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  • Mark Levin Gives Trump Both Barrels Over Bush Remarks

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on February 16th, 2016 (All posts by )

    Mark Levin goes NUCLEAR over Donald Trump’s debate comments! — [AUDIO]

     

    78 Responses to “Mark Levin Gives Trump Both Barrels Over Bush Remarks”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      Now I have read that he is threatening to go aka Ross Perot – independent.

      Wouldn’t surprise me if he has been a plant all along.

    2. PenGun Says:

      There were most definitely lies told about WMDs in the justification for that idiotic war. Whether W was in the loop is another matter. ;)

    3. Whitehall Says:

      Trump has been playing for a political realignment outside our relatively static “red/blue” ideological divide. I didn’t think he’d go this far to rope in the Lefty Loonies.

    4. Mike K Says:

      Well, he roped in PenGun but that is not hard.

      I can’t stand Levin so I’m glad someone else can do what I can’t.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Levin is right. Trump either lied or is inexcusably ignorant, and he is a bully. It’s as though he confuses social dominance with executive leadership. There is overlap but the one is not a substitute for the other.

    6. David Foster Says:

      Trump’s attack on Pam Geller, in the wake of the Islamist attempt to murder her, doesn’t say much for his support of free speech under threat:

      http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/04/trump-blames-geller-for-being-attacked-by-jihadis-what-is-she-doing-drawing-muhammad/

      …comes pretty close to Hillary Clinton’s remarks about the video that she blamed for Benghazi.

    7. Robert Schwartz Says:

      This is going to be interesting. We could wind up with a four way election. We could easily have Sanders running as the D, Cruz as the R, Trump as the Lunatic, and Bloomberg as the I have ten times as much money as he does party. Just wait until everyone finds out how the 12th Amendment works.

    8. Lexington Green Says:

      Trump is right. The Bush administration withheld information to make their case for the invasion, which is the worst foreign policy disaster since Vietnam.

      Paul Wolfowitz said that 9/11 gave them the opportunity they needed to invade Iraq.

      Bush 43 said “no nation building.” He lied about that.

      Jeb Bush wants to trot out Bush 43 to campaign. Fine. Then tens of thousands of dead and maimed Americans and a trillion dollars wasted are fair game.

      It is long past time for Republicans to repudiate Bush 43 and face the fact that he was an inexcusable disaster.

    9. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Lex: The disaster was not the invasion of Iraq. It was the abandonment of Iraq by the treasonous Democrat party.

    10. Jonathan Says:

      Trump is right.

      Is he right about W’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks?

      Is he right that there were no WMD in Iraq?

      Is he right that W lied about Iraqi WMD?

      What does he think about Iraq circa 2008?

      What does he think about Obama’s responsibility for what’s happened since 2008? Specifically, was the post-2008 collapse W’s fault or Obama’s? If it was W’s fault, why? If it was Obama’s fault, why blame W?

      Does Trump ever admit to being wrong or to having been wrong?

    11. Grurray Says:

      Even after his tirade against W, Trump still leads in SC among W fans

      There’s been a lot of speculation that Trump might take on water after attacking George W. Bush on Saturday night, and Bush is relatively popular with 64% of voters seeing him favorably to 25% who have an unfavorable opinion. But despite his comments Trump is still leading even among voters with a positive view of GWB- he gets 26% to 22% for Cruz, 20% for Rubio, and 10% for Jeb Bush. And Trump is dominant with the swath of voters that doesn’t like George W. Bush, getting 57% to 12% for Kasich, and 11% each for Cruz and Rubio.

      He can say anything right now against anybody and still get the benefit of the doubt.

    12. PenGun Says:

      “Well, he roped in PenGun but that is not hard.”

      A real troll. Did you even read what I said?

    13. Mike K Says:

      “Paul Wolfowitz said that 9/11 gave them the opportunity they needed to invade Iraq.”

      No, Wolfowitz did tell reporters the real reason why the invasion was necessary, and got into a lot of trouble about it. He said “Iraq floats on a sea of oil” and that is why the sanctions did not work. The other crucial factor was that the Saudis were insisting we leave Saudi and move our troops. That was a cultural thing and, among others Martha McSally sued to avoid wearing a burka. Had we left Saudi with Saddam in power and especially after 9/11, it would have been seen as a retreat.

      The WMD thing was a combination of weak intelligence and Tony Blair wanting an excuse to join us and his Parliament was restless. It was a simple excuse. Easy for those of limited intelligence, like most politicians, to understand.

      Bush’s big mistake, in my opinion, was Bremer.

      I’m reading Gates’ book and that seems to be his opinion, as well.

      Hoover Institute has an essay out on Iraq but they seem not to understand why Bush tried to hurry withdrawal after the surge settled things down. He and Gates were trying to salvage the situation and fend off treasonous Democrats.

      Obama came in and ran out on them.

    14. Tyouth Says:

      “Trump is right. The Bush administration withheld information”

      If WMD existed, they were relatively small-scale WMD; an “excuse”, no doubt. No matter, a good leader can be Machiavellian…to be perfectly “fair” and/or “open” is certainly not always a desirable goal. The attempt to bring some order to that part of the world may have been the goal and was a goal that was achieved (I think) at great cost. To what extent Bush pulled out, and whether he began to pull out to facilitate what the incoming Obama admin. planned to do, is beyond my ken. It’s supremely ironic for Trump to criticize anyone for being Machiavellian!

      We’ve waited for Trump to display a cerebral argument for a few months now and, disappointingly, we’ve gotten weasely hyperbole. IMHO Trump is trying to triangulate the disaffected of both parties. Hopefully his shtick is wearing thin with folks.

    15. Grurray Says:

      “Bush’s big mistake, in my opinion, was Bremer”

      After considering all the arguments presented by you and Eric, I’d say the biggest problem was that we didn’t finish the job during the first Gulf War. We gave the Baathists another decade to plan a defense and Islamists enough time to fully develop their ideology. Even by ’98 it was probably too late.

      It was a combination of too much of ‘End of History’ Inevitablism and too much sway from Arabist diplomats.

    16. PenGun Says:

      “Lex: The disaster was not the invasion of Iraq. It was the abandonment of Iraq by the treasonous Democrat party.”

      You had a deal. Obama kept America’s word and left.

    17. TangoMan Says:

      Anyone remember “curveball” and how the Bush Administration favored his “intelligence” and made no effort to independently verify his lies? When the President and his advisers engage in plausible deniability tactics (It’s not our fault that our main source of intelligence was making things up and making statements which aligned exactly with what we wanted to hear.) then in a broad sense these people are engaged in lying. They set up their own “intelligence shop” under Feith, remember that? Remember the arguments, serious arguments that were made, about creating our own reality.

      There are a few broad strokes to Trump’s political tactics.

      1.) The buck stops here. No one gives a corporate CEO a do-over if he runs his company into the ground, makes bad deals and gets beaten by a competitor.

      Bush was President. This happened on his watch. I’ll make it really simple. No Muslims in the US results in no Islamic Terrorism in the US. Bush made no effort, none whatsoever, in expelling Muslims from the US. He accepted the liberal position of multiculturalism. The issue is one of trade-offs – unpleasantness in removing Muslim vias-holders, taking heat from liberals for being “racist” by banning Muslims visitors and immigrants to the US. He didn’t want to take that heat and made the implicit trade-off of willing to take the deaths of thousands through the act of Islamic Terrorism within the US. That’s completely on Bush. The buck stops with Bush. Trump blazed new ground with his Muslim ban comments. Bush could have done the same but he didn’t want to, he wanted to be nice and tolerant and if the cost of maintaining his personal reputation as a nice guy was that thousands of innocents Americans had to die, well, his personal reputation was more important that the lives of the innocents, more important that the military lives lost, more important than the treasure lost by REACTING to 9/11 across the Middle East.

      2.) Trump is giving license to Republicans to discharge having to defend Bush and the Iraq War decision. Further, he’s allowing their reorientation to take shape by shifting the blame from the individual voter and onto the President. It’s completely valid to argue that voters had to make their decisions based on public domain information, almost all of which was selectively released by those in government with access to far more detailed information. Bush had that information, voters didn’t. Bush, and his team, presented a misleading case which differed from the UN inspection teams. If you’ve been misled, either by overt or covert mis-statements, or lies, then you are under no obligation to continue to stick to your position and continue to defend it.

      3.) Trump made a statement recently in which he asked if Republicanism is identical with Bushism. Well, are they the same thing? Can Republicans repudiate Bush and move in another direction? Recall the group of Marxists who were in orbit around Senator Scoop Jackson and who left the Democrats and migrated to the Republicans and cast themselves as Neocons and then, over time, purged a number of other conservative factions out of the commanding heights of the Republican Party. Are NeoCons and Republicans the same thing? If they can take over and purge, then why can’t Trump’s coalition do the very same thing and redefine the Republicans as a repudiation of Neocons and Bush? Frankly, the Trump coalition broadens the tent by capturing the white middle class and this tactic will yield more electoral punch than the establishment tactic of trying to win over Hispanic votes by racially pandering to Hispanics at the expense of “white interests” (no affirmative action, no race-based justice, no accommodation for multiple official languages, no gov’t managing housing patterns, etc)

      4.) I suspect that much of the fuss about Bush has to do with “team loyalty” and less to do with the merits of the case. Bush did nothing which warrants respect other than not being as bad as Kerry or Gore. Bush presided over the largest increase in regulatory state spending up to that time. I can’t think of even one piece of legislation which was beneficial to the US. If the only reason to defend Bush is “he’s one of us” then far better to cast that albatross and start afresh. Team loyalty has limits.

    18. TangoMan Says:

      The attempt to bring some order to that part of the world may have been the goal and was a goal that was achieved (I think) at great cost.

      It’s NOT OUR JOB to bring order to that part of the world.

    19. Ginny Says:

      Yes and chaos helps us so much.

    20. TangoMan Says:

      He can say anything right now against anybody and still get the benefit of the doubt.

      Trump earned that benefit of the doubt. Recall Ann Coulter’s wise words:

      I don’t care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper. http://t.co/l7nq8gN7i5

      For a lot of people this boils down to an Expected Value Calculation even if they don’t intellectually recognize this concept they implement it – they assign a importance value to each Trump policy, add up the good and the bad, calculate the net and move forward. Trump bought so much goodwill with his statements on deportation and then boosted that goodwill with his statements on Muslims, that the positive values attached to these two statements will buffer him from the small negatives he generates on less important issues.

      Trump, unlike all the other candidates, has earned his goodwill.

    21. TangoMan Says:

      Yes and chaos helps us so much.

      We don’t live in a binary world where chaos is offset by order. It’s arguable that there was less chaos with Saddam in charge. Removing Saddam because he was a focal point for regional chaos doesn’t imply that order MUST result.

