War in Iraq vs. War on Terrorism

|

The Washington Post asks the experts whether the War in Iraq has helped or hurt the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorists of the "global reach" variety.

Stunningly, Bush fans say no and critics say yes. Examples include this:

Flynt Leverett, a former CIA analyst and Middle East specialist who left Bush's National Security Council staff a year ago, also agrees.

"Clarke's critique of administration decision-making and how it did not balance the imperative of finishing the job against al Qaeda versus what they wanted to do in Iraq is absolutely on the money," Leverett said.

He said that Arabic-speaking Special Forces officers and CIA officers who were doing a good job tracking Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri and other al Qaeda leaders were pulled out of Afghanistan in March 2002 to begin preparing for the war against Iraq. "We took the people out who could have caught them," he said. "But even if we get bin Laden or Zawahiri now, it is two years too late. Al Qaeda is a very different organization now. It has had time to adapt. The administration should have finished this job."

And from the other side:

Eliot Cohen, director of strategic studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and an advocate of attacking Iraq, argues that Clarke's analysis wrongly assumes the battle against terrorism paralyzes the government when it comes to waging other wars. He said that if one assumes that the fight against terrorism is a multi-year effort that could stretch decades, then "there is nothing the U.S. government can do for 30 years but fight al Qaeda." He noted that the bulk of the fighting in Iraq was carried out by military units, such as the 101st Airborne, that were not involved in Afghanistan.

As the Post presents it (coff coff), the tilt is clearly to the side that holds the Iraq invasion was a distraction, further noting, "Cohen agreed, however, that a war the scale of the Iraq invasion could divert the attention of senior officials from other issues, such as fighting terrorism."

Read it all here.

NEXT: A Pirate Act Even Worse Than Johnny Depp's

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.

  1. You mean they’re not the same thing?

  2. Another chapter from the big book of “DUH!”

  3. This is one of those Rohrschach tests. To some, it is manifestly obvious that invading Iraq was essential to a larger strategy for making America safer. To others, it is manifestly obvious that invading Iraq did nothing to make America safer.

    I freely admit to being on one of those 2 sides. And I freely admit to succumbing to the temptation to debate the war on this forum even though it mostly turns into a pointless recitation of the same old cliches (indeed, I have been known to hurl some of those cliches).

    In the last few days I’ve grown weary of it again, however. The event that precipitated my “Oh, what’s the point?” attitude was when my mother started complaining about Bush’s WMD joke. She said that it’s insensitive to the soldiers to joke about the pretext for war. I said that I’m bothered when just about every who opposed the war interprets the joke one way, and everybody who supported it interprets the joke another way. It suggests to me that the debate over Bush’s joke, like so many other “debates” in America lately, is just one more round of a proxy battle between the two sides of US politics. And to pretend otherwise, to pretend that the argument really is over an insensitive remark, is dishonest.

    I don’t know if any of this is coherent. It’s been a busy Saturday and I still have a ton of stuff to do.

  4. “I don’t know if any of this is coherent.”

    Maybe you won’t like this, but it’s one of the more coherent statements from you that I’ve read.

  5. Maybe you won’t like this, but it’s one of the more coherent statements from you that I’ve read.

    Which part? The entire post, or just the part at the end where I say that I don’t know if it’s coherent? 🙂

  6. >…through the Iraq war, “we delivered to al Qaeda the greatest recruitment propaganda imaginable.”

  7. First Question: Overall did Iraq hurt our war on terrorism?

    Short term: Yes

    Long term: No (fingers-crossed)

    Second Question: Overall did Iraq help us defeat state-sponsored terrorism where terrorists join with states and use their resources to carry out large-scale attacks?

    Short term: Yes

    Long term: Yes

    Terror threat, it seems to me, comes from two different avenues: (1) state-sponsored and supported assaults; and (2) rogue, “non-state” sponsored assaults.

    Our greatest concern for the short term was and is the government aided terrorists. With Iraq defeated, the Taliban defeated, Libya surrendering, Syria on edge, we’ve made tremendous strides in this area. Iran and North Korea are still the wild-cards.

    Short term, the rogue or smaller terrorist cells are now a larger threat. The ability of terrorists, particularly al-Qaeda, to do large-scale damage has been severely eroded in my seat of the pants opinion (and we know what that is worth).

    The Iraq invasion has clearly been a rallying cry (although I think Afghanistan would have also been one if we did not go into Iraq) for the radical elements, especially as a recruiting tool.

    However, a reasonably democratic, free Iraq run by Iraqis will be a severe and long-term blow to these radical elements. Al-Zaqarwi acknowledged that in documents captured from him.

    Long term, if (big qualifier) we are successful in Iraq, the moderate elements in Islam will be given a powerful weapon with which to defeat the radical elements. In the end, this war will be won from within Islam itself; we can only help at the margins.

    On the other hand, I could be completely full of horse shit.

    SMG

  8. This topic has gotten kicked around alot, but here’s my $.02: After Pearl Harbor, the first major U.S. offensive action was to invade Vichy French North Africa and fight the Vichy French, Germans, and Italians, none of whom had anything to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor. All, however, were part of the worldwide fascist movement that wanted to destroy the U.S. (among others), and for strategic reasons it made sense to deal with Germany before Japan, and to start in North Africa.

    Folks, it’s pretty much the same thing now. Iraq may or may not have had anything to with 9/11, but they had it coming for violating the ceasefire and various UN resolutions. Taking them out gives us a well-situated base of operations in the heart of the problem area, next to Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, probably the three biggest sponsors of terrorism today. We no longer need the Saudi’s permission to operate from their territory, because we no longer have forces on their territory.

    So the Iraq war makes perfect sense as a stage in the war against terror, even if the administration can’t or won’t articulate it themselves. It would be undiplomatic and counterproductive to baldly state: “We’re in Iraq partly so we can better threaten Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia,” but you can bet all three know that’s the case.

  9. Hmm, just re-read my post above.

    Cliches, platitudes, bromides. Oy. Hat trick for talking out of my, er, hat.

    There goes my chance for admission to the Harvard School of International Relations. I’ll keep the day job.

    Yeah, I’m full of horse hockey.

    SMG

  10. Hmm, curiouser and curiouser.

    http://theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,9088802%255E601,00.html

    Syria on the ropes? No mas?

    SMG

  11. After Pearl Harbor, the first major U.S. offensive action was to invade Vichy French North Africa and fight the Vichy French, Germans, and Italians, none of whom had anything to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor. All, however, were part of the worldwide fascist movement that wanted to destroy the U.S. (among others), and for strategic reasons it made sense to deal with Germany before Japan, and to start in North Africa.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we fight 2 wars in parallel, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic? If so, then in WWII one can’t say that we put Japan on the backburner to deal with Germany first.

