Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…

As the serial donnybrooks on this here blog illustrate, the Syria issue is dividing the hard left, medium left, soft left, just-right left, terminally centrist, etc. Might I offer a particularly smug Bush dead-ender to unite us all again for a moment of shared derision? Glenn Harlan Reynolds, ladies and germs, government teat-sucker / Galt wannabe and libertarian / neo-con:

Say what you will about George W. Bush’s diplomacy, but he nurtured relationships with our most important allies — like Britain — and managed to put together a huge multinational coalition for his own foray against an Arab dictator suspected of having chemical weapons. Obama’s diplomatic efforts — championed by Hillary Clinton and, now, John Kerry — are looking more and more inept by comparison: So far, our only ally in the proposed Syria venture is France, maybe.

I can say what I will about George W. Bush’s diplomacy? Good, here goes: He lied us into a ruinous, catastrophic war that killed tens of thousands of people, bankrupted America while enriching his cronies, burned our allies and tanked our global prestige so badly that it’s nothing short of a fucking miracle that any subsequent American president, including Barack Obama, could get the French on board for a resolution to discourage tourists at the Louvre from defacing the Mona Lisa with a Sharpie.

Reynolds goes on:

But that’s what happens when your diplomacy is a failure.

No, that’s what happens when the president’s immediate predecessor was an unindicted, unconvicted fucking war criminal, Glenn. It means we can’t have nice things, like broad international coalitions and federal budget surpluses.

I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do, and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice. But it’s a little much to have that odious organization’s cheerleaders crawl out of the woodwork so soon and pretend that the GWB administration wasn’t an utter and complete disaster on virtually every front.

They’ll need a MIB neuralyzer to pull that shit off. Lacking that, Reynolds & Co. might want to mothball the Bush triumphalism for a generation or so and spring it on the freshman class of 2033. The W stench may have cleared by then. We’re still choking on it at the moment.






259 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Say what you will about Ted Bundy, but his victims were always very attractive.

  2. 2
    ruemara says:

    I rather wish any deity in charge of cosmic justice get with the smitings of these folks the minute they open their pie holes. To my chagrin, atheism keeps being proven.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    They’ll need a MIB neuralyzer to pull that shit off.

    They have one. It’s called “cable news”.

  4. 4

    They’ll need a MIB neuralyzer to pull that shit off.

    A-effin-men

  5. 5
    Santa Fe says:

    This. A thousand times THIS. Thank you so much; the day started badly and has now been much improved.

    Nice to see that the representatives for the Syrian Christian population – Orthodox and Catholic leadership – have come out strongly against U.S. strikes.

  6. 6
    flukebucket says:

    Our allies may have a “fooled me once shame you, fool me twice shame on me”.
    Maybe they are just trying to be sure they won’t be fooled again.

  7. 7
    Keith P. says:

    Who deleted the Medicaid post? I was just posting a comment about it when the page died.

  8. 8

    When you are good, you are very very good.

  9. 9
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    A few more wars from Obama and the next president may be able to get a Nobel Peace Prize too. How awesome would that be?

  10. 10
    Botsplainer says:

    On the good side, the dumbest man on the internet is in some kind of a medical crisis at a hospital.

    “Jim Hoft Is Our Hero” – Michael Flynn, Breitbart News

    Wow! Breitbart News writers are at Gateway Pundit!

    From the outpouring of prayers and kind words this past week, we have discovered how loved Jim Hoft is. He is, also, highly respected, and sorely missed in the Conservative community. Jim’s absence has reminded us all of how important, influential, and ground breaking his work is. One man keeping a news site running and thriving with almost 5 million readers each month – by himself – is truly astounding. What is equally astounding, though, is that the quality of his accomplishments is wholly matched by the quality of who he is.

    Among the many feeling Jim’s loss in the blogging world is Breitbart News. Mike Flynn, the mover and shaker behind Andrew Breitbart’s Internet powerhouse, has brought his rockstar writers to Gateway Pundit while Jim recovers.

    Launching their incredible offer was the statement, “Jim Hoft is our hero”. Yes, he is. A big thank you to Breitbart News for their generous and gracious offer to help a friend and colleague. The current Gateway Pundit guest writers…Rachel Pulaski, Mara Zebest, Andrew Marcus, Ed, and James…have been doing an outstanding job, but it is a feat bigger than all of us to replace Jim while he heals.

    – See more at: http://www.thegatewaypundit.co.....coD7l.dpuf

  11. 11
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    it’s a little much to have that odious organization’s cheerleaders crawl out of the woodwork so soon

    I think it’s useful for them to pipe up early and often and keep themselves good and discredited.

  12. 12
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do,

    Of course you do, Betty, you really really do because you’re ethically and morally inconsistent depending on whose team is in the White House.

    and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice.

    Of course you can, Betty, of course you can.

    Just one of the consequences being that, while George W Bush slouches across the land a free man, BO has no ethical or moral authority to pronounce judgement on the actions of any other head of state.

    When I hear BO and John Bad Plastic Surgery/Botox Kerry, with an appalling lack of self awareness, drone on and on about Assad’s alleged crimes, I mordantly laugh along with the rest of the world.

    Wise up.

  13. 13
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Botsplainer: What is equally astounding, though, is that the quality of his accomplishments is wholly matched by the quality of who he is.

    Well, can’t argue with that.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do, and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice. But it’s a little much to have that odious organization’s cheerleaders crawl out of the woodwork so soon and pretend that the GWB administration wasn’t an utter and complete disaster on virtually every front.

    I don’t get it at all. I understand that prosecuting Bush would be hard, and that it would cost political capital. I understand that it would create something of a backlash, with Republicans looking to punish Democrats in the same way that Republicans tried to punish Clinton in retribution for the ousting of Richard Nixon.

    That said, hounding Nixon wasn’t just the right thing to do, during the 70s. It was also a huge coup for the Democrats, politically, and key in helping turn the east and west coasts blue. Putting George Bush on trial would mean that Republicans couldn’t just ignore him. It would have further humiliated an otherwise shameless party. It might have forestalled the ’10 Congressional route and bought Obama an extra two years or more of legislative authority.

    Instead, Bush has slipped down the memory hole the same way Reagan did after he left off in ’88. Conservatives are going to put their backs into rehabilitating the Bush image and legacy, and rejustify the neo-con agenda. That’s a hell of a lot harder to do when you’ve got The Decider on camera for another two years, being forced to publicly defend all his bad decisions day in and day out.

    Letting Bush off was a huge fucking mistake.

  15. 15
    Ted & Hellen says:

    the president’s immediate predecessor was an unindicted, unconvicted fucking war criminal,

    I don’t think Barack would agree with you, Betty.

    Ask him if you can get a word in edgewise during his photo ops and library dedications and schmoozing with the Bush Crime Family.

  16. 16
    jeffreyw says:

    Bah, neighbor just left. He came over with a fresh baked loaf of bread and we were having a nice gardening chat and talking about our good dogs and then he breached the peace by mentioning that in his opinion we could have won that war in Viet Nam if only we had been tougher. And by being tougher meaning my infantry ass getting shot up while he analysed the data from his perch in Japan. He was a VN veteran so he had a very considered opinion, informed by his 4 months in a Da Nang motor pool and some reading he has done since the war. I blew the fuck up and told him not to start that shit. But but but, he said, Russian ship unloading ammo we couldn’t bomb! Syria! What about Syria!?! I said stay the fuck out of Syria and thanks for the bread, see you later I have to go.

  17. 17
    Betty Cracker says:

    ATTENTION PEOPLE WHO FEED TROLLS: PLEASE DON’T. THANKS!

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    Thanks. My blood pressure was rising yesterday after reading Mark ‘War Criminal’ Thiessen’s meditations on Syria. I’m persuaded that a lot of winger opposition to Obama’s Syria policy is that they just don’t like to see libruls bomb anything. It upsets them. ‘We do all the bombing here.’

  19. 19
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Smokin’ hot post straight from the oven, Betty. What galls the living shit right out of me is that it wasn’t enough for the GWB cabal to run the whole fucking outfit into the ditch. No, now they won’t rest until we all praise their actions. It’s enough to make a saint kick out a stained glass window.

  20. 20
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Zifnab:

    Letting Bush off was a huge fucking mistake.

    I would agree if I thought they could have successfully nailed him. I don’t think they could have.

  21. 21
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Ahhh…the old “troll” dodge.

    Idiot.

  22. 22
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Just one of the consequences being that, while George W Bush slouches across the land a free man, BO has no ethical or moral authority to pronounce judgement on the actions of any other head of state.

    Don’t disagree with you T&H, it’s just when you’re such an asshole all the time the meaning of your message is lost. It’s like sending John Bolton to the U.N. Doesn’t matter what he says, people are going to hate him, and by extension the U.S., no matter what.

  23. 23
    EconWatcher says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Here, here. But I’ve been here for a number of years, and I don’t remember that advice ever being followed, so good luck with that…..

  24. 24
    flukebucket says:

    The W stench may have cleared by then. We’re still choking on it at the moment.

    As long as I am alive there will be a stench attached to that administration. I will make god damn sure my grandchildren and great grandchildren know exactly what I think about it.

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Do you feel that apple pies need a good handful of cinammon to make them work? Or are you ok with just caramelizing them and using the natural sugars?

  26. 26
    Bruce Lawton says:

    Reward the refugees for not fighting with whatever helps; food, shelter and other needs. Blankets not bullets. Let the tribal Muslim factions continue their 1000 year fight with out any help. If we interfere the other half of the Arab will hate us. Why bother.

  27. 27
    Botsplainer says:

    @Santa Fe:

    Nice to see that the representatives for the Syrian Christian population – Orthodox and Catholic leadership – have come out strongly against U.S. strikes.

    I can’t speak for the Catholic side, but on the Orthodox side, they’ve been completely in the tank for Assad for decades. I just got a note from Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese to call my congressdorks and specify my opposition.

    In some ways I love the guy (he’s incredibly forward looking in terms of his respect for the role of the laity as compared to other Orthodox hierarchs), but he is a masterful manipulator of the personal side of internal politics in the church and externals of the state. All those photos of him with Assad and various Syrian government ministers over the past 30+ years give me some pause.

    Like the Cylons, he always has a plan. And he is really, really good at it. I’ve often thought I’d love to shadow the guy for a month just to see how it is done. In a crisis a few years ago when a bunch of former Fundamentalist converts were looking to take over the Antiochian Archdiocese the same way they wrecked the Orthodox Church in America, he bided his time and managed to knock out each of his opponents in one fell swoop like Michael Corleone did during the baptism (including my longserving-but-gone-fundie-wayward parish priest and my former Talibornagain convert Bishop). It was an amazing operation.

  28. 28
    EconWatcher says:

    Someone needs to tell Dougj that the comment function isn’t working for his thread.

  29. 29
    Zifnab says:

    @Betty Cracker: They didn’t have to “nail” him. They just needed to get him on something, even something trivial. So long as they got a conviction, it would look like a victory simply because Bush would be front-and-center in the public eye for years trying to explain himself.

