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September 25, 2006

Comments

Clinton's speech? Never happened.

Republican's cut and run rhetoric? Never happened.

All that counts is what people think happened, and the GOP has succesfully painted Somalia as (a) a key to Bin Laden's motivation; and (b) all Clinton's fault.

the right-wingers claim

Gosh, I hate it when we do that.

Historical revisionism is a bipartisan sport, apparently.

wow. my only question: why has it taken this long for someone to refute this Somalia stuff?

Gosh, I hate it when we do that.

then don't do it

Possibly it would be better to put the quotes in blockquotes?

Thanks, otherwise, of course!

then don't do it

That was irony, cleek. Greenwald's broad-brushing again. If he's referring to someone in particular, or even a definable group in general, there are ways to do that. Including, when all else fails, the use of the word "some".

Greenwald's broad-brushing again. If he's referring to someone in particular, or even a definable group in general, there are ways to do that. Including, when all else fails, the use of the word "some".

Part of the reason why I find him less compelling when he's doing politics than when he's doing more legal type things.

But, hey, if people only did what they were good at, who'd run the government?

In context, "the right-wingers" refers to the right-wingers alluded to in the previous sentence, not to all right-wingers. If you're not involved the blame-Clinton operation Glennwald is talking about, Slart, then you have no reason to feel criticized.

In context, "the right-wingers" refers to the right-wingers alluded to in the previous sentence, not to all right-wingers.

Greenwald compiled, and linked to in the article cited, a list of the some of the speeches made by GOP senators calling for immediate withdrawal from Somalia. So I don't think the "broad-brush" charge is warranted here.

Oh, he was referring to those senators?

See, I thought maybe he was referring to bloggers. Or pundits. Or...you know, it's hard to tell. Maybe it's right-wingers who have any bone at all to pick with Clinton as regards AQ.

Possibly, I'm wrong. I suggest, though, that what he's referring to is unclear.

Greenwald compiled, and linked to in the article cited, a list of the some of the speeches made by GOP senators calling for immediate withdrawal from Somalia. So I don't think the "broad-brush" charge is warranted here.

No effing kidding. Like hilzoy, I remember all of this, tho at the time I was consumed with domestic-issue concerns and didn't prioritize foreign policy. But I certainly recall that the right -- with which I was pretty much aligned at the time on non-social issues -- wanted us out of Somalia.

Greenwald isn't always correct, and does sometimes paint with a broad brush. But he is not doing so here. Indeed, he's done some important work in establishing the historical record.

I suggest, though, that what he's referring to is unclear.

Yeah, with all those quotes and links to prominent GOP politicians and pundits, his argument is just so murky.

Or, just maybe, you don't like his post because of its specificity and clarity?

No, Mona, I don't like the part hilzoy posted because it was unclear.

The rest might have some things I don't like, but I haven't finished reading it.

I do notice that oddly, Greenwald isn't quoting any of the people who he's saying are accusing Clinton of cutting and running over Somalia. At least, not as far as I can tell. Could be more of that unclarity thing, again.

I do notice that oddly, Greenwald isn't quoting any of the people who he's saying are accusing Clinton of cutting and running over Somalia.

Yeah, just a bunch of Republican Senators ‘n stuff.

That was irony, cleek

as was mine.

such are the perils of wordplay amongst lawyers and programmers, i guess.

Hey Slarti. Isn't it a little early for your revisionist operation ( paid for ? )when the actual evidence of what happened is still on the page you're looking at ?

Yeah, just a bunch of Republican Senators ‘n stuff.

Did I miss some quotes? Normally, when you're trying to make a connection, connecting at only one end isn't a good technique.

Possibly, I missed something. Possibly, his point was: some right-wingers (whose identity will remain hidden) have accused Clinton of cutting and running over Somalia, while others (quoted conveniently here) advocated getting out.

If that's all it was, I have to chalk it up to a daily WTF.

OTOH I may have missed something, in which case one-sentence responses are less than helpful.

Hey Slarti. Isn't it a little early for your revisionist operation

Nope, right on time. And it'd better be, because they pay me well.

Greenwald isn't quoting any of the people who he's saying are accusing Clinton of cutting and running over Somalia.

??

He linked to it. I linked to it. Here it is again.

