Democrats & Liberals Archives

Biden On Lebanon

I’m not the world’s biggest Joe Biden fan (yet), but I just heard him on Larry King Live and was totally impressed. He clearly understands what’s going on in the Middle East and sees the conflict in Lebanon as a huge opportunity to unravel and solve some of the biggest problems in the region.

The Lebanese army is incapable of disarming Hezbollah, and until now there was no support for an international intervention to do so. Biden pointed out that the support is there now. Unfortunately, President Bush -- if he does it at all -- will send assault troops to do a peacekeeping job as he did in Iraq, and end up alienating and destabilizing the very country we're trying to strengthen. Bush's United States doesn't do peacekeeping and Republicans are training and equipping our troops to fight some mythical war with China leaving them unprepared to win the wars we're fighting right now -- and the wars we will fight in the future.

Biden also pointed out that the Sunni Arab governments are ready to support us against Iran and their Shiite proxy organizations like Hezbollah. We have a very good opportunity to form a strong regional coalition dedicated to stopping Iran's nuclear ambitions and perhaps even ending its support for terrorist organizations. Unfortunately, it's going to require a level of diplomatic skill and information management that the Bush administration does not have -- and wouldn't pursue even if they did.

Republican leaders are so caught up in the thrill of what they're calling "World War III" that they're looking for ways to expand the conflict rather than manage it to strengthen Lebanon's fledgling democracy, create legitimate and lasting international and regional alliances to stabilize the Middle East, check Iran's nuclear and regional ambitions, and possibly even create a true Palestinian state coexisting with Israel with the support of Arab leaders.

Democrats see the situation in Lebanon clearly and believe it's an opportunity to finally stabilize a strategically vital region, and I'm completely confident a Democratic President would succeed. Republicans, on the other hand, see the conflict as either an election year political opportunity at best ("You can't change horses in mid-stream") or Armageddon, the End Times, and the Rapture at worst. Either way, Republicans are loving their "World War III" and they're stoking the fires rather than trying to shape an end-game that leaves us and the rest of the world better off than before.

Posted by American Pundit at July 20, 2006 2:02 AM
Comments
Comment #169060

Hmmm, so Biden’s point is that Sunni gov’ts would support Israel’s side against Shite Muslims?

While this would surprise me, I definitely would love to see MidEast lemons made into lemonade. I look forward to all gov’ts & sides to put Biden’s logic into practice (if he is really making sense, and not just sound bites).

But while the idea is novel, the gratuitous Bush-bashing and Republican bashing was maybe not so novel/interesting.

Posted by: Brian at July 20, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #169064

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan have already blamed Hezbollah rather than Israel for the current conflict because Iran and its Shiite terrorist groups like Hezbollah are more of a threat to the region’s Sunni governments. How long that’ll last depends on how well President Bush and Israel manage the conflict and the perception of the conflict — if they’re even interested in doing so.

I haven’t heard anything from the administration that makes me believe they have a plan to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen Lebanon or solidify opposition to Iran’s regional and nuclear ambitions.

And the criticisms I made of the Bush administration are all valid. Which part did you consider “gratuitous Bush-bashing”?

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #169069

Joe Biden is definitely the most well informed candidate on foreign policy for either party in 2008 right now. He has been chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and works often on bipartisan efforts in that committee along with Republican Richard Luger from Nebraska who is the current chair.

I acutally think both the Dems and Republican have strong candidates for 2008. It is because all candidates I know of have placed a strong emphasis on foreign policy. How we court Russia, China and even Iran in the next couple years may go along way determining the way the world spins.

In 2008, I think the American people need to realize that foreign policy is the most pressing issue, not gay marriage, abortion or stem cell research.

When people in other countries are flying American flags instead of burning them; this is our best security.

A guy like Joe Biden is who the best informed from what I have seen and read could put us back into the orbit of international politics which this current administration has thrown us out of.

Posted by: Steve C. at July 20, 2006 5:14 AM
Comment #169086

American Pundit,

Your/Biden’s view that most Sunni gov’ts will support Israel in Lebanon over Shiite Muslims is an interesting opinion to me … the rest seems like unsubstantiated / false bomb-throwing.

Since you explicitly asked me … Bashing Bush & Rebublicans seems extraneous to Biden’s suggestion, so it seemed gratuitous.

I see only 2 claims you say Biden makes:
- “Biden pointed out that the support is there now.”
- “Biden also pointed out that the Sunni Arab governments are ready to support us [YOU MEAN ISRAEL IN LEBANON, PER THE NAME OF YOUR POST?] against Iran and their Shiite proxy organizations like Hezbollah”


Compared to this, your article seems more about Bush-Bashing and Republican-Bashing…

BUSH BASHING:
- “Bush … will end up alienating and destabilizing the very country we’re trying to strengthen” [Hmmm, your crystal ball must be very good]
- “Bush’s United States doesn’t do peacekeeping”
- “Bush … is training and equipping our troops to fight some mythical war with China.”
- “Bush is … leaving our troops unprepared to win the wars we’re fighting right now — and the wars we will fight in the future.”

REPUBLICAN BASHING:
- “Republican leaders are caught up in the thrill of what they’re calling “World War III”“
- “Republican leaders … looking for ways to expand the conflict rather than manage it [correctly]”
- “Republicans see the conflict as an election year political opportunity”
- “Republicans see the conflict as Armageddon, the End Times, and the Rapture”
- “Republicans are loving their “World War III”“
- “Republicans are … stoking the fires rather than trying to shape an end-game that leaves us and the rest of the world better off than before.”


ALTHOUGH YOU SAY ALL THESE CRITICISMS ARE VALID, THEY SEEM INVALID TO ME … MORE NEGATIVE THINKING
- Bush will screw it up in the future — though you say “the criticisms I made of the Bush administration are all valid”, you cannot prove what Bush will do in the future, correct?
- As commander in chief, Bush’s US Armed forces are being trained only for fighting China?? C’mon!!
- Republicans ‘love WWIII’!! C’mon, let’s all be a little more intellectually honest than this, OK?

Posted by: Brian at July 20, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #169087

AP:

You don’t give much information in your posting. You essentially say that Biden supports and international coalition to disarm Hezbollah and to keep Iran in check, and that Biden thinks the time is right to garner support for such a coalition.

Then you go on to dump on Bush and the GOP. Big surprise.

Conditions may be right to garner international support, but they have not been this way for a long time. The conditions have just now become this way, if they truly are this way at all.

We do need to capitalize on this. Allowing Israel to continue to hammer Hezbollah, as discussions about a ceasefire go on, is not a bad thing, if you truly want to disarm them.

The US is currently involving other countries in both the Iran and North Korea issues, and some on the left are blaming him for doing so. I’d think they’d be praising him for doing so, but they can’t seem to get past their hatred.

So you support building a coalition to deal with both Hezbollah and Iran. What are your first recommended steps in building such a coalition, who controls it (one entity must be in control) and how far ranging is its mandate. For instance, what if Iran resists? Does the coalition reverse itself, does it attack, does it issue resolutions, does it enforce sanctions (that might harm the citizens more than the govt), etc.

Its easy to state your plan as “We’ll build a coalition and win”. Its about as easy as a business saying their plan is to double their sales. The important things are the strategy behind the objective….I haven’t seen from you any discussion of such a strategy. I’m asking for it now.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #169112

well, firstly we could, after the proper meetings and diplomatic processes, agree to a significantly multilateral force to occupy Lebanon to keep the everyday, on-the-street peace. I imagine they would be able to keep a large number of rocket launchers out of residential areas, which would be a good start. Their work could be backed up by NATO muscle or a coalition of UN Security Council nations, who could move against Hezbollah with impunity and be a tremendous deterrent to any rouge nation stupid enough to take on the US, Britain, Israel, Russia, and likely a host of other nations at a time like this.

Admittedly the Bush bashing is a cheap but always welcome opportunity to marvel at how often one dog can come up on an Animal Planet reel of goofy pet tricks. This guy is writing a book on what not to do in a wide variety of situations, and the enormous breadth of his inefficacy is astounding. Biden, on the other hand, seems to get it to at least some degree that is at least based on some reality that is not faith-based. The Syrians hopefully are as insightful recognizing the potential impact of this opportunity to elevate their international political posture.

It’s all in the realization that it is actually not in the world’s best interests to actuate and anticipate some sort of mythical epic of civilizations massacring each other over God. And I, personally, think that’s an easy sell. Afterward, we’ve all just got to put our money where our mouths are.

Posted by: macsonix at July 20, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #169113

Good article from Lou Dobbs: Not so smart when it comes to the Middle East

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #169114

AP,

Does I miss something or your title is the anagram of “Ben Laden in boon” ?

Any hidden message in your post?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 20, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #169121

I forgot to mention another country poised to reap untold benefits from a less rigid stance in the region - Iran has come upon quite an interesting moment in their young history, too - and I wonder if the mullahs or someone who can take charge of the national consciousness is up to the challenge of bringing to bear the full weight of the Iranian public’s will against extremist fundamentalism. Iran is the country that truly controls the future of the battle between modern secularism and a Mideast worldview based on jihad.

Hi Adrienne. Long time no see.

Posted by: macsonix at July 20, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #169144

macsonix:
“Hi Adrienne. Long time no see.”

Hi hon, nice to see you back!

“Admittedly the Bush bashing is a cheap but always welcome opportunity to marvel at how often one dog can come up on an Animal Planet reel of goofy pet tricks.”

I think the bashing is well deserved, even though it is ineffective. The sad truth is, this administration and their faithful followers don’t seem to care one bit what anyone thinks.

“This guy is writing a book on what not to do in a wide variety of situations, and the enormous breadth of his inefficacy is astounding.”

It really is. He is a national disgrace and embarrassment. He acts like a seven year old boy who thinks he knows everything, but knows nothing at all — while being reckless, totally disinterested, and disgustingly vulgar. His recent “open mic” moment revealed this all too clearly — every detail, from his chewing with his mouth open, to his appallingly stupid comments so arrogantly made, to the fact that he obviously has no grasp on international affairs whatsoever, exposed his utter lack of dignity and his pea-sized brain to the entire world. And if that wasn’t enough, he had to go follow that up by groping Angela Merkel the next day — because he’s also that kind of a Creep — the kind who thinks he can inappropriately touch a woman simply because she is a woman.

Whew! Sorry, just felt the need to get that out…

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #169157

Adrienne:

Thanks for the laugh. That’s really all I can take out of your post. It couldn’t have been funnier. At first I thought it was sarcasm or satire, but then I saw that it was real. That made it even funnier. Thanks.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #169163

Jbod,
Since you automatically attack the messenger rather than the message, do I detect a certain level of SCC (sad clown syndrome) in your post? You know, “Laughing on the outside. Crying on the inside.”

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #169173

—Adrienne—Good post you are right on. I would love
to stick around posting, but from some of the above
posts, looks like a major infestation of sick trolls!!

Posted by: DAVID at July 20, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #169174

Adrienne:

I never once attacked the messenger. There was nothing of substance in the post to attack. So I laughed instead. Ilaughed first at the big issue you made of Bush’s comments, which are of no consequence to anyone but the most rabid of Bush haters. The breathlessness with which people responded to the President using the word “shit” was simply funny. But your opinion of Bush “groping” Merkel was the thing that took me from chuckling to side splitting guffaws.