      If it isn’t plainly obvious by now what we’re dealing with in the region is a game of “whack-a-mole” in which an idea rooted in Islamic texts and history will always surface until it dies from internal stress. Islam needs a reformation. Bombing the shit out of the people in the region is doing nothing about this. What Muslims in the region need to do is fight it out amongst themselves, they need to let the idea come to life, live with it, then THEY need to rebel against it and do so convincingly. Every time we try to stamp out their ideas we become the “bad dad who keeps the hoodlum boyfriend out of reach of his lovestruck daughter” and we all know the script on that play.

    22. Jonathan Says:

      I’ll make it really simple.

      You might consider the possibility that it seems simple because you don’t understand everything that’s going on.

      Trump, unlike all the other candidates, has earned his goodwill.

      Speak for yourself. I’m increasingly skeptical of his leadership skills and of his understanding of our country’s problems. You haven’t written anything that makes me want to change my mind.

      Trump is no corporate CEO with a brilliant public record as he styles himself. He is a sole proprietor with a volatile history. He deserves as much scrutiny as every other candidate does.

    23. TangoMan Says:

      Levin is right. Trump either lied or is inexcusably ignorant, and he is a bully. It’s as though he confuses social dominance with executive leadership. There is overlap but the one is not a substitute for the other.

      I was much younger, like all of us, back when Yugoslavia was blowing up but I still recall one impression that developed as I watched the diplomatic events unfold, and that was that the West was being played as suckers by the likes of Milosevic, specifically, they hewed to diplomatic customs, they expected treaties to be honored, while the likes of Milosevic felt completely free to renege on promises as soon as doing so was in his interest. He was a bad faith actor and the diplomats kept getting duped. My memory is a bit hazy on the specifics but that realization stayed with me and allowed me to see that the world of international relations is filled to the brim with a lot of similar bad actors. I suspect that Trump sees the same thing. Trump is not the bad actor in this scenario, rather he’s the antithesis of the genteel diplomats. Diplomacy has a lot of rules that must be followed and it seemed to me that the diplomats didn’t know how to respond when the came across guys who didn’t play by their rules. Trump is clearly not playing by the rules that guys like Bush expected to be followed. What’s transpired in this primary season tells us more about the other candidates and the rules of the system than about Trump. The Emperor has no clothes and Trump is the guy who is clearly telling this to everyone. The Emperor doesn’t know how to respond to someone out there telling people that he has no clothes. That’s the news here.

      That’s a completely different animal than being a bully. Trump has a life history where we see that he’s not a bully. Trump is presenting a real-moment test on other candidates’ abilities to deal with people who don’t subscribe to the sterile, genteel, rules of elite conduct. They’re mostly failing, following the path of the diplomats I described above, in that they’re clinging to established patterns and don’t know how to react to a new environment. Think of it like this – in Star Trek lore Kirk rewrote the Kobiyashi Maru scenario to allow him to win and Trump is creating a new environment, a new method of garnering voter support, which allows him to lead the race. His service to the nation in portraying Bush as low energy and marginalizing him is one that history should thank him for because I can’t see any other candidate, following established, genteel, rules being able to do the same.

      Your argument about social versus executive leadership presents an interesting angle. My analysis favors that view that the relationship between the two is not bidirectional. While social dominance can cover over some failure on executive leadership our society is filled with talented, high IQ people, who are stuck low on their career tracks due to inability to be social leaders. The state of modern politics is such that vast numbers of high caliber people won’t submit themselves to the political process and run for office and so we often get a lot of mediocre people who run and, as voters, we have to choose the best of a middling lot. Carson is a man of accomplishment in his field but lost in the world of politics. Cruz and Rubio haven’t DONE anything so where, exactly, is their executive leadership demonstrated? Christie and Kasich have executive leadership but harness that talent to the wrong values and ideas. Bush is harder to evaluate because his career highlights follow the same model as the Bill Clinton highlights – how much of the good which resulted from their administrations were the result of their respective executive leadership skills and how much resulted from trends like a booming economy or booming real estate market which result in a “rising tide lifting all ships.” Fiorona had a disastrous term at HP. Paul never demonstrated executive leadership.

      You leave us with a bit of a quandary, if you want to discount Trump for lack of executive leadership skills (tough argument to make considering his business success) then you seem to imply that the other candidates best him on that trait and I simply don’t see that.

      Trump recognized an unserved market – vast swathes of the electorate that both parties ignored, he recognized issues that were ignored, he recognized policies which were ignored. Go ahead, make your case that blazing a new path and capturing a market, which was available to all, is not a sign of executive leadership and that executive leadership is better demonstrated by following the advice of political consultants who’ve piled up a record of helping Republican Presidential candidates lose 5 out of 6 popular vote counts. Doing the same thing, over and over again, but hoping that this time it’ll work is not a good sign that one is a LEADER, rather it more strongly signals that one is a FOLLOWER of conventional, and failed, wisdom.

    24. Grurray Says:

      If anyone is to blame for 9-11 it’s Clinton. He lost Afghanistan, and the terrorists entered the country on his watch. After bin Laden attacked our embassies, he took a few potshots at him but otherwise left him alone to plan the next attack.

      Maybe Trump really believes all his bluster about W, but Jeb is not a serious threat anymore. If Trump continues hammering W then it’s out of spite. His opponent is going to be Hillary. He has to pivot and attack Hillary’s strongest asset (and the reason she’s ultimately made it this far) which is her husband.

      The question is will he? Is any lingering loyalty holding him back?

    25. TangoMan Says:

      You might consider the possibility that it seems simple because you don’t understand everything that’s going on.

      Accepting the terms set by your opponents doesn’t imply that you now understand everything that is going on. No one in the political class called for a Muslim ban until Trump took that position. Polls in New Hampshire showed that 66% of respondents favored that position.

      Go back to 1965 when the Immigration Reform Act was passed. This was purposely sold as a measure which would not lead to demographic replacement. That was a lie. This pattern of liberals lying about multiculturalism played out all across the West, and even the liberal BBC acknowledges this in the following documentary (I’ll use the timestamp to cue up the section – just listen, watch)

      https://youtu.be/EFTThC17vqI?t=3m20s

      So, if you’re trying to argue that going along with the prevailing governing ethos implies understanding everything that is going on then I don’t see the merit in that argument. Leaders lead. Look at the massive disconnect between elite opinion on the Muslim ban proposal and the wide support such a ban has across the country. Similarly, look at the opinions which were prevalent back in the 60s. It’s almost impossible to claim policy legitimacy for policies which arise through lies, illegal acts, immoral acts, etc and which now rely on longevity. We seem to understand that slavery was bad in principle and couldn’t be defended simply because it existed and was established. Right? Same applies here. There was never an affirmative case made for the United States to set out on a course to develop a sizable Muslim minority such that we would have to change our ways to accommodate Muslim sensibilities in the public sphere, so absent such an affirmative case it’s ludicrous to give weight to the notion that this is how America is defined and this is what it means to be an American.

    26. TangoMan Says:

      If anyone is to blame for 9-11 it’s Clinton. He lost Afghanistan, and the terrorists entered the country on his watch. After bin Laden attacked our embassies, he took a few potshots at him but otherwise left him alone to plan the next attack.

      Clinton certainly deserves blame but 9/11 happened when Bush was in office. Bush could have deported Muslims here on visas, he didn’t. Bush could have kept in place the racial profiling policies of the Clinton era as applied to Arabs but he moved to ending those, even after 9/11. The point here is that there were actions that Bush could have taken which would have led to the hijackers not being in the US and he CHOSE not to take those actions. That’s on Bush, 100%.

      Even after 9/11 a lot of his focus was on pushing the idea that “Islam is a religion of peace.” He fundamentally subscribes to a liberal universalist viewpoint, he buys into multiculturalism, he rejects the view that Western civilization is like a tree where multiple branches all developed from a common European rootstock, our civilizations have spent millennia following a different path than the Islamic world, the African world, etc, he believes that the US is filled with magic dirt which works its magic on any who come to live here and that this magic dirt, rather than the people who shaped America, are the reason for our success in the world. The man is responsible for his worldview. His world view is at odds with the evidence before us. Bush was President, he could have led us down a different road but didn’t want to. The consequences which fall-out from going down the wrong road are all on him.

    27. Bill Brandt Says:

      After considering all the arguments presented by you and Eric, I’d say the biggest problem was that we didn’t finish the job during the first Gulf War. We gave the Baathists another decade to plan a defense and Islamists enough time to fully develop their ideology. Even by ’98 it was probably too late.

      It was a combination of too much of ‘End of History’ Inevitablism and too much sway from Arabist diplomats.

      With the benefit of hindsight, I would agree that the mistakes were started with Gulf War 1 – listening to Colin Powell and stopping the war with Saddam still in power. The ideal thing to do – again with hindsight, would be to ensure Saddam was out but the Baathists were still in power.

      Barring that something I think Sgt Mom said resonated with me – Biden was right – the country should have been partitioned.

      Even with WW2 it seems we ignore the geopolitik and win the war. Look at what ensued by stopping Patton and letting the Russians take Berlin.

      Korea…

      Vietnam…

      We win the battles and lose the wars.

      As far as Trump, and excellent book is The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright on the history of radical Islam which started in 1948 by an Egyptian student in of all places Greeley CO. There is blame to share but the majority of it started in the 1990s with Bill Clinton.

      As far as WMD – 9 intelligence services, includinkg Russia, all thought they had them and Saddam did nothing to dissuade that truth.

    28. TangoMan Says:

      If Trump continues hammering W then it’s out of spite. His opponent is going to be Hillary. He has to pivot and attack Hillary’s strongest asset (and the reason she’s ultimately made it this far) which is her husband.

      Trump has set up an interesting dynamic for the general election. The Republicans led under Trump see Iraq as a mistake while the Democrats under Clinton have a candidate who supported the war and who is personally responsible for Libya and was instrumental in setting off the Arab Spring which has destablized much of MENA and now poses a civilization-level threat (per Kerry) to Europe.

      I can’t remember where I read this, maybe on this blog, but a writer noted that Trump is doing to the Iraq War defense what businesses do with bankruptcy proceedings, that is, with bankruptcy you can cast off bad outcomes and emerge with a clean slate. That’s a brilliant argument. How long must rank-and-file Republicans defend Bush and the Iraq War when the evidence before our eyes is that the entire region is in disarray all stemming from the introduction of chaos which began with the toppling of Saddam. How many more elections do we have to go through defending Bush and his decision? Don’t the interests of the millions of Republicans take precedence over the reputation of one man?

