Calling Kerry’s brand manager

Calling Kerry’s brand manager

: We often say in blogs that the wise company will spot somebody complaining about its product or brand in a blog and respond directly to serve that consumer and win him back.

Well, perhaps Kerry’s brand manager (yes, if only he had one) should respond to this post from my friend, colleague, and fellow blogger Joe Territo, which ends:

I’m starting to question my own, somewhat recent decision to vote for Kerry. Can somebody who is running what appears to be such a weak campaign possibly be a strong and effective president? I am starting to buy into the Republican argument that even though I don’t agree with Bush, it’s better to have a leader who is clear and straightforward than one whose message is muddled. Please, somebody, talk me out of this spiral back into Bush’s corner.

  • Matthew Cromer

    Look how he runs his campaign and ask yourself if that’s how you want the country run.

  • billy mac

    john kerry flip flops more then pancakes at ihop

  • Robert Brown

    Hmmm…You don’t agree with Bush’s policies, yet you are considering voting for him because he is clear about being for what you don’t want?
    Seems to me you would be better off with a president who is not effective than one who is effective at doing what you don’t want.
    Kerry looks ineffective since he is trying to move close enough to the political center to get elected without angering his base. You have to trust that when he is elected he will swing back to the left and be less nuanced about what he believes.
    I think it is clear that Kerry wants to raise taxes on the rich and spend more on social programs. He wants more restrictions on trade. He will find a way out of Iraq as soon as possible and does not subscribe to the middle east nation building project. He will defer to the judgment of the U.N. when working on foreign policy issues.
    If that is what you want then you should vote for him. Even is he is not effective,he will try to work on those goals.

  • DakRoland

    3 of my friends have said the same thing. They are die-hard Democrats and Independants…but are beginning to believe that Bush is the best bet for this country. One said he’d rather have a Commited Republican that he knew where he stood, than a Weak Democrat whose stance was as mysterious and confusing as Big Foot and Nessie sightings.
    Just saw you on Fox News, Jeff. Short segment, but you made your point clearly and quickly. Good job!

  • Kenny

    If you want to the world to like us,
    if you want the terrorist to attack us,
    if you want our troops to cower of the field like some helpless dog,
    then vote for kerry,
    However if you want the world’s respect then vote for Bush

  • Carol

    We would do well to remember that more terror attacks & we won’t have an economy! Terror groups
    want to control & convert the world. It’s “their”
    Faith, their way or DEATH. We don’t need a “sensitive” (quote, Kerry) approach to terror, which is what, in my opinion,”his” words conveyed. Think about Kerry going to Vietnam to meet with our enemy, while US soldiers were in their prison camps. This says all that needs to be said to keep President Bush in the Whitehouse.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    It’s not just the plan; it’s also the team behind the plan.

  • Joe

    The world’s respect? Thanks to Bush the world has lost all respect for the US.
    If Alfred E. Newman was running for president, he would get my vote over Bush. Come on, take a step back and remind yourself of just how high Bush’s bullshit has piled up.
    As for the whole “flip-flop” thing, it’s shameful that people buy into the republican’s rally cry like that. Has Bush’s excuse for invading Iraq not changed dramatically? Talk about flip-flop…

  • John

    If you think John Kerry is all over the map, take a look at his party.
    The Democrats worked very hard to appear unified at their convention. In the end, the only consensus they were able to gather is that Bush = Bad, and Kerry = War Hero From Bygone Era.
    Kerry’s waffling is an indication of the overall discord within the Democratic coalition when the conversation goes beyond vilifying President Bush and moves to policy making.
    John Kerry sounds incoherent because his constituency is fundamentally divided on the most important issues of our time.
    This is not merely a branding issue, even a powerful brand like General Motors would not be successful in marketing a vehicle with two front ends that goes forward and back simultaneously.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    C’mon… “the world has lost all respect for the US?” Not true.
    http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/10821339p-11739307c.html
    “‘You (Americans) see (television images of) a lot of violence’ in Iraq, and there is violence, she said. ‘But a lot of good things are happening to us. … Under Saddam, we had no rights, especially women. Women could not speak openly, even to their children, not even in their own homes.’”
    “Al-Fadhal, a real Iraqi woman speaking to the situation in her homeland, says most Iraqis are overwhelmingly grateful to the United States for freeing their country from tyranny.”
    These women would not be free today if we didn’t go over there.
    Not everyone disagrees with us.

  • Joe

    True, the average Iraqi woman has more liberties than she had under Hussein, and this is a good thing (they just can’t walk the streets for fear of being car bombed). But it’s countries around the world that have lost respect for the US.
    And again, we’re straying from the real issue — was this reason enough to invade Iraq? And more to the point, was restoring liberties the reason Bush gave at that time for invading Iraq? No. It’s the reason he gives NOW that there have been no WMDs found and no ties to bin Laden (again, the “flip-flop”).

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    So let’s consider how we got to Iraq a wash: is Team Kerry showing that they can manage a world of conflicting agendas and keep America’s agenda foremost in their minds? Are they showing that they can manage the expectations of others well? Does Team Kerry show follow-through and consistency?

  • Brian Perry

    Joe,
    What does this respect that has been lost look like? That other countries will gladly do what we want? That American movies and Coca Cola are not burned at the docks?
    That when a person goes backpacking in Europe they don’t have to answer any uncomfortable questions?
    That when you watch Deutche Welle you don’t have to watch any complaining editorial comments about the U.S.?
    I’m curious what all of the respect we’ve lost looks like. My own two cents: No one likes the power we have, especially when we show a willingness to use it. Because “the rest of the world” is pretty much unable to do anything about anything, because their cultural imports are lame and they have let their military languish to the point of ineffectiveness. They’re tired of having us wreck the curve and make them look bad.
    Straight up jealousy= “losing respect for the United States.”
    Meanwhile, there’s important work to be done, and we’re going to get it done no matter what the rest of the class thinks.

  • http://blogs.rny.com/sbw/ sbw

    Computer programs are so complex that usually one can never entirely know the quality of the workmanship. Instead, you have to look at warning flags.
    To evaluate political candidates, who are also complex, warning flags are also instructive. Lord knows Bush flies warning flags — his bad choice of John Ashcroft is huge. But let’s for the moment, look at John Kerry’s understanding of Iraq/UN.
    The purpose of UN Resolution 1441 was to give Saddam Hussein a final opportunity to demonstrate willing compliance similar to that embraced by South Africa when it disarmed. Blix admitted Saddam was not forthright. Based on that, war could possibly have been avoided had the UN not blinked — trying to extend inspections when it already knew Hussein was obstructing.
    Kerry speaks of not finding WMD, not Hussein’s obstruction. That’s the warning flag for me. Does Kerry not understand or does he purposely wish to mislead the voter. Either case is a discredit when clarity is a necessary quality of leadership.
    The Kerry branding failure comes not specifically from his positions on issues, but from flying too many warning flags.

  • Joe

    Not really. Kerry’s plan seems sound but vague. But in my view how can things be WORSE with someone else at the helm?
    Again, if Kerry were Alfred E. Newman he would still get my vote. My argument is that it’s time to give someone else a chance to clean up these messes. I really believe that 30 years from now Iraq will be looked upon as an error of Viet Namian (is that a real word?) proportions.
    As for follow-through and consistency, I don’t necessarily agree with that whole republican argument against Kerry. If new evidence/information come to light on an issue, is it necessarily a good thing to don blinders and surge ahead with your original conviction at all costs? A recent article on slate.msn.com made a good comparison (sorry I can’t find the link). It likened Bush to a football player who picks up a fumble and starts running towards the wrong end-zone. Everyone yells for him to stop, but he puts his head down and rumbles on. Even his own teammates try to tackle him but he shoves them away.

  • http://www.masslive.com/weblogs/somegirl Kelsey

    For every http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/10821339p-11739307c.html
    there’s always a
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/19/magazine/19WOMENL.html
    “And then there was the cultural miscommunication, which seems to have been complete. The American military has its code of ethics and behavior; the Iraqis have their dignity; and the two have only clashed.”

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    I read Joe Territo every day and I was floored when I saw that. Hopefully he can be brought back to his senses. (No offense, Joe.) I directed people from my site to that post to try to talk sense.
    I’ve been a registered Republican since 1976 and even I know that this president is a disaster. Kerry is no prize either, but he’ll do for four years until we can get a sensible, moderate, responsible GOP candidate and move away from the radical conservatives who have highjacked the party platform.
    Don’t give up hope, Joe!

  • Catherine

    Forget the campaign – this is a man who wanted to surrender in Vietnam (without permission of his government as a Lt. in the Navy – his Paris peace talks where he proposed surrender in exchange for POW’s), surrender in Nicaragua (on his own he met with the Sandinistas and came back to Reagan with a plan of appeasement), he currently wants to surrender in Iraq…and this is WITHOUT the power of the Presidency! What would this man do in that role? Sell this country down the river for “peace” that will never come from surrender. He wants to give IRAN NUCLEAR ENERGY and SOMEHOW thinks it can be used to NEGOTIATE. What was the outcome of this “you can have nuclear technology, but PROMISE me, it will only be for energy” policy in NORTH KOREA under Clinton/Gore/Albright and the Carter “diplomacy?”
    I would think this would be a bigger matter to Jeff in particular, but that’s what scares me about Kerry.

  • Joe

    Brian,
    The respect was lost, in my opinion, when Bush opted to ignore the UN (and almost everyone else) and surge ahead with the invasion.
    As for the jealousy thing, I disagree. The US has always had the strongest military, and always will. I doubt any nation disputes that. But your suggestion that other nation’s armies “languish” to the point of becoming ineffective is scarey. Does this mean that in order to keep an army in “top form” it needs to periodically invade someone?