    Second, even if one thinks that invading Iraq was a good idea, the link between Japan and Germany was definitely stronger than the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Or, at least, the alliance between Japan and Germany was publicly known, while links between Iraq and Al Qaeda are either indirect (e.g. oppressive regimes in the region create an environment where Al Qaeda can fluorish) or else direct but not yet publicly known (i.e. the evidence is either hidden, or else it can’t be publicly disclosed to avoid compromising a source).

    Whatever one might think of the war in Iraq, the WWII analogy seems somewhat weak.

  12. Let’s debate this: War on Japan verus World War 2.

    Or War on Italy verus WW2.

    Or War on Vichy France verus WW2.

  13. The English teacher in me wants to point out a grammatical mistake on the part of Mr. Gillespie:

    “. . .whether the War in Iraq has helped or hurt the fight against Al Qaeda. . . . Bush fans say no and critics say yes.”

    Obviously the critics are correct in saying that the war has either helped or hurt in the fight against Al Qaeda.

    Or maybe this was not an error, and Bush fans are denying that the war has either helped or hurt. Since Bush fans lie about everything concerning their secular god, this would not surprise me.

  14. The source of terrorism is lousy governments.

    Iraq is only the beginning.

    Osama is not the only target.

    At this point we have a two level problem:
    Immediate Sources
    Long Term Sources

    Iraq deals with Immediate Sources by acting as a sink.

    Iraq deals with long term sources by changing its edcational system.

    Rinse. Repeat.

  15. Thoreau, the European and Pacific theaters were indeed fought in parallel, but Europe was a higher priority because it was considered a greater threat. Thus, even though the German military was stronger, we defeated them a few months before Japan. (And without the atomic bombs, Japan wouldn’t have been defeated until 1946.)

  16. The argument that the invasion of Iraq equates to the invasion of North Africa is, to put it with the greatest tact possible, absolutely absurd. Let us consider three factors:

    – First, North Africa was a theatre of war, not an adversary itself. Indeed, it was the Italian invasion of British-administered Egypt that started operations there, not the Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco. Moreover, all of the fighting in NA was simply a step on a very long road – both to remove the threat to supply lines along the Med, and to provide a secure base for the invasion of Sicily and then Italy proper (attacking the ‘soft underbelly’ of Europe was a strategy favoured by many in the British high command in preference to a cross-channel invasion.)

    – Second, although Japan and Germany rarely cooperated in a substantive manner, Italy was usually more of a hindrance than a help, and Vichy France was a tributary state living on sufferance, the Axis was a formal alliance of nation-states all of whom had declared war on the United States prior to the landings (though not prior to military actions on a much smaller scale, such as the neutrality patrols in the Atlantic.) By contrast, there has been no real evidence of cooperation of any type between Iraq and al Q, let alone an avowed alliance – and indeed, Hussein and bin Laden are natural enemies in a way that Hitler and Tojo never were.

    – Third, there were in fact very substantial operations in the Pacific from the beginning of hostilities, while the US had been in a state of quasi-war with Germany for months before Pearl Harbour. The fighting in the Pacific was essentially defensive (and largely unsuccessful) until the middle of ’42, but it was very severe nonetheless (particularly in the Philippines.) It is true that the official Allied strategy was ‘Germany-first’, but there was much dissent within the American high command, with many senior figures considering Japan the chief adversary (King, for example; there were long and bitter debates among both the senior Americans and the various Allied staffs as to the proper grand strategy, with execution and theory often having no more than a nodding acquaintance). As it happened, the US produced so much war materiel that major offensives were sustained simultaneously on both sides of the world – Germany was defeated first largely because the bulk of British attention was focused on Europe, together with the full weight of the Soviet war machine (the USSR was not technically at war with Japan until the very end) while the US split its attention pretty evenly (about thirty percent of ground forces were sent to the Pacific and a similar proportion of the AAC, with the greater part of the Fleet; in contrast, Britain sent only about ten percent of ground forces to the East, with similar proportions of air and naval forces until after V-E day.)

    I might point out in concluding that Hitler and Tojo (with Mussolini their comic-opera imitator) had the means and will to conquer vast stretches of the globe, while Hussein settled for a draw with a revolutionary Iran that was no-one’s idea of a military power (even with the US et al supplying Iraq, ahem), while bin Laden’s closest approach to power was friendship with a semi-tribal theocracy in the Afghan mountains that got routed out by Tajiks with AK-47s supported by a handful of Green Berets on donkey-back and B-52s… but that would be piling on, so I won’t. Malash – I think I’ve made my point.

  17. If we wanted a base of operations in the mideast, Afghanistan would have worked fine. Look at a map. It would have been a great place to continue to pressure Saddam, too, without pissing off the whole world.

    Of course, Afghanistan didn’t have oil.

  18. Jean Bart doesn’t get it. The WW2 analogy is about when the US turned itself away from the War On Those Who Attacked Us to the War On Those Who Haven’t Attacked Us Nearly As Much And So We’re Gonna Call It A Distraction. Therefore, his facts (not to mention analysis) are pointless.

    On a separate issue, Eisenhower always was a pussy.

  19. peachy,

    It is a good thing WW II was between nation states – think of the trouble you would have researching the various treaties “signed” by all those governments with one another:-)

    Should we try to find out if Osama signed any treaty with Saddam before we do after them? For that matter, what about Osama and Taliban? Has Bush shown us any proof that they were in on the whole deal?

    No one is saying the AQ or Taliban will occupy the US (or ‘vast stretches of the globe’). They killed civilians in the US – they paid the price (or will pay the price). This is not a court of law. I want my country leaders to err on the side of acting to protect the country. Not trot out dipshit about why we can’t do anything about it. We had that during the 1990’s.

    I am not blaming Clinton for not pre-emptively taking out the Taliban – how could he? With people like you around! But I will be damned if I don’t support Bush (or the Dem president) when they take the fight to the ‘enemy’.

  20. Zorel-
    I do indeed hate Bush but I think I hate the NEA even more, for the selfish reason that I, personally, have not suffered any annoyances as a direct result of Bush’s policies (tho’ if I were Arab or black I’d feel differently) whereas the NEA irritates me every DAY.