  30. 30
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    Don’t disagree with you T&H, it’s just when you’re such an asshole all the time the meaning of your message is lost. It’s like sending John Bolton to the U.N. Doesn’t matter what he says, people are going to hate him, and by extension the U.S., no matter what.

    Well, I don’t comment here to make cyber friends. I have those in real life.

    For the thousandth time: Nothing I write is any more offensive than shit written here at BJ all the time, in FP posts and in comments. The point of contention is the direction in which I aim my rhetoric.

    BJer’s dish it out, can’t take it. Betty is among the worst.

  31. 31
    Ted & Hellen says:

    ATTENTION, PEOPLE WHO READ BETTY TALKING OUT BOTH SIDES OF HER MOUTH (BUSH IS A WAR CRIMINAL BUT I TOTALLY GET THAT HE IS SUCH A HORRENDOUS WAR CRIMINAL THAT HE CAN’T BE PROSECUTED BECAUSE THE REPUBLICANS ARE REALLY MEAN AND REASONS!): SHE’S A DISHONEST TRIBAL IDIOT.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Zifnab: Do you really think in our hyper-polarized political environment, the Obama administration, the Democrats in Congress, the DOJ or any other institution (inside the US) could have successful prosecuted Bush and his cronies? I don’t think so.

  33. 33
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Zifnab:

    I don’t get it at all. I understand that prosecuting Bush would be hard, and that it would cost political capital.

    The “could haves, would haves, should haves” about that one leave me feeling stupid. The only thing I can conclude is what combination of punishment and opprobrium could possibly be appropriate for comprehensively and deliberately trashing the nation? Maybe the electric chair for life. Otherwise I got nothin’.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @jeffreyw: It takes a lot to get your infantry ass goin but when it does. . . incoming!!!!!

  35. 35
    RandomMonster says:

    Betty Cracker, you are the voice of reason! Nice post.

  36. 36
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    The best troll thing is when they get all wound and post multiple comments in a row. Then there’s all these pie comments lined up.

  37. 37
    piratedan says:

    @Betty Cracker: agreed, there was real work to be done, saving the economy, lily ledbetter, the ACA, the stimulus would you have traded all of that to watch the hyper-partisanship that would have taken place with the prosecution of the Bushies? You thought we saw obstruction before…. hoo-boy….. damn shame that we lost Kennedy, Byrd and that it took so long to get Franken seated…..

  38. 38
    BarbCat says:

    That was reading Napalm for breakfast! Thank you.

  39. 39
    joes527 says:

    I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do, and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice

    Interesting juxtaposition with the bombs away argument that we have to punish Asad or the whole chemical weapons treaty isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

  40. 40
    lol says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Says everything about certain “progressives” that they would take a purely symbolic and ultimately unsuccessful prosecution of Bush et al over passing the stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, etc.

  41. 41
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    I realized just how much the quality of the trolls had gone down when I found myself feeling nostalgic for MYIQ2XU.

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Well, I don’t comment here to make cyber friends.

    You would if you’d tell us your secret to that delicious shepherds pie you keep yammering on about.

  43. 43
    Zifnab says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Any punishment is punishment enough for someone that believes he is immune to it.

  44. 44
    celticdragonchick says:

    @lol:

    Yep, not to mention that we would be looking at retaliatory investigations, impeachments and attempts to criminally prosecute Democratic presidents for the next 50 years.

    An attempt to prosecute Bush could very well have brought down the Obama Presidency, and created a cycle of Constitutional crisis for every president for decades to come.

  45. 45
    piratedan says:

    @joes527: the old “contracts are binding” when they’re applied to you, but when you attempt to hold someone else to the “your word is your bond” they cite some nicety and you get fine printed outta your claim…

  46. 46
    joes527 says:

    @lol:

    …purely symbolic and ultimately unsuccessful prosecution of Bush…

    Aren’t we contemplating a purely symbolic and ultimately unsuccessful intervention in Syria because …. freedumb!!??

  47. 47
    PeakVT says:

    I don’t think criminal prosecutions of major Bush administration officials should have been a priority of the Obama administration in 2009. What should have been done, and what I called for at the time, was for Congress to use its investigative powers to get as much information out as possible. If they found something prosecutable, great. If not, oh well. What was/is important is that as much information about the internal processes of the administration be made public as possible. Unfortunately, I doubt whether there’s a much of a paper trail there. All the important conversations were either strictly verbal, shredded, or deleted. If the latter two happened, only cover-up related prosecutions could take place, which is still something, but not sufficient to assign political blame, which is ultimately what we are after.

  48. 48

    @lol:
    I think there’s a small but noisy group of lefties who really do care more about sticking it to the Republicans than they do about helping people who need help. They’re basically the mirror image of Cleek’s Law.

  49. 49
    weaselone says:

    managed to put together a huge multinational coalition for his own foray against an Arab dictator suspected of having chemical weapons

    Um, no Bush didn’t. Iraq War 2.0 was basically the US and Britain along with whatever other nations we could cajole, bribe or strong arm into signing on the dotted line. The countries Obama already has lined up in a couple weeks are a far stronger coalition than what Bush fielded. France is essentially equivalent to the UK. Turkey is apparently on board, which is a particularly nice improvement over Iraq 2 when they wouldn’t even allow us access to their territory. Several of the Gulf states are also supportive which means more military and perhaps monetary support for any operation. In the coming weeks, more names will likely be added to the list as the evidence is presented on the UN deliberates.

  50. 50
    Donut says:

    I am continually astounded that anyone who identifies with the “hard left, medium left, soft left, just-right left, terminally centrist” categories can be on the pro-attack-Syria side.

    The CIA is working overtime right now to catapult the propaganda, as our friend Shrub once said. If you don’t think that is happening, and that Barack Obama is not a willing participant in it, and gung-ho to spear-head it, you’re an idiot on top of being an ignoramus.

    Hypothetically, of course, if you would have come down on the “no” side of attacking Syria if we had, say, a President Romney right now, or were in the second admin of a McCain Admin (gods help us all!), then you are a fucking hypocrite and should be banned from further thought on this matter. Go contemplate the circumferece of your asshole. It would be more useful to humanity than your thoughts on Syria. Seriously, it would be awful for a Republican to carry this out, and it’s a bad idea for a Democrat to carry this out.

    I like Barack Obama, generally. Voted him in to the Senate, supported him financially and with my votes in the 2008 primary, did the same in 2012. But I really think many of the things he said on the campaign trail in ’08 as respects foreign policy and our use of force to get policy results are now forgotten. And so many of us on the “left” are willing to just give him a pass, because he’s from our tribe. It’s bullshit. I think the President done an outstanding job, I’d give him a solid B+ or better as a president, overall, and given the circumstances. However, I disagree with him on many of his foreign policy choices. Afghanistan, Libya, now Syria. He is too willing to use our military to achieve policy objectives, IMO, when the track record for doing so is…well…spotty at best. And for a turd-polisher like Glenn Fucking Reynolds to burble up that shit is amazing. It’s people like him who embraced the unitary executive theory and further enabled Obama, as Bush’s successor, to use military power as we are about to do. It’s fucked up, and those of you supporting it are helping enable it further for the next person who occupies the Oval Office – whether they be a Dem or GOPer.

    Obama, like Bush before him, is being pushed and shoved by the deep state on Syria, and it’s headed towards something awful. You can dress up the desire to attack in all kinds of fancy lace underpants, but it’s still killing other people to achieve a policy goal. That is called war. Yeah, you wanna split hairs and say it’s not a formal declaration of war? Fine, it doesn’t fit the constitutional definition. That’s great. You go enjoy that semantic masturbation, all by yourself. We are going to kill other people to achieve a policy goal. Again.

    I keep saying this over and over – if you think the correct analogy is Libya and that went great, and we can just impose our will, again, on a bad actor, you have not been paying attention. There is more blow-back to come from Libya yet, and there will be even more to come from Syria.

    To paraphrase a law of physics, applied to geo-politics – when something gives way, something else will come in to take it’s place. As with Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq…we end up with actors who are just as bad or potentially worse. It’s fucking useless. But go on, enjoy yourselves and pretend like it’ll all be okay because Barack has “got this.” I don’t even know what the point of this post is, other than to express my utter sadness with the quality of the debate we are pretending to have. Rachel Maddow about pissed her pants over the awesomeness of it last night, but it’s dead-wrong. We are shouting into the void. No one who is in a position to really do anything about this cares what you say. The United States will attack Syria, or rather, continue to attack it. It’s just a matter of how overt we decide we are going to be about it. Fuck it.

  51. 51
    flukebucket says:

    @Bruce Lawton:

    Amen. Carpet bomb the god damn place with gas masks and be done with it.

  52. 52
    MomSense says:

    @flukebucket:

    Wait isn’t that quote now “fool me twice shame on shame on shame on………….won’t get fooled again”

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @PeakVT: Congress was so and is so complicit in those actions that there is no way they were going to investigate anything. Besides, it’s too much like work and that cuts into the campaigning photo-ops and funding payback points they need to accumulate.

  54. 54
    kindness says:

    I don’t buy USA Today. I hardly ever read it either so I twaddled over to see the comments under that article. Jesus, when did the comment section of USA today become WND? Talk about babbling idiots.

    I don’t fear Syrian dictators so much as I fear my fellow Americans because my fellow Americans are bigger morans & purposeful idiots than the Syrian dictator appears to be.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @Betty Cracker: “I would agree if I thought they could have successfully nailed him. I don’t think they could have.”

    Same way you do drug kingpins, get the low level torturers to squeal on their superiors.
    Not sure if it would work, but to not even try?

  56. 56
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Zifnab:

    Any punishment is punishment enough for someone that believes he is immune to it.

    You’re right. OTOH, in what may be my better moments I think that the GWB crowd acted mostly out of arrogance and ignorance rather than malice aforethought. During those moments it makes me uncomfortable to consider punishing people for their deeds. There’s also the notion that Bushco was only the outward and visible symptom of the pervasive rot in our political system.

  57. 57

    @joes527:

    Aren’t we contemplating a purely symbolic and ultimately unsuccessful intervention in Syria because …. freedumb!!??

    And a lot of people here are opposed to it because we don’t want a symbolic and ineffective intervention that will cause a bunch of collateral damage. Funny how that works.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    @weaselone: Did the President get Poland to agree to air strikes? That is the fifty million dollar question.

  59. 59
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Reynolds seems to be mixing up George H Bush with Goerge W Bush. If I recall W’s mighty collation was based around the armed strength of Poland and Fiji.

    Were is Poland President Obama? the nation asks.

  60. 60
    celticdragonchick says:

    @flukebucket:

    Don’t forget the MOPP suits and atropine injectors. Sarin and VX will kill with any sort of physical exposure. You don’t have to breath it.

    Some blister agents like phosgene can do pretty bad things to exposed skin as well.

    I was in charge of chemical decontamination for personnel and equipment in my outfit when I was 4/24 Aviation at Hunter AAF. They really should have sent me to chemical warfare school at Ft McClellan. (You actually have to use the gear in real conditions with exposure to lethal amounts of Sarin in a closed room. Not a fun day…)

  61. 61
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    How come the conservatives aren’t insisting that we let the marketplace sort out Syria? Is there no way to privatize that war? Those bastards are all leaning on their shovels this time.

