• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Sweet Sue on Does anyone believe…
    ipotter on Does anyone believe…
    ipotter on Does anyone believe…
    ipotter on Does anyone believe…
    ipotter on Does anyone believe…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Does anyone believe…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Does anyone believe…
    catscatscats on Does anyone believe…
    ipotter on Does anyone believe…
    blizzardofozzz on Does anyone believe…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Does anyone believe…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Does anyone believe…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Does anyone believe…
    riverdaughter on Does anyone believe…
    blizzardofozzz on Does anyone believe…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    July 2014
    S M T W T F S
    « Jun   Aug »
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • Top Posts

My advice, whether you want it or not- 1

I’m dispensing advice to the blogosphere.  You’re welcome.

1.)To Digby, Corey Robin, et al, regarding whether the recent set backs in the rights of women in America have something to do with protecting the influence of the traditional hierarchy in the home, you’re not quite seeing the whole picture.  The backlash against women started about the time that more women were moving into the workforce, competing with men who used to get all the good jobs, frequently with little more than a high school diploma.  This was also about the same time that african americans were moving into the middle class.  It also roughly corresponded with a lag in wages compared to productivity.  We should do more research to find out if there is a correlation and what it is.

I think the push to put women “back in their place” has less to do with protecting the home than to protecting the traditional privileges of the workplace.  How can we decide which is the case?  We can look to countries with better and worse gender equity scores than the United States and do some comparisons of what cultural and legislative changes they have made in the past 100 or so years.  My gut feeling is that we are experiencing a backlash because we have rewarded the persons who promote it via their outsize representation in the media and through their culturally protected religious affiliations.  It is OK these days to say racist things and insult women by referring to them as sluts.  No harm done, says Limbaugh and the Fox News team.  There’s no law against being an ignorant bigot.

In other words, the language is being used in the service of the previously privileged.  It was and always will be the economy, stupid.  When money gets tight, women should get the f^&* out of the way and go home.  Making it hard for her to get out of the house when she’s tied to babies and lacks good childcare serves the guys very well indeed.  They’re just all hoping it’s the next guy who has to put up with the domestic situation, not them.  It’s purely opportunistic.

2.) Countries that have had a history of secret police and neighbors spying on neighbors in a manner that lead to mass murders and ruined careers tend to have a negative reaction to their allies spying on them for unknown purposes.  It’s just freaks them out in a way that Americans cannot fathom (yet).  Think twice (or thrice) about doing it.

From the NYTimes article on the expulsion of US spies from Germany, we get this nugget and advice from Angela Merkel:

As is usual with intelligence matters, the United States Embassy had no comment on the expulsion request. But in a statement, the embassy also said it was essential to maintain close cooperation with the German government “in all areas.”

“Our security relationship with Germany remains very important,” the embassy statement said. “It keeps Germans and Americans safe.”

Ms. Merkel, speaking two hours before the expulsion request was announced, said in response to reporters’ questions that spying on allies was “a waste of energy.”

“We have so many problems,” she said. “We should focus on important matters.”

Waste of energy indeed, not to mention money.  Money that could be used on mass transit and infrastructure improvements that the Republicans seem to think are unnecessary.  I guess it’s OK if New Jersey looks like Mississippi.  Mississippi might be what America looks like to Republicans and NJ is just being uppity.  How would they know the difference?  Come to think of it, I’m tempted to start a “…You might be a Republican” thing.  Like, If your friends would describe you as a greedy old prick, you might be a Republican.  Or If they would describe you as a grumpy old prude, you might be a Republican.

Wait, I’m getting off topic.

Yeah, don’t spy on your friends.  It’s unnecessary.

3.) With tensions and rockets flaring in Israel, be prepared for your local fundamentalist Christians to be almost ready to pee themselves with delight at the impending rapture.

