Ackerman on ‘The Obama Doctrine’, Me on the Rational Underpinnings of Obamamania

Spencer Ackerman has a good article in The American Prospect on the likely direction that a President Obama would take in terms of US foreign policy: The Obama Doctrine. An excerpt:

“There is a popular notion that Democrats have to try to appear like Republicans to pass some test on national security. The fact that that’s still the case after Iraq is absurd,” says one of Obama’s closest advisers. “So you break from that orthodoxy and say ‘I don’t care if the Republicans attack me because I’m willing to meet with the leadership in Iran. We haven’t for 25 years, and it’s not gotten us anywhere.’”

Most of the members of Obama’s foreign-policy team expressed frustration that they had taken a well-considered and seemingly anodyne position on Iraq and suffered for it. Obama had something similar happen to him in the spring and summer of 2007. He was attacked from the left and the right for saying three things that should not have been controversial: that if he had actionable intelligence on the whereabouts of al-Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan but no cooperation from the Pakistani government, he would take out the jihadists; that he wouldn’t use nuclear weapons on terrorist training camps; and that he would be willing to meet with leaders of rogue states in his first year as president. “No one [of Obama's critics] had thought through the policy because that was the quote-unquote naïve and weak position, so they said it was a bad position to take,” recalls Ben Rhodes, the adviser who writes Obama’s foreign-policy speeches. “And it was a seminal moment, because Obama himself said, ‘No, I’m right about this!’”

Instead of backing down, Obama asked his foreign-policy team to double down. Rhodes wrote a speech that Obama delivered at DePaul University on Oct. 2, which criticized the boundaries of acceptable discourse set by the same establishment that backed the war. “This election is about ending the Iraq War, but even more it’s about moving beyond it. And we’re not going to be safe in a world of unconventional threats with the same old conventional thinking that got us into Iraq,” Obama said. One of his advisers, recalling the fallout from Obama’s comments about pursuing al-Qaeda in Pakistan, says, “He takes policy positions that are a break from both rigid orthodoxy and the Bush administration. And everyone says it’s a gaffe! That just encapsulates everything that’s wrong about the foreign-policy debate in Washington and in Democratic politics.”

The whole article is really interesting. I also liked this part, where the foreign-policy aspects of an Obama-vs.-McCain fall matchup were discussed:

The Obama foreign-affairs brain trust balks at the suggestion that what it’s proposing is radical. “He said we’d take out al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in the Pakistani tribal areas if Pakistan will not. That’s not, to me, a revolutionary policy,” Rhodes says. “Watching him get attacked on the right is absurd. You’ve got guys who argued for a massive invasion and occupation of a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 criticizing him for advocating the use of highly targeted force to kill Osama bin Laden!”

Rhodes is referring, of course, to John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who recently asked of Obama, “Will we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who once suggested invading our ally, Pakistan?” It’s no secret that McCain, a war hero who is to the right of Bush when it comes to Iraq, hopes to make this a foreign-policy election. Conventional wisdom holds this would give him an advantage over Obama. A Feb. 28 Pew Research Center poll found 43 percent of respondents believe Obama is “not tough enough” on foreign policy. Thirty-nine percent believe Obama’s foreign policy is “just right,” while 47 percent say the same of McCain.

Even so, Obama’s foreign-policy advisers are thrilled at the prospect of facing McCain. Had the GOP nomination gone to Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, politicians who don’t particularly care about foreign policy, an Obama victory would not provide a mandate for the sweeping foreign-affairs overhaul his campaign proposes. November’s election could be, for the first time in a very long time, a choice between two radically different visions of U.S. global engagement. “We want to have this debate with John McCain,” a close Obama adviser says. “[Obama] will offer this clear contrast.”

I’ve been challenged a few times recently about my support for Obama. “It’s just an infatuation,” people assert. “You just want change for its own sake. What do you really know about the guy?” What these people are doing, though, is projecting. They have no way of knowing how much research I’ve done into Obama’s ideas and positions, his past experience and what it reveals about his leadership ability and his likely actions in office. What they are really talking about is the shallowness of their own understanding of Obama.

That’s why it’s really over for Hillary at this point. That’s why I believe, in contrast to some people I know who believe that McCain will “crush” Obama in the fall, that in fact it will go the other way. The reality is, Obama’s support is not just coming from people who are blindly seeking change for its own sake, and have latched onto the first candidate who gives a pretty speech. The bedrock of his support comes from people who are deeply dissatisfied with the sorts of mainstream political choices that have been offered lately, who have taken the time to really look at Obama, and like what they see.

When people do that, when they examine the evidence of his character and integrity (as opposed to just watching the same 10-second clips of Jeremiah Wright over and over, with inane voiceovers from Fox News), when they honestly seek to answer the questions, “Who is this guy? What kind of president would he be?” — when people do that, a lot of them conclude that he’d make a really good one. Not just because they want someone to fill that role, but because he actually is that good.

Obama rings true. When people check him out, a substantial portion of them conclude that he’s the genuine article. That’s why, if you look at the polling in pretty much every state that’s held a primary so far, Hillary’s support has climbed steadily in the months before election day, while Barack Obama’s support, after starting well below hers, rises with a much steeper slope. It’s happening now in Pennsylvania (though Obama’s rise has been slower there than in some earlier contests, reflecting Hillary’s relative strength in Pennsylvania):

In terms of support numbers, both in these state-by-state primary contests and in the general election against McCain, Obama has real upside potential. There exists a pool of rational, open-minded voters who haven’t yet made up their minds. When those people look at the available choices, they’re not very likely to learn good things they didn’t already know about Hillary or McCain. Hillary and McCain have years on the national stage; if you don’t support them already, the chances that you’re going to switch to them now are relatively small.

