April 7, 2008

"What I've also said is: I will always listen to the commanders on the ground."

The Republican National Committee releases an effective video juxtaposing statements about Iraq by General Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama:



ADDED: Here's a big WaPo article on Bush's reliance on Petraeus's judgment:
In the waning months of his administration, Bush has hitched his fortunes to those of his bookish four-star general, bypassing several levels of the military chain of command to give Petraeus a privileged voice in White House deliberations over Iraq, according to current and former administration officials and retired officers. In so doing, Bush's working relationship with his field commander has taken on an intensity that is rare in the history of the nation's wartime presidents....

Bush's relationship with Petraeus marks a departure for modern war presidencies. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton left it largely to their military advisers in Washington to communicate with field commanders, according to scholars of civilian-military relations....

But during the George W. Bush administration, improved videoconferencing technology has allowed the president to communicate to an unprecedented degree with commanders on the battlefield and, his advisers say, immerse himself in the details of the war.
Is that not what Obama is also offering to do when he said "I will always listen to the commanders on the ground"? Or is there some important order imposed by filtering communication through the military chain of command (as many quoted in the linked article are saying)? Is Bush exhibiting his particular management style, or has improved technology changed the way other Presidents will operate?

171 comments:

George said...

"Iran now causes the majority of the violence and instability in Iraq, a trend that began in July 2007, according to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, when U.S. and Iraqi military offensives swept al Qaeda from its safe havens around Baghdad," writes Kimberly Kagan, president of the Institute for the Study of War in the WSJ, April 3.

"Iran has sponsored illegal militias since the formation of the Maliki government in 2006. The Qods Force, Iran's premier terrorist training team and exporter of its revolution, provided between $750,000 and $3 million-worth of equipment and funding to Iraq's militias monthly in the first half of 2007, according to U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner. In addition, the U.S. military and the press note that Lebanese Hezbollah under Qods Force auspices directly trained Iraqi fighters, sending military advisers to help Moqtada al-Sadr create the Mahdi Army in August 2003, to train Iraqi militias inside Iran in 2005, and to advise the militias inside Iraq since 2006.

The Iranian-trained militias operated in 2006-2008 as units known as Special Groups or Secret Cells, ostensibly claiming to serve within Mr. Sadr's militia. In reality, the U.S. military says their titular leader – the ex-Sadrist Qais Khazali – reported to a Lebanese Hezbollah commander, who in turn reported to the highest Qods Force leaders."

It sure would be a simpler world if the President would stand up and tell the American people that we are at war with Iran, Lebanon, and Syria and have been for many years.

A little honesty would go a long way.

Freder Frederson said...

The politicization of our military and the use of our flag officers to score political points and to hide behind to defend an indefensible policy is nothing short of disgusting.

It is not Patraeus' job to testify in front of Congress. Bush has him do it because he knows that members of congress dare not be too critical. Gates needs to be up there defending policy, not a military officer.

That the RNC would use a military officer in a partisan ad is highly inappropriate.

Cedarford said...

I dislike this ad - not because it isn't true, but because it is Republicans dragging a general in the field, without his permission, into their partisan politics. Exploiting his "star power" at possibly the expense of his mission as he is posed to testify this week and a lot of Democrast don't want this one uniformed guy serving as the other side's tool.

I expect him to denounce the RNC ad and request that he not become a feature in either Party's 2008 race.

And only one general. Not any other military authority who testified to the same facts on the ground as well as Petraeus, or any Iraq gov't or US State Dept authority like Ambassador Crocker.

Cedarford said...

Wow! Freder and me agree on something. Mark the day!

Freder Frederson said...

"Iran has sponsored illegal militias since the formation of the Maliki government in 2006.

Actually, Maliki and his allies are more closely aligned with Iran than Sadr. If we really were concerned about Iranian influence we would be backing Sadr, not Maliki.

Roger said...

Damn--I agree with Freder and Cedarford on this one (using a serving officer in a political ad).

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

The Republican National Committee releases an effective video juxtaposing statements about Iraq by General Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

It's only an effective video if you don't know what the word "listen" means.

MadisonMan said...

I already hold General Petraeus in pretty high regard -- I think he is an excellent soldier. If he comes out and denounces this ad, his star will rise even farther in my book.

Middle Class Guy said...

The politicization of our military and the use of our flag officers to score political points and to hide behind to defend an indefensible policy is nothing short of disgusting.



Militarys have been politicized since the Roman Legions. Do not think that other Presidents have not used flag officers for political purposes.

I may be wrong, it may be disgusting, but it is a fact of life. BTW, since flag promotions are appoved by congress, whether they agree or like it, generals are politicians.

Sloanasaurus said...

I already hold General Petraeus in pretty high regard -- I think he is an excellent soldier. If he comes out and denounces this ad, his star will rise even farther in my book.

I don't recall Petraeus coming out and denouncing the "General Betrayus Ad?" Nor does he come out and denounce the lies that are peddled by Democrats. Why should he denounce this ad. Petraeus should avoid commenting on anything political.

Democrats hate Petraeus because he is winning the war that they want us to lose. They hate Petraeus for the same reason that Democrats hated Grant and Sherman.

Every day I try to tell my kids that we live in the greatest and freeist country in the world. That we are noble and gallant warriors and that we are always victorius over bad guys. Under Democrats like FDR and Kennedy and Johnson, I could feel confident that I could continue to tell my kid that. Under a President Obama, all bets would be off.

MadisonMan said...

I'll change my mind -- I think mcg is correct, Petraeus should just ignore this ad and keep doing what he's doing.

Zeb Quinn said...

The Patraeus footage needs to be in this ad. It point-by-point graphically illustrates how wrong-headed and just plain wrong the Democrats are, and how dangerous they are as a result. That's the whole point, and it's having the words about it come out of Patraeus's mouth that drives the point home.

Besides, Patraeus per se is not in this ad as any kind of voluntary participant. It's the public record of his testimony that is being used in the ad.

As an aside, if he had come up before Congress and had testified that Iraq was lost and that all US forces should be immediately pulled out, you don't think the Dems would be joyously using that footage?

AlphaLiberal said...

Petreaus is a military commander. In a democratic society, the war policy is properly set by civilians, not by the military.

To be fair, Petreaus is not setting war policy. He is just the leading spokesman for the Cheney Administration's war policy.
Petreaus is being openly promoted by here the Republican Party and may be a partisan candidate down the road.

Bush didn't "listen to commanders" who disagreed with him. He fired several. Ask General Shinseki. At any rate, Presidents should make their own decisions, not be dictated to by generals.

As far as winning the war, there is no war in Iraq, it's an occupation. The challenge to occupation supporters is to elaborate how we win the occupation and if they ever want to get out troops out.

Freder Frederson said...

Militarys have been politicized since the Roman Legions. Do not think that other Presidents have not used flag officers for political purposes.

The point is that our military, constitutionally and by tradition, has tried to stay politically neutral. The rules against political activity by members of the military are very strict.

To politicize the military in this war is wrong.

The president and McCain (not Patraeus) should demand the RNC pull the ad immediately.

Roger said...

re "Shinseki being fired:" The Army Chief of staff's tour is four years. Rick Shinseki served from June 99 to June 2003. You can find a list of Chiefs and their dates of tenure here and make your own comparisons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_of_Staff_of_the_United_States_Army

Sloanasaurus said...

Militarys have been politicized since the Roman Legions. Do not think that other Presidents have not used flag officers for political purposes.

Yes, I recall an FDR speech where he deflected Republican criticism of the war effort with a quote something like "maybe you should tell my generals that." If that is not politicizing the military, what is?

George said...

Freder--

You write...

"Actually, Maliki and his allies are more closely aligned with Iran than Sadr. If we really were concerned about Iranian influence we would be backing Sadr, not Maliki."

Um, the key word above is "illegal."

Hmm, what does "Mahdi" Army mean? Sadr is trying to usher in the coming of the Messiah, the Mahdi.

He's fought battle after battle with US forces. He ordered the assassinations of moderate Shia leaders Khoei and Rifa'i.

And also says Middle East Quarterly: "The two murders mark the beginning of the abuses by Muqtada. But there were others as well, many of which created friction between Muqtada's followers and ordinary residents of Najaf and elsewhere. For example, there were arbitrary arrests and sentencing by unofficial Shar`ia courts he established; forced veiling of women; acts of violence against liquor stores and merchants, many of whom were either killed or received public lashings; closure of cinemas; and confiscation of money and property under the guise of religion. His excesses have led people in Karbala to declare Muqtada's people "worse than Saddam."

Sure, he's the guy we should support. Of course.

The question is why is he still alive.

Paddy O. said...

News from 140 years ago:

"But during the Abraham Lincoln administration, improved telegraphing technology has allowed the president to communicate to an unprecedented degree with commanders on the battlefield and, his advisers say, immerse himself in the details of the war."

Chip Ahoy said...

Unprecedented if you can manage to discount the relationship between Bush 41 and general Schwarzkopf.

In the waning months I've been hearing the term "lame duck" for the last three years. Wishful thinking. It's as if every action by a president despised can be dismissed by resolutely wishing it so, separate from what actually happens in the world. This, while simultaneously holding, regarding an election, that a lot can happen within a few months. In my world, long dragged out desultory but still mean-spirited politically interminable months. I have vegetables sprout, grow, produce within WaPo's "waning" months.

That's ↑ my definition of pixie. (in the other thread), It refers to penis size.

Paddy O. said...

Other news from 140 years ago:

"Union Major General George McClellan has been nominated by the Democratic party to run on a peace platform against Abraham Lincoln in the 1864 election."

Synova said...

Good point... what does "listen" mean? Obviously we were meant to interpret the statement as a promise not to disregard the commanders on the ground but that's not what he said.

Also... consider promises to withdraw "combat" troops from Iraq. Is that a promise to withdraw our forces from Iraq or not?

Can we tell?

Freder Frederson said...

The question is why is he still alive.

I wonder if you even recognize the irony of complaining about Sadr using assasination as a political tool while implying that we should assasinate him ourselves.

And my point was not that we should support Sadr, but that the current government of Iraq is closer to Iran than Sadr is, so complaining about Iranian influence on Sadr is kind of ridiculous. But that's what happens when you have a bunch of incompetent boobs in charge of our policy.

section9 said...

The article above shows how little reporters actually have read modern American history.

