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  • Total GI's killed in Iraq has hit 2,000


  • #2
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/...rj.nitop.bush/

    QUOTE
    "There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on." [/b][/quote]

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3570845.stm

    QUOTE
    US President George W Bush has sparked a political row by making a joke about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    At a black-tie dinner for journalists, Mr Bush narrated a slide show poking fun at himself and other members of his administration.

    One pictured Mr Bush looking under a piece of furniture in the Oval Office, at which the president remarked: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere."


    After another one, showing him scouring the corner of a room, Mr Bush said: "No, no weapons over there," he said.

    And as a third picture, this time showing him leaning over, appeared on the screen the president was heard to say: "Maybe under here?"


    [/b][/quote]
    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

    Comment


    • #3
      The standards of the US presidency have clearly been lowered further than our founding fathers could have imagined.
      “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

      Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

      Comment


      • #4
        QUOTE(Razzy @ Oct 25 2005, 06:39 PM) Quoted post

        The standards of the US presidency have clearly been lowered further than our founding fathers could have imagined.
        [/b][/quote]

        I think it's great that you can live your whole life with no other motivation than hating George Bush.

        Comment


        • #5
          Fuck George W Bush. Asshole of the world. I thought I would never hate anyone as much as LBJ, I have been proven wrong.
          I agree with Davhaf.....Kaiser March 9,2004

          Official Lounge co-sponsor of Jason Motte.

          Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players. It's up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards.

          Bill Walton

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE(davhaf @ Oct 25 2005, 07:00 PM) Quoted post

            Fuck George W Bush. Asshole of the world. I thought I would never hate anyone as much as LBJ, I have been proven wrong.
            [/b][/quote]

            Are you old enough to actually remember LBJ? I hate the guy too, but only based on his historical record. I don't remember seeing him on TV or anything. Funny, because I remember Nixon vividly.

            Comment


            • #7
              I remember when my Dad turned on LBJ.

              It was when he picked up his basset hound by the ears.
              LONG LIVE THE NOTE!

              Comment


              • #8
                Dubya declares the end of major combat operations in Iraq

                http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...103-2-664v.html


                President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended
                Remarks by the President from the USS Abraham Lincoln
                At Sea Off the Coast of San Diego, California



                THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

                In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment -- yet, it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other, made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free. (Applause.)

                Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history. You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces.

                This nation thanks all the members of our coalition who joined in a noble cause. We thank the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland, who shared in the hardships of war. We thank all the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country. And tonight, I have a special word for Secretary Rumsfeld, for General Franks, and for all the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States: America is grateful for a job well done. (Applause.)

                The character of our military through history -- the daring of Normandy, the fierce courage of Iwo Jima, the decency and idealism that turned enemies into allies -- is fully present in this generation. When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our servicemen and women, they saw strength and kindness and goodwill. When I look at the members of the United States military, I see the best of our country, and I'm honored to be your Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)

                In the images of falling statues, we have witnessed the arrival of a new era. For a hundred of years of war, culminating in the nuclear age, military technology was designed and deployed to inflict casualties on an ever-growing scale. In defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Allied forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation.

                Today, we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime. With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can remove the tragedy from war; yet it is a great moral advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent. (Applause.)

                In the images of celebrating Iraqis, we have also seen the ageless appeal of human freedom. Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement. Men and women in every culture need liberty like they need food and water and air. Everywhere that freedom arrives, humanity rejoices; and everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear. (Applause.)

                We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. (Applause.)

                The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq. (Applause.)

                The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men -- the shock troops of a hateful ideology -- gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the "beginning of the end of America." By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation's resolve, and force our retreat from the world. They have failed. (Applause.)

                In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps where they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals, and educate all of their children. Yet we also have dangerous work to complete. As I speak, a Special Operations task force, led by the 82nd Airborne, is on the trail of the terrorists and those who seek to undermine the free government of Afghanistan. America and our coalition will finish what we have begun. (Applause.)

