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July 24, 2007

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Jonah Goldberg strides forth, naked and unencumbered, into the new dawn.

Just thought that that needed repeating, in case anyone else managed to avoid the horrendous image that popped into my head when I read it.

Cheers!

That coming from a guy who approvingly quoted the Ledeen doctrine:

Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.

(...)

Creative destruction is our middle name and we threaten everybody's stability. And one of the reasons that people like us are constantly upset with some of our professional diplomats is that they always stress the endless desirability of stability. Well, stability is not what we want and stability is not what the United States is about.

Have you no sense of decency, sir? Well, it seems he's way past worrying about that.

...and this week it's "preventing genocide".

why should we listen to any of these people? why should anyone, even other conservatives, give a moment's thought to what the congenitally-wrong keyboard brigades have to say about anything? for all Jonah's moaning about how the Left doesn't have a deep philosophical basis for making policy decisions, what does he have to show for his? Nothing. not one damned thing. him and his fellow philosophical foreign policy fakers haven't been right about One Fncking Thing in the past six years. their credibility is in arrears. they should be dismissed and whispered about in pitying tones, if acknowledged at all.

and if we ever need their foreign policy skillz - if we ever want to know exactly what it is we shouldn't do - we can gently tap on their door and ask "Jonah, Victor, Rich, tell us, what we should do about [oh, i don't know] Malaysia?" and when they all start shouting "invade! invade! throw it against the wall! flowers! democracy! greeted as liberators!" we will know to do exactly the opposite and leave Malaysia the hell alone.

It's not only Goldberg's logic that needs work. His selective use of data, only some of which can be found in the real world, shows a total lack of interest in anything but his own delusional wishful thinking.

Ten years from now, these fact-allergic conservatives will be telling us that the liberals were at fault for forcing Bush to overthrow Saddam and not letting him have a decent plan in place to manage the glorious victory.

"When You Jump Into The Shark"

I'm stuck at the metaphor: what does this mean?

"Jumping the shark" refers to Fonzie's famous jumping over a shark tank on his motorcycle.

Jumping into the shark?

It sounds like a bad thing, and to be avoided, to be sure. Beyond that, I'm not following the precise intent or meaning of the metaphor. Will Jonah be singing a swan song at any time, or might a jackboot be thrown into the melting pot?

Gary: "Anyone who fights with monsters should make sure that he does not in the process become a monster himself. And when you look for a long time into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

-- Nietzsche

I'm not a philosophy major, but I am familiar with Nietzsche's most famous quote.

I'm not seeing the analogy to when Jonah's show was an excellent one (in which episode, exactly, did he jump the shark from his fine quality program that we loved?), but I'm probably looking for more meaning in the metaphor than intended (my point wasn't that I didn't get the Nietzsche part, which was obvious, but I don't get the "jump the shark" part: where does that come in?).

Gary: I'm not sure it was intended to bear this level of analysis. It's just what I thought of. But you're right: I have never thought that Jonah Goldberg was analogous to a good show.

And it's back on!

"But you're right: I have never thought that Jonah Goldberg was analogous to a good show."

That's where the whole "jumping the shark" part didn't make sense to me.

Thus my puzzlement. Since you agree, my puzzlement is now gone: thanks.

(Referring to, say, David Broder, who did once do fine journalism back in the Sixties/Seventies, as having long since jumped the shark, for instance, would make perfect sense: but as there never was a time when Jonah Goldberg was an excellent journalist or commentator, referring to him as metaphorically jumping the shark breaks the metaphor; thus my having been stuck at that point, trying to make sense of it.)

The best I can say of Goldberg is that there are more overtly and consistently vicious scum out there, like Coulter, or some similar damnation by faintess.

I will attempt this for the third time.

Putting to the side Goldberg's unwarranted and undefended assumptions, his trather loose and probably intentional use of non-facts, and some very sloppy logical thinking, there is something else that should be noted.

For a long time liberals such as myself and hilzoy were behind our staying in Iraq to attempt to fix what we broke. This was from a sense of moral responsibility for what this country had done by invading in the first place. And it was also coming from a point of view that was against the invasion from the beginning.

PArt of our (at least my) anger was that the administration was doing nothing that would make the fixing possible, and IMO still isn't. Of course at this time, it is unlikely, again IMO, that there is any possibility that we can.

