Sunday, May 27, 2007


* read Ian Welsh on Fatah, Hamas, WhyTheyHateUs, peace and democracy.

* Scott interviewed mcgovern. mcgovern says the best way to influence Preznit Blinky is to be the last person to speak to him on any given day :-)

* yglesias:
"One possible understanding of the "fighting them over there" concept is that while fighting them over there doesn't prevent them from attacking us over here, declining to fight them over there might invite attack by demonstrating weakness. This is part-and-parcel of the right's tendency to view national security policy as something that takes place entirely at the level of symbolism. In the real world, it makes very little sense.

Ask yourself why signaling weakness might invite attack. Or, better, ask yourself why signaling anything might matter under any circumstances. The answer, of course, is that signaling matters because it signals underlying reality. At the end of the day, though, what matters isn't what you're signaling, but rather the other guy's perception of your objective strength. In the case of Iraq, continuing the occupation is obviously making it less possible for us to deploy military assets (or, indeed, diplomatic or financial assets) anywhere else for any purpose. Unless you assume that whichever enemies were concerned with are really, really, really dumb they're going to be more impressed by our lack of actual capabilities than they are by our steely determination.

Most generally, there's no point in worrying too much about signaling. You can't prevent messages from being misinterpreted. Terrorists and bloodthirsty dictators, in particular, are prone to seeing the world in eccentric ways. The most reasonable course of action always to make the objective situation as favorable as possible. That way, even if your "the objective situation is favorable" signal is misconstrued, the actual situation will, in fact, be as favorable as possible."

* yglesias:
"I hardly have the energy to wrestle with George W. Bush's public statements on grand strategy anymore, but when he says something like "If we were to fail, they'd come and get us" it's worth asking what, exactly, the causal chain here is supposed to be. US troops in Iraq aren't trying to prevent people currently in Iraq from leaving Iraq. And while various government agencies are trying to stop terrorists people from entering the United States, American troops in Iraq aren't doing this."

* John Howard has jumped the shark. yay, us.


«—U®Anu§—» said...

I constantly find myself picking off nips and krauts left over from World War II. You'd think they'd like, get over it?

ewastud said...

Bush and Cheney believe that signalling weakness invites attack because they project their own aggressive mentality on the rest of the world. Just like an aggressive attack dog, if one shows fear, the dog's attack instincts are aroused.

The US attacked Iraq NOT because it threatened this country, as very dishonestly claimed, but because it was weak and easy pickings (but mostly because it has enormous oil wealth). Show weakness and those with the bully mentality like Bush and Cheney will attack a country, if it has something worth stealing.

As the line in a Bob Dylan songs states: "Steal a little and they throw you in jail; steal a lot and they make you king."

lukery said...

Bush and Cheney believe that signalling weakness invites attack because they project their own aggressive mentality on the rest of the world. Just like an aggressive attack dog, if one shows fear, the dog's attack instincts are aroused.

Ya know - that presumes that we can take the things that these people say at face value. Maybe the "signalling weakness" thing is just bullshit... given what we know, i'd be happy to be presume that it is indeed bullshit.

ewastud said...

As I suggested above, Bush and Cheney, and the neo-conservatives, et al, have ulterior motives for the war they launched. They used lies and "bullshit" to sell it to the American people. However, to a significant degree, I think they come to believe their own bullshit as a defense against confronting their real motives and self-interests they are advancing.

lukery said...

good heavens, ewastud. I'm not sure which is worse - that they carry out their evil plans as per the original purpose (whatever that may be) - or that their evil plans are actually distorted by the nonsense they spout.

in fact, actually, i do know which is worse...

Kax said...

Ewastud, I agree that Busholini and Capt'n Ahab and every other NeoNutzi does project their own hostile intentions on to others, but they are too chickshit to confront any real threats.

They do in fact make a big show of macho crapola by sending others to attack a weak country, if, as you say, it has something worth stealing or using.

I don't think they bother to believe their own Madison Ave, soundbites any more than they believe their own commercials. If it sells soap, that's all that matters. They create the fantasy they sell to get everyone to wave their little flags and wear their little lapel pins. Security conscious people are conformists so they quicly get with the programmed ideas and do and repeat what is "au cuorant".

Pavlocracy. Fear, the great motivator.