September 19, 2015

"If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton," said Carly Fiorina.

And Politico collected some answers, in "What Is Hillary’s Greatest Accomplishment?" I haven't read any of the answers yet, but I think the obvious answer is getting and staying married to Bill Clinton. It doesn't say much about whether she should be President, but it's a very grand and amazing accomplishment.

The most common response at the link is the one put most pithily by Paul Begala: "Iran sanctions. Sec. Clinton accomplished the nearly impossible mission of getting China, Russia, the European Union and the civilized world on board with crippling sanctions against Iran. This is what brought Iran to the negotiating table."

91 comments:

MayBee said...

It is all of those actors not wanting to have the sanctions that has given us the lame agreement we have.

They want to do business with Iran, so they are willing to take anything Iran was willing to give.

Original Mike said...

"This is what brought Iran to the negotiating table."

And didn't that work out well (though I guess that's not Hillary's fault).

Phil 3:14 said...

The one mentioned that was meaningful was S-CHIP.

Hagar said...

I think "The Arab Spring" among official acts and staying out of jail while amassing a fortune worth at least a couple of billion dollars for Clinton Inc. as a personl accomplishment.

averagejoe said...

The most common response at the link is the one put most pithily by Paul Begala: "Iran sanctions. Sec. Clinton accomplished the nearly impossible mission of getting China, Russia, the European Union and the civilized world on board with crippling sanctions against Iran. This is what brought Iran to the negotiating table."

Where they pantsed Obama and walked off with nukes in their eyes. And, I'd like to research that before I give Hillary the benefit of the doubt anything that Paul Begala says. Next he'll tell us she returned fire at Tuzla, singlehandedly wiped out a machine-gun nest, and took 500 prisoners.

Crimso said...

"This is what brought Iran to the negotiating table."

Considering the idiocy of the resulting deal, I would not give her credit for this. "Blame" is a more accurate word.

Terry said...

If Begala said it, it is a lie.
Begala is well-practiced at lying for the Clintons.

pm317 said...

Yeah, go after the woman. They should have and didn't do that Obama. See how that worked.

clint said...

Clever.

It's not her fault if President Obama squandered the opportunity -- or if the "opportunity" was mostly a mirage.

Laslo Spatula said...

Sanctions had being going on wit Iran long before Hillary..

I am Laslo.

AprilApple said...

Hiding her secret server for her entire stint at State and using it to stuff Clinton Foundation coffers. #big accomplishment.

Lem said...

Hillary had diddly-squat to do with those sanctions.

"Numerous governments and multinational entities impose sanctions against Iran. Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the United States imposed sanctions against Iran and expanded them in 1995 to include firms dealing with the Iranian government. In 2006, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1696 and imposed sanctions after Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program. U.S. sanctions initially targeted investments in oil, gas and petrochemicals, exports of refined petroleum products, and business dealings with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. This encompasses banking and insurance transactions (including with the Central Bank of Iran), shipping, web-hosting services for commercial endeavors, and domain name registration services."

Wikipedia

Goju said...

Her greatest achievement? Undoubtedly saying rape accusers have a right to be believed with a straight face. Possibly botox tho.

The Bergall said...

The missing word from our lexicon - Competency.

MayBee said...

Don't you think the thing that got Iran to the table with Obama was Obama going out for ice cream with his daughters while the Green Revolution was going on?

Iran saw what they had with Obama, and they knew it was someone they could "deal" with.

rehajm said...

The best fiddler as Rome burned.

Most artistic arranger of Titanic's deck chairs..

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Agreed on the marrying Bill accomplishment. She astutely recognized Bill as having the physical looks, intelligence, and borderline sociopathology that could take her to the White House and she sealed the deal. She probably never expected to actually be running for president herself back when she became Bill's handler.

ddh said...

"I think the obvious answer is getting and staying married to Bill Clinton. . . . it's a very grand and amazing accomplishment."

Staying married to a serial philanderer is a grand accomplishment? I think it's pathetic that she lacks so much self-respect.

Fandor said...

