May 15, 2008

Bush knows you know who he's talking about.

"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

170 comments:

MadisonMan said...

an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.'

Why not name him? Senator Wm. Borah from Idaho. A Republican. Well, maybe the Israeli Parliament wouldn't care about that.

Bob said...

Barack "Neville" Obama doesn't sound too bad. He won't get all the "Obama Osama" mix-ups, that way.

John said...

For not having much of a reputation as a speech maker that is a brilliant piece of rethoric. Everyone thinks it is about Obama. But when Obama responds to it he is admitting the underlying premise of the statement which is that he wants to engage in useless and demeaning negotiations with murderers. It is classic, after you stopped beating your wife kind of stuff.

John said...

For not having much of a reputation as a speech maker that is a brilliant piece of rethoric. Everyone thinks it is about Obama. But when Obama responds to it he is admitting the underlying premise of the statement which is that he wants to engage in useless and demeaning negotiations with murderers. It is classic, after you stopped beating your wife kind of stuff.

former law student said...

I guess "Speak softly but carry a big stick" is no longer good Republican policy. Bush's statement reminds me that McArthur wanted to invade Red China, but that pussy Truman called him home.

George said...

"When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true."

--Harry Truman

(He wasn't talking about MacArthur!)

PatCA said...

The NYT makes not even a nominal attempt to control its sneering, but the reason that Bush "invoked the emotionally volatile imagery of World War II" is because WWII was indeed horrible, and a direct result of the world's appeasement of Hitler until it was much too late.

Too bad Bush didn't talk like this to the American people for the last five years; we might be further along in Iraq and less enervated at home.

ricpic said...

Okay, he hasn't appeased, but he hasn't fought all out to win, either.

Paddy O. said...

From the AP article on this:

White House press secretary Dana Perino flatly rejected the idea that the Knesset remark was aimed in any way at Obama. The remark is fairly typical for Bush speeches, and Gordon Johndroe, a national security spokesman for the president, said the president was referring to "a wide range of people who have talked to or suggested we talk to Hamas, Hezbollah or their state sponsors" over a long period of time.

One such person most recently was former President Carter, who held talks with Hamas leaders, prompting criticism from Bush officials.

Still, even as the White House said Bush meant no dig at the Democrat, Perino couldn't resist the opportunity to get in a small one.

"I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case," she said.


Brilliant. Obama's campaign and the NY Times took the bait and made this about Obama, thus accepting the criticism as basically true.

Man, I wish the White House would have been this good about talking through the whole Iraq war all along. They're good at it when they decide to say something.

Roger J. said...

While most presidential elections really don't revolve around foreign policy, if Obama is the nominee, John McCain should take that inning.

Blue Moon said...

You guys are all wrong, Bush is talking about:

The American and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq meeting, Israel talking with Hezbollah about Lebanon, and the State Department sending an expert to North Korea to talk to them about their nuclear program

These are the naive people Bush is refering to.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama's campaign and the NY Times took the bait and made this about Obama, thus accepting the criticism as basically true.

This is exactly correct. Democrats in their stupidity to be anti-bush all the time need to have an opposing position to Bush on every issue. This is why Democrats picked an appeaser as their nominee. Israel is one general election away from being thrown under the bus.

Not only is Obama an appeaser, he reconstructs history to claim that prior democrats were appeasers. Incredibly Obama claims that FDR negotiated with our enemies without precondition.

reader_iam said...

Boy, that Sen. Borah sure had himself some healthy self-esteem, didn't he?

LOL.

UWS guy said...

Apropos the internets and Bush...does he fail by mere fact that he used the "argument ad-hitlerum" Godwin's Law anyone?
I make a mental note of anyone who uses a world war II analogy to make a point; the mental note being that it is as far back into history that someone ever seriously studied. As if we never had a history of negotiations with the Barbary states even...

vbspurs said...

Why Obama? Why not Carter, who goes about hugging Hamas and Hezbollah, like respected old friends?

Or indeed, the New York Times themselves?

Here is what even his detractors know is an amazing piece of rhetoric. Really one of his best efforts yet (he's at his absolute best in States of the Union addresses, and talking of the Middle East). If Senator Obama had given it, the NYT would be falling over first in praise of its wording, then of how bold and challenging it is.

But for Bush, it's just a sitting duck president jealously casting aspersions on his younger, would-be successor.

I know it's the NYT. I know it's about Israel.

But every time you reference Israel, you don't have to think they're talking about the Messiah.

Cheers,
Victoria

rhhardin said...

I don't see why it can't be settled with email.

Paddy O. said...

UWSguy, there are times when particular historical moments are appropriate to mention, even if otherwise overused.

The 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel is directly related to Hitler and what happened. Thus echoing that common refrain, "never again" seems valid in this case.

To everything there is a season. A time for pirates, a time for Nazis.

Melinda said...

John (10:50) and (10:50): Yes, I agree. Wow! I wish I were that manipulative...as the NY Times and the average politician both!

SGT Ted said...

Our "negotiations" with the barbary pirates were to tell them to knock it off, or we would kill them. They didn't knock it off, and so we killed them.

I doubt that is the kind of negotiating that O! has in mind.

vbspurs said...

For not having much of a reputation as a speech maker that is a brilliant piece of rethoric.

Amazing. My favourite paragraph:

"We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

That is Reaganesque. Well done, whoever wrote it.

(Sounds David Frum-like, doesn't it -- whiffs of "History's unmarked grave of discarded lies.")

Everyone thinks it is about Obama. But when Obama responds to it he is admitting the underlying premise of the statement which is that he wants to engage in useless and demeaning negotiations with murderers.

Incredible.

When someone is clearly referring to you, because you clash and they dislike you, moreover everyone knows it; you do NOT defend yourself directly and vigourously. The inference then is that what the person said is true!!

That's a rookie mistake and a half.

The half comes from the fact that Camp Obama was obviously called up by the NYT reporter writing the story and told,

"President Bush just made a speech critising Senator Obama's Middle East stance, do you have a response?"

And they took the bait. Ech, more than anything I hate amateurs.

If people hated Bush for that self-same perception that he wasn't qualified in terms of experience, I don't see why they should give a pass to Obama.

Cheers,
Victoria

ballyfager said...

The trouble with Sen. Borah's self-esteem is that it wasn't well-founded.

Roger J. said...

UWS guy--Washington's administration negotiated with the Barbary pirates (actually, they paid tribute). Following the war of 1812, Preble's shelled all the capitals of the Barbary coast, collected tribue and freed slaves. You might recall this line in the Marine Hymn: from the shores of Tripoli.

In short, Barbary pirates make the case for intervention rather than refute it.

AJ Lynch said...

Is it time to call Obama The Great Black Hope ala the boxing world which anoints the average white heavyweight as "The Great White Hope"?

Jeez I know I never gave Gerry Cooney my support and Obama is starting to look like a pretender too.

George said...

Of course, Bush is messing with Obama's head.

Yes, lower-level negotiations are going on, but that's inside baseball that Joe Six Pack isn't aware of.

He's trying to pull undecided Jewish voters away from Obama who a few days ago implied that he thinks Israel is an "open sore."

Freder Frederson said...

That is Reaganesque. Well done, whoever wrote it.

Except Reagan negotiated with the Russians, the Iraqis, the Iranians and even the same terrorists Bush says we should never talk to (remember arms for hostages)?

Chip Ahoy said...

Actions speaks louder and far more unequivocally than words. Presently the actions are saying, "Brace yourself Iran, we intend to thoroughly kick your ass." Have a look at a map and get out your colored pencils. We're preparing the whole area with bases, including Iraq, Oman, Afghanistan, and yes even Pakistan; and the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman with carriers. Carriers, as you know each consist of their own entire fleets. And who knows where our missile launching submarines are lurking? Feeling a little surrounded, Iran? You should be. Think a little confab will ease tensions?

vbspurs said...

Except Reagan negotiated with the Russians, the Iraqis, the Iranians and even the same terrorists Bush says we should never talk to (remember arms for hostages)?

Freder, please use whatever influence you have on the guy, and tell Osama bin-Laden his presence is requested in Reykjavik.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

Did I neglect Kuwait?

P. Rich said...

"It is classic, after you stopped beating your wife kind of stuff."

Not if you have been beating your wife. And everyone knows it. And you continually try to justify it.

UWS guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UWS guy said...

I'm not saying the Barbary Pirate stuff wouldn't make a good hawkish argument. All I'm saying is that Hitlerum arguments are like dead metaphors that Orwell wrote about in his "politics and the English Language". Those arguments are like tea leaves choking the sink drain of precise thought.