Lincoln developed a close relationship with Ulysses S. Grant that allowed him to develop confidence in Grant's stewardship. At first, Lincoln gave him command of the Army of the Potomac, then Lincoln understood that Grant's idea was to hit the Confederacy from many points at once, so Lincoln gave him command of the entire Union Army.

Roosevelt had the same relationship with George Catlett Marshall. He never developed the same close relationship with Secretary of War Harold Stimson, perhaps because of Stimson's Republican pedigree. However, FDR also was on very good terms with Ike.

Good war Presidents always get to know their generals on intimate terms. It's a point to ponder that Lyndon Johnson went through Robert S. MacNamara to get to William Westmoreland.

It is a very, very good sign that Rumsfeld is gone and Bush is dealing directly with Petraeus.

Synova said...

Also... there is ONE political policy that the military must support and that's winning.

Really... what would a neutral military look like to those of you complaining about it? Maybe half way between "the military can do good things and we are doing something vital here" and a Code Pink insistence that the military itself is the problem? Throw a little self-hatred in there in order to achieve some neutrality?

Just because the military is pro-military and one political party is pro-military and the other is anti-military doesn't mean that it's wrong for the military to be pro-military. They *ought* to believe in the value of what they do or why are they accepting that paycheck at all? Because the spiffy uniforms impress the girls?

Fen said...

Freder: It is not Patraeus' job to testify in front of Congress. Bush has him do it because he knows that members of congress dare not be too critical.

No. General Petraeus has to testify because Congresssional Democrats insist on pretending the war is lost. There is no better reality check than a public face-to-face with someone who actually knows whats going on in Iraq.

And I think you guys are afraid General Petraeus will implicate Iran, with enough evidence to justify direct ops against them. That says alot about how the Left will behave in this time of war - ignore Iranian attacks to avoid making tough decisions, kick the can down the road. Enable a nuclear 9-11. Perhaps your guy will bag a few more interns this time around... on yet another Vacation from History

The politicization of our military

No. The education of our congress and our people. An end run around the misinformation being fed to you by the media and the Left.

to score political points

How is telling the truth about Iraq scoring political points? Oh right I forgot, for the Left, this has always been about sabotaging the war effort to gain political power. So naturually you assume the same of those that support the war.

and to hide behind to defend an indefensible policy

Its not indefensible. We've explained it to you many times. You simply disagree. And we STILL haven't seen any long-range plan from the Left that would marginalize radical Islam. Hell, we can't even get the anti-war Left to identify the threat.

is nothing short of disgusting.

And yet, if General Petraeus testified that "the war is lost, we should pull out", people like you would be hollering that we should listen to the military experts on the ground...

Synova said...

"And my point was not that we should support Sadr,..."

So what is your point then? Who should we support?

If not Sadr, should we support Maliki and the elected but imperfect government?

And if we should support Maliki then just what is your problem? A compulsive need to criticize and tear down whatever you can criticize and tear down?

Who should we support?

The Drill SGT said...

I'm with Roger.

1. Shinseki (who I agreed with then and now) wasn't fired. He disagreed with Rumsfeld and his advice and counsel was ignored. But he wasn't fired. Shinseki was the CSA. The role of the CSA is to adminster the Army and have it prepared to execute the orders of the President, SecDef, the JCS, and the COCOM. He is not actually in the warfighting chain of command anywhere.

2. as for the "listening to commanders", thing. It is good for the POTUS to be able to get unvarnished facts (and analysis/opinions) from Generals on the ground. It is bad for the president to start issuing orders outside the CoC.

Listen = good
bypass the CoC = bad

3. Bush isn't Lincohn by any means, but Petraeus is Bush's Grant. Bush had to go through a lot of Generals (too slowly IMHO) before he found Petraeus. nothing wrong with shopping around a bit.

4. 20 years ago, I had the privilege of working along side General DePuy (USA Ret). DePuy, when a 2 star in VN, had the reputatio of having little tolerance for Battalion commanders, who arrived from the states to get their command ticket punched and who lacked all the skills needed. He relieved a number. This was based on his experience with a NG division he was assigned to in WWII, which had 4 Div CG's in 5 months (June-Oct 44). He said of his VN decision to "ruin" the careers of a number of career officers, something like: the lives of US soldiers cant be spent training commanders.

Moral: the boss needs to keep looking until he finds commanders he trusts to win and protect soldiers lives along the way.

Roger said...

Question for the commenters: Isnt' General P's testimony mandated by congress itself as a result of a recent appropriations bill? I am sure Patraeus would rather be doing other things.

Freder Frederson said...

And we STILL haven't seen any long-range plan from the Left that would marginalize radical Islam.

And what exactly is the plan from the Right? You seem to think that Patraeus is going to encourage the invasion of Iran. My question is that 3rd grade retort:

"Oh yeah, you and whose Army?"

Because as I have pointed out repeatedly (and the reason Bush ignores the joint chiefs), the president, by fighting this war on the cheap and not making the hard choices, has made an invasion of Iran impossible. We simply don't have the troops. We don't have the troops to maintain the surge in Iraq and we don't have the troops to put the number we need on the ground in Afghanistan.

The next president faces an collapse of the fighting capability of our ground forces. And it is Bush's fault.

former law student said...

W.s parallel quote to Obama's would sound like "I have always listened to those commanders in the field who told me what I wanted to hear." As AL pointed out, W. ignored the accurate predictions of General Shinseki. An effective counter ad would be to play back all of the other generals' testimonies.

It sure would be a simpler world if the President would stand up and tell the American people that we are at war with Iran, Lebanon, and Syria and have been for many years.

George makes the common neocon mistake of equating the United States with Israel. As convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard would tell you, the two countries' interests are not identical.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And my point was not that we should support Sadr, but that the current government of Iraq is closer to Iran than Sadr is,

Is that why Sadr spends so much time in Tehran?

John said...

Freder,
I don't think the administration controls who testifies in front of congress. I think congress does, specifically the majority party in congress. If inviting Petraeus is unacceptable politicization of the military, shouldn't you be bitching at Nancy Pelosi about it? Or at least explain how the nefarious Bush forced Congress to do his bidding?

Cedarford, I don't agree with your complaint. Petraeus is the world's leading expert on counter-insurgency, and probably knows more about Iraq than any other American. Are you saying our political conversation should not listen to his views? Or that the party who agrees with him shouldn't promote his view? I suspect you might not think that if he agreed with you. But maybe you would.

I can understand that it is frustrating that our smartest, best informed guy disagrees with you, but maybe you might try to understand what he is paying attention to that causes him to disagree with you.

Civilian control of the military doesn't mean we shouldn't try to take advantage of their expertise. And their opinion might agree with one side's opinion or the other. Ultimately, the voters are the ones who will decide this question, so they have to be told about the disagreement and who is on which side. That means an ad like this is part and parcel of democratic decision making about war and peace.

Fen said...

Alpha: To be fair, Petreaus is not setting war policy. He is just the leading spokesman for the Cheney Administration's war policy. [emph added]

To be fair: "The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual[COIN], a 419-page guide to fighting what military scholar Andrew Krepinevich expects will be “the dominant form of warfare over the next decade.”

Gen. David Petraeus, the current commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, was a principle author of the manual."

Freder Frederson said...

So what is your point then? Who should we support?

Hey, I have been against this fiasco since day one. Bush and Co. have screwed up the political situation so badly their is no solution any more. Don't look at me to fix the car after they have driven it off the cliff and then set it on fire. That is for you geniuses to figure out.

Four years ago we could have salvaged something. Now the only thing we can do is withdraw and let the Iraqis figure it out for themselves.

former law student said...

Congresssional Democrats insist on pretending the war is lost.

We won the war. Saddam is gone. What we're losing is the occupation. See "The Gaza Strip, 1967-2008."

Synova said...

"...has made an invasion of Iran impossible."

And you think this is bad... how?

Seriously, do you expect me (or anyone else) to think that YOU are concerned that we might have to invade Iran and should be prepared to do so? Can you explain your preferred scenario on Iran invasion because I had the notion that I was a uber-hawk compared to you and I simply can't see any situation where a ground invasion of Iran would be a reasonable thing to do.

Or again, are you criticizing for the sake of it without any regard to your actual preferred policies and what you think that we should actually do or be prepared to do. The thing about not having the troops available to invade Iran sounds good so you go with it without thinking it through?

How can someone who thinks being in IRAQ is a bad plan imagine any situation where being on the ground in IRAN would be a GOOD plan? Hm?

I think it's good to be in Iraq and I can't think of any situation where being on the ground in Iran would be a good plan. Not even for nukes.

We don't have to walk our Army boys across the Persian desert in order to end an Iranian nuclear program. That would be just silly.

Fen said...

You seem to think that Patraeus is going to encourage the invasion of Iran... made an invasion of Iran impossible. We simply don't have the troops.

1) We're not going to tackle Iran the same way we did Iraq.

2) The trick re Iran has always been about logistics, not troop numbers.

3) Its pointless to discuss the war with you. You are too heavily invested in your predictions of failure to be objective.

Synova said...

"That is for you geniuses to figure out."

In other words, criticize for the sake of criticism. But we knew that.

If you're not offering opinions about solutions why do you keep flapping your yap?

Fen said...

What we're losing is the occupation.

But we're not. And thats why there is such a firestorm from the Left over Petraeus. They already know his testimony will shred talking points like yours. Hence the effort to discredit anything he says. Again.

Has MoveOn been muzzled this time around?

Hoosier Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

If you're not offering opinions about solutions why do you keep flapping your yap?

ff is only trying to help, hoping our leadership will realize that (1) Those who haven't learned from history are condemned to repeat it, and (2) Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Bush isn't Lincohn by any means

Which can actually be considered a compliment. I certainly would not consider Lincoln a stellar war president by any stretch. Considering the North vastly outnumbered the South and pretty much had the entire industrial base of the nation that war shouldn’t have lasted beyond 90 days let alone 4 years and 700,000 dead. A lot of that had to do with Lincoln’s inability to pick an overall Army commander that was worth more than bucket of spit. McClellan was a brilliant organizer but useless in actually getting the army to do anything. Then there was Burnside (talk about incompetence), Hooker, Meade and then finally Grant. John Reynolds would have been a stellar commander and was actually approached by Lincoln for the job but Lincoln then refused it when Reynolds didn’t want to be tied down with Lincoln and Stanton’s micromanaging.

Never mind that back then, getting a commission had a lot more to do with currying political favors than recognizing any military prowess on the part of the officer.

Sloanasaurus said...

If Obama is elected and pulls out of Iraq in opposition to the military can we then criticise Obama for not listening to his generals? Hmmm... I am sure in that instance, MoveOn would refer to Obama as "courageous" for leaving millions to suffer and die just as the Democrats did to the Cambodians and South Vietnamese in 1975.

Synova said...

You'd think that when the argument was that we didn't have enough troops on the ground that when we *did* send more for the surge that those people would be claiming ideological victory, "See, we were right!"

But that's not what happened.

Probably those arguing that we needed more troops were like Freder and not *actually* suggesting what they thought *ought* to be done, but were just arguing the opposite in a reflexive and thoughtless criticism so when what they were saying actually got implemented they just switched to the next thing that sounded good.

And that's why they are now arguing that we support an intolerant religiously motivated wanna-be strong man named Mookie. It doesn't matter that he represents everything that liberals are supposed to be against. No, that doesn't matter at all. It's the argument that is important, not real people or the impact of real policies.

It's a strange thing when conservatives are more liberal in outlook than liberals are.

former law student said...

I see fen has yet to take the first step on the road to recovery.

from Yahoo News: News Stories for iraqis killed
(Results 1 - 10 of about 5,036)
Sort Results by: Relevance | Date
167 News Photos

Sloanasaurus said...

Considering the North vastly outnumbered the South and pretty much had the entire industrial base of the nation that war shouldn’t have lasted beyond 90 days let alone 4 years and 700,000 dead

Except that most of our good officers were from the south. The south is where the military tradition of the United States was and still is today. (Patreaus is an exception to this rule).

Lincoln faced a vastly superior led army in 1861.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well considering a superpower with a 580K and 185K strong army and marine corps is being systematically destroyed in what is essentially a low level counter-insurgency, we should do well to just give up this whole war business.

former law student said...

millions to suffer and die just as the Democrats did to the Cambodians and South Vietnamese in 1975.

1. Nixon and Ford were Democrats? Who knew?

2. Were we fighting in Cambodia, too? Did Congress know?

3. Do you mean the millions of South Vietnamese who live in California, bringing pho to the masses?

4. Do you mean our good trading partner Vietnam, now taking over from China as a supplier of cheap crap to the American people?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Lincoln faced a vastly superior led army in 1861.

Superior led yes and had the South been as well equipped, I daresay there would have been two counties here now.

Again, we had some excellent corps commanders and even a few brigade commanders that would have been more than a match for Lee (Kearney, Reynolds for starters) but Abe clearly didn't have the eye for talent that Davis did.

B said...

The jury is already in on this issue:

Barack Obama has already conclusively demonstrated - with his lack of experience, judgment, and intelligence-challenged statements regarding his approach to foreign affairs - that he would be an irrefutably complete disaster as Commander-in-Chief.


There are no adults who believe that Obama can do Iraq right.

There are no thinking, mature people who believe that Obama can do Iran right.

There are no serious Americans - Democrat, Republican, or independent, when the partisanship is set aside and they sit alone with themselves and tell the truth - who believe that Obama can even do Afghanistan/Pakistan right.

This no-brainer issue is McCain's.
The delicious irony is that we have the completely foreign affairs deficient Obama wanting to run against possibly the best prepared foreign-affairs-capable candidate since the first President Bush.

Further discussion by Obama supporters is simply head-in-the-sand wishful thinking, Bush Derangement Syndrome, or an endless, fruitless waste of anyone's time.

Hoosier Daddy said...

1. Nixon and Ford were Democrats? Who knew?

Nope but Congress was and they refused to allow aid to the South when the North violated the peace treaty.

But I'm sure you knew that right? Or just being disingenuous again?

Cedarford said...

John - Cedarford, I don't agree with your complaint. Petraeus is the world's leading expert on counter-insurgency, and probably knows more about Iraq than any other American. Are you saying our political conversation should not listen to his views?

He is one voice. There are others. What the RNC did was use 100% Petraeus quotes to cast it as Petraeus vs. the Democrat candidates. That is using an active duty officer for partisan purposes. What they did might have passed muster if he was just one of many expert voices, not the source of all the fodder the RNC put in their political ad.

I expect Petraeus to disavow any endorsement of the RNC product and deliver what he believes to be the objective facts, again...in testimony tomorrow.

Or that the party who agrees with him shouldn't promote his view?

He is a serving active duty officer barred from political activity and even if he wasn't, it is still wrong to single out neutral parties that have name recognition and high reputation and use them or their quotes w/o permission to advance your political agenda. Same with a career civil service person being used as a political weapon, CIA interfering in politics, or some other institution where not only is the indivual harmed by exploitation in political machinations, but the institution itself.

I suspect you might not think that if he agreed with you. But maybe you would.

As I said, I agreed with everything Petraeus said, and by implication disagree with Obama and Clinton - but civilian control of the military and in turn, active duty military not becoming embroiled in politics is a core American value that should not be trammeled by either Party for Iraq exiegencies.

former law student said...

Congress refused to allow aid to the South in 1974 after the South violated the peace treaty.

But I'm sure you knew that right? Or just being disingenuous again?

Bob said...

The ad uses public testamony by Petreus before Congress. Just as he did not comment on or denounce the MoveOn ad the General should make no comments on this.

Petreus must testify before Congress because Congress demanded it. Now I'm sure that Democrats presumed all the news would be bad but they insisted upon this and White House went along. Of course the other irony here is that Congress approved his selection to 4-stars and assignment to MNF-I position.

Again, Shinseki served his entire term as Army Chief of Staff. Actually, no General Officer of 2-stars or higher has been officially sacked in the Iraq conflict though Fallon certainly resigned.

The Drill SGT said...

Daddy said...John Reynolds would have been a stellar commander and was actually approached by Lincoln for the job but Lincoln then refused it when Reynolds didn’t want to be tied down with Lincoln and Stanton’s micromanaging.

It would have been over in 90 days if Lincoln had succeeded in talking Lee into taking the job instead of going home. Boy that would have changed history a bit.

Yes, Reynolds was good. Arguably Reynolds and Buford had a great deal to do with winning the war by picking Gettyburg as "good ground" on which to mke a fight. Reynolds died on the 1st day of Gettysburg.

Buford was the Cavalry Commander first on the scene (go Roger) and Reynolds was CDR of the 1st Corps (and had operational control of 1,3,11th corps). They met on the ridge overlooking the town and decided the fate of the Union.

Sloanasaurus said...

have been more than a match for Lee (Kearney, Reynolds for starters) but Abe clearly didn't have the eye for talent that Davis did.

Yes, I agree you you on that. Lincoln's ultimate brilliance was in being able to stick it out through to victory even after the serious defeats. His failings were having too many bad generals at the start.

Bob said...

Hoosier Daddy - "Well considering a superpower with a 580K and 185K strong army and marine corps is being systematically destroyed in what is essentially a low level counter-insurgency"

Just how is the US Army and Marine Corp being "systematically destroyed"? We may be tired or overextended but destroyed? How so? By what marker? I'm in the Army so please enlighten me on this destruction.

Sloanasaurus said...

have been more than a match for Lee (Kearney, Reynolds for starters) but Abe clearly didn't have the eye for talent that Davis did.

It is also probably true however, that if it wasn't for the vocal Democratic opposition to Lincoln in the North, we would have avoided the terrible Overland Campaign of 1864. The Southerners believed that Lincoln would be defeated. This is no different than the vocal Democratic opposition today. How many American lives would have been saved if the Democrats would have been united with Bush on a policy of victory in Iraq - perhaps thousands.

SGT Ted said...

Describing an Airborne Ranger Infantry Officer as "bookish" is really stupid. Thats a description of a University professor, not a General.

From his statements about Maliki having more ties to Iran than Mookie shows Freder don't know shit from shinola about Iraq, much less anything about the Middle East.

Trying to discredit Bush for having his subject matter expert inform Congress as to what is actually going on in Iraq is really teh stupid. It is the arguement of a moron fumbling for any excuse to change the subject from the success on the ground back to Bush being stupid/criminal/insert leftwing talking point here.

Freder is also too intellectually dishonest to recognise what Malikis offensive in Basra means. This offensive, independently decided by Maliki and conducted by the Iraqi Army against fellow Shiites-Mookies boys, who are now controlled by Iranians reporting to Hisballah, demonstrates the exact opposite of his claims of Malikis alleged fealty to Iran. Only a partisan kool-aid drinker would assert such in the face of the opposing reality on the ground. Freder might as well be some Code Pink screecher for all ignorant and demonstrably false thing he maintains about current operations and conditions on the ground in Iraq. Again: He is an partisan idiot.

But, then again, I get my info from people who are in theater and not from the New York Times or the DNC. What do I know?

We had the Mookster proned out in Najaf in July of 2003. We should have shot him then and there.

Freder Frederson said...

We don't have to walk our Army boys across the Persian desert in order to end an Iranian nuclear program.

Well thinking we could end Iran's nuclear program with military action and our troops in Iraq would not suffer terrible consequences is just ridiculous. If you are going to attack Iran, you better damn well be ready for a ground war.

I think any military operation against Iran would be the height of foolishness--not to mention illegal under both U.S. and international law.

Sloanasaurus said...

Congress refused to allow aid to the South in 1974 after the South violated the peace treaty.

Communist Propaganda is alive and well today. Maybe you can rehash the stories about how we used poison gas weapons against the Communists during the Korean war.

Joe said...

Oh my God, a war is being politicized. Y'all do know that ALL war is political, right?

former law student said...

Communist Propaganda is alive and well today.

Give me a timeline of Congress's refusal to supply aid to the South, starting with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, including violations of the Accords by both South and North Vietnam. Then describe what action Congress could have taken, given that we were ourselves bound by the Paris Peace Accords, which were negotiated and signed by Henry Kissinger under Nixon's direction.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

If Obama is elected and pulls out of Iraq in opposition to the military can we then criticise Obama for not listening to his generals?

This is another example of someone who does not understand what the word "listen" means.

Sloan, making decisions about the occupation of Iraq involves more than military considerations. I would hope that the president considers other factors and "listens" to other advisors before making foreign policy decisions.

Freder Frederson said...

But, then again, I get my info from people who are in theater and not from the New York Times or the DNC. What do I know?

You know, people on the ground don't always fully understand the subtleties of the politics involved. The truth is that Maliki is more closely aligned with Iran than Sadr. It is sad but true. Sadr is an upstart and draws his support from the working classes. Maliki is more establishment and spent his entire exile in Iran. From day one we have supported Shiites with very close ties to Iran.

Sloanasaurus said...

Give me a timeline of Congress's refusal to supply aid to the South, starting with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, including violations of the Accords by both South and North Vietnam.

Get real. The communist north signed a peace treaty, waited until with were out and then invaded the south assuming that we were too divided to intervene.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

How many American lives would have been saved if the Democrats would have been united with Bush on a policy of victory in Iraq - perhaps thousands.

Lives saved? How so Sloan? How did opposition to the war (by Democrats--apparently opposition by nonDemocrats didn't count) cost American lives? And how did you quantify your estimate on possible lives that would have been saved by being "united with Bush?"

Sloanasaurus said...

This is another example of someone who does not understand what the word "listen" means.

Oh my.... the nuance never ends with the left. HOW MANY FINGERS WINSTON?

As much as I would hate to see Obama win, pointing out the coming hypocrisy on every issue will be good fun. (i can enjoy it as Obama takes even more of my money to squander on welfare programs designed to destroy the American family).

Synova said...

So again you make false arguments, Freder.

But that's a normal and expected thing after these years when "the opposition" has made no counter suggestions or plans to solve anything at all. It's only ever about picking at what those trying to solve problems are doing and never about offering alternatives.

The Drill SGT said...

Then describe what action Congress could have taken, given that we were ourselves bound by the Paris Peace Accords, which were negotiated and signed by Henry Kissinger under Nixon's direction.


The short answer:

When NVA divisions attacked with tanks and hvy Arty, I think 7th Fleet alpha strikes and BUFFS from Guam would have been a reasoned response.

That is what we did in 72.

Synova said...

Again... listen means what listen means and if someone is counting on Obama listening but not taking heed to commanders on the ground... they should also consider that Obama hasn't said he'd take our troops and presence out of Iraq. He says "combat" troops and those he says will be nearby to pop on back in there if necessary to respond to terrorists... to help those combat troops he's left in place to protect Americans... or something.

Most people hear "I will always listen to the commanders on the ground" as what it really was, which was a hedge on his declarations that he'd take us out of Iraq... but he won't *really* because he's going to listen to the commanders on the ground.

And Hillary makes a good point about how long it takes to simply move people... I actually saw that debate... and suddenly it's no longer Obama saying he'll bring our troops home *now* it's him saying that it will happen the way Hillary said it would happen.

And then we'll send more troops into Pakistan (which we've been doing it seems... so Obama can hardly get after Bush for violating sovereignty when Bush is doing what Obama said was a better plan and that Obama would do) but Hillary hasn't explained the constrictions of logistics to do that yet the way she explained that you *can't* just bring everyone home from Iraq tomorrow.

But... we ought to remember that "listen" doesn't mean anything other than register that someone is making noise with their mouth.

Synova said...

No, I don't like Hillary but at least she's not DUMB.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just how is the US Army and Marine Corp being "systematically destroyed"? We may be tired or overextended but destroyed? How so? By what marker? I'm in the Army so please enlighten me on this destruction.

Ask Freder as he seems to think Bush has already done so. My comment was merely tongue in cheek.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

The comments of General Petraeus are from Congressional Testimony, and therfore public record. The use of that public record doesn't have to be approved by the witness any more than its use would have to be approved by Congress for this ad, so I have to diagree that the General has been politicized.

If he had taped seperate comments independantly for an RNC ad, at the insistance of the President, then I believe there would have been room for complaint.

Sloanasaurus said...

And how did you quantify your estimate on possible lives that would have been saved by being "united with Bush?"

I can't quantify it. However, we know that public opposition in the U.S. to both Vietnam and the Civil War caused the enemy to have hope far longer than they would have. It's fair to say that the vocal opposition for Iraq has done the same thing.

Imagine if there was serious opposition to World War II at home. I wonder if Emperor Hirohito would have given up when he did.....

Freder Frederson said...

So again you make false arguments, Freder.

Just because you say it doesn't make it true.

I stated a simple fact. Maliki and his government is more closely aligned and is more beholden to Iran than Sadr. All your sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "No, no, no, Freder is an evil liberal, so he must be wrong, Maliki good, Sadr bad, Maliki hate Iran, Sadr love Iran" just because you desperately want it to be that simple doesn't cut it.

Try actually researching a little. You will see what a freaking mess this is and how this administration doesn't have a clue about what they are doing.

Synova said...

Cyrus suffers under the common illusion that America is the only actor in the world. No one else actually does anything or makes decisions based on information they have or their own understanding of the situation.

"Lives saved? How so Sloan? How did opposition to the war (by Democrats--apparently opposition by nonDemocrats didn't count) cost American lives?"

War is about destroying the other side's ability to fight. A smaller weaker force can do that by seeking to undermine the resolution of their foe. The idea that domestic politically motivated opposition does not directly affect the decisions made by those fighting to continue to hope for victory is naive or willfully fantastic.

There are many ways that the opposition in the United States could have contributed to greater stability sooner and the simplest of those ways would be presenting a united front, if not in detail, at the least in resolve. That would mean fewer Americans dead and far far fewer Iraqis dead.

But political advantage is more important.

The Drill SGT said...

If he had taped seperate comments independantly for an RNC ad, at the insistance of the President, then I believe there would have been room for complaint.

I agree with the redneck and would add:

If he had done that, I think the Senate could reasonably vote down any nomination for which his name was presented.

as for using public testimony (without his permission) from hearings demanded by Dem's, ROFL

Synova said...

Freder, your arguments are false because they are falsely argued, not because Maliki has no connection to Iran. You argue falsely because you argue for the argument.

You have yourself said there is no purpose to arguing in favor of Sadr. Yet you do so. And then claim that you aren't.

Your argument is fundamentally based on nothing but argument itself and that is what I mean by false. You *aren't* arguing in favor of Sadr although you do make those arguments.

What is your argument, Freder?

That is what is false.

Sloanasaurus said...

The idea that domestic politically motivated opposition does not directly affect the decisions made by those fighting to continue to hope for victory is naive or willfully fantastic.

So it turned out to be in the Civil War. But in Vietnam, we lost because of domestic opposition. Osama Bin Ladin made this point in serval of his speeches about the Iraq war.

The Democrats were with America on Invasion - half of them voted in the Senate for war. Yet, once things got tough, they abandoned America and preached for withrawl and surrender. If any propaganda could be used by AlQaeda and the Insurgency to motivate their followers and recruit more, it would be evidence that the otherside is about to quit - "all we need is a few more attacks and a few more bombs" they would say.... like R.E. Lee said - we just need to hold out to the election.

Bob said...

Sloanasarius - Hirohito was losing a Japanese city every 3 days. Trying to hang on for another month would have effectively meant destroying the urban centers of Japan within a month. The firebombing campaign had already hallowed them out.

Freder Frederson said...

You have yourself said there is no purpose to arguing in favor of Sadr. Yet you do so. And then claim that you aren't

My initial comment about Sadr was not to argue for or against him but to counter george's simplistic assertion that Maliki's actions against Sadr were a blow against Iran. That is a patently silly assertion.

The cease fire between the government and Sadr was negotiated in Iran. It is ludicrous to assert that assaulting Sadr was an attempt to diminish Iran's influence. In fact, Maliki's defeat, and Iran's brokering the cease fire, if anything, icreased Iran's influence.

Synova said...

And is Iran's influence good or bad? Or more nuancedly, is Iran's influence as a broker supporting stability in Iraq an improvement over Iranian IEDs or rockets?

AlphaLiberal said...

I have to agree with this statement from Middle Class Guy:

The politicization of our military and the use of our flag officers to score political points and to hide behind to defend an indefensible policy is nothing short of disgusting.

Now come the Republicans to say that a President must obey a general. They have it exactly reversed.

I actually thought more con's here would agree with MCG on this point and this would be one of those common values Americans share for a civilian government. But, they don't, and we don't. Alas.

Apparently, the transformation of the Republican Party into the Banana Republicans is complete.

AlphaLiberal said...

What about Saudi Arabia's suport for violent extremists in Iraq and elsewhere? Much more support for al Qaeda originates in Saudi Arabia than Iran.

Odd how conservatives don't care that Saudi Arabians fund the killing of our troops in Iraq.

former law student said...

But that's a normal and expected thing after these years when "the opposition" has made no counter suggestions or plans to solve anything at all. It's only ever about picking at what those trying to solve problems are doing and never about offering alternatives.

When I was seven, my hand-me-down wristwatch was running slowly, and I wanted to fix it. So I took the back off, took out the gears, and stretched the mainspring to its full length. Much like ff, when they found out what happened, my parents did not respond with any helpful suggestions, nor did they offer any help to putting the watch back together again. Instead all I got was a barrage of criticism. They did suggest that I shouldn't mess with things until I knew what I was doing, which is good advice for everyone in similar situations.

Synova said...

"Odd how conservatives don't care that Saudi Arabians fund the killing of our troops in Iraq."

Please link evidence that Saudi (as a state) is supporting insurgents in Iraq the way that Iran (as a state) has been doing so?

Now, Saudi is most certainly a source of state sponsored Islamic violence even if it's just the way they fund extremist mosques and "education" around the world. But saying that conservatives don't *care* is a self-serving lie. Unless "don't care" is anything short of fevered calls for a military invasion... which it seems to be.

Pretending that conservatives have one answer to any problem in order to pummel them with supposed hypocrisy for not demanding we nuke Mecca isn't as clever as it seems to be.

Sloanasaurus said...

They did suggest that I shouldn't mess with things until I knew what I was doing, which is good advice for everyone in similar situations.

Too bad your parents weren't around to give Lyndon Johnson this advice when he and Democrats enacted the Great Society - the catalyst to the destruction of the black family in America.

Synova said...

Better to do nothing at all then, FLS?

Nothing at all would actually have been an improvement.

(And I hope that your parents didn't tell you never to take anything apart anymore for fear of breaking it.)

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova displays a flimsy grasp on grammer:

Please link evidence that Saudi (as a state) is supporting insurgents in Iraq the way that Iran (as a state) has been doing so?

Why? I didn't say that! Read much?

"Saudi Arabians" refers to people, not a government. And here you are defending the prime source for al Qaeda funding.

Can't bring yourself to criticize the Saudis?

Synova said...

You must like Obama's grasp of grammar, huh.

I *did* criticize Saudi. Did you really miss that?

So what do *you* think we should do about Saudi? Or are you like Freder and have no suggestion or opinion at all and it just bothers you that I'm not all hot to nuke Mecca?

I think that we should do anything we can legally do to work against the exportation and funding of things like Islamic Centers at our elite universities but that has to be done with public opinion and the rush to demonstrate tolerance is often a rush to accept Saudi money. A boycott of Saudi money would be a good plan.

As for the Saudis killing Americans in Iraq? A bullet works. If, as you claim, you weren't talking about Saudi as a state but individuals in Iraq (like those foreign fighters from a variety of places). Does it satisfy your opinion of my blood-lust if I say that dead tangos are a good thing?

Synova said...

I'm inclined to interpret any "But what about Saudi" as a call to invade Saudi Arabia which would be stupid beyond any measure but facts are that those saying such things aren't calling for an invasion of Saudi Arabia. In fact they have no opinions or suggestions AT ALL what our policy should be with the Saudis.

Because it's not about having answers.

Never has been.

Synova said...

Better question: What are Obama or Hillary's opinions on what to do about Saudi, and are they good ones or not?

And can you get a straight answer out of Obama?

And if neither have spoken on the issue, what is the general liberal-Dem policy on what our relations should be with Saudi and what do *you* hope to hear from your candidate on the issue?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Synova wrote:

But... we ought to remember that "listen" doesn't mean anything other than register that someone is making noise with their mouth.

Synova, clearly you've missed the point as well. In this case, I'm obviously distinguishing between listening to advice and following advice. One would hope that the president would listen to advice about the occupation of Iraq from both military and nonmilitary advisors. After all, the exercise of foreign policy encompasses far more than just military considerations.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

I can enjoy it as Obama takes even more of my money to squander on welfare programs designed to destroy the American family.

Welfare programs were designed to destroy the American family? Who knew?

Synova said...

Results as opposed to motivation.

Grownups talk about unintended externalities.

Others (such as Naomi Klein) insist that intending to do good results in doing good.

Pogo said...

Who knew?

Alot of folks predicted that consequence. Was it intentional? Yes and no. Yes, for the New Left liberals out to smash monogamy and the family, no for the old line liberals who had meant only to help, but found the unintended consequences included family demise.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Imagine if there was serious opposition to World War II at home. I wonder if Emperor Hirohito would have given up when he did.....

I keep thinking that I've seen the most ridiculous post ever from Sloan, and then he posts again and proves me wrong!

Synova said...

"After all, the exercise of foreign policy encompasses far more than just military considerations."

Gasp!

You mean sorta kinda how making promises to withdraw us from Iraq starting immediately ignores the consideration of what will happen when we leave in favor of the consideration of domestic politics?

Or the consideration of how our reputation for starting stuff without follow through is going to be reinforced internationally?

Or the foreign policy considerations of how declarations of intent to invade sovereign nations will play in the nation in question?

I'm glad that Obama will "listen" to his commanders on the ground and his other advisers and make informed wise decisions that might be entirely different than what he's promised in his campaign.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

Please give me examples of how welfare programs were designed by "New Left liberals" to intentionally "smash monogamy and the family."

Pogo said...

No Cyrus, I'll just say it was a massive coinicidence that the New Left in the US and UK wanted to smash monogamy and the family and also designed welfare that had the unusal side effect of acheiving that very result in both countries.

An amazing but completely unrelated coincidence!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Synova,

You fail to make a case that withdrawing troops from Iraq in the near future is a worse policy decision than leaving them in place for the foreseeable future. Considering that Team Bush is putting the cost of the Iraq adventure on our national credit card, and taking into account that the occupation of Iraq has been incompetently managed, is it really a surprise to discover that the war has become widely unpopular?

You pose three interesting questions:

You mean sorta kinda how making promises to withdraw us from Iraq starting immediately ignores the consideration of what will happen when we leave in favor of the consideration of domestic politics?

It certainly doesn't "ignore" what might happen when we leave. What you seem not to understand is that any sensible analysis of the situation will consider the costs and benefits of the various options we have. Those who judge that leaving Iraq sooner provides a better outcome in terms of costs and benefits aren't "ignoring" outcomes. They are simply making different judgments about the likelihood of the various possible outcomes.

Or the consideration of how our reputation for starting stuff without follow through is going to be reinforced internationally?

War supporters are now concerned about our international reputation? Laughable. I suggest that the war supporters should have thought of all of this before starting the Iraq adventure.

Or the foreign policy considerations of how declarations of intent to invade sovereign nations will play in the nation in question?

More invasions? Hasn't this painful lesson taught us anything? Why don't we keep "declarations of intent to invade sovereign nations" to an absolute minimum, especially since we're already overextended as it is.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

I knew you couldn't provide examples. I hate to always call your bluff. Perhaps you should consider a strategy other than bluffing now and then!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

Incidentally, it would benefit you to learn the difference between correlation and causation.

Cheers!

Pogo said...

I hate to always call your bluff.

No bluff to call. I have the books at home, but I know you don't give a shit, and will never ever agree that evidence says what it says. So why try? It's like discussing with a teenager. (No it isn't. No it isn't. No it isn't.)

Senator Moynihan proved that this correlation was indeed causation long ago. But I know you already know that and still don't give a shit. You'll avoid admitting it as usual. (That's not what it says. It doesn't PROOOVE it. No. That's not what it says.)

I'd rather have cigarette during a gasoline enema than try to get you to agree to anything contrary to your POV (But I don't have a point iof view here. Prove i have given a point of view.)

It's easy to be Cyrus/Maxine.

Sloanasaurus said...

I keep thinking that I've seen the most ridiculous post ever from Sloan, and then he posts again and proves me wrong!

Nice Obama-style comeback Cyrus.

If you read some history, you will find that there was serious opposition to Hirohito by his cabinet for giving in. They had already prepared a home defense. If Hirohito knew that political opposition in America could prevent an invasion of Japan, then Hirohito would have held out despite bombing.

Synova said...

"War supporters are now concerned about our international reputation? Laughable. I suggest that the war supporters should have thought of all of this before starting the Iraq adventure."

We have a well earned international reputation for mucking about and then leaving our allies out to hang.

What *you* are talking about is popularity. The Iraq war is not popular. I'm talking about reputation... what other nations and people *know* about us and how we will react and behave.

We quit.

And maybe Obama is not your man, but Obama suggested that we send troops into Pakistan because, apparently, he thinks that's a good idea and acceptable. Granted, he was trying to get his cost-free "I can be tough, too" creds when he said it.

Synova said...

"They are simply making different judgments about the likelihood of the various possible outcomes."

They are simply making different judgments about the VALUE of the various possible outcomes.

On the one hand we save money and no more Americans get killed. On the other Iraqis kill each other a whole lot.

The value of Iraqi lives is what people disagree about.

Sloanasaurus said...

Incidentally, it would benefit you to learn the difference between correlation and causation.

Way to go Cyrus, you are all Obama, no substance.

The correlation between welfare and family is a simple one. It goes to the roots of the human condition. If a man sires an illegitimate child with a woman and knows that the child will die without his support, then the man will seek to support the child. The best way to do this is to marry the woman and start a family. If a man knows that the child will still be cared for by the state if he does not help, then the man loses little if he runs away and avoids a family commitment.

If a man and/or women knows that any potential child will be taken care for by the state, then a man or woman has little to gain by waiting for marriage to engage in sex.

Marriage is the foundation of the family. The modern welfare system has partially destroyed marriage and is therefore on its way to destroying the family.

The future of our society will not be based on race or gender, etc.. it will be divided between the haves and the have-nots. The haves will be those who were generally raised in a two parent family, the have-nots will be those raised by single parents. Yes, there will be exceptions, but the general rule will apply.

This is the stuff Bill Cosby talkes about. Obama, in contrast, supports the destruction of the family by the welfare state.

Bob said...

Synova, why do you believe that the day the US announces its leaving that a protective force field will descend and envelope US forces? Not one more dead - please. A number of groups will be looking to "get them an American" once we announce we're bugging out.

As you state a number of Iraqis will die. The question becomes just how many die under any given scenario. And if we bugger AQ will certainly be crowing and will have its most significant victory. I also suspect that it might just undercut our reputation out in the Hindu Kirsh.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's a telling account of the news:
John McCain’s Iraq speech interrupted with news of attacks on the Green Zone.

Yeah, it's going great, if you don't mind the dead soldiers and civilians.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sloan parrots more talking points:
...you are all Obama, no substance.

Gawd this is some dumb stuff. The guy's got reams of policy papers and has made detailed policy speeches time and again.

But Sloan only knows what he is spoon-fed by the right wing media. After all, it's not like someone could show a little initiative and find out for themselves that the guy has lots of substance.

Sloan, a retraction would serve you well.

George said...

Freder--

You write "My initial comment about Sadr was not to argue for or against him but to counter george's simplistic assertion that Maliki's actions against Sadr were a blow against Iran. That is a patently silly assertion."

Scroll all the way up for the very first post here, part of which reads:

"Iran now causes the majority of the violence and instability in Iraq, a trend that began in July 2007, according to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, when U.S. and Iraqi military offensives swept al Qaeda from its safe havens around Baghdad," writes Kimberly Kagan, president of the Institute for the Study of War in the WSJ, April 3.

"Iran has sponsored illegal militias since the formation of the Maliki government in 2006. The Qods Force, Iran's premier terrorist training team and exporter of its revolution, provided between $750,000 and $3 million-worth of equipment and funding to Iraq's militias monthly in the first half of 2007, according to U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner. In addition, the U.S. military and the press note that Lebanese Hezbollah under Qods Force auspices directly trained Iraqi fighters, sending military advisers to help Moqtada al-Sadr create the Mahdi Army in August 2003, to train Iraqi militias inside Iran in 2005, and to advise the militias inside Iraq since 2006."

Simplistic and patently true and accurate. Sadr is Iran's devil in Iraq. Nothing silly about it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Sloan, a retraction would serve you well.

Heh Heh. What about Obama's latest campaign to convince gun owners in western Pennsylvania that he is for gun rights, when he is really not. Maybe an Obama aide will go out and tell the liberal media that Obama doesn't really mean what he said to those gun owners, and then later deny it. Obama is running a classic scam on the American people and we are just now finding out about it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Yeah, it's going great, if you don't mind the dead soldiers and civilians.

A classic Obama misdirection. I am sure Obama would have said that about D-Day.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Obama suggested that we send troops into Pakistan because, apparently, he thinks that's a good idea and acceptable.

To be fair, Synova, this isn't what Obama said.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

On the one hand we save money and no more Americans get killed. On the other Iraqis kill each other a whole lot.

