Selected Liberals on Obama: "I did not think he would lose me this soon"

After last night's speech, not every liberal in America agrees with Jacob Weisberg's assessment of "Obama's brilliant first year." Some of the raspberries:

Garry Wills:

I did not think he would lose me so soon—sooner than Bill Clinton did. Like many people, I was deeply invested in the success of our first African-American president. I had written op-ed pieces and articles to support him in The New York Times and The New York Review of Books. My wife and I had maxed out in donations for him. Our children had been ardent for his cause. [...]

He said that he would not oppose war in general, but dumb wars. On that basis, we went for him. And now he betrays us. Although he talked of a larger commitment to Afghanistan during his campaign, he has now officially adopted his very own war, one with all the disqualifications that he attacked in the Iraq engagement. This war too is a dumb one. It has even less indigenous props than Iraq did.

Robert Scheer:

It is already a 30-year war begun by one Democratic president, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose. President Barack Obama’s own top national security adviser has stated that there are fewer than 100 al-Qaida members in Afghanistan and that they are not capable of launching attacks. What superheroes they must be, then, to require 100,000 U.S. troops to contain them.

Glenn Greenwald:

He's convinced his admirers that this is a form of noble "pragmatism" but, far more often, it appears to be a mishmash of political calculations bereft of principle and plagued by numerous internal contradictions that make it impossible to understand, let alone defend.  Everyone gets to read into it whatever they want to see.

Dan Froomkin:

What Obama needed to announce was not just a timeframe for troop withdrawals to begin, but a detailed timeline all the way to complete pullout. He needed to put forth unambiguous benchmarks by which to measure success. And most importantly, he needed to explain precisely what happens if the benchmarks aren't met - i.e. if things don't go according to plan. Because they won't.

Instead, after announcing the deployment of 30,000 additional troops, Obama said that he will "begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011." He provided no sense of how quickly that would take place, or when the withdrawal would be complete, saying that would depend on "conditions on the ground."

To their disappointment, and Nick Gillespie's, I would add only this: The opposition party criticizes Obama's strategy on grounds that it does not escalate enough. As ever in 21st century America, there is no such thing as actionable anti-interventionism in either major political party. Even after the "anti-war candidate" wins the election.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    But I thought Afghanistan was the good war. The one that liberals supported and were angry that George Bush betrayed by invading Iraq. Now, Afghanistan is the "dumb war"?

    If people like Sheer and Greenwald were so concerned about AFghanistan, they should have been making their case before the election. Instead, they lied or said nothing while politicians lied about how Afghanistan was the good war and they were going to escalate it. Well, because of that, Obama has no choice now that he is in office but escalate the war in Afghanistan. How could he not after four years of Democrats claiming that Bush abandoned the real war in against radical Islamism in Afghanistan to invade Iraq?

    Greenwald and Sheer have no one to blame but themselves for this. If they had actually said what they beleived and put fourth an honest principled position on this issue rather than doing and saying anything they thought would damage Bush, they wouldn't have this problem.

  • Mike M.||

    By the way, I think that it shouldn't be forgotten so quickly that all these leftists were dead wrong about Iraq. They were fully convinced that Iraq was our new Vietnam, that it could never be controlled, and that it would explode into an all-out civil war. Well guess what folks, none of that is going to happen.

    Now they want us to believe that Afghanistan is really our new Vietnam. Only time will tell for sure, but I'd put my money on them being as wrong about Afghanistan as they were about Iraq.

  • Vehical Driver||

    I am not sure if you are serious or joking.

  • Mike M.||

    I'm totally serious. What makes you think I'm kidding.

  • Geotpf||

    Once US troops fully leave, the chances of Iraq devolving into a civil war of some sort is very high.

    Now, in Afghanistan, it's even higher. Iraq at least has a semblency of a government, a functional society. Afghanistan doesn't even have that. Plus, there's been a constant war of some sort or another in Afghanistan for three decades or so.

  • Tony||

    I think that prior to the argument that it would become an ungovernable morass was the argument that it was a war started on a fucking lie by imperialist psychopaths that has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives. The question of whether Iraq can become stable without a U.S. presence is still in the air.

