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Brooklyn-born former Israeli army prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg has been named editor of The Atlantic, capping a memorable journalistic career of succeeding by failing. Goldberg is one of the many advocates of the U.S. Iraq Attaq of 2003 whose careers haven’t been hurt at all by helping plunge his country (or co-country) into an utterly unnecessary foreign policy catastrophe.

From Slate on on October 3, 2002:

Should the U.S. Invade Iraq? Week 2

By Jeffrey Goldberg

David Plotz [future editor of Slate] has offered a not-unconvincing argument for Saddam’s removal, but let me offer a better one: aflatoxin.

In 1995, the government of Saddam Hussein admitted to United Nations weapons inspectors that its scientists had weaponized a biological agent called aflatoxin. …

I do not want, in this space, to rehearse the arguments for invasion; Jacob Weisberg [editor of Slate from 2002 to 2008] and Anne Applebaum [future Washington Post columnist] have done a better job of that than I could, and they have also explained why multilateralism and congressional sanction are not the highest moral values known to man. There is not sufficient space, as well, for me to refute some of the arguments made in Slate over the past week against intervention, arguments made, I have noticed, by people with limited experience in the Middle East (Their lack of experience causes them to reach the naive conclusion that an invasion of Iraq will cause America to be loathed in the Middle East, rather than respected).

How’s that working out anyway? I hear ISIS respects us rather than loathes us. It wouldn’t be a big deal to me except ISIS’s followers in the United States keep shooting and chopping up Americans. Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country. So I take it personally when my fellow Americans get slaughtered due to the conventional wisdom of Invade the World / Invite the World.

I will try, instead, to return to the essential issues: the moral challenge posed by the deeds of the Iraqi regime; and the particular dangers the regime poses to America and its allies. Everything else, to my mind, is commentary

From The Forward in 2008:

The Rest of ‘The Rest Is Commentary’

PhilologosSeptember 24, 2008

In the September 10 issue of The New York Times, the well-known journalist Jeffrey Goldberg (whose career got its start in these pages) published a long and grim op-ed column about the dangers of a terrorist nuclear attack on American soil. Compared with such a prospect, he wrote, “Everything else — Fannie Mae, health care reform, energy independence, the budget shortfall in Wasilla, Alaska — is commentary.”

The phrase “everything else is commentary,” or, as it is more frequently encountered, “the rest is commentary,” has in recent years become such a part of the English language that many people are unaware of its Jewish roots.

Back to Goldberg in Slate in 2002 on why America must invade Iraq:

There are, of course, many repugnant dictators in the world; a dozen or so in the Middle East alone. But Saddam Hussein is a figure of singular repugnance, and singular danger. To review: There is no dictator in power anywhere in the world who has, so far in his career, invaded two neighboring countries; fired ballistic missiles at the civilians of two other neighboring countries; tried to have assassinated an ex-president of the United States; harbored al-Qaida fugitives (this is, by the way, beyond doubt, despite David Plotz’s assertion to the contrary); attacked civilians with chemical weapons; attacked the soldiers of an enemy country with chemical weapons; conducted biological weapons experiments on human subjects; committed genocide; and then there is, of course, the matter of the weaponized aflatoxin, a tool of mass murder and nothing else.

I do not know how any thinking person could believe that Saddam Hussein is a run-of-the-mill dictator. No one else comes close—not the mullahs in Iran, not the Burmese SLORC, not the North Koreans—to matching his extraordinary and variegated record of malevolence.

And the romance novels Saddam was writing at the time were particularly self-indulgent in prose style. The very future of literature demanded that America invade Iraq.

Earlier this year, while traveling across northern Iraq, I interviewed more than 100 survivors of Saddam’s campaign of chemical genocide. I will not recite the statistics, or recount the horror stories here, except to say that I met enough barren and cancer-ridden women in Iraqi Kurdistan to last me several lifetimes.

So: Saddam Hussein is uniquely evil, the only ruler in power today—and the first one since Hitler—to commit chemical genocide. Is that enough of a reason to remove him from power? I would say yes, if “never again” is in fact actually to mean “never again.”

But at a panel this past weekend on Iraq held as part of the New Yorker festival, Richard Holbrooke scolded me for making the suggestion that genocide was reason enough for the international community to act against Saddam. Holbrooke, who favors regime change [Holbrooke was Hillary's lead foreign policy advisor in 2008 and her favorite for Secretary of State], said the best practical argument for Saddam’s removal is the danger posed by his weapons programs.

… There is consensus belief now that Saddam could have an atomic bomb within months of acquiring fissile material. This is not unlikely, since the international community, despite Kate Taylor’s assertion

I have no idea who Kate Taylor is. She obviously must have been some loser who was skeptical of the Iraq Attaq and thus has never been heard from again.

, is incapable in the long run of stopping a determined and wealthy dictator from acquiring the things he needs. It is believed now that Saddam’s scientists could make the fuel he needs in as little as three years …

The argument by opponents of invasion that Saddam poses no “imminent threat” (they never actually define “imminent,” of course) strikes me as particularly foolhardy. If you believe he is trying to acquire an atomic bomb, and if you believe that he is a monstrous person, than why would you possibly advocate waiting until the last possible second to disarm him? …

The administration is planning today to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.

—Jeffrey Goldberg is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a frequent contributor to Slate.

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.

Eleven days later, physicist Gregory Cochran’s email on why Saddam couldn’t be going nuclear was posted on Jerry Pournelle’s blog. But who has ever heard of that?

 
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  1. Hussein admitted to United Nations weapons inspectors that its scientists had weaponized a biological agent called aflatoxin. …

    admitted?

    wasn’t it more like claimed or bragged?

    Did he even have that ability?

    Anyway, I cannot for the life of me understand how Jeffrey Goldberg managed to restrain himself from enlisting in the military as a foot soldier to oppose the great evil Saddam. Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Anyway, I cannot for the life of me understand how Jeffrey Goldberg managed to restrain himself from enlisting in the military as a foot soldier to oppose the great evil Saddam. Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?"

    Yes.

    Goldberg served his country (his actual country, that is) by standing guard over captured rock-throwers, so I've no doubt that he's a very brave man. He also suffered at the hands of "juvenile pogromists" on Long Island (his wikipedia page makes for rather funny reading).
    , @Bill

    Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?
     
    Clueless white tight ends.
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  2. Who could possibly doubt the ‘intelligence’ that Putin hacked the DNC?

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  3. “and they have also explained why multilateralism and congressional sanction are not the highest moral values known to man”

    Ha, what a laugh, now they are peddling the narrative that Trump is a danger because he wants to abandon allies and violate the accepted international norms.

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  4. In 2002, I read Scott Ritter’s little book on Iraq, which as I recall basically predicted everything that has happened since then: ethnic cleansing and Sunni-Shiite conflict, a dangerous quagmire for US soldiers, and a completely destabilized Middle East and ascendant Islamism. He was convicted later of exposing himself online to a federal agent who claimed as part of a sting operation to be 15. He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magazine/scott-ritter.html?_r=0

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus
     
    I remember thinking that, too, at the time it happened.

    He is forgotten now, but during the run-up to the Iraq invasion when he was very critical of and contradicted the Bush administration's assertions, he was already a well known and credible face on TV from his role as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq in the 1990s following Desert Storm.

    If anyone was asking to be targeted and have his credibility destroyed, he was. A pedophile with a sealed conviction from 2001, he was a sitting duck for a leak in 2003.

    , @Altai
    The test of any idea is how well it's incorporation allows one to better understand the world and thus anticipate the future. Everything else is just commentary...
    , @Lot
    I read the article and it said it was local police, not federal agents, who caught him.

    From reading the NYT article, it sounds like there are a few small-town police forces who catch guys by posing as 15 year old girls in chat rooms to raise big fines. One perv paying $20,000 for a quiet plea deal sounds simpler than writing 80 $250 traffic trickets.
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  5. It’s important to save these articles and from time to time read them again, as a reminder. It’s so easy to forget who these invade-the-world-invite-the-worlders are. Read this article out loudly to your friends.

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  6. I have no idea who Kate Taylor is. She obviously must have been some loser who was skeptical of the Iraq Attaq and thus has never been heard from again.

    Assuming that’s meant literally, Steve,

    Kate Taylor is the arts reporter at the New York Sun and the editor of an anthology of essays about anorexia, Going Hungry, which will be published next spring.

    Despite that background, she had a better grip than Goldberg when she wrote an article in Slate in 2002—which is what, I presume, he dismisses.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dialogues/features/2002/should_the_us_invade_iraq_week_2/why_process_matters.html

    BTW, is Goldberg the first Jewish editor of the Atlantic in its long history?

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    BTW, is Goldberg the first Jewish editor of the Atlantic in its long history?
     
    Here's the list:


    James Russell Lowell, 1857–61
    James Thomas Fields, 1861–71
    William Dean Howells, 1871–81
    Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1881–90
    Horace Elisha Scudder, 1890–98
    Walter Hines Page, 1898–99
    Bliss Perry, 1899–1909
    Ellery Sedgwick, 1909–38
    Edward A. Weeks, 1938–66
    Robert Manning, 1966–80
    William Whitworth, 1980–99
    Michael Kelly, 1999–2003
    Cullen Murphy, 2003–06 (interim editor, never named editor in chief)
    James Bennet, 2006–2016
    Jeffrey Goldberg, 2016–present

    James Bennet's mother was of Jewish descent:


    James Bennet was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Susanne Bennet (née Klejman; of Polish Jewish descent) and Douglas J. Bennet. He has a brother and sister. When his father went to work on the staff of Senator Thomas F. Eagleton, the family moved to Washington, D.C. There James attended the St. Albans School.[1] He studied at Yale University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and was editor-in-chief of The New Journal.

     

    Dunno how he was raised.
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  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Key Neocon Calls on US to Oust Putin

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/07/key-neocon-calls-on-us-to-oust-putin/

    Exclusive: A prominent neocon paymaster [Carl Gershman], whose outfit dispenses $100 million in U.S. taxpayers’ money each year, has called on America to “summon the will” to remove Russian President Putin from office, reports Robert Parry.

    “In 1968, Gershman worked in the research department of B’nai B’rith, and in 1972 he served on the Governing Council of the American Jewish Committee. From 1969–1974, Gershman successively served as Director of Research, Co-Chairman, and Executive Director of the Youth Committee for Peace in the Middle East… In 1972 he and Irving Howe edited a collection, “Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I know that US policymakers would've been (and, eventually, were) happy with the Soviet system collapsing, but did they publicly proclaim in 1980 that their goal is regime change in the USSR and that they want Brezhnev removed? Or in 1950, the same thing with Stalin?

    I don't know how stable Putin's position is (seems pretty stable from where I am), but I'm not sure how much the US federal government can do to facilitate his fall. In any event, it seems to be pure madness.

    Obviously Hillary is more likely to win the elections, so I'm a bit scared. Obama will probably block WW3, but can we trust the sick and ailing Hillary to stop her most idiotic subordinates from starting a shooting war with Russia? Especially since her own opinion seems barely distinguishable from that of these most idiotic subordinates...
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  8. David Remnick should write the Jeff Goldberg story: about how a lowly Israeli prison guard fulfilled the destiny of his race by ultimately editing the magazine of Emerson, Holmes, and Longfellow and turning it into even more of a critical studies clickbait factory.