    Well, no, actually it was the feds who passed the rules that require a Harrison Bergeron-esque ignorance of the intellectual differences between children. But I don’t want to go on a tangent, so let me return to the original topic, which is that Bush and his administration are the most lying corrupt bastards to hold the office within my lifetime. (Even Nixon was an improvement, I think.)

    Just out of curiosity for you Bush-lovers out there: is there even ONE lie of his you’re willing to admit to?

    And here’s another question, even more serious: is this decay of our civil liberties just a minor aberration, a la McCarthyism, or is this the beginning of the end of America, Land of the Free? Explain.

    (That last word was the teacher in me again.)

  21. Eisenhower always was a pussy

    I hope that was a joke. I figure that any American with that long of a service record must be pretty serious about defending his country.

    Of course, I’ve never served in the military, so I’m naturally hesitant to call a soldier a “pussy.” Those who have served may have a different perspective.

  22. thoreau,

    Well, common notions of WWII are infected with myth and outright fantasy (and plain ignorance); PapayaSF’s statement is merely one of them. However, its not peculiar to that war; I cannot think of any significant historical event that does not have such things attached to it. As I was writing last week, for example, the “storming of the Bastille” is an event whose memory is laden with inaccuracy, myth, etc.

    An example of ignorance in France is French military efforts in Italy (very heroic and impressive) which are virtually unknown even by Frenchmen – indeed, they were unknown from the start: when 1st French Army fought its way north along the Rhone river during late summer 1944, they had to continually explain to Frenchmen that they met what they had been doing during the war (fighting in North Africa and Italy) because so little was known of them. Indeed, there are some French (and Polish – who really get ignored in military literature concerning the war) military exploits in WWII that would make fine books and films in English – leclerc’s fighting dash across West Africa to link up with Montgomery, or the Polish II Corps heroic efforts at seizing the “monastary” at Cassino.

  23. Ted,

    “The WW2 analogy is about when the US turned itself away from the War On Those Who Attacked Us to the War On Those Who Haven’t Attacked Us Nearly As Much And So We’re Gonna Call It A Distraction.”

    Well, the U.S. didn’t turn itself away from the Pacific theatre; indeed, it had turned the tide in the Pacific theatre (though whether that was clear at the time is less known) long before it had committed troops in action in Africa. So yes, I do get the argument; however, I do not agree with it, and neither does the historical record.

  24. Ted,

    BTW, how exactly does Eisenhower qualify as a “pussy?”

  25. Ike was a pussy. His promise to “…go to Korea and end the war if elected…” told the world that the place to defeat the U.S. was in the streets of the U.S. because we tolerate politicians who subordinate U.S. interest to getting elected. (Ike then set up the Middle East for the next 50 years when he told Egypt they did not have to uphold the Suez Canal treaty if they could get a better deal.

    There is a black D.I. serving 25 years for consensual sex with subordinates because of a law Clinton signed. Tha same law that Clinton violated.

    But back to this war. In desert warfare, you can either chase the enemy all over, or you can sit on his wells.

    Jenny, you must have been named after a predecessor – “Spinning Jenny.”

  26. Ted,

    BTW, stating that my facts and analysis are irrelevant doesn’t make it so; indeed, what you’ve offered up is a hypotehsis about the nature of those events, and then stated that the hyposthesis is true without one whit of evidence to demonstrate your claim.

    So let’s put the argument on a more solid basis. You claim that there was a turning away from the Pacific theatre in WWII to fight in Europe and Africa. Yet as we have seen, plenty of fighting – and significant American victories – occurred long before the Torch landings. We have also seen that there was great resistance to the Torch landings themselves by the American military (further undermining the notion that they were part of some grand, agreed upon strategic plan) and that they perferred an across the channel attack (indeed, George Marshal wanted a landing in the summer of 1942 – he and many others did not understand why Churchill wanted to dither around in the mediterranean).

    Therefore, we have established that the U.S. did not turn away from the Pacific theatre, and that the operations in North Africa were not nearly as uncontroversial or agreed upon as some have implied when they have stated that they were part of some grand overall strategy. Indeed, the fact that the North African and Italian campaigns were purposefully starved by the American military for men and material (they did not want them “wasted”) demonstrates how much resistance there was to the British plan.

  27. Hoi polloi= ‘the people’ in Greek. It has a negative connotation; think “the proles” or “the lower classes.” Proper usage:

    “Our country club keeps membership fees out to keep hoi polloi out.”

    Walter Willis–
    ‘Spinning Jenny.’ Very clever! Now, can you find fault with my arguments rather than make a funny about my name?

  28. I figure most of the military hated Clinton, for varios reasons. One of the least important was that we had to sit for hours and hours through these pointless sexual harrasment classes, a law which once again, clinton did not have to obey.

    One small point; the pujury thing was not about having sex with a willing accomplice. If I am not mistaken the whole Monica Lewinsky thing was about a lie in respect to a Paula Jone’s sexual harassment case. That may not be the strongest case, but that was the case, the case was never about whether it is wrong to have sex with interns. That is just a red herring, or spin.

  29. Jennifer,

    I am not a Bush-lover. In your world there might be B-lovers and B-haters (isn’t it kind of like Bush worldview of black and white – as opposed to the more nuanced versions of 21st century JFK!), but I am sure there are other varieties as well.

    I am sure Bush lies/lied – he is a politician. Were you getting your panties in a wad when Clinton lied? Don’t bother answering if the question offends you:-)

    Civil liberties – you are spoting off whatever you want about Bush, the anti-Americans (really, many were communists) were rallying last weekend with “death to America”, Bush = Hitler, etc. posters. I didn’t see Ashcroft’s jackbooted thugs anywhere. I have not heard/seen our “hard earned civil liberties” being eroded or rolled back. If anything, the absurd war on drugs is the main enemy of civil liberties. Both parties are complicit on that front. So, I don’t have much of a problem with Bush/Ashcroft.

    Do you have any specific examples of what you are so concerned about? I am not old enough to know about McCarthy or Nixon – except what I have read. I would say Nixon was worse, McC probably bad (not deserving of all the crap he gets). I have my complaints about Bush, but not the hysteria people like you express. So, there, can you now put on the teacher’s hat and list some of your civil liberties that you lost?

  30. Jennifer thanks for the Hoi Polloi explanation.
    Now, who or what was spinning Jenny?

    Or maybe I should find an educational thread or or blog or something.

  31. Zorel-
    In my world there are Bush lovers, Bush haters, and those who are indifferent. And no, I’ll admit I didn’t care about Clinton’s lies. Call me hypocritical if you must, but somehow I think lying about a blowjob is no big deal compared to lying about reasons to go to war. Personally, I wished I was MOnica Lweinsky so that when Ken Starr asked me about my relations with the Presaident I could’ve said “Unless you can prove the President is a minor, that’s none of your goddamned business.”