  • Mike M.||

    The question of whether Iraq can become stable without a U.S. presence is still in the air.

    It was for a while, especially after the bombing of the holy mosque in Samarra, but it's not any more.

    The raging civil war in Iraq that guys like you were so desperately hoping for just isn't going to happen. We won, against all your wishes.

  • Tony||

    "We won"? Don't you mean what's left of the Iraqi population won? I'm not a sociopath, I'm a pacifist, so the fact that violence is less than predicted is an unqualified good thing.

    But I was still right about the invasion being a disastrous horror show in the first place.

  • ||

    so why are we still there?

  • ||

    Oh, when did we get out of Iraq? I missed it.

  • AK||

    It's even better (worse?) than that. Obama singlehandedly destroyed the Democrats' argument that Iraq was a "distraction" from Afghanistan. Look, if all it takes is 30,000 more troops to pacify Afghanistan, then deployment to Iraq never interfered. The Pentagon could have sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan at any time during the Iraq war. Now, if if the real number was 150,000 or 250,000, there might be a problem, but Iraq never interfered with the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. Obama has now implicitly admitted it.

  • Mike M.||

    Look, if all it takes is 30,000 more troops to pacify Afghanistan, then deployment to Iraq never interfered. The Pentagon could have sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan at any time during the Iraq war.

    Furthermore, that claim Obama made last night that commanders in Afghanistan were requesting a troop surge during the Bush administration and were ignored is a fiction that he made up. That never happened.

  • ||

    far be it from me to defend Obama who I did not vote for and can't stand, but you are wrong, it did happen.

  • tarran||

    I think Greenwald opposed the punitive campaign into Afghanistan from the start, so he's not being inconsistent. Moreover the actual lack of a strategy should even give the most ardent supporter of the campaign some pause.

  • Tony||

    I'm a liberal and I have always opposed both. I just don't think you fight terrorism with armies. Of course nobody could complain had the Bushies captured bin Laden when they had the chance.

  • ||

    you don't fight -isms.

    You fight terrorists with non-state actors of your own.

    Article 1 Section 8 Clause 11 subclause 2.

  • eb||

    letters of marque?

  • ||

    or retribution.

    Letters of marque are generally for anti-piracy (Ron Paul's mistake was calling the terrorists perpetrators of 'air piracy'); letters of retribution are for exacting revenge against a non-state actor that breaks the war conventions - so you can tit-for-tat them.

    I'd like to think the framers knew we'd have to come up against non-state enemies at some time in the future. Whether on not it's true, you could really structure a letter of retribution in a way to tear the terrorists a new asshole while at the same time withdrawing troops.

  • ||

    whoops. cat ../* | sed s/retribution/reprisal/g

  • Geotpf||

    In 2002, it was the good war. But once Bush let Bin Laden et al escape to Pakistan, the only good choices were between invading Pakistan to chase after them (oh boy), or go home, IMHO. We need to shit or get off the pot. Instead, Bush (and Obama) refused to do either.

  • Dave||

    If lefties had just been honest for the last 8 years and said they were against Iraq AND Afghanistan, they wouldn't have this problem. But they spent all their ammo on Iraq because they wanted to look tougher than George Bush.

  • ||

    They are so screwed. First, I think Obama is lying. No way are we going to be out of Afghanistan by 2012. Second, what are they going to do about it? They can either do nothing and totally destroy any future credibility of the anti war movement. The next time a Republican starts or escalates a war and Greenwald crawls out of his hole, all anyone will have to do is ask "where were you during Obama's war?" and that will be it. Or they can launch anti-war protests and turn on the America's first black and most liberal President. Couldn't happen to a better bunch.

  • ugh||

    I'm pretty certain Greenwald has be fairly anti-war for a while now, but that doesn't fit into your Liberal Hivemind Theory so I guess it doesn't matter.

  • ||

    I am fairly certain the Greenwald never objected last year when Obama was campaigning saying he was going to do this. Greenwald said nothing. And also if you go back far enough gave the Dem Party line about how Afghanistan was the real war betreyed by Bush. Yet,now he acts shocked that Obama is doing what he said he did.

