Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137

    Question for the anti-pre-emptive policy folks...

    Here is the text from an op-ed from Tony Blankley in yesterday's Washington Times. It basically questions Mr. Kerry's take on the pre-emption policy, but i think it also poses a great hypothetical to anyone who has questioned whether or not we should have gone to Iraq or not based on the WMD intelligence info.

    T-

    "Consider the following hypothetical situation. In September 2005, the president is informed by his CIA director that they have concluded that there is a one in two chance that North Korea will transfer five nuclear bombs to Osama bin Laden within the next month, and that, after the transfer, despite our best efforts, the CIA judges that it is more likely than not that bin Ladenwill succeedin detonating at least one of themina major American city, resulting in 1 million to 3 million deaths. Should the president consider taking pre-emptive military action? And let's assume that the president is named John Kerry.

    Returning from the hypothetical to the current reality, Mr. Kerry and the Democrats have severely chastised President Bush for advocating and practicing pre-emptive war. In a major foreign policy address at Georgetown University last year, Mr. Kerry said that the Bush administration relies "unwisely on the threat of military pre-emption against terrorist organizations." Two months ago at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry accused Mr. Bush of being "enthralled by the idea of pre-emption and American military might." Virtually across the board, the Democratic Party's national leadership has condemned Mr. Bush's September 2002 National Security Strategy Document, which embraces (where justified) pre-emptive military action.

    Also, not only Mr. Kerry and the Democrats, but most of the major media have harshly criticized the president for going to war in Iraq without having proof beyond a doubt that Iraq then had weapons of mass destruction. And yet, I would hope that a notional President Kerry confronted with the hypothetical described at the beginning of this column would not stand by his and his party's purported policy on pre-emption and certainty.

    It makes fine campaign rhetoric to proclaim that he will never "take America into war" without absolutely certain intelligence and never do it unilaterally or pre-emptively. But, as Henry Kissinger has written, the advantage that critics after the event have over statesmen is that statesmen must act with inadequate information within an inadequate time. If Mr. Kerry is president in September 2005, according to the above hypothetical, even if he has busily been reforming the CIA, he would be faced with making a command decision with ambiguous intelligence assessments. Would he be willing to take a one in two bet on the lives of millions of American citizens? Those odds are pretty good if you are betting on a horse. They stink if you are betting on your constitutional duty to protect Americans from foreign attack and slaughter.

    Mr. Kerry appears to be an intelligent, rational person. Surely he would at least consider pre-emptive action on ambiguous information in the hypothetical case cited. Unless he is prepared to categorically reject such considerations, he has no principled difference with Mr. Bush. His differences with the president are merely ones of case-by-case judgment calls and implementing skills.

    It would be good if sometime during the election campaign Mr. Kerry was confronted with such a proposition. After all, this election campaign is going to be about more than individuals; it will be about first principles of governance in the age of terrorism. We know Mr. Bush's first principles they are written by his war decisions over the last three years. The Democratic contender's principles can only be written in his words. The media should compel maximum precision in those words over the next nine months.

    But regarding Mr. Bush's Iraq diplomacy, Mr. Kerry has already provided some specific words at his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in December. They are revealing. In the question period after the speech, a Newsweek reporter asked whether Mr. Kerry, who faulted the president's diplomacy, could have done a better job.

    "Yes. Absolutely. Let me explain," Mr. Kerry said. The senator went on to say: "Now at the time, [the French and Germans] were pushing for a second vote. But there was a way through that path. I don't think it took a lot of skill or analysis to understand that the politics of their populations at that time were not ready to move. And any president ought to understand the politics of other people's electorates." He then suggested we could isolate the French and German governments by co-operating with their delays for a little while.

    Was Mr. Kerry being naive or disingenuous with that answer? Surely he knew that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had himself whipped up anti-American fervor to win his election. And France's President Jacques Chirac riding a wave of anti-Americanism out of his own corruption scandals had already admitted the Iraqi WMD threat but categorically rejected an armed response. This was great domestic politics for both those European leaders. Mr. Kerry would have held American security hostage to fanatically anti-American French and German public opinion being cheered on by their cynically calculating leaders.

    Mr. Kerry's portentously delivered criticisms of Mr. Bush's foreign policy sound credible to the credulous listener. But when one looks closely, his foreign policy strategies seem to be well described by Blanche DuBois' last words in the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire": "Who ever you are I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

  2. #2
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,964
    I'll just answer the wildly hypothetical situation briefly.

    If we know nukes are being shipped from North Korea, then we also know they have many more in addition to the few they are willing to part with, or else they wouldn't get rid of them.

    So, the argument becomes attack a nuclear power, who will almost assuredly launch nukes at us in defense, in order to attempt to head off a possible nuke strike by a third party.

    To me, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to attack someone who will surely hit back, and is going to be highly more likely to be able to strike and kill more people as a result of the conflict you produce, than the worst case possibility of not attacking.

    And, if you will allow my hypothetical since I allowed the one you mention, we wouldn't be still worried about Osama had we put the efforts going after him, something that would not be pre-emptive since he struck first, rather than launching a needless war on Iraq.

    Oh, and it is valid to critisize Bush, even if you do feel pre-emption could be valid on a case by case basis if he made the wrong call in this case. Sure, it is a tough thing to decide and leaders can make wrong calls. But, as citizens, we deserve to have people in power we feel are more likely to make the right calls, and if making a wrong call on something this big isn't an indication that Bush is not that man, I don't know what would be.

  3. #3
    JSE
    JSE is offline
    MIA - Until Rich is back! JSE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Denial
    Posts
    1,929
    "And, if you will allow my hypothetical since I allowed the one you mention, we wouldn't be still worried about Osama had we put the efforts going after him, something that would not be pre-emptive since he struck first, rather than launching a needless war on Iraq."

    The fact is, we are still going after him. We still have a bunch of troops there. A some people tend to forget that.

    "Oh, and it is valid to critisize Bush, even if you do feel pre-emption could be valid on a case by case basis if he made the wrong call in this case. Sure, it is a tough thing to decide and leaders can make wrong calls. But, as citizens, we deserve to have people in power we feel are more likely to make the right calls, and if making a wrong call on something this big isn't an indication that Bush is not that man, I don't know what would be."

    I guess that's where the rub is. Myself and many others don't think Bush made the wrong call reagardless of the whole WMD issue. Just because we have not found WMD yet does not mean we should not have gone into Iraq. The years of violating UN resolutions, the gasing of his own people, killing anyone who disagreed with him, etc, etc. We should have gone in way before we did. Despite the what the media tells us and the crap the liberals are feeding peope, Iraq is a better place now. It's people despite what you see on TV are happy we came and are gratefull and happy Husseinis gone. Liberals don't want us to here this and the media refuses to show it. Liberal can ***** all day about the fact that we have not found WMD. We did the right thing.

    "To me, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to attack someone who will surely hit back, and is going to be highly more likely to be able to strike and kill more people as a result of the conflict you produce, than the worst case possibility of not attacking."


    Let's look at this in today's environment with the issues of today (Terrorism, Iraq, Osama, etc). So you would prefer we just sit back and take it. Damn man, what's wrong with you? How many US citizens have to die for no reason before you feel we should fight back? 1000? 100,000? 1,000,000? I don't look at numbers so much. I look at evil. Hussein and Osama and all terrorist are evil, period. they deserved what they get. Go tell a family member of someone who died in the 9/11 attacks that there son, daughter, wife, husband, family member was not important enough to do something about terrorism.

    JSE

  4. #4
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    To me, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to attack someone who will surely hit back, and is going to be highly more likely to be able to strike and kill more people as a result of the conflict you produce, than the worst case possibility of not attacking.
    I'd agree with that. I think thats why you're not seeing us go into N Korea now. Obviously you're going to size up your opponent before you throw the proverbial first punch. Iraq was deemed someone we could push around without too much trouble. You have to pick your fights. It lends itself to a bit of a schizophrenic foriegn policy, but its the reality of foreign policy today.