    I personally have not suffered under Bush, but let’s list a few losses of liberty thanks to him and his buddies:
    -enemy non-combatants: the President has the right to say “Person X is to be detained with no rights, and nobody gets to question this.”
    -PATRIOT Act: too many to list them all, but basically offers far too much power to gov’t agents
    –“free speech zones” far from where the President is
    –it’s getting harder and harder to travel without telling the gov’t who you are and where you’re going. . .

    Wait a minute. Why am I taking the time to respond? I assume your answer will be either a variant of “there are TERRORISTS we need to get, you know!” or “But these bad new gov’t powers will only be used against a teeny-tiny number of people!” or even that my complaints are no big deal.

  32. Jennifer-

    Has anybody put you in front of a firing squad without trial? No? Then clearly things aren’t as bad as North Korea, so you have nothing to complain about.

    Now go sell some stuff on EBay so you can earn a profit and pay taxes to finance our Glorious Leader’s boondoggles.

  33. JENNIFER,

    I can’t keep refuting your arguments because you are not making many. To repeat my point, you excuse (or don’t care) of any and every mistake/error/wrong done by anyone else. But you can’t extend the same benefit of doubt to Bush. So, I tend to think that what you have is a problem of “Bush-hating”.

    Clinton was not distracted ONLY for the few minutes he was ‘orgasming’. After that affair came out, most of his energies had to be used to get away with his ‘improper conduct’ and not to do ‘the job people hired him to do’. If you don’t agree with this, you can look up his own admission as well as those of many of his admirers who felt this is the main reason he couldn’t leave a lasting (positive) legacy.

    About lying about sex – many posters have said that this is not that; I won’t rehash all that.

    For the record, I supported Clinton in ’92 and ’96. Was a Harry Browne supporter in 2000 (I feel foolish about it now, since his foolish stance after 9-11). I am a Bush supporter for the Iraq war and any other war in the middle-east or north korea the neocons might think of.

    Can you think of anything positive about Bush?

  34. We obviously haven’t turned away from Afghanistan. It’s just the Taliban had been kicked out so major military action was over. We also didn’t turn away from Al Qaeda, since we’ve been capturing their people and foiling their plots (with international cooperation) all during the Iraq campaign. We could spend the rest of our days trying to completely finish Al Qaeda (BTW, I think fighting Iraq helps in this quest, but let’s not even get into that), but if we say we won’t move on until we’re done, then we’re paralyzed. That’s the analogy to WW2. People could have said (as some did, and Pat Buchanan still does) that we shouldn’t be battling Germany and Italy, our true fight is with Japan. I think they were wrong then, and they’re wrong now in the same way about Iraq. (The main difference is today’s war is incomparably easier, partly because we’re not waiting for the threat to rise further as it did in the 1930s). That’s why, Jean Bart, I find your facts not too helpful.

    Eisenhower often displayed more caution than many other, dare I say, better generals. There is a place for caution, but he went too far in that direction, and we paid for it. I’ve never been impressed with his strategic abilities–it seems to me he was better at politics than war.

  35. Jennifer,

    Glad that you are an English teacher and not a law prof! As a Clinton supporter, I have to accept he lied AND broke the Law he signed (and swore to uphold and all that stuff).

    You want to tell Ken Starr that Clinton was not a minor? Did you hear the question? It was not if Monica committed a crime in going down on Clinton or if Clinton committed a crime in getting some face/head … let’s not go into that now.

    Civil liberties –

    1. enemy combatants: if we had killed all of these people in Afghanistan or Iraq, would you be OK (since you wouldn’t know about them)? The people like Zach Moussavi (sp?) are being given legal opportunities and he is playing the system. The people released from Gitmo are fatter than they were when they went in. Isn’t like the good old welfare state being run in this country? I wish there was some way they could be “processed” quickly and either released or handed over to the government of the country where we found them. Do you think they would like to go back to Afghanistan?

    Patriot Act – my understanding is Patriot Act gave the law enforcement similar powers that they NOW HAVE in dealing with the drug war. I have repeatedly said the war on drugs is the biggest enemy to our civil liberties. And that is not Bush’s fault only. Do you know if they catch you with $10K cash on you, they can just take your cash from you? I am sure you were just thrilled with that law since it was signed before Bush came into power!

    “free speech” zones are all over the country in college campuses! In Academia where students are supposed to discuss, argue, learn, debate … You don’t need to get in Bush’s face to hold your placard that he is Hitler. He (or Karl Rove) will find out from the evening news. I don’t care if I can’t shout at the President personally – as if it will make a difference. The polls is where I tell him what I think. First denounce the free speech zones in campuses and then hate Bush.

    It is getting harded to travel … Agree. That has been a problem (inconvenience) with Air travel. What do you recommend? Targeting only the ‘potential’ terrorists for closer examination? How? Do nothing?

    How can Bush do nothing? Dick Clarke is all over the TV telling us that Bush didn’t “pre-emptively” do enough to STOP 911. Now that this is the CW, watch for the neocons to go crazy with preemption 🙂

  36. At the risk of driving the two major factions further apart…
    Has it been reasonably established that Bush lied, in the sense of telling the people something which he knew was untrue?

    It is my impression that Bush spoke what he believed was true. He was likely guilty of ignoring information contrary to what he wanted to believe, and giving extra weight to info that fit into his preconceptions. That is poor performance for a person with so much power, but it is not lying.

    If I state that I am a Martian child, born from a mother impregnated by a UFO, because I believe that is fact, I may be an idiot, but not a liar.

    Jennifer: I support your challenge to Walter.
    Walter: I support smartass comments…could you be wittier next time?

    It would be heartening if the ABBs would stick to demonstrating Bush’s flawed reasoning or poor discretion. Too often they mock his bizarre Texas phrasing and his simian resemblance. But then, if the goal is persuasion, ad hominem attacks on the opposition are a valid tool. People are emotional before they are reasonable. Elections and arguments are neither trials nor scientific proceedings. Plus, even judges, juries, and physicists are susceptible to emotion-driven reactions which lead to poor conclusions.

  37. Zorel:
    Not to interrupt your exchange with Jennifer but I would be interested to hear her (and your) views on the issue of U.S. sovereignty, the World Court, the ICC et cetera.

