In an eminently reasonable post (insert snarky retort here about how I am even capable of recognizing reasonable rhetoric) about why, although he is in favor of Kerry’s candidacy, he still has some lingering doubts about Kerry’s position, Rick Heller makes a few decent points that I wish many other Democrats would take a look at and consider. However, Heller does make one statement that I must wholly disagree with:
2. John Kerry was a dove during the Cold War, and opposed the military buildup by which President Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union, leading to its collapse. Kerry was probably on the wrong side. But that too is ancient history.
Kerry was on the wrong side, and I don’t even care to debate this issue, as the collapse of the Soviet Union was such a positive event in history that I feel no need to rehash it. I am willing to bet all of the new Eastern European American allies and members of Nato would agree.
Second- this is not ancient history. A complete failure to understand the dynamics of the Cold War and inability to recognize the right side to be on is a thoroughly relevant and important point that must be factored into the current Presidential election.
(via Mark Kleiman)
“Kerry was probably on the wrong side…”
So, give him a week or two, he’ll reverse himself as he always does and will then be on the “right” side. Jeezo-pete, what a twit.
Let’s not forget, though, that we’re not dealing with another Cold War here. The solutions are going to be different.
Just to clarify, I’m an Independent. My current stance is that I favor John Kerry plus a Congress in which at least one chamber is Republican.
Kerry’s ’80s Cold War position is “ancient history,” but not what Bush did in the National Guard in the ’70s.
I totally agree that the current dynamic is completely different than the Cold War, and different approaches and solutions will be needed, but that’s not John’s point.
If Kerry was so completely wrong about the Cold War, and he was, what does that say about his judgment, and his ability to make the correct decisions today? Being on the “right side” of the Cold War was about clearly seeing and identifying the nature of our enemy, and accurately sussing out the strategy that would exploit that enemy’s weaknesses.
Based on past history, Kerry is far too “nuanced” to make such clear, “black and white” decisions. He’d dither back and forth for four years, examining every side of the issue and doing nothing, while the terrorists gained ground around the world.
The man scares the bejesus out of me.
I dunno, Flagwaver: from where I sit, President Bush has made one wrong decision after another post 9/11. (The sole exception being Afghanistan. I support tossing the the Taliban out on their scrawny behinds 250%. I wish we’d finished the job there before talking about Iraq.)
I also don’t think that ANY person sitting in the White House will ever be allowed a “nuanced” response to a terrorist attack ever again. Politics or party affiliation aside, any future president “ignoring” a terrorist attack will be lucky if they’re just impeached.
Your ideological mileage may vary, of course… : )
Well, it’s pretty obvious that the Democrats think Bush has made “one mistake after another,” but I haven’t yet heard a full and reasoned exposition of what those mistakes were.
Even “Flipper” Kerry now says he’s not against the war, just “how we got there” (?!?!??!!).
So, we should have kept more troops in Aghanistan (I’m inclined to agree, there – at least until there is a more stable government in place), NOT invaded Iraq, and done exactly what, other than that? Made scary faces at Saddam? Told ole Moammar Kaddaffy Duck that we were going to appoint Reagan as Ambassador to Libya? Sent poisoned pen letters to Kim Jong-Il? My starting point is that ALL of these whackos are (i)crazy, (ii) willing to do ANYTHING to get/preserve power, and (iii) share a burning hatred/envy of the U.S. – mostly ’cause we ARE what they wannabe (other than the Islamofascist hatred of our “decadent” and “evil” culture).
You can’t have meaningful and successful diplomatic discussions with people that don’t share at least certain basic groundrules with you. We knew the Soviets used to sign treaties with no intention of honoring them, but we also knew they would honor them enough to maintain the pretense, and I’m sure we factored that into our negotiating positions.
Do you believe for one INSTANT that Kim Jong-Il would hesitate a nanosecond to breack a treaty he found inconvenient? Do you think he will do ANYTHING except under a direct, or at least strongly implied, credible threat?
Certain types of people can ONLY be dealt with by force, because they will view any other approach as weakness. I am NOT advocating this, but suggesting it as an example: How do you think the vaunted “Arab street” would react if we announced publicly, “Look, Osama, Moqtada, et al, this is how it’s gonna go down. I there is another terrorist attack on U.S. interests, we are going to carpet bomb [insert name of Arab/Islamic city of choice]” and then we actually DID IT? They’d fall over themselves trying to placate us, and they’d hand over all the terrorists they could round up on a platter. Now, that is illegal, immoral and barbaric, but tell me it wouldn’t work.
So, I think W’s approach is basically correct – although he should have been tougher, particularly on these insurgents – Fallujah and Najaf should have been surrounded by overwhelming force, given a twenty-four hour deadline, and then forcibly and completely pacified.
Sometimes violence is not only AN answer – it’s the ONLY answer.
I’ll respectfully disagree, Flagwaver.
Ask yourself this: if China invaded Orange County, and then “pacified” it in the way you suggest we “pacify” Fallujah, do you think every surviving American would then sit quietly and do as they were told? Or would they all vow to make the perpetrators pay, a bit at a time if necessary, with their own blood.
“Remember the Alamo” comes to mind as an historical example.
A minor point – it is ludicrous to say that Reagan’s military build-up bankrupted the USSR. The economic problems were baked into the system (which is why none of us want to be communists of any stripe) and bankruptcy was on its way in any case. Reagan may well have speeded the process up (though someone’s going to have to make a very well documented case to convince me it was intentional), but he didn’t cause it.
I was about to say — Reagan’s build-up bankrupted us, not the Soviets. The Soviets were pre-bankrupted; Nixon’s trip to China was the single largest contributor to that. And, you know, the fact that Communism sucks.
Reagan’s build-up bankrupted us, not the Soviets.
We defaulted on debts? We were unable to make payroll? When did this happen?
The War on Metaphor continues.
By the by, Dick Cheney opposed that same buildup. Any unkind words for him?
And I’ll second those who said that Reagen’s buildup did not destroy the Soviet Union but merely hastened it by maybe a year or two. After the fact, this is an incontestable truth. Before the fact, it was a big dispute. But don’t believe that there weren’t a number who argued that the USSR was headed for collapse.
I just love how Kimmitt makes a statement, then blames his opponent for not being nuanced enough when challenged on it.
Clue, Kimmitt: if you want to maintain some semblance of credibility, it helps to not claim that the statements you’re being challenged on were either metaphor or hyperbole, every single time. Or maybe you’ll claim that it was simply invective, next time?
If we can’t take you at face value, ever, you might as well go over to oliverwillis.com, where it’s all invective, all the time. You’d feel right at home there.
The parade of FACTs would be a little more convincing with cites, but what the hell. Any accusation unequipped with cites pretty much doesn’t reach fact status with me, whether it’s directed at Kerry or at Cheney. In the case of Congressional voting record, it’s quite easy to make it appear as if one were against X if one voted against a bill funding X that also provided for, say, another Robert W. Byrd Memorial Highway.
Yes, that goes both ways.
“I just love how Kimmitt makes a statement, then blames his opponent for not being nuanced enough when challenged on it.”
Well, then you’re a dirty liar, because bankruptcy is an article of law, not a state of failing to pay off one’s creditors. Since the Soviet Union (or its successor states) did not declare bankruptcy
according to any state’s law, it never became bankrupt.
It was a metaphor the whole time, jackass.
“Well, then you’re a dirty liar…”
The war on metaphor continues.
Wow, that works pretty well.
I’m old enough to remember the handwringing, doomsdaying, and failure stories coming out of the former USSR and east bloc after the winning of the Cold War, too.
Including interviews with disgruntled Russians who pined for the old system.
Everything old is new again.
Slartibartfast: “I refuse to accept the information presented in the news article on the grounds that it is not sourced well enough for my standards for opposition opinions, but I also refuse to do my own google searches and thereby actually check the veracity of the article. Also, such searches may result in me having to believe what I do not want to, and I would hate that!”
Oakiley Dokily. Here’s a quote:
If Reagan “doesn’t really cut defense, he becomes the No. 1 special pleader in town…The severity of the deficit is great enough that the president has to reach out and take a whack at everything to be credible…If you’re going to rule out the other two [Social Security cuts and a tax increase], then you’ve got to hit defense.”
– Dick Cheney quoted in the Washington Post, 12/16/84
Evidently you need a bit more education: quotes are to be used to indicate something that was actually said. Not only did you misattribute that whole mess to me, you missed my point entirely. And you’ve done so dishonestly enough to make me lose any interest I may have had in discussing it with you. I simply don’t care if you agree with me or not.
Yeah LSU student — you need a “shorter” in front of Slartibartfast. That way, the humor-impaired here will be able to figure out when you’re using irony and when you are not. Because Lord knows they need the help.
I guess all those years of hyperparsing Bush’s sentences to find a way in which his misleading statements could be technically correct have deadened their capacity to draw anything but the most literal possible interpretation from a given passage.
I guess I can play that game, too:
Shorter Kimmitt: “Don’t take anything I say at face value, unless you agree with it. If you disagree, I didn’t actually mean it.”
Slart, You know, it’s just that this is the second time you’ve done this. You cry, [poignant paraphrase] I don’t know see enough references! Therefore your argument is invalid![/poingant paraphrase] But really, before implying that I don’t know what I’m talking about, a quick google search would seem in order. It would be one thing to claim that I’m making shit up, and then you would have a point, but you obviously can’t be doing that, because I’m not. In a word, your game of playing the skeptic isn’t a real argument, but just you being obstinate. Either say that I’m misrepresenting the facts, or show that my source is full of BS, but don’t pretend like there is no source. That’s just silly.
I’m going to make this brief: that which you responded to is not what I said. Read it again. Try comprehending, this time.
As for the mind-reading and amateur psychoanalysis, I wouldn’t quit my day job if I were you.