The Left’s goals (hint: they aren’t focused on peoples’ well-being)

I like Pete Wehner’s writing a lot.  I don’t always agree with him, but I often do, and I always enjoy the way in which he develops his ideas.  This column, about the post-Vietnamesque horrors that Obama is cheerily planning for Afghanistan (although I’d say the Taliban will be even more savage than the North Vietnamese) is a perfect example of Wehner at his best.

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Comments

  1. abc says

    There are horrors committed all over the world.  The US sat by and did nothing while genocide occurred in Rwanda.  Little girls are being sold into slavery in Burma and Tibet.  The US cannot do everything, with only 5% of the world’s population and a shrinking share if its GDP.  it is odd to see conservatives become such glossy-eyed idealists when they seek to attack Obama’s every action.  What ever happened to the hard-nosed, fact-based realism of the conservatives from 30 years ago??

  2. Danny Lemieux says

    Must be nice to be ABC where everything is morally relative to one’s ideological agenda.

    A clarification is needed though – Bill Clinton did nothing to stop the Rwandan genocide and let it be known he did not want the UN to interfere either, because he did not want bad news to distract his agenda at that time. ABC sounds like the MSM, where any report of a Democrat misdeed headlines (“Congressman caught with fingers in cookie jar”) contrasts with a Republican Misdeed (“Republican congressman caught with fingers in cookie jar”). 

    Fact is, ABC is right that bad things happen all over the world and we can’t stop it all.

    However, we are in Afghanistan and have a responsibility there. Plus, the reason we went into Afghanistan is to prevent it being used as a base to launch attacks like 9/11 against us…to deny our enemies safe havens. A lot of Afghans have put their trust in us at the risk of their lives and those of their families. That these people would only get a dismissive shrug from the likes of ABC and his/her herd members is pathetically sad. It shows just how far they have sunk as human beings. It also shows why no country or people can trust the U.S. as long as Democrats run the show.

    BTW…it wasn’t the Republicans that sold out the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians (that would be the Democrat Congress). It wasn’t Republicans that went and revealed the names of sources that had collaborated with the CIA in Iraq and other places (that would be the NYT).

  3. Charles Martel says

    Danny, yes, the fact that we are in Afghanistan and the only thing standing between the Taliban and the Afghani people seems to have flown over abc’s head by a country mile.  

    Also note the cognitive dissonance disconnect from our resident Sinophile. The same man who thinks the world of the Communists’ heavy-handed control (and milking) of the Chinese economy doesn’t give a damn when that same goverment countenances the sale of children into slavery in Tibet. Like our friend Zach, abc has a tin ear when it comes to scruples.

  4. says

    It must be nice to act with total social immunity in using up humans like tools, in the Leftist tribe. You’re only a human if you are part of the Leftist alliance. The Left can thus treat anything else like property.

    Babies don’t get a vote. Nor do people in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Vietnam.

  5. says

    We can’t even stop Obama from being elected. And it’s not all that certain he’ll be unelected either. How are we supposed to fight the evil of the world, when so much evil resides in our own midst undestroyed and unpunished?

    Eh?

    Anyone know the answer?

  6. abc says

    Danny writes:

    “Must be nice to be ABC…”

    It is.

    “…where everything is morally relative to one’s ideological agenda.”

    Not ideological agenda, but narrow focus on US interests.  Realpolitik, as practiced by Kissinger or Baker, has been lost on the conservatives for too long now, and it’s a shame.
    “A clarification is needed though – Bill Clinton did nothing to stop the Rwandan genocide and let it be known he did not want the UN to interfere either, because he did not want bad news to distract his agenda at that time.”

    Citations please.  The GOP fought Clinton on entering the Balkins and were against entering Rwanda as well, so to merely blame Clinton–although one could do so–seems more than unfair.

    “ABC sounds like the MSM, where any report of a Democrat misdeed headlines (“Congressman caught with fingers in cookie jar”) contrasts with a Republican Misdeed (“Republican congressman caught with fingers in cookie jar”).”

