July 9, 2008

Obama echoes the phrase that made me turn against Kerry.

On Election Day 2004, I contributed to a NYT op-ed page feature called "The Revolution Will Be Posted." A bunch of bloggers, including me, were asked to identify one thing about the presidential campaign that affected us the most. I wrote:
I'd grown used to waiting for John Kerry to reveal what he would do in Iraq. Though I'd voted for Al Gore and Bill Clinton, respectively, in the last two presidential elections, I needed to hear Mr. Kerry commit to success in the war. On April 14, at an event at the City College of New York, a man challenged Mr. Kerry to explain how his plan for Iraq differed from President Bush's. Mr. Kerry responded testily, "You're not listening."

I wrote on my blog at the time, "If you still don't know what he would do differently from Bush, do you deserve to be snapped at for 'not listening'?" After that, as I heard Mr. Kerry wriggle his way around the Iraq question one way and then another, I never forgot his willingness to blame the listener for not already seeing his answer, and my mistrust of John Kerry hardened into support for George Bush.
(For more on how Kerry lost me, see my post "How Kerry lost me.")

Imagine my dismay today when I saw the headline "Obama Says His Critics Haven’t Been Listening":
Senator Barack Obama on Tuesday forcefully addressed concerns that he had moved too quickly to the political center, acknowledging complaints from “my friends on the left” about his statements on Iraq, his approaches to evangelicals and his remarks on other issues that have alarmed some of his supporters.

“Look, let me talk about the broader issue, this whole notion that I am shifting to the center,” he told a crowd gathered at a town hall-style meeting in this Atlanta suburb. “The people who say this apparently haven’t been listening to me.”
Ugh. I've been cheered by Obama's move to the center. I like Obama and I want to like Obama. (Note: I'm not against McCain. I've taken a vow of cruel neutrality.) But I hated to see him use this Kerry-esque locution. Unlike Kerry, Obama has taken some clear positions on Iraq. But he's been moving and he's denying it and blaming us as bad listeners. How irksome!

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
rhhardin said...

Imagine my dismay today

Real men don't worry about pleasing women when principle is on the line.

If you don't have a principle, not worrying about pleasing women is a good act to put on to suggest that you do. ``Aha, he must have a principle. He's annoying the women.''

Fen said...

"Not the man I thought I knew"

AllenS said...

Ann said...

"Unlike Kerry, Obama has taken some clear positions on Iraq."

Apparently, I haven't been listening either.

Chip Ahoy said...

Eeeeew, that is irksome. Well, it would be irksome had I been listening. He's right in my case. I have stopped listening. A long time ago. I'm immune to his oratory, in fact, grandiloquence is the original thing that was irksome, especially since so many others are impressed by it. The other irk producer is his habit of saying, "as I've been saying all along ... " for something he hasn't been saying all along, known because I've been listening 600% more than I ever intended or wanted to.

The Drill SGT said...

Imagine my dismay today when I saw the headline "Obama Says His Critics Haven’t Been Listening":

a poor craftsman always blames his tools. In this case, the pun works well, because Obama clearly thinks that his supporters are tools and they'll just continue to work for him regardless...

MadisonMan said...

See, I don't mind if McCain wins -- with a solid Democratic Congress -- or if Obama wins (provided he is really going to move to the center -- we'll see about that).

I can therefore ignore all the daily soundbite news. Very liberating. It's the months-long trajectory that matters, not the everyday changes.

Pogo said...

Not listening?

Sorry.

Perhaps an Official Obama Interpreter can craft a simple carification for his policies, stands, and aphorisms, being as their content is way over my head.

Put it all in a little book, too.
Red maybe.
Quotations from Chairman Obama.
"Let a thousand flowers bloom!", which BTW, meant exactly its opposite, so I understand Obama's frustrations with the masses here.
Yes, Dear Leader, we can be rather dense at times.

The Emperor said...

Unlike Kerry, Obama has taken some clear positions on Iraq. But he's been moving and he's denying it and blaming us as bad listeners.

He's denying it because it's not true and because you're not listening. There's really not much else he can do in response to these silly questions.

You seem to think he once said he would pull out of Iraq regardless of the consequence. But he didn't.

Pogo said...

But he didn't.

Well that certainly clears it up! It's all my fault.

I am sorry for ever doubting the clarity of BHO. We're not worthy of him, and therefore grateful for his forbearance. It is most useful that those in-the-know like The Emperor deign to come by and rectify our errors.

I propose a self-criticism session for us all.
I'll bring the Kashi and soy milk.

gophermomeh said...

I’m not so offended by the statement, from Obama, though I did cringe when Kerry said it. I think it’s because I have been ‘listening’ and paying attention to the parsing of the details (and the many interpretations), this time out. I’m curious about this apparent/disputed move to the center – is it him or is it me – my filters and what I want to see? With Kerry I was lazier and much less engaged.

I also don’t mind McCain – actually voted for him in the primaries when he really was a maverick. Who knows, maybe he’ll swing back to really backing that up.

The Emperor said...

I am sorry for ever doubting the clarity of BHO. We're not worthy of him, and therefore grateful for his forbearance. It is most useful that those in-the-know like The Emperor deign to come by and rectify our errors.

It might be more useful if you could point to some evidence that he has changed his position on Iraq.

Henry said...

In the Rhode Island primary, two Obama supporters at my door assured me that Obama was going to end the war in Iraq. I told them that I thought such a withdrawal would be disasterous. They told me that Obama would never do anything disasterous.

So the message has been consistent all along.

Obama is the man of high ideals who is so smart he doesn't have to adhere to them.

The Emperor said...

Unlike Kerry, Obama has taken some clear positions on Iraq. But he's been moving and he's denying it and blaming us as bad listeners.

Speaking of evidence, Ann, do you have anything in particular in mind? All I've heard are assertions that he's changed on Iraq. But based on my recollection, he is saying the same thing now he was saying back then.

Bissage said...

IM MOVIN TO CENTR


DISSIN UR SMARTZ

paul a'barge said...

It's worse than that ... the problem is that we have been listening... to every excrutiating word this man has been saying.

Ever since he got frustrated with his inability to accomplish anything after he finished law school, he has been running to become US President. And, he has been talking. And, we have been listening.

And, oh boy has it been painful. What does he think that we are, black holes (oops, I'm a racist)?

rdkraus said...

Obama's problem is the opposite of what he says. People are not only listening, they're blogging, taping, transcribing and micro-analyzing.

He says things, and people read them and ask questions he doesn't want to answer or explain. When his positions "evolve," he doesn't want to talk about how that happened or why. Bill Clinton learned this lesson (how campaigning now is different from 10-15 years ago, because "everything" is on record and retrievable).

Why anyone thinks he is "different" from other big gov't liberal pol's is beyond me. He's just smoother than most.

His true complaint is: people ARE listening carefully, and asking follow up questions, and pointing out contradictions.

Richard Fagin said...

Prof., in reading this blog over the last few years I've observed candiates for office that you've stated you "want to support", yet who have very early on shown facially apparent, deep character flaws. Kerry, Sen. Clinton and Gore clearly come to mind. I continue to be surprised that you don't mention your observation of these flaws until some incident or statement by the candidate makes them glaringly obvious.

I realize the very act of running for office means practically that one can't be completely truthful on every issue all the time, but some offce seekers are so blatant, it makes me wonder how otherwise exceptionally bright people get fooled by their crap. I guess you have to want to be fooled.

If you think I'm just picking on Democrats, there are some really liberal Dems I count as having the requisite strength of character, even if I disagree with a lot of what they stand for: Mike Dukakis, Joe Lieberman, Jim Webb, Phil Breseden, Sam Nunn. Where are these guyes when you need 'em?

mjsharon said...

Emperor,

You are being disingenuous. The emphasis in the primaries was clearly withdraw, withdraw, withdraw, with the usual politician's qualifications (said quietly so as to avoid undue emphasis on them) which allow plausible deniability, which is what we're seeing now. The Obama campaign was clearly happy to allow this emphasis to remain uncorrected in voters minds.

As Charles Krauthammer has written, by election day, there will be no practical difference between Obama's and McCain's positions on Iraq.

Let me ask a question of you, Emperor. How does Obama's policy, as currently enunciated, differ from McCain's?

Quayle said...

"You stupid idiot! You're not listening."

"Now that we've gotten that cleared up, I'd like to ask for your vote."

And I seem to want to ask, how smart can the man be if he does that?

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

Give the guy credit for a new spin tactic he has been trained by Team Axelrod and their clever writers to bark and clap his flippers to.

Admit it, "hope and change trump the facts" spin has become tedious.

The same with his backstabbing longtime associates and surrogates who say things on Obamessiah's behalf that blow up in the media.

It is with great regret that I must nobly and honestly tell all you gathered here that Rev Wright/Sam Powers/My grandmother/Tony Rezko/Bill Clinton/Bill Ayres were not the people I once knew and with my legendary superior judgment allowed in the Orbit of the rising Sun that is Obamahood.
I am so disappointed in them, after being given the chance to be near my planet-healing aura.


Team Axelrod also coached him in "Deflection strategy" where any question going to an area Obama is weak in constitutes a "distraction" from the real issues.
Also known as the "bait and switch": WE are really not using our time together wisely if we are discussing an old partial birth abortion vote WHEN EVERYONE KNOWS the Real Problem is John McCain and Bush failed to find what cave bin Laden and 5 others are hiding in in Pakistan so they can be caight and turned over to the court system....

But like with Kerry, it takes a large measure of Elitist arrogance to inform the media they are stupid and have a listening problem or just lack the vast mental capacity Kerry or Obama have to know that a shift in position is really a matter of "refinement and nuance".

Roger J. said...

What is so hard to understand? Obama, having won over the hardcore left during the primaries, is now tacking back to the center because he knows he needs a lot more than the netroots crowd to win the general--He will continue to move to the center, and will say that his previous positions, necessary for the lefties' support over Hillary, were inartfully stated, or it was the fault of his surrogates (Wes Clark and Austan Goolsby come to mind). This is politics; and politics of the chicago style--it says a lot about Obama, who appears to be a man who apears to me to be completely lacking in core values and whose only objective is to win the Presidency and say or do anything necessary to achieve that goal. Why in the world does this surprise anyone? I would sooner vote for Ralph Nader or Bob Barr than Obama. (not that I will, of course) At least I know where they are coming from.

The Emperor said...

Let me ask a question of you, Emperor. How does Obama's policy, as currently enunciated, differ from McCain's?

McCain sees Iraq as like Germany, Japan and Korea, with permanent bases. Obama does not. If at all possible, Obama will pull all troops out (but not if leads to genocide).

The Emperor said...

And he'll refocus the war on terror on fighting terrorists instead of nation building.

LutherM said...

The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld idea about Iraq - that we would be welcomed as liberators and liberal democracy would emerge under our wise, paternalistic guidance - was so distant from what actually happened that the present status could not be reasonably anticipated in 2005.
Obama is in a difficult place. Iraq seems to be working out quite a bit better than seemed possible three years ago - something which the bright boy clearly did not anticipate. (Even bright people make mistakes - see Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest".)
In a manner pleasing to anti-war zealots, how does Obama re-phrase the correct decision - to "Stay the course"?
I suspect that his demagogic traits will allow him to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Unlike Henry Clay, Barack would rather be President than be right.

Pogo said...

All who disagree with the Current Interpretation of the Quotations from Chairma BHO will be unpersons.

Take your cue from the Emperor here; he says "If at all possible, Obama will pull all troops out (but not if leads to genocide)."
This leads by necessity to the exact same policies as McCain, but it reads entirely different, so it is different.

He won't 'build nations', he'll 'fight terrorists' (don't get into details, it's nunnayerbizness).

Perception is reality.
All hail BHO.

LarsPorsena said...

Emp:
"And he'll refocus the war on terror on fighting terrorists instead of nation building."

What specifically?

Cedarford said...

I propose a self-criticism session for us all.
I'll bring the Kashi and soy milk.


Bwaahah!

I'll bring three minorities to the self-criticism that have the moral authority whites and Asians lack.

To help steer us through our grief in disappointing & letting down Obamessiah with our inability to listen well. And let us know besides Obama who we must apologize to, and what amends we must be instructed to make.

***************

After all, aside from everyone in the Global Left and 3rd World rabidly angry giving speeches denouncing America's looming Iraq aggression - Obama was the only person who was right. Thus he showed impeccable judgment since Fidel, Vladimir, Saddam's, Jane Fonda's etc. etc. strident speeches in 2002 don't count.

It is our duty to listen better to the man who future generations will note stopped the Ocean's Rise, and began to Heal the Planet.
We cannot miss or afford to misinterpret what he has been saying, in simple language those less brilliant than he can understand - what he has been saying all along.

AJ Lynch said...

At the end of his talk yesterday, Obama said he was a progressive not a liberal. He is running away from the liberal tag Ann.

He is also tired of having to have clearly-defined positions and having to explain and defend the positions and their timelines ( I see a hint of laziness in his defensiveness).

Leave the guy alone will you? He is the change you will feel guilty not voting for.

