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American Amnesia
January 6, 2007 9:18 PM   Subscribe

Ouch. You know that kid who just won't accept responsibility for his actions? Keeps making excuses, or denying the plain facts, or insists he never said such a thing... Mom, you are soooo unfair!... Some of the Press haven't grown out of it. Glenn Greenwald gives them a spanking.
posted by five fresh fish (99 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have no farging idea who Glenn Greenwald is or what The American Conservative is, and in the end it doesn't matter. This guy takes some irresponsible people to task, and he does it well. Worth the read, IMO.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:18 PM on January 6, 2007


I always thought Glenn Greenwald was a semi-liberal - a favorite of the Daily Kos crowd and the enemy of the neoconservative blogs. But he is writing in The American Conservative?
posted by bhouston at 9:23 PM on January 6, 2007


Backers of invasion have egg on face. News at 11.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:33 PM on January 6, 2007


Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer who considers himself neither conservative nor liberal. He has a widely read blog. An example.
posted by russilwvong at 9:34 PM on January 6, 2007


My kitty made a poopy.
Team Coverage at 6.
posted by Dizzy at 9:34 PM on January 6, 2007


Dizzy, thank you for reminding me to clean the catboxes.

Anyone who ever thought this war was a good idea owes the world a public apology, at the very least.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:38 PM on January 6, 2007


Worth the read, IMO.

Very much so... It's a very eloquent smackdown (the best kind).
posted by amyms at 9:43 PM on January 6, 2007


The American Conservative is a paleocon outlet for Pat Buchanan and others who have been bitterly opposed to Operation Iraqi Fuq'P since it became obvious what BushCo had in mind to do in Mesopotamia. That Glenn G would be published there indicates the width and depth of the consensus against the Iraq fiasco.
posted by rdone at 9:43 PM on January 6, 2007


The plain fact is, they have not changed their spots, only their tune. Their original support of Bush and Bush's war proved them irresponsible, stupid, self-serving liars. Their analysis never reached the level of consideration of whether Bush's actions were a good idea; they considered only whether it was expedient to support Bush. Once it was no longer expedient to give such support, they did exactly as we should expect from empty people, and denied they ever did it in the first place.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:47 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is an excellent piece, thanks for the link.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:51 PM on January 6, 2007


A very nice exposition. I always enjoy seeing the intellectual chameleons put under the knife.

I have to say, the stuff about Ralph Peters was hysterically funny (in that sad way that these sorts of things are funny):

November 2005: 'a failure to see the mission through to completion would tell the world that “Americans are cowards who can be attacked with impunity.” He further argued that “a U.S. surrender would turn al Qaeda into an Islamic superpower” and that “[i]f we run away from our enemies overseas, our enemies will make their way to us. Quit Iraq, and far more than 2,000 Americans are going to die.”'

November 2006: 'The same columnist who warned just a year ago in the most alarmist tone that withdrawal would gravely endanger the U.S., now claims that “Contrary to the prophets of doom, the United States wouldn’t be weakened by our withdrawal, should it come to that.”'
posted by The God Complex at 9:59 PM on January 6, 2007


Greenwald's great; his blog is one of the sharpest, smartest political voices on the net. He's particularly good at nailing they hypocrisy of mainstream pundits of all stripes. If you liked this single piece, check his blog for lots more.
posted by mediareport at 10:01 PM on January 6, 2007


Greenwald is also a prominent practitioner of sock puppetry.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:04 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Steven, was there any conclusive findings on that issue? I just read Wikipedia and it seems to be inconclusive and pointed the read to this post of Greenwald's.
posted by bhouston at 10:06 PM on January 6, 2007


I wonder what Ann Coulter thinks of all this.
posted by disclaimer at 10:08 PM on January 6, 2007


An excellent read. I too find it interesting to see Greenwald published in The American Conservative.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:11 PM on January 6, 2007


Well, I'm glad you all enjoyed that. Bad things are being done in our collective names, by people who lie to us. We need to stop that.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:18 PM on January 6, 2007


One lunk pissed.
posted by hal9k at 10:23 PM on January 6, 2007


Glenn Greenwald is indeed a liberal, writing frequently about the Bush violation of Constitutional law. He's excellent and well worth adding to your daily reading. Don't have a clue why he'd be writing in a conservative magazine but check him out at his own site.
posted by etaoin at 10:31 PM on January 6, 2007


Man, my neighbor works for AEI. I guess I have to ask her who's cock Michael Ledeen is sucking to stay in a job.
posted by peeedro at 10:40 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think you're mistaking conservative for neocon, or something.
posted by IronLizard at 10:47 PM on January 6, 2007


Glenn Greenwald is a badass. I don't know that he's a liberal so much as a member of the horrified-by-what-he-sees crowd, but I could see how those two could get mixed up nowadays.

