughts 89. I'd think though that Jay is generally correct as in both instances the people make the choices rather than the govt. Unfortunately there will always be contra examples and these same people wind up doing the suffering.

The first time I ventured o... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

The first time I ventured over there there was a the top two articles were both kook conspiracy theories. One was conspiracy theory about how that evil mastermind Karl Rove wasn't using the proper mail sever (OMG! teh ebil!) and the other was even more forgettable.

"the cost has been astronom... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

"the cost has been astronomical -- my own rough estimate puts it at between 2.4 and 2.6 zillion metric assloads of money".

Nice description of an idiot idea. which only resulted in turning thousands of normal people into drug addicts. Don't work, here's some taxpayer money has proven to be the worst thing to happen to Americans.

I remember when (60's) the losers from the North came to the mountains to teach people new crafts. Most left with a car load of real crafts, provided free by a bunch of independent people who nither needed or wanted the 'phony' help offered by the 'democrats'. It was just another crazy attempt to eleminate poverty where it wasn't considered poverty but a normal laid back life style. Actually we did have a good laugh at them.

The total cost of "poverty"... (Below threshold)
Scott:

The total cost of "poverty" programs such as welfare and food stamps over the last 35 years is estimated at seven TRILLION dollars.

In the 1960, we had about 10% "poor" people.

Today, we have about 10% "poor" people.

Pay no attention to those "poverty" figures the press throws around.

AFDC essentially destroyed poor black families by paying women not to marry and to have kids they couldn't afford. We see the results today: two generations of welfare lifers who breed more welfare lifers. Kids raised by single mothers are SEVEN times more likely that others to committ crimes, go on welfare, or go to jail.

Feral youth, preying on anyone and everyone, have turned black inner city areas into war zones. Anyone with brains and a rental truck is leaving.

I work in the "welfare bidness". I see this every day.

There is a formula for success in America. There is a formula for staying out of poverty. It's simple:

1. Graduate from high school
2. Get and keep any full time job
3. Don't marry before your twenties
4. Don't have kids until you can afford them.

Among married couples, of any race, poverty is about 4-5%.

Among families headed by single white women, poverty is about 24%.

Among families headed by black single women, poverty is about 34%.

This is not rocket science.

my own rough estimate pu... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

my own rough estimate puts it at between 2.4 and 2.6 zillion metric assloads of money

Is your degree in economics? Mine is and I d believe that this is an official measure of an amount of money.

At least, it sounds real enough.

I wouldn't have reviewed th... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I wouldn't have reviewed them directly. I would have just posted the counter Youtube video or a link to where it was debugged.

A quasi-war between Blue and Base isn't becoming, imho. Although I honestly believe Blue needs improvement. But I get to say that because I'm not staff.

$7 trillion spent on the Wo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

$7 trillion spent on the WoPoverty? And we still have 10% poor people?

Figure a population of 300 mil, so 10% equals 30 mil, and dividing the $7 tril among them would yeild $233,333.33 per person. Enough for a GOOD education and a stake in life to get going with...

But then, you've got a problem with maintaining a bureaucracy to administer that money. Don't feel like looking it up right now, but I'd be guessing that about 30-50% of that went into the infrastructure to provide a regular pittance to the folks who really needed the money.

Remember - teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for the rest of his life, but give a man a fish and he'll be back the next day... and then you'll have control over what he'll eat, and when.

Scott,I agree with y... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Scott,
I agree with your 12:57 post. Although #4 really doesn't count, as a father of 5, we somehow made ends meet and never went for any type of aid. Years ago the state of IL tried to get welfare people to work, such as picking up trash along the roads, streets, vacant lots, etc. Guess what, the city workers stopped that as it would put them out of work.

Any person can be in a money bind and need help. However to have generations on welfare is wrong. If any single unmarried women have more than one child and is on welfare, and has another child, she should then have her tubes tied. Cruel, yes, but we tax payers are paying for her to sit on her lazy butt and become a baby factory.

Limit welfare to 4 years, and during that time they learn a profession, educate themselves, etc. After 4 years, no more welfare.

