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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    September 11, 2006
    MSM KO Bandwagon #144: Salon Slobbers over Keith

    At least Salon is an online opinion 'zine...

    In The Olbermann Factor we learn that Keith Olbermann has been "building ratings", is the "darlilng" of half of the Internet". He is "adding viewers" and "especially the young ones that advertisers crave"

    Of course we hear about KO's "long-running feud" with O'Reilly and how KO's Rummy Rant was "breathtaking" and "acid" but if you want to see something really breathtaking read on as I dissect the many lies Olbermann is tellling in the interview which follows the sick-making lead in.

    As regular OlbyWatch readers know, Keith has a habit of exaggerating or lying - about his supposed lack of interest in electoral outcomes, his lack of partisanship, his ratings, his sources for stories, fabriacting quotes, etc. Keith counts on the fact that so few people watch his show that when he tells something to a reporter or columnist that few will be familiar with the truth and most of those who are (OlbyLoons) would never dream of contradicting KO even when they KNOW he is lying.

    Here are a few KO statements from the Salon interview that bear fact-checking...

    "...May 1 of 2003, the flight-suit story. I can remember interviewing several people that day and saying, "Isn't this a little premature? Isn't this a little theatrical? Isn't this a little staged?" and being assured that my opinion was ridiculous and alone and this was George Bush's historic moment, all the rest of that."

    I red-flagged this because Keith is claiming that he had guests on Countdown that disagreed with him. It might have happened but I think we are going to need to pull up the transcripts from May 1, 2003.

    "I think, I'm pretty sure, we were the first television outlet in this country to question the official story of the Jessica Lynch rescue, and I remember taking a huge amount of heat for that, because that was a great comic-book kind of war story."

    The "official story"? As I recall it there was a "comic book version" of the story but it was put out by the Washington Post and DENIED by DoD officials. So was KO questioning the WaPo version (phony) or the DoD version (accurate). Either way, he could not have been questining the DoD "comic book" version because there was none. Sounds like we need to dig up the transcripts of KO's Jessica Lynch coverage.

    "We have gone from a distant third place to having won in the demographic that everybody looks for, the 25- to 54-year-olds; we defeated the CNN show at 8 o'clock in the first two quarters."

    Wow!!!! I don't even need to fact-check this one. I already know these are bald-faced lies.

    I can't tell if I enjoy catching KO in lies or in showing how he plays around with words to tell them. Notice how KO says that in 1Q06 and 2Q06, Countdown "defeated" Paula Zahn in the 8 PM ET slot. In the line before that he says Countdown "won" in the demo. There has never been a single quarter where Countdown "won" the ratings race either in total viewers or in the demo (that has been O'Reilly on both counts for many years). In the first two quarters of this year Countdown NEVER defeated Paula Zahn in total viewers. The truth is that KO came in second in the demo for the first half of 2006 through a combination of increased young viewers via MSNBC broadcasting the Winter Olympics and a far-left "awareness" campaign sponsored by MoveOn.org's "Countdown pledge drive" AND an unexpected and unexplained drop in in the demo for Paula Zahn. That trend ran from February to April and then reversed itself so that Zahn made up the losses in the demo and KO lost the Olympics/MoveOn spike. Over the past 5 months the trend has been a steady decline for Olbermann and an increase for Paula Zahn.

    As OlbyWatch readers know, KO has never done any better than come in 3rd in the cable news ratings (4th or 5th at times if you include HLN and CNBC). You also know that O'Reilly regularly trounces Olbermann in total viewers and in the much heralded (by MSNBC/Olbermann/TVNewser) 25-54 demo.

    It's not that he lies but the WAY he lies...

    "we've had a very steady climb, a climb from third place in the ratings to essentially second place in the rating"

    Again, more lies. Keith has never been in second place - "essentially" or otherwise - in total viewers. As noted above, he did come in second "in the demo" for a few months. Since April's post-Olmypic/MoveOn peak ,where he did edge Zahn in the demo (both CNN and MSNBC were, as usual, trounced by Fox News, during this time) it has been a one way trip down.

    "They [Keith's bosses] have been interested in what they are supposed to be interested in on a corporate level, which is making money. More ratings, of course. More money"

    This isn't a "lie" in the classic sense but it's a funny statement since everyone in the TV biz knows that MSNBC has lost loads of money for NBC and that KO's puny ratings, whatever "place" he claims that puts him in, are not contributing anything to GE's bottom line.

    "sometimes I have to turn to them and say, "No. I know you like this and I know you think this is going to do real well for you in the ratings, but just don't pull the gun out of the holster every 35 seconds." If anything, I have to calm them down, rather than the other way around."

    We can't fact-check this but the whole premise seems absurd to anyone who watches the show - the idea that KO has ever shown restraint against attacking his "enemies" on his show. I mean he DOES have a whole book about that coming out tomorrow, a book "ripped" from "202" Countdown episodes.

    On the "feud" Keith says "It's really, it's almost a passive feud from my end...we devote less and less time to him...Arguing with Bill O'Reilly is a waste of valuable arguing time"

    Ummmm...does this even merit a response? I mean even KO supporters have credited him for "punching up" in attacking O'Reilly and gloried in KO's ability to get a reaction out of O'Reilly. KO has attacked O'Reilly by name on his show well over 100 times. The Nazi Salute stunt was like a month ago. I mean even the OlbyLoons aren't going to be buying this one. How many hours do you need to spend soaking in the bathtub to believe this kind of thing when you say it?

    Keith is asked "Partially because of the feud with O'Reilly, and for other reasons, you've become something of a hero to the liberals in the blogosphere. Was there a conscious choice made to reach out to them?

    Here are a few snippets of KO's rather long-winded but hilarious reply "No, I don't think so...I don't think you can get a bunch of liberals to watch one television network, because they'd be sitting there arguing the nuance of it. So I'm not courting the liberals..I also, I don't think in these issues that I'm a liberal; I think that I'm an American. I think I'm acting almost as a historian on these particular things, with the Rumsfeld commentary and now the Bush commentary....I'm not courting anybody with these things"

    Again...does this really merit a response? The MoveOn.org petition drive, KO"s appearences on Air America Radio, interviewing liberal bloggers on his show, the ratio of liberals to conservatives book on his show, citing liberal blogs during the show? That his staff contacted the libereal bloggers giving them a "heads up" on the Rummy Rant? I mean this is just so ridiculous that I am laughing too hard to bother detailing why this is so funny. If you don't get the joke you have not been reading this site. Maybe the best bit here is the notion that KO is a "historian"!!! Hahahaha.

    Here's another laugher...

    "every once in a while you should bring the flag out and say, "What does our country stand for?" The first thing that I think of is the statement that I disagree with your beliefs, but I will fight to the death for your right to express them. When the secretary of defense and the president of the United States make statements that indicate those statements are no longer operative, then you have to say something. It's no longer liberal versus conservative at that point. It's American versus truly un-American."

    So, KO wants to fight to the death to preserve the right of Americans to express their beliefs by condemning other Americans, Rumsfeld and Bush, for expressing theirs? Ahhh...OlbyLogic at its finest.

    On his first stint at MSNBC, Keith offers us this whopper "in some stretches there were no new developments [in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal] for two weeks, and yet we devoted an hour of news time to it every night. This is just a fundamental violation of my chromosomes as a sportscaster and a newscaster. If something's more than six hours old, you have to convince me that it's worth talking about"

    Gee, those must be some chromosmes. Apparently the switch on and off like those "intersex" fish that turned up in the Potomoc river! J$ can help me out here but off the top of my head KO has been beating the drum on some stories for YEARS! Plamegate, Rush Limbaugh's drug arrest/treatment, voting irregularities in Ohio, the Mackris lawsuit, Bush's speech on the aircraft carrier...

    At least this piece ends with one bit of truth from KO:

    "This era (post-9/11) gets its own chapter, at least, and in the history of this country it may be as pivotal as the time of the Civil War. There has never been, I think, since then any kind of comparable political struggle going on over what we are, and what we represent, and what our standards have to be whether we are under attack or we are not."

    Very true. Unfortunately, Keith does not realize he is dressed in battle grey.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (34) | | View blog reactions

    34 Comments

    They are trying so hard to make this guy something he isn't some great liberal news reporter who has the people in power shaking in their boots..please I bet 10 to 1 that Bush and Rumsfeld have never heard of him or anything he has said.