  62. 62
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Betty Cracker: Can you imagine how much time/resources/energy would have been wasted if President Obama had been silly enough to prosecute the Bushes/Cheneys, etc.? Bush/Cheney won twice and Repubs got the majority of the White vote in 2008 and 2012 (which I’m sure will be the same in 2016/2020). President Obama made the right decision in not prosecuting the former administration. His focus on bringing the economy back from death and passing key legislation (healthcare) better served the American people, in my opinion.

  63. 63
    raven says:

    @celticdragonchick: And I thought pulling the mask off in the CS tent was a bitch!

  64. 64
    cmorenc says:

    Among the most cretinously stupid, irritating thing unrepentant wingers have done were the “Do You Miss Me Yet” roadside billboards and rw chain emails, showing a large profile image of George Bush and smugly implying how vastly greater things were before an incompetent N*clang somehow seized the Oval Office, enabled only by a combination of hopelessly naive, deluded voters and fraudulently illegal votes.

  65. 65
    Mike G says:

    Say what you will about George W. Bush’s diplomacy, but he nurtured relationships…

    Epic FAIL in the first half-sentence. I wonder what color the sky is in Glenn Reynolds’ world, and how sad it must be to go through life so blinkered by ideology.
    Bush “nurtured relationships” like that guy in Ohio who kidnapped the three women.
    Bush’s fuck-you arrogance set US diplomacy back decades.

  66. 66
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @raven:

    You didn’t have to recite the Ten General Orders before you could put your gasmask back on? Sheesh.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    joes527 says:

    @Mike G: But … but … but … he looked Putin in the eye

  69. 69
    raven says:

    Well, this asshole is with you geniuses:

    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain says he doesn’t support the latest Senate resolution to authorize military force against Syria.

    McCain is an outspoken advocate of intervention against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and wants more than cruise missile strikes and other limited action.

  70. 70

    Time to put up some more “Miss Me Yet?” billboards with Bush the Younger on there, Prof. Instaputz.

  71. 71

    Say what you will about George W. Bush’s diplomacy, but he nurtured relationships with our most important allies

    Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism…

  72. 72
    PeakVT says:

    @scav: Probably so. But it was still the best way to proceed. I don’t think the Obama administration should have made it a priority given the other issues facing the country at the time.

    Ultimately, though, we need to blame the American people for the failure to hold anyone accountable. It was beyond obvious by 2004 the war was based on lies and a complete mistake, and a majority of Americans said so the fuck what, let’s re-elect those bozos.

  73. 73
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @MattF:

    Thanks. My blood pressure was rising yesterday after reading Mark ‘War Criminal’ Thiessen’s meditations on Syria. I’m persuaded that a lot of winger opposition to Obama’s Syria policy is that they just don’t like to see libruls bomb anything. It upsets them. ‘We do all the bombing here.’

    My take on it is the right is having a flash back to 2002 and all their Amurica’ fuck’ ya’ about the Iraq war. So now as repentant sinners they are hard core isolationists.

  74. 74
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @raven:

    Now that’s the Sixties military I’m talkin’ about. They were so good at coming up with a bonus fuck.

  75. 75
    joes527 says:

    @raven: Funny how yesterday when it looked like McCain was in favor of the resolution he was the war hero to be listened to.

    If you want to play “look who is on your side of this argument” then both sides look like shit.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I always heard some dude fired the atropine for a buzz?

  77. 77
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I gave up hope of any accountability for Bush when he was reelected (or at least kept it close enough to steal in Ohio, depending on whom you believe) in 2004. We all knew the son of a bitch was either a liar and/or incompetent boob by then and chose to keep him in the White House anyway.

    At that point, the American people became complicit in Bush’s crimes, and any hope of actual justice (rather than a gesture that would make us liberals feel good for a few minutes followed by unrelenting political warfare at every level that would have made the current obstructionism look like child’s play) went out the window.

  78. 78

    @raven:

    I’m constantly amazed at John “POW” McCain’s ability to live down to my lowest expectations of his behavior. He truly is a loathsome human being.

  79. 79
    celticdragonchick says:

    @raven:

    Yeah. I saw pictures of Chemical Warfare School students actually using test strips on sarin contaminated puddles of liquid.

    Not a good time to screw up on anything. The school is now a Ft Leonard Wood.

  80. 80
    Epicurus says:

    Say what you will about “Professor” Reynolds, but he’s an ignorant stenographer for the GOP. His and Ann Winebox’s continued employment at schools professing to teach The Law is a major disaster. Please stop paying attention to this pinhead, and whatever Drudge headline he’s decided to push today.

  81. 81

    @PeakVT: This is why I consider 2004, not 2000, to be the most horrifying election of my lifetime. In 2004 the American people elected, on purpose, the guy who had just lied us into an unnecessary war that cost us trillions of dollars, thousands of US lives (not to mention Iraqis), and our standing in the world. It was really hard to have hope for the future of this country after that.

  82. 82
    fuckwit says:

    O please when will all this noise stop.

    The solution is to have a functioning international government that can police its own member states. There is no other workable solution, long term, for solving these kinds of problems.

    This is a job for the UN.

    That was the case in 2002 with Iraq and it’s still the case now in Syria and anywhere.

  83. 83
    bemused says:

    Betty, you do have a way with words. I need a cigarette.

    Freaking losers never, ever take responsibility for anything.

  84. 84
    RP says:

    I cannot believe that so many people think that prosecuting the previous president for war crimes would have been a good idea. Insanity.

  85. 85
    raven says:

    @celticdragonchick: Fuck dat. Guess you gotta be ready though. Me and Higgs is so old they called it CBR training!

  86. 86
    celticdragonchick says:

    @raven:

    Heh…we did the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of us (including me) actually went back into the room with the maximum allowable concentration of fumes without any mask at all. The Drill Sergeant said “fuck it!” and bailed out!

    I knew of one female 1st Lt who knocked out 30 pushups in the gas chamber without a mask. Not like she trying prove something…

  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    @Donut:

    Yeah, you wanna split hairs and say it’s not a formal declaration of war? Fine, it doesn’t fit the constitutional definition. That’s great. You go enjoy that semantic masturbation

    Speaking of semantic masturbation:

    “I didn’t set a red line,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference here in Stockholm. “The world set a red line.”

    He added, “My credibility’s not on the line. The international community’s credibility’s on the line. And America and Congress’s credibility’s on the line.”

    Everyone’s credibility is on the line except his own? President Obama needs to take responsibility for his own words. What a gutless, slimy thing to say – his worst comment ever. I hope he is pounded for it by the MSM but I’m not holding my breath.

  88. 88
    cvstoner says:

    I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do

    I don’t.

    and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice

    No, we don’t.

  89. 89
    Botsplainer says:

    @Epicurus:

    His and Ann Winebox’s continued employment at schools professing to teach The Law is a major disaster.

    Of the two, Franziablog is the greater embarrassment.

  90. 90
    cleek says:

    @Zifnab:
    that one’s going in the pie text list.

  91. 91
    ET says:

    I suspect that one of the reasons that Syria is such a hard sell in 2013 is because of how Bush 43 and his team carried out diplomacy.

    It is hard to sell a new war when the last have been so ruinous – and that doesn’t even get into the horrendous lies and misdirection of one of them. But then in his world nothing was ever Bush 43’s fault.

  92. 92
    joes527 says:

    @RP:

    I cannot believe that so many people think that prosecuting the previous president for war crimes would have been a good idea. Insanity.

    This is a blog where we argue in favor of lobbing a few missiles into a civil war where both sides are bad actors. Insanity is how we roll.

  93. 93
    Suffen ACE says:

    He truthed us into War! It just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But Reynolds is correct. Obama would have been better off telling howling lies then attacking Jordan. Support would probably be in the mid 30s by now. That’s what dipolmacy amounts to anyway.

  94. 94
    jonas says:

    “Huge multinational coalition” ???

    Check me if I’m wrong, but it was basically us, followed by the UK, and then, with a few token troops, assets, etc., Spain, Poland, and Australia. And maybe Lithuania or something. And in all of those cases, their leaders acted in spite of enormous public opposition to the war.

    Some coalition you had there, Dubya. And I didn’t forget Poland!

  95. 95
    cvstoner says:

    @flukebucket:

    Maybe they are just trying to be sure they won’t be fooled again.

    Looks like the American people refuse to be fooled again, too.

  96. 96
    Botsplainer says:

    My vote on Franziablog being the greater embarrassment rests on posts such as this:

    September 4, 2013
    Speaking of hurricanes…
    … now, some scientists have a theory that global warming mitigates hurricanes.

    ADDED: Meanwhile… “Al Gore’s Incredible Shrinking Climate Change Footprint.”
    Posted by Ann Althouse at 1:54 AM
    Tags: global warming, Gore, hurricane, I’m skeptical

  97. 97
    scav says:

    @PeakVT: Ultimately it is rather the enabling collective that bears responsibility. At least the ranks of perfect nations are so nonexistant that we have company (although our size, military budget and media footprint tends to magnify our mistakes.)

  98. 98
    raven says:

    @Mandalay: God, you are one pain in the fucking ass.

  99. 99
    celticdragonchick says:

    @raven: I didn’t volunteer for the position in my unit (decontamination), but if I was going to have to do something like that, I figured I better know what the hell I am actually doing. The unit was never able to send me, though.

    I still knew how to set up my decontamination checkpoints, have the barrels of supertropical bleach nearby and run the CAD machine to check each person and their weapons etc and then show them how to use activated charcoal to get the shit off of their gear. I was also responsible for setting up the chemical agent monitor alarms around our perimeter in the field.

  100. 100
    Gravenstone says:

    @flukebucket: Noble sentiment, but gas masks alone are about worthless wrt nerve agents. They are readily absorbed through the skin as well, so you need literal head to toe protection when they are deployed.

  101. 101
    Laur says:

    Can someone compare this to Rwanda for me? (as in….are they similar, are they not similar). If this was a country in Africa or something would the opinions be different? Or is it the fact that it’s the Middle East that’s making people all jumpy?

    Please keep in mind I have no damn clue what’s going on.

  102. 102
    raven says:

    @celticdragonchick: When I was at Knox I made the mistake of volunteering to be a “fireman”. I thought, cool, fighting fires. Turns out it meant I had to fire the coal furnaces in the old wood barracks in the legendary winter storm of 67!

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: I really don’t think he meant everyone else’s credibility is on the line except his. I think what he meant was, “It’s not MY credibility that’s on the line — it’s the whole world’s” or some such. In other words, “Don’t make this about me.”

  104. 104
  105. 105
    raven says:

    @Laur: No one else does either, don’t let them dazzle you with bullshit.

  106. 106
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It is my sincere wish that Jim Hoft dies a slow painful death. Right now would be good. If he can somehow manage to drag all the Breitbart crew and the vile shitstaine Reynolds along with him, that would be very good, too.

  107. 107
    Gravenstone says:

    @raven: Shocking!! The resolution (as currently engendered) isn’t blood thirsty enough for Herr McCain.

