The Swift Boot

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John Kerry is not running for president in 2008. Kind of like in 2004, but this time it's official.

NEXT: The Emperor, R.I.P.

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  1. That is the best news the Dems have heard since November, 2006.

  2. Or at least since last night.

  3. Why is it that the people who’d make the best presidents are always such inferior candidates? He’s the Democratic Dick Lugar.

    And what are the chances that, of all the potential Kerry supporters who decided to back other candidates, Fox News would pick a guy named “Hassan Nemazee?”

  4. Ever since the Democrats one, FoxNews has pretty much abandoned even the thin ruse that they are anything other than a balls-to-the-wall Republican PAC.

  5. s/one/won/g.

  6. Oh well. I guess now he’ll never have a chance to implement his vision for Iraq. You remember the one I’m talking about, right? The one that was the reason he should have won last time. I mean, I can’t remember a damned thing about it, but a lot of people used to tell me how great it was.

  7. This is news?

  8. I dunno. The more dwarfs, the merrier, I always say.

  9. JKP

    On a blog that posts a story about some moron who was evicted from his van, this is definitely news.

  10. “Oh well. I guess now he’ll never have a chance to implement his vision for Iraq.”

    No big loss. The possibility of saving the situation and avoiding catastrophe through regional diplomacy, internal negotiation among Iraqi factions, and additional stabilization forces from our traditional allies, is long past. Maybe the mission could have been salvaged with a more deft hand than Bush’s three years ago, but it’s not as if these policies, which he advocated throughout the 2004 campaign, would have been relevant to the situation in Iraq today, much less 2009.

  11. I wonder when it’s going to start occuring to the “bad execution” Iraq hawks, who insist that the incompetant Bush screwed up their wonderful plans with his refusal to recognize and respond to the mistakes we were making and the problems that were arising, that the position they are currently arguing makes their stance during the 2004 election invalid. Remind me again, was it Kerry or Bush who kept saying that we were about to turn the corner if we’d just stay the course?

    I’ve seen former hawks make that leap, but not any dead-enders.

  12. The point isn’t “Was it Kerry or Bush who said….”
    The point is that Kerry didn’t say anything on Iraq. Or rather, he said everything. My question remains: What was it that John Kerry said he was going to do about Iraq if elected? My liberal friends say he promised to withdraw us from Iraq. Do you remember that being his position? “Andrew Sullivan Hawks” said that he was going to up the troop levels in Iraq. Do you remember that being his position?
    Those and all points in between were apparently his position, which means there was no position at all.
    John Kerry’s opinion of where we should go in Iraq was either deliberately kept secret, or did not exist at all.
    That is why, despite his mistakes, I supported Bush.

  13. Boy, I guess he just Un-American! He said the last election was stolen and now with his best chance he is going to deprive the US citizen of his leadership. He is gutless and clueless. Hillary does have bigger balls in her hands than he does in his pants.

  14. In the link, it said he thanked his supporters, presumably those who wanted him to run again. I guess that would be the RNC.

  15. “Hillary does have bigger balls in her hands than he [Kerry] does in his pants.”

    And she squeezes them whenever Slick Willie gets out of line. That’ll be the best part of watching this campaign.

  16. John Kerry’s opinion of where we should go in Iraq was either deliberately kept secret, or did not exist at all.
    That is why, despite his mistakes, I supported Bush.

    FDR’s opinion of what we should do in Europe with the Jews was either deliberately kept secret, or did not exist at all. That is why, despite his mistakes, I supported Hitler.

    GODWIN!

  17. I don’t know why my repeating it is going to do any more good than Kerry repeating it, but the answet to Dave’s question is “regional diplomacy, internal negotiation among Iraqi factions, and additional stabilization forces from our traditional allies.”

    Now you say, “Huh wuzza? But what did Kerry say we should do about Iraq?”

    OPUS,

    “He said the last election was stolen” Where? I double dog dare you to back up that assertion, OPUS. A link. A quote. Anything. Unless you are POS liar.