    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    And, if you will allow my hypothetical since I allowed the one you mention, we wouldn't be still worried about Osama had we put the efforts going after him, something that would not be pre-emptive since he struck first, rather than launching a needless war on Iraq.
    I'd agree with this too. I've never been a fan of going into Iraq. Didn't really think there was a need and I've not really considered them a threat, no matter what the intelligence said. That being said, I did think we had the authority to go in there based on the several UN resolutions passed by the international community. I'd have really liked to have seen more multilateral support, but we didn't get it from our bigger, more important "allies". Oh well. No skin off my back. What I absolutely detest hearing today is that it appears that the current crop of democratic hopefuls would have us pull out of Iraq without finishing the job. Kerry's history on this is very clear. That is something that we, as a country, absolutely cannot afford to do. Regardless of whether we can agree on should we have or shouldn't we have gone into Iraq, i think we all need to be steadfast in insisting that we finish the job we went in there to do. I don't see Kerry or Edwards following through on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    Oh, and it is valid to critisize Bush, even if you do feel pre-emption could be valid on a case by case basis if he made the wrong call in this case. Sure, it is a tough thing to decide and leaders can make wrong calls. But, as citizens, we deserve to have people in power we feel are more likely to make the right calls, and if making a wrong call on something this big isn't an indication that Bush is not that man, I don't know what would be.
    I don't think its fair criticize Bush for making the "wrong call" if you're not also going to criticize every other person in the world that was duped by the same intelligence data and particularly those democratic senators who voted IN FAVOR of going into Iraq on that same data. You can fairly question the president's decision making, but you also have to question the decision of everyone else who had the same data and made the same decisions. Since Kerry and Edwards voted in favor of the war, aren't they too the wrong men to make the right calls? If you're going to disqualify Bush as a capable president based on that decision, then who IS the right man?

    T-

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    I love how responses from the right-wing media lackeys are now nuanced in hypotheticals, because obviously the example of Iraq is no longer a textbook example of how you're supposed to conduct a pre-emptive war. No need to look at hypotheticals, just connect the dots between the REAL terrorists, the means of waging attacks against American interests, the resources needed to support a terrorist infrastructure, and the implementation mechanisms, and Iraq was just a cursory player in the grand scheme of things and already contained. The connections with Saudi Arabia and 9/11 were far more direct than anything emanating from Iraq, and Pakistan has had a significant role in getting nuclear weapons materials into the hands of rogue states (at the least), yet they are conspicuously absent from the so-called axis of evil and PNAC's hitlist (I'd love to see what the Office of Special Plans is cooking up about Syria and Iran). $120 billion so far and countless resources on the ground diverted away from keeping Afghanistan stable and taking out Al Qaeda, I see a pretty poor return on investment if the whole notion of pre-emptive war in Iraq was to keep us safe from terrorists. If anything, at its very worst, Iraq was not pre-emptive war so much as manifest destiny, where the target was already picked out (don't need Paul O'Neill to tell us this, some of Bush's stump speeches in 2000 were already playing up the need to take Saddam out by force) and the justification fabricated to fit the desired outcome.

  6. #6
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    717
    I love how responses from the right-wing media lackeys

    Ooooh! oooh! oooh! Wooch that makes you a partisan Democrat !

    are now nuanced in hypotheticals,

    I've always said that the overriding reason Saddam had to go was simply to address one of the big root causes of Islamic terrorism, mainly kicking infidels out of the Holy Land, meaning foriegn troops in Saudi Arabia (this is made very clear in the Koran), meaning (in this instance) US troops. Osama yo' mama stated this plainly in his 1st tape released after 9/11. Interesting note: He did not mention Jews or Palistinians - not one time! I agree with Chris that GWB did a bad job of "selling" this action - he should have laid out the ENTIRE case before us. That said, there's a lot he can't say directly 'cause it messes with behind the scenes stuff.

    Anyway, we couldn't pull out our troops without ditching Saddam, a proven threat to his neighbors.

    There is also the example he set for the rest of the tinpot dictators in the world - do what you want, ignore the "whiners" (UN & US), they're too stupid & lazy to do anything.


    because obviously the example of Iraq is no longer a textbook example of how you're supposed to conduct a pre-emptive war.

    I think I know what you mean, that since the main jusification put forth was seemingly flawed, that the whole issue is, & that to me is ligit. But at face value, the way the war was actually conducted may be the best devised in history to date.


    No need to look at hypotheticals, just connect the dots between the REAL terrorists, the means of waging attacks against American interests, the resources needed to support a terrorist infrastructure, and the implementation mechanisms, and Iraq was just a cursory player in the grand scheme of things and already contained. The connections with Saudi Arabia and 9/11 were far more direct than anything emanating from Iraq, and Pakistan has had a significant role in getting nuclear weapons materials into the hands of rogue states (at the least), yet they are conspicuously absent from the so-called axis of evil and PNAC's hitlist (I'd love to see what the Office of Special Plans is cooking up about Syria and Iran). $120 billion so far and countless resources on the ground diverted away from keeping Afghanistan stable and taking out Al Qaeda, I see a pretty poor return on investment if the whole notion of pre-emptive war in Iraq was to keep us safe from terrorists. If anything, at its very worst, Iraq was not pre-emptive war so much as manifest destiny, where the target was already picked out (don't need Paul O'Neill to tell us this, some of Bush's stump speeches in 2000 were already playing up the need to take Saddam out by force) and the justification fabricated to fit the desired outcome.

    Boy, I sure don't want to get on your bad side .

    But of course, I disagree with much of it. The start & end of this statement come to the same place: We (meaning just about every intelligence agency in the world) didn't know Iraq was a shell of its' former self, that the wmd we KNEW he had were gone (big question: where the hell did it go?). We didn't need any fabrication. And do you think Saddam would've let Osama set up training camps? Bases for the Taliban?

    Saudi Arabia is an ally with huge internal problems. They are attempting to come to grips with it, and we would only screw up any chance they have by interfering publicly. Syria has become suddenly cooperative behind-the-scenes (surprise!), Pakistan has thrown in their lot with us from the get-go (they sure read us better than Saddam), and Iran - this has the potential to be a huge success! Iran had the only pro-American rally on 9-12 (this still amazes me, after the hostages & all, that we have friends there). There is currently this giant thing going on over there, a possible peaceful transformation (though I wouldn't bet on the peaceful part), that has the potential to give us an ally in the middle east, where the people actually like (vs hate) us. I'm sure we're giving them huge support on the sly, doing it publicly would be Iranian suicide. Don't forget Libya, too. I would also bet on a lot of stuff going on out of the public eye, that we won't know about for years.

    I sure hope we have contingency plans for all possible problems. If the hardliners win in Iran there'll be real trouble. But right now, we're doing very well, as history will show, in the future (huh??).

    "peace though strength" out!


    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    I love how responses from the right-wing media lackeys

    Ooooh! oooh! oooh! Wooch that makes you a partisan Democrat !
    Well, count me as a partisan who has voted mostly third party the past couple of Presidential elections.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    I've always said that the overriding reason Saddam had to go was simply to address one of the big root causes of Islamic terrorism, mainly kicking infidels out of the Holy Land, meaning foriegn troops in Saudi Arabia (this is made very clear in the Koran), meaning (in this instance) US troops. Osama yo' mama stated this plainly in his 1st tape released after 9/11. Interesting note: He did not mention Jews or Palistinians - not one time! I agree with Chris that GWB did a bad job of "selling" this action - he should have laid out the ENTIRE case before us. That said, there's a lot he can't say directly 'cause it messes with behind the scenes stuff.

    Anyway, we couldn't pull out our troops without ditching Saddam, a proven threat to his neighbors.

    There is also the example he set for the rest of the tinpot dictators in the world - do what you want, ignore the "whiners" (UN & US), they're too stupid & lazy to do anything.
    I agree with most of that. The thing about the Middle East is that it's had a long history of foreign occupiers, and the presence of foreign troops.

    However, Saddam is a secularist, and not someone who subscribes to the fundamental letter of the Koran. He invokes Islam whenever it suits his purposes, but Islamic fundamentalism was a far greater internal threat to his power than anything else. Saddam was all about power, plain and simple. His world view was about geopolitical influence in the Arab world. Al Qaeda's purpose is very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    I think I know what you mean, that since the main jusification put forth was seemingly flawed, that the whole issue is, & that to me is ligit. But at face value, the way the war was actually conducted may be the best devised in history to date.
    The military campaign may have worked quite well, but unfortunately the aftermath was not nearly as thoroughly planned and coordinated. Afghanistan's another example where a successful military campaign forced regime change, but failing to wage peace as effectively as waging war has really destabilized that situation and the Taliban has reasserted its power in many areas aside from Kabul.


    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Boy, I sure don't want to get on your bad side .
    You're not there yet, but don't keep tasking me!