  108. 108
    Tractarian says:

    @ET: This.

    I’d go farther and say we’d have troops in Damascus right now if it weren’t for the Iraq fiasco. You’d have a bunch of dissenters, sure, but nothing like the wall of popular opposition (if not Congressional opposition) that we’re seeing now.

    The fact is, the case for invading and occupying Syria in 2013 is way more persuasive than the case for invading and occupying Iraq in 2003. Even if you took the faulty Iraq intelligence at face value.

    That truly is W’s lasting legacy: he unwittingly made “wars of choice” politically toxic for at least a generation or two.

    It wasn’t always thus. Gulf War I was a “war of choice” and, a couple of decades later, virtually no one thinks that was a mistake. Today, Papa Bush wouldn’t be able to get even the most toothless resolution out of Congress. Where’s our national security interest in ousting Saddam from Kuwait? Why should I pay hard-earned tax dollars to liberate some Arab oil-state monarchy? Why draw a phony “red line” at invading another sovereign country? Military-industrial complex! DrooOoOOnes! Etc.

  109. 109
    flukebucket says:

    @Gravenstone: Well throw some rubber suits in there. Various colors and sizes.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do, and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice.

    Who is the troll now, Betty Lou Who? Who’s the troll now?

  111. 111
    Donut says:

    @Mandalay:

    Sorry, I am not sure what you’re getting at. Obama been pretty clear all along that he wants military action in Syria. Seems to me he has simply been waiting for a time when there is enough support in the Congress that they won’t raise too much of a stink over it. He can live with some stink, but it’s all kabuki at this point. Whatever.

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    People who feel compelled to tell all of us how they have exultantly pied some other commenter?
    We get it.

  113. 113
    ira-NY says:

    When President Obama came into office the bottom was literally falling out of the economy.

    Prosecuting Bush Co. was not possible or wise in that situation.

    More importantly, criminalizing such matters is not where wisdom lies. Elections and shaming are the better tools for dealing with political miscreants.

  114. 114

    Huge Coalition, oh he means the joke that was the so called “coalition of the willing” which included UK and some tiny countries

  115. 115

    @Mandalay:

    I think Obama has at least a glimmer of a point. The international community has declared that chemical weapons are not to be used. Now somebody has used them. Obama has actually stepped up and proposed action. It’s now up to the rest of the people who say they care about chemical weapons to back him, back some other plan to do something, or lose credibility by admitting that they don’t care enough about chemical weapons to do anything when they’re used. /obot

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I would like to take a peek at his fitness reports for his time in command of an air wing. There’s a reason he didn’t get a star or two, like his father and grandfather, and I’ll bet those reports would give us a pretty good clue why. Quite aside from his questionable piloting skills, I’d wager that his command skills were even worse.

  117. 117

    @ira-NY: There is no evidence that GOP has been shamed from their subsequent behavior.

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Yep, not to mention that we would be looking at retaliatory investigations, impeachments and attempts to criminally prosecute Democratic presidents for the next 50 years

    And this would be different from every other D presidency exactly how? You’ve got a sitting freaking R Senator discussing impeachment at townhalls.
    You’ve got R Issa investigating if Obama’s socks are matching.
    It’s going to continue. They have to delegitimize every D president. They have nothing else to offer.

  119. 119
    Laur says:

    @raven: Well, SOMEONE has to know what the fuck is going on, right? Bueller?

  120. 120
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: How is that trolling?

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Everyone’s credibility is on the line except his own? President Obama needs to take responsibility for his own words. What a gutless, slimy thing to say – his worst comment ever. I hope he is pounded for it by the MSM but I’m not holding my breath.

    Wait, so first you’re complaining that Obama is trying to act unilaterally, and now you’re complaining that he’s trying to bring the international community into it and point out that the chemical weapons treaty is an international treaty, not just a standard of the US?

    There’s really no way for him to win with you, is there? No matter what he does, it’s wrong. Act unilaterally? WRONG! Get international backing? WRONG! Take action? WRONG! Do nothing? WRONG!

  122. 122
    raven says:

    @Laur: Just ask, this joint is overrun with experts.

  123. 123
    celticdragonchick says:

    @cvstoner:

    Because ruining the presidency for every Democrat in the forseeable future is totally worth pursuing an unwinnable criminal case against a former president and his cronies on a matter that close to 70% of the American public support him on (still!)

    Just for starters…where the fuck do you intend to come up with a jury??? A super majority of the American public is fine with using Medieval interrogation methods on “terror suspects”!

    Bush was a symptom of a rot that goes a lot fucking deeper then most of us like to admit. It is a reason why it is almost impossible to get criminal convictions of police officers even after that are caught on camera shooting unarmed people in the back (like in San Bernardino), beating and framing a black kid for murder (Jacksonville Florida) or using nightsticks and jackboots on an African American motorist (Rodney King)

    The American people overwhelmingly approve of having people in uniform use lethal force on “Those people” (whoever that may be).
    Even when you do get a conviction like in the Fruitvale station murder where the guy was shot in the back and killed while handcuffed, you still only end up with a token sentence (less then one year!).

    We can fly Gadsden flags and yell about stamping out tyranny and “Don’t tread on me!” all day, but we are hooked on authoritarian violence. Go watch the video of Boston officers forcibly entering homes without writ or warrant during the search for Dzokhar, or look at this right here in Aurora Colorado…

  124. 124

    @ira-NY:
    What actually would have happened would be congress or the supreme court declaring everything Bush did legal. So, was it worth scuttling any chance of a progressive agenda to… enshrine in law that Republican presidents are immune to all other law and can do whatever they want?

  125. 125
    joes527 says:

    @ira-NY:

    Elections and shaming are the better tools for dealing with political miscreants.

    You call folks who start a war of aggression and institute a policy of torture “political miscreants?”

    In that case, I’m sure that a simple shaming will address the problem in Syria.

  126. 126
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Being a pain in the fucking ass is hard work!

  127. 127
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I really don’t think he meant everyone else’s credibility is on the line except his. I think what he meant was, “It’s not MY credibility that’s on the line — it’s the whole world’s” or some such. In other words, “Don’t make this about me.”

    Maybe that was what he meant, but in that case he shouldn’t have said “My credibility’s not on the line.”. He can’t disown his own words. Today he said:

    “I didn’t set a red line,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference here in Stockholm. “The world set a red line.”

    Well that is just total bullshit: the world didn’t set a red line, and he did set a red line. Republicans are going to have a field day with this.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Laur:

    Or is it the fact that it’s the Middle East that’s making people all jumpy?

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s genuinely the weapons used that’s making me all jumpy. Chemical weapons were banned for very good reasons, and normalizing their use is a really, really, really bad idea for everyone.

    But that’s also why any action against Assad needs to be international action (preferably UN, but I would also accept Arab League action) to emphasize the point that he violated an international norm, not just a “red line” drawn by the current president of the US.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Well that is just total bullshit: the world didn’t set a red line, and he did set a red line.

    Really? An international convention on chemical weapons is not a red line?

    I guess to you it’s just a piece of paper for Assad to wipe his ass with since, hey, he never signed it, so he can’t be punished for using chemical weapons.

  130. 130
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I remember a lot of arguments being used by the pro-war side now that were used by the pro-Iraq-war side in 2003. “It will be a quick and efficient war”. “We need to send a message”. “If you’re anti-war it means you support what Assad is doing”. Fool me once, etc.

    It’s a real sight to see, how people on this blog are bemoaning that the American public isn’t as warmongering as they want it to be. William Kristol could have written some of these comments.

  131. 131
    Tractarian says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    There is no evidence that GOP has been shamed from their subsequent behavior.

    That’s certainly true but beside the point. Would prosecuting Bush/Cheney/Rummy for war crimes have been the right solution?

    I think not, because (1) the reaction of the American right would be to close ranks hard and go full-steam ahead on torture, preventative war, etc., and (2) President Romney would pardon them.

    In other words, the best route is to humiliate and shame, it’s just a question of how you do that.

    I think granting blanket immunity and setting up a truth commission (with subpoena power) is the obvious way to go. That way you get the appearance of magnanimity. But having W. sweating in front of a truth panel would probably be enough to deter future presidents.

  132. 132
    mistermix says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Well, I don’t comment here to make cyber friends. I have those in real life.

    Now comes the comedy.

  133. 133
    Donut says:

    @Tractarian:

    What do you mean, “no one thinks that was a mistake”?

    I do.

    It set us up to go back to Iraq later and keep fucking around with the Middle East, up until…oh, today! This very day we are still mired in that shit. Because it was so “easy” the first time, fucking Cheney convinced the entire national security/military industrial complex that the US military could get back in there painlessly, and motherfuckers would rain sunshine and flowers on their American liberators. WTF? It was a total fucking disaster – not immediately, but historically, the impact of the Gulf War has been hideous, and continues to be.

    How about this? President GHWB could have used the moment of the invasion of Kuwait to try to turn the nation on a path towards renewable and sustainable energy, rather than trying to control the Middle East and triple-down on the United States’ dependency on oil and all of our good buds in the ME. GHWB had a golden opportunity to leave the ME to its own devices and put the United States on a different path. Instead, his oil-steeped friends and allies around the world are still reaping record profits, and as an added benefit, our global climate is changing so rapidly that we don’t even have an inkling yet of how fucking bad it is.

    Sure, Gulf War was a rousing military and diplomatic achievement. Huzzah. My cup runneth over with joy at the good things it has brought us.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    It’s a real sight to see, how people on this blog are bemoaning that the American public isn’t as warmongering as they want it to be. William Kristol could have written some of these comments.

    Which ones? Specify them using numbers.

    I guess William Kristol was calling for the UN to invade Iraq rather than having the US do it, amirite?

  135. 135
    Cacti says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I remember a lot of arguments being used by the pro-war side now that were used by the pro-Iraq-war side in 2003. “It will be a quick and efficient war”. “We need to send a message”. “If you’re anti-war it means you support what Assad is doing”. Fool me once, etc.

    And here it is again.

    Iraq is the same as Syria, because of…reasons.

  136. 136
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And this would be different from every other D presidency exactly how? You’ve got a sitting freaking R Senator discussing impeachment at townhalls.
    You’ve got R Issa investigating if Obama’s socks are matching.
    It’s going to continue. They have to delegitimize every D president. They have nothing else to offer

    Because the GOP leadership has managed to hold that in check for the moment. That would not have been the case had Obama done what you wanted, and it almost certainly would have destroyed his presidency in the first term and left us with a Republican right now. The GOP would have interpreted it is a purely political hit, and the American people would have been fed that line all day every on Fox while the MSM came up with Broderistic bullshit on how partisan and dangerous the Obama whitehouse was acting in an unprecedented prosecution of the previous President.

    yeah, that would have worked out well. So we guarantee ourselves half a century of retaliation from the GOP, forcing us to retaliate in turn and precipitate one constitutional crisis after another as the country burns down around us because the government has become unable to do anything but try to get even with the previous government.

    keep in mind that a lot of the shit Cheney and Rumsfeld were up to WAS RETALIATION AND REACTION TO WATERGATE AND THE RESIGNATION OF NIXON!

