August 1, 2007

What will George Bush do once he's out of office?

I realize I'm not picturing him doing anything in particular. Is that a criticism, or is that how we always feel about Presidents?

106 comments:

Tim said...

Something quiet, not media-whore mongering like other past presidents of the other party; and much better for folks than his haters would ever acknowledge.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Probably retire into obscurity. He doesn't strike me as someone starved for attention and adulation like some other ex-Presidents who have to make up for their shortcomings by building houses in the 3rd world or going on the self-congratulatory lecture circuit.

I'm betting Bush will deal with his shortcomings by himself.

vet66 said...

Back to the Texas Ranch like Ronald Reagen did in California. Hopefully, he and Blair can team up to counter the self-flagellation of Jimmy Carter on the world stage.

Bissage said...

He’ll retire to Springfield to write his memoirs, with hilarious consequences.

TMink said...

I think he wants to be the commissioner of baseball.

Trey

hdhouse said...

I thought he retired a few years ago.

DaveG said...

Campaign for "Laura for Pres, 2012"

She's got my vote.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage:

That was a good Simpsons episode here George Bush Sr. moves to Springfield. Course I think all Simpsons episode is funny.

I too predict W will do something quietly (and for free) unlike Bill Clinton.

SteveR said...

He'll do what Dick Cheney tells him to do.

Synova said...

I won't criticize the house building.

MadisonMan said...

Have a good stiff drink.

I don't picture him golfing, like Jerry Ford, or doing Christian outreach, like Carter, or writing books, like Nixon. He won't simply retire, like Reagan (who I think retired because of his Alzheimer's). I've also heard he wants to be commissioner of baseball (I'm sure he could do better than Bud), but the security logistics of that would be tough.

I probably agree with Hoosier Daddy, but only his first sentence. All politicians are starved for attention and adulation...that's why they are in politics.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Both Bush and Cheney will join corporate boards so they can be repaid for whoring the government to Wall Street.

Isn't capitalism great?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Breath a big sigh of relief. Flip the bird to the media and tell them exactly what he thinks of them.

And then go peacefully to his ranch. Sit on the veranda and relax.

Maxine Weiss said...

He'll spend his days trying to fix his vlogs?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

breathe... sigh. proofread first before pushing the buttons.

rhhardin said...

I'd say a speaking tour. It's hard work.

Palladian said...

"Isn't capitalism great?"

Actually, yes! It is!

Adrian said...

completely off-topic (well, except to some of the lefties, probably): did you know about Bergman's Nazi past? I didn't! Thoughts?

Meade said...

With the '09 World Cup races coming up, I'm sure he will ramp up his training.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The default rubber-chicken assumption works pretty well for me here.

Rich said...

President of the University of Wisconsin.

Beth said...

I'll take the bet on join some corporate boards. Relax alot, obviously; why would that change just because he's no longer in office?

And what is this "ranch" I keep hearing about? He has a nice house on a big spread of land. It's no ranch. It just plays one on TV.

Roger said...

Beth: a ranch means different things depending whether you live in Wyoming or Westchester! If you live out west, Ranches are measured in sections; in the east, ranches are measured in acres.

Meade said...

In all seriousness, it would not surprise me if he focuses the rest of his working life in some way helping to defeat Islamist terrorism and to rebuild Iraq.

Troy said...

He'll become the head of Halliburton - the real power -- and use his Blackwater legions to cross the Rubicon.

That or be baseball fan in chief. He'll chop wood, drink near beer (Ted Casablanca notwithstanding), and load up on Ranger games from his box.

Balfegor said...

I expect he'll just go home to Crawford, holidays in the family estate in Maine, fishing and clearing scrub and whatnot. It's what he seems to do for relaxation, and -- unlike the Clintons -- he's already extremely wealthy without going on speaking tours or doing anything else like that.

He might serve on a corporate board, but I don't think he's plugged into corporate America the way his father or Cheney are. His corporate past -- the little oil company, the baseball team, etc -- aren't really on the same level as Halliburton or the Carlyle Group. Wikipedia tells me that Bush II served on the board of a company Carlyle acquired, but it seems to have been more or less a sinecure while he prepared for his run for Governor of Texas.

JP said...

You guys don't think he's just going to go chill at the ranch for another eight years?

Jennifer said...