I don't know when or why hilzoy changed her position, but I changed when my son came back from his tour over there. When I asked him what would happen when we left, he said there would be civil war even if we stayed 20 years and there was nothing we could do to avoid it. He was able to get a good sense of the bitterness and fear and pure hatred that some Sunnis have toward Shiites and vice versa.

Godlberga nd others, just like they didn't realize or chose to ignore the long term hatred between the two sects prior to the invasion, don't recognize or chose not to acknowledge the long term cultural memory that exists in the ME. And this memory lies alngside a cultural strain that to some degree believes violence is an appropriate response to things.

This does not mean all Iraqis espouse violence, because I am sure most just want to live their lives in peace. Unfortunately, those that are doing the killing, though a minority have a lot of power and influence.

Plus, the Sunnis are , in their eyes, fighting for self-preservation.

Farley is right that a commitment must be judged within the capability to finish it, and we no longer, if we ever did, have that capability.

I really liked Farley's statement that "the moral is practical". If there is such a thing as moral reality at all, it is practical in nature -- it's the "well" or "ill" that results from our actions. If you accept this "pragmatic" view, then your greatest moral responsibility is to learn and understand as much as humanly possible about the likely consequences of your actions. Which means that you can't succumb to wishful thinking on either side of the argument about potential genocide.

When Goldberg says, "If you can justify causing genocide in order to end a nation-building exercise...", it's even more devious than it is deviant, because it makes it look like a pragmatic goal (ending the exercise) trumps the ideological principle of humanitarian intervention. The truth is that if we had a "perfect instrument" that let us view the future results of our actions, we would all choose the actions that had the best results (granting, of course, that the best choice might not be obvious, even if something as awful as genocide were involved). Obama (who Goldberg quotes on the Darfur vs. Iraq thing) is making a pragmatic argument, not an ideological one.

That said, Goldberg's intention is obviously not to persuade liberals of anything. If someone is content to "justify causing genocide in order to end a nation-building exercise", he or she is probably not going to worry too much about tarnishing the liberal ideological reputation a little in the process.

This line of argument is more or less the same line of argument invasion supporters wielded against liberal invasion opponents five years ago, except yesteryear's "aren't you you liberals supposed to be concerned about sanctions/tyranny/torture" is replaced with today's "aren't you liberals supposed to be concerned about genocide."

Or in other words, when you jump into history repeating itself as farce, farce jumps into you.

"This line of argument is [...]" grammatically unidentified. This turns out to be important.

OK, that title is hilarious.

Or in other words, when you jump into history repeating itself as farce, farce jumps into you.

Posted by: Model 62 | July 24, 2007 at 09:51 PM

And it keeps giving.

Why oh why do they keep publishing these people's crap? Why oh why?

Why is it that commentators who have a well-established track record of being consistently wrong about everything still are given these platforms?

"Why is it that commentators who have a well-established track record of being consistently wrong about everything still are given these platforms?"

Inertia.

And also, literally, contracts. My somewhat vague and distant understanding is that newspaper columnists these days tend to sign contracts for a several year period, and this tends to leave papers/syndicates needing an overt and noticiable business reason to give someone not at the end of their contract the boot, more than not.

I could speculate on more underlying political reasons, to be sure, and because I don't at the moment doesn't mean that I, in fact, automatically discount such reasons, to be clear.

This is deviant brilliance: every bit as much a classic as Bill Kristol's recent attempt to divine the future by sticking his head up his ass and reading his own entrails.

Yowzah! hilzoy is shrillacious tonight.

Hilzoy, thou art SHRILLZILLA!!!!1!!

(Oh, and please spank Abu Gonzales before retiring for the evening.)

The Yoo has come from the woodwork again too.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/>John Yoo -- then and now

Glenn Greenwald writes,

Yoo, who is not only the most authoritarian but also the most partisan and intellectually dishonest lawyer in the country.

The competition for that title is tough. See
the excerpt of Alberto Gonzales' testimony and Josh Marshall's commentary.

[For Gary] The Yoo came from the woodwork out?

Cheney 2008!

also the most partisan and intellectually dishonest lawyer in the country

GG said that?!? Oh man, that’s rich coming from him.