4.) To the Republicans who are itchin’ to impeach the president– DO IT!  Yes, by all means, find something to nail on him.  Tie him up with congressional hearings.  But please, do it Blitzkrieg style, ok?  Don’t waste any time drawing the whole procedure out.  Wrap it up quickly.  Better yet, take Biden down first.  Then we can appoint Hillary to VP while you guys go for the jugular.  Then when Obama is forced out, Hillary can step up to the presidency.  It will save us a lot of money in 2016.  And it’s what everyone wants anyway.  You’d be doing us all a big favor.  Oh sure, we’ll have to put up with your nonsensical grandstanding and foaming at the mouth over a guy who is mostly ineffectual rather than criminal but when has reason ever curbed you and your destructive waste of legislative privilege?  Just do it and make it quick.

5.) When you’re planning your next kitchen renovation, do yourself a favor and pick the refrigerator first.  Make sure that the one you want will fit through your doorways and won’t bang into the expensive teak cabinets you just had to have above the refrigerator.  Because once those cabinets are up and you’ve spent thousands of dollars getting the look you want, you are going to have a hard time taking them down to accommodate the behemoth refrigerators that appliance makers are manufacturing these days.  If you have a small kitchen made smaller by those annoying cabinets that are only good for seasonal ice buckets and Rubbermaid containers, you should know that appliance makers don’t really make a lot of nice refrigerators in the small to medium category.  Yes, they are still living in 2008.  Adapt accordingly.

 

75 Responses

  1. Speaking of the Big 0 & ineffectual, how ’bout that trip to Texas? The one where he couldn’t get Repub enough with his newest bestie, Perry. Who turned around the minute the Air Force One door was closed and said the whole immigrant problem was Big 0’s fault anyway.

    About fridges: yes. Also dishwashers. Aargh.

  2. You can still get smaller Magic Chef fridges on line, but, yes, I realize the deed is done.
    I hope that they’re still available when my behemoth bites the dust; I made two mistakes when I refreshed my kitchen: not taking the corian all the way up the sides of the window (the countertop material does go from the stovetop to the fan as a backsplash) and buying a fridge that’s too damn big. It doesn’t fit in the built in niche and just hangs out looking stupid. So, now, I have a refrigatorium instead of a kitchen.

    • Refrigatorium lol!

      That sound like stage one of those tubes where they freeze
      you until your aliment is cured lol

      • If you find a bunch of refrigeratoria on an antique spaceship, for the love of Haruhi-kami-sama DON’T OPEN ANY OF THEM!

        KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!! 😛

  3. Refrigatorium!! It’s genius! I’m going to use it as my new favorite word.

  4. Beutifully written. But I wish I could share your enthusiasm for Hillary these days. I just knew when she took the SoS gig that she compile a resume too far to the right to make me feel comfortable.

    Seriously, you should go into “let’s rethink first principles” mode and look at what she did during her tenure. It can’t all be blamed on Mr. O. I’ve written about this at some length, both in my most recent post and here: http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2014/06/hes-better-than-hillary.html and (earlier) here: http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2012/04/hillary-worshippers-pay-attention-to.html

    On the other hand — who else is there? I see no-one to be enthusiastic about.

    • I think you took that advice too seriously, tho there is no doubt in my mind that Americans are sufficiently disturbed by current events that a majority would jump at the chance to replace an ineffectual Obama with Hillary.
      As for foreign policy, it’s hard to know what went on at state. Judging by the farewell she received, she was a well liked, respected leader there. She did quite a lot to redeem our reputation around the world after the condi rice years.
      I’m a tolkien lover. That is, I do not love war but I don’t believe in abandoning our friends or not preparing for our defense. If you heard that interview a couple if weeks ago on Fresh Air with whatshisname from the New Yorker, you would have heard serious disappointment with the White House direction when it came to Iraq. It sounds like the Obama White House dithered on Iraq when maliki’s government asked for direction. That is, maliki’s government asked the state department how Obama was going to handle the withdraw and the state department said they couldn’t get an answer from the White House. The White House didn’t have a plan. They just wanted out, presumably before the election in 2012.
      So, there’s that.
      Way to go White House.

