Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, September 14th, 2007.


Make My Day

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Bush Administration, conservatism

MoveOn has a new ad:

The Right is working itself into a snit over this one, too. I learned about it from a troll, in fact.

If there are any righties reading this, let me say that I appreciate your outrage, and I hope you bring this ad to public attention so that Americans everywhere will see it and know what MoveOn says about the President.

Really. I mean it. Don’t hold back.

It hasn’t been all that long since some rightwingers were calling Bush a traitor because of his immigration policies, but they seem to have forgotten that. Or else they don’t connect the President Bush pushing “shamnesty” with the President Bush pushing the surge. The rightie brain is a wondrous thing.

Also today the righties are passing around an absolutely nonsensical knockoff of the “betrayus” ad with General Eisenhower photoshopped in. Oliver Willis:

Not getting enough traction for their campaign saying Hillary Clinton should apologize for an ad from MoveOn she had nothing to do with, the mental midgets at Redstate have photoshopped General Eisenhower into a knockoff of the MoveOn ad.

You know, except Gen. Eisenhower won the war in Europe and his commander in chief was a far left Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt. But whatever, let them play.

Other than their both being generals, I see no historical parallels between Ike and Petraeus. I suspect the Ike ad is one of those things only a rightie could appreciate. Or an idiot. But I repeat myself.

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani wants you to know he’s a tough guy. How’s he doing this, you ask? Promising to catch Osama bin Laden? Promising (thinking of Ike and Korea) to “go to Iraq”? The Swamp explains:

Try this on for triangulation. The liberal group MoveOn.org runs a controversial full-page New York Times ad critical of Gen. David Petraeus, pretty much saying he’s a traitor.

Rudy Giuliani then takes out his own full-page New York Times ad but instead of attacking MoveOn.org, he pummels Sen. Hillary Clinton for not denouncing the MoveOn.org ad, and for asking tough questions of the general at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week.

The Times’s advertising department may be the only winner in any of this.

I, for one, appreciate Rudy’s calling this to our attention. In fact, I hope that whenever a Democrat asks tough questions of generals or White House officials about the war, Rudy will take out more ads calling this to our attention. And I hope he doesn’t stop with the New York Times. This calls for a prime time television ad campaign! Go for it, Rudy!

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, wants to drive home the point that he’s the Republican who has the best chance to beat Clinton in a general-election message. He wants Republican and independent voters to envision him competing fiercely with her in the general election.

Yeah, that’s just the thing to show the nation how tough he’d be against terrorism! Insult Hillary Clinton!

As I recall, when then First Lady Clinton ran for the New York Senate seat in 2000, she engaged in some television debates with her opponent, Rick Lazio. And in one of those debates, Lazio walked over to Clinton’s podium waving a piece of paper that he said was a pledge not to use unregulated soft money, and he challenged Clinton to sign it. He meant it to be a big dramatic moment, but he came across as a bully trying to intimidate a woman. The gesture backfired on Lazio, big time. I bet the Senator remembers that, too.

Go ahead, righties — make my day.

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Follow the (Oil) Money

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Bush Administration, Iraq War

Paul Krugman:

To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.

This column has a must-read explanation of what’s going on with oil revenues in Iraq and why it means the Iraqi government ain’t worth a bucket of warm spit. Here’s just a small part:

… Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the “axis of evil.”

No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government — which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January — won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.

The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration — maybe even Mr. Bush himself — know this, too.

Conclusion:

All in all, Mr. Bush’s actions have not been those of a leader seriously trying to win a war. They have, however, been what you’d expect from a man whose plan is to keep up appearances for the next 16 months, never mind the cost in lives and money, then shift the blame for failure onto his successor.

Again, you must read the whole column.

Other voices:

Fred Kaplan:

President Bush’s TV address tonight was the worst speech he’s ever given on the war in Iraq, and that’s saying a lot. Every premise, every proposal, nearly every substantive point was sheer fiction. The only question is whether he was being deceptive or delusional.

New York Times:

Mr. Bush was clear last night — as he was when he addressed the nation in January, September of last year, the December before that and in April 2004 — that his only real plan is to confuse enough Americans and cow enough members of Congress to let him muddle along and saddle his successor with this war that should never have been started.

Marie Cocco:

For the implacable Bush administration and for the impatient Congress, a single force drives all discussion about Iraq. It has not much to do with Iraqis. Their concerns are the future of the U.S. military, of U.S. prestige, of U.S. access to oil, of broader U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East. Add to the mix the political imperatives that inspire all of them — Bush’s intent to hand over the messy endgame to the next president; lawmakers’ determination to find a path to re-election that guides them safely through this quagmire — and you have a myopia that is bereft of morality.

Seattle Times:

More and more, the president sounds like he has decided to play out the clock. After American troop levels surged to 160,000 over the past nine months, the number will be reduced to 130,000 by next summer. Petraeus was already committed to bringing several brigades home to meet a promise to limit tours of duty to 15 months.

Weary and wary Americans listening to their president are parsing out the rhetoric and vocabulary of presidential reports. Notice how the word victory is replaced by success, which is not defined.

See also Tim Grieve’s fact check and Naomi Klein on disaster capitalism.

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