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    • Agree: SPMoore8
    • Replies: @utu
    The same David Remnick who wrote supporting Iraq war article in New Yorker in 2003?
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  9. I hav had a theory since about 2005 that Iraq is the Mexican war of this century. By that I mean it was the final political split between north and south that directly led to war 14 years later because it “othered” the war advocates from the anti war types.
    Steve, I don’t want another civil war but I am scared of this sort of attitude, while it was quite fun snark to read, is exactly what led to the war, cause both sides believed their fellows citizens were no longer their compatriots.

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  10. @Spotted Toad
    In 2002, I read Scott Ritter's little book on Iraq, which as I recall basically predicted everything that has happened since then: ethnic cleansing and Sunni-Shiite conflict, a dangerous quagmire for US soldiers, and a completely destabilized Middle East and ascendant Islamism. He was convicted later of exposing himself online to a federal agent who claimed as part of a sting operation to be 15. He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus:
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magazine/scott-ritter.html?_r=0

    He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus

    I remember thinking that, too, at the time it happened.

    He is forgotten now, but during the run-up to the Iraq invasion when he was very critical of and contradicted the Bush administration’s assertions, he was already a well known and credible face on TV from his role as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq in the 1990s following Desert Storm.

    If anyone was asking to be targeted and have his credibility destroyed, he was. A pedophile with a sealed conviction from 2001, he was a sitting duck for a leak in 2003.

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    • Replies: @International Jew

    A pedophile with a sealed conviction from 2001
     
    Scott Ritter, an odd bird. Before he became an impassioned voice against an invasion, he'd been a whistleblower against what he thought was the UN's inadequate concern for Saddam's weapons programs.

    It's hard to say who was blackmailing him to say what when.
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  11. Speaking of banging the war drums, even loony feminists like Amanda Marcotte are turning McCarthyite about the Communist Menace.

    Her latest article (at Salon!): “Russian propaganda on WikiLeaks makes its way into a Donald Trump speech in record time”.

    Being lectured on “Russian Propaganda” by a lefty is bizarre.

    This is a very, very strange election.

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  12. Over under bets on how many times Lot posts in this thread?

    Anyone want to take a side bet on whiskey blaming the invasion on white women?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    That's like betting on the sun coming up.
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  13. @Anonymous

    Key Neocon Calls on US to Oust Putin
    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/07/key-neocon-calls-on-us-to-oust-putin/

    Exclusive: A prominent neocon paymaster [Carl Gershman], whose outfit dispenses $100 million in U.S. taxpayers’ money each year, has called on America to “summon the will” to remove Russian President Putin from office, reports Robert Parry.
     
    "In 1968, Gershman worked in the research department of B'nai B'rith, and in 1972 he served on the Governing Council of the American Jewish Committee. From 1969–1974, Gershman successively served as Director of Research, Co-Chairman, and Executive Director of the Youth Committee for Peace in the Middle East... In 1972 he and Irving Howe edited a collection, "Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East."

    I know that US policymakers would’ve been (and, eventually, were) happy with the Soviet system collapsing, but did they publicly proclaim in 1980 that their goal is regime change in the USSR and that they want Brezhnev removed? Or in 1950, the same thing with Stalin?

    I don’t know how stable Putin’s position is (seems pretty stable from where I am), but I’m not sure how much the US federal government can do to facilitate his fall. In any event, it seems to be pure madness.

    Obviously Hillary is more likely to win the elections, so I’m a bit scared. Obama will probably block WW3, but can we trust the sick and ailing Hillary to stop her most idiotic subordinates from starting a shooting war with Russia? Especially since her own opinion seems barely distinguishable from that of these most idiotic subordinates…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "I know that US policymakers would’ve been (and, eventually, were) happy with the Soviet system collapsing, but did they publicly proclaim in 1980 that their goal is regime change in the USSR and that they want Brezhnev removed? Or in 1950, the same thing with Stalin?"

    No. They had more sense than the callow idiots who now inhabit our foreign-policy establishment, and who seem to think that a war with Russia will be qualitatively no different than a war in Iraq.
    , @celt darnell
    Well, thank goodness Huma Abedin has no Syrian family connections or it'd be World War III for sure.
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  14. @Spotted Toad
    In 2002, I read Scott Ritter's little book on Iraq, which as I recall basically predicted everything that has happened since then: ethnic cleansing and Sunni-Shiite conflict, a dangerous quagmire for US soldiers, and a completely destabilized Middle East and ascendant Islamism. He was convicted later of exposing himself online to a federal agent who claimed as part of a sting operation to be 15. He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus:
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magazine/scott-ritter.html?_r=0

    The test of any idea is how well it’s incorporation allows one to better understand the world and thus anticipate the future. Everything else is just commentary…

    Read More
    • Replies: @ben tillman

    The test of any idea is how well it’s incorporation allows one to better understand the world and thus anticipate the future. Everything else is just commentary…
     
    Indeed.
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  15. “Should the U.S. Invade Iraq?

    By Jeffrey Goldberg

    David Plotz [future editor of Slate] has offered a not-unconvincing argument for Saddam’s removal,……………….

    I do not want, in this space, to rehearse the arguments for invasion; Jacob Weisberg [editor of Slate from 2002 to 2008] and Anne Applebaum [future Washington Post columnist] have done a better job of that than I could,………..”

    Goldberg, Plotz, Weisberg, Applebaum…………….

    Is there a pattern there? Gosh, who can tell.

    “I do not know how any thinking person could believe that Saddam Hussein is a run-of-the-mill dictator. No one else comes close—not the mullahs in Iran,……”

    Uh, never mind, strike that. The mullahs in Iran are far, far worse. They have always been far, far worse. We have always been at war with Persiana.

    It is remarkable how, post 2001, some Jews have pushed their own peculiar agenda and their own particular ethnic interests off on this country, without even feeling the need to disguise it much. I guess the rest (the interests of gentiles) is just commentary.

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  16. Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.

    That’s brilliant. I hope it catches on.

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    • Replies: @Lurker
    A co-country, that would be a start.
    , @utu
    "Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.

    That’s brilliant. I hope it catches on."

    Just like "Dual Loyalty Would Be an Improvement"
    , @bored identity
    A co-mment co-related to the co-nspiracy that co-mpromises the Co-nstitution ;

    The co-st of 65 years of co-nsistent, and by the co-rrupted Co-ngress co-ordinated co-payments that are co-nveniently co-signed as a co-llateral co-ntribution for the co-country's co-rrodive co-llaboration and co-ntroversial co-nfidentiality :

    $127.000.000.000 ...... and co-unting !

    Co-nclusion of the co-opted co-rrectional co-rporal that was co-zily co-nfirmed as a co-country's co-nstitutive co-smopolitan co-respondent :

    America needs to gib moar to our co-country!
    , @bored identity
    A co-mment co-related to the co-nspiracy that co-mpromises the Co-nstitution ;

    The co-st of 65 years of co-nsistent, and by the co-rrupted Co-ngress co-ordinated co-payments that are co-nveniently co-signed as a co-llateral co-ntribution for the co-country's co-rrodive co-llaboration and co-ntroversial co-nfidentiality :

    $127.000.000.000 ...... and co-unting !

    Co-nclusion of the co-opted co-rrectional co-rporal that was co-zily co-nfirmed as a co-country's co-nstitutive co-smopolitan co-respondent :

    America needs to gib MOAR to our co-country!
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  17. As bad as the chemical attacks on the Kurds were, let’s remember that they were in revolt while Iraq was already at war with a much larger country (Iran).

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Lincoln killed 500,000.
    , @syonredux
    People really like the Kurds
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  18. @reiner Tor
    I know that US policymakers would've been (and, eventually, were) happy with the Soviet system collapsing, but did they publicly proclaim in 1980 that their goal is regime change in the USSR and that they want Brezhnev removed? Or in 1950, the same thing with Stalin?

    I don't know how stable Putin's position is (seems pretty stable from where I am), but I'm not sure how much the US federal government can do to facilitate his fall. In any event, it seems to be pure madness.

    Obviously Hillary is more likely to win the elections, so I'm a bit scared. Obama will probably block WW3, but can we trust the sick and ailing Hillary to stop her most idiotic subordinates from starting a shooting war with Russia? Especially since her own opinion seems barely distinguishable from that of these most idiotic subordinates...

    “I know that US policymakers would’ve been (and, eventually, were) happy with the Soviet system collapsing, but did they publicly proclaim in 1980 that their goal is regime change in the USSR and that they want Brezhnev removed? Or in 1950, the same thing with Stalin?”

    No. They had more sense than the callow idiots who now inhabit our foreign-policy establishment, and who seem to think that a war with Russia will be qualitatively no different than a war in Iraq.

    Read More
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  19. @Joe Schmoe

    Hussein admitted to United Nations weapons inspectors that its scientists had weaponized a biological agent called aflatoxin. …
     
    admitted?

    wasn't it more like claimed or bragged?

    Did he even have that ability?

    Anyway, I cannot for the life of me understand how Jeffrey Goldberg managed to restrain himself from enlisting in the military as a foot soldier to oppose the great evil Saddam. Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?

    “Anyway, I cannot for the life of me understand how Jeffrey Goldberg managed to restrain himself from enlisting in the military as a foot soldier to oppose the great evil Saddam. Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?”

    Yes.

    Goldberg served his country (his actual country, that is) by standing guard over captured rock-throwers, so I’ve no doubt that he’s a very brave man. He also suffered at the hands of “juvenile pogromists” on Long Island (his wikipedia page makes for rather funny reading).

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  20. I don’t see the problem. He clubbed Palestinians over the head to protect Israeli nationalism. Now he’ll be clubbing Americans over the head to prevent American nationalism. All in the name of Jewish Supremacy.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Now he’ll be clubbing Americans over the head to prevent American nationalism.
     
    Indeed. In Goldberg's mind, nationalism is a privilege reserved for Israel.
    , @Opinionator
    A Roman soldier, goes the story, came up and demanded that the rabbi Hillel expound Jewish law, in its entirety, while balancing on one leg.

    Hillel responded,
    “Is it good for the Jews? That is the whole Jewish law; the rest is commentary.”
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  21. Tsk tsk. All these dog whistles about ‘co countries’. Exactly what a deplorable would do.

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  22. To be fair Steve, it was not a choice of contain Saddam or invade him. It was use it or lose it; allow Saddam to expand again at the expense of his neighbors, and show the US being weak so soon after 9/11, a nation that could be defied with impunity even by someone like Saddam, or topple him.

    The US bought Khadaffi’s compliance with nukes by the example of Saddam; and shamefully threw away that bargain with Hillary’s poor impersonation of Caesar making sure no one will ever cooperate with us like that again.

    The US had a faltering, decade plus combat air patrol mission based out of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States that created its own blowback and was failing to control Saddam in any meaningful way. Creating dangerous arguments in Pakistan and elsewhere about how easy it would be to attack the US without any consequences. Saddam was still in power. HE not the US was the victor in the Gulf War; he stayed, Bush 1 left.

    All maudlin moralism aside, if the US had kept Saddam in place as the Israeli and Saudi governments wanted (as a counterweight to Iran) things could have been even worse. The North Koreans already had the makings of a Nuclear Takeout counter; Saddam could have just purchased nukes. A fearful and compliant US would make an easy target, as would its allies.

    The Iraq Invasion was poorly planned and even more poorly led out of overconfidence from the Gulf War the Highway of Death; but Saddam forcing the US to back down so soon after 9/11 could have just as easily led to things even worse; such as the overthrow of the very bad Saudi Regime and replacing it with Sultan bin Laden protected by Saddam as a protege with off the shelf North Korean nukes.