                From Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down al Qaeda killers. Nineteen months ago, I pledged that the terrorists would not escape the patient justice of the United States. And as of tonight, nearly one-half of al Qaeda's senior operatives have been captured or killed. (Applause.)

                The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more. (Applause.)

                In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused and deliberate and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th -- the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got. (Applause.)

                Our war against terror is proceeding according to principles that I have made clear to all: Any person involved in committing or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes an enemy of this country, and a target of American justice. (Applause.)

                Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and equally guilty of terrorist crimes.

                Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world -- and will be confronted. (Applause.)

                And anyone in the world, including the Arab world, who works and sacrifices for freedom has a loyal friend in the United States of America. (Applause.)

                Our commitment to liberty is America's tradition -- declared at our founding; affirmed in Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms; asserted in the Truman Doctrine and in Ronald Reagan's challenge to an evil empire. We are committed to freedom in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in a peaceful Palestine. The advance of freedom is the surest strategy to undermine the appeal of terror in the world. Where freedom takes hold, hatred gives way to hope. When freedom takes hold, men and women turn to the peaceful pursuit of a better life. American values and American interests lead in the same direction: We stand for human liberty. (Applause.)

                The United States upholds these principles of security and freedom in many ways -- with all the tools of diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence, and finance. We're working with a broad coalition of nations that understand the threat and our shared responsibility to meet it. The use of force has been -- and remains -- our last resort. Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace. (Applause.)

                Our mission continues. Al Qaeda is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations, and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger. The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland. And we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike. (Applause.)

                The war on terror is not over; yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory. (Applause.)

                Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home. And that is your direction tonight. (Applause.) After service in the Afghan -- and Iraqi theaters of war -- after 100,000 miles, on the longest carrier deployment in recent history, you are homeward bound. (Applause.) Some of you will see new family members for the first time -- 150 babies were born while their fathers were on the Lincoln. Your families are proud of you, and your nation will welcome you. (Applause.)

                We are mindful, as well, that some good men and women are not making the journey home. One of those who fell, Corporal Jason Mileo, spoke to his parents five days before his death. Jason's father said, "He called us from the center of Baghdad, not to brag, but to tell us he loved us. Our son was a soldier."

                Every name, every life is a loss to our military, to our nation, and to the loved ones who grieve. There's no homecoming for these families. Yet we pray, in God's time, their reunion will come.

                Those we lost were last seen on duty. Their final act on this Earth was to fight a great evil and bring liberty to others. All of you -- all in this generation of our military -- have taken up the highest calling of history. You're defending your country, and protecting the innocent from harm. And wherever you go, you carry a message of hope -- a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "To the captives, 'come out,' -- and to those in darkness, 'be free.'"

                Thank you for serving our country and our cause. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless America. (Applause.)
                “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 25 2005, 06:56 PM) Quoted post

                  QUOTE(Razzy @ Oct 25 2005, 06:39 PM) Quoted post

                  The standards of the US presidency have clearly been lowered further than our founding fathers could have imagined.
                  [/b][/quote]

                  I think it's great that you can live your whole life with no other motivation than hating George Bush.
                  [/b][/quote]

                  BUT I WAS TALKING ABOUT CLINTON!

                  BJ IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

                  DESPICABLE!!
                  “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                  Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE(Razzy @ Oct 25 2005, 07:07 PM) Quoted post

                    QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 25 2005, 06:56 PM) Quoted post

                    QUOTE(Razzy @ Oct 25 2005, 06:39 PM) Quoted post

                    The standards of the US presidency have clearly been lowered further than our founding fathers could have imagined.
                    [/b][/quote]

                    I think it's great that you can live your whole life with no other motivation than hating George Bush.
                    [/b][/quote]

                    BUT I WAS TALKING ABOUT CLINTON!