      If there’s one thing that Trump has shown is that he fights. I recall stories from the ’08 campaign where McCain was very worried about being accused of being a racist for being too tough on Obama and so he put out of bounds much of Obama’s corrupt background, his weird racist church, etc. Trump fights to win. If only more Republicans had that fighting spirit. Look at how Trump neutralized Clinton’s early “war on women” attack. Never fight on terms set by your enemy. Trump gets this, other Republicans apologize and concede to those terms.

    29. Mike K Says:

      “They set up their own “intelligence shop” under Feith, remember that? Remember the arguments, serious arguments that were made, about creating our own reality.”

      No, I hate to keep bringing up reality. I spent today reading half of Gates book. He called the CIA reassessment of the Iran nuclear program in 2007 a catastrophe.

      Rumsfeld and Cheney no longer trusted the CIA which seemed to have a plan to oppose any Bush initiative (See Valerie Plame for details) and which faked the Iran threat assessment.

      Rumsfeld wanted the DoD to have its own intel operation since CIA had fucked up the WMD issue in 2003 and now seemed to be a political opponent of Bush. That is no surprise in DC which is dominated by the party of government

      “Bush could have kept in place the racial profiling policies of the Clinton era as applied to Arabs but he moved to ending those, even after 9/11”

      No, he took the advice of Spencer Abrams who was an Arab-American Senator from Michigan. He got a lot of Arab votes in 2000 and that may have elected him.

      I think backing off Arab surveillance was a mistake but we had not had an attack here. The 9/11 hijackers benefited from the Jamie Gorelick “wall” but visa processing was also a mess. The Bush family was far too cosy with the Saudis but those were the days when we needed there oil. Also, they had funded the Contras when Dodd and the treasonous Democrats wanted the communist Sandaistas to win. They were also fans of Chavez, later Obama’s best friend.

      The Saudis and the Pakistanis are not friends but that took time to learn.

    30. Mike K Says:

      ” listening to Colin Powell and stopping the war with Saddam still in power. ”

      The Gates book is also illuminating on this issue. I’m going to write a review on Amazon when I finished. I attended a useless medical postgrad course today and spent the time reading Gates.

      Someone told Bush, “The was no Nelson Mandela. Saddam had killed them all.”

    31. TangoMan Says:

      With the benefit of hindsight, I would agree that the mistakes were started with Gulf War 1 – listening to Colin Powell and stopping the war with Saddam still in power. The ideal thing to do – again with hindsight, would be to ensure Saddam was out but the Baathists were still in power.

      Barring that something I think Sgt Mom said resonated with me – Biden was right – the country should have been partitioned.

      The Baathists in power MIGHT have been the correct prescription but it was less of a sure thing that Saddam in power. Bird in hand is worth two in bush. Saddam had demonstrated that he was able to keep various factions bound to him and was able to neutralize threats to his leadership. That takes a certain amount of skill and relying on the institutional “legitimacy” of the Baathist Party to keep the State of Iraq whole requires us to accept that Saddam’s role as strong man was immaterial to his success and I, personally, find that to be a difficult argument to accept.

      In hindsight one point is clear, institutional legitimacy in the Middle East is very hard to detect anywhere. This is a concept which finds more relevance in Western civilizations and not so much in cousin-marriage, tribe/clan, based civilizations. Institutions don’t mean much when your first loyalty is to your clan/tribe, cousin-network.

      Barring that something I think Sgt Mom said resonated with me – Biden was right – the country should have been partitioned.

      Biden was right but it never should be our decision. That’s the problem. The solutions we implement always, always, gloss over the problems and those problems keep boiling away under the pressure dome we’ve imposed on them. The lid always blows. Always. The only way forward is to find organic solutions, solutions developed by involved parties. That region of the world has followed a unique civilizational model for thousands of years. The accumulated wisdom and customs and expectations have developed incrementally over time to the point that OUR views and solutions don’t mesh with the underlying civilizations we’re trying to reform. Those folks need to have internal reforms and evolve their religion and civilizations so that better outcomes result. An ethnic and religious partitioning would have helped but only a bit.

      Even with WW2 it seems we ignore the geopolitik and win the war. Look at what ensued by stopping Patton and letting the Russians take Berlin.

      While rare at political levels, and far less rare at individual levels, there is a human tendency to far prefer taking the path of least resistance instead of taking on hardship at the present in order to create a better future for oneself. I suppose it’s a collective action problem. When you decide not to have a fatty dessert in order to lessen your chance of obesity and heart attack or when you decide to invest in equities rather than spend the money on a vacation you’re only dealing with your own interests but the job of a leader is much harder because the long term benefit at the cost of short term hardship runs up against people who don’t value the long term benefit as being, on net, greater than the short term cost and so the path of least resistance is almost always followed. Look at how Social Security and Medicare are structured. Ideally we should have a system where the average contributions of each person, over a life time and with compounding, should balance out against heavy expenditures in the golden years of one’s life but instead we have a rob Peter to pay Paul system in which most people take out more than they contribute. Again, the path of least resistance.

    32. TangoMan Says:

      Rumsfeld and Cheney no longer trusted the CIA which seemed to have a plan to oppose any Bush initiative (See Valerie Plame for details) and which faked the Iran threat assessment.

      I understand this. What you’re doing is offering, through Gates, the justifications for their actions. You’re a physician, so you must see people all the time who offer up justifications for over-eating, not exercising, living recklessly in many different ways but the outcomes are what really counts – preventing heart attacks, diabetes, etc.

      The problem of a liberal and politicized intelligence apparatus might justify one in setting up a small shop under Feith, but then relying on “Curveball” and his lies is, like heart attacks and diabetes, the ultimate arbiter of whether you’ve made the correct decision. Bush and crew didn’t make the correct decision, they believed Curveball’s lies because they wanted to.

      No, he took the advice of Spencer Abrams who was an Arab-American Senator from Michigan. He got a lot of Arab votes in 2000 and that may have elected him.

      Again, this is a rationalization. Politicians do this all the time. For instance, up in Canada Trudeau appealed to immigrant voters by promising to relax immigration standards so that they could bring in their parents and grandparents who will inevitably become fiscal drains on Canada’s public health and welfare system. This sure appeals to the personal interests of people who want to bring over their 65 year old widowed mother and have her get Canadian medical care and pensions but it’s not really in the overall interests of Canadians. Bush getting Arab votes is good for Bush and for Arabs but not for the 3,000 dead people in the World Trade Center nor for America as a whole. Again, we’ll see how this Trump experience plays out but Trump made a decision to go against a Muslim minority in America in order to appeal to the interests of the majority. I suspect, but can’t prove, that Trump will, on net, get more votes for advocating a Muslim ban than he will lose from Muslims who feel offended. Bush could have made the same call but he didn’t want to and so people died because of his decision.

      I think backing off Arab surveillance was a mistake but we had not had an attack here.

      When an ideology divides the world into two sphere, the House of Peace and the House of War, and lays out specific tactics which are permitted to take place in the realm of the House of War, then it behooves us to pay attention to this philosophy and adjust our own policies. We had ideological restrictions in immigration procedures which were applied, and ruled constitutional, when applied to anarchists and communists.

      The evidence was all before us, and people were seeing it clearly, that Islam was trouble where ever it was practiced. The elites were disconnected from this view. The people of the US were never proactive about wanting to bring Islam to the US, to give it a foothold here, and they particularly were not proactive about wanting to change their own customs in order to accommodate Islamic practices and sensibilities. Again we come back to Bush’s faulty world view and faulty decision-making. He could have followed a different path, been a leader, connected with the views of the majority, but instead he followed a different path and now needs to be held accountable for his CHOICES.

    33. TangoMan Says:

      The Bush family was far too cosy with the Saudis but those were the days when we needed there oil.

      Without a doubt the Bushes were too cozy with the Saudis, but your second point about us needing their oil is weaker. Two points.

      1.) The Saudis did us no favors. If we needed oil, they needed our money. This was a mutually beneficial trade. The Saudi state would cease to function if the Saudis ceased selling oil.

      2.) Oil is a fungible commodity, just like iron ore. If Australia gets it into their head that they’re no longer going to sell iron ore to the Chinese, the Chinese would go and buy their iron ore from Russia, or Canada, or America, or Brazil. The same with oil. If Saudis didn’t sell us oil, they’d sell the oil to Japan instead and Japan would buy less oil from Indonesia and we’d step in and back what the Japanese didn’t.

      So, to relate this to the theme of this thread, Bush CHOSE to be cozy with the Saudis and he chose to sacrifice American interests in order to keep Saudi, instead of Canadian or Indonesian, or Algerian, etc oil coming into the US. Bush chose paths to take, invariably paths with the least resistance presenting, and those choices came with consequences (and this isn’t an argument from hindsight either for there was plenty of contemporaneous evidence that better outcomes would present if different paths were followed.)

    34. Mike K Says:

      “Look at what ensued by stopping Patton and letting the Russians take Berlin.”

      The occupation zones were set in 1944, before the invasion, and Churchill had a big hand in the lines. Berlin was always in the Russian zone and Eisenhower was right to stop Patton from losing lives for land that would have to be given back.

      The lines were always set by the Normandy beaches. The British were north and the US was south. That depended on the locations of the camps in England. There was no way the armies were going to cross paths between Normandy and Berlin. Patch came up from the south on the US army right flank. There was no way to switch the occupation zones.

    35. Mike K Says:

      ” If Saudis didn’t sell us oil, they’d sell the oil to Japan instead and Japan would buy less oil from Indonesia and we’d step in and back what the Japanese didn’t.”

      And we would get our oil from where ? Indonesia is not a reliable source. Ever heard of Sukarno ?

      Carter put paid to the Iran source. US oil production slowed after the 1967 when we broke an Arab oil embargo to prevent aid to Israel. They didn’t really need it anyway.

      Mexico and Venezuela were American sources but the Saudis had the cheapest and “sweetest” oil in the world. The deal made by Roosevelt in 1945 was to defend them and they would sell us oil.

      The Saudis were very good at buying State Department types who fleshed out their pensions with Saudi money.

      The Bushes were too cozy but so was very administration since 1945. NOW we don’t need them and it is time to stop letting them corrupt US bureaucrats and export Wahabbism.

    36. TangoMan Says:

      And we would get our oil from where ? Indonesia is not a reliable source. Ever heard of Sukarno

      You’re missing the point. I’m going to make up some numbers to illustrate the point. If the world consumption of oil is 10,000 barrels, America’s consumption is 2,000 barrels, Saudi production is 1,000 barrels and Saudi production sold to America is 200 barrels, then if Saudi Arabia decided not to sell oil to America, 200 barrels, and instead sold that oil to France, worldwide production would still remain unchanged and the 200 barrels that France now bought from Saudi Arabia would require them to buy 200 barrels less from other sources, meaning that America would make up its shortfall from other oil supplying countries.