    Gee, I hope OPUS doesn’t post a bunch of links and quotes that prove me wrong. Because then I’d look like a real idiot. OPUS, I think you’re a POS liar. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

    chirp chirp

    (You know, one of these day, that tactic for calling out bullshitting shills like OPUS is going to get me in trouble. But not today.)

  18. “That is why, despite his mistakes, I supported Bush.”

    People who support pure incompetence over someone with whom they disagree are falling prey to pure ideology. I hope you’ve learned that competence means more than ideology.

  19. OPUS’ link shows lots of other people saying the election was stolen.

    It doesn’t include anything saying Kerry thought the election was stolen.

  20. NoStar made me laugh.

  21. Oh, wait, there are lots of blind quotes from people saying Kerry told them he thought the election was stolen.

    Hey, OPUS, in an interview I did with your Mom, she said you like it when she [edited for inapporpirate content].

  22. Joe-

    I’ve often heard this answer. “Diplomacy!”. Diplomacy for what? Diplomacy is a tool or a tactic, not a course of action. What concessions were we to make, whose interests were we to forward with diplomacy? Were the jihadists to be allowed to establish a Taliban state in 1/3 of the country in exchange for “peace”? Would Iran be allowed to rule the Shia south? I don’t know, and neither does anybody else. This is like a general insisting that he should be chosen to lead the army because his plan is to use weapons, tactics, and strategy to win. Yeah, no shit. But specifically what? Again, if Kerry knew what direction he wanted to take that, he wasn’t telling the voters. Saying “My plan is to use diplomacy” is exactly as meaningful as saying “My plan is to have a great plan”.

    Oh yes, I had forgotten about the “additional stabilization forces from our traditional allies”. I don’t know if you noticed, but the French announced they wouldn’t be sending any troops no matter who was elected. The Brits were already there with us, and their people weren’t looking to send more. The UN had pulled out as soon as their HQ was attacked. Saudi troops would have collaborated with the Jihadists and made us weaker, the smaller militaries of the EU didn’t have much they could do for us, and I’m pretty sure Kerry didn’t mean he’d bring in Israeli troops sooo….

    But maybe we could have all sat at a table and pointed out that God Loves All His Children and our enemies would have seen that we’re really all the same deep down inside. But Bushy Bush Bush was a Bush Bush. And that’s all the argument anybody really needs, apparently.

  23. Lamar-

    Blind ideology had nothing to do with it. It was a choice between a leader with a poorly executed plan to defeat those who consider themselves our mortal enemies (we keep forgetting that one), vs a leader who didn’t seem sure that he was interested in confronting them at all.

  24. “…a story about some moron who was evicted from his van, this is definitely news.”

    lol – John Kerry lives in Indiana 🙂

  25. Joe-

    I should probably point out that I’m not including you in the “Bushy Bush Bush is a Bush Bush” crowd. Your arguments have been considerably more lucid than that. That was the tone of the anti-war base at the time of the election, however.
    Reminds me of a few months back, when I co-worker was trying to tell me how Bush blew up the World Trade Center. He was explaining how the steel beams couldn’t have melted in that fire so it was all a lie, and I explained that they didn’t actually melt, but got hot enough to weaken and snap. Upon which he immediately started in with “Bush is so corrupt and his buddies at Halliburton he’s just a rich frat boy blah blah blah”. Well in that case, good argument.

  26. “Diplomacy for what?”

    To get them to cease supporting forces working to destablize the country and attacking American troops, and to use their influence on forces within Iraq to bring about a political solution.

    “What concessions were we to make?” I’m not sure how much negotiating you’ve done, but that’s not generally something you announce beforehand.

    As for the rest, you certainly have a thoroughly developed critique for someone who claimed that no plan was ever put on the table to critique. I could trounce you on the merits of that plan, but for now, I’m just going to bask in my success in getting you to contradict yourself and admit that, gee willikers, Kerry really did have a plan.