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    Then you should vote for Kerry because you disagree with the direction that Bush is going.
    Somewhere between 30% to 40% of America will vote with you on a “Not Bush” strategy.
    But that won’t win the election for Kerry.

  • freedom

    a democrat for 40 years,,,,,,, the dem’s dont represent me the common man in the country , but rather left wing crackpots,,, the last 3 dem’s to run for president a draft doger the village idiot and a war criminal and trator,,, this is not the demcratic party i have been a member of for so long,,,,,,,,,,

  • Joe

    Sad but true, but hope springs eternal. And who knows? Maybe some of the gazillions of folks who failed to turn out in 2000 will actually register and make a difference this time around.

  • Robert Brown

    Joe,
    It sounds to me like you want Kerry will unilaterally withdraw from Iraq. I think he will do that but he can’t quite bring himself to say it. That has to be frustrating for liberals, but why vote for Bush? He gives every indication that he will continue with the project.

  • patriot

    If you want these neocons to chop up what’s left of America, vote for absolute control from the oligarchy.
    Vote against your own self interest. Be stupid. Then don’t complain when the entire middle east attacks us, the world unites against us.
    When the dollar’s worth nothing, the oil is unavailable.
    When there’s no pension in your old age. When your savings can’t earn squat, schools close, property taxes go sky high.
    You deserve what you get if you vote to be screwed.
    Vote for the bully, then wonder why he flattens you instead of taking you out for a beer.
    Stupid people, asking to be hurt.

  • Michael

    “john kerry flip flops more then pancakes at ihop”
    I tire of this trope. Any politician with a brain changes her/his mind on issues. Any politician knows that you often vote for/against bills that have numerous provisions attached in order to “be on record” or in order to make a protest etc.
    You have to ask yourself: do you want someone in office who refuses to consider how the context of an issue might change and is willing to change her/his position, or someone who is inflexible and not willing to listen to other arguements and not open to consideration or persuasion on an issue.

  • Joe

    Robert,
    I don’t think Kerry would just say “OK everyone will be home by February 20th.” But I do think he’ll be able to accelerate the handover somewhat (a real handover, not that farce that took place on paper a few months back) and get our folks home sooner. Hopefully other countries would be more willing to lend a hand with Kerry at the helm. An acceleration of the handover is the best we could hope for at this point, even though it would still be years away.
    The other option is to keep sending over plane-load after plane-load of soldiers until… until… what?

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    “Hopefully other countries would be more willing to lend a hand with Kerry at the helm.”
    That’s the key right there: beyond the 30% to 40% “Not Bush” crowd, Kerry doesn’t exhibit anything that inspires reason for that hope in the way he handles his campaign.
    This campaign for election isn’t really much when compared to managing a competitive world agenda. If he can’t handle this, what’s the reason for that hope?
    Sell your candidate – beyond “Not Bush.”

  • Joe

    Brett,
    I think other nations would be more willing to help simply because Kerry is not Bush. This depends, of course, on how he positions his plea. If he takes the “my predecessor has created this mess, but with your help we can start to set things straight” stance, then there is hope.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    That’s the problem. I have yet to hear a message from a hardcore Kerry supporter who can give me an argument that’s founded on Kerry’s strengths. The foundation for the argument is “I’m not George Bush.”
    When voting, you pull the lever/punch the card/push the button/whatever FOR someone.
    I don’t buy a Sony TV because it’s not a Toshiba. I buy it for its strengths.
    If I don’t have confidence in either TV, then I don’t buy a TV.
    If you can’t convince people why Kerry is reason for hope beyond “Not Bush,” then you only convince people to stay home on election day.
    Sell the TV, buddy.
    It’s not just the plan; it’s the team behind the plan.

  • Joe

    Good analogy with the TVs, point well taken. But suppose the only two models available for purchase anywhere were either a Sony or Toshiba. If your previous TV was a Sony that had horrible screen clarity, sound, warranty, etc. Well then perhaps Toshiba would be the way to go. And besides, it’s not as if Kerry has remained perfectly mum on the various issues (not going to get into a lengthy list of political stances here). Whether or not his plans are actually implemented remains to be seen (maybe). I’m willing to take that chance.
    As for the millions of people staying home on 11/2, that’s a whole other issue. People who ignore what’s going on in the world, or don’t think their vote will matter much, or don’t think that whoever is in office would make a difference in their daily lives — I wish I knew how to motivate/educate them. Advertising maybe? It’s a serious problem.
    On a side note, it’s refreshing to finally have a spirited, intelligent debate here. So often in web forums it turns into a troll versus the people expletive-laden cuss-fest (“your mom will be wearing a burka by 2006 if you vote for Kerry you *&#$ing liberal scum!”).

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    Global change starts one person at a time. I think it was Ghandi who said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    All of us have to make the best decision that we know how to make on who should lead the US, so I don’t begrudge others their choice of Kerry if it’s a heartfelt and educated choice. Democracy – it’s a good thing. You and I, we have the freedom to speak our opinions without fear. I wish everyone in the world had that right.
    If you want to swing voters into Kerry’s column, speak to his strengths. Who he is matters. Who’s on his team matters. His resume and background matter if they show that he can lead and get things done.
    But the argument of “Not Bush” will only disappoint you on election day. And it’s ultimately divisive.

  • Thom

    Bush and his supporters are relying much more on a “Not Kerry” argument than on his record, for obious reasons.

  • Joe

    Well put. If the election really is to be determined by the issues (Iraq aside, though I think that is the biggest), the views of almost every recent politician can be found here:
    http://www.issues2000.org/default.htm
    But since when are elections decided by the issues? On 11/2 voters will probably follow their gut. If the Bush ads have effectively instilled the “flip flop” thing into so many people’s minds, then of course Bush will win.
    If enough people have a little voice in their head telling them Bush has lied and makes horrendous decisions with disasterous consequences, then Kerry will win.

  • Robert Brown

    Joe,
    Of course Kerry won

  • Tim

    This is deja vu for any party-leaning voter whose candidate is not the incumbant (or semi-incumbant like VP’s Gore and Bush Sr.).
    Candidate Bush was different than President Bush.
    Candidate Clinton was different than President Clinton.
    Same with Candidate Carter and Candidate Reagan.
    So, if you are trying to figure out who President Kerry will be based on Candidate Kerry, it is very doubtful you’ll be correct. It doesn’t help that Kerry lack message clarity thru simplicity. The K in the KISS principle is NOT Kerry.
    So you don’t even have the pretense of a known Kerry to vote for; even if you understand he is an unknown quantity as President regardless.

  • Tim

    This is deja vu for any party-leaning voter whose candidate is not the incumbant (or semi-incumbant like VP’s Gore and Bush Sr.).
    Candidate Bush was different than President Bush.
    Candidate Clinton was different than President Clinton.
    Same with Candidate Carter and Candidate Reagan.
    So, if you are trying to figure out who President Kerry will be based on Candidate Kerry, it is very doubtful you’ll be correct. It doesn’t help that Kerry lack message clarity thru simplicity. The K in the KISS principle is NOT Kerry.
    So you don’t even have the pretense of a known Kerry to vote for; even if you understand he is an unknown quantity as President regardless.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe and Thom,
    I’m voting for Bush, not against Kerry. Here’s why:
    1) I agree with the vision of democracy in the Middle-East.
    2) I agree with most of the direction we’ve taken with homeland security. Walls between agencies are being broken down. That level of communication helps us take down terrorists and their plotting.
    3) I love the concept of the “ownership society.” It helps my kids ensure their own future.
    4) And finally, he’s pretty much done or tried very hard to do what he said he would do.
    That said, I have my disagreements with Bush.
    1) I don’t like the massive push for spending and programs and growth of government.
    2) I don’t agree at all with the FMA and its stance against gays.
    My biggest issues this election: security and my kids’ future. Bush’s actions of the last four years and his vision of the “ownership society” play to these issues.

  • Theresa

    As a 20+ year member of the US Armed Forces, the idea of a waffling, non-committal, anti-military type like john kerry as my Commander In Chief makes me seriously debate dropping my retirement papers. His history is not one which inspires trust or respect. Regardless of the attempt by the liberal media to portray him as a war hero, all his actions AFTER his tour of duty in vietnam negate all supposed heroics. Mr. Bush will get my vote simply because he has shown through actions, not just words, that America’s security comes first. Unfortunately, from where I’m standing, the democratic party and mr kerry do not seem to feel the same sense of urgency on this issue. Everything else is irrelevant if we can’t or won’t protect ourselves. Talk is cheap when it comes to dealing with islamonazi thugs and murders. God Bless America, our troops, and Mr. Bush.

  • Matthew Ryan

    “The US has always had the strongest military, and always will”
    Young’ns need to read some history before posting such nuggets.

  • http://blogs.rny.com/sbw/ sbw

    To think that Kerry would be able to sway the French is to be beyond naive about the French and about history. DeGaulle didn’t drag his heels about supporting D-Day until the last minute because he disliked Roosevelt, but because he felt his and French national interests lay elsewhere. France didn’t back away from NATO in 1956 to form the force de frappe because France didn’t like Ike.
    France will play the Security Council for its own national interest, period, not to poke a finger in George Bush’s eye.
    France wants to curry third world favor and to improve its commercial investments world-wide — and Kerry’s jawboning be damned along the way.
    [BTW, it's just too bad the oil-for-food scandal, with the French and the U.N. up to their elbows, won't be resolved before the election.]

  • Charles Wallace

    Theresa,
    Security is an enormous issue. Strong arguments could be made that the US is far less secure now than before 9/11. Reason: the military is way-overextended in Iraq. $200 billion is being spent to maintain the effort there. While all of the nation’s attention/resouces have been focused on Iraq, nations like N. Korea, Pakistan and Iran have been reactivating their nuclear arsenals.