    There’s no such thing, as most of us recognize, as a litmus test for identifying one’s ideology. One can be pro-choice or anti-abortion and still fall on either side of the spectrum. Similarly, a whole host of other contentious issues – from taxes to federalism to affirmative action – will usually tell us little about a person’s political philosophy (we can generalize, of course, but the exceptions disprove the rule).

    However, the closest thing to a litmus test, it seems to me, is the question of American sovereignty and the role of international tribunals and institutions in U.S. law.

    I cannot think of anyone on the Left who opposes such institutions – e.g., the ICC or World Court. Indeed, they welcome America’s involvement in these bodies and view them (generally) as superior to the way we carry out our foreign policy and deal with international issues. Likewise, I cannot think of anyone NOT on the Left who fully embraces such institutions. While they may not oppose our role to the extent that many on the Right do, they certainly do not have the same positive view of them that the Left does.

    It’s on this issue – e.g., the rejection of the ICC or, at least, the demand by the Bush Administration that American soldiers be exempt from its powers – that I think the current W.H. can best be praised for.

    Enough from me.

    SMG

  38. Zorel-
    How do you know Moussaui’s playing the system? All we know about him is what the government’s letting out. In fact, almost nobody accused of terrorism even gets a trial, because the government insists that the evidence is all secret. We MUST hold people without trials because otherwise we’re all in DANGER! Brrrr! How scary! And how convenient for those in authority.

    And who the hell cares about Gitmo guys gaining weight? Jesus Christ on an acid trip! You’re basically saying that as long as you get a lot to eat you have no reason to complain about prison.

    I agree the War on Drugs is bad, but that is a smokescreen non-issue here. Bush wasn’t the one who started it, but he didn’t have to expand its injustices into other spheres of society, as you yourself admit he did.

    And as for Clinton, the law he broke was in lying about a fucking blowjob, which wasn’t anybody’s damned business but his, Monica’s and Hillary’s. Hillary had the right to make his life a living hell over that, but not the legal system of the United States of America. Fuck that comparison, Clinton to Bush. CLinton’s lawbreaking didn’t result in anybody getting killed.

    And yes, free speech zones on campuses are bullshit. Does that somehow excuse the President? I think not.

    By the way, it’s not pre-emption that disturbs most Americans, it’s pre-emptive war. Huge difference.

    It is late and I’m too tired to continue. Perhaps others will weigh in on this in the morning.

  39. One last thing before I head off to slumberland: this link to a story about a few of Bush’s many acts of intimidation against those who dare tell the truth about him. And remember, these are not the hippies and ravers of ad hominem fodder, these are solid government officials and employees.

    http://slate.msn.com/id/2097821/

  40. You are all traitors! Even the hawks are traitors because they aren’t hawkish enough!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put on something slinky and tight. The night is still young! That image alone should be enough punishment for thoreau…

    (How dare he compare me to Gozer!)

  41. Arabs unite to defeat America’s democracy initiative:

    http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=0F845116-0EF2-4C11-90F1A12AF8FC4A45

    This is proof positive that our efforts in Iraq will come to nothing. The Arabs who can agree on nothing are getting it together to defeat America.

    Based on the above news item I have to admit America was wrong (I was wrong too) and we should just leave the Middle East alone and bring the troops home. What a waste.

  42. SteveMG,
    The UN, the World Court, the ICC (whatever it is) would rank even lower on my pecking order than the US government, but I’m an anarchist. At the top of my pecking order would be family.

    Spinifer/ Jennifer,
    I think the hoil polloi being given the right to vote frightened John Adams as much as terrorists do Dubya. I was hoping some historian would have backed me up by now. Of course democracies sow the seed of their own destruction by the poor outvoting the rich, but that’s a different form of terrorism. Call it terrorism in slow motion.

  43. I think you guys have underestimated the biggest terrorist of them all. George Bush.

    Syria is scrambling to get off George’s shit list:

    http://www.instapundit.com/archives/014778.php

    Evidently ole George has Arab governments in general shitting in their pants:

    http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=0F845116-0EF2-4C11-90F1A12AF8FC4A45

    I’d say the Battle of Iraq has been very useful in intimidating states that sponsor terror.

    They just hate his democracy initiative because they are all sitting on volcanoes of popular discontent.

    I like the Bush/Sharon plan for restructuring the Middle East.

  44. jennifer,

    If you take the typical lefty stance of excusing everything everyone else does, and bitching about everything Bush does (under the garb of a civil libertarian) there is no need for me or anyone else to ‘weigh in on this in the morning’.

    Go think about the civil liberties of the school kids who are trapped in the government schools. Don’t blame ‘the feds’ for this – when teachers’ unions demand fed funds, that money comes with whatever requirements.

    While Clinton was getting that “blow job” his razor sharp intellect was momentarily distracted from the job ‘people hired him to do’ – and Hillary is the victim here?!

    good nite!

    Oh, before you correct my spelling, make it ‘good night’

  45. On another post Zorel suggested that my anti-BUsh feeling is due to “PMS” and then had to resort to taking my sarcasm literally and using THAT to my discredit; so I see no need to address anything else said by him. I did, however, stoop down to his level long enough to suggest that his attitude toward women might improve if he experienced a few orgasms that were not self-inflicted.

    Ruthless–
    From what I’ve read, the really misanthropic, anti-hoi polloi Founding Father wasn’t Adams, but Hamilton. “The people, sir, are a great beast!” I know of some historian/apologists who try to excuse such misanthropy by saying “Well, the excesses of The People during the French Revolution scared a lot of people into misanthropy,” but this excuse kind of forgets that the FR happened AFTER our own.

    I supported the World Court; the main reason we stayed out of it, in my opinion, is to save Henry Kissinger from being executed over his complicity in Cambodian mass murders. I like the article “The Onion” wrote about it; the headline was something like “Bush signs ‘America does whatever it wants’ into law.”

    And I realize, by the way, that I made a big mistake in my hoi polloi sample sentence. It should have read: Our country club keeps membership fees high to keep hoi polloi out.”

  46. By the way, I’m not one hundred percent on th eLeft; my views on lawsuits, personal responsibility and public education are pretty right-wing by most standards. I also support the death penalty, and loathe the idea of codifying a healthy lifestyle into law. The main reason I support US involvement in the World Court is because firstly, I don’t believe in the concept of ‘might makes right,’ and secondly, I think it is extremely dangerous for anyone, individually or organizationally, to decide “I need never listen to the opinions of anyone else, and fuck you if you don’t agree with me; I’ve got the bigger army.”

  47. “But even if we get bin Laden or Zawahiri now, it is two years too late. Al Qaeda is a very different organization now. It has had time to adapt. The administration should have finished this job.”

