January 20th, 2010

Obama the lame blame duck

Quoth Obama:

“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” the president said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “People are angry, they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

108 Responses to “Obama the lame blame duck”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    “the last Eight years?” Does that mean year one of Bush was okay? I hope so.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    “… the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.”

    I’ll take that to mean loathing of the current president and the Democrat congress.

  3. colagirl Says:

    Jesus Christ, Obama, get a new song. We’ve heard that one over and over again and it’s *played out,* man. For the last fricking time, *Bush isn’t president anymore.* You want someone to blame? I’ve always found that it’s therapeutic to start by taking a long, hard look in the mirror.

    Jesus wept.

  4. gcotharn Says:

    Nice headline

  5. Gringo Says:

    He’s right about the anger. He is in denial if he believes that people who voted were not directing their anger towards Obama.

    Scott Brown’s opposition to congressional health care legislation was the most important issue that fueled his U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, according to exit poll data collected following the Tuesday special election.
    Fifty-two percent of Bay State voters who were surveyed as the polls closed said they opposed the federal health care reform measure and 42 percent said they cast their ballot to help stop President Obama from passing his chief domestic initiative.
    “I’m not surprised it was the top issue, but I was surprised by how overwhelming an issue it was. It became a focal point for the frustration that has been brewing with voters, and it’s a very personal issue that affects everyone,” said Tony Fabrizio of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, a Republican firm that conducted the exit poll of 800 voters.
    “A plurality of voters said their vote was to stop the president’s health care plan — more than those saying it was a vote against his policies in general,” Fabrizio wrote in a memo that accompanied his exit polling.

    The problem is that ∅bama misinterpreted the 2006-2008 anger. He believed that it was about wanting Big Government. Among other things the anger was about the Iraq War, unresponsive government and out of control spending. Bush solved the Iraq War. ∅bama has exacerbated out of control spending and unresponsive government. He has begun to pay the price.

  6. gpc31 Says:

    Pathetically juvenile.

  7. Tom Says:

    I don’t think Obama interpreted the 2006 anger about wanting Big Government. It was simply a vehicle to be exploited for the bait and switch. If it were a genuine belief that he had a mandate for BigGovernment, then he wouldn’t have felt the need to conduct the Administration as it has this past year.

  8. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Obama’s not the only one who’s misreading the message. I just got an e-mail from a liberal friend claiming that the clear message sent by Brown’s election is that the Senate bill doesn’t go far enough. It says, “Voters did not elect President Obama and a Democratic supermajority in the House and the Senate so that health care reform could be written by the likes of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson” and then asks me to sign a petition telling the Senate to use reconciliation to pass a better health care bill with a public option. Should you be filled with a passionate urge to do just that, here’s a link.

    http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/po_reconciliation/?r_by=-2000387-yBnUiYx&rc=mailto1

    Denial — it ain’t just a river in Egypt.

  9. NickSE Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Obama will still be blaming Bush at the end of his term and well after it? Ugh.

  10. Bob from Virginia Says:

    President Obama warned Democrats in Congress today not to “jam” a health care reform bill through now that they’ve lost their commanding majority in the Senate….

    I gave Obama six months before the Democrats would try and pretend he did not exist, looks like I may have been off by six months.

    Does this mean everyone will notice that the King is wearing no clothes???

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    like the AGW propagandists he picks the start point to graph in a way that would make him seem better to those whose memories remember carter as a good one.

  12. Bill West Says:

    Will somebody buy this guy a new “I Blame Bush” bumper sticker? His is faded to unintelligible .

  13. RickZ Says:

    NickSE Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Obama will still be blaming Bush at the end of his term and well after it? Ugh.

    Obama will still be blaming Boooosh when he starts a second career in infomercials. That homey ain’t gonna do no Habitat For Humanity gig.

  14. Gray Says:

    “Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in (_______________), but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept (___________)into office swept me into office,” the president said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “People are angry, they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

  15. Scott Says:

    To paraphrase Britt Hume’s analysis of Obama’s remark:

    The voters in MA were so angry about 8 years of a Republican president that they decided to elect a Republican senator in a liberal state.

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office

    Great point, Barry. You and Scott, samey same. Not an iota’s worth of difference.Are you smoking crack again? Barry, you point your personal prestige on the line in MA, framed the election as a referendum on your policies, and got hammered. Take the hint.

    I just got an e-mail from a liberal friend claiming that the clear message sent by Brown’s election is that the Senate bill doesn’t go far enough.

    Yeah, that must be it. “Reality-based community?” At least they’ve got a sense of humor in calling themselves that.

    That homey ain’t gonna do no Habitat For Humanity gig.

    I was joking with friends about Obama’s going to Habitat for Humanity, but you’re right – no bucks in it, so that’s a non-starter. But now that Billy Mays has gone over to the other side…hmm.

    Jesus Christ, Obama, get a new song. We’ve heard that one over and over again and it’s *played out,* man.

    I agree. Barry’s running his own tab now. Just imagine how tired we – and everyone else – is going to be of hearing this mewling for the next three years. Shudder. I’m tired of it already. Barry, the tame lame blame duck, needs a new shtick. Yesterday. “Present” doesn’t cut it when you’re President. Bet he’s sorry now the media didn’t didn’t torch him on his lack of experience. As some wag said, he’s a passenger who was elected pilot by the other passengers.

    Looking on the bright side, imagine how cheered Jimmy Carter must be. He’s off the hook as the worst President in American history.

  17. nyo Says:

    George Bush killed the dynersaurs too! I’m so sick of this BS.

  18. grackle Says:

    Actually, if Obama truly believes this malarkey then it bodes well for us anti-Obamaists. Think about it. It’s GOOD that they have an unrealistic viewpoint – it makes them that much more vulnerable and prone to unwittingly self-destructive behavior.

    But I’m betting that there are some more down-to-earth figures among the Democrats that don’t buy this explanation for a second. If Obama publicly utters much more of this kind of silliness he may make himself irrelevant even within his own party.

  19. expat Says:

    Who raised the expectations that the seas would stop rising? I just saw Obama characterized as a tragic hero in Die Zeit. The simple fact is that too many people failed to examine Obama’s principles (or lack thereof) and he previous effectiveness (or lack thereof) in getting anything done. They believed his words, and now they don’t. Someone needs to tell him that his hero, FDR, didn’t spend his time whining.

  20. Y-not Says:

    Wow. Dangerously delusional.

  21. RPL Says:

    The guy is absolutely clueless.

  22. huxley Says:

    A participant at Firedoglake posted satire to the effect that Brown’s victory was a big win for progressives. It had juicy passages like:

    The Democrats spent millions on a weak candidate who wasn’t left-wing enough. Had we had a true progressive, the Democrats would’ve held the seat. Now they’ll have no choice but to give us everything we want, including free universal health care.

    Secondly, and just as importantly, now President Obama is free to pursue the agenda he’s wanted to all along. Now he can get the health care bill he’s wanted all along…

    Of course the problem with satire on the American Left is that it is essentially indistinguishable from reality, so it fails.

    Following the comments, one notes that those in on the joke are constantly trying to hint to other commenters that it’s satire, but even then those commenters persist in their folly without becoming wise.

    Many on the Left are almost touchingly sincere but their worldview is so out of whack it’s hard to know where to even start.

  23. expat Says:

    Jawa has some mood music:

    http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/200549.php

  24. Amy Says:

    Obama’s “assessment” depends on what your definition of truth is.

    It is sad that we have encouraged and empowered this man’s delusions. By ‘we’ I don’t mean the commenters here, though certainly we have (likely, at times) been complacent and even sometimes complicit in letting our society become the oppositeland of political correctness, wishful thinking, and Orwellian doublespeak.

    The look on Obama’s face since around Christmastime? Maybe some kind of agonizing yet still relatively controlled break with reality. Or is all of the extreme Left by definition psychotic?

  25. E Says:

    Gotta love the fact that Obama’s aligning himself with Scott Brown – do you think he’ll go out and buy himself a truck now? After all, anybody can buy a truck!

    What a wanker. I’m feeling a lot of contempt for this president and his apologists. 2012 can’t come soon enough for me.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Bob from Virginia: Actually, what Obama said was that the Senate shouldn’t try to jam anything through until Brown is seated. Note that he didn’t say they shouldn’t try to do so after he’s seated.

  27. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    The universal Democratic excuse that “it was Boosh”–which Democratic campaign strategists, as of last week, had decided was to be the centerpiece and main message of their campaigns in the midterm elections–has just been beaten to death, is limp as three week old celery in you fridge, and just doesn’t work anymore.

    Today Glenn Beck is making the case that the violence-prone revolutionary types around Obama—as if Obama hadn’t gathered them all to be around him, as if Obama wasn’t pretty much in agreement with all their objectives, if not quite yet with all their methods—will get violent, and may even try to harm the President or the Republic, if they see their anticipated far Left, revolutionary triumph slipping away from them.

    If this violent scenario were true and to play out, I’d say the first victim would be the Republic—although who would have the power to harm the Republic, if not Obama?–and that Obama would be quite OK with that. It is pretty odd that so many people with rap sheets or legal problems—including, in the case of the two Ayers, a potential murder rap–are Obama’s friends, mentors and appointees.

  28. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Much as I think that Beck is right on the facts and their interpretation most of the time, I am not buying this violence thing, but what I can see happening is those on the far Left—Barney Frank’s statement of yesterday saying that the health care bill was dead, since semi-retracted, is a good example–appearing to come more to the center rhetorically, while all the while—I very much suspect– working for exactly the same radical agenda and outcome, only calling it by a different name; same book, different jacket.

