Comments Posted By michael reynolds
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. . . he will be truly taken aback when whatever is the contemporary equivalent of the Red Army rolling into Kabul happens on his watch.

It must have escaped your notice but:

1) Obama has fashioned an Af-Pak strategy more realistic than anything the previous administration managed. The strategy has the support of Mr. McCain among others.

2) Obama has increased the size of US forces in Afghanistan.

3) Obama has continued the practice of using drone attacks inside Pakistan -- a policy begun by Mr. Bush and during the campaign criticized by many on the Right as reckless. The policy is correct, the criticism was naive.

4) We were on the edge of disaster -- as testified by our own commanders -- before Mr. Obama took office. Mr. Obama's quick action has saved the situation, at least for now.

The "Obambi narrative" is so thoroughly discredited as to make those still pushing it seem ridiculous, indifferent to facts, and hopelessly partisan. Obama may be many things, but naive? No.

In fact, it was the previous president who was naive in Afghanistan, believing that the war was so well in hand that we could shift focus and forces to Iraq. Not only did that buy us the mess in Iraq, it endangered Afghanistan. Mr. Obama is now busily repairing the effects of Republican naivete.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 7.04.2009 @ 12:00

Another smart, fair piece, Rick. I'm with you on my irritation at the hair shirt crowd.

Happy to acknowledge our many failings so long as we also mention the small fact that the only reason that any portion of humanity lives in freedom is because of American will, American power, American ideals, the courage and competence of American arms and the generosity of the mighty American taxpayer.

That doesn't make slavery, Jim Crow or the genocide of Native Americans go away, all those are facts, but a true picture includes all the facts, not just the ones that support a particular ideological case. And by the way, let's always remember that Britain, France and God help us, Germany, have quite a few unfortunate events to answer for as well.

The difference between the US and those other sinning states is that we have not only managed our own progress but enabled theirs as well.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 7.04.2009 @ 09:52


Some Guy:

I'm sorry you don't like the facts. But I'm really not to blame for reality.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.04.2009 @ 23:23


That's the date for the election. Not the date when the 25-30% will become the 50%.

You know, one of the things I think Rick is trying to do is to get conservatives to be serious about what's happened. And I'm not getting the impression that many of you get it. You're in so much more trouble than you think. There's been a paradigm shift. The country has left you behind. And all the Palins and Jindals and Newts in the world aren't going to save you.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.04.2009 @ 21:20


Citi, AIG, Lehman, Countrywide and Bear were all US corps, primarily under US regs.

But the details in terms of who did what to the world economy is less interesting to diplomacy than the perception. The clear perception in Europe and in the world is that this was Anglo-American capitalism run amuck.

As for the suggestion that Mr. Bush might have some friends in Europe: good one.

The 25% were already done with Mr. Obama. It's the same 25% that still approved of Mr. Bush until the end. If Obama healed lepers and raised the dead the 25% would still oppose him. In political terms the 25% is utterly irrelevant. The sum total of GOP, such as it is, is in the hands of Mr. Specter and the two women from Maine.

Three moderate GOP senators are all the GOP has in play. As for conservatives? You're not even in the game right now. And unlikely to get back in any time soon.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.04.2009 @ 15:53

With Europe as with the economy Obama's had to play the cards dealt to the previous president.

The two useful things we might have gotten -- a larger stimulus and more help in Afghanistan -- were probably never in the cards, especially the latter. It's not a question of anti-Americanism so much as the essentially dependent and juvenile world view of most European governments and their voters. (I exempt the Brits and the Dutch.)

It's useful to draw some of the sting of anti-Americanism, but if what we're hoping for is tangible help from Europeans on the war, I think we need to move on. We had some help early, the Iraq war killed that, but even at the best of times European military help is more trouble than it's worth.

Had we not managed to blow up the world economy Obama's personal popularity might have translated into something more tangible, but Iraq followed by AIG (and given the political realities on the continent) made it pretty much an impossible mission.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.04.2009 @ 07:30


Great post.

Responsibility is individual. If you pull the trigger you are responsible.

But individuals are also responsible for what they say and write. That includes saying or writing things that incite.

One person yells "Fire!" in a crowded theater and is responsible for the panic that follows. Within that panicky crowd, however, each person is individually responsible for choosing to push an old lady aside.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 5.04.2009 @ 12:43


You cigarette smokers are weak immoral fools. Why can't you see the light and take up cigars?

Comment Posted By Michael Reynolds On 2.04.2009 @ 13:52


Please delete this if it's an inappropriate use of your blog, but the far more important (to me) list in EW is actually Stephen King's list of all time great villains. And why is it important? Because down in the honorable mentions you will find my very own "Drake Merwin.",,20268412,00.html

As for the heros list. What is it with Superman? What's heroic about being omnipotent and invulnerable? I mean, look how much harder Batman or Bourne or Bond have to work. And no one builds them a fortress of solitude.

You may toot your own horn - deservedly so - only because you agree with me this time. BTW - my own list of villains is here:


Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 31.03.2009 @ 11:27


I'm not a fan of empty gestures.

But you're wrong to suggest that lefties have no sense of humor. DailyKos did a very clever job of mocking a Right wing version of same: Glen Beck's "we surround them" insanity.

And you're wrong to suggest that conservatives take such things in good humor. Billboards or events promoting atheism, for example, are not generally treated with hearty good humor by right wingers. In fact major elements of your party have spent quite some time and energy trying to cram their particular religious ideas down all our throats for a very long time now. And not with a lot of gentle ribbing and wry asides, either.

This leftist authoritarianism meme is true. Unfortunately so is the rightist version of same.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 30.03.2009 @ 10:41

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