Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush, the Diplomat

Macho, belligerent and militaristic Bush, who never saw a treaty or an agreement he liked, went to India and signed an agreement that America help India with nuclear power in return for which (it appears) India would help America with its faceoff with Iran. There were also some economic deals with Pakistan as well as with India. After 5 years of being a “war president,” President Bush is finally working on diplomacy. His diplomacy is rough, but he may improve with time.

According to the deal with India, India will get access to U.S. civil nuclear technology and open some of its nuclear facilities to inspection. But not all. This means that India's nuclear weapons program may proceed without interference. The deal has upset many, especially Representative Edward Markey:

"With one simple move the president has blown a hole in the nuclear rules that the entire world has been playing by and broken his own word to assure that we will not ship nuclear technology to India without the proper safeguards."

This is the way I felt at first, too. We have kept nuclear proliferation in check for many years. Now, all that effort is going down the drain. How on earth could we ask Iran and others to forego nuclear weapons when we not only allow but encourage India with its weapons program? A big mistake.

But then I thought that Bush had already ruined the non-proliferation regime when he mildly accepted India and Pakistan as nuclear powers. True, they had not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. But they did make the world more dangerous through their actions. Besides, we in America, are building more nuclear weapons.

I think this infatuation with nuclear weapons is wrong. However, I'm sure Bush could not be budged on this.

But at least Bush is trying diplomacy. India is a democracy and Bush wants the biggest democracy in the world to be on our side. Some say India would be great balast against China. Probably so. But the important thing is that Bush is following up on his State-of-the-Union statements about spreading democracy. Too bad he stressed military matters over economic matters. On the whole, however, it is good that he puffed up India.

Many complain that Bush should have done the same for Pakistan. No way! Pakistan is not a democracy. Maybe it's an ally, but I'm not sure of that either. In addition, we must remember that a guy named Kahn, a hero to Pakistanis, sold nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea. We dare not sell Pakistan nuclear components. And I relaxed when I found out Bush made no nuclear deal with Pakistan.

Bush was so focused on military might that he disregarded something that is more important nowadays - economic might. In India, he said this about outsourcing:

“It's painful for those who lose jobs. But the fundamental question is, how does a government or society react to that. And it's basically one of two ways. One is to say, losing jobs is painful, therefore, let's throw up protectionist walls. And the other is to say, losing jobs is painful, so let's make sure people are educated so they can find – fill the jobs of the 21st century.”

Wrong. Yes, we want India to prosper. Yes, as a democracy, U.S. should help India prosper. But not at America's expense. Outsourcing helps India, but hurts U.S. Education will not have any effect on outsourcing. I'll write more on this in a future article.

On his first diplomatic foray abroad Bush did some good and some bad. On balance, his effort was good because he bound democratic India closer to democratic America.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 8, 2006 5:34 PM
Comments
Comment #132245

Undermining the Non-Proliferation Treaty is hardly a good long-term goal. All Bush did is prove to the entire world that America makes up its own laws and ignores the rest. As it is, Iran will be even more determined to have a nuke now.

Posted by: Aldous at March 8, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #132247

Bush’s “diplomacy” has pretty much sunk what little was left of the NPT. Hard to believe that India and Pakistan were on the verge of a nuclear exchange regarding Kashmir only a few years ago. He has essentially winked at both India’s and Pakistan’s non-treaty acquisitions of nuclear weapons. To go along with the US’ totally ignoring Israel’s nuclear program for the past 40 plus years.

Iran’s quest for nuclear power, from what I have read, is proceeding through IAEA channels—and Bush is rattling his saber and foaming at the mouth. If you look at Iran’s position, they have India to their east, Russia to their north, and Britian and the US next door in Iraq—all armed with nuclear weapons. That doesn’t include Israel, which is purported to have several hundred weapons, with the delivery systems to boot. Ahmanbenijad is a loose cannon—so is Bush and Cheney— but the Iranian leader’s position makes more sense than our government’s. If I were in charge of Iran, I would be a fool not to strongly consider going nuclear. The curious thing about nuclear countries—they don’t get attacked very often. Bush and Cheney’s loud-mouth belligerence and nationalistic hubris is, day by day, painting the US into a diplomatic and military corner.

With his actions toward India, and giving India’s nuclear program the US blessing, he has probably ignited an arms race in the Far East noone can afford. India a buttress to the Chinese dragon? All buttresses glow radioactive. A war between those two would kill us too.

I know by his actions, Bush has guaranteed that Iran will not back down from expanding its nuclear capability. What will the American people do if the Bush administration attacks Iran? What will the consequences be? I am not a military expert, but what little I have read indicates to me that to be absolutely sure to take out any Iranian nuclear capability, tactical nuclear weapons would probably be used—as most facilities would be deep underground. And any assurances that Iranian nuclear capability has been neutralized would necessitate some ground forces to follow up to be certain.

