September 21, 2010

What's in Bob Woodward's "Obama’s Wars"?

The NYT reports in advance of the publication date:
The president concluded from the start that “I have two years with the public on [Afghanistan]” and pressed advisers for ways to avoid a big escalation, the book says. “I want an exit strategy,” he implored at one meeting. Privately, he told Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to push his alternative strategy opposing a big troop buildup in meetings, and while Mr. Obama ultimately rejected it, he set a withdrawal timetable because, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”...

[T]he book describes a professorial president who assigned “homework” to advisers but bristled at what he saw as military commanders’ attempts to force him into a decision. Even after he agreed to send another 30,000 troops last winter, the Pentagon asked for another 4,500 “enablers” to support them.

The president lost his poise... “I’m done doing this!” he erupted....
And President Hamid Karzai suffers from manic depression.

IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian writes:
"I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party."

He doesn't mind losing the war or the country, however.
ADDED: My response to that quote — "I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party" — is: The President is saying — can it be true? — that there isn't even a small fragment of the party that would support fighting the war with a serious commitment to victory. How damning!

167 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Tell me again why presidents let Bob Woodward roam around the White House so he can write a tell-all book?

America's Politico said...

This is a smear campaign. It will not work. No one will buy the book. Obama is a terrific president - he is a scholar, a visionary, nobel laureate, and so on. Woodward is of course jealous. But, that is okay. Once we get through the Nov. 2012 victory, all will be forgiven. This is the goal as of this week for the campaign. Focus on Nov. 2012 victory and help get the Obama/Biden the 2nd term. Nothing else matters.

John Lynch said...

Yeah, so I was right and it was just a power struggle.

The President made the military wait to show them who was boss. Worse, in the end he caved.

This bodes ill.

Seven Machos said...

The last paragraph is golden:

Mr. Obama's struggle with the decision comes through in a conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who asked if his deadline to begin withdrawal in July 2011 was firm. :I have to say that," Mr. Obama replied. "I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party."

It's golden because, of course, he won't lose the Democratic Party. He would only lose the petulant peaceniks who hate all war and the independent coffee haus hipster douchebag crowd common all over Hyde Park.

Brilliant Obama hasn't yet grasped the simple, incontestable fact that he can do the right thing by remaining in Afghanistan and at the same time never lose a single peacenik or douchebag because they have nowhere else to go.

That dumb ass Bush was brilliant about operating this way. So was Clinton.

Strange.

Seven Machos said...

America's Politico has to be a very clever moby, right?

David said...

"The military" forced Obama to make a decision. Horrors!

John Lynch said...

Hey, I don't want a leader who can't lead. At least Bush got the military to do the surge in Iraq. Years late (which is his damn fault), but he did it. He blew off the Iraq Study Group (and Joe Biden's partition plan), too.

Obama hasn't done anything like that yet. He seems scared of the military.

That's a bad sign.

For the record, I'm very, very skeptical of the Afghan war. I don't see any way for Afghanistan to become a functional country. It never has been. The only period of stability that it enjoyed (in the mid 20th century) can't be recreated in a modernizing age of increased expectations.

Iraq had been a country before, and can be one again. Afghanistan...

I'm sure Obama wants to bring the troops home, for principled reasons and for electoral votes in 2012. I have a feeling that he might not be up to the fight with the military that that policy will require. The last President to have that fight was Richard Nixon. He at least had overwhelming public support.

Obama might just waffle and let the war continue, with no clear idea of what his objective is. That's bad.

Palladian said...

"America's Politico has to be a very clever moby, right?"

He's hilarious whatever he is. Personally, I think we've discovered what became of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf...

Palladian said...

"The president lost his poise.."

This seems to happen with alarming frequency to the President. Long periods of indecision, passive-aggressive glowering and silence followed by a petty, angry eruption.

Palladian said...

"“I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”..."

He doesn't mind losing the war or the country, however.

Seven Machos said...

We'll never win in Afghanistan but we have to keep a long-term military presence there. Bush understood this from Day One ("no nation-building...").

Brilliant Obama hasn't yet grasped this obvious fact, either.

Kansas City said...

Wow. The New York Times (!!!) account is devastating to Obama. It reflects amateur hour among advisers and, worst of all, a president who is making life and death decisions about war and our country's security based on politics, e.g., fear of losing the democratic party.

Maybe I should not be shocked. I have watched these guys embarass themselves on a host of other issues. But it seems much more jarring when you are talking about war and national security.

Woodward is amazing in terms of the access he secures. I don't really trust him, with all the unnamed sources, but to a large extent, his work seems to have withstood the test of time. For him to paint a negative picture of Obama and his advisors is astonishing to me, because I assume Woodward if a lefty.

But overall, what could we expect. Blowhard Joe Biden (!!!) as VP and community organizer Obama as president. Two more years cannot pass fast enough in terms of our national security.

Why do people talk to Woodward? I think the obvious answer is to try to make themselves look good. In the process, they of course make others look bad. It is genuis by Woodward.

I think a president should order his people not to talk to Woodward. Bush II of course followed a different stategy on the first book, and it worked beautifully. Not so much the next time.

Synova said...

"America's Politico has to be a very clever moby, right?"

Less clever all the time. Definitely overplaying it now.

Kansas City said...

Paladian made one brilliant comments, saying in one sentence what I labored through five or six paragraphs, and focusing on the most damning message from the New York Times story:

"“I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”..."

He doesn't mind losing the war or the country, however.

Seven Machos said...

Poor Brilliant Obama. Do you think he's sitting, right now, wondering where the magic evaporated to? Or do you think he has spun a thick, silky cocoon around himself the way the left tends to do when faced with reality?

Maybe both, somewhat like that manic-depressive Karzai.

edutcher said...

Oh, God, not another revelation from Mortuary Bob, the man who talks to corpses. That the Gray Lady is fronting yet another farce from him is proof even they've thrown The Zero under the bus.

Seven Machos said...

Synova -- I agree. Up your game, America's Poltico. That one was entirely too obvious.

Bender said...

This is not news.

Everyone knew from "day one" that Obama was, at best, half-assed on Afghanistan, that he did not, did not, did not in any way, manner or form want to do any kind of "surge," and wanted, instead, to adopt the "run away" strategy. And everyone knew that when he and the Dems and the MSM insisted that he was taking the thing seriously that they were all full of @#$*.

This whole idea of "exit strategy" grossly misunderstands the nature of the conflict that we have been thrust into. There is no more exit strategy for this war than there is an exit strategy on fighting crime or fighting poverty.

This is definitely a war that we can lose -- and lose badly, i.e. having NYC or DC nuked -- but it must be understood that "winning" only means keeping the Islamists at bay, pushing them into their caves, and going after them forever. ETERNAL VIGILANCE is the price of liberty in this struggle.

Lem said...

@Palladian 9:46

Thats exactly what I thought.

AJ Lynch said...

Seven:
In all seriousness, no I don't think the president loses sleep over this stuff. In fact, I am guessing Obama is watching ESPN right about now.

Synova said...

Simply using the word "implored" is devastating.