      Oil producers are not kind-hearted folks doing the world a favor by selling their oil to us, they want the foreign currency that oil sales bring them. If they stop selling oil, then they stop earning money from oil sales and their internal economies suffer severe shock.

      Oil is a fungible commodity. Saudis NEED to sell their oil to someone. If not to the US, then to some other country. France is not going to buy the 200 barrels in addition to its regular purchases thus producing a glut in France and scarcity in the US.

    37. Mike K Says:

      It may be time to give some thought to what may happen if Trump wins SC. This scene is powerful. I don’t how this will end but this is powerful.

      I’m not sure what is happening but we are on the wave of a movement.

      Gates book is interesting but the old rules may all be out the window. Maybe the GOP should have done more for their voters.

      Powerful stuff !

    38. Grurray Says:

      If the markets were perfectly efficient then it might work that way, but they aren’t.

      The Saudis restricted oil sales to us in the 70s, and we couldn’t replace enough of the supply. Prices quadrupled and the srock market crashed. We got poorer, and the Saudis got much richer.

      In the 80s, they did the opposite flooding the market with oil which helped bring down the Soviets. It’s an unpleasant fact to face, but the Arabs possessed a lot of power with their oil. They had a lot of power over us, and we ended up knee deep in the Middle East as a result.

    39. TangoMan Says:

      I’m not sure what is happening but we are on the wave of a movement.

      Here’s my interpretation of what is happening. In a nation there will be a spectrum of ideological/political beliefs. In our nation we have two parties who try to corral as many people under their big tent so that they can achieve at least 50.1% of the popular vote. This process has been somewhat derailed in that for stylistic/ideological reasons both parties were content to leave 30%, 40%, maybe even 50% of the voters out in the cold so long as both parties restricted their recruiting efforts to the remaining electorate. Trump saw this frozen out segment whose views were deemed illegitimate and went after them.

      Now, if those people are included in the process and their views are respected, then the policy platform of the Republican Party will change over time and allow these people a voice. This is going to upset the existing order which prefers a situation where those who were out in the cold remained out in the cold and silent.

      Politics going forward will not be as it was because a.) the sheer number of people who felt disenfranchised is staggering to behold, and b.) up and coming politicians will be intoxicated by the notion of capturing that tiger by the tail and harnessing it to their own political ambitions.

      In the philosophic sense, what is going on now is what SHOULD be taking place in a rational system. The old system, where views of the elite were advanced while the views of the majority were silenced, was irrational. Trump is a good start but that’s all he is for he’s indicated that he holds a number of viewpoints which are at odds with the majority of his supporters.

    40. TangoMan Says:

      The Saudis restricted oil sales to us in the 70s, and we couldn’t replace enough of the supply. Prices quadrupled and the srock market crashed. We got poorer, and the Saudis got much richer.

      I believe that you’re misinterpreting what happened. The Saudis didn’t restrict oil sales to the US, they curtailed output to the world market and oil prices rose everywhere. It most certainly wasn’t the case that the US had expensive gasoline while Italy had cheap gasoline.

    41. Ginny Says:

      A friend’s daughter was a beginner in the CIA in 2004 – in all the offices around her there was a public antipathy to Bush, even in terms of signs and cartoons on their doors. (In our little college such open politics would be frowned upon – the CIA was more politicized than faculty – hard to believe.

    42. Grurray Says:

      I’m with Bill and Sgt Mom. Break up Iraq. We broke up the Soviet Union. We broke up the Balkans. China, Korea, and Vietnam were all broken up. Vietnam didn’t turn out well, but John Smart made an interesting point once that had we fallen back to the Mekong Delta like the Nationalist Chinese in Taiwan, we might have survived there too.

      As previously mentioned, even Germany was broken up.

      What’s so special about Iraq that it’s borders, as arbitrary and artificial as anyone’s, should be preserved?

      If Iraq was broken up after the Gulf War, and Saddam was hunted down like Noriega in Panama, I seriously doubt it would have ended up any worse than what transpired after the second Iraq war. I suspect it would have been a lot better because there was no al Qaeda to be the vanguard of an insurgency.

    43. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      TangoMan Says:
      February 16th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Now, if those people are included in the process and their views are respected, then the policy platform of the Republican Party will change over time and allow these people a voice.

      I think that this is a key point that is dividing people. Not trying to start a fight, but rather to illustrate a point. The idea that things will change over time to allow people a voice.

      How much time do you think we have before things collapse? And how long before those people have a voice?

      I think that one of the major differences between conservatives and Republicans is the first question. Republicans think that nothing really bad is going to happen that cannot be corrected “someday”. And that the Left being in charge is really no big thing. History disagrees. And that view affects how long they think that they can put off listening to the people.

      Conservatives tend to think that things can go Tango Uniform right smartly, and that the process has been underway for some time. And it has been abetted deliberately by the Republicans refusing to oppose Democrats.

    44. TangoMan Says:

      What’s so special about Iraq that it’s borders, as arbitrary and artificial as anyone’s, should be preserved?

      Here are the problems which arise from a break-up. The Shiite region becomes a de facto province of Iran. The Sunni region is oil poor and suffers a collapse of government revenue. The Kurdish region is oil rich and now gains control of oil income and becomes a base for the fight of a Greater Kurdistan which directly conflicts with Turkish interests who don’t want to see an independent Kurdish state to which their own Kurds, along with Turkish territory, can agglomerate onto. All three sections present problems. Revenue sharing helps the Sunni, denying Kurds an independent homeland helps all parties except the Kurds, denying Iranians control over the shiite regions of Iraq works to weaken Iran in the Gulf region.

      The only positive aspect to arise from separatism is that it aligns with UN principles that every group has a right to self-determination. On the flip side there are a lot of destablizing aspects to a break-up. It would have been much, much better to have drawn the borders more effectively in the past because now a status quo has emerged and someone’s ox is going to get gored.

    45. TangoMan Says:

      Conservatives tend to think that things can go Tango Uniform right smartly, and that the process has been underway for some time. And it has been abetted deliberately by the Republicans refusing to oppose Democrats.

      It’s been observed that a reactionary senses a danger to his society the moment it appears. A conservative senses the danger when the harm becomes unavoidable. A liberal never sees the danger that is manifesting in his society, he just can’t tie ideology to outcome.

      How much time do you think we have before things collapse? And how long before those people have a voice?

      My personal opinion is that the US is on the road to destruction. It can’t be salvaged. The damage is done. Secession movements only work when the issues are predominantly coincident with geography. Our issues are more like scrambled eggs, so how do you unscramble an egg that liberals and conservatives elites have scrambled?

      People having a voice again. That’s entirely dependent on a politician, or party, being able to harvest, respond to, manage, champion those voices. If all the money in the system is set against those voices and all future politicians require money in order to advance, then the voices may be silenced again. The trouble here is that when you put a lid on people that doesn’t mean that the pressure in the pressure cooker is being dissipated, rather it means that the pressure is increasing while everyone’s attention is focused on the minutia important to the people who put the lid on the pressure cooker. Eventually it blows. And this is the long range problem. If people with sophisticated airs believe that Trump is a problem today then they’re in for a very nasty surprise come some future where Trump’s policies are either neutered, never put in place or revoked after Trump leaves the scene. Look at Europe and the migrant crisis – doubling down on importing more Muslims into societies which expressly don’t want to be multicultural is likely going to result in bloody revolutions and mass ethnic cleansing.

      I read a news report of some women who injected silicone into her body, or maybe it was cooking oil. Heck, we can even use silicone breast implants to make the point. When a woman has to undergo disfiguring surgery to remedy the catastrophic after-effects produced by the silicone leaking into her breast tissue, should she blame the plastic surgeon who has to remove the damaged implants and excise the damaged tissue or should she blame those who sold her on the idea of silicone breast implants? If Trump has the fortitude to follow through on his statements, he’s acting the part of the plastic surgeon repairing the damage done to society by others. It’s almost guaranteed that he’ll be the target for blame instead of those who caused the problem.

      Republicans think that nothing really bad is going to happen that cannot be corrected “someday”.

      I suspect that you’re right. There is a Pollyannish attitude at work here. I wonder if they recognize that some problems are unsolvable and therefore it’s better never to get into a situation where you run the risk of developing such problems?

    46. Grurray Says:

      “The Shiite region becomes a de facto province of Iran.”

      This is what it is now. It could hardly be any worse if it happened in 1991.
      It might not have been as bad. The hardliners were in a bit of a retreat for the few years after Khomeini died. That may have actually provided a brief window for an outward looking Shia state based in cosmopolitan Basra to suceed.

      Yes, the Sunni wouldn’t have oil. Poor them. It sucks to lose.

    47. TangoMan Says:

      This is what it is now. It could hardly be any worse if it happened in 1991.

      Humanity, except for liberals, have long known that a way to keep a society weak is to “divide and conquer.” Who is the enemy in the analysis? Iran? Iran is weaker in the Gulf if it has a unitary Iraq state as its neighbor. Iran is stronger in the Gulf if it has the de facto control or has outright annexed the shiite section of Iraq both because of oil resource control and because the rump of Iraq is now weakened. Is Iraq the enemy? Better for Gulf stability is internal dissension within a unitary Iraq takes up all the energy of the Iraqi leadership compared to an Iraq that somehow becomes less divided, say by engaging in ethnic cleansing warfare against the shiite, driving the refugees into Iran, then keeping control over the oil but now not having to contend with religious conflict within Iraq.

      Liberals love multiculturalism and division but they are ignorant to human history. Division leads to weakness. If American policy was to have a neutered Iran or Iraq then a unified Iraq repleat with baked into ethnic and religious divisions works to our benefit. Multiculturalism within Iraq leads to weakness.

      Yes, the Sunni wouldn’t have oil. Poor them. It sucks to lose.

      Recall the Sarah Conner line from Terminator 2 “The future is what you make it.” Well, Sunni’s losing out on oil doesn’t have to be the fate that they have to accept, they simply having to be willing to ethnically cleanse either the Kurds or the Shiite in order to get control over their oil.

    48. Mike Doughty Says:

      Wow, lots of good points here. Trump has raised issues that have needed raising for a long time, and most of which he has nailed….my personal issue is with the manner that he’s used, but perhaps that’s because of my age. I can’t help but think that a large part of his appeal is that we are living in what I call a “cage match” society, where too many only pay attention if someone is screaming…the louder and coarser the better…and every argument has to be to the death.

    49. Grurray Says:

      Many different cultures – Shia, Sunni, Kurd, Assyrian, Yezidi, etc – all ruled by one central government in Baghdad is multiculturalism. This was the case in the 20th century. It was created and sustained by modern liberalism, and it turned out to be a disaster.

