But that’s just because he doesn’t want to turn into some Manichean

Mistermix skipped my favorite part of Freddie’s piece:

For a brief moment in the height of the Bush hysteria, conventional liberals of the Tbogg variety knew what it was like to be one of us– to be reflexively dismissed from the conversation, to be asked to take loyalty oaths and purity tests, to be subject to redbaiting and McCarthyism, to constantly hear dark talk of culls and purges from within. I mean they literally say, these days, “you’re either with us or against us,” talk that they themselves rightly ridiculed as the language of fascism not five years ago. Back then, they correctly perceived that these kind of tactics are inherently illiberal, totally contrary to the spirit of free inquiry and skepticism that is the deep structure of democracy and liberal society. They knew, then, that blind adherence to parties and leaders was a moral and intellectual failure. They knew, then, that bullying groupthink and categorical exclusions and affinity pledges and threats were each and all ugly, unfortunate, and totally antithetical to the more equitable and just world they seek to build. And then, they forgot. And it makes people crazy in a truly frightening way; it takes reasonable, progressive people like DougJ and turns them into Manichean monsters.

(bold mine, natch)

Here’s the thing: not everyone on the left is a strict non-interventionist (Freddie’s post is mostly about insufficient liberal criticism of Obama’s foreign policy). I don’t think it’s insane, or inconsistent, to have been for the mission in Bosnia, for the invasion of Afghanistan (though I think now it might have been a mistake), against Iraq II, against bombing Iran, and ambivalent about what’s going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan right now.

There’s probably no more emasculating phrase than “reasonable progressive” anyway.

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259 replies
  1. 1
    Ben Franklin says:

    Freddie sure stirred the shit, this time.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    it takes reasonable, progressive people like DougJ and turns them into Manichean monsters.

    I see a new nom de plume for DougJ. Manichean Monster DougJ has a nice ring to it.

  3. 3
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Manichean DougJ Monster
    Manichean Monster DougJ
    DougJ Manichean Monster
    – he’s picked out your next nym.

    ETA: Baud beat me to it.

  4. 4
    Dimmic Rat says:

    Manichean Dougster

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    Here’s the thing: not everyone on the left is a strict non-interventionist (Freddie’s post is mostly about insufficient liberal criticism of Obama’s foreign policy). I don’t think it’s insane, or inconsistent, to have been for the mission in Bosnia, for the invasion of Afghanistan (though I think now it might have been a mistake), against Iraq II, against bombing Iran, and ambivalent about what’s going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan right now.

    This.

    And I gotta say, I, too, would be pissed at being called a reasonable progressive. Mostly because I hate the term “progressive” because it’s all about being too embarrassed to call yourself a liberal. But also because it just screams “Third Way” to me.

  6. 6
    Fred Fnord says:

    Remember: anyone to the right of me is dangerous and must be treated carefully and with respect. Anyone to the left of me is a lunatic who deserves ridicule.

    The great thing about this is, it’s the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree 100% on.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    @Baud:

    I see a new nom de plume for DougJ. Manichean Monster DougJ has a nice ring to it.

    I agree! When are you changing your name, DougJ?

  8. 8
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Apparently the google machine thinks that a Manichean person reduces all issues to a struggle between good and evil.

    Dougj as a Manichean monster? Nah. Not our Dougie. He’s not passionate about moral issues.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Fred Fnord:

    anyone to the right of me is dangerous and must be treated carefully and with respect

    Absolutely. If there is one thing Balloon Juice does, it’s treat the right carefully and with respect.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    @Baud: @arguingwithsignposts: @Dimmic Rat:
    See how Freddie’s post gave us something we can all agree on–DougJ’s new nym!

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    Freddie is a uniter, not a divider.

  12. 12
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    All that it would take is for Romney to win, for half of the United States to start opposing drones; opposing the “secret” wars in Yemen, Somalia and so on. This is why a Romney win would be better for the rest of the world – it would at least get a half of US public opinion on the right side of history.
    It would also make it easier for the USA to itself see as the rest of the world sees it – as an Imperial power, without a liberal mask.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    @Baud: Compassionate Communist.

  14. 14
    Neldob says:

    I like the term progressive. It’s more left than liberal and it’s opposite is regressive, which is the republican party these days, when they aren’t fascist. Speaking of the supreme court …

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    to be asked to take loyalty oaths and purity tests

    I realize I’m one of those “the world isn’t perfect, you have to make choices from what’s in front of you, not what you wish was in front of you” types, but isn’t Freddie getting onto us for not wanting to have purity tests?

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    That’s silly. If Romney wins, we would stop talking about drones because he would be doing so many worse things, domestically and internationally. It’s like shooting yourself in the head to make a headache go away.

  17. 17
    gogol's wife says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    “All that it would take is for Romney to win, for half of the United States to start opposing drones; opposing the “secret” wars in Yemen, Somalia and so on.”

    I’ve never typed these letters before, but LOLWUT?

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    All that it would take is for Romney to win, for half of the United States to start opposing drones; opposing the “secret” wars in Yemen, Somalia and so on

    Ummm, yeah.

    Because if Romney got elected, his team of neocon all stars would surely want less of all of the above.

    How many times were you dropped on your head as a baby?

  19. 19

    I don’t understand how a whole bunch of liberals got the impression that pacifism and isolationism is or ever has been mainstream American politics. Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to Democratic and Republican presidents alike going back… to well before WWII, maybe ‘ever’. Did history before George Bush just disappear, and the only comparisons that can be made are ‘Be the exact opposite of this man’?

  20. 20
    lacp says:

    In the spirit of bipartisanship, how about “DougJ – reasonable, progressive Manichean monster?”

  21. 21
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Sorry, but no. A number of Democrats, myself included, supported Afghanistan. See my comment on the previous post, Democrats aren’t exactly afraid to get into global conflicts.

    ETA: Point being, just because a Republican starts something doesn’t mean that Democrats will automatically oppose it. It’s this whole governing vs. wanting power thing between the parties.

  22. 22
    ericblair says:

    Here’s the thing: not everyone on the left is a strict non-interventionist (Freddie’s post is mostly about insufficient liberal criticism of Obama’s foreign policy). I don’t think it’s insane, or inconsistent, to have been for the mission in Bosnia, for the invasion of Afghanistan (though I think now it might have been a mistake), against Iraq II, against bombing Iran, and ambivalent about what’s going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan right now.

    Quite true, but we don’t have those discussions, because a lot of the more vocal progressives are as married to shibboleths as the wingnuts are. This is what gets me about “DR0NZ!”: we can have a discussion about what you’d want done, about how command and control is done and how decisions are made and whether using drones cuts down on available intelligence, whether having troops there instead increases or decreases the danger to civilians, or whether we do need to take a more isolationist posture and what the effects are. But we don’t, because the answer to all of these questions is just “DR0NZ!”

    And yes, we’re all fascist bastards and World’s Greatest Monsters because we called you a poopyhead.

  23. 23
    Ben Franklin says:

    Do you honestly believe that most Balloon Juice commenters will allow criticism of Obama after the election,

    I dunno. I will wait and see.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    some guy says:

    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to Pol Pot.

    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to John Wayne Gacy.

    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to Emperor Hirohito.

    jesus fuck, what part of “killing innocent Muslims” and “drone wars” and “death from above” is unclear to you?

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    Talk about projection. Wouldn’t it be the Purity Brigade who are the real Manichean Monsters as they are the ones who see everything in stark terms of good and evil? The rest of us have learned through experience that the real world is hopelessly muddled, complex, and not amenable to simple good vs. evil distinctions. Life makes you dirty, get used to it.

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I made that point on the previous thread – sometimes there really shouldn’t be two posts on the same issue – Democrats aren’t opposed to getting involved in the world, even if Republicans start it.

  28. 28
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @some guy: My, such tall straw men you build. Your mom must be so proud of you.

  29. 29
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @ericblair: But we don’t, because the answer to all of these questions is just “DR0NZ!”

    This. And worse, the answer to claiming that Obama has done *anything* right, foreign or domestic or in any other conceivable way, is just “DR0NZ!!!1”

  30. 30
    Alex S. says:

    So what does John think about Doug’s post on Mistermix’ post on Freddie’s post?

  31. 31
    Gian says:

    Like a president Romney wouldn’t attack Iran and tell us we’d be greeted as liberators.

  32. 32
    lacp says:

    @Ben Franklin: What does that question mean, anyway? Commenters here don’t have the privilege of banning people for making critical marks; they do have the privilege of responding. What seems to be intended by “allowing” is “accepting without comment.” Not quite the same thing.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @Alex S.: You’re a step ahead. We need to find out what Tom thinks about Doug’s post on Mistermix’ post on Freddie’s post first. Then John can comment.

  34. 34
    dmsilev says:

    @some guy:

    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to Emperor Hirohito Franklin Roosevelt.

    You might want to double-check your strawman historical analogs.

  35. 35
    dmsilev says:

    @Violet: But who will tell us about Glenn Greenwald’s reaction to these critical points? I nominate Sarah.

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    This guy would be Freddie’s ideal president if it were only possible to ignore his past history as a war criminal.

  37. 37
    some guy says:

    yeah, because “pacifism and isolationism” aren’t straw men at all. talk about Manicheanism.

  38. 38
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @some guy:

    What part of “war” is unclear to you?

  39. 39
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    I am glad some of you are for getting “involved” in the world. Boy, are you “involved” or not! It is a nice euphemism, “involvement”.
    The drones, and the mighty “defense” machine you have built has effects on your own country. That is the way it works. The propaganda that you complain against in domestic policy has existed for a long time in foreign coverage in the USA. The illegal surveillance and the police state all are spillover effects of this global “involvement” you have been pursuing.
    At some point it will corrode your democracy itself, and you will all be splitting hairs between emo-progs and the like.

  40. 40
    wrb says:

    What a bore. This has been argued too many times.

    Dream pony riders will ride dream ponies.

    Drones are better than cruise missiles, bombers and infantry.

    Letting Al Quaeda organize and train unhindered is not an option.

    Winning elections is better than losing to Romney and fighting Sheldon’s war in Iran.

    Read Roary Stewart’s discussion at the time the the surge was being debated of the options in the London Review of Books.

    Over-the-horizon disruption is better than holding land in these places.

  41. 41
    DougJ says:

    @Alex S.:

    I should have blockquoted mistermix in this post instead of just linking back. My mistake.

  42. 42
    patroclus says:

    I’ll start taking Obama’s leftist critics seriously when just one of them gives him credit for ending the Iraq War and starts treating health care, financial regulation, immigration, gay rights, women’s rights, jobs, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the economy, climate change and everything else as seriously important issues that might also be voting issues. Somehow, all of the above seemed to escape Freddie’s diatribe.

    When President Obama ended the Iraq War, he did not continue “endless war.”

  43. 43
    jwb says:

    @Ben Franklin: God, I don’t know why progressives don’t know how to play this political game. Like with all this shit about drones and so forth. How would conservatives tactically approach such an issue? They would hit their guy of course for straying from the one true conservatism, but they would always make sure that their guy wasn’t the primary target. Instead, they would continue the attack and take it with full force to their real ideological opponents. The strategy is to make your point put pressure on your allies but cause your ideological opponents the most grief. If progressives want to know why they are such a sickly weak and essentially irrelevant political force, it’s because they don’t know how to target their criticisms. They turn their potential political allies into their ideological opponents and let their real opponents have the run of the field while the progressives are bashing on their allies. The only good news is that the Tea Party seems to be taking its political strategy from the progressives, and in the long term it will purify itself to the same position of political irrelevance.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @dmsilev: Who’s got the Greenwald beat? Is that John? Of course someone could do a second post on the subject. Will Tim show up again? I think ABL’s done some Greenwald posts.

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    This is a pointless line of wankery because it ruthlessly ignores the big picture, while offering no alternatives.

    If the topic were global warming, it would be the equivalent of an advocate going off grid, building a turf hut, and wearing a skirt made of squirrels. You’re pure, you’re very low carbon, but no one is going to listen to you.