And yeah... so Obama was trying to show the military who was "boss", just like some of us accused him of doing. And then (if we do recall) he criticized the military for not being able to *instantly* have his directives in place. Why did he think they were trying to get him make a decision already? Did he think it was a power play between the civilian leadership and the military? How long did he not even bother to meet with his commander?

Not news, any of this.

But how did it actually get in a *book* to be released *now*?

Seven Machos said...

AJ -- Tuesday is a terrible night for ESPN.

traditionalguy said...

Unfortunately for the future of western civilization that we value so much, Ahmadinejhad has absolutely no trouble making decisions. His first decision is to build a nuclear fission bomb and take over the rest of the Islamic world by killing all of those pesky Jews who are patiently awaiting their death if there is no decision out of Dithering Barack, any decision...please just make a decision.

Alex said...

This is a smear campaign. It will not work. No one will buy the book. Obama is a terrific president - he is a scholar, a visionary, nobel laureate, and so on. Woodward is of course jealous. But, that is okay. Once we get through the Nov. 2012 victory, all will be forgiven. This is the goal as of this week for the campaign. Focus on Nov. 2012 victory and help get the Obama/Biden the 2nd term. Nothing else matters.

Ok I'm convinced this guy is a paid satirist!

Alex said...

America's Politico is one of us who got bored with the usual humdrum, created a 2nd blogger account and is having at it.

Seven Machos said...

Alex -- I agree.

AJ Lynch said...

Seven:
I wouldn't know cause I never watch it but I have heard the President is big on sports. I never got into all the SportsNight on ESPN -I only watch ESPN if they have a real football game on.

bagoh20 said...

Is there any doubt that in most, if not all, strategy meetings, Obama is the least qualified person present?

I'm talking military or economic strategy.

We sure can pick em.

Alex said...

Hell, how do we know America's Politico is not Althouse having fun? :-)

bagoh20 said...

OK, maybe Biden brings up: "Life is like a box of chocolates" every so often, but still quite a team.

Bart DePalma said...

Can anyone imagine Lincoln, either Roosevelt or Reagan having anything like these conversations?

Lincoln and FDR demanded unconditional surrender of America's enemies. Reagan famously summed up his intent towards the Soviet Empire back in 1977 as "We win, they lose."

Did this President even once tell his commanders that he was determined to win this war, demand they tell him how they intended to accomplish that objective as expeditiously as possible and ask what they needed from him?

This report is like a black farce where you expect a SNL actor playing Dubya to pop out with a frat boy grin asking: "How is that hopey changey thing working out for you? Miss me yet?" before hollering: "From NYC, its SATURDAY NIGHT!"

Thank heaven there does not appear to be an existential threat on the horizon before this incompetent is fired in 2012.

Seven Machos said...

AJ -- I could not agree more. ESPN programming that is not actual sporting events is beyond terrible. Just unwatchable. I suggest NFL Network if you have it. It's everything ESPN could be if it didn't suck.

So, since ESPN sucks and there is no game on, yeah, Obama probably is watching ESPN. This leads more toward Mickey Kaus's cocoon theory.

1jpb said...

"And President Hamid Karzai suffers from manic depression."

Ha. Bring the lameness.

Why is Althouse phoning it in? Busy w/ school? Busy w/ Meade? Just wanted to post the text, but felt compelled to add something...anything?

For whatever reason; this piece of armchair psychology makes MoDo look like Freud.

And, they say Althouse is suffering from sluggish cognitive tempo disorder? [See, I can make silly, unsupported statements too.]

As to the substance: I am not surprised that BHO doesn't want to have an open ended commitment in Afghanistan. But, I was also not surprised that he wanted to raise income taxes on the folks making over 200/250M, and I wasn't surprised that he believes in Keynesian stimulus (which had also been practiced by the economy juicing deficit spending of Reagan and W), and I wasn't surprised that he wanted to pass health care reform. Sometimes I read the comments from shocked folks around here and I think that my lack of surprise must mean that I had some sort of future seeing powers during the last election. Either that, or nobody else was paying attention to BHO.

Seven Machos said...

Bart -- What you are missing is the part about how Brilliant Obama understands what Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan failed to understand: that the world is very complex and demands nuance and slowness and glowering when shit don't go your way.

Seven Machos said...

1jpb -- You do not understand Keynesian economics.

AJ Lynch said...

Ditto Seven. I have the NFL network- it's great when the weather gets cold and I cocoon on Sundays. It would be even greater if I still gambled on the games!

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Obaviously you didn't read the entire NYT article or you would have seen that the Karzai's manic depressive diagnosis is mentioned in Woodward's book and comes from White House and intelligence community sources.

Lem said...

There were internal power struggles within the Bush White House but (at least what I recall) it usually had to do with who was more hawkish or less hawkish than Bush.

With these people I don't know what they have in mind.

Seven Machos said...

James -- Obaviously you cannot read well or you would see that the Althouse simply states "And President Hamid Karzai suffers from manic depression" as a statement in the article.

You don't write so well, either.

Jason said...

Nothing wrong with that.

If I were president and I was going to put together a team of advisors and counsellors, I would make damn sure I was the least qualified person present.

But I'd also make damn sure, after hearing everyone out, I made a decision.

Lem said...

BTW - very hard to get allies to confide in you shit they know that you dont know when the shit they tell you inevitably ends up in the pages of the Times.

AJ Lynch said...

Bago:
President Obama does not seem to know he didn't know enough to be president and that he should find and depend on a few, good & smart advisers.

Unfortunately, President Obama seems to have a figurative stick up his ass - should we blame it on the white guy side of him?

ndspinelli said...

I read Hendrix named his classic, Manic Depression, after Karzai.

jr565 said...

Seven Machos (quoting Obama) wrote:
Mr. Obama's struggle with the decision comes through in a conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who asked if his deadline to begin withdrawal in July 2011 was firm. :I have to say that," Mr. Obama replied. "I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party."


But wait, don't these democrats know that he's escalating in the REAL war on terror, i.e. the ones that they pretended to support so that they can say Bush diverted from the real war on terror to fight his war of choice?
It's almost like they weren't serious about their support. Ah well, General Betrayus is on the scene. He can fix anything. And besides, now that Obama is fighting the REAL war on terror all those democrats who were calling neocons who sent other peoples children off to fight wars of choice are now enlisting in droves, since they are obviously not letting other peoples children fight their wars. That might make them chickenhawks or something.

Sounds like Obama is fighting the war on the cheap. If he can't get it done in two years, that's it. Remember when he made fun of Mccain who said he would follow OBL to the gates of hell and Obama quiped "“John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”
Apparently, neither will Obama. Because it will take too long. He's on a schedule don't you know.

Irene said...

"James L. Jones, the retired Marine general who is national security adviser, [ ] referred to some of the president’s other aides as 'the water bugs' or 'the Politburo'."

How's that "Team of Rivals" thing working out?

traditionalguy said...