    “But Bushy Bush Bush was a Bush Bush.” Yes, he was. And as Kerry and every other Democrat predicted, he lost the war you claim to believe in so strongly. You had a chance to replace an incompetant commander with someone who, at a minimum, might have done better, and you turned it down.

    Personally, I don’t think any president could have salvaged this idiotic debacle, but those pointing the finger at Bush’s execution of it are arguing that it could have been – indeed, that it still can be – saved, with better leadership more attuned to what was happening in that country.

    Your “general” metaphor ignores one crucial aspect – there already is a general in command, and he’s manifestly unfit for the job, so much so that he’s likely to lose the war. You know what you do when another general, who has a well-developed critique of how the war has been fought, claims he can do a better job? You put him in charge. At least, that’s what you do if you value winning over loyalty to the incumbent.

    Watching a general lose again and again IS all the argument anybody needs to replace him with the nearest available commander. At least, anybody who’s more interested in the troops and the battle than in keeping his guy in command.

  27. RICHARDSON RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT: WHAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!

    What wonderful news! Sorry to say, but Hillary, Obama, John Edwards, Kerry,
    et alia, seem like uninspiring recycled hacks (or in Obama’s case: great
    person, just inexperienced). To me, Bill Richardson running for President is
    far more interesting than any of the other announced candidates put together!

    I have been profoundly impressed with William Blaine Richardson III for 29
    years. I first met him in 1978 when he worked for Senator George McGovern’s
    Foreign Relations Committee; he had a full beard as well as one of the most
    endearingly messy desks on Capitol Hill, a place notorious for clean desks.

    Take the time to read Richardson’s biography: Between Two Worlds.

    At the onset, I must clarify that my concerns are almost entirely
    international (for 3 years, I have been developing a UN Resolution for the UN
    General Assembly to create a new United Nations Undersecretary General for
    Nutrition and Consumer Protection; those who are curious can visit my
    groundwork website for United Nations Undersecretary General for Nutrition).

    I recently proposed to Richardson that he and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-
    Moon should go together to the Sudan to convince President Al-Bashir to end
    the genocide, bring a lasting Peace to Darfur, and perhaps accept the
    presence of UN troops in Darfur.

    No other Presidential candidate even comes close to the level of
    international diplomatic experience and abilities evidenced by Bill
    Richardson.

    His lengthy international resume comprise a real breath of fresh air in USA’s
    politics, especially after the inanities and ghastly absurdities evidenced
    thus far by Bush/Cheney/Halliburton/Rumsfeld and the reign of corporate-
    manipulated klepto-plutocrats.

    Most critics would clearly point to the Pentagon’s budget and the Pentagon’s
    actions as proof of this systemic erosion of America’s good sense.

    However, this is equally evident in the malfunctioning of the Food and Drug
    Administration, which finally has a Commissioner, Andrew Von Eschenbach, M.D.
    The FDA still rushes through approval for harmful food additive chemicals at
    the request of multinational corporations, the health of Americans and the
    rest of the world be damned and ignored.

    The most egregious of these chemicals is aspartame, the neurotoxic artificial
    sweetener that is metabolized as methanol, formaldehyde, and
    diketopiperazine, which was forced through the FDA in 1981 by then-CEO of
    G.D. Searle, Donald Rumsfeld, even though the Pentagon had already considered
    Aspartame as a biochemical weapon, and even though the FDA, to its credit,
    had turned down the approval for Aspartame for 16 years, since its discovery
    in 1966.

    Richardson believes that the states must take back their powers in these
    realms, in order to protect the health of the citizens of each state. This is
    precisely what is about to occur in the New Mexico Legislature with
    legislation in both chambers to ban Aspartame, which Governor Richardson has
    quietly encouraged. These bills are sponsored by NM Senator Gerald Ortiz y
    Pino, an Albuquerque Democrat, and Representative Irvin Harrison, a Navajo
    Democrat from Gallup, New Mexico.