  • ||

    """I am fairly certain the Greenwald never objected last year when Obama was campaigning saying he was going to do this."""

    That's the funny part. Shifting troops from Iraq to Afghanistan was one of Obama's campaign promises he kept.

  • ||

    The next time a Republican starts or escalates a war and Greenwald crawls out of his hole, all anyone will have to do is ask "where were you during Obama's war?" and that will be it.

    I doubt it. The most that'll happen is that Radley will get to post another edition of HackWatch. Hypocrisy is not really a big deal any more.

  • ||

    I agree with you in part. You are right. People like Greenwald have no shame. So they will think nothing of being anti-war once doing so involves bashing a Republican. But, they will be less effective at it. Just like feminists are less effective talking about sexual harrasment after defending Clinton.

  • ||

    John, did Greenwald sleep with your brother or something? Your attacking the wrong guy - whatever his other flaws Glen has consistently opposed the war in Afghanistan from day one, has always called Obama to his account on his civil rights failings and was never an Obama Kool-Aid drinker. Stop burning strawmen, they're plenty of more influential liberals who did claim to support the war in Afghanistan. Attack them.

  • hurly buehrle||

    Hmm. Why do I seem to remember that the 9/11 attacks were carried out largely by Saudis who planned the whole thing from hotel rooms in Europe? If that were true it might not make sense to be in Afghanistan at all.

  • ||

    Because it was planned and funded by people in Afghanistan.

  • ma||

    People who were from Saudi Arabia

  • CaptainSmartass||

    By that logic Britain should not have gone to war with Germany in WWII but instead should've invaded Austria.

  • ||

    Except that the Weimar Republic/Third Reich was a sovereign entity and Al-Qaeda is not.

  • ||

    Except that the Weimar Republic/Third Reich was a sovereign entity and Al-Qaeda is not.

    That still doesn't address the issue of the Taliban-run Afghanistan government, which clearly aided and abetted Al-Qaeda. If you're saying we should've left soon afterwards, fine, though.

  • Lester Hunt||

    "We are shocked, shocked that Obama is pursuing the war in Afghanistan!" Where have these people been for two years?

  • Spartacus||

    Noble pragmatism!!
    Ah hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

    ...it appears to be a mishmash of political calculations bereft of principle and plagued by numerous internal contradictions that make it impossible to understand, let alone defend. Everyone gets to read into it whatever they want to see.

    I think that pretty much sums up the campaign AND the presidency. Honestly, I don't know how Greenwald ties his own shoelaces.

  • ||

    Velcro.

  • ||

    Our children had been ardent for his cause.

    OK, this made me laugh.

  • ||

    Sounds like a line from a book w/ Fabio on the cover.

  • ||

    I think these people just like to whine and be disapointed. It is like some kind of sylized drama that gives their life meaning.

    I am no Obama fan. But, in his defense, he said during the campaign he was going to start getting out of Iraq and go more into Afghanistan. He was very plain about it. And that is what he is doing. How can these jackasses now whine about it and claim they were betreyed?

  • ||

    Yeah,
    it's kinda pathetic to hear that the biggest whine from the left is "Waaah! He kept his campaign promises about Iraq and Afghanistan!!"

  • Jonas||

    They complain when he's actually done what he said he was going to do by pretending he betrayed some kind of promise, but the 4,876,922 OTHER promises he really has broken don't seem to bother a one of them.

  • ||

    """I think these people just like to whine and be disapointed. It is like some kind of sylized drama that gives their life meaning.""

    Is this a Glenn Beck thread?

  • marlok||

    I feel for them a little bit. They assumed he was making empty gestures to get elected. Balanced budget and such. They've been right up to now, but they should have known that Obama wouldn't make a politically risky move on Afganistan (withdrawal) that might hurt his popularity and worsen chances of expanding domestic programs.

  • Warty||

    John, because people, by and large, don't think. You know this by now.