Being married to Bill Clinton is not an accomplishment. It's an activity.

Ambrose said...

There were no sanctions no Iran before 2009?

kimsch said...

When asked the other day what her accomplishments were she said, read my book, it's all in there (paraphrased, but pretty close, too lazy to google the exact words right now.)

Brando said...

Oh please--the president ran his foreign polivpcy himself and the best you can do say for Hillary is she didn't get in the way that much. The one time he listened to her advice we screwed up Libya. Giving her credit for sanctions on Iran is like giving her credit for the Patriots' Super Bowl victory.

She is grossly incompetent and is only defended by Democrats too frightened by the prospect of a GOP White House. They will dump her if it becomes clear that she polls weakest among the Democratic candidates against GOP nominees.

Paul said...

No way she gets the nomination. If I had to bet now I'd say it will be Biden-Warren in 2016.

phantommut said...

You have to give it to Begala; if you're going to lie, lie big.

Goju said...

Paul, more likely Warren-Biden. Slow Joe lacks the gravitas, he is basically a back bencher.

rhhardin said...

Cattle futures is an accomplishment.

Michael K said...

"Personally, I’m sure she’d say her daughter and grandchild are her greatest accomplishments. "

Certainly the only legitimate ones. The rest is fluff.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"Politico" scoops "The Onion"

William said...

She successfully convinced Paul Begala that she accomplished something.....I know that's kind of a circular argument but Obama's supporters used to claim that his running of a successful campaign for President proved that he had enough executive experience to be president.

David Begley said...

Her greatest accomplishment? Easy.

Making millions with her so-called husband through bribes.

Sebastian said...

"it's a very grand and amazing accomplishment"

Funny!

A veritable feminist triumph, I tell you. Should be in her next ad.

But, umm, amazing maybe, "grand" only if you like the trashing of bimbos.

Quayle said...

"getting China, Russia .... on board with crippling sanctions against Iran."

How hard was it to get China and Russia on board with crippling sanctions, when crippling sanctions created the scarcity and high-demand market which enables China and Russia to secretly sell into Iran at above world-market prices and with no competition from Europe or the US?

How hard was it to get Europe on board when they are within range of Iranian ballistic missiles?

How hard was it to convince Iran to come bargain with Obama when Obama was giving out lots of valuable stuff for free?

It's the stupidity, stupid!

Humperdink said...

Fandor said: "Being married to Bill Clinton is not an accomplishment. It's an activity."

Agreed.

Staying married to Bill is an accomplishment.

As is oppressing/suppressing all of Bill's conquests.

AllenS said...

She blamed the Bengazi murders on a man who made a video, had him thrown in prison, and that's where he has remained.

AllenS said...

She can wipe a server clean with a cloth, and that's something none of you can do!

clint said...

Warren-Biden is an interesting thought.

By accepting the junior position, as a sitting VP, Biden almost magically elevates Warren.

Has any sitting VP ever run for VP with a different presidential candidate before? It seems unlikely.

JSD said...

Establishing a private e-mail server for official government business. This will become standard operating procedure for all future government officials. FOIA be damned.

policraticus said...

Is being "inspiring" an accomplishment? If it is shouldn't it redound to the President who appointed her and the strategy team who ushered her through the confirmation? After that, all she had to do was show up on time and not fall over.

That Politico article could benefit from a "BULLSHIT" tag.

rehajm said...

After reading, Carlly was right.

Johanna Lapp said...

After Huma taught her how, Hillary became really great at passing the time by playing a little solitaire. Amazingly, she has no recollection of the events that followed.

Where is Major Ben Marco when America needs him most?

cubanbob said...

The most common response at the link is the one put most pithily by Paul Begala: "Iran sanctions. Sec. Clinton accomplished the nearly impossible mission of getting China, Russia, the European Union and the civilized world on board with crippling sanctions against Iran. This is what brought Iran to the negotiating table."

The most common retort to the most transparent of lies is that Clinton and Obama put the world's only superpower in the position of chump.

BDNYC said...