I’m sure you detect quite a many things. I’ve seen that in your posts. You see things through a lens that is far different than most. You would be mistaken if you perceive any SCC in me—its just not there. But that might not prevent you from seeing it anyway. I can only tell you the truth—I don’t have the ability to make you believe it if you choose not to.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #169183

Adrienne:

“He is a national disgrace and embarrassment. He acts like a seven year old boy who thinks he knows everything, but knows nothing at all — while being reckless, totally disinterested, and disgustingly vulgar. His recent “open mic” moment revealed this all too clearly — every detail, from his chewing with his mouth open, to his appallingly stupid comments so arrogantly made, to the fact that he obviously has no grasp on international affairs whatsoever, exposed his utter lack of dignity and his pea-sized brain to the entire world.”

I couldn’t agree more with everything you said, every detail. Except i don’t think the entire world needed to be informed of his utter lack of dignity and his pea-sized brain….they already know. It’s the diehard Bush lovers who seem to dismiss every shred of evidence of this man’s astounding stupidity and ineptitude.

AP: I’ve been a big fan of Biden for several months now. He seems to have all the qualities I look for in a potential President, experience, judgement, humility, strength, integrity, and wisdom, to name a few. I truly hope he gets the Dem nomination, because he would run a good race and is the sort of person who could possibly turn us around with the world and with ourselves.

I’ve listened to him outline a strategy for Iraq which make good sense. His other proposals for international relations and internal issues are also top notch. His UniteOurStates.org has much info re his stands on issues.

Posted by: MaggieRose at July 20, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #169199

Bush does not have a rigid stance. He is open to all possibilities. He will start to work really hard to end hostilities. It just might take a couple more weeks. By then the situation on the ground will have improved and we can give peace a chance.

Biden is a smart guy, but he is not proposing anything others have not thought about. Everyone wants and effective coalition that could establish and/or maintain peace. Actually getting one is like belling the cat.

But Dems should keep on thinking of these plans. That is what they are good at doing.

Posted by: Jack at July 20, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #169204

Adrienne:

George Bush may not have taken a drink in decades but he is still an alcoholic. Booze and drugs are the medicines that allow alcoholics to live in the world. Deprived of that medicine, alcoholics who refuse self-examination and spiritual growth become the sorriest of creatures: the dry drunk, living without a buffer to face the grandiose lies and selfish arrogance that define their character.

from Patrick Moore on Yahoo Health, the original article seems to have been deleted, but here is a link to the parts I quoted on my blog:

bushs-untreated-alcoholism.html”>
http://ohrealy.blogspot.com/2006/07/
bushs-untreated-alcoholism.html

Posted by: ohrealy at July 20, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #169205

AP:

Good idea. But I do think the administration is considering it. I read in athe L.A. Times that, after the hostilities are over, U.S. plans to have a multinational peace force in a 12 mile buffer zone separating Israel from Lebanon. Furthermore, the plan calls for another group that would be inspecting Lebanon entry points for armament shipments.

I think that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan would be eager to cooperate in this endeavor.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 20, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #169210

jbod,
Who cares about the word “shit”? I certainly don’t. The rest of what he said was what I thought was even more stupid and objectionably clueless.
Not that I’m sure you’ll pick up on that fact, but why don’t you take a stab at reading the entire transcript, especially since you like to giggle so much: Full Text of Bush’s Private Exchange at G-8 Summit

“your opinion of Bush “groping” Merkel was the thing that took me from chuckling to side splitting guffaws.”

Oh, so you think it’s perfectly okay for him to have done that? You don’t think it was inappropriate? How about her reaction? Maybe Angela was just “asking for it”, eh?

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #169211
Bush will screw it up in the future

No crystal ball required, Brian. He’s got a track record and there’s no indication he’s making decisions designed to stabilize the region. In fact, I just heard John Bolton trying to whip up support for action against Syria.

As commander in chief, Bush’s US Armed forces are being trained only for fighting China?? C’mon!!

That’s all true. Check out the Pentagon’s latest Joint Vision 2020 document as well as books and articles on defense. “The Sling and the Stone” and “The Pentagon’s New Map” are excellent places to start.

Republicans ‘love WWIII’!! C’mon, let’s all be a little more intellectually honest than this, OK?

You first. This is the Republican talking point and was echoed universally by them over the airwaves and print media all last week. If, as I suspect, you don’t actually read the news, perhaps you saw the very funny satire of it on the Colbert Report the other night.

No, the criticism is all valid. And, like you, I prefer the positive attitude that Senator Biden is taking rather than the Bush administration’s push to widen the conflict and promote instability in the region.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #169214
Good idea. But I do think the administration is considering it.

Paul, it needs to be done now. Any progress toward stabilizing the region depends on the support of the Sunni Arab governments in the region — this is the part Biden gets and Bush doesn’t.

By next week, the Arabs are going to be so pissed off that their governments won’t be able to work with us to strengthen Lebanon’s democracy and check Iran’s ambitions. Things need to happen right now, and they’re not getting done.

Everyone wants and effective coalition that could establish and/or maintain peace. Actually getting one is like belling the cat.

Sure, Jack. It’s hard work. But many previous American Presidents have been up to the task. I don’t think Bush can do it if he continues to work out until noon and then go beddy-bye at 9pm. The first thing he needs to do is get Dr. Rice over there talking with these Arab leaders. That’s not happening.

You can bet that Bush Sr. and Clinton (and Biden) would be burning the midnight oils to figure out the end game for stability in the region. They’d have their Sec States living over there until alliances were created and agreements reached.

President Bush likes to upset the apple cart and then see which way things fall. He’s very reactionary. A good President would proactively shape the environment to ensure the apples fall where we want them.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #169222

Adrienne:

I’m still laughing over your post. I checked out your links too—nothing of substance in either of them. In the transcript, it was mostly nothing from all parties. It’s very easy for shallow thinking people to suggest that the transcript indicates any number of things, but really its just idle small talk. The deeper stuff doesn’t happen at the dinner table.

The Merkel thing…well, I think you diminish sexual harassment if you consider that harassment. Or even groping. Not that I’m surprised. A few years ago, there was a rather radical Syracuse University professor who claimed that there are many women out there who don’t even know they’ve been raped. Pardon me, but if you don’t know it, it probably shouldn’t be defined as rape. Her version was that even the mildest coercion such as “Cmon baby” or even the lack of a positive affirmative gave way to calling it rape. That level of thinking diminishes the ability to focus on the real thing, which of course is heinous. But I’m not surprised…not surprised at all.

While you are focused on a shoulder rub and idle dinner conversation, others will be focused on the important things. I, for one, can’t be content focusing on insignificancies, so I’ll hope that they get working on resolving the situation. You can focus on what you wish.

I tend to agree with Paul that there will be a regional coalition, because there are many who want this resolved. I agree with Jack that Hezbollah being disarmed is a good thing, and the more Israel can do the heavy lifting, the better it is in the long run. Hezbollah is like the playground punk who throws punches until someone punches back—then cowers on the ground looking for help. Its time Hezbollah learned that there are repercussions to their actions. IF they would simply return the kidnapped soldiers, they’d get the cease fire they are clamoring for.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #169224

I’m all for Joe Biden in the next Presedential election.

After that, I hope Obama will come…isn’t he Governor of Iowa or something right now?

Biden is very intelligent and will be great for stabilizing the Middle-East as well as keeping our economy up and getting rid of this deficit.

Posted by: Neil at July 20, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #169227

Does the Merkel “scandal” mean the right can excuse and ignore all of what Bush has done by just saying, “hey, its just a bj shoulder rub?”

Or is this another one of those justified “double standards” that the right is too clueless to understand?

Posted by: kctim at July 20, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #169229
I agree with Jack that Hezbollah being disarmed is a good thing, and the more Israel can do the heavy lifting, the better it is in the long run.

Then you’re both wrong, JBOD. The more Israel does, the less likely the Sunni Arab governments will work with us for stability in the region. That fact that you, Jack and President Bush don’t understand that is the difference between Republicans and Democrats like Biden.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #169232

Hezbollah should be destroyed. But will doing so by Israel create comple Middle-East conflict?

What is the easiest way to destroy terrorist without invoking the power of the Middle-East in conflict upon itself, each other, and everything that walks this Earth?

They say Iran is funding Hezbollah. If so, should we take action against Iran.

We certainly should do nothing to the effect of what Bush did in Iraq.

I think we need to play a more strategic game than violent…

Oh Religion seems like so much of a trouble to the world! There have been religious conflicts over thousands of years. Why can’t people just keep their religions to themselves?

sorry…a bit frustrated

Posted by: Neil at July 20, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #169233

AP:

Hezbollah’s stated mission is to eradicate Israel from the map. They bide their time and then act on their mission from time to time.

In regard to terrorists, many have claimed that US policy “made” the terrorists hit the World Trade Center towers. They cite American policies as the reason for Americans being killed on the USS Cole, the first WTC bombing, Khobar Towers, the Beirut embassy etc. It seems to always be America’s fault. Never the poor terrorists. It’s kind of like the old Flip Wilson routine: “The DEVIL made me do it”.

In this case, Israel responded—yes responded—to the kidnapping of its soldiers. Hezbollah threw the first punch, but forgot that Israel is the stronger fighter. Hezbollah has the opportunity to return the soldiers—that will force Israel to make good on its promise to stop its attack.

Why has Hezbollah not done so? Where are your concerns about their lack of action? They started this, and they have the means to end it, yet they do not.

The reality is that Israel could take no provocative action for years, could make amends for any real or perceived wrongdoings, could take the bad side of any deal, and Arab fanatics would still hate Israel and take the first opportunity to destroy Israel. You pretend that if only Israel would play nice, the problems would go away. And they would, until the next attack against Israel.

At some point in life, one is forced to fight fire with fire.

I don’t see Biden saying much other than lets get a bunch of countries together to stop this. You didn’t put much of Biden’s commentary, if any, in your post, and I’ve not seen it. But that’s kind of a no-brainer, and no one is against that idea. The question is how to arrange a fair cease fire. Fair in Hezbollah’s mind is that Israel stop until Hezbollah can get its feet back under them. That’s not what a true cease fire is.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #169237

The history of the Bushies shows that they wanted no expenditure of “political capital” on attempting to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict, when the risks of failure were so high.

A bit different for Clinton who himself and his admin tried to get an agreemt between the parties…which the Palestinians walked away from rather than submitting a counter-offer in order to negotiate.

Now, the Israelis MUST overcome the Hezballah threat and Lebabon’s refusal to honor the UN resolution that ALL terrorists be removed from Lebanon…especially at Lebanon’s southen border where Israeli’s northern border is…and from where Hezballah has been launching rockets from for years against Israel’s civilians.

Bush now NEEDS to stand aside and not interfere with Israel’s urgent need to rid themselves of the terrorist murderous Hezbellah. Otherwise, the attacks and kidnappings will continue ad infinitum…

As for the Sunni plan to be inveigled into opposing Shiites’ radical Islamic policies—and depriving Sunnis of governing power in Iraq, where they have prevailed for many years w Hussein—the exstent of hatred between these factions is daily revealed in Iraq where a cival war between them is/has been the order of the day.