Beth - The ranch covers 1,600 acres including cattle pastures and a bass-stocked lake. I always thought raising animals qualified a ranch as a ranch.

On a side note, it also utilizes a geothermal heating and cooling system that requires roughly a quarter of the energy of an equivalent house (4,000 sqft). They reclaim, treat and reuse their water in addition to collecting rainwater for irrigation.

The ranchers I've known - even those who just play at it - have been some of the most environmentally conscious people I know.

Beth said...

Jennifer, you're right: that is a side-note. And good for him for how he designed his estate.

Having a stocked bass pond for recreation doesn't make it a ranch, nor does having cattle and deer. He doesn't work those cattle. You can certainly define ranch as "having animals on it" but I'll respectfully disagree. Estate is a far better description, and more generous than pointing out that the whole thing is about image, a set on which to portray Bush as that Texas guy in his campaigns. That's fine, that's what politicians do. But he's no rancher.

DaveG said...

"Isn't capitalism great?"

"Actually, yes! It is!"

Class envy (aka jealousy), on the other hand...

Hoosier Daddy said...

Having a stocked bass pond for recreation doesn't make it a ranch, nor does having cattle and deer.

Getting a little nitpicky aren't we? How about just refer to it as the Bush Compound. It seems to work for the Kennedys.

John Stodder said...

Marry Condi and buy her an NFL franchise to run while he polishes up his daquiri-blending skills.

I'm just going off the earlier post about E!

Zeb Quinn said...

Campaign for "Laura for Pres, 2012"

Me, I'd prefer Lynn Cheney. She is sharp.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Having a stocked bass pond for recreation doesn't make it a ranch, nor does having cattle and deer. He doesn't work those cattle"

That's what is called a ranch in "my neck of the woods". Many ranchers here don't work their cattle themselves but hire out ranch managers. They may be absentee land owners, but they still own a RANCH. Some ranches are strictly for grazing other people's cattle or sheep on open range land. Others grow hay and alfalfa. Others are for hunting upland game.

Don't know where you live but it seems that you have a pretty narrow view of the world. If Bush or anyone else wants to call his spread a ranch, I believe that they are entitled.

Jennifer said...

Beth - You can certainly define ranch as "having animals on it" but I'll respectfully disagree.

No, I definitely define it as raising animals. I thought his ranch did work the cattle...? And I thought they kept horses.

Maybe it's not a working ranch, then. But 1,600 acres + horses = still pretty ranchy, IMO. I guess it's a dude ranch. :P

Mortimer Brezny said...

Write a history book.

Head a foundation.

Do negotiations in the Middle East on behalf of the Carlyle Group.

Relax.

Given interviews at strategic times to help the Republican Party.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Isn't capitalism great?"

Despite the occasional abuses, it most certainly is.

Paddy O. said...

He'll get office space in Los Angeles so he can be near Laura during her run for US Senator for California. Then after she wins he'll do speaking tours and whatnot, quietly pushing donors behind the scenes to gear up for the Laura '16 Presidential campaign. After Laura's 8 years, he will take time off from politics during Chelsea's Presidency to do the groundwork for George P. Bush's Presidential win in 2024.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Isn't capitalism great?"

Despite the occasional abuses, it most certainly is.


To paraphrase Churchill, its the worst economic system out there but the best one we can come up with thus far.

Revenant said...

I realize I'm not picturing him doing anything in particular. Is that a criticism, or is that how we always feel about Presidents?

That's the ideal thing for ex-Presidents to do, in my opinion: nothing.

Maybe some charity work. That'd be alright, too. But for heaven's sake, stay out of politics!

Joseph Hovsep said...

starved for attention and adulation like some other ex-Presidents who have to make up for their shortcomings by building houses in the 3rd world

There are plenty of criticisms one can mount against Carter's post-presidency, but his personal investment in and advocacy on behalf of Habitat for Humanity strikes me as a pretty odd choice.

Paddy O. said...

Oh, and my math is bad. I don't think Chelsea will be impeached her first year. George P. will campaign for the '32 election, by which time unless science intervenes GW will likely be too old or dead to help much.

Sloanasaurus said...

People will by crying for the wisdom of George Bush after Obama invades Pakistan.

EnigmatiCore said...