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    But of course, I disagree with much of it. The start & end of this statement come to the same place: We (meaning just about every intelligence agency in the world) didn't know Iraq was a shell of its' former self, that the wmd we KNEW he had were gone (big question: where the hell did it go?). We didn't need any fabrication. And do you think Saddam would've let Osama set up training camps? Bases for the Taliban?
    The only question is the degree to which the intelligence was deliberately tailored to fit the political goals. It definitely would not be the first time this has happened. In the aftermath of the Cold War, we're now finding that a lot of intelligence reports about the Soviet threat were exaggerated to suit the military-industrial complex. After billions were spent on the first "Star Wars" defense system with no operational system to show for it, Dr. Edward Teller (father of the H-bomb and prominent proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative) freely admitted he didn't think that an actual missile defense system was possible, but still played up the need for SDI so that he and his colleagues would get funding for their coveted research projects.

    "We" (the intelligence agencies) might have very well known that Iraq was a shell of its former self and that there were in fact no WMDs anywhere, but reports that were throwing cautionary cold water on the run up to war in Iraq never saw the light of day or were significantly altered beforehand, and those that supported the hawks' position were highlighted. Ahmed Chalabi (the head of the dissident Iraqi National Congress) and his associates supplied much of the intelligence that later turned out to be wrong or a false alarm, yet the CIA is now getting blamed for bad intelligence, even though much of the bad info was funneled to the White House through the Office of Special Plans, which relied on Chalabi's info for the most part. Chalabi in a British interview last week basically admitted error, and said that getting Saddam out of power justified everything that led up to the invasion. This coming from someone who had everything to gain by getting Saddam out of power.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.../19/wirq19.xml

    This is another quote from a British newspaper about the role of Chalabi and the OSP, written by a former CIA analyst.

    "Of course, no policymaker should accept intelligence estimates unquestioningly. Any official who does less is derelict in his or her duty. However, at a certain point curiosity and diligence become a form of pressure.

    As Seymour Hersh, among others, has reported, Bush administration officials also took some actions that arguably crossed the line between rigorous oversight of the intelligence community and an attempt to manipulate intelligence. They set up their own shop in the Pentagon, called the Office of Special Plans, to sift through the information themselves. To a great extent OSP personnel "cherry-picked" the intelligence they passed on, selecting reports that supported the administration's pre-existing position and ignoring all the rest.

    Most problematic of all, the OSP often chose to believe reports that trained intelligence officers considered unreliable or downright false. In particular it gave great credence to reports from the Iraqi National Congress, whose leader was the administration-backed Ahmed Chalabi. It is true that the intelligence community believed some of the material that came from the INC - but not most of it. One of the reasons the OSP generally believed the INC was that they were telling it what it wanted to hear - giving the OSP further incentive to trust these sources over differing, and ultimately more reliable, ones. Thus intelligence analysts spent huge amounts of time fighting bad information and trying to persuade officials not to make policy decisions based on it."

    In all fairness, the article has more stuff that you could probably clip to support your position as well, so here's the link.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0...140422,00.html

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Saudi Arabia is an ally with huge internal problems. They are attempting to come to grips with it, and we would only screw up any chance they have by interfering publicly. Syria has become suddenly cooperative behind-the-scenes (surprise!), Pakistan has thrown in their lot with us from the get-go (they sure read us better than Saddam), and Iran - this has the potential to be a huge success! Iran had the only pro-American rally on 9-12 (this still amazes me, after the hostages & all, that we have friends there). There is currently this giant thing going on over there, a possible peaceful transformation (though I wouldn't bet on the peaceful part), that has the potential to give us an ally in the middle east, where the people actually like (vs hate) us. I'm sure we're giving them huge support on the sly, doing it publicly would be Iranian suicide. Don't forget Libya, too. I would also bet on a lot of stuff going on out of the public eye, that we won't know about for years.

    I sure hope we have contingency plans for all possible problems. If the hardliners win in Iran there'll be real trouble. But right now, we're doing very well, as history will show, in the future (huh??).

    "peace though strength" out!
    Well, the thing to keep in mind about Saudi Arabia is that most of the financial resources and personnel behind 9/11 came from there. Are they now cooperating with any inquiries to identify who might be involved in future terrorist plans, and are they taking steps to ensure that the financial support for Al Qaeda is stopped? Saying that they can work it out themselves doesn't seem to jive in a "you're either with us or against us" era.

    Iran has been slowly instituting reforms for years, and there's been a lot of quiet diplomacy behind the scenes between the U.S. and Iran. Compared to other Islamic countries, women have broad rights and occupy high positions in govt. If anything, the Iraq war has brought a lot of the reform process to a halt and strengthened the hardliner positions, as the ruling Islamic council last week threw out a whole slew of more secular candidates for the their upcoming elections.

    Syria's been playing this cat and mouse game with us for years, and their latest actions are really not all that different. Syria was on PNAC's hitlist, and it would not surprise me one bit to see a flurry of "intelligence" reports that play up the threat that they represent as the November elections get closer.

    I'm not as hopeful as you. Frankly, I hope your more optimistic assessment turns out to be true. But, the problems in that region took thousands of years to get to where they are today, and I think it's incredibly arrogant presumption for any single nation to think that they can mold that region to a democratic pro-Western vision when the Middle East's whole history has been about power games and internal battles, and resisting foreign occupiers.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    583
    One fact for you:
    Kerry fought, Bush hid!!!!
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    One fact for you:
    Kerry fought, Bush hid!!!!
    I guess that explains all the desperate attempts to link Kerry with Jane Fonda, including that fabricated photo that's been making its way around the internet.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NG4S54RGO1.DTL



    The actual photographer holding a print of the original photo.



    The doctored photo that's made its way around the web and on the various right wing talk shows. Think they've issued any retractions now that the photo's been proven to be a hoax?

  10. #10
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137
    Apparently there have been two photos referenced on the three talk shows i listen to. One is the fake one that you've linked, for which the three hosts i listen to have retracted their statements about it. The second is this real one, which shows the good Sen. Kerry sitting about two or three rows behind Hanoi Jane at a Valley Forge anti-war rally:



    T-

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by tugmcmartin
    Apparently there have been two photos referenced on the three talk shows i listen to. One is the fake one that you've linked, for which the three hosts i listen to have retracted their statements about it. The second is this real one, which shows the good Sen. Kerry sitting about two or three rows behind Hanoi Jane at a Valley Forge anti-war rally:
    Yeah, I've seen that photo as well, but really wonder what substance, if any, that photo brings to the table. I mean, Kerry says that he didn't know Jane Fonda back then, and this photo doesn't really prove any connection between the two, other than they were both at the same event on that particular day. The anti-war rally in the picture supposedly occurred in 1970, while Fonda went to Hanoi for her photo op with the Viet Cong gunners in 1972. Even if Kerry knew Fonda at that rally, it certainly doesn't mean that he supported her later on when she went to Hanoi. In that calculus, the guilt by association, implied by the media sources who are circulating the photo and trying to make an issue out of it, just doesn't compute.

    By serving his tour of duty in Vietnam, I think that Kerry more than earned the right to protest and attend rallies without having his patriotism questioned or connected to someone whose actions were less than honorable.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Yeah, I've seen that photo as well, but really wonder what substance, if any, that photo brings to the table. I mean, Kerry says that he didn't know Jane Fonda back then, and this photo doesn't really prove any connection between the two, other than they were both at the same event on that particular day. The anti-war rally in the picture supposedly occurred in 1970, while Fonda went to Hanoi for her photo op with the Viet Cong gunners in 1972. Even if Kerry knew Fonda at that rally, it certainly doesn't mean that he supported her later on when she went to Hanoi. In that calculus, the guilt by association, implied by the media sources who are circulating the photo and trying to make an issue out of it, just doesn't compute.

    By serving his tour of duty in Vietnam, I think that Kerry more than earned the right to protest and attend rallies without having his patriotism questioned or connected to someone whose actions were less than honorable.
    From what i've read on the 'net (which by association means it may not be true), Fonda later got up to speak at the rally from which this photo was taken... and then Kerry got up to speak as well... though i think they were both sort of impromptu speeches from the back of some pickup truck after the real speakers were done. I agree with you though that this photo doesn't really mean a whole hell of a lot. But I would also argue that Kerry's record in the years following his 4 months of service in Nam could very well illustrate that he indirectly supported Fonda's views. All one needs to do is listen to his speeches on the subject from the time and you can't help but see similarities in their views. Whether or not they were "connected" you can definitely make some degree of comparisons.

