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« Ruminations – 19mar2011 | Main | Ruminations – 22mar2011 (updated) »

20 March 2011


Greg Goodknight

There are some Congresscritters on the left talking about impeachment; apparently the Pres consulted the UN, the French, the Brits and the Arab League but forgot all about the Congress.

George Rebane

On Fox News with Chris Wallace today Sen Jack Reed (D-RI) was asked about this omission. He tried to put a good face on it and failed miserably. There are a lot of funny things going on in Washington under this community organizer and his intimate band socialists.

Bob Hobert

Q. Why would a wannabe dictator consult Congress?
A. Doing so just slipped his mind, as he has only contempt for our constitutional government.

D. King

Wow, I'm starting to feel sorry for the hard left in this county. They’ve been ridden more times than the Tea Cups at Disneyland. No, were not leading in Libya, were not trying to take out Gadhafi (that’s illegal). Yeah, it’s the French / Brits, doing all the illegal things, not us…really. I suppose you reap what you sow.

Russ Steele

War by committee is not an effective strategy, especially when one of the committee is the French. I am reminded to the phase "If you break it you own it." The French do not have the staying power or the balls to stay committed and the Brits are broker than we are. So, who is paying for this mess? Who is going to pay for the rebuilding? Who will lead the rebuilding? We have been snookered into doing the French's dirty work, and we are going to end up paying the price. America's incompetence is on display for everyone to see.

Russ Steele

Heritage Morning Bell this morning: Spectator-in-Chief

The U.S. needs proactive long-term strategies that look ahead of events rather than trail them. Unfortunately we are getting the exact opposite from our Commander in Chief. President Obama is putting the U.S. military to work at the behest of the world rather than leading the world. Brit Hume accurately described this yesterday: "This is not leadership, this is followership." In two major areas now the President has voted "present" in the last two weeks: on the budget, where he is AWOL, and on Libya, where he has purposely chosen to follow even as our troops do the heavy lifting.

George Rebane

One could, I suppose, think that Libyan reconstruction will be paid for by Libyan oil whose revenues will stay in the country under a new government. But that kind of thinking is just a laugh line on the Daily Show.

John Galt

Even Democrats are realizing that electing Obama was a big mistake. Whether we should or shouldn't be involved in Libya's strife is a separate matter from whether or not BO should have consulted Congress before engaging our military.

He should be reprimanded for not consulting congress on this action.

D. King

Look, this can't work! The fatal mistake is the assumption that once hostilities are over, a benevolent democracy will spontaneously combust into existence. Ha…no way, not going to happen! The U.N. is now filled with left leaning bureaucrats whose only demonstrated ability is to create policies that fund the U.N. You can’t run the world from a remote location.

This will end badly!

Mikey McD

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Barack Obama, 2007 - Special reports - News: see #2

Mikey McD

My prayer is that the Libyan people don't hate me for the unjust actions of 'my president' (Obama the Nobel Peace Prize Winner)...

* Were we attacked? No.
* Is it our business? No.
* Does it affect us? No.
* Can we afford it? No.
* Did Congress declare war? No.

I hope the anti-war crowd does not lay hypocritically fallow.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the exclusive power to declare war.

Dixon Cruickshank

Did it occur to you thats why he waited and is following maybe, then he can say we were just helping our friends out - just a police action kinda

Mikey McD

98% of the ordnance (122 of 124 missiles) were courtesy of the red,white, blue.. just helping out friends!?! Imagine the field day our media would be having with Bush; Hypocrites!

Dear Lame Stream Media, unprovoked, unconstitutional war is either good or evil; which is it?

bonus question... what exactly does Obama get the peace award for; continuing Bush's wars or for starting additional war(s)?

John Galt

We all better read that link Mikey posted before Obama has his Q & A with the Boston Globe removed and stored next to his birth certificate.

(Thanks Mikey; looks like you're well equipped to defeat Obama in 2012. )

George Rebane

Thank you MikeyM and JohnG, to circumvent such tampering with the record, I have made that interview available as a download in the 21mar11 update to this post.

Russ Steele

Oh, my how different things look when Obama is at the other end of the big stick. The next Republican Candidate should use this bit of history whack Candidate Obama for his lack of foresight and integrity. This little bit of history is most likely what caused the huge delay, after declaring the Libyan leader must go, as Obama's political minions had to find a way for him to blame French and the Brits. I predict we will soon be hearing Obama declare: "The French and Brits made me do it" Or, some similar foolishness nonsense.