Obama is different. Outside the pool of politics junkies who have been following these races obsessively (ahem), many voter haven’t tuned in yet. When those voters do tune in, and check out Obama, a substantial portion of them are going to conclude, “Whoa; I must vote for this man.” That’s where that steep slope in his support graph comes from.

Those of you accusing me of irrational Obamamania, take this test: Go research the guy yourself. Watch his campaign speeches on YouTube. Listen to his podcasts. Read what hilzoy had to say about Obama’s first two years in the Senate, or what Charles Peters had to say about Obama’s actions in the Illinois state legislature.

That’s the kind of research I did before falling in love with the guy. That’s where my Obamamania comes from. It’s not irrational. Just the opposite.

58 Responses to “Ackerman on ‘The Obama Doctrine’, Me on the Rational Underpinnings of Obamamania”

  1. ymatt Says:

    This reminds me of another interesting moment at the caucus… one of the Hillary supporters in my district is actually a coworker of mine and asked me (not rudely, just curiously) why I support Obama so strongly. I gave an answer pretty similar to yours here, and specifically talked about his willingness and apparent drive to get into the details of subjects to define policies that will prove to make practical sense, not just political sense. The coworker seemed a bit surprised that I had this sort of considered, grounded-in-practicality basis for my support.

    There is (and was at the caucus) the more emotional contingent of support for Obama, but I think you’re right that the ramp up in support that Obama seems to get close to election time is made mostly of people like you and me who start doing the research and find out that the fancy speeches are just gravy. Like Obama drawing broad support from people who like him because he’s black and gives spectacular speeches, Hillary clearly is drawing broad support from people who like her because she’s female and she has the Clinton reputation for feistiness (certainly I also saw many, many of these at the caucus). The difference is that the more judgmental voters are breaking for Obama I think.

  2. hossman Says:

    I like this graph of how people have gotten to know/like Obama vs Clinton even better…

    North Carolina

    http://www.pollster.com/08-NC-Dem-Pres-Primary.php

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    Off topic, but here is a great picture of the guy Obama will be replacing (taken at the recent NATO summit)

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,grossbild-1140276-545178,00.html

  4. NorthernLite Says:

    lmao, that’s hilarious, it’s like every leader in the room is trying their hardest not to be seen and photographed schmoozing with Bush.

    Back to the topic… this write-up actually made me feel a little bit guilty for my obamania, because one of the few politicians I support without knowing a great deal about them. But at least it validates my feelings for Obama, when someone really takes the time to dig past the speeches and rhetoric and actually finds out that he walks the talk. I really hope America chooses him for their next president, I think he could do great things and bring a lot of people together, especially the youth who are going to have to fix (and pay for) a lot of things.

  5. enkidu Says:

    and just to be perfectly clear:
    http://ydr.inyork.com/ci_8744384

    The York Daily Record (known for its coverage of the Dover ID trial) interviews Barack Obama

    Q: York County was recently in the news for a lawsuit involving the teaching of intelligent design. What’s your attitude regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools?

    A: “I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.

    so
    A) he IS a Christian
    (roughly 10% to 15% of Duhmberkkkins think he is a muslim)
    and
    B) he believes in evolution

    whew! thought he might be some kinda Manchurian Atheist IDer
    or something

  6. Craig Says:

    I’d be interested to know how he personally deals with his faith and the beginnings of Mankind alongside evolution’s beginnings. Just a question, not an attack.

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    Fair question Craig. Ask Hillary & McNasty McSame the question too. Then rate the answers to the question no one KNOW the answer to.
    Cheers.

  8. knarlyknight Says:

    This thread seems to sputtered out.

    Here, catch this somebody:

    9/11: Where Barack Obama and Condi Rice Sound Alarmingly Alike:

    Barack Obama appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball last night and was asked about the way he would handle the 3 a.m. phone call.

    The transcript:

    MATTHEWS: Let me give you a scene that may face you in the next year or two, where the national security adviser calls you at 3:00 in the morning and tells that you a couple of jet — commercial jets have been hijacked. And they believe it is al Qaeda. And, as we know, al Qaeda always tries a second time. They tried for the World Trade Center after ’93. They came back in ’01.
    They’re heading for the Capitol. What do you do?

    OBAMA: Well, look, I am hesitant to engage in hypotheticals like that, because…

    MATTHEWS: But it has been predictable.

    OBAMA: Oh, well, the–I don’t think anybody predicted 9/11. And, so, we don’t know what kinds of circumstances are going to come up.

    Yup. That’s right, Barack Obama glibly stated that he didn’t “think anybody predicted 9/11.”

    Some thoughts:

    1. Maybe Obama needs a tutorial from former Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, who just endorsed him yesterday. Heck, even Hamilton knows and has to acknowledge that 9/11 was predictable.

