Marshall on Olbermann on Mancow on Waterboarding

Keith Olbermann makes good on his Hannity bet, sort of, by pledging to pay $10,000 to a veteran’s charity in honor of Mancow Muller, a conservative radio personality who apparently thought waterboarding was no big deal, and had it done to himself live on air. Josh Marshall talks about it in From Olbermann, including this part:

I must confess that when I see Hannity or the rest of these guys saying it’s no big deal and it’s not torture, I kind of figured they’re playing semantic games and essentially saying ‘I don’t care what we do to evil Muslim terrorist bad guys.’ Hang them from them toes, waterboard them, whatever, who cares? I don’t agree with that. It’s hideous. But I understand it. But here it turns out they’re just completely ignorant, just haven’t been paying attention. Just in the purest factual sense have no idea what they’re talking about.

I’d say that about sums it up.


49 Responses to “Marshall on Olbermann on Mancow on Waterboarding”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    I don’t get it.

    Why didn’t the marine secure Mancow firmly to the board and keep the waterboarding going until he confessed to being an idiot, an accessory to war crimes, and to having a name that accurately reflected his intelligence as being equivalent to bovines?

  2. shcb Says:

    I think this issue has about run its course. Obama is a pretty savvy political mind and it seems to me he knew the Democrats had gotten about all they could get out of it around election time. Of course his political ambitions had been reached and so the issue was of no further use to him, but I think he knew that continuing discussions on torture were not going to end well. He said he wasn’t going to use these techniques and wasn’t going to prosecute anyone, that should have been the end of it.

    In politics as in other areas of life you have to know when you have gotten all you can out of a situation, Obama knows where that point is. Peloci isn’t that smart, had she engaged in a solemn nod of the head in agreement with her president back then the Republicans would look silly now asking what she knew, when she knew it, but alas she didn’t do that, she and other congressional leaders kept pushing, and now they have pushed too far. Dick Cheney would not have had gotten the traction he did had they stopped earlier. Cheney’s shelf life is very limited as well, we’ll see if he is smarter than Nancy.

    The Democrats in the press are in a pickle, they want the Bush administration to go down as the worst in history as much as you guys, but they love a good ole what did they know and when did they know it story more. I think they will toe the party line if the Democrats will let them, but the Democrats have to stop first, even the liberal media still has a little integrity left.

    Stopping something like this isn’t as easy as it sounds though, it’s like stopping a ship, it takes time. You have to be careful about alienating your base, that would be you guys, especially when they have latched onto an emotional issue like this and they have forum to bitch on not just a day to day basis, but a minute to minute basis. Obama wanted to put on the brakes early enough to capture all the positives and avoid the negatives, especially since the negatives have a way of increasing exponentially over time while positive gains are slow and linear.

    Obama had it about right but it doesn’t help much to be the smartest man in the room when you are surrounded by idiots with egos.

  3. shcb Says:

    Smith brought up Protocol I in the last thread, I wonder why there is no push in congress to ratify it? It would give combatants out of uniform POW status. Your have the Senate and the Presidency, that is all you need.

  4. shcb Says:

    Actually I think this about sums it up:

  5. enkidu Says:

    bush was right! man/animal hybrids like this man/cow thing are indeed an abomination… wwnj shock jock guy couldn’t last 5 seconds before he rush limbaughed his pants. Now try it while being tied down and beaten. Make sure it goes on for many minutes. Then do it a few dozen or hundred times.

    It’s just like swimming!
    without that whole ‘coming up for air’ or ‘breathing’ thing

    I am sure jbc will include that totally kickin guitar solo in the next podcast! woooooooooo!

    nice link there wwnj, very enlightening comments
    typical wwnj bullshit and bluster

  6. shcb Says:

    Krauthammer hits the nail on the head, there are some things that while they may not be desirable are simply needed to achieve our objectives.

    There is something much larger at play — an undeniable, irresistible national interest that, in the end, beyond the cheap politics, asserts itself. The urgencies and necessities of the actual post-9/11 world, as opposed to the fanciful world of the opposition politician, present a rather narrow range of acceptable alternatives….

    The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.

  7. NorthernLite Says:

    I don’t have a political science degree, but I think I can safely say that right-wing Republican’s are f*cked in the head.

