Howard Dean, Libya and Being “Anti-War”

Howard Dean is a fairly vocal supporter of the Libyan intervention:

“It’s very smart. You don’t put boots on the ground. You don’t commit trillions of dollars to a war in Iraq,” he said. “You do it with the other tools that we have that frankly work much better over the long term because you don’t get a lot of public resistance — drones, special operations forces, use of intelligence agencies. That’s exactly what he did.”

I think Larison gets it about right:

As Scott Lemieux remarks, Dean was a Democratic “centrist” by reputation before he became the unlikely tribune of progressive antiwar sentiment. When he was still a presidential candidate, Dean made a point of saying that the real problem with invading Iraq was that the administration had ignored the “greater” threats from Iran and North Korea. Dean happened to oppose the Iraq war, but this was partly a matter of taking advantage of a political opening in a field dominated by pro-war candidates. Very much like Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war, it was an isolated judgment that seems to have nothing in common with the rest of his foreign policy thinking. When trying to understand the weaknesses and limits of the antiwar movement in America, a good place to start is the frequent habit it has of endorsing and backing candidates who happen to be aligned with that movement on one issue almost by accident.

The only real anti-war candidate in either party is Ron Paul.  The rest are either gagging to drop freedom bombs everywhere, or they’re foreign policy pragmatists who are going to endorse intervention when they can get away with it politically (which is essentially what Dean is saying in that first quote).    I think there’s a place in the Democratic party for a candidate with a tougher antiwar stance, based in part on a pragmatic argument about cost.   Since the opposition paints every Democrat as a wimp for even expressing the possibility that some wars are stupid, I doubt that someone with a bit stronger antiwar stance would have a tougher time than Obama or Dean.  But it’s important to remember that Obama and Dean’s opposition to the Iraq War was mainly because that venture was remarkably stupid, not because they are anti-interventionists.  They aren’t.






126 replies
  1. 1

    I think there’s a place in the Democratic party for a candidate with a tougher antiwar stance

    If that is so, you need to stop descending into ridicule every time the topic of Dennis Kucinich comes up. Show a little respect for his pacifist stand.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    But it’s important to remember that Obama and Dean’s opposition to the Iraq War was mainly because that venture was remarkably stupid, not because they are anti-interventionists.

    That’s pretty much why I was opposed to the deserting coward’s gnarly adventure in Iraq. It was unspeakably stupid. If you wanted to aid the cabal of Ayatollahs in Tehran, there was no better way than to take out Saddam.

    The other problem with it was that the first option seemed to be war, and that should ALWAYS be the option of last resort, after every other possible method of dealing with some other country has been exhausted. But the war criminal deserter wanted a war, just like a certain central European despot wanted a war some 72 odd years ago.

  3. 3
    Poopyman says:

    No anti-war candidate can get taken seriously. The narrative won’t allow it. The “conventional wisdom”won’t allow it.

    OT, but I’m just surfacing to say we’re in the half million without power, and i doubt we’ll get it back today. Storm was about as bad as estimated, but looooong. No flooding in the immediate neighbor hood. We lost one maple to uprooting, neighbors lost pines. Coulda been worse.

    Good luck NY/NE!

    Btw, i’m on the ipad via att. Gotta save power now ….

  4. 4
    28 Percent says:

    mistermix if that is you’re real name what you do not get is that demonocrats are not wimp because they are afraid to defend AMERICA they are afraid to defend America because they are wimps! !! Think about it awhile maybe you will understand no matter how you “position” we see the TRUTH no matter what you say we know what you really mean you will not fool us!

  5. 5
    aisce says:

    invading Iraq was that the administration had ignored the “greater” threats from Iran and North Korea

    that’s…um…totally true. well, maybe not the iran thing. that’s the israel lobby talking. but post-9/11, if there was one country that you would have been sort of justified of preemptively striking to topple their regime and prevent the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, it wasn’t iraq, it was north korea.

    they never should have been allowed to build nuclear weapons. even if their missile programs are total shit, they still can hit seoul with a peashooter.

    i guarantee you even china has second thoughts about squelching that potential intervention in its crib.

  6. 6
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    But it’s important to remember that Obama and Dean’s opposition to the Iraq War was mainly because that venture was remarkably stupid, not because they are anti-interventionists. They aren’t.

    As are most of the people who post here.

  7. 7
    Suffern ace says:

    There are no pacifist voters. Why should pacifists be represented? Pacifist christian sects are very tiny. The last time there was a Quaker in the white house, his secret plan for ending the war was to ramp up the bombings. I don’t think we can help ourselves at this point.

  8. 8
    Samara Morgan says:

    LOL!
    mistermix links Daniel “League of the South” Larison who practically had a franchise on WRONG on the Libyan action.
    The old model of american influence in MENA is FAIL, mistermix.
    Obama is just looking for alternative policies to the crumbling wreck of Pax Americana.
    There are two kinds of interventionism, humanitarian interventionism (right-to-protect UN doctrine) and Peaceful Democracy/Bush Doctrine interventionism.
    The difference is in what happens afterwards, and if we are actually on the side of the population.

    /points and laffs at mistermix

    firebagger!

  9. 9
    Shlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    I think you are forgetting the real reasons to have opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq. Iraq was no threat, Iraq took our focus off of Al Qaeda, Iraq was a big fucking mistake. Anyone who spent two minutes looking at the actual evidence knew that long before Boy Blunder Woo-Hoo’ed us into his greatest blunder.

    I’m not an anti-war Democrat, I’m an anti-stupidity Democrat & there seem to be damn few of those left in DC.

  10. 10
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Okay, just to play devils advocate, but what exactly is wrong with being a limited interventionist? Is there something inherently blessed or good about being a Paulite (or even a Larison stooge) when it comes to interventionism?

  11. 11
    mistermix says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Dennis has a whole bunch of other baggage.

  12. 12
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    And yes, our resident troll has a good point about Larison. Take away his (respected around these parts) anti-intervention stance, and you have a bog standard racist, paleo con Confederate.

  13. 13
    Lolis says:

    Howard Dean also publicly supported cuts to Social Security and Medicare a couple months ago on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show. He was a huge supporter of the Grand Bargain. Yet he still gets put at the top of any primary Obama list on DKos. It is funny at this point.