                    BJ IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

                    DESPICABLE!!
                    [/b][/quote]

                    Oh, sorry. Carry on, then. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 25 2005, 07:03 PM) Quoted post

                      QUOTE(davhaf @ Oct 25 2005, 07:00 PM) Quoted post

                      Fuck George W Bush. Asshole of the world. I thought I would never hate anyone as much as LBJ, I have been proven wrong.
                      [/b][/quote]

                      Are you old enough to actually remember LBJ? I hate the guy too, but only based on his historical record. I don't remember seeing him on TV or anything. Funny, because I remember Nixon vividly.
                      [/b][/quote]

                      Uh, yes, I believe Davhaf knows LBJ very well
                      [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif[/img]
                      “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                      Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For Jaws.

                        QUOTE
                        The Incompetence Dodge
                        From our November issue: The liberal hawks now say the idea of the war wasn’t bad, just its execution. This saves face -- and serves a more dangerous function.
                        By Sam Rosenfeld and Matthew Yglesias
                        Web Exclusive: 10.20.05

                        Print Friendly | Email Article

                        Victory, as John F. Kennedy observed, has a thousand fathers, while defeat is an orphan. Abandoning the orphan that is the Iraq War has clearly been a protracted, painful process for the liberal hawks, those intellectuals and pundits so celebrated back in 2003 for their courage in coming forward to smash liberal expectations and support the war. Long criticized by fellow liberals for failing, amid much hand-wringing and navel-gazing, to express clear regret over their original support for the war, these hawks have started to become a bit more vocal about their second thoughts.

                        The nature of their regret, however, is noteworthy -- and has tremendous significance for the debate over U.S. foreign policy after Iraq. Most liberal hawks are willing to admit only that they made a mistake in trusting the president and his team to administer the invasion and occupation competently. An August 29 New York Observer article featured a litany of semi-chastened hawks articulating this sentiment. “Someone wrote that you knew who the surgeon would be, so you knew what the operation would look like,” said George Packer, New Yorker writer and author of the new book The Assassin’s Gate. “And there’s some truth to that. I was not as aware as I should have been of just how mendacious and incompetent the surgeon was going to be.” The New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier added, “I think that it is impossible, even for someone who supported the war, or especially for someone who did, not to feel very bitter about the way it has been conducted and the way it has been explained.”

                        The corollary of these complaints is that the invasion and occupation could have been successful had they been planned and administered by different people. This position may have its own internal logical coherence, but in the real world, it’s wrong. Though defending the competence of the Bush administration is a fool’s endeavor, administrative bungling is simply not the root source of America’s failure in Iraq. The alternative scenarios liberal hawks retrospectively envision for a successful administration of the war reflect blithe assumptions -- about the capabilities of the U.S. military and the prospects for nation building in polities wracked by civil conflict -- that would be shattered by a few minutes of Googling.

                        The incompetence critique is, in short, a dodge -- a way for liberal hawks to acknowledge the obviously grim reality of the war without rethinking any of the premises that led them to support it in the first place. In part, the dodge helps protect its exponents from personal embarrassment. But it also serves a more important, and dangerous, function: Liberal hawks see themselves as defenders of the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention -- such as the Clinton-era military campaigns in Haiti and the Balkans -- and as advocates for the role of idealism and values in foreign policy. The dodgers believe that to reject the idea of the Iraq War is, necessarily, to embrace either isolationism or, even worse in their worldview, realism -- the notion, introduced to America by Hans Morgenthau and epitomized (not for the better) by the statecraft of Henry Kissinger, that U.S. foreign policy should concern itself exclusively with the national interest and exclude consideration of human rights and liberal values. Liberal hawk John Lloyd of the Financial Times has gone so far as to equate attacks on his support for the war with doing damage to “the idea, and ideal, of freedom itself.”

                        It sounds alluring. But it’s backward: An honest reckoning with this war’s failure does not threaten the future of liberal interventionism. Instead, it is liberal interventionism’s only hope. By erecting a false dichotomy between support for the current bad war and a Kissingerian amoralism, the dodgers run the risk of merely driving ever-larger numbers of liberals into the realist camp. Left-of-center opinion neither will nor should follow a group of people who continue to insist that the march to Baghdad was, in principle, the height of moral policy thinking. If interventionism is to be saved, it must first be saved from the interventionists.