    How fucking long ago was that?

  137. 137
    Tractarian says:

    @Donut:

    What do you mean, “no one thinks that was a mistake”?

    I do.

    I meant what I actually said: “virtually no one thinks that was a mistake”

    Try quoting me correctly next time!

    My cup runneth over with joy at the good things it has brought us.

    Have you thought about what might have happened if Saddam was allowed to run roughshod over Kuwait with no consequences other than America putting up more solar panels?

  138. 138
    shortstop says:

    Thing of beauty, Betty.

  139. 139
    Jane2 says:

    Glenn Reynolds should thank his deity every day for the socialist tenure that supports his sorry ass.

  140. 140

    @Spaghetti Lee: Let’s at least give a cursory nod to the distinction between an airstrike and a ground invasion, can we? Yeah, dead civilians are dead civilians – not disputing that. But the degree to which a nation becomes trapped by committing to each of those actions is wildly different.

    And can we also please dispense with the tea-partyesque ‘government can never be trusted’ bullshit? Or at the very least weigh your arguments around the track records of Democratic presidents rather than constantly applying the Nixon/Cheney marinade of malfeasance to everyone who collects a federal paycheck? It’s not like there wasn’t plenty of international activity from Clinton and Carter and even Obama in the first 5 years to go back to.

    There plenty to object to here that you don’t need to resort to dishonest arguments.

  141. 141
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    108 in this thread, 3, 11, 16 and 112 in the last thread,

  142. 142
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Corner Stone: I like cherry pie the best. I want that on the record in case cleek’s filter starts lying about my preference.

  143. 143
    Mandalay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think Obama has at least a glimmer of a point.

    He certainly may, but that speech was a disaster.

    He needs to issue a clarification of his remarks asap or he is going to get reamed in the media.

  144. 144

    @Tractarian: I like that idea but it should be done before Darth Cheney’s second heart gives away.

  145. 145
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👾 Martin:

    When did I ever say “the government can’t be trusted’ when it comes to war? I’m anti-war pretty much all the time, but as far as that goes, who the commander in chief is at the time does make a difference. If Romney was in office, my attitude would definitely be going from ‘fuck no’ to ‘Jesus fucking Christ HELL NO.’

    For the record, I think that Obama is calling for action because he genuinely feels it’s the right thing to do, but that’s not my issue so much as all the unintended consequences, the history of Western intervention in the middle east, the fact that so many bad actors in domestic politics and the MIC would be enriched and further entrenched through war, and so on. Good intentions can only get you so far in the best of circumstances, and in any act of military aggression they tend to stop mattering rather quickly.

  146. 146
    Berial says:

    I get why Team Obama didn’t go after the Bushies for their crimes, I really do, and I can accept that we have to live with the consequences and lack of justice. But it’s a little much to have that odious organization’s cheerleaders crawl out of the woodwork so soon and pretend that the GWB administration wasn’t an utter and complete disaster on virtually every front.

    I disagree. This is EXACTLY what consequence you have to live with if you DON’T bring justice to them.

  147. 147
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👾 Martin:

    And re: airstrikes vs. on-the-ground actions, yes there’s a difference, but the odds of airstrikes not deterring Assad, followed by people saying we have to get tougher and more involved because “we can’t back down at this point”, etc. seem a bit too high for me to be willing to take a chance.

  148. 148
    Donut says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I think a lot of people who make up the Democratic coalition still don’t really realize how well the GOP has done at playing long ball. Kind of what I was trying to get at in my last post.

    You may or may not agree…I don’t konw…But the action in Syria, to my mind, will set us up to be stuck in the same position down the road. The response to Syria now is militaristic and most definitely the use of the CIA and Pentagon intelligence people, and their friends. Obama does not have much choice. As much as he’s clamored for changes to our energy policy on the macro level, he’s pissing into the wind. In 20 years, if we still have a military, it will be the same in the ME, because we will still be dependent on the black gold/Texas tea. It won’t change unless and until oil and fossil fuels are no longer essential to the global economy. The GOP has done a lot of work to ensure this, spent a lot of treasure and blood to make sure that our “best” options in the ME always appear to be use of military force. We quibble over how much and who will get it, but the debate in on their terms; it’s beyond narrow. It’s been that way since the second World War ended and shows no sign of changing any time soon.

  149. 149
    Tractarian says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    108 in this thread

    I wasn’t “bemoaning that the American public isn’t as warmongering as they want it to be”. I was pointing out that, with Operation Iraqi Freedom as the most recent example of the exercise of American military power, the public just ain’t going to support even the most justifiable foreign intervention.

    But hey, if the BJ commentariat isn’t liberal enough for your liking, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say, feel free to take your clicks elsewhere.

  150. 150
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Because the GOP leadership has managed to hold that in check for the moment.

    Held it in check? The only way the GOP could get more recalcitrant is open secession and civil war, which at least a few of them are advocating, or at least wink-nodding at.

  151. 151
    Tractarian says:

    @Mandalay:

    He needs to issue a clarification of his remarks asap or he is going to get reamed in the media.

    Um, no he won’t. His credibility actually isn’t on the line. Obama promised to take action if Assad used chemical weapons and he’s clearly doing his damnedest to make that happen. Even the worthless media can see that.

  152. 152
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mandalay:

    He needs to issue a clarification of his remarks asap or he is going to get reamed in the media.

    Wow. That’s never happened to him during his entire life in public service. However will he cope?

  153. 153
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Berial: Then we actually agree, at least about that being the consequence — that’s what I meant when I referred to acceptance: I accept that it’s a consequence of allowing the Bushies to go unpunished.

    Where we may or may not agree is on the question of whether or not the country would have countenanced a prosecution of the Bushies by Team Obama. I don’t think they would have.

  154. 154
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Mandalay: But the world did set a red line when governments representing @ 98% of the world’s population signed the treaty. The president didn’t invent that red line, he merely articulated it. There has to be some thought that if the world turns a blind eye then tin pot dictators will use them with greater impunity.

    Now, I’m on the fence as far as unilateral intervention is concerned. Still, it pisses me off to read a Rumsfeld tweet calling Obama “the so-called Commander-in-Chief.

  155. 155
    jeffreyw says:

    @raven: Hah! I did that at Gordon, but it was summertime so all it did was heat the water for showers. We did have plenty of hot water.

  156. 156
    Mandalay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Wow. That’s never happened to him during his entire life in public service. However will he cope?

    The difference is that this time he will deserve it. He can’t disown his “red line” remarks.

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Here’s #3 from the last thread:

    Botsplainer says:
    September 4, 2013 at 7:38 am
    Or maybe this is a reflection of a thoroughly propagandized population, used to gettin their news through a closed loop of sources, some Teabaggerish, some firebaggerish, all of it organized in support of an agenda – the very definition of propaganda.

    I find myself wondering if people are even capable of digesting nuance beyond soundbite simplicity anymore – you’re not, Cole isn’t, and only a smattering of folks I know can.

    I’m not certain but that Murrow wouldn’t have gotten a giant “meh” on his McCarthy reporting in this day and age.

    Yep, that sure could have come straight from Bill Kristol’s mouth. What?

    Also, keep in mind that Botsplainer is trolling you.

    Baud says:
    September 4, 2013 at 8:00 am
    I’ve never been a huge believer in governing through polls, because too often the polls are against doing the right thing.

    At bottom, I think it’s difficult to get Americans to believe that we should act when so much of the rest of the world doesn’t seem to care that much.

    I don’t know what I would do if I were the one taking the vote in Congress. I think you’re rolling the dice regardless of what happens.

    Yeah, that whole “I don’t know what I would do if I were in Congress” part is totally panting for war.

    Here’s #11, another Botsplainer special:

    Oh, I absolutely do see that as a possibility. It’s just when I read certain posters, I see a reflexive anti force stance and a refusal to accept that people may have good reasons to support the application of force. That’s when I lose respect for the opinion.

    I’m not sure who I hate more – the “kill ‘em and let God sort it all out” people or the “if we would have all just made a more positive display of peace and non-violence, Hitler would have closed Auschwitz and Tojo would have closed the rape camps” people.

    Of course, my world is loaded with grays, and I’m forced daily to help people choose the least worst of ugly decisions. I’m not a computer guy, an engineer or a salesmen – good results happen within ranges, and there are no absolutes.

    Yeah, that “no absolutes” thing is also a Bill Kristol special. Everyone knows that Republicans deal in shades of grey.

    Here’s Cacti at #112 in response to someone else:

    But was it inaccurate? The decision to intervene or to do nothing isn’t an academic exercise. Civilians were being ruthlessly slaughtered. The decision to do nothing was, in effect, the decision to allow that to continue unabated.

    Adherence to the prime directive vs. human life. You appear to prefer the former.

    You probably should have followed that thread, because Cacti was actually referring to Kosovo, not Syria, and drawing a comparison between the two.

    But, again, if you think those comments even vaguely resemble what Bill Kristol and other war pigs were saying in 2003, you have a very faulty memory. Here’s a link to what Kristol was actually saying (via GG, of all people). Note that the quote Kristol opens with is not his own, but is from 1997, six years before he wrote his column.

  158. 158
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Tractarian:

    Mostly I just think it’s ironic that for a solid decade, most liberals have been complaining that the public was too easily led into supporting war. Now it’s that they’re too easily led into opposing it. In conjunction with the complaints that lots of people will support absolutely anything if Obama is behind it, well, I just found it amusing, is all.

    But hey, if the BJ commentariat isn’t liberal enough for your liking, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say, feel free to take your clicks elsewhere.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, can we put this fucking argument to bed already? This is a public blog that anyone can comment on. No faction, not the firebaggers or the obots, should assume they own the place and have the right to chase out anyone who disagrees with them. Jesus, how fucking thin-skinned are people when their first instinct to someone disagreeing with them is to point to the door? And I’m not trying to single you out. It happens way too much.

    And I’ve been guilty of that myself. I try my best to limit it to people who obviously hate this place and most of its commenters and obviously have nothing to add. I like this place, and I think people from most factions have something to offer. I just don’t get why so many people want to shut things down so quickly.

  159. 159
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Donut:

    The response to Syria now is militaristic and most definitely the use of the CIA and Pentagon intelligence people, and their friends. Obama does not have much choice. As much as he’s clamored for changes to our energy policy on the macro level, he’s pissing into the wind. In 20 years, if we still have a military, it will be the same in the ME, because we will still be dependent on the black gold/Texas tea. It won’t change unless and until oil and fossil fuels are no longer essential to the global economy. The GOP has done a lot of work to ensure this, spent a lot of treasure and blood to make sure that our “best” options in the ME always appear to be use of military force. </blockquote

    The 1% always ALWAYS get their way, and we will not have clean energy or domestic/foreign policies that support clean energy until they are convinced that no more money is to be made of of mineral ooze and coal from the Carboniferous.

  160. 160
    Donut says:

    @Tractarian:

    How does the absence or presence of the word “virtually” change a fucking thing about your point?

    Yes, I have thought about what would have happened if Hussein had been “allowed” to stay in Kuwait.