    I am reminded of the old story about the Italian POWs in WWII who were told by the Sergeant in charge of their detail to start marching “double-time,” whereupon they started to count cadence as if they were running double-time, but kept the same slow pace as before. Such deception is what I think the far Left and Obama & Co. will try.

  29. Steve Ducharme Says:

    I can’t think of a single person far left to far right (and every point between) who could be satisfied by this comment. It may be the new benchmark of lameness for this administration.

  30. JR Dogman Says:

    Evening, all,

    Check out this post from HillBuzz.

    http://hillbuzz.org/2010/01/20/one-year-into-the-golden-age-of-hope-and-change/

    I don’t quite get the HillBuzz guys’ reverence for Hillary Clinton, but politically I see very little difference between them and myself and many other conservatives. We want our government to be careful with our money, and we know that when the government tries to do too much, it *will* fail in its aims, and in the process it cannot possibly be careful with our hard-earned dollars.

    The HillBuzz guys and conservatives share a reverence for the Constitution. They get it: if we follow strictly the rules of that fantastic document, we will do well as a nation, because those rules, while they might sometimes yield political results we don’t like, will protect us from the more dangerous impulses of those we entrust with the levers of power.

    Hillary-love notwithstanding, based on how they present themselves, I view the HillBuzz guys as conservatives. Not Republicans — conservatives. Independent-minded Americans, who are conservative in the sense that Mark Levin speaks of in Liberty & Tyranny, and five days a week on the radio. In this past special election in Massachusetts, they worked tirelessly to help elect Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. While I don’t know how to tabulate their contributions, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that HillBuzz of Chicago’s Boystown was a key player in getting us to the magic Number 41.

    So swing by HillBuzz if you haven’t already, and tell ‘em thanks. And tell your Democrat friends who seem to be on the fence about Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, to take a look at HillBuzz, as, I am sure, you have urged them to check out Neo-Neocon.

    JR Dogman

  31. Artfldgr Says:

    Much as I think that Beck is right on the facts and their interpretation most of the time, I am not buying this violence thing

    well…
    glenn beck is looking at history.

    he like you, and i, would like to believe that such is not the case here and that even though we cant state the reason to win the argument, we hope that that case exists and that such does not occur.
    (its not productive in any calculation)

    however history has shown the left to be ruthless to those who they think are against them in some way, and that their prior service, success, etc. has no bearing on such a change in consideration. like a narcisist the system of narcisist go instantly from ideation to damnation and there is little in between.

    as long as he is doing what the narcisist state wants (socialist is a narcisist state), they will seem to love him, support him, and will seem to be more than what they are by their participation (and the absence of others).

    such a constituency, once awakened to those that said they serve it, are like the girl with the curl in her forhead. when they are good they are very good, but when they are bad, their horrid.

    and vengeful, vindictive, and hold grudges forever.

    history is very clear on this as far as other places and the past.

    as an aside, beck is going to confirm a whole lot of history that i have brought up here. in his short commercial teaser, you can see the posters i have linked to from the latvian documentary where both hitler AND stalin are using the same hand signals and even same layout to the artwork. i recognize the voice who said that no one cared i have heard it before (and i confirm it given peoples responses to knowing and how they protect what they think is special by not lettig other history make it common).

    i bet you dont recognize the old man whose talking for a while.

    that old man is george barnard shaw who also said this:

    We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence… on pain of liquidation.

    which is nice if your shaw and loved by all and know it

    “All my life affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.”

    and this

    Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English.

    and

    Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.

    Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

    and you have to love his alternative to acton

    Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.

    The frontier between hell and heaven is only the difference between two ways of looking at things.

    Until the men of action clear out the talkers we who have social consciences are at the mercy of those who have none.

    fun fun…

  32. JR Dogman Says:

    Those are some sick quotes. I’m reminded of what Bill Ayers said about the inevitable, eventual need to get rid of about 25 million Americans in the great progressive future.

  33. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    “People are angry, they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

    Yep, Orwellian doublespeak. Expect more of it as we go forward.

  34. Artfldgr Says:

    Democrats propose $1.9 trillion increase in debt limit…

    Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars; Moving away from USA…

    Obama to Nationalize $103 Billion Student Loan Industry…

    Hong Kong remains ‘world’s freest economy’…

    China says ‘AVATAR’ most successful film…

    Simon Cowell’s $1billion deal with SONY…

    when ya look at it that way, you wonder if your in a movie. then you wonder what kind, with sudden realization you hope its a comedy, but fear its a comedic trajedy as all real life stories end up.

  35. Julia NYC Says:

    The weirdest thing about Obama is how he lacks the populist touch. He doesn’t seem to like people, or Americans or even understand them. I feel this is because he is not an American, and doesn’t get us or our wonderful country. He was clueless enough to joke about the Special Olympics on the Jay Leno show, (which was completely insane and inappropriate, and he didn’t even know this), he was clueless enough to disparage people who drive a trucks while campaigning for Coakley, which was suicide, considering the symbolism of the truck in the culture. There’s nothing more American than a Ford pick-up. But he doesn’t know this. He just doesn’t know what to say without a script, because he doesn’t understand American culture. He is a truly curious duck. He reminds me of immigrants who come here and are a bit uneasy around Americans, cause they’re not quite sure of the culture. They don’t understand the subtleties. This is why he cannot joke around effectively with common folks regardless of their party. He is too self conscious. The Kennedys, though richer than God, and completely elitist at least get it, and are charming and seem to like people, and enjoy campaigning. And that’s why they were able to fool working class folks. But Obama is just odd. It is a most curious phenom.

  36. huxley Says:

    The weirdest thing about Obama is how he lacks the populist touch. He doesn’t seem to like people, or Americans or even understand them. I feel this is because he is not an American, and doesn’t get us or our wonderful country.

    Julia NYC: Bang! Essentially Obama is an effete leftist academic, playacting at populism.

    Without the MSM furiously covering for him, Obama would never have gotten through the primaries.

    Even leaving my biases aside, I say that Obama is the most bizarre president we’ve ever had.

  37. huxley Says:

    JR Dogman: Love the HillBuzz!

    I don’t get their Hillary thing either, but their hearts are in the right place.

    HillBuzz was where I first got the buzz about Brown.

  38. nyo Says:

    Compared to the mum, dumb, and starry eyed, “…I’m following God’s plan…” Palin who might, hind sight is 20/20, who might had succeeded a McCain who at the time seemed to be suffereing from senility …faced with this …Obama wasn’t a bad choice, for me it was undecided till I had the ballot in my hand and concluded, “Hell, Junior gets my vote.”

    Thanks for the great choices, Republicans :\

  39. Oblio Says:

    nyo, you need to let the past go and get over your Palin obsession. You screwed up; it’s OK, anybody can make a mistake. The key is not to make the same mistake twice.

    Personally, I don’t spend any time wishing that Palin were president instead of Obama–not that this was the choice. Still, if she were, I don’t believe that she could have been any worse than what we got, no matter how uneducated she might sound. Bill Buckley’s quip about the Boston phone book comes to mind.

  40. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Let’s just hope that Obama doesn’t change his tune.

  41. Gringo Says:

    nyo: before the 2008 election, Seaah Palin had much more executive experience than ∅bama. Moreover,she was not a Presidential Candidate, but for VP.

    My metric for decision was twofold:
    1) Comparing job experience of ∅bama with that of other Senators who had been elected President. Here was ∅bama’s: no Vice Presidential experience, no US cabinet experience, no House of Representatives experience, no military experience, no governor experience. The only Senator who became President with the same experience metric as ∅bama was Warren Harding.
    2) ∅bama’s only executive experience was chairing the Annenberg Challenge, in which he doled out ~$100 in research funds that was a total waste. Schools funded with Annenberg research did not better than non-funded schools. Not a good sign, unless you like simply handing out money without regard for results.

    Huxley : the reason ∅bama is clueless about Americans is not because he is a leftist academic, it is because his experience with America is outside the American mainstream: Hawaii, Ivy League + Occidental, South Side of Chicago. He views the average American through the eye of an anthropologist, the profession of his mother. He began to develop that eye when as a young child he was thrust into Indonesia, as a way to cope. Julia NYC is correct in comparing him to an immigrant.

  42. Paul_In_Houston Says:

    # NickSE Says:
    January 20th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks Obama will still be blaming Bush at the end of his term and well after it? Ugh.

    NickSE: someday in the future, when Obama’s dead and buried, craved into his tombstone will be:
    “It’s all George Bush’s fault!”.

    -

  43. Manju Says:

    Obama’s right. The problems we see today are a product of events occurring b/f he took office. It took Reagan 2 yrs to effect economic growth, but those two years of stagnation were the result of carters policies. Even W experienced a recession in his first year that were a result of events–the internet bubble, accounting frauds, and a wall st research scandal–occurring under Clinton’s watch.

    the man inherited a banking crises (which is more serious than other bubbles; banking is different) and 2 failing wars. people are still upset over that…especially the unemployment that resulted form it–and remember unemployment is a lagging economic indicator.

  44. kcom Says:

    And yet there are plenty of immigrants who “get” America who I would trust as completely as someone native-born. You can see it in them when you meet them. America, and what it’s all about, oozes from every pore.

  45. kcom Says:

    and 2 failing wars

    Really?

  46. Thomass Says:

    Manju Says:

    “the man inherited a banking crises (which is more serious than other bubbles; banking is different) and 2 failing wars.”