    As for spin his book is out today and is still not even in the Amazon top 100..I wonder what KO and his supporters are going to do or say if this book dosen't do well?

    O'Reilly's new book comes out soon it will be really interesting to see how well it dose against KO's.

    You are a beyond a disgrace,.What I feel about you and this catastrophically crminal regime cannot be printed.

    You are a beyond a disgrace,.What I feel about you and this catastrophically crminal regime cannot be printed.

    What is criminal about this regime?

    That's exactly right, Paul. Olbermann is such a disgrace he's almost not funny any more and I think the current MSNBC regime will end up in jail.

    OWW POST REMOVED HERE

    Oww you can't spam your site with 1,000 words "comments". I do accept GUEST POSTS so if you would like to submit your piece as such just send me an email. I have left up ONE version of this "hilarious" bit here: http://www.olbermannwatch.com/archives/2006/09/path_to_911_-_o.html#28604 but the other three (so far) are being removed.

    It's not a "speech" issue, it's a "Clutter" issue. If you really want everyone to see what you wrote the GUEST POST route is the better one to take.

    How do these clowns get away with stating that his ratings are on the increase, while data suggests the exact opposite is true? Let's see the damn data!

    The proliferation of cell phones has resulted in the unintended cost to the KO Fan Club of the loss of valuable and size appropriate meeting locations: phone booths.

    I have left up ONE version of this "hilarious" bit here:

    Again, Cox, I would like to know whether you used these "quotes" to indicate "something that is not really that way." I have striven to meet and surpass the humor standards of this site. If in some way my post has failed to tickle your funny bone, I think you need to be more explicit in what is and is not to be considered funny here. Perhaps some kind of guide would be appropriate-- or if you could cite content that you do find humorous, that would be helpful.

    Surely you cannot deny that this is one of the best sentences e'er concocted by one of us "Olberloons:"

    "The endless hours of obsession begin with the unknown yet much loved Dollar for Cox sounding for all the world like the reverberations of a thin skin of political hackery stretched tightly over a bottomless pit of ennui."

    Well crafted, humorous in its grandiose treatment of a triviality, faintly Olbermanesque, but with a resonance of tragic truth. What's not to love? It deserves to be read, so do please include it in your guest comment area.

    As for the length of the post, I might note that your wordcounter is clearly off. It is around 600 words, whereas the post you lead off this topic with weights in at nearly three times that. I wouldn't want to say that you have a habit of exaggerating or lying, but when you use the real count, all three deletes of "clutter" still only add up to one of your posts.

    I have left up ONE version of this "hilarious" bit here:

    Again, Cox, I would like to know whether you used these "quotes" to indicate "something that is not really that way." I have striven to meet and surpass the humor standards of this site. If in some way my post has failed to tickle your funny bone, I think you need to be more explicit in what is and is not to be considered funny here. Perhaps some kind of guide would be appropriate-- or if you could cite content that you do find humorous, that would be helpful.

    Surely you cannot deny that this is one of the best sentences e'er concocted by one of us "Olberloons:"

    "The endless hours of obsession begin with the unknown yet much loved Dollar for Cox sounding for all the world like the reverberations of a thin skin of political hackery stretched tightly over a bottomless pit of ennui."

    Well crafted, humorous in its grandiose treatment of a triviality, faintly Olbermanesque, but with a resonance of tragic truth. What's not to love? It deserves to be read, so do please include it in your guest comment area.

    As for the length of the post, I might note that your wordcounter is clearly off. It is around 600 words, whereas the post you lead off this topic with weights in at nearly three times that. I wouldn't want to say that you have a habit of exaggerating or lying, but when you use the real count, all three deletes of "clutter" still only add up to one of your posts.

    "Let's see the damn data!"

    Watch your mouth Missy! I don't think young ladies should be talking that way. There is no need for profanity and vulgarization here, especially from a member of the fairer sex such as yourself. You sound like a dag-nabit Olbyloon!

    I see that ABC cut only 1 minute from last night's "9/11" show. I wonder how Olby will react tonight.

    I have a feeling that tonight's CD will be a real hoot. Olby will probably go off the deep end for sure tonight.

    "I have a feeling that tonight's CD will be a real hoot. Olby will probably go off the deep end for sure tonight."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    You tell em, Divi Fili!! Stick it right up their liberal rumps!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA....That was HILLARIOUS! "Go off the deep end for sure"!!! OMG That is really good! I can't wait to see Dollar for Cox's write up!!

    I have a special word counter for OlbyLoon comments that counts all the blank spaces as "words". Apparently the way it works is that it assumes that a blank space might be a symbolic representation of OlbyThought.

    As for what I deem to be funny, I have seen a few very good comments from OlbyLoons on this site and elsewhere but yours is not one of them. An example? Hmmmm. How about this from Kathy over at KeithOlbermann.org:

    http://keitholbermann.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1726

    It originally went after me but I see now that she updated to go after J$ instead - it's still funny. I asked her for permission to post it here but she turned me down.

    You must be kidding about that post from Kathy being funny.

    "CoxSuckerSpin"
    "convincing to the credulous fellow CoxSuckers"

    "the infamous, deplorable Johnny Day-Late-and-a-Dollar-Short"

    "On CoxSuckerPlanet, OlbermannWatch attack = good, Keith attack = bad."

    "Maybe there should be a new national holiday: "Anniversary of the First Time Bill O'Reilly Ever Apologized." I know I'd love to have the day off work! "


    Either you are trying to insult me by suggesting my highbrow humor is the equivalent of this guttersnipe, or you are seriously devoid of taste. Let's make this a bit clearer: Please give an example of something ON THIS SITE that you find humorous. It would be best if it was one of your own quips, rather than the ambiguous givings-out of others. We never love other's children quite as much as our own, you know?

    "I have a special word counter for OlbyLoon comments that counts all the blank spaces as "words". Apparently the way it works is that it assumes that a blank space might be a symbolic representation of OlbyThought."

    Can I assume this is the standard? I think I can work with this.

    Generally, I think pretty much anything "written" by an OlbyLoon is "funny". I said I'd conside posting your "bit" as a "guest" post.

    Now all these quotes are just confusing the heck out of me. By "written" you mean not written? I don't get it. Anyway, try this on for size:

    "OLBERMANWATCH WITH DOLLAR FOR COX" (FROM ENDLESS TO INFINITY, ANY GIVEN MONTH AND DAY AND YEAR) - EDITED TO INCREASE HUMOR CONTENT

    How many Cornell students does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Two--One to change the lightbulb and one to crack under the pressure.

    Host: Dollar for Cox

    Topics:
    How to get even more modern, non-conservative Republicans elected through vague, hypocritical attacks on hypocracy. Insane fixation on obscure, backnetwork host, fueled by second generation upper class ennui; The thin grey line between the productive exercise of reason and the descent into bored madness.

    Did you hear Hillary Clinton ate beans on Friday night so
    she could take a bubble bath on Saturday?

    Guests: Four or five really bored partisan slackers that can't think of anything better to do than parrot whatever party line the brave culture warriors stuff into their mouths, desperatedly hoping someone will notice either them or one of their 6 other alias's.
    *************

    The endless hours of obsession begins with the unknown yet much loved Dollar for Cox sounding for all the world like the reverberations of a thin skin of political hackery stretched tightly over a bottomless pit of ennui.

    Q: What's the difference between a porcupine and Bill Clinton's campaign limo?
    A: A porcupine has pricks on the outside.

    Dollar for Cox breathlessly reports whatever major abominations the hiddeous Antichrist Olberman has uttered. Of particular interest is anything that can be made to sound, through "creative summation," as if it might be part of a leftist conspiracy theory. The main theme here (at the risk of sounding like paranoid conspiracy weirdos) is to create an aura of paranoid conspiracy weirdness around The Commentator Who Shall Remain Nameless, and spread that by extension to the entire center and left of the political spectrum. So if the director of a controversial historical movie about 9-11 happens to be the son of a fundy christian cult leader and heads a Jihadi film arm designed to remake Hollywood in a "godly" way, that is only further evidence of Olberman's paranoic madness.

    The next segment is a loooong writeup that summarizes the show schematic, which is mostly without content but allows Dollar for Cox to work in his Alex P. Keaton high-school one liners on the level of "What's this?...A brain sucker starving!" The other highlight of this interminable fixation is the endlessly repetitive attention paid to whether Mr. Bush or President Clinton are called "Mr." or "President." Again here, we have clear evidence of a dangerous leftist conspiracy; A leftist conspiracy that can only be met, one supposes, by abolishing the estate tax on inerited fortunes over 2.5 million.

