Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Things moving some direction.

I'm not entirely sure that direction could be considered "forward", but it's not really my place to judge. What am I talking about?

We've gone from this:
To this:
Plan for victory? This is the best they could come up with? I think, four years into this, that they need to put forth a bit more than "Plan for Victory."

Also, I was watching CNN this morning and they showed a nice speech given by John Kerry (others spoke as well, but I only caught Kerry). He called out the President on some rather lame tactics that were employed in his speech this morning. I'm sure you all are aware, but the President assured the American people that we wouldn't run away from car bombers and the like just because of some artifical date. This would be a good point on the President's part if only someone, anyone, had suggested that America run away from the car bombers. Or if anyone had requested a dooms day date, which has never been requested. Putting up a straw-man argument just to knock it down is a worthless argument and only works on the weak willed. Sort of like the Jedi mind-trick, but without the hard guesture.

I'm glad that someone pointed out how ridiculous the entire speech was from the President. I don't really think anyone is buying it anymore, though, as the numbers just keep on falling.

Oh wait, should try to be funny...




Have you forgotten about Kucinich, Pelosi, Murtha and the others who want not only a deadline, but a pullout now? Who say it is unwinnable? The Bush plan is not new, it is 3 years old, and we are winning.

Kerry gave us more of his usual lies, more of his lack of coherence, and more reason to give thanks that he lost the election last year.
Kucinich? Do you really think he represents to democratic party as a whole. Moreso than Kerry?

We are winning? What is your reasoning on this? And btw, I thought that Kerry was very clear, and very coherent.

Seems like we disagree and it's just your word against mine and since I am backing my opinion with my name, I win. Yay for me!
I am a lifelong Republican, and both a social and economic conservative. If you ran down the list one by one, we'd probably disagree on just about every major and minor issue under sun (or so I'm guessing). That having been said, it's probably better not to even go in that direction.

But you know what, I agree with you on this one. I really, really do. The longer this Iraq was goes on, the bigger mess it devolves into. Is it winnable? Yes. But to win this thing would require us to basically turn that country into a big glass parking lot. Sadly, there is no way to win this thing without eliminating thousands of innocent people, Americans and Iraqis included.

We do face a terrorist problem, but Iraq is not central to it. Never has been. The way to fight terror is not meddling around in Iraq. The answer is greater public awareness, tighter border security and more oversight over who and what comes in and goes out of this country's airports, harbors and border crossings.

You know what else? I voted for Bush, but I don't trust him anymore. He has sold out on me and countless other conservatives who elected him to actually act like a conservative. What has he done? Spending is through the roof, taxes are still just as high, nothing has been done about abortion or gay marriage, the borders are a sieve and I could go on and on. Most importantly, he picked that flake Miers and than there is Roberts who appears to be overqualified but remains an ideological wild card. Finally, he put up Alito, but only after the conservative rank and file had to beat him over the head to get it done. I don’t like a president who has to be shamed and embarrassed into keeping his word.

Do I think Bush lied about the WMD’s? No. Was he wrong? Hell yeah! But so were Kerry, Hillary, Clinton, Daschle, Reid and every other Dem who said Saddam was a threat and voted to authorize the war. The whole lot of them on both sides of the isle choked. The biggest problem I have with Bush on Iraq is that he refuses to admit that there is ever a problem. He absolutely refuses. No matter what you do in life, there will almost always be some obstacles that pop up. But Bush thinks he’s infallible.

As for John Murtha, I don’t think he’s that bad of a guy. He’s a bigger spender than I like, and he is pretty middle of the road on taxation, environmental issues and that sort of thing, but he’s gotten excellent marks from the NRA and is primarily anti-abortion. Most importantly, he’s not some greasy haired communist wannabe running around the streets of Berkley half naked and hopped up on God-knows-what. The man is a decorated Marine Corps veteran.

And finally, Bush’s stance on the Iraq war is not even a classic conservative position. Conservatism says take care of your own and keep to yourself, and only go to war as a last resort. Sure, Saddam was a bad dude, but come on. If we apply the Bush logic to every other country besides Iraq, than we’d have to invade more than half the planet. Has the Iraq war stopped Iran or North Korea from building nukes? And maybe we should launch an all out assault on China. You know, our number one trading partner has never exactly been at the head of the class when it comes to treating people like human beings.

Still, the fact remains. We are in too deep to cut and run now. By vacating Iraq immediately, we would created a vaccum that would be filled by terrorist and thugs. And so the question lingers... How can we get out of Iraq without leaving it in a worse state than when we arrived? Damned if you do, and damed if you don't.

And before I wrap up this amazingly long rant/comment that you have been gracious enough to let me post, there is only one more question I would like to ask… WHERE THE HELL IS BIN LADEN?!
Just so I won't seem "anonymous" to anyone, my name is R Williams, I am a middle-of-the-road honesttogod independent -- not one of the party-line-voting faux-independents who claims independence so he won't be embarrassed in public by his political ideology-in-action. I haven't voted for a major party prez candidate since Reagan in 80 -- the first election I could vote in -- I'm ex-military, and I've worked for the DoD since getting out. I've hence worked for all political configurations, and if anyone thinks there's a substantial difference between them ... guess why I don't affiliate with any party? there's no difference.

You can find my writings on the subject of defense [et al] at: and you may reach me at

The above exchange between Jason and John typifies the political discussions between adherants to idiot philosophies: you are both wrong. Jason is simply wrong succinctly.

I can't and won't quibble about strictly opinionable material -- John's anti-abortion views, etc. That's why we vote. But when it comes to matters of specific expertise/knowledge and where those intersect with politics, there is a sad and pathetic tendency among Americans, especially those who vote, to equate having an opinion on the matter to being an expert on the matter. Few people are.

John, you are an expert on one thing and one thing only: what you think about it. It is perfectly acceptible for you to say "I think Iraq is not central to terrorism"; it is NOT acceptible for you to say "We do face a terrorist problem, but Iraq is not central to it. Never has been."

The latter is factually incorrect.

There are many things you are factually incorrect on. But don't sweat too hard just yet; you're quibbling with Jason who, if he's the typical critic of current policy, is just as factually incorrect in response.

The real world is, at once, far simpler than the convoluted assignations consider it, and more complex than the superficial thinkers think.

Terms and concepts necessary to understand before discussing current US foreign policy:
transnational politics in general
the realities of cease-fires
the purpose of politics in democratic societies
frankly, the fall of byzantium and the practical consequences it had
post-war world politics -- REAL post war world politics, not the faux bi-lateralism of "cold war" dichotomy
act of war
and it would hurt to know a little something about the concept of "strategic resource"

And frankly, John, bin Laden is largely irrelevant. His purpose to al Qaida was ideological money-bags. With his assets frozen the world over, he is little more than a figurehead with nothing [much] to contribute to terrorism; he's not an operational threat.
I certainly hope that I'm not typical of the critics of the current policy. I would hope that the critics would not follow up a diatribe against Bush with an ode to gummi bears. I mean, really, I'm not exactly sophisticated.

I am an expert on one thing: physics (and that's only as compared with 99% of the population). I hold opinions on many other things and can back them up to various degrees. Suffice to say, though, there's a reason I'm not on CNN.

In general, I don't like to argue politics. Rather, I like to make short, pithy comments on politics, usually humorous. It is just easier that way. I don't consider myself ill-informed, but I certainly don't advance my opinion as an expert one.

I still stand by my comments above: this is a straw-man argument and really doesn't mean anything. Honestly, I don't see anything in what I wrote above that is technically wrong (despite the fact that I didn't define the terms you mention).

The only other serious political argument that I can remember writing is on intelligent design, an article in which I will claim to be 100% correct. ID is not a science and should not be taught in science classes.

In conclusion, if I have to be wrong, I prefer to be wrong succinctly, so thanks for that.

(note: all you do in the above is call me and John wrong, you never say why. In fact, you simply come off as a pompous elitist. However, you're the expert, so I will not argue with you)
Jason, I don't have the time to write -- and you don't have the space or probably the inclination to read -- why a large share of the criticism of current foreign policy is factually insustainable in one way or another.

It would devolve into a battle of bumper stickers if I were to try covering EVERYthing -- which is necessarily superficial. If I were to cover just one thing in a depth necessary that someone with a working knowledge of middle eastern history and the pertinent political philosophies could work with, it'd be a multi-page essay -- that, honestly, I've already written several of. If you want to find many of the specific things that are wrong, dig up my writings. I linked to them.

I am not ill-informed on physics, but if I were to start backbiting the theories of Newton or [name another, I'm stumped], I'd come off sounding like an ignoramus to Newton [and the other guy].

Well, frankly ... mirror mirror.

I can accept being thought of as elitist; really, I can. And to someone who might believe in the anti-science of intelligent [sic] design, you might be as well. That's the trouble with being the knowledgeable person in the crowd of subject-area neophytes.

fwiw, if you follow that link, you'll find at least one prattling on the subject of "ID". I doubt you'd quibble with me.

By the way, being right is only half [if that] of the battle. You must also be pertinent. The example I commonly use [since my wife is a CPA and I am more familiar with financial analogies than any other]: if the subject is balancing the company's books, you can recite the multiplication tables error-free for 48 straight hours. You will be spot on factually correct. But you won't be pertinent. While multiplication is used in accounting, it has to be used relevantly.

I guess I'm going back -- wrt to you being wrong succinctly -- to your main entry that John responded to.

The prez used "lame tactics" ... he's a politician; of COURSE he uses "lame tactics". He's lowest common denominatoring. What do you seriously expect? Yes; you're right, here. But impertinent.

Here's a hint: politicians you like also use lame tactics.

Since you're into science, the concepts I'm going to refer to here shouldn't be unfamiliar to you. You quibbled about the "straw man" -- "if only someone, anyone, had suggested that America run away from the car bombers" [many someones did, just not in so many words]; "if anyone had requested a dooms day date". You substitute one [claimed] rhetorical parlor trick for another. Artificially juxtaposing the two photos is equivocative. There is a grossly mixed conceptual equation.

But, as you say, I am the expert, even if a pompous elitist about it, and that's not something that the physicist on the street would necessarily understand the fine distinction between. Military objectives versus diplomatic.

It is, to me, as infuriating to watch my life work be subjected to the whims and fancies and public opinion polls of CPAs and physicists as it would be, to you, to watch someone ... say, me ... mash up E=MC(2) and Y=MX+B and A(2)+B(2)=C(2) and solving for the common variables.

...or perhaps listening to idiot school boards in Dover PA and Kansas legislatively redefining cosmology and genetic biology.

In short, Jason, if you want to know why some piece of US foreign policy is valid, ask me. I told you how to contact me. And because I'm not married to the political philosophy which created it, I'll be able to tell you also why it may not have been the wisest policy to choose from within the range of "valid".

I take just as dim a view of people playing poli-scientist as you do people playing scientist.
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