Any effort in Afghanistan short of 700,000 new troops to occupy the mountain tops will fail. It's the terrain. The Taliban will slowly kill off all forces riding over the single valley roads, or climbing up from those roads, with endless supplies of advanced IEDs and snipers and ambush tactics. It is only by occupying those mountain tops that our forces can survive driving around in those valleys. That is such an easy decision to make that Obama must seriously want to see our forces slaughtered by Muslims.

Kansas City said...

It does reflect that Obama knows the democratic party. He was elected president by opposing his country in a war and he knows his democratic brothers will turn on him in an instant on the war.

AJ Lynch said...

Irene:

Please be more precise by following the suggestion made by historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, to the MSM which decreed its journalist style guide would refer to them as the "Brilliant Team of Rivals". :)

Seven Machos said...

By the way, I didn't get the water bug thing. I even googled it as it struck me as odd.

Anyone?

knox said...

The President is saying — can it be true? — that there isn't even a small fragment of the party that would support fighting the war with a serious commitment to victory.

Why would anyone think otherwise? Democrats are interested in domestic policy. Funds spent on defense are funds taken from far more worthy (in their eyes) social programs.

AJ Lynch said...

I would guess water bugs scatter easily? Meaning they are weak in the knees girly men?

Seven Machos said...

Trad -- We'll probably lose 100 troops a year with our current force. Not exactly a slaughter.

The fact is that we just need a force there to chase out undesirables. It costs too much money to hold all the mountain tops.

bagoh20 said...

"The President is saying — can it be true? — that there isn't even a small fragment of the party that would support fighting the war with a serious commitment to victory. How damning!

The entire party is unfit for governance. Forget leadership, they are still leading the marches from the sixties.

" I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party."

Don't worry about it Mr. President, we all lost them. Bush lost them all and still got reelected. Somehow I don't think that's gonna work for you though. Let's party like it's 2009!

deborah said...

Kansas City:
"For him to paint a negative picture of Obama and his advisors is astonishing to me, because I assume Woodward if a lefty."

Is that what Obama assumed? That Woodward would give him a puff piece? It seems that Obama got rolled just like McChrystal did in the Rolling Stone interview.

AJ Lynch said...

Knox:
Agreed - that is Obama in a nutshell. Wars are financial burdens and detract from Obama and the Dems fixing all the inequities here in America.

America's Politico said...

What part of the goal you all do not understand? I have made it as clear as possible. My clients pay me big to provide them clear/simple/basic data.

The goal for us, again, is to:

Focus on Nov. 2012 victory and help get the Obama/Biden Administration the 2nd term.

Nothing else matters.

Seven Machos said...

AJ -- Thanks. That makes sense.

Althouse -- To respond to your addition, Brilliant Obama must then believe that he is going to lose the Democratic Party over Afghanistan, a la Johnson in Vietnam. That's ludicrous. That's fighting the last war when Bush was president and there was oxygen to protest wars. More meaningfully, there's no draft, so there's no large group of rich and middle class white dudes who do not wish to be compelled to fight. There will never be a serious anti-war movement in this country without a draft.

And again, where are Democrats going to go?

jr565 said...

My favorite part of the article:
During a daily intelligence briefing in May 2009, Mr. Blair warned the president that radicals with American and European passports were being trained in Pakistan to attack their homelands. Mr. Emanuel afterward chastised him, saying, “You’re just trying to put this on us so it’s not your fault.” Mr. Blair also skirmished with Mr. Brennan about a report on the failed airliner terrorist attack on Dec. 25. Mr. Obama later forced Mr. Blair out.
Remember when the lefties were damning Bush because he got the special memo that said that Al Qaeda was determined to attack us? And the Bush administration should have heeded the warning and apparently monitor every single airport nonstop as there was a possibility that someone someday might use a plane from somewhere to attack a building or target to be named later.
Yet here,Obama gets a direct warning from Blair about how radicals are getting passports and were being trained in Pakistan to attack their homelands and what does Rahm Emmanuel say "You're just trying to put this on us so it's not your fault". What a way to ignore potential threats.

At the time of 9/11 despite the caterwauling libs, the FBI had 70 investigations going looking for terrorist activity. Emmanuel can't be bothered though, he's too busy trying to avoid having any blame put on them.

Irene said...

AJ Lynch said, Irene . . . Please be more precise by following the suggestion made by historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, to the MSM which decreed its journalist style guide would refer to them as the "Brilliant Team of Rivals".

Brilliant! Will do.

I would guess water bugs scatter easily? Meaning they are weak in the knees girly men?

They hang around scum.

Lem said...

Gen. David H. Petraeus.. told a senior aide that he disliked talking with David M. Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, because he was “a complete spin doctor.”

Petraeus nailed it.

Gene said...

We've got 12.6% unemployment here in California and Obama is worrying about losing the country. He's already lost the country. And it started when he decided wars without end were more important than all those unemployed blue collar folks from Pennsylvania and Ohio who cling in frustration to their religion and guns.

AJ Lynch said...

Fighting the last war and using refudiated methods to stimulate a recession and bringing the USSR's central planning playbook out of mothballs and always looking in the rear view mirror is not we expect from a leader.

As DBQ likes to tell us, we are so fucked!

Seven Machos said...

Gene -- Don't forget forcing you at the point of a gun to buy health care as the solution to health care, and creating a law that sure as the sun will rise will limit consumer choice and cause health care shortages.

jr565 said...

Lem wrote:
Gen. David H. Petraeus.. told a senior aide that he disliked talking with David M. Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, because he was “a complete spin doctor.”
Patreus nailed it.

He was being diplomatic. What he really meant was, he disliked talking with Axelrod the president's senior advisor because he doesn't like wasting his time talking to big mouthed douchebags that have no clue and who he'd much rather punch in the face.

That's why he'll make a good president someday. He has very good impulse control.

AJ Lynch said...

I like Petraeus but I just can't picture Axelrod doing the Rapper- DJ thing at a dance party.

Lem said...

I looked up water bug in the urban dictionary..

See if you can make anything out.

A roach from a joint or blunt
"Yo man that's done, throw that water bug back to his home!"

An avid and skillfull swimmer
"How the hell did you make it to the other side of the pool in that short of time?"
"I don't know...I guess I'm a water bug!"

mexican cockroach ( big 3 inches long ) can fly.
In Indio I saw a mexican eating a water bug. They bite the butt off and suck juice out
.

Seven Machos said...

They bite the butt off and suck juice out.

To me, this part seems most apt for the Brilliant Obama presidency.

AJ Lynch said...

Gene:
In all seriousness, I have wondered about this. Do you think there is tipping point in your state where the unemployed are so desperate that they collectively reach the decision to maybe riot or at least mass protests?

traditionalguy said...

Seven Machos...Afghan deaths are now more like 1000 a year and 5 times that maimed and brain injured for life.

deborah said...

Water bugs? Maybe because they dart about willy-nilly and can't light on a decision?

1jpb said...

traditionalguy,

Very recently the number dead for 2010 passed the previous highest number killed in an entire year. The total coalition dead is around 525. This includes about 350 US dead.

Your 1000 number is too high for an annual total.

I would have corrected Seven but I think that his ignorance usually too trite to respond to. Better to let him bask in his self perceived brilliance.

Seven Machos said...