                        * * *
                        The swath of center-left politicians and thinkers who supported the Iraq intervention -- and who are now in a position to find the incompetence dodge a seductive escape route from honest reckoning -- is wide, indeed. It includes leading Democratic politicians -- Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry -- and former Clinton administration foreign-policy hands, as well as such varied writers and intellectuals as Packer, author Paul Berman, Harvard professor and New York Times Magazine contributor Michael Ignatieff, op-ed columnists Thomas L. Friedman and Richard Cohen, then-columnist and now New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, and a gaggle of writers associated with The New Republic. The bungled-invasion line is hardly the exclusive provenance of such war supporters. Indeed, some of the leading exponents of the narrative, such as former Coalition Provisional Authority adviser Larry Diamond and James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly, opposed the war from the beginning, and, of course, the incompetence line is politically appealing for liberals. But the dodge’s real significance pertains to the future of liberal interventionism after Iraq.

                        Before the invasion, many liberal hawks grounded their case for war primarily in national-security terms -- the need to scrub Iraq free of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. As that rationale collapsed, however, George W. Bush began to shift his emphasis to humanitarianism and democracy promotion, and liberal hawks reacted by doubling down on this point. “If our strategic rationale for war has collapsed,” wrote The New Republic’s editors in a summer 2004 reassessment of the war, “our moral one has not.” Thus, for liberal hawks to be able to acknowledge the failure of the war while still casting it as a morally sound endeavor in keeping with the liberal interventions of the 1990s, the incompetence dodge is key.

                        So was the Iraq War a good idea, ruined by poor implementation? Perhaps the founding myth of the incompetence argument is that the postwar mess could have been avoided had the United States deployed more troops to Iraq. “Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki was ridiculed for suggesting that it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq,” wrote Senator Joe Biden in a June 2004 New Republic article. “He looks prescient today.”

                        Shinseki’s ballpark numbers were based on past Army experience with postconflict reconstruction. A RAND Corporation effort to quantify more precisely that experience, frequently cited by dodgers, concluded that a ratio of 20 foreigners for every 1,000 natives would have been necessary to stabilize Iraq.

                        The flaw in the popular “more troops” argument is strikingly easy to locate. The 20-to-1,000 ratio implies the presence of about 500,000 soldiers in Iraq. That’s far more than it would have been possible for the United States to deploy. Sustaining a given number of troops in a combat situation requires twice that number to be dedicated to the mission, so that soldiers can rotate in and out of theater. As there are only 1 million soldiers in the entire Army, a 500,000-troop deployment would imply that literally everyone -- from the National Guard units currently assisting with disaster relief on the Gulf Coast to those serving in Afghanistan, Korea, and Europe to the bureaucrats doing staff work in the Pentagon and elsewhere -- would be dedicated to the mission. This is plainly impossible. Indeed, as of this writing the Army has zero uncommitted active combat brigades, and there are serious questions as to how long the current deployment is sustainable. The Army is already facing persistent shortfalls in recruitment, and former General Barry McCaffrey and others have expressed the view that if current trends continue, the Guard and Reserve forces will “melt down” over the next three years.

                        Some dodgers, such as The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait, when forced to confront these facts, express the theory that the very large troop deployment they retrospectively favor need not have been implemented on a sustainable basis. Instead, says Chait, citing Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point (which says nothing about Iraq), a large enough force would have quickly stabilized the situation, launching a virtuous circle and allowing for a rapid drawdown of forces. It is possible that this would have happened, but the view lacks empirical support. The same RAND study of necessary troop levels also notes that drawdowns have historically been viable only after several years have passed.

                        Besides, deliberately launching an unsustainable military operation based on a hunch that it would rapidly become unnecessary to sustain it is the height of irresponsible policy making. The only justification for taking such a course would be strict military necessity, not a war of choice.

