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    • Trump/Clinton Debate Open Thread
      I used to get paid to watch these things. I don’t any more.  So… I’m going to go read a nice novel in a coffee shop.  Please feel free to talk about the debate in comments.  I will, actually, be curious to hear what people have to say, just not willing to sit thru so […]
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No need for apologetics

Oh, my!  Hillary has astounded the left blogosphere again.  She hasn’t backed off on her “war hawkishness” and for the first time in 6 years, she has actually defied the White House and admitted that their foreign policy was full of holes.  So, now all of the left’s assessment of her is proven true, TRUE, I say!  She would have taken us into a new war had she been president, she wouldn’t have stopped with earth, she would have declared it on the Martians and then where would we be?  I can almost see the caricature Hillarys filling the souvenir shelves in 2016, hair standing on end and eyes wild and terrifying like some older, plumper version of Galadriel on ring steroids.

Will you people get a grip?  You’re starting to remind me of the right.  Yeah, I went there.  Those people are black/white thinkers without nuance. The left’s absolutism when it comes to war and pacifism is starting to resemble that.  I’m not apologizing for Hillary.  You can go back to her senate days until the present and really read what she’s said to figure out where she stands.  She’s allowed to be wrong.  God knows, the left is extremely forgiving of other politicians who were much wronger than Hillary.  John Kerry and John Edwards were given free passes and they were clearly motivated by politics.  But she’s also allowed to be right and we have to look at the bigger picture of the globe and our unfortunate and damning dependence on oil to see what might be going on here.

In the last couple of weeks, I have wondered why it is that this region of the world is still so tribal, why authoritarian religion has such a grip on the inhabitants, why it hasn’t allowed them to evolve and who is behind all that religious hierarchy.  I mean, why is it concentrated so heavily in the area where oil is located and where there are global chokepoints to the flow of oil and other goods?  You’d think that living in such a strategic area of the world that these people would have a better standard of living than they do.  Why aren’t the best minds coming from the middle east?  Why are so many of them poor?  What is the connection of religion to power and which side is wielding it?  I’m sure there are papers on the subject. But it’s not my area and I’m dissatisfied and embarrassed by the shallowness of the discourse on the left when it comes to these questions.  All I ever hear is, “why are we there?”, “why are we spending money to bomb other countries?”, “when can we get out?”, “get out now!, Now!, Now!” and “See, that was a waste, they’re back to killing each other”.

Back in 2008, I tried to warn people over at DailyKos and here that getting out of Iraq wasn’t going to be easy and shouldn’t be rushed.  The Bushies went to Iraq to steal and experiment, and, in the course of that experimentation, trashed the place.  Pulling out was going to be destabilizing and we were probably going to have to stay longer whether we liked it or not.  And what happened?  The White House, ever in campaign mode, pulled out without stabilizing before the 2012 election and the place fell apart.  (See this Frontline episode on Losing Iraq.  The evidence damns the Bushies and the Obama administration.)

I keep coming back to responsibility.  We on the left seem to think that if we didn’t want a war and didn’t start one, we are not responsible for what happens when one happens despite our protests.  And that’s just not true.  Whether we like it or not, we will be forever associated with the other fellow bone headed, stupid, mean spirited Americans who were lead over a cliff by a bunch of greedy, selfish, destructive global “citizens”.  What you might consider “war hawkishness” might be responsibility to me.  And it sucks to be the more conscientious elder sibling.  It’s so much easier to take the easy way out and enjoy the credit, while it lasts, for making everyone happy temporarily by disassociating from the war as quickly, and as it turns out, as recklessly as possible.  But getting out quickly didn’t make things better, did it?  That high was timed to last a campaign season and very little thought was given to the morning after the party.

If anything, the Arab Spring, the collapse of Iraq and the civil war in Syria has confirmed my initial assessment of the two candidates in 2008.  Clinton was rehab and Obama was an enabler.

The latter won.

Addendum:  Some dirty hippies completely discredited themselves in the last couple of election cycles and need to take an old cold tater and wait.