  14. 14
    balconesfault says:

    It’s been one of the greatest accomplishments by the Mighty Wurlitzer that Howard Dean somehow got painted in the minds of most Americans as some kind of radical liberal.

    This is akin to getting Jon Huntsman considered to be some kind of political centrist.

  15. 15
    superluminar says:

    @aisce
    You are aware you are offering strategically stupid advice, right? If NK can hit Seoul with a “peashooter”, then it’s probably inadvisable to attack them over two-bit nukes that aren’t likely to do appreciably more damage than the weapons systems they already have.

  16. 16
    Mike Furlan says:

    For those who still don’t know or don’t want to admit. Larison is a proud member of the League of the South.

    “The League of the South is a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities. ”
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-i.....-the-south

  17. 17
    david mizner says:

    Well, not exactly —

    it’s important to remember that Obama and Dean’s opposition to the Iraq War was mainly because that venture was remarkably stupid, not because they are anti-interventionists.

    — their opposition to the Iraq War was mostly because they weren’t sitting Senators at the time. They’re both centrist, hawkish, neoliberals who, had they been in the Senate in 2002, would have voted for the AUMF.

  18. 18
    aisce says:

    @ superluminar

    if by “aren’t likely to do appreciably more damage” you mean, “massively and unpredictably contaminate one of the eight largest financial centers on the planet and home to 25 million people,” then yes.

    north korea didn’t become a nuclear weapons state until 2005 or 2006. it’s the single biggest failure in the non-proliferation effort to date.

  19. 19
    superluminar says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay
    I didn’t think mm was criticising limited interventionism as such, just the idea that Dean was a pacifist that some erroneously subscribed to.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The rest are either gagging to drop freedom bombs everywhere, or they’re foreign policy pragmatists who are going to endorse intervention when they can get away with it politically (which is essentially what Dean is saying in that first quote).

    Right, there is no chance that people may look on situations on a case by case basis and make a decision as to whether something is a good idea based on US goals and capabilities. Christ.

  21. 21
    Jonas says:

    And Ron Paul being the only candidate tells you all you need to know about a blanket anti-interventionalist position. John Cole is surely proud.

  22. 22
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    It’s starting to sound like “anti-war” really means “isolationist.” Certainly the U.S. shouldn’t go blundering into full-scale invasions of other countries, but was Libya that much different than our peacekeeping actions in Haiti, Liberia or even Bosnia or Kosovo?

    I get it that everyone here wants to be consistent: anti-Iraq, anti-intervention in general. But I thought Democrats were the party of sensible, limited peacekeeping intervention. We’re the party that can use the military intelligently, not to one-up Daddy. Or did the Iraq War really turn us into a party that identifies with freaking Ron Paul?

    It seems like there are no longer degrees in this argument. It’s not like a person automatically becomes a neocon unless they carry on about the “illegal war” in Libya. I fear we’re starting to sound like the Republicans of the ’90s.

  23. 23
    superluminar says:

    @aisce
    I may have been a bit OTT in suggesting there’d be no difference, but my point was that before they got nukes, the North Koreans still had fucktons of artillery and missiles pointed at Seoul and could obliterate the city if they chose in any case, in which case intervention would probably be a bad idea.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    My opposition to the Iraq war was because it was incredibly stupid, not because I’m an anti-interventionist. Thank god I’m not as stupid as Ron Paul.

  25. 25
    mistermix says:

    @superluminar: Yeah, that’s about right. The term “antiwar” is loaded, as is “pacifist”, but what I’d like in a candidate is someone who is generally less likely to intervene in situations like Libya. I’d also like a candidate who would send signals to NATO allies that we aren’t going to carry as much of the burden of intervention as we did in, e.g., Libya, in the future, so those countries should spend a few more bucks on their military so they are capable of engaging in whatever folly they want to pursue independent of US action.

  26. 26
    jwb says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: Even though I’d never want to live in the world that Larison wants to bring into being, his political analysis of Republican stupidity is quite astute, and it gives a perspective, including illuminating rifts in the conservative movement, that are not found elsewhere. But, yes, endorsing any piece of Larison’s writing has to come with a very long list of caveats.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @david mizner:

    their [Dean and Obama] opposition to the Iraq War was mostly because they weren’t sitting Senators at the time. They’re both centrist, hawkish, neoliberals who, had they been in the Senate in 2002, would have voted for the AUMF.

    Absolutely. There can be no doubt on this.

  28. 28
    scav says:

    Does sound a little odd to apparently hear that the only thing keeping people from giggling madly while dropping freedom bombs on, say, Fiji, is the pesky thing about not being able to get away with it politically. This view of warfare and its attraction is right next to fundie xian’s view of gay sex: so overwhelmingly attractive that we simply can’t allow ourselves to hear of it otherwise we’d be doing it like rabbits, constantly, mindlessly and there are no possible positions in-between.

  29. 29
    John Puma says:

    You actually say

    1) “I think there’s a place in the Democratic party for a candidate with a tougher antiwar stance, based in part on a pragmatic argument about cost.” and
    2) ” … the opposition paints every Democrat as a wimp for even expressing the possibility that some wars are stupid”

    without being able to mention Kucinich?

  30. 30
    superluminar says:

    @Omnes
    Further to my point to Amanda – and I really think mistermix should clarify here – I don’t think the phrase “pragmatic interventionists when they can get away with it” is as critical as might be thought.

  31. 31
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    When trying to understand the weaknesses and limits of the antiwar movement in America, a good place to start is the frequent habit it has of endorsing and backing candidates who happen to be aligned with that movement on one issue almost by accident.

    I think Larison is confusing cause and correlation here. The REASON why antiwar people “adopt” politicians that align with their views by accident is because it’s so incredibly difficult for a candidate with actual antiwar views in the outset to move up in politics. This is in large part due to the very minimal influence of antiwar voters in specific and leftist (socialist/social democratic) voters in general on nationwide politics. Think of this next time Lieberman or someone else claims the Democratic party has been “taken over” by antiwar hippies

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @superluminar: If you are right, and per mm’s comment above you probably are, the “when they can get away with it” bit is poorly phrased.

