John McCain: The Best Man for the Job

The affiliations of his detractors change depending on political winds, but John McCain abides. Whether the war in Iraq ends in victory or defeat, John McCain is the one who can end it with honor & integrity. I considered other candidates, but now I am sticking with John McCain because the Iraq war is the most urgent issue facing our country and John McCain is most capable to handle the Iraq war no matter which way it goes.

If we pull out too soon, the Middle East goes up in oil fueled flames and America has to recommit later at a higher cost in blood and treasure, but same thing could happen if we stay and suffer a defeat at the hands of …who?

We are really fighting chaos. Al-Qaeda and hateful Baathists have started the Iraqi house on fire in the hopes of burning us out and obscuring their own intentions amid the smoke. They are shooting at us while we are trying to dampen the fire and save the inhabitants. They cannot defeat us. The fire - the chaos - may do their work, however.

Americans viewing this frightening calamity are justifiably frightened. For many, the response is to say that the house will burn down anyway and we should just get away. "Such had been the fate of these people for 5000 years", they fatalistically add in mock-sagacity. But they are wrong about their history and they are wrong to believe that just letting it go is even an option. It is dangerous to be in and around the burning house, but more dangerous to let it burn and destroy the neighborhood.

Iraq is not an isolated country on far edge of some peninsula. Chaos growing and spreading there will engulf our world in conflict for a generation. Iraq is the cradle of civilization, center of the old Caliphate, the confluence of Persian, Turkish and Arab cultures, the fault line between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam and the center of a region containing most of the world’s exportable petroleum. From cultural, religious, geopolitical, ethnic and economic reasons it is an important country.

Leadership sometimes means having the right character for a particular situation. John McCain has the character to confront this task and the integrity that comes from his biography. Living with a cheating husband, overcoming adolescent experiments with alcohol and cocaine, or just being the son of a textile plant manager are not exactly the kinds of character building trials that give you the credibility to take your country out of a losing war with honor or persevere to win in the face of great unpopularity, or even to know which one is most appropriate. After five and half years of brutal torture at the hands of communists, McCain is not much moved by the by the painful vicissitudes of popularity that so beguile and panic other modern politicians. That is leadership we need for these times.

Out of this smoke, chaos and confusion of conflict, we look up and there stands John McCain, where he as always been, urging us to do the right thing for our country and resist the temptation of the currently popular expedient to relieve our immediate pain. He would rather lose a campaign than a war. Let's make sure he loses neither.

Posted by Jack at April 12, 2007 6:52 PM
Comments
Comment #216256

Jack,

It’s not too soon. It’s past time. The longer we stay, the more we are creating chaos.

There will be problems in Iraq, whether we pull out today or two years from now. We are not creating stability.

Wrong candidate, wrong policy.

Posted by: gergle at April 12, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #216258

Jack,

John McCain has his strengths. As I said before, it seems to me that if Republicans want someone who is reliably conservative then McCain would be the obvious choice over Giuliani and Romney. I readily admit that I am oddly qualified to make this judgement, but it really seems like a no-brainer. And he is obviously an eloquent guy.

He does seem to have kind of a cranky streak in him. I am willing to bet that he will have at least one “macaca”-like moment of saying something nasty on camera before this campaign is over.

I don’t know how much the torture bit really helps his candidacy. (I won’t even dignify the slaps at the other candidates with a response.) In general, military experience doesn’t really help in campaigns. Clinton had zero military experience, and Dubya didn’t have much either. I don’t think it hurt either of them.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 12, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #216259

At one time I thought McCain, might make a good president(before the current president labled McCain a quack)spent time in the Military, and I honor him for that and the time being in Hanoi Hilton, long time working with some across the isle, but I think his time has come and gone. Unfortunately he does not see that Iraq is becoming another Nam. Instead of the dreaded Red Commies, it is now the dreaded terrorist, Baathist, Iranian, Syrians.
The way he and bush wants it, we will be there until another 59000+ Americans are killed.
Nope wrong person, wrong agenda, wrong time.
Sorry McCain no way

Posted by: KT at April 12, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #216263

KT,
I agree.
McCain is all wrong on Iraq.
Especially after his visit to Shorja market, and trying to fool us about things being safer.
And he’s also all wrong on illegal immigration, which is pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other so that the greedy employers of illegal aliens can pocket more profits while the rest of us pick up the other $70 billion in NET losses (annually).

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #216264

Jack

It seems that there are some errors with your description of McCain…

“The affiliations of his detractors change depending on political winds, but John McCain abides.”

It is incorrect to say that McCain does not change his stances of controversial issues based on “political winds”. His relationship with the Christian Right exemplifies this. At first, he criticized the leading figures of the Evangelical Right as “agents of intolerance”, but now, because of political opportunities, he panders to them by speaking at their universities and changing his stance on gay marriage. So much for the straight talk express…

But for better or for worse he has sticked to his stance on Iraq, being constantly a staunch supporter of the war, kind of like Bush. Hey, great minds do think alike!!!

Posted by: greenstuff at April 12, 2007 8:35 PM
Comment #216266

Woody,

“He does seem to have kind of a cranky streak in him. I am willing to bet that he will have at least one “macaca”-like moment of saying something nasty on camera before this campaign is over.”

McCain sort of did; he apparantly has a strong attraction to the word “gook”.

Posted by: greenstuff at April 12, 2007 8:41 PM
Comment #216267

Jack,
Just when I think I can start to agree with you on some things you come out with this.
Hell, my favorite conservative at work said he would vote for Hillary before he voted for McCain. That should tell you how much he distrusts this man. The deal breaker for him was the McCain-Feingold finance reform. This guy just keeps getting further from American values. I could have suported him in the 00 election but now he just wont seem to accept reality.
Our borders are more pourous then my pasta noodle strainer. We have more are so far into debt the weight of the money we could sink a battle ship. Our military at this point in time couldn’t handle another front of girlscouts selling cookies.
Hell with the way we are headed our enemies only have to provide us with a little help staying on course and we will sink ourselves (ie. they win).

Posted by: timesend at April 12, 2007 8:44 PM
Comment #216269

In 1999 I was hoping McCain would win the primary. Sadly he did not ,so I voted for bush with misgiving`s
At this point I would vote for bilbo the clown before I would vote for him.
He has totally lost all self respect [and mine] in his pursuit of the white house

W.E. Savage

Posted by: TheSavage at April 12, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #216273

Jack, you say you want McCain because he will handle the outcome of Iraq regardless of which way it goes.