Dixon Cruickshank

I'm still not sure what the objective really is - apparently not to take him out - but he has to step down, I may be a retarded redneck screaming rock ape but I still don't know what the end game is. Another situation where you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys and Gadifi is supposed to go where and how?

John Galt

Thanks George.

bill tozer

I think Obama played it right.. Radioactive Japan, Tomahawk missiles fired on Libya. Sounds like the perfect time to visit Rio.

Dixon Cruickshank

Defiant Qaddafi Boosts Rebel Assault

what could go wrong

the liberial democrats always think they can make anything better, from mother nature to human nature - always ends in = epic fail

John Galt

A true leader would want to be on hand to make a difference. It's as if Obama can't handle the stress and needs a distraction.

Paul Emery

Perhaps he should adopt the Bush strategy used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Get in and stay indefinitely, spend billions of dollars ant thousands of American lives. Now that's a plan to be admired.

Paul Emery

Let's hear it for the Flipper. Now this is the type of Conservative leadership we need.

This was Newt March 11th on Fox News

"Gingrich, speaking with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren last night, said that the U.S. should "exercise a no fly zone this evening" and that the U.S. should proceed unilaterally. On forming a coalition with other nations, he said, "The United States doesn't need anybody's permission. We don't need to have NATO, who frankly, won't bring much to the fight. We don't need to have the United Nations."

This was Newt yesterday on Politico

Newt Gingrich blasted the decision to attack Libya Sunday afternoon as “opportunistic amateurism without planning or professionalism.”

“It is impossible to make sense of the standard for intervention in Libya except opportunism and news media publicity,” Gingrich said in a statement to POLITICO, his first public comments since President Barack Obama gave the go-ahead order on Saturday.

Read more:

Todd Juvinall


Dixon Cruickshank

2 things Paul, yes it is kinda the same as Iraq and Af, we haven't found any end and don't even know what anybody wants it to be?? I posted I can't figure it out, and reading the world news nobody can figure out what we are trying accomplish - so what is the exit strategy when you don't know when you have accomplished the objective - which is unknown.

Newt is saying if the US acted alone at least we would maybe have control and would have some strategy - although I don't think we should have done anything in the first place. We already have done enough damage in Egypt - leave well enough alone after that fiasco, doesn't anybody in DC have some duct tape.

Obama is foriegn policy nightmare, paul you want to throw rocks at Bush - just wait, this will be a good dose of liberial meets reallity coming up - it ain't that easy.

Definition: Duct Tape, has a light side and a dark side and holds the universe together - just say'in
alternate use: keeping President from saying or doing any more dumb stuff

Paul Emery

Ah yes.....Sara Palin Now there's a foreign policy expert. This non finisher for a single term of Governor in a small state who's entire experience in foreign affairs consists of negotiating crabbing territories with the Russians is just what we need in this complex world. Now the Huckster is a pretty good Bass player and that might win my vote. I know the value of someone who can hold down the bottom line in a band. You can't distract a good bass player.

Todd Juvinall

As compared to your community organizer/activist with no executive experience (two years in the Senate) and a lifelong Senator who never had a job. Yep, you got us man, your people are truly qualified. Not!

Sarah H

I will join the "shocked" crowd that Emery is pro-war when a dem is in office.

Paul Emery

My jury is out on this matter. I welcome speculation on the extent of human suffering and death that may have occurred without Gaddafi being restrained so if the purpose of this intervention is to protect innocent people from slaughtered perhaps it's justified. However, we did nothing to help the people of Rwanda, for example, because there was nothing of value in that region that was in our national interestt so we observed a controlled burn to occur that cost thousands of lives.

I serious question our true motives in this matter. If stopping human suffering was our main interest in using our military than we don't have a very good record.

The way the US (yes under Obama) and Britain sat back and allowed the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi a couple of years ago for "humanitarian reasons " (he reportedly had cancer) shows that there are powerful players in the mix and it's all about oil contracts in play with Gaddafi's regime . Perhaps the greater good is served by intervening but I l question the motive.

One final thought. How would the Repubs have positioned if we did nothing and it led to the slaughter of thousands ? My guess is that we'll have an early out on this one and we won't have 60,000 troops on the ground eight years after declaring "mission accomplished,"

Michael Anderson

This will go quick.

