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republicans are bad on national security

 
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:39 pm    Post subject: republicans are bad on national security Reply with quote

ok, you knew i would love this.

(i particularly like #8. i've been asking about this myself)
Quote:
AlterNet
Nine Ways Republicans Are Ruining the Country
By Larry Beinhart, BuzzFlash
Posted on August 17, 2006, Printed on August 20, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/40438/

Say it loud, say it often, "Republicans are bad on national security." Every Democrat running for national office -- and local offices too, why not? -- should say, "I'm running because Republicans are bad on national security."

Then they should go on to say, here's why I'm saying it:

1. 9/11 happened on their watch. Of course, we can't say, absolutely, that it would not have happened if they had not been asleep at the wheel. But we can say that they did not do all they could have done to prevent it. We can say that Bush literally pushed away the warnings.

2. George Bush and the Republicans failed to get Osama bin Laden. We got both Hitler and Hirohito in less time than we've been chasing bin Laden. Every day that bin Laden's out there, he's proof that you can attack the United States and get away with it. That's a bad message to send, and believe me, people in the terrorist world have heard it loud and clear. That's very bad for national security.

3. George Bush and the Republicans gave Osama bin Laden what he wanted. Bin Laden wanted the US to get into a quagmire. He wanted our troops tied down in an Islamic country so that an insurgency could do to them what the Afghanis did to the Russians and to the British before them.

A modern, hi-tech army is very good at invasions. It's also good for fighting back against other armies. But a modern hi-tech army is not good at occupying a country against the will of the population. Even if the army is as violent and ruthless as the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan were.

4. George Bush and the Republicans squandered America's power and prestige. Before 9/11 most people in the world probably thought that America's intelligence services were able and astute, agencies to be feared. The Bush administration has made them appear bumbling and inept. They did this, first, by ignoring their warnings and then, second, by making them the fall guys for 9/11.

After 9/11 most of the world feared America's wrath and America's might. By failing to get bin Laden and his gang, then by attacking the wrong country, unleashing chaos, and getting our armed forces into a situation that they can't win, the administration showed the world they have less to fear than they imagined.

5. The Bush administration empowered Hezbollah. The 'insurgency' in Iraq was Hezbollah's textbook and their inspiration. If Iraqis could do that to Americans, surely they could do the same to the Israelis. And they have. It's not yet on the record, but it's clear from everyone's conduct, that the administration encouraged the Israelis to 'unleash' their forces against Hezbollah. They probably thought Israel's modern hi-tech armies would quickly smash their enemy.

6. The Bush administration radicalized Hamas. Hamas was elected. Sworn to the destruction of Israel or not, they should have been encouraged to become responsible players with carrots as well as sticks. Instead the administration put them up against the wall, hoping to starve the Palestinian people into voting for a different group. Would that work if someone tried to do it to us?

7. Bush and the Republicans tied down our forces in Iraq while Iran and North Korea invested in nuclear technology. That made North Korea feel secure enough to test ICBMs. If they had been successful, they would have had a delivery system for their nuclear weapons. That would be incredibly bad for national security. Iran, with American forces tied down in Iraq, feels secure enough to defy the UN as well as the US. Very bad for national security.

8. By the way, every major European nation has had successful arrests and real trials of real, dangerous terrorists. People on the level of this group that the British just took down. The most ferocious terrorist arrested in the United States since 9/11 has been the shoe bomber. Ten, twenty, forty, a hundred billion dollars, a trillion dollars, and the best we have to show for it is the shoe bomber?! Republicans are bad on national security.

9. We have trashed the bill of rights. We have trashed the Geneva conventions. We have a president and a vice president willing to go the mat to fight for the right to torture people.

We have spent a fortune on illegal wiretaps.

We have spent a fortune on collecting everyone's telephone data.

And what have we achieved by all of this?

A quagmire in Iraq. Dishonor. Debts. An empowered al Qaeda. A new war in Lebanon. The inability to stand up to Iran and North Korea. Osama bin Laden at large, an inspiration to extremists everywhere.

Republican are unimaginably bad on national security. Say it loud. Say it often, it's the truth, Republicans are bad on national security.

© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/40438/

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Egregius



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meh..most of these are really easy pot-shots (it's not like 9/11 couldn't have happened under Clinton or Gore), except:

-8 really made me think: hey, that's right! Even Holland put terrorists in jail, and Holland has traditionally been a mostly terrorism-free country (one theory even goes so far to suggest that this is because terrorists like to spend their vacations here in between plotting against other countries). Then I realised: the US has put plenty of 'terrorists' behind bars, just not using the justice system. As it appears the US-gov looks determined not to put terrorists in a court. But the 'surviving 9/11 plotter' has been given a life sentence if I recall correctly.

-5 is wrong. Hezbollah has been around a hell of a lot longer than the last Iraq invasion (since 1982 to be exact). So if anything, the insurgents in Iraq learned from Hezbollah.

-6 the US-gov radicalised the hamas? While it's true Hamas are cornered, they were already quite radical. What happened was that the US required Israel to be recognised as condition to continuing aid. It would be quite unsellable to continue aiding the Palestinians otherwise. Then again, the lack of progress isn't very heart-warming either.

-3 and 9 however, are one hundred percent true. Bush literally made the terrorists win. This can't easily be put into a 10 second commercial for your democrat candidate, but it's so excruciatingly obvious if you think about it longer than 20 seconds.

Osama literally wanted a world where it was 'The West vs Islam'. And Bush came out saying: "You're either with us, or against us" and proceeded to invade two islamic countries. You have to take into account that a large part of the islamic world is sick and tired of the weak and corrupt 'liberal' democracies that were supported by the west they had to endure (I can really recommend reading Fareed Zakaria's Future of Freedom on this subject). It's not that people in the Middle East don't want democracy, it's that they're all too aware of how many governments were funded by the West (read: Britain and the US) that were actually dictatorial and corrupt. So anything coming from those countries is naturally distrusted in the region, especially if it is accompanied by a show of force.

Combine a clash of values (western liberalism vs traditional values), the message that the US is the reason of all their misery AND two new invasions of the islamic part of the world by the US+UK to impose their values upon others in order to confirm the preceding, and you got a grassroots recruitment strategy for Bin-laden's jihad.

Add in the continued propping up of Saudi monarchs, who are having popularity troubles because of it and try to compensate by building more islamic schools..it seems like Bush is intent on digging a deeper and deeper grave for himself.

That's not all. Besides the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan giving Al-Quaeda plenty of recruits, local ground to fight the US, and destabilising all those western-oriented Middle-Eastern countries that aid the US, Bush's heavy-handed approach has also created deep riffs in his own country and between the US and it's European allies. The only thing on Bin-Laden's agenda that hasn't been achieved yet, is the collapse of the US and thus it's potential outward power, but Bush's fiscal policies are hard underway to secure that.

Goddamn, Bush is such a retard. /angry mode off
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Michael



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post there E, just this bit I'd like to elaborate on:

Egregius wrote:
It's not that people in the Middle East don't want democracy, it's that they're all too aware of how many governments were funded by the West (read: Britain and the US) that were actually dictatorial and corrupt. So anything coming from those countries is naturally distrusted in the region, especially if it is accompanied by a show of force.


I think the fact that it was imposed on them was much more important than the fact that the new government might have been partly corrupt. Compare tidying your room to tidying your room after your parents told you to. It's a silly metaphor but if you think back I think you'll see what I mean.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egregius wrote:
-5 is wrong. Hezbollah has been around a hell of a lot longer than the last Iraq invasion (since 1982 to be exact). So if anything, the insurgents in Iraq learned from Hezbollah.

This really only contradicts the second sentence, though. The rest of it, depending on interpretation, could be fairly accurate. It wouldn't be a far stretch to say that the quagmire in Iraq, and the way it makes US forces look, has emboldened extremist groups to take action. Our image, and those of our close allies (namely those we have armed and funded), as powerful enemies is tarnished by our inability to contain the insurgency in Iraq.

In addition, with so many of our troops being committed to Iraq, one could easily draw the conclusion that terrorists elsewhere would feel a greater sense of security from our wrath. Which is working.
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rebecacaca



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also the biased reporting of confilicts in the middle east, ie only reporting on conflicts between Lebonan and Iseral as well as the fact that the relativley rich Iseral recieves far more aid than other countries is leading to more ill feeling amoungst the Islamic world, and what isn't mentioned is that the US is taking the rest of the western world with it, as they are seen as representative of western democracies.

One question, what is a "liberal democracy" in the sense used here?

Does this simply refer to American-approved democracies, or does it mean a democracy with genuine liberal values?
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Great post there E, just this bit I'd like to elaborate on:

Egregius wrote:
It's not that people in the Middle East don't want democracy, it's that they're all too aware of how many governments were funded by the West (read: Britain and the US) that were actually dictatorial and corrupt. So anything coming from those countries is naturally distrusted in the region, especially if it is accompanied by a show of force.


I think the fact that it was imposed on them was much more important than the fact that the new government might have been partly corrupt. Compare tidying your room to tidying your room after your parents told you to. It's a silly metaphor but if you think back I think you'll see what I mean.


It is a silly metaphor, and I think you're completely wrong. Claiming that people resent a government not because it keeps the repressed and starving but because it's imposed by foreign powers says to me that a life free of serious privation in a Western country has skewed your concept of human priorities. "Live free or die," is a fine sentiment, but given the choice between self determination and access to clean water and medical care, the vast majority is going to opt for the latter. The fact that the corrupt regimes were propped up by the West just made them easier to hate, and lead to hatred of the West in addition.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egregius wrote:

-5 is wrong. Hezbollah has been around a hell of a lot longer than the last Iraq invasion (since 1982 to be exact). So if anything, the insurgents in Iraq learned from Hezbollah.


i think you misread that - he's saying the bushies empowered hezbollah, not that they created them. i think it highly likely that hezbollah has learned quite a bit from the iraq war (which after all has been going on for over 3 years now) - it is, after all, the most recent example of how a small guerilla force can defeat and discombobulate a larger, better-armed and highly mechanized opponent. this most recent "war" is the first one that hasn't been a clear win for israel - in fact, some commentators call it a loss. i haven't followed it closely, but i would imagine those who have could find parallel tactics with those used by insurgents in iraq.

and certainly the bush administration delayed in calling on israel to pull back - and hezbollah seems to be using that to their advantage.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
Michael wrote:
Great post there E, just this bit I'd like to elaborate on:

Egregius wrote:
It's not that people in the Middle East don't want democracy, it's that they're all too aware of how many governments were funded by the West (read: Britain and the US) that were actually dictatorial and corrupt. So anything coming from those countries is naturally distrusted in the region, especially if it is accompanied by a show of force.


I think the fact that it was imposed on them was much more important than the fact that the new government might have been partly corrupt. Compare tidying your room to tidying your room after your parents told you to. It's a silly metaphor but if you think back I think you'll see what I mean.


It is a silly metaphor, and I think you're completely wrong. Claiming that people resent a government not because it keeps the repressed and starving but because it's imposed by foreign powers says to me that a life free of serious privation in a Western country has skewed your concept of human priorities. "Live free or die," is a fine sentiment, but given the choice between self determination and access to clean water and medical care, the vast majority is going to opt for the latter. The fact that the corrupt regimes were propped up by the West just made them easier to hate, and lead to hatred of the West in addition.


Imposing a new system of government on a country along with new general way of 'doing things' is bound to run into opposition. Extra opposition, on top of the opposition against the government for the problems already in existence.
E's post suggests they have tried democracy and seen it fail and go corrupt and that is why they distrust Western countries. I think they distrusted it the minute we started imposing our ways on them.

Imagine someone taking over the US, replacing all the water supplies (because your system is 'filthy' and 'unhygenic'), firing all the doctors, reforming the entire school system and telling you if you work hard it'll all be better. They are richer and more powerful so they're obviously right. right? You wouldn't notice any immediate benefits and everything you thought you knew you now need to reconsider, most of your knowledge is thrown out as 'superstition' anyway. People you looked up to are now being openly ridiculed. Somehow you manage to put up with it for a few years and then the whole thing blows up in your face. You'd be ready to kill the fuckers wouldn't you?

You seem to think I'm saying they should fight to be "free" whatever the cost, but I'm completely in agreeance with your
Quote:
"Live free or die," is a fine sentiment, but given the choice between self determination and access to clean water and medical care, the vast majority is going to opt for the latter.
and I believe the majority is right too.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Imagine someone taking over the US, replacing all the water supplies (because your system is 'filthy' and 'unhygenic'), firing all the doctors, reforming the entire school system and telling you if you work hard it'll all be better.

And switching us over to 220v mains and instituting carbon taxes and setting up more workable public welfare and healthcare programs? WHERE DO I SIGN???

Quote:
<snip> You'd be ready to kill the fuckers wouldn't you?

Not me. But in the last few years I've grown accustomed to changing my views and long-held ideas when prodded strongly enough.
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Egregius



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rebecacaca wrote:
One question, what is a "liberal democracy" in the sense used here?

Does this simply refer to American-approved democracies, or does it mean a democracy with genuine liberal values?


I purposely used it in the most ambiguous sense possible, since there are varied issues with it.

For example, you got Egypt, which is mostly a secular mock-democracy dictatorship. It's not really liberal; Fareed Zakaria gives a comparison of the numerical book-output differences between Israel and Egypt, the latter having extensive censorship. It's a large difference, with Israel producing something like 10 times more books per inhabitant.

Anyway, Egypt is an autocracy, that's not really liberal, and thus pissing off people who want democratic reform, freedom of speech etc. But it's also secular, pissing off the fundies, who get hit by the lack of freedom of speech all the same. Mubarak defends it by saying that if he opened up Egypt to democratic reform, muslim fundamentalists would take over and institute an undemocratic theocracy. The irony here would be that all over the middle-east except in Iran, theocracies have been (mostly) avoided the past century. And all over the middle-east, people are in the belief a government thoroughly grounded on faith would be a better alternative than what they currently got (mostly corrupt autocratic mock-democracies), simply because they haven't experienced the alternative yet.

And in part it's the old paradox of governing: people want order and security, and rule based on religious tradition (Taliban instead of the haphazard Northern Alliance, or the Union of Islamic Courts vs the Warlord Alliance), but a lot of the men don't like to be forced to wear beards, be forbidden to fly kites and the women don't like to be forced into burkas for the most part.

But uhm yeah, like, read The Future of Freedom. Zakaria puts it a lot more eloquently and clearly than me Razz
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Egregius



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Egregius wrote:

-5 is wrong. Hezbollah has been around a hell of a lot longer than the last Iraq invasion (since 1982 to be exact). So if anything, the insurgents in Iraq learned from Hezbollah.


i think you misread that - he's saying the bushies empowered hezbollah, not that they created them. i think it highly likely that hezbollah has learned quite a bit from the iraq war (which after all has been going on for over 3 years now) - it is, after all, the most recent example of how a small guerilla force can defeat and discombobulate a larger, better-armed and highly mechanized opponent.


I mostly had a problem with point 5 saying Hezbollah learned what they know from the insurgency in Iraq. It should be interesting to see in-depth research on used tactics. Hezbollah has already been actively fighting a guerilla war against Israel for over 2 decades, and had their own experiences and successes. Then again, Iraq might have made them more bold. I don't think anyone expected a cross-border raid to make prisoners by Hezbollah.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, you can always learn something new.

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:

Quote:
<snip> You'd be ready to kill the fuckers wouldn't you?

Not me. But in the last few years I've grown accustomed to changing my views and long-held ideas when prodded strongly enough.


which is why we love you, wheelsie - you are an unusual person.
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