Boy, do we have different perspectives. I want a President who will determine the outcome, not handle the outcome of its own volition. McCain hasn’t a prayer. And thank goodness. He is a two trick pony - a war hawk, and opponent of waste, fraud, abuse in government funding. And I am not so sure on the latter because the Iraq war is the greatest waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayers dollars to precede the collapse of the Soc. Sec. and Medicare programs along with the economy which these programs shore up in countless ways.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2007 8:58 PM
Comment #216274

Jack,
Are you trying to help McCain, or ensure he doesn’t have a chance? : ()

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #216279

d.a.n.

I do not think McCain has much of a chance. I admire his integity.

David

I was thinking that only Nixon can do to China; only deGaulle can withdraw from Algeria. McCain can make the decision that needs to be made. Nobody else can.

A withdrawal in defeat will be much harder than people think. This is not Vietnam and consider that the withdrawal from Vietnam took place in stages over years. We left a stable Vietnam that was SUBSEQUENTLY conquered. The fall of Siagon was still painful when separated in time from our withdrawals. If we pull out next year, we will not have even that.

I just wonder about how hard it will be for some folks to swallow a withdrawal ordered by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards. I am not saying our troops will not do it, but the poison that will introduce into American politics will be worse than Vietnam. I think it will ensure a Republican comeback in 2012, but it will not be the sign of health in either party.

This is going to be really hard. My native optimism is strained by the thought of this outcome.

America is not immune to the forces of history. We have been protected by our oceans and our wise system of mixed government, but even the best systems can fail under stress. I think defeat in Iraq will causes a lot more stress than most people are prepared for.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #216281

Actually, if the surge does not work by the end of summer, the best thing President Bush can do for our country is to order withdrawals. This will “save” the probable Dem president elect and Bush will get no credit, but it will at least allow him to swallow much of the poison himself, or to mix metaphors, fall on his sword in the Roman sense.

On the other hand, if the surge is working by the end of summer, the Dems should swallow their hate and serve our country.

I do not know if either will be noble enough to do the right thing. No matter what, President Clinton or Obama should not have to give the terrible order.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 9:31 PM
Comment #216287

Jack, the simple fact is, all any President has to do to end our Involvement in the Iraq civil war is to state the following:

“America achieved her goal of deposing a brutal dictator and aiding the Iraqi people in establishing a democratic form of government. Victory in this regard has been achieved. We would like to insure their future, but, that is not up to us. It is up to the Iraqis now to determine their future. America will remain ready to aid them in preserving their democracy and nation if that is what the Iraqi people themselves choose. But, America cannot win their civil war for them. It is time for America to allow the Iraqis to stand on their own and chart their own destiny.”

That’s all that need to be said and done to remove our troops with dignity and honor. A Democrat can do this. A Republican can do this. And the majority of the American people will accept it as valid.

Now if the goal is to vindicate the Bush administration’s handling of every aspect of this invasion, then no, not even John McCain can pull that off. But, that should not be the goal for America. That is Bush’s/Cheney’s/Rumsfeld’s goal, not the majority of the American people’s.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2007 9:59 PM
Comment #216289

Jack,

I respect your opinion.
You are entitled to it.
As you know, we’ve discussed McCain before, and I have acknowledged his good points in the past.

However, since this is a John McCain for President thread … can I ask a few questions:

  • [1] Did you really think McCains’s post-Shorja market photo-op was factual about the market being safer?

  • [2] Do you really think it’s getting better in Iraq to any significant degree?

  • [3] Do do you think the Shorja market in the green-zone is representative of the rest of Iraq?

  • [4] And why did John McCain make up that story about Gen. David Petraus driving about Baghdad in an unarmored/unarmed humvee?

  • [5] Do you think perhaps that McCain’s judgement is being clouded by his ambitions for the presidency?

  • [6] Do you agree with McCain’s position on illegal immigration?

  • [7] Do you agree with McCain’s vote on S.2611 which would have let illegal aliens participate in Social Security?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #216290

Well said David R. Remer.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 10:03 PM
Comment #216291

Jack, I think you nned to go back and read the history on Nam. Nam was nowhere stable, and self-sufficent,when the US pulled out and no it wasn’t in stages or even orderly.
Right now neither of the two major parties has a person that is in my opinion, able to take over and move this country in the right direction. All the players are out for the ego trip that they will get and not for the welfare of the people of the United States. Hell if the real run for the Presidency hasn’t even started and records amount of funds in the war chest, that should tell you that money talks, and the people get shafted again and again and again.


On the surge, Johnson did that when he sent over 75000 additional service members to Nam, and it didn’t help, we still lost the war and 59000+ service members.

Posted by: KT at April 12, 2007 10:03 PM
Comment #216295

I liked it better when you were backing the smartest Rep candidate. Back to normal Rep behavior,back the dumbest. The war is lost. More dead GIs and Iraqis will not change that or the consequences.How you figure this leads to a Rep victory in 2012 is incredible.Is there a set number of deaths you have in mind before its ok to say stop?

Posted by: BillS at April 12, 2007 10:06 PM
Comment #216300

The only reason McCain is standing up for the current war strategy is because BushCo made a deal with him that they would give him access to their donor list and help him win the nomination in exchange for providing political cover on Iraq.

Turned out to be a bad deal on both sides. McCain has officially jumped the shark, has no support from the left or the right and looks like a tired beaten down old man, so he’s certainly not giving BushCo the political cover they thought they would get. And McCain’s piss poor fundraising shows that access to a donor list can’t substitute for actually being a good candidate.

Listen, it’s clear to anyone who can see that McCain has sold his soul to try and become President. No more straight talk express, he talks in Bushisms and pre-packaged propaganda talking points now. He’s a pale shell of his former “maverick” self. Watch his Iraq press conference — he has literally turned into Bush.

There was a point not too long ago when I actually thought he was a formidable candidate. Now I just feel pity for him. Integrity my @$$, he’s the worst, most pathetic kind of sellout. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget he cheated on his crippled wife. Now THAT’S what I call character!

Posted by: Andrew L. at April 12, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #216316

Wow, it is not looking good for McCain here! Not only is he striking out here, but the latest poll shows him in third place behind Fred “That guy from Law and Order” Thompson.