Althouse, for some reason I thought of you when Fiorina asked that question. Didn't you say something like that about Hillary's lack of accomplishment?

BDNYC said...

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/11/i-see-hillary-clinton-is-taking.html?m=1

Here it is. I think Fiorina reads Athouse or Paglia or both.

Big Mike said...

Let's rephrase Carly's question: is there anything Hillary accomplished that even remotely compensates for her bungling in Libya?

Anonymous said...

To the negotiation table on which we give them everything we've got. As of now, most Americans oppose the Iran Deal.

Hillary's accomplishment is to invite Iran to the negotiation table so Dear Leader could surrender to them without a fight.

Achilles said...

The comments on the politico article are telling. If Hillary wins anything it is not because people in this country want her.

She is a felon who only hasn't been convicted because of the corruption in the DOJ and a disgusting human being. People who support her are the enemy of this country.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Phil 3:14 has it right. S-CHIP was the "meaningful achievement" mentioned most often.

traditionalguy said...

Carly the envious also thinks Hillary has ugly hair, really ugly.

Hillary is still alive. Outliving Bill is her #1 priority.

JohnDBandit said...

She's accomplished the greatest thing that any life-long criminal can achieve. Be it, the suspension of murder, corporate fraud, inside trading, money laundering, or treason, she has remained out of jail.

Bob Boyd said...

"...it's a very grand and amazing accomplishment."

"If they can’t get out because they don’t want to reduce their living circumstances, or they don’t want to go, or they are passive people, then I am supposed to respect that. But I don’t. My feeling is 'Get out.'" - Susan Brownmiller quoted yesterday on the Althouse blog.

furious_a said...

...said Carly Fiorina

...because no reporter is going to ask that of a Democrat.

Static Ping said...

So it appears that some people FINALLY got the memo. Sheesh, since when has the Democratic party been so bad at messaging?

Chuck Schumer's entry is so over the top ridiculous ("Hillary Clinton is one of the most accomplished people ever to run for the Presidency.") that you get the sense that he hates her guts and is only doing this because it is expected of him. Either that or the intern who wrote this failed several creative writing courses but is still trying to shop that first novel.

Chris Dodd is also phoning it in. The Pediatric Research Equity Act? Seriously? It's not nothing, but as far as the Presidency goes it is nothing.

The "know nothing" crack at the end of Howard Dean's blurb is so pointless that I don't know why it is included. The first sentence provides a (dubious) accomplishment, the second sentence makes it clear he is highly partisan to the point that an objective reader would immediately discount the first sentence. Then again, Howard is not well known for his self-control.

United States diplomacy has been a disaster for the entire Obama administration from the Middle East to Russia to China to Cuba. They even managed to completely botch easy lay-ups like Honduras and the Nelson Mandela funeral. Our country is now effectively allied with Iran. The concept that being the Secretary of State during this time would be an asset is mind boggling.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Stodder said...

except for sanctions relief

Which is, of course, everything Iran wanted.

J. Farmer said...

The Iran deal is spectacularly good for us and is very good evidence for the position of weakness from which Iran was forced to negotiate. The US gives up practically nothing, except for sanctions relief, and in return Iran agreed to significant limits on its nuclear program (above and beyond even what it has a right to under the NPT). The notion that Iran is on some kind of march of conquest across the middle east or is anything even remotely resembling a regional hegemon has always been absurdly detached from reality.

Static Ping said...

Peace in our time!

J. Farmer said...

@John Stodder:

"Which is, of course, everything Iran wanted."

This is not true. "Everything" would be sanctions relief plus a nuclear program unencumbered by any kind of inspections or other limits forced onto it by the major powers. Iran did not get everything it wanted, and the US did not get everything it wanted. That is the entire point of negotiations.

Nichevo said...

e notion that Iran is on some kind of march of conquest across the middle east or is anything even remotely resembling a regional hegemon has always been absurdly detached from reality.