  33. 33
    superluminar says:

    @mistermix
    Ok, sorry didn’t see your reply before I posted. I disagree on Libya, but no matter, your second point is fine, and I suspect that there will be very real cuts to the DoD in the near future that will make this happen in any case.

  34. 34

    @aisce:

    they never should have been allowed to build nuclear weapons. even if their missile programs are total shit, they still can hit seoul with a peashooter.

    Of course they also have enough artillery pointed at Seoul that they could do a thorough job of flattening it with purely conventional weapons. Which is important, because AFAIK there’s still no evidence that they’ve successfully weaponized their nuclear devices or upgraded them beyond the crude, barely able to make a boom stage. I’m convinced that their main point in building nukes was for economic blackmail, not as a serious military threat.

  35. 35
    superluminar says:

    @Omnes
    Well, arguably. It could be said that “when they can get away with it” refers not to skulduggery on the part of the interventionists, but rather to the public opinion driven constraints of the political system and media (eg a preference for isolation), in which case mm has a good point.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @Shlemizel – was Alwhite: OT, but why the name change? I have never heard of Shlemizel – does it mean something?

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @superluminar: Well, that is my point. The phrase was too open to varied interpretation, but, whatever, you and I seem to be in broad agreement.

  38. 38
    Derf says:

    Blah blah blah blah. You naive “oppose all war no matter what” fanboys who all lined up behind John Galt Wrong Way Chicken Little Cole were WRONG WRONG WRONG!

    Deal with it.

  39. 39
    mistermix says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You left out on important word: “when they can get away with it *politically*”. Clearly, Fiji or some other stupid intervention is a political non-starter. So, if there’s someplace in the world where we’re being urged to intervene, and if it appears that an intervention can be accomplished using military means that won’t stoke a popular backlash, then most of the current crop of candidates (and the current President and Howard Dean) would likely intervene. I’d consider a candidate who, at that point, was more cautious and would generally consider it not our business to intervene, antiwar. Larison and Ron Paul are probably a little more anti-interventionist than me.

  40. 40
    Elie says:

    I guess I just don’t understand why a thinking citizen of the United States of America, which has interests for its survival around the world, would be an all the time anti-interventionist. I don’t get that.

    Yeah, we must be judicious and have a set of principles, but really. And what interventions are we talking? There are a range of noxious policies that may not actually have anything to do with outright aggression that may kill and maim as many or more people than a military operation.

    This frame is pretty naive. We are and should “intervene” and stick our noses into a variety of things. Very few should require military intervention but we have a lot of tools..

  41. 41
    Elie says:

    I guess I just don’t understand why a thinking citizen of the United States of America, which has interests for its survival around the world, would be an all the time anti-interventionist. I don’t get that.

    Yeah, we must be judicious and have a set of principles, but really. And what interventions are we talking? There are a range of noxious policies that may not actually have anything to do with outright aggression that may kill and maim as many or more people than a military operation.

    This frame is pretty naive. We are and should “intervene” and stick our noses into a variety of things. Very few should require military intervention but we have a lot of tools..

  42. 42
    OzoneR says:

    @david mizner:

    They’re both centrist, hawkish, neoliberals who, had they been in the Senate in 2002, would have voted for the AUMF.

    There were centrist, hawkish, neoliberals in the Senate who voted no; Robert Byrd was one, Carl Levin, Lincoln Chafee. I think it matters what state they’re from too. A New York liberal was much more likely to vote yes than, say, a Minnesota liberal, because the war was popular among New York liberals.

  43. 43
    JWL says:

    To his credit, Obama made his interventionist predilection pretty clear in 2008 with his remarks concerning Afgahanistan.

    Were he has intentionally deceived people was by endorsing the bald-faced lie that good people were misled by poor intelligence in concluding our national security interests demanded that we unleash war upon Iraq.

  44. 44
    Elie says:

    shit — sorry for the dupes…tried to remove

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mistermix: I get your point. I do think that the phrase in question was not the best, but there is no sense in beating a dead horse here.

  46. 46

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Take away his (respected around these parts) anti-intervention stance, and you have a bog standard racist, paleo con Confederate.

    I don’t know about that. He’s also unusual in that he’s capable of writing coherently and willing to criticize his fellow conservatives when they’re being obviously stupid. That’s a damn rare combination.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    but there is no sense in beating a dead horse here.

    Do we really do anything else around here?

  48. 48
    Tom Q says:

    @OzoneR: Actually, I’d amend that to “popular among NY liberal DONORS”

  49. 49
    askew says:

    @Lolis:

    Well, Dean is white and Obama isn’t. That is a big difference to a lot of the primary Obama crowd, even if they don’t want to admit it.

  50. 50
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Well, why don’t you ask Larison what the cause of the American Civil War was?

  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @OzoneR:

    There were centrist, hawkish, neoliberals in the Senate who voted no; Robert Byrd was one

    Byrd wasn’t even a centrist neo-liberal. Debbie Stabenow, Dick Durbin and Bob Graham are hardly raging hippies

  52. 52
    david mizner says:

    @OzoneR:

    Well, that’s fair. Although I’d consider Levin and Byrd less conservative than Dean or Obama. My general point is that it was considerably easier (for Dean, it was a no-brainer; he sort of fell into being an antiwar leader) to oppose the war where they are. I don’t want to dismiss their opposition entirely — for ambitions Dems, it’s always easier in some sense to support war than oppose it — but I’ve seen nothing in either of their careers to suggest they would have made like Ted Kennedy or Russ Feingold on the war.

  53. 53
    Derf says:

    mrmix shows his true colors. A Ron Paul fapper. Figures.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Talk about food and pets?

  55. 55
    Samara Morgan says:

    @mistermix: GAJO!!!
    @Derf: he fapps Kain and Larison.
    why not?

  56. 56
    Samara Morgan says:

    @mistermix:

    I’d consider a candidate who, at that point, was more cautious and would generally consider it not our business to intervene, antiwar.

    GaJo. Gary Johnson. you and Kain and GG all luffed him, right?

  57. 57
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Roger Moore: they all do that. its like freddie ankle biting Yglesias and TNC.
    its all about the pageclicks.