What’s the price tag for taking an imaginary moral high road? What is the cost of duplicity?


Posted by: Tim Crow at March 8, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #132251

Fat chance we will attack Iran. All the GIs from the Military Families have already been used in Iraq. If the GOP wants Iran, it will have to send its Young Republicans to fight. HA!!!!

Posted by: Aldous at March 8, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #132254

Dear Paul,
I’m aghast—I actually agree with much of your post, which is a first. Next thing I know, red states and blue states will come together to form a more perfect union.

However, there were a couple statements you made that were, I believe, incorrect. First, you say that Bush “mildly accepted” Pakistan and India as nuclear powers. In reality, both became active nuclear nations during the 1990’s, i.e. during the Clinton Admin.


You also state that “We have kept nuclear proliferation in check for many years?” If so, this can be attributed more to technological hurdles in building nukes, and rarity of appropriate uranium and plutonium, than the robustness of the nonproliferation regime. We have, after all, seen India, Pakistan, N Korea, Israel, and South Africa all successfully develop nukes. We also know that Iraq was very close (6 months to a year, some say) from having nukes before the first Gulf War and that Iran has had an active program (and lied about it) for about 20 years. As a result, I for one am less than sanguine about the effectiveness of the nonproliferation mechanisms currently in place.

Your anti-Bush predilections also lead you to overstate Bush’s distaste for treaties. While he did oppose the Kyoto Treaty (as did the Senate under Clinton, 95-0), the ABM Treaty and the International Criminal Court, there are plenty of other multi-lateral efforts to which he has lent his political weight. These include, but are not limited to, CAFTA, the Doha Round of trade negotiations, Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, multi-lateral negotiations with North Korea and Iran, a multi-lateral agreement with Libya to abnegate possession of WMDs, and the advent of interleague play in Major League Baseball. Ok, I’m making the last one up.

I do look forward to your future thoughts on outsourcing as I suspect we can resume our previous pattern of disagreement. Outsourcing is, by and large, an economic chimera whose main value is as a political weapon to bludgeon free traders.

Cheers,
Boojum

Posted by: boojum at March 8, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #132255

So Bush works multilaterally to deal with Iran. You guys hate it (but you also accused him of only acting unilaterally) Bush works out a compromise deal with the world’s largest democracy. You don’t like it (but you also accused him of never compromising). The Bush economy grows by 3.5% with 4.7% unemployment, you guys don’t like it (but you say he ruined the economy).

So if we just reverse your logic, you advocate acting unilaterally with Iran. You want to stiff India and make no compromises. And you prefer high unemployment and low growth. I guess that would be keeping in form.

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #132262

“Outsourcing is, by and large, an economic chimera whose main value is as a political weapon to bludgeon free traders”

And, it is extremely thoughtful of the free traders to provide the instruments for their bludgeoning. God knows they need it.

Jack—are you in your cups again?

Posted by: Tim Crow at March 8, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #132275

Quaint turn of the phrase, Timmy. I will look forward to Paul’s next topic so you can explain precisely how less-developed nations can grow, and how trade can occur, without any jobs crossing borders.

Posted by: boojum at March 8, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #132277

boojum:

Sure, and you can explain to me how hollowing out US manufacturing and exporting high-tech jobs in the name of free-market greed is strengthening our country’s security.

Posted by: Tim Crow at March 8, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #132295

Bush the dip-yo-whaaaat ?

Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #132318

Tim

The value of U.S. manufacturing and the percentage of our economy it makes up has been increasing since about 1990. Jobs are going the way of jobs in agriculture.

When I was in college, I worked at a cement company. We had 15 people in the warehouse operation and we worked 12 hour days. Now the whole place is run by two guys who work eight hour days AND they move more cement. This has happened all over the economy. It is called productivity.

Your alternative is to ourlaw productivity.


The U.S. is a recipient of foreign investment. We “insource” much more than we outsource.

some">http://www.ofii.org/insourcing/map”>some figures

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #132319

Sorry about the link. Here is a map that shows where some of the insourced jobs are located.

some figures

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2006 11:13 PM
Comment #132336

Jack,
You are correct on both counts (productivity and insourcing vs outsourcing) and Tim is incorrect. One wonders if Tim decries medical advances because they mean a decline in gravedigger employment.

On outsourcing, the most gloomy prognostication, done by Forrester Research, projects that 3.3 million service jobs will be outsourced between 2000 and 2015. While that sounds like a lot, and weach ill undoubtedly be one too many for those laid off, that amounts to only 0.71 percent of all jobs lost per quarter over that period. Hardly the work of what Kerry histrionically called Benedict Arnold CEO’s.