I'm disappointed, Jay. You... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

I'm disappointed, Jay. You didn't see fit to target any of my submissions... :)

With those two elements ... (Below threshold)
jim:

With those two elements in play, I find myself wondering: how many lives would have been spared if we had taken even half the money we spent fighting poverty in the United States and instead channeled it directly into the military, and charged them with overthrowing dictatorships around the world and replacing them with democratic governments dedicated towards preserving free markets?

This could be true. However, it would mean that the US would have to actually be interested in freedom of other nations.

Our government and the people who run it actually doesn't want the people of other nations to be free and make their own decisions. It's not an accident that the US ends up aligned with strongmen dictators, from Iran to Indonesia. We want these countries run by dictators because

a) it's far easier for us to deal with one person we can buy off

b) if bought off, a dictator can make decisions for our country that's in our perceived best interest, even if it runs contrary to the best interest of our country.

So, I would actually applaud the use of our military to spreading freedom around the world.

But to actually be interested in spreading genuine freedom and self-determination around the world, just for the sake of freedom, would be a shocking shift in the direction of US policy.

Personally, I think the bes... (Below threshold)
jim:

Personally, I think the best way up from poverty is education. The education system remains very unequal in America, besides currently doing a terrible job of giving kids the critical thinking and information skills they need to move American forward as grownups.

There is such a wide disparity of what's available in public schools, in part because of public schools receiving funds from their area, and not being properly baselined in terms of minimum resources and teachers.

And if you want better teachers, you have to have better salaries. Mediocre salaries mean smart people go into other professions. Some people are dedicated enough that they will teach at any price, but you can't build a good system by depending on altruism.

In my homeland of NJ, in Newark, a teacher I knew would scrounge in dumpsters to find enough freakin' desks for the students in her classroom. Meanwhile, 50 miles away in Long Valley NJ, the kids had a $250,000 robot-operated lathe in the metal shop - which was a joke, 'cause every single kid was going to college and then a white-collar job anyway.

Proper education means marrying later, pregnancy later, adaptability, self-esteem, and productivity throughout life. It can fix poverty like nothing else, because it improves the present and focuses on the future.

That's my $.02.

Ahem - point b) in the post... (Below threshold)
jim:

Ahem - point b) in the post before last should read:

"b) if bought off, a dictator can make decisions for our country that's in our perceived best interest, even if it runs contrary to the best interest of the dictator's country.

"Personally, I think the be... (Below threshold)
engineer:

"Personally, I think the best way up from poverty is education."

I take that as an affirmative vote for vouchers!

Two pieces in a row were... (Below threshold)

Two pieces in a row were not only pretty damned poor, but not even fresh and original.

Like this piece is really interesting and stimulating Jay? How long did it take you to write it? About 5 minutes?

I can bang out a slam piece on Wizbang Main anytime I want. Instead, I choose to try and come up with something new and original so we can draw more readers to Wizbang Blue and promote the Wizbang franchise in general. I don't think you should judge the entire site just by two posts.

Our government and the p... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Our government and the people who run it actually doesn't want the people of other nations to be free and make their own decisions

Are all leftist kook conspiracy theorist or is it just that a lot of kook conspiracy theorist are leftist ?

Although, you might have a point. The 'Liberals' here certainly don't want U.S. citizen to be free and make their own decisions - government knows best!

If vouchers could work, the... (Below threshold)
jim:

If vouchers could work, then yes.

However, vouchers by themselves don't at all solve the main problems of:

a) low teacher salaries resulting in lower-quality teachers
b) resources in poor areas not matching resources in rich areas

In fact, they're a distraction from these issues.

Let's take the Newark NJ vs. Long Valley NJ example. There are just far more kids in Newark than Long Valley. All those kids simply won't be able to attend Long Valley, even if they have vouchers.

So right there, you can see that vouchers won't actually fix the problem.

Mike, prove me wrong. Show ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Mike, prove me wrong. Show me a dictator that we've gone in and overthrown militarily, and installed a Democracy that we let do whatever it wants, even if it's contrary to our own best interest.

(crickets)

JT:I had high ... (Below threshold)
marc:

JT:

I had high hopes for Wizbang Blue.

Tsk, tsk, tsk... How many times have you bought some Carney barkers line and wasted an inordinate amount of time and money to "win" a 2 buck stuffed toy?

Anyway, I make an occasional stop over there however pretty much wrote the place off early on based on a piece written by Lee on Bush's plan for a missile defense system.

