From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Stupid is as Stupid Does
July 29, 2003 6:30 AM
John Prados reveals the Bush Administration's incompetence.
Don Rumsfeld built a quagmire in Iraq. Richard Cheney helped Rumsfeld pressure the CIA to hype the Iraq threat. Condi Rice supervised the non-plan for the occupation of Iraq. George Bush bears ultimate responsibility for all this -- and for his State of the Union Address. When does accountability begin? Can this gang even shoot straight?
Stupid is as Stupid Does
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Read the 10 comments.
Its almost been three months since I have seen the "Q" word and that was when our troops where hopelessly mired down in Iraq with no hope of victory. I guess anything that takes longer then a MTV music segment is a hopeless lost cause and goes beyond John Prados' ability to cope.
I also like John's condesending reference to the US's friendship with the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe as relations cool with the old Socialist Republics whose close ties have cost America dearly in lives and treasury in the past century. At least it shows he is aware that something is happening, even if he doesn't know what it is.
Tue Jul 29 2003 8:36 AM
Paul in OC:
"as relations cool with the old Socialist republics"
You mean our former allies, who could bail us out in Iraq, but refuse to because we treated them like enemies, instead of partners? Mismanaging the relationship with our European allies is yet another example of the gross incompetence of the Bush administration. If the administration thinks Poland, Bulgaria, and Ukraine can help us out in Iraq as much as the Germans, French, Italians, and Canadians, they really are smoking some wonderful stuff in the oval office.
How you treat your friends when they disagree with you shows just what kind of character and class you have. Too bad Bush's lack of class reflects on all of us.
We really do need some help in Iraq, even though you seem to think things are well in hand over there. We need people who are trained as peacekeepers, and we need other countries to get involved, so that our efforts over there have some legitimacy. As far as most Iraqis are probably concerned, we are over there only to steal their oil. If you were them, and you believed that, wouldn't you consider taking up arms to make the occupation as difficult as possible?
Tue Jul 29 2003 1:52 PM
Paul in OC:
The other problem with Iraq is that it is a diversion from the very real threats of North Korea and Al Qaeda. So, whether or not it is a quagmire, it is a dangerous dalliance, when we should be focusing more seriously on true threats to the American people. If it is a quagmire, then so much the worse, because the U.S. army is bogged down, when it should be getting ready for potential war on the Korean peninsula.
Like the budget mess, Bush is putting off this issue for his predecessor. The next President is going to inherit a hell of a lot of problems.
Tue Jul 29 2003 1:58 PM
Paul in OC:
Just to elaborate, I don't want to go to war against North Korea, but the only deterrent we have against them is the believable threat that we can and will go to war with them, if necessary. Rather than acquiescing to Kim Jong Il's mad nuclear ambitions, we should make preparations for war and state our unequivocal intention to force North Korea to disarm, as we did with Saddam Hussein (who, it seems, was already disarmed by the UN inspections regime). Bush had the right policy, but the wrong target.
Tue Jul 29 2003 2:12 PM
Careful there, Paul in OC, I think we're at defcon 4 now!
Tue Jul 29 2003 2:19 PM
John in OC
The lack of class street goes both ways. When you get down to the French haven't been much of an ally or friend to the US in the past century. In the what have you done for me lately column the best most people can point out is the Statue of Liberty, the goodwill that bought was used up in 1917. After that it has been a lot of take, take, take. As for the Germans, when it comes to war, I would assume they would be to ashamed to show their face let alone point fingers. Yes, the lack of class displayed by the old tired socialist republics that owe their very existance to the charitable nature of Americans is a very poor display of class.
We shouldn't be surprised as the very same nations told Slick to shove off when he attempted to build a coalition to bring peace to the Balklands. I also wouldn't be to quick to discount the military help of the Czechs or the Poles, especially considering how freely they are offering it. It seems the nations which have been feeding at the American trough the longest are the first turn their backs when a little payback is expected. I only pray that their actions are not forgotten when considering where the US spends its defense dollars over the course of the next couple years.
I agree we need additional peace keepers in Iraq, preferable of middle eastern - eastern origin such as the Pakistanis or Egyptions. Not so much that that they are homogenious as they are seen as less of a threat. I seriously doubt the Iraqis fear Egypt is going to take over their nation. I doubt that anyone seriously wants French ground forces in Iraq. As the Iraqi people become more aware of the French involvement in the "Palaces for Oil" scheme I doubt their presence would be welcome.
Tue Jul 29 2003 3:24 PM
Paul in OC:
"As for the Germans, when it comes to war, I would assume they would be to ashamed to show their face let alone point fingers."
I don't think there are very many Germans alive today who were involved in the extermination of the Jews. How would you like to be blamed for the criminal actions of your grandparents?
Germans didn't support the Iraq war, because they have a very strong peace movement, much stronger than the one in the U.S. They simply disagreed with the Bush administration. There was no reason for Bush to take it so personally.
By the way, if you keep calling Clinton "Slick", which is very disrespectful of a former President, I'm going to start calling Bush "Shrubby". Or maybe "Junior" or "Daddy's little boy".
Wed Jul 30 2003 1:22 AM
I refer to the former president as "Slick" because it takes to long to type "Dope smoking, Draft dodging, Lying sack of S**t" every time I feel the need mention him or his actions. Hence he recieves all the respect he righfully deserves, think his wife calls him anything better? I also notice you only address his nickname and not the actions of the Old Europe. Apparently Europe's bad manners did not start with the election of W, and actually go back for decades.
The Germans still have a lot to live down, even as the generation of evil passes on. The claims of "No one knew what those camps where for" ring as hollow today as they did then. Having lost my grandmother and two uncles in one of those camps makes sure the memories live long and hard. I would not like being held accountable for the criminal actions of my grandparents, but I would have liked for them to be alive.
I also stand by my statement of the "Old Socialist Republics". France, Italy, Belgium, and to a lesser extent Germany all face a problem that will regulate them to the cheap seats in world politics in the next twenty years. Their populations are both aging and declining and the enormous strain it inflicts on their cradle to grave social programs will bankrupt them in the coming decades. This problem combined with their aversion to immigration makes our own Social Security program woes look almost cheery. The US should not give to much reverence to nations that will soon have little significance to world politics.
Wed Jul 30 2003 6:01 AM
Paul in OC:
I don't know what actions of Europe you're talking about.
"The claims of "No one knew what those camps where for" ring as hollow today as they did then."
Ever see "Schindler's List"? Some Germans opposed the Nazis, but they couldn't do it directly. If you're saying that some Germans are evil, because they were involved in the Holocaust, I'll give that to you, but casting all Germans as evil only shows the very small world you live in.
Don't forget the real reason why Germany is relegated to the "cheap seats". It's carrying alone the economic basket case which was East Germany. How do you feel about adopting Mexico? Think it might be a drag on our economy?
Here's an August 2001 chart which shows the U.S. post-war role in Kosovo was smaller than that of 15 other nations:
Personnel in the Kosovo force per million of population, June 2000
Here's the source document
Yeah, I know, Germany's contribution is small. Both Germany and Japan have a hard time convincing their populations to send troops abroad. Germany has a powerful anti-war faction, and Japan has a federal constitution which forbids maintaining an offensive military capability. It's not because they're not our friends, it's just a difference in philosophy. Historically, war has been good for the U.S. It strengthens our economy and sense of purpose. For Germans and Japanese, war has historically not been positive for them. Not only did they commit atrocities during war, but even worse, they lost and their countris were laid waste.
Germany supported the war against Serbia, insofar as it voted for the NATO action. I haven't researched actual German involvement in the war itself, but I imagine it was quite small on a per-GDP basis. Japan supported the first war against Iraq by paying substantial sums of money to the U.S., since they couldn't send troops. When all was said and done, the first Iraq war cost us nothing, because of funding from Kuwait, Japan, and other donor nations.
If Junior was smart like his daddy, he could have worked the same deal. You can blame it on our former allies, all you want. It all comes back to the fact that Shrubby isn't even 1/10th the man that his father was. I wouldn't be surprised if Daddy has had a few shouting matches with aWol, trying to pound some sense into his addled brain.
Wed Jul 30 2003 3:36 PM
The problem with the coalition that Daddy Bush formed to fight Gulf War 1 was the allies. The ground forces had one mission that united them, drive Iraq out of Kuwait, to have mounted a full scale invasion into Iraq to oust Saddam was not a possibility with countries like Syria and Jordon as allies. Their goal was to reestablish the status quo, not to establish a democracy in the midst of Islam. To have "gone it alone" once Iraq was out of Kuwait was not even considered with these nations sitting firmly astride supply routes and intermingled with our ground troops. Daddy Bush's downfall was his success in building the coalition of willing nations that sent troops. In this situation lip service would have been sufficient.
Thu Jul 31 2003 5:31 AM