  58. 58
    OzoneR says:

    @david mizner:

    My general point is that it was considerably easier (for Dean, it was a no-brainer; he sort of fell into being an antiwar leader) to oppose the war where they are.

    yes, because they don’t have to deal with those pesky voters.

  59. 59
    Will Reks says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    I’ve been reading Larison for awhile now and he seems to steer clear of topics like that. I’ll have to search the archives.

    Pat Lang comments on the Civil War from time to time. He thinks the South should have been allowed to secede because that was their right as sovereign states in the union. Eventually, according to Lang, the economic viability of slavery would have been threatened by new technologies and farming methods and the slaves would have been freed. It’s quite a flawed argument, really. He’s got blinders on.

  60. 60

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    I think I must have expressed myself poorly. I agree that he’s a racist paleocon who’s aligned with a radical hate group. The thing is that the hate rarely comes up in his writing because he’s mostly focused on foreign affairs and internal Republican politics. In those areas he writes intelligently, seems to have a basic respect for facts that is disappointingly lacking in other right-wing columnists, and is actually willing to express unpopular views (e.g. we shouldn’t have gotten involved in Libya, it’s not always good news for John McCain, etc.) He may be wrong a lot, but at least he’s wrong in interesting ways that make you think and challenge his arguments, rather than just refusing to acknowledge reality.

  61. 61
    moonbat says:

    @mistermix: I’m still not clear on why our limited intervention in Libya as part of NATO and with the urging of the Arab League was such a horrible thing. I know at the onset there was a lot of “slippery slope, boots on the ground” fears, but they did not materialize. Obama did what he said he was going to do as far as limited U.S. involvement and it appears that along with the NATO strategery and a lot of fighting and bloodshed on the part of the Libyans who wanted Gaddafi out, it worked. And why do we feel bad about this? Just asking…

  62. 62

    Put me in with the ‘I opposed the Iraq war because it was remarkably stupid.’ That opposition includes the arguments ‘We had no business being in Iraq in the first place’ and ‘War is the last resort taken when the alternative is even worse’. Mistermix, I get the impression from how you’re writing this that you’re not totally anti-interventionist, but you require a much stronger and more direct threat than the reasoning that got us involved with Libya. Fair enough. I’m not sure I’d have gone with Libya either, although I admit Obama’s explanation of ‘The entire international community was begging us to do it and we were the only people who could step in fast enough to prevent Qaddafi from killing an entire city of 700k like he promised’ was a pretty good argument.

    But given that we went in, it’s pretty clear we went in with the least stupid plan possible, as opposed to Bush who went into Iraq and Afghanistan with the MOST stupid plan possible. Telling the Pentagon to scrap all rebuilding plans because real men wing it will go down as one of the dumbest acts in Presidential history.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore:

    He’s [Larison] also unusual in that he’s capable of writing coherently and willing to criticize his fellow conservatives when they’re being obviously stupid. That’s a damn rare combination.

    Larison can suck the big one. For all the attempts people make to cleanse him as the last sane conservative, he’s just as much of a nutter as the rest of them.

  64. 64
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is also true. But we also seem to have a talent for flagellating expired equines. Also.

  65. 65
    sdhays says:

    @Corner Stone: I would dispute that. Some centrist Senators DID vote against the AUMF. I really couldn’t wrap my mind around it at the time that uber-centrist Florida Democrat Senator Bob Graham who was chair of the freaking Senate Intelligence Committee opposed Iraq War 2, but few of his centrist colleagues listened to him.

    I’ve been pretty disappointed in Obama over various things, but it’s still not right to say that he wouldn’t have opposed Iraq War 2 if he’d been a sitting Senator at the time. He was planning on running for the Senate at the time; he could have kept his mouth shut or been vaguer about his position. He took the riskier (at the time) position of opposing the war. You might be right, but there’s no way of knowing, so it doesn’t get us anywhere.

  66. 66
    sneezy says:

    @jwb:

    endorsing any piece of Larison’s writing has to come with a very long list of caveats.

    That’s putting it more gently than I’d prefer. I think that anyone who mentions his name should also point out that he’s a straight-up racist.

    So for example, I think mistermix should have written, “I think Larison, a straight-up racist, gets it about right.”

  67. 67
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Roger Moore:
    All true, which is why he tends to specialize in areas like foreign policy (which generate page views from sympathetic liberals), or goes after the current GOP (which is really very low hanging fruit.

    I guess my bigger problems is that I see nothing inherently virtuous in being a 100% total isolationist/non-interventionist in the Paultard/paleo-con model. To me, its just as flawed a worldview as the neo con quest to convert/bomb the Muslim world. Besides, the more you drink ht paleo-con isolationist kool aid, you find yourself criticizing American entry into World War 2, and trying to equate the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany.

  68. 68
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: His political ideology is nuttier than most, even for conservatives, but he does not mention it all that much. His analysis is often quite smart, he gives an actual nod to reality, and also does not generally depend on accepting the tenets of his ideology. I don’t know that I would call him sane, but, unlike most conservative pundits, he at least writes about a world that I recognize.

  69. 69
    John Puma says:

    @Elie:

    We have somme 800 military bases in roughly two-thirds of the countries of the world. Recently came reports that we have new “secret wars” slated for 120 countries. (http://tinyurl.com/3pjod2v)

    We spend more on war (commonly referred to as “defense”) than the rest of the countries of the world combined.

    This is NOT about our “interests for its survival around the world.” It can’t be as long as other countries survive. Why is it that WE need this rampant militaristic empire to survive, when the rest don’t?

  70. 70
    Anya says:

    @askew:

    Well, Dean is white and Obama isn’t. That is a big difference to a lot of the primary Obama crowd, even if they don’t want to admit it.

    Sometimes they’re not even aware of it. I said this before, but I blame Hollywood, they portray black men either as gentle souls with mystical powers who use that power to right wrongs or as thugs or badass law enforcement types. Some want in President Obama their magical negro, others want their own badass president, others want him to go gangsta on wingnuts, à la Samuel Jackson.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anya: Didn’t you just get married or something?

  72. 72
    John S. says:

    Wow, David Mizner and Corner Stone have the power to read minds… in alternate past universes!

