Friday, September 22, 2006

Yet More Reasons Why The Iraq War Was A Mistake....

... from an ongoing and seemingly never-ending list...

687. World Leaders like Hugo Chavez can take the podium of the United Nations and say things like "The devil came right here... And it still smells of sulfur today." in reference to President Bush's appearance the day prior, and members of the world community applaud.

688. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is able to claim that "The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age....'" The world responds by believing this to be absolutely plausible.

In both of these cases, it is inmaterial whether the charges brough forth by Chavez or Musharraf are right or wrong. It makes no difference whether the sources are reliable or not.

The simple fact is that the United States has lost its credibility and respect within the world community. When people around the globe listen to Chavez or Musharraf and believe their statements over those of the United States, one thing is certain - the reputation and influence of the United States has been reduced to nothing more than that of a common street bully.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 3:32 PM /


  • Blogger Cb posted at 8:27 PM  
    Fleshy, let's keep a (global) perspective here. People around the world have been saying and believing things like this about our country and our leaders for years. Certainly as long as we have been around. Remember Clinton? We lived in England during his tenure and while many (more) liked him than Bush the press, leaders, and pundits regularly descried him in ways that would make you gnash your teeth.

    So I don't think you can blame this one on Bush; it is just more vocal and you (perhaps) feel like joining in.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 1:01 PM  
    CB... you know I have a tremendous amount of respect for you, and I know that one does not reach your position in life without having the ability to be thoughtful....

    That being said, my jaw dropped when I read this... the GLOBAL perspective is EXACTLY what the Bush Administration has failed to keep in sight.

    Republicans and Conservatives are ALWAYS whining about how the Democrats need to "let go" - the 2000 election, the mishandled votes... all of it. But it's AMAZING to me how, when things go bad, they're always the first to say "Well, you know... when Clinton was in office...."

    Bill Clinton hasn't been in office for over five years now. Let it go.

    And if we want to talk about Clinton, we can - Clinton was, and continues to be, a global rock star. You want an example of the legacy Clinton left behind in terms of the world's respect for the United States? Look no further than 9/11... the world mourned on that day, and they unified to show support for the tragedy we faced that day. That respect wasn't built in the 9 months that Bush was in office, but was established in large part to the eight years prior.

    You've got to ask yourself, if we were attacked again today, how the world view would change from that day in 2001?

    I have not lent credibility to the voices that speak out against us, as you may assume. What I AM asserting is that the world no longer demonizes these voices as they might have in the past, and it is a DIRECT RESULT of the actions taken by the Bush Administration. The Bush Administration has lowered our level of global respect, and we have lost significantly as a result.

    If you can argue the opposite - that we have gained the respect and confidence of the world under George Bush.... well, you go ahead and make that case, and I'll publish it front and center of PTF.

    But I don't think you're going to convince anyone.

  • Anonymous Tim posted at 4:19 PM  
    Chavez is a stand-up comedian. Anybody who believes him over Bush, no matter what they think of Bush, is clearly a graduate of America's - or Canada's public school system, and is bearing witness to the calibre of intellectual depth being produced in that system today.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 5:04 PM  
    Tim, clearly you are unable to reason the distinction that I have made here - both Dems and Repubs have come out and voiced opposition against Chavez.

    This is not the point.

    The POINT is that voices like these gain acceptance throughout the world, and are even APPLAUDED on a world stage like the U.N. - almost entirely due to the ineptitude of the Bush Administration and it's failed foreign policy.

    I will offer the same challenge to you that I did to CB above (though after giving your blog a brief glimpse, I doubt you will be up to the challenge) - make the case for how the Bush Administration has increased the world's confidence and respect for the United States, and I'll publish it front and center on PTF.

  • Blogger Cb posted at 11:18 PM  
    Fleshy, you have totally misunderstood my post. You said:
    "That being said, my jaw dropped when I read this... the GLOBAL perspective is EXACTLY what the Bush Administration has failed to keep in sight."

    I was not saying that the Bush administration had a global perspective or that Dems didn't. I was saying that YOU need to have a more global, and I would add historical, perspective. For years leaders of the non-aligned nations (and in earlier eras, out-right communist nations whom Chavez is seeking to emulate, which might, incidentally, be part of the reason for his posturing) have been acting this way towards us. The rhetoric of Chavez in the UN is nothing new.

    You suggest that the real problem is that other nations who might, in the past, have ignored or condemned such comments are not doing so now. It could be. I find that hard to prove one way or the other. The laughter in the UN was as likely laughing at Chavez as with him. My point was that again things haven't changed all that much. Bear in mind (I am not sure why I always seem to have to qualify comments in this way) none of this is in defense of Bush; I am simply trying to offer an historical perspective. The global perspective is simply the reality that a large number of nations/leaders have always disliked us. Sometimes they feel like they can be more vocal, such as now, but their views haven't changed.