I'm sure Romans loved making arguments ad-Hannibal and how awful the Carthaginians were, but at some point people need to stop taking the intellectually lazy and easy way out and make some fresh analogies.

comparing anything (and everything) to hitler nowadays is lazy.

Bob said...

UWS guy said...

Apropos the internets and Bush...does he fail by mere fact that he used the "argument ad-hitlerum" Godwin's Law anyone?


Godwin's Law doesn't apply when you're making a direct reference to Nazis/Hitler. It applies when Nazis/Hitler are used in an inappropriate context, e.g., Hitler killed six million people, Bush imprisoned 200 jihadis, thus Bush is Hitler.

peter hoh said...

Thanks to Don Sherwood (ex R-PA) we know that the correct question is, "When did you stop beating your mistress?"

The Exalted said...

um, we do talk to terrorists and their organizations, frequently.

we negotiated with the PLO for 30 years.

we talk with various terror groups in Iraq and elsewhere in the middle east. this has been well documented. we negotiated with the militiamen, part of the reason the surge has succeeded.

we deal with terrorist states, like North Korea.

we dealt with the USSR over 50 years.

bush's statement is pure political BS aimed at harming Obama. only morons or flunkies pay it any heed.

William said...

People here greatly underestimate the diplomatic skills of this perfect, gentle knight. The Rev Wright, for example, thought that white people had created hypertension and humidity to afflict the black community until by gentle reasoning Obama led him to his present moderate position. Chavez will not smell sulphur in the presence of this man.

dick said...

UWS -
Bushitler, anyone? Would you like some crow with that snack?

Freder Frederson said...

"Brace yourself Iran, we intend to thoroughly kick your ass."

I hope Bush (and you) realizes that he can't attack Iran without Congressional authorization.

I can't think of anything that would be more monumentally stupid.

MadisonMan said...

I'm sure Bush is glad a trip is finally getting Press. This and his trip a couple of months (weeks?) ago to wherever it was -- Africa? -- have been very poorly covered.

former law student said...

Obama who a few days ago implied that he thinks Israel is an "open sore."

Obama implied that he thinks the Middle East conflict is a constant sore. But nice try to build up some unwarranted anti-Obama sentiment.

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2008/05/13/obama_israel/print.html

Sigivald said...

Well, talk can work - if it's the right talk.

'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.'

Now, I don't know what Sen. Borah intended to say to Hitler, and I'm far too lazy to look him up and try and divine the likely gist from his stances.

Imagine: "If you start another war in Europe, the United States will rapidly join in against you.

Here's a rundown of our total industrial production capacity, compared that that of Germany.

And this time we won't stop until our tanks are in Berlin."

Such a speech, combined with signals from Roosevelt that no shit, we mean it, might well have acted to contain the Nazis until they collapsed under their own weight. Or it might not have, of course - but it should be remembered that "talk" need not mean "accomodation", and it can (and often should, when dealing with despots) mean "threats, and/or promises of retribution".

Talk is cheap, and relying on talk alone is ineffective. Talk backed up with Teddy Roosevelt's Big Stick is another matter.

former law student said...

Godwin's Law merely states that any internet discussion, continued long enough, will include a comparison to Hitler/the Nazis. Nobody "wins" or "loses" by making such a reference. It's on the order of "an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters will type the works of Shakespeare."

section9 said...

The real question is whether or not this was coordinated with the McCain Campaign or not.

If McCain comes out and distances himself from Bush's remarks, he'll demoralize the whole Base that he needs in the fall. Fundraising will drop off.

He can't be that stupid. Can he?

Again, this is the McCain Campaign we're talking about.

ricpic said...

When the beautiful people are into appeasement it's called courage.

madawaskan said...

Have a look at a map and get out your colored pencils.

Love it! Chip I think you forgot one place but they really don't like to advertise.

Q....

Hoosier Daddy said...

um, we do talk to terrorists and their organizations, frequently.

we negotiated with the PLO for 30 years.


Fat lot of good it did us too.

The Euros who actually have bargaining power with Iran have been negotiating with them over nukes for what, 3 years now? Iran's response has been pretty much 'fuck off'. I figure negotiations will continue right around the time they detonate one over Tel Aviv. Or New York.

I hope Bush (and you) realizes that he can't attack Iran without Congressional authorization

Did Clinton get authorization to attack Serbia?

If you believe that the Iranians are not intent on building nuclear weapons then yes, I agree attacking them would be monumentally stupid. On the other hand, if that is their endgame, allowing nuclear weapons in the hands of the mullahs is about as monumentally stupid as you can get.

madawaskan said...

Victoria-

Reykjavik.!

Oh come on-didn't someone suggest sending Ann there?

{I still can't believe no one suggested Yosemite-perhaps too cliche?}

Roger J. said...

It seems awfully simplistic to me to see only two options: negotiations or use of force. I suggest there is a continum along the line between talking and war. Certainly Clausewitz recognized that in his book "on War." These sound bite discussions are trivial, and until you spin out some more detail, these hypotheticals will take you nowhere.

Freder Frederson said...

And this time we won't stop until our tanks are in Berlin."

And what tanks would those have been? When Hitler invaded Poland, our 190,000 man, 7 division (6 infantry, 1 cavalry) army had 329 tanks, none of which sported armament more powerful than a .50 cal machine gun.

By comparison, the Germans had 100 infantry divisions, 6 armored and 2400 tanks. Even the Poles had 30 divisions.

cardeblu said...

reader_iam: "Boy, that Sen. Borah sure had himself some healthy self-esteem, didn't he? LOL."

Heh! Just as an aside, Boise has a high school named after him. I grew up about 20 miles from there and went to a different division school (1970s), so we never really competed against each other. However, their chant was well known throughout Treasure Valley: "We are (clap, clap) Bor-ah (clap, clap)! We are (c,c) Bor-ah (c,c)!" The other schools usually changed it to "You are (c,c) Bor-ing (c,c)! You are (c,c) Bor-ing (c,c)!"

;)

Dale St. Clair said...

... at some point people need to stop taking the intellectually lazy and easy way out and make some fresh analogies.

"Fresh analogies" are never a substitute for apt analogies.

former law student said...

I hope Bush (and you) realizes that he can't attack Iran without Congressional authorization

Did Clinton get authorization to attack Serbia?


The US participated in the bombing of Kosovo under our NATO treaty obligation, specifically Article 4. We have no similar Asian treaty obligations for mutual self-defense.

vbspurs said...

I once referenced Senator William Borah in a comment about Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

She was over 40 when she gave birth at last to a child. Ostensibly, Speaker of the House Nick Longworth was the father (and he loved the little girl).

But in reality, Alice and Bill Borah were doing the Republican bone dance together.

She was viciously anti-Nazi and anti-Communist, so you know she wouldn't have loved an appeaser.

The Lion of Idaho just was an old-fashioned ironically un-Teddy Roosevelt Republican, an isolationist at any cost.

Cheers,
Victoria

bearbee said...

bush's statement is pure political BS aimed at harming Obama. only morons or flunkies pay it any heed.

So, besides the NYT and O, who is paying heed?

Hoosier Daddy said...

The US participated in the bombing of Kosovo under our NATO treaty obligation, specifically Article 4.

I wasn't aware that Kosovo was part of NATO.

Article 4 specifically refers to the mutual defense of a NATO member. Last time I checked Kosovo wasn't on the list and no NATO member was being attacked.

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eli Blake said...

So don't negotiate with the Iranians....

Two words:

OLIVER NORTH

dbp said...

"Except Reagan negotiated with the Russians, the Iraqis, the Iranians and even the same terrorists Bush says we should never talk to (remember arms for hostages)?"

I remember it well, especially the part where liberals defended Reagan for it.

former law student said...

Article 4 refers to the subjective view of one or more NATO members, not what "Hoosier Daddy" might think. "Threats to security" represents a loophole big enough for the QE2.

Article 4

The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.

UWS guy said...

Dick: My posts refer to "bushitler" as well as any other tired trope.

Bob: referencing your political opponents with Neville Chamberlain is an argument ad-hitlerum...saying that it is not is quibbling over words.

Hoosierdaddy: I was in Austria before the out break of war in Kosovo; the Europeans were so fearful of a mass exodus of refugees that they begged the U.S. to intervene based upon their NATO obligations.

Ironically, western europe at the time was afraid to be inundated with muslims fleeing fmr. Yugo.

Roger J. said...