 

59 Responses

  1. My thoughts exactly. While I had mixed feelings about getting involved in both Libya and Syria, I realized that if we were going to get involved we needed to do so early and decisively. Hillary may have been a bit more hawkish than I was on both, but she was quite right that getting involved as Obama did, belatedly and in dribs and drabs, was the worst possible choice. This is hardly evidence that she is some unreasonable war-monger. (I’m more concerned about her recent statements on the economy which seem less Hillary 2008 and more Obama 2012. I worry she has learned the wrong lessons from Obama’s campaigns. Time will tell.)

    • 2008 was her year. By the time she runs in 2016, the country will have been through 16 straight years of conservative economic policy, and half of that during one of the worst recessions we have ever had. In some ways, the country is going to be fundamentally changed by that experience, some of that for the worse. This is what she has to work with. There is much more privatization of government functions, a broken, derailed generational divide, more poverty, more mistrust, and with Fox News and conservative media still firmly in place, it’s going to be a lot harder to control the message and restore a sense of common purpose.
      Personally, I have no idea why she would want to take this on. In order to do it, she will have to shed some of her more liberal principles to appeal to this totally disillusioned electorate. So, we may end up with a less liberal history, which is NOT what we need but is probably inevitable. It’s not 2000 anymore. It’s one of the reasons why I think she shouldn’t run. If she isn’t committed to restoring us to where we were, why bother? Yes, it’s going to be really, really hard. But it’s not going to get better by becoming something she isn’t.

    • I’m sure there are a lot of lefties who wish I would just move on but I am just so angry that they allowed themselves to be flattered and fooled by the Obama campaign. Their choice and zealotry condemned the rest of us to a country that is so much less than it could have been. Some of us will never recover our previous economic foothold. They don’t seem to recognize that they forced Obama on us and then he failed to deliver ANYTHING in the form of liberal economic policy when he had a chance to do it without losing much political capital. The Obama Democrats have a lot to answer for and I don’t think it is too soon to distance ourselves from them.

    • How recent is “recent”?–did they all come after the concussion? That may have done more damage than we know.

    • Clinton is/was entirely wrong about Syria. The “opposition” was never going to be anything more than a mass of islamist cannibal head=chopping throatcutters. The longer the war went on, the more people Assad would displace and kill. But he is doing it strictly for bussiness. The islamist heachopping cannibals would do it for fun after they won and keep on doing it.
      Do Clinton and her sympathisers think that Russia/Hezbollah/Iran would have supported Assad and the Secularists any less strongly than a Clintonist Administration would have supported the cannibal throatcutters? Do Clinton and her admirers think that Russia/Iran/Hezbollah would have permitted a Sunnista Terrorista victory under any conditions whatsoever? Can they tell us why they think so?
      The whole Syria deal has been discussed and commented upon in excruciatingly granular detail and at length over the last couple years at Sic Semper Tyrannis. Anyone who believes Clinton’s views and criticism have merit should argue that case at the relevant threads in Sic Semper Tyrannis. Perhaps they might change some minds over there. I would be interested to read the debate.
      If we were going to intervene, it should have been on Assad’s side once it became very clear what sort of people were really leading the “opposition”. It is not too late. We can still join Russia/Iran/Hezbollah in backing Assad to the max in order to get the rebellion suppressed and move on to exterminating ISIS within Syria.
      Shut the fucker down. Shut the fucker down hard.

  2. “We on the left seem to think that if we didn’t want a war and didn’t start one, we are not responsible for what happens when one happens despite our protests. And that’s just not true.”

    I disagree; I think it is true. Since when are slaves responsible for the sins of their masters? As a peasant, I do not feel any responsibility for the stupid and evil things the aristocrats do.

    “With great power comes great responsibility.”–Spidey 😉

    Likewise, with zero power…

    • We are responsible for cleaning up their messes even if we didn’t cause them. It’s an unfortunate symptom of how the world works.

      • Very well, why should slaves feel responsible for the messes their degenerate and stupid masters make?

        • Because the universe doesn’t care whose fault anything is. You are still the one who is living with the consequences. You either muck in and start fixing them, or you let them roll on, in which case you become part of the problem.

          • I can’t fix them, Don.

            What part of “zero power” did you not understand?

            What part of “peasant” did you not understand?

            What part of “slave” did you not understand?

          • What part of “don’t be part of the problem” don’t you understand?

            For someone living in the US (I’m guessing, based on your comments) with enough education to use a computer, to say you have “zero power” is just evidence of falling for the learned helplessness tyrannies always try to instill.