Thus, I think the Sunnis will be happy to contend agaist the Shiites and pull the rug out from under their feet even tho it aids Israel, because their own lust/need for political power would overwhelm their anti-Israeli bias.

Good idea …and SURELY worth pursuing!

Posted by: Art Dolin at July 20, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #169238

jbod:

You want to see nothing of substance? Here you go.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #169242

Adrienne

Thanks, that was exactly what you claimed it was.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #169241

The problem with the middle east is the “sleeping” Panda Bear. The government of China is quietly working behind the scene because she knows whoever controlls the Middle East controlls the world. Why else would she makes sweetheart deals with Iran to get natural gas??? Thirty years ago in a class that I took in world affairs I stated at that time that China bears more watching that Moscow.

Posted by: WRA at July 20, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #169243

From Raw Story, interesting video from MSNBC: Matthews, Buchanan slam neocons for Mideast ‘warmongering’

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #169255

While you are focused on a shoulder rub and idle dinner conversation, others will be focused on the important things.

Does the Merkel “scandal” mean the right can excuse and ignore all of what Bush has done by just saying, “hey, its just a bj shoulder rub?”

You guys should just go right on sleeping. Nothing to see here. Bush can call Condi all the sexist names he wants and sneak up behind world leaders for a little rubdown anytime as far as I’m concerned - as long as the rest of the time, he’s working intelligently and diligently to get good things done for America and for the world. But you and I both know that’s not the case. It’s one thing to be a lecherous failed businessman but yet another to be a lecherous, contemptible, ignorant, confused, outclassed, simple-minded, woefully unaware bought-and-paid-for President of the United States.

To review, I think what some of us find so appallingly ironic is that we not only have a leader whose performance consistently suggests that he may not be up to the rigors of his office, but we Americans are distinguished to the rest of this planets’ inhabitants by a POTUS who confirms it everytime an unscripted word comes out of his mouth.

Posted by: macsonix at July 20, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #169270

Hey, i’ve wondered for a long time why the US acts as it does in the mid east. Then as I come across a paper from two prominent american academics, it all becomes clear. See the link below. There is a pdf download with full sources cited. And most Americans don’t seem to know that their foreign policy is not run for the benefit of the US, when it comes to this region.

http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011

Amazing how a democracy can allow itself to be hijacked in this way.

Posted by: Paul at July 20, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #169271

That last one by the way, was mine - my new notebook doesn’t have all my settings in place yet!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at July 20, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #169276

“Democrats see the situation in Lebanon clearly and believe it’s an opportunity to finally stabilize a strategically vital region, and I’m completely confident a Democratic President would succeed.”

Pundit, if that is not blind party loyalty nothing is my fiend. COmments like this make me (LOL). You are thinking of democrats under FDR and this party today is only similar in name….period. Those days are LONG gone….

We don’t need to enter this conflict. Israel can handle these terrorist w/o our help as long as other nations do not intervene. Can anyone tell me why the UN exists anymore? Does anyone follow their mandates? anywhere? Missles on the southern boarder of Lebanon….hello? UN you out there?

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 20, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #169289

I love how AP gives the UN a pass. The UN was in Lebanon for years, blue helmets and all, and quietly watched Hezbollah go about there business in Lebanon these last many years. Lebanese aren’t participatory in Hezbollah, but sometimes turning away and looking at your feet is just as bad. If they don’t want bad things to happen to their land, they should kick out the bad people. If they need help, ask. Uhh, I mean ask the people who can do it, not the UN.

Posted by: Ken Strong at July 20, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #169296

Biden’s problem is that he offers moral equivalency with Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas. He still hasn’t told me how you negotiate a peace treaty with terrorists.

Posted by: Ken Strong at July 20, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #169314

Paul

The Israeli’s not only have too much influence in our government, as your link shows, but also in the media. Ever notice how every network and cable news program has their Israeli expert giving the Israel viewpoint but often have a hard time coming up with somone who can represent the opposing side adequatly.

Posted by: mark at July 20, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #169325

JBOD,

Your comments kind of remind me of the buddy defending the inappropiate guy at the party.

Bush is a priveleged kid dufus, who rides the gravy train of success of his father’s and grandfather’s connections. Admit it Joe, and you will serve yourself better.

There is a difference between the “dufus” and the Republican policies carefully crafted by Karl and Dick.

You can laugh at Bush, and still believe in the Republican lost causes, Joe, but c’mon, I KNOW your not that blind.

Posted by: gergle at July 20, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #169340

Democrats see the situation in Lebanon clearly and believe it’s an opportunity to finally stabilize a strategically vital region, and I’m completely confident a Democratic President would succeed—-$$$—- You mean that pig bitch Hillary yes, she is looking very much and sounding like a President, with her to date, twenty-two mill war chest them sand niggers will put that bitch in a burka,and trim her clit.Israel must continue its ongoing operations in Gaza until the Palestinian militants’ ability to operate is so severely disrupted, and their personnel so denuded through Israeli arrests and assassinations, that they agree to cease launching attacks against Israel.
The people who are causing evil in the Middle East are Syria, Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas.It’s not the Jew’s straping on belly-bombs and blowing them selves up to kill in packed market places day after day year after year.WE must kill them ,kill them all, or untill they beg for the peace and stability of freedom and democracy. We’ve got to stand together and deal with this if we want peace in the Middle East.
The campaign against Hizbollah also fits squarely into the Bush administration’s long-held position that the war on terrorism it declared after the September 11 attacks cannot be limited to al Qaeda, but must include a broad spectrum of militants it says hate America’s way of life.Yes they are all tied together and have been for far too many years all in the name of alia.This war did not start the day George Bush was elected nor did it start by Hizbollah crossing under the border through sercet tunnels to kill eight of Israel’s men and kidnap two.I say tell it like it is{ there are mad as hell and are not going to take it any more}My God they make me proud.Yes and by doing so are showing to the world, you are one of us, or you are one of them, there is no middle ground.
Islamofascism seeks our destruction — Booth Left and Right, not accommodation, not conciliation, but complete and total destruction. Islamofascism does not end with the “the destruction.” Our very existence — democracy, freedom, religious tolerance and gender equality — threaten Islamofascism.
If the Europeans don’t get it, at least some of the so-called “moderate” Arab states do. In a dramatic departure from the past, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states blame Hezbollah, not Israel, for starting the war. Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu notes that the terrorists call Israel “little Satan,” and America the “great Satan.” But, Netanyahu warns, sooner or later the Europeans will realize that terrorists consider them the “middle Satan.”
Both current military clashes with Hizbullah and the Palestinians are one in the same and are destructive to civilians in Lebanon and Gaza because the fighting is taking place inside urban areas. But that’s because the Palestinian groups and Hizbullah routinely use these areas as bases from which to launch attacks and to store weapons, they refuse to let there women and children escape the fighting,so as to spill there blood, to advance there propaganda.
The targeting of roads and bridges in Lebanon and Gaza is also designed to deny the enemy mobility. At the same time, the targeting of roads and bridges, power plants, and, in the case of Lebanon, ports and airports, as well as the cutting off of Gaza and Lebanon from the outside world, is also designed to illustrate Israel’s overwhelming military might. It must convince not only Hizbullah and the Palestinian groups that they should abandon their attacks on Israel, but also send a broader regional message that proxy wars against Israel executed by Iran and Syria will no longer be tolerated.Nuke the sand niggers now, and give the world a great gift for peace,peace through supeior firepower.

Posted by: Angry White Bomb Maker at July 20, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #169349

gergle:

I’ve been very clear in the areas that I support Bush and the areas where I disagree with Bush. You see, that’s the difference between a partisan and a non-partisan. A partisan thinks only one way all the time, while I have the ability to both agree and disagree with Bush on issues. There is one person—ill leave them nameless—in WB who has admitted to not liking one single solitary thing that Bush has done in the past 5 years. I’d call that pretty solid partisan thinking.

I’d say that most politicians come from relatively privileged families—that’s a problem in our system today. Bush definitely did use his father’s connections in his run for office. I like, however, his straightforward attitude and his stance on many issues. I’ve long felt that we needed to deal more strongly with Saddam, but Clinton either didn’t feel that way or didn’t have the stomach for it. I like that Bush did have the stomach for it.

I don’t expect you to like Bush. But let one thing be known—he’s pretty consistent in doing what he says he is going to do. Its funny, though, that some in here lambaste him for being too unilateral, but when he involves other countries in the NK situation, then they lambaste him for not being unilateral. If you want to lambaste him, its easy enough to do. Often, it doesn’t even take intelligence.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 21, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #169354

Republican neocon talking point: Lebanese government not strong enough to control Hezbollah. Republican neocon solution: Weaken Lebanese government even further… Have their surrogates the Israelis, dust up Hezbollah - sure - but systematically dismantle the infrastructure of Lebanon and drive even more Lebanese into Hezbollah’s arms - to what purpose? Hezbollah is already popular in much of Lebanon - let make them popular everywhere - and the neocons are beating the drums for wider war. Escalation leads to the need for escalation. Either we eventually find a way to deescalate, or in the end it will be necessary to nuclear glassify the whole region - including Israel. This is an ancient, intractable, religious tribal conflict and there are no simplistic solutions. Israel is not going to dismantle Hezbollah from the air and occupation is not going to work any better than it does in Iraq. The neocons and “open mike”“open mouth eating” Bush are blaming Syria and Iran for this sh_t. I believe that Iran is behind this because of Bush’s failed foreign policy of spreading democracy to places like Lebanon and giving the Shia the upper hand in the region - and then threatening them with preemptive nuclear war and then confronting them when they try to join the nuclear club. Why would a Sunni nation like Syria help a Shia nation like Iran stir up trouble and distract from their nuclear program. They are rivals to Iran. They are fighting a proxy war with Iran in Iraq. Syria needs for Iraq to be Sunni dominated so that it can counter-balance Iran. But the neo-cons and Bush and war with Syria too, so they beat the drums of war.

Posted by: Ray Guest at July 21, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #169360

AP,
There is a chance the situation in Lebanon can be resolved in the next day or two.

The Israelis have made a horrible realization: the Hezbollah fighters are ready for them. The Israelis want the people of southern Lebanon to abandon the countryside, but far too many are staying. Hezbollah is not just a terrorist organization; it is an integral part of the Shia population, providing political representation and services, and by refusing to evacuate in large enough numbers, the population gives the fighters cover. Ambushes are in place, caves dug, and for all the bombing, Hezbollah itself lacks an infrastructure vulnerable to air power. Hezbollah is prepared. The sudden and grossly disprportionate escalation did not catch them by surprise.

Oh oh.

Worse, the Israeli destruction of the infrstructure of the Lebanese ports, roads, and so on, has not had the desired effect. The Lebanese blame Israel.

And even worse yet, Israel is being crushed in the court of world public opinion.

For example, the leader of Hezbollah publicly apologized for the deaths of two boys caused by Hezbollah rocket strikes.

