So it’s come to this

Ah, FOX and Friends. One of the few television shows brave enough to discuss whether the deaths of thousands of Americans might be good for our national morale:

What makes this thinking so fundamentally flawed- other than its desire to see thousands of innocent people killed- is its belief that unity achieved through collective fear is a healthy thing. The sort of unity we had after 9/11 scared the living crap out of me, frankly. I knew formerly Marxist friends pledging their blind allegiance to Bush. I knew formerly sane people who wanted to start wars with every country in the Middle East. It was a frightening time, to say the very least.

Iraq was the tragic result of this national groupthink. Although it’s easy to portray the Iraq war as the project of bloodthirsty neocons who had been hellbent on overthrowing Saddam for years (and this is true to a great extent), it wouldn’t have been possible to carry out if several otherwise sane people hadn’t signed off on it. People such as, say, John Edwards. The Iraq war was essentially one great national brain fart. And for the folks on FOX and Friends, it’s been just swell. God help us all.


Comments: 120


For a group of people who like to compare these wars to WWII, they sure do seem good at picking the losing side of that war for talking points. So much for “nothing to fear but fear itself”–but then of course FDR was just an islamofascicommieliebral sympathizer.


I wonder how much FDR spent on hair cuts. That’s what’s important!


FDR was a mean man. How about the way he tricked those nice, peace-loving people in the Japanese government to adopt an expansionist policy in the Pacific that eventually led to the attack on Pearl Harbor? And the way he kept those nice men in command at Pearl Harbor in the dark about the possibility of war in those peaceful days of Winter 1941?


Well, FDR was Illuminati, so what do you expect?


Am I the only person in the country who woke up on 9/12/01 still thinking that Bush was a shitstain and that he was going to fuck this up just like he fucked up everything else?

Don’t get me wrong – that wasn’t my first or even my hundred-and-first thought. My first thoughts were for my friends who had lost loved ones in NYC and my second thoughts were for my family members who were government employees that I had not been able to get in touch with to make sure they were all right.

But I never once stopped thinking that Bush was a shitstain. How come?


And don’t forget about the time he strapped Fala to the roof of the car for a family trip from Hyde Park to Yalta.


Am I the only person in the country who woke up on 9/12/01 still thinking that Bush was a shitstain and that he was going to fuck this up just like he fucked up everything else?

Nope–there’s at least two of us.

I’ve never hated being so right.


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: nutters are hoping and praying for another successful (and massive) al Queda attack on US soil. Look at how they were all beating off recently over the DEBKA-fueled rumors that NYC (my home town) was going to be hit w/ a dirty bomb yesterday. You know all of them woke up a little sadder today when that didn’t happen.

But, ya know, the “leftards” are the ones who hate America…


I knew he was a shitstain the day it happened. And I knew the Repugs would see it as an opportunity. And I knew the Repugs would fuck it up big time.

Of course, if the goal was to perpetuate and exploit the FEAR as long as possible, mission accomplished. Competence in the fight against terrorism would have gotten in the way of the real goal.


Am I the only person in the country who woke up on 9/12/01 still thinking that Bush was a shitstain and that he was going to fuck this up just like he fucked up everything else?

I knew that he was going to fuck everything up as soon as I saw the second plane hit.


Virtually every bit of the American worldview is shaped by militarism and exceptionalism. Americans have very little sense of history, and what little they have can be summarized as “we can solve any problem by going to war. We can win any war. Therefore, we can solve any problem to our benefit”.

America responded to the attacks of 9/11 as a psychotic, beligerent drunk would respond to an insult. Lash out at anything and anyone, just another problem we can kill our way out of. ‘Cause, hell, all of America’s wars have had positive outcomes, right?

But any thoughtful person would realize that a military response to a terrorist attack automatically makes the terrorists the winners. After 9/11 I was angry, and wanted to hit back at the people responsible, but anybody with a clue would know you couldn’t do that with armored brigades and air strikes.

It would be one, or a couple terrorists waking up to their last earthly sight, a SEAL behind the muzzle of a USP .45 spitting flame and lead. It would be small, targeted strikes and broad economic warfare.

At this point, pretty much anything we do is historical afterthought. Anybody who thinks al Quaeda hasn’t already won the fight they started doesn’t understand why they did what they did.


Oh, and Brad. Thank you for the post with complete english sentences. The previous was kind of painful…


I knew that he was going to fuck everything up as soon as I saw the second plane hit. I knew everything *was* fucked up beyond repair when I saw Paul McCartney perform the song “Freedom“.

solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short

Put me down for shitstain, too.

I knew Bush’s dumb ass couldn’t be trusted not to play right into bin Laden’s hands. I said to a coworker when it happened, “This is Se7en,” and he was like, “What?” and I was like, “I dunno, nevermind.”

Turns out I was wrong, but only because Brad Pitt’s character didn’t shoot everyone in the country who bore a vague resemblance to Kevin Spacey and, in the process, completely eviscerate America’s law-enforcement capabilities.


Am I the only person in the country who woke up on 9/12/01 still thinking that Bush was a shitstain and that he was going to fuck this up just like he fucked up everything else?

I remember hearing about the attacks just as one of the towers fell, and thinking, “well there goes the fucking world,” and being sure that no good would come of Bush having that much power mixed with the that high a level of fear in America. Sitting around watching the evening news, I wondered whether or not I even wanted to head back to the US.
My Scottish friends all agreed that eventually we (the US) would wind up bombing at least a couple of ‘Stans, and that that “arselicker Tony Blair,” would happily and obediently totter along behind us, whatever we chose to do.


I gave Bush a couple days grace period, in which time the pigfucker ran around like a scared kid, took 3 days to get here in nyc, and used the rubble of the WTC site as a campaign commercial. That “I can hear you” moment was so fucking scripted, bleh.
Then I accepted that he was still a shitstain and would fuck it up in ways my kids’ kids will still have to overcome.


I always knew Bush and Cheney were sh!tstains.

But I did not realize the extent of sh!tstainism in the corporate media.

That’s been the real eye opener for me these last six years. I guess I should have seen it happening in the 1990’s.

It’s the contrast between how they covered Clinton, and Gore 2000, versus what they’ve done and continue to do for the cheneyco. that has caused me to wake up. For this, I’d also like thank all the blogs that I support.


God, I’m glad I’m not completely alone on the shitstain issue. I was a little freaked out there for a second.

On a not-totally-unrelated note…somebody tell me again why this guy can’t win?


Regarding the corporate media, here’s an example, from Digby:

And speaking of Giuliani, you have to check out the article on his Five Big Lies, in the Village Voice. Someone pointed out to me this little tidbit that would be particularly worth noting if the tabloid political press held the GOP candidates to the same standards as Democrats:

Seriously, this indicates that Giuliani personally made what everyone considers his biggest blunder — placing that command center where he did — because he was actually building a convenient love nest.

Yet the corporate media remains obsessed with haircuts, and blathers on about Giuliani’s anti-terrorism cred?


I’ll say it again. Until real dialog is permitted, nothing will change. When it is taboo to question the core, underlying assumptions that lead to military solutions, when fighter jets overfly our sporting events, when the military marches in our parades, when the machines of death are conflated with love of country and called, toxically, “patriotism”, just exactly what else would you expect?

Hillary and Barrack, the “serious” candidates, have to take out their sabers and rattle ’em vaguely towards the east. We cannot get it right, we cannot “win”, until we are at least allowed to discuss the relative merits of various solutions. But to question the efficacy of using the American military, not even because it’s American, but because it’s military, is to be unamerican, and profoundly unserious.

When a sniper team is getting a couple of your people every day, you don’t deploy a battalion of combined arms against them. Why? A small unit can avoid them, work around them, hide, blend in, disappear. You use a countersniper team. Small, assymetric, flexible units cannot be destroyed in the same way you destroy an army or a city. You have to engage them in the field on the same terms.