  • ||

    John, good points on Obama's war stances. I suspect that most Obama voters couldn't give you a synopsis of his platform on the big issues. We were like a fart in a whirlwind, blown about by the winds of change.

  • ||

    Thacker has it about right. Creatures like Greenwald assumed he was lying and all that war stuff was for the rubes.

  • AK||

    No one, anywhere, actually believed that Obama's position (or the Democrats' position generally) on Afghanistan was anything less than political posturing. It was one of the most nakedly cynical moves in politics in my lifetime.

  • ||

    Well, he is sending 30,000 more troops. Perhaps it wasn't as cynical as we thought.

  • ||

    No one, anywhere, actually believed that Obama's position (or the Democrats' position generally) on Afghanistan was anything less than political posturing.

    Plenty of them did. And perhaps they were right, and the people who thought that it was nakedly cynical were wrong.

  • AK||

    It was always political posturing. It still is. Everyone knew that the only reason that Senator Obama talked tough on Afghanistan was because he didn't want to be perceived as weak on defense.

    The fact that he's actually following through on his promise doesn't make that promise any less cynical or politically motivated. Obama needed to promise hawkishness to get elected, and he needs to deliver on that promise to save the Democrats in 2010 and himself in 2012. Following through on his promise doesn't prove that he thinks that the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting.

  • ||

    I know my girlfriend's daughter, an Obama voter, could not give you a synopisis of Obama's platform. Her comment to me when I asked why she intended to vote for Obama was, "he's exciting."

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    You slapped her, right? Please tell me you slapped her. And then slapped your girlfriend for raising such an idiot.

  • ||

    One idiot at a time. Before I met her, the GF was a big fan of John Edwards that was reinforced by Edwards supposed standing by his sick wife. I told her that Edwards was a douche bag lawyer and he was cheating on his wife. She didn't believe me. She has since seen the light. I haven't turned the GF into a Republican, but I have at least convinced her that just becuase a pol says something doesn't mean they really mean it or that it is true. One step at a time.

    As far as the daughter goes, she was 19 at the time and Obama was cool with her friends. We need to forgive her for she knows not what she has done. Her vote doesn’t really matter anyway. We live in Maryland and the Democrats are going to win no matter whom the candidate is.

  • ||

    Although he talked of a larger commitment to Afghanistan during his campaign,

    ... that was supposed to be for the rubes! He wasn't supposed to mean it! We weren't supposed to be the rubes! Waahh!

    Candidate Obama tried to be all things to all people, an empty vessel into which they could pour their Hope and dreams. Disappointment of some is inevitable.

  • ||

    "Even after the "anti-war candidate" wins the election."

    Matt,

    I assume the quotes are for irony. But honestly, why would anyone have thought Obama was an "anti-war candidate"? He was anti-Iraq war. But he was never anti-Afghanistan or the war on terror.

  • ||

    But honestly, why would anyone have thought Obama was an "anti-war candidate"? He was anti-Iraq war. But he was never anti-Afghanistan or the war on terror.

    For the same reasons that they thought that, despite whatever he said, he was really for free trade. Admittedly on some issues, his rhetoric was just words, and he's been much more economically statist than his rhetoric.

    Really, for libertarians, almost every single one of Candidate Obama's ambiguous (and not so ambiguous) stances has been resolved in an anti-libertarian manner, except for some welcome baby steps on drugs.

  • ||

    except for some welcome baby steps on drugs.

    I should say welcome steps on illegal drugs. His Administration is expanding and enforcing FDA authority on legal drugs and drug-like substances (like Cheerios) in stupid ways-- remember, true, scientifically backed speech is illegal if the government hasn't approved it.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Cheerios are a drug-like substance? I must not be eating them right.

  • Matt Welch||

    Yes, the quote marks were intentional. I wrote a bunch about Obama/Afghanistan during the Democratic Convention ... maybe I'll throw up some links.

  • Spartacus||

    Eewww. Please don't throw them up. Just wait a bit and shit them out. Take some Pepto.

  • ||

    not THE anti-war candidate. Must be ironic; as far as I know there were only two anti-war candidates. Ron Paul, and Dennis Kucinich. And Mike Gravel, if you look far back enough in the campaign.