Oh, he was referring to those senators?

Okay, so you did see it. I don't understand your beef. Maybe, given but I haven't finished reading it, you should hold off on the critiques until you have?

Okay, your talking about two different things. Advocating withdrawal vs. cutting and running accusation.

I get the beef now.

I'm done now, spartikus. That was then, this is now.

Of course, I still might have missed something.

"Hey Slarti. Isn't it a little early for your revisionist operation ( paid for ? )"

This is not just incredbily stupid, but, I think, a violation of the posting rules.

Slarti,

"Did I miss some quotes? Normally, when you're trying to make a connection, connecting at only one end isn't a good technique.

Possibly, I missed something. Possibly, his point was: some right-wingers (whose identity will remain hidden) have accused Clinton of cutting and running over Somalia, while others (quoted conveniently here) advocated getting out."

I think you missed two things. First, Greenwald did quote various right wingers. hilzoy's cite to that is in the paragraph following the block quote from Greenwald:

"But unlike me, Glenn actually went to the trouble of looking up quotes from the debate over Somalia. He has put them here." [where here has the link]

Second, I think in this context cutting and running and getting out are the same thing. Did you intend it differently?

C'mon, Hil. 9/11 changed everything; even the past.

"incredbily"

Incredibly, even.

First, Greenwald did quote various right wingers.

Yes, he did. He quoted various right wingers back in 1993. What's missing, notice, is the quoting of the historical revisionists. Who is it that's doing that?

Oh. It's those right-wingers. Well, still, it'd be nice to have an example or three. He might be dead on with this article, but you'd never know from the evidence.

But, man I hate that this system makes me walk through all sorts of tests I can't see.

I swear that these things are all done by people with great vision, doubtless under the age of 25.

Over and over and over again, I am offered tests of vision that I fail, despite being a normal human over 30. Frak!

It's immensely annoying. Am I alone?

Unrelated, and speaking of context, this is what Bob Dole actually said back in 1993:

Mr. DOLE. Madam President, I listened with great interest to the statements by both the Senator from New Jersey and the Senator from New York. I certainly share one view that they have expressed, and that is about our interest as opposed to the United Nations interest.

When we commit young men and women to combat, which is essentially what is happening in Somalia, we ought to make the decision, it ought to be under our control and it ought to be very clearly under our control and it ought to be in our interest.

On the other hand, since we told the President of the United States, in a resolution we passed, that he should report to us by October 15, which is a week from Friday, and since the resolution also indicated that Congress had to approve any action or continued action or continued presence by November 15, we should abide by that resolution.

It seems to me the President is in a very difficult position here. We will have a full debate. We should have a full debate. One message that is clear in the phone calls I am receiving is , of course, to protect the American forces that are there and to define a mission. This is not any longer humanitarian aid. The mission changed sometime in June, we were told today at a briefing. It went from humanitarian aid to nation-building. We never committed Americans to nation-building in Somalia or any other country that I am aware of.

I think it is clear to say from the meeting we had earlier with --I do not know how many Members were there--45, 50 Senators and half the House of Representatives, that the administration is going to be under great pressure to bring the actions in Somalia to a close. It is up to the administration to give us a plan--a plan--not a U.N. plan, an American plan, that will stress American interests because I do think if we just say , `OK, we are out of there,' and everybody packs up and goes home, we place American hostages in danger, of course. We also, I think , would jeopardize anything else we might be involved in from this time for the next 5 or 10 years.

It is a big, big decision. It seems to me that if the President will tell us precisely what the plan is , how do we get out, when do we get out, how do we protect American forces, then I think the Congress, in a bipartisan way, will support that effort.

I will be happy to yield to the Senator from Maine.

Not that this is devoid of a certain amount of present-day irony, but neither is it devoid of a certain amount of present-day parallel that, perhaps, it'd be unwise to make light of.

Am I alone?

You have paid the price for your lack of vision. ;)

Greenwald is writing in response to the Chris Wallace interview, and he quotes Wallace. I don't think Wallace invented the charge himself.

I agree with Gary about opit's ridiculous parenthetical.

I am with Gary. My first thought was that the comment was stupid and worth banning.