Again, good posts Paul and Jack. Paul, I await a more detailed discussion of outsourcing. In preparation for that, may I suggest you read Daniel Drezner’s piece “The Outsourcing Bogeyman” in Foreign Affairs, available here
http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20040501faessay83301-p0/daniel-w-drezner/the-outsourcing-bogeyman.html

Posted by: boojum at March 9, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #132340

I’m just amazed! Paul says:

“On his first diplomatic foray abroad Bush did some good and some bad. On balance, his effort was good because he bound democratic India closer to democratic America.”

And the “neo-cons” still aren’t happy!

Paul,

There’s only one way to make the neo-cons happy and that’s to march in unison with the rest of the “Bush-bots”!

Repeat after me: All hail the mighty Bush!

Bush & Co. are still operating on the “blame game” principle. If they can’t blame it on Clinton they’ll blame it on the Congress. Of course they’re remiss in their claims, we have after all had a Republican majority in the Senate and the House for some time.

When we do try to see “the good” in this administration we’re still criticized because we’ve not quite crossed the line to “Neo-Con-Bot”.

Questioning the administration is just unacceptable. This is exactly why the Republicans love to say, “the Dems have no plans”. They believe that everyone must share their opinion 100%!

KansasDem



Posted by: KansasDem at March 9, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #132347

The idea that the US should treat all countries the same regarding nuclear policy is ridiculous, because not all countries are the same and do not have the same intentions.

India has always proven itself to be a responsible nuclear state, and has never once had even a single atom of nuclear information, resources, or materials leave its borders. Furthermore, it is surrounded by fundamentalist Islamist states that would like nothing more than to see it destroyed, as the continuing terrorist attacks (like the one yesterday in Varanasi that killed 20 and injured more than 100) continue to demonstrate.

The situation is remarkably similar to Israel. It has had a nuclear program for a very long time, has never signed the non-proliferation treaty, is a responsible nuclear state, and is surrounded by fascist Islamist states that would like to see it destroyed. Why, then, has no one complained about their possession of nuclear weapons, or of the considerable assistance the US provides to it? Why the double standard here?

Assisting India with CIVILIAN nuclear technology changes absolutely nothing. Regardless of what policy is instituted, India has made nuclear weapons for more than 30 years and will continue to do so. Assisting them with nuclear-produced electricity at sites that are fully open to UN inspection teams will not change this.

Also, the notion that this will make the NPT unenforcable is nonsense. Dangerous, rogue states such as North Korea and Iran will pursue nuclear weapons regardless of what a treaty says. The notion of the US providing assistance to civilian electric plants simply does not factor in to their decision making and will not change any of their goals or intentions.

For a very logical and rational overview, I urge you to read the following Washington Post article. It is very informative and just may challenge some irrational beliefs through logical discourse. The article is located at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/06/AR2006030601614.html

Posted by: The Seeker at March 9, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #132350

boojum:

Read Drezner’s article in Foreign Relations. An interesting article—but I remain unconvinced. There are some assumptions by Mr. Drezner that I find tenuous—such as 22 million jobs being created by 2010, or the cushioning of the out-sourcing fall-out on affected employees by companies whose out-sourcing is rewarded by higher profits, thus creating more jobs.

Indeed, the rosy picture painted by productivity in most industries is dampened by the fact that for the last five years, productivity has risen, while wages have stagnated. True, out-sourcing is a tough sell when the ‘business cycle’ ain’t booming. I am unconvinced, however, that “doing no harm” is an answer to evaporating pensions, a dysfunctional health care system, sliding wages, an 8.5 Trillion dollar debt, and $700 billion in trade deficits.

I will make an admission—one which should be obvious to both you and Jack. I am not an economist. In some ways, when I listen to economists on both sides of the political spectrum, I’m glad I’m not. But I am a firm believer in economic justice. And I believe the American worker has taken it on the chin repeatedly over the last 25 years. I suspect for every article or fact you produce, I could produce one that refutes it, certainly not to convince you, but enough to convince a disinterested bystander that there is many sides to any economic debate.

But there are several facts that are realities that cannot be refuted, by Greenspan, Bush, Krugman, you or me:

1. This country cannot continue to borrow from it’s future without consequences—it cannot sustain an 8.5 trillion dollar debt and a whopping trade deficit and continue to think it will come up smelling like a rose. Cheney says deficits don’t matter. This would be news to anyone who has run a business, or a country for that matter.