  46. 46

    @some guy:
    The part where every other president for the last 200 years wasn’t doing it to someone with the technology available. Obama is unusual in that he has insisted on the greatest accuracy, least intervention, and least civilian deaths. He’s also unusual in that when the UN, NATO, and Arab League asked the US to militarily intervene in a country, he got us the Hell out as soon as the others could pick up the slack.

    In foreign policy terms, Obama is a moderate, leaning a bit doveish.

  47. 47
    some guy says:

    What part of “war” is unclear to you?

    the part where we are dropping bombs via drones on Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Yemen and funding and arming Al Qaeda in Syria.

    which part is unclear to you?

  48. 48
    Ben Franklin says:

    @lacp:

    Oh, you are one-hunnert percent, correctimundo.

  49. 49
    Emma says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Where are you from? What kind of democracy lives in your country? How are you involved in bettering your own country?

  50. 50
    Joel says:

    @beltane: Irony fail for Freddie.

  51. 51
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    What a war this has turned out to be! The whole Muslim world is a battlefield. Defined that way, all their children are collateral damage. Your “lone-wolves” meanwhile go about on occasional pogroms in that great “battlefield”.
    The classic question, usually in these forums, is: There is no other choice! Would you rather have ground forces instead of drones?
    No, I would rather you keep your hordes out of other people’s land and oil.

  52. 52
    Schlemizel says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    I hope you are being sarcastic. MAYBE 1/2 the voters would claim that but they would forget it by 11:15 PM EST on Nov 6th if Willard won. And how would you deal with the dissidence caused by Rmoney blasting Obama for ending the torture policies of the previous maladministration?

    Does anyone really believe a guy who is OK with torture draws the line at hellfire missiles?

  53. 53
    debit says:

    @WereBear:

    If the topic were global warming, it would be the equivalent of an advocate going off grid, building a turf hut, and wearing a skirt made of squirrels. You’re pure, you’re very low carbon, but no one is going to listen to you.

    Oh, they’d listen. Screams of pure anguish carry and squirrels bite hard.

  54. 54
    Emma says:

    @some guy: Which part of the Republicans would make this worse because they’re already talking about nuking Iran is unclear to you?

  55. 55
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    The whole Muslim world is a battlefield.

    Wow, I didn’t realize we were at war with Indonesia.

  56. 56
    BC says:

    Are we still angry because Al-Awaki’s son was killed in the drone attack that killed his father? How far will these faux leftists go to accommodate the enemies of this country? To get this bastard into a court of law so that he could have a fair trial would have required an invasion into Yemen, but he could have fled to another country and we would have had to invade that country as well. The drone attack put an end to his activities and gave notice to other terrorists that we had ways of getting them as well. I’m not in favor of having American citizens in foreign countries training extremists to kill innocent Americans in terrorist attacks, so if we can get them with drone attacks that’s all well and good. If we had had the drone technology to get bin Laden and his group of Al Quaeda before 9/11/2001, there would be 3000 Americans still alive. Obama’s job is not the protection of every person on the planet, his job is to watch out for the Americans on the planet. He is not willy-nilly killing innocent Muslims, he is going after our sworn enemies. If you want the willy-nilly killing of innocent Muslims, then you vote Romney or Johnson.

  57. 57
    Violet says:

    @WereBear:

    If the topic were global warming, it would be the equivalent of an advocate going off grid, building a turf hut, and wearing a skirt made of squirrels. You’re pure, you’re very low carbon, but no one is going to listen to you.

    True environmentalists would be bashing this person for killing squirrels. True environmentalists know that veganism is the only way. This person is not a True Environmentalist.

  58. 58
    Paul Gottlieb says:

    If you don’t understand the Fundamental Inequality of Politics: Bad > Worse, you’re just too damn dumb to vote

  59. 59
    srv says:

    Boy, this record never gets old. DFH’s are some tiny, ineffective whining babies who are always right, but let’s have a few hundred FP posts about how all these people who supposedly don’t matter should be regularly beaten because a handful of them say they won’t vote for Obama. And when we can’t find a Hippie to punch, go find some libertarian and pretend he’s one.

    It is a break from the echo chamber during the election cycle, but with all these atrocities going on, surely John can come example of some Courtesy Bomb gone awry and the Unicorners can have a 400 comment rant about how he’s wrong or sucks GG’s dick.

    This blog is always much more fun when John makes these sacrifices. Don’t you guys coordinate this stuff with GG anyway?

  60. 60
    Sly says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    All that it would take is for Romney to win, for half of the United States to start opposing drones; opposing the “secret” wars in Yemen, Somalia and so on. This is why a Romney win would be better for the rest of the world – it would at least get a half of US public opinion on the right side of history.
    It would also make it easier for the USA to itself see as the rest of the world sees it – as an Imperial power, without a liberal mask.

    Shorter Dipshits: If only more people like Matthew Sheppard were tied to fence posts and beaten to death by redneck idiots, we’d have gay marriage in all 50 states by now.

    And I’m the monster.

  61. 61
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    You must be young. Living in the US has always been bitter sweet. Dirt and guilt and error and ideals and generosity and violence and compassion come with being born and raised here. We know. We also know that we’re probably too dirty for you to love.

    We also know that the rest of the world thinks we’re totally yucky. Fine. I think the opinionated folks in other countries need to get a life. There must be something that needs to be done.

    We’re wrestling with proto-fascism and victory is not guaranteed. Check back in a few years. Things might be even worse.

  62. 62
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @WereBear: you had me at skirt made of squirrels.

    WIN.

  63. 63
    oliver's Neck says:

    [and be] for the invasion of Afghanistan (though I think now it might have been a mistake)

    You now think it might have been a mistake to bomb a sovereign nation for demanding that some meaningful evidence be submitted to them regarding bin Laden’s guilt before they handed him over? You now think it might have been a mistake to invade that sovereign nation once, in response to the bombing, they offered to hand bin Laden over to Pakistan for trial even without any evidence of his guilt?

    Any defense of our bombing and invasion of Afghanistan rests of incredibly illiberal grounds.

  64. 64
    patroclus says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: And apparently Morocco as well! I had thought that the Use of Force resolution targeted Al Qaeda and its affiliates and that the anti-all-Muslim theory was OBL’s theory.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @some guy:

    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to Pol Pot Lyndon Johnson, who got us into Vietnam.
    __
    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to John Wayne Gacy Harry Truman, who dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities.
    __
    Obama is moderate leaning slightly doveish on those issues compared to Emperor Hirohito Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who approved the firebombing of Dresden.

    But, yes, let’s continue to pretend that Obama is History’s Greatest Monster compared to other modern presidents. It makes it so much simpler to refuse to participate, doesn’t it?

    And note that I didn’t even bring up Richard Nixon, who actually ordered the bombing of Cambodia and set up the circumstances for Pol Pot’s rise to power. We don’t need no stinkin’ context around here.

  66. 66
    Mandalay says:

    @Alex S.:

    So what does John think about Doug’s post on Mistermix’ post on Freddie’s post?

    You have nailed it.

    Nothing gives a blogger a bigger stiffy than getting a mention somewhere else. Doesn’t matter what was said. Just getting a mention is all that matters, and is invariably worthy of a new thread for further meta analysis.

  67. 67
    Emma says:

    @oliver’s Neck: You are a troll, right? EVIDENCE OF BIN LADEN’S GUILT? Other than the damn videos he made gloating? Other than the fact that he boasted of it?

    Jesus Christ.

  68. 68
    wrb says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    All that it would take is for Romney to win, for half of the United States to start opposing drones; opposing the “secret” wars in Yemen, Somalia and so on.

    You horribly misread US politics.

    More likely, the Democrats would move further right, to have a better chance of capturing the center next time.

    In the meantime, Iran and who knows what else would burn.

  69. 69
    Ash Can says:

    Good grief. WTF is with Freddie?

    Yes, it’s possible to have a reasonable and serious debate here about the drones. If you go to one of Cole’s posts on the subject, you can see how it’s done. And then you go on to discuss why the drones are being used and what the viable alternatives to them are. See? It’s easy.

    But no, we get a bunch of idiots running through the thread honking horns and blowing whistles and waving anarchist flags, and screaming about Obama being the same as Bush/Romney and how mean we all are and how we all need to wake up and vote for someone who couldn’t get elected mayor of Henpeck, IL let alone any national office. Is it any wonder we find it impossible to take this shit seriously?

  70. 70
    Cerberus says:

    I think this is the part of his post that most bothers me as one of those hippie liberals:

    So what do you want me to do? Break bread with the establishment liberals, try to reason with them, bring these ideas into the discussion? I’ve tried. Many have tried. Check a Tbogg comment thread. See what happens to people who criticize the drone program. Try a Balloon Juice thread. Try and insert some anti-drone sentiment into the comments. Believe me, I’ve tried. The result is total, immediate, and angry dismissal. Always.

    Aw, poor baby. You tried, really tried to talk on a couple of blogs, but were totally dismissed by everyone (because when those topics came up, every single person here was on the side of infinite drone strikes and there was no internal debate) and now it’s just too hard.

    So what?

    Being a mean hippie liberal means that everything is hard. Look to the history of liberal activism. Every time, people had to fight against a constant upstream, often withstanding genuine hatreds just to get people willing to examine a no duh and decades more to get them to start to think about acknowledging them. Think about the current state of gay rights or women rights. People had to spend decades of hard fight just so we can currently be at a point where a reasonable minority of people in this country are amenable to hearing how women and gays might very well be people.

    Don’t like the drone strikes, don’t like the aspects of the security theatre apparatus retained, don’t like the continuation of the War in Afghanistan? Great, welcome, latecomer, to the fight, it’s going to be a long hard slog. And there’s going to be some ugly half-steps along the way that make you pull your hair out.

    And if that sounds too much for you because not everyone at a leans-moderate blog agrees with you first off, then boy howdy are you about to receive a painful life lesson on how much it sucks to be a liberal*.

    *And eff the attempt to paint what would use to be the standard liberal position as the leftie position. I know lefties. Lefties are friends of mine. And you, sir, are no leftie.

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    @Mandalay: No such thing as bad press.

  72. 72
    wrb says:

    @patroclus:

    Don’t forget our war with Turkey

  73. 73
    rlrr says:

    @wrb:

    You forgot Malaysia…

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cerberus:

    Having commenters be mean to you on a blog is just like having firehoses and attack dogs turned on you while protesting for voting rights in the segregated South, amirite?

  75. 75
    pete says:

    @Mnemosyne: Precisely. Also, for those of us with long memories &/or a sense of history:

    We thought it wouldn’t make much difference if we let Nixon in because Humphrey was awful and Nixon served under Eisenhower who sent troops to end segregation, maintained high tax rates, opposed the Anglo-French Suez debacle, and generally acted like a moderate.

    We thought it wouldn’t make much difference if we let Bush in …

    I want the drones to end. I do not want them replaced by a “shock and awe” assault on Iran …

  76. 76
    patroclus says:

    @Emma: Apparently, opponents of the use of drones have a dual role as Osama bin Laden’s lawyers.

  77. 77
    Valdivia says:

    clap, clap, clap.
    Never thought of you as a monster before. hmmmm.

  78. 78
    Cerberus says:

    And yeah, if any of these wankers think that drone attacks or executive power would decrease under a Romney presidency, I’ve got a pool in the Atlantic to sell them.

    Luckily for anyone who isn’t just looking for a seemingly liberal reason to not vote for the black guy who isn’t sociopathic, presidential and congress elections aren’t the only thing. They’re very very important, but there’s also working slowly on public opinion, direct interactions like every liberal activist group ever has done. And there’s even running yourself if you feel up to it. We all need more and better Dems, so some new fresh blood can never hurt especially at the local level.

  79. 79
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    I would rather you keep your hordes out of other people’s land and oil.

    Interesting. I initially started to whole heartedly agree with this statement, except for pointing out that this wouldn’t happen overnight, because in part 100 years of the west interfering in the Middle East wouldn’t just be erased from people’s minds just because we packed everything up and went home.

    Then I got to thinking about it some more. As for the oil, we are a lousy empire. We don’t take oil from any country. We actually buy it, at cost. I know we have propped up some regimes in order to keep the oil flowing as cheaply as possible, and I think that needs to stop, even if it causes the price to go up.

