Tell Me Sully is Wrong

Just tell me he is wrong about this:

As Obama appears to be intensifying the lost war in Afghanistan, with the same benchmark rubric that meant next-to-nothing in the end in Iraq, he does not seem to understand that he will either have to withdraw US troops from Iraq as it slides into new chaos, or he will have to keep the troops there for ever, as the neocons always intended. Or he will have to finance and run two hot wars simultaneously. If he ramps up Afghanistan and delays Iraq withdrawal, he will lose his base. If he does the full metal neocon as he is being urged to, he should not be deluded in believing the GOP will in any way support him. They will oppose him every step of every initiative. They will call him incompetent if Afghanistan deteriorates, they will call him a terrorist-lover if he withdraws, they will call him a traitor if he does not do everything they want, and they will eventually turn on him and demand withdrawal, just as they did in the Balkans with Clinton. Obama’s middle way, I fear, is deeper and deeper into a trap, and the abandonment of a historic opportunity to get out.

It appears sully has finally attained the appropriate level of cynicism required when discussing the modern Republican party and the principled “conservatives” running it.






224 replies
  1. 1
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    No. He. Is. Not.

    Ugh, I need a shower when I start agreeing with Sully.

  2. 2
    Mako says:

    Well, at least Huckabee is done.

  3. 3
    Kryptik says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    I just take is as fact that modern Repubilcanism is just getting that absurd. And that’s a sad, sad thing.

  4. 4
    BerkeleyMom says:

    I am seriously questioning the whole Obama’s such a brilliant guy conventional wisdom. It is becoming very hard to watch.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    It appears sully has finally attained the appropriate level of cynicism required when discussing the modern Republican party and the principled “conservatives” running it.

    For today, anyway. Tomorrow may well be a different story.

    -dms

  6. 6
    K. Grant says:

    Good lord. Sully’s screed sounds exactly like Michael Moore’s rant over at DailyKos. Yes, Sully recognizes that the Republicans are pikers and knaves and will stick the shiv into Obama regardless of his decision, but honestly, it is wrapped up in such mind-boggling concern trolling it is hard to count it as a step in the right direction.

  7. 7
    cervantes says:

    I think the important issue here is not Sully, but Barack Obama. Waist deep in the Big Muddy, the big fool said to push on.

  8. 8
    SteveinSC says:

    Obama is on the verge of losing me if he plays footsie with the neocons on Afghanistan. Too many AIPAC players starting to support the full metal neocon approach (See huffpo vis-a-vis the Sunday funnies and Dan Senor.) Joe Scarface is saying “find a way to get out”, and god help me, I’m agreeing with this “stunningly superfical” man. The neocons will beat the drum for any excuse to keep American soldiers in the Middle East to defend Israel.

  9. 9
    Morbo says:

    It appears sully has finally attained the appropriate level of cynicism required when discussing the modern Republican party and the principled “conservatives” running it.

    Indeed. He seems to have spent the last year and a half “dithering” over whether his inner neo-con and his inner DFH was right over the wars. That last sentence really sticks out as evidence that he may be letting his inner DFH win.

  10. 10
    jrg says:

    Seeing as how the rallying cry for the GOP went from “We will never forget 9/11” to “9 a what, what?“, I seriously doubt we will see a principled response from them regarding actions taken in the war that resulted.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    Sully is ri… righ… rr…. has stumbled onto the truth.

    As usual, I’ll wait to see what Obama says before rendering final judgment, but I just don’t see how an escalation could be good foreign policy – or domestic policy, given the recession.

  12. 12
    cyntax says:

    Well that didn’t take too long…

  13. 13

    From the standpoint of the military and political realities in Afghanistan, Sully may be mostly right, but certainly not original. I think I heard basically the same arguments about this topic on Ask This Old House about a year ago. It’s CW in the punditocracy.

    But in terms of Obama’s political reality, I think Sully’s point is irrelevant. I don’t see being in Afghanistan as a reelection-buster in 2012. Unless the GOP becomes the party of Get Us Out of Afghanistan. As long as the GOP is the war pimp, I don’t see how they can win with the issue at this juncture.

    And it’s way too early to talk about what happens in 2016. The only thing for sure is that neither Dick Cheney nor Barack Obama will be running. Cheney will be about 74 years old and Barack is term limited.

  14. 14
    Comrade Jake says:

    Yeah Sully’s right, but I think at this point Obama knows this. I seriously doubt he’s factoring in GOP wingnutterism when making plans at this stage.

    Nonetheless, ramping up in Afghanistan makes zero sense to me. Of course, Obama is doing precisely what he campaigned on, so it’s not like this is a huge surprise.

  15. 15
    Stooleo says:

    Well, at least Huckabee is done.

    Yep, this will be Huckabee’s Chappaquiddick.

  16. 16
    Max says:

    @K. Grant: That Michael Moore open letter is such a pile of bullshit. The fact that he brings in Obama’s dead mother into it really says more about Michael, than it does about Obama.

    I enjoyed the other diary on the rec list, which is “Obama’s” response to Michael.

  17. 17
    alphie says:

    Obama’s Nixon phase can’t last more than 4 or 5 years.

  18. 18
    gnomedad says:

    This makes me anxious, but it’s hard for me to imagine something occupying to Sully that has not occurred to Obama. Can he really not have considered this as a possible outcome? Did he come this far this fast just to be another establishment dupe? Sometimes it looks that way, but I can’t quite buy it. Not yet.

  19. 19
    Keith G says:

    Well John and Doug, is there any other terrible news you want to call my attention to? These last four threads have been all win.

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat: I think you are right.

  20. 20
    batgirl says:

    @BerkeleyMom: I think Obama’s approach of reaching middle ground and compromise works only if you have an honest, open negotiating partner who cares about the common good. That doesn’t exist. The problem with Obama, IMHO, is that he continues to operate as if it does while in fact, as Sully points out, the Republicans will oppose anything Obama does just because he does it. He is in a can’t win position. His skills as a mediator are worthless in the current political environment.

  21. 21
    jeffreyw says:

    Bama is kinda fucked, damned if he leaves, damned if he does nothing, and damned if he escalates. He can’t leave, he campaigned on doing the job right, he can’t keep the status quo because it is obvious that isn’t working. He has the option of reframing what it means to succeed, and I kind of expect him to announce revised metrics along with additional troops to help him obtain a “win” given the new mission.

  22. 22
    EconWatcher says:

    I don’t know what the right answer is. But letting the Taliban take over again does not sound appealing in the least, for human rights or our own security.

    We never should have done Iraq, but this one we had to do. Too bad the situation was already FUBAR when Obama took over. I’m incined to cut him some slack if he thinks a surge might improve the situation.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Brent says:

    Sully has almost reached critical cynical mass, but he is wrong to think they will ever call for withdrawal. War machine money for the corporatist crowd and Israel w/ the neocons will keep that trope off the table. What right winger thinks we should have withdrawn from Vietnam? But they will stab Obama with their steely knives every step even if he does go full metal neocon. The troops, remember them? All those yellow ribbon stickers on backs of cars and trucks indicating that if you opposed the invasion you hated the troops, well, the’yre expendeble and disposable, as always. If you examine their patriotism and religion in the light of that truth, Sully’s cynicism does not yet run deep enough.

  25. 25
    MattF says:

    I’m sure that Obama is aware of just how much he can trust the neocons. (Hint: not). Or, for that matter, Mr. Sullivan.

    Personally, if Obama’s message is “I’m going to do ‘X’, and then I’ll get out”, I could live with that. If you’re going to get knifed no matter what you do, you may as well try to figure out the right thing to do, and do it.

  26. 26
    Napoleon says:

    Sully is right.

    I posted this in a thread, I think it was very early Saturday, but Thomas Ricks was on my radio (NPR) at that time talking about how if he sets benchmarks for Af. that shows he is a Jimmy Carter destine for one term. It is a full court press to get him to simply commit to an open end engagement in Af.

    And I think Obama just lacks the personality, skills or judgment to see that.

  27. 27
    Blue Raven says:

    Concern squirrel found a nut. And?

  28. 28
    JimF says:

    @20 What I think Obama is trying to do is create an environment where “an honest, open negotiating partner who cares about the common good” can come into existence. If he goes full on partisan then such a partner will never happen and the cycle will continue.

  29. 29
    jeffreyw says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I don’t know what the right answer is. But letting the Taliban take over again does not sound appealing in the least, for human rights or our own security.

    I’m not sure there is such an animal as “THE” Taliban. There are many, and often with very different aims. I suspect that there are few left that would invite Osama back. Most seem to be tribalists, anxious for us to get out of their valley with all our moralizing and bombing.

  30. 30
    Sanka says:

    Obama’s middle way, I fear, is deeper and deeper into a trap, and the abandonment of a historic opportunity to get out.

    How shrill. Sullivan wastes too much bandwith with his sycophantic posts about how Obama is a long-term strategist while the Republicans are fiddling around being short-term tacticians. “Obama is a chess player…..etc….”

    Funny, how with the Afghan decision, a decision that a true leader needs to make, Sullivan implies that Obama is too narrow-minded and in effect, too inexperienced to deal with those sly Republicans.

    More importantly, has Sullivan solved the mystery of Trig Palin yet? The world is waiting…

  31. 31
    Charity says:

    “Full metal neocon.” Very good.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    If Sully and Michael Moore agree on something, the world must be about to end.

  33. 33
    bayville says:

    What’s Sully talking about? I thought we won the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War (i.e. “the good war”) has long been over?
    Why would anti-war, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Obama send more troops into Afghanistan?

    I blame Nader.

  34. 34
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @MattF:

    Personally, if Obama’s message is “I’m going to do ‘X’, and then I’ll get out”, I could live with that.

    I’m fairly certian that is what is going to be announced.

    And everyone will hate it. The Libs will bitch because he isn’t leaving ASAP, snd Conservatives will bitch because it’s not exactly 40,000 troops as McCrystal requested.

  35. 35
    Face says:

    @K. Grant: At what point do hard-lefty libs stop calling it “concern trolling” and realize that some of it has some actual, ya know, legitimacy? Didn’t Obama run on a platform to close Gitmo in a year (he wont)? Didn’t he promise a reasonable way out of Iraq and Afghan (I thought he did, now the escalation)? Didn’t he promise to end DADT?

  36. 36
    Tuffy says:

    @Brent:

    The GOP has shown surprising flexability in their ability to oppose wars of Democratic presidents. I remember during Kosovo when the right wing was screaming “Vietnam!” for years on end, despite the lack of a single American casualty.

    Come to think of it, nobody brought up that this was a tacit admission that Vietnam was retarded, something most Americans (including the entire GOP) are still loathe to admit.

  37. 37
    Ash says:

    @Napoleon:

    And I think Obama just lacks the personality, skills or judgment to see that.

    If random schmucks on the internet can see this as blatantly obvious, I’m pretty sure Obama can too.

    And I don’t understand, didn’t Sullivan (even recently) go on and on about how important it was to stay in Afghanistan and destroy the Taliban?

  38. 38
    Ash says:

    Didn’t he promise a reasonable way out of…Afghan (I thought he did, now the escalation)?

    No, he didn’t. You’re stupid and didn’t listen, obviously.

  39. 39
    Martin says:

    @batgirl:

    No, he doesn’t need an honest partner, he needs an honest media. The media refuses to call the GOP out as a dishonest partner here. If they did, the GOP would actually have to step up, but as it is every time the GOP threatens to scuttle the ship Obama gets blamed.

    That would be equally true if the roles were reversed. The media sees their job as maintaining the illusion of honest partners lest one party turn against them (even more than they already have). That’s an invitation for someone to abuse the relationship, and both parties have to some degree, and one party has to a significant degree.

    Obama’s problem isn’t that the GOP is dishonest, his problem is that the public isn’t aware that the GOP is dishonest.

  40. 40
    PeakVT says:

    Didn’t Obama run on a platform to close Gitmo in a year (he wont)?

    Can we stop with this complaint? Obama was kneecapped so much by his own party he looked like the Black Knight when they were done.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Tuffy says:

    @Face:

    You are concern trolling.

    Obama gets an E for effort on Gitmo. Closing is it harder than anyone predicted, and, like almost every accomplishment he’s had or will have, it’s going to take Congress’ help. Remember that amazing 95-5 vote in the Senate to deny him money to move the Gitmo terrorists into your granny’s apartment building?

    Iraq is supposedly winding down. August 2010 will be here before you know it. If he finagles ever more time once this milestone passes, then we’ll talk.

    As for Afghanistan, he campaigned on waging that war correctly, not pulling out. He long ago wrote that people see him as a blank slate upon which they project their hopes and dreams, and the DFHs got excited because they saw some DFH in him, too. Obama is actually a corporatist hawk. Oh noes!

    And STFU about DADT, you miserable troll. Call your congressperson, and when they send the President a bill he will sign it. As much as we’d all like to have a dictator with a magic wand instead of a government of checks and balances, this is a legislative issue, not an executive one.

  43. 43
    danimal says:

    @JimF:

    What I think Obama is trying to do is create an environment where “an honest, open negotiating partner who cares about the common good” can come into existence.

    This.
    He’s also establishing himself as the negotiating partner trying to reach consensus while the opposition reacts with the sensibility of a traveling circus act. In the short term, the circus act is entertaining, but in the long term he’s betting that sensible leadership gets the job done. It’s a gamble, but one he’s won many times before.

  44. 44
    Max says:

    @Tuffy: Yes. Yes. Yes.

  45. 45
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @PeakVT:

    Can we stop with this complaint? Obama was kneecapped so much by his own party he looked like the Black Knight when they were done.

    No shit.
    The blame lies with
    1 – Spineless Senate Dems
    2 – Greg Craig’s inability to get all of his legal and procedural ducks in a row
    3 – The Vast Mushy, Meandering Middle that continues to fall for stupid GOP scare tactics, assisted by our shitty MSM.

  46. 46
    Koz says:

    Pretty much. The point is, when you completely disengage from substance and govern by atmospherics, as President Obama has, then everybody and their brother is going to apply whatever political pressure they have to advance their own agenda. This is exacerbated by the fact that neither Obama nor the Left in general has any credibility or interest in foreign policy anyway, issues like Afghanistan are going to be colored by the President’s need to be perceived as a tough guy.

  47. 47
    wilfred says:

    If he ramps up Afghanistan and delays Iraq withdrawal, he will lose his base

    Count me in. I don’t support the mission and I don’t support the troops performing it.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    @Napoleon: Oh fuck, there you go again.

    Yeah I hear that learned pronouncement from Ricks and nearly threw a butter knife at the radio. Ricks is a good military correspondent and he is excellent at reporting *after the fact*, but last I checked the US military is still under civilian control and military action is a result of political policy.

    There are always (and should always be) benchmarks for war, Einstein. This is especially the case when said war is not existential, not a fight to the finish, as non of our wars have been since 1945.

  49. 49
    Ash says:

    @Koz:

    This is exacerbated by the fact that neither Obama nor the Left in general has any credibility or interest in foreign policy anyway

    Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that starting pointless wars that cost trillions of dollars gave people “credibility” in foreign policy. Huh.

  50. 50
    EconWatcher says:

    @Koz:

    neither Obama nor the Left in general has any credibility or interest in foreign policy anyway

    Compared to whom?

  51. 51
    Adam Collyer says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    And everyone will hate it. The Libs will bitch because he isn’t leaving ASAP, snd Conservatives will bitch because it’s not exactly 40,000 troops as McCrystal requested.

    If that happens, he’s done the right thing as far as I’m concerned.

    I self-identify as center-left. I have some very liberal positions, and some very conservative ones. But DK and the new “liberal blogosphere establishment” is driving me crazy with their concern trolling, and Sullivan falls into the trap here as well.

    Chris Matthews a few weeks ago had a whole segment as if this was a binary choice. The President either gives McCrystal 40K troops and caves to the hawks, or he caves to the liberal doves and withdraws. I realize in cable TV land that “splitting the difference” is WRONGWRONGWRONG, but the fact is that the President has to make a decision with all the available data. His plan isn’t going to look entirely like McCrystal’s and he was never, ever going to fully withdraw. Anyone who listened to him campaign knew that was the case and was simply fooling themselves if they truly believed that to be the case. Instead, the President’s plan is going to be well-defined with troop deployments to meet those benchmarks.

    Honestly, based on the amount of time he has spent speaking with the military establishment, his national security team, and his own personal advisors, I’m willing to give him plenty of room when he unveils his plan. The President is a smart, cautious and calculating plan – his plan is likely to be as good if not better to deal with the full realities of the situation in Afghanistan than anyone else’s on the matter.

  52. 52
    EconWatcher says:

    @Ash:

    Beat me to it.

  53. 53
    Fair Economist says:

    in the long term he’s betting that sensible leadership gets the job done. It’s a gamble, but one he’s won many times before.

    When? What controversial policies has Obama gotten through by being the “sensible compromiser” between the American people and the RW loons? Healthcare? Tax increases? Financial Reform? DADT repeal? Shutting Gitmo? Judicial appointments? I can’t think of anything this has worked for, and it’s certainly been a bad gamble overall.

  54. 54
    kay says:

    @Face:

    Didn’t Obama run on a platform to close Gitmo in a year (he wont)

    Lay out for me, in real terms, how the hell Obama “closes” Gitmo.

    Go ahead. Tell me where he transfers the prisoners. Tell me where he holds those waiting for charges and then trial, within the US.

    None of the “close Gitmo” people bothered to show up when Congress was conducting that embarrassing “review” that included requiring Congressional permission before he moves a single detainee to the States.

    Have you been following this at all? They’ve been processing the detainees. There are 13 federal judges hearing more than 200 complaints, and that has been happening since September. Many of their home countries won’t take them, and I already mentioned that they need Congressional authorization to hold them in the US.

    Completely ignoring what’s actually happening in the interim between the promise and the execution in order to recite the standard complaint doesn’t change the facts.

  55. 55
    SpotWeld says:

    The thing is. The Republicans are opening themselves for so much infighting on this. The first instinct will be to attach Obama on anything, since that’s the style for a “proper member of the GOP” right now. The thing is, the Palin wing of the GOP will gladly use this as a wedge issue to attack thier own not-far-enough-to-the-right members as means to sub in party members from thier own wing.

    The “they don’t support the troops” cries are starting up already, and the inherant contradiction with the apparent agreement with *gasp* Obama will be gleefully ignored. (Logic no longer necessary) Toss in some Gleen Beck rants and patriotic weeping (timed with the newly-published book) and you’re there.

  56. 56
    Koz says:

    “Compared to whom?”

    Compared to our team, of course.

  57. 57
    Jon says:

    In other idiot news, (I didn’t see anyone link to this), Evan Bayh compares the WH party crashers to Richard Reid the shoe bomber..

    sigh..

  58. 58
    Ash says:

    @kay: And therein lies Obama’s BIGGEST problem. Not the 101st Chairborne, not the GOPtards, not the “librul media.” Nope, it’s stupid people who don’t realize what the fuck it actually takes to get things done. They think it all goes from saying it to doing it with none of that messy stuff in between.

  59. 59

    British PM, ole Gordy Broon, has committed a further 500 troops to Afganistan ahead of BHO’s announcement. This takes the British troops to a total of 9,500.

    New Zealand has a commitment of around 220, including special forces.

  60. 60
    Sly says:

    The benchmark rubric only failed in Iraq because Bush had to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting any kind of framework for withdrawal, and he never accepted the framework anyway. His entire administration only acknowledged individual benchmarks when they became politically useful. The only one you could argue that he took seriously was provincial elections.

    Obama at least started out with the notion that Afghanistan shouldn’t, and wouldn’t, be dragged out forever on his watch. It won’t satisfy the people who oddly scream that increasing troop levels in Afghanistan isn’t “the Change” they voted for, when Obama made it clear on many occasion’s that escalation is exactly what he would do, but it should give people who actually knew who they were voting for some reassurance.

    Come to think of it, the former are never satisfied, are they?

  61. 61
    JenJen says:

    Breaking News: Meghan McCain is mad as hell at the President about Afghanistan!

    Please shoot me.

  62. 62
    K. Grant says:

    Why is it that a good number of folks (especially on the left) cannot quite figure out that running for office and actually governing said office are two different things. Yes, Obama made promises, and for the most part he has attempted to live up to those promises. Considering all of the knavery in his own party (which is voluminous), the toddler-like behavior of the Republicans, and the sheer number of major issues to deal with, the very fact that Obama has gotten anything accomplished is nearly miraculous.

    Regarding our adventure in Afghanistan Obama has been quite consistent, noting that the Bush administration took their eye off of that particular patch of land, and thus we would need to attend to that problem. Guess what, he is attending to that problem after thoughtful examination of the problem. Will it work? Damned if I know, but his decisions cannot be said to be a surprise to anyone who was actually listening during the campaign.

  63. 63
    gwangung says:

    @Koz:

    Oh, come on. This is brain dead stupid, as well as disconnected from reality.

    Try again. And put some effort into it.

  64. 64
    K. Grant says:

    Time to lock Meghan McCain and Michael Moore in a room and let them screech at each other. No Exit, indeed.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @Tuffy:

    I don’t understand why the concern for the detainees doesn’t include actually following the events. Maybe I do understand. We want it “closed”. Like magic. Is this one of those “stroke of his pen” typa things?

    ” WASHINGTON — In one federal courtroom last month, a defense lawyer argued that the U.S. military had coerced a false confession out of a 50-year-old Kuwaiti who has been at Guantanamo for seven years.

    In another, a Maryland attorney proposed that his Pakistani client, being held as an alleged al Qaeda facilitator, be allowed to post bail and stay with family — in Brooklyn.

    Congress returns Tuesday from its summer recess but there was no break for the judges at the U.S. District Court midway between The Capitol and The White House who have been busy plowing through more than 200 lawsuits brought by Guantanamo detainees.

    And, if the first 36 cases suggest a trend, the court is hardly persuaded that the Pentagon has the “worst of the worst” penned up at the base in southeast Cuba.

    Fifteen months after the U.S. Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration by ruling that Guantanamo captives can sue for their freedom, civilian judges have ordered the release of 29 detainees and sided with the Defense Department only seven times.”

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Napoleon: You really just do not like Obama, do you?

  67. 67
    gwangung says:

    Can we stop with this complaint? Obama was kneecapped so much by his own party he looked like the Black Knight when they were done.

    Given that, how does Obama go about closing Gitmo anyway? I’m serious about that. What steps need to be taken? And which of them is Obama taking and which of them is he not taking?

  68. 68
    Maude says:

    @Koz Go over to WM and spew your nonsense there.

    Ricks is not informed about Afghanistan. I wish he’s stop making political statements from on high.

  69. 69
    kay says:

    @Ash:

    I think if you’re actually concerned about the detainees, you probably follow the actual news on that front.
    They’re not trumpeting the process on the detainees for obvious reasons. Because all the irrational scaremongers (who include some prominent “national security” Democrats in Congress) will start screeching incoherently.

    It’s moving right along.

  70. 70
    Maude says:

    @Maude: I haz edit and delete! FF and xp.

  71. 71
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I have said it from the beginning, Iraq will once again become Iraq when we leave. Whatever semi calm exists there now will soon dissipate when we leave. It is a big shit sandwich that GWB gave Obama, America, and the world. 1400 years of fighting along the fault lines of two main sects of one of the worlds great religions will not be tamed long from us and our surges.

    They will do what they have always done, and that is pick their leaders and government by the bullet and sword, and the instability created by our meddling will make it ten times worse to return to the status quo, their way.

    I think Sully is right on this, and the forces to keep our fingers in the dam to prevent the calamity that is certain, will be hard politically for Obama to resist. Iraq is a country, I think, that we are going to have to be all in or all out with no middle ground. We have created too many grudges there to hang on in anything less than large numbers of combat troops, or get out completely.

    The good news is that his Defsec has said before that he does not support any more civil war peace keeping in Iraq. But the 64 dollar question is whether the fighting will ignite a regional war. And because we covet the oil in the ME, and to prevent a biblical size bloodbath, we may have no choice but to intervene again. Fuck GWB and the shit he has wrought.

    As for Afgan.,. I don’t think Obama is in that big a political trouble at this point, by sending more troops. Though it is important that he articulates our goals there and that we can’t keep doing what we are doing forever. The base, except for a rather small group of blogger activists, will not abandon him for staying on to fight against those responsible for 9-11, at least repsonsible in the eyes of most Americans. Even if they don’t like sending more troops there. But if and when he is reelected, and things are as bad or worse, he will have to make some hard choices then, to stay or go.

  72. 72
    Sly says:

    Why is it that a good number of folks (especially on the left) cannot quite figure out that running for office and actually governing said office are two different things.

    Once HCR gets done, and it likely will at this point, and financial regulation legislation is concluded over the summer, Obama will have likely been the most successful President in a generation purely in terms of moving things through Congress. Will it make everyone on the left happy? No. Everyone on the left wasn’t happy with the New Deal either. Huey Long actually had the balls to think he could challenge Roosevelt for the Democratic Primary in 1936 based on populist resentment.

    Political movements influence policy. They rarely, if ever, dictate policy.

  73. 73
    Fair Economist says:

    Obama has been consistent on Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he’s been consistently wrong. I primarily oppose continuing the war in Afghanistan because we’d be bankrupting ourselves in a hopeless attempt to give a worthless kleptocracy control of one of the most ridiculous Frankencountries on the planet. I find it somewhat depressing that most of the discussion seems to be about the politics when the hopelessness of intervention is well demonstrated by previous attempts, including the British Empire (twice), the Soviet Union, and 8 years with Bush.

  74. 74
    Demo Woman says:

    @JenJen: Maybe Meghan should continue talking about her boobs because nothing else that she writes makes sense.

  75. 75
    kay says:

    @Ash:

    Some of the complaints are valid. That one just makes me crazy, because it has no connection to reality.
    Look, the truth is, if it was indeed Greg Craig’s bright idea to announce they could close Gitmo by January, he should have been fired.
    Because that was unrealistic.
    Maybe he did it to pressure Obama. Okay. That’s a tactic. Deadlines are fine, but they have to have some connection to reality, or they’re just damaging.

  76. 76
    Martin says:

    This is exacerbated by the fact that neither Obama nor the Left in general has any credibility or interest in foreign policy anyway, issues like Afghanistan are going to be colored by the President’s need to be perceived as a tough guy.

    So, Obama is a girly president because he bowed to an old man but he can’t make an honest decision about Afghanistan in order to look tough?

    Which is it? If Obama needed to look tough, wouldn’t the cheap, simple solution to be to start out by not bowing to the old man? That would have cost nothing and taken 5 seconds of deliberation.

    You really need to think before you open your mouth. Obamas Asia trip happened precisely because he is interested in foreign policy. China comes down with us on sanctions for Iran after that trip. Nope, no credibility, no interest. The RMB looks like it’ll get reset after that trip. Nope, no credibility, no interest. China withdraws missiles that were threatening Taiwan after that trip. Nope, no credibility, no interest.

    Let me guess, credibility and interest means bombs falling, right? Or does it mean looking tough to an old man rather than getting done what we need to get done?

  77. 77
    Comrade Mary says:

    Meghan’s been writing about her boobs, or have her boobs been writing for her?

    I’m reminded of Aislin’s famous cartoon of Irving Layton writing with his pen-dick, but sadly, I’ve never been able to find it online.

  78. 78
    Martin says:

    @kay:

    Sometimes deadlines are enlightening. Put another way, if there was no deadline would the media be reporting on this at all? Would we have any clue how badly handled from a legal perspective Gitmo was under Bush, or would the whole ‘close Gitmo’ exercise fall into the reporting dustbin?

    Obama gave the media a horserace. Okay, maybe he fails at it, but will anyone really blame Obama for the fact that some florist from China has been locked up for 7 years on no evidence?

  79. 79
    MikeJ says:

    @Tuffy: Thank you. I wish you were here everyday saying this.

  80. 80
    Martin says:

    @gwangung:

    We need to decide whether people held without evidence, even if they are guilty, should be released or not. If they are to be released, where. If they are not, where.

    Personally, I say to release them and let the chips fall where they may. The consequence for not doing things according to the law is sometimes a harsh one, which is why you should do things according to the law. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the consequences, right Gov. Huckabee?

  81. 81
    maus says:

    It appears sully has finally attained the appropriate level of cynicism required when discussing the modern Republican party and the principled “conservatives” running it.

    so when will you finally attain the appropriate level of cynicism required to discuss Sullivan’s inability to stay mad at the GOP for longer than an article?

    Either he’s an incredible opportunist, or he’s incredibly stupid. Either way, it’ll never last, and he’ll be out of a job posthaste if it lasted longer than a few days.

    I don’t know what the right answer is. But letting the Taliban take over again does not sound appealing in the least, for human rights or our own security. We never should have done Iraq, but this one we had to do. Too bad the situation was already FUBAR when Obama took over. I’m incined to cut him some slack if he thinks a surge might improve the situation.

    I hope you have the stomach for killing every man, woman and child.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    This place seems knee-deep in neocons, PUMAs, and other assorted cranks this morning. What’s up with that?

  83. 83
    NR says:

    @PeakVT:

    And what about the “government always wins” show trials for Guantanamo detainees? That was all Obama’s doing; can’t blame that one on the Blue Dogs in Congress.

  84. 84
    CalD says:

    When I saw John Kyl’s pronouncement the other day that any discussion of timetables proves to the terrorists that we’re nothing but a bunch of pansies, I couldn’t help noting:

    a) what a tiny, tiny corner of the foreign policy discussion Kyl and his ilk have left to stand in, and

    b) yeah, that’s a sure sign of weakness all right — just like when Babe Ruth used to point out which section of the bleachers that he was going to hit the next home run into, it proved he was afraid of baseballs.

  85. 85
    MikeJ says:

    @maus: You don’t really need to kill every man woman and child to stop the taliban from taking over. Heck, the taliban will take care of killing the women for you.

  86. 86
    feebog says:

    I can think of one thing that would help Obama at this point: accelerate the withdrawal from Iraq. We are leaving anyway, get out faster and sooner, give these troops, many of whom are going to end up in Afghanistan at some point, some time at home.

  87. 87
    Autboy says:

    both theses wars were FUBAR from the get-go; now they must be redeemed at all costs… God I despise these militarist assholes

  88. 88
    LD50 says:

    You know, it is entirely possible that in Obama’s Afghanistan policy, he is not trying to finesse the neo-cons, but is genuinely trying to do what he thinks is the best course of action.

    Not to say that I think it IS the best course of action, but it seems to me that Obama knows full well that the wingnuts will never be nice to him, no matter what he does.

  89. 89
    srv says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Unfortunately, he’s been consistently wrong.

    Check your local Indy Medias for information on war protests planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.

  90. 90
    kay says:

    @Martin:

    That’s the political angle. There’s another angle, though. There’s the actual issue of the people working on this. Was it fair to give them a deadline they couldn’t possibly meet?

    Is that the sort of approach that’s going to lead to establishing some kind of rational, predictable process, that the detainees can rely on? The detainees can’t guess. They have to know the rules. What about the state side? They have a vital interest in not releasing detainees who are an actual threat.

    Remember: the Obama DOJ walked into this mess, and there was already a half-ass process in place, and the military lawyers are touchy and turf-protective, because they’ve been in it, and doing great work (with the crap they were handed) for years.

    “Here ya go. Get ‘er done by January, because the civil libertarian sitting in DC says it must be so”.

    I think it matters, a lot, that they get it right.

  91. 91
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Completely ignoring what’s actually happening in the interim between the promise and the execution in order to recite the standard complaint doesn’t change the facts.

    Damn those ‘librul’ facts… damn them!!!

    Am I wrong in my understanding that the Bush Admin had been holding some individuals for years w/out so much as a manila folder to hold the none-existent ‘proof’ of guilt they never bothered to collect, or even falsify?

    As far as I’m concerned, BotchCo screwed this one up as badly as they could and then decided prudently to ‘Do Nothing!!™’ as so to dump this, along w/ every other mess they created, off on their successor, whilst they proudly marched off waving the flag and whistling ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’…

  92. 92
    LD50 says:

    @Koz:

    Pretty much. The point is, when you completely disengage from substance and govern by atmospherics, as President Obama has, then everybody and their brother is going to apply whatever political pressure they have to advance their own agenda. This is exacerbated by the fact that neither Obama nor the Left in general has any credibility or interest in foreign policy anyway, issues like Afghanistan are going to be colored by the President’s need to be perceived as a tough guy.

    Let’s enter our time machine, go back to 2005, and fix this:

    Pretty much. The point is, when you completely disengage from substance and govern by atmospherics, as President Bush has, then everybody and their brother is going to apply whatever political pressure they have to advance their own agenda. This is exacerbated by the fact that neither Bush nor the Neocons have any credibility or interest in foreign policy anyway, issues like Afghanistan are going to be colored by the President’s need to be perceived as a tough guy.

    That feels remarkably right, now.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    At this point I suspect much of what we do WRT Afghanistan is geared towards our relationships with Pakistan and India. I likewise suspect it’s accepted that the Taliban will weather whatever we do there, and we’re angling towards longterm containment rather than any “measurable” victory. (Succesful Afghanization seems about as likely as Vietnamization was.)

    The ultimate goal has to be a stable nuclear Pakistan. That’s a tall order and I wonder what Pakistan’s military role will be in our immediate Afghanistan plans? Their current president is on a short leash.

  94. 94
    Ash says:

    @NR:

    And what about the “government always wins” show trials for Guantanamo detainees?

    Who ever said that? You seem to be conflating two things here:

    1) the trial for KSM, who, even if he gets lucky and gets the .000001% chance of an acquittal, will never actually be let go considering there’s a million other things he can be held (forever) on

    2) the trials for random Gitmo detainees who were nothing more than poor schmucks on the street and were whisked away because someone wanted some cash

  95. 95

    Obama’s going to run with the, “You assholes broke it, you bought it!” theme. That’s my guess.

  96. 96
    PeakVT says:

    @gwangung: Charge as many as possible and bring them to US jails to await trial, and find third countries to take the ones who aren’t “dangerous” (whatever that means). He’s doing both, though the fact that we won’t take any makes third country placement difficult.

  97. 97
    MikeJ says:

    The point is, when you completely disengage from substance and govern by atmospherics

    This is among the dumbest complaints I’ve seen of Obama. He’s a ditherer who only cares about how things look!

  98. 98
    Martin says:

    @kay:

    These people have been in prison for 7 years now. It would have been unfair not to give a deadline, to be honest. Too hard? Tough shit. We have imprisoned people wrongfully and without due process. A deadline says to fix it now.

  99. 99
    LD50 says:

    @MikeJ:

    This is among the dumbest complaints I’ve seen of Obama. He’s a ditherer who only cares about how things look!

    And he’s also Spock.

    And Stalin. And Hitler.

  100. 100
    Napoleon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I like him, he just completely lacks guts or leadership ability (and I don’t mean that in the way of shooting from the hip like Bush, but willing to actually lead and take chances to get real progress done). The one single admirable thing I saw in Bush was that he was willing to really push his agenda.

    In Obama we have someone who: 1) ran away from the Gitmo problem at the first sign of a fight (read the article on Craig from a couple of weeks ago, I think it was in the New Yorker), 2) not only not has had his administration push tough financial reform that would lessen the chances of a repeat of our current problems but has an administration that appears to be actively kneecapping attempts by Congress to do so, 3) completely reversed himself on transparency and civil rights related to domestic spying/GWOT, 4) not only failed to push for a sufficient stimulus package but its been reported that people in his administration (same ones in 2 above) failed to present him with that option and the math showing that it was the preferred option from a technical stand point, 5) refused to take a stand on what should be in a health care bill except to kneecap a bigger plan by making the sole criteria its maximum size, 6) is now talking about the insane idea of repeating FDR’s debacle in 1937 by trying to bring the deficit down.

    That is what I can think of off the top of my head, and I didn’t even mention Afgan.

    I am 48 and 30 years ago I would have said to you that I could be a rather liberal Rep or conservative Dem. I would have said that because in 1979 as I graduated from high school I would have expected that either party more or less would address actual issues that confronted the country, but instead something happened I would not have thought possible, this country proceeded to go on a 30 year binge where none of our problems were addressed and instead the government (with 90% of the blame being on the Reps) repeatedly not only not doing anything but actively putting the country in a worse position.

    So in January of this year the new administration was presented with a historic opportunity to correct much of course and instead of someone who steps up to the plate and takes his best swing we get someone who is incapable of even taking half measure, and instead we get 1/4 measures or 1/10 measures.

    It would have been great if over the last 30 years we had nothing but presidents who were more like Obama then the people we actually got, but we didn’t, and someone like him is simply not the man for the moment, and he is proving it.

  101. 101
    Koz says:

    “Which is it? If Obama needed to look tough, wouldn’t the cheap, simple solution to be to start out by not bowing to the old man? That would have cost nothing and taken 5 seconds of deliberation.

    You really need to think before you open your mouth. Obamas Asia trip happened precisely because he is interested in foreign policy. China comes down with us on sanctions for Iran after that trip. Nope, no credibility, no interest. The RMB looks like it’ll get reset after that trip. Nope, no credibility, no interest. China withdraws missiles that were threatening Taiwan after that trip. Nope, no credibility, no interest.”

    Obama might not have done that if he knew the reaction he was going to get back home. Again, that was an attempt to govern by atmospherics. He just miscalculated a little bit.

    I don’t doubt that he wanted to go to China, it’s like a henpecked husband getting out of the house. It sucks having your political lunch money getting taken away by Chuck Grassley and Michelle Backman.

    As far as China goes, there’s nothing that happened on Obama’s trip that was particularly important. Our main foreign policy issues are Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Obama has made no progress on any of them. (Btw, the Chinese aren’t with us on Iran sanctions).

    No credibility.

  102. 102

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Your post is proof once again that even though you have nothing to say, you are adept at saying it at length.

    Good work!

  103. 103
    Elie says:

    Obama’s decision about Afghanistan is not just narrowly about Afghanistan, but Pakhistan and India also and definite risks for western countries. That is what has made this a very difficult decision.

    Pakhistan is a nuclear power and pretty unstable. It is suspicious of the United States and fearfully obsessed with India. Both Pakhistan and India have big roles in what happens to Afghanistan. India has made small incursions into Afghanistan and we all know that the Taliban have both Pakistani and Afghan components running in and out of both countries. We all know how unstable Afghanistan’s political leadership is and how corrupt and influenced by the Taliban.

    We care because Afghanistan is fertile ground for the development and export of more terrorists with the west as targets and because an unstable or further destabilized Pakhistan might give these folks a little more fire power (nuclear) than just running planes into buildings and blowing up trains. I am sure we all wish that was not a potential risk but it would be pretty foolish not to consider that.

    Please make your arguments for leaving Afghanistan with some statement about viable ways to deal with this beyond “the US is making it worse by being there”. Yeah, that is probably true. It does not mean however that leaving is without risk or negative consequences.

    Only the naive argue this issue as black and white and limited to only Afghanistan – that real world consequences would not happen after a complete pull out that make Obama’s political future the least of our concerns.

    He indeed may be a one term President. But I think he is going to do what he thinks is right weighing all the facts and considerations that he knows about and feels responsible for. That is the best he can do.

  104. 104
    gwangung says:

    As far as China goes, there’s nothing that happened on Obama’s trip that was particularly important. Our main foreign policy issues are Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Obama has made no progress on any of them. (Btw, the Chinese aren’t with us on Iran sanctions).

    Dumb and unconnected with reality.

    TRY HARDER, STUPID.

  105. 105
    MikeJ says:

    and find third countries to take the ones who aren’t “dangerous” (whatever that means).

    While many, if not most of the people kidnapped and held at gitmo were innocents who got sold out, you don’t actually doubt the existence of some number of people who really are dangerous, do you? And by dangerous I mean people who wish to kill us and would take positive action to make that happen.

  106. 106
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @LD50:

    You know, it is entirely possible that in Obama’s Afghanistan policy, he is not trying to finesse the neo-cons, but is genuinely trying to do what he thinks is the best course of action.

    I think Obama is now clued in to the best info on Afgan. and has serious doubts we can win whatever that means. He is buffeted about on the one hand by retired, mostly old dog generals who came out the Vietnam experience with some enlightenment on our limitations in pacifying foreign lands that don’t want to be pacified and are willing to fight a long war.

    And young gun Generals still in the military and running things on the ground, They believe firmly that they succeeded in Iraq with their strategies, and are insisting they can do the same in Afghan.. They are wrong imo, and that of many others, but what is Obama to do at this point. It may be his war now, at least on teevee, but it is true that we (Bush) have undersourced the effort there and he promised during the campaign he would change that. So he is stuck by his own rhetoric, though I suspect he suspects it will be for naught. But no one knows for sure, until it is tried.

    But we will see tomorrow if the new troops will come with significant changes in mission.

  107. 107
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Go Fuck yourself TZ, seriously.

  108. 108
    danimal says:

    @Fair Economist: You know, there is a difference between being a sensible leader and kowtowing to the RW fools on parade, don’t you?

    Obama’s strategy is long-term, while his critics are judging his success/failure on a very short-term basis.

    In his presidential campaign, there were several times where nervous liberals were certain that Obama was doomed, doomed, doomed because he didn’t engage in GOP trivialities and appeared to lose the daily message war. He won the big prize in a landslide.

    Look back over his record in 2012 and I will bet that all the items that create such a fluster today (“Healthcare? Tax increases? Financial Reform? DADT repeal? Shutting Gitmo? Judicial appointments?”) will be resolved successfully with a moderate to liberal solution. If they aren’t, Obama’s presidency will be justifiably considered a failure.

  109. 109
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    But in terms of Obama’s political reality, I think Sully’s point is irrelevant. I don’t see being in Afghanistan as a reelection-buster in 2012. Unless the GOP becomes the party of Get Us Out of Afghanistan. As long as the GOP is the war pimp, I don’t see how they can win with the issue at this juncture.

    I think I said about the same thing. Can’t you read, or just want to start some shit with me.

  110. 110
    LD50 says:

    @Koz:

    I don’t doubt that he wanted to go to China, it’s like a henpecked husband getting out of the house. It sucks having your political lunch money getting taken away by Chuck Grassley and Michelle Backman.

    Seriously, if you wingnuts want the rest of the world to take you seriously, you might try saying less infantile bullshit like this. Other wingnuts get their rocks off over it, but it doesn’t impress anyone else.

  111. 111
    kay says:

    @Martin:

    Well, I disagree. I think it’s close to cruel to announce a deadline that can’t be met.
    Here’s my honest opinion. This is adversarial. It’s supposed to be adversarial. Holder’s job is simply to process properly, towards charges and then trial. He doesn’t have to aid the defense and he never, ever will. I’m sure he wants to close Gitmo, maybe for no other reason than it’s a chaotic mess. But he’s still the state. He’s not going to be gunning for release. He simply has to comply with his (minimum) end ensuring process. He has to get them before a judge, and he won’t do even that unless the defense makes noise. If they release without thorough review, and something very bad happens, Holder is on the hook, not the defense. He knows that. They all know it.

  112. 112
    LD50 says:

    @gwangung: He can’t try harder. Koz is just babbling wingnutty talking points now. We should quit pretending he’s trying to present ‘arguments’. Abuse is about all he deserves.

    Kind of makes me wonder if he’s the same person as Drive By Wisdom who got bitchslapped so entertainingly last night.

  113. 113
    NR says:

    @Ash: No, I’m talking about the trials for all Guantanamo detainees. As Glenn Greenwald has succinctly put it, Obama’s new system guarantees that the government always wins and the detainees stay in prison no matter what.

    The new system works like this: If the government can convict in civilian court, they go there for the publicity. If they don’t have enough evidence for that, they go to a military commission. If they don’t have enough evidence even for that, they reserve the right to “preventively detain indefinitely” anybody, without a trial, without charges, forever.

    (And this is even aside from the fact that Holder recently said that even if KSM were acquitted (which is all but impossible since he gleefully confessed on tape before ever being tortured) the government would continue to keep him imprisoned anyway).

    So this is our new justice system: No matter what evidence there is, even without any evidence at all, the result is that you stay in jail.

    That is not justice. The trials, whether civilian or military, cannot change the outcome. The sentence of life imprisonment is already decided and no verdict can alter it. That is the very definition of a show trial. It is against the Constitution, and against basic principles of human rights everywhere.

    Obama is no defender of the Constitution. He has actively continued the Constitutional breaches of Bush and Cheney. At this point, he’s just as culpable as they are.

  114. 114
    Koz says:

    “Seriously, if you wingnuts want the rest of the world to take you seriously, you might try saying less infantile bullshit like this.”

    Yeah, yeah.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....html#polls

  115. 115
    Ash says:

    @NR:

    As Glenn Greenwald has succinctly put it

    Oh, you should’ve said that from the beginning.

  116. 116
    PeakVT says:

    @MikeJ: Of course there are people who would take action. But how many of them would take action across international borders? Do people who have planted IEDs aimed at foreigners in their tribe’s area pose the same risk as somebody who has traveled abroad and met with like-minded people? If we send a 27 year-old Pashtun (who was caught when he was 19) to, say, New Zealand, is that the same sending a 40 year-old college-educated Saudi who speaks English to, say, Finland? The Pashtun might join with the Taliban if he were sent home, but he’d be pretty ineffective in other countries.

    Basically the whole thing was so badly bungled I’m disinclined to believe anything, on way or another, about the remaining detainees who haven’t been charged in federal court.

  117. 117
    Paris says:

    I don’t care what the Republicans do – they’re predictable as Sullivan notes.

    “the abandonment of a historic opportunity to get out.” is the key to his post. When, in recent times, would a president be rewarded for cutting and running? Obama would greatly increase his stature if he announced a way for us to leave. I live in a reactionary red county and my neighbours are beginning to state publicly that we should get out of Afghanistan. The majority of people, especially those with relatives in the armed forces, have had enough of this.

  118. 118
    georgia pig says:

    My guess is that Obama’s concerns have very little to do with Afghanistan per se and a hell of a lot to do with Pakistan. The thing that has changed in recent years is the relationship between Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before the US invasion, they weren’t particularly at odds. Now, after Pakistani Taliban incursions into the Swat Valley and the retaliatory Pakistani incursions and US drone strikes in the border region, they probably are. If the US leaves Afghanistan now, the greater worry isn’t that al Queda types will have a sanctuary but that Afghanistan becomes a staging area for Pakistani militants seeking to destabilize Pakistan, which could have all kinds of consequences, such as another Indo-Pakistani war, this time with nukes. Look for Obama to change the focus to one of pacifying major cities like Kabul and Kandahar to retain some semblance of a government, buying off selected Taliban outside of the cities and retaining the ability to disrupt noncompliant Taliban elements that pose a potential threat to Pakistan.
    Obama’s probably in a no-win situation, because our staying in Afghanistan probably cannot prevent a disintegration of Pakistan and will end up bankrupting us. This is the legacy of thirty years of fuckups, starting with Reagan arming the mujihadeen and ending with Bush dropping the ball in Afghanistan. If the recent assessments of what happened at Tora Bora are accurate, that may have been the most costly fuckup in US foreign policy and military history.

  119. 119
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @NR:
    @Ash:

    As Glenn Greenwald has succinctly put it,

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen GG succinctly put anything.

  120. 120
    Martin says:

    @georgia pig:

    Yes, this.

    Afghanistan stopped being about Afghanistan in mid-2007. Now it’s AfPak, like it or not. I don’t know if the agreement with Pakistan in 2001 was a wise move or not, but Pakistan was problem enough at that time to begin with. It hasn’t gotten better.

  121. 121
    Elie says:

    Paris:

    I don’t think Obama wants to “stay” in Afghanistan. Its how to leave and consider the many issues that are linked to that country: instability of Phakistan, nuclear threat of having Taliban take over Pakhistan and effect of what India does to protect itself.

    Imagine if we just pull out, one two three and Pakhistan falls under the Taliban. Then we would be left to do a much larger military operation to protect ourselves from that risk and India would definitely even if we didnt. That is one scenario I can think of just off the top of my head.

    This is not about wanting our fair haired “boys” to get hurt — its about how to keep more than our military from getting hurt in a potential terrorist attack here or in the west and about preventing the need for a much stronger involvement should things come apart and that result. Do you think if we were attacked by a Pakhistan run by the Taliban that we would not be in an open, hot, full balls to the wall war requiring hundreds of thousands of troops to invade freakin Pakhistan? Even if we didnt, what do you think India would do once Taliban took over Pakhistan? Sit and wait for the US to tell them what to do?

    Guaranteed success in any approach is not certain. We are tending a very unstable and dangerous pot of stew. This is real world messy and real world dangerous with cuts going both ways. As I state above, the least of the concern is Obama’s political future. The world is not cut up in to America’s Democratic and Republican “interests” even though some of us behave that way. The decisions to be made are not “clean” and the results or outcomes are very uncertain and there are severe costs to be paid whether we stay or go. Just which is worse — as far as we can tell anyway. Please don’t think that this is just an easy, no consequences, “lets just leave” type of thing…

  122. 122
    gex says:

    Wow. Someone’s sounding a bit fifth column-y today.

  123. 123
    SteveinSC says:

    There is no direct analogy between Vietnamization and Afghanization. Forget a “National Army.” Rent the Northern Alliance (remember them), give them everything they need, i.e. bombs, guns, etc. and, since there is no Evil Empire to support the Taliban, squeeze off their supplies, and get the fuck out. Oh, and as needed bomb the do-jesus out of the Taliban, wash, rinse repeat. The problems of Pakistan and India are false-flag issues which neocons want to conflate with those in Afghanistan.

  124. 124
    srv says:

    Now, after Pakistani Taliban incursions into the Swat Valley and the retaliatory Pakistani incursions and US drone strikes in the border region, they probably are.

    I think you have the cause-and-effect backwards. We squeezed the uppity Pashtuns out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. We’ve been bombing them for a long, long time. We’ve leaned on the Pakistanis to go after them, which sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. We are destabilizing what little stability there was in Paki-Pashtunland.

    This was predicted. It has come to pass. Any strategy that involves messing with Pakistan’s minorities will NOT decelerate the “state’s” disolution.

    Not that the other 200 million non-Pashtun are going to roll over to the Taliban and turn their nukes over to them, but why risk it?

    The serious people will stop at nothing to bring Condi’s nightmares to reality. Evolution in action.

  125. 125
    Elie says:

    Georgia Pig @ 118

    Thanks for your insight. Wish it felt better. Nothing but hard times ahead all around…the economy, AfPak, jobs, healthcare reform…Man, he is becoming Job.

    As skinny as Obama was when he entered the White House, he must have already dropped at least another ten pounds.

  126. 126
    eemom says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    you took the words right off of my keyboard.

    I seriously wish that Greenwald and his entire sanctimonious Obama-bashing cohort would just, like, STFU and do something useful, but I know that’s asking too much.

    speaking of which, it’s a little known fact that Glenn the Wise has, like, close to zero experience actually practicing law in the real world.

  127. 127
    Leelee for Obama says:

    God help me, I’m watching Gibbs talk to the Villagers, and if one more asshat wonders aloud how the hell OBAMA is gonna pay for this Afghanistan situation, I think I’m gonna shriek! Suddenly, price tags are needed with payment options galore! That, and the same question over and over about how come, why for was there no one from the social office at the gate the other night, because there always has been one, and it’s not the SS’s job to screen the list. WTF?! If one of these schmucks ask about Obama’s opinion on Tiger Woods accident, I think I’m gonna just curl up, give up and die!

    Had to be said, carry on!

  128. 128
    LD50 says:

    @Koz: Omit Rasmussen, which always has a GOP slant, and Obama is popular at about the same rate as he won the election by.

    And frankly, most of Obama’s disapproval is among evangelical southern whites. And evangelical southern whites can blow me.

    Nice try, at least you’re putting out a LITTLE more effort, tho you’re still pathetic.

  129. 129
    Elie says:

    So Steve and Srv

    You are both saying basically the same thing: there is no concern here about the stability of Pakhistan or danger for us our the larger interest for stability in relation to nuclear war?

    Oh whew! We can just leave then and not worry! Everything will work out just fine!

    Obama is just a being led around by the nose by the neocons who just dreamed up all this risk which really doesnt exist at all…He is just too stupid to see what you see so clearly. He wants an unecessary war that might explode the support of his base — just cause he likes being led around by those neocons…

  130. 130
    srv says:

    @Elie:

    Imagine if we just pull out, one two three and Pakhistan falls under the Taliban.

    You are, simply, completely ignorant, or a troll.

    Please explain, in detail, how a fraction of the Pakistani population is going to overwhelm the rest of the population and the Pakistani Army.

    Here is something you should research before getting hysterical:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....n_Pakistan

  131. 131
    LD50 says:

    @Koz: Oh yes, they asked people why they disapproved of Obama, and they replied “because Obama has had his political lunch money taken away by Chuck Grassley and Michelle [sic] Backman [sic].”

    Real winner of an issue for you there, Koz. I’m sure you’ll convert all the teabaggers with that one.

  132. 132
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @srv:

    I would say that Pak falling to extremists is unlikely, but not impossible. OBL is still popular in Pak proper, and there are a lot more islamists and sympathizers there than just the Taliban/Pashtuns.

    And last I heard, the Pak generals do not want us to pull out completely. Nobody really has a good handle on what would happen, and what won’t happen.

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @srv:

    Please explain, in detail, how a fraction of the Pakistani population is going to overwhelm the rest of the population and the Pakistani Army.

    I don’t think the fear is so much that the entire current country of Pakistan will fall under control of the Taliban, more that conflict between the various ethnic groups will cause the country to splinter apart and one of those splinters will be controlled by the Taliban. There will still be a “Pakistan,” but it will be surrounded by splinter provinces that all claim to be their own country (think former Soviet Union). This would not be good, to say the least.

  134. 134
    Elie says:

    srv

    Oh for Pete’s sake, name calling is not necessary. I am not ignorant or a troll…you are pretty dismissive of people who disagree with you and quickly turn to ad hominem attacks.
    Let your “facts” – such as they are…speak for themselves. If you are so confident of your point of view, there would be no necessity to slam mine or mischaracterize my point of view as hysterical.

    Your context for this seems off. If the Taliban “took over” Pakhistan, they would not necessarily be taking on all 200 million non Pashtun. Just the few that strategically “protect” their nuclear capability. They would not have to overwhelm all 200 million to do that. That you do not consider this to be a serious risk is pretty surprising to me.

    As “hot” as your intellect and discernment may be, let us just pretend that the administration may have information that you and I dont and that maybe, just maybe, Obama may want to do the right thing. I know, that is not where you are coming from. You assume that he has it wrong, has the same information you have and that he doesnt have the integrity to want to make the best decision.

  135. 135

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Sorry, that ship has sailed.

    Just get used to it, Schmuck. I don’t like you, and when I see you saying stupidass shit, which is most of the time, I am going to blast you.

    If you don’t like it, tough shit.

  136. 136

    @srv:

    What percentage of the Afghanistani population is Taliban, srv, and how did they gain control of that country?

  137. 137
    georgia pig says:

    @srv: In case it wasn’t clear, I agree about the US role in destabilizing Pakistan, and I seriously doubt the ability of the US to prevent Pakistan from collapsing. Pakistan has always been a disaster waiting to happen. Obviously, the Pashtuns alone are not sufficient to overwhelm Pakistan, but there certainly appear to be plentiful recruits for radicalization in the non-Pashtun portions of Pakistan. Historically, Pakistan had stabilized its situation to some degree by being a military dictatorship, allowing the Pashtun border areas to operate autonomously and having the ISI coopt radical elements in Afghanistan. They would appear to lack those tools now. Unfortunately, they still have nuclear weapons. They would lose a conventional war with India and would be hard pressed not to use the nukes.

  138. 138
    Ian says:

    @Stooleo:

    Well, at least Huckabee is done.

    Yep, this will be Huckabee’s Chappaquiddick

    Please don’t imply that Huckabee will be elected to the Senate and accomplish things with the rest of his life.

  139. 139
    Ian says:

    blockquote fail

  140. 140
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    WTF are you talking about. Man, you need to get some help for your resentments and grudges,. Pills or therapy or both.

    Blog stalking is not cool. And if you are going to blast me, then give some details and your answer as to what is right.

    Just spewing out some nonsense about “stupidass shit” , don’t cut it, except for trolls and cowards. Which are you, or both?

  141. 141

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    So, your standard is that you said the same thing I did?

    Attempts at flattery will get you nowhere with me, Schmuck. Well, unless you accompany them with money or gifts. Then, we’ll talk.

    No way you are going to sully my posts by claiming that you are copying them.

    Did you get that? Sully my posts?

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha.

    Here’s a tip: If you want to copy me, cutting and pasting would be easier than writing six times as many words to say the same thing.

  142. 142
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    I am going to blast you.

    Oh noes, Batman making threats. Sooo skeery. Will Batboy be assisting you? BAM WAM SPLAT.

  143. 143
    srv says:

    @Elie:

    Oh whew! We can just leave then and not worry! Everything will work out just fine!
    ___
    He is just too stupid to see what you see so clearly

    Appeals to Authority. Fear. Mischaracterizing what Steve said, and then saying others are doing it to you. Pretending MUP has special secret information we can’t be told. You are EXACTLY like an infantile Bush-lover, and maturity is not something you are familiar with.

    Grow up yourself, or at least change your handle if you want to troll me again.

  144. 144
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    The troll speaks. In tongues per usual. Get some HELP!

  145. 145

    WTF are you talking about.

    How much clearer can I be? I don’t like you, don’t respect you, and don’t care for the lame nonsense you post. I say so, in much the same way that others have done to you, and in much the same way that some people torpedo me, or others, when the mood strikes them. We all paid the same price of admission here, right?

    Believe it or not, you are not so special that you can demand to not be criticized. I know this comes a huge shock to you.

    If civility is what you desire from me, then a few months of showering me with it just might get you what you want. Or not, I’ll let you know. The Golden Rule, and all that.

    But you have to stop pulling lame nonsense out of your ass and then doing things like using the “I heard it on NPR” defense.

    KnowhatImean?

  146. 146

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I don’t need help when you are writing my straight lines.

  147. 147
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Blogstalker. or, chickenshit runt being brave keyboard warrior from the safety of his basement. You mean nothing, and are nothing but another internet tough guy. Get a life.

  148. 148
    licensed to kill time says:

    Wow, lots of piss and vinegar today. Guess the holidays are over until the glow of the War on Christmas warms us all.

  149. 149
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Do I need to break out the water hose, people?

  150. 150
    srv says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat: Pastuns are well over 40% of the Afghan population, and they’ve never controlled all the “country” of Afghanistan.

  151. 151
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    The morons want recognition is all.

  152. 152

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Stop the histrionics, Schmuck. That’s not a threat, it’s a simple statement of demonstrated fact.

    Say the stupid, take the criticism. What could be more fair than that?

    If you think I am wrong, cogent argument might work. Acting shocked that somebody dared to blast you is probably not going to get you anywhere.

    Hey, no “thriving democracy” for Afghanistan today? What happened to that? Boy, you sure dropped that hooter like a hot potato.

  153. 153
    eemom says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    please. Gawd, what a thread. I feel like I’m seeing “The Road” again.

  154. 154

    @Elie

    Imagine if we just pull out, one two three and Pakhistan falls under the Taliban. Then we would be left to do a much larger military operation to protect ourselves from that risk and India would definitely even if we didnt. That is one scenario I can think of just off the top of my head pull out of my ass.

    Fix’t.

    Wait, haven’t I heard this before? Why yes I have! It was called The Domino Theory and it turned out to be complete and utter bullshit. One of the many problems I have with the members of the liberal wing of the 101st Chairborne like you Elie is that you posit all of these bad, scary things that might happen if we pull out of Afghanistan (“OMFG! The Taliban will get nuclear weapons and then create a vast army of flying monkeys to drop them on US cities which will cause a zombie apocalypse and the negros will put teh sexx0rs on our white women! Think of the children!”) but then fail to articulate, in any way, shape or form, a coherent policy, other than spending lots of money, letting our troops bleed out into the sand and killing lots of locals with bombing runs and Predator attacks any means of preventing these things from happening or even asking if they can be prevented by the US military.

    The fact is that the US military cannot create a functioning civil society in Afghanistan, end of story, and a functioning civil society is what it would take to control the Taliban. If we’re concerned about the possibility of the Taliban with nukes, or of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan then that’s an international problem and we should handle it through the UN and let some of the other nations in the region take up some of the burden rather than taking the entire burden upon ourselves. I imagine that the Chinese wouldn’t be too interested in having a bunch of fallout from the crude nukes that India and Pakistan have drifting over the eastern half of China and I can’t see that Iran would be interested in having the Taliban, who hate the Shia with a burning passion, in possession of nuclear weapons.

  155. 155
    kay says:

    We’re doomed anyway.
    All the nitwits at the press conference decided to hammer Gibbs on the reality tv show stars.
    They’re hot on the trail of this breaking story, our maverick media.
    They’re going to bust that White House social office WIDE OPEN.
    I swear to God. Are they actually promoting the BRAVO series? Is this marketing?

  156. 156
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    If you think I am wrong, cogent argument might work

    Your the knucklehead who said I was wrong, and offered nothing but standard drivel to back it up but a bunch of baby talk about how you don’t like me as evidence,. Did I steal your trike? so sorry.

  157. 157

    @srv:

    Not based on a district by district census, no, but clearly the Taliban had the country under their thumb in 2001. How they gained that leverage is apparently not a settled question.

  158. 158

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Yes, if you could fill that water trough over by the east fence I’d appreciate it.

    Got the alfalfa thirsties here something bad.

  159. 159
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    If you think I am wrong, cogent argument might work

    You have offered nothing to argue with, except a bunch of childish taunts. I’m beginning to think you are a wingnut, in denial. Sure do act like one.

  160. 160
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @kay: See me at 127, kay. The mind-meld rules, my sister!

    I am going grocery shopping now, as all the leftovers are now inedible, or gone.

  161. 161
    Elie says:

    srv:

    A shhh — enough

    I could care less what you think about anything from now forward

    I commented on your post because I thought you were a good faith person who would respect my opinion even if you disagreed with it — which many have and do and that is fine. I have learned a great deal from people who have disagreed with me and corrected my “facts”. I actually do listen and respect that.

    You are just a mirror image of the right winged blow hards: your opinion is the only one that counts. You are more interested in belittling someone than to share and learn.

  162. 162

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    This is how you talk to a poor animal who has to type this stuff with a hoof? That’s cold, Schmuck. Honestly.

    Not liking you is not baby talk though. I am a full grown cow, and I really don’t like you. You, and the George Foreman Grill, are really two things I hate.

    And if you think I am a knucklehead, look at it this way. If the knuckleheads can see the lameness of your arguments, think how the smart people must feel.

    Amirite?

  163. 163
  164. 164
    Xanthippas says:

    I sincerely doubt all but a handful of what might be considered “principled” Republicans will ever turn on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I think he’s right about everything else.

  165. 165
    Elie says:

    Wil E:

    Read my response to srv @ 161.

    Ditto to you

    Get lost

  166. 166
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Amirite?

    Has the Batmobile arrived yet. Batgirl?

    TZ don’t likes me. Don’t think I can bear it. :–)

  167. 167
    maus says:

    Look back over his record in 2012 and I will bet that all the items that create such a fluster today (“Healthcare? Tax increases? Financial Reform? DADT repeal? Shutting Gitmo? Judicial appointments?”) will be resolved successfully with a moderate to liberal solution. If they aren’t, Obama’s presidency will be justifiably considered a failure.

    Why should we trust him implicitly? Centrist posturing isn’t going to get anything done for any of those issues.

  168. 168
    srv says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat: Alliances. But the Northern Alliance and other tribes would have disagreed with the thumbs extent. Controlling cities and populations aren’t necessarily the same thing in Afghanistan.

    http://www.blythe.org/afghan-m.....liance.gif

  169. 169

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    At least I am funny, and you can laugh when I post. You are so boring, even my hindquarters fell asleep.

  170. 170
  171. 171
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Koz:

    Compared to our team, of course.

    I have great respect for the foreign policy chops of the Bush 41 crowd. Scowcroft, Baker, et al did IMHO a fantastic job of handling the implosion of the Soviet Union, which easily could have led to a whole series of regional wars (c.f. the fallout from just about every other empire that’s gone to pieces over the last 100 years).

    But those guys don’t play for ‘your team’ any more – the realist school on the GOP side has been marginalized to the point of non-existence. Saying your team has foreign policy chops is like saying the St. Louis Rams are going to win the Superbowl this year, because , because, hey ’bout that ‘Greatest Show on Turf‘? Look! It’s Kurt Warner!

    Try reading Larison’s column over at American Conservative for a year or so and then come back here when you aren’t such an ignoramus.

  172. 172
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    BOOM RATATAT CRASH . Gotham’s finest.

  173. 173
    kay says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    See me at 127, kay. The mind-meld rules, my sister!

    Hah!

    I flat-out hate those reality tv people. The ridiculous thing with the balloon was bad enough, now we have to listen to it at WH press conferences.

    I thought the general understanding was that media were embarrassed that they made such fools of themselves with the balloon boy.

    They’re dead set on repeating that?

    You know this going to happen weekly, right? A reality tv hopeful is going to commandeer the news every week?

  174. 174
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Now that we have had our little TZ hates Stuck hour, you may all return to your regular scheduled thread. Thank you for the patience in this matter. :)

  175. 175
    srv says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Don’t y’all have a (chat) room for that?

  176. 176

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    THRIVING DEMOCRACY.

    Hey, did you catch what I related the other day from Bill Press? He basically said, Successful democracy? Modern Afghanistan has never even had a successful central government!.

    Who said George Bush wasn’t a genius? Confronted with the messes he made, he’d just say, that’s a problem for the next president. Now that’s some smart talk that our friends in Afghanistan could learn from, right?

  177. 177

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    My bad, I should not have put you on the same level as the George Foreman Grill. I hate the Grill, but you, I just don’t like.

    At least you haven’t tried to make a living by showing pictures of charring my relatives and having them for dinner.

    I’ll give you that.

  178. 178

    @Elie

    I commented on your post because I thought you were a good faith person who would respect my opinion even if you disagreed with it—which many have and do and that is fine. I have learned a great deal from people who have disagreed with me and corrected my “facts”. I actually do listen and respect that.

    You can’t even spell “Pakistan” correctly you silly bimbo. Given that why should anyone respect anything you have to say about the country? And as far as respecting “opinion” well you’ve given us no reason to respect your opinion because you’ve offered nothing to back it up other than ignorant, scare-mongering bullshit and arguments to authority. Oh, and I love how you put the word facts in quotes there, that pretty much says it all about everything you’ve ever posted on BJ, you’ve got a bunch of “facts” to support your arguments and you’re just chock full o’ truthiness.

    And you’ve never articulated any coherent policy in Afghanistan, instead all you do is say “OMFG. If we pull out bad things will happen. It’s not black and white. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Without offering any proof that our military presence will prevent the bad things from happening. Your posts are a perfect example of what George Orwell described as Duckspeak in 1984.

    Perhaps you’d care to enlighten us about your plans to enlist in the military and request an assignment in Afghanistan or, if you’ve already enlisted, your military experience. Come on Elie, show us that you aren’t just completely stupid and completely full of shit.

  179. 179
    Elie says:

    WILE

    I owe you nothing.

    You are just a swearing pile of opinions and name calling..

    I gain nothing from your opinions and neither would anyone else… once beyond the name calling, there is nothing serious there

    Your contempt is a compliment to me…

    Carry on…

  180. 180
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    THRIVING DEMOCRACY.

    You know, assigning quotes to people who didn’t make them is low, even for you.

    And you completely miss what I said. Which is that I never believed nor do I believe now that Afgan. can become a “thriving democracy” or a successful one. What I said was that that was our countries policy under Bush for 7 years.

    You either can’t read very well, or can’t comprehend what you read, or are just a black liar. Or maybe just the Balloon Juice Court Jester, I don’t know which,. But Stop assigning quotes to me I didn’t make asshat.

  181. 181
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @srv:

    I haven’t had a blogstalker before, so I really am just playing it by ear. I have no desire to interact with this Godmeat idjit, but feel I can’t let it go by without response either. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  182. 182
    kuvasz says:

    Dear Mr. Cole:

    re: Andy Sullivan.

    Andy Sullivan has been and always shall be a complete fucking idiot. You are a typical American who (in error) thinks that a person who speaks with a British accent is smart. So, for the sake of Christ, stop it. You are rotting out your brain reading the lunatic ramblings of such a syphilitic, intellectual fraud.

    Kuvasz

  183. 183
    LD50 says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    the negros will put teh sexx0rs on our white women!

    Damn.

  184. 184

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Well, here’s a suggestion: Why don’t you try conducting an honest argument? You don’t think Afghanistan can muster a thriving democracy? You could have said that last week. That would be one dumb thing of things you said that I could take off my list.

    Sure, it’s just one thing, but it’s a start. You can sit around and post all day here every day, but I have to go out and graze for a living. You could show some respect for my time.

  185. 185
    Demo Woman says:

    JSF.. Where’s the hose? Actually I think the meat lover needs to check his blood pressure.

  186. 186
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    You don’t think Afghanistan can muster a thriving democracy? You could have said that last week.

    I did say that you lying stack of shit.

  187. 187

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Musta been after I got herded in for my weekly tick dip.

    Whooee! Refreshing. You should try it. Seriously.

  188. 188

    I did say that you lying stack of shit.

    Hey, that’s my line, remember? No fair trying to switch roles here.

    You are the LSOS, we established that a LONG time ago. I was just a calf then.

  189. 189
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    If anybody asks, I will be galt and firing The Clown Cannon – Again.

  190. 190
    LD50 says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I did say that you lying stack of shit.

    I’ve never seen that insult before. Is that a typo for ‘sack’?

  191. 191

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I’m disappointed in you, Schmuck. You used to be able to sit here and lie about me for three days without losing a beat, and now you seem annoyed after just a couple hours.

    What happened? Did you get a tough piece of veal?

  192. 192

    @LD50:

    Oh, he is just mocking my effluent.

  193. 193
    Elie says:

    I guess I am just confused about a few things

    Why is it that one would hope to win people to one’s point of view, or successfully argue a position through calling the person with whom you are having the discussion, a bunch of names?

    Hey, I like fiery discussion as much as the next person. Boring agreement is not interesting to read and it doesnt challenge us in the ways we need to think and evolve in terms of learning and awareness.

    But sheesh, why is anyone going to listen to someone who calls them names and belittles their opinions?

    Really, what is up with that? Who is the show for?

  194. 194

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    You lie like one of these.

    Hey, tell me, what does it feel like to argue with a cow?

  195. 195
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Dude I have grown up a little. Maybe you should do the same. Wasted breath on nonsense no longer has any appeal for me. And at least back then, you made rational statements. Now it’s just clown talk gibberish and trollish buffoonery. Consider this my official resignation from your world of wanking, maybe somebody else will sign up, I could give you a name or two, but won’t.

  196. 196

    @Elie:

    No offense to you Ellie, seriously, but I have never believed that anyone is here to convince others of a point of view, or (perhaps more importantly) to be convinced of another point of view.

    Somewhere between fawning obsequiousness and an all out food fight, I think the truth lies. Depending on the context.

    But hey, I am just an animal that has to be rounded up regularly and checked for blackleg.

  197. 197

    And at least back then, you made rational statements.

    What? Just an hour or so ago you were defending your post for having said the same thing I did earlier, only better, and shorter.

    Why do you go in circles like this? I am a two-ton animal, I can’t maneuver like that. Show some mercy.

  198. 198
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @LD50:

    You’re not from Kentucky. We stack it there, for the campfires. :-)

  199. 199
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    by now

  200. 200

    Wasted breath on nonsense no longer has any appeal for me.

    That’s a shame, because that’s the day you lost your mojo.

  201. 201

    I could give you a name or two, but won’t.

    What, you ran out of names to call me?

    That’s like telling me that Elsie Borden ran out of milk.

  202. 202
    eemom says:

    @Elie:

    dunno, but at the risk of starting another flame war I’m guessing it’s a “guy thing.”

    And let me add my solidarity for your other comments above.

  203. 203
    LD50 says:

    @eemom:

    dunno, but at the risk of starting another flame war I’m guessing it’s a “guy thing.”

    I think we’re witnessing a sort of unfunky white-boy version of the dozens.

  204. 204
    Elie says:

    eemom and LD50

    Thanks

    I think both of you may be right…

  205. 205

    I am a two-ton animal, I can’t maneuver like that.

    Flame war? Is that some kind of hostile barbeque reference?

    That is low. I am rendered. Speechless, I mean.

  206. 206
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    I’m guessing it’s a “guy thing.”

    Probably. But is also a BJ thing, and is really quite mild to what it once was. It is getting slowly more civil, which I support and try to change my own part in it with spotty success as this thread proves, but the old ways come to the surface now and then. Though it should never get too polite, imho.

    You may not have known Cole in his fire Breathin days. A sight to behold. Lily and Tunch have taken the edge off considerably. the blog is changing with Cole, as it should be, being his blog.

  207. 207
    SteveinSC says:

    I am sorry I had to step out to get an Xmas tree. Elie was intent on showing his ass, but rational people on this blog have done a good job with it (him.) First some wilfully ignorant post, then try to get an argument going about the argument to disrupt the discussion. With “if you can’t argue the law, argue the facts, if you can’t argue either, just argue” mentality, maybe Elie is really Dershowitz in drag?

  208. 208
    Corner Stone says:

    @SteveinSC:

    The problems of Pakistan and India are false-flag issues which neocons want to conflate with those in Afghanistan.

    Steve, I’m afraid you have this all wrong. In fact, just yesterday some very serious people informed me – Top Secretly of course – that Paki— arrrggghhhh!! Ninjas!!

    Of course we should be paying attention to Pakistan. But anyone who doesn’t understand that the whole concept of Pakistan’s nukes somehow falling into the Taliban’s hands is a complete boogeyman tactic is..umm..well, they’re not very bright.

  209. 209
    Elie says:

    Stevein SC

    Elie is a she BTW

    Go suck srv’s perianal abscess. Also.

  210. 210
    Elie says:

    And Cornerstone

    There is room for leftovers for you on that abscess too. It might make you smarter but since you need a lot of work in that area, maybe you should be doing Wile E. Coyote’s ruptured sebaceous gland in addition to cleaning out the leftover srv perianal area.

  211. 211
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elie: The ninjas!! Save yourself Elie!! The boogeyman’s comin’ for you too!!

  212. 212
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Elie:

    Wow. You are getting good at this Elie:-)

    Nice touch with the medical jargon. They be scratchin their noggins..

  213. 213
    joel hanes says:

    feel I can’t let it go by without response either. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Let it go by without responding.

    Make substantive points, back them up with evidence, ignore substance-free flames. If the flames have substance, address the substance, but don’t flame back.

    If there’s only one asshole in a discussion, his identity soon becomes apparent to the audience. If you are compelled to “fight fire with fire”, it may be hard to tell the difference between you and your opponent.

  214. 214
    Elie says:

    joel

    I appreciate and respect your advice and mostly will take it.

    Sometimes though, you gotta jam it up in theah with some of these folks

  215. 215
    Elie says:

    General:

    That felt good. Hmmm maybe I can warm to this after all…I can use all my old medical jargon and send some folks to the net for look ups…that by itself is worth the price of admission! ;-)

  216. 216
    Elie says:

    Cornerstone:

    That was a pretty lame flame.

    May you have a lengthy debridement of the decubitus ulcer on your head.

  217. 217
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elie: It wasn’t a flame.
    I care about you Elie. With every post here you remind me of what’s good and best in this country. Your thoughtful prose, your clear logic, your ability to see the stark reality of any situation. All those characteristics speak to why I hold you so dear.

  218. 218
    Elie says:

    Corner Stone

    Oh my goodness!

    thanks so much and for allowing me to be a high schooler with my little stupid stuff —

    Believe it or not, I found it kind of a nice break from too much seriousness…we have so much in our hearts these days and I enjoyed the interlude.

    Thanks for your kind words..

  219. 219

    So Elie is a she, so calling her a stupid bimbo because she can’t even spell Pakistan, but can use the word perianal, is appropriate. I sure as shit hope that Elie isn’t any kind of health professional, because I’d feel sorry as Hell for anyone who ended up being one of the silly bitch’s patients.

  220. 220
    joel hanes says:

    Sometimes though, you gotta jam it up in theah with some of these folks

    I disagree.
    I can’t see that it accomplishes anything positive.
    At all.

  221. 221
    Elie says:

    joel hanes

    You are right. it doesnt. it felt a little fun for a little bit though.

    Now, back to our regular programming…

  222. 222
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    out of line dude

  223. 223
    Elie says:

    Wile E —

    Have you considered an anger management program?

    Seriously.

    You are a bit scary. I don’t know you. Yet the rage you display is a bit out of proportion for people who are posting opinions on a blog. Why do my opinions threaten you to such a level? Why do you make such personal issue about my personal opinions? Must everyone agree with you? Do my values and ideas have to mirror yours?

    Seriously.

    This is my last comment to you. I am concerned about continuing a dialogue with someone so on the edge and personal as you seem to be. This blog is about people sharing various opinions and ideas. Your approach is to threaten and verbally abuse me to somehow coerce me into either silence or acquiescence. Stop it. I could care less and will not be influenced in that way.

  224. 224

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