    On a slightly related note, i find it humorous that Kerry and the liberal media somehow are equating questioning of Kerry's senate voting record to accusing him of being unpatriotic.

    T-

  13. #13
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    717
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The thing about the Middle East is that it's had a long history of foreign occupiers, and the presence of foreign troops.

    However, Saddam is a secularist, and not someone who subscribes to the fundamental letter of the Koran. He invokes Islam whenever it suits his purposes, but Islamic fundamentalism was a far greater internal threat to his power than anything else. Saddam was all about power, plain and simple. His world view was about geopolitical influence in the Arab world. Al Qaeda's purpose is very different.
    I absolutely 100% understand & agree. However, this doesn't change the fact that, in order to withdraw our troops from Saudi Arabia (to address a root cause of Al Qaeda), Saddam had to go, as he was a proven threat to his neighbors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The military campaign may have worked quite well, but unfortunately the aftermath was not nearly as thoroughly planned and coordinated. Afghanistan's another example where a successful military campaign forced regime change, but failing to wage peace as effectively as waging war has really destabilized that situation and the Taliban has reasserted its power in many areas aside from Kabul.
    The problem with planning the aftermath is we simply don't know what the situation will be. This is always true - no plan survives the battlefield. We'll take care of the Taliban. And war is rarely stabilizing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The only question is the degree to which the intelligence was deliberately tailored to fit the political goals. It definitely would not be the first time this has happened. In the aftermath of the Cold War, we're now finding that a lot of intelligence reports about the Soviet threat were exaggerated to suit the military-industrial complex. After billions were spent on the first "Star Wars" defense system with no operational system to show for it, Dr. Edward Teller (father of the H-bomb and prominent proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative) freely admitted he didn't think that an actual missile defense system was possible, but still played up the need for SDI so that he and his colleagues would get funding for their coveted research projects.

    "We" (the intelligence agencies) might have very well known that Iraq was a shell of its former self and that there were in fact no WMDs anywhere, but reports that were throwing cautionary cold water on the run up to war in Iraq never saw the light of day or were significantly altered beforehand, and those that supported the hawks' position were highlighted. Ahmed Chalabi (the head of the dissident Iraqi National Congress) and his associates supplied much of the intelligence that later turned out to be wrong or a false alarm, yet the CIA is now getting blamed for bad intelligence, even though much of the bad info was funneled to the White House through the Office of Special Plans, which relied on Chalabi's info for the most part. Chalabi in a British interview last week basically admitted error, and said that getting Saddam out of power justified everything that led up to the invasion. This coming from someone who had everything to gain by getting Saddam out of power.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.../19/wirq19.xml

    This is another quote from a British newspaper about the role of Chalabi and the OSP, written by a former CIA analyst.

    "Of course, no policymaker should accept intelligence estimates unquestioningly. Any official who does less is derelict in his or her duty. However, at a certain point curiosity and diligence become a form of pressure.

    As Seymour Hersh, among others, has reported, Bush administration officials also took some actions that arguably crossed the line between rigorous oversight of the intelligence community and an attempt to manipulate intelligence. They set up their own shop in the Pentagon, called the Office of Special Plans, to sift through the information themselves. To a great extent OSP personnel "cherry-picked" the intelligence they passed on, selecting reports that supported the administration's pre-existing position and ignoring all the rest.

    Most problematic of all, the OSP often chose to believe reports that trained intelligence officers considered unreliable or downright false. In particular it gave great credence to reports from the Iraqi National Congress, whose leader was the administration-backed Ahmed Chalabi. It is true that the intelligence community believed some of the material that came from the INC - but not most of it. One of the reasons the OSP generally believed the INC was that they were telling it what it wanted to hear - giving the OSP further incentive to trust these sources over differing, and ultimately more reliable, ones. Thus intelligence analysts spent huge amounts of time fighting bad information and trying to persuade officials not to make policy decisions based on it."
    I'd like to start with Star Wars (SDI). When conceived there were many "missing pieces" of technology. But it added uncertainty to the USSRs' strategic planning, an invaluable thing. Towards the the end the USSR might have been collapsing internally but we had no way of knowing that (how do you get a spy into the Politboro?) - and there is NO DOUBT that the USSR was a *serious* threat for decades, a far larger threat than Al Qaeda. Reagans' out-spend them strategy is generally credited with playing a large part in bringing them down (with no war), spending an est. max of 17% of GDP on the military, with the USSR having to spend an est. 50%+ to try to keep up. That's GDP, not percent of budget!

    BTW, the techies at MIT now say that major parts of SDI (smart rocks, missile interceptors) are available using modified "off the shelf" technology, it just needs major testing to work the bugs out for these applications. No more missing pieces.

    Can you imagine basing our take of a new weapon on ONE test? A new gun - jams on the first public try - scrap it! A new tank - track breaks - scrap it! The reality is any new product, military or civilian, goes through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tests & design changes. Should we ground the Shuttle permanantly & give up?

    I consider the way GWB justified the Iraq war as by far the biggest mistake he's make. Not evil deed , mistake. He should have talked about the big picture, about the XX other reasons to go in. I understand that most would not understand, and that the WMD was a "sure thing", but the fallout does belong on him.

    That said, in any given situation the Pres will get a lot of info, some saying A, some saying B, etc, etc. The Nazis had confirmation on D-Day -ignored. Roosevelt had info on Pearl Harbor - ignored. Clinton had clear info (and enemy action) on the Al Qaeda threat - ignored.


    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Well, the thing to keep in mind about Saudi Arabia is that most of the financial resources and personnel behind 9/11 came from there. Are they now cooperating with any inquiries to identify who might be involved in future terrorist plans, and are they taking steps to ensure that the financial support for Al Qaeda is stopped? Saying that they can work it out themselves doesn't seem to jive in a "you're either with us or against us" era.

    Iran has been slowly instituting reforms for years, and there's been a lot of quiet diplomacy behind the scenes between the U.S. and Iran. Compared to other Islamic countries, women have broad rights and occupy high positions in govt. If anything, the Iraq war has brought a lot of the reform process to a halt and strengthened the hardliner positions, as the ruling Islamic council last week threw out a whole slew of more secular candidates for the their upcoming elections.

    Syria's been playing this cat and mouse game with us for years, and their latest actions are really not all that different. Syria was on PNAC's hitlist, and it would not surprise me one bit to see a flurry of "intelligence" reports that play up the threat that they represent as the November elections get closer.

    I'm not as hopeful as you. Frankly, I hope your more optimistic assessment turns out to be true. But, the problems in that region took thousands of years to get to where they are today, and I think it's incredibly arrogant presumption for any single nation to think that they can mold that region to a democratic pro-Western vision when the Middle East's whole history has been about power games and internal battles, and resisting foreign occupiers.
    Saudi Arabia: I said: "Saudi Arabia is an ally with huge internal problems. They are attempting to come to grips with it, and we would only screw up any chance they have by interfering publicly." The answers to your questions are yes & yes. Al Qaedas' main aim is to overthrow the Sauds. Will the Sauds succeed against Osamas' bunch? I don't know, & neither do they. For us or against us? The Sauds are generally with us. If Saudi Arabia hits us, or provides shelter for our enemies, I assure you something will be done (unless perhaps Kerry wins).

    Iran: ANYTHING we do will be used by the hardliners there against us. Will we give them veto power over our actions? We've already given them one thing: notice of both our might & the will to use it.

    Syria: I agree, they're good at playing the game, but Assad Jr. isn't as good as Assad Sr., & the stakes (for Syria) are much higher this time around. See "for us or against us" & "might".

    The Middle East in general: I 100% agree with you - it would be a miracle if we managed to turn it into a font of Democracy. I am hopeful for our realistic success, but may be more cynical than most. The fundamental thing is this: if these forces continue to leave their area and blow down our buildings, we have the right to defend ourselves. If this means a transition to Democracy for these countries, that is wonderful, & I truly hope this happens. But if not, if these enemies continue to attack us & cannot defend or support their own elected gov't, we still have the right (and the responsiblity) to defend ourselves by hunting down & killing them and their supporters, wherever they may be hiding.

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  14. #14
    Chris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    218
    I'll respond to the first post....

    I guess where I differ in opinion from many here is, I found it hard to believe that there were WMD in the first place. I wasn't sure that there was enough evidence of WMD to warrant an attack. Yet, that is what sold much of the American population on the idea of going to war. We were led to believe that there was a clear and present danger if something wasn't done now. It's easier to sell a war if people are concerned about their safety. It's easier for a government to do a lot of things if society is concerned about their safety. But with the fear factor out of the equation, was there still enough cause for a full-on war?