    I mean, we all get our hackles up when the MSM tries to read people’s minds in the present, or event the recent past of our present reality. But that is some seriously next level shit. I guess present activity is a solid indicator of past hypothetical performance.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @sdhays:

    He was planning on running for the Senate at the time; he could have kept his mouth shut or been vaguer about his position. He took the riskier (at the time) position of opposing the war. You might be right, but there’s no way of knowing, so it doesn’t get us anywhere.

    I guess you’re right in that we’ll never actually know. But taking info from the votes he actually did cast as a US Senator, along with his actions as president, IMO it’s a pretty safe bet how he would have voted in 2002. No one with presidential aspirations in their future could have possibly voted No and survived.
    Plus, his “stupid wars” speech was given to the bluest of blue crowds.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The thing about the “more serious” threat of North Korea is that those nukes they’ve got aren’t going to be sent Seoul or Pusan way.

    They’re going to be sent Tokyo or Osaka way, as a diversion from a conventional attack to force reunification with the South. The US forces in the ROK (the South) are there as a tripwire to assure US involvement in any such attempt to force reunification. However, if some nukes are lobbed at Japan, this changes the dynamic significantly. Both Koreas have long standing grudges with Japan based on the Japanese occupation of 1910-1945, in which Korea was ruthlessly strip mined of every conceivable resource it had to support Japan’s Imperial ambitions. Vast swaths of Korea were deforested, something the Japanese would NEVER do in Japan, to support Japan’s lumber/paper appetites. The NKs are not interested in damaging their own country (which they consider the South to be a part of) but they will not hesitate to inflict damage on Japan, and relish it in the process.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @John S.:

    Wow, David Mizner and Corner Stone have the power to read minds… in alternate past universes!

    Bow down before me!

  76. 76
    harlana says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Put me in with the ‘I opposed the Iraq war because it was remarkably stupid.

    Here also. Not sure what’s wrong with that. Seems pretty legitimate and admirable considering anybody who, at that time, opposed the war was spit on, laughed at and accused of hating America.

  77. 77

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    I would make two points about why I look at Larison’s writing, even though I don’t take all of it terribly seriously:
    1) He seems to have gone to the trouble of finding out a lot of facts on more obscure areas of foreign policy. Who else is talking about Georgia or attempts to rehabilitate MEK, for example? He obviously has his own hobby horses- I think he lets his religious sympathies with the Serbs interfere with fair judgment about the Yugoslav civil war, for example- and I think his judgment about what to do is often faulty, but I still think he’s interesting for bringing that stuff to my attention.

    2) It’s interesting to listen to intelligent criticism of Republican strategy from the standpoint of somebody who wants it to succeed. Most Republican commentators are terrible about being cheerleaders about everything (Yeah, Pawlenty’s entering the race! Yeah, Pawlenty’s dropping out!) so it’s useful to hear from somebody who’s trying to poke holes in Republican strategy because he wants it to be more successful.

    IOW, I think he’s worth reading to see what relatively smart guys on the other team are thinking, even if I don’t necessarily accept his judgment.

  78. 78
    jwb says:

    @sneezy: I’ve never actually seen a piece by Larison that I would call straight-up racist. He’s certainly a neo-Confederate with all that implies, but his position would almost certainly be articulated through economic and tribal argumentation rather than through direct racist argumentation. I have no doubt that race (or rather the exploitation of race for economic and political advantage) motivates neo-Confederate ideology, but it is obfuscated with layers of accumulated cultural grievance that complicates charges of straight-up racism. In many ways, that is even worse, since it suggests either purposeful deception or self-deception, and I would agree that until Larison explicitly disavows his earlier writings, any post about him should include the descriptor “neo-Confederate Daniel Larison.”

  79. 79

    @Corner Stone:

    their [Dean and Obama] opposition to the Iraq War was mostly because they weren’t sitting Senators at the time. They’re both centrist, hawkish, neoliberals who, had they been in the Senate in 2002, would have voted for the AUMF.

    Absolutely. There can be no doubt on this

    More PUMA claptrap. Obama gave his anti Iraq speech in 2202, when the country and media were full of patriotic fervor, and hot to trot into Iraq with Bush having an 80 plus approval percent.

    The speech he gave was uncompromising and thoroughly against an Iraq invasion. Shortened video

    Full transcript of Obama anti Iraq war speech

    “dumb war” indeed

    Not a chance he would have voted for the Iraq invasion, and voted a number of times to defund the war after dems took back senate in 2006

    Stop making shit up. Though I know you just can’t help yourself.

  80. 80

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They’re going to be sent Tokyo or Osaka way, as a diversion from a conventional attack to force reunification with the South.

    No, they’re not going anywhere. North Korean leadership may seem nutty to us, but they seem to have some instinct for self-preservation, and they know a nuclear attack on Japan would be met with larger scale nuclear retaliation from the USA. North Korea’s nukes are there to force the USA to deal with them seriously. The can be used to blackmail the US and ROK for economic aid during peace and, in an emergency, as a threat to keep from being overrun in the event a conventional war in Korea goes against them.

  81. 81
    harlana says:

    I get it that everyone here wants to be consistent: anti-Iraq, anti-intervention in general.

    the Iraq invasion was not an intervention.

  82. 82
    Samara Morgan says:

    @sneezy:

    “I think Larison, a straight-up racist, gets it about right.”

    /golf clap

    but mistermix never does that. he pimps Larison as a “sane” conservative. apparently good spelling and grammer, and professional pundit courtesy can cover any glibertarian’s multitudes of sins.

  83. 83

    @General Stuck:

    2202

    In front The Federation High Council

    should be 2002

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And the threat of incinerating Tokyo or Osaka is the lever used to get the US to deal with them seriously. Because they’re not going to incinerate Seoul. That’s their country they’d be nuking. They are not crazy Jeebofascists out to slaughter the ghey, praying for earthquakes and hurricanes to wipe out San Francisco and New York.

  85. 85
    Gozer says:

    @Linda Featheringill: @John Puma:

    Not exactly. He did support the military action in Afghanistan when it came up for a vote immediately after 9/11. That support has dropped off obviously, but he isn’t really pacifist. He supported the AUMF and given it’s particularly broad definitions his subsequent carping is laughable.

