October 25, 2007

And as long was we're trashing journalists this morning...

Beauchamp! Foer! TNR!

97 comments:

B said...

"And as long was we're trashing journalists this morning..."

Radio interview last week:

Jeffrey Toobin (CNN Legal Commetator and author of "The Nine"):Well, I think journalists deceive people all the time. . .

Hugh Hewitt: That was a stunning statement. Do you think journalists deceive people all the time?

Jeffrey Toobin: Well, I think some of them do, yeah. . .

Ann Althouse said...

I think Toobin was referring to the way journalists lure their sources into revealing things, not misreporting.

B said...

Yeah, because it follows that someone being dishonest in getting the story would never be dishonest in reporting the story.

B said...

Jimmy: Mommy, who is that man walkin' by . . . the one everyone is tippin' the hat to?

Mommy: That's a journalist, Jimmy. You always pay him respect, like the policeman. He's the man that brings the truth to Garberville . . .

Jimmy: Yes'm

B said...

From the first draft of "To Kill A Mockingbird":

"Miss Jean Louise.
Miss Jean Louise, stand up.
Your father's passin'. He's a journalist".

Uncle Jimbo said...

The journos are trashing themselves, we are simply laughing since they do it in public.

Cordially,

Uncle J

The Drill SGT said...

My impression that that TNR has hoped that they could bluff this out long enough for it to go away, but with Drudge and Kurtz both posting about it, the rest of the MSM will need to enter the fray. My favorite Kurtz lines:
Beauchamp stood his ground even after Editor Franklin Foer told him "that if you're not able to talk about this and able to stand by your story, I'm not sure we'll be able to stand by it. . . . You wouldn't have much credibility left in the public eye. . . . You basically made a vow to us that what you were publishing was the truth." Foer added that Beauchamp's wife, Elspeth Reeve, then a New Republic reporter, had said "that it's the most important thing in the world for her that you say that you didn't recant."

Beauchamp replied that she was a journalist and he was a soldier


LOL, between the big f'ing rock of the Army (for whom you signed sworn statements that what you wrote was false) and the hardest of hard places, your new wife (for whom the truth isn't apparently as important as sticking with the narrative)

think it was slimey for Foer top try to use the wife as leverage BTW

looks like 10 years at the Leavenworth Long Course won out.

Roger said...

I suspect Bro Beauchamp will be very popular in the long course at Leavenworth. I am curious at what his wife must be thinking about her choice in hubbies.

Ralph said...

I doubt he's thrilled with her and TNR, either. Who enabled his folly? I assume someone has shown him the error of his ways, in Technicolor.

The Drill SGT said...

Roger,

I meant that his fear of the Long course beat the fact that he disappointed his wife

Luckyoldson said...

b since you feel all journalists are liars and we can't trust them for what they report...where would you suggest we gather the kinds of valuable insights you spill onto these pages?

Rush? Sean? Ann?

Duh.

Roger said...

Drill: Gotcha--and that makes sense to me. Someone probably 'splained to Trooper Beauchamp that his career as a writer is now gone, and were he to get a DD his life is in the toilet. This guy may actually have seen the light. I did note he referred to himself as a soldier. Interesting. Maaybe he can turn it around.

B said...

Lucky, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that I even listen to Rush, Sean (I assume you mean Hannity, whose show I have never heard or seen) and Ann (I assume you mean Coulter - who I frankly detest).

Since you asked - though you can't seem to do it without your trademark childhood taunt - I peruse 8 newspapers (mostly their websites) daily and compare and filter what they say against each other. I try to quote only when I'm certain from consensus or original source that it's most likely accurate.

You believe that I think all journalists are liars? Where do you get that? I do lawyer jokes too - but that doesn't mean I believe that all lawyers are fools. My sister in law writes for a mid-size daily. I have great respect for her
and many who have the skill and passion to report the news.

But unlike many, I don't bow down or pray to the Noble Journalism Profession God.

Luckyoldson said...

B said..."You believe that I think all journalists are liars? Where do you get that?"

Well...exactly what are you insinuating here?

B said: "Yeah, because it follows that someone being dishonest in getting the story would never be dishonest in reporting the story."

Or via this quote...?

"Jimmy: Mommy, who is that man walkin' by . . . the one everyone is tippin' the hat to?

Mommy: That's a journalist, Jimmy. You always pay him respect, like the policeman. He's the man that brings the truth to Garberville .

Jimmy: Yes'm.

That journalists are truthful?

*And please, I've read enough of your comments to know that you are fully aware of who Sean Hannity is, and have listened to or seen his show.

B said...

Lucky, again, I know who Sean Hannity is, but I have never listened to or seen his television or radio show.

But now,I'll be sure and try to catch it.

Ralph said...

That's quite a leap, LOS, from some journalist are deceitful (in a quote) to all journalists are liars.

nick danger said...

Luckyoldson should have paid attention in elementary logic when they explained the difference between

SOME P ARE Q

and

ALL P ARE Q

According to luckyoldson's logic:
Luckyoldson is a man.
Luckyoldson is deliberately obtuse.
Therefore, all men are deliberately obtuse.

Ralph said...

Nick, as a math major, I took a course in symbolic logic with some philosophy majors. Man, did they have trouble. We nerds just breezed to an easy A.

Sloanasaurus said...

I saw a Headline on the front page of U.S. Today that said the wars in Iraq and Afghainstan would cost $2.4 trillion. If you read the article it says it assumes the war will last until 2017 and that all the money will be borrowed to pay for it. The headline said that every person in America would owe $8000 for "Bush's wars!"