          • Very well, what do you think I can do?

  3. The left’s absolutism when it comes to war and pacifism is starting to resemble that.

    That’s been true since the day Mr. O got to the White House. The Left peace movement completely died out. Now, drones , air strikes and boots on the ground is humanitarianism and saving children .

    If a Repug landed 10 Marines somewhere the Left’s give peace a chance will marginally come back to l roaring life .

    Tribalism is a human trite we all share. We just can see it easier displayed by other tribes

    on the side bar I see Ian Welsh says

    Maybe instead of giving weapons and ammo and money to the Iraqi army so they can abandon it on the field to ISIS (now calling themselves the Islamic State), the US should be supplying the Kurds, who will actually fight.

    Omitted there is the fact we gave ISIS the weapons they have…how did that work out?

    ISIS is our Syrian ” freedom fighters ” of the last four years . If we want to stop ISIS we need only stop sending them the checks and the world class weaponry

    If this isn’t some plan to get our air war over Syria going,( the gas attack last year didn’t get it done) then it’s Benghazi on steroids …a blow back by a hireling who is pissed off at the paycheck and wants more ….or it could be we just want Iraq broken up into the three states Biden talked about ??

    Our foreign policy is not just full of holes, it’s fringing incoherent

    Trust Hill to point that out and be punished for it. Whistle blowers have not fared well in the Mr. O area .

    The Left cannot even chide Mr. O for his Bush 5.0 policies . So expect a ton of bricks to fall on Hill …of course

    • I think she can handle it. That Frontline episode is pretty damning of Obama tho. Not sure he can take it. Not that it matters. He doesn’t have to run again.

      • Indeed Hillary can handle it…she’s seen much worse. Nothing can top Ken Starr wanting to go though your underwear drawer

        One of the pluses for Hillary is she’s so battle experienced … what is called ” baggage” else where

        • She can handle it, but why the hell should she?
          The only reason she’ll keep at it is because she’s the real deal, a mid-century classic who believes in the American dream for all.
          God bless her.

      • All Obama has to do is count all his beautiful money as it rolls in after he leaves office.

  4. Dependence on oil, garbage. The US could have developed its own energy independence decades ago. Your excuse for bases and imperialism and intervention.
    Then there’s the Zionist Lobby controlling Congress, controlling Hillary.
    Unlike a real left progressive, Kucinich whom wouldn’t set foot in Israel until it freed the Occupied Territories.
    The quicker the Empire collapses the better. Same with the fake left.

    • “The quicker the Empire collapses the better.”

      THIS. I want the Republic back.

      • Plus, what is the point in wasting blood and treasure to secure access to a resource, of which we will soon be compelled to reduce consumption–lest much of my Arkanshire become beachfront property?

    • The US could have devoloped its own energy independence decades ago? That is an intriguing thought and retrospective hope.
      What would that energy policy have been and how would it have worked? What technologies would it have involved?
      And why would the Zionist Lobby be against it? Or at least the “Zero Oil” part of it?

  5. riverdaughter

    sad to say hillary is cooked. you are right. the world has changed for the worser. and so has she. if she hadn’t run the worst campaign since hitler and napoleon invaded russia, she could have (and probably should have) won in 2008. she misplayed her hand right into the pair of deuces obama was actually carrying. and his gang of puppeteers bluffed her right out of the big pot. she has always been waaay to cautious and now she is also waaay too rich. sorry to break it to you, because you are otherwise spot on in so many ways.

    • Obama had to take the uncommitted delegates from a state where he wasn’t even on the ballot – Michigan – PLUS, take 4 of Hillary’s delegates from that state to pull it off. She was still winning primaries up through the very last one. And STILL she had to be strong-armed into dropping her campaign with most of her delegates pressured into not voting for her.

      Frankly, I don’t understand why we go to the expense of having Presidential Primaries if the voters preferences are going to be treated with such contempt.

      I understand the history of the process. The parties were private clubs that got to set the rules for “their” choices on the ballots.

      But, for a modern democracy, it’s a pretty pathetic process.

      If we MUST have parties, then we should have a national open primary day with ANY Party that desires given a place on their own section of the ballot.