    • By the way, the country does need to have a woman at the helm. You can call it a puerile empowerment fantasy if you want, in which case I will think less of you. I see it as a step towards modernity. We’ve had 100% male representation in the presidency since George Washington. That means that half if those men were below average presidents including the present occupant of the Oval Office.
      Women have a slight majority in the population. Why shouldn’t we want one of our best, whether that is hillary or Elizabeth warren or my number one or two child to be president someday? I would like MY priorities to be taken seriously and when that day comes, I expect YOU to cut the sexist criticism and support her instead of obstruct her (provided she wins the nomination on the square and doesn’t destroy her base on the way to the throne).
      I realize that the subject is a giant yawn to you so I’m giving you a heads up right now that the female blogosphere will not tolerate feet dragging, un-cooperative, disrespectful sexist bullshit from the pigheaded sex this time.
      Align your mind with the 21st century instead of the fricking Bronze Age. Your attitude dates you and just makes you look like a dinosaur, not a modern thinker.

      • Amen, my sister.

      • That’s cute. It’s a replay of the pro-Obama argument of 2008: “He’s black, and that’s enough. If you find fault with him, you must hate black people.”

        And you know damned well that this is PRECISELY what you’re doing.

        None of this is substantive. For example, Hillary has pursued a policy of unbridled free trade. If this policy proves the Obama of 2008 to be a liar — and it does — then it also proves HER to be a liar.

        Similarly, her “friends of Syria” conferences places her directly among the powers (Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) that created ISIS to fight Assad. Nothing Tolkeinesque about that: It was a massive historic blunder, pure and simple.

        So too with the drone policy. I don’t think there’s anything about it that would have evinced words of admiration from Oxford’s most famous philologist.

        We know more about Hillary’s tenure as SoS than you may think. I don’t know if you’ve read “Confront and Conceal” and “Obama at War,” but you ought to. These books will of course be superceded by better ones, one day, but right now they are what we have. And both books picture Hillary operating well to Biden’s right within the administration. This disturbs me. It also surprised me.

        Name-calling is not going to solve anything. I think, deep down, you care more about policy than about the kinds of wee-wees people happen to be born with. Of course we need a female president, just as we should have had a black president long before Obama. But would you really vote for (say) Ann Coulter over (say) Russ Feingold? Who is more admirable — Maggie Thatcher or Olaf Palme?

        The woman I’d most like to see running the country right now is Iceland’s Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who rescued her country’s economy at a time when it seemed beyond repair. But she’s not American!

        • On the contrary, women recognize your version of subtle sexism. I want the best person for the job and if that person turns out to be female, you’d better get behind her.
          Obama was NOT the best person for the job. Therefore, he had to resort to intimidation and reverse racism.
          Men set an unacceptably high bar for female candidates. She’s got to score a perfect 10/10 or she’s merely a token.
          But men can get away with almost no experience and other men cut them a break.
          You need to examine your own attitude before you start criticizing mine.

          • “Subtle sexism”? You say this in response to someone who closed his argument by wishing we had someone like Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who is undoubtedly the staunchest feminist ever to become head of state anywhere, at any time. “Sexism” of that sort is so subtle as to be invisible.

            With grumbled curses and through gritted teeth, I will do what I always do and “get behind” whoever is the least objectionable candidate — in 2016 and in all other elections. After voting for the lesser of two evils for decades, one gets used to it. Back in 2008, that was the big difference between you and me — you were always FOR Hillary, while I was AGAINST Obama . Hillary just happened to be the only person standing between him and the nomination.

            A confession: I’m actually rather envious of you. One day, I’d like to be FOR a candidate, the way you were (and apparently still are) FOR Hillary. I really would. It must be wonderful to escape inchoate captiousness, to feel true political enthusiasm. If someone came along who said the right words…

            It would be terrific to feel that way about Hillary, but she needs to change her rhetoric — and to do a better job of explaining her time as Sos.