This headline is a great example of biased and left-wing journalism. Its stories like this, which is why newspapers are no longer trusted. Maybe the article should have mentioned that in the same period the US Economy will generate $200 trillion in GDP.

In response to the story it should be noted that the left wing biased journalist who reported it will spend approximately $12,000 during the same time on Gourmet coffee at Starbucks ($2 per day x 365 x 14 years). Plus $2000 for interest because if the journalist has a mortgage then we assume the coffee is all borrowed money.

Thus, if the lefty journalist started drinking Folgers instead of Starbucks, funding "Bush's wars" would be "no sacrifice at all...."

garage mahal said...

Sloan-

Real journalism is about covering the lighter side of Iraq, isn't it. You know, squirrels water-skiing down the Tigris, or car bomb bloopers. Bet that never even occured to lefty journalists at CNN looking into missing billions, or contractors living out a dream starring in a Mad Max movie.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I've read enough of your comments to know that you are fully aware of who Sean Hannity is

Lucky, for someone who seems to despise the right wing as much as you do, you seem to certainly be in the know as to what Rush, Sean and Ann have to say.

Do YOU actually listen to them?

John Stodder said...

"b" and others: Can I just make a suggestion?

luckyoldson is only trying to bait you. He is a genuine troll. It's not that he disagrees with you. I don't think he gives a shit either way. He just knows that if he throws "Rush, Sean, Ann" at any commenter, even (perhaps especially) the most thoughtful ones, that will set us off in a tizzy of defensiveness.

The great thing about Ann's blog, besides our gorgeous and brilliant hostess of course, is the commenters mostly are not ideologues, but instead independent thinkers. That's probably our vanity, perhaps, and LOS and a few others have picked that up. It's pretty much all he's got, but sometimes he uses it effectively.

If you say something that could be construed as to the right of, oh, hdhouse, just assume LOS will pounce with another "Rush, Sean, Ann Coulter" mantra. Pretend, in fact, that it's already happened at the moment you post. In your mind imagine:

luckyoldson said...

That's straight out of Rush, Sean and Ann Coulter. That's where you get all your ideas. You must love them, you quote them so much. LOL. You Republicans are going to find out in 2008. The public is fed up with Bush, Rush and the rest of you. You don't have to believe me just READ A BOOK.


Then imagine him repeating the same thing about eight times in a row.

Then take a deep breath.

Then, if you see his name above another comment, skip past it. You already know what it says, you've already reacted to it and you're over it. No need to give it a second thought.

Take it from one who's been there.

Roger said...

Agree with John Stodder re LOS--ignoring him is the best tactic; I have really only gone after him once when I goaded him into (correctly I might add) referring to me as a condecending A**H***. I was just feeling that I hadnt been given the disrespect I really deserve. Having accomplished that personal milestone, I will never again respond to any of his juvenile taunts and consider him detrius in the cesspool of life.

jeff said...

"Sloan-

Real journalism is about covering the lighter side of Iraq, isn't it. You know, squirrels water-skiing down the Tigris, or car bomb bloopers. Bet that never even occured to lefty journalists at CNN looking into missing billions, or contractors living out a dream starring in a Mad Max movie."

You found a journalist who covers that stuff? I have been reading how bad it is for mortuary employees, grave diggers, taxi drivers at the funeral homes, etc. All Bush's fault of course.

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

Agree with your comment, John. I imagine most people here do as well. The problem is that it is easy to forget that when caught up in the heat of the moment. Then again, who knows? Maybe there really are some people enjoy 20 or 30 variations on "Did Not!" "Did too!"

The question I try to keep in mind is, "Do I feel like wrestling with a pig?" As I now know that most people can't tell the difference between the pig and the wrestler, I'm less inclined to do so.

jeff said...

LOS will very very occasionally make a good point. However, he debates in a dishonest manner, and falls back way to easily on the insults when he quickly exhausts his intellect. Both DTL and LOS have forfeited the right of being taken seriously. Still, if you want to brush up on debating the caricature of the American Left, those two are good places to go. Get you in practice for the smart ones like hdhouse.

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

There is a world of difference between hdhouse and POS, jeff.

Tibore said...

Did anyone happen to read the Michael Yon story that Reynolds linked to (no it's not the same link that Prof. Althouse posted)? There's a little side story to the whole TNR/Beauchamp fiasco there:


"At
(a meeting between Sunnis and Shia that Yon was at), Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself...

... he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay.

... Lapses of judgment are bound to happen, and accountability is critical, but that’s not the same thing as pulling out the hanging rope every time a soldier makes a mistake.

Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad... He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.

The commander said I was welcome to talk with Beauchamp, but clearly he did not want anyone else coming at his soldier.... LTC Glaze wants to keep Beauchamp, and hopes folks will let it rest. I’m with LTC Glaze on this: it’s time to let Beauchamp get back to the war. The young soldier learned his lessons. He paid enough to earn his second chance that he must know he will never get a third."


Two things impress me here:

1. Beauchamp is making amends with his fellow soldiers and carrying out his duty, in spite of being given the option of getting out.

2. The Lt. Col., despite the trashing his unit received in Beauchamp's story, is still willing to stick up for and protect him. He's not just talking about watching out for his men, he's actually doing it. It's easy to say "Yes, he's a disruptive element" and reassign him to some mundane duty pushing paper or boxes around, but Glaze didn't take the easy way out.

