The Rise of Kos

After reading some of the comments in my last post, this Newsweek article about Markos "Screw them" Moulitsas Zuniga summons an eerie analogy. It brings to mind a previous unhinged and unstable power-seeking radical who, through a combination of perfect circumstance and unrelentling psychotic ambition, rose to power. The similiarities in are in fact startling.

July 3-10, 2006 issue - Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is sitting on his back porch in Berkeley, Calif., listening to the hummingbirds and explaining his plans to seize control of the Democratic Party.  ~The War's Left Front
It is mainly the 'unhinged-ness' that gives this analogy plausability. After having progressive candidates and causes defeated in election after election, the left is taking on the same inferiority-fueled demands for power that marked the startling political rise of previous radical fringe groups through history.

For instance, it is said that one of the key factors cited in Hitler's rise to power were the effects of the humiliating defeat of Germany in WWI. This humiliation was part of the impetus for the formation of the Nazi party. An obscure and radical fringe group, the Nazi's soon attempted to take power rather than wait for power to be given them democratically.
It is one week after YearlyKos, the Las Vegas conference of progressives that Moulitsas sponsored and promoted heavily on his popular liberal blog, DailyKos.com. Every major media outlet in the country had attended the conference, detailing the spectacle of Democratic bigwigs (including the party's Senate minority leader and four of its leading 2008 presidential aspirants) embracing Moulitsas as the guru of an activist movement they were eager to exploit. With the conference, Moulitsas says, his movement had finally proved its relevance to the party. "We're not sitting around waiting for the so-called professionals to give us power in the party," he tells NEWSWEEK. "We're taking it for ourselves."  ~The War's Left Front
Fueled by bitter resentment and radical partisanship Kos sees not a political contest between opposing viewpoints but true mortal enemies to defeat at any cost. Fringe groups like the Nutroots need scapegoats on which to justifying their need for power. Thus the vast right-wing conspiracy is blamed for destroying the earth, creating poverty, treason, just about anything you can think of.
The Daily Kos blog lost many of its political advertisers after Moulitsas published a controversial blog post in April 2004 about the non-US military Blackwater USA employees that he described as merceneries that were killed and mutilated in Fallujah, saying "Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly. That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. (sic) They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them." John Kerry's website removed a link to Daily Kos. The next day, Moulitsas said he was wrong to make those comments, and over time, Democratic candidates returned to Daily Kos. Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and many other Democratic Senators, Congresspeople, Governors and candidates now post there regularly.  ~The War's Left Front
Yes folks, the digital brownshirts are all wearing Kos pins.

It can no longer be said that the DailyKos site is 'unrepresentative' of the democratic party either. Not with Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and, "many other Democratic Senators, Congresspeople, Governors and candidates," posting regularly at his site.
As public support for the war began to slip, Democratic leaders began turning to him for help. Dean hired him. And after John Kerry's defeat in 2004, party leadership invited him to speak to Senate Democrats about how they could better use the Internet as a fund-raising tool.  ~The War's Left Front
And yet there is that pesky instability problem that should concern Democrats but does not seem to yet.
Already, the strain of the spotlight is beginning to show in his growing belligerence and paranoia. When Kosola broke, Moulitsas e-mailed fellow progressive activists, wondering who might be shopping the story. "I've gotten reliable tips that Hillary's operation has been digging around my past (something I confronted them about, btw, and never got a denial), and you know the Lieberman/DLC/TNR camp is digging as well," he wrote, referring to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and The New Republic. (Aides to Senators Clinton and Lieberman deny the allegations in the e-mails.) ~The War's Left Front
What's next? A beerhall putsch? Surely not, but who knows? If past behaviour is any predictor of future behaviour then we have to be alert.
The talk of the blogosphere last week was "Kosola"—allegations that Moulitsas wrote favorably about candidates with whom he or his close friend and coauthor Jerome Armstrong had financial relationships. Moulitsas swore the charges were baseless (Armstrong, too, has denied impropriety), but they clearly got under his skin. When The New Republic's Web site published an e-mail from Moulitsas to a group of friendly activists urging them not to talk about Kosola and thus "starve it of oxygen," Moulitsas went berserk in a blog posting, accusing the venerable liberal journal of treason. By the weekend, Moulitsas's allies were sending each other e-mails infected with the paranoia of revolutionaries who've gained power too fast: How should they deal with traitors? How much openness could they handle? Which fellow travelers could they really trust? ~The War's Left Front
The extreme left-wing is now the mainstream of the democratic party. Never mind that elections are lost one after the other. Hitler lost elections too. Which is why they finally had to resort to other more direct action to save the Republic of Germany.

And this is where Kos comes in. He's said that this is a war. As Anne Marie Cox relates in a Time Magazine article, Markos has another thing in common with Hitler: previous army experience and a need to run a quasi-military political organization.
Moulitsas will cop to setting the unabashedly belligerent tone of Daily Kos, right down to the design, which he calls "combative." Its logo is a silhouette of someone charging with a flag, and "the whole military theme of the site is very on purpose." Moulitsas spent part of his childhood in El Salvador during the country's civil war and was an Army artilleryman in Germany for three years, a background that, he says, makes him comfortable with throwing verbal bombs as well. "I'm not The Nation," he says. "I'm not afraid to use swear words. If people want calm, high-minded debate, this is not the site for it." Called in to mediate disputes among community members, Moulitsas has all the patience of a drill sergeant. "I get it all the time: 'Such-and-such was mean to me,'" he says in a mock whine. "I feel like I'm in high school. Suck it up, this is politics." More to the point, "This is war."  ~Time.com
Cox goes on to mention the sort of Kos Mein Kampf, "Crashing the Gate," where they detail all the scapegoats who are ruining America. "The authors save their sharpest knives to go for the jugular in their critique of Republican ideologues who are now running—and ruining—our country."

Well, it's not a perfect analogy, but you have to admit that there are some strong correlations.

Posted by Eric Simonson at July 16, 2006 3:04 AM
Comments
Comment #167975

Which government office is Kos running for again? Now that he runs the Democratic Party, I want to know when I can vote for him. Or is it just going to be a Reichstag coup? Step back from the Caffiene, Eric

Posted by: gergle at July 16, 2006 7:05 AM
Comment #167983

Eric, - Right on! In addition would like to mention that the left wing oppositions are always taking advantage of their Countrys’ Free Speach/Press basic policies to agitate the populatin against their own Goverment during peace time but mainly when their Mother Country is in regular war and/or against their unrecognisable ununiformed partisan enemies! … And when they grab the power they start to silence the opposing people by any means with the “help” of their hastily implemented dictatorial “legal” legistrations. I’d remind some members of that younger generation in North America for Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussulini, Castro…etc. For years, here at home we can experience brain-washed leftist student how they forcefully muzzleing non-agreeing students on many of our University Campuses. One more thing; that previously/above mentioned “power-grabbing style” are known to us through human’s thousand of yearts written history!

