We are the 99%

November 30, 2006

From Ronald Reagan's favorite Newspaper

The Washington Times:
Rival Shi'ite and Sunni groups are massing their militias in expectation of major confrontations, Iraqis say, even as President Bush prepares to meet today with the nation's embattled prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
A little later:
But Iraqis on both sides of their nation's sectarian divide report worrisome signs that the conflict will soon evolve into pitched battles between large armed groups.
Civil War anyone? Even the Washington Times says it's close:
Any emergence of pitched battles between massed groups of Sunnis and Shi'ites would largely settle a long-running argument in Washington over whether the conflict in Iraq should be described as a civil war -- a description the Bush administration has so far rejected.
Hey, wasn't one of the reasons (along with the fraudulent WMD reports and the fraudulent Iraq-al Qaeda connection) for the US invasion of Iraq that toppling Saddam Hussein would bring stability to that nation and the region?

Now even The Gipper's morning paper says that if the Sunnis and Shi'ites go at it, it's Civil War.

And it was all triggered by Dubya's invasion - what a great idea that turned out to be, huh?

Another reason Bush is the Worst. President. Ever.

20 comments:

xranger said...

Ever?

Dubious charge, with no backup.

C'mon, you can do better than that.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

As you might suspect, I probably agree with Dave, although I think the aforesaid Gipper is a strong candidate for the title, just because he -- clearly beset by alzheimer's far before we realized it -- set the stage for a complete meltdown like Bush to follow.

And not to put words in Dave's mouth, but if I were replying to you, I would say, "See above and the front page of every daily newspaper for the last 6 years."

But you're right, we can do better.

Several presidents have had the good fortune to screw up in an number of ways, but I rather doubt that any previous administration accomplished this much:

-- Lied us into an optional war; and thereby
-- Set a precedent for "preemptive" attack on a far-weaker ally who never attacked us;
-- Subsequently bungled the occupation to the point where the U.S. is being chased out of the country by militia of all political and religious stripes, the existence of which we encouraged by failing to plan;
-- Permitted the most violent attack ever by foreigners in the U.S. by ignoring warnings provided by the previous administration and his own intelligence services;
-- Pushed for and got the very first war-time tax cut in the history of the U.S. (and some historians claim the history of civilization). The benefits his tax cut were weighted so heavily in favor of the upper 5% of tax payers as to be effectively non- existent for anyone else; then
-- Opposed an investigation into the attack until pressure from the victims' families forced his hand; then
-- Underfunded the investigation;
-- Drastically cut services for the less fortunate;
-- Launched, then defunded, a new educational paradigm that is leaving more children behind than has been seen since the 1930's;
-- Managed an economy where median wages and average family incomes have dropped over the course of the administration;
-- Tripled the national debt, again;
-- Failed to investigate an $8 billion disappearance of taxpayer funds by the company that is still paying his vice-president.

Yeah, we could do better. So could Warren Harding.

xranger said...

Stop beating around the bush (hee), Rocky, tell me what you REALLY think about GW.

You and I have gone 'round about the lying charges, etc, so I won't belabor the point. Let me try this in a different angle:

I had serious trepidation in '03 about going to war with Iraq. I have a real problem with pre-emptive attacks on another nation state. As a student of history, I thought back to previous occasions when presidents went to war, either truly or seemingly unprovoked.

Throw out the Spanish-American and Vietnam wars and their dubious reasons for attack. I settled upon two events, the first being WWI. Wilson took us into the conflict (still hotly debated by a divided US) when he realized that the US could not prosper (or potentially survive) with a unified, aggressive Europe. The other issue was WWII, when FDR realized Hitler and the Axis must be stopped long before Pearl Harbor. FDR took us to the brink of war, and aided Britain, in an attempt to get us involved.

I felt that Saddam with WMD was de-stabilizing, to the point of world-wide oil blackmail, in the Middle East, and this fit in with my Wilson argument. By stopping Saddam now, we would then avert another Munich agreement ("peace in our time" appeasement.) That pushed me over the edge in support.

When a president does what he feels is absolutely right for the defense of the country, he truly goes it alone in his decision. I supported Bush then, and I'm not going to pull back now. I do not feel he had any hidden agenda, he merely made what he thought was the right decision.

The No-Child education bill was undertaken with Ted Kennedy, when GW still thought he could partner with the Dems for the public good. I imagine the debate could go either way.

Calling GW the worst president ever is just silly and demeans the debate. He showed leadership in the face of tremendous odds, and did what he felt the American people put him there to do.

BTW - you hate Reagan? Now, that hurts.

Whigsboy said...

The problem with your argument, xranger, is that the evidence was absolutely lacking to suggest Saddam had any WMD capacity that could be a destablizing factor within the next decade even. And please don't say all of the other country's agreed that Saddam had WMDs. Our intelligence agencies had evidence to the contrary, but the administration cherry-picked those from Cheney's little shop of intelligence in DOD that supported a case for war. That was the case with the aluminum tubes, with the mobile weapons labs, with the yellowcake from Niger, with the meetings in Prague, with the training of al qaeda operatives. None of it was true. Curveball, one of their primary sources and who nobody but the DoD intelligence folks believed was credible, told them what they wanted to hear. So that line of argument is bogus on its face.

The freakin' inspectors were still on the ground and still had found nothing when we decided to attack. That always gets swept under the rug in this discussion.

Despite all of this, many Democrats in Congress voted for this war, and as I've said before, they have blood on their hands and their is little they can do to make amends, but at least now some are trying.

And if Bush felt that this what was right for the defense of the country, why was it conducted so poorly and on the cheap? If Saddam was such a threat, why go in with such underwhelming force? If, when things started to go wrong after that brilliant "Mission Accomplished" moment, why weren't many more troops brought in to prevent chaos from happening?

Why is it that dubious evidence of Saddam's WMD trumped overwhelming evidence of WMD activity in S. Korea, in Pakistan?

Sadly, all of these questions should have been asked by Congress during hearings these past few years. Hopefully now they will be. Because while we need to move forward, it would be an act of complete disrespect for every soldier who fought in Iraq if we don't get the truth.

Worst president ever? No duh!

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Calling GW the worst president ever is just silly and demeans the debate.

I think not, x. You could make a better argument by demonstrating that another administration had done worse, but you chose not to do that, so I'll just answer the two points that you challenged.

I must admit that I am not a student of WWI, but as I recall (I was middle aged at the time) Americans died on the Lusitania, American shipping was being sunk by German u-boats, Germany was trying to starve an ally, and Congress declared war. None of those things were going on in Iraq. No parallel whatsoever.

My memory was already quite impared by 1941, but wasn't the U.S. attacked by some Asian nation or other? And didn't Germany declare war on the U.S? And I would have sworn that Congress declared war then, too, n'est-ce pas? No parallel there, either.

Saddam had WMDs????? I guess I missed something here. Last I heard, Monkey Man was pratfalling around a podium making fun of the fact that no WMDs were found while he had troops dying in Iraq. Not to mention that the UN had inspectors in there telling us there were no such weapons, practically until the bombs started creating that wonderful "shock and awe" effect that did so much to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis.

In my opinion, No Child Left Behind is an abomination, but that's far from the focus of my complaint, which is that he put the program in place, then gutted it. If he believed in it, he should have gotten his pet Congress to fund it. Instead, it was his administration that insisted on underfunding it. And this was to have been the domestic hallmark of his entire administration, except for attempting to dismantle Social Security. (About which please do not get me started.)

BTW - you hate Reagan? Now, that hurts. Heh, heh, there you go again.

Democrats-Lie said...

"Worst. President. Ever."

Excuse me but that award belongs to Jimmy Carter thank you very much.

Here are Jimmy Carter's list of so called "accomplishments":

* Tolerated the Soviet Arms build-up
* Endorsed Frank Church's gutting of the CIA
* Gave away the Panama Canal
* Iranian Hostage Crisis
* Responsible for the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of the militant, anti-American Iranian dictatorship under the Ayatollah Khomeini
* 1st American ex-president to visit Cuba in 2002
* Invited a Somalian delegation representing warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid to his Carter Center in Georgia
* Pardoned all draft dodgers
* 21% inflation rate
* Has praise for Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, Yaser Arafat (he even ghost-wrote a speech for him) and other anti-American dictators who are atrocious human rights abusers but has criticism for George W. Bush who has liberated millions of people from oppression in Afghanistan & Iraq
* Not to mention, the misery index

:)

Democrats-Lie said...

"Worst. President. Ever."

Wrong again. I believe Jimmy Carter has that award all to himself:

* Tolerated the Soviet Arms build-up
* Endorsed Frank Church's gutting of the CIA
* Gave away the Panama Canal
* Iranian Hostage Crisis
* Responsible for the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of the militant, anti-American Iranian dictatorship under the Ayatollah Khomeini
* 1st American ex-president to visit Cuba in 2002
* Invited a Somalian delegation representing warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid to his Carter Center in Georgia
* Pardoned all draft dodgers
* 21% inflation rate
* Has praise for Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, Yaser Arafat (he even ghost-wrote a speech for him) and other anti-American dictators who are atrocious human rights abusers but has criticism for George W. Bush who has liberated millions of people from oppression in Afghanistan & Iraq
* Misery index

And let's not forget the Agreed Framework with North Korea which got him a Nobel Peace Prize. Yeah, a Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing absolutely nothing.

There's your failure.

Democrats-Lie said...

I apologize for the double comments. Blogger sucks (that's why it's free), being it timed out the first time I submitted my prior comment.

Sorry *shrug*

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Master Lie, I would like to thank you for actually listing some points rather than just ranting.

So you think that, for example, Carter's "giving away the Panama Canal" is a worse offense than killing 3,000 American troops and say 100,000 Iraqis for no good reason?

I'll tell you what, you pick any item from your list and any item from my list, and I'll show you why Bush is worse than Carter.

EdHeath said...

The thing is, you guys are just running down straight partisan lines, with no particular consistent standards.

Under which president did the most Americans die? The sainted Lincoln, I believe. Maybe that’s not fair (because all the presidents before Lincoln didn’t do anything about slavery … and the ones right before Lincoln were elected not to do anything about it), but it is surely true.

Another saint/martyr closed the fictional missile gap and so kicked up the level of the nuclear arms race, and also ratcheted up our involvement in Indochina, leading to the deaths of 58000 Americans. Oh yeah, JFK also cut taxes which led to a substantial economic boom … Not everything he did was the Bay of Pigs (the what of what?).

I actually don’t care much about 2PJ’s editorial hyperbole. In a couple of years we will have the early historical judgment of Bush. If he had kept out of Iraq, if he had limited himself to getting Afghanistan right, if he hadn’t given away the store to the drug companies on Part D, and if he had paid attention to No Child Left Behind instead of being distracted with foreign policy, but with his forth rightness after 9/11, Bush would probably be rated up there with Reagan in popularity. Yeah, I'm not a Reagan fan, but I can see he is a popular ex-pres. But now both Afghanistan and Iraq are in trouble with no good end in sight. Bush is in serious danger of being our seen as the next Jimmy Carter. (And yes, I am something of a Carter fan, though it took a Republican so and so and a tough Fed Chair to break inflation)

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Good morning, Ed.

It would seem to me that complaining about partisan rhetoric on this blog is a lot like going to a titty bar and complaining about all the skin. Most, if not all, of us are just here for the screed.

As you point out, presidential myths triumph over the facts. What we are doing here is making a tiny contribution toward shaping those myths.

I'm afraid I don't get the point you're making in the paragraph of "if he had's." If shit was pink and smelled like verbena and lemon, it would be hand lotion. But it's not and he did/didn't do those things. If he hadn't/had, he would have been Ronald Reagan with a drug habit instead of alzheimer's.

In danger of becoming Jimmy Carter???!!! In his pleasantest opium dream, George Bush imagines he is half of one hair on Jimmy Carter's ass.

Democrats-Lie said...

Schmuck:

When will you get it? Seriously.

Dude, Carter was a complete FAILURE.

Bush believes in what he is doing is right for the safety of this country and those countries around the world.

It's called the War On Terror. Perhaps you heard of it? Perhaps you remember 9/11? Perhaps you remember Bush saying back when this all started that it was going to be a LONG war.

Ta hell with the War On Terror. Those people don't want to kill us because we're not Islam. We're not infidels. They don't believe that it's their religious duty to kill us.

Nope, we're safe. In fact, the recent Imams incident was not anything to worry about, although top airline officials stated that the Imams didn't stay in their assigned seats and rather sat in a pattern quite familiar on 9/11.

By the way, what were the seat belt extenders for, even though none of the Imams were overweight? And why did the Imams put them on the floor? Why wouldn't the Imams sit in their assigned seats?

Could you get away with not sitting in your assigned seat on an airliner these days?

Nah, there is no War on Terror. Nope. The Imams were just playing around. Yeah, they were playing alright. Playing it up in order to:

(1) Test the system to see what they could get away with

or

(2) Set up someone for a lawsuit because they knew they'd get support from liberal groups such as the ACLU, etc.

You can bet your bottom dollar on one of those two, palsy.

Nah, there's no War on Terror. In fact, it's illegitimate. The threat which was stopped in regard to terrorists blowing up airliners over the Atlantic. That's no war on terror, either.

GWB is the worst. President. Ever.

All the while Clinton. Blowjob. Lied under oath. Impeached. Had eight years to prevent the events which lead to 9/11.

Talk about the worst. President. Ever.

heheh

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Ahh, Master Lie. Carter indeed had an unsuccessful presidency. One could argue about whether it was of his own making or not, but it was certainly less than stellar. An unkind person might call it a disaster.

But by comparison, if Carter's presidency was the Hope Diamond, Bush's has been a drop of pus dripping ever so slowly from the eye of a syphilitic dog.

EdHeath said...

'afternoon, John.

I guess I'm the guy at this titty bar trying to strike up a conversation about women's rights. Well, that may be stretching the metaphor and aggrandizing my contribution at the same time.

The "if he had's" are my way of saying that while I dislike Bush as a person, I want to express parameters by which I am measuring him as a presdient. Parameters that might be debated in (somewhat)objective terms. I may personally think that Bush is a moral idiot and Carter is a moral intelligent person, but I want to find other parameters to measure their (possibly) similarly failed presdiency's. Such as goals they had (have) and whether they accomplished them.

You know, I real interesting question is whether a "reasonable" man would have thought there WMD's in Iraq or not. Glib dismissals of the UN weapons inspectors and ignoring the years of trade sanctions, for example, are cop-outs, to me.

For those reasons I didn't think Iraq had WMD's and so far there has not been strong evidence, IMO, that the President should have.

I understand he did, and I understand standing by that.

But should he have thought there were WMD's?

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Ed, I know you're a moderate guy and I respect your moderation. (Could somebody please help me find something to respect about Master Lie? I want to. I really do.) I don't think you aggrandize your position at all. What you do is act as a damper on those of us who tend to, shall we say, get a bit too vociferous in, shall we say, presenting our case. That's a good thing. Please don't go away.

But it's still fun to screw with your head (:^)}.

Seriously, I don't see any justification for a reasonable person to think that Bush believed what he was saying. If you remember the countdown to the invasion, he kept saying that he had not decided to invade. In fact, he kept repeating that the invasion wouldn't happen if Saddam "disarmed," which meant give up the WMDs. Cheney said, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Rumsfeld said, "We know where they are." They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." Ari Fleischer said, "We know "for a fact" that there are weapons there."

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Ed, I know you're a moderate guy and I respect your moderation. (Could somebody please help me find something to respect about Master Lie? I want to. I really do.) I don't think you aggrandize your position at all. What you do is act as a damper on those of us who tend to, shall we say, get a bit too vociferous in, shall we say, presenting our case. That's a good thing. Please don't go away. We want to turn you into a screaming liberal partisan, too(:^)}.

Seriously, I don't see any justification for a reasonable person to think that Bush believed what he was saying. If you remember the countdown to the invasion, he kept saying that he had not decided to invade. In fact, he kept repeating that the invasion wouldn't happen if Saddam "disarmed," which meant give up the WMDs. Cheney said, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Rumsfeld said, We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." Ari Fleischer said, "We know for a fact that there are weapons there."

Are we agreed that the word "certain" means something? Especially when another official follows it with "know for a fact?" And if we know where they are, that's even more certain, isn't it?

Add to this the fact that Bush's first Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill, told us that Saddam was "Topic A" 10 days after the inauguration.

Reasonability had nothing to do with it. Reason had nothing to do with it. Even bumbling had nothing to do with it before the invasion. Politics had everything to do with it. He was just lying.

Democrats-Lie said...

Ahhh, Mr. Schmuck, or should I say Mister-I-Cannot-Read:

Did you not comprehend a single word I said regarding the war on terror and what the Imams did? Or how the terrorist threat regarding jetliners over the Atlantic?

Of course not.

To you, National Security matters not. Only your political party gaining their power back.

Well, let's just see what your beloved liberals do with that power.

I've foreseen them failing miserably. Why? Because they are not even in power as of yet, and yet look at Nancy Pelosi's latest bumblings.

If they cannot even make decisions amongst themselves, then how in God's name are they going to make decisions regarding this country?

It's going to be a fun, entertaining next two years.

Oh yeah, how are those EMO glasses fitting? Still too tight, eh?

Sorry, man.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

My political party, Master Lie? Which party would that be, pray tell?

You know, I had to look up emo glasses, and they do look like my glasses! Are you psychic as well as prescient, Master Lie?

Democrats-Lie said...

Schmuck:

The party of Karl Marx, my friend. In other words, Communist.

I am sure your copy of the Communist Manifesto sits proudly atop your coffee table.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Of course it does. Would you hide your copy of Mein Kampf?