                        The continued prominence of this line, despite its obvious flaws, years after the invasion suggests that the dodgers are engaged in excuse making, not serious analysis. Other frequent dodger complaints likewise fail to withstand scrutiny. Most notable among these is the view that the administration fatally erred by not following the counsel of the State Department’s Future of Iraq Project. Instead, the administration ordered the disbanding of the Iraqi army and a program of far-reaching de-Baathification of the Iraqi government, moves that undermined Iraq’s institutions and alienated the Sunni Arab population.

                        Here the dodger policy judgment seems plausible. Those measures truly have alienated Sunnis and made stability impossible. The critique, however, ignores the White House’s good reason for acting the way it did: These moves were virtually demanded by Iraq’s majority Shia and Kurdish communities. What’s more, Bush did attempt to placate the Sunnis, albeit not immediately. Following the June 2004 transfer of sovereignty, the White House did its best to choose for Iraq a Shiite Arab leader likely to be acceptable to Sunnis. The choice was Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite ex-Baathist with deep ties to the CIA and the State Department. Allawi attempted to curtail the de-Baathification process, reach out personally to other former Baath Party members, and incorporate old-regime professionals into Iraq’s new security services. The results were disappointing and, more importantly, rejected overwhelmingly at the polls in Iraq’s first democratic election. The post-election government largely continued where Paul Bremer had left off, despite constant American pressure for a more conciliatory policy. In other words, despite the liberal hawks’ belief that the United States might have done better in Iraq, the fierce internecine conflicts there always made it highly likely that the pacification process the hawks favored would have failed.

                        * * *
                        Why did the liberal hawks so resolutely refuse to consider these on-the-ground facts as they marshaled their pro-war arguments? There are probably as many reasons as there are hawks, but the consistent thread that one sensed in reading their arguments was an imperative to be on the right side of history; and the right side, to them, meant attaining separation from the woolly left, which meant advocating war. This may be a respectable intention, but it’s hardly a responsible use of positions of influence.

                        Reckoning with fact, by contrast, might have led to some acknowledgement of the tragic worldview that is, however much our better angels may not prefer it, a necessary component of foreign policy making in a world characterized by far more “less bad” options than genuinely good ones. It is perhaps a seduction peculiar to liberalism, which wants to believe the best about human nature, to ignore the tragic character of much of the world -- and to reflexively interpret the failures of an ambitious social-engineering endeavor as evidence of bad technocratic management rather than mistaken premises. Recognizing the flaws of the incompetence argument when it comes to Iraq would necessarily lead liberal hawks to acknowledge that not all interventions are created equal.

                        The liberal hawks’ view of interventionism -- and ours -- was formed by the experiences of the 1990s, when greater rather than lesser American engagement in the world and a frank recognition that American power could serve humanitarian ends seemed to be the basic moral imperatives of the age. As Max Boot put it in The Weekly Standard’s 10th anniversary issue, “The Bosnia and Kosovo missions … showed how much good ‘humanitarian’ interventions could do, while the slaughter in Rwanda laid bare America’s shame for not intervening.” Kosovo, in particular, stood as a deeply flawed but undeniable benchmark -- a war waged centrally on humanitarian grounds, revealing the potential for armed intervention to halt atrocities and for international administrators to maintain a tentative peace through indefinite occupation. For liberal interventionists, the great inhibitor to fulfilling such moral imperatives was always, inevitably, the disingenuous notes of caution sounded by Kissingerian realists. “We don’t have a dog in that fight,” then–Secretary of State James Baker famously said of the Bosnian mess. Liberal hawks were appalled at such sentiments, and properly so.

                        But the American experience in Iraq over the past two and a half years casts a retrospective light on the ’90s interventions, bringing into relief an important lesson about U.S. limitations that had been too easily overlooked -- and that the dodgers refuse to face even now: Military power can force parties to the table, but it cannot secure an enduring peace or a social transformation. The U.S. military is good at exactly what one would expect an exemplary military to be good at: destroying enemy forces while keeping collateral damage to historic lows. Consequently, we have the ability to eject hostile forces from areas where they lack a strong base of popular support. This power allowed us to create the conditions for negotiation between the parties to the Bosnian war, and to keep the local Serb, Croat, and Muslim communities from killing one another in large numbers once the peace was signed. They also allowed us to eject Serbian forces from Kosovo and bring autonomy to that province, plus provided a large measure of security and autonomy for Kurdistan for more than a decade. These are no mean achievements, and they were accomplished largely from the air, at little risk to American soldiers. But in none of those places have we yet been able to achieve what we are likewise failing to accomplish in Iraq: the sudden transformation of a society.