    Why would they keep pursuing targets that were of little value since the organization had changed?

    Wait… Saddam who?

  48. I continue to be surprised about the confusion of facts regarding Clinton and Lewinsky. Someone mentioned sexual harassment, and Jennifer appears to believe that’s in relation to Lewinsky, but it’s not. Clinton was accused of sexual harassment by Paula Jones. There is a law on the books, which Clinton supported and signed, which says that past sexual behavior of the accused is relevant in a sexual harassment trial. Jones’s attorneys wanted to argue that Clinton had a pattern of sexual involvement with employees. The attorneys, in attempting to demonstrate this pattern of behavior by Clinton, asked him questions about his past sexual behavior. Clinton lied under oath. A lot of people seem either to ignore, or be ignorant of, the context in which the whole Lewinsky thing came out.

    Personally, I think serial adultery suggests such a serious character flaw that I have real qualms about such a person being President. Furthermore, adulterers who try to conceal their adultery may be vulnerable to blackmail. Not something I like to see in a powerful public official.

    Disclaimer: None of the above should be taken as an attempt to make any moral comparisons between the Clinton administration and the Bush administration.

  49. It’s wishful thinking that Bush can reform the mid-east, and it’s wishful thinking The World Court can reform anything.

    In both cases I’m reminded of the quote by Marge Schott here in Cinci: “Hitler was okay in the beginning. He just went a little too far.”

  50. SMG,

    I do not support the ICC as it is currently proposed. US should NOT handover its sovereignty to bodies such as the UN in the present circumstances and in its present setup.

    The UN is outdated (has outlived its purpose) and should be reformed or abolished.

    I will believe the motive suggested by jennifer, if the US joins the ICC right after Kissinger’s death! She also thinks Monica wasn’t sexually harassed! There is one thing we all agree on:-)Such is the power of the left’s logic and reasoning! I have already said I was opposed to Clinton’s removal from office.

    As for my “anti-woman” thing and orgasms, I don’t think that will add anything to this site or the discussion.

  51. “As for my “anti-woman” thing and orgasms, I don’t think that will add anything to this site or the discussion.”

    Ah, but your talk about PMS and my panties in a bunch will?

  52. Zorel-
    Wait a minute. You claim that the blowjob was bad because it distracted Clinton from doing his job? So in other words, a sitting president must be celibate for four years? Good God, man. Have you ever listened to yourself?

    If Monica was under the desk as Clinton tried to solve some minute-by-minute crisis, MAYBE you’d have a point. Maybe.

    And I would be interested in seeing you try to actually answer MY ARGUMENTS rather than toss out ad hominem assumptions that I can’t be trusted because I am a teacher. Are you even capable of staying on topic, or is this a deliberate attempt on your part?

  53. And here I thought perjury is perjury is perjury. I guess some felonies are more illegal than others.

  54. “And here I thought perjury is perjury is perjury. I guess some felonies are more illegal than others.”

    You got that right! Lying under oath about selling weapons to a country in the axis of evil is really no big deal. Lying under oath about adultery is COMPLETELY different.

    Semper lie!

  55. Alkie,

    Nonsense. The idea that all lies are created equal shows an utter lack of judgment. You think lying about sex is equal to lying about a war and having thousands of people die as a result? You need to lay off the sauce, sweetie.

    But IF Zorel is correct, then let’s summarize his main points:

    Presidents who have orgasms are betraying their country.

    Inmates who gain weight have no right to complain about the loss of civil liberties.

    If a teacher hates Bush, she can’t possibly have resaon to do so; she must be a partisan fool.

    BUT, if someone hates Clinton, that shows he’s a reasonable guy who sticks to The Facts.

    And, presumably, if Condi Rice wants to refuse to testify before the9-11 commission, that doesn’t mean she’s guilty or trying to hide anything; it just means that. . .um. . .well, after giving all those interviews to Fox News I guess she was just tired, y’know?

  56. Jennifer-

    Like I said in my first post in this thread, there are a lot of debates (e.g. many war-related topics, many of the Clinton scandals) that seem to come down to proxy battles between the 2 big factions of American politics. Sure, a lot of people do in fact hold independent stances on these issues. But when most people line up so predictably in these battles time after time, I have to wonder if we’re really thinking reasonably about the issue at hand, or if we’re just using it as a proxy for the same old GOP vs. Dem clusterfuck.

    Suppose I put this question to people:

    “Which is worse? Lying about a blowjob or lying about a war?” Now, admittedly, the phrasing of that question already has a lot of baggage in it, but that’s sort of the point. Once I get an answer to this question I can predict (with considerably better than 50-50 accuracy) what the person thinks about other issues, such as:

    “Did Bush lie about the war?”

    “Should dimpled chads be counted?”

    “Is Richard Clarke a reliable source?”

    “Is Linda Tripp a reliable source?”

    “Should abortion be legal?”

    Admittedly there are some people who don’t fit either mold. Libertarians frequently tend to not fit either mold, and that’s why I come to this (supposedly) libertarian-oriented forum. But even here a lot of us (myself probably included, alas) tend to fit too easily into one of the 2 molds.

    Damn you 2 parties! Look at the polarization you’ve created!

    P.S. Whoever mocked the Marine Corps slogan while posing as Oliver North, that was in really poor taste. I was with you until you did that at the end of your post.

  57. Jennifer,

    All lies are not created equal, no. If we were talking about lying about an affair, it would be one thing. However, Clinton perjured himself in a court of law – the subject matter is irrelevant. Had he refused to answer the question, he would have shown backbone, but he decided to commit a felony instead. It doesn’t matter if you like him or dislike him – the man committed a felony while in office.

  58. Thoreau–
    ANother way to word your question is: Which is worse–a lie covering up consensual sex or a lie covering up death?

    I actually thought “semper lie” was pretty cute. First thing Ollie North ever said that didn’t make me want to gnash my teeth. But then, I like puns.

    The thing that scares me about the Bushies is their utter opposition to logic and reason. Not to pick on Zorel here, but c’mon: “Clinton’s blowjob was evil because it distracted him from his job?” “Gitmo guys get fat, so all’s well with the world?” “You say Bush is a liar? Well, you’re a teacher! So there! And what about the war on drugs, huh?” And I think they honestly believe this.

    Seriously, I wish I could enter their heads for a few minutes out of an honest desire to understand what sort of mental contortions they have to perform to arrive at such conclusions.

