Hang in there. If only we bloggers could turn our rhetorical sandbagging into the real thing, we'd wall you in safely.Comment Posted By Callimachus On 23.08.2007 @ 20:41
"In closing, Iâ€™d like to ask why anyone should believe what W is telling us about what would happen if we were to leave Iraq?"
Sometimes something might be true without reference to what George W. Bush said about it. Sometimes it's possible to arrive at an informed conclusion about something without knowing what the president said about it. It's curious (or not) that you presume we "right wingers" see reality only in terms of the pronouncements of the president, when, if you read the comments here, you seem more obsessed with his words than anyone else who has weighed in on them.Comment Posted By Callimachus On 24.08.2007 @ 15:52
Tano's comment addressed "Vietnam" and elides the reality of "South Vietnam," which, when we left it to stand on its own, was a coherent nation with a capable, if not spectacular, military force and without significant insurrection. It was culturally, economically, and politically distinct from North Vietnam and unified in a way Iraq never has been. It was as real a nation as South Korea or West Germany. The South Vietnamese were not "fighting to get us out" in any significant degree after about 1968.
It was not so much the withdrawal of our troops that brought down South Vietnam and involved us in the guilt for what happened to people there afterward, so much as our failure to help protect that client country once the North attacked again in force. Popular revulsion at the war, expressed through congressional resolutions, had a lot to do with that, as did the weakness of the Ford Administration in the wake of Nixon's crimes in the Watergate affair.
The Vietnam War was one campaign in the Cold War. To say without reservation it was a mistake (for the U.S.) to even attempt it it seems to me you would have to replay history without it -- let the communists overrun the whole of Vietnam unopposed in 1954 or so and see what the consequences were for Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore -- and discover there was a better outcome to the Cold War.
It is right to speak of culpability for the Cambodian killings and look beyond the borders of Cambodia, but it is curious to do so and ignore the communist governments that chose to make Cambodia a base for their war-making.
Frankly, though, the entire political calculus of the Cold War was so morally warped by the death-struggle of the superpowers that I would not care to apply it to any decisions we can make now, freed of that ugly weight. And arguments based on historical comparisons typically are good for more heat than light.Comment Posted By Callimachus On 23.08.2007 @ 20:16
I saw this poll, too, and was intrigued by the results. But I can't seem to get to the details or methodology of it, which makes me treat it with caution. Has anyone found a link to a full report on the poll, not just this "cover letter" version?Comment Posted By Callimachus On 6.05.2007 @ 21:41
Thanks for the kind words! And don't worry; I'm well on the way to banning myself. I keep running out of time to vote before I read everything, which means I often don't get a vote in. Which, if you think about it, because I can't vote for myself anyhow, means there's one less vote for my rivals, so ... hmmmmm.Comment Posted By Callimachus On 1.09.2006 @ 16:31
So is it racist if it is applied broadly to peoples of many races (Indian, Iranian, Turkish, Arab, Berber, Malay) who happen to wear the same style of dress? But what if the speaker doesn't know these aren't all one race? Just asking.
What's sad is that the ummah-wide reaction to the feeble Danish cartoons last week opened a lot of people's eyes and made it impossible, for a time, to cling to the mentalities of "they don't hate us for our freedom" and "there would be no problem if only America would leave them alone." It was, to borrow a educratic term, a "teachable moment." But it had to happen, and along came Ann and gave the teachable people an excuse to slam the door shut again and focus on their domestic opponents rather than their civilizational enemies.Comment Posted By Callimachus On 13.02.2006 @ 06:23
It's a tengential point, but I don't think Arabs are classified with Persians/Afghans/N.Indians in the "caucasian" family. I think Semitic races are considered separate from both Caucasian and black African. If anyone even keeps track of such things anymore.Comment Posted By Callimachus On 13.02.2006 @ 06:17
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