Mystery score

Mystery score

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sigh.

George W. Bush spent something like 1/3 of the first year of his presidency in Crawford, and the Republicans are up in arms about the Obamas spending a night on the town in NYC? C'mon. Find something real to complain about.

15 comments:

Edmund G. Brown, Jr. said...

Something real to complain about: Just for starters, let's go with Nancy Pelosi and her inaccurate, inflammatory, and hypocritical comments about the CIA.

Shall I go on?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Go right ahead, as long as you keep in mind the Bush & Co. lies that got us into Iraq in the first place - but don't think I'm going to respond.

Edmund G. Brown, Jr. said...

So by your lack of response on the Pelosi issue, you are tacitly admitting she was/is full of shyte herself? (I'm not supposed to think you're gonna respond . . . "

So soon everyone forgets that the UN had MULTIPLE sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Most went back to the Clinton Administration. And what happened? Nothin'. Nadda. Zilch. Because the world "demanded" that Iraq do what we wanted them to do "or else" . . . we impose more sanctions that don't work? Please.

The Bush Administration's worst mistake wasn't going into Iraq but rather failing to gather more support by reminding everyone that Saddam was flouting everyone. Then the US wouldn't have been the only one to clean up the mess that was created.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The war was miserably conducted in many ways, starting with the lies that got us in their and continuing through Rumsfeld's hallucinations about the number of soldiers needed.

The past sanctions caused enormous suffering and, right, didn't change anything. But you're missing this important point: Iraq is no better off now than before the war, and in fact is worse off: infrastructure destroyed, religious factions at each other's throats, hundreds of thousands dead, institutions in disarray. After we're gone - and we will be, because we cannot occupy forever - they'll have either a civil war or a religious war and will wind up with someone in power not much better than Saddam on any particular issue and worse in imposing Sharia.

Lisa Hirsch said...

P. S. Lying about what you knew when about torture is different from torturing actual humans, just to make that distinction clear.

Paul H. Muller said...

Mr. Brown:

"The Bush Administration's worst mistake wasn't going into Iraq..."

Good gravy. Iraq has been a fiasco of the first order for the US. The only good that might possibly come out of it is the dismantling of our famously expensive military industrial complex - for all our technology we accomplished zero in Iraq.

Maybe now we will realize that a military designed to fight the Red Army is just so much useless junk in the 21st century.

If you liked Iraq, just wait for Pakistan...

As for Ms. Pelosi, were I in her district I would have voted her out of office for not stopping the funding of the war by 2004.

DB said...

Bless Bob Graham and his diary-keeping monomania. He has proof that the CIA lied about what they'd told him and when they'd done it, so I see no reason not to believe Pelosi as well.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oooo. DB, do you have a link to the story?

Henry Holland said...

Then the US wouldn't have been the only one to clean up the mess that was createdThe mess was largely our creation in the first place! The CIA funded Sa-damn's (Bush pronunciation) exile in the 50's after a failed coup attempt against the Hashemite monarcy. The US looked the other way during the Baath Party's rise, Rumsfeld shook Sa-damn's hand, the US proppped up Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, provided the wherewithal to help Sa-damn gas the Kurds etc. etc. etc.

The United States government, no matter what figurehead was in the Oval Office, did its usual thing of funding coups, providing military a$$i$tance and generally helping making a foreign country a hellhole (see: Iran in 1952, Guatemala in 1954 and so on and depressingly so forth) and then WOOPS! acts all surprised and shocked! shocked I tell you! when the puppet they've installed to protect American business interests starts having ideas above his/her station.

Can't have that, oh no, so time to look around for another puppet to install (see: Chalabi, Ahmed). Except, this time, the Iraqi's totally played the nincompoops in charge of US policy and those permanent bases that Halliburton/KBR built for a permanent US occupation might end up not being used. Oh, so sad, so very sad, but hey! I'm sure Halliburton/KBR got their invoices paid in a timely manner.

Iraq was an invention of the Western imperialists that had no basis in the religious/ethnic realities of that region, so boo fucking hoo that it's all blown up in their/our faces. I'm sick of the EG Brown Jrs. of this country acting like other sovereign nations should be grateful when the US interferes in their internal affairs and then when that meddling turns in to a clusterfuck, as it so often does thanks to those incompetent scumbags at the CIA, acting like someone who got stood up for a date: "Why, the ingratitude!".

Since Mr. Hopey-Changey seems to be following the dive in to the abyss that is the graveyard of empires in Afghanistan, I'll be writing this rant again in 5-10 years, just changing the names and places.

Edmund G. Brown, Jr. said...

Mr. Muller, you're mistaken if you inferred from my comments that going into Iraq wasn't a mistake -- it clearly was; however, this was an issue many years in the making (see Mr. Holland's comments), and the endless impotent resolutions being passed in the UN since the end of Gulf War I in 1991 just backed the world into a corner and gave an already swollen-egoed Saddam Hussein the idea that he was immune from attack: diplomatic, economic, or military.

We'll never know for sure, but I'm willing to but any sum of money you want that inaction by the world community at Iraq's repeated nose-thumbing would have set an absolutely horrible precedent and would have eventually led to some other dictator to raise the veritable middle-finger at the UN, thereby leading to a military endeavor in a different country or part of the world.

Going to Iraq was a a bad move among many possible equally bad moves. Going to Iraq without somehow convincing more countries to back the move was worse (I should have typed that instead of "worst" in my earlier post). Truly The Worst thing the Bush folks did that can truly be attributed to them is that they did a horrible job of planning and managing post-war Iraq. Mistakes made there led to the difficult situation we have had to endure after the military success in removing Saddam from power was long gone.

Edmund G. Brown, Jr. said...

"I'm sick of the EG Brown Jrs. of this country acting like other sovereign nations should be grateful when the US interferes in their internal affairs . . ."

Henry, I get the impression that you're pretty much sick of anyone with whom you don't agree, whether it has to do with a F-the-establishment-'cause-you-had-it-comin' attitude on politics or the blanket notion that pseudo-intellectual Eurotrash noise represents a superior future for classical music over the John Adams' of the world . . . .

It's so easy to hate the US. It's downright trendy. Sucks being the worlds only remaining superpower:
when you don't act, other countries demand "leadership;" when you do act, they cry "imperialism." The "do nothing" route seems so easy, but it not only doesn't solves certain problems, it allows many things to get worse. Case in point: The Balkans in the 90's. As relatively inept as the Clinton Administration was in foreign policy, they looked like downright geniuses compared to their European counterparts when dealing with Bosnia. Before the US stepped up its involvement, there were cries of "standing by and allowing genocide." Once involved, the cries changed seemingly instantaneously to "fascist pigs." Now, go ahead and tell me that the Balkans would have been a better place if the U.S. stayed out of it and allowed the Europeans to continue their ineffective attempts at dealing with problems on their own doorstep with their paper-shuffling and "pretty please" diplomacy.

Do I think the US should get involved in other countries? Not really. Do I expect thanks when we do get involved, even when it is justified? Hell no. Do I think it should be done on some rare occasions? Absolutely. "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things . . . " (John Stuart Mill).

In my humble opinion, the best military action taken since Gulf War I: SEALS shooting pirates. I think it's somewhere between comical and pathetic that some people thought the ransom should have been paid.

Paul H. Muller said...

Mr. Brown:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I suppose we should take this up on a political blog and let Lisa get back to music.

Arguably, our best response to the events of 9/11 would have been to forgive the hijackers and rebuilt the World Trade Center. We have instead done far worse damage to our security - in terms of military readiness, economic strength, world leadership and constitutional safeguards - by ourselves, than any terrorist could have imagined.

The problem isn't terrorism or terrorists - they are not an existential threat. The problem is our reaction to our fears.

DB said...

Here's Graham's testimony on the subject.

Henry Holland said...

Henry, I get the impression that you're pretty much sick of anyone with whom you don't agree


I don't give a toss if anyone agrees with me or not, just spare me trite Fox News cliches like "It's so easy to hate the US. It's downright trendy. Sucks being the worlds only remaining superpower".


"Trendy"? How can something that's been around since ca. 1965 (the first Vietnam protests) be "trendy"?


the blanket notion that pseudo-intellectual Eurotrash noise represents a superior future for classical music over the John Adams' of the world . . . .


Hahahahaha, well played, though you lose points for the boring cliche "Eurotrash". I don't know where you got this idea -from the Out West Arts thread about the Adams/LA Phil thing?-- but I don't give a damn about the "future for classical music" or any of that Greg Sandow-ish hand wringing about "What about the 20-somethings! We're losing the 20-somethings!", the whole topic bores me to tears.


I just want to occasionally have my and other non-tonalists admittedly minority tastes catered to once in a while, to hear a non-tonal/serial piece of music without having to travel to Carnegie Hall or Europe to hear it or having it buried in between *shudder* Haydn and Brahms *shudder* or the programming of something as tame as Moses und Aron causing controversy about why it's even being programmed in the first place, as the one performance (a concert performance) years ago had people grumbling at Los Angeles Opera.


As for that utter mediocrity John Adams and his acolytes clogging up the programming with crap like The Dharma at Big Sur or the risible El Nino, it's sad when there's a vast ocean of terrific tonal music written in the post-war period that's begging for a hearing (see: Robert Simpson's wonderful Brucknerian symphonies for just one example) and HIS is the stuff that gets played.


We'll never know for sure, but I'm willing to but any sum of money you want that inaction by the world community at Iraq's repeated nose-thumbing would have set an absolutely horrible precedent


And what precedent is that? That the UN is a joke? That the UN has no teeth whatsoever but is the plaything of the constituents of the Security Council? Any of that is news? If that "nose-thumbing" was such a no-no, where the fuck were the UN troops in Rwanda in 1994? If the UN can't/won't step in to stop a genocide, then what the hell good are they?



Oh, and I'll take UN nose-thumbing seriously when the US stops blocking any resolution condemning Israel for their various shenanigans and withholding millions (billions?) in past-due UN dues to back that up.


Arguably, our best response to the events of 9/11 would have been to forgive the hijackers and rebuilt the World Trade Center


No, the best thing to do would have been to capture and try at The Hague the people who actually funded and planned 9/11 (the people who carried it out weren't around obviously) instead of invading a country that was no threat to us.

Anonymous said...

Well, anyways, Lisa, I had the very same thought immediately. What sort of weird alternate universe are they in, where they can "forget" the virtually AWOL Bush (not to mention Reagan)? It's all just a lot very bizarre screaming and shouting in a shifting hall of fun-house mirrors that make hash of concepts of scale and appropriateness. It is as if they think no one on earth has any memory of anything that has happened, much less the ability to check a few facts.