Jan
30

Poddy Training




Posted at 16:52 by HTML Mencken

Norman Podhoretz, the silliest living neoconartist since the late Irving Kristol left this Earth for the fiery fink tank of hell, recently sat down with Peter Robinson and Bernard Lewis for a chat aboard the post-election National Review Cruise of Resentment. One thing to know about Poddy is that he hasn’t changed since the 1970s; every piece he writes or interview he gives will convey the following themes: America and Israel are beseiged by a monolithic foe, liberals within the West always backstab the virtuous neocons who want to send other people’s children overseas to fight the enemy, and that Poddy has personally suffered deeply for his courageous advocacy through the years at the hands of liberals who’ve said mean things about him but history will prove him right in the end.

Transcript and snark below the fold; I apologize for the length; especially insane Pod phrases in bold to ease skimming.

Robinson brings up an irksome topic, Obama’s famous speech in Cairo. Poddy sourly replies (brackets and bolding are mine):

Many of the [American] misdeeds [Obama cited in the Cairo speech] were imaginary….if you want to draw up a balance sheet….Kosovo….Iraq and Afghanistan had the effect of liberating millions of Muslims from local tyrannies. Of course the local consequences, of course the local consequences aren’t so promising as they might have been….The so-called Arab spring…..has turned out to be an Arab winter….The fact that there have been free elections….is no great consolation….since it brought to power the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a far worse regime — or at least adversary of the United States — than the Mubarak regime was….and [in] Syria, if and when Assad falls, a similar group will take over.

Democracy sucks! Robinson again quotes the wicked Obama on the subject of American exceptionalism, to which Poddy replies:

Corruption of the culture is what happened. The educational system….starting from kindergarten….has inculcated a view of the United states which was very different. American history is generally seen as a series of oppressions of one group or another. This has led to what we call multiculturalist perspective: all cultures are equal except ours. We are exceptional in the sense of being exceptionally bad…

This is the ex-Trotskyist’s sour grapes version of American history which Poddy shares with the late Christopher Hitchens (they hated each other, by the way, even after Hitch went full-on neocon). Anyway, Pod and Lewis blather on this subject for a while, then Pod insincerely affects a degree of fairness:

There’s no question that we have a history of discrimination against various groups, but that history is also marked by efforts — powerful efforts — to overcome those defects….Thomas jefferson, who owned slaves, said that…”I tremble for my country when I reflect that god is just.” Take that as a prescient or prophetic statement about what was to come….the bloodiest war the United States had ever fought and still has ever fought, the Civil War….

This, by the way, is the same Poddy who told Gore Vidal that the Civil War was to him as remote and meaningless as the Wars of the Roses. Poddy’s appreciation of American history is also so great that he has dismissed our best historian, Henry Adams’s, work as totally worthless because of Adams’s more or less closeted Victorian antisemitism.

This is a measure of the extent to which this country has struggled to overcome some of the defects, slavery being the most serious, but you could point to other fields….

So says the sensitive author of “My Negro Problem — and Ours.” Even fakey discussion of American racism is too much for Robinson, who shifts the conversation to imperialism. Lewis denies America is imperialist in the Middle East or indeed anywhere, a nice bit of propaganda made possible by narrowly defining imperialism to mean forced annexation of territory. Predictably, this lights a fire under Poddy:

You bring up that meeting [of FDR and King Saud]. It’s astonishing to realize that Roosevelt was more worried about British imperialism than about Soviet imperialism.

Have liberals ever not been traitors?

This is a measure of the American attitude toward imperialism. I mean, here was a WASP aristocrat you would expect to be Anglophile, passionate about defending England…

A Pod Person (Norman, Midge Decter, John, Rachel, and ex-con son-in-law Elliott “Mr. Kenilworth” Abrams) always thinks first in terms of tribe, expects others to as well (though it’s a given that other tribes, not Chosen by G-d, have an objectively lower value), and considers them perverse at best when they don’t.

… and he thought the great danger we faced in the postwar period was British imperialism. [Robinson interjects that Eisenhower scotched the Suez invasion and Pod finishes his sentence] for the same reason. There’s an anti-imperialist streak in American political culture that is much deeper than anything you could legitimately describe as imperialism. We invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. Now if we had been engaged in an imperialist adventure at that point we would have settled in permanently and run the country, exploited it, as many opponents of the invasion said we were there for the oil! [Robinson gestures exasperatedly at the thought of such stupid people.] Well, not only were we not there for the oil, we helped them restore their production of oil

Bill Kristol recently blarged the same sort of pathetic denial of imperial venality, which inspired Michael Moore to helpfully list quotes of many neoconservatives explicitly stating that America was indeed in Iraq for the oil. Among those cited was Midge Decter, who is also known as Mrs. Norman Podhoretz.

….and you could almost say that the United States in its adventures abroad was more exploited than exploiter — from an economic point of view, certainly.

As J.A. Hobson proved over a hundred years ago, the losses for the imperial power are unequally distributed and this is a feature not a bug of the imperial system. The average taxpayer is robbed to pay for a war the elites make out like bandits on, a fact from the time of snot-nosed British public school graduates cronying-up the civil service in India to neocon larvae like Simone Ledeen (daughter of Michael) and Michael Fleischer (brother of Ari) feasting on the carcass of Iraq.

Robinson asks Lewis about Islamic goals; Poddy soon takes over:

[It's] absolutely clear [that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to restore a caliphate within the boundaries of the old Ottoman Empire.] They say it all the time. If I’ve acquired any wisdom at all it consists of taking at face value the threats of one’s enemies. There’s a kind of pathology at work in the world that refuses to believe….somebody says “I wanna kill you” well he can’t possibly mean that…..right [Robinson excitedly says "like Mein Kampf]….We can do business with Herr Hitler — I forget who said it — Chamberlain as a matter of fact said [it]. So you have a country like Iran which of course is Muslim which repeatedly declares its intention to wipe Israel off the map, and many people still refuse to take that — they say it’s rhetoric. I remember the late Hannah Arendt describe the rhetoric of Eichmann — who said he’d go to his grave happy at the thought of having massacred millions of Jews — and she said this was sheer rodomontade, a fancy word which means exaggerated rhetoric — red meat for the base. Well, he meant it and Hitler meant it and Ahmadinejad means it and I think the Muslim Brotherhood means it and not just towards Israel.

Hysteria.

….let me quote Bernard Lewis at himself: “The modern political Islamic radicalism owes as much to both Communism and Naziism as it does to the traditions of Islam.” He points out that the Germans came into the Middle East during World War II and its political program and organization had a lot to do, for example, with the founding of the Baath party; and when the war was over the Communists moved in and the Islamic political forces also learned a lot of lessons from the Communists on how to operate politically. So you had these two major totalitarian forces of the 20th century basically invading the seventh century culture of the Islamic world and it led to what I like to call Islamofascism.

Christopher Hitchens actually invented this stupid and needlessly inflammatory word but, typically, Poddy takes all the credit and, just as typically (as we shall see), overuses it; but then it’s irresistible to him and to other neoconartists who want to scare the shit out of people and there’s no better way of doing that than pretending Islamic radicalism, like Serpentor, is consciously made from all the worst pieces of every horrible thing in the historical catalog.

Some discussion follows of Gaddafi and King Hussein of Jordan, the latter of whom Poddy especially hates. Then Robinson asks about Iran and nuclear weapons.

Mutual assured destruction can’t work in relation to Iran because these are people who you might say are in love with [easeful? I can't quite make out what he says here] death. Those 72 virgins beckon. Now, my answer to the question is to imagine a scenario which most people are horrified — I try this in speeches all the time and people are horrified of it — imagine that Iran gets the bomb, ok? And the Israelis are sitting there and asking themselves, “do we wait for them to hit us and then retaliate out of the rubble or do we pre-empt and hit them first?” The Iranians are asking themselves the same question. We’ve never had a hair-trigger situation like that since the invention of nuclear weapons. Just imagine: somebody is gonna beat the other to the punch. I can’t see that unstable situation lasting for very long….maybe even as long as a few weeks or months.

But we have had a hair-trigger situation like that, as even Robinson said, for 45 years during the Cold War. But for Pod now (not so much then which one can see when reading his archive) in hindsight the Russians were rational, unlike modern Islamic Persians who nihilistically love death and will welcome nuclear incineration if only just to spite those poor plucky underdog Israelis who actually have an illegal arsenal of nukes.

Islam, I believe, means submission. So I, contrary to what a lot of people now feel, believe that George W. Bush was a great president. But one of the things wrong with him, that compromised his greatness, was his fear of seeming to be at war with the whole Muslim world when he only wanted to be at war with the radical Islamists who are, again, what I insist on calling Islamofascism. And he bent over backwards to dispel any possible impression that the enemy was Islam, which is why he continually praised Islam as a religion of peace and various other characterizations. And there was a short period where he began or tried to name the enemy as Islamist radicalism and the roof fell in on him and he retreated from that thereafter. So we were in the position — and still are by the way — of fighting a war — we’ve had two fronts, really three — one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and the cold war with Iran — against an enemy which has remained nameless. [Robinson tells him to name it] Islamofascism. and I’ll tell you what I mean by….partly what i learned from Bernard about the influence of Naziism and Communism on the politics of the Islamist groups of the twentieth century….but I think this is an enemy with — a two-headed enemy. One is religious and one is political, secular. The religious element is Islamist, and the expectations that Bernard described, that religious Muslims hold. and the other was the secular face which could be summarized or epitomized by Saddam Hussein. And when we went to war after 9/11 we went to war against one of these heads, that is the religious one in Afghanistan, and then the secular head, the fascist part. When I say I think that George W. Bush was a great president, I think he properly understood the nature of the threat that had been posing even before 9/11 but we recognized or woke to after 9/11 and designed a strategy to contend with it, much as Harry Truman did in 1948 in the face of the threat of Soviet totalitarianism. And we are still fighting this war, only nobody wants to recognize it… it was hardly mentioned in the presidential campaign that we’ve just concluded.

As always with neoconservatives, Poddy insists that every ideological enemy is monolithic if perhaps multifaceted. The moronic decision to attack the Baathists in Iraq for what al-Qaeda from Afghanistan did to us on 9/11 makes perverse sense because for him they are basically the same — and so themselves must think they are the same, to the point of collusion. There’s the Saddam-bin Laden link, in his imagination. It was the same during the Cold War, when idiots like Poddy insisted that since Mao and Khrushchev-then-Brezhnev and Ho Chih Minh and their respective countries were all communist, they must inevitably and perpetually <3 each other. Nixon, student of De Gaulle and nationalism (and no neocon), knew better.

[On the dubious wisdom of American support for dictatorships during the Cold War] You always have to ask the question, “compared to what?” I remember the Shah of Iran who was a modernizer, was eager to grant equal rights to women and who was hated by the Muslims for what we would consider his virtues. And we sat by and allowed Khomeini to overthrow him and everybody said “wonderful, wonderful.” Well the Khomeini regime turned out to be far worse for the people living under it and certainly for our interests than the Shah and worst of all for the Iranians, so you always have to ask what the alternatives are.

Of course if we hadn’t toppled Mossadegh, there would have been no Shah nor Ayatollah Assahollah. But Poddy chooses to ignore that as well as the “wonderful” Shah’s flaws — SAVAK, for instance.

There are those who keep telling us that there are these hidden liberals in the Arab world that we should support — I’ve been hearing that for twenty years now. Where are they hiding, one asks. I’m sure there are such people there but they are not very numerous, not very vocal, and now we are faced with that dilemma in Syria. We’re told to give arms to the opposition, and now we know the opposition has been infiltrated by al-Qaeda. Nobody knows who the good guys are, if any, in that opposition.

I read this to imply Poddy would be comfortable with some Great Force For Good wiping out the essentially worthless populations of all these countries.

It’s highly ironic. What has turned out to be the great defect in the strategy that led to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan is that we are not imperialistic enough. If we had been prepared to assume the responsibility that an imperial power like Britain in its heyday would have done, which is to actually nurture the creation of a new kind of government in both those countries…[Robinson says "run the country unambiguously." Pod nods his agreement.]….up to a certain point, but that’s a responsibility that we were not willing to take upon ourselves, which may turn out to mean the sacrifice was wasted. But I don’t think it was destined to be wasted, unless you show that we should have recognized — I should have recognized, Bush should have recognized, that the American people don’t have it in them — don’t have the willingness — to do what an imperial power would necessarily have to do in those circumstances in the aftermath of those wars.

More imperialism! What is required is a triumph of will!

[Lewis floors Robinson by saying the Middle East no longer matters all that much; Pod nods agreement.] Because of fracking, because of oil shale.

I thought oil had nothing to do with it! Keep your lies straight, Poddy!

[Lewis says the Middle East will sink into insignificance; here Poddy chooses to demur.] Would that it were so. We have to remind ourselves that we were not secure in our own borders as 9/11 proved. Neither the Communists nor the Nazis hit us where we lived, never succeeded, not Hitler, not Stalin ever hit us in our home territory. These people did. They will continue to do so wherever they have a chance. Now the Bush strategy, which I still basically believe in, said, well, they have been coming to us so we had better go to them and prevent that area from becoming a seedbed, a nurturing ground, a swamp in which these monsters are bred. I still think that’s true. The problem is in order for that policy to succeed again we would have had to assume the responsibility of being there.

Occupation forever!

And much as I would like to agree with Bernard that we can basically get away with minimal involvement, I fear that, you know, what happened in Benghazi is only a small taste of what we would face — and here at home, not just at some American consulate.

[Robinson asks where should Republicans get foreign policy counsel.] The policy debate has gone dead. Modesty forbids my referring to certain books and articles. Well, all right, I wrote a book called World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism — World War IV because I regard along with Eliot Cohen and others that the Cold War is World War Three. There’s an illusion now that there was a perfect consensus during the Cold War, the nature of the enemy, what we had to do about it. That’s nonsense and some of us have the scars to prove it.

There’s the self-pity.

There was always a powerful opposition to the policy of resisting Soviet expansionism, it goes on to this very day. We have books coming out by the week saying the whole thing was an illusion, the Soviets weren’t a threat, Reagan didn’t win the Cold war, Gorbachev ended it, etc. That genera–

He almost said “generation.” Yes, Poddy is inclined to blame the 1960s for everything.

That group in the political culture [which] opposed our resistance to Soviet imperialism, I would call it, now sits in the White House. And it is pursuing a policy within the culture that grows directly out of the anti-anti-communist political culture of the Cold War. That, I think, is the tragedy. There is no debate because those who want to fight the war haven’t been able to name it or those of us who have named it have been ignored. And also because the dominant faction now, in the culture, unlike what happened in 1947-48, is opposed to doing anything, doesn’t think there is a war, thinks the whole thing is a figment of neoconservative imagination.

And there’s an example of one of the neoconartist’s major requisite creations (every one of them does it eventually; it’s part of the identity): the dolchstosslegende.

[Lewis and Poddy blather about MEMRI, then are asked about the future.] I am incorrigibly optimistic about America. I don’t think we are an empire in decline, though no empire lasts forever. We are not an empire so both premises are false — we are not an empire, we are not in decline. I think that despite the blow in my faith…the American public has taken in this last election — it was that close — but I continue to believe that there is health and vitality and good sense in this nation, especially if we eliminate the left and right coasts where I often say I live as plague central [????] which is in Manhattan of course, so I continue to believe in American exceptionalism, I continue to believe that in the end — I think Churchill said after we do all the wrong things, we finally do the right thing. I take consolation from the fact that during the Cold War, some of the great figures, thinkers, were not only pessimistic but believed that we were doomed. Whitaker Chambers said when he left the communist party “I’ve left the winning side, I’ve joined the losing side.” James Burnham….wrote a book called Suicide of the West which was very plausible. They turned out to be wrong, thank God. I think that in the end this country will do the right thing and will prevail, not in the sense of the triumphant conquest of the world …but a benevolent force…[blah blah blah in that vain, then fin].

I have listened several times but still can’t quite make out exactly what he’s saying about the coasts, though I take from the context it’s a Sullivanesque reference to the geographical location of the American fifth column (liberals, lefties) which Pod thinks has totally ruined his dream of the perpetual brutal occupation of all Arabs and Persians in the Middle East.

89 Comments »

  1. tigris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:32

    So I, contrary to what a lot of people now feel, believe that George W. Bush was a great president.

    Nothing says “I’m a serious, thoughtful person to whom you should pay close attention” like this.

    And why the surprise FDR was more concerned that known empire builder UK would expand its sphere than the “anti-imperialist” USSR? You’d think a former Trotskyite would know that Soviet history didn’t start after WWII.

  2. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:36

    The first sentence alone is worth the entry fee.

  3. Yastreblyansky said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:37

    Nice to see you back in battle, HTML! “Easeful death” is Keats, from the Ode to a Nightingale: I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath… Doesn’t sound exactly like the Islamofascist martyr’s prayer, does it, but the Pod doesn’t care whether it’s appropriate or not as long as he gives the impression he’s better educated than we are. Kind of an M.O.

  4. boconn13 said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:41

    Wow. Grim…

  5. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:43

    As always with neoconservatives, Poddy insists that every ideological enemy is monolithic if perhaps multifaceted.

    Or perhaps even they are even many angled? Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

  6. Barney said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:44

    Yeah, I think it’s “I often say where I live is plague central, which is in Manhattan of course”. So he’s saying the west and east coasts are infected with something awful, and presumably contagious.Whether his suggestion of ‘eliminating’ the coasts means to disenfranchise them, secede from them, or declare war on them to destroy them and burn out the plague, is left up to the listener. But it puts him in the same bracket as Ahmadinejad and his “wipe Israel from the pages of history” remark, ironically.

  7. HTML Mencken said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:50

    “Easeful death” is Keats, from the Ode to a Nightingale: I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath… Doesn’t sound exactly like the Islamofascist martyr’s prayer, does it, but the Pod doesn’t care whether it’s appropriate or not as long as he gives the impression he’s better educated than we are. Kind of an M.O.

    Ahhh. Poor old Lionel Trilling spins in his grave one more time.

  8. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:01

    No discussion of Norm can take place without (PDF warning) “My Negro Problem” being brought up.

  9. El Manquécito said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:04

    Absolutely excellent HTML. I particularly enjoyed the walk down memory lane with Mr. Kenilworth.

  10. tigris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:08

    So he’s saying the west and east coasts are infected with something awful, and presumably contagious.

    And yet these fuckers never move away from these diseased areas to the clean-living, right-thinking parts of the country where the majority agree with them. It’s almost as if there’s something unappealing about how conservative-run areas work out.

  11. HTML Mencken said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:15

    Does anyone know if James Wolcott is on twitter? I can’t access my account, but as he hates Poddy even more than I do, I’d bet he’d like to know what Pod said about their hometown being plague central.

  12. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:16

    It’s almost as if there’s something unappealing about how conservative-run areas work out.

    Guys like Podhoretz also know, deep down, that they would not be welcome in those areas because they don’t believe the Sky Tyrant had a baby boy. Plus, ya just can’t get a decent knish in Mobile, Alabama.

  13. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:16

    “I often say where I live is plague central, which is in Manhattan of course”. So he’s saying the west and east coasts are infected with something awful, and presumably contagious.

    Yes, and you don’t sell your place in Manhattan and buy a few dozen acres and a big house in the Heartland because … ?

  14. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:30

    All of those meanies on the coasts. Always ruining his fun, with their insistence on ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’. How dare they not share his enthusiasm for a newer and bigger war? Its practically treasonous the way they don’t share his genocidal delusions.

    He’s more afraid of being justifiably ignored than he is of any Islamic terrorism. If he’s been right on any issue in the last 15 years, it isn’t evident to me. Rather than changing his tune he has decided sing louder, as if that would make his stale predictions any more believable.

    Even if a new Caliphate is the Muslim brotherhood’s sworn and stated objective, there are a few million things standing in their way. Namely, every single Muslim that stands to lose power or influence under the new Caliphate. Heck, Norman should be cheering the idea, given his evident enthusiasm for dead Muslims. The creation of a Caliphate would necessarily mean tens of millions of dead Muslims as some unknown Muslim country fights to conquer all the others. There’s more unity in a bag of angry tomcats than in the Muslim world today and for the foreseeable future. The divisions between Shia and Sunni and Wahhabi and all the other factions are ancient and bitterr and deeply held. They will not be abandoned to forge a super-group of Muslim countries.

  15. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:33

    They hate the label “chicken hawk” because it is so fitting.
    ~

  16. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:34

    Many of the [American] misdeeds [Obama cited in the Cairo speech] were imaginary….if you want to draw up a balance sheet….Kosovo….Iraq and Afghanistan had the effect of liberating millions of Muslims from local tyrannies. Of course the local consequences, of course the local consequences aren’t so promising as they might have been….The so-called Arab spring…..has turned out to be an Arab winter….The fact that there have been free elections….is no great consolation….since it brought to power the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a far worse regime — or at least adversary of the United States — than the Mubarak regime was….and [in] Syria, if and when Assad falls, a similar group will take over.

    LOLOL, “our only mistake was trusting them with their own country.”

    Seriously, everyone foresaw that the Muslim Brothers would be the big winners of this one – liberals were warning against Bush’s expectations to see Iraq turn into a happy modern liberal democracy within the year. In the same way it was inevitable that America, once given its independence, would turn into a slave owners’ republic and remain that way for another near-century. What’s the alternative? I’m all ears.

    I do, however, give him credit where it’s due for actually admitting what he means by “worse regime” – namely, “worse for the United States.” It’s the same outlook that has us convinced that elected leaders redistributing income are savage thugs, but that death squads murdering people by the village in Central America are “the spiritual equivalent of our Founding Fathers.” Now, if he could make the additional leap to admitting that “the United States” usually means “some dude on Wall Street,” he’d be all set.

  17. John D. said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:38

    I like that “some of us have the scars to prove it!” part of this extended whine. Has Poddy ever personally been in any kind of physical danger at all during his life? Anything like a spell in the army (American or Isreali)? No?

    Man, it’s hateful to think that Gore Vidal is no longer with us, but Norm and Midge are still around, sucking up perfectly good oxygen. Too mean to die, I guess.

  18. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:44

    I have informed M. Wolcott

  19. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:46

    There’s no question that we have a history of discrimination against various groups, but that history is also marked by efforts — powerful efforts — to overcome those defects….Thomas jefferson, who owned slaves, said that…”I tremble for my country when I reflect that god is just.” Take that as a prescient or prophetic statement about what was to come….the bloodiest war the United States had ever fought and still has ever fought, the Civil War….

    And here I thought that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights and had nothing to do with slavery. Huh.

    You bring up that meeting [of FDR and King Saud]. It’s astonishing to realize that Roosevelt was more worried about British imperialism than about Soviet imperialism.

    It really wasn’t. The British Empire was the foremost colonial power in the world, with more people under its thumb than any other nation on Earth. The Soviet Union was barely spilling the borders of Russia.

    Besides, in the context of his meeting with King Saud, his primary concern was getting Saudi Arabia to sign its oil deals with American companies. His competitors there weren’t the Russians, they were the British. For reasons so obvious I won’t even go into them.

    Idiot.

    This is a measure of the American attitude toward imperialism. I mean, here was a WASP aristocrat you would expect to be Anglophile, passionate about defending England…

    FDR was widely recognized and reviled as a class traitor to the Anglophile WASP upper class of the United States. As in economics, so in foreign policy. He was passionate about “defending England” when England actually needed “defending,” e.g. in World War Two (unlike most of the WASP aristocracy, whose love of all things English didn’t extent to actually opening their wallets to help them or risking war with an enemy that might actually win). But it would take some seriously powerful crack to claim that “allowing them to continue to rule the world as they pleased with no input whatsoever from the people they were ruling” constitutes “defending” England. Jesus.

    Truman continued FDR’s legacy, not being more concerned about British imperialism than Soviet so much as wanting to support people who could offer an alternative to both while actually representing their people (democracy; what a thought, eh?) Mossadegh was the prime candidate in that respect. Of course, Eisenhower put an end to that policy, thus ending democracy in Iran, thus leading to the clusterfuck we have there now… which brings us back to Obama’s statements about America’s sins.

  20. Pupienus Maximus said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:47

    hahahahahahahaha he so funny. Podman, I mean. And here I just finished William Blum’s Killing Hope which is subtitled U.S. military and CIA interventions since WW II. If you have an interest in the topic it’s THE book to read. Blum opens the introduction by quoting Michael Parenti

    Our fear that communism might someday take over most of the world blinds us to the fact that anti-communism already has.

    Ceteris paribus islamophobia

  21. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:48

    Well, not only were we not there for the oil, we helped them restore their production of oil…

    Yep, the no-bid contracts to the company whose former CEO was now vice-president of the United States? Never happened!

  22. John D. said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:58

    “FDR was widely recognized and reviled as a class traitor to the Anglophile WASP upper class of the United States. As in economics, so in foreign policy. He was passionate about “defending England” when England actually needed “defending,” e.g. in World War Two (unlike most of the WASP aristocracy, whose love of all things English didn’t extent to actually opening their wallets to help them or risking war with an enemy that might actually win).”

    And this is overlooking the additional fact that many of these “WASP aristocrats” were themselves rather fond of the nazis; Prescot Bush, Joe Kennedy and Henry Ford to name but three. Ford had a framed portrait of Adolf Hitler on his office wall, for Chrissakes. And there were plenty of nazi fanciers in the UK as well…

  23. HTML Mencken said,

    January 30, 2013 at 18:59

    If you have an interest in the topic it’s THE book to read.

    I recommend it, too.

    Thank you, Shakezula.

    Norm and Midge are still around, sucking up perfectly good oxygen. Too mean to die, I guess.

    Only the good die young. The Pods will never, alas, die; they will just continue to age, more and more resembling each other as they more and more resemble Emperor Palpatine, wizened and raspy, pickled in paranoia and resentment.

  24. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:02

    [It's] absolutely clear [that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to restore a caliphate within the boundaries of the old Ottoman Empire.] They say it all the time.

    I’m turning this one over to the Crazification Factor post from way back in the day:

    You can’t cite your enemy’s delusional hopes as a basis for a rational strategy. Goals don’t exist in a vacuum, they’re linked to capability. David Koresh was utterly committed to being Jesus Christ. See how far that got him.

    Either Bush [or Poddy] is making strategy based on a delusional goal of his opponent, which is idiotic; or he’s saying he believes his opponent has the capability of achieving this delusional goal, which is idiotic. Neither bodes well for the republic.

    Yes, they want to restore the old Caliphate. Just like Nasser, Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, the Assads, all dreamed of unifying the Arab world into one nation. Just like every church from the Vatican down to the Westboro Baptists dreams of the day all Christians will unify under their leadership. Just like every flea-bitten militia group intoxicated with Fox News’ kool aid dream of the day when they’ll march up the steps of the Capitol with the entire American people at their backs proclaiming them the new leaders.

    Yes, they want it to happen.

    That doesn’t mean it has the foggiest chance of actually happening.

    Because Islam is not a monolith, any more than the Arab world was in the old nationalist days; unification would require getting the public behind them, a dubious premise at best; and, again as with the Arab Nationalist dictators, it would require the Muslim Brotherhoods themselves – of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and what have you – to all agree to come together, despite all their differences in doctrines and constituencies, and perhaps more importantly, despite the fact that it would require all these different Brotherhood leaders to give up their power to be part of this new unified Brotherhood. Not going to happen.

    Even more so than the people who believed Saddam had WMDs, anyone who actually believes and takes seriously the notion of a Worldwide Islamic Caliphate arising does not belong in any kind of a discussion on international relations – any more than anyone who took seriously the notion that the Soviets could cause the workers of America and Europe to rise up against their governments and install a Marxist utopia.

  25. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:06

    and Ahmadinejad means it

    And here we have a case in point.

    Two things wrong with this statement:

    One, Ahmadinejad is not the leader of Iran. And he doesn’t control their military forces. Therefore what he “means” is irrelevant, especially if the stories of his falling-out with the Supreme Leader are true. Once again, Poddy is screaming for the entire world “I do not belong in this fucking conversation. I don’t even know who the leader of the country I’m hyperventilating about is.

    Two, Ahmadinejad is a Shi’a. The Muslim Brothers are Sunni. And he’s talking about the two of them in the same breath as if they were the same enemy with the same goals. Which makes about as much sense as claiming that Mao and Khrushchev were on the same side. The Brothers and the leaders of Iran are at least as concerned about each other as they are about Israel or the West. Not least because they actually have the means to hurt each other in ways they never could the West.

  26. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:13

    The modern political Islamic radicalism owes as much to both Communism and Naziism as it does to the traditions of Islam.

    True, in the sense that like Christian fundamentalism in America (and all forms of fundamentalism), it’s a modern movement – maybe a backlash against modernity but one that takes an extremely modern form itself (see the difference between the pastors in their megachurches with their TV sets, three thousand dollar suits and shiny limo in the parking lot, versus the Amish in Pennsylvania).

    But then, in the very next paragraph;

    George W. Bush was a great president. But one of the things wrong with him, that compromised his greatness, was his fear of seeming to be at war with the whole Muslim world when he only wanted to be at war with the radical Islamists who are, again, what I insist on calling Islamofascism.

    You just admitted that the people we’re at war with have little to do with the traditions of Islam.

    And yet now, you’re objecting to the fact that George W. Bush also recognized that fact and actually acted on that fact, and that he and Obama have had quite a bit more success doing this than if they’d simply declared war on the totality of Islamic civilization as you so clearly want to.

    See, this is why it’s kind of hard for me to avoid the conclusion that your problem isn’t with al-Qaeda, with jihadis or with Muslim radicals, but that for reasons that defy comprehension (but are very common on your side of the aisle), you really, really, really, really just want to see an entire region’s worth of not-quite-as-melanin-deficient-as-us people go up in a nuclear holocaust, regardless of who they are, what they’ve done or what they believe in. And the fact that you ludicrously go on to hold up Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden as sides of the same coin pretty much confirms it.

  27. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:18

    You always have to ask the question, “compared to what?”

    On the one hand, a leader who stood for election, wanted friendly relations with America, but had the bad taste to nationalize the oil industry that the British had been “granted” complete control over by a puppet they themselves had installed on the throne.

    On the other hand, a dictator who ruled using the same methods that were popular on the other side of the Iron Curtain and did it so badly that his people eventually rose up and threw the bum out.

    Yes, “compared to what” indeed?

    I remember the Shah of Iran who was a modernizer, was eager to grant equal rights to women and who was hated by the Muslims for what we would consider his virtues.

    The same can be said of the Soviet puppets in Afghanistan, and Gamal Abdel Nasser, and fuck, all the way to Saddam Hussein. I eagerly await Poddy’s explanation on how these people were totally saints as well, and we were wrong to support theocratic psychos like the Saudi royal family.

    Well the Khomeini regime turned out to be far worse for the people living under it

    Really? Says who?

    “As bad,” probably. “Worse?” What’s the argument for that other than “they’re not on our side?”

  28. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:23

    There are those who keep telling us that there are these hidden liberals in the Arab world that we should support — I’ve been hearing that for twenty years now. Where are they hiding, one asks.

    Might want to check the opposition parties in Tunisia and Egypt. Yes, they do in fact exist. A step up from the way things were under Ben Ali and Mubarak.

    Are they the majority? No, any more than abolitionists were the majority when the United States was created. But they’re there, and they’ll continue to be there until they have the support they need to reform the country. Unless, of course, you get your wish and we reimpose a dictator, in which case you can expect them to run back into the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood. There’s a reason these two groups were together in the Arab Spring uprisings, and that’s that whatever differences they may have, the one thing they can all agree on is that they’re sick to fucking death of being ruled by someone who pays more attention to the whims of Washington or Paris than his own fucking people.

    Which is a foundation stone of “liberalism” even if you insist on leaving it with a small L.

  29. Sophist said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:26

    Jesus Christ, it’s like a wingnut version of Statler and Waldorf, only with less convincing puppets.

  30. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:27

    Now the Bush strategy, which I still basically believe in, said, well, they have been coming to us so we had better go to them and prevent that area from becoming a seedbed, a nurturing ground, a swamp in which these monsters are bred. I still think that’s true.

    And in order to prevent the area from becoming a swamp, your solution is that we go back to the very same things that turned it into such a swamp in the first place. Even George Bush had enough common fucking sense to realize that something had to give and that ruling through colonial puppets “for their own good” wasn’t an option any more. But not Norman, oh no!

    In his defense, Bush was a liberal. You know. I mean, insofar as he actually existed… what I mean to say is, who is George Bush? Never heard of such a person. The eight years between Clinton and Obama never happened. In fact, what did I just mean, “between” Clinton and Obama? Huh. I must be getting old.

  31. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:36

    Modesty forbids my referring to certain books and articles.

    ME! ME! PICK ME!

    There was always a powerful opposition to the policy of resisting Soviet expansionism

    No there wasn’t.

    To the extent that it ever existed, it was personified in Wallace’s presidential campaign in 1948, which was buried in a landslide largely because of that anti-Cold War platform. The bipartisan purge of the hard left from all existing institutions (federal offices but also unions, machines, think tanks, etc) during the Red Scare finished the job.

    We have books coming out by the week saying the whole thing was an illusion, the Soviets weren’t a threat, Reagan didn’t win the Cold war, Gorbachev ended it, etc.

    Those are several different arguments, buddy, not all of which relate to your point. It is very possible to believe that the Cold War was not an illusion, that the Soviets were a threat and, in general, that we should resist Soviet expansionism without believing that Reagan won the Cold War, even if you think the Cold War is your patented turf and that anyone who opposes any of your more ludicrous myths about it must inherently be advocating surrender to Moscow.

    That group in the political culture [which] opposed our resistance to Soviet imperialism, I would call it, now sits in the White House. And it is pursuing a policy within the culture that grows directly out of the anti-anti-communist political culture of the Cold War. That, I think, is the tragedy. There is no debate because those who want to fight the war haven’t been able to name it or those of us who have named it have been ignored. And also because the dominant faction now, in the culture, unlike what happened in 1947-48, is opposed to doing anything, doesn’t think there is a war, thinks the whole thing is a figment of neoconservative imagination.

    You might want to tell Osama Bin Laden your theory about the people sitting in the White House being opposed to “doing anything.” Him and the non-trivial number of al-Qaeda members killed in drone strikes and other operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’ll be delighted to know that they are, in fact, still alive.

    especially if we eliminate the left and right coasts where I often say I live as plague central [????] which is in Manhattan of course

    Another reason you and Osama Bin Laden should have a chat; he’s the other guy who wants that to happen!

    (Does it hurt your widdle wed-state fee-fees that when terrorist want to strike at the heart of American power, their targets are in New York and Washington, not Topeka and Abilene? Always thought there was some jealousy/survivor’s guilt associated with the rabid wingnut attempts to “remember 9/11″ and “do it for the victims,” no matter how often the victims’ families tell them they’re not interested in being used as publicity props).

  32. DAS said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:36

    I do, however, give him credit where it’s due for actually admitting what he means by “worse regime” – namely, “worse for the United States.” It’s the same outlook that has us convinced that elected leaders redistributing income are savage thugs, but that death squads murdering people by the village in Central America are “the spiritual equivalent of our Founding Fathers.” Now, if he could make the additional leap to admitting that “the United States” usually means “some dude on Wall Street,” he’d be all set. – Chris

    Indeed. I am in no way a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood, but are they really worse for the Egyptians than Mubarak? And we wonder “why do they(TM) hate us?” …

    Of course, Poddy, et al., would never make the leap to admitting that what he means is “some dud on Wall Street”. Instead, what they would say is “well, it really means that the Muslim Brotherhood is worse for Israel”. So they’ll claim dual loyalty and blame Israel … and then if you’d ever call them on what they are doing (which is pretty much what they blame leftists for doing: pinning things on Israel), you’d be called the anti-Semite or if you are Jewish, the self-hating Jew?

    I don’t deny that some of the anti-Zionism on the left bleeds into anti-Semitism (and you all know that I’ve managed to get myself into flame wars on left-leaning blogs about this very subject), but if you really wanna see anti-Semitism (including taking classical anti-Jewish rhetoric that the Nazis used and just substituting “Muslim” for Jew) and even Jewish self-hatred (e.g. supporting factions in Israel whose success will endanger Israel’s long term existence and whose policy goals are supported by people who denounce Jews as unworthy of salvation and who wish to bring on an Armageddon in which all but a remnant of the Jewish people are killed … and also the soft bigotry of low expectations in terms of Israel’s behavior as a nation), you need only look at the rhetoric and behavior of supposedly Jewish neo-cons.

  33. jim, in yr paradigm-base killing yr narrative-dudes said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:37

    He did it for the lulz.

  34. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:38

    Oy. The end. Well, that took a while. And now for that Burger King trip I was going to take an hour ago before this thing got my “someone on the Internet is WRONG” mode active.

  35. DAS said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:40

    I remember the Shah of Iran who was a modernizer, was eager to grant equal rights to women and who was hated by the Muslims for what we would consider his virtues.

    No. He has the causation wrong (what is it with reactionaries and confusing correlation with causation? well, to answer my own question, such a confusion is the sine qua non of the modern reactionary movement …): the Shah was hated because he was a dangerous tyrant. That he supported socially liberal causes served to discredit social liberalism in Iran. I.e. he wasn’t hated for his virtues, but rather the hatred of his vices tainted public opinion about his virtues.

  36. drkrick said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:42

    ” if we eliminate the left and right coasts where I often say I live as plague central [????] which is in Manhattan of course,”

    He loves America, with the small exception of about 80% of the population. Terrific.

    Here’s what I don’t get about folks like Podhoretz, the elder Kristol and David Horowitz. They spent their early careers deeply committed to advocating for a set of political beliefs, then realized they could hardly have been more wrong about what would lead to a good life for most people. So far, so understandable if not good.

    It seems to me that at this point a reasonable person would decide their judgement in these matters isn’t very reliable and move on to some other honest way of making a living. Instead, they reverse their previous positions by about 180 degrees and advocate for them just as hard.

    First, how do you do that and keep a straight face and second, why does anyone give them the time of day? Other than to point and laugh, of course.

  37. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:44

    For the record, the guy we replaced with our big oil agent and murderous dictator, the Shah, was not a religious fundamentalist.
    ~

  38. DAS said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:45

    Chris … let me fix somethin’ for ya’:

    now as you usual, you’re [neo-cons] objecting to the facts that George W. Bush also recognized that fact and actually acted on that fact

  39. Strange Forces said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:51

    Excellent post, but seriously, big ups for name-dropping Serpentor.

  40. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    January 30, 2013 at 20:05

    Those are several different arguments, buddy, not all of which relate to your point. It is very possible to believe that the Cold War was not an illusion, that the Soviets were a threat and, in general, that we should resist Soviet expansionism without believing that Reagan won the Cold War, even if you think the Cold War is your patented turf and that anyone who opposes any of your more ludicrous myths about it must inherently be advocating surrender to Moscow.

    I will, however, suggest that much like most American foreign interactions, the Cold War had a significant degree of theatre to it on both sides, largely for their own national audience. It didn’t really matter to either the American political structure nor the Soviet political structure that we actually get into a fight with one another, indeed it would be utterly stupid to do so, so long as they could continue to feed fear and confidence in equal measure to their own people of The Other Side.

    Like Ahmadinejad and Netenyahu’s perpetual tiff, what they say is not meant for the other side of the disagreement, it’s meant to keep their own citizens spooked.

  41. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    January 30, 2013 at 20:27

    If I’ve acquired any wisdom at all it consists of taking at face value the threats of one’s enemies.

    I love Poddy’s example of “any wisdom at all” — he has a terrible history of being unable to identify who his “enemies” even are in the first place, and “being wise” is shitting his pants in fear every time one of them makes an empty threat.

    Yes, that’s wisdom for you.

    Also, too: I am ridiculously happy to see HTML Mencken back! Please, please stick around…

  42. Bitter Scribe said,

    January 30, 2013 at 20:41

    If the right-wing Israelis that Poddy is so fond of succeed in convincing their countrymen that Israel can shoot its problems away, then leave them to it, because no one can really stop them.

    But if it goes south—if the return shots come faster and longer and harder than Israel anticipated or can handle—then as far as I’m concerned, Poddy and his crew can pick up rifles and head for Tel Aviv. He and his buddies in Israel had better not expect the USA to save their belligerent asses.

  43. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:14

    And this is overlooking the additional fact that many of these “WASP aristocrats” were themselves rather fond of the nazis; Prescot Bush, Joe Kennedy and Henry Ford to name but three. Ford had a framed portrait of Adolf Hitler on his office wall, for Chrissakes. And there were plenty of nazi fanciers in the UK as well…

    This is very true too.

    IMO, the relationship between conservatism and fascism, the degree to which the fascist rise to power depended on conservative support, the degree to which conservatives continued to prosper under fascist rule until right up at the end… is possibly the biggest instance of whitewashing in the twentieth century’s history.

  44. Major Kong said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:25

    and Ahmadinejad means it

    Ahmadinejad has also said “Iran is a threat to no other country, including the Zionist Entity”.

    Of course, I’m only supposed to believe him when he says something that justifies attacking Iran.

  45. Major Kong said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:31

    Reagan didn’t win the Cold War

    He didn’t. Arguably the Saudis, strangely enough, won the Cold War.

    By defying OPEC and flooding the world with cheap oil, they devalued the Soviet’s #1 export and source of hard currency.

    The Soviet Union never so much as tried to match Reagan’s increase in defense spending – so it’s difficult to argue that’s what caused them to go broke.

  46. Interrobang said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:32

    Man, that “Negro Problem” is a barn-burner of an article. Mostly if you imagine that barn being burnt by a bunch of guys in white hoods with torches made of baseball bats, rags, and Mason jar gaskets…

    Apparently if stereotypes are ever wrong, therefore racism is totally okay, and if you personally don’t oppress a particular group, nothing ever oppresses them, and structural racism doesn’t exist! Further, the best explanations for things are always pop psychology cranks, and not, say, sociological or economic facts. That probably explains most of his MO even now.

    Also, I did get a huge chuckle over his referring to himself repeatedly in that article as “white.” According to the racists I grew up around, who proudly self-identify as “WASPs,” neither Jews nor Italians nor Poles are white; they’re only “ethnic.” That is, I should add, by no means a minority position among those particular racists even now; I shudder to think what they were like when that article was new…

  47. Another Kiwi said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:48

    Probably late HTML but @JamesWolcott is where the man is.
    If suitably disinterested and psychologically sound researchers can be found (yeah, right) the Poddy genetic code should be examined and the weird-arse gene isolated and fired into the sun.

  48. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:50

    Indeed. I am in no way a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood, but are they really worse for the Egyptians than Mubarak?

    Well, time will tell, and it depends on what you mean – better for who?

    In Iran, for example, the rights of women and religious minorities definitely got worse after the Islamic Republic. On the other hand, living conditions, especially in terms of health care and basic services (and especially for rural areas and the underclass) got better, which is probably one of the reasons why kicking out the current regime is proving harder than kicking out the Shah. Part of the reason the Green Revolution in 2009 didn’t have as broad an appeal as they would’ve liked is that they’re associated with economic liberalization, and the Iranian working class – even those that have issues with their current situation – has trouble identifying with them.

    Plus, talking about the rights of women, gays and religious minorities only in terms of what the Muslim Right would do to them is kind of ignoring the fact that they, too, suffered under the previous regimes. It’s not like the Ben Ali, Mubarak or Qaddafi thugocracies gave you a pass if you were gay, Christian or a woman. Everyone got fucked, and sooner or later I can understand why they’d want him gone.

    Plus, it’s kind of giving a pass to the previous dictators on the way they themselves reveled in sectarian tensions. Mubarak didn’t mind Muslim-on-Christian violence every now and then – it kept the people divided, gave the majority someone other than the government to scapegoat, and justified his regime by making him the person (including for the West and their human rights groups) to go to when order needed to be maintained/restored. If you’re going back to Iran, the Shi’a clergy was one of the only places the Shah was able to find genuine (as in, didn’t need to be bribed by the SIS and CIA) support against Mossadegh – precisely because they were afraid of the “liberalism” the latter would bring.

    Most of all, though – what’s the alternative? Because that’s what Poddy’s deliberately, obtusely ignoring – we’ve already tried this “bringing them liberalism for their own good at the point of a dictator’s guns” shit, and in those places where we didn’t try, the Soviets did. It doesn’t fucking work. These reforms need to be organic, they need to come from within Middle Eastern societies themselves, or they won’t stick, the eventual backlash will sweep them away, and the people who benefited from those reforms will end up worse off than ever before because now they’ll be associated with the previous foreign puppets.

  49. Bitter Scribe said,

    January 30, 2013 at 21:58

    How many times has this play been performed? The U.S. supports a dictator in the name of realpolitik, said dictator gets overthrown, and the overthrowers remember who helped him oppress them.

    It’s enough to make you think there’s something to this “morality” that realpolitik scorns.

  50. Chris said,

    January 30, 2013 at 22:01

    He didn’t. Arguably the Saudis, strangely enough, won the Cold War.

    By defying OPEC and flooding the world with cheap oil, they devalued the Soviet’s #1 export and source of hard currency.

    I have, interestingly enough, heard that argument made in the saner wingnut circles (mostly among fellow foreign policy nerds), but they phrase it as “Reagan/the U.S. government probably asked them to do it, behind the scenes, in order to fuck over the USSR.”

    Thing is that even if you assume that’s true, 1) the Saudis started the cheap oil stuff in the late seventies, I believe, so, if the U.S. asked them to do it, it still wouldn’t have been Reagan (ironically, if you go with the wingnut explanation, that would mean Jimmy Carter brought down the Soviet Union. LOL) and 2) sounds kind of like saying “Churchill deserves the credit for winning World War Two because he asked the U.S. to get involved” – asking someone else to bring down the Soviet Union isn’t quite the same as bringing down the Soviet Union.

  51. wiley said,

    January 30, 2013 at 22:43

    Neocons. Blech. They looked at an image of a Soviet jeep with a small radar dish mounted on it and saw LAZERS!!!1!! They estimated that long range Soviet missiles probably carried 10 to 12 forty megaton warheads. They exaggerate insanely. That’s what they do. That’s what they get paid to do. They are the military industrial complex.

  52. gto said,

    January 30, 2013 at 23:00

    That doesn’t mean it has the foggiest chance of actually happening.

    Like Pod’s apparent wish for the “elimination” of the left and right coasts of the United States? Who’s going to pull that off for him?

  53. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    January 30, 2013 at 23:06

    Like Pod’s apparent wish for the “elimination” of the left and right coasts of the United States? Who’s going to pull that off for him?

    Obviously, the Iranian-North Korean super-bestest-friends pact! Both of them have highly dubious nuclear capabilities that they couldn’t fire any further than I can toss a desk, but they’re gonna aim at the American coasts on both sides, leaving Chicago to take over control of the country as the undamaged urban center of America, obviously.

    Wait, Chicago’s the worst! Who will rid the right-wing of this meddlesome urban center?!

  54. VCarlson said,

    January 30, 2013 at 23:09

    Like Pod’s apparent wish for the “elimination” of the left and right coasts of the United States? Who’s going to pull that off for him?

    Seems to me some guys with boxcutters and enough knowledge to fly planes into buildings made a try at that a few years ago. Wasn’t he displeased about that?

  55. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 30, 2013 at 23:36

    Whose going to rid the Pod person of the coasts? Global warming. Of course, that assumes that those decadent coasties don’t have the sense to move inland, and what are the odds of that?

    At best, all of these Neocon fantasies assume the people they don’t like will magically go away once the neocons are in the driver’s seat again. At worst, they have a plan to make them go away.

  56. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    January 30, 2013 at 23:58

    Man, that “Negro Problem” is a barn-burner of an article. Mostly if you imagine that barn being burnt by a bunch of guys in white hoods with torches made of baseball bats, rags, and Mason jar gaskets…

    Yeah, just because some asshole kid in Flatbush shook him down for lunch money, the dogs and firehoses in Selma are a good thing.

    Christ, what an asshole.

  57. Chris said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:09

    At best, all of these Neocon fantasies assume the people they don’t like will magically go away once the neocons are in the driver’s seat again. At worst, they have a plan to make them go away.

    “Plans” are too left-wing. I think they prefer “solutions.”

  58. Major Kong said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:12

    They looked at an image of a Soviet jeep with a small radar dish mounted on it and saw LAZERS!!!1!!

    I still have a book from the 1980s called Russian Military Power. On reading it today it’s obviously the biggest piece of propaganda I’ve ever seen.

    It cautions that the Russians were “Masters of liquid-fuel ICBM technology”. This would roughly be equivalent to being “Masters of steam-engine technology”.

  59. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:20

    Is that the one that was subtitled “An analysis of the threat”? or something similar? and had a different edition every year like some kind of yearbook of cold war paranoid fantasies?

  60. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:23

    It cautions that the Russians were “Masters of liquid-fuel ICBM technology”. This would roughly be equivalent to being “Masters of steam-engine technology”.

    I’d bet they were also “Masters of nuclear pile actuated steam-turbine technology”.

    Good thing they weren’t Masters of Atlantis- their battlefield application of compressed air would have had our GIs tumbling over battlefields from Central Europe to Southeast Asia.

  61. Major Kong said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:32

    Is that the one that was subtitled “An analysis of the threat”? or something similar? and had a different edition every year like some kind of yearbook of cold war paranoid fantasies?

    That’s the one!

  62. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:35

    I still have a book from the 1980s called Russian Military Power. On reading it today it’s obviously the biggest piece of propaganda I’ve ever seen.

    This is the perfect soundtrack by which to read it.

  63. Pupienus Maximus said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:39

    They exaggerate insanely

    About many things but they were absolutley right about the MINE SHAFT GAP!

  64. Smut Clyde said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:42

    We can do business with Herr Hitler — I forget who said it — Chamberlain as a matter of fact said [it].

    Can’t find any record of a speech or letter with Chamberlain using those words — just the usual human centipede of rightwingers claiming that he said it.

  65. HTML Mencken said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:52

    Arguably the Saudis, strangely enough, won the Cold War.

    I think so, too.

  66. Shakezula said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:53

    HTML – If you’re still not sleepy National Review has new editorial about immigration that could use some lovin’.

    And, if we are to take Hispanics at their word, conservative attitudes toward illegal immigration are a minor reason for their voting preferences. While many are in business for themselves, they express hostile attitudes toward free enterprise in polls. They are disproportionately low-income and disproportionately likely to receive some form of government support.

    And the comments are not at all … er … Maybe you should have your tetanus shots first.

    Too nonchalant about the status quo for my liking. The 11 million represent a potential insurgency. We either assimilate them or purge. The current course isn’t sustainable.

  67. HTML Mencken said,

    January 31, 2013 at 0:58

    Eww, yeah, I’ll consider it but I’m kinda overwhelmed with wingnuttery at the moment.

  68. Chris said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:00

    And, if we are to take Hispanics at their word, conservative attitudes toward illegal immigration are a minor reason for their voting preferences. While many are in business for themselves, they express hostile attitudes toward free enterprise in polls. They are disproportionately low-income and disproportionately likely to receive some form of government support.

    If true, wonderful news. The United States badly needs more people who are hostile to what the right defines as “free enterprise” after the fucking ruinous outcome it’s inflicted on this country since 1980. And it badly needs more people who are capable of empathizing with the underclass rather than turning them into scapegoats for all the nation’s problems.

    And I love the irony of a man whining about people who are “in business for themselves” and in the same sentence complaining that they’re insufficiently devoted to capitalist principles. “I got mine, fuck you” is the foundation stone of all right wing economics. You should be overjoyed!

    … what do you mean, it’s only okay when you do it?

  69. Smut Clyde said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:07

    We can do business with Herr Hitler — I forget who said it — Chamberlain as a matter of fact said [it].

    “You Can’t Do Business with Hitler” was a 1941 book by Douglas Miller (commercial attache at the American Embassy in Berlin), written to change the minds of Americans. The people saying that they could continue doing business with Herr Hitler were the Fords and the Bushes.

  70. HTML Mencken said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:07

    Apropos a few comments I’ve seen since I started posting here again:
    Sadly, No! posters in chronological order [Fixed]:

    Seb
    Pete M.
    Gavin & Brad (not sure which was first)
    Travis
    Me
    D. Aristophanes
    Leonard Pierce
    Jillian
    Tintin
    Cerberus

  71. DAS said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:17

    Can’t find any record of a speech or letter with Chamberlain using those words — just the usual human centipede of rightwingers claiming that he said it. – Smut Clyde

    BTW, while the wingnuts act as if Chamberlain was some sort of namby-pamby leftist, he was actually a Conservative PM. The rightwingers have conveniently forgotten his party affiliation in the same way they are conveniently forgetting about the party affiliation and indeed the very existence of GW Bush (I now imagine wingers trying to put him in the cart with the bodies as in Holy Grail, and GW Bush exclaiming “I’m not dead yet”).

  72. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:20

    Seb
    Pete M.
    Gavin & Brad (not sure which was first)
    Me
    Jillian
    Tintin
    Cerberus

    You’ve been missed HTML. I am sincerely glad you’re back.

  73. HTML Mencken said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:21

    Why thank you kind sir!

  74. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:26

    Now if we could just get Jillian back.

  75. Chris said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:27

    BTW, while the wingnuts act as if Chamberlain was some sort of namby-pamby leftist, he was actually a Conservative PM. The rightwingers have conveniently forgotten his party affiliation in the same way they are conveniently forgetting about the party affiliation and indeed the very existence of GW Bush (I now imagine wingers trying to put him in the cart with the bodies as in Holy Grail, and GW Bush exclaiming “I’m not dead yet”).

    Yep. Exhibit A in “studiously burying the conservative-fascist link.”

  76. Major Kong said,

    January 31, 2013 at 1:43

    Didn’t even Saint Churchill initially think that the German Fascists weren’t so bad because they were a bulwark against those evil commies?

  77. Smut Clyde said,

    January 31, 2013 at 2:12

    I forget who said it — Chamberlain as a matter of fact said [it].

    Or perhaps it was Mark Twain. Or Lincoln. Or Gandhi. Or Trotsky.

  78. VCarlson said,

    January 31, 2013 at 2:33

    Or perhaps it was Mark Twain. Or Lincoln. Or Gandhi. Or Trotsky.

    You forgot Ben Franklin.

  79. Major Kong said,

    January 31, 2013 at 2:38

    You’re both wrong – it was Yogi Berra.

  80. PopeRatzo said,

    January 31, 2013 at 2:48

    Podhoretz. What a messed-up old prick he is.

  81. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    January 31, 2013 at 3:16

    You’re both wrong – it was Yogi Berra.

    ‘Ey, Booboo, watch me pull a Nazi out of this pick-i-nick basket!

  82. Shakezula said,

    January 31, 2013 at 4:21

    And I love the irony of a man whining about people who are “in business for themselves” …

    That line was bizarre, no? But after some thought I decided it means businesses which:

    1. Require employees to be bilingual. (Impossible to bloviate one’s way around that one.)

    2. Will never have a need for an employee whose idea of hard labor is bashing out a 500 word screed with one’s dick AND repeating the same screed at a luncheon with fellow drool buckets during the same week.

  83. Fenwick said,

    January 31, 2013 at 5:36

    Chris is brilliant throughout this thread. 19:02 is required reading for anyone who joined the thread late.

  84. Tehanu said,

    January 31, 2013 at 5:41

    The part about the American people not being willing to do what imperialism would require was the only thing he said I would agree with. In fact, not only would I agree, I would praise the American people for it. If only we acted on that principle more often, we’d be in a lot better shape.

  85. Fenwick said,

    January 31, 2013 at 6:15

    D. Aristophanes ?

  86. HTML Mencken said,

    January 31, 2013 at 6:26

    Fixed with apologies!

  87. Austin Loomis said,

    January 31, 2013 at 16:00

    (Oh yeah, this was the thing I didn’t get beaten to commenting on.)

    Barney skrev:

    Ahmadinejad and his “wipe Israel from the pages of history” remark, ironically.

    I think it was Juan Cole who said it actually translates more like a promise that “the Zionist entity will vanish from the pages of time” when Allah wills it, without Iran necessarily having to do anything.

  88. Sadly, No! » Likud It Or Not, Syria Had To Be Blown Up said,

    February 4, 2013 at 19:21

    [...] a genocidally-minded homophobic fascist, brother-in-law to one of same sentiments, son-in-law of a certifiable madman, and author of a book which demands of his co-tribalists a more ethnic purity by denouncing [...]

  89. visit said,

    February 20, 2013 at 7:27

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