OCS - could you point out a few instances where Greenwald has been intellectually dishonest? Just curious.

Okay, that should have been "out of the woodwork".

I agree that it is premature to claim the title for Yoo while there are so many other contenders. No doubt that he is a candidate though.

But if genocide unfolds in Iraq after American troops depart, it would be hard to argue that we weren't at least partly to blame.

Well, at least he got that part right. Not in the way he thinks, but true enough none the less.

Maybe it's time for Jonah to quit the family business and get a real job.

The Yoo has come from the woodwork again too.

What I want to know is who the hell is signing up for Yoo's courses at Berkeley. It'd be like taking Political Science 101 with professor Benito Mussolini.

Young people are learning law from John Yoo. If that doesn't disturb you, nothing will.

Hilzoy, thou art SHRILLZILLA!!!!1!!

Rave on, sister.

Thanks -

There were a couple of interesting comments on the DailyKos open thread that mentioned this story.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/25/14248/7859

OCS - could you point out a few instances where Greenwald has been intellectually dishonest? Just curious.

I have the same question.

Greenwald is arguably partisan, but IMO only in the sense that he's taken a position. Again IMO, that's what the times call for.

I've never read anything by him, anywhere, that I would call intellectually dishonest. I'd be curious to see what you are thinking of when you say this.

Thanks -

OCSteve: GG said that?!? Oh man, that’s rich coming from him.

Question thirded.

Hartmut: Okay, that should have been "out of the woodwork".

No problem. I was thinking of this.

I think OCS is referring to the unsubstantiated accusations of Greenwald sockpuppetry made by various ultra-loopy ultra-wingers.

Is that what you're referring to, Steve?

The Yoo has come from the woodwork again too. -- Hartmut

"Hartmut Hears a Yoo"?

For Gary Farber: What does "grammatically unidentified" mean?

If it's the sockpuppet thing, I have never, for a moment, understood why, if we suppose that someone from Greenwald's house was posting under an assumed name, we get to assume that it was Greenwald. To me, the likeliest explanation -- assuming someone was posting from his home, and given what he said -- is that it was his boyfriend.

(I also recall thinking, and maybe saying, that maybe one of the reasons I found this utterly plausible, while apparently some other people didn't, is that Glenn Greenwald and I both date guys, unlike large chunks of the blogosphere. It has certainly happened to me that people I'm romantically involved with have charged out to my defense in ways I very much wished they hadn't, touching and sweet as they often were. (Touching, sweet, and sometimes utterly misguided.) And while in general I try not to do gender stereotypes, I do think this is something guys are more prone to than women.)

I have never found Glenn to be intellectually dishonest. I could quibble about his generalizations about conservatives, and I disagree with him on exactly how to characterize what he calls the Manichean strain in Bush's policies, but as far as I can tell, he isn;t intellectually dishonest at all.

He's also an incredibly good lawyer, as far as I can tell, and even if you completely disagree with him, it would (imho) be a huge mistake not to read him on legal issues.

@OCSteve: Regardless of how you might feel about Greenwald's intellectual honesty, or what causes you to believe he's intellectually dishonest, I recommend reading the post Hartmut pointed to.

Yoo's views on executive privilege, secrecy, and impeachment have, er, evolved.

"It has certainly happened to me that people I'm romantically involved with have charged out to my defense in ways I very much wished they hadn't, touching and sweet as they often were."

I think this supports my "practical morality" argument. Intentions are the irony of morality.

It's not just contracts. Didn't Jonah get a new gig with the LA Times just last year? Or am I wrong?

Yowzah! hilzoy is shrillacious tonight.
I did have to double-check the byline when I hit that sentence. Hilzoy doesn't normally talk about asses.

The most incongruous appearance of Jonah Goldberg was one Saturday last year when he substituted for Daniel Schorr on Weekend Edition. Fortunately NPR never repeated that mistake, but that it happened at all is worrisome.

Didn't Jonah get a new gig with the LA Times just last year?

it was Nov 2005. but still, it's not as though anything about Jonah or what he writes about has changed since then. he's the same old idiot hack today that he was back then.

Ah, the onion.

OCS - could you point out a few instances where Greenwald has been intellectually dishonest? Just curious.