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_kristen__080404_9_2f11_3a_where_barack_o.htm

  9. shcb Says:

    He’ll get better at answering no win questions like that as he gets more experience. He will learn to answer with a long rambling answer that means nothing. The problem with that question is it only has two answers Matthews would have accepted. Would you order the plane shot down or not. Why does it matter to Matthews that it is Al Qaeda? Wouldn’t the scenario be the same if a bunch of McViegh’s buddies in Montana had hijacked those planes? But I digress, the answer to Matthews is that there are already preset rules of engagement to handle this scenario (I hope) and by the time the president is asked to give his permission to shoot down the plane it is pretty much a forgone conclusion what the decision is going to be. Kind of boring. Matthews would have glazed over somewhere between preset and rules, the interesting question is how he (or any candidate) would handle something we haven’t thought of, say two planes in international waters heading for two cruise ships packed with Americans, in the port of a foreign country.

    Bush took a calculated political risk when he took Islamic terrorism head on and attacked Iraq, he has lost that political bet (even though we may win the battle itself) . Democrats have taken a similar risk by being so vociferously opposed to every aspect of this war save Afghanistan. Questions like this are harder for D’s because the jury is still out on whether they have won or lost that bet. It is entirely possible for both sides to loose their respective bets given the length of time that has elapsed and the schizophrenic nature of voters.

  10. NorthernLite Says:

    Maybe the Democrats only want to focus on Afghanistan because that’s where Al Qaeda was based out of? Force the Iraqi’s to get their country back in order. Seriously, it’s been over five years and the US is no closer now to controlling the country than it was way back in 2003.

    Maybe the Democrats think that by arbitrarily invading and occupying Muslim lands only adds fuel to the fire and obstructs the goal of winning “hearts and minds”?

    Just a couple of thoughts.

  11. shcb Says:

    That is all true that is what Democrats think, the thought, question, premise, not sure what to call it I’m talking about is how will voters respond. My thoughts are more about the election than the war or the justification of it. Divorce yourself from the war debate for a monment and give me your thoughts about my last paragraph. It may not be pretty, but that is what the advisors are doing now with all the candidates.

  12. knarlyknight Says:

    SHCB,

    Your first paragraph was fascinating. Imagine, preset procedures for airline hijackings, who’d a thunk it?

    Please allow George Washington to more fully address the issues raised by your comments:

    http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2008/04/to-keep-america-safe-we-must-impeach.html

  13. shcb Says:

    let me be a little more clear NL, I think I am referring to level of decent for the war, not the decent itself .

  14. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    I find it comical that people that think the President should have done more then want a president that will do less now.

    At least this guy admits we are at war with Islam radicals.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    SHCB,

    I find it comical in an ironic way that, in your post (two above)to NL, you make a “Freudian slip” and refer to the actions of people who want to stop the war as decent (rather than “dissent”.)

    It appears that a highly repressed part of you is trying to be heard. Deep down you must know that your pro-violence positions ultimately does more harm to humanity than good.

    As for what the president should or should not be doing, he should be answering the questions raised by the failures on 911 as described in the George Washington link three posts above.

  16. shcb Says:

    No slip, just bad spelling, damn those nuns, I am the only person on the face of the planet to have been subjected to a Catholic school who can’t spell.

    I didn’t read all of the GW piece, been there done that. Unless this one is unique this is just Monday morning quarterbacking. We had considered the possibility of planes flying into buildings, Clancy wrote a book about it for Christ’s sake. We just underestimated our enemy. We didn’t think they could organize such an attack and we thought our defenses were adequate. They weren’t. rules had been put in place that made a response to something like this difficult, intelligence agencies that couldn’t talk to each other (his reference that the CIA knew about the hijackers). Planes weren’t allowed to break the sound barrier because it rattles the windows. Remember how long it took the Air Force to catch Payne Stewart’s plane? That could have been a terrorist, it wasn’t so we left the rule in place. Those things have been fixed. One of them by the Patriot act, something liberals oppose. The reason for my “they want to elect people who will do less” remark

    There was nothing to tell us this attack was going to happen specifically. If we started rounding up every Arab we thought was suspicious and putting them in internment camps in eastern Colorado I’m guessing you guys would be a bit upset and yet this guy says we should have picked up these guys, that is easy to say now that we know who they are. It’s as easy as saying the coach shouldn’t have called that timeout early in the 4th. Those decisions are a bit harder when the future isn’t the past quite yet.

  17. NorthernLite Says:

    I gave some thought to the paragraph, shcb.

    But I don’t think it’s a political gamble for the Democrats to follow the will of the people and get the US out of Iraq.

    I mean, the only people who will be upset are hard-core Bush supporters and there’s not very many of them left these days. And they despise Democrats now, and will in the future.

    So I don’t see it is a gamble for them. Especially for Obama, who oppsed this war from the very begining.

  18. shcb Says:

    NL,

    I was thinking about it last night and I think you may be right. I think the Democrats may have hit this one just about right. Obama is backing away from an immediate surrender talk, but only slightly, and he has been opposed to the war from the start. I’m not sure the general public understands what a surrender in Iraq would mean or even cares so that is helping. I also think the Arabs understand American politics well enough to not plan a major attack until after the elections. So the D’s may have guessed correctly on this one. The one thing that could upset the apple cart is if a splinter group of the Arabs attacked us and pissed off the American public. Or we’ve all misread the sentiment of the voters.