        • Hillary has lost me with her loyal service to the greedy, sadistic, murderous Empire of Capital. I would have voted for her in Nov. 2008, but not now.

          I do not say “Empire of the USA” or “American Empire” because the US govt. is merely a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capital. (Capital is Sauron; Uncle Sam is merely the Lord of the Nazgul.)

          I expect I will never vote for a presidential candidate of the Property Party again, whether s/he comes from the Reptilian or the Dinocratic wing of the PP.

          Indeed, I am thinking of taking up a policy of voting for 3rd party or independent candidates at all levels of govt., when possible.

          Of course, this assumes our votes actually count for anything in this age of unaccountable, easily-hacked vote-counting computers.

          • The future of humanity, if Capital gets its way (and somehow avoids “Gaia’s wrath”):

            http://s175.photobucket.com/user/drkarma/media/TerranEmpireemblem_zpsa6563d25.png.html

          • Though, in half-defense of both Clintons and Obama, anyone who hesitated to promise the Malefactors Of Great Wealth, behind closed doors, that they would torture and murder as many brown people as necessary to maintain the global hegemony of the MOGW, would never be allowed to become Prez. The MOGW are never going to let another Carter get in there again–and they managed to rein him in somewhat with the soulless Darth Brzezinski.

      • Joseph is right; your reponse is sexist. This country needs to have the right person at the helm; if that person is a woman, fantastic. Hillary is not that person. Too much baggage and too much evidence that she won’t change the rightward, imperialistic project of the previous presidents.
        Why do you assume a male president, the right male president, won’t take your priorities seriously? Why should men support a corporatist candidate just because she’s a woman?
        “The pigheaded sex”? Check yourself.

    • Colonel Lang has made wistful mention of the possibility of James Webb seeking the D nomination.

      • I doubt Webb would eschew imperialism–unless you’re seeing him as another Eisenhower. However, once again, I doubt the Malefactors of Great Wealth will allow anyone not committed to maintaining the global hegemony of the MOGW to enter the White House.

        If one of their servants got in there, and then had a “Damascus Road” conversion to anti-imperialism, they’d try to find a scandal to use to impeach and remove him or her. If they couldn’t find one, a “lone nut” would kill the apostate President.

    • I see no one to be enthusiastic about either…I’ll settle for the lesser evil..there, I said it

  5. Some day, some woman.
    Not today, not that woman

    We’ve heard it all before.

    • Substitute “black man”” for “woman” in Sue’s quip, and I certainly have heard that all before–in 2008. 😛

  6. Keeping holding Hillary Clinton to absurd, mythical standards of purity that no politician could ever meet and get elected to anything, guys. We know what you’re doing. You’re squeaking with anxiety and panic.

    • And we know what you’re doing–the same herd “thinking” that the Oborg were doing in 2008 (and many of them still do).

      Haruhi-kami-sama deliver me from herdminds.

      I remember when I was naive enough to think that only reactionaries could be herded.

      For my part, I will remain a cat. Unlike Joe, I do not intend to support “the least objectionable candidate”. I did that in 2000 and 2004, and what do I have to show for that?

      • Correction: I supported the “lesser evil” in every Prez election from 1984 (I was 17 in 1980) to 2004.

        • I still maintain a lesser evil is better than total evil … like stage 2 cancer is better than stage 4 ….however it’s likely I’m fooled into thinking there is a lesser evil…we should be that lucky

          • I think that’s the main difference between you and me, PD–I’m becoming less and less convinced that the Dinocrats are a lesser evil, but merely the less blatant, and therefore more effective, evil. 😦

          • I see no difference between the two parties.. It’s a matter of there being K-Y jelly or not . Only Hill would do what the powers that be want, which the office requires, but also see to it there’s at least tid bit or two for we the peon. Really Hill is the an old time Dem left standing …I don’t know what one would call the rest of the party…Obamabcats perhaps

          • Kinda like Anglophone imperial capitalism was a less blatant, and therefore more effective, evil than Axis imperial capitalism (and let no one be mistaken, I am pleased the Axis lost that war *shudder*).

