Monday Morning Open Thread: You Go Get ‘Em, Darth

cheney on the ground wilkinson
(Signe Wikinson via GoComics.com)

Epic rant from Stephen Walt in Foreign Policy, “Being A Neocon Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry“:

From 2001 until sometime around 2006, the United States followed the core neoconservative foreign-policy program. The disastrous results of this vast social science experiment could not be clearer. The neoconservative program cost the United States several trillion dollars and thousands dead and wounded American soldiers, and it sowed carnage and chaos in Iraq and elsewhere…

… [G]iven their past failures, what explains neoconservatism’s apparent immunity from any degree of accountability? How can a group of people be so wrong so often and at such high cost, yet still retain considerable respect and influence in high circles? For America to pay the slightest heed to neoconservatives is like asking Wile E. Coyote how to catch the Road Runner, seeking marital advice from the late Mickey Rooney, or letting Bernie Madoff handle your retirement portfolio…

The zombie-like ability to maintain influence and status in the face of overwhelming evidence tells you that F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong: There are in fact an infinite number of “second chances” in American life and little or no accountability in the U.S. political system. The neocons’ staying power also reminds us that the United States can get away with irresponsible public discourse because it is very, very secure. Iraq was a disaster, and it helped pave the way to defeat in Afghanistan, but at the end of the day the United States will come home and probably be just fine. True, thousands of our fellow citizens would be alive and well today had we never listened to the neoconservatives’ fantasies, and Americans would be more popular abroad and more prosperous at home if their prescriptions from 1993 forward had been ritually ignored. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would be alive too, and the Middle East would probably be in somewhat better condition (it could hardly be worse).

What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)? I wish I knew, for if the past ten years haven’t discredited them, it’s not obvious what would. No doubt leaders in Moscow and Beijing derive great comfort from that fact: For what better way to ensure that the United States continues to lurch from crisis to crisis, and from quagmire to quagmire? Until our society gets better at listening to those who are consistently right instead of those who are reliably wrong, we will repeat the same mistakes and achieve the same dismal results. Not that the neoconservatives will care.

***********

Apart from trying not to repeat the same mistakes, what’s on the agenda for the start of the week?

189 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    How can a group of people be so wrong so often and at such high cost, yet still retain considerable respect and influence in high circles?

    What high circles do they have influence over and who cares? Down here on the ground (right, left, middle ground) where people work and bleed and die and vote, they have no influence whatsoever. Really, the only people paying any heed to the Cheneys and Wolfowitzes etc are the people in the media.

    Oh and I am very happy to hear our President say this:

    “Part of the task now is to see whether Iraqi leaders are prepared to rise above sectarian motivations, come together, compromise. If they can’t there’s not going to be a military solution to this problem … there’s no amount of American firepower that’s going to be able to hold the country together and I’ve made that very clear to Mr Maliki and all the other leadership inside of Iraq … they don’t have a lot of time.”

    So far he is resisting the urge to do something and has instead chosen to just sit there. May it ever be thus.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    Neocons in foreign policy, neolibs/Confiedence-Fairy-Cultists in economics, etc. Failing upwards is pretty much a thing all over. Better to be wrong in a way that vindicates the powerful than right in a way that doesn’t.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Oh boy Obama and Mika at 6.

  4. 4
    divF says:

    Re: the Neocons – TANJ. However, I would like to think that most of our fellow citizens have learned not to touch the hot stove of “boots on the ground” for a decade or two, which would be progress.

    It is 2:50 AM here, my plan is to go back to bed for a few hours, down to the cafe when it opens at 6 AM, work for a couple of hours on my laptop there, and then work out at the YMCA. Just a normal Monday morning, except that going to the Y in the morning I get to see all the unbearably cute toddlers / preschoolers heading for the little kids’ facilities. Their unalloyed joy and excitement gives this 61 Y/O (62 on Saturday) a shot in the arm as I start out the week.

  5. 5
    raven says:

    @divF: I swim and workout at our local Y every day. Summer is nuts with their crazy day camps and hordes of screaming munchkins. One parent described it as “Lord of the Flies with a little religion thrown in”

  6. 6
    divF says:

    @raven: This is Berkeley, so there isn’t any “C” in YMCA AFAICT.

  7. 7
    Lee Rudolph says:

    Fitzgerald said second acts, not second chances. Sort of different.

  8. 8
    Schlemizel says:

    @Lee Rudolph:
    Also means something different. The second act takes place between the introduction and the finish and is where all the explanation/development takes place. Americans don’t want that, they want to jump right to the conclusion without the detail & texture.

  9. 9
    Cermet says:

    Its the media whores who can’t get enough of licking the neocon’s shit filled crusty ass’s – can’t figure out why anyone but fox viewers would care to watch these lying shit eating pigs, though. Just proves that the media is both owned by the 0.001% and operated for their benefit – the more the middle class is forced to spend on wasted defense and also supply the young poor men who will be required to die, the better their profits and safety – see, win/win for their interests..

  10. 10
    James E. Powell says:

    What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)?

    Nothing. The answer is that nothing will reduce the neocon influence because the ruling class benefits in so many ways from it.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @divF: They even changed the name here, it’s just THE Y!

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lee Rudolph: I knew there was something wrong there, even thought about googling it.. America has always been referred to as the land of 2nd chances.

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    Stephen Walt:

    The zombie-like ability [of neo-cons] to maintain influence and status in the face of overwhelming evidence tells you that F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong: There are in fact an infinite number of “second chances” in American life …

    One could argue that Fitzgerald’s dictum still holds in that the neo-cons are neither American nor living – they are the undead.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)?

    Extra-marital blowjobs? Or is that one of those things that’s okay if you’re a Republican?

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    @JGabriel:

    IOKIYAR.

  16. 16
    Botsplainer says:

    @raven:

    Funniest thing – when my exurban Y started, they put up a comment board in the corridor outside the changing rooms, far away from the front desk. Most of the cards fit into two categories – either love and adoration for certain classes and instructors, or whining about scheduling for classes and instructors. The few throw offs would be equipment related, and no big deal.

    Everything was fine for about 18 months until two cards showed up in about a two week span. The first was a card bewailing the lack of insipid, smarmy, childish Christian praise music in the fitness center. The writer was outraged at the extent of secular music permitted in a Christian organization. The second card was from a mom bewailing the lack of modesty in the women’s changing area because children and Christianity.

    The cards were replied to, mocked and defaced, and the board came down. Also, the powers that be shifted fitness center music from really dull 50s-60s am hits (and occasional praise music) to harder rock and dance mixes from the late 70s to now, with no Christer stuff at all.

  17. 17
    Tommy says:

    You know I thought invading Iraq was a good idea. I was so wrong. Admitting you were wrong. Learning from your mistakes. I learn all the time.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    A church in Missouri, has decided the way to get more men in the pews is to give away AR-15s:

    “If we get people in the door, we get to preach the gospel,” said Heath Mooneyham, Ignite’s lead pastor. “If we can get more people to follow Jesus, I’ll give away 1,000 guns. I don’t care.”

    Missouri used to be the Show-me state, now we are the Show-you-the-way-to-new-levels-of-stupidity state

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tommy: These maggots cannot admit to their mistakes. For Bill Kristol, getting out of bed every morning is a mistake.

    They cannot admit to lives that are filled to overflowing the brim with error.

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    WWJS – what would Jesus shoot?