My gosh, that speech is horrid. It's like he just took Clinton's narrative of the past week, that Obama is too naive, inexperienced, and foolish regarding international affairs, and decided to play right into it all while pissing off anti-war activists.

The only saving grace is that everyone knows he is just posturing. He has to be, right? I mean, no one could be that delusional, right?

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

It is harmless error to think that the husbandry of grazing animals is the sine qua non of the ranch.

You want proof?

Here’s your proof.

Not an animal in sight!

bearbee said...

save_the_rustbelt said... Both Bush and Cheney will join corporate boards so they can be repaid for whoring the government to Wall Street.

You mean like Bill Clinton as senior adviser to the Yucaipa Companies , a Los Angeles-based investment firm , or Al Gore at Apple??

Cedarford said...

LBJ died too soon after his office ended to have relevancy, but biographers had some sad tales of him trying to run the Ranch like he was on a Presidential schedule.

Eisenhower, Hoover, Reagan, Clinton, Bush I had or have had strong post-prsidencies (yeah, Reagan was in la-la land but if he hadn't gotten Alzheimers's...) because people were convinced they had something important to say.

Truman rehab'd himself somewhat and was quite popular in his last years.
Same with Nixon - who was spurned by most the masses until his death but was thoroughly rehab'd and considered a "go to" advisor for global leaders and every President but Jimmy Carter within a few years of his Watergate resignation. Nixon was the EF Hutton of politicos..(He remained so important that William Safire constructed a literary device to summon Nixon in Purgatory for his read on emerging issues)

Jimmy Carter has been on a 25 year long quest to establish his relevancy, that he was an important President, that he had meaning..with mixed results.

Gerry Ford took the lazy, revenue-hungry approach. No playing statesman. Instead, play golf, show up on corporate boards once a year for a big fee, give ghostwritten speeches to rooms of corporate cronies for bigger fees.

My guess is Dubya takes the Gerry Ford approach. And maybe not even by choice, but because few will see him as a distinguished statesman. Of course, that might change if a US city or two gets nuked, and he gets to crow a bit about "I was right, told yah so!"

Beth said...

DBQ, we agree on one thing, GWB is certainly entitled.

I don't think my view is narrow at all; I'm from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri--lots of farming and ranching in my necks of the woods. A show-ranch made especially for political campaigning doesn't say "George Bush is a rancher" to me.

Beth said...

Bissage, the animals are very well hidden in the Hidden Valley!

Beth said...

Hoosier Daddy: compound's a fine word. It works for me. It might have a bit of a bad association in the Waco area, though.

Comrade X said...

He'll leave office peacefully, making a lot of people revisionists of their own history.

Unlike the rejected 1-termer Jimmy Carter, he'll not criticize his successors.

Bissage said...

Beth,

Of course!

That explains everything.

The advantages of "not being seen."

BOOM!

(The preceding was a shameful Monty Python reference without a YouTube link. Damned site blocking internet usage policy!)

Maxine Weiss said...

So, like, where is the daily Q&A Vlog for today? We were promised daily Q&A.

chickenlittle said...

He will purchase "Camp Casey" and donate it to veteran's causes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

There are plenty of criticisms one can mount against Carter's post-presidency, but his personal investment in and advocacy on behalf of Habitat for Humanity strikes me as a pretty odd choice.


I wasn't criticizing Habitat but rather Carter's quest to make himself relevant since his presidency was everything but. I find it odd that his work on Habitat somehow makes him an authority on foreign affairs much less the moral voice of the nation.

hdhouse said...

Quail hunting with Dick Cheney?

Fred said...

This question had so much potential for Bush funnies, I'm disappointed. :)

Comrade X said: Unlike the rejected 1-termer Jimmy Carter, he'll not criticize his successors.

The msm and dems already anointed Bush worst-president-ever. With Bush's limited ability to argue policy and unpopular presidency, I'd tend to side with Newt: the President should keep his mouth shut. Face it, Bush is a terrible salesman, anything he says will just blow up in his face.

Meade said...

Maxine Weiss said...
So, like, where is the daily Q&A Vlog for today? We were promised daily Q&A.

Didn't she suggest you put up a YouTube vlog response to her vlog Q&A, Maxine? Could it be that she is politely waiting for you to go first?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

You all have given him way-too-masculine pursuits. He'll nag Jenna and young Barbara to get married. And then he'll mother hen them until they make him a grandfather. Then he'll take the new young 'uns flyfishing with the Cheneys.