  • Joe

    Robert,
    Of course I can only speculate (and hope) what the leaders of other nations would do. But perhaps having someone in office who will give them a sense that he is on their side and will seek their help to look for a solution to the Iraq problem would be better received.
    If Kerry plays his cards right he would have a chance of earning some International support. Bush seems to have lost his chance to win back some of this favor with his recent UN speech — he opted to lecture and defiantly defend the reasons for plodding ahead in Iraq, rather than seeking assistance.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    Can you cite one instance where the UN was effective in detering the slaughter of thousands/millions of people in places such as Darfur? Or why we should trust the UN when scams like Iraq’s Oil For Food program have no oversight?
    I have no confidence that the UN can be a force for good in the world. They haven’t demonstrated that. I’m glad that Bush lectured them. They deserve that – and more.
    What’s more, his vision of a democracy fund, which supports “instituting the rule of law and independent courts, a free press, political parties and trade unions,” can only pressure the UN to either support these freeing concepts or walk away from them.
    What reason can you give to trust the UN? Sell the TV, buddy.

  • Brian Perry

    Hello Joe,
    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on whether we rushed into war in Iraq or whether the nations that opposed us had the best motives for doing so. My answers: we didn’t, and they didn’t.
    Beyond that, my comment on the militaries of other countries meant this: Countries with formerly powerful militaries such as France and Germany have let themselves fall into a state of military unreadiness. The sad thing is, they are using the U.S. military as their proxy force because they realize we will save them in any circumstance, no matter what the cost to us. In the meantime, they complain about everything we do.
    I read a good quote recently, that came from either Ernest Hemingway or Douglas MacArthur, depending on which website you believe:
    “Wars are caused by undefended wealth.”
    Hopefully Europe won’t be exhibit A. If they do something about them, that’s when I’ll start respecting them again…

  • Theresa, MSgt, USAF

    Charles,
    Unless you are in the military and deployed to the AOR, your information regarding the “overextension” of our military comes from the media. This same media have no qualms about “altering” or “withholding” facts if these same

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Brian: outstanding quote, and so true.
    And Theresa: You make us incredibly proud. God bless you!

  • Brian Perry

    Brett-
    This one simple quote explains a lot of what goes on in the world, namely, why do do we continually defeat one madman only to have another pop up? The western world seems to continually move through cycles of defense, complacency, appeasement and then finally renewed defense in the face of an attack brought about by complacency and appeasement. At this point, the only power in the world that is capable of defending freedom against those who were convinced the free world’s wealth could be stolen or destroyed is the U.S.
    Those who call for appeasement and complacency only ask for violence and attack to be rained down upon us. The scary part is that all of this could have been avoided if we had not allowed the impression to be created that we could be beaten. Again, defense (WWII, Cold War), complacency (the 90′s) and appeasement (the 90′s, liberalism and the U.N.) and now finally, aggressive defense is needed to preserve us.
    The only problem now cropping up is that dictatorships are drawing ever closer to achieving the power of WMDs. Once they have them, how can we ever convince those who oppose us that there may not be some chance of beating us, no matter what our defense?
    Therefore, we run our future defense now- the aggressive stopping of all dictators who seek WMDs, including Saddam, and the aggressive spreading of freedom and democracy, the only hedge known against dictatorship. Things have become rather grave while were were complacent, and it’s going to take rather grave action to get ourselves back to safety.
    Thanks to those like Theresa who do the hard work for us- we owe a giant debt of gratitude.

  • Addison

    Joe:
    You keep saying that. But you won’t say how, or why.
    There’s really only three countries *not* helping us. France. Which has said they won’t, period. (Plus their economy is reeling from losing that Oil-For-Food money, as well). Germany. Ditto on helping after the election. Spain. Which was, before they showed they could be scared away, so they’re not going back in.
    What *other* country can you point to that would go in just because Kerry is in charge? He’s insulted the living DAYLIGHTS out of the 58 countries currently working in Iraq – and you consider this a model to emulate?
    Your assertation falls flat on its face. What other country will help? Name it, or them. That aren’t currently. (And presuming they don’t leave due to the incessant insults Kerry has hurled at them). Until you can point, concretely to other countries, and show that they are open to that “help” then you’re merely living in a fantsyland. It’s called a “RDF” – “Reality Distortion Field”. You’ve decided that *IF* Kerry were to be elected, “many” other countries would help, thus, that WILL happen.
    And ignored that all the really important countries are already helping, that Kerry’s insulted THEM, and the only ones who are noteably staying away – have already declared that they will anyway.

  • Brian Perry

    Addison:
    I don’t know that you can say that France is reeling from the loss of Oil-for-Food money specifically. I think you can saying that they are hurting from the loss of:
    1. Billions in defense contracts from Saddam
    2. Billions in current defense-related debt that Saddam racked up that may not be paid back
    3. The loss of a major nexis of influence in the Middle East
    These three things are the major reason why France opposed us going into Iraq, and I’d say that loss of influence is the most important. With no military might to speak of, money and influence are their only avenues left to power, and most of those just went bye-bye into the spider hole.
    So, you bring up a good question: Who are these countries that aren’t helping, why are they so important, and what will it take to bring them on board? Will it be sufficient amounts influence (over us) or money (from us)? Because that’s all that will make them happy, in my opinion.

  • Joe

    What important country IS currently helping (aside from the UK, and that’s only because Blair is Bush’s toadie)? And helping doesn’t necessarily entail sending “boots on the ground.” There is financial support, medical/humanitarian efforts, training, food/water, contracting, etc. At this point the US needs all the help it could get in Iraq.
    Bottom line to all: Arguments could go back and forth forever on why to vote for one candidate versus the other, whether the UN sucks or not, whether or not to buy a Sony TV, etc. The people who visit this site appear to have their minds made up; short of Bush standing on his podium during the debates, dropping his pants and shoving his rump into the camera, it sounds like most of you will be voting for him. And short of Kerry saying something like “If elected I will have all Baptists and people with curly hair incarcerated,” I will vote for him. That’s our right. God bless America.

  • DAveP.

    Joe, with his oft-repeated statement that America has lost the “respect” of the world, basically sounds like a 12-year-old upset because the “popular” kids in school (all two of them) won’t let him sit at their table.
    Too bad. I have less respect for someone who wants to sacrifice national interest for “popularity” than for someone willing to sacrifice the opinions of those who don’t matter for realities that do.
    Joe should explain how, pre-September 11, all of that “respect” he mourns the passing of prevented the Cole bombing, the American Embassy bombings in Africa, the FIRST World Trade Center bombing (remember that?) and 3000 American dead on September 11.

  • Robert Brown

    Joe,
    What does it mean to be “on their side”? France clearly wants to see a decline in US militry and economic power in the interest of a more dominant french lead EU.
    Should Kerry offer this to get cooperation in Iraq?

  • Brian Perry

    Joe, you’re going to have to get down to brass tacks and define what an important country is and give a list.
    If, for instance, you consider Poland or Australia to be an unimportant country, please define specifically why. I’m sure that any Polish or Aussie readers would be quite interested.

  • Bucky Katt

    So Joe…why in the name of heaven would I want to vote for someone who is more interested in giving these un-named countries “a sense that he is on their side” (your words) than one whose primary interest is the safety and security of the United States? Does this mean on every major foreign policy issue Kerry will seek permission/concurrence from the Europeans? No thanks!
    Never mind that Chiraq has already stated that France will not send a contingent to Iraq even if Kerry is elected.

  • Bucky Katt

    So Joe…why in the name of heaven would I want to vote for someone who is more interested in giving these un-named countries “a sense that he is on their side” (your words) than one whose primary interest is the safety and security of the United States? Does this mean on every major foreign policy issue Kerry will seek permission/concurrence from the Europeans? No thanks!
    Never mind that Chiraq has already stated that France will not send a contingent to Iraq even if Kerry is elected.

  • Clinton

    What a refreshing commment from another democrat.
    You know, since 1998, Kerry supported getting rid of Saddam…then he was against it…2 weeks ago he flat out admitted that knowing what we know NOW…he STILl would have voted to go to war with Iraq…HE SAID IT TWO TIMES IN TWO WEEKS!!!
    Then, he realized that he was losing his base who disagreed because he was not different enough from Bush on this topic…So he FLIP FLOPPED AGAIN to now say the totally OPPOSITE THING.
    And today he called Allawi a lier for saying his country is making great progress…HOW’S THAT for his diplomacy skills folks…Sure, lets piss off 31 of the nations in our coalition who are working hard in Iraq by calling Allawi a lier.
    That is a HUGE coalition…
    Further, in talking with the soldiers and the people who actually live over there…its not as bad as the media is making it out to be…I heard
    one soldier today who came home for a 2 week leave remark that he was freaked out to see how wrong the media is getting it in Iraq.
    This sounds EXACTLY like what the media did in WWII in Germany after we won that war…Same thing…We are losing, its Chaos, it won’t work…too costly…same thing happened to us by the media when we defeated Japan…Both are now allies and democratic free societies…
    The problem here is that NOBODY remembers history…And history tells us that this is what REFORM of a nation LOOKS LIKE! It ain’t pretty, it ain’t easy…and the media will make it look worse than it is because THAT IS WHAT SELLS
    ADVERTISING SPACE!
    Stem Cells: Bush has given more money than
    any president here…
    Economy: 12 straight months of improved economy
    (not felt in all states yet)
    Jobs: Almost the same unemployment rate as Clinton…Clinton was praised for it but Bush is Bashed even though it is so close its negligble…
    You are making the right choice…I moved over too…

  • http://frontrange.blogspot.com Mike

    Joe wrote:”What important country IS currently helping (aside from the UK, and that’s only because Blair is Bush’s toadie)?”
    I guess I’d ask you to define what you consider an ‘important’ nation. Does Australia count? How about Japan? South Korea? No? Then Perhaps Poland? Nah. To small. And I thought Blair was Clintons toady.
    *shrug*
    All I know is NATO invoked article 5 after 9/11. And even in the ‘widely’ supported actions’ al la Afghanistan we are only seeing minimal cooperation.
    How will Kerry change this?