    My guess though, given his Middle Eastern heritage it would be an AK 47 not an AR15

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemizel: I would have thought an RPG. “May the light of Jeebus explode upon you!”

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @raven: How was the interview?

  23. 23
    HelloRochester says:

    Another reason not to vote for Her Inevitabilitiness because she’s a neocon and will be out to prove she’s got great big gun toting balls.

  24. 24
    JGabriel says:

    Raw Story via OzarkHillbilly:

    “If we get people in the door, we get to preach the gospel,” said Heath Mooneyham, Ignite’s lead pastor. “If we can get more people to follow Jesus, I’ll give away 1,000 guns. I don’t care.”

    What is it about American Christians that makes it so difficult for them to understand “Thou shalt not kill”?

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    CBS has a poll that says 29 percent think the President should do more in Iraq. That’s actually a bad number because it’s up 2 percent from where it should be. I didn’t see the margin of error though.

  26. 26
    max says:

    WWJS – what would Jesus shoot?

    RPG. Very useful against moneychangers.

    Apart from trying not to repeat the same mistakes, what’s on the agenda for the start of the week?

    “Why, Pinky, repeating the same mistakes, same as we do every day decade!”

    max
    [‘Granted these are actually neo-cons, so actually there’s no Brain, just Pinky, Dumb Pinky, Dumber Pinky, Vacuum Skull Pinky, OMG-He-Can’t-Remember-His-Own-Name-Pinky, and the one the other Pinky’s call Really Stupid, but you know…’]

  27. 27
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I’m heading for the Y this morning too. A few years back, someone complained about using religious Christmas music in aerobics classes. They thought it was sacrilegious. There’s no pleasing these people. They enjoy finding fault.

  28. 28
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @JPL: I only saw one question, they were supposed to have more of the interview in the 4PDT hour. I got tired of all the other crap. Mika asked the President if he was correct in saying Iraq was stable a few years ago. He said yes, but it’s not now. Then the peanut gallery(Joe, Donnie, & Mark H.) gave their vacuous opinions. As I said, I turned it off.

  29. 29
    Mike Furlan says:

    Results don’t matter, it is who you are fighting against that is important.

    For Cheney the mess of Iraq is Obama’s fault.

    I’ve had the misfortune to meet Germans who still think Big mistake I and II are all the Jews’ fault.

    And Daniel Larison believes the South was Right, it was all Lincoln’s fault.

  30. 30
    HelloRochester says:

    Better teevees was to be had over at Faux and Friends where King Kombover was being given a platform to tell the olds about how the Central Park guys were gonna all be criminals anyways because, duh, black, so giving them a settlement for ruining their young lives is Hitler.
    (I’m at the in laws in South Cackalacka where Fox is the authoritative source of facts)

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: The christers are a bit more in evidence here but it’s still pretty secular.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)?

    I’ve been seeing a lot of Rand Paul in my news feeds lately. The cynical part of me says that the media is hedging its bets and will quickly turn to Paulism if they don’t get their splendid little war.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    Read that piece yesterday and then went and smoked a cigarette. Not even the VSPs at Foreign Policy mag will be heard by the Village. The Village adores their ghouls and will never give them up. Ever.

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The veneration of relics is an ancient Christian tradition.

  35. 35
    Schlemizel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @max:

    The kid recounts a morning in Afghanistan when he was woken up by RPG fire. He said he could tell it was not incoming so he was ignoring it trying to get back to sleep when one of his guys told him he really needed to see this. What they saw was 2 neighbors having a small disagreement. You know, like neighbors in suburbs everywhere might have, shooting RPGs at each other’s compounds, like neighbors will do.Its like a whole ‘nother world.

  36. 36
    Sherparick says:

    @JGabriel: It is always IOKIYR. See Vitters, David – Senator and future Governor of Louisiana.

    The answer is that these guys are “connected” or have “clout” as we use to say in Chicago. They have actually intermarried with and have personal relationships with both the American financial and media elite, an elite that is even safer and more secure from the terrible consequences of their action than the American people as whole (whose sons and daughters died by the thousands and Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered severely injured is in the tens of thousands, and has left hundreds of thousands affected by chronic physical and mental injuries). They were “sources” for reporters like Jack Tapper, Mark Halperin, Ron Fournier, David Gregory, Martha Raddatz, Jon Karl, Judith Miller, Vanderhei, etc. Wolfowitz, Feith, Cheney, et. al all helped this generation of Broadcast News, Cable News, WaPo and NY Times” “journalists” rise to the top of their profession with high six and 7 figure salaries (and that is before one adds in the speaking fees a celebrity journalist earns on the plutocratic conference circuit) for the last 25 years. Hence, these folks “owe” these guys (and with a couple of exceptions, it is all guys) and consider them members of the tribe. Further, given that “modern journalism” is about setting up “drama and conflict,” this way they can tell a story: Iraq is a mess, the Neocons state that they had achieved victory by 2009, but then the Kenyan Socialist Muslim Usurper took office and threw away the “Victory,” Obama and liberals say not so. “You decide.” (As if facts can be decided by polling and ratings.)

  37. 37
    Chris says:

    @Baud:

    Probably not too cynical.

    Anything as long as they don’t have to admit that the DFHs were right and switch to DFHism.

  38. 38
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @JPL: Some of that 29% s the ‘radioactive glass’ crowd. Some of it is unthoughtful, and unreflective people with their hearts in the right place who want The Man in The White House to make the bad men — and ISIS are a bunch of real winners — stop.

    The latter might not have thought this all the way through, but they’re not necessarily warmongers.

  39. 39
    Schlemizel says:

    @Baud:

    I see Ayn’s gambit as a way of keeping not non-war crazed wing in the party. They can pretend Ayn would never have screwed up like Iraq so if the numbers really are there to show people coming to their senses about the GOP the 30-somethings can stick with the goopers because Ayn will keep them out of war while allowing them to smoke the hemp.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: They love playing Holier Than Thou only nobody wins.

  41. 41
    D58826 says:

    On the other hand Rand Paul doesn’t y think Iraq is Obama’s fault. Gee that will go over big during the 2016 GOP presidential debates.

  42. 42
    Sherparick says:

    @JGabriel: First, these guys and gals are not exactly the only kinds “Christians” and I would question their actual connection to the religion except as a “marketing tool.” They have the same morals as goals as Mark Twain’s two characters from Huckleberry Finn, “the Dauphin” and the “Duke of Bildgewater.” Their favorite con was the tent revival meeting and the ultimate goal of bringing these folks to “Jesus” is to separate as much money as possible from these poor fools. The “guns” are just a marketing tool to get their brand plenty of media exposure, which it has done. Grifters got to grift.

  43. 43
    D58826 says:

    @Schlemizel: Oh FSM don’t tell Wayne LaPierre, the NRA. or the open carry crowd. They will want every one to have them.i

  44. 44
    MattF says:

    Kristol is pretty much the Perfect Straussian… contempt for democracy, promotion of imperial militarism to keep the proles in check, lying as a matter of political philosophy. Sullivan has pointed this out a few times, and I agree.

    And it’s not quite right to say he’s wrong about everything– he just has different goals, which, e.g., don’t include peace and prosperity.

  45. 45
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemizel:

    What they saw was 2 neighbors having a small disagreement. You know, like neighbors in suburbs everywhere might have, shooting RPGs at each other’s compounds, like neighbors will do.Its like a whole ‘nother world.

