Friday, May 09, 2008

Here's A Bit O Fun!

This offering from Real Clear Politics addresses a silly statement, make that a "stupid" statement, made by Barry O. recently. The statement...

"I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did."

...gave me pause. About what was he talking? To which despot did any of these guys speak before war? Turns out, as I believed, there were none. So the question becomes, did he knowingly say something that wasn't true, or is he simply that stupid to speak of what he doesn't know and do so as if no one at all is paying attention? I hope he didn't get too jacked over Hillary's "sniper fire" comments. is a routine stop for me, as I find their contributors to be astute observers of what's going on politically. It was through this site that I came across the above RCP piece. Naturally, as a conservative site, there are a lot of columns regarding Obama and what a profound chucklehead he really is. I could link to a lot of articles and create posts around them as I've done now and then, but there are just so many for that to be practical. What I'd like to encourage, however, is for anyone interested, particularly my left-leaning readers, to visit there and peruse a handful of Obama related articles and then come here and defend Obama against the author. Right-wingers can expound on why they agree if they so choose. Provide either a link to the article, or the title and date when it was published. I'll assume that should no lefty take me up on the challenge, that AmericanThinker's contributors have opined on what is indefensible regarding Barry O. The more I read, the more I feel he is the most terrible choice for any really thinking individual to support. Some conservatives have said something to the effect that, "I'm sure he's a nice guy, but..." I don't think that's the case at all.


Anonymous said...

Now just watch the double standard kick in. Will the media zero in on his ignorance like they would if McCain said something like that?

Marshall Art said...

Well that's the point of the linked article. The media has been silent as far as I can tell. I heard this quote on the radio, but it wasn't to highlight the gaff, but more of a general report about his victory in SC. But no matter. It's one more negative point on the list of why he is unqualified for the gig.

Vinny said...

Truman went to war in Korea but he negotiated a settlement with despots in Russia and China rather than letting MacArthur escalate the war. Kennedy negotiated with Russia to end the Cuban missile crisis rather than following his military advisors who wanted to escalate the conflict.

blamin said...

Kennedy negotiated with Russia to end the Cuban missile crisis rather than following his military advisors who wanted to escalate the conflict.

Yes he did - after the bay of pigs.

Vinny said...

Yes he did - after the bay of pigs.

That's right. Kennedy learned from his mistakes, although, in fact, the Bay of Pigs operation had been planned and authorized during the Eisenhower administration.

Marshall Art said...

I wouldn't call it "negotiations". As the link points out, Kennedy's play of the Bay of Pigs provoked Russia's confident feeling that they could make their play without any serious threat from Kennedy. It was a shoving match from the git-go, a game of chicken, which Kennedy HAD to win. Never would have happened had Kennedy acted more decisively, at least in Kruschev's(sp) opinion.

But anyway, in the Truman situation, the author first referred to WWII wherein Truman never reached out in love and friendship with either of the Big Three Jerkwads from Germany, Italy and Japan. I don't recall much in the way of him negotiated with North Korea, but he was keen on keeping China and Russia out of the game for fears of yet another world war. But we were already involved in Korea anyway.

In any case, the bottom line still stands: Obamanable's statement was a reflection of either ignorance of history, with arrogance thrown in that implies he thinks he can say anything without being held to account, or he's just using these big historical names in order to compare himself to them in greatness, should enough people believe any of the three can be so labeled. Not one of the three is a good example of what he's trying deceitfully to convey.

The use of these names betrays his perception of both himself and his idea of talking to Iran, Syria and everyone else looking to see us destroyed.

Vinny said...

All I see him trying to convey is that he is not going to play the blustering cowboy role like George "Bring it on" Bush. It will be a welcome change.

Marshall Art said...

Actually, Vinny, at the time Bush uttered those words, I thought it was exactly the most appropriate response. Keep in mind, this enemy is NOT the negotiating type. Imagine a hard ass giving you a hard time. Perhaps he's had a few, perhaps he's just an ass. If he's insisting on kicking your ass, what response would you have? I think you'd tell him to bring it on.

Or would you continue trying to talk to him as he starts swinging away? Will you get the message across as well as he gets his across? This is the Obama strategy. When you're dealing with unrepentant scumbags who don't care if they die, you send them to hell.

Vinny said...