Oh, and he'll bake cookies, too.

David L. said...

From the moment a Democratic administration takes office, G.W. Bush will be lucky to see Crawford, Texas, on Christmas, New Year's and his birthday. He is likely to spend the rest of his life in court, as defendant or witness, or as a witness in front of Congressional Committees, taking the advice of the best lawyers he can find in order to avoid perjury traps.

The hatreds and fantasies of revenge run just that deep...

John said...

All of these comments assume that Bush will leave office. Haven't you been reading Daily Kos and those other sites about how we're no longer a democracy, the constitution has been suspended, etc.?

bill said...

Argue over ranch?
Commenters must have hard on
To alienate.

paul a'barge said...

Beth: ...He doesn't work those cattle. You can certainly define ranch as "having animals on it" but I'll respectfully disagree...

Beth, you come on down to Texas and I'll introduce you to some folks who own land and animals.

You can tell them that what they pour their blood, sweat and tears into doesn't qualify for your definition of a "ranch".

You can then tell them where you live and what you do with your time.

It will be entertaining to watch you haul yourself out of Texas so fast, they'll name a wind after you.

dl004d said...

Eventually, he'll sit on some boards and make a buck or two.

Fred said...

ding ding ding ding, we have a winner! David L. is correct.

Revenant said...

From the moment a Democratic administration takes office, G.W. Bush will be lucky to see Crawford, Texas, on Christmas, New Year's and his birthday. He is likely to spend the rest of his life in court, as defendant or witness, or as a witness in front of Congressional Committees, taking the advice of the best lawyers he can find in order to avoid perjury traps.

Highly doubtful. The Republicans didn't do that to Clinton.

Balfegor said...

Re: Revenant:

Highly doubtful. The Republicans didn't do that to Clinton.

Maybe because they already caught him perjuring himself. And that worked out so well for them. Yes.

Kirk said...

Rev,

"Highly doubtful. The Republicans didn't do that to Clinton.

True enough, but quite likely irrelevant. Do you really think the R's in 2000 were as insane as today's D's? I certainly don't!

Hey said...

Anyone who lives on a large patch of rural real estate lives like a hippie. There really isn't much water around Crawford, and the logistics of most modern conveniences make "green" options much more attractive. Same thing happens for people who have summer houses on islands where bringing in power/gas would be unbelievably expensive.

As to "ranch"... guess it depends. It's not the size of Ted Turner's spread, but 1600 acres is a really sizeable chunk of land. Course Beth has her own need to denigrate W any way she can, but this is ridiculous.

BTW Bush isn't all that wealthy. He's comfortable, but won't inherit much from 41, given the size of his family, and will do board work like his father. About $10M in assets, where something like $5M is liquid. Comfortable, especially when you're a past president and can take advantage of your library foundation, other foundations, and out of office federal support & security to pay for staff and capital upgrades. He won't have to be quite as grasping as Bill, but then 41 racked up some impressive speaking fees after leaving office despite his fairly stable circumstances.

Galvanized said...

Most probably, Bush won't figurehead anything having to do with the oil/petroleum industry. However, he's physically fit and, I imagine, will stay busy "cowboying" and running/biking. He'll continue to devote speeches to the importance of established democratic governments worldwide and peace that could result, as well as meeting with the new Administration to continue those goals. I respect Bush and hope he gets some peace and rest after his term is over.

DirkDiggler said...

Probably as little possible.

Spend time in Texas, Maine and be on some corporate boards, give some speechs, write a book (by a ghost writer), make some money and give some interviews every now and then. He is not very social so I can't seem him wanting to be on the camera anymore. I think he is burned out.

He definitely won't travel much outside the US, this was not something he did before office and doesn't seem to have an interest in.

Maybe doing something with Mexican/American relations/immigration issues-this does seem to be an area where he does have an interest.

My sense is that he hasn't really enjoyed being the president, not that I can blame him.

Theo Boehm said...

Just when I thought American politics couldn't get any more crazy and dysfunctional, David L raises the spectre of something I hadn't considered since Nixon.

Talk about fire bells in the night.

Do we want to go the route of the old Soviet Union or some third world hell hole, where the dictators have to hold on to power for life, or else?  If we (I say "we" advisedly as a mostly Democratic voter) pursue and hound George Bush for doing what he thought was his job, however badly he in fact did it, there is an infinity of danger down that path.