2. I agree with James Kunstler that globilization is in its last throes—why? Oil. We are probably experiencing peak oil now—and the consequences of that are inescapable. Agriculture, business, life in general will become extremely local—with the concommitant reality that what Washington says won’t really matter anymore.

3.A continued increase in the yawning gap between the haves and the have nots in this country will have serious consequences if not addressed in an equitable way.

4.Bush and the free-trade neo-cons policies (and Ronald Reagan to a lesser extent) have probably done more to make the US a second-rate nation than anything else. It will probably take twenty years to reverse this pro-corporate, anti-worker, military-industrial-complex free-trade corruption—assuming we survive the bellicose, death-driven, rogue-nation foreign policy the neo-cons have foisted on this country.

As Clinton perceived in ‘92, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Much to the chagrin of Repubs—because that was really a mild economic downturn,by historic standards. But Bush’s father made the mistake of saying to read his lips, no new taxes—then did the responsible thing and raised taxes to address the economic slide. And he was punished for his honesty. I believe Chimp will be punished for his dishonesty. He has added an unbelievable 2.5 trillion dollars to the national debt in five years.

The American people can be fooled some of the time—but not forever. I really believe that Bush’s undoing won’t be Iraq, it won’t be corruption, it won’t be illegal wire-tapping or cronyism—it will be the economy that will be his undoing. Repubs, Jack and you say the GNP is great, jobs are being created (finally) everything’s hunky dory. But perception is 9/10ths of the ‘law’, and the people I talk to are very, very uneasy. Wall Street is too. We shall see.

I have a feeling this is an opening of a very long discussion about economic philosophy, political priorities, and what is best for this country, between you and I. I don’t pretend to know even 1/100th of it. But I intend to read every article you send my way, and I will try—try my hardest—to keep an open mind. I’m sorry this is so long, but the economy, and what economic justice for all entails, is very important to me. And I admit I am still a student.

Posted by: Tim Crow at March 9, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #132355

Paul,

I stopped reading after this part of your post:

“Macho, belligerent and militaristic Bush, who”

Yes, I studied Hitler many years ago so I don’t need someone sitting in the far left bleacher seats giving me some fruitless, factless analogies between Bush and Hitler. You might not’ve said Hitler later on, BUT I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING! It bleeds through all of your words.

You want a fact? You’re wrong. In the 2004 election several polling groups … and these BLOGS treat polls as if they were the guide to Nirvana so here I go … anyway, Bush Vs. Kerry … who would you rather have over at your house for burgers and beers? Bush won hands down each time … he definitely won the “likability” quotient over Kerry. Kerry, who most people agreed wouldn’t stop to help change your tire if you were bleeding from the throat and had a cast on both legs.

So, either America likes militaristic, belligerent, and macho BS at their BBQ’s or they think the guy is empathetic, says what he means, means what he says, and doesn’t lick his index finger to figure out which way to lean politically. I think the latter.

In any case, start your posts more debatively and with less whimsical adjectives … and I might get past the 1st sentence.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at March 9, 2006 2:30 AM
Comment #132360

“You are correct on both counts (productivity and insourcing vs outsourcing) and Tim is incorrect. One wonders if Tim decries medical advances because they mean a decline in gravedigger employment.”

As long as conservatives control whether or not to send young Americans needlessly into harms way, THERE WILL NEVER BE A DECLINE IN GRAVEDIGGER EMPLOYMENT

“Yes, we want India to prosper. Yes, as a democracy, U.S. should help India prosper. But not at America’s expense.” As compassionate world leaders, we SHOULD want ALL peoples to prosper… prosperity being the great peace maker…
The idea of outsourcing, where possible, the lower paying jobs and educating the American people UP to the higher paying jobs is a good one. Sadly, the republicans took a gimpy education system and crippled it. It’s pretty hard to upgrade jobs through education when the education system is being downgraded through standardized testing (most high-paying jobs require independant thinking, not rote regurgitation) and the ever increasing number of CHILDREN BEING LEFT BEHIND. Yeah, that was a good campaign slogan, but the fact has not equaled the fiction.

During the prosperous 90’s, outsourcing was a good idea… NAFTA was a good idea.

Jack’s ‘productivity’ parable was typical neo con bullshit. Increased productivity in the bush reign equates to slight decline in production (per capita) and a larger decline in labor (per capita). I have no doubt that Jack went on to graduate college and a high paying job, but I wonder about the other 12 guys who no longer have jobs in that cement warehouse… guys who probably depended on that job to put food on the family table… guys who most likely don’t have Jack’s inherent intelligence or education to move upward and onward in the real world… I wonder if they’re flipping burgers for minimum wage or have gone on the public dole, earning them Jack’s disdain?