Until we’re allowed to question whether the US military is the solution to terror attacks, and to consider and even pursue more effective solutions, until there is the possibility of the admission that the military is exactly the wrong, most counterproductive solution, and to use them is tantamount to surrender, then the disaster will continue, and get worse.

Iran is next. War will be the permanant state of affairs until the economic collapse precludes further warfare. We built this thing. And it works damn well. We just forgot to include an “off” switch…



I’ve applied Stulogic to some other right-wing preoccupations.

“To drive home the horror of abortion, we must perform more abortions.”
“Illegal immigration should be encouraged. Only then will we wake up to the threat of illegal immigration.”
“The U.N. is a meance to our national sovereignty. To draw attention to this danger, I have built a Black Helicopter landing pad on top of my pool.”
“Homosexuality is tearing our nation’s moral fabric asunder. I fear it will take many Murphys in many hide-a-beds to wake us up to…no, it will take many Allens in many public restrooms before…dammit, it will take many Foleys in many pages to…shit.”


Hey, it’s reassuring to know that Fox is so committed to freedom, they’re willing to risk any number of American lives to further their own crazed delusions. Now THAT is patriotism.


The 9/11 attacks, which Bush did absolutely nothing to prevent, resulted in a wounded nation desperately hoping that the dissolute preppie who’d lost the previous elections would magically become the leader his dad’s appointees on the Supreme Court had appointed him to be.

He failed, miserably. He rejected the Taliban’s offer to hand over bin Laden, who remains free. He used the magnificent military which Clinton/Gore had bequeathed to him to bomb Afghanistan, but lacking in competence, he failed to secure the country before moving to the imperial adventure in Iraq that Cheney and the (neo)-Cons really wanted. His popularity rose after 9/11, and has fallen ever since. 9/11 was the only thing that ever raised it.

These sadistic traitors want to see the blood of New Yorkers because we’re liberal and unafraid. That is, they hate us for our freedoms. But they also think that their Dear Great Leader will get yet another free pass. As always and everywhere about everything, they are absolutely dead flat wrong, but they’re more than willing to sacrifice a few thousand more Americans to not get what they want.


Yep, I don’t think people will fall in line this time, not like before. Since the press and the pundits hold Bush up as the guy who never makes mistakes, then any new terrorist attack while he is in office is the fault of the current administration’s inability to keep their lies straight.

of course you know they’ll blame it on Clinton. Again. CDS, the gift that keeps on giving.


On the morning of 9/11 I woke up at about 0900MDT in the sleeper of an 18-wheeler in western Montana with a load of rocks on the back-yes, rocks- and out of smokes. I drove to the nearest conveinence store where a couple of yahoos were watching the tube and being scared shitless. Out loud I said “Good God” andbeing the Islamofacistcommie I am, I said silently to myself “are we surprised that this happened?” I got back in my truck and drove. I didn’t give a thought to what the shitstain would do.
“Are we surprised this happened?”


You know the whole militia movement from the early 90’s? Those people are still around. If Fox and other conservative outlets keep talking like this, some idiot is going to get it in his head to blow up a building himself and try to frame the Islamofascists.

Seriously, the Kennedy assasination brought the country together too, but when LBJ’s Great Society program hit roadblocks and the country was torn apart by Vietnam/civil rights, did any liberals suggest that another nice assasination might do the trick? WTF?


Put me down for one of the 9/12 cuckolds. I thought terrorism was going to be the only thing Bush got right (yes, I know what I typed). I was fifteen though.

Stu Bykofsky is in fact not a raving far-right nutter though. His other columns suggest liberalism, or at least acceptance of people different from him. And he rights for the Philadelphia Daily News. Very few people read that. The Daily News editors probably went wild when they heard a 24 hour cable news channel mentioned one of their columnists. This is not say the Daily News is a bad paper. It’s fine, just provincial compared to the Inquirer.


Fox presenters can’t even get their analogies right. The British have been in Ulster for four hundred years not forty and the Republicans are now part of the government, so just who won?


How is it conservatards get to crow (incorrectly) that “there hasn’t been a terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11” as one of Junie’s big accomplishments, yet if there IS one, it’s somehow a plus for him too?


We came a part after 9/11 because you republicans started calling people traitors if they did not support lil bush Iraq’s Adventure.

They had a saying something like “Your either with the Fuhrer or against us.”

Something like that.


But I never once stopped thinking that Bush was a shitstain. How come?

Because you have a memory that goes back further than last weekend, Jillian. An actual functioning memory of your very own, not just a brain-socket for This Week’s Truthiness via Faux News and Commander Codpiece.

On 9/11, once I’d established that my dear friends in NYC were still okay (including the one who would have been on the 90th floor if he hadn’t slept in to celebrate his birthday), I read what was being written about the incident in places like the Financial Times and the Asian Wall Street Journal websites. And I said that it looked to me like the rest of the planet was saying “A terrible thing has happened! You have our sympathies and our attention! PS Please don’t kill us!

And my friends rolled their eyes and said, uh-huh, you’re playing the paranoid card again. Why must you be such a drama queen, Anne Laurie? We know you don’t care for Bush, but after all there are so many smart thoughtful people working in the Executive Office that we can only expect the best from them…


9/11 was kinda like a NeoCon Kristalinacht.


You Americans don’t tell each other often enough that you’re stupid….you worship stupidity in the same way you worship free expression. I’m not suggesting you clamp down on free expression, but remember…calling some loud-mouthed cretin stupid is free expression as well.

It may not be nice, but then, imperial invasions aren’t either.


Yes, if there’s one thing you can count on here, it’s that nobody will ever call an American stupid. Except when we’re singing paeons to how great it is that we’re all stupid, of course.

You cretin. You got a problem with imperial invasions you can take it up with people who haven’t been railing against them for the last seven years, if not their whole lives. But thanks for the reminder that we’re allowed to call people stupid, you condescending prick. I’d totally forgotten.

Trilateral Chairman

I confess that I didn’t give Bush much thought on 9/11. I’m from a commuter town in NJ, so I spent the day tracking down friends and family. If you’re not from that area, it’s hard to fully understand what it was like. I didn’t wonder whether someone I knew had died in the towers. I knew someone had. It was just a matter of time until I found out who.

That was what I was thinking about after 9/11. I didn’t have much time or patience for Bush’s linguistic ineptitude, nor did I have much time for the preachy smugness of people who wanted to say that it was all America’s fault. I still don’t have much time for either, to be honest. I can handle people who make arguments about “root causes” or America’s responsibility, but they have to dispense with the condescending arrogance.

I don’t think Iraq was a national brain fart or anything of the sort. Plenty of people expressed skepticism or outright opposition. As for Hillary and Kerry and Edwards and the rest of the lot–well, most of them were running for President, so they had to vote for the war to look tough. So, here we are.

I also think it’s a bit too simple to say that a military response plays into the terrorists’ hands. I think that bin Laden (or whoever) would have tried to turn any possible response to his advantage. Think about it: If we don’t respond with military force, he can call us a paper tiger and urge further attacks. If we respond with economic warfare or covert ops–activities that aren’t necessarily visible to the everyday citizen–he can do the same thing. If we respond with military force, he can show pictures of dead children and claim it’s a war on Islam.

That doesn’t mean he and his followers are guaranteed to win–it just means that we can’t defeat him with a single response, because he’ll still have a counter-response. We of course will have our own responses to his responses, the cycle will continue.

As for how we win–I don’t know. I wish I did. I might feel better if I believed that Bush knew…but somenow, I don’t think that’s likely.