    I sound like Henry Kissinger, who has lauded Obama’s foreign policy for the most part and has argued for less nation building, which Bush said he wouldn’t engage in but has put this country into the middle of for a decade.  Even many Republicans are tired of the wars that cost too much and accomplish too little.  But not enough conservatives have rediscovered their conservative foreign policy roots. 
    “Fact is, ABC is right that bad things happen all over the world and we can’t stop it all. However, we are in Afghanistan and have a responsibility there.”

    What responsibility is that?  How do you use tens of thousands of troops to root out a few hundred bad apples that easily hide, all the while your troops’ presence there pisses off the rest of the country.  Sounds like a bad policy to me.  Killing terrorists the way Obama killed Osama bin Laden is a more efficient way to go about it.

    “Plus, the reason we went into Afghanistan is to prevent it being used as a base to launch attacks like 9/11 against us…to deny our enemies safe havens.”

    Right, so we have troops in Yemen and in various failed states in Africa.  We have troops in India and in Indonesia and the Mindinao Islands of the Philippines.  We cannot be in every safe haven, and those who think otherwise ought to reacquant themselves with a globe.

    “ A lot of Afghans have put their trust in us at the risk of their lives and those of their families. That these people would only get a dismissive shrug from the likes of ABC and his/her herd members is pathetically sad.”

    A lot of Afghans want us out, as well.  But their vote doesn’t count.  Only that of Americans counts.  American interests first.  That is how foreign policy ought to be run.  And if you can deal with terrorists without committing such a large number of troops, then that is the better strategy.  We built the largest embassy in the world in Iraq, at great waste for the American taxpayer, and this is about projecting power, not keeping Americans safe.  Conservatives are not very conservative when it comes to feeling powerful in the world–then they look far more starry-eyed and idealistic than liberals.  

    “It shows just how far they have sunk as human beings. It also shows why no country or people can trust the U.S. as long as Democrats run the show.”

    Nice.  Bush ignored millions killed in North Korea, and so did you.  I guess you have sunk far as a human being, in not calling out Bush on that one.  But if the game is to blame Obama for everything no matter how muddled your logic becomes, then I guess you have to do what you ahve to do…  For those of us that take a hard-headed approach, we look at the cost-benefit to the US and recognize that Iraq and Afghanistan have been losing propositions for a long time.
    “BTW…it wasn’t the Republicans that sold out the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians (that would be the Democrat Congress).”

    Democrats got us into the war and escalated that, which was all a mistake.  Nixon got us out, which was a good thing.  There was no need to kill people that wanted to become communist.  You take in the escaping capitalists, as we did with the Cubans and benefit the US with their energy, intelligence and hard work.  You let the communists destroy themselves on a failed ideology, and then buy them on the cheap, as we can do now in Vietnam when they see the light.  There was no real truth behind the domino theory, and the lives lost in Vietnam were wasted.  The sell-out was going in, not deciding to get out.

    “ It wasn’t Republicans that went and revealed the names of sources that had collaborated with the CIA in Iraq and other places (that would be the NYT).”

    No one from the NYT was investigated for outing CIA agents, unlike various folks in the Bush administration.  I don’t think you want to go there.

    I also have grown tired of the partisan thinking and arguing.  It is IMPOSSIBLE for one party to have such a monopoly on good ideas and execution.  It never happens in sports or business or scientific research, but dim-witted partisans think that it happens forever in party politics.  What a joke.  I think Nixon handled Vietnam better than LBJ, and I think Obama has a better foreign policy than Bush or even Clinton.  My arguments are not partisan, but transcend that.  I don’t need the crutch of ideology or party to think through issues, unlike most highly partisan people I speak with, on the right or left.  How sad for you.

  7. Charles Martel says

    “My arguments are not partisan, but transcend that.  I don’t need the crutch of ideology or party to think through issues, unlike most highly partisan people I speak with, on the right or left.”

    A reminder of whom some of abc’s go-to people are when he’s eschewing crutches:

    Paul Krugman: Non-ideological economic genius.

    Seymour Hersh: Totally factual and objective journalist.

    New York Times: Font of truth and sober analysis.

  8. abc says

    Y, the problem at hand is that you confuse logic with unproven conclusions, facts with opinions.  You talk of flawed judgments but do not state why they are flawed.  If you cannot make a logical argument, you ought not reveal your shortcomings so readily.  I think Ben Franklin had a wonderful quote about this…something about it being better to remain silent than speaking and removing all doubt.  I would heed those words…or take a logic class.