          • This and, most especially, your comment below-perfectly said.
            Gandhi knew that if he had been practicing nonviolent resistance against Nazis, he and his people would have been annihilated.
            Instead, we had Lord Mountbatten resigning and England recognizing -at long last-Indian independence and sovereignty.

    • Mythical standard of purity=Not a rightwing corporatist!
      Hillary will continue the Clinton/Bush/Obama assault on the Constitution while maintaining and expanding the empire and the oligarchy. She may be a woman, but I fail to see how she’ll be good for women.

  7. I am woman, hear me roar
    In numbers too big to ignore
    And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
    ‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
    And I’ve been down there on the floor
    No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

    Oh yes, I am wise
    But it’s wisdom born of pain
    Yes, I’ve paid the price
    But look how much I gained
    If I have to
    I can do anything
    I am strong (strong)
    I am invincible (invincible)
    I am woman

    You can bend but never break me
    ‘Cause it only serves to make me
    More determined to achieve my final goal
    And I come back even stronger
    Not a novice any longer
    ‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

    Oh, yes, I am wise
    But it’s wisdom born of pain
    Yes, I’ve paid the price
    But look how much I gained
    If I have to
    I can face anything
    I am strong (strong)
    I am invincible (invincible)
    I am woman

    I am woman watch me grow
    See me standing toe to toe
    As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
    But I’m still an embryo
    With a long, long way to go
    Until I make my brother understand

    Oh, yes, I am wise
    But it’s wisdom born of pain
    Yes, I’ve paid the price
    But look how much I gained
    If I have to
    I can face anything
    I am strong (strong)
    I am invincible (invincible)
    I am woman

    Oh, I am woman
    I am invincible
    I am strong

    I am woman
    I am invincible
    I am strong
    I am woman

  8. Foreign Policy is executed by the SOS-it is made in the Oval Office. I’m unconcerned by Hillary’s record at State and more concerned by some of her recent statements on economic issues.

    But then while I’m quite far to the left on economic and social matters, I’m not on foreign affairs-my hero there is FDR not Chomsky, Zinn, or Vidal. I opposed the invasion of Iraq not because it was illegal but because it was stupid, and I supported intervening in the Balkans when it became clear that Europe’s pacifism had reached the stage where it was going to tolerate concentration camps rather than take action to end them. Arguably more people have died in the last 20-odd years from our failure to act when we should have (Rwanda) than from our acting when we shouldn’t (Panama, Iraq).

    I have no patience, for example, with the attempt to shift the blame on events in the Ukraine from Putin to the United States. As for ISIS, one could equally argue it is the result not of our intervention but our failure to intervene. Instead of decisively backing the rebellion against Syria’s dictator, we actually did very little, prolonging the conflict and increasing instability, opening the door for more extreme factions in the area.

    At any rate, the woman I would like to see in the White House is Ms. Warren, but I don’t think she’ll run. I supported Hillary in 2008, but whether I do so in 2016 will depend entirely on her statements about the economy.

    • I’ve read similar pro-imperial crap over at Driftglass’s blog.:facepalm:

      I am reminded of how many first-generation neocons started as liberals, even Marxists (usually of the Trotskyite sect). I will not be surprised if many of the “R2P” pwogwessive imperialists of today become the neocons of the 2020s.

      • The R2P gang forgets where that road which is “paved with good intentions” leads.

    • Yeah, good thing Uncle Sam’s proxies ran that Putin-backed gummint which included neo-Ratzis out of power in Ukraine…oh wait, Uncle Sam’s proxies included the neo-Ratzis! My bad… 😛

    • “…decisively backing the rebellion against Syria’s dictator…”

      Um, is TDR aware that those rebels included the fanatics who have become ISIS? The dudes so crazy Al-Qaida disowned them?