Sorry – I realize he must have some readers here. I find him to be one of the most partisan writers in the ‘sphere. And that’s fine; there is certainly an audience for that. But I think him calling someone else partisan is rich.


If it's the sockpuppet thing, I have never, for a moment, understood why, if we suppose that someone from Greenwald's house was posting under an assumed name, we get to assume that it was Greenwald. To me, the likeliest explanation -- assuming someone was posting from his home, and given what he said -- is that it was his boyfriend.

It wasn’t just the IP address. You are correct in that with a router it could be multiple machines. What you see as my IP address could originate from one of 5 different computers and at least 2 different people.

But Patterico pretty extensively documented extreme similarities in writing style, timing of GG’s comments vs. comments from the others etc. He has a lot more evidence than just the IP address.

Maybe you won’t find it conclusive even if you read it all, but it certainly makes him suspect in my eyes.

Then there’s this.

On Yoo, he may well be 100% correct. I just found that sentence to be quite ironic coming from him.

I don’t want to turn this into a thread-jack so I’ll drop it here.

OCSteve: I find him to be one of the most partisan writers in the ‘sphere. And that’s fine; there is certainly an audience for that. But I think him calling someone else partisan is rich.

I think that someone like Alberto Gonzales, who has proved himself willing to harass a sedated man in the ICU to get that man to give approval of a criminal goverment program because his President told him to do it, is by far more partisan than someone who is critical of this and other actions committed by Republicans at the behest of a Republican administration. Unless you can show that Glenn Greenwald criticizes the Bush administration and their loyalists because they are Republicans, and not because they are a set of lying, incompetent, arrogant crooks who think they can get away with anything, I don't think you can call Greenwald "one of the most partisan writers" is the blogosphere.

OCSteve, I appreciate your desire not to make this a threadjack. But I wouldn't be too concerned that we're drifting off-topic, given that the Jonah Goldberg piece hilzoy lampoons is a gaudy showpiece of intellectual dishonesty.

So I feel compelled to note that there's been goalpost-moving here. Your original comment accused Greenwald not of partisanship (which is not an inherently bad thing) but of intellectual dishonesty (which is). Now, partisanship can certainly lead one to intellectual dishonesty -- John Yoo's diametrically opposed stands on executive privilege, contempt, and impeachment in the Clinton and Bush cases is an example of that.

But there's no necessary connection, and in Greenwald's case I think your charge is a very cheap shot.

Two years' worth of daily columns in which he scrupulously documents and marshals consistent arguments based on traditional readings of the constitution and common-sense expectations about fairness and balance in reporting -- against one sequence of puported sock-puppeting for which there is a perfectly sound alternative explanation.

Greenwald is the only liberal blogger to break into the 'big time' in readership in the last two years, and he did on merit. The issue that gave him prominence was his knowledgeable pushback, based on the FISA law itself, to right-wing dismissive spin on the NSA spying revelations.

But he held and built a readership on the basis of hard work and a striking willingness -- unusual among bloggers with large, active comment sections -- to meet the arguments of commenters head-on, with respect and counter-arguments rather than snark. He was scrupulous about updating prominently to correct and retract errors he'd made.

To me, that's the exact opposite of intellectual dishonesty.

Your original comment accused Greenwald not of partisanship (which is not an inherently bad thing) but of intellectual dishonesty (which is).

Did it? I didn't see that. One could read that into OCSteve's comment, but that's not the same thing.

"also the most partisan and intellectually dishonest lawyer in the country

GG said that?!? Oh man, that’s rich coming from him."

On re-reading, I retract my accusations of goalpost-moving.

OCSteve's comment implied he though Greenwald was both highly partisan and intellectually dishonest. I wasn't alone in focusing on the latter (see responses of Ugh and Russell).

But since OCS provided cites to explain why he considers Greenwald intellectually dishonest (regardless of how unconvincing I might find them), it's not the case that he evade that point to focus on partisanship.
Sorry, OC Steve.

Think I should go cut down thistle in the field for a while.