  9. Oldflyer says

    abc, you need to line up your own facts before you deploy them.  That way you will not fall prey to the B. Franklin syndrome you cited.  We are well aware that officials in the Bush administration were investigated for “outing” Valerie Plame, who may or may not have been a protected CIA asset.  We also know, and I suspect that you do also, that the alleged investigation was a travesty from the beginning, with one very transparent goal.  That was to “nail” a Bush official.  Fitzgerald aimed high, and missed.  But, he did mange to hit Scooter Libby.  Oh, he recently got his scalp off the head of Blago.  Way to go Fitz.  You ‘da man.
    You apparently chose to ignore the facts that were placed in front of you by others on this thread.  We are responsible for Afghanistan because we are there.  Back when he was in campaign mode, Obama declared it the essential war–I mean officially in campaign mode.  He bought Afghanistan on our behalf.  We own it, we are responsible for it.  The surge strategy was his.  He bought it; not whole heartedly, of course, but in a half-assed way.  Not surprisingly, since it has proven difficult, he wants to disown it.
    Just one minor point concerning atrocities around the world.  The U.S. is the major financier of the UN.  The UN supposedly assumed responsibility for ending that sort of behavior about 65 years ago,  for the express purpose of precluding unilateral action by naughty nation-states.  Collective action, and all that.  Much cleaner; much more civilized.  Pip. Pip.  How are they doing?  If you have an issue with their performance, take it up with  them.  You will find the key actors either on the NY cocktail circuit, or touring the nicer watering holes of Europe.

  10. abc says

    Old, I don’t understand your post as it seems irrelevant.  A Republican outed Plame, so the prior blogger’s comment is wrong.  Fitzpatrick is a Republican and an Republican-appointed prosecutor, so unless you are a mind-reader, I wouldn’t call his investigation partisan.

    As for Afghanistan, I didn’t agree with the invasion, the escalation of the war (i.e., the surge) and don’t believe in continuing it now that many others are moving toward my point of view.  I think that Realpolitik dictated taking action after 9/11 against Afghanistan, but a major bombing and then special forces hunting Osama bin Laden was the more prudent (and less expensive) path, which would have been better for the US’s interests.  You can disagree, but you cannot question that my interests do not lie with other countries, but only the US.  It isn’t idealism that drives it but realism.  The conservatives gave up that realism long ago when they started talking about democratizing the world (e.g., Bush, Rice, et. al. after 9/11). 

    Finally, a realist in foreign policy would predict that the UN would have limited success and would not concern himself with it, since the UN could force the US to do something outside its interests if it was tied too tightly to it.  As a realist, I am not concerned with the failings of the UN, just the failings of US foreign policy as practiced by idealists on the right or on the left.

  11. Danny Lemieux says

    Plame was never outed. Nobody was convicted of “outing” Plame. Her involvement in the CIA was widely known around Washington and her husband bragged about it. Facts, ABC, facts! 

    As far as your warped memory of history, Republican Bob Dole was on the record very early on as opposing Clinton’s weapons embargo on the Balkans (which punished the Muslims, not the Serbs), they were just very much opposed to a ground intervention (which would have been a disaster…and was!).

    I certainly do not recall any Republicans opposing intervention in Rwanda, which military authorities  recognized would have required minimum military force. This was purely a Clinton administration action, as outlined in this paper:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB53/index.html

    And here, with more detail, is a U.S. military options paper from the National War College that specifically addresses the feasibility of military intervention, the Clinton Administration’s prevarication on the subject, and its direct intervention with the U.N. to PREVENT a U.N. intervention in Rwanda.

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA442115

    Maybe you can give me examples of Republican positions on Rwanda. Note, however, that this was an executive branch responsibility, not a congressional responsibility.

    I am also very curious to know your thoughts on the Libya intervention, ABC. Please share.  

    Finally, I am amazed at your grasp of military strategy and counterinsurgency warfare. Seriously, have you considered consulting with the military? Why didn’t they think of dropping some top secret spies into Afghanistan to hunt down OBL. Would have made a great movie script, too!

