Your response to #17 is a parody right? The guy (probably wrongly) criticizes Israel and you bring up anti-semitism!? No, you didn't call him that but you brought it into the discussion. See how easy it is? And you're smart enough to know that only morons believe the Bush conspiracy theories. (His reality was bad enough for most of us) I thought you wanted to keep the idiots on both sides out of the blog? I've been reading this blog for about six months and while you usually keep to the clear-thinking high road, you do have a tendency to dip down into the swamp occasionally. As you do here. Racism in Amerika is a horrible, painful part of our entire history, (yes, it continues despite Obama) and if people get a little crazy behind it, well you and I haven't walked in those shoes. It's a truly astounding moment in our history and there's no precedent for it. Read the article in the Times about threats to Obama and think about all the racists that are still among us. How many racists are crying PC victimization right now? How many racists are hiding behind "it's his policies" I object to? Over-reaction is going to be with us for a long time, just as racism is. Finally, while I think PC speak is sometimes silly, frightening, overbearing, and self-righteous, and I've been a "victim" of some of it's mindless proponents, I must admit that without it for the last twenty years, Obama would probably not have won this election. Finally, PLEASE don't equate lefties with VF! Most of us are embarrassed by things like this.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 16.11.2008 @ 15:17
This whole "character" conversation has turned into a match to see who can yell louder. Charges of hypocrisy are simply "He hit me first, mom!" and it's about as useful as trying to find the moral high ground in the Palestinian/Israel conflict today. For every undesirable in the Obama camp, I'll give you one in McCain's. For every one of Obama's "I'm soooo precious" posturing, I'll give you one of McCain's "Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran" moments. One thing however strikes me as bizarre: the anger of people at McCain rallies. Who are they angry at? Obama is simply a guy going through a job application process. He hasn't actually done anything yet (spare me the obvious "Exactly" comment) People who voted for Bush TWICE are angry at Obama??? Are they insane??? They shouldn't be allowed to vote! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. How dare they? And one last thing, which will derange a lot of you, Bill Ayers was a member of an organization that I, and most of my friends back in the sixties, actually admired.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 12.10.2008 @ 23:16
How come it's all about the "perceived" threat of Obama but it's never about how McCain is fundamentally a better choice to lead the country? You're juvenile rant at Larry- for basically being right (and you know it)- shows the depth of your frustration with not being able to focus on McCain. McCain is a terribly weak candidate and now, with Palin waiting in the wings (and imagine the loss of freedoms if she ever got to appoint a SCJ), a scary one. The last eight years have been horrific and you don't understand people flocking to Obama? Just look at the smooth campaign he's run for almost the last 2 years. In this political climate it's a pretty impressive thing and hopefully indicative of how he'll run the country. The Republicans are basically out of ideas and need to regroup and take a time out. Can you really defend the last 8 years? Tell us what McCain will do to get us out of this domestic and foreign policy mess we're in. This country needs a radical rearrangement. Obama is very much like the original "ONE", your deity, Reagan. Only smarter, younger, and with new ideas. The irony is that he probably won't be able to do much after he's cleaned up after the Scrub debacle, if it's even possible. And one more thing, Bill Ayers wishes he had the effect on amerika that Kenny-Boy, Cheney, Scrub, and all the others in the cabal have had on amerika.
Who's defending the last 8 years? For me, this really is a "lesser of two evils" election. I am spitting mad at Republicans - more than you are I imagine. I have no desire to defend anything McCain does. If he is elected I suspect I will savage him as much as I have Bush and Obama.