Giuliani 29%
F Thompson 15%
McCain 12%

Incredible. Of course, I said in my own posting that you can’t predict much from these early polls. But there is always the danger of the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you look like a weak candidate long enough, eventually you will become one.

Just out of curiousity, are there any conservatives here who like Giuliani better than McCain? Why?

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 12, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #216317
If we pull out too soon, the Middle East goes up in oil fueled flames

That’s one theory. Most people who are familiar with the region don’t believe it’s likely.

Much more likely is a Shiite-Kurd Iraqi government that clamps down on its Sunni minority and reaches stability in much the same way as other stable countries in the region deal with their militant minorities.

I just wonder about how hard it will be for some folks to swallow a withdrawal ordered by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards.

Irrelevant. By the end of summer, Congressional Republicans (and you, yourself, Jack) will have a sudden epiphany and decide the new US policy in Iraq should be one of training, logistics and force protection.

You’ll spin it to make yourselves feel better, of course, but the fact will remain that it’s the course Democrats have been advocating for the last couple years.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 12, 2007 10:41 PM
Comment #216318

Jack,

I culled some selected words from a delivery of Robert (Bobby) Kennedy. Perhaps they can convince you about this Iraq stupidity…

“What we must ask ourselves is whether we have a right to bring so much destruction to another land, without clear and convincing evidence that this is what its people want.”

“All this bears directly and heavily on the question of whether more troops should now be sent—and, if more are sent, what their mission will be.”

“But the costs of the war’s present course far outweigh anything we can reasonably hope to gain by it, for ourselves or for the people of Vietnam [Iraq].”

“I urge you to learn the harsh facts that lurk behind the mask of official illusion with which we have concealed our true circumstances, even from ourselves.”

“I ask you to go forth and work for new policies—work to change our direction—and thus restore our place at the point of moral leadership, in our country, in our hearts, and all around the world.”

Of course Bobby was speaking about our Viet Nam stupidity (another dishonorable crapshoot), not Iraq…but…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 12, 2007 10:45 PM
Comment #216320

1] No. It was a photo op.
2] Yes. I think the surge is showing signs of success, but it too early to tell.
3] No.
4] Which story?
5] No. I think if he really wanted to be president, he would temporize or cave more to public opinion.
6] As I understand it, it is similar to the President’s. I have not trouble with it.

7] No

We vote on a package. I like McCain on many things. Disagree on some. I believe Iraq is the most urgent issue we face and I believe McCain is the best man for that job, as I wrote.

KT
The insurgency was defeated in the 1970s after CHANGING Johnson’s strategy. Most U.S. troops were out by 1972. The South Vietnamese defeated a massive NVA assault that year with U.S. air support.

In 1973 the Paris Peace talks produced a cease fire. The last U.S. combat troops left that year. The NVA invasion violated the Paris agreement two years later. It was the regular NV Army - not an insurgency. They had tanks and air support. They conquered the South in April 1975. There was definitely an interval and as I wrote, it still was very painful for us, not to mention the people of Vietnam. Well not everybody, When Ford announced the end the crowd at Tulane University cheered. We may suspect whose side they were on.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 10:57 PM
Comment #216326

Woody

I like Guilliani better in almost every way, except in this big one - Iraq. I think that is the most urgent problem we face, however.

Unfortunately, I do not think much of McCain’s chances.

AP

If at the end of summer the surge is clearly not working, yes I will advocate withdrawal. The other side should make the same promise in the opposite side.


Marysdude

Bobby was good with words. His families money and influence bought him a good education and high office. Of course he was speaking before the change of strategy. He was still dealing with the war his brother and LBJ had given the country. And we all know Bobby and Jack collaborated on security issues.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #216328

Jack,

Well I guess that means you are still not convinced about the Iraq stupidity…

Yeah, the Kennedys had money and influence, unlike the Bush’s who were poor as churchmice, and didn’t know anyone of influence.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 12, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #216332
If at the end of summer the surge is clearly not working, yes I will advocate withdrawal. The other side should make the same promise in the opposite side.

Jack, you can’t find any respected Middle East or military expert who thinks the surge will work. Certainly, the Iraqi government isn’t falling all over itself to make the decisions and deals necessary for stability.

As far as I’m concerned, why wait? As soon as we leave — and we will leave, sooner or later — the Iraqi government (armed militias, death squads and all) will sort it out their own way and our having stayed a few more months won’t make a damned bit of difference.

That’s not to say a stable Iraq won’t emerge — in fact, that’s the most likely outcome — but the Iraqis are going to achieve that stability in their own way. The Sunnis won’t like it, but they don’t like it now.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 12, 2007 11:22 PM
Comment #216337

AP

Nobody would want to stay risk American lives longer than necessary. Nobody would want to pull out too soon and risk more American lives in a collapse.

We have a disagreement re our predictions of the future and assessments of the present. You sincerely believe the U.S. has been defeated beyond hope. I do not.

Marys

If we could know back in the past what we know today we would make different sorts of mistakes.

Re your point that Bush and Bobby both came to their positions because of money and family, yes. I was just agreeing with you that Bobby was good with words and explaining why that was so.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 11:38 PM
Comment #216340
Re your point that Bush and Bobby both came to their positions because of money and family, yes. I was just agreeing with you that Bobby was good with words and explaining why that was so.

So, what happened to Bush?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 12, 2007 11:50 PM
Comment #216341
and risk more American lives in a collapse

What makes you think a collapse would result? I just told you why it wouldn’t. Why do you think it would?

You sincerely believe the U.S. has been defeated beyond hope

No, Jack. I believe that four years of Bush’s half-assed military operations have achieved all that can be achieved. The mission should shift to training, logistics and force protection.

…Unless you want to throw another 280,000 troops at the problem and start really twisting some arms in the Iraqi government. I’m all for that, too.

I liked McCain when he insisted that 20,000 - 30,000 - even 50,000 troops weren’t enough. I liked McCain when he called for all the resources necssary for a decisive victory. His support of this half-assed surge that no military expert believes will work really disappointed me.

Hell, why do you think Bush can’t find a “War Czar”? Everybody knows they won’t get the manpower necessary to win this one outright. It’s a lose-lose situation for whoever gets the job.

If we’re not going to apply the Powell doctrine to Iraq, then it’s time to change the mission.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 13, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #216344
Just out of curiousity, are there any conservatives here who like Giuliani better than McCain? Why?
I’m not a conservative, but I wouldn’t vote for Giuliani.