    How much worse would it have been for both Iraq and Kuwait if we had worked to contain Hussein rather than invade, leave, and set up the no-fly zone that was enforced during the Clinton Admin? Eventually we ended up coming back. and killing a shit load of Iraqis, and helped prop up not only a corrupt and shitty and oppressive Kuwaiti regime, but several of their neighbors, as well. Our pals all over the ME who control the flow of oil benefited tremendously because of what we did to Hussein, right up until he was forced out in 2003. The game is to control and profit from natural resources. That’s it. Everything revolves around that.

    So what the fuck is your point?

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I just don’t get why so many people want to shut things down so quickly.

    Dude. You just accused everyone who disagrees with you of being a Bill Kristol-style war pig, like, 10 comments ago.

    I know we have a short attention span around here, but it’s not that short.

  162. 162
    Donut says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Couldn’t agree more. The humanitarian bullshit is just that: bullshit. Always has been, always will be. This is about having a ME that is stable enough to get the oil out of the ground. Nothing more. Everything else is window dressing.

  163. 163
    Mike E says:

    @flukebucket: I wonder how many gas masks can be delivered with a $1B budget…I really dunno, that’s why I’m askin’.

  164. 164
    Tractarian says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    how fucking thin-skinned are people when their first instinct to someone disagreeing with them is to point to the door?

    You didn’t “disagree” with me, you claimed that I was parroting Bill Kristol. To the extent I invited you to leave, it was because I don’t like my views being misrepresented. If you quit doing that, I’d be more than happy if you stayed to continue the conversation!

    most liberals have been complaining that the public was too easily led into supporting war. Now it’s that they’re too easily led into opposing it.

    Funny how some people have different opinions about two totally different situations, isn’t it? News flash: not everyone, not even every “liberal”, and certainly not the President, is “anti-war pretty much all the time” as you claim to be.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Donut:

    Eventually we ended up coming back. and killing a shit load of Iraqis, and helped prop up not only a corrupt and shitty and oppressive Kuwaiti regime, but several of their neighbors, as well.

    Well, I have a slight difference with your statement, but I think you may agree with it: eventually we chose to go back. There really wasn’t any urgent reason to invade in 2003, except that the Bushies decided they could get away with it. We probably could have kept up the no-fly zones and sanctions indefinitely, but instead the Bush administration decided, what the hell, we’re feeling our oats, why not invade? “Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out.”

  166. 166
    Mandalay says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    But the world did set a red line when governments representing @ 98% of the world’s population signed the treaty.

    Your claiming that is a “red line” does not make it so. The countries that agreed to the convention must abide by it, but Syria didn’t sign up.

    So the Administration argument is now: Even though Syria didn’t agree to this convention we are going to hold them to it anyway, because we say so!

    That approach undermines the weight of all international treaties and conventions, and is just a Calvinball fantasy. It’s a pretext for intervention when you have nothing more substantial to offer.

  167. 167
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think you’re picking out the parts that make them look the best*. You don’t see any sort of manipulative intent in bemoaning a “reflexively anti-force stance”? (who has been taking that stance, by the way? Yes, there are people who are universally anti-war, but the anti-war arguments here have mostly been about the possible dangerous consequences and the lessons learned from other Middle Eastern wars). Assuming the anti-war faction is “thoroughly propagandized?” There’s no connection between “too often polls are against doing the right thing” and Cheney’s infamous ‘So what?’ (and I like Baud, I just think he’s in the wrong here.) No relation between “adherence to the prime directive vs. human life” and “You’re either with us or against us?” whatever the action in question was?

    They’re not directly imitating Kristol or his fellows because for the most part, liberals don’t write the way he writes. But I’m seeing a lot of the same arguments, accusations, and fallacies translated into a more left-wing language.

    *-In particular, Botsplainer’s “I see the world in shades of gray” quote was just his usual shtick of explaining how much smarter and better he is than everyone else. He’s one of the most hardline with-us-or-against-us idiots here. He’s a troll, you seem to know that, and you don’t really think he was arguing for care and nuance in arguments, do you?

  168. 168
    Tractarian says:

    How does the absence or presence of the word “virtually” change a fucking thing about your point?

    Me: Virtually no one thinks Gulf War I was a mistake.

    You: No one thinks Gulf War I was a mistake? WRONG! I DO!

    Me: I said “virtually”

    You: FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK

  169. 169
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The only way the GOP could get more recalcitrant is open secession and civil war, which at least a few of them are advocating, or at least wink-nodding at.

    I tend to think that open armed revolt is not far from the surface right now in some of the crazier corners of the country…and I am not interested in finding out just what the precipitating event might be.

    We have not been this bitterly polarized since the decade before the Civil War imho. Prosecution of the previous president may well sent this country into the abyss. Counter historical narratives are always tricky, but judging by GOP derangement and public apathy in 2010…do you think there would have been a chance to lose the Senate in 2010 and face an actual impeachment trial for Obama??

    I sure think so. And if he were removed from the Presidency, his own prosecution would have started before the year was out while the next GOP president in 2012 would have been writing the Pardon letter from anybody convicted for torture on Inauguration Day.

    We are looking at a major flaw in our Constitution: Inability of the government to actually investigate itself.

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne: Holy Fuckballs!
    Capt Mnemo unironically quoting and Obotdudebrosplainin comments by Botsplainer and Cacti.
    Does anyone else see that swirling vortex approaching this blog?

  171. 171
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You just accused everyone who disagrees with you of being a Bill Kristol-style war pig, like, 10 comments ago.

    My exact words were “Bill Kristol could have written some of these comments” not “everyone who disagrees with me is exactly like Bill Kristol”. I didn’t call anyone a “war pig.” Also, I did not tell anyone to leave if they didn’t like what was being said. You’re so stringent in demanding exact quotes from everyone else but play so fast and loose with them yourself.

  172. 172
    celticdragonchick says:

    Annoying. I can’t get in to edit a couple of typos.

  173. 173
    Mike E says:

    @Gravenstone: Well, that’ll bring down the “units delivered” figure quite a bit! I’d gladly don a head to toe suit during an attack, but I wouldn’t expect it to save me necessarily…

  174. 174
    Mike in NC says:

    @kindness:

    Jesus, when did the comment section of USA today become WND?

    As soon as they allowed black people to live in the White House as non-servants.

  175. 175
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    And, OK, maybe I went too far with the Bill Kristol thing. A low blow, that. The point I was trying to get across was that I’m hearing a lot of the same arguments and assumptions that I heard ten years ago, from sources I wouldn’t expect.

  176. 176
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: What’s that? But of course you’re having chicken pot pie for dinner tonight!
    I just wanted you and everyone else here to know that I have pied you after you determinedly kept ruining this blog for me. Hope your apple crumble pie doesn’t ruin, you sad little pied pie fucker!
    I’ve pied you! Get that through your fucking pie holes, you pie eatin’ son of a bitch!

    Now! I demand no one else ever respond to him, EVER AGAIN!!

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    You’re so stringent in demanding exact quotes from everyone else but play so fast and loose with them yourself.

    No, that’s actually what she sees when she reads the comments. Her brain re-jumbles things until they make sense to what she wanted you to say.
    She’s notorious for it. Probably the worst person I’ve ever seen on the interwebs.

  178. 178
    cvstoner says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Because ruining the presidency for every Democrat in the forseeable future is totally worth pursuing an unwinnable criminal case against a former president and his cronies on a matter that close to 70% of the American public support him on (still!)

    I suspect that a modern day version of the Pecora Commission would have served to radically change public perception. But, of course, we’ll never know. Water under the bridge, right?

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    My exact words were “Bill Kristol could have written some of these comments” not “everyone who disagrees with me is exactly like Bill Kristol”. I didn’t call anyone a “war pig.”

    No, you just implied it. But, yes, I’m a war pig because I want the UN to intervene in Syria. That’s just the kind of asshole I am.

    Also, I did not tell anyone to leave if they didn’t like what was being said. Ever. You’re so stringent in demanding exact quotes from everyone else but play so fast and loose with them yourself.

    I didn’t say you told anyone to leave. I just pointed out that you accused people of sounding like Bill Kristol, whereupon I quoted those people back to you and linked you to an actual pre-war piece by Kristol.

    Did you read Kristol’s piece, and do you still think that the people saying things like “I’m not sure how I would vote if I were in Congress” are just like him?

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    @Betty Cracker: That wasn’t bait for half of the commenters here to spew their drink all over the keyboard and the other half to start fapping while they look at each other, nod wisely and mumble “very moderate and pragmatic” ?
    I’ll be damned.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The point I was trying to get across was that I’m hearing a lot of the same arguments and assumptions that I heard ten years ago, from sources I wouldn’t expect.

    Well, okay, if you’re going to take it back to rational ground now … ;-) I would withdraw my post at #179, but it’s timed out, so you can consider it withdrawn.

    I think the arguments are similar in form, but not the same. There’s a difference between arguing that international action needs to be taken against Assad because of his actions of 2 weeks ago and arguing that the US needs to invade Iraq because of Saddam’s actions of 15 years previously. Yes, the basis of the argument is chemical weapons use, but IMO there is (somewhat) more urgency in the case of Syria because it just happened 2 weeks ago. We’re not dragging up old actions to form an excuse for what we want to do anyway. We’re talking about something that just happened.

  182. 182
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No, you just implied it.

    Oh. Well then! That’s that, isn’t it?

    I clarified and apologized above. No, people don’t sound exactly like Kristol, but I’m seeing a lot of the sort of arguments I heard in 2002-2003, from moderates and pro-war liberals as well as war hawks, about the need to intervene and the questionable morals of anti-interventionists, and it seems to me like a lot of people aren’t making the connection that the two arguments are kinda similar. I agree that calling for UN help as opposed to brazenly going it alone is definitely worth noting, but I don’t see how that changes my worries about long-term consequences and patterns of destabilization and radicalization in western interventions in the middle east, UN-supported or otherwise.

  183. 183
    Tractarian says:

    And, OK, maybe I went too far with the Bill Kristol thing. A low blow, that. The point I was trying to get across was that I’m hearing a lot of the same arguments and assumptions that I heard ten years ago, from sources I wouldn’t expect.

    Kudos. I agree. There are a lot of the same arguments being made, and if you were cynical, you certainly could chalk all of it up to partisan loyalty. But consider how different the situations are:

    1) Iraq circa 2003 was stable; there was mass oppression, of course, but no ongoing humanitarian crisis. Syria circa 2013 is one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades.

    2) Bush rushed into war with no apparent reason other than to avoid close scrutiny of the reasons for invading. Obama is not rushing; he is seeking Congressional support. And there is no indication that Obama is seeking to squelch dissent or otherwise muzzle the debate.

    3) Operation Iraqi Freedom was, from its outset, designed to be a full-scale military invasion and occupation of another sovereign state. Obama has proposed nothing of the sort. Now, you may say that full-scale invasion is inevitable, but…

    4) …Obama has shown by his actions that he is not prone to be sucked into quagmires. He had the will to pull out of Iraq even though the political and security situation there was far from settled. He also avoided further involvement in Libya beyond deposing Qaddafi. He has shown the willingness to keep intervention limited and targeted.