  • Warthog

    If the so called “rest of the world” resents that the United States is aggressively confronting Islamism then screw them. The USA is 30% of the world’s economy and mankind’s best hope for attaining universal human rights. They need us a whole lot more then we need them.
    Kerry may be willing to trade liberty and sovereignty to curry international favor but I am not.

  • Charles Wallace

    Clinton,
    I know someone who flip-flopped more on that issue:
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2004-09-22
    And check the sources before starting the anti-Moore diatribe please.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Read these comments and get a feel for the coming presidential debates…

  • Joe

    Brett,
    I doubt the debates will be nearly as much fun as this — with the exception of the town hall forum the attendees will most likely be hand-picked automatons, chosen by the two parties.

  • Brian Perry

    Joe,
    Pardon me but this has been a pet peeve of mine. A definition of what makes an important country, and a list of examples, would be informative. Is it military strength, GDP, land mass..or must they start with FR or GE and end with either (their choice) CE or NY? Or maybe you obliquely refer to…RU__IA?
    Also, a list of unimportant countries and the qualities that characterize their unimportnantness. Perhaps they are defined as countries that don’t start with FR or GE but that are also on the ground in Iraq?
    By the way, thanks for the discussion…..

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Joe,
    Here’s the thing, Joe. I respect your dislike for Bush, but such a position makes for lousy debate.
    The democracy fund, ownership society, a democratic Middle-East – these are all substantive ideas put forward by Bush. Kerry, when he unveiled his plan for Iraq, simply parroted Bush’s plan already in place.
    Where are the bright ideas?
    How does Kerry address the problems of Social Security for my children? Closing tax loopholes only works for some many dollars. Promising a robust economy only works if a president has such sway over the economy to make that happen. (And please, don’t put forward Clinton as an example – can you say personal PC in the 90′s?)
    Kerry intends to use Super 301 rules in trade disputes with other countries – you think unilateral is a label we hear today? Wait till the international community gets a load of that in negotiations.
    Kerry talks a lot about outsourcing, but frankly it was the Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000 that made that possible – which was pre-Bush, who took office in 2001. And Clinton’s own people helped write that legislation.
    http://www.citeusa.org/hot.html
    So I’m asking – where are the inventive ideas to deal with these issues?
    It’s not just the plan; it’s the team behind the plan.

  • Joe

    Giving lip-service is one thing, saying “yes, I support the US effort in Iraq” is all well and good, but what have they actually done?

  • David R. Block

    I’m getting here late, I know, but I don’t think that one should necessarily conflate “respect us” for “like us.” A whole lot more countries don’t like us than don’t respect us.
    I’m not sure that we should always project “warm fuzzies” to everybody so that they will like us. Some of them ain’t gonna like us no matter what.

  • Claudia

    Could he possible be more defeatest and uninspiring? It comes down to “the vision thing” and Kerry doesn’t have one… Witness his mediocre Senate career. He wasted 20 years there and I expect that, if elected, he would waste the 4 years of his term as president. I do not think we can afford that.

  • Joe

    By ‘respect’ what I was trying to say was: will they step in and give help – real help – to patch up Bush’s $200 billion fiasco?
    Brett — you’ve named a lot of issues there, and they are all important ones. Hugely important, and they will hopefully be given airtime during the next few weeks (except for Social Security, becuase NO ONE has an answer for that. Let’s face it, we’re all going to get screwed there. I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll be working until I keel over at age 94. But I digress…).
    To me the central issue here is one of trust/character. Put simply, when the president speaks I HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME BELIEVING THE THINGS HE SAYS. That is at the root of my issues with him.

  • Brian Perry

    Joe,
    By saying, “What have the countries that are helping done anyway?” you are in full waffle/dodge the question mode.
    Please stand by while I continue to press:
    1. Define what an important country is. Name some.
    2. Define what an unimportant country is. Name some.
    It’s that simple, and by your previous statements you must have an idea already about these things. If you can’t answer these queries I’ll have to assume that I can’t take your opinion on the relative respect of countries for the U.S. seriously.
    Peru? Chile? Uganda? Sweden? Canada? Important, or unimportant?
    You decide.

  • Brian Perry

    Joe,
    Also, if you can’t believe what the president says, for bonus points, give a succinct summary of John Kerry’s (current) Iraq policy and his plan for victory/increasing troop strength/immediate pullout.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.joeterrito.com Joe Territo

    For the record – I have not had time to read all of these comments. I will as soon as I can. More importantly, I have not posted any of these comments. That’s some other Joe.

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    “Defeatist” and the other adjectives being thrown around here that were mentally implanted by endless Bush and Cheney advertisements does not equal “realistic.” How many more people, including our own intelligence corp. do you need to tell you that Bush is either lying about the situation in Iraq or is indeed off in some fantasy world? Kerry is simply being realistic. The job is botched. I’m not saying Big John can fix it, but frankly I don’t know if anyone can. What I do know is who got us into this mess for all the wrong reasons when we should have been in Afghanistan going after Osama with this kind of force. And he needs to be held accountable for it.

  • Joe

    I apologize to Joe Territo for not clearing that up – he’s a different Joe.
    Brian – what defines the importance of a country in terms of Iraq is not just whether or not they have announced their support for the US in Iraq, but what have they actually DONE to provide it.
    As for Kerry’s Iraq plan, it is outlined here:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-08-08-oppose_x.htm
    Vague? Yes. Perfect? No. Worth a try? Absolutely. Keep in mind that it’s never easy cleaning up someone else’s disaster. And yes it is a disaster.

  • http://triticale.mu.nu triticale

    Getting back to the original question. Where is Kerry’s brand manager, to jump into the discussion and win people back? It’s Joe, with the “they’ll like us better” campaign pitch.

  • Samo

    Edwards is more handsome than Cheney, so vote democrat. And Macs are better than Windows. So there.

  • Addison

    Iraq.. A diaster.
    Well, I guess that’s one way of putting it when an outnumbered military uses information as a weapon, has surgical SF teams lining up strikes behind the lines, and cuts through the largest regional power in less time than it took the Germans to march to Paris. Quite a failure. And of course, cutting all communications between the branches of the military – resulting in incredibly low deaths on both sides. Utter failure.
    And now, we’ve got 3 districts in that country with problems – almost aided/abetted or under the orders of Iran and Syria, apparently. The rest of the country is the most peaceful it’s been in 30 years. What a failure.
    Elections in under a year from deposing the prior dictatorial regime. Beating our last record of 4 years, was it, for Germany? 6 for Japan? (Off the top of my head, I might be wrong – someone can fact-check my ass (No, Joe, I don’t think you’ll count) (My pajamas are in the wash, sorry) Failure.
    Not bringing “important” allies (who shall remain unnamed) (and undeterminable, since the military allies with strenth are already with us, there are no countries left with militaries that could help, and the only possibilities (which don’t have the ability to project military strength) have already taken themselves out of the running).
    Failure.
    You know, you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  • Brian Perry

    Joe (not Territo),
    I still feel you’re dodging.
    If a country has lost a soldier in Iraq, have they DONE something?
    If a country has sent even a modest number of soldiers to Iraq in the face of great political risk, have they DONE something?
    If a country has stood by our side when apparently the whole world has lost respect for us, have they DONE something?
    If a country has blocked us at every turn, spoken out about us at the UN, traded arms with Saddam to be used against us, told a fair number of European countries to “Shut up,”, accepted bribes from the oil-for-food program and supported the rule of a homicidal dictator, have they DONE something?
    Please name names. What are the countries that you require the respect of? What countries are in Iraq now, even in a limited way, that you are not proud to have alongside our troops? Which countries’ contributions, whether they be lives, money, or support do you consider to be a joke?
    In order to follow Kerry’s line of logic, you’d have to consider some of the report we’ve received to be meaningless. Name names, and let us know which countries are better than others.
    This “Coalition of the Coerced” business burns me up when some from these countries have given their lives. As tiny as their country may be, they matter. Thanks Hungary, Poland, Italy, Japan, the UK, and any others I fail to mention from the long list.
    Thanks from Kerry, or crickets?
    —–Brian

  • mtnmole

    If you verify the facts behind the soundbites then you will know that what is uttered from the mouths of this administration are lies.
    Leave No Child Left Behind is underfunded by more than 19 million from what was promised and needed.
    Texas Educators are screaming and filing lawsuits against what is left to them by Bush.
    The EPA is gutted from fear of job lose which is allowing clear cutting and road building in sensitive areas. This damage can not be reversed.
    The foreign journalist are not reporting the same story about the war as the US press so who is telling the truth?
    If you believe that this preemptive war is about protecting our oil interest in Iraq and is unconstitutional then it is time to STAND up for the principles that were set forth by the Founding Fathers. VOTE KERRY!
    If you think that the budget is of paramount importance so our children and grandchildren have a sustainable life, then it is time to VOTE KERRY.
    This election is about a peaceful future that is contingent on a health society and BUSH is distroying the society as it has been built.
    BTW: The definition of “liberal” is 1) openminded and 2) tolerant. How can anyone want anything else?
    VOTE KERRY!

  • Joe

    Addison is right, the Iraq is going well. Insurgents owning three major cities. 1028 dead US soldiers, countless more injured. 2 recent BEHEADINGS with a third imminent. New American fatalities every day. New car bombings every day. Going greeeeeeeeeeat… Go here:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2002039922&zsection_id=268448413&slug=iraqattitude19&date=20040919
    You live in the same altered state of reality as our president. This thread has lost all credibility. I won’t be checking back in, but I want to thank some of you for the spirited arguments. Good luck in November, and I’d say “May the best man win” but as we all know that often doesn’t happen in politics.