Raising productivity is no great accomplishment unless the standard of living for the nation has been raised equally at least or higher at best. Pre Civil War plantation owners had no problems raising productivity. Instead of a whip, neocon uses hunger to generate American productivity.

Posted by: Thom Houts at March 9, 2006 4:11 AM
Comment #132361

But at least Bush is trying diplomacy.
- Too little and too late.

It’s painful for those who lose jobs. But the fundamental question is, how does a government or society react to that. And it’s basically one of two ways. One is to say, losing jobs is painful, therefore, let’s throw up protectionist walls. And the other is to say, losing jobs is painful, so let’s make sure people are educated so they can find – fill the jobs of the 21st century.
- And how would Dubba know, any screw-up he made in the business world was easily erased with Daddys checkbook.

Posted by: earjoy at March 9, 2006 5:24 AM
Comment #132367

Ken:

Bush won hands down each time … he definitely won the “likability” quotient over Kerry. Kerry, who most people agreed wouldn’t stop to help change your tire if you were bleeding from the throat and had a cast on both legs.

You’re right, Ken, in that situation Kerry definately wouldn’t stop to help change your tire. He’d get you to the hospital if you were bleeding from the throat. See, that’s the difference between Bush and Kerry… Bush is a well intentioned, pleasant, and “helpful” guy… while Kerry will give you the help you actually need rather than stopping to change a tire for you when you’re actually bleeding to death.

Posted by: Jarandhel at March 9, 2006 7:37 AM
Comment #132372

You guys are right. Things like who will change your tire are what most people base their vote on. So we get a president who doesn’t do homework and can’t assess complex peoblems. Good job America.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 9, 2006 8:19 AM
Comment #132376

BAIT:

question is, would Bush actually know how to change the tire once he stopped to help?

Posted by: macsonix at March 9, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #132387

Oh my god, Jarandhel, just one word will suffice:

PWNED.

I am in awe.

Posted by: Arr-squared at March 9, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #132390

Jarahndel,

That was the problem with Kerry wasn’t it … he thought he knew what was best for EVERYBODY … standard Notheastern bred mentality.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at March 9, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #132397

Ken Cooper,

FYI Dubya was born in New Haven, Connecticut and attended Phillips Andover Academy. Actually, he was a cheerleader at Phillips Andover Academy. But he’s the macho one and Kerry’s the girly-man. Sigh…

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 9, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #132424

Woody:

Kerry v. Bush…..that’s sooooo 2004!

Sorry, every so often I get the insane urge to talk like Paris Hilton. Lets not let this thread regarding Bush and India devolve into a retro Bush v Kerry rabbit hole. :)

Posted by: joebagodinuts at March 9, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #132433

Why did India have to get our help creating nuclear weapons without signing the non-proliferation treaty? There’s no international policy now for whether or not a country can or cannot legitimately have nuclear weapons.

I know I’m not the genuis the almighty Bush is, but it seems to me that if we are in a war against terrorism we should be limiting the number of nuclear weapons out there not increasing them. Just saying Bush’s name in the same sentence as the words ‘nuclear weapons’ makes me cringe in anticipation of the blunders waiting to happen.

Posted by: Max at March 9, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #132442

max…..try pronouncing it nukYuhler…..it sounds better !!! ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 9, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #132459

Max,

Yes, more exactness from the Left. (Ya have to admit a bullseye when you see one!) Bush is irresponsible with nuclear weapons … I think we’ve lost or given away 2 or 300 while he’s been in office. And then there’s all those 3rd world countries that have gained nuclear weapon capability during Bush’s term!!! My goodness, you’re right to be alarmed! Let’s see … there’s uhhh … ummmm … . hold on, I’ll think of a country … gimme a sec.

Of course Bush is a belligerent bully so we have to let Iran get nukes otherwise you folks on the left might keep calling him names … and, well, that would be the end all things governmental … can’t have that.

AND PAUL, while I’m at it … Bush has never vetoed a single bill which the Left complains about (surprise surprise) but now you say he’s never seen an agreement he likes which, um, the Left complains about (surprise surprise). So agreeing with Congress = “bad” and disagreeing in any part of the world = “bad”. Please do clarify who he’s allowed to agree with and disagree with because I think some of us might have a question or two about that.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at March 9, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #132470