There's an intellectual tradition of arguing from the facts, and of admitting when you got the facts or the argument wrong. I don't know where that all fell apart, but I suspect it had something to do with money. I'm just glad we've got people like Greenwald with both the ability and the initiative to fight back, because it needs to be done and I'm not the guy to pull it off.

No, I am not Glenn Greenwald. Nor am I Nahum Tate.
posted by Nahum Tate at 10:48 PM on January 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


Greenwald wrote a similar blogpost on Tom Friedman. Here's his breakdown of Friedman's rationale for supporting the Iraq war:

(1) If the war is done the right way, great benefits can be achieved.
(2) If the war is done the wrong way, unimaginable disasters will result.
(3) The Bush administration is doing this war the wrong way, not the right way, on every level.
(4) Given all of that, I support the waging of this war.


Friedman's a tool. I consider people of his ilk to have blood on their conscience.
posted by Kattullus at 10:54 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Greenwald only looks like a liberal for the same reason that I and a lot of other people get mistaken for liberals lately. People have gotten "liberal" and "sane" all confused.

It's a perfectly understandable mistake, these days, but there's an awful lot of moderates who seem to be further left on the compass than they actually are, simply because nearly everyone on the right has gone batshit fucking insane.
posted by EarBucket at 11:08 PM on January 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


Thanks, interesting article!

I was one of the 80% or whatever that supported the war at the beginning. Saddam was being a dick about the inspections that he agreed to, so there had to be consequences.

My best friend, who shares most of my political views, just said "quagmire." I so didn't want to believe that. I thought we would go in, find the "weapons" that Saddam was certainly acting like he was hiding, and then have a relatively quick exit strategy. I was wrong, of course.

I do think there is more good being done than we know about, but if Bush can't use the "bully pulpit" to bypass the press and let us know what's going on, and why we should keep supporting it, then he is failing at his job by either being in a war we should be in, or at the very least, not leading the country with confidence to be behind it.

At this point, I can say I have changed my mind. I DID support the start. I DON'T support it now. But I don't know the best answer as to how to handle it at this point.

There are opinions, and there is truth. My opinions may have changed, but the TRUTH that I supported the war at the beginning is a fact. I could probably weasle my way out of saying I supported it, and probably get away with it. But how do these people whose words are public record think they can just change the truth about what they said at the time, and not get called on it? Power-drunk?
posted by The Deej at 11:21 PM on January 6, 2007


The real Iraq Study Group
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on January 6, 2007


In other wingnut news: Disputed AP Source in Iraq Now Faces Arrest for Talking to Media

Bring back the head of Jamil Hussein
posted by homunculus at 11:38 PM on January 6, 2007


My kitty made a poopy.
Team Coverage at 6.


I don't think it's wise to trivialize Greenwald's point here, which is an important one. It's not that these people were wrong and are liars per se; it's that supposedly trustworthy media outlets, who have obviously huge influence on what the American public thinks about issues like the Iraq war, continue to give them a voice.

The sad truth is that most Americans get our thoughts and opinions pre-thought for us, just like we get our food, our entertainment, and our spirituality. Pre-made, no muss, no fuss. Those who have a prominent voice in that process simply must be held accountable when they are unquestionably revealed to be stupid, dishonest, or both.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:52 PM on January 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow. I used to think Iraq-war supporters were idiots, but now I realize they're bastards as well.
posted by tehloki at 11:57 PM on January 6, 2007


Sic semper sinking ships.

I supported the war.

I was wrong, obviously.

I have to admit it, in my view, to get a ticket into rational debate.

These guys, on the other hand, seem to think they can obscure their past views, retain their stations, with zero explanation as to how their views came to change.

That's what should have tipped me off to the faults of the war. They claimed they were opposing tyranny, and supporting democracy. But there was no soul-searching, no admission of wrongdoing, for all the anti-democratic, anti-human stuff that folks like Rumsfeld supported in the 1980s. It was all just chauvinistic aggression with a human face, right down to the exxecution of the ghastly dictator.

Everyone should read Greenwald everyday. Few will agree 100% of the time, but you will find something worth considering every time.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:21 AM on January 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Greenwald is also a prominent an alleged practitioner of sock puppetry.

Fixed that for you. Anyway, nice play of a Colbertian "smear card" there, Steven. So, assuming it were even true, what bearing would it have on the facts he presents in this article, or any article? Would it somehow make them false?

Or could it be that ad hominem arguments are only invalid when they're applied to you?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:27 AM on January 7, 2007


Greenwald on the Jamil Hussein case and the "credibility" of the right-wing blogosphere.
posted by homunculus at 12:33 AM on January 7, 2007


Well, the public was easily deceived through the twenty-odd different, ever-changing reasons we had the war. Expecting them to remember a whole year back so they can recognize that their favorite pundits were hawks? Too much to ask.