    Sounds just like south St Louis to me.

  46. 46
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @geg6: Yeahbut…

    Part of it is fake BothSiderism – “sure everyone can see that Iraq is a disaster, let’s hear the ‘other side’ to show that we want you to think we’re balanced.” Part of it is “our demographics are old white males, so get an old white guy on the program”. Part of it is “no we aren’t leftists; here’s a ‘traditional values’ guy to tell you their side to prove it.” A very tiny part is “we’re all neocons at heart, so let’s only push neocon points of view.”

    But it’s mainly laziness in search of Neilsen numbers. They’ve got to get eyeballs and clicks to sell ads to pay the bills. They’re going to get more eyeballs and clicks much more easily by rolling Cheney or McCain or … in than having an actual subject-matter expert.

    Pushback is great and important, but it’s yelling at clouds. It’s not worth much heartburn.

    Cable news ratings are tiny. They drive the discussion because it’s easy to grab an inflammatory clip. It takes more work to actually report on a story.

    My $0.02. FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @Schlemizel:

    They were just standing their ground.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)? I wish I knew, for if the past ten years haven’t discredited them, it’s not obvious what would.

    A significant problem is that neoconservatism taps into a portion of the human-type lizard brain that has been hard wired as such for a million years. The tribal “Us against them” and aggression toward the “Other” response runs deep and is easily called upon. One can even see those emotions at play in this blog.

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sherparick:

    First, these guys and gals are not exactly the only kinds “Christians”

    My wife’s hairdresser’s husband is the other type of Christian, actually kicked some homophobes out of his church, but he is far outnumbered by the Christians who think Jesus would’ve been even more awesome with an AK.

  50. 50
    Schlemizel says:

    @D58826:
    The open carry crowd, a a large segment of the NRA already believe they have the constitutional right to own them. Their reading says “NO LAW” so they want to repeal the rules controlling automatic weapons among other things.

    Yeah, they are insane and they live among us.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    CBS has a poll that says 29 percent think the President should do more in Iraq.

    But let me guess: 65% disapprove of the President’s handling of Iraq.

  52. 52
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF: It goes without saying that Andrew Sullivan should not be one’s interpreter of anything. (Not saying he is yours, particularly.)

    Strauss had his faults — who does not? — but he also had his defenders, including his daughter. You may disagree with her every word but anyway I think she’s worth the read.

  53. 53
    Schlemizel says:

    @D58826:
    I think Ayn can play the whole thing differently. He can claim he would never go into an adventure like Iraq but that the disaster of the last few weeks is all Obama’s fault. Its a great play! He gets the libtatards support for not having created the mess and the mouth-breathers for pinning it on BHO.

    As brain damaged and silly as that boy is I think he is very dangerous at this time & place because he could pull that slight of hand off.

  54. 54
    MattF says:

    @Cervantes: There’s disagreement about what Strauss acually thought and what his folllowers believe he thought. Strauss may, in his heart, been a sincere believer in liberal democracy– but it doesn’t matter. And given his views about dishonesty in public life, it’s impossible to know.

    On the other hand, being clear about the neocons’ actual goals is a good thing, and if Sullivan has it right (and I think he does), why not say so? I’m in vehement disagreement with Sullivan about various things, but not this.

  55. 55
    Sherparick says:

    @geg6: Yep. That is the way it rolls. For another broadside, check out Andrew Bacevich’s article in Commonweal on Robert Kagan and the “Necon” ideology. https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues

    As another commentator pointed out about Kristol, they are “Straussians” and believe in the “Noble Lie.” Cheney, Kristol, the Kagans goal is “Empire” and rule of an Oligarchy through the forms of a “faux” Democracy.

    The tactical purpose here of Cheney and other Republicans, is to take advantage of various foreign crisis to beat down President Obama’s numbers so as to increase the odds of the Republicans taking the Senate in November. It is also the story of the Obama hating Fox News audience (and except those paid to follow it as critics, who else watches Faux News) loves to hear and motivates them to go out and vote Republican in November.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Schlemizel: @Baud: When you get right down to it the leading criticism of Obama on pretty much ALL foreign policy matters is that he didn’t prevent bad things from happening. If he hadn’t Shown Weakness (TM) then all these unfixable problems wouldn’t have popped up in the first place! This is what unites the Cheney criticisms with the Paul criticisms. As Philadelphians say, it’s attytood.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    When you get right down to it the leading criticism of Obama on pretty much ALL foreign policy matters is that he didn’t prevent bad things from happening.

    Fixed. It’s the right-wing version of “bully pulpit.” A lot of people across the political spectrum have bought into Rush Limbaugh’s “Magic Negro” view of the Obama presidency.

  58. 58
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF: I’m just saying the debate can be had without reference to Leo Strauss.

    There’s disagreement about what Strauss acually thought and what his folllowers believe he thought. Strauss may, in his heart, been a sincere believer in liberal democracy– but it doesn’t matter. And given his views about dishonesty in public life, it’s impossible to know.

    There are people who comment here who have defended, praised, even called for more “dishonesty in public life” — among politicians, among journalists — provided said dishonesty is in service of Their Team. Would anyone, on this basis, call such commenters “Straussians”?

    On the other hand, being clear about the neocons’ actual goals is a good thing, and if Sullivan has it right (and I think he does), why not say so? I’m in vehement disagreement with Sullivan about various things, but not this.

    Maybe you agree that this point can be made effectively without dressing it up as “anti-Straussian” the way Sullivan contrives to do?

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    Is today the day, that the Supreme Court will release their opinion on the Hobby Lobby case?

    @Baud: 44 percent think the President is doing the right amount and 22 percent want him to do less.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    The Y is too expensive where I live. Planet Fitness for $10 a month.

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud:

    Rush Limbaugh’s “Magic Negro” view of the Obama presidency.

    [I dare not ask.]

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: But at core, it’s simply manipulation on areas of vulnerability. There’s nothing you can do about that but consider the source.

    Every woman is vulnerable to being told she could lose a few pounds. Every man is vulnerable to being told he did that thing just a bit effeminately. Every actor is vulnerable to being told that last scene was too much.

    It’s every MIL who implies our house is not clean enough, every boss who hints we aren’t doing something but won’t tell us what it is, every single pathetic, passive-aggressive, twisted, nasty and inadequate person who is desperate to feel better about themselves but don’t have the ‘nads to actually, you know, improve their own character.

    They can all be exiled to an island somewhere and go Lord of the Flies within a week.

  63. 63
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Is that supposed to be the current president pushing Ch*ney out the door in that cartoon? Worst caricature ever.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @JPL:

    Is today the day, that the Supreme Court will release their opinion on the Hobby Lobby case?

    By the end of the month.

  65. 65
    MattF says:

    @Cervantes: Maybe. Maybe ‘anti-Straussian’ harks back to arguments that are better off dead and buried. But I think the neocons share an ideology and a method, and I think calling out the ideology and the method are an important part of trying to combat them.

    What should I call it?

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bobby Thomson: At first I thought it was Bush.

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    Thank you. This describes my life to a tee. It took me too long to understand that the problem wasn’t with me.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    I would guess Thursday. They still have to correct Scalia’s erroneous description of the female reproductive system.

  69. 69
    Tokyokie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I always thought of it as the Show Me I’m Too Stupid to Understand a Verbal Explanation State.