    It is generally a poor strategy to wait until danger becomes undeniable to confront it; Machiavelli advises that true statecraft is diagnosing and dealing with dangers when they are small rather than large. Every figure from WWII from Ike to Bradley to Churchill to DeGaulle, who hated each other, agreed. Much disaster and lives would have been spared had the French Army deposed Hitler when he rearmed the Rhineland. And the one chance to avert a European War was lost.

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    • Replies: @Divine Right
    "It was use it or lose it; allow Saddam to expand again at the expense of his neighbors, and show the US being weak so soon after 9/11, a nation that could be defied with impunity even by someone like Saddam, or topple him."

    Nonsense. Hussein ruled a country devastated by two major wars and a decade of sanctions that killed up to 100,000 people. His country wasn't going to rise any time within his (or our) lifetime. You can rationalize the Iraq War all you want, but the truth is that it was unnecessary and had devastating consequences for the entire region.

    "All maudlin moralism aside, if the US had kept Saddam in place as the Israeli and Saudi governments wanted (as a counterweight to Iran) things could have been even worse. The North Koreans already had the makings of a Nuclear Takeout counter; Saddam could have just purchased nukes. A fearful and compliant US would make an easy target, as would its allies. "

    Nonsense. You're attempting to rationalize away the verifiably bad consequences of that war with a very unlikely hypothetical. There is no way Hussein would have been able to 1) both acquire and transport nukes from the other side of the earth (North Korea) 2) maintained them with the facilities he had in his country 3) secretly designed delivery mechanisms capable of hitting US forces without us finding out about it; that country was under strict quarantine. Besides, Hussein had WMD during the Gulf War and didn't use them. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that he would have risked his neck to transport a handful of nukes from the other side of the earth when he couldn't use them and didn't before when he had the chance (chemical/biological). Besides, he had already destroyed virtually all of his WMD by the 1990s. Why would he have done that if he had wanted to acquire more?

    "It is generally a poor strategy to wait until danger becomes undeniable to confront it; Machiavelli advises that true statecraft is diagnosing and dealing with dangers when they are small rather than large."

    And Abraham Maslow said, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."

    "but Saddam forcing the US to back down so soon after 9/11 could have just as easily led to things even worse; such as the overthrow of the very bad Saudi Regime and replacing it with Sultan bin Laden protected by Saddam as a protege with off the shelf North Korean nukes."

    I didn't realize that Hussein had laid down the gauntlet to the US after 9/11. You've been listening to too much talk radio. For years after that disaster, they tried every excuse they could think of. Much of what you've wrote is just laughable. Leaving Hussein as the secular ruler of a devastated Iraq posed no danger at all to the Saudis. However, radical Islam, which became ascendant once he was taken out, does. And why would a secular Hussein protect a Saudi Arabia ruled by the radical Jihadis he hated anyway?

    Off-the-shelf North Korean nukes? Puh-leaze. See comment above.

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  23. There are, of course, many repugnant dictators in the world; a dozen or so in the Middle East alone. But Saddam Hussein is a figure of singular repugnance

    Sounds like today’s developing bipartisan consensus about Bashar Assad of Syria. Except Assad has taken the precaution of allying himself with Russia.

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    • Replies: @Altai
    It always reminds me of South Park when Stan's uncle and war-buddy declare every animal they see during off-season to be 'Coming Right For Us!'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6kKhlX8vU
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  24. @PiltdownMan

    He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus
     
    I remember thinking that, too, at the time it happened.

    He is forgotten now, but during the run-up to the Iraq invasion when he was very critical of and contradicted the Bush administration's assertions, he was already a well known and credible face on TV from his role as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq in the 1990s following Desert Storm.

    If anyone was asking to be targeted and have his credibility destroyed, he was. A pedophile with a sealed conviction from 2001, he was a sitting duck for a leak in 2003.

    A pedophile with a sealed conviction from 2001

    Scott Ritter, an odd bird. Before he became an impassioned voice against an invasion, he’d been a whistleblower against what he thought was the UN’s inadequate concern for Saddam’s weapons programs.

    It’s hard to say who was blackmailing him to say what when.

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    • Replies: @Forbes
    My memory is that Scott Ritter took a U-turn in his views on Iraq WMDs. And pretty passionate in both directions--which destroyed any credibility in my opinion. Both could not be true, and yet...
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  25. @International Jew

    There are, of course, many repugnant dictators in the world; a dozen or so in the Middle East alone. But Saddam Hussein is a figure of singular repugnance
     
    Sounds like today's developing bipartisan consensus about Bashar Assad of Syria. Except Assad has taken the precaution of allying himself with Russia.

    It always reminds me of South Park when Stan’s uncle and war-buddy declare every animal they see during off-season to be ‘Coming Right For Us!’

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  26. @reiner Tor
    I know that US policymakers would've been (and, eventually, were) happy with the Soviet system collapsing, but did they publicly proclaim in 1980 that their goal is regime change in the USSR and that they want Brezhnev removed? Or in 1950, the same thing with Stalin?

    I don't know how stable Putin's position is (seems pretty stable from where I am), but I'm not sure how much the US federal government can do to facilitate his fall. In any event, it seems to be pure madness.

    Obviously Hillary is more likely to win the elections, so I'm a bit scared. Obama will probably block WW3, but can we trust the sick and ailing Hillary to stop her most idiotic subordinates from starting a shooting war with Russia? Especially since her own opinion seems barely distinguishable from that of these most idiotic subordinates...

    Well, thank goodness Huma Abedin has no Syrian family connections or it’d be World War III for sure.

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  27. The Syria PR Campaign* is going well here in the UK – every morning the BBC tells us how many civilians have been killed in Aleppo (they did no reporting on civilian casualties when ‘the rebels’ took Aleppo, but did do some ‘Assad’s losing!’ snark), Parliament is full of bloviating about Hitler and how we need a no-fly zone NOW. As a sop Boris has suggested people demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy – which reminds me of some countries where the people are allowed/encouraged to let off steam by ransacking a foreign embassy. Iran (US), China (Japanese), Ireland (British).

    I think the civilian death count on the BBC was about 25 – which, while sad, compares pretty poorly with the Brit and US bombing of Hamburg (40,000 dead civilians) and Tokyo (100,000). Both of these were pure bombing raids, whereas Syrian government forces are actually fighting in Aleppo and need air support.

    There’s no doubt we are being prepped. The Syrians need to crack on and take Aleppo asap, because if Hillary gets in she’ll go for the hat-trick of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    * see http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-shadowy-pr-firm-thats-driving-western-opinion-towards-regime-change-syria

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    • Replies: @celt darnell
    I'm still betting the UK doesn't get directly involved with Syria.

    MPs still remember the hostility they encountered in constituency meetings last time Syrian intervention was proposed.

    Further, their defeat in the recent referendum and the shooting of Jo Cox has imposed some -- ahem -- circumspection upon them.
    , @utu
    "There’s no doubt we are being prepped." - More so than before Yugoslavia or Libya. This time however Russia is engaged. Allegedly Putin watched the video of Kaddafi being murdered several times.
    , @reiner Tor
    I'm happy our elites are not totally incompetent, they seem to be masters of manipulating Western public opinion so that it gives them consent to create yet another failed state every bloody time. Starting WW3 is just the icing on the cake.
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  28. “Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.”

    That makes two of us Steve. I know you are hated by the hasbarats, but please keep up the good work and God bless you sir.

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  29. … she’ll go for the hat-trick of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    She’s already scored that hat-trick. All three are messed-up refugee-generating disasters, and she was right in the middle of messing them up.

    Of course things could get even worse.

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  30. Thanks for the Greg Cochran cite, Steve, I was unaware of that….Cochran, as usual nailed it. Bottom line is that we are ruled by criminals and fools, and the forecast is for more of the same.

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  31. @Anonymous Nephew
    The Syria PR Campaign* is going well here in the UK - every morning the BBC tells us how many civilians have been killed in Aleppo (they did no reporting on civilian casualties when 'the rebels' took Aleppo, but did do some 'Assad's losing!' snark), Parliament is full of bloviating about Hitler and how we need a no-fly zone NOW. As a sop Boris has suggested people demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy - which reminds me of some countries where the people are allowed/encouraged to let off steam by ransacking a foreign embassy. Iran (US), China (Japanese), Ireland (British).

    I think the civilian death count on the BBC was about 25 - which, while sad, compares pretty poorly with the Brit and US bombing of Hamburg (40,000 dead civilians) and Tokyo (100,000). Both of these were pure bombing raids, whereas Syrian government forces are actually fighting in Aleppo and need air support.

    There's no doubt we are being prepped. The Syrians need to crack on and take Aleppo asap, because if Hillary gets in she'll go for the hat-trick of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    * see http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-shadowy-pr-firm-thats-driving-western-opinion-towards-regime-change-syria

    I’m still betting the UK doesn’t get directly involved with Syria.

    MPs still remember the hostility they encountered in constituency meetings last time Syrian intervention was proposed.

    Further, their defeat in the recent referendum and the shooting of Jo Cox has imposed some — ahem — circumspection upon them.

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  32. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.
     
    That's brilliant. I hope it catches on.

    A co-country, that would be a start.

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  33. The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The “surge” would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.

    Cochran likes to go around calling people dumb for not being totally right about Iraq like he was, but then he said this:

    We even hear the Prez and the head of the Joint Chiefs saying that we have to stay in order to prevent the birth of the Caliphate. I mean, there is no Caliphate, there’s not a square mile controlled by something resembling the caliphate, there’s no strong underground movement working for it, and it sure looks as if the Arabs are the most fissiparous pinheads who ever walked the Earth.

    What were Steve Sailer’s predictions about the likely results of withdrawal?

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    • Replies: @ben tillman

    The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The “surge” would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.
     
    Bullshit. Everyone who said the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity were 100% right and are entitled to crow about it. I am one of those people. I do not know or care what the "surge" was, and I never will.
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  34. P.S. it’s not really correct to compare the Syria and Iraq situations. The Iraq war was an attempt by the Neocons to take control over the America empire by enlisting an essentially Jacksonian political base in support of their modified version of Wilsonian intervention. Many U.S. liberals went along with it, because of what was then overwhelming public support, but the farsighted ones, like Obama, didn’t. In Europe it was widely opposed, including by the overwhelming majority of the Left (which was part of why too much of the Right supported it). Conversely, intervention in Syria is firmly part of the centrist consensus. Neocons are desperately trying to jump on board to preserve some degree of relevance, but the movers and shakers behind the drums for war are certainly not neocons and include many of the opponents of the Iraq war. Only really fringey type lefties oppose it.

    Also, Hussein really was bad. Not a threat, but really, really bad. Assad by comparison is basically a saint.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Bull. Hussein was a decent leader for Iraq. Not his fault he was constantly under siege by Israel, and the United States and its allies.
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  35. @bjdubbs
    David Remnick should write the Jeff Goldberg story: about how a lowly Israeli prison guard fulfilled the destiny of his race by ultimately editing the magazine of Emerson, Holmes, and Longfellow and turning it into even more of a critical studies clickbait factory.

    The same David Remnick who wrote supporting Iraq war article in New Yorker in 2003?

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  36. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.
     
    That's brilliant. I hope it catches on.

    “Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.

    That’s brilliant. I hope it catches on.”

    Just like “Dual Loyalty Would Be an Improvement”

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Treating the United States as his co-country would be an improvement
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  37. We thank Mr. Goldberg for his service.