Giuliani is against enforcing illegal immigration laws.
Strange, considering that some of the perpetrators of 11-SEP-2001 were illegal aliens, 18 of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 11-SEP-2001 possessed state-issued and/or counterfeit driver’s licenses or ID cards and ALL 19 had obtained Social Security numbers (some real, some fake). Those terrorists very simply tapped into an enormous market for fraudulent documents that exists because 12+ million people have successfully breached our borders and now reside here illegally. Their presence has spawned widespread document and identity fraud that threatens our ability to distinguish illegal aliens from U.S. citizens and legal foreign residents.

Giuliani (as mayor of NYC) continued a policy of preventing city employees from contacting the INS about illegal immigration violations. Giuliani ordered city attorneys to defend his policy in federal court. Despite the federal court’s ruling that NYC sanctuary laws were illegal, and an appeal was lost too, Giuliani still vowed to ignore the law.
In 1996, Giuliani said, “I believe the anti-immigration movement in America is one of our most serious public problems”.
In 2000, Giuliani said “Immigration is a very positive force for the City of New York. Immigration is the key to the city’s success. Both historically and to this very day.”
So, clearly, Giuliani doesn’t have much respect for illegal immigration laws, nor recognizes the many burdens on U.S. tax payers ($70 billion in net loses, annually).

Since on of the most fundamental duties of the federal government is national security, I can’t vote for anyone that has no respect for enforcing existing laws, refuses to secure our borders, and even protects illegal aliens as Giuliani has.
Also, I can’t vote for anyone who is selling out Americans, and pitting Americans and illegal aliens against each other.
Such as this list of Congress persons that voted YES to let illegal aliens receive Social Security benefits.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2007 12:14 AM
Comment #216360

Jack said: “If at the end of summer the surge is clearly not working, yes I will advocate withdrawal. The other side should make the same promise in the opposite side.”

What kind of illogical droop is this? If the surge is working at the end of the summer all it means is that relative security in Iraq has become an American activity, instead of Iraqi. With this kind of thinking it is no wonder Republicans can’t find there way out of Iraq.

Is it really your contention Jack that it is desirable to have Iraqi peace depend upon thousands and thousands of our troops playing cop on their street corners? Do you really want to breed that kind of dependency on the American GI, the American taxpayer, and the American government?

Sheesh. No, if the surge is working by Fall, then it is yet another opportune moment to WITHDRAW, asking the Iraqis to step in and maintain what we have created. If they can’t, that is there destiny. They should not be allowed to become addicted to American resources. We will soon have precious few to manage our own needs here in the USA.

Korea, Europe, Japan, Korea are all still addicted to American resources a half century later, and we are allowing our nation to be bled dry as we face the demographic challenge of the next few decades.

This two faced hypocrisy of Republicans is incredible. You can’t preach independence and self-reliance for poor Americans at home while breeding dependence and vampirism on the American taxpayer abroad. The American people and our nation can neither afford it, nor will they tolerate it, as they begin to grow pale from the suckling.

The split personality of the GOP is going to be a long time in therapy trying to recover their center and balance. That is glaringly evident.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 13, 2007 7:07 AM
Comment #216363

David

The surge depends also on Iraqi troops. W/o them, there would not be enough Americans in country. If the surge is successful by the fall, it means Iraqis are also successful. I am not eager to give the place back to chaos if we can pull it out. You should not be either.

The Vietnam analogy is way overused, but can useful with the BIG modification of no NVA. The U.S. stayed long enough there to create a self sustaining government that could have survived internally. That it was defeated by outside forces just means it was militarily weaker. If we can establish reasonable stability, as we succeeded in doing in Vietnam, and then pull out combat troops, as we did there too, since there is no NVA equivelent in the region, there is a good chance that the stability will stick.

If the surge establishes reasonable stability by fall and Bush takes the opportunity to pull out, it will be the shortsighten and craven thing to do. We do want to leave, but if we get the job done, we will not have to do it again so soon.

You mention Europe, Japan, Korea. Those have been major U.S. committments. But consider the alternatives. Europe today is merely annoying and it is our most important trading partner and the home of our best allies. Japan and Korea are along the same lines. It did not have to be like this. WWII could easily have crippled Europe and created new wars. The EU, world trade and most of our prosperity is based on the sound security structures we created after WWII. This was in sharp contrast to WWI when we did more as you advocate.

Posted by: Jack at April 13, 2007 7:57 AM
Comment #216364

Pardon the interruption, but I just saw that Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in a car accident.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/13/corzine.crash.ap/index.html

I’m sure we will all send him our prayers.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 13, 2007 8:01 AM
Comment #216367

Jack,

The Vietnam analogy is way overused, but can useful with the BIG modification of no NVA. The U.S. stayed long enough there to create a self sustaining government that could have survived internally. That it was defeated by outside forces just means it was militarily weaker.

Dead Wrong. It was politically unsustainable and corrupt. It was only there because we aided the assasignation and overthrow of the previous government, which was equally corrupt. The issue to the Viets wasn’t communism vs. democracy. It was foreign invasion and domination. The same problem is NOW the problem in Iraq.

It is clear why you cannot see the problem of Iraq. You suffer from the same myopic demagogery as the Neocons. You are the problem, Jack. As Bob Dylan once said:

Your old road is rapidly aging.Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand,For the times they are a-changing!

Posted by: gergle at April 13, 2007 8:23 AM
Comment #216373

I was looking back at the archives and this is what I wrote about McCain in Feb. 2006

Republicans have no doubt been cheered by polls showing John McCain with a 10-15% lead over Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2008 match-up. Coming almost three years before the election these polls probably don’t mean much*, but they do make McCain look like a strong candidate. McCain has a huge vulnerability though, and hardly anyone has noticed.

This seems to have slipped under everyone’s radar, but McCain is quite an old guy. McCain will turn 70 this August, and will be 72 by the time of the 2008 election…

Now that lead has basically vanished, and people are starting to talk about his age a bit, although it is more popular to say that his time has passed.

Here is what Jack said in response:

I plan to work for McCain and will be putting my time and money where my mouth is. I still think, however, that he is an outside chance.

So I give Jack credit for consistency. That is exactly what he is saying now.

This is terribly, terribly unfair, but he also wrote:

My guess is the Republicans will be running George Allen against Hillary Clinton and we will win.