  70. 70
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Some of it is unthoughtful, and unreflective people with their hearts in the right place

    Doubtful. Twenty-nine percent isn’t a whole lot more than twenty-seven percent. Just sayin’.

  71. 71
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MattF:

    What should I call it?

    Stupidity?

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What high circles do they have influence over and who cares?

    Is there a Republican foreign policy “expert”, who is not neck deep in neo-con ideology? I cannot think of one. McCain and Romney’s foreign policy team, for their Presidential campaigns, were full of neo-cons.

    If a Republican ever becomes President again, their foreign policy guys will be neo-cons. Of course they will be “neo-cons in disguise” and will try to hide their roll in Iraq as much as possible.

  73. 73
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF:

    What should I call it?

    Well, for starters, you don’t have to agree with me!

    But keeping up the rhetorical pressure on the “neo-cons” is certainly a good idea, to put it mildly, and Walt does it well. I trust he will keep at it. (His open campaign against AIPAC was at that time a lot riskier for him than this fight is now and he carried it through.)

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tokyokie: It is kind of funny how many people like to make fun of that slogan.

    “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

    Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver

    Too bad we didn’t have more like him in Congress before Iraq, eh?

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Frothy Eloquence”? Ew. I think that was the first redefinition of “Santorum.”

  76. 76
    some guy says:

    as long as AIPAC is the most powerful lobby in DC after the NRA then NeoCon ideology will never ever go away, but will be truly a Bipartisan Approach to Brown Peoplez. this is the elephant in the room few on the Left side of the political spectrum are willing to acknowledge, much less deal with.

  77. 77
    geg6 says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    See, I disagree. I think the largest part of it is Tim Russert/Sally Quinn syndrome. These people all hang out together, all the time. They go to the same parties, their kids go to the same schools, most of them went to the same few Ivy League colleges (or wish like hell they had), serve as sources for each other and date and marry people from among the same crowd. I always knew they were like this, but reading “This Town” just made it all real to me (and even the author isn’t immune, even though he seems to know how sick the whole thing is). It’s all incestuous with these people and they will never turn on someone who was admitted to the group. Wait…that’s not quite right. They will never turn on other media or Republicans. They turn on liberals, outside the msm media and Democrats all the time. But those groups of people have never and will never really ever be a part of the Village. Not as permanent members anyway. They may get invited to a cocktail party or two, but eventually will criticize some “great, beloved” Villager and will be ostracized and ignored, never to have the credibility of appearing on one of the Sunday snoozefests or Morning Joe or in the WaPo or NYT ever again. Look at Norm Ornstein, for pasta’s sake.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:

    Okay, I’m in moderation and I have no idea why. Can someone let me out, please?

    Edit: I think I figured it out. And all I can say is FYWP.

  79. 79
    Sherparick says:

    Iraq is also a good point to bring up Vietnam, the other great U.S. fiasco of the last 70 years. The Conservative Movement and the Neocons, when they talk of Vietnam also like to talk of how “liberals” and “hippies” let “victory” slip through the U.S. fingers regarding Vietnam (although after 13 years of war victory seem as far away as ever when Kissinger and Nixon signed the “decent interval” agreement in Paris to get the U.S. out). I was having a conversation with a friend and pointed out that the U.S. ostensibly went to war in Vietnam to create a U.S. friendly regime that would help it block Chinese expansionism in the Far East. Now in 2014 we have regime in Vietnam that is a big U.S. trading partner and is foreign investor friendly (while repressing labor) and that is forcibly opposing Chinese Expansionism in the Far East (with our quiet support). Did we lose the Vietnam War or did we win it? And why did we fight it in the first place (the lie was that if we did not, then the Communists would be taking over the America next (see “Red Dawn”).

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @FlipYrWhig: HA! Thanx, I needed that.

  81. 81
    geg6 says:

    @Sherparick:

    Yes. Vietnam. If you ask me, all of this is still fighting over Vietnam. These people have never gotten over it. I’m either late Baby Boomer or Generation Jones, however you might frame my (and Obama’s) generation. And I generally hate the Boomer bashing that happens here so often. However, I cannot tell you how sick to death I am over my elders who have never gotten over the 60s and who, it seems, will continue fighting the battles of 1968 until I finally shuffle off this mortal coil.

  82. 82
    Sherparick says:

    @Cervantes: Walt is very courageous and his stand has cost him greatly. Unlike Bill Kristol, the Kagan brothers, Doug Feith, and Geoffrey Goldberg he won’t be getting any $50,000 speaker fees at AIPAC conferences and the like. He will never be able to get appointed in an American administration to a foreign policy position, Democratic as well as Republican. Like Andrew Bacevich, his role will be that of Cassandra to the VSPs and Governing elite: Telling truth to power about disaster, but never being believed.

  83. 83
    boatboy_srq says:

    @JGabriel: Probably the same thing that contributes to “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”

  84. 84
    Tokyokie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hey, as a Mizzou grad, I’m entitled to make fun of the nickname (which I’ve been doing since I went to school there nearly 40 years ago).

  85. 85
    some guy says:

    here’s a better quote from that Walt article in FP:

    “The final source of neoconservative persistence is the continued support they get from their close cousins: the liberal interventionists. Neoconservatives may have cooked up the whole idea of invading Iraq, but they got a lot of support from a diverse array of liberal hawks. As I’ve noted before, the only major issue on which these two groups disagree is the role of international institutions, which liberals view as a useful tool and neoconservatives see as a dangerous constraint on U.S. freedom of action. Neoconservatives, in short, are liberal imperialists on steroids, and liberal hawks are really just kinder, gentler neocons.”

    yes, he’s looking at you, Samantha Powers, and the mewling minions like Steve Clemons and Robert Kaplan who give you cover.

  86. 86
    Sherparick says:

    @geg6: Hell, we are still fighting it out over the 1860s, let alone the 1960s. So you should not be surprise. As Faulkner said: “the past is never dead. It is not even past.” And the children and grandchildren will be fighting this out long after we have shuffled off our mortal coils.

  87. 87
    Sherparick says:

    @geg6: Here is a nice Andrew Bacevich quote about Vietnam that also fits Iraq from the Commonweal article and amplifies Walt’s comments:

    “…At least they did most of the time, with Vietnam an especially telling exception. The Vietnam War was not uncertain and unsatisfying. It was stupid and catastrophic. An accounting of what the United States got wrong in Vietnam would require an essay longer than Kagan’s. The things that the United States got right in Vietnam can be reduced to a single sentence: Cynically proclaiming that “peace with honor” had been achieved, it left…” https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues

  88. 88
    some guy says:

    Michael Tomasky, Kenneth Pollack, Ann-Marie Slaughter, Suzanne Nossel, Susan Rice, etc etc etc

    Unless and until we realize THESE people are the intellectual allies of the NeoCons, and unless and until we repudiate their role in Democratic Party foreign policy, the Kristol’s and the Wolfowitz’s and the Feith’s of the Right will have nothing to fear

  89. 89
    LAC says:

    @some guy: exactly what does this mean? How is Samantha powers a liberal hawk?

  90. 90
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tokyokie: We all are entitled to make fun of everything and anything. As a native born Texan I am particularly fond of needling my quickly (4 mos old) abandoned state.

  91. 91
    LAC says:

    @some guy: oh I see. You are advocating an isolationist stance.