  • BakedPenguin||

    John - we're only going to be there until his "Afghanization" of the war becomes viable.

  • ||

    Yeah. We may be there forever. Sometimes there are no good options. It may be that these people are never, at least in this generation, going to stop attacking us. And our only options will be to go home and let them do it or stay in Afghanistan fighting a low intensity war forever to keep them from doing it and giving them something else to do besides attack the US. Since when do wars, especially ones involving fanatics have to end within one election cycle? The French fought the British for a hundered years. The Russians fought the Tarters for several hundred. The Romans fought the Germanic tribes for several hundred. Long wars do happen.

  • ||

    Not anymore John. Between the instant and overwhelming media coverage and the populace made up of schizoid conspiracy theorists that doubt any given reasons for military force, we lose our will for war after a couple weeks.

  • robc||

    Thats why Nukes were invented. To end the war before we lose our will.

  • ||

    Maybe you should blame the guy who got us into a war on fabricated reasons that has already cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives to return to some modicum of stability, which itself will probably collapse as soon as we pull out.

    Not to mention the fact that most wars are truly started for idiotic reasons in the first place, and the sooner we lose our will for war in those cases the better. If only it would happen before the war begins in those cases!

  • ||

    "our only options will be to go home and let them do it or stay in Afghanistan fighting a low intensity war forever "

    Why must those be our only options?

  • ||

    psst letters of reprisal.

  • ||

    Right -- because warfare hasn't changed since the times of Septimus Severus taking a couple of legions into the Black Forest to scare up some slaves and crop tribute and go back home.

    God help us if there is ever a sustained modern war for a hundred years. We're not talking about armies shooting fucking arrows at each other in an isolated field with no civilians around once in a while.

  • Mad Max||

    'Although he talked of a larger commitment to Afghanistan during his campaign, he has now officially adopted his very own war . . .'

    I thought he was lying, but now it turns out he was telling the truth! He should have known I would be so infatuated with him that I wouldn't believe he was serious when he said something I didn't like! He betrayed me!

  • ||

    Waaaahh!! He lied to ME!!!! He was only supposed to lie to the THEM, the cattle!!!! Waaaahh!!

  • ||

    the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose

    It is necessary in order to eliminate opium production.

  • ||

    Ding ding ding ding ding!!!

  • travis||

    yea the Russians are PISSED about all this opium. yet the only thing they will do to stop it is ask us nicely for us to please take care of it.

  • ||

    Whatever happened to that 1980's CIA/Afghan poppy connection?

  • ||

    I'm sure the streets will be filled with giant puppets and vegans any day now.

    "Hell, no! We won't go!
    We won't fight O-bama's war!"

    "No blood for no oil!"

  • Warty||

    The cadres of radical puppeteers are springing into action even as we speak. They've been training all their lives for this moment...or at least they were before their fascist dads made them get jobs while waiting for their trust funds to mature.

  • ||

    Dumpsters are being dived all over the Northeast.

  • ||

    And Obama logo tats lased off.

  • ||

    Twenty years from now, no one will remember what the US military was up to in the 21st century. All anybody will remember when Americas cities are in flames and her streets run red with blood, was that Obama was President when the currency went to zero.

  • ||

    And history will allow that the first black president did all he could to turn around the fuck-ups that Bush made. There was just too much damage done and Obama was unable to fix it despite his most Nobel efforts.

    *end snark*

  • ||

  • ||

    First, the currency is not going zero. Second, even if it did, the streets would not run with blood. The currency went zero in 1920s Germany and the streets did not run with blood. The currency went damn near zero in Argintina in the late 1990s and the streets did not run with blood and the country is still there.

    I understand the dangers of inflation. But stop with the hyperbole.

  • ||

    The currency went zero in 1920s Germany and the streets did not run with blood.

    Well, not until the '40s, anyway.

  • ||

    But the streets did run with wheelbarrows.

  • JB||

    You are being foolish if you underestimate what a devaluing of the US dollar would do.

    My investment advice: guns & ammo.