    In the larger international scheme of things, the average America, may have
    forgotten what diplomacy and non-military interventions in the processes of
    governments are all about, but I can assure you that none of the heads of
    state and world leaders in other nations have forgotten how Diplomacy
    actually works quite well.

    The incontrovertible truth is that the USA direly needs an internationalist
    Democrat, if there will ever be any hope of rebuilding the USA’s
    international image and influence, in which we are rapidly and massively
    losing traction to China, especially in Africa and in South America.

    How else will we be able to recover from the rampaging klepto-plutocrats
    running this Administration and what they are perpetuating domestically and
    internationally, by continuing to gouge the USA’s expenditures into more
    weapons, more troop deployment, more senseless grudge matches, and another
    $160 billion to waste in Iraq and in Afghanistan, regardless of how
    squandering more billions in Iraq and Afghanistan inexorably depletes
    America’s internal economies, the inner cities, the budgets for education,
    Universities, schools, social services, and research; and regardless of the
    loss of markets and esteem for the USA in Africa, Europe, Asia, and South
    America due to these depravities and depredations?

    Not long ago, Lech Walesa visited the Armand Hammer United World College of
    the American West in New Mexico. This Nobel Peace Laureate and former
    President of Poland observed sadly that despite its uncontested military
    powers, the USA has far less real political,economic, and moral power than we
    Americans perceived us as having over the past two or three decades. He
    unequivocally blamed the present administration for precipitating this loss
    of political, economic, and moral power.

    However, I don’t really believe that the USA is doomed to suffer an
    inevitable descent into a lamentable status as a corporate-militarized police
    state/3rd world economy, glutted on more and more wasted expenditures for the
    corporate hogs feeding at the public trough; if such a descent were totally
    inevitable, it would be a waste of time and effort for anyone to even try to
    countermand it.

    Bill Richardson will help to bring about such a recovery through the course
    of the candidates’ dialogue, if given the chance he will get as a very viable
    presidential candidate. Even if he is edged out, strategists and pundits and
    the other candidates must recognize that he will also make a great Vice
    Presidential candidate. In addition to his abilities, intellect, charismatic
    personality, and great resume, one more reason is clearly that he will pull
    in a lot of Hispanic voters, and other minority voters, in all 50 states.

    New Mexicans have seen him in action as Governor for the past four years, and
    he was recently re-elected to a second term with the largest majority in New
    Mexico’s history, almost 70%!

    I welcome his presence in this ostensibly crowded field of Democratic
    candidates, above all because Richardson will never be one to perpetuate the
    kind of international idiocy and unavoidable resultant decline, both
    internally and internationally, from which we have suffered from during the
    past 6 years. We should help him win by talking with our friends, family, and
    colleagues in other states, and in other nations….

    Podemos todo via esperar, que non? (We can always hope, eh?)

    Stephen Fox
    Santa Fe New Mexico
    stephen@santafefineart.com
    217 W. Water St.
    Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

  28. Joe-

    “To get them to cease supporting forces working to destablize the country and attacking American troops, and to use their influence on forces within Iraq to bring about a political solution.”

    Or what? Or Kerry was going to bomb them too? Fat chance. You might have noticed that Syria and Iran aren’t interested in a stable Iraq. What was Kerry going to give them that would make is so? Ohh, I see:

    ” I’m not sure how much negotiating you’ve done, but that’s not generally something you announce beforehand.”

    So Kerry should have been elected because he knows the secret to making everyone do what we wanted, but he couldn’t say it back then. Oh man, I should have voted for him. Well, now that the election is over, he can spill the beans, right? What was the magical path that he couldn’t announce to us back then?

    “I’m just going to bask in my success in getting you to contradict yourself and admit that, gee willikers, Kerry really did have a plan.”

    WHICH WAS WHAT!??!?!?! No matter how many times you keep saying he had one, I’ve never heard it, you’ve never heard it, and nobody else has ever heard it. Unless you call claiming that he has a plan to be a plan. I didn’t

    “You had a chance to replace an incompetant commander with someone who, at a minimum, might have done better, and you turned it down.”