  92. 92
    Morzer says:

    @MattF:

    Sullivan’s own views on Strauss (Leo) have evolved quite a bit over time (and may well devolve to where they started, given time). Driftglass had a great post just 4 days ago that was partly about this:

    http://driftglass.blogspot.com.....ne-of.html

  93. 93
    some guy says:

    @LAC:

    hhhmm, that’s a tough one. Powers push for bombing in Libya, her extremely touching and humanitarian support for the military dictatorship in Egypt, her avowed and extraordinary efforts to bomb bomb bom Syria?

    How the heck did Susan Powers ever become to be known as a liberal hawk? a real conundrum, that one

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LAC: If you think “human rights” is just a euphemism for “projections of American empire,” then advocates for humanitarian interventions are equivalent to neoconservatives. Of course if you think liberal interventionists and neocons are kindred spirits, you might as well think that paleocons and left isolationists are also kindred spirits, which puts Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky on the same side, which probably just shows that your side-putting algorithm is all kinds of messed up.

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: FWIW, you mean Samantha Power.

  96. 96
    some guy says:

    @LAC:

    nice, please explain to me how Samantha Powers stance is objectively different from that of the NeoCons who claimed “Saddam gassed his own people!!!”

    Notwithstanding these complexities, notwithstanding the various concerns that we all share, I’m here today to explain why the cost of not taking targeted, limited military action are far greater than the risks of going forward in the manner that President Obama has outlined.

    Every decision to use military force is an excruciatingly difficult one. It is especially difficult when one filters the Syria crisis through the prism of the past decade.

    But let me take a minute to discuss the uniquely monstrous crime that has brought us to this crossroads. What comes to mind, for me, is one father, Nalguta (ph), saying goodbye to his two young daughters. His girls had not yet been shrouded. They were still dressed in the pink shorts and leggings of little girls. The father lifted their lifeless bodies, cradled them, and cried out, “Wake up! What would I do without you? How do I stand this pain?”

    hey hey, ho ho, liberal hawks have got to go!

  97. 97
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    Michael Tomasky has a role in the foreign policy positions of the Democratic party, or, for that matter, those of the Great American People? Last I saw, he was a fairly obscure, but generally quite liberal, hack, writing for the Daily Beast and in no position to influence anybody much.

  98. 98
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    Susan Powers is Austin and Richard’s estranged sister.

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: Wouldn’t a consistent “liberal hawk” / “liberal interventionist” want to undermine Egypt’s military dictatorship, rather than supporting it?

  100. 100

    @Schlemizel:

    Their reading says “NO LAW” so they want to repeal the rules controlling automatic weapons among other things.

    Yeah, they are insane and they live among us.

    So it would be OK with them if I set up artillery in my yard and stockpiled tactical nuclear weapons…

  101. 101
    some guy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    yup, my absent apostrophe powers should have made that Power’s

  102. 102
    some guy says:

    We believe that this one attack in Damascus claimed more than 1,400 lives, far more than even the worst attacks by conventional means in Syria.

    funny, how Samantha Power has, after this one Op-Ed, never returned to this particular chemical weapon attack in Damascus. Fortunately for all of us, wiser heads in the Defense and intelligence agencies made it clear to Obama that this attack was, with a high degree of probabiility, the work of the Saudi and Qatari funded “rebels” of the Nusrah Front. oh well, I am sure Samantha will get the particulars of her next suggested bombing campaign a little bit better.

  103. 103
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: Because neocons didn’t actually care about human rights, they cared about telling a crappy little country to “suck on this.” Human rights arguments were insincerely offered for propaganda purposes. That’s the difference. The place of human rights arguments in foreign policy decisions is something that has bedeviled Democrats since Carter (if not longer) and caused a huge ruckus in the Clinton years, as you know, because there are conflicting liberal/left traditions on all of this, not One True Stance.

  104. 104
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    there are conflicting liberal/left traditions on all of this, not One True Stance

    I am sure we shall soon learn that you are also a “liberal hawk”, along with Power, Powers, Square Root and Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Mazel tov, comrade!

  105. 105
    some guy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    one would think so. but those silly Egyptians voted for the wrong person in their democratic elections, and thus don’t really deserve democracy. Power’s made clear her number # priority when she came before the Senate Foreign Relations committee for approval, and trust me, Egyptian voters ain’t it.

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Only if they could get some too.

  107. 107
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    Are you working yourself up to scream “Benghazi!” at some point?

  108. 108
    Botsplainer says:

    Fuck, I hate hicks and neckbeards.

    Currently, am at the hospital, in recovery in the outpatient center (wife had a suspicious mass, and what was supposed to be a simple bit of removal turned into taking the whole ovary). Anyway, she’s supposed to be quietly recovering so I can take her home, but Cletus, Edwina, Dakota, Dillon, Aunt Wanda and the whole extended family there to “support” somebody next door won’t shut the fuck up long enough to let her rest.

  109. 109
    Botsplainer says:

    I actually had to ask them to keep it down just now.

    Who fucking acts like that?!?

  110. 110
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Morzer: So pointing out that there are those in in the Obama admin who found the democratically elected gov’t of Egypt distasteful, is the equivalent of screaming “Benghazi!!!!!” now?

    Interesting….

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Morzer: I’ve gotten that before — we’ve had variants of this same discussion off and on for months.

  112. 112
    Morzer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    No, it’s just that all conspiracy theories tend to flow together sooner or later, so he might as well expedite the process and get to Benghazi!!! today. You’ll notice that the guy doesn’t even know the names of the people he denounces, much less present any real evidence for their alleged “evil” views. It’s all innuendo and taking a quote to indicate something that isn’t, in fact, obviously the case at all.

    As for the Egyptian people, I can’t say whether they deserve democracy or not. We have democracy (sort of) and it’s got us John McCain as Permanent Minister of Propaganda plus Rand Paul musing on whether Civil Rights should have happened. Do the Egyptian people really deserve to add this to their other, numerous problems?

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    I saw Edge of Tomorrow a few days ago. It’s witty in surprising places, for a sci-fi war movie. Except that there’s something bugging me: Tom Cruise was playing cocky junior military officers nearly 30 years ago. He’s over fifty now, and surely way too old to be convincing as a Major.

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: In any event, speaking up in support of the military government of Egypt — and I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to, but it doesn’t really matter — wouldn’t at all be the act of a “liberal hawk” or “liberal interventionist.” That’d be just plain _realpolitik_. A consistent liberal hawk would talk about intervening against a bad government in order to protect the people it subjugates, a la Bosnia, or Rwanda, or Libya, or Syria. So if that was Samantha Power’s sin, I wouldn’t chalk it up to her liberal interventionism, because it’d be neither liberal nor interventionist, would it?

  115. 115
    Angela says:

    @Botsplainer: I’m sorry your wife is having to endure people who think recovery units are akin to Chuck E. Cheese. When I had my thryroid removed and neck dissected for malingant lymph nodes, my room mate had a party going on in her half of the room. It was beyond distressing at a time when I had little energy to deal with it.

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: I guess it makes a difference whether you mean the pre-Morsi military government or the post-Morsi military government. But I feel like I know more about liberal interventionism per se than about Egypt in particular.

  117. 117
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Botsplainer:
    “Inside voice” is an utterly alien concept to some people.

  118. 118
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @divF: I always preferred the Young Men’s Reformed Cultists of the Ichor God Bel-Shamharoth Association .