  8. enkidu Says:

    I think when your ‘information’ sources are fox, pajamasmedia and Charles Krauthammer (sprinkled with some hate radio nonsense) your opinion might be a tad, well, extremist? And I think shcb is actually the most sane R commenter of the lot (excepting lurker craig).

    I recall a tidbit I read about Chuckles Krauthammer:

    About three years ago (that would be in 2003 – enk), I saw Krauthammer flip out in synagogue on Yom Kippur. The rabbi had offered some timid endorsement of peace — peace essentially on Israel’s terms — but peace anyway. Krauthammer went nuts. He actually started bellowing at the rabbi, from his wheel chair in the aisle. People tried to “shush” him. It was, after all, the holiest day of the year. But Krauthammer kept howling until the rabbi apologized. The man is as arrogant as he is thuggish. Who screams at the rabbi at services? For advocating peace?

    Arrogant and thuggish. Throw in racist and you have pretty much described the modern Republicans. Almost makes me miss Reagan. Almost.

  9. shcb Says:

    so what does that have to do with the article?

    Here is another,

    note the byline.

  10. knarlyknight Says:

    Hypocricy abounds in wwnj land.

    shcb is the champion of discrediting & disregarding content based solely on source. & A dose of his own tactic re-directed at his ultra right wing skinhead links and he becomes petulant.


  11. enkidu Says:

    wwnj, you wrote “Krauthammer hits the nail on the head”
    so… referring to Chuckles freaking out at a rabbi (screaming and howling at him in the synagog on Yom Kippur) for even suggesting peace (on Israel’s terms) after you bring up his wwnj screed against Obama is somehow off topic? Then you bring up an article about the Pentagon planning for possible Iraq (note: and Afghanistan) deployments lasting up to a decade? And that is on topic? Yes, I see it is via the AP, your point?

    wwnjs really do inhabit a inside out upside down universe where they are always right (as in correct) no matter how wrong they really are. I can’t wait until you folks Go Galt. Any way we can hasten that day? How is the Million Moran March going? Will your militia unit be there with your reb flags a flyin?

  12. shcb Says:

    So you don’t have an issue with what Krauthammer said in the article I linked to, just who said it? I have never met the man and really don’t know much about him but from what I’ve seen of him on interviews and such I can see him berating a rabbi as you said. He seems like he could be a real prick, but so what? I think he makes some really good points. That is the point of the troop pullout or lack there of link, after a president gets in office they find out they can’t do all the things they said they would (the topic). I’m wondering when the wheels are going to fall off the hope and change wagon and you guys on the left are going to start to question your decision of voting for the man, I have a feeling two years from now you will still be hoping for change.

  13. NorthernLite Says:

    Having an intelligent person in office is the change people wanted. And it’s the changes they got. Only bitter old right-wingers are the one’s still pissed off, and they will be for the next 16 years (Obama then Hillary).

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

  14. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Not sure. Depends on where you are. If you voted for him thinking that he was actually going to be more moderate, you might be happier.

  15. enkidu Says:

    I knew Obama was going to try to be the Great Compromiser. Which basically leaves no one entirely happy, but hews to a ‘middle course’ (replace the “i” in there with a “u” if you like) and thus is more ‘popular’ than outright partisanship.

    I also think that he has to stay out of some of the pitfalls that were left behind by the last regime (what a mess, heck of a job bushie!) The economy first, then everything else.

    shcb – blaming Obama for the Pentagon drawing up contingency plans for a ten year deployment in Afghanistan? Do you realize just how ridiculous that sounds? But you are berating me for not being on topic? (human/animal hybrid gets waterboarded, declares it is torture) But the topic is now whatever you say it is? No.

    I know wwnjs see nothing but evil (and socialism!) coming from the new crew in the WH, but everyone else sees the progress being made. Change is coming and it is happening (just not change that wwnjs are going to like).

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    Man-cow hybrids explain a lot about wwnj’s.

  17. shcb Says:

    So you don’t mind that he is only doing a few cosmetic changes to the Bush policies in regards to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, (congress just passed another ninety some billion to fund those wars) the Patriot Act, Gitmo, indefinite imprisonment etc? I thought that was the root of all evil. We seem to be losing the battle in Iran and North Korea but I guess that isn’t a big deal until a city in Israel or South Korea is melted. Now we have Hugo and Bolivia supplying Iran with nuclear material, but that’s another subject.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    If that is your way of asking my opinion politely shcb, then I’ll offer this: if Obama continues the Bush administration’s policies, and has major terrorist attackS occur on his watch like Bush did (911 + Anthrax), AND acts like an incompetent idiot to crisis (e.g. Katrina), AND worsens the economy while removing environmental safeguards, THEN in about 8 years he can expect to approach the 27% approval rating of Bush.