Farmer, I try to deal with you, but I must insist that you read a book sometime. Or at least:

Persian Empire
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The Persian Empire is any of a series of imperial dynasties centered in Persia. The first of these was established by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, with the Persian conquest of Media, Lydia and Babylonia. Wikipedia


...


Iran is the natural hegemon. If you like that, you're well on your way to getting it.



Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

"The notion that Iran is on some kind of march of conquest across the middle east or is anything even remotely resembling a regional hegemon has always been absurdly detached from reality."

At first I thought you were just being embarrassingly stupid. Then I realized you were right. They aren't sending troops into Yemen. They aren't sending troops into Iraq. They aren't sending troops into Syria. They aren't supporting Hezbollah or Hamas. They aren't really the worlds biggest state sponsor of terror like everyone says.

Iran is run by a bunch of really good guys. All those calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and the destruction of the US are just good fun. I wish you would move there.

Achilles said...

It has also occurred to me that J. Farmer seems to have more in common with the Iranian regime that tried to kill me than he does with me. I have friends that still have the EFP slugs Iran must have mistakenly sent to Iraq. A lot of soldiers died because of the Iranians who don't have any territorial ambitions.

Don't think we don't notice.

SukieTawdry said...

I'd say parlaying $10,000 into $100,000 in cattle futures is her greatest accomplishment. Unfortunately, that accomplishment, like so many others, was orchestrated by someone else.

Being one of only a handful of the 200 staff lawyers on the Watergate committee to not get a recommendation for future government employment is an accomplishment of sorts.

Amadeus 48 said...

Sukie--You underestimate the skills of Mrs. Clinton. It was $1000 into $100,000.

cubanbob said...

J Farmer wants to see what he wants to see,otherwise he would have to deal with reality. He has that in common with Obama and the same goes with the Hillary! supporters and shills.

John Stodder said...

Yes, I understand the concept, but the version of "encumbering" Iran that we agreed to was highly diluted and its effectiveness is much in question. However, the sanctions relief given to Iran was total, complete and rapid. So yes, it was a negotiation in which both sides gave something up. We just gave up a lot more.

Might it be worth it? If you are very, very, very optimistic, perhaps.

Clyde said...

That's like putting them in a round room and telling them to go sit in the corner.

The sad truth is that Hillary's (and Obama's) greatest accomplishments have been detrimental to the safety and welfare of the American people, as well as some members of our diplomatic corps in Libya. The refugees streaming into Europe from the Middle East show that it's not just Americans who have suffered from the fecklessness of the current administration.

Clyde said...

Well, she did manage to carpet-bag her way into a U.S. Senate seat from a state where she had never resided, and that had millions of people who might have been just as qualified or more.

Michael K said...

"The Iran deal is spectacularly good for us "

Only if you want war in the next five to ten years.

Somebody you never heard of said, "If you want peace prepare for war."

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

It was a negotiation in which both sides gave something up.

What exactly did Iran give up? That's not a snark, that's an honest question. It seems to me Iran got everything they wanted. They got relief from the Begala's "crippling sanctions" (just how crippling those sanctions were is not obvious to me); they got international approval of their uranium enrichment program, which they can now produce whatever amount they choose to 20% enrichment. From that "legal" stockpile they can produce any amount of weapons-grade material they wish because no meaningful inspections are permitted. The "inspections" that are permitted will be conducted by the Iranians themselves, so it is reasonable to presume that their nuclear weapons research will proceed apace. Lastly, Iran will have the funds they need to complete their weapons research thanks to the United States forking over $150 gigabucks.

JCC said...

Well, the record is fairly clear that the bulk of the Iran sanctions were in place prior to HRC taking over at State. Almost every UN resolution post-HRC merely extended or renewed existing resolutions, or reacted to IAEA reports of Iranian cheating or malfeasance. So, for instance, one of the UN resolutions under HRC added specific penalties for travel and banking for a handful of individuals (associated with the IRG). But to claim as Begala did that HRC somehow enlisted Russia, China et al is a fabrication. Likewise, Howard Dean's primal scream about no-nothings is a hoot, since there is nearly nothing or no one new in any resolution done under HRC's watch that was not in place prior to her coronation.
If, in fact, the Iranian sanctions were HRC's outstanding contribution and accomplishment, we should accept that. It's probably close to the truth. But we should recognize that the post-2008 election sanction changes were minimal. Until the past few months of course.
And acknowledging that both Dean and Begala are blatant liars is nothing new.