Tibore said...

Whoops. Forgot to link the Yon story itself:

"Beauchamp and the Rule of Second Chances"

Luckyoldson said...

John Stoddard, Jeff, b, Roger, Genitalia, Sloan, etc...I could give a fuck if your read anything I post.

You're ALL so far to the right, continuing to support George W. Bush, the invasion, the aftermath, the torture, the wiretapping, the entire fiasco of the past 7 years...why would I give any credence to anything you have to say??

Same right wing drivel...over and over again.

GFL in 2008...you're going to need it.

jeff said...

"There is a world of difference between hdhouse and POS, jeff."

Absolutely. That's my point. Before you go up to an actual smart lefty, best do a little training in the pee wee leagues.

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

Thank you very much for posting the quote and the link, Tibore. I missed that.

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said..."Before you go up to an actual smart lefty, best do a little training in the pee wee leagues."

Now, that really takes some balls.

70% of America thinks G.W. is an idiot...yet you and your fellow sycophants continue to support Bush and his administration's policies...and then you all pat yourselves on the back, congratulating each other for being so..."smart???"

And so...the Bush Suckfest continues...but with a new wrinkle...now you're sucking each other, too.

I love it...

John Stodder said...

Yon sounds like a guy with a great soul, as does Beauchamp's commander.

The thought did occur to me back when the Beauchamp story was a bigger deal... Where were the editors? Editors are supposed to ask tough questions, filter out the dreck and half-truths, and, indeed, prevent writers from making fools of themselves. Foer isn't really an editor, he's something else -- an aspiring pundit, a polemicist, a political strategist. He didn't read Beauchamp's submissions like an editor, but like someone who wanted to believe. The blame for this fiasco is much more with Foer for greenlighting the publication of these essays than with Beauchamp, who was a fool, but whose writings we shouldn't have ever seen if Foer had done his job.

It's a credit to Beauchamp's commander and fellow soldiers, how this thing is playing out. It is a blot on TNR. I assume Foer's career there is numbered in hours now.

Ralph said...

I liked the Yon piece, but STB is 23? and college-educated, not a teenager off the farm. We don't think of soldiers as being that forgiving, but it shows the value of unit cohesion. STB would be in worse shape if he transferred, though.

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan, here's the USA Today headline you blather on about:

War costs may total $2.4 trillion

By Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total $2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate scheduled for release Wednesday.

Where's the "Bush's wars!" part you're whining about?? (It also does not appear anywhere in the article.)

Since you're so concerned with this being "a great example of biased and left-wing journalism," what would you call your misrepresentation of what actually appears in the article?

A lie perhaps?

SGT Ted said...

LOS just looks the fools he is with his prating idiocy. He likes to quote that majority that allegedly "hates Bush", but conveniently ignores the majority that wants to see the mission in Iraq succeed and don't support a pullout until we have won. He also ignores the far lower percentage of people who approve of his heroes who are in charge of both houses.

I guess Christopher Hitchens and Joe Leiberman are rightwingers now. LOS said so, thus it is, because actual facts are to be dismissed if they don't support The Narrative.

Luckyoldson said...

SGT Ted,
I've never said Americans don't want to "win" in Iraq.

They just don't think the current administration has handled things the way they should.

Your comment is nothing more than the usual "lefties" are un-American or liberals just don't want us to win bullshit that we can hear every day from wing nuts like yourself every day.

Bush has screwed the entire Iraqi situation up so bad it will take decades to straighten out...yet, you and others here continue to support him...and in your case, if you are or were indeed a soldier...after losing almost 4,000 Americans and another 30,000 who are wounded.

That tells me most of your aren't that bright...and your continued support just makes things that much worse for America.

Luckyoldson said...

Sgt,
You think Christopher Hitchens and Joe Leiberman are liberals?

Good Lord...

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan,
Slink back into your cave?

Lying liars and the lies they tell...

Tibore said...

"Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...
Thank you very much for posting the quote and the link, Tibore. I missed that."


No problem; you're welcome.

---

"John Stodder said...
Yon sounds like a guy with a great soul, as does Beauchamp's commander...
It's a credit to Beauchamp's commander and fellow soldiers, how this thing is playing out. "


Yes, exactly my point. I mean, how easy would it be to throw Beauchamp to the dogs and play not just to the public, but to his own soldiers? Again, reassigning him to some lame, out of the way job would not just have been easy and popular, but if you think about it, it could've been justified: Ignoring the fact that he broke the rules by not clearing the release of information with his superiors (you can justify that by calling it "whistleblowing", had the information actually been true), his articles turned him into a distraction and a detriment to unit morale. But, Glaze gave Beauchamp the choice, Beauchamp chose to stay, and his commander has been sticking up for him ever since. And I'd bet that Glaze would've been cornered by a Division-level officer at some point and asked "Are you sure about this decision?" If I'm right, that means Glaze would've had to defend it too. But I get the impression that he would've been happy to, seeing as how it holds true to the philosophy of sticking up for your men.

His unit can't be composed of particularly bad people either. As a commenter on Yon's site wrote:

"It seems to me that the clearest refutation of Beauchamp’s story is that he himself was willing to go back into the field with these people. Had they been anything like he described, I imagine that he would have cut his own hand off rather than go back to them.".

---

"We don't think of soldiers as being that forgiving, but it shows the value of unit cohesion. STB would be in worse shape if he transferred, though."