    George Bush:
    "When Bill Clinton blows his taxophone, America will be singing the blues."

    Finally comes the clarion call of freedom...Dollar for Cox tirelessly, repeatedly, incessantly lets us know that this dangerous but sexy lefty newsy man has the gall to thank people who are not real, but only on tape! How dishonest! Why, the next thing you know, the Letterman show will be recorded in the afternoon and offered as if it is a late-night program. What's worse, it turns out that every other newsy show does the same thing! Is this coincidence, or evidence of a vast leftist media conspiracy? Dollar for Cox reports and you decide.

    Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?

    After the writeup, the guests, who are naturally screened to be either financially interested in Republicans winning, homophobic, or simply stark raving nuts, chime in with their obsequious malevolence. It is all held together by the common delusion of grandeur (probably inspired by Rush Limbaugh's pomposity) that people sitting at their computers are engaged in a great Jihad.
    "Liberals are terrorists and fascists all rolled into one neat little package."
    "Has he ever flat-out condemned terrorism?"
    "Have you no decency you liberal traitor?? liberals and their mouthpieces like olbermann are more of a threat than the terrorists."
    "you have to wonder serioulsy about the ethics and motives of a station like MSNBC to have someone like the olbyloon."
    Fortunately, there is Olbermanwatch, here to set the record straight, save free civilization, and abolish the inheritance tax on fortunes over 2.5 million.

    Let me get this right...

    Keith was hardly political, let alone ideological...but is equippted with a keen sense of truth and proportion that enabled him to sense and to question Bush Administration machinations at a stage where lesser colleague were still credulous...

    This clarity has been progressively sharpened with each moral assault from the Bush Administration and through this process, Keith has evolved into a national clarion...

    What a bunch of hogwash! Keith has been pounding and ridiculing the administration, Republicans and conservatives in general since Day One of his program. From Day One, Countdown has been a "crypto-liberal fest". From Day One, it has been the MSM vehicle for every half-baked partisan conspiracy theory spun in the fevered imaginations of blueblog ideologues. From Day One, Countdown has eschewed all journalistic standards of balance.

    From Day One, keith has done nothing but be a DNC waterboy for their far left base and one need only persue Moveon.org and Democratic Underground (Keith's fan club members) where Bush's every blink sets off shock waves of paranoia, to understand how laughable it is for Olbermann to portray them as arguing over "nuance"...

    If one iota of the ongoing war that Keith has waged against the Bush Administration and against non-liberals in general, has ever gained one percentage of coinage, it's because it has played into the dearly held stereotypes of a media that came of age in the Watergate era and because of the public dismay over the course of the war in Iraq. I'd use the anology of a stopped clock being right twice a day, however Olbermann is not that reliably accurate.

    Countdown has been the primetime television equivalent of Air America from Day One. It has never been the journalistic equivalent of other cable channel or MSNBC news/analysis shows. Unlike their hosts, Olbermann has little knowledge of history, religion, political ideology, or the political process, and offers his targets no opportunity for dissent.

    Countdown is a combination of partisan talk radio and David Letterman's old NBC late night show. Olbermann has the political savy of a Jeanne Garofalo...and the balance of a Mike Malloy...

    It is what it is....we can live with that.... it's billing it for what it isn't that keeps we here at Olbermann Watcher busy snickering and pointing out how naked is the Emperor of Countdown.

    But what better symbol is there for Emperor Olbermann's rabid subjects than that of his bare hinnie...

    oops...forgot to sign off.

    "Fortunately, there is Olbermanwatch, here to set the record straight, save free civilization, and abolish the inheritance tax on fortunes over 2.5 million."


    It's a constant source of pleasant bemusment and gloating gratification when this sort writes puffery that must be at least two printed pages arguing how marginal is Olbermann Watch and how it's such a waste of time!

    How is it that their prized sense of irony is invariably too narrow to extend to themselves?... :D

    Anonymous (1:34) and other posters,

    I actually felt bad after I used that word, and feel that was a lapse in judgment. I'm sorry to all.

    But I still want to see the ratings data that shows of his increasing audience. I don't think it exists!

    You know I watched Keith tonight and everything he said and did made sense. His closing remarks were incredible and dead on. Liberal or not who cares, the guy spoke the truth where this horrible administration has taken us down a road of fear.

    I voted from Bush the first time, I used to consider myself a Republican...now I cannot look in the mirror and state I believe in what that party stands for and this administration has ruined the continuity of its party with their misaligned agenda.

    Olbermann made lots of sense tonight and I applaud him for beating up O'Reiley and the neo-conns regularly. Last I looked liberal was defined as openminded...that doesn't sound like a bad word to me in these troubled times of US focus.

    Shawn wrote: "I voted from Bush the first time, I used to consider myself a Republican"

    Really, can you send me a scan of your voter registration card so we can all see who you are, that you voted, that you were ever registered as a Republican? There may be people who voted for Bush who no longer support him but I simply do not believe someone who voted for Bush, "considered" (whatever THAT means) themselves a Republican would EVER think that Keith Olbermann made a lot of sense last night. Sounds to me like just another anonymous OlbyLoon trying yet another tack to make the same point Bush=Bad, O'Reilly=Bad, Keith=Good.

    As far as being "openminded" about how to deal with terrorism, why don't you hop a plane, go to a Saudi-funded madrassa in Peshwar and get their side. I am sure they will appreciate your open-mindedness. In fact, if you will agree to go I am sure the clear-thinkers on this site will be happy to help raise the money to pay for your ticket.

    Have a nice flight!

    >Keith Olbermann made a lot of sense last night. >Sounds to me like just another anonymous >OlbyLoon trying yet another tack to make the >same point Bush=Bad, O'Reilly=Bad, Keith=Good.

    Perhaps you could argue the converse: Bush=Good. O'Reilly=good, Keith=Bad. Oh wait, that happens here everyday.

    >As far as being "openminded" about how to deal >with terrorism,

    Yeah Go with the close minded approach that works best, and probably feels very natural.

    >why don't you hop a plane, go to a Saudi-funded >madrassa in Peshwar and get their side.

    Hey that is a splendid idea! We could try and figure out why they hate us and then work to bring the moderates on our side, instead of radicalizing them. That is a wonderful idea!

    while we are at it we could learn a little about iraq as well. It is a fascinating country really. Did you know there are Shia's and Sunni's in Iraq, and that they hate each other? it's true. they're not just muslims. if we knew that and a few other things just think how much better this ira--oh wait, you were being nasty and not brainstorming for possible solutions. My bad. bombs away!

    >I am sure they will appreciate your open-
    > mindedness. In fact, if you will agree to go I > am sure the clear-thinkers

    Perhaps you could name some of those "clear thinkers" and maybe provide examples of their clear thinking. Please use some of you strongest supporters like Palpatine. that would be amusing.

    On the "feud" Keith says "It's really, it's almost a passive feud from my end...we devote less and less time to him...Arguing with Bill O'Reilly is a waste of valuable arguing time"

    Uggh!

    Cox, please emphasize there is no "Feud" or "Argument" between BOR and Krazy Keith. It takes 2 to feud and have an arguement. BOR has never mentioned Krazy Kieth on his TV/Radio show - ever. He has made 2 general/indirect attacks which could be construed as including KK in the last year. Thats it.

    KK and his liberal supporters contantly repeat this lie. So one more time:

    THERE IS NO FEUD. THERE ARE ONLY UNANSWERED ATTACKS BY Krazy Keith on Bill O'Reilly!

    JT/Shawn or whatever you call yourself today...

    "Oh wait, that happens here everyday."

    This site makes no pretense of taking a negative view of Olbermann so I am not sure how you equate what I write here under my own name to an OlbyLoon pretending to be a former Bush supporting Republican who has "seen the light" and now thinks Keith makes sense. One is called being honest and other is lying; I'm sure that's confusing for you.

    "Go with the close minded approach"

    Thanks, I will. When it comes to dealing with al Qaeda I prefer we to capture and/or kill them. What do you "open-minded, former Republican Bush supporters who now love KO" have in mind? Have them over for tea perhaps?

    "We could try and figure out why they hate us and then work to bring the moderates on our side, instead of radicalizing them. "

    Yeah let's figure that out, shall we!? Every problem in the world is America's fault. And everyone knows America CAUSES terrorism just like "society" causes people to be criminals. Right? Somehow it never occurs to OlbyLoons that people are responsible for the choices they make.

    "Did you know there are Shia's and Sunni's in Iraq, and that they hate each other? it's true. they're not just muslims."

    Did you know that there are more than two types of Muslims? There are Sufis and Druze and Wahabists, to name a few. Maybe if you tried studying Islamic history and culture you'd know this instead of getting your education from the side of a Dixie cup.

    First Robert another great post.

    But it's just this simple. Salon builds one type of person, advertize him. People tune in and it's like the old Denny's resturant menu line. "It doesn't look like the picture."

    First Robert another great post.

    But it's just this simple. Salon builds one type of person, advertize him. People tune in and it's like the old Denny's resturant menu line. "It doesn't look like the picture."

    What a crock of shit.

    >> JT/Shawn or whatever you call yourselftoday...

    >This site makes no pretense of taking a >negative view of Olbermann so I am not sure how >you equate what I write here under my own name

    First off check your logs again. Shawn and JT -- different people. I have no idea who the fuck Shawn is. and I don't really care. I was making fun of the fact that a site that was pissed off about seeing an argument over and over when all I see on this site is the same arguments over and over.

    In regard to your second point, I seem to remember you explaining to me that the only reason every nightly summary is negative towards Olbermann is because Johnny Dollar writes them. You have also said that you do not hate Olbermann and then took great pains to point out how many pro-olbermann sites you have linked to your site. your post on that occasion looked like a man trying to present himself as a mediator in a debate between those who are pro-olby and those who are anti-olby. So yes you have made some pretense in your views regarding olbermann. not that I really care.

    >to an OlbyLoon pretending to be a former Bush > supporting Republican who has "seen the light" >and now thinks Keith makes sense. One is called >being honest and other is lying; I'm sure >that's confusing for you.

    maybe Shawn has seen the light and does think keith makes sense. How would you know? Why would you even care for that matter? Nick once posted that he was a former liberal who has seen the light and turned into a Republican. maybe he was and "saw the light" and became a card-carrying wingnut such as yourself or maybe he is lying. I could care less. he's still a nut.

    >Thanks, I will. When it comes to dealing >with .al Qaeda I prefer we to capture and/or >kill them. What do you "open-minded, former >Republican Bush supporters who now love KO" >have in mind? Have them over for tea perhaps?

    Well, I never supported Bush, you will have to ask Shawn about that one. As for me I was all for killing Al-Queda in AFGHANISTAN where they were based. What I was against was getting involved in a conflict that had nothing to do with Al-Quaeda and then inviting them to come blow us up there as well. I was against Giving them the opportunity to go to the Muslim world and say " Look! they hate Islam see how the attack Iraq! come join us and fight the infidel" helping in the Al-Quaeda recruting drive is a pretty stupid way to fight them.

    >Yeah let's figure that out, shall we!? Every >problem in the world is America's fault. And >everyone knows America CAUSES terrorism just >like "society" causes people to be criminals. >Right? Somehow it never occurs to OlbyLoons >that people are responsible for the choices >they make.

    What an insane characterization of my argument. What filter do you wingnuts see the world through? No one said anything was "All America's fault" I am pointing out that it makes sense to understand why you are hated in the middle east. then you work to get the moderates on our side. At the least you learn what motivated them and see if there is a way to use that to your advantage. This may be too nuanced for you to grasp but the war on Terror is not like fighting the nazi's. The best army doesn't win. This is a war of intelligence of sharing information between countries. things that some countries might be less inclined to do if they are rooting for out enemies.


    > Did you know that there are more than two > types of Muslims? There are Sufis and Druze > and Wahabists, to name a few. Maybe if you > tried studying Islamic history and culture > you'd know this instead of getting your > education from the side of a Dixie cup.

    Actually I did know that. What I posted was regarding Iraq and is paraphrasing a quote president Bush supposedly made. my point was not studying the sectarian conflicts in Iraq might have contributed to us refereeing a civil war. Oh and I never said that there were only two types of Muslims read the post again.

    JT, let me dismiss a couple of points first...

    "you have made some pretense in your views regarding olbermann"

    I would suggest that even among the OlbyLoons you are alone on this point. Perhaps it does not occur to you that I can criticize Olbermann without "hating" him or agreeing with every anti-KO comment made on the site.

    "I was all for killing Al-Queda in AFGHANISTAN where they were based"

    So you are opposed to capturing or killing al Qaeda members outside of Afghanistan? Just for the record, we (USA and allies) have captured or killed al Qaeda in the U.S., Canada, Yemen, England, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Malaysia, Thailand, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan, Mexico, and many other countries. You'd say "let them go"?

    "I never said that there were only two types of Muslims"

    And I never said you did. What I responded to was your statement "Did you know there are Shia's and Sunni's in Iraq, and that they hate each other? it's true. they're not just muslims". The implication being that I don't understand the "nuances" of the religious divisions within Iraq.

    Well guess what? It is NOT true that Sunni and Shia "hate" each other. Most of what you call Sunni and Shia live side by side throughout the Middle East including Iraq. There are various political forces that have attempted to exploit their differences for their own political advantage but that's typical for various ethic and religious groups around the world. And your reduction to the political or religious tensions in Iraq are facile and superficial. There are Sunni and Shia Kurds and Sunni and Shia Arabs and Sunni and Shia Persians and Sunni and Shia Turkomans and Sunni and Shia Assyrians. There are different branches of Sunni and Shia. There are the Marsh Arabs which have a culture entirely their own. There are also various branches of Sufism, a small amount of Druze (which both Sunni and Shia have issues with), there are the Wahabists. And there are various Christian sects in Iraq as well. On top of that you have secular communists and fascists.

    So, you think I understand the "nuances" well enough?

    Now, for an OlbyLoon you go on to do something that actually approximates making an argument for something. So let's take a look.

    You wrote:

    "I was against Giving them the opportunity to go to the Muslim world and say " Look! they hate Islam see how the attack Iraq! come join us and fight the infidel" helping in the Al-Quaeda recruting drive is a pretty stupid way to fight them."

    and

    "it makes sense to understand why you are hated in the middle east. then you work to get the moderates on our side."

    This is a standard set of lib-dem talking points. I've heard it many times before. But let's just pretend that it is an original thought on your part and see how it stands up to scrutiny.

    Now, we can all agree that we did not want to help al Qaeda recruit members. According to you we have done that because we invaded Iraq - a "Muslim" country - and that we "gave" al Qaeda a propaganda victory because they could say this shows that the U.S hates Islam. By this same logic we should never invade any "Muslim" country as any such attack will provide the identical pretext for propaganda. In fact, by this logic we should never take ANY action that might allow al Qaeda use ANY our actions as a pretext for propaganda or otherwise invite criticism from Muslims and their religious and political leaders.

    Perhaps you have forgotten that we TRIED the approach you suggest. We had the "Albright Doctrine" which held that we could not take any military action that might cause any member of the UN to criticize the United States. We also had the "Clinton Doctrine" which said that all decisions must be vetted in focus groups and the "Gorelick Doctrine" which said that it illegal for the CIA to inform the FBI that there were known terrorists operating within the United States. The combination of the three resulted in a feckless response to the threat from al Qaeda. As I recall, it did not work so well.

    Any clear-thinking person can see the logical flaw in what you now propose. You say we should have not have invaded Iraq because it gave al Qaeda the ability to say "Look! they hate Islam see how theY attack Iraq! come join us and fight the infidel". Yet you claim to have supported the invasion of Afghanistan. Did not the invasion of Afghanistan provide the same pretext for propaganda? Was that very argument put forward by people on the left of why we should NOT invade Afghanistan?

    And please spare me the "liberals supported the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan" because that is a crock; what we heard from the left about how the U.S. would get bogged down there, about what happened to the Soviets, of how this was just the response that UBL was attempting to provoke, that we should not act out of anger, that the U.S. had provided indirect funding for the Taliban, that we should work through the UN; and if care to look back at the newspapers from the early days of the war there were endless stories about how things were not going well, that winter was coming, that this was another Vietnam - I still recall the shock among journalists that the U.S. was in Kabul; liberals "discovered" their love of the Afghanistan invasion only after the U.S. won and it became a way to be against the war in Iraq but still be able to see that liberals are willing to go to war when "necessary"; in fact the Code Pinks and Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores of the left STILL say they opposed the invasion of Afghanistan.

    What you fail to understand is that the premise of your argument is flawed. You are under the assumption that actions taken by America CREATES terrorists. This is why you are a BLAME AMERICA FIRSTER. It does not occur to you that the reason people in Pakistan or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or Jordan are sign on for jihad is not BECAUSE of America. They sign on because they are recruited. Those recruiters will say and do anything and they have money to back it up. Do you really think that if we had not invaded Iraq they could not have just easily used the invasion of Afghanistan (something you claim to support) as a recruiting tool? Could they not have used the Israel-Hezzbollah war? The Israel-Palestinain conflict?

    Suppose we took the favorite lib-dem approach and placed harsh sanctions on Iraq in 2003? Don't you think those same recruiters could say "look how they starve the poor Iraqis" and "look how the sick can't get medicine in Iraq?" and then blame America for supporting those sanctions?

    You also do not seem to know a thing about the financial side of all this. Do you ever wonder how all these people are getting paid? Who is paying for the weapons? The safe houses? The travel? The medical care? The families? There are some wealthy people putting money behind al Qaeda. Did you ever wonder who? or Why?

    You seem to be under the impression that you can go to some "Muslim Convention" and give a speech and convince the radicals and their targets - educated but disaffected, unemployed young men - of your point of view. Good luck. As I have said, I will be happy to raise money for your ticket to Peshwar.

    You say "it makes sense to understand why you are hated in the middle east. then you work to get the moderates on our side" but say that this may be "too nuanced" for me to grasp.

    Why is it you Bush-Hating, Blame America Firster, OlbyLoons are all under the delusion that people who disagree with you are not capable of a sophisticated economic or geopolitical analysis because we do not share your beliefs? You all seem to be under the impression that when YOU cannot convince someone of your point of view it's because THEY cannot comprehend the "nuances" of your argument. Yet it never occurs to you that perhaps YOUR argument is simply unconvincing.

    You say we are "hated" in the Middle East. I'm not sure what, exactly, you mean by that but the immigrants I know from the Middle East LOVE America and are very happy to be here. I've been to the Middle East and most Arabs I've met are primarily interested in making money and living a good life. I seriously doubt you would find many in the Middle East who would not be quite happy to relocate here if they had the chance. But perhaps the "hate" you refer to is the flag-burning, death to America blather we see on TV. I'd suggest to you that there is an ongoing effort for various groups to raise money and attain power by fanning the flames of anti-Western sentiment which is, of course, ultimately focused on the U.S. and that the "hate" you see is manufactured by them.

    And you look at Iraq and all you see is what you want to see - bad. What you can't see or don't want to see is that the best long-term hope for peace in that region is that the targets of those al Qaeda recruiters are not disaffected and unemployed. If you can get over your hated of George Bush for just a few moments you might see that he is going about doing what you are suggesting by creating hope in a region that has had little.

    The difference is that he is not going about by trying to "understand" why people "hate" America. We already KNOW what lies at the root of all the Israel-bashing and USA-bashing is the lack of economic opportunity for the young men who the recruiters prey on. Bush has talked about the failed U.S. policy of the last 60 years and how that needed to be changed. He concluded that the best way to address the appeal to some jihad is to create opportunity. The way you do that is you create a "middle class". That is very long process. It took decades in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. It is happening now in Eastern Europe. To a lesser extent in some of the former Soviet Republics.

    If you look around you will see that economic freedom and political freedom go hand-in-hand. Our best hope for peace is to give people a stake in their own future - owning a home, owning a car, an education and future for their children. The problem is that not every country is able to do be a "self-starter" like Singapore.

    There is a road map here. We successfully combatted the communist ideology that began to spread around the world after World War II and we can do that today with the Wahabist movement (which is basically what al Qaeda is) that has been spreading throughout the Muslim world for the past 100 years. Recall that the Marshall Plan was not a "good will" gesture but a foreign policy initiative undertaken to combat the spread of the Soviet ideology across Europe. West Germany, France and Italy could just have easily been behind the Iron Curtain as not. We had to fight a World War and then a Cold War to prevail and it took 50 years, costs hundreds of thousands of lives and billions upon billions of dollars. In other words, judging the Bush Doctine after 5 years makes no sense and shows a complete lack of historical perspective.

    The Middle East presents its own problems. Although we had some leverage with countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Pakistan and Palestine after 9/11, we had little in countries like Iraq, Iran, Syria/Lebanon, Libya and Afghanistan. What Bush has done is to put some of those latter countries "in play", leaving the rest (Syria and Iran) isolated. They are next and they know it (hence the Iranian nuclear program and the Hezbollah attacks on Israel).

    This road is long and dangerous - and there will be set backs along the way - but the idea, in my opinion, is right. I accept the Gladwellian notion of a "tipping point". Bush wants to take use there - to the point at which Democratic movements across the Middle East gain their own momentum. The effect will be to both distribute existing wealth and to create new wealth and hence a middle class. As more and people are stakeholders in a new future for the Middle East the less inclined they will be to want to blow themselves up.

    In the meantime, we are at war with militant Muslim extremists in a world where a few guys with box-cutters can kill thousands or with a nuclear device can kills hundreds of thousands. We have to deal with them aggressively with one hand while reshuffling the deck in the Middle East. Not easy.

    Quite frankly, the risk Bush has taken is mind-boggling. It could very well end in utter disaster. But I think he is right in asking, what alternative did we have? The status quo resulted in 9/11. Does anyone doubt that more of the same would some day result in 9/11 times 10 (or 100)?

    Of course, even if you agreed with this you would want to criticize Bush for "execution" but in the broader historical context that is picking nits. Go back and read a biography of that great hero Churchill. He screwed up many times early in his career and, by your standards, he should have been sent packing in 1918 never to be heard from again. Thank God he remained true to his own vision.

    I, for one, am glad to see Bush remaining true to his.

    Robert, that was certainly a long post. Allow me to retort.

    >I would suggest that even among the OlbyLoons >you are alone on this point.
    >Perhaps it does not occur to you that I can >criticize Olbermann without
    >"hating" him or agreeing with every anti-KO >comment made on the site.

    Yes it has occurred to me you can criticize a man without hating him, in our original post though, many moons ago, you refused to acknowledge that you even had an “absence of good feeling for Olbermann” I asked you if we could agree on this point. I seem to remember you rebutting that suggestion. I would say that demonstrates a bit of pretense regarding your feelings for Olbermann Not that it even matters though. I think it is pretty obvious you bear Olbermann no love and that is fine. I don’t care much for Sean Hannity. When our current argument started though You blasted Shawn for his post claiming he was here to claim: bush=bad O’Reily=bad Olbermann=good . I found this highly amusing given the main themes I see running though this site are the converse Bush=good Oreilly=good Olbermann=Very very bad. (in Johnny’s case foaming at the mouth bad)

    >So you are opposed to capturing or killing al >Qaeda members outside of
    >Afghanistan? Just for the record, we (USA and >allies) have captured or killed
    >al Qaeda in the U.S., Canada, Yemen, England, >Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, >Indonesia, the >Phillipines, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, >Malaysia, Thailand, >Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan, >Mexico, and many other countries. You'd >say "let them go"?

    Of course not that is ridiculous. I am against swaggering into a place that really had nothing to do with Al-Quaeda and then getting bogged down in a civil war. All this done while Osama bin laden runs around free. I am against exacerbating problems that we face in a war on terror and Iraq has done that. It is a typical delusional wingnut talking point that Iraq has made us safer. It has not. Iraq has put us in more danger than ever. it has become a way for Al-Quaeda to increase it’s credibility in the eyes of the muslim world. There wasn’t a lot of arab outrage when we we went in afhganistan - some - but nothing like what we have generated by going into iraq. Now for every terrorist we kill there are ten to take his place.

    >And I never said you did. What I responded to >was your statement "Did you
    >know there are Shia's and Sunni's in Iraq, and >that they hate each other? it's >true. they're >not just muslims". The implication being that I >don't understand >the "nuances" of the >religious divisions within Iraq.

    Not quite. I have no idea what you know or don’t know in regards to the muslim religion. My point was that, the president whom you support, didn’t know this. Or at least he is reported to, when told of the existence of Shia’s and Sunni’s to have said something along the lines of ‘I thought they were muslims” I was mocking the typical republican (at least under this president) way of swaggering into complex issues without giving much thought to the nuance. I really wasn’t suggesting you didn’t know there were shia’s and Sunni’s in Iraq. You are obviously a news junkie and even if you weren’t you would have had to be in a cave in Nepal not to know this by now.

    >Well guess what.It is NOT true that Sunni and >Shia "hate" each other. Most of
    >what you call Sunni and Shia live side by side >throughout the Middle East >including Iraq.

    There is also a long history of tensions between the Shia and Sunni, a history of >violent fatwas being issued by sunni against the Shia. There are histoy of battles between groups, Camel (656 AD) and the battle of Seffin (657 AD). The Shi have long been marginalized in the arab world. In 1926 when the house of Saud came to power in Saudi Arabia they began an official policy of Disrimination against the Shia. In iraq under Saddaam this marginalization was excaberated as the country was run almost exlusively by Sunni’s. When the Shia revolted along with the kurds in 1991… well you know the result. Right now, in large part because of our uncorking of this tension with the overthrow of Sadaam, many in the arab world are worried by the growing influence of the Shia. King Abdullah of Jordan, has complained about the emgergence of a “Shia Crescent.“ but that don’t matter none because get a load of this: They sure seem ready to have a go at each other now.

    >There are various political forces that have >attempted to exploit their
    >differences for their own political advantage >but that's typical for various >ethic and >religious groups around the world. And your >reduction to the >political or religious >tensions in Iraq are facile and superficial. >There are Sunni >and Shia Kurds and Sunni and >Shia Arabs and Sunni and Shia Persians and >Sunni >and Shia Turkomans and Sunni and Shia >Assyrians. There are different >branches of >Sunni and Shia. There are the Marsh Arabs which ?have a culture >entirely their own. There >are also various branches of Sufism, a small >amount >of Druze (which both Sunni and Shia >have issues with), there are the >Wahabists. >And there are various Christian sects in Iraq >as well. On top of that >you have secular >communists and fascists.

    Your attempt to break down the various sects in iraq in such minutia is inconsequential to this argument and in no way is my break down superficial.
    First off there are primarily two large groups of people in Iraq, Arabs (around 70% of the population) and kurds (around 25% of the population) that leads about 5% for other ethnic groups, Such as the Syrians, Turks and Persians you mention. The kurds who mostly reside in their north whether shia or sunni have no real ties to the arab Shia and Sunni in Iraq. They speak there own language have their own culture and have long fought for their independence.
    The Shia and Sunni who make up the large majority of Arab population are also divided in large part by region. The Christians make up only about 3% of the population and there are about 2500 jews in Baghdad So basically you have 3 large groups Turks, Sunni Arabs and Shia Arabs.

    >So, you think I understand the "nuances" well enough?

    You have decent understanding, best I’ve seen from a wingnut yet. Now if only our president did before this war think of the mess we could have averted.

    >By this same logic we should never invade >any "Muslim" country as any such >attack will >provide the identical pretext for propaganda. >In fact, by this logic >we should never take >ANY action that might allow al Qaeda use ANY >our >actions as a pretext for propaganda or >otherwise invite criticism from Muslims >and >their religious and political leaders.

    No, the logic does not work that way. Our invasion of Afghanistan angered some in the Muslim world, many in Pakistan for instance. but in no way did it fuel the anger Iraq has. I am arguing for weighing these things before an invasion. If Iraq was behind 9-11 for example then we would have had a justification to hit them that would probably have circumvented much anger. We didn’t have it here in our pre-emptive attack to stop the production of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. We can fight when we have to. We need to be careful about pissing off the moderates though as that is doing us no good. Look some hearts and minds are lost. No doubt about can’t reason with the nuts. There are plenty there you can reason with though and Iraq has severely damaged our capacity to reach them. I think that is extremely important in the war on terror.

    >Perhaps you have forgotten that we TRIED the >approach you suggest.We had
    >the "Albright >Doctrine" which held that we >could not take any military action >that might >cause any member of the UN to criticize the >United States. We also >had the "Clinton >Doctrine" which said that all decisions must be >vetted in focus >groups and the "Gorelick >Doctrine" which said that it illegal for the ?>CIA to >inform the FBI that there were known terrorists operating within the United >States. >The combination of the three resulted in a >feckless response to the >threat from al Qaeda. >As I recall, it did not work so well.

    And invading a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 has helped how? Not to mention the incredible depletion of resources in terms of lives and money from this war. While we are on the subject of policy how is neglecting Afghanistan aiding us in the war against Al-Quada? A resssurgent Taliban is not in our best interests. Iraq was a contained threat prior to our invasion. Our invasion of that contained threat has emboldened Iran because they know we are otherwise engaged. We wouldn’t have a nuclear crisis with them if we weren’t in Iraq.

    >Yet you claim to have supported the invasion of >Afghanistan. Did not the >invasion of >Afghanistan provide the same pretext for >propaganda?

    Not really. See the above. There was an outpouring of sympathy for the U.S. after 9-11 even from most in the Arab world. Most realized there was a justification for that war.

    >because that is a crock; what we heard from the >left about how the U.S. >would get bogged down >there, about what happened to the Soviets, of >how >this was just the response that UBL was >attempting to provoke, that we >should not act >out of anger, that the U.S. had provided >indirect funding for >the Taliban, that we >should work through the UN;

    I’m sorry you are wrong. Most supported the war. We were a United country after Afghanistan. There were some against the war but in no way was it a majority of the democratic party and providing isolated arguments certainly does not prove that. Go check the polls after Afghanistan and see the number of people in the U.S. for the war then ask yourself if that number fits a split along Democratic and Republican lines.

    >and if care to look back at the newspapers from >the early days of the war >there were endless >stories about how things were not going well, >that winter >was coming, that this was another >Vietnam - I still recall the shock among
    >A few journalist expressing concern does not a >movement against the war make.

    Many were concerned I was concerned, you are a fool not to be in time of war. That doesn’t mean I didn’t think it was a necessity.

    >at you fail to understand is that the premise >of your argument is flawed. You >are under the >assumption that actions taken by America >CREATES terrorists. >This is why you are a >BLAME AMERICA FIRSTER. It does not occur to you that >

    No it is not. It is flawed if you are able to characterize my argument in terms of absolutes. I don’t live in that world. We had world support for an invasion of Afghanistan. Nato invoked it’s charter of “if you attack one of us you have attacked all” for the first time in it’s history. How many of Nato Allies were for Iraq? Cross supply the rest of my arguments on Afghanistan.

    >The reason people in Pakistan or Afghanistan or >Saudi Arabia or Jordan are >sign on for jihad >is not BECAUSE of America. They sign on because >they are >recruited.

    Are you saying if there was no anger against the U.S. a few catchy ‘be all you can be” slogans and a terrorist G.I. Bill is all they would need to recruit people? That is nonsense.
    They are easily recruited because of anger. And we whipped up that anger with our invasion of Iraq.

    >Do you really think that if we had not invaded >Iraq they could not have just >easily used the >invasion of Afghanistan (something you claim to >support) as a >recruiting tool?

    No I do not think that at all.

    >Could they not have used the Israel-Hezzbollah >war? The Israel-Palestinain >conflict?

    To a degree yes. Not to the degree Iraq has stirred that up. We were not smart in my opinion, how we handled the isrelli war by the way. And before you accuse me of anything I think Hezbollah started the war. I think they are shits and I don’t blame the isreli’s for being pissed. We still could have handled things smarter.

    >Suppose we took the favorite lib-dem approach >and placed harsh sanctions on >raq in 2003? >Don't you think those same recruiters could >say "look how they >starve the poor Iraqis" >and "look how the sick can't get medicine in >Iraq?" and >then blame America for supporting >those sanctions?

    Again to a degree, but I think this is nothing compared to the Iraq war. I don't have time to research butthe degree of anger of the sanctions we had seems nothing compared to what is going on there now.

    >You also do not seem to know a thing about the >financial side of all this. Do >you ever wonder >how all these people are getting paid? Who is >paying for the >weapons? The safe houses? The >travel? The medical care? The families? There > >are some wealthy people putting money behind al >Qaeda. Did you ever who?

    Of course I do. The Saudi’s have not been saints that is for sure. But there was No link between Al Quaeda and Iraq.

    >You seem to be under the impression that you >can go to some "Muslim >Convention" and give a >speech and convince the radicals and their >targets - >educated but disaffected, unemployed >young men - of your point of view. >Good luck.

    This is nonsense Robert. I said we need to win the hearts and Minds of the moderates, because they can aid us against the radicals. Hey, would you call the cops if you had a right wing neighbor about to go on a liberal killing spree? Of course you would. Would you if you believed Liberals had dropped the bombs that killed you family? Maybe not. I don’t believe we can win over the radicals I believe we can win the moderates instead of turning them into radicals. You on the other hand seem to think American Millitary power is unlimited and can solve any problem we have in any region of the world.

    >Why is it you Bush-Hating, Blame America >Firster, OlbyLoons are all under the >delusion >that people who disagree with you are not >capable of a sophisticated >economic or >geopolitical analysis because we do not share >your beliefs?

    I could ask the same of the Wingnuts. You made a similar comment. In typical childish fashion, I responded in kind then added sugar on top. You are obviously not dumb, but characterizing any one as a “loon” who disagrees with you shows you are guilty of the same behavior.

    >You all seem to be under the impression that >when YOU cannot convince >someone of your point >of view it's because THEY cannot comprehend the >"nuances" of your argument. Yet it never occurs >to you that perhaps YOUR >argument is simply >unconvincing.

    Or it could be you are so entrenched in your position you are incapable of looking at reality in a non-distorted way. However I will grant you understand the nuances of the “liberal” argument. You are not Pat Fegan.

    >You say we are "hated" in the Middle East. I'm >not sure what, exactly, you >mean by that but >the immigrants I know from the Middle East LOVE >America >and are very happy to be here.

    Is your contention honestly that there is not outrage in the arab world over our actions of late? Take a look at poll numbers regarding the U.S. in the region, they do not demonstrate love.

    >The difference is that he is not going about by >trying to "understand" why >people "hate" >America. We already KNOW what lies at the root >of all the >Israel-bashing and USA-bashing is >the lack of economic opportunity for the >young >men who the recruiters prey on. Bush has talked >about the failed U.S. >policy of the last 60 >years and how that needed to be changed. He >concluded >that the best way to address the >appeal to some jihad is to create >opportunity. >The way you do that is you create a "middle >class". That is very >long process. It took >decades in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, >Thailand, >Malaysia, etc.

    Blowing up the infrastructure of a country does not create economic opportunity or goodwill. I have heard these arguments before but the country is destabilized and I don’t think, and many don’t think, it can be stabilized at this point and that is a key component of creating economic prosperity. Also If I am wrong here I apologize but I going to lump this argument in with the bring democracy to the middle east crowd. It isn't working well in palatine though is it with a democratically elected hamas. Need prosperityy before you get democracy that is how it worked in South korea.

    >if you look around you will see that economic >freedom and political freedom >go hand-in-hand.

    Agreed and I don’t think that is the direction things are going.

    >Recall that the Marshall Plan was not a "good >will" gesture but a foreign policy >initiative >undertaken to combat the spread of the Soviet >ideology across >Europe. West Germany, France >and Italy could just have easily been behind >the Iron Curtain as not. We had to fight a >World War and then a Cold War to >prevail it.

    Hey I’m all for nation building. I think we should have done in Lebanon the best looking democracy in the middle east. I don’t think you can invade a country however and expect to be greeted as liberators then re-build.

    >They are next and they know it (hence the >Iranian nuclear program and the >Hezbollah >attacks on Israel).

    That is the problem. We have created an Iranian Nuclear program and we are almost powerless to stop them because we are engaged in a country that did not have one.

    >Quite frankly the risk Bush has taken is mind->boggling. It could very well end >in utter >disaster. But I think he is right and asking >what alternative did we >have. The status quo >resulted in 9/11.

    The thing is no one is asking for the status quo. We are asking for prudence though. Some in this administration have wanted to go in Iraq for a long time well before the war on terror began. Our point is and always has been that these are unrelated issues. That Iraq is not part of the war on terror. Hey if Iraq actually had some thing to do with 9-11 I would be cheerleading the hell out of it. I don’t think it does.

    Your whole post was very impassioned and I couldn’t disagree with it more, if I turn out to be wrong and bush’s moves help the middle east. I promise I will be as happy as anyone. I just don’t see it that way.

    Now I’m going to go treat the carpal tunnel I developed responding to this post.

    JT,

    Rest up. We are not really interested in hearing further blather from you anyway.

    Your retort is to put forward the "defense" that I "characterize my argument in terms of absolutes". So, let me just list a few of your own statements in which you do a far better job than I could ever do in characterizing your point of view.

    Here are some of your more "brilliant" points...

    - "for every terrorist we kill there are ten to take his place"
    - President Bush did not know that there were Sunni and Shia sects of Islam
    - If President Bush had understand the "nuances" of Iraq before the invasion "the mess we could have averted"
    - Republicans swagger into complex issues without giving much thought to the nuance
    - There would be no nuclear crisis with Iran if we weren�t in Iraq
    - Iraq has put us in more danger than ever
    - We have created an Iranian Nuclear program
    - We are almost powerless to stop (Iran from developing a nuclear weapon)
    - There was an outpouring of sympathy for the U.S. after 9-11 even from most in the Arab world

    Wow! You sure know how to make your case!!!

    Among the various inanities you put forward...

    - You ask "How many of Nato Allies were for Iraq? (v. Afghanistan). I checked. Turns out we had 7 NATO allies with us going into Afghanistan; 8 going into Iraq: 7 NATO allies were part of Operation Enduring Freedom (United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany); 8 NATO allies were part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Poland). In both cases the vast majority of the troops, equipment and support came from the United States (and for good reason, since the United States military equipment, technology and data/communications capability is so far in advance of other nations including all of our allies except for the UK that none of these other nations serves as any practical military purpose; their participation is purely for diplomatic reasons). This will always be the case until such time as any of these other nations begin to invest in the same type of military capability the U.S. now possesses which is to say, probably never).

    - First you say, there wasn�t a lot of Arab outrage when we we went in Afghanistan. Later you say "our invasion of Afghanistan angered some in the Muslim world, many in Pakistan for instance" Recall that the issue is whether our actions in Afghanistan gave al Qaeda a pretext which they could use to recruit more terrorists. So, can you make up your mind? Are we talking about Arabs v. Afghans or Americans v. Mulsims? Did our invasion "anger" Muslims or not? You keep talking about "nuance" but the issue YOU raised was how the U.S. "creates" terrorists by taking military action in Muslim countries by making them "angry". From what I can see, some Muslims are whipped into a frenzy by pretty much anything whether they be cartoons, or articles in Newsweek or Israel defending itself against missile attacks from inside Lebanon to academic lectures by the Pope. I don't see how we can base foreign policy on what may or may not "anger" Muslims and, if so, by how much.

    - You say "Your attempt to break down the various sects in iraq in such minutia is inconsequential to this argument" Huh? The "argument" was your claim that I did not understand the "nuances" of the ethnic and religious differences in Iraq. It would seem then that my breaking down the various religious and ethnic groups in Iraq would seem to be very much to the point of the "argument". In fact, I am not sure how my reply could be more directly relative to the point you raised.

    - You say "how is neglecting Afghanistan aiding us in the war against Al-Quada? A resssurgent Taliban is not in our best interests." Good grief! Can't you even PRETEND to want to be consistent. Setting aside the fact that the "resurgence" of the Taliban is an annual event - they fight in good weather and then hole up for the winter, you complained earlier about the U.S. not having the support of NATO nations in Iraq (even though MORE NATO countries participated in the invasion of Iraq than Afghanistan). The two new developments that have caused the recent hand-wringing over Afghanistan have been (a) the hand-over of Afghanistan to NATO forces a few weeks ago and (b) U.S. media coverage in anticipation of the anniversary of 9/11. The Taliban have sought to challenge the new NATO forces in the hopes they would not fight as effectively as U.S. forces (many of them died learning that NATO was up to the job). They also sought to exploit U.S. media interest in Afghanistan (Lara Logan's "exclusive access" to the Taliban which aired in the first minutes of Katie Couric's highly-rated debut; attacking U.S. soldiers with a car bomb as the U.S. media began to unpack for their week in Kabul).

    - You say "Most [liberals] supported the war (in Afghanistan). There were some against the war but in no way was it a majority of the democratic party." But I did not say anything about the Democratic Party. I only referenced LIBERALS. I am well aware there was a great deal of support among Americans for an invasion of Afghanistan. I am also aware that close to 100% of the opposition to the war came from LIBERALS. As for the media coverage; I suggest you go to nytimes.com and read a few of the articles from the early days of the war. It's nothing but doom and gloom.

    - You say "Nato invoked it�s charter of �if you attack one of us you have attacked all� for the first time in it�s history." That's great. And you know why? Because the 9/11 attacks were the first time in the history of NATO that a NATO member was attacked on its own soil. In other words, NATO members had no choice but to invoke Article Five of the NATO treaty. I might add that there were no NATO members who had any meaningful economic, political or financial interest in Afghanistan. Not so with Iraq or Iran.

    - If you were prepared to mount any type of "nuanced" argument about how we can apply the lessons learned in combating efforts by the Soviets to spread their ideology through a combination of economic development, trade and military support I'd be happy to reply but you do not seem to have anything to say that is worth addressing.

    Robert,

    If I rest up who is going to expose your posts for the drivel that they are?

    >Your retort is to put forward the "defense" >that I "characterize my argument in terms of >absolutes".

    No My post indicated that you were trying to charaecterize MY ARGUMENTS in terms of absolutes. again re-read the post.

    >So, let me just list a few of your own >statements in which you do a far better job >than I could ever do in characterizing your >point of view.

    Gosh Robert if we are going to do that i should list a few of your gems.

    - "By this same logic we should never invade any "Muslim" country as any such attack

    - "And please spare me the "liberals supported the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan" because that is a crock;"
    - "Why is it you Bush-Hating, Blame America Firster, OlbyLoons are all under the delusion that people who disagree with you are not capable of a sophisticated economic or geopolitical analysis..."

    - "You seem to be under the impression that you can go to some "Muslim Convention" and give a speech and convince the radicals and their targets - educated but disaffected, unemployed young men - of your point of view."

    - "Suppose we took the favorite lib-dem approach and placed harsh sanctions on Iraq in 2003?"

    No to respond to some of mine you listed.

    - President Bush did not know that there were Sunni and Shia sects of Islam

    According to the former croation ambassedor this is the case, at least right before the war.

    - Republicans swagger into complex issues without giving much thought to the nuance

    Apparently not or they guessed wrong in terms of how they expected things to turn out. you might have noticed the bombs going off every night. it's in the news.


    - There would be no nuclear crisis with Iran if we weren�t in Iraq

    it is certainly reasonable to think they might not be quite so ready to defy us if they were worried about a millitary response. Oh wait - why even bother with reaosn I'm talking to a wingnut.

    - We have created an Iranian Nuclear program

    Uhh haven't said that. I did say the were emboldend knowing our whole millitary was otherwise occupied.

    - We are almost powerless to stop (Iran from developing a nuclear weapon)

    I love how you strawman arguments. Could you be so kind and show me where I used the word powerless?

    - There was an outpoul reallyuring of sympathy for the U.S. after 9-11 even from most in the Arab world

    Gosh you are right to point out the flaw in that argument. none of that really happend.


    >- You ask "How many of Nato Allies were for >Iraq? (v. Afghanistan). I checked. Turns out we >had 7 NATO allies with us going into >Afghanistan; 8 going into Iraq: 7 NATO allies >were part of Operation Enduring Freedom (United >Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, >Portugal, and Germany); 8 NATO allies were part >of Operation Iraqi Freedom (United Kingdom, >Italy, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, >Hungary, Norway, Poland).

    Jesus Christ Robert. Don't you read? I mean ever? I asked how many countries were for the war not how many were part of the operation. For you information 10 countries in nato had no part of the operation and their leaders made statments against the war in iraq. How many would you say did this in Afghanistan?
    Oh and nato sure as hell didn't invoke Article Five for iraq now did they? and you are right because we were attacked that is one of many differences between these two wars.

    - First you say, there wasn�t a lot of Arab outrage when we we went in Afghanistan. Later you say "our invasion of Afghanistan angered some in the Muslim world,

    Maybe you can't understand the argument. I am beginning think I gave you too much credit. our invasion of Afhanistan did in fact anger some in the muslim world. the point I am trying to make is that anger generated over Afhanistan (Where we were fighting the people who attacked us) is not near what was genrated after our invasion of iraq ( You know the country that didn't attack us.) So we "Whipped" up a whole lot more anger in the muslim world the second time around. Why because the moderates saw us justified in attacking a country that just killed a few thousands of our civillians in unprecedented sneak attack on us the first time. They were less sympathetic when we invaded an oil rich country with no links to the attack. I wonder why.

    >> From what I can see, some Muslims are whipped >>into a frenzy by pretty much anything whether >>they be cartoons, or articles in Newsweek or >>Israel defending itself against missile >>attacks from inside Lebanon to aca

    I thought they didn't hate us at all but were primarily intersted in making money and having a good life.

    >I don't see how we can base foreign policy on >what may or may not "anger" Muslims and, if so, > by how much.

    No you would rather base it on a policy of attacking any country that we don't like. that will win us allies in the war on terror.


    - You say "Your attempt to break down the various sects in iraq in such minutia is inconsequential to this argument" Huh? The "argument" was your claim that I did not understand the "nuances" of the ethnic and religious differences in Iraq. It would seem then that my breaking down the various religious and ethnic groups in Iraq would seem to be very much to the point of the "argument". I my reply could be more directly relative to the point you raised.

    and I pointed out that most of the breaking down you did amounted to an insignifcant amount of the iraqi population. Turkoman, persians and assyrians. are less than five percent of the population Christians amuont to 3% of the poupulation. What's next? Why not mention the Black muslims in iraq while you are at it.

    Oh and I know I have to keep reminding but I did not say you didn't understand the nuance. Read again you'll get it this time.

    " Good grief! Can't you even PRETEND to want to be consistent. Setting aside the fact that the "resurgence" of the Taliban is an annual event - they fight in good weather and then hole up or the winter, you complained earlier about the U.S. not having the support of NATO nations in Iraq (even though MORE NATO countries participated in the invasion of Iraq than Afghanistan).

    See previous response to this. Oh and you trying to charecterize this as a winter uprising is complete and total bullshit. General Michael Maples, director of America's Defence Intelligence Agency, told Congress that the Taliban insurgency is growing and presents a greater threat to the Afghan central government's authority than at any point since America's victory. As of this year Taliban attacks are up 45% of what they were last year. We could do that whole nation building thing but we are otherwise occuppied with the country that had nothing to do with 9-11.


    - You say "Most [liberals] supported the war (in Afghanistan). There were some against the war but in no way was it a majority of the democratic party." But I did not say anything about the Democratic Party. I only referenced LIBERALS.

    Wow, that is broad stroke. Were all liberals opposed? were just some? Is the Democratic party mostly conservative?

    >Afghanistan. I am also aware that close to 100% >of the opposition to the war came from LIBERALS.

    So what? there are fringe right wing groups that want to nuke the middle east and steal their oil. I don't know any liberals in favor of that. Can I now make the insinuation that all conservatives are Fucking nuts.

    >As for the media coverage; I suggest you go to >nytimes.com and read a few of the articles from >the early days of the war. It's nothing but >doom and gloom.

    Why it proves nothing other than poeple were worried afghanistan was going to be a tough fight. I was. Doesn't mean I didn't theink we had to go there.

    - You say "Nato invoked it�s charter of �if >you attack one of us you have attacked all� >for the first time in it�s history." That's >great. And you know why? Because the 9/11 >attacks were the first time in the history of >NATO that a NATO member was attacked on its own >soil. In other words, NATO members had no choice >but to invoke Article Five of the NATO treaty. I >might add that there were no NATO members who >had any meaningful economic, political or >financial interest in Afghanistan. Not so with >Iraq or Iran.


    yeah? know any countries from Nato condeming the war in Afghanistan?

    - If you were prepared to mount any type of "nuanced" argument about how we can apply the lessons learned in combating efforts by the Soviets to spread their ideology through a combination of economic development, trade and military support I'd be happy to reply but you do not seem to have anything to say that is worth addressing.

    Well gee whiz, if bombing the shit out the infrastructure of a country then refereeing a civil war is your idea of econmoic development then I guess we are applying the lessons of the cold war.

    Hey here's one for you what is the difference between the liberation of iraq and the liberation of France? The french Greeted us a liberators.