And what is it that is bringing the drama queens out of the woodwork today? The only thing "scary" about Palin is the unhinged opposition to her - you included.
ed.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 10.10.2008 @ 12:49
I just recently visited amerika and was actually astonished to see the number of SUV's, large trucks, hummers etc. Really. From europe it sounds like the call has gone out to get rid of those things and that people would give them up simply for their own financial benefit. Then the Palin thing broke and I smugly said "She'll be gone in a week." With the huge mess of the Bush years STILL HERE, I simply can't believe that this country is dumb enough to elect Bush-lite. Can you imagine president Palin wrangling with Putin or some other competent, experienced world leader? Back to guns, god, abortion and gays in THIS election?!?!?!? Jaw-droppingly incredible. amerika will get what it apparently deserves and I'm staying in Turkey. Good luck.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 11.09.2008 @ 11:03
So what you're suggesting is copy Bush's bigotry message- no one has ever explained how gays marrying hurts anything- and squeeze every last drop of oil to avoid doing now what we should have done 35 years ago- a message basically laid out by Jimmy Carter in his much maligned "malaise speech." Affirmative Action may indeed be ready to be set aside only because the attitudes and reality of america today are (I'm being optimistic here)different than they were when it was implemented. What I'm saying is that it worked, despite the obvious problems with it and Obama actually being the Dems' candidate makes a good argument for this being true. But despite the fact that the message sent by AA is against the notion of everyone being equal and therefore against what everybody wants to believe is a core american value, repealing it also caters to the bigotry and racism that is also an american (but diminishing?)reality. Combine this with economic problems in millions of households and you get fear of those below you. Fear and bigotry do equal votes, so nice touch. You're intelligent enough to know that I'm not calling you a bigot? And drilling. Sorry but americans do pay far too little for gasoline and are spoiled. How many billions of miles weren't driven since gas went up? People will always seek the path of least resistance and given a reprieve, americans will continue on their wasteful ways. Why can't alternative energy sources work? You have no faith in the american inventor, thinker or worker? Americans can be sold anything (see Bush's 2nd term) and if there was a national push- Madison Ave, business, government, universities, unions (that was a joke, what unions?) what couldn't be accomplished? Oil is the past and ? is the future. The debate over global warming may be contested but if it's true, what future? If it's not, oil will run out eventually so why not get ahead of the curve now? Bush claimed that america can't afford Kyoto ( a flawed piece of work) but can we afford to pay for the deterioration of health, environment, foreign policy, and a myriad of other issues caused by our insane use of the private automobile? Detroit got america rushing into suvs at exactly the wrong time and now China comes along and needs oil too. So give it to them and let's watch what happens to them in 40 years. It's (past)time for a radical transformation of how america powers itself and drilling will only deprive us of the Mother of Invention. Getting someone in the WH to actually do this is another problem but McCain's "tax holiday" shows exactly who shouldn't be there.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 30.07.2008 @ 04:20
A clever title to actually promote 2 different ideas. McCain IS too old, if not physically, certainly with his world view. The days of long-term occupation in a country are gone, especially for america in the cauldron of the middle east. You're right, Iran is now pulling the strings and we need to be a bit more sensitive and intelligent about how we act in getting out of Iraq than we were getting in. As an unrepentant lefty, against the war from the start, I'm relieved to see Obama resist the knee-jerk-get-out crowd. If we get out without Iraqi agreement and too soon, it would be a disaster in a myriad of ways. A rigid timetable is a dumb idea and I hope Obama still has the guts to risk a flip-flop charge rather than stick to a bad idea (see Bush, G.W.). It's a terrible situation for anyone to be in and Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, especially in the vortex of the surreal political season. Obama was on the right side from the beginning and will inherit a problem(s) that he knew was going to be a problem. The reality is is that he will have to deal with it and everybody will be watching with their fingers on the mouse. As you admit, you too thought the war "unwinnable" but that's the wrong way to look at it. It's not a war in the conventional sense, it's a tactic in a bigger confrontation and it was a mistake. Look at what we've already "lost". What kind of "victory" could possibly undue the damage to our reputation, loss of life (to everyone), economy, future dealings around the globe (Iran especially) and self-respect? This "peace with honor" crap is from the sixties and McCain (still bitter about VN?) should be disqualified because he still has that mindset. The "good war" days are over