    But that won’t happen under Romney. Oil consumption in the US has dropped significantly under Obama. Obama is also the only one of the two candidates that cares about what Middle Eastern countries think.

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    It’s a serious issue, a complicated one, and one I would like to see addressed in a substantive way, by which I mean outside the left blogosphere. I almost wish I had read Freddie’s post before seeing this one, because I agree with the part mister mix quotes, but I guess the original post would’ve contained this whiny, masturbatory mini-screed about being the victim of Tailgunner DougJ, the Torquemada of Balloon Juice, and he would have lost me.

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    a Romney win would be better for the rest of the world

    Utterly insane, this is.

  82. 82
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    You now think it might have been a mistake to bomb a sovereign nation for demanding that some meaningful evidence be submitted to them regarding bin Laden’s guilt before they handed him over?

    Gawd, the same battles again and again. I thought about replying, but if you’ll give me your address, I’ll send you some aluminum foil for your head.

  83. 83
    Valdivia says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    more like the Savaranola of Balloon Juice: The Bonfire of the Firebaggers

  84. 84
    Jon O says:

    2 thousand words and not a single citation. Such a strong argument!

    I look forward to this comment being cited as part of a monolithic voice in favor of all drone strikes, all the time.

  85. 85
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: This is the old “heighten the contradictions” argument for supporting extremely bad rulers in the hope of sparking some kind of revolution. It has a poor track record.

  86. 86
    Liberty60 says:

    Obama is the left extreme of acceptable DC conversation

    This was pretty much my response to anyone who attacks Obama from the left; That your problem isn’t with Obama, it is with the American people.

    Further, it isn’t Obama who has failed, its the anti-war faction for not being successful in persuading the American people to change their minds.

    Successful movement make their case to the people, and mobilize, organize, and build from below. They don’t sulk and sabotage their near allies.

  87. 87
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Emma:

    I would be happy to examine any evidence of your claim that bin Laden claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks before the U.S. bombed and invaded Afghanistan.

    However, it is a fact that, before the invasion of Afghanistan, bin Laden was denying responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....NETTXT3487” rel=”nofollow

    It is also a fact that Afghanistan demanded evidence of bin Laden’s guilt before they would hand him over, and then dropped the evidence demand once the bombing started.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....errorism11” rel=”nofollow
    Therefore the bombing of and invasion of Afghanistan were done on illiberal, illegal grounds. No proof existed that the sovereign nation of Afghanistan had committed an assault against the sovereign nation of the U.S. – which is one of the major predicates for instigating a just (and, under our weak system of international law, a legal) war.

    Edited to provide links in plain text, as the link tag didn’t work.

  88. 88
    Liberty60 says:

    Slightly OT but, the Democratic Legislature, Democratic Senate, and Democratic Governor of California have banned “Pray Away The Gay” therapy.

    But yeah, lets keep repeating that there’s no difference between the parties.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Obama is also the only one of the two candidates that cares about what Middle Eastern countries think.

    Sheldon’s checkbook says otherwise.

  90. 90
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Cerberus: In fairness, it does kinda suck when Cole puts on the Bull Connor mask and turns the firehoses and police dogs on commenters. I myself have often had difficulty discerning the difference between a blog’s comments section and the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:

    @some guy:

    jesus fuck, what part of “killing innocent Muslims” and “drone wars” and “death from above” is unclear to you?

    The part where you or anyone else has actually made a case that any of what the US is doing in this regard violates the Geneva Conventions or any other known source of law-of-war principles.

    “Innocents” have died in every war since the beginning of time. That fact, without more, says nothing that is useful in judging the conduct of US forces. Senseless, random death from above has been around since the development of the first bow that could lob an arrow into a walled city from outside the walls. A UAV is a tool. It is inherently amoral. If you want to suggest that the way in which UAVs are being used is inappropriate, go ahead and do so, but I don’t think you will, because that requires more than just mindlessly repeating a shibboleth.

  92. 92
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Mnemosyne: I replied before I saw your comment, but — great minds! Also, people who complain about having things “forced down their throats” should be, um, forced to read suffragist accounts of forced feeding during hunger strikes.

  93. 93
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Aluminum foil? Were you too young or too oblivious to simply be following the news in the fall of 2001, or is your memory just that poor?

    Regardless of your own personal certainty back in the fall of 2001 as to bin Laden’s culpability (based, no doubt, on the extensive evidence you had at hand as a high-ranking official of the CIA or State Department), it is a simple factual claim that Afghanistan demanded some proof before they would hand him over. It is also a simple factual claim that the Bush administration refused to provide that information. I provided links to the Guardian to support that in a response I made to Emma, but the links caused it to go into moderation. Clearly, however, you could choose to simply educate yourself before tossing around lazy ad hominem attacks.

    So, given that Afghanistan, as a sovereign nation, was demanding some form of legitimate proof and the Bush administration was unwilling to provide any, then in order to support the bombing/invasion of Afghanistan as “legitimate” one must subscribe to deeply illiberal notions of right.

    To analogize to a domestic situation, do you think it is okay to imprison/execute a U.S. citizen without providing any proof of their wrongdoing, but simply on the government saying “she’s guilty”?

  94. 94
    stinger says:

    @Mnemosyne: Or like undergoing force-feeding while in jail for supporting women’s rights.

  95. 95
    Paul says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    All that it would take is for Romney to win, for half of the United States to start opposing drones; opposing the “secret” wars in Yemen, Somalia and so on.

    Nice strawman. What you said is no different than Republicans claiming that people that are pro-choice love abortions.

    I don’t know anybody who are in favor of drones. But they may be a less evil than using more powerful weapons that would ultimately kill many more people than drones do.

  96. 96
    Yutsano says:

    @Liberty60: Yeah well, did they ban DA DRONEZZ?? I didn’t think so!

    (If anyone is curious, yes that is snark.)

  97. 97
    stinger says:

    @Kerry Reid: Drat! Should have refreshed and read the latest comments before commenting. FYWP wouldn’t let me edit my own comment.

  98. 98
    Paul says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    So, given that Afghanistan, as a sovereign nation, was demanding some form of legitimate proof and the Bush administration was unwilling to provide any, then in order to support the bombing/invasion of Afghanistan as “legitimate” one must subscribe to deeply illiberal notions of right. To analogize to a domestic situation, do you think it is okay to imprison/execute a U.S. citizen without providing any proof of their wrongdoing, but simply on the government saying “she’s guilty”

    I don’t know about Afghanistan. But I read several European newspapers at the time. The governments of countries like France, Sweden, Canada etc had been shown the evidence by the US and were thus willing to join US troops in Afghanistan.

  99. 99
    jwb says:

    The only thing that Freddie writes well about is labor and that is because he understands in that case who the real enemy is and is able to keep his eye on the target. Otherwise he lets his melodramatic moral pathos cloud his viewpoint.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Wait, Pakistan, the country that sheltered Bin Laden in one of their military suburbs for a decade after 9/11, is now supposedly a neutral country that would have examined the evidence in a fair and impartial manner?

    Whatever you’re smoking, I think I want some of it.

  101. 101
    Kerry Reid says:

    @stinger: Nah, it’s cool. Djuna Barnes (the author of the modernist classic Nightwood) wrote a first-hand account (early participatory journalism thing — she wasn’t arrested) of what it was like to be force-fed. Pretty harrowing stuff.

  102. 102
    Mandalay says:

    @BC:

    Obama’s job is not the protection of every person on the planet, his job is to watch out for the Americans on the planet. He is not willy-nilly killing innocent Muslims, he is going after our sworn enemies.

    Wow! You certainly attempt to address Freddie’s central concern (“I want my country to stop killing innocent people.“) head on, by arguing that the death of innocents is not part of Obama’s job.

    But it is also undeniable that, regardless of our honorable intentions, US drone attacks are killing innocent people. Freddie correctly states “Obama is directly responsible for the expansion of hostilities against Muslims targets which result in the death of people who have taken no violent action against the United States.“.

    Even if you are untroubled by the morality of that, surely it is worth considering whether drone attacks are counterproductive. There is mounting evidence to support that view.

  103. 103
    The Other Chuck says:

    Manichean Candidate DougJ

  104. 104
    ForgetTheCult says:

    You guys on this blog belong to the cult of the Democratic Party. Barack Obama is L. Ron Hubbard and you guys are a bunch of Tom Cruises’. Obama is negotiating “NAFTA on steroids” in the Trans Pacific Partnership and killing innocent people and Americans by drone. He is not acting in your interest so why do you have such undying allegiance to him? He’s just a charismatic leader who you all follow like sheep. How extreme is he going to have to get to break your hypnosis?

  105. 105
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Mandalay:

    Freddie correctly states “Obama is directly responsible for the expansion of hostilities against Muslims targets which result in the death of people who have taken no violent action against the United States.“

    Again, that equation doesn’t add up. How many innocent Muslims (leaving aside the obvious fact that “Muslims” are not a fucking territory) did the US kill under the last president?

  106. 106
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Paul:

    I don’t doubt that, if the U.S. at the time had legitimate evidence to implicate bin Laden, they would have shared it with their allies. (However, if you have links to support this I’d like to read them. I will go search for myself now. Note that I said my links were from the Guardian, a British paper). I also don’t doubt that if they had such information they might have been reluctant to share it with the government of Afghanistan, due to the ways in which sharing that information might have also shared information about their intelligence gathering apparatus.

    That’s all just speculation on my part, however, as the U.S. did not provide that info to the Afghan government, nor did they submit it for scrutiny to any body representing international law in order that there would be legal justification for their actions. The bombing and invasion of Afghanistan were a clear violation of Article 51 of the U.N. charter.

    So, to get back to the point of my initial comment to Dougj, to support the bombing/invasion of Afghanistan at all one needs to to subscribe to thoroughly illiberal notions of right. Clearly, Dougj is welcome to do so, but he should be aware of the contradiction there with the rest of his claimed political stance.

  107. 107
    TG Chicago says:

    Is it just me or did DougJ totally miss the point of what Freddie was saying in that paragraph? Sure, maybe you happen to agree with Obama about every foreign policy decision he makes. (though DougJ conveniently ignores Obama’s most controversial decisions — drone attacks on American citizens and intervening in Libya)

    The point is whether you demonize those who disagree with Obama/you.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Apparently the million-plus Iraqis counted by the Lancet don’t count anymore.

  109. 109
    pete says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: How many innocent Muslims (leaving aside the obvious fact that “Muslims” are not a fucking territory) did the US kill under the last president?

    And the one before (Clinton, sanctions; see Albright, Madeleine). And the one before (the Gulf War has been raging for over 20 years under various pseudonyms). And essentially every President since they took over the lead in Muslim oppression from the British.

    Personalizing the correction of this by focusing on Obama is severely misdirected. Bad as he is on these issues, he’s better than anyone since (cognitive dissonance coming up) Reagan backed away from Lebanon. Life is complicated. And I’m almost certain that Romney would be worse, since the few vague things he has said all point in that direction, including support of torture and implicit support of a possibly Israeli attack on Iran.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TG Chicago:

    The point is whether you demonize those who disagree with Obama/you.

    I’ve been told that I’m a heartless asshole who doesn’t care about innocent women and children dying because I’m more concerned that 45,000 Americans die every year from a lack of health insurance than I am about drone strikes. Does that count as “demonizing” me, or is it only people who disagree with Obama that are able to be demonized?

  111. 111
    jeremy says:

    Some of the left wingnuts love to attack Obama more than any bad Democrat or right wing republican. It really is a sickness and throughout history they have always attacked democrats (Wilson, FDR, Truman,JFK, LBJ, Humphrey, Carter,etc.) and then after they leave office or die they act like they loved them and treat them like saints.

    Look Obama is not perfect but he has tired his best to stick to his campaign pledges and has achieved a record on par with Some of America’s best presidents in term of legislative accomplishments. Obama was never a super liberal but a center-left Democrat just like many Democrats before him. They were not ideologues but people who tried to get things done and move the ball forward. Some on the left need to get serious and develop a connection with the majority of Americans because terrorism exists and no amount of denial will make it go away. How will you deal with Al Qeada if you don’t use drones ??? If you can’t answer that then you are not being serious.