That said, your point is less than compelling, slart. Here is the full quote of the bit you found offensive:

Specifically, the right-wingers claim that President Clinton's withdrawal of troops from Somalia after a Muslim militia dragged the bodies of U.S. troops through the streets of Mogadishu conveyed weakness to the Muslim world and showed that we could be easily defeated.

Now, this is a current right wing theme, and it is being claimed by many right wingers. Enough to justify the unmodified version. If we are really going to discount invoking "right-wingers" at that point, then I am just going to note that the Republican party has no platform because there is no statement true statement "Republicans support X" which is true for all Republicans. (This is also obviously true of Democrats.)

If you have an actual beef with the claim that this argument is being driven home by the right-wing of the Republican party, then make it. However, pithy one-liners about how not all right-wingers do so isn't very convincing.

Nor, for that matter, is the argument that certain Republicans called for cutting and running then, but these are different Republicans. Given that his stance was clearly not cutting and running, any claims of it now are ridiculous.

I am also going to posit, though I don't have the time to do the research to actually back this claim up at the moment, that there were a lot of people in the punditry business who both slammed Clinton for wag-the-dog motivations then and are blaming him for cutting and running now. Rush Limbaugh jumps to mind. And as much of a blathering idiot as he is, he is listened to by enough conservatives on a daily basis that I think he can be considered a major factor when evaluating the response of "right-wingers".

Greenwald is writing in response to the Chris Wallace interview, and he quotes Wallace.

But he didn't quote Wallace accusing Clinton of cutting and running. He did quote Wallace quoting (in turn) bin Laden. So, unless this actually was a tirade against bin Laden, I'm not sure where you're going with all this.

I agree with Gary about opit's ridiculous parenthetical.

Not me. I'm in the pay of the RNC, the military-industrial complex, College Republicans, and I'm also Grover Norquist's body servant. For lunch, I have brown-people-baby salad, lightly dusted with the crushed bones of oppressed workers and sprinkled with a conservative coating of oil. Anything bad you think I might have done, trust me, the reality of it is much worse.

Now, back on topic?

Slarti,

Since the Greenwald post starts with Chris Wallace making that point at Fox:

"the accusation voiced this weekend by Chris Wallace in his Fox News interview with President Clinton (a favorite accusation of neoconservatives) that Clinton "emboldened" Al Qaeda when he withdrew American troops from Somalia as soon as we suffered casualties, which (so the neoconservative mythology contends) led Osama bin Laden to believe that we were weak and could be defeated."

I think he is making at least one citation.

and I'm also Grover Norquist's body servant.

My eyes!!!

For lunch, I have brown-people-baby salad, lightly dusted with the crushed bones of oppressed workers and sprinkled with a conservative coating of oil.

You forgot the boiled kitten soup.

Slarti, to his credit, is magnanimous about opit's comment. I am not. Opit: this is a warning. One more suggestion that anyone here is paid will get you banned, unless that statement is accompanied by compelling evidence. Claims like "he said this, and no one would say this unless he were a paid Republican operative" will not be considered compelling for these purposes, nor will citing Slarti's ironic comment of 1:23pm today.

I think he is making at least one citation.

Your quote is what Greenwald said, not what Wallace said. I suppose this could be said to be historical revisionism by Fox News, but that doesn't seem to be Greenwald's thesis at all.

Now, my contribution to revisionism: my memory has objections to our involvement in Somalia as revolving around subverting our authority to that of the UN. Guess I get to read around a bit to see how far off I am.

If he's referring to someone in particular, or even a definable group in general, there are ways to do that.

Yes. Are you saying you are not aware of right-wingers who are "blaming Bill Clinton for the growth of al-Qaida"? Or that this is just not a right-wing meme? You yourself linked to an example of right-wing denial.

And since my quote contains a link to the actual interview, you can see for yourself what Wallace actually did say.

My last was directed to Slarti's 1:34 PM

I'm in the pay of the RNC, the military-industrial complex, College Republicans, and I'm also Grover Norquist's body servant. For lunch, I have brown-people-baby salad, lightly dusted with the crushed bones of oppressed workers and sprinkled with a conservative coating of oil. Anything bad you think I might have done, trust me, the reality of it is much worse.

That was pretty good.

And since my quote contains a link to the actual interview, you can see for yourself what Wallace actually did say.

Already done. So, you've got some specific thing to point to?