    Or someone who, at minimum, wasn’t interested in all this distasteful “war on terror” stuff, and wanted to just stop it all so he could get back to talking about “Tax cuts for the rich” and other Dem fare.

    “You know what you do when another general, who has a well-developed critique of how the war has been fought, claims he can do a better job? You put him in charge. At least, that’s what you do if you value winning over loyalty to the incumbent.”

    Really? So being critical of the guy in charge is now qualification to be in charge? You left out the part where that general with the well developed critique of the other guy actually has some ideas of his own. So in that respect, your analogy is exactly like the real situation.

  29. Yo, Stephen Fox, please place the political ads elsewhere.

  30. Say it ain’t so Joe. Imagine yourself a voter in one of our “traditional allies” and your head of state wants to put “stablization forces” into Bush’s cockup. I’m betting you’d
    say “Hell, no” just like many of us say to this ridiculous “surge” request. And, like Dave says, can’t these magic diplomacy cards be revealed now so scholars can evaluate how much differently things may have turned out if
    only 150,000 Ohioans had been in on the secret.

  31. In 2004, I was running for president before I was not running for president. This time, I’m not running for president before I run for president. Or not.

  32. I would like to formally anounce my intention to not run for President of the United States in 2008.

  33. I’m for diplomacy too, and a responsible government, and decent wages, and fair trade, and a level plying field, and opportunity, and The American Dream; vote for me!

    Anyway, had I been in a state that mattered I would have voted for Kerry. The president embodies most of what I can’t stomach in a politician. Socialy conservative religious loon, big government-big spender, disastrously adventurous foreign policy. Could we do worse? Meh … not likely.

  34. And I would like to formally announce my intentions not to apply for any White House intern positions, not now and certainly not after 2008.

  35. IMHO, a no-plan is infinitely better than a plan to make a bad situation infinitely worse.

  36. “Or what?” Or Iraq continues to slide into the chaos of a failed state. As we learned this past week, Iran was so concerned about this that they approached us – let me repeat that, THEY APPROACHED US – in 2003 offering to use their position to help stabilize Iraq, and we turned them down. So much for “why would Iran want to stabilize Iraq?” It was, and remains, in their interest to do so, and it is only the even-worse prospect of a hostile power camped on their border (us, or Al Qaeda) that has made them decide that backing Shiite militias and fostering chaos was the least bad choice.

    “WHICH WAS WHAT!??!?!?!”

    OK, I’ll cut and paste what I’ve already written twice, just for you, because you’re so “special.”

    “”regional diplomacy, internal negotiation among Iraqi factions, and additional stabilization forces from our traditional allies.”

    “Or someone who, at minimum, wasn’t interested in all this distasteful “war on terror” stuff”

    God, you’re a tool. The fact that you need to fall back on such an idiotic talking point is pretty sad.

    “So being critical of the guy in charge is now qualification to be in charge?” That depends on how accurate the criticisms are, and how incompetent the guy in charge is. As even the war’s few remaining supporters now acknowledge, a shaved lemur would have done a better job than Bush. Fortunately, we had the option of an experienced Senator and former combat officer.

    But hey, he looked French. And now the war is lost. Good going.

  37. creech,

    As the recent story about THE IRANIANS APPROACHING US THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO, OFFERING TO HELP STABLIZE IRAQ demonstrates, these “magical diplomacy cards” (actually pretty obvious observations about the interests of the other countries in the region) are on the table.

    Anyone want to pretend that TAKING THE IRANIANS UP ON THE OFFER THEY APPROACHED US WITH TO USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO STABILIZE IRAQ back in 2003 would have been a bad idea?

  38. But hey, he looked French.

    joe,

    You may be frustrated at the moment, but please restrain yourself. There is no need to insult the French.

  39. BTW, Dave, this mysterious plan was on the front of Kerry’s home page throughout the 2004 campaign, and Kerry mentioned it on a daily basis throughout the summer and fall.

