The Shifting Goalposts

First, critics* said the elections couldn’t/wouldn’t happen.

Then, critics* said they would happen, but they would be wracked with violence and no one would vote because the ballots were too confusing or the security situation would keep people away from the polls.

What happens when you are wrong twice? Why, you continue, undaunted, to make dire predictions:

Looks reasonably successful so far, no mass casualties, turnout low only in a few trouble spots. It’s time to prepare for three weeks of gloating from the hawks before they realize that nothing has really changed and they return to previous hawk practice of not mentioning Iraq. The interesting thing to watch, I think, will be whether or not Shiite political unity starts to break down now that the elections are behind us.

Pessimism masquerading as realism should not be regarded as insight, and you should note the real cause for concern- hawk’s gloating. We aren’t gloating, we are just happy and relieved, and no one thinks this is the final step for our involvement in Iraq. It is, however, an important real and symbolic victory, and everyone should be happy.

Do I think this means we can start shipping soldiers home tomorrow? No.

Do I think this means that Iraq is going to turn into an American/European style Democracy by tomorrow? No.

But was this an important first step? Yes. Why can’t some Democrats embrace this? Why must they constantly position themselves and their party in such a way that they gain politically when things go poorly?

John Kerry, btw, was on Meet The Press this morning, and did everything he could to piss all over the administration and the election. According to him, we need to have a massive outreach to the international community in order to make sure the election is viewed as legitimate. And the Democrats wonder why they are the minority party. “This is the last chance for the President to get it right.” Go fuck yourself.

I am so sick and tired of playing Charlie Brown to their Lucy.

*** Update ***

Matt Yglesias emails:

Pardon me, John, but there’s nothing I hate more than this business of having my views mischaracterized. When did I say elections wouldn’t happen? When did I say turnout would be low? Well, I never said those things. Why should the fact that other people have made bad predictions in any way discredit my prediction? This “they” business is silly. Why are they? Why am I one of “them?”

My apologies. Clearly ‘they’ is any member of the crowd who attempted to or is attempting to delegitimize the elections, before, during, or after. While you may not have been a member of the former two, you are clearly a member of the third group, as this second snotty post from you clearly demonstrates. As to why you are a member of that group, it beats me.

But as maybe you are right, nothing has changed at all. Says Jeff Goldstein:

And by nothing has really changed, Matt of course means besides Iraq having successfully pulled off its first democratic elections in history with a minimum of violence, thus landing a huge body blow to the increasingly scattershot insurgency.

In Matts defense, thought, they do remain Mesopotamian.

*- Posted edited, changing ‘they’ to ‘critics.’

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92 replies
  1. Aaron says:

    So a UN sponsored and approved election is not enough for Kerry.

    I guess he needs Quai D’Orsay to personally call him and tell him it’s okay before he approves.

  2. CadillaqJaq says:

    “There they go again…”

    It’s amusing to watch the Dems following ANY election anymore… I guess democracy in action is a no-no.

  3. Bob says:

    Great election. Too bad the candidates names weren’t released when the people got to vote for them. The problem is that there are shifting goalposts, but they have to do with the reason why we have invaded Iraq in the first place and why we’re still there.

    Shifting goalposts? Imminent threat of attack by Saddam’s WMDs.

    Shifting goalposts? How about removing Saddam from power? You’ll all note that he’s been out of power and in custody for quite a while now. We are still there. Now it’s to bring democracy to Iraq. I don’t remember any passionate arguments by Powell or Rice to the UN or Congress explaining the risk of allowing Iraq to continue without democracy.

    You want to talk about shifting goalposts? Maybe a billion dollars for the cost of the war. I believe that was what Wolfowitz said in front of Congress. And let us not forget that the reconstruction would be paid for totally by oil revenues. You want a shifting goalpost? All the troops home by the end of 2004 (actually, I think the original projection floated was all the troops home by 2003). The latest projection is at least 120,000 troops there for another two years, but unless there is a collapse of the Bush political apparatus here in the US (not impossible; even true believers occasionally look away from their idols) it’ll be probably another four or five years.

    So what’s the cost now? $280, $300 billion? Hey, just as long as it doesn’t cut into my tax cut…

    Saddam is Noriega without the cocaine. Of course, America is more addicted to oil than cocaine. It goes on and on, and the petulant bully boys around here who just learned to walk think they can swagger. Saddam was just another hood who crossed the Godfather. And you guys are just the dirty-faced kids playing in the streets who wave when the Godfather’s limo goes by.

    By the way, the reason why we should give a shit about making the elections accepted around the world? Without the help of the rest of the world, we will go bankrupt in Iraq. That’s the way capitalism works. Money beats the military. The dollar has been nosediving over the last four years because of the looting of the treasuries by the current crop of boodle boys. China is our daddy now, and there are a line of others who now own a hunk of our flesh. The only reason why we aren’t bankrupt is that our lenders don’t want to start another great depression. But there are limits to their patience, you little ruffians.