As to whether it's a right-wing meme these days or not, I have no idea. Apparently I've fallen off the mailing list. Not sure how that works, given that I decide who's on that list.

Gary- Slarti has previously admitted to being a paid operative IIRC he claimed that Karl Rove signed his checks. I've no doubt that he will say he was kidding, and I didn't entirely believe him at the time, but people are paid to do what Slarti does here. Go look up threads on astroturfing on Making Light or Daily Kos. I'm not sure how raising the possibilty that Slarti is a pro violates the posting rules, and in fact I don't think it does.


"Already done. So, you've got some specific thing to point to?"

Already done. So, you've got something specific to say with respect to it?

I swear, just when I'd considered cobbling together a sockpuppet to say what Frank did, along comes Frank to save me the effort.

Thank you, Frank. You're a better sockpuppet to me than I could be to myself.

Already done. So, you've got something specific to say with respect to it?

Oh, yes. How about a link to the dictionary, and you can put it together yourself? It'd save me a great deal of trouble.

Or, a pointer to something specific would be useful. Pointing to an entire interview: not so much. See, here's the thing: I have no idea what you're talking about.

If I ask whether Frank is a parody, am I violating the posting rules?

"See, here's the thing: I have no idea what you're talking about."

Right back at you. Are you seriously disputing the assertion that it is a widely-spread theme of prominent conservatives that Clinton did not take sufficiently firm action against Al Queda less than 2 weeks after The Path to 9-11 aired?

Dantheman, I think Slart is disputing the more specific assertion that there's a theme that part of Clinton's failure was cutting and running in Somalia. But I'm not entirely sure.

Are you seriously disputing the assertion that it is a widely-spread theme of prominent conservatives that Clinton did not take sufficiently firm action against Al Queda less than 2 weeks after The Path to 9-11 aired?

Eh? You know, we could go back into a discussion of whether Clinton pursued bin Laden with sufficient vigor, but this doesn't involve historical revisionism. What Greenwald is (or appears to be) referring to as revisionism in this case is specifically involving Somalia. And WRT Somalia, I don't see Wallace saying anything ahistorical.

Slarti has won me over to the point that it would have been a stronger article if Greenwald has linked to current and influential right-wing figures charging the Clinton Administration with "cutting and running" from Somalia. Figures from such established conservative institutions like the National Review Online, Rush Limbaugh or Townhall.

Slarti- It always bring a smile to my face when you ask someone else to clarify his position.

KCinDC- Ouch. I wasn't asserting that Slarti is a paid shill. Nor am I trying to argue that he is. I just disagree that it is a posting rules violation to suspect it of him.

Feel free to resume arguing about what Slarti "meant" now.

spartikus,

Or The Wall Street Journal. Likely more upon request.

just for reference: a search for cut and run Somalia returns 1.6M+ hits. the first few pages give a lot of links to nutty blogs excoriating Murtha for wanting to "repeat in Iraq what Clinton did in Somalia". the idea that Clinton "cut and run" there is bascially universally accepted.

which, again, is why i wonder why it took so long for someone to look this stuff up. how could such a thing be left to fester for so long? lance it!

Hey, links are good.

Probably it's a good idea to, when referring to a phenomenon, link to it once or twice.

Cleek, I actually did google on that, but was daunted by the flurry of blog articles. Probably going back more than a couple or three pages was needed.

Frank, the bit that got me was "I've no doubt that he will say he was kidding, and I didn't entirely believe him at the time". I figured you were trying to be funny there, but then the rest of the comment indicated you were serious.

People are "paid to do what Slarti does here" only in the same sense that they are paid to do what you or I do here -- that is, they are paid to comment on blogs. I don't think that Slart's comments are generally the sort that paid shills make.

I'm reminded why I lurk more than post here. It reminds me too much of my job.

I don't think that Slart's comments are generally the sort that paid shills make.

If Slartibartfast of Obsidian Wings is a paid operative of the RNC, then they should fire him.

It does happen, though.

Also, Frank, I think there's a difference between raising the possibility with some shred of argument or evidence for it and raising the possibility with a snide, baseless, two-word parenthetical jab. There also might be a difference between accusing a random drive-by commenter and accusing an established member of the community.

If Slartibartfast of Obsidian Wings is a paid operative of the RNC, then they should fire him.