BTW folks, don’t bother confronting your wingnut friends (I know, oxymoron) with the appalling nature of the suggestion. It has already become, in a few hours the conventional wisdom (apologies to conventional wisdom in every other society, except those actively practicing cannibalism or female circumcision). The wingnuts are already aping (apologies to hominids and simians everywhere) this schtick (apologies to Borscht belt comedians) and sitting back on their haunches with satisfied smiles, convinced they are in the intellectual and political vanguard. “This is just the stuff to give the troops” they cry (apologies to troops).
Of course, from here on in the discussion (apologies to anyone who has ever used speech with others to work out a solution) turns to exactly which city is most deserving of the attack, and just who, or whose wife and children should be present. (The wingnuts don’t think those people deserve any apology, oddly enough)

Galactic Dustbin

you know what my primary thought about our leadership in the days after 9/11?

I miss Bill.


If we respond with economic warfare or covert ops–activities that aren’t necessarily visible to the everyday citizen–he can do the same thing. If we respond with military force, he can show pictures of dead children and claim it’s a war on Islam.

Well, sure, but see? This is the kind of discussion that is allowed. I’m sorry, and this is not a personal attack, but that’s crazy. You do not make decisions about how best to do ANYTHING based upon the statements of the opposition. You have to make a cold calculation about what will have the best effect. Your “enemy” will always make you out to be whatever best serves his needs. True in business, in chess, in war. You cannot build an effective response around how he frames the argument.

An effective counterterror strategy is not hard to design. But you raise a good point. It may not be satisfying to the population, and they may decide to vote against you in the next election due to your perceived inaction or ineffectiveness.

For what it’s worth, it goes like this:

25% Operational. This includes intelligence, law enforcement and wet ops.

25% Economic. To a small, asymmetric group of guerrillas in a global setting, which is what al Quaeda is, funding is the lifeblood. Accumulating, distributing and delivering funds to operational cells across national borders is the definition of what your organization must do. Planning is a little of it. Funding is all of it.

50% Behavioral. Sorry if you think I’m all “blame america”. But america has pissed off a lot of people. bin Laden himself said “you say we hate your freedoms. Ask yourself why we do not attack sweden”. It’s a fair discussion. If you exploit large populations, oppress them, support dictators who kill and imprison them and wreck their families cleansing neighborhoods, they are going to learn to hate you. And if your military is too powerful to be engaged directly, how do you think they are going to express their rage?

America’s policies over the last couple centuries brought a lot of hatred to bear. We can’t change that. We COULD, however, behave differently today. Watch how china operates in the world. They aren’t necessarily a force for good in the world, but they are doing an awful good job of building goodwill among nations that can provide materials they want. They don’t threaten. They buy. They co-opt. We could do a better job without coddling nations like Sudan, as they do. We could exploit less, help and build more, and make a point of refusing to help dictators who oppress their people.

We don’t need to get it 100% right. We just need to get it a whole lot less wrong.



Am I the only person in the country who woke up on 9/12/01 still thinking that Bush was a shitstain

OK, I’m posting before reading the whole thread, but Jillian has an important point here – MANY people woke up on 9/12 thinking Bush was indeed that. If you recall, news anchors and others wondered aloud where the heck Bush was and why he ran away, and why he wasn’t spekaing to the nation. He didn’t speak to the nation until 9:00 p.m on 9/11 and looked particularly weak and stupid. At the time of the attacks, his approval rating was pretty low. It quickly rose by 9/14 to record highs, but at first, many people were publicly expressing their dismay at his fecklessness on the day.


Seeking TerrorDom…
Have own Duct tape.


China has an advantage – it’s run by a pragmatic oligarchy. They don’t have to pander to the whims of the public, don’t have to educate that public before adopting rational stances, and don’t have to depend on running a personality cult. All they have to do is mouth the official ideology of communism, brutally stomp over anyone threatening Party rule – and continue to coldy pursue their interests in a sane and rational fashion.

And, assuming you’re not Taiwan, China’s much easier to deal with than the US.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

Mikey, that’s exactly right. And that’s what really scares me about America, and shames me most as an Australian. The idea that everything can be solved by thorough application of bombs to people is far more frightening than my grandmother’s idea that every illness can be solved through application of cod liver oil to children.

Anne Laurie knows what I’m talking about. People around the world, at least those with some awareness of history, had two overwhelming reactions that day. First, heartfelt sympathy for those who died, and those they left. Second, a terrible sinking feeling that things were not going to end up with flowers and ponies.

Which also led to a sadness for the American people, and an unease about them. Sadness, because they were being subjected to terrorism because of something that others had done, and unease because, if they didn’t begin to understand “why they hate us” soon, the world would end in conflagration. No ponies. The desire for revenge is natural, but not healthy, and certainly not productive.

Jeebus, folks, Shakespeare wrote about this hundreds of years ago, and some folks still haven’t got the idea? Whether you call it vendetta or feud or whatever, this violence in return for violence never has solved anything, it just poisons more lives.

Think about it: If we don’t respond with military force, he can call us a paper tiger and urge further attacks. If we respond with economic warfare or covert ops–activities that aren’t necessarily visible to the everyday citizen–he can do the same thing.

The big difference, of course, is that by slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, hundreds of thousands of survivors are more likely to be recruited as terrorists. So if there’s no atrocities, there’s less recruits. Doesn’t matter what he does then, he’ll simply be a minor figure calling for recruits for what seems a disproportionate act.

And remember that, if the Bush junta had actually used counter-terrorism methods such as intelligence (both kinds) and international cooperation, bin Laden would likely not have been at liberty. It’s a bit hard to make a plea for converts to your cause when you’re being charged with terrorism.

The fact of various extremely minor figures (David Hicks, anyone?) being charged and convicted in a kangaroo court makes the whole affair even more ludicrous.

Did anyone else’s blood boil when Bush said “Truly, I’m not that concerned about him (bin Laden)”? How the fuck did the American people swallow that? How is it that he was not instantly lynched? How dare any of these complete fucktards pretend that they care about ‘winning the war against turr’sm’ when their fuhrer doesn’t care about the turr’st who planned the worst attack on US soil? How the fuck can they?

(Indignant spluttering continues for some time)

Sorry, folks. My indignation got the best of me. I think I’ll just groom for a bit. Get the fluff out of my claws, that sort of thing.

Carry on.


wher lolcons??//? no mor funee??//?/ mi sad now bai!11!


On a more serious note, glad to see Jillian back & hope things are better.


Am I the only one who spent the afternoon of 9-11 wondering why the hell the buildings imploded and collapsed completely from a fire which came nowhere near the temperature necessary to melt or weaken the steel? And why WT7 did the same thing and it wasn’t even hit?
And why nobody noticed?


If we respond with economic warfare or covert ops–activities that aren’t necessarily visible to the everyday citizen.

Imagine if we’d tried something like this – and it worked! Considerably fewer dead children for the “Islamofascists” to use for propaganda purposes and also – more importantly, to my mind – fewer dead children.

It was worth a try. If ending terrorim was (or is) truly the goal.


That’s a part of the point, Hoosier. If you are targeting people and you get it wrong, it’s a brutal, ugly tragedy. But you’ve killed two people, not two hundred as you would bringing modern battlefield lethality into a neighborhood full of innocents. It’s ugly, but it’s MUCH less ugly.

If we ran counterterror ops as small unit operations rather than invasions and occupations, half a million people would not be dead and osama and zawahiri would be.

Would america be better off?

I think the answer’s obvious…



If we ran counterterror ops as small unit operations rather than invasions and occupations, half a million people would not be dead and osama and zawahiri would be.

Would america be better off?

Would Halliburton and all the other companies who we don’t know about that were on Cheney’s secret energy task force be better off?

That answer’s obvious, too.


After the Towers fell, I was willing to listen to Bush, willing to give the administration a shot. As mikey notes, there was a serious convorsation that was not Not NOT going to be held, but being the eternal idealist, I thought to myself, “You know, from this tragedy, a lot of good things could happen. A lot of good changes, if we’re willing to go there and Bush is willing to do so.”

Of course, I’m a realist, too, so I wasn’t devestated or much surprised when it turned to shit with depressing dependability fairly soon after. I think it was Ari Fliescher saying that people needed to watch what they said from now on. And Iraq was never an option and anyone with two eyes and half a brain knew that were there an actually serious WOT, we’d not being dropping bombs on Bagdhad.

That’s why I got no use for those who used to support the war, don’t anymore because it’s gone all pear-shaped, yet refuse to own up to ever being wrong on the issue (which is most of them). For fuck’s sake, I saw it. I knew it wasn’t neccessary, and I’m a dumbass country boy.


We have a really, really, bad record on anti-terrorist covert-ops.

The low/high point of that era was probably the CIA/Phalangist plan to kill Fadlallah in Beirut in revenge for the barracks bombing. That ended in wiping out a girl’s school with a car bomb and Fadlallah walking out like he was the Blue’s Brothers convincing a shitload of Shia that he had divine protection.


Why hasn’t there been another 9/11-style attack?

I think it’s because the cost/benefit ratio doesn’t make sense to Al Qaeda. They got everything they wanted and more from 9/11. They lured us into an unnecessary, expensive, losing war. They were able to damage our standing and reputation. They were able to turn us into animals. This “Fox and Friends” clip shows just how base we have become: columnists and pundits are pining for another 9/11 so they can get another blank check for their conservative policies. They’ve come right out and said it: we need thousands of Americans to die so America can become more conservative again.

If Al Gore had been president on 9/11 rather than George Bush, we wouldn’t have had all this “national unity” the conservatards speak so glowingly of. Republicans would have done what they always do, which is to take an opportunity to act like total selfish pricks and run with it. National unity, my ass. National unity is only important when there’s some empty suit conservative who needs to be protected. Watch how quickly “national unity” becomes irrelevant once President Hillary Clinton is sworn in.

There would have been calls to impeach Gore on 9/12.


Matt makes another good point. Hell, I’m an Eleven Bulletstop grunt. Turned out I was good at eyeball killin, but why should I be able to define a better national counter terror strategy than the current resident? Could it be that they have an agenda beyond preventing terror attacks? And doesn’t that lead us back to this asshat who is the topic of this post?



Trial balloons anyone???The Gentleman from New York votes aye for shitstain,and would inquire as to an amendment of skidmark,any objections from the floor?Every major terror op.I have researched has had intel.operatives involved to some extent,whether in major or minor capacities.False flag ops.have been the coin of the realm for any imperial player worth his salt for millennia.I don’t claim to know what happened,but I’m pretty sure i know what didn’t happen.Don’t need much evidence that the sun rises in the East.I go with the meta analysis that these events are the inevitable consequence of Capitalism.


Read this and remember what actually happened that day. Look at all the screw-ups: planes not scrambled, phones that didn’t work, people who didn’t connect, Air Force One taking off from Sarasota without fighter escort. Shoot down orders aren’t given until too late, scrambled jets going out over the ocean.

I’m not even going to entertain the conspiracy theories, but these guys blew it in a major way. And have we seen anything since from them to suggest that they won’t blow it if there’s a next time?


And have we seen anything since from them to suggest that they won’t blow it if there’s a next time?


Qetesh the Abyssinian

Just the fact of planes not scrambled makes me want to shriek “WTF do you idiots think is going on?!?” I mean, really, if the US were ever attacked with, say, planes, doncher think they’d get the fighters off the ground in less than a fuckin’ hour?!? Jeebus, all those trillions spent on the war machine, and they can’t even defend the homeland?

Whether it was deliberate, or just solid gold incompetence, why the absolute shining fuck didn’t the people rise up en masse about that? Whether they meant to let all four planes do their damnedest, or whether they were just shitting their pants and squealing, I’d have thought that was a pretty compelling argument for not ever, ever, ever, trusting these guys again.

Yet Dubya became a hero. WTF goes on there?


A mass terror attack would be the ultimate vindication of President Bush’s guiding philosophy: that fighting terrorism is job #1 for America. The American people have allowed themselves to be distracted from this all-important mission. They were led astray last November by venal Democrat politicians who falsely promised them an easy way out of the hard choices that this nation must face. Consequently President Bush’s antiterrorist program has been treachorously sabotaged from within and a mass casualty terrorist strike would be just desserts in retribution. But on the positive side it would finally unmask the liberal fifth column which has been undermining our nation. The gloves would really come off and President Bush and Vice President Cheney would obtain the freedom of action to deal not only with external threats but also with the moral filth and internal treachery which is an even more mortal threat to our national existence.


You can always tell a wingnut by their Gingrich Received Pronunciation of the opposing party.

Trilateral Chairman

Hi, Mikey–

No offense taken. I’m not sure I entirely agree with (or understand) what you’re saying, but I think we’re agreeing more than is apparent.

This is the kind of discussion that is allowed.

See, I’m honestly not sure that it is. I’ve heard a lot of people on both sides say “If we do x, then the terrorists win.” I think that argument is simplistic at best and fatally irrational at worse. Regardless of the response we choose, the terrorists don’t automatically win–and conversely, they don’t necessarily lose either.

I’m sorry, and this is not a personal attack, but that’s crazy. You do not make decisions about how best to do ANYTHING based upon the statements of the opposition. You have to make a cold calculation about what will have the best effect. Your “enemy” will always make you out to be whatever best serves his needs.

Maybe I wasn’t writing clearly enough, but that’s more or less what I was trying to say. The enemy, whoever they may be, will twist whatever choice we make–what else would they do? I wasn’t trying to say that we should solely base our response on how our enemy will twist it; I agree that that’s silly. We may want to take it into account to avoid giving our enemy an easy propaganda victory (because that probably wouldn’t have the best effect), but our enemies’ framing of our response is certainly not the sole or even the primary determinant.


I thought the lack of a mass terror attack showed that the Bush Doctrine is working.

Now I’m hearing that it’s exactly what Republicans want so they can keep exploiting American fear or, alternatively, that it would show we need to get even tougher.

Which is it?

More importantly, why do these people expect that they deserve any respect or civility from people who can see through their divisive, childish and dangerous sophistry?



It’s not an easy thing to realize that your administration’s greatest strength is smoke and mirrors. This is what the Bush and his administration has demonstrated to us, much to our own horror. Now, those of us who think real competence matters, and are not among the deluded, are up against a money-machine. Wish us luck to get this turned around. Actually, it will take more than luck, but all the same it’s a nice gesture.


Shorter nabalzbbfr,


All freedoms must be sacrificed for the sake of safety and the glory of Bush!”

PS: This is one of the most insightful threads I’ve read in a while. Brilliant commentary

I first heard about 9/11 12-14 hours after the fact due to the fact I was living in Bangkok at the time. My first reaction was horror–followed rapidly by the coviction that GWB would invade Iraq.

Yeah, all my friends said I was nuts. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

I said, “It’s GWfuckingpsychoticB!”. But they didn’t listen.

NB:gaspode(formerly commenting as Marco)


nabalzbbfr said, STABBED IN THE BACK!1933 anyone?


My first reaction to 9\11 was, “My son, who is 4, will be fighting this war in his teens.” Horror, in other words. Bush had just stolen the election, and would bend the government to his will. I was right all along and I’m still horrified.



Ya know, ya gotta respect someone who’s willing to sign in with a handle that owns up to being a gibbering loon. How you pronounce the second half of that without calling up a Prince of Hell, anyway?

On a serious note, it’s amazing how many people walking around loose actually do think saying liberals are all about destroying America is a rational argument. You ask ’em why, and it’s like they’re living in a comic book and trying to explain why Darkseid’s such an ol’ poopy head. “They’re evil and hate good, conservative things, like racism and sexual repression and lack of oversight in business matters and MEIN FURHER I CAN VALK!!!”

These same people call global climate change and evolution “religions”. You know why? Because they’re friggin’ wacky, that’s why.


I see the Fox “news” clip and all that comes to mind is the banality of evil.

PS – I’m pretty much with mikey on the exceptionalism rant. When you live your whole life as a hammer, everybody else just looks like a fucking nail.


Stu Bykofsky wrote
We are deeply divided and division is weakness.

Division is weakness, unity is strength, dissenters are the enemy. Christ, that sort of stuff makes my skin crawl.

I can remember walking across a parking lot one evening about a month after 9/11, and looking up and seeing a gigantic illuminated billboard with the words “One Nation, United” in immense letters standing out against the night sky. Of course, it was meant to be inspiring, but the effect was Orwellian, as if there was an implied threat for anyone who in any way dissented from that unity.

The supposed ‘unity’ after 9/11 was enforced with big heaping helpings of coercion. After a brief period of fairly free expression, a couple of Congressmen who mildly criticised Bush three days after the attacks were ferociously denounced by the right until they abjectly apologized. That set the tone. From then on for about six months, the few souls who dared to publicly question the administration’s actions were immediately systematically hooted down.

That was an evil time. Anyone who wants to bring it back is a sack of shit.

Much earlier in the thread, Hoosier X said
I knew he was a shitstain the day it happened. And I knew the Repugs would see it as an opportunity.

The evening of September 11, Bush – who had finally returned to Washington – held a meeting with adminstration bigwigs and reportedly said in reference to the attacks: “This is a great opportunity.” That quote has always profoundly creeped me out.


Damn. That was longer than I realized. My apologies.


I have to agree with the guy though, another 9/11 would really galvinize the country and remind us of the dangers of terrorism, which would help us prevent another 9/11. Except for of course, that one.

LOL. I like this notion that we need to wake up the “sleeping” country. If no terrorist attacks equals sleeping I think we all prefer to stay asleep.

Why is it that no new attacks is an accomplish, but a new attack would also validate Bush? For the same reason increased fighting and decreased fighting in Iraq both signal imminent success – because they’ll say anything even though it make no fucking sense.


And we’re supposed to be the unhinged ones.

“Oh, no! You said ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ ’cause you hate Christianity and want to see it destroyed!” “The only reason, beyond visceral loathing of the troops, of course, that you don’t support the Glorious Iraq School Painting is because you hate George W. Bush with all your heart and soul because he’s a real American and, thus, not some sissy inte..inert…guy who reads books or something!” “You only say you care about non-straight white males because you really hate them and just love power and want to pile on the only really oppressed group in America, straight white males!” “Homosexuality makes me uncomfortable, therefore, you hate Jesus! And Capitalism! And want gay men to rape my children!”

And then we try to counter that with logic and reason and maybe a little humanity, just trying to prove to the universe that, goddammit, we’re putting these opposable thumbs to good use. You try to keep your shit together and not go for the easy evil, even though someone like Ann Coulter has gone on record twice as saying women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, because, goddammit, people using the easy evil is the whole friggin’ problem. You bend yourself in pretzels trying to point out that, no, as a matter of fact, you don’t actually want all American soliders tortured and maimed and killed and raped and laughed at even though you do have some criticisms of the military. You point out that, no, history or does not say what Joe Wingnut says it said – not just interpretation but a “the South won the Civil War” sort of accuracy thing – or that the president’s job basically allows him to be Ming The Merciless and they tell you, “Hey, we don’t give a shit about reality, faggot.”

After awhile, all you can do is scream “FUCK!” and get called “uncivil” by David Broder.


nabalzbbfr must have gotten tired of trolling Salon.

Damn, someone else beat me to it! Oh well, worth saying twice.


RandomObserver said,Why?beacause Oceania is at war with Eurasia.


That last one was in ref to:RandomObserver said,

August 12, 2007 at 6:02

I have to agree with the guy though, another 9/11 would really galvinize the country and remind us of the dangers of terrorism, which would help us prevent another 9/11. Except for of course, that one.

Big Kahuna Burger

I think the most aggravating and sad moment right after 9/11 was W.’s turn as a farcical Owen Meany. After cheerleading– not playing football, wingnuts, cheerleading– at lah-dee-dah Phillips Andover Bush had developed the highly specialized but largely useless skill that would allow this bumbling, tortuous orator to climb a rubble pile with a bullhorn and play blue-collar tough guy.
To date, Bush’s political life is the only one to be saved by this act.


nabalzbbfr — Ya know, ya gotta respect someone who’s willing to sign in with a handle that owns up to being a gibbering loon. How you pronounce the second half of that without calling up a Prince of Hell, anyway?

Since the LOLcons seem to have attracted it to our party, I assumed it stood for “No Ballz — Be Back (A)fter Recess”…


have to agree with the guy though, another 9/11 would really galvinize the country and remind us of the dangers of terrorism, which would help us prevent another 9/11. Except for of course, that one.

To be 100% clear, since I’m having trouble deciphering the comments of DEMIZE!, what I wrote quoted above was sarcasm.

The only way to prevent terrorist attacks is – to galvanize the country with terrorist attacks! Brilliant.

Also the best way to prevent AIDS is to stab yourself with an AIDS infected needle, and the best way to avoid pain is to drive nails into your eyeballs. (Or cut your cornea like I did the other night – not fun)


Conservative fundraiser for Osama bin Laden:
Sponsoring terrorists attacks on America for a better future.


People, people, you’re missing the big picture here. Allow me to summarize:



Me too!


RandomObserver said,

August 12, 2007 at 6:29

have to agree with the guy though, another 9/11 would really galvinize the country and remind us of the dangers of terrorism, which would help us prevent another 9/11. Except for of course, that one.

To be 100% clear, since I’m having trouble deciphering the comments of DEMIZE!, what I wrote quoted above was sarcasm.Me too,my head hurts.


You know what I remember now, that I thought was creepy at the time?

Was just a little while after 9/11, Bush used a little joke in a speech – I’m sure you all remember it – it was the famous Trifecta Joke. Where he said ruefully he thought the only way he’d raid the Social Security fund was if he had a war, a recession, or a national emergency, an “little did I know I’d hit the Trifecta.”

When I first heard it, oddly enough, I actually thought it was funny in a black humor kind of way, and I almost thought better of him for it, since it was that kind of dark self-depreciating humor I didn’t expect of him.

But then he started trotting the joke out at every speech and whistle-stop and I realized how fucking creepy and insentivie it was, and then, of course, thinking about the true meaning – he’s LUCKY, goddammit, that 3000 people were incincerated on an ordinary day at work – that I realized how fucking callous, how self-serving, how calculating this bunch is. He thought since it was funny the first time, he’d keep doing it for laughs.

Self-absorbed psychopaths really reveal themselves with their tin ears, their inability to understand normal human emotions – look at Romney’s statement, and Giuliani.


knew Bush’s dumb ass couldn’t be trusted not to play right into bin Laden’s hands.

Don’t kid yourself. The administration’s plan to invade Iraq preceded 9/11. The events became the basis of its advertising campaign to launch a war it would otherwise not have been able to sell. Bush&Co. would never have received support for the war (at home or abroad) if he’d told the truth.

He duped the people and when the truth came out, continued to dupe them. And when he couldn’t use the WMD argument anymore, he concocted a new lie, that the war was about bringing democracy to Iraqis. Dumbasses refused to believe their president could be a liar and a conman so they continued to support him until the casualties and the chaos mounted and more ugly truths about the administration came to light. Then Katrina hit and wham, most people began to see their emperor was naked and butt ugly.


Am I the only person in the country who woke up on 9/12/01 still thinking that Bush was a shitstain?

My gut reaction when I saw the news the morning of 9/11 was that Bush had something to do with it. It was fleeting but I thought it just the same. That’s how much of a shitstain he is and was to me – and to many Canadians. Since 2001 he’s demonstrated an astonishing capacity for evil. I believe he’s at least the equal of Osama. Different clothes, same diabolical asshole.


Lesley he was sitting on camera out in front of everyone when it happened. How could possibly have anything to do with it?


Going back to the beginning of 2001, do you guys remember that Bush had succesfully undone about 50 years worth of diplomacy at a stroke (literally within 3 months of being sworn in)? That he pissed off the Chinese, Koreans and Russians in the blink of an eye? I already had a knot in my stomach about him (I had threatened to move to Canada if his father was elected to a second term – knew a guy who worked under him when he headed up the CIA). I just knew we were in deep shit with this knob, even before he was elected, though I thought he was more of a puppet of his dad and his cronies than Cheney and the neocons. And I thought he’d invade Iraq too, using it as an excuse to go and “finish” what GHWB started. When I heard that famous Falwell line two days after 9/11 about who was responsible “…the pagans and the gays and the feminists” I also knew that it would be used as a hammer against Americans (god I hate being right).

So Jillian, you’re not the only one in the country who saw this coming – except I looked for every way I could to get the hell out of Dodge when Chimpy got re-elected in 2004. So, ask me again why I live in Scotland.

What’s that old saying? Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you aren’t being followed…


Owlbear1: He had the intelligence: knew of the threat, knew about the flight school, that possible terrorists were training to be pilots, and that Osama had an attack plan. He knew well enough in advance to prevent it. He sat on that intelligence.

He eventually outsourced the job of catching bin Laden to Afghan warlords so that he could focus his resources on Iraq (where the terrorists weren’t). Six months after pledging he would catch Osama dead or alive, the press asks him: “Where’s Osama bin Laden? Bush replies: “I don’t know where he is. [insert snickering and laughter]. I’ll repeat what I said, I’m truly not concerned about him. I just don’t spend that much time on him.”

Qetesh the Abyssinian

jcricket: luck. Great smoking gobs of it, with icing on top.


Oopss, didn’t mean for that to be taken seriously…


I’d like to see replays of actual newsbroadcasts from that day again. Now that some time has passed. Alot of things were said that day that totally got dropped off anyone’s radar screen by 9/12.

I knew Bush was a moron from day one,having read Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower while the dipshit was governor.

Saw an interesting bit of film yesterday on the internets,it’s called Zeitgeist,The Movie. Couple of hours long,falls into the”conspriacy theory”genre,but it makes some good points.

I don’t know how other countries operate,I’ve never been able to afford alot of travel,but it seems like America won’t allow talk about some big stuff. History,our own genocide on our own soil,9/11 has to be couched in really narrow terms or you’re labelled crazy. Do other countries confront their own history and deal,or is denial a widespread human thing?


I’d like to see replays of actual newsbroadcasts from that day again. Now that some time has passed. Alot of things were said that day that totally got dropped off anyone’s radar screen by 9/12.

One very bizarre piece of 9/11 memorobilia can be found here:

Several discussion groups preserved their threads from September 11; the link above is to the first and largest Free Republic thread. It’s got all the “Kill ’em all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” posts you’ll ever want to read. Some posters genuinely seem to be having nervous breakdowns.


Some posters genuinely seem to be having nervous breakdowns.

There was a lot of paranoid and hysterical acting-out online for awhile after the attack. I don’t dare read that FR thread (but thanks for the link). The sort of thing I remember was some loony on a Yahoo thread saying that 7-11 should be branded a terrorist organization because lots of Ay-rabs work at 7-11s, and their motto is / was “Oh, thank Heaven!” which sounds like the kind of thing a Muslim would say!!!1

Comment threads stayed crazy for quite awhile, first with fear, then with this horrible crowing bloodlust once we started blowing up Afghanistan.

The idea that things need to be more like they were right after the attacks is nuts. That uber-patriotic spasm was really creepy.


celticgirl: Going back to the beginning of 2001, do you guys remember that Bush had succesfully undone about 50 years worth of diplomacy at a stroke (literally within 3 months of being sworn in)?

I remember it well – my belief was that he was trying to restart the Cold War, because that had been such a great source of crony money and public fear, and because he didn’t have enough imagination to come up with some other way of bullying people and spreading the pork around. The WTC attacks saved him the trouble.


I knew in 2000 that electing Bush would be a disaster. In the dark days following the 2000 election debacle, a dear friend told me she had voted for Bush, and as a result she and I had almost dissolved our friendship. She was young, though, and not very politically astute, so I put it behind me, and she put my rather harsh words behind her, and we stayed friends.

In the very dark days following 9/11, when people were pasting the flag on everything they owned and ‘United We Stand’ was everywhere, she said to me, “Don’t you think Bush is handling this well? Do you think Al Gore would have done as good a job at holding the country together?”

I said, “Just what has he done that’s so spectacular? He’s done the standard “rally around the flag” speechmaking. That’s it. What has he done that Al Gore wouldn’t have done? And I’d feel a whole lot better if Gore were in the White House now.” She didn’t really say anything, and we went on as before.

Time went on. I moved to Washington state and moved back. We drifted apart. Recently, we hooked up again. She said, “I was so wrong to vote for Bush. You were right all along.” I really wish it could have been sweet, but it was just sad. I get tired of ranting on like some sort of Cassandra, and being dismissed as a paranoid. I think he’s got a lot of evil left in him. Something majorly awful is going to to happen between now and January 2009.

We’re thinking about getting out. There are a lot of reasons why it would be difficult, financial reasons not the least of them. I’m not sure that my paralegal skills will be of any use outside the US. I had one semester of French and one semester of Spanish, and can sometimes catch the gist by ear but speak neither.. I’d like to move to Vancouver but understand it’s hard to get into Canada. I could move to Ireland and hunt up some distant relatives… I don’t know. I’m losing the will to stay and fight. And believe you me, I think it’s going to come to that. For one thing, I have a 15 year old son, and I can just smell the draft coming.


Project for a New American Century and all that; yes indeed Iraq was in the gun-sight long before 9/11.

Anyone out there read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” yet? I’m about done with the book. Worth reading, and even more so by those who have had the most pointed comments here.

I’m with Jillian on the shitstain analysis, I knew this guy was that and worse before he was “elected”.


I knew in 2000 that electing Bush would be a disaster.

It was obvious that he was an idiot and ignoramus, but I did not imagine the damage he could do. I imagined bureaucratic inertia would prevent Bush from turning Washington into kookytown, but give him his godlike due: he has created government in his own image.


Candy, I hear you, believe me. I love Canada, have great Canadian friends, but the economics of leaving the US are serious. I just hope that this excuse doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass.

So let’s think about this folks, about what Mikey has said about empire and how to change the public attitude. We’ve all read hopeful comments about taking the government back and restoring the good name of the US internationally, but is there really any chance we can do that given that our media, intelligence services and corporations are all in on the global empire bit and won’t be easily dissuaded from that path? The only thing that would put a wrench in their works is a global financial breakdown, which of course they would exploit to gain even more power.

I’m afraid I am to the point where I see few chances for a positive success, and I”m even more glad that I have no children. I met a cool old dude on a hiking train yesterday and had a nice talk with him. As I was walking away and thinking about what a nice old guy he was and what an athletic inspiration he was, the thought entered my head that he was one of the lucky ones, to have had such a good, optimism-inspiring life, but lucky because he’ll die of old age before it gets really ugly here. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have kids now and have any sort of political understanding of how the world now works. Don’t suggest anti-depressants, I’m already there and doing that, and I’m quite functional thankyouverymuch; I’m just too much of a realist to think it gets better from here unfortunately. Mikey is right, this thing is well built and works great, but without the off switch we’re in deep shit.


she said to me, “Don’t you think Bush is handling this well? Do you think Al Gore would have done as good a job at holding the country together?”

My mother said something like this to me. My mother is a lifelong moderate Republican. Voted for Bush. But she’s not a religious person, and she’s pro-choice. So she started to regret her vote. And when we went to war in 2003, that really did it for her. She really thought that was wrong.

But after she told me that, I was talking to her and she said something like, “I’m really glad it was George Bush in office instead of Al Gore when we were attacked.”

I came unglued, I admit it. Why? What on earth could she base that on?
Did she know that during the Clinton admin Gore had been working on anti-terrorism, and would probably NOT have marginalized Richard Clarke, like Bush didn’t? Did she think Gore would have ignored the August 9th briefing?

She didn;t have an answer at all.

I realized it was not about what Gore or Bush ACTUALLY did that made that impression in her mind; it was the false impressions create by the pundits, the campaign, the media.

Maybe it was just the fact that Al Gore decided it was better for the country not to rend it assunder just to install him in power – that made people think he was a loser who would have knuckled under to Al Quaeda. And that is fucking sad.

Bush doesn’t fucking care what he destroys to keep his power.


I admit I didn’t forsee the actual disaster of the war in Iraq, and my primary concern at the time was for the Supreme Court. The idea of Bush appointing people to the SC was terrifying. I also found his whole “compassionate conservatism” thing distinctly frightening. I think I did grasp early on that if Bush said “compassionate” he meant “sadistic”.


In the late summer of 2001 we were remodeling our house. To save money I went and stole the massive deadbolt locks off the steel doors protecting the cockpit area of four jetliners. I also, I am ashamed to relate, took out about half the supporting steel members from the WTC towers to make a frame for my wife’s greenhouse.
I never dreamt these little peculations would have such massive consequences. I promise, I’ll never do it again.
If only I hadn’t been so liberal with other peoples stuff.


JK47: There would have been calls to impeach Gore on 9/12.

Damn straight. And the Republicans would have said that defending Gore was like supporting The Terrorists, and the media would have beaten Gore to a pulp, and all the Democratic strategists would have advised Gore that it would be best for the country if he just resigned, because that way we could all get past the horrible rancorous climate in the nation. So either by Gore’s own sense of self-sacrificing civic duty, or by Republican demagoguery, we’d have ended up with Preznit Lieberman by December 2001.


So either by Gore’s own sense of self-sacrificing civic duty, or by Republican demagoguery, we’d have ended up with Preznit Lieberman by December 2001.

Limbaugh, Coulter, Savage, and Congressional leaders would’ve been howling for their minions to storm the White House and kill Gore. And the only-loyal-to-Republicans Secret Service probably would’ve given them the keys to the building. I figure Lieberman would’ve been in the Oval Office by the end of September.


From the NY Times today:

Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years
DES MOINES, Aug. 11 — Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years.
John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, would keep troops in the region to intervene in an Iraqi genocide and be prepared for military action if violence spills into other countries. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would leave residual forces to fight terrorism and to stabilize the Kurdish region in the north. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would leave a military presence of as-yet unspecified size in Iraq to provide security for American personnel, fight terrorism and train Iraqis.

These positions and those of some rivals suggest that the Democratic bumper-sticker message of a quick end to the conflict — however much it appeals to primary voters — oversimplifies the problems likely to be inherited by the next commander in chief. Antiwar advocates have raised little challenge to such positions by Democrats.

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico stands apart, having suggested that he would even leave some military equipment behind to expedite the troop withdrawal. In a forum at a gathering of bloggers last week, he declared: “I have a one-point plan to get out of Iraq: Get out! Get out!”

On the other side of the spectrum is Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who has proposed setting up separate regions for the three major ethnic and religious groups in Iraq until a stable central government is established before removing most American troops.

Still, many Democrats are increasingly taking the position, in televised debates and in sessions with voters across the country, that ending a war can be as complicated as starting one.

“We’ve got to be prepared to control a civil war if it starts to spill outside the borders of Iraq,” Mr. Edwards, who has run hard against the war, said at a Democratic debate in Chicago this week. “And we have to be prepared for the worst possibility that you never hear anyone talking about, which is the possibility that genocide breaks out and the Shi’a try to systematically eliminate the Sunni. As president of the United States, I would plan and prepare for all those possibilities.”

Most of the Democratic candidates mention the significant military and logistical difficulties in bringing out American troops, which even optimistic experts say would take at least a year. The candidates are not only trying to retain flexibility for themselves in the event they become president, aides said, but are also hoping to tamp down any expectation that the war would abruptly end if they were elected. Most have not proposed specific troop levels or particular rules of engagement for a continued presence in Iraq, saying the conditions more than a year from now remain too uncertain.

(full article)

Bush has left the next governing party in a no-win situation.


Quite correct Lesley, and of course it was designed to be that way no matter who wins. I have some doubts that Bush/Cheney will quietly ride off into the sunset in January, 2009; they’re far too invested in keeping this cluskerfuck going for as long as possible and at as hot a level as possible.

What eventually will probably happen in Iraq is what some anti-war voices were saying before the invasion: 3 way partition. Unless of course the Shi kill off the Sunni, then we have 2 countries instead. However, since our buddies the Saudi’s have made it very clear that if it looks like the Sunnis are going to lose, they will be riding to the rescue with “support” (meaning weapons, cash, intelligence). And our buddies the Turks are not at all pleased at the idea of a Kurdish state, so we can count on them intervening as well if that possibility looks like it might come about. So while partition might look like the best solution to stop the civil war right now, there are regional powers who are not going to let that happen.

Yep, going the war with Iraq was the same as whacking a hornet’s nest while standing on a shaky ladder. But instead of nasty stings, we’ve got blood and death as far into the future as you can see. Nice job, Dubya, gonna put this one on yer resume?


2 things.

First, you can’t impose partition. That’s called ethnic cleansing, and last time I checked we were pretty much against that, as is the UN and most of the civilized world.

Second, even if you could impose a partition (which wouldn’t be, it would be 3 independent nations – no central government), there would still be sectarian warfare. The Shi’a are not going to give the Sunnis anything but the point of a bayonet, not after decades of hatred and killing. Kurdistan, as you mentioned, would be instantly embroiled in a low level conflict with Turkey.

So it’s a crime against humanity that really only exacerbates the problem.

Really, to the “serious” candidates like Hillary, there is no way they’re going to voluntarily withdraw American forces from the oil fields. That’s a strategic gift from bush they aren’t going to want to give up. The problem will arise as America tries to reduce the troop commitment and end the combat role. As soon as American forces aren’t acting as the governments private militia to keep them in power, there will no longer be a reason for the Iraqi government to want them there. Indeed, at that point there will be political hay to be made from demanding the withdrawal of American forces, voiding the Status of Forces agreement, etc.

But the basic point is correct. America will not leave Iraq until she is thrown out bodily. And that will be very ugly…



“Bush has left the next governing party in a no-win situation.”

One wonders how much was rank incompetence, and how much was intentional. What better way to keep Democrats from advancing their agenda? Even if they get the presidency and enhance their Congressional majorities to 61 reliable votes in the Senate, they’ll be too busy cleaning up ALL OF the messes to make a positive difference. (And our media will flip from “ANYTHING BUT MINDLESS SUPPORT OF THE GOV’T. IS TERRORISM” to “ANYTHING BUT MINDLESS SUPPORT FOR IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT IS TERRORISM!!!” faster than you or I can flip a light switch.)


The best (Democratic) candidate will be the one that excels in diplomacy and has a good understanding of the region (as opposed to a wingnut perception of it). Canada (and other countries) would probably agree to send a peacekeeping force but that would have to be worked out through the United Nations.

Afghanistan is another pressing concern. There’s a worthwhile article in the Times today on how Bush fucked up the US effort there.

… President Bush’s critics have long contended that the Iraq war has diminished America’s effort in Afghanistan, which the administration has denied, but an examination of how the policy unfolded within the administration reveals a deep divide over how to proceed in Afghanistan and a series of decisions that at times seemed to relegate it to an afterthought as Iraq unraveled.

Statements from the White House, including from the president, in support of Afghanistan were resolute, but behind them was a halting, sometimes reluctant commitment to solving Afghanistan’s myriad problems, according to dozens of interviews in the United States, at NATO headquarters in Brussels and in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

At critical moments in the fight for Afghanistan, the Bush administration diverted scarce intelligence and reconstruction resources to Iraq, including elite C.I.A. teams and Special Forces units involved in the search for terrorists. As sophisticated Predator drone spy planes rolled off assembly lines in the United States, they were shipped to Iraq, undercutting the search for Taliban and terrorist leaders, according to senior military and intelligence officials.

As defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed credit for toppling the Taliban with light, fast forces. But in a move that foreshadowed America’s trouble in Iraq, he failed to anticipate the need for more forces after the old government was gone, and blocked an early proposal from Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, and Mr. Karzai, the administration’s handpicked president, for a large international force. As the situation deteriorated, Mr. Rumsfeld and other administration officials reversed course and cajoled European allies into sending troops.

When it came to reconstruction, big goals were announced, big projects identified. Yet in the year Mr. Bush promised a “Marshall Plan” for Afghanistan, the country received less assistance per capita than did postconflict Bosnia and Kosovo, or even desperately poor Haiti, according to a RAND Corporation study.

By late last year, when the United States began increasing troop levels in Afghanistan to the current level of 23,500, a senior American military commander in the country said he was surprised to discover that “I could count on the fingers of one or two hands the number of U.S. government agricultural experts” in Afghanistan, where 80 percent of the economy is agricultural. A $300 million project approved by Congress for small businesses in Afghanistan was never financed by the administration.

Underlying many of the decisions, officials say, was a misapprehension about what Americans would find on the ground in Afghanistan. “The perception was that Afghans hated foreigners and that the Iraqis would welcome us,” said James Dobbins, the administration’s former special envoy for Afghanistan. “The reverse turned out to be the case.”

I can’t see the US getting anywhere with Iraq and Afghanistan on its own (post-Bush). The hatred of your country is too great. The US is also going to have to listen to what its allies have to say, maybe take a back seat sometimes. Shut the fuck up, “in other words.”


“in other words” is in quotes because of this daily show sketch mocking Bush constantly saying “in other words”

Bush in his own words.


Have recently moved to Vietnam, and visited the War Remnants museum over the weekend, as well as reading up about the history of the country before I arrived. Although the museum itself is a little biased, it did get me thinking. Having been a little too young to remember what happened here, I was shocked at how all familiar the history seemed, until I realized that is 40 year old versions of some of the bullshit that we hear now about Iraq/Afghanistan.

I know that the conflicts are totally different and that the historical components are also dissimilar. However, there does seem to be blindness to reason and an over-reliance on big, shiny guns and tanks, plus an almost breathtaking misunderstanding of the ‘enemy’ and its motivation. Mikey had it right earlier on, you don’t take on a sniper with a 100 soldiers; you match the threat with a militarily appropriate response. Why the ‘best military in the world’ couldn’t figure this out is a question for the ages.

The other comparison with the two conflicts that resonates is similarities of the CiC’s. Petreus and Westmoreland are commanders at approximately the same time in the conflicts and they both appear to be as irrational (and politically motivated?) as each other.

Main worry for me is that some of the people around the president in the 60’s appear to have been quite capable (McNamara in particular) and still screwed it up. Whereas now, you guys have short bus types like Rumsfield. That, my friends, is scary.


Mcnamara was craaaaaaazy. Did you see The Fog of War?

"Oh Stewardess, I Speak 'Nut"

“Al-Qayeeda is our enemy, and we’ve lost track of that.”

Well, if you mean Bush-Cheney (Worst. President. Ever.) “lost track” of that, then OK, fine. If you mean Faux News lost track of that, indeed yes. If you mean CNN and MSNBC, and CBS, ABC, and NBC, all lost track of that, they sure did; right on. But don’t say I lost track of that. I most assuredly did not.


Mcnamara was craaaaaaazy. Did you see The Fog of War?

Yes, but he doesn’t really strick me as crazy in comparison to some of the nutters hanging around now. At least he showed some contrition, something I can’t see old Cheney or the rest of them ever showing.


First, you can’t impose partition. That’s called ethnic cleansing, and last time I checked we were pretty much against that, as is the UN and most of the civilized world.

What you mean “we”, white man? The Bush Administration would happily contemplate outright genocide if they thought it worked to their political advantage.


But don’t say I lost track of that. I most assuredly did not.

I don’t think he means that. I think he means something much more idiotic.
From his piece:

Americans have turned their backs because the war has dragged on too long and we don’t have the patience for a long slog. We’ve been in Iraq for four years, but to some it seems like a century. In contrast, Britain just pulled its soldiers out of Northern Ireland where they had been, often being shot at, almost 40 years.

Which is basically saying that Saddam attacked us on 9/11, and we needed to attack him to get rid of Al-Queda. He is not only evil, but also very stupid.


Dear Lord, please send us another 9/11. We promise not to screw it up (i.e., lose like last November) this time. Amen.

I think this country needs another 11/7. The sense of national unity and purpose, when we showed the world that Americans aren’t afraid of Dick Cheney or Karl Rove, is sorely needed right now. And for the next 15 months.

"Oh Stewardess, I Speak 'Nut"

“Britain just pulled its soldiers out of Northern Ireland where they had been, often being shot at, almost 40 years.”

Good lord, Krauthammer actually compared the U.S. occupation of Iraq with the British in Northern Ireland? Is it possible he really doesn’t know Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom? (and that the Brits really can’t “leave”?) Of course, these are the same Learned Experts who seemed to be pretending not to be surprised when (a year or so into Operation Iraqi Liberation) they discovered Iraq is not only atop lotsa oil but also the Sunni-Shia fault line.

"Oh Stewardess, I Speak 'Nut"

Sorry, Bykofsky not Krauthammer. Wrong thread!


Hey Mikey, I didn’t say that we were going to be the ones enforcing partition, I’m saying that this (1) is happening now as areas of contention are becoming more ethnically homogeneous as the conflict goes on because individuals see the writing on the wall and are fleeing before being killed, and (2) is what will happen once troops of the US or the UN leave at some undetermined point in the future. I’m not at all saying I support this, but I am saying that I don’t see how it doesn’t happen no matter what military or diplomatic solution is imposed or not. I’m not happy about it, and I opposed this war from the very, very beginning.

I meant it when I said hornet’s nest. Perhaps I should have used the “Iraq as Yugoslavia” analogy; both countries only existed because there was a brutal enough dictator in charge to keep the ethnic tensions under control. What is truly obnoxious about what Bush has done there is that Iraqis were not all that ethnically divided before the US invasion, at least when compared to some other ME countries, and they had a reasonably western society. The chaos of war has brought back the extremism of tribalism, religion, and ethnicity, as humans prove once again that the veneer of civilization is very thin indeed. It is digustingly ironic that were something like what we have visited upon the Iraqis to happen here, we’d also break up along religious and ethnic lines, but especially along political lines as all the wingers finally get to impose that permanent republican majority/thousand year reich they’ve had such a hard-on for lately.

Looks to me like it took one religious power-mad nutjob in charge of our country to make sure we would have the same outcome in leadership in the country we illegally attacked. The Iraqi government will be Shia when the US leaves, and will be deeply connected to Iran, with plenty of religion as the basis for government and law, just like what the repub base wants established here (only Xtian of course). Isn’t it just like Bush to wade in, muck it all up, and end up with the exact opposite result as he wanted? Only this time daddy and friends can’t clean up the mess. Frankly, I’m not sure if anyone can.


Ahh,we should just break his friggin legs,oh wait….


Oh wait are we on Krautscammer or Blowhardsky?


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