I wouldn't call what Greenwald is accused of "intellectual dishonesty". The accusation is that sometimes he posts under assumed names but that he never posts as Greenwald and as somebody else on the same thread. That seems a normal use of net anonymity, and quite reasonable for someone whose mere presence would incite flamewars. Sockpuppetry, to me, is using an additional persona to create the false and relevant impression of a separate identity - as in having discussions with yourself, or purporting some nonexistent real-life experience that would give you additional credibility. Even if these other posters are Greenwald (and not friendlies cribbing from him) he seems to be making an effort not to use anonymity inappropriately.

Hilzoy and no doubt many of the other posters here have RL personas that make public communications. No doubt some of them are politically oriented. Is it a problem that these posters have an anonymity screen even though they may write on politics in RL?

Nell: But there's no necessary connection, and in Greenwald's case I think your charge is a very cheap shot.

I read that post and literally snorted coffee out my nose. Irony and hypocrisy, I should have self-censored and gave it a pass. But the caffeine hadn’t quite made it to my brain yet.

Nell: You know that personally you have changed my mind in a huge way. So you know I am capable of removing the partisan blinders from time to time.

With certain commenters here, if I begin to read their comment but their name is still off the screen, I can say with certainty who the author is. Hilzoy, Gary, and Thullen would be the main ones (John – where are you dude?). That is not occasionally, or mostly, but always. Writing style, choice of words, repeated patterns – they combine to make a unique writing signature that is very recognizable.

IMO, it requires a suspension of belief to believe that a Brazilian with English as a second language would so closely and coincidentally match the writing signature of an American lawyer.

The evidence is enough for me to discount his opinions at this point. It is not a partisan thing – I believe CC or Katherine or others here on the law who are political opposites of me – because they have credibility in my eyes. GG no longer does.

And as Gary would be our resident expert on writing, if he tells me that it is impossible to peg an author by such things as their style, word selection, unusual punctuation etc., and that a foreigner with English as a second language is indistinguishable from a native American lawyer - then I will reconsider my position.

Nell: But since OCS provided cites to explain why he considers Greenwald intellectually dishonest (regardless of how unconvincing I might find them), it's not the case that he evade that point to focus on partisanship.
Sorry, OC Steve.

And this is why I give your POV serious consideration. You have credibility with me, like money in the bank. When you say something I take it very seriously. GG – not so much.

OCS - does he have no credibility because of the (alleged) sock puppetry or do you believe he's intellectually dishonest (or does the sock pupptery make him intellectually dishonest)?

Nell: One thing to add. I always thought your rhetoric was a bit over the top, and discounted your opinion. When you told me the anecdote about the guy on his fifth combat tour I thought – BS. Then I did some research and realized you were right and I was wrong. You are personally responsible for a big change in my thinking. This ain’t politics.

Ugh: The sock puppets and hypocrisy make him intellectually dishonest IMO. Believe it or not – I used to read him regularly. Then I found that he included a lot of links, but if you clicked through they did not actually support his argument. It was like he included a lot of support for his opinion that, well, did not actually support his opinion. Like he was counting on his readers to be on board and not click through and read his links. Then the sock puppet stuff and other things, then I wrote him off.

IMO Hilzoy, CC, Katherine, you, and many others here have more integrity in their pinky. You certainly can’t call us political soul mates – I trust you guys, but not him.

OCS - thanks for the explanation.

As for Greenwald, I tend to find him more persuasive when he's writing about the law rather than purely political stuff, where he's seems prone to mass generalizations and unwarranted hyperbole (though I'll admit I never gone through clicked on all his links in either case).

OCSteve: for some reason, I find it incredibly easy to imagine that someone might pick up the verbal tics and mannerisms of someone he's living with. I once acquired a Kansas accent in this very way. (Seriously. I had to try not to have it anymore.) I still have all sorts of verbal mannerisms of friends, not to mention ex-boyfriends; only the ones I like tend to last, but when the boyfriends are boyfriends, rather than ex-boyfriends, it's scary how easily it happens.

Likewise, knowing Greenwald's work: maybe some people don't read their lovers' work, but I tend to know it by heart, word for word. It doesn't even take much effort; I'm automatically very interested, and things I'm interested in just stick in my head.

Just ask -- well, I won't say who, but if anyone should happen to read this who wants to comment on my ability to remember whole conversations with people I was all smitten with, word for word, years or even decades later, that person should feel free.