Perhaps the voters would throw out the Democrats who tried to do it, but the damage would be done, with who knows what consequences.

To turn Joseph Welch's famous words to a different, but equally important account: "At long last, my fellow Citizens, have you no sense of restraint?"

We are rapidly losing the last vestiges of restraint in political life, and if we don't get it back, in the end there won't be a political life or a country worth having.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Hoosier wrote:

He doesn't strike me as someone starved for attention and adulation like some other ex-Presidents who have to make up for their shortcomings by building houses in the 3rd world or going on the self-congratulatory lecture circuit.

This doesn't sound like Hoosier Daddy. Habitat for Humanity builds houses in the United States as well as in the third world. Furthermore it's my understanding that Habitat for Humanity is generally a highly regarded charity. Therefore I'm very surprised to find someone slamming Carter for his charitable work.

DirkDiggler said...

Oh and maybe he will guest blog on Althouse and all the wingers here can cream their pants.

Revenant said...

True enough, but quite likely irrelevant. Do you really think the R's in 2000 were as insane as today's D's? I certainly don't!

Well, yeah, actually... they pretty much were, in my opinion.

Beth said...

You can tell them that what they pour their blood, sweat and tears into doesn't qualify for your definition of a "ranch".

Paul, you're so off base. Bush is not a rancher. He's not a cowboy. That's all manufactured bullshit. Saying so doesn't insult a single Texan rancher or farmer or cowboy, despite your hyperventilating to the contrary. I'll say so all over Texas all I damn well please, and no one, certainly not you, will make me so much as flinch, never mind head for the state line. Jesus, BDS (Bush Devotions Syndrome) is in full, frothy mode for some folks.

Theo Boehm said...

Yep, Dirk. Maybe you can throw him in jail so all you Moonbats can cream your pants.

Gee, what was I just saying about restraint? The Internet has done wonders for political discourse, hasn't it?

Maxine Weiss said...

Yoo Hoo, He-LLOOOOO. Where is today's Q&A Vlog ???????

I have burning questions. Where is Althouse? Did she have a heart attack? A stroke? A pulmonary embolism?

"My readers are abandoning me"--2/2/07

Eli Blake said...

Maybe we should ask Fen what he will do. Obviously fen is psychic and knows far more than the experts.

For example, yesterday fen posted to me on another thread,

"From day one, I knew that this was a long war and that we would be in Iraq for at least a decade."

But here is what the folks who were busily pitching the war to us said before the war began, regarding its duration:

Feb. 7, 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

March 4, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: "What you'd like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the '90s," when its forces were routed from Kuwait.

March 11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."

Kenneth Adelman, a Reagan administration official who serves on a Pentagon advisory board, said in a Washington Post column in February (2003) that the war would be "a cakewalk."

Richard Perle, who chaired that board, predicted that any resistance in Iraq would "collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder."


Now, if people had been told before the war that it would last this long I doubt if so many people would have been so eager for it. But Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Perle (among others) were tasked to sell the public on the war, and they did their job well.

So here is my suggestion, if you want to know the answer to this question or any other question about the future: ask fen. He obviously has a crystal ball that even the leaders of our country don't have. Of course if they did, then they'd have had a plan 'B' for what to do if we went in and the Iraqis started throwing bombs at us instead of the expected flowers.

Eli Blake said...

Well, you remember that. We were supposed to waltz in, get rid of Saddam, find all those bunkers full of nerve gas, the people would throw flowers at us for getting rid of the evil dictator, and our troops would be home for Christmas that year (2003). That is what they told us then, and all the historical revisionism from the right can't expunge from the pages of history what they said then, or even in many cases after the war started (i.e. the President announcing on May 1, 2003 'the end of major combat operations' and Dick Cheney saying in June of 2003 that any acts of violence were just 'Saddam dead enders,' or two years ago that 'the insurgency was in its last throes'

Roger said...

Eli--a thought--you are accusing Fen of precscince; yet you already know the war is lost--seems to me we should be asking you about the future as well. What will the future in Iraq be, Eli? for me, I havent got the remotest idea--I hope it ends well. It might do you well to remember the caveat on mutual funds: past performance is no guarantee of future performance--and that applies in the case of Iraq to both pro and anti war folks.

dick said...

Beth,

Unless you can spell out for us eactly what Bush does at his ranch day by day, then you have no call to define whether he is a rancher or a cowboy or not. After all we had LBJ as the rancher and can you define what he did that was so different from what Bush does - that is if you even know what Bush does.

I would a whole lot rather see you try to define what the duties and responsibilities of journalists are since I think you are a lot more qualified to do that than to define what a rancher is and since the way that journalists are making up stories I think we need that defined a lot more than we need to have ranchers defined. what standards should be applied to journalists before they can earn that title. Should it be considered a profession and if so how do you qualify to use that title. When you have stringers writing news stories that get printed with no verification and you have obviously photoshopped documents and photos published as if they were gospel, you should put your mind to that definition.

When it comes to Bush you really don't know unless you can show that he does none of the duties of a rancher that he does not qualify anymore than you know whether LBJ qualified to be one when he retired to the same general area and all the puffing and blowing in the world will not change that fact.

Trumpit said...

"... ex-Presidents who have to make up for their shortcomings by building houses in the 3rd world ..." - Hoosier Daddy

What an incredibly ugly thing to say! I won't compound matters by calling you a crass & selfish pig, but you know that's what you are.

Freder Frederson said...

Hopefully hard time for war crimes in a prison in the Netherlands along with Dick, Don, John Yoo, and Stephen Cambone.

At least that is what he would do if there was any justice in the world.

Roger said...

Trumpit: why dont you just call him a selfish pig or what ever, rather than that weasel worded statement of yours: " I won't compound matters by calling you a crass & selfish pig, but you know that's what you are." Take responsibility for saying something rather than hiding beind the rhetorical subjunctive.

As it turns out, I applaud Carter's work with Habitat--the rest of what he does in the world is an absolute disgrace.

Dave said...

Eli, what about a set of links and quotes from all those who predicted thousands (or more) dead US military in the "Battle for Baghdad" or how we'd be defeated in 2003 by the "brutal Iraqi summer" (much as we lost the war in Afghanistan due to the "brutal Afghan winter") or how the overthrow of Saddam would cause millions of Iraqi refugees (the UN camps prepared actually got one family, and today's refugees from Iraq tend to be Sunnis who profited by Saddam's minority tyranny over the Shia majority) and so on.

Anyone can cherry-pick statements before the event to show just about anything.

And, for what it's worth, the 'war' in Iraq lasted less than 6 weeks. We're now in an occupation mode or something, although the surge has come war-type pieces.

Roger said...

OT: drudge is carrying a story about the I35 Bridge in Minneapolis collapsing into the mississippi.

Revenant said...

drudge is carrying a story about the I35 Bridge in Minneapolis collapsing into the mississippi.

We need to study this event very carefully and analyze every bit of available evidence until we can figure out exactly why it is George Bush's fault that it happened.

An early hypothesis: he was trying to prevent black people from driving to the polls for the November 2007 elections (the advisers who control him during his drunken binges forgot to tell him there are no elections this year).

Eli Blake said...

roger:

I've never said that the war is lost, only that it is unwinnable. The most likely scenario, IMO, is that we stay (for either a long or a short time, take your pick) and leave a country in the midst of a civil war, a civil war which does not involve the United States; however, we have neither the moral authority nor frankly the ability to end said civil war, and so the argument is whether we should be losing American troops trying to stop people whose hatreds go back thousands of years from killing each other. My own view is that we should not be in the business of policing these kinds of feuds.

Heck, I don't think we should get in the middle of them in any number of cases, be it Iraq, Darfur, Zimbabwe, etc.

If we feel the need to arm whoever we perceive as 'good guys' (a relative term in the Middle East) then that's fine, but I have yet to see anyone give a reason for why making Iraqis who hate each other so much get along is worth losing Americans for. I don't buy it. Whatever we went there for, it's presumably been done if it could be done, so let's leave now.

Eli Blake said...

dave:

Call it what you want, it's still the war.

As for the quotes you cite:

"thousands of Americans dead,"

Yup, they were right about that.

"Millions of refugees,"

Got that now, too. And by the way, the U.S. will get the same 'bonus' from the Iraq war that we got from intervening in Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Bosnia-- thousands of new immigrants.

So what is your point? Those predictions have come true.

So go clip that post and store it with your Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Roger said...

Eli--I respect your opinion and I think you have articulated what I think is the correct position for withdrawing. Appreciate your laying it out rationally and without hysterics. All we can do is see how it unfolds at this point.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Cyrus saidThis doesn't sound like Hoosier Daddy. Habitat for Humanity builds houses in the United States as well as in the third world. Furthermore it's my understanding that Habitat for Humanity is generally a highly regarded charity. Therefore I'm very surprised to find someone slamming Carter for his charitable work.

Evidently my writing skills need improvement. I am not slamming Habitat. I just have issues with Carter who I regard as one of the most inept presidents we ever had, use this charity to give him some air of legitimacy on how our foreign policy should be run. It seems to me that the presidents who feel the need to constantly stay in the public eye are doing so to make up for some shortcomings.

I'm not just talking about Bush's foreign policy either. Clinton was none to happy with Jimmy running to the Norks to try and cut deals. My point is that Carter I think uses Habitat to give him the kind of credibility that he simply did not have as president. I have absolutely no problem with what he does with that charity but he had his moment in the big boy chair and I'd have more respect for him if he built houses for the needy and left running the country to those we elected.

Revenant said...

we have neither the moral authority nor frankly the ability to end said civil war

The phrase "the moral authority to end a civil war" actually makes sense in your world, does it?

Revenant said...

The best example of historical revisionism by the anti-war folks isn't US fatalities (which are both worse than the pro-war side expected and less than the anti's expected) or refugees (ditto), but WMDs.

What the anti-war folks want you to forget is that the vast majority of THEM were convinced that Hussein had WMDs, too -- and not because Bush had tricked them into thinking it, but because that had been the accepted official truth everywhere from the Bush and Clinton administrations to the European Union and United Nations. In other words, the antis argued that Hussein had WMDs but the cost of removing him would be too high, which was and is an idiotic position to hold.

As it turns out, the cost of removing Hussein was trivial -- not the tens of thousands of allied deaths and years of effort the antis predicted, but a handful of deaths and a couple of months.

What has taken time, and cost thousands of American lives, has been the attempt to build a democratic government in Iraq. But the antis didn't argue against the war on the basis that establishing democracy there would be too much of a pain in the ass. That particular argument didn't get invented until after it became apparent that the original "removing Hussein isn't worth the cost" argument had been laughably wrong.

Naked Lunch said...

They could have made one phone call to Sharon, and he would have told them there were no WMD. We went to war with Iraq because they *didn't* have any WMD. The idea that Israel would pulverize a country over 2 kidnapped soldiers, and wouldn't go to war with a hostile neighbor with WMDs is ludicrous.

Revenants assertion that the entire world and anti-Iraq-war people were convinced he had WMDs is simply wrong. All the American and Iraqi lives, plus 220 million dollars per day for that never-ending clusterfuck to take out one old crazy guy should not be even close to being worth it to any clear thinking person. I would think.

Balfegor said...

Re: naked lunch:

We went to war with Iraq because they *didn't* have any WMD. The idea that Israel would pulverize a country over 2 kidnapped soldiers, and wouldn't go to war with a hostile neighbor with WMDs is ludicrous.

Wait, what? That makes absolutely no sense, unless by WMD you mean something other than nuclear weapons.

Israel is tiny. You think they're suicidal too? Why on Earth would Israel initiate conflict with a country in possession of nuclear weapons, when a few nuclear weapons could render all of Israel uninhabitable for a generation? The time for Israel to strike, as with Osirak, is before nuclear weapons are actually attained. It's too late afterwards.

Similarly, we were able to invade Iraq precisely because Saddam Hussein didn't have nuclear weapons yet. Because, as Bush put it, the threat was not imminent yet. If they had obtained working nuclear weapons already, all they'd have had to do was do a test detonation and threaten the oil fields, and we'd have aborted the invasion. Nuclear weapons are and remain an effective deterrent against unwanted international intervention, as well as being effective on the battlefield. That's kind of why these tinpot third world countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea -- have tried to get them.

Revenants assertion that the entire world and anti-Iraq-war people were convinced he had WMDs is simply wrong.