    My point here isn’t to say that we must intervene – the law of unintended consequences probably outweighs every other consideration, to be honest. But we should all agree that advocating different approaches to Iraq 2003 and Syria 2013 does not itself indicate hypocrisy or partisan opportunism.

  184. 184
    greenergood says:

    Sorry, can’t read through all the commentsm but heard Henry Kissinger on BBC Radio 4 Morning news lamenting how ‘sad’ it was that the British Parliament had voted down participation in the imminent bombing of Syria. WHEN is this guy going to DIE, please?

  185. 185
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Betty Cracker: Exactly. How silly is it to go after a President who you re-elected?!! I don’t get it. If he was so bad, he shoudl have been kicked out after his initial 4 years.

  186. 186
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I withdrew the comment you replied to (though I couldn’t delete it since it had timed out while I did actual work), so we’ll just move on past it, if that’s okay.

  187. 187
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: Honest to god, it wasn’t. I sincerely believe that not holding the Bushies to account severely damaged US credibility (such as it was) for a generation at least AND that letting them off the hook was the only realistic course of action domestically. Since Reynolds is now pretending that Obama ruined our credibility by being insufficiently Bush-like, it seemed like a relevant observation.

  188. 188
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Mandalay: Yes, I’m saying 98% vs. 2% is something close to unanimous. How is this “calvinball”? At any rate, IF all these signatories require American leadership, maybe it’s time we insist on a more regional leadership role, i.e. the Arab League. I do think it was necessary for the president to remind the world of its commitment, bring the issue to the congress and other world leaders.

    IF, no-one gives a shit then I think the president should abide.

  189. 189
    Donut says:

    @Tractarian:

    You got nothing to say on the substance of what I posted, so yeah, pretty much: fuck you. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  190. 190
    celticdragonchick says:

    @cvstoner:

    I suspect that a modern day version of the Pecora Commission would have served to radically change public perception. But, of course, we’ll never know.

    Some sort of truth and reconciliation commission might have been helpful…but I do not see any change in a fundamental attitude that many or most Americas. hold: It is okay for officials to do bad things to people that I DO NOT LIKE.

    This country loves uniformed authoritarianism.

  191. 191
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sure, sure. Despite appearances, I actually don’t like making enemies. Probably why I do so poorly on this blog. :)

  192. 192
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    So anyway, what I think is tripping a lot of people’s buttons is that there are similar arguments going on vis-a-vis Iraq and Syria, but that’s because Saddam and Assad did a similar thing (gassed their own people in the course of a civil war). The difference is that we actually found out about Assad’s actions pretty quickly, while Saddam’s were in dispute for quite a while (with the connivance of Reagan and Bush I, but anyway …)

    I’ve said it in these threads before, and I’ll say it again: I believe both that Syria needs to be punished by the international community for using chemical weapons AND that having the US dole that punishment out unilaterally would be counterproductive.

  193. 193
    Tractarian says:

    @Donut:

    You got nothing to say on the substance of what I posted, so yeah, pretty much: fuck you. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

    Nice substantive post there.

    Look up “virtually” in the dictionary, I’ll wait

  194. 194
    Tractarian says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I do not see any change in a fundamental attitude that many or most Americas. hold: It is okay for officials to do bad things to people that I DO NOT LIKE.

    Isn’t that the fundamental attitude of like, every human being, ever?

  195. 195
    cleek says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I believe both that Syria needs to be punished by the international community for using chemical weapons AND that having the US dole that punishment out unilaterally would be counterproductive.

    i’ll agree with this, kindof.

    if the world wants to get together and do something in Syria to punish Assad, then the world will own the consequences, and perhaps that ownership will be enough to keep the world involved enough to help diffuse whatever vile substance rises out of the rubble.

    but the US can’t do it alone. we can’t take moral responsibility for yet another fucked up ME country. and we shouldn’t be big-footing around in the ME any longer (which is something i thought most liberals agreed on).

  196. 196
    Berial says:

    @Tractarian: Perhaps the emphasis should have been on the ‘bad things’ and not the ‘people that I do not like’.

    We Americans seem to have a pretty high tolerance for how bad the ‘things’ can be to those we don’t like before we start to disagree with doing them.

  197. 197
    kc says:

    @ruemara:

    In His defense, He DID smite Breitbart.

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cleek:

    The good thing is, all of this dick-swinging (and, presumably, a lot of conversations through diplomatic channels) now has Putin conceding that he might support international action via the UN if there’s proof. I think that could be enough of a concession from him that we could back off the dogs of war a little, especially if Obama puts a meeting with Putin back on his schedule for G20.

    I am still hopeful that we can avoid unilateral action and pass it off onto an international body, which is where any action should come from. We’ll see, but it looks better today than it did last week.

  199. 199
    Tractarian says:

    @Berial: Definitely true. We still have capital punishment, after all!

    I guess it comes down to why you don’t like the person you’re allowing the government to do bad things to. It at least has to be a good reason (i.e., “they were convicted of committing a crime by a jury of their peers” not “they are brown”)

  200. 200
    Mandalay says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Yes, I’m saying 98% vs. 2% is something close to unanimous. How is this “calvinball”?

    – It’s Calvinball because you can’t bind Syria to a convention that they did not sign.
    – It’s Calvinball because the “98%” argument is comparing apples and oranges. It does not follow that the people living in the countries that signed the CWC support intervention in Syria. Most probably don’t care, or are opposed. The majority of Americans and British certainly do not support it.
    – It’s Calvinball because signing the CWC in no way implies supporting intervention. For example, Iran has signed the CWC but is clearly opposed to US intervention in Syria.

    The notion that all those countries that signed the CWC (or their citizens) are supporting US intervention in Syria in any way is a crock of shit. The only country offering to actively support the US is France, and Hollande has said that he’ll back out if Congress says no. So much for “unanimous”!

    The “98%” number is meaningless war propaganda.

  201. 201
    Tone in DC says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Sad but true.

    Hope that some of these authoritarian idjits don’t end up with badges and guns in the future. If too many of ’em do, we’ll be Syria/Egypt/China.

  202. 202
    TAPX486 says:

    ‘Say what swill you want about Dubya’ but that pretty well hits the railroad spike square on the head.

  203. 203
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Tractarian:

    Isn’t that the fundamental attitude of like, every human being, ever?

    Some of us try very hard not to.

  204. 204
    Mandalay says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    I do think it was necessary for the president to remind the world of its commitment

    Signing the Chemical Weapons Convention in no way implies that a nation has any “commitment” to support intervention in a country that has not agreed to that convention (i.e. Syria).

    Apples and oranges.

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s Calvinball because you can’t bind Syria to a convention that they did not sign.

    So if someone tries to prosecute Assad at the Hague 10 years from now, you will of course declare that he needs to be set free immediately because, after all, he never signed the convention so it’s unfair to hold him responsible for using chemical weapons on civilians?

  206. 206
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @ruemara: My sentiments exactly!

  207. 207
    Jane2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: The US administration knew full well that Saddam was using chemical weapons..I’d call that knowing pretty quickly.

  208. 208
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mandalay:

    – It’s Calvinball because you can’t bind Syria to a convention that they did not sign.

    Not entirely true. Leaders can still be tried for criminal violation of international law and norms even if the country in question never signed the relevant treaty. Also, some countries claim universal jurisdiction on a variety of human rights abuses and can try anybody regardless of where the crime occurred.

    This is actually our best hope of getting some of the Bush cronies before a judge…and also why Yoo, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rummy et al have been careful where they travel outside the US, if at all.

  209. 209
    catclub says:

    @celticdragonchick: ” Leaders can still be tried for criminal violation of international law and norms”

    Someone pointed out that the treaty forbids use of gas against civilians of another country.
    In which case that particular treaty does not apply. Does anybody know what the text is?

  210. 210
    celticdragonchick says:

    @catclub:

    Someone pointed out that the treaty forbids use of gas against civilians of another country.
    In which case that particular treaty does not apply. Does anybody know what the text is?

    Good question.

    The use of chemical weapons is a violation of
    international criminal law. The Rome Statute of the
    International Criminal Court criminalizes the use of
    chemical weapons as a war crime in both international and
    non-international armed conflict. (The ICC also
    criminalizes the targeting of civilians, indiscriminate
    attacks, and disproportionate attacks regardless of the
    method.)

    http://www.humanrightsfirst.or.....tsheet.pdf

    IANAL, so YMMV.

  211. 211
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jane2:

    IIRC, all of the official reports from the US blamed Iran and successfully muddied the waters so that it was in dispute for quite a while.

    IMO, that’s not the same as a (presumably) independent organization like Doctors Without Borders announcing that they treated patients with chemical exposure on 8/21.

  212. 212
    raven says:

    @Mandalay: You are a fucking dope.

  213. 213
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Are your friends as obnoxious as you two? Are they REALLY your friends? Do you always do troll posts together? Are you siamese twins? They have surgical procedures for that. Maybe that is your problem: 2 bodies 1 spleen, no brain!

  214. 214
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Do you think that there is not an international norm against the use of chemical weapons?

  215. 215
    catclub says:

    @celticdragonchick: Thanks! But the US did not ratify the ICC,
    as I understand.

  216. 216
    Lady Bug says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Although being a realist, I have a feeling that no amount of evidence, will convince Putin that 1. there was a chemical attack or 2. that Assad was behind it.

    Speaking on international bodies, what about NATO?

    But otherwise, good news. If there is action, I would also like to see as broad of a commitment as possible, with as many partners involved, and if the UN is not a possibility b/c of Russia and to a lesser extent China, than the Arab League and NATO should be involved as well.

  217. 217
    celticdragonchick says:

    @catclub:

    No, we did not. I would imagine the prosecution of Assad, assuming he was alive and not hiding in Saudi Arabia, would have to be left to someone other than us. That is why we have The Hague.

    I would really like to see Cheney sneering at The Hague while the prosecution laid down the case…

  218. 218
    kc says:

    Can’t we all put our differences aside long enough to just jointly hate on Glenn Reynolds for one minute?

    Come on, people.

  219. 219
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: I would have hoped that a trial of say Dick Cheney would have laid bare for the American people all his scheming & lieing, whether there was a technical conviction or not.

    We had 3,500 good men & women (and Michael Kelly) die for nothing over there. Also, many innocent Iraqis were murdered in the process.

  220. 220
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lady Bug:

    I think Putin has already been forced to admit that there was a chemical attack since it’s been reported by multiple non-government agencies, though he’s still saying there was no proof Assad or his forces did it. And I think having Obama cancel their face-to-face meeting at G20 has made Putin think twice about whose good side it’s economically more important to be on, the US or Syria (especially given the ongoing boycott of Russian vodka).

    I really don’t want the US to take unilateral action, so I would be happy with just about any international body stepping up at this point.

  221. 221
    shortstop says:

    @kc: By now you can tell who’s talking, and spot his or her particular and all-too-familiar baggage (I include myself/my own), within the first 10 words.

    Thanksgivings at my in-laws’ are more functional.

