Re: Not Far Enough

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will be deemed extremist and insane (see e.g., Ron Paul

Y'know, it isn't his stance on war that makes Ron Paul extremist and insane. It's all the rest of his beliefs.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 1:59 PM
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Yeah, that's the kind of thing Greenwald does occasionally that really annoys me, but in this case, the larger point is too true.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:00 PM
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Of course, a 30-year high means 10,000 people and there's still more Canadians moving here, so, a grain of salt. Don't think we haven't considered it, though.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:01 PM
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I wish I could figure out how to blame Fox News or Thomas Friedman for this, but I think I'm going to go to the old standby: it's all your fault, slutty, disrespectful teenagers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:02 PM
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Studies show that Canadians who like to blow things up are perfectly happy to move to the States.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:03 PM
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What I'm taking from the Greenwald piece is that he doesn't want a standing military.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:04 PM
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I don't the debate is quite as simple as Yggy makes it. I assume the argument isn't, "If OBL were in Islamabad, would you level the place?" Rather, it's probably about nuclear bunker busters that GWB ordered developed and presumably will be in our arsenal when the next pres takes over. If OBL is known to be in a bunker 300 feet down, do you use the tactical nuke? I still say no, but not as obvious as Matt's indicated.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:07 PM
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s/b "I don't think the debate..."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:08 PM
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That's an utterly bizarre take, Michael.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:08 PM
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9: That wars are more or less going to happen seems to me the rationale behind preparing for them by, for example, keeping a standing military.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:11 PM
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10: Well, you might be able to make that argument, but GG chooses not to.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:13 PM
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Switzerland keeps a standing military. Or, alternatively, so does China. Or any other number of countries. And yet they've managed not to engage in a never-ending series of wars.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:19 PM
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That is to say, there are more options available than have no standing military or spend more than the rest of the world combined on your military.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:20 PM
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9: That wars are more or less going to happen seems to me the rationale behind preparing for them by, for example, keeping a standing military.

little known fact: Standing armies are not only useful for invading countries; they also can be useful when your country is invaded.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:20 PM
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Well-regulated militias for all!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:22 PM
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Whether to have a standing army was, of course, one of the major divisive political issues in the early years of the Republic.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:23 PM
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China has a never-ending series of wars going back millennia. Whatever led to Switzerland's neutrality--the Concert of Europe, etc--doesn't apply to many other countries.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:23 PM
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10: The view that "wars are more or less going to happen" predisposes us to thinking that, if war is inevitable, why waste time on diplomacy? Why not just pre-emptively invade any country that might conceivably threaten us at some point in the future?

Wars don't just more or less happen. Believing that they do is one reason they happen more rather than less.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:25 PM
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Whatever led to Switzerland's neutrality--the Concert of Europe, etc--doesn't apply to many other countries.

OTOH the US has major geographical advantages.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:27 PM
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re: 12

Actually, Switzerland sort of doesn't. Their system is quite unusual. It's more of a militia system. It's quite interesting and non-crazy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:27 PM
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Fine, it's consistent with a standing military.

or spend more than the rest of the world combined on your military.

Which is the reasoning behind choosing certain wars and not others. It's hard to see what he's getting at, other than some rhetorically complicated way of saying, War bad, peace good.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:28 PM
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re: 17

There are non-neutral EU countries without a modern history of regular warfare.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:29 PM
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17: Are you being purposefully obtuse?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:29 PM
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Wasn't the utterly unhinged warblogger behind niced/oggie.net a Canadian? With his ha-ha-only-serious fantasies about killing liberal Americans? That dude, John Candy, and B. are my only grounding in what to expect from Anglophone Canadians. This is why I'm scared to visit Toronto -- I will be strung up by a racist, then have my face licked while unfunny comedy is perpetrated upon me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:29 PM
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24: I think that guy is from Texas.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:31 PM
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re: 21

Well, the US engages in a lot of warfare. A lot of 'wars of choice'. Really, the numbers are fucking ridiculous.

A perfectly reasonable reading of GG would be 'let's stop fucking invading places, and maybe chill a bit on the warfare as primary-policy-tool-of-choice thing'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:31 PM
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B isn't Canadian, she just lived there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:32 PM
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She lived there long enough for the taint of Canada to infect her. I bet she's drinking Molson and watching hockey right now.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:34 PM
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I believe DS is Canadian, and Alif Sikkiin was until recently.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:35 PM
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7: This may be just the naivete talking, but I find it unbelievable that anyone would seriously consider dropping a nuclear bomb (even a teeny-tiny one) in order to kill one human being, no matter how nasty the human being under consideration might be. The virtually-permanent local environmental consequences, the possible scary escalation...no way! I wouldn't drop a nuclear bomb of any kind even if it meant (through some bizarre science fictional space-wormhole kind of thing) that we'd get rid of everyone in the US who was politically to the right of, say, John Edwards.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:35 PM
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26: OK, but he seems to be implying a case against realism. I don't think the people he mentions, paleoconservatives for example, really agree with him there.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:36 PM
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Oh, we have plenty of Canadians. IDP is another, as well as IA, and girl27, and bald (yeah, bald) lurker Chris, and others I'm forgetting. But not B!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:36 PM
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He's not bald.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:39 PM
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One of us has a mind that's too fine, Ben.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:39 PM
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30- My main reason to say no is the escalation- that worked out so well the last time we nuked someone. The environmental thing is fairly minor for low yield ground penetrators in remote areas- we nuked ourselves several times, after all, and now the sites are tourist attractions.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:40 PM
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re: 31

Sure, but making a case against realism is perfectly compatible with lots of sensible positions.

"Warfare only when all else fails and only when necessary to stop ongoing and active genocide* on a large scale and only when there's clear evidence it's going to work"

would be a position a lot of people would endorse. That's compatible with a huge reduction in the practice of warfare and in military expenditure but isn't a realist position.