  12. abc says

    Danny, that paper doesn’t say that it was a Clinton decision, and the mere fact that it only discusses Clinton’s administration’s decisions hardly prove much fo anything.  One key thing holding back action by Clinton was the US military’s desire to avoid entering that part of the world.  Samantha Power has written extensively on the subject and concluded:

    “The daily meeting of the Rwanda interagency working group was attended, either in person or by teleconference, by representatives from the various State Department bureaus, the Pentagon, the National Security Council, and the intelligence community. Any proposal that originated in the working group had to survive the Pentagon “chop.” “Hard intervention,” meaning U.S. military action, was obviously out of the question. But Pentagon officials routinely stymied initiatives for “soft intervention” as well.
    The Pentagon discussion paper on Rwanda, referred to earlier, ran down a list of the working group’s six short-term policy objectives and carped at most of them. The fear of a slippery slope was persuasive. Next to the seemingly innocuous suggestion that the United States “support the UN and others in attempts to achieve a cease-fire” the Pentagon official responded, “Need to change ‘attempts’ to ‘political efforts’—without ‘political’ there is a danger of signing up to troop contributions.”
    The one policy move the Defense Department supported was a U.S. effort to achieve an arms embargo. But the same discussion paper acknowledged the ineffectiveness of this step: “We do not envision it will have a significant impact on the killings because machetes, knives and other hand implements have been the most common weapons.”  (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/09/bystanders-to-genocide/4571/8/)

    And the Republicans were definitely calling for inaction on the part of the US, in line with the Pentagon.  As pointed out in this article ( http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4UtfrthqqqQJ:www.commondreams.org/views03/0312-07.htm+republicans+oppose+intervention+in+rwanda&cd=10&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com ), the GOP was against intervening in Somaila and in Rwanda:

    “the Security Council failed to intervene in Rwanda because Washington opposed any such intervention. This was the stance pushed by UN ambassador Madeleine Albright on behalf of the Clinton administration, and the position of Republicans in Congress. A rare moment of U.S. political consensus allowed a clique of Rwandan extremists to orchestrate one of the classical cases of genocide in the 20th century, annihilating some 800,000 Tutsis and thousands of moderate Hutus.”

    “America alone possessed the influence and the resources to mobilize the kind of military force that General Romeo Dallaire, sitting in Rwanda commanding a puny UN military mission, repeatedly begged for. Coming as it did only months after the humiliating deaths of 18 U.S. Rangers in Somalia, with the Republicans denouncing the folly of foreign interventions, Mr. Clinton wasn’t prepared to risk losing a single vote over a mere genocide. For domestic political reasons, his administration repeatedly made sure that the Security Council delivered no reinforcements to the UN mission, even going so far as to sabotage attempts to do so. As a result, during the entire 100 days of slaughter, not a single extra soldier or bullet arrived in Rwanda to help Gen. Dallaire stop the slaughter.”

    On military strategy,it has been widely reported that Bush pulled Marines out of Afghanistan to prepare for Iraq, and this hurt our effort to kill Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  Even Bush didn’t contest these facts that were laid out during the 2004 election.  His thinking was officially that Saddam with his WMDs were a bigger threat, but we know what the private thinking was:  that one ought to exploit the crisis of 9/11 to control a country with oil that is conceivably controllable rather than one without resources that is not.

    On Libya, I think that it is not in the US interest to invade the country.  We should not have invaded their air space at all.  Now that we have, we need Khadafi to fall or it will hurt our interest, so we should use the most minimally taxing effort by our military to accomplish that objective. 

  13. Charles Martel says

    Danny, apparently abc’s “nimble” investment advice company is having another slow day. Great for us, though: I mean, who here doesn’t get excited at the prospect of reading one 1,000-word+ sneer after another?

  14. Michael Adams says

    No Republican outed Plame.  If she was outed, and that is debatable for reason too complex for a or Z, Bob Novak’s source was Richard Armitage, (I think.  All those WASP Democrats look alike to me.) This was no secret.  I surely did not learn about it from Info Wars or the Enquirer. Armitage admitted it.  Novak confirmed it.  Fitzgerald knew it by the second day of his investigation. Libby was convicted by a Washington jury, as partisan as they come, of “lying to the investigators,” because some detail that I can’t remember, either,  was told differently in two interviews,  eighteen months apart.So, first, no outing.  Second, a revelation by a Democrat.  Third, no conviction for outing. It’s as simple as abc.

  15. says

    As I’ve already said, Plame’s job was a desk one involved with nuclear anti-proflieration. It’s not a covert, espionage, or black ops type of job she was assigned. She worked on talking to diplomats about nukes. That’s about it. What’s so classified about that?

    Z is too ignorant to understand that nuclear/WMD anti-proliferation isn’t “covert” the way SpecOps are “covert”. He’s just too dull for that.

  16. abc says

    Adams, last I checked, Armitage is a Republican.  He also was an official in a Republican administration.  And as Z already noted, the legal test of whether Plame was outed was already passed and Fitzgerald ruled as much.  The opinion of a see-no-evil-in-Republicans partisan hardly counts for more than the Republican prosecutor in the Plame investigation.  You seem to be in denial about all of this.  In any case, the facts matter to most of us outside the conservative fantasy bubble.

  17. says

    To A, the only thing that determines what you are worth is whether you are a Democrat or Republican. That must be how the Left treats women in the Kennedy and Clinton days.

    Your worth as a human is determined by… what the Left decides you are worth. It’s hard to say who is more obnoxious. Cold, calculated, and utterly clueless in obtuseness, Z, or A’s fiery passionate dump in the mud.

  18. Danny Lemieux says

    ABC: “Adams, last I checked, Armitage is a Republican.  He also was an official in a Republican administration.  And as Z already noted, the legal test of whether Plame was outed was already passed and Fitzgerald ruled as much.”

    So, Fitzgerald, a special prosecutor not a judge, gets to “rule” that Plame was outed according to the law but a) nobody is charged and prosecuted with outing Plame,  b) Armitage is not charged at all, c) everybody knew Plame was CIA because her husband was bragging about it all over Washington and d) Scooter Libby is sent to jail because his recollections of events, not having to do with the supposed “outing” of Plame, were months apart. Yup! I get it.

  19. says

    Danny Lemieux: So, Fitzgerald, a special prosecutor not a judge, gets to “rule” that Plame was outed according to the law …

    According to the CIA, Plame was a covert operative, whose relationship to the CIA was concealed at the time of the leak, and that she had been sent overseas between many times on covert operations, including non-official cover, meaning she would have no protection from the U.S. government if caught. She worked on WMD proliferation, one of the most complex and dangerous situations ever to face the U.S. 

    Libby was the fall guy. Libby was found guilty of obstruction and perjury, but his jail sentence was commuted by Bush, effectively ending the investigation.

    One of the more interesting incidents of the whole Plame affair was on Meet the Press, when Cheney pointed to the New York Times to confirm his point about WMD, which was publishing leaks from his own Chief of Staff, clearly demonstrating the confluence of media and government in the run up to the Iraq War. That you continue to repeat the misinformation just reinforces the nature of the problem. 

  20. Danny Lemieux says

    So, Zach, you are saying the media, including the NYT, was in cahoots with the Bush administration in leading up to the the Iraq War?

  21. says

    Danny Lemieux: you are saying the media, including the NYT, was in cahoots with the Bush administration in leading up to the the Iraq War?

    They were lazy, enthralled by access to power, and were purposefully and easily misled. They failed in their basic function as the public’s watchdog. 
     

  22. says

    According to the CIA, the AQ mole they had which killed military and CIA personnel with a suicide bomb, was a “vital and reliable source”.

    What is Z’s point here, that anything according to the CIA is “truth”? That sounds about like A through Z, all right.

  23. says

    Btw, the idea that Plame was some kind of super secret agent shooting people in the head while undercover in foreign countries… is about as ridiculous as Z’s talk about nuclear anti-proliferation being “one of the most dangerous” assignments.

  24. says

    People in the New York Times and people like Z will bend their knee to power. They have no principles, so they sell it out for whatever it is worth. Z blames the NYTimes for leaping on the road to war band wagon, but Z, like all Leftists, have their own little band wagon they won’t tell you about going on in the background.

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