      And no, Uncle Sam Vader couldn’t have caused a different group to emerge in charge by backing them. Imperial Pwogs, like their neocon siblings, overestimate the ability of the Imperial War Machine to control events on this planet.

    • If we were going to intervene decisively in Syria, we should have intervened on Assad’s side to enable a very quick encrushment of the Sunni rebellion and a quick savage suppression of the cannibal liver-eating head chopping jihadists that in fact EuroUS/Saudi-Gulfie/Turkish authorities chose to support. Since it was obvious to all that Russia/Iran/Hizbollah would never allow the Assad side to completely lose in any case.
      Colonel Lang and his guest commenters and supporters have gone into granular detail about all this over at Sic Semper Tyrannis which I believe is still blogrolled here at The Confluence.

    • The US backed a coup in Ukraine that’s installed a fascistic regime that includes neo-Nazis. How is that Putin’s fault?

    • Foreign Policy is Foreign Policy is executed by the SOS-it is made in the Oval Office.ed by the SOS-it is made in the Oval Office.

      Where does the CIA fit in here? Seems to me they are running the FP show . .I can’t agree Mr. O is deciding squat …however Kerry could be directing the hot mess

  9. >I’ve read similar pro-imperial crap over at Driftglass’s blog.

    And I’ve read similar mindless responses many times. Unfortunately those who mistake self-righteousness and ideology for reality are not only found on the Right.

    • I take it TDR is one of those “realists” who thinks Uncle Sam can control the world and make it a better place, if only we have the iron will to pour as many of our tax dollars and lives of our children as necessary into the grand jihad to make the world safe for capitalist plunder–whoops, democracy. (The god honored by this jihad, of course, is Mammon.)

      These arrogant folks have been characterized, I forget by whom, as people who think the U. S. Govt. is a Green Lantern power ring.

      Now you see why I put quotation marks around “realists”.

    • It’s a bad day when one realizes that those on the extreme left are as stupid and rigid -though not as evil-as those on the right.
      Thom Hartmann is a good example. He still thinks that Carter was a really good president and Clinton was an awful sell out.
      Oh, and Obama is a god.

  10. If it weren’t for RD and The Confluence, I wouldn’t fit in anywhere in the blogosphere.
    So thanks, Kim
    Susan

  11. I have 2 questions for all the “humanitarian” imperialists here.

    Do you have kids?

    If yes, how many of them are you willing to see come home in “human remains disposal pouches”, to “rescue” Lower Slobbovia or wherever?

    • “Rescue”, of course, means “overthrow the brutal dictator Lower Slobbovia has now–who insists on being his own SOB–and replace him with a brutal dictator who will be Global Capital’s SOB, as the one true god Mammon intended.”

      • yup… the humanitarian stuff ain’t working so great . That’s why the dumb beat now is ” war is good for the economy!” …call it trickle down war profiteering … of course they will not share the actual loot .

  12. Monster, I suggest you go back to the id before you dig yourself in any deeper.

    Military activity should always be a last resort, but that is quite different from the view it should never be a resort. Of course, I have some respect for pacifists (even if their survival ultimately depends on non-pacifists) but much of the Left isn’t really pacifist, simply anti-American, as if the withdrawal of the US from world affairs would bring peace and light to the globe.

    One doesn’t have to accept the arguments of Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (as an aside, the Left’s embrace of him on the Israeli lobby is somewhat hypocritical when you look at his overall oeuvre) to recognize that in a world of nation states force will (sadly but certainly) always have a place. And the lives saved in Bosnia and Kosovo vastly outnumber the lives lost. All of them someone’s children.