The Republican Party (and the country as a whole) had a strong isolationist streak until the start of WWII as I recall. Senator Borah was just more vocal about it. Look at the shennanigans FDR had to pull to get around the Congress prior to December 7.

Synova said...

I don't understand (well, I think I do) why a statement that negotiating with terrorists and radicals doesn't work can be argued against by pointing out when Republicans negotiated with terrorists and radicals.

Are we supposed to assume that any time a Republican did something that it *worked*?

That's the only way the argument makes sense, after all... one person says "History shows us that this doesn't work" and proving that wrong only makes sense by pointing out when it *did* work.

So *obviously* whenever Republicans negotiate with terrorists and radicals they are successful!

Weeee!

Freder Frederson said...

I don't understand (well, I think I do) why a statement that negotiating with terrorists and radicals doesn't work can be argued against by pointing out when Republicans negotiated with terrorists and radicals.

Okay, you want examples of the Bush administration negotiating with terrorists and radicals and it actually working.

First of all remember you are constantly telling us what a rousing success the Surge has been. The main reason it has been is because we have negotiated with the same Sunnis we were fighting a few months ago.

Then you've got Libya giving up their WMD programs. And don't forget after all that posturing how we were never going to talk to North Korea, we did, and got them to dismantle their Pu reactor.

Bush is being disingenuous and just flat out lying again.

Roost on the Moon said...

I thought this was well put:

"...to hawks it's always 1939, every foreigner we don't like is a new Hitler, and preventive war is always the only solution. Bush and McCain truly are the ideological descendants of the folks who urged Eisenhower to go for "rollback" and who insisted that Ronald Reagan betrayed the true path when he sat down with Gorbachev for arms control talks."

Eli Blake said...

As far as 'preventative war,' is concerned--

We did have one. World War I was described as the 'war to end all wars.'

You can see how well that worked out.

Wars are conflicts between nations or groups of people who have ideological, religious, cultural or historical differences with each other. But since we know that forced conversion doesn't work, the use of force can only conclusively 'win' a war by killing everyone on the other side. Otherwise the people on the other side remain, and remain a threat.

At best, if you 'win' a war militarily without winning the supprt of the public then you buy say about twenty years of peace, and then the next generation will keep things going.

Freder Frederson said...

Obviously not everyone in the Bush family thought that dealing with Hitler was fruitless.

Synova said...

I suppose the moral of the story, then, Freder, is that we should keep Republicans in office because when they negotiate with the bad guys it works.

Huh?

I mean... my talking to *you* doesn't make you agree with me all of a sudden so why, really WHY do we think that talking to terrorists and radicals will make them agree with us?

It's just silly.

Now, keeping some sort of grudge so when our opponents want to come over we prevent it is just stupid and I've never argued that, per your example, we ought to take a hard-line with Sunni groups who want to change their minds.

Those I've argued with here and elsewhere who thought it was horrific that we'd simply forget that these people were shooting at and killing Americans were anti-war liberals.

I don't know what they actually thought we ought to do since the main idea among those who are particularly anti-war seems to be to take whatever position is the opposite without regard to any sort of over-all harmony of ideas.

As we're seeing here with no one at all actually disputing the facts of what Bush said but bringing up "You do it too!!" as if that is the most relevant possible thing.

But OF COURSE we, as a nation, talk to our enemies. But there is more than one definition of "talk" and when it comes from Jimmy Carter or Obama do you really think that it *doesn't* mean that they think a nice sit down to tea will show some terror supporter the error of his ways?

Oh Jimmy Carter is well loved and respected around the world. They think he's *fabulous* because he, and no one else, can go to Darfur and come away with nice things to say about the government there. Same with Hammas. Same with any number of murderous dictators who open their doors and hearts to the man, knowing that doing so will make them seem like good people.

When Obama says "talk" he means something other than the "talking" that we do now because he's presenting himself as the opposite of Bush. He's going to TALK, and our international problems will go away because if Bush only TALKED instead of loving guns so much we wouldn't be in the mess we are in.

George said...

Negotiating with Teheran and Syria will not work because it has not worked.

You could contend that Iran is winning and could soon get overconfident and misstep. Through its proxies, it now controls Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon.

Once either or both nations get nuclear weapons or enough hot stuff to make a dirty bomb, they won't use it. They won't test it. They will hand the weapon to a proxy who will use it. No one will be able to tell where the weapon came from.

Their goal is victory through intimidation by using as little force as possible. If I were the Iranians, the best target might be Saudi Arabia. (Remember that the Sauds have long oppressed the Shia in the Eastern oil-rich provinces.) Let al-Qaeda take the blame.

Whatever happens, US and Israeli policy could not be clearer. It's going to be uglier than a Chinese earthquake.

LarsPorsena said...

"...to hawks it's always 1939, every foreigner we don't like is a new Hitler, and preventive war is always the only solution. Bush and McCain truly are the ideological descendants of the folks who urged Eisenhower to go for "rollback" and who insisted that Ronald Reagan betrayed the true path when he sat down with Gorbachev for arms control talks."

For the doves:

Remilitarization..’he’s only kidding’.
Reoccupation of the Ruhr..’it’s none of our business’
Anschluss…’nothing to see here, move along’.
Sudentenland….’peace in our time’
August 1939…”Who want’s to die for Danzig?”

vbspurs said...

Obviously not everyone in the Bush family thought that dealing with Hitler was fruitless.

I wouldn't thought that retort was worthy of you, Freder. Using a conspiracy theorist 101 argument about a topic regarding the compromises of Realpolitik.

I've been engaging you in conversation because I thought you were worth it. Diverging viewpoints are always fun, and keep one on one's toes.

But now I wonder if you are worth it.

Cheers,
Victoria

AlphaLiberal said...

This is a real pathetic statement. He trivializes the Israeli birthday, using it as an opportunity to hurl a domestic cheap shot.

He ignores the fact that the Senator he quotes was a Republican Senator.

He takes these scurrilous attacks beyond the water's edge. Shameful bullshit and an embarrassment to the entire nation.

And he's just flat out wrong. Iran is not 1930s Germany. their military budget is a tiny sliver of our own, they haven't invaded any countries.

It's always a Hitler behind every bush with these guys.

mark said...

For some reason many commenters on this thread want to equate a President sitting down to talk to "dinner jacket" stooge with specifically-focused, low level discussions between functionaries. There's a world of difference between that and such discussions as our diplomats in Iraq have with Iranians, or Israel discussing (via Egypt) the release of a captured soldier with Hamas. Or even the careful diplomacy being done multi-laterally with North Korea (mostly a fig leaf for China to justify internally the need to put the pressure on their client) or what we did with Lybia (mostly, I believe, through UK and Germany.)

If you can't see the difference, are you generally obtuse or only when it comes to Obama and the Middle East? Obama, of all people, should try his diplomatic hand at negotiations with someone like Rev. Wright, before he graduates to dealing the Middle East.

Re: NATO and authorization on Iran

US Congress has voted to recognize Iranian Quads force as a terrorist organization (or soomething near to it) and we have plenty of evidence that they are involved in and actively sponsor terrorist cells in Iraq that kill Americans. Iran is testing missile technology capable of delivering future nukes to most of the NATO capitals in Europe (they haven't quite got Spain or Portugal covered yet.) Seems like we have more than enough justification to take whatever action is necessary in Iran. When and how, are the choices the President makes based on multiple factors.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Article 4 refers to the subjective view of one or more NATO members, not what "Hoosier Daddy" might think. "Threats to security" represents a loophole big enough for the QE2.

Article 4

The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.


Oh I see. So there was an imminent threat that Serbia was going to invade a NATO member? I mean thats about as laughable as when the liberals berated Bush over Iraq being a threat to the United States.

Hoosierdaddy: I was in Austria before the out break of war in Kosovo; the Europeans were so fearful of a mass exodus of refugees that they begged the U.S. to intervene based upon their NATO obligations.

Really? Which Europeans? See not all Europeans are members of NATO. In fact, when you look at the map, the only NATO member remotely close to the action was Greece who by the way was vehemently opposed to NATO action. The other fascinating part about that is that the only countries who actually faced mass refugees were Macedonia and Albania. Like Austria, they weren't NATO members either.

LarsPorsena said...

alpha:
It sounds like it played well in Israel.
Jerusalem Post.....

Olmert then turned to Bush personally, saying "it is not customary in such events, where protocol plays such a big part ... but I want to tell you, man to man, father to father, family man to family man: In politics one gets to hear many statements, which are duly recorded and filed and then forgotten. [The welcome] you and your wife have received here today, is true and will not be forgotten. And not because it is written in the Knesset's protocols, but because it comes from my heart, from the heart of this house and from the heart of the people of Israel."

Sloanasaurus said...

This is a real pathetic statement. He trivializes the Israeli birthday, using it as an opportunity to hurl a domestic cheap shot.

You and Obama are digging yourself a big hole on this one.

The policy of appeasement is what resulted in 6 million Jews being put to death by the Nazis. It has more meaning to Israel than anywhere.

Moreover at the time Hitler was first appeased in 1936, France and Britain could have easily defeated him. By 1938-39 it was too late.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's always a Hitler behind every bush with these guys.

Obama has far more in common with Hitler than Bush. Obama believes in a fascist ideology.

Revenant said...

I guess "Speak softly but carry a big stick" is no longer good Republican policy.

Um... you DO know that "big stick" diplomacy called for the regular use of the military to protect US interests, right? It also called for the implied use of that military might as a threat in diplomacy. Which is why, under the administration of Teddy "Big Stick" Roosevelt, we invaded three countries "to protect US interests" -- Cuba, Panama, and the Dominican Republic?

If you think "speak softly and carry a big stick" meant "use more diplomacy", you REALLY need to crack a history book sometime. It meant almost exactly the opposite.

Revenant said...

Obviously not everyone in the Bush family thought that dealing with Hitler was fruitless.

Given that Barack Obama's father was a deadbeat alcoholic Communist it would, perhaps, be in your best interests not to judge people by their ancestry. :)

AlphaLiberal said...

Is appeasing worse than aiding and abetting?

You know, maybe Hitler wouldn't have been as much trouble if people like Prescott Bush, Bush's grandfather, hadn't done so much lucrative business with him.

Takes a lot of nerve to inherit a trust fund earned from WWII blood money and then stand before the Israeli Knesset and throw false accusations.

Roger J. said...
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Roger J. said...

Freder and Alpha Lib trot out the BFEE hypotheses straight off the pages of the moonbat sites.

AlphaLiberal said...

And, of course, Cheney's Halliburton has been doing business with Iran, despite sanctions.

Rodger, if you think the Guardian and MSNBC are "moonbat" that says more about your own fringe status.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me people have to do a whole lot of projecting to believe the president had all of this laid out in advance so he could lay one on Obama while addressing the Knesset on Israel's 60th anniversary. What an absolutely self centered and asinine interpretation. If Obama and his bots are that touchy they are going to be for a very long 4 year administration.

Given the Israeli relationship with Palestinian militant factions, a more compelling interpretation is that message was meant 1) to bolster the Israeli approach to dealing with Palestinians and 2) play down any expectations for successful US peace initiatives and 3) tell them that the Bush administration was not going to negotiate with the terrorist factions like Hamas and Hezbollah.

To see it as some sort of a domestic slam against the chosen one, says one hell of a lot more about the self-absorbed outlook of Senator Obama and Obamabots. Get over yourselves. The world does not revolve around you as you assume.

Roger J. said...

Alpha--I wasnt aware that Cheney was still CEO--I am aware of Prescott Bush's dealings with nazi Germany--so please tell me exactly why thats important and how it affects President Bush 41 or President Bush 43. Some liberals threw a spoke invoking "no guilt by association" when the Obama-Wright thing broke; how is trying to link a grandfather long since dead any different? Try for a little consistency please--you will sound less foolish that you are.

Roger J. said...

Oh, Alpha: to be clear I do think MSNBC is a fringe MSM outlet; less the Guardian, but I prefer the Financial Times.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Alpha--I wasnt aware that Cheney was still CEO"

I didn't say he was. He still cashes checks fro them.

As regards your other question see the saying about glass houses. Otherwise, the thing speaks for itself.

AlphaLiberal said...

Roger says:
"Seems to me people have to do a whole lot of projecting to believe the president had all of this laid out in advance so he could lay one on Obama while addressing the Knesset on Israel's 60th anniversary. "

Well, I hope he didn't pull those comments out of his ass, though it sounds like he did. Typically Presidential statement before foreign legislatures are prepared in advance.

And, with Lieberman and McSame teeing off on the subject, it smells like the dank odor or Republican attacks to come.

Roger J. said...

Of course they were prepared in advance Alpha; that to you is proof it was a set up? Wow--just Wow

AlphaLiberal said...

Roger J, talk about projection! You're constantly projectile writing:

to wit "smells like" is not the same as saying "it's a set up."

Though it smells more and more like that:
In a reference to Obama's declared willingness to meet with the leader of Iran, McCain said:

"I think [it] is an unacceptable position, and shows that Senator Obama does not have the knowledge, the experience, the background to make the kind of judgments that are necessary to preserve this nation's security."


------
Here's a nice dissection of the bullshit appeasement accusation. Short version: Appeasement means capitualtion, not negotiation. This is a rationale argument so it won't work for a number of you, I know.

Bob said...

AlphaLiberal - you do realize that until September 1st 1939 Nazi Germany had not technically invaded another country? And you are right that Iran's military budget is much smaller than ours. Of course 50% of ours go for pay, 10% to health care, and they don't need to plan on more than a one-way trip. Iran won't be paying any $'s to transport their troops as this sit on the Gulf.

Now, unlike Germany, they appear to be destined to get themselves the bomb. Some consider that a "game changer". That may not concern you but my sense is we're one shipping container away from more US causalties than WWII.

former law student said...

The other fascinating part about that is that the only countries who actually faced mass refugees were Macedonia and Albania. Like Austria, they weren't NATO members either.

You don't think conflict in the Balkans could pull in the rest of Europe? You might recall it happened in 1914. Plus proximity is not the prime criterion for absorbing refugees. When Hungary quit preventing Easterners from crossing the Austrian border, refugees came from all over Communist Europe. Austria had to build resettlement camps to hold people from as far away as Poland and the Baltic countries. But they were just passing through; they mainly got resettled in Germany and points as far West as the UK.

Roger J. said...

Alpha--as usual its been fun sharing opinions with you (seriously). Regretably wont be back on line for about 10 days. Duty calls elsewhere. Have a great evening; I am sure some of my wingnut colleagues will be willing to spar withi you.

dick said...

Alpha,

Cheney does not cash checks from them. His blind trust which he does not control cashes checks from them.

Now how about Joseph Kennedy and his support for Hitler. Can we lay that one onto Teddy? After all he was alive while that was going on unlike Bush.

And before you play the Saudi card, remember that the dealings with the Saudis were brokered by Averell Harriman. Remember Averell Harriman? Democratic governor of New York and Democratic candidate for president. His wife was the banker for the Clintons when they were running for the presidency and while they were in office. She was also the banker for a lot of the candidates for the senate and the house of representatives. Just be careful in following up the money she spent for them and where she got it.

former law student said...

Obama believes in a fascist ideology.

Obama's ideology: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Exalted said...

Seems to me people have to do a whole lot of projecting to believe the president had all of this laid out in advance so he could lay one on Obama while addressing the Knesset on Israel's 60th anniversary.

all of what laid out? he made a speech, it was probably written in the last week, he's clearly taking a shot at obama, and yes, its crass to insert domestic political considerations into such an address.

no surprise though given this crew.

also, all of you "omg its 1939" types are rich, considering what the GOP was doing in the 1980's wrt Saddam and Iran. far from mere negotiating, they were giving/selling weapons. if a dem administration had done either, you would want the whole party strung up for treason.

get off your low horses.

Revenant said...

You don't think conflict in the Balkans could pull in the rest of Europe? You might recall it happened in 1914.

So we attacked a country that hadn't threatened us or our allies, based on the belief that it could do so in the future?

Doesn't that sound awfully... preemptive? :)

Revenant said...

You know, maybe Hitler wouldn't have been as much trouble if people like Prescott Bush [etc etc]

For pity's sake, Alpha. We know you've never had an original thought, but now you've been reduced to cutting and pasting Freder's talking points into the very same thread?

The Exalted said...

yes revenant, the *legal* theories backing the kosovo intervention were pretty flimsy, and, standing here today, the only real legitimacy comes from post facto "ratifications" by the security council, which it issued because the intervention's success manifested itself.

the kosovo precedent was certainly used to help legitimize the iraq war, though the iraq war was not sold as a mission of humanitarian intervention

Synova said...

"Obama's ideology: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

So... all the fear of the impending Theocracy under Bush was a spoof and Obama will be the real thing?

Michael_H said...

It is so perfectly Rovian. Bush makes a pro-Israel statement, then Obama, Pelosi, Biden, et.al. individually puke out rote answers that can only expose them as anti-Israel and pro-terrorist.