    My biggest concern is that Bush had Iraq on his agenda long before we were even attacked. I remember reading about that early on. I think many others also share that concern, and they're angry now that none of the evidence we were given is turning up that would support this cause. If you want to tell me the Iraqi people and the world are better off with Saddam, go right ahead. That just may be the case. But explain to me how that alone is enough to justify going to war. Does this mean that we will go to war with any nation we feel will be better off without their current leader? I'm not sure I like that mob mentality to be the basis for our foreign policy.

    I wish I felt as comfortable as some of you with the actions and agendas of our leader. You can bring up all the hypothetical situations you want, it won't make feel any better about how Bush handled this whole thing. I'm not necessarily sure I'm comfortable with Kerry making the decisions, but I'm positive I'm not comfortable with Bush making them. Which is funny, because most of his campaign will be based on choosing between strength and security vs. uncertainty and indecision - and I've never been so uncertain about our government. It's not a partisan thing for me, nor do I hate Bush - I'm just not comfortable with what he's done both at home and abroad.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    I'll respond to the first post....

    I guess where I differ in opinion from many here is, I found it hard to believe that there were WMD in the first place. I wasn't sure that there was enough evidence of WMD to warrant an attack. Yet, that is what sold much of the American population on the idea of going to war. We were led to believe that there was a clear and present danger if something wasn't done now. It's easier to sell a war if people are concerned about their safety. It's easier for a government to do a lot of things if society is concerned about their safety. But with the fear factor out of the equation, was there still enough cause for a full-on war?

    My biggest concern is that Bush had Iraq on his agenda long before we were even attacked. I remember reading about that early on. I think many others also share that concern, and they're angry now that none of the evidence we were given is turning up that would support this cause. If you want to tell me the Iraqi people and the world are better off with Saddam, go right ahead. That just may be the case. But explain to me how that alone is enough to justify going to war. Does this mean that we will go to war with any nation we feel will be better off without their current leader? I'm not sure I like that mob mentality to be the basis for our foreign policy.

    I wish I felt as comfortable as some of you with the actions and agendas of our leader. You can bring up all the hypothetical situations you want, it won't make feel any better about how Bush handled this whole thing. I'm not necessarily sure I'm comfortable with Kerry making the decisions, but I'm positive I'm not comfortable with Bush making them. Which is funny, because most of his campaign will be based on choosing between strength and security vs. uncertainty and indecision - and I've never been so uncertain about our government. It's not a partisan thing for me, nor do I hate Bush - I'm just not comfortable with what he's done both at home and abroad.
    Thanks for your input Chris. An honest, yet somewhat evasive answer...

    Bush probably did have Iraq in his sites before the war and just used the intelligence info (which now appears to be flawed) and the failed UN resolutions/breach of cease fire agreement to make a case to go into Iraq. But i don't think he trumped up the evidence or made it up out of thin air as some seem to suggest.

    Here's the thing for me. I would be absolutely terrified if the hypothetical that Blankley outlined were to take place with either Kerry or Edwards on watch. Especially Kerry. And yes, it is a hyphothetical, but it is a hypothetical that at least has a shred of possibility. Based on Kerry's rhetoric we'd be waiting for mulitlateral UN support (which would probably never come if the Iraq situation is any indication) while the hypothetical bomber would be detonating a bomb on our soil again. We as a nation cannot afford to be giving up our autonomy to a conglomerate of other nations interests (the wishes of the UN). Especially when it comes to national security. Bush has at least shown that he is willing to stand up for our national security in the face of international scrutiny. I don't think Kerry or Edwards to do that. They'd be bending to the pressures of a few and putting our security on the line and I can't accept that. Just my two cents....

    T-

  16. #16
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    717
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris

    I guess where I differ in opinion from many here is, I found it hard to believe that there were WMD in the first place. I wasn't sure that there was enough evidence of WMD to warrant an attack. Yet, that is what sold much of the American population on the idea of going to war. We were led to believe that there was a clear and present danger if something wasn't done now. It's easier to sell a war if people are concerned about their safety. It's easier for a government to do a lot of things if society is concerned about their safety. But with the fear factor out of the equation, was there still enough cause for a full-on war? My biggest concern is that Bush had Iraq on his agenda long before we were even attacked. I remember reading about that early on. I think many others also share that concern, and they're angry now that none of the evidence we were given is turning up that would support this cause.

    Chris,

    There was certainly without a doubt WMD. This info came from Iraqi documents after the gulf war. And he gassed his own people. The 64 thousand dollar question is, where did it go? (This should scare people!)

    So it was a no-brainer that this should be the reason presented. I do wish GWB would've tried to explain the other reasons, but thinking about it I believe he did not want to confuse the general public - something that's very easy to do. This doesn't mean we're dumb, just common sense. Consider: how much foreign policy have you studied? Foreign history? Int'l law? How much time do you spend per day following foreign news/ current events?

    Our foreign policy experts knew that something had to be done with Saddam before 9-11. This crosses party lines, much of the fingerpointing you're seeing now is demagogery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    If you want to tell me the Iraqi people and the world are better off with Saddam, go right ahead. That just may be the case. But explain to me how that alone is enough to justify going to war. Does this mean that we will go to war with any nation we feel will be better off without their current leader? I'm not sure I like that mob mentality to be the basis for our foreign policy.

    I wish I felt as comfortable as some of you with the actions and agendas of our leader. You can bring up all the hypothetical situations you want,
    The many reasons I have stated elsewhere are not hypothetical! [Pete edit: Sorry Chris - getting wrapped up, and I can be absent-minded!]

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    it won't make feel any better about how Bush handled this whole thing. I'm not necessarily sure I'm comfortable with Kerry making the decisions, but I'm positive I'm not comfortable with Bush making them. Which is funny, because most of his campaign will be based on choosing between strength and security vs. uncertainty and indecision - and I've never been so uncertain about our government. It's not a partisan thing for me, nor do I hate Bush - I'm just not comfortable with what he's done both at home and abroad.
    After Bruces' most excellent posting re: Kerrys' voting record concerning the military I have gone from hoping Kerry will lose from a political viewpoint to seeing his election as a threat to our security. Wait till the REAL campaigning begins - he'll be ripped to shreds.

    Outside of the Iraq war, I can't see anything so polarizing (sp?) about Bush. And history will probably treat him kindly, so far.

    Pete
    Last edited by piece-it pete; 02-26-2004 at 11:07 AM.
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by tugmcmartin
    From what i've read on the 'net (which by association means it may not be true), Fonda later got up to speak at the rally from which this photo was taken... and then Kerry got up to speak as well... though i think they were both sort of impromptu speeches from the back of some pickup truck after the real speakers were done. I agree with you though that this photo doesn't really mean a whole hell of a lot. But I would also argue that Kerry's record in the years following his 4 months of service in Nam could very well illustrate that he indirectly supported Fonda's views. All one needs to do is listen to his speeches on the subject from the time and you can't help but see similarities in their views. Whether or not they were "connected" you can definitely make some degree of comparisons.
    But, again with the circulating and/or doctoring of photos, there are obviously people out there who are trying to make a much more direct connection between the two, for the sole purpose of diverting and inflaming the campaign since Jane Fonda is such a virtriolic lightning rod for so many people. There's a huge difference between making speeches at antiwar rallies, and flying to Hanoi to pose for pictures with enemy combatants.

    Quote Originally Posted by tugmcmartin
    On a slightly related note, i find it humorous that Kerry and the liberal media somehow are equating questioning of Kerry's senate voting record to accusing him of being unpatriotic.

    T-
    I don't think it's conservative attacks on Kerry's voting record that are in question, but rather some attacks I've read that basically say that his antiwar activities after he returned from Vietnam negated anything honorable he did in combat, which I think is ridiculous. Some people still regard exercising free speech rights at antiwar rallies as some kind of treasonous act, and this is just another expression of that perspective. I mean, when you got people like Ann Coulter who denigrade a veteran like Max Cleland by claiming it's somehow less than worthy that he got three of his limbs blown off in a non-combat situation (while conveniently ignoring his other acts of valor while under enemy fire), something's amiss.

    Kerry says he had reservations about the war, but went there so that someone else would not have to take his place. If true, that's honorable, and IMO would give him both the right and the moral authority to participate in antiwar activities. Contrast this with people who claim to have supported the Vietnam war, but took every chance to avoid serving over there. (Check the PNAC signatory list, if you want a few examples)

    BTW, what you regard as liberal media, I view as the corporate media.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    There was certainly without a doubt WMD. This info came from Iraqi documents after the gulf war. And he gassed his own people. The 64 thousand dollar question is, where did it go? (This should scare people!)
    The $64,000 answer nowadays seems to point that Saddam has not had them for years. Keep in mind that Saddam used the most chemical weapons while Iraq was at war with Iran, and a beneficiary of U.S. aid. Where was the righteous indignation over his flouting of international law back then? The blowback consequences of U.S. actions overseas have been pretty staggering over the years (even the organization of Al Qaeda is an unintended outcome of the proxy war we fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan).

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    After Bruces' most excellent posting re: Kerrys' voting record concerning the military I have gone from hoping Kerry will lose from a political viewpoint to seeing his election as a threat to our security. Wait till the REAL campaigning begins - he'll be ripped to shreds.
    In the furor over gay marriage yesterday, you probably missed CIA Director Tenet's congressional testimony. He basically said that we are no safer from terrorism today than we were a year ago. So, we drained the treasury of $170 billion and untold billions more in uncoming years (the projected deficits for this year and future years DO NOT include the cost of the Iraqi occupation, which by most estimates is roughly $1 billion per week) for the venture into Iraq and it doesn't make a dent in our security? If terrorists were identified as the primary threat to our security, wouldn't all those resources have been better served going to actually going after terrorists? I don't see how Kerry would make things more dangerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Outside of the Iraq war, I can't see anything so polarizing (sp?) about Bush. And history will probably treat him kindly, so far.

    Pete
    If you can't see what's so polarizing about Bush, you really need to talk to more people or consult more media sources. I mean, even among conservatives, some of the fiscal conservatives that I read are beginning to seriously question Bush's competency at handling the economy. Time magazine ran a cover story on this exact topic a few weeks ago on why people either love or hate Bush. Obviously, I'm no fan of Bush, but at least I try and understand why his constituents support him (going to high school in conservative Orange County [home of the John Birch Society, Lou Sheldon, and Phyllis Schlafly] has given me a pretty good understanding of the right wing perspective, and why I disagree with it most of the time).

    Try going outside of your own perspective, and better yet, play devil's advocate to your own arguments. Rather than state that you can't see anything polarizing about Bush, try and identify things about Bush that are unifying, and litmus check that by seeing how an actual liberal responds. The best class I ever had was in high school social science, where we had to present political arguments, and we drew our position at random, so we could actually wind up arguing for something that we actually disagree with. The teacher was a self-proclaimed socialist, but he assigned us reading from the National Review, Forbes, and other conservative sources, and if we were arguing the liberal perspective, he would put on the conservative hat and vigorously try to pick apart our arguments. Parroting sources that you agree with is easy, but defending a position that you disagree with takes a lot more thought and allows you to see things without blinders on.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    But, again with the circulating and/or doctoring of photos, there are obviously people out there who are trying to make a much more direct connection between the two, for the sole purpose of diverting and inflaming the campaign since Jane Fonda is such a virtriolic lightning rod for so many people. There's a huge difference between making speeches at antiwar rallies, and flying to Hanoi to pose for pictures with enemy combatants.
    I agree. I think Kerry's post Vietnam War record speaks for itself and can stand alone without linking it to Fonda.


    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I don't think it's conservative attacks on Kerry's voting record that are in question, but rather some attacks I've read that basically say that his antiwar activities after he returned from Vietnam negated anything honorable he did in combat, which I think is ridiculous. Some people still regard exercising free speech rights at antiwar rallies as some kind of treasonous act, and this is just another expression of that perspective. I mean, when you got people like Ann Coulter who denigrade a veteran like Max Cleland by claiming it's somehow less than worthy that he got three of his limbs blown off in a non-combat situation (while conveniently ignoring his other acts of valor while under enemy fire), something's amiss.
    I think it's Kerry who has tried to equate questions about his voting record to a question of his patriotism. There's a sound bite floating around on conservative radio shows that has Kerry saying, in response to questions about Kerry's voting record on defense programs and national security, where Kerry basically says he can't understand why "repblicans who haven't fought in a war would question his record and patriotism" because of those votes (or something to that effect). I don't think many people are questioning his patriotism. He did afterall volunteer for service and from all accounts serve bravely and well. But what shouldn't be out of bounds for questioning is his voting record. Just because he's a veteran and a patriot doesn't mean that his votes on national defense measures are off limits to scrutiny. A veteran and a patriot can still make bad decisions and its those decisions that are being questioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Kerry says he had reservations about the war, but went there so that someone else would not have to take his place. If true, that's honorable, and IMO would give him both the right and the moral authority to participate in antiwar activities. Contrast this with people who claim to have supported the Vietnam war, but took every chance to avoid serving over there. (Check the PNAC signatory list, if you want a few examples)
    I doubt very seriously if thats the real reason Kerry went. But who am i to say. If it is true, that's very admirable. My dad said he went because no one else was. Not sure if thats true, but it sure would be something good for someone aspiring to political office to say. Maybe he should run for president... .

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    BTW, what you regard as liberal media, I view as the corporate media.
    Fair enough. But Fox News is corporate news and certainly isn't liberal.

    T-

  20. #20
    Forum Regular tugmcmartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer

    If you can't see what's so polarizing about Bush, you really need to talk to more people or consult more media sources. I mean, even among conservatives, some of the fiscal conservatives that I read are beginning to seriously question Bush's competency at handling the economy. Time magazine ran a cover story on this exact topic a few weeks ago on why people either love or hate Bush. Obviously, I'm no fan of Bush, but at least I try and understand why his constituents support him (going to high school in conservative Orange County [home of the John Birch Society, Lou Sheldon, and Phyllis Schlafly] has given me a pretty good understanding of the right wing perspective, and why I disagree with it most of the time).
    Excellent point Wooch. I'm obviously more conservative than not, but i am absolutely no fan of Bush's spending policies. You can't have the tax cuts he's pushed through and then keep spending all the money he's proposing. I'd rather have the tax cuts than the bloated federal programs. If there were another viable option in the upcoming election Bush wouldn't be getting my vote on that basis alone. But considering the options at this point its going to be another case of choosing between the lesser of two evils based on my own belief system.

    T-

  21. #21
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by tugmcmartin
    Excellent point Wooch. I'm obviously more conservative than not, but i am absolutely no fan of Bush's spending policies. You can't have the tax cuts he's pushed through and then keep spending all the money he's proposing. I'd rather have the tax cuts than the bloated federal programs. If there were another viable option in the upcoming election Bush wouldn't be getting my vote on that basis alone. But considering the options at this point its going to be another case of choosing between the lesser of two evils based on my own belief system.

    T-
    Even the staunch republicans have their differences with the Bush..Cheney ticket....Not only have they LIED to the world...they lied to us...the American people..and that's despicable! They have NO CHANCE to be re-elected because us AMERICANS ARE NOT MORONS like they think we are......Pushing forth their polocies of FEAR on the AMERICAN people..........WE NEED TO GET ALONG with the rest of this planet and be the strong leaders that made us the most powerful nation on the face of the planet since 1946!!!!!! Let's take back the AMERICA we love..........George W Bush never got it!!! He's thinks that he's the RULER of the free world.....He's really the LEADER of the free world......Many of my Republican friends are not going to vote for Bush ......He's not going to win re-election and he knows it and probably doesn't care...he knows he's done enough damage to the "average Joe" and that was his goal..................this bumper sticker says it all......" DICK CHENEY...........................before he Dicks you!! . problem is...he already has!!!

  22. #22
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by tugmcmartin
    Excellent point Wooch. I'm obviously more conservative than not, but i am absolutely no fan of Bush's spending policies. You can't have the tax cuts he's pushed through and then keep spending all the money he's proposing. I'd rather have the tax cuts than the bloated federal programs. If there were another viable option in the upcoming election Bush wouldn't be getting my vote on that basis alone. But considering the options at this point its going to be another case of choosing between the lesser of two evils based on my own belief system.