    True, which he blames on Bush and his ‘free market ideology’… which is mostly bs / an argument presented without facts.. the progressive’s regulatory organs were all in place and working (as they were in Europe) and they failed to detect the problems and/or advert them.. Congress helped create them with GSEs.. then there was a recession on top which Obama has exasperated by scaring business people and loading the country up on debt.

  47. rickl Says:

    This “two wars” crap is really getting annoying. Anybody who uses that terminology is just displaying their ignorance.

    Nobody ever called the ETO and the PTO “two wars”.

  48. rickl Says:

    FDR’s apologists also claim that his predecessor Hoover practiced “free market economics”, when nothing could be further from the truth.

  49. JR Dogman Says:

    “He doesn’t seem to like people, or Americans or even understand them. I feel this is because he is not an American, and doesn’t get us or our wonderful country.”

    I completely agree. Everything about Obama is just damned strange. Alien — in an existential sense. I don’t include myself in the so-called “birther” movement, but the fact remains, we don’t know the answer to the questions regarding his birth for a good reason: all the records and documentation that other Presidential candidates had to release, by custom or because of special circumstances (e.g., McCain’s birth in the Panama Canal Zone), Obama gets to keep sealed — in other words, hidden from us, his collective employer.

    Regardless, though, of the truth about where he was born and what it means, Obama’s adult choices are far outside the mainstream. He may be representative in the oddball enclaves he occupied in Chicago, but most Americans do not read Saul Alinsky and work to carry out his plans for the United States; they don’t join socialist political parties, or, for that matter, pal around with people who blew up government buildings in their youth, and are still wiping their feet on the American Flag in late-middle age; and they definitely do not choose a pastor like Reverend Wright. No way, no how. A normal American could not stand to listen to that creep for 20 minutes, let alone 20 years; it would disgust them, and they would leave immediately.

    Look at it this way: imagine if, somehow, on the road of life, every American passed through just such a church as Trinity. How many would stay? How many, hearing Rev. Wright, would think, “Man, this guy’s great!” The answer is damned few, and in general they would be angry, resentful people, with an exceedingly dim view of their country and its institutions.

    And Obama stayed there for 20 years.

  50. Oblio Says:

    Manju, what is your takeaway? That Obama is right that people voted for Brown because they were mad about Bush? (That one seems ludicrous on its face.) That the economy is the issue that has people upset? That Obama isn’t responsible for anything in the economy until after 2010 or 2011?

    I’m not buying either of the last two. Presidents are responsible for taking action appropriate to the circumstances in which they find themselves. We can judge whether they are doing so long before the results become apparent.

    Reagan took steps that were appropriate under the circumstances with a comprehensive approach to tax reductions, de-regulation, inflation-reduction, and increased defense spending. His first year was consequential; I was there, on Capitol Hill, working for the other guys at the time.

    Bush took steps that were appropriate under the circumstances of 1991, with significant reductions in taxes and a change in the war-fighting strategy after 911. Bush held it together, despite what he had inherited (the dot-com bust AND 911).

    I wish I could say the same for Obama, but I can’t. He has managed to footle around with a health care overhaul and a non-stimulating stimulus, while in foreign policy he has emboldened predator states and dawdled indecisively about Afghanistan. He is on track to be an inconsequential president in terms of concrete achievement; an extremely elegant empty suit.

  51. Manju Says:

    Re: 2 failing wars

    1. The situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating b/f Obama took office as Generals warned. Too little troops. Powell doctirne was not used. Plus we’ve been there for like 7 yrs w/o and end in sight and that’s too long.

    2. Iraq was at best stabalized b/c of the surge (late use of Powell doctrine) but stabilization is not victory. No WMDs of significance were discovered and Iraq was not a hotbed of Islamic radicalism therefore the war was not in our national self interest. arguably getting rid of Saddam is good for the iraqis but you don’t go to war solely to help other nations.

    that’s liberal interventionism nonsense. arguably a democratic Iraq could provide an alternative to middle eastern Islamic authoritariism but that seems like a pipe dream now, as it alwys was to any realist (brent scowcroft, for example). we’ll settle for a benevolent dictatorship or even a non-benevolent one. the right needs to listen to pat Buchanan or read some Edmund Burke, as i’m sure Obama has.

  52. Gringo Says:

    A commenter made an astute comment about anger at Belmont Club. There was anger in the Tea Parties and in the Town Hall meetings about runaway spending, about Congressmen who supported and voted for two thousand page bills they had never read.

    The response from the White House, the Democratic establishment, and the MSM was to minimize and stigmatize that anger. Extremists, Tea baggers, un-American, you name it. Labeled as violent when most of the violence at town halls came from the left.

    While Obama and his acolytes didn’t recognize the anger in the summer, there exists the possibility they recognize it now

  53. Baklava Says:

    Manju,

    If the building is on fire then feed your fish?

    The economy is made of you and I and many others. We collectively make the economy go based on our decisions.

    This president does not have the prescription for the economic situation that exists.

    Raising tax rates on people with so-called cadillac health plans? Raising capital gains tax rates? Letting the 2003 tax rate reductions expire? Raising ENERGY prices via a cap and trade scheme?

    Even if an economy takes awhile to turn around…. what does an economy do when a ton of unknowns are present and what IS KNOWN are new taxes and prices and impositions on people and businesses?

    I’ll tell you.

    More hunkering down and bracing. People hunker down and brace themselves and spend less.

    I don’t see the prescription from Democrats and liberals (big government types)

    They do not understand economics.

    What did Reagan do? Cut capital gains, income and corporate tax rates. Give people a sense of their money coming back so they feel like they can spend more.

  54. rickl Says:

    Oblio: We’ll all be very fortunate if Obama turns out to be “inconsequential”. Personally, I believe that both his foreign and domestic policies are extremely dangerous, and will get a lot of Americans killed.

  55. Manju Says:

    ” the progressive’s regulatory organs were all in place and working (as they were in Europe) and they failed to detect the problems and/or advert them.. ”

    derivatives were unregulated. its that, not too big to fail, that created the systemic failure. a similar thing happened under Clinton when the giant hedge fund (long term cap mgmt) failed and threatened to bring down the entire economy until Greenspan organized a bailout.

    the problem was banks were allowed to take on too much leverage and essentially insure themselves for assets they didn’t have…and that created a risk that the entire nation had to bailout. this was essentially a free market failure.

  56. Manju Says:

    “Manju, what is your takeaway? That Obama is right that people voted for Brown because they were mad about Bush?”

    No. People blame the current occupant for the sins of the prior. Reagan was hurt dearly for the recession that happenned under his watch, though it was not his fault.

    Obama has, with a hattip from pauson, avoided a depression. the economy is growing but jobs aren’t coming back, but they are lagging indicators. at he end of the day his stimulus essentially worked, as did tarp. indeed, we got liek a 25% rate of return on our investment in goldman sachs.

    but obama can’t brag about that b/c that not populism.

  57. huxley Says:

    Manju: Iraq is not a failing war. Nor is Afghanistan, unless one doesn’t care to win it, and I doubt that Obama does.

  58. Manju Says:

    “What did Reagan do? Cut capital gains, income and corporate tax rates. Give people a sense of their money coming back so they feel like they can spend more.”

    look, serious supply side says there’s a curve, a laffer curve. reagan had room to cut because we were on the high end of the curve (there was like a 70% or more tax rate at the time). obmaa has no leeway, any tax cut threatens to blow up the budget b/c there will be less revenue coming in. he’s on the other end of the curve, like Clinton..who raised taxes and generated more revenue and balanced the budget.

    plus Obama inherited a banking crises while Reagan did not. banking is different. if banks shut down so does the rest of the economy. so he took more drastic measures than a tax cut. he did a keynesian stimulus, which is, as all the data points out, more stimulative than a tax cut.

    and its short term, unlike say George bush’s unfunded medicare pt d (or b , i forget) which is for eternity.

    and by the way, if you haven’t noticed, the economy is actually growing.

  59. rickl Says:

    Manju: It was NOT a free market failure. That is a damn lie spread by the socialists.

    The government failed to enforce laws that were already on the books, and continue to do so to this day. See the Market Ticker. There’s about two years’ worth of archives in that blog.

    The fuse to the mortgage blowout was lit back in the 1970s, when some leftists in academia and the government decided that traditional, prudent lending standards were somehow “racist”. Thus was born the Community Reinvestment Act, which encouraged banks to lend to people who were not creditworthy. It was given additional teeth by Janet Reno’s Justice Department in the 1990s.

    And of course, Fannie Mae dates back to FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s. Free market? I don’t think so.

  60. Baklava Says:

    huxley,

    Do you know one person who knows history who labels Iraq as a failing war?

    Losing one soldier is unacceptable.

    Removing the regime in Iraq and managing to establish a country that may actually have a future – sitting next to Iran and Syria. Fairly close to Israel.

    And then if we were to give up on Afghanistan which is on the other side of Iran?

    Women and children in these countries can have hope of having education and seeing a different and better life.

    Does Manju want oppression and destruction? Or victory and peace?

  61. Baklava Says:

    Manju wrote, “any tax cut threatens to blow up the budget b/c there will be less revenue coming in.

    When an economy is faltering – raising tax rates may lower revenue and lowering tax rates may ACTUALLY RAISE revenue. Why? Because an economy that grows brings more revenue to the government.

    Your statement Manju would be true in a strong and robust economy. Unfortunately when an economy is strong – governments haven’t saved for the rainy day.

    Manju wrote, “e did a keynesian stimulus,

    Seriously.

    I’m incredulous. That boat don’t float!