Yeah, yeah, the apology contains the usual religious nuttiness that only believers in Middle Eastern religions can use to justify killing innocent people- but it is an apology, nevertheless. It stands in stark contrast with the Israeli attitude. Of course, Hezbollah is merely killing innocent civilians by the dozen, while Israel kills by the hunreds, waaaay too many to express regrets.

We missed a similar opportunity to do what the leader of Hezbollah just did, when US explosives killed Zarqawi in Iraq. Bush supporters called the death of Zarqawi an unquestionable victory. They blithely ignored the death of the 7 year old girl who was in the house when it was bombed. Had the US used that potential turning point as a moment to change the paradigm, the start expressing concern for the sancity of life, to put the attention on the little girl, rather than cheering death, we might have made a difference. Might.

But there is a chance the Israelis will stop right here. There is zero chance of their succeeding. None. Even the American news reporters on the scene were backing away from the FOX News approach that Hezbollah is just a bunch of guys in black ski masks, skulking around the borders of Israel. If everybody is smart, we will see an orchestrated intervention, and everyone will declare victory.

Sanity might take hold again. Let us hope.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #169366

Joebagadounuts: Just finished a piece in the Washington Post about how many conservatives and think tanks are angry with Bushes forign policy. Not putting enough troops in Iraq, not being tougher with N. Korea and Iran, prefering talks and coalition building to military options. One conservative wonk even said it was like Kerry’s policies would have been. Good. I will give Bush credit for that,knowing full well that the only reason is he has blown our options with that stupid Iraq war, but credit anyway. Or maybe there is actually a learning curve.
I still find it amazing you are of the opinion he does what he says. He ran on a program of fiscal responsibilty for heavens sake. He said he would make govenment smaller. Its bigger,google it. Did he “save” Social Security?He pushed through the No Child Left behind Act and failed to fully fund it. The perscription drug benefit is a desaster and getting worse. More like a poison pill inserted into medicare. Did he say he was going to do that? I forget.
I really am trying not to be partisan but it is hard. He swore to defend us. 9/11 happened on his watch. There is no denying that. He dismissed his chief terrorism advisor and ignored threat reports.No denying that either. Is that what he said he would do?It is beyond me how how you guys can ignore that. How about the lead up to the Iraq war. Do you like being fed false information?Even if you choose to belive it was the fault of the intelligence agencies,who do they work for? Is that what he said he would do? There is plenty more. I hope others chime in. Regards BillS

Posted by: BiiL at July 21, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #169368
Democrats see the situation in Lebanon clearly and believe it’s an opportunity to finally stabilize a strategically vital region, and I’m completely confident a Democratic President would succeed.

Gosh, if the Democrats have such superior grasp of the situation in the Middle East, it’s a crying shame that they never got around to solving these problems while they were in power.

To come back to earth for a second here, there may be clear lines drawn on this message board between partisan posters about what is the supposedly “Democratic” and supposedly “Republican” approach to this latest outbreak of violence, but in reality this is largely nonsensical.

There really aren’t such clear lines drawn right now between the Democrats and Republicans on this particular issue. There is a cacophony of different voices, with liberal and conservative pundits saying all kinds of different things. Biden says one thing, Howard Dean says something else, Hillary Clinton says yet another thing, and Republican officials, spokespeople, and adminisration officials all putting in their two bits as well.

It looks almost as if the hard core partisans are trying to find out what their team’s “position” is so they know what talking points they’re supposed to be reciting ad nauseum. Kind of pathetic. How this breaks down by party is actually not that clear.

Posted by: M P at July 21, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #169393
You pretend that if only Israel would play nice, the problems would go away. And they would, until the next attack against Israel.

JBOD, you know I never said anything like that. Israel was absolutely right to retaliate, but if this thing is going to work out to our advantage, they cannot be allowed to continue because it’s even now putting pressure on Sunni Arab governments to support Hezbollah rather than Lebanon.

A capable international force “that can shoot straight and hurt bad people if they have to,” as Biden put it, is the way to end this to our advantage.

Hezbollah will go down, but if it’s done at the hands of the Israelis we’re worse off than before with a much weaker Lebanon and a stronger Iran and Syria.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #169410

Ken Strong,

I love how AP gives the UN a pass. The UN was in Lebanon for years, blue helmets and all, and quietly watched Hezbollah go about there business in Lebanon these last many years. Lebanese aren’t participatory in Hezbollah, but sometimes turning away and looking at your feet is just as bad. If they don’t want bad things to happen to their land, they should kick out the bad people. If they need help, ask. Uhh, I mean ask the people who can do it, not the UN.

The UN FINUL force in Lebanon was never given the mandate to enforce disarming Hezbollah. UNSC members can’t agree on giving such mandate.

But now US, who never want to give enough mandate to FINUL as UNSC member to do the job (disarming Hezbollah) nor contribute any soldiers is asking internationnal community to turn away the eyes and allow Israel to continue to do the unmandated FINUL “job” by destroying Lebanon as a whole.

Better israelis soldiers to be killed and Lebanon being sacrified than losing any UNSC members national soldiers, I guess.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 21, 2006 6:02 AM
Comment #169423

AP:

I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. I agree—and did so above—that a regional coalition needs to be involved. But I also contend that Israel fighting back is not a bad thing. And by weakening Hezbollah, it makes it more likely that a UN regional force might be able to finish the job. You seem to want Israel to stop sooner than I do—that appears to be the difference between our positions.

Bill:

As I specifically stated, there are things that I’m unhappy with Bush about. Its a mixed bag with all Presidents, except for the truest of partisans. Some of your complaints about Bush are correct—others are just talking points that have been made up.

For instance, I agree with regard to the prescription drug benefit—didn’t like it from the start. I’d disagree with NCLB, since Bush has committed more funds to education than anyone in the past. What you scream about is that the program is more highly funded, but not to the absolute highest levels it could have been. Somehow, giving more money has become a negative, sort of like a lesser increase is actually a lower amount. Just aint so, friend.

Bush tackled SS, though unsuccessfully. Name the last politician with the political chutzpah to touch that third rail…can you do so? You blame Bush for allowing 9-11 on his watch, but then you should also credit him for the zero attacks since then. You’d also need to blame Bill Clinton for the 1993 Trade Center attack—the attack succeeded, though the scope of the attack did not have the degree of success that the 911 terrorists had.

I don’t give Bush credit in everything. There are a number of things he could have done differently. Often there is no road map to success…the success only comes after repeated trial and error. For instance, there have been multiple ideas of how to work on the North Korean problem—most from both sides have failed. Clinton’s policies certainly did not work, and its too soon to know if Bush is taking the right approach.

You blame Bush for “not being tougher with N. Korea and Iran, prefering talks and coalition building to military options.” The tougher approach you call for is precisely the approach the left bashes him for with regard to Iraq. It sounds like the left waits for Bush to take a direction, then bashes him for it. Doesn’t matter which way he chooses—-the bashing is sure to come.

A reasonable person can be against the general direction of the Bush admin, or can be for it. But a reasonable person sees both sides of the coin, and not only one side. Seeing only one side takes away the reality of the other side.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 21, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #169459

There is no doubt that this thread is actually discussing real topics.

I have always thought that Biden is in the know.

The republicans keep trying to make the Democrats seem like they are the ones who are out of touch.

republicans have no genuine allies in the world.

they have alienated themselves because they can’t admit to the disastrous decision they have made.

If the Democrats take back the house. I think the republicans are going to be angry because it won’t take long before the Democrats start earning America the international respect thay America should have.

The republicans are a disgrace.

The republican thread is nothing about hating liberals and war. The last thread is about education. I say we educate America as to how screwed up Iraq is.

The republicans are a disgrace.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 21, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #169463

“If the Democrats take back the house. I think the republicans are going to be angry because it won’t take long before the Democrats start earning America the international respect thay America should have”

It also won’t take long before the Democrats lose the respect of their fellow AMERICANS, again.
Whose RESPECT, means more at the polls?

As far as Biden, its always best to research and come to your OWN pro/con conclusions.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #169474

Angry White Bomb Maker said, “Nuke the sand niggers now, and give the world a great gift for peace,peace through supeior firepower.”

And that folks is the true Republican message!

KansasDem


Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #169475
Democrats see the situation in Lebanon clearly and believe it’s an opportunity to finally stabilize a strategically vital region, and I’m completely confident a Democratic President would succeed.

Ya, sure…just like the last Democratic president did.

The Israelis have made a horrible realization: the Hezbollah fighters are ready for them.

Israelis are neither stupid nor blind. They know exactly what they are facing and out number their enemies by a large margin. The only way they can screw up is by relying more on technology than they do on bayonets. Kill, not capture should be the order of the day.

Don’t be too impressed by the Hezbolla propeganda films either. The Israelis are the equal of any fighting force in the world and superior to most.

Posted by: Jerry K at July 21, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #169479

Given the amount of unrest, unrest hell it’s down and out war, across the mideast including the undeclared civil war in Iraq and the growing threats from Iran and North Korea I think Democrats, Republicans and all Americans should be concerned about our military capability.

So, are we?

“Strapped for money, Army extends cutbacks”:
http://www.startribune.com/587/story/565374.html

Maybe I worry too much, we can probably get China to bail us out.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #169480

“Kill, not capture should be the order of the day.”

Jerry K.,

So, if in doubt just kill ‘em all, and let god sort ‘em out right?

More typical Republican logic.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #169481

Did Biden arrive at this on his own ?
Or did he steal it?

Posted by: d.a.n at July 21, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #169482

Whats the bet that in the post war international rebuilding effort in Lebanon ,Haliburton gets plenty of work? Any takers?

Posted by: BillS at July 21, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #169484

Jerry K,
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmer, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister Foreign, all lack military experience. They very much resemble the Republican NeoCon chickenhawks with their deep seated insecurity. The new Israeli administration is anxious to prove it is tough on defense. Deep down, they do not really believe in themselves, which is why force is the first choice. The current Israeli administration has rejected the policy of previous Israeli administrations by refusing to consider prisoner swaps. To be fair, part of this Israeli policy has been influenced by the US, which is afraid the Iraqis will use that tactic.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #169487

“And that folks is the true Republican message!”

So whats the “true” Democrat message then:
Is it the left hates the US military and hopes more US troops die because it will help them in the elections?

Get real KDem!

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #169488

“Deep down, they do not really believe in themselves, which is why force is the first choice”

Yeah, hard to believe it was just one little kidnapping that pissed Israel off isn’t it.
Judging by their reaction, you would think they had been living in terror for the last 50+ years.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #169496

KCtim,
Oh, do not feel too bad for the Israelis. Their prime ministers have been war criminals, far worse than Arafat.

And I do not use the term “war criminals” loosely.

For example, the previous Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, led Unit 101 on a slaughter of more than 60 Palestinian civilians in their homes in 1953, in the village of Qibya. The massacre has been verified by independent oberservers.

Remember Prime Minister Begin? He participated in the King David Hotel bombing, also killing civilians.

You pride yourself on independent thinking, kctim. Look beyond the extremely slanted reporting presented to the US public. Most Americans can rightly see reasons to condemn the Palestinians et al, yet most Americans are blind to the atrocities perpetrated by the Israelis.