      When they have separate and distinct homelands that are free to interact or wall themselves off then that is monoculturalism (funny – autocorrect wants to change that word to multiculturalism. The concept is so alien to the modern technocracy they don’t even define it). This isn’t liberalism. It’s subsidiarity.

      There are other counterweights to Iran that are emerging such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia. You might even argue that the real reason the British and the French originally carved out Iraq was a buffer against the Turks.

      Of course, the whole concept of partition was and probably still is opposed by Saudi Arabia. Small groups controlling their own fate right on their border is anathema to a barbaric aristocracy.

    50. Mike K Says:

      “There are other counterweights to Iran that are emerging such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.’

      turkey has gone far toward Islamism. When I was there ten years ago, the only sign was the angry looking young men at the Blue Mosque who were watching to be sure we took our shoes off and the women wore head covering. They looked like they would enjoy punishing someone who did the wrong thing. Outside the mosque everyone was friendly and on hat seller went running to another one to get us two fezes for the girls.

      We toured the Scutari barracks since it was a medical history trip and I wonder how the army major who had his photo taken with my daughter is doing ?

      The Saudis are shaky, in my opinion, and I wonder if they can fend off the Shiites who do most of the oil field work?

      Iran is an historic nation, unlike most of those in the Gulf and someday, the people will throw off the theocracy. I reading Gates book and am now into the Obama administration. We have not yet gotten to Obama’s “outreach” which has been such a disaster.

      Gates has a higher opinion of Obama and Hillary than I have but he is an unfailingly polite man and I expected no less. He was not impressed with the Obama White House staff and refused all calls from “The White House,” saying buildings don’t call cabinet secretaries. He would only take calls from senior officials.

      The book is fascinating and now I plan to read Panetta’s book.

    51. Jonathan Says:

      TangoMan:

      …Diplomacy has a lot of rules that must be followed and it seemed to me that the diplomats didn’t know how to respond when the came across guys who didn’t play by their rules. Trump is clearly not playing by the rules that guys like Bush expected to be followed. What’s transpired in this primary season tells us more about the other candidates and the rules of the system than about Trump. The Emperor has no clothes and Trump is the guy who is clearly telling this to everyone. The Emperor doesn’t know how to respond to someone out there telling people that he has no clothes. That’s the news here.
       
      That’s a completely different animal than being a bully. Trump has a life history where we see that he’s not a bully. Trump is presenting a real-moment test on other candidates’ abilities to deal with people who don’t subscribe to the sterile, genteel, rules of elite conduct…

      The take-charge businessman who solves problems that wishy-washy pols and diplomats can’t handle is a cliche of American politics. However, the big problems that we face result from failures of vision rather than of tactics. Decisiveness and negotiating skills are inadequate without insight into the big picture. It’s no accident that skilled dealmakers like Bob Dole and Mitch McConnell consistently failed to block leftist initiatives. Trump focuses on deals but appears to lack a coherent vision of why our country is in trouble and what to do about it. Moreover, he has made blunders, such as announcing that he will take action against Iran on his first day in office to free American hostages, that suggest that his dealmaking skills aren’t as good as he claims. Trump appears to be extremely overconfident and often shoots from the hip rhetorically. He might do well against our foreign adversaries, but I think there’s a significant chance he would get rolled. I also think there’s a significant chance he would cut deals with Congressional Democrats that would set back the cause of Constitutional government at home.

      WRT the bully accusation, I’d feel much better about Trump if he engaged Jeb Bush honestly on the issues rather than browbeating him. Verbal dominance plays well in a televised debate but is no substitute for command of the issues and a coherent belief system. How will Trump do against Putin (for whom he has foolishly expressed admiration) or the Iranian mullahs? The Russians historically have had people in their intelligence service dedicated to researching the personal backgrounds of the leading western politicians and finding any weaknesses that could be exploited. How will Trump handle such situations? We don’t know.

      Trump deserves credit for saying things that have to be said, and thereby shifting the publicly acceptable bounds of political debate in the direction of reality. Otherwise, however, he is a highly flawed candidate who may lack the coherent ideological vision necessary to promote needed Constitutional reforms.

    52. Eric Says:

      Lexington Green and fellows,

      I agree the decision for OIF needs to be re-litigated in the political discourse to set the record straight. For that purpose, here is the explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) drawn from the primary sources of the mission.

      Excerpt from the preface:

      Here is my latest attempt to set the record straight on Operation Iraqi Freedom by drawing on primary sources, including the Gulf War ceasefire UN Security Council resolutions that set the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441), the US law and policy to “bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations” (P.L. 105-235), the conditions and precedents that set the stage for OIF, and the determinative fact findings of Iraq’s breach of ceasefire that triggered enforcement, to explain the law and policy, fact basis – i.e., the why – of the mission.

      On the law and the facts, the decision for OIF was correct. Note the casus belli for Operation Iraqi Freedom was not the pre-war intelligence. The pre-war intelligence, no matter how precise, did not and could not trigger OIF. By procedure, only Iraq’s noncompliance with the US-enforced, UN-mandated “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) could trigger enforcement, and only Iraq’s compliance could switch off the enforcement. The law and policy plainly show the casus belli was Iraq’s evidential material breach of the Gulf War ceasefire.

      In their defense, the criticized intelligence agencies were unfairly judged by a burden of proof that was outside the ceasefire enforcement procedure. To their credit, although predictively imprecise, the pre-war intelligence, per the normal role of intelligence and its actual role in the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement, correctly indicated Saddam’s regime was engaged in proscribed armament and terrorist activity that breached the Gulf War ceasefire for casus belli.

    53. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> friend’s daughter was a beginner in the CIA in 2004 – in all the offices around her there was a public antipathy to Bush, even in terms of signs and cartoons on their doors. (In our little college such open politics would be frowned upon – the CIA was more politicized than faculty – hard to believe.

      This kind of thing makes a good argument for serious civil service reform. An executive cannot effectively administrate or carry out a policy when the staff is the active opposition. I don’t think anyone in government should, simply by virtue of their being in government, get to keep their job. We’d have a lot more effective governance if an agency head could simply give people notice and get rid of them.

    54. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>Humanity, except for liberals, have long known that a way to keep a society weak is to “divide and conquer.”

      This, I believe, is the strategic policy driver behind multiculturalism. To keep interest groups competing for favors doled out by the politicos. The Politicos, in turn, buy votes by promising goodies, or favoritism in law or policy, to loyal groups. It’s tribal politics. And it is the polar opposite of the melting pot policy that allowed generations of people of different ethnicities to blend into society and become simply American. Multiculturalism = social destruction for personal profit.

    55. PenGun Says:

      Thanks TangoMan. Information is my drug of choice.

    56. Mike K Says:

      “Trump needs to call a meeting with Ted Cruz, secretly set his nomination up for next year.”

      I would far prefer Cruz as a USSC Justice than President although he lacks Scalia’s ability to work with colleagues.

      “This kind of thing makes a good argument for serious civil service reform.”

      I think the civil service is irretrievable broken. I see no solution short of government reduction in power.

      Again, I recommend Theodore Dalrymple’s essay, The Uses of Corruption.

    57. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> I think the civil service is irretrievable broken. I see no solution short of government reduction in power.

      I would like to see both, reduction in power and reform of what remains.

    58. Eric Says:

      Point response to Lexington Green:
      “Trump is right. The Bush administration withheld information to make their case for the invasion”

      Answer to “Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?”.

      Lexington Green:
      “Paul Wolfowitz said that 9/11 gave them the opportunity they needed to invade Iraq.”

      Answer(s) to “What were President Bush’s alternatives with Iraq?”, “Why did Bush leave the ‘containment’ (status quo)?”, “Did Iraq failing its compliance test justify the regime change?” … Just read the whole post; the OIF FAQ explains the why of OIF with the primary sources of the mission.

      Lexington Green:
      “Bush 43 said “no nation building.” He lied about that.”

      Answer(s) to “Was Operation Iraqi Freedom about WMD or democracy?” and “Was the invasion of Iraq perceived to be a nation-building effort?”.

      Lexington Green:
      “[The] worst foreign policy disaster since Vietnam. … Then tens of thousands of dead and maimed Americans and a trillion dollars wasted are fair game.”

      Answer to “Was Operation Iraqi Freedom a strategic blunder or a strategic victory?”.

    59. Ginny Says:

      Cruz wouldn’t have the deep level of humanity and collegiality that Scalia had; I’m not sure if that would lessen the impact of a vote (didn’t someone a couple of years ago go through the documents and argue that it was Thomas who changed minds rather than Scalia – whose strong arguments and vision are now embedded and may change minds more in the future)? Also, Cruz’s lack of senate friends might hurt his confirmation but his problems wouldn’t be those of Tower, say, so that it might not be impossible. I suspect the collegiality of the Court is different than that of the Senate, the bonds are different as are the arguments.

    60. Eric Says:

      Jonathan:
      “Is [Trump] right that there were no WMD in Iraq?”

      Trump is wrong on the facts according to the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) enforced under US law – Saddam was confirmed guilty on WMD. (Note: not ‘found’ guilty – confirmed guilty.)

      First of all, the post hoc Iraq Survey Group (ISG) findings are only relevant to the casus belli for its corroborative value. According to the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire, casus belli was established with the UNMOVIC finding of “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues” in the UNSCR 1441 inspections that confirmed “Iraq…remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687” in Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441).

      The “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) was set by the UN mandates for Iraq, not the pre-war intelligence. The UN weapons inspections that triggered Operation Desert Fox and Operation Iraqi Freedom were mandated to verify Iraq’s compliance as mandated, not verify the predictive precision of the pre-war intelligence.

      Now, about the ISG findings.

      In the political discourse, the exclusive focus on that the pre-war intelligence was off the mark is both inapposite of the operative enforcement procedure and has obscured the fact findings that show Saddam was illicitly rearming with intent, ready capability, a large procurement program, and a covert program in the Iraq intelligence services (IIS) under cover of denial and deception activities – all of it violating the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” for disarmament.

      UNSCRs 687 and 1441 mandated more WMD-related proscriptions for Iraq than just battlefield-ready stockpiles. Matching post-war findings with pre-war intelligence was not the governing standard of Iraqi compliance.

      The danger of the disarmament violations that ISG found is at least in arm’s reach of the battlefield-ready stockpiles that weren’t found. In addition to its covert active program – eg, “the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) maintained throughout 1991 to 2003 a set of undeclared covert laboratories” (Iraq Survey Group) – the IIS doubled as the regime arm that operated Saddam’s world-leading terrorism, which was found to be worse than indicated before OIF.