and foreign policy shouldn't rely on the military so much anymore. We're flailing around the world like a blindfolded giant, drunk on an elixir of our size and sense of righteousness, getting poked with sticks and taunted by the villagers. It's time to do things differently and Obama seems to be the only one who realizes this and hopefully, have the courage to do it. Please don't mistake me for a "lets-all-play-nice" pacifist. We still need the stick but the carrot is withering. And isn't this gaffe/flipflop thing getting a bit old? I'm so sick of it. Look at any of our presidents and show me one who didn't have his weaknesses, who didn't say stupid things, who wasn't in the end, simply a human being. What would Lincoln look like today if he was watched like candidates are today. You on the right, keep up this innane chatter-"Gotcha". But you on the left, please stop it. It only makes you (and me by association) look callow and unable to form criticism based on thought. Finally McCain's mother?? She shouldn't be trotted out to support her son, she should BE her son. The woman is greatComment Posted By Istanbruce On 24.07.2008 @ 05:25
One thing that bothers me in this whole debate is the assumption that last summer's "surge" is really the reason things are better. Yes I hate Bush and would blame him for canceling "Deadwood" if I had even a scintilla of evidence but I'm serious. There could be a myriad of reasons for the violence ebbing- anything from "they're all dead" to them refocusing on Afghanistan to Iranian influence to they're just tired to a new "wait them out tactic" to protesting the cancellation of "Deadwood". But if it is as it really does seem, more US troops=peace, it's a scary thought for the simple reason that it logically follows that we'll have to stay forever, and that's simply impossible. The days of troops staying forever in a country (like Korea or Japan) just isn't feasible in these days of rabid nationalism. And if Iraq says it's time to go, let's go. At this point I don't care who gets the credit for it, I just want this mess to end because when it all eventually collapses into a sectarian bloodbath (fueled with petro$)And the Kurds and Turkey and Syria and Iran are pulled in, we'll look back on this as the good old days. And yes, it will be on the Bush cartel because they opened the box.
You are correct that there were many other factors - not the least of which was a de facto partition of Baghdad into Sunni and Shia areas - but more than that, you must start with the surge to explain the rest. Part of it was psychological - the Iraqis who were willing to build a new country saw that we weren;'t bugging out and took heart. Then there's the fact that whatever lessening in violence initially was due entirely to the surge and that in and of itself built momentum for the rest to happen.
An Anbar Awakening without the surge? Sorry, no go. Maliki can try to sell that crap but it doesn't fly. Plus the continued patient, steady progress in training the army has finally paid off with good to excellent performances in Basra and Sadr City. The police are still a problem and will be a while before they can be trusted.
The surge entirely responsible for an improvement in security? No. But I don't think you can argue that the gains would have been half as impressive without it.
ed.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 22.07.2008 @ 16:36
Your calling Democrats hypocrites in your previous post for boycotting al-Maliki's visit to the Senate 2 years ago is a bit superficial considering how you lay-out how different the situation in Iraq is today. Today, he looks like he may be ready to actually take part in the discussions concerning his own country, so of course, he gets a different reception. They are hypocrites for voting for this war (I assume you don't include Obama) in the first place and have been acting a bit churlish in matters concerning it, probably embarrassed by their lack of balls. I live in Turkey and, while I've been against the war from the start, I don't think leaving before Iraq is actually stable is a good idea. But when will that be? The biggest reason against the war (besides being an evil idea cooked up by evil men)was because it's a pandora's box of sectarian hatred and tribalism that only a dictator could keep the lid on. And now, the hatred's have hardened, the Kurds are calmly waiting to annex the north, there's going to be mountains of cash floating around to who knows where, and pressure from Iran will lead to what....? And yes, the bottom line is that it's been a total disaster from the beginning (I don't have time) and right now, there's really not a good solution to it. I only hope that some day, the Bush cartel faces a judge for this mess. One more thing, if america would let an appropriate number of Iraqis immigrate (another crime against decency), perhaps the possible bloodbath wouldn't be as bad.
I think Iraq is ready for us to withdraw the bulk of our troops starting now. I think a timeline is a bad idea but withdrawing a a brigade or two a month for 3-4 months and then pausing to gauge the effect would be prudent. It might take until 2011 but my goodness why the rush now that things have settled a little. We'll be there forever if we wait until things are perfect so I say leave now and let the Iraqis learn on their own how to govern their country.
ed.Comment Posted By Istanbruce On 21.07.2008 @ 13:20
Pages (1) :