I'm looking at my crystal ball, and I'm saying by late 2007, early 2008, we'll start seeing the Ministry of Truth putting out that the Democrats started the Iraq war.
posted by adipocere at 12:48 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm looking at my crystal ball, and I'm saying by late 2007, early 2008, we'll start seeing the Ministry of Truth putting out that the Democrats started the Iraq war.

And, sadly, 29 percent of the electorate will believe it.
posted by amyms at 12:57 AM on January 7, 2007


I'm looking at my crystal ball, and I'm saying by late 2007, early 2008, we'll start seeing the Ministry of Truth putting out that the Democrats started the Iraq war.

You have no idea how true this is... the first step in becoming a dictator is claiming to liberate the populace from those who have preceded you.
posted by tehloki at 1:05 AM on January 7, 2007


Thanks for the link to the Thomas Friedman critique, Kattallus. Any enemy of Friedman is an enemy of pompous, deranged, moustached buffoons everywhere. Anyone who wants to drink more deeply of the milk of Friedman-ridiculing need go no further than Matt Taibbi's piece on The World is Flat.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:50 AM on January 7, 2007


I have to say I'm disappointed my tags aren't praised or flamed. I thought they were nicely creative.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:01 AM on January 7, 2007


> it's that supposedly trustworthy media outlets, who have obviously huge influence on what the American public thinks about issues like the Iraq war, continue to give them a voice.

LooseFilter, I would be careful about separating the media outlets from their mouthpieces. I suggest that a reporter, even one who is supposedly influential enough to be an independent voice, is very strongly steered if not controlled by the general editorial bias of his publication or channel.

In other words, nothing gets published without the sanction, approval or even instruction of the senior management. If you want to shoot the messenger do so, but it may also be worth tossing an arrow towards a flawed system which marries government and media together in such a dangerously dubious relationship based around 'access' and privilege?
posted by Duug at 2:10 AM on January 7, 2007


Hey kids, look at me saying I was right all the time !

There were two stances : pro and against war , no matter which side you picked you have had probability of 1/2 of being on the right side.....wait actually you won anyway because people, predictably, either amass on one side or split +- evenly.

Wow ! Insight ! Look at me pointing at the flip flopper HA HA !

fff: your tags are nicely creative ! Half of us like you anyway :-)
posted by elpapacito at 2:55 AM on January 7, 2007


fff, I really should start paying more attention to tags. Nice. And nice article.

Everyone should read Greenwald's How Would a Patriot Act?. Really nothing new in it, but he articulates it so well. I defy anyone to read that book without getting pissed off. At the current situation and those responsible, that is, not the book.
posted by brundlefly at 3:00 AM on January 7, 2007


There were two stances : pro and against war , no matter which side you picked you have had probability of 1/2 of being on the right side.

Not if you were paying attention.
posted by brundlefly at 3:01 AM on January 7, 2007


etaoin, see highlight:

Greenwald, 39, stood out among the bloggers she found, said Nix, who lives in Sausalito. He's measured and is not a name-caller. He uses long -- especially for the blog world -- legal arguments. He isn't an inveterate Bush-basher or a partisan. He isn't even a voter, at least not in presidential elections.

"Maybe I voted in some local elections," Greenwald said from Brazil, where he spends much of the year with his partner, David, who is Brazilian.

Greenwald is a New York constitutional lawyer who had a post-Sept. 11 political awakening. He agreed with the president's actions in attacking Afghanistan immediately after the terrorist attacks. But soon after, he thought the Bush administration was eroding constitutional liberties in the interest of protecting Americans from terrorism.

"It's fear-mongering," Greenwald said.

He bristles at being called a "liberal" just because he disagrees with Bush on this issue. As he responded on his blog to conservative critics in February who called him a sellout who was "dancing to the tune of the Daily Kos audience":

"Is there anything more antithetical to that ethos than the rabid, power-hungry appetites of Bush followers? There is not an iota of distrust of the Federal Government among them. Quite the contrary. Whereas distrust of the government was quite recently a hallmark of conservatism, expressing distrust of George Bush and the expansive governmental powers he is pursuing subjects one to accusations of being a leftist, subversive loon." -- SF Chronicle


Anyway, the essential companion piece, if you liked the linked article, is yesterday's The "credibility" of the right-wing blogosphere, in which he highlights the rhetorical techniques used in the recent Jamil Hussein embarassment, as well as the more minor "lonely Kerry" flap and the "Khamenei is dead" cricket-chirp, which even the majority of Ledeen's colleagues at Jammies Meja stayed away from with a ten-foot pole.
posted by dhartung at 3:09 AM on January 7, 2007


There were two stances : pro and against war , no matter which side you picked you have had probability of 1/2 of being on the right side

So you're suggesting that on issues of morality and legality, any decision you make is pretty much 50/50? Surely I'm not parsing this correctly. It's not like putting two pieces of paper in a hat--one labelled A, the other B--and simply drawing one in the hopes that you select the right one. You look at the facts, which were pretty clear in this case, and draw the necessary conclusion. It's not a crapshoot. It's not a draw out of a hat. You don't just pick a side and then wait for a year and see if you're right or not.

The correct side seemed pretty apparent in the run-up to this manufactured war, but, for a variety of reasons, some people disagreed. That's not really what this is about, though. This is about people who don't have the decency to even stand by their misguided position--or, for that matter, even admit that it was their position at all.

And it's not about standing around with a smug sense of superiority, pointing the finger like we won some game. It's about the insidious way the media has been co-opted by a bunch of lying jackals who are rarely (if ever) held accountable for their intellectual dishonesty.

It's honestly a bit sad that an article like this is as satisfying to read as it was; with the amount of bile that was spewed pre and post Mission Accomplished™, it's disheartening as hell to see so few people against the wall (figuratively speaking). Instead we get Rush Limbaugh and others talking about they didn't really support the status quo of a Republican House, about how hard it was to shill for those fucking cronies. Large swaths of the media have been co-opted by corporate and political interest and people just sort of shrug and carry on.
posted by The God Complex at 3:49 AM on January 7, 2007


Everyone should read Greenwald's How Would a Patriot Act?. Really nothing new in it, but he articulates it so well. I defy anyone to read that book without getting pissed off. At the current situation and those responsible, that is, not the book.

Seconded. Greenwald's book is the layman's primer for the twisted legal theories underlying the Bush administration. He lays out everything that's wrong with the way our country's being run in a clear and concise voice.
posted by EarBucket at 5:13 AM on January 7, 2007


Sorta off-topic, but I like the quoted bit from Peggy Noonan:
Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man. He’s normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him. He’s not exotic. But if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and help. He’ll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids coming out and say, ‘Where’s Sally?’

He’s responsible. He’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world. And then when the fire comes they say, ‘I warned Joe about that furnace.’ And, ‘Does Joe have children?’ And ‘I saw a fire once’ ...

Bush ain’t that guy. Republicans love the guy who ain’t that guy. Americans love the guy who ain’t that guy[...]
It shows so much about the Bush supporters: "We don't want someone who warns us in advance or tells us that our course of action is dangerous, we want someone that does short-term hotfixes, acts without thinking about the consequences and tries to meddle in things, hindering the professionals that are trying to do the thing they trained for in the process".
That's exactly the qualities she describes, and that's exactly what many Americans seem to have wanted.
It also makes one wonder how these writers dare distance themselves from his actions later on; if they knew he was a chump to begin with, how can they avoid blame for supporting him? "I knew he was a dimwit, but he meant well"? When has that ever been a valid excuse?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 5:25 AM on January 7, 2007


I have to say I'm disappointed my tags aren't praised or flamed. I thought they were nicely creative.

I'll bite, fff. Tags aren't supposed to be nicely creative; they're supposed to be useful. If you're posting on a subject we've discussed a million times before, and more than half your tags are cutesy one-offs, you're probably not contributing much to the tagging system.
/cataloger
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:12 AM on January 7, 2007


elpapacito There were two stances : pro and against war , no matter which side you picked you have had probability of 1/2 of being on the right side

That's not what the word "probability" means. You can't just count the number of possible outcomes, you have to judge the relative likelihood of each possible outcome being the actual outcome. Example: I roll a six-sided dice. I need a 6 to win. I can get a 6 and win, or I can get a number other than a 6 and lose. Two possibilities. Different probabilities.

As for judging the likelihood of an attack on Iraq turning into anything other than a horrible failure - it was obvious from the inadequacy of the US armed forces to the task, obvious from the massive profit to be gained by corrupt corporate interests from a prolonged failing war, and obvious from the fact that the most incompetent and dishonest administration in the history of the USA was in charge of it. And other reasons too.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:13 AM on January 7, 2007


Hey kids, look at me saying I was right all the time !

There were two stances : pro and against war , no matter which side you picked you have had probability of 1/2 of being on the right side.....


You're kidding. You are kidding, right? Because you're not actually a nine-year old child. I'm pretty sure of this.

There are two stances: I can believe you are a sentient human life form writing on the internet, or I can believe you are a gumdrop. Luckily, we have the probability of 1/2 of being on the right side.

Mmmm. Gumdrops.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:24 AM on January 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Greenwald is very, very smart, and responsible for one of my favorite blogs (although he's been having guest-bloggers lately as he finishes a new book). The fact that Steven C. Den Beste can't even muster a response beyond beyond ad-hominem garbage is very, very telling.

So I'll do it for the first time, a call-out--dear Steven, Glenn Greenwald is still blogging (very well). Why aren't you?

Bitchy of me I realize. But at least I'm not passive-aggressive about it. Dude, you had a point about the occupation of Iraq ca. 2004--where is it now? I'm genuinely curious. Frankly, you owe it to both your wrong-headed supporters and people like Greenwald (and myself) who knew it four years ago.

Please explain.
posted by bardic at 6:32 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why should we expect paid mouthpiece mannequins to take responsibility for their sizable part in this disaster when the "leadership" they are still cheerleaders for are somehow not held accountable for this mess?

We let them all get away with this degree of mendacity because, collectively, we have the attention span of goldfish and the intellect of sheep. Most Americans have no idea of (and don't care about) the extent this "leadership" has wrecked Iraq for no reason at all, created a hothouse environment of the Middle East to grow new terrorist recruits, pushed the most volatile area on Earth to the brink of nuclear exchange, bankrupted the Treasury, allowed war profiteering fraud, and erased the freedoms that the Terra-ists hate us for.

Hold anybody accountable? The return of American Idol is far more important.

Americans aren't against the war in Iraq because it is wrong; they are against it because we are losing.-Scott Ritter
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:35 AM on January 7, 2007


Backers of invasion have egg on face. News at 11.

no, they have blood on hands, it's different -- and messier. but it's not surprising that you're trying to downplay that.
posted by matteo at 6:51 AM on January 7, 2007


Firedoglake weighs in, somewhat indirectly (another lefty blog that I like, but not nearly as consistent as Greenwald).

BTW, the "invasion" was over four years ago. What part of "occupation" don't people understand?
posted by bardic at 7:02 AM on January 7, 2007


/aside

I thought the comment "den beste of the web" was hilarious in a now deleted weak xmas axe-grind by Steve, and perfectly sums up the value of his comments on political matters.
posted by maxwelton at 7:08 AM on January 7, 2007


I have to admit it, in my view, to get a ticket into rational debate.

Thanks ibmcginty. That is a great metaphor. Really if you are not honest enough to admit that you were wrong then I don't really want to talk to you. I don't mean that in a spiteful way, like I hate people who were wrong, it's just that you can't have a meaningful discussion about Iraq if one of the participants is working from a basis of mendacity. And if you supported this disaster from the beginning and are not admitting that you were wrong, then you are lying. Whether you are lying to me or to yourself, it doesn't really make a difference.
posted by octothorpe at 7:14 AM on January 7, 2007


Dhartung, thanks for that citation. I'll agree that, as others note, we see him as a liberal simply because he is sane.
posted by etaoin at 7:25 AM on January 7, 2007


A couple of quotes really jump out at me...

The following month, in the Wall Street Journal, Ledeen wrote, “Saddam Hussein is a terrible evil, and President Bush is entirely right in vowing to end his reign of terror. If we come to Baghdad, Damascus and Tehran as liberators, we can expect overwhelming popular support. [I]t is impossible to imagine that the Iranian people would tolerate tyranny in their own country once freedom had come to Iraq. Syria would follow in short order.”

Please tell me that is the cocaine talking.

Peggy Noonan in the WSJ:

He’s responsible. He’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.

The British colonial powers would agree with her: without intellectuals like Locke, Montesquieu and Hume, there is no America. Damn troublemakers.
posted by crowman at 7:37 AM on January 7, 2007


Sorry, Noonan was referring to Bush, in case it's not obvious.
posted by crowman at 7:38 AM on January 7, 2007


Meh.

The goal of pundits and think-tank scholars isn't to be right about the issues, it's about communicating the elite consensus to the rabble. To judge them by any other metric is to miss the point entirely. With that in mind Greenwald's piece comes across as nothing more than an exercise in political wankery.

Once the elite consensus changes, so do the arguments of the official propagandists. The quotes Greenwald highlighted in his piece is just a reflection of that.
posted by prost at 8:06 AM on January 7, 2007


it's about communicating the elite consensus to the rabble.

Well and Greenwald does a very consistent job of pointing out that what they are doing is not analysis but propaganda. The issue here is that these folks portray themselves as clear thinking, rational observers and someone needs to be there pointing out that they are just saying whatever is needed at the current time to get the agenda they are pimping advanced.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 AM on January 7, 2007


The British colonial powers would agree with her

As would Pol Pot, I imagine.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:26 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


i think the real mistake here starts with the assumption that any of those people are loyal to the united states.

they're not. They're USING the united states to support israel's security.
posted by empath at 9:15 AM on January 7, 2007


I've been reading Glenn's blog regularly since I was pointed to it six months ago or so. I always come away from it very impressed. Especially on the legal matters he's been covering (FISA, wiretapping, etc), where I, admittedly, don't know much. Very clear points that cut through most of the bullshit spewed by the right-wing propaganda machine (oh the many-headed hydra that it is).

He delivers e-cockpunches to these windbags and 101st-fighting keyboardists near everyday.

His book is great too. I'm looking forward to the next one he is writing.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:55 AM on January 7, 2007


The remarkable story about the Iraq war was how many people were persuaded by neo-cons, AFTER they were exposed as neo-cons, most of them with dual citizenship. It is a shrewd political philosophy that operates on the assumption of fooling the public and waging ideological supply-side warfare for profit. The insecure and toady conservative American mind is just a defenseless sponge in the presence of their patriotic puppy training.
posted by Brian B. at 9:56 AM on January 7, 2007


Is it just me or does bardic appear to grow a 'k' on the end of his name from time to time?
posted by peacay at 10:08 AM on January 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


On an ideological level, Friedman's new book is the worst, most boring kind of middlebrow horseshit. If its literary peculiarities could somehow be removed from the equation, The World Is Flat would appear as no more than an unusually long pamphlet replete with the kind of plug-filled, free-trader leg-humping that passes for thought in this country. It is a tale of a man who walks 10 feet in front of his house armed with a late-model Blackberry and comes back home five minutes later to gush to his wife that hospitals now use the internet to outsource the reading of CAT scans. Man flies on planes, observes the wonders of capitalism, says we're not in Kansas anymore. (He actually says we're not in Kansas anymore.) That's the whole plot right there.

Right ON. Holy shit, what a fucking turd of a book. The only thing worse than Tom Friedman in print is Tom Friedman on TV. The tone of his voice and the way he speaks adds extra layers of creepiness; his hushed tone and avuncular Chester Molester ways make me feel like he's trying to reach through the screen and caress my balls and I really don't want him to.
posted by The Straightener at 10:11 AM on January 7, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'll bite, fff. Tags aren't supposed to be nicely creative; they're supposed to be useful. If you're posting on a subject we've discussed a million times before, and more than half your tags are cutesy one-offs, you're probably not contributing much to the tagging system. /cataloger

I wholly agree. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 AM on January 7, 2007


Yeah, dude what's up with your tags? They SUCK!!!!!!

:)
posted by The Deej at 10:30 AM on January 7, 2007


empath, its a complex topic, see:
- Diaspora politics in the United States and
- Ethnic interest groups in the United States.
posted by bhouston at 10:45 AM on January 7, 2007


i think the real mistake here starts with the assumption that any of those people are loyal to the united states.

they're not. They're USING the united states to support israel's security.


Bwahahaha, what? You're not serious, are you?

They're not using the US to support Israel; they're using it to support their bank accounts. No need to look at some Zionist conspiracy theory when the answer is much simpler and more logical.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 10:49 AM on January 7, 2007


Duug: If you want to shoot the messenger do so, but it may also be worth tossing an arrow towards a flawed system which marries government and media together in such a dangerously dubious relationship based around 'access' and privilege?

Oh yes, definitely. It would just be such a nice starting point to hold some of the mouthpieces accountable--I really think that much (most?) of the American public are still amazingly credulous when it comes to the media. Ironically, this is a fundamental point on which I agree with wingnuts: don't trust the media. But the bias isn't red or blue, it's green. Follow the money, and one will see why corporate "news" is nothing more than fluff pieces for ratings (someone you don't know died horribly--film at 11! Could YOUR CHILDREN be in danger of imminent death? Tune in at 6 and see!) and kowtowing to the governmental powers-that-be to curry favor.

Perhaps taking down a few prominent mouthpieces (simply by holding them accountable for their own words) will help people to see that they are, in fact, ideological mouthpieces. And that may help make the whole system more transparent to more people.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:53 AM on January 7, 2007


cyrusdogstar, there are a few separate groups that pushed for the war on Iraq, the Iraqi ex-pats (Chalabi and friends), those connected to the arms industry/support (Cheney and friends), and those with close ties to the hawkish portions of the Israeli political establishment. Your answer is only partially right, the truth is more complex. There was no conspiracy though.
posted by bhouston at 10:57 AM on January 7, 2007


bhouston--I can imagine. Things are never as simple as anyone's pithy one-liners (mine included) make them out to be. I was mostly meeting one silly, ill-informed statement with one I felt was slightly less ill-informed. Thanks for not returning in kind :)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 11:07 AM on January 7, 2007


Article: Good
Tags: ... uh, creative ;)
Potshots at Den Beste: Lame; this piece deserves better than to serve as a springboard for lame grudges.

Thanks, fff!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:09 PM on January 7, 2007


D'oh, replace the second lame with petty.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:11 PM on January 7, 2007


I wholly agree. :-)

So, you *don't* want people to be able to find this post a month from now?

Why on earth is that?
posted by mediareport at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2007


I couldn't care less if people find it a month from now. This is the net: it's ephemeral. A month from now there will be more important things to read, discuss, and tag. A dead thread isn't worth much, IMO.

You can stick a link on del.icio.us, if you think people are going to want to find this particular titbit of MeFi history...
posted by five fresh fish at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2007


I'm looking at my crystal ball, and I'm saying by late 2007, early 2008, we'll start seeing the Ministry of Truth putting out that the Democrats started the Iraq war.

Huh? The Iraq war could not have started without democratic support in the senate, where they held a one seat majority in 2002. Not only could they have filibustered, they could have simply voted it down -- even without Lieberman due to Lincoln Chafee and a few other republicans who voted against the war.

The republicans and democrats are equally responsible for the war, and don't you forget it.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 PM on January 7, 2007


I couldn't care less if people find it a month from now.

*shakes head, walks away to browse the animation tag*
posted by mediareport at 1:03 PM on January 7, 2007


The republicans and democrats are equally responsible for the war, and don't you forget it.

I don't see how this can be honestly claimed. According to CNN news, the vote divided the Democrats and united the Republicans. Insider's claimed that prior to 9-11, a White House agenda began assembling false evidence for a pretext, and so the war was a special conservative victory rammed down America's throat based on lies. Now some regret their vote, but very few of them are Republicans.
posted by Brian B. at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2007


Middle link above about insider accusing Bush of planning war before 9-11 is the wrong link, this is the one I intended.
posted by Brian B. at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2007


The republicans and democrats are equally responsible for the war, and don't you forget it.

That is very revisionist and convenient. The truth is that after 9/11 the many moderates were very scared of looking weak and thus were easily bullied into the war. The leadership and its backers were responsible for the war.
posted by bhouston at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2007


Well!
Thanks for the introduction to Glenn Greenwald, even if I am incredibly depressed now.
posted by kavasa at 1:25 PM on January 7, 2007


In my top five biggest mistakes. I regret it and it does weigh heavy on my soul. I'm not a pundit, I don't have a blog, And i did not express my views here at the start of the war. But i supported it. I have blood on my hands and unlike these pond scum pundits my conscience will not let me off the hook. I was 22 when this war has started and i could easily chalked it up to youthful inexperience but not this. I should of fucking known better...
posted by Dreamghost at 1:29 PM on January 7, 2007


There is only ONE person responsible for this war:

George W. Bush. End of god damned story. If you lose sight of that NOBODY will fix this thing and NOBODY will be held accountable.

HE is our commander in chief. It is HIS job to be responsible for HIS polices. Period. That is the entire function and concept of our supposed "elected" chief executive.

He "The Decider" after all. Right?

But, obviously, neither he nor his apologists see themselves as "The Responsible" for a single fucking thing they have Decided.

Brdic is right. He SHOULD be calling out on grudges about this futile waste of a war and it's moronic supporters. Why the fuck not? It's THEIR fault our kids are crippled and Iraq is in shambles. They need to own up. All I hear is them passing the buck.

I want a bill passed that for the next fifty years the only people to receive tax increases to pay for this fucking Iraq debacle will be people who voted for Bush in 2004. Let's see how responsible these assholes like De Beste really are.
posted by tkchrist at 1:34 PM on January 7, 2007


sorry, didnt' mean my comment to sound like 'zomg the jews did it.'

The vast majority of jews are not neo-conservative, but the vast majority of neo-conservatives are hard-line Zionists (whether they are Jewish or not), and I just don't believe they are putting America's interests above Israel's.
posted by empath at 2:13 PM on January 7, 2007


Nancy Pelosi on the "soon-to-be-announced" troop surge strategy for Iraq:
"If the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it. And this is new for him because up until now the Republican Congress has given him a blank check with no oversight, no standards, no conditions.

...And we’ve gone into this situation, which is a war without end, which the American people have rejected. If the president chooses to escalate the war, in his budget request we want to see a distinction between what is there to support the troops who are there now. The American people and the Congress support those troops. We will not abandon them.

...The president wants to escalate a war where his generals are telling him that the additional troops will not be effective...and then again, ignoring the strong message of the American people. We will always support the troops who are there...

...If the president wants to expand the mission, that’s a conversation he has to have with the Congress of the United States."
-- from her 'Face the Nation' interview. [YouTube]posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on January 7, 2007


tkchrist, may I add a rider to your bill requesting prosthetics for MeFite logboy so that he can once again be a lumberjack and enjoy competitive logrolling?
All other amputees would of course be covered too. And maybe support could be added for the children of the soldiers who died and cannot help their children grow up.
While we are at it, let's get some funding for the VA hospitals. This abominable war has created more wounded vets, yet the hospitals are losing funding. Psychiatric help must be available.
posted by Cranberry at 2:18 PM on January 7, 2007


Washington Post: Critics Say 'Surge' Is More of The Same.
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on January 7, 2007


BTW -- the San Francisco Chronicle article (to which dhartung linked above) tells the interesting story about how Greenwald's book, 'How Would a Patriot Act?' was publshed and the role blogs played in propelling it to the #1 spot on Amazon.com pre-publication.
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on January 7, 2007


More on that in this thread.
posted by homunculus at 4:31 PM on January 7, 2007


*shakes head, walks away to browse the animation tag*

Chalk it down to a difference in values and perception. You may indeed find that it is valuable and necessary to have a tagged means of digging-up age-old posts. I don't. Neither view is necessarily right.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:37 PM on January 7, 2007


Chalk it down to a difference in values and perception. You may indeed find that it is valuable and necessary to have a tagged means of digging-up age-old posts. I don't. Neither view is necessarily right.

This is a derail, but think about this: if someone believes it's important, and tags posts accordingly, it doesn't have a negative effect on you; on the other hand, if you fail to tag a post in a helpful manner, you're depriving those people who think it's important the chance of finding your post in the future. In a sense you're imposing your will on them for no reason at all.

/shrugs

(I don't have a dog in this fight, for the record).

There is only ONE person responsible for this war:

George W. Bush. End of god damned story. If you lose sight of that NOBODY will fix this thing and NOBODY will be held accountable.

HE is our commander in chief. It is HIS job to be responsible for HIS polices. Period. That is the entire function and concept of our supposed "elected" chief executive.

He "The Decider" after all. Right?


Sure, cut the marionette strings and burn the fucking doll, but why wouldn't you follow those strings up to see who's pulling them?
posted by The God Complex at 5:58 PM on January 7, 2007


tkchrist; I hope you realize that in our system of government as designed in the Constitution, it is not, in fact, the President's choice when or if we go to war. It is for Congress to decide. Congress and the American people have ignored this responsibility for several wars, and it has always resulted in disaster.

Nowhere does the Constitution allow Congress to give the authority to make this decision to someone else, even the President. Yet, that's what they did with Iraq.
posted by odinsdream at 6:00 PM on January 7, 2007


It is for Congress to decide.

Exactly -- as per the Constitution (Article One, Section 8, Clause 11) and the War Powers Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-148).
posted by ericb at 7:47 PM on January 7, 2007


Never supported the war. All you had to do was listen to the arguments of its proponents - it was as if they never considered any theory other than "Saddam has WMDs."
posted by Afroblanco at 11:48 PM on January 7, 2007


I already had a bad case of shikata ga nai going into this thing -- even my (then) wife, who's not the most politically or historically astute person I know, was saying "He's going to go after the guy that tried to kill his daddy" -- but when Colin Powell did his best Adlai Stevenson impression, I remember thinking, "geez, if they don't find evidence of nukes..."

OTOH, if it's really all about spreading democracy and fighting the turrists (gee, and here I was thinking it's about stable petrochemical markets?), I guess we can overlook the utter lack of WMDs for which we've stopped searching, somewhat like OJ Simpson's gotten a pass on his vow to track down Nicole's real killer.
posted by pax digita at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2007


“I remember thinking, "geez, if they don't find evidence of nukes...”

I had the exact same thought. What a wet firecracker that was.
Admin (on phone to Smed): “Sir, your neighbor is at your house with a torch, he’s going to set your house on fire, you want us to stop him?”
Media: “Yeah, that’s what’s happening...I think.”
Alt. Media: “Dude, there’s no such thing as torches. If there were, they couldn’t stop him anyway. And houses are tools of the conspiracy. And all fire is bad for everyone at any time forever. Plus I think he’s lying about your neighbor.”
Admin: “Well, he is a proven arsonist. And if we don’t stop him, he’s going to burn down your house.”
Smed: “OMFG! Ok, yes! Stop him!”
Admin: “Ok.” *sets neighbors house on fire, removes valuables from house*
Smed: “Uh, WTF was that?”
Admin: “He didn’t have a torch, but he was planning to have one. I think someone else is hiding the torch. Also we should build him a new house so he doesn’t burn yours down.”
Media: “Yeah, that’s what’s happening...I think.”
Alt Media: “Ha ha, Smed pwned!”
Smed: “Someone should really be held accountabl...”
Media: “OMG! BRITNEY SPEARS!”
Alt Media: “She shaves her snatch - see! *photos*”
posted by Smedleyman at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


ATTENTION: War supporters - your country needs you
posted by homunculus at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2007


homunculus - heh heh, support the troops kegger.
What’s always disturbed me is the folks who favor the war but support it in absolutely no tangible way. Volunteering at a V.A. hospital, etc. etc. But there are people who oppose the war and do little to serve the country from that perspective. I see no reason not to hold such people accountable as well. A kegger for peace is no more meaningful merely because of it’s position.
But otherwise I’d agree with Greenwald’s assessment of cowardice given the nature of the need. There’s no equivalent manifest need on the peace side of course, but I’m certain more than a few guys would appreciate being brought home anyway.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:53 PM on January 8, 2007


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