It depends what you mean by WMD. As far as chemical and biological weapons, I think that yes, we all thought that. They had had them before, and had been unable to provide clear documentation of their destruction (we've found bits and pieces of that arsenal too). On the other hand, if it's nuclear weapons, I don't think anyone (who was paying attention, at least) thought they had successfully developed nuclear weapons yet. The fear was either that they could reactivate a program that could produce a nuclear weapon, or that they had an active, clandestine program underway. The surprise, after invasion, was that their program was in such a sad state.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What an incredibly ugly thing to say! I won't compound matters by calling you a crass & selfish pig, but you know that's what you are.

Actually I think you did call me that but oh well, if I had feelings, they'd be hurt.

I'm tired of trying to defend my statement to people who evidently can't comprhend the difference between slamming Carter and criticizing Habitat. Learn to read.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Eli said: Heck, I don't think we should get in the middle of them in any number of cases, be it Iraq, Darfur, Zimbabwe, etc.

Amen.

If we feel the need to arm whoever we perceive as 'good guys' (a relative term in the Middle East) then that's fine, but I have yet to see anyone give a reason for why making Iraqis who hate each other so much get along is worth losing Americans for. I don't buy it. Whatever we went there for, it's presumably been done if it could be done, so let's leave now.

Probably the most logical and coherent argument I have heard for withdrawal.

I'd go a step further and implement a partition plan, give the Kurds a security guarantee (they're the only ones who seem to have thier act together) and let the chips fall where they may.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Naked: Revenants assertion that the entire world and anti-Iraq-war people were convinced he had WMDs is simply wrong. All the American and Iraqi lives, plus 220 million dollars per day for that never-ending clusterfuck to take out one old crazy guy should not be even close to being worth it to any clear thinking person.

Thats not what the "sacred" NIE said. I think its funny how the anti-war crowed cherrypicks statements from the latest leaked NIE, while ignoring the one that outlined Saddam's WMD threat.

Kirk said...

"Eli said: Heck, I don't think
   we should get in the
   middle of them in any
   number of cases, be it
   Iraq, Darfur, Zimbabwe, etc.

Amen.
"

UnAmen from me! You can certainly argue specifics about any individual case, and--who knows--I might even agree that we should keep ourselves out of any number of them.

But as a general rule I think it makes no sense to pretend that there isn't going to be a "top dog" on the international scene (or a small group of evenly-matched competitors), or that things would be better if it wasn't the US who was occupying that spot.

Revenant said...

Revenants assertion that the entire world and anti-Iraq-war people were convinced he had WMDs is simply wrong.

Like I said, that's the anti-war crowd's favorite bit of historical revisionism.

But I didn't say "then entire world". Just the United Nations, EU, and Democratic and Republican parties. I'm not sure if, say, Zimbabwe thought Iraq had biological and chemical weapons or not -- but the western nations did, as did the UN Security Council. The UN resolutions, remember, didn't call for Iraq to let people find out if they have WMDs -- they *stated* that Iraq had WMDs and called for Iraq to disarm!

Revenant said...

Oh, and one more thing -- it isn't costing us 200 million a day to get rid of Hussein; it is costing us 200 million a day to establish a democratic government in Iraq.

Now, the left-wing position is that both the US and Iraq will be better off if we leave the country and stop trying to rebuild it. If that's the case then the flaw in the Iraq war isn't that we invaded, but that we stuck around afterwards. Maybe we should have just invaded, shot Saddam and the rest of the Baathist leadership, and left (leaving a "give us any more shit and we'll be back" note nailed to every mosque door, perhaps).

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think it makes no sense to pretend that there isn't going to be a "top dog" on the international scene (or a small group of evenly-matched competitors), or that things would be better if it wasn't the US who was occupying that spot.

I have no problem being top dog but in support of Eli, I really don't want to see us treking across the globe trying to right the injustices of the world. We tried that in Somalia and saw how that worked out. Bosnia didn't win us any kudos on the international scene and now removing an Iraqi despot has ruined a sitting President's popularity and according to some, made us a pariah. So running off to Darfur or Zimbabwe is going to be different somehow?

I never was a big supporter of the whole nation building scheme. I subscribe to the Prime Directive up to the point they pose a threat to us.

Naked Lunch said...

Yawn. The UN, the EU, and a bunch bought and paid for flunkies thought this war was a great idea. Just admit it was the stupidest idea of all time and move on. Sorry, the science is in.