The value of Iraqi lives is what people disagree about.


Synova, a whole lot of Iraqis have already killed each other as a consequence of our invasion. It's a little late to pretend we are occupying Iraq for the purpose of preventing Iraqi violent deaths.

I'd say that those who supported the Iraq War are in no position to lecture those of us who opposed it on the value of Iraqi lives.

Bob said...

Cyrus, news flash - the Iraqis were killing each other PRIOR to our invasion. Of course back then it was Sunnis doing the beat down on Kurds and Shia. Now everyone wants a piece of the other guy.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

I'm Maxine now? I suppose you can prove that too, huh?

Honestly Pogo, I think you don't understand what the word "prove" means. You simply cannot prove the ridiculous claim you made. Sorry but you've staked out a losing position for yourself again.

Now, you can huff and puff about having evidence elsewhere (hey, isn't that a Joe McCarthy ploy?), and you can then make an excuse for not presenting the nonexistent evidence ("you wouldn't believe me anyway!" blah blah blah), but the truth is that you don't have evidence. Let me write that again so you understand: you have no evidence. I know it and you know it.

Your bluff has been called, Pogo. Have a nice day. Oh, and good luck with your gasoline enema.

AlphaLiberal said...

“It gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of the Senate are aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran.”
--Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Odom testimony in Congress

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

If Hirohito knew that political opposition in America could prevent an invasion of Japan, then Hirohito would have held out despite bombing.

Sloan, this makes no sense, as usual. Emperor Shōwa specifically referenced the atomic bombings in his declaration of surrender and he later mentioned the threat of a Soviet invasion. There is no indication whatsoever that Emperor Shōwa was in a position to gauge American public support for Operation Downfall with the thought of holding out against continued bombing and a Soviet invasion.

Do you make this stuff up on the spot or is some loony rightwing radio talk show host feeding you this garbage?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Bob wrote:

Cyrus, news flash - the Iraqis were killing each other PRIOR to our invasion.

Yeah Bob, that isn't news to anyone. The obvious point that you're (intentionally?) overlooking is that the rate of violent death in Iraq is much, much, much higher post-invasion. Or is that news to you?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

The correlation between welfare and family is a simple one.

Sloan, I'm afraid that you're the simple one. Putting aside your "analysis" for the moment, let me remind you of the challenge I posed, based on your earlier ridiculous claim:

Please give me examples of how welfare programs were designed by "New Left liberals" to intentionally "smash monogamy and the family."

Clearly your latest response doesn't address the point. Would you like to try again or do you want to concede that you have no examples to support your claim that "welfare programs [were] designed to destroy the American family?"

AlphaLiberal said...

Sloan, this makes no sense, as usual.

It helps it make sense if you consider that the con's want to inflate the al Qaeda threat to be of a par with the Axis of WWII.

Which is absurd and delusional.

Bob said...

Cyrus, I'm not in a position to say that the rate of violent Iraqi deaths is now higher or lower than during the Saddam regime. I don't think you are either. You may presume that's true. It is clear US violent deaths are higher. Or that the mix of Iraqis dying is now different. Before the only ones terrorized were the Kurds and Shias. Of course there is also the matter of non-violent deaths. To believe some reports the sanctions caused a million Iraqi deaths in 12 years of sanctions.

Still, Saddam's regime wasn't much for publishing stats on those he killed while in power. And the press wasn't interested in reporting any killings. So now deaths in Iraq get published because its deemed "news". And its a newsflash for you because you hadn't seen images like this before...

Pogo said...

"Your bluff has been called, Pogo."


Here
Here
Here

We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." -- From Sisterhood Is Powerful, Morgan (ed), 1970 p. 537.

"In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them" Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school's Center for Research on Woman

[W]omen, like men, should not have to bear children.... The destruction of the biological family, never envisioned by Freud, will allow the emergence of new women and men, different from any people who have previously existed. ? Alison Jagger - Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation: Feminism and Philosophy (Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co. 1977)

"No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one." -- Interview with Simone de Beauvoir, "Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma" Saturday Review, June 14, 1975, p.18

"The care of children ..is infinitely better left to the best trained practitioners of both sexes who have chosen it as a vocation...[This] would further undermine family structure while contributing to the freedom of women." Kate Millet, Sexual Politics 178-179

"The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together. ... Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. ... "Families have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units, unable to join together to fight for common interests. ... -- Functions of the Family, Linda Gordon, WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation, Fall, 1969.

"[The nuclear family is] a cornerstone of woman's oppression: it enforces women's dependence on men, it enforces heterosexuality and it imposes the prevailing masculine and feminine character structures on the next generation." -- Alison Jagger, Feminist Politics and Human Nature

"Families make possible the super-exploitation of women by training them to look upon their work outside the home as peripheral to their 'true' role. -- (Andrea Dworkin)

Families will be finally destroyed only when a revolutionary social and economic organization permits people's needs for love and security to be met in ways that do not impose divisions of labor, or any external roles, at all." -- Functions of the Family, Linda Gordon, WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation, Fall, 1969.

"Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession... The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn't be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that" Vivian Gornick, feminist author, University of Illinois, "The Daily Illini," April 25, 1981.

"Gramsci hated marriage and the family, the very founding blocks of a civilized society. To him, marriage was a plot, a conspiracy... to perpetuate an evil system that oppressed women and children. It was a dangerous institution, characterized by violence and exploitation, the forerunner of fascism and tyranny. Patriarchy served as the main target of the cultural Marxists. They strove to feminize the family with legions of single and homosexual mothers and fathers" who would serve to weaken the structure of civilized society." Borst, William, Ph.D. American History. A Nation of Frogs, The Mindszenty Report Vol. XLV-No.1, January 2003, pg 2.

Pogo said...

Of course, to Cyrus, these are not evidence of anything at all.

What he wants does not exist, a welfare bill that states "Because we want to destroy the family, welfare shall be increased". It's a ridiculous bar to set. The Left hates the family. The left used welfare to dismantle it. By their own words I have shown it, but Cyrus?

Bullshit as usual.

Roger said...

Amanda/Cyrus: still waiting for your dissertation topic and school. You ARE part of the reality based community, no? That is a reality, no? Using one of your favorite passive aggressive constructs, Amanda, until you can offer evidence that you are who you say you are, we will assume you a poseur, fraud, and liar. Sad that your reality comes from anonymous posting on blogs. There is a world out there Cyrus/Amanda: join it.

The Drill SGT said...

Game, set, match to Pogo

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Bob wrote:

Cyrus, I'm not in a position to say that the rate of violent Iraqi deaths is now higher or lower than during the Saddam regime. I don't think you are either.

Actually I am, Bob, and you would be too if you kept up with the news. Quite a bit has been written on the subject. Google "excess mortality in Iraq" if you're curious. (I'm going to assume you understand what excess mortality means.)

There is little doubt that the US invasion and occupation has resulted in significant excess mortality in Iraq. However, it's become standard operating procedure for Iraq war supporters to deny the reality of this, so your claim of ignorance of the matter is at least a change of pace. Still, you should know better.

John said...

Cedarford,

I still think your idea of keeping the military pure by avoiding including them in political debates is in tension with the need to include their expertise in the same political debates. But I concede your stance is principled, and that you are a man of honor.

John

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo,

Either you are extremely stupid or entirely dishonest. Sadly you may be both.

You provide three links. The first is to the Moynihan Report which, for the record, examined "The Negro Family" in America. Among the few statements in the report even remotely relevant to your claim is this:

The breakdown of the Negro family has led to a startling increase in welfare dependency.

Of course, this is opposite of the point you were hoping to make. You claim that welfare dependency leads to the breakdown of the family; in fact, the source you cite finds the opposite (i.e., you've reversed the implied causative link). Either you read the Moynihan Report and didn't understand it or you are being dishonest about its claims.

Your second link is a summary of "the black family" experience of the last 40 years. It makes no finding that welfare programs cause disintegration of the family unit. I assume that, again, you didn't understand the article.

Your third link has nothing whatsoever to do with welfare programs and the connection of these programs to families. Poorly done, Pogo.

Finally, (out of desperation, I assume) you include a number of "feminism" quotes about the traditional family. Of course, these have nothing to do with welfare programs, which means
that they are entirely irrelevant.

Pogo, are you really so unfamiliar with logic that you don't understand that in order to provide evidence to support your goofy claims, the evidence must have some relevance to the topic at hand?

Pogo, let me remind you of the ridiculous claim you made. You insist that welfare programs were designed by "New Left liberals" to intentionally "smash monogamy and the family." This is what I've challenged you to prove.

Pogo, you've come nowhere near proving any of this. First, you need to prove that welfare programs were "designed" by "New Left liberals." Second, you must prove that these programs were "intentionally" designed to "smash monogmay and the family."

As usual, you've gone off on a tangent to try to prove something else. In this case, you are trying to prove, apparently, that welfare programs have led to the demise of the family unit. This is not what I've asked you to provide evidence for. Even so, you are floundering with your new project. You've provided no evidence of a causative link. Pathetic.

Pogo, I can't take you seriously. You repeatedly perform the same stupid trick when I challenge you on your silly claims. Your trick involves utilizing your favorite logical fallacies and then, when cornered, filibustering. Call it a day, Pogo. Your bluff has been called and you've lost.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo drooled:

The Left hates the family. The left used welfare to dismantle it. By their own words I have shown it, but Cyrus?

More idiocy. You have provided NO evidence that "the Left" used welfare to dismantle the family. You have provided NO evidence that "the Left hates the family." You have provided a handful of quotes from a few feminists. These feminists do not represent or speak for "the Left."

Pogo, the only thing that you have shown is that you are indeed an idiot.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger babbled:

Amanda/Cyrus: still waiting for your dissertation topic and school.

Asked and answered in a previous comment thread, Roger. I suggest that if you are going to bother to ask a question, you take the time to read the response. If you don't understand the response, tell me what part you don't understand and I'll try to clarify it for you.

Also, if you are going to ask a questions of me, you ought to answer the questions I ask of you. Think about it and get back to me if you're still confused.

Roger said...

Amanda/Cyrus: you continue to prove you are a liar, fraud, and poseur. Until you can show us otherwise, you are a babbling idiot whose main skill appears to be googling. Publish you dissertation title, and your school--As smart as you claim to be you should have left a google trail--Alas not so. You are a lying slime ball Amanda/Cyrus.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

drill sgt wrote:

Game, set, match to Pogo

Wow, you fell for Pogo's little game of stupidity and deceit. It must suck to be you.

Roger said...

You know, Amanda--must have missed it: Your dissertation topic and school. If I missed it, sorry--but you impress me as the ultimate internet poseur. No CV, nothing except a vapid cloud of electrons. Now, amanda, if I am wrong about my assessment of you, I will apologize forthwith. Give me something to google, Cyrus--you have my name and can google me. I think you should at least do the same.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

Again, asked and answered in a previous thread. :)

It is interesting though to watch you in action. You are clearly admitting to ignorance while at the same time drawing conclusions based on that ignorance. How is that working for you?

The other interesting thing about this is that at one time I reached the apparently incorrect conclusion that you are a man of honor, Roger. At that time, if you had asked about my work, I would have exchanged information with you via amail. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't cross that line.

Now, Roger, let me give you some information that may help you with your problem. The last time a few of your fellow Althouse regulars became interested in my identity, they followed me to the blogs of my friends and created a nuisance. Fortunately, in doing so, they left a fair bit of information about themselves. Nevertheless, seeing that some people don't understand that disagreements should be left here, on this blog, I'm disinclined to provide personal information to the Althouse community at large.

I have, on a single occasion, mentioned my education on the Althouse blog, in response to a comment from you. I didn't use that information to support a claim or to establish credentials. In fact, I don't believe in "online resumes" and I wouldn't have responded to most Althouse commenters with that information. I made an exception because of the circumstances, and it was a mistake that I don't intend to repeat.

Finally, Roger, it's not clear to me why you require my personal information. If you believe I'm Amanda Marcotte, then you are indeed a fool, and no information I can provide will help you with your problem. If you believe I'm a "babbling idiot," then why would evidence of a degree change your mind? Trust me, babbling idiots can have degrees--talk to Pogo if you're not convinced.

It seems to me that you haven't thought carefully about your complaint. Maybe you should think about it again, Roger. And while you're at it, think about what constitutes honorable behavior and see if you're living up to the standard that you would expect from others.

Sloanasaurus said...

There is no indication whatsoever that Emperor Shōwa was in a position to gauge American public support for Operation Downfall with the thought of holding out against continued bombing and a Soviet invasion.

Do you make this stuff up on the spot or is some loony rightwing radio talk show host feeding you this garbage?


Cyrus, I appreciate the Wikipedia paste. However, my original point was a what if...i.e., what if there was widespread opposition during World War II. How would that have affected Japan's decision to surrender so easily knowing that an invasion could have cost America more casualties than all of World War II combined up to that point (think Iowa Jima times 1000).

Sloanasaurus said...

In this case, you are trying to prove, apparently, that welfare programs have led to the demise of the family unit.

Cyrus, there really isn't any other logical explanation for the breakdown of the family in America. The whole reason behind the family is collective economic and social security. If these are offered through other means, the family unit will eventually start to crack. You will still get strong famalies through those who hold traditional values or do not rely or desire support from the state. Those that maintain the family unit will become the privileged of later generations.

Pogo said...

Cyrus must be the only person to have read Moynihan and come away convinced it states the opposite of what it means. Traditionally, welfare dependency rose with unemployment, and fell as unemployment declined. But Moynihan discovered that the number of black families on welfare increased despite a decline in unemployment. This emerging social problem contributed to rising unmarried births and female-headed households. Your inability to draw the correct conclusion is merely evidence of your intellectual blinders, the same ones liberals at the time wore when they disregarded these findings and voted to continue welfare and even expand it.

"...a handful of quotes from a few feminists. These feminists do not represent or speak for "the Left."
Rank bullshit, Cyrus.

Either lefties and liberals intended to destroy the family via welfare or they were stupid and the effect was unintentional. I believe for the far left, the New left, it was intentional. For the liberals, it was unintentional.

You've provided no evidence of a causative link.
The key of course is what you mean by "causative link". As I had correctly predicted above, in Cyrus-land it means nothing. it is indefinable. Whatever answer one gives, Cyrus answers, "No, that's not it", and for good measure calls you a liar for the attempt. It's how you always argue.

Whether you are Maxine or Amanda Marcotte matters not, for "nonresponsive" covers it pretty well.

Sloanasaurus said...

As Pogo implied, for the far left, the destruction of the family is required for successful collectivism. The increasing decline of the family in general will only increase the social and economic power of those who come from families. Children of successful families will be the best educated, the most healthy, and will have the best support to achieve in life. Moreover children from successful family units will marry children from other family units creating a new privileged group. Therefore, from the left view to achieve equality, the family must be destroyed.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

Your inability to draw the correct conclusion is merely evidence of your intellectual blinders.

Pogo, you are intellectually dishonest. The Moynihan report does NOT conclude what you claim.

I have quoted from the Moynihan report to show that it does NOT find the causative link you claim. The quote I provided shows precisely the link that the report asserted. You provide NO citation to support your claim. Instead you pretend that the "dependency" noted in the report is reversed. Truly pathetic, and as I said before, intellectually dishonest.

Furthermore, the point you are trying to establish by your misuse of the Moynihan Report is not even the claim you were asked to provide evidence for. This is a typical Pogoism. Logically speaking, providing evidence to support a secondary claim does NOT establish the validity of the primary claim. It's really about time you learned that lesson, Pogo.

A handful of radical feminists do not represent "the Left" anymore than a few racists represent "the Right." Again, Pogo, you should have learned that lesson by now.

Finally, Pogo, you don't seem to have any understanding at all of what "nonresponsive" means. I attribute that to your general stupidity.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

The key of course is what you mean by "causative link".

The "key" here is that you're full of shit. The concept of what constitutes a "causative link" is not in question.

I clearly outlined what evidence you need to provide to support your view that "the New Left" designed welfare programs to "smash monogamy and the family." So far you've made no attempt to provide this evidence. Everything else you want to babble about is nothing more than your usual attempt to deceive and filibuster.

Pogo, you really are full of shit. As a doctor, you should look into your unfortunate condition.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

Therefore, from the left view to achieve equality, the family must be destroyed.

Wake up to reality, Sloan. It's embarrassing how out of touch you are.

Pogo said...

The "key" here is that you're full of shit.
I know I'm entirely correct when Cyrus/Maxine loses his cool. And no, you're wrong. All of your endless evasions center on the semantics of argumentation. Mostly, you refuse to admit into evidence anything at all you disagree with (or have you forgotten how you were wrong about the violence fomented by the SDS? Of course you did.)

The concept of what constitutes a "causative link" is not in question.
I clearly outlined what evidence you need to provide...

Of course it's in question. You have not clearly outlined anything at all except that no matter what is posted, you will find it insufficient. I bow to Revenant who recognized your passive aggressive nonresponsiveness before.


Pogo, you really are full of shit.
And one good BM later, I'm cured. But even after a much-needed enema, you're still unable to argue in good faith.

Sloanasaurus said...

Wake up to reality, Sloan. It's embarrassing how out of touch you are.

Nice response Cyrus. All Obama, no substance.

Sloanasaurus said...

A handful of radical feminists do not represent "the Left" anymore than a few racists represent "the Right." Again, Pogo, you should have learned that lesson by now.

Nice Obama type response Cyrus. Say the other guy is wrong and then offer nothing but rhetoric.

Pogo's response assumes correctly that the ideology of the left is to gain equality both socially and economically. Knowing that the natural human instinct favors survival of the fittest and opposes such goals, lies must be told in their place and state violence is a given. These "feminist" quotes are great examples of naked leftist ideology.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I know I'm entirely correct when Cyrus/Maxine loses his cool.

I certainly haven't lost my cool. I'll admit that I find rampant stupidity frustrating and intellectual dishonesty disgusting, but I was quite calm when I declared you are full of shit, Pogo.

The truth is that you believe you are entirely correct at all times, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary. And because you have a certainty in your opinions, you are unwilling to examine your beliefs in light of evidence and the application of logic. In fact, your problem is worse still because you have an enormous emotional investment in your beliefs and it leads you to act irrationally in defense of these beliefs when they are assaulted by facts and reason.

I feel sorry for you, Pogo. I would find it a terrible burden to be as closed-minded as you.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Not that Pogo will read and understsnd this, and not that Sloan will accept this as anything but communist propaganda, but I offer the following for the record. The citation below comes from an important review from 2002 entitled "The Spread of Single-Parent Families in the United States since 1960" by David T. Ellwood and Christopher Jencks of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Here is what they find:

The spread of single-parent families has been both an intellectual challenge and a source of persistent frustration for social scientists. Some of the nation’s most influential social theorists, including Gary Becker and William Julius Wilson, have sought to explain the change. These theories have led to a large body of empirical research, but there is still no consensus about why single parenthood spread, much less about why it spread faster in some populations than others.
The most widely cited empirical papers seem to be those that disprove various hypotheses. Indeed, it is only a slight exaggeration to say that quantitative social scientists’ main contribution to our
understanding of single-parent families has been to show that nothing caused them to become more common. Nonetheless, they did.


In other words, the authors are saying that Pogo is full of shit. I couldn't agree more.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Indeed, it is only a slight exaggeration to say that quantitative social scientists’ main contribution to our
understanding of single-parent families has been to show that nothing caused them to become more common. Nonetheless, they did.


That's fascinating. I mean it really is.

Then again Cyrus, I don't necessarily buy the argument that welfare was designed to destroy the family but I do believe it was an unintended consequence and prior to welfare reform there wasn't any rush to change it. Why should I give a flying fart about supporting some slut and her unwanted kid if Uncle Sam foots the bill? Don't even tell me that isn't the general sentiment considering the number of unwed mothers.

Further, I think the vehement opposition of welfare reform only reinforced my view that a certain segment of the body politic was more than happy to keep a segment of the population on the public teat rather than actually provide them with actual assistance to bring them out of poverty.

But your link certainly smells fishy. Nothing caused it? Nothing? After centuries of tradtional family structures, folks just opted to go the single mom route and rely on the benevolent charity of the American taxpayer?

Personally I think that is full of shit.

Sloanasaurus said...

In other words, the authors are saying that Pogo is full of shit. I couldn't agree more.

Society is thankful to have people like you Cyrus. How easy it is to discount every possible explanation and then claim that single parent families are just the "natural order" of things and that they should be accepted. What a scam (very Obama-esque).

There is of course obvious other explantions for single parent families besides welfare - that being the demise of marriage as an institution and the oversexualization of young people. But, I digress. Fortunately we have welfare to let kids know it is okay to be single moms and have lots of sex as teenagers.

Pogo said...

there is still no consensus
Coming from the cough*nonpartisan*cough John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (what, no link?), that means exactly nothing except we disagree with the findings of the others. Consensus is not necessary; facts supercede consensus, as Galileo averred.

It flies in the face of sense to suggest nothing caused or contributed to the demise of the family among certain groups. It makes one suspect the writers are freshmen in the class, and not the teachers. I give them an F.

And because you have a certainty in your opinions
The only thing I am certain about is that Cyrus/Maxine cannot argue a point except by torturing the definitions he uses, and by calling people names.

As I said, I may be full of shit, which a good crap will cure, but you're unable to argue, and that cannot be fixed except by serious study (and I mean beyond the "Passive Agressive Liberal Manual of Dysargumentation")

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote:

But your link certainly smells fishy. Nothing caused it? Nothing? After centuries of tradtional family structures, folks just opted to go the single mom route and rely on the benevolent charity of the American taxpayer?

To be fair, I think the authors intended to say (and should have said) that it doesn't appear that any one (or two or three) things caused it. The reason for the drift towards single parent families is complex and certainly involves many interconnected economic, social and cultural elements. Therefore, in context, I believe the authors are saying that a review of all the facts shows no clear evidence of a cause and effect relationship.

As far as I'm concerned, this is really a side argument anyway. Both Pogo and Sloan argue that welfare programs were "designed by New Left liberals" to intentionally "smash monogamy and the family." Yet neither Pogo nor Sloan have provided a shred of evidence to support this ridiculous claim. The "welfare leads to single parent families" debate is just a standard operating procedure diversion by Pogo to avoid having to defend another of his goofy and irresponsible claims.

Further, I think the vehement opposition of welfare reform only reinforced my view that a certain segment of the body politic was more than happy to keep a segment of the population on the public teat rather than actually provide them with actual assistance to bring them out of poverty.

The problem with this argument is that there has been no serious and effective action to bring people out of poverty. In fact, the situation has been getting worse since "welfare reform." As someone who cares very little about political ideology and a lot about positive results, I see both Democrats and Republicans as losers on this front. Ultimately, I think the reason for this is that most voters really just don't give a damn about poverty. Not that they wouldn't prefer to live in a country without poverty, but it certainly isn't a priority and they damn well don't want to do anything about the poor if it's going to cost much.

As a result, we end up paying the substantial costs of poverty indirectly. And what a swell result! Democrats and Republicans must be so proud!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

... Cyrus/Maxine cannot argue a point except ... by calling people names.

Pogo, see if you can find an adult to explain the meaning of the word "hypocrisy" to you.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

Consensus is not necessary; facts supercede consensus, as Galileo averred.

Pogo, I've encouraged you to present facts but you consistently refuse. You can babble endlessly about the power of facts, but unless you bring some relevant facts to bear on this question, you really have nothing at all interesting or enlightening to say.

It's your choice.

Pogo said...

Ultimately, I think the reason for this is that most voters really just don't give a damn about poverty.
OK
Prove "most voters really just don't give a damn about poverty".
Prove poverty is causually related to single family homes.

The economist Thomas Sowell disagrees:
"Oh yes, because the studies have been done showing that in fact, most black children were raised in two parent families even under slavery itself -- in fact, all the way through, until the middle of the twentieth century.

So, I think there's no greater indictment of the welfare state than the fact that the black family held together through centuries of slavery and discrimination, but fell apart in the liberal welfare state."


"In the period from 1954 to 1964, for example, the number of blacks in professional, technical, and similar high-level positions more than doubled. In other kinds of occupations, the advance of blacks was even greater during the 1940s-when there was little or no civil rights policy-than during the 1950s when the civil rights revolution was in its heyday." He also notes that the increase in the number of blacks in professional and technical occupations in the two years following passage of the 1964 Act was actually less than in the year from 1961 to 1962.
Thomas Sowell, Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? (New York: William Morrow, 1985), p. 49.


"hypocrisy"
It's not hypocrisy (or name-calling) if I think you might actually be Maxine.

To be fair, I think the authors intended to say (and should have said)
So then why did you post that as if it served as some sort of refutation when you yourself found it inadequate? You must agree that their conclusions are, as I had said, worthless.

Pogo, I've encouraged you to present facts but you consistently refuse.
The key of course is what you mean by "causative link", which you still refuse to define. Why offer evidence for a question for which you cannot or will not declare what will serve as acceptable proof? We have had this argument before, you and I, and you always evade that issue, demanding "facts" but accepting nothing offered. Like the proof Sowell offers above. Acceptable or not? Why or why not?

I call bullshit.
High-falootin' and well-written bullshit, but bullshit nonetheless.

Fen said...

There is little doubt that the US invasion and occupation has resulted in significant excess mortality in Iraq.

AP - "Mayor Blames Increase in Street Violence on Police Crackdown of Gangs"

[...]

As for welfare -> single family households... we've lost two generations of black males to Democrats with "good intentions", and some people still don't get it?

Fen said...

I think feminists have difficulty with that. Its obvious that young males need a Father-figure in the household. Else they tend to devolve into thugs that prey on their own community.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The problem with this argument is that there has been no serious and effective action to bring people out of poverty.

Because its impossible. There will always be a segment of society that lives in poverty. Simply put, by choice. Cyrus, everyday on my lunch hour I see the same group of individuals sitting on the corner, cup in hand with a sign 'Homeless, Help, God Bless' et. al. Now several of these guys are younger than me, no physical disabilities yet rather than get a job, they'll sit on a corner waiting for a handout.

No jobs? Well that's crap considering Mexicans are crossing the border in droves, getting jobs that evidently pay enough for them to set up shop here plus send a bunch back home.

What we have done is excuse behavior that leads to poverty. We allow kids to drop out of school at 16. There is absolutely zero effort put into making these individuals accountable and responsible for their own situation.

Fen said...

to bring people out of poverty.

Poverty? Poverty is a Somoli village on the brink of starvation.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

It's not hypocrisy (or name-calling) if I think you might actually be Maxine.

If you think I might be Maxine, you're admitting to having pretty poor powers of observation and reasoning. But you're right, if you think I might be Maxine, it's not hypocrisy; it's idiocy.

Again, it's your choice.

Pogo said...

Not Maxine? Good.

What about the rest of the post?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

So then why did you post that as if it served as some sort of refutation when you yourself found it inadequate? You must agree that their conclusions are, as I had said, worthless.

I didn't find their conclusions invalid or inadequate. I thought they expressed themselves poorly in a single instance, although in context, the meaning is certainly clearer.

As I wrote previously, the authors find no evidence of simple causative links to explain the rise in single parent families during the last 40 years.

Again, this is the key section of the citation:

The most widely cited empirical papers seem to be those that disprove various hypotheses. Indeed, it is only a slight exaggeration to say that quantitative social scientists’ main contribution to our
understanding of single-parent families has been to show that nothing caused them to become more common.


In other words, the main success of quantitative social science research in this area has been to disprove hypotheses about what caused single parent families to increase. Therefore, when the authors refer to their admitted "slight exaggeration," they are commenting on the lack of any progress in finding simple causative links while at the same time acknowledging progress in eliminating many possibilities. In context, it makes sense, although it certainly should have been better and more clearly written.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Like the proof Sowell offers above. Acceptable or not? Why or why not?

First, Sowell has not examined the broad connection between single parent families and welfare. Sowell (like Moynihan) looks only at the experience of black families in America. It simply is not the case that the experience of black families in America can be extrapolated to include all families. The black experience in America is unique. Therefore, this does not constitute relevant evidence.

Second, the Sowell link you provide is to a website called "Right Wing News." (I assume the website name is meant to be ironic.) The text consists of an interview with Sowell, which hardly constitutes scholarly research. Moreover, the observations and opinions he shares do not address the question of welfare and single parent families. Again, this does not constitute relevant evidence.

Third, the citation you provide from the Sowell book does NOT address the issue at hand (i.e., the relationship between welfare and single parent families). Once again, it's not relevant evidence.

Pogo said...

Not relevant?
Black single parent families on welfare not representative?
Hilarious.

And I figured as much.



...the main success of quantitative social science research in this area has been to disprove hypotheses about what caused single parent families to increase.
No. At best, your one article (from a leftist organization) states only that they cannot reject the null hypothesis.
Any other interpretation is bullshit.

Fen said...

Pogo is about to subject himself to a 30-paragraph monologue over the definition of "is".

Brave soul.

Pogo said...

But only if "brave" means "not terribly bright"!

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

We seem to haave drifted off topic, but I have to weigh in on the Pogo/Cyrus battle; Cyrus, you're an ass.

A typical, leftist ass.

Here's more evidence for you; antedotal, but factual.

If a woman heads down to apply for welfare, and has children and a husband in the home, her chances of collecting a check are slim.

She maybe 'encouraged' to throw the husband out; they don't need to be divorced, he just needs to 'vacate the home'. Then the Feds will start the bucksheesh flowing.

When the standards for the program allow for a higher payout to single women than to families, how can you even contend there is no bias toward creating single parent families?

I won't state that the destruction of the family was a goal, but 40 years of evidence says that is what was accompished.

Why would a 16 year old girl get pregnant and drop out of school? the easy money to had as a welfare mom is the only reason I can think of.

My wife had an appointment at her ob/gyn one day, and in the waiting room were a 16-year-old mom to be, her pregnant mother, and her pregnant grandmother, all on medical cards.

That visit cost me $50, with insurance; it cost the three of them NOTHING!!!!!

Is this proof of anything? Nope.

But it think it sure puts the academic claptrap you posted into the 'discredited' column.

Sloanasaurus said...

Both Pogo and Sloan argue that welfare programs were "designed by New Left liberals" to intentionally "smash monogamy and the family."

This is ridiculous. While I think there may be some hard core leftists who believe this. Most liberals are guilty for ignoring the truth rather than designing it to be that way.

AlphaLiberal said...

By the way, after being called on this, I researched the question of whether General Shinseki was actually "fired" and now admit the point* that he wasn't fired or retired. Though he was undermined and some in the military refer to him as being "castrated" by such things as Rumsfeld making him a lame duck 14 months early by announcing his successor.

It doesn't change my main point that Bush refused to listen to the Army Chief of Staff when drawing up force requirements for the occupation of Iraq.

So, to circle back to the main topic of this thread, it is more than a but hypocritical for Republicans to demand Democrats substitute a generals judgment for their own.

* - We're entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts, as Moynihan said.