  19. enkidu Says:

    “surrender”

    nice rwnj framing
    how about “correcting dumbya’s enormous fuckup”
    or “focusing on the afghan-pakistan border”

    I think ienjs would hit us the first chance they get. And it is inevitable that they will hit us in the future (especially since the invasion and occupation of Iraq). If you think bombing Iran is going to lessen this probability, you are far far down the rwnj path to insanity.

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,

    Nice one, simply disregard the response to your comments by GW and instead regurgitated your mis-informed cartoonish opinions. If you find that a lot of people do not take you seriously, that’s why.

    “Surrender” – LOL.

  21. shcb Says:

    even without reading the whole GW piece what did I not address?

  22. NorthernLite Says:

    Surrender? I can’t beleive you’d disprspect your troops like that.

    Their mission was to disarm Saddam Hussien. Not only did they accomplish that mission, they killed him and his sons.

    I would say the mission was accomplished long ago. Should have left then.

  23. shcb Says:

    NL,

    :-) that’s me, ole dis the troops Rick, I’m using the word surrender to reflect the opinion of the “world community” especially the “Arab street”, love those buzzwords, if we get out before we are finished. Organized crime didn’t come to an abrupt end with the capture and death of Capone, the war in Iraq wasn’t over with the capture of Sadam, that was just a milestone. When Yamamoto was killed in ’43 the war didn’t stop, if we would have said “Yamamoto is dead, the head of the snake has been severed, we have retaliated for Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific has been won” the Japanese would have said “cool, we won”. And they would have been right.Why is this so hard for you guys to understand? That is a rhetorical question.

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    Because surrender involves handing your troops and equipment over to the enemy and near total capitulating to their terms.

    Withdrawal is completely different. But the USA is not going to leave Iraq so this whole debate is moot.

  25. knarlyknight Says:

    Shcb,

    You mentioned Payne Stewart’s plane operating for a long time before intercepts were looking into his cockpit. I believe the time for that was 20 minutes, unsatisfactory but nowhere near the 911 time frame of a virtual stand down for hours. Former Gov. Minnesota Jesse Ventura puts Payne Stewart’s plane into context at the 2:27 mark of this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lUhVFpwhgE

    You ask: “even without reading the GW piece what did I not address?”
    There are 9 items that you did not address. The GW original article (here again: http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2008/04/to-keep-america-safe-we-must-impeach.html )
    contains links for each assertion:

    “ 1. … the government failed to do its job of protecting the American people.

    2. For example, 9/11 was completely foreseeable. U.S. and allied intelligence services had penetrated the very highest levels of Al Qaeda prior to 9/11 and heard the hijackers’ plans from their own mouths.

    3. … the 9/11 Commission found that the Bush administration did nothing to prevent the attacks. For example, 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said:

    “The president says, if I had only known that 19 Islamic men would come into the United States of America and on the morning of 11 September hijack four American aircraft, fly two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into an unknown Pennsylvania that crashed in Shanksville, I would have moved heaven and earth. That’s what he said.
    Mr. President, you don’t need to know that. This is an Islamic jihadist movement that has been organized since the early 1990s, declared war on the United States twice, in ’96 and ’98. You knew they were in the United States. You were warned by the CIA. You knew in July they were inside the United States. You were told again by briefing officers in August that it was a dire threat.

    And what did you do? Nothing, so far as we could see on the 9/11 Commission. Now, that’s in the report. And we took an oath not to talk about it during the campaign ….”
    Indeed, before 9/11, U.S. and allied governments had prevented the arrest of many of the hijackers.

    4. … once the 9/11 attacks were under way, what did the Bush administration do? You might think that I’m going to say “nothing”.
    Actually, they did worse than nothing. They actively interfered with the ability of the military and civilian air traffic controllers to prevent or minimize the catastrophe.

    Don’t believe me? The director of the U.S. “Star Wars” space defense program in both Republican and Democratic administrations, who was a senior air force colonel who flew 101 combat missions (Col. Robert Bowman) stated:

    “If our government had merely [done] nothing, and I say that as an old interceptor pilot—I know the drill, I know what it takes, I know how long it takes, I know what the procedures are, I know what they were, and I know what they’ve changed them to—if our government had merely done nothing, and allowed normal procedures to happen on that morning of 9/11, the Twin Towers would still be standing and thousands of dead Americans would still be alive.”

    What does he mean? He means that the normal airplane intercept protocols were wholly ignored on 9/11.

    5. … President Bush read My Pet Goat for seven minutes after being informed about the second airplane, and then loitered at the school for a long time after that. If he had acted decisively and told the air force to immediately intercept all hijacked planes, lives would have been saved.

    6. … Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of ALL of the war games which occurred on and coordinated the government’s “response” to the attacks (see this Department of State announcement; this CNN article; and this essay). The war games had previously been spread out over the course of a couple of months, but someone — with Cheney in charge — moved up all of the war games to 9/11. Because of this scheduling, on the morning of 9/11, five war games and terror drills were being conducted by several U.S. defense agencies, including one “live fly” exercise using REAL planes. Then-Acting Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard B. Myers, admitted to 4 of the war games in congressional testimony — see transcript here or video here (6 minutes and 12 seconds into the video).

    Some of the war games included inserting fake radar information onto air traffic controllers screens (pay-per-view article; reprinted here) . Air traffic controllers claim they couldn’t see some of the hijacked planes, and that they were still tracking what they thought were hijacked planes long after all 4 of the real planes had crashed. This implies that false radar blips remained on their screens after all 4 planes went down.
    And fighter jets were sent far off-course over the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the attacks (testimony of Senator Mark Dayton), neutralizing their ability to intercept the hijacked airliners.