Hey, not so loud. 30-year-old single malt doesn't come cheap, you know.

Great quotes, Cleek. You should put 'em in a comment at Greenwald's, he'll probably front-page 'em in an update.

Slarti might also recall that the natives were restless, a couple of weeks ago, about some ABC docu-drama which reiterated the Clinton-cut-&-run lie.

30-year-old single malt doesn't come cheap, you know.

Hell, I might start seeing the policy logic of the Medicare donut hole if I were getting paid in Macallan 30.

"Hell, I might start seeing the policy logic of the Medicare donut hole if I were getting paid in Macallan 30."

Before or after copious consumption?

KCinDC- Meh maybe. I don't think its a put-down though, and I strongly disagree with Spartikus above. I think Slarti deserves that RNC money more than some people we know are getting paid.

I dunno if anyone here hangs out at Sadly No. I just started going there recently. Gary Ruppert there really makes me wonder. If he's getting paid by the Republicans they should fire him, because he makes them look really really bad. Most liberal blogs have a troll like that, though not usually as lame as Gary. Why is that? Is there some kind of psychological need that they are meeting? KCinDC you hang out at Balloon Juice what could possibly be motivating Darell?

Dantheman, I missed that & was coming back to pick it up, but you were there first.

KCinDC you hang out at Balloon Juice what could possibly be motivating Darell?

And Specialist, over at TAPPED? What's up with that?

I personally think it's more likely than not that *some* trolls are being paid. Given what we've seen thus far, and given that you probably don't have to pay trolls much to get 'em to do what they would do on their own time ...

Slarti, however, is too smart to be a troll. (An ogre mage, perhaps, for those of you shameless enough to pick up the reference.)

I wouldn't say I hang out at Balloon Juice, just visit occasionally. My impression is that a lot of the "right-wing" commenters there are fakes, like most of the "Al" comments on Washington Monthly. Some of the Darrell comments seem that way, but maybe not others. I'm not sure how one can distinguish reliably between fanatics and mercenaries when dealing with commenters.

(An ogre mage, perhaps, for those of you shameless enough to pick up the reference.)

Hmm...where I used to hang out, ogres had insufficient INT to make a decent mage, and you'd also be low enough on WIS that you'd be lucky to get more than 1 prac. Hell on STR and CON, though.

I stopped hanging out at Balloon Juice a while back because it got to the point that any discussion was dominated by the shouters. And then there were the trolls, both right and left, and after that there were the troll-posers of all flavors. Not my cuppa tea.

Glennn does more historical research, and this time he names the person who provoked it explicitly: Jonah Goldberg, who makes this, um, astonishing claim:

"The notion that conservatives opposed Clinton as Commander-in-Chief in the pre-war on terror or in other military ventures is simply unfair. I get email all of the time from defensive liberals accusing NR or me or "the right" of hypocrisy for critizing liberals who seem to put partisan hatred of Bush ahead of the war on terror. They say, "Oh, yeah, well you guys screamed 'wag the dog' during the Sudan bombing and you opposed Clinton on Yugoslavia." And it's simply untrue. Sure, there were some wag the dog voices — like noted rightwing trogs Arlen Specter and Christopher Hitchens — but generally even the most partisan Republicans supported Clinton. And the leading conservative magazines — NR and The Weekly Standard — backed Clinton on Yugoslavia as well as the Sudan bombing. "

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Clinton? He's running for something this November?

Could all this be a ... er ... distraction from what the public should be focused on in making their decisions come election day?

If drawing comparisons between Clinton and Bush is actually important enough to hold a national debate on it now, then the context has to include the issue of international support. Bush has no critics of any significance in doing whatever it takes to capture and kill bin Laden, especially within the United States. Clinton had no such luxury. If Clinton failed to kill bin Laden with the handicaps in place when he tried and that suggests, as Rove et al. mean it to, that Democrats are weak on defense, how do we define Bush's failure to do so without those handicaps, with both houses of Congress, with a carte blanche to wage war when and where he wants to, with no hesitation when it comes to torturing people for information, no limits on who and how long he can detain someone he thinks might know something of value? Really, "failure" isn't sufficient here. How do we define Bush's inability to get this job done?

Glennn does more historical research

Much, much better.