Well, as Yon says in his article, Beauchamp is very likely paying in some fashion. Just like a marriage that survives infidelity, the process of staying together has got to be bumpy. But you're right: Unit cohesion has much meaning. And it shows.

LawGiver said...

Well,

I personally have twice the respect for Lucky that I used to.

B said...

John Stodder and Randall,

Thanks for the advice. I was again mistaken this morning when Luckyoldson - whom more people have been patient with on this blog than anyone else, actually seemed interested in receiving an answer. His response showed - and this is sad more than anything else - that Luckyoldson doesn't actually "get it". The answer I gave was simple and clear, and his response was to act as if I didn't answer the question at all, almost as if I had written nothing. Which is beginning to make me feel sorry for his mental state - and I'm not being catty. Seriously. We are most likely dealing with someone who would be classified as "slow". My wife for many years was a teacher, working with the marginally mentally handicapped and when she saw my answering him a few months back, she read a little bit and then said "hmmmmmmm, you know you may be dealing with a slow one here". I dismissed it, but she pointed out certain phrasing rhythms and misspellings consistent with that type.

I paid no attention - she still might be wrong, but I'm sadly beginning to wonder if my previous vicious responses might not have exacerbated his state.

Either way - and my wife agrees - engaging the person is a recipe for continued disappointment.

Luckyoldson said...

lawgiver,
Nice.

Here's the real one:
LuckySun.html

Luckyoldson said...

b says: "Either way - and my wife agrees - engaging the person is a recipe for continued disappointment."

Well, based on most of your comments, I would have to believe your wife has plenty of such experience dealing with "someone classified as 'slow'."

*And I find it rather interesting that, people like yourself, who continue to suck on George W. Bush...don't have a better understanding of what being "slow" is really all about.

Thanks goodness about 70% of the country is up to speed.

Luckyoldson said...

Oh, I forgot...more good news from the administration most here love to suck:

Oil hits record intraday high of $90.10 per barrel

*And remember: It was at about $30 when your hero rode into Dodge.

Balfegor said...

Oil hits record intraday high of $90.10 per barrel

Woohoo! Public transport for the win!

Anyhow, ignoring the trolling going on here, I think TNR went about this in a bad way, and the emotional blackmail reference to Beauchamp's wife was awfully scummy, but . . . .

It was good to see an institution at least try to stand by one of its own, and give him the benefit of the doubt. We see so many institutions -- Duke University being perhaps the most memorable in recent years -- rushing to throw people overboard at the slightest sign of controvery, that it's good to see an institution at least make the attempt. Even if it's for the wrong reasons, and they go about it in a scummy way.

Luckyoldson said...

Freddie Thompson's reality:

The insurgents in Iraq are nothing more than "a bunch of kids with improvised explosive devices..."

*Are people here serving as advisers for Freddie?

Ralph said...

Lucky, you're obviously not a global warmer. That's great news for them. Higher prices, less oil usage.

SGT Ted said...

LOS,



I would ask that you review some of the history of the Civil War and tell me if Lincoln was incompetent or not.

My take is that Bush just needed the right General for the job, much like the Union Army floundered around until Lincoln appointed Gen Grant and got alot more soldiers killed than will ever be killed in the Iraq campaign.

Hitchens is a Trotskyite I think. I'm not sure. He sure isn't a man of the right.

Well, I see Leiberman as an old school Scoop Jackson Democrat. Joe supports the war because he knows its the right thing to do. But, he's a lib thru and thru on all the other issues. His record proves it. Deny it and you just look the fool.

What do YOU think they are LOS?

Truth to tell, I agree that Bush isn't the best the country could have gotten, but the fact that he won over the choices the Dems put up doesn't say much for them or your support of same.


The fact that you support the politicians that want to pull out of Iraq unilaterally and have called the war "lost" even during an important counter-offensive shows me that you don't want to win. Your loyalties are clear. You just won't admit it.

I'm not ever sure why I am attempting to engage you in a civil manner, because I can bet that you will just reply with more spittle flecked invective about my alleged adoration for Bush.

Sloanasaurus said...

Where's the "Bush's wars!" part you're whining about?? (It also does not appear anywhere in the article.)

The "Bush's wars" is the intended message conveyed by the article.

The article was designed to imply a conclusion that the "wars" are not worth it. They do this by taking out of context the cost of the wars. If the article said the wars would cost about 1.2% GDP over 14 years, then it would be more accurate journalism. It didn't. Instead the article speculated on how long the war would last, how much it would cost and assumed that the war would be 100% funded by borrowing to come up with a number

The writer of the article intended a biased message and they got it.

SGT Ted said...

Yes, everyone knows that the POTUS is in charge of oil prices. I think the blogging cockroach is more coherent than you LOS.

Luckyoldson said...

Balfegor,
Haruki?

Who knew?

Luckyoldson said...

Sloanasaurus said..."The "Bush's wars" is the intended message conveyed by the article."

Oh.

I figured, you know...since you used quotation marks...it must have actually appeared in the headline you were QUOTING.

And you say you're a lawyer?

That'll be thE day.

Luckyoldson said...

Sgt.,
I never said Bush was "in chrge" of oil prices.

But if you really don't think Presidents have an effect on oil and all energy prices you need to bone up on international politics.
(Ever wonder who took part in that energy meeting with Cheney...right after Bush took office? The one they won't release a list of attendees?)