  112. 112
    General Stuck says:

    Data from the New America Foundation run by Peter Bergen among others. Concerning drone strikes by us in the Afghan/Pak region,

    Methodology for data/

    More being done to reduce civilian deaths/casualties

    La Times

    Seeking to reduce civilian casualties and collateral damage, the Pentagon will soon deploy a new generation of drones the size of model planes, packing tiny explosive warheads that can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy.

  113. 113
    Paul says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    A quick google search gave me this:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US.....index.html

    Also, while I can’t find them now, they were also in local papers in foreign countries as I recall.

    I don’t know the legal rules of the UN charter. I do know that pretty much the entire world community was with us in sending troops to Afghanistan. In addition, tons of countries even sent their troops to help us.

    Iraq, on the other hand…

  114. 114
    taylormattd says:

    Freddie is a fucking puss.

    Hey Freddie, next time try and have the guts to post your character assassinating dreck about your co-front pagers right here on the front page. At least when Anne Laurie posted a seemly drunken libel of Imani, she did it right here.

    John, why the fuck do you continue to let that Naderite dumbshit post here?

  115. 115
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But, yes, let’s continue to pretend that Obama is History’s Greatest Monster compared to other modern presidents. It makes it so much simpler to refuse to participate, doesn’t it?

    But Obama is the first president in history to approve of extra-judicial killings of a US citizen…

    If you pretend that Abraham Lincoln never existed.

  116. 116
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Who doesn’t want our nation to avoid killing innocents? To assume that you are in a beleaguered minority because you hold that view is ego feeding at its finest.

    Killing innocents in order to kill the guilty is not something that most of us condone as the best of all possible worlds. It is the world that we have here and now. The people who are targeted are part of a movement that has killed more innocent civilians than all of the drones that we’ve ever launched. It is a movement that finds it acceptable to detonate bombs or initiate firefights in crowded venues in order to advance its goals. It is a movement that imposes barbaric punishments on people for transgressing a moral code that is in part beyond medieval. Because its goals are a currently inseparable mix of politics and religion this movement isn’t subject to sweet reason or good examples.

    So, what would Freddie, and those of a like mind have us do as a better alternative in the here and now with the world as it is?

  117. 117
    DougJ says:

    @TG Chicago:

    When have I ever demonized people for criticizing Obama’s foreign policy?

  118. 118
    taylormattd says:

    @Mnemosyne: ABL was told by Glenn Greenwald that she would gleefully cheer Obama on if he raped a nun on live TV.

    But of course that’s just constructive criticism, and according to Freddie, you are some kind of neo-fascist if you don’t agree.

  119. 119
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    There were lots of Dems who thought that Communism was a disaster and needed to be fought but were opposed to Guatemalan concentration camps and Salvadoran death squads without following the anti imperialists down the path of fluffing Daniel Ortega somehow in the name of peace. Yet they were righteously opposed to mining the harbors. At least that’s what I remember about the 1980s.

    Different decade, same battle lines.

  120. 120
    General Stuck says:

    Data from the New America Foundation run by Peter Bergen among others. Concerning drone strikes by us in the Afghan/Pak region,

    Methodology-This database reflects the aggregation of credible news reports about U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The media outlets that New America relies upon are the three major international wire services (Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse), the leading Pakistani newspapers (Dawn, Express Times, The News, The Daily Times), leading South Asian and Middle Eastern TV networks (Geo TV and Al Jazeera), and Western media outlets with extensive reporting capabilities in Pakistan (CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, BBC, The Guardian, Telegraph). The New America Foundation makes no independent claims about the veracity of casualty reports provided by these organizations.

    More being done to reduce civilian deaths/casualties

    Seeking to reduce civilian casualties and collateral damage, the Pentagon will soon deploy a new generation of drones the size of model planes, packing tiny explosive warheads that can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy.

  121. 121
    jeremy says:

    I love how some of you care so much about people in a backwards third world country who are being oppressed more by their own leaders/people than America or any other world power, but you could careless about police brutality, or poverty right here at home.

    Some of you even want to De-criminalize harmful drugs acting like nothing bad will come from it. The sense of priorities of some on the left is the reason why Republicans since Nixon were able to make the word Liberal a bad word. Start focusing on America and stop worrying about some people in countries where they kill and brutalize there own people especially women and children.

  122. 122
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Whether you think Pakistan would have (at the time, not in retrospect) been an ideal location for bin Laden’s extradition is immaterial to the fact that Pakistan has been a major non-Nato ally of the U.S. since the late 40’s, and had diplomatic ties to the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

    As a side note to this conversation, but not directly tied to my point about the legality of the Afghan invasion/bombing, the last foreign minister for the Taliban gov’t of Afghanistan claims that they offered to turn bin Laden over to the Saudis back in ’98 but the U.S. was not interested. (I won’t put up a link because i want to avoid moderation hell but you can find the article at al jazeera.)

  123. 123
    wrb says:

    @TG Chicago:

    The point is whether you demonize those who disagree with Obama/you.

    I think that very few of the dream pony riders are actual demons.

    Most are idiots, however.

  124. 124
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @jeremy:

    Some of you even want to De-criminalize harmful drugs acting like nothing bad will come from it.

    We want to decriminalize a harmless drug, marijuana. If attempting to provide affordable health care, a decent education, safe working conditions, fair pay, and a reliable social safety net for Americans isn’t focusing on America then I’m damned if I know what is.

    Now, fuck off.

  125. 125
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Paul:

    But you would certainly agree that any number of other people/nations “being with us” is not the same thing as being right in a legal sense or being consistent to one’s claimed liberal principles.

  126. 126
    ForgetTheCult says:

    There are so many generalizations and falsehoods spouted in these comments it’s unbelievable. It’s like you have Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell dictating to you exactly how to think.

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Wow, obnoxious libertarians drunk on self-regard write more masturbatory posts about how drone warfare pricks their delicate consciences? Who woulda guessed! This calls for a week’s worth of rigorous self-examination for sure.

  128. 128
    General Stuck says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    “being with us” is not the same thing as being right in a legal sense or being consistent to one’s claimed liberal principles.

    Where do you think laws and principles come from? The tooth fairy? Glenn Greenwald? or do they come from the people that are “being with us”?

  129. 129
    Paul says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    So what do you think we should have done when we were attacked on 911? Do you really think Afghanistan would have handed over OBL if we had simply shared our evidence with them? And it wasn’t just OBL, it was his entire network.

  130. 130
    jeremy says:

    @Dennis SGMM: I agree with those issues. But some want to DE-crimialize heroine other harmful drugs. Look some on the left love talking about hate how Obama is some monster and how America sucks and is evil. I’m just saying if you hate it so much then leave and move to one of those countries and see how backwards it is. America has done some bad things don’t get me wrong but the people in those countries had issues way before America was a player on the international stage.

  131. 131
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @taylormattd: Well yes. And being told that you either oppose drones and believe that Al-awaki was merely a little blogger or you’d feel right at home supporting hitler and Stalin isn’t more than a bit off putting.

  132. 132
    Mandalay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    How many innocent Muslims (leaving aside the obvious fact that “Muslims” are not a fucking territory) did the US kill under the last president?

    It’s like nailing jelly to a wall.

    To suggest that the use of drones might be counterproductive invites the retort

    How many innocent Muslims…did the US kill under the last president?

    Similarly, this thread is full of posts pontificating that things would be even worse under Romney, as though that puts everything to rest.

    These are not cogent responses to what Freddie wrote. As he said, just because Obama is better than Bush, or would probably be better than Romney, it does “does not mean that you must excuse the better side“.

    Some of the responses on this thread just bolster Freddie’s argument.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Portugal called. They have some interesting facts and figures for little jeremy there.

  134. 134
    Kristin says:

    This, “if Romney were doing it, you would all be enraged and drone attacks would stop!” thing is stupid. It completely ignores the complexity of the issues. It also assumes that one is supporting anything Obama does simply because he is a Democrat, not because to not support him may have disastrous unintended consequences.

    It does, however, allow the one making the argument to picture Obama voters as wearing cheerleading uniforms with a big “O” on them. The complexity of people’s actual beliefs is hard to recognize. Painting everyone with the same, angry brush (which allows the painter to feel morally superior) is easy.

  135. 135
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Also, until Obama forswears meat-eating and becomes a vegan, he will be complicit in propping up a regime of industrialized cruelty. Oh, sure, you’ll probably say that all presidents eat meat, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to bravely call into question his blithely callous immorality, and I refuse to be silenced, or, if you will, cowed.

  136. 136
    oliver's Neck says:

    @General Stuck:

    Consensus is a necessary but not sufficient characteristic. A broad consensus can be certain about the “rightness” of a lynching but that doesn’t make that lynching legal, does it?

  137. 137
    Kristin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is such a good point. The hypocrisy of the whining about “purity tests” and the like is insane. I feel like I’ve spent the last week being accused of being an accessory to murder. I guess that’s okay, though, and certainly not indicative of any sort of purity test.

  138. 138
    ForgetTheCult says:

    This blog should never associate itself with the awesomeness Spinal Tap in any way, shape or form. This blog goes to 2 for blind subservience by a charismatic leader and more importantly moral bankruptcy. You guys do hate the left more than the right, face it. Barack Obama could arrest and detain one of your best friends without charges and you’d still think he was doing it for the good of the country. Guys and Gals, the first step to getting out of a cult is admitting you are in one.

  139. 139
    jeremy says:

    @Yutsano: Yo don’t have to be condescending. I just saying that I have no issue with marijuana but other substances that are harmful I am skeptical. And with America’s appetite for drugs you can’t just say what worked in Portugal will work here.

  140. 140
    Rex Everything says:

    Freddie made the following statement on his blog: “Democrats now use Republicans as a threat that justifies all manner of bad behavior in exactly the way Republicans used Al Qaeda.”

    Truer words were never spoken. Freddie has all you assholes pinned to the wall, now & forever, with that one line.

    It doesn’t just apply to foreign policy. Hell, Bill Clinton just sold Simpson Bowles to the DNC — Simpson Bowles, which might as well have been drafted by the W. Bush Administration (see Krugman’s blog this morning) — as the holy grail for our budget, and nobody even fucking noticed! He padded it with an hour of Republican-bashing & Balloon Juice guzzled his semen for a week.

  141. 141
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Look, this prissy little git Freddie is welcome to refuse to excuse whatever the fuck he likes. Every one of us, including his precious self, takes actions that have destructive impact on the collective good, from what we eat to how we get around to where we live. And if we need to take a gravely serious inventory about how even our best choices aren’t perfect choices, well, we’re going to be pretty damn busy navel-gazing, and some of us try to balance our fruitless, self-loathing contemplations, on the one hand, with, you know, functioning by attempting to make the best of a world that ethically went to shit approximately 20,000 years ago, give or take.

  142. 142
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    YHBT

  143. 143
    Rex Everything says:

    Freddie: “Good” cop isn’t really good.

    Balloon Juice: But … but … “bad” cop! Also you’re living in a fantasy world and Tbogg says you want a pony!

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Whether you think Pakistan would have (at the time, not in retrospect) been an ideal location for bin Laden’s extradition is immaterial to the fact that Pakistan has been a major non-Nato ally of the U.S. since the late 40’s, and had diplomatic ties to the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

    Well, they were a major ally until the US started normalizing relations with their major rival, India, after the Soviet Union fell.

    Pakistan has a major problem with Taliban and Islamists inside their own borders and has had those problems for years, starting well before 2001. And yet we’re supposed to accept that they totally would have been honest brokers and given Taliban ally Bin Laden a fair trial?

    And, no, I don’t think that the fact that ISI was hiding Bin Laden inside Pakistan for 10 years is immaterial to the discussion. At all.

  145. 145
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kristin: This. The Un-self-awareness of this crowd, who demand renunciations and denunciations at the drop of a hat while claiming an entirely unearned mantle of True Left and True Ethics and then ALSO complain that meanie-heads just don’t want to listen to them with respectful dialogue… That’s gall. The height of gall.