I might do that if I was confident that I understood the situation well enough to know that I could in fact kick the enemy's ass. If I did not know his strength and did not know whether my strength was sufficient, I would try to be a bit more circumspect. At the time Bush issued that challenge, his administration was in denial about the insurgency and he did not have enough troops in Iraq to back up his bluster. It wasn't for another three years that he decided to add enough troops to get the job done.

blamin said...


I don’t believe it was a case of ”..not know(ing) whether my strength was sufficient…”, but there’s no doubt some “under estimating” happened during this war.

In my opinion President Bush made a few very key mistakes. He tried to use the least amount of force that he thought possible to achieve his goals – economics and public opinion, playing a large part in his decisions, and he tried to keep the left as-happy-as-possible when making his decisions.

Arm chair quarterback that I am I believe he should have continued the use of over-whelming force, to hell with what the left in this world thought; he had no chance of pleasing them no matter what he did.

The reason for this war is legitimate, and the goal is most assuredly desirable, but alas, in his effort to please everybody, I’m afraid he’s lost the chance for a quick, decisive, victory.

Vinny said...


How could Bush continue the use of overwhelming force when he never used overwhelming force in the first place? General Shinseki estimated that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to maintain order in Iraq after the invasion and the administration dumped him. Rumsfeld was responsible for the level of troops and it was wishful thinking that drove his decision, not public opinion or a desire to keep the left as happy as possible.

The reason given for the war was WMD and that has been proved illegitimate. The problem was not that the goals were undesirable. The problem was that they were unachievable.

Marshall Art said...


As has been stated ad nauseum, WMDs were A reason for going to Iraq, not the reason. But if we pretend it was the only reason, it aligned with the rhetoric of the previous administration and most other Dems that have since opposed the action because of who was leading it, rather than whether or not it was the right thing to do, which it clearly was. And of course we now know better than at the time just how much Hussein was eager to build up such weapons. In addition, after twelve years, and with repeated warnings that this was coming, to claim that he never had any such weapons when he had plenty of time to hide or transport them, the only thing we can say with certainty is that we never found them, not that he never had them.

As to Shinseki, we still do not have "several thousand troops" and progress is being made. Iraqis, including Sunnis, are pointing out the bad guys. The more this happens, the less of our troops are needed since the Iraqis are making things easier by their participation. Put an Obama in place, or, God be praised, AlGore, and Hussein and the kids are still murdering their own people and plotting nastiness for us and the region.

In any case, the problem is not that the goals are unachievable, for few things are for those with resolve and determination, but that they are not happening at a speed that satisfies the left. So sorry for that.

Vinny said...

I am well aware that conservatives have come up with additional reasons to justify the decision to invade Iraq after it turned out that there were no WMD, but the war was sold to congress and the American people on the basis of WMD.

We never found the WMD. We also never found any evidence that Saddam had them or transported them. We never found any evidence of them in the places we thought they were being made and stored. The idea that Saddam would be able to make them vanish without a trace is absurd.

The problem all along has been Bush’s naïve belief that resolve and determination are adequate substitutes for competence and understanding.

Doc said...

No evidence that he had them?
Saddam had them, used, them, and was readily able to start re-making them.
Chemical weapons factories were found in 2005 with precursor agents for many of these weapons. Evidence of sarin, mustard, tabun and VX gas were found on multiple occasions. Chemical weapons were used during the genocidal killings of the Kurds, in which over 4,000 villages were destroyed.

As to communicating with the enemy, perhaps Obama was thinking of the "wisdom" of Neville Chamberlain.

Vinny said...


Saddam gassed the Kurds in 1988 and we did nothing. Are you really going to claim that this was some sort of justification for attacking in 2003?

The war was sold with tales of mobile weapons laboratories, aluminum tubes for centrifuges, and a shopping trip to Africa for yellow cake. Excuse me if I don't get excited by "precursor agents" found after two years of hunting.

Doc said...

I made no such claim for justification as to going to war. I just did not feel your statement was anywhere close to accurate.
Frankly, I think that the intent of the war was to attempt to bring a stable and American-friendly democracy to an otherwise chaotic and terrorist-breeding part of the world, while dismantling a despotic government (of much of our own making) which was causing increasing disruption to the economics of the middle east. On this, the US government, and specifically, Bush, has done a piss-poor job on "selling" the war, executing the war, and getting the heck out of the war if this wasn't the goal or the goal appeared infeasible. I have no problem with a president going to war, and support trying to establish an anti-terrorist stronghold in this particular case. But, I feel that a president has a duty to explain to and convince (when needed) his electorate, the rationale for starting, continuing, and discontinuing war.