    Please keep him.

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  38. @Anonymous Nephew
    The Syria PR Campaign* is going well here in the UK - every morning the BBC tells us how many civilians have been killed in Aleppo (they did no reporting on civilian casualties when 'the rebels' took Aleppo, but did do some 'Assad's losing!' snark), Parliament is full of bloviating about Hitler and how we need a no-fly zone NOW. As a sop Boris has suggested people demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy - which reminds me of some countries where the people are allowed/encouraged to let off steam by ransacking a foreign embassy. Iran (US), China (Japanese), Ireland (British).

    I think the civilian death count on the BBC was about 25 - which, while sad, compares pretty poorly with the Brit and US bombing of Hamburg (40,000 dead civilians) and Tokyo (100,000). Both of these were pure bombing raids, whereas Syrian government forces are actually fighting in Aleppo and need air support.

    There's no doubt we are being prepped. The Syrians need to crack on and take Aleppo asap, because if Hillary gets in she'll go for the hat-trick of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    * see http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-shadowy-pr-firm-thats-driving-western-opinion-towards-regime-change-syria

    “There’s no doubt we are being prepped.” – More so than before Yugoslavia or Libya. This time however Russia is engaged. Allegedly Putin watched the video of Kaddafi being murdered several times.

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  39. I read somewhere that he was roommates with Malcolm Gladwell for a couple years. Also the goyim used to beat him up as a schoolboy, so he went to the schwartze who taught him how to fight, or something.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yes, Goldberg's Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the "Irish pogromists" who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that's why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.
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  40. @Anonymous Nephew
    The Syria PR Campaign* is going well here in the UK - every morning the BBC tells us how many civilians have been killed in Aleppo (they did no reporting on civilian casualties when 'the rebels' took Aleppo, but did do some 'Assad's losing!' snark), Parliament is full of bloviating about Hitler and how we need a no-fly zone NOW. As a sop Boris has suggested people demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy - which reminds me of some countries where the people are allowed/encouraged to let off steam by ransacking a foreign embassy. Iran (US), China (Japanese), Ireland (British).

    I think the civilian death count on the BBC was about 25 - which, while sad, compares pretty poorly with the Brit and US bombing of Hamburg (40,000 dead civilians) and Tokyo (100,000). Both of these were pure bombing raids, whereas Syrian government forces are actually fighting in Aleppo and need air support.

    There's no doubt we are being prepped. The Syrians need to crack on and take Aleppo asap, because if Hillary gets in she'll go for the hat-trick of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    * see http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-shadowy-pr-firm-thats-driving-western-opinion-towards-regime-change-syria

    I’m happy our elites are not totally incompetent, they seem to be masters of manipulating Western public opinion so that it gives them consent to create yet another failed state every bloody time. Starting WW3 is just the icing on the cake.

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  41. Isn’t The Atlantic supposed to be Liberal rag? Why Jewish Neocons like Frum and Goldberg have so much influence.

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  42. Interestingly, Jeffrey Goldberg, Stephen Glass, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, are all Penn graduates and wrote for the school newspaper there. What an incubator!

    Although he didn’t attend Penn, “award-winning” journalist and longtime editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, was also a strong advocate of Iraq Attaq; and now almost 15 years later we’re getting advice from him on Russia. It also appears that his wife and son work at the NYT.

    I have a feeling that earlier this year, President Obama decided to grant Jeffrey Goldberg all that Air Force One interview time for some of the same reasons that Fidel Castro chose him for a chat back in 2010: Jeffrey Goldberg is just a lot of fun to have around and he gives really great advice…

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  43. @International Jew

    A pedophile with a sealed conviction from 2001
     
    Scott Ritter, an odd bird. Before he became an impassioned voice against an invasion, he'd been a whistleblower against what he thought was the UN's inadequate concern for Saddam's weapons programs.

    It's hard to say who was blackmailing him to say what when.

    My memory is that Scott Ritter took a U-turn in his views on Iraq WMDs. And pretty passionate in both directions–which destroyed any credibility in my opinion. Both could not be true, and yet…

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  44. I’ve never heard the phrase “the rest is commentary” in my life, and I’m not unfamiliar with day to day political MSM punditry, though I wish I were. I would have assumed it’s a play on Hamlet’s “the rest is silence.” To which the proper response is “How droll.”

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    • Replies: @International Jew
    The expression is attributed to Hillel, a prominent rabbi. A Roman soldier, so goes the story, came up and demanded Hillel expound Jewish law, in its entirety, while balancing on one leg.

    Hillel responded,
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary."
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  45. @PiltdownMan

    I have no idea who Kate Taylor is. She obviously must have been some loser who was skeptical of the Iraq Attaq and thus has never been heard from again.

     

    Assuming that's meant literally, Steve,

    Kate Taylor is the arts reporter at the New York Sun and the editor of an anthology of essays about anorexia, Going Hungry, which will be published next spring.
     
    Despite that background, she had a better grip than Goldberg when she wrote an article in Slate in 2002—which is what, I presume, he dismisses.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dialogues/features/2002/should_the_us_invade_iraq_week_2/why_process_matters.html

    BTW, is Goldberg the first Jewish editor of the Atlantic in its long history?

    BTW, is Goldberg the first Jewish editor of the Atlantic in its long history?

    Here’s the list:

    James Russell Lowell, 1857–61
    James Thomas Fields, 1861–71
    William Dean Howells, 1871–81
    Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1881–90
    Horace Elisha Scudder, 1890–98
    Walter Hines Page, 1898–99
    Bliss Perry, 1899–1909
    Ellery Sedgwick, 1909–38
    Edward A. Weeks, 1938–66
    Robert Manning, 1966–80
    William Whitworth, 1980–99
    Michael Kelly, 1999–2003
    Cullen Murphy, 2003–06 (interim editor, never named editor in chief)
    James Bennet, 2006–2016
    Jeffrey Goldberg, 2016–present

    James Bennet’s mother was of Jewish descent:

    James Bennet was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Susanne Bennet (née Klejman; of Polish Jewish descent) and Douglas J. Bennet. He has a brother and sister. When his father went to work on the staff of Senator Thomas F. Eagleton, the family moved to Washington, D.C. There James attended the St. Albans School.[1] He studied at Yale University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and was editor-in-chief of The New Journal.

    Dunno how he was raised.

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  46. @Joe Schmoe

    Hussein admitted to United Nations weapons inspectors that its scientists had weaponized a biological agent called aflatoxin. …
     
    admitted?

    wasn't it more like claimed or bragged?

    Did he even have that ability?

    Anyway, I cannot for the life of me understand how Jeffrey Goldberg managed to restrain himself from enlisting in the military as a foot soldier to oppose the great evil Saddam. Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?

    Or is the actual work of opposing evil a job for American country boy suckers?

    Clueless white tight ends.

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  47. Over at Mondoweiss, Phillip Weiss has a great piece about Jeffery Goldberg and “The Atlantic.”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/10/atlantic-rebrands-goldberg/

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  48. James Russell Lowell, 1857–61
    James Thomas Fields, 1861–71
    William Dean Howells, 1871–81
    Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1881–90
    Horace Elisha Scudder, 1890–98
    Walter Hines Page, 1898–99
    Bliss Perry, 1899–1909
    Ellery Sedgwick, 1909–38
    Edward A. Weeks, 1938–66
    Robert Manning, 1966–80
    William Whitworth, 1980–99
    Michael Kelly, 1999–2003
    Cullen Murphy, 2003–06 (interim editor, never named editor in chief)
    James Bennet, 2006–2016
    Jeffrey Goldberg, 2016–present

    Looking over that list again…Quite a tumble. From James Russell Lowell (noted critic, poet, and essayist), James Thomas Fields (one half of Ticknor and Fields, the most distinguished 19th century American publishing house; their authors included Hawthorne, Dickens, and Thackery), and William Dean Howells (author of three of the finest American novels of the 19th century: The Rise of Silas Lapham,A Hazard of New Fortunes , and A Modern Instance) to Jeffrey Goldberg……

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  49. @Lord Jeff Sessions
    I read somewhere that he was roommates with Malcolm Gladwell for a couple years. Also the goyim used to beat him up as a schoolboy, so he went to the schwartze who taught him how to fight, or something.

    Yes, Goldberg’s Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the “Irish pogromists” who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that’s why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Yes, Goldberg’s Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the “Irish pogromists” who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that’s why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.
     
    MMM, another case of youthful resentments fueling adult careers.....

    So when Arabs and Persians get theirs, does Jeffy sub in an Irish face?You know, for added catharsis?
    , @Altai
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIY0z7tvsZw

    And the cycle is complete.
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  50. @Spotted Toad
    In 2002, I read Scott Ritter's little book on Iraq, which as I recall basically predicted everything that has happened since then: ethnic cleansing and Sunni-Shiite conflict, a dangerous quagmire for US soldiers, and a completely destabilized Middle East and ascendant Islamism. He was convicted later of exposing himself online to a federal agent who claimed as part of a sting operation to be 15. He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus:
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magazine/scott-ritter.html?_r=0

    I read the article and it said it was local police, not federal agents, who caught him.

    From reading the NYT article, it sounds like there are a few small-town police forces who catch guys by posing as 15 year old girls in chat rooms to raise big fines. One perv paying $20,000 for a quiet plea deal sounds simpler than writing 80 $250 traffic trickets.

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  51. @Steve Sailer
    Yes, Goldberg's Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the "Irish pogromists" who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that's why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.

    Yes, Goldberg’s Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the “Irish pogromists” who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that’s why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.

    MMM, another case of youthful resentments fueling adult careers…..

    So when Arabs and Persians get theirs, does Jeffy sub in an Irish face?You know, for added catharsis?

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Ellen and Daniel Goldberg,[10] who he describes as "very left-wing."[11] He grew up in in suburban Malverne on Long Island, where he recalled being one of the few Jews in a largely Irish-American area. During his first trip to Israel as "a powerless 13-year-old boy suffering at the hands of Irish pogromists, juvenile pogromists," he found the Jewish empowerment embodied by Israeli soldiers exciting, "So, I became deeply enamored of Israel because of that."
     
    Yeesh. Another Jewish guy on an Israeli-induced testosterone high.....
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  52. @Gabriel M
    P.S. it's not really correct to compare the Syria and Iraq situations. The Iraq war was an attempt by the Neocons to take control over the America empire by enlisting an essentially Jacksonian political base in support of their modified version of Wilsonian intervention. Many U.S. liberals went along with it, because of what was then overwhelming public support, but the farsighted ones, like Obama, didn't. In Europe it was widely opposed, including by the overwhelming majority of the Left (which was part of why too much of the Right supported it). Conversely, intervention in Syria is firmly part of the centrist consensus. Neocons are desperately trying to jump on board to preserve some degree of relevance, but the movers and shakers behind the drums for war are certainly not neocons and include many of the opponents of the Iraq war. Only really fringey type lefties oppose it.

    Also, Hussein really was bad. Not a threat, but really, really bad. Assad by comparison is basically a saint.

    Bull. Hussein was a decent leader for Iraq. Not his fault he was constantly under siege by Israel, and the United States and its allies.

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    This is the kind of imbecility that gives pro-war people ammunition. First of all, Saddam's reign of bizarre degeneracy goes back to when he was an American ally. Secondly, what does this "siege" of Iraq by Israel even mean? Thirdly, what you say about him being a "decent leader" is just not true. Read for yourself, or don't.

    Conversely, the Assad family are basically civilized. The reason they have to be "brutal" and "ruthless" is because they rule over pre-civilized people, many of whom want to exterminate their entire ethnic group. The same was true about Saddam, of course, but on top of that he was a deranged sadistic gangster.

    I broadly prefer dictatorship as mode of government to democracy, but defending the absolute worst examples of it is no way to go about anything.
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  53. @syonredux

    Yes, Goldberg’s Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the “Irish pogromists” who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that’s why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.
     
    MMM, another case of youthful resentments fueling adult careers.....

    So when Arabs and Persians get theirs, does Jeffy sub in an Irish face?You know, for added catharsis?

    Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Ellen and Daniel Goldberg,[10] who he describes as “very left-wing.”[11] He grew up in in suburban Malverne on Long Island, where he recalled being one of the few Jews in a largely Irish-American area. During his first trip to Israel as “a powerless 13-year-old boy suffering at the hands of Irish pogromists, juvenile pogromists,” he found the Jewish empowerment embodied by Israeli soldiers exciting, “So, I became deeply enamored of Israel because of that.”

    Yeesh. Another Jewish guy on an Israeli-induced testosterone high…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @JerryC
    These Jewish guys all seem to have this Albert Brooks thing going, where they're traumatized for life because some fat Irish meathead pushed them into a locker in the 7th grade. Very stereotypical!
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  54. How many seconds before ADL publishes ten pages exposé on the newest marvelous Sailerism : co-country ?

    Can we all be saved by the bell on November 8?

    http://www.arewethere.yt/NO-CO-COUNTRY-FOR-OLD-MAN/53992.htm

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  55. It will be interesting what his opinion of mass incarceration in the US will be.

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  56. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.
     
    That's brilliant. I hope it catches on.

    A co-mment co-related to the co-nspiracy that co-mpromises the Co-nstitution ;

    The co-st of 65 years of co-nsistent, and by the co-rrupted Co-ngress co-ordinated co-payments that are co-nveniently co-signed as a co-llateral co-ntribution for the co-country’s co-rrodive co-llaboration and co-ntroversial co-nfidentiality :

    $127.000.000.000 …… and co-unting !

    Co-nclusion of the co-opted co-rrectional co-rporal that was co-zily co-nfirmed as a co-country’s co-nstitutive co-smopolitan co-respondent :

    America needs to gib moar to our co-country!

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  57. @guest
    I've never heard the phrase "the rest is commentary" in my life, and I'm not unfamiliar with day to day political MSM punditry, though I wish I were. I would have assumed it's a play on Hamlet's "the rest is silence." To which the proper response is "How droll."

    The expression is attributed to Hillel, a prominent rabbi. A Roman soldier, so goes the story, came up and demanded Hillel expound Jewish law, in its entirety, while balancing on one leg.

    Hillel responded,
    “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Do you agree with Hillel's characterization of Torah?
    , @Opinionator
    So what is your opinion? Is Hillel's characterization correct?
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  58. @Steve Sailer
    Yes, Goldberg's Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the "Irish pogromists" who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that's why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.

    And the cycle is complete.

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  59. So he will drag down The Atlantic. But it will be for good cause. Just like CNN!

    Media organs are weapons. All weapons get repurposed eventually. Christian Science Monitor has been repurposed…

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  60. @Svigor
    I don't see the problem. He clubbed Palestinians over the head to protect Israeli nationalism. Now he'll be clubbing Americans over the head to prevent American nationalism. All in the name of Jewish Supremacy.

    Now he’ll be clubbing Americans over the head to prevent American nationalism.

    Indeed. In Goldberg’s mind, nationalism is a privilege reserved for Israel.

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  61. @Whiskey
    To be fair Steve, it was not a choice of contain Saddam or invade him. It was use it or lose it; allow Saddam to expand again at the expense of his neighbors, and show the US being weak so soon after 9/11, a nation that could be defied with impunity even by someone like Saddam, or topple him.

    The US bought Khadaffi's compliance with nukes by the example of Saddam; and shamefully threw away that bargain with Hillary's poor impersonation of Caesar making sure no one will ever cooperate with us like that again.

    The US had a faltering, decade plus combat air patrol mission based out of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States that created its own blowback and was failing to control Saddam in any meaningful way. Creating dangerous arguments in Pakistan and elsewhere about how easy it would be to attack the US without any consequences. Saddam was still in power. HE not the US was the victor in the Gulf War; he stayed, Bush 1 left.

    All maudlin moralism aside, if the US had kept Saddam in place as the Israeli and Saudi governments wanted (as a counterweight to Iran) things could have been even worse. The North Koreans already had the makings of a Nuclear Takeout counter; Saddam could have just purchased nukes. A fearful and compliant US would make an easy target, as would its allies.

    The Iraq Invasion was poorly planned and even more poorly led out of overconfidence from the Gulf War the Highway of Death; but Saddam forcing the US to back down so soon after 9/11 could have just as easily led to things even worse; such as the overthrow of the very bad Saudi Regime and replacing it with Sultan bin Laden protected by Saddam as a protege with off the shelf North Korean nukes.

    It is generally a poor strategy to wait until danger becomes undeniable to confront it; Machiavelli advises that true statecraft is diagnosing and dealing with dangers when they are small rather than large. Every figure from WWII from Ike to Bradley to Churchill to DeGaulle, who hated each other, agreed. Much disaster and lives would have been spared had the French Army deposed Hitler when he rearmed the Rhineland. And the one chance to avert a European War was lost.

    “It was use it or lose it; allow Saddam to expand again at the expense of his neighbors, and show the US being weak so soon after 9/11, a nation that could be defied with impunity even by someone like Saddam, or topple him.”

    Nonsense. Hussein ruled a country devastated by two major wars and a decade of sanctions that killed up to 100,000 people. His country wasn’t going to rise any time within his (or our) lifetime. You can rationalize the Iraq War all you want, but the truth is that it was unnecessary and had devastating consequences for the entire region.

    “All maudlin moralism aside, if the US had kept Saddam in place as the Israeli and Saudi governments wanted (as a counterweight to Iran) things could have been even worse. The North Koreans already had the makings of a Nuclear Takeout counter; Saddam could have just purchased nukes. A fearful and compliant US would make an easy target, as would its allies. ”

    Nonsense. You’re attempting to rationalize away the verifiably bad consequences of that war with a very unlikely hypothetical. There is no way Hussein would have been able to 1) both acquire and transport nukes from the other side of the earth (North Korea) 2) maintained them with the facilities he had in his country 3) secretly designed delivery mechanisms capable of hitting US forces without us finding out about it; that country was under strict quarantine. Besides, Hussein had WMD during the Gulf War and didn’t use them. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that he would have risked his neck to transport a handful of nukes from the other side of the earth when he couldn’t use them and didn’t before when he had the chance (chemical/biological). Besides, he had already destroyed virtually all of his WMD by the 1990s. Why would he have done that if he had wanted to acquire more?

    “It is generally a poor strategy to wait until danger becomes undeniable to confront it; Machiavelli advises that true statecraft is diagnosing and dealing with dangers when they are small rather than large.”

    And Abraham Maslow said, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

    “but Saddam forcing the US to back down so soon after 9/11 could have just as easily led to things even worse; such as the overthrow of the very bad Saudi Regime and replacing it with Sultan bin Laden protected by Saddam as a protege with off the shelf North Korean nukes.”

    I didn’t realize that Hussein had laid down the gauntlet to the US after 9/11. You’ve been listening to too much talk radio. For years after that disaster, they tried every excuse they could think of. Much of what you’ve wrote is just laughable. Leaving Hussein as the secular ruler of a devastated Iraq posed no danger at all to the Saudis. However, radical Islam, which became ascendant once he was taken out, does. And why would a secular Hussein protect a Saudi Arabia ruled by the radical Jihadis he hated anyway?

    Off-the-shelf North Korean nukes? Puh-leaze. See comment above.

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  62. @syonredux

    Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Ellen and Daniel Goldberg,[10] who he describes as "very left-wing."[11] He grew up in in suburban Malverne on Long Island, where he recalled being one of the few Jews in a largely Irish-American area. During his first trip to Israel as "a powerless 13-year-old boy suffering at the hands of Irish pogromists, juvenile pogromists," he found the Jewish empowerment embodied by Israeli soldiers exciting, "So, I became deeply enamored of Israel because of that."
     
    Yeesh. Another Jewish guy on an Israeli-induced testosterone high.....

    These Jewish guys all seem to have this Albert Brooks thing going, where they’re traumatized for life because some fat Irish meathead pushed them into a locker in the 7th grade. Very stereotypical!

    Read More
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  63. Ta-Nehisi & Gober both got promoted in the current year;

    The first one never heard of St. Augustine (in a tender age of thirty-something) which didn’t disqualify him from lecturing at MIT, or becoming MacArthur-certified genius anointed with half a million greenbacks.

    The latter. being quite familiar with St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Just War, would prefer,
    rather preemptively, that some 300 million American gentiles continue to graze on the content farms (a courtesy of his fellow travelers ) than read The City of God on Sunday afternoons.

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  64. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.
     
    That's brilliant. I hope it catches on.

    A co-mment co-related to the co-nspiracy that co-mpromises the Co-nstitution ;

    The co-st of 65 years of co-nsistent, and by the co-rrupted Co-ngress co-ordinated co-payments that are co-nveniently co-signed as a co-llateral co-ntribution for the co-country’s co-rrodive co-llaboration and co-ntroversial co-nfidentiality :

    $127.000.000.000 …… and co-unting !

    Co-nclusion of the co-opted co-rrectional co-rporal that was co-zily co-nfirmed as a co-country’s co-nstitutive co-smopolitan co-respondent :

    America needs to gib MOAR to our co-country!

    Read More
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  65. As far back as 1965 I became convinced that The Atlantic was a front publication for America’s intelligence community. The content was sophisticated but was always just a little off, a little not quite right. I confess that my opinion was based on nothing more than my reading between the lines of the magazine. Yet, in over fifty years I have found nothing that changed that early opinion. Appointing Jeffry Goldberg editor only confirms my long-standing belief. Move along! Nothing to see here.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    As far back as 1965 I became convinced that The Atlantic was a front publication for America’s intelligence community.
     
    The best UK based literary magazine in the 1960s, Encounter, was a CIA front. It was founded by Stephen Spender.

    The CIA had spending money in the Cold War earmarked to reaching out to undecided intellectuals around the world. Since many CIA officers had been Ivy League—specifically, Yale—humanities majors, it is not surprising that they used the money to create literary magazines. They even went to the trouble of founding and publishing a successful literary digest in India.

    http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/an-imprint-of-a-different-sort/228785

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  66. I’m a bit confused. I thought y’all loved cops and prison guards. Just American ones?

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    What makes you think that?
    , @Mr. Anon
    "I’m a bit confused. I thought y’all loved cops and prison guards. Just American ones?"

    Sure. Disbarred lawyers too.

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  67. @International Jew
    The expression is attributed to Hillel, a prominent rabbi. A Roman soldier, so goes the story, came up and demanded Hillel expound Jewish law, in its entirety, while balancing on one leg.

    Hillel responded,
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary."

    Do you agree with Hillel’s characterization of Torah?

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  68. Steve: I think you should pay less attention to this Goldberg guy.

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  69. @Marcus
    As bad as the chemical attacks on the Kurds were, let's remember that they were in revolt while Iraq was already at war with a much larger country (Iran).

    Lincoln killed 500,000.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Lincoln killed 500,000.
     
    You mean Jefferson Davis, dear fellow.
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  70. @utu
    "Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country.

    That’s brilliant. I hope it catches on."

    Just like "Dual Loyalty Would Be an Improvement"

    Treating the United States as his co-country would be an improvement

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  71. @Svigor
    I don't see the problem. He clubbed Palestinians over the head to protect Israeli nationalism. Now he'll be clubbing Americans over the head to prevent American nationalism. All in the name of Jewish Supremacy.

    A Roman soldier, goes the story, came up and demanded that the rabbi Hillel expound Jewish law, in its entirety, while balancing on one leg.

    Hillel responded,
    “Is it good for the Jews? That is the whole Jewish law; the rest is commentary.”

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    • Troll: International Jew
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  72. @Altai
    The test of any idea is how well it's incorporation allows one to better understand the world and thus anticipate the future. Everything else is just commentary...

    The test of any idea is how well it’s incorporation allows one to better understand the world and thus anticipate the future. Everything else is just commentary…

    Indeed.

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  73. @Stephen R. Diamond
    I'm a bit confused. I thought y'all loved cops and prison guards. Just American ones?

    What makes you think that?

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  74. @Opinionator
    Lincoln killed 500,000.

    Lincoln killed 500,000.

    You mean Jefferson Davis, dear fellow.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    No, I meant Abe Lincoln, you moral degenerate.

    Don't make that mistake again.
    , @Mr. Anon
    600,000. And, no, he meant Lincoln. Not everybody shares the same high opinion you do of your favorite bloody-minded murderer.
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  75. @Marcus
    As bad as the chemical attacks on the Kurds were, let's remember that they were in revolt while Iraq was already at war with a much larger country (Iran).

    People really like the Kurds

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    People really like the Kurds

    Zionists really like the Kurds. Perception and affection flow downstream of that powerful fact.

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  76. @Gabriel M
    The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The "surge" would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.

    Cochran likes to go around calling people dumb for not being totally right about Iraq like he was, but then he said this:

    We even hear the Prez and the head of the Joint Chiefs saying that we have to stay in order to prevent the birth of the Caliphate. I mean, there is no Caliphate, there's not a square mile controlled by something resembling the caliphate, there's no strong underground movement working for it, and it sure looks as if the Arabs are the most fissiparous pinheads who ever walked the Earth.
     
    What were Steve Sailer's predictions about the likely results of withdrawal?

    The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The “surge” would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.

    Bullshit. Everyone who said the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity were 100% right and are entitled to crow about it. I am one of those people. I do not know or care what the “surge” was, and I never will.

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    • Agree: Opinionator, reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity
     
    And that it would be bad even from a Machiavellian point of view. E.g. Stalin's invasion of the Baltic states in 1940 was a moral atrocity, but arguably it was beneficial to the USSR. There were no discernible benefits in the Iraq invasion for the US.
    , @Gabriel M
    OK, shouty man, but perhaps even you are capable of realising that an invasion can be both based on lies and a "moral atrocity" and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war?

    People who predicted the Iraq disaster have a right to assert their better judgement, but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous. There are some people who, of course, were wrong about all three of my points, such as Hillary Clinton, so you can still assert your superior judgment over her.
    , @Hunsdon
    I know what the surge was, but otherwise I am with ben tillman. It was a bad, stupid, evil decision when it was taken, and nothing I have seen since that point has changed my mind.
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  77. I have no idea how the editor of The Atlantic gets chosen, but of all their regulars, Goldberg has always been the one to write the most blinkered and provincial articles-all Israel, all Zionism, all the time.

    Of course, I exaggerate, but as with many other public intellectuals of his tribe, a lot of America simply doesn’t exist in this guys’ mental landscape. And much of their writing is cogitation of a certain specialized hair-splitting type that feels far removed from the historical Anglo-Saxon mindset.

    Even in today’s Atlantic, much of Goldberg’s stylistically undistinguised writing comes across as that of an outsider nerd banging on about his special concern, a lot like Coates. Unlike the New York Times, The Atlantic’s print edition still doesn’t come across as (((The Atlantic))).

    How did Goldberg get the job? Where do the reins of power at The Atlantic lead and who holds them?

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  78. I forgot that Jacob Weisberg was for the Iraq War. And then he spent the next 6 years collecting his “Bushisms” mocking W’s speech.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    How could you? Was there a single writer at Slate who opposed the war? (Perhaps Robert Wright, their token Gentile.)
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  79. @Macon Richardson
    As far back as 1965 I became convinced that The Atlantic was a front publication for America's intelligence community. The content was sophisticated but was always just a little off, a little not quite right. I confess that my opinion was based on nothing more than my reading between the lines of the magazine. Yet, in over fifty years I have found nothing that changed that early opinion. Appointing Jeffry Goldberg editor only confirms my long-standing belief. Move along! Nothing to see here.

    As far back as 1965 I became convinced that The Atlantic was a front publication for America’s intelligence community.

    The best UK based literary magazine in the 1960s, Encounter, was a CIA front. It was founded by Stephen Spender.

    The CIA had spending money in the Cold War earmarked to reaching out to undecided intellectuals around the world. Since many CIA officers had been Ivy League—specifically, Yale—humanities majors, it is not surprising that they used the money to create literary magazines. They even went to the trouble of founding and publishing a successful literary digest in India.

    http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/an-imprint-of-a-different-sort/228785

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    People have been speculating about George Plimpton's Paris Review literary mag for a long time.

    I would want to be on George Plimpton's side.

    I've never seen anybody make the accusation, but Tom Wolfe's Ph.D. is from Ground Zero of CIA recruitment: the American Studies program at Yale.

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  80. @PiltdownMan

    As far back as 1965 I became convinced that The Atlantic was a front publication for America’s intelligence community.
     
    The best UK based literary magazine in the 1960s, Encounter, was a CIA front. It was founded by Stephen Spender.

    The CIA had spending money in the Cold War earmarked to reaching out to undecided intellectuals around the world. Since many CIA officers had been Ivy League—specifically, Yale—humanities majors, it is not surprising that they used the money to create literary magazines. They even went to the trouble of founding and publishing a successful literary digest in India.

    http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/an-imprint-of-a-different-sort/228785

    People have been speculating about George Plimpton’s Paris Review literary mag for a long time.

    I would want to be on George Plimpton’s side.

    I’ve never seen anybody make the accusation, but Tom Wolfe’s Ph.D. is from Ground Zero of CIA recruitment: the American Studies program at Yale.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    For some reason, I always used to confuse George Plimpton with George Hamilton.
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  81. @Dave Pinsen
    I forgot that Jacob Weisberg was for the Iraq War. And then he spent the next 6 years collecting his "Bushisms" mocking W's speech.

    How could you? Was there a single writer at Slate who opposed the war? (Perhaps Robert Wright, their token Gentile.)

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Was there a single writer at Slate who opposed the war?"

    I think Mickey Kaus might have been against it. At the least, he was not really for it. Kaus is (to my mind) a sensible guy, and one of the better, more lucid writers, who was ever at Slate - an E-zine that went rapidly down hill after Michael Kinsley left it. Like NPR, it now exists as a parody of itself.
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  82. @syonredux

    Lincoln killed 500,000.
     
    You mean Jefferson Davis, dear fellow.

    No, I meant Abe Lincoln, you moral degenerate.

    Don’t make that mistake again.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Syon has a hard-on for Honest Abe, America's own angel of death. He seems to think that killing a lot of your own countrymen makes you a great President.
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  83. @syonredux

    Lincoln killed 500,000.
     
    You mean Jefferson Davis, dear fellow.

    600,000. And, no, he meant Lincoln. Not everybody shares the same high opinion you do of your favorite bloody-minded murderer.

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    • Replies: @celt darnell
    The number's been revised upward to 750 000

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html?_r=0

    But as I'm outside my field of expertise, I won't claim that number is definitive.
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  84. @Stephen R. Diamond
    I'm a bit confused. I thought y'all loved cops and prison guards. Just American ones?

    “I’m a bit confused. I thought y’all loved cops and prison guards. Just American ones?”

    Sure. Disbarred lawyers too.

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  85. @Opinionator
    No, I meant Abe Lincoln, you moral degenerate.

    Don't make that mistake again.

    Syon has a hard-on for Honest Abe, America’s own angel of death. He seems to think that killing a lot of your own countrymen makes you a great President.

    Read More
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  86. @Opinionator
    How could you? Was there a single writer at Slate who opposed the war? (Perhaps Robert Wright, their token Gentile.)

    “Was there a single writer at Slate who opposed the war?”

    I think Mickey Kaus might have been against it. At the least, he was not really for it. Kaus is (to my mind) a sensible guy, and one of the better, more lucid writers, who was ever at Slate – an E-zine that went rapidly down hill after Michael Kinsley left it. Like NPR, it now exists as a parody of itself.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Kaus is one of the most reasonable mainstream writers out there.
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  87. @Steve Sailer
    People have been speculating about George Plimpton's Paris Review literary mag for a long time.

    I would want to be on George Plimpton's side.

    I've never seen anybody make the accusation, but Tom Wolfe's Ph.D. is from Ground Zero of CIA recruitment: the American Studies program at Yale.

    For some reason, I always used to confuse George Plimpton with George Hamilton.

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  88. @ben tillman

    The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The “surge” would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.
     
    Bullshit. Everyone who said the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity were 100% right and are entitled to crow about it. I am one of those people. I do not know or care what the "surge" was, and I never will.

    the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity

    And that it would be bad even from a Machiavellian point of view. E.g. Stalin’s invasion of the Baltic states in 1940 was a moral atrocity, but arguably it was beneficial to the USSR. There were no discernible benefits in the Iraq invasion for the US.

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  89. @Opinionator
    Bull. Hussein was a decent leader for Iraq. Not his fault he was constantly under siege by Israel, and the United States and its allies.

    This is the kind of imbecility that gives pro-war people ammunition. First of all, Saddam’s reign of bizarre degeneracy goes back to when he was an American ally. Secondly, what does this “siege” of Iraq by Israel even mean? Thirdly, what you say about him being a “decent leader” is just not true. Read for yourself, or don’t.

    Conversely, the Assad family are basically civilized. The reason they have to be “brutal” and “ruthless” is because they rule over pre-civilized people, many of whom want to exterminate their entire ethnic group. The same was true about Saddam, of course, but on top of that he was a deranged sadistic gangster.

    I broadly prefer dictatorship as mode of government to democracy, but defending the absolute worst examples of it is no way to go about anything.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Saddam was totally toothless by 2003. Yes, he was worse than most Arab dictators, but once his offensive capabilities (which were never very strong) got removed, he was harmless to anyone outside Iraq.
    , @Opinionator
    Iraq enjoyed a Golden Age under Saddam Hussein before repeated invasions by the United States and Israel and before murderous sanctions were imposed on it.

    "Siege" is too mild, in fact, but was intended to broadly capture the many ways the the United States and Israel have persecuted Iraq, including bombing it since the 1980s.

    No mass graves were ever found. Just like the the WMDs. All war propaganda.
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  90. @ben tillman

    The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The “surge” would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.
     
    Bullshit. Everyone who said the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity were 100% right and are entitled to crow about it. I am one of those people. I do not know or care what the "surge" was, and I never will.

    OK, shouty man, but perhaps even you are capable of realising that an invasion can be both based on lies and a “moral atrocity” and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war?

    People who predicted the Iraq disaster have a right to assert their better judgement, but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous. There are some people who, of course, were wrong about all three of my points, such as Hillary Clinton, so you can still assert your superior judgment over her.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous.
     
    Staying there forever would have been a disaster, too. It was obvious that Iraq is going to turn out a disaster anyway.

    The "caliphate" (ISIS is not really a caliphate, al-Baghdadi is not really recognized as caliph outside the area controlled by his militia) wouldn't have been formed if the US didn't help the Syrian opposition (ISIS started in Syria), and didn't allow its allies to do the same. Or it would be quickly defeated by the Russians if the US didn't interfere at this point. So you are quite wrong saying that withdrawal caused it. Or at least it's just an assertion based on a counterfactual fantasy.

    Also, I find it preposterous that you think those who opposed that disaster from the outset ought to have known what was the best way to mildly mitigate it. I don't know how Iraq could've been handled once ongoing, Iraq being Iraq, once the dictator was removed, it was obvious it was going to be a disaster. Those who supported it at the outset have no right to talk about that disaster at all.
    , @reiner Tor

    an invasion can be both based on lies and a “moral atrocity” and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war
     
    Yes, it was possible that Iraq would've turned out a peaceful liberal democracy with a blossoming market economy.

    Or Iraq could've been turned into an American colony, extracting its oil for American benefits while letting the locals (those not working in the oil industry, at any rate) to starve to death.

    Or how exactly could Iraq have become a success story?
    , @Opinionator
    Let them have their "Caliphate."
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  91. @Gabriel M
    OK, shouty man, but perhaps even you are capable of realising that an invasion can be both based on lies and a "moral atrocity" and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war?

    People who predicted the Iraq disaster have a right to assert their better judgement, but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous. There are some people who, of course, were wrong about all three of my points, such as Hillary Clinton, so you can still assert your superior judgment over her.

    but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous.

    Staying there forever would have been a disaster, too. It was obvious that Iraq is going to turn out a disaster anyway.

    The “caliphate” (ISIS is not really a caliphate, al-Baghdadi is not really recognized as caliph outside the area controlled by his militia) wouldn’t have been formed if the US didn’t help the Syrian opposition (ISIS started in Syria), and didn’t allow its allies to do the same. Or it would be quickly defeated by the Russians if the US didn’t interfere at this point. So you are quite wrong saying that withdrawal caused it. Or at least it’s just an assertion based on a counterfactual fantasy.

    Also, I find it preposterous that you think those who opposed that disaster from the outset ought to have known what was the best way to mildly mitigate it. I don’t know how Iraq could’ve been handled once ongoing, Iraq being Iraq, once the dictator was removed, it was obvious it was going to be a disaster. Those who supported it at the outset have no right to talk about that disaster at all.

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    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    Thank you for that.
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  92. @Gabriel M
    OK, shouty man, but perhaps even you are capable of realising that an invasion can be both based on lies and a "moral atrocity" and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war?

    People who predicted the Iraq disaster have a right to assert their better judgement, but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous. There are some people who, of course, were wrong about all three of my points, such as Hillary Clinton, so you can still assert your superior judgment over her.

    an invasion can be both based on lies and a “moral atrocity” and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war

    Yes, it was possible that Iraq would’ve turned out a peaceful liberal democracy with a blossoming market economy.

    Or Iraq could’ve been turned into an American colony, extracting its oil for American benefits while letting the locals (those not working in the oil industry, at any rate) to starve to death.

    Or how exactly could Iraq have become a success story?

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  93. Dubya removed the Sunni elite from Iraq, handing it to the Shia, because Democracy. This led to a practically failed state where the Shia (with no governing or military experience) were unable to rule almost half the country (the other half was also a swamp of corruption, clannishness and incompetence, with different Shia leaders with their own private parties and militias exerting influence), thereby making the new Iraq government overly reliant on Iran. All this made the Saudis highly hostile (they felt safer with a Sunni government in Iraq – big surprise), and so probably made them harder to restrain financing ISIS.

    I fail to see how it was avoidable to

    - hand over Iraq to the Shia (unless appointing some second cousin of Saddam, but then what was the point at all?)
    - make Iraq a failed state (almost a direct consequence of two facts, one is that Arabs are Arabs, and the second is that Iraq was handed over to the Shia)
    - make the new failed Iraqi government over-reliant on Iran
    - make the Saudis extremely nervous about all of the above

    Yes, the US could’ve stayed there forever. Any better solutions?

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M

    Yes, the US could’ve stayed there forever. Any better solutions?
     
    Why not? They stayed in South Korea forever.


    Or Iraq could’ve been turned into an American colony, extracting its oil for American benefits while letting the locals (those not working in the oil industry, at any rate) to starve to death.
     
    Did native peoples under colonialism all starve to death? I was under the impression that populations skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.


    But that is not the point. The simple truth is that Obama's withdrawal policy did not work very well, by any standards. It's hardly inconceivable to think that other policies might have worked out better.
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  94. @Gabriel M
    This is the kind of imbecility that gives pro-war people ammunition. First of all, Saddam's reign of bizarre degeneracy goes back to when he was an American ally. Secondly, what does this "siege" of Iraq by Israel even mean? Thirdly, what you say about him being a "decent leader" is just not true. Read for yourself, or don't.

    Conversely, the Assad family are basically civilized. The reason they have to be "brutal" and "ruthless" is because they rule over pre-civilized people, many of whom want to exterminate their entire ethnic group. The same was true about Saddam, of course, but on top of that he was a deranged sadistic gangster.

    I broadly prefer dictatorship as mode of government to democracy, but defending the absolute worst examples of it is no way to go about anything.

    Saddam was totally toothless by 2003. Yes, he was worse than most Arab dictators, but once his offensive capabilities (which were never very strong) got removed, he was harmless to anyone outside Iraq.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Yes, he was worse than most Arab dictators, but once his offensive capabilities (which were never very strong) got removed, he was harmless to anyone outside Iraq.

    How was he worse than other Arab leaders?
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  95. @Gabriel M
    This is the kind of imbecility that gives pro-war people ammunition. First of all, Saddam's reign of bizarre degeneracy goes back to when he was an American ally. Secondly, what does this "siege" of Iraq by Israel even mean? Thirdly, what you say about him being a "decent leader" is just not true. Read for yourself, or don't.

    Conversely, the Assad family are basically civilized. The reason they have to be "brutal" and "ruthless" is because they rule over pre-civilized people, many of whom want to exterminate their entire ethnic group. The same was true about Saddam, of course, but on top of that he was a deranged sadistic gangster.

    I broadly prefer dictatorship as mode of government to democracy, but defending the absolute worst examples of it is no way to go about anything.

    Iraq enjoyed a Golden Age under Saddam Hussein before repeated invasions by the United States and Israel and before murderous sanctions were imposed on it.

    “Siege” is too mild, in fact, but was intended to broadly capture the many ways the the United States and Israel have persecuted Iraq, including bombing it since the 1980s.

    No mass graves were ever found. Just like the the WMDs. All war propaganda.

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M

    Iraq enjoyed a Golden Age under Saddam Hussein before repeated invasions by the United States and Israel and before murderous sanctions were imposed on it.

    “Siege” is too mild, in fact, but was intended to broadly capture the many ways the the United States and Israel have persecuted Iraq, including bombing it since the 1980s.

    No mass graves were ever found. Just like the the WMDs. All war propaganda.
     
    Just to check, this is the Sailersphere official view or not?

    Let them have their “Caliphate.”
     
    Uhh, the host was just complaining about how the Iraq war created ISIS. This blog needs smarter fanboys.


    His whole take on the War of Northern Aggression is bizarre, thoroughly dishonest Yankee-Judean apologia.
     
    More Jews were on the side of the South than the North. The Confederacy wasn't led by dumb Jew obsessives like you.
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  96. @reiner Tor
    Saddam was totally toothless by 2003. Yes, he was worse than most Arab dictators, but once his offensive capabilities (which were never very strong) got removed, he was harmless to anyone outside Iraq.

    Yes, he was worse than most Arab dictators, but once his offensive capabilities (which were never very strong) got removed, he was harmless to anyone outside Iraq.

    How was he worse than other Arab leaders?

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  97. @Gabriel M
    OK, shouty man, but perhaps even you are capable of realising that an invasion can be both based on lies and a "moral atrocity" and not turn out disastrously like the Iraq war?

    People who predicted the Iraq disaster have a right to assert their better judgement, but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous. There are some people who, of course, were wrong about all three of my points, such as Hillary Clinton, so you can still assert your superior judgment over her.

    Let them have their “Caliphate.”

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  98. @Mr. Anon
    "Was there a single writer at Slate who opposed the war?"

    I think Mickey Kaus might have been against it. At the least, he was not really for it. Kaus is (to my mind) a sensible guy, and one of the better, more lucid writers, who was ever at Slate - an E-zine that went rapidly down hill after Michael Kinsley left it. Like NPR, it now exists as a parody of itself.

    Kaus is one of the most reasonable mainstream writers out there.

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  99. @syonredux
    People really like the Kurds

    People really like the Kurds

    Zionists really like the Kurds. Perception and affection flow downstream of that powerful fact.

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  100. @International Jew
    The expression is attributed to Hillel, a prominent rabbi. A Roman soldier, so goes the story, came up and demanded Hillel expound Jewish law, in its entirety, while balancing on one leg.

    Hillel responded,
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary."

    So what is your opinion? Is Hillel’s characterization correct?

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    • Troll: International Jew
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  101. @Mr. Anon
    600,000. And, no, he meant Lincoln. Not everybody shares the same high opinion you do of your favorite bloody-minded murderer.

    The number’s been revised upward to 750 000

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html?_r=0

    But as I’m outside my field of expertise, I won’t claim that number is definitive.

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  102. To be fair Steve, it was not a choice of contain Saddam or invade him. It was use it or lose it; allow Saddam to expand again at the expense of his neighbors, and show the US being weak so soon after 9/11, a nation that could be defied with impunity even by someone like Saddam, or topple him.

    My memory isn’t what it used to be; didn’t we already have a “no fly zone” over Iraq? Didn’t we already have the ability to destroy any moves Hussein (the Iraqi one, not the current president of US) made against his neighbors? Pitiful moves, give what we’d done to his war machine?

    That’s plenty enough ability to “use it”; keep the bomb inventory fresh as you like. What more do the bomb-makers want, FFS?

    The US had a faltering, decade plus combat air patrol mission based out of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States that created its own blowback and was failing to control Saddam in any meaningful way. Creating dangerous arguments in Pakistan and elsewhere about how easy it would be to attack the US without any consequences. Saddam was still in power. HE not the US was the victor in the Gulf War; he stayed, Bush 1 left.

    This is what we call a fundamental point of disagreement. I refuse to care who is in charge of where. I refuse to care about internal politics of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe in the politics of attrition in these places; when they get too out of hand, we bomb the shit out of them. They can continue to beat their wives, molest their children, and bang their goats as much as they like. But if they do the thing that made us bomb them (i.e., not their lifestyle choices or internal politics), we will come back and bomb them some more.

    The Iraq Invasion was poorly planned and even more poorly led out of overconfidence from the Gulf War the Highway of Death;

    Wrong. The problem was the doctrine of occupation, vs. attrition. Occupying these dumps is a mistake. Iraq Attaq I worked because it was attrition doctrine; swoop in, break a bunch of shit, and leave, with promises to do it again under similar circumstances.

    Yeesh. Another Jewish guy on an Israeli-induced testosterone high…

    Nothing will ever make them whole, except Aliyah (or in Goldberg’s case, going back). They should stop chasing the unicorn. Even their stunted ability for self-review is too much to ignore the cognitive dissonance of living in the US of A.

    I’m a bit confused. I thought y’all loved cops and prison guards. Just American ones?

    That’s the funny bit; I don’t like cops. I’ve been driven into the pro-cop camp by the sheer lunacy of you leftists.

    Politically, you lost the plot. We’re nationalists; no, we didn’t love the KGB.

    You mean Jefferson Davis, dear fellow.

    No, it was Lincoln.

    Syon has a hard-on for Honest Abe, America’s own angel of death.

    His whole take on the War of Northern Aggression is bizarre, thoroughly dishonest Yankee-Judean apologia.

    But other than that, he’s pretty solid. We like him anyway.

    Also, I find it preposterous that you think those who opposed that disaster from the outset ought to have known what was the best way to mildly mitigate it.

    This. I scored on all three of his points (though I admit, 2 and 3 for me weren’t nearly the issues that 1 was), but it’s an absurd and arbitrary metric. Nobody died and left Gabby M King of Opinions.

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  103. @reiner Tor
    Dubya removed the Sunni elite from Iraq, handing it to the Shia, because Democracy. This led to a practically failed state where the Shia (with no governing or military experience) were unable to rule almost half the country (the other half was also a swamp of corruption, clannishness and incompetence, with different Shia leaders with their own private parties and militias exerting influence), thereby making the new Iraq government overly reliant on Iran. All this made the Saudis highly hostile (they felt safer with a Sunni government in Iraq - big surprise), and so probably made them harder to restrain financing ISIS.

    I fail to see how it was avoidable to

    - hand over Iraq to the Shia (unless appointing some second cousin of Saddam, but then what was the point at all?)
    - make Iraq a failed state (almost a direct consequence of two facts, one is that Arabs are Arabs, and the second is that Iraq was handed over to the Shia)
    - make the new failed Iraqi government over-reliant on Iran
    - make the Saudis extremely nervous about all of the above

    Yes, the US could've stayed there forever. Any better solutions?

    Yes, the US could’ve stayed there forever. Any better solutions?

    Why not? They stayed in South Korea forever.

    Or Iraq could’ve been turned into an American colony, extracting its oil for American benefits while letting the locals (those not working in the oil industry, at any rate) to starve to death.

    Did native peoples under colonialism all starve to death? I was under the impression that populations skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.

    But that is not the point. The simple truth is that Obama’s withdrawal policy did not work very well, by any standards. It’s hardly inconceivable to think that other policies might have worked out better.

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    • Replies: @Matra
    Why not? They stayed in South Korea forever.

    Easy when you are not facing constant guerrilla warfare. Lots of South Koreans don't like the American presence but they are not launching regular suicide attacks on them.
    , @reiner Tor
    Well, if staying there forever is your solution, it makes the Iraq disaster a huge one, since it would be an ongoing drain on US resources for no discernible benefits. In South Korea there are maybe 30-35k US troops, in Iraq after withdrawal there remained 20,000 (!) diplomatic personnel along with maybe 5,000 contractors (i.e. mercenaries). It's not much less than what is in South Korea. Did you mean many more troops should've stayed? Then there's the small problem that the low-intensity civil war never fully stopped, even while the US was bribing a lot of local tribal leaders with a lot of money to keep things calm. And of course the Shia were still greatly influenced by Iran. So a lot of problems even if (and that's a big if) the Sunni didn't get disgruntled again and didn't start another insurgency. (Which never really fully stopped, it merely was on the back burner.)

    The simple truth is that Obama’s withdrawal policy did not work very well, by any standards. It’s hardly inconceivable to think that other policies might have worked out better.
     
    First, it was Dubya's withdrawal policy, obviously, since he made the agreement with the Iraqis to withdraw all troops by 2011 at the latest. Second, the Iraqi government requested for it to be completed earlier. Sure, Obama could've drawn it out a bit, but the Shia militias sure would've lost their patience after a while. Actually, Obama wanted to renegotiate, but the Shia were implacable. He could've put pressure on them, but did anyone really have a stomach for fighting them?

    Re: colonialism. (Of course, I was a bit hyperbolic. But only a little, as we'll see.) Colonialism was basically a money burning operation for the colonialists. Probably India, South Africa and the settler colonies were the only profitable colonies. And even though most colonies could barely (if at all) pay for their administrative and military occupation costs, they still had to be kept in place by an implicit threat of genocide. Which is how it has always been for all of human history. Nothing wrong with it, but it would've been impossible to implement in the 21st century.

    My point was that "taking their oil" was the only way it would've been beneficial to the US, but then how could you pay for the (already low) living standards of the people? Then there's the need for some kind of genocide to keep them down nevertheless. Or did you want the money-losing colonialism? In which case, what would've been the benefit to the US?

    So still I'm waiting for a plausible way how Iraq's invasion could've turned out well. (Not in the humanrightist sense, but in the "good for the US" sense.) A little less catastrophic, maybe.

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  104. @Jack Hanson
    Over under bets on how many times Lot posts in this thread?

    Anyone want to take a side bet on whiskey blaming the invasion on white women?

    That’s like betting on the sun coming up.

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  105. @ben tillman

    The only people who have a right to crow about being right about Iraq are people who made the following three predictions

    1) The Iraq war would be a disaster.

    2) The “surge” would salvage some wreckage from the disaster.

    3) Early withdrawal would lead to an even bigger disaster.
     
    Bullshit. Everyone who said the invasion was based on lies and was a moral atrocity were 100% right and are entitled to crow about it. I am one of those people. I do not know or care what the "surge" was, and I never will.

    I know what the surge was, but otherwise I am with ben tillman. It was a bad, stupid, evil decision when it was taken, and nothing I have seen since that point has changed my mind.

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  106. @reiner Tor

    but not if they are on public record as saying that there was no danger of a Caliphate being formed after the U.S. pulled out and that any such a suggestion was ridiculous.
     
    Staying there forever would have been a disaster, too. It was obvious that Iraq is going to turn out a disaster anyway.

    The "caliphate" (ISIS is not really a caliphate, al-Baghdadi is not really recognized as caliph outside the area controlled by his militia) wouldn't have been formed if the US didn't help the Syrian opposition (ISIS started in Syria), and didn't allow its allies to do the same. Or it would be quickly defeated by the Russians if the US didn't interfere at this point. So you are quite wrong saying that withdrawal caused it. Or at least it's just an assertion based on a counterfactual fantasy.

    Also, I find it preposterous that you think those who opposed that disaster from the outset ought to have known what was the best way to mildly mitigate it. I don't know how Iraq could've been handled once ongoing, Iraq being Iraq, once the dictator was removed, it was obvious it was going to be a disaster. Those who supported it at the outset have no right to talk about that disaster at all.

    Thank you for that.

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  107. @Opinionator
    Iraq enjoyed a Golden Age under Saddam Hussein before repeated invasions by the United States and Israel and before murderous sanctions were imposed on it.

    "Siege" is too mild, in fact, but was intended to broadly capture the many ways the the United States and Israel have persecuted Iraq, including bombing it since the 1980s.

    No mass graves were ever found. Just like the the WMDs. All war propaganda.

    Iraq enjoyed a Golden Age under Saddam Hussein before repeated invasions by the United States and Israel and before murderous sanctions were imposed on it.

    “Siege” is too mild, in fact, but was intended to broadly capture the many ways the the United States and Israel have persecuted Iraq, including bombing it since the 1980s.

    No mass graves were ever found. Just like the the WMDs. All war propaganda.

    Just to check, this is the Sailersphere official view or not?

    Let them have their “Caliphate.”

    Uhh, the host was just complaining about how the Iraq war created ISIS. This blog needs smarter fanboys.

    His whole take on the War of Northern Aggression is bizarre, thoroughly dishonest Yankee-Judean apologia.

    More Jews were on the side of the South than the North. The Confederacy wasn’t led by dumb Jew obsessives like you.

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  108. @Gabriel M

    Yes, the US could’ve stayed there forever. Any better solutions?
     
    Why not? They stayed in South Korea forever.


    Or Iraq could’ve been turned into an American colony, extracting its oil for American benefits while letting the locals (those not working in the oil industry, at any rate) to starve to death.
     
    Did native peoples under colonialism all starve to death? I was under the impression that populations skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.


    But that is not the point. The simple truth is that Obama's withdrawal policy did not work very well, by any standards. It's hardly inconceivable to think that other policies might have worked out better.

    Why not? They stayed in South Korea forever.

    Easy when you are not facing constant guerrilla warfare. Lots of South Koreans don’t like the American presence but they are not launching regular suicide attacks on them.

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  109. […] [Comment at Unz.com] […]

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  110. @Gabriel M

    Yes, the US could’ve stayed there forever. Any better solutions?
     
    Why not? They stayed in South Korea forever.


    Or Iraq could’ve been turned into an American colony, extracting its oil for American benefits while letting the locals (those not working in the oil industry, at any rate) to starve to death.
     
    Did native peoples under colonialism all starve to death? I was under the impression that populations skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.


    But that is not the point. The simple truth is that Obama's withdrawal policy did not work very well, by any standards. It's hardly inconceivable to think that other policies might have worked out better.

    Well, if staying there forever is your solution, it makes the Iraq disaster a huge one, since it would be an ongoing drain on US resources for no discernible benefits. In South Korea there are maybe 30-35k US troops, in Iraq after withdrawal there remained 20,000 (!) diplomatic personnel along with maybe 5,000 contractors (i.e. mercenaries). It’s not much less than what is in South Korea. Did you mean many more troops should’ve stayed? Then there’s the small problem that the low-intensity civil war never fully stopped, even while the US was bribing a lot of local tribal leaders with a lot of money to keep things calm. And of course the Shia were still greatly influenced by Iran. So a lot of problems even if (and that’s a big if) the Sunni didn’t get disgruntled again and didn’t start another insurgency. (Which never really fully stopped, it merely was on the back burner.)

    The simple truth is that Obama’s withdrawal policy did not work very well, by any standards. It’s hardly inconceivable to think that other policies might have worked out better.

    First, it was Dubya’s withdrawal policy, obviously, since he made the agreement with the Iraqis to withdraw all troops by 2011 at the latest. Second, the Iraqi government requested for it to be completed earlier. Sure, Obama could’ve drawn it out a bit, but the Shia militias sure would’ve lost their patience after a while. Actually, Obama wanted to renegotiate, but the Shia were implacable. He could’ve put pressure on them, but did anyone really have a stomach for fighting them?

    Re: colonialism. (Of course, I was a bit hyperbolic. But only a little, as we’ll see.) Colonialism was basically a money burning operation for the colonialists. Probably India, South Africa and the settler colonies were the only profitable colonies. And even though most colonies could barely (if at all) pay for their administrative and military occupation costs, they still had to be kept in place by an implicit threat of genocide. Which is how it has always been for all of human history. Nothing wrong with it, but it would’ve been impossible to implement in the 21st century.

    My point was that “taking their oil” was the only way it would’ve been beneficial to the US, but then how could you pay for the (already low) living standards of the people? Then there’s the need for some kind of genocide to keep them down nevertheless. Or did you want the money-losing colonialism? In which case, what would’ve been the benefit to the US?

    So still I’m waiting for a plausible way how Iraq’s invasion could’ve turned out well. (Not in the humanrightist sense, but in the “good for the US” sense.) A little less catastrophic, maybe.

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