ken,

I think what most of the left and right are giving on this post is their preference of character. Bush has an unsettling character to some and a buddy character for others. Which are you on? Left, right, middle, its all the same to me. We have a leader that, talks when he’s told to talk and say what he’s told to say. So, with that being said. Bush isn’t the idiot, he is the guy with all the idiots hands up his ass making him sing and dance. To think that he is capable of coming up with any of this stuff on his own, is just crazy. But, it’s not like anybody else could do it any better though. This is a group effort and he is in the front of it spouting out whatever they all agree upon. The parties set in place to run this country have their own political agendas. I really don’t know why we all have opinions and thoughts of our own yet, we elect one guy to represent us in worldly matters. How many of us would pick a Texan or, a so called Texan, to represent us all in every country around the world. I mean John Wayne kicked ass but, I don’t want him to solve the Nuclear affairs of the world. We really don’t need a mexican stand-off at high noon to decide the victor. Yet, we send a “cowboy” to handle negotiations that, he and his gaggle decide what to do in. I mean GW part 2 has done some bonehead things and some great things while in office or else he wouldn’t still be here. I think people identify with fault and most people are blinded by their own. So, to have a leader that does it with them is like winning the lottery, for some anyway. Like Sandra D up there said, the guy couldn’t even say the word correctly and he is the one who helped the “no child left behind” act get through. How far do we as the American people have to lower our intelligence for us to see him as smart and wonderful. He and his buds think pretty damn low because, the standards continue to drop and the relevency of standardize testing is going away. All so everyong can have an equal chance some might say. But, we can see where good sound bites and publicists got us so far. I think if we just stop running around taking whatever these “leaders” have to say as gold and hold them accountable in our own minds; we won’t have a division in the U.S. the way we do now. But, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO we have to draw lines in the sand and pick which side of the fence to be on, on every single topic. I guess in the end it really doesn’t matter what happens because, we are just going to get another person to bitch about every 4-8 years. Maybe that is why there is no accountability when they’re gone they’re gone. The only other option is a dictatorship which all know would not work. So, where does that leave us, the silent majority.

Posted by: chad at March 9, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #132471

Paul,
Great job man. I would like to hear your thoughts on education later. I assume they will be as unbias as this post was. Which is a nice change from the usual around here.

Posted by: chad at March 9, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #132485

So….lotta hot air the last couple of weeks on the port thing,huh?

Let’s see…an American company ends up running the ports…as predicted here two weeks ago….the Republican in Congress get their security gonads back in time for the mid-term election…and the president ends up on stronger footing with the UAE as a result of his willingness to go to bat for them…

Yawn….another clever outcome….and the rug pulled out…again….from my democratic friends……yawn….hehehe….

Posted by: sicilianeagle at March 9, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #132490

First, a correction to something I said in a previous post: India tested its first nuclear weapon in 1978, not in the 1990’s. Pakistan followed suit in the late 1990’s.

The assertion that some are making that Iran’s nuclear program has anything to do with Bush is silly. They have have been pursuing nukes for more than 20 years, a fact the IAEA was shocked to learn, which subsequently led to efforts to divert their nuclear ambitions.

Posted by: boojum at March 9, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #132493

India good. Pakistan bad. It’s really that simple. Even Bush gets it, so it must be very simple. Pakistan was a cold war ally. Now they are outflanked on the Afghan-Uzbekistan side. India has the largest English speaking population on earth, the Dalai Lama, and a government more democratic than ours. Go India!

Posted by: ohrealy at March 9, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #132495

Tim Crow: I don’t expect you to be an economist or to take my word for anything out of hand. Rather, I encourage you to keep reading on these topics (outsourcing, free trade, etc) and explore for yourself. I expect that you’ll be inherently suspicious of anything I recommend regardless of how mainstream it is. Such are our times that people are immediately placed into ideological camps and immediately disregarded by the opposite side regardless of what they say, sensible or not.

I am not a neo-con and my criticisms of this administration are quite virulent on a variety of topics ranging from the environment to postwar planning and management in Iraq. Free trade, however, is not a product of the neo-cons, Bush or even the Republicans, although recent history has seen them act as its main proponents in the US.

Rather, modern free trade originated in the post-World War II FDR/Truman era, and one of the two progenitors of the system was John Maynard Keynes, a liberal icon on par with FDR. The purpose of the system, crudely put, was to ensure a free trading system that would enable all participating nations to prosper and avoid the protectionism that led to the Great Depression (which in turn led to WWII).

The post-WWII era of liberal trade has been the most globally prosperous in the history of the world, benefitting nearly every nation on the planet that has participated. The countries whose progress was most retarded were ones who shunned free trade: for instance, North Korea, Soviet Union, Cuba, and corrupt, autarkic regimes in Africa.

There has been more scientific progress in the past 50 years than in all previous human history combined. Living standards, infant death rates, life expectancy, education levels and myriad other meausurements of human progress have all improved dramatically, and most acutely in nations most open to trade.

Is it all wine and roses? No. Some people do lose out as economic adjustments occur, but it’s almost always a short-term loss as new jobs are created to replace old ones. Both Cllinton and Bush have embraced govt sponsored training programs to help people who lose jobs to trade adjust.