    But on the other hand, “Kerry doesn’t have a plan” was a much-repeated talking point put out by the Bush campaign, and you clearly excel at taking their word for what their opponents believe.

    “…wasn’t interested in all this distasteful “war on terror” stuff.” Hook, line, and sinker. Fortunately for our country, the number of suckers who fall for this line has plunged over the past three years. Unfortunately, the percent of voters who fell for it during the presidential election was 51%.

  40. Hmm. For some reason I suddenly have the intense desire to vote for anybody but Bill Richardson.

  41. Who is this fuck shilling for Bill Richardson?
    The thread is about John KERRY.
    Look Pal, this is a libertarian blog’s comments and Gov Bill Richardson wants to make cockfighting illegal.

  42. Just so I’m clear, when you refer to “cockfighting,” you mean…?

  43. Single Issue Voter has my nomination for Commentor of the Month.

  44. Joe,
    I’m sorry, I forget this blog’s comments regulars (punctuation nazis-correct apostrophe placement?) consider expanding the power of the State to sanction/enforce more private domestic/sexual arrangments to be a negative rights issue. I mean cockfighting as a sporting contset between gamefowl as entertainment for their “companion humans” and other spectators- not some activity permitted in San Francisco bars and clubs where smoking has been prohibited.Further clarification,by smoking I refer to the inhalation of burning tobacco particulates and vapors and not………..

  45. “a sporting contset between gamefowl as entertainment for their “companion humans” and other spectators”

    C’mon, you can do a little better than that. It’s a couple of freakishly bred and trained roosters trying to kill each other. Yer funny, Single Issue Voter.

  46. But why the otherwise insightful question “Why is it that the people who’d make the best presidents are always such inferior candidates?” in a John Kerry thread, of all places?

  47. Did anybody see the picture of that fighting cock in USA Today? Apparently, they tie blades to their legs so they’ll do maximum damage – King of Scotland style – to their foes.

  48. The roosters are not “trained to fight”-it is natural behavior to them.
    The gaffs/knives speed up the process. They will fight to the death without them but it takes longer.

  49. Cockfighter is a hell of a good book.

    Also, the cockfighting episode of Seinfeld was pretty funny.

    So I’m with Single Issue Voter.

  50. joe,

    You are being just as vague as Kerry was. That’s the point.

  51. Kerry’s statements about his diplomacy and politics-based plan were just as detailed as Bush’s statements about his combat-based plan.

    Asking for details about the negotiations is like asking about where brigades are going to be deployed, yet nobody insisted that Bush “had no plan” because he didn’t do the latter.

    The country was, just barely, more in the mood for war talk.

  52. Anyone want to pretend that TAKING THE IRANIANS UP ON THE OFFER THEY APPROACHED US WITH TO USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO STABILIZE IRAQ back in 2003 would have been a bad idea?

    Isn’t one of our problems now that Iran is trying to stabilize Iraq, in a manner of speaking?

  53. Asking for details about the negotiations is like asking about where brigades are going to be deployed, yet nobody insisted that Bush “had no plan” because he didn’t do the latter.

    Except that unlike divulging operational details, suggesting what offers could be made wouldn’t generally sabotage such things. In fact, saying “I would approach country X if they would be willing to Y, unlike my opponent,” would give officials from country X the opportunity to indicate that they like the idea.

    On the other hand, as to such things as getting “additional stabilization forces from our traditional allies”, France, Germany, and other countries had already indicated by 2004 that they had no interest in providing troops for Iraq, no matter what president the US elected.

  54. David: You are in denial. You don’t like Kerry’s politics, so you voted for an incompetent version of your politics. I’d like to think people like you learned a lesson, but alas, you are defending your choice of ideology over competence.

    You are anti-diplomacy, which is just more ideological slop on the table. Did you see Wesley Clark’s response to Sean Hannity on this same issue? Clark basically said that he went to Milosevic to talk, and told him that he was going to bomb the hell out of him. Hannity couldn’t talk, I’m sure he had a chub at the thought of bombing people.

