May 20th, 2008

Obama’s ignorance: this is getting scary

I used to think it might be a good thing for Obama to continue to make egregious errors. It would allow people to see his feet of clay and to understand the dangers of his naive and uninformed views.

But, as he’s made goof after goof and none of his myriad supporters—including his enablers in the MSM—seem to notice or care, it’s become more frightening. Now I’m hoping he smartens up, but fast—especially if he wins the election.

So I’m offering the following in the spirit of helpfulness—sort of.

First, the statement in question, made at a speech Sunday in Pendleton, Oregon:

Iran, Cuba, Venezuela—these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, ‘We’re going to wipe you off the planet.”

Let’s see; where to begin? How about size:

Square mileage:

Cuba: 42,803
Venezuela: 352,144
Iran: 636,374
USSR (now defunct): 8,649,500

Yes indeed, the USSR was big. In fact, it was the biggest country on earth, and so although Obama is correct to say the other three countries pale in comparison, it’s also meaningless because almost all countries pale in comparison.

You might note from this highly informative chart that the now-lonely country of Russia, without any of those Soviet satellites, is still the largest country on earth.

Although the whole issue of size is an absurdity, as Obama ought to know, let’s go a bit further with it. You’ll see from that chart that Iran is rather large after all, coming in at #18. It’s below such unbelievably important (and larger) countries as Kazakhstan (#9), Congo (#12), and Greenland (#13). And although our neighbors in Canada are no doubt of great importance in some ways, one can’t really say they’re #2 in the world, although Canada is the second largest country.

No; as we’re often told (although tell it to the email spammers), size doesn’t really matter.

What does? Influence, capability, intent. Instructive in this regard is the tiny island of Cuba, cited by Obama. Although it’s true it doesn’t mean a whole lot today, it certainly did in the past, with Soviet help. Obama is too young to remember the Cuban missile crisis, although he’s not too young to have learned about it. Cuba was important for strategic and idealogical reasons and it needed to be defanged, which was done at great risk. The country was the toehold in this hemisphere of the Soviet Union and its worldwide influence, the very country Obama is intent on citing as the Big One in his speech.

Then there’s Japan, #61 on the list and quite a bit smaller than even “tiny” Venezuela, #33 (not so very small after all; Venezuela is larger than such tiny and unimportant places as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and France). Japan packed a bit of a wallop during World War II, I hear tell, as did its fellow midget country, Germany (which to my surprise is #62, slightly smaller than Japan).

So if size wasn’t/isn’t the big issue, what was/is? Obama says the Soviets used to say they’d wipe us off the planet. But this was not specifically a nuclear threat, although they definitely had the nuclear capacity. The idea was that their system would replace ours though its sheer superiority.

Earth to Obama: the Cold War (I can’t believe I’m having to say this to a Presidential candidate; and they call Bush stupid!) was called “cold” for a reason. The “hot” part was fought by proxy—by amassing influence and power in smaller countries such as, yes, Cuba, and even Vietnam. The danger was not just the nuclear weaponry of the Soviets, it was their slow accretion of power around the globe.

That conflict, by the way, was not ended by talking.

But Iran, although somewhat different from the Soviet Union, is similar in some ways. It is smaller, but the Iranians loom large on the world stage, and have since 1979—mostly in somewhat clandestine ways, but sometimes overtly. They have influence in the region and want to get more, and they fund terrorism round the globe. They have threatened to do the very thing you say the Soviets wanted to do—wipe us off the planet, either ideologically or in actuality—and they are far more willing to risk their own populace in order to do so.

Iran is a theocracy. Although Communism had aspects of religion, the Communists were men (and women) of this world, not the next. They expected to succeed in very practical terms on earth, not in the world to come. Iran is quite different: rewards in this world or the next work for them. The Soviets were interested in military, economic, and other kinds of earthly power; and although the Iranians are not averse to that and in fact crave it, their stakes (and aims) are even higher: our eternal souls.

If that doesn’t scare you, Obama, it should. And there is evidence that you know that, because you tried to regroup later by saying, in response to McCain’s criticism of your remarks:

“Let me be absolutely clear: Iran is a grave threat.” But the Soviet Union posed an added threat, he said. “The Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn’t have one.”

No, Iran doesn’t have one. Yet.

But they’re on a course to have not just one, but several. And how do you, Obama, propose to stop them?

Why, by talking, of course. What a good idea.

[NOTE: By the way, if Obama was talking about “size” as in “population,” his statements still make little sense.

If you take a look at this chart you’ll see why. Although Japan jumps way up there, Russia goes down quite a bit (no listing, unfortunately, for the Soviet Union), but “tiny” Iran acquits itself quite nicely, thank you very much, in the population category (#17, ahead of France, for example). And Venezuela’s no slouch either: #42—ahead of, for example, Australia.

Not to mention the status of Cuba. Surprise, surprise! The tiny itty bitty thing is #73 in population, ahead of Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Sweden, and countless others we’ve all heard a great deal about.]

55 Responses to “Obama’s ignorance: this is getting scary”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    Good luck educating liberals, neo.

    Back when a lefty was bleating about the US picking on the “small country” of Vietnam. I pointed out that Vietnam (the entire country) has roughly the same population as Germany, and two-thirds the population of Japan.

    Spluttering ensued…

  2. Obama’s 34-word manifesto | The Anchoress Says:

    […] it just me, or is Barack not only saying stupid, stupid things (over and over) but he’s saying them badly, too. “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as […]

  3. DuMaurier-Smith Says:

    George Orwell has an explanation in “Politics and the English Language.”

    Additionally, he gives us this apt passage: “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.”

  4. Imoshen Says:

    Althought I am a conservative, this issue of ignorance or knowledege of world geography, culture, or historical events is a counfounding issue, and an embarrasing one to say the least for us republicains. I believe that it should not been used as a measuring stick for the simple reason of the shameful ignorance track record of George Bush Junior. If ignorance is bliss than let me hide my head with a brown bag. As I said this did not deter me from supporting him and his policies on Afghanistan and Iraq. However, when it comes to world knowledge and oratory power, his skills are left to be desired. Let’s say the truth.

  5. Christopher Says:

    “shameful ignorance”?