  146. 146
    Emma says:

    Does anyone want to bet how quickly a bunch of the purity trolls will go on wingnut welfare, all the while moaning that “I didn’t leave the democrats, they left me?”

  147. 147
    taylormattd says:

    @Mandalay: Why do you think Freddie has an “argument”? This is not “argument”:

    it takes reasonable, progressive people like DougJ and turns them into Manichean monsters

  148. 148
    General Stuck says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Lynching is illegal in this country because it is murder, and always has been since the GCW. The fact that a lot of people turned a blind eye to it, does not change the illegality of it.

    And with killing terrorists, as associated with AQ and others, the stamp of legality has been made by both the USA, with world consensus via the UN. Use of drones is a tactic to achieve what the US and worlds has officially decided was legal. They are “the people” on the whole. And are you really equating killing terrorists that are busy killing civilians, with lynching, where the only possible crime was existing while black, as was condoned by a criminal society in a criminal conspiracy that was the south?

    A very poor analogy. Unless I missed something.

  149. 149
    Paul says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Also, until Obama forswears meat-eating and becomes a vegan, he will be complicit in propping up a regime of industrialized cruelty. Oh, sure, you’ll probably say that all presidents eat meat, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to bravely call into question his blithely callous immorality, and I refuse to be silenced, or, if you will, cowed.

    Amen! That’s no different than me saying that any liberal who drives a car is also responsible for global warming and thus a hypocrite etc.

  150. 150
    ForgetTheCult says:

    Establishment Democrats are really no different from the Moonies. Guys the new Joe Klein book is out, go get it! It’s selling like hot cakes! It completely blames everything in this world on Republicans, it’s awesome!

  151. 151
    Mandalay says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    A broad consensus can be certain about the “rightness” of a lynching but that doesn’t make that lynching legal, does it?

    This, a gazillion times over.

    And that broad consensus doesn’t even make the lynching (or drone attack) “right”, never mind legal. And even if it is legal and “right”, it still doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Just because you can do something it does not mean that you should do it.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po.....udy-finds/

  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Freddie made the following statement on his blog: “Democrats now use Republicans as a threat that justifies all manner of bad behavior in exactly the way Republicans used Al Qaeda.”

    I forget, when was the last time al-Qaeda was able to appoint justices to the Supreme Court?

    Yes, after 8 years of Bush, clearly we’re just acting like irrational, terrified children when we try to keep Republicans’ hands away from the levers of power. I mean, it’s not like a Republican president ever invaded a foreign country by faking the evidence in a presentation that his Secretary of State gave to the UN or anything, amirite?

  153. 153
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: Congratulations to Freddie, who just discovered that weapons sometimes come down someplace other than where they’re supposed to, and hasn’t gotten over the fact that not everyone is as newly faux-shocked at that as he pretends to be.

  154. 154
    ForgetTheCult says:

    Wait so is Howard Finemann’s book! It’s out guys! It does exactly the same thing as Joe Klein’s! Awesome! What perspicacious insight!

  155. 155
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Emma: Ummmm. There is a non zero probability that young Connor and old greenwald have already eaten at that table.

  156. 156
    Spectre says:

    DougJ’s response is infantile.

    Policy disagreements =/= this witchhunt that Doug and the fellow authoritarians have carried out.

  157. 157
    Kristin says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    If all they were saying were, “Hey, I don’t feel comfortable with voting for Obama because of this one issue. You might want to consider it,” I think the response would be less intense.

    I’m not really sure how they thought the accusatory “you’re an evil moron cheerleader” tone was going to go over well.

  158. 158
    ForgetTheCult says:

    Guys let’s all watch Chris Matthews tonight at 7 with Guacamole and chips and agree with everything he says. Here’s the chant: “Romney bad. Obama good.” “Romney Bad. Obama Good” Say it again folks, “Romney Bad, Obama Good” That’s more like it. A little louder now…..

  159. 159
    General Stuck says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Lynching is illegal in this country because it is murder, and always has been since the GCW. The fact that a lot of people turned a blind eye to it, does not change the illegality of it.

    And with killing terrorists, as associated with AQ and others, the stamp of legality has been made by both the USA, with world consensus via the UN. Use of drones is a tactic to achieve what the US and worlds has officially decided was legal. They are “the people” on the whole. And are you really equating killing terrorists that are busy killing civilians, with lynching, where the only possible crime existing while black, as was condoned by a criminal society in a criminal conspiracy that was the south?

    A very poor analogy.

  160. 160
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Afghanistan was a giant mistake. Made me wonder if I was really a radical after all. Thankfully, the radicals disabused me of that notion.

    Prefer reality to utopianist fantasies and effecting real change to pissing and moaning about capitalism in the pub.

  161. 161
    taylormattd says:

    @Spectre: Do you realize Freddie *literally* called him a “Manichean monster”?

    And the *response* to that is what you find infantile?

  162. 162
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: **golf clap**

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kristin:

    I’m not really sure how they thought the accusatory “you’re an evil moron cheerleader” tone was going to go over well.

    Oh, I’m pretty sure it went over exactly the way they expected it to. After all, it’s hard to get that last crucifixion nail in by yourself.

  164. 164
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paul: And here’s the thing. We ARE guilty, to some degree, for doing the things we do, which ensures their continuance. But there are degrees of guilt and complicity, and there are ways of working at the margins to reduce those.

    I mean, look. When we use reusable grocery bags, that’s better than getting new plastic ones all the time. It doesn’t change that the grocery store is stocked via questionable practices from fertilizers to insecticides to import/export policies. So, sure, at one level, if you go to the grocery store even with the best intentions you’re admitting that you’re reconciled to that pernicious system. But that surely doesn’t mean that everyone who isn’t growing their own food with both locally-sensitive and organic methods on commonly-held land managed through interdependence and consensus is morally equivalent to the oligarch who owns the slaughterhouse. And pretending that it _is_ the same is, well, to coin a phrase, manichaean monstrosity.

  165. 165
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Paul:

    I know that the Afghan gov’t publicly offered to turn OBL over under those conditions. I think that the Taliban would have been thrilled to find a way to keep the U.S. from invading (and thereby killing them or at least removing them from power) whilst doing so in a way that kept their citizens from overthrowing them for doing so. That seems a rational supposition to me.

    As to what the U.S. should have done, I think we should have made use of the structures of international law to validate any actions that we took against another sovereign nation. I think that because I’m a liberal and am therefore committed to liberal principles. Hence the whole point of my initial comment to DougJ.

    If I note here that I’m going to vote for Obama, because the “it has to get worse before it gets better” claim is a logical fallacy, will folks put away their knives? (I’m not referring to you, Paul, you’ve been quite civil).

  166. 166
    ForgetTheCult says:

    You can come for the pre-game with Rev. AL Sharpton’s show, PoliticsNation! Before he took the job he said he would never criticize Obama. What a journalist! “go Al. Go, go, go Al. Woooo. Rock n’ Roll!” I love not criticizing my leader because it’s easier that way! Then I can slip my PJ’s on and go to sleep real well knowing that my leader has it alll figured out Yeahhhhhh! “Go Al, go Al, woooo”

  167. 167
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kristin: It’s a fancy kind of trolling. The vehemence of the response makes the sense of marginalization and martyrdom more exquisite.

  168. 168
    jeremy says:

    @Rex Everything: Not everything in Simpson Bowles was bad if you took time time to read the damn thing. Even Obama said that there are things in Simpson Bowles that he doesn’t agree with but there are some things he can support. Like raising Taxes on the wealthy to fund Medicare and Medicaid, or lifting the cap for Social Security. Stop painting everything with a broad brush because you sound ignorant.

  169. 169
    Mandalay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And if we need to take a gravely serious inventory about how even our best choices aren’t perfect choices, well, we’re going to be pretty damn busy navel-gazing

    911 is the the greatest example of “navel-gazing” of all time, but of course that was when the innocents died on home turf.

    Freddie is simply extending that “navel-gazing” to the death of innocents in other countries. He refuses to be a good tribe member. Good for him.

  170. 170
    Pen says:

    @Rex Everything: Freddie: “Good” cop isn’t really good.
    Balloon Juice: But … but … “bad” cop! Also you’re living in a fantasy world and Tbogg says you want a pony!War with Iran and a corporate theocratic police state at home sound better to you, morons?

    Fixed for accuracy. If you’re going to slag o the FB commentary the least you could do is realize we both A) don’t give a shit if we offend you and B) know what we’re talking about most of the time. When someone turns into a purity troll they will be mocked.

  171. 171
    taylormattd says:

    @some guy: somebody please bookmark this comment.

  172. 172
    jayackroyd says:

    I’m as close to an isolationist as they come, but I think it was right to demand bin Laden’s head from the Taliban government of Afghanistan, as an ultimatum. Likewise, I think the US involvement in WWII was justified by US security interests, and for moral reasons.

    Other than those instances, I’m hard pressed to believe the use of force was necessary or productive. I’m with Chalmers Johnson on the blowback generally exceeding the benefit, aside from the immorality of killing all the innocents war entails. I get the Bosnian argument, but find it surprising (or, rather, not) that it didn’t arise wrt Rwanda.

  173. 173
    ForgetTheCult says:

    You know what I really dislike about Republicans, they march in lockstep to anything their leader says…I can’t imagine doing that…”Hey let’s all watch Now with Alex Wagner! It starts in two minutes! Yaaaaa!”

  174. 174
    Jewish Steel says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    or, if you will, cowed.

    Now was that really necessary?

  175. 175
    Paul says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    You are gentleman. I appreciate your point of view. I think part of the issue is that neither of us had access to all the facts at the time. Bush did. It could be that Afghanistan said one thing publicly but privately said no. Or that Afghanistan said that they would turn him over, but they didn’t know where he was etc.

    Obama came into office at a time when we were already at war in Afghanistan. He couldn’t simply stop the war on day 1 when Afghanistan was in shambles. We helped break it…

  176. 176
    ForgetTheCult says:

    Gloria Borger, what an intrepid reporter!

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    Obama is also the only one of the two candidates that cares about what Middle Eastern countries think.

    He also is the only one who cares about what the people of the US think.

  178. 178
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @WereBear: If the topic were global warming, it would be the equivalent of an advocate going off grid, building a turf hut, and wearing a skirt made of squirrels. You’re pure, you’re very low carbon, but no one is going to listen to you.

    Well, they do this. I have respect for the turf huts, actually.

    I will continue to live in an apt, though. Maybe I’m all wet, but I feel like modern sewage treatment is more environmentally sound than septics and leaving more land for the wildlife seems like a good idea to me. Pity the power generation base is so dirty, though.

  179. 179
    Pen says:

    @oliver’s Neck: OBL didn’t commit the acts on 9/11, his organization did. Did Afghanistan also offer to turn in the entirety of al Qaeda to us? That’d be awkward, considering they’re a major component of the Taliban ministry of defense.

  180. 180
    jayackroyd says:

    @BC: So he and his kid were guilty, right?

    You know this how? Because the President said so?

    (You remember that nation of laws, not of men thing, right?)

  181. 181
    Paul says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I couldn’t have said better it myself. And this is why I just don’t understand articles like this where they completely fail to present the Republican alternative with wars against Iran, expansion of gitmo etc.

  182. 182
    ForgetTheCult says:

    @Ruckus: How do you know can you see inside his brain? I mean killing innocent civilians in Middle Eastern countries thus increasing the risk of terrorism. He really cares about the Middle Eastern peoples view. Going into Libya, completely bypassing the War Powers Act. Yeah he care what the American people think. Really.

  183. 183
    Kristin says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And if you point out the hypocrisy, you’re just enabling murder. Or something.

  184. 184
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Whatever you’re smoking, I think I want some of it.

    So you could become paranoid and delusional as well?

  185. 185
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Great, Freddie thinks death is bad. We all have so much to learn from his luminous example.

  186. 186
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Violet: I think you have it wrong, Vi. Nobody’s talking about killing squirrels. Wearing live squirrels is a very humane approach, if not very fashionable, and the squirrels, with their little rodent teeth, know how to get even.