Mush of the comment thread was "points and counterpoints" on "intercepters," i.e. F-16's and FA-18's that have zero to do with the program and the Patriot system.

To paraphrase Lee "OMG 10 Patriot systems equals 160 missiles!"

Nevermind the fact that the Patriot is a purely defensive system and has no guidance/targeting system that would allow it to be targeted on anything other than a incoming supersonic missile and pay no attention whatsoever the Patriot isn't part of the Bush plan that has rutten-tooten Putin screaming like MSNBC's OlberFool on steroids.

The thread was pure comedy gold.

Oh, and Mike - it's your ow... (Below threshold)
jim:

Oh, and Mike - it's your own current conservative President who's brought about an unprecedented increase in the size and power of the Federal gov't., and an unprecedented assault on the rights and abilities of free US citizens to remain free. Just sayin' maybe liberals don't make up all of the Constitution's enemies.

Jim, Ever heard o... (Below threshold)
vaildog:

Jim,

Ever heard of Japan and Germany?

Soooo... where's all the "Y... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Soooo... where's all the "You're right, Jay. We'll try to be more careful" posts from the liberals?

The cognative dissonance at... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

The cognative dissonance at Wizbang Blue is so astounding, it's almost comical.

jim:Show me a dic... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jim:
Show me a dictator that we've gone in and overthrown militarily, and installed a Democracy that we let do whatever it wants, even if it's contrary to our own best interest.

As vaildog said, ever heard of Germany or Japan ?
And no, it's not our responsibility to install freedom elsewhere, but that's not the same a not wanting freedom to exist elsewhere.

Oh, and Mike - it's your own current conservative President who's brought about an unprecedented increase in the size and power of the Federal gov't., and an unprecedented assault on the rights and abilities of free US citizens to remain free. Just sayin' maybe liberals don't make up all of the Constitution's enemies.

Firstly, I don't consider Bush a conservative. Socially, yes, but in every other aspect, no.

'an unprecented assault on the rights and abilities of free US citizens to remain free' ?

Oh, please! You can't be that historically illiterate. Hell, for just one example, the internment of U.S. citizens during WWII ? And please cite examples on how these 'unprecedented assaults' have affected you personally.

[crickets]

Jay:and instead channe... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay:and instead channeled it($) directly into the military, and charged them with overthrowing dictatorships around the world and replacing them with democratic governments dedicated towards preserving free markets.
That approach is certainly working wonders in Iraq...Actually, the US military since Johnson has supported and helped train and strong arm authoritarian regimes against democratic movements to preserve US corporate interests, particularly in South and Central America, in the 70's and 80's, and the US is still doing that, maybe a little more subtly, in places, as diverse as petroleum rich Kazakhstan and Equatorial Guinea, both with terrible human rights records.

Mike, you ignored this part... (Below threshold)
jim:

Mike, you ignored this part:

...even if it's contrary to our own best interest.

Sure, we did the right thing in Germany and Japan.
It was also in our best interest to remove Hitler and Hirohito. And then it was in our best interest to rebuild Germany and Japan, so they could have economies strong enough to trade with us and buy our goods. And these governments both, by and large, kept their policies in lines with our own desires. (At least up until the Bush administration wanted Germany's help in the Iraq invasion and Germany balked...)

The real test of whether the US actually wants democracy in other nations, or just leaders we approve of, is when those nations choose something that is *not* in our best interest.

That's what I'm asking you to show. Show one time the US overthrew a dictator who was hurting his people and installed a Democracy that we let do whatever it wants, even if it's contrary to our own best interest.

Because there are plenty examples of:

a) dictators who are doing horrible things to their citizens that we don't really care about (Darfur, Rwanda),

b) plenty of cases where we've supported brutal dictators AGAINST their people because the dictators are doing things we like (Saddam Hussein, the Shah, Suharto, Batista, etc. etc.)

c) cases where we've overthrown democratically-elected governments to put in governments *we* wanted, even though that required the killing of tens of thousands of peasants. (Guatemala, El Salvador)

Understand what I'm saying:

- I'm not saying Americans are evil.
- I'm not saying Bush does this and other presidents haven't. Clinton's done it, Carter's done it, Ford did it, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush Sr., both did it, etc. etc.

