God I’m depressed

Atrios digs up a passage from one of Kevin Drum’s lesser moments in which Kevin wagged his finger at war opponents who suggested that the case against Saddam might be all smoke and mirrors. For my money, though, this is the most depressing part of Kevin’s post:

Unlike, say, during the Tonkin Gulf incident, this administration is under intense scrutiny. There’s enormous distrust of what they say, and they know it. They won’t get the free pass that LBJ did.

What’s more, they know that everything they say is easily verifiable once the war starts. No one ever pressed LBJ for proof of what happened in the Tonkin Gulf, but there will be dozens of countries and dozens more NGOs who will be looking very closely at what we find in Iraq after ground forces move in. It will hardly be possible to fake vast numbers of mobile weapons labs, swimming pools of anthrax, ballistic missiles, and the like, and if those things aren’t found in substantial and convincing quantities George Bush will be lucky to escape impeachment, let alone win reelection.

To review history:

  • No weapons of mass destruction were found.
  • Bush got a free pass.
  • He was not impeached.
  • He was reelected.

In a sane country, this would not have happened. Presidents who lead their country into wars based on false pretenses should be held in total contempt by their citizens. In America, that simply didn’t happen until it was too late to vote Bush out of office. Why? What is wrong with us?


Comments: 27

Northern Observer

Too many bad apples in the American basket.
My faith is in the new crop; the old one’s spoilt.


What is wrong with us?

Good question. A happy contented nation of cows, easily herded by our corporate media?


Wha happa?

John Kerry, that’s wha.


Stupid, stupid hippies–why would the President of the United States ever do something that could turn out to be wrong? Don’t you know that leaders who are wrong suffer dire consequences in our society? I mean, we have a fiercely independent, courageous, hyper-intelligent media which never fails to hold elected officials accountable. Furthermore, we have a Republican-controlled Congress–who could possibly be more interested in keeping Bush in line than his own party? History has shown that Congress is always able to check an out-of-control executive. This is a totally failsafe system. You can bet that someone as smart as Bush would never, ever risk ending up on the bad side of the system.


I don’t know what you’re talking about. All I know is that Judith Miller was proved fucking right and what’s important is that the very unserious people (who just happened to have been right about there being no weapons of mass destruction) be kept out of our mainstream discourse. Because otherwise, we would be losing the Terrorists’ War On Us.

Also, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s hard to take you seriously when I know that you said “fuck” once.

Such unseriousity has no place in our very serious discourse. Seriously.


Sure the nation’s credibility has been trashed, there were never any WMDs, thousands of troops and hundreds of thousands of civilians are dead, we’re mired in an endless occupation of a Middle Eastern country, but let’s be clear about one thing: there was no oral sex. The White House has been sodomy free for eight years now, and isn’t that what really counts?


What’s wrong with us?

We hate ourselves and we take it out on everyone else.

The question is, why do we hate ourselves?


The White House has been sodomy free for eight years now, and isn’t that what really counts?

Two words: “Jeff Gannon”

Your Uncle Bastard

Um, didn’t the NSA just come out and admit that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was just another lie…? Or am I misrememberating?

Either way, nice comparison, Kev. *wags finger right back at him*


What’s more, they know that everything they say is easily verifiable once the war starts.

In scams and advertising, he is what is known as a ‘mark’.


two words: Jesus.


Um, didn’t the NSA just come out and admit that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was just another lie…? Or am I misrememberating?

Either way, nice comparison, Kev. *wags finger right back at him*

Right. I think his point is that even though this exact same thing (lying our way into a stupid pointless war) has happened before, it will like so TOTALLY never happen again, because…uh…bad stuff doesn’t happen in America anymore. Or something.


don’t cha remember?!? The republicans isolated dissidents and accused us of treason, then enacted legislation requiring government agents to search our homes and documents. The authorities distributed letters that said that discussing any of the investigations was a federal crime. We were alienated from paying positions as contracts were steered on a political basis.

then it started getting dirty.

After awhile, it was obvious to everyone that the only way to get by was to lay low. Everyone was afraid to complain.

Pretty much the Grand Old Scheme. A reign of terror.

Arky The Blasphemer

Uh. Yeah. Someone needs to learn the difference between real war and movie war. F’rinstance, in real war, when civilians get ‘sploded to shit, they’re dead and they will stay dead, even if: “…those things aren’t found in substantial and convincing quantities.

Another difference, in movie war the Good Guyz roll in, roll up the Bad Guyz and shortly after that the credits roll.

In real war it tends to be messier. Especially when the GGs are sort of invading for no reason only they don’t know it because their leader is 180 degrees from a Good Guy and the people who are being invaded know there’s no reason for the ‘splosions and they get pissed. They shoot back and then the GGs have to shoot back and while they’re shooting at the citizens here come some real bastards to take advantage of the fact that the Bad Guyz’s army can’t watch the borders and now they’re shooting at you and the civilians and you have to shoot back and accidentally catch some guy who sort of liked you and now his relatives are pissed.

Also, Abu Gharib.

So if someone will take a brick or a large rock, write “There are no ‘do-overs’ in war.” on a piece of paper and tie it around the brick or rock and heave it through Mr. Beat Like a Drum’s window, I’d be ever so grateful.

Thank you.


That sounds like pre-9/11 thinking, Mr. Drum.


What is wrong with us? Well, in other countries, the opposition party would condemn and attack the lying son of a bitch for being such and fight he or she tooth and nail until the truth won out and the evil, lying bastards were defeated and humiliated.

Does that much like our good old Democratic Party?


The question is, why do we hate ourselves?

Slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, destroying the Native culture, treating everyone but rich white men like shit (and up until recently, that was the law of the land), continuing rampant sexism, racism, homophobia, religious bigotry, goddamn reality shows, man, take your pick. Plus, I think we’re all realizing, as a culture, what a really bad idea it was to spend the last, say, 40 years pretending that being stupid and uneducated and provincial was somehow a mark of moral purity and real Americanism. Only pansy foreigners like books ‘n’ learning ‘n’ shit.

‘Course, you’ll never hear anyone own up to that publically. We pretend that every ravaged tribe or lynched black man or 80-hour work week in shitty conditions meant God was not only on our side but set the whole shebang up for just us Americans.

Cognitive dissonance, man, no wonder we are, as a country and as a culture, go from zero to fucking looney at the drop of a hat. And we’ll kill anyone who tells us we might not be right.


Matt T., those are the symptoms of the disease. Hatred, like charity, begins at home. As long as there are droves of authoritarian parents rasing their children to be mindlessly obedient and incapable of empathy, there’ll be a lot of hate to pass around.


I remember the stupid French wine dumping and the Freedom Fries and the Freedom toast, and it’s sickening to think of how insane things were.

Short answer is that there was a massive feeling of vulnerability and desire for vengance that collectively fed the media and Republican narratives that shaped the war debate. That had not died down completely by November of 2004.

When you had John Kerry saluting and “reporting for duty” at the Dem convention, it fed into a militaristic mindset that kept the country on a war footing and dulled any desire for scrutiny or accountability.

When Bush dropped the ball with Katrinia, a non-terrorist based catastrophe that anyone with a weather map could prepare for days in advance, the image of the President as protector against all evil acts of God and man was shattered.

Emperor U.S.A. (the naked truth)

And now you know why “Drum” is one of HTML’s most heartfelt curse words. (Though it’s normally pronounced “Drumkleinyglesias!”)


What’s wrong with us? There is no longer any serious accountability for one’s actions. Clinton was impeached because he lied during testimony he should never have been called to give. It was a silly lie, about a personal matter that had nothing to do with his presidential skills. Bush did nothing to stop 9/11 from happening, and has been fear-mongering a terrified populace ever since. If accounts are accurate — and there’s no reason to suspect they’re not — he wanted to go after Iraq straight away, despite Iraq having nothing whatever to do with 9/11. As the Anti-FDR this makes good sense. Had Bush been president during Pearl Harbor, we’d have destroyed Venezuela in short order. Bush needed more than 9/11 to go after Iraq so he made shit up until he got what he wanted — war with Iraq. Things have, of course, been so rosy & excellent since then that re-election was inevitable (Abu Ghraib?? Katrina?? politicizing the DOJ?? dammit — history will VINDICATE HIM! He’d tell you so himself if he could pronounce “vindicate”).

These things have been made possible with the complicit help of a political party that puts its own interests ahead of the nation’s, and a second political party that is merely inept & supine. Perhaps even more culpable is a media that still frames many issues with little actual grasp of fact. Look at Global Warming: apart from Republicans in office & their blindest followers, does anyone else in the world still believe this is not a major major problem & every damn day we waste not confronting it is another nail in the coffin of the only planet we have available to us? There’s no serious debate anywhere else in the world, because the facts speak for themselves. But facts don’t stop these people.

I have never approved of totalitarian measures, but I’d make a certain grasp of fundamental facts a prerequisite before someone can hold a position of power.

And the “history” that Bush so lovingly invokes will look at a people that allowed Clinton to be impeached for a specious non-offense and then watched as his successor committed the grossest breaches of international law and did nothing of substance to stop him, and we will all be judged harshly.


Atrios says “not to pick on Kevin” and then he proceeds to pick on Kevin for being so stupid as to believe the Bush administration. But Kevin Drum came around on the war a long time ago, before it actually started, and I don’t see the point in digging through his archives compared to the vast treasure trove provided by the unrepentant liberal war hawks. Or maybe that just gets old because it’s too easy.

All I’m saying is, you get a little credit for coming around to the light, you know?


All I’m saying is, you get a little credit for coming around to the light, you know?

Let’s ask the war dead what they think.

Oh, wait….


But X,

Look at the quality of thought here. It’s something approaching willfully delusional.

Despite him coming around on the war, Drum still has these schoolmarm moments when he believes we live in a rational world and everyone acts rationally for the greater good. I’m sorely tempted to say that anyone who has EVER had this kind of naive faith in the Bush administration (especially one who didn’t support them) and the broken, corrupt system that propped them up, really shouldn’t be paid to give said opinions, no?


I think we all need to scrupulously ignore Kevin Drum and his crappy blog until he agrees to shampoo Atrios’ crotch.


[…] 9, 2008, 11:28 am Filed under: Bush/Cheney, Iraq From Kevin Drum, February 2003, via Atrios, via Sadly, No!, the most telling, condemning, and indicative blogpost in […]


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