  187. 187
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Linda Featheringill: We’re wrestling with proto-fascism and victory is not guaranteed. Check back in a few years. Things might be even worse.

    Proto? Oh, I think they’re there all the way. We dodged a bullet in the sense that Bush and Cheney actually relinquished power. I was glued to live TV watching them leave. I wasn’t certain that was a sure thing.

    Fascism doesn’t necessarily mean death camps, although I’m not sure what you’d call Abu Ghraib. Italy satisfied themselves with being war criminals and suppressing internal dissent.

  188. 188
    ForgetTheCult says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Are you Howard Finemann using “FlipYrWig” as your username? Just wondering, thanks. Or are you a Husker Du fan who doesn’t deserve to be tarnishing their awesome album name by blindly supporting a charismatic leader…Just wondering, thanks!

  189. 189
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paul: In fairness, the point of these pieces is precisely _not_ to worry about partisan politics, and to speak about morality and ethics without getting sidetracked by what’s politically possible. Fine. But that’s also why they’re so screechy and whiny and self-important, because they reduce to It’s Bad, and badness is worse than goodness, so let’s talk about the badness and pat ourselves on the back for it. That’s not more sophisticated or more thoughtful, it’s less. Distinctly less.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    It took me a bit to look it up, but you seem to be under the erroneous belief that the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was not blessed by the UN. In actual fact, the UN passed several resolutions permitting the invasion of Afghanistan by a multinational force.

    It was the war in Iraq that was not sanctioned by the UN.

  191. 191
    Mnemosyne says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Also, too, here’s a link to all of the UN resolutions passed in 2001 if you want to read all of the Afghanistan-related ones for yourself.

  192. 192
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Emma: The invasion was a mistake because it created the perfect conditions for Bin Laden to get away. If Bush had been serious about getting OBL he would have gone after him the same way Obama did, special forces, I want to say ‘police action’ but I’m probably using the wrong term (like SWAT?), no ground troops creating chaos that makes all your intel crap.

    That’s how I knew Obama was for real and Bush had no intention of getting Bin Laden. Hey, OBL was one of his peeps. All those dead US soldiers and Taliban for that matter weren’t.

    It seemed to me like a lot of liberals justified invading Afghanistan because the Taliban was double plus ungood. I guess it blinded them to the fact that invading the country was going to do what exactly? 1. Invade Afghanistan, 2. ???? Don’t invade if you don’t have a fucking game plan. And a game plan drawn in crayon while tripping balls does not count.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jayackroyd:

    You know this how? Because the President said so?

    I would say it’s more because the courts in Yemen said so or because Abdulmutallab said under oath that al-Awlaki had provided him with training and materials but, hey, what do a bunch of foreigners know, amirite?

  194. 194
    Pen says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Proto? Oh, I think they’re there all the way. We dodged a bullet in the sense that Bush and Cheney actually relinquished power. I was glued to live TV watching them leave. I wasn’t certain that was a sure thing.

    Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who courted the tinfoil hat brigade with that fear.

  195. 195
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Liberty60: This was pretty much my response to anyone who attacks Obama from the left; That your problem isn’t with Obama, it is with the American people.

    Nailed it.

    So tired of trolls blaming Obama for not closing Gitmo. If you wanted a ruthless dictator, maybe we have even less in common than I thought.

  196. 196
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Liberty60: Awesome!

    Oh, and it’s easy to ignore the difference: I’m not gay/a woman/black/an orphan or survivor dependent on benefits to get an education, therefore THEY’RE ALL THE SAME I WAS PROMISED PONIES I WILL NOW STAMP MY FEET BAM BAM BAM.

  197. 197
    Pen says:

    @Another Halocene Human: It seemed to me like a lot of liberals justified invading Afghanistan because the Taliban was double plus ungood. I guess it blinded them to the fact that invading the country was going to do what exactly? 1. Invade Afghanistan, 2. ???? Don’t invade if you don’t have a fucking game plan.

    the problem with invading Afghanistan is that there simply wasn’t a good game plan possible. Our only good choices were to either go in with strike teams like Obama did, or bomb the entire country back to the Stone Age. At the time we could probably have ‘morally’ gotten away with the bombing (as in, 9/11 sympathy from our allies would have made them look the other way), but apparently our Defense Contractors figured a protracted and impossible to win ground war would be more profitable.

  198. 198
    Mandalay says:

    We made it to 2,000! From AP today:

    The killing of an American serviceman in an exchange of fire with allied Afghan soldiers pushed U.S. military deaths in the war to 2,000, a cold reminder of the perils that remain after an 11-year conflict that now garners little public interest at home.

    But let’s not waste time navel gazing. That’s for wussies!

    Let’s go release a few drones to atone. That’ll teach ’em, and that pansy Freddie guy.

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pen:

    [A]pparently our Defense Contractors figured a protracted and impossible to win ground war in Iraq would be more profitable.

    Fix’d. Can’t forget that even at the time there were complaints from the military that necessary resources were being redirected to Iraq. There was probably a reasonable way to invade Afghanistan, but it wasn’t by doing a half-assed job and then sending three-quarters of the troops to Iraq instead.

  200. 200
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Mnemosyne:While its not quite nearly as craven as Chomsky’s pol pot denial, I look forward to hanging their love for Al Alwaki around their little necks for a good long time. Seriously guys. Al Alwaki really wasn’t all that into you.

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    So I’ll ask you the same question I’ve posed in a couple of other threads:

    Right now, most of the drone attacks are happening because we have US troops in Afghanistan and we are using drones to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan to try and prevent them from crossing the border in large numbers to kill US troops. (Let’s handwave aside the success of that goal for the moment since we’ve handwaved aside so much else already.)

    Obama’s stated policy is to withdraw all US troops from Afghaninstan by the end of 2014.

    Romney’s stated policy is to leave US troops in Afghanistan indefinitely, and to start a war with Iran.

    Of these two stated policies, which politician’s election is more likely to get you to your goal of reducing and eventually ending drone attacks, Obama’s or Romney’s?

  202. 202
    Pen says:

    @Mnemosyne: yeah, there is that. Though given past historical errors I’m not sure that even if we had kept all our focus on Afghanistan we could have attained anything resembling a prolonged peace. As much as I hate to admit it the cultural differences and theocratic leanings of the society were never going to result in anything we found acceptable if allowed a true democratic reform to take place.

  203. 203
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jeremy: Some of you even want to De-criminalize harmful drugs acting like nothing bad will come from it.

    I guess this is getting off the point, but if we compare all the criminality and negative externalities of speed, and then compare that to meth…. Or if we compare heroin to oxycontin….

    It seems to be this false dilemma where any negative externality from decriminalization is so bad in a moral way that it outweighs all the suffering caused by prohibition.

    It ignores the strides government has made in limiting and discouraging nicotine and alcohol abuse.

    It ignore that it has taken multiple generations to mitigate the harm caused by reckless alcohol culture first engendered by prohibition, and that there is STILL a culture of binge drinking in American universities. Oddly, continental Europe does not have this problem.

    And we could extend this to that other vice, sex work. There is an argument to be made that licit sex work is providing a cover for human trafficking. Of course, it would be easy to remove the veneer of respectability with effective licensure and inspection. The research in this area seems suspect to me when it comes with such a heavy ideological cant. How do you know there is more prostitution activity when it is legal… could it just be better reported? As a worker advocate I’m struggling to understand why being a prostitute, stripper, or porn star is qualitatively different from driving a truck, working in a steel mill, or waiting tables. They all suck, take a toll on your body. They can also involve serious sexual harassment and the threat of sexual violence for women engaged in these professions. ALL workers sell their labor in order to live. Somehow the ugliness of capitalism is only ugly when S.E.X. is involved? WTF. Many strippers do it because the money is easier than other unskilled jobs and they can put themselves through school. Try doing that working two minimum wage jobs. You can’t address human trafficking through prohibition unless your real object is to punish poor women over and over again. Thailand has made prostitution illegal, but brothels just pay off the police. Burmese women were trafficked into Thailand for years and when brothels were raided, these women, often debt slaves, were thrown into jail and unable to defend themselves being foreigners who often didn’t even speak Thai. So you have truly egregious trafficking going on and prohibition did fuck all to save them.

  204. 204
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pen:

    Unfortunately, between our proxy war with the Soviets (yay Taliban!) and our actual invasion (boo Taliban!), Afghanistan pretty much doesn’t have much civil society left. There are a lot of NGOs doing good work there, but the amount of good that third-party military intervention could do was very small in 2001 and it’s gotten even smaller in the intervening years thanks to Bush’s fuckups.

    I really don’t know what, if anything, can be done. It’s not like Pakistan is a stable neighbor who can help Afghanistan along.

  205. 205
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Wow, obnoxious libertarians drunk on self-regard write more masturbatory posts about how drone warfare pricks their delicate consciences? Who woulda guessed! This calls for a week’s worth of rigorous self-examination for sure.

    We’ll be making progress when we realize “d50nZ” is just the libertarian version of selective memory and avoidance of cognitive dissonance, just as RWNJs scream about “Solyndra!” a tiny scrap of nothing to prove that their delusions are correct.

  206. 206
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jayackroyd: We got involved in Bosnia because refugees were flooding into Western European nations and they wanted it to stop.

    If only Rwandan refugees had had the good sense to flood into Israel or Italy.

  207. 207
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Pen: Eh, I don’t think the MIC was really in the driver’s seat. It seemed like a majority of people wanted a war (I was kind of floored) and we know now that the neocons in the Cabinet thought Afghanistan was an annoying distraction.

  208. 208
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Pen: You know what’s funny? Invading a whole fucking country and killing thousands? Legal. Assassinating one dude? Illegal. Figure that out.

    Apparently if Hitler is going to kill 200 schoolchildren if you don’t shoot him in the head, the answer is to call in an ICBM.

  209. 209
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: It’s strange, this Benedict Arnold fetish.

    Oh, wait, Arnold was a Tory, therefore, fuck him.

  210. 210
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Pen: You can’t have true democratic reform without a massive improvement in development metrics, which usually invasions do NOT improve, at least not in the short term.

    Botching invasions REALLY don’t improve them.

    Also, I seem to recall that the GWB admin actually hamstringed FBI and Army attempts to get OBL. Is that true?

  211. 211
    DougJ says:

    @Spectre:

    Point me to one place where I made fun of people for criticizing Obama’s foreign policy.

  212. 212
    Rex Everything says:

    @Pen:

    When someone turns into a purity troll they will be mocked.

    Yes they will. No purity here; there’s a firm rule about that. “Hey, we got a dogma against yer dogma!”

    When Good Cop trashes Social Security I’m sure you’ll all do a great job explaining how Bad Cop would have been eating live babies.

    It’s too bad Balloon Juice wasn’t around in 1992. “Look, people, I don’t like Good Cop’s abandonment of labor either, but Bad Cop will pass NAFTA, repeal financial regs, and end welfare as we know it! Get in line!”

    I’m loving how well informed you think you are. The bloggers are alright but the commentariat is hopeless. Christ, no one here has even the most basic grasp of econ or history. You’re a few bank lawyers and a bunch of political news junkies.

  213. 213
    Pen says:

    @Rex Everything: you have two choices this election. You can either vote for the guy who’s been busy his whole term fixing shit and preventing totalitarians from reimplementing feudal serfdom and perpetual war, or you can vote for the plutocrat.

    Or, if you’re feeling completely useless, you can vote for a 3rd party who has a snowballs chance in hell of winning. If Obama were perfect I’d be calling him fucking Jesus.

  214. 214
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Of these two stated policies, which politician’s election is more likely to get you to your goal of reducing and eventually ending drone attacks, Obama’s or Romney’s?

    You are playing the same slippery game as many other posters on this board: however bad Obama is, Romney would be far worse, so End-of-Argument!!!

    Well not really, since you are employing a strawman argument. This was the focus of Freddie’s post: “I want my country to stop killing innocent people”, and he specifically was not giving Obama a free pass (as you seem to be) just because he might be the lesser of two evils.