    • Riiiight. The person who won CA, NY, NJ, MA, TX, OH, PA, MI, FL, essentially ALL of the big primary states as well as many smaller blue states ran a bad campaign. It was so awful that her lead needed to be disguised by not counting Florida and Michigan. And then, when it was so terrible to not be ignored, Florida and Michigan were halved and some of those delegates were reassigned to a guy who wasn’t even on the ballot. But no, that wasn’t enough failure. No, the party had to stop the role call after so much pressure was applied to the delegates, including threats of losing their jobs, that she was forced to concede before CA or PA were allowed to vote.
      Please, Bernard. I really thought you were smarter than that. I thought you realized that the hagiography was necessary to cover up what really happened. No one will ever fool us tho. We saw it happen. Some of us were even at the convention and spoke to some of the delegates. It was a sham and a setup. He wasn’t a brilliant campaigner. He was gently lifted on the shoulders of his donors and carried over the finish line. If the economy hadn’t collapsed in September 2008, there’s a very good chance he would have lost.
      But yes, her best days are behind her unless she can transform herself. The party saw to that. Of course, they may regret that next year. We’ll see.

      • I don’t think Bernard was calling Obummer a brilliant campaigner. He did say that Obummer was holding “a pair of deuces”.

    • Bernard Jenkins,

      As Riverdaughter and Katiebird point out in responses to your comment, Clinton actually wound up running a winning campaign. It was deceit and treachery by the DParty leaders which stole her very-likely victory from her at the convention.
      More study and scrutiny should be given to the Bilderberg Society meeting which she and Obama supposedly both attended together at the same time very shortly before the engineered Obama victory was rolled out. What was discussed at that meeting? What were they both pressured into agreeing to?

  6. I’d like to think that we’ll take the brain disease of depression seriously after Robin Williams’ suicide, but I’m not optimistic-ha, ha.
    I’m his age and I’ve battled this little bastard ever since I can remember, and I know what a fierce foe it is.
    Tonight, I did promise my husband that I wouldn’t do that without his knowledge and he’d never have to find me.
    We’re such a pull yourselves up by your bootstraps nation, I’m not sure we’ll ever grow up, but I’m optimistic- ha, ha.

    • I’m glad you made that promise but I sincerely hope it never comes to that.

      Depression is one the most seriously stubborn illnesses. I am so sorry that you live with it, Sue. I HATE it. I wish affection was a weapon.

    • I have always said that those who don’t “believe in” depression should be force fed the cerebro-neuro active chemicals needed to put them into depression and keep them there for a good long time. Then they could bring some personal knowledge to the discussion.

  7. if she hadn’t run the worst campaign since hitler and napoleon invaded russia, she could have (and probably should have) won in 2008. she misplayed her hand

    Are you mentally ill?
    I know that I am, but, Jesus, what are you?

    • sweet sue

      read your history before you question whether people are mentally ill. you may well be mentally ill, but that is irrelevant to this discussion. both hitler and napoleon figured they could overrun russia in about six weeks and be back home victorious in time for dinner. they underestimated the opposition and forgot to bring their long underwear. in the end their armies froze to death. likewise hillary’s hugely overpaid advisors, arrogant know-it-alls like gas bag mark penn, planned a hillary blitzkrieg that would sweep iowa and new hampshire and basically end the war before it began. they also forgot to bring their long underwear. by the time the poltroon and trickerator obama was dragged across the finish line in first place hillary’s army was out of ammo and totally frozen out. neither hitler nor napoleon ever really recovered from their monumental (and arrogant) miscalculation. and, alas for hillary, she may not either. history, played out first as tragedy and then as farce, has moved on in mostly terrible kaleidoscopic ways, since 2008. sorry to say hillary is the candidate of people who are talking backwards…

      ps: i sincerely hope there are meds for your condition. it can’t be much fun…

      • Of course! If only Hillary had brought more underwear. We could do away with primaries altogether. Or at least we could completely dispense with the notion that they actually count. Just spend money, change the rules to favor the preordained winner and call it a day. Think of all the tax money we could save on all those Sequoia voting machines and punch cards, not to mention all the school cafeterias and firehouses that will be freed up for the day.
        I’m assuming you were onboard with the Citizens united Supreme Court ruling too.

  8. Obvs, that reply was to bernard jenkins who doesn’t know that Hillary won all the important primaries and had her Michigan and Florida votes stolen from her.
    And, don’t get me started on caucuses, or Obama’s cronies glad to spread the news that the Clintons were racists.

