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caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 19th Jan '09 1:08 PM

PRESIDENT BUSH JUST COMMUTED THE SENTENCES OF BORDER GUARDS

You wanted to return to politics and get the heat off of that "nasty" editor, Barry Believe this should do it. We can return to Bush-Bashing as many enjoy. He did not pardon them as many would have liked and this commutation is much less controversial than many things done by former Presidents. So relax, Sploofwhatever your absolute rudeness to many nice folks will soon disappear from the front page-Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 19th Jan '09 1:57 PM

There are Bush-bashers here?

Well, I'll take them on vis-a-vis certain subjects.

At the same time I am delighted with the Obama I have seen since the election. He has chosen an excellent Cabinet (save the Hillary thing) and seems headed toward governing from the center which is where I am.

It is already heart-warming to note that he won't shut down Guantanamo lickety-split and he won't run from Iraq like a scared jackass. You Bush-bashers will all be surprised at the number of Bush foreign policies he leaves in place.



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 19th Jan '09 2:03 PM

Yup, Andy a whole bunch of them. You are very articulate and that is a good thing if you want to even "hold your own" in defense of GW Bush-might add that some of my favorite folks here are among those "bashers" and they do it in a very articulate way-Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21596)
Mon, 19th Jan '09 2:08 PM

I too am impressed by the President-Elect and have nothing but good wishes for him-my survival now depends on him. You really took on a big load by suggesting that you were not pleased with his choice of Hillary-good luck-Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 19th Jan '09 3:36 PM

I am not a defender of Bush, Linda.

I understand that he looked at some matters in far too simplistic ways. I think he should have acted to encourage you (not me because I don't live stateside any more) to consume less energy. I understand how he mismanaged Iraq for several years (but got it right in the end).

At the same time I generally find the Left absolutely looney tunes in foreign affairs. These folks could not come close to nominating Harry Truman today, and this guy (with only a HS education, NB!) made numerous tough and correct decisions and in retrospect is one of the true giants of the 20th century.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 8:37 AM

1. I personally question Andy's self-description as a "centerist' -- especially with respect to foreign affairs -- if he can see anything "correct" about Bush's decimation of Iraq. Bush's Iraq War was, plain and simple, a war of aggression, in defiance of international law, against a weak nation based on lies. That Nixon went down for covering up an unnecessary burglary, Clinton was impeached for lying about sex, but that Bush gets a pass after being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people -- dead because of his lies -- does not reflect well on American political institutions or the American public.

2. There probably are some on the left with illusions about an Obama presidency. I personally will be surprised if he doesn't continue the post-World War II bi-partisan policy of attempted American global military domination. I will accept the platitutde that Obama represents "change we can believe in" only when he does something to tame the beast of the military-industrial complex. I'm not holding my breath.

3. What exactly are these "looney" left views on foreign affairs which you find so absurd?

4. Most of Obama's cabinet picks are old Clinton administration hacks. I can't share your enthusiasm for a return to the golden age of Bill Clinton, but as anybody who has read my posts know, this is what I expected would happen.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 9:18 AM

Tsk, someone advised me in a nice way to look out for you. So nice to meet you.

I am afraid I don't accept the view that the war was illegal. Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions. I never thought it was about WMD. It was answer to the Arab world for 9-11, and it was a bold effort to change the direction of the Arab world by establishing a democracy in its midst, the one thing the terrorists couldn't allow. That as folks on the left often say is going to the source of the problem. Well, the source of the problem (cf. Tom Friedman, NYT) is dictatorship and lack of opportunity in the Arab world + our former policies in the Arab world, now reversed.

Tsk, you apparently missed the change of direction in the foreign policy of the Democrats starting with Jimmy Carter. That party could not nominate Truman today. It's on an entirely different track.

It does have looney views. A purely domestic party, it wants to recoil from the intl scene and leave matters to the impotent UN. It wants to be nicer to terrorists (you heard it again yesterday from Obama unfortunately). It seeks to send our troops into situations where human rights, but not our national interest, are involved (e.g., Haiti which accomplished zilch, Liberia . . .)