    My bet is he won’t stoop that low.

  19. shcb Says:

    So I guess the answer is no, it doesn’t bother you much? So all this posturing about the wars and wiretaps and POW rights has just been jibber jabber?

    To the approval rating comment, Dick Morris has said Obama will be down to as low as 40% in the next few months providing there isn’t another attack, he’ll be there overnight if there is. He makes a good point that once he drops below 52% he is losing votes. We’ll see how smart Morris is.

  20. enkidu Says:

    OK, for sh!ts n grins lets say that I take you seriously (which of course I don’t, based on lots of experience) just for a moment.

    Some of the points you mention are indeed where many liberals and independents are less than pleased with the current Obama policy direction. But that doesn’t mean he has to stay with those policies forever. Obama is withdrawing our troops from Iraq to focus on Afghanistan. What is wrong with this? I just don’t see why this is some wwnj ‘gotcha!’ He will remove nearly all combat brigades from Iraq by 2010 or 2012 or something right? I am sure we’ll have tons of ‘advisors’ and trainers and a few air bases, but for all intents and purposes we’ll be out before the end of his first term.

    If you actually read the news in reality (as opposed to the Wingnutoverse news) the Senate blocked his funds for closing Gitmo. That will happen too, but it will take some time to figure out what to do with the current hapless souls (oh i know, these are the Really Bad Guys!™ The Worst of The Worst! riiiiight). You know, like this guy! (sorry if you just limbaughed your pants…)
    Same with indefinite detention (a real blunder by Obama, it just kicks the can down the road, but they’ll sort it out eventually – I Hope)

    Iran? You do realize they have an election coming up and your big scary bad guy (the short guy with the big mouth) may be ousted. Which countries have they invaded lately? Oh right, none. And if they do have a bomb, so what? We have 6000 bombs that are each 2 to 20 times more powerful. Israel has like 300 or so. So if Iran gets the bomb tomorrow how exactly does that change anything? Korea? Well they seem much more nutty, but engagement (which I understand is translated as “appeasement” over in the Wingnutoverse?) will probably win out over belligerence. btw they built their nuke program under the bush regime, so…

    Obama has his eye on the ball (the Af/Pak border and keeping that regime from collapsing, again, heck of a job bushie) and our economy.

    I am also not very happy with his healthcare ‘reform’. I can sum up my criticisms in just four words: no single payer plan

    But let’s face it, despite your sudden surge in civility (no death threats in what, 6 months? That’s change I can believe in!) you aren’t interested in much more than blowing off some steam and berating anyone who hasn’t memorized the Federalist Papers. Your ‘information’ comes from patently partisan extremists and yet you want to be taken ‘seriously’.


  21. enkidu Says:

    knarly, Obama gets TWO 9/11 hits AND a failed invasion built on a pack of lies (and torture to get those lies) plus he gets to collapse the economy and ruin our foreign policy for decades to come. Did we miss any other bush catastrophe’s?
    oh yeah he gets to double the national debt to $22 trillion dollars.

    then we can start calling him funny names and mocking him out of office

    shcb, when I want the opinion of a hooker-toe-sucking-fat-ass-douchebag, I’ll watch fox and there Dick Morris will be. thx!

  22. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea Enk, I was toop gernous in my quick summation. As for 911, that should count as 3 hits as the insurance policy paid out Double for WTC 1 & 2 as it was deemed by the courts to be two seperate terrorist incidents , and then there’s the Pentagon. Plus a lost aircraft over PA.

  23. shcb Says:

    Sorry to get off my own track there, it is just so easy to want to point out hypocrisy. But since Enky is being civil I’ll return the sentiment just a little bit.