Which is why I read Patterico's stuff and thought: I don't see what this shows. -- I mean, I don't think I have any argument that it's not Glenn, other than my sense of him; I just don't think that Patterico has an argument that it is him either.

I agree with Ugh at 5:54.

So, wait, suddenly "I can easily parse blog comments by people with whom I interact every single day" = OH HAI I R A FORENSIC WRITING ANALYST?

"Then I found that he included a lot of links, but if you clicked through they did not actually support his argument."

This is, IMHO, a characteristically legal tic. Cite something as wholly supporting your argument which really only does so if you squint just right and skip some words. :)

OCSteve:

The evidence is enough for me to discount his opinions at this point.

GG has a shrill writing style which gets annoying, but he also documents his arguments with care and accuracy. Are you really clicking through his links? He also frequently quotes long sections of what he links -- they are always well put together.

Go read his recent piece on Petreaus, for example, regarding his past history of cheerleading for the administration.

I read your Patterico link, and it is a sad example of slippery facts and argument -- not unlike the same weak reasoning of Goldberg that started this whole subject.

Dismissing GG based on the allegation of sockpuppetry or Patterico's reasoning is just stooping to ad hominem.

When you told me the anecdote about the guy on his fifth combat tour I thought – BS. Then I did some research and realized you were right and I was wrong.

The central thing there is that the marines have short tours compared to army. Marine tours used to be 6 months, which gives time for 5 since early 2003.

If it was army, starting out a year in and 2 years out, there wouldn't be time.

Except the Army isn't a year in and two out. I know people who have one tour in Afghanistan and are on their third in Iraq.

Personally,IMO anything more than two tours of either type is too much.

BTW, OCSteve, don't feel you did a threadjack. There are pundits on both sides who irk those on the other yet are considered totally legitimate by their own side.

Glen Reynolds comes to mind. A person who I totally disregard, probably too quickly. He may say something worthwhile at times, but I will not pay any attention to him. Yet a lot view him the same way many on the left view Greenwald.

Regarding Greenwald, my comment was in response to this:

also the most partisan and intellectually dishonest lawyer in the country

GG said that?!? Oh man, that’s rich coming from him.

To be clear, I read this as OCSteve stating that Greenwald is both partisan and intellectually dishonest. I think that's a fair reading.

I have no beef with anyone labeling Greenwald partisan. He is.

At this particular juncture in American history, so am I, for similar reasons. The Republican party is currently phenomenally corrupt, rife with criminal behavior, and populated with an army of opportunists drunk with ill gained and undeserved power. I'd love to see them out of power in any and all branches of government, federal, state, and local.

My two cents. It's not an unreasonable position.

I have a beef with Greenwald being labelled intellectually dishonest, because I don't think he is.

Maybe you won’t find it conclusive even if you read it all, but it certainly makes him suspect in my eyes.

That appears to be a pretty good circumstantial argument that there's something fishy in the world of Greenwald. Maybe, in his spare time, he visits conservative blogs and comments under pseudonyms.

That would be really strange behavior, but it would hardly be the first or last time someone who otherwise had useful things to contribute broke weird.

I can't really say much more on comment threads on Ace, Patterico, or similar conservative sites because I don't read them, ever. Not interested.

I read (past tense) Greenwald on his own blog, before he jumped to Salon, more or less daily for a good long time. I can't think of one occasion during that time when he offered anything other than a well reasoned and well supported argument for any position he took.

Further, at a time when folks who took Bush and his imperial ambitions to task, by the book, in an informed and serious way, were few and far between, Greenwald was nothing less than a beacon of courage and sanity.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the claim of "intellectual dishonesty" doesn't wash.

YMMV.

I really liked Farley's statement that "the moral is practical".

Here is my mantra: morality exists in relationships between persons, and in no other place. There is no other morality.

As such, morality can be nothing other than practical.

Morality is expressed, embodied, and in fact has its only real existence, in how we each treat each other, concretely, in real actions that occur in the real world.

Intentions are the irony of morality.

This gave me a good, if wry, laugh. I'd actually give more credit for good intentions than this (sadly, and humorously, true) bon mot reflects, because IMO intentions are actually important.

But I also think it's true that we're all responsible for how our intentions play out in the real world.