  4. shark says:

    *YAWN* Bob sounds like he’s a member of International ANSWER

    Too bad for you, you lost in November, you lost today, and you’ll keep losing (while the rest of the world keeps winning)

    So enjoy your sad attempt to piss on this great day for America and Iraq. Because petty little comments is ALL you can do.


  5. shark says:

    I am so sick and tired of playing Charlie Brown to their Lucy

    Wrong analogy, because our Charlie Brown has WHUPPED THEIR ASSES for how many straight elections???

    Just tune their nagging out. The Dems are the party of Kerry, Kos, Boxer, Kennedy etc.


  6. JB says:

    Kerry’s a broken record. His prescription for everything is “reach out to the international community.” Out of a job? Reach out to the international community. Car needs fixin’? Reach out to the international community.

    His fantasy internationalism is high comedy at this point.

  7. JorgXMcKie says:

    Well, Justin Raimondo sounds like . . . well he sounds like just what he is. (Can you spell poseur, boys and girls?)

  8. packsoldier says:

    So nice to see Justa Retardo make an appearance. Feeling a little blue after watching the successful elections?

  9. capt joe says:

    justin raimondo! as I live and breath.

    Too bad that someone who views themself as a journalist has such a pitiful rejoiner. And an anti-semitic one at that.

    So he is a hlf wit and a racist in one package.

  10. Scaramonga says:

    Bob clearly demonstrates what happens when reality can no longer be denied and the wheels start coming off the fantasy mobile. Random and crazy rants of pointlessness and vacuity. Bob, its back to your methadone for you. And don’t forget to check in with your parole officer soon.

    Bob’s favorite quote: “There is no terrorist threat…there is NO terrorist threat.” – M. Moore.

  11. thirdfinger says:

    You can’t even take a break from your hate parade to congratulate the Iraqi people for taking the first great steps toward self determination. It’s a sorry world you live in and I am afraid things will do nothing but get worse for you and better for the proponents of “Liberty and Justice for All. You sir are a poltroon, full of sour grapes. Would you like some cheese with that whine?

  12. Les Nessman says:

    Wonder what the ‘Not In Our Name’ crowd and the ‘I’m sorry’ pouters have to say now. Send your frowning pictures to the Iraqis who just took a step towards free self-government.

  13. S. Weasel says:

    Ahhhh…Bob, Justin. If you had any idea how much your evident distress is the big shiny red maraschino cherry atop this excellent day, you’d bugger off and not give us the pleasure.

  14. Mr. Z says:

    Democrats had their collective butts kicked again today. What must it feel like to be on the wrong side of history? What must it feel like to have no manhood? As a card carrying Replublican I’ll never know.

  15. frederick j aziz says:

    Some one made mention of a VW ad that showed a VW bug floating. The new caption was “If teddie kennedy had owned one of these he would have been president.”

    Vince Lombardi said “a tie was like kissing your sister”. He also said no one remembered who finished 2nd. Why would any one pay any attention to johnnie kerry? Come on folks, he got his ass stomped!

  16. twalsh says:

    I’m just wondering which provinces of Iraq the Democrats will demand a casualty recount in. They probably think there must have been thousands killed somewhere in Iraq while trying to vote, but Bush somehow covered it up. That’s the sad part of it, some are not upset about fraud or who won the vote(we don’t even have a clue yet), only upset that people were able to vote in the millions without being massacred in great enough numbers to delegitimize the election. If you believe in democracy and ever find yourself in that position, please rethink your position.

  17. Bob says:

    Shark, your point?

    thirdfinger, having an election supervised by an occupying army without any candidates on the ballot would not be considered a “free election” in most neighborhoods. When the Iraqis are free to vote whether or not they want us there I’ll join in the cheering. And what hate parade would that be? I want to stop seeing Americans die for oil.

    Weasel, an interesting metaphor, but not particularly clear. Your joy over the election in Iraq must be tempered by the tears you shed over the totalitarian Saudi regime. You must shudder to think about how women there aren’t even allowed to drive. But cheer up, I’m sure we’ll be moving into Arabia any day now to “spread democracy.”

    Scaramonga, when you falsely ascribe anything to me you prove that you’ve got little else to use. Of course there’s a terrorist threat. Don’t you remember 9/11 and all those Saudis? Remember Osama bin Laden? Where is he? Afghanistan or Pakistan, maybe, our two allies in the area. Of course, if the Boogeyman was caught, all you scaredy cats could sleep at night and maybe think a little more clearly in the morning.

    shark seems to think that the Democrats ran a slate of candidates in Iraq. Would that make the Shi’a Republicans? Think twice before you ascribe your limited universe of black and white to the real world.

    Spear shaker, and that round would be what? That there were elections? That there were elections in Iraq? I don’t recall Moore or Jackson thinking that elections in Iraq were bad. By the way, Mr. Shaker, under the current standard set here, by criticizing Jesse Jackson, does that make you a racist, or is criticizing an African American only racist when he or she is a Republican?

    You guys are really pathetic.

    So anyone here have any idea when the war is won and the troops can come home?

  18. Duke of DeLand says:

    “twalsh” comes close to my thought today as I viewed the long queues as Iraqis waited to vote….
    72% of them…..only 20% more than voted in the Presidential election here!!!!

    My thought? How long before Kennedy/sKerry/Boxer lay into Bush for not providing enough polling places, and ballots to insure rapid voting…. He will probably be accused of limiting the voting for certain groups to insure a friendly set of winners.

    I can almost hear Kerry calling already for an intervention in the process by an international group led by the UN & France!


  19. Don Meaker says:

    I would like to Welcome Iraq to the community of free nations. Congratulations on your courage in the election. We welcome you as a full partner in freedom.

  20. S. Weasel says:

    Bob, Bob…you’re giving me such a case of the warm fuzzies.

    No, my joy in a good thing isn’t dampened by the fact that everything, everywhere isn’t good. Today’s elections are a small step on a difficult path that may yet go wrong, but only a churl wouldn’t share the Iraqis’ joy that they have made that step.

  21. Paul says:

    Bob still thinks the war is all about the oil…what a jackass.

    Hey Bob, why didn’t we cordon off all the oil production facilities and let the Iraqis kill themselves off in a civil war and start shipping some cheap crude home if it’s all about the oil? How come I’m paying $2 a gallon for gas?

    How come George Bush isn’t worth any more than $13 million, almost all of which came from selling the Texas Rangers? What kind of kleptocrat is he, with the most powerful military in the world at his disposal, if he can’t become a righteous multi billionaire like your buddy Saddam? Is it because he’s a moron? Does that explain it for you?

    I’d feel sorry for you stewing in your cesspool of bilious hatred and irrational graspings if you weren’t so utterly despicable. As it is I’m content to watch you and your ilk lose and lose.

    And you won’t ever be relevant or in a position of real influence in this world. EVER.

  22. Tommy G says:

    Duke – they already played that meme on NPR last week.

    God help me, but I listen to it on the way in to work.

    it went a little something like

    “…blah, blah, expatriate voters are making the attempt to vote here, in the US, but *with only* six sites available to them, it’s proving to be quite a challenge…”

    Oh, ONLY six… how horrible. What a catastrophic failure…

  23. Libby Spencer says:


    Toast to the Iraq elections and hold the DB

    I willing to give you folks on the Bush team your day. Considering the possible scenarios, it’s going well. In fact I’m proud of the Iraqis who showed up to participate – if only my own countrymen would cherish their rights enough to do the same. Only 30+ dead, just your usual day of violence in Baghdad, hardly the predicted bloodbath thank God. I’ll raise a glass of Guinness to that.

    Forgive me if I don’t join in the cheering just yet though. You see, I remember when Bush announced Mission Accomplished on May Day in 03 and it wasn’t. I remember when we “passed sovereignty” to the Iraqis in June 04 and we’re still in charge. I remember when we “broke the back of the insurgency” in Fallujah in Nov. 04 and their numbers have increased since, even by the Pentagon’s own accounting. One day of photo-ops with folks wiggling their purple fingers at the camera doesn’t quite convince me that democracy has arrived in Iraq.

    There’s still the small matter of writing a constitution and cobbling together a consensus between the winning parties of widely differing ideologies. Besides, the victors won’t even be confirmed for another month. I’m predicting Allawai will be declared the winner, Shiites will hold the political majority, the Kurds won’t be happy with their gains and the Sunnis will cry foul – particularly if their turnout remains low throughout the day.

    Today’s jubilee will dissolve into next week’s occupation as usual and by mid-March the Iraqis will have seen no difference in reconstruction of the infrastructure or the quelling of civil violence and will start asking if “this is what democracy looks like?” US troops won’t be leaving anytime soon so if you don’t mind, I think I’ll hold my champagne for the day our soldiers come home.

  24. TallDave says:


    ” I don’t remember any passionate arguments by Powell or Rice to the UN or Congress explaining the risk of allowing Iraq to continue without democracy. ”

    Then you weren’t listening or have a bad memory. The point was made more than once.

    Probably 1-2 years before our troops will mostly be home. But with 40 Iraqi battalions online and another 40 coming online this year, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Training efforts have vastly improved since Petraeus arrived.

    Free, fair, credible lections have been held in Iraq and Afghanistan; that is a tremendous, almost unbelievable achievement. No one would have thought this possible 5 years ago.

    LOL China is hardly our “daddy” and we’re in fine economic shape. If anything, we own China; they are just another country economically dependent on American consumers. The country is hardly being “looted”; our public debt %GDP is lower than France, Germany, and far lower than Saudi Arabia.

    We’re not getting any free oil from Iraq, so we’re clearly not there for oil, although we do (obviously) have a legitimate interest in reasonable, stable oil prices.

    Saddam was an avowed enemy of this country. He called for our destruction many, many times. He aided and abetted Islamic terrorists of every warp and woof. He built the Salman Pak terrorist training camp. He provided safe harbor to terrorist killers like Abu Nidal and others. He encouraged the murderous depredations of Palestinian suicide bombers by rewarding their surviving family members with large cash payments which morally amounted to a bounty on the heads of innocent Israeli civilians. He attempted to assassinate a former US President, and just because it happened to be one you on the Left do not like does not mean that we as a nation can afford to ignore it. He attempted many, many times over the course of more than a decade to shoot down American aircraft engaged in a legitimate and UN-approved mission. Just because you on the Left dont like the military any more than you like the aforementioned US President doesnt mean that we as a nation can afford to ignore that. Its one thing to ignore a ruthless, bloodthirsty, and out-of-control tyrant like Saddam on 9/10/01; its another thing entirely to do so on 9/12.

  25. Jamie says:

    First things VERY first: Congratulations, people of Iraq!

    Now Bob… What’s your position on the unfettered joy visible on the faces and demonstrated by the dancing feet of Iraqi voters today? Are they all just a bunch of benighted peasants who, after all, can’t be expected to understand what they were there to do? Do you understand, sir, that that’s what you’re implying?

    Iraq is celebrating. The Arab world is watching – in some places with wonder, in some with trepidation. Your comments make it clear that, at root, you don’t believe the Iraqis capable of self-government. At best, your position appears to be that we’ve (WE have) run a kind of “mock election,” for practice as it were, but that the Iraqi people are too ignorant and backward to realize it – since obviously they believe what they risked their lives to do today was important and meaningful. If you consider yourself “progressive” and “multiculturalist,” I suggest you reexamine your postulates.

    BTW, the “If you’re so gung-ho on spreading democracy all over the world, why don’t you think we should be in SA, Syria, N.Korea, and Iran right now?” argument is as specious now as it was when you and your fellow-travelers first voiced it a year and a half ago or so. I think – don’t you? – that the Bush administration’s steadfastness in Iraq and Afghanistan has a certain, shall we say, diplomatic value that the terrifying threat of another UN resolution just can’t muster.

    Setting yourself in opposition to the free exercise of the franchise can’t be a comfortable position… When you’re repeating that an election held in an occupied nation can’t be considered “free,” bear in mind that the last national “election” in un-occupied Iraq was not exactly a multi-party event.

  26. Bob says:

    Assistant Village Idiot: People say that maybe elections should be postponed because of the widespread murder and mayhem in the streets of Iraq. But there’s a difference between postponed and not held. Think about it. Because it’s been so dangerous for anyone to be on the streets in the Sunni Triangle holding the election in such conditions will just further depress the Sunni vote. Since the slates who win this election will create a new constitution for Iraq, this will further strengthen the insurgents’ hand within the Sunni community, physically splitting off the Kurds to the north and the Shia to the South. That’s why some thinking people wanted to delay the elections. Myself, I see how badly Bush and friends have fucked up Iraq and I don’t see any way they are going to put it back together again, so I say, hooray, the election is over. We’ve brought democracy to Iraq, now let’s move on to Arabia. They’ve got more oil, er, need for democracy than Iraq!

  27. Bob says:

    Paul calls me a jackass because I say the war is about oil. His proof is that he’s paying $2 a gallon for gas.

    Paul, you don’t own an oil company. The war isn’t being fought for you to have cheap oil. The war is being fought for the friends of Bush to control the oil.

    Think about it. You don’t own an oil company. When the cost of oil goes up, you pay for it. Check out how much the oil companies have made over the last couple of years.

    Again, Paul, you do not own an oil company.

    As far as what George’s personal wealth is, you don’t even understand how it works, do you? It’s not what you steal while you’re in office, it’s what comes back to you after you’re out. I mean, why would the Reverend Moon pay George H. W. Bush a million dollars for a string of speeches in South America?

    Paul, there are some here that are blinded by their ideologies, but I believe you are truly stupid. Do some reading.

  28. Bob says:

    Jamie, first off, you do not read very well. I have said repeatedly that I was all for the elections. I only wished that they got to vote for whether or not the occupying army should stay or go. You’re for that, right Jamie? The unfettered right of those people to tell us to go the fuck home?

    When we went into Afghanistan, Jamie, it wasn’t to bring them democracy. It was to capture the Saudi Osama bin Laden. So whatever fear we sent through the rest of the world, it wasn’t a fear of democracy. It was a fear of invasion. The diplomatic value is that fewer and fewer countries in the world trust us. They presume we’re the bully on the block and are waiting for us to fall.

    The choice of what countries we choose to use the lives of our soldiers in order to bring democracy is not specious. What is specious is that you are arguing it. THE US DID NOT INVADE IRAQ TO BRING THEM DEMOCRACY. That’s just the latest excuse for why we are still there.

    I have never set myself against the rights of people to vote. You just think I said that. It shows that your prejudices are so strong that you hallucinate what you think others should say.

    Now, are you ready to commit troops for free elections in China and Saudi Arabia? Come on, Jamie, how far should we take this crusade?

  29. shark says:

    No, Paul calls you a jackass because you’re a freakingh moonbat.

    Still with the war for oil line? Well, you go right on saying that. Say it real loud. Get all the malcontents on the left saying it, right through to the midterm elections.

    We can use a filibuster-proof majority, and you’re gonna give it to us, so thanks in advance….and enjoy being irrelevant for the next decade or so!!

  30. Bob says:

    Don Meaker, do you realize what a horse’s ass you must sound like to the Iraqis? You grandly welcome them as a “full partner in freedom” when your army is occupying their nation and overseeing their election. Maybe you’re not capable of understanding how stupid that is.

  31. kynna says:

    Bob, there is widespread murder and mayhem in Detroit and nobody postponed their elections.

    Congrats Iraqis! Welcome to the free world.

  32. chris says:

    Hey Bob,

    You sound like every lame LLL bumpersticker I saw prior to the election, the one where you got your ass handed to you AGAIN. Oh, and BTW, ranting about Bush and his “oil buddies” is a VERY TIRED MEME.

    Farenheit 9/11 is soooo 2004…

  33. Don H says:

    What a great day for Iraq. And what a tribute to those who paid the ultimate price. The seed of democracy has been firmly planted – the Middle East as we know it today will change for the better because George Bush’s vision. Most amazing to me was that we re-elected Bush. It just did not seem possible with all the negative press. But, alas, the American people rose to the occasion.

    A great day indeed.

  34. Bob says:

    Tall Dave says I have a bad memory if I don’t remember Powell or Rice using the lack of democracy as the imminent reason for our invasion of Iraq. No, Tall Dave, they didn’t use that as the reason we must invade Iraq. I remember anondyzed aluminum tubes and I remember mobile bioterror labs, but I don’t remember the threat of the non-democracy of Iraq as being a threat to us. I think that if you review your notes you’ll go back to your quiet little corner and lick your wounds.

    Tall Dave also says that most of our troops will be home in 1-2 years. I hope you’re stargazing is right, because it will contradict the latest estimates out of the Pentagon which is says 120,000 for the next two years, implying that the reduction in force won’t occur until after that.

    The President of Afghanistan can’t travel outside of Kabul without a battalion guarding him. The degradation of women has resumed. Opium production is at an all-time high. Let’s hear it for free elections in Afghanistan!

    Tall Dave laughs out loud denying the huge deficit owed by the US to China, and says our economy is just fine. Biggest deficits ever, and China is the leader holding the IOUs. It’s only a question as to when we either change our ways or when the rest of the world cuts off the drinks.

    Tall Dave, you do not ever get free oil from anyone. You are just a chump at the pump. You pay for the oil. You pay the taxes and send your sons and daughters so that oil companies can charge you for oil.

    Saddam was our ally for the decade of the eighties. Even further back. He was our bad boy against Iran. He was our enemy until the Gulf War, but after that he was powerless. Hussein has always been despicable. Our foreign policy has found a place for scumbags like him until those scumbags aren’t furthering our interests. I didn’t like him back when Reagan and Bush the Elder were illegally funding him through Dept. of Agriculture loans. How about you, Tall Dave. Did you like Saddam back then?

    At the end of your post you hoist the bloody shirt of 9/11. Tall Dave, do you remember who was responsible for 9/11? The Saudi scion Osama bin Laden and his dozen and a half Saudi accomplices did it. You know, those buddies of the Bush family, the Saudis.

    It’s like this: You come home and find your best friend screwing your wife. You go next door and shoot a neighbor, but, heck, why ruin such a good friendship?

  35. Bob says:

    chris, did you have a point? I can’t seem to find anything in your post other than that you are tired of that old “oil company” meme.

    Tell that to the pump. Har har har.

  36. Bob says:

    chris, did you have a point? I can’t seem to find anything in your post other than that you are tired of that old “oil company” meme.

    Tell that to the pump. Har har har.

  37. Bob says:

    shark, I sure hope you get your filibuster-proof majority so you mind is never troubled by thought, but what is the reason we are in Iraq now? Not because Saddam is a bad man, he’s in jail. Not because of WMD. That was the reason we went in. There weren’t any. Not to bring democracy. They’re voting. So why are we there and how long do we stay?

    You give me a plausible reason for being there, if you can manage between your frothing.

  38. Sandy P says:

    You grandly welcome them as a “full partner in freedom” when your army is occupying their nation and overseeing their election. Maybe you’re not capable of understanding how stupid that is. —

    Yup, so when was Germany’s 1st full and free election?

    Considering we’re still there and they’re still militarily constrained by a document they signed in the mid-20th century….

    Don’t we also have a base in Italy?

    I’m a tail-end boomer and am all for bringing the troops home. I think they’ve been in Germany and Korea far too long.

    The way the posts have been moved these past 3 years, I think we’re moving out of our solar system.

    How about first in-first out???? If we’re going to define full/free/fair elections this way, then the 1st full/free/fair elections for the US was in the 60s. Although to some, we haven’t had one yet.

  39. Bob says:

    They’ll never have free elections in Iraq–never!! The violence will be too great. A hundred thousand Iraqis will be killed, mostly by american occupiers. It’s just impossible.

    And this forum? It’s all about me. I want it all, I want you to pay attention to me, Me, MEEEEE! It’s all me.

  40. The Fop says:


    We’re in Iraq because Islamic fundamentalism, like Nazism is an ideological phenomenon that has whipped people into a frenzy and inspired them to engage in barbaric behavior. Behavior that is praised and encouraged by Islamic religious and political leaders.

    Saddam is not just another thug. He’s not a Catholic Mafioso from Phillie. He’s not a revolutionary from Central America. He supports people who send their children to blow themselves up in the name of waging holy war against all infidels.

    Personally, I would have been just as happy if we invaded Saudi Arabia, or Syria or Iran. There were many stategic reasons for choosing Iraq first. Occupation, shmoccuption. Who cares? Islamic fundamentalism must be defeated. If the Arabs embrace democracy, fine. If not, we might have to turn the Arab nations into a parking lot. I’d prefer the former, but either one works for me.

    South Africa has had plenty of problems since it became democratic. Funny how you never hear lefties calling South African democracy a sham.

    P.S. I’ll be really insulted if you don’t write me back and call me a name too.

  41. Paul says:

    Bob, if there was ever someone blinded by ideology you are the poster child.

    The oil companies always have made tons of money. People who deal in valuable commodities usually do, but if we were stealing the oil like you say the supply of cheap crude would increase and the cost at the pump would go down. That’s how it works, moron. It’s gone up quite a bit since the war started. Apparently you’re too stupid to have noticed.

    I read plenty, just not the moonbat, paranoid conspiracy laden tripe that has addled your fevered imagination.

    I’d tell you to go to hell, but by your comments I see your existence is already pretty hellish, what with you being on losing side of, oh, just about everything.

  42. m'isles says:

    Gotta agree with The FOP on this one, Bob. You don’t really think GWB is gonna tell those little turds that its all about footprint, do you?

  43. Bob says:

    The Fop,

    I agree that religious fundamentalism is a threat to the world. And I guess I could go on talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, the Wahabbi schools being funded around the world by the House of Saud, etc. In fact, I laughed when I saw the little blip about how it was too expensive to equip airliners with defenses for those shoulder-held surface to air missiles. And where, pray tell, did the Islamo-fascists get those missiles? Think back to what superpower was supplying Osama and the boys weapons to take down Soviet helicopters.

    Of course, Saddam was opposed to radical Islamic fundamentalism. In Osama’s mind we eliminated an enemy of his while focusing all the hate of the Islamic world against ourselves.

    But like fascism, radical fundamentalism works to motivate the masses to continue the ruling class’s bidding (sorry to sound so Marxist here, but, hey, let’s cut to the chase). There are long historical connections between the reactionary Muslims and the Third Reich. Old King Saud was neutral in the war, but still pumping oil into the German war machine through Spain.

    Saddam sends no children anywhere anymore. He was never a religious extremist, and his backing of Palestinian suicide bombers during the last few years of his freedom was a desperate attempt by him to succor “goodwill” and allies among other Muslims in an increasingly desperate situation. Didn’t work.

    But paying for suicide bombers to attack Israel is Israel’s business. I would hate to think that you are saying we should have invaded Iraq and killed all those innocent people because he sent checks to the widows of Palestinian suicide bombers.

    I’m not sure what problems you are referring to in South Africa. All democracies have problems. Now Zimbabwe, they are having problems. Think if we had focused only one percent of our effort expended on Iraq in Zimbabwe. Do they have oil there?

  44. BumperStickerist says:


    … , , though, I’d {Matthew Yglesias] like to drive this point home — we don’t have a half-hearted democracy-promotion strategy, or a hypocritical democracy-promotion strategy, or a flawed democracy-promotion strategy: We don’t have a democracy-promotion strategy at all.

    Instead, we’re replacing dictatorships with failed states in Afghanistan and Iraq while making other autocracies more autocratic and sowing poison among liberalizing movements throughout the Greater Middle East. It’s a huge, enormous, terrible problem.

    from MY’s site

    Well, true – Matt’s wrong on the larger point regarding the election, if not incorrect on his prediction for the daily over/under.

  45. Bob says:

    Paul, the function of capitalism is to make wealth. And to control the ability to make that wealth. That’s what it is about by its own definition.

    Now this is a little secret I’m going to let you in on, Paulie, just ’cause I want to help you out a little:

    When capitalists make money, they’re not making it for you. They are probably taking it from you. And part of the way that they keep making money from you is that they sucker you into thinking that we’re all one big happy family. The Rockefellers aren’t going to invite you to dinner.

    And if they can use you and your tax dollars to fight a war to protect their interests, why so much the better.

    There are ways to control the amount of oil, and laying waste to an oil-producing country is one way to slow down production, resulting in higher prices, resulting in higher profits for the oil companies. More money for less oil! Thank you, America.

    Pretty soon Vlad Putin will have those Chechnyans back in line and the oil will be flowing out of Baku again.

    Fun Fact: Did you know that Herbert Hoover’s family had title to those Baku oilfields before the Russian Revolution?

  46. Mark says:

    Here’s an idea. For all of you worried about the price of oil (actually lower than ever once inflation is figured) buy STOCK or COMMODITIES. Anyone can. Now, what part of WAR don’t you libs understand. We are in a war against Islamic terrorists.
    Strategically, we need to remove those places that harbor and support them and Iraq was the best place to start. Get over the idea that Bush and the GOP are big bad industrialists. People in power always make money. Look at Clinton. He was not GOP. But he’s made money. Stop whining and start backing America. WE ARE NOT THE BAD GUYS! THE ONES THAT WANT TO KILL YOU ARE!

  47. Paul says:


    I’m a capitalist. I earn money by providing a service that people consider valuable enough to pay me to provide.

    I’m able to keep most of my wealth (more now with GWB’s tax cuts) and that gives me incentive to keep on providing my valuable services. Such incentive is lacking across the board in a socialist system, that is why they always fail to produce enough wealth to avoid the poverty, gulags, and graveyards that are the legacy of that failed ideology.

    Part of the idea of freedom and free markets is that one can earn and keep enough wealth to become (gasp!) wealthy. But rather than hoard this wealth as a stash of bullion under the floorboards of the master bedroom this wealth is invested and spent and contributes to the earning of wealth of others. Like me. I produce music, and without enough wealth in a society people like me starve.

    Now your blanket assumption that war is simply waged for profit is one of those discredited Marxist shibboleths that is only still fashionable amongst the most historically ignorant and obtusely reactionary left wing nuts, who still make noise, but are being swept aside by the tide of history into the dustbin of embarrassing irrelevance. So no one takes you seriously, Bobby.

    Buh bye.

  48. Dan says:


    “THE US DID NOT INVADE IRAQ TO BRING THEM DEMOCRACY. That’s just the latest excuse for why we are still there.”

    It strikes me as a pretty damn good “excuse”, too. Better than most of the other ones I’ve heard.

  49. Kimmitt says:

    Yup, so when was Germany’s 1st full and free election?

    1919 or 1920, depending on how you look at it. Neither of which are supporting the point you’re looking to support. Much the opposite, really; this democracy business is tricky and not necessarily one-way.

  50. JD says:

    John, I’m really glad that you brought up the issue of shifting goalposts, Elizabeth Bumiller, perhaps the least liberal – if not the least competent – member of the so-called liberal media, certainly not one to put words into the mouth of the Bush administration, typed this into her laptop last week after Bush’s press conference:

    The president’s words were part of an aggressive White House communications strategy this week and next to frame the risky Iraqi election – a critical test of his assertion that the country is on the path to stability – in the best possible light. The goal, a Bush adviser said, was not only to lower expectations but to avoid any definition of success.

  51. JD says:

    Iraq is not about oil but, rather, about (1) providing no-bid contracts for Bush’s and Cheney’s cronies, and (2) pretending to do something about political Islam.

  52. capt joe says:

    No, An easier fight for oil would be Canada.

    Canadians would depend on the UN to resolve the crisis.

    Oh, and the haliburton myth. oooh, aaah

    Sorry, but that’s a myth. Haliburton ain’t making much money off this.

    And the process of giving big montrous jobs like this started with the Clinton Admin. So if you don’t like Haliburton’s place in the world then talk to Bill because his admin cemented it there.