* or whatever pushes your own particular 'we must act NOW' buttons.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:40 PM
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If OBL is known to be in a bunker 300 feet down, do you use the tactical nuke? I still say no, but not as obvious as Matt's indicated.

It's as obvious as anything. The harm of a nuclear first use (even a "tactical" one) to American interests, to say nothing of humanity as a whole, is immeasurably greater than the benefits of killing bin Laden or other al Qaeda leaders. Nuclear first use is insane, and it's a sign of our current insanity that Hillary can look, what's the word, serious by refusing to rule it out.


Posted by: DaveB | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:42 PM
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Ah, Frwnd.


Posted by: DaveB | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:43 PM
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re: 37

Yeah, nuclear first use is just total batshit lunacy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:44 PM
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31: "Realism," the way I understand it, does not equate to believing that we are and ought to continue being "a nation more or less permanently at war." It is this assumption that GG is challenging, and the paleocons and others he cites are examples of various groups also challenging that assumption, not necessarily for any of the same reasons.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 2:45 PM
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35: One would think that, if the environmental damages were really as tepid as you say, escalation would be out of the question. It would be incredibly irrational and immoral to respond to such a strike as if it were a declaration of nuclear war.

Is your fear that the stigma surrounding nuclear weapons is still so serious that such a response might occur or appear rational anyway?


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:00 PM
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I think that we should totally avoid trolley-car arguments for first use. Especially when based on the ridiculous, childish, demented, silly, buffoonish idea that everything will be OK once Bin Laden is dead. Especially after we spent about four years ignoring him. A lot of stuff has been justified in "get Bin Laden" terms that had nothing to do with getting Bin Laden, but that doesn't mean that using nuclear weapons to get Bin Laden should be on the table.

My understanding nowadays is that the military / foreign-policy establishment of 1941 has been in unthreatened control ever since then, with only a minor rough patch in 1975-80. Republican-Democratic differences on foreign policy are slight; doves are often Democrats, but Democrats in office are almost never doves. This is true to the extent that, to my knowledge, no Democratic insider has ever disagreed significantly with the interventionist consensus. Adjustments of detail have occasionally been suggested, but no changes of strategy. This is so true that the only alternative strategies a lot of people can imagine are pacifism and isolationism.

During that whole period, an aggressive strategy has been sold as defensive.

If Hillary is elected, or a Republican, I will definitively be a man without a country.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:00 PM
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I'm pretty sure Tony Lake - BClinton's first NSA - disagrees significantly with the interventionist consensus.

But of course he was hounded out of government, and is not considered "serious."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:04 PM
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I think that we should totally avoid trolley-car arguments for first use.

I'm fine with nuking any country that still makes significant use of trolleys. 21st century, people. We can't be dragging the laggards about forever.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:06 PM
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Even calling it "the interventionist consensus" seems strangely euphemistic to me; it's plain old imperialism, and the not the soft, subtle, beneficent kind, either.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:08 PM
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37 and 30 seem sensible until you remember that OBL is literally capable of destroying us all with only the power of his thoughts.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:09 PM
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Tim would nuke Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

Noted more in disappointment than in anger....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:09 PM
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; it's plain old imperialism, and the not the soft, subtle, beneficent kind, either.

That's a minor stretch, it seems to me, though I can't tell in what direction. It's not like we sat on hands during the Cold War.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:10 PM
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There are unquestioned economic benefits to be had from the 'interventionist consensus'. This held true just as much during the Cold War as today. The 'project' such as it is as outlasted the fall of the Soviet Union for perfectly rational reasons. [Rational only for some, of course]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:13 PM
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Realism != Imperialism != Interventionism

Realism: Iraq I,Afghanistan
Imperialism:Granada, Panama
Interventionism:Kosovo, Somalia
??????:Iraq II


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:14 PM
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I think the environmental consequences to a bunker buster are pretty minor, as SP says in 35. I also think that the chances of Pakistan retaliating are zero. With all that, it's still batshit insane.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:14 PM
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It's not like we sat on hands during the Cold War.

Are you claiming that our behavior during the Cold War shouldn't be characterized as imperialism?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:14 PM
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41- I'm not talking about nuclear response, since Afghanistan doesn't have any nukes and Pakistan's are limited. I'm talking about our use of bunker busters giving the green light for Russia or China to use tactical nukes to solve their local disputes. Despite the last six years, we still have moral standing on a few issues.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:15 PM
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In season 2 of The Wire, after they change the name of the drugs to WMDs, one customer says "other day you were calling it Bin Laden."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:15 PM
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Noted more in disappointment than in anger....

Monarchist appeaser.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:15 PM
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Iraq II = The Riddler?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:15 PM
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South America might be far enough. Brazil, Argentine, or an undisclosed location. Decent weather, lots of water for growing subsistence crops. Don't need no 'lectricity, you won't want to hear the news anyhoo.

Alaska? Pitcairn I. is too small, drives people nuts.

I thought I heard a young man moan this morning.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:17 PM
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Are you claiming that our behavior during the Cold War shouldn't be characterized as imperialism?

No, I'm claiming that I can't tell if ogged is characterizing it as imperialism, and if so, if he considers it the good butt-sex kind or not.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:17 PM
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My computer died on me. What I wanted to mention earlier and what I don't like about the Greenwald thing is that he gets so much mileage out of Iraq. When the specific war that provokes discussion is as broadly objectionable as that one, then of course he can count lots of other people as agreeing with him. But if he wants to make a case against Morgenthauian realism or whatever, then I wish he would make it explicit. I was opposed to invading Iraq on realist grounds, and while I'm not as sure of those grounds as I was, his argument sounds misleading.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:18 PM
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I was opposed to invading Iraq on realist grounds,

Me too, as I understand it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:19 PM
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I'm claiming that I can't tell if ogged is characterizing it as imperialism, and if so, if he considers it the good butt-sex kind or not.