  119. 119
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Besides, what do those who denounce “liberal hawks” want America to do about all this? Intervene to restore the ousted democratically elected government? But that would be liberal hawkery! HERESY!!! Leave the mess for the Egyptians to sort out? But that would be isolationism and telling the Egyptian people they don’t deserve democracy (whatever that formulation might mean)! HERESY!!!

    For every situation, the heresy hunter has a solution: denounce the impurity of others, while carefully taking no position of his/her own.

  120. 120
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: Especially many Americans.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: He’s had a whole fictitious military career, hasn’t he? Pretty much started as a cadet in _Taps_ in, ulp, 1981.

  122. 122
    Morzer says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    I am partial to the Pastafarian Al Dente And Not Too Much Basil Purity Jihad myself.

  123. 123
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Morzer:

    As for the Egyptian people, I can’t say whether they deserve democracy or not.

    You mean there is actually a question as to whether Egyptians should have the right of self governance? I think you phrased that rather badly and meant something else.

  124. 124
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Apart from trying not to repeat the same mistakes

    Pretty much my full-time job in life.

  125. 125
    Morzer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I think you might want to read that sentence in the context of the two sentences that follow and consider the word “irony“.

  126. 126
    some guy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    to be opposed to the liberal hawks/liberal interventionists is, in the mind of many here, one step away fro m Conspiracy Theory. Rail all you want about the NeoCons and everyone nods their heads in agreement, but point out their intellectual peers and fellow “let’s bomb them all and god will sort them out” are also in the Democratic Party and all of a sudden you are an isolationist, a conspiracist, etc…

    this is why we can’t have nice things.

    FlipYrWhig, any guesses on how noted Himan Rights Champion Samantha Power is reacting to the latest killings in the West Bank? The IDF has murdered 5 people this week, and kidnapped over 200. Power’s stern denunciatioon will be issued in ……

  127. 127
    Botsplainer says:

    @Angela:

    Ouch. Can’t imagine these boors in the same room. I’m able to close the door, but they’re still loud.

  128. 128
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Morzer: Also a lot of the “Clinton alums” were really scarred by our inaction in Rwanda and late reaction to Bosnia.

  129. 129
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Morzer: I’m a member of the Church of Dog the Almighty and the utterly Indifferent, that he so created the world in 6 days and on the 7th he said, “It’s your problem now.” Either that or he said, “Woof woofwoowowowoof.” I’m not real sure.

  130. 130
    Botsplainer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    He was always a cocky little shit.

    I did get to punch his face when we were in our teens and he’d hang out with his cousins, who were friends of mine.

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Morzer: I don’t get how the Egypt thing fits into the larger framework, no. But I remember the left critique of so-called “humanitarian intervention” from the 1990s, and it’s coherent, just not particularly satisfactory when it comes to things like genocide — which is of course the topic on which Samantha Power earned her stripes. So you end up with the “¿Quién es más macho izquierdista?” debate between intervention and nonintervention on the one side, and between universal human rights and relativism on the other, and, to make a long story short, shit is fucked up and bullshit.

  132. 132
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: Fine, but that’s “Why is Samantha Power hypocritical and consequently bad?” and not “Why is Samantha Power a liberal hawk and consequently bad?”

  133. 133
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    So, what do you want the US to do or not do about Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan? What’s your position on these issues?

  134. 134
    MomSense says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “Inside voice” is an utterly alien concept to some people.

    You would be shocked at what some “outside voices” are like.

  135. 135
    some guy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    A consistent liberal hawk would talk about intervening against a bad government in order to protect the people it subjugates,

    Samantha Power, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when appointed to be our Ambassador to the UN:

    First, the UN must be fair. The UN cannot focus disproportionate attention on a few, while giving a pass to others flouting their international obligations. There cannot be one standard for one country and another standard for all others. The United States has no greater friend in the world than the State of Israel. Israel is a country with whom we share security interests and, even more fundamentally, with whom we share core values – the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. America has a special relationship with Israel. And yet the General Assembly and Human Rights Council continue to pass one – sided resolutions condemning Israel above all others. Israel – not Iran, not Sudan, not North Korea – is the on e country with a fixed place on the Human Rights Council ’s agenda. Israel’s legitimacy should be beyond dispute, and its security must be beyond doubt. Just as I have done the last four years as President Obama’s UN adviser at the White House, I will stand up for Israel and work tirelessly to defend it

    so yeah, consistency isn’t exactly her strong suit.

  136. 136
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: Or maybe claiming that liberal hawks and neocons are “intellectual peers” is the problem, because, you know, they’re not. They sometimes end up supporting the same course of action but via very different arguments. And that matters. For parallel cases, I already mentioned one, non-interventionists Chomsky and Buchanan, earlier. Then, just to open a whole other can of worms, civil libertarians and militia movement nutjobs both strenuously object to surveillance and drones — but that surely doesn’t make _them_ “intellectual peers.”

  137. 137
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    And what would you like the US to do or not do about Israel? Are you a liberal hawk urging intervention for the Palestinians? An isolationist in favor of doing nothing and letting the Israelis do whatever they like?

    Do you have any position of your own or is this all about you bitching and whining in your quest to be purer than thou?

  138. 138
    some guy says:

    @Morzer:

    Egypt: suspend ALL aid until the coup leaders step down and democracy returns.
    Syria: suspend all aid to the jihadists, make clear to Qatar and Saudi Arabia that their funding of Nusrah and ISIL is unacceptable, suspend all aid to GCC countries until funding for al Qaeda forces in Syria dries up.
    Iraq: provide whatever assistance the Quds Force and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards require to help the Iraqi’s destroy ISIL.
    Afghanistan: Leave, like we said we would.

    is that clear enough, Morzer?

  139. 139
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Morzer: I just reread them a 6th and 7th time and I still come up with “Democracy is messy.” not “ironic”, tho it can be that too at times.

    Anyway, I gotta go. I didn’t mean to jump in on one side or the other, just wanted to point out that I hadn’t read anything from some guy this morn that was beyond the pale or beyond reason. Apparently there is a history here that I am unaware of.

  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: But if you chiefly want to indict her for being a liberal hawk (and thus a neocon in sheep’s clothing), it’d be more effective to cite things she advocated stemming from her liberal hawkdom, as opposed to those stemming from foreign policy “realism,” traditional alliances, parochial American interests, and so forth, like support for Israel.

  141. 141
    some guy says:

    @Morzer:

    Cease all aid to the apartheid regime. Support the BDS movement. Support the new Unity government in Palestine, assist them in holding new elections. Support the Palestinians entry into the UN organizations to which it is entitled to join. Assist the Palestinians in drawing up criminal referals to the ICC for War Crimes committed by the IDF.

    and now you go, Morzer. what would you do to end the subjugation and emiseration of the Palestinians under their current system of occupation and apartheid?

  142. 142
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    So, on Afghanistan, you are happy to let democracy and women’s rights collapse?

    Don’t the Afghans deserve democracy? Don’t their women deserve to be treated equally and with respect?

    See how easy it is to play your little purity game?

  143. 143
    Chyron HR says:

    @some guy:

    Iraq: provide whatever assistance the Quds Force and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards require to help the Iraqi’s destroy ISIL.

    Will we be greeted as liberators also, too?

  144. 144
    some guy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    my long term and public opposition to the apartheid regime makes many here quite uncomfortable.