    Feel free to make more justifications, defenses, trial balloons and spins on your politics. You voted for Bush because you believe in his ideology, and you couldn’t care less at how incompetent he is. Well done, David.

  55. Well done, Lamar. You are completely wrong.

    I oppose a lot of Bush’s ideology. Possibly even the majority of it. I voted for him because he and his party were willing to be awake to the fact that we are in a war with the Islamists, like it or not, and the other candidate and party acted and continue to act like they just want to pretend this will all go away.

    If i’m in denial, perhaps you can enlighten me in the way that Joe could not.
    What did John Kerry want to do with Iraq?
    We’ve established that “diplomacy” is a method, not a course of action, so what would that diplomacy be trying to accomplish? What parts of our goals would we be willing to surrender, and what parts of the Islamist’s/Baathist’s/Shia Militia’s goals should we have been willing to allow them to implement? Yeah, I know. It’s secret. But it would have been great because Kerry said so. So scratch that as an argument.
    We’ve established that the “allies” Kerry was touting would not be showing up. So scratch that as an argument.
    The newest from Joe is that Bush is an idiot because Iran, our enemy who is building nukes and threatens to destroy us on a weekly basis, just wanted to help and Bush turned them down. But they just wanted to help!! Nobody believes that. Nobody. You don’t believe it, Joe doesn’t believe it, George Bush doesn’t believe it, and the people who rule Iran sure as hell don’t believe it. Pardon me if I don’t see Bush as the idiot in this picture.

  56. “Except that unlike divulging operational details, suggesting what offers could be made wouldn’t generally sabotage such things.”

    Damn, I really hope Eric the .5b tries to buy something from me someday! 😉

    I’ve told Dave three times already that Kerry was going to convene a summit of regional and internal powers to work out a settlement, and he continues to stick his fingers in his ears and say “What?”

    “What parts of our goals would we be willing to surrender…” Permanent bases is Iraq, and military aggression against its neighbors.

    “…and what parts of the Islamist’s/Baathist’s/Shia Militia’s goals should we have been willing to allow them to implement?” I’ve got a crazy idea – let’s ask them, and see what we can live with in exchange for what we want. This is what’s called “negotiation.” But in general, the removal of American forces from Iraqi territory and support for a regime willing to foreswear aggression against those neighbors.

    “We’ve established that the “allies” Kerry was touting would not be showing up.” No, you’ve asserted that. We never even tried. I hope I don’t shatter too much of your world when I say this, but the opening statement a negotiating partner makes does not always convey his bottom line. People who don’t make ignorance of negotiationa a virtue already know this.

    “Iran, our enemy who is building nukes and threatens to destroy us on a weekly basis, just wanted to help…” They didn’t want to “help,” you twit, they wanted to secure their own interests, and were willing to reach an agreement with us in order to do so. You really think negotiation is a process of offering concessions out of altruism, don’t you?

    “Pardon me if I don’t see Bush as the idiot in this picture.”

    That’s fine – we’ve already got one idiot to look at.

  57. Out of curiosity, Dave, do you make a habit of “establishing” things by taking French people’s word for it?

    Anyway, all of this misses the most important point – plans seldom survive first contact with the enemy. Most of what goes on is improvisation based on seeing what’s happening, formulating a response, and acting accordingly. George Bush spent two years denying there was an insurgency, and four insisting that we were turning the corner by staying the course.

    No reasonable person can have any doubt that Kerry would have done a better job acknowledging and responding to what was actually happening on the ground in Iraq. Lord knows he couldn’t have done any worse.

    Everyone in the ballpark knew your starting pitcher was getting shelled by the third inning, but you kept letting the runs pile up rather than admit he’s a lousy pitcher. You had your chance to yank him for a reliever, and you left him in.

    We have no way of knowing for certain whether your long reliever would have done a better job, but we do know for certain that you left him in, and now we’re down several runs in the ninth.

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