    • sweet sue

      hillary may well have won every primary ’til the end of time. but her fate was already sealed in iowa and new hampshire. her presumed blitzkrieg never saw obama coming. she and her gang should have known better but they didn’t. the rest of the details of her primary story is just picking nits. on the other hand, the obama that those earnest liberals thought they voted for never showed up after nov. 2008. it was a great trickeration after all. and hillary wasn’t the only one bamboozled.

      • I think you are ignoring all of the non-netroots, political junkies who turned out for her state after state, month after month, in spite of the loss in Iowa. She continued winning even after the Obot donor contingent made her waste all of her ammunition in Iowa.
        This has been the problem from the beginning of 2008. It was not up to you, Bernard, or anyone else in the party hierarchy, to substitute your judgement for that of the ordinary voter. Ordinary voters told the party over and over again that they wanted Hillary in the most unambiguous way possible and they were prepared to ignore all of the media messaging up until the very last weeks of the primary campaign. Multiple wins in caucus states like Idaho and Utah did not dissuade them. And they were royally screwed by the process.
        Now, I ask you, are you saying that primaries don’t count, because that is what I am hearing. What you are suggesting is that it is OK for the party to ignore all of the voters who decided on a different candidate in order to annoit someone else. And you know, that’s fine, if that’s what they want to do. But let’s be honest about it. Don’t ask voters to commit their votes, time, money, etc in a fraudulent primary campaign when the decisions are all made behind the doors of a smoke filled and money littered room.

  9. >Omitted there is the fact we gave ISIS the weapons they have…how did that work out?ISIS is our Syrian ” freedom fighters ” of the last four years . If we want to stop ISIS we need only stop sending them the checks and the world class weaponry

    Uh, no. ISIS emerged from a varied group of Syrian fighters, some of whom were actually fighting for freedom. Hillary is quite right that Obama’s half-hearted involvement helped give them the time and space to grow and push the others aside. And Ian Welsh is quite right that most of their current arms come from those abandoned by the Iraqi army. But do keep trying to get reality to fit your worldview.

    >Dependence on oil, garbage. The US could have developed its own energy independence decades ago. Your excuse for bases and imperialism and intervention.Then there’s the Zionist Lobby controlling Congress, controlling Hillary.Unlike a real left progressive, Kucinich whom wouldn’t set foot in Israel until it freed the Occupied Territories.
    The quicker the Empire collapses the better. Same with the fake left.

    And, taking this as an example, the “real” left as well. There is so much wrong with this that I’m not surprised the Id Monster jumped aboard immediately: the oil in the MidEast is far more important to Europe than to the US, “the Zionist Lobby” consists more of Christian fundamentalists than Jews, Hamas considers all of Israel Occupied Territory etc. (As an aside, if you think the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the result of the actions of just one side-whichever side you blame-you are part of the problem, not the solution.)

    Above all the assumption that we and the world will be better off “once the empire collapses” is an assumption with little but ideology behind it. (Oddly, the same people who embrace Mearsheimer on the “Zionist Lobby” totally ignore his depiction of how the world actually works in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. ) We live in a world of armed nation states in which force will always play a role, and as superpowers go the world can (and has) done worse than the US. One doesn’t have to approve of every US action the last 70 years (I certainly don’t) to recognize that.

    I’ll add that I bought for years the idea that, anything else aside, it was our “empire” that was damaging our economy, but the last 6 years disproved that one: the cost of our adventure in Iraq (which I opposed) was peanuts compared to what the banks and Wall Street cost us in 2008. It isn’t our overseas commitments we can’t afford-it is our financial class. Which is why I’m much more interested in what Hillary has to say about the banks than what she has to say about Syria or Iraq.

    And on the 2008 campaign, what rd said. Hillary won the votes, but the fix was in.

    • Yeah, why don’t the “Christians” get their way on all the social issues, the way they do on Israel? Is abortion still illegal? Birth control unavailable? Gay marriage only a radical pipedream in some Operation Stonewall’s reveries? The “Christian” Zionists who believe God has encouraged the theft of Palestine so Jesus can come again are useful idiots to those who possess the real power.
      Obviously.

    • I’m not sure the c”cost-of-empire” theory has been disproved. It could be that the un-tax-prepayed wars in Iraq/Afghanistan could have damaged our economy 2 trillion worth and TARP and scot-free for bankers and secret Fed lending and etc. could have damaged our economy 10 trillion worth. That would eCLIPSE the empire economic damage, but would not in itself nullify it in concept; merely make it harder to sort out.

    • The proper purpose of the armed forces and other security agencies of the USA is to defend the USA, not to serve as the gendarmes of global capitalism. The latter has been their primary function since 1945.

  10. Yeah, I saw that hysteria. Good grief. And yet again, RD, it seems you are having to explain to Obots what exactly the problem is/was. Many of us saw Obama’s shortcomings years ago but nobody wanted to listen to what we had to say. Anyway, I believe Hillary is running but just has not announced. I’ll tell everybody here the same thing I say to everybody else: she’ll either convince you to vote for her or she won’t. You can vote for the crazy GOP candidate or you can sit home. It’s up to you and I’m not going to pull the same cards on people or use the same threats that were used by the Obama people back in 2008.

  11. I guess you PUMAs will get the warmonger that you all longed for before the boy wonder usurped the nomination and the presidency. Good luck surviving the last World War that starts on 21 Jan 17.

    • LOL! Another black/white thinker. If she’s not releasing white doves and singing Kumbaya while swearing she will beat every missile into ploughshares, she MUST be a warmonger. There’s simply no other possibility. Is that how it works? We live in a universe where you must be one or the other? Please. Stop being a whiny ass titty baby.
      As for the PUMA thing, yep, we were PUMAs in 2008. Proud of it. That ended after the election. I can’t speak for other sites but I didn’t like the way they were evolving. So, many of us just consider ourselves Democrats in Exile. You would have known that if you had hung out here in the past 6 years.
      As far as I’m concerned, Hillary Clinton has to win me back and prove she’s worthy, just like any other candidate. If she wins the nomination fair and square, I’ll probably vote for her.
      Just like you will.

      • Yeah, I’m the publisher of this here blog. This is not the New York Times and I live by my own standards. If you don’t like it, go comment somewhere else.
        And personally, I don’t give a flying fuck who you will vote for in 2016. All I care about is that the primary and general elections are conducted with integrity and don’t disenfranchise people just because people like YOU have decided for US who we can consider pure enough.
        Finally, I’m not interested in ruling the world or PUMAs. Like I said before, PUMA was a one off for 2008.
        I wish them luck but have been moving on for 6 years now.

    • We didn’t long for a warmonger. Neither were we fooled by a drone dropping bullshit artist who thinks that his constitutional privileges include the extrajudicial killing of American citizens.

    • You apparently didn’t get the message that MoDo is no longer relevant.
      Go bugger off.

      • No, didn’t get the memo. Just thought I’d check in. I remember reading your HagRag back in the summer of ’08 when all you crusties flipped the F out over Barack. Just wanted to see where you stand now – you seem to be constantly shifting depending on how much ‘the change’ is bothering you.

        Why so angry?

        • I like being angry. It makes me feel alive.
          Get used to it.

        • By the way, you’re cut off. Buh-bye!

        • Why are the Obots back? It’s over guys…and he sucked in every way imaginable. You were played.

          • It’s a mystery. He’s not running for president again. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility that they’re playing for team Republican. Just to make trouble.
            Still, we don’t have the readership we did in 2008 and we’re not on any lucrative blogrolls so, I dunno. I think they are wasting their time here- unless they really believe we could make a difference in the future.
            Bwahahahahahahhhhhh!

        • That’s right dear. The plagiarizing klassy kolumnist who did more than than any right wing surrogate to bring us a Bush presidency is an example to be emulated. We can learn alot from Mo! Who else would have wasted thousands of words on candidate Gore’s troubling earth-toned wardrobe?
          http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/#uds-search-results

      • Hey Bill, how’d that close Guantomano thing work out for you all? Hope! Change! Don’t do stupid suff! What a visionary. And the oceans are still rising. You wuz pwned.

  12. “The Bushies went to Iraq to steal and experiment, and, in the course of that experimentation, trashed the place.”

    What experiment? (I tried Googling but didn’t find a definitive answer.)

    I’d like to learn more, but I need to know what to look for.

    Thanks!

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