What I'm saying is, this is a policy of the US government, both the politicians that we call "Liberal" AND the politicians that we call "Conservative". The US gov't likes to propagandize and claim that we overthrow governments only because we love freedom - but this is simply contradicted by history.

If we only meddled in other countries because our government wants other people's to be free, then Darfur never would have happened, Rwanda never would have happened, and Battista never would have been propped up in Cuba by the US gov't in the first place. And these are only a few of the most direct examples.

Gee Jim, just how many ways... (Below threshold)
David:

Gee Jim, just how many ways can you screw up your history in one post. Just to go for the simple, we did not overthough Hirohito. We did in the Japanese military and Prime Minister Tito. Hirohito was allowed by MacArther to be the titular head of Japan and his son is today. He was also all but the titular head under Tito.

jim,To get a valid... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

jim,

To get a valid perspective the U.S. actions in history you have to look a larger piece of it. What nations have overthrown existing governments and set up governments that would benefit them? How about Rome, or is that too far back? Looking back to the time of Columbus how does the U.S. stack up with Portugal, Spain, England, France, Japan, and Germany? You list a number of south American countries the U.S. has toppled governments in, yet the existence of all these countries were the result of conquest and expansion of some of the nations I just listed.

In late 1945 the U.S. was the undisputed military power in the world not only because our homeland was unscathed by WW2, but the U.S. had the atomic bomb and the B29. What other nation in history was in such a position and instead of adding to it's conquests, withdrew and even rebuilt the nations that it defeated in war? I think you'll find the answer is none.

Dominate countries have always imposed their will on others in the world. The U.S. is likely coming to the end of it's period of dominance due to internal factors. Those within the U.S. who work to hasten that day may come to regret their short sightedness (from a historical perspective) as it's unlikely the next dominate nation will be so beneficial to as much of the world as the U.S. has been.

David, fine. Hirohito was t... (Below threshold)
jim:

David, fine. Hirohito was the figurehead, fine; then overthrew Tito and re-installed the figurehead.

Do you have anything more substantive to disagree with?

Mac, I'm not talking about ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Mac, I'm not talking about who started it. And I'm not saying the US is any worse than other nations.

Rome did this, Russia did this, China does this, Britain does this (the Opium Wars are particularly interesting), the currently peace-loving Dutch and Belgians both did this, etc. etc. All nations do this.

My only point is that the US gov't doesn't intervene militarily in other nations, because we care about their citizens and want them to be free. We intervene ALWAYS AND ONLY to serve our own self-interest.

And the US gov't does not at all, ever, intervene just to give some citizens freedom and democracy. Our gov't, whether being run by a liberal or conservative, honestly doesn't give a **crap** about their having genuine freedom and democracy. In most cases we prefer to set up a strongarm dictator because it makes things easier for us.

jim, you're right in that o... (Below threshold)

jim, you're right in that our self-interest is always a factor, but to say we don't "give a crap" about freedom is hyperbole. Otherwise, we'd have just played ball with Saddam for cheap oil, like a lot of other countries did. We'd dump Taiwan in a heartbeat. And Israel would have ceased to exist ages ago.

Our policy is neither absolute self-interest or absolute idealism, but a mixture.

J.

Mike, this is already proba... (Below threshold)
jim:

Mike, this is already probably taking us off-topic, but I'll respond as follows:

Firstly, I don't consider Bush a conservative. Socially, yes, but in every other aspect, no.

You're a conservative. Would you vote for a liberal under any circumstances?

Did you vote for Bush?

I understand why you don't want to consider him a conservative and you want to disown him, but he's still a conservative.

Oh, please! You can't be that historically illiterate. Hell, for just one example, the internment of U.S. citizens during WWII ?

Each one of these items could launch us into a separate discussion, but here as follows:

-> Spying on US citizens without warrants, when there was a perfectly functioning warrant program that could be used.

-> Patriot Act:
- unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59626-2004Sep29.html

- inherent vagueness makes it illegal to give any counsel or even advice to groups

-> unprecedented use of signing statements, as a way to claim that the Executive branch is in fact the final authority and can decided not to follow the Legislative branch if it so chooses

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0630-02.htm

-> Creating a legal black hole with no judicial oversight, to a degree that hasn't been seen since before the foriginal American revolution.