Posted by: airforcejoe at July 16, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #167984

I see, so now you’re done calling people commies, you’re turning to calling Kos a Nazi, right?

You’re making me laugh. Kos is to my left, and I don’t necessarily like his aggression in and of itself, but I like those in my party who aren’t willing to “suck it up” even less. Politics isn’t necessarily war, but it hardly qualifies as a dainty little tea party with the stuffed animals.

Kos will succeed as all other bloggers do: to the extent his audience will let him. On the whole, I prefer Kevin Drum, Steve Clemons, and Josh Marshall to him, because I prefer facts to rhetoric, and these people provide them. Still, Kos’s audience lets him get as far as he does because he fills a need that’s growing in the Democratic Party, a need you probably hate him and us for: to take back this country from you folks.

Furthermore, I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and that such a case is not an isolated occurrence, but part of a pattern. What are your pundits doing, pray tell? Have they been sitting around the last few decades raising polite little objections to Democratic Party politics, or have they been tearing at the liberals with pit bull ferocity while people like you cheer them on and join in? Did Rush sit around and offerly critiques of Clinton policy? Does Hannity concede points to Colmes on a regular basis? Do the talk radio hosts remain civil in their discussions of liberalism, and not take opportunities to make their little potshots?

Obviously, the answer is no. You think your side can bombard the left for so long, and not inspire, at long last, a counterattack? You’ve chose the rules for this fight, Eric, so spare us the complaints when people like Kos decide to bloody your nose.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #167985

sorry: does Rush offer scholarly critiques.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #167986

airforcejoe-
Oh, that evil ever-present association of traitorous liberals. They’re the reason why this president can’t run his war right, keep his spending down, or do anything but flop around like a fish out of water in diplomatic negotiations.

When the Right is finished blaming the left for its incompetence, corruption, and naivete, then maybe it can turn to the task of actually governing, before we liberals take over the reins of government from them.

Stop looking for the fifth column The only people betraying you right now are the leaders you worship. We as a nation deserve better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #167987

Of course we are talking about Hitler’s National Socialist Party. Can we compare the current Democratic Party by calling them national socialists. How about free speech (political correctness), racism (racial quotas), and how about a no rules war for power (filibusters, denegrating the war, dirty prosecutors). This may be a stronger analogy than you might think.

Posted by: joe at July 16, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #167989

Eric,

Your comparison is so loony I think it says more about you than about Kos. Unless someone is talking about eliminating an entire ethnic and religious group or invading an entire continent, comparisons to Hitler are specious.

You conservatives seem to be on a Hitler kick lately. And of course, don’t forget the Republican web ad comparing Dick Gephardt and other Dems to Hitler.


Posted by: Woody Mena at July 16, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #167990

The broken link referred to the Hitler ad in Virginia.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 16, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #167991

Wow! So Kos is to be critized for shaking up his losing wayward party…..ummm …I wonder if I can think of another party that might need a little shaking up by its rank and file members rather then continued cadence marching to a tune that has nothing to do with its true roots and nothing to do with American democracy.

Posted by: George at July 16, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #167992

Or ADS, I should say. Virginia and now Michigan.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 16, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #167993

Rush doesnt attack the left as much as he used to. He offers more scholarly critiques of the Dems and Reps. But now most of his show is spent making fun of all the kooky lefties. Lots of sound clips of Dems saying one thing and then the opposite (see John Kerry’s career). Basically, just showcasing examples of the radical leftists and the wishy-washy so-called centrists.

Posted by: joe at July 16, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #167995

Okay, okay. I know maybe it isnt “fair” with the Hitler analogies. How about we get on a Mao Tse-Tung kick.

Posted by: joe at July 16, 2006 9:58 AM
Comment #167998

the right is not done blaming the left for its own “incompetence, corruption, and naivete.” Talk about naivete, the left still thinks it can fix all worldly problems by sticking daisies down barrels. About incompetence and corruption just look at the Clinton years.

Posted by: joe at July 16, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #167999

Stephen,

I really gotta disagree with you on this one. This Kos guy should be shot, and I wouldn’t mind doing it myself. I work with many of the “mercenaries” he refers to, and he really needs to pull his head out of his 5th point of contact. The fact that any Democrat would talk to him just reinforces points I’ve made on other blogs about how the Democrats can’t seperate themselves from the radicals within their own party to their detriment. This Kos guy obviously hates America, there’s no other way to put it. Armchair revolutionaries like him are a plague. The idea that he celebrates the murder of his fellow citizens shows that he doesn’t deserve to be a citizen himself. Its a shame Congress didn’t declare war, then he could be tried for his treason and executed as he deserves.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 16, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #168000
This Kos guy should be shot, and I wouldn’t mind doing it myself.

Now what were you guys saying about left-wing extremists?

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 16, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #168002

eric: you make some interesting analogies and points, but you may be taking it a little far. yes, there are ‘leftist loonies’ who tend to make the majority of the democratic party and liberals in general look ridiculous; but they only appear to be a majority of liberals because that is how they are painted by the media (regardless of bias). more and more we are finding that much of the democratic party candidates and governmental employees are trying to grasp at the straws of the growing anti-war movement; but that will only be a temporary power and one that will eventually blow up in their faces. but what i find to be the biggest problem currently is the incessant bashing and thoughtless condemnation of both sides towards the other. both sides need to realize that they’ve both screwed up and they can’t keep blaming everything on the other side. both republicans and democrats are making the other side into scapegoats, claiming utter rightness and innocence, and condemning the other side for making the other into scapegoats, etc.

comparing either kos or bush to hitler, mao, or lenin is more inflamatory rhetoric; even though there are some parallels. hell, i bet you i could find points in common between just about any politician and some dictator. of course, they’d be totally obscure and irrelevant to anything that actually is important. in the field of logic, there are fallacies. this kind of argument (the dicator analogy and other similar thought) is chock full of un-based logic: you attack a person instead of what they’ve done or argue (ad hominem), you dredge up tiny and, more often than not, obscure and irrelevant points to distract from the main argument (pettifogging), you play to people’s emotions rather than to logic (ad miseracordiam, misuse of emotional words)… the list goes on and on. people on all sides are doing it, and i guess you could say that in many ways that’s simply what politics is, but it has reached an unprecedented, ridiculous, and dangerous level.

Posted by: alefnought at July 16, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #168003

Limbaugh is a scholar? He does’t even try to get his facts straight.

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1244

Posted by: 037 at July 16, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #168004

alefnought,

Are you a mathmematician?

1st Lt. B,

Let me take a different tack here. As officer in the US military, you swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”.

In this light, I assume your comment about shooting Kos is bravado. After all, you are sworn to defend the First Amendment, even if you think the speaker is an idiot.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 16, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #168006

Eric,

unhinged and unstable power-seeking radical
Quit being so modest about the Bush League.