    Likewise, in a recent DKos diary he was attacking the use of drones in military strikes, but his point seemed to be that troops need to be that if troops are immediately engaged then everything is just fine. Again, laughable.

  86. 86
    drkrick says:

    @Corner Stone:

    No one with presidential aspirations in their future could have possibly voted No and survived.

    What does that even mean? He staked his position as publicly as he possibly could have stated it at the time and made that position one of the selling points of his ’04 and ’08 campaigns and seems to have survived them fine.

    In my own alternative universe, John Kerry votes “no” on AUMF and the fallout from that gets enough extra “hold my nose” types to vote for him to allow him to squeak past GWB in 2004. By the time the 2004 election rolled around, a “yes” vote on AUMF was creating a lot more baggage than a “no” vote was in any jurisdiction with much of a chance of going Dem.

    Other alternative universe – HRC votes “no” on AUMF and wins the 2008 Dem nomination relatively easily.

  87. 87
    drkrick says:

    A true pacifist has about as much chance of rising to serious influence in the US government as a death penalty opponent has of being seated on a jury in a capital case – it might happen by accident, but would never be allowed knowingly.

    That isn’t unjust if this is supposed to be a democracy – pure pacifism is very much a minority view. For myself, I’d just like to see the bar raised a hell of a lot higher, including identifying a plausible and favorable post-action scenario beforehand and staying out if we can’t. I still don’t know what it is we were supposed to be leaving behind in Afghanistan, but I’m pretty sure the current situation wasn’t it.

  88. 88
    Splitting Image says:

    The only real anti-war candidate in either party is Ron Paul.

    I don’t agree. Paul simply believes it should be taken over by the private sector. He wants the government to cancel all of their munitions contracts with the companies that build weapons for it, and if those companies make up the loss by selling to other countries and setting them to fight each other, then the government should keep its nose out of private industry.

  89. 89
    Kane says:

    Dean happened to oppose the Iraq war, but this was partly a matter of taking advantage of a political opening in a field dominated by pro-war candidates. Very much like Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war

    Not buying it. This is rather an old and often regurgitated argument (google it). The notion that deep down inside Obama and others approved of the Iraq invasion, but their opposition was merely a political calculation. This was a popular meme with the Clinton crowd in 2008 to provide cover for Clinton’s support of the invasion.

    One seems to forget that in the build-up to war in 2002 when Obama publicly opposed the invasion, it was not considered a politically popular winning strategy. If it were, Clinton would have taken it. The strategists saw much more to be gained by her supporting the invasion.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @drkrick:

    What does that even mean? He staked his position as publicly as he possibly could have stated it at the time and made that position one of the selling points of his ‘04 and ‘08 campaigns and seems to have survived them fine.

    What do you think it means Dr. Krick? He didn’t vote “No” because he wasn’t a US Senator at the time. As we know, speeches are well and good but things like Telco Immunity actually get voted on the record.
    The prominent D’s were stupid to vote Yes in 2002 but they got politically wedgied by Bush and his godforsaken political team. Obama would have been no different.

  91. 91
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kane: He was an IL state senator at the time. Different orders of magnitude.

  92. 92
    Sly says:

    @Linda Featheringill:
    There’s a difference between a tougher anti-war stance and a categorical anti-war stance. And, personally, I’m pretty much never going to grant Kucinich an iota of respect as a national politician. Not because he’s a feckless opportunist, but because he’s a small-time and exceptionally ill-equipped feckless opportunist.

    Obama and Dean don’t see every military action as a violation of every written law since the Code of Hammurabi, and/or part of a secret plan to build/maintain a Grand American Empire that is either rapidly expanding or breaking apart, the direction depending solely on which contributor is appearing in The Nation or Mother Jones that week. If failing to believe those things makes them centrist, “neoliberal” hawks, we’ve seriously lost the script.

  93. 93
    John Puma says:

    @Gozer:

    I said nothing about a pacifist candidate but only offered a name of someone with a more ant-war approach than Dean or Obama.

    So you are fine with perpetual war because there is NO pacifist candidate readily apparent?

    As far as mistermix’s line ” … the opposition paints every Democrat as a wimp for even expressing the possibility that some wars are stupid,” I suspect it was added specifically to refer to Kucinich without mentioning his name as it perfectly matches “the opposition’s” attitude toward him … and also yours.

  94. 94
    Samara Morgan says:

    @mistermix: so let me get this straight….you think there is only one kind of interventionism?
    no shades of gray, no difference between the Bush Doctrine and Right-to-Protect?

  95. 95
    Kane says:

    @Corner Stone: We can safely assume that Obama had political aspirations beyond state senator. And surely Team Obama understood that his speech would be on record and possibly used against him in the future.

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kane: He wasn’t going from state senator to the WH.

  97. 97
    benjoya says:

    i was a deaniac, but now i find he supports the terrorist MEK. wtf?

  98. 98
    Svensker says:

    So the Democratic Party has no room for DFH anti-war types anymore? The party of McGovern and McCarthy is kaput and good riddance to it?

    That makes me very sad.

  99. 99
    Turgidson says:

    The only time this country doesn’t like war is when we don’t win fast or gloriously enough. That’s why no remotely mainstream politicians are truly anti-war. Hell, it’s not even safe to be against a stupid war it’s been clearly stupid for many years and at the cost of countless lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.

  100. 100
    fuckwit says:

    Absolutely false.

    Ron Paul is only against TAXPAYER-FUNDING of wars, not anti-war. To him, war is only bad if the US government doing it. He is NOT any kind of pacifist. He just hates government.

    If there were a privately-funded, corporate-controlled, corporate-funded war, he wouldn’t oppose it. Or if a religion decided to declare a “holy war”, privately-funded of course, then he wouldn’t be against it.

    Ron Paul is basically a proponent of the kind of naive anarchism that leads to warlordism and dictatorship.

    The Founders of this country knew exactly where Ron Paul’s kind of shit leads (Oliver Cromwell’s memory was still very much present in their minds), and they structured the Constitution specifically to make it difficult for anarchy and its follow on dictatorship to take hold here. So far it’s held up remarkably well, if creaking under the strain of the corporate-dominated, money-dominated, media-dominated era.