Don't take my word for it; listen to the FIVE US military lawyers who said this. I doubt it's because they hate America.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0409,hentoff,51428,6.html

"This is the first time in American history that military lawyers have imperiled their careers by making public statements such as this one, from Marine Corps Major Michael Mori, who told a Washington press conference in January: "The military commissions will not provide a full and fair trial. . . . The commission process has been created and controlled by those with a vested interest only in convictions.""

And please cite examples... (Below threshold)
jim:

And please cite examples on how these 'unprecedented assaults' have affected you personally.

I don't know. How has the Japanese internment affected you personally?

The way these and other issues have affected me, personally, is that a government comes in that I can't trust, they have a vastly greater amount of power and there will be much less I can do about it.

It isn't even about Bush. NO President should have this level of power. NO President can be trusted with this amount of power.

Here, try this thought experiment on:

Let's say your worst nightmare comes true, and HIllary Clinton is elected President.

Now, Hillary can spy on you to any degree she wants, for any reason she wants, and she doesn't have to justify it for any reason, to anybody. She doesn't even have to TELL anyone she spied on you, or release any information she found. She doesn't even have to tell you IF YOU ASK.

But that's just the beginning. Hillary can now THROW YOU IN JAIL for any reason she wants, for any length of time that she wants, and keep you completely out of contact with any and all human beings including family, friends or counsel.

And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. She doesn't even have to give a reason. She can deny anyone any right to see anything she claims she has on you.

Do you feel comfortable with Hillary CLinton having that kind of power?

I dont' feel comfortable with any president having that kind of power. That's why I'm against all of it, and I'm against George Bush for opening this can of worms. It's destructive to the very fiber of our country.

Dave and Jim-I thi... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Dave and Jim-

I think you guys mean Prime Minister Tojo of Japan.

Tito was Prime Minister of the former Yugoslavia.

Well Jay Tea, we were just ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Jay Tea, we were just fine with ol' Saddam until he invaded Kuwait. That would be the point where he stopped just managing his own people, and started potentially making a mess for us.

Although some mention too, that the US was a little fishy in response to Saddam there...Saddam asked what stance the US would take if he invaded Kuwait, and the US ambassador April Glaspie responded "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." Which is a very large wink that Saddam interpreted as a green light.

So one theory is that Bush actually wanted to pull Saddam into Kuwait, as away to get US bases established in Saudi Arabia and put in a less intransigent dictator in Iraq.

So either we went after Saddam in Gulf War 1 because he started messing with our allies dangerously close to our oil, or we encouraged him to invade Kuwait so we could get other things we want...but either way, his oppression of his people ahd nothing to do with our actions.

That's what I'm as... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:
That's what I'm asking you to show. Show one time the US overthrew a dictator who was hurting his people and installed a Democracy that we let do whatever it wants, [b]even if it's contrary to our own best interest.[/b]

Oh, post-WWI Germany would be both your answer and the answer to why it's a bad, bad idea.

I agree that countries don't do things altruistically (although Somalia and the Battle of Mogadishu do come to mind). OTOH, it can absolutely be a secondary reason. Whether it's freeing slaves or relatives of the mass-murdered, it puts a human face on the conflict.

Jim, here's your original s... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Jim, here's your original statement:
Our government and the people who run it actually doesn't want the people of other nations to be free and make their own decisions

You're arguing that just because we don't overthrow a dictator that somehow equate to the U.S. government not wanting other peoples to be free. That's the logical equivalent of stating that if you don't feed the starving in Africa that you don't want them to eat. Just because one doesn't 'fix' a problem doesn't mean that you approve of it. Your statement is simply wrong.

You're a conservative. Would you vote for a liberal under any circumstances?

In the classical sense of the word liberal, yes. In the modern, authoritarian populist, sense, no. However, simply not being 'Liberal' doesn't mean that I'm conservative - although for some reason 'Liberals' usually and wrongly equate the two.


I understand why you don't want to consider him a conservative and you want to disown him, but he's still a conservative.

Okay, but only since you made such a compelling argument as to why he's fiscally conservative.


Each one of these items could launch us into a separate discussion, but here as follows:

You conveniently neglected to mention which of these has affected you, personally. Please do so in your response.