Posted by: ElliottBay at July 16, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #168010

About incompetence and corruption just look at the Clinton years.

Posted by: joe at July 16, 2006 10:18 AM

You mean this incompetence??

Posted by: George at July 16, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #168013

Well, I tried, but after this post, I no longer consider this blog a venue for serious political debate. Too bad.

Posted by: Trent at July 16, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #168024

eric -

Wow. I can’t even think of anything to say except thanks for Sunday Morning cartoon… I enjoyed it. Even my wife got a laugh out of it.

Sheeeesh… Have you sent this to DailyKos? I think it’d make their day.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #168027

“I know maybe it isnt “fair” with the Hitler analogies. How about we get on a Mao Tse-Tung kick.”

Posted by: joe at July 16, 2006 09:58 AM

Come on, joe! You should know by now how the neoconservative echo chamber works!
No, you can’t get on a Mao kick because that wouldn’t be consistent with the “talking point of the week.”

You’re not allowed to be different from your party. If your thinking differs from their thinking, then your thinking is wrong and therefore illegal!

Posted by: ChristianLeft at July 16, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #168028

“Its a shame Congress didn’t declare war, then he could be tried for his treason and executed as he deserves.”

Posted by: 1LT B at July 16, 2006 10:22 AM

Since Congress did not declare war, doesn’t that mean that the perpetrators of this illegal war are criminal conspirators and traitors? And those who support them are aiding and abetting?

Posted by: ChristianLeft at July 16, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #168029

OK Eric, I tried to take this post seriously. But this post provides much more ammo to your “enemies” than it does shedding light on the state of liberal politics. I thought for sure this would be a thread where Stephen Daugherty types would shine, but apparently they couldn’t take you seriously enough. I can’t blame them one bit. It WAS funny…not much else.

Lets be real here, the comments about “mercenaries” was no worst than the sentiments often expoused on this blog. Like for example, comparing anyone who publicly seeks power through political trickery to Nazi’s. I’m afraid the analogy, the way you use it, can be appied all across the spectrum. Especially those who have real power. I won’t even elaborate on the size, color, or mental state of the elephant in the room, but everyone can see it is there.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 16, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #168030

This just goes to show the length some Democrats will go to attain power, try any angle, go with any scam endure any sales pitch. It seems to me that a committee to figure out what they believe will lose more elections, most people I know don’t have respect for phony poll driven ideals that change daily. This Liberal kook group and will never get the majority with the people, only the press.

Posted by: george at July 16, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #168031

george -

One word for you and other REPs: Abramoff.

another word? Delay.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #168034

Tony
One word to you Jefferson Dem. Louisana. He to had his hand in the wrong cookie jar. But I don’t see any Rep’s throwing that up to the Dem’s. O but I guess that’s because a Dem. isn’t in the white house.

Posted by: KAP at July 16, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #168038

Joe-
In your comparison lie fatal contradictions. The stated purpose of political correctness movement in language was to encourage more gender, racial and personal equality in language. To put it plainly, that is nothing like the Nazi’s idea of a master race, Nordic Whites raised above all others. As much as I find PC to be misguided, despite its good intentions, I cannot see a connection between the fascist ideas of the Nazi’s and the radically egalitarian ideas of P.C.

As for racial quotas, they are fine as long as they are meant as remedial measures, requirements put in place to break ingrained hiring tendencies. I think it should be tie goes to the runner; qualified over unqualified.

As for our ambitions, yes we have them. But again, we are not the fifth columnists its easy for you to imagine. I’m sure the Right had no problems filibustering in their day. I know for a fact that every military action Clinton took came under Republican scorn, regardless of it’s success or purpose. The Republicans even cast their vitriol at him when he shot cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden. Yet now people like you would scorn him for not having unilaterally invaded Afghanistan and taking Osama and the Taliban out.

The contradictions continue. You say Rush doesn’t attack the left as much, then say that now most of his show is spent making fun of all the kookie lefties. I fail to see the distinction; only the contradiction of your two claims is evident.

As for flowers in guns, I seem to recall Clinton, no gung-ho military man himself having launched a number of military offensives. He was the one who set up the no-fly zones and had us attack in Desert Fox. He was the one who had us royally slam Milosevic and the Serbians in Kosovo. Your impression of us as peaceniks mistakes a brief period in our history of pacifism for our actual long-term attitudes. We are not so naive as those who think Democracy spreads like the flu.

Besides, no matter how corrupt or incompetent Clinton is, it makes no difference to Bush’s levels of the same. Stupidity in government does not respect party lines, and both our parties had best pay heed to that.

1LT B-
It’s not a comment I would have made myself, to be sure. But then, I am not entirely sympathetic to his style to begin with.

I doubt he hates America. And that’s a bad charge to fling around. First, there’s no way to prove it outside of direct statements, second it’s just going to guarantee you a subjective argument that few are going to concede to you, and most who actually do love their country are going to take personally.

My worry with Kos is that we’re beginning to pick up the Right’s habits in an effort to compete for the political ground their aggressive rhetoric gains for them.

Frankly, I’d just as soon we be more pragmatic, and less focused on the politics. I say as much. Moreover, if your charge is that the Democrats fail to separate themselves from radicals, then you should try and explain why many Democrats distanced themselves over the Blackwater comment.

He has a point in that we should confront the reality that war is not video game, but he would have been better off asking the questions that Frontline did in it’s Documentary Private Warriors. For one thing, why do we need the mercenaries there in the first place? Well, to protect all the people in Iraq who are doing the jobs that were once done by the soldiers themselves, before it got outsourced to KBR and other firms, who use people who aren’t trained to fight like a soldier does.

Behind all the double talk and rhetoric, there is a reality that perhaps neither side has fully faced. I think Kos would have been better served addressing that reality in this case.

But tried for treason and executed? That’s the talk of governments that aren’t democratic, which demand people’s loyalty rather than earn it. The question is, whether you think the people running this war automatically deserve our agreement, or whether they have to earn it, or at least pay the price of honesty, integrity, and competence to keep it when given by default.

I never found myself on this side of a debate before in my life. I’m a regular old hawk most of the time who enjoys seeing his military kick ass, and who grieves to see it so mismanaged now. Kos and I are on opposite sides of the divide here, but I respect his right to give his opinion, even as I disagree greatly from him.

To treat dissent, even radical dissent as such a danger is to have far too little faith in both the inconsequential nature of mere talk, and the not inconsequential strength of our nation to correct for the input of radical opinions into the system. America is not so unstable that Liberals being liberals and Conservatives being Conservatives will bring the end nigh. If he starts some kind of armed insurrection, then you can go and try to put a bullet in his head, but as long as the motive for murder is opinions you don’t share, I am glad that you can do nothing so much about it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #168041

Stephen
Stupidity in government does not respect party lines.
That’s a statement that I can totaly agree with.