    And if you think that the US leaving Afghanistan will result in the end of US drone attacks you are naive beyond words. We are already using drone attacks in other countries, and their use will increase, not decrease, in the future.

    By all means support drone attacks, and argue that Obama is less evil than Romney. But don’t pretend that you are addressing the issues that Freddie raised in any meaningful way.

  215. 215
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Mandalay:

    Because once issues are addressed and moral questions are raised, the problem is solved, right?

    The US invented the atomic bomb, and used it twice, killing more people than you have ever met in your life.

    I think we can manage the drone question in the years ahead.

  216. 216
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Rex Everything:

    It’s too bad Balloon Juice wasn’t around in 1992.

    Well thank god some truth-tellers were smart enough to see there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore?

  217. 217
    Rex Everything says:

    @Pen:

    Actually, I’m voting for Obama. I’m voting gladly for Obama. That’s a topic for another thread.

    I’m just not piling on Freddie because that is bullshit. His piece ranges far beyond voting. It’s about your priorities as a citizen with a representative government.

    What Freddie said is motherfucking true, and you know it’s true, and DougJ with his “Kyle, when have I EVER ripped on you for being Jewish?” routine knows it’s true. You’ll NEVER want to talk about state-sanctioned murder, you’ll NEVER want Balloon Juice or any other site used to influence public opinion on it, you’ll NEVER countenance an attempt to build consensus on it. Not in a close election year, not in a landslide election year, not in a first term, not in a second. You won’t talk about it, and you won’t countenance Glenn Greenwald talking about it, and you’ll go on pretending that Amy Goodman doesn’t exist or is not liberal, and the only professor at MIT who says anything worthwhile about politics is Tom Levenson, because your priorities don’t allow for anything else. Your first — your only — consideration is what’s good for the Party.

  218. 218
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mandalay: You might need a decongestant for all that snot.

  219. 219
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rex Everything: Dude. Stop crying and get your own blog.

  220. 220
    Rex Everything says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Well thank god some truth-tellers were smart enough to see there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore?

    Yeah, thank God all those congressmen and women with politics like Gore’s stepped up and opposed Bush’s illegal war when their time came to do so, and ended the funding for it when we voted them into a majority with a clear mandate to do so. The dove party really came through for the world that time, as always, didn’t they?

    Of course Gore’s priorities would have been nothing like that. Of COURSE … Hey, who was his running mate again?

  221. 221
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Rex Everything: the fact that Gore, in real life, not counterfactual circle-jerk-land, did step up and oppose those policies kind of steps on your “but…. LIEBERMAN!” point, doesn’t it?
    Of course, given that you think DougJ, Tbogg and three dozen Balloon Juice commenters are thwarting Amy Goodman from being the Cronkite of the 21st century, I guess you don’t think so.

  222. 222
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Mnemosyne: Like kryptonite to Oliver’s Neck, you are.

  223. 223
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I am sure that pretty much all liberals on Balloon Juice are opposed to this nonsense (bombing weddings, etc.)

    And I thank you

    Please talk to your brothers and sisters and get them to come around to your POV

    If in your mind that must happen after November, okay, not what I would suggest but please pencil it in on your calendar

  224. 224
    Emma says:

    @oliver’s Neck: So he denied his guilt until we attacked and instead of holding himself up as a victim and rallying all right-thinking people to his defense, he proceeded to convict himself out of his own mouth because… he was a total idiot.

    Got it.

  225. 225
    Emma says:

    @Rex Everything: It’s too bad Balloon Juice wasn’t around in 1992. “Look, people, I don’t like Good Cop’s abandonment of labor either, but Bad Cop will pass NAFTA, repeal financial regs, and end welfare as we know it! Get in line!”

    This is a LIE. A galloping lie. The democrats I associated with didn’t support Clinton passing NAFTA. We did support him when the republicans came after him.

    Don’t make up things to support your position. There are real sins aplenty to criticize.

  226. 226
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I am, perhaps, suffering under the erroneous belief that you might be an honest interlocutor, nevertheless I am going to respond now that I’m back from doing necessary work in the real world.

    In actual fact, the UN passed several resolutions permitting the invasion of Afghanistan by a multinational force.

    As you certainly read the wikipedia links you proffered, you no doubt know that the UNSCRs listed didn’t do what you claim they did. None of those resolutions authorized Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan. They collectively condemned the Taliban for harboring terrorists, acknowledged that since the Taliban regime was now fallen due to OEF-A that there would need to be humanitarian construction, etc. At no point did the the UN authorize the bombing/invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S. They simply responded once it had happened.

    Here is the U.N.’sown page on what its resolutions regarding Afghanistan mean.

    And, again, the point of my commenting to DougJ was simply that he ought not, in fact, see the war in Afghanistan as consistent with liberal ideology.

  227. 227
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Paul:

    Thanks, as are you. I’m a bit concerned by your implicit suggestion that we ought to have trusted Bush because he had access to information we didn’t. I think the U.S. ought to have shared that information in a valid legal setting (even tough our organizations of international law are sadly very weak) and proceeded from there. Frankly, it wouldn’t have been much of a difficult task for them given the later success of Powell’s bogus “here’s the WMD” speech.

    Again, I didn’t raise this as a criticism of Obama – merely to say that DougJ ought not be so sure of his ideological consistency at least where Afghanistan is concerned.
    Sadly, much of the commentariat here is just validating Freddie’s claim about the mindless mob action that react to the slightest whiff of heterodox views on certain topics.

    So, thanks for the civil discourse.

  228. 228
    oliver's Neck says:

    @General Stuck:

    Lynching refers to extra-legal killing by a mob. Necessarily then, such action is undertaken by a large group sharing the consensus that killing their target is “right”, but that consensus is not enough to establish the legality of their claim. That was my point. That consensus is not a sufficient to establish legality.

  229. 229
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Emma:

    he was a total idiot

    Agreed.

  230. 230
    General Stuck says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Lynching refers to extra-legal killing by a mob. Necessarily then, such action is undertaken by a large group sharing the consensus that killing their target is “right”, but that consensus is not enough to establish the legality of their claim. That was my point. That consensus is not a sufficient to establish legality.

    okay then, still a poor analogy, because no one is claiming legality simply based on a claim by a mob conducting homicide. Like lynching was, contrary to formal law making.

    “the people” involved with the war on AQ, sanctioned it via their institutions for governing on a country basis (AUMF) and through ‘the peoples’ international body called the UN as laws formally made. It is my point how we as a country and species of man on planet earth assert legality via ‘consensus’. Judgements coming from a few people, or a a few groups of people, are not enough to claim legality, or illegality on their own. They can exert an opinion as an individual or minority group, but we make laws in this country democratically, as does the UN via voting of member states, as a body, or as a security council for matters like war and peace. Some folks claim such things are only within the purview of an almighty God, but somehow, I don’t think that applies to you. Unless I’m wrong about that. Or you could be a true pacifist, which is a noble position, except when using absurd arguments on this or that action being legal or not. Then it is wankery, and not honest

  231. 231
    different-church-lady says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    And being told that you either oppose drones and believe that Al-awaki was merely a little blogger or you’d feel right at home supporting hitler and Stalin isn’t more than a bit off putting.

    You’re either with us or against us!

    Hmmm… someone should use that as the title of a blog post…

  232. 232
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s like nailing jelly to a wall.

    Huge industrial vats of jelly. Metric shit tonnes of jelly.

  233. 233
    different-church-lady says:

    @ForgetTheCult:

    Barack Obama could arrest and detain one of your best friends without charges and you’d still think he was doing it for the good of the country.

    And you wonder why we mock you?

  234. 234
    Ben Franklin says:

    But there are degrees of guilt and complicity, and there are ways of working at the margins to reduce those.

    Heh. 50 shades of Grey

  235. 235
    General Stuck says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-3783486

    I am, perhaps, suffering under the erroneous belief that you might be an honest interlocutor, nevertheless I am going to respond now that I’m back from doing necessary work in the real world

    Maybe it’s you that is suffering erroneous belief. Your link doesn’t address the initial UN Security Council resolution declaring war for AQ on an international basis, and for the first time in its history “directing” member state to fight terrorism in their home countries. And those countries have a perfect right to request US assistance, if there is a governing body of those countries. And the UN Charter fully supports the right of countries to attack, invade, and conduct warfare on any other country that attacked. So no UN res was even necessary in this case, but they passed one anyway, well before the US passed the AUMF.

    Resolution, The full text of Security Council resolution 1368 (2001) reads as follows:

    “The Security Council,“Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, “Determined to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,“Recognizing the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter,1. Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks which took place on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington (D.C.) and Pennsylvania and regards such acts, like any act of international terrorism, as a threat to international peace and security;

    and the rest

    “2. Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the People and Government of the United States of America;

    “3. Calls on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable;

    “4. Calls also on the international community to redouble their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts including by increased cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international anti-terrorist conventions and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1269 of 19 October 1999;

    “5. Expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;

    “6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

  236. 236
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I am, perhaps, suffering under the erroneous belief that you might be an honest interlocutor, nevertheless

    hmmm….. this pompous, stilted style of firebaggery has a familiar smell. William Hurley, or something like that, who always sounded like a cross between someone for whom English was a second language, and the high school freshman who brought his lunch in a briefcase, always turned in a paper twice as long as assigned, and never used a nickel word when three quarter priced locutions could be hammered into the sentence.

  237. 237
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Paul: I don’t drive and I don’t have kids, so clearly I CARE about the planet more than you gas-guzzling breeders! (The fact that these conditions are the result of my being a lousy driver who prefers the convenience of car-free city life, and having a biological clock that was stuck on “snooze” for most of my reproductively viable years shouldn’t count against my final score in Purity Bingo, right?)

  238. 238
    Sleeper says:

    @BC:

    Obama’s job is not the protection of every person on the planet, his job is to watch out for the Americans on the planet.

    His job is to preserve, protect, and defend the United States Constitution. The rule of law is supposed to protect us.

  239. 239
    Sleeper says:

    @Emma:

    Bin Laden did not take responsibility for 9/11 until 2004. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks he denied participating in them.

  240. 240
    Sleeper says:

    @Ash Can:

    Yes, it’s possible to have a reasonable and serious debate here about the drones. If you go to one of Cole’s posts on the subject, you can see how it’s done.

    A debate that starts from “I disagree with Policy X but if Obama continues pursuing it he will still have my support” is no debate at all. It’s the “strenuous objection” from A FEW GOOD MEN. Who cares if you don’t like what a politician does but you don’t make them pay a price for it?

  241. 241
    TG Chicago says:

    @DougJ:

    When have I ever demonized people for criticizing Obama’s foreign policy?

    Do you think it’s okay for Friedersdorf to refuse to vote for Obama based on his foreign policy?

  242. 242
    General Stuck says:

    @Sleeper:

    Well, when you find the morally, legally, ethically pure human, let alone politician, lemme know and I’ll sign on. In the meantime, we each get to pick the least imperfect to lead us, as best we can. And don’t give me that Jesus shit. Jesus don’t surf!!

    And where you been sleeper, I feared you might have fallen off your soapbox and left unable to glow with purity.

  243. 243
    Spatula says:

    @Sleeper:

    Bin Laden did not take responsibility for 9/11 until 2004. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks he denied participating in them.

    Don’t disturb Emma’s alternate Bot universe with facts, please. Weird though, how at BJ the Botulism quickly spills over into support of George W Bush’s actions after 9/11.

  244. 244
    different-church-lady says:

    @Spatula: Also kind a weird how bin Laden gets off on a technicality in some folks mind.

  245. 245
    different-church-lady says:

    @Sleeper:

    The rule of law is supposed to protect us.

    Yup, all those people in the towers would still be alive if only bin Laden had been given due process.

    You’re a fuckwit. I do not say that lightly.

  246. 246
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Oh yeah, I forgot that guy. What a pretentious dillweed.

  247. 247
    Right/Left = Impulse/Thoughtfulness says:

    Authoritarian group-think at Balloon-Juice is widely recognized.

    Marginalizing the complex moral calculus of supporting evil to stem a greater evil is itself a kind of evil.