It is no coincidence Israel is condemned by most of the world.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #169499

We need to become energy independant like Brazil did. Here is Joe’s plan. Take a look.

Posted by: Garbo at July 21, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #169500

here is the URL:

http://uniteourstates.com/takeaction/energy_security

Posted by: garbo at July 21, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #169502

Oh, I dont feel bad for them Phx8, I just think they are too forgiving and weak.

And, I’ve read about Begin and Sharon. Never said Israel was totally innocent.

But I’ve also seen and read the otherside and until Israel starts promoting terrorism, funding terrorism, ignoring terrorism or cheering for American deaths and our destruction, I’ll go ahead and keep hoping Israel helps wipe out the enemy.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #169515

Amazing that i’ve got only one response to the link I provided above. It seems that most people prefer to just mouth their ill informed prejudice than to take the trouble to read the facts. Well, it’s your country folks, your troops and your money. Isn’t it a shame that people will send their children into harms way, without knowing why they’re going there? For those who are not too lazy, i’ve placed the link below again. The article is a pdf doc you’ll need to click on to read in full. It’s a long document, but worth the effort.

http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at July 21, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #169530

Paul
People should really check out this link and educate themselves. No wonder yesterday’s resolution in the House only had 8 no votes.
And I wonder how many in the U.S.A. realize that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid?

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #169533
But I also contend that Israel fighting back is not a bad thing.

Then I’m not sure who you’re arguing against, JBOD. I haven’t heard anyone say Israel should sit on their hands while terrorists are shooting rockets at them.

The Israelis absolutely should try to secure Southern Lebanon — every country has a duty to protect itself.

But if the Bush administration was smart, they’d have been working hard already to get a credible, capable international force in there so that the Israelis don’t have to do it themselves and poison the water hole in the Sunni Arab world for broader support for Lebanon and isolation of Iran.

I just heard Dr. Rice lay out the plan. As usual, the Bush administration is thinking small. This is an opportunity for lasting stability in the Middle East and a chance to forge strong alliances between the US, Israel, and the Sunni Arab governments — including Syria — to isolate Iran.

But the Bush adminstration is thinking only in terms of military action against Hezbollah. They’re thinking small. Democrats like Biden are thinking big.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #169534

“So whats the “true” Democrat message then:
Is it the left hates the US military and hopes more US troops die because it will help them in the elections?”

kctim,

Get real yourself, where do you get this garbage? Show me any proof to back up your statement. You certainly didn’t derive that nonsense from my posts.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #169535
Democrats see the situation in Lebanon clearly and believe it’s an opportunity to finally stabilize a strategically vital region, and I’m completely confident a Democratic President would succeed.

Ya, sure… just like the last Democratic president did.

Those who ignore history… are just plain ignorant, aren’t they.

Under the last three Republican Presidents the Israelis had to occupy Southern Lebanon. Under the last Democratic President, they were secure enough to leave.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #169537

KDem
“Get real yourself, where do you get this garbage?”

From the same place you got your garbage, from the extremes.

“Show me any proof to back up your statement. You certainly didn’t derive that nonsense from my posts”

Even if you had said anything like that, it would be wrong for someone to claim that is the view of the ENTIRE Democratic party.
If its fair to say the views of one pissed off blogger is the “true Republican message,” then its fair to say the views of moore and his ilk are the “true Democrat message.”

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #169539

kctim,

Touche’ neighbor. I guess one low blow does deserve another, but I get really irritated with meesages like those of “Angry White” and “Jerry” because I hear it every day, day in and day out, right here where I live. And I’ll guarantee you the messengers are Republican.

Anyone that believes we can solve this issue with bombs and bullets alone very seriously needs to seek psychiatric help NOW!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #169549

Paul in Euroland,

I’ve read the link. I’ve read most, if not all, of your links. I try to see both sides of every issue. I’ve avoided a reply to you because I wanted to avoid using the “A” word, but here it goes. “Anti-Semitism”!

I don’t deny that Israeli’s have committed atrocities, but that doesn’t mean Israel should be wiped off the map. If past atrocities were the sole deciding factor of whether or not a nation and it’s people should be allowed to exist, we’re all in really deep “doo-doo”.

I support Israel although I am concerned about the loss of life in Lebanon. I’d love to see peace throughout the world. Extremism, whether religious or otherwise, makes that impossible, and dwelling on past atrocities very easily creates more extremism. I’ve seen and heard ongoing extremism for Japan based on the way they waged war during WWII. We’re several decades late to start fighting that war again.

Moderation is the only answer and “Radicalism” must always be nipped in the bud before it has time to grow and spread.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #169555

“I just heard Dr. Rice lay out the plan.”

AP,

So did I, but just what was the plan? The answer lies with Syria? And Iran? I really didn’t hear a “plan” did you?

BTW I like Biden a lot. I also like Russ Feingold a lot. But, (1) right now I’m focusing on replacing Republican Kansas Rep. Moran with Democrat John Doll, and (2) come ‘08 I’m going to totally focus on “electability”, I’ll cast aside my personal preferences to support whatever Democrat or Independent stands the best chance of defeating the Republicans in ‘08.

I know some are pushing the no more incumbents band-wagon, well I’m pushing the no more Republican’ts bandwagon.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #169556

“because I hear it every day, day in and day out, right here where I live”

KDem, it pisses me off to. I now live in a Ford plant neighborhood so you know what I always hear, Ugh!

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #169561

“Republican’t”

Hah! They are the most “can’t do” bunch of people, aren’t they. According to Republicans, the economy can’t be any better, health care can’t be any more affordable, the war in Iraq can’t go any better, we can’t solve the immigration problem in a fair and efficient manner, global warming can’t be reversed, America can’t become energy independent, the hole in the ozone layer can’t be closed… Oh, wait! We won that victory after all, didn’t we.

And we gave retired people the means to live out their lives in dignity, and we gave them (until recently) affordable medicines, and we integrated our schools, and we went to the moon, and we busted our asses to give every American equal opportunity (and we still are), and we won two World Wars, and we gave working stiffs leverage against big business — of course Republicans came back and said we can’t do that.

Can’t, can’t, can’t. That’s all we hear out of the Republican’ts.

Good one, KansasDem.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #169562

KDem:

I know some are pushing the no more incumbents band-wagon, well I’m pushing the no more Republican’ts bandwagon.

Which is precisely why VOID is doomed to fail, in my opinion. Not enough people will vote for an incumbent from their party to lose. Instead, people will take the partisan route to help their party take control. Not saying you are wrong to do that; just saying that is what makes VOID very attractive but unrealistic.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 21, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #169573

joebagodonuts,

I’m not so sure that VOID will fail. In fact I think it will eventually win. Dave Remer has explained it the best and I won’t attempt to try and repeat him, but I know one part of that is being able to replace an irresponsible incumbent during the primary election.

On the presidential end of the election process I’ve been griping to everyone I can in Kansas about the Kansas Dem Parties caucas BS. I truly believe more Kansas Democrats would get off their arses and vote if we had a Primary Election process. It’s almost as though the Dem party in Kansas is saying, “we don’t matter”.

So, jbod, move to Kansas and become a Democrat, I need all the help I can get!

KansasDem

PS: I’m expecting a hearty, “that’ll be the day” response.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #169579

KDem
“I’m not so sure that VOID will fail”

IF the incumbent Dem was in a real close election with a Rep, would you still not vote for him/her?

While I believe VOID has some pretty good ideas, I think the “fear factor” will keep it from doing what it can.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #169582

KDem:

I don’t do Linda Ronstadt imitations….at least not in public :)

But you are the embodiment of why VOID won’t work. I dont see you ever voting for a Republican over a Democrat. Nor do I see you voting for a Democratic challenger with little chance in a general election over a Democratic incumbent with a good chance in a general election. And I’d be the polar opposite of your position.

Its a great thought, but not one with a great reality.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 21, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #169585

What is it about this David Remer guy. He’s got us talking(writing, thinking, whatever) about VOID on two different threads. I just posted some similar thoughts on the other one. I think I agree with JBOD, Kansas Dem, and kctm. Is that possible?

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #169587

Mark
VOID is a well intended idea and David supports it. If you have some time, follow one of the links and read some info on it. I found it pretty interesting.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #169588

Yeah, the angry white bombmakers of the blogoshpere could certainly benefit from a quick afternoon with a shrink and a PR consultant. As a native Texan, just a buck every time I hear a rant like that could’ve had me that ‘66 GTO convertible by now. As Chrissie Hynde said, as predicatable as armageddon.

Israel is entrenched in one of its two alter egos right now. Like Rabin in 1988, it’s time to break some bones and put a hurtin’ on. No nation with its act together is going to stand for these kidnappings. But there was a time in the future when Rabin, a centrist through and through, made peace with the Palestinians and created the relative calm in the area through most of the 90s, and there will be a time in the near future when this struggle for peace is not so tensioned. We are not going to like the bloodshed, civilian and otherwise, that occurs when this more focused ground offensive kicks off. But Israel is not going to allow this to last very long - they can’t afford to have an Iraq on their hands and they won’t. Again, we discuss one of the elite fighting forces on the planet and I’d imagine they’re not the least interested in having their core allies lose patience. To stream a few thoughts:

A locked and loaded multinational force with trigger authority serving as occupying security is not particularly something that’s been done before. US and other countries, most of whom simultaneously harp on UN foolishness while holding Security Council status, regularly pull UN teeth (and soldiers) from the few deployments deemed acceptable. ‘Course having a bunch of bodybags coming home from Iraq starts you off on a bad foot when you’re considering sending out American boots.

Proxy wars, like it or not, are still the trend rather than so last millenium in this part of the world. Like West Africa, many of these states’ borders are drawn by white guys who are best at English. They don’t really reflect local religion, politics and culture accurately. So when they’re forced into governments with each other, somebody’s always playing for the losing tribe but can still fall back on some other support system of like mind. As a result, you have all these governments, warlods, militias, terrorists, confidence men, arms dealers, drug smugglers, angry brown unemployed fellas, and generally all the top criminals from Lagos to Jakarta chuckling around like dice in a cup. We have unfortunately agreed to locate the greatest benefactor of our numerous trust funds in the middle of all this unrest, and if they are to survive, this is not the kind of thing that will help a lot in the long run, but it could sure do wonders in the short run… I hope.

I still believe that Syria has one silver lining of opportunity to step up to the plate and send it into the cheap seats. And for that matter, there has got to be at least a couple of Iranian politicians or for Pete’s sake, somebody who is dreaming of embarassing the mullahs and Ahmadinejad, cooling off the rhetoric and hardlining and getting a little cute and cuddly with the White House. Although so far, the guy who currently lives there (when he’s not somewhere else) doesn’t seem to want to learn any token words in Farsi, Korean, Arabic, or any of the ten other languages you could hear on a trip to Syria. Or maybe he already knows some - and got wind of what they said about his momma.

An unholy alliance between the supposedly secular US gummint and da Jews? Who knew?
GET REAL. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t even always in our best interests, but it also ain’t goin’ away. And while our unwavering support isn’t always tasteful and is tremendously expensive, I’ve yet to hear of a sensible economic policy that isn’t predicated on a strong Israel.