    T-
    Yeah, his budget is pretty baffling. I work with economic models, so I know that tax cuts can have a stimulus effect on the economy, if they're applied to areas with the highest potential multiplier impacts. But, IMO the tax cuts that Bush pushed through are too broad to create the kind of stimulus that will compensate for the negative effect that a ballooning deficit will eventually have by driving up interest rates and inflation. Plus, the current deficit projections don't even include the cost of the Iraqi occupation! With the baby boomers set to begin retiring in four years, and collecting Medicare in seven years, this is hardly the right time to simultaneously initiate massive new federal entitlement programs, make two rounds of huge tax cuts permanent, start up a new government in Iraq, fight a war on terror, AND potentially invade even more countries in a second Bush administration. With Greenspan stating the need to cut Social Security entitlements, the hard questions need to be addressed. (although I was disappointed that he did not address the tax cuts as another root cause of the current fiscal problem) I totally hear you about picking between lesser evils, but I'm still researching out the candidates, so I've yet to cross that bridge in my thinking.

  23. #23
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    717
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The $64,000 answer nowadays seems to point that Saddam has not had them for years. Keep in mind that Saddam used the most chemical weapons while Iraq was at war with Iran, and a beneficiary of U.S. aid. Where was the righteous indignation over his flouting of international law back then? The blowback consequences of U.S. actions overseas have been pretty staggering over the years (even the organization of Al Qaeda is an unintended outcome of the proxy war we fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan).
    So since he hasn't had them for years, we shouldn't find out where they went? Do you believe they were destroyed? Where is the evidence? The original statement put forth was that he did not have any period!

    The game with the USSR put us into some strange positions. Some were wrong. Some were seen as neccessary, and some of them were neccessary. Al Qaeda turned against us when we deserted Afganistan & continued to back the Sauds. If we hadn't pulled out then everyone here at home would have been screaming, like they are now. The Iraqis will be quite unhappy if we pull out without finishing the job. Blowback will always be an issue!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    In the furor over gay marriage yesterday, you probably missed CIA Director Tenet's congressional testimony. He basically said that we are no safer from terrorism today than we were a year ago. So, we drained the treasury of $170 billion and untold billions more in uncoming years (the projected deficits for this year and future years DO NOT include the cost of the Iraqi occupation, which by most estimates is roughly $1 billion per week) for the venture into Iraq and it doesn't make a dent in our security? If terrorists were identified as the primary threat to our security, wouldn't all those resources have been better served going to actually going after terrorists? I don't see how Kerry would make things more dangerous.
    Come on, do you really believe we're not safer? The political issue here is that the politicos know that if they say we're safer everyone will "shrug & go home", funding will become a political hot potato, and when the next bomb hits everyone'll say "I thought we were safer"!

    Syrian cooperation is directly linked to our invasion of Iraq. which has already provided invaluable info about the world nuke trade, including the Iran info - and that's just what we know about. A lot is going on behind the scenes, that we (the general public) won't know about for years, if ever. The world is now on notice.

    Kerry has built his career on "de-funding" the military. How can he talk about deployment with authority? Because he was shot at?


    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    If you can't see what's so polarizing about Bush, you really need to talk to more people or consult more media sources. I mean, even among conservatives, some of the fiscal conservatives that I read are beginning to seriously question Bush's competency at handling the economy. Time magazine ran a cover story on this exact topic a few weeks ago on why people either love or hate Bush. Obviously, I'm no fan of Bush, but at least I try and understand why his constituents support him (going to high school in conservative Orange County [home of the John Birch Society, Lou Sheldon, and Phyllis Schlafly] has given me a pretty good understanding of the right wing perspective, and why I disagree with it most of the time).
    I was actually looking for specifics. I am a voracious reader & talk politics all the time (unless I'm talking about stereos or cars lol. Spouse at party: [stage whisper] Stop talking about {insert one of three here}!! Nobody cares!! :).

    One of my best friends is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, & we'll go back and forth for hours - it can get heated! Another good friend is seriously running for congress as, you guessed it, a Dem, and not all that moderate. We usually agree to disagree.

    The Rep. rumblings you hear about are an internal affair, I assure you. They will certainly vote for Bush. A balanced budget is something ingrained into convervatives, including me. However, in a downturn the standard gov't response since the depression is increased spending, and at least he gave it to the people instead of starting another gov't program that will live forever! And there is the war on terror.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Try going outside of your own perspective, and better yet, play devil's advocate to your own arguments. Rather than state that you can't see anything polarizing about Bush, try and identify things about Bush that are unifying, and litmus check that by seeing how an actual liberal responds. The best class I ever had was in high school social science, where we had to present political arguments, and we drew our position at random, so we could actually wind up arguing for something that we actually disagree with. The teacher was a self-proclaimed socialist, but he assigned us reading from the National Review, Forbes, and other conservative sources, and if we were arguing the liberal perspective, he would put on the conservative hat and vigorously try to pick apart our arguments. Parroting sources that you agree with is easy, but defending a position that you disagree with takes a lot more thought and allows you to see things without blinders on.
    Yea, we had UN meetings in a SS class in high school, the teacher assigned countries at random, then he was a whole bunch of different ones, it was an absolute blast!

    I don't need to be the Devils' advocate - I've got you :)! And all my good friends at home & here. I've noticed that, of all the periodicals I read, I get the Lib view much more often than the Cons view. Does that mean the Liberal positions I'm hearing are parroting? I now choose to debate from my position, as I'm done with school. Arguing for the socialist position strong in Italy at the time was not my favorite thing! (Although to be fair I was much more Lib at the time!!)

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  24. #24
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    So since he hasn't had them for years, we shouldn't find out where they went? Do you believe they were destroyed? Where is the evidence? The original statement put forth was that he did not have any period!
    My understanding of chemical weapons is that they don't keep for a long time, and have to be destroyed anyway if they're kept in storage too long. It's supposedly easy to ramp up production, so evidence won't be on the ground. But, of course that means that any rogue state can have the capacity to ramp up chemical weapons production. The simple fact is that we were told that there were these banned weapons and mobile labs and production facilities, and what's been found on the ground is something entirely different. Asking for evidence on something that doesn't exist is like asking me to show you God to prove that he exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    The game with the USSR put us into some strange positions. Some were wrong. Some were seen as neccessary, and some of them were neccessary. Al Qaeda turned against us when we deserted Afganistan & continued to back the Sauds. If we hadn't pulled out then everyone here at home would have been screaming, like they are now. The Iraqis will be quite unhappy if we pull out without finishing the job. Blowback will always be an issue!
    The problem with most of the blowback scenarios is that the begin with a fundamental lack of understanding about the foreign countries and people that we're dealing with. Some of the CIA field operatives who were training the mujahideen in guerilla warfare and terrorist strike tactics warned Administration officials that these guys held vehemently anti-Western beliefs and showed every sign that they would eventually parlay their holy war against the Soviet occupiers into a jihad against other targets, including pro-U.S. interests. Seeing only the objective at hand, and not really understanding what the long-term goals of the people we're dealing with are have led to a lot of the threats that we're grappling with right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Come on, do you really believe we're not safer? The political issue here is that the politicos know that if they say we're safer everyone will "shrug & go home", funding will become a political hot potato, and when the next bomb hits everyone'll say "I thought we were safer"!
    The war in Iraq diverted resources away from stabilizing Afghanistan and taking out Al Qaeda targets. Iraq had no direct connection to 9/11, Al Qaeda did. The search for Saddam reappropriated the search team that was hunting for bin Laden. Time and effort was spent away from Afghanistan and keeping Al Qaeda from gaining strength. Iraq had no WMDs, no connections to terrorists who've moved against American targets, no threats to American civilians. $170 billion has been sunk into this war, which is already more than large enough to weaken our economic security, but it's also resources that did not go into efforts aimed towards more direct terrorist threats. Lost time away from the search for bin Laden gave him and his organization time to plot future attacks. So, yes I do not feel any safer now than I did last year. Obviously, you have a hard time believing that, but it's the truth!

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    Kerry has built his career on "de-funding" the military. How can he talk about deployment with authority? Because he was shot at?
    Of course he can talk about deployment. When he becomes Commander-In-Chief, his job title as defined in the Constitution will give him the authority!

    I mean, Bush talks about deployment all the time, and he never got shot at when he was protecting Texas from Oklahoma during the Vietnam War.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    The Rep. rumblings you hear about are an internal affair, I assure you. They will certainly vote for Bush. A balanced budget is something ingrained into convervatives, including me. However, in a downturn the standard gov't response since the depression is increased spending, and at least he gave it to the people instead of starting another gov't program that will live forever! And there is the war on terror.
    IMO, the Republicans that Bush represents are not true fiscal conservatives, because they believe in big spending every bit as much as a lot of liberal Democrats. The only difference is where the funding priorities are. Responsible voices on both sides of the aisle are already calling this a disastrous policy. I mean, Bush talks about tax reductions to stimulate the economy, but he ignores the way that ballooning deficits put upward pressures on interest rates, which in turn drag down the economy. And the way that he's gone about tax reductions benefits areas of the economy that don't produce the highest multiplier impacts, create jobs at home, create capacity for an economic recovery, or provide relief for people who've been most impacted by the recession.