Thanks -

JThomas: The person in question is an Army National Guard medic. And he's far from the only one who's endured a fifth deployment.

And, as I understand it, regular Army aren't routinely getting two years out, either. That's one of the major reasons for the Webb rest/readiness amendment (and the was-gonna-be Murtha bill before it) -- that the normal amount of home time between deployments is not happening.

Those in the DC area may be interested to know that those wild-eyed leftists at the Cato Institute are hosting a talk by Glenn Greenwald (with free lunch!) August 7.

John Miller, Reynolds isn't the right-wing Greenwald. He doesn't say enough -- mainly just links, whereas Greenwald is verbose. Reynolds is more like the right-wing Atrios.

Reynolds is more like the right-wing Atrios.

Except 100,000 times less funny.

Thanks -

The person in question is an Army National Guard medic. And he's far from the only one who's endured a fifth deployment.

Ugh. That's sick.

Ugh. That's sick.

No, it's necessary. That's what it costs to invade and occupy a large, fractious nation.

If we want, as a nation, to establish a secure environment in Iraq, it will require many, many, many more folks going on fifth, sixth, and tenth deployments. It may require lots of folks spending their entire military careers there.

If we aren't prepared to sign up for that, we need to find the best, least damaging way to leave.

Thanks -

"If we want, as a nation, to establish a secure environment in Iraq, it will require many, many, many more folks going on fifth, sixth, and tenth deployments. It may require lots of folks spending their entire military careers there."

That is only if we stupidly hadn't raised the authorized staffing levels in 2002, or 2003, or 2004, or 2005....

Being an empire now, colonial troops would be in order. Call it the 6th military branch (mercenaries/contractors being #5) and make it a well-paid career choice. That would free the normal military to deal with more urgent problems like throwing crappy countries against walls as a business model [/snark]

That is only if we stupidly hadn't raised the authorized staffing levels in 2002, or 2003, or 2004, or 2005....

Sebastian, I'm afraid I don't follow. Can you explain?

Thanks, OCS. I'll try to keep earning the credibility. But the way things are going in our national political life, I'm pretty sure my rhetoric will continue to go a bit over the top...

Speaking of rhetoric:

As long as I've been online I've strenuously avoided using mocking names for Republicans in general, and try to avoid loaded terms for most of those I'm criticizing. But one term I've allowed myself for several years now: 'the Cheney-Bush regime' rather than 'the Bush administration'.

I stopped myself from revising that phrase one day in editing a comment, because it's just simply the truth. This isn't a regular presidential administration, where the elected president is in charge, and holds members of his executive branch to account.

It was the torture scandal, with its revelations about the OLC memos and the blatant lies to Congress and coverup of the policy, and the business of Cheney having to accompany Bush in their testimony to the September 11 commission (wiht no notes being allowed) that convinced me this would be legitimate, defensible language.

Since the time I first began using it, so much more information has come out that supports the term 'regime' that I've stopped feeling even a twinge of remorse about possible incivility:
the lawless NSA spying, the bit about the public having had its "accountability moment" in the 2004 election, the signing statements, testimony about the operations of the OVP in the Plame case, the massive and systematic politicization of all the exec. branch departments but especially and most horrifyingly the Dept of Justice, the continued intra-regime battle Cheney is waging for war on Iran, the details about the same behavior in the run-up to the war on Iraq as revealed in 'The Dark Side' and much of the reporting on the yellowcake fraud, all of Cheney's bureaucratic maneuvering as revealed in the Washington Post series, and finally the Libby commutation and overt stonewalling on almost every bit of information Congress has legitimately sought...

If Congress -- and I mean members from both parties -- does not assert its power under the Constitution even to begin to hold the regime accountable, then we will have repeated the Roman experience.

That is only if we stupidly hadn't raised the authorized staffing levels in 2002, or 2003, or 2004, or 2005....

Or, ya know, invaded. (I'm sure that's Clinton's fault, too.)

If we had persued al Quida with vigorous law enforcement, and honored truth over partisanship, we wouldn't have needed the staffing levels that we need now.

Jeff, if we hadn't invaded then it would be a lot easier to *get* the staffing levels we need now. So we'd be in much better shape to invade iraq or, well, wherever we decide.

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