The Emperor said...

Take your cue from the Emperor here; he says "If at all possible, Obama will pull all troops out (but not if leads to genocide)."
This leads by necessity to the exact same policies as McCain, but it reads entirely different, so it is different.


You're kidding, right? This is completely different. McCain's plan is to stay in Iraq until they stop shooting at us and each other. That is unlikely to happen, which means we will be there for a long, long time. Obama's plan is to get out unless it would lead to a massive escalation in violence. Most likely, that can be done.

If you're happy with 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq in 10 years, by all means, vote for McCain. He thinks that would be a fine thing. If you'd like to see no U.S. troops in Iraq in 10 years, vote for Obama. There are no gaurantees, but he will try to make it happen.

Henry said...

Obama has been bizarrely successful at convincing left-wing voters that he's in their ideological camp while reassuring moderate voters that his intelligence and cool blue personality bespeaks pragmatism.

Looking at Obama's career, one sees a pragmatist of sorts, a pragmatist of advancement. His intelligence and easy-going personality are always evident, but they have never stopped him from going along with the crowd that would get him elected, whether Chicago-machine Democrats, or the anti-war crowd.

Yet the changing sitution in Iraq has put Obama into an impossible position. His appeal to the left, based on his prescient arguments against invasion, appease their belief that the best Iraq policy is to pretend the war never happened.

Now that Obama is no longer scrounging for votes in fantasyland, promoting such a policy is obviously untenable. So he equivocates.

The Emperor said...

Emp:
"And he'll refocus the war on terror on fighting terrorists instead of nation building."

What specifically?


He'll try to get us out of Iraq, which will free up resources to go after folks like Osama bin Laden (remember him?). It will also have the side benefit of undermining the greatest source of terrorist recruitment -- our presence in Iraq.

The Drill SGT said...

Why anyone thinks he is "different" from other big gov't liberal pol's is beyond me. He's just smoother than most.

and of course he has less experience...


If I wanted a corrupt Chicago politican, why not go with the best, Mayor Daley. I'm serious here. Daley is a pragmatic, big city liberal pol, who can get things done... why settle for a rookie that couldn't run a good protest of a housing project.

mjsharon said...

The Emperor said...

McCain sees Iraq as like Germany, Japan and Korea, with permanent bases. Obama does not. If at all possible, Obama will pull all troops out (but not if leads to genocide).

C'mon Emperor, this makes no sense. So the only difference is that McCain would leave American troops in even if pulling them out would not lead to genocide? If your answer is yes, then those would presumably be circumstances in which the numbers of US troops would be low, and the resulting numbers of US casualties low too (see Germany, Japan, Korea). In that case, why should I care? Certainly would have very little impact on fighting terrorism elsewhere around the globe.

I think you are proving Krauthammer's point.

perry masonmint said...

" I never forgot his willingness to blame the listener for not already seeing his answer, and my mistrust of John Kerry hardened into support for George Bush."

Is there some kind of psychological term to denote a person who is deeply shallow and proud of it?

Apart from "Ann Althouse"....?

Meade said...

The Emperor said...
"[...]Obama's plan is to get out unless it would lead to a massive escalation in violence."

That's not what Obama said to Iraq's foreign minister. Were you not listening?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/17/AR2008061702034.html

The Drill SGT said...

The Emperor said...
McCain sees Iraq as like Germany, Japan and Korea, with permanent bases. Obama does not. If at all possible, Obama will pull all troops out (but not if leads to genocide).


No, actually what Obama said first was, Iraq was in a civil war, no surge could work, it was a lost cause, he'd pull all our troops out to another regional area, but he'd send them back in if AQ showed up or if it turned to genocide (course if Iraq was a lost cause civil war descending into genocide, that was a foregone conclusion that we'd be back after having run away...) Else we'd rescue our folks by helo and slink home.

Now he says, he'd pull out rapidly, but leave troops to protect our embassy, do training, counter terrorism, and more troops on top of that to protect those troops. What is completely vague is whether that number is any different than McCain's approach.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

Then again, maybe it's Obama who isn't listening... to his own web site:

"Bringing Our Troops Home
Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

Original Mike said...

Obama has taken some clear positions on Iraq.

Yes, he did. He's leaving. Quickly. His supporters all understood that. That's why they supported him. To put any weight on the obligatory caveats is disingenuous.

Pogo said...

BHO means what he means and nothing more.

Now leave him be and let him finish his waffle ...ing.

1jpb said...

He's right. Or, more accurately you haven't been listening to him.

For example, yesterday Prager was trying to keep the fake Iraq flip-flop going. But, the long clip his producer played included BHO's comments before the 'revise' sentence. It was 100% clear that BHO was still talking about ending the war, exactly as before. Prager kept getting more and more frustrated saying that was the wrong clip, but the producer kept replaying it. Then, he hurriedly crammed in a preplanned (at that point discredited) rant before the break. Funny.

BHO's most restrictive comment came in one of the debates, but he still left the door open to guidance from folks on the ground, where HRC totally shut it in the same debate.

Then there's the general insanity of suggesting that BHO's implementable exit will be based on a few pages of a plan on his website. It's probably reasonable to assume that the thousands of folks in the government will have some input related to the actual logistics.

Or, look at Heller. Before the decision BHO was very carefully maintaining flexibility. If you were listening you would have known that.

And, the faith based stuff could not possibly be a surprise to anyone who was listening.

On abortion, the ambiguity of language related to various stages of mental illness is clearly debatable as this blog has shown.

On FISA he's not sticking with the immunity filibuster threat.

All told, if you think he's made some great move, you haven't been listening to him (as opposed to the media, far left supporters, and right opponents.) Ask, your bhtv pal Jeralyn, early on she (rightly) saw him as being more conservative than many thought.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you're happy with 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq in 10 years, by all means, vote for McCain. He thinks that would be a fine thing. If you'd like to see no U.S. troops in Iraq in 10 years, vote for Obama. There are no gaurantees, but he will try to make it happen.

The first scenario, bases and troop presence in Iraq, is more likely to happen than the pipe dream that is presented by Obama. Of "course" there are no guarantees in Obama's pull out plan but the likelihood of escalation of more violence in the Middle East exists with his plot.

I'd rather have Iraq be the center of Al Quaida's focus than the US proper.

Sigh....it must be so tedious for Obama to have to try to communicate with us lesser beings who refuse to take (with the exception of Emperor) everything that he says as gospel.

Roger J. said...

The civil war meme has disappeared. Some folks could not distinguish between an terrorist campaign and a full blown civil war). The Maliki government, while not moving as fast as some critics would have liked, appear to be firmly in control. And Iraq will more resemble Northen Ireland with jihadists playing the role of the IRA. At least thats the way I see things unfolding there.

As to "permanent bases:" those are a function of treaty or SOFA--the US cannot unilaterally leave troops in Iraq. Policies announced by either candidate have really failed to address what the SOFA should look like, except inferentially. Which tells me, they don't have much of a grasp on the legalities involved.

Pogo said...

The Emoperor chris crocker yelps
Leave Barack alooooone!!!

Paul Zrimsek said...

No, actually what Obama said first was...

Anyone got their copy of Cryptonomicon handy? This is starting to remind me of the bit where various Qwghlmians offer their wildly varying translations of Lawrence Waterhouse's botched attempt to say something in Qwghlmian.

John Stodder said...

McCain sees Iraq as like Germany, Japan and Korea, with permanent bases. Obama does not. If at all possible, Obama will pull all troops out (but not if leads to genocide).

That's all this election is about? You're saying the big dispute about Iraq in what is hyped as the most important election in decades is the nature of how US troops remaining in Iraq after the war winds down are based? We're arguing over permanant versus temporary bases?

As your parenthetical comment acknowledges, the nature of our future deployment in Iraq is a sheerly tactical decision, completely contingent on circumstances, one that neither candidate can really foresee from the vantage point of 2008. "Temporary" posting of soldiers could easily last until the end of Obama's second term. In 1945 or 1953 do you think anyone believed the US would have "permanent" bases in Germany, Japan and Korea, or spent much time deliberating the question?

Tell me Obama's momentous campaign is about more than this! Please tell me all those young voters who are immersing themselves in politics for the first time in hopes of making a better world aren't going to wake up and find out they've put their hearts in souls into a campaign about, basically, nothing.

Let's be clear. If Obama describes any Iraq position different from "one to two brigades per month" being pulled out, allowing a 16-month withdrawal schedule, then he's changing his position. If he's changing his position, he needs to explicitly explain why, preferably before he's elected. He was explicit in taking the position he took during the primary. It was a major reason why he overturned the inevitable nomination of Hillary Clinton. If only to ensure Hillary's supporters don't feel like Obama's nomination wasn't completely illegitimate, Obama can't play games with his Iraq position.

Conversely, there are a lot of voters leaning toward McCain solely because they think the Democrats and Obama particularly lack a mature appreciation of the stakes in Iraq right now. If he's become enlightened/sold out (depending on your viewpoint), he ought to say so now.

PatCA said...

But why would you be cheered by his move to the center? It's a campaign trick. He is busy repudiating everything he articulated before the primaries in order to win the general! Was he fibbing before or fibbing now? What does he stand for, really?

It's as if we're in a big meta election, where all we care about is method and not substance.

John Stodder said...

Then there's the general insanity of suggesting that BHO's implementable exit will be based on a few pages of a plan on his website. It's probably reasonable to assume that the thousands of folks in the government will have some input related to the actual logistics.

Those "few pages of a plan on his website" are what he's campaigned on, and arguably what won him the nomination. If you're saying the painfully obvious thing that responsible people will carry out his instructions with due awareness of the realities on the ground, fine. But it sounds like you're saying both Obama supporters and critics are "insane" to rely on the words in his campaign materials to mean anything at all. After the "thousands of folks" finish having their "input," will all the troops be out of Iraq in 16 months or not? Or is Obama planning to allow those "thousands of folks" effectively to reverse his position if that's what their "input" amounts to?

P. Rich said...

It is our duty to listen better to the man who future generations will note stopped the Ocean's Rise, and began to Heal the Planet.

And who will "remake this great nation". Awesome. Now where did I put that prayer rug? I hear the Brothers from the Nation will be going door to door, and I need to be ready for the question.

Richard Dolan said...

Rev. Wright -- who knows his man very well indeed -- said it much more succinctly: O is just doing what politicians do. O's "move to the center" is the usual exercise in blowing with the political winds. The "you aren't listening" shtick is politician-speak at its most basic level: the politician is NEVER wrong, and blame will ALWAYS lie elsewhere. What is striking about the whole thing is how O is transforming himself into (revealing himself always to have been) such an ordinary pol, the sort who would throw his grandmother under the bus if it would help his climb to power. Having already done that when it was expedient, of course, O is now trying to get her out from under the bus while denying that he ever threw her there in the first place.

That kind of unprincipled flexibility (to give it as positive a spin as I can) is not all bad in a politician. Clinton had a lot of that in him as well, and it occasionally served the Nation well. For example, on Clinton's flip finally to embrace welfare reform and push it through over Dem opposition in Congress, after having seesawed between championing it and denouncing it whenever the expediencies changed.

But unprincipled flexibility in a president also suggests that O would be a weak and indecisive leader, responding to events without any ability to master or direct them. In any showdown with the Dem majorities in Congress, he would undoubtedly go with the lefty flow that is certain to come from the Pelosi/Reid team as their majorities increase. That lefty approach rather than his recent more centrist blather probably reflects O's own policy preferences anyway. In dealing with foreign threats, O would probably be even less effective than Clinton.

So if Team O takes office, expect an administration that will drift leftward when things are relatively placid, but will be rudderless and without an effective captain when the inevitable storms come along. If taht's what you want, O is your man (just as Kerry was probably your candidate of choice as well).

Original Mike said...

Or is Obama planning to allow those "thousands of folks" effectively to reverse his position if that's what their "input" amounts to?

Nope. He's spoken to this explicitly, John. I recall a Q&A session with reporters in which he said, "as soon as I'm in office I'll sit down with the Joint Chiefs to plan the exit ...". He was then asked, "what if they recommend not withdrawing?", to which he responded, "I'm the Commander in Chief. I set the strategy, not them."

He really has been quite clear in the past. He's leaving. I haven't tried to parse what he's been saying lately.

LarsPorsena said...

EmP:

"..It will also have the side benefit of undermining the greatest source of terrorist recruitment -- our presence in Iraq..."

What was the strength of AQ before the Iraq invasion?? What is it now?

1jpb said...

I'm "saying the painfully obvious thing that responsible people will carry out his instructions with due awareness of the realities on the ground, fine."

By time his plan is implemented there will have been whole forests (and plenty of silicon) used in the implementation of "getting out as carefully as Bush was careless."

And to add further perspective to this NYT piece. This story doesn't provide a complete quote that would have clearly indicated that BHO was talking about the folks who are actively pushing the flip-flopper theme. He's not issuing a blanket diagnosis of massive hearing impairment. Then, he went on to particularly identify only "some" in the media and "some" friends on the left to further refine this hearing impaired community.

So, Ann thought that she was the target because she was listening to the NYT rather than listening to BHO. Kind of says it all doesn't it.

John Stodder,

He included that 16 month stuff right before the 'revise' sentence. That's the point. People aren't listening. This is what made the Prager show so funny yesterday, his producers played the whole clip. It's obvious that BHO isn't changing, when you LISTEN to him.

gophermomeh said...

When one credits the revered Ronald Reagan, during the (un-centrist) primaries, wouldn't this be something we should get our attention? Did we hear it or just dismiss it because it didn't fit our own narrow definitions?

William said...

People are not put off by Obama's ambiguity. They are attracted to it. He has a low center of gravity and can surf conflicting waves of opinion gracefully. It is a useful political skill and there is something gracious in the noble way he abandons friends and principles.....His record indicates that he is a man of intelligence and ambition, but there is nothing in that record that distinguishes him from other bright young men of his generation. Both opponents and supporters are reading what they want into this blur called Obama.

Quayle said...

I guess Obama is going to pull our troops out of Iraq and focus on going after and killing the bad guys like Osama........from bases in Virginia, NC, Washington, and Texas?

That doesn't sound very efficient.

Or is Obama going to pull out troops out of the nation next door to Iran, and then sit down with Iran and have a "serious" negotiation to tell them they can't do what they’re doing?

Is that any way to play carrot and stick, as Obama said this morning we need to do - to move the stick 8 thousand miles away?

The left is supposed to be the party that is so sensitive to other cultures and other ways of thinking. Is the left showing a complete ignorance of cultures that only listen to sheer power?

Obama: “Listen dudes, we really, really mean it this time! We’re not playing around, like Bush did. Stop building that nuclear bomb or we’ll move all our troops back over after we’ve moved them all home and really show you we really mean business!”

Oh how the bad faith leaders in the world must be smiling and laughing. And licking their chops.

Bad faith leaders: “Fantastic! A negotiator in the Whitehouse! Guys, hurry and get our wish list together – the rich, naive Americans are coming to negotiate an end to our belligerence and to solve the worlds problems through peace, love, and understanding.”

How funny is that.

bill said...

Anyone got their copy of Cryptonomicon handy? I'm assuming you're referring to this section:


"You know about the Navajos?" Rod asks.

"Huh?"

"Your marines use Navajo Indians as radio operators--they can speak to each other in their own language and the Nips have no idea what the fuck they're saying."

"Oh. Yeah. Heard about that," Waterhouse says.

"Winnie Churchill heard about those Navajos. Liked the idea. Wanted His Majesty's forces to do likewise. We don't have Navajos. But--"

"You have Qwghlmians," Waterhouse says.

"There are two different programs underway," Rod says. "Royal Navy is using Outer Qwghlmians. Army and Air Force are using Inner."

"How's it working out?"

Rod shrugs. "So-so. Qwghlmian is a very pithy language. Bears no relationship to English or Celtic--its closest relatives are !Qnd, which is spoken by a tribe of pygmies in Madagascar, and Aleut. Anyway, the pithier, the better, right?"

"By all means," Waterhouse says. "Less redundancy--harder to break the code."

"Problem is, if it's not exactly a dead language, then it's lying on a litter with a priest standing over it making the sign of the cross. You know?"

Waterhouse nods.

"So everyone hears it a little differently. Like just now--they heard your Outer Qwghlmian accent, and assumed you were delivering an insult. But I could tell you were saying that you believed, based on a rumor you heard last Tuesday in the meat market, that Mary was convalescing normally and would be back on her feet within a week."

"I was trying to say that she looked beautiful," Waterhouse protests.

"Ah!" Rod says. "Then you should have said, 'Gxnn bhldh sqrd m!'"

"That's what I said!"

"No, you confused the mid-glottal with the frontal glottal," Rod says.

"Honestly," Waterhouse says, "can you tell them apart over a noisy radio?"

"No," Rod says. "On the radio, we stick to the basics: 'Get in there and take that pillbox or I'll fucking kill you.' And that sort of thing."

Before much longer, the band has finished its last set and the party's over. "Well," Waterhouse says, "would you tell Mary what I really did mean to say?"

"Oh, I'm sure there's no need," Rod says confidently. "Mary is a good judge of character. I'm sure she knows what you meant. Qwghlmians excel at nonverbal communication."

Waterhouse just barely restrains himself from saying I guess you'd have to, which would probably just earn him another slug in the face. Rod shakes his hand and departs. Waterhouse, marooned by his shoes, hobbles out.

madawaskan said...

In the end ambiguity is tested by the enemy and the enemy is listening..

madawaskan said...

Oh and just to clarify-

The enemy is NOT the Republicans.

fcai said...

I keep hearing the gasping tobacco addict claim that he will end the war. What stirring rhetoric, you wheezy Che wannabe. This country will changed for the worse if that slimey ward healer is elected.

And another thing - who cares what you think of Euros? We have our own opinion of them, and you are not running to be presi... - hold it - maybe you are planning to rule the world. Today, America, tomorrow the world. I for one, welcome our new biracial, post-racial, special chain smoking overlord.

Michael_H said...

Here's a probable scenario.

It's two weeks after the January 20, 2009 presidential inauguration. Iran launches missles into Israel.

Israel retaliates. Other Iran client-nations declare war against Israel. Iran sinks oil carriers in order to block the Straits of Hormuz.

Based on what Barack Obama has articulated as his positions on U.S. policy in the Mid East, what would his response be?

A. Meet with Ahmidinejad.

B. Stay out of the conflict and wave bye-bye to Israel.

C. Call for the arrest of all parties involved, and a speedy trial in an appropriate U.S.court. Make sure the defendants have really good lawyers.

D. Ask the military leaders for their advice, then withdraw all U.S. forces on a pre-determined timetable.

E. Make an impassioned speech, then do nothing.

F. Remind the Europeans leaders that they need to help solve the problem.

G. All of the above.

Me, I'd rather that the U.S. had a president who the Iranians (or another aggressor) believed was batshit crazy enough to order U.S. submarines to launch a full volley into Tehran if Tehran was foolish enough to attack Israel (or Los Angeles....).

Obama ain't that guy.

reader_iam said...

An old saying:

"I know you think you understand what I said, but what you don't understand is that I didn't say what I meant."

bill said...

Or this bit immediately preceding the previous quote:


Waterhouse opens his mouth and says "Gxnn bhldh sqrd m!"

"Hey, friend!" says Mary's date. Waterhouse turns towards the sound of the voice. The sloppy grin draped across his face serves as a convenient bulls eye, and Mary's date's fist homes in on it unerringly. The bottom half of Waterhouse's head goes numb, his mouth fills with a warm fluid that tastes nutritious. The vast concrete floor somehow takes to the air, spins like a flipped coin, and bounces off the side of his head. All four of Waterhouse's limbs seem to be pinned against the floor by the weight of his torso.

Some sort of commotion is happening up on that remote plane of most people's heads, five to six feet above the floor, where social interaction traditionally takes place. Mary's date is being hustled off to the side by a large powerful fellow--it is hard to recognize faces from this angle, but a good candidate would be Rod. Rod is shouting in Qwghlmian.

Actually, everyone is shouting in Qwghlmian--even the ones who are speaking in English--because Waterhouse's speech-recognition centers have a bad case of jangly ganglia. Best to leave that fancy stuff for later, and concentrate on more basic phylogenesis: it would be nice, for example, to be a vertebrate again. After that quadrupedal locomotion might come in handy.

A perky Qwghlmian-Australian fellow in an RAAF uniform steps up and grabs his right anterior fin, jerking him up the evolutionary ladder before he's ready. He is not doing Waterhouse a favor so much as he is getting Waterhouse's face up where it can be better scrutinized. The RAAF fellow shouts at him (because the music has started again):

"Where'd you learn to talk like that?"

Waterhouse doesn't know where to begin; god forbid he should offend these people again. But he doesn't have to. The RAAF guy screws up his face in disgust, as if he had just noticed a six-foot tapeworm trying to escape from Waterhouse's throat. "Outer Qwghlm?" he asks.

Waterhouse nods. The confused and shocked faces before him collapse into graven masks. Inner Qwghlmians! Of course! The inner islanders are perennially screwed, hence have the best music, the most entertaining personalities, but are constantly being shipped off to Barbados to chop sugar cane, or to Tasmania to chase sheep, or to--well, to the Southwest Pacific to be pursued through the jungle by starving Nips draped with live satchel charges.

The RAAF chap forces himself to smile, chucks Waterhouse gently on the shoulder. Someone in this group is going to have to take the unpleasant job of playing diplomat, smoothing it all over, and with the true Inner Qwghlmian's nose for a shit job, RAAF boy has just volunteered. "With us," he explains brightly, "what you just said isn't a polite greeting."

"Oh," Waterhouse says, "what did I say, then?"

"You said that while you were down at the mill to lodge a complaint about a sack with a weak seam that sprung loose on Thursday, you were led to understand, by the tone of the proprietor's voice, that Mary's great-aunt, a spinster who had a loose reputation as a younger woman, had contracted a fungal infection in her toenails."

There is a long silence. Then everyone speaks at once. Finally a woman's voice breaks through the cacophony: "No, no!" Waterhouse looks; it's Mary. "I understood him to say that it was at the pub, and that he was there to apply for a job catching rats, and that it was my neighbor's dog that had come down with rabies."

"He was at the basilica for confession--the priest--angina--" someone shouts from the back. Then everyone talks at once: "The dockside--Mary's half-sister--leprosy--Wednesday--complaining about a loud party!"

section9 said...

Con Man.

Undone by the success of the surge, Obama must carefully drag the rubes on the Left along with him.

His judgement was catastrophically faulty in 2006. He wanted to run up the white flag and yield Iraq to Al Qaeda and the Persian Conquest. Bush and McCain were made of sterner, better stuff. We also know that Rice was skeptical of the surge early on, but was convinced by General Ray Odierno of the efficacy of the plan. So she came round as well (contra the hit piece on her by Steven Hayes of the Weekly Standard).

Obama remained resolutely pacifist and defeatist after 2006, reflecting the shattered antiwar mood of his party. Zarqawi's bombing campaign had worked like a charm on the Democrats. Bush unwittingly cooperated by keeping on the hapless Rumsfeld, who was no help at all in resolving matters.

Obama offered a resolution after the Jihadist bombing campaign that called for a withdrawal beginning in 2007. He threw in the towel.

So much for Barack's "judgement". Al Qaeda bombed, and Barack blinked. So we know the color of Obama's nerve already. It stands in stark contrast to McCain's staking his whole career on the success of the surge.

It was McCain, and more importantly, Bush, who showed true courage and grit at a desperate hour when the war could have gone either way. Had Obama been in power in 2006, we would have lost the war and Al Qaeda would have had a base in Western Anbar that they would have used to conduct terror all over the world.

Obama is sound and fury, signifying weakness and appeasement. While his pudding may have no theme, it is best to apply one of Mr. Churchill's other phrases, used in the wake of Munich, to best describe the Prophet from Chicago:

"He has been weighed in the balance, and has been found wanting."

Pogo said...

Fools.
BHO speaks in Zen kōans.

A voter asked Obama: `Without speaking, without silence, how can you express the truth?'

Obama observed: `I always remember spring-time in Chicago. The birds sing among innumerable kinds of fragrant flowers.'

Barack says by saying not, speaks by speaking not, means in not-meaning.

Paul Zrimsek said...

That's the one, Bill. Who knew that our Lightworker would also be a Codetalker?

Simon said...

Michael_H said...
"It's two weeks after the January 20, 2009 presidential inauguration. Iran launches missles into Israel. ... Based on what Barack Obama has articulated as his positions on U.S. policy in the Mid East, what would his response be? A. Meet with Ahmidinejad[?]"

Dateline: 1/25/09. Speaking to reporters in the rose garden on arriving back from his meeting with President Ahmadinejad in Esfahān, President Obama offered these remarks:

"We, Mr. Ahmadinejad and I, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Iranian-American relations is of the first importance for two countries and for the world. We regard the agreement signed last night as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another. We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure world peace and security for Israel.

"My good friends, I come back from Iran to the White House bringing peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time."

After the President concluded his Press Conference, he headed for Florida, for an exercise in feeding crocodiles in the Everglades.

END REPORT.

The Drill SGT said...

Mike_H said...Me, I'd rather that the U.S. had a president who the Iranians (or another aggressor) believed was batshit crazy enough to order U.S. submarines to launch a full volley into Tehran if Tehran was foolish enough to attack Israel (or Los Angeles....).

Me also, the problem is the Iranian's have a guy that scares us a lot (at least our rational folks) and we have in Obama a Chamberlain.

Gahrie said...

For people like the Emperor et al:

If Obama has not back tracked on the Iraq part of the War on Terror (including now supporting the FISA Bill he pledged to defeat) then answer me this:

Why are the most strident attacks at him for flip flopping coming from the Left?

garage mahal said...

Personally I think the Iranians get a good chuckle that someone in their government with no power or decision making ability gets an immediate and cowering response from the U.S. every time he opens his mouth.

No wonder he's always smiling like a Cheshire cat.

Zeb Quinn said...

Obama may have said this one day or that another day about what he'd do with the troops in Iraq, but one thing that he has never shown is any understanding whatsoever of the tremendous upside and positive effects of having a stable, prosperous, and democratic Iraq, for the region, for the prospects of a middle east peace, for us, and for rest of the world. He's not getting that, nor are the vast majority of his followers.

Michael said...

One thing I learned a long time ago in the ad biz is that you cannot count on people having heard anything your brand has been saying.

This, of course, is precisely because so many brands are barking so much crap at everyone all day long that we've long since trained America to screen 99% out of it.

So the fact that Mr. Vaguely Unspecified Hope and Change has not gotten his message through with clarity is not something to blame the public for.

When a politician really has something to say-- "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," "We will pay any price, bear any burden for freedom," "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall," somehow it seems to get through just fine.

kengoodsmith said...

Ann: How can you be "cheered" by a movement to the center that's so blatantly calculated. You and others hoping that this guy is not a radical lefty in his heart-of-hearts haven't looked very closely at his (admittedly limited) history. You give this guy Democratic majorities in both houses and you'll be amazed at what you'll see.

Christopher Taylor said...

I've been cheered by Obama's move to the center.

Yeah, like he said: you believe him? How can you be so gullible?

Fritz said...

Emperor said "It will also have the side benefit of undermining the greatest source of terrorist recruitment -- our presence in Iraq."

ROFL, such old bogus rhetoric. AQ is a failed movement because of USA resolve in Iraq. There are no recruits for terrorism available because they know if they show up in Iraq or Afghanistan they will be killed. AQ has been totally discredited.

Yachira said...

Emperor says, "Speaking of evidence, Ann, do you have anything in particular in mind? All I've heard are assertions that he's changed on Iraq. But based on my recollection, he is saying the same thing now he was saying back then."

Actually, Emperor, based on my recollection, BHO has been shifting his position on Iraq nearly weekly. Show me some evidence that he hasn't.

Andrew Graff said...

This is Obama's clear position on Iraq.

"Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

This is McCain's clear position on Iraq:

"The best way to secure long-term peace and security is to establish a stable, prosperous, and democratic state in Iraq that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists. When Iraqi forces can safeguard their own country, American troops can return home...I do not want to keep our troops in Iraq a minute longer than necessary to secure our interests there. Our goal is an Iraq that can stand on its own as a democratic ally and a responsible force for peace in its neighborhood. Our goal is an Iraq that no longer needs American troops. And I believe we can achieve that goal, perhaps sooner than many imagine. But I do not believe that anyone should make promises as a candidate for President that they cannot keep if elected. To promise a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, regardless of the calamitous consequences to the Iraqi people, our most vital interests, and the future of the Middle East, is the height of irresponsibility."

I encourage you to go to each man's official website to verify I've accurately summerized thier position and to get further details.

Alot of people in this thread have greatly misstated the position of both men. Somethings are immediately clear:

a) McCain does not intend to establish a permenent presence in Iraq. McCain's position is roughly stated as, "In Iraq for as long as necessary, but not a minute longer."
b) Obama believes that the plan with the least negative consequences is to withdraw immediately. Obama's position is roughly stated as, "Out of Iraq as soon as possible, and not a moment too soon."
c) It's pretty clear that these positions are very far apart.

Both positions leave a bit of wiggle room, but I've seen nothing that suggests either man has departed radically from his initial vision for Iraq. McCain basically endorses the Bush, "As they step up, we'll step down" plan. Obama continues to endorse withdrawing as soon as we can feasibly pack up our gear.

If you think either man has departed radically from the above, for example that McCain wants us in Iraq permenently or that Obama is considering a more Bush-like withdraw based more on meeting security goals rather than fixed timetables, then I think it says more about what you want to hear and your biases for or against the speaker than it does about either McCain or Obama. In particular, I think that alot of the claims that Obama is moving to the middle is based more on a change of tone than a change of substance. The Left wants a candidate that speaks its language strongly, courageously, unabashedly, and forcefully. Obama did that during the primaries and is now backing off that and adopting a more nuanced and concilliatory tone. In the middle, alot of commentators are seeing this change in tone as a hopeful change in substance - especially if they are inclined to admire Obama in part or to some degree. And on the right, alot of commentators are trying to use the change in tone to advance the notion that Obama vacillates, is confused, or is admitting to being wrong in his first judgement.

But more or less, I think all of those views are mere. I don't see a substantial shift in either man's position from the rough summary I outlined above.

Anil Petra said...

The reality is that Osama bin Laden was never, except in hindsight, more dangerous to the U.S. than Saddam Hussein. And not even clearly so in hindsight: he took an impossible shot from the far side of the court and struck his target. But he changed forever the threshold for U.S. actions against potential threats. Or at least he should have, until Democrats decided to use the war as political football.

The fact remains, had Saddam unleashed his intelligence forces, conventional weapons and WMD against the U.S. and its interests, including via terrorist proxies, it would have been Hell on Earth. OBL highlighted the possibility, so our actions against one of the 20th century's worst dictators and a clear threat to the U.S. were prudent to say the least.

La Mano said...

Barack should have said, "Las personas que dice esto aparentemente no me ha estado escuchando."

Or, while in France, Les gens qui ceci disent ne m'ont pas écouté apparemment.

Now, isn't that better!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I think you're overreacting.

He was speaking about a group of critics, not getting snippy with an individual in his audience.

This post reminds me of this:
Something--a news photo, a quote, a gum wrapper on the sidewalk--will annoy her and she'll go to McCain...

MadisonMan said...

until Democrats decided to use the war as political football.

Thank Goodness Republicans would never do something so distasteful.

1jpb said...

Section9,

1) Before the surge, Sheikh Sattar organized the militias to kill al-Qaida all over al-Anbar, then his folks moved into Diyala province. It turned out that Iraqis didn't care for outsider religious nuts killing them.

2) If BHO where president al-Anbar would still have had Sattar willing to stand up, so there wouldn't have been an al-Qaida base there. I wonder if they already have a base somewhere else, such that there wouldn't have been a reason to relocate to Iraq where the locals would have killed them? Oh, that's right, they have Pakistan. BHO would have been focused on killing Osama and the other leadership where they actually are.

You should ask for more than the McCain-Bush strategy of bluster where al-Qaida leadership lives on and the Iranians continue advancements while they are welcomed with great deference by the Iraqi government.

The plan to talk tough and spread lung cancer seems desperate and feckless. This appears to be obvious to our adversaries (based on their actions contrary to the Bush-McCain bluster.) But, this strategy does seem to act as a psychological comfort blanky for domestic consumption.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080708/ap_on_go_ot/iran_buying_american

Iran is not totally full of nuts, they have been allies in the past. It would be wise to try and cut the legs out from under Mr. Napoleon Complex, he's an easy mark. Even if (as is likely) he and the Mullahs (who the US does currently have indirect communication with) remain nuts, at least it's easier to pressure the world into blackballing the nuts. And, the military solution can legitimately be seen as a last resort. Of course, many of your wingnut leadership seem to be looking for wedges, or they could be earnest in their wrongheadedness. It's interesting, to see that the Bush folks have tired of back sliding in Korea, where no talks turned into multilateral, turned into effectively bi-lateral, which was where The Philanderer was to start with.

And, Why do wingnut think that Libya was some great success? First, the Brits were the lead. And, don't forget that Libya was caught with the nuke parts shipment after the Iraq attack, so they couldn't have been too scared by that. And, the negotiations started before Iraq, so that couldn't have been the reason Libya wanted to talk. And, in the end Libya really didn't give up anything, because it turned out that their program wasn't beyond the early stages that would be easy to reconstitute in the future. But, now the US says they're a-ok.

gahrie,

Here's your answer, the Lake quote:

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/07/02/hey-nutroots-you-lost.aspx

Jenny said...

Maybe this will help...

Obama 7/17/2007
The United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

Obama, 4/16/2008
Gibson: "And, Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe, said, 'When he is' -- this is talking about you - 'When he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most. There should be no confusion about that.' So you'd give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order to bring them home?"

Obama: "Because the commander-in-chief sets the mission, Charlie. That's not the role of the generals. And one of the things that's been interesting about the president's approach lately has been to say, 'Well, I'm just taking cues from General Petraeus.' Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission."

Obama, 7/3/08:

"I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed. And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

Zachary Paul Sire said...

The fact remains, had Saddam unleashed his intelligence forces, conventional weapons and WMD against the U.S. and its interests, including via terrorist proxies, it would have been Hell on Earth.

Saddam Hussein did not have WMD. Careful what you preface with "the fact remains."

Frieda said...

wowowowoowo.... you too!

Finally you are seeing what we have been saying.
Obama can't talk and think at the same time. he used to TelePrompTers and he is great at it.

Unlike other, when i LISTEN to him, i hear exactly what he is saying, not what I am hoping he is saying.

The guy is not ready for primetime at all.

no wonder there are website dedicated to his nonsense talk:

WWW.OBAMASGAFFES.BLOGSPOT.COM

Klatuu said...

If you don't know what Obama's position on Iraq is, indeed you have not been listening. Oh, you MAY have been listening to what he says he says(!), but that's just been base-covering rhetoric designed to obscure any committed position. If you listen between the lines, however, what he's saying is "I will take any position that gets me elected".

The contemporary Liberal must be willing to toss all his core beliefs under the bus during a campaign. That's Bill Clinton 101. Every liberal presidential candidate since LBJ that has stood his philosophical ground has LOST, except for Jimmy Carter in '76, and the electorate completely rejected him the next time around. Clinton sneaked in the back door thanks to Perot in '92, and after that spurred the "Republican Revolution" of '94, he decided being president was better than being a committed Liberal. That lesson was lost on Gore and Kerry. Obama appears to have learned it. He knows his base is so desperate that it is virtually impossible to alienate them.

DADvocate said...

Huh? I wasn't listening.

I tried listening for a while but I decided not to waste my time listening to empty words designed to attract votes without having to take a firm stand on anything.

Henry said...

Thanks Andrew and Jenny for the quotes.

Note that Obama's clear position on Iraq includes this conditional:

"...if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

I expect there to be a good deal of discussion in an Obama presidency about what the meaning of "base" is. I also expect the ongoing argument about whether Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia is or is not Al-Qaeda to continue.

What Obama has promised is an immediate removal of troops from Iraq, except if, in one of the most unstable regions of the world, there's reason not to.

He only makes promises he can keep.

30yearProf said...

Ann posted: "But he's been moving and he's denying it and blaming us as bad listeners. How irksome!"

Nothing irksome about it.

He hasn't moved and he believes his supporters know that. Didn't you see the "wink, wink" and the crossed fingers whenever he made a statement designed to attract the center-leaning voter.

He wants to ATTRACT centralist voters, he is NOT "actually" changing (or maturing) his position. The "man for all seasons" is just displaying whichever face he think will gain votes at this instant.

Once he has fooled people into voting for him, Obama will "revert to the mean" and go back to being the most far-left politician in Washington. Except, he'll be President.

He's not the fool, those who believe him are. Sorry, Ann.

Anil Petra said...

"Saddam didn't have WMDs".

In 2004, Democrats decried the "16 words" -- that Britain's intelligence services believe Saddam had sought significant quantities of yellowcake from Africa -- as clearly suggesting Saddam was close to nuclear capability.

Earlier this week, the U.S. and Iraq announced the successful transshipment of over 500 **tons** of yellowcake impounded from Saddam's weapons facilities.

We gave Saddam almost a year, following our insertion of forces into the Middle East in preparation for our ultimate invasion, waiting as long as we did largely at the insistence of Democrats. Saddam had plenty of time to destroy stockpiles, or hide and/or transship them (particularly lightweight, small volume biological agents). What he could not do was sneak 500+ tons of yellowcake out of the country!!!

Thanks goodness we have the kind of Administration that waits until the uranium is safely out of the country and in an allied country, in this case, Canada, before making an announcement.

The Democratic Party is the party of people like Jimmy Carter, who broke open the highly classified Stealth Bomber program when he started falling behind to Reagan: raw politics trumping our defense. Bush didn't disclose the uranium when it might have bolstered the WMD claims of the Administration and reinforced the consensus of all the major international intelligence services.

Saddam almost got to H.W. with a sniper's bullet. To suggest he couldn't hit the U.S. is the worst pacifist fantasy. If you believe he didn't have a high quantity of purified anthrax under his control, you're out of touch with the fact.s

fred said...

right. you are not listening. Iraq leaders say they want timetable for UAS to get out of their country. Obama wasnts timetable. McCain and gang say they will stay no matter what Iraq wants. Now Are you listening? Send your relatives to occupy that place if it means that much to you. Meantime, did you listen when Obama said endlessly that we messed up in Afghanistan by diverting our attention to Iraq? Nah. Too busy to hear that.

Original Mike said...

Earlier this week, the U.S. and Iraq announced the successful transshipment of over 500 **tons** of yellowcake impounded from Saddam's weapons facilities.

Yeah, I saw that. I'd like to know more, but it hasn't seemed to have attracted much press.

Original Mike said...

McCain and gang say they will stay no matter what Iraq wants.

Liar.

... said...

Its nothing but a con jon Ann ... even Kerry didn't lie to your face about his past words, actions or votes the way Obama does ...

He points at the Moon and calls it the Sun ... when you try to correct him and say "its the Moon" he says, "of course its the Moon" ...

Haven't you been listening ?

Andrew Graff said...

"right. you are not listening. Iraq leaders say they want timetable for UAS to get out of their country. Obama wasnts timetable."

No, fred, you aren't listening. You are just skimming headlines.

If you'd actually read one of the articles you are looking at, you'd realize that the Iraqi proposal looks nothing like the Obama timetable.

What the Iraqi's asked for is as follows:

1) A commitment to decamp from Iraqi cities once all 18 Iraqi provinces have been turned over to Iraqi control. So far, 9 of 18 have.
2) After all 18 provinces have been turned over to Iraqi control, a 3-5 year commitment to stay the course in Iraq with assessments every 6 months to determine the pace of US withdraw based on the Iraqi's meeting jointly set security goals.

In other words, the Iraqi time table looks alot like Bush's 'As they step up, we'll step down'. It's a timeline predicated on meeting security goals, and it demands a commitment by the US to stay in Iraq until at least 2011, and more realisticly until 2013 or so.

This is nothing like Obama's intention to fully withdraw in 16 months.

james said...

When trying to figure out where Obama stands on any issue, listening to what he says or his campaign puts out only leads to befuddlement or messianic delusion.

The only source of info on what his policies might be are his past actions and his choice of mentors/people to emulate, and - somewhat surprisingly - his books.

Fen said...

You seem to think he once said he would pull out of Iraq regardless of the consequence. But he didn't.

The people who know him best and have followed his words the most [your Moonbat base] disagree with you. They're tearing their hair out.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Regarding that yellowcake:

Of the uranium, 500 tons is naturally occurring ore or yellowcake, a slightly processed concentrate that cannot be directly used in a bomb. Some 1.8 tons is classified as low-enriched uranium, a more potent form but still not sufficient for a weapon.

Still NOT a WMD.

Still NOT something Hussein was planning to use.

Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities!

FairestWitness said...

Ann is right, this is typical bobbing & weaving. Why can't candidates just answer the questions? Why do they have to resort to disrespecting the asker of a question they'd rather not answer? It's the epitome of arrogance.

TmjUtah said...

It's tough to run as a Democrat. You have to be left of Lenin to win the primaries, then dump the moonbats as soon as the nomination is locked (which it very much is not right now). Then comes the race to the middle, hoping the undecideds aren't paying attention and the media stays reliably in the tank, and that the Left base won't care as long as "their guy" wins.

I don't see a shining city in that formula.

Fen said...

This is nothing like Obama's intention to fully withdraw in 16 months.

And lets be clear: his intention was to start withdrawing immediately, at the rate of 1-2 brigades per month.

1jpb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
1jpb said...

Andrew,

You should adjust that a little.

"At a time of their choosing they'll show more deference to visiting Iranians than to US leaders, and then they'll kick us in the shins by giving us ultimatums."

Well let's celebrate!!!!!!! Does anyone have a "Mission Accomplished" sign?

Fen said...

Still NOT a WMD. Still NOT something Hussein was planning to use.

So, what was he planning to do with the yellow cake?

And why did we find Iraqi scientists working on Libya's clandestine nuclear weapons program?

Questions the Left refuses to answer.

LarsPorsena said...

ZPS:

"Still NOT a WMD.

Still NOT something Hussein was planning to use."

Then why have it at all??

Zachary Paul Sire said...

And, note that it was left over from freaking 1991:

The repository, at Tuwaitha, a centerpiece of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program until it was largely shut down after the Persian Gulf War in 1991, holds more than 500 tons of uranium, none of it enriched enough to be used directly in a nuclear weapon.

D said...

God, I love seeing him turning-off people who like him but who could still go with other way in November. I really think the Dems chose the wrong one and ain't that a grand thing indeed.

Fen said...

Saddam Hussein did not have WMD.

Wrong. He did. More importantly, he had WMD programs. His goal was to farm research and materials out of country until sanctions were lifted. He was not interested in stockpiling WMDs; he desired a mobile and clandestine WMD infrastructure that could tool up with a few days notice to produce whatever he required, then rapidly disperse if the West came calling.

Even your watchdogs at the UN agree with me.

You're like the bumbling Inspector Clouseau raiding a suspected meth lab: "We found beakers, bunsen burners, recipes and precursors - but no actual Meth. Ergo no Meth actually existed. The neighborhood is safe..."

Moron.

FairestWitness said...

Didn't you know? Saddam was planning to irradiate Iraqi dates, to kill any bugs they might have in them, in preparation for exportation, just as soon as the sanctions were lifted. His intended use of the yellowcake was entirely peaceful.

If you believe that one, I have some property ajacent to swampland for sale...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The repository, at Tuwaitha, a centerpiece of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program until it was largely shut down after the Persian Gulf War in 1991, holds more than 500 tons of uranium, none of it enriched enough to be used directly in a nuclear weapon.

So, 'splain it to all of us why he STILL had 550 tons of yellow cake uranium ore that he was not supposed to have according to the UN sanctions? Saving it for a rainy day?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Saddam Hussein did not have WMD

By the way. Please define what YOU think is a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

I contend that if there existed a vial of smallpox/antrax/influenza or other germs the size of a tube of lipstick, those would certainly be considered a WMD. How about some small canisters of Sarin gas. If I were to posses such things, I guarantee you that it would be easy as yellow cake to hide it in California, a State about the size of Iraq. I dare you to find a tube of lipstick in the Trinity Alps or the Sonoran Desert. These things, especially the smallpox, are able to kill millions upon millions of people. Pretty massive, wouldn't you say?

So just what is it that you consider to a WMD?

MadisonMan said...

How does one normally get rid of Yellowcake?

Original Mike said...

And, note that it was left over from freaking 1991:

It's not like it has a shelf life. The half-life of U-235 is 700,000,000 years.

MadisonMan said...

Viruses are fragile things. I'm unconvinced that a lipstick tube full of smallpox virus would do anything at all.

Most smallpox is spread by inhaling droplets -- as expelled by a sneeze, for instance, or simple breathing -- or by handling freshly soiled bedding. Smallpox virus that has been outside a body for any length of time is dead.

Anthrax would be another thing. Anthrax is much more easily used to infect people than any virus.

Henry said...

It's not like it has a shelf life. The half-life of U-235 is 700,000,000 years.

Funny!

Original Mike said...

I'm assuming we (e.g. U.N. inspectors) knew all along it was there. Does anyone know if that's the case?

MPH said...

Get real -- you aren't voting for Obama...not that there is anything wrong with that.

LarsPorsena said...

"How does one normally get rid of Yellowcake?"

Sell it on the open market for conversion to medical or energy uses?

The batch we are talking about has been bought by a Canadian company.
That's the rumor. This needs following up.

Original Mike said...

Thanks, Henry. Elementary physics. If Freder were here, he could explain it all to us.

Al Swearengen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Montagne Mointaigne said...

To any fool who thinks Al Qaeda would ever be able to "take over" Iraq: stay away from our foreign policy. You understand nothing about Iraq.

To any fool who thinks Al Qaeda was allied to Saddam Hussein: stay away from our foreign policy. You understand nothing about the middle east.

Can someone explain what McCain's policy toward Iraq is? Permanent bases? Withdrawal by 2013?

The Iraqi government, supposedly the sovereign authority of Iraq, now asks for a withdrawal timetable. Does this matter to Republicans? Is the Iraqi government just supposed to do what we say?

Obama wants to extricate us from imperial oversight of Iraq. That is exactly McCain's policy: an enduring relationship of imperial oversight.

That's not a difference in policy?

I'm reminded of the run up to the war, marching with millions against what seemed to be such a plainly stupid policy backed up by plainly flimsy, gerrymandered intelligence, and being told by the media and the righty blogs about the wisdom and rectitude of the easily-winnable flower petal war.

Stuck on stupid much, people? It's time to leave Iraq. Obama will do it. McCain is, once again, as reflected by his every policy and statement, a war-happy hawk who will not only stay the imperial course in Iraq but get us into more wars. He's more hawkish than Bush. He's hawkish on Iran. He's hawkish on China, for christ's.

Muddying the waters about the Democrat's vacillation, "flip-flopping" and the like ain't gonna work this time around. It's much too clear what the Republican party is all about... we have 8 years of the experience to go by.

garage mahal said...

So, 'splain it to all of us why he STILL had 550 tons of yellow cake uranium ore that he was not supposed to have according to the UN sanctions? Saving it for a rainy day?

You're wrong, and I wonder if it's from relying on op-eds from NY Sun, or you're just being disingenuous. It was known by both the UN inspectors and IAEA since the first Gulf war. It was tagged and sealed, stored legally under international law. To anyone but the most deluded neocon it's obvious they were technologically impotent and had no active nuclear program.

The fact it was sitting in barrels sealed for over a decade doesn't tell you anything?

Al Swearengen said...

I thought yellow cake is what you get after John Sterling hits the dessert table?

Helen Cadogan said...

I've heard two things from Obama: 1) I'm a Marxist radical. 2) I will say whatever I must to attain the presidency.

From that I have concluded this: 1) Obama's position on issues are radically opposed mine, and even McCain's. 2) There is not much point listening to Obama on anything (indeed, I can't abide the sound of his voice—it's even worse than "The Oxford Voice") because he is not likely to be telling the truth anyway.

No liberal runs as a liberal outside of MA, VT, OR, WA, and a few other places. No radical Marxist is likely to divulge his true plans for this country either. Therefore, it makes no point listening to Obama; rather, one would be better off examining his track record to see his acts.

As for his complaint that we're not listening, he's the Messiah. Michelle has told us that Barack will insist on us listening to him and not be complacent anymore!

This is what Obama reminds me of:

The Oxford Voice—D.H. Lawrence

When you hear it languishing
and hooing and cooing and sidling through the front teeth,
the Oxford voice
or worse still
the would-be-Oxford voice
you don't even laugh any more, you can't.
For every blooming bird is an Oxford cuckoo nowadays,
you can't sit on a bus nor in the tube
but it breathes gently and languishingly in the back of your neck.

And oh, so seductively superior, so seductively
self-effacingly
deprecatingly
superior.—

We wouldn't insist on it for a moment
but we are
we are
you admit we are
superior.—

Helen Cadogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rjschwarz said...

Interesting how so many public figures and actors and such don't seem to understand that everything they say is available for anyone willing to do a two minute search on google or myspace.

The old days of telling different audiences different things died years ago and so many still don't seem to realize it and continue to modify, hedge, and blame others.

Fen said...

it's obvious they were technologically impotent and had no active nuclear program.

Except for the Iraqi scientists working in Libya. Telling how you lefties keep ignoring that.

It was tagged and sealed, stored legally under international law. To anyone but the most deluded neocon

Please explain WHY it was tagged and sealed while in Iraq? If Saddam posed no WMD threat, why bother with all that?

Fen said...

MadisonMan: Viruses are fragile things. I'm unconvinced that a lipstick tube full of smallpox virus would do anything at all. Most smallpox is spread by inhaling droplets -- as expelled by a sneeze, for instance, or simple breathing -- or by handling freshly soiled bedding. Smallpox virus that has been outside a body for any length of time is dead.

You're so close to figuring it out. Hint: suicide bomber

LarsPorsena said...

"...The fact it was sitting in barrels sealed for over a decade doesn't tell you anything?"

Well one explanation is that like other men of wealth and power Sadam was a collector. Some men collect antique cars, others great art, Sadam
collected yellow cake. I must say, an expensive hobby.

Original Mike said...

Wasn't it small pox that sparked the recent controversy over whether to destroy the last remaining samples in frozen storage by institutions like the CDC? One side said, "of course we should destroy it. Eliminate the possibilty of it ever returning". The other side said, "it's a species, we don't have the moral standing to eradicate it" (you can't make this stuff up, as they say). A (more rational) variant of the second argument was we may need it for future research.

I could have sworn it was small pox, though it may have been a different virus. Is small pox still free in the wild?

ex-democrat said...

montagne - your comment makes it perfectly clear that you haven't even bothered to read the comments that precede it. That doesn't stop you from accusing others of stupidity, however.

So let's see: a failure to listen followed by an accusation that others fail to comprehend. Where else are we hearing that kind of condescending arrogance? hmm?

1jpb said...

Fen,

The whole Libya thing is silly, see my earlier comment. Any real wingnut hawk would be ashamed of the so called success with the Libya "program."

The perfect representation of wingnut hypocrisy and foreign policy ignorance: the wingnuts can call Libya a success, but they strongly oppose letting Cuban exiles have a little more contact with their island bound relatives.
OR
Pardon Khan, no problem, no sanctions needed; allow Osama sanctuary, no problem, here's this months payment.
OR
The extreme flip-flop on how to deal with North Korea (after they kept on with their development, imagine that bluster didn't stop them--shocking)

madawaskan said...

Blogger Jenny said...

Maybe this will help...

Obama 7/17/2007
The United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there."

This is what Obama says about Darfur-

"Genocide is underway in Darfur, Sudan. Already, 50,000 African Muslims have been killed and 1.2 million displaced by the Sudanese Government and by Arab Janjaweed militias armed and encouraged by Khartoum. The Bush Administration itself warned of the magnitude of the crisis, if no action is taken. Andrew Natsios, head of USAID, said in June that "if nothing changes we will have one million casualties." We cannot, in good conscience, stand by and let this genocide continue.

So what does he propose WE do about the genocide in Darfur-

Next, the United States should support the immediate deployment of an effective international force to disarm militia, protect civilians and facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance in Darfur. Thus far, the African Union has offered 3,000 troops and the United Kingdom has indicated that they would offer some troops. However, international pressure is required for the Sudan regime to accept an international peacekeeping force. The U.S. must ensure humanitarian intervention with or without Sudanese government permission. And, we should urge European governments who are not willing to send troops to Iraq to take on this mission.

"There is no question that the United States military is currently spread thin with our earlier commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq. But, that does not mean that we should not be providing the resources that we can, including logistical support like airplanes, helicopters, trucks, and other resources that are needed to deliver humanitarian aid.

This should be a swift and clear-cut decision. It is not only an issue of saving lives in the Sudan. It is necessary to support our interests in the region. And, our action and leadership will show who we are as a nation and as a people."


Statement from Barack Obama on Darfur, Sudan

So I dunno-maybe he wants to pull out of Iraq and into Sudan or just get the Brits and the Euros that'll listen to do it.

So once we withdraw and the Iraqis have a full blown genocide going on and it's totally outta control -like in Darfur-then he'll be about doing something...

whatever.

MadisonMan said...

Is small pox still free in the wild?

No, you have to pay for it. (ba-dump!)

Thank you, I'll be here all night.

How can someone not know of medical science's most amazing eradication ever? Is this a generational thing?

MadisonMan said...

But to answer your question, yes, it has been eradicated, and exists only at the CDC and at the similar institute in Russia.

Hucbald said...

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

What's that make a three-time loser?

madawaskan said...

Of course this all depends on what your definition of genocide or the word is-is.

Just ask Clinton and Madeline Albright!

And of course there is no conflict in what Obama's idealism is here...

If only you could do a double half gainer through your own asshole you'd get it!

A'hole!

How dare YOU be confused by the Obama Messiah!

Andrew Graff said...

Montagne Mointaigne: You again. Didn't we have enough of your idiocy on the last thread?

In this case, the real irony is that I don't even have to address your post, because every rhetorical question you raise I'd already addressed in previous posts in this thread.

Blithering idiots like yourself warm my heart, because my rhetoric on my best day is not nearly so convincing of an argument against the anti-war position as what you regularly type.

Anil Petra said...

"You're wrong, and I wonder if it's from relying on op-eds from NY Sun, or you're just being disingenuous. It was known by both the UN inspectors and IAEA since the first Gulf war. It was tagged and sealed, stored legally under international law. To anyone but the most deluded neocon it's obvious they were technologically impotent and had no active nuclear program."

Excuse me, but the story is straight off the wire services, the AP, not an editorial, certainly not an op-ed from the NY Sun.

This is *not* yellowcake tagged and sealed by the international atomic energy agency and disclosed. That is a ludicrous (and no doubt intentional) misreading of the story. The U.S. has pointedly said this is yellowcake never disclosed to international inspectors, and that the transshipment out of the country was a highly secretive operation.

Again, explain the "16 words" demagoguery of the Democrats in 2004, when they were full-on-tilt to discredit this vital conflict in the war on terror, for political gain and to promote the election of John Kerry?

According to Democrats, suggesting Saddam was seeking significant quantities of yellowcake in Africa was tantamount to proclaiming he posed a threat of nuclear attack on the United States.

Now that it has been revealed Saddam had 550 *tons* of yellowcake, his threat has been confirmed, by the Democrats own rhetoric.

This is a huge story. The media is attempting to ignore it, but it will not hold.

Meanwhile, every serious weapons inspector who has commented on the findings confirms Saddam's programs, and that in the case of both chemical and biological weapons, Saddam's labs were configured and primed to produce working munitions in 5-8 weeks, given the order.

We sat with massive troops in the Iraqi theater for month after month after month. Ultimately, Saddam miscalculated the timing of our attacks. But for the willingness of the Administration to strike on very short notice to Democrats in Congress and our European allies, our troops might have suffered mass WMD casualties, and our populations put at risk.

Fen said...

1jpb: The whole Libya thing is silly, see my earlier comment. Any real wingnut hawk would be ashamed of the so called success with the Libya "program."

Thank you for moving the goalposts. Its no longer a question of IF Saddam had a nuclear program, its now a question of how effective it was.

I'm guessing the proof people like you require is a nuclear 9-11?

Cincinnatus said...

Montainge:
"To any fool who thinks Al Qaeda was allied to Saddam Hussein: stay away from our foreign policy. You understand nothing about the middle east. "


Thanks for setting me straight. I'm going to go back on the short bus where we use simple words like Shia and Sunni.

Original Mike said...

How can someone not know of medical science's most amazing eradication ever? Is this a generational thing?

Thanks, MM. It may be a generational thing, though not in the way you probably meant it. The brain cells responsible for storing that information have probably passed away. I was pretty sure it was small pox, so some of the neighboring brain cells have attempted to pick up the baton.

1jpb said...

madawaskan,

Go to his website, he has a plan if genocide occurred in Iraq. It's very blunt and calculated; realpolitik style. I'm surprised more folks don't pickup on it.

It's in with the war strategy stuff, the topic says something about genocide in Iraq (I think, it's been a long time since I read it.)

Fen,

I don't sleep with a teddy bear and my thumb in my mouth. I wasn't inspired by Condi's mushroom cloud scare tactics. I can assure you (and others in this thread) you are not of concern to me.

Facts please.

Fen said...

Meanwhile, every serious weapons inspector who has commented on the findings confirms Saddam's programs, and that in the case of both chemical and biological weapons, Saddam's labs were configured and primed to produce working munitions in 5-8 weeks, given the order.

Echo. I keep attempting to educate my gaggle[?] of ignorant Moonbats, but they'd rather play with their strawmen. Saddam wasn't trying to create stockpiles, he was trying to create a WMD infrastructure that could produce WMDs on short notice and disperse back into seemingly harmless elements if subjected to Western scrutiny.

Cincinnatus said...

Back on topic:

To think Obama spent so much time contrasting himself from Hillary.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Cincinnatus, Graff--

What is John McCain's Iraq policy?

Pogo said...

Well, Montagne Mointaigne, it appears you haven't been listening.

Heh.

Fen said...

I wasn't inspired by Condi's mushroom cloud scare tactics. Facts please.

Irony. Please source the statement by Condi re "mushroom scare tactics".

Condi: "No one can give you an exact time line as to when he is going to have this or that weapon, but given what we have experienced in history and given what we have experienced on September 11, I don't think anyone wants to wait for the 100 percent surety that he has a weapon of mass destruction that can reach the United States, because the only time we may be 100 percent sure is when something lands on our territory. We can't afford to wait that way."

Are you too daft or emotional to understand what she was saying? It "scared" you instead?

Or is it that the Democrat policy re WMD is reactionary - an ample supply of morphine while you guys pull a Nagin/Blanco?

Fen said...

Oh sorry, forgot to add the transcript of Condi's interview with CNN:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0209/08/le.00.html

Not that it will matter, with your fingers in your ears and your head in the sand.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Oh, and to formulate a statement of McCain's policy I'm presuming you will take into accountwords out of McCain's own mouth.

Andrew Graff said...

Montagne Mointaigne:

Geez, do I have to repeat myself endlessly to you?

In a nutshell, its "In Iraq for as long as it takes, and not a minute longer."

From his website:

"The best way to secure long-term peace and security is to establish a stable, prosperous, and democratic state in Iraq that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists. When Iraqi forces can safeguard their own country, American troops can return home...I do not want to keep our troops in Iraq a minute longer than necessary to secure our interests there. Our goal is an Iraq that can stand on its own as a democratic ally and a responsible force for peace in its neighborhood. Our goal is an Iraq that no longer needs American troops. And I believe we can achieve that goal, perhaps sooner than many imagine. But I do not believe that anyone should make promises as a candidate for President that they cannot keep if elected. To promise a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, regardless of the calamitous consequences to the Iraqi people, our most vital interests, and the future of the Middle East, is the height of irresponsibility."

If you want more detail than that, go here.

But feel free to distort and lie about McCain's position all you like. It just makes it that much easier to dismiss you.

Fen said...

Montainge: To any fool who thinks Al Qaeda was allied to Saddam Hussein

You are aware that AQ sought out an alliance with Saddam? They were refused, but Saddam still gave them some support - medical, logistical, training.

Are you even aware that they brokered a non-agression pact?

madawaskan said...

Blogger 1jpb said...

Go to his website, he has a plan if genocide occurred in Iraq. It's very blunt and calculated; realpolitik style.

To tell you the truth-I'm not a real fan of "realpolitik".

It's that kind of thinking that prolonged us getting into WW II and in the end cost us thousands of more lives.

What would you call Bill Clinton's Kosovo action?

I was for that btw.

But ya I'll go take a look at it-got a feeling it'll make me sick to my stomache.

Nothing like waiting until after a genocide happens.

Crimso said...

"Obama wants to extricate us from imperial oversight of Iraq"

You have the gall to tell others how little they understand, and then you actually (and apparently seriously) used the term "imperial."

1jpb said...

"The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

As I said, I wasn't scared. I'm looking for the facts, not bluster filled scare mongering. Those with facts don't use bluster as a crutch, those without facts do. Think about that as you make decisions in life. You can thank me latter.

Fen said...

In a nutshell, its "In Iraq for as long as it takes, and not a minute longer."

Exactly. Just like Germany and Japan.

We still have 1456 US troops under NATO command in Kosovo. Funny how the Moonbats are so selective in their outrage.

Crimso said...

"But to answer your question, yes, it has been eradicated, and exists only at the CDC and at the similar institute in Russia."

It is worth noting that it is now technically feasible to build viruses from scratch (IIRC, this was done with polio in the last several years).

Fen said...

As I said, I wasn't scared.

Yes, but you still called it "scare tactics". Why would you distort Condi's words as fear-mongering when you know better?

1jpb said...

Fen,

Whatever about Condi; your not scared, I'm not scared, nobody is scared. ok.

But, I just noticed your AQ comment.

Hillarious. You're talking about Khan. After my comments. That's rich. Have you no shame? Folks are going to think that your my sock.

madawaskan said...

OK-so here it is-

Prevent Genocide: Barack Obama would work with the international community to hold the perpetrators of potential war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide accountable for their crimes. If necessary, he would work with the United Nations to establish an independent war crimes commission or a special investigator who can gather testimonies of survivors and investigate war crimes. Obama would supply armed escorts to civilians who voluntarily choose to move from religiously heterogeneous areas to communities where they feel they will be more secure. He would reserve the right to intervene militarily, with our international
partners, to suppress genocidal violence within Iraq.


So it seems like a bunch of back to the Courts with that last bit in direct conflict with the quote from 2007 that Jenny referred to.

That quote being:The United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

The quotes I'm referencing from a pdf at Obama's website were the link is labeled "war plan" but the pdf is labeled "Iraq fact sheet".

Barack Obama website pdf

Montagne Mointaigne said...

To deny that McCain wants a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq is pure sophistry-- again, it came out of his mouth many times. Unless he's changed his policy, which would be an epic reverse, or "atomic flip-flop."

It makes sense that the policy would be to stay-- as that's the current Bush-Republican policy-- massive, permanent military installations in Iraq manned by thousands of troops, into the indefinite future, the will of the Iraqis be damned (witness the latest pushback on Maliki's speaking out of school).

Thousands of troops stationed in a sovereign nation against the will of the government: yeah, I'd call that "imperial."

But I guess each believes what they want to believe. If you want the U.S. to stay in Iraq, who would you vote for? If you want us out, who? If you put it that way it's pretty simple.

FairestWitness said...

John McCain's Iraq War Policy:

Maintain our victory, win the peace, defeat terrorism, support Iraqi Democracy. Stay in Iraq for however long it takes to ensure our gaols are achieved and our security is restored. It will take decades, perhaps a 100 years or more. WHATEVER IT TAKES TO PREVAIL AND DEFEAT TERRORISM.

We're still in Germany and Japan and Korea today. Why on Earth would we leave a victorious battlefield?

How could Barack Obama, a man who aspires to the position of US Commander-In-Chief, truly believe we should snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and leave our hard won ground?

Answer: his goals are not about preserving, protecting and strengthening the USA. He answers to George Soros and his ilk whose goals are to diminish American power & authority. The entire Democratic Party is bought and paid for by these enemies of America.

veni vidi vici said...

"His true complaint is: people ARE listening carefully, and asking follow up questions, and pointing out contradictions."

In fairness, though, I'd say that perhaps people listen too closely now, and overanalyze every burp or stutter to the point of ridiculousness; a few moments spent watching one of the countless cable news show "roundtables" will prove my point.

Of course, those that agree most vocally would likely never grant the same to Obama's opponent, so again it's back to the head-butting (non-terrorist variety) of the endless idiocy of modern political discourse. "As passionate as ever, just a lot more dumbed down!"

carry on.

Fen said...

I'm looking for the facts, not bluster filled scare mongering.

Again, how is that scare mongering? Its merely being responsible. Consider: Your PD doesn't wait until they have 100% certainty to deploy SWAT and EOD. If you came across such a response, would you discount it as fear-mongering if no bomb was located?

madawaskan said...

And-here's a source for the 2007 quote-
msnbc

You gotta admit the guys done some moving even if Obama and Olbermann won't.

Fen said...

But, I just noticed your AQ comment. Hillarious. You're talking about Khan.

Nope. I'm talking about material support to AQ provided by Saddam, and their non-agression pact.

After my comments. That's rich. Have you no shame? Folks are going to think that your my sock.

Doubt it. After your distortion of Condi's "fear-mongering", no one of consequence will consider you credible.

Crimso said...

"Thousands of troops stationed in a sovereign nation against the will of the government: yeah, I'd call that "imperial.""

Try a dictionary.

madawaskan said...

montagne mointaigne-

But I guess each believes what they want to believe. If you want the U.S. to stay in Iraq, who would you vote for? If you want us out, who? If you put it that way it's pretty simple.

So you are willing to admit that the election is a referendum on Iraq?

Trouble is the Liberal media-if Obama loses -will say it's because of racism.

It'll probably be that simple for them.

Fen said...

Ah I see now. You think by "AQ" I meant Abdul Qadeer Khan instead of Al Queda. There's that reading comprehension problem of yours again.

But please keep laughing. The irony is delicious.

Fen said...

1JPB: Here's a tip for you - people discussing the ME use AQ for Al Queda, for Khan they use...Khan.

You should have mentioned you were new to all this foreign policy "stuff". I go easier on the ignorant.

/btw, ME is short for Middle East. Just in case you were foggy on that one too.

Nuclear said...

@sector9:
While his pudding may have no theme, it is best to apply one of Mr. Churchill's other phrases, used in the wake of Munich, to best describe the Prophet from Chicago:
"He has been weighed in the balance, and has been found wanting."


I'm pretty sure Churchill didn't write the biblical book of Daniel :

http://www.sacred-texts.com/wmn/wb/wb58.htm
"
13 Then was Daniel brought in; and he said, I will read the writing unto the king.

25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

27 TEKEL; Thou are weighed in the balance, and art found wanting.

28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
"

=darwin

1jpb said...

madawaskan,

It's not inconsistent at all. You're not thinking dark enough. It would be consistent to relocate the victims on the way out. And, what solution is there other than separation? A lot of that has already happened on it's own in Iraq. (I don't know if separation would work in Darfur; I haven't looked in to that.)

As I said, I'm surprised that more folks haven't picked up on this little paragraph. And, this is from the Samantha Power days (prior to monster-gate), so it has been vetted by someone with great expertise.

Fen,

Any honest observer would understand that talking about the mushroom cloud smoking gun without evidence was bluster filled fear mongering. I just wanted to move on to the AQ Khan stuff. But, on that one you are redeemed (I can officiate the redemption because I stand before you as a messiah surrogate, KoolAid and all.)

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Crimso-- try making a point, or some sense, or some meaning. Use your words.

Crimso said...

"Crimso-- try making a point, or some sense, or some meaning. Use your words."

You don't know what the word "imperial" means. Or perhaps you do, but you use it when it doesn't apply as a sort of (dare I say it?) fearmongering.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

It means I think America is behaving like an empire in Iraq. I disapprove. That's why I support Obama.

Jerk.

Truman Capote said...

You guys on the Left are so stupid.

And you are screwed.

The worst possible thing happened to your plans: the Iraq situation improved, and a growing percentage of the population recognizes it. And almost half of Dems agree.

So, yeah, Obo is changing his position, because he knows that the war will be his to lose.

Imagine how this will look in the annals of history. The Arabic world loves Obo, the Iranians want him to win, he pulls out of Iraq after getting elected, and Iraq goes to hell in a hand basket.

There is no way Obo is going to let that happen.

You people are so stupid, it is funny but sad.

Kinda like watching a car wreck.

Truman Capote said...

You guys on the Left are so stupid.

And you are screwed.

The worst possible thing happened to your plans: the Iraq situation improved, and a growing percentage of the population recognizes it. And almost half of Dems agree.

So, yeah, Obo is changing his position, because he knows that the war will be his to lose.

Imagine how this will look in the annals of history. The Arabic world loves Obo, the Iranians want him to win, he pulls out of Iraq after getting elected, and Iraq goes to hell in a hand basket.

There is no way Obo is going to let that happen.

You people are so stupid, it is funny but sad.

Kinda like watching a car wreck.

Yunkndatwunk said...

Actually in a way he's right, I have always thought his rhetoric about leaving Iraq immeidately was BS, especially when he'd say things like "in consultation with the Generals" which to me always meant "My strategy is the same as McCain except I'll apologize to everyone"

I was arguing weeks ago with an Obama supporter that Obama would not remove troops from Iraq anytime soon, and he kept vehemently denying that Obama would ever do such a thing.

Joe said...

For the record, Saddam's Iraq did have WMDs. As of 2006, over 500 WMD munitions were destroyed. (There are also chemicals we know Saddam had, but which are unaccounted for--I think they're in Syria.)

Revenant said...

To deny that McCain wants a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq is pure sophistry-- again, it came out of his mouth many times.

A better example of sophistry would be Obama's attempt to equate "wants to base troops in the country" with "wants to keep fighting a war in the country'. Both are examples of "a US presence", but they are very different things nevertheless.

We have a permanent troop presence in many of the world's democracies. There's nothing the slightest bit shocking about wanting that. Somebody should ask Obama which of the dictatorships of the Middle East he would prefer we base our troops in -- assuming, that is, that he doesn't favor withdrawing all of our military capabilities from the Middle East in its entirety.

Fen said...

1JPB: Any honest observer would understand that talking about the mushroom cloud smoking gun without evidence was bluster filled fear mongering.

No. Nice fallacious appeal to conformity though ["any honest observer"]. Condi's point was that with WMDs, we can't afford to wait for evidence of 100% certainty before we act. But its easy to see how that confused you.

Like confusing Al Queda with Khan. Anyone with a passing knowledge of recent events would know that discussion of Iraqi material support and non-agression pacts with "AQ" was in reference to Al Queda.

It's as if you debated the Patriot Act, complaining that if they want to evesdrop on the other team's playing calling, the NFL should handle it without interference from Congress.

Too funny. I can't believe I wasted 500+ words on you.

Revenant said...

McCain's plan is to stay in Iraq until they stop shooting at us and each other. That is unlikely to happen, which means we will be there for a long, long time. Obama's plan is to get out unless it would lead to a massive escalation in violence. Most likely, that can be done.

At this point -- and for the last three or four years -- the vast majority of the deaths in Iraq consist of either (a) Iraqis killing each other or (b) foreign terrorists killing Iraqis. The major force suppressing these killings is the United States.

Your claim is that we will "most likely" be able to yank the US troops out of the country without a surge in violence occurring. That's a pathologically moronic thing to believe.

Revenant said...

talking about the mushroom cloud smoking gun without evidence

The latest shipment of Saddam's yellowcake uranium ore arrived in the United States last week.

I'm sure he just kept it around because he liked the color, though. It certainly wasn't evidence of any sort of nuclear ambitions or anything.

1jpb said...

Fen,

So your defense of Condi's mushroom cloud imagery is that she herself admitted that she didn't have evidence. As I noted; those who have facts use facts, those who don't have facts use bluster. You should really commit this to memory, it will guide you through life--it may even cause you to cut back on your own baseless nuke 9.11 comments.

You have wasted your words. Other than my unrestrained glee as soon as I read: "You are aware that AQ sought out an alliance with Saddam?" You have not answered a single question about the specific flaws of the Bush-McCain bluster foriegn policy. Imagine if the Khan and Al Qaida sanctuary issues occurred with BHO playing the role of Complicit Bush. Wouldn't an honest wingnut observer have a big problem with that? Why does the Khan issue get a pass, but some of y'all hyperventilate (nuke 9.11) over Saddam who had sealed and known yellow cake? What about the Libya pass? What about Iran's advancement? What about N Korea's advancement, until the Bush administration capitulated by talking after all.

Revenant,

What's the big deal with this yellow cake story? How is this news?
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/07/us-removes-saddams-yellowcake-uranium-from-first-gulf-war/

Revenant said...

What's the big deal with this yellow cake story? How is this news?

It isn't news. That's pretty much the point, actually; anyone who has paid attention for the last, oh, 30 years or so knows that Hussein wanted nukes and repeatedly attempted to obtain them.

That's why it was so amusing to see someone insist that more "evidence" was needed before Bush could fairly talk about Hussein's nuclear ambitions.

1jpb said...

Revenant,

So, you expect folks to believe that this is what Condi was talking about.

May I suggest a name change:
Revenant to Revisionist

The Drill SGT said...

MadisonMan said...
But to answer your question, yes, it has been eradicated, and exists only at the CDC and at the similar institute in Russia.


That MM is the official answer. However, isn't a better phrasing...

But to answer your question, yes, it has been eradicated in the wild, and is thought to exist only at the CDC and at the similar institute in Russia, however, other third parties may have samples, and one could assemble new smallpox virus if one had access to the genome, a gene spicer, and a mail order catalog of DNA piece-parts.

One reason the existing samples have not been destroyed is that other samples may exist and the official samples provide the basis for vacines.

And somebody published the genome sequence for the great 1918 world pandemic flu virus strain two years ago that killed upwards of 100,000,000, pleading scientific freedom of speech. It is not known if somebody has replicated it in a lab, but lots of people took good notes :(

Special Report: The 1918 flu virus is resurrected

The recreation of one of the deadliest diseases known could help us to prevent another pandemic. Or it might trigger one, say critics. Andreas von Bubnoff investigates whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

It is thought to have killed 50 million people, and yet scientists have brought it back to life. In this issue of Nature, scientists publish an analysis of the full genome sequence of the 1918 human influenza virus.

Middle Class Guy said...

Well, Hillary Clinton wanted us to read what she said, so I guess it is not a stretch for Obama to have us listen to what he is not saying. It must be a Democratic Party thing.

Revenant said...

So, you expect folks to believe that this is what Condi was talking about.

She was, I would assume, referring to the empirical fact that Hussein had pursued, and was continuing to pursue, a nuclear arsenal.

He was nowhere close to obtaining one, of course -- but that was the whole point of Bush's speech about not waiting for a smoking gun. Our intelligence system is not perfect; they missed everything from 9/11 to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was, therefore, ridiculous to assume that we'd be able to wait until Hussein had "almost" gotten nukes before acting. That's why it was a good idea to strike while Hussein was still clearly nowhere near ready to threaten us with WMDs.

Cedarford said...

1jpb - If BHO where president al-Anbar would still have had Sattar willing to stand up, so there wouldn't have been an al-Qaida base there. I wonder if they already have a base somewhere else, such that there wouldn't have been a reason to relocate to Iraq where the locals would have killed them? Oh, that's right, they have Pakistan. BHO would have been focused on killing Osama and the other leadership where they actually are.

1. AQ was able to base in Al-Anbar because the locals were not strong enough to dislodge them on their own, once the hospitality was revoked. The US gave them the power to defeat AQ elements.

2. That a small band of survivors of AQ exists in the lawless Pashtun tribal lands still after AQ's defeat in the Strategic Center Front of All Jihad (short for Iraq and the home of the New Caliphate), and must be captured and put on trial, is Obamessiahs great little schtick that counts on ignorant "he's so cute!!" women and Lefties knowing nothing about warfare.

3. It took us 9 months to find Hussein and "51 other cards in the deck" despite having complete military control of the country and 80% of Iraqis also wishing to find him or kill him. We did that and ignored the slowly gathering insurgency as "less important than the hunt for "The Big One".
Then pissed away 3 years on due process ending in an embarassing display of "noble democratic Iraqi people" at work in the guy's execution.
Barack, the lawyer, proposes to invade Pakistan, have all our logistics cut off from Afghanistan, risk casualties on a scale 100 to 500 times greater than Iraq...simply so 6 AQ fugitives can be given their ACLU lawyers, and face 3 square meals and comfortable quarters the rest of their lives at worse.

1jpb - And, Why do wingnut think that Libya was some great success? First, the Brits were the lead. And, don't forget that Libya was caught with the nuke parts shipment after the Iraq attack, so they couldn't have been too scared by that.

The Brits were the lead in the sense that their Saville Row-attired lawyers had the lead when it came to yacking and yanking diplomacy.
The real lead was the 6th Fleet and huge numbers of high speed Mech 4th ID meandering around Egypt with nothing to do since Turkey blocked them getting into Iraq before the War was over.
No, Libya did not suddenly arrange nuke parts shipments after the war. They had signed contracts and transferred funds 6 months before the war.
Quadaffi rationally calculated what his survival time would be if the 4th Mechanized ID and 1/3rd of the USAF then around Iraq joined the 6th Fleet - likely around 3 weeks survival.

Then turned to the British diplomats and said he suddenly found their arguments persuasive.

Methadras said...

1jbp said...

What's the big deal with this yellow cake story? How is this news?


Well, it was news back in June of 2003 when Greenpeace turned over multiple pounds of yellow-cake from the Al-Tuwaitha facility to the US military. Right after the fall of Saddam, the locals at Al-Tuwaitha which is about 12 miles south of Baghdad, basically went into the facility and dumped out 55 gallon drums that contained a lot of yellow cake so they could take the drums and fill them with water, food, or clothing.

Greenpeace was pissed because the US wouldn't allow (in their own words) the IAEA to go in there and assess the level of radioactive/environmental damage and to start the clean-up process. This news never made it into the mainstream news wires, AP, Reuters, NYT, or any other world news organization. It was an initial release from Greenpeace and that's pretty much where it stayed.

The reason why you are asking if this is news today is a mystery to me, since you can't glaringly ignore 550 metric tons of yellowcake, which in turn Saddam was probably finding a way to turn into other nasty derivatives like UF4, Uranium Nitrate Hexahydrate UO2(NO3)2, and other Uranium compounds. It isn't news if you are a Bush Derangement Syndrome suffer because anything that would contradict the WMD claim takes away your power that it was a lie and buzzillions died.

Luckyeldson said...

Hey Fen--Remember my brother, the other Lucky??  Remember how he used to go on and on with exactly the same positions and talking points as Hillary?  Remember how he was real obnoxious and there was no stopping him and how he used to get you and the other wingnuts going?  (Whoa, there's that word again! Funny how #1 here uses it just like Lucky.)

Anyway, in case you're a little thick and all (which I can understand from all that arguing with Lucky...kills the brain cells if you're not careful) you might want to back off #1 here.  See, he's talking all the Obama points, down to jumping on Pakistan (which to my way of thinking is a little like sitting on the hole to that underground wasp nest in the back yard to keep 'em from biting you in the ass).

You get the idea, even if Lucky has killed some of your brain cells.  This guy (actually it's Lucky in a new getup) gets his jollies from watching you all jump through the hoops he holds out.  As I say, he's reading all the hot button Obama points off cue cards.  He's baiting, not debating.  You should hear him laugh when you guys go on and on trying to "prove" something.  Ha ha!

Now you all can continue to run Althouse's Sitemeter up (which is already spinning like my electric meter today), or you can help poor Lucky here get over this problem, and maybe help yourself to retrain some of your other brain cells to think of something more useful than arguing with a skit.

Michael McNeil said...

Beyond hundreds of tons of semi-refined uranium ore, Saddam possessed the technological means to concentrate the fissionable U-235 isotope needed to fuel nuclear weapons — because Saddam Hussein's chief scientist Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, at the orders of Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamel, later reaffirmed by Saddam's son Qusay, had saved away basically a complete uranium-concentrating centrifuge (its critical parts together with all relevant documentation) in a barrel buried in his backyard, which is where they stayed until Obeidi revealed their presence after the 2003 invasion.

Obeidi has written up the fascinating account of his service in Saddam's nuclear program in his book The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind, the Amazon Kindle edition of which can be seen here. Christopher Hitchens reviewed Obeidi's book, and Obeidi himself in 2004 wrote a New York Times op-ed called “Saddam, the Bomb and Me.”

Very interesting: Obeidi describes other instances where — to his own direct knowledge — the UN inspectors were circumvented by active connivance by Saddam's Iraq. This example is particularly interesting:

“The inspectors had looked around and listened respectfully as the head engineer fed them the story that the facility was dedicated to water treatment and industrial projects and denied that any nuclear-related work had ever taken place there. But then the inspectors took samples from the walls of several buildings and the soil outside them. That was bad news. I knew the samples from the former centrifuge building would test positive for abnormally high traces of radioactive uranium. The orders from the Oversight Committee had been unequivocal. We were to disguise past nuclear work at the Rashdiya site.

“I figured it would take at least a week for the inspectors to analyze the sample, after which they would certainly return to take further samples to prove their case. We had to act quickly. If the inspectors returned and dug deeply enough, uranium particles would be found in every shred of material present during our centrifuge work.

“The same afternoon, I called a staff meeting and ordered the former centrifuge laboratory stripped of its walls and roof, right down to its frame, as well as the excavation of a foot and an half of topsoil from underneath and around the building, extending a hundred feet on the downwind side where traces of uranium might have blown.

“"Within a week," I said, as if it were no big task, "we will fill in the hole with fresh soil and build an exact replica of the facility out of new materials."

“My subordinates looked at me aghast, because the order seemed impossible. But they quickly realized the only other option would be to take responsibility for breaching the concealment plan. The consequences for our lives and those of our families didn't bear thinking about. My staff furiously set to work, bringing in crews and equipment day and night. It was probably one of history's fastest demolition and construction projects. I stayed on-site for seven days, worried that the inspectors might return to catch us at it, putting the regime in an uncomfortable position indeed.

“When the inspectors returned unannounced about two weeks later, everything appeared as they had last seen it, down to the placement of the drafting tables and machines and the coffeemaker. I stayed away, but my staff later told me the inspectors had arrived with a triumphant and slightly accusatory attitude. They took dozens of samples from the walls, floor, insulation, and ground soil, and then left to send them to Vienna for confirmation. They must have been truly puzzled when the material alter tested negative for abnormal uranium levels. I imagine they remain puzzled about it to this day.”

One might note that it's precisely this kind of subterfuge and evasion of the mandatory UN Security Council Resolution requirements that was the justification for the invasion in 2003.

Obeidi relates a joke which circulated round Iraq during the time of the UN weapons inspectors:

“Throughout the years of weapons inspections in Iraq, a joke was often told on the streets of Baghdad. It involved a popular Iraqi dish known as dulaymia, in which pieces of lamb are covered by a mountain of rice and then baked so that the rice absorbs the meat juice. The joke went like this: One day, the weapons inspectors order dulaymia for lunch at a restaurant. Aiming to please, the owner places a heaping platter in front of them. Later, when he asks if they've enjoyed the meal, they apologize for not finishing the dish, saying they are full.

“"That was delicious rice," says one inspector.

“"And how did you enjoy the meat?" the owner asks.

“"The meat?" the inspectors ask in surprise. "We didn't know there was any meat."

“The owner scolds them: "But you haven't looked underneath the rice! If you want to find the meat, you have to dig deep!"

“No one appreciated the joke on quite the same level as I, who had buried the centrifuge secrets with his own shovel.”

Crimso said...

"It means I think America is behaving like an empire in Iraq. I disapprove. That's why I support Obama.

Jerk."

Jerk=Expecting people to say what they mean and mean what they say.

Jerk=Maintaining that words have actual, firm meanings.

Man, you really DO need a dictionary. Here's a tip: just because you "think" it, doesn't make it so.

blake said...

Thank Goodness Republicans would never do something so distasteful.

2006 was a good reminder that most Reps will get going (somewhere else) when the going gets tough.

How does one normally get rid of Yellowcake?

I like chilled 3.5% milk if the icing is chocolate.

I'm assuming we (e.g. U.N. inspectors) knew all along it was there. Does anyone know if that's the case?

Yeah, but it had a big yellow sign that read "KEEP OUT: THIS MEANS YOU, SADDAM!" so, you know, it was safe.

1jpb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
1jpb said...

Cedarford,

Even wingnut sources like the Weekly Standard and The National Review have conceded that Sattar was working to eliminate Al Qaida without the surge. As I already noted, they didn't like outside nuts killing them. For, the record, of course the surge helped with stability in Iraq. But, the key to success is to have the Iraqis decide to stop pussy footing and start taking action, as Sattar was doing before the surge.

And, the Al Qaida leadership that killed 3000 Americans is rather important.

And, your favorite administration had a lot to do with creating the instability and disbanding of institution that created the insurgency. Trying to deny that mistakes were made can only hurt the success of future operations.

With all your bravado you still failed to explain why Libya was still actively working to receive nuke parts at the same time you claim that they were running scared. And, the Brits were pushing the process, even if you don't like to acknowledge it. And, you forgot to address the fact that Libya only gave up the earliest (easiest to reconstitute) aspects of a nuke program. So they gave up very little (because that's all they had), and now they're a-ok. And, pardoned Khan, and Pakistan's lack of cooperation, they're good too. And, cutting a North Korea deal is good too. And, Iran advancing as they get more respect from Iraq than us, that's good too. And, Iraq giving us ultimatums, that's good too.

Methadras,

You said "Saddam was PROBABLY ....
Er, you really don't see how that's a big loop hole; probably. Could you provide a link that shows what Saddam was probably figuring out...? This stuff was not a new discovery, even wingnuts agree, see my hotair link.

I agree that the buzzillions died is BS. It's the liberal version of what you and your colleagues do for the right.

Just the facts please.

Luckeldson,

You're right I like messing with y'all. And, I'm always stumped by concern over the 'wingnut' label. It seems that the right has some pretty good labels for the other side. I actually like the disparaging labels from both sides, I think they're funny, not offensive. Maybe I have especially thick skin.

Michael,

Thanks for the rehash. It is truly interesting to look back and see that Saddam hadn't made progress since the first gulf war. It would be reasonable to notice that the sanctions and restrictions worked better than expected against Saddam. Of course, this doesn't mean that these things will always work.

Michael McNeil said...

Thanks for the rehash. It is truly interesting to look back and see that Saddam hadn't made progress since the first gulf war. It wouldn't be insane to say that the sanctions and restrictions worked, because they did. This doesn't mean that these things will always work, but it does show that they can work perfectly, even while wingnuts tell us they aren't working.

It may seem like a walk down memory lane, but remember amongst all those recollections that Saddam in 1991 was mere months from completing his nuclear bomb, meaning that he and his scientists have since possessed complete plans for their weapon: which, by the way, was of the implosion type (like the plutonium "Fat Man" bomb used on Nagasaki, though intended for uranium), thus a technological generation beyond the "rifle" type uranium weapon employed on Hiroshima, and capable as a result of handling either fuel.

Therefore, if Saddam ever had managed to acquire a supply of fissionable fuel (of either type), say from another card-carrying member of the "Axis of Evil" — North Korea, perhaps, or Libya — Saddam could then have had a functional weapon in his grubby little paws within only about a year thereafter. How very reassuring.

As for the sanctions, they were also a) killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, as leftists crowed endlessly about before they fell in love with the sanctions regime after the 2003 invasion; and b) falling apart, as the morass of the wholesale top-to-bottom corruption of the UN along with a spectrum of other political leaders via the "oil for fraud" scheme illustrates in spades.

Methadras said...

1jpb said...

Methadras,

You said "Saddam was PROBABLY ....
Er, you really don't see how that's a big loop hole; probably. Could you provide a link that shows what Saddam was probably figuring out...? This stuff was not a new discovery, even wingnuts agree, see my hotair link.

I agree that the buzzillions died is BS. It's the liberal version of what you and your colleagues do for the right.

Just the facts please.


Actually, I should have said that he was in the process of creating material for use in a nuclear device. I only said probably because I wasn't there, so I didn't have first hand knowledge. However, several intelligence organization said he was.

I don't know what hotair is and I didn't use your link for it. However, I don't have a specific link for it, in March of 2004 Charles Duelfer, the Survey Chief in Iraq at the time specifically in his report said that Saddam was developing nukes at the time of the US invasion of March 2003 and using the Oil-for-Food program as a method to increase his procurement budget by about $600 million a year. This was reported in the Guardian UK and several other outlets but received nearly no attention. Duelfer actually testified that Iraq under Saddam was "preserving and expanding its knowledge to design and develop nuclear weapons."

In June of 2004 the Dept. of Energy actually removed 1.8 tons of enriched material from the Al-Tuwaitha facility not to mention that the IAEA itself was monitoring Saddams 500 metric ton stockpile back in the 90's. Also, Saddam was actively in negotiations with the North Koreans to purchase or develop a 1300 km missile system and it was a known fact that missile experts were in Iraq modifying the Al-Sammoud missile which become the Al-Sammoud 2 missile which was in direct violation of the UN sanctions. Those are the facts, but don't let that stand in the way of your derangement, okay.

You want to call me a wingnut, that's fine, but that still doesn't negate the fact that you and your ilk are delusional cognitive dissonants who willfully choose to ignore the facts when they don't dovetail with your moronic beliefs and ideology. Have a nice day.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 208   Newer› Newest»