    My point was that you guys were just so naïve in thinking he could just walk in and change everything Bush did, the fact is that there are many things he simply can’t change. There are people in Cuba that no one wants for good reason, they should stay there; he’s finding that out now. . There are people we can never let loose; he’s finding that out now. We have to stay in Iraq for a long, long time; he’s finding that out now. “All our troops will be out of Iraq in 16 months” just isn’t going to happen. Iran will threaten the world if not destroy a bit of it if they get the bomb, North Korea will start a war to retake the south if the are allowed, I hope he finds that out in time.

  24. shcb Says:

    I’m sure you have heard by now that North Korea has renounced a peace treaty that has been in effect since 1953, I’m old, but not that old. Now they have never really paid much attention to treaties, communists rarely do, but they are really testing this young man, and the rest of the degenerate world is watching. Khrushchev tested Kennedy, he failed the first test and passed the second, we’ll see how Obama does. I doubt you have read Reagan much but one thing he understood was communists, and he understood that you have to keep them in check with power not politeness.

  25. knarlyknight Says:

    First, about Korea. Nuts, perhaps. But they responded favourably to Clinton and then not so favourably when Bush took a hard line, but came back to the table when Bush changed course near 180 degrees and began talks again – appeasement you would say. Now, N. Korea is being belligerant for who knows what reasons – most say it is the S. Korean’s returning to a threatening posture, but perhaps you are right that it is the bluster of a new president making the same early mistakes as Bush did. Or maybe NK’s leadership is just imploding and the hardest of he hardliners are gaining greater influence. Whatever the case, it is probably a case of self delusional aggrandizing for you to think that America is primarily responsible for NK’s recent actions – or can you point to particular US provocations that would have threatened the NK’s enough to start acting in a nationalistic suicidal role again? For some light background, try this:

    Now, to your first point about the naiveté of Obama supporters thinking he could just walk in and change everything that Bush did. That is simply another of your straw man arguments. No-one said it would be easy, or that it wouldn’t take time. The choice, I thought, was between real change you could believe in or 4 more years of decline with the McSame old collosal screw ups. Which is why I for one am perplexed by this Obama proposal, which I had thought (apparently mistakenly) was the Bush administration’s whole rationale for holding Guantanamo inmate lo these 8 years… comments on this video Enky, NL?

  26. shcb Says:

    There is no provocation that is making NK do what they are doing, they are doing it because Obama has shown weakness, Kennedy made the same mistake with Russia, things got out of hand and he had to pull some extraordinary moves to regain control, control he never should have lost.

    It’s not that reversing Bush policy isn’t going to be easy, it is that it is impossible to do without incurring some major losses simply because much of what Bush did was sensible and correct, that is where you guys showed naiveté.

    You could write a book on what all that is wrong with the Maddow clip. I’m not sure why people listen to her, I have a friend at work that is big liberal and she just thinks Maddow is the greatest thing since sliced bread, I just don’t see it, she doesn’t seem to have a grasp of the issues. In the first place it’s hard to know how disingenuous she is being with the clip editing. In the second she doesn’t seem to understand the difference with prosecuting criminals and the handling of POW’s and enemy combatants, but she probably doesn’t think we are at war. She just sort of lumps them (the people and the issues) all together, spreads them apart and pushes them back together like someone kneading bread.

  27. enkidu Says:

    NK is pretty batshit crazy, but no more than neocons like Chuckles Krauthummer. wwnj when you get a chance you might open a worm hole to reality and observe that S Korea elected a hardline right wing gov that hasn’t helped things. Or that the US and S Korea just had a series of war games in March that included iirc a scenario where the US and SK invade the north. Or that most of this is NK posturing for better deals on food, aid and so forth?

    When bush was installed by the US Supremes, the pretzelnitwit rescinded the ‘no hostile intent’ statement, declared NK as part of the axis of evil, stopped fuel oil shipments and stopped work on their light-water reactors (which were all agreed to under Clinton – the axis of weasels part is just wwnj bluster). I imagine we trimmed food aid too, but i think you see my point without having to google the current fouled up state of US foreign policy for the rest of the morning.

    And how many US nukes are currently pointed at NK? Hundreds one must assume (plus we can retarget ICBMs in short order and have thousands more raining down on them in hours).

    You do realize if the North ever uses a nuke, the Chinese would invade them (after we nuke a few NK cities and all their military industrial sites). This is of course setting aside the idea that they could actually deliver a nuke anywhere. Their nuke program is serious not for its potential to destroy American cities, but for their desperate need for cold hard cash – proliferation. You know, what the Clinton era foreign policy wonks warned the incoming bushies they should focus on? Nonproliferation and terrorism/non-state extremists? Too bad the neocons were in high dudgeon about invading Iraq from day one. Epic fail. Reality must be such a b!tch for you extremists. No wonder you wrap yourself in the flag and a warm cocoon of wwnj hate radio bs.

    You would start a war to prevent a war.
    Gee that sounds so… Hitlerian? bushian?

    So are you guys going to wear armbands for your Million Moran March?

  28. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Ah man, the thing I really find funny about the last two posts is binary, narrow view that the USA’s actions or leader are the SOLE determining factor. Whatever happens anywhere, it’s JUST about the USA.

    IE, The USA provoked them!!! It always has to be the US provoking someone. Not that we don’t provoke people ever, but it HAS to be that, right? The first and primary cause for all the world’s ills.

    Or Obama is WEAK!!! He showed weakness by being weak because he’s inherently weak. If he wasn’t so weak he’d be strong! George W was strong! He could throw a basketball through a gorilla!!!

    I’m going to say the partisan blinders thing, there I said it and you guys can both tell me I’m wrong because I’m wrong because I’m a liberal/conservative whackjob pansy who wants to kill everyone/surrender.

    Now I will post some links The Korea Herald claims to be S. Korea’s largest English language daily. This article offers some local insight into North Korea’s motives. The Korea Herald is also probably S. Korea’s most liberal newspaper and/or a mouthpiece for pro-American propaganda, but I thought some local insight carried a lot of weight.

    The second is an op-ed from The Daily Beast: Which makes the argument that Obama is handling NK pretty well relative to the general handing handling of them in the past. I know both the site and the author are evil liberal/conservative scum who lack the proper perspective, I mean they let that jezebel Megan McCain speak, but I thought it made some good points.

    I thought I’d look to look. Rachel Maddow has a PhD in political science, which to me anyway, offers her a higher degree of… credibility? maybe than say… me or something. It’s probably terrible to watch her if you don’t agree with her views, because it’s always awful to sit through that. I think it’s a matter of taste and bias. You can watch Maddow smirk and make condescending remarks or watch Glen Beck explain things with cartoons and break down into hysterics. I think ‘Deadliest Warrior’ is on Spike TV opposite Maddow.

    -a weak man in and evil country

  29. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I started writing before Enk posted.

  30. shcb Says:

    At least we agree on this Enky

    Their nuke program is serious not for its potential to destroy American cities, but for their desperate need for cold hard cash – proliferation.

    but according to Jayson’s article the reason they are giving is because the South signed onto our non proliferation treaty, one I assume was crafted in the Bush administration and is being carried on in the Obama administration.

    I’m not particularly saying Obama is weak, well maybe a little, as much as I am saying they (NK and the Arabs) think he is and are testing him.

  31. knarlyknight Says:

    Good posts Enk and Jayson. Jayson, the self-centred delusion that NK’s action are due to a provocation by the USA or mishandling by the President struck me as ultra-odd too. Kind of a nutty perspective.

    It turns out that Mancow was unable to endure for more than 4 seconds a tame form of the torture relative to the real tortures that were endemic during Bush’s watch and Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice oversight. Senator Larry Craig (Rep.) would have likely approved too:

  32. enkidu Says:

    jayson – lol! =)
    ps – wrong link in the second daily beast item

    I don’t watch much maddow or olberman, but it is interesting to hear a committed liberal/progressive criticize the president for execrable policy (preventative indefinite detention… wow).
    just watch the last 30 or 40 seconds…

    This is what the sound of criticizing your leaders when they screw up sounds like. It isn’t treason or sedition (like when liberals and progressives meekly pointed out here were no WMDs, and invading Iraq was A Very Bad Idea).

    Note to all wwnjs, we are only a few months into the Obama administration: pace your rage and nonsensical flapdoodlry

  33. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, try to understand that we’re probably gonna give Obama more than 4 months to fix the absolute disasters he inherited. Is he perfect? No, of course not. We weren’t the ones calling him the messiah – you were.

    But let’s take the economy for example. Worst disaster since the Great Depression. Already he has stopped the bleeding at worst and turned things around at best, judging by the numbers that have been coming out and the recent survey of economists and CEOs. Not bad for 4 months on the job.