      The ISG findings have been often mischaracterized. In fact, ISG found a lot of proscribed stuff. It just didn’t match the pre-war intelligence. Plus, ISG qualified their report that a lot of evidence was missing, key regime officials were uncooperative, and suspect areas were found “sanitized”. Therefore, although ISG could not conclude Iraq was armed as indicated, which is misleadingly characterized by folks like Trump, more significant to the casus belli for Operation Iraqi Freedom, ISG could not conclude Iraq had disarmed as mandated – eg, “ISG judges that Iraq failed to comply with UNSCRs” (Iraq Survey Group) – which corroborated the UNMOVIC confirmation of Iraq’s “continued violations of its obligations” (UNSCR 1441).

      Knowing what we now know, the Iraqi regime change arrived “not a moment too soon“. In fact, Saddam was in material breach across the board of the Gulf War ceasefire, including rearming with intent (in violation of UNSCR 687), working with terrorists (in violation of UNSCR 687), including the al Qaeda network, and terroristic rule (in violation of UNSCR 688).

    61. TangoMan Says:

      WRT the bully accusation, I’d feel much better about Trump if he engaged Jeb Bush honestly on the issues rather than browbeating him.

      I want to come back to this point. I feel it’s ludicrous to posit a scenario where a bully accusation is a central claim when the actors involved are ALL vying for being elected to the most powerful office in the world. A bully picks on a weak opponent who cannot fight back. There’s no way that this dynamic is in play between Trump and Bush. What we’ve been seeing from Trump is not bullying but a pecking order type of social dominance that we see organically emerge within a group of men as the alpha dog emerges and is seen as the leader, and here’s the key point, he’s seen as the leader by the other men in the group. Bush, and many of the others, have relied on institutional trappings to wield power – (I’m a Bush, therefore you must respect me.) Trump has set the agenda for this campaign season and the other candidates are a.) reacting to him, and b.) modifying their own proposals to mirror his. They don’t have to do either. If Trump was a pipsqueak who could be ignored, then they could steamroll over him, ignore him, marginalize him, refuse to concede to his terms, etc but the other candidates are willfully choosing to follow his leadership, certainly not enthusiastically, but they’re still modifying their immigration plans, their positions on Muslims in America, etc.

      What Trump is doing has relevance for the bigger picture of governance and international relations. When we have milquetoast Presidents who rely on the institutional might of the US that can only take them so far because it is the Presidents who have yay and nay power over decisions and if their negotiating adversary sees that the President can be steamrolled, in various ways, then the institutional might of the US doesn’t save the day. Look at the Iran nuclear deal for example. Which side got the better of the deal? Do you believe that foreign leaders, and their intelligence and foreign policy specialists, are not paying attention to Trump’s performance this season and are not developing assessments of all of the candidates? When a candidate is bound to established rules then he is far more predictable in foreign policy negotiations. Trump presents a far bigger challenge to our adversaries and because any negotiation depends on BOTH parties engaging because they each want something from the deal, Trump is better positioned to drive harder bargains which benefit the US because he better understands the process and the game, maybe this comes from innate insight and personality or maybe it comes from countless negotiating sessions where this experience is hard won, it’s hard to say but I think it’s quite a defensible position to argue that in terms of negotiating skills Trump has more experience and insight that all of the other candidates combined. Rubio got played by Schumer on the Gang of 8 immigration bill. He was the mark and didn’t even know it. What has Cruz successfully negotiated? Bush can’t even effectively use his massive resources in this campaign.

      Now what happens when foreign leaders, who’ve risen to position via the Bush route, counting on power relationships within their own countries, come to the table against an experienced negotiator like Trump who lives and breathes deal making and knows when to walk away or otherwise play hardball. Life for these leaders is going to be just as difficult as life for Bush and Rubio et al is during this campaign season. Quite frankly these guys are all outmatched because Trump is busting open the paradigm.

      The take-charge businessman who solves problems that wishy-washy pols and diplomats can’t handle is a cliche of American politics. However, the big problems that we face result from failures of vision rather than of tactics. Decisiveness and negotiating skills are inadequate without insight into the big picture.

      It certainly is a cliche but it’s a cliche that has arisen from perception, not from experience. Trump is a black swan event. Bloomberg kind of fits the mold but also falls short of Trump’s brash, can-do, persona.

      I don’t believe that anyone can make a good case that Trump lacks vision. He saw what others were willing to ignore – the immigration question. He properly understood the feelings of a vast number of silenced voters. He understands what is necessary. He publicly went against political consensus by bad mouthing the Mexicans, the Muslims, etc. The man has vision aplenty. He’s broke new ground on a number of fronts. When we compare Trump to the other candidates on the issue of vision, are you really prepared to argue that any one of the other guys has a more fully fleshed out vision for the US? I don’t see that, not at all. All I see is status quo thinking.

      I’ve been in the blogosphere for about 15 years. I used to blog at GNXP when it was a group blog. Our topic was evolution and human biodiversity. I bring this up because a common criticism I launched against liberal social science practitioners applies to this debate and that criticism is this – “If you can’t even properly see this question and environment at hand, then how can you even pretend to understand and analyze the issue and develop solutions.” For instance, education analysts, bloggers, commenters, would routinely ignore race in education public policy and would expect all students, regardless of race, to meet identical standards. Their prescriptions always failed to perform as expected. AlWAYS. These candidates for the Republican nomination, except for Trump, are all cut from the same cloth, they all operate within accepted norms. This means that they’re not seeing the full picture. I don’t know how big of a picture Trump sees but he certainly sees REALITY beyond the tight confines of what the status quo thinking PERMITS to be seen. Reality works on us whether we want it to or not. For instance, the robot revolution is slowly developing in our economy, meaning that capital/robot substitution of labor, especially low skill labor, is increasingly becoming more cost effective. This means that an ever increasing number of workers are going to become Zero Marginal Product workers, that is, they won’t be able to produce enough value for an employer to warrant earning a livable wage. This means that we, all of us, are going to have to support them. Once the nation allows a low skill person to immigrate, we’re stuck with that person. So, in the long run, why are we working to increase the number of tax dependents that we’re going to have to support when we already see the trend on capital substituting for low skill labor? Trump hasn’t made this argument but he has made the argument that immigrants are crowding out Americans with low skills. That’s vision because it completely bucks the political narrative seen in both parties. Even the damn Democrats, with their union backing, are for more immigration despite union leaders knowing full well what happens to wage levels in a labor market flooded with job seekers. I can understand employers trying to corrupt the system because low wages translates directly into higher profits for employers, but labor leaders favoring the same, well, that’s even more corrupt on the Democrat’s side than anything we’re seeing on our side. Trump alone had the vision to see the bigger picture. If candidate vision is one of your prime concerns, then I find it hard to believe that you’d favor anyone but Trump.

      Trump focuses on deals but appears to lack a coherent vision of why our country is in trouble and what to do about it.

      Coherent vision. I don’t know if you’re right. You might be. Perhaps he lacks a coherency of vision but even with that handicap his intermittent vision is still clearer and more developed than any of the other candidates, both Republican and Democrat. He sees a few things more clearly than the others. Immigration is harmful to the interests of American workers. Immigration is harmful to the social fabric of America. We’re getting screwed by trade deals. All three points here run counter to the dominant intellectual narrative of our times. It takes guts to break from the consensus.

      Look, I’d be happier if Trump had MY coherent vision of why our country is in trouble and MY solutions for our problems, but he doesn’t appear to share my coherent vision nor my solutions. That’s OK because I don’t need perfect (tooting my own horn LOL) in order to appreciate the good and the good here is that Trump’s visions falls outside of the status quo, meaning that he is seeing reality as it exists a bit more clearly than all of the other candidates (especially Sanders who wants to impose socialism like they have in Finland without embarking on the ethnic cleansing of the US to give us the demographic homogeneity found in Finland which is a necessary precursor to a high-sharing society (another guy who can’t see how reality really functions)) so the upshot here is that the candidate who has a vision which is just a tad less fogged than the other guys has the best shot of crafting policy solutions which most clearly engage with reality and will thus have a greater chance of producing beneficial results.

      Trump doesn’t need a coherent vision, he just needs a vision which is slightly more clear than those of his opponents and that’s what he has.

      I also think there’s a significant chance he would cut deals with Congressional Democrats that would set back the cause of Constitutional government at home.

      A society, a culture, and much more is always a reflection of the people. Your concern for Constitutional Governance is a product of a historical American culture and that culture is being swamped by newcomers who hold different values. We don’t see a lot of reverence for these principles when we look at the cultures of Mexico, El Salvador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo, etc.

      If you want to protect your vision then you need to find a way to stop having your vote canceled out by someone who opposes your vision. Immigration is your enemy, it’s a direct threat to all that you hold dear. If Trump actually follows through on his rhetoric then he will have done more to protect your vision than any President in the last 2 generations.

      Trump appears to be extremely overconfident and often shoots from the hip rhetorically.

      When you are negotiating against someone, information becomes power. The better you can read your opponent the stronger hand you develop. How Trump appears and how Trump is are two different things. This is plainly obvious to people who look for an answer. Trump in individual encounters is different than the Trump who displays for public consumption. The public Trump is serving a purpose, that overconfidence is what people respond to and that’s the name of the game at this point of the election cycle. Don’t ever accept anything at face value. Trump wouldn’t have risen as high as he has if he was a guy who shot from the hip and was blind to his knowledge and limits.

      Verbal dominance plays well in a televised debate but is no substitute for command of the issues and a coherent belief system.

      I’ll say about Trump what I said about Palin, if people want a politician who isn’t a corrupt pos then they have to be willing to accept the unpolished aspects which are coincident with authenticity.

      The choice here is stark, especially as you’ve constructed it, but let’s work with that. Your choice is between Trump as he is, or as he is perceived, and an opponent who has a coherent belief system, WHICH IS WRONG, and who has a command of the issues WHICH HE MISUNDERSTANDS. You are guaranteed to get bad outcomes from leaders who have a faulty misunderstanding of reality and who believe wrong things. You may get bad outcomes from a leader who lacks a coherent belief system but who has shown that he can sometimes see reality through the fog but if anyone has a chance of delivering better outcomes it’s the guy who doesn’t believe wrong things and who isn’t imprisoned by a belief system at odds with reality. To put a stark point on this, Islamic suicide bombers have a coherent belief system. Believing in the wrong things coherently doesn’t lead to good outcomes.

    62. Eric Says:

      Grurray:
      “After considering all the arguments presented by you and Eric, I’d say the biggest problem was that we didn’t finish the job during the first Gulf War.”