    You know, even back in the days when I was Christian, and honestly believed that non-Christians would go to Hell, I was nonetheless capable of admitting that Christians had done bad things in the past: the Inquisition, the Crusades, et al. And that was when I was a little girl, still sleeping on Mickey Mouse sheets and once in awhile having a nighttime “accident.” Something’s seriously wrong with political dialogue in this country, when a five-year-old bedwetter who fears the ghosts on Scooby-Doo has more intellectual maturity than the adults debating how to run the most powerful country on Earth.

    So if I was capable of saying “This thing I believe is not perfect,” why can’t the Bushies? Maybe because I had nothing to hide.

  59. From Bill Frist, the President of the Senate:

    “…it is one thing for Mr. Clarke to dissemble in front of the media. But if he lied under oath to the United States Congress it is a far more serious matter. As I mentioned, the intelligence committee is seeking to have Mr. Clarke?s previous testimony declassified so as to permit an examination of Mr. Clarke’s two different accounts. Loyalty to any Administration will be no defense if it is found that he has lied before Congress.”

    Absolutely. And this is a very serious charge — possible perjury, to Congress, about a most sensitive and important matter.

    And I think everyone — everyone — should demand the immediate appointment of an independent special prosecutor to examine this matter, and related matters, and determine who was lying, and when. And to this end, the special prosecutor must of course have full powers to subpoena documents and testimony from anyone relating to the matters of which Mr Clarke has spoken.

    I sincerely hope Mr Frist does the right thing and pushes hard for this.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  60. Does anyone remember the Onion article “Japanese Ally Selves With Violently Racist Germany in Well THought Out Plan?

    The title is kind of close to it.

    REally, though, there wasn’t that much cooperation between the Germans and the Japanese.

  61. Back to the Iraq thing.
    Y’all are aware that Afghan tribesmen defeated the Soviet Union, and the Brittish empire 3 times right?

    I wonder in the back of my mind, if the whole Iraq thing might be indeed a distraction, intended for them. So that the billions of fundamentalists would focus their energies on Iraq where we could more easily defeat them. After all, there is as much condemnation over here about us being in that moslem country, but they feel they are going to focus their efforts to save their Arab brothers, before helping out the Afgans who are a different race.

    I don’t know if that holds any water.

    I think Iraq was the right thing to do for the conventional reasons anyways.

  62. Kwais-
    I said Clinton’s LIES didn’t kill anybody. And what he did was not sexual harassment; it was consensual. I agree, he should have just refused to answer any questions.

    See, here’s the difference between me and a Bushie: I supported Clinton, but I am capable of admitting he wasn’t perfect. And when people point out his imperfections I actually answer THE CHARGES, rather than make ad hominem attacks or howling “Don’t get your panties in a wad, you NEA hack!”

    I admired Clinton for dodging Vietnam. Had he been a draft-dodger in WWII, that would be different. And I do NOT buy into the idea that only people who served in the military are capable of leading the country.

    I never said Clinton was perfect, but I would like to know why Bush people can’t just answer the anti-Bush charges, rather than say “Oh, yeah? Well, Clinton SUCKS!” I swear, if Clinton didn’t exist, the Bushies would have to invent him.

  63. Don’t agree with Peachy (and his ilk) but don’t have as much time as he does to write. Let me just say if we had destroyed Hitler before he was truly dangerous to the world, Peachy would be complaining about that too.

    Look, Islamofascism (not just Al Qaeda) is a serious threat, and I don’t think we have to apologize for fighting it just because, at present, it doesn’t have the relative strength of fascism 65 years ago. Clarke is saying we didn’t do enough about uncertain threats before 9/11–I agree, so let’s not let it happen again.

  64. Jennifer,
    I think most Bushies admit he wasn’t perfect. I voted for Bush and I kind of like him, but he has dissapointed me in many ways, but he has also impressed me where I didn’t expect it.

    I don’t think that you have to have been in the military to be president. And even if you dodge the draft, I don’t have a problem with it if it is part of your platform. Basically I don’t think the president beleived that he should folloe the same rules as the rest of the country, and that I have a problem with.

  65. Something’s seriously wrong with political dialogue in this country, when a five-year-old bedwetter who fears the ghosts on Scooby-Doo has more intellectual maturity than the adults debating how to run the most powerful country on Earth.

    That about sums it up.

  66. Jennifer,
    I don’t think that Zorel was being serious, I think he was making a joke about the Iraq distracting us from Afganistan thing.

  67. Jennifer,

    Were you still wearing your ‘English teacher’s hat’ (after pointing out Nick’s grammatical error) when you shared your intellectual observation about Bush fans “lie about everything …” or did you swap it with that of a partisan hack’s (you know, the stereotypical NEA union minion who hates Bush and is indifferent to the children’s education)? Just asking.

    Thoreau,

    Saturday or not, you make good points in general. Keep them coming. I believe that wacking Saddam is a good thing for the US in the long term. As the man (Bush) said, “there are those that are with us, and those against us” (but also a third category that are neither for several reasons). Saddam was/is clearly against us. So I am all for his removal. As for the point that this will inflame the “Arab street”, I think the flammable portion of the Arab street is already burning (don’t need any more sparks), and the rest of the street will hopefully see that they can be better of without the dictators ruling them.

  68. The set-up for this thead and most posters are simply not thinking outside the box like Osama does.
    One exception is M. Simon who said:
    “The source of terrorism is lousy governments.” at March 27, 2004 10:21 PM

    I’ll build on M. Simon’s by saying the source of terrorism is governments. “Lousy governments” is redundant.

    More people, especially we thoughtful people here, need to remove the emotionalism from terrorism as most of us have removed it from certain drugs.

    Just as drugs will always be a problem with many people, so will terrorism. But a huge, huge step toward minimizing both problems is to remove government as part of the so-called solution.

    The US military does not need to be defending oil. It doesn’t defend air, does it? And which is more vital? (I’m sure all here would agree that whatever the EPA does, it does as lousy a job of defending air as Cheney does defending oil.)
    All embassies should be closed forthwith. Troops should come home. More refugees need to come to the US. Ethnic groups in the US should be able to do more to help their ethnic groups in their areas of origin without interference by embargoes, sanctions, and other assorted government bullshit.

    This irrational fear of terrorists reminds me of John Adams’ fear of the hoi polloi. Thomas Jefferson had the balls not to fear them, and the US is as great as it is as a result.