Careful when you go with the whomever can beat the Republican candidate. I’m not saying you don’t have a strong argument or exceptionally valid reasons for thinking it…I just wince for some reason when the little partisan pipes up on my shoulder.

On the brigade to line levels, my understanding is that some kind of huge conflict with China is only one of many scenarios that’s trained for…including urban, counterinsurgency, and desert ops…and I’ve read a lot of work by frequent US military academy lecturers, so I’m fairly certain that is also the case with those in the various war colleges. I forget who was talking about a one-dimensional training focus.

Basically, most of the major players in this thing are going to see how far it goes in Lebanon before making any moves in a decisive direction. Even if we have to send American troops in blue helmets, after Israel kicks some Hezbutt that is, it’ll be worth it in the long run. As long as they have full engagement in their bag of tools. And then we can work on keeping nukes out of the region, and more sensible plans for peace.

Of course, Rabin got asassinated for his trouble. So what do I know?

Posted by: macsonix at July 21, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #169592

“IF the incumbent Dem was in a real close election with a Rep, would you still not vote for him/her?”

kctim,

If I apply that to real life I could use Governor Sebelius as an example. She’s an incumbent, but I don’t consider her irresponsible. Irresponsible is the key word. And it also allows each of us to follow our own personal opinions and beliefs.

Now, I don’t agree with Governor Sebelius on everything. I happen to think she should have vetoed the “concealed carry law”, but if I only voted for those who agree with me on every issue, I’d never vote at all. As it stands I’ll back Sebelius even though she’s the incumbent Governor of Kansas.

Again, “irresponsible” is the key word. Bush still has about a 40% approval rating so I assume 40% of the public does not consider him to be irresponsible, which scares the crap out of me, but this is America and the “voting” majority rules.

Speaking of incumbents I’ll go ahead and really ruffle some feathers. My favorite incumbent Democrat is Edward Kennedy. Yep, old drunken Teddy. I abhor the accident/drowning incident, it was tragic & sad, but Ted has, IMO, always been a voice of reason regarding domestic policy.

You see how far apart our opinions of “irresponsible” can be?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #169593

“But you are the embodiment of why VOID won’t work. I dont see you ever voting for a Republican over a Democrat.”

jbod,

While living in Nebraska I did vote for Republicans from time to time in state political races. On the presidential end of the politoscale I voted for Clinton the first time around, but voted for Ross Perot the second time around out of disgust for Mr. Bill.

I’m not, nor have I ever been a huge Clinton fan. IMO his greatest achievement was getting more children covered by Medicaid or some form of insurance. I used to really respect McCain, had there been a McCain v. Gore election I would have been hard pressed to make a decision.

I actually do still respect Chuck Hagel and while still a Nebraska resident I voted for him as a state candidate. I realize that an elected official’s votes (pro or con) should reflect the majority of their constituents. I still have “some” respect for Arlen Specter.

So, don’t be too fast to point the 100% Democrat finger at me. The way Bush & Co. have run things I’m almost certainly going to vote Democrat and I’ll try like hell to get everyone I can to do the same. Then again there’s Mitt Romney! And we shouldn’t forget Rudy!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #169594

Paul in Euroland,

I’ve read the link. I’ve read most, if not all, of your links. I try to see both sides of every issue. I’ve avoided a reply to you because I wanted to avoid using the “A” word, but here it goes. “Anti-Semitism”!

Moderation is the only answer and “Radicalism” must always be nipped in the bud before it has time to grow and spread.

KansasDem
Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 03:41 PM

Kansas, isn’t it the case that any criticism of Israel is routinely dubbed anti semitic? And does the fact that this paper was written by two distinguished American academics lend credence to such a claim? If you’ve read the paper in its entirety, and examined the sources, some of whom are Israeli, including the Israeli human rights organisation B tselem, you will hardly accuse these people of being anti semitic. Indeed it’s a measure of how successful this routine claim of anti semitism is that many commentators are reluctant to critice Israel because they know they will be accused of it.

As for moderation - what Israel is doing in Lebanon is not moderate. Many innocent non combatants are being killed and rendered homeless. Including women and children. There are many commentators who level the charge of war crimes against Israel arising from its actions in Lebanon because of the death of civilians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. But what is most sickening, is that this is all in vain. Far from Israel dealing a deadly blow to Hizbullah, Hizbullah will emerge from this even stronger, and the democratic government weaker, assuming it survives.We may very well see the re engagement of civil war in this fragile democracy, and that will not serve anyones interests, including that of the US. Just imagine how your parents will have felt when Pearl Harbour was attacked by the Japanese. Did they cower in fear, ready to kow tow to the Japanese? Did the hell. So why do people assume that the Lebanese will do so? Is that some kind of racism against brown people? As we sow, we reap, and Israel is nurturing a bitter harvest from this evil and totally disproportionate action. They are playing right into Hizbullahs hands. God help us all.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at July 21, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #169599

“I’ve also seen and read the otherside and until Israel starts promoting terrorism, funding terrorism, ignoring terrorism or cheering for American deaths and our destruction, I’ll go ahead and keep hoping Israel helps wipe out the enemy.”

kctim,

I’d missed this earlier, but if we never agree on anything else we sure agree on these points. Israel made many recent concessions and they were continuing to do so. Hamas & Hezbollah started this crap. Yes, it sucks that innocent Lebanese civilians are being killed. I hate it, but what could Israel do?

Maybe they could say, “oh please stop, please, please, please, we want peace!” It’s been a long time since I said it but here I go again, when we invaded Iraq and removed Saddam from power we gave Iran and the entire shiite Arab community a big wet kiss at the same time.

We can’t reshape the world. Democracy or any other form of government must be developed from within. We need a resilient and brilliant defense strategy and we must always maintain an excellent fighting capability that’s far superior to anything we might face, but we must never misuse that capability or think that “might makes right”.

Bush and his bunch of “dill-wrinkles” have placed too many Americans in harms way and they don’t give too spits. Frat boy still acts like an irresponsible ass.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #169600

Paul,
I do not think the Lebanese will turn against each other in another version of the 1975-90 civili war. That is just an impression, based on various blogs, interviews, & articles here and there. But I am under the impression the Lebanese, whether Christian, Sunni, Shia, or Druze, will unite against Israel. The massive bombardment went way, way too far.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #169602

Paul makes a very good point in that too often when the Israelis are criticized it is labeld anti-semintic. Faulting their over use and indiscriminate use of force should not be construed as being anti-Jew. Nor should pointing out their influence on the United States government. If one can be critical of other nations one should be able to criticize Israel.

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #169603

Paul in Euroland,

One of the reasons I was off the board so long was because I did read your link and look seriously at the references:

“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”
http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf

All 83 pages! I wanted to know because this could well be the end of life as we know it now. I don’t take this lightly. I have children and grandchildren.

I would in turn ask you to read this:
“Myths & Facts Online”
“A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mftoc.html

I’d already made up my mind about your apparent bias when you insisted on posting two or three times about the USS Liberty. Not only would you have me believe that President Johnson conspired with the Israeli government to cover up the air attack on our own vessel, you expect me to believe that every administration since then has done the same.

I simply don’t find you to be a credible source of info. Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger I’ve also disregarded a ton of false info about “illegal immigrants” in the USA, because (1) they’re not illegal but rather “undocumented” until proven otherwise and (2) they’re human beings, not aliens!

Get where I’m coming from? I hate the idea of people dieing. How many innocent Iraqis have died? A militant response sucks, but sometimes it’s the only way to insure your own safety. The US invasion of Iraq was not neccessary to insure our safety. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was and it wouldn’t have happened if Hezbollah hadn’t threatened the safety of Israel.

You’re dredging up crap trying to show that the Israeli’s are BAD. I’m surprised that you haven’t denied the Holocaust yet. It’s all Truman’s fault right?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #169606

kansas dem:

I know some are pushing the no more incumbents band-wagon, well I’m pushing the no more Republican’ts bandwagon

I’m not classifying you totally as a Dem, though your name would suggest it. I’m simply saying that with your statement above, you are going against the VOID idea of getting rid of incumbents. You are more focused on getting rid of Repubs than you are on incumbents, by your own words. That attitude defeats the purpose of VOID.

I have great respect for David Remer, even when I disagree with him. I hope his ideas work and we get rid of the incumbents. I’d like to see the entire government turn over, and I’d like to see term limits. I just don’t have the faith that David has that it will work.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 21, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #169607

“Paul makes a very good point in that too often when the Israelis are criticized it is labeld anti-semintic. Faulting their over use and indiscriminate use of force should not be construed as being anti-Jew.”

Mark,

I held off that label for several days. Paul in Euroland pushed it. Let’s also be sure we differentiate between “Pauls”. One of the editors here is named Paul and I doubt he’d appreciate being confused with Mr. Euro.

“over use and indiscriminate use of force”
Huh? What? In recent years Israel made many concessions. What choice do they have? Israel is small. Really small. They’ve had to deal with full scale threats from nearly the entire continent of which they occupy maybe 1% for decades.

What’s your solution? Should we abandon Israel? maybe we should just bomb them ourselves?

Then again maybe the Mexicans would stop violating immigration laws if we gave them So. Cal. and Arizona?

Maybe if all us WASPS went back to our ancestral European homes the world would live in peace?

I still have some beachfront property in Wichita. It borders on the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #169613

Kansas Dem

Thanks for the link about myths and facts in the Arab-Israeli conflict. I found it very informative and intend to save it for future reference. Having said that I must also say that it is completely one sided.

I think you were a little hard on Paul in Euroland at the end of your last post.

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #169618

jbod,

VOID can’t altogether fail. It would be impossible for VOID to fail. The goal is (IMO) to increase voter responsibility and bring about change through empowerment.

Failure is not possible. It’s either an ongoing venture or the venture has acheived it’s goal. I think it’s a good movement. Will I stick 100% to the principles of VOID? No.

But, it’s really made me think. I like about 80% of d.a.n.’s messages, we disagree on two key issues, but he’s really made me think. It’s good to really think, but I’m still a Democrat.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #169622

“I think you were a little hard on Paul in Euroland at the end of your last post.”

mark,

Hmmm, I thought I was harder on you than I was on Paul of Euroland, but you’re not alone in your analysis.

Now I have you and three ex-wives that think I’m a hard ass.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #169635

KansasDem,
While Israel made concessions, it continued its illegal expansion by building settlements.

Water rights and prime land were taken by the Israelis.

Did you believe apartheid was an acceptable policy for whites in South Africa?

I would assume not. Why, then, would you accept the idea of a Jewish state which denies a large portion of the population basic rights, simply because they are not Jewish?

As I have said before, I believe secular states are a much, much, much more practical idea.

Most of us readily appreciate the advantages of a seperation between church and state.

Yes, countries have a right to defend themselves. They do not have the right to attack each, and that applies to both Israel & Hezbollah.