  • ||

    Really? Is the US some kind of barabaric land that is different than say Argintina or any other country that has had a currency crisis? Jesus Christ, Mexico had a currency crisis in the 1980s and the streets didn't run with blood.

  • ||

    At most, we'll have a Japanese "lost decade", which isn't really that horrible.
    It's bad, but not "streets covered with baby intestines" bad.

  • ||

    it's true. We'll develop a tentacle rape culture.

  • Warty||

    Holy shit, the biggest news story in 30 years has broken.

    ‘Family Ties’ mom: ‘I am a lesbian’

  • robc||

    Huh. Breaking story? I guess I just assumed.

  • ||

    Damn. Another crush dashed by a vagitarian.

  • ||

    I always assumed that she was, as nasty and bitter, particularly over men, as she's been over the years.

  • ||

    I fucking called that. My wife went with breast cancer, but I stuck with lesbian all the way.

  • ||

    Every girl likes girls (who couldn't!) -- it just takes some of them time to get around to accepting it.

  • ||

    I saw her on the Today show as I walked out the door to lunch. I got to admit, she is still pretty good looking for her age. Defintely good looking enough for the sick fantasies her coming out implies.

  • ||

    Make that work, not lunch.

  • ||

    I wonder if her and Justine Bateman ever fooled around?

  • ||

    Nah. Tina Yothers.

  • ||

    That is just gross.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Justine Bateman is a closeted heterosexual.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Who did a lot of cocaine. That whole Yale thing.

  • ||

    Speaking of sick fantasies. That is a good one. I bet they did. It was Hollywood afterall.

  • ||

    I gotta go with a tryst between Alex's girlfriends. Courtney Cox and the future Mrs. Michael J. Fox.

    With some Billy Vera and the Beaters for background music.

  • ||

    Those are good ones to. I always though Baxter was a good looking woman. Nice skin and face, thin and has suprisingly huge boobs.

  • ||

    Back then Baxter with Markey Post was a recurring dream...

  • BakedPenguin||

    Next thing, you'll be telling me George Takei is gay.

  • ||

    No one who knows how to fence could possibly be gay.

    Take Episiarch for example... oh, wait.

  • ||

    I'm still waiting on Rosanne Barr to come out. Tom Arnold should be enough to lesbo out any woman.

    Should we start a lesbian pool?

  • ||

    I thought she was already out. Gilbert and the 1st Becca are.

  • ||

    I knew Gilbert was. But the 1st Becca to? Wow. That is a lot of future lesbians for one show.

  • ||

    The loose meat sandwich themed diner is starting to make sense. Dripping roast beef and such.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Citation needed on the second Becca, SugarFree. I can find no proof.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I mean 1st Becca. Zounds!

  • ||

    Nope, you're right, I was thinking of someone else.

  • ||

    It's was the younger brother on She's The Boss. I had a younger sibling infarction.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    You confused him for a girl. It kind of makes sense he's gay.

  • ||

    I know. Poor little thing.

  • ||

    Sarah Chalke is out?

  • ||

    Well, Barr is a kabbalist, so that puts her about half-way there already.

  • WWJGD||

    The tears. So delicious.

  • ||


    I am no Obama fan. But, in his defense, he said during the campaign he was going to start getting out of Iraq and go more into Afghanistan. He was very plain about it

    but is he really getting out of iraq? where is the coverage? AFAIK, iraq is about the same as gitmo... lotsa talk and little action.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZvWilRn0L8

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    The drawdown was happening while I was still there (in Iraq). It wasn't precipitous or anything, but it was happening.

  • ||

    Obama didn't actually say there would be fewer troops fighting overall, or even that he would hold the number of troops fighting to a constant number. These are, after all, federal employees, and Obama is not one to take anyone off the public tit.

  • ||

    interesting. surprised we don't hear more about it.

  • ||

  • ||

    "I did not think he would lose me so soon ... My wife and I had maxed out in donations for him."

    Wow, maxing out donations for a candidate they expected to disappoint and disillusion them, in the "hope" it would take longer to "change" their opinion of him.

    Talk about clueless.

  • ||

    Which means that they are *still* hoping.