    7. … people within the U.S. government, including Dick Cheney, watched Flight 77 as it approached the Pentagon from many miles out, and watched other of the hijacked planes for many miles, but failed to take any steps to intercept any of the aircraft.

    8. … someone ordered the tenants of the Twin Towers back into the Towers. They died when the buildings collapsed. It is not clear who ordered the people back in; but — even if Bush or Cheney were not responsible for the order — given that 9/11 was a national emergency, they (Bush and Cheney) had the power to order a full evacuation. Thus, the blood of those who died in the Twin Towers is on Bush and Cheney’s hands as well.
    Therefore, it is beyond argument that Bush, Cheney and the other leaders of our government failed to protect us on 9/11, and increased the death toll from the attacks.
    Bush and Cheney’s Criminal Negligence and Wilfull Disregard of Loss of Life on 9/11 is Grounds for Impeachment

    9. Criminal neglect as a basis for impeachment: According to the former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clarke, criminal neglect is a basis for impeachment. Specifically, in the articles of impeachment against President Bush and Vice President Cheney which Clarke drafted, he lists as one of the grounds for impeachment: “Engaging in criminal neglect”.
    Similarly, Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman who served on the House Judiciary Committee during Nixon’s impeachment, co-authored the 1973 special prosecutor statute, and co-wrote the book, The Impeachment of George W. Bush, has stated that criminal negligence is a basis for impeachment:

    “The president neglected his duty over matters of vast consequence and in situations where the trust placed in him was great. This conjunction of his failure to take care and his reckless indifference to human life provides the basis for impeachment.”

    Other constitutional experts have also stated that criminal negligence or willfull indifference to loss of human life is a basis for impeachment.
    Given the discussed-described facts, it is beyond dispute that President Bush and VP Cheney were — at the very least — grossly negligent and willfully indifferent to loss of human life before and on 9/11.
    They should therefore be impeached. If we do not impeach Bush and Cheney, it will set a dangerous precedent for future Commanders-In-Chief and Vice Presidents . . . that they can act with gross negligence and callow disregard for human life, and not face any consequences.
    They are also subject to criminal liability for criminal negligence.” ( end quote.)

  26. knarlyknight Says:

    sorry for the format error

  27. knarlyknight Says:

    better?

  28. knarlyknight Says:

    fixed now?

    At least the preceeding is still readable, but the original GW article is better as the embedded links provide the necessary doecumentation (which are not present in most all of shcb’s comments.)

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    Test 123

  30. knarlyknight Says:

    Oops, I think Ventura’s description about Paybne Stewart’s plane is at 2:27 in this video, not the Hannity and Colmes video provided before.

    www . 911blogger.com/node/14880

    why did this post not go through the first or second time, is 911 blogger blocked on this site?

  31. NorthernLite Says:

    It’s hard to understand because Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, wheras Japan had everything to do with Pearl Harbour. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    The mission in Iraq was to “disarm Saddam Hussein”. And like I said, that mission was accomplished long ago, apparently even before the invasion, unless Hussein sprinkled them WMD with invisible juice.

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    NL,
    The mission in Iraq is, and was, always more muddled than simply to disarm Saddam; although the MSM told us otherwise. The House’s war resolution on Iraq that shcb referred us to a long time ago had a lot of vague references to terrorism which essentially allows these neo-con criminals to play semantic games forever in order to justify the American military in Iraq forever. Get it through your head, the Americans are acting like an empire, they have the economic and military strength to do anything in support of their own interests almost anywhere on earth (China and Russia excluded.) If they choose to remain in a festering hellhole that they have made Iraq, that is their mistake to make. Personally, I am appreciative of the higher Canadian dollar that has resulted from their many follies over the past 8 years; and appreciative of the lower interest rates that are primarily a result of their attempts to buy a little more time by hiding the true extent of their fiscal problems.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQBWGo7pef8

  34. knarlyknight Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWr5Wl-mev0

  35. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    I’m sorry, I know you spent a lot of time on that post but it is mostly just more 911 conspiracy nonsense. I will have to give you the Payne Stewart aspect of the post. There was indeed an F16 on station in about 20 minutes. It’s not clear from the NTSB report how far, how fast, or from what angle the plane flew, he may have already been in the area, he most certainly was already in the air. There were several flights that shadowed the Stewart plane that day and even included multiple in air refueling. The Popular Mechanics claim that it took 1 hour 20 minutes for planes to catch Stewarts plane could be correct if they were referring to one of the other flights, one of the flights were unable to catch the plane at all, but there is nothing in the report to say if they could have had they been allowed to go supersonic. None of the planes chasing the Lear were armed with missiles, however their were two sitting on the tarmac that were armed for this particular situation. Had the plane headed for a populated area they would have been scrambled and one would presume any technology available would have been used to down the plane. I’m disappointed with PM’s distortion or lie in this matter, but don’t think I believe in this conspiracy junk because I have conceded this one point.

    The Paul speech disguised as a question was cute. Now I’m glad I don’t support the guy. I really liked the last “question” something the General clearly can’t answer and then he has the audacity to say there is only one answer to the question. Excuse me, but that isn’t a question, that is a statement. Political grandstanding at it’s best.