      I don’t recall that I linked this in earlier comments, though I believe we discussed similar content – excerpt:

      I focus mainly on the Clinton-to-Bush continuity when I explain the grounds for Operation Iraqi Freedom because the law, policy, and precedent and the state of “crisis between the United States and Iraq” (Clinton, 28JUL00) underlying the decision for OIF matured during the Clinton administration.

      However, I consider neither Clinton nor Bush as the US president most responsible for OIF. The US president I hold most responsible for OIF is President HW Bush. Reviewing the decisions to suspend the Gulf War and attempt an alternative way to achieve Iraqi regime change shows with hindsight the road to OIF was locked in from the beginning of the ceasefire.

    63. TangoMan Says:

      This, I believe, is the strategic policy driver behind multiculturalism. To keep interest groups competing for favors doled out by the politicos.

      The project goes deeper than this. In a more homogeneous society we find deeper ties between people and between people and numerous organically-arisen institutions, churches, community groups, lodges and clubs, etc. What liberalism and multiculturalism do is destroy all of that community and put government at a central point in everyone’s life. Ultimately your only meaningful institutional relationship becomes the one you have with central government.

    64. TangoMan Says:

      This kind of thing makes a good argument for serious civil service reform. An executive cannot effectively administrate or carry out a policy when the staff is the active opposition.

      No kidding. Liberal infestation is deep and sabotage and corruption of conservative policy is rampant. Professionalism has taken a back seat to ideology.

      State and CIA are filled with partisan liberals. This brings to mind news from Canada which was revealed in the Hillary email releases, where Canadian foreign affairs staffers were writing to Hillary’s people asking them to exert pressure on Harper’s government because the staffers didn’t agree with some conservative foreign policy issue that Harper was pushing. Now, this was revealed about the Canadians so I wonder how much crap like this goes on within our own institutions. Think about that, career foreign policy civil servants, tasked with implementing the policies developed by an elected government are communicating with a foreign power seeking their help to sabotage the policies that they’re tasked with implementing. Sure looks like treason to me.

    65. TangoMan Says:

      Wow, lots of good points here. Trump has raised issues that have needed raising for a long time, and most of which he has nailed….my personal issue is with the manner that he’s used, but perhaps that’s because of my age. I can’t help but think that a large part of his appeal is that we are living in what I call a “cage match” society, where too many only pay attention if someone is screaming…the louder and coarser the better…and every argument has to be to the death.

      Did you see the recent Gallup release on Scalia? A plurality of respondents had never heard of him. My point, everyone is not like us. My second point is the votes of those who had never heard of Scalia count equally to your vote and mine. My third point is that politics is going to be a reflection of how the nation is rather than how the nation should be.

      Trump is striking a cord with voters who want to see establishment representatives belittled and humiliated and overpowered. The powerless love to see the powerful, especially those who’ve harmed or betrayed the powerless, diminished. Trump is delivering on what many voters want. So, while you may desire a calm process where ideas are fleshed out and examined via debate, others want to powerful princes get their comeuppance. It’s hard to put numbers to the two crowds but it’s quite easy to see which crowd is most enthusiastic and most appreciative in support of what they want to see happening in this campaign season.

    66. PenGun Says:

      “Sure looks like treason to me.” No, pure patriotism.

      He hated us because he was very much like an American and wanted us to be as well. We are rid of this blight and generally pleased. ;)

      You espouse a basically racist policy. Harper would generally agree that a homogeneous population is the way to go. Canada is not like that and we are happy to move towards the ‘race of tan’ that will eventually emerge as humans mingle.

      I of course can only speak for myself, but Canadians are now a multicultural society and it works for us. Dig our new defense minister. Be hard to find a better culture for one, than one who has Lion baked into his name.

    67. TangoMan Says:

      “Sure looks like treason to me.” No, pure patriotism.

      That’s an interesting response. Civil servants acting as a 5th column against the policies of an elected government is seen by you as patriotism. I suppose liberals in the US would say the same thing about liberal ideologues in State and the CIA working to thwart the policies of a duly elected Republican President. So, now that you’ve staked out that position would you also argue that conservatives, let’s say in the military, who worked to actively sabotage, in concert with foreign powers, the initiatives of President Obama should also be classed as patriots?

      You espouse a basically racist policy. Harper would generally agree that a homogeneous population is the way to go. Canada is not like that and we are happy to move towards the ‘race of tan’ that will eventually emerge as humans mingle.

      BS. Canada is exactly like everyone else. You don’t have white families in Canada making a beeline to schools where the student-body is 50% Muslim AND 40% black, because these families want their children to experience glorious diversity. Germany has seen a recent exodus of white families from public schooling, which is now being inundated with Muslim refugee children.

      The “race of tan” is more BS. White women, in the US, Europe and Canada, are the most “racist” of all demographic groups when it comes to wanting a same-race partner for marriage. You’re an example of what I was referring to above – you cling to an ideology of race-neutrality, love of multiculturalism and you ignore all the real-life evidence about you which contradicts your happy ideology. Canada has draconian speech laws which upset a lot of people. Your Supreme Court has even ruled that true statements are not a defense against a charge of hate speech. Think about how twisted that is. You can be criminally charged for saying something that is true.

      Look, this isn’t about Canada, this is about politicians having a “coherent vision” which is at odds with the real-life evidence that plays out in society. You, and other ideologues, get to posture about how “enlightened” you are as you engage in your games of reputational “keeping up with the Joneses” but the cost of engaging in these games is close to zero because instead of having to buy a new lawnmower to match your neighbors or having to vacation in Paris to match your neighbors, which come with real world personal costs, your reputational games come with zero cost to you. You’re not making that beeline to the disproportionate Afro-Canadian school so that your own kids can get the benefit of being exposed to glorious diversity, rather you’re inflicting that outcome on other people who don’t have the financial means to escape that reality. This is exactly what our politicians do with immigration – they never have to live next door to 30 Mexicans squeezed into a house, they don’t have to send their kids to school with radical Muslims, etc.

      Canadians are now a multicultural society and it works for us.

      In Kyrgyzstan there is a long established cultural practice of bride-kidnapping. I’m not making this up, here’s some background:

      They call it ala kachuu, or “grab and run.” In Kyrgyzstan, as many as 40% of ethnic Kyrgyz women are married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands, according to a local NGO. Two-thirds of these bride kidnappings are non-consensual—in some cases, a “kidnapping” is part of a planned elopment—and while the practice has been illegal since 1994, authorities largely look the other way. Typically, a would-be groom gathers a group of young men, and together they drive around looking for a woman he wants to marry. The unsuspecting woman is often literally dragged off the street, bundled into the car and taken straight to the man’s house—where frequently the family will have already started making preparations for the wedding.

      A dude takes a fancy to a girl, he and his buddies kidnap her and take her back to his family. The family keeps the girl hostage and they wear her down until she consents to the marriage. They don’t release her easily. It’s often the women of the family who are the browbeaters, themselves victims of earlier bride kidnappings. The point here is that an illegitimate process is being legitimized after the fact. This is exactly what you’re doing. Canadian never wanted a multicultural society but because you’re now having to deal with it, people like you take on the role of legitimizers of past crimes.

      The new 1967 immigration regulations emphasizing skill and education rather than ethnic origins were not brought on by popular demand or even parliamentary debate and initiative, but by senior Ministers and Cabinet officials who “did not trust the average Canadian to respond in a positive way on this issue” (Hawkins, p. 63). Gallup polls in the 60s showed that only about one third of Canadians thought that Canada should bring new immigrants, and over 60 percent thought that the fairly low levels of Asian immigration (at the time) were already too high. In complete disregard to Canadian popular wishes, the borders of Canada were set wide open in the 80s to immigrants from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the Middle East, under the directives of the major parties, the media, tenured academic radicals, and business elites.

      So you can stow the “happy about it” sale pitch, the evidence shows otherwise.

      Lastly, I can’t see how anyone in Canada can argue that electing Prime Minister Zoolander is an improvement over Harper.

    68. Mike K Says:

      “Trump is a black swan event.”

      I keep seeing people who don’t understand this.

    69. TangoMan Says:

      I keep seeing people who don’t understand this.

      Will you expand on this?

    70. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> Your concern for Constitutional Governance is a product of a historical American culture and that culture is being swamped by newcomers who hold different values. We don’t see a lot of reverence for these principles when we look at the cultures of Mexico, El Salvador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo, etc.

      [Mexico, El Salvador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo, etc] = Communal and tribal societies. Anglo-Saxon societies have a completely different social tradition, so you would not see that. Also, It has been some years since civics were taught by people who respected the founding ideals of the USA, so recent immigrants will have absorbed a wholly different take on American history, colonial history, and the reason the government was structured as it was. That does not make it less valid or less important for the future of this country.

    71. TangoMan Says:

      [Mexico, El Salvador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo, etc] = Communal and tribal societies. Anglo-Saxon societies have a completely different social tradition, so you would not see that. Also, It has been some years since civics were taught by people who respected the founding ideals of the USA, so recent immigrants will have absorbed a wholly different take on American history, colonial history, and the reason the government was structured as it was. That does not make it less valid or less important for the future of this country.

      I’m not seeing anything reassuring in your response. You, I and others have views rooted in American historical values. In a one-man, one-vote system our votes are neutralized by new immigrants who hold to their cultural traditions. The fact that liberals have gutted civic instruction in school means that one slim hope we had for acculturating these people who are working to destroy our society is lost.

      You’re right, these values are important but that means squat if we don’t stop the processes which are destroying those values. Holding the proper value in your own mind as that value is being erased from society is a Pyrrhic victory.

    72. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> Holding the proper value in your own mind as that value is being erased from society is a Pyrrhic victory.

      Agreed.

    73. PenGun Says:

      ” Ah yes. My point about Harper is that he was not Canadian in any real way. Thwarting him although technically treason, is actually patriotism. Difficult, but the American military has committed treason against Obama, if some are to be believed, over Syria and they have for sure kept Gitmo open over his protests. Anyway a PM is not a President, just the prime minister.

      We have a multicultural society. I will be 70 soon and have lived here most of my life. There are lots of people who will cluster in their own groups of racially similar people but that’s not what multiculturalism means. “Multiculturalism in Canada is the sense of an equal celebration of racial, religious and cultural backgrounds.” You should remember that Canada was always this way. We have two official languages because of this.

      You can bet that given enough time our rapidly integrating world will finally, through interracial mixing, achieve that colour we all want, nicely tanned. I’d guess 300 years or so.

      It’s difficult to believe you are so, I’m stuck for words that are not seriously insulting, that you can actually label a link to Immigration Watch an obviously racist organization, “legitimizers of past crimes”, which then segues to “ethnocentrism is a healthy and practical evaluation of one’s ethnic identity and interests consistent with evolutionary theory and cultural sophistication.” My favorite bit is ““Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism”. Written by a research team at the University of Amsterdam, directed by Dr. Carsten de Dreu, this article shows that oxytocin is a human molecule associated with in-group favoritism and out-group derogation. Through a series of experiments in which participants were administered doses of oxytocin, the researchers learned that “a key mechanism facilitating in-group cooperation is ethnocentrism, the tendency to view one’s group as centrally important and as superior to other groups” at the expense of an out-group.” Finally proof racism is the one true way. You don’t mind if I laugh at them for a while I hope.

      I can and have administered doses of far nicer things to racily diverse groups and we bond real well. Hey even people of special gender fit in well in this part of the world.

      Now I have an advantage. I was born in England and have lived in many countries. I lived in Nigeria for 4 years when I was young. My best friend when I was 5 was my father’s cook’s son, Soolie. My father was a Captain in the British Army and we got a villa and maybe 12 servants who lived in a little village at one end of the property. Today I’m an old man with really long hair and a pretty good beard. I can go almost anywhere and be welcomed because I too am an anomaly.

    74. TangoMan Says:

      My point about Harper is that he was not Canadian in any real way.

      Bull pucky. This is a weird game that many liberals are playing, defining Canadian values, or with Obama it is American values, as being liberal values. Those Canadians who died on Juno Beach fighting for Canadian values would have values that you deemed racist today and thus not Canadian values. The same with Obama saying things like “That’s not who we are.” Sure it is, it’s just that only a minority of people, liberals, claim (but don’t live true to what they claim) those values.

      Thwarting him although technically treason, is actually patriotism.

      Liberal values are not a synonym for Canadian values. Liberals in government, both here and in Canada, are committing a form of treason when they thwart the policies of duly elected politicians who subscribe to a different political philosophy. If Trump wins this form of treason is going to strongly manifest here, putting what happened in Canada into the realm of irrelevance.

      I was taught early in my working life what it means to be a professional and the key point was to take pride in the job and duties and leave my own personal opinions outside of my job. My job was not meant as a vehicle by which I could advance my own personal opinions. Professionalism entails subscribing to a higher calling, fealty to duty with respect to job expectations. A President or Prime Minister must rely on career civil servants to faithfully execute the policies he devises and wants implemented and under no circumstances should the personal feeling of civil servants interfere in the execution of those duties.

      Civil service in both Canada and the US and in Europe and in Australia needs a mass firing event to cull out all of the political operatives who are committing treason against their respective governments. Some of these folks should also end up in front of a firing squad, just to send the right signal about the seriousness of treason.

      You should remember that Canada was always this way. We have two official languages because of this.

      No, it wasn’t always this way, otherwise your leaders wouldn’t have had to use undemocratic means to push this onto an unwilling populace and your current leaders wouldn’t need to use coercion to force diversity onto people under threat of law and your current leaders wouldn’t need to sacrifice every sacred principle held dear by previous generations of Canadians in order to make the abortion of a concept called multiculturalism somewhat functional. Look at what just happened to the US, we’re further along than you guys, our SC validated the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act which now allows gov’t to declare that your town, your neighborhood doesn’t have enough diversity and use the various tools of gov’t to force section 8 housing into your non-diverse neighborhood. Every sacred principle MUST be thrown under the bus in order to make diversity work in society. This is the road to totalitarianism.

      You can bet that given enough time our rapidly integrating world will finally, through interracial mixing, achieve that colour we all want, nicely tanned. I’d guess 300 years or so.

      You don’t seem to know anything about genetics. Here’s a photo of your “tanned” world. Again, this is indicative of your ideology trumping real world evidence – open your eyes and look at mating patterns as they play out before you and around you. Race is more than just skin color and many of these other attributes associated with race have a lot more salience in the mating market.

      “legitimizers of past crimes”

      You misunderstood. I referred to your actions as legitimizing past crimes. To change the people without the consent of the people is a crime against democracy. This was the pattern all over the West. Here’s that BBC documentary again – notice the narrator, here, I’ll transcribe the relevant admission for you:

      The British people had never been consulted on the unprecedented transformation taking place in their country.

      Is the BBC now also a hate site? I can see that you’re deep in the ideological fog, so I’ll link you to a safe liberal site, The Guardian, which surprisingly ran this essay:

      We share public services and parts of our income in the welfare state, we share public spaces in towns and cities where we are squashed together on buses, trains and tubes, and we share in a democratic conversation – filtered by the media – about the collective choices we wish to make. All such acts of sharing are more smoothly and generously negotiated if we can take for granted a limited set of common values and assumptions. But as Britain becomes more diverse that common culture is being eroded.

      And therein lies one of the central dilemmas of political life in developed societies: sharing and solidarity can conflict with diversity. This is an especially acute dilemma for progressives who want plenty of both solidarity (high social cohesion and generous welfare paid out of a progressive tax system) and diversity (equal respect for a wide range of peoples, values and ways of life). The tension between the two values is a reminder that serious politics is about trade-offs. It also suggests that the left’s recent love affair with diversity may come at the expense of the values and even the people that it once championed.

      It was the Conservative politician David Willetts who drew my attention to the “progressive dilemma”. Speaking at a roundtable on welfare reform, he said: “The basis on which you can extract large sums of money in tax and pay it out in benefits is that most people think the recipients are people like themselves, facing difficulties that they themselves could face. If values become more diverse, if lifestyles become more differentiated, then it becomes more difficult to sustain the legitimacy of a universal risk-pooling welfare state. People ask: ‘Why should I pay for them when they are doing things that I wouldn’t do?’ This is America versus Sweden. You can have a Swedish welfare state provided that you are a homogeneous society with intensely shared values. In the United States you have a very diverse, individualistic society where people feel fewer obligations to fellow citizens. Progressives want diversity, but they thereby undermine part of the moral consensus on which a large welfare state rests.”

      I’ve often heard Canadians waxing rhapsodic about their love of their medical system but now, unsurprisingly, I’m hearing this less as first, Chaoulli v Quebec was decided in favor of Chaoulli, permitting private health care systems to establish outside of government control and funding and then the ever increasing rise of private medical spending in the Canadian economy. This is the EXPECTED outcome to the social corrosion that multiculturalism presents. This issues are very easy to predict once you understand human nature. Multiculturalism runs counter to human nature, it destroys the social fabric and social welfare schemes depend mightily on a sense of sharing in order to sustain legitimacy. If a man is starving or suffering from medical malady in Syria today and you’re content to eat your dinner, watch Trump on the Apprentice, then go soundly to sleep and have a good night’s sleep, nothing much has changed the next morning when that Syrian arrives in Toronto but now you’re supposed to endure sacrifice for this guy because he’s your “countryman” now. That bond between you is a legal fiction. This is why America is a more individualistic society than Finland, where 95% of the population is Finnish and most of the rest are Swedish, Russian or Estonian. High solidarity on many fronts leads to high sharing.

      You’ve made a prediction that looks 300 years in the future, here’s my prediction which looks 50 years into the future – your health system will be mostly private by that time, more specifically, you’ll have a two-tier health system and this is because the sense of sharing which manifests in homogeneous societies will have been destroyed by Canadian liberals and so the legitimacy necessary to keep your public health spending at high levels will atrophy.

      Now, even though we’re talking specifically about the folly of Canada, the US is further along in the folly and a lot of what’s going on with Trump is a reaction to people feeling that they’re losing their country, culture and public values due to reckless liberal experiments which replicate failed societies throughout human history. Americans don’t want to become Mexicans, they don’t want to become Muslims, they don’t want to change who they are and their culture in order to accommodate Mexicans and Muslims. It was necessary for Trump to be that forthright because that was the signal of what was at issue and if Trump merely pushed for legalization of the immigration process but maintained the same numbers, then he would have been of little use to most of his supporters. Even with the issue of jobs, taxes, etc the unifying thread here is identity. Jobs for Americans, not for immigrants, legal or illegal, not jobs for Mexicans in Mexico or Chinese in China, which is the argument put forth by some libertarians, that overall the welfare of humanity is increased by boosting poor Mexicans or poor Chinese out of poverty even at the cost of Americans falling into either poverty or joblessness.

      Your kumbaya vision of how humanity should be governed seems to be at odds with how people actually want to be governed. Don’t feel badly, there are plenty of politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, who are singing the same song in your encounter group. They have a coherent vision which is divorced from reality and maybe that’s why they can’t understand why their policies always fail and why so many people are attracted to Trump.

    75. PenGun Says:

      Oh I don’t feel bad. I pay almost no attention at all to anything left wing or ‘liberal’ as you have made the word. ;) I read exclusively, well nearly, right wing sites in the US. I know what I think and why, I need no backup at all, and there really is none for what I think. I read as wide a variety of sites across the world, thank, and curse you Google translate, as I can find, to get a good look at international politics. It’s what I do for fun. I am retired as well, so I have far too much time on my hands.

      Umm you have not noticed how, since we got airplanes anyway, that people are much more diverse than they were, everywhere. That’s new, the heavy travel thing. That will continue and we’ll all be tanned whether you like it or not. ;)

      We love our medical system as much as you hate yours. There are always cases that will fall through the cracks of a single payer system and the case you sited was one of the various efforts to make it better. You might note that single payer still works with all kinds of providers. Still these are exceptions. The vast majority of medical care is uneventful and because it’s available to everyone, everyone is taken care of. Much less misery, and no bankruptcies.

      I know an awful lot about what’s happening and why. Most of it’s ugly and you are just another little candle illuminating your take on the mess. I can respect that, not much else.

    76. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> left wing or ‘liberal’ as you have made the word..

      It’s what they’ve been calling themselves for the last few decades. There’s nothing liberal about them, btw. Not in the classically liberal sense, meaning a maximization of individual freedom and a minimization of government influence, or the sense of their tolerating dissenting views.

    77. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      BTW, my objection to bringing Arabs and other “south Asians” to the USA has nothing to do with the color of their skin. My skin is “tan” enough that many people think I’m Italian. My son is much darker than I. It’s the ideology – the culture – they bring with them I object to. Islam is wholly incompatible with Western Civilization. It is a violent, backward, totalitarian theocracy. They bring it with them, have large families, live on benefits supplied by western workers, contribute little or nothing to society, and demand society change to accommodate their barbaric worldview. We should keep them out.

    78. TangoMan Says:

      Umm you have not noticed how, since we got airplanes anyway, that people are much more diverse than they were, everywhere. That’s new, the heavy travel thing. That will continue and we’ll all be tanned whether you like it or not. ;)

      Don’t worry, environmentalists will put a stop to international travel due to the high carbon footprint produced, once they find their principles, that is. Liberal totalitarianism takes many forms, environmentalism is just one form.