    "Never give up, never surrender!"

  • ||

    But I thought Afghanistan was the good war. The one that liberals supported and were angry that George Bush betrayed by invading Iraq. Now, Afghanistan is the "dumb war"?

    You're committing the logical fallacy of thinking that all liberals, or at least Democrats, are alike. In reality, these groups are a mish-mash of people with conflicting ideology held together only by their love of a lot of government -- but with profound disagreements about what programs and unionized public employees should get all that stolen tax money.

    The anti-all-wars wing is different from anti-all-wars-that-can-be-blamed-on-Bush wing, which is different from the anti-all-wars-that-currently-are-going-badly wing.

  • ||

    You're committing the logical fallacy of thinking that all liberals, or at least Democrats, are alike.

    Wait- you're saying they aren't?

  • ||

    That was snark, yes?

    Of course members of the Democratic party aren't all alike.

    Both major parties are an amalgam of people with mutually contradictory agendas.

    That's why we have both subsidies of anti-smoking campaigns, and subsidies for tobacco growers.

    Subsidies for agribusiness, and programs to reduce the resulting obesity caused by the overproduction of HFCS.

  • ||

    Come on prolefeed, they supposed to be alike, or they get that "In Name Only" suffix attached.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    This was written about Bush, but it applies just as well to his successor(s):

    You will notice, N., that the finding of no weapons of mass destruction hasn't been taken by the White House as a reason to bring our troops home. On the contrary, it's seen as a need to invent a new reason for their presence there: We must bring democracy, not merely to Iraq, but to the entire Middle East! Well, that's a good thing, right? No, not at all. N., we pay taxes for our Suffolk County police to fight crime here in Suffolk, not to go fight robbery in Cairo, rape in New Delhi, and murder in Berlin. It is no less a dereliction of duty for our national forces to do anything other than defend American lives and liberties.

    But isn't establishing democracy in Iraq, which hopefully will then spread to all the Arab and Islamic countries, a way to do just that? Again, no. Not only was Germany surrounded by democracies, it was a democracy -- the Weimar Republic. That didn't stop the rise of such parties as the Communists and the National Socialists, who joined to destroy German democracy. Does it take much imagination to see how easily Iraqi democracy could vote itself into autocracy or theocracy? And the argument that we eventually "got it right" in Germany means what -- that we're already preparing for a re-invasion of Iraq (and/or Afghanistan)? This is what in the present age passes for a "strong national defense"?

    N., there is really only one thing to say to our president: "Sir, mind your beat!" He is this nation's policeman, not the world's.

  • ||

    I agree, except the bringing democracy to the middle east part was not an invented "new" reason to be in Iraq after no WMD stockpiles. Bush used this crap as justification from the beginning. Look at the name of the mission: "Iraqi Freedom". Listen to any of his speeches on this, to include Afghanistan. The goal was always the neoconservative/wilsonian "bring democracy to the world".

  • ||

    also there were WMD, just no *unregistered* WMD.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07.....01928.html

  • Hobo Chang Ba||

    Since all of al-Qaeda has moved to Pakistan, wouldn't it be cheaper to offer Pakistan up to $168 billion dollars to deliver our al-Qaeda targets to us? That's the value of the country's GDP, and a fraction of the cost of the war while more effective without infringing on Pakistani sovereignty. Plus we wouldn't need to deliver any condolence letters to the families of dead soldiers.

  • ||

    I do like his hilarious not-my-problem defensiveness, where he claimed that constantly from 2002 to 2008 our commanders asked for more troops, so it's Bush's fault, but the OTOH no commander had asked for more troops in Afghanistan to arrive during 2009, so it's not his fault.

  • ||

    So naturally, they're going to vote for the Republican in 2012...NOT! (Sorry, my kids watched "Waynes World" yesterday)

    Come 2012, they'll be right back in the Obama donation line again.

  • million||

    Whoa, hold on... we're still in Afghanistan?

  • BeesInTheBrain||

    Isn't it about time for us to hand back the Afghanistan invasion duty back to Russia?

  • han||

    That is just what the government told you.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement