Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another great quote that sums it up . . .

The Mighty Middle website cites a Michael Hirsh column from Newsweek:

How then did we arrive at this day, with anti-American Islamist governments rising in the Mideast, bin Laden sneering at us, Qaeda lieutenants escaping from prison, Iran brazenly enriching uranium, and America as hated and mistrusted as it ever has been? The answer, in a word, is incompetence. We now have testimony from enough Republicans and Bush loyalists—from former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to former CIA senior director Paul Pillar — that the administration knew all along how flimsy its WMD case against Iraq was. We also now know, from Berntsen and others, that the administration knew then how solid the intel on bin Laden's and Zawahiri's whereabouts was. So catastrophic was Bush's decision to shift his attention and resources to Iraq, when bin Laden was panting at Tora Bora, that one is tempted to rank it with Adolf Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941, at a time when Great Britain was prostrate and America was still out of the war (a decision that almost certainly cost Hitler the war then and there). Yes, Iraq may some day become a legitimate democracy. But for now it is mainly a jihadi factory, cranking out new generations of hardened bomb-ready Islamists, as we have seen with the cross-pollination that has brought Iraqi-style suicide bombs back to Afghanistan.

The Mighty Middle concludes:

The President is not an evil man, not a man who trades "blood for oil," not an imperialist aggressor, but a simple screw-up, a small man in way over his head, a weak man who has succumbed under pressure to megalomania, an incompetent.


Blogger curtis said...

I'm glad to see someone who doesn't fall prey to the massive inconsistency of "Bush=evil genius and Bush=stupid". At least he chose one and not the other.

4:09 PM, February 26, 2006  
Blogger jhbowden said...

Jim --

I agree that Bush isn't the sharpest tool in the box. But even without the WMDs, what is wrong with fighting a war in defense of liberalism?

The Democratic party from Truman to Johnson to Clinton has a history of waging war on totalitarian governments. Today I sense many want to abandon liberalism for the same reason the left abandoned it for socialism after the first world war -- but instead of peace-at-any-cost to avoid another Verdun, the fear is about another Vietnam.

Some, like Noam Chomsky, see foreign policy as the result of two impulses -- the instinct for greed, and the instinct for freedom. Like Chomsky's linguistics, this kind of thinking sees human rationality as dominant. But this isn't always the case.

Sometimes there simply are political movements animated by paranoid conspiracy theories, irrational hatreds, medieval superstitions, and the lure of murder. We saw it during the 1900s, and we're seeing it today. Whether we're in Iraq or not, we still have to deal with Islamic supremacists. Perhaps it is best to support Middle East democrats whenever possible.

5:53 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

Truman went to the aid of the South Koreans after the North Korea invaded them.

Kennedy didn't attack anybody. The Bay of Pigs was a CIA operation devised during the Eisenhower administration to be carried out by Cuban ex-patriots.

Johnson did not wage a war on a totalitarian government. He supported the South Vietnamese against a rebellious peasant army aided by North Vietnam.

Clinton sent troops to the balkans not to fight a totalitarian governement but to halt the ethnic cleansing of a population. If it weren't for the genocide, nobody would have gone to fight a totalitarian govenment.

In none of these instances was the US president attempting to bring democracy to another country. In almost all cases it was to preserve and protect American interests against communists. Ironically the one humanitarian cause was Clinton's.

9:37 PM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger jhbowden said...

Jim --

Are you claiming North Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, and Milosevic's Yugoslavia were democracies? We waged war with them, and they were totalitarian governments.

Democrats in Iraq need our help, and I don't apologize for aiding them.

8:56 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

Jason, in no way am I claiming that those countries are or were democracies. What I am saying is that the Democrats who were involved in using military force against these countries did not do so because they were totalitarian regimes or because their goal was to assis oppressed people (again, with Bosnia, the people were being massacred. That's why Clinton took action, not because they were oppressed.)

We did not attack North Vietnam to help the oppressed North Vietnamese. We attacked them because they were helping the Viet Cong against our ally, South Viet Nam, which was no beacon of democracy itself.

North Korea attacked our ally, South Korea. It had nothing to do with "oppressed" people.

The Batista regime was at LEAST as oppressive against its people as Castro. But Batista was OUR oppressor, and Castro was communist.

9:02 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Ron said...

Jim, I think the Pres is probably now seeing that he was conned by Cheney and Co. I consider this the Cheney administration.

3:50 AM, July 16, 2006  

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