Is it just me or is Jonah all foam and no beer?

Jonah's got a response up already.

Jonah wrote: "Greenwald would have us believe that "Clinton's critics" were all Republicans and conservatives"

of course, that's not what Greenwald was arguing at all. and then Jonah tries to back away gracefully with his "Everybody deserves blame" schtick. what a weasle.

he's a weasel, too.

Edward_: How do we define Bush's inability to get this job done?

Well, if you google on "miserable failure", that still brings up the correct webpage.

That Bush is a complete incompetent (judging by his life before he became President) ought to have been news to nobody in November 2001. That the Bush administration is made up of complete incompetents is harder to believe: it seems actually more probable that the current situation worldwide and in the US is exactly what they want.

it seems actually more probable that the current situation worldwide and in the US is exactly what they want.

I posted a theory on that her on ObWi more than a year ago and recall it falling flat. It doesn't seem so paranoid these days though.

Slartibarfast - The argument that Clinton is to blame (at least in part) for emboldening Al Qaeda due to "his" withdrawal from Somalia is one of the most commmonly voiced charges against Clinton. That is precisely why Chris Wallace --- whom I quoted -- asked Clinton about it.

The purpose of my post was to rebut THAT assertion -- that Clinton was to blame for our withdrawal from Somalia and therefore cast a perception of U.S. weakness. Why should I have the obligation to scour the Internet first to find people who have made that argment? It's all over the place - and I quoted Wallace summarizing the argument. I also linked to the interview where Wallace cited a book which advanced that argument.

If you think that nobody is making that argument, then I'd suggest that you're not paying much attention to the terrorism debate, but even if you are right about what you are suggesting, so what? What have you proven? That I've debunked an argument which nobody is making? Fine. I'm confident the argument is all over the place and is a staple of the Blame Clinton discussion and most people know that. And I am happy to have it stipulated that the argument is invalid even by those (such as you) who mystifyingly question whether the argument is really being made and suggest that it's somehow a "weakness" in the debunking that - in addition to all the reserach I did to debunk the argument - I failed to link to enough people advancing the argument.

This thread just goes to show you that it is impossible to ever advance an argument conclusively enough - had I linked to three people making this argument, I would have heard that I should have linked to 4 - or that it was only 3. All I cared about in the post is demonstrating that the claim that Clinton was responsible for the hasty Somalia withdraw is false, and after referencing the now-well-known Wallace interview where that accusation was made, that's what I proceeded to do.

Glenn Greenwald: "That I've debunked an argument which nobody is making?"

Doing so in conjunction with "right-wingers" was I think the point Slart was concerned about. Certain people have been known to exaggerate the sins of the other side via such straw-man arguments.


"Why should I have the obligation to scour the Internet first to find people who have made that argment?"

If it's all over the place then "scour" is silly.


"If you think that nobody is making that argument, then I'd suggest that you're not paying much attention to the terrorism debate"

You mistake someone asking to see good evidence that X is true for someone thinking X is false. Also I think it's entirely possible to pay close attention to the terrorism debate without reading anyone who makes the fact-free argument you quash. At least if "the terrorism debate" refers to people trying to get to the truth, the sort of people of most interest I think to Slart.

The argument that Clinton is to blame (at least in part) for emboldening Al Qaeda due to "his" withdrawal from Somalia is one of the most commmonly voiced charges against Clinton.

Yes, and statements of this kind are exactly why I asked what amounts to "most commonly voiced...by whom?".

It's all over the place - and I quoted Wallace summarizing the argument.

Nice, but not my point. If your argument had been that Fox News was being ahistorical, that would have been useful.

If you think that nobody is making that argument

This has never been my thesis, Glenn. I don't think that just because I have no idea what you're talking about, and because you haven't bothered making your case, that you don't have a case to make. Just that, y'know, you have only made your case to people who know what you're talking about, to begin with.

All I cared about in the post is demonstrating that the claim that Clinton was responsible for the hasty Somalia withdraw is false

Well, sure. But I hadn't seen that claim made outside of a few bloggers, so it seemed like much ado over nothing.

But now I think your case has been made, by you and by others.

I do think your depiction of the sentiments of Bob Dole, for example, come up short of being fair, but given that it's true that Senator Dole was calling for getting us out of Somalia, I think that's a completely different conversation.