Anyway, this is all way off topic from Paul’s original post, and my apologies to him for straying.

Posted by: boojum at March 9, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #132521

Just to stir the pot…wasn’t there supposed to be a 45 day period for checking this deal out?

What if the reason UAE backed down is because it had something to hide?

If the plot was to use the port operation to hurt the United States, and that 45 days might uncover that plot…?!?!

Posted by: Marysdude at March 9, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #132566

boojum:

Your backround and comments are noted. As you say, I’m sure we will cross paths again on economic issues—let’s keep the discussion in focus on the Bush/India thing.

Posted by: Tim Crow at March 9, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #132569

Chad,

All presidents have advisors. To call this president a puppet president more than any other … ignorant in my opinion. Cheney and Rice are two of the most foreign policy smart people in the world, especially Rice. Bitch about Rummy if you want, but he was SecDef before so it’s not like he was some Bush cousin without credentials.

And to damn to eternal political hell all past, present, and future Texas national politicians … simply infantile. There’s a boatload from both parties in our political past, and, because of Texas’s electoral importance, it’ll continue that way for a longggg time. I’d suggest a more informed, less biased view.

And as far as politicians who don’t say all English words correctly, I think the Left has about, oh, a couple thousand hispanic politicians who would get wiped out with your “If you can’t speak it according to Webster then you can’t represent me” stance.

The relevancy of standardized testing is going away? Really?! The last I heard, via the democratic web page, they support ‘No Child Left Behind’ but disagree with its funding. So you’re a bit out-numbered my friend. Or! We could have non-standardized testing!! Yeah, that’s the ticket. That should tell us a lot about how we’re teaching our kids!

Our current leaders are the cause for division in our country. R U positive?? Because, well, I remember a pretty divided country in the 2000 election. Or did the incapable GWB do all that divisiveness while being the governor of the ignorable state of Texas?

And president’s aren’t accountable? LBJ didn’t run for a 2nd term because he felt accountable about the Vietnam War. Nixon resigned because he was accountable for Watergate. Carter was held accountable for an awful economy and a dilapidated military in the 1980 election. Bush 41 won a quick and impressive war, but he was held accountable in 1992 because of economy concerns and raising taxes when he promised he wouldn’t. And Clinton was impeached by the House of Reps for lying to a Grand Jury. Now, what part of President’s aren’t accountable did I miss?

(Go ahead, tell me GWB wasn’t held accountable after lying about Iraq … I got a copy and paste locked and loaded.)

Posted by: Ken C. at March 9, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #132571

Marysdude,

I’m not a gigantic fan of the UAE Port deal but some of those on the Right and Left who vehemently contest it amuse me. The big crack up for me is that some people are crazy upset that the NSA can monitor one’s impromptu call (phone conversations rarely wait for warrants)to an Al Qaeda rep in the UAE, but people are all up in arms about them unloading boxes at our port terminals. Yin Yang.

Anyway, to answer your question, any plot via the UAE port deal is ridiculous. Using the port contract to somehow sneak in a terrorist strike gives the US what we are begging for … an exact government with exact borders for us to annihilate in the war on terror. The huge advantage terrorists have now is that they’re all divided up in their cells, sneaking around in various countries of the world. Anything which helps put a bullseye on them, well, I guess it’s not impossible but they would be committing tactical suicide and not just terrorist homicide if they did it.

Posted by: Ken C. at March 9, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #132595

Ken C,

Wow, what a response call me ignorant and uninformed. What I said was we can’t do any better with the system we have in place. Read the words that I write don’t just respnd with your emotions please. I didn’t insult you. If I did it wasn’t directly. I may have taken some shots at political groups which, you may consider yourself a part of. But, never did I once say your ignorant or stupid. All the examples you’ve pointed out of “accountability”, public opinion accounted for those withdrawls. If they could have had better cover-up men around them they wouldn’t have done what they’ve done. Let’s not get off track though. This has nothing to do with Iraq or anything like that. It has to do with the lack of representation of the people when decisions are being made. We put well to do career politicians in charge to decide whats best for the common man. Tell me how that makes sense. Maybe I’m just ignorant and don’t know why. But, since I seem to have some sort of ability to understand the happenings around me, I can see that they really don’t care about us as long as they get re-elected and their wants and needs are met. They are willing to shovel whatever crap we are willing to eat right down our throats. So, Ken who is the the shit eater and who is the shit talker. Do I have any facts to back up my claims sure, all I have to do is say, Bush is an Idiot for some random reason and all his little children will come out and give me all the proof I need. Excuses are all he has and all anyone has when there is a mistake. It’s just how do they voice the admittance of fault. Through what canal do they release it. Sure swollow all the peopaganda and smile but, I won’t I’ll question all the bastard’s motives in charge until they’re gone and I no longer have to. You answer me as if you’re in there fighting the good fight with them they don’t care about you they only care about you on election day. Call up your local senator or rep and tell him your life problems see if legislation gets passed to help you and your kind. It won’t. Because, your not a target group that isn’t eating up all their witty remarks about all the crap in the media. I’m ignorant but, your defending someone’s veiws who you’ve probably never met. Wake up. Sorry I sound cold and uncaring but, attitude reflects leadership.