  • thirdfinger

    Joe,
    And how would your hero get the reluctant Euro Snobs to help? Why, the way any rich guy would. He’ll buy em.
    During a speech in New York on the 20th a suggestion from the man himself; “He (Bush) should give other countries a stake in Iraq’s future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq’s oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process.”
    So now we go from ‘Oil for food’ to ‘oil for political gain’. Sleazy doesn’t even begin to describe your candidate.

  • Brian Perry

    Joe (not Territo),
    I’m disappointed that you never provided an answer to my reasonable questions in light of your assertion that the U.S. has lost the respect of the “right” nations in your book.
    You could not provide a definition of an important country, or a list of such countries. You could not define an unimportant country, and provide even a short list of some examples.
    I think that the inability to do this severely undercuts your argument.
    Thanks for the discussion! Very interesting.

  • http://www.joeterrito.com Joe Territo

    Why has the presidential campaign – just like this thread – become all about nothing but Iraq?
    Why would Bush want the election to be a referendum on Iraq, with the nation so clarly divided over the issue? Why does Kerry want it so, since his position is so muddled? Why aren’t the two candidates discussing foreign and defense policies in larger terms? If they must talk about international relations and the war on terror, they should be debating the pre-emptive war strategy in general, whether or not the U.S. needs to respect the authority or judgement of the U.N., etc.
    I say this not only from a civic perspective but also from a strategy perspective. The devil for both candidates is in the details. They both are more understandable and believable when they talking big picture.
    I am especially perplexed by the Kerry strategy to now go all Iraq all the time. No doubt some polls are telling him that this issue is his winner. But with all of the real news happening in and about Iraq right now, it is hard for Kerry to cut through the clutter on this topic. I think he would draw more attention – and support – if he were to effectively build a case that Bush has neglected important domestic issues because of his preoccupation with Iraq. Kerry could declare his own domestic axis of evil, and use war rhetoric to plan his battle to improve America at home – just like Clinton vowed to focus on the economy “like a laser” in his defeat of Bush Sr.

  • http://blogs.rny.com/sbw/ sbw

    Joe (Not Territo)> To me the central issue here is one of trust/character. Put simply, when the president speaks I HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME BELIEVING THE THINGS HE SAYS.
    Then the Kerry campaign hammering at “He lied about WMD” and “He misled…” about this and that seems to be having an effect.
    Could you be specific about what it is you have a hard time believing?
    Frankly I have a hard time believing Kerry, because when he talks about more people being unemployed, he forgets to mention that that’s because the population has grown and that there are actually more people employed, too. And when Kerry talks about outsourcing losing jobs he forgets to mention that that is 3% of the reason for job loss in the last couple of years — that most were lost because of structural changes in the job market (improved technology and productivity).
    Yeah, I know the Bush team spins. There’s a book out on it, but gosh darn it, the Democrats can’t win by doubling duplicity. Maybe even Daschle, that master of the half-truth, will deservedly lose.

  • Brian Perry

    Joe Territo:
    I think the reason that the election is all about Iraq is that Iraq is simultaneously Bush’s strongest suit and biggest weakness. It is many things to different people- giant blunder or necessary action, waste of money or mass liberation, completely irrelevant or completely protective of our interests.
    Both sides think they can milk it- it’s just who does the best milking. Right now that’s Bush. The Democrats have taken a big gamble, but that they took the gamble at all is a tacit admission of the weak position on fighting terror that they find themselves in. They felt that their only hope was to try and fight Bush on his own high ground, to out-Bush Bush. However, with their only energy coming from the anti-Bush segment of their base, this necessity was bound to produce mixed results. In addition, by choosing to fight Bush on terror, they’ve again tacitly admitted what the major issue is for voters, and let’s just say it’s not health care. Oh, it’s a tough place to try and win from.
    As long as overall public opinion falls even slightly in Bush’s favor on Iraq, as it is now, he can to use it to his advantage. With Kerry now forced to go straight Howard Dean in order to save his anti-war base, Bush can use Iraq to siphon off valuable percentages of more reasonable Democrats by appearing steady and committed in the face of the more extreme and wavering Kerry.
    As for the other domestic issues, I’ve been of the opinion for quite a while that without a country, we’ll have no domestic issues to worry about at all. And without an effective fight on terror, we’ll have no country. So, for me, voting for Bush to continue fighting terror is the trump issue- no domestic consideration comes close. Also, don’t forget- terror itself is a domestic issue, as the huge economic blow of September 11th can attest.
    I think most people, or at least a majority, understand this. They are repulsed by war, human suffering and our own troops dying in Iraq, but they also realize how hard we can be hit at home. The bulk of people want someone to actively fight terror, and the bulk of people seem to believe that Bush is the best person to have in command at this time in order to do that.
    For Democrats, the issues of anti-Bush and Iraq may turn out to be tantalizing tools they strained to grasp and control, but that are ultimately revealed as empty mirages.
    That’s my (hopeful) analysis for now.

  • Jennifer Peterson

    I am one of those former Gore voters who will be voting for Bush this year. The media pretends we don’t exist but we are the “security moms” that Rove understands and Lockhart and Cahill don’t.
    The Religious Left has taken over the Democratic Party…at least until Hillary takes it back in November when she picks up the pieces. I hope Hillary defends her Iraq War vote or just keeps quiet in the next 5 weeks.
    Joe: You really need to put up or shut up when you try to pretend that leftists in other countries constitute the “whole world” and that elected conservative leaders like Putin, Chirac, Berlosconi and Howard as well as the deeply conservative governments of Japan and Pakistan would prefer to see a Marxist like Kerry in the White House. Also: Schroeder in Germany is in deep trouble with a mostly conservative electorate. I live in Russia and I see a huge right wing wave about to sweep Europe.

  • Jennifer Peterson

    In specific Joe: your “wish” that everything go wrong in Iraq is the same as the “fulfilled wish” that defeatists inflicted on the people of South Vietnam and Cambodia: when, after Kissinger achieved at least the strategic victory of splitting China from the Soviet Union and a tactical victory of getting a peace agreement with Hanoi, 2.5 Million people were killed by communists because a Democratic Congress spitefully killed all funding for anti-communist governments while the Soviet Union spent $1 Billion per year to make sure the communists broke the treaty after American troops left. It basically constitues a mental illness for an American to want his country to lose and foreign people to suffer under evil people.
    Why, Joe, do you feel a need for your Marxist ideology to be fulfilled? Why do you *need* Iraq to be a disaster? Don’t say “I didn’t want it to be, it just is.” You know what I am talking about. For people like you, Bush has created an ideological Waterloo. It has been make or break for you to defend Saddam like you needed to defend the Soviet Union. You people thrive on saying that Russia is “chaos” even 13 years after the Russians won their freedom. You people will never give up! Iraq will be free. Iran will be free. Libya will not be nuked because they surrendered Saddam’s nuke program that was operating on their territory…and you people will just complain like nagging mother-in-laws…because you will never be satisfied.
    At least the Republicans shut their traps after Clinton started the Kosovo War. They understood that once America was at war, solidarity with the troops and the mission had to be kept, regardless of their original misgivings about going to war. I know of no Republican who feels the *urge* or *need* to say “we screwed up royally in Yugoslavia – Now they all hate us over in the Balkans!” The reason: conservatism isn’t an ideology so much as it is simple maturity and common sense. Message to the immature: GET OVER IRAQ! WE DID IT AND WE WOULD DO IT AGAIN! And the Sunni extremists who are cutting off heads – they will be hunted down and killed but before some of them die, they will curse the American leftists who motivated them to follow their hopeless course of action.
    I live in Russia. It is not chaos here. The people do not feel that they are under any dictatorship of Putin. The people just mostly agree with Putin that leftists belong in exile. :-)

  • Charles Wallace

    Theresa your Air Force service to the country is admirable (seriously).
    Did you serve alongside the president? Oh wait — the president went AWOL and had his records falsified to cover it up — nevermind.

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    Possibly the saddest part of this entire thread is an echoing of what is so often reported in polls. Supporters of Bush’s policy of preemptive wars now take, as given, that other countries are of no importance, and since they didn’t “defend our president” then they are all persona non grata in the world. You have all thrown out post after post giving all your well thought our reasons why every country except England “sucks” and are of no concern to us.
    The long view will eventually show us how long one superpower can remain upright when they simply disdain the rest of the planet.
    Again: The war on Terror is in Afghanistan. It is being forgotten more each day. There was no connection between Iraq and 9/11 or al Queda. And now the wheels are coming off in Iraq and I am frightened to see so many Americans blindly parroting whatever Bush says about how wonderful it’s going, even when his own intelligence experts tell him otherwise.
    Does anyone recall how we got *into* this mess in the first place? It seems to me that somebody was ignoring intelligence reports that conflicted with what he wanted to hear then, also. He apparently will never learn. Will you?

  • Samuel

    The administration’s response to 9/11 was sad, really. bin Laden’s family members immediately flown out of the country without being interviewed by the FBI… Two months go by before any real action is taken. When Bush finally gets things moving in Afghanistan, bin Laden is long gone. So bomb Iraq for lack of anything better to do. This is not left wing Micheal Moore propaganda, folks, THIS REALLY HAPPENED.
    There is a lot of blood on Bush’s hands, and yet his supporters still take everything he says/does as gospel. Maybe Bush’s policies on education, social security, small businesses, income tax, etc have some advantages over Kerry’s plans. Maybe they don’t. While important, these issues PALE IN COMPARISON to what’s going on over there. I’ll bet a lot of the Bush herd would change their views REALLY FAST if they had a loved one in Iraq.