Dan Trabue said...

Keep in mind, this enemy is NOT the negotiating type. Imagine a hard ass giving you a hard time. Perhaps he's had a few, perhaps he's just an ass. If he's insisting on kicking your ass, what response would you have? I think you'd tell him to bring it on.

Yeah, if you're a macho moron with more muscles than mind.

EVERYONE's the negotiating kind, you just have to let them see it's in their best interest not to proceed in negative ways.

War is a failure of wisdom.

Marshall Art said...

Nice BS, Dan. War is the last option once reason has failed and no one, absolutely no one, has come anywhere near close to even hinting that "wise men" can talk to these people and leave the room with a guarantee that they weren't just given the run around. Over and over again we've seen the Palestinians pretend to want peace. Over and over again we've seen radical Islamists back off until they've regrouped, only to begin anew. This for 1400 years. I say to you again, Dan of the Dept. of Peace, when you can get a common street gang to turn over a new leaf, then perhaps we can try the same with radicals for whom dying for the cause is a primary goal. How naive and/or partisan to suggest that we've "rushed" to war. You've got nothing, absolutely nothing, to prove that Bush would so cavalierly send our own into harm's way. How incredibly pathetic!


Shall we again count the UN resolutions ignored? Shall we again relive the games Sadam played with inspectors? How about the planes shot at whilst patrolling the no-fly zone? How about the embezzlement of millions, if not billions, from the Oil For Food program? And remember once again, that the previous administration was convinced, or sought to convince us and Congress, that Hussein sought nuclear capabilities. Hillary said so. Dean said so. Kerry said so. And others who now oppose Bush's actions. The British said so, and have not been proven wrong with their intel regarding the "shopping trip" no matter what a proven liar like Joe Wilson says. Keep in mind also that the intel came from a decimated intelligence agency, funding cut by Clinton, human intel replaced by electronic, no or few Arabic speaking agents on the ground. And finally, once again, we know more about the extent of Hussein's activities and goals than we did then, giving at least some vindication for Bush's moves.

Was Bush's handling of the war perfect? Hell no. Name a war that went perfectly. Just one. And as to him making the case, he made it and anyone with eyes to see, who isn't blinded by hatred and loathing for Bush & Co, can see that the time to push back had come, and indeed had been here since the first WTC bombing.

But enough of the rehashing of the Iraq war. The point of this thread was to allow any Obama supporter to counter any of the many fine AmericanThinker articles that expose the blatant stupidity of supporting this pretender to the throne. Judging by the digression that has occurred here, I have to assume that it can't be done. Not surprising at all.

Vinny said...

It isn't pushing back when the other guy hasn't pushed you first and Saddam wasn't the guy who pushed us. It was Osama Bin Laden who is still at large.

As for counting, let's count the dead and wounded American soldiers. Let's count the cost of the war.

The only blatant stupidity I see is the worst foreign policy blunder in American history.

Marshall Art said...

"The only blatant stupidity I see is the worst foreign policy blunder in American history."

You mean Jimma Carter's handling of Iran and the Shah and the Ayatollah, which started this freakin' snowball down the hill? Get real. The UN resolutions carried "or else" and Bush was the one with the spine to follow through. As I mentioned, there were numerous "pushes" by Hussein since the first Gulf War and Bush pushed back. This "blunder" resulted in Libya shutting down their WMD plans and as related in my April 22 post, the world ain't so nasty to us as indicated by the left who believes George has totally damaged world opinion.

As for counting, I certainly count the military casualties, along with Iraqi casulaties, Kobar Towers casualties, WTC casualties, USS Cole casualties, as well as those lost and injured in Israel, London, Spain, Kuwait and everywhere else the Islamofascist scumbags are allowed to fester. Here's a clue: much of this cost came before the war in Iraq. Consider then the cost of no war with those who insist on warring with us.

Vinny said...

Carter did not start that ball rolling. It was the CIA toppling the legitimate government of Iran and installing the Shah that started that one. That happened under Eisenhower.

Of course if Bush 43 had bothered to learn any history, he might have realized why the idea of establishing a stable pro-western democracy in Iraq was absurd. It might have occurred to him that our history of supporting despots and trying to topple governments had generated some legitimate animosity in the Middle East. He might have realized that his father was right about the chaos that would ensue if Saddam was brought down. He might have thought that the Kurds and Shia might not trust us after his father had encouraged them to rise up against Saddam and then turned a blind eye when Saddam crushed the uprising.

Marty said...

"Of course if Bush 43 had bothered to learn any history, he might have realized why the idea of establishing a stable pro-western democracy in Iraq was absurd."

Yep...just ask any grunt soldier who has spent any length of time on the ground in Iraq how absurd that really is.

Marshall Art said...


Bush 43 might have considered all that you say and more that warned against invasion. He may also have considered Kennedy's statement regarding there being no price to high to pay for the support of liberty and democracy. The struggle to encourage western style democracy in the ME is only absurd to those without the resolve to see it through. How can you simply say we shouldn't do right because it might be hard to do? Considering that in both Afghanistan and Iraq the people flocked to the polls in percentages that embarrass free people in this country, I'd say "absurd" is an inappropriate word. "Challenge" fits better since rational people would never say it would be easy to overcome centuries of despotic rule.

Now, off the top of my head, I can't think of any despots we supported that wasn't the result of fending off a worse despot elsewhere. Perhaps you can help me with this before I'll concede this point.


Your challenge could backfire on you. I routinely hear "grunts" who support the effort and acknowledge the progress that has happened already and believe in what can be accomplished in the future if we don't bail out. I don't claim that some soldiers disagree. I just don't think they are all, on either side of the issue, necessarily fully informed or qualified to make such judgements just because they get shot at. In fact, such could cause them to be jaded and that would be understandable. I'm not saying they know nothing, and I'm not saying I know more or am completely correct in my opinion. I'm only saying that based on all I hear and read, I don't believe that our efforts are "absurd" or in vain.

Vinny said...

Iraqis flocked to the polls, but they voted on sectarian and tribal lines and they elected a government that greets the President of Iran with open arms. How is this worth the cost in American lives and treasure? How did that make us safer? In the good old days, we would send in the CIA to topple a government that played footsie with our enemies like that and we would replace it with a military despot like say, hmmm . . . Saddam Hussein.

It has never been American foreign policy to “do right” no matter how hard it is. It has always been our foreign policy to make practical risk-reward calculations based on the best interests of America. We have obviously made many miscalculations but the logic of the basic approach is still sound.

Nothing illustrates the incompetence of the Bush 43 more than his naïve belief in the magic power of “resolve.”

Dan Trabue said...

Now, off the top of my head, I can't think of any despots we supported that wasn't the result of fending off a worse despot elsewhere.

Define "worse."

But, by my reckoning, here's a starter list:


[Three generations of Nicaraguan despots, there, followed by supporting Contra terrorists to fend off democratically elected Ortega]

The Shah
bin Laden
Sadddam Hussein
Maximilio Hernández (El Salvador)
Efrain Rios Mont (Guatemala - he was the latest in a string of dictators that the US propped up until the 80s)
Roberto Suazo Cordova (Honduras)
Manuel Noriega (Panama)

For starters (and a list with which I'm more familiar with the situations).

For a more complete list, you can go here.

Vinny said...

Mobutu belongs pretty high on the list as well.

Of course MA will argue that we were "fending off" the despots of the Soviet Union. Never mind the immorality of subjecting the people of a country to a brutal dictatorship just because we don't like the foreign policy of its legitimate government.

Marshall Art said...

Well, it's late and I'll need time to review, but I'll begin with Dan's fave, Ortega.

Somoza, all three of them, were indeed brutal despots. Why FDR, Truman, Ike, Kennedy, Nixon and Carter supported them, I have no idea. So we've got, at this point, four Dems and two moderate Reps who finally bailed on Jr. once the Cuban backed Sandinistas got nasty. The people, certainly happy to rid themselves of the Somoza regime, were happy to back whoever could unseat them, so Ortega was elected. However, he and his commie army were NOT the lovable saviors Danny likes to believe them to have been. They were responsible for the killing and/or imprisonment of 15,000 indigenous indians, and were very much like the Khmer Rouge in their tactics. When the contras rose up to fight back, they became victims of propaganda, being blamed for atrocities committed by the Sandinistas. Useful idiots fell for it, as they always do, and Congress eventually ended aid.

At one point, Ortega lost his presidency, but regained it later after getting the election rules changed so that he needed only 35% of the vote, rather than the 45% until then. While we were still giving aid, the Ortega regime was being supported by both Cuba, with as many as 3000 "advisors", who often led attacks on the contras with Hind gunships. To be fair, it was thought that the CIA played a similar role in support of the contras, helping to unite the two factions of rebels into one force, and sometimes engaging in battles with them. Also, Soviet Russia was sending money and weapons which helped the Sandinista army to grow considerably.

So Reagan, always a major force in stemming the spread of communism, is looked upon by Dan and his kind as the bad guy in the Nicaragua affair, and though one might debate the wisdom of his actions, he, without regret, boldly pointed out evil and called it by it's name, setting him apart from all those presidents that came before him.

In any case, it seems in this Dan simply prefers his brutal despot over the one that was replaced.

I can't say that I will definitely address each and every jerk on Dan's list. I also can't say that Dan's wrong about each and every case. America makes decisions that don't always pan out, for sure. But the whole picture needs to be viewed for every case to see whether our actions really constitute the kind of meddling of which Dan likes to believe we are always guilty. Supporting some scumbags have been to maintain regional stability, the lack of which could result in bad things for us and/or the world or allies. It's really easy and lazy to simply assume that America is doing wrong, though it might be the natural assumption of people like Dan, who's worldview is so goofy to begin with. I think, as we've seen with Ortega, the notion of "legitimate" governments is a very loose one in many, if not all, of the cases listed. I notice how some on the left look at both Afghanistan's and Iraq's current governments as illegitimate puppet governments of the USA, even though we know the people risked their lives to elect those who now lead them. The subjectivity of the left in these discussions require lots of research to understand the details properly.

Still waiting, by the way, for anyone with the stones to step up to the plate regarding my challenge.

Dan Trabue said...

What challenge?

it seems in this Dan simply prefers his brutal despot over the one that was replaced.

Ortega had flaws and you know what? The PEOPLE of Nicaragua elected him anyway.

Reagan was - in action - a Democracy-hating, people-overthrowing despot compared to Ortega.

On my visit to Nicaragua, I stayed in a village where an elderly lady who was around back in the day, looked me in the eye and asked me, "I want to know - who gave this man, Reagan, the authority to destroy our country?"

Pah! Keep your dictators - whether they're supported by Dems or Republicans.

Dan Trabue said...

The thing is, we're not The Almighty US that gets to pick and choose what other countries do and don't do; how they choose to live, who they choose to lead them.

The founding fathers would be appalled by our global adventurism and massive military and rightly so, as they are strikes against the very democracy they worked so hard to create.

God Bless American Ideals!

Dan Trabue said...

Which one doesn't belong?

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.

~George Washington

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

~Thomas Jefferson

Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure.

~Abraham Lincoln

"Well, I learned a lot....I went down to [Latin America] to find out from them and their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries."

~Ronald Reagan

Marshall Art said...

Link to the entire episode that included the Reagan quote. Doubtless, it doesn't begin to address his point, which you are likely incapable of divining.

Yeah, I discussed the context under which Ortega was elected the first time, and the second with only 35% of the vote. You call that a mandate? You call that being elected by the people? Yeah, it was under their election law, but a law tweaked by Ortega for his own benefit.

"Reagan was - in action - a Democracy-hating, people-overthrowing despot compared to Ortega."

The above is an incredibly stupid statement, Dan. Even for you.

Your anecdote doesn't impress. You yourself are proof that citizens can live their lives never paying attention and buy into the crap of whatever goofball they think is the cats. Look at all the Obama supporters.

The challenge, which is stated in the post, was to visit, read a few of the pieces regarding Obama, and try to refute the author in defense of Obama. Once again, not paying attention.

"The founding fathers would be appalled..."

This is precious, especially in light of the famous lib response to the 2nd Amendment protections that the founders couldn't foresee the advances in weaponry. Yet, somehow, they could see how small the world would become, and still remain isolationist in the face of growing threats by despots who want to kill those who won't drink their Kool-Aid. And again, the hypocrisy of demanding financial help to foreign peoples suffering in poverty, yet not provide muscle to those being slaughtered is unconscionable. And if we don't get to pick and choose when and where to provide such assistance, then you have no business trying to convert gang-bangers who aren't bothering your own household. I use to hold your opinion on this matter until I realized I don't like people being murdered and butchered and raped. That's humanity's responsibility and until humanity gets on board, I don't mind our country lending a helping hand to preserve life and provide liberty.