Trad --

American forces, which make up the largest contingent of the NATO force in Afghanistan, have also suffered the largest share of deaths, with 172 killed this year, surpassing the previous high of 155 killed in 2008. A total of 802 American troops have died since the war began. --
New York Times, August 25, 2009

Try again.

1jpb said...

Here are the specifics.

deborah said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerridae

"These are predatory insects which rely on surface tension to walk on top of water. They live on the surface of ponds, slow streams, marshes, and other quiet waters. There they hunt for insects and other small invertebrates on top of or directly below surface using their strong forelegs which end with claws. They can move very quickly, up to 1.5 m/s."

Seven Machos said...

1jpb -- I just wish I could be as brilliant as Brilliant Obama.

Oh well. At least I understand what Keynesian economics is (and is not). Hint: a demonstrably provable algebraic equation is hard to implement as a government program (or not).

1jpb said...

Will this link work?

AJ Lynch said...

IJPB:
Do you still believe that Prez Obama is brilliant?

deborah said...

pj, your link is broken.

AJ Lynch said...

That is a pace of 500 per year. Too much for me to stomach forever.

Hell the Woodward book claims we have a 3,000 man CIA team [of Afghanis] in Afpak that is going around and killing the Taliban. Get out and keep doing that.

Seven Machos said...

1jpb -- The second link did work. It looks like casualties have shot up as we have put more and more troops on the ground, which is to be expected.

I have long argued in these very threads that it is foolish to put more soldiers in Afghanistan in some silly effort to "win" when there is nothing to win because there is no infrastructure in Afghanistan to take and no people to dominate (using any methods we would use). There is no there there.

A far superior strategy is to accept that we need a sizable yet minimal troop presence in Afghanistan that is mobile and professional. Rumsfeld did have Afghanistan right in other words, as wrong as he was about Iraq (where there is much infrastructure in place socially and materially).

AJ Lynch said...

I had lunch with an old friend today. His son just got stationed at Gitmo to treat returning US military forces. Car we keep that base there forever? I say evacuate it, leave the prisoners behind and blow it up. Then blame it on George Bush. Win-win for Obama cause he keeps his promise to close it.

Seven Machos said...

AJ -- No kidding. America can't keep the peace everywhere, except Korea, Cuba, Japan, all of Western Euorpe, virtually all of the Stans, Central America, Egypt, Australia, Turkey...

Oh wait. We are doing a bang-up job overall. Good work!

bagoh20 said...

"Do you think there is tipping point in your state where the unemployed are so desperate that they collectively reach the decision to maybe riot or at least mass protests?"

We might even get mad enough to not vote for Democrats 95% of the time. The California Dems own this state and should be held accountable for the total failure that has reduced paradise to a housing project with solar panels who's main industries are Rap and graffiti, with our main exports being weed and jobs .

1jpb said...

Bagoh,

RE: CA weed

I was surprised that this chart didn't indicate a lower price for CA. It looks like y'all are selling to OR for less than you charge yourselves. Maybe, your higher costs are the result of the taxed product that is sold for "medical reasons."

JAL said...

@ Seven
And again, where are Democrats going to go?

Canada? Europe? UAE?

You know -- like all those Hollyood types who were going to leave if Bush won?

Anywhere but this awful place that makes certain people self- flagellate.

Bye bye! {waves hanky}

Seven Machos said...

I say the Democrats never particularly hated the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. They just hated Bush and those wars were his wars. If Democrats hate the wars so much, where the fuck are all the rallies and where is the coverage of the families torn apart, etc., etc.? Why -- if Democrats hate these wars so much -- are the wars on page A5 or so now instead of front page, above the fold?

Democrats would have torn themselves up over something else in order to try to make Bush unpopular had September 11 not happened.

It's too bad Brilliant Obama is way slow to understand any of this.

Big Mike said...

Republican who can't make up his mind = wishy-washy

Democrat who can't make up his mind = thoughtful.

Chip Ahoy said...

Water bugs are lightweights that don't break the surface tension.

Gene said...

Lynch: In all seriousness, I have wondered about this. Do you think there is tipping point in your state where the unemployed are so desperate that they collectively reach the decision to maybe riot or at least mass protests?

We've already had a bunch of small but violet protests this last week over the police killing of an Guatemalan illegal immigrant brandishing a knife. LA always has a big riot every 20 years over something. So even without the joblessness we're pretty much due.

Surprising thing though. Even with the joblessness, the stores are still jammed and the traffic unabated. I asked my wife, "If nobody has a job how come the traffic is so bad?"

"They're looking for work?" she suggested.

"No way," I told her. "This is LA."

Stephen said...

What is victory, Professor Althouse? Don't recall you having defined it in this or any other posting. Without a definition, and without an estimate of the commitment it would take to achieve it, where do you gain the confidence to use the term damning?

Montagne Montaigne said...

Opposing war? How damning. Fucking hippies. Punch them in the face. War is awesome.

Seven Machos said...

Stephen -- Try to get your head around this, just once: we will never win in Afghanistan because there is no objective worth spending the money on or using brutal methods for.

The goal is to have a professional army in Afghanistan to chase undesirable elements around. Forever if necessary.

Bender said...

Don't worry. If we get nuked, Obama might start to get it. Might.

The Washington Post reports:
Obama, in the interview with Woodward, called a nuclear attack here "a potential game changer."

See? Nothing to worry about. A nuclear attack would be a POTENTIAL game changer. Yes, a nuclear attack just might possibly change things. Maybe. Potentially.

And if it happens, no big deal. Again the Post reports:
During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

See, 9/11 wasn't a big deal. We absorbed it, didn't we? So any further attack would be no big deal.

Palladian said...

"See, 9/11 wasn't a big deal. We absorbed it, didn't we? So any further attack would be no big deal."

We absorb lead, mercury, amosite and plutonium too. That doesn't mean they're not harmful or that absorbing such things won't eventually kill us.

traditionalguy said...

One more try Seven ...The dead Americans are 529 thru 9 months of 2010, which comes out to 886 over 12 months. That is because we stopped hiding out and went hunting in old enemy held areas while the Taliban also went hunting cooperating civilians in old American held areas, hoping to take take credit for Obama's promised withdrawal 10 months from now.

dave in boca said...

My colleague in the State Dept is in a very sensitive job where he sees almost everything about Afghanistan and goes there frequently. He says the "Blame Karzai" meme is Holbrooke's attempt to wrest control over the US Policy toward that country---Karzai [rightly] distrusts Holbrooke, so Dick the dick spreads his usual brand of BS over the Afghani president. Or so my buddy believes.

Happily, both the Paki prez and the Indian PM despise Holbrooke, so Dick the dick is stymied---ero it's a bad war! His ego is humongous.

BTW, Obama isn't a leader, and when he fired the US general for ridiculing his Afghan policy, he was ridding himself of the truth-teller in the whole mix.

Pogo said...

"but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

Many thanks to the WTC 3000 dead and their families for their fine absorption skills.

HDHouse said...

ADDED: My response to that quote — "— can it be true? — that there isn't even a small fragment of the party that would support fighting the war with a serious commitment to victory. How damning!"