                        Intervening requires us to take sides and to live with the empowerment of the side we took. Tensions between Kosovar and Serb, Muslim and Croat, Sunni and Shiite are not immutable hatreds, and it’s hardly the case that such conflicts can never be resolved. But they cannot be resolved by us. Outside parties can succeed in smoothing the path for agreement, halting an ongoing genocide, or preventing an imminent one by securing autonomy for a given area. But only the actual parties to a conflict can bring it to an end. No simple application of more outside force can make conflicting parties agree in any meaningful way or conjure up social forces of liberalism, compromise, and tolerance where they don’t exist or are too weak to prevail.

                        * * *
                        Humanitarian intervention has both uses and limits. Recognizing these limits in no way entails an embrace of an amoral foreign-policy realism. This false dichotomy is perhaps the most pernicious idea to emerge from the Iraq War. Liberalism has always been an idealistic doctrine, and should continue to be. But if high ideals become detached from basic questions of feasibility, they serve nothing but their exponents’ self-regard -- the fragrance of which has surrounded the liberal hawks like cheap perfume since this exercise began.

                        Liberal hawks joined neoconservatives in taking advantage of the public’s post–September 11 engagement with the world to unveil a comically promiscuous military agenda. The New Republic first argued that the Bush administration should have deployed more troops to Afghanistan, then proceeded to argue in favor of the war in Iraq, then criticized the administration for failing to send more of America’s already overstretched forces to interventions in Liberia and Haiti, then urged action to halt genocide in Sudan, and now takes the view that the problem with Iraq is that hundreds of thousands of additional troops should have been sent there from the beginning. Though arguably imbued with loftier motives than its neoconservative variant (The Weekly Standard has variously argued for attacking Iran, Syria, and North Korea), TNR’s stance is still knee-jerk hawkishness that is oblivious to the realities of the situation. It deserves to be tuned out in debates every bit as much as blanket pacifism does. Just as serious opponents of war must be prepared to countenance some wars under some circumstances, serious advocates of using force for humanitarian purposes must be willing to acknowledge some limits to what can and should be done.

                        We are not realists. Rather, we agree with Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, that coercive humanitarian intervention, while useful and important, “can be justified only in the face of ongoing or imminent genocide, or comparable mass slaughter or loss of life.” Avenging past slaughter, which certainly took place in Iraq years before the U.S. invasion, is not a good enough reason. Using force to build a pluralistic liberal democracy where none existed before could count as a moral justification for war if we had any sense of how to feasibly engage in such an endeavor, but the evidence from Iraq and elsewhere indicates that we do not. Liberal hawks convinced themselves that the war in their heads was a classic humanitarian intervention, but wishing doesn’t make it so. Not merely in its execution, but on the plane of ideas as well, the humanitarian rationale for the war was, at best, neoconservatism with a human face. The confusion currently permeating the discourse only complicates efforts to construct a viable liberal foreign policy, and will continue to do so until it is checked.

                        Before Iraq, this had always been the liberal understanding. The view that the United States should invade entrenched dictatorships in order to occupy foreign countries and transform them into democracies is utterly novel. No president has ever undertaken a war on this theory. “In the wake of Iraq,” TNR’s Peter Beinart bemoaned in December, “there has been a lot of loose liberal talk about the impossibility of imposing democracy by force.” That loose talk is probably right. The main examples of successful coercive democratization -- Germany and Japan during and after World War II -- involved military methods, notably the wholesale aerial destruction of civilian population centers, that would be condemned as barbaric today. Where invasion is undertaken for other reasons, as in Afghanistan and Kosovo, it is sensible to try to stand up the most decent successor regime we can manage. But to initiate a war in order to begin the occupation is daft.

