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"Panic"

from Andrew Sullivan:

One of the now recurrent memes on the dead-ender right is the conflation of all opposing arguments on the war as "hysteria," "insanity" or "panic." Thus, NRO describes those Republican lawmakers worried about the Bush administration breaking the US military for political cover as merely concerned about their own re-election or simply prone to panic. Thus Bill Kristol describes those who disagree with the current conduct of a war as "insane" and "irrational." Critics of the worst president since Carter are literally "deranged." Well, of course we are, aren't we? No sane person could possibly conclude that the last four years in Iraq have been a disaster, could they?

The problem here is a pretty basic one. A rightful war -- one which is justified by the circumstances -- doesn't need partisan defense. The United States' entry into WW2 wasn't a matter for debate -- we were attacked by imperialist forces and needed to defend ourselves and the world, and then to eliminate these aggressor forces. On 9-11, we were again attacked by terrorist forces which were based in Afghanistan, and there was virtually no objection to going in and preventing these forces from attacking us again.

But Iraq was a whole different kettle of fish. Rather than starting with an attack on us, it began with a propaganda campaign from the party in power. We were told all sorts of fanciful tales from smallpox-laden drone aircraft to "don't let the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud." And in the hothouse atmosphere following the 9-11 attacks, the public was inclined to believe these stories -- after all, who would have believed that the WTC towers would have crumbled to the ground, so ANYTHING might happen -- and gave their approval.

But it was all lies. No nuclear program, no germs, no WMDs period. And instead of the Desert Storm campaign which was so immaculately planned and executed, we had a bunch of fools running the show talking about flowers and statues to Bush rather than IEDs and suicide bombers.

And while the American people are very, very good at righteous wrath when we are attacked, we have little tolerance for those who would waste the blood of our children on political adventurism flying false colors.

Maybe Bush and Rummy actually believed the bullshit. An easy victory would have set the political stage for a Pax Americana where we could run roughshod wherever we pleased. And for a time, it looked like they might have succeeded. The infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech was evidence of just how confident the White House was.

But we were defeated by our own hubris. We didn't bother to secure the weapons caches which were everywhere in Iraq. We labelled the anarchy following our invasion as "celebrations" and didn't even bother to guard any buildings in Baghdad with the exception of the oil ministry. It seems the people in charge simply could not believe that we weren't unconditionally loved for barging in and taking over.

And now it's over four years later and everywhere you look, Iraq is somewhere between a quagmire and a maelstrom. The Iraqis don't want us there and in ever-increasing numbers, the American people realize that the sacrifice in blood and treasure isn't worth the outcome. And yet the NeoCons still cannot wrap their minds around the idea that they were just plain WRONG about the whole thing.

We needed an election. We needed the Iraqi congress to meet. We needed an Iraqi army. We needed to start the surge... finish the surge... give the surge 30 days... 90 days... six months. And still nothing.

Now there's nothing left but to insult the people who have finally come to their senses. They are "panicking." Well, there comes a time when rational people realize that the concrete wall isn't going to fall no matter how long you bang your head on it. That's not panic, that's intelligence.

But intelligence is the enemy of the demagogues. They don't want anybody to really think about things, just to kneejerk. The NeoCons sold us a war based on the fear generated by an entirely unrelated event. They manufactured "facts" to justify their war lust and set the noise machine loose to sell it to the masses. Don't think about it, don't wait. Hurry, hurry! Mushroom clouds! Disease! Destruction!

And now that it's all in ashes, it's still all-fear-all-the-time. "If we leave it will be GENOCIDE!" Yeah, like we don't have some pretty good genocide right now. "The terrorists will take over!" And most foolish of all, "We have to fight them there so we don't fight them here."

There was a time when name-calling by the RWers was a very effective weapon, but that was when Bush and his cronies still had credibility among the public. Those days are over, ended at their own hand. So now we need to capitalize, not capitulate. There is a new political reality which those who seek to reverse the abuses of the Bush administration need to appreciate. The worse things get for them, the more noise they'll make and the more shrill their claims, but the truth is that the have become the Administration Who Cried Wolf and nobody cares what they say anymore.


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Comments (15)

"On 9-11, we were again attacked by terrorist forces which were based in Afghanistan, and there was virtually no objection to going in and preventing these forces from attacking us again."

Wait.....

"forces which were based in Afghanistan"...

attacked the US African Embassies
attacked the Khobar Towers
attacked the USS Cole

what is the distinction here?

Hey Paul

With the UBA ordered attacks on Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya are you copping out on racial or political lines?

"The United States' entry into WW2 wasn't a matter for debate"

It was a matter of tremendous debate until a few thousand of our finest were killed. Is this your point? We take the bullet first, then react?

"But intelligence is the enemy of the demagogues."

Agreed

"They don't want anybody to really think about things, just to kneejerk. The NeoCons sold us a war based on the fear generated by an entirely unrelated event. They manufactured "facts" to justify their war lust and set the noise machine loose to sell it to the masses. Don't think about it, don't wait. Hurry, hurry! Mushroom clouds! Disease! Destruction!"

So the Dems linked below are either:

Stupid
Lustful (your word)
"Don't think about it"
"just to kneejerk"

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237


Could you at least make this a bit more challenging?

Lee Ward:

Mr. S -- How about keeping your thoughts collected in a single comment or two, and then giving Paul a chance to respond -- instead of a long string of comments, thanks.

"Mr. S -- How about keeping your thoughts collected in a single comment or two, and then giving Paul a chance to respond -- instead of a long string of comments, thanks"

Deal, on two conditions....don't post on Wizbang and use the annoying phrase "ticking, ticking,ticking" anymore.

Second, have you deleted comments over here?

bryanD:

"Mr. S -- How about keeping your thoughts collected in a single comment or two, and then giving Paul a chance to respond -- instead of a long string of comments, thanks.
Posted by Lee Ward"

Don't say that! "One" is the loneliest number, etc. And there were mildly educational links included. Misleading though they were.

HughS: Dems, repubs, the common link is Israel. Too conventionally frail (thanks to technological levelling) to fight the Muslim nations, it has been adjudged by those fronted by the "neocons" (formerly neolibs), that Israel should "allow" the US to act as its foreign policy mallet. The US can absorb the blows, Israel cannot anymore. See 1973, 1981, or the latest Lebanon fiasco against Hezbellah. Worse results every time.

Why would the US care (besides money?) to enforce the Likud/Kadima/Aipac foreign policy? Looong story, but PNAC is a mission statement, and its use of the extra-national word "realm" in the heading is very illuminating to literate folk. Short answer, and since policy funding is allocated by "congress critters", money will do.

Thus a clue to W's stubborn Iraq policy; no, it doesn't help the US one bit, but it keeps the Muslims occupied. It relegates Israel to number 2, 3 or 4 on the agenda of the Next Mad Sheik. So from Israel's POV, the US-Iraq debacle is GOOD.

Thus the neocons (Zionist Jews to be exact) love it. Voile! Capiche?

kim:

Lee likes stuff all collected in a little pile. These left brainers. Or whatever.

Hey, bD, let's put all the dam joos in a pile. There's a solution.
=======================

kim:

Now see here, HughS, your style is putting off Paul and keeping him from responding. Can't have that.

Collect your thoughts or DON'T HAVE THEM HERE.
==============================

bryanD:

kim===
(You sure read + type fast!)

I've missed you! The Penguin banned me! A-gain!

Oh, well, there's always Felix Unger (I mean CCG) to read (ugh!).

And "Zionists" doesn't include all Jews. Most Israeli despise the Settler Movement and the marriage restriction laws they've got shoved through the Supreme Court, re: Jews and Palestinian spouses not allowed to live in Israel proper, lest it humanize someone. Uber racist.

Read The Forward (or even Ha'aretz) for balanced news written by Jews who live there (Israel). The Jerusalem Post is a Murdoch operation. Brooklynese filter.

kim:

The pleasure is all mine bD. I've been making a fool of myself over at Belgravia Dispatch about Libby and Plame. Semanticleo challenged me to send the results of my detective work to Fred Fielding, so I'm suggesting that Bush pardon everyone Fitzgerald has bullied. It's the only way for the truth to come out.

Wasn't the Live Earth music lush and vibrant, like it was live or something?
======================

Thanks Jay.

Thank You Kim for the reminder on style. You are indeed a treasure...well informed wit with a sword.

I think the style points threw them into an Oscar Wilde dementia. I will endeavor to protect them from that hereafter....not!


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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