"If only I had a penny for every time a right wing prostitute got horizontal. Anyone with a brain will obviously understand that there is no connection between the twin towers and the Iraq war and so using the images in this way is pure prostitution of propaganda. The question is, who is the John paying for all of this free whoring?"* muriel @ largely:
"Putting the Roberts story and the Plame story together suggests very strongly that the outing of Plame was meant not so much to cast doubt on Wilson's report as to tar the CIA as a whole with being out to discredit the administration.
However, assuming that was the case, there's one aspect of it which isn't clear to me. Was the Cheney cabal starting to realize by July that they'd never find WMD's in Iraq and using the Plame outing as a backup plan to politicize the whole argument over the prewar intel? A wedge issue, that is, to split up the growing bipartisan consensus calling for investigations?
Or were they still confident of their ability to find -- or plant -- the WMD's, in which case the Plame outing would have been one step in making their ultimate case that the CIA was not merely "sloppy" (as they would be reduced to arguing after David Kay's WMD report a few months later) but was following an agenda of its own?
Perhaps a further look at the timeline of the WMD hunters -- as well as Judy Miller's reporting on them -- could help resolve the question."
"Anyone can support an anti-terrorist policy that works. The true test of manliness and patriotism is supporting an anti-terrorist policy that won't work. That's why our Beloved Leader dreamed up the Surge: to separate the real Americans from the terrorist sympathizers.
I hope that's clear now."
* shorter kleiman: drugs can change your life, for the better.
"The only thing (Cheney) seems to know about strategy is that if you "back down" your enemy will think you are soft and if you don't "back down," no matter what the circumstances, you will convince the enemy that they can't defeat you. Basically, he really believes the trash talk that bin Laden's been spewing all these years, --- trash talk that would not sound odd coming from the mouth of a world wide wrestling star or a seventh grade bully.
He says, "Is their strategic view that we won't complete the job correct?" Except it's not a strategic view. He doesn't seem to realize that bin Laden (and others) are practicing PR, not strategy. It's sophomoric taunting that's beneath any powerful nation to consider when making decisions about how to proceed. Militant Islamic extremism will not disappear because they finally have to admit that we are too tough to tangle with because we have not retreated from Iraq. They love having us in Iraq. They couldn't be happier.
Indeed, if one were to actually look at what bin Laden and other Islamic militants' real strategy is, I would have to think that bogging the US down in Iraq, empowering Iran and destabilizing the entire mid-east might have been a long term objective --- only they likely never dreamed we would actually fulfill it in such short shrift and with so much enthusiasm.
Cheney goes on to say that our strategic view is that we can build a western democracy and that once it flourishes we will achieve our strategic pobjective as everyone holds hands and sings "This Land is Your land." He is either lying about that or he has comoletely lost touch with what is actually happening. I suspect the former. The fact that they never listened to even one person who advice about how to do such nation building talls the tale. Indeed, until this war, they disdained the very concept.
No, I do not believe it. Their "strategy" is just what Bush and Cheney have always said it was --- prove to the world that nobody can push the US of A around. Invade Iraq and show that we're mad as hell and we won't take it anymore. Then the terrorists will run for cover. That's it. Strategery 101, just like on Saturday night Live and Junior's college "Risk" days.
It's stupid, it's puerile it's completely absurd. But that is all there is to the Bush administration's War On Terror strategy. Nothing that happens on the ground matters. All that matters is that we are there and we aren't leaving until Al Qaeda cries "Uncle."
I would suggest that it is the greatest strategic disaster in our history because it wasn't really a strategy at all. It was a simple-minded reading of a complicated problem based upon some psychological need among a handful of powerful men. And vice president Cheney is clearly still very powerful. He is out there making a spectacle of himself with this talk and nobody can stop him even though it's terribly counter-productive to the current legislative and foreign policy challenges and the president's standing with the nation at large. He is a dangerous and somewhat deranged man. But the problem is that the man at whose pleasure he serves is just as deluded as he is.
It is this kind of thing that makes me believe that they will provoke a war with Iran. It is their strategy to prove that the US is the biggest toughest bastard on the planet. Iraq isn't getting that job done. Maybe doubling down will."