    Your point about "at least he gave it to the people instead of starting another gov't program that will live forever!" is off target, because with his double round of tax cuts and rebate checks with no accompanying reductions in overall spending, what he really did was hand us a revolving credit debt. The pending fiscal calamity that this represents is pretty staggering when you consider the dramatic escalation in entitlement costs that will begin in a few years as the baby boomers start retiring. Also, where in Bush's State of the Union address did he mention eliminating any federal programs? All I heard about was all kinds of new spending and program appropriations.

    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    I don't need to be the Devils' advocate - I've got you ! And all my good friends at home & here. I've noticed that, of all the periodicals I read, I get the Lib view much more often than the Cons view. Does that mean the Liberal positions I'm hearing are parroting? I now choose to debate from my position, as I'm done with school. Arguing for the socialist position strong in Italy at the time was not my favorite thing! (Although to be fair I was much more Lib at the time!!)

    Pete
    Good enough. When you mentioned that you couldn't see why anyone would call Bush divisive, I kinda jumped the gun a bit. But, it is a good thing to see what the other side is thinking. My best arguments have always been when I appropriate someone's position and take it to the logical extreme. Like whenever I'm in a discussion with someone who claims that they are a "free market" thinker and that government regulation is not needed when you have a self-regulating market, I simply ask them if it would be okay with them if their neighbor decided to build a cement plant in their backyard, or turn their home into a 24-hour peep show or brothel. In a truly free market, a property owner should be able to do whatever they want with their property right, irregardless of what the neighbors think? I've yet to hear someone tell me that their adherence to free market principle is so strong that they would be fine living next door to a cement plant or a brothel.

  25. #25
    What, me worry? piece-it pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    717
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    My understanding of chemical weapons is that they don't keep for a long time, and have to be destroyed anyway if they're kept in storage too long. It's supposedly easy to ramp up production, so evidence won't be on the ground. But, of course that means that any rogue state can have the capacity to ramp up chemical weapons production. The simple fact is that we were told that there were these banned weapons and mobile labs and production facilities, and what's been found on the ground is something entirely different. Asking for evidence on something that doesn't exist is like asking me to show you God to prove that he exists.
    We need to know what happened to them before we can forget about them. The proof they existed we have.



    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The problem with most of the blowback scenarios is that the begin with a fundamental lack of understanding about the foreign countries and people that we're dealing with. Some of the CIA field operatives who were training the mujahideen in guerilla warfare and terrorist strike tactics warned Administration officials that these guys held vehemently anti-Western beliefs and showed every sign that they would eventually parlay their holy war against the Soviet occupiers into a jihad against other targets, including pro-U.S. interests. Seeing only the objective at hand, and not really understanding what the long-term goals of the people we're dealing with are have led to a lot of the threats that we're grappling with right now.
    I agree! (quick - write that down!! :) The caveat: we did consider the USSR to be a much bigger threat than the arabs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The war in Iraq diverted resources away from stabilizing Afghanistan and taking out Al Qaeda targets. Iraq had no direct connection to 9/11, Al Qaeda did. The search for Saddam reappropriated the search team that was hunting for bin Laden. Time and effort was spent away from Afghanistan and keeping Al Qaeda from gaining strength. Iraq had no WMDs, no connections to terrorists who've moved against American targets, no threats to American civilians. $170 billion has been sunk into this war, which is already more than large enough to weaken our economic security, but it's also resources that did not go into efforts aimed towards more direct terrorist threats. Lost time away from the search for bin Laden gave him and his organization time to plot future attacks. So, yes I do not feel any safer now than I did last year. Obviously, you have a hard time believing that, but it's the truth!
    I believe the Iraqi war is a legitimate cause for discussion. I've been quite frank about my support. I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

    You mentioned our intrepid Secretarys' comment about not being safer - I did not address Iraq specificly but overall. That pimple on a rats' ass caught us with our guard down. Our guard is no longer down. I will believe you about not feeling safer, though. But I know when I fly now I get routinely searched, and much to my horror they once found a boxcutter in my briefcase I had forgotten about! Even the searches never happened before 9/11.



    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Of course he can talk about deployment. When he becomes Commander-In-Chief, his job title as defined in the Constitution will give him the authority! :)

    I mean, Bush talks about deployment all the time, and he never got shot at when he was protecting Texas from Oklahoma during the Vietnam War.
    He never called our troops criminals, either.



    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    IMO, the Republicans that Bush represents are not true fiscal conservatives, because they believe in big spending every bit as much as a lot of liberal Democrats. The only difference is where the funding priorities are. Responsible voices on both sides of the aisle are already calling this a disastrous policy. I mean, Bush talks about tax reductions to stimulate the economy, but he ignores the way that ballooning deficits put upward pressures on interest rates, which in turn drag down the economy. And the way that he's gone about tax reductions benefits areas of the economy that don't produce the highest multiplier impacts, create jobs at home, create capacity for an economic recovery, or provide relief for people who've been most impacted by the recession.
    As a Republican that Bush represents :), I can tell you that I am a fiscal conservative, not a big spender. I am also a realist. I seem to remember a statement like "it's the economy, stupid", and a highly popular President that lost re-election.

    We've also been very worried about deflation, which would be a disaster of mega-proportions that few alive remember. This coupled with a mild recession that everyone overreacted to (what comes up must come down -also kind of like a hangover) gave Congress very good reasons, IMO, to worry a little less about inflation - for now. Heck, we even devalued the dollar. As if that doesn't rub me the wrong way!! We might as well scrap the gold standard! (oh yeah - Nixon). Tax cuts are a proven way to stimulate the economy, and the IRS accepts donations - anyone who feels strongly about the "wasteful" cut can easily put their money where their mouth is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Your point about "at least he gave it to the people instead of starting another gov't program that will live forever!" is off target, because with his double round of tax cuts and rebate checks with no accompanying reductions in overall spending, what he really did was hand us a revolving credit debt. The pending fiscal calamity that this represents is pretty staggering when you consider the dramatic escalation in entitlement costs that will begin in a few years as the baby boomers start retiring. Also, where in Bush's State of the Union address did he mention eliminating any federal programs? All I heard about was all kinds of new spending and program appropriations.
    How did we get out of the hole last time? Restrained spending by Congress, and another simple thing: we grew out of it. One nice thing about mild inflation - debt becomes worth less & less in real dollars, and the boom years gave us increased revenue.

    Not to say I'm for deficits. The fed gov't is way to big already. So let's have national health care! And we've known about the BBs' liability for decades. I'll think more about it when the loyal opposition does more than complain!



    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Good enough. When you mentioned that you couldn't see why anyone would call Bush divisive, I kinda jumped the gun a bit. But, it is a good thing to see what the other side is thinking. My best arguments have always been when I appropriate someone's position and take it to the logical extreme. Like whenever I'm in a discussion with someone who claims that they are a "free market" thinker and that government regulation is not needed when you have a self-regulating market, I simply ask them if it would be okay with them if their neighbor decided to build a cement plant in their backyard, or turn their home into a 24-hour peep show or brothel. In a truly free market, a property owner should be able to do whatever they want with their property right, irregardless of what the neighbors think? I've yet to hear someone tell me that their adherence to free market principle is so strong that they would be fine living next door to a cement plant or a brothel.
    Well and the fact is, the Reps & Dems really do believe different, sometimes opposite, things, so the only real way to be unifying is to talk out of both sides of the mouth! Of course, policitians are good at that :)! (and few of them would mind living next to a brothel, it would be very convenient lol)

    Agreed that totally unfettered trade can be very bad - look at that paragon (not JBL:) of free trade thinking, Enron! However, every restriction does raise the final cost of goods sold, so should be considered carefully, particularly when you consider that, as a percentage of income, the poor get hit the hardest. There is also the proven fact that capital flows from higher tax areas to lower.

    The logical extreme of Liberal thought is communism. The same of Conservative thought is dictatorship. Either way, the logical result of gov't is tyranny. Long live freedom of speech!!

    Pete

    PS we need a beer & a break from election seasons!
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •