Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Leftist bashes America over Iran


You write “and some presidents, a Harding or Buchanan, for example, were thoroughly deserving of dispraise. When will you learn that you do your case no good by cherry-picking evidence?”

One of us needs to learn something, that is without doubt, but I suspect the “partisan” as is the case with the “master” in Kojeve’s example, is incapable of being educated. Be that as it may, you didn’t really read what I wrote and you really didn’t comment upon what I wrote. I wrote, Presidents, perhaps all of them, [how does one Cherry pick presidents when he says ‘perhaps all of them’?] had people who rabidly [hated] them. We look back at the evidence of what these presidents did and find they were just ordinary presidents doing the best they could.” Were Harding and Buchanan doing the best they could? Yes indeed. They were some of the least qualified for the job, but they did the best they could.

I wrote that some of them made mistakes, but the allegations of those who hated them were largely unjustified. History looks back on those who hated them, and virtually all of them had those who hated them, and finds the hatred largely unjustified. Note that I am talking about “those who hated them,” not those who said they made mistakes. Tony Snow said Bush made mistakes, but he didn’t hate him. I was responding to Ashbin who hates Bush and has a litany of hateful things he says about him. The term Bush-bashers has a definition. It is a recognizable expression describing a certain sort of person in our political landscape. As I said, perhaps every president had such haters. As I said, these haters have become nothing more than footnotes in America’s history. As I said, these Presidents, history shows us, were doing the best they could. As I said, some of them made mistakes. History I am quite sure will say the same sort of things about Bush: he was an ordinary man who did the best he could. He did some good things here but made some mistakes there. Oh by the way a lot of people, mostly Leftists who learned to hate during the Vietnam era, hated him.

I’ve noticed that people who argue from a partisan position rather than from having done a lot of independent study want to lecture me about reading more or different and use such expressions as “when will you ever learn,” or express dismay that I haven’t grasped some obvious rudimentary Leftist concept. When I respond to them they give themselves away. They haven’t studied and can only voice their partisan position. They, who accuse me of cherry-picking, cherry-pick the news, but when I respond to one of their articles they simply switch to another article rather than defend their author. Did you not write, “Given a choice between Lawrence and Brezhinksi or Albright, I'm pretty sure I know who has the more informed opinion”? And yet when I responded with Gerecht’s assessments of your authorities, you skip on to something else. I looked through your note in vain for a defense of those worthies or yours.

Your note goes on to repeat old partisan saws rather than attempt to get at what really happened. One person may have repeated someone’s opinion that Iraq was going to be a cake-walk, and I think an enemy of the administration sneered that someone expected our troops to be greeted with flower petals, but your partisan language has it that “all those idiot/ideologues” said those things. Of course no one who has studied these matters can take such language seriously, and I don’t; so moving right along you speak of the budget prediction of $200 billion as being way over the top.” I recall no such thing. I recall that money was being asked for as it was needed but that, the administration said, more money would be asked for as it was needed. Many Democrats demanded to know how much the entire war was going to cost – a rather nonsensical demand, it seemed to me, but no one in the administration, to the best of my recollection, answered that question.

You then write, “But you still haven't told us what then? When chances are the Strait of Hormuz is blocked, oil from the Middle East is choked off, the number of terrorists multiplies, fissionable materials in the former USSR remain unsecured, our ports, bridges, chemical and nuclear plants remain unsecure.....”

I have read a number of discussions of this. Perhaps Gerecht didn’t think it needed to be mentioned again. Iran wouldn’t be able to block the straits of Hormuz. Here is quote from one of the many articles disagreeing with your position: “Iran lacks the capability to block the world's leading shipping route for crude oil exports. The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the Iranian Navy, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has failed to procure the platforms or weapons required to block the Straits of Hormuz, the passage for 60 percent of the world's oil trade. In a report, the Washington-based center said the United States could block any Iranian attempt to attack Gulf shipping, particularly from the sea. "Iran could not close the Strait of Hormuz, or halt tanker traffic, and its submarines and much of its IRGC forces would probably be destroyed in a matter of days if they become operational," the report said. The assertion undermined an Iranian warning to threaten the global oil trade if attacked by the United States.”

Your concern that “the number of terrorists multiplies, fissionable materials in the former USSR remain unsecured, our ports, bridges, chemical and nuclear plants remain unsecure.....” is inconsistent with your earlier comment “. . . the bomb is OK for our cronies but not for you, you dirty little raghead approach to diplomacy.” Either the bomb is okay for the Iranians or it isn’t. You don’t get to hold both positions. If it is okay for the Iranians than you don’t worry that “the number of terrorists multiplies, fissionable materials in the former USSR remain unsecured, our ports, bridges, chemical and nuclear plants remain unsecure.....”

And then you conclude with some utterly bizarre playground bully techniques by saying, “All you have is the utterly bizarre playground bully idea that you can secure capitulation from people as nuts as you are by threatening to kick their ass, and that once we kick some butt, everybody’s going to be too scared to figure out how to hit back. And who are you counting on when they do? The clowns who mismanaged Katrina sure as hell aren't ready to cope with anything really dirty going down. Oy, veh.” What you say isn’t something that many people would bother responding to. Most of us in the West don’t want nuclear weapons in the hands of a Rogue nation. A whole long list of possibilities emerge, and none of them are pleasant. Most of us don’t want Rogue nations to have nukes.

Now, as discussed earlier, one rogue nation, Libya, did respond favorably to our pressure and gave up their nuclear development program. But rather than use the “bull in the china-shop” technique that worked on Qhadaffi, we left Iran to France, Germany and Russia, the nations that the Bush Bashers wanted us to leave Iraq up to. We stayed out of it so they could work their diplomatic magic. We said that Iran’s having nukes is unthinkable but we left it up to the non-American experts to get Iran to come around. In fact, why do you keep mentioning the U.S.? Leftists in the U.S. have said repeatedly that France & Germany are much better at such negotiations than the America. And France & Germany have been given Iran to handle. So why do you keep mentioning America? Is it because you know France and Germany can’t handle Iran? Are you skipping the part where we are diplomatically doing what you Leftists wanted us to do? What you wanted us to do in Iraq is now being done in Iran? Are you skipping that part? Why are you skipping that part and treating America as the only nation that might actually do something about Iran? Why is that, Lefty?

Lawrence Helm

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