I see no reason why the US should support either side. It is not a matter of US national security, not even remotely so. At this point the US has utterly abandoned a policy of acting as an honest broker, or at least the pretense. Instead, we fund Israel with billions of dollars as well as weaponry; an odd policy, considering Israel possesses nuclear weapons. Furthermore, I see no moral position which needs to be supported. Indeed, if the US took a hint from the rest of the world, we would not be siding with Israel.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #169636

American Pundit,

Here’s some absolute Republican’t “stuff”:

Today at a fundraiser in Tampa, Florida Dick “shoot-em-in-the-face” Cheney said, “This conflict is a long way from over, it’s going to be a battle that will last for a very long time. It is absolutely essential that we stay the course.”

So, now we have the real GOP plan. trouble with North Korea: “stay the course”.

Civil war in Iraq, “stay the course”.

Iran flaunting nuke development, “stay the course”.

Syria, oh, uh, I guess Rice is dealing with syria, err, well, kinda’. “stay the course”.

Military is broke and tired, “stay the course”.

That’s the only three words left to the Repubs other than, “oops, we did boo-boo”!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #169637

Kansas Dem,
What side of the bed did you get out of this a.m.?

Seriously, as I have said before, Israel must take precise action when it defends itself.When they kill more Lebanese children than they do members of Hezbollah they aren’t doing themselves any favors.

There enemy is not the women and children of Lebanon(was not).By killing twenty civilians for every member of Hezbollah they are creating more terrorists than they are doing away with. This cycle will never end with these tactics. In this sense they are doing the same thing Bush has done in Iraq. Our traget should have been Al Qaeda, not Iraq. But tens of thousands of civilians have died there and we will be saddled with more terrorists from that than Al Quaeda could have ever recruited on their own.

Israel may be small but they have one hell of a military, a very sophisticated military unmatched in the Middle East.We provide Israel with more aid than we do any other country in the world and if Bush would put more pressure on them to be more precise in their military actions instead of giving them the green light like his neocon buddies want I can’t believe there could not be fewer civilian casualities.

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #169640


Kansas Dem

You ask,”should we abandon Israel?” Maybe we should. I’m not sure, but I am close to saying yes to that question. Why should we keep pouring billions into Israel? Is it that strategicaly and economicaly important? How so? Or do we keep supporting them on moral grounds? Just asking.

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #169641

“Stay The Course”: Code for Vote Replican’t

Who in sound mind would want to stay on the course this country is on?

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #169643

“While Israel made concessions, it continued its illegal expansion by building settlements.

Water rights and prime land were taken by the Israelis.”

phx8,

Unless I’m mistaken (please show me if I am) Sharon had been reversing this trend and that reversal was ongoing.

I watched video of Israeli troops dragging Israeli’s out of settlements not very long ago. I know that was more on the Palestinian side, but there had been an understanding that Israel would surrender occupied lands in an effort to live in peace.

Hezbollah broke the peace.

The U.S. of Bush has been totally side-lined by Iraq and hasn’t bothered with much else, so here we go again!

We’re in really deep sh*t. And, somehow a lot of us don’t even know it, including Mr. “oh did I spook ya’ George”. We’re watching the worst blunder in recent American history unfold right before our eyes.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #169646

jorbagadonuts:You had stated that you liked Bush because he does what he says he is going to do. I was simply ointing out that is often not the case .There may be reasons why he does not do what he says but that is not my point.I did not fault Bush for not being tougher. I gave him some credit. Credit for doing the right thing for the wrong reasons but still the right thing. He stretched our military too thin with his stupid Iraq war. There are many conservative forign policy wonks that do not like negotiations and coalitions. Apparently it is not as much fun to have a bloated military if you can’t push people around. This is a case of him not doing what he said he was going to do.
He said he was going to “save SS. He did not,thankfully. There were reasons why he could not but he still failed to do what he said.
He ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility. He has failed to do what he said he was going to do,did he not?
He took an oath to defend us and proceeded to dismiss his top terrorism advisor and ignored reports warning of an imminent attack. He failed to do what he said he was going to.
There an plenty of other examples. For you to say he does what he says he is going to do is just factualy incorrect.
I was just indulging in a fantasy that there might be some purpose in pointing out the obvious to a Bush apoligist. I know better,just needed reminding I guess. Your response confirms what I already knew. When confronted with historical facts that threaten to pop your delusion you either dismiss them or if all else fails,blame Clinton.

Posted by: BillS at July 21, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #169647

The Middle East may be the most difficult situation in the world, especially the situation with the Israelis and the Palestinians.

But after all is said and done, I do not want to see the US support a religious state of any kind. We can trade, observe treaties, and behave in a respectful manner towards religious states. But that is not the same as support.

We can and should act to keep apart combatants, and prevent their obtaining arms.

That is not the same as support.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #169648

“What side of the bed did you get out of this a.m.?”

Mark,

Same side as always. My dogs would bite me if I made them move to get out of the other side.

This “precise action” you describe is a fantasy. The USA has done a pretty good job of portraying the fantasy but it’s still a fantasy. Some armaments are better than others but there is no such thing as a “zero collateral damage” missile or bomb.

Comparing this to Iraq presents one problem. Iraq did not cross our border or murder and kidnap our troops. Saddam once tried to have HW assassinated, but Iraq was nearly impotent militarily by the time we decided to topple Bagdad.

Now Lebanon’s president is saying that the small Lebanese army will support Hezbollah. Sure, let’s just give up and bomb Israel for Syria and Iran, then maybe if we blow ourselves all to hell they’ll leave us alone.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 21, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #169649

This post is weak…

Less about talking about the situation and more about bashing the administration/republicans.

So typical.


Posted by: b0mbay at July 21, 2006 11:16 PM
Comment #169650

I guess the Christian Pre-millenialists are jumping up and down,speeking in tongues,and rolling around on the floor.They are waiting for World War III,the sad sick bastards.

Posted by: thelibertine at July 21, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #169652

Let ‘em, they’re putting their faith in a prophecy that wasn’t really a prophecy but they’ll never look at the reality of it.

That’s the problem with faith, you have to suspend critical thought in order to have it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 21, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #169653

zKansas Dem

Zero collateral damage would be a fantasy but 90% civillian casualties(as reported by Rueters)
is a nightmare and should be totally unacceptable to anyone but a warmonger or a terrorist.

It was Hezbollah, not the Lebanese, who crossed into Israel. 90% of the causualities should be Hezbollah, not civilians.

Posted by: mark at July 21, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #169690

Bill:

My apologies…. I misjudged you. I thought you were a serious writer, not someone who would simply run to the nearest “You blamed Clinton” kiosk at the first opportunity.

My only mention of Clinton was in saying that his policies regarding North Korea did not work. Its easy to say that since they were violating the KELO treaty during Clinton’s presidency. If you read my words (you did read them, didn’t you?), you’d notice that I never once blamed Clinton for this. Rather, I blame North Korea. But the strategy that was set forth by the US during that time was ineffective. You obviously didn’t delve into your intellectual resources by taking the laziest of intellectual paths to come up with your response. You squawked that I blamed Clinton, without even engaging your mind to try to understand what I was saying. That’s a remarkably easy thing to do, but nonetheless, its also the height of intellectual laziness.

I recognize now that your idea of intelligent conversation and discussion is to sally forth with your points, and anyone who disagrees with you is delusional or an apologist. That’s a mighty arrogant position to take—-assuming that you are so infinitely correct that everyone else must, de facto, be wrong.

I’m sorry to have misplaced my faith in you. I gave you the benefit of the doubt in thinking you to be fairminded and capable of recognizing that people can look at a same set of facts from different perspectives. Its like looking at a coin—-if you look at only one side, you see only that view, but of course there is still the other side of the coin that you have yet to see. Only now, too late, do I recognize that you are unwilling or unable to turn the coin over and even recognize that the other side exists. You do so to your own loss.

Thanks for playing, but goodbye.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 22, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #169693

Biden, like his fellow Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton, shows that when it comes to Israel there is no difference between them and the Republicans: Carte Blanche to Israel.

How Biden is so wrong:

1) Sunnis do not support Bush and Israel in destroying Hezbollah. Have you forgotten than Saddam is Sunni, most of the insurgency in Iraw is in the Sunni area? Most Palestininans are Sunni. This just shows how little Biden and the Senate really know about the Moslem world.

2) Hezbollah is not some “proxy” organization. They are a legitimate part of the Lebanese government whether the USA and Israel like it or not.

3) Lasting Peace to the Region? Ha! That is not the goal here at all. Realize that Israel started targeted assasinations, raids and bombings just when Hammas and Abbas had laid out an agreement for peace negotiations (i.e. Hammas recognizes Israel’s right to exist). Olmert purposely sabatoged this effort to fueling the most extreme Moslem parties with his military tactics. Don’t forget, Gaza has been under “ghetto” conditions since January just because Hammas got elected.

4) Democrats support war just as much as Republicans - no difference. why? Because the defense contractors and their lobbiest are major sources of political funds. Let’s not be naive: Money buys votes in this country. Hillary proves it; Biden proves it; Lieberman proves it.

5) A Democratic President like Biden or Clinton would not establish peace in the MidEast. Like her husband Bill, Clinton would not face down the extreme right in Israel to stop settlements and targeted killings. When Sharon stormed the Temple Mount during the MidEast negotiations and started the second antifada, Bill Clinton and his fellow democrats blamed Arafat for not accepting a “good deal”. No one mentioned how Sharon’s action sabotaged the whole effort.

6) No Peace in MidEast until Palestinians can leave the Refugee Camps and have a home and country. This final comment will come across very provocative to most of you. However, it is the one issue everyone forgets: Millions of Palestinians are living in camps for over 50 years with no economy, no governement, no future. Conservatives and Israelis will immediately say “Let the Arab countries take them”. Well actually the countries that voted for the creation of Israel should take them, like the USA and GB. But that is besides the point. Until the 50-year old refugee problem is resolved, there is no peace.

Posted by: Acetracy at July 22, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #169694

“Saddam once tried to have HW assassinated, but Iraq was nearly impotent militarily by the time we decided to topple Bagdad.”

I think you will find if you investigate that one further that the above claim was made by the same (proved false) source that brought you the Kuwaiti babies in incubators story…namely the Kuwaiti Ambassador during the first Gulf war - google it.

He had reasons to make these claims, he wanted to US to stop the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Nevertheless, the Kuwaiti Babies claim was false, the tearful Kuwaiti girl telling the story to the US Congress turned out to be none other than the Ambassador;s daughter, who it was later revealed had been coached by acting instructors.

Just because something is said by the Bush administration and repeated elsewhere in the media does not make it true…it was a useful prop to argue for the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: abhcoide at July 22, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #169726

KansasDem,
Thank you !

joebagofdonuts wrote: Which is precisely why VOID is doomed to fail, in my opinion. Not enough people will vote for an incumbent from their party to lose. Instead, people will take the partisan route to help their party take control. Not saying you are wrong to do that; just saying that is what makes VOID very attractive but unrealistic.

joebagodonuts,
That’s OK.
I respect your opinion, and respect you right to it.
Many have the same opinion. That’s OK.