As for the larger question of whether Clinton was sufficiently diligent against the terrorist threat, I think there's a middle ground (and I've discussed this in comments here, and been roundly condemned for even suggesting that Clinton could have been more effective) that, if I chose to explore it, I'd be called something like "weaselly".

rilke, you're ruining my right-wing cred.

I guess I should be happy that everything is back to normal. It's as if that whole torture bill cave-in stuff never happened! The Republicans would never manipulate the dialogue to make things come out the way they want them! Sheesh.

Oh, and the question Wallace asked that you quoted, Glenn, is actually quoting bin Laden. Who, in turn, didn't even mention Clinton. If you had a Wallace quote that better illustrated your point, using that one might have been less confusing.

Sorry, Slart.

Let it be known throughout the kingdom that Slart is a live-puppy-eating right-winger.


"[I've] been roundly condemned for even suggesting that Clinton could have been more effective"

Umm, I can imagine you being roundly disagreed with, but that doesn't have the same ring. I seem to recall replying I thought he had done pretty well with the info available at the time, and that I did so in arkhilokhan meter was not intended as an aspersion.

Also I think it's entirely possible to pay close attention to the terrorism debate without reading anyone who makes the fact-free argument you quash

i remember in the days after 9/11, being told by wingers that Reagan's Beirut pullout and Clinton's Somalia pullout were responsible for "showing the terrorists that the US was a paper tiger." none of them ever mentioned that Clinton wanted to stay longer than many vocal members of the GOP and their professional supporters did, of course.

Ok, "condemned" was a little strong.

Perhaps someone who recalls OBL's propaganda will know if _he_ made the "We chased the US out of Somalia" claim.

Edward_: I posted a theory on that her on ObWi more than a year ago and recall it falling flat. It doesn't seem so paranoid these days though.

As Teresa Nielsen Hayden first said (I think she said it first) "I deeply resent the way this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist." You won't even be able to vote the bastards out.

OBL

BIN LADEN: We experienced the Americans through our brothers who went into combat against them in Somalia, for example. We found they had no power worthy of mention. There was a huge aura over America -- the United States -- that terrified people even before they entered combat. Our brothers who were here in Afghanistan tested them, and together with some of the mujahedeen in Somalia, God granted them victory. America exited dragging its tails in failure, defeat, and ruin, caring for nothing.

---

not quite a clear claim, but IIRC, he uses that same indirect language when describing the 9/11 gang.

It seems appropriate to link to this again. Short version, quoting or asking questions, ok, drawing inferences from that, evil evil evil...

Slart, 2:39 P.M.:
Cleek, I actually did google on that, but was daunted by the flurry of blog articles. Probably going back more than a couple or three pages was needed.

Slart,5:01 P.M.:
But I hadn't seen that claim made outside of a few bloggers, so it seemed like much ado over nothing.

It strikes me that when one sees so many blogs circulating an idea that one gives up on their google search after 3 pages, it is rather an understatement to depict that as "a few". In fact, it feels like a deliberate effort to downplay the truth in order to argue against Glenn's claim "It's all over the place - and I quoted Wallace summarizing the argument." Given your first claim, I can see why he would give his response without thinking it would be hard for someone to follow the argument.

Would it have been better for Glenn to hunt down a ton of quotes? Possibly. However, I think the quotes that have been dug up only serve to illustrate his point that it is "right wingers" doing the claiming and that he really didn't need to be much more specific.

Wallace, from the interview:

"WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of e-mail from viewers. And I’ve got to say, I was surprised. Most of them wanted me to ask you this question: Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?

There’s a new book out, I suspect you’ve already read, called

The Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, bin Laden said, I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of U.S. troops. Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the Cole.

CLINTON: OK, let’s just go through that.

WALLACE: Let me — let me — may I just finish the question, sir?

And after the attack, the book says that bin Laden separated his leaders, spread them around, because he expected an attack, and there was no response.

I understand that hindsight is always 20/20…

CLINTON: No, let’s talk about it.

WALLACE: … but the question is, why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?"

I thought it was pretty clear that the reason Wallace so much as mentioned Somalia in his interview with Clinton was because it was part of a litany of complaints about why he hadn't done more against bin Laden. It was not a question like: what do you think of this remark of bin Laden's?, or: do you think that the fact that some unknown person advocated withdrawing from Somalia after Black Hawk Down; it was an example cited in support of his question: 'Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?' And the implication is plainly that Clinton showed weakness by pulling us out.

'It strikes me that when one sees so many blogs circulating an idea that one gives up on their google search after 3 pages, it is rather an understatement to depict that as "a few".'

The point I think is that one can usually find any number of people espousing any sort of nonsense. One needs to point to several well-known proponents of the nonsense to avoid nutpicking.

Slart, an ogre mage is totally different from your run-of-the-mill ogre. At least it was 20-some years ago, and at least one new-fangled resource agrees.

Again, the point of my post was not to say - "Hey, there are a lot of right-wingers making this argument" (if that had been the point, I would have provided links to prove that, as I typically do to demonstrate that Argument X is gaining traction).

I was making a different point - this "this argument is wrong"-- REGARDLESS of how many people are making it, so I focused on the wrongness of the argument, not the quantity of people advancing it.

It is painfully obvious that the argument was being advanced since, as Hilzoy just pointed out, that was the crystal clear point of Chris Wallace's question to Clinton - it was the first example he cited after claiming that viewers want to know why Clinton didn't do more about bin Laden.

But did the people who are still pushing this "criticism" read Spartikus' comment above? He linked to this argument being made by Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review, Rush Limbaugh, and Mona Charren, hardly obscure right-wing bloggers - more like several of the most influential right-wing pundits in the country.

Here is what Lowry said:

The kind of sweaty-palmed cut-and-run sentiment now gripping the Democratic party over the question of Iraq was personified in the Oval Office ten years ago by a panicked President Clinton, as I write in my new book Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years. His hasty retreat after the "Black Hawk Down" battle created an image of American weakness that was noted by Islamic terrorists at the time and that the United States is still working to undo to this day.

So clearly, there are right-wingers making this argument, just as I said there were, and they are influential opinion-makers (and there are tons of more examples just like that). How many right-wing commentators made this argument had nothing to do with my post, but now that it's clear that it was made by substantial opnion-makers, what's the response?

Glenn Greenwald: 'But did the people who are still pushing this "criticism"'

That would be no one.


'I was making a different point - this "this argument is wrong"-- REGARDLESS of how many people are making it, so I focused on the wrongness of the argument, not the quantity of people advancing it.'

You would have been better received by some here if you had done so by citing to Lowry, Limbaugh, and Charen instead of "right-wingers". Claims like "one of the central aspects of the general neoconservative mythology of how to fight terrorism" may be accurate but go beyond "it's out there".

Also note that there are many wrong arguments out there - choosing to refute a particular one tends to suggest it isn't just randomly wrong. I would have thought you'd be interested in the listing the prominent conservative pundits who pushed this - it makes the point of your post stronger.


"now that it's clear that it was made by substantial opnion-makers, what's the response?"

They're poopy-heads. Like that's news?

You would have been better received by some here if you had done so by citing to Lowry, Limbaugh, and Charen instead of "right-wingers".

Because Lowry, Limbaugh, and Charen are not right-wingers? Or because that would have enabled "some here" to pretend that the only right-wingers putting forward this historical revisionism are "poopy-heads"?

I think that the "some here" (whom you neglect to specify) would not have received Glenn Greenwald's argument well no matter how he phrased it: "some here" would have found different reasons to dismiss it, but dismiss it they would.

Rilkefan, does it make any difference that Lowry put this in a book (that was financed and published)? This would seem to suggest a more organized approach than a simple one off comment on a blog. This might make it more than just a random argument that wandered into the bar.

"Because Lowry, Limbaugh, and Charen are not right-wingers?"

You may be unaware of who the above are, Jes - if so, you probably don't want to. My point was that GG made a lazy generalization when he could have made a sharp argument. He also seemed to be having a little trouble fielding the specifics of Slart's original stance, not being aware of his reflexive skepticism, so I attempted to explain.

"whom you neglect to specify"

You got the joke, then.

As for the rest, some would say "Mind-reading, 10 yard penalty".


lj, you seem to have entirely mistaken my argument. Maybe I've been unclear since only the formal logic is of interest to me, not the tiresome smears of Clinton.

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