  101. 101
    Danny says:

    @mistermix

    If the implication of your post is supposed to be that the democratic establishment is not “anti-war” – in the sense that they are down the line pacifists, isolationists, or non-interventionists – then f-cking duh. Thats not the democratic party’s position, it’s never been, and you should know that. No leading democrat (with the possible exception of George McGovern) ever took that position in the last 50 years or so.

    Feigning surprise is dishonest. Obama’s position on foreign policy is exactly what he said it was in 2008 when he ran and you voted for him. Dean’s position on foreign policy is what he ran on in his candidacy. It’s pretty much the same as Kerry’s position in 2004 and the same policy that Clinton implemented 1992-2000.

    If anything, I’m more surprised and feel more betrayed by you and Cole. Never did you honestly and proudly declare yourself pacifists or isolationists. Not once.

    The “antiwar left” during Iraq never came out saying they opposed all and any war under any circumstances, and I don’t think that’s ever been the “antiwar left” consensus position. We opposed the Iraq war, because it was the wrong war at the wrong time (we were supposed to be fighting Al Qaeda, not Saddam Hussein), because Bush and his cronies were being dishonest in accounting for the rationale for war (no one believed Saddam had nukes to give to Al Qaeda), because they tore the international community and the established process for international decision-making asunder, because the war was risky and badly planned, and sold on a false pretext.

    The big fault line in 2003 was between unilaterism and multilaterism, between transparency vs. Cheney and Feith making the decisions in secrecy and dragging the country along by bullshitting – not between down the line pacifism on the one hand and humanitarian intervention through the UN on the other.

    Pretending that you’ve been conned is in fact you trying to con us.

  102. 102
    Jenny says:

    Is isolationism (aka “anti-war”) an appropriate position to hold?

    Ironically, the vast majority of isolationists (aka “anti-war”) idolize FDR, who was an interventionist.

    Does any one see what a contradiction it is to be an isolationist on one hand and idolize an interventionist with the other?

  103. 103
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Svensker:

    Sure there is. There just aren’t enough new DFHs to replace the old DFHs so their influence within the party has dwindled.

    In the 1960s the college campuses and civil rights groups were overwhelming anti-war. Forty years of disillusionment and assimilation has taken a lot of steam out of those movments. If there was an Internet in the 1960s, there would be a hundred Al Giordanos blogging and organizing, not just one.

  104. 104
    Jenny says:

    This post just show what a right wing warmonger Hillary is.

    The Iraq invasion was opposed by centrists like Dean, and even though Hillary represented a deep blue state, she was to his far right in bombing Iraq back to the stone age.

    You know Dean knew this, and in his role as DNC Chair did everything he could to keep Lady Warmonger from the nomination.

    Thank goodness.

    Thank you, Howard!

  105. 105
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Jenny:

    Especially when we got our jollies from pointing out how much the Christian right idolizes god-hater and enemy of the poor, Ayn Rand. If you’re going to nominate someone for sainthood, at least pick someone who supports your position.

  106. 106
    Danny says:

    @Svensker:

    I think there certainly is a place for principled pacifism and non-interventionism within the democratic party. The problem is that there’s a lack of principled pacifists and non-interventionists. Being one of those entails openly standing for your views and saying I oppose every war (barring attacks on US soil) because this is what I believe in.

    Anyone is free to do that and run as a democrat at any time. It may be the case that no presidential candidate has come close to supporting that position and getting through the primaries since McGovern, but that’s because there’s not enough non-interventionist voters in the US for one of them to be in the White House. Suck it up.

  107. 107
    Jenny says:

    “I cast my vote [to bomb Iraq back to the stone age] with conviction” ~ Hillary Clinton on the floor of the Senate.

    She has the blood of over 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians on her hands.

  108. 108
    Danny says:

    @Jenny:

    In Hillary’s defense: congressional leaders were shown intelligence summaries on Saddams claimed pursuit of nukes where the Bush admin had removed all dissenting views – that was shown in the Senate report on prewar intelligence. The Bush admin basically bullshitted congress that they had a slam dunk case when they knew very well they didn’t.

    She still made the wrong call and arguably lost her shot at the presidency over it, but I doubt she would have taken the nation to Iraq had she been in the White House knowing what the Bushies knew…

  109. 109
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Danny:

    Feigning surprise is dishonest.

    mistermix is pretty much purely dishonest anymore.

  110. 110
    Jenny says:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq

    April 21, 2004.

    Four years later

    “If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from,” Clinton told an audience in Dover, New Hampshire.

    Such blood lust. Hillary didn’t even have the class or decency to apologize for murdering so many innocent women and children.

    This will be Hillary’s legacy: a little girl soaked in the blood of her massacred parents.

    Thank god, Howard Dean denied her the nomination.

  111. 111
    suzanne says:

    @Jonas:

    And Ron Paul being the only candidate tells you all you need to know about a blanket anti-interventionalist position.

    Word to that.
    Wow, it’s almost as if context means something.

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jenbot: God, you are pathological.

  113. 113
    Jenny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Heh!

    I knew I could smoke you out with an over the top post.

    You’re so funny, if only because you’re so predictable.

    But really, here’s a post about Dean and you couldn’t resist yourself and tried to use it to absolve Hillary. I don’t care about Hillary’s vote. But what’s funny is you do. 2008 is long over. It’s time to “move-on” and stop fighting the last war. Sadly, you never will. Stuck in 2008 refighting the nomination, like the movie, “Groundhog’s Day”.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jenbot: Nice job. Kudos to you. Kudos.

  115. 115

    @Jenny: \

    But what’s funny is you do. 2008 is long over. It’s time to “move-on” and stop fighting the last war. Sadly, you never will. Stuck in 2008 refighting the nomination, like the movie, “Groundhog’s Day”.

    Jeebus yes, the Tequila Sunrise version of Groundhog Day.

    And nothing has changed since his Mccain vote, and many hangovers later

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: Only quitters get hangovers.

  117. 117

    @Corner Stone:

    Only quitters get hangovers.