    On the Ukraine, I’m afraid your basic ignorance of history is showing: you might start with Bloodlands and the bio of Putin, The Man Without A Face. (That there are fascists in Ukraine is no surprise. There are just as many in Russia.) And then recall that we got Ukraine to give up its nukes by promising it the security of its borders. Which is not to suggest we should intervene: they seem to be dealing with Russia’s attempt to split off the east of their country without us.

    As I said, I opposed the invasion of Iraq because it was stupid, and I oppose our continued presence in Afghanistan because there is no reason to believe at this point-or for some years-that it will lead to greater success than in Iraq. As for Syria, I actually opposed our getting involved, but I recognize that our half-hearted support was far more damaging than truly backing the rebels from the start. Indecision rarely makes for sound policy. Obama’s waffling on Libya is another example

    The real difference between us is that I base my opinions on a case by case study of the facts, rather than trying to squeeze reality into a narrow ideological worldview. Whether that view comes from Right or Left (or “Center”). A foreign policy with no ideals behind it is no more than might makes right, but idealism in itself isn’t a policy. It is just self-righteous posturing. For which you clearly have a talent.

    • Very well, TDR, how many of your children are you willing to see killed, or physically and/or psychologically maimed, to “rescue” Lower Slobbovia?

      Or are the children of enlightened intellectuals such as the all-knowing TDR too precious to be sacrificed to the Cause, and as usual, the “butcher’s bill” will be paid solely by the Jose Rodriguezes and the Cornelius Joneses and the Billy Bob McIntyres?

      • Oh, and I’m anti-American? I’m not the one who’s willing to send Americans to die for this or that witless “cause”, which always turns out actually to be the preservation of Imperial Capitalism.

    • Colonel Lang and some of his guest posters as well as commenters have gone into the Ukraine events in granular detail from time to time at his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis. Which is blogrolled here, by the way.

    • I urge all pacifists to read the biography of Winston Churchill called The Last Lion. The biographer cites correspondence and government documents extensively. Almost too much actually. But it is in those documents that the truth emerges, and the biographer merely leads you to it without explicitly stating it: if the appeasers hadn’t had the upper hand for about 10 solid years, there wouldn’t have been a WWII. It was through their direct actions and obstruction that the war came about. In fact, there couldn’t have been a WWII if it hadn’t been for the pacifists and appeasers. There were several opportunities to check Hitler and stop him dead in his tracks but England and France wouldn’t fricking do it. Churchill got solid information about German re-militarization for about 7 years before Hitler invaded Poland and was running around with his hair on fire but no one wanted to hear it. They could have stopped Germany cold on the Sudetenland or the Rhineland or any of a myriad of early steps by just keeping their own defenses up. They didn’t. They mothballed the military and Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain were even stupid enough to admit it was to win votes and keep the business crowd happy.
      So, there you go. Did I like the US-Soviet Cold War? F^&* no. It was a waste of money. But we learned our lessons from WWII. Never let a threat go unchallenged. The Cuban Missile Crisis was extremely dangerous but necessary. And WWIII with all of its devastating consequences did not occur.
      Bush’s war in Iraq, on the other hand, was another story. That was an example we have not learned from yet.

      • “Did I like the US-Soviet Cold War?…Never let a threat go unchallenged.”

        This assumes that Official Reality is correct; that the USSR was an existential threat to the USA, and peaceful coexistence was impossible.

        I agree about WW2–but I think of WW2 as the great exception, whereas interventionists think of it as the great example.

        • On the contrary, WW2 proves the rule about passivity in the face of extraordinary aggression. If you want to triumph over aggressive evil, and let’s face it, they all knew Hitler was doing evil things, you need to meet the aggressiveness in the beginning of the negotiations and let it be known in no uncertain terms that you aren’t backing down and have the wherewithal to back up your claims with force. Otherwise, the aggressor will call your bluff again and again. It’s what they teach in those management seminars in the corporate world. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the most passive and 10 being the most aggressive, the best place to operate is in zone 4-6. But if your opponent starts out as an 8, you need to go to an 8 until they come down the scale. Otherwise, they see you as a pushover and take advantage of you.
          This is what happened to Baldwin and Chamberlain. Give an aggressor an inch and he will take a parsec.