    So now that the Iraqi’a are giving out contracts, who are the contracts for oil going to? hmmm.

    Turkey and local firms.

    haliburton, pfffft!! please, get a life.

  53. Jack says:

    I find it ironic that a discussion on “shifting goalposts” in Iraq centers around the elections and not the much more prominent example of shifting goalposts: the reasons for the war. I forget — can someone remind me of today’s reason why we’re there?

  54. JD says:

    Capt. Joe, as Bob pointed out, it isn’t so much about Bush and Cheney milking it for what it’s worth NOW, it’s about what’s in it for them AFTER they leave office, as in his example of Rev. Moon paying Bush 41 $1 million for his speeches in South America.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. SoundOff says:

    You can’t please everyone all of the time

    Ah, well. Massachusetts must be so proud

  2. Hey, Liberventionists: Who’s Moving the Goalposts?.

    From When you erect the goalposts just beyond the line of scrimmage and make them 500-bodies wide , it’s hard not to kick the ball of ridiculously low expectations through.

  3. The Day After

    “Yesterday was a great day to be an American, and an even better day to be an Iraqi.” That’s James Taranto’s one-line summary of Sunday’s Iraqi vote, and I can’t say it better than that.

  4. Liberty Marches Forward

    Millions of Iraqis Voted Today WE WHO LIVE in the bright light of Liberty have an obligation, to stand up for those who are struggling to escape from the shadow of Tyranny. We ignore this obligation at our own peril….

  5. Liberty Marches Forward

    Millions of Iraqis Voted Today WE WHO LIVE in the bright light of Liberty have an obligation, to stand up for those who are struggling to escape from the shadow of Tyranny. We ignore this obligation at our own peril….

  6. Liberty Marches Forward

    Millions of Iraqis Voted Today WE WHO LIVE in the bright light of Liberty have an obligation, to stand up for those who are struggling to escape from the shadow of Tyranny. We ignore this obligation at our own peril….

  7. Moving the Iraqi Goal Post

    Matthew Barganier over at AntiWar. Blog contends that “When you erect the goalposts just beyond the line of scrimmage and make them 500-bodies wide, it’s hard not to kick the ball of ridiculously low expectations through. Yes, it’s great that…

  8. Elections in Iraq

    A roundup of commentary on the elections from all over the blogosphere

  9. The elections are a success!

    How do I know? Because within the first two minutes of his interview on meet the press this morning, John Kerry began the process of moving the goalposts for success. Sort of a “sure, the elections were important -…

  10. Amen, Brother

    Since the story is linked by Drudge, I’m sure you all have read the story and the quote. Still, it’s…

  11. The Iraqis Vote

    Smirky has his fat ass handed to him by Jeff Goldstein.

  12. Sortapundit says:

    Election Day Round-Up

    There’s been a lot of pooh-poohing (I love that expression) of the Iraqi elections around the blogosphere today – unsurprisingly, much of it has come from that vocal, shrill portion of the left that seems to hate civilisation so much.

    Matt Yglesia…

  13. Sortapundit says:

    Election Day Round-Up

    There’s been a lot of pooh-poohing (I love that expression) of the Iraqi elections around the blogosphere today – unsurprisingly, much of it has come from that vocal, shrill portion of the left that seems to hate civilisation so much.

    Matt Yglesia…

  14. Moving The Goal Posts

    This from Balloon Juice: First, critics* said the elections couldn’t/wouldn’t happen. Then, critics* said they would happen, but they would be wracked with violence and no one would vote because the ballots were too confusing or the security situation …

  15. Say Anything says:

    Moving The Goalposts

    This from Balloon Juice:

    First, critics* said the elections couldn’t/wouldn’t happen.

    Then, critics* said they would happen, but they would be wracked with violence and no one would vote because the ballots were too confusing or the security situ…

  16. Bush Inhibits Voting In Iraq (Not!)

    Over at Balloon Juice they discuss “The Shifting Goalposts” of the Iraqi election…..shifting provided by the Democrats, of course

  17. Kalblog says:

    The Elections

    Wretchard: Commentators have pointed out that elected candidates may subsequently express views which may be regarded as anti-American; but if the US, which is the occupying power, is to be bound by the result, as is consistent with the concept…

  18. Pajama Hadin says:

    John Kerry on Meet the Press

    Sen. John Kerry was on Meet the Press today. He was pretty much the whole program. Now why would Meet the Press spend that much time on a Senator who lost the presidential race – on the day of this momentous occassion in Iraq, arguably one of the mos…

  19. Blogospheric Round-Up: Elections in Iraq

    A trip around the Blogosphere (and yes, with a heavy dose of my blogroll, although not exclusively):

    From on the ground, Omar at Iraq the Model has post called “The People have won.” The money quote:I walked forward to my station, cast my vote an…

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