I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
Well Newshoggers has closed it's doors so Middle Earth Journal is active once again.

Showing posts with label Wingnuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wingnuts. Show all posts

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hack Of The Day

Preacher turned Governor turned Presidential Candidate turned millionaire political hack Mike Huckabee knows why the massacre at Shady Hook Elementary School happened - his god was pissed off.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee attributed the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in part to restrictions on school prayer and religious materials in the classroom.

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
Law enforcement has released few details on the alleged gunman, but Huckabee suggested that the separation of church and state may have spurred his rampage.
So his angry god allowed 20 young children to be killed  because it was not getting enough attention.  Sorry Mike, I want no part of such a god.  I am sad to see what you have become.  When you first came on the national scene I didn't agree with your religious views but you seemed to be a populist kind if nice guy.  Those millions you get from FOX have turned you into a Pat Robertson with a bigger congregation.
Great post by Tom Levenson at Balloon Juice:
In other words: Twenty-eight deaths, including the murder of twenty kids, was the fault not of the shooter, nor of a gun lobby that portrays military weapons as household tools. Rather, said Huckabee, it was your fault and mine for having failed to appease his angry god by public worship in school.
Saying so is to implicate not just America at large in the crime. It also adds up to a claim that those involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in particular were complicit in this massacre, for the banishment of one deity or another occured in that particular school too. Lost a kid? Too bad. Shoulda prayed harder; shoulda held up a cross; shoulda, coulda, sorry old chum.
I can’t begin to write the rage and disgust I feel for that sanctimonious shit. (Whether the word “shit” in that sentence applies to the man or the thought I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.) I want to say that it seems to me that there is a special place in hell Mike Huckabee.

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Lunatics Really Have Taken Over The Asylum

We all know what a lunatic Tod Akin (R-MO) is and he's on the House Science Committee.  Well here is another Republican on that Committee, Paul Broun (R-GA).

And guess what this guy is a physician with an M.D. and a bachelors in chemistry.  Let's take a closer look at what Broun said.

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun said. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
According to Broun, the scientific plot was primarily concerned with hiding the true age of the Earth.

 Now this guy should no be able to practice medicine.  And there is more:

“You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth,” he said. “I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”
 He must have visited the Creationist Museum.

This is today's Republican Party.
via TPM

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Living in their own reality

You know, those of us who read the political news on a regular basis have noticed that Obama seems to be holding a small but clear lead over Romney and, if anything, his position seems to be improving over the last couple of days rather than fading as the convention “bounce” wears off thanks to a few unforced errors by the Romney campaign. All of which seems pretty reasonable.

Of course, we’re not conspiracy minded extremists who think Obama is the next thing to an extremist socialist Muslim anti-colonialist Kenyan traitor-in-chief who should be losing handily to whatever anointed figurehead with a (R) after his name is running against him, positions on the issues be damned.

So what to do when reality refuses to conform to your delusions? Create your own reality! One in which all those polls showing Obama winning the battle for people’s votes are just part and parcel of that “liberal media bias” and therefore deliberately skewed in Obama’s favour.

I present UnSkewedPolls.com, the best new website on the political Internet. UnSkewed Polls finally removes the “liberal media bias” from every single national opinion poll, and it turns out that “unskewing” them means “making it so that Romney is ahead by a lot.” Rick Perry approves!

The UnSkewed Average has Romney at 51.8 percent and Obama at a mere 44 percent. How does the genius behind UnSkewed Polls go about unskewing all the polls — like, for real, the vast majority of polls — that show the opposite result? Well, Dean Chambers, the polling genius behind the site, simply “re-weights” every single national poll to reflect his belief that Republicans are undersampled, based on right-leaning pollster Rasmussen’s partisan breakdown of the electorate. (Scott Rasmussen blurbs: “you cannot compare partisan weighting from one polling firm to another.”)