Oh well, the key to predictions is to keep them vague. ;)


Posted by: Woody Mena at April 13, 2007 9:11 AM
Comment #216440

Jack, heads up - WWII ended more than 60 years ago. We don’t need nor can we afford to continue to suckle their needs for their own defense. We have a 9 trillion dollar national debt that is growing by the hundreds of billions each year.

Someone above used the word myopic. Appropos’. Republicans like yourself and John McCain don’t seem capable of acquiring a big picture here in our own self-interest, and seeing the path to our own salvation economically and internationally.

It’s a different world today. The Axis powers are long gone. The EU is wealthy enough to support its own defense, as is Japan. S. Korea likely still needs our support, but on their terms of less, and not our terms of more. S. Korea afterall, has aligned interests with China and therefore needs much less military and economic support from the American taxpayer.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 13, 2007 4:30 PM
Comment #216469

David

I agree some Europeans should start pulling their own weight; some most do. Japan mostly does these days.

My point was about the transition, which actually lasted a generation. We paid a price and gained a much bigger benefit.

Our Dept problem does not result from our military spending, which makes up a small part of our GDP. The big bucks go to entitlements and eventually they will swallow the whole budget.

Gergle

The corrupt south was conquered by the even more corrupt and tyrannous north. It did not fall by itself. It was the weaker, but the freer of the two bad choices.

The same could have been said for S. Korea in 1960. I believe the world and S. Vietnam would be better off today if the conquest by the north had not succeeded.

Woody

You have more patience for reading my stuff than I do.

I fear McCain is a lost cause, but he is doing the right thing to prevent something more important from being a lost cause. I will stand by him until he stands no more.

Posted by: Jack at April 13, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #216472

Jack said: “My point was about the transition, which actually lasted a generation. We paid a price and gained a much bigger benefit.”

Yes and ‘manifest destiny’ consolidated a huge land mass in which America could grow and prosper. But that was then, and it would not work today. Just as the Marshall Plan was appropriate and brilliant for the 1950’s but, has proven to be an insufferable failure today in Iraq.

It almost seems as though conservatives are called so because they keep trying to recycle the past. They continually try recall past solutions to meet challenges of today. And often fail miserably because the answers of yesterday often fail to address the changed circumstances of the present.

When conservative voters begin to understand the difference between traditional values (mostly good) and traditional strategy and tactics (mostly inadequate), they may begin to elect effective leaders of the ilk of Lincoln or Eisenhower, again.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 13, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #216500

Jack,

The corrupt south was conquered by the even more corrupt and tyrannous north. It did not fall by itself. It was the weaker, but the freer of the two bad choices.

Well, at least you’ve got your history right this time. But, you are still missing the point. The North was led by a Viet who wanted independance from Foreign domination. He was in tune with the people. He was a populist. We propped up a phoney.
Ho actually approached the U.S. initially, but was rejected. It was stupid policy based on anti Communism. Iraq is stupid policy based on anti terrorism…if you believe anything Bush says. They are not the same situations, but equally misguided.

Posted by: gergle at April 13, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #216504

Gergle

The leaders of the north were more ruthless. The whole idea that people do not mind being beaten, raped or murdered as long as local guys are doing it is a product of nationalistic tyrants and the academics who appologize for them.

As I said, you could have said the same thing for North & South Korea in 1960. Since that time, the South was “under the thumb” and so it got to be very rich and prosperous, while the North remaind pure and true to its concentration camp ideals.

My opinion re Vietnam is that we did not need to get involved. Kennedy and Johnson overreached. They should not have gone in like that in the early 1960s. By the early 1970s the situation was different. Neither the North nor South had the legitimacy to rule the whole country. More than 30 years later, they still have not held a free election.

David

We have used some variations of the same tools since we emerged from caves. I agree that something like the Marshall Plan is less useful these days because it is less needed. The world is awash with captial.

One thing that remains true, however, is that security trumps almost everything else. You cannot have economic development until you have security.

Posted by: Jack at April 13, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #216512

Jack,

I presume you have evidence that the North was more guilty of rape and murder than the South. Perhaps you forgot the infamous images of the South Vietnamese thug killing the prisoner at point blank range, or the little girl running naked after she was burned with Napalm. Your memory seems rather tainted. Who was it that massacred the people in Mi Lai?

Who was it again who intervened in Cambodia to stop the massacres precipitated by our support of Pol Pot there?

I’m not an apologist for Communism any more than I am against normalization of relations with Vietnam. Your characterization of Ho simply doesn’t hold water. Yes, he coducted purges to consolidate his power. Are we supporting purges in Iraq? Did we support purges in South Vietnam? Since the Viet Minh are such thugs and tyrants, I presume you are against normalizing relations with Vietnam and I would presume China as well.

War is ugly, Jack. Horrible things happen at the hands of people with “good” intentions. The Vietnamese people largely sided with Ho. Ho was no saint, but he was a nationalist driven by the corrupt domination of the Japanese, French and then the U.S. He used communism to gain support from China and Russia avoiding domination by either.

U.S. intervention was stupid and misguided. It is again.

Posted by: gergle at April 13, 2007 11:48 PM
Comment #216519

Gergle

Perhaps you forget the reeducation camps, boat people, routine VC masacres. The big difference between north and south in this respect was that the north (as communists do) hid it better, although they did more. YOu would have no pictures that the communists didn’t want because they would kill the photograhers too.

The NVA and VC long used American feelings of guilt to mask their own atrocities. For example, they massacred thousands in Hue as a matter of policy in typical communists fashion. Many Americans are shamed into silence by them mentions of much smaller and more ambiguous U.S. actions because as you say war is brutal.

The south held elections that were reasonably free and fair. The North held none AND still has not. If “the people” are so enthusiastic, you think they would not be afraid to ask them.

The Vietnamese people did not side with Ho. Ho never gave them that option. Ho was popular with the people because he told them so. Those thousands of people murdered in Hue (link above) were proably not enthusiastic Ho supporters.

The communist MO from the time of the Bolsheviks is to muder prominent “class opponents” and natural leaders (local politicians, teachers, business owners) and then terrorize and intimidate the others into submission and then claim popular support.

You can criticize the south, but never let yourselve even start to believe that the north was not much more the terror state. That is why it won. It was a victory for ruthless men, willing to employ terror, but skilled at manipulating western opinion.

Remember the ever popular Mao next door is the world record holder for killing civilians. Smiling crowds may not indicate free consent of the governed.

In Cambodia, our allies resisted the Khymer Rouge and lost. The whole of Indochina was impacted by our collapse as the whole Iraq region might be in our current case. As for the Vietnamese invasion, in that case imperialism was a good thing, right?

Posted by: Jack at April 14, 2007 12:39 AM
Comment #216534

Jack,

The south held elections that were reasonably free and fair.

Gimme a break. Are you refering to the assasignation of Diem?

In Cambodia, our allies resisted the Khymer Rouge and lost. Huh?


I’ll agree with this Fruedian Slip:
You can criticize the south, but never let yourselve even start to believe that the north was not much more the terror state.

I agree, the North was not much more a terror state.:)

BTW, thanks for the Domino Theory rehash. Are you the lone hold out on that one? Not even the stongest anti communist believes that old wives tale.

Posted by: gergle at April 14, 2007 1:17 AM
Comment #216544

Gergle

Count the negatives: never..that it was not much more the terror… As in math the double negative makes a postive = N. Vietnam was the terror state. And it was.

Re Cambodia - yes. The Khymer Rouge were the commmunists who overthrew the regime we supported. The KR started their offensives in 1968. The N. Vietnamese supported them and gave them sancuaries that protected them. These allies later fell out, but they were fellow Marxist travelers and allies during the conflict stage against us and until we were out.

Re domino theory, it is not a domino, but it is part of the same conflict. We cut aid to S Vietnam and Cambodia around the same time (1973) for the same sorts of reasons. They fell to communist in the same year even the same month (April 1975). Sorry the bad guys won in both places. Those who may want to trust us in Iraq may be familiar with this history too.

S Vietnam held nationwide elections in 1967 and 1971. THere was very high turnout, despite VC violence. They were not perfect, but they were reasonable and much better than anything the North ever did (or has ever done)

Posted by: Jack at April 14, 2007 2:15 AM
Comment #216548

Jack,

I’m guessing that english is your second language:) Better watch that Polish ghetto speak:)

Two wrongs don’t make sense or a positive:)

Your analysis of the lengthy political history of SE asia equally suck.

The Khmer rose precisely because Lon Nol allowed bombing in Cambodia and turned the Cambodians against him after he marignalized Sihanouk. He was supposedly our ally.

We stirred the pot and created the vacuums and then took our money supporting the propped up regimes. Guess what happened? Millions died. I’m sure the inhabitants loved us for it.

We didn’t start the Khmer or the NVA, but we did everything stupid to empower them, including the assassination of Diem. I’m not suggesting they were particularly good for SE Asia. What I am saying is that despite our good intent, we screwed the pooch and set in motion terrible consequences.

This is the lesson of Vietnam that clearly neither you nor McCain have learned. Propping up unpopular regimes does not stabilize a country. We are doing that now in Iraq. Allowing a regime to exist that does not have to sue for peace creates hatreds and retributions. There will be bad consequence in Iraq whether we begin to leave now or later. Later will be worse. There is a chance of some balance being acheived now, while factions still are empowered. Further repression will not aid healing. If the Shia and Sunni have no reason to settle they won’t.

Posted by: gergle at April 14, 2007 4:37 AM
Comment #216560

Gergle

It is not unnatural that you are missing the point of a double negative, but that is why when you say a do not have none, you are actually saying that you have some. Math and English have the same rules on this. Not all languages do. Ours is logical that way.

BTW - My grandfather was Polish. I was born in Wisconsin. English is my native language. I had to learn Polish when I lived in Poland. My father never taught me Polish. My mother’s family was German. The strength of the U.S. is the English language, which is the common language of the U.S. and increasingly the world.

I think we can plead guilty to losing the war in Vietnam and lots of mistakes there. But that does not mean the bad guys we were fighting were not the bad guys.

We often get the chronology and the players wrong because we are looking We are looking through the smoky lens of the U.S. anti-war movement. They tend to see the war on the ground in 1968 and the end as the same part of what they protested. The protestors had to convince themselves that the U.S. was bad and even that the enemy was good. I will not equate them all with the nutty left like Jane Fonda, but her intellectual journey is emblematic of many.

What I think you can say about the war is that we were not the “good” guys, but our adversaries were certainly the bad guys. The government of S. Vietnam was corrupt. The government of N. Vietnam was corrupt and tyrannical. The U.S. getting involved in the conflict was a mistake compounded by poor implementation until after 1968. Nevertheless, S. Vietnam (like S. Korea) would have been better off if it had not been conquered by the communists, but that may not have been a possible outcome.

One of the most pernicious results of Vietnam was the vast strengthening of the blame America first paradigm. I blame the anti-war crowd and their cognitive dissonance. They had to convince themselves that in a very complicated situation, their country was at the bottom of the suffering. They never stopped. Since the U.S. is involved in everything, it is possible to find the U.S. “culprit” literally in everything. The bad guys know this. They play at our guilt. The Muslim world manages to make us feel guilty for the Crusades, which were 700 years before our country was even founded.

Posted by: Jack at April 14, 2007 11:29 AM
Comment #216609

Jack said: “One thing that remains true, however, is that security trumps almost everything else. You cannot have economic development until you have security.”

And you cannot have security amongst the Hatfields and McCoys until they are either segregated, one is eliminated, or they themselves fight each other long enough that both sides see the wisdom of shaking hands.

In Iraq, segregation is not on the table. Eliminating one side or the other is not an option as it brings both side’s extended families from the hinterland into the fray. That leaves only allowing them to fight until they themselves see the wisdom of stopping.

Republican’s failure to think it through in this logical and demonstrably rational way, is what allowed the invasion of Iraq to occur and prevents to this day, Republicans from being able to craft any intelligent strategy for an exit. The only logical course of action leaves Republicans with a legacy that won’t get then reelected.

But, not choosing an intelligent exit strategy also leaves Republicans with a legacy that won’t get them reelected. That is the hole Republicans have dug for themselves with an Iraqi shovel.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 14, 2007 5:38 PM
Comment #216612

David

There has been a significant change in strategy and a change in leadership both at the SecDef and operational military level. Democrats and Republicans voiced praise and confidence in the new leaders. It is certainly prudent to give them a chance. If at the end of summer conditions are not signficantly improved, we should consider the precipitous withdrawal some Dems are advocating preemtively.

Posted by: Jack at April 14, 2007 7:33 PM
Comment #216617

Jack,

If someone tells you he “don’t have nothing”, it may mean in your fantasy world of language rules that he has something, but trust me, he hasn’t got a thing, and he speaks poor english to boot.

In your equally fantastic world of possibilities, you may say it would have been better if democracy exploded in S.E. Asia after WWII, but that thinking led to the disaster of Vietnam, not the American “smoky anti-war movement” which was a reaction to dying for stupidity and lies.

That is exactly what is wrong with yours and the Necons understanding of the situation in Iraq. Fantasies of a Nirvana of Democracy and Capitalism may float your boat, but does not alwasys lead to the best outcomes. Notions of freedom do not always work.

With the deaths of over half a million Iraqis and possibly 4 million Vietnamese, I am reminded of the philosophy that says “we’ll save ‘em if we have to kill ‘em all.”

In 1968 Clark Clifford asked what the plan in Vietnam was and what was the exit strategy. He found there was none. To say there was coherent policy after this is nonsense. Cambodia was the result of this “coherent” policy and several thousand more American casualties. We’ve had our Clark Clifford moment over a year ago. Johnson had the decency to refuse to run, if not the moral courage to admit his failure. Bush cannot run and has destroyed the Republican party’s WH chances. He too, lacks the moral courage to admit failure and correct his mistakes.

The arrogance of your blaming the reaction of both anti war movements is mind boggling. The majority of Iraqi’s want us out. 2 million Iraqi’s have voted with their feet by escaping Iraq. It isn’t just the “bad guys” that want us out. Your intransigent position that the problem is/was the anti war crowd is mind numbing. If you cannot learn from history, there is the distinct possiblity that your thinking is delusional. One who repeats the same action expecting different outcomes defines insanity.

There was no moral basis for this war. It was sold on lies. The monies commited and the timeline postulated were lies. Now you ask us to believe more lies. This was political/ military adventurism in it’s worst form.

Jack, your an intelligent guy, but the twists and turns you take to support your politics here should be telling you something in your gut. Listen to it.

Posted by: gergle at April 14, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #216645

Jack it is not the Democrats withholding the chance to see this through to the end of Summer. It is your Republican President who is vetoing the funds necessary to give the surge a chance through till Fall.

The Democrats passed the funding for the Surge. Bush is rejecting it. Like I said, this is the hole Republicans dug for themselves with an Iraqi shovel.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #216647

Gergle

It does depend on the context and the level of education. I do not use the words disinterested or inflammable because I know a majority of my listeners would misinterpret them. I agree that we all use some constructions wrong. I say “It’s me.” I do not say “It is I” and indeed if I say “I ain’t got none.” I am using the phrase to mean I do not have any. But the way I used never and not should have been clear. It is a good construction. You might say to your wife “Never let me hear you say that I was not here for you.” It corresponds to “Always say that I was here for you,” but the sense is different. That is why you might choose to use the two negatives.

I said many times that the strategy of the war changed completely after 1968. That is the whole point of the Vietnam analogy. The popular memory of the war mixes the insurgency of the early years with the NVC invasion at the end.

The casualties dilemma is real, but be careful how you use it Standing up to tyranny will probably result in violence and death.

We were talking about Poland earlier. I have no doubt that lives could have been saved if my ancestral countrymen in Poland had not resisted my ancestral countrymen from Germany in 1939. We could have saved lives by just forgetting about Pearl Harbor. Pacifists make the argument that any fighting is bad for that reason.

In Iraq, as in Vietnam, most of the deaths were inflicted by the people we are fighting. In Iraq today, almost ALL the civilian deaths are the result not of actual fighting, but rather as the direct results of their being targeted by the bad guys. Do you fight the bad guys and thereby provoke more deaths. Or do you let them have what they want and hope they will become gentle?

Re the moral basis at the start of the war, that is not much use now either way. The only question I care to answer is whether what we do now will make us better off or worse off in terms of security. Whether the original reasons were good or bad in the past, I want the best possible outcome in the future.

If we do not produce victory the only reason should be because we determine it is not possible at an acceptible cost, not because some people think we do not deserve it.

Posted by: Jack at April 15, 2007 12:53 AM
Comment #216648

David

Has the president vetoed anything?

Last I heard the Dems have still not sent a bill to the President. They were on vactation last week and still have not sent it up. They cannot agree among themselves.

I think they are still talking about that 20 billion they had to use to bribe their own party members.

Posted by: Jack at April 15, 2007 1:01 AM
Comment #216652

Jack, both the House and Senate have passed their bills. It only remains for the Conference Committee to reconcile the differences. Senate wants pullout in March of 08, House says by August of 08. There are other differences, but they don’t appear to be deal breakers.

And the President has vowed many times in the last two weeks to veto the bill that contains any language putting a time frame on operations in Iraq. Both the House and Senate bills contained this language. Hagel (R) was the deciding vote in the Senate, 50-48, that prevented Cheney from stepping in to cast a tie breaking vote.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2007 1:16 AM
Comment #216662

Jack,

I agree that the moral basis for the war makes no difference except the one I mentioned. That it makes prosecution of a moral war harder and less likely. It makes cooperation in the world less likely. It muddies the distinction between the good and bad guys. I think that is a significant difference. The sooner we come to realize that the better.

In Iraq it makes little difference to the families whether they are killed by Iraqi’s or Americans. They understand the insurgency, they even agree to it, to a degree. They know they weren’t dying in the numbers they are now, prior to our invasion. We lose both ways.

I doubt Poland could have resisted Hitler’s well prepared and supplied Blitz Krieg. The Poles weren’t prepared, as was most of Europe. They resisted like all insurgencies resist. They died willingly for that cause.

Roosevelt bided his time, but began the process of building arms. When it came time to go to war, he was easily able to muster contributions from all segments of society. He even enlisted the aid all, asking for scrap metal, which of course was simply propoganda, and had no real effect on steel production. I have no problem with a military positioned and prepared to go to war, but using that force when a clear and present danger does not exist threatens the validity of the “good guy” argument.

That is what Vietnam and Iraq did to the U.S. That was not the consequence of the anti-war movements, rather those movements are the result of poor use of military force.

The strategy of Vietnam changed not in terms of the NVC, but in U.S. terms. Sihanouk allowed VC bases in Cambodia, and Nixon, without admitting it widened the war by helping to install Lon Nol, bombing Cambodia, and thereby engendering the rath of Cambodians and the rise of Pol Pot. If he had gotten out then, instead, South Vietnam would have fell, but Cambodia likely would not have happened.

He knew in 1968 that the war unwinnable, as did Johnson. It had little popular support in country.
The war trudged on another 5 years(for us) in a struggle that wasn’t going to defeat tyranny, as you call it, or Nationalism as Ho called it.

Germany and Japan also failed to understand that military force wouldn’t win them position in the end. They were standing up to a world that sought to subjugate them (in their eyes), but lost all moral pinnings in that pursuit. Resistance was widespread, and ultimately with the help of the Alliance wrought by their misdeeds and the wisdom of the U.S. alligning itself with even thugs like Lenin, who was also suffering at their hands, succeeded.

Moral leadership isn’t about be soft hearted or dreaming about spreading freedom. It is about hard nosed, and focused effort based on long term thinking and strategy. It is about harsh and ruthless self evaluation. Bush’s dad got that.

This is where we fell off the “good guys” wagon in Vietnam and Iraq. That does not mean we’re the bad guys. We’ve lost our white hat, however. It will take us time and effort to regain that in the world’s eyes. It’s past time to start. McCain and Bush threaten to widen this war. Let’s learn something from our past.

Posted by: gergle at April 15, 2007 3:58 AM
Comment #216687

David

The Dems are clearly in no hurry.

Re Poland

Yes, Poles were very brave. The resisted the Germans. The Germans lost more troops taking Poland than they lost taking France. The fought the Germans; they fought the Soviets, who attacked from behind. Then they fought in the various armies fighting the totalitarian. Poles were the biggest foreign contingent fighting for the allies during the Battle of Britain. They fought and died in large numbers all over Europe. Poland lost more that 16% of its population, more than any other country as a %. The pacifist argument would have been to do nothing, save lives.

In 1968, at Tet, we destroyed the independent power of the insurgency. U.S. stragegy changed drastically soon after. The NVC were unable to adapt.

By the time Nixon expanded into Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge with N. Viet support had been fighting against Cambodia for several years. The areas near S. Vietnam were controlled by the NVA. Our disserve to Cambodia, like S. Vietnam, as not winning the war. As for the “wrath of the Cambodians” I suppose they were so angry with us that they joyfully accepted the Khmer Rouge.

Re the Nazi – they overstepped. It was not morality that defeated them. It was Allied machines, ammunition and lots of blood. Among the Allies was Stalin, who was as morally rotten as Hitler. The Soviets managed to profit and held onto their empire for another 50 years. The world record holder in murdering citizens was Mao, who lived a long life and is still well regarded among some people. Good wins over evil only when good is powerful enough to do so. And those so foolish as to assume we Americans are as bad as our enemies because we do not reach our higher ideals, perhaps end up finding out how wrong they are too late.

Posted by: Jack at April 15, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #216701

Jack said: “The Dems are in no hurry”.

Jack, they have been in the majority for just over 100 days and they passed bills that 100 days ago were considered unpassable. I see no lethargy in this accomplishment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2007 3:43 PM
Comment #216702

Jack said: “Re the Nazi – they overstepped. It was not morality that defeated them.”

But it was morality that funded and fueled the “Allied machines, ammunition and lots of blood” spent to defeat them.

“The world record holder in murdering citizens was Mao, who lived a long life and is still well regarded among some people.”

I am not disputing your claim here, Jack, but, I would ask for your source, as it was my understanding from my reading that Stalin held that infamous reputation.

It is a mistake to fail to distinguish between methodology and goals/results when assessing Mao. Mao’s methodologies were heinous, no question. But, the reason he is respected by many in today’s younger generation is due to his goal (one China) and results, a modern China taking its future into its own hands and shaping it, as opposed to the pre-Mao China which everyone agreed was too large and diverse to ever be governed as one nation.

The Chinese were humiliated beyond endurance prior to and during WWII. Mao’s Revolution restored face for the Chinese people, though it was not without great anguish, pain, and sorrow, not dissimilar from that we experienced after our own Civil War. As Americans, we are today proud of the outcome of our Civil War. Such is the case for the young in China regarding Mao’s Revolution and the high regard that Maoists throughout the Asian Pacific Rim have for him.

In some important ways, Maoists in the East are akin to the al-Queda of the Middle East, they share a fear of being dominated, ruled, and corrupted by Western influence and commerce. The Maoist movement is one our State and Intelligence agencies should be actively seeking to weaken and disperse quietly and in unobtrusive ways. If I am not mistaken, there are many more Maoists in the world than there are terrorist oriented Islamic Fundamentalists.

It works to our advantage that China has such authoritarian power as to prevent and deny freedom of speech and assembly to the Maoists in China, and keep their ideology from spreading and growing faster than it is.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2007 4:04 PM
Comment #216740

Mao and Stalin are contenders for the top spot. The Great Leap Forward Cultural Revolution is the big uncertainty. Some people put the death toll here at 20-30 million. Nobody knows for sure. It is also possible for Mao to shift the blame. His stupid polices caused dislocation and famine, which killed millions. His actual death squads killed plenty too. He and Stalin share this kind method.

I really am not sure which evil dictator killed more and I do not think we will ever know. After the first few millions, I am not sure we need to know.

RE One China, you recall the Nazi slogan was that there was ONE people, ONE country and ONE leader. Dictators always think along these lines.

I am not much worried about the Maoist movement. It does not transplant well. The condtions of China in the 1930s are not the same as those anywhere now. Think of how virulent Nazi ideology was back then in the conditions of the time. The time for such collectivism is past. Maoist ruthlessness is still a threat, as in Peru or Nepal, but as Peru indicates a serious effort can control the disease.

Posted by: Jack at April 16, 2007 12:03 AM
Comment #216745

Tyrannies will always thrive in conflict. They are often more efficient than democracies. It is in fact hard during struggle, to differentiate the two.

Democracies relinquish power after conflict and struggle, Tyrannies don’t.

The cost of freedom is diligence. Freedom is not given as often as it is born of blood. There is often in times of fear a tendency to run toward paternalism, There was, in fact, a rather healthy contingent of pro Nazi’s in the U.S., during the 30’s including Henry Ford. Whether Iraqi’s have this sense of freedom is yet to be seen.

Sometimes I wonder if we lost it, after the early 1800’s.

Posted by: gergle at April 16, 2007 1:18 AM
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