Posted by: KAP at July 16, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #168042

Stephen,

I see, so now you’re done calling people commies, you’re turning to calling Kos a Nazi, right?

If the shoe fits…

The fact is that Kos represents the unhinged Cindy Sheehan wing of the party. The wing that is intent on assimilating the entire party, and looks like they are succeeding. And the fact is that they are a fifth column. You cannot deny it. Just look at Cindy Sheehan and Hugo Chavez. Is that the representative you want, “Taking back America,” from us right-wing extremists?

Posted by: eric simonson at July 16, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #168045

Eric:

You are a typical Bush Republican. When things go bad for your party, just attack the “left.” The more ridiculous the statement, the more currency it will achieve.

Actually, it does not matter what you say. You are sure the charges will fly. Call any Democrat - KOS is popular, so he is handy - a Hitler, a nazi. Just spread the word. Others will take it from there.

I’ve been called such names by so-called patriotic Republicans on this blog. But I never had the privilege of being called a nazi. I think this is so only because I’m not as popular as KOS.

Instead of relentlessly attacking “leftie” targets, why don’t you defend this most corrupt administration that I have ever seen?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 16, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #168048

Paul
Like I said in another post. The Republicans should take lessons from the Democrats on how not to get caught. Corrupt the Democrats are just as corrupt as the republicans

Posted by: KAP at July 16, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #168050

KAP -

Huge difference between Jefferson and Delay. The DEMs have asked that Jefferson resign his committee posts… the REPs changed their guidelines to allow Delay to stay in power even if indicted.

I’m all in favor of Jefferson going home for good - and the sooner the better. Any one found with $90,000 cash in his feezer is either corrupt of completely stupid. Either should be enough to send him packing. As to a court prosecuting him - that’s between him and his lawyer, as far as I’m concerned - he is busted and needs to do everyone a favor and go home.

On the REP side of things - I have heard it driven into the ground (with respect to Cunningham & Delay & Libby) that we should let the courts decide guilt before we “toss the bastards out.” That’s your side of the fence - you mend it or ignore it, whichever you can live with.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #168052

Woody,

In absolute terms, yes saying I’d like to see him shot is bravado. However, in my opinion, rejoicing in the deaths of fellow citizens who were murdered by foriegn enemies of the United States seems to constitute a “domestic enemy” to me. Dissent is one thing, and what Kos says goes beyond that. I think if that jackass said anything like that in WWII, he would’ve been tried for treason provided a lynch mob didn’t handle him first.

Stephen,

What if this Kos fellow was some lunatic white supremacist talking about all Muslims to make the world safe for Jesus? Can you honestly say that ANY Republican politician would have the first thing to do with him? And if one did, do you think the press would hesititate for a second to publicly pillory the offending politician?

Again, I say that this piece of human garbage is treasonous. He may not hate America, but he hates it as it is now. Last I’d heard, sedition was still a crime, as was treason. This guy is a prime example of both in my mind.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 16, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #168053

The only lesson that Democrats can teach Republicans is how to lose elections. The more the kooks take over the Democratic party the more votes they will lose. I like watching the Democrats implode and surrender to outer fringe knuckleheads.

Posted by: George at July 16, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #168056

I’m not sure what all this chatter coming from the right wing, criticizing people who want a say in the direction of their political party and their country, is all about. Isn’t that one of the fundamental principles that this country was founded on?

I realize that the right wing has a strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for members within their party, and that is fine if that is how they want to run their party. However, some of us want a say in the direction our party and country take. We may not always agree, but the best solutions will be found in the diversity, and/or merger of many differing viewpoints.

The problem I see in the Republican Party is that there are only a few people pulling the strings, and nobody questions the technique of the puppet master.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 16, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #168063

“He may not hate America, but he hates it as it is now. “

vs

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

ummm - seems quite like patriotism in it’s truest form.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #168064
He may not hate America, but he hates it as it is now.

1LT B,

It is more honest to say that he hates the policies and direction that America is headed, as do a 65-75% of Americans. The only way to change that is for people to take a bigger stake in their party.

The more the kooks take over the Democratic party the more votes they will lose.

George,

Well, it is a strategy that seems to have worked well for the Republican Party.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 16, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #168066

Stephen:

“I never found myself on this side of a debate before in my life. I’m a regular old hawk most of the time who enjoys seeing his military kick ass, and who grieves to see it so mismanaged now.”

Yeah, what a bummer. Foreign adventures do have their price, it seems. And so does extremist neo-con ideology.

Look on the bright side, though. The run-away defense budget, corruption and incompetence counts for something. We as a nation spend more on ‘defense’ so we’ll be able to sleep well than anyone else. And think of all those high-paying jobs.

Any bible quoters here to give all this imperialism the right (sick) bouquet?

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 16, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #168068

Paul,

Come now…
Eric’s post is no different from all of yours (just from a 180 degree perspective). It wouldnt be hard to go through any of your posts and see you make the same type of arguments (just about bush and other republicans).

Eric hates radical lefties just as much as you hate this current administration. Get over it.

Posted by: b0mbay at July 16, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #168070

Joe,
One word for you: Sandy Berger:.
Another word: Classified Documents.

…Stuffed into pants pocket.

Odd that story had little -to- no coverage, no?

Posted by: gene at July 16, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #168074

Eric, the more I read this Republican blog the funnier it gets. It’s a little like the kettle calling the pot black. Kos a fascist? Get real! The only black shirts I see are in the White House; or have you forgotten the lies and mishandling of the Iraq “War?” I put war in quotes because it really never was a war, just the slaughter of innocents, theirs and ours.

You nee to look at your own house before you start throwing stones about fascism around.

Peace, cml

Posted by: cml at July 16, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #168078

Paul,

I’m sorry that some of the irony in my post was lost on so many here. If you peruse the Kos site you will find the exact same argument made over and over. It’s a veritable treasure trove!

Have you been paying any attention to what is going on in this country? Well I have. I am noticing things happen in this country that I don’t like. Things are happeing in this country that shouldn’t be happening. And if you, like me, will take a close look at what has been happening in America, you will see an huge similarity between modern day America and Nazi Germany. Let me explain…. ~DailyKos, “Nazi America?”

Then there’s Al Gore’s ‘moderate’ statements about how the right are digital brown shirts…

And every day they unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President.

For these and other reasons, The US Press was recently found in a comprehensive international study to be only the 27th freest press in the world. And that too seems strange to me. ~Al Gore, “American democracy is in grave danger.”

So much for the sanctity of dissent.

BTW Paul, I have been called a fascist numerous times.

Posted by: esimonson at July 16, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #168080

Can someone inform the Kos Kool Aid folks of this post so we can get tons of traffic from them? Anyone?