  69. PapayaSF,

    “After Pearl Harbor, the first major U.S. offensive action was to invade Vichy French North Africa and fight the Vichy French, Germans, and Italians, none of whom had anything to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

    You really need to get your chronology in order:

    Battle of Midway: 4-7 June 1942 (it was here that Japanese efforts were checked for the duration of the war; the war in the Pacific essentially changed course here, months prior to the Torch landings)

    Battle of Guadalcanal: 7 August 1942-February 1943

    Torch Landings: 8th November 1942

    The idea (and you imply this) that the U.S. did nothing prior to the Torch landings is a bit of a canard.

    “All, however, were part of the worldwide fascist movement that wanted to destroy the U.S. (among others)…”

    Actually, Vichy France was officially neutral in the war; that was part of the treaty negotiated between Petain and the Nazis. Indeed, Vichy forces did not go and fight the allies until North Africa was actually invaded; the fleet, etc. otherwise stayed in port, at home, etc.

    Also, let me make another important point; America’s military did not want to invade North Africa – they felt it was a fucked up scheme by the British that would drag them away from the real focus of the war – invading mainland Europe, specifically France – and drag them into Britian’s “colonial” designs, and Churchill’s cracpot schemes concerning an Italian invasion that was predicated on protecting those “colonial” designs from air attacks from the Italian mainland. Eisenhower specifically stated during the war and after that the Torch landings were “unsound strategically.” Indeed, the feud over this created such bad blood that members of the American military threatened the British that they would “go home” and fight exclusively in the Pacific. Only FDR was able to stop an open revolt in America’s military against the Torch landings. Anyway, the notion that the Torch landings were some sort of agreed upon strategic design that America’s military was happy with is counter to the historical record; the reason the Torch landings occurred were not strategic in nature, it was political.

  70. BTW, the Eisenhower qoutation can be found at the following:

    J. Kennedy, The Business of War, 1957, p. 261

  71. Ruthless-
    One problem I noticed with your analogy is that John Adams’ fear of hoi polloi was based upon snobbery. For all I dislike Bush and his pals, I’ll admit that their fear of terrorists is based upon something far more substantial than “Eeew, they’re not as fabulous as I am!” I’m guessing what you actually meant is that the fear of terror is being greatly exaggerated, and exploited for political gain.

    But of course the Bushies will insist that this isn’t exploitation, but necessary for the public defense.

    As for Zorel, if his asinine comments were meant to be sarcastic then I apologize, but suggest he be just a tad less subtle. Unless, of course, he is a Machiavellian anti-Bushie who is posing as a pro-Bush idiot to weaken the other side, in which case I say ‘Fight on, brother!’

  72. Once again, JB has to ruin a perfectly good theory by injecting facts….

  73. Ruthless,
    Not all of us paid attention in history class;
    Hoi Polloi?

  74. Clinton, was engaged in his own personal affairs consensual or not his actions affected his immediate personal life more than the future of this country. Opposed to someone who probably gets no sexual attention, still manages to over look terrorist threats through out a period of approximately 9 months prior to 9/11. How do you compare Mr. Don, when your current leader not only lacks basic speach yet also rapes the American peoples check books.

  75. “There is a black D.I. serving 25 years for consensual sex with subordinates because of a law Clinton signed. Tha same law that Clinton violated.

    But back to this war. In desert warfare, you can either chase the enemy all over, or you can sit on his wells.”

    Comments on the above, Jenny & JB?

  76. Walter Wallis,

    If you sit on the wells you are assured defeat; active, mobile pressing campaigns of action are in my mind always superior to “defending the castle.”

  77. Did you not notice the statement that preceded “Spinning Jenny”?

  78. “He said that Arabic-speaking Special Forces officers and CIA officers…were pulled out of Afghanistan”

    Uh, did anybody else notice this? The majority languages spoken in Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari, Pashto is spoken by the Pashtuns, the ethnic group that controlled the Taliban and was allied with Al Queda. No native Afghans speak Arabic.

    Arabic speaking Special Forces on the ground would not have been very helpful in most day-to-day operations. Arabic speakers would have been useful in interrogating captured non-Afghans but that would be about it.

    The fatal conceit in the debate over the allocation of “resources” in the WOT is the idea that these “resources” are fungible. In most cases they are not. Most of the US military is useless for pursing Al Queda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The problems there are small scale and revolve around intelligence and local politics. An armored division would not help much.

    Not sure Flynt Levett would qualify as a Bush fan anyway. All the articles I googled on him are largely critical and he’s a fellow at the Brookings institute.

  79. Ted,

    “That’s why, Jean Bart, I find your facts not too helpful.”

    None of which actually addresses my argument; indeed, I don’t really care the “historical comparison” (though it must be noted that historical comparisons tend be very subjective matters); I do care about your blatant misrepresentation (based largely on absolute ignorance I suspect) of the historical record.

    “Eisenhower often displayed more caution than many other, dare I say, better generals. There is a place for caution, but he went too far in that direction, and we paid for it. I’ve never been impressed with his strategic abilities–it seems to me he was better at politics than war.”

    Something far more specific would have been helpful.

  80. > With Iraq defeated, the Taliban defeated, Libya surrendering, Syria on edge, we’ve made tremendous strides in this area. Iran and North Korea are still the wild-cards.

  81. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we fight 2 wars in parallel, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic? If so, then in WWII one can’t say that we put Japan on the backburner to deal with Germany first.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we fight in both Iraq and Afganistan at the same time? If so, then you can’t say we put Al Quada on the backburner to deal with Saddam first.

    Actually, in WW2, the priority WAS defeating Germany. We fought the war in both theators at the same time, but we definitly put the war on Japan on the “backburner”. The backburner is still a burner . . .

    Note that the B-29 was intended for the war in Europe, but the war ended there before it was deployed (the older B-17s & B-24 were used in Europe). The atomic bomb was probably intended for Germany (that seems to be what Einstein had in mind). The bulk of the US army, particulrarly the best divisions, served in Europe. The smaller USMC & most of the lower quality USA units served against the Japanese. The only area where Japan seemed to get priority was in terms of navel resources like the large aircraft carriers, which makes sense given the general dominance of surface navel warfare in the Atlantic by the Royal Navy, and the strength of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

  82. “I said Clinton’s LIES didn’t kill anybody. And what he did was not sexual harassment; it was consensual.”

    Are you sure his lies didn’t kill anyone? A lot of people died due to Clinton’s actions, typically w/o much to show . . .

    And Clinton did engage in sexual harrassment and even rape.

  83. apple,
    Bush speaks well enough that I understand what he is saying. And as far as raping my checkbook. He is the only polititian of prominence not raping my checkbook. He is trying to give me more tax breaks, so what are you talking about.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.