    Brilliant logic. Like the alcoholic who gets back from his medical checkup announcing to his barfly buds, the good news that he only has 10 percent liver failure, with a full 90 percent good to go.

  118. 118
    Elie says:

    @John Puma:

    So you are comfortable with the US being a backbencher rather than the leader of the free world. That’s ok if you want all that accompanies that diminished status. There is a reason why our noses are in everything. There is a reason we were able to “get” bin Laden (and also why we piss others off and sometimes deserve their contempt).

    I ask you this: would you want us to be running the show or someonse else? If the US abandons that involvement in many areas and issues including military, do you think that vacuum will be filled? If not, you are dreaming. You propose that in the absence of the big bad US, all countries would just coexist in blissful peace, with no one else stepping into that power and influence vacuum.

    Sure.

    I understand why in theory folks want to be pacifists or non interventionists — whatever that means. In practicality however, you are either leading and having the reigns in your hands for your own destiny and your people’s destiny, or someone else is. You are saying you would rather another country play that role…another country that you trust more than the United States. Great! Which country is that and why?

    Really, I used to make the same statements that I read here and understand things quite differently. I used to believe that there was no connection between our military adventurism and our power as a lead economy or player in world influence and governance. In the last two years or so, I woke up to the facts of life and let go of my sentimentality. All of it is important to us and one hand washes the other. There is no separation between our necessary nose in the world’s business and protecting our own interests. It sometimes requires militarism. Because you somtimes have to use the military, it has to be ready. It makes itself ready a number of ways and keeps itself informed about what to avoid as well through clandestine activities that people also hate.

    I wish we were in heaven and that humans were not armed to the teeth and also violent and acquisitive in nature. That is the world we are in. Disarming the US and having us sit on the sidelines on some mistaken notion that this would therefore induce world peace is ridiculous.

  119. 119
    slightly-peeved says:

    Is mistermix aware of how little the US contributed to the Libya effort in the last few months, compared to the UK and France? It takes some gall after embroiling the US’s allies in Iraq to loook at an operation that cost no US soldier’s lives and say other countries should be doing their fair share. It cost the US a fair bit of money for those tomahawks, but the lack of decent financial regulation in the US cost the rest of the world a lot of money, if money is all we’re talking about here.

  120. 120
    slightly-peeved says:

    @elie:
    As Juan Cole pointed out last week, the action in Libya is an example of the US not running things. What the non-interventionists propose appears to line up with the US foreign policy in 1940. I think why the US has changed that policy does touch on the subjects Godwin is tired of hearing.

  121. 121
    Elie says:

    @slightly-peeved:

    Yep.

    I think that a whole bunch of progressives have unexamined beliefs that are closer to religion than a policy preference for international relations and use of the military. Its ok to be idealistic and want a peaceful outcome. How do we live in a real world where our idealism has to work within protecting our interests. To say that we have no interests or concerns is just not real.

  122. 122
    Svensker says:

    @Danny:

    In Hillary’s defense: congressional leaders were shown intelligence summaries on Saddams claimed pursuit of nukes where the Bush admin had removed all dissenting views – that was shown in the Senate report on prewar intelligence. The Bush admin basically bullshitted congress that they had a slam dunk case when they knew very well they didn’t.

    If she had been paying attention she could have seen all that crap debunked. Antiwar.com was way out ahead of Congress. Anyone who was reading them in 2002/2003 knew the whole thing was made up.

    It was disconcerting to be a schlubby middle-aged mom in NJ who knew more about the runup to war than Sen. Clinton and Gen. Powell. How does that happen?

  123. 123
    Asteele says:

    121 Warmongers (not necessarily you) always talk about the National Interest, but what we end up doing is things like kill hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, install a dictator in Chile, or protect corporate profits in Hati. So it’s hardly surprising that people get suspicious about that kind of vague talk about unnamed and undefined interests that demand we do: well whatever it is it turned out we did.

  124. 124
    Danny says:

    @Svensker:

    Hey, I was dead against Iraq from the get go and e.g. battling it out on teh internet web message boards at the time, discussing aluminum cylinders and the like. I never bought the stuff about Saddam being an imminent threat back then.

    But check out the Senate report on prewar intelligence! What the bushies did was basically take all the dissenting government agencies that said e.g. that the aluminum tubes were likely not for enriching but for conventional rocketry etc, and just edited them out before passing the data on to congress.

    So what congress saw was reports saying that whether Saddam was close to getting nukes or not, the consensus in the intelligence community was really that he was very actively working on getting them. I still dont agree with Hillary et als final judgement on the issue, but its imperative to understand that they too were conned by the Bushies, just like every one else.

    It’s important – if for nothing else so because it shows how dishonest the Bush apologists defense is where they try to argue that “everyone thought that taking out Saddam over WMDs was the right thing to do”. Damn straight – but only because they cooked the books and lied in order to convince people that was the case! Hillary et al may have erred in judgement, but I doubt they’d have brought us down the same unfortunate road Dubya did.

  125. 125
    Sly says:

    @Svensker:

    So the Democratic Party has no room for DFH anti-war types anymore? The party of McGovern and McCarthy is kaput and good riddance to it?

    McCarthy endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980 rather than support Jimmy “He’s History’s Greatest Monster!” Carter because he apparently didn’t quite get the level of satisfaction out of ratfucking the party in 1968 that he needed, while McGovern lost by the 4th largest EV margin and the 3rd largest popular vote margin in the history of the Republic.

    I don’t know if that party is kaput, but I sure hope it is.

  126. 126
    Interrobang says:

    would you want us to be running the show or someonse else?

    Nice false dichotomy. Why does it have to be one country “runs the show” or another? Why can’t a whole bunch of countries collectively make decisions about things that effect them, and no one country gets to throw its weight around unilaterally? Speaking as a non-American, the idea that one country has to effectively rule the world, and that the US is therefore automatically the best candidate to do so, is pretty damn tiring.

    If you must have what amounts to a worldwide dictatorship by one country, let Canada do it for a while. We have overall a better human rights record than the US, no real dog in most of the big fights going on around the world (unlike the US), and, unlike the US, we have to rely on soft power to get things done — overall a much safer and saner approach than “projection of force.”

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