And obviously “re-weighting” every single poll to reflect an electorate made up of a plurality of self-identified Republicans also involves a bit of guesswork! Like, for example, sometimes polls don’t include crosstabs, so Mr. Unskewed just assumes they’re skewed with liberal media bias, and corrects accordingly.

This is hardly a new phenomena, and the author even notes when some liberals were playing the wishful thinking game in 2004 in regards to John Kerry, but while I remember some rumblings in this area from pro-Republicans regarding McCain’s numbers in 2008, the rhetoric of the true believers this time around seems a great deal more focused than last time.

I suppose I should not be surprised by such things. After all, denial of reality and empirical evidence is part of the litmus test Republicans are forced to take these days on a number of issues, so what’s one more denial of evidence to add to the pile.

Still, assuming another Obama victory in November, I can’t imagine how much more unhinged the wingnuts buying into this “unskewed” alternate reality are going to become.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Great momments in wingnuttery

As if one failing occupation wasn't enough we have the wingnut post of the day from Dr. Rusty Shackleford:
The Two Wars in Iraq & Mistaken Republican Support for Obama
First we have this:
Bush screwed the pooch in Iraq. There is a good argument to be made that we should not have invaded in the first place.* There is no good argument that we should leave.
Well he's half right and that's an improvement but it goes downhill from there.
This conclusion is inevitable when one comes to the same realization as me. There was a war in Iraq and there is a war in Iraq. In fact, we've had two wars in Iraq: Iraq War I & Iraq War II.

The war now is not the same as that war. The first war in Iraq was against Saddam Hussein, the second war is against Islamists of various stripes, but mainly al Qaeda.
Give me a break, "the second war is against Islamists of various stripes, but mainly al Qaeda". Not even the Pentagon or the Bush administration make such claims anymore. You're not paying attention to the latest talking points Rusty, it's all about Iran now - you know, the country who's President is greeted with flowers by "our" puppet government.

And poor Rusty's rantings become even more demented and delusional. In fact his conclusion reads like something from Fafblog:
We must begin to speak of two Iraq wars. The two wars conception is more precise. It describes what has happened and what is happening in Iraq more fully than speaking of the war. It clarifies many of the debates surrounding the present war as well as allows us to conceptually think more clearly.

Further, the only way to convince war skeptics that winning the present war in Iraq is in our national interests is to give them the linguistic tools for being able to conceive of it as separate from the first war, even if it flows from it.

The First Iraq War may have been "optional", as many of the critics say; but the Second Iraq war is not. We must win it. The price of victory may be high, but the price of defeat is higher.

*There are also good arguments, in my estimation, that the decision to invade Iraq was correct.

**There may be an argument that Iraq I was an extension of the Gulf War in the same way that some view WWII was an extension of WWI.
Of course the Fafblog crew isn't serious - Rusty is! Straight jacket please.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Clueless, Dangerous Idiots-Hot Air Edition

The other day I discussed how clueless the neocons and the Bush administration is when it comes to the realities of Iraq. Not to be outdone our friend Ed Morrissey writing at Hot Air proves he is either in denial or just as clueless.
Iraqis aren’t stupid — and they’re watching us
As Michael reminds us, we can argue over 2002-3 all we want, but it doesn’t have anything to do with 2008. We are in Iraq, and al-Qaeda is arrayed against our troops. In fact, this is the best possible situation if we want to fight terrorists — to have them on a battlefield in straight-up fights against our military. It’s exactly what terrorists don’t want. If they wanted to fight our military, they wouldn’t use bomb commuter trains and fly civilian airplanes into their targets.
OK, Ed is even more delusional than the administration - not even they think al-Qaeda is a significant force is Iraq. He then goes on to say that al-Qaeda wants us to leave Iraq - nothing could be further from the truth. Both al-Qaeda and Iran love the fact that our military is tied down and rapidly being worn down in Bush's ill advised Mesopotamian quagmire. And speaking of Iran - they are all ready the winners in Iraq. Their longtime nemesis, Saddam, is gone and their very good friends of the ISCI and Da'wa party a firmly in control. If we really think the government of al-Maliki is "our" ally we are really fools.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wingnuts can't handle the truth