Posted by: esimonson at July 16, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #168082

eric -

I did let a few people know - but I doubt, if they come here, they would have much to say about this thread. It’s kind of weak.

Posted by: tony at July 16, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #168095

Hmmm,Eric, “so much for dissent.”

Didn’t you get to speak? I swear I heard your voice in there somewhere.

I guess that was irony.

Posted by: gergle at July 16, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #168096

Eric-
If the shoe fits? Like Cinderella’s sisters, you have a bad habit of cutting off toes and cutting off heels to make that shoe fit. You say “Just look at Cindy Sheehan and Hugo Chavez”, but even if we can include Cindy in the far left, the movement I know and am a part of is broader than that. I know many more voices than that, liberal and moderate that hardly fit your definition of immoderacy.

I know my own mind, too, and your broad brush accusations seem little more than warmed over cold-war propaganda. Part of the reason it’s failed so miserably to maintain support for the war is that your rhetoric is a golden oldie, an excuse people know too well. In fact, the familiarity of the excuse probably aids comparisons to Vietnam, and perceptions that the argument is a weak copy of the old “nattering nabobs of negativity” line.

What might have been original was owning up to mistakes early on, while it was easier to correct them. Or having been trusting enough of the American people to give them the unvarnished unexaggerated truth of what was going on. Or to have decided policy based on evidence, and not the other way around.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 16, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #168099

What I am reading from the liberal posts is that none of them agrees with Kos. They all think that Kos is too far left.

What I am not seeing in their posts is any reference to Kos being too far left to be a legitimate part of the Democrat Party. Until I see that, I’ll have to guess that the liberals posting WANT Kos in the Democrat Party.

Posted by: Don at July 16, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #168101

Don,
Kos is a Democrat who wants to see a liberal agenda enacted.

Like many liberals, I want to see a liberal agenda enacted too. Occasionally I post on Daily Kos. If a liberal agenda can be passed through the Democtats, that is fine. If not, Kos will still be a Democrat, but I may move on.

That means, among other things, withdrawing from Iraq now.

1LT,
Here is a quote from a man twice awarded the Medal of Honor. At the time, he made the rank of Major General in the US Marines at a younger age than anyone else:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Who are you really fighting for, 1LT? Who benefits from your service in Iraq?

1LT, ever notice how people who volunteer to serve start out as conservatives, yet so many military veterans are liberals?

Think about General Butler. Think about the Bonus Army during the Great Depression. Read “The Road Back” by Remarque, the sequel to “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

(Hint: “The Road Back” is out of print. The German veterans of WWI became politically radicalized, and many became Socialists and Communists. Not the kind of message American publishers wanted American youth to see!)

Unjustified wars have a way of doing that to people. Even WWII influenced B-17 bombardiers like radical Howard Zinn, and the author of “Catch 22”, Joseph Heller, and that was at more justified than any other war the US has fought in the last century. Why do so many who serve become liberals?

Think about Eisenhower, and his great speech on the Military Industrial complex.

Read “War is a Racket” by General Smith. Think of Halliburton and Exxon. The essay has its limitations, for sure, but in important ways it is as relevant today as was back then.

Posted by: phx8 at July 16, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #168104

phx8 wrote:

“1LT, ever notice how people who volunteer to serve start out as conservatives, yet so many military veterans are liberals?”

Please share your data source for statistics on this.

Also, thanks for confirming my guess that liberals WANT Kos to be part of the Democrat Party.

Posted by: Don at July 16, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #168115

Don,
Of course, it is unquantifiable, despite my naming Zinn, Heller, Eisenhower, Butler, the Bonus Army, and post WW1 Germany as examples. Those do not represent statistical data, do they?

Here is a list of Republicans who advocate war, but never served. They are better known as “Chickenhawks.” Recognize any names?

Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Elliott Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz ,
Richard Perle, John Ashcroft, Dennis Hastert, Bill Bennett,
Condoleeza Rice, Katherine Harris, Lynn Cheney,
Ann Coulter,
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Joe Scarborough, Sean Hannity,
John Bolton, Ken Adelman, Jeb Bush , Tom DeLay,
Roger Ailes, Brit Hume, Tony Snow, Alan Keyes,
Kenn Starr, Antonin Scalia, Ted Olson, Clarence Thomas,
Andrew Card, Don Evans, Michael Ledeen, Marc Racicot,
Bob Barr, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dornan, Trent Lott,
Phil Graham, Steve Forbes, Dan Quayle, Tim Hutchinson,
Mitch McConnell, Don Nickles, Saxby Chambliss, Mark Souder,
Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer, George Will,
Dennis Miller, Ted Nugent, Michael Weiner, Matt Drudge.

Yes, Don, liberals want Kos to be part of the Democratic party.

Are you not tired of the lies? The pretexts for war? One recession behind us, and another impending? Do you understand the import of an inverted yield curve? The worse record for job creation since Hoover? A stock market where the DJIA is up a grand total of 2% in the sixth year of the term? (And I am being kind by not mentioning NASDAQ! PS, the average stock market gain per year was 7& before Clinton, and 15% after Clinton! 2%! Kind of gives you the chills, eh?). Stagnant wages and increasing personal debt? The federal budget deficit? The trade deficit? The national debt?

Time to put the people who have been right in charge. We need the liberals in charge.

Posted by: phx8 at July 16, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #168123

phx8 -

You couldn’t be more wrong. Statistically, fewer people want the liberals in charge than ever. Even if liberals have been right about some things, they are consistantly on the wrong side of history.

That you feel Kos has a legitimate place in the Democrat Party is evidence enough that the Democrat Party has no right to be in power. The far left is not what most people in America want. The further left the Democrat Party goes the fewer votes Democrats will receive. If you want to be in charge you will have to move right. Conservatives like Rush and others have been telling you that for years and you won’t listen. And you won’t listen now. And every election shows you that you don’t get it.

Posted by: Don at July 16, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #168131

Don,

You couldn’t be more wrong. Statistically, fewer people want the liberals in charge than ever. Even if liberals have been right about some things, they are consistantly on the wrong side of history.

Pleez! Do you have a source for those statistics? All major opinion polls show that people want the Democrats to be in charge (the Democratic Party is the liberal party, if you didn’t know that) Do you have any supporting evidence that statistically fewer people want the liberal to be in charge than ever, or is that just projecting your biases on others?

That you feel Kos has a legitimate place in the Democrat Party is evidence enough that the Democrat Party has no right to be in power.

Sure, Kos has a ligitimate place in the Democratic Party. Why wouldn’t he? I would rather be in the same party with Kos than the party that has Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, & all the rest of the far right wingnuts.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 17, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #168132

Don-
If you take any political position on a spectrum (if you’re going to oversimplify things that way), you have to reject one side as being too far left for your tastes, and the other too far right.