    NL,

    I don’t know what to say, if you think Al Qaeda attacked us on 911 as a totally independent group, and this war is only with them, then your thoughts make perfect sense. You are drawing any subsequent conclusions from a totally erroneous premise, as such any subsequent conclusions will probably be erroneous as well. But they would make sense from the perspective of that erroneous premise.

  36. knarlyknight Says:

    Why couldn’t General Petraeus answer the question? You would think that he would know by now, i.e. been thinking ahead enough to know, what he would do if he got an order to attack Iranian soil. It was an incredibly easy question about the limit to his authority. The fact he did not know the answer is frightening, in that it suggests in the heat of battle he would carry out potentially illegal orders that could start WWIII.

    You must see it from a different perspective, but I agree it was political grandstanding at its best – although I fail to see how it was cute unless you call taking a strong, honourable and principled stand “cute”.

  37. enkidu Says:

    We are one big giant step closer to bombing Iran.
    Admiral Fallon has been relieved of his command over CENTCOM.
    Admiral Fallon has repeatedly stated that there would be no preemptive war on Iran if he could help it.

    Admiral Fallon considers Patraeus “an ass-kissing little chickenshit” (google it)

    I think we are very close to another Gulf of Tonkin incident as an excuse to start hostilities with Iran. A remote control speedboat with a few freshly dead Iranian or Iraqi ‘sailors’ or Revolutionary Guards (complete with miraculously recovered IDs!) ram into a US warship and boom! presto!

    Say three weeks before the election?
    Just in time to save McInsane’s antique bacon.

    If you think this scenario is far fetched, you haven’t been watching these creeps operate for the last 7 or 8 years (actually the last 60 or 70, certainly ever since dumbya’s grandpappy backed/banked Hitler).

  38. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    Nice try, but calling something a bad name does not make it bad. And it does not make it go away, as growing numbers of people want answers. (For example:

    14 structural engineers now publicly challenge the government’s account of the destruction of the Trade Centers on 9/11:

    A prominent engineer with 55 years experience, in charge of the design of hundreds of major building projects including high rise offices, former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission and former member of the National Institute of Sciences Building Safety Council (Marx Ayres) believes that the World Trade Centers were brought down by controlled demolition (see also this)

    Two professors of structural engineering at a prestigious Swiss university (Dr. Joerg Schneider and Dr. Hugo Bachmann) said that, on 9/11, World Trade Center 7 was brought down by controlled demolition (translation here)

    Kamal S. Obeid, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Berkeley, of Fremont, California, says:

    “Photos of the steel, evidence about how the buildings collapsed, the unexplainable collapse of WTC 7, evidence of thermite in the debris as well as several other red flags, are quite troubling indications of well planned and controlled demolition”

    Ronald H. Brookman, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Davis, of Novato California, writes:

    etc. the rest plus all the links to the engineer’s statements are here:
    http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2008/04/14-structural-engineers-have-now.html

    The GW article contained facts and some logical questions that arise. For example:

    … 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said:

    “The president says, if I had only known that 19 Islamic men would come into the United States of America and on the morning of 11 September hijack four American aircraft, fly two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into an unknown Pennsylvania that crashed in Shanksville, I would have moved heaven and earth. That’s what he said.
    Mr. President, you don’t need to know that. This is an Islamic jihadist movement that has been organized since the early 1990s, declared war on the United States twice, in ‘96 and ‘98. You knew they were in the United States. You were warned by the CIA. You knew in July they were inside the United States. You were told again by briefing officers in August that it was a dire threat.

    And what did you do? Nothing, so far as we could see on the 9/11 Commission. Now, that’s in the report. And we took an oath not to talk about it during the campaign ….”

    Get impeachment hearings going so we can start to get some real answers instead of insulting put-downs like you offered above.

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    Test

  40. knarlyknight Says:

    damn format typo’s

  41. shcb Says:

    I added some macro’s to my word tool bar for block quote, em strong etc it helps a lot. I’ll get back to you tonight on the reason the general can’t answer that question. He of course knows the answer or at least has an opinion but he can’t answer that question.

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    gotcha. Probably something like if he answers that question he is also telling the “enemy” the answer, or is it just that Iran is not his table (“sorry, Ayatolla but your table is being waited on by another general”), or …?

    You know what, I really don’t care what the answer is. If you Americans bomb innocent civilians in Iran then Karma or hell will take care of whoever is responsible for it. It’s got nothing to do with me.

  43. knarlyknight Says:

    A few bad apples, you say?

    Seems like they are all in the White House.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080410/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/interrogation_tactics

  44. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    No, it has more to do with protocol and constitutional responsibilities. Paul lets him know early on that this is just going to be a speech masquerading as a question, or a series of questions. Paul is also reading off a script and after just a few moments it is obvious he is not going to let Petraeus say much if anything. This is a common tactic among politicians looking for a sound bite. They get to talk and talk, then they try and get a sound bite from the victim. If you notice Paul was very careful to not deviate from his script. He didn’t ask Petraeus if he thought they should invade, or what the ramifications would be, which would have been within the purview of a general. He asked if it would be constitutional. The constitutionality is the responsibility of the Supreme Court, the President and the Congress, not the general. It is doubtful a general would answer that question in an interview, there is no way he will answer that question in front of congress. It is simply an inappropriate question. Paul knows that, which is why he phrased it that way. He needed to allow the general to answer one question to give the rest on the rhetorical questions at least a tiny bit of credence. He also got a free sound bite that Michael Moore can spin in his next film.

