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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:43 pm 
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:(

Good post, Voronwë.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:37 pm 
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I wonder if this will end up making any difference at all?

This morning's New York Times wrote:
Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

By DAVID BARSTOW
Published: April 20, 2008

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. . . .


Link

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:51 pm 
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I doubt that this is big news to anyone, but if it is, I guess it could be a bit of a nasty.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:55 pm 
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The article goes on for eleven pages and lays out a lot of details, such as:

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The full dimensions of this mutual embrace were perhaps never clearer than in April 2006, after several of Mr. Rumsfeld’s former generals — none of them network military analysts — went public with devastating critiques of his wartime performance. Some called for his resignation.

On Friday, April 14, with what came to be called the “Generals’ Revolt” dominating headlines, Mr. Rumsfeld instructed aides to summon military analysts to a meeting with him early the next week, records show. When an aide urged a short delay to “give our big guys on the West Coast a little more time to buy a ticket and get here,” Mr. Rumsfeld’s office insisted that “the boss” wanted the meeting fast “for impact on the current story.”

That same day, Pentagon officials helped two Fox analysts, General McInerney and General Vallely, write an opinion article for The Wall Street Journal defending Mr. Rumsfeld.

“Starting to write it now,” General Vallely wrote to the Pentagon that afternoon. “Any input for the article,” he added a little later, “will be much appreciated.” Mr. Rumsfeld’s office quickly forwarded talking points and statistics to rebut the notion of a spreading revolt.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:03 pm 
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Do you ever read Vanity Fair?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:39 pm 
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I have it but haven't read it.

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:55 pm 
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A counter to Voronwë's opinion:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1207873 ... mmentaries

(and not by one of Prim's retired generals, but by arguably the most illustrious journalist of the Iraq war).


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:32 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Sorry, sol, your current argument is enormously unconvincing. The Bush Admin clearly wanted the American public to believe we were invading Iraq because of 9/11. The legal reasons may have been otherwise but the reasons he gave to the American people - the excuse he used to justify a war he couldn't otherwise justify - was 9/11 (and WMDs...). If you don't believe that that was enormously deceptive then you aren't nearly as shrewd and objective observer as I believe you to be. All other considerations aside, deceiving the American public to gain their support for a war he wished to wage is unforgivably immoral.


Good post, yovargas.

Unconvincing is one word a person can use.

Revisionism is another.

solictr is on one side of a fence, most people here are on the other. He, I believe, sees that fence as a division between "right" and "wrong" as much as a division between "right" and "left". It amounts to this: if you're on the "wrong" side, you're on the "left" side.

I don't see a fence. I see a bog, a quagmire, a swamp of nastiness. That swamp has to be waded through, its depths plumbed. The noisome vapours might gag us, but the work is necessary. To mangle another metaphor, it's a giant excrescence like a boil that must be lanced.

I have some sympathy for those who bought the Bush line. The anger over 9/11 was justified anger and it needed an outlet. A very savvy group of men saw their golden opportunity. They must have done high fives all around the room when the realization hit them: being the cynical opportunists they are, they did not let this chance go by.

I've never "blamed" the US for 9/11. And more to the point I've never blamed Mr. Bush, either. No doubt there were failures of intelligence and action that could have prevented it, but those failures can be spread around pretty liberally. The "blame" comes in the aftermath. Where Cheney and Rumsfeld saw one kind of opportunity, the real opportunities arising from a global wave of sympathy for the US were lost.

Now it's obvious that nearly everything these people did was the wrong thing. Wrong in every sense. But there are millions of Americans who would rather cut their own throats than admit it - they backed the wrong horse and there it sits, foundered and floundering, in the middle of that big swamp of misery. It's expecting a lot of a person to expect them to take their blinders off. The light is so bright it might hurt their eyes.

solicitr wrote:
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Seriously, if we had had hard and fast evidence that Saddam was behind 9/11 we would have bombed Baghdad off the face of the map on 9/12.


Precisely.

But we didn't.

You'll certainly not get me to assert that the Bushies made anything other than a complete hash of their PR (not to mention the war itself).

That doesn't alter the fact that we had the legal right to remove Saddam.
As, unfortunately, we do not in the case of Iran (Carter blew that opportunity bigtime). One can only hope that some far shrewder and more subtle President might, FDR-like, maneuver Iran into making a fatal mistake; but Obama isn't that President.


Why do you love war so much? Have you been to one? Was it fun, or what?

What are you going to do if the "Iran problem" is dealt with without bombs or bullets?

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:40 pm 
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Here's something we squandered by invading Iraq:

http://256.com/gray/thoughts/2001/20010 ... res/react/

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:40 pm 
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Solicitr is openly advocating for tricking Iran into giving us an excuse to start a war with them. People with ideas like his have been running the show for the last 8 years and have destroyed pretty much everything they've touched. Frankly, I think it's about time to quit trying to convince them of the error of their ways and instead devote our energies to getting them out of office and out of power.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:42 pm 
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I think that can be arranged, Dave.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:56 pm 
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sol wrote:
You'll certainly not get me to assert that the Bushies made anything other than a complete hash of their PR (not to mention the war itself).


By "made a complete hash of the PR", I assume you mean "intentionally deceived the people who were going to be both funding and fighting his war". I'm sure that's what you must've meant to say.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:04 pm 
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vision wrote:
What are you going to do if the "Iran problem" is dealt with without bombs or bullets?


I would love to see a solution to the Iran problem that doesn't involve bombs or bullets.

Got any suggestions? :rofl:



The Bushies got into the quagmire not because invading Iraq was a blunder, but because staying there in the interest of 'spreading freedom at gunpoint' was idiotic- and even that foolish goal was rendered more unobtainable by more unforgivable blunders, like disbanding the Iraqi army.

Had we pulled out at the end of '03 I rather think we'd be in pretty good shape.


Dave_LF wrote:
Solicitr is openly advocating for tricking Iran into giving us an excuse to start a war with them.


Had not Roosevelt not done the same with Japan, how much of the world would be shouting "Sieg Heil!" today?


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:07 pm 
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vison wrote:
[solictr is on one side of a fence, most people here are on the other. He, I believe, sees that fence as a division between "right" and "wrong" as much as a division between "right" and "left". It amounts to this: if you're on the "wrong" side, you're on the "left" side.


vison, so far as I have been able to see, people on both sides of this and other issues do this frequently. I certainly see it on the Iraq issue, where people on both sides believe that anyone who believes differently than them is not only wrong, but stupid and/or evil. I myself was guilty of this type of thinking on another issues just yesterday. I think that in general, discussions are more productive when people express their own opinions as strongly as need be without villifying the people that hold the opposite opinion.

In other words, exactly what Griffy said in another discussion yesterday.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:19 pm 
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Yovargas wrote:
By "made a complete hash of the PR", I assume you mean "intentionally deceived the people who were going to be both funding and fighting his war". I'm sure that's what you must've meant to say.


Not much difference, really, is there? Nixon, Clinton, and now Bush the Lesser have all learned the hard way that not being straight with the nation just doesn't pay.

Dave_LF wrote:
People with ideas like his have been running the show for the last 8 years and have destroyed pretty much everything they've touched. Frankly, I think it's about time to quit trying to convince them of the error of their ways and instead devote our energies to getting them out of office and out of power.


Primula Baggins wrote:
I think that can be arranged, Dave.


The grim legacy of Bush's stupidity is this very thing: the tarring and feathering of any who maintain a policy of firmness and resolution, and the sweeping of doves and appeasers into power.

Jimmy Carter redux.

Vision, I'd say the biggest difference between Left and Right is that Left is convinced that the Right is capital-E Evil: whereas we of our part merely believe yours are well-intentioned, but naive and foolish.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:24 pm 
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Yovargas wrote:
By "made a complete hash of the PR", I assume you mean "intentionally deceived the people who were going to be both funding and fighting his war". I'm sure that's what you must've meant to say.


Not much difference, really, is there? Nixon, Clinton, and now Bush the Lesser have all learned the hard way that not being straight with the nation just doesn't pay.


I very much believe that that is capital-E Evil.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Well, there are examples of fools on both sides, soli.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMMklhX74_w

Evil is more difficult, since evil requires power and it's been a while since the left has had much of that in this country.

I think we will survive going four or eight more years without starting any more wars.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:27 pm 
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How long, Prim, before the ayatollahs get their bomb?


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:38 pm 
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You and I disagree that the only way to prevent that is to bomb Iran. Chalk it up to my naïveté, or maybe to the fact that other dangerous countries have been prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons without being bombed into submission.

It's tough that the present political climate, so poisoned by the complete mishandling of Iraq, is not going to permit a third war, but I think that is reality, unless Bush acts completely illegally. Which I wouldn't put past him, frankly, and is why I'll be so relieved to see him leave office.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:08 pm 
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....the fact that other dangerous countries have been prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons without being bombed into submission


Shall we itemize them?

North Korea. Okay- Madeleine Albright signed a treaty with Pyongyang back in 1996 and that solved it. Oh, wait, it didn't....

Pakistan. Also prevented by skilful diplo- ... Oops. Right.

South Africa. Regime fell.

Libya. Not bombed at all- Ghadaffi got scared s**tless because we bombed Iraq.

Syria. Reactor destroyed by Israeli airstrike.

And of course Iraq. Reactor destroyed by Israeli airstike. Second program destroyed in Gulf War. Enrichment equipment destroyed after Iraq war.


Now- how many nations on your list, Prim? :scratch:


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