Some may recall I had the One-Simple-Idea.com web-site before VOID was created.
The one major reason I support VOID is because it advocates one thing we were always supposed to do, all along. That is to merely not re-elect irresponsible incumbents. That is all. Nothing fancy. No vast conspiracies. Not yet another new party, not yet another candidate. We should keep the good incumbents. Do you know 10, 20, 50, or even 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that are responsible? I don’t. And I have looked hard at almost all senators and Representatives, and what I have found is disturbing. Almost all resist campaign finance reforms, which is one of the biggest problems we face: Government is FOR-SALE, and most politicians are bought-and-paid-for. Of the $2.4 billion in political contributions in 2000, 83% ($2 billion) were from only 1% of the U.S. population. No wonder bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians carry the water for their big-money puppeteers.

VOID does not say who to vote for.
Want to vote for a Democrat? Fine.
Want to vote for a Republican? Fine.
Just don’t re-elect irresponsible incumbents.

So, VOID may not succeed any time soon.
But, VOID is not in it for the short term.
It is a long term goal of Voter Education.
It may take many years, or decades.

Eventually, voters will learn, because pain and misery is a good teacher. It’s just too bad we can not learn faster. Progress is slow, but we have seen some societal progress in the last 5000 years. It is 2 steps forward, and 1.999 steps backward.

Futility, apathy, and complacency is not a logical choice.
Giving up, and doing will accomplish nothing.

So, I’m OK with joebagodonuts’ opinion, and recognize all persons right to their opinion. That is their right, and it should be respected. But, if we all want society to progress, we will have to, someday, focus on what is truly important (which isn’t partisan warfare, parties, or the candidate that spends the most to buy the most votes).

All that anyone can do, is use logic, reasoning, and just morals to try to persuade people to understand the simple goal of VOID, because it is simply the most defensible, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, inexpensive, responsible thing we were always supposed to do:

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.

  • Don’t Re-Elect Them !

Who can argue with that?
Simply pulling the straight-ticket, party lever helps irresponsible incumbents secure their cu$hy, coveted seats of abused power.
Incumbent politicians hold the reigns of reform, and will never allow reforms that reduce their power or the security of their cu$hy, coveted seats of power.
Incumbent politicians fool us by making us think we have to vote for incumbents with experience.
Incumbent politicians fool us by distracting us with the petty partisan warfare.
What good is that experience if it is mostly experience at fillin’ their own pockets and those of their wealthy, big-money puppeteers, resisting common-sense reforms, and lookin’ the other way?


Posted by: d.a.n at July 22, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #169728

KansasDem,
Thank you !

joebagofdonuts wrote: Which is precisely why VOID is doomed to fail, in my opinion. Not enough people will vote for an incumbent from their party to lose. Instead, people will take the partisan route to help their party take control. Not saying you are wrong to do that; just saying that is what makes VOID very attractive but unrealistic.

joebagodonuts,
That’s OK.
I respect your opinion, and respect you right to it.
Many have the same opinion. That’s OK.

Some may recall I had the One-Simple-Idea.com web-site before VOID was created.
The one major reason I support VOID is because it advocates one thing we were always supposed to do, all along. That is to merely not re-elect irresponsible incumbents. That is all. Nothing fancy. No vast conspiracies. Not yet another new party, not yet another candidate. We should keep the good incumbents. Do you know 10, 20, 50, or even 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that are responsible? I don’t. And I have looked hard at almost all senators and Representatives, and what I have found is disturbing. Almost all resist campaign finance reforms, which is one of the biggest problems we face: Government is FOR-SALE, and most politicians are bought-and-paid-for. Of the $2.4 billion in political contributions in 2000, 83% ($2 billion) were from only 1% of the U.S. population. No wonder bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians carry the water for their big-money puppeteers.

VOID does not say who to vote for.
Want to vote for a Democrat? Fine.
Want to vote for a Republican? Fine.
Just don’t re-elect irresponsible incumbents.

So, VOID may not succeed any time soon.
But, VOID is not in it for the short term.
It is a long term goal of Voter Education.
It may take many years, or decades.

Eventually, voters will learn, because pain and misery is a good teacher. It’s just too bad we can not learn faster. Progress is slow, but we have seen some societal progress in the last 5000 years. It is 2 steps forward, and 1.999 steps backward.

Futility, apathy, and complacency is not a logical choice.
Giving up, and doing will accomplish nothing.

So, I’m OK with joebagodonuts’ opinion, and recognize all persons right to their opinion. That is their right, and it should be respected. But, if we all want society to progress, we will have to, someday, focus on what is truly important (which isn’t partisan warfare, parties, or the candidate that spends the most to buy the most votes).

All that anyone can do, is use logic, reasoning, and just morals to try to persuade people to understand the simple goal of VOID, because it is simply the most defensible, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, inexpensive, responsible thing we were always supposed to do:

Who can argue with that?
Simply pulling the straight-ticket, party lever helps irresponsible incumbents secure their cu$hy, coveted seats of abused power.
Incumbent politicians hold the reigns of reform, and will never allow reforms that reduce their power or the security of their cu$hy, coveted seats of power.
Incumbent politicians fool us by making us think we have to vote for incumbents with experience.
Incumbent politicians fool us by distracting us with the petty partisan warfare.
What good is that experience if it is mostly experience at fillin’ their own pockets and those of their wealthy, big-money puppeteers, resisting common-sense reforms, and lookin’ the other way?

Posted by: d.a.n at July 22, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #169778

“Anti-Semitic?”

How could anybody claim that there is anti-semitism alive and well…anywhere; but certainly NOT in the USA nor Europe!!

Ha!

In 2000 years 50 million Jews have been murdered by the benificent murders in Europe. Severa “jihads” vs Jews have been alive and well in the USA. Remember Father Couglin, a hero of the anti-semitites during the USA’s 1930s…who had a generous helping opf “friends” here in the USA to help[ his cause along…until the AXIS of Nazis and Japanese Imperials struck at the USA’s heart at Peral harbor and elsewhere.

Who knows what wqould have happened to the “blame andkill the Jews” movement in the USA if WWII hadn’t inervened. Many instances of the same periodically forever to today

So don’r tell me that there exists no anti-semitism behind MUCH of the pro-Arab, Anti-Israel gang. The anti-semitists echo the Arab schollchildren in Arab lands who are taught from their 1st entry to school that kiiling jews is their mission in life. Anybody who doesn’t know this or see this is ignorant; or, knowing it, ignoring it because it fits their view of the unworthiness of the Jewish people…merely a continuation of 2000 years of a double-standard for Jews:

When Israelis are murdered by Arab (sometimes children…see, the schooling aims are working) suicide bombers, the anti-semites say its no big deal since killing Israelis is ok OR that it is justified because of that occupancy.

So…the anti-Israelis throw in with those bastions of democracy and civil rights: the Arab fascistic dictatorships of Iran, Lebabon (who honors the two 2 members of their “cabinet” who are Hezzbollahs and thus to continue the presence of Hezzbollah in S. Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the anti-semitists seek to find Israeli “terrorists” among its 6 million population which have been 60 years of being under seige by 360 million trained Jew-hating arabs.

Thus, when 12000 rockets are in S. Lebanon aimed at Israel, certainly Israelis MUST respond “proportionately.”…so that the amount of Israeli response to the 360 million arabs seeking to slaughter them should be “tempered.”

This despite the fact that the UN/Israeli/Lebanon agreement that if Israel would pull out of Lebanon, S. Lebanon would NOT rearm.

Promise? 12000 rockets are a LITTLE violation of that promise. If the UN and Lebanon ignore this and threaten Israel…and actually launch rockets at civilian targets in Israel…all but the most anti-semitists would EXPECT an all-out effort to eliminate these threats…which in the past 60 years of the seige vs. Israel have cost the lives of thousands and thousands of infants, children, men and women…all jews…

60 years is too long for aNY country’s people to tolerate…but that means nothing to the anti-semites who would have the Arabs complete the work of 2000 years duration.

Posted by: Art Dolin at July 22, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #169833

Angry White Bomb Maker said, “Nuke the sand niggers now, and give the world a great gift for peace,peace through supeior firepower.”

And that folks is the true Republican message!

KansasDem —-$$$—-
—-$$$—-kans-ass dim , you must kill in war or be killed.Israelis and Republican’s are going to win this war, and we will!Democrats with there cut and run coruptionist U.N. cohort’s prefer anal-sex,to bring about peace, there is just one little problem Islamofascism has a wonderful public service they provide for Gay, peace loving Democrats,Alia be praised.

Posted by: Angry White Improvised Explosive Devise at July 22, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #169851

Watchblog Editor

How in the world you can let this Angry White expletitive deletive comment on here is beyond me. Is there anybody watching?

Posted by: mark at July 22, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #169872

“How in the world you can let this Angry White expletitive deletive comment on here is beyond me.”

mark,

IMO they should leave it. It’s very representative of the words I hear uttered on the streets where I live day in and day out.

It’s part of the reality of America. Plenty of hate to go around.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 23, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #169993

PHX8,

“The Israelis want the people of southern Lebanon to abandon the countryside, but far too many are staying. Hezbollah is not just a terrorist organization; it is an integral part of the Shia population, providing political representation and services, and by refusing to evacuate in large enough numbers, the population gives the fighters cover.”

… all the more reason Lebanon should stop whining about the destruction. I simply said the Lebanese didn’t bother Hezbollah, but you make a stronger point about Lebanese engagement with Hezbollah. So, let’s hope Israel keeps shooting!

Posted by: Ken Strong at July 23, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #170066

“How in the world you can let this Angry White expletitive deletive comment on here is beyond me.”
—-$$$—- True free speach will destory all who fear it most. There is a old saying that still holds true today, it takes one, to know one,you are one of us,or you are one of them. The dim-o-rat political text-sex, blogger-junkies will never spin away that simple fact,Soon the weapon’s of mass-destruction your party talking points say never were in existence, will be depolied by the Hezbollah who is really Iran soon again the dim-o-rats will have to choose them or us, the choice is yours. Soon the world will see if they are prepared to pay the price.This is World War 3 and it has been going on for years please tell me again over and over how it’s George Bush’s war for oil. Them or us!

Posted by: Angry White Bomb Maker at July 23, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #170541

Wow, angry white. You sure sound an awful lot like an Islamofascist warlord. Or Hitler. Or a wheezing, impotent Dick Cheney. Are we all supposed to be afraid of tough guys like you? Or is beating your chest and crying out for war the only way you folks can get the blood flowing?

It’s a good thing you guys have this all boiled down to a lowest common denominator. The rest of us have been trying to evolve away from and past our primal instincts and ancestry. I see now that piano lessons for my six-year old may have been a worse choice than a block of instruction in say, detonation through wireless technology. Thanks for clearing it all up for me.

You’re right, Kansas. Leave this pile of dung on the mantelpiece so all may be properly advised.

Posted by: macsonix at July 25, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #171546
My only mention of Clinton was in saying that his policies regarding North Korea did not work.

Clinton’s policies did work, JBOD.

Despite Bush’s claims of a uranium enrichment program, there’s never been any proof. NK denies it has a program and the country’s that saw Bush’s “intelligence” remain unconvinced.

The plutonium fuel reprocessing that started in late 2002 in response to Bush’s “axis of evil” rhetoric is a different story.

Bush’s NK policy, unlike Clinton’s, obviously had some unintended consequences which he chose to ignore while concentrating on a WMD-less Iraq.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 28, 2006 7:35 PM
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