Presidents can also have an effect on massive deficits, debt and invasions of sovereign nations.

But you already know that...

SGT Ted said...

Take up the oil prices with OPEC. They can do more to lower prices than any sitting President.

Luckyoldson said...

Sgt.
The difference between Lincoln and Bush are too numerous to mention, but one key element is that Lincoln surrounded himself with key people who had varying opinions of the war itself.

Some agreed with him, some did not at all.

But he gave people a shot at making their point.

Bush has has done himself and the nation a great disservice by surrounding himself with those who agree with him or Cheney...period.

People like YOU.

Luckyoldson said...

SGT Ted said..."Take up the oil prices with OPEC. They can do more to lower prices than any sitting President."

You're kidding...right?

What possible incentive would OPEC have for lowering oil prices...to help us out?

SGT Ted said...

LOS,

I don't support Bush 100%. In fact, I don't think I know anyone who does.

There, feel better?

SGT Ted said...

LOS,

You're right LOS about OPEC not caring about us when they set rpices. ust more proof we need to drill our own reserves and build nuclear plants to undercut their near monopoly.

Bob said...

Lucky, given who is current world's large oil producers are (principly nation states like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc) I'd aurgue that proposition that US President gets to set oil prices is pretty lame. Especially given the oil futures market. The real meetings you need to focus on is ones when about six energy ministers get together to discuss production quotas cause that drives the prices. I acknowledge that Cheney is your Anti-Christ but US really isn't setting oil prices, we're just paying them.

Luckyoldson said...

Sgt.,
Nuclear plants would be the best. France has used them for decades.

Oh, and it's nice to know you don't support Bush 100%. (99%?)

But it doesn't make me feel better.

Luckyoldson said...

Sgt.,
Have you read this?

Col. David Hunt (ret.) on FOXNews.com

"Besides, these things are of little consequence when you realize how we missed, squandered, screwed up, made a mess of and were massively risk adverse - again - when we did not kill Usama bin Laden in Afghanistan just two short months ago.

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."

John Stodder said...

The difference between Lincoln and Bush are too numerous to mention, but one key element is that Lincoln surrounded himself with key people who had varying opinions of the war itself.

Some agreed with him, some did not at all.


This is historical malpractice or maybe just bad writing.

Yes, Lincoln was surrounded by brilliant men. Initially, most of them thought they should be president, not him. So, uh, I guess that was one area of disagreement. But given the fact that the war began just a few weeks after Lincoln and his cabinet could take office; and given the fact that several states had already seceded by then; and given the fact that the first shots in anger were fired by the South, I would say Lincoln's cabinet understood the situation strategically pretty much the same way. They didn't want war, they would have preferred to avoid it, but if the South were allowed to secede, not just was America dead, but the republican (small r) form of government was dead. If states could just opt out if they didn't agree with the laws passed by Congress or the results of a presidential election, that precedent meant government "by the people, for the people" was unworkable.

Perhaps LOS and the rest of the left would have said Lincoln was wrong to impose his idea of democracy on the South. Perhaps the abolitionists in Lincoln's cabinet would be faulted for trying to impose their values on others.

See, I don't think the left is even slightly sincere in their position on the war. I think it's all sheer opportunism. As with the Cold War, 10 years after we achieve legitimate peace in the Middle East and beat back the radical jihad movement, the left will all say they were on our side all the time. But now, since reverses in the war make Bush look bad, the left celebrates every setback like it was Christmas, er, Winter Solstice.

Bush and his team have made a lot of mistakes. No one who supports the war would ever deny that. But the difference between the left and, well me anyway, is, Bush's blunders and other setbacks don't make me happy. I don't see any personal advantage coming from them. I experience disappointment. I hope mistakes are corrected. I hope our soldiers do everything by the book. I am realistic enough to know, however, that perfection is impossible, and yet I continue to support the war. Because the goals of this war aren't Bush's, they're not the military's, they're America's and therefore they are mine.

I feel sorry for leftists who can't identify with this country, especially now. At least in the Cold War, the left could for a time convince themselves that Communism's victory would be a good thing for their worldview. But the left of today can't be so stupid that they don't know they are just as likely to be beheaded by jihadi as I am. Ahmajinedad's comments about "no gays in Iran" must have been kind of chilling. So it must be a sick kind of feeling to know you're rooting for the success of people who want to kill you.

Luckyoldson said...

Bob said..."I'd aurgue that proposition that US President gets to set oil prices is pretty lame."

So would I.

I never said that at all. I said Presidents can "effect oil and energy prices."

Generally by doing or saying really stupid things. Can YOU think of anybody we know who's SAID or DONE anything really stupid in the last 7 years??

SGT Ted said...

Oh I know Lucky. That particular mistake was a really boneheaded move. Boneheaded moves happen alot in wars.

But, based on the recently released video and audio tapes, I think Osama has assumed room tempurature.

Actually, my support for Bush is around 60-70%, mostly due to the alternatives.

He has been crappy on entitlement spending, horrendously tonedeaf and wrong on immigration reform and I don't like his christian socialist ideals. Im agnostic on abortion, so that doesn't carry weight with me one way or the other. Oh the tax cut was nice.

In fact, his only redeeming feature at this point has been his leadership in the war, and that's only because the Dems have been unsupportive and petty in their criticisms.

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard,
Oh, please...

I've read a number of biographies of Lincoln and I've spent plenty of time studying the Civil War.