    Has he pleased everyone? No. In fact, he’s upset the far left and the far right a few times. I’d say that’s right where he wants to be.

    He’s probably the smartest and most strategic politician (without being ruthless) you’re ever going to see. Sit back and enjoy the show for the next 8 years, bud.

  34. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Sorry. I was a little frustrated. I did think the Korea Herald article was interesting. Here is the Daily Beast op ed:

  35. enkidu Says:

    thx for the link jayson – very interesting

    the comments are also enlightening: amazing how bloodthirsty (and long winded, hmmm that sure sounds familiar) the wwnjs are!

    If the goal is non-proliferation, bombing them isn’t going to be productive (it’ll ensure that they give away this info and hardware). China does fear a reunified Korea aligned with the west. It also fears crazy nuke proliferation. And the collapse of a client state.

    Let them take the lead here

  36. shcb Says:

    Morris puts what I was saying pretty well

    Just as the key question for Bush was when would he resort to diplomacy, given his reputation for war? So the real issue with Obama is when will he fight given his penchant for negotiation?

  37. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Let me throw this out there, and let me say that I’m freely and willingly declaring my personal bias here, all that quote shows is what a fucking cocksucker Dick Morris is. Seriously. I fucking hate that guy. That’s just me though.

    Ok, that being said, examining that comment shows how you can just say whatever you want when you have zero responsibility. So we’re asking if Obama will fight if he has to? Where is the has to here? If the North Koreans cross the 38th parallel with an invasion force? Yeah. I’d be willing to bet he would. So now will he fight if what exactly? If the North Koreans don’t stop their nuclear and missile programs? The snarky part of me here want to say no and why should he? Bush didn’t fight them and he was the fightin’ cowboy guy. Will he fight them if Dick Morris talks more shit and Newt Gingrich keeps pitching ideas for thriller novels as viable policy ideas? I doubt it.

    I hate this kind of bullshit. Let’s forgo analysis for asking ‘have you stopped beating your wife?’ questions.

  38. enkidu Says:

    shcb, when I want the opinion of a hooker-toe-sucking-fat-ass-douchebag, I’ll watch fox and there Dick Morris will be. thx!

  39. enkidu Says:

    This is China’s willful redheaded step child. I don’t think we gain anything by bombing them or invading them (indeed the negatives are huge). I think Obama/Clinton should be quietly building up China to do the right thing and bring NK to heel. NK just wants a better deal.

    btw the thing ol toe-sucker’s moonbat commenter forgets is Gaddafi is still in power and runs a pretty authoritarian regime. But we bombed his adopted daughter into oblivion! wooooo! usa! usa! heck of a job ronnie…

  40. shcb Says:

    I guess you guys didn’t read the article.

  41. knarlyknight Says:

    Hey, that was funny!

    Here’s one for you shcb: did you watch this yet?

  42. enkidu Says:

    wwnj – ou guess wrong (as usual). I did read toe-suckers mutterings, otherwise why would I mention one of his moonbat wwnj commenters? hello?

    Your reading comprehension is below a 4th grader’s (right where your math skills are). No wonder you flunked out of high school.

  43. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    There was either no point reading it, or no point posting that quote. I saw that Morris said that military action was off the table. So he’s fighting as a metaphor… but a metaphor for what? Being a tough negotiator. It doesn’t make sense in the context of the quote then. So is getting China to help us on this ‘fighting?’

    Ok, I blew up and overreacted on a quote taken maybe out of context. It remains that Morris still doesn’t make any sense. In one sentence he’s talking about negotiating with military clout, in another he’s talking about how military action is off the table. Dick is still living in his Clinton-obsessed la-la land. Obama’s policy of accommodation? Is this going back to when he said he was willing to sit down and meet with people? He’s talking about the League of Nations and the UN, but then (correctly) asserts that this comes down to what China does. I feel bad for Dick, he wants to offer some decent analysis but feels he has to pepper it full of far-right talking points and ends up with a totally incoherent narrative.

    So Dick is saying ‘Boy I hope Obama is willing to fight instead of give them everything the want immediately because that’s what I really think he’ll do or at least am going to say he’ll do because I know which side my bread is buttered. ‘

  44. shcb Says:

    It made perfect sense to me, but you have to be able to look at the big picture and all the little pictures at the same time. NK is watching what we do with Iran and Iran is watching what we do with NK. China, Japan and Israel are watching too. It won’t do much good to negotiate with NK because we can’t force anything on them as long as China supplies them with energy, but we can negotiate with China to force NK to back off and we will need to use the Chinese fear of Japan to do it, but we want to use Japan without them going nuclear. All this can be accelerated if we show the will to use military force against NK if all the other players decide to not play with us, even though we probably won’t use military force against them because they are a puppet of China, and nuclear. One of the ways we can show that resolve is to use military force against Iran, they aren’t nuclear yet so they aren’t off the table. If we only use direct talks with NK and don’t strong-arm the others Israel may get nervous about Iran and take matters into their own hands, if they do Japan may also decide the US can’t be trusted with their protection and go nuclear in defense of either/or China or NK. We haven’t even touched on where Hugo plays into this. See, it makes perfect sense.

  45. NorthernLite Says:

    You do realize that all these countries that you fear grew stronger 100 fold during the Bush years, particularylu Iran and Venezuela You do realize that, don’t you?

    Perhaps trying a different stratgey is warranted?

  46. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    That made a hell of a lot more coherent than what Dick Morris said, although that’s not terribly difficult. Military action against Iran strikes me as a particularly terrible idea though. I feel that it’s guaranteed to go badly for us. Us striking Iran before Israel does is no motivation, that’s going to be the same thing in the eyes of the Muslim world. Hell, and maybe it looks better to everyone else if we’re not involved in it.

    Likewise if Japan loses confidence in us there’s almost nothing we can do about it. Everyone that’s going to be deterred by is us fucking deterred.

    Why are the Chinese afraid of Japan exactly? Because they’re military is overwhelmingly larger and their economy stronger? They’re still scarred over WWII? Because Japan was China’s number one foreign trade partner for 25 out of the last 30 years? You generally don’t want to go to war with someone that makes you over a hundred billion dollars…

    “We’ve got to bomb them.” is simpleminded. It’s just as bad as sending Jimmy Carter to talk to them, whoever them is in the case. I keep hoping someone can think of something smarter.

  47. shcb Says:

    Japan and China, fear may be the wrong word although it is a factor. There is a genuine hatred of the Japanese by the Chinese, we learned real quickly you don’t mention Taiwan or Japan in polite conversation if you can avoid it. I wanted some chopsticks for souvenirs, we were in the Chinese equivalent of Wal-Mart, I think it was called Pac-Mart, same gray vest on the employees and everything. I picked out some with metal tips, our host grabbed them from me and put them back on the rack he announced that those were Japanese, Chinese would never have a metal tip, veins were sticking out of his neck. I think it has to do with the treatment they received in WW II but I’ve been told it goes back much further, I wasn’t given an explanation as to what “It” was though. Having dealt with quite a few Chinese and Japanese through the years I have always felt the Japanese feel superior to most everyone especially the Chinese and the Chinese feel a combination of resentment and hatred for them for it. The Chinese seem to really like Americans though. That is just my observation of individuals, take it with a grain of salt in the discussion of policy.

    As to the rest of your post Jayson, I think that is what the quote I pulled is saying, you can’t have an imbalance of carrots or stick, only using force makes your opponents nervous and backs them into a corner, only using diplomacy shows weakness that they will exploit. I’m not talking about the extremes here, NK moving into the South for instance, if that happens a whole new set of dynamics kicks in.

    Dealing with your enemies, and sometimes your friends is a lot like a fencing match; some of your moves are defensive and some are offensive, some have no use but to set up future moves. Most of them serve no purpose in the outcome of the match but are necessary none the less.

  48. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    You know, I’ll agree with your assessment of the general feelings of the Chinese and Japanese. At the same time looking at the big picture and I want to invoke the ‘money talks’ argument, in that they’re making too much money off of each other to become belligerents.

    The problem here is that sometimes we’re talking in abstract and sometimes concrete terms. In abstract terms I agree that when dealing with hostile countries the threat of force has to loom in the background.

    If we start talking in concrete terms, then we have to ask what’s just actually happening. So if you look at US military action in recent years what do we have? Ok, we can shoot cruise missiles almost anywhere we want. We can still crush a technologically inferior conventional army with relative ease. We’ve also learned that our public sentiment toward military action wanes very quickly, and that we have basically not learned anything about occupying and holding a country since Vietnam. We are very concerned about our public image, so we keep fighting ‘limited wars’ trying to balancing looking and feeling good with killing the enemy, which tends more toward not working out for us.