Posted by: chad at March 10, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #132596

ken,

I forgot to defend the exact point sorry for the double post. You wrote “All presidents have advisors. To call this president a puppet president more than any other … ignorant in my opinion. Cheney and Rice are two of the most foreign policy smart people in the world, especially Rice. Bitch about Rummy if you want, but he was SecDef before so it’s not like he was some Bush cousin without credentials”

When did I say anyone was worse than any other? Who did I compare anyone to?

I wrote “We have a leader that, talks when he’s told to talk and say what he’s told to say. So, with that being said. Bush isn’t the idiot, he is the guy with all the idiots hands up his ass making him sing and dance. To think that he is capable of coming up with any of this stuff on his own, is just crazy. But, it’s not like anybody else could do it any better though. This is a group effort and he is in the front of it spouting out whatever they all agree upon.”

Where’s the comparison in there? When you defend something I never attacked it makes you sound guilty.

Posted by: chad at March 10, 2006 1:51 AM
Comment #132696

Chad,

I still don’t understand your exact stance on Bush the Puppet … he’s worse than anyone before? just standard worse? Is he not supposed to have advisors? Can you point to any issue that Bush personally felt “anti” about but went “pro” on the issue just because of the puppet strings?

If you were just making a general party-neutral statement about government, I accept that. And I apologize if I over-shot on my initial rebuttal. I think I’m like most Americans, I can tell you why I love our country for at least 3 days … and then take 7 days to tell you what’s wrong with it. But I’ve studied and visited many other countries and there is no place I would rather have a home than the USA.

But again, Reps have elections every 2 years … a brutal schedule. Anything Senators or Presidents do is in the spotlight 24/7. Especially in today’s light speed media age, not only can they not get away with much, but everyone knows about the accusations before they’re even backed up with facts. They’re thrown out or resign out of office all the time. They are held accountable.

Now, if you’re talking about necessary changes to Congressional ethics, hey, I’m with ya … but those who skirt the law still don’t break the law. Or, in other words, if the minimum wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t be the minimum. I guess the key is to change “the minimum.

Posted by: Ken C. at March 10, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #132721

Read the words that I write don’t just respnd with your emotions please

chad, they respond from their talking points, which may or may not be related to your post. After a while, you’ll learn to ignore the trolls and flamethrowers, who belong on the red forums but come over here to repost in an attempt to hijack the discussion to their own ends.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 10, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #132732

Ken,
Thank you for that. That was what I was trying to put across. I just see Bush as no better or worse than any other candidate we have out there to replace him. Sure there will be subtle differences in character but, they will all be politicians. I don’t trust any of them as far as I can throw them.

Posted by: chad at March 10, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #132734

Ohrealy,

I’ll keep that in mind.

Posted by: chad at March 10, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #133029

RIGHT ON, PAUL…you always hit the mark…great article, as usual and thank you…!!!!

Posted by: Phoenix55 at March 12, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #133239

To the ignorant moron above,most military personnel ARE Republic, democrats are too chicken-shit to fight. How do I know this? I am a US Sailor. Go to hell lefties.

Posted by: Tim at March 13, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #133370

Tim,
If you are in fact a sailor, why do you wish to be put in a position to die for another country’s freedom? Go join their army and die directly for them, instead of indirectly. I hope you aren’t a representative of the US military and if you aren’t, people reading your thoughts take you as one. Don’t put all the sailors into your “boat”, pardon the pun. I don’t think they would appreciate it. I know I don’t anyway. I thinkyour opinion is fine but, affiliating yourself with the government and attacking a group of Americans and calling them cowards makes you lose what little support you may of had. You give the Navy a black eye to the impressionable. Give your thoughts don’t give the Navy’s.

Posted by: chad at March 14, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #135779

The effect of the non-proliferation treaty regime on the spread of nuclear weapons is somewhere between zero and nil.

Countries acquire nuclear weapons if they think it’s in their interests, and they think they can get away with it. And if not, not.

The idea that paper barricades are actually going to affect anyone’s behavior is simply bizzare.

Posted by: S.M. Stirling at March 25, 2006 2:59 AM
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