                        Such understanding by no means requires rejecting the concept of democracy promotion. But whether in Eastern Europe in the 1990s or Ukraine, Georgia, and Lebanon in the 21st century, democracy promotion has not been accomplished primarily through warfare. Acknowledging the limits of armed intervention does, however, entail a recognition that injustice exists in the world that is beyond America’s capacity to remedy. Refusal to see this -- which is part and parcel of the incompetence dodge -- may be the liberal hawks’ most dangerous tic. And if a failure to internalize some trace of the tragic worldview is a common liberal danger, still further dangers abound for intellectuals and pundits: the seductions of cheap hindsight and second-guessing, the perennial inclination to sacrifice empirical grounding for lofty moralizing and aesthetic preening.

                        Precisely because commentators face the least degree of accountability for what they advocate, they have the greatest responsibility to face matters squarely and honestly. The future of a morally serious, reality-based liberalism depends on interventionists learning from the Iraq debacle lessons more profound than that George W. Bush is a bumbler.

                        Sam Rosenfeld and Matthew Yglesias [/b][/quote]
                        From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

                        For more than 20 years I have endeavored-indeed, I have struggled-along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural & substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor.


                        I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

                        The path the Court has chosen lessens us all. I dissent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 25 2005, 07:03 PM) Quoted post

                          QUOTE(davhaf @ Oct 25 2005, 07:00 PM) Quoted post

                          Fuck George W Bush. Asshole of the world. I thought I would never hate anyone as much as LBJ, I have been proven wrong.
                          [/b][/quote]

                          Are you old enough to actually remember LBJ? I hate the guy too, but only based on his historical record. I don't remember seeing him on TV or anything. Funny, because I remember Nixon vividly.
                          [/b][/quote]

                          I believe Davhaf served in Vietnam. That would seem to give him some much-needed perspective on this.
                          I like cheese.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            QUOTE(triggercut1 @ Oct 26 2005, 01:18 AM) Quoted post

                            QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 25 2005, 07:03 PM) Quoted post

                            QUOTE(davhaf @ Oct 25 2005, 07:00 PM) Quoted post

                            Fuck George W Bush. Asshole of the world. I thought I would never hate anyone as much as LBJ, I have been proven wrong.
                            [/b][/quote]

                            Are you old enough to actually remember LBJ? I hate the guy too, but only based on his historical record. I don't remember seeing him on TV or anything. Funny, because I remember Nixon vividly.
                            [/b][/quote]

                            I believe Davhaf served in Vietnam. That would seem to give him some much-needed perspective on this.
                            [/b][/quote]

                            Ah. I know pilots who served in Vietnam. They always talk about never being allowed to do anything that might have ended the fucking war. It was always straddle the fence - don't lose the war, don't win the war. LBJ was king of that, and he's still the textbook example of presidential micromanagement.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 26 2005, 01:27 AM) Quoted post
                              QUOTE(triggercut1 @ Oct 26 2005, 01:18 AM) Quoted post

                              QUOTE(Airshark @ Oct 25 2005, 07:03 PM) Quoted post

                              QUOTE(davhaf @ Oct 25 2005, 07:00 PM) Quoted post

                              Fuck George W Bush. Asshole of the world. I thought I would never hate anyone as much as LBJ, I have been proven wrong.
                              [/b][/quote]

                              Are you old enough to actually remember LBJ? I hate the guy too, but only based on his historical record. I don't remember seeing him on TV or anything. Funny, because I remember Nixon vividly.
                              [/b][/quote]

                              I believe Davhaf served in Vietnam. That would seem to give him some much-needed perspective on this.
                              [/b][/quote]

                              Ah. I know pilots who served in Vietnam. They always talk about never being allowed to do anything that might have ended the fucking war. It was always straddle the fence - don't lose the war, don't win the war. LBJ was king of that, and he's still the textbook example of presidential micromanagement. [/b][/quote]



                              Maybe BUSH 1 is actually guilty of the same thing?
                              Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

                              Comment

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