    In dealing with North Korea, we’re starting to correctly assess, in my opinion, that China holds more cards when dealing them them than we do, and that ultimately they’re also more of a problem for China than they are for us. For me, the key thing there is that we all know, if the North collapses like East Germany did, the refugees are going to flood into China, which understandably, they don’t want that so they continue to prop them up while keeping them comparatively weak. I think we’d be best served letting China take the lead on this one. The only military action I’d consider is either staging and Aegis test where we shoot down a rocket just like the kind they have, or possibly call their bluff and shoot down one of theirs, the later is risky, but it may show they have nothing but bullshit. China bringing them to heel seems like the best solution still.

    Back to discussing military action in the abstract as to what it shows. The last time someone attacked us, we invaded and occupied two countries and attempted to institute regime change. Now, it’s not going 100% well for us, but there it is, we did it. Does anyone we currently have a belligerent relationship with seem more afraid of us as a result? I personally don’t detect it.

    To be completely realistic, anyone who’s even a casual student of war in the abstract knows that you don’t win by defeating an enemy’s military you win by breaking his spirit and realistically we’re not going to do that. Unless you can convince 99.9% of Americans that they’re going to be rolling tanks down Main Street, we (rightly or wrongly) don’t have the stomach for it.

    So talking in practical terms about military action against Iran, what are we going to do? The USA could do a surgical strike against their nuclear facility(ies?) and we could set the program back. As a short term solution that worked for the Israelis against Syria. Except what’s that buying us in the long run? We’re showing them we won’t tolerate a nuclear program, but I can’t see it doing anything but harm in the long run. I know the argument is that inaction makes us look weak, but if they’re not afraid of us after Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems unlikely there’s much more we can do to put the fear in them. I don’t see us doing a WWII style total war where we leave them with literally nothing, which leaves us what? Invading and occupying them for 50 years?

    This takes me back to letting the Israelis handle it, everyone over there already hates them completely anyway. The more I think about them the more they seem like dead weight as an ally. The don’t supply any significant material resource to us, they’re the reason the Muslim world hates us, yet now that we’re dragged into this conflict, they can’t supply us with manpower because that’ll make _everyone_ hate us. I’m hitting the ‘the hell with ’em’ point with this Israelis.

    I don’t have great answers, but the problems I see is that the ‘solutions’ proffered in the American media are more about making sure you get asked back to the talking head program of your choice, selling books and saying the “right” things to get specific voting blocks on your side; not coming up the best solutions.

  49. shcb Says:

    Boy, there is a lot there, I’ll comment by paragraph so I’m not repeating you a lot.

    Par 1 and 2 I agree for the most part. If you look at the first article you can see there is a little bit of an uneasy peace there, one scenario I can see causing problems is if NK threatens Japan and they (Japan) have the bomb, there probably wouldn’t be a shooting war but it could really hurt the economic relations of the two countries, tariff wars and such.

    Par 3, I agree until you get to we haven’t learned about occupying a country. I think we have, we aren’t perfect, but I don’t think you can be perfect. In fact I would say that we have been pretty good at occupying countries until Vietnam, and we’ve gotten back to doing a pretty good job. We could have an entire discussion on that so I’ll just leave it there.

    Par 4, no arguments there, except how do we get China to do that if they don’t want to? They may like to have NK have nukes, kind of a remote base type of thing. I too wish we would shoot one of their missiles down, the risk is the egg on the face if we miss.

    Par 5, I could probably name 5 or 6, most notably Libya and Saudi Arabia. Par 6 I agree. Par 7, I think that is about all we can do unless they actually detonate a bomb or invade one of their neighbors. It took what a decade to bring South Africa to its knees with sanctions? I don’t think we can wait that long. Par 8 that is the way I would like to handle it but I would back the Israelis to the hilt, but let them do the heavy lifting. We need the presence of democracy and a second religion in that area. If we can maintain Iraq as a democracy and maybe cultivate religious freedom there (Christian) I think it will really make that area more stable, but it will take decades.

    Last paragraph, that is true, but that doesn’t mean solutions can’t come out of that atmosphere, they have before. Good thoughts.

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