Perhaps I am mistaken about Barack's Cabinet, but I think there are some new faces there, and it's great to have Larry Summers back. Tsk, for me the Clinton admin was 8 wasted years. He accomplished zilch in his first 5 years, and then along came the Monica story. God knows how much time he wasted on Yassir Arafat who never wanted peace.

FYI I am socially liberal, but I call them the way I see them. Iraq was mismanaged for several years, but it yields a valuable victory that Obama is far too smart to throw away. Al Qaeda threw everything into the battlefield of Iraq and lost.

allena
Allena  (Level: 255.0 - Posts: 1389)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 9:52 AM

The best contribution Clinton made was to get a Republican House of Representatives. Clearly, the US needs a few checks on a monolith. This group of confiscatory Democrats is likely to be the worst yet at deficit spending. Why call it an ear mark when the pet project is in the body of the bill?

The idea that O'bama (he's Irish isn't he?) will follow through on his promises is just as absurd as any politician's promise? Few do what they promise and the electorate lets them get away with it. However, clearly Wall Street has a few problems with his agenda!

So, as the electorate hopes for change that they can not define beyond "get rid of Bush" and the financial markets beg for government intervention (witness the 40B loss by Bank of Scotland) we will be watching government at its worst, begging for a new change. If Clinton could get the US House of Representatives to change parties in just two years ... maybe Obama can as well!


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 10:05 AM

Allena, the Republican Congress had about two good years. Then they lapsed into Porky Pig spending and forgetting why they were sent there in the first place. It only took them a little more than a decade to get voted out, compared to several for their predecessors.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 10:06 AM

I can define it beyond "get rid of Bush". That was just a bonus.

allena
Allena  (Level: 255.0 - Posts: 1389)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 10:51 AM

Go ahead ... Dahling.

By the way, I agree, the last Republican Congress was hardly something to boast about. Maybe the next one will have learned.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 11:28 AM

Allena, one party isn't better than the other. They're both lousy.

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 256.8 - Posts: 3936)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 12:26 PM

The invasion of Iraq was the answer to the Arab world for 9/11?

That's like the guy in the bar who punched a Jewish man as an answer for the Titanic.

Iceberg, Goldberg, whatever.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 12:33 PM

An answer, Kaufman.

I think they understood it even if you didn't.

allena
Allena  (Level: 255.0 - Posts: 1389)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 12:41 PM

Ok ... let's keep this fun. Thanks Ken.

Donna ... I await your list.

Now, about the idea that both parties do not represent their constituency. Right on. But how do we get the government back ... it is like eating an elephant ... one bite at a time!


smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 1:35 PM

Why do you need MY list? Can you think of nothing in this country that needs change besides the guy at the top? My issues are bigger than one person or one party, as I think most people's are.



foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 1:41 PM

"It was answer to the Arab world for 9-11, and it was a bold
effort to change the direction of the Arab world by
establishing a democracy in its midst, the one thing the
terrorists couldn't allow."

Excuse me?!

knerd
Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1141)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 2:08 PM

Ken, I never heard that one before - hilarious!

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 2:27 PM

I'm not quite over my sputtering in disbelief at such a
comment, but I think I can at least write without
using profanity.

First, I tell my students this joke occasionally:
Democracy is a fine idea in theory, but no one has
actually been able to get it to work.

Who are we to be imposing democracy on anyone?
If that really was the Pretender-in-Chief's intent, I I I II I I...

Sorry, I'm sputtering again.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 3:30 PM

Big ideas, Foogs.