Brilliant. Even in his absence Rove is the hidden power.

John K. said...

"Why don't those damned oil companies fly their own flags on their personal property- maybe a flag with a gas pump on it." -- Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, awarded Congressional Medal of Honor twice.

John K. said...

General Smedley Butler described himself as a "military isolationist" who believed "in having all sorts of friendly contacts and commercial contacts with all other nations on earth," but in keeping military forces "within our own boundaries." This was in opposition to a "very, very small minority that think we should police the world, that we should guard every American wherever he might be, and every dollar wherever it might be."

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

I fail to see what was offensive about Bush's comments. Seems like a perfectly legitimate point to me. If the Democrats are just going to respond with feigned outrage every time someone makes a point like this in the general election, that's just gonna get more and more off-putting. But it seems to be Obama's response to every criticism ever made against him.

The Drill SGT said...

Chris, and of course Hillary agrees with Bush on this one as I recall.

something about: Can't dignify dictators, if the price is Presidential prestige?

It was part of that same debate where Obama said he would talk to any of those dictators personally without preconditions to convince the world that we were humble.

Revenant said...

This was in opposition to a "very, very small minority that think we should police the world, that we should guard every American wherever he might be, and every dollar wherever it might be."

And now the punchline: he was saying these things in the 1930s, during the rise of Nazism, Fascism, and the Soviet empire.

Oops.

vbspurs said...

I fail to see what was offensive about Bush's comments.

Oh, but my dear Chris! Are you not one of those who want

...

Cheers,
Victoria

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

drill sgt: Actually, Hillary is apparently outraged by Bush's comments now. I don't see why, given her positions. Looks like she's shifting into "support Barack Obama and forget all their disputes" mode. Maybe she's trying to demonstrate that she could be a good running mate.

The Exalted said...

what do you fail to see? you don't see that its an attack on obama?

agree or disagree with obama's "lets bring them to the bargaining table" comments (and i thought they were stupid, because of course any prospective administration, unless run by dick cheney, will bargain with the iranians), attacking domestic opponents in a speech to commemorate israel's founding is crass and unnecessary.

not to mention comparing domestic opponents to nazi appeasers, this from the president who once warned us to "disagree responsibly"

Hoosier Daddy said...

As far as 'preventative war,' is concerned--

We did have one. World War I was described as the 'war to end all wars.'


Who exactly did we pre-empt in that one pray tell? I'm not all that up on my WW1 history but if memory serves, it was well into full swing by the time we got dragged in.

Kirk Parker said...

FLS,

Your assignment is to detail all the differences between Europe of 1914 and Europe of today, that make that comparison totally facile. Better get moving, it will probably take you all weekend. (My oh my, but I'm tired of folks who think the assassination of the Archduke and his wife caused something to happen that otherwise never would have happened. Get a clue; too many of the parties were spoiling for a fight.)

And as far as Gen. Butler, I get the feeling that somehow people think that those on "the right" are obligated to agree 100% with everything he said and did. Nonsense; I'll say right here that Butler had a very distinguished career, but definitely went off the rails later in life, as Revenant helpfully points out.

exalted,

"any prospective administration... will bargain with the iranians"

Hey, as long as in so doing we're carrying out our versions of hudna and taqqiya, I've got no problem with bargaining.

AlphaLiberal said...

This guy sounds like an Althouse fan.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You don't think conflict in the Balkans could pull in the rest of Europe? You might recall it happened in 1914.

Oh I recall precisely what happened in 1914 and unfortunately, it's not even a close comparison. The Kosovo conflict was an internal issue with Yugoslavia, unlike the assisnation of Archduke Ferdinand, there were no outside players.

Plus proximity is not the prime criterion for absorbing refugees. When Hungary quit preventing Easterners from crossing the Austrian border, refugees came from all over Communist Europe. Austria had to build resettlement camps to hold people from as far away as Poland and the Baltic countries. But they were just passing through; they mainly got resettled in Germany and points as far West as the UK.

Help me out here, what does that have to do with the Kosovo war? I'm sorry but there wasn't a single NATO member that was remotely threatened by Serbia or an influx of refugees. Invoking Article 4 as justification to bomb Serbia isn't thin, that's aneorexic.

Point being, Freder made the statement that Bush needed Congressional approval to attack Iran. Evidently your contention is that NATO can put together the flimsiest of reasoning which would justify such an attack.

Hoosier Daddy said...

also, all of you "omg its 1939" types are rich, considering what the GOP was doing in the 1980's wrt Saddam and Iran. far from mere negotiating, they were giving/selling weapons.

Can you provide some data on what kind of weaponry we were selling Saddam? From what I can tell, the lion's share of his military was comprised of Soviet equipment.

The Exalted said...

I'm not inclined to research exactly what we gave Saddam, but you are welcome to do your own.

I'd like to hear some of the frothers here propose their theory of what they/the media/the GOP would do to a President Obama who secretly sold arms to the Iranians...

This guy has your arguments captured pretty well: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YK0d8ENS__c

Revenant said...

Can you provide some data on what kind of weaponry we were selling Saddam?

Helicopters. Light helicopters and transports, specifically.

Overall, we supplied 0.5% of their military or quasi-military equipment. 94% came from the Soviet bloc, China, or France. In an eerie coincidence, those three nations later became three of our four biggest opponents during the 2002-2003 attempt to gain UN backing for the invasion of Iraq.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "And now the punchline: he [Gen. Smedley Butler]was saying these [military isolationist] things in the 1930s, during the rise of Nazism, Fascism, and the Soviet empire. Oops."

I alas am not qualified to debate the finer points of WWII historical revisionism. I pretty much just know what everybody else knows -- that the rise of Adolf Hitler was due in large part to the humiliation and oppression of the German people through the Treaty of Versailles; and that the Soviet Union, which succeeded in murdering far more people in the gulags than Hitler ever did, was the big winner in WWII; and that the big losers of WWII were all the countries we let fall under the sway of Stalin at the end of the war. I'm also pretty sure that "we" didn't enter the war to stop the genocide of the Jews.

History is written by the victors. Wars are almost invariably fought over money. That of course doesn't mean I don't recognize that Hitler was a homicidal maniac, and of course doesn't mean that I'm a Holocaust denier. It just means that I'm not willing to blindly accept on faith everything our high school history books taught us, or the underlying assumption of Bush's speech -- namely, that "of course" we had to fight WWII, that we had no moral choice, that WWII was a "good" war.

I'm also pretty sure that if America minded its own business, and focused exclusively on national "defense," that we could make ourselves virtually impervious to invasion, and could reduce to almost nothing the incentives for other countries to even try to invade our shores. Wasn't that the point of Washington's Farewell Speech?

So, how serious are we really about national "security"?

Revenant said...

of course any prospective administration, unless run by dick cheney, will bargain with the iranians

The only President of the last 28 years to bargain with the Iranians was Ronald Reagan. Last I checked, the Left was still complaining about the arms-for-hostages deal.

What, exactly, is Obama planning to offer Iran as part of this "bargain"? They stop funding terrorism, quit trying to take over Iraq, and stop researching nukes and in exchange we will, what... restore trade and diplomatic relations? We've already said we'd do that. Iran's not interested.

What's this "bargain" going to involve, exactly, besides Obama promising to pussy out of Iraq with all possible speed and let the Iranians take over the place?

Revenant said...

I alas am not qualified to debate the finer points of WWII historical revisionism.

You're certainly skilled at constructing straw man arguments, though, judging from the piles of nonsense in that post. What do the Jews have to do with anything I said?

Let me dig out the one statement that actually bad some bearing on what I'd written:

the rise of Adolf Hitler was due in large part to the humiliation and oppression of the German people through the Treaty of Versailles

First of all, that "humiliation and oppression" was imposed by European governments. American isolationism wouldn't have prevented it. Indeed, it would probably have been worse if we hadn't entered WW1 and had a say in the peace negotiations.

Secondly, it had already happened when Butler and the other isolationists were making their ill-advised recommendations.

And that, of course, is the problem you isolationists always ignore -- that history doesn't have a reset button. Retreating to within our own borders will not magically make the world as it would have been if we had been isolationist for the last 230 years. We'll still have lots of enemies. They'll just have a whole world to run riot in, growing stronger.

We, meanwhile, will have impoverished ourselves, first by forfeiting the trillions of dollars in American-owned foreign assets we will no longer have the capacity to protect, and secondly through the loss of international trade.

Oh, but I forgot. You think:

we could make ourselves virtually impervious to invasion

Nobody is worried about invasion. The real threat is terrorist or WMD attacks. If you remove the American ability to project force around the world -- which is exactly your stated plan -- then we no longer have any ability at all to deter such attacks, or even to retaliate against the people who launch them.

UWS guy said...
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UWS guy said...

So Hoosierdaddy: Austria, which is not a member of NATO is then not and never was under it's protection through out the cold war? Calling a caucasian western european county not under the aegis of NATO and the US is picking nits.



Once nativism in Western European countries on the border with eastern europe began to fester they all but begged us to intervene.

People in Salzburg and Vienna began stating that they would refuse entry to any more refugees...which would have meant whole displaced peoples wandering the Enlightened Europe with no home.

Germany too began to fear the same, Are you following me Hoosierdaddy? All of western europe nearly shit themselves when the muslims began pouring out of Fmr. Yugo.

me: first hand account (in fact I got both sides since my roomate in Salzburg was from Serbia and her mother was in Belgrade when we started bombing)

you: history-lite and propaganda-lite media (who was going to report that latent nativism and fear of a diaspora of dusky foreigners is the only thing that pushed NATO countries into action and that most europeans are more bigoted than a character out of deliverance).

The mistake Slobo made was in trying to shoo the non-serbs out of the country into the west, had he just rounded them up and gassed/shot them, nobody would have given a shit.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "You're certainly skilled at constructing straw man arguments, though, judging from the piles of nonsense in that post. What do the Jews have to do with anything I said?"

Dude, get a hold of yourself. Think before you accuse others of making the straw man arguments to which you yourself are so prone, as evident in this last "reply."

You didn't say much in your previous post, other than to point out that Smedley Butler was advocating military isolationism in the 1930s, prior to WWII. Then you said "Oops." What does that mean? I had to assume it meant you think Butler's advocacy of isolationism was oh-so-obviously a big mistake, in light of subsequent events, etc. So, that's what I was responding to, with some general observations.

Did I say that you said that we entered WWII to stop the genocide of the Jews? No. So what's all these superfluous accusations about straw man arguments? There wasn't really an argument you made that I was responding to, other than your assumption that of course isolationism was wrong because, golly gee, look at the rise of fascism and Nazism (which Smedley was well aware of). Isn't mention of the Jewish Holocaust appropriate in that context?

So again you persist in your habit of taking the most uncharitable view of others' comments. I could care less whether you're charitable or not. It just makes your own comments dishonest and not worth taking seriously, because you habitually invent things that aren't there and respond to that, typically with a venom that provides an unflattering insight into your soul. Talk about straw man arguments.

UWS guy said...
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UWS guy said...

back on subject...


Robert Gates yesterday on talking to Iran:

"We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage ... and then sit down and talk with them. If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."

(via andrew sullivan...I aparantly don't know how to link...)

Revenant said...

So Hoosierdaddy: Austria, which is not a member of NATO is then not and never was under it's protection through out the cold war?

That's correct. Had Austria been attacked, the United States would have been under no obligation to assist it.

Of course, we may very well have assisted it anyway. It is even possible that we would have done so via NATO. But we would have been completely within our rights to say "eh, serves you right for that whole Hitler business" and stay home. :)

That's where Clinton lied; he said we were obligated to bomb Kosovo under the NATO treaty. That was bunk.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "And that, of course, is the problem you isolationists always ignore -- that history doesn't have a reset button."

We can't undo all of the mistakes of the past overnight, but we can certainly reverse directions and start on the path of undoing those mistakes, with all due conservatism, and avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Revenant said...

So again you persist in your habit of taking the most uncharitable view of others' comments.

You accuse me of historical revisionism for saying that pre-WW2 isolationists were wrong -- which has been the almost universally-held historical view for the last 67 years -- and then have the nerve to complain that I read *your* posts uncharitably?

Heh.

Anyway:

You didn't say much in your previous post, other than to point out that Smedley Butler was advocating military isolationism in the 1930s, prior to WWII. Then you said "Oops." What does that mean?

I think I'll let you guess. Hint: see above, regarding historical opinion.

vnjagvet said...

John K:

If you want corroboration from one of the high officials of the vanquished Nazis, read Albert Speer's Inside The Third Reich.

If anything, it reinforces the proposition that the attempted appeasement of Hitler was folly.

It wasn't just the victor's history that taught that lesson.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "You accuse me of historical revisionism for saying that pre-WW2 isolationists were wrong -- which has been the almost universally-held historical view for the last 67 years -- and then have the nerve to complain that I read *your* posts uncharitably?"

Dude, I'M the amateur historical revisionist. I wasn't accusing you of being one. I see this was all a big misunderstanding. Friends again?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm not inclined to research exactly what we gave Saddam

Oh I see. Then again you simply state that we sold/gave them arms but don't actually have any evidence to support the claim.

Does wonders for your credibility.

Elliott A said...

I find it interesting that no one in media, posting here, etc. has commented on the reaction to the speech in the Knesset by Pres. Bush. After all, they were his true audience. His political career effectively over, he doesn't need to woo Jewish voters by supporting Israel. His comments on appeasement were intended for his audience who lost greatly in the appeasement of Hitler, and have gained nothing by every concession they have given the Palastinians. You can negotiate with a nation, such as Israel did with Egypt and Jordan. You cannot negotiate with terrorist zealots such as Hezbullah and Hamas, or the Iranian government which is just a Rolls Royce version of fanatics. They want nothing from us and never will, other than our humiliation and defeat. To speak with national adversaries is a good thing, since the adverserial relationship arises over the intersection of interests and compromise is possible. Fanatics are not worth the time. Anyone who believes otherwise has his/her eyes closed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So Hoosierdaddy: Austria, which is not a member of NATO is then not and never was under it's protection through out the cold war?

Um, no or at least not with respect to invoking Article 4 of the NATO charter.

Calling a caucasian western european county not under the aegis of NATO and the US is picking nits.

No its called the NATO charter which specifically lays out the conditions in which NATO can use military force. An attack on a NATO member means all members will act in its defense. If Sweden was attacked, NATO has no obligations under its charter to do a damn thing.

Once nativism in Western European countries on the border with eastern europe began to fester they all but begged us to intervene.

Oh bullshit. Please show me a single instance where there were demonstrations or any elected officials in Europe anywhere begging for NATO to intervene in Serbia.

Are you following me Hoosierdaddy?

No sorry. Not nearly enough room in that rabbit hole.

vbspurs said...

Ahh. I know. Bush was talking about the Hidden Imam! He manages the affairs of the world you know.

(And these are the nutsacks certain people want us to deal with. God help us)

Cheers,
Victoria

John K. said...

vnjagvet said: "If you want corroboration from one of the high officials of the vanquished Nazis, read Albert Speer's Inside The Third Reich. If anything, it reinforces the proposition that the attempted appeasement of Hitler was folly."

I hesitate to serve up any additional ammunition to Revenant on a silver platter, but I'll be the first to admit that I don't have half the detailed historical knowledge of those who are wont to debate history and recent current events on posts like these. I'm a simple man. I know that war is horrible. It's the closest we come to hell on earth. Gen. Smedley was very good at describing the human cost of war, and as a warrior and leader of men in battle he had first hand knowledge of such things. All my presumptions are against war, as they should be for all human beings. So-called "just war" theory has taken a wrong turn when, in recognizing the complexity of international affairs and that such things go on far over the heads of ordinary Americans and of those who might be "ordered" to serve in war, it has given the benefit of the doubt to the State. I, on the other hand, see no reason for giving such benefit of the doubt to our political "leaders." I see precious little evidence that our political "leaders" really have the interests of ordinary Americans at heart. We should therefore trust instead first and foremost our senses and our common sense, which reveals to us that war is hardly ever justifiable.

AJ Lynch said...

Victoria:

Try not to use the word nutsacks unless you want to wake up Titus.

former law student said...

Your assignment is to detail all the differences between Europe of 1914 and Europe of today

The major difference of course is NATO, in which the US and Canada pretend they give two shits about what happens in Europe. And why is there NATO? Because in two wars in a row the US was called in to help the "good" guys long after the shit had hit the fan.

Like kids playing with matches who managed to set the garage on fire, Europe was clearly unable to manage their own affairs. Thus in NATO, the U.S. set up a fire station in the midst of the where-everything-turns-to-shit land.

Now the European cast of characters is ever changing. Our staunch ally during WWII becomes our deadly enemy. Our deadly enemies become our staunch allies. The purpose of NATO is to keep the little fires from burning down first the garage and then the neighborhood. The exact ownership of the garage doesn't matter when the whole block is in danger of burning down. NATO members felt their security was threatened and we came to their aid under our treaty obligation.

Unlike in Iraq we sent no ground troops in, but that's a different story.

Reflect that Poland wasn't in the club either when England and France told Hitler it was OK for him to take it over. In fact Poland has yet to join NATO.

Revenant said...

I know that war is horrible. It's the closest we come to hell on earth.

There are many things which are worse than war. That's why we fight wars in the first place; to avoid those things.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

You are a frigging liberal dope. NATO ? What about the European Union and free countries in Poland , Germany, etc

You are a frigging liberal dope.
-

Revenant said...

I find it interesting that no one in media, posting here, etc. has commented on the reaction to the speech in the Knesset by Pres. Bush. After all, they were his true audience.

Were they? He knew his statements would be reported in the American press, and -- like you pointed out -- he doesn't have any reason to butter up the Knesset.

UWS guy said...

Hoosierdaddy: Germany, France, Britain (kinda I guess), Belgium, et al could not countenance the idea of taking in hundreds of thousands if not millions of displaced yugoslavians.

Nato members (and Austria) made it clear to the US that an intervention was mandatory precisely because of the exodus of muslims.

Revenant said...

Hoosierdaddy: Germany, France, Britain (kinda I guess), Belgium, et al could not countenance the idea of taking in hundreds of thousands if not millions of displaced yugoslavians. Nato members (and Austria) made it clear to the US that an intervention was mandatory

Mandatory or else... what, exactly? Can we tell them it is "mandatory" that NATO do something about the millions of Mexicans flooding the United States? :)

former law student said...

Can we tell them it is "mandatory" that NATO do something about the millions of Mexicans flooding the United States? :)

I think the helping arrow only points from west to east. Besides the Mexican culture is very compatible with ours: they work hard, they take care of their families, and they go to church when they can.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "There are many things which are worse than war. That's why we fight wars in the first place; to avoid those things."

Yes, being conquered or enslaved or oppressed on your own land is worse. Ain't gonna happen to us on American soil in the foreseeable future, though. I approve of the spirit of the American Revolution, of our right to throw off (even by violent means if necessary)oppressive government, even if the oppressions visited upon us by England at that time seem paltry in comparison to what the U.S. government visits on us now. Just as the British government was our problem, the Nazis were primarily the problem of the Germans (and of the British, the Poles, the French, the Soviets, etc.).

On the other hand, I don't think protecting the private property of Americans overseas is worth the drastic price of war. I've always opposed protectionism (through tariffs, etc.) as a matter of principle, but it's occurred to me that if the government stopped making us taxpayers responsible for footing the bills for protecting American private business overseas, the added costs of doing business overseas might approximate (on a more efficient and justifiable basis) the incentives politicians have from time to time proposed to encourage American businesses to keep their operations and workforce stateside. Not that I've necessarily thought this idea through, though.

Michael said...

The Exalted: I'm not inclined to research exactly what we gave Saddam, but you are welcome to do your own.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Iraqi Imports (Weapons) 1973-1990 - Volume of International Arms Transfers

Just a coincidence, I am sure, that the biggest suppliers to Iraq all opposed liberating Iraq.

Steven said...

"Calling a caucasian western european county not under the aegis of NATO and the US is picking nits."

Um, no, it isn't. This is no longer the Cold War, when Austria was forced to remain legally neutral as part of the US-Soviet balance of power. If and when Austria wishes to be under the aegis of NATO and the United States, it can apply for NATO membership or approach the U.S. about a bilateral alliance.

Until Austria does so, it is clear that Austria does not want to be a NATO member and is unwilling to shoulder the responsibilities thereof. That's fine, but it should not be allowed to use its EU membership then to indirectly call upon the benefits of NATO membership.

In short, let 'em join or go to hell. And the same to Ireland, Sweden, and Finland.

Steven said...

By the way, when you denounce negotiating with terrorists in front of the Knesset, the context makes it clear you're denouncing negotiating with anti-Israel terrorists. The prominent political figure Bush was taking a shot at was former president Jimmy Carter, who met with Hamas last month. And Bush was making the same criticism of Carter that Obama's own campaign made.

Don't believe me? Let's quote the Obama campaign:

"Sen. Obama does not agree with President Carter's decision to go forward with this meeting because he does not support negotiations with Hamas until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements."

This wasn't about Obama until Obama's campaign decided it was about Obama. The campaign could have simply said, "We agree with President Bush's remarks on negotiating with terrorists; we said the same thing when President Carter met with Hamas."

Instead, they declared that it was a "false attack" on Obama, putting the whole thing into "protest too much" territory.

Revenant said...

On the other hand, I don't think protecting the private property of Americans overseas is worth the drastic price of war.

I do. Protecting property rights is why we have a government in the first place.

Revenant said...

Besides the Mexican culture is very compatible with ours: they work hard, they take care of their families, and they go to church when they can.

Substitute "mosque" for "church" and I have to ask -- which of those three things don't Yugoslavian Muslims do?

vbspurs said...

AJ. Noted! Can I use cumbuckets instead?

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

One more thing, John:

if the government stopped making us taxpayers responsible for footing the bills for protecting American private business overseas

They already do.

Slightly over one quarter of the federal budget goes to things that potentially benefit American business -- science, technology, energy, transportation, law enforcement, foreign affairs, and defense. Obviously all of those things provide benefits to normal Americans too.

Corporations supply 15% of the federal budget via the corporate income tax. So right out of the gate they're paying for 60% all the programs that have any benefit to them. The rest of us pay for the other 40%, which is a pretty good deal considering we get a lot more than 40% of the benefit.

Plus, of course, it isn't really us paying for that. The wealthiest income quintile, i.e. the one that owns most of the corporate stock, pays virtually all of the income tax (and don't start with me about payroll taxes -- those fund medicare and social security, which neither the rich nor corporations want or need). So all things considered, the corporations and their owners are already paying their own way, plus a lot of other people's way.

Then there's the GDP angle. 13% of our GDP comes from what you call "overseas business". We spend 5% of our GDP on defense and foreign affairs. Even if you assume that the military has no purpose other than supporting overseas business, that's still a 260% return on investment. Let me simplify that for you: you'd be poorer if it wasn't for the overseas business you condemn.

There is a popular sentiment on both the left and the Buchananite right that businesses are leeches on American society. The reality is that American society are leeches on American business. We already screw domestic corporations a lot harder than most other civilized nations do, which is why so many of them give up and move overseas. You can't keep killing the geese that lay the golden eggs.

Hector Owen said...

Just to put some numbers to what Revenant said, "We already screw domestic corporations a lot harder than most other civilized nations do," here's a chart: U.S. States Lead the World in High Corporate Taxes.

The Exalted said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
I'm not inclined to research exactly what we gave Saddam

Oh I see. Then again you simply state that we sold/gave them arms but don't actually have any evidence to support the claim.

Does wonders for your credibility.



ha. good one. this is a fact, and not exactly a secret. interesting that you are somehow unaware of it.

and revenant - you need to get a clue if you think no administration has talked with the iranians since reagan. and nice try to equivocate reagan's illegal arms sales to the diplomacy advocated by obama (or any non-flunky).

The Exalted said...

Corporations supply 15% of the federal budget via the corporate income tax. So right out of the gate they're paying for 60% all the programs that have any benefit to them. The rest of us pay for the other 40%, which is a pretty good deal considering we get a lot more than 40% of the benefit.

what is this, a joke? who do you think owns the corporations? taxpayers, you doofus

Crimso said...

"If you want corroboration from one of the high officials of the vanquished Nazis, read Albert Speer's Inside The Third Reich.

If anything, it reinforces the proposition that the attempted appeasement of Hitler was folly."

Hitler himself said that if France had opposed the remilitarization of the Rhineland he would have been finished.

Crimso said...

"even if the oppressions visited upon us by England at that time seem paltry in comparison to what the U.S. government visits on us now"

Wow. And I thought things had improved.

Freder Frederson said...

Just to put some numbers to what Revenant said, "We already screw domestic corporations a lot harder than most other civilized nations do,"

Ahh, the amazing "facts" you can create out of thin air by focusing on one sliver of the tax burden. It is downright dishonest to focus on corporate income taxes and say the U.S. taxes its corporations at a higher rate. Most developed countries have a Value Added Tax (in Europe it is in the range of 15 to 20%) that is paid by corporations during all stages of production--not just at the retail level.

Hoosier Daddy said...

ha. good one. this is a fact, and not exactly a secret. interesting that you are somehow unaware of it.

Its not a fact because 'you' say it is anymore than the moon is made of cheese because 'I' said it is.

what is this, a joke? who do you think owns the corporations?

Shareholders last time I checked.

Revenant said...

what is this, a joke? who do you think owns the corporations? taxpayers, you doofus

I covered that later in the same post. You ought to have finished reading it before you responded.

Revenant said...

Most developed countries have a Value Added Tax (in Europe it is in the range of 15 to 20%) that is paid by corporations during all stages of production--not just at the retail level.

The VAT applies to anything sold in the nation in question; it only applies to "all stages of production" in which a transaction takes place. It isn't a tax on corporations; it is a tax on sales. American companies have to pay the tax too, if they want to sell things in Europe; conversely, European companies DON'T pay the tax when selling things in other countries.

The American corporate income tax, however, gets levied against all corporate income -- if an American car company builds a car in Mexico with Chinese parts and then sells it to a guy in Brazil, the US government demands a cut.

Robert Cook said...

"Just a coincidence, I am sure, that the biggest suppliers to Iraq all opposed liberating Iraq."

Typical war-mongering revisionism. Li'l Butch and Big DICK did not lie us into war by selling it as a war to "liberate the Iraqis," but as a war to protect ourselves agin' the nukular bombs and clouds of mustard gas (sic) that Hussein was only minutes away from launching against us.

Of course, the one argument would have been as much a lie as the one they used; we have liberated no one, but have only invaded a sovereign nation, overthrown and killed its head, smashed the country's physical and social infrastructure, and have installed ourselves as imperial troops of occupation. Why wouldn't Iraqis--who have seen their neighbors and family members rousted out of bed and hauled off to jail, or worse, seen them killed by American bullets or bombs--want to retaliate against those they see (rightly) as illegal occupiers? Would American citizens who tried their best to kill soldiers of an occupying foreign army in our land be "terrorists," or would they be justified in trying to repel the invaders?

As for Li'l Butch' typically hate-mongering name-calling, since when is a willingness to talk with foreign nations "appeasement?" I thought we had a whole diplomatic corps whose mission was to try to forestall hostilities or outright warfare with adversarial nations from erupting by, you know, talking first.

First, last and always, Li'l Butch is a hateful liar and imbecile.

Robert Cook said...

Just after posting my last comment, I read this cogent description of contemporary reality by a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration:

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05162008.html

Revenant said...

Big DICK did not lie us into war by selling it as a war to "liberate the Iraqis,"

"My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."

-- George Bush, announcing the invasion of Iraq, March 13, 2003.

but as a war to protect ourselves agin' the nukular bombs and clouds of mustard gas (sic) that Hussein was only minutes away from launching against us.

"Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem."

-- George Bush, address to the nation, October 7, 2002

Robert Cook said...

Oh, yes, we all know they threw in the obligatory references to "free(ing) (Iraq's) people" simply to pad their list of reasons why we should violate international law and mount a war of aggression against Iraq. But we also all remember that the primary points they pounded home over and over--to the point of having Colin Powell appear before the UN to present a bogus parade of "evidence" showing Hussein's lethal weapons stores, so-called--were that Hussein had WMD, had WMD, had WMD, "there could be no doubt," we had "bullet proof" evidence, and that if we waited for the "smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud" it would be too late...as we would, by then, have been annihilated, was the clear implication of their fear-mongering.

No, the war was sold as a desperate gambit to save our lives, to save our nation, from the certain apocalypse pending from Hussein's WMD.

Revenant said...

Oh, yes, we all know they threw in the obligatory references to "free(ing) (Iraq's) people" simply to pad their list of reasons

You know it now, sure, because I pointed it out to you. A few hours ago you were claiming it was never one of the reasons given for the invasion.

You're certainly correct that WMDs were cited as a much more important reason for the invasion, though. But Bush never said, as you claimed, that Iraq would nuke us any minute; he quite plainly stated that Iraq didn't have nukes yet, but that we shouldn't wait until they did. That was, and is, a sensible approach to take to nuclear proliferation among enemy states.

Synova said...

I am convinced that those for whom the only legitimate reason to invade Iraq was WMD only heard the arguments about WMD. They simply didn't hear any other arguments because they dismissed the other arguments.

Claiming that WMD was the only argument anyone else cared about is projecting an awful lot on no evidence.

Saddam was a source of extreme regional upset and the plight of 650,000 dead Iraqi children under sanctions a stated cause of OBL.

I realize that many people see myopia as a virtue and that the very same people who wailed and cried over the horror inflicted on Iraq and the world wide blame of the US for being meanies are the very same people who so self-righteously insist that sanctions were working just fine, thank you!

Even without the magic-bullet of WMD there were numerous compelling reasons to go into Iraq no matter how much we'd much rather not. Not everyone will agree with those reasons but they are there and, frankly, I think we can't even imagine where we'd be now if we hadn't gone.

Perhaps Saddam would have developed his chemical weapons again... or succeeded in totally wiping out Marsh Arabs or Kurds... as we'd just forget about the sanctions out of fatigue... or as the "dead Iraqi children" numbers rose past 650,000 and up to millions of dead babies all the fault of the US because we kept to those sanctions that were "working."

That someone dismisses the arguments that don't move them personally is irrelevant to the arguments made.

Synova said...

Prior to the invasion of Iraq a common argument by liberals is that we ought to address root causes and social justice because the answer to the question of "why do they hate us" or "why do terrorists turn to violence" was always "because they are oppressed."

Iraq, for better or worse, for mistakes and successes, was an attempt to address root causes, to establish a responsive democracy in the place most accustomed to secular rule and smack in the middle of the "problem." It *is* in our interest if oppressive tyrants, and Saddam qualified many times over, subjugate their own people if those people can only find hope in focusing on an external enemy and blow stuff, and themselves, up over it.

But when it comes to addressing root causes suddenly "those people" are not capable of democracy and not capable of being anything but savages, and if the banishing of genocide and rape rooms, oppression and injustice isn't accomplished by an application of happy fairy dust then who needs it.

Robert Cook said...

I can't believe anyone can still swallow--or ever did--the obvious lies that America was concerned with "root causes" and with the poor oppressed Iraqi people. We didn't give a damn about them when Saddam was murdering them, and we don't give a damn about them now that we're murdering them (and they're murdering each other, a state of affairs facilitated by our destruction of their society).

We went into Iraq to establish American domination in the region and to secure control of the flow of oil. As with nearly every war ever fought, it was a war of greed, a war to obtain power, land and resources. It was a war to fatten ourselves.

Synova said...

Project much?

Just because you neither care about people nor believe that there were a multitude of complex reasons to support invasion of Iraq has no relation to what anyone else thinks or cares about.

Synova said...

If we just wanted oil we could have bought it. Saddam certainly wanted to sell it.

How did war get us any oil?

Recognizing that supporting dictators and tyrants on the theory of stability simply doesn't result in stability was a good step forward. For our country. It never worked. There is no Historical president for gaining stability through supporting tyrants. Tyrannies are not stable. And sure, yes, this impacts commerce and transportation and the global economy.

Again... just because you don't understand this nor care what happens to people around the world or even recognize that what happens to them does impact our lives and our safety isn't particularly relevant.

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

I can't believe anyone can still swallow--or ever did--the obvious lies that America was concerned with "root causes" and with the poor oppressed Iraqi people. We didn't give a damn about them when Saddam was murdering them

The majority of Americans supported the war, and we had all sorts of reasons for doing so. A desire to replace that fascist regime in Iraq with a democratic one was one of those reasons for most of us. The year-long political argument during the run-up to the war is pretty much all logged on Google. You can go back and read the arguments people presented for why they backed the war, and it wasn't anywhere remotely as simplistic as you foolishly assume it to have been.

Maybe you just weren't old enough to follow the debates at the time? It was five years ago, after all.

We went into Iraq to establish American domination in the region and to secure control of the flow of oil.

That's just silly. Secure from what? Hussein was perfectly willing to pump and sell all the oil he could. As for "establishing American domination in the region", we already did that in 1991.

Fen said...

Too funny. And telling. A Marine recruiting station is bombed, the public immediately thinks its either liberals or terrorists. Bush speaks to the dangers of appeasement, Obama assumes he's the target.

We went into Iraq to establish American domination in the region and to secure control of the flow of oil. As with nearly every war ever fought, it was a war of greed, a war to obtain power, land and resources. It was a war to fatten ourselves.

Robert, I'm done killing off these constant false assertions unsupported by fact. You are a typical lefty idiot - ignorant and unashamed.