  62. Manju Says:

    “Does Manju want oppression and destruction? Or victory and peace?”

    Look, Reagan fought communism by supporting a certain level of oppression and destruction, like say dictators in chile and even a great evil like apartheid. hell, fdr defeated the Nazis by enabling Stalin.

    ie, realpolitik mixed with idealism. bush miscalculated as he was unable to see the world with nuace. for him it was black and white. Obama appears more cunning.

  63. Baklava Says:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/Economics/GDP-Growth.aspx?Symbol=USD

    excerpt 1:
    Business spending in the third quarter was weaker than the government had estimated last month. Business investment fell at a 5.9 percent rate instead of 4.1 percent, the department said.

    excerpt 2:
    Nonresidential building activity dropped 18.4 percent in the third quarter rather than 15.1 percent, a reflection of the troubles in the commercial property market. That shaved 0.68 percentage points off GDP.

    excerpt 3:
    Deeper cost-cutting by companies, mostly headcount reduction, to deal with weak demand has boosted corporate profits.

    Until and unless we as a people FEEL like we’ll have more freedom and more money we will continue to hunker down and brace ourselves. That is the same with business.

  64. Manju Says:

    “When an economy is faltering – raising tax rates may lower revenue and lowering tax rates may ACTUALLY RAISE revenue. Why? Because an economy that grows brings more revenue to the government.”

    It can, but it also may not. it depends on what side of the laffer curve you are on. Bush did it and failed. Its highly unlikely, at the tax rates we are at, that a tax cut would generate revenue.

  65. Baklava Says:

    Manju with no clarity wrote, “bush miscalculated as he was unable to see the world with nuace. for him it was black and white.

    I’m not sure anybody can see the world with nuace. ’tis not in the dictionary I’m thinking….

    I’m not sure how an Iraq with a completely different and much more positive Regime than in Feb 2003 is a miscalculation… I’ll leave it to the Manju’s of the world with nuace to ‘splain it to me.

    They way I see it – only people with nuace can see Iraq as a failure – or does Manju want it to be a failure?

    Goodnight! There is nobody home in that head.

  66. Manju Says:

    “I’m not sure how an Iraq with a completely different and much more positive Regime than in Feb 2003 is a miscalculation”

    It cost us too much money, was not related enough to the war on Islamic terrorism (mostly b/c it of the lack of WMDs and the fact that saddam was a secular tyrant) and did not create a functioning democracy in Iraq that would be an alternative to authoritarianism.

    surely it helped the kurds, inbut if thats a justification i wonder why we don’t criticize Reagan for not invading south Africa.

  67. Thomass Says:

    Manju Says:

    “derivatives were unregulated. its that, not too big to fail, that created the systemic failure.”

    “the problem was banks were allowed to take on too much leverage and essentially insure themselves for assets they didn’t have…”

    Yes, but bank assets are regulated. So, first off I think your confusing two separate issues. The banks were regulated and what reserves are kept and how they are accounted for are regulated. They were allowed to accumulate derivatives by the regulators. The regulators helped create the crisis by telling the banks they had to calculate the value of these assets based on market value (as an [over]reaction to another recent crisis they missed)… so when their trading value tanked below actual value (i.e., what they could expect as a return)… the banks found themselves in trouble…. Mostly on paper…

    The other issue, I don’t recall a lot of Cassandra democrats or non ‘free market ideologues’ complaining about this problem. It’s true some disliked the derivative market but that’s another issue. In the end, it wasn’t the derivatives market that caused this failure…

    Also, I do recall some republicans warning about the GSEs encouraging the creation of the mortgages that were eventually rolled together into the failed derivatives… and their own accumulation of them.

  68. Thomass Says:

    Manju Says:

    “ie, realpolitik mixed with idealism. bush miscalculated as he was unable to see the world with nuace. for him it was black and white. Obama appears more cunning.”

    Some see Obama as dithering and an weak / unreliable ally. Bush’s lack of doubt could have simply been a different strategy to project an image… All I’m saying, it’s not so black and white.

  69. Manju Says:

    “Yes, but bank assets are regulated”

    only banks with access to the fed reserve are regulated (significantly). Investment banks (bear, lehman) are generally not. either are hedge funds and its the latter two that trade in derivatives. also, on the consumer side, non-bank lenders, like subprime banks, are generally unregulated.

  70. rickl Says:

    I only see Obama as cunning with regards to domestic policy.

    He appears to consider normal Americans to be his adversaries; certainly not Muslims or Communists.

  71. Thomass Says:

    Not seeing the point of your facts. You’ll have to tie them into your argument. Also, the investment banks were regulated enough to be crippled by government accounting rules.

  72. Manju Says:

    “Not seeing the point of your facts. You’ll have to tie them into your argument. Also, the investment banks were regulated enough to be crippled by government accounting rules”

    look, the crises began with subprime banks, non-bank lenders (new century, countrywide) that are unregulated and made the worst loans.

    then the hedge fund world followed, also unregulated…but it may be confusing since some of the funds existed within Ibanks, like bear stearns.

    once they faulted the ibanks, like bear Lehman, morgan and merrill got caught holding securites they planned on selling to the hedge funds. bear was sold to JPMOrgan, lehaman went under, merril went ot BOA, and moragn hunkered down till the govt bailed them out. only goldman really survived and even then they took some taxpayer $$$, they were all largely unregulated.

    now, once they got hit they were hurt by some of the accounting rules you mention (mark to market, i guess you mean) but that was hardly the cause of the problem and i don’t know any other way to value something other than what its worth in the market (as warren buffet said at the time).

    and then the sysemic failure occured hitting the bigger commerical banks (citi, BOA) though its a litttle complicated since the big banks had ibanking and hedg fund units–which were hit first like their independent ibank couterparts. only the commerical banking units were really regfulated.

    in the mix there were GSEs-fannie and freddie–regulated of course and a significant part of the problem. but their role doesn’t take away from the fact that hedge fuinds, ibanks, and non-bank lenders, largely unregualted, failed. thats a free market failure, which owould be fine (creative destruction and all) , except the systemic aspect of the failure necessitated a taxpayer bailout. ergo, the need for regualtion.

  73. Thomass Says:

    I didn’t say it wasn’t a free market failure. I’m saying the evidence it was caused by free market ideologues is very weak.

  74. Manju Says:

    “I didn’t say it wasn’t a free market failure. I’m saying the evidence it was caused by free market ideologues is very weak.”

    yeah, I guess. but look its matter of degree. certainly free martket ideologues (like milton friedman) have held a lot of sway since Reagan came into power, eclipsing the socialists who ironically ended up in the dustbin they thought the capitalists would be..but i digress.

    but look, if you want the free market ideologues to avoid blame for the collapse then they have to avoid credit for the growth that occurred since the collapse of communism and age of triumphant capitlism, spread via globalization. And thats a lot of growth.

    and thats a faustian bargain for free-marketers.

  75. Thomas Says:

    Manju Says:

    “but look, if you want the free market ideologues to avoid blame for the collapse then they have to avoid credit for the growth that occurred since the collapse of communism and age of triumphant capitlism, spread via globalization.”

    Why? They should take blame if they ignored warnings, suggestions, ideas, et cetera… that could have prevented the problem IMO. I don’t recall hearing any such things. I mean, yeah, there is some kind of nonmarket economy I guess if that’s what you’re arguing. But I don’t think even the Dems had THAT in mind, as a possible solution to avoiding the problems. So, I’m left with seeing a lot of finger waving with 20/20 hindsight.

  76. Beverly Says:

    Billy Jeff Clinton said all they needed to do to win in Massachusetts was “put the corn where the hogs can see it!”

    Hogs = Citizens.
    Corn = “free” health care n’ stuff from the Gubmint.

    Thanks, Bargepole.

  77. JR Dogman Says:

    Off-topic post:

    Isn’t it funny, picturing one another? Here it is, nigh on four in the morning, and a bunch of disparate individuals, writing under pen names, are arguing/discussing politics, and we needle each other sometimes, we try to persuade, etc., etc., until the damn rooster crows and we finally drag ourselves to bed.

    This is a good thing for humankind, in and of itself, no?

  78. sergey Says:

    I was pleasantly surprized reading a sober, insightful analysis of Mass. debacle in an article by Thomas Edsall in “New Republic”. His main thesis is that all this political realignment due to demographical change, ostensibly favorable for liberal agenda, was a myth. It consolidated and energized white middle class, while sending everybody else into political apathy. Diverse neighborhoods are not conductive for any type of social or political activity: they are islands of anomy and atomization. Not big news for those who read Fukuyama’s “Great disruption”, but a big blow for multiculturalist orthodoxy of the Dems. Social disintegration is not a winning political strategy, and no efforts of “community organizers” can make politically active citizen from degradants of any skin color. Self-organization of a responsible and morally sound part of population is much more effective than astroturf and demagogy.

  79. Oblio Says:

    For good order’s sake, it is not clear that Obama deserves either the credit or the blame for TARP. That was a Bush Administration plan. If it saved the banks–and generated a decent return–that is no thanks to Obama.

    The Democrats made rescuing the auto companies part of the political price of rescuing the banks. That was throwing good money after bad. Ironic that you have to pay off the Democrats before they will allow the economy to be saved.

  80. Trimegistus Says:

    I know when I drove through freezing rain to vote for Brown, my only thought was “DAMN YOU, GEORGE BUSH!”

    Oh, wait. No, it wasn’t. My only thought was “I sure hope Scott Brown wins this election!” Actually I had some other thoughts, too, like “I sure hope he can stop the Democrats from crippling our economy with senseless policies,” and “The Massachusetts Democratic Party needs a pie in the face.”

