The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Dick Cheney: SO Not a Rock Star!
This list of Dick Cheney's "demands," for when he stays in hotels, is so modest it hardly merits being posted triumphantly on a website like the Smoking Gun. I'm happy to learn that the wild American VP likes Diet Caffeine free Sprite, and that his wife, like me, has a fondness for Perrier. Much merriment has been made out of the fact that Cheney asks for the TV in his suite to be tuned to Fox News, but think about it: After a long flight, would you like to walk into a hotel suite and be bombarded with bad news about yourself? I wouldn't. I would want to be greeted by people who like me. Not to mention that I find it hard to believe he doesn't eventually channel surf, after having relaxed a bit. I'm sure a man like Cheney would make it his business to know what is being said about him on every major network or cable station. After all, he also asks for copies of the New York Times and USA Today, hardly Bush-friendly reading, along with the Wall Street Journal.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
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Our federal cabinet MPs are also no Rock stars but they sure like to live like one.
Harper jets to New Brunswick to hand out millions in campaign-style visit Fri Mar 24, 5:58 PM ET FREDERICTON (CP) - There's nothing wrong with using a government jet at taxpayers' expense to dole out millions of dollars in spending promises ? Even though they hypocritically criticized the Liberals for it.
Federal minister Stockwell Day checks out port security in Vancouver Fri Mar 24, 4:24 PM ET VANCOUVER (CP) - The British Columbia government was compensated Friday for some of the costs of two major floods in the province in 2001 and 2003. Traded in his PR ski doo for a Jet?
Afghanistan to blame for Conservative popularity dip in Quebec: pollster Fri Mar 24, 5:58 PM ET OTTAWA (CP) - Support for the Conservatives dipped in Quebec in the wake of the prime minister's recent trip to Afghanistan, bucking an upward trend elsewhere in Canada, suggests a new poll by Decima Research. The honeymoon is over so soon too?
and that is not the only reason.
While you federal cabinet ministers are clearly electioneering at the taxpayers expenses and giving out our cheques to the others I certainly rightfully hope you are not taking your pay cheques yourself now, for you have yet to even acknowledge never mind also to properly act upon one letter of my many letetrs to you as an ordinary citizen too since you have been in office. Paul Martin and S Harper, the Justice Ministers included,
as many can now know too the Conservatives really now are as bad as the Liberals.
Really all unacceptable
Posted by: Ordinary | 2006-03-25 1:36:28 PM
man, you appoint Stephen Harper to Prime Minister and suddenly he thinks he can just traipse around Canada talking about politics.. the nerve of that guy.
Posted by: Meredith | 2006-03-25 8:44:22 PM
..man, you appoint Stephen Harper to Prime Minister and suddenly he thinks he can just traipse around Canada talking about politics.. the nerve of that guy.
What about Harper and them pretentious useless other Conservatives now doing real work on our behalf or they do not know how?
Posted by: Belle | 2006-03-26 1:33:24 AM
The other bad Conservative rocky starRalph has to go. Now.
It's time to go, Ralph. Next Friday, at your party's convention, you should do the honourable thing and resign as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, and premier of this great province, immediately.
Immediately. As in, effective the following Monday. Not six months from now. Not a year from now. Not in October 2007. And certainly not actually sometime in the spring of 2008 when the party is expected to get around to choosing a successor.
It's not easy for us to write that, but after watching the fiasco involving Lyle Oberg unfold, we're left with no other conclusion.
This is Klein's fault. Oh, sure, Oberg did himself no favours by telling the Brooks & County Chronicle recently that the government is better off with him in cabinet and not on the backbenches because he knows where the skeletons are.
But, frankly, we agree with the rest of Oberg's little Chronicle rant, in particular when he told supporters at a constituency meeting they shouldn't feel obliged to vote in favour of Ralph staying on as leader next week.
"A week ago I was ready to come up here and say that you should support Ralph," Oberg was quoted as saying. "Today I am going to stand here and say you must vote with your conscience. I will not stand here and say you must support Ralph."
And why should he? The premier has orchestrated a ridiculously long farewell from politics that, with every passing day, serves even less purpose than it did the day before. The premier is presiding over a government that won't plan for the future, won't tackle its out-of-control spending and is now reduced to complaining about the immense riches we now enjoy.
It's an utterly directionless government completely out of new ideas, but Klein won't step aside in a timely manner to allow for fresh blood.
So we can certainly sympathize with Oberg's frustration about the leadership review. And if it was treasonous for a cabinet minister to make comments like that, then Klein should have personally marched Oberg out the door himself the moment Oberg's comments were made public.
Instead, the premier of Alberta - let's say that again, the premier of Alberta! - let his caucus handle the dirty deed while Klein was otherwise occupied at a social function in Calgary.
Yesterday, a still-feisty Oberg said the PC party has to consider the ramifications of a two-year leadership race. He's entirely correct.
We've been questioning Ralph's long goodbye for quite some time now, and if the premier thinks this was a rough week, it's only going to get worse the longer he holds on.
Please, Ralph, retire now while you still have some dignity left.
But I said the same thing here already
Posted by: Ole | 2006-03-26 1:35:32 AM
Ralph Klein's worst nightmare is not me..
He might yet prove to be Ralph Klein's worst nightmare. He is the Opponent Who. Will. Not. Die. Not only that, he knows where all the skeletons are buried. He is the Insider Who. Just. Might. Talk. Klein has never come across anyone like this. Everyone else who has ever taken a run at Klein over the years has ended up in an early political grave. Usually unmarked. And so it appeared the same fate had befallen Lyle Oberg on Thursday. Then he had the audacity on Friday to crawl out of the hole dug for him by his own caucus colleagues. This guy is proving harder to kill than Rasputin. The infamous Russian monk was poisoned, stabbed, shot repeatedly and finally tied up in a sack and thrown in the river before he eventually died by drowning. Oberg, it would seem, is made of hardier stuff.
oh those dirty Conservative secrets..
Posted by: Oh | 2006-03-26 1:37:08 AM
Alta Tories facing termoil over leadership
Canada.com, Canada - CALGARY -- The normally keen ability of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein's Conservatives to quell inner dissent is showing some cracks.
Klein's long goodbye panned Globe and Mail, Canada - Calgary — Alberta Tory Premier Ralph Klein's long goodbye from politics is hurting the province and should be reassessed by party faithful,
Oberg refuses to back down Calgary Sun, Canada EDMONTON -- Ousted cabinet minister Lyle Oberg says he's sorry for disagreeing with his premier, but the prospect of a two-year leadership race is already shaky
No surrender Calgary Sun, Canada - By RICK BELL. Dr. Dirt is not cleaning up his act the way the province's toe-the-line Tories would like. The physician and politician remains unrepentant
Alberta Tories in heavily guarded mode after caucus fires ... Canada.com, Canada - 24 Mar 2006
CALGARY (CP) - The well-oiled ability of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein's Conservatives to quell inner dissent showed signs of weakening Friday
The news media loves all this..
Quickly change the subject ehh?
Posted by: Real | 2006-03-26 1:40:18 AM
It's no secret that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper favoured Canada joining the US war .So did Conservative Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and then-Conservative now ex Ontario premier Ernie Eves and they do they each support alcoholism, adultery, divorce, a police state as well? Ernie Eves did..
Posted by: Ken | 2006-03-26 2:28:51 AM
wow, a whole thread by very likely one person under different names talking to himself.
the annoyance of this spam is tempered by the knowledge that certain lefties are clearly and publicly losing their sanity having lost the election. :)
moderator - any chance we can tie postings to confirmed email addresses? what do other regular posters think about the idea?
Posted by: asdf | 2006-03-26 7:28:27 AM
The Governments should fear the people and not the other way around
The Governments should serve the citizens and not the other way around
The polticians should be honest, hard working and not the other way around
Posted by: KT | 2006-03-26 7:46:33 AM
"publicly losing their sanity having lost the election"
Take a look at the numbers - a MAJORITY voted AGAINST Harper. You may have the Prime Ministership but WE have the hearts and minds of Canadians (oh and a majority of SEATS).
As for Cheney, are you people monarchists? You treat these people as royalty - maybe it's just in your nature to be a subject. You're hardwired to subjugate yourselves.
Posted by: Justin Fossey | 2006-03-26 10:28:50 AM
I can almost feel the spittle hitting the screen.Another self-important,deluded ball of hate checks in.Is it just my imagination or does having the name Justin somehow lowers one's I.Q. to a moronic level?
Posted by: wallyj | 2006-03-26 10:37:52 AM
Dear Justin. The post you quote was about multiple posts by a single individual under different names. Try and focus.
To ease your troubles contemplate this:
Interesting to note that the liberals won almost 54% of the vote, back in '74. 1874, that is. Were you whining in 1997 when the liberals won a *majority* of seats with 38.5 % of the vote?
The conservatives won the election and form the current government. Isn't "hearts and minds" something George W. likes to say? :)
Posted by: asdf | 2006-03-26 12:51:26 PM
Actually, asdf, the phrase "hearts and minds", at least as it's used here, is a Vietnam-era coinage, used initially by the U.S government and military to describe an effort to bring the
Vietnamese people onside with the American war effort. It was later used as the title of an Oscar-winning anti-war documentary directed by Peter Davis.
The fact that W has adopted it as his own and used it in support to the current American war effort suggests either that he has a very short memory or believes the American people do. Or both.
As Cheney being "so not a Rock Star", it seems the ultimate non sequitor. (Although it seems odd to use the term non sequitor in relation to something rendered in valley-girl-speak.) Cheney could be mistaken for many things -- a hired thug, a ruthless fixer, a poor choice of hunting companion -- but rock star is not among them.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-26 1:15:53 PM
Many of us are unanimous? Well, I suppose that's what happens when Paul mistakes a bible for a dictionary.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's eleven posts by preacher-man Paul in this thread that are not only off topic, they're not even peripherally related to the conversation.
Paul simply has no sense of common grace at all. Bereft of signs of intelligent life, the automaton lumbers on.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-26 1:52:32 PM
Isn't Sunday supposed to be a day of rest for people like Paul, or something like that? I mean, sixteen posts now; I wonder how many Hail Mary's he's going to have to do in pennance for that, eh what?
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-26 2:04:04 PM
truewest, re hearts and minds, i know, was just a bit of a joke, helps keep things fun amidst the flotsam. ;)
Posted by: adsf | 2006-03-26 2:06:08 PM
fair 'nuf. One never knows. We live in an age of perpetual amnesia.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-26 2:20:25 PM
I enjoy and employ hyperbole as I breath - so in "blog" postings we can all take flight with it instantly, but portraying Cheney as a "hired thug" or "ruthless fixer" is startling to one who views Cheney and Rumsfeld as exactly like any and every other guy I know (OK, I admit, Rumsfeld is a little quicker on his feet in front of newspaper fools that most), it is either surprising to me, or perhaps just a part of my continuing education about Canadians, to find this depiction of just an "average good guy" (to my lights). And for W to employ a phrase like "hearts and minds" merely betrays the fact that he has so little talent for public speaking. It is a wonderful and fine thing that he was led America into taking decisive and most certainly hugely successful military action to shift Iraq into an absolute powerhouse of highly contageous democratic freedom and economic success which wil make Japan look like Tibet (in twenty years). It is and will continue to be costly in every terrible way possible but this action will actually lead to a positive and liberating future for essentially one quarter of the population of the globe (the Arabs), who will then become a great benefit to the world rather than a source of expertise in how to burn a young girl or cut off a man's hand. That kind of "investment" of my tax dollars and the lives of even our wonderful young military men is what guys like me or "thug" Cheney, et al are interested in making, rather than bull shit "investments" in welfare crap for programs to destroy the family cohesion of entire races of our fellow human beings.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-03-26 4:23:51 PM
Hate to break it to you (and your friends) but millions of your countryman also think of the Dickster as a thug and fixer; you may have noticed the jokes that emerged when he plugged his hunting companion.
As for your predictions regarding Iraq (hugely successful? are you serious?), they seem to reflect the same fatal hubris ("we don't respond to reality, we make it") that led the Dickster, Rummy and W to embark on the adventure in the first place and to do so with inadequate resources to accomplish the job at hand. And before you start rolling out the invective, let me remind you that its not only liberals (or as you would have it "not normal people") who think this operation if FUBAR -- even neo-conservatives such as Francis Fukuyama have expressed this view.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-26 4:39:07 PM
Oh Conrad-USA, I've China on the phone...something about a 9-trillion dollar debt? Oh and Saudi Arabia is on line 2 - same thing and both are hoping to get that loan paid back.
America is a joke indebted to China and the Arabs. Conrad, while you're making your rousing speeches Bush just sold your country away.
Posted by: Justin Fossey | 2006-03-26 4:41:38 PM
Conrad-USA - I agree with your view. I have the greatest respect for Bush and Cheney and their agenda of democratization. Yes, it will take time; it's astonishing to hear the left, who expect instantaneous results - just as they demand their 'social welfare rights'. They have no idea how a society operates, how its infrastructures exist..and that these take time to develop and function. At least ten years..and that's a short period of time! What will speed it up? Education, the internet, trade, travel.
The Muslim world couldn't be left to implode on itself and infect the rest of the world - within its medieval mindset of retributive, closed and hostile tribalism...a mode of existence that had degenerated into immense corruption but was kept in place by one thing only - the revenue from oil.
However, the ME has a great deal of 'catching up to do'. First, it has to establish democratic government operating within a constitution and set of laws. And then, it has to educate its population. It is astonishing to realize the depth of ignorance and lack of education among the Muslim states. The rates of literacy for example, in Afghanistan, are about 45% for men, and for women - about 26%. Can you imagine? That means that they are dependent for their knowledge on an authority - usually the imam, who shouts the loudest. It's the same in Iraq and elsewhere.
The Muslim world hasn't had an innovative thought in 1500 years; there's no science, no innovations, no technology. It's a mess. They have almost no arable land; all they have is oil, and therefore, they will have to develop secondary industrial services - manufacturing and service industries. As fast as possible.
I hope that someday, they will thank the USA, the UK, Australia, etc..for freeing them from this repressive era of tribalism.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-26 5:13:21 PM
That sounds about right to me, ET. I don't expect the problem to be solved in my life-time (normatively I have about 30 years to go).
And I think there's a valueable flip-side to the experiment known as the Liberation of Baghdad. If it fails to produce positive results, then that gives us good data on how we should attempt other potential solutions to the problem.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-26 5:20:15 PM
Granted, "millions" of my fellow citizens are Democrats and most of my fellow citizens who work at newspapers and other main stream media are Democrats. Once in my life (many years ago) I ran for public office and was elected, as a Democrat. In those days no one was so anxious to enter public office that they would attack their opponent on ALL of his actions or positions on issues, good or bad, with a scorched earth approach to political campaigning and debate which is so common today. The "millions" of whom you speak would kill their own mothers (or to be precisely accurate, would kill their own babies) to recapture "power" in American government today. The basic blessings of freedom which America has lavished on its population has historically given America a "culture" of willingness to help out others, particularly someone who is really in trouble. The Arabs have suffered horribly, certainly much is self-inflicted, but the old approach to Middle East problems was never going to work. And the "let them kill themselves" approach isn't a winner either. The situation of real immediate potential risk from terrorism made this new national policy, just exactly right. I would not have voted for W over almost any other Republican candidate, but my hat is off to him for accomplishing amazing leadership in bringing about this War on Terrorism effort in Afghanistan and Iraq. I actually got myself recalled back onto active military duty at the onset of the first Gulf War (Desert Storn), and I would take the place of any of the absolutely superb young men (I actually know some of them, they are my daughter's friends from Anapolis when she was in college on the east coast) who are presently serving in Iraq, in an instant to spare the risk of their young lives. These are what I consider to be good things which I hope will always be what America does in the world.
The "millions" who say such silly things as we are in this "for oil" are just foolish. If all the Arabs somehow absolutely refused to sell a drop of oil to America we could buy all we need from Mexico or just pump more of our own, OR finally do the smart thing and put up a nuclear power plant on every street corner. Anyway, that is far afield. The "millions" of my fellow Americans who are so opposed to these fine actions by America jump out of their skin when you say Boo! They count for nothing here, really, until they get a good strong man like Hillary to lead them on to important issues like "assisted suicide" (Gosh what a definition of gutless) and homosexual "marrieds" adopting orphan children, etc. Sorry, the newspapers might thing such crap is "important" to "millions" but everyone in America isn't quite so stupid.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-03-26 5:26:33 PM
Interesting idea of democracy you have; half the population of your country "count for nothing" because they don't line up behind the president? As for the scorched earth political tactics, who has scorched more earth than Bush and Rove, who have used the tactic even within their own party?
Your notion of the U.S. havig a "culture of willingness to help others out", is perhaps your most amusing conceit. The American arrived late in both World Wars and your foreign policy thereafter was based, not on some selfless benevolence, but on the policy of cold war containment. And don't even get me started on how the U.S. has "helped out" Latin America.
ET, of course, prattles on about tribalism and how Bush and Cheney's democratization plan, so ineptly executed so far, is going to transform the Muslim world over some indeterminate period of time. Is it 30 years, as Vitruvius suggests (and which seems more realistic that Bush's suggestion that the withdrawal will happen in the next adminstration)? Or are we talking a period of colonization on par with the British in India? Enquiring minds want to know.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-26 6:16:06 PM
India turned out ok.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-26 6:21:33 PM
It did turn out okay -- after a century of occupation, indendence that depended on the decline of Britain as an imperial power as a result of WWII, and bloody sectarian violence that cost millions of lives and persists to this day. And, of course, even now, India and Pakistan top the list of Nations Most Likely To Start a Nuclear Conflagration That Ends Life as We Know it on Earth.
Other than those minor details, however, things are peachy in the world's largest democracy.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-26 6:47:06 PM
I, along with most on this site and across Canada support the efforts of the US in trying to at least bring some normalcy to a troubled area. As is evidenced by the above posters, the far left here, as in your country, have degenerated into people who support style over substance at all costs.
It would seem they would much rather support the type they could share a "brokeback moment" with, example, John "rambone" Kerry, Johnny "beefcake" Edwards, a anti war protester and a complete idiot, over men who can actually run a country, and who actually care about the world and the future of it, and can get the job done. Disgusting.
It is troubling, but shows the complete disconnect they have with reality.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-26 6:47:52 PM
Vitruvius - India certainly is moving rapidly ahead, as is China. Both have to move further into democracy and captialism, but, both have selected that road. But both began the change intellectually far ahead of the ME.
Indian logic is ancient and the respect for reason and analysis already existed. In China, the group is privileged rather than the individual (which enabled a slide into communism) but China has always been locally rather than centrally organized; dropping the centralism of communism is therefore not a new agenda. And, China doesn't have a repressive religious ideology.
The hold up is the Muslim world, particularly that of the ME - which denies reason, denies logic, denies science and has a repressive religious ideology. AND - the ME is one of the poorest biomes in the world. Apart from oil - there's not much else. There's no comparison with China and India's capacity to provide food.
The Muslim world trapped themselves, with the dev't of their one resource, oil, by an exploding population and a political and social infrastructure that is economically and politically tribal and suited only to a local village peasant horticulture. Ideologically, they have no capacity to adapt, to change; they denigrate the individual and privilege the group. They reject individual observation, reject reason and analysis and adamantly reject other peoples.
IF oil hadn't become of use, well, maybe they could have stayed as a peasant tribal agriculture. But, with oil (and of course, as Conrad points out, the US can develop other energy sources)..the ME changed, but only superficially. It retained tribalism which empowered one tribe and moved the majority of the population to economic and political irrelevance. That's the 'root cause' of terrorism; this asymmetrical and deeply imbalanced economic and political infrastructure WITHIN the ME nations.
This asymmetry, rather than causing an internal civil war to remove tribalism and empower the people - exploded into the West. So, the answer has to be, to remove the tribalism and empower the people...even if this change has to be induced from an external rather than an internal force. (Internally - it couldn't happen; as the oil had enabled military dictatorships).
But, the ME is farther behind than India and China - and a key problem is the lack of education, the illiteracy, and that non-evolved religion which corrodes and rejects thought, reason, objective observation...As I've said, proof of this is the fact that the Muslim world hasn't had a scientific thought for well over 1,000 years, if even then -
If they want to participate in the global world - and there's no going back - they have to - then, they have to start, fast, on empowering their people. By democracy and by education. It's a formidable task.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-26 6:48:02 PM
Exactly. It's amazing how wherever the legacy of the Magna Carta has tread, people are better off than elsewhere.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-26 6:49:10 PM
I don't want to dodge your comments. Free trade is the fuel for economic success both within nations as well as between nations. The "free" part suggests elements of fairness (keep the Chinese newspaper editor-slave labor to a minimum, please) and balance but as tough as the results can be nations prosper when they allow economic freedom inside and out of their economies. I'm not made out of steel, I suffer the dislocations resulting from tough competition too (I was born and raised in Detroit, which is ground zero for tough hits from free world trade). The dislocations resulting from international free trade are acceptable, but what I find totally unacceptable is the blind side punch which results from our President's (treasonous) policy of not enforcing existing laws against
American companies hiring illegal aliens. That destroys our entire fundamental foundation of a Rule of Law and corrupts our entire economic system to make anyone who is a honest businessman, into a naive "fool" who doesn't understand "world class" dishonest dealings with employees and suppliers, et al. That is a discussion topic which consumes my entire wrath. But back to your barbs, the Chinese and anyone else who holds our debts will not want to hold that paper as soon as they think we will default on it or that the pledged collateral (federal government debt is unsecured general obligations, but many states and other governmental entities actually collateralize their paper) is not supportive. On our worst day, I'd rather have a stream of interest income and rights on principal coming from America with its Rule of Law, than first mortgages on everything in China, but depending upon the Chinese Courts to "honor" my claims. And I think that I'm just like all the Chinese and other international holders of American bonds in that respect. And regarding foreign investments in American assets or businesses, I'm all for it, as long as the foreigner's money isn't derived from confiscatory Gestapo-enforced taxes vacuumed up by the "Emir" of some phony "nation" or some other such "friend" of ours. For example, IF the Dubai Ports World company had been owned by an actual "private" company which was headquartered in Turkey rather than the UAE, then I would have had to say we should perhaps take a chance on letting the Turks hold and operate within those strategically sensitive American national "resources." The Turks have an ACTUAL democracy and they have been an ACTUAL NATO member ally of America for fifty years, whereas the United Arab Emerits is just a dumb pimple on a sandy boar's ass with a phony "king" who has been so "friendly" as to "allow" America to plant a huge military force on his precious sand to keep his ass on his throne. A slight difference which "W" somehow failed to percieve prior to dedicating himself to such a fools errand.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-03-26 7:01:14 PM
Gee,I thought UAE was our friends.If we denigrate every country in the ME as sun-baked zealots,who will ever trust us? Is trust and respect not what it is all about?Oh,Hell,I sound like a fucken hippie.
Posted by: wallyj | 2006-03-26 8:04:49 PM
"but my hat is off to him for accomplishing amazing leadership in bringing about this War on Terrorism effort in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Ok, so going into Iraq ill-prepared and without an exit strategy is showing 'amazing leadership'? It's just been one failure after another with him but still you continue your blind loyalty. This is why one can only conclude that there's something inherent in the psychological makeup of people who continue to worship Bush. ET has proven this over and over and you Conrad have just joined her 'crazy club'. She talks about bringing democracy to the ME but avoids the fact that our 'friends' in Saudi Arabia (not to mention Kuwait) don't even have a real democracy (superficial attempts don't count).
I'm going to avoid mentioning Baraba Bush's contribution to the Katrina disaster going to her other son's SOFTWARE company (a company that's been held afloat by the rich kids of China's rulers, and folks in the United Arab Emirates looking to curry favour with the brother of the nude Emperor).
...oops I mentioned it.
Pierce Bush in 2020!
Posted by: Justin Fossey | 2006-03-27 6:57:59 AM
You aren't making any sense, Justin; you are just repeating buzz-words.
1) What do you mean by 'ill-prepared' for going into Iraq? What would define, for you, 'not-ill-prepared'?
2) An exit strategy doesn't make any sense in a long-term situation. That's because an exit strategy is only viable if your agenda is simple, made up of single, crisp, easily defined agendas and completely, totally, predetermined.
For example - an exit strategy is viable if you have TWO agendas: Go into x-house and leave y-package.
But, if you are going into an amorphous situation, to establish a nascent political infrastructure - there are no simple, Follow the Instructions on the Side of the Box. So, you can't predetermine either what you will need and how/when you will leave.
2)Could you explain why you consider the Iraqi people voting for their own gov't is a failure?
Could you explain why you consider the Iraqi people developing their own constitution is a failure?
3) Oh - so now, the fact that changes are ongoing in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Lebanon - is not sufficient for you? You also want this democracy to emerge, full fledged, in Saudi Arabia- or, 'it's all irrelevant' to you. Why is that?
4)Could you explain how, and why, you think that 'things must happen overnight'? For example, when a people have been living within a tribal political and social infrastructure for centuries - could you explain exactly how this can be dropped, completely, overnight - and a different political infrastructure followed?
Do you know what people could do this sudden transformation? Well, they wouldn't be people; they'd be machines..and you could then achieve this by changing their program. Unfortunately, people aren't machines; they don't drop their old ideologies overnight. It takes time, Justin - and that's something you are not willing to allow them. Either change immediately or else!
Not very wise, Justin. Bush is right - democracy is the only way.
Or - do you have a wiser tactic, Justin?
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-27 7:19:01 AM
Tom Axworthy has a good example of an exit strategy here in his comments on the Liberal exit strategy ..
The money quote ..
"On file after file, we haven't had bad ideas, but the implementation process has been abysmal," he said in an interview with CanWest News Service. "A press release is not a policy."
Noting Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's "intelligent political strategy" in Quebec, Mr. Axworthy said so much of the Liberal party's support in the province has ebbed away that it has almost lost its raison d'etre of national unity.
"We're in third place in Quebec," he said. "Now, if that doesn't occasion a rethink, I don't know what does."
I find it fascinating that Liberals have difficulty planning an election platform on unity in a democracy that started in 1867. Yet these same people have nothing but contempt that a war on the otter side of the planet in a tribal region screwed up for millenniums, wasn’t “planned” properly. You can’t plan a war. It isn’t a game of checkers. You can’t even plan a game of checkers because you don’t know what the other guy’s move is going to be. You don’t plan checkers you play checkers; the exit strategy is to win. Ditto it’s that simple for a war – you plan to win, you don’t plan to exit. The USA still has 40,000 troops on the DMZ in Korea.
What this boils down to is an explanation as to why the left wants a perfect plan before taking action and that the right acts first and mops up later. Because conservatives are business and entrepreneurial oriented, they know that you can’t plan for everything. They also know that doing nothing for 8 years in the case of Clinton and 13 years in the case of Chrétien/Martin will mean defeat and a loss of “raison d’etre”. It’s better to do something, make mistakes and mop up after yourselves than to do nothing but sit around and plan (centrally).
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-27 8:19:04 AM
Justin, I certainly appreciate the frustration and anger attendant in confronting an opposing view point, but mainly in situations where the "opposition" seems to not listen or respond. This is not such a situation. Although we are sort of anonymous (you DO realize that the CIA is tracking each of us as we use our ATM cards? ;- ) in this forum many "threads" of discussion bat the ball back and forth. I presume everyone participating actually cares about the issues at hand and hopes to persuade others toward an object they define as "good." That's what I'm doing. But with that aside, I will also confide in you that I am on my very best behavior as a visitor in a foreign country. Your suggestion that I'm drinking the KoolAid served by "W" (that is a "right Wing" allusion to a tragedy in South America with a religious cult of American black people from San Franciso who all killed themselves together by drinking poisoned KoolAid) makes me laugh. I write to "W" all the time, normally, I begin my letters with the salutation: "You are dumb as dog shit!" and then I continue to "discuss" such matters as the nomination of Harriett Meirs to our Supreme Court and other incredible stupid if not criminal or treasonous actions taken by my President. But I also know what it takes to lead a group, large group or small group. And based on that experience I can appreciate the complexity and absolute pressure that is borne by one who leads a nation, and takes new decisive direction to address long time difficult problems. I am so incensed by the President's failure to enforce our existing immigration laws that I can hardly contain myself. I write my congressman (I don't bother much with "my" senators, but I support those in other states). I'm as active in this stuff as a "normal" person can be, and my definition of a "normal" person is: One who HATES government at all levels. I've served in government, I've been elected to public office (partisan, as a Democrat, and non-partisan as a guy who achieved unheard of success - WE GOT AN ILLEGAL TAX ACTUALLY REMOVED - REVOKED!). All of this working within an activity which I find to be absolutely foul and stinking. I'm a "regular" guy with a small business in America. WE HATE GOVERNMENT, but we have to keep after it or else it will become like Sadaam's Iraq, or your last PM's Canada, or (God help us) like France. I will confide in you, once more, I think France is so beautiful that I smile just to hear the name of the country (I recall having some lovely young girl serve me a glass of Bordeaux wine at their public wine tasting room in the city square and just being speechless and in love as she spoke probably a dozen words in beautifully French accented "English". That was only about 40 years ago. Oh well, back to the point. The people who share my view point want government to work where it is necessary and to stay out of where it is not (our US Constitution is a pretty good guide to identify the two).
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-03-27 8:38:38 AM
point of style -- hit the enter key every now and again. Those long blocks of text are a bitch to read.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-27 8:50:00 AM
That's a great metaphor, nomdenet, playing a game of checkers. As you note, it's a dialogue; it isn't simply you, alone, making the moves; there's someone else involved.
It's strange how effectively mechanical the left perspective is; they view everything as necessarily programmable, as governable via a set of authoritarian instructions. If there isn't this singular set of instructions, listing all steps from a to z, and if reality doesn't operate according to this format - they get very nervous.
I don't know if this is an inevitable result of their support for Big Government Which Rules Everything, but their anti-humanism and their mechanical view of humanity is quite bizarre.
You don't go into a country, whether it operates within a fascist tribalism or an open democracy, and change the mode of life overnight. People aren't machines; you don't change their behaviour by downloading a different software program.
I also find it fascinating - the complete collapse of the Liberal Party. This was the party that self-defined itself and only itself, as 'the only Canadian government'. Vote for anything else and YOU were unCanadian. Think about any other policy perspective - and YOU were unCanadian. Why, you were even definable as a heretic, aka an American.
You know, the scenario being played out in Afghanistan now, with the convert to Christianity, is exactly similar, on a less extreme level but with the same perspective - as Being a Liberal in Canada. To be anything else - was heresy.
And now, we are finding out how hollow that whole ideology was. For a party to collapse in a month - that says something.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-27 9:09:02 AM
The problem is that Western style democracy and economic systems won't transfer to the M/E because of the intractable incapabilites [such as low mean IQs] of the population. Western culture was built by people who differ *genetically* from those who have built the other civilizations and cultures of the world.
It's only a matter of time now. As Prof. Rushton asserts,"...intellectually, the battle is over: Race realism has won."
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-27 9:40:01 AM
DJ, there was a time (really) when I thought that I was real smart. I had studied things and I metriculated (I also won a spelling bee in second grade, and as you can see that's the last of my achievements in that endeavor).
After I got so very smart I went out into the business world and started to try to sell things to people. I set out as a real missionary who was going to save these stupid people who didn't understand all that I did. That is when I met a REALLY STUPID PERSON. A real low IQ type. I saw him all the time in the mirror. You should go out and try to sell some "stupid" people something and see how smart they get.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-03-27 10:36:50 AM
Conrad-USA, It's not clear what your point is, however, selling liberals, like those who frequent this page, the realty of race, doesn't make them any smarter, it just shows up their hypocracy. The fact remains that Western culture, which has dominated the world, in science, art, literature, music and economics, for the last five centuries, was derived from a people genetically different than those anywhere else in the world.
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-27 11:10:51 AM
DJ, every person I meet is so smart I am astonished. I possess normal intelligence, yet I am constantly interacting with other people - FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD - who regularly just astonish me at how shrewd and wise (and usually nice) they are. I presently live in Los Angeles. This is an INTERNATIONAL city with lots of folks from very meager personal financial (and otherwise) circumstances. Arab people are brilliant! Asian people are brilliant! The hoards of illegal aliens flooding into America from Mexico and all over South and Central America are superb and brilliant, the obvious "cream of the crop" from their respective countries yet they are the "outcasts" coming here with ZERO, nothing, except wonderful traits and skills or if nothing else, excellent hopeful positive attitude. This IQ crap is just silly stuff from a "government" type of grading system. I suspect that you do NOT have children of your own. Every one of us must go through all of the steps to grow, but it is the VERY few who lack the fundamental gifts from God which allow us to call them "brilliant" in this life. When you have your own kids it helps you to understand that it is only by giving up that the individual becomes marginal. I'm not a Pollianna, everything in life has been very challenging for me, but I've always been very fortunate to have been associated with people who were so smart and talented that they helped encourage and carry me along. I was always in groups or organizations where I could not believe that I had been accepted because the others were so excellent. Now after all these years I've finally realized that everybody is filled with talents. When we release in freedom the vast potential of the huge Arab descent population the world will blossum.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-03-27 2:01:54 PM
Conrad - for a homophobe I do appreciate your reasoned arguments though I would recommend against trying to debate DJ on issues of race.
Anyway, you all been played:
Posted by: Justin Fossey | 2006-03-27 2:42:55 PM
"Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein."
ET, how do the nutbars respond?
Posted by: Justin Fossey | 2006-03-27 2:45:29 PM
Oh my goodness, another unsubstantiated, unproved, irrelevant story from that bastion of far left entertainment, the NYT's. Shocker!
Memo to Justin, the New York Times has become irrelevant in reporting the Iraq war, as have all the left-wing, anti-war, anti-American, Bush hating rags. Who is the one being played moonbat?
The only thing more sickening than their attempts to undermine their own country, their leader, in a time of war, in turn enabling the enemy, are the morons like you who suck their trash up like a sponge, and espouse it. Disgusting.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-27 3:12:24 PM
Conrad-USA, Ever wonder why immigration is a one way street? Ever wonder why these people are fleeing their countries for the USA? Ever wonder why southern California is emptying of white people? Ever wonder why a third of the State of California's deficit is directly related to third world immigration? Ever wonder why blacks and hispanics are disproportionately represented in California crime stats?
Ever wonder what happens to a people disposessed of a nation?
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-27 3:23:26 PM
If the NYTimes is "far left" (which strikes me as one of the silliest things I've read in my life) what do you suggest as a source of the straight goods? Where's the real substantiated, proven reporting on the Iraq war? The stuff that doesn't just parrot the party line, but is based on analysis of real documents, first hand observation and the like?
Enquiring minds etc.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-27 4:15:01 PM
>Described as the "first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly," a UCLA study published in December of 2005 has documented the range of bias among news outlets. The research concluded that of the major 20 news outlets studied "18 scored left of [the average U.S. voter], with CBS Evening News, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal. In this study, "left" is identified with positions in the platform of the Democratic Party and "right" is identified with positions in the platform of the Republican Party.<
I don't know why I bother pointing out the facts to you trueleft, anyone who is blind to the fact the New York Times and Washington Post are two of the most left leaning papers, and prove it every day with their frantic hate Bush campaign, is beyond help.
To hear you proclaim that is "silly" is about the funniest thing I have read all day, and once again shows the total disconnect you lefties have with the truth.
Of course anything that parrots your view of the war, or I should say your perception of the war, I know you would support.
I support the war, and the troops, so tend to get my news straight from the source. The soldiers themselves, I enjoy hearing their version as I believe they are in a better position than anyone to relay what they see as a very valid and successful mission.
So I ferret out the goodwill stories, of which there are many, from the soldiers and the journalists who cover them, but you won't see them covered by the MSM.
Sad isn't it when the good news, which as I mentioned there is plenty from Iraq, in truth it far outweighs the bad, will not be covered by the so called "far and balanced media" simply because it may make the object of their distain, George Bush, look good. What a sick and twisted way to politicize a war, simply to try and gain back power.
You want to align yourself with that kind of mindset, so be it, but personally I have zero tolerance for the kind of insidious sickness that would see them undermine their commander and chief, enable the enemy, at the risk of having their own soldiers put even more in harms way, them simply pass it off as some sort of useful debate, or "freedom of speech". It is affecting moral and getting good people killed.
It borders on sedition and should be treated as such.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-27 5:18:05 PM
So deepblue what is a free press and how does it go about its business?
You people rant about how the US is bringing 'democracy' to the ME but instead of raging about the anti-democractic actions of King George II you freak about the free press.
Stop with your false dichotomies - they are the basis for all your deep(blue)ly flawed arguments. Stop thinking it terms of "Bush vs. anti-Bush" and start articulating arguments in terms of PRINCIPLES and ACTIONS!
"...but personally I have zero tolerance for the kind of insidious sickness that would see them undermine their commander and chief"
You and POL POT both, dumbass.
Posted by: Justin Fossey | 2006-03-27 6:36:54 PM
thank you for your honesty.
Your response goes a long way to explaining why you're both ill-informed and ill-tempered. You believe only those reports that confirm your existing prejudices, you get your information from a source that actively discourages dissent and critical thinking and you view the political spectrum as if through the wrong end of telescope.
Given all that, it's small wonder that you can proclaim yourself a defender of freedom while promoting the idea that anyone who doesn't shut up, line up behind the leader of your choice and salute when told to is guilty of sedition.
Posted by: truewest | 2006-03-27 7:28:44 PM
I'm curious, deepblue: if questioning the government a la the NYT qualifies as "sedition" then how would you characterize Alberta separatism? When we start lining up the traitors against the wall, which side of the gun will you be on?
Christ, you're a witless dumbass.
Posted by: Jim in Toronto | 2006-03-27 7:44:38 PM
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