    Only for those who can’t be bothered to read, who think the ability to vomit slick and sweet-sounding gaseous inanities are the measure of a man’s intelligence and who get all of their views of the President through the lens of a lying terrorist-supporting media.

    And he’s George WALKER Bush – not “George Bush Junior.” Get rid of the plank in your eye before complaining about the mote in someone else’s.

  6. DuMaurier-Smith Says:

    Imoshen: How can Obama’s ignorance of world geography, culture and historical events be an embarrassment to us? What you’re really saying is, “Well, Bush is too!” But without the specifics of neo’s indictment of Obama; just the usual liberal cant: Bush is ignorant! Well, maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but he’s not an issue. The issue is Obama’s qualifications for the office of President. Or should I understand your reasoning to be this: we elected Bush, who I think was ignorant, so we should give Obama a pass for being ignorant.

    Personally, I don’t think you’re a conservative; you sound too much like liberal political jock.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    the soviets didnt fall, all that happened was a reorganization. MANY have pointed out that the same rulers are in place in russia… the FSB and GRU still do what their old names used to. spying is up and went up much much higher after the fall (open borders).

    and the dems and everyone here stopped doing that proxy thing… giving up on george kenans advice and if you know about her now, she is going back to what she was now that she collected all this money, technology, expertise, etc. (heck, if the students of one school went out into the world every year since 1950, only one agency would have put out more than 50,000 operatives… and that wouldnt include fellow travelers, red diaper babies, and others).

    here is a interesting map that should make you lose even more sleep.

    the map is colored by communism vs free world..

    do note that in htis map there is no country that is not socialist… and if you notice, the vast majority of the world is now communist.

    in case you didnt know… if we dont wake up in a short while, we will have a world war where america is the target as everyone believes were more evil than germany.

    red world 2008

  8. Sergey Says:

    The nature of asymmetrical warfare makes moot all strategic calculations ignoring this issue. Hezbollah in Lebanon is tiny (1500 fighters) but it made half of Israel uninhabitable in latest conflict, while IDF is many, many times stronger. One Japan kamikadze could sink an air-carrier. All this especially important in assessing Iran capabilities. Could US allow even one nuclear attack at New York or San-Francisko? Iranian leadership well aware of this notion, it use sucide bombers and proxies like Hezballah. How it is possible to overlook all this for a normal person? Obama is not only dangerously ignorant, he is really stupid or deluded.

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    forgot to add these before i hit enter. sorry.

    “Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ’emergency’. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And ’emergency’ became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.” — Herbert Hoover

    a bit of correction to you on the we will destroy you statement…

    “We shall destroy you from within!” — Nikita Krushchev, during the Kitchen Debate, 1959

    the founder of the ACLU said the same as below

    “We can’t expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.” — Nikita Kruschev

    “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” — V.I. Lenin
    “A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.” — V.I. Lenin
    “Only an armed people can be the real bulwark of popular liberty.” — V.I. Lenin

    and on red/rad feminism

    “Destroy the family, you destroy the country.” — V.I. Lenin

    “Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same, and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism.” – Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (First Harvard University Press, 1989), p.10

    “A world where men and women would be equal is easy to visualize, for that precisely is what the Soviet Revolution promised.” – Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (New York, Random House, 1952), p.806

    “The Women’s Caucus [endorses] Marxist-Leninist thought.” — Robin Morgan, Sisterhood is Powerful, p. 597

    The threat of environmental crisis will be the ‘international disaster key’ that will unlock the New World Order.” — Mikhail Gorbachev, quoted in “A Special Report: The Wildlands Project Unleashes Its War On Mankind”, by Marilyn Brannan, Associate Editor, Monetary & Economic Review, 1996, p. 5

    “Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.” — Mikhail Gorbachev

    “In October 1917, we parted with the old world, rejecting it once and for all. We are moving toward a new world, a world of Communism. We shall never turn off that road.” — Mikhail Gorbachev

    on history… we are so far off its scary..
    note that people of england thing churchill was a myth and sherlock holmes is real.

    [heck we cant remember that mubia al jamal was h rap brown.. and rap music was his poetry from die ni**er die… heck.. he was close to foudners assata shakur.. whose son, funded by communists, created and visited rap music and thug culture. the idea is direct from one of h rap browns speeches. we didnt make the laws here, we are not subject to the laws here. etc… so the clothing is designed to help facilitate what they see as a proper response to oppression, for anythign that an oppressed does that hurts the oppressor, is justice]

  10. Sergey Says:

    The whole world situation more and more looks like run-up to WWII, so Bush speech in Knesset was not simply an historical rememberance. Storm is gathering, but, as in 1930, nobody wants to hear. Bush is not so eloquent as Churchill, far from it, but even Churchill was completely ignored. Entering in these dangerous waters with insane captain at the helm… brrr. I soon will begin to pray for some wacko with high powered riffle to save us from this misfortune.

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    I agree sergey…

    except this time…

    we all have some incredibly nasty toys…
    [i am not referring to nuclear, its actually more humane. most of those who were at zero point in japan, were never aware of what happened. they went from walking, to a black shadow on the wall in less than a second. though those at the perimeters where their body parts pop like balloons, did have it bad, the numbers were not as high as the carpet bombind and slowly suffocating or burning to death]

    no wackos now… we are too closed for that without it being a state sponser.

    but we are ratcheting up for the next world war…

    we have lost our moral compass
    we have lost our mens abilities
    we have lost our mens willingness (feminism did good).
    we have lost population…

    and most importantly, we lost the thing that actually won wwii…

    our capacity to out manufacture the enemy…

    even if we tried to pull factories back, the supporting infrastrtucture around it is also now gone. (truck repairs, machine shops, tool makers, die makers, etc… all gone… when a factory goes, an even larger support infrastructure collapses).

    we even lost our intelligence… since teachers long ago answered the question of indoctrination as a resounding yes fulfilling communist deweys concepts.

    the sad part is that when the fit hits the shan, the guys will just say no way… die for what? i dont have a wife… i dont have a family… the women hate us guys (just look at the shows, not one decent guy in any of them!!!!)…

    thats if the gangs who also went to the military and got urban warfare training for free in iraq dont also pitch in here.

    remember each radical group thinks obama is going to give them what they want… so the feminists will get male slaves.. the blacks will get payback.. islams will get sharia and dhimmi… etc.

    but the real thing is that they will only get the chance to fight it out a la hegel.

    i was going to write a wish.

    but then i erased it as we are beyond wishing.

    the feminists, and other left groups are going to have to taste the whip of the monster they are building.

    they dont get that once there isnt a huge country defending freedom and willing to make trouble for tiny individuals, there is nothing to stop them from taking every radical and loading them into re-education or work camps.

    all these groups never studies their history… there are no black leaders in the communist king states… there are no women in the supreme soviet (or its new equivalent)… where in the leadership of china is any chance for such?

    they are considered traitors by those they work for. they are willing to tear down their own home to put their own people happily into slavery on propaganda, or on the promise of personal power.

    either way, those are the first ones that any authoritarian state gets rid of.. the sa was more radical than the ss… which survived?

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    his ignorance of economics is going to hurt us more than his ignorance of geography and other things!!

    from moonbattery:

    Obama has already tried to break the back of our economy by putting the entire planet on American welfare:

    The Global Poverty Act (S.2433) would require the United States to spend $845 billion ($845,000,000,000.00) on welfare to third-world countries. This amounts to a tax of over $2,000 on each man, woman and child in the United States. The foreign aid budget now stands at $300 billion; the Act would add the additional expenditure to the already huge amount allocated to assist the world.

    From there it would grow, like all government programs.


    The act also undermines American sovereignty by controlling how money expropriated from American taxpayers will be spent:

    The bill requires the President: “acting through the Secretary of State, and in consultation with the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies of the United States Government, international organizations, international financial institutions, the governments of developing and developed countries, United States and international nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, and other appropriate entities, shall develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further… the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal”.
    The “international organizations” and “international nongovernmental organizations” and “other appropriate entities” are of course the United Nations; the same institution that has a record of corruption, bad judgment and anti-Americanism.

    obama is such a good communist he is fullfilling lenins quote about crushing between taxes and inflation…

  13. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    As Sergey has pointed out, it’s crucial to understand the very different natures of the kind of threats posed by Germany in WWII, the Soviet Union in the Cold War and terrorists today.

    Terrorism is invulnerable to confrontation through conventional military means. Both 9/11 and Iraq offer terrifying remedial courses in that fact to those who as yet fail to understand.

    Conventional military tactics focus on destroying the enemies military assets and relinquising his control of territory. Terrorists have few or no military assets and control little or no territory. To the extent that they do, neither control of territory, nor military assets are essential to their survival.

    Secondly, we need to acknowledge the vast gulf in ideological appeal between communism and Islamic extremism. Communism, for all its faults, offered an appealing alternative to the excesses of the kind of statist capitalism practiced in most third world countries in the past century. It attempted to address very real economic grievances and included some rather detailed strategies for achieving wealth creation for poor people–a goal with obvious appeal.
    The contrasts couldn’t be wider with Islamic extremism, which has no program for solving economic problems and, instead, focuses on addressing an extremely narrow band of emotional grievances and, even then, does so in ways that are irrational and, ultimately, suicidal.

    So it is that while Iran is arguably the most successful progenitor of Islamic extremism, its regime is deeply unpopular among Iranians themselves and must rely on provocations by the U.S. and Britain to maintain its power.
    In Egypt, the biggest Arab country and Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country, Islamic radicalism is distantly isolated from the levers of political power. It is focused there on blurring the distinctions between Islamic extremism and moderate Islam, because moderate Muslims openly oppose its tactics but are reluctant to renounce their religion.

    There is at least one important aspect that remains unchanged across WWII, the Cold War and the war against Islamic extremism: neoconservatives response.

    So it was the Krauthammers and Podohretz’s spent their days and nights envisioning a grand confrontation with the Soviet Union across the Fulda Gap–counting tanks and bombers and missiles it would take to win.

    Like the old saying goes: If all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  14. Gray Says:

    So it was the Krauthammers and Podohretz’s spent their days and nights envisioning a grand confrontation with the Soviet Union across the Fulda Gap–counting tanks and bombers and missiles it would take to win.

    And that’s why we are still in an unending cold war with the Soviet Union and why Saddam’s troops defeated us so handily just like Baghdad Bob said.

  15. Thomas Says:

    “Although Communism had aspects of religion, the Communists were men (and women) of this world, not the next.”

    Hey Sergey, help me out here. Were they Communists or Socialists?

    I’m thinking Socialists who called their party the Communist party. Communism is simply late stage Socialism. No such thing a ‘Communist’ really. Only Socialists.

  16. DuMaurier-Smith Says:

    “Like the old saying goes: If all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

    Wrong. Very wrong. Such simplicity! As anyone knows who’s taken the time to watch a carpenter on a building, if all you have is a hammer sometimes it is a backscratcher, a hard-hat-pusher-back, a bug killer, a sandwich wrapper paperweight, pry bar, bottle opener–and in other, more extreme situations that are seldom witnessed but well documented, a murder weapon.

    “There is at least one important aspect that remains unchanged across WWII, the Cold War and the war against Islamic extremism: neoconservatives response.”

    I take it we’re not to know of what the neoconservatives response is an important aspect. But let that go. Two observations: First, that response has been historically successful; it liberated Europe, much of Asia and resulted in the collapse the “evil empire”–a success much appreciated by the free world. Second, the conservative response isn’t formulated in a vacuum; after a certain point the bickering, dickering, mewling and appeasing liberals have foreclosed upon other response options.

  17. bad hai ku menter Says:

    Noble buttercup,
    Violent hailstorm:
    It’s the attitude, stupid.

  18. huxley Says:

    Without citing a single example, Imoshen hits George W. Bush with the ignorance stick.

    It’s true that Bush is verbally clumsy, sometimes in the extreme, and I’ve laughed at some of the things he’s said too, but I don’t remember his getting things fundamentally wrong and doing something like this “no threat” to “grave threat” about-face that Obama just did.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    Well, we still are in a cold war… or rather a shadow war in which the general population this time doesnt know or wants to be aware of.

    your point as to assets is correct, but as to invulnerability your wrong. i wrote this long thing explaining how this works, but this venue isnt good for that, as i dont get too much discussion when i am thorough.

    suffice it to say that they have weak points. the points are money, support, supply, and connection.

    you engage their foot soldiers, and dont stop. which is why most countries fighting insurgencies have done so for decades (the us is too developed for a insurgency to work here overtly and survive for very long).

    the vietnamese didnt destroy any of our factories or any of the things you express in the concept of conventional. war is not conventional, and failure to adapt to new situations as they happen is not being rigid and conventional (though you can paint it that way to those that wont think about it deeply).

    the vietnamese engaged us and let the 5th column do their work. if we stayed the course, millions would not have died in more than two countries. though vietnam has a special place since china was also protecting their arteries.

    but back to the present.

    these weaknesses are things that have to be dismantled or blocked. they are SLOW, where bombing things to oblivion using huge quantities of material is FAST. WWII was inlimited, and we are in just warfare doctrine now.

    you have to engage the front, while you take out the back. and the back is where supplies come in. the money goes to buy supplies, and supplies are purchased from whom? well france and russia are the biggest dealers, but in these areas, russia dominates.

    The Chinese boat of weapons for zimbabwe should be evidence that what I said about transport of weapons is true. The land bridge is the best. Take out a marker and go to a map, and draw lines from each of the countries who have these problems in the middle east, and connect them over land to Russia their weapons supplier.

    You will find that all the possible routes through freindlies go through iran, and into the regions in heavy contention with Russia for control, and a inland sea that Russia is also very antsy about.

    Iran is the supply line to the terrorists over land. That’s why iran is in play now more than any other reason. Russia doesn’t want Iran to actually get a nuclear bomb, so it teases it for crumbs and money. in exchange she gets a clear path for unlimited arms shipments to pass through to iraq, Syria, darfur, the people of hammas and Hezbollah, etc.

    You can see this is the reason as spain was bombed (turkey was attempted) and gave them control of the straight… chavez was tasked to build weapons factories since its easier for him to ship weapons to africa than Russia to ship them or china.

    Anyway… there is so much to cover and the volume makes my writing more erratic as I dont know what to include or take out (when writing off the cuff).

    As to communism, and such… well you have a lot to learn about it. if you read the books that reveal the archive notes and the works of confirmed defectors, you would find that communists were vastly responsible for many of these groups. While the AP the other day actually referred to the rebels in south America as rightist, most of us realize that whatever their origins, they are not being supported by libertarians who want minimal government, etc.

    These other states leaders end up courting these states in exchange for weapons, expertise (even if its in how to work the American programs to get these things), and a host of other things. in other cases, you get the situation like obamas uncle. They open up a school (like they did here in the US too), and the school teaches while also leading an insurgency. This is why both china and the cyclone torn countries aren’t letting in peace workers. For longer than I am old peace workers were a way to insert operatives, and cause trouble. Doesn’t mean that’s what these would do, but history says that things are more complex than just foolish people refusing to do the right thing.

    Before you think that podhertz and Krauthammer were just sitting around telling ghost stories, better look up things like Yamentau Mountain. A place that they have just upgraded, and the size of the Washington beltway. Did you see the images of the parade of weapons this year in red square? Or how about the fact that they put bears in the air again and have been flying them at different countries airspace causing escort situations?

    There is a heck of a lot that is going on that the main stream is never talking about. The reason is that the peoples arguments as to peace and other things are just noise, as no president or congressman in office would actually listen to the population to make war policy. They would listen to handlers and their conscience as fellow travelers, but not the noise the people yell. Most of them cant even form a cogent argument on the subject from a base of actually having read Clauswitz, Tsu, and a host of others including the tracts by the Chinese communists recently that descrives 5G warfare.

    If you think that 4G is nasty, 5G is worse… if you get a chance to read the translated document you will understand that they are very well read on all these philosophers and thinkers and that they are commenting from that huge wealth of knowledge.

    Most people commenting on war have no idea what they are commenting on, its real reasons for existence, why they will always happen, and more. they tend to just parrot the past trendy phrases and they don’t even get them right.

    Like when they say

    “war is hell”

    Not knowing the full quote was by Sherman and is “war is hell, and I intend to make it so”

    but that was long before just war.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    Hey Sergey, help me out here. Were they Communists or Socialists?

    i know i am not sergey, but can i play too?

    the soviets were socialists striving for communism a state that was never actually ever reached.

    communism being the final state after world socialism and the state itself withering away…

    the separation of the two is only one convenience so that we would taint our water with socialism, and eventually it would not be restrained and cause collapse as capitalists cant earn enough to pay for everything.

    which is why the kruschev quote i posted above.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Amanda: No doubt you know more about fighting terrorists and insurgencies and asymmetrical warfare than General Petraeus does. But perhaps you would like to try reading the book he wrote on the subject anyway, and see whether such enemies might need safe havens, supplies, money, and training, all of which can be disrupted by various military and intelligence means.

    The Sorley book A Better War might be edifying, as well.

  22. harry McHitlerburtonstein the COnservative Extremist Says:

    Amanda fronts more of that famous brand of pseudo-intellectual arrogance the left likes to throw around: Radical Islam maybe a bad thing, but it isnt a real threat; and, fighting terrorism only creates more terrorism.

    If we pull our armed forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan, what is the fate of the indigenous population? If you’re a liberal, go ahead and choose a). I dont know, and I dont care.
    The answer, of course, is that if we abandon these populations to religious oppression and cultural genocide. They will not be able to defend themselves. Bumper stickers that advance world peace and empty pronouncements about coexisting will not replace armed commitment. You’ve condemned these people in favor of lofty empty rhetoric in order for you to avoid confronting your own convictions and lack of moral certitude.

    I remember that we who lived in a democracy, took pride in a system of government in which we tolerated other peoples points of view and vowed to defend their right to express them. Now, we must put some of them under 24 hr guard and hide their whereabouts while we exercise self-censorship under the guise of “multi-culturalism” and political correctness.

    This form of creeping moral capitulation is brought to you by the Amandas of society who wish to disarm us mentally as well as militarily.

    You’re only partly right Amanda. Radical Islam by itself isnt a real threat to the United States or the west in general. Radical Islam aided by moral capitulating liberals, however, is.

  23. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    Insurgents need popular support, military assets and territory to survive–even if those requirements are much more flexible than is the case with government-backed militaries. Destroy those elements, destroy the insurgents.

    Terrorists, including those now operating in Iraq, require no measurable popular support and no military assets. Box cutters, pilot licenses and anonymity will do.

    When terrorists acquire measurable popular support and military assets, they become insurgents, who no longer need to rely on terrorism, nor would want to, since it would destroy popular support and, more important, does nothing to increase their terroritory or other military assets.

    Here again, Iraq proves the point. The most effective weapon against rising terrorism in Iraq has been the insurgency, elements of which Patreaus successfully appeased, putting them on the U.S. payroll under agreements to assassinate and/or isolate terrorist elements that had previously allied with the insurgents.

  24. SteveH Says:

    Obama will not win the Presidency.

    If i didn’t know better i’d say the man is purposely sabatouging his own campaign. Theres more to be gained by pointing out a racist America’s rejection of him, than to win a four year term and prove all his detractors exactly right.

  25. Mitsu Says:

    Hi Neo,

    It’s been a while since I’ve visited your site, but I thought I’d check in again here. As I’ve said before I generally admire your writing, but I have to admit I don’t follow the logic of this post — it seems rather odd to me. Obama’s statement seems simple enough to me: these are small countries which don’t pose nearly the threat the USSR posed. You seem to be interpreting his remarks to mean “the size of the country determines the size of the threat it poses.” This seems quite obtuse — all he was saying, it seems to me, is that these countries are both small *and* pose much less of a threat to us than the Soviet Union did. That’s specifically what he said, and there’s no reason in the quote above to imagine he meant the rather trivially absurd: the size of the threat is *determined* by the physical size of the country.

    It seems to me that you’re being blinded by a rather intense desire to see the Democratic nominee as lacking, rather than a desire to observe these candidates as objectively as possible. Your interpretation of Obama’s remarks is pretty nonsensical in this case. Obviously, for example, as you point out and I’m sure Obama, as most people with half a brain, know quite well, countries as small as Germany or Japan have also posed grave threats to the world.

    Iran’s military is ludicrously mismatched against ours, and they have virtually no long-distance force projection capability. Sure, they pose a terrorist threat, and if they acquired a nuclear weapon that would be grave indeed (as I’ve argued elsewhere). But even in that case the threat they pose to us would be tiny compared to the threat of the old USSR, by any objective standards.

    This post also seems a bit pedantic as it misses the main issue Obama was raising here: that it makes sense to talk to our adversaries. It’s almost as though people are afraid that if we talk to our adversaries, we’re going to be brainwashed by them or something of the kind. What’s the danger in talking, if it helps us achieve our aims? Provided we talk in order to forward our own national security, and I’m certain Obama would do this, it could only redound to our own benefit. Naturally we keep all options, including military, on the table. Obama has already proven to be more than willing to do this against our adversaries.

  26. Sergey Says:

    Yes, Communists were some kind of Socialists with milleniaristic, pseudo-religious vision, appealing to old Russian popular utopian perspective. But this stage was short, and as party began transforming to government bureaucracy, religious zeal inside it evaporated, it degenerated to Stalin pesonality cult, and after its denunciation no viable ideology left, only cynical conformism. Since no of ideological prediction materialized, disillusionment in Communism in 1970 was almost universal. The regime lasted only by inertia, it was ideologically dead. What we see now is not communism in new dressing, but old Russian imperialism and bureaucratic autocracy, struggling to survive and adapt to modernity. It is very instable and will not last long.

  27. Sergey Says:

    It is very hard to assess popularity of any terroristic totalitarian regime. It can look monolitic even when popular resentment fills every pore of society. But one thing is certain: its leadership strive for international recognition and legitimization to keep its grasp of society. So to undermine it from within it is crucial to deny it such recognition, so all direct talks and official contacts with Western politicians would be used as propaganda tools to prolong its life. They should be officially prohibited by West, if we are serious in attempts to isolate and denormalize it.

  28. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    JFK summed it up with a fitting couplet: “Never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate.”

    One of the things that makes America a great country is that it has a history of providing moral as well as military leadership–an imperfect history, to be sure, but one that stands up well by comparison with others.

    When we demand that Iran and the Palestinian Authority, for example, renounce violence as a way of settling conflicts, leaving negotiations as the only option, it’s not only irrational but also immoral to simultaneously refuse to negotiate.

    The historical willingness of FDR, JFK, Nixon, Carter and other American leaders to negotiate with enemies is not a tactic, but a requirement of moral leadership.

    The country can indeed live on for periods, as it has of late, without such leadership, but it is the most precious distinction the country has and we won’t survive very long without it.

  29. Sergey Says:

    Some conflicts by their nature can not be “settled” without complete defeat and unconditional surrender of one of the parties, and I see no way to attain this by any kind of negotiation.

  30. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    Sergey: Can you explain your reasoning?What “nature” are you referring to?

    What do you mean by “complete” defeat?

    In the war against Islamic extremism, what would a “complete” defeat mean? Who would surrender?

  31. SteveH Says:

    Its a misnomer to say discussion doesn’t already exist with countries like Iran. Every time Ackmahnutjob opens his mouth he states his outrageous position pretty clearly for his enemies consumption. And Bush responds in kind as a reasonable adult.

    Seems to me as a thinking person, that one side is clearly light years away from a sit down adult discussion.

    To attempt such discussions at this point is to reward the worst kinds of heads of state behavior.

    Any thinking person will know by the rhetoric when the islamic world is ready. We ain’t there yet.

  32. Sergey Says:

    I mean situation of two cultures, or states, or civilizations having so incompatible beliefs, norms and values that their peaceful coexistence is in long run impossible, like Nazism and liberal democracy or Islam and any other religion. Under complete defeat I understand, for example, nuking Iran, or invading Syria or Gaza, killing all armed terrorists, establishing military rule (like in defeated Germany or Japan), arrest and detention of clergy and forming a provisional government from moderates agreeng to cooperate with occupation forces and gradually delegating them privileges and powers which they would be able to implement. In short, nothing new in comparison to what already had been done in Japan and Germany, with replacing demilitarisation and denazification with deislamisation. Turks under Kemal were even capable to do it themselves.

