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Author Topic: Noonan on Obama
flydye45
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Mmm, no. Sunnis saw Americans as oppresive, Sanction wielding, power denying S.O.B's who also invaded and ruined Uncle Abner's Rape Truck business. This sudden change is phenomenal (I don't think they love us; but perhaps some sense of trust has been fostered)

I don't think they ever particularly liked the Shia.

You also need to differentiate between the attitudes of the Iraqi and Saudi Sunnis', as well as the feelings of the hoi polloi from the proles.

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flydye45
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kenmeer,

I can also count AND remember. A lot of what I remember were the countless warnings on this very forum about how we were on a greased slide to Fascist Hell because we wouldn't refuse to waterboard anyone anywhere. Pretty sure I recall moral comparisons to Hitler and Stalin.

Now I understand that they were engaging in a bit of hyperbole (slack which I am notoroiously denied, btw), but if taken at face value as my statements are constantly dissected, they are indeed making such comparisons.

Outside the forum, the MSLM is even more fevered. My particular favorite was from the movie "The Kingdom". (Yes, snipe, it isn't a news report. Desist dissection at your convienience)

Spoiler Alert

In it, an ass hat blew up dozens of women and children. A FBI agent whispers something to the FBI fiancee of one of the dead people. Harrowing adventures later, the major terrorist leader lies dying and whispers to his grand daughter.

What did they whisper? Cut between the two people, FBI and Terrorist: "We will kill them all." An OH SO SUBTLE (is the sarcasm coming through? [Wink] ) message: We are no different.

Yeah, right.

A law enforcement officer wanting to kill all the terrorists involved in killing hundreds is the equal of a terrorist wanting to kill all Westerners. Quite the math skills... [Roll Eyes]

I don't believe you, ken. Even your rhetoric gets a bit...fiery on this, nor are the characterizations of "torture supporters" particularly even handed.

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flydye45
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"I like that analogy. Really."

Well thank you very much. This isn't the first time I've used it, but it was "overlooked" (a generous interpretation of "dismissed out of hand") at the time.

Considering the horrible readjustments America suffered when the huge social disparities of the South were overturned; I was initially pleasantly surprised at how little violence was experienced intially. A slow drain. It wasn't until the entirely coincidental destruction of the mosque that suddenly the mass killing became realized. Straight razor right across the top.

Now that they've shared a taste of pus, who knows?

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Jesse
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Yay!!! We're better than AQ.

Half-joking, at least. Being occupied by us is better than being occupied by them....duh. [Wink]

Hell, in a lot of ways, being oppressed by Saddam would be better than being occupied by them.

Being occupied is still pretty much universally considered to be The Suck.

[ February 16, 2008, 11:03 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
You also need to differentiate between the attitudes of the Iraqi and Saudi Sunnis', as well as the feelings of the hoi polloi from the proles.
I don't see why I should have to when you didn't bother. [Wink]
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RickyB
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First time they've had a government? They've had one for three years! Wasn't that the whole purple finger party?
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flydye45
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It takes a bit of time for things to settle down in any administration. Add to that the fact that the Lord of the Ring didn't share power and you have a certain dearth of high level executive experience.

But keep those insanely high standards for the Iraqis...It shows your tolerance [Wink]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Now I understand that they were engaging in a bit of hyperbole (slack which I am notoroiously denied, btw), but if taken at face value as my statements are constantly dissected, they are indeed making such comparisons."

Pointing out the historically established results of following certain directions isn't hyperbole of itself. It is simply pointing out the direction said trends are pointing.

One way points to George Washington/Abe Lincoln; the other points to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Basic directional association.

"A law enforcement officer wanting to kill all the terrorists involved in killing hundreds is the equal of a terrorist wanting to kill all Westerners. Quite the math skills..."

Well, I suppose then that Osamaesque jihadi rhetoric isn't just mere hyperbole then. I suppose he and his followers really think they'll wipe out westerndom.

Or maybe you're just a sucker for overblown war-mongering verbal exaggeration.

Anyway, back to the slippery slope: I don't make Hollywood movies. I just make statements that moving toward acceptance of torture is removing one of the most important foundation structures that make us a nation I want to be part of.

Germany's embrace of Hitler's abrogation of previously esteemed principles led to them being humiliated, punished, and living a legacy of shame.

And Germany before Hitler was a right fine humane republic society. There was a reason so many Jews lived there.

You can tell me that because some statements are perceived by you as exaggerations of the potential of embracing evil action, that the the potential of embracing evil action is inconsequential in these matters.

But I won't believe you.

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RickyB
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"Add to that the fact that the Lord of the Ring didn't share power and you have a certain dearth of high level executive experience."

Oh, you kill me. I take it you forgot the little part where we denied a government job to basically anyone who ever had one before, anyone who knew how things were dione or where the paper clips are. Yeah, all the fault of the bad man. Please.

And yeah, I know, I'm very intolerant not to treat the Iraqis with the soft bigotry of low expectations. [Smile]

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flydye45
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Are you freaking KIDDING me?

Everyone at a high level was someone who would not be welcome in any new government. Or should we have found a nice cushy high level job for Chemical Ali and Co.?

I'm talking about Executives. Saddam didn't particularly relish a lot of high level talent around to "cramp his style."

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RickyB
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Yeah, only it's not just high level. We barred EVERYONE who was a member of Baath - only in order to get a job even as a lowly clerk with the water department, you had to be a member. Or wasn't it you crowing about the new de-de-baathification law (which, it turns out, sucks in its actual wording but never mind that right now)?

All the executive talent in the world doesn't matter a lick if you ain't got minimally competent underlings to delegate to. Saying the problem was (or is) just high level executives is nonsense.

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kenmeer livermaile
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We do understand that the implementation phase of our occupation was totally botched?

Looted weapons caches, anyone?

Military brass agree that our deBaathification (thanks, Mr. Bremmer -- NOT!) was a major, perhaps the essential foundation piece of the insurgence/resistance.

Any optimism regarding Iraw now must stand on the acknowledgment of the shambles we made if it wished to be deemed intellectually honest much less reflect reality in action.

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flydye45
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If by crowing, you mean I was happy that the two sides seem to be coming to a compromise in sharing jobs and power, then yes, that was me, black feathers and cawing like a madman.

But to also touch on kenmeer's little aside, (and to wax all Pollyanna-ish for a second), as we didn't have time to weed out the Chemical Ali's from the run of the mill Ali's, it makes a sort of sense. It wasn't like we could have left (as Ricky admits) ALL the jobs with the Sunni Baathists. Couple that with an enormous amount of political pressure from the Shia. So we give a symbolic gesture to the "mere" 80% of the non Sunni population and suffer no negative repurcussions because the Sunnis were going to hate us like poison regardless. Yep, it had negative consequences too. With hindsight it's easy to throw stones, but Bremer dealt with the now. But I'm not writing him a reference next time he goes out for a job...

[ February 18, 2008, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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AT the time it happened, defense analysts went WTF??? Is he CRAZY?

Sorry, the hindsight is 20-20 defense is invalid. It is the refuge of apologists.

From the day Rummy threw out the playbook inherited from Colin Powell's tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there was little need for remorseful hindsight. Those whose business it was to know these matters best were howling, with trained foresight that what was being put in motion was a geopolitical trainwreck of immense proportions.

We've been all over this before; the record speaks plainly. We ****e3d up royally, on a colossal scale, with the whole world watching, and doin g so AFTER it had declined to participate in our Noble Invasion.

If those who seek some kind of decent resolution of the situation in Iraq would foster optimism among American citizens who have the power to pressure our politicians in various ways to seek solution or simply get out while we still have a nut left, they would be wise not to pretend that we didn't **** UP.

We DID.

Let's face our history with 20-20 vision, not apologist evasions, so that we might not continue moving forward over our own dick a la Mr. Magoo.

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Ron Lambert
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Our troops and bases in Germany, Korea, etc., are not fighting any enemy daily. And much of their cost is defrayed by the host governments, because they want the U.S. military presence to continue, for the assurance it gives them (also the stimulus to their economy as soldiers spend their pay in local stores and restaurants).

The way things are going now, it looks like in another year or two U.S. troops will not be fighting anyone, either. The terrorists will be completely defeated, with the population all turned against them, as they are now.

[ February 18, 2008, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Couple that with an enormous amount of political pressure from the Shia. "

When you invade a nation and take it over, to hell with enormous political pressure from the populace you just conquered. This is based on the fundamental principle behind the stated-but-ignored need for us to have an enormous number of troops on the ground:

to make it very clear that they were conquered, not just from the air or militarily,m but down to the streets.

I know, I know, if we only knew now what we didn't know then. Oh wait: we DID know. We knew it was a war, an invasion, and an occupation.

Why do I dredge up this old stuff? Not to refute revisionist wishful apologist thinking; I already done that. I do it to point out that until we change the very principles under which our troops labor, we will not escape the results we now seek to change for the better.

We failed as an occupying force. We did. We failed our aims. We are now trying to do something else: trying to withdraw our pecker from this vaginae dentatae without it being shredded and without turning it into just another political whore twat.

The former is bad for obvious reasons; the latter just puts us back where we started, which is 60 years of disastrous foreign policy in the ME, as neatly outlined by Mister Dondi on another thread:

"Some thoughts on how to create home-grown 'insurgents'.
- Destroy infrastructure of the most highly industrialized nation in the region - lots of it.
- Bring in foreign multi-nationals to 'fix' the infrastructure. Throw obscene amounts of money at them. Watch as the obscene amounts of money create obscene amounts of graft.
- Exclude local comapanies from bidding on or winning these reconstruction contracts.
- Put tens of thousands of young local men out of work simultaneously. Make sure they are armed.
- Import tens of thousands of foreign workers instead of hiring locals (of this most industrialized of nations)
- Aggressively privatize government corporations and allow for 100% foreign ownership.
- Attempt to privatize the oil industry, again, allowing unfettered foreign ownership.
- Attempt to foist a new constitution on the country cementing these privatization laws which were enacted by the occupying power.

Stir. Allow to foment."

Been there. Done that. Let's not do it again. Of course, we already have, so the optimism I'm trying to feel for the current situation is not that we will achieve our occupying aims in Iraq, but that our pecker of power projection still works decently when this is done, and we don't leave yet another raped nation/region/people behind raring for a chance to cut our nuts on our home turf.

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Ron Lambert
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By the way, Kenmere, why do you suppose sectarian violence has stopped in Iraq? Can you explain that?
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kenmeer livermaile
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Sectarian violence hasn't stopped but it has slowed down impressively. That is good. Do NOT confuse me with an all-day doom'n'gloomer re: Iraq. Progress is being made and I will not shy from acknowledging and promoting that.

But the progress is being made in the context of a train wreck of our own willful design. That is a fact only fools would contest.

It is not a matter of cheerleading nor a matter of acknowledging progress at this point. It is a matter of carefully calculating how much longer our military ensemble can be extended as they have since March 2003, and how much we can realistically expect to accomplish in that time.

You may call it a strategic withdrawal or redeployment or staying the course. Whatever makes your inner ideologue happy. I don't care. But the fact is, the end is near. It's time for this adventure to achieve some closure.

If we can leave Iraq on better terms than we left Nam 40 years ago, we will have at least improved our track record for sticking our pecker into foreign nations' affairs in order to make the world safer for democracy and save it from communism/terrorism/oogaboogaism.

I'm not asking for a lot, Ron; just something better than total failure. This race is almost run. Let's at least place; we are decidedly NOT going to "win".

[ February 18, 2008, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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flydye45
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"Progress is being made and I will not shy from acknowledging and promoting that."

No, but you are as quick to acknowledge it as a Virgin Baptist Bride is to disrobe.

I'll credit you by being quicker the the Democrats in Congress and many on Ornery, however.

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flydye45
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"But the progress is being made in the context of a train wreck of our own willful design. That is a fact only fools would contest."

And I am THAT FOOL! (To quote Raul Julia in his epic role). Train wreck isn't anywhere near where I'd put our operation. But I don't lack imagination and can invision things being a whole lot worse then they currently are... [Wink]

And when you characterize the travails thus far as "total failure", I just have to take you less seriously. Total failure isn't two bites at the apple. Total failure isn't ongoing political reconciliation...albeit at a glacial pace. Total Failure is helicoptors on the roof and then denying a semi free people the tools to defend themselves from totalitarians with a track record. We've seem total failure and Iraq isn't in the neighborhood (though it drove to within a few blocks)

It's too bad that we keep getting involved with foreign affair issues which don't have the moral clarity of attacking a populous gassing dictator...

[ February 18, 2008, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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flydye45
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"When you invade a nation and take it over, to hell with enormous political pressure from the populace you just conquered. This is based on the fundamental principle behind the stated-but-ignored need for us to have an enormous number of troops on the ground:"

I'm sorry, ken, I need some clarification. How does this "we're conquerers, and we need to act like conquerers" stuff fit in with your "I'd love to have a morally high place to sit in this whole mess"?

Were we to ignore the Shia and Sunni wishes, I think it would take you arout .03 picoseconds to slam the administration for "doing @#$$%%^^^& stupid stuff like ignoring the will of the people". But now that you've circled the square (passing corners...or tipping points), I stil come away with the sense that nothing short of utter victory would make any of the critics happy.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I'm sorry, ken, I need some clarification. How does this "we're conquerers, and we need to act like conquerers" stuff fit in with your "I'd love to have a morally high place to sit in this whole mess"?"

The moral high ground must, in order to carry its own high moral weight, stand on honesty with ourselves.

You invade, you conquer. 's da twooth.

"Were we to ignore the Shia and Sunni wishes, I think it would take you arout .03 picoseconds to slam the administration for "doing @#$$%%^^^& stupid stuff like ignoring the will of the people"."

Insomuch as I believed and believe we had no business invading them in the first place, you are reading my sympathies correctly... but not my principles or strategies.

Back in '04 when I joined this joint, I said the same thing many times:

If one wants to rebuild a nation, as we did after WWII, you first have to OWN the bastards. Be their daddy. Show them who's boss. At the time of Mission Accomplished, that boss had BETTER be your own bad self or else you'll... well, usually there's a civil war.

So, what part of 'enough troops on the ground to own the streets' did you not get?

After a year or two such ownership, the people are more than ready to cooperate to encourage you to leave.

During that time, Shias get no more preference than Sunnis or Zoro-****ing-astrians. Because you done whupped their ass and are gonna rebuild their dang nation whether they like it or not. That's how it's done.

I've heard a lot of talk from the pro-war camp about how little we nay-sayers understand the very real and dire nature of POWER. Say it as much as ye like to make yourself feel better. We understand it just fine. Flows from the barrel of a gun, hearts and minds, all that good stuff.

You describe so many flavors of sour grapes, fly, and present them as actionable reasons or at least something worth considering... have you considering opening a vinegar stand?

[ February 18, 2008, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"And when you characterize the travails thus far as "total failure", I just have to take you less seriously. "

Total failure describes our first two years. It alse fits the assessment we gave ourselves via James Baker's group.

We found no weapons of mass destruction.

We formed no working governmental consensus (other than they liked access to all that money we threw around).

We proved inadequate at rebuilding infrastructure we'd directly destroyed via shock'n'awe and indirectly eroded via Bush I/Clinton era UN sanctions.

We failed even to put a lid on conventional weapons.

I'm speaking, of course, of our publicly stated goals as used to sell the war.

Privately, we done OK:

big military bases, a decent grip on the oil fields, a swank monstrous big embassy. (But a lot of that stuff has chicken wire& stucco construction problems. Still, it's built and ain't going anywhere soon, which is privately what we wanted.)

[ February 18, 2008, 05:02 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Ron Lambert
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I don't think it was a bad thing that we found no weapons of mass destruction. For crying out loud, let's be thankful for that! But we still had good reason to believe they might be there, and it was better to be safe than sorry.

When you talk about total failure describing our first two years, let's not forget that we did totally defeat Sadam Hussein in a week or two, utterly route his army, dismantle his government--and we did not allow them to blow a single dam, which they tried hard to do. Our troops got there in time to stop them. Nor were they able to set fire to all the oil wells, like they did in Kuwait. And all this was accomplished with the lowest casualty rate on the invader's side (our side) in military history--outside of the first Desert Storm invasion of Kuwait.

[ February 18, 2008, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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flydye45
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the ability of the Baathist forces to alledgedly move tons of munitions but not to move the reasonably smaller amounts of WMD. Certainly one would think in the weeks of the run up, the Iraqis had enough time to clean out their records. But it's unprovable either way...despite the cast iron surety of the anti war camp. An opinion.

quote:
So, what part of 'enough troops on the ground to own the streets' did you not get?

No, that's never been a point of contention.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
But it's unprovable either way...despite the cast iron surety of the anti war camp. An opinion.
Excellent reason for an invasion, opinion.
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TommySama
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So, I hear Obama has been plagiarizing ;-)
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kenmeer livermaile
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It's terrible. I've totally lost faith in the man.
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kenmeer livermaile
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We did fine with the shock'n'awe. Few were surprised at that, although we did hold our breaths at the outset because supposedly that had, you know, WMD. Might have lost a lot of troops.

Militarily, it was a turkey shoot.

So total failure is hyperbole on my part.

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TommySama
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Just to be sure, I remember hearing a few years ago that Clinton got into trouble because one of her books was largely written by some other woman, but Clinton's name was the only one on it. True or false?
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RickyB
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"Certainly one would think in the weeks of the run up, the Iraqis had enough time to clean out their records."

Yeah, because we did such a good job of guarding government ministries when Baghdad fell, that we can rightly blame others for missing documents...

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Jesse
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Well, true that the story went around. Not real clear on how much was written by who.

Not so much thread specific, tho, is it?


Paging EDanall -

A must read

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jasonr
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quote:
We did fine with the shock'n'awe. Few were surprised at that, although we did hold our breaths at the outset because supposedly that had, you know, WMD. Might have lost a lot of troops.

Militarily, it was a turkey shoot.

So total failure is hyperbole on my part.

I read this interesting little book this weekend, John Keegan's Iraq War. I actually like his work. Anyway, bottom line was the Iraqi army just kind of folded into nothing. They had 400,000 in paper troops, but once the Americans arrived, they just vanished into the population. Almost no resistence.
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Snowden
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I like Peggy Noonan. She has an older woman foxy-ness to her that's charming, and also besides the point. She has a way of taking the high road in a way that let's me believe that she is being sincere. There is something morally upright about her. She is like a grown-up idealist, and carries it off with pinache.
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G2
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Let's just revive this and revisit Peggy and Barry. The love was strong on Oct 30, 2008:
quote:
The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes:
He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make. We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice.

Everyone take a moment to wipe the tear from you eye. ******* if that wasn't beautiful! But not to worry for those of you yet dreaming of rubbing warm oil into Barry's thighs, Peggy has noticed something:
quote:
It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault.

...

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.

Next, a boy of 17 is shot and killed under disputed and unclear circumstances. The whole issue is racially charged, emotions are high, and the only memorable words from the president's response were, "If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon" At first it seemed OK—not great, but all right—but as the story continued and suddenly there were death threats and tweeted addresses and congressmen in hoodies, it seemed insufficient to the moment. At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: "Hey buddy, we don't need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it's not about you."

The byline: "Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest." Welcome to the real world Peggy, it's cold out here.
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AI Wessex
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Yes, he's weak and despicable, but compared to the current crop of GOP challengers...
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hobsen
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Peggy Noonan was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, and now writes for the Wall Street Journal. She is considered to be a Republican in her outlook, and would be unlikely to be a fervent supporter of Obama in any case. Moreover she is a fairly conservative Roman Catholic, and in this column was objecting to the requirement that Roman Catholic institutions have health plans for their employees which pay for contraceptive methods forbidden by the hierarchy of her church. Such plans are currently required by many states such as California, and the requirement is supported by about two out of three voters, so she is not on the popular side of the issue.
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AI Wessex
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She tends to have one of the more thoughtful opinions on the Conservative side and doesn't go looking for a fight. OTOH, this article seems to tack toward the Republican talking points more than I'm used to seeing from her. It's just opinion and she's not trying to rile anybody up, but she seems pinched and ungenerous.
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Viking_Longship
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Peggy Noonan coined the phrase "the blame America first crowd" helping to erode any sense of Americans that they had any obligation to moral self-awareness in regards to the rest of the world. Catholic, really? Thoughtful? No, she's like George Will, a hack who sounds like she's smarter than she is.

If G2 is pointing out an underlying superficialness about her thought he has a point.

[ April 01, 2012, 12:41 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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AI Wessex
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I doubt that was his intent [Wink] . I'll clarify that I don't agree with her, just that she doesn't bring either a knife or a gun to the discussion usually. They are both hacks, though, in that they are articulate but neither has much influence.

[ April 01, 2012, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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