In reality, political positions are not that simple. Heck, people aren’t that simple. We hold our views for a variety of reasons. We often hold views that would seem inconsistent in the light of a political platform, or which contrast with our parties, but which are consistent if you know our backgrounds.

Therefore, our loyalties, both across party lines and behind them, take on that kind of complexity as well. We may not agree with somebody, but we recognize that the intention is to first paint Kos as more extreme than he is, and then to paint us as being just like him. It’s in our interests to defend Kos.

We have not interest in continuing to be your punching bags while you folks screw up policy. The time has come for the Republicans to learn their lesson. Kos is no Nazi, but he is a threat to the Republican and Democrat establishments. What makes him popular is that many Democrats don’t like either and want a change.

1LT B-
I find the excessive use of the words treason and sedition to be objectionable. This is a Democracy and those words have much more specific and narrow meaning, thanks to our First Amendment rights. It’s exactly this kind of talk that, if you’ve read the article behind Eric’s post, compel Markos towards writing his political blog- he felt, having served in the army that he had earned the right to criticize the government. If he couldn’t do it, having served his country, who could?

I’ll tell you something else: similar concerns drove me as well. I was seeing and reading things about this war that I felt merited genuine concern and the media and our politicians were in another world. For me, it was important that people know and understand what I did.

I would bet that similar concerns drive your to post here and debate folks like me. This is how Democracy is supposed to work. Especially when it comes to the future of this nation, what it could be, as opposed to what it is now. There is no crime in Republican like ours in disliking the status quo of America, and no mutual exclusion of such dislike with the love of one’s country.

Tim Crow-
In my view part of the glory or infamy of a war is its necessity. In places where our presence makes a good difference, then let us go off on a nice heroic adventure! But let’s not be the guy with a hammer who sees every problem as a nail.

I don’t see the bright side in a runaway defense budget. First of all, most of it’s going to programs that have little to do with an effective, efficient army. I in fact wrote an editorial almost two years ago, near the beginning of my time as a Watchblog Editor called Eating Our Young. For me, my dissent about this war has been mainly about mismanagement. To my mind, there’s nothing that can be done about the fact that Bush started this war on bad evidence, but there are many things we can do to help our soldiers, not the least of which is handing them supplies and strategies to win the war as quick as is rationally possible, and then getting them out of there. Withdrawal’s not a dirty word if you’re leaving having done what you needed to do.

That is the kind of exit strategy I advocate, to the extent that its humanly possible. Better that than to have both Americans and Iraqis suffer more for the consequences of this botched war.

Gene-
Barely any coverage? I remember quite a bit of coverage. The thing is, though, he plead guilty to the infraction, and by doing so, didn’t keep the story alive by continual denials in the face of the facts. Denial is like ambrosia for news stories- it grants them immortality.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 17, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #168136

JayJay Snow -

I make a distinction between the DNC and liberals (as should you); I also make a distinction between conservatives and the Republican Party. I am a conservative, not a Republican. If the Republican Party candidate fails to be conservative, I probably won’t vote for him. In fact, I have voted for several Democrat candidates in local, state, and federal elections. I base my voting decision upon several factors, not just conservative v. liberal; but I will not vote for a nut. The nuttier the Democrats become the fewer Americans will vote for them.

I stand by my statement in my post above. The Democrats who will be elected will be those who are least tied to the far left. It was Kerry’s far left record that lost the election for him, not Ohio. If he had been two steps to the right he would have won by a landslide. The voters were faced with a dilemma: “Vote for a wacko, or vote for someone we’re not so sure we like.” They made the right choice.

Posted by: Don at July 17, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #168144

Don,

I do not think a liberal would feel too comfortable in the Republican Party. Besides, I doubt the Republican Party would exactly welcome Kos with open arms, unless he repented of course. While I agree to a certain extent with true Conservatives on fiscal issues, I am adamantly opposed to their stance on social issues. If some day the Republican Party decides to treat all people with respect & equality and they make a commitment to their fiscal roots, then I would consider voting for one of them. Until then, I am a Liberal Democrat.

It was Kerry’s far left record that lost the election for him, not Ohio

Kerry did not exactly lose the election by a landslide either. There was only one presidential candidate who received more votes than Kerry in the history of the country, and that was G.W.B. That does not exactly support your claim that statistically, fewer people want the liberals in charge than ever. More voters than ever voted for the liberal candidate. Besides, much has changed in the political landscape since 2004 and not much of it positive for the Cons.

If you want to know why Kerry lost in 2004, it is simple and I argued this in the run up to the election. The Democrats/ Liberals did a poor job rallying their base. They remained almost silent while the Neocons drug our collective name through the mud. Many liberals were upset that the Democrats were acting like Republicans and not representing their views, so they didn’t bother to vote.

The young college age voter had the smallest turnout of all demographic groups. Which was ironic since they were the age group that had the most to lose (the ones who are actually fighting and dying in Iraq, the ones who will have to payoff G.W.’s spending spree, etc.) The Republican/ Conservatives simply did a better job getting their base to the polls.

Recent indicators show that just the opposite is true this year. Democrats and Liberals are much more energized and motivated, while Republicans and Conservatives are frustrated and feeling disenfranchised.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 17, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #168152

Stephen Daugherty,

Treason is defined in the Constitution as “giving aid or comfort to the enemy.” Since we have not declared war since WWII, no one since then can be guilty of treason as there has been no declared war. However, I still think Kos is at least guilty of sedition if anyone would ever prosecute him for it. My distaste for Kos is that in my opinion, he is not merely in dissent. You disagree with the President and Congress and the way that they’re handling the country, but I would never accuse you of something like sedition as that’s not what you’re about. I went to the Kos blog and found its contents to be what I would consider seditious. As I’m not a prosecuter, I have no say in criminal charges, but I’d love to see that happen.

JayJaySnow,

You may have a point about Kerry, but I don’t think the Democrats have as big a base as you might think. The country has been consistent in voting for conservatives for the last decade, and I don’t think that liberalism is making much headway on any issue except Iraq. The Democrats stand to gain this time around, but I doubt that they can sustain it in the long run. Moreover, as liberalism becomes more and more marginalized, liberals will become more and more shrill and radicalized, making it even more difficult to rally the base for Democrats as they know full well that campaigning on issues like government funded abortions for grade schoolers and gun confiscation are non starters.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 17, 2006 3:14 AM
Comment #168174

ChristianLeft,

I don’t know how I managed to miss that little jewel of yours, but here’s how it works. The Senate voted Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq. That was when Kerry voted for the war. Later, he voted against it, remember? Last I checked, Congress has not rescinded Bush’s authority to deploy US forces in Iraq, therefore the war is not illegal.