I'm a Vietnam era veteran. I remember when the M16 was first introduced in Vietnam. It really didn't matter if we could not get ammunition because they frequently don't work anyway. AK47's were the weapon of choice - they always fired when you pulled the trigger, a really good feature when you are in a fire fight. Now the mil bloggers most of which have never been in the military are all bent out of shape by this from Obama:
You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon -- supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon," he said. "Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.
Matt Yglesias has the details.

Monday, February 11, 2008

This is the best they can do?

My major concern about Obama has been what the Rovian Swiftboaters would do to him after he became the nominee. He has actually been giving them some ammo himself like his comments on drug use. Well I guess this is apparently the first day that the Rovians have Obama in their sights.
Oh, my. Barack Obama may want to call his new Houston office and suggest some decorating ideas. Take a look at the flag flying in the office at the moment:

No, that's not a Texas state flag with a picture of Obama on it. It's the flag of the Castro-led Cuba regime, with Che Guevara's face superimposed on the side. A Fox report from Houston captured this image as it showed Obama supporters celebrating his momentum after Super Tuesday.

Does Obama know his Houston supporters honor a terrorist in his campaign office?
If this is the best they can do then maybe I didn't need to worry so much. The politburo diktat 2.0 gets it right.
Remember the “vast right wing conspiracy?” I think this is the “half vast” version.

Update for Fausta
Please go read John Cole and think about the hypocrisy.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Grasping for relevance

After Mitt left the race yesterday we should have had an office pool on who's head would explode first. Well AJStrata reports that the winner would have been the one who picked Sean Hannity.
Apparently Rich Galen wrote a piece today and noted how conservatives tearing down McCain is basically doing the liberal media’s work for them. It is a fair if slightly exaggerated point to make, especially after years of the right tearing down El Presidente Jorge Bush for disagreeing with them.

But something inside Hannity snapped over this and he was in the throws of insanity. He claimed those who question his actions are pompous, arrogant, hanger-ons who are simply trying to angle for jobs in the new administration and have sold their principles for money. And he was just getting started! The most hilarious (and pathetic) part came where he declared himself and other angry and raving talk show hosts the future of America! You could almost see him stand up and salute himself.

Clearly Hannity and his sharp-tongued friends are not as able to take criticism as they are at dishing it out (with insults and demeaning undertones). Geez, it was just one man’s view of the coalition self-destructing. I think what was most bizarre was how he kept trying to claim he was upbeat and things were great through out his tirade (Dude, there was so much anger and hurt I don’t know who you think you are kidding?). He also started the whole thing by claiming he got all these media calls today - as if to prove to himself he is still relevant. He then went on to say he had the power of the airwaves and people in DC better be careful or he would close their access. The threats were really something else and went on for quite a while.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Post Super Tuesday

The battle for the Democratic nomination will continue but the two battles on the Republican side are all but over. Yes, there were two battles going on in the Republican side - the battle for the nomination and the battle for control of the Republican party and the wingnuts seem to be losing both. We have discussed this second battle in: Harold Meyerson discusses the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party in:
The Repudiation of Rove
John McCain had a surprising but pleasant evening last night -- watching Mitt Romney go down to defeat in nearly every contest and encountering a newly victorious but ultimately unnominatable Mike Huckabee all across the Bible Belt. McCain's successes so far reflect not only his appeal as a candidate but also the bankruptcy of the conservative agenda and political strategy that have steered the Republicans for many years.

McCain's victories have been chiefly a triumph of biography over ideology.

Blessed, in Romney, with an opponent who approaches the Platonic Ideal of Inauthenticity, McCain has racked up primary-season successes more because of the personal contrasts between the two candidates than because of differences of program. But his personal merits have yet to sway those Republicans who classify themselves in the polls as very conservative.