It is only about Libya oil. If you think otherwise, you are delusional. K Street and Wall Street are on board. Everyone's blog ramblings here were completely disregarded before you even thought about typing. You have nothing to say. Go back to sleep.

Todd Juvinall

I wonder how you liberals would deal with a Libya that was say, a major source of the world's food? You bet oil plays a part in many decisions because it makes the world work. Why wouldn't it? Rwanda was a fiasco because Clinton was indecisive. He learned his lesson though and intervened in the Balkans to help prevent genocide and we had no strategic reason there. I have always given him kudo's for that. You liberals seem to be simply complainers and you never even have an answer to our place in the world as the most powerful country left standing. We on the right believe that being the biggest means more responsibility and sometimes we need to be the adult country in a sea of children. so, go back to sleep and dream of unicorns. Let the adults alone and stop whining.

Paul Emery

Why do you make everything into a Liberal-Conservative perspective? This issue is much more complex than that. I am confused in this issue about what the right thing to do is. Certainly looking at recent history and the decisions made in Iraq and Afghanistan are important considerations. The world is changing rapidly and the torrent of rebellion in this region is resulting in quick decisions that may not have every detail right. The question of the greater good is always in my mind but the true motives of the powers that be are always intruding in my decision.

Todd Juvinall

I do not disagree with your last comment here. I just read the comments you have made previously here and have derived my responses to them. The world is a fast changing place in some areas and is mired in the past in others. How fast should we respond when genocide starts Paul? How is it you have an issue with oil and it's place in the viability of the planets advances? I am surprised you did not answer my view of how would you react and what would you do if the food supply was at risk from tyranny.

D. King

I can't get my head around this one.
Oil?...yes. Freedom / Democracy?...I don't think so.
The whole Lockerbie / BP oil connection makes more sense.
The belief that you can devastate an army, but don’t have to put boots on the ground only leads to a power vacuum and chaos. That is the mistake we made in Iraq… and bad intel. I don’t see this ending well. Todd’s point about the Balkans is correct. We didn’t wait, we put civilian cops in to keep order and train locals.

George Rebane

I confess that my interest in the Libyan intervention peaks with the notions of 1) America acting in its (national) self-interest, and 2) President Obama's circumvention of Congress and the Constitution. In the latter case I invite perusing the points brought up by Douglas Feith here -

D. King

I think it’s more likely number 2 George.
Just like the Law of the Sea Treaty and NOAA's fishing regulations.

D. King

Law of the Sea Treaty

From: March 15, 2004

“The Law of the Sea Treaty originated in the 1970s as part of the United Nations' redistributionist agenda known as the "New International Economic Order."”

“…the Law of the Sea Treaty was designed to transfer wealth and technology from the industrialized states to the Third World.”

So George, Patents, Oil, food…ect.

As to B.P. and Libya

D. King

"BP admits 'lobbying UK over Libya prisoner transfer scheme but not Lockerbie bomber'"

"Separately, the European Union's top energy official said he would look to impose a ban on new deepwater oil and gas drilling in Europe."

Your take?

Paul Emery


You cited Douglas Feith as a source of direction in understanding this issue. I'm sure you are aware of his role in the campaign of lies that led to the infamous WMD justification for the war in Iraq. I can provide you with lots of information about him if you like. He was part of the original group of Neocons (The Project for the New American Century) that so famously wished for a "fortuitous event such as Pearl Harbor" to justify our involvement in Iraq.
Remember the Office of Special Plans under the Bush Administration?
Are you sure you want trumpet this guy?

George Rebane

Expose away Paul. I cited Feith as an author of an article that raised issues that stand on their own feet. The usual tack of going after someone as a persona that bears little on what is now being said is a staid approach which I have addressed just recently in these comment threads.

Paul Emery

Fair enough George. I admit going after the messenger but I have little interest in the opinion of one of the architects of the war in Iraq which will go down in history as one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in American history. Feith and his ilk had no respect whatsoever for American law. You have to give some consideration for the source of opinion to expect it to have any credibility. Would you seriously consider an argument for example for national health care that came from Ralph Nader without being affected by your opinion of the credibility and intent of the writer?

George Rebane

Paul, I consider Mao to be one of the most evil people ever to have lived, especially for the total callousness with which he killed (estimates vary) over 100 million of his own people during peace time in a political make-over of China. But were he to write a serious treatise on warfare using indigenous irregular forces, I would still pay attention.

Feith cited chapter and verse instead of "opinions", even if were the evil purveyor of WMD rumors that got us into Gulf2, his treatment of Obama's entry into Libya is worth consideration on the merits of his points alone. BTW, they are now being picked up by everyone of every stripe.

Paul Emery

Wee defended George. I'll have more later.

Dixon Cruickshank

Dear Mr Emery:

I will stand corrected after reading about the statements of Newt, you were correct he did flip flop. Frankly he lost me when he pandered to the Ethanol Industry in Iowa months ago, just for the record.
It is the worest governement policy in the entire world bar none, 30% of our corn crop goes to make an inefficent fuel nobody wants - and we pay big subsides - worse than the solar fiasco's in europe.

I can understand everyone's bewilderment with the Libya issue, and I also agree with the fact that it is not a Lib/Con issue always.

This has been a good thread and discussion - especially between Paul and Todd, as I said eariler I have no clue what the purpose or the end game is and apparently I'm not alone.

Paul Emery

Thanks Dixon for appreciating the difficulty of he situation

As much as I oppose the squandering of our military in settling regional scraps I believe the greater good may be accomplished in this matter by preventing what appeared to be the slaughter of thousands who no longer had the ability to defend themselves. Time will tell if the action will help in improving the long term situation of the people. In this case it does coincide with strategic American interests which allows it to happen but it still might be for the better.

As a teenager I recall the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and couldn't understand why they received no help from the so called freedom loving West.

George Rebane

Paul, serious people - commentators and political analysts - spreading a lot of ink attempting to discover how our Libyan in involvement "does coincide with strategic American interests". They admit failure in their efforts, and most are asking President Obama to set the matter straight in a talk from the Oval Office. Can you outline how our strategic interests are being served here?

Re the 1956 Hungarian revolution - do you still have a question about the reason for our providing no material help to the freedom fighters?

Mikey McD

We should not be/never should have been involved in Libya. Will they [Libya] run to our aid when we get fed up with the BS in Washington and start marching?
Support the red cross and drop water, blankets and food; not bombs.

The 'anti-war' crowd are hypocrites (its ok for the socialist nobel prize winner to wage an unconstitutional war but not for a repub).

Imagine the difference we could have made to spend the Iraq war budget on 'anti-oil' energy technologies.

Paul Emery


I can justify this on humanitarian principles that it serves the greater good to intervene to prevent the slaughter of perhaps thousands because I don't believe Qaddafi would have any restraint once his army is unleashed. To reverse the question then do you think we should sit back and do nothing and allow Qaddafi free range to kill thousands of people trying to free themselves from a brutal dictator?

I did support our initial invasion of Afghanistan to destroy the base camps of the perpetrators of 9/11 but not the indefinite occupation. Our invasion of Iraq was based on lies and deception.

My support of the Hungarian Revolution was based on the youthful idealism of America coming to the rescue of freedom loving people in the world. That idealism led to me being a Barry Goldwater supporter and ended with the Viet Nam war.

From a summary by Stephen Hurst

"The military intervention begs many questions and illustrates once again the stark inconsistences in an American foreign policy that tries to balance democratic ideals against pragmatic national interests. The U.S. 5th Fleet base in Bahrain allows the United States to project military power in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. "

Why else would it be there? We coddled Qaddafi for years because he controls the oil mainly distributed by BP. We went so far as to sit by and allow the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi without a wimper. You really need to look into that. I speculate that we lost confidence in our ability to control him and decided to support those against him to hedge our bet. That qualifies as a vital national interest that would justify intervention for humanitarian reasons. As I stated before, if this same situation were presented in a country with no essential resources we would have remained spectators.

You better believe the anti Obama crown would have taken the opposite view if he would have done nothing and allowed the slaughter without intervention. My support is very qualified based on an early exit. As I stated before, we'll see if eight years later we have 50.000 ground troops in Libya like we do in Iraq.

Mikey , I see recognize the constitutional questions concerning the Iraq war. Did you speak out against it at the time and join in the efforts to bring our troops home ?

Paul Emery

One other note:

In issues such as this it serves us to disregard the constraints of Liberal-Conservative, Republican-Democrat dogma and express personal views. It makes for a much more detailed and interesting conversation.

Mikey McD

Paul, when have you known me to keep my opinion to myself :)? Yes, I have (and continue) to speak out against the Iraq/Libya wars.

George Rebane

Paul, I see us intervening in the affairs of other nations only to the extent that it supports our national interests. And we all agree that this leads to a lot of latitude of interpretation. We have given this appearance, to various levels of competence, over the last century. If a case can be made that we would/should also intervene on altruistic humanitarian grounds, then that and/or its variations should be voiced by every occupant of the White House in sufficient detail, clarity, and strength to invite labels such as Bush Doctrine and Obama Doctrine.

But such interventions, given their other prerequisites, only make sense as long as we continue to possess the “essential resources” to achieve a clearly stated objective. What I have seen Obama do over his tenure is to move us toward relinquishing such resources as they are needed militarily, in economic strength, national unity, and diplomatic credibility. In my 25mar11 post I update my assessment of why this is happening.

Overall though, I think we are both in agreement here, with the possible exception that doctrine-independent altruistic motivations for military intervention should not be in our modus operandi.

Paul Emery

So George specifically in your opinion, should we have intervened as we did in Libya last week. (past tense because we did)

D. King

Paul Said:

“I speculate that we lost confidence in our ability to control him and decided to support those against him to hedge our bet.”

Agreed, and I speculate the Abdelbaset al-Megrahi affaire was used as leverage and a bludgeoning tool by Gadhafi to renegotiate terms of the B.P. oil deal. OOPS!

I also think belief in a spontaneous outbreak of democracy in the Middle East is naive.

Paul Emery

Yes indeed. Our misadventure in Iraq is testimony to the level of commitment it takes to attempt to install a Western style Democracy in the region. The possible nightmare scenario in the region is that there is an inspired freedom movement that topples stable dictatorships that are replaced by more radical Islamic theocracy's. These regions have no tradition of Democracy.

Let me quote President Bush from 2005 on the question of Democracy in the Middle East

"The advance of hope in the Middle East requires new thinking in the region," the president said. "By now it should be clear that authoritarian rule is not the wave of the future. It is the last gasp of a discredited past."

Mr. Bush said the entire world has "an urgent interest in the progress and hope and freedom in the broader Middle East."

"Our duty is now clear," he said. "For the sake of our long-term security, all free nations must stand with the forces of democracy and justice that have begun to transform the Middle East."

That statement seems to imply that Democracy in the region is a vital interest and with that statement in mind it seems that we are extending the invitation to overthrow dictators and that we will help in the effort. Again when the President of the United States says "all free nations must stand......" how can that be interpreted otherwise. We must sleep in the bed we made in this situation,

Thanks for the dialogue everyone. This is a very important topic and is one that will reoccur over and over.

George Rebane

To begin, I hold with DaveK about such a "spontaneous outbreak". And to that we now add that our administration and lamestream media's understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (and elsewhere) was beyond naive, and had to serve some other agenda. I stood with the much derided Glenn Beck on that early call.

In such case the answer to, "should we have intervened as we did", is a firm NO. Were there other intervention modes we could have exercised? Probably YES, but now we're going to part company. Because all of my justifications involve making very clear what they have always believed of us, we want a secure, stable, and low cost source of oil for our civilization.

Cutting a slice of realpolitik for them, we have to state that all of your human needs are subservient to that objective, and any faction that makes such reliable oil supplies available will receive our aid. We will not sacrifice our energy needs for your humanitarian needs. The codicil would always be our preference that such factions have the same socio-economic values that we in the west do, but that is not a pre-requisite.

Paul Emery

So then George would you disagree with President Bush that fighting for Democracy in Iraq is a worthwhile venture. After there were no WMD's discovered he changed his rationale for our invasion and occupation of Iraq from ousting Saddam for our self defense to spearheading a movement towards Democracy in the region,

"By helping Iraqis to build a democracy, we will gain an ally in the war on terror. By helping Iraqis build a democracy, we will inspire reformers across the Middle East. And by helping Iraqis build a democracy, we will bring hope to a troubled region, and this will make the American people more secure."

Did you support the invasion of Iraq? If so how are the circumstances different in Libya. Also, do you believe that the people of Egypt would have been better served by the continuation of the Mubarak dictatorship?

I mean Gadhafi was an outright terrorist and greeted convicted bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi with a national holiday and a party in the streets. By your estimation then should we base our foreign policy first on the economic value to our country without regard to the freedom of the people?

D. King

No boots on the ground?
Why Paul?

Paul Emery

D King

That's a really good question and one that I cannot justify if the assistance of the freedom movement is a top priority. We may be in too deep already and some sort of international occupation similar to Bosnia may be in order. Once this guy is toppled (and he will go) his mercenaries and professional army will disappear and something will fill the void. At that point we need to get out of the way or we'll be stuck in another Iraq. there are those who believe this is part of a strategy to build permanent bases in the area and I think it's possible they may be right. My support for this action is very marginal and I may be wrong.

D. King

Well, I expect to hear in the next few weeks how wonderful the war is going from the MSM. (Zoltar predicts!)

Paul Emery

I think it is in everyone's best interest that the US intervention is helpful in ousting Gadhafi and that it is not expanded into an occupation such as in Iraq of Afghanistan.

D. King


I do not agree with this completely; however it is as good an analysis as I have read.

"We should not kid ourselves. In foreign policy, all moral questions are really questions of power. We intervened twice in the Balkans in the 1990s only because Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic had no nuclear weapons and could not retaliate against us, unlike the Russians, whose destruction of Chechnya prompted no thought of intervention on our part (nor did ethnic cleansing elsewhere in the Caucasus, because it was in Russia's sphere of influence). At present, helping the embattled Libyan rebels does not affect our interests, so we stand up for human rights there. But helping Bahrain's embattled Shia, or Yemen's antiregime protesters, would undermine key allies, so we do nothing as demonstrators are killed in the streets."


Paul Emery

That pretty much sums it up. That's why I cannot support a policy that encourages rebellion and allow thousands to die in the streets as we did in Iraq in Gulf War I. As I said earlier, when I was a young teen I was deeply affected by what I perceived as the failure of America to stand up for freedom in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. I was so young and naive that I later supported Barry Goldwater All that changed with the war in Vietnam when the true nature of the beast was revealed.

We are now in the position of deciding whether to support freedom movements that we encouraged. To a certain degree we need to accept responsibility for our implied support. Basically, we are imperialistic and act only in our own self interest which, according to George R, is the way we should be. His thinking is consistent but let's not pretend to be the beacon of freedom for aspiring democracies without a commitment to follow through with support when they rise up and revolt.

George Rebane

Paul, you almost understood what I said, but not quite. Without the overtones - we have been and continue to be a beacon of freedom, but our wise interventions in other nations have always been in our national interest first, and then collaterally to help those who are or want to be most like us. We screw up every time we have not applied that.

And I know of no American policy that requires us to be a "beacon of freedom" for anyone. We are what we are because that is our way. It is the goddam foreigners (like my family and me) who assign that label to America, and then do their damnest to get here. That in itself does not obligate us to put our nose into anyone else's affairs. And that, my friend, is a right/left differentiation. It is invariably the left that always wants to make the world 'safe for democracty'.

For that reason I would like to think that Bush2's better nature had a secure supply of world's oil in mind, instead of Iraqi freedom when he went after Saddam.

Your support of Lyndon Johnson was misguided, that sleazebag got us ass deep into Vietnam on a pretense (the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack') the cover of which was almost immediately blown. But the lamestream never, even to this day, have called him on it. It's much better to harp on Nixon who got us out, and Bush2 against whom there is no shred of evidence that he or the international community fabricated WMD evidence. Saddam's WMD sin was a mis-intelligence of opportunity.

But in sum Paul, I agree that resolving the purposeive nature of our intervention in foreign lands is a worthy goal, and I appreciate your bringing up the altruistic perspective on it.

Paul Emery

I never said I supported LBJ. I voted for Barry in that one. After it was revealed that the war was based on a lie I did all I could to oppose the war and supported McCarthy in 68.
I'd gladly challenge you that there was no evidence of fabricated WMD info. George,, it was the Bay on Tonkin all over again. Here's a start.

The point is that after the WMD fiasco Bush changed tactics and said we invaded to secure the freedom of Iraq as I documented earlier. If he lied about that and the real reason was to secure a strategic resource that, in your view was a justification for war, where does that lead us? Is it OK for the President to lie about the reason for war? Making the issue contemporary and relevant to this posting would it not then be justifiable, under your standards, for Obama to mislead the American people about our reason for intervening in Libya if indeed it was to secure a strategic resource-oil.

George Rebane

It is not OK for the President to lie about the reason for going to war. As I have stated, the President should clearly state that our national policy is to promote our national interests, and this may call for us to commit our military. Such national interest should be spelled out for all to see - we are one of the few nations in the world that can do that with a straight face.

The world's decision makers and power brokers are not idiots. We play into their hands when we play with telling truth to our own citizens.

Paul Emery

So if truthfulness should be a criteria for an honest appeal to the American people was Bush 2 telling he truth about the reasons for going to war with Iraq? I recall no reference to the control of oil reserves in any of his justifications. I contend it was the plan all along to go to war with Iraq even before 9-11 and that the whole WMD reason was a plan to deceive the American people.

Of course the "Neo Cons" that made up his cabinet and were his chief advisors were quite clear from the start about this but it was never a stated reason for war Bush made to the American people. Vice President Dick Cheney was a founding member of Project for a New American Century , along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was the ideological father of the group. Here are some exempts from the document "Rebuilding America’s Defenses," September 2000, Project for a New American Century signed by Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle, Scooter Libby and our old pal Donald Feith.

"While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein ...

"the process of [military] transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor ...

... advanced forms of biological warfare that can "target" specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."
I can go on and on with these.

George Rebane

Paul, you're doing one of your jump shifts again. I thought our topic was outlining our own specifications for presidential reasoning, advice/consent, and public announcements before going to war. I have given you my druthers.

In response you seem to have shifted to the classical liberal indictment of Bush2 for attacking Iraq.

What's the topic and where are we going with this?

Paul Emery

George, here are a couple of your recent quotes.

"For that reason I would like to think that Bush2's better nature had a secure supply of world's oil in mind, instead of Iraqi freedom when he went after Saddam."

"It is not OK for the President to lie about the reason for going to war. As I have stated, the President should clearly state that our national policy is to promote our national interests, and this may call for us to commit our military."

Since nowhere can I find a clear statement from Bush2 about oil being the primary justification for the American of Iraq isn't it hypocritical to on one hand applaud him for his "better nature" and yet say it's not OK for a President to lie about reasons for war. Bringing this up to date then unless you can reconcile the inconsistency of these statements how can I take your harsh critique of Obama's action in Libya seriously. It seems to me to be just another Obama bad rant with no justification even by your own standards. By your evaluation then were this statement accurate "For that reason I would like to think that Obama's better nature had a secure supply of world's oil in mind, instead of Libya's freedom" wouldn't that justify Obama's action and even garner support from your camp?
I happen to believe he true reason for our intervention had to do with oil supplies but I welcome the greater good side effect of saving thousands of lives from slaughter and disposing of a terrible dictator.

George Rebane

Paul, I've tried to address the problem of understanding decisions based on trade-offs before in these comment threads. From your consternation with my "inconsistencies" it is clear that my previous efforts have been in vain. And you are not alone in holding such views. This dictates that I post a piece on what in decision science is known as multi-attribute decision theory - complex stuff, but crucial subject matter for discussing complex notions like presidential actions in the real world. Without that common understanding, such conversations will not get off the dime.

Paul Emery

So then I am left with the conclusion that you do not wish to directly confront the questions I have posed based on your recent statements. Once again I ask was Bush2 justified in withholding the true reason for our invasion of Iraq from the public dialogue and why can't Obama use the same evasion when justifying our action in Iibya. You should be able to answer this in common language and not defer to an obscure theory that few of us are aware of. I am asking for your opinion nothing more. What theory you use to develop it is a different topic.

George Rebane

OK Paul, you can be left with any conclusion that gives you comfort. I have already stated that if Bush2 would have played according to my rules, then he would have led with the oil argument for invasion, and used any intel he had on WMD as a Lucky Strike extra to abet his decision.

If Libya's oil exports are judged to be in our national interest, I would want Obama to make that case and also lead with that justification for our involvement.

Both presidents seem to have decided to evade what to the world seems/seemed like the real reason for use of military force. And that always gets us blowing smoke about freedom, democracy, human rights, and a lot of other stuff that is ancillary, if that.

Paul Emery

I agree with your summary of the similarity of both situations. How then can we rise above partisan pandering and demand honesty from our elected leaders? The decision to go to war is the most serious commitment our President can make with our blood and our money. Bush should have been impeached for lying to the American people about his administrations true intent in going to war in Iraq. I have to ask where was the Right on this? With the notable exception of Ron Paul it was partisan BS as usual. I'll give Obama a very short leash on this one. We'll see what he says later today. The question of the justification of raiding another country for their stuff just because we can is another topic that we should discuss at another time.

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