    It’s all part of the game, Petraeus knew what going in. One or two congressmen would engage in these speeches and the rest would actually ask thoughtful queries. He was caught a little off guard surprisingly but he recovered nicely. He knows his place and decorum didn’t allow him to call the Congressman on it. He could have easily got into the inappropriateness of even asking that question. But he would have paid for that later, Paul put him in a no win situation and he decided to cut his losses and say he was only involved in Iraq bla bla bla. Paul got his speech, and the real business of the session could continue. There was little to be gained and much to be lost in pressing Paul.

  45. enkidu Says:

    Bombing Iran isn’t a game.

  46. knarlyknight Says:

    Hey, good response shcb. It’s reasoned and I agree with most of it, despite the stupid, unnecessary and totally hypothetical jabs at Michael Moore.

    Your response makes sense, except I wouldn’t call it a game.

    Ron Paul made it clear at the beginning that his intention was to get his questions on the record. There is value in that.

    These questions need to be on the record and need to be considered (by the General and others.) An answer, to those questions, at this particular moment is not so important.

    Sometimes it is important just to let others know that other people are thinking and that they are not solely in charge of the nation’s agenda. There are limits.

    The Constitution of the United States was supposed to provide the safeguards as deemed vital by the founder’s who had experienced tyranny first hand and were highly learned men knowledgable about the history of the human struggle to cast off such tyranny in the recent past in Europe and in ancient times. But you know all that, and don’t care because the current tyrrants are republicans (see my “bad apples” post immediately above yours.)

    Or here is another example. If I read the story correctly, a Governor is elected (Alabama, 2002) and later claims his election was only made possible by rigged elections. He tells major news networks in interviews, they cut that segment of the interview out. He tells newspapers, they refuse to cover the story. He can’t get heard. Why not? Maybe he’s a total flake with severe hallucinations, but you’d think that a former governor that whacked out and making such bold claims would be newsworthy. You tell me. Or not, if this is too boring for you.

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5889

    And if you want to stay on that topic, here is an update:
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5890

  47. knarlyknight Says:

    Might not get back to the computer for a couple days, busy, i.e. got a fence to paint tomorrow as it is supposed to be the first nice day this spring (sunny and 18 degrees, that’s 64 degrees in the old fashioned system.) Looking forward to it. Winters here are long, wet and not much sun. Maybe that is why I get so gnarly with you. No, it’s probably just because you are so wrong on so many things that I am right about.
    Cheers.

  48. shcb Says:

    Guys,

    Of course bombing Iran isn’t a game. But if you are mad at someone it should be Paul not Petraeus. The general was there and answered every question he could in a thoughtful, truthful, and respectful manner, judging by past experience. I didn’t watch the entire meeting, I’m sure none of you did either (I doubt anyone that wasn’t getting paid to watch it did) but my guess is that it lasted the better part of all day if not several days and there were probably two or three of these incidents. But the rest of the time the discussions with Petraeus were professional and fruitful. That is the game part, the part Paul was playing, not Petraeus.

    Knarly is also right that the system provides checks and balances. Petraeus was honoring those checks and balances, Paul was abusing them. If Paul really wants an answer to that question he should call a constitutional scholar to testify. Paul doesn’t want to call someone like that because then he would get an answer he doesn’t want to hear. I’m really not picking on Paul, this tactic isn’t uncommon. If the administration is doing something unconstitutional then there are procedures to fix it. Paul knows they have done nothing unconstitutional so he presents the question to someone who not only won’t but someone who can’t answer the question. He is all over you tube and the news that night and absolutely nothing was accomplished in those 5 minutes, that is a game.

    I hadn’t heard anything about the sour grapes guy in Alabama, who is free on bail? Maybe that is clue? The best answer I have with knowing absolutely nothing about this is maybe the press has done their job for once and there is no story, this guy may be full of organic fertilizer.

    Wear a hat Knarly
    Do a little ice fishing while you’re painting, the kind where you fish for a beer at the bottom of the ice chest.

  49. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks shcb.

  50. Terry Says:

    Obama is just a politician, and like all politicians, he will wind up letting you down. Change? It’s all rhetoric.

  51. Cassandra Says:

    Look I don’t know how many of you would like to se Obama as our next President., But as for me I really want this. And I thinkl that we should be doing something to make sure this comes to pass. Because I know for a fact, that the men, with in these other countries, do not, believe in doing, what a woman, tells them, to do.
    But there are some guys that think that this “so called” woman could run our country. But all I see her as, is a…….
    Woman scorend. She doesn’t care about the people she only wants the vote.
    Oh and what about this little fact there is this one old fat white guy named Rush Limp-Balls. Whose been telling some republicans, that are in the rest of these states that have to vote. To register under demorcrat and vote for Hillary. Fox has been talking about this on their show. Their not trying to stop this crap either.
    Dear GOD please let some one read this and do something to stop Hillary from winning this election!!!

  52. shcb Says:

    So Cassandra, you know for a fact that men do not believe in doing what a woman tells them to do, (you should really use a word processor and cut and paste into the little box). There have been quite a few women run countries in the past, Margaret Thatcher comes to mind, in the current Iraq at least 25% of parliament must be women. For the most part only our enemies in this war on terror fit your statement, and who cares what they think.