    Nonetheless:

    I’ll always vote for the lesser evil.

    And while I still enjoy Balloon-Juice, I also take note of the vacuous cheerleaders who aren’t capable of the integrative complexity required for complex moral discussions.

    But to simplify:

    When speaking honestly, the moral calculus is: Obama’s policies kill innocent people, all his Republican opponents would kill a multiple number of those innocent people.

  248. 248
    Rex Everything says:

    @Emma: Your moronic misreading could have resulted in a lie (although I don’t know whether it gallops). I know Democrats didn’t support NAFTA; that’s the whole point. Balloon Juice ca. 1992: “The evil GOP will pass NAFTA and corporatize America if we don’t get out the vote!”

    But my point is 100% accurate. The Democrats scare everyone on the left side into the belief that the Republicans will move the country to the right. They then gain office and … move the country to the right. And it’s been happening since ’92.

  249. 249
    Rex Everything says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    the fact that Gore, in real life, not counterfactual circle-jerk-land, did step up and oppose those policies kind of steps on your “but…. LIEBERMAN!” point, doesn’t it?

    Oh, did he? NO, actually. That’s utterly FALSE, actually. Here’s Albert Gore in 2002:

    “Even if we give first priority to the destruction of terrorist networks, and even if we succeed, there are still governments that could bring us great harm. And there is a clear case that one of these governments in particular represents a virulent threat in a class by itself: Iraq.
    “As far as I am concerned, a final reckoning with that government should be on the table. To my way of thinking, the real question is not the principle of the thing, but of making sure that this time we will finish the matter on our terms…
    “In 1991, I crossed party lines and supported the use of force against Saddam Hussein, but he was allowed to survive his defeat as the result of a calculation we all had reason to deeply regret for the ensuing decade. And we still do.”

    This is not anti-war language. This is the language of “let’s wage an efficient war and do it right,” which was the only point of view that informed any real criticism of Bush’s war from any Democrat holding national office (this side of Kucinich and a few other hippies). This was the only ideology of Nancy Pelosi’s Congress and it lasted right through the 2008 Democratic primaries, when no candidate would criticize Bush’s war for any other reason than that it was “mishandled.” And this ideology still informs the current Dem defense of drone warfare. And you know all this. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows all this, but you guys love to pretend the Donk has been in any sense antiwar for the last 10 years.

    The best you can say is Gore would have waged a cleaner war, a more logical aggressive mass murder than the GWB clusterfuck. And hell, that’s probably true. But a Gore admin wouldn’t have kept us out of Iraq. It would only have helped you guys rediscover your appetite for nation-building a few years sooner.

  250. 250
    Marc says:

    Those of us who were alive and paying attention at the time know damn well where Al Gore stood. Naderite garbage about how Gore would have invaded Iraq is just balm to sooth their conscience for enabling a Bush victory.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0925-01.htm

    Read it. It accurately reflects what I, and millions of others, perceived to be true at the time. Gore was trying to stop a runaway train. There is absolutely zero evidence that he would have deployed the power of the presidency to start the reckless rush to an unjustified war.

    And it is entirely common in politics to adopt soothing words (yes, this is serious threat yada yada, we are right to be concerned) just before you try to throw sand in the gears (beating the war drums on Iraq has squandered our good will; an invasion not accepted as legitimate by the world will be a disaster.) The people hunting for “Gore starting an Iraq War” or “Obama starting an Iran war” would have thought that Antony was praising Brutus and criticizing Caesar.

  251. 251
    Bob2 says:

    The reason I read DougJ and appreciate him is he REMEMBERS and REMINDS people what people on the Internets have written before. He knows that the main thing that they care about is their reputation and continued paychecks and this drives their contrarian, bullshit writing just to fill space. This is worth mocking, and worth shaming people over, otherwise people who are consistently wrong factually on everything get high-paying jobs writing for major mag..oh wait. *sigh* Of course, Freddie could not attack them ever publicly. He gets the McArdles of the world writing that they like him on his posts, even if he doesn’t like them particularly!

    DougJ doesn’t have the 5 second memory of Freddie or the hypocrisy of Freddie when called out factually. For all of Freddie’s experience with rhetoric, he’s rarely had good arguments and needs to learn to cut out of the chaff from his writings to make them clearer. Also, when his arguments are of the losing kind, he still gets linked by major bloggers like Sully or front paged elsewhere, and then whines about not being taken seriously or listened to if someone doesn’t agree with him. If he made better arguments that weren’t so emotionally driven, he’d win over more crowds. This has been going on for years, and most of the long time Internet posters know this.

    Freddie ignores a lot of crap here, especially that there’s more than a simple moral calculus involved with voting, and he has a gross misunderstanding of how political power structures work and the US history of military power. There’s a reason I respect posters like Kay and DougJ far far more than Freddie. They actually have made a difference in Internet discussion and in the voting field in far far less time posting.

  252. 252
    Rex Everything says:

    @Marc:

    There is absolutely zero evidence that he would have deployed the power of the presidency to start the reckless rush to an unjustified war.

    There’s about as much evidence as anyone could expect. Mainstream Dems did all they could to enable the “deploy[ment] of the power of the presidency” to go to war. Gore himself was characterizing Iraq as a “virulent threat” in language we all recognize now as alarmist bullshit. I’ll quote his statement again. It sounds like something Dick Cheney might have said at a presser on yellowcake uranium:

    “Even if we give first priority to the destruction of terrorist networks, and even if we succeed, there are still governments that could bring us great harm. And there is a clear case that one of these governments in particular represents a virulent threat in a class by itself: Iraq.
    As far as I am concerned, a final reckoning with that government should be on the table. To my way of thinking, the real question is not the principle of the thing, but of making sure that this time we will finish the matter on our terms…In 1991, I crossed party lines and supported the use of force against Saddam Hussein, but he was allowed to survive his defeat as the result of a calculation we all had reason to deeply regret for the ensuing decade. And we still do.” — Al Gore, 2002

    Yeah, there’s no way this guy would have invaded Iraq.

  253. 253
    Marc says:

    Gore on Iraq:

    ” By shifting from his early focus after September 11th on war against terrorism to war against Iraq, the President has manifestly disposed of the sympathy, good will and solidarity compiled by America and transformed it into a sense of deep misgiving and even hostility. In just one year, the President has somehow squandered the international outpouring of sympathy, goodwill and solidarity that followed the attacks of September 11th and converted it into anger and apprehension aimed much more at the United States than at the terrorist network – much as we manage to squander in one year’s time the largest budget surpluses in history and convert them into massive fiscal deficits. He has compounded this by asserting a new doctrine – of preemption.

    The doctrine of preemption is based on the idea that in the era of proliferating WMD, and against the background of a sophisticated terrorist threat, the United States cannot wait for proof of a fully established mortal threat, but should rather act at any point to cut that short.

    The problem with preemption is that in the first instance it is not needed in order to give the United States the means to act in its own defense against terrorism in general or Iraq in particular. But that is a relatively minor issue compared to the longer-term consequences that can be foreseen for this doctrine. To begin with, the doctrine is presented in open-ended terms, which means that if Iraq if the first point of application, it is not necessarily the last. In fact, the very logic of the concept suggests a string of military engagements against a succession of sovereign states: Syria, Libya, North Korea, Iran, etc., wherever the combination exists of an interest in weapons of mass destruction together with an ongoing role as host to or participant in terrorist operations. It means also that if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the Administration it is simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president so decides. “

  254. 254
    Marc says:

    Al Gore, from The Assault on Reason:

    ” Bush engaged in mass deception of the US public about Iraq
    The current White House has engaged in an unprecedented and sustained campaign of mass deception–especially where its policies in Iraq are concerned. Active deception by those in power makes true deliberation & meaningful debate by the people virtually impossible. When any administration lies to the people, it weakens America’s ability to make wise collective decisions about our Republic.
    …………….
    It is important to understand how such a horrible set of mistakes could have been made in a great democracy. And it is already obvious that the administration’s abnormal and un-American approach to secrecy, censorship, and massive systematic deception is the principal explanation for how America embraced this catastrophe.
    ………………….
    Five years after Pres. Bush first made his case for an invasion of Iraq, it is now clear that virtually all of the arguments he made were based on falsehoods. We were told by the president that war was his last choice. But it is now clear that it was always his first preference.”

    ——————

    Yup, obviously the words of someone who would also have chosen to do the same thing…

    FYI, for a contemporary press reaction to Gore’s speech on Iraq, see

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....gore_x.htm

    Where the meaning of what he said is pretty clearly indicated – and, again, this is precisely how people reacted to Gore’s position at the time.

  255. 255
    Rex Everything says:

    The speech you quote is manifestly an attack on GWB’s methodology. Gore is saying “you’re doing it wrong.” And that’s ALL he’s saying. He’s not condemning the invasion of Iraq out of principle at all; mainstream Dems don’t do that. He says GWB should have built a coalition, sought a UN resolution, and let Congress deliberate. Good Cop does his shoot-ups by the book.

    He gives a list of reasons why he supported the first Iraq war but not this one, and they’re all about methodology. Nowhere does he say what was obvious at the time: the case for war was trumped-up bullshit and the proposed invasion was an act of unjustified aggression. The speech you cite gives completely uncritical credence to the justification for war: “Nevertheless, Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction … We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country … these widely dispersed supplies of weapons of mass destruction might well come into the hands of terrorist groups …” etc etc etc.

    BTW, the gist of the CommonDreams piece you linked to was how out of character it was for Gore to say something at all dovish! I mean the guy is SURPRISED that Gore would even criticize the war. It’s a thousand miles from your claim that “those of us who were alive and paying attention at the time know damn well where Al Gore stood.”

    5 years after the fact, long after his political career was over, Gore finally acknowledged that the WMD story was a load. But he himself helped sell it. Put that in your pipe.

  256. 256
    Right/Left = Impulse/Thoughtfulness says:

    [facepalm]

    “Rex Everything”, you need to reread what Gore _said_, clearly you aren’t understanding that:

    GORE WOULD NOT HAVE STARTED THE IRAQ WAR.

    It’s delusional to say otherwise.

    More:

    Republicans want to start a war with Iran and based on their record they will if elected.

  257. 257
    ForgetTheCult says:

    @different-church-lady: Yeah still wondering….

  258. 258
    Rex Everything says:

    @Right/Left = Impulse/Thoughtfulness:

    I did read what Gore said. He said (1) Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. (2) Iraq is a threat to the U.S. (3) The Bush Administration is going about this war the wrong way, and if they were only nicer and more coalitiony about it he’d support this war like he did in ’91.

    Look at his statements on preemption, quoted above. He gives 2 reasons for opposing the doctrine of preemptive war: it isn’t necessary in order to launch an offensive, and it would be too open-ended. NOWHERE does he say he opposes it because it’s an act of naked aggression, because it constitutes an unprovoked attack.

    5 years later, when it was too late to matter, he said the war was based on lies. But what was he doing in 2002? He was pimping those lies himself, in the very speech Marc quoted above. Over and over, he warns of Iraq’s weaponry and what a threat it is: “there are still governments that could bring us great harm. And there is a clear case that one of these governments in particular represents a virulent threat in a class by itself: Iraq … we should organize an international coalition to eliminate [Saddam’s] access to weapons of mass destruction … We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country … these widely dispersed supplies of weapons of mass destruction might well come into the hands of terrorist groups …” That’s Al Gore in ’02.

    His criticism of the Iraq War was all about how it was handled, not at all about how it was wrong in principle. Which is exactly what all mainstream Democratic criticism of that war has always been, and remains to this day. Why should anyone assume a Gore Admin would have taken us on a different course than the one his party has overwhelmingly supported and enabled throughout this past decade?

  259. 259
    Rex Everything says:

    One more thought:

    Gore said, in 2008, “And it is already obvious that the administration’s abnormal and un-American approach to secrecy, censorship, and massive systematic deception is the principal explanation for how America embraced this catastrophe.”

    And we all know a Democratic president would NEVER embrace things like secrecy, censorship, and massive systematic deception. Who could even imagine such a thing?

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