          • Again, I agree about WW2. But when, after WW2, has the USA been the victim of genuine aggression, rather than blowback which the USA’s capitalist owners brought upon it?

          • Again, I would point you to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Whether or not you feel it was handled well or not, it was essential to show the Russians we were not backing down. Yeah, yeah, the communist bugaboo domino theory thing was stupid but having another country plant nuclear weapons 50 miles from your shores is not.
            They could have been Papua New Guinean Democratic cannibals and it still would have been dangerous for them to ship H-bombs to Cuba.
            And it worked.

          • IIRC, the USA already had medium-range nuclear missiles in similar distance of the USSR, located in Turkey. Also, quietly, the USA removed those missiles while the USSR removed the missiles in Cuba.

            One need not admire the enemies of capitalism to concede that they sometimes have legitimate interests and grievances. For pretty much the first half of the Cold War, the Western bloc held a huge nuclear superiority over the Soviet bloc. I can’t blame them for trying to create a balance of power.

          • I had heard that as well. But Turkey is probably farther away from Moscow than Havanna is to DC. Nevertheless, the negotiation by going up the scale worked. When both sides saw that neither was going to back down, it was then possible to de-escalate. You can’t do that from a position of weakness.

      • George Orwell predicted ( before the fact) that after conquering France Hitler would have the railroad car in which the Armistice of 1918 was signed . . . dragged out of its museum and used for signing the French Surrender. Orwell suggested in his predictive article that the historic railcar should be filled up with hidden bombs and exploded when Hitler was inside it accepting the French Surrender. But of course no one did that. Wouldn’t be sporting, you know.

    • Also, Pres Reagan gave and Pres Bush 1 repeated a gentleman’s agreement promise to Gorbachev and successors that if Germany were peacefully re-unified and the Warsaw Pact countries allowed to go free . . . that NATO would NOT be expanded to ANY former Warsaw Pact country east of Germany. The Clinton Administration, perhaps partly on advice of the notoriously antirussianitic racist antirussianite Zbigniew Brzezhinski, betrayed that promise and began the process of pushing NATO eastward, country by country, to the Russian Federation’s border. Sensible people always knew that no Russian leadership would ever tolerate Ukrainian membership into NATO, which is what the EU/Banderite hijacking of the Maidan demonstration/uprising was designed to achieve.

  13. Oh, dear Christ, it’s happening all over again.
    The regulars of “Talk Left” still view Obama as, well, at least a demi God and find Hillary Clinton “unacceptable.” What the fuckety what?
    They don’t want to make the same mistake twice when the real problem is the big mistake they made in the first place.
    I’m off to Still4Hill.
    Wake me when it’s over.

    • I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t visit Talk Left, and I have never viewed Obummer as anything but a flawed mortal, like the rest of us talking apes.

    • Are you sure that is Talk Left? I hang out there and most have been very critical of Obama but over at Daily Kos, it’s 2008 ALL OVER AGAIN.

      • Some are disillusioned, some are still cheerleaders but most think Hillary “has too much baggage.”
        Wasn’t that a huge “concern” in 2008, as well?
        Baggage=experience.

  14. One certainly should not spy on your friends. But we don’t have friends. We are a collapsing Empire with vassals . We are bringing war to those foolish places who refuse our vassal embrace …I will point out we still occupy Germany .

  15. Here is a blogpost by Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism raising some concerns about what Senator/SOS Clinton thinks/thought about certain things and stuff. If she seeks the nomination, she should address these things and so should every other nominee wannabe. And we should think about all this.
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/hillary-clinton-edward-snowden-imperial.html

  16. >I will point out we still occupy Germany .

    Uh, no. We have troops in Germany as part of the NATO alliance. That is a far cry from an occupation.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: