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Congratulations

to my Democratic friends on winning the House and, as seems likely, the Senate, and best wishes to the Democratic leadership in their legislative tasks. If they embarrass themselves like the Republicans often have in the past years, the tide may easily turn against them; but if they succeed, then voters in 2008 will quite properly reward them.

Sean M:
There will probably be innumerable posts on either side by partisans, but I just wanted to say I thought this was pretty classy, Professor.
11.8.2006 1:37pm
Kazinski:
While its hard for me to concieve of a problem where the logical solution is "vote Democratic", but on the other hand voting Republican didn't seem like a appropriate response to this outgoing Congress' performance.

The most interesting think about the Senate is that the Democrats control of the Senate depends on the vote of Joe Lieberman. Did the "Kos Kids" make Joe Leiberman the most powerful man in Washington?
11.8.2006 1:37pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
My view is that a decisive number of voters decided that taking some hard shots to the gut in the war on terror--which is what the dems will arrange--is better than keeping the current crowd of republicans in office.

I hope the republicans think about that.
11.8.2006 1:37pm
DPT:
The Democrats couldn't be any worse than the current (former) Republican Congress.
11.8.2006 1:47pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
taking some hard shots to the gut in the war on terror

Victim # 1: Rumsfeld. *Obviously* the Democrats hate us and our freedoms!
11.8.2006 1:52pm
Karl:

There will probably be innumerable posts on either side by partisans, but I just wanted to say I thought this was pretty classy, Professor.


I second this. Let's hope that the two parties are half as willing to put aside any differences and work well together.
11.8.2006 2:04pm
Kovarsky (mail):
in the end, the dems taking both houses, and the senate by the slimmest of margins, was the best thing that could happen for the republicans in '08, because they can clearly assign legislative fault to that party.

quietly, the worst thing for the republicans in '08 was the losses sustained in so many state gubernatorial and legislative races, which will finally allow the democrats to crawl out from under the unprecedented Delay gerrymander.
11.8.2006 2:06pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Anderson: The idea that the dems care how the war is run--save only that they hope it collapses so as to make Bush look bad--is nonsense. Rummy is a scalp. Any improvement in the conduct of the war is going to be a necessary inconvenience for the dems. Worth it to get a piece of Bush's hide.
If Bush had been upset with Rummy, he should have told the SecDef to sit in his office and tell nobody anything, and Bush could run the war through the Joint Chiefs. This has nothing to do with the war against terror and everything to do with the war on Bush.
11.8.2006 2:07pm
Houston Lawyer:
The Republicans haven't yet thrown a hissy fit over the election, which is a good sign that they may learn a lesson from this election.

It will be fascinating to watch how the newly elected Democrats, many of whom ran as centrists or conservatives, get along with the Democratic leadership. There are a number of loose cannons among the new committee chairmen. People are going to get to see them in action now, warts and all.
11.8.2006 2:09pm
Kovarsky (mail):
i think everybody knows my stripes, but i was sad to see linc chaffee and steele go down. all politics is NOT local.
11.8.2006 2:10pm
Bored Lawyer:
the unprecedented Delay gerrymander

very much precedented.

It's not called delaymander. Elbridge Gerry preceded Mr. Delay by quite a bit.
11.8.2006 2:18pm
josh:
The professor makes a classy move that partisans in the blogosphere are so incapable of making, and richard aubrey posts these comments:

"a decisive number of voters decided that taking some hard shots to the gut in the war on terror--which is what the dems will arrange--is better than keeping the current crowd of republicans in office."

and "The idea that the dems care how the war is run--save only that they hope it collapses so as to make Bush look bad--is nonsense."

So sad. The reason this is my favorite blog is because of thoughtful, merit-based analysis by most (not all) of the professors, such as volokh and kerr. unfortunately, the ad hominem from commenters like RA bring it down.

The notion that the Dems "will arrange a shot in the gut in the war on terror" or that their only care about the war is to make Bush look bad is as intellectually dishonest as it is reprehensible. Calling one's political opponent unpatriotic or a danger to the country's security has truly become the last bastion of the man who has lost any ability to bring reason to the table.

[Note: Is it possible for the two sides to disagree about how to best secure the country? Of course. Reasoned minds in the mold of the professors have debated this. I really have no problem with either side saying "My way will make us safer; yours will make us less safe." But the rhetoric of someone like RA in response to a magnanimous post by prof volokh hardly approaches reason.]
11.8.2006 2:26pm
Steve:
As a Democrat, my message to the Republican Party would be: "Look what happens when you govern poorly."

My message to the Democratic Party would be exactly the same. This is an opportunity. I hope they use it well.
11.8.2006 2:43pm
Kovarsky (mail):
bored lawyer,

It's not called delaymander. Elbridge Gerry preceded Mr. Delay by quite a bit.

i thought this obvious enough that it not warrant elocution, but just because something is named after somebody doesn't mean the person after which the thing is named did it the most. it generally just means they did it first.

alois lutz performed the "triple lutz" in 1913. brian boitano did it more.
11.8.2006 2:48pm
ward (mail):
Three times in the last 60 years, the out of power party has taken over Congress--46, 54, and 96. All 3 times, the in party power retained the Presidency in the next election (Truman, 48; Eisenhower, 56; Clinton, 96). The difference this time, of course, is that the next election is open, no incumbent. Will the historic pattern hold?
11.8.2006 2:51pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Josh. Some of the dems don't know we're in a war. Patty Murray thinks we're in a contest to build more schools than the jihadis do. What John Conyers thinks is too horrid to think about, but do you think he'll let any possible damage to the war effort stop him from, say, impeachment hearings?
If Ron Dellums, (d. Havana) had had such a chance....

Maxine Waters going to fight the war on terror or is she going to fight the war on Bush and worry about the WOT later?

To presume that the Chomsky/Zinn wing of the dems won't, 1, take charge, and, 2, act in ways contrary to the national good is delusional.

Sure, they want the best for this country, right after they get the best for themselves. And the first trumps the second.

The point is not that the dems are subversive. Not all. The KGB files point some interesting fingers at O'Neill and Ted Kennedy. But, let's say most are not subversive.
The point is that the dems will do what they want without any concern for the WOT.

The jihadis must be happy with this. And if the jihadis are happy, is that good?

There's the real world, and then there's the world where we are reproached for pointing out the obvious.
11.8.2006 3:01pm
KeithK (mail):
Richard, while I agree with some of what you say this is NOT the thread to post those arguments. There's a time and place for worrying about your political oppponents, a time/place for fighting but alsoa time for graciousness.
11.8.2006 3:18pm
KeithK (mail):

i think everybody knows my stripes, but i was sad to see linc chaffee and steele go down. all politics is NOT local.

Steele losing is the biggest specific disappointment in this cycle for me. At least taking the long view. Electing a black senator could have been a big step forward for Republican party in their efforts to reach out toward the black vote. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of Mr. Steele.
11.8.2006 3:21pm
John Herbison (mail):
Kudos for your maturity and magnanimity, Professor. Should a vacancy on the Supreme Court occur before the end of this presidential term, I hope you receive due consideration.
11.8.2006 3:24pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Keith. My friends all think I'm the sould of grace and courtesy. Mostly that's because I don't say much.

One problem with grace and magnamity in this situation is that it is taken as weakness by the other side. The jihadis think like this, too.

Gresham's law, unfortunately, applies to behavior, as well.

To put it yet another way, when somebody goes to trump, you overtrump or you lose. If you're too refined to overtrump, you lose.
11.8.2006 3:28pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Richard,

When you start your posts with "The Dems Don't know we're at war," nobody that might disagree with you keeps reading.
11.8.2006 3:30pm
Steve Hammond:
In defense of Governor and eventually VP Gerry, he reluctantly signed the redistricting bill that his Mass party gave him. But the press labeled it his bill and used his name as part of the term that is now history.

In another bizarre fact of history, he was one of three delegates to the Constitutional Convention who refused to sign the Constitution because it initially lacked any statements of the rights of citizens.
11.8.2006 3:39pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Anderson: The idea that the dems care how the war is run--save only that they hope it collapses so as to make Bush look bad--is nonsense.

No comment needed.
11.8.2006 3:43pm
Silicon Valley Jim:
The reason this is my favorite blog is because of thoughtful, merit-based analysis by most (not all) of the professors, such as volokh and kerr.

I agree with every word of that, and you put it much better than I could have, Josh.
11.8.2006 3:46pm
Houston Lawyer:
Delay is responsible for pushing Gerrymandering only in Texas, which votes about 60% Republican. Under the previous gerrymander by the Democrats, the 60% Republican vote was only able to elect a minority of members to the Texas delegation. Unless you oppose all gerrymandering, criticizing Delay on this point is just naked partisanship.
11.8.2006 3:48pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kovarsky. Why should they continue? They know right away that either they disagree or that they wish I hadn't let their cat out of the bag. In either case, there's no reason for them to continue.

I believe that the most likely result of an action is the actor's intent. Claims to the contrary are lies. If we presume the actor is deluded, then we converse with him and analyze his responses. They may be reasoned, they may be obvious obfuscation. In the latter case, he intends or intended the likely result. There is no reason I know of that I should have to take a clear lie at face value as if I'm too dumb to see through it.

There is a caveat to this: If the likely result, usually catastrophic, is inevitable but irrelevant to the actor's intent. This is just as bad.
11.8.2006 3:58pm
Kovarsky (mail):
They know right away that either they disagree or that they wish I hadn't let their cat out of the bag. In either case, there's no reason for them to continue.

Because people that are thoughtful enjoy reading thoughtful responses that might alter the way they think about something. But when your opening salvo is drooling stupid, it alerts the reader that no such thoughtful insight will be forthcoming.
11.8.2006 4:04pm
JosephSlater (mail):
The sad part of Richard Aubrey's bizarre theories about "the dems" is that he apparently thinks a good half of the country or more wants us to lose in Iraq, doesn't care about terrorism, doesn't know we're at war, etc. Well, sad for him to think that. Of course it's not remotely true.
11.8.2006 4:06pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I don't know that half the country wants us to lose in Iraq. But a good many still think one of their finest hours was bailing on the Vietnamese, after we'd gotten them to stand up.
Iraq has voter lists. Millions of names.
The dems are going to bail and it will be difficult to get allies after that. Kissinger said that being an enemy of the US is hard, but being an ally is often fatal.

Many people vote on other issues. Tip O'Neill said all politics is local. Alexander Fraser Tytler said democracy lasts until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. Politicians oblige, not telling the chumps that the politicians are buying the chumps' votes with the chumps' own money.
Other things come to the front and the WOT takes a back seat. And we lose.
As James Lileks said, if he was an Iraqi, he wouldn't be heading for the embassy roof, but he'd be looking into fares and availability.
After the slaughters, the idea of a democrat crying that we ought to look for allies will be a very sick joke.
But, as you will recall, no democrat ever bothered worrying about the Killing Fields and Hanoi's repression and murders. This stuff SIMPLY DOESN'T MATTER to democrats.

I do think half the country doesn't think we're at war. There are various reasons for that. One is that admitting we're at war means Bush is right. Kevin Drum asked himself why he didn't speak out against the Iranian regime which represented everything he loathed. The reason, he decided, was that it would make Bush look good to make Iran look bad. Just because it's stupid and immoral and irrational doesn't mean a lot of people aren't doing it. Drum, by the way, after his epiphany, decided to keep on not saying much about the Iranians. A man must have his standards. You think Drum is alone?
I have relatives who think that even Texas' excessive football culture is Bush's fault. You think they are rational on the war? They are, I should say, highly educated.
So, yeah, losing the WOT, or bailing on the Iraqis after we've gotten them to stand up, sign up, and make themselves really wonderful targets won't bother the dems a bit.
In fact, when you hear the government called "collaborationist" by American dems/libs, you know the slaughters are going to be considered just and right. Like all the Vietnamese boat people were from the oppressing class.
Well, as the man says, a brilliant white flash might wake some people up. But probably not.
11.8.2006 4:38pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Richard:

Again, if you honestly believe stuff like this:

"no democrat ever bothered worrying about the Killing Fields and Hanoi's repression and murders. This stuff SIMPLY DOESN'T MATTER to democrats....I do think half the country doesn't think we're at war....."

That is truly sad for you. Love it or leave it.
11.8.2006 4:41pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
But a good many still think one of their finest hours was bailing on the Vietnamese, after we'd gotten them to stand up.

Oh, *that* fantasy. You seem to think that Nixon and Kissinger were Democrats. (See "decent interval.") But they weren't. Okay?
11.8.2006 4:43pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Anderson. You think I was born yesterday. Congress cut off the funding we'd promised the Vietnamese. They ran out of fuel, ammo, and equipment.


Slater. I hear your reproach. Got any facts? I spent some time a couple of decades ago chasing various anti-war types and asking them about the Killing Fields. Of thirteen I talked to, twelve said they weren't clear on the issue and the thirteenth called me a redneck for asking. I call that not caring very much. Quite literally, it doesn't matter to them.
11.8.2006 4:49pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey:

Oh gosh, OK, if you say you talked to 12 "anti-war types" "a couple of decades ago," then that obviously proves what all Democrats, liberals, etc. felt then and now. Case closed; I don't see what kind of "facts" could possibly rebut that.

I understand that you're too bitter about your party losing to join Prof. Volokh's gracious message. But don't expect anyone to take you seriously when you attempt such ludicrous slanders against at least half of all Americans. And lastly, again, it truly must be sad to feel that way about what appears to be a majority of the country.
11.8.2006 5:04pm
Steve:
Steele losing is the biggest specific disappointment in this cycle for me. At least taking the long view. Electing a black senator could have been a big step forward for Republican party in their efforts to reach out toward the black vote.

Yeah, I didn't think Steele was a bad man, but stuff like this wasn't the classiest note to end the campaign on. Republicans misleading black people in order to get a black senator elected... not the greatest thing for the "long view."
11.8.2006 5:05pm
Anonoguest:
Got any facts?

Like what? Anecdotal evidence of 13 casual conversations, used to support the claim that "no democrat ever bothered worrying about the Killing Fields and Hanoi's repression and murders."

Like those kind of "facts"?
11.8.2006 5:07pm
Michael B (mail):
"Oh, *that* fantasy. You seem to think that Nixon and Kissinger were Democrats. (See "decent interval.") But they weren't. Okay?" Anderson

""Like those kind of 'facts'?" Anonoguest

It was motivated by the Left, the MSM vis-a-vis Cronkite, et al. and then initiated by the Congress elected in '73 and sustained in '75 that cut off the promised funds, including funds for medical supplies, to the South Vietnamese - all after American troops had left that theater.

And the notion a cautionary analogy with those '73 and '75 Congresses should not be suggested is preposterous. Neither does it detract from EV's congratulatory post, which itself contains a pivotal caveat.

Those are all facts.
11.8.2006 5:16pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Congress cut off the funding we'd promised the Vietnamese. They ran out of fuel, ammo, and equipment.

Sigh. At hand, we find Rick Perlstein, a few days ago in TNR:
It was Kissinger, who had been shuttling back and forth to Paris for peace negotiations with the enemy, who named the dilemma: "We've got to find some formula that holds the thing together a year or two, after which--after a year, Mr. President, Vietnam will be a backwater. If we settle it, say, this October, by January '74, no one will give a damn." Thus was confirmed what historians would come to call the "decent interval" strategy. Having pledged to Saigon--and American conservatives--that Communist troops would not be allowed in South Vietnam after a peace deal was signed, Kissinger negotiated the opposite. "Peace is at hand," he announced on the eve of the 1972 presidential election, in one of his rare appearances before the TV cameras. The United States left the following spring; the Communists moved in; Saigon fell.

That's not how Nixon and Kissinger told the story, of course. They blamed the defeat on a combination of the liberal congressmen who refused to vote for continued aid to South Vietnam in 1974 and Saigon's own unfortunate lack of will. And, just as Kissinger had privately predicted, no one gave a damn.
One can indeed fool some of the people all of the time, I see.

It helps to ignore the entire history of modern Vietnam, esp. the farcical gov't after the Diem coup, right up to 1975. The Vietnamese "government" was just an elaborate device for putting the $$$ of American taxpayers into the pockets of its constituent generals and their cohort. Eventually, Uncle Sugar wised up.
11.8.2006 5:22pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Michael B: see above. South Vietnam was propped up by the U.S. troops on the ground, and once those were gone, South Vietnam was gone, no matter how much good money we threw after bad.

The analogy to Iraq is indeed pertinent. We cannot do more to keep a nation free than it's willing to do itself. We should never have gone into Iraq; having done so, we should've done it right; having thus failed twice over, we have no good options left.
11.8.2006 5:25pm
Michael B (mail):
Anderson,

You don't fool anyone and you can "sigh" yourself to sleep and put "government" in scare quotes all you want, I didn't deny Kissinger's and Nixon's role.

One brief summary.
11.8.2006 5:28pm
r78:
Mr. Volokh

Nice to see an adult weigh in. Thank you.
11.8.2006 5:34pm
Michael B (mail):
"South Vietnam was propped up by the U.S. troops on the ground, and once those were gone, South Vietnam was gone, no matter how much good money we threw after bad." Anderson

You couldn't be more wrong.

One essay account, vis-a-vis Sheehan's Bright Shining Lie.

Book length account which covers the post-Westmoreland years, i.e. the Creighton Abrams years and the victory that was won militarily and among the indigenous South Vietnamese as well: Lewis Sorley's A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam.

And Anderson, another clue concerning your "you don't fool all the people" line. You don't prove a thing or win an argument by throwing up a pastiche of unexamined and unproven assertions. I'm not interested in fooling anyone and don't even care to debate the subject in this particular thread. But referring the discussion to well documented historical accounts does not equate to "fooling" someone.
11.8.2006 5:49pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I second this. Let's hope that the two parties are half as willing to put aside any differences and work well together.
Let's not. Gridlock is good.
11.8.2006 5:51pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
The Sorley book was good as far as it went, but my point was that once we left, SVA was a goner. I don't recall anything persuasive in Sorley to the contrary. Sure, the $$$ cutoff pulled the plug, but SVA independence was Schiavo-like at that point. Yes, we could've stayed over there indefinitely ... but why?

Re: your tone, my "sigh" responded to Mr. Aubrey, not to you; I hadn't seen your comment when I was composing mine. That's why I immediately followed my "sigh" comment with another, directed to *your* comment, which I think I was perfectly polite about.

a pastiche of unexamined and unproven assertions

Good Lord, man, this is a blog comment thread, not an academic conference. You, me, &everyone else here are doing just that.
11.8.2006 6:04pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I enjoy this blog because the bloggers who post here are uniformly polite, well-informed, and willing to listen respectfully to opposing views. Not all of the posters, unfortunately, share these characteristics, which is odd, as you would think that lawyers, of all people, should enjoy a civil debate on the issues. I hope the country's new Congressional leaders move US policy towards the center, which is where most of the people are, by working with the Bush Administration and vice versa. The cynic in me says, however, that

(1) Bush will not compromise on his "core" views, which seems to be cutting taxes for the wealthy and not admitting that he has ever made any mistakes (as opposed to saying "mistakes were made" or blaming underlings, such as Rumsfield, for the mistakes; and

(2) the Democrats (some of them) will want "pay back" for the humiliations they think they suffered under the Republican Congress and the "bipartisan" spirit will evaporate.

Sure, there may be an agreeement on amnesty for some illegal aliens, but I don't see Bush appointing moderates to the Supreme Court or the federal judiciary, like Clinton did, to get them through the Senate (if the Dems take control of that body), and I don't see the Democrats in the House granting the Republicans in that body much influence or access to power.

Indeed, I think you will see some Republicans want to push a "gridlock" strategy, so they can blame the Democrats for it in connection with 2008.
11.8.2006 6:21pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
the Democrats (some of them) will want "pay back" for the humiliations they think they suffered under the Republican Congress and the "bipartisan" spirit will evaporate.

Pelosi was quite savvy in expressly renouncing any such wish, which is exactly what most Americans, if not all Democrats, wanted to hear.

The Dems would be very smart to play it straight unless &until Bush starts throwing up roadblocks.
11.8.2006 6:28pm
Michael B (mail):
"Good lord, man?" Your patronizing tone is noted.

No, it wasn't Schiavo-like until we pulled the funding, funding which had previously been officially promised. You don't evidence that you're particularly acquainted with the Sorley book (which is merely one well documented account which could be referenced) since it effectively and with remarkable detail shows, certainly substantially and arguably shows, precisely the opposite of what you're suggesting.

And in referring the discussion away from my or your assertions and onto a substantial article and then Sorley's volume doesn't suggest I'm affecting a tone of an "academic conference".

As to the pastiche of assertions, examples of yours below:

"South Vietnam was propped up by the U.S. troops on the ground, and once those were gone, South Vietnam was gone, no matter how much good money we threw after bad."

This is wrong, and this is why I don't simply assert it's so but additionally reference a couple of well documented and well reasoned accounts, though many, many other references could be provided.

"We cannot do more to keep a nation free than it's willing to do itself."

True, but that's precisely what the South Vietnam was doing, after our troops had left and prior to cutting funds.

Those are two examples only. Good day.
11.8.2006 6:32pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Michael B: see above. South Vietnam was propped up by the U.S. troops on the ground, and once those were gone, South Vietnam was gone, no matter how much good money we threw after bad.
It was only "gone" because North Vietnam invaded (in violation of the peace accords). Nobody would argue that it was as stable as, say, Canada, of course, but it did not die of natural causes. It fell to invasion.

And that invasion almost certainly happened because North Vietnam was convinced the U.S. would do nothing about it, because a Democratic Congress had essentially said so.
11.8.2006 6:41pm
KeithK (mail):

The Dems would be very smart to play it straight unless &until Bush starts throwing up roadblocks.

IMO, the Dems would be smart to play it straight regardless of whether Bush or the Republican minority throws up roadblocks. Attempts at pay back will almost certainly make the Dems look bad and won't help them electorally in places where the 2008 election is tight.

I tend to doubt Pelosi's ability and willingness to reign in the left wing of her party. The political junkie and partisan in me almost hope that she cannot. The patriot in me hopes that she can and will.
11.8.2006 6:48pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
onto a substantial article

The Rummel fluff? Or the article on Vann? The former was in the "unsubstantiated assertions" category--
April 30th marks 30 years since the fall of Saigon, a horror story of the treason of American leftists and communists, and the blood on their hands.
-- &the latter's relevance to the SVA's supposed independent fighting prowess wasn't clear to me.

As for Sorley, I read him when he came out, &don't have a photographic memory. But while Abrams was surely an improvement, the notion that we could've propped up SVA with $$$ alone just isn't plausible to me, nor I daresay to others more knowledgeable than myself.

though many, many other references could be provided

Those would help your argument, presumably.
11.8.2006 6:48pm
josh:
Richard Aubrey:

Your posts are so angry and hate-filled few on here take you seriously in the slightest. Even those who may take the position that Dem-control is bad for national security. Thank you for providing an antithetical example to Prof Volokh's class.

"The jihadis must be happy with this. And if the jihadis are happy, is that good?"

You never mentioned you wrote for the Colbert Report! Damn funny!

But seriously, to restate my prior post, you're race to the bottom to allege Dem win = jihadist win demonstrates your inability for any substantive discussion.

Have at it, if it cures the ills you're experiencing.
11.8.2006 6:57pm
fishbane (mail):
Aside from Eugene's comments, this was the most mature thing I've seen in this thread:

The political junkie and partisan in me almost hope that she cannot. The patriot in me hopes that she can and will.
11.8.2006 7:50pm
Aleks:
Re: The difference this time, of course, is that the next election is open, no incumbent. Will the historic pattern hold?

It's even more unique than that: This is the first time in a long time there will no incumbent president and no incumbent Veep on the ballot. The closest we might come would be if Gore runs and gets the Dem nomination. Next closest, a former first lady as presidential candidate (a unique situation also). The election of 2008 is the most wide open election this country will have had since (I think) 1952.

Re: but do you think he'll let any possible damage to the war effort stop him from, say, impeachment hearings?

Um, how would even a successful impeachment damage the war on terror? Bush isn't God and he isn't indispensible. Presumably his successor would do at least as well, which would not be difficult given the horrible mess Bush has made in Iraq. When people opine that George Bush is essential to the war on terror I wonder rather queasily what they think should happen in 2009-- should Mr Bush set aside the Constitution and rule as dictator for life? Senator Palpatine, phone home!

Re: Iraq has voter lists.

So what? Any (presumably Shi'ite) Islamist government that takes power in Iraq will do so with the ringing assent of a majority of the Iraqi voters, much as the Nazis stepped into the Kanzlerei with a solid phalanx of German voters behind them. Democracy (meaning free elections) is the friend of Islamism in the Middle East not its foe and the Islamists will no more slaughter their loyal citizenry than Hitler did his Aryan patriots.

Re: And we lose.

Define "lose" in this context. If you mean a Shi'ite Islamist government takes power in Iraq, that, sad to say, is a likley outcome no matter what happens, and it is has been mightily abetted by the Bush administration's incompetence. But if you mean an Islamist government takes over the USA, it would be more likley that the ghosts of Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and generals shall rise from their graves, reestablish the CSA and make good the breaking of the Union this time.
11.8.2006 8:31pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
anon and slater. You guys attorneys? You sure can misrepresent the obvious.

I said no dems lamented the Killing Fields. I watched, a passive activity, for a number of years. Nothing. No dems lamenting, or even acknowledging the horror took place. Nada.

I then took a pro-active approach and invited comment.

See the difference? Of course you do. How on earth do you think misrepresenting what somebody says to the person who said it advances your position?

Anyway, after a good deal of looking for somebody to say something about the Killing Fields, I added to the Big Zero some additional actions, which were to actively try to get a response. As you know.

I don't think I'm talking about slanders. I'm talking about facts. For example, why do congressmen do pork? Because their constituents demand it. See Tytler on this. The constituents reward them with votes. There'd be no point otherwise. Once the voters become accustomed to selling their votes, other considerations become secondary.


Josh. I don't watch Colbert, whoever he is, but it sounds as if he's been paying attention. If you had to bet, who would you think the jihadis preferred in this election? And why?

The repubs are not my party. They are the party I despise least. My primary concern is the WOT and the dems are going to hurt us badly, not to mention screw the Iraqis. And, after the slaughters, we will hear what we heard after the Killing Fields.

Anyway, I asked about facts. That means somebody might come up with some contemporary examples of dems lamenting the Killing Fields.
11.8.2006 8:37pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
aleks. The Shi'ites aren't going to take over. The terrorists are going to take over. They'll have Iranian backing and, once the dems cut funding for Iraqi defense, they'll win.
I hope the last guy out of Baghdad burns the voter rolls. Least he could do for the poor bastards left behind.

"We lose". Means we lose a battle and a theater in the WOT and the next one or next ones will be worse. I don't think we'll be overrun militarily. I do think, however, that the multicultis will be rolling over for the "lawfare" and special exemptions, and shari'a light, and allowing juror null for attacks such as we see in Scandinavia and Europe. If you don't think so, explain what will keep it from happening. And when the multicultis roll, they have a way of making sure the rest of us do, too.
See, for example, if the ACLU has had anything to say about total immersion in Islam in California schools. Prayers, arab names, the whole thing. I think it runs three weeks in the syllabus.
11.8.2006 8:42pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey writes: "Josh. I don't watch Colbert, whoever he is, but it sounds as if he's been paying attention."

Aubrey, you should really watch "The Colbert Report." He speaks your language.

Aleks:

Great post substantively, even though you said "even more unique" ... ;-)
11.8.2006 9:36pm
MikeT:

Josh. I don't watch Colbert, whoever he is, but it sounds as if he's been paying attention. If you had to bet, who would you think the jihadis preferred in this election? And why?


I'm sorry Richard, but this had to be one of the funniest things I've read here in a while.
11.8.2006 9:42pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Slater: Give me a hint. What's it about? What does Colbert report on? What's it good for? Who is he?

Unfortunately, I had a good deal on my plate before a recent event which will take up about three more hours a day for the next couple of months. Webbing in my unpredictable spare time and not much chance of television.
11.8.2006 9:44pm
Michael B (mail):
Anderson,

The mistake in even attempting to engage, I'm forced to admit, was my own.
11.8.2006 10:15pm
Arbusto Spectrum:

The repubs are not my party. They are the party I despise least. My primary concern is the WOT and the dems are going to hurt us badly, not to mention screw the Iraqis. And, after the slaughters, we will hear what we heard after the Killing Fields.

Richard - perhaps the things on your plate have kept you from the papers, too. The Iraqis are already screwed. We don't have the troops required to stabilize that country, and there is scant hope that we can rely on a unified Iraqi force to perform that role - according to my family members in the military, at least.
Afghanistan is slipping away. Pakistan isn't looking particularly good, either. It has nothing to do with the dems. So in two years, when that part of the world is still in a big stinking mess, don't try to blame it on them.
11.8.2006 10:15pm
Arbusto Spectrum:
KeithK:

Attempts at pay back will almost certainly make the Dems look bad and won't help them electorally in places where the 2008 election is tight.

I am curious why you believe this to be the case, given that (i) negative campaign ads tend to be more effective than positive ones and (ii) the strategy of endless investigation didn't seem to hurt the republicans in 2000.
11.8.2006 10:20pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey:

In the spirit in which Eugene began this discussion, I'm going to admit that "The Colbert Report" is meant to be a parody of rabid right-wing talk show hosts. It's brilliant (11:30 Mon.-Thurs. on Comedy Central), but my suggestion that you should watch it was in jest.

As to whether no Dem has ever objected to the killing fields of Cambodia, etc., I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
11.8.2006 10:20pm
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
FYI, To see some of Colbert's reaction to the Democratic takeover of the US House, see my 2 minute 40 second Youtube video at: Democrats Win House!!! ..... Bush Was Wrong ..... What Next?
11.8.2006 10:39pm
Michael B (mail):
"As to whether no Dem has ever objected to the killing fields of Cambodia, etc., I guess we'll have to agree to disagree." JosephSlater

So true. It was none other than McGovern who, once he took account of what was occurring in Cambodia, suggested U.S. intervention would be warranted. He was, shall we say in the kindest of terms, not encouraged by his fellow Left/Dems to pursue this particular interest.
11.8.2006 10:43pm
Michael B (mail):
"Prayers, arab names, the whole thing. I think it runs three weeks in the syllabus."

Another example, Emory Univ.
11.8.2006 10:51pm
Arbusto Spectrum:

Prayers, arab names, the whole thing. I think it runs three weeks in the syllabus."

Stop buying gas.
11.8.2006 10:59pm
josh:
rochard aubrey

if your concern is about a killing fields scenario in iraq, you should question what occurred in the last six years that created that environment. the devastation of a pullout might be quite awful, and you can thank GWB for that.

BTW, your ignorance of Steven Colbert demonstrates you truly have been living under a rock the last six years.
11.9.2006 12:13am
josh:
you know what? i take that comment back. the whole point of volokh's post was contrary to this type of mean-spiritedness. richard aubrey,i apologize for stooping to your level.
11.9.2006 12:15am
Karl:

Let's not. Gridlock is good.


I see the two parties being in a position where they have to work together to do anything, and thus having to compromise as something of a form of, or maybe a side-effect of gridlock.

The nineties congress compromised with Clinton very well in certain respects. They agreed to cut spending, so spending was cut. At the same time, they wanted taxes cut, but Clinton did not. The result was the only progress towards a balanced budget that I've seen in my life from either party. That's what I want to see again.

Appointments are a similar matter. With an opposing Senate, the president has no choice but to nominate moderates.

Naturally, a lot less will happen since they don't agree on a lot of issues. I meant that I hope for a more moderate and less venomous approach to politics for a little while. It's not the I expect the parties to cooperate because they want to, but because to a certain extent, they have to.
11.9.2006 12:34am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Josh. I get the impression that Colbert is a television icon of some kind. And if you can't talk Survivor, American Idol, and Colbert at work, you're nothing. I got it.

Josh. What has occurred in the last six years, for better or worse, leaves us with what we have now. It is not as bad as it will be, although your pre-emptive equivalence--Pol Pot was no worse than Lon Nol, said the old lefties when their wrist was up between their shoulder blades--indicates you are preparing for what, in reality, is going to be infinitely worse, and done at the behest of those you favor in congress. You're ducking ahead of time. Good idea, but I don't know who in the world will take you seriously. Not only is it clearly bogus, we have several examples of it beforehand.
You know exactly what's going to happen, it bothers you not in the least. But you are dimly aware that other people may look at you strangely if you say so. The solution is to insist that it isn't really any worse than it would have been. Of course, "worse" is left vague so as to be immune from review by facts.
This is, as I have said, not a new technique, which is why it's transparent as a sheet of polished plate glass.


I should say that the original gracious statement implied a belief that the dems would no longer do as they have done and show every intention of doing yet again.
11.9.2006 12:36am
Steve:
The Shi'ites aren't going to take over. The terrorists are going to take over. They'll have Iranian backing and, once the dems cut funding for Iraqi defense, they'll win.

This is an extremely revealing analysis.
11.9.2006 12:55am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Steve:
Revealing of what?
11.9.2006 11:28am
josh:
Pol Pot? Lon Nol? What are you talking about?!? Your incoherent rants about Cambodia, the Killing Fields, or whatever other decades-old events has no basis in today's events. It's is so incredibly ignorant to attribute to an entire political group anecdotal evidence of a political party form more than 30 years ago. While you're at it, please hold Nancy Pelosi responsible for slavery.

Believe me, based on the numerous comments on this thread so far, you are the one who is not being taken seriously, by both Dems and Repubs. You honestly sound a little unwell.
11.9.2006 12:04pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Josh. I presume you occasionally speak in metaphor, hyperbole, and so forth.

So I guess that's why you don't understand references to something more than a couple of minutes old.

Let me reduce the complexity of the thought: When finally confronted with the Killing Fields, old-time lefties would say, Pol Pot was no worse than Lon Nol. (The latter was the boss of Cambodia before we bailed on them.) It was not, of course, even faintly true, but as the definition of "worse" was left vague, contesting the assertion was fruitless, which is the objective of leaving the definition vague.

So that isn't a new technique for dodging the inevitable result of a certain course of action. The dems will bail on Iraq, the slaughters will begin and you will say, as you did several posts up, that it's no worse than before. There will be as much truth in that as in the old lefties comparing Lon Nol and Pol Pot.

So your point that what is happening now is slaughter, which is to pre-emptively dismiss what happens after as being no worse, has been done. Been done to death, as it happens. It doesn't work any more.

You need a new thought.
11.9.2006 1:08pm
Arbusto Spectrum:
Richard - the inevitable result of a certain course of action was set in motion when a certain group of people ignored sound military advice and launched a half-assed invasion of Iraq with a third the number of troops needed to secure the post-Saddam landscape and allowed the situation to spiral out of control. It is lovely for you to plot out a future in which you pin all blame on "dems," but it is a crock of sh*t. But please, enlighten us with your military/political strategy to prevent a modern-day pol pot from reigning in Iraq, without bankrupting America in the process....
11.9.2006 1:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Arbusto:

Two problems: One is the size of the military available to the Bush administration. Many of those speaking so courageously today were silent when previous administrations cut the forces to the levels available today. Where were they when they could have been useful?

The other is that we can stabilize Iraq and accomplish our goals without bankrupting the US. The current issue is that the terrorists are murdering civilians and that is, for the first time in military history, considered to be an indicator of defeat. The administration needs to do two things. One is to move the goalposts back to where they were before partisan hacks discovered we're about to win a war if something isn't done quickly. The second is to continue to support the improvement of the Iraq government and military. It will not be perfect, so you should be comforted that you will always have something to complain about.

If Iran were not on the cusp of becoming one of the several new paranoid schizos with nukes in the world, we would be doing one thing. If Iran were not interfering in Iraq--but did not have nukes on the table shortly--we'd be doing another. As it is, IMO, what we do about the nukes in Iran will take care of Iran in Iraq. Once Iran is out of the game, Syria is out, as well.

However, as the dems are intent on defeat, and have the power to make it happen, as they did in Viet Nam, perhaps we should pull everybody back to the continental US. There is zero possibility that the dems would not bail on anybody, anywhere east of Rhode Island. And if Rhode Island went, there'd be dems and libs who could think of ever so many reasons to do nothing there.

As somebody said, when the bastards (terrorists) nuke us, I hope they do it in DC first, and when congress is in session, because the bastards (congresscritters) deserve it more than the rest of us.
You can avert your eyes from the slaughter in Iraq and perhaps nobody like me will ever ask you what, exactly, happened.

So, anyway, somebody challenged me for saying a dem win is a terrorist win. I responded by asking which party the terrorists would prefer win. It is a rhetorical question, since the obvious answer is not the sort of thing anybody around here can afford to admit. Doesn't mean the rest of us aren't allowed to know it.
11.9.2006 2:41pm
Arbusto Spectrum:

You can avert your eyes from the slaughter in Iraq and perhaps nobody like me will ever ask you what, exactly, happened.

I already answered that question:

a certain group of people ignored sound military advice and launched a half-assed invasion of Iraq with a third the number of troops needed to secure the post-Saddam landscape and allowed the situation to spiral out of control



So, anyway, somebody challenged me for saying a dem win is a terrorist win. I responded by asking which party the terrorists would prefer win. It is a rhetorical question, since the obvious answer is not the sort of thing anybody around here can afford to admit. Doesn't mean the rest of us aren't allowed to know it.

Well, as they said in elementary school, it takes one to know one. And with that, I disengage. Or as you might prefer to characterize it, cut and run.
11.9.2006 4:43pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey,

Is your argument that Republicans are more humanitarian than Democrats? Because they care more about human life? Is this why Republicans supported the Vietnam War?

Seems like a strange argument. Can you apply this theory to Darfur?
11.9.2006 5:24pm
Guest of the Conspiracy:
Marcus can you tell us what you'd do in the case of Darfur or would have done in the case of Vietnam ...?
11.9.2006 5:50pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Marcus; The point is only partly humanitarian.
The dems are for bailing, everywhere we may be engaged. The results, such as in Cambodia, can be catastrophic. The dems showed no interest in the results. So, however humane the repubs are, the dems are not, wrt the results of their foreign policy work.

War, as has been noted in the past, is bad. Liberals, because that's the way they think, and dems because that's where they find their base, pretend nothing can be worse. Until they bail someplace and something worse happens. Then they pretend it didn't happen. The repubs had a good idea of the reason to fight in Viet Nam.

You might like "This Kind of War", by Fehrenbach. It's a bang-up history of the Korean War, including its origins, an examination of the military in a liberal democracy, and the place of war in a nuclear-armed world. One of his points, since expanded by events, is that there were few gottahave fights after WW II. We could afford to lose this one, or not be involved in that one. The problem lay in losing all or not engaging any. There are geographical issues and so forth. His point is if the enemy gets you tied up by increments, you have two choices, surrender or go nuclear. You don't have to fight them all, but you can't afford to bail on all of them, either.
It was in that context that the fight in Viet Nam was a good idea.
I ran into some Luftwaffe guys in 1970 who were most pleased that the Battle of The Fulda Gap was being fought in Southeast Asia (METAPHOR!!!!!). They figured it made them safer. If the US would do this for a bunch of shit-fertilized padi fields, you don't want to think of what they'd do for Fulda or those other places we never had to fight.
You seem to think that war is fought without context and without larger results. In that case, supporting a war would look foolish. Instead, that view is foolish.

As to Darfur, Bush is doing better than Clinton did in Rwanda. Problem is that he's been cautioned not to be a unilateral cowboy. So he's using the UN. Where France and China, holding large oil concessions, don't want to annoy their buds. One Muslim biggy--can't recall--said that western interference in Darfur was an insult to Muslims. OBL said jihadis should go there. So there's also the problem of the Arab street, should we stop a genocide. The Australians stopped one in East Timor and look what happened to them.
Anyway, anything effective in Darfur would draw the condemnation of the libs and dems, as long as Bush was doing it.
11.9.2006 8:13pm
josh:
Richard Aubrey

You continue on this meaningless, incoherent drivel about Cambodia, while entirely unable to explain its relevance.

"The dems will bail on Iraq, the slaughters will begin and you will say, as you did several posts up, that it's no worse than before." I never said that. Don't lie. It only makes you look more batty. Plus, as usual, you entirely fail to address the root cause of what may be very unfortunate killing in Iraq if we leave -- namely, that Bush invaded a country that was not the cause of 9/11, or a danger to us with respect to terrorism.

"So your point that what is happening now is slaughter, which is to pre-emptively dismiss what happens after as being no worse, has been done. Been done to death, as it happens. It doesn't work any more." Put the drink down next time before you type. You're losing a grasp of even the most basic notions of grammar, let alone coherent thought. You don't need to "reduce the complexity of the thought." You need to read Strunk and White [It's a grammar book. I figure since you've never heard of Colbert ...]

No matter how much you make sh__ up, no Dem has dismissed any notion of the after-effects of Bush's blunder. If you have evidence of this, cite it. You can't.

The fact is that despite all the fighting of late over executive power, no Dems have argued that the preznit does not control troops on the ground. He has two more years to dig this country out of the hole he created.

OK. Now pick the drink back up and write your incoherent reply.
11.10.2006 12:44am
josh:
Silly Pants

"War, as has been noted in the past, is bad. Liberals, because that's the way they think, and dems because that's where they find their base, pretend nothing can be worse." Where do you get this crap? Right now, cite more than five Dems who did not support the invasion of Afghaistan, you crackhead. Name any other than some straw man such as Noam Comsky. Name five who sit in the seat of power (now) and provide a direct quote. Provide a citation, instead of ad hominem.

"As to Darfur, Bush is doing better than Clinton did in Rwanda." Unlike you, allow me to provide a cite to demonstrate how wrong you are: In "an interview between ABC's Sam Donaldson and Mr. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. When Mr. Donaldson asked him what he would do if 'God forbid, another Rwanda should take place,' Mr. Bush replied: 'We should not send our troops to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide outside our strategic interests. . . . I would not send the United States troops into Rwanda.'" (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0312-07.htm)

Looks like your guy would have done just as badly. And, sadly, Bush isn't doing anything in Darfur. You say, "Anyway, anything effective in Darfur would draw the condemnation of the libs and dems, as long as Bush was doing it." Libs and dems like George Clooney? He's one of them actor types like Stephen Colbert.

You have no facts, no support, for everything you write on this web site.
11.10.2006 1:02am
Michael B (mail):
josh,

Your inconsequence is exceeded only by your snide.

You're wrong vis-a-vis Sudan, certainly so as pertains to southern Sudan (of which you may not even be aware), which began circa 1983 after the institution of Shari'a law and ended two-decades later, formally ending in 2005. However, as to Darfur, shouldn't the Left be demonstrating en masse for European powers to do the intervention? Rwanda was a previous colony of Belgium and prior to WWI of Germany. Sudan, I believe, of Britain, though regardless, it was certainly a European colony and one would think Europe could do something on its own, given its financial resources. Then again, it's rather more fun to point a finger at the U.S., despite all our other involvements, than it is to actually lend a hand in the real world, get one's hands dirty in the real world, take real-world risks. Yea, that sums up a goodly portion of the Left: opting for moralistic bravado and trumpery rather than real-world risks and hopeful gains - even when the subject is genocide. After all Europe couldn't even take care of Kosovo on its own, Kosovo being in its own backyard.

And Josh, as to Vietnam and Cambodia, any analogy, for example beginning to compare the 2007 Congress with that of the 1973/75 Congresses (which laid all the groundwork for pulling the plug on South Vietnam), is at this time speculative, if also worrisome. Too, while there are potential similarities, potentially tragic in the extreme, there are noteable differences as well: the current lack of a bi-polar world order (for better and for worse), but more importantly, this time around there is a far greater potential that if we fail the result will be a vastly greater likelihood that violence will reach our shores. By contrast, in the case of Vietnam, while the violence was in fact exported***, there was never the likelihood it would be exported to our own shores, domestically. In 1975 that was never an issue.

*** Of the violence variously exported in the aftermath of our disgraceful and dishonorable withholding of previously promised funds to South Vietnam, the following.

Firstly, the domino effect was real, not a fantasy. Cambodia and Laos suffered as did South Vietnam precisely because the Western Left was successful in having us abandon our commitments. Too, in the case of the Phillipines and Malaya, neither of which was contiguous with a communist regime (thus mitigating the prospects for a domino effect), communist insurgencies were defeated with little difficulty. Still further, by the end of the Cold War, not one country in the region fell to totalitarian rule that did not border a Maoist or Stalinist regime. The three countries which did fall were South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, therein demonstrating a "limited domino effect," i.e., when the country was contiguous with another totalitarian regime. Hence the much maligned domino effect - a subspecies of the more general tendency of power to assert itself in the face of perceived weakness - was a reality, not a fantasy.

Power asserts itself in the face of perceived weakness.

Too, there were similar effects, close cousins of the domino effect, which also proved to be viable post-1975, specifically, the global revolutionary wave effect (e.g., Benin, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Angola, Afghanistan, Nicaragua) and the global bandwagon effect (e.g., Iran, '79). There's no question our failure (not military failure, but moral and propaganda failure and resulting lack of will) in South Vietnam provided encouragement to other movements, especially so Castro's various involvements in Latin America. That encouragement resulted from the knowledge that they (Castro, Ortega and others) could count on the American and Western Left, not because they could win a military victory per se.

Power asserts itself in the face of perceived weakness, and power gains impetus in the face of real weakness, once those perceptions are probed, with effect.

Are you, Josh, beginning to see any viability, any relevance, with a Vietnam or Cambodia analogy yet?

Hence the perceived weaknesses resulting from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia (the "limited domino effect"), the global revolutionary wave effect and the global bandwagon effect were perceptions fed by very real moral deficits and a lack of will in the West, which in turn resulted almost entirely from the disinformation campaigns promoted by the Western Left. (Domestic political mistakes and Cold War strategic and tactical mistakes were involved as well, obviously enough.)

The difference this time around (v. here) is that there is a vastly greater potential - where our failure and perceived weaknesses are taken note of - for eventual domestic violence within our own borders. That is, at least, the avowed strategic/tactical interest.

So are you, Josh, beginning to see any viability, any relevance, with a Vietnam/Cambodia analogy yet? Any alarmism, any mere fear, should certainly and even resolutely be avoided, but not via a head-in-the-sand logic and diffidence, and most certainly not as a result of the smarm and snide of a sock-puppet.

Final note, re, Afghanistan, the theater which Left/Dems supposedly support: "A survey conducted by [MIT] in November 2005 found that only 59% of Democrats still supported the decision to invade Afghanistan, compared with 94% of Republicans." The Economist, Aug. 2006
11.10.2006 8:14am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Josh. In reverse order, more or less. Bush is supporting the AU with logistics and money. That's more than Clinton did in Rwanda. Clinton's folks have since said they were not to use the word "Genocide" because that has specific legal obligations that Clinton didn't want to face.
So, yes, Bush is doing more. Which was my point.

The slaughters in Iraq now are because the terrorists have discovered that if they kill enough civilians, people like you will start claiming we've lost the war and should go home. They know people like you know better, but that doesn't have anything to do with what you say.

Should we leave now, the result would be worse slaughters, which, as I say, you will ignore. I don't have time to see who said it, but one of the more foaming at the mouth types said up thread that there wouldn't be any difference in the post-bail slaughters because there was already slaughter. This is false, since the slaughters would be worse, and it's a pre-emptive equivalence to excuse the worse situation. So somebody said it wouldn't be any different.

The references to Cambodia are to remind you that we've seen before what you're doing now. You can get upset all you want, but the facts are that you are saying the same things that were said then and will say the same things when the same results.

The fires were still burning in the WTC when people were demnstrating and writing on the subject of not going into Afghanistan. Most of Congress was on board, but there were a huge number of people--not a majority--who were against doing ANYTHING. The NEA even had a teacher supplement whose thrust was how we caused this to happen to ourselves. They withdrew it when the word got out, but it's the thought that counts. That's one example. Their flack was on C-Span defending it. He even played the race card on a couple of callers. Great work, guardians of our children's growth. He was not alone.

On account of having a wife and daughter, I see more of Tom Cruise and George Clooney than I would like. This Colbert guy must be a loser, since nobody's heard of him. Better things to do, I guess. But I don't see the value of the reference.

This is not a war on 911. It's a war on Islamic fascism. The invasion of Iraq can be disputed on tactical or strategic grounds, but not because it's irrelevant.

As has been said more than once, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and some time later we invaded Tunisia.
Yes, there is a connection. You fight the war where it seems best to fight it. It appears that, in early 42, you would have said either that we need to attack the port from which the Japanese fleet sailed, and no more. Of course, you wouldn't have, I hope, because you're not stupid. But you pretend to think we should do the equivalent today.


Nobody on this board is stupid or uneducated. But you do have a propensity for seeming to hope others are. There is no other reason I can see for pushing themes which are so obviously false.

I believe that's addressed all your points. Back to my new gig.
11.10.2006 8:22am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Michael B,


Are you, Josh, beginning to see any viability, any relevance, with a Vietnam or Cambodia analogy yet?


Nope. Richard Aubrey went on at length with the Cambodia story to suggest that Democrats oppose wars because they don't care about human life. He continues to pretend that the Republican interest in either Vietnam or Iraq was humanitarian. Both points are ludicrous, and I have to think completely dishonest.

If the analogy is "America needs to keep fighting and fighting and fighting whenever it enters a conflict until every last remnant of resistance is brutally crushed into the ground in order to assert our strategic interests," then Vietnam is one of many places where you could say we didn't do this. To suggest that Democrats want to get out of Iraq because they don't care about Iraqi civilians just like they didn't care about Cambodian civilians, though, and to pretend that Republicans are the real protectors of these interests, is just plain silly, on about every single level.
11.10.2006 9:49am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Marcus. In a rare display of humility, I will accept the possibility that I was insuficiently clear.
So let me clear this up for you so that you not only will understand, but will be unable to pretend I was not clear.

I did not say the dems want to bail on various efforts BECAUSE they don't care about human life. Got it? Read it over a couple of times if you need to.

I said the dems want to bail for various reasons, which we don't need to discuss at this point. Not BECAUSE they don't care about human life.

They want to bail for OTHER reasons than that they don't care about human life.

The point is that their bailing will cost human life in uncountable numbers. Which does not interest them. It's not the reason they bail. It's a result. They certainly don't care about human life, but that's not the proximate reason for wanting to bail. It's not a feature. More to the point, they don't even consider it a bug. The only thing they dimly know is that others think it's a problem, so they bestir themselves in various ways to avoid having to discuss it.
11.10.2006 10:47am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
New info from Reuters:

Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran calls the elections a victory for Iran.

He's right and many of the folks around here are on the same page with an ayatollah. Not a surprise.
11.10.2006 10:58am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Oops. Missed the Syrian Ba'athist announcement. They think it's a victory for them, too.

I recall asking rhetorically which party folks around here thought the terrorists would prefer win.

I think we're getting an idea about which party the terrorists wanted to win. Question now is, who thought otherwise?
11.10.2006 11:18am
josh:
R aubrey

"In a rare display of humility, I will accept the possibility that I was insuficiently clear." Volokh Conspiracy understatement of the decade.

Your incoherent rants (repeating a quesiton of whether I recognize an analogy, as if redundancy proce your point).

You still refuse to address the fact that Bush and your GOP got us in this mess while continuing your ad hominem against Dems. By failing to address the first cause, you obviously don't care about human life.

Provide a citation that Dems will pull out of Iraq (or stop appropriations). Provide a citation to any of the meaningless ad hominem you have vomited on this thread.

I give up on the graciousness Volokh began this thread with. You're an idiot. Your failure to support any of your arguments makes any attempts to engage you in rational debate a waste of time. No one on this web site takes you seriously. Feel free to continue your rants.
11.10.2006 11:48am
josh:
putz

"The fires were still burning in the WTC when people were demnstrating and writing on the subject of not going into Afghanistan. Most of Congress was on board, but there were a huge number of people—not a majority—who were against doing ANYTHING."

That's good proof that Dems are going to pull out of Iraq and be responsible for mass slaughter. Yes, NEA guy you saw on C-Span. Also, good evidence of Dem culpability, you twit.

"This Colbert guy must be a loser, since nobody's heard of him." Moron. Let me teach you how to provide support for your argument. Try searching goolge for a Time story about Colbert regarding The "Time 100: The People Who Shape Our World." Even one of your ad hominem attacks against liberal media bias doesn't work on this one. Obviously, people have heard of him.

"Nobody on this board is stupid or uneducated." You are. You truly, truly are. You have not address any of my points, or anyone else's on thsi thread (Dem or GOP). You tilt at windmills.
11.10.2006 11:59am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Richard,

I recall you saying this:


But, as you will recall, no democrat ever bothered worrying about the Killing Fields and Hanoi's repression and murders. This stuff SIMPLY DOESN'T MATTER to democrats.


Call me crazy, but I took this to mean that you thought the Republicans were different, and that you considered this relevant to their respective political positions then and now.

I'm actually skeptical you really think this; I doubt you actually think Republicans care more about civilian deaths in foreign countries. Am I right that you don't think most Republicans care either? Nevertheless, I thought I'd respond to what you said. Really, I'd guess you're simply a cynic, but you find it more useful to project your cynicism exclusively on the Democratic party.
11.10.2006 12:00pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Josh. See Murtha. See the meeting with McGovern.
This is kind of pointless, since it hasn't happened yet. Your implication is that the dems won't bail. I suspect you think and hope they will. After that, I think we'll have plenty of cites.

Bush got us into a situation which is like any spot in war. It's tough. It is not impossible. In fact, the possibility of winning is what spooks the dems.
The dems want to bail and the NYT wants to help the dems. You know better than to think the thing is a disaster. You hope you can convince others that it is. Once you connive in making it a disaster by bailing, you'll claim it was somebody else's fault. That is another lesson of Cambodia.

By the way, did you think the Syrians and Iranians would be upset if the dems won?
11.10.2006 12:01pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Josh.

Oh, yeah. See Pelosi on PBS yesterday.

Anybody want to make the case the "responsible redeployment" is different from bailing? More importantly, can you keep a straight face while you do it?
11.10.2006 12:07pm
kovo62 (mail):
We still have a Commander in Chief who is strongly opposed to "bailing" so no disaster looms there, and the Democratic victory in '06 just might be a blessing in disguise - as it may weaken the "pendulum effect" for '08. Coattails could very well fix Congress in '08.
11.10.2006 12:35pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey,

Have you considered that our perpetual presence in Iraq may actually contribute to violence in the region?

I do find your preemptive reverse spin maneuver somewhat interesting, though. So if the U.S. eventually reduces its presence in Iraq and the counry devolves into greater violence, then this will force the Democrats to somehow "spin" the whole thing into Bush's fault? Because, obviously then it will entirely be the Democrats' fault that Iraq has ended up in this position? Oh, Bush, that helpless, helpless agent!

Well, I guess if you're throwing isolationism out the window as a fundamental conservative principle, it makes sense that you'd throw personal responsibility out the window as well.
11.10.2006 1:14pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
kovo. I hope so. But Ford didn't want to bail in SEA, either.
The republicans have blood on their hands as well. Bush I betrayed the Iraqis once before, and I believe Gates was complicit in that.

However, the point I am making here is that the dems bail as a habit, whatever their reasons, and refuse to admit there are adverse consequences. Their refusal seems less like hiding a guilty conscience than a confusion as to what, exactly, the problem is.

Josh. My remarks about the dems and the WTC were to demonstrate the dems' usual position. That it isn't PROOF is natural. You can't prove something that hasn't happened yet. Afterwards, we'll call it a strong indication of what was to come. But it doesn't prove anything about the current plans to bail. It demonstrates a propensity.

Josh. Were you one of the guys who thought the terrorists were rooting for a repub sweep?
11.10.2006 1:17pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Marcus. We can fix things in Iraq. References to the dark before the dawn go here. Happened before.
We are on track to fixing things in Iraq. To pre-empt bullshit, I talk to soldiers, read milblogs, and get my news from sources other than the NYT. So don't bother.
You probably heard about Adam Nagourney's article boasting about how, by leaking selected portions of an old NIE, the NYT was able to help the dems. The point for the dems and libs is to misinform--see Nagourney--in order to get votes from the misinformed.
My view is nobody lies until after considering that telling the truth wouldn't be helpful.

Well, Marcus. We didn't have much of a presence in Iraq on 9-11, or when SH invaded Kuwait in 1990, or.... Sure. Our presence in Iraq pisses off the guys who want to take the government away from the elected folks. If I were them, I'd be annoyed, too.

It appears that 4000 foreign fighters have been killed in Iraq. That's guys who are willing to upsticks and go to a foreign country to fight. Better there than someplace else we could name.

Keep in mind that violent Muslims don't need an excuse. Whatever they want us to stop doing is suppposedly the reason for their latest outrage. But stopping it is never enough. They'll think of something else.

Islam has been conquering for 1400 years. Why is this the year they stop?
11.10.2006 1:35pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hot off the press:

Iraq al Q applauds the results of US elections.

I suspect the boys think this will be good for them. What do you think?
11.10.2006 1:38pm
xxx:

Hot off the press:

Iraq al Q applauds the results of US elections.

I suspect the boys think this will be good for them. What do you think?


I think you're a dolt if you believe that they would have characterized a Republican victory any differently. Talk is cheap, as evidenced by this thread.
11.10.2006 1:59pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
xxx. You think the terrs didn't really care? You think they wouldn't see any difference in our action as regards themselves?

But, to do a Josh, cite me some proofs that something which didn't happen would have happened.
11.10.2006 2:13pm
xxx:

You think the terrs didn't really care? You think they wouldn't see any difference in our action as regards themselves?

No, I do think the terrorists care. Some of them are quite bright, and they will no doubt adapt their strategies and tactics in response to US policies.

I can not prove to you the counterfactual. But, if you think that our enemies would have simply folded up their tents and made public announcements that the reelection of a Republican majority meant their certain demise, then you are probably making the critical error of underestimating their strength, determination and patience.
11.10.2006 2:52pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
xxx.

I said nothing about the terrs folding up in the face of a republican victory. I do think they prefer dems, since, as we see now, the dems are meeting with McGovern to figure ways to bail by June. This isn't the only effort to hand Iraq to the terrs going on that will be far closer to fruition with dem majorities. I merely cite one of them.

There are two points here. One is whether the terrs decide they know how the US can be rolled. I think they've got it. We'll see it again. The point is not whether the Iraq venture is good or bad. The fact is that the US can be rolled any time the terrs do the right thing and whether the dems think the cause is just or not is irrelevant. The terrs will punch the proper buttons and the dems will cave. It merely remains for the terrs and the dems to insure the dems always have the majority. That means tapes coming over the al Jazeera transom at the right time, massacres at the right time, NYT leaks at the right time. They have the formula. Did it ever occur to you that they might use it--and succeed--when you would prefer they not? I mean, there is something you'd prefer the terrs not succeed in, isn't there? Isn't there?

The other item is that the terrs now get Iraq, and free play on all the folks we got to stand up with us. That, as I say, for the dems, is neither a feature or a bug, but something which, for some reason they don't understand, bothers other people.

But, anyway, congratulations on the company you've chosen to keep. My suggestion is that their gratitude is short-lived. Be careful.
11.10.2006 3:02pm
Michael B (mail):
josh,

My questions to you were rhetorical, I wasn't attempting to engage you. If R.A. has stated his case excessively or imprecisely at times, he's nonetheless been essentially correct.
11.10.2006 3:25pm
Michael B (mail):
Prior post should have been directed to both Marcus and josh.

To further demonstrate your lack of engagement and your lack of seriousness in general, if you had actually and more genuinely wanted to engage any of the questions asked you would have addressed the following, the opening question in the post you responded to:

"... as to Darfur, shouldn't the Left be demonstrating en masse for European powers to do the intervention? Rwanda was a previous colony of Belgium and prior to WWI of Germany. Sudan, I believe, of Britain, though regardless, it was certainly a European colony and one would think Europe could do something on its own, given its financial resources."

Predictably, you didn't, in fact you avoided doing so. You avoided any more serious reply whatsoever.
11.10.2006 3:39pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ref. Darfur, or Rwanda before that:

"Doing something" is sort of vague. It has to be.

The killers are killing because they really, really want to do that stuff. What kind of "doing something" is going to stop them?

Well, that's the problem. Probably the only thing that will do it is killing so many of them and showing the willingness and ability to keep doing so. The problem with that is you have to be in a lot of places at the same time and that means small units and that also means small units get to kill a lot of people without checking with higher. There being no higher on scene.

It means regime change in Khartoum.

It means going around the UN which is constipated due to the oil interests of two permanent members of the Security Council.

It means offending Muslims.

So the issue here is that the only "doing something" that will have an effect is exactly what the dems and libs would fight with their last breaths.

Now, as I say, somebody may want to try explaining some other kind of "doing something" which will look as if it might work and not be merely an appearance for appearance' sake.
11.10.2006 3:54pm
josh:
Michael B

I did respond to you. This thread into Richard Aubrey's incoherent rants against the Dems. Your allusions to Rwanda or Darfur are just as silly. As I posted above, Bush admitted he would have done even less than Clinton, when he criticized the intervention, as did incumbent Republicans at the time.

Your rhetorical devices have demonstrated an argument not worth engaging. Sock puppet? You bafoon! On who's behalf do you think I speak? Perhaps you meant to use another ad hominem from your Logic 101 class in college? Perhaps straw man? Would have been erroneous, but still closer to reality.

Someone has to explain to me how Dems are to be criticized for making the Vietnam analogy when talking about the mess Bush got us in, but it's ok to erroneously smear them for an act that hasn't even happened yet. Better re-read that Logic book again.

No one but Dems and Libs have been more vocal in advocating for any and all intervention into Rwanda. If you're gonna whine, whine to the girl who brought ya.
11.10.2006 4:42pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I suppose dems and libs have been reproaching Clinton for avoiding Rwanda. And Kofi Annan for spiking Dallaire's reports.

Right?
11.10.2006 5:01pm
Michael B (mail):
josh,

You're now completely incoherent or are more simply lieing.

The post in question is this one, immediately upthread. You positively did not respond to it, though again my questions to you were rhetorical. You evidence the ego of someone who is highly informed, while evidencing the mental outlook of a middle-schooler or high-schooler at the very best. Hence your repeated reliance upon ad hominem attacks.

(And btw brainiac, "ad hominem" is an adjective, not a noun.)
11.10.2006 5:07pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey,

I don't know what terrorists prefer, but I do know the KKK is a big fan of the Republican party. Along with Ted Haggard. And Mark Foley. I hope you enjoy their company. Whoopedy do.

Of course, if your argument is simply that we shouldn't do things that encourage terrorism, then you're thinking like a Democrat, so I'm assuming you can't mean that.

And now you say this:


Probably the only thing that will do it is killing so many of them and showing the willingness and ability to keep doing so. The problem with that is you have to be in a lot of places at the same time and that means small units and that also means small units get to kill a lot of people without checking with higher....

So the issue here is that the only "doing something" that will have an effect is exactly what the dems and libs would fight with their last breaths.


Uh, yeah, along with about 90% of the country. And you're still trying to claim that only Republicans care about civilian deaths? I don't like to insult, but I'm definitely starting to get the feeling that at least one of us is crazy here.

Michael B,

R.A. didn't answer my question whether he really thinks Republicans care more about civilian deaths in other countries than Democrats do, so I concluded he's not serious. There are lots of serious issues here, but I was more commenting on R.A.'s apparent hostility toward mankind. Basically, I don't necessarily support European foreign policy positions, and I'm not necessarily any sort of foreign policy expert in the first place. I think the American Democratic position, however, tends to support humanitarian military actions like we did in Kosovo, or targeted retribution like we did in Afghanistan. They're less excited about long-term engagements for unclear reasons that create more violence than was there in the first place. The idea that the Democrats are ruled by pacifists, though, is a complete canard. It may exist in Europe, but it has extremely little sway here.
11.10.2006 5:59pm
Michael B (mail):
We disagree. That's far too generalized a statement, especially so in light of what the '73/75 Democratic Congresses did. Especially so in light of the quote I referenced above, from The Economist:

"A survey conducted by [MIT] in November 2005 found that only 59% of Democrats still supported the decision to invade Afghanistan, compared with 94% of Republicans."

And to be clear, we're not talking about avowed, declared Pacifism with a capital "P" and as pertains to a pacifist doctrine as idealism. We're talking about something which may in fact have, and probably does have, all types of etiologies, from calculating and Machievellian and political triangulations on through to more principled considerations - all inclusively. We're talking about praxis, about reality, about what actually occurs in practice, as with the '73/75 Democratic Congresses.
11.10.2006 6:07pm
Lawstsoul:
"I spent some time a couple of decades ago chasing various anti-war types and asking them about the Killing Fields. Of thirteen I talked to, twelve said they weren't clear on the issue and the thirteenth called me a redneck for asking. I call that not caring very much. Quite literally, it doesn't matter to them."

That was you? You're not still pissed about the as kicking are you?
11.10.2006 6:51pm
Michael B (mail):
Lawstsoul,

The Left deals out ass kickings when their egos cum moralistic bravado, ever fronted as "truth," is undermined and called into doubt with probative arguments.

When ass kickings are needed in support of higher causes - a la Kosovo, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Western Sudan (Darfur), South Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Israel/Arafatistan, etc. - they far more typically self-admiringly malinger in front of a carnival house mirror while inconsequentially and haplessly pointing the finger at others who are actually engaging in all the hard work and risks involved in confronting real world difficulties, conundrums and tragedies.
11.10.2006 7:11pm
Lawstsoul:
Michael B:

I never would have pegged you as a leftist, but who am I to challenge such a probative and eloquent argument.
11.10.2006 7:31pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Michael B,

1. 59% is a majority.
2. Apparently 7 in 10 Americans thought Saddam Hussein had a strong role in 9/11 as of 2003.
3. If they're anything like the rest of America, it's safe to say most of those 59% didn't even know what they were being asked.
4. Democratic leadership entirely and vocally supports the Afghanistan invasion, and did.

You're wrong about this one.


When ass kickings are needed...


Would that be George "AWOL" Bush? Or Dick "Five deferments" Cheney? Compared to who, John Kerry? Murtha? You guys' view of the Democratic party sounds about 30 years old.
11.10.2006 7:49pm
Michael B (mail):
It wasn't intended to be an argument; it's a general, rhetorical statement which has, if only potentially and latently, probative value. I wasn't even assumming, necessarily, you personally are of the Left; I more simply used your statement to make my own statement which is, among other things still, a challenge, and one I'm prepared to defend either in summary fashion or in great detail. Good evening.
11.10.2006 8:07pm
Michael B (mail):
Prior comment intended for Lawstsoul.
11.10.2006 8:10pm
Michael B (mail):
Marcus,

I'm wrong? I rather simply quoted from The Economist.

Re, the arse-kicking, you've succeeded in reducing the commentary back to smarm again. Where do we go from there? RatherGate and W flying F-102 fighters in the guard? Yea, that certainly would be an elevation of the discussion. Again, good evening.
11.10.2006 8:14pm
Lawstsoul:
Michael B:

Rhetorical indeed.

Regards
11.10.2006 8:57pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Marcus. The primary encouragement of terrorism is evidence that it works. This election is proof.

Difference between repubs and dems is that repubs don't support Foley or the KKK. Dems do things that help terrorists. They claim to be doing something else--they may be--but the result which is helping terrorists and enabling mass murder is just one of those things. The likely result of one or another dem action being mass murder does not bother them. That's my point.
11.10.2006 9:20pm
josh:
Michael B

Thank you for joining Richard Aubrey in bafoonery. It was getting a little pathetic for him.

"And btw brainiac, "ad hominem" is an adjective, not a noun." OOOOHHHHH! Ya got me! Sitting at a keyboard at work, reading blogs in free time, typing quickly, you NAILED my grammatical mistake. Clearly you have proven that dems love terrorists. Nice (BTW, retard, it's an adverb too. Boy, are YOU stupid. Also, BTW, you moron, it's spelled "LYING," not "LIEING")

"The post in question is this one, immediately upthread. You positively did not respond to it, though again my questions to you were rhetorical." You twit. I am to be taken to task for wiritng ad hominem as a noun, and you write that I did not respond to your rhetorical questions?!?!? Dnce rhetorical questions are "asked solely to produce an effect (especially to make an assertion) rather than to elicit a reply," why would I? (http://dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/rhetorical)

But actually, I did. But here it is again: No one more than left has called for intervention in Darfur. You say, "Yea, that sums up a goodly portion of the Left: opting for moralistic bravado and trumpery rather than real-world risks and hopeful gains - even when the subject is genocide. After all Europe couldn't even take care of Kosovo on its own, Kosovo being in its own backyard." You nitwit. Clinton was responsible for "taking care of Kosoovo." So that slander against the entire Democratic Party fails.

And no, AGAIN, I don't accept your Vietnam analogy (except as to the morass of as to Iraq) because that wasn't a case of one party being blamed for a mess its opposing party was responsible for.

You asked for the third time (what rhetoric!!!), "So Josh, are you beginning to see any viability, any relevance, with a Vietnam/Cambodia analogy yet? Any alarmism, any mere fear, should certainly and even resolutely be avoided, but not via a head-in-the-sand logic and diffidence, and most certainly not as a result of the smarm and snide of a sock-puppet." Of course I fear the unintended consequences of Bush's failure. But your domino effect has little relevance here, particularly in light of the fact that Bush's War has increased the size and scope of the terrorist infrastructure. (http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/ Declassified_NIE_Key_Judgments.pdf) (Richard Aubrey, that's called a citation.)

So I have addressed your rhetorical questions, even though rhetorical questions are posed for effect and not response. Stop LIEING about the cause of the mess in Iraq and trying to pass the buck to the newly elected party.
11.10.2006 10:08pm
josh:
BTW, Michael B

"Final note, re, Afghanistan, the theater which Left/Dems supposedly support: "A survey conducted by [MIT] in November 2005 found that only 59% of Democrats still supported the decision to invade Afghanistan, compared with 94% of Republicans." The Economist, Aug. 2006. Good for you, citing the Economist no less. Accept that it's a majority of Democrats. 59 % is more than half. And who can blame the 41 %, when Bush could not keep his eye on the fight and allowed the place to revert to a terrorist haven and opium conglomerate? (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ nationworld/chi-0611030125nov03,1,4608171.story)

Good try though. 59 % of dems support the invasion of Afghanistan as of 2005. So yours and Richard Aubrey's ad hominem ATTACKS against the party as a whole are proven unfounded. Plus, even for those who are not in that majority of the party, y9ou continue to address, as Richard Aubrey has this entire thread) the fact that the mess that has been created is the sole responsibility of the current executive.
11.10.2006 10:22pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
josh.

"mess" is a judgment call. War is messy. That the current situation is messy means it's war. Wars have been won before, usually not when a large political party oppposes winning, but, absent that, messy wars have been won.

Is "putz" an ad hominem?

The question is whether the dems actively want to lose the war in Iraq and elsewhere. To humiliate Bush. To cure the US of its arrogance. It certainly seems so.

Buckley, during the Viet Nam war, wondered what the peace activists would do if they woke up one morning and found peace--because we'd won. Clearly, he was implying they'd be most bodaciously disappointed and pissed off and annoyed and so forth. The same is true here.

Wouldn't it be a shame if we won in Iraq? But the dems are taking steps to insure we don't.

Well, this is not new.

I guess my point is, when the horrors come, your pretence you knew nothing and know nothing and had no idea, etc. will be obviously false. Not just false. Obviously false.
11.10.2006 10:44pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
You guys slip and slide a lot. All these vague arguments by implication, and then if I challenge you on them, you pretend like you weren't actually arguing anything, but simply "providing a quote."

I didn't bring up the arse-kickings subject. Your whole serious argument, though, appears to be that Republican manly aggression is the only thing that can protect this country. As you said, "[Democrats] far more typically self-admiringly malinger in front of a carnival house mirror while inconsequentially and haplessly pointing the finger at [George "AWOL" Bush and Dick "Five Deferments" Cheney] who are actually engaging in all the hard work and risks involved in confronting real world difficulties, conundrums and tragedies." At least that's how I interpreted it. I thought that was funny.

Richard Aubrey,


The primary encouragement of terrorism is evidence that it works. This election is proof.


Gosh, you sure are sounding like a Democrat these days, trying to influence the way the terrorists think. Of course, I agree with that, but let's name a few problems with your analysis.

1. You would require the US to vote Republican into perpetuity simply on the theory that this isn't what the terrorists want.
2. This allows the terrorists to control our elections, foreign and domestic policy into perpetuity.
3. We don't actually know what the terrorists want.
4. Most likely they don't really want anything, other than the feeling that they're influencing our behavior, which you would give them.
5. Everybody knows we were going to leave Iraq at some point anyway; when we first went in, our plan was to do so very quickly. Thanks to people like you, though, no matter WHEN we leave, it's going to be painted as an Al Qaeda victory.
6. You've probably painted up your Al Qaeda victory banners already.
7. By your way of thinking, every day we stay in Iraq is a sign of the terrorists' success.
8. "The Terrorists" don't need Iraq one way or another. Whatever we're doing there, though, appears to be making it pretty useful to them.

Does Al Qaeda really want us to leave Iraq? I don't know; if they did, they could simply stop fighting and we'd be out of there in a heart beat. Probably a big part of what they want is to kill Americans, which we're allowing them to do.

(For the record, I don't think we should immediately high-tail it out of Iraq. I think we should probably be working toward the goal of leaving though, and that Bush's goal of "complete victory" is empty rhetoric. In any case, I was responding more to your various allegations that Democrats support terrorists, an idea that I think is poisoning large segments of the conservative population.)
11.11.2006 11:50am
xxx:
aubrey - are you capabale of explaining what would constitute "victory" for us in iraq and how it could possibly be achieved?
And for the record, a lot of LIBERALS foresaw the horror that is going to unfold in Iraq before the CONSERVATIVES insisted on invading, and for that specific reason were opposed to the war. So, again, stop trying to pin the blame elsewhere for a catastrophe that you and your ilk precipitated.
11.11.2006 1:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Marcus. I would only suggest the repubs be voted in perpetuity as long as the dems do what they are currently doing. Let the dems show they can and will fight the WOT and they have a shot in my view.

Dems don't support terrorists, at least most of them. See Dellums and his crew for exceptions.

The point is that what the dems want to do has, as an immediate effect, aid to the terrorists. It would be one thing if the dems made the case that, on balance, we net out ahead. That might be arguable, or a flat lie, but it would be a case. Instead, the dems ignore the issue or denounce those who raise it.

The dems are meeting with George McGovern. He failed in business, so that's probably not what they want him for. Bugging out ASAP is his theme.

NO, xxx. Liberals may have foreseen what will happen if they get their way. For once, they kept their plans to themselves. None of them said, we'll get a bunch of dumb Iraqis to stand up, sign up, and then we'll abandon them to the killers.


Libs' opposition to the war is hard to gauge. Intent is easy to lie about and difficult to prove. But we know that at least some wanted the US humiliated because they wanted the US humiliated. And leaving SH in place to run his WMD programs would put us in a spot in a couple of years.
Some have said they want the US to lose. The intent is hidden, most of the time, but from time to time, somebody slips.

The actions are all that are visible and the actions tend toward facilitating a US defeat.

Victory is a stable Iraqi government with control over its territory and the ability to defend itself. If the libs and dems get their way, they will do what they did in SEA, which is to insure victory is impossible and thus it was never going to happen.

Well, as I say, this time your protestations are not going to be taken as valid. You'll have gotten what you and the terrorists wanted, albeit, I hope, for different reasons.
11.11.2006 1:39pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey,

Those who have advocated immediate withdrawal, as I have seen, particularly John Murtha, have made it extremely clear that they take this position because they believe our presence in Iraq is making things worse rather than better.

I don't know, it looks to me like you're reading comment threads at Eschaton and taking this as the position of the Democratic party. There is nothing resembling a concensus in the Democratic party even that we should immediately pull out of Iraq. To the extent you're not just blustering, I think you're going to quickly find that the Democratic leadership is very far from the extreme left wing.

Really, though, do you think your average Iraqi insurgent needs our encouragement to fight against an American presence in Iraq? It seems to me your analysis gets somewhat skewed by conflating insurgents with terrorists. The real question is: If Iraqis want to have a civil war, are we in a position to stop them? For that I think there are a lot of considerations, not just the aims or desires of the insurgents or terrorists.
11.11.2006 3:38pm
Michael B (mail):
"You guys slip and slide a lot." Marcus

Please. The sheer volume of solipsistic obtuseness, of circular and cul de sac reasoning, of evasiveness etc. you and others have offered up in this thread represents enough ballast to sink the RMS Titanic.

"Rhetorical indeed." Lawstsoul

Rhetorical, yes - as a general, thematic statement which, as previously noted, I'm prepared to defend, either in general terms or in great detail. The statement follows:

When ass kickings are needed in support of higher causes - a la Kosovo, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Western Sudan (Darfur), South Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Israel/Arafatistan, etc. - they [the Left] far more typically self-admiringly malinger in front of a carnival house mirror while inconsequentially and haplessly pointing the finger at others who are actually engaging in all the hard work and risks involved in confronting real world difficulties, conundrums and tragedies.

I stand by that statement; rhetorically it represents a thematic statement, certainly, not an argument per se. But partial defenses of that statement can be found upthread here (beginning with the third paragraph) and in another recent VC thread here (also beginning with the third paragraph). Those are but beginnings and but two of many links which could be offered, albeit particularly telling beginnings, reflecting some detail as well.

This isn't to be merely argumentative nor is it to argue the U.S. should be the world's policeman, even to the contrary. It is however suggestive of a set of arguments which conscientiously, if I do say so, take note of the historical record and additionally take note of the current situation.
11.11.2006 6:50pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Michael B,

It's called sticking to a point. I didn't intend to argue the finer points of the war on terror. As I said, my point regarded Richard Aubrey's apparent hostility toward mankind, which I believe he disingenuously focuses exlusively on Democrats.

I'm curious who you think the risk-takers are that the left is criticizing from its cushy seat, though. Is that George Bush? Dick Cheney? Hugh Hewitt? Are these the brave risk-takers? I just want us to be clear. Are you saying that the right is less critical of Democrats in power? From my end, it sounds like you're specifically trying to conflate the chickenhawks with the troops, who are the ones over there actually doing the work, and whom the left has not criticized whatsoever. Of course, maybe I'm just being obtuse, but I don't really think so.
11.11.2006 10:13pm
josh:
Richard Aubrey

"mess" is a judgment call. War is messy. That the current situation is messy means it's war."

Tell that to the families of the 2,400 american soldiers who have died since the conflict began, you f'in prick. Perhaps Volokh et al will delete this post. Who cares. Your entirely inappropriate, thoughtless, obnoxious posts deserve it.

"Is "putz" an ad hominem?" No. But I think chickenhawk assh___ is.

"The question is whether the dems actively want to lose the war in Iraq and elsewhere. To humiliate Bush. To cure the US of its arrogance. It certainly seems so." That just about encapsulates how incredibly stupid you are. To characterize dem criticism of Bush as dems "actively wanting to lose the war in Iraq ... to humiliate Bush."

You haven't a thought in your brain or an argument of merit, so you characterize your opponent as wanting terrorists to win. What a weak mind you have. You are stictly unable to argue the merits.

In the 40 posts you have had on this thread you have yet to address the fact that your GOP party created the mess that could lead to violence you claim to deplore.

You have failed to address the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and has no relevance to what you call a war.

You have failed to address that any massacre that occurs if and when the US leaves Iraq would not have occurred if we had not invaded in the first place.

You have failed to address the fact that had the Bush admin prosecuted the needless war properly in the first place -- instead of dismantling the Iraq infrastructure and governmental systems -- and provided the necessary manpower, weaponry and armor, we might not be slogging it out to this day.

You fail to address the fact that you have blindly labeled an invasion of a random dictatorial state as a part of your so-called war on terror, despite the fact that the Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led government, though evil, had nothing but hatred for the Shiite terrorist enterprise that actually does threaten our nation's security.

You have failed to address anything regarding fact in this entire debate, I presume it is because you lack the necessary intellectual or analytical skills.

Your words and thoughts mean nothing.
11.12.2006 1:04am
josh:
Michael Boob

"When ass kickings are needed in support of higher causes - a la Kosovo, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Western Sudan (Darfur), South Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Israel/Arafatistan, etc. - they [the Left] far more typically self-admiringly malinger in front of a carnival house mirror while inconsequentially and haplessly pointing the finger at others who are actually engaging in all the hard work and risks involved in confronting real world difficulties, conundrums and tragedies."

Despite your silly attempts in your post above to pat yourself on the back, you have set forth no facts to suppport the notion that "they [the Left] far more typically self-admiringly malinger in front of a carnival house mirror while inconsequentially and haplessly pointing the finger at others who are actually engaging in all the hard work and risks involved in confronting real world difficulties, conundrums and tragedies".

Have you ever served, you pompus prick? Ever lost a loved one in combat? Or do you sit on your fat a__ like Cheney, Bush, Limbaugh, et al and claim that Dems aren't the ones "engaging in all the hard work and risks."

Do me a favor, save that bullsh__ for Tammy Duckworth or Max Cleland. You have no concept of hard work or risk, you prick.

And as to the so-called merits of your identical posts (you moron), which have been refuted here countless times, how long will it take you to admit the Clinton administration was responsible for the fact that we no longer have genocide in Kosovo? If you can recall in that pea-sized brain of yours, Kosovo was the first in your list of baseless, factless, thoughtless attacks against an entire party (for which far more than half of this voting cycle's populace chose)

Moreover, like your friend Auruberey, you have utterly failed to address the fact that the Left has been the only voice in suppport of intervention in Darfur. Please explain to us where your boy Bush has been, or any other member of the GOP, for that matter.

The fact is, you most likely are a fat coward, who has never put his life on the line in combat, and who is now trying to slander the millions of people who have voited against the incumbent majority.

You are a coward who sits on his fat ass and watches as he argues about the propriety of others' deaths.
11.12.2006 1:21am
Michael B (mail):
A fascinating and nuanced analysis josh, and peppered with such subtle irony and lively humor. Worth remarking upon as it's not untypical of your sentiments and not untypical of the sentiments encouraged by the Left/Dems in general, even if it is more typically forwarded with a different gloss. I served.

Marcus,

Firstly, "sticking to a point," when doing so serves, in whole or in part, to avoid other, entirely relevant points, is known as being evasive. The two are not mutually exclusive and it hardly takes a sophisticate to realize the ruse, the deception, is not at all uncommon.

Secondly, I already handled some of that, here, upthread.

Thirdly, it's called engagement. When the questions posed are relevant to the discussion it's called not being evasive and instead facing up to the fact that the questions are relevant. Recall my charge was, emphases added:

"The sheer volume of solipsistic obtuseness, of circular and cul de sac reasoning, of evasiveness, etc. you and others have offered up in this thread represents enough ballast to sink the RMS Titanic."

When you enter a discussion to grapple with the issues, you don't simply enter that discussion as the presumptive authority who asks questions and demands answers and expresses contempt at contary arguments or the people who interject those contrary arguments and facts which support the arguments. Instead, you have to responsibly respond to relevant questions as well. If you avoid doing so then you're being evasive and indulging in an essentially solipsistic mental framework or some other type of circular reasoning and evasiveness which avoids a more reasonable, rational and responsible approach.

Sincere engagement, in a discussion, is largely about being responsible along reasonable/rational lines. That does assume a level of sincerity and it does assume real engagement, not evasiveness or obtuseness, is being sought. So again, the points made here (upthread, beginning with the third graf) and here (diff. thread, also beginning with the third graf) are salient and relevant facts/arguments covering the subject matter.
11.12.2006 5:15pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Michael,

I guess I have a few responses.

1. I have no idea what you wanted me to address.
2. If it was your recount of how the Democrats lost us the Vietnam war, you're going to have to be clearer about why you think that's relevant.
3. If your point is that we need to show aggression so that bad people don't get ideas, my response was that Democrats are perfectly willing to show aggression, but are simply less willing to fight endless wars that seem to be making things worse rather than better.
4. In the end, if you think Bush's approach is necessary in the War on Terror, that's too broad of an issue for me to engage here, and I don't expect I'd change your mind anyway.
5. My beef is not with people who think the Iraq war was necessary to the WOT, or that we need to stay there indefinitely (although I have a hard time with both positions), but with R.A.'s rhetoric that Democrats don't care about human life and have taken up sides with the terrorists. That is what brought me into this discussion.

If you think I'm somehow trying to pull the wool over your eyes by avoiding the important issues, you're not a very good judge of intentions. Don't you think I could also point to several points I've made that you didn't take the time to respond to? If you don't get an answer, you're always free to ask again, you know.
11.12.2006 8:08pm