Lincoln surrounded himself with, and took advice from, a wide variety of very smart people, some who whom agreed, and some who disagreed...with Lincoln's policies and decisions.

You can spin this all you want, but it's pure cherry-picking bullshit you're using to defend Bush...AGAIN.

If YOU think George W. Bush is comparable to Abraham Lincoln, in any way shape or form...other than being President...you're a fucking idiot.

*Oh, and when you say: "I feel sorry for leftists who can't identify with this country, especially now."

All you're doing is throwing out more of the right wing talking points we can hear every day of the week from Bush, Cheney and others who have to find some way to defend their massive blunders.

A vast majority of Americans "identify with this country"...it's Bush and his administration's policies they don't "identity with."

We have about 70% of the country who disapprove of this administration and you continue to write this garbage, as if the 30-33% are the only people who are REAL Americans.

And I find that disgusting and gutless.

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard,
Why not educate yourself and read:

"Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Balfegor said...

Re: Sgt Ted:

My take is that Bush just needed the right General for the job, much like the Union Army floundered around until Lincoln appointed Gen Grant and got alot more soldiers killed than will ever be killed in the Iraq campaign.

While Lincoln obviously wasted a lot more Americans (on both sides) than Bush could ever dream of, I think the point you make is actually a powerful criticism of Bush's wartime leadership. Almost from the start, various critics had contended that something like the surge was necessary. With preliminary indications from the surge so positive, it looks as though Bush dragged his feet needlessly long in changing out his generals and implementing the new policy. Lincoln appointed Grant Generalfeldmarshal or whatever on March 12, 1864, just under two years after the start of hostilities -- April 12, 1861. Petraeus, in contrast, assumed command almost four years after the resumption of active hostilities in Iraq, and at least three years after the emergence of a sustained insurgent movement.

Luckyoldson said...

Sgt.,
60-70%?

You're getting warmer, brother.

*And I was astounded to read we had a shot at OBL just a few months ago. If this guy is correct, that we had photos, tapes, etc...and didn't take him out...well, I just can't figure that one out.

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

Actually, John, I believe that history suggests they will be the first to lose their heads in that eventuality.

Luckyoldson said...

Balfegor,
Your and Sgt. Ted's points are well taken, but I think it's too late for us in Iraq.

The sooner the Iraqis can take charge, the better...and I really don't think we're helping things at all. (And of course, we'll have to have some kind of presence, some kind of oversight, but 100,000's of troops is never going to be acceptable to the Iraqis.)

They should split the country up between the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds...somehow work out a formula to share the oil revenues...and hope for the best.

It is their country after all...and they deserve whatever they get...good, bad or ugly.

Luckyoldson said...

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said this about...liberals?

"...they will be the first to lose their heads in that eventuality."

Right.

They'll ferret out those who are Democrats and liberals and kill them first...and I suppose, based on your comment, that the Republicans and conservatives will be more to their liking?

Absolutely idiotic...

downtownlad said...

Ann - Why do you hate our troops?

John Stodder said...

Almost from the start, various critics had contended that something like the surge was necessary. With preliminary indications from the surge so positive, it looks as though Bush dragged his feet needlessly long in changing out his generals and implementing the new policy.

Very true. The real pighead in this scenario was Rumsfeld, who threatened to fire people if they mentioned "insurgency" in his presence. He refused to acknowledge it and I gather Bush didn't figure out what a fool he was til long after it was apparent to many other people. Nothing like arrogant + stupid. That was Rummy.

It's too bad the Dems choose 2004 to start this insane leftward march. Bush only looked good when compared to the alternative. I ended up voting for Kerry, but obviously a lot of people like me did not, and for understandable reasons.

I blame the netroots, which led to the artificial inflation of Howard Dean's prospects. Even after he had crashed and burned, we were left with a field of Democratic candidates who had rushed to get over to the left, thinking there was some kind of sea change in the party faithful. Hence, we nominated Kerry, but fatally weakened him by burdening him with positions that made no sense, while also making him look like a pandering toady. (Well, more than "look like." He was one.) A change in leadership would have been a good thing in 2004, but the Dems didn't offer an acceptable alternative.

SGT Ted said...

Balfegor,
Your and Sgt. Ted's points are well taken, but I think it's too late for us in Iraq.


I disagree with that. I think it is salvageble, as long as we keep up with what Gen Petraeus is doing.

We very well have crossesd a critical point in that Sunni's who were formerly disposed to support AQI are now supporting the US in eradicating AQI, mainly because AQI made a serious strategic error in killing Iraqis in mass bombings starting with the Samarra bombing in 2004. Iraqis are finally trusting that the Americans will stick around, mainly due to what Petraeus has accomplished in 4 short months.

Sadrs star has fallen, due to his sucking up to Iran, as most Shiite's in Iraq don't care for Iranians. Notice we don't hear much about him.

I was stationed in Karbala for the 1st half of my tour in 2003 and we worked directly with the Regional Government in re-establishing their police and courts infrastructure and training new policemen. What really stood out is that Iraqis do have a nationalist view that transcends the religious divisions. Splitting them up would be a grave mistake. The Kurds would be happy to have their own state but are willing to give it a shot.

More later...maybe. :)

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard makes this extremely valuable point: "The real pighead in this scenario was Rumsfeld, who threatened to fire people if they mentioned "insurgency" in his presence."

And who was the "pighead" who kept Rummy around, long enough to also gut what little chance his fellow Republicans had in the last elections?