    Now about Clinton. I was not blaming him for anything! Far from it. I was using him as a high-water mark of US strength that I thought you would be likely to acknowledge. Again, even under Clinton nations and leaders around the world ridiculed us, called us evil, laughed at us, opposed us, etc. That was all I was trying to say there.

    There are lots of valid criticisms of Bush, his administration, their handling of Iraq, the war on terror, and on and on. But I just don't think this one is his fault; that would be like saying that gays and liberals are to blame for 9/11...

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 11:01 AM  
    Perhaps we need a longer view of history to put this in perspective.

    Chavez is only saying what the "Non-Aligned Nations" have been saying for 60 years. Perhaps you are a bit young to remember the Cold War (I mean, to REALLY remember it...) but there was the Soviet Bloc, the "First World Nations" (i.e., us, the good guys) and then the "non-aligned nations" who generally were communist sympathisers, and certainly American haters. They always cheered when people like Castro, and Qaddafi, and Chavez, loosed their vitriol against the US.

    What intrigued me, and again, it was through listening only, not watching, was the fact that the crowd laughed at Chavez. Well, laughed at... laughed with... I suspect he thought the diablo line was a serious one, and when it was received as humor, he played along. I am sure, in truth, some heard it as funny yet somehow true, others heard it as a crazy leftist being "silly" and still others were offended by the remark.

    One final point: why should anyone on the left find it somehow strange that Chavez's views are given serious consideration? For years the left has been preaching and teaching that all views are valid, and that all views should be heard. It's why we teach "queer theory" and feminist theory, along with a myriad of other agendas, er world views. And the liberals in academia have been insisting that these views are "just as valid" as any other.

    Chavez' views are received as "equally valid." Embrace the success of liberalism. Chavez is now "legitimate."


  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 12:02 AM  
    CB - I appreciate the clarification, and I see what you're stating, but I'm not sure you get where I'm coming from...

    It wasn't so much the laughter at the "devil" line that proves anything... instead, it was the very enthusiastic applause he received at the end of his speech.

    Of course there have always been individual leaders, and nations throughout the world that have been opposed to the United States.

    Do you honestly think, however, that the number of those people "against us" instead of "for us" hasn't risen during the time of the Bush Administration? Do you honestly think that Bush and his Administration has nothing to do with this rise in angst against the United States?

    Historical perspective...of course... but I think you missed the main point of the post, which is what gives me no other real alternative than to assume that you are speaking in defense of the Bush Administration.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 12:04 AM  
    SB - wow... it's really scary how eerily similar your comments are to CBs.... :)

    I would direct you to the reply I wrote to him... :)

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 10:11 AM  
    In answering the response directed at CB....

    You wrote:

    "Do you honestly think, however, that the number of those people "against us" instead of "for us" hasn't risen during the time of the Bush Administration? Do you honestly think that Bush and his Administration has nothing to do with this rise in angst against the United States?"

    And here I have to write that yes, I honestly believe that the number of people hasn't changed much. They have been more outspoken. They are perhaps emboldened to speak out more, but no--those in the world that have hated America are just finding another opportunity to speak out against America. They were quieted when the USSR disappeared, since they lost political backing. With the US otherwise engaged they perhaps feel more comfortable in speaking out, but they have always been there.

  • Blogger Cb posted at 11:20 PM  
    Just one more. No, I did not miss the point of your post I just disagreed with your general tenor. To put it another way, you seem to attack the Bush Administration even when it is not necessarily warranted.

    But to be clear you asked:
    Do you honestly think, however, that the number of those people "against us" instead of "for us" hasn't risen during the time of the Bush Administration? Do you honestly think that Bush and his Administration has nothing to do with this rise in angst against the United States?

    No, I DO think the actions of our government (Bush admin and individuals and groups) have indeed led to more people being more vocal in opposing us. Here I am referring to the "person on the street." But in perspective it is not the seismic shift that you portray.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 9:18 AM  
    Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree... I can't make my point any clearer than it already is. The fact is that the world believes that The Bush Administration has acted inappropriately. The fact is that our own government has looked at itself, both in the forms of Members of Congress running away from Bush, public opinion largely opposed to Bush's actions related to foreign policy, and a coalition of our government's security and intelligence agencies stating very clearly that the actions of the Bush Administration have made the world more dangerous - not safer and more stable.

    I don't know how much more seismic a shift you want, but these actions fall squarely at the feet of the Bush Administration. Had the foreign policy decisions of the Bush Administration succeeded, you KNOW that they would have claimed the success.... now they must accept the failure. How many more FACTS need to be stacked up to admit that the world view and balance has shifted, directly due to the actions of the Bush Administration?

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