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Friday, December 05, 2003

James Carville's Wife on Iraq Policy

Tony Adragna
I'm watching CNN's Newsnight lastight and came across this
BROWN: I think you're probably right, so let's talk about some of the other things for a bit.

The president got a pretty good bounce, it looks like, in the polls after the Thanksgiving visit. As somebody who has dealt in political strategy, clearly, there are risks and rewards to the policy from a political point of view. What are they? What are the dangers?

MATALIN: Well, from the policy in Iraq?


MATALIN: The policy in Iraq is -- Iraq, it's part of the long- term strategy to bring stability to a region that, without, it's going to cause our continued insecurity, as the president said in a really ground-breaking speech, reversing, or changing, or transforming 60 years of policy that you can't buy stability at the expense of liberty.

So he's thinking long. This administration is going long-term, bring, if not democracy, some sort of representative government that offers opportunity and hope. And the political danger in that is -- whatever it may be is irrelevant, relative to the policy danger of not confronting this threat that is new to us, this asymmetrical, 21st century threat.

And people have no choice. We could do it the way we did for the last 20 years, since Khobar Towers, which resulted in terrorists that got bolder, stronger, better financed, more organized; 60,000 went through the terrorist camps and the al Qaeda camps. So he has -- this president has a bias for action. So the danger is in not taking action, not in taking action.

BROWN: But, roughly, half the country -- it depends on the poll and it depends on the week -- half the country doesn't think the administration is dealing with Iraq especially well today.

MATALIN: Well, then, that's what campaigns are about. And what I've heard from the Democratic field -- and I don't doubt that, when there is an ultimate nominee, they'll be up to the challenge to have a debate on this, but they haven't offered an alternative to the Bush proposals.

It's one thing to bash Bush all the time, as one is wont to do or the process dictates in a primary. But when we get mano-a-mano, Americans have to make a choice. And the president has out a policy that is a forward strategy for peace, as he calls it. And, look, this is how politics works. There's nine of those guys. They're all over the field. And we're not even suited up yet.

So when it's on an even playing field and people are making a choice, comparing the Bush policy of action to the policy of question mark at this point, then they'll make the choice. And I feel confident as a citizen, as a mother, that I'd rather look forward to a place, a globe that is more secure than not, where my kids can feel more secure than I feel today.
The first bit of text I highlighted is kinda confused. I don't know whether Matalin simply misspoke, or was being deliberate, but never has anybody revised so much history with so few words — the Khobar Towers bombing, at which these 12 Nomads fell, wasn't "20 years" ago.

What did happen "20 years" ago?

On 18 April, 1983 the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed by a terrorist in a van loaded with 2000 ponds of explosives. 68 people, of whom 17 were Americans, died.

On October 23rd, 1983 the Marine Barracks was similarly attacked. 241 U.S. service members died.

Mr. Reagan went on to withdraw the U.S. Marines from Lebanon, and won a second term to the presidency in 1984. There grew a lucratrive industry in hostage taking, and our response is to attempt buying the support of the Iranian Ayatollah in influencing the terrorists to release the hostages. Iran-Contra blows up, but all the egg miraculously misses Mr. Reagan's face...

It's OK to beat up on Mr. Clinton's failings, but let's not fortget that he inherited from his predecessors Reagan & Bush no less than the current President Bush did from him.

The second bit of highlighted text is a bit more interesting. Let me read you something
During the past century, we have learned that if we wish to avoid war, we must be strong enough to deter aggression, but also farsighted enough to invest in peace. Now it is time to apply this lesson to the new global challenges we face - to shape a new strategy of Forward Engagement to guide our conduct around the world.

Forward Engagement means addressing problems early in their development before they become crises, addressing them as close to the source of the problem as possible, and having the forces and resources to deal with these threats as soon after their emergence as possible.

While we must always stand prepared to use our military power when all other options fail, Forward Engagement also means addressing societal and political problems before they evolve into threats to our national security and values - before armed conflict becomes the only way to achieve our goals. And Forward Engagement means drawing on all three main sources of American power - military strength, a vibrant, growing economy, and a free and democratic political system - to advance our objectives around the world.
Who said that? If your answer is President Bush, then you're wrong. That quotage comes directly from the 2000 Democratic Party Platform. OK, so Mr. Bush is saying it too, but there's nothing particularly Bushian about this — he just happens to be the president who gets to do it...

'Course, there are Democrats opposed to Mr. Bush's approach, but not all opposition is equal. Some simply oppose the way the president is going about putting the plan into action, and there's some valid criticism that even senior Foreign Relations type Republicans agree with. Others oppose the policy in total, but I'm not sure there opposition really matters politically or practrically — neither Kucinich nor Sharpton are getting anywhere near the White House, Dean's oppositionism is more political than practical, and the other candidates fall into the prior set of critics...

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Leave Limbaugh 'lone?

Tony Adragna
So, I'm watching Hardball and saqwe something intertesting — Brent Bozell defends Limbaugh as just having abused his own body. Nothing to investigate, Limbaugh got himself some treatment, end of story....

... Well, not so fast. See, Limbaugh didn't just abuse his own bodyhe broke the law!

OK, so I'm not a great fan — or any kind of fan — of drug laws [or Rush Limbaugh]. But, my friends to the right who complain of the breakdown of society as they argue the necessity for laws criminalizing all manners of immoral conduct — drug abuse is certrainly much less than virtuous...

'Course, things could be much worse for Limbaugh — somebody coulda looked to see whether those cash transactions we heard about not too long ago had anything to do with drug purchases...

The top rated radio talk show host is still but a man, and all across the country there are daily prosecutions for illegal possession & usage of drugs. Sure, Limbaugh is taking a beating in news — he's the top rated radio talk show host, not some nobody...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Quasipundit's New Season Begins Tonight

Tony Adragna
Sorry for the dearth of entries these past several months. Yours truly has been dealing weith unemployment... and a bit of burn out. I am currently employed again — minimum wage at a photo processing plant during the mid-shift [2pm - 10pm], but it's better than nothing [still looking for a better job? YES!!!].

It will, of course, take me a little time to get back up to speed — hopefully not as long as it's gonna take to complete re-reading Churchill's A History of the English Speaking Peoples...