  • Brian Perry

    Hello Jazz,
    Welcome to the fray.
    I’m going to have to ask for some facts behind your many assertions. First, as you read through here you will see that I have been defending “unimportant” countries from an attack by Kerry supporter Joe (not Territo). I am not throwing countries into the “sucks” pile, in fact, I can only really think of three countries that were are especially problematic in their ill behavior leading up to Iraq- France, Germany and Russia. And, importantly, it has been proven beyond a shadow that these three countries had major investments of either money and influence in Iraq that centered on Saddam- without him, they had a lot to lose. I think it’s pretty safe to say that one can no longer ascribe their reticence to some higher level of morality.
    So, I would ask you:
    1. Please name the countries that are being dissed that you would in turn defend. Which countries should we have listened to, and please give a defense of their position on Iraq.
    You mention that the U.S. can not remain upright alone. Let’s forget the fact that we are not alone, for the sake of argument.
    2. Please name which countries are not on our side now that we need to win this war. Not leading up to Iraq, but now. If we are about to fall alone, there must be countries that could keep us standing.
    You mention the oft-repeated argument that by going into Iraq we took our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan. So, as you are an adherent of that theory, a few questions.
    3. Can the U.S. fight more than one war/conflict simultaneously?
    4. Please explain why, as he had ample chance, that Saddam Hussein would not support al Qaeda and their war against the U.S. I am not talking about direct connections to 9/11, though I must say that ruling out any connection at this point puts you pretty far out on a limb. Keep in mind the Oil-for-food scandal has not reached its conclusion yet.
    5. Why is the word of the CIA now golden when they assess the current Iraq, when I am assuming you have pilloried Bush for following their past intelligence regarding WMD in Iraq?
    6. If our work in Iraq is experiencing some bumps right now, and maybe for the conceivable future, does that mean we should quit?
    7. If we should quit now, please paint a brief picture of our respect level in the world after leaving 25 million Iraqis in the lurch. Also, paint a strategic picture- how will leaving Iraq help the war on terror, and how will leaving Iraq deter terrorists?
    And also, the big one:
    8. If we have taken our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan, and that is so bad, did you support the war in Afghanistan in the first place? Please give a little exposition on Afghanistan and how/why you supported our invasion of a sovereign nation for only harboring terrorists, not committing terrorism (by way of the Bush Doctrine, btw). Also, please give some picture of how in the intervening months, you have expressed concern about our losing sight of the mission there while Bush completely forgot it and blew the whole WoT with his insane focus on Iraq.
    Or, did you just see Farenheit 9/11?
    ——-Brian

  • Brian Perry

    Samuel,
    FYI, it was Richard Clak, yes that Richard Clark, who gave the Bin Ladens passage out of the U.S., and only after intelligence was done with them, and only after airspace had been re-opened. This was proven by his testimony before the 9/11 commission, and Moore has not corrected the movie.
    Also, do you have proof of what you imply by repeating this stuff- that bin Laden’s other brothers and sisters have terrorist ties? If so, this would be blockbuster news. Last I heard he had been kicked out of the family. Aalso, can you blame them for wanting to leave the U.S., given the climate of fear and hatred toward Muslims that you no doubt believe descended on this country after 9/11? Would you prefer that the bin Ladens were forced to stay here and be ripped limb from limb by frothing Bushitler followers? I sure wouldn’t, not as a compassionate person.
    Please explain how the war in Iraq makes all issues here at home pale in comparison. I’m interested in your analysis, and how you feel that Iraq right now fits into the current geopolitical situation.
    Your last assertion that people like me would change their views if they had a loved one in Iraq can’t be true. What you are implying is that all family members of military people who are in Iraq automatically don’t support Bush. This is far from true, and I can speak as someone who lives in a military town and has spoken with many people who have family over there. So, other than an it being an over broad statement that you feel sounds pretty damning, how would you explain your theory?
    Again, it just appears that you have switched out logic for a copy of Mr. Moore’s film on DVD, and taken all of the DVD extras as well for good measure.

  • Samuel

    Why is having seen Moore’s film so wrong? The sources are all compiled here:
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/warroom/f911notes/index.php?id=16
    Of course the film had his own little slant to it, of course it did. But put that aside for a second and look at the facts listed. It’s not like this stuff is just made up out of thin air. So let’s take a safe estimate and say that only 50% of it is true. To me, that is significant — even if HALF of the movie is bullcrap, the administration STILL has some SERIOUS talking to do.

  • Robert Brown

    Jazz,
    The war on terror is not just Afghanistan. Terrorists are spread throughout the world.
    The war in Iraq was really not about WMD in my opinion. We wanted a nation building project in the middle east dictatorship cesspool. Saudi Arabia would have been a better choice, but we really don

  • Brian Perry

    Samuel,
    I think that’s fine, I have no problem with those that saw the movie of course! That would be crazy. My argument is not over the movie. Frankly, it’s pretty old news by now.
    As for right now, you didn’t answer any of my questions regarding your comment. I’m interested in knowing your thinking behind some of the assertions you made in your post.
    Also, one last thing, if half the movie is true, has anyone complied a list of those particular facts that are true? I think it that would be a vital list, for those both for and against Bush.
    Thanks!

  • Samuel

    “I am perfectly happy that Bush took some time before attacking the talliban rather than lashing out blindly in anger.”
    Wow. I mean, wow. I don’t know how to respond to that. WHAT OTHER RESPONSE IS THERE, OTHER THAN GO GET THE PEOPLE THAT DID THIS WHILE THE TRAIL IS HOT????
    You guys are like brainwashed minions. Just to do a reality check here to make sure you don’t actually work for the administration: Please name one thing that in your opinion the administration has done poorly.

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    I suppose this is for Brian:
    “1. Please name the countries that are being dissed that you would in turn defend. Which countries should we have listened to, and please give a defense of their position on Iraq.”
    If you mean in this thread, yes it’s primarily France, Germany and Russia. And while you love to rage about their having business dealings with Iraq, (Paging Mr. Cheney… your check for Halliburton from Iraq is here.) that wasn’t their objection in the runup to the war, now was it? No. They wanted to wait and let the inspectors keep looking for WMDs. You remember the WMD’s don’t you? The ones that were the reason Bush gave for attacking? The ones the inspectors eventually wouldn’t have found because they weren’t there? Not because Sadaam was a bad man. Not because of a need for Democracy. WMD’s. That’s what the majority of the UN reps wanted. To look for them. I know it is painful to be proven wrong, but demonizing them for being right is not fair.
    “You mention that the U.S. can not remain upright alone. Let’s forget the fact that we are not alone, for the sake of argument.2. Please name which countries are not on our side now that we need to win this war. Not leading up to Iraq, but now. If we are about to fall alone, there must be countries that could keep us standing.”
    Reading skills are critical to this sort of debate. “How long” is talking about the long view. We have the military power to crush almost anyone at the moment. (*almost*) History shows us that those that go it alone for too long and show disdain for the rest of the world will eventually be toppled. Not today. Not tomorrow. But history is a harsh teacher.
    “You mention the oft-repeated argument that by going into Iraq we took our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan.”
    We clearly did.
    “3. Can the U.S. fight more than one war/conflict simultaneously?”
    The current situation would seem to indicate we can’t, though I am surprised. 140,000 troops in Iraq have lost control of large portions of the country, and the 10,000 we have in Afghanistan are primarily holed up in three population centers while the rest of the country is in chaos. I think that answers your question. Bush and Cheney seem to be the only ones who still think we are anywhere near being in control of either place.
    “4. Please explain why, as he had ample chance, that Saddam Hussein would not support al Qaeda and their war against the U.S.”
    He eventually got to the point where he would, when forced into it by us. Prior to that, he and bin Laden were on completely polar opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. One fundamental religious fanatic, and one materialistic secularist. That would be the best guess as to why they hated each other, as as often been stated.
    “5. Why is the word of the CIA now golden when they assess the current Iraq, when I am assuming you have pilloried Bush for following their past intelligence regarding WMD in Iraq?”
    Their word on secretly gathered intelligence is far from golden. However when they make a genaral assessment of who is in control of what which is confirmed by multiple civilian personal and media sources on the ground, they become more believable.
    “6. If our work in Iraq is experiencing some bumps right now, and maybe for the conceivable future, does that mean we should quit?”
    Bumps in the road? Did you really just say that? In any event, I have never advocated quitting. That would be a worse disaster than the one we are in now. I think that to fix this mess, we need to listen to McCain’s recent reccomendation that we need another 100,000 troops *at least*. This does not mean that Bush should not be held accountable for his disasterous decision to engage in his private war and be removed from office. He made the mess, but sadly we will have to clean it up.
    “7. If we should quit now,”… (snip)
    We shouldn’t. We can’t afford to.
    8. If we have taken our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan, and that is so bad, did you support the war in Afghanistan in the first place? Please give a little exposition on Afghanistan and how/why you supported our invasion of a sovereign nation for only harboring terrorists, not committing terrorism (by way of the Bush Doctrine, btw).”
    I 100% supported the invasion of Afghanistan after the proper diplomatic steps of offering the Taliban an opportunity to turn over bin Laden, or just clearing the way for us to come in and get him, which we did. That activity was handled fine, in my opinion. I just wish we hadn’t abaonded it in midstream, diverting badly needed supplies, troops and equipment to Iraq for Bush’s private war.
    “Also, please give some picture of how in the intervening months, you have expressed concern about our losing sight of the mission there while Bush completely forgot it and blew the whole WoT with his insane focus on Iraq.”
    I don’t understand your question. Could you rephrase that one?
    “Or, did you just see Farenheit 9/11?”
    Ah, the typical radical right wing “attack the messenger since you can’t attack the message” tactic. I have a news flash for you. I’m a Republican and have been registered as such since Nixon was in office. That doesn’t mean I blindly follow anything any GOP pol says.

  • Brian Perry

    Samuel,
    Before you cop my style, please answer the questions I posed to you, first.
    Thanks!