  33. Sergey Says:

    I can also cite as example quelling of Chechen mutiny by Russian authorities. Israel would be able to do this in Gaza, if it could afford to ignore so-called world opinion, what it could not. Russia can, being large enough and economically self-sufficient. And US too large enough to ignore european hypocrisy, but divided by cultural wars undermining its will and assertiveness in foreign policy. It needs another Pearl Harbor to come to its senses.

  34. Sergey Says:

    Who will surreder? In case of absence of centralised power, country after country, tribe after tribe, or community after community. Surrender not always means signing of some declaration, but simply ceasing of organized resistance, like in Chechnya or Iraq.

  35. Gray Says:

    JFK summed it up with a fitting couplet: “Never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate.”

    And that’s why we negotiated away our mid-range nuclear missiles out of Turkey and secured the power of Fidel Castro all for the threat of crates on the deck of a Soviet Ship.

    That priapic dope Kennedy got served.

    Then the Sovs just snuck the missile into cuba in the hulls of the ship like they used to, anyhow.

    Maintaining your worldview takes a willful disregard and ignorance of history and facts….

  36. The Thunder Run Says:

    Web Reconnaissance for 05/21/2009…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often….

  37. Artfldgr Says:

    You are very wrong because you leave out key things from the discussion. What’s in your argument is only the surface, you cant imagine how they could do something, so you assert they can’t. It was Obama that chose the word small, when there is a huge lexicon to pick from. Your dissimulation is clever but not clever enough when one considers that Obama is a lawyer trained to use language as a weapon in an adversarial legal system. Neo is in the psych trade, another area that has a very careful and fundamental focus on language, its usages, and more to the point, the implications as to why we choose to say something one way or another way, or even make “Freudian slips”, exposing our inner truths when we try to hide them.

    It seems to me that you’re being blinded by a rather intense desire to see the Democratic nominee as lacking…

    No, I think its more basic than that, she is holding a person to their words and merit, while you are fantasizing that he is saying what you want him to say by allowing him to say anything, and then reinterpreting it after the fact! He said small, and because neo isn’t correcting what Obama said to make it ok, you say she has an agenda. What about you who is basically saying, don’t listen to what the man says, listen to how you feel when he says it, and blindly follow him, whether lacking or not. How did you determine that he wasn’t lacking?

    In order to count him as not lacking you have to ignore that he says small when meaning something else, ignore the fact that his mom was white, his dad was arab, and only his great grandmother was black (making him not really black other than skin color and making him accepting things as if he was black, a lie to get things that he morally shouldn’t have gotten because the givers were led to believe he was something other than he is). then we have to ignore the friends… Wright, ayers, and long list that is growing almost daily… some of these friends have murdered people for a cause that is communist, not American and done so on American soil. We have to ignore his liberation theology and social justice crap… and the list goes on.

    Your willing to ignore all that to pretend the candidate is what you imagine them to be, that’s your right. You do have the right to be delusional, what you dot have the right is to impose that delusional state on others and think that because you can change what you see to be nicer, that that’s what it actually is.

    Iran’s military is ludicrously mismatched against ours, and they have virtually no long-distance force projection capability.

    Which means that they have a distinct advantage when idiots like you are at the helm. They have the advantage of the napoleon complex. I am a big guy (size), and so I am VERY aware of this situation, as I am the easy target in the game. if the small one attacks the big one, and the big one responds with the strength the big one has, as you assert, the big one looks like a mean nasty person. swatting mosquitoes is bad, you have to let them bite you forever to be fair, right? The best that can happen for a large entity against a small entity like that is a tie… if the small one wins, they get pumped up… if the small one loses, they get lifted up.

    They and others of power are aware of this game, and they use it. fellow travelers and such are also aware. Who is not aware are the useful idiots like you that think that what they see is everything there is, and have absolutely no idea of tactics and abilities.

    Sure, they pose a terrorist threat, and if they acquired a nuclear weapon that would be grave indeed (as I’ve argued elsewhere). But even in that case the threat they pose to us would be tiny compared to the threat of the old USSR, by any objective standards.

    Ever notice that two big guys rarely get into a fight. We are big, we know that when we fight, there is going to be a heck of a lot of pain and damage. I am 6’3” and 235. that’s heavyweight size (Tyson was 225). If I and another person go at it, we are not going to get bruised up, we are going to cause real damage, and in the process, we will damage everything around us…

    You have no idea of the interplay of real power, subversion, intrigue, and other things. your as bare and naïve as a baby (you will protest, but that doesn’t change the facts).

    Russia and the US had their hands tied when it came to each other… they were too big to fight directly. They both know it. you don’t. but between this dynamic and the dynamic above, is a solution. the large guy gives expertise, supplies, money, coordination to the little guy to make him more effective and give him cahones beyond what he should have. emboldened they can actually hurt us.

    Ah, but once they have a nuclear weapon, all the others can hurt us too. your imagination is so stunted by blind pacifism, that you don’t see how they can do something unless it’s the clearly defined way that you imagine. You think… they cant make missiles that can reach here, we are safe. Do you really need a missle to transport something to a location and set it off if the people doing the transport are willing to die? We have caught cocaine shipments in excess of 2 tons… there was a tunnel from mexico into the US that was operating for years.

    All they have to do is buy a expensive civilian ship. the kind that you can go around the world on by yourself. Or a shiping boat. They sail it to miles off the east coast, and throw their thing over the side. Then sail home… a week later… ny, Washington, etc, are all living the bandeh acea lifestyle.

    The catch is that as long as korea don’t have them, and iran don’t have them, then there is only a few people that can be blamed. Once these two have them, you cant tell who did it, and so ANY OF THEM CAN. Who will be blamed?

    It’s almost as though people are afraid that if we talk to our adversaries, we’re going to be brainwashed by them or something of the kind. What’s the danger in talking, if it helps us achieve our aims?

    Well this view makes sense to a leftist who thinks that if a person has nothing but murderers for friends they can be a nice guy. Your ideology has made sure to remove the biological protection of guilt through association. Birds of a feather hang together.

    The term you need to know is legitimization. I think you already know it, and your aim here is to get us to forget it.

    Would you let a man whose friends are all paid members of NAMBLA watch your children? why not?

    The thing you have learned from your lefty ideology is that the PRESUMPTION of an end justifies the action… this is even worse than the end justifies the means. Because the second of the two defines an actual end.

    What’s the danger in talking, if it helps us achieve our aims?

    Your assuming by denying history, that it will help achieve our aims. And what are our aims? What are their aims?

    Their aims in getting nuclear weapons is to move to stage two of conflict. The change in level is a fundamental change, from the point you climb up, you no longer can be invaded. Iran, knows that even if it gets one bomb, its then protected from invasions and can then only fall by subversion and inner rot.

    No one will attack a nuclear power frontally unless they are too close to the other or too small for the other to use nuclear weapons in response. and there is the key that you don’t see. if you have a sword, and I stand too close to you, can you use it? is a sword good at attacking a fly?

    They are dangerous for precisely the reasons being used to assert they arent.

    Provided we talk in order to forward our own national security, and I’m certain Obama would do this, it could only redound to our own benefit. Naturally we keep all options, including military, on the table. Obama has already proven to be more than willing to do this against our adversaries.

    How can legitimizing a non state entity result in forwarding our national security. Haven’t you ever stalled for time in your life? Have you ever played gin rummy? They would use the talks as a way of keeping us tangled up and not acting. As long as your talking you’re the bad guy for attacking. How can you switch postures when your going hat in hand to them, and they are not coming hat in hand to you thinking that if they don’t your going to use the military?

    You sir have come to a battle of wits with an unloaded weapon.

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    Amanda: What do you mean by “complete” defeat?

    Unconditional surrender, one side dictates terms.
    I thought you knew about war, and such? how can you say you understand things when you don’t know what “complete defeat” means?

    Amanda:In the war against Islamic extremism, what would a “complete” defeat mean? Who would surrender?

    Unconditional surrender. They, the leaders that run things, give up, and they come to the table and throw down weapons, they allow their system to be dismantled while the terrorists are to be brought to trial for the acts they have committed.

    And sergey confirms
    In short, nothing new in comparison to what already had been done in Japan and Germany, with replacing demilitarisation and denazification with deislamisation. Turks under Kemal were even capable to do it themselves.

    With the addition that by doing this you get the outcomes that the US and UK achieved in France and elsewhere.

    The actual first and only examples of actual liberating armies, not to be confused with soviet equivalents that defined liberation as turning them soviet, but real liberation with no ownership by the winner and the freedom to oppose the liberators.

  39. Artfldgr Says:

    Amanda: JFK summed it up with a fitting couplet: “Never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate.”

    And Roosevelt said: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”

    And he had a quote for people like you too…

    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
    “Citizenship in a Republic,”
    Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

    “…the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done.” (1891)

    “Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger.” (1894)

    And for both Amanda and mitsu:

    “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”
    “Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star”, 149
    May 7, 1918

  40. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    The refusal to negotiate with enemies fails the simplest test of logic.

    The easiest way to see this is to assume Sergey is speaking for, say, Syria.

    The government of Syria’s position, then, is that its survival requires the complete destruction of its enemies. It therefore has no need to negotiate anything other than complete surrender.

    What then, can the U.S. position be? Of course there is no choice. The U.S. cannot choose to take any approach other than total war.

    Given that Syria knows it must face total war waged by the U.S., it now has rational, moral justification for waging total war.

    By refusing to negotiate with Iran, the U.S. gives instant, undeniable moral and political justification to Iranian militants who argue, correctly in this hypothetical, that the U.S. only understands violence.

    Iran is willing to negotiate. That is the only logical precondition for U.S. willingness to engage them. I may well be that the timing, location and other details of the talks can be the subject of strategic decisions, but that can, and in practice is, only possible when there is an acknowledged willingness to talk.

    On a more practical level, the obvious fact is that the leaders of Iran have far more to lose by negotiating than does the U.S. To the extent that the Iranian regime’s legitimacy derives more from its willingness and ability to resort to violence, the admission that it must resort to talks is a far greater political blow. For America, negotiations are the natural, democratic way of solving disputes and a practice that honors and extends American power, ideals and institutions.

  41. Artfldgr Says:

    Iran is willing to negotiate.

    well yeah, beacuse they get rewarded by being able to sit at the table and take a concession.

    in this case, every country that is small who wants things will just kick in to the cash cow of attacking then getting concessions in negotiation.

    as i asked before, what should we give them in trade at the table? if your going to negotiate, your going to have to trade something.

  42. Barrie in Australia Says:

    How come you left out little Britain, that old neo-con country, before they ever invented the word? So small, the Mercator projection is needed to exaggerate its size, but NO-ONE can doubt its importance to the free world we enjoy today, such as it is.
    Or its civilisational virtues, out of all proportion to its population.
    Thanks for pointing out Obama’s immense stupidity, [God save us from him] but, please, know where you come from, neo-neocon!

  43. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    Artfldger illustrates how bent language is used as a rhetorical ploy to obscure the simple, mathematical logic of negotiation.

    Art writes: “they get rewarded by being able to sit at the table and take a concession.”

    Firstly, concessions are made, not taken. Art’s slip gives his game away.

    As Art alludes, sort of, to achieve anything in negotiations with the U.S., Iran will have to make concessions.

    The U.S., being the far more powerful country militarily, economically and diplomatically, should have to concede less and can afford to concede more. The math is clearly on our side.

    Sure, in theory, the Iranians could be skillful enough negotiators to overcome their disadvantage and emerge with the better end of a deal. But who would bet on that being the outcome?

    Art asks what the U.S. should be prepared to concede.

    The most obvious choice would be economic sanctions. These are of no economic benefit for the U.S. and, in fact, are costly. Just ask Dick Cheney, who, when he was running Halliburton, chose to skirt the sanctions to win contracts for the company.

  44. Thomas Says:

    Sergey Says:

    “Yes, Communists were some kind of Socialists with milleniaristic, pseudo-religious vision, appealing to old Russian popular utopian perspective.”

    But people here call it it’s own ideology… I don’t speak Russian but the name of the country said Socialist, the legal system was called Socialist Law, I do speak Hungarian and when I went over there they did not call their country communist either (re: it was socialist), when I got around to reading Marx I see communism was simply a term for the stage after socialism, one that no thinking socialist would claim Russia ever got close to.

    So, own ideology or just a socialist faction (re: major faction, heh) / party?


  45. sergey Says:

    Communism is a dream, never achieved and and inherently impossible. Socialism is an actual form of society political and economical organization. But everywhere when tried it did not lead to abundance of products, which was rendered nessessary for transition to communism, but to deficit and misery. So it is a blind alley: it can never deliver what was promissed.
    So-called democratic socialism, the basic western leftist idea, also turned out to be impossible: socialism is incompatible with democracy and damages it even when implemented by non-violent means.

  46. Sally Says:

    Negotiating, or “talking”, and refusing to negotiate are both just tactics, and either tactic can be useful and sensible, or not, depending on the context. In this particular context, of course Iran wants to negotiate — it can only hope to gain some concession that it has no realistic hope of gaining otherwise. The question is whether the same can be said for the US and the West in general. And the answer to that question, given the nature of the current Iranian regime, as exemplified by its President, is just as clearly no. Negotiating would in itself be a form of reward for Iran’s extremist intransigence — would be already a concession, in other words, that Iran has done nothing to warrant. Being unable or unwilling to see that is one of the most telling illustrations of Obama’s political naivete.

    Or perhaps — since even he is likely to understand the tactical uses of non-negotiation under various circumstances — it just illustrates his opportunism, his dangerous willingness to exploit both the childish credulity and the vacuous Bush-derangement of his lefty associates and allies. (It’s also telling, by the way, that his lefty apologists always refer to the tactical refusal to negotiate as a “fear”, since one of their most persistent psychological traits is projection.)

  47. The Unknown Blogger Says:

    “Under Mr. Bush, the United States has held direct talks with Libya (which has admitted responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people); sent envoys and a warm presidential letter to North Korea (which detonated a nuclear device in 2006); and even participated, through American diplomats in Iraq, in talks with Iran (which the United States has accused of backing attacks against American forces in Iraq).” source

  48. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    While the Iranian people have much to gain from negotiations with the U.S., the Iranian leadership has more to lose than gain through negotiations.

    It is beyond naive to think that Iran’s current leadership could gain legitimacy by making agreements with what it calls “The Great Satan.” Iran’s theocracy has seized and maintained power through subterfuge, coercion and outright force, not suasion. Its survival depends entirely on perpetual confrontation.

    The Iranian government survives by claiming that such measures, including censorship, military spending and the outlawing or dissent are necessary, given the threat of a U.S. invasion.

    Increasing that threat, then, only increases the Iranian regime’s ability to claim legitimacy.

  49. Occam's Beard Says:

    Iran is willing to negotiate.

    There is nothing to negotiate. They engage in terrorism, and are building nuclear weapons to do so on an immense scale. That is unacceptable. Period.

    Negotiation requires a legitimate issue, and good faith from the party with whom one is negotiating. Neither condition obtains here. Negotiating with Iran to stop supporting terrorism would be like negotiating with a mugger to stop mugging you.

  50. Sally Says:

    A. Reckonwith: It is beyond naive to think that Iran’s current leadership could gain legitimacy by making agreements with what it calls “The Great Satan.”

    It’s rare, even within the liberal-left, to see cognitive dissonance displayed so openly. If Iran’s “current leadership” can’t gain “legitimacy” from negotiating agreements with the US, why offer to talk with the Great Satan at all? Because the offer is just a ploy, to stall for time, or to bait counteroffers that can then be contemptuously rejected? And why, then, would any Western leader want to play that game? Or, being “beyond naive”, let’s contemplate the possibility that the current leadership recognizes that their own hate-filled anti-American propaganda isn’t completely shared by their increasingly restive population (however much it resonates within the confines of the American left) — in which case the US acceptance of talks “without preconditions” might well be seen as a propaganda coup all by itself, though the “talks” themselves, of course, would just be empty exercises. Either way, Obama’s trumpeted willingness to engage in such obvious displays only underlines how gullible, vain, and potentially dangerous he is.

  51. Amanda Reckonwith Says:

    And when you lose arguments, just delete the opponent’s comments.

    This is neocon ethics indeed.

  52. neo-neocon Says:

    Amanda: Not really sure what you’re talking about—I have never deleted your comments, as you no doubt are aware.

    Unless, of course, you are actually one of the trolls who used to come round here some time ago. From certain of your identifying characteristics (country of origin, etc.), I suspect that this might be the case.

  53. WM Neo Says:

    very interesting piece. From the moment i read the obama quote, the first thought to leap to mind was “you mean tiny little countries like England, who is less than half the size of venezuela, but ruled over roughly 1/4 of the world for a couple centuries? England who in 2007 was still the 5th largest economy in the world. That kind of small?” Yes, we’ve nothing to worry about from the little people at all.

  54. Slow Pitch Bats Says:

    I think Obama was meaning militarily. Relatively speaking hte Soviet Army would have dwarfed any of the countries mentioned. Just the nuclear threat of the Soviets was enough. So, in those respects he is right. But, by the same token you are right those countries cannot be ignored and allowed to negatively influence geopolitics as Germany was prior to WWI and then again in WWII. It is a delicate balancing act. I hope for our sakes who ever is in the White House good decisions for our sake. Otherwise we will be the ones that suffer.

  55. Dan Says:

    Obama’s election wa the result of a wildly successful marketing campaign. No president in history has been less qualified. I say that we should not elect someone ever again without any executive experience whatsoever. Only somone that has been a mayor, governor, or a high level corporate executive should be considered. Why? These are people that have established records of how they approach problems and demonstrated either success or failure. OK, Jimmy Carter was a governor, but he was elected anyway despite his miserable record as Governor of Georgia. But at least there was no mystery about who he was and how he would behave. Clinton was a governor also, but the media covered up how corrupt he was, and we were told his lasciviousness was none of our business. Another principle should be to listen to who the MSM promotes, and vote for anyone but …

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