I will say that it is a shame that Congress has better things to do than exercise its war powers. What it is that Congress is doing besides nothing I haven’t a clue, maybe someone can help me out on this one. The Constitution specifically delegates to Congress the power to declare war. They are also in charge of the money. Instead of doing thier job with regards to war, the Congress instead writes free passes for Presidents and has done so ever since Korea.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 17, 2006 7:10 AM
Comment #168188

Congress is too terrrified of lossing their election to do anything they might have to take a stand on.

They voted to give the military option to Bush in Iraq based on the threat of WMDs. That threat has now been proved false - but I haven’t seen a single Congressman take a stand.

Bush has stated what he beleives his rights are… I do not agree with him, but he has the spin to take a stand. Where the hell is the Congress?

Posted by: tony at July 17, 2006 9:25 AM
Comment #168190

1LT B-
This talk of treason and sedition is bull. Making the enemy feel good is not treason. They can cheer at the ongoing difficulties of the war, which many would blame Bush for; does that make him guilty of treason? As for Sedition, my impression is that Sedition is covert. Kos has been quite public about his campaign to take back America.

He has not advocated armed rebellion against our government, given real aid to our enemies or done anything that Americans as a whole could agree is treason.

The Right, unfortunately, has employed a broad definition of treason that not coincidently almost makes being on the left-wing in politics an act of betrayal of this country.

By the looks of your closing comments, you seem to believe much of the bullshit peddled about us. Well, the notion that we bear ill-will towards our own country is one cow-patty amongst the many you would do to toss away, preferably with gloves on.

Just because we don’t dropkick the far left out of our party the way the Republicans have ejected their moderate wing doesn’t mean our plans are to have them in control. We would be just fine with moderates and centrists. We were just fine with Clinton for eight years. We were perfectly fine with folks going along to get along, until the Republicans made even that impossible.

As it is now, we are closer to the consensus than the right is, and Americans are beginning to realize that.

As for Kerry’s vote, he voted for an alternative bill that would have used sustainable tax increases rather than unsustainable debt financing. He at least has not been a rubber stamp to the President these past few years. He’s been willing to change his mind to fit the circumstances, rather than maintain a foolish consistency. He was told one thing when another was true. Do you go on supporting what was built on a lie, or do you change your direction to suit what you know now.

Or to put it in military terms, if somebody gives you bad intelligence, do you rethink your plans based on what you observe to be correct, or do you waste your men and resources on plans that were only sound if the information was true?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 17, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #168233

Stephen:

“To my mind, there’s nothing that can be done about the fact that Bush started this war on bad evidence…”

I respectfully submit that Iraq was not started on bad evidence, it was started on intentionally manipulated and distorted evidence, in service of a preconceived, ideological plan.

“For me, my dissent about this war has been mainly about mismanagement.”

This is where we strongly disagree. Your position mirrors the centrists and the business wing of the Democratic Party. The failure of this war was in its conception and the ideology it served. This isn’t about not having enough armor, or enough ‘boots on the ground.’ The illegal invasion of Iraq was a losing proposition to begin with. We walked into a country who’s inability to govern itself should have been obvious to anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of the country’s history.

Democracy can only flourish if it’s home-grown. You cannot successfully graft a rose onto a cactus, not even with a bayonet.

“…there are many things we can do to help our soldiers, not the least of which is handing them supplies and strategies to win the war as quick as is rationally possible, and then getting them out of there. Withdrawal’s not a dirty word if you’re leaving having done what you needed to do.
That is the kind of exit strategy I advocate, to the extent that its humanly possible.”

There is no policy, there are no supplies, there is no stratgy that will insure there will be a strong, viable democratic Iraq when we leave. The sectarian divisions, and the manipulation of outside forces make it impossible. Because of failed neo-con policy, we now have 130,000 troops in the middle of a civil war. Because we as Americans want our foreign policy on “the hurry-up”, do what needs to be done, then get out, the forces that do not want democracy will wait us out, while extracting as much blood and carnage as they can.

This war wasn’t failed intelligence, and it was never about ‘spreading democracy’. That was only part of the mission creep when WMD weren’t found. This isn’t a botched, or a mistaken mission. This is a failed mission.

There is only one kind of exit strategy that makes any sense now, Stephen. You know what it is? We leave. Period. Anything else at this point smells of hedging our bets, trying to lessen the failure, in short, trying to look good when the whole world knows better. This faux government in Iraq will collaspe when we leave, whether its six months from now, or six years from now. The question is, how many innocent people will have to die so that we can save face?

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 17, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #168265

Tim Crow-
Regarding bad evidence, I include such evidence as you describe in the ranks of bad evidence. My basic definition is that it’s untrue.

Regarding democracy in Iraq, The elections demonstrated that the people wanted Democracy. The problem here is that there’s never been enough peace to let the Democracy settle in and start working.

Ultimately, the trick with how we leave is whether we have to come back, whether we leave behind a future threat that will have to be dealt with at renewed cost of blood and treasure. It’s convenient to believe that Iraq is inherently unable to support a Democracy, but that’s just a cop-out for washing our hands of the matter. People will die if we save face, they will die if we don’t. I suggest we just focus on salvaging things so the harm done by our leaving is minimal.

If this is the attitude we take with our wars, the Right will always dominate on the issue, because they at least have an opinion (if dreadfully wrong) of when its proper to use force. So much of our foreign policy, especially from the security council is backed by our ability to use force. Either we shouldn’t threaten its use, or we should have points at which our patience runs dry and we attack.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 17, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #168279

Stephen said:

“Regarding bad evidence, I include such evidence as you describe in the ranks of bad evidence. My basic definition is that it’s untrue.”

I believe lumping together “bad” evidence and “manipulated” evidence serves the purposes of the adminitstration. It is the critical difference between errors of ommission and errors of commission. I believe the distinction is very important, and critically undercuts the very nature of the mission. This distinction is not lost on world opinion.

“Regarding democracy in Iraq, The elections demonstrated that the people wanted Democracy.”

And the vast majority of the people of Iraq want the US troops gone. How does that jibe with visions of democracy?

“People will die if we save face, they will die if we don’t. I suggest we just focus on salvaging things so the harm done by our leaving is minimal.”

Well, since absolutely no consideration or planning was in evidence within six months of our arrival in Iraq, this concern in ‘salvaging things’ before we deign it to our advantage to leave is naive at best, and down-right cynical and mendacious at worst.

And as each week goes by, more and more innocent people are dying, dismembered and damaged. This concern for “democracy” in Iraq has little difference with our Vietnamization of the war in SouthEast Asia in ‘69, ‘70 and ‘71. In that period of time, close to 30,000 Americans died, and well over 1 million Vietnamese. Just so we could be comfortable with our leaving.


“If this is the attitude we take with our wars, the Right will always dominate on the issue, because they at least have an opinion (if dreadfully wrong) of when its proper to use force.”

I think the Right’s credibility and ‘opinion’ on when to use force has suffered considerable damage from this Iraqi escapade. Americans aren’t pacifists, and neither am I. I fully supported our intervention in Afghanistan. There was credible and verifiable evidence that the Taliban was supporting and abetting terrorism.

There is now verifiable and credible evidence that terrorists that weren’t within 300 miles of Iraq are there now, because we are.

What is all the more chilling about our Iraq policy is that the administration and Congress are trying to do it on the ‘cheap’. Appropriations for the war are not budgeted in the Defense Department budget, thus distorting the real costs of this misguided effort, coffins aren’t shown at Dover, De., there is no draft that would share the burden of this war amongst the populace, instead of disproportionally falling on the lower classes and minorities. There is a manufactured and malicious effort by the GOP to demonize anyone who disagrees with their policy and call into question dissenter’s patriotism.

And your concern that the Right will dominate the use of force issue in future elections indicates to me a partisan viewpoint that undermines rational foreign policy-making. That the neo-cons patience “ran dry” with Iraq, and that a totally illegal war was perpetrated on a country that could not possibly have been capable of threatening us in any credible way, indicates to me that the discussion of the Iraqi war in this country and on this blog is all about oneupsmanship and political game-playing, and not taking a hard and critical look at the damage our arrogance is doing.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 17, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #168681

Eric
This is either the funniest blog article I’ve ever read, or you are seriously misleading people by taking quotes out of context to lead your readers to an absurd conclusion.

either way, it’s not really worth a detailed commentary. I’d rather believe that you meant it all as a dry joke. In that vein, kudos on your sense of humor.

Posted by: Cole at July 18, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #168738

There was never a need to declare “WAR” on Iraq OR the terrorists. Saddam declared it on US. Every major terrorist group in the world has declared it on US. There’s no need to decalare “WAR” on Syria, Iran OR N. Korea either. Damascus and Teheran are run by creeps who CONSTANTLY refer to us as “the enemy” and have, on SEVERAL occasions declared “WAR” against us AND somme other western nations. Kim is still AT WAR with us, S. Korea AND the UN/NATO. The fact that war hasn’t officially been ACKNOWLEDGED by Congress just proves the cowardice, treachery and ignorance of those members who either don’t have the courage of their convictions, as with timid Republicans, or simply care more about regaining power than perpetuating prosperity for posterity, as is the case with the Socialists, err, uh.., Dems.

Posted by: Rugged Individual at July 19, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #168867

Tim Crow-
Look, I don’t approve of being lied to, or of my government not knowing shit about what’s going on. Either way, it’s bad for us. Now, you might like to believe that you are the only one between the two of us that doesn’t like having been lied to, but in fact I base my political dissent on that discrepancy.

I believe that the faster we can leave, the better. But the speed of that departure cannot be emphasized over its quality, or else the speed of our departure will be matched by the speed of whatever brings us back there.

That’s what I mean by salvaging thing. Admittedly, irreversible harm has been done that only time, not our presence, can heal. Vietnamization was a failure because it was an attempt to withdraw having failed to give those in the South the capability to stand up to aggressor.

I believe, too, that the Republican’s reputations as warfighters has suffered. But ours hasn’t been helped. We need to get things going. We need to confront Bush on Iraq, on the price of the war and make sure that Bush’s attempts to keep them hidden are in vain.

I too despise the cheapness of this administration; it’s a failure to admit to the realities of what’s being done. That is ultimately what we must succeed in doing. We must be the voice of reason. We can’t devolve into careless pacifism or belligerence. We have to confront the reckless policy that Bush and his team put together, and make our new foreign policy one that works better in both peace and war.

Rugged Individual-
A Declaration of War? They haven’t done it. They may call us the enemy or rattle their sabers, but that’s typically for home consumption. What we need to know is who really means it. That’s what this administration botches again and again.

The fight in Korea, though not over, is in a state of Cease Fire. The thing to remember is that the Korean war was a police action and as such never declared. Damascus and Teheran, though imflammatory in their rhetoric, have not been stupid enough to actually declare war against the United States. To actually do so would be to obligate almost all of Europe to kick their asses. That’s the beauty of NATO, you see. The UN would have to treat such an act of aggression as a contravention of the charter, which would leave them shit out of luck on that front, too.

The Bush Administration’s failure has been regarding even the most unlikely catastrophe as a certainty. This leads us to have to take every damn possibility that could spell doom seriously. So, despite the fact that their missile assembly plants are a shambles, their longest range missile could only hit Alaska, has demonstrated it’s capabilities only with rather brilliant fireworks above the Sea of Japan, and the nukes we think they have are too large for the missile, we have to treat it as a certainty that they’re going to nuke us if we don’t attack at some point. Meanwhile, there’s somebody elsewhere in the world who can do us harm right now, and we’re not paying attention to them.

Every military adventure has an opportunity cost. We give up the ability to do anything else with the materials, money, and soldiers that we employ. Right now, we have hundreds of thousands of soldiers, a great deal of Washington policy discussions, loads of hardware, billions of dollars a year, and a great deal of other things invested in Iraq, and not somewhere else.

The whole point of whether WMDs or Terrorists were there in the beginning is whether we wasted our time, money and lives invading. It seems now that we did. Now the question is whether we’re willing to pay the cost to get out, or whether this administration wants to be still caught in the bear trap when the next hunter comes by to visit. Iraq is making us more vulnerable, without the counterbalancing benefit of lessening that vulnerable elsewhere in a greater fashion.

The question may be, when you come down to it, whether you support the Iraq war, or our national security and accompanying interests. I’m not saying we should retreat and lick our wounds. I’m saying we should face facts and do what’s best for the country by finding a new way to wage this war, so that it successfully concludes and we can be done with it, to the degree that’s possible.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #168895

Stephen:

“I too despise the cheapness of this administration; it’s failure to admit to the realities of what’s being done. That is ultimately what we must succeed in doing. We must be the voice of reason. We can’t devolve into careless pacifism or belligerence. We have to confront the reckless policy that Bush and his team put together, and make our new foreign policy one that works better in both peace and war.”


Well, then, we have some overlap here. Careless pacifism is as unrealistic as thoughtless belligerence is devisive. I don’t think either you or I have been thoughtlessly belligerent in voicing our views on the Bush administration’s Iraq policy. But, I do believe that time is not on our side on this, and the country is in a race against time, economically and militarily.


Posted by: Tim Crow at July 19, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #168945

Wow, Godwinned from the start.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at July 19, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #169097

The extreme left-wing is now the mainstream of the democratic party. Never mind that elections are lost one after the other.

No, I don’t believe th left-wing is now the mainstream. Althought the left-wing has never strayed to far from the Democratic Party.

Well, it’s not a perfect analogy, but you have to admit that there are some strong correlations.

I agree that it’s not a perfect analogy, however I contest the strength in correlation.

Kos is open to anyone to offer an opinion of world events.

Posted by: benjifromtheDNC at July 20, 2006 9:28 AM
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