  • Robert Brown

    Samuel,
    Um, the people who did it were dead. The plan was hatched in Afghanistan years before then moved to Europe and the US. there was no “hot trail”.
    Steel tarriffs, farm subsidies, spending too damn much money,

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    Robert,
    To quote:
    “The war in Iraq was really not about WMD in my opinion. We wanted a nation building project in the middle east dictatorship cesspool. Saudi Arabia would have been a better choice, but we really don

  • Brian Perry

    Hello Jazz,
    I have to say, you are the first person on this post to stand up and answer any of my questions. Thanks.
    I can’t compose an adequate reply at the current time, but I will later.
    Stay tuned…

  • Robert Brown

    I don’t know that Bush didn’t really think that the chance of Iraq passing WMD to terrorists was worth invading over. A lot of other folks (including Kerry) though that was a risk. I never believed that (as long as it’s not nukes).
    This is no conspiracy theory. The eeevvvviiil neo-cons have long advocated the long term solution to terrorism is the replacement of middle east dictarorships with representative governments to give the poplations some outlet for their greivances other than violence.

  • Samuel

    Brian,
    My question could be answered with one quick sentence (assuming there is an answer). You asked me to write a 33 page dissertation, which BTW I’m working on.

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    Since the Michael Moore thing was brought up…
    Personally, I think Moore is a bit of a loon. He serves a function among the pundritry to take a place on the far left wing alongside Al Franken that balances against Rush Limbaugh and Ann “the toxic twig” Coulter. I can look at all four of them and say that each is less credible than the one before. I’m a moderate and prefer more realistic discourse and solutions.
    Yes, I saw Farenheit 911. From a strictly cinematic point of view, it was some of Moore’s better work. Better production value than Roger and Me, and far better than Bowling for Columbine. As to the content? He’s entitled to his views, but he takes a lot of facts, forms opinions to which he is entitled, but then draws conclusions as facts which were in large part (my opinion) wrong.
    All the accusations he hurls at Bush seem off base. Does the Bush family have close ties to powerful Saudi families? “Duh.” Of course they do, as do so many others across the nation in their industry. They’re in the OIL BUSINESS. How could they NOT have such ties, along with ties to many other nations including South American ones?
    If the Bush’s are anything, they are capitalists. So am I. Good for them. None of this, however, excuses Bush’s actions regarding the invasion and occupation of Iraq; possibly the single most devistating, damaging mistake in the history of the American presidency. I’m not demonizing the man for everything. But that one thing is far too big to just look the other way and say, ‘oops.”

  • Jesse

    Jazz,
    Agreed — but do you think there is any reason to believe Moore’s claims that the Bush’s have used their position in the White House to give them (and their Arab business associates) special advantages, deals, etc?
    Also, do you buy into the whole Halliburton/Cheney thing? In your opinion is there really any shady business going on there, or has that been overly-hyped by the media?

  • Robert Brown

    Jazz,
    I think it is early to declare the Iraq invasion the worst mistake in history (unless you accept that the invasion was only to disarm Sadam). This nation building project is long term (5-10 years) and will have to be evaluated by historians years from now.
    If Kerry gets elected and abandons the project, which I think he will, then it will be a failure.

  • Samuel

    George Bush – 10/2000
    “I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don’t think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we’ve got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place. And so I take my responsibility seriously.

  • Robert Brown

    Samuel,
    It is amazing how watching two hijacked airliners knock down two buildings on NY and kill 3000 people focuses the mind isn’t it?

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Samuel,
    You’re so 9/10.

  • Samuel

    And don’t forget the Pentagon jet and the one that crashed into a field in PA.
    All this shortly after receiving a memo entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike within the US.”
    Our president, keeping us safe.

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Samuel,
    I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have directed that at you.
    What I should have said is, “That quote is so 9/10.”

  • Jesse
  • Addison

    Samuel:
    The alternative that you’re holding up is perfection.
    Bush got a memo. It said the obvious. Bin Laden had been trying to strike the US (and had, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings under Clinton).
    You now look back, with hindsight, and say “Ah, well, Bush should have racially profiled that day and stopped Arabic males with box cutters from getting on airplanes?” One, you’d have screamed about the racism inherent in that. What did Bin Laden plan? Well, there were _lots_ of plans.
    That’s the problem with intelligence. It’s easy, after the fact, to go back and piece together pieces – once you know some of the story. It’s much harder to predict them based on the fragments that you have beforehand.
    The Sept 11th bombers were flight training under Clinton. They’d have been in the air under President Gore.
    The question is: Would they still have bases in Afghanistan where they could openly train and use as support, and Iraq as a sponsor of terrorism (don’t start about Al Queda ties, Iraq, if unconnected with Al Queda (which they weren’t) certainly used other terrorists as proxy weapons)?
    That’s the question. Bush had warning, sure. Roosevelt had warning of Pearl Harbor, too. Does that mean that we should have attacked Japan when we knew they were going to do something, but we didn’t know what?
    What would you have supported, on 9/10/01, for Bush to have done to stop 9/11/01?

  • Brian Perry

    Hello Jazz,
    I’m going to take a crack at this, but my time is short so I’ll have to be brief. I’m going to shorten things up and then address some of your statements. Bold is my question, italics your answer, straight text my reply.
    1. Please name the countries that are being dissed that you would in turn defend.
    ….primarily France, Germany and Russia… They wanted to wait and let the inspectors keep looking for WMDs….I know it is painful to be proven wrong, but demonizing them for being right is not fair.”
    I know it’s nice to believe that France et al had moral reasons for not backing us, or that they were somehow more prescient than we regarding WMD, I just think that the fact that they had billions to lose and much influence to lose if Saddam was deposed is much more compelling. It’s an open secret that France seeks to grab some of our power in the world- why would it benefit them to go with us? Then, at the same time they can make a hollow moral-sounding argument beforehand and say “I told you so” to every negative development. Thanks, France, you’re a real moral giant of the world.
    2. Please name which countries are not on our side now that we need to win this war.
    History shows us that those that go it alone for too long and show disdain for the rest of the world will eventually be toppled.
    Of course- a quite a succinct description of why Saddam needed to be deposed. However, if you are trying to make the case that we are a rogue nation, bent on defying the world, I just can’t take that seriously. And if your argument is based on France’s foreign policies, then I think we know where I stand on France.
    “You mention the oft-repeated argument that by going into Iraq we took our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan.”
    We clearly did.
    This demands more explanation- unless you are making the argument that somehow Afghanistan is “in chaos.” How is 10 million people registering to vote “chaos”? I’m not saying that everything is great as can be, but man, it’s just too hard to argue that there’s complete chaos there because we invaded Iraq.
    “3. Can the U.S. fight more than one war/conflict simultaneously?”
    The current situation would seem to indicate we can’t, though I am surprised. 140,000 troops in Iraq have lost control of large portions of the country…
    I don’t think that you can seriously make this argument, your statement is too vague. How are three out of 18 provinces “large” portions of the country? How have we “lost” control completely of these areas? I think the only statement you can make reliably about these areas is that in order to preserve human life, we are refraining from bombing them flat. Because, we could if we wanted to, and then we would most certainly have complete control. We are being nice, and biding our time, until the most opportune moment. It’s our luxury, frankly. Also, though of course every casualty is terrible, the casualty rate for such a large force in such a large country is very low, if “large portions” are in chaos.
    4. Please explain why, as he had ample chance, that Saddam Hussein would not support al Qaeda and their war against the U.S.
    He eventually got to the point where he would, when forced into it by us. Prior to that, he and bin Laden were on completely polar opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. One fundamental religious fanatic, and one materialistic secularist. That would be the best guess as to why they hated each other, as as often been stated.
    This is an old saw, long since discarded. I am sure you have heard the phrase regarding the enemy of your enemy being your friend. Also, I find your statement that we forced Saddam to support al Qaeda to be pretty disturbing. And if you think that al Qaeda operates on strict, moral religious grounds, that’s just too much.
    “5. Why is the word of the CIA now golden when they assess the current Iraq..?
    Their word on secretly gathered intelligence is far from golden. However when they make a genaral assessment of who is in control of what which is confirmed by multiple civilian personal and media sources on the ground, they become more believable.
    If I recall, the intelligence estimate stated that Iraq could go three ways: okay, worse and even worse. If you didn’t know this before that, then I don’t know what to say. To slap Bush around with it strikes me as just hoping and wishing that Iraq goes bad. Of course I am concerned, but hey, we’re taking a risk here- buckle your seatbelt, it’s going to be bumpy. And while I trust CIA on the ground in Iraq now more than I would trust them before we invaded, what other info did we have to base opinions on? Would you have advocated doing nothing at all?
    “6. If our work in Iraq is experiencing some bumps right now, and maybe for the conceivable future, does that mean we should quit?”
    Bumps in the road? Did you really just say that?
    Yes, I did. In the scope of what was predicted (and did you join in?) – the millions refugees, hundreds of thousands of civilian dead, thousands of U.S. troops dead- what we have seen in reality are bumps in the road. While every setback hurts, they must be taken on in order to make progress.
    …This does not mean that Bush should not be held accountable for his disasterous decision to engage in his private war and be removed from office…
    As soon as you say something like “Bush’s private war” it’s a real blow to your credibility. Statements like that are unserious.
    8. If we have taken our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan…
    100% supported the invasion of Afghanistan after the proper diplomatic steps…I just wish we hadn’t abaonded it in midstream, diverting badly needed supplies, troops and equipment to Iraq for Bush’s private war.
    Glad to hear you supported Afghansitan, but again with the “Bush’s private war.”
    “Also, please give some picture of how in the intervening months, you have expressed concern about our losing sight of the mission…
    Ah. never mind on that one.
    “Or, did you just see Farenheit 9/11?”
    Ah, the typical radical right wing “attack the messenger since you can’t attack the message” tactic. I have a news flash for you. I’m a Republican and have been registered as such since Nixon was in office. That doesn’t mean I blindly follow anything any GOP pol says.
    You are officially the first person in my life to call me a radical right winger- should I take it as a badge of courage? Also, I don’t care if you are a registered Republican, because your ideas are not Republican. And to imply that I blindly follow the GOP, again, not serious. And to imply that I am not attacking your message, that’s just silly.
    In fact, I am attacking your message all up and down the street, and your message is looking a little shabby by this point.

  • Samuel

    Brett,
    “What I should have said is, “That quote is so 9/10.”
    If you look at the Bush quote I listed, it talks about his stance on using US armed forces at nation builders. Your response implies that the US nation building effort in Iraq is related in some way to 9/11……………………………………………………………………
    Here we go again

  • http://opinionpaper.blogspot.com Brett

    Samuel,
    Of course our involvement in Iraq is about 9/11. It’s about establishing democracy in the Middle-East and not allowing a tyrant with a penchant for WMD to offer them to terrorists.
    You might want to check out Bill Clinton’s words about Bush and Iraq from June 2004:
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/06/19/clinton.iraq/

  • Samuel

    Another reason to vote for Kerry – Bush is losing his mind:
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/09/14/a_medical_cause_for_bushisms/
    This can be the only logical explanation…

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    Hello again, Brian.
    I’m going to take a crack at this, but my time is short so I’ll have to be brief. I’m going to shorten things up
    Next time you may want to take longer. I’m doing this inbetween other appointments, and have no limit on time. Your “shortening things” would leave the inexperienced to think you had adopted the time tried method of “selective snipping” when arguing a point that is crumbling, but for now, let’s credit that to being pressed for time and move on with what we have, shall we?
    I know it’s nice to believe that France et al had moral reasons for not backing us, or that they were somehow more prescient than we regarding WMD, I just think that the fact that they had billions to lose and much influence to lose if Saddam was deposed is much more compelling. It’s an open secret that France seeks to grab some of our power in the world
    I had to leave that much in because it was too hard to believe otherwise. You probably don’t realze how paranoid you sound, but you may want to look into that. I’m sure France is looking to usurp us as a superpower. (yikes!)
    As to the “moral reason” that is a fatuous and misleading attempt at rebuttal. There is nothing inherently “more moral” or emotional about other nations wanting to continue WMD inspections before rushing into a war and loss of lives if they weren’t positive that they were there, or that they might be peacefully found and removed without a war. It’s simply a civilized human desire to avoid war where possible. Or weren’t you reading papers then? Please cite for me the instances where any of these countries said “Yes, we know there’s weapons in there but let’s attack them anyhow!” You keep avoiding the issue of the weapons, Brian. Is there some reason for that? The reason those countries stated was that they wanted to continue inspections. Your next question: Do you deny those countries were arguing to continue inspections before attacking? And two… do you still insist the weapons are there, primed and ready to go?
    History shows us that those that go it alone for too long and show disdain for the rest of the world will eventually be toppled.
    Of course- a quite a succinct description of why Saddam needed to be deposed.
    If we can’t have the same conversation, we are doomed in this. But you know perfectly well that not only was I not talking about Iraq, the statement doesn’t apply to them. They were never a superpower, nor even close.
    However, if you are trying to make the case that we are a rogue nation, bent on defying the world, I just can’t take that seriously. And if your argument is based on France’s foreign policies, then I think we know where I stand on France.
    Rogue nation is defined by other nations. I don’t see it that way, but it’s clear that many nations do see us as the greatest danger to world peace right now. Or do you deny that? Oh, wait, that’s right. You probably don’t because you don’t care about world opinion. Check.
    “You mention the oft-repeated argument that by going into Iraq we took our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan.”
    We clearly did.

    This demands more explanation- unless you are making the argument that somehow Afghanistan is “in chaos.” How is 10 million people registering to vote “chaos”? I’m not saying that everything is great as can be, but man, it’s just too hard to argue that there’s complete chaos there because we invaded Iraq.
    Mind boggling. Do you actually read any news? I know that sounds combative, and I’m sorry, but seriously. It’s a fact, confirmed by multiple sources in our own military that we control three population centers in Afghanistan. The last quote I heard was, “Our military firmly controls whatever ground it stands on at that time.” They are quickly becoming one of the world’s leading opium producers and the Taliban is running large portions of the country. If that’s not chaos to you, then I can’t help you.
    “3. Can the U.S. fight more than one war/conflict simultaneously?”
    The current situation would seem to indicate we can’t, though I am surprised. 140,000 troops in Iraq have lost control of large portions of the country…

    I don’t think that you can seriously make this argument, your statement is too vague. How are three out of 18 provinces “large” portions of the country?
    You took one sound bite trying to make things sound better and took that to mean there were only “3 provinces” not under control. Truly frightening. There are large sections of the capital where our own troops are under attack. Aside from the “three provinces” there are large sections we just don’t go into. The “no go” zones. Oh, you adress that below. Let’s look.
    How have we “lost” control completely of these areas? I think the only statement you can make reliably about these areas is that in order to preserve human life, we are refraining from bombing them flat. Because, we could if we wanted to, and then we would most certainly have complete control.
    So that’s the alternative? All the areas where we can’t safely travel are “under control” because we’re not going there and “bombing them flat” yet? Thank you.
    4. Please explain why, as he had ample chance, that Saddam Hussein would not support al Qaeda and their war against the U.S.
    He eventually got to the point where he would, when forced into it by us. Prior to that, he and bin Laden were on completely polar opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. One fundamental religious fanatic, and one materialistic secularist. That would be the best guess as to why they hated each other, as as often been stated.

    This is an old saw, long since discarded. I am sure you have heard the phrase regarding the enemy of your enemy being your friend.
    It must be blissful to travel through life with such a simplistic view, Brian. The truth is, that has been “discarded” by right wing blogs and Rush Limbaugh. It was a fact for many years before the spin machine got hold of it. They were opposites.
    If I recall, the intelligence estimate stated that Iraq could go three ways: okay, worse and even worse.
    Ah, then let me assit you. You don’t recall. The best case scenario was described as “tenuous stability” (possibly as good as it is now, which is horrible) ranging to worse case scenarios such as civil war. Very rosey indeed.
    Bumps in the road? Did you really just say that?
    Yes, I did. In the scope of what was predicted (and did you join in?) – the millions refugees, hundreds of thousands of civilian dead, thousands of U.S. troops dead- what we have seen in reality are bumps in the road. While every setback hurts, they must be taken on in order to make progress.
    For once we agree. It could have been much worse. Outside terrorists, once we opened the borders could have brought in nukes, too. Let’s hope they don’t. To try to make a comparative statement between that and the current reality, and say that makes the reality good, is deceptive. No, it’s just lying to make a political point.
    …This does not mean that Bush should not be held accountable for his disasterous decision to engage in his private war and be removed from office…
    As soon as you say something like “Bush’s private war” it’s a real blow to your credibility. Statements like that are unserious.
    Oh, have we stopped stating opinions now? If so, most of your writings need to be scrapped and it was all for naught. This was a war of choice and the choice was solely, 100% George W. Bush’s. You can agree with him if you like for his reasons, but please don’t insult everyone by insinuting that he had no choice. What was the factor that forced him, Brian? That he might launch his nukes at any moment? Oh, that’s right. You don’t talk about WMD. I forgot, sorry.
    Glad to hear you supported Afghansitan, but again with the “Bush’s private war.”
    Yep, and stand by that 100% as above.
    Brian, the reason you shouldn’t get into specific question and answer sessions on this issue, is that debating the point on the facts and their merits, you will always come out behind. This started on a question about bashing other countries, who you disdain for not supporting bush. You have developed this romanticized, “James Bond” conspriacy theory about why they didn’t support the invasion AT THAT TIME and wanted Bush to wait. It was all about the weapons, first last and always.
    If Bush had waited and we had found that Sadaam had them but was shutting us out, everyone would have gone in. If the inspections had continued and we had found the reality that there were none, nobody would have gone in and we wouldn’t be having this discussion, and bin Laden would already be dead or in jail.
    Pretty much end of story, sadly.

  • Brian Perry

    Samuel,
    Please stop posting if this is the best level you can operate on. If “pre-senile dementia” is the best you’ve got, you’d best just stay home until you can make a serious contribution.
    It appears to me that you’re more interested in attempting to mock Bush and Republicans rather than having a serious discussion of the issues, as would befit Jeff’s blog.

  • Brian Perry

    Hello Jazz,
    Okay, I think a meaningful exchange has ended. It’s too hard to converse in this fashion, and the posts are far too long. Plus you are accusing me of being paranoid and delusional, which frankly, is rude. Your tone has been supremely unpleasant and not well-suited to a debate.
    I think the worst I accused you of is having weak arguments, which is at least civil.
    Thanks for chiming in!
    —-Brian

  • Samuel

    Oh come on! That one was too fun to resist. Of course I don’t buy into that. But you must admit, some of his spoken fumblings are pretty funny. You hear that one about OBGYN’s being unable to “practice their love for women”?

  • Brian Perry

    Okay Samuel,
    Yes funny, but getting a little dated by this point. More up-to-date and edgy is almost anything Teresa Heinz Kerry says. She is a hoot- especially the one about that people in Jamaica should have water, generators, food and clothing- in that order. She actually said, “Let them run around naked for a while!”
    That was funny- that lady is refreshingly candid / a political liability.

  • Samuel

    Well hey, at least it’s nice and warm in Jamaica ;)
    Thankfully, it’s not Theresa who has access to “the button”
    Sorry my Bushisms aren’t as up to date as your Theresaisms, but rest assured I’ve got LOTS more.

  • Brian Perry

    As I understand it there’s a whole book!
    ; )