  81. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    “We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values”

    I am fascinated by this Obama quotation from an article in this morning’s Washington Post. Notice that he describes his failure as not “speaking” enough to us about our core values. It has not occurred to him yet, apparently, that he should have been LISTENING. Instead, he seems to think he hasn’t TOLD us thoroughly enough yet what our core values are — or in his view ought to be. Yes, it’s just a throwaway line — but a telling one, nonetheless.

  82. Nyo Says:

    Good observation Whatsit!

  83. TexExec Says:

    Prediction: Democrats are in denial, therefore

    they lose big in November, then

    Hillary resigns as Secretary of State “to save the Democratic Party” , so

    She enters presidential primaries, followed by

    Obama announces he won’t run again, because

    His ego can’t take losing.

    Bobby Kennedy / LBJ all over again.

    (You read it here first :) )

  84. Gringo Says:

    NObama:“I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are.”

    NObama has given a truckload of speeches compared to other Presidents. The issue is NOT that he hasn’t been speaking enough.

    What Mrs.Whatsit said about NObama telling us about what our values are. Excellent point.

  85. J.L. Says:

    Actually, I think Obama’s reaction is that of someone in over his head, and reverting back to the pie-in-the-sky messianic delusion that he was elected to save the nation.

    I’m wondering what will happen when Obama can no longer ignore the reality that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and that his first year was train wreck. Will we have a crack up?

  86. Manju Says:

    “Bush held it together, despite what he had inherited (the dot-com bust AND 911).”

    Bush inherited 911?

  87. Nyo Says:

    and “the event” of 9/11

  88. RickZ Says:

    An astute comment, Mrs Whatsit.

    Obama can’t listen to anybody, because he already knows everything.

    I think the rallying cry for the 2010 midterms was born in Brown’s campaign: Can you hear us NOW?

  89. Thomass Says:

    Mrs Whatsit Says:

    “I am fascinated by this Obama quotation from an article in this morning’s Washington Post. Notice that he describes his failure as not “speaking” enough to us about our core values.”

    Sound like Lancoff… where the left talks about their values but uses the language of the American founding. Ie, goodies and income distribution = “freedom” and such… I think he’ll fall back on more of that next and we’ll spend the next year debating the meaning of words…

  90. Thomass Says:

    Manju Says:

    “Bush inherited 911?”

    The crippled and weak CIA, rules like ‘the wall’, et cetera. Then again, by the time he left he only fixed some of the problems that helped allow 911.. Ie, unless there are things going on that we don’t know… the CIA is still a joke.

  91. grackle Says:

    The situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating b/f Obama took office as Generals warned. Too little troops. Powell doctrine was not used. Plus we’ve been there for like 7 yrs w/o and end in sight and that’s too long.

    What about Germany? And Japan? We’ve “been there” for over 60 years with no “end in sight.” Have we been there “too long?” Afghanistan was relegated to a holding action by Bush because he was having trouble enough trying to defeat the terrorists in Iraq against the opposition of the MSM, the feckless Congress, a misguided and propagandized American public and folks like the commentor. Does the commentor really believe Bush could have fought an all out war in Afghanistan during that period?

    Also, the commentor makes the mistake of assuming that there are distinct wars fought in different Middle Eastern nations. In reality there is only one war which necessarily has to be fought on several fronts, some of which happen to occur in nominally different geographic locations. Like WW2, this WW3 will be fought on many different fronts in many different nations.

    Iraq was at best stabilized b/c of the surge (late use of Powell doctrine) but stabilization is not victory. No WMDs of significance were discovered and Iraq was not a hotbed of Islamic radicalism therefore the war was not in our national self interest. arguably getting rid of Saddam is good for the Iraqis but you don’t go to war solely to help other nations.

    I don’t see “victory,” as unstated but implicitly assumed by the commentor as possible in ANY Middle Eastern country. The region is filled with religious fanatics too ready to sacrifice themselves and others to ever be peaceful in the Western sense. They love jihad, their religion espouses it and they are slaves to the religion. There will always be Islamic jihadists eager to shoot and bomb. The best that can be hoped for is the establishment of regimes that are not hostile to the West and that are more prosperous and free than, say, Syria, Palestine, Iran, etc. Part of the native opposition to the Mullahs in Iran is the fact that right across their border is Iraq, where the people are much more free and will soon be much more prosperous. The example of Iraq rankles all of the Middle Eastern jihadists.

    On the subject of WMD one wonders how the commentor explains the 500 metric tons of yellowcake found in Iraq after Saddam was deposed and eliminated. What does the commentor believe was the purpose of the nuclear centrifuge found buried in the backyard of an Iraqi nuclear scientist? God only knows how much more remains undiscovered.

    Does the commentor believe the US should have dawdled until Saddam had a working nuclear arsenal?

    Saddam was deposed for many reasons, one of which was that for 13 years he violated every post-war agreement after his defeat in his attempted Kuwait takeover. If he had been only a little compliant he could still be happily perfecting his torture technique in the basements of his palaces. Saddam chose the hard way and now he is dead and the US has a significant ally in a strategic position in the Middle East. That is, of course, unless Obama screws it up.

    that’s liberal interventionism nonsense. arguably a democratic Iraq could provide an alternative to middle eastern Islamic authoritarianism but that seems like a pipe dream now, as it always was to any realist (brent scowcroft, for example). we’ll settle for a benevolent dictatorship or even a non-benevolent one. the right needs to listen to pat Buchanan or read some Edmund Burke, as i’m sure Obama has. Obama appears more cunning.

    The problem for me is not and never has been “authoritarianism.” As far as I’m concerned Middle Eastern regimes may be as authoritarian as they want to be. It’s when they pull shenanigans against the US and its allies that I see the need for action. I think we have a right to expect for our leaders to seek to further the interests of the US and see to our protection at home and abroad.

    As for Buchanan, he would have appeased the Nazis until it would have been too late to stop them. Buchanan believes England should never have gone to war against Hitler. I can well believe that Obama has listened to Buchanan, considering what Obama has done so far in foreign policy. “Cunning?” No – CLUELESS is more like it.

  92. Gringo Says:

    Manju:

    As it always was to any realist (brent scowcroft, for example). we’ll settle for a benevolent dictatorship or even a non-benevolent one. the right needs to listen to pat Buchanan…

    When the US coexists with authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia, the cry from the left is that we are “supporting dictators/tyrants.”

    IOW, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

  93. neo-neocon Says:

    Mrs Whatsit, et. al.:

    See this.

  94. Manju Says:

    “What about Germany? And Japan? We’ve “been there” for over 60 years with no “end in sight.” Have we been there “too long?””

    Those weren’t hot wars. they were cold wars and suceessful nation buliding efforts. We did not face an insurgency.

    “500 metric tons of yellowcake found in Iraq after Saddam was deposed and eliminated.”

    It was pre-1991 yellowcake already docmented and stored and selaed by UN inspectors

    “What does the commentor believe was the purpose of the nuclear centrifuge found buried in the backyard of an Iraqi nuclear scientist?”

    It was part of their pre-1991 uranium enrichmant program. small poatatoes. iran, pakistan, and North korea pose a much greater risk (of giveing WMDs to terrorists) but Bush dropped the ball by foocusing on the relatively harmless saddam while the situation in the much more dangerous afghan/pakistan area worsened as both countries destablized.

    Iraq was a useless war, unrelated to islamic terrorism until the war itself. . We would’ve been better off with the UN inspecotrs status quo or even making a deal with saddam. He wasn’t on his way to WMDs adn had very littel contact with al quada or other islamists.

  95. RickZ Says:

    Manju, that last post of yours shows you are delusional as well as ignorant of not only recent history, but the stuff that happened before you were born. Read up on the werewolves in post-war Germany and learn something.

  96. grackle Says:

    I asked earlier: What about Germany? And Japan? We’ve “been there” for over 60 years with no “end in sight.” Have we been there “too long?”

    The commentor replies: Those weren’t hot wars. they were cold wars and successful nation building efforts. We did not face an insurgency.

    WW2 wasn’t a “hot war?” Oh my. Perhaps the reason we did not face much of an insurgency in Japan and Germany AFTER they were conquered in a very, very “hot” war is because the potential insurgents there were convinced of the resolve of the US, something subsequent hostile regimes have come to have reason to doubt because of the kind of attitude which is amply exhibited by the commentor.

    Me, earlier: 500 metric tons of yellowcake found in Iraq after Saddam was deposed and eliminated.

    It was yellowcake already documented and stored and sealed by UN inspectors.

    The fact that the yellowcake was “pre-1991” is irrelevant. Yes, the yellowcake was “documented” but the “UN inspectors,” which were in reality the feckless and biased IAEA, had a very difficult time preventing Saddam from using it.

    The IAEA placed a seal on the nuclear materials in November of 1992. From then until the fall of Saddam, the agency attempted to make sure that Iraq did not use the yellow cake to reconstitute its nuclear program, something the IAEA acknowledged could be done if the Iraqis were able to rebuild its centrifuges and gain access to additional fissile material. Keeping track of the material was made extraordinarily difficult by the Iraqis who regularly impeded IAEA officials from carrying out even the most routine inspections.

    Later, in the same article:

    There was no ‘fixing’ of intelligence or ‘shaping’ intelligence to fit some preconceived agenda. Despite UN resolutions and sanctions, Saddam was looking to build the bomb.

    http://tinyurl.com/6aekok

    The fact that Saddam was constantly jacking around the inspectors was prominently featured in both Powell and Bush’s addresses to the UN.

    “What does the commentor believe was the purpose of the nuclear centrifuge found buried in the backyard of an Iraqi nuclear scientist?”

    It was part of their pre-1991 uranium enrichment program. small potatoes. Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea pose a much greater risk (of giving WMDs to terrorists) but Bush dropped the ball by focusing on the relatively harmless Saddam while the situation in the much more dangerous Afghan/Pakistan area worsened as both countries destabilized.

    The fact that Saddam began his quest for WMD before the second Iraq War is irrelevant. It is clear that Saddam’s intention, both before and after the first Iraq War, was to develop a nuclear arsenal. According to his own logic the commentor would have dawdled until that goal was achieved. I agree that Pakistan, North Korea and Iran pose a risk. Is it the contention of the commentor that Bush should have invaded these countries and deposed their leaders? Is it his contention that Obama should invade them now?

    As far as “dangerous” areas are concerned, “areas” where terrorism poses a risk will always be a fluid and shifting landscape. Establishing another ally in the middle of the Middle East seems to me to be a very good start in realistically addressing that risk.

    Iraq was a useless war, unrelated to Islamic terrorism until the war itself. . We would’ve been better off with the UN inspectors status quo or even making a deal with Saddam. He wasn’t on his way to WMDs and had very little contact with al Qaeda or other Islamists.

    For now I will have to defer to those who contend that Saddam was indeed “well on his way to WMD,” and believe that deposing Saddam and gaining another ally strategically located in the Middle East was well worth the effort. As for making a “deal,” I think we are observing now with Iran and Obama’s clueless stumbling how that strategy works out.

    And we DID make a “deal” with Saddam. A “deal” which he NEVER honored for 13 long years. As far as “Saddam’s contact with al Qaeda or other Islamists” is concerned we can never know for sure the full extent of that. We DO know that Saddam was prone to harboring terrorists and that Saddam hated the US as the terrorists did and do. But connecting those dots is not much up the commentor’s alley, I think.

  97. Oblio Says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I was referring to the economic consequences of 9/11,not 9/11 itself. My point is that leaders are faced with circumstances not of their own creation, they still need to act in a prudent way and to take action appropriate to the circumstances. Furthermore, one can assess the quality of leadership decisions before the results of those decisions become apparent. For example, it was knowable during the 1992 Presidential campaign that the GHW Bush Administration had acted, yes, prudently with respect to the S&L bailout and that the economy was recovering.

    Perhaps my perspective is colored by my professional training, which places a high premium on the ability to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. In my world, you don’t need to know the outcome of a decision to know whether a high quality decision has been made. Of course, this is a strange idea for many people.

  98. Gray Says:

    Bush dropped the ball by foocusing on the relatively harmless saddam while the situation in the much more dangerous afghan/pakistan area worsened as both countries destablized.

    So, Manju, how long were we supposed to enforce the no-fly zone, protect the Marsh Arabs, the Kurds, and enforce the oil-for-food embargo while we focused on af/pak?

    What would we do when Saddam reconstituted his nuclear program to counter Iran’s program?

    Were the European nations and UN officials profiting off of “oil for food” allowing Saddam to re-build his Army in contravention to treaty?

    Would sanctions and diplomatic pressure work as well on Saddam as it has on Iran and North Korea? Especially if European nations and UN officials were subverting it?

    Of course, I don’t expect you to actually answer, or even consider, these questions.

    It would require thinking outside the reflexive lefty-asshole box

  99. Gray Says:

    Or maybe the lefty-box asshole. I don’t know….

  100. Manju Says:

    “WW2 wasn’t a “hot war?”

    Where did I say it wasn’t a hot war? WWII served our national interest. Iraq did not. We stayed for nation building and then as part of the cold war. In Iraq, its just nation building with an insurgency to boot. nation building is not a good reason in and off itself to go to war.

    “The fact that the yellowcake was “pre-1991” is irrelevant”

    The yellowcake was known and secured. It was also not weapons grade. It would require further enrichment beyond saddam’s capabilities.

    “I agree that Pakistan, North Korea and Iran pose a risk. Is it the contention of the commentor that Bush should have invaded these countries and deposed their leaders?”

    Pak, NK, and Iran pose an infinitely greater risk than saddam who was very far away from WMDs and had less connections with islamic radicals than the other regimes. I don’t necessarily advocate an invasion of these countries (well, you can’t invade NK) but an invasion could be justified, as one could have been against saddam, if he possessed the WMDs we though he did. But he didn’t. Bottom line.

    “What would we do when Saddam reconstituted his nuclear program to counter Iran’s program?”

    You have tme to deal with that when and if it becomes immanant. But is was faaar away. the intelligence was wrong. In the meantime we had too little troops in afganistan, which has much more connections to al quada and 911 and is right next door to an ustable pakistan which possses nukes. All of this got worse under bush as he was distracted by iraq, aside show. hell, saudi arabia is more dangerous. ie, 2 failed wars that obama inherited.

    “Would sanctions and diplomatic pressure work as well on Saddam as it has on Iran and North Korea?”

    err, north korea has nukes and has been testing it since the early 2000′s.

  101. Mark @ Israel Says:

    “Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” the president said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “People are angry, they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

    the tone has changed! this is expected! this is politically normal to ease out the injury done through the result of the election.

  102. Gringo Says:

    Manju

    We would’ve been better off with the UN inspecotrs status quo or even making a deal with saddam.

    The Oil for Food program shows how feckless the UN was with regard to Saddam. Saddam was able to flout with ease the restrictions of THAT UN program.

    Moreover, for years, Russia and France had been pressuring to stop sanctions on Saddam. That also means that they would have been inclined to look the other way with regard to his importing banned materials. It is doubtful that sanctions could have been maintained indefinitely, or effectively maintained indefinitely.

    Look how effective the UN has been in stopping Hezbollah from rearming in southern Lebanon. Sorry, I lack your faith in the UN. 

    He wasn’t on his way to WMDs adn had very littel contact with al quada or other islamists.

    After we invaded we found out that the infrastructure for researching and/or making them was intact. With either the end of sanctions or Saddamn’s being able to flout the sanctions, as shown by what happened with Oil for Food, Saddam WOULD have been on his way.

    Your statement about “littel contact” reminds me of someone being “a little bit pregnant.” Saddam funded terrorism by sending money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Recall his Salman Park training center.

  103. neo-neocon Says:

    manju: You ask where you said WWII wasn’t a hot war.

    I believe they are referring to this.

  104. Manju Says:

    “”Your statement about “littel contact” reminds me of someone being “a little bit pregnant.” ”

    I guess this sums up our difference. You see it as either/or; you are ether pregnant or not. I see it as matter of degree. Saddam funded terrorism and wanted WMDs, but he was a small fish in these areas. Even Saudi Arabia, our ally, is a bigger problem vis a vis terrorism. The Taliban, Pakistan, Iran and NK all have much more connections to terrorism and have much more advanced WMD programs. In realpolick, you pick your battles and let some evil go.

    But Bush failed at Realpolick. Had we discovered the caches of WMDs he spoke of b/f the invasion he would’ve gone down as a Churchill. Instead, he’s LBJ.

  105. grackle Says:

    I said earlier: WW2 wasn’t a “hot war? Oh my.

    Where did I say it wasn’t a hot war?

    The commentor’s own words: Those[Germany and Japan] weren’t hot wars.

    WWII served our national interest. Iraq did not. We stayed for nation building and then as part of the cold war. In Iraq, its just nation building with an insurgency to boot. nation building is not a good reason in and off itself to go to war.

    We now have an ally strategically located in the middle of the Middle East whereas before we had a dedicated enemy. This ally has the most free and open society of any Islamic nation in the Middle East, even including free speech, newspapers and elections, all of which serve as an example to the rest of the miserable and downtrodden populations under the rule of Islamic despots. When this country was ruled by Saddam he was constantly working, from the commentor’s own admission, many years to develop WMD. “Just nation building?” Dear me, if the commentor cannot see the benefit I can only feel sorry for his myopia.

    Me, earlier: The fact that the yellowcake was “pre-1991” is irrelevant.

    The yellowcake was known and secured. It was also not weapons grade. It would require further enrichment beyond Saddam’s capabilities.

    And this is the commentor’s counter against the argument that just when Saddam began his development of a nuclear arsenal is irrelevant? Because the yellowcake had not yet been developed into a warhead when Bush stopped Saddam’s nuclear development? Wow.

    Like I said before, folks of the commentor’s mindset would have dawdled until Saddam had nukes, no doubt cautioning all the while, “Not yet, not yet,” and then, finally, “Oops, too late, so sad, too bad.”

    And – although the yellowcake may have been “known,” it was certainly NOT “secured.” I refer to the article linked to earlier:

    Keeping track of the material was made extraordinarily difficult by the Iraqis who regularly impeded IAEA officials from carrying out even the most routine inspections.

    Furthermore, the IAEA was and is a feckless organization that was headed by those who seemed to be biased against the US and sympathetic toward Saddam. I wouldn’t trust them further than I could throw 500 metric tons of yellowcake.

    As for “beyond Saddam’s capabilities”: Enrichment requires centrifuges, a centrifuge was found buried in the backyard of one of Saddam’s nuclear scientists. How many more lie buried we cannot know. We only learned of this example because the scientist himself led us to it – otherwise it would no doubt still be buried.

    Yes, of course yellowcake requires “further enrichment” but Saddam was obtaining and hiding the technology that would have allowed him to enrich the yellowcake. I apologize to the readers for seeming to be so tediously elementary but the commentor seems unable to see that 2 + 2 = 4.

    http://tinyurl.com/2xe2wq

    Pak, NK, and Iran pose an infinitely greater risk than Saddam who was very far away from WMDs and had less connections with Islamic radicals than the other regimes. I don’t necessarily advocate an invasion of these countries (well, you can’t invade NK) but an invasion could be justified, as one could have been against Saddam, if he possessed the WMDs we though he did. But he didn’t. Bottom line.

    I wish the commentor would stop waffling and answer my questions simply and directly. Once again: I agree that Pakistan, North Korea and Iran pose a risk. Is it the contention of the commentor that Bush should have invaded these countries and deposed their leaders? Is it the contention of the commentor that Obama should invade them?

    These are simple questions only requiring simple answers, not the, “I don’t necessarily advocate an invasion of these countries (well, you can’t invade NK) but an invasion could be justified …” that the commentor tries to pass off as an answer to the readers.

    I’ve noticed during my many debates with them that one of the rationales of the anti-war folks goes like this: The US was not justified in stopping the development of WMD in Iraq. Why? Because up until such time as Saddam had developed nukes the US did not have the moral right or obligation to stop him. Of course, AFTER the nuclear arsenal would have been developed there would have been little the US could do because of the danger of a nuclear conflagration. Thus, the subtext is that the US should stand idly by until all the rogue nations are nuked up.

    An earlier question: What would we do when Saddam reconstituted his nuclear program to counter Iran’s program?

    You have time to deal with that when and if it becomes imminent. But is was far away. The intelligence was wrong.

    Dear readers, please consider this: The commentor admits that the intelligence was faulty. So his implication is that Bush should rely on faulty intelligence to inform Bush when the nukes developed by Saddam was “imminent.” Yes, Bush should have waited until such time as the fallible, faulty intelligence community gave him the news that Saddam had ALMOST but not quite developed a nuclear arsenal. Sweet. Illogical but sweet.

    Me? I don’t think it’s possible to cut it so fine. The intelligence is too often wrong. I want my President to be more prudent and to always err on the side of caution – otherwise many Americans could die, because frequently, yes, as the commentor himself asserts, the intelligence is “wrong.”

    In the meantime we had too little troops in Afghanistan, which has much more connections to al Qaeda and 911 and is right next door to an unstable Pakistan which possesses nukes.

    It’s interesting to me that the anti-war folks alternate easily between the argument that the Iraq War was/is wrong because it was/is a magnet/generator for and of terrorists and terrorism – that the Iraq War actually CAUSED or CAUSES more terrorism – to the argument that the terrorists were actually someplace else, someplace that Bush was ignoring while he was chasing non-existent terrorists in Iraq. They never seem to realize the inconsistency of such a stance.

    The 9/11 connected Taliban government which harbored al Qaeda was toppled and driven from power by Bush and Afghanistan ceased to be a 9/11-style threat. They are still out of power. A Commander in Chief marshals his forces, arrays his troops and sometimes has to fight a 2-front war. Is it the contention of the commentor that Obama should pull all troops out of Iraq and concentrate only on Afghanistan? Is Iraq that unimportant in the commentor’s mind?

    And do you notice, dear readers, that they(not necessarily the commentor) ALWAYS imply or sometimes even state outright that somehow the US and/or Bush is somehow responsible for an “unstable Pakistan?” They know nothing about the history of the region or they would know that Pakistan has been “unstable” since its creation. Condemning Bush for the instability of Pakistan is like condemning Bush for the weather … er … global warming … er … climate change … er … hurricanes – oh hell – I give up. They blame Bush for everything.

    All of this got worse under bush as he was distracted by Iraq, a sideshow. hell, Saudi Arabia is more dangerous … 2 failed wars that Obama inherited.

    Holy Smokes! The commentor believes that Saudi Arabia, one of our allies, is “more dangerous” than Saddam was and that Iraq is a “failed” war. Jesus – even Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi has stopped calling Iraq a “failed” war. And Afghanistan is not a “failed” war – not in any sense of the word. But readers, don’t we see this kind of wishful thinking all the time? Folks that dearly wish for disastrous wars and for America to fail so much that they actually invent failure in their minds and that no matter what is actually happening that they go around gleefully proclaiming failure where none really exists?

    A further question: Would sanctions and diplomatic pressure work as well on Saddam as it has on Iran and North Korea?

    er, North Korea has nukes and has been testing it since the early 2000’s.

    Here again we see the curious logic that if a rogue state starts the development of nukes early enough(“early 2000’s”) that somehow those states are exempt from the debate. The question’s point was that sanctions did not work on North Korea and are not working on Iran, thus it was doomed from the start with Saddam. Sanctions and diplomacy was tried with North Korea ad infinitum. Sanctions were tried with Saddam for 13 years for God’s Sake! Sanctions don’t work with rogue states. But the question goes completely over the head of the blissfully unaware commentor.

  106. Manju Says:

    “The commentor’s own words: Those[Germany and Japan] weren’t hot wars”

    that was in reference to the occupation and subsequent cold war, ie your refernce to “being there for over 60 years with no “end in sight’”

    “We now have an ally strategically located in the middle of the Middle East whereas before we had a dedicated enemy.”

    We don’t have an ally becasue we are still occupying the country militarily, since the civilian governement is divided an unstable. Its unlcear if they can rule if we leave, nevermind ruling democraticaly. An ally is a functioning govt. We don’t have that.

    “This ally has the most free and open society of any Islamic nation in the Middle East, even including free speech, newspapers and elections, all of which serve as an example to the rest of the miserable and downtrodden populations under the rule of Islamic despots.”

    According to Foreign Policy magazine, Iraq is a failed state–ie, unable to perform basic governmental functions like security or education due to fractious violence and a non-functionig economy. They are number 6 (somailia is #1, to give you an idea how bad it is.) Your innane assertions about “free speech” is an example how the american right has descended into liberal happy talk. Every conservative should know the first function of government is to provide security and other basic functions, without which civil liberties (freedom from governemnt force) are meaningless because your freedom is threated by the hobbsean “war of all against all”. This inablity to grasp basic conservative ideas is why the bush presidency failed. Rumsfeld inabilty to secure iraq after the inital invasion is an example of this fundamental failure, especilly paul wolfowitz babbling on about the iraqis greeting us as liberators becasue we freed them from saddam. The world is more complex than this simplistic narrative. jesus, don’t right-wingers read machiavelli anymore?

    “And – although the yellowcake may have been “known,” it was certainly NOT “secured.” I refer to the article linked to earlier”

    It was secured until the invasion, when the bush admin inexplicably then faield to secure nuclear sites. The aricle you rely on is not factual, its an opinion piece. You need to learn to distingusih propaganda from facts.

    “These are simple questions only requiring simple answers”

    That says it all. This is why bush and his fanboys are ill-equipped for foreign policy.

    “And Afghanistan is not a “failed” war – not in any sense of the word”

    Ok, Iraq is a failed war b/c it was not in our national interst (no WMDs, and Saddam was far away from reconstiutiong his programs not to mention giving WMDs to terrorists). Bush left Afghnistan in a decaying sitution as McChrystal warned that the war may be lost if more troops were not sent.

    “Is it the contention of the commentor that Obama should pull all troops out of Iraq and concentrate only on Afghanistan? Is Iraq that unimportant in the commentor’s mind? ”

    We sadly have to stay in Iraq to avert a civil war and humanitarin crises. other than that its not importnat since saddam did not pose much of a threat. One of the greatest blunders in US foreign policy history.

    “The commentor admits that the intelligence was faulty. So his implication is that Bush should rely on faulty intelligence to inform Bush when the nukes developed by Saddam was “imminent.” ”

    Its the executives job to make sure the intelligence is accurate. you can’t operate on faulty inelligence, though it will never be perfect. The problem here was the intelligence was off the charts wrong, and some people were warning the US of that. bush may have made an honest mistake but his judgemnt was flawed at the end of the day. if bush had doubts the only responsable response would have been to fix the flaws b/f proceeding. he had the time obviously. even he didn’t thnk there was a real immant danger from saddam, and as it turned out there was no credable evidence that saddam had reconstituted a significant WMD capability.

  107. Oblio Says:

    Manju, what are you playing at? You are way behind the fair.

  108. grackle Says:

    The commentor’s own words: Those[Germany and Japan] weren’t hot wars.

    that was in reference to the occupation and subsequent cold war, ie your refernce to “being there for over 60 years with no “end in sight’”

    Yes, the US is still in Germany and Japan 60 years after WW2. But the commentor would have us abandon Afghanistan after about 9 years because THAT length of time is just too long.

    Myself, earlier: We now have an ally strategically located in the middle of the Middle East whereas before we had a dedicated enemy.”

    The commentor: We don’t have an ally because we are still occupying the country militarily, since the civilian government is divided an unstable. Its unclear if they can rule if we leave, never mind ruling democratically. An ally is a functioning govt. We don’t have that.

    I have a different, more practical, perhaps more Machiavellian definition of an ally. An ally is a nation that is not hostile to my nation. Iraq is not hostile. I don’t much care if Iraq is “functioning.”

    Me, earlier: This ally has the most free and open society of any Islamic nation in the Middle East, even including free speech, newspapers and elections, all of which serve as an example to the rest of the miserable and downtrodden populations under the rule of Islamic despots.

    The commentor: According to Foreign Policy magazine, Iraq is a failed state–ie, unable to perform basic governmental functions like security or education due to fractious violence and a non-functionig economy. They are number 6 (somailia is #1, to give you an idea how bad it is.) Your innane assertions … [blah, blah, blah] … This inablity to grasp basic conservative ideas is why the bush presidency failed … [blah, blah and more blah]. … jesus, don’t right-wingers read machiavelli anymore?

    Well, I don’t consider myself much of a “right-winger” but I HAVE read Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” Perhaps the commentor could give us a learned discourse on just what part of that book applies to the debate at hand instead of his pointless literary name-dropping. We would want him to link to the parts from which he draws his conclusions, wouldn’t we, readers? So we could ALL enjoy the benefit of the commentor’s intellect and comprehension of literature?

    On the Failed State List: Pakistan is there, as is Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran, Algeria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait. In fact it seems that if a nation is located in the Middle East it’s more than likely to be somewhere on the Failed State List. Iraq joins a rather large group in that respect.

    Some others on the Failed State List: North Korea, China, Colombia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Cuba(Oh, Fidel!) Nicaragua(someone needs to tell Daniel Ortega), Venezuela(of Hugo Chavez fame), Honduras(poor Zelaya), Ecuador and Russia. I found the failed state list mildly interesting but am puzzled as to exactly why the commentor believes inclusion on the list means anything really pertinent to my viewpoint.

    Also, I believe the commentor may actually misunderstand my viewpoint. You see, I don’t really care if Iraq is a “failed state.” US forces are in Iraq, centrally located in the Middle East, right next door to Iran and close to other rogue states, where we can get at them with our military should the need arise. MY state is certainly NOT “failed,” and that’s all I really much care about. I wonder … could my view on this be considered Machiavellian?

    Nevertheless, although the commentor may not value such things, the Iraqis now have elected leaders, a free press and can publicly voice their opinions, which makes them the most free and democratic Islamic nation in the Middle East. Call me crazy but if I were an Iraqi I would call such a situation a BIG improvement over Saddam’s murderous dictatorship. And hey, unlike during the Saddam years, they are NOT trying to develop nukes. I call that a worthwhile improvement. Not “functioning” to the commentor’s satisfaction? Who cares?

    Me, earlier: And – although the yellowcake may have been “known,” it was certainly NOT “secured.” I refer to the article linked to earlier.

    The commentor replies: It was secured until the invasion, when the bush admin inexplicably then faield to secure nuclear sites.

    Oh my, did Bush make a mistake in a war? On securing the nuclear sites? Yes, perhaps a mistake was made, just as did Churchill, FDR and just about anyone else who has ever conducted a war. And this is the stuff on which the commentor bases his viewpoint? Readers, the only thing surprising in any war would be if no mistakes were made. THAT would be REALLY strange.

    The aricle you rely on is not factual, its an opinion piece. You need to learn to distingusih propaganda from facts.

    I linked to the article because it was well-written and factual about the subject of the yellowcake. But let us go to the report of the IAEA itself – which is used as a primary source for the article:

    During the second IAEA inspection, Iraqi military authorities denied or restricted access to an IAEA inspection team at various sites designated for inspection by the Special Commission of the UN Security Council pursuant to Part C of UN Security Council Resolution 687. After protests, full access was granted on Wednesday, 26 June 1991, at which time activities which had been observed from a distance during the first visit had ceased and objects that had been seen had been removed.

    This circumstance disturbed the IAEA inspectors and a high-level IAEA group was dispatched to look into the situation:

    The mission was to discuss with senior officials of the Iraqi government the visit by the inspection team to different locations near Baghdad which encountered refusal of access to designated sites and witnessed removal by Iraqi personnel of equipment and materials from such locations to unknown sites.

    The group made objections but their protests were ignored by Saddam. Later on the document relates this interesting tidbit:

    An initial examination by the IAEA indicated the existence of three parallel programmes for uranium enrichment and related equipment and facilities.

    And this is what the commentor characterizes as “secured,” what he dismisses as insignificant and not worth the worry, what he belittles as propaganda? There’s much more but I don’t want to make this comment into a book. Things were “removed,” and “activities” observed at a distance by IAEA before Saddam’s hindrances were ceased after Saddam refused the inspectors access, undoubtedly so he could have enough time to cover his tracks. Doesn’t sound very secure to me, readers. Read for yourselves the official record of Saddam’s constant deception and obstruction about his nuke program:

    http://tinyurl.com/bdzcb

    Me, earlier: These are simple questions only requiring simple answers. Once again: I agree that Pakistan, North Korea and Iran pose a risk. Is it the contention of the commentor that Bush should have invaded these countries and deposed their leaders? Is it the contention of the commentor that Obama should invade them?

    The commentor’s pathetic response: That says it all. This is why bush and his fanboys are ill-equipped for foreign policy.

    Nope. Ain’t gonna be no simple answers from THIS commentor.

    Me, earlier: And Afghanistan is not a “failed” war – not in any sense of the word.

    Ok, Iraq is a failed war b/c it was not in our national interst (no WMDs, and Saddam was far away from reconstiutiong his programs not to mention giving WMDs to terrorists).

    Aside from the curious fact that the commentor ignores my question about Afghanistan and chooses instead to ramble on about Iraq, it is evident that the commentor is still doggedly sticking to his memes: There was no WMD(just “three parallel programmes,” according to the official IAEA report) and Saddam was far away in time from reconstituting his programs(according to intelligence the commentor himself characterizes as “wrong”). And of course, once developed, the commentor is dead-sure that nice fellow Saddam would never, ever allow the nukes to be used by terrorists, I guess because Saddam was known to be such an admirer and lover of the US. Right, dear readers?

    Bush left Afghnistan in a decaying sitution as McChrystal warned that the war may be lost if more troops were not sent.

    I think during war troops are sent by Commanders in Chief to various fronts as needed, according to their strength and numbers, their availability and the strength and locations of the enemy.

    Saddam needed to be deposed so we sent what forces weren’t needed in Japan and Germany(60 years after WW2) and other places around the globe to Iraq to take care of Saddam, and left enough forces in Afghanistan to hold the place until such time as we would want to get back to that front. To me it seems so ordinary and simple, the most basic of strategies – but the commentor cares not for simplicity.

    Earlier I asked: Is it the contention of the commentor that Obama should pull all troops out of Iraq and concentrate only on Afghanistan? Is Iraq that unimportant in the commentor’s mind?

    We sadly have to stay in Iraq to avert a civil war and humanitarin crises. other than that its not importnat since saddam did not pose much of a threat.

    Oh, I forgot. The commentor has already declared that even Saudi Arabia posed more of a threat than Saddam. But at least the commentor himself apparently believes we should now stay in Iraq, although he doesn’t exactly overwhelm us with his enthusiasm.

    One of the greatest blunders in US foreign policy history.

    One of the silliest statements by the commentor – so far.

    I contended earlier: The commentor admits that the intelligence was faulty. So his implication is that Bush should rely on faulty intelligence to inform Bush when the nukes developed by Saddam was “imminent.”

    The commentor’s sage reply: Its the executives job to make sure the intelligence is accurate. you can’t operate on faulty inelligence, though it will never be perfect. The problem here was the intelligence was off the charts wrong, and some people were warning the US of that.

    Readers, there’s always someone “warning the US” of something or other. Obama is probably being subjected to conflicting warnings of many different types at this very moment. It’s all very well to say that Bush should have made sure the intelligence was accurate. Perhaps Bush knew that Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have never been very accurate in the assessment of the progress of other nations’ nuclear programs.

    Russia, China, Israel and Pakistan: The CIA was caught by surprise by ALL of their nuclear programs. In fact, I can’t find where the CIA has been accurate on ANY assessment of this type. The most that can be expected of the CIA is that they are sometimes accurate on whether a nation is trying to develop nukes but if past CIA predictions are any yardstick – that’s about ALL the CIA can be trusted for – sometimes.

    We must not forget, dear readers, that just a year ago an official government report(National Intelligence Estimate) which included CIA input emphatically declared that Iran had ceased developing nukes in 2003. It was a BIG boost to the Obama campaign and various Bush-hating politicians, intellectuals(so-called), liberal foreign policy “experts” and pundits. That particular assessment has since been tossed into the False Meme Dumpster and thoroughly erased from the memory of various anti-war brains.

    And who were these “people” who were warning Bush that the CIA’s intelligence was wrong? The commentor is rather vague on this point, as on some of his other points. It certainly wasn’t Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. In a report to the UN Security Council in January of 2003 Blix had this to say:

    Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance – not even today – of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.

    http://tinyurl.com/65ewxz

    But WMD was only one issue among many in regards to toppling Saddam, although the anti-war folks choose to make much of it and ignore the others. Sooner or later Saddam was going to become an unsolvable problem. The US can’t wait until rogue despots have a working nuke before taking action – because then it will be too late. All the rats in this world can’t be exterminated but we are much better off exterminating those that we can as soon as we can. Saddam is one less rat to worry about.

    bush may have made an honest mistake but his judgemnt was flawed at the end of the day. if bush had doubts the only responsable response would have been to fix the flaws b/f proceeding. he had the time obviously. even he didn’t thnk there was a real immant danger from saddam, and as it turned out there was no credable evidence that saddam had reconstituted a significant WMD capability.

    Like I’ve noted before, there were many reasons given for deposing Saddam. That Saddam apparently did not possess a working arsenal of nukes is no reason not to depose him. He was certainly TRYING to develop nukes. I say it would have been folly to have dawdled until it came to pass. When we can, we must not wait until a conflagration occurs before taking action. History will note that Bush was wise to have toppled Saddam.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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