Taiwan is an important coun... (Below threshold)
jim:

Taiwan is an important counterbalance to China for us. We can play them against each other. It's a delicate game. But we also have a lot of trade with Taiwan, a relationship that was built up back when China wasn't doing so much business with us.

And as for Israel, IMHO we stick around with them because they're strategically very important. We have armed them to the teeth in the middle of the Middle East. We want to be able to depend on them as a place for us to park our planes, troops and in general be a resource for us.

What would really show us to care about things not in our self-interest, would be to have done things about Rwanda or Darfur...or even East Timor, or just lean on Turkey to get them to stop persecuting the Kurds. We give Turkey an absurd amount of aid, if we just leaned on them the tiniest bit we could get them to chill out. But we apparently would rather not spend our juice on that.

jim-Oh for gawd's ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

jim-

Oh for gawd's sakes nobody hoodwinked Saddam into invading Kuwait-he is responsible no one else.

We didn't make him do it-that falls into the Liberal mindset of making all kinds of excuses for evil unless it's Republicans doing it-then they are responsible for everything even the weather.

That's Vanity Fair logic.

No, Mike, you neglected to ... (Below threshold)
jim:

No, Mike, you neglected to see my answer.

I answered that question 2 posts ago. My answer begins:

The way these and other issues have affected me, personally, is that a government comes in that I can't trust, they have a vastly greater amount of power and there will be much less I can do about it.

Check out the rest of it, and please try the thought experiment on. Seriously.

What would really ... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:
What would really show us to care about things not in our self-interest, would be to have done things about Rwanda or Darfur...or even East Timor, or just lean on Turkey to get them to stop persecuting the Kurds. We give Turkey an absurd amount of aid, if we just leaned on them the tiniest bit we could get them to chill out. But we apparently would rather not spend our juice on that.

Anywhere but Iraq, eh?

You're arguing that just... (Below threshold)
jim:

You're arguing that just because we don't overthrow a dictator that somehow equate to the U.S. government not wanting other peoples to be free.

No, not quite. I'm arguing that when we do overthrow dictators, we do it because it's in our perceived self-interest; and I'm arguing that we've also gone *against* the will of the people by supporting brutally oppressive dictators because that was also in our perceived self-interest.

That's the logical equivalent of stating that if you don't feed the starving in Africa that you don't want them to eat. Just because one doesn't 'fix' a problem doesn't mean that you approve of it.

Mike, the way I see it, it's easy for anyone to SAY they care about something. But the only thing that proves they care about it, is what they actually do.

So, to use your metaphor, if I *said* I went to Africa because I love to feed starving children, but all the time I spent over there was pursing underage prostitutes and paying them in food, it would seem that feeding children wasn't really what I cared about.

jim-Democrats own ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

jim-

Democrats own what happened in Rwanda.

Believe it or not one of the biggest proponents at the time for doing something about Rwanda were Conservative Christian politicans-

James Inhofe of Oklahoma for one and there was a Republican in the House who was hammering away at it- Representative Mica.

The Democrats that tried to push Clinton to do something were Moynihan, and Wellstone-and they supported Bradley in 2000 -not Gore. What does that tell you?

You'd also be surprised that many in the Special Ops branch of the military wanted to do something even though those certain career feilds were critically manned and under an extreme ops tempo. Clinton didn't care about any of it.

Of course Saddam is respons... (Below threshold)
jim:

Of course Saddam is responsible for invading Kuwait. Just presenting an interesting theory that I heard, for reasons why it might have benefited *us* to have him do that.

And that US ambassador's statement is interestingly non-committal, for an opinion on how the US would react if one nation we're allied with invaded another.

But, it's certainly not a bad thing that we drove Saddam back out of Kuwait. And it's not a bad thing, by itself, that Saddamm checked out on the end of a rope.

Just let's not think we did it because we really care about the Iraqi people.

Well Rory, I wonder what mi... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Rory, I wonder what might have happened if Clinton tried to get US troops into Rwanda. I suspect the GOP would have gone after him for nation-building.

But it is something he bears on his conscience, that he didn't do anything about that.

But by the same token, do you think that Bush bears responsibility for Darfur, Bush for East Timor?

I think it's a US gov't policy really, and not a Democrat vs. republican situation. I have heard that Bush said about Rwanda, "not on my watch"...yet, he gets in office and Darfur happens, and it's the same thing all over again.

jim-Well hell I ca... (Below threshold)
Rory:

jim-

Well hell I can honor that. Sometimes the internet becomes so combative that you assume or force everyone into being married to an idea.