  145. 145
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: I dunno, taking sides in a civil war by supporting military operations — as in your Iraq example — sure sounds like the kind of thing liberal hawks and neocons would do…

  146. 146
    Morzer says:

    @Chyron HR:

    That does sound rather like liberal hawkery, doesn’t it? Whodathunk it, “some guy” turns out to be just as bad as the wicked Samantha Power!

  147. 147
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Are you sensing that some guy might turn out to be just like people he denounces?

    Some people might even think some guy was a total hypocrite!

  148. 148
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Botsplainer: Aw, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cruise because in his heyday (and mine?) I was sometimes said to resemble him. I’ve never gotten to punch a future celebrity!

  149. 149
    LAC says:

    @some guy: you forgot to add: make sad faces when starving dying people pop up on our screen. Maybe shake a fist or two.

  150. 150
    some guy says:

    @Morzer:

    last I checked the Afghans just had an election, the runoff which will be occurring quite soon. what part of Afghan democracy do you dislike most, Morzer?

  151. 151
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    Oh I don’t have to give you a position, some guy. I just have to denounce you as a liberal hawk and an isolationist based on your own statements.

    See how easy it is to play your purity game?

    Now, do you want to go another round or two denouncing other people at random for sins that you share?

  152. 152
    some guy says:

    @LAC:

    Bombing those sad faces always gives you a thrill, doesn’t it. bomb bomb bomb, that will make their hunger go away, right.

  153. 153
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    Why, all of them, Katie!

    Just like you do.

  154. 154
    some guy says:

    @Morzer:

    no need to bother arguing with a dimwit, at least FlipYrWhig actually has a position.

    shorter Morzer: my betters know best.

    this is why we can’t have nice things in the Democratic Party

  155. 155
    LAC says:

    @FlipYrWhig: ya think? Yiowsa

  156. 156
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Morzer: Eh, I just think he’s hung up on categories and taxonomies that put him on the side of the angels. But these are hard questions that pretty much since the French Revolution have produced deep and bitter divisions among well-intentioned liberal-left people: if you believe in ameliorating suffering and responsive government, and you can summon overwhelming force, how far do you pursue those goals outside your borders?

  157. 157
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    I am sorry, did I make you pretzel yourself? Diddums!

    II rêve d’échafauds en fumant son houka. Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat….

  158. 158
    some guy says:

    Morzer, by his own admission, doesn’t have any position on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, or Israel. Morzer feels criticism of Powers is unfair, but doesn’t have any position on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, or Israel. Morzer hates it when people bitch and moan about what we are doing in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Israel, but doesn’t have any position of his own on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, or Israel.

    What a surprise.

  159. 159
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Eh, I just think he’s hung up on categories and taxonomies that put him on the side of the angels

    “Agent Scully, you are so kind-hearted. He’s a nut!”

  160. 160
    some guy says:

    if you believe in ameliorating suffering and responsive government, and you can summon overwhelming force, how far do you pursue those goals outside your borders?

    Samantha Power’s has an answer to that exact question: Bombs. Bombs dropped by US airplanes, bombs fired from US warships. bombs detonated by US-funded ‘freedom fighters.”

    And we all know that those we bomb then welcome us as liberators. Dick Cheney said so, and the experience of American imperial adventures has proven him and Samantha Power correct. we are greeted as liberators.

  161. 161
    Morzer says:

    @some guy:

    I love it when a plan comes together.

    And this really is wonderful coffee. I’d share it with you, if I could, little buddy, but I can’t, so you’ll just have to imagine every marvelous drop and my smile of satisfaction as the morning gets better and better..

  162. 162
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: Contrary to previous rounds, you give me too much credit — I don’t think I have a position here. All I’m trying to point out is that both interventionism and non-interventionism can be consistent with liberal-to-left views, so I think it’s not going to work to declare that interventionism is synonymous with neoconservatism and thus both are obviously anathema to right-thinking lefties. Democratic Party support for Israel is pretty much the diametric opposite of liberal interventionism. It’s a problem, yes, I agree, but not for that reason.

  163. 163
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @some guy: But you just said you would like to see something done militarily to check ISIS in Iraq. That has all the same risks you bring up here.

    The “humanitarian intervention” model would probably be working with the UN to interpose a multinational peacekeeping force to defuse the immediate crisis by putting all sides in timeout.

  164. 164
    LAC says:

    @some guy: first of all, Samantha power’s positions are far more intelligent than “bombs away”. That is YOUR shrieking howler monkey assessment of things. second, your opinion is that of an isolationist You see no good in any humanitarian involvement. Just own it and quit pretending that we are the blood thirsty creeps. You are grasping at straws and taking things out of context and trying to do the both sides do it argument. Why I don’t know. This administration and the advisors you malign are not advocating for any new wars.

  165. 165
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    Is there a Republican foreign policy “expert”, who is not neck deep in neo-con ideology? I cannot think of one. McCain and Romney’s foreign policy team, for their Presidential campaigns, were full of neo-cons.

    If a Republican ever becomes President again, their foreign policy guys will be neo-cons. Of course they will be “neo-cons in disguise” and will try to hide their roll in Iraq as much as possible.

    Which is why it’s a problem that the foreign policy/national security establishment has essentially become Republican turf, and why I’d sure like to see Democrats start seriously developing their own people instead of relying on the Gates and Hagels of the world.

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chris: The Democrats’ leading people are essentially the figures some guy adduced earlier: Power, Rice, Slaughter, et al. It would be nice to have more dovish “thought leaders,” but people who question the core missions of agencies don’t tend to be at the top of this list for heading them — except for John Bolton at the UN.

  167. 167
    Chris says:

    @Morzer:

    I love it when a plan comes together.

    Thanks for the A-Team Theme Song earworm!

  168. 168
    feebog says:

    @some guy:

    Syria: suspend all aid to the jihadists, make clear to Qatar and Saudi Arabia that their funding of Nusrah and ISIL is unacceptable, suspend all aid to GCC countries until funding for al Qaeda forces in Syria dries up.
    Iraq: provide whatever assistance the Quds Force and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards require to help the Iraqi’s destroy ISIL.
    Afghanistan: Leave, like we said we would.

    So you would like to see a Shia dominant block of three states, Syria, Iraq and Iran in the middle east? As for Afghanistan, when shit goes south there, you will no doubt be cheerleading for intervention, just like you are in Iraq right now. How about this; we get the fuck out of all of these countries and let them figure it our for themselves. And invest the Billions of dollars we save by investing in clean energy and making the middle east irrelevant in terms of energy dependence.

  169. 169
    J R in WV says:

    @JPL:

    Obvously an error rate of > 2 … right?

  170. 170
    Ruckus says:

    @geg6:
    I agree with your assessment of my generation. However I will point out that every generation that has a huge drastic event(WWII, Vietnam, depression, etc) will be shaped by that event. Especially if that happens during the formative years, 18-30. The greatest generation had the depression and WWII, boomers had the WWII recovery and much greater, Vietnam. Thankfully not every generation gets one of these events because the events are all wars or disasters. How could you not expect such a large event to shape their lives?

  171. 171
    Morzer says:

    @Ruckus:

    I have sometimes thought that racism would really start to wither when the people who were ~7 years old* in 1964 finally died off. By my reckoning, we have roughly 25 years to go.

    * Based on the theory that the first 7 years are the key formative ones.

  172. 172
    flukebucket says:

    Let’s hear from the lawyers at some point about the Supreme Court ruling making it harder for shareholders to sue corporations.

  173. 173
    J R in WV says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Perhaps you can get a nurse to have them put out? The right nurse will take care if things!

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @some guy:

    So you’re completely in favor of intervening in Israel, Syria, and Iraq — including using military force to do it — but you think we’re currently intervening on the wrong side.

    And this makes you different than the liberal interventionists how, again? I mean, other than claiming that your desired military and financial intervention is good and right and their desired intervention is bad.

  175. 175
    Morzer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He just hates other liberal hawks for their freedoms. Or possibly fee-feedoms.

  176. 176
    LAC says:

    @Botsplainer: our next reality tv family.

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @Morzer:
    That’s a wonderful thought, the end of racism. My prediction is that it will never end. If food/water becomes scarcer/far more expensive it will get worse, not better. Now I do see racism getting to be much less of an issue in another generation or two, that’s 25-50 yrs. But go away? Don’t see it. There is just too big a level of stupid and inability to see even the little picture, let alone any big picture. And that is an opening for someone to have power. And they are going to do that. Take this mornings discussion on this post as an example.

  178. 178
    henqiguai says:

    @Ruckus (#170):

    …boomers had the WWII recovery and much greater, Vietnam.

    So dude, no joy for the Civil Rights movement brouhaha of the time?

    (C’mon! Low-hanging fruit; always go for the easy ones…)

  179. 179
    Barbara says:

    Re: Samantha Powers. Samantha Powers wants to use military intervention to mitigate or change the course of humanitarian disasters that are the result of political decisions. Rwanda is the textbook case. The only example I can think of where this strategy was reasonably successful was in the bombing of Belgrade (Serbia) where Milosevic had been wreaking havoc and mayhem on people for years and years, with one genocidal episode after another, culminating in the horrifying slaughter at Srebrenica.

    Yes, this strategy has not really been tried much — but to the extent you see military force as a force for good, then you are left arguing over where its application is appropriate. This fact often enough neutralizes the Samantha Powers of the world, and allows others to claim that they she is in agreement with them generally, and they are just disputing the particulars. Does anyone think Saddam Hussein was not a bad guy who wreaked havoc and mayhem on Iraqis? Of course not — but we know that was just an excuse for neocons. But when or how do we know when it is not an excuse, and when or how do we know that military intervention would be feasible and more likely to do good than bad?

    So unless Samantha Powers and others who advocate for a similar interventionist strategy can better articulate an objective way of evaluating when such intervention is appropriate, they are going to be just as useful to the neocons of the world as they are to liberals with humanitarian rather than political or economic motives.

    I also think Powers underestimates the potential for armed intervention to create unanticipated effects. I have had problems with her approach for a long time, even pre-Iraq.

  180. 180
    StringOnAStick says:

    @henqiguai: I have often wondered if a person’s outlook has more to do with what is the big issue right about when that person is college-aged or perhaps just starting their working life. I look at my82YO wingnut parents, who swallowed all that “commies is coming for us!” crap and have been fearful all their lives, though now thanks to a fulltime Fox news diet they are just rage-filled and resentful of everyone who isn’t a fellow 82 year old.

    My last (and ugly) visit with them had such events as my mom going nuts about that idiot marine who crossed into Mexico with guns in his car (apparently he’s a Greta V. cause celeb, why even Greta got lost on those TJ streets and ended up in Mexico by mistake!), telling me the president is “an idiot”, Obamacare is wrong and Obama is a fraud “because he’s not on Obamacare!” (while touting how she and dad are on Fed retiree healthcare thanks to her career), etc. When I asked her point-blank if uninsured people who got sick should just die from their illness, she got confused but I think she was ready to say yes but decided it sounded bad to be that openly soul-less. My dad later explained to me that all the recall stuff at GM is due to “Boomers as a generation have zero ethics and I have no respect for them” (I’m a boomer, as are all their kids so thanks, dad!). I think a lot of it is the early stages of dementia, but in someone younger you’d just say it was the result of watching Fox all the time. Fox News: dementia for all ages!

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    One of the weirder conversations I had with my Fox-addicted parents was them simultaneously railing against “Obamacare” but praising the cancer care that a friend of my brother’s was getting with Medicaid. It was a very “Get the government out of Medicare!” moment.

  182. 182
    Steeplejack says:

    @Barbara:

    Good points.

  183. 183
    Ruckus says:

    @henqiguai:
    Good catch. Of course you left out Medicare……
    Of course I’m not a history teacher nor did I spend last night in a Holiday Inn.

  184. 184
    henqiguai says:

    @StringOnAStick (#181):

    I have often wondered if a person’s outlook has more to do with what is the big issue right about when that person is college-aged or perhaps just starting their working life.

    First, let me say that I was being a goof in taking the shot at Rufus; it really was a case of low-hanging fruit but it was done without malice.

    But, on your comment, and harkening back to the actual motivation underlying my original comment; I was around for that Vietnam thingie. I even walked away from my 2-S in college; everybody in my neighborhood was going to ‘Nam, I figured I was too. But, I also noted the real histrionics behind the war protests – there was a draft. And the bulk of the war protesters I was seeing were white males; us, all the non-white males, *knew* we were gonna be tapped and were somewhat fatalistic about it, but our priorities were also different. You know, that whole equal treatment and equal access nonsense; but in the meantime, if you wanted to train us how to use those really neat hand-held weapons of mass destruction in the meantime (’cause the Revolution *really* was gonna come), well…

  185. 185
    J R in WV says:

    On the other hand, my Mom, as she suffered from COPD caused by Pall Mall, fought hard to stay alive, so as to vote against Republican presidential candidates who swore to stop safe and legal abortion, along with evil birth control. She who had been a Republican since she was 21, voted against two Republican presidential candidates, because she was a single issue voter on abortion.

    She never said so, but I’ll always believe that she had a close friend or relative that she loved who died as a result of a botched illegal abortion. An experience like that creates single issue voters. At the same time my Dad became a Faux noise addict… that and the Weather Channel were his avocations once Mom died.

    Fortunately we had always been on opposite poles politically, and agreed to disagree without talking about it, so he never unloaded on me too badly. And I knew he couldn’t help it when he did rant a little and didn’t fight back. He did a lot of work to help the world, especially in working as a R in favor of integration. A study in contrasts, my Dad was.

  186. 186
    Ruckus says:

    @StringOnAStick:
    If Gretta got lost on TJ streets, she was already in Mexico. Now I can see getting lost in a strange town but getting to the border at TJ is not a place one can get lost. It’s one street, one gate to go across. There are armed guards and big signs that say Mexico and tell you the big points/laws about their country. Just as we have driving back into the US. One has to be brain dead, ignorant, or willfully defiant to not see and understand them. And they will let you, no, they will assist you, in turning around if you want to. Now I would be the last person to state that there aren’t many Americans that are not brain dead, grossly ignorant, or willfully defiant when it comes to other countries and how we should act towards them.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @henqiguai:
    None taken at all.
    We’re all big boys and girls here, shots should be taken as necessary, especially when they are so easy.

  188. 188
    Morzer says:

    @Ruckus:

    I predicted that racism would wither, not end. As Jesus meant to say: “The mean-spirited of the world you will always have with you.”

  189. 189
    Cain says:

    Bring in the draft. Once the american people, and an entire generation are brought in to fight this war, then yeah, then accountability is going to be job one. Bring back the draft and let’s see who is willing to be dragged into the next war? I’ll tell you this much if people were drafted and there was no nuclear anything, heads will fly.

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