It seems to me that he's definitely characterizing it as imperialism, and not the good butt-sex kind. Remember Mossadegh?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:20 PM
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Hey, I just realised, I predicted months ago $80 oil by August, and we are close enough now, over $78.
$100 by New Years, $150 a year from now. Presuming no disruptions. Bernanke will try to hide it. $7-12 a gallon gas. Bad bad election. Repubs win.

Fuck yeah, America's gonna nuke somebody. Soon. We'll get away with it, for a while.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:23 PM
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49: So where are the economic benefits from Clintonian interventionism? Do we have a stranglehold on the world khat market or something?

54:Bin Laden is some weak shit.

56:Well, yeah. I've suspected that Mearsheimer and Walt wrote what they did because the necons fucked up their theory of the state as a rational and unitary actor.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:23 PM
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I remember being very disappointed that no one, or very few people, were making the case that an occupation like that was a ridiculous exercise in social-engineering.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:23 PM
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Right, but then was the reference to the good butt-sex kind of imperialism a joke? As I understand it, we were hardly the first people from the West to fuck around in Iran.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:23 PM
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51: Why?. Extremely negative world reaction? Isn't that reaction irrational, if the environmental consequences are minor?

I'm not advocating for its use, I'm just trying to understand why nuclear weapons, even in circumstances in which they behave more or less like very powerful conventional weapons, are still unconscionable. (I'd also like to understand why the "bomb Bin Laden in Pakistan" debate suddenly involves nuclear weapons; is he really hiding in a super-fortified bunker 300 feet underground?)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:23 PM
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Hey, I just realised, I predicted months ago $80 oil by August, and we are close enough now, over $78.

If Bob's predictions start coming true, we don't need to move to SAmerica - we need a fucking space ark.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:26 PM
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his argument sounds misleading

Here's his verbatim argument:

This is the most extraordinary aspect of our political culture. Rep. Davis' assumption is that we are going to be fighting a series of "wars." That is just a given. And the only question is whether we will fight our wars "wisely" or unwisely. We are a nation more or less permanently at war, and we really do not debate whether that should be the case. Enforced Beltway orthodoxy requires that this is a given and anyone who challenges that premise will be deemed extremist and insane (see e.g., Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, "paleoconservatives," the "anti-war left", "isolationists," etc.).

The Grand Beltway Consensus, one that encompasses both parties, is that War is how we rule the world. The only debates allowed are how many we should fight, where we should fight them, and how "wisely" we prosecute them. And the principal reason that we don't really debate the fact that we are a Nation permanently at war is because such a tiny percentage of our population -- and an even tinier percentage of our Beltway opinion-making elite -- actually bears the burdens of those wars (at least directly).

Maybe you could point out specifically what you're objecting to, because I sure can't figure it out from your comments so far.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:26 PM
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64: Relatively few people were making an argument against the war in the media; those that were had to fall into a previously established box: moralistic liberal moron who wants to hug our enemies into accepting us. A fair number of people, IIRC, made lots of realist arguments, inc. the "social engineering" point.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:27 PM
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53: That's a good point. Even if the stigma is irrational in this case, it'd be handy to keep around; the moral calculus of world leaders is probably not to be trusted.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:29 PM
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, I'm just trying to understand why nuclear weapons, even in circumstances in which they behave more or less like very powerful conventional weapons, are still unconscionable.

Because right now thee's a broad taboo against nuke use, and anything that weakens that taboo is to be avoided as unclean.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:29 PM
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66: It's not rational, but it is widely held that any use of nuclear weapons "lets the genie out." Basically, we have one bright line that no one in the world will cross. The one time someone ventured across that line, all sorts of contingencies were involved. But for 62 years since then, no one has crossed that line. Once that line is blurred, it effectively goes away.

Note that this is similar to the Geneva conventions. There's no rational way they should work, but they've actually been pretty effective - even hideous regimes have paid them at least some respect. It's not the same bright line, but it's similar, in that their existence and universal assent (even if countries cross their fingers as they assent) has resulted in far better wartime behavior than was typical beforehand.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:31 PM
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Also, Henley points out that the Greeks were angry at Clinton. That's too bad, but then, we're talking about a country that refuses to accept flights from its neighbor's airspace for no other reason than that they don't like their name. And one that opposes war on Yugoslavia because they are long-standing allies of that country, regardless of what its government has done.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:31 PM
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far as i can tell the founders fucking hated standing armies.

here's article ii on congress' powers:

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

note that the navy is given no sunset clause: a standing navy makes perfect sense as a defense against invasion.

but the army is kept on a very short leash, i.e. two years and then get back to us if you want any more.

i think greenwald is trying to restore the founders' vision here. we shouldn't just think that the default is that we're constantly going to be fighting wars.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:32 PM
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re: 63

Come on, the US prospers by maintaining a certain position in the world.* That position is fostered by a large military, a willingness to intervene and constant assertion of the US's status as the preeminent super-power, moral arbiter, political grand-poobah, and what have you. The fact that some interventions may, on balance, have been worthwhile doesn't mean that Clintonian interventionism didn't help maintain the US's standing qua military and economic super-power. You don't have to be part of the tinfoil hat brigade to recognize that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:33 PM
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Christ, pwned by 53, 70, 71, and probably a dozen others.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:34 PM
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far as i can tell the founders fucking hated standing armies.

This is tied into the general British idea of how armies work; the King's need to come back to Parliament to beg for funding was a major check on the power of English royalty, and the idea that every Congress needed to fund the army anew was one of the levers to prevent the president becoming the King of America.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:36 PM
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Commander-in-Chief, baby.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:37 PM
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Whether to have a standing army was, of course, one of the major divisive political issues in the early years of the Republic.

...which controversy famously occasioned Elbridge Gerry to compare a standing army to a standing member: "An excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:38 PM
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*, ttaM?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:40 PM
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..which controversy famously occasioned Elbridge Gerry to compare a standing army to a standing member: "An excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure."

Is that true? God, the founding fathers really were totally awesome.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:40 PM
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68:

I don't know how narrowly he wants to define "series of wars," but this sounds like a realist assumption. It's the sort of thing realists are always talking about, with their Thucydides. When he goes on to invoke paleoconservatives and other opponents of the Iraq war, he's implying that they agree with him on more basic, philosophical stuff than can be brought out with the case of Iraq.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:42 PM
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75: I get this line of argument, but to me it holds true for Iraq I but not Somalia or Kosovo, which is why I called the former "realist", but the latter "interventionist." In the former case, the U.S. acted to assert, "If you fuck with our economic/strategic interests, we will fuck back." In the latter cases, the U.S. acted to assert, "If you don't treat your people in a manner we deem proper, we will fuck with you." Iraq I left the U.S. better off strategically (we'd removed a threat to allies) and diplomatically (we'd establish a precedent that served to protect our interests). In the interventionist cases, neither of these things were true. Or so the realist argument would go.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:42 PM
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I mean the assumption "that we are going to be fighting a series of 'wars.'" I can't get blockquote to work,


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:43 PM
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78--
well, right: i mean esp. with the c-in-c clause, where they make it explicit that the potus is c-in-c
only of the army and navy, and
only when they are on actual service.

as in: only after congress has declared a war.

but those minor details have gotten lost in the post-wwii rush to empire.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:43 PM
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84--

the assumption that countries will always have to face the possibility of invasion, and occasionally have to fight wars of self-defense, is realistic.

the assumption that we are going to unilaterally launch a series of wars whenever we feel like it is just bellicose.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:45 PM
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I've got to walk the dog.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:46 PM
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When he goes on to invoke paleoconservatives and other opponents of the Iraq war, he's implying that they agree with him on more basic, philosophical stuff than can be brought out with the case of Iraq.

You're perceiving a ton of implied argumentation that I'm just not seeing. The only agreements Greenwald is implying are 1) those groups don't feel a permanent state of war is an organic necessity and 2) they are marginalized by the "serious" foreign policy community. Neither proposition is particularly controversial.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:49 PM
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Oh sure, first his computer "crashes" - as if that ever happens anymore - then he has to "walk the dog" - probably a vulgar euphemism related to that Elbridge anecdote.

When will Michael Vanderwheel, B.A.'s perfidy end?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:49 PM
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as in: only after congress has declared a war.

But those minor details have gotten lost in the post-wwii rush to empire.

Why O Why can't anyone make/win this argument?

I would like to see a group as single-minded as the NRA or ACLU dedicated to the cause of restoring Article I, Section 8. Hell, I'd send money, and I don't even have any.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:52 PM
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Holy crap, speaking of Congressional vs. Executive power: the corrupt Rep. Jefferson just won his case against the FBI!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 3:54 PM
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90--

thanks, i accept pay-pal.

oh. you meant make the argument *cogently*?

you're on your own.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:04 PM
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91: I was thinking that was a strong possibility. Obviously Jefferson's guilty (IANAJ, TINAT), but that shouldn't matter to the privilege analysis -- after all, they had him cold (get it?) without raiding his office. It wasn't necessary.

And once it's not necessary, then if you can raid Jefferson's office, you can raid any member of Congress's office any time you can fake up a plausible felony investigation, which odds are the administration could do against any member at will. Jefferson's a bad guy, but the raid was a bad precedent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:11 PM
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I agree with everything in 93, but was a more than a little disgusted that the first time in 6 years that anyone with an R after his name questioned Executive prerogative wasn't when it infringed on clearly-delineated Constitutional Separation of Powers, but on the possibility that they might get caught by the FBI in a corruption investigation.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:23 PM
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God, the founding fathers really were totally awesome.

Yep. They also accused each other of all sorts of sexual indiscretions (usually accurately), then killed each other in duels.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:26 PM
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It must be said, though, that not all the Founders were anti-standing-army. Hamilton, for instance, was all for it, at least if he got to lead it (which he did).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:27 PM
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Too bad that war with France never happened.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:29 PM
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66 - What everyone else said.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:39 PM
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Too bad that war with France never happened.

I'll say. After that, there was nothing left for him to do but duel.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:44 PM
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98

66 - What everyone else said.

God, that's elegant.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:45 PM
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Too bad that war with France never happened.

Wait, do you mean the one in the early 19th C., or the one all the warbloggers had a hard-on for in early 2003?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:46 PM
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The first one, and it was actually the late 18th C.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:47 PM
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There was another almost one in the early 19th. I really should pick up my history reading again. I stopped in 1800.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:49 PM
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Hamilton was kind of a prick.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:57 PM
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104--
a.k.a. a 'standing member'


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 4:59 PM
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94 expresses my sentiments on 91 well. In other OT DotR news, House Ds have caved on FISA "reforms." I mention it only as an excuse to post the best bullshit I've heard in a while, from a certain DNI McConnell(emphasis added):

I understand the leadership in Congress is not able to address before the August recess the issue of liability protection for those who are alleged to have helped the country stay safe after September 11, 2001. However, I appreciate the commitment of the congressional leadership to address this particular issue immediately upon the return of Congress in September 2007.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 5:12 PM
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The quote in 106 is quite beautiful.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 5:17 PM
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I really should pick up my history reading again. I stopped in 1800.

Well, if you started from the beginning, I'd say you've done pretty well to get this far.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 5:18 PM
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I started a bit later than that. Anyway, the problem is that I'm committed to actually reading the Henry Adams history of the US from 1800-1816, but it's really, really long and every time I look at it I look away.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 5:23 PM
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See, this Great Game is being played by China, US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, and the other three countries will not let the US Constitution bring their gov'ts down. Iraq is really about America protecting the Saudi Monarchy & 4th Gen Saudi War Machine, and the Saudis needing an external threat to distract their population, and showing their oilarchic neighbors that the gov'ts exist only with Saudi permission. Masters of 4th generation warfare and deniability...

I can't believe ogged posted this trollbait.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 5:24 PM
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Hamilton was kind of a prick.

No question. Brilliant, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 6:09 PM
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103: You're in remarkable shape, old sport!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 6:21 PM
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A note: Responding to Michael Vanderwheel, B.A., was a major miscalculation.

A reflection: Everyone -- me included -- seems to have a "last straw" philosophy. For instance, if Hillary or a Republican gets elected, then we're really fucked. But what if the real catastrophe already happened? What if, in every important sense, the US has been like this the whole time? We have been expansionist since day one, we were explicitly imperialist since the Civil War -- and after WWII, we really were the "sole superpower" that we imagine we have only just become.

In that perspective, we're now undergoing a slow, but inexorable decline and have been since the mid-1970s -- but the political culture is so corrupt and blind (down to "the voters") that we'll never admit it to ourselves. Instead, we get a choice between reckless imperialism abroad and active destruction at home (Republicans) or nominally more prudently managed imperialism and less active destruction at home (Democrats).

Personally, I choose the latter. Sometimes I even convince myself that I'm choosing a positive good when I do so.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:07 PM
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What's the point of having nukes if you're not going to use them? It'd be like having an army and not fighting wars, and we've already established that can't be done.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:13 PM
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But what if the real catastrophe already happened?

This is what I've been saying for a while. I thought there was still something important about the US professing certain ideals, even if it violated them in practice, which is why I thought the 2004 presidential election was so important. But after '04, which was implicitly an endorsement of Abu Ghraib and the rest, I think we're officially living in a post-catastrophic world. Of course it's not that much different from a pre-catastrophic world in daily particulars, but any sense that we're the "good guys" is totally gone. Lots of nice people in this country, of course, but America has been the villain for a while now, and will continue to be one, maybe until it gets bad enough to affect more of its own citizens.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:14 PM
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I shot a Founding Father in Reno, just to watch him die.


Posted by: Aaron Burr | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:15 PM
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I shot a Founding Father in Reno, just to watch him die.

Awesome! Vice-presidential/failed presidential anonymity. Also, the comment is really funny.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:20 PM
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113: Well, yeah, that's my general feeling. Which is why anyone who's heard my 4AM geostrategic lecture knows the following: The primary goal of United States foreign policy should be the establishment of a international system under which the effects of military or economic supremacy are mitigated. Even if 113 were not the case, all empires fall sooner or later, and this would still make sense. The neocon/regularcon approach has been the opposite: destroy all limits to hegemonic power. If, through the exercise of our (still potent) influence, we can find a means of extending this influence beyond the period of our hegemony and limit that of future hegemons, we will have won the post-Cold War.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:22 PM
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115--
yeah i took 2004 real hard that way, too.
as a national ratification of the worst things we had done.

i wonder if that gives too much symbolic power to a few thousand votes in ohio, whether legitimate or not?

i mean--if a few thousand had shifted here and there,
and kerry had won, then i know i would have read that
as a national *repudiation* of what bush had done.

but would it have been?
would it really have meant much different about our national character?

i'm just not sure the national temper can be divined by the outcomes of elections, esp. when close, esp. when possibly rigged.

none of this should be construed as denying that the national dream of a republican government under a constitution is completely sunk, by the way.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:22 PM
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115: Sure, we crossed a line in 2004, but we can still cross back.

113: Blurring real distinctions between political choices is the Nader Fallacy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:24 PM
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In many ways, it feels like we are living in a Walker Percey novel. Something is just not right. The natural gravitational forces seem off.

I just don't understand the lack of outrage. What happened to doing the right thing?

On a related note, I really enjoy reading Greenwald. Really enjoy his stuff. It isnt perfect, but the attitude is perfect.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:33 PM
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2004 marked some kind of line. From an exchange I read today on a comment thread between a well-meaning American liberal and an Iraqi expatriate:

"Maryam, do you live in Baghdad? If so, please describe a little of what life is like. We are being told that neighborhoods are being "cleaned up." Is that true?"

"No I am in Europe buying and arranging for supplies of medications to be brought. When I am in Irak I live in and run a refugee camp for children whose parents have been murdered by the American war against my people. I will be back there in a few days. For obvious reasons I will not under any circumstances detail my movements to any American."


Posted by: imagine cool pseudonym here | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:40 PM
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I keep thinking of Hunter S. Thompson. I'd been hunting down this quote for awhile and just found it recently:

it would be hard to find any two better models in the national politics arena for the legendary duality -- the congenital Split Peronality and polarized instincts -- that almost everybody except Americans has long since taken for granted as the key to our National Character. ... it is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:44 PM
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But it gets better. Another well-meaning American liberal writes:

"In the days of Saddam, all Americans felt that the Iraqi people were good, and the Iraqi government was bad. Is there a similar feeling in Iraq about the American people and our government?"

The Iraqi expatriate quickly dispels that illusion:

"Stop telling lies to yourself American. We know that your racist brutal murdering war criminal troops came from your society and reflect its values. we know that because we see how they behave and have to bury their victims. If you are stupid enough to think we feel anything but hatred and contrempt for your soldiers and the country that sent them to make war on my people then you are a fool.

As to Saddam bad though he was your country is far worse."

Yeah, Americans have definitely crossed some kind of line...


Posted by: imagine cool pseudonym here | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:46 PM
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Also this:

How long will it be before "demented extremists" in Germany, or maybe Japan, start calling us A Nation of Pigs? How would Nixon react? "No comment"? And how would the popularity polls react if he just came right out and admitted it?

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 7:46 PM
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As a useful bit of perspective for this discussion, I recommend perusing this government site: Wars, Campaigns and Expeditions of the Armed Forces Since WW II Which Qualify for Veterans Preference.
It is a sobering read, although leavened with some jocularity re: some of the batshit insane names for the campaigns. For instance,
Vietnam Evacuation (Operation Frequent Wind) April 29, 1975, to April 30, 1975

And of course they don't include items such as:
Chile (Project FUBELT) 1970 to 1973


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:02 PM
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113: Blurring real distinctions between political choices is the Nader Fallacy.

Hillary's nuke comment makes Nader right on foreign policy, granted that she's the odds-on favorite right now.

Gaining health insurance and fiscal rationality at the cost of continued militarism is not a deal I'm willing to make.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:06 PM
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113: Oh shut the fuck up. I vote a straight Democratic ticket every time.

More generally -- why is 2000 Nader's fault and not, say, Jeb Bush's or the Supreme Court's? Or even Al Gore's fault for fucking up the endgame so badly?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:18 PM
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But after '04, which was implicitly an endorsement of Abu Ghraib and the rest, I think we're officially living in a post-catastrophic world.But after '04, which was implicitly an endorsement of Abu Ghraib and the rest, I think we're officially living in a post-catastrophic world.

'04 bothered me a lot, too. But you shouldn't fail to remember 2006. I think we're seeing a political realignment happen in a way that's favorable to Democrats. At least I hope we are.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:22 PM
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More generally -- why is 2000 Nader's fault and not, say, Jeb Bush's or the Supreme Court's? Or even Al Gore's fault for fucking up the endgame so badly?

Why does blame have to belong solely to one factor? The difference with Nader is that it was intentional and from friendlies.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:23 PM
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The Nader Fallacy is the idea that mentioning Nader in any political discussion at this late date is a good idea.

The oddest feature of the left side of the political spectrum is the fear of ever having been too optimistic. Predicting disaster ahead of time is emotionally satisfying, but rarely practically useful. True slides into total epic disaster are rare, but everyone dwells on the same two historical examples: Wilhelmine Germany, and the fall of Rome. More commonly, things get better, they get worse, there is no satisfying crash that ends the story.

We have not permanently crossed a line. We are not headed for an inexorable slide into fascism. Why? Because we are going to win. We are going to crush our enemies underfoot, and hear the lamentations of their loved ones. We are going to save the fucking country whether it wants to be saved or not.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:26 PM
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I find 115 strangely touching. Sure, 04 was a slap in the face, but less an insult slap than a "thanks, I needed that" kind of slap.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:26 PM
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IMPERIALISM UNDER A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT ISN'T ANY BETTER THAN IMPERIALISM UNDER A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:33 PM
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131: Is it really the same thing to point out a slow and inexorable decline and to long for a "satisfying crash that ends the story"? The British Empire really did fall, for instance, even if the UK has not (yet) descended into a total Hobbesian pit of chaos. The same with Egypt, Babylon, the Hittites, the Persians, the Greeks.... I mean, seriously. Only two examples of inexorable decline in the history of the world?

And in any case, I was talking about the decline of the US qua imperial power. It is theoretically possible that we will cut our losses and somehow reinvent ourselves as a prosperous country that is not also an imperial power. I hope that happens. I'm not optimistic, however, since it would require renouncing militarism.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:35 PM
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The US will reinvent itself as a prosperous country that is not an imperial power because we are going to win.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:41 PM
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Adam, you gratuitously misread me. I said that they were rare, and that everyone focuses on the same two examples.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 8:42 PM
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I hope that happens. I'm not optimistic, however, since it would require renouncing militarism.

Or more generally, American exceptionalism. I do hope and pray that we reinvent (as much of Europe is in the process of doing), because I think the US of A going "down" is an ugly, ugly sight given the depth of the exceptionalism and the size of our military arsenal. (same for a rancidly triumphant USA ... which would most likely devolve into the fall in due course.)

One of the main checks is the vested interest in "globalization" of the financial elites - such as Dubai:early 21st century world::Switzeralnd:: traditional Europe. This is the main balancing act of the Bushies, trading the jingosim off against the global corporate realpolitik. You gotta get 'em fired up enough to fight regional wars against selected countries, but not so much as to go apeshit and burn the whole thing down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:04 PM
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To expand on the last sentence in 137.
The Bushco dream, We Are All Mercenaries Now:

Mercenaries are useless, disunited, unfaithful
They have nothing more to keep them in a battle
Other than a meager wage
Which is just about enough to make them wanna kill for you
But never enough to make them wanna die for ya


(lyrics from John Cale)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:14 PM
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I just saw the Bourne Ultimatum. Remarkably, the bad guys are CIA who have run amok in the name of protecting American lives from terrorism; their bloodthirst led them down the road to immorality.

Obviously a slam on the Bushies, and using a genre that has typically been one of their greatest allies.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:24 PM
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137: Hardt and Negri actually wrote an article calling for kind of "Magna Carta" to restrain the US, drawn up by "the 'global aristocracies' - that is to say, the multinational corporations, the supranational institutions and the other dominant nation states."


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:25 PM
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24: did you mean adam yoshida?


Posted by: snuh | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:35 PM
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140 - Interesting stuff. My read is that it seems to cut right across the traditional "democratic" project - not necessarily opposed, but orthogonal too it, unless one views "neoliberalism" as the inevitable end product of a "successful" democratic state.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:44 PM
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You know, keeping up with this site is completely incompatible with having real life friends.

Anyhoo. First and most important, I'm if anything offensively anti-Canada; one of the nice things about this trip has been seeing places with new, less depressed, less trapped-feeling eyes (bear with me here, I realize that metaphor is disgusting) and being able to recognize that (1) it would not have been impossible for me to be happy here; and (2) I don't regret having left.

On the "inevitable war" thing, that's actually an anti-lefty anecdote I haven't told here; I was once shouted down by a lefty group in college at the first (and last) meeting I attended, because I objected to the argument that we should have *no military at all* by saying that wars are inevitable. Which I still think is true; people fight, states exist, ergo wars will happen. Saying "war is inevitable" does NOT mean that unending U.S. wars of aggression against Terror are inevitable or acceptable, however. Or at least it shouldn't be.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:46 PM
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You know, keeping up with this site is completely incompatible with having real life friends.

Yep. You can see what choice the rest of us have made.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:48 PM
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143: B, the fact that I expressed a nearly identical realization at the same time in a different thread is very creepy. Almost as creepy as the fact that (sanctity of off-blog communications violated WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!) thanks to the unfogged flickr group I now know you look exactly as I imagined you did.

On topic: Jim Carroll's House of War, mentioned here previously, is a terrific discussion of this countries unfortunate descent into a permanent (nuclear) war footing. That the unfortunateness of said descent should be controversial even here is sad and evocative.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:54 PM
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Tweety, stop stalking me or I'm calling the cops.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:56 PM
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It's for my own good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:56 PM
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Seriously who looks exactly like their pretend internet friends imagine them to look? What are you trying to pull, lady?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:57 PM
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Teh Bot Army returns to the barracks between campaigns, but it's never dissolved. Internets are dangerous and fraught with inevitable conflict online polls.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:58 PM
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I am merely a surface upon which you project your visions, Tweety. If you could see the "real" me, I'd look sort of like a cross between a mirror and a movie screen.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 9:59 PM
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142 - I should say my quick read.

140 - I drag out Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth and skim through it every once in awhile. Sometimes it seems like Fuller is onto something and other times he seems like he is a slightly less-crazy Lyndon LaRouche. But I do think he has at least the sketch of an interesting idea with the Great Pirates theme. Current version would be much less personalized amd more organization-centric.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:00 PM
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B is a rear-projection television?

145: a terrific discussion of this countries unfortunate descent into a permanent (nuclear) war footing

is simply unconscionable. Did you learn your grammar on fark?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:01 PM
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BitchPhD did not look at all like I'd imagined her when I met her. Ogged, on the other hand, did.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:08 PM
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Apostropher does not look at all like I'd originally imagined, but I've had time to get used to that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:10 PM
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Ogged, on the other hand, did.

Racist?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:20 PM
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There goes Noth, playing the victim card.

I refuse to admit which unfoggeDCon attendee I briefly thought was ogged because: totally racist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:22 PM
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You thought I was the Werewolf, didn't you, Mark Furman?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:23 PM
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No way, I thought you were Sausagely; it's the surname.

I would've known for sure if only there'd been some wrestling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:27 PM
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Racist?

No, Iranian Chris Noth paints a pretty close picture. What did you figure I looked like, Tweety?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:31 PM
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Fuck, I checked my mail and I gots US District Court Jury Duty. Last time I did thirty days on call, about 2 days a week in a really nice waiting room.
This is what I get for showing up.

Maybe I should refer them to Ezra's comment section, or my position that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be set free in Alqaedastan with a million in compensation.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:33 PM
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All of the Unfogged people I've met have looked more or less as I had expected, even if I had not had a clear idea beforehand of how I expected them to look.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:33 PM
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Cala can tell our heights from our writing styles. B thinks she can tell gender, but she can't.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:34 PM
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127:Hillary's nuke comment makes Nader right on foreign policy, granted that she's the odds-on favorite right now.

Again: Failing to make real distinctions between political alternatives is exactly what put us where we are. Yes, yes, Hillary is a problem on foreign policy. But the idea that Hillary is, as a practical matter, indistinguishable from, say, Giuliani or McCain on foreign policy, is the Nader Fallacy in spades.

131: The Nader Fallacy is the idea that mentioning Nader in any political discussion at this late date is a good idea.

The Nader equivalent of Godwin's law will only apply in venues where it is acknowledged what a destructive influence Nader has been on this country. As long as goofballs out there continue to downplay the vitally important differences between Democrats and Republicans, those goofballs need to be reminded of reality.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 10:59 PM
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"Hamilton was kind of a prick."

No question. Brilliant, though.

Thanks, guys.


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 11:00 PM
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159: I figured you looked like this little angry indie dude I used to know in the BBS scene. Don't ask me why. Certainly, the reddishness surprised me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 11:13 PM
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Mr. Football,
I, and most everyone on this thread, will acknowledge that the votes for Nader in 2000 have developed not necessarily to our nation's advantage. They have, however, heightened the similarities between our two parties, if only in extremis. We may soon be able to see the extent of the bipartisan appeal of "enhanced interrogation techniques." We now can present to the opposition a bona fide clusterfuck, and allow them to debate how many divisions constitutes a "cluster", and under which circumstances a nuclear first strike is appropriate. Were a Democrat to have won in 2000, these sorts of questions would remain divisive, and painfully unresolved.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 11:24 PM
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Were a Democrat to have won in 2000, these sorts of questions would remain divisive, and painfully unresolved.

Oh, well, thank goodness for that, then. Blister on the foot? Better have the leg off, then! For clarity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-07 11:26 PM
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hey, Sifu, did I look like you thought too, or different? I agree bitchphd looked just as I expected, but with an even more fabulous rack. I don't have any clear mental image of you except tweety bird with a bad expression and a little karate outfit on. apo...I don't know, I think I didn't have anything very specific in mind, besides red hair and living in Labs' colon. ben w-lfs-n=perfectly benw-lfs-nesque. I'd love to meet ogged sometime. wait, are there any pix of ogged in the flickr pool? I gotta go check this out.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 2:58 AM
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168: I don't know that I had a firm opinion on what you ought to look like, but you fit pretty well within the quantum superrposition of possible alameidas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 3:22 AM
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Having not met Sifu at the DC meet-up, I can confirm that Sifu does not exist. Not even in mirrors.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 3:35 AM
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The difference with Nader is that it was intentional and from friendlies.

Intentional, yes, friendlies, no.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 6:47 AM
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B's internet picture looks exactly like I expected her to look: wholesome, cheerful, and blonde. Her rack, described by her as "unusual", was not featured, however.

Whether or not Hillary is exactly as bad as McCain and Giuliani, she's far below my comfort threshold. She's openly making a deliberate point of not conceding anything at all to the doves.

I also think that the "incompetence" criticism is wrong-headed. Lots of things could have been handled better, but it still would have been a costly mess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 7:12 AM
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Comity !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 8:49 AM
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how exactly did the thread on the perils of imperialism
degenerate into another exploration of self-regard?

i look exactly like i look.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 8:59 AM
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correction:

roughly like i look

don't want to be claiming no spurious precision.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:04 AM
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It's pretty widely acknowledged that the Democrats have swung to the right in the last decade or so. They did, for example, vote in favor of the Stupidest Fucking War Ever. I agree that they're not as bad as Republicans and, again, I vote for them every time without exception -- but to the extent that the differences between the two parties is being "minimized," it's the Democrats themselves who have been doing the minimizing.

Hillary, while still not as bad as a Republican, is apparently in favor of further minimizing the difference. Would I vote for her? That's kind of an academic question since I live in Illinois -- the Democratic candidate is getting my electoral votes regardless. But I will never vote for a Republican as long as I live, for any office, ever.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:13 AM
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There's really only one solution to our imperialistic war-mongering condition: Annex Canada Now!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:20 AM
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177: How's aboot we just annex you, and give 1/2 the armed forces a pink slip, the other half a blue hat? Solve imperialism and health care in one fell swoop...


Posted by: Canada | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:27 AM
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it's the Democrats themselves who have been doing the minimizing.

And 16 Democrat senators (including mine) explored a new nadir in minimization with the FISA cave-in yesterday. And I fear enough in the House will debase themselves to pass the goddamn thing there as well.

This is as discouraging a vote as I can recall in quite some time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:32 AM
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I'm serious, Canada. Do you want to Save Mankind, or not?

(I'm writing this from Canada, btw. Let's see how diligent the GRC is . . .)


Posted by: charleycarp | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:41 AM
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180: I'm also serious.


Posted by: Canada | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 9:45 AM
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So am I.


Posted by: serious | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 10:06 AM
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Canada has oil, so we should have annexed it by now. I suspect that the Republicans are too worried that those Canuks might be too blue.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 10:15 AM
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I've heard that in western Canada, it's all a bunch of rednecks.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 10:40 AM
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Alberta especially, probably Saskatchawan and Manitoba too.

B.C. is very strange, with its own indigenous pretty-hard-left and corrupt-hard-right parties, but also the Canadian mild-manneredness.

Also, Doukhobors.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 10:50 AM
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Hillary, while still not as bad as a Republican, is apparently in favor of further minimizing the difference. Would I vote for her?

Hillary Clinton is still, at heart, the same Goldwater Girl she was in 1964. She'd probably still be a Republican if it weren't for the social conservatives. Indeed, as far as the social conservatives go, she's probably less libertarian on abortion than Goldwater was.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 11:02 AM
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Which is not to say that, Gold help me, I wouldn't vote for her. But I think she'd be a poor president. Just not as lousy as any of the Republicans.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 11:03 AM
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Just not as lousy as any of the Republicans.

OTOH, a Republican presidency won't move the Democratic Party further to the right. But, yeah, we still have to vote for her if she's the nominee on "not as bad as the other guy" grounds.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 11:06 AM
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B thinks she can tell gender, but she can't.

Noooo! You're shitting on what remains of my lingering academic credibility!!!

Re. Hillary, I have the hardest time. I can't help having a strong emotional pull towards her, and I genuinely like her as a person. She's more conservative than I like, but I'm also aware that any viable woman candidate for president is going to be more conservative than I like. It's just painful.

I think she's going to be the nominee, though, so then I'll get to vote for her without worrying about my reservations.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 11:08 AM
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I see we've fixed the italics-across-paragraphs problem?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 11:09 AM
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I've heard that in western Canada, it's all a bunch of rednecks.

Godless liberalism in the cities, redneckism in the countryside.

Alberta's brand of redneckism is probably closest to the American variety, complete with meth, Bibles and market worship; hence it tends (increasingly) to sprout conservatives who admire the Republican model. Business ties between the Texan and Albertan oilpatches probably don't hurt, either. Calgary's been the long-time ubran bastion of this kind of redneckism, but IMO it's losing its conviction in this role.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 11:28 AM
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Emerson, ever heard of the NDP? You know, the government in Manitoba?

Obviously, Canadians are quite diverse. They're not as caught up in exceptionalism as Americans, though, and also not many are personally wrapped up in our Civil War -- and least the ratio of southern sympathy is substantially lower.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 12:25 PM
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What is this??!??! Why can't we paint with a broad brush??!?!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 12:29 PM
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193:I stopped using rollers 10 years ago and started using a 5 inch brush. I found I could lay a thicker and more even first coat with less splatter. It is also more fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 12:47 PM
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I look like Farber, cept meaner & more hairy.

176:Kotsko, I believe you. I have never voted for a Republican, and never will. I have voted Libertarian downticket when I wanted to mess with the Dems, and could go for the "tiny standing army" thing if this country didn't have Republicans. I didn't engage that argument way above because it is less relevant in America than it would be in Julian Rome.

A small American military means only that we would use nukes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 12:58 PM
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I voted Republican once, in a NC Supreme Court race. The Democratic nominee was a total clown who had only gotten the nomination by the good fortune of having the same first and last name as a well-liked former governor, and I just couldn't justify voting for somebody who would only discredit the Democratic Party on the bench.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-07 3:42 PM
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Michal Kalecki, building on Rosa Luxemburg, decades ago explained the interventionist consensus.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 11:36 AM
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