A more direct affront to the Republican strategy devised by Karl Rove -- to build support within the party's right-wing base and then try to win over just enough moderates to carry elections -- cannot be imagined.

McCain's whole campaign is anti-Rovian. His core supporters are Republican moderates and Republican-inclined independents, and then he picks off enough conservatives to prevail. Even if he didn't have a history of rocky relations with various right-wing leaders, the very trajectory of his campaign would pose a threat to the conservative movement, notwithstanding that McCain is philosophically an heir to Barry Goldwater.

Moreover, McCain's successes have not been accompanied by an ideological reorientation within Republican ranks. The polls do not show any diminution of self-described conservatives within the party or any notable growth of the moderate faction.

So how have Republican conservatives managed to be on the losing end of so many primaries?
A good question and I think Meyerson's answer is the correct one - George W. Bush!
With his preemptive war and seemingly permanent occupation in Iraq, and his attempt to privatize Social Security, George W. Bush pushed American conservatism past the point where the American people were willing to go -- pushed them, in fact, to the point where they recoiled at the conservative project. And with that, American conservatism shuddered to a halt. In the 2005-06 congressional session, Republicans still controlled both houses of Congress, yet they introduced no major legislation.

This exhaustion of conservatism has been apparent all along in the Republican presidential contest, where the chief point of agreement among the leading candidates has been to make permanent both the Bush tax cuts for the rich and our occupation of Iraq. The conservative agenda has been winnowed down to supporting what remains of Bushism. That's not only a losing formula for November, it also means that intellectually, conservatism is running on empty.
Conservatism had continued to support the empty and failed policies of an empty and failed administration. At a time when "conservative" has become associated with the Bush administration and that same administration has the support of less than one third of the voters "conservative" has become the new toxic tag. The more John McCain is accused of not being a conservative the better he seems to do. The conservative pinned all of their hopes on an obvious Face Dancer, Mitt Romney, and few were buying.

Avedon Carol has a different take:
Harold Meyerson is, I think, a classic example of people who have been fooled by the wolf in sheep's clothing that is John McCain. Meyerson sees his ascendency as a repudiation of Karl Rove, but he's not; he's another far-right conservative who pretends to moderation, just as Bush was eight years ago. Mitt Romney is a more obvious phony than McCain, but they are both phoneys. In fact, Mitt is the more moderate, as a man whose only interest is climbing up the power ladder and who will change his stated views at a moment's notice if it will help him up that ladder. McCain wears a few convenient talismans of moderation, but his real asset is his ability to charm the celebrity press who have talked up his "straight talk" incessantly despite his blatant flip-floppy pandering. So here's the thing: McCain is a far-right conservative. He happened to be running against Karl Rove's True Love in 2000, but today he's not, and he's the right-wing nut who has the best chance of being able to beat a Democrat, which makes him exactly what Karl Rove wants. Not a problem for Rove.
Now she is right when she says that McCain is indeed a conservative wingnut and that Karl Rove is smart enough to realize that McCain is the only candidate with even a chance of winning. But I think she misses the point that Meyerson is trying to make - McCain's is not a Rovian campaign and is not so much a repudiation of Rove as a repudiation of conservative power brokers.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Half the story

The wingnuts are all excited about this:
Record numbers go abroad for health treatment with 70,000 escaping NHS
Record numbers of Britons are travelling abroad for medical treatment to escape the NHS - with 70,000 patients expected to fly out this year.

And by the end of the decade 200,000 "health tourists" will fly as far as Malaysa and South Africa for major surgery to avoid long waiting lists and the rising threat of superbugs, according to a new report.
Ezra Klein gives us the other half of the story, the British health tourists have a place to go because of even more Americans are escaping the high cost of the US private health system.
Of course, Britain spends 41 percent what we do per capita -- and no one thinks Blair made up that shortfall, or anything close to it. So detractors are probably best served by not making funding the issue. I wouldn't have thought, however, that they'd try to move over to medical tourism as a point of comparison. But we can have that discussion. We can talk about the 50,000 Americans who go to Bumrungrad hospital in Thailand every year for cheaper surgeries. We can go into this article, about the Indian hospitals primarily serving Americans, or this one, about the waves of Americans traveling abroad because they're unable to afford heart surgery. Indeed, there are more Americans -- 100,000 -- traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery alone than there are Britons seeking any type of services in foreign lands.

America is actually driving the medical tourism industry that some Britons are taking advantage of. The growth of foreign treatment centers aren't a result of the failings of the British health care system (of which there are many). They're a result of the cost of American health care, and the huge numbers of sick individuals we price out. You'd think, paying two-and-a-half times what the Brits do for health care, that we could all access care, and wouldn't need to fly to India. But you'd be wrong. The Brits also have a bad health care system, but theirs is, on the bright side, very, very cheap. Ours isn't.
Now you have the entire story.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Col. Hunt just doesn't get it!

A few weeks ago I asked the question everyone should be asking George W. Bush.
Why did you decide to invade Iraq and let Osama go free?
And then I answered the question:
Dubya and Osama have a symbiotic relationship - each one is strengthened by the acts of the other. That of course makes it all the more important to ask the question.
Well apparently FOX's Col. David Hunt didn't get the memo or read MEJ.

America Could Have Killed Usama bin Laden — But Didn't
We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence — that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers — Seal Team 6 — nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it. Nice job again guys — now, pull the damn trigger.

Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden.

You cannot make this crap up; truth is always stranger and more telling than fiction. Our government, the current administration and yes, our military leaders included, failed to kill bin Laden for no other reason than incompetence.

The current “boneheads” in charge will tell you all day long that we are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop terrorists there so they do not come here. Nice talk, how about — just for a moment — acting like you mean what you say? You know walk the walk. These incidents, where we displayed a total lack of guts, like the one in August, are just too prevalent. The United States of America’s political and military leadership has, on at least three separate occasions, chosen not capture or kill bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahri. We have allowed Pakistan to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda.
Now the wingers are upset but not with the Bush administration but because the military is afraid to kill people because they fear they will be put on trial for it. To quote Col. Hunt; "You cannot make this crap up".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Where's the outrage!!!

I discussed how Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey was talking the talk below. I missed something however but Andrew Sullivan and Steve Benen didn't. It would appear that this comment by Mr Mukasey:
The Bybee memo is “worse than a sin, it’s a mistake,” Mukasey said. He referenced the photographs taken by U.S. troops who liberated the Nazi concentration camps in 1945 to document the “barbarism” the U.S. opposed.
sounded a lot like this from Senator Dick Durbin:
In a Senate floor speech Tuesday, [Senator Dick] Durbin cited an FBI report describing Guantanamo Bay prisoners chained to the floor in the fetal position without food or water and sometimes in extreme temperatures.

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control," he said, "you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."
Now Durbins comments resulted in outrage from the right. If you don't remember John Cole did some Google investigating reporting and has examples. So will the ever ready right wing attack machine go after Michael Mukasey or as Sully says:
Let's see if Reynolds or Steyn will lambaste the incoming attorney-general on the same grounds, shall we? Or will their double standards reveal their partisan hackery again?
I vote for hypocritical partisan hackery!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Must Read

How the wingers support the troops - when it's convenient.
Attacking the Dead: Conservative Support for the Troops
Read the comments too.
What do the right wingers really think of the troops? In short: "you have to be some kind of dumb fuck to join the military and fight my war". Now that is really supporting the troops!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Geraldo reevaluated

I've never been able to tolerate Geraldo Rivera but after this I may have to take another look.
“Michelle Malkin is the most vile, hateful commentator I’ve ever met in my life,” he says. “She actually believes that neighbors should start snitching out neighbors, and we should be deporting people.

“It’s good she’s in D.C. and I’m in New York,” Rivera sneers. “I’d spit on her if I saw her.”
Well at least he got it right at least once. Needless to say Michelle was not too pleased.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The real threat to the United States

Updated Below
Is there a threat more dangerous to the US form of government than al-Qaeda? The answer might be yes and it's even closer to home in the form of authoritarian wingnuts. While those on the right, like Ed Morrissey, have been correctly critical of Hugo Chavez's attempt to become President for life....
Hugo Chavez will push through an end to term limits on an elected office in Venezuela, not coincidentally his own. The change will allow Venezuelans the pleasure of electing him indefinitely, which he sees as critical to his nation's "happiness", if not his own:
....we have this (via Digby) from Family Security Matters.
Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy
By Philip Atkinson
President George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2005 after being chosen by the majority of citizens in America to be president.

Yet in 2007 he is generally despised, with many citizens of Western civilization expressing contempt for his person and his policies, sentiments which now abound on the Internet. This rage at President Bush is an inevitable result of the system of government demanded by the people, which is Democracy.

The inadequacy of Democracy, rule by the majority, is undeniable – for it demands adopting ideas because they are popular, rather than because they are wise. This means that any man chosen to act as an agent of the people is placed in an invidious position: if he commits folly because it is popular, then he will be held responsible for the inevitable result. If he refuses to commit folly, then he will be detested by most citizens because he is frustrating their demands.

When faced with the possible threat that the Iraqis might be amassing terrible weapons that could be used to slay millions of citizens of Western Civilization, President Bush took the only action prudence demanded and the electorate allowed: he conquered Iraq with an army.

This dangerous and expensive act did destroy the Iraqi regime, but left an American army without any clear purpose in a hostile country and subject to attack. If the Army merely returns to its home, then the threat it ended would simply return.

The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life.

The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Yet Israel is not popular, and so is denied permission to defend itself. In the same vein, President Bush cannot do what is necessary for the survival of Americans. He cannot use the nation's powerful weapons. All he can do is try and discover a result that will be popular with Americans.

As there appears to be no sensible result of the invasion of Iraq that will be popular with his countrymen other than retreat, President Bush is reviled; he has become another victim of Democracy.

By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.

However, President Bush has a valuable historical example that he could choose to follow.

When the ancient Roman general Julius Caesar was struggling to conquer ancient Gaul, he not only had to defeat the Gauls, but he also had to defeat his political enemies in Rome who would destroy him the moment his tenure as consul (president) ended.

Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome – thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.

If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.

He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.
This article has been deleted from their site but digby found this in the Google Cache. A fringe organization you say. Digby explains not so!
I've been getting a lot of emails about this group Family Security Matters which boasts such right wing luminaries as Barbara Comstock, Monica Crowley, Frank Gaffney, Laura Ingraham and James Woolsey among others on its board of directors. It seems like they are just another of the dozens of wingnut welfare programs devoted to throwing good money after bad keeping conservative operatives gainfully employed.

The emails I'm getting say they are busily scrubbing articles all over the place. When you look at what they've left up you have to wonder what could possibly be so bad they have to scrub it.
Perhaps those on the right who are not cultists like Ed should join the rest of us in looking a little closer to home for threats to our way of life.

Dave Neiwert has more

Update II
Mark Kleiman thinks it's a hoax. I must admit that I wondered about that as well. Philip Atkinson is a genuine lunatic. He really does say and write this stuff. Dave Neiwert had some of his other writings at Family Security Matters that are still in the Google cache. I will give FSM the benifit of the doubt and assume they may have let this really crazy man in the door and then scrubbed his stuff and kicked him out. As for the members; I doubt that James Woolsey would go along with this but I can't say the same for Frank Gaffney and Laura Ingraham. They are just as nuts as Mr Atkinson. A "hoax", no. A mistake by some overzealous members, perhaps.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Being There

When US lawmakers and think tank celebrities like O’Hanlon and Pollack go to Iraq they see what the Bush administration wants them to see and rarely anything outside the Green Zone. The Generals that Bush allegedly listens to rarely leave their fortified encampments. As the AP reported yesterday any security improvements in Baghdad may be more the result of increased control by Shiite militia than an increase in US presence. So how do the troops who live the occupation everyday see the situation? Much to their credit the New York Times went out and talked to a few enlisted men who were about to finish up a 15 month tour.
The War as We Saw It
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)
How and why the US failed:
At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums. Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. “Lucky” Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal.

In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, “We need security, not free food.”

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.
It will be interesting to see how the military responds to this commentary. Even more interesting will be the response or perhaps like of response from the fighting keyboarders. John Cole sums it up:
While these guys are in the 82nd Airborne, you can see that what they write is sure to infuriate the patriots in the 101st Chairborne. I wonder if they are going to have the nerve to ratchet up the smear machine against these guys. They have their names. Do they have the balls? I am betting that since they don’t, they will choose route #2- ignore the op-ed even exists.

Apparently the British Generals are seeing the same Iraq that the non-coms from 82nd Airborne are seeing.
Military commanders tell Brown to withdraw from Iraq without delay
Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.

Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the decision to hand over security in Basra province – the last of the four held by the British – "will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground". He added: "Whatever happens, we will make a full statement to Parliament when it returns [in October]."

Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, "We've done what we can in the south [of Iraq]". Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as "nightly suicide missions" – by the end of August. The withdrawal of 500 soldiers has already been announced by the Government. The Army is drawing up plans to "reposture" the 5,000 that will be left at Basra airport, and aims to bring the bulk of them home in the next few months.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bush's Surge Is Still A Failure

The wingers are making hay over this misleading AP article.
Democrats Praise Military Progress
WASHINGTON (AP) - One senator said U.S. troops are routing out al-Qaida in parts of Iraq. Another insisted President Bush's plan to increase troops has caused tactical momentum.
One even went so far on Wednesday as to say the argument could be made that U.S. troops are winning.

These are not Bush-backing GOP die-hards, but Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Bob Casey and Jack Reed. Even Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, said progress was being made by soldiers.

The suggestions by them and other Democrats in recent days that at least a portion of Bush's strategy in Iraq is working is somewhat surprising, considering the bitter exchanges on Capitol Hill between the Democratic majority and Republicans and Bush. Democrats have long said Bush's policies have been nothing more than a complete failure.
There was never any doubt about the military portion of the surge, the American troops are the finest in the world. Unfortunately the military success is meaningless without political success of which there has been none. This is a variation on the "moving the goalposts" commentary in the Weekly Standard.

So what did the Democrats really say?
Levin, while saying military progress was being made, said the troop build-up could not be considered a success because its purpose was to make way for political reconciliation, and that hasn't happened.

"The only hope is if they take the responsibility onto themselves and we end the open-ended military commitment," Levin, of Michigan, said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition."

Reed, a Rhode Island senator who visited Iraq last month, said there's been tactical momentum, but it "has yet to translate itself into real political momentum, which is the key, I think, to progress."

Durbin, an Illinois senator who is traveling this week with Pennsylvania Sen. Casey, told CNN on Wednesday that "naturally" troops are routing out al-Qaida in parts of Iraq, but then explained there's no evidence of the government in the areas.

In a conference call with reporters, Casey said one could make a good argument that U.S. troops have won the war, then accused Iraqi politicians and the Bush administration of not matching the intensity of the troops.

"The troops have met every assignment, they've beaten the odds time and again, they've done everything we've asked them to," Casey said.

Still more wingnut fodder from the Ass Press.

Monday, August 06, 2007


The few remaining supporters of the invasion and occupation of Iraq are not only talking about mythological improvements in Iraq but of mythological changes in perception. Last week we had Lieberman camp "Democrats" Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack told us how things are improving in Iraq and that we can still "win". Willaim Kristol tells us public opinion has turned based on the column by uber hawks O'Hanlon and Pollack. All three have been consistently wrong about all things Iraq from the beginning but still think we should listen to their "wisdom". Of course they fail to mention that Iraq is no closer to a political solution than it was three years ago and in fact the country is falling apart. Former war supporter Michael Ignatieff acknowledges that in the lead up to the invasion those who “truly showed good judgment on Iraq” might have had no more information than those who got it wrong, but did not make the mistake of confusing “wishes for reality.” All these years later it's still going on. Wishes don't make reality.

Over at RealClearPolitics Michael Barone continues the fantasy today.
Perceptions of Iraq War Are Starting to Shift
It's not often that an opinion article shakes up Washington and changes the way a major issue is viewed. But that happened last week, when The New York Times printed an opinion article by Brookings Institution analysts Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack on the progress of the surge strategy in Iraq.

Yes, progress. O'Hanlon and Pollack supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- Pollack even wrote a book urging the overthrow of Saddam Hussein -- but they have sharply criticized military operations there in the ensuing years.

"As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq," they wrote, "we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory,' but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with."

Their bottom line: "There is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008."
Of course the justification given for the surge was to give the political process and the government time. As we have seen the political situation is even less viable. If there are indeed some military advances they are meaningless if the political climate continues to deteriorate. By the time General Petraeus reports in a month the Iraqis may have no government at all. A few more months is not going to make any difference.

Wishes don't make reality
Bush and his military commanders acted as if that reality hadn't changed, until the voters weighed in last November. Then, Bush made changes, installing new commanders and ordering a surge -- an increase in troops, and a more forward strategy of confronting and cleaning out al-Qaida terrorists. And the reality apparently has once again changed.

It can be argued that the surge will prove insufficient to produce the "sustainable stability" that O'Hanlon and Pollack see as a possible result. Serious military experts have argued that we still don't have enough troops or that we won't be able to keep enough troops in place long enough -- current force rotations indicate a net drawdown of troops next spring. And certainly there is room to make the argument that Bush should have acted sooner, as the results of the Samarra bombing became apparent months before the voters' wakeup call.

But it is also reasonably clear that Boyda's "reality of this issue" -- that our effort in Iraq has definitively and finally failed so clearly that there should be no further discussion -- may no longer be operative. That, instead of accepting defeat and inviting chaos, we may be able to achieve a significant measure of success.
No Mr Barone, your wishes may not have changed but neither has the reality. King George has created a failed state and the king is running out of horses and men and can't put it back together again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Brownshirts

John Cole gives it to Brownshirt Hugh Hewitt after Hewitt accused him of being a "Bush Hater".
Dear Hugh- I don’t hate Bush. I voted for him twice (votes I now deeply, deeply regret), and I hate what he has done to this country, I hate his incompetence, I hate that he has let propagandists such as yourself take the lead in designing and pushing policy, I hate that he has lost or is losing not one, but two wars, I hate that he has politicized (more accurately, allowed his lackeys to politicize) everything from NASA to the FDA to the Pentagon to a level that would have made Hugh scream out in rage were the President’s last name Clinton. I hate all of those things.

But for all that, I still don’t hate Bush. I think he is a small, shallow, feeble-minded man, whose “resolve” you cherish is merely the result of a man incapable of thinking on the spot and changing course. While he is ultimately responsible for anything that has been done during his tenure, I am of the opinion that he is little more than a puppet.

So, Hugh, I don’t hate him. In fact, I almost feel sorry for him. This will go down as the most incompetent and morally compromised administration in history, and when those history books look back, they will not refer to this sorry period as the “Cole administration,” nor will they refer to it as the “Hewitt administration,” despite the fact that so very many of your bad ideas have, in fact, been instituted (and usually not because they reflect or represent your ‘deep’ principles, but because you felt there was some sort of immediate political/electoral gain to be seized). History will dub this sorry era as the Bush Administration.