Tom Friedman, the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, did a piece on CNN about the sources of terrorism. The Arabs are angry. They are angry because

1) we supported their dictators for decades
2) they allow their own dictators
3) there is no opportunity for them

I don't listen to Tom on domestic affairs but when he and Krauthammer (Wash Post) agree in the foreign arena, they're worth heeding.

knerd
Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1141)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 4:12 PM

Might they be a little mad at us also for, let's say, having our military presence on land they consider to be sacred, or possibly could it be that we are telling them how they should live - no matter that their cultures and beliefs are. Or that we change allegiances based on how it can help us. Or that we are quick to go to war and destroy and slow with rebuilding and restructuring.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 4:39 PM

"Might they be a little mad at us also for, let's say, having our military presence on land they consider to be sacred" - sounds too much like ObL, Knerd. To the extent that our military has protected their dictators, they are angry.

"or possibly could it be that we are telling them how they should live - no matter that their cultures and beliefs are." We aren't.

"Or that we change allegiances based on how it can help us." We do, but not many changes in that region.

"Or that we are quick to go to war and destroy and slow with rebuilding and restructuring." We are?

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 4:43 PM

Are you going to argue, seriously, that we are not imposing
democracy on Iraq?

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 4:46 PM

Knerd, can't believe that you said we're slow at rebuilding. I mean, look at New Orleans.... Course we didn't break it... or did we ?

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 4:49 PM

Foogs, honestly I don't remember the details of how that came about. We certainly didn't tell them how they should do it or what form it should take. I do think our continued presence rested on the principle that they would develop a constitution for a representative democracy.

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 5:04 PM

Because, of course, representative democracy is the only alternative.

Bah!

No matter that this particular corner of the world has no history of
any such thing, or that it's completely unprepared for such a step.
If Bush had been listening to the intelligent advice he received
from people who actually had some knowledge of the Middle East,
he would have realized what a fool's errand he had in mind.

Hubris is the only nice word to describe his/our belief that we are
the way and the truth. Again, who are we to impose our beliefs
on others?

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 5:08 PM

We dabomb. Really.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 5:29 PM

The "purple thumbs" after their first free election, and the joy and pride they showed as they celebrated in the streets, tell the tale of how the Iraquis feel about their liberation and democracy and free elections. The women who now hold positions in the government and who are now being educated without government limitation tell the tale.

Of course there are things the Iraquis don't like. No two people on my street like everything, so of course, now that the Iraquis are free and have a democracy, they are finally free to safely yell their opinions at the top of their lungs - and the freedom to do so and to vote without duress are built are on the backs of the US and coalition forces of our planet who joined to fight to free them.

Please don't forget the human shredding machines, the 100s of thousands of bodies found in mass graves, the rapes and murders and maimings by Saddam Hussein's forces that the people no longer deal with. Please don't forget the Iraquis' joy as they pulled down and destroyed statues of Saddam Hussein.

Sure, with the knowledge, expertise, and training that you have, maybe you would have done something different.

But there was a time when it was reported that every Iraqui family had at least one family member who had been violated, shredded, or killed by Hussein's forces.

When you take the entirety of proof, the lack of verification as lawfully ordered by the UN, and the speeches of all politicians liberal and conservative from Clinton back for years, they were all against Hussein and spoke of wanting and needing something done. Please don't throw away decades of knowledge and action just because you hate President Bush.

I think the world should have gone in and deposed Hussein as soon as we knew he had gassed and killed the first 100,000 Iraquis. I think we're guilty of waiting too long.

Please read:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_human_rights_abuses_did_Saddam_Hussein_commit

Please search your heart - Is your hate of Bush REALLY more important than the freeing of the Iraqui people as listed on that page? Can't you hate Bush but still find in your heart a place for joy for the liberation of the Iraqui people from this murdering, evil dictator? Iraq has forever to shape and mold and create the democracy or government they want without persecution now.

allena
Allena  (Level: 255.0 - Posts: 1389)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 6:03 PM

I believe Democracy means people have the power. We are NOT a democracy … rather a Republic of elected REPRESENTATIVES. Now, when our Senators and Congressmen do not represent their constituency, they should be voted out. Too many stay because the voter wants their power to rain ear marks now that they have seniority. How else could Sen. Byrd be elected?

Now, about the pardons! I am proud that the two border agents had their sentences reduced. They still have their record of the conviction. The facts include that the guy they shot, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, is in jail now. The two agents shot Davila in the butt while he was running back into Mexico, away from his smuggled marijuana. They tried a little cover up. Subsequently, Davila was arrested and convicted for the same offense, smuggling, but a different count. At the agents trail, Davila’s offenses were not permitted as they might decrease his credibility as a witness. UGH!

Anyway, Bush did the right thing. It still may come to the Supreme Court.


jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 6:14 PM

Jim, you reminded me of something I heard/read last week. Too often, the obvious just goes right over my head.

They were talking about term limits, and someone said, "We already have term limits. All terms are limited by how often we vote them in or out of office."

(Now, if I read it here in SD, I apologize for not remembering it was one of you guys who said it! )

Anyway, it was a "Doh!" moment for me. Now if we'd just exercise all that power we wield when we "pull the lever" to maybe do a bit more term limiting.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 6:33 PM

The guy smuggled marijuana? How evil. Can see why he was shot in the back. to quote Frank Zappa, are we all Bozos on This Bus?

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 6:36 PM

Andy....

Not terribly surprised to learn that my reputation precedes me. It's true that I enjoy lively political debate.

I don't really take your point about Truman. He was hardly popular within the Democratic Party when he was nominated for the presidency in 1948. Indeed, although he was a sitting president, there was a dump Truman movement. What event -- dropping the bomb, perhaps -- do you believe would now disqualify him, assuming he were alive, to be nominated by the Democratic Party? Moreover, even if your speculation concerning Truman's reception in a modern Democratic Party is correct, what does that really mean? Maybe simply that the political problems of the current age aren't likely to be successfully dealt with by the politics of 60 years ago.

I don't agree that the Carter presidency represented some sort of turning point in Democratic politics on foreign policy and military issues. Carter was moderately less bellicose as president, and I give him credit for not going to war with Iran, although I fear that his decision not to wage such war cost him political support in this country.
I do not see Clinton's foreign policy/war policy as a continuation of the slightly aberrant Carter policies. The military beast keeps consuming more and more money under Republican, Democratic, and bi-partisan federal governments. The U.S. is not faced with an existential threats and does not need military bases in 75% of the countries of the world, which it has, for its own protection.

"They" do things to us because our government pursues policies that bring misery to their people.



collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 2:41 AM

Foogs, to say that we imposed our beliefs in Iraq is a bit of a stretch. They chose the form of their government to suit their situation.

I do believe, and I expect you don't, that our country has a unique mission on this planet - to spread liberty across the globe. And, yes, in a way that protects our way of life, but that is what world powers do.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 2:54 AM

Tsk, I hate to break the news to you, but Harry would have been diametrically opposed to Al Qaeda. Today's Democratic Party doesn't even want to fight the War on Terror. There has been a big shift.

In Harry's day the Republicans were the isolationists; today it's the liberal Democrats.

FYI foreign policy is not about war; it's mostly about diplomacy.

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 3:56 AM


Welcome to Sploofus, Mr. Rumsfeld. I would have
never figured you for a trivia fan.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 4:27 AM

Bad guess, Foogs.

I never would have attended Princeton.

Please try to stay on topic. Thanks.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 1:20 PM

Andy: The way the U.S. runs foreign policy, it's mostly about war and threats of war. I have yet to hear Obama or any liberal Democrat say that terrorists, including Al-Qaedi terrorists, should not be pursued. US policy has been something else again, with Exhibit 1 being the American aggression in Iraq. As to this immense post-World War II sea change in Democratic officials views on the use of force, said officials, at the time, overwhelmingly supported the War Resolution against Iraq. Even most of what passes as the leftwing of the Democratic Party is far too quick to resort to military force. Your description of Democrats being unwilling to confront Al-Qaedi or use force bears no relationship to reality given the Democratic support -- even to the present -- for what are accurately described as Bush's crimes in Iraq. One of the reasons I don't call myself a Democrat is precisely because the party leaders are entirely too quick to war. I was part of the minority in the run up to war with Iraq who opposed it -- in part because it was an attack on a soverign nation that had not been shown to have anything to do with 9/11. As I predicted then, the War would initially be overwhelmingly supported by the American public -- who mostly reflexively believe administration lies about the world -- and when the costs in dollars and lives became apparent, the public's apetite for the war would abate. American governmental policies with respect to the Middle East had far more to do with the 9/11 attacks than Saddam Hussein -- who was a non-player in that event.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 1:51 PM

Tsk, maybe for you, foreign policy is about war, but in reality it's about diplomacy - Northern Ireland, Middle East, Balkans, North Korea, Russia, China, Timor . . . Wars are infrequent. Diplomacy goes on all the time, and under Bush a very top concern was limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons via diplomacy. When diplomacy fails for a final time, war is an option.

You are correct that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. However, it had become a continuing problem and was clearly in violation of last-chance UN resolutions. There were a number of reasons to invade and seek something quite different there. You can carry on about illegality and crimes, but I will have none of that.

And I will continue to state that the Left does not want to pursue The War on Terror. The evidence will roll in slowly but surely. They provide lip service to the effort but in 2002, they were more concerned about Guantanamo than Al Qaeda.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 3:36 PM

Scott Ritter, Chief UN Weapons inspector, said Iraq had disarmed its weapons of mass destruction and inspectors were allowed to roam around Iraq. Its a joke to say that Iraq violated UN resolutions and that justified the invasion. (Incidentally, don't know if Ritter claims a political allegiance to either party now, but when he started out as an arms inspector, he was a Republican, who even voted for young Bush in 2000.) Since you are not interested in Bush's crimes, I won't waste my time citing relevant treaties and domestic laws that he violated. Nonetheless, it doesn't make Bush's crimes any less real, nor the damage that his crimes have done to the USA -- let alone Iraq -- any less severe.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 3:49 PM

Scott Ritter, Chief UN Weapons inspector, was eventually on retainer from Saddam.

Crimes in Iraq? Saddam himself executed about 50,000 a year. Do you know what a rape room is, TSK ??????

Is it amazing to me that Americans seek to fault the USA in Iraq. We liberated these people at great human and financial cost. Their country is a bit in ruin, principally because of the actions of Al Qaeda, but in the long the people and the country will benefit immensely. Freedom has no price, and they have it at last.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 4:01 PM

All I can say is "wow", which is also my current reaction to your initial self-description as a "centerist".

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 4:21 PM

I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative, but in general I want solutions that work.

Now once again, TSK, do you know what a rape room is ?????????

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 5:00 PM

Yes, Mr Ritter received a very large retainer from a involved in corrupting the Oil for Food Program to underwrite his documentary.

I guess you don't remember the corruption of that UN program. BTW the Clinton adminstration knew that the program was corrupted, but somehow forgot to tell us.

I guess they don't print these things in your local paper.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 5:02 PM

Yes, Mr Ritter received a very large retainer from Iraqi American businessman involved in corrupting the Oil for Food Program to underwrite his documentary.

I guess you don't remember the corruption of that UN program. BTW the Clinton administration knew that the program was corrupted, but somehow it forgot to tell us.

I guess they don't print these things in your local paper, huh?


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.7 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 23rd Jan '09 12:45 AM

TSK, let me put this in simpler language.

1. If Mr Ritter had such an important story to tell, why did he need to take such tainted money (Oil for Food money - origin effectively Saddam himself) to finance its publication?

BTW Ritter wasn't the only notable recipient of tainted money. The son of the Secretary General of your beloved UN, that is, Kojo Annan, son of Secretary General Kofi Annan, received payments for years.

2. I still haven't heard if you know what a rape room is.

3. The term is "centrist."


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