Just for shits and giggles....what does "victory" look like and if we don't know what it looks like how do we know it when we see it?

The Drill SGT said...

Bart DePalma said...
Can anyone imagine Lincoln, either Roosevelt or Reagan having anything like these conversations?"


I think you ought to add that other Obama favorite to the list: JFK.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

The Drill SGT said...

"a potential game changer."

Clearly the President's political staff haven't done their polling and focus groups yet on this topic.

Mr President, I have news for you. If say NYC or SF (yeah, even those left coast places) was muked? Guess what, those gun clinging right wing folks, those Americans? We'd be wanting to see glas craters in some capital somewhere by sunrise.

PS: it will be a liberal coastal city that gets the first nuke on US soil. It won't be a weaponized high tech Iranian ICBM. It will come in on a Liberian flagged freighter in a container marked "machine tools" from some third world port.

PSS: Washington DC doesn't have a harbor. We do have lots of detectors on the interstates looking for gamma particles though.

Maguro said...

Hmmm...so if Obama is JFK, then Karzai is Ngo Dinh Diem and Holbrooke is Henry Cabot Lodge.

This should end well.

Better warm up the helicopters.

Dead Julius said...

The President is saying — can it be true? — that there isn't even a small fragment of the party that would support fighting the war with a serious commitment to victory. How damning!

That's a manipulative paraphrasing that leaves the wrong impression.

Almost all the Democrats, as well as any rational person, realize that the "victory" you speak of for Afghanistan doesn't exist. Or, if it does, it was accomplished back in 2001-2002. We conquered the country, toppling the Taliban government and replacing it with one of our own. The war was won.

Oh wait... You aren't talking about that war, are you? Are you talking about the ingurgency? 'Cuz you can't have a clear-cut victory in a guerrilla war; the most you can do is contain the guerrillas. Or are you talking about "victory" in the War on the Muslim World? In that case, I would paraphrase Obama as saying that no Democrat would support this turning into American-led Holy War.

This fantasy of "victory" is very useful for Machiavellian conservatives. Since it can never be achieved, the failure to achieve it can always be touted as a failure of those on the Left. Even during the Bush years, the Rightists maintained that failure in Afghanistan was due to unpatriotic, unsupportive Americans...

At least the Democrats speak the truth. Republicans have been lying about Afghanistan since 2001, and will continue to lie so long as they can squeeze some more perceived political advantage out of the issue.

The Drill SGT said...

The reason Obama made Petraeus the AFPak Boss instead of McChrystal was because he fears losing. It's not about something as insignificant as a war or National security, it's about the big enchilada.

2012.

Let him piss off Petraeus one too many times and give the General an excuse to resign, retire and run for President. That has got to concern Obama :)

roesch-voltaire said...

I wonder just who has this "serious commitment to victory" in Afghanistan? Not the Bush administration to judge by its non-actions! Anyone who studies history knows this has not been done, so I can understand Obama's reluctance. I do hope Rand Paul does speak at Madison so he can pass along his father's wisdom when he said, " We can do better with peace than with wars."

Paul Zrimsek said...

Wars are never worth fighting unless there's a guy with medals on the other side who can sign a surrender document, and then you get to have a parade.

Fen said...

This fantasy of "victory" is very useful for Machiavellian conservatives. Since it can never be achieved, the failure to achieve it can always be touted as a failure of those on the Left.

Iraq.

And really, the only reason Democrats "supported" our effort in AfPak was to provide cover for their whining over Iraq.

The Drill SGT said...

Maguro said...
Better warm up the helicopters.


warning to those State Department weenies. Get your reservations in early. Kabul isn't like Siagon, there won't be carriers 15 miles off the coast.

The coast is a long way outside helo range) away, and you have to fly over Iran, Pakistan or Russian client states to get there.

Think about Kipling:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.

withdrawal from AfPak won't be pretty.

Fen said...

If say NYC or SF (yeah, even those left coast places) was nuked?

Didn't you hear? DHOTUS just claimed we can absorb another 9-11.

Paul Zrimsek said...

A few thousand charred and pulverized corpses every so often we can absorb. Five guys in a restaurant carrying pistols, not so much.

The Drill SGT said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
Wars are never worth fighting unless there's a guy with medals on the other side who can sign a surrender document, and then you get to have a parade.


LOL

a cruder grunt version:

Victory is when your tired unshaven grunt raises the flag over the burning rubble of the enemy Capital after grenading the Fuhrer bunker

Fen said...

Libtard: Opposing war? How damning. Fucking hippies. Punch them in the face. War is awesome.

The irony is that the hippy will punch back... while lecturing on how violence is not the answer.

And yes Libtard, that we want to protect our families from a WMD attack means we think "war is awesome".

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
The Malayan Emergency lasted from 1948 until 1960....COIN takes a long time. That's what "victory" looks like....

The Drill SGT said...

Fen said...
Didn't you hear? DHOTUS just claimed we can absorb another 9-11.


when people poop pooh the idea that Obama wants WMD, they forget that at one level 9-11 ws a dud.

The goal wasn't 3,000 dead, it was 100,000 dead. There were 50,000 workers in the 2 towers alone without counting the 5 other complex buildings (est 20-30k) or the 200,000 daily visitors (tourists and business folks)

Dead Julius said...

If say NYC or SF (yeah, even those left coast places) was nuked?

Sort of scary when the Establishment would benefit tremendously by a big American city being nuked by terrorists. Folks like Fen would be able to say "told you so" and sleep better knowing that the World War III is on. Political opposition to the American Establishment would disappear. Our corrupt and incompetent leaders would be given unlimited power to deal with security. Since everything in America has already been made to concern "security", these folks would be able to do whatever they want.

Robert Cook said...

There is no victory to be had in Afghanistan.

How does one even define "victory" in a land we invaded for no stated reason other than--purportedly--to capture bin Laden and his cohorts, all of whom escaped handily. On their having vamoosed, shouldn't we have promptly packed up and left? What is our supposed purpose there, our goal, the thing that will happen that will allow us to say "we won, we can leave now"?

Hint: anything Washington or anyone else says about it is made up, provisional bullshit. There is no real purpose or goal in our being there...at least, nothing that can be stated publicly or that has anything in the least to do with our stated alleged goal.

Robert Cook said...

This fantasy of "victory" is very useful for Machiavellian conservatives. Since it can never be achieved, the failure to achieve it can always be touted as a failure of those on the Left.

"Iraq."

Iraq is no "victory", except insofar as we just decided to declare it so. We destroyed a nation, have left it a ruin, with no real functioning central government; barely any infrastructure left; a land environmentally despoiled by our use of radioactive armaments, such that birth defects and still births have skyrocketed; millions forced from their homes, hundreds of thousands dead and wounded; and tens of thousands of our military personnel still stationed there, along with the many more "private contractors," (i.e., mercenaries) who will be there for an indefinite period.

If you call keeping a body alive with machines long after the brain is dead "victory," then, yes, we have "victory" in Iraq.

Robert Cook said...

Bart said:

"Thank heaven there does not appear to be an existential threat on the horizon before this incompetent is fired in 2012."

We have never faced an existential threat since the Cuban Missle Crisis, and before that, WWII.

Making up shit about parts of the world we want to invade for our own purposes does not constitute "existential threats."

Robert Cook said...

"Unfortunately for the future of western civilization that we value so much, Ahmadinejhad has absolutely no trouble making decisions. His first decision is to build a nuclear fission bomb and take over the rest of the Islamic world by killing all of those pesky Jews who are patiently awaiting their death if there is no decision out of Dithering Barack, any decision...please just make a decision."

Trad Guy...stop watching old James Bond movies on tv...you're starting to hallucinate!

Joe said...

Honestly Robert Cook, the US hasn't faced an existential threat, since 1776.

Do all threats have to "existential" to be dealt with, BTW?

I stand in awe of your ability to lie even in the face of the facts, BTW..."hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's dead' (really even in the obvious falsity of the Lancet 'study'), "radioactive armaments" (DU is LESS radioactive that active uranium, and active uranium can't do what people claim DU does), Iraq and infrastructure and environment...uh you seem to gloss over the PREVIOUS IRAQI management of Iraq...it NEVER had a modern infrastructure and Saddam et. al. weren't worried about the environment...Any way you Chutzpah is to be admired.

Pogo said...

"We have never faced an existential threat since the Cuban Missle Crisis, and before that, WWII."

Thus spake the socialist, without irony.

SMGalbraith said...

Obama during the campaign:
I will send a clear message: We will not repeat the mistakes of the past, when we turned our back on Afghanistan following Soviet withdrawal. As 9/11 showed us, the security of Afghanistan and America is shared. And today, that security is most threatened by the al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuaries in the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan.

Lots of other similar statements about the need for us to win there.

I wonder if Woodward documents the change in Obama's views? Or was Obama just pretending to be concerned about Afghanistan?

Yeah, he was lying then, wasn't he? It was all a fake hawk costume to convince moderates that he was tough on terror.

SMGalbraith said...

At least the Democrats speak the truth.

You mean the ones like Obama that said Afghanistan was the "good war" and Iraq the "bad war" and that they really supported our efforts there?

Go read Obama's comments about Afghanistan and how he would win there. Or Biden's comments. Or Hillary's comments.

Quaestor said...

Is Politico's sarcasm switch stuck in the ON position, or what?

wv - losili, as in "I wish Politico would engage the losili mode once in a while, just for kicks."

Robert Cook said...

"Honestly Robert Cook, the US hasn't faced an existential threat, since 1776."

I take your point, but I think it can be said the Civil War was an existential threat to the USA that existed at that time, and, had the South won, we would not have the nation we have now--for good or ill.

If the Cuban Missle Crisis had gone another way, we might have had an actual nuclear exchange with Cuba...most certainly an existential threat to at least the eastern seaboard, and probably large swaths of the rest of the nation, if not the whole nation.

WWII is arguable, yes. One can assume Hitler would not have stopped if he had conquered all of Europe, and he might have set his sights on America. Perhaps not, or perhaps we would have worked out an understanding with him, as we have with so many other despicable tyrants. In either case, had Hitler prevailed in Europe, the world would be a very different plance than now and we would be a very different nation, so, if one wants to define "existential" as referring not merely to our destruction but also to a transformation of our nation or of the world in which we exist so profound as to render it substantially different than what is, WWII can be said to have posed an "existential threat" to us.

Of course, your point underlines mine: nearly 100% of the wars we've fought have been unnecessary and unjustifiable wars of choice, and have had nothing to do with actually defending our way of life.

GMay said...

Bobby Cookie tried hard: "We destroyed a nation, have left it a ruin, with no real functioning central government; barely any infrastructure left; a land environmentally despoiled by our use of radioactive armaments, such that birth defects and still births have skyrocketed; millions forced from their homes, hundreds of thousands dead and wounded;"

Yeah, and almost all that from our diplomatic efforts we called "sanctions".

Ironic how it took a war to put a stop to all that eh?

c3 said...

I would second AJ's initial comment.

Is this really a surprise given the President's depth of international experience?

Now the tough question going forward:

In these times of "throw the bums out" will we elect more "clueless" individuals.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, Joe, as to the rest of your post:

We can describe our "victory" (sic) in Iraq with this quote from Tacitus:

"To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."

MadisonMan said...

Tell me again why presidents let Bob Woodward roam around the White House so he can write a tell-all book?

Vanity. The belief that this time, they are so right and holy that Mr Woodward -- who has won all these awards and therefore must be great and therefore be able to see the greatness here -- will agree with everything I do. Totally!

MayBee said...

He was afraid to go into the hospital at Ramstein without his military advisers accompanying him.
The press covered for him.

He told a story during the campaign about a brigade in Afghanistan that didn't have enough supplies. I can't find it right now, but he got the military ranks all mixed up.
The press covered for him.

Our Commander in Chief just isn't a military guy. It was always obvious, but the press covered for him.

Maguro said...

If the Cuban Missle Crisis had gone another way, we might have had an actual nuclear exchange with Cuba...

Hee hee. You come here to lecture us on history and yet you believe that the Cuban Missile Crisis was between the US and Cuba?

What a dope you are.

Quaestor said...

America's Politico wrote: My clients pay me big to provide them clear/simple/basic data.

I'll make you a better offer. A buck seventy-five ought to be a fifty percent improvement.

SMGalbraith said...

"We destroyed a nation, have left it a ruin, with no real functioning central government; barely any infrastructure left; a land environmentally despoiled by our use of radioactive armaments, such that birth defects and still births have skyrocketed; millions forced from their homes, hundreds of thousands dead and wounded;"

Setting aside the exagerrated and inflated numbers and prose, you'll note that there's not one single word of condemnation from Mr. Cook at Saddam Hussein.

Not one.

We're all to blame.

This, my friends, is the modern anti-American left.

Robert Cook said...

"...you'll note that there's not one single word of condemnation from Mr. Cook at Saddam Hussein."

Why am I obligated to condemn Hussein? He was not our nation's head...he was a brutal thug who had been our trusted friend and client for many years, yes, but he was not the head of my country.

We had no basis to attack Iraq, their dire head of state notwithstanding.

It seems there are many imbeciles who assume if one doesn't repeatedly declare his love for God or hatred of scoundrels at every opportunity, one must indisputably hate god and love scoundrels.

Grow up.

The Drill SGT said...

MadisonMan said...
Tell me again why presidents let Bob Woodward roam around the White House so he can write a tell-all book?

Vanity.


The Optomists:: anybody who dished sooo much dirt on Bushie has gotta be our kind of leftie who wouldn't betray our trust

and the Pessimists: Woodward only sees two classes of people. The people that dish dirt to him about others, and the people who are the targets of the dirt. I want to be the disher, not the dishee.

traditionalguy said...

Robert Cook...I appreciate your boldness in not calling the Afghan troop surge a sensible policy ... until we leave there anyway after our 2010 election cycle. But the "existential threat" to the 6,000,000+ Jews living peacefully in their Jewish State of Israel is growing as fast as Obama can tighten a noose around their necks. "Never again" must have acquired a new meaning that we will "never again resupply Israel", in today's Obamaspeak. The now nuclear Iran has announced its intentions many times: the removal of all boundaries to Islamic expansion by first liquidating Israel, and then eliminating the will of the USA to remain a Christian nation that resists allah.

Robert Cook said...

Maguro said:

"Hee hee. You come here to lecture us on history and yet you believe that the Cuban Missile Crisis was between the US and Cuba?"

The missles were in Cuba--hence the name "Cuban Missle Crisis"--so presumably, despite their Russian origin, the missles would have flown from...Cuba.

What a dope you are.

SMGalbraith said...

Why am I obligated to condemn Hussein? He was not our nation's head...he was a brutal thug who had been our trusted friend and client for many years, yes, but he was not the head of my country.

Because it was his actions that precipitated the responses. You're blaming the police instead of the criminal.

And he was not "our trusted friend" for many many years. That's a leftwing trope that no one outside the fever swamps of the anti-American left (or right) believes.

During the latter stages of the Iran-Iraq war we allowed him to purchase weapons to prevent the Iranians from winning the war.

Lifting sanctions to allow him to purchase weapons hardly makes him our "trusted friend for many many year."

MayBee said...

Yeah, he was lying then, wasn't he? It was all a fake hawk costume to convince moderates that he was tough on terror.

Yes, he was lying then. This is the kind of speech he gave about 9/11 before he became a national figure:
"We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores."

SMGalbraith said...

Saddam invades Kuwait, we (through the UN) impose sanctions (but not on food or medicine), and he uses those sanctions to further suppress his people by controlling the distribution of what he is allowed to buy.

And we're to blame for all of this.

Not one word of condemnation against Hussein.

Simply amazing.

Robert Cook said...

"But the 'existential threat' to the 6,000,000+ Jews living peacefully in their Jewish State of Israel...."

Pure fantasy.

Israel has a very robust--undeclared and thus, by our standards, illegitimate--nuclear stockpile, and Iran has none--and we have no proof, despite fevered allegations, that they are building one. That could change in future, but for now such discussion is pure speculation.

If Iran built a bomb, and if Iran, who has not invaded any country in living memory, were to attack Israel, Iran would be handily and swiftly destroyed by Israel.

The Drill SGT said...

Gates was tempted to walk out of an Oval Office meeting after being offended by comments made by deputy national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon about a general not named in the book.

When General Jones, sooner or later, decides to quit as National Security Advisor, watch out for this hack who wants the job.

His deputy, Thomas E. Donilon, whose credentials are 3 years as the Clinton State Dept PR weenie, being a Biden buddy, a Fannie Mae Millionaire and a white shoe lawyer.

The Drill SGT said...

If Iran built a bomb, and if Iran, who has not invaded any country in living memory, were to attack Israel, Iran would be handily and swiftly destroyed by Israel.

two words:

First Strike.

What percentage of Israel's population is within zone 1 of say 8 50kt bombs? 60-70%?

think that might impact reserve call-up some?

without reserve call-up there is no Israeli military

Robert Cook said...

"You're blaming the police instead of the criminal."

We're not the world's police force, and shouldn't be, but to take your metaphor:

If the police invade a criminal's home and kill him--without a warrant, without his having committed a crime within the police force's jurisdiction that justified his arrest, and without his having violently resisted that legitimate arrest--then yes, the police are guilty of criminal trespass and murder.

As we are.

Maguro said...

The missles were in Cuba--hence the name "Cuban Missle Crisis"--so presumably, despite their Russian origin, the missles would have flown from...Cuba.

Cookie, dear, the entire reason that the Cuban Missile Crisis was such a big deal was the potential for escalation into an all-out nuclear exchange with the USSR.

The Kennedy administration fully understood this at the time, even though you're apparently too dim to grasp it at this late date.

Robert Cook said...

"two words:

First Strike.

What percentage of Israel's population is within zone 1 of say 8 50kt bombs? 60-70%?"


Two words:

Baseless speculation.

SMGalbraith said...

and Iran has none--and we have no proof, despite fevered allegations, that they are building one.

This is simply astonishing.

I don't like to attack posters -instead of just their arguments -but you sir are a nut.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Sorry Robert, the Civil War wasn’t an “existential threat”…there was NO WAY, 11 Confederate states were going to defeat the 22 Yankee states, with twice the population, and probably 3 to 4 times the GNP of the South. Hitler, ~10% of the world’s war-making capacity was fighting the US (~45-50%) of the world’s war making capacity, and that discounts the British and Soviet capacities, meaning that Germany and Japan were out-produced about 4:1 in all categories of goods….again NO EXISTENTIAL THREAT. Cuban Missile Crisis….US total tactical dominance, in air/land/sea forces…total operational dominance, in terms of theatre nuclear weapons, and total strategic dominance…the USSR never mated their weapons to their delivery systems, and JFK KNEW THAT, whilst negotiating…the Cuban Crisis was a whole lot less a “crisis” than the fans of Camelot would like you to believe….had there been combat the Cubans and the USSR would have been handily defeated…No Existential Threat. The US hasn’t faced an existential threat since 1776. Again does that mean that the US Civil War, and WWII were pointless or illegal/immoral?

Robert Cook said...

"...you sir are a nut."

Oh? Do you have proof Iran has a nuclear weapon, or is building one, or even has the infrastructure and programs in place to begin building one.

Oh, and don't worry about calling me a nut: I've been called worse on this site for less reason.

As our mothers sagely advise about dealing with name-callers: I just consider the source.

At least you also called me "sir."

Thanks.

PatCA said...

“I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”...

Take a look at the polls, Mr. O, you already have.

The Drill SGT said...

Cookie, dear, the entire reason that the Cuban Missile Crisis was such a big deal was the potential for escalation into an all-out nuclear exchange with the USSR.

agreeing with and expanding.

Those dozen IRBM's would have been smoking holes in the ground if we had seen them fueled.

It was the subs off the East coast that were the issue.

SMGalbraith said...

Oh? Do you have proof Iran has a nuclear weapon, or is building one, or even has the infrastructure and programs in place to begin building one.

Yes, I have personal information that Iran is building a nuclear weapon.

Give me your e-mail address and I'll send it off. PDF files okay?


If I cite the UN, you'll dismiss it. If I cite the IAEA, you'll dimiss it. If I cite a dozen governments, you'll dimiss it.

In any event, you don't care whether Iran is building nuclear weapons anyway. If the proof was irrefutable, you'd blame the US for it. Or Israel.

You'd justify it and then go about your day since why should you be concerned about the Mullahs? That is somebody's elses problems.

SMGalbraith said...

Robert:
I apologize. Politics and all that.

I think your arguments are nutty.

There.

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...
Do you have proof Iran has a nuclear weapon,



Shahab-6, IRBM, throw weight 1,200kg for 3,400 miles

You don't build an IRBM to toss TNT at somebody

Robert Cook said...

"If I cite the UN, you'll dismiss it. If I cite the IAEA, you'll dimiss it. If I cite a dozen governments, you'll dimiss it."

None of these entities have proof Iran is building a nuclear weapon or has the insfrastructure and programs in place to build one, or have claimed to have proof.

The Drill SGT said...

I left off the "or are building one" from the last post.

obviously they dont have one today, but just as obviously, they want one badly...

Robert Cook said...

smgalbraith:

Really, I take no offense, there's no need to apologize. Your comment was reasonably mild and I just take it as your strong disagreement with me. I really have been called worse for less reason on this site. So, no problem.

traditionalguy said...

Robert Cook...Was the Yom Kippur Day's simultaneous, two front surprise attack in October 1973 speculation? Tell that to the wounded Jewish POWs that Egyptians lined up and ran tanks over when they felt sure they had achieved a quick victory.

Cedarford said...

Sorry Robert, the Civil War wasn’t an “existential threat”…there was NO WAY, 11 Confederate states were going to defeat the 22 Yankee states, with twice the population, and probably 3 to 4 times the GNP of the South. Hitler, ~10% of the world’s war-making capacity was fighting the US (~45-50%) of the world’s war making capacity, and that discounts the British and Soviet capacities, meaning that Germany and Japan were out-produced about 4:1 in all categories of goods….again NO EXISTENTIAL THREAT. Cuban Missile Crisis….US total tactical dominance, in air/land/sea forces…total operational dominance, in terms of theatre nuclear weapons, and total strategic dominance…the USSR never mated their weapons to their delivery systems, and JFK KNEW THAT, whilst negotiating..

====================
Little crypto-jew spouts nonsense. Cook of all people is actually more right than he is, as a mark of just how wrong Joe is.

1. Lincoln fought a war to preserve the Union. The North thought it was existential, so did the South. End of story.

2. The idea that Germany and Japan were not existential threats to the allied nations they conquered or were hanging on by fingernails at one point or another to avoid conquest (the UK, Soviets, Egypt, Burma...etc.) is ludicrous.

(War is not a function of manpower or the net war-fighting resources looked at in a balancing test that determines victory or defeat on who starts with "more stuff". The falsity of this was shown again and again in history. Alexander, Elisabethan England, US Revolutionary War, Vietnam inflicting a defeat on the resource-stuffed USA.)

3. Soviets did not make their MRBMs in Cuba operational. But they did have nuke SRBMs that covered all the Gulf States and many nuke-capable bombers operational...plus of course their main nuke forces that could try and get 200-300 thermonuclear weapons in the 500KT - 25MT range on US soil.
Cuba was a serious confrontation that could have gone existiential the minute a hot war started and began spinning out of control. For that reason, Kennedy quietly gave up his MRBM fields in Italy and Turkey, took proposed ones in Iran off the table, and swore no invasion of Cuba. The Soviets gave up their MRBMs and permanently basing any land, naval, AF assets in Cuba..outside the stuff like what the US ringed Russia with - listing posts, landing facilities for recon, warship ports of call.

c3 said...

Palladian;
I have to ask:

Why is the house burning again?

Does this mean anything?

(In asking I'm reminded of this and this.)

Robert Cook said...

"Was the Yom Kippur Day's simultaneous, two front surprise attack in October 1973 speculation? Tell that to the wounded Jewish POWs that Egyptians lined up and ran tanks over when they felt sure they had achieved a quick victory."

Trad Guy...what does this have to do with today, and with allegations that Iran has a bomb or is building one or has the means to build one?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

C4, “existential threat” means their existence was threatened…as the Confederacy never stood a chance, or Hitler, or for that matter Khrushchev there was NO EXISTENTIAL THREAT to the US…Had Hitler won he’d have represented no threat, to the EXISTENCE of the US. Sure Hitler and Tojo were a threat to Burma, or Thailand, of the Philippines, or even Great Britain, but not the US.

traditionalguy said...

Robert Cook...Maybe we should issue are old nuclear arsenal, that Obama is cutting by two thirds anyway, among every nation and group of people to show our good faith. There is, after all, no proof that any one will use them any more than we will use them. But isn't that like drawing to a nothing in Texas Holdem Poker for all the marbles?

Cedarford said...

Cook - ""If I cite the UN, you'll dismiss it. If I cite the IAEA, you'll dimiss it. If I cite a dozen governments, you'll dimiss it."

None of these entities have proof Iran is building a nuclear weapon or has the insfrastructure and programs in place to build one, or have claimed to have proof."

==============
1. National security can never be reduced down to lawyer courtroom arguments. "Proof" as a causus belli - is an alien concept. Liberals persist in the idiocy that all foreign and military security policy can be quantified by perfect intelligence gained by perfect operatives and that intel sources can be protected while the "evidence is examined and argued in the open "courtroom style".

2. "Proof" is asinine. That is how the Zionists roll, maintaining that no nation has lawyerly "proof" that would "stand up in a court of law" that Israel has nuclear weapons.

3. Drill SGT is correct. Short of a nuke test or a picture of Ahmadinejad or Netanyahu hugging a pile of nuke warheads - you don't have your precious "proof to obtain a conviction". You have to go with other evidence - like enrichment, Pu recycling facilities. Missiles useless but for launching a nuke warhead. Radar and telemetry showing the Israelis, Pakis, S Africans (at one time), and now Iranians are practicing the warplane bombing runs only used for a gravity nuke bomb delivery.
Uncovering Israeli spies in the US getting nuke bomb essential components. Or the AQ Khan, Iranian nuke strategic parts acquisition networks.

4. Arguing this like a lawyer is a waste of breath. The proper questions should be - (1)how can we disincentivize nations from building nukes now that the technology is well-known? (2)What nations besides Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would start a nuke bomb program if Iran got it? Unless we and the Saudis force a nuke-free ME except perhaps a very small Zionist nuke deterrant that has to be joined to Zionists agreeing to permanent Borders and cash compensation of the Palis for what was stolen from them. (3) The US public has decided that another neocon war to invade Iran to preserve Our Special Friend's nuke monopoly is a war too far. What other options exist short of pre-emptive nuke war since the Zionists cannot bomb it conventionally in any meaningful way out of existence and the USAF could only delay it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

None of these entities have proof Iran is building a nuclear weapon or has the insfrastructure and programs in place to build one, or have claimed to have proof.

Of course. Its perfect reasonable for a nation with an overabundance of oil and natural gas to seek nuclear power for peaceful, energy producing purposes.

GMay said...

Robert Cook said: "As we are."

Someone's talking out of his ass BIG time.

Synova said...

The police can only respond after a crime is committed. Until an assault, murder, rape or theft occurs the police can do almost nothing at all. (Note also, that this is the most *limited* understanding of how a police force is supposed to act, and the one which the US considers "right". In a Police State, which we understand as oppression, the police act pre-emptively.)

Citizens are allowed to directly defend themselves. A citizen does not have to be assaulted, raped, or murdered, just to have certain proof that that's what is intended before the citizen is allowed the right to defend herself with deadly force.

States are not like police forces.

States are like citizens.

Citizens and states can join together to form police forces, but neither of them can ever give up the natural right to self-defense.