C'mon...his name starts with a "G"...c'mon...you can do it.

And then you say: "It's too bad the Dems choose 2004 to start this insane leftward march."

Say what???

*And of course, when discussing "pigheadedness"...the name Gonzales certainly springs to mind...

Keep on suckin', John...we only have about 13 months before everything changes for the better.

Balfegor said...

March 12, 1864, just under two years after the start of hostilities -- April 12, 1861.

Sorry, I can't subtract. Just under three years. Still a contrast, but not quite as bad.

Balfegor said...

Very true. The real pighead in this scenario was Rumsfeld, who threatened to fire people if they mentioned "insurgency" in his presence. He refused to acknowledge it and I gather Bush didn't figure out what a fool he was til long after it was apparent to many other people. Nothing like arrogant + stupid. That was Rummy.

I think he was wrong, but -- just to stick up for Rumsfeld here -- I think the Iraqi endgame Rumsfeld had in mind would have been loads more congenial to the Iraqi people. He was all about the light footprint. In practice, regardless of whether we have a Republican(!) or a Democrat for our next president, we're almost certainly going to keep an occupation force of at least 40,000 troops in the country for the foreseeable future. And that's just what the major Democratic candidates will admit in their public statements at the moment. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it ended up like the force in Germany -- 100,000+ troops from now to the breaking of the world.

And that's probably going to stick in the Iraqi craw for generations to come. Look at South Korea today, for example. A giant military base is right there in Seoul. Every so often an American soldier is found to have gone off and raped someone. Or a tank crushes some schoolchildren. Or the Americans are just (unwittingly) rude to people. And the result of the occupation (well, that and the fact that the American government, under micromanager Carter, signed off on the Kwangju massacre of democracy activists back in 1980) has been that South Korea is full of people who, well, kind of hate America. The president, No Moohyun is a corrupt and incompetent fool, as bad as his predecessor Kim Daejung, and about the only thing he can do that people will respond positively to is stick a finger in the eye of the Americans.

Trooper York said...

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Tell me something, Buster... What do you think of Negroes?
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Well, if you mean the race, I don't really know. This is not a thing to be ashamed of. The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time.
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: You see to me there was never any difference.
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: None at all?
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: None at all. Of course, I haven't known that many freed men... But those I knew in Bangor, Portland... You look in the eye, there was a man. There was a "divine spark," as my mother used to call it. That is all there is to it. Races are men. "What a piece of work is man. How infinite in faculties and form, and movement... How express and admirable. In action how like an angel.
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: Well, if he's an angel, all right then... But he damn well must be a killer angel. Colonel, darling, you're a lovely man. I see a vast difference between us, yet I admire you, lad. You're an idealist, praise be. The truth is, Colonel... There is no "divine spark". There's many a man alive of no more of value than a dead dog. Believe me. When you've seen them hang each other the way I have back in the Old Country. Equality? What I'm fighting for is to prove I'm a better man than many of them. Where have you seen this "divine spark" in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? No two things on Earth are equal or have an equal chance. Bit a leaf, not a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better... But I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters, Colonel... Is justice. Which is why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain... And I damn all gentlemen. There is only one aristocracy... And that is right here.
[points to his head]
Sergeant 'Buster' Kilrain: And that's why we've got to win this war.
(The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara)

John Stodder said...

He was all about the light footprint.

Yeah, I don't think Rumsfeld was evil. He saw himself as a reformer who had learned from past Pentagon errors, and the light footprint was an outgrowth of that. But he was one of those execs who, once set on a course, refused to look at it again and considered anyone who recommended he do so as a weak ninny. Who knows, maybe if Paul Bremer hadn't dismantled Iraq's military and civil service, the light footprint would've been just the thing. But once the insurgency was under way, once it was clear there were forces trying to foment civil war, Rummy should've reassessed. Post-war Iraq didn't resemble what he'd envisioned and planned for, and he was slow like molasses in acknowledging that.

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

about the only thing he can do that people will respond positively to is stick a finger in the eye of the Americans.

Judging only by that meet-up with Bush in Australia, I'd say he's rather adept at doing that.

Ralph said...

OTOH, Stodder, should Americans die just to keep Iraqis from killing each other? Didn't the left want us out of Viet Nam for that reason?

There's a good chance the recent encouraging changes wouldn't have happened without the last few years of mayhem, especially that by foreigners. The Iraqis have to learn the hard way to live together.

The light footprint was as much Abizaid's plan as Rumsfeld's. An early suppression of violence may, or may not, have been best for the country in the long run.

I would compare Bush to Truman, not Lincoln.

blogging cockroach said...

I think the blogging cockroach is more coherent than you LOS.

sgt ted--
talk about damning with faint praise
oh well everyone should understand by now
how limited i am in format
not to mention spelling and punctuation
that plus the odd synapse firing at random gives my writing
a stream-of-consciousness quality that i think
covers a lot of stuff in a small space
which when you think about the limited time and energy i have
is not the worst strategy for a cockroach

i have to admit that i have only 960 brain cells
working at any one time
but i suspect 960 brain cells doing their job
makes a better result than many times that number
that have been subjected to a 40-year regime
of sex drugs and rock n roll
but mostly drugs
the symptoms of which so many
these days tragically show

my strategy has been to just say no
except of course to that spot of marinara sauce
between the stove and the fridge
a cockroach has to live i say
but i've avoided anything that makes me
weak and silly because
the difference between 960 working brain cells
and say 945 could be the difference between
being vaguely entertaining here on althouse
and becoming a complete doofus
of whom we have more than enough
already thank you

ps--
if you want me to carry on the political discussion
i like to think of president bush as...
well actually i don't like to think
of president bush at all
what i really want to think about that spilled marinara sauce

reader_iam said...

If YOU think George W. Bush is comparable to Abraham Lincoln, in any way shape or form...other than being President...you're a fucking idiot.

In any way, shape, or form? Including expansion of the role and power of the presidency? In terms of suspension of certain civil liberties and/or legal rights again under debate? (Ahem. Ahem. Ahem.)

Count me one who still admires Lincoln (though not for those reasons, as such). But are you freakin' kiddin' me?

Your comment flat-out doesn't make sense me, especially given your position or certain issues.

reader_iam said...

position on certain

And my point is NOT to express admiration for President Bush. It is rather to say it is a fool's errand to posit that there aren't rather obvious comparisons that do, in fact, point up some similarities between these two presidents with regard to how certain powers were wielded, not to mention how branches-power should be balanced (or not, depending on how you look at it).
.

John Stodder said...

OTOH, Stodder, should Americans die just to keep Iraqis from killing each other? Didn't the left want us out of Viet Nam for that reason?

I disagree with the "just to." A stable, peaceful Iraq, or as close as we can get to that, creates important geopolitical benefits, not just local.

blogging cockroach said...

well i think pres bush is comparable to
to
well gov bush of texas
only he got way in over his head
whatever you say about pres lincoln
he wasn't in over his head
and gen sherman brought us peace and stability
on his way thru georgia

Ralph said...

blo. cock., VD Hanson contends that by destroying property instead of fighting, Sherman saved lives on both sides. But if the butcher Grant had done likewise, would the South have ever been reconciled to the Union? Curious priorities we humans have.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think the point you make is actually a powerful criticism of Bush's wartime leadership. Almost from the start, various critics had contended that something like the surge was necessary.

Petreus is definately the hero of the war, however, the jury is still out on whether the "surge" could have been accomplished prior to when it was. I have also heard it argued that it was going to take 3-4 years of occupation in the Sunni areas to convince the locals that the Americans were honest brokers. Remember, these people had been subject to 40 years of Baathist propaganda and censored news about America. It probably took sustained contact with American soldiers to convince them that we were not there to rape their women.

Sloanasaurus said...

Lucky, I am not sure if your point about Lincoln having disagreement among his advisors matters all that much. IN fact one could argue that Lincoln wasted a lot of his energy trying to resolve petty disagreements among some of his cabinet members. Lincoln gets credit for sticking it out during the civil war in the face of public opposition and for picking Grant to take command (a choice many of his advisors were against).

Bush's invasion of Iraq was both a brilliant and a necessary move in history. $90 oil should be a reminder to us that Saddam Husseins Iraq would be spending $90 oil on causing trouble in the world. At $90 per bbl oil saddam would be grossing nearly $100 billion per year in oil revenues - this is about the amount the U.S. spends on procurement each year and is double the defense budget of the UK. Compare this to $20 bill per year in 1990 when Saddam was able to field the 4th largest military.

With this money Saddam would be the most influencial individual in the world. The worlds weapons bazaars would be flush with Saddam's cash. Saddam would single handedly double the manufacturing output of both Russia and China's weapons industries. Saddam would be the chief financier of Al Qaeda's war against us in Afghanistan. Saddam would be the chief financier of Hamas in Palestine and for terrorist groups around the world. Saddam would be bribing and controlling a good part of the UN and many of the world's media outlets. The media would be blasting Bush for backing down in 2003.

Except, Saddam is dead. Today, Iraqs oil wealth is mostly spent on their own security forces fighting Al Qaeda and providing services to their own people. This diversion of resources is one of the greatest peace assets in the last 50 years. The world is significantly more peaceful because Saddam was taken out.

Taking out Saddam when he was at his weakest was brilliant. Bush is a genius.

jeff said...

Give it 20-30 years and then we can intelligently discuss what was done right and what was a mistake. Right now, it's all speculation compounded by our (in some case fevered) bias.

Revenant said...

Hey, Trooper -- thanks for reminding me about "The Killer Angels". I need to pick up a new copy of that book; I lost the old one who knows how many moves ago.

Mr. Grumpy said...

While on the campaign trail in 2000, Bush told President Bill Clinton how to handle OPEC, in public no less. "What I think the president ought to do," he said, "is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots."

And in a brilliant, highly educational follow-up comment, Bush informed the audience: "One reason why the price is so high is because the price of crude oil has been driven up."

"OPEC has gotten its supply act together," Bush advised listeners, "and it's driving the price, like it did in the past."

"And," he said in direct advice to Clinton, "the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the prices."

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan says...and I'm not kidding:

"Bush's invasion of Iraq was both a brilliant and a necessary move in history."

Imagine that;

"Bush"..."Iraq"..."brilliant"..."necessary"...all in one sentence.

Brain dead...as usual.

Trooper York said...

Revenant, I am currently reading 1864 An Alternative History by James Cupelli. It is a speculation on what would have happened if General Lee went west to take over Hood’s command while Sherman marched to the sea. It is very reminiscent of The Killer Angels. Alternative history without space aliens or other crazy sci/fi stuff. I recommend it highly. Lot's of fun

Revenant said...

I've heard good things about that book too, Trooper. I'll have to check it out.