SteveR said...

Vince Foster was unavailable for comment

BN said...

Another sign. When she gets elected--and she will-- you know what I'll be doing. Buying more bullets.

When the shit hits, look me up, and I'll hook you up.

BN said...

Where's Buwaya? I miss him.

Phil 3:14 said...

Interesting section in Wikipedia regarding SCHIP:

SCHIP has cost the federal government $40 billion over its first 10 years, and the debate over its fiscal impacts reflects the larger debate in the U.S. over the government's role in health care.

In 2007, researchers from Brigham Young University and Arizona State found that children who drop out of SCHIP cost states more money because they shift away from routine care to more frequent emergency care situations.[30] The conclusion of the study is that an attempt to cut the costs of a state healthcare program could create a false savings because other government organizations pick up the tab for the children who lose insurance coverage and later need care.

Detractors of the program focus on the impact to the private health insurance industry. In a 2007 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, researchers determined that "for every 100 children who gain coverage as a result of SCHIP, there is a corresponding reduction in private coverage of between 25 and 50 children." The CBO speculates this is because the state programs offer better benefits at lower cost to enrollees than the private alternatives.[31] A briefing paper by libertarian think-tank Cato Institute estimated the "crowding out" of private insurers by the public program could be as much as 60%

Paul said...

"Another sign. When she gets elected--and she will-- you know what I'll be doing. Buying more bullets."
How can she get elected when she won't even secure the nomination? Pay attention man, Obama has turned on her so she's going down. There would be no DOJ or FBI investigations without Obama's imprimatur.

J. Farmer said...

@Nichevo:

"Iran is the natural hegemon. If you like that, you're well on your way to getting it."

There is no such thing as a "natural hegemon." That's just some phrase you made up. Hegemony is predicated on national power -- economic, military, cultural, etc. The Arab Gulf states all possess significantly better funded, better trained, and better equipped militaries. Saudi Arabia alone spends about $80 billion per year on its military. Iran spends about $10 billion and has more than twice the population of Saudi Arabia. Even the so called "windfall" that Iran will receive as part of sanctions relief will have no significant impact on this balance of power.

@Achilles:

"Iran is run by a bunch of really good guys. All those calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and the destruction of the US are just good fun. I wish you would move there."

Oh please. You do realize that to say that a country is not a regional hegemon is not to endorse that country or its politics but is rather a rational reading of the empirical data. The fact that Iran has to rely on groups like Hamas and Hezbollah is a sign of their relative weakness in the region, not their strength. Iran's ability to project power outside its borders is extremely limited, which is not the hallmark of a hegemonic power. Its two closest regional allies, Syria and Iraq, are fractured, sectarian war torn countries. Again, this is not the kind of alliance structure you describe when trying to make a case for hegemony.

@Cubanbob:

"J Farmer wants to see what he wants to see,otherwise he would have to deal with reality."

If you want to make a case for Iran as a regional hegemon, I'd be more than happy to consider it and give a response. If you want to call me names, you're quite free to do that, too.

@Quaestor:

"What exactly did Iran give up?"

1) It's giving up the majority of its centrifuges
2) It's giving up more than 90% of its low-enriched uranium
3) Its entire fuel cycle, from mining to its enrichment facility, will be under 24/7 video surveillance
4) Its nuclear facilities will be open to IAEA inspection at anytime. The oft criticized 24-day period for military site is a legitimate concession that does not significantly impair inspections because it is not enough time to dismantled clandestine enrichment facilities. And even if it could, it wouldn't be able to get rid of the radiation that would immediately give the plot away. And this is all beside the fact that military facilities are not appropriate for conducting nuclear research and enrichment.

Rich Rostrom said...

the obvious answer is getting and staying married to Bill Clinton... it's a very grand and amazing accomplishment.

Compared to what? Biting the head off a live chicken? How long ago did she realize that Bill is a narcissistic sociopath who would cheat on her as long he lived?

Choosing to stay married to such a spouse is an achievement in geeking (in the old meaning of the word). It may be amazing, but hardly grand.

phantommut said...

So, are they loading those centrifuges on big boats going to CentCom? Is that Uranium going to Arizona? Who's providing the video feed? And who is actually performing the inspections?

J. Farmer, you're full of crap. Don't know why you're bothering to parrot the talking points, but knock yourself out.

J. Farmer said...

@phantommut:

"J. Farmer, you're full of crap. Don't know why you're bothering to parrot the talking points, but knock yourself out."

This is a very convenient way of saying that you have no effective counter argument, so you will simply accuse me of arguing in bad faith and think you've made some kind of point. The accusation of "talking points" specifically insinuates a partisan motive. I am not a member of any political party and frankly find very little to get excited about from either side of the so called left/right divide It's mostly a chimera. Also, I have repeatedly voiced my opposition to Obama's foreign policy (most notably the Libyan disaster but also the surge strategy in Afghanistan, his policy towards Syria, the targeted assassination program, etc.). If George W. Bush had reached the same exact deal, I'd have the same exact position.

Now, if you want to accuse me of not being an arms control expert, then I will gladly plead guilty. I can't know anything absolutely, and if you're asking for 100% certainty, that is a burden of proof absolutely no policy can possibly reach. But it is not simply a matter of taking the administration's word for it. There are a bevy of independent sources, free of partisan commitments, who have a wide degree of latitude in rendering their opinion on the matter.

Two such groups, the Arms Control Association and the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security, are examples. You can read their opinions on the deal here:

https://www.armscontrol.org/ACT/2015_09/Feature/How-the-Iran-Deal-Prevents-a-Covert-Nuclear-Weapons-Program

http://www.lacacis.org/policy.html

Obviously, you can say that all of the people involved in these organizations are "full of crap" and "parrot the talking points," but that really wouldn't get us very far. Now, if you have substantive critiques of their reasoning or their conclusions, I'd be more than happy to engage those arguments.

cubanbob said...

@Cubanbob:

"J Farmer wants to see what he wants to see,otherwise he would have to deal with reality."

If you want to make a case for Iran as a regional hegemon, I'd be more than happy to consider it and give a response. If you want to call me names, you're quite free to do that, too."

Like I said before you see what you want to see and ignore what doesn't fit the worldview you want to see. When someone insists on calling something white when all evidence demonstrates its black pointing that out isn't calling them names, its just stating a fact. Since 1978 the Iranian regime has been sponsoring terrorism in numerous parts of the world. The regime has also been on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons for decades despite the costs and despite the fact it doesn't have any existential enemies. It also has publicly avowed to annihilate another country when it acquires the means to do so for no other reason than it's mere existence. A regime that has pursued these aims for nearly forty years despite fairly severe sanctions since 1978 is indicative of not only not dealing with a common frame of sanity and reality with the West but of an amazing amount of discipline in obtaining it's goals however irrational it may seem to us. Is it reasonable to assume such a regime has suddenly changed simply because of this agreement? Especially when the compliance features of it are so poor and so easily to hide. Our inspection regimes with the Soviets were never so lousy. Just like the North Koreans played Bill Clinton so the Iranians played Obama. They will get their bomb, they will get their $150bn and the sanctions are gone no matter what.

That Iran wants to be the regional hegemon isn't the issue, it was before under the Shah. The issue is to become the hegemon with this level of crazy and terrorism sponsorship.

Xmas said...

I don't think Harry Reid thought through his statement:

'Nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama’s second term has Secretary Clinton’s fingerprints on it'
By Harry Reid, Senate Democratic leader.

By extension, every failure would also have Clinton's fingerprints. Which is a bit ironic, as she's very careful about leaving fingerprints.

Real American said...

Being born with a vagina.

Achilles said...

"The fact that Iran has to rely on groups like Hamas and Hezbollah is a sign of their relative weakness in the region, not their strength. Iran's ability to project power outside its borders is extremely limited, which is not the hallmark of a hegemonic power. Its two closest regional allies, Syria and Iraq, are fractured, sectarian war torn countries. Again, this is not the kind of alliance structure you describe when trying to make a case for hegemony."

You are arguing in bad faith. There are no enforcement measures in the treaty except the ones that Iran chooses to enforce on itself. It comes down to whether or not you trust the government of Iran to do the right thing. Obama hasn't even allowed congress to see all of the side deals.

You are giving the people who tried to kill us more credence than you are to us. At this point you are willing to give the worlds largest state sponsor of terrorism all the resources it needs without even demanding they stop sponsoring terrorism.

There is no common ground here. We do not value the same ideals. You are not interested in freedom, security, or liberty unless it is your own and someone else fights for it. Please leave this country.

Nichevo said...

J. Farmer said...
@Nichevo:

"Iran is the natural hegemon. If you like that, you're well on your way to getting it."

There is no such thing as a "natural hegemon." That's just some phrase you made up.


OMFG. I put two words together. Didn't even fucking know I was doing it. Is this whar it's like for you, unBuckley?

Hegemony is predicated on national power -- economic, military, cultural, etc. The Arab Gulf states all possess significantly better funded, better trained, and better equipped militaries. Saudi Arabia alone spends about $80 billion per year on its military. Iran spends about $10 billion and has more than twice the population of Saudi Arabia. Even the so called "windfall" that Iran will receive as part of sanctions relief will have no significant impact on this balance of power.



You gotta be shittin' me. Pay the fuck attention would you?

Iran sadly is the country in and of the region that most has its shit together. Not in their mad views but in terms of cultural competence. In other words, Persians aren't Arabs. that's why we picked them as allies and yes local satraps; between Egypt, Saudi, Iran and Israel, if you have those four on one team pulling together you run the whole joint.

Did you notice how the whole Iraqi Army ran away from 800 Daesh guys in technicals? Numbers and equipment were on their side, just like on KSA's vs Iran. KSA is corrupt and weak, they rely on Western experts for anything more complex that swapping magazines. KSA vs Iran would become a hairball right quick. Iraq would have in Saddam's time quickly rolled over the Saudis without us, but Iraq couldn't beat Iraq even with lots of help and throwing the first punch, and WMD.

I repeat: Iran left unfettered would swiftly impose a large degree of control over the Middle East. Mix of hard and soft power, clever and slick, but if they tire of the honey-and-poison game and want to roll the tanks, they'd get as far as their logistics allowed; nobody would check them east of Jordan except for cells of competence e.g. Kurdistan.

Or of course us. But that would be bad.

What are you about? Get the idea that you are right out of your head, and approach from first principles. You are guilty of wishful thinking at best, and I don't know why you'd even wish it, Brody.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

"You are arguing in bad faith."

Let's just assume, for the moment, that your charge was accurate. If every single argument I made was in bad faith, which is an attack on my individual character, it would still have absolutely no logical relevance on whether or not the arguments I made were accurate or not. Let me give you an analogy that I think would be illustrative. Ignore foreign policy for a moment and consider the issue of immigration. I'm an immigration restrictionist. I support strong efforts to secure our southern border. I oppose any sort of "multicultural" immigration policy and believe that the US should strive to maintain an Anglo-Protestant cultural minority. Now, I could talk to you all day about why I believe this is the best policy. If, in response to that, a liberal critic said, "You are just a racist and a xenophobe," would you consider that a very cogent riposte? Do you find it obnoxious when conservative opponents of welfare state policies are uniformly called "racist" by SJW types? Would you concede that even if I were a virulent racist, it would have no logical relationship to whether or not the arguments or policies I advocated were sound or not?

"You are not interested in freedom, security, or liberty unless it is your own and someone else fights for it."

Talk about arguing in bad faith! If you honestly believe that issues like "freedom" and "security" should define our foreign policy, then at least have the courage of your convictions and follow them to their logical conclusion. Should the US engage in a policy of diplomatic isolation and regime change against Saudi Arabia? If not, should we therefore assume that you are a supporter of absolutist monarchy and Salafism? Was Nixon wrong to pursue an opening to China considering that Chinese support for Korea in the 1950s and Vietnam in the 1960s got a lot of American service members killed? How about US financing for Islamic radicals to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan? Was Reagan's willingness to negotiate nuclear arms reduction with the USSR evidence of his support for Stalinism? When the Bush administration resisted calls to topple Hussein during the first Gulf War and defended this decision on concern for regional stability, were they also arguing in bad faith?

J. Farmer said...

@Nichevo:

"OMFG. I put two words together. Didn't even fucking know I was doing it."

My apologies. I assumed that when you wrote a short, declarative sentence like, "ran is the natural hegemon," you had some idea of what you meant. If you concede that the phrase "natural hegemon" has no coherent meaning, then I can only conclude that you agree with me about there being no such thing.

"I repeat: Iran left unfettered would swiftly impose a large degree of control over the Middle East."

How? Please explain to me how Iran can "impose a large degree of control over" Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Turkey, or Egypt. Even if we ignored the ethnic and sectarian divisions, those countries collectively dwarf Iran in all significant measures of geostrategic power. As an historical example, consider the Iran-Iraq War. It was one of the deadliest, most prolonged wars of the 20th century. If Iran possessed the unchallengeable might you seem to assume it does, why was it unable to emerge victorious? Iranian support has proven quite useless to Assad, who has watched his grip on Syria disintegrate over the last few years? Hezbollah cannot even emerge as the dominant power in Lebanon, a country of about 4 1/2 million.

Rusty said...

j.farmer

I stand by my previous statements and it appears that events are proving me right.
Turns out they have more cetrifuges than previously thought and more uranium oxide than previously thought. They are expanding their nuclear facilities. They will soon have enough money so that centrafuges and uranium oxide don't matter. They'll be able to buy whatever nuclear things they want.


Agreement.
Sure.

dbp said...

I would like to get back to this idea:

"but I think the obvious answer is getting and staying married to Bill Clinton. It doesn't say much about whether she should be President, but it's a very grand and amazing accomplishment."

It is Bill, not Hillary that is renowned for being able to charm anyone. It is neither accomplishment nor amazing that Hillary would stay married to the guy--it was in her interest AND he is good at getting away with things.

The wonder of it all is why Bill, who could have had pretty much any woman he wanted, would settle for one with such limited offerings. She has professional talents but so do lots of women who are easier to get along with, younger and better looking. He wouldn't be able to maneuver her into the White House, so it must be that or loyalty that keeps Bill.

Nichevo said...

Farmer, if you're just going to waste everyone's time I wish you would say so. If I have coined a phrase, fine. Hegemon is one word. If a certain party has been historically dominant in a region, and with natural advantages is likely to resume such a role, they may be fairly called the natural hegemon. Not sure why you're harping on this unless, perhaps, because asshole.

As for the rest, I really could write a long post explaining in detail, but I'm not sure you're worth the effort. I don't think you can be reasoned with. People have tried.

J. Farmer said...

@Nichevo:

"Not sure why you're harping on this unless, perhaps, because asshole."

You made an assertion, and I responded to it. My response was a single sentence. The remainder of my remark was devoted to explaining why I do not believe Iran is in any way a hegemonic power in the region. If you want to call that harping, go right ahead. If you want to call me an asshole for giving my opinion in response to something you have said, that's fine, too.

"As for the rest, I really could write a long post explaining in detail, but I'm not sure you're worth the effort."

Oh yes, my favorite retort of all: "I have a really excellent critique of the points you raised, but even though I have responded to you three times now, you're not worth my time." Translation: "I don't actually have a response, but I'm too much of a blowhard to admit it." Pathetic.