    Yes Rush Limbaugh has asked Republicans to vote for Hillary, but I believe Obama’s camp also asked Republicans to cross over and vote for him.

    Speaking proper English will get you farther in life than trying to emulate Enky.

  53. enkidu Says:

    btw rwnj, you typically mess up the words “loose” and “lose” (looos is like the kids with their saggy pants, loooz is what McCain is going to do this fall)
    Your habitual misuse of these words is how I can tell you aren’t just a sockpuppet for TV or lefty (who both seem to be militant R black (possibly gay – not that there is anything wrong w that!) psychos). They both use these words correctly.

    I intentionally misspell things for comedic effect
    example
    have we found teh WMDz!!1!!!1! yet?

    And as to rushbots trying to get the weaker of the two Dems into the race, there is no comparison between Obama reaching across to Rs and Inds (like me) and Limp-baugh getting his dittoheads to throw the primary to Hillary. Nice strawman, btw.

  54. shcb Says:

    Enky,

    I’ll watch that, I’m as poor a speller as Bush is a speaker, you should see these posts before I spell check them, the other day I looked up “meen” and “mean” I thought I was using mean when I should be using meen, to my shock there was no meen. If you notice I always say Sadam, because I don’t know how to spell his last name without looking it up.

    I disagree with you on the crossover votes. Which shouldn’t be allowed by the legislature but since it is… If Rush bellows to R’s and I’s vote for Hill, and a spokesman from the Obama camp says he wishes to “reach out to R’s and I’s” for their considered vote, that is just a difference in style, the end result is the same.

  55. enkidu Says:

    No. Sorry, Limp-baugh is asking Rs and hardline ditto head conservatives to cross over and vote for Hillary in the primary so that she is the nominee for the Ds. She is widely perceived as the weaker of the two candidates on the D side (imho as well) and I know every rwnj would love to pound the Clintons into history (the arguments are all ready, the smears decades old, the skeletons waiting for their parade).

    No way in hell he will continue to ‘support’ Hillary (operation chaos, look back at any of the multitude of past RL smears against the Clintons, etc etc etc) once it is down to Hillary vs McSame.

    gObama!

    Barack wants your vote in the Nov election

  56. shcb Says:

    Operation chaos 050308

    You know Enky, I’m going to have to give you this one. Not because I retract anything I said, but you me some accurate points, mostly you are correct. The primary reason I I’m conceding is because I could in good conscience engage in the proper level of schadenfreude without giving this one to you.

    Rush is doing everything you say and so much more. He doesn’t care whether Hillary or Obama win, he doesn’t much care for McCain for that matter. He only cares that they both stay in the race until the convention. They spend the summer beating each other up, they spend tons of money and the media is covering them and trashing McCain. We (R’s) don’t have much of a chance winning this election, but this is helping.

    This whole thing is so precious on so many levels. These last primaries would be more or less moot without the super delegates. Now the super delegates are the Democrat’s version of the Electoral College, the original one, not the symbolic one we use now. This is the same Electoral College the D’s hated after the ’00 election, the symbolic one not the original one. Now the reason for the super delegates was because the party was persuaded to put up George McGovern as the candidate by the far left, anti war fringe, this is the guy who said he would crawl on his knees to Hanoi if that is what it takes to stop the war. He lost in the worst landslide in history, only won one state, to Nixon no less. So the elites decided the unwashed masses couldn’t be trusted to elect the right guy. Well a funny thing happened, those radicals grew up and now run the party, now their version of McGovern is poised to lose because of the system their predecessors put in place to keep a far left wing liberal from getting nominated. It’s really kind of precious.

  57. enkidu Says:

    the media is trashing McSame?
    you really are nuts

    the other strawmen and rwnj distortions aren’t worth knocking the stuffing out of, but sweet jesus that line still makes me laugh… the media IS McSame’s base.

  58. shcb Says:

    Boy, I must have had something else on my mind when I wrote that , there were a bunch of mistakes that changed the whole meaning of what I was saying, see if this makes more sense. I have highlighted the changes I made.

    You know Enky, I’m going to have to give you this one. Not because I retract anything I said, but you made some accurate points, mostly you are correct. The primary reason I I’m conceding is because I could not in good conscience engage in the proper level of schadenfreude without giving this one to you.
    Rush is doing everything you say and so much more. He doesn’t care whether Hillary or Obama win, he doesn’t much care for McCain for that matter. He only cares that they both stay in the race until the convention. They spend the summer beating each other up, they spend tons of money and the media is covering them and not trashing McCain. We (R’s) don’t have much of a chance winning this election, but this is helping.

    This whole thing is so precious on so many levels. These last primaries would be more or less moot without the super delegates. Now the super delegates are the Democrat’s version of the Electoral College, the original one, not the symbolic one we use now. This is the same Electoral College the D’s hated after the ’00 election, the symbolic one not the original one. Now the reason for the super delegates was because the party was persuaded to put up George McGovern as the candidate by the far left, anti war fringe, this is the guy who said he would crawl on his knees to Hanoi if that is what it takes to stop the war. He lost in the worst landslide in history, only won one state, to Nixon no less. So the elites decided the unwashed masses couldn’t be trusted to elect the right guy. Well a funny thing happened, those radicals grew up and now run the party, now their version of McGovern is poised to lose because of the system their predecessors put in place to keep a far left wing liberal from getting nominated. It’s really kind of precious

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