    I know: if I don’t like it, there’s the door.

  222. 222
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Betty Cracker: This. The headline in the Daily Mirror following Shrub’s reelection said it all: “How Can 59,054,087 People Be So Dumb?”

    These 59 million are at the core of the inevitable failure to prosecute GWB. Because everything he was guilty of, so was nearly half the country.

    It’s why we suddenly had ‘independants’ and a ‘tea party’. A big chunk of the electorate found a rock to hide under. Politics and tribalism aside, there is no way they would support any type of inquiry that would indirectly shine a light under their moral hiding place.

    The moral failing to prosecute Bush is on these people not Obama. Americans don’t like to be told unpleasant truths, especially about themselves. They lash out at and attack people who try. Even more so if the truth-teller is black, their own endless racism being one of those unpleasant truths they are adamantly unwilling to face.

    But if Obama had prosecuted Bush instead of dealing with the looming 2nd Great Depression, he would have burned up all his political capital. Obamacare would have never made it into law. We wouldn’t be seeing the advances in equality in marriage rights either. And politically it would have played perfectly into the Right’s efforts to portray Obama as a vengeful white-hating angry n-Clang.

    I doubt Obama would have been re-elected. What would he have run on? “Vote for me, I made it obvious that nearly half of you are the stupid motherfucking lemming hypocrites the hippies always said you were. And for the rest of you, vote for me anyways even though I couldn’t do anything else that benefited you in any way”.

    And all of you who are all pissy about Obama not prosecuting Bush, if he had prosecuted Bush you still would still be pissy because he would have failed you by not doing anything for gay rights or for health care reform or not enough ponies that fart rainbows. Yeah we know how that works.

  223. 223
    Paul in KY says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: There was a fuckload of malice there: towards Democrats, poor people, Arabs, the non-courtier press…

  224. 224
    Paul in KY says:

    @TooManyJens: I agree. 2004 was more disheartening than 2000. Also, more out & out chicanery in Ohio (IMO) than Florida in 2000.

  225. 225
    Mandalay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Do you think that there is not an international norm against the use of chemical weapons?

    Do you think that there is not an international norm against limb amputation for theft, or stoning to death for adultery, or caning women who are raped?

    If the Administration wants to make the argument that Syria is violating international norms then it is free to do so, but that is distinct from invoking the CWC.

    The US has not signed up for the UN Arms Treaty nor the Mine Ban Treaty nor the Convention on Cluster Munitions nor the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. So what?

    The whole shebang is one of cherry picking pretexts to justify an intervention in Syria based on limited evidence.

  226. 226
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Ah, the old troll.

    Asshole.

  227. 227
    Mandalay says:

    @johnny aquitard:

    But if Obama had prosecuted Bush instead of dealing with the looming 2nd Great Depression, he would have burned up all his political capital…And politically it would have played perfectly into the Right’s efforts to portray Obama as a vengeful white-hating angry n-Clang.

    Everything you said.

  228. 228
    joes527 says:

    @raven: McCain now has an “unlimited war” amendment, and so voted for the bombing to commence!

    I guess the asshole is with you.

  229. 229
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Assyria has been begging for a punch in the mouth for almost five thousand years.

  230. 230
  231. 231
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: For this and comment #1, you win the thread. Twice.

  232. 232
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay:

    The whole shebang is one of cherry picking pretexts to justify an intervention in Syria based on limited evidence.

    Are you suggesting that the Administration wants to intervene in in Syria and is latching on to the chemical attack issue as an excuse? Or are you just attacking the shorthand of using the Convention as a stand-in for the norm?

  233. 233
    Tractarian says:

    These 59 million are at the core of the inevitable failure to prosecute GWB. Because everything he was guilty of, so was nearly half the country.

    Similarly, all of Obama’s failings – his inability to effectively negotiate with Republicans, his watered-down health care bill, his bypassing of Congress to deal with Libya, his secret NSA shenanigans – all of them are the fault of Obama’s 2012 voters.

    They had a chance to show their disapproval by voting for Romney, but they declined to do so. Instead, they re-elected him. Therefore, everything bad Obama ever did is their fault.

    Did I get that right?

  234. 234
    Lavocat says:

    You DO realize that you’re hotter than smoldering lava when you work yourself up into a hissy like this … don’t you?

    I love a woman who can just cut loose with a string of hearty obscenities.

    It reminds me of napalm.

    But in a good way.

  235. 235
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tractarian:

    They had a chance to show their disapproval by voting for Romney, but they declined to do so. Instead, they re-elected him. Therefore, everything bad Obama ever did is their fault.

    I’ve been hearing exactly that from Republicans for the past 5 years, so I’m not sure what your point is.

  236. 236
    Lavocat says:

    @Tractarian: Um, no. Stop with the Manichean nonsense. Romney was NOT the only choice. I didn’t vote for Mr. Hopenchange Part 2, but I sure as hell didn’t vote for R-Money either. Try Jill Stein.

    And as for owning it, yeah, you Obama voters own a part of this. Don’t like it? Tough shit. It’s called representative democracy for a reason. Obama REPRESENTS the collective lot of you sots.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lavocat:

    And as for owning it, yeah, you Obama voters own a part of this. Don’t like it? Tough shit.

    So do we get to start blaming Nader voters in Florida for Bush’s victory again? After all, if the winners have to own their vote, so does everyone else.

  238. 238
    Mandalay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Are you suggesting that the Administration wants to intervene in in Syria and is latching on to the chemical attack issue as an excuse? Or are you just attacking the shorthand of using the Convention as a stand-in for the norm?

    The latter, and I explicitly said that: “If the Administration wants to make the argument that Syria is violating international norms then it is free to do so, but that is distinct from invoking the CWC”.

    Now it is also true that the Administration does have other unrelated reasons for intervention (boxed in by the “red line” comment, and being a proxy for Iran) and I don’t expect them to be open about those. But they could make a better case for violating a norm without using the “98%” nonsense. Apart from it being intellectually dishonest, its removal would make it easier for the layperson to follow their argument.

  239. 239
    celticdragonchick says:

    @johnny aquitard:

    And politically it would have played perfectly into the Right’s efforts to portray Obama as a vengeful white-hating angry n-Clang.

    Exactomundo.

    We have never had a prosecution of any former president…and Obama (through Eric Holder) would be about the worst person possible to break that precedent. Broder and the MSM would have been creaming their collective pants at the ability to show how very serious people think that Obama is too angry and too partisan in investigating war crimes from 2002 to 2007…while Fox News would have been priming Joe Six Pack to start Civil War 2.0 (Bigger and with better guns!)

    It would not have just burned up his political capital, it would have burned up his entire administration and doomed every subsequent Democratic President to impeachment attempts and ex post facto investigations and prosecutions for the rest of our lives.

  240. 240
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So do we get to start blaming Nader voters in Florida for Bush’s victory again? After all, if the winners have to own their vote, so does everyone else.

    I agree.

  241. 241
    joes527 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Did I miss when that whiney-ass shit stopped?

    BTW, you have my personal permission to say anything bad about Florida that pops into your head.

  242. 242
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joes527:

    Have you ever seen the “Florida Man” twitter feed? Basically, it’s every headline that includes the words “Florida Man,” and there are some doozies:

    https://twitter.com/_FloridaMan

  243. 243
    Berial says:

    @Mnemosyne: People are getting really good (and meta) with those twitter feeds. The Florida man thing was funny as hell. I wonder how automated he’s got it.

  244. 244
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Saying that 98% of countries have signed onto something is, IMO, a reasonable way of showing that something might be a international norm. It’s not like there is an all inclusive list of norms out there that can be referenced at the drop of a hat. Personally, I would cite the 90 year history of banning chemical weapons as well as the fact that pretty much every country has signed onto some international agreement on the topic. But then my statement would be paragraphs long and no one would read it to the end. We live in a sound byte culture.

  245. 245
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: OMFG, that’s hilarious. I wonder if there’s a “Florida Woman” feed? If there’s not, there should be!

  246. 246
    Betty Cracker says:

    @celticdragonchick: I’m one of those dumb motherfuckers, and I’ll let you know when I stop kicking myself for it.

  247. 247
    tybee says:

    an interesting column from the frog pond: http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....01212/0857

  248. 248

    @Omnes Omnibus: Is there an international norm against the use of chemical weapons? Yes!

    Is there an international norm that when somebody uses chemical weapons against their own people in a civil war, other, as-yet-uninvolved countries are legally or ethically obligated to bomb them? No.

    That’s actually a novel statement. I think that anyone asserting this needs, at the very least, extremely widespread international buy-in, and Obama doesn’t yet have this.

  249. 249
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Not to worry… I stopped being a Republican around the time that Cole defected as well. I just stayed in the “independent camp a little longer before saying the Hell with it and registering as a Dem.

  250. 250
    Donut says:

    @Tractarian:

    If you are truly so dense as to think that “virtually” no one has had second thoughts about the wisdom and efficacy of the Gulf War, you are even more stupid and ignorant than I thought. Look into it a little, buddy. You will obviously be surprised.

  251. 251
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Is there an international norm that when somebody uses chemical weapons against their own people in a civil war, other, as-yet-uninvolved countries are legally or ethically obligated to bomb them? No.

    I agree. This conversation, though, has been part of a long running, multi-thread thing with Mandalay.

  252. 252
    Mandalay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Is there an international norm that when somebody uses chemical weapons against their own people in a civil war, other, as-yet-uninvolved countries are legally or ethically obligated to bomb them? No.

    Thank you – you have exactly expressed (much better than me) my objection to citing the CWC as any kind of meaningful authorization for intervention in Syria.

    I see nothing in the CWC that specifies what member signatories are obliged to do against non-signatories.

  253. 253

    Concerning the OP, I recently saw a discussion on Facebook in which somebody opposed to airstrikes on Syria announced that he was getting very close to changing his mind just because a Republican who was agreeing with him was being so obnoxious about it, claiming that the whole crisis was all somehow because of Obama’s liberal wimpiness, or something. I think I actually managed to get the guy to calm down a little by reminding everyone of the obvious reason why the UK was unwilling to join in another Middle Eastern adventure with the US.

  254. 254
    Gravenstone says:

    @Lavocat: Oh aren’t you just precious?

  255. 255
    lojasmo says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s not a troll, it’s a NAMBLA/KKK bot.

  256. 256
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Betty Cracker: And #9, for the non-Obots.

  257. 257
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mandalay:

    Well that is just total bullshit: the world didn’t set a red line, and he did set a red line.

    I thought he was pretty clear. The argument was that the world did set a “red line” in the form of the 1925 Geneva Protocol, updated with the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention. People can argue (and do) that a civil war is not really a war, just an internal matter. Sorta a weak argument though.

  258. 258
    Tractarian says:

    @Donut: I looked into it. And, yep, I was right, virtually no one thinks the first Gulf War was a mistake.

    Before you hurl more insults and expletives at me, keep this in mind: the fact that you and all of your 500 Facebook friends believe that the first Gulf War was history’s greatest atrocity (and caused global warming, etc.) says nothing about the truthfulness of my statement.

  259. 259

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