In the old days when it was mostly just scientists on the ol "boards" you could shoot the shat-so to speak.

I don't know though it seems that plenty of Democrats believe that kind of logic.

Just yesterday Democrats here didn't want to defend Rosie yet-today Time magazine named her one of the hundred most influentual-so there you go.

...above should read "Ford ... (Below threshold)
jim:

...above should read "Ford for East Timor"...

Time magazine's just kind o... (Below threshold)
jim:

Time magazine's just kind of silly. I heard in their top 100, they also had Nancy Pelosi's review written by Newt Gingrich.

I can see it as a cute idea, I guess; but it doesn't seem that likely to be impartial. Ah well.

Yeah, Eric; that stuff's al... (Below threshold)
jim:

Yeah, Eric; that stuff's also. Also a large part of it is guaranteed to have happened with our knowledge while Saddam was our ally...and the torture is still also being done by our ally Saudi Arabia, to this day.

Ya Darfur that bugs the hel... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Ya Darfur that bugs the hell out of me.

I don't think there is much we can do about it-especially militarily at this time. thinks are even more hectic for the military than during rwanda-surely you can agree with that.

We actually do have soem militarily involvement there -or did before Condi Rice's group was physically pushed around.

We airlifted the African Union into the region which last I checked was under the command of Seth Meppiah-unfortunately his story is reminding me a lot of Romeo Dalliare-in Rwanda.

There are also Australian troops in there did you know that?

Also we have donated a large amount of funds only out done by I think Norway on a per capita basis.

Above should read "terrible... (Below threshold)
jim:

Above should read "terrible also." OK, time to get back to work.

Blue goes the way of Air Am... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Blue goes the way of Air America. No one is interested in the whining blather of moonbat communists.

No, not quite. I'm argui... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

No, not quite. I'm arguing that when we do overthrow dictators, we do it because it's in our perceived self-interest; and I'm arguing that we've also gone *against* the will of the people by supporting brutally oppressive dictators because that was also in our perceived self-interest.

Actually, that may be what you're now arguing, but that's not what you said above.

Again:
Our government and the people who run it actually doesn't want the people of other nations to be free and make their own decisions

Removing the twisted grammar, you said:
Our government does not want other nations to be free.

Are the two statements not equal ?

You then attempt to support this by stating:
Show me a dictator that we've gone in and overthrown militarily, and installed a Democracy that we let do whatever it wants, even if it's contrary to our own best interest.

which is to say, "If we wanted other nations to be free, we'd have done something about it, even it wasn't in our interest. However, since we haven't fixed these problems, that's proof that we want the problems to exists".

The logic that you've used there is flawed. However, if what you've stated there isn't what you meant...

As to the 'unprecedented assault on the rights and abilities', I guess we're going to just disagree. Government's biggest intrusion on my life is, has been, and will continue to be the seizure of nearly half of products of my labor. I'm less disturbed by that to which you're referring because, if nothing else, it's a response to extreme conditions and the law which enacts it has a sunset clause. Do you have the same objections if the government enacts curfews during disasters here in the U.S. ?

jim,I'm not claimi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

jim,

I'm not claiming the U.S. acts out of pure motives, but what nation has a better record of bringing freedom to others in the world? Many nations faced with an enemy that wants to kill them just to get rid of them would adopt the same attitude. Instead, we once again send our sons to die in a far off land to bring freedom to a downtrodden people. Sadly we are finding out that the religious hatred within Iraq is greater than its people's desire for freedom and prosperity. The defeat of the U.S. in Iraq may come, but it won't be because we lack the military might to obliterate the enemy, it's because we refuse to match the horrendous deeds that flow from the base nature of those who war in the name of Islam. The enlightened see our restraint as noble, but our enemy sees it as weakness.

> And since I can't reca... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

> And since I can't recall a single incidence of two democracies going to war,

December 5, 1941. Britain declares war on Finland. I don't recall a lot of action between the two. Britain bombed Finland at least once.

And since I can't ... (Below threshold)
And since I can't recall a single incidence of two democracies going to war,

Does the American Revolution count?

What about the Civil War?




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy