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From The American Conservative:

Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around?

Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”
By TUCKER CARLSON • February 15, 2019

 
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  1. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.

    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don’t fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    • Agree: snorlax
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    You have to remember that Lil Maxi Boot back in 2001, said :
    "This is not a war being won with American blood and guts. It is being won with the blood and guts of the Northern Alliance, helped by copious quantities of American ordnance and a handful of American advisers. After Sept. 11, President Bush promised that this would not be another bloodless, push-button war, but that is precisely what it has been." http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j111901.h

    So not two months after the Afghan invasion, Boot's complaint was that not enough white Christian Americans were dying. The first 3 months of the Afghan invasion were wildly successful with limited US causalities. The US only suffered 7 causalities in 2001 and only 4 of those were combat related. We only screwed up when we stayed in Afghanistan after the start of 2002.

    Lil Maxi Boot is just another example of why immigration has been bad for America.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don’t fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.
     
    The point is that Democrats in the US, and Leftist worldwide, will never allow the US to fight a war. There is no possibility of fighting a war. Therefore we should stay out of any 'actions' and let the preventable human suffering multiply without intervention.

    We don't need any Americans fighting in any more stupid "wars."
    , @MikeatMikedotMike
    Exactly right.
    The US hasn't won a war since WWII exactly because of the above (not that we should have been fighting a single one of them to begin with.)
    , @L Woods
    Yes, the cleverer-than-thou notion that COIN isn’t about violence is tripe — it absolutely works when the political will exists to support it.
    , @Lot
    We killed about 50 times the Iraqis/Afghans as the other way around.

    Rules of engagement couldn't have been that restrictive with that ratio.

    Probably they weren't ideal in retrospect. But that's completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons. There was talk of 50k us deaths to defeat Saddam before the invasion. That is still better than being wrong like Boot. But it flows from the same source: overestimating Arabs.

    , @Mr. Anon

    “Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces,” he wrote. “Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”
     
    No, you are wrong. You didn't quote the entire paragraph. The first sentence references notorious events in which American (and French) forces suffered casualties during foreign interventions. This is taken from a book called "The War on Terror", where those two sentences appear right next to each other (albeit in separate paragraphs) and are part of a passage that mentions a "lack of will". Anyway, the term "casualties" 0ften implies american forces. The Pentagon is squeamish about talking about the real costs of war, in those places we make war - they even invented the famous weasel term "collateral damage" to minimize its impact.

    Boot may have also meant collateral damage, but he was also clearly talking about our casualties. Carlson's interperetation of what Boot said is essentially apt - Boot finds Americans insufficiently willing to shed their own blood in the furtherance of his aims.
    , @Forbes

    Great essay, but this point is wrong.
     
    Not so. You just disagree with the way Carlson framed it. It's a perspective or an interpretation--not an objective fact that can be disputed.

    You can disagree with it, of course, but you've marshaled opinion, not fact, when disputing it.

    They [rules of engagement] have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.
     
    That's an opinion masquerading as a conclusion asserted as fact.
  2. That is excellent work. I knew Boot was bad, but not that bad.

    It is actually from Tucker’s book, excerpted in TAC.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
    Tucker Carlson is the closest thing to a hero on the national stage at this point. No wonder they're attacking his home and his family now.

    I hope he's extra careful, because he's skirting the bounds of "permissible" speech lately--though doing it with skill--and that sort of behavior can lead to real trouble.

    At the rate he's going, we shouldn't be too surprised to see some bogus charges leveled at him from a trailer park skank, or whomever TPTB next come up with to do their dirty work.

  3. Iraq and Afghanistan were costly experiments. In a sense, though, you can’t say they were failures as experiments. Because we did successfully test the hypothesis: i.e., can you transform a Third World Muslim nation into a stable democracy?

    The answer of course was a resounding “No.”

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    • Agree: ic1000, Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Sorry, those fools will *never* *ever* learn.

    Duns Scotus was the most enlightened genius compared to them.

    You might as well try bailing out the mighty Pacific Ocean with a leaking thimble.
    , @anonymous
    So, do you believe that bringing about "stable democracy" in either Iraq or Afghanistan was, in fact, the objective of Uncle Sam?

    By "Uncle Sam," I don't mean the American people, but their rulers. Your repeated "we" indicates conflation of the two.
    , @Cagey Beast
    The invasion and occupation of Iraq & Afghanistan cost America nothing in blood, when compared to what it cost the locals. Anyone calling these "experiments" has the morality of a serial killer.
    , @Mr. Anon

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.
     
    And the answer to that question will, of course, be "yes".
    , @Dave Pinsen
    You could have made a logical argument for both the initial attacks on both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Rumsfeld’s original idea of using special forces plus air power and local Afghan allies made sense, and had driven the Taliban from power in 6 months. The mistake was “compassionate conservative” W’s transition to nation building, but in that he was abetted by NATO and later Dems calling A-stan the “real” war.

    In Iraq, if you hadn’t read Steve’s piece on how inbred the country was, you could have made an argument for it too: maybe democracy would calm the Muslims down; you’d be able to end the “blockade” on Iraq, which was one of Bin Laden’s grievances; and it would be, in Dennis Miller’s phrase, a “shoot the cuffs” war to intimidate other WMD-makers. Tucker himself supported the war initially.

    But to support it after we saw all those premises invalidated and then to support interventions in Libya and Syria, as Boot has, is nuts.
  4. Boot and Kristol are still around because they are the Kardashians of politics. Just famous for being famous, nothing more.

    • Replies: @Jake
    But Kardashians put out, a lot, even on video. They are rich whores par excellence.
    , @Paleo Liberal
    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.
    , @Bill Jones
    " they are the Kardashians of politics"

    Nah, Kardashians are far smaller asses.

    The wars will continue until someone comes up with a paradigm where peace is as efficient a means of looting the taxpayer for the benefit of the elites as war currently is.

  5. Not so much magical ‘ruby slippers’ but more like a tragi/comedy stomping ‘Kristol Boot’

  6. Could one be so cynical to think that since it is not the ‘kinsmen’ of the neocons dying, in large part, that they are more cavalier with casualties? Serious question, how much do {they} hate us?

    • Replies: @ACommenter

    Serious question, how much do {they} hate us
     
    I don't think people even begin to comprehend how much they hate us.
    , @Crawfurdmuir

    Could one be so cynical to think that since it is not the ‘kinsmen’ of the neocons dying, in large part, that they are more cavalier with casualties?
     
    As far as Kristol, Boot, and Bret Stephens are concerned, casualties among old-stock Americans are a feature, not a bug, of overseas wars. Each of these worthies, of very shallow root in American soil, has made a public statement that he'd prefer to deport old-stock Americans and replace them with supposedly "hard-working" wetbacks and other third-world flotsam and jetsam.

    Why? Because the United States of America was not the creation of their ancestors, and it is grievous to them that the descendants of its founding stock are still around to remind them of that.
    , @sayless
    How much do the neocons hate us?

    Lots and lots. Look at the butcher’s bill.
  7. @Hypnotoad666
    Iraq and Afghanistan were costly experiments. In a sense, though, you can't say they were failures as experiments. Because we did successfully test the hypothesis: i.e., can you transform a Third World Muslim nation into a stable democracy?

    The answer of course was a resounding "No."

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    Sorry, those fools will *never* *ever* learn.

    Duns Scotus was the most enlightened genius compared to them.

    You might as well try bailing out the mighty Pacific Ocean with a leaking thimble.

  8. Why Are Boot & Kristol Still Around?

    The answer to that question would be antisemitic. Sorry.

    • Replies: @obvious clarity
    That's funny. ...yes, as always---humor is directly linked to obviousness.
  9. As Andrew Sullivan ably pointed out a few weeks ago, the establishment will never say no to a war. Ergo, no matter how incompetent and wrong they might be, there will be an eager and powerful audience that wishes to hear voices such as Boot and Kristol.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    As Andrew Sullivan ably pointed out a few weeks ago, the establishment will never say no to a war.
     
    And I'm afraid that isn't going to change until the US gets well and truly shellacked in a war.
  10. Maybe some ppl want to keep them around to discredit the right?

  11. We know, Steve.

    Only you and Tucker and senile commenters here somehow manage to pretend to care about (((these))) issues and still not know. The non-senile goyim know

    Someday you’ll have to explain this boomer mental illness.

    • Replies: @Frankie P
    Yes, this is spot on. The sad truth is that the elite, both the right and the left, detest the common American people, and the fact that Boot and Kristol keep their positions is just added evidence of this. Kudos to Tucker Carlson for his willingness to send this message to the American people. He cannot say it outright, but the gist of his rants can be boiled down to "You American people are hated by the elite that run things here, regardless of their party affiliation or support. Plan, prepare, and act accordingly"
  12. I just finished the book Ship of Fools yesterday. As I wrote in the Peak Stupidity reviews – Part 1 and – Part 2 – there are indeed a number of Sailerisms in there. It could of course be independent thinking along the same lines, but, man, eleven and a half pages of evisceration of T.N. Coates?!* (That’s right at 5% of the book.)

    Tucker does a number on those 2 neocons in his book, with greater detail on Bill Kristol, as Mr. Carlson used to work for him.

    Mr. Carlson’s biggest, mostly-encompassing explanation for our problems are that the elites have no “noblless oblige”. If they’d only been like the elites of old that were closer in wealth and culture to the peons, he figures things would be different. In particular, Mr. Carlson says that the old left that used to push back against the right in politics is now one and the same. He does not mention much that the old conservatism is pretty much gone in national politics.

    Tucker is also very, very careful in his chapter on race, “Diversity Distraction”, the title of which gives away his explanation. I understand why he is very careful, but I doubt iSteve readers and the alt-right would agree with him. In his chapter of feminism/genderbenders, he defends the early feminism of Betty Friedan, and this makes him not a true conservative.

    All that said, Ship of Fools is a very good book, and I hope it sells 5 million copies. That’d be a good thing for America.

    .

    * Two other things are Tucker’s breaking up the first 1/2 of the book into the 2 main chapters that are basically “invade the world” and “invite the world” and his joking about the Lazarus poem under that Statue of Liberty being part of the Constitution. Hmmm … maybe you are reading now – write a comment in code, Tucker, if you are here.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
    Thanks for the summary, Achmed. Carlson is obviously an iSteve reader. (Along with David Brooks and another NYT "conservative" columnist whose name escapes me.)

    You'd be surprised how well-read he is. I have it on good authority that he's familiar with my work, too, though he's never going to leave a trail of bread crumbs on that matter.

    In any event, that he would rip Coates a new one is good news, on the iSteve front in particular, and on the racial front, in general.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    I bought TC's book in December and read it one evening. Achmed is right that he hammers the argument that our current elite don't like their fellow country men very much. I was surprised at how much he went after Kristol and Boot. He said Kristol was a Trumpian until the Donald started talking about ending our endless pointless foreign adventures. You will like the book if you like TC on tv.
    , @ACommenter
    I bought the book in support of Carlson when advertisers were threatening him, etc. If not out of pity out of charity-- i was genuinely surprised how astute the book was. One of the best political books I have read in recent years..
    , @Jack Hanson
    Tucker, say "gay Nazi bodybuilder" into your next show, not necessarily all at once, and let us know you know we know.
  13. Why are they still around? They hate ‘deplorables’ and would tell any lie, do any dirty deed, to ‘help’ Israel and keep the Yank WASP Empire, the Anglo-Zionist Empire, chugging along. They are beyond truth as well as beyond good and evil.

  14. @TED
    Boot and Kristol are still around because they are the Kardashians of politics. Just famous for being famous, nothing more.

    But Kardashians put out, a lot, even on video. They are rich whores par excellence.

  15. @Hypnotoad666
    Iraq and Afghanistan were costly experiments. In a sense, though, you can't say they were failures as experiments. Because we did successfully test the hypothesis: i.e., can you transform a Third World Muslim nation into a stable democracy?

    The answer of course was a resounding "No."

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    So, do you believe that bringing about “stable democracy” in either Iraq or Afghanistan was, in fact, the objective of Uncle Sam?

    By “Uncle Sam,” I don’t mean the American people, but their rulers. Your repeated “we” indicates conflation of the two.

  16. Is it justified to wack one or two evil war mongers to save million of lives and trillions of dollars?

  17. OT
    Juicy’s racist stunt is now starting to cost him money. He just hired a lawyer. A mega-lawyer.

    Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who claims he was assaulted by white supremacists screaming “MAGA COUNTRY” in the middle of a polar vortex in Chicago, just hired the best defense lawyer in town, Michael Monico, after the two persons of interest in the case were released by the Chicago Police Department.

    above is from pj media

    Rafer Weigel

    @RaferWeigel

    High-profile #Chicago defense attorney Michael Monico let it be known he was representing #JussieSmollett on @RoeConn radio show today. Monico also represents #MichaelCohen. He’s considered one of the best defense lawyers in the country.
    734
    8:58 PM – Feb 15, 2019
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    774 people are talking about this

  18. They are still around because they want open borders for America and war waged by goys for Israel. Simple. Lifetime employment.

  19. Tucker is flying pretty close to the sun with this one.

  20. Great retort to Boot’s response to this.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Tucker "far-right". OOOOKAAAAAY!
    , @Svigor
    "If everyone outside the regime hates me, I must really be sucking up to the regime correctly."

    Max might actually have a point there.
    , @EliteCommInc.
    Hey that depends on whose ,mail boxes are being hit.
    , @Lot
    Excellent.

    For people wanting to set up anon twitter accounts with pics, but not use someone elses, AI is here to help:

    https://mashable.com/article/website-ai-faces-gan-technology/

    About 60% of them look realistic enough at full resolution, 3/4 in reduced twitter profile pic size.

    https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

    Need a gmail for it too? Reset an old android phone or tablet. The signup will let you get a gmail without a telephone number confirmation.
    , @TTSSYF
    Yes, and if your head's in the oven and your feet are in the freezer, on average, you're at 98.6.
  21. Omarosa’s II of Somalia lucky guess, after she took some reprograming courses this semester :

    “Because of decades of institutionalized white privilege patriarchy that had infested every segment of America’s society and culture ? “

  22. Max Boot only appears to have been wrong about everything. In reality, all of his policy goals have been achieved. He cleverly inverts subject amd object in his sentences.

    • Replies: @mr. wild
    He cleverly inverts subject amd object in his sentences.

    As in one of Steve's key riffs: "Who? Whom?"
  23. Well, war used to mean you took and held territory, like when we defeated Mexico in 1848.

    At some point war changed to stuff like backing client regimes (Central America) or just general destabilization with no real plan (Libya). Our kids get killed and we foot the bill and take the eternal blame, to benefit some vested interest.

    That change happened before Boot and Kristol came along. They just took stock of the new thinking and adapted it to their own priorities. I can hand Billy Ray Scruggs a gun and drop him off in Islamistan to reinforce the insurgents? Vat’s not to like? Two problems at once it solves.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    At some point Billy Ray might smarten up. Then :

    One day down near the entrance gate
    There was an awful din.
    A hundred hens, all out of breath,
    Were begging to come in.

    “Oh let us in!” these poor birds cried,
    “Before we do expire!
    ’Tis only by the merest INCH...”

    This epic has no end because
    No matter how you fight ’em,
    Those HENS will show up EVERY TIME
    — And so ad infinitum!
  24. The important question is where did these people come from? Max Boot is not taken seriously as a military historian- his books are considered light and frivolous, but not light or frivolous or entertaining enough for a mass audience. Bill Kristol has always just sort of been there. I remember him on Meet the Press 30 years ago, when my Dad would watch it, and I can imagine he was on 30 years before that.

  25. In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries.

    Put Boots on the ground.

  26. Why is the pathetic NeverTrumper (Ben Shapiro) who backed that biatch Michele Fields and her lies back on the radio? He had to slither away when the Fields hoax was starting to crumble but now he is back. I wonder if him being Jewish has anything to do with it. It sure can’t be because he is worth listening to.

    • Replies: @PSR
    Oh c’mon, Ben Shapiro is one of the smartest guys out there and he gives leftists fits.
  27. @TED
    Boot and Kristol are still around because they are the Kardashians of politics. Just famous for being famous, nothing more.

    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.

    • Agree: ACommenter, Anon1
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.
     
    They isn't just the case that Kristol et. al. are telling people in government what they want to hear - they are telling them what Kristol et. al. want them to hear.

    As to why people like Boot and Kristol still have influence? Because their World view has not been discredited within the halls of government - it is still the reigning orthodoxy. It may be out of favor with Tucker Carlson, but he is the only voice on FOX for whom that is the case. The rest of the FOX News zoo of talking heads are still %100 behind the Forever War. It may be unpopular with a significant share of the electorate, but what do they count for? Their job is to vote, not to have thier vote mean anything.

    And one should not discount the importance of the Military Industiral Complex. Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard was founded largely with a grant from Lockheed Martin, and they continued to support it with advertising. Why does Lockheed Martin need to advertise in a magazine (or anywhere for that matter)? Is a Republican lawyer in Rockford going to buy a Hellfire missile? Or even take a General in the Petagon involved in procurement - it's not like he doesn't already know about a major defence contractor. The advertising they place in media outlets is simply a way of subsidizing those outlets - outlets which make propaganda they find useful. And LockMart is not the only such company; Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Alliant ATK, etc. And there are lots of small to medium sized companies that profit from the forever war - all those companies that provide training, logistics, compliance, etc. Warfare is a huge business in this country.

    https://corpwatch.org/article/us-lockheed-stock-and-two-smoking-barrels
    , @nebulafox
    That's part of it. But the other part of the equation is even scarier. Our elites genuinely believe a lot of what they say. They really do think that the rest of the world has a burning desire to be carbon copies of the United States, and that it is our job to help them get there, be it through bayonets and bombs, economic sanctions, or the media and State Department forcibly exporting American norms to cultures where they are not wanted. Unversalism and Whiggishness have deep roots in American culture and psychology, so there's nothing to be done about that in and of itself, but the past quarter century is a good example of what happens when those tendencies run rampant without any corrective mechanisms.

    There's no greater disconnect between the American public at large and American elites-media, military, economic, and political-than in foreign policy, in my reckoning. John Quincy Adams was the anti-populist of his day when he explained that America's job was to set an example and act as a lighthouse, and warned against going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. But now, the situation is 180 percent reversed. It isn't your typical Trump voter (the neo-Jacksonians) who wants to subordinate our relationship with Russia or China down to their treatment of gays or journalists, it is the New York Times, and the people who want to nuke Iran preemptively probably would prefer Jeb Bush to Donald Trump as President. Since The Donald is not exactly a model of intellectual consistency or work ethic, they can convince him to do a lot (although Trump occasionally seems to realize that when push comes to shove, his reelection depends on the voters, which has led to Republican Senate actively denouncing Trump's recent proposals/efforts to get out of Afghanistan and Syria), but there's no getting around the fact that his nomination and election was a repudiation of interventionism among the lay public on a scale that we haven't seen since before WWII.

    , @ben tillman

    Boot and Kristol are still around because they are the Kardashians of politics. Just famous for being famous, nothing more.

    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.
     

    Partly true, my ass. But the rest of your comment is close to the truth.

    They thrive because they tell the public what the "ruling neo-con oligarchs" want the public to hear.

  28. @Dave Pinsen
    Great retort to Boot’s response to this.

    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1096519309734612993?s=21

    Tucker “far-right”. OOOOKAAAAAY!

  29. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    You have to remember that Lil Maxi Boot back in 2001, said :
    “This is not a war being won with American blood and guts. It is being won with the blood and guts of the Northern Alliance, helped by copious quantities of American ordnance and a handful of American advisers. After Sept. 11, President Bush promised that this would not be another bloodless, push-button war, but that is precisely what it has been.” http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j111901.h

    So not two months after the Afghan invasion, Boot’s complaint was that not enough white Christian Americans were dying. The first 3 months of the Afghan invasion were wildly successful with limited US causalities. The US only suffered 7 causalities in 2001 and only 4 of those were combat related. We only screwed up when we stayed in Afghanistan after the start of 2002.

    Lil Maxi Boot is just another example of why immigration has been bad for America.

    • Replies: @sayless
    Max Boot is cold-hearted about the blood and the guts of other people, and other people’s loved ones.

    The wars he wants have cost him nothing. I want him out of my country.
  30. @Dave Pinsen
    Great retort to Boot’s response to this.

    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1096519309734612993?s=21

    “If everyone outside the regime hates me, I must really be sucking up to the regime correctly.”

    Max might actually have a point there.

  31. Max Boot and William Kristol and President Trump all push mass legal immigration and amnesty for illegal alien invaders.

    Boot and Kristol and Trump are determined to continue to use the US military as muscle to fight wars on behalf of Israel in the Middle East and West Asia.

    Trump is a treasonous rat whore for Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson. Plenty of billionaires and plutocrats support Boot and Kristol.

    There has been a concerted effort to mute criticism of Shelly Adelson in the corporate media. This reticence to attack a billionaire on the part of the corporate media was not granted to the Koch boys. Why is that?

    Trump is a puppet for Shelly Adelson and Adelson is a vulnerability for Trump and the GOP ruling class. White Core American Patriots have had enough of the nonsense from Trump and Adelson and the GOP ruling class.

    Tweets from 2015:

  32. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don’t fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    The point is that Democrats in the US, and Leftist worldwide, will never allow the US to fight a war. There is no possibility of fighting a war. Therefore we should stay out of any ‘actions’ and let the preventable human suffering multiply without intervention.

    We don’t need any Americans fighting in any more stupid “wars.”

  33. @Hypnotoad666
    Iraq and Afghanistan were costly experiments. In a sense, though, you can't say they were failures as experiments. Because we did successfully test the hypothesis: i.e., can you transform a Third World Muslim nation into a stable democracy?

    The answer of course was a resounding "No."

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    The invasion and occupation of Iraq & Afghanistan cost America nothing in blood, when compared to what it cost the locals. Anyone calling these “experiments” has the morality of a serial killer.

  34. It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. “We should never have been in Iraq,” Trump announced, his voice rising. “We have destabilized the Middle East.” (snip) Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

    And then the Presidency.

    It is instructive to note that the two human beings who have won the Presidency since the President who signed off on the Second Iraq War were/are both open opponents of that war during their campaigns.

    • Agree: Charles Pewitt
    • Replies: @Svigor
    Anti-war types tend to overestimate how important Trump's anti-war positions were to both Trump, and to his winning the presidency. He was saying "let's bomb the Hell out of ISIS, let's destroy ISIS" the entire time he was saying we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, and we shouldn't go into Syria.

    Trump's major break with the GOPe was the day he announced his candidacy by firing all his guns at the immivasion. I remember saying here that day that Trump could win the election if he stuck to his guns. And that I'd vote for him if he did.

    And (((Big Media))) and the Democrats have been going ape over his immigration policies ever since.

    , @EliteCommInc.
    and in two shakes and a dime did just the opposite.
  35. why are the journalists who tell us the russians hacked the election or that a kid a maga hat harassed a red indian ‘elder’ still around?
    Because the media is as Sailer says, a megaphone, not a distiller of truth. It’s in fact more often the enemy of truth.

  36. @countenance
    It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. “We should never have been in Iraq,” Trump announced, his voice rising. “We have destabilized the Middle East.” (snip) Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

    And then the Presidency.

    It is instructive to note that the two human beings who have won the Presidency since the President who signed off on the Second Iraq War were/are both open opponents of that war during their campaigns.

    Anti-war types tend to overestimate how important Trump’s anti-war positions were to both Trump, and to his winning the presidency. He was saying “let’s bomb the Hell out of ISIS, let’s destroy ISIS” the entire time he was saying we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq, and we shouldn’t go into Syria.

    Trump’s major break with the GOPe was the day he announced his candidacy by firing all his guns at the immivasion. I remember saying here that day that Trump could win the election if he stuck to his guns. And that I’d vote for him if he did.

    And (((Big Media))) and the Democrats have been going ape over his immigration policies ever since.

    • Replies: @donut
    I'm kind of "going ape" over the c**suckers immigration policies myself .
  37. Listed in one place, Boot’s many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk.

    Ha, also, exactly.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Yeah, you're reminding me now. After I wrote my comment above, I remembered (it's only been 3 days, so ...) the description in Tucker's book of all the damn warmongering advice out of this guy over the years. On some, I may be getting it confused with Kristol, but Mr. Carlson tears both of those guys a new one.

    The timeline Carlson give is about 1 year after another - "then he advised us to invade country X", "next year he had an op-ed published in the _____ strongly recommending we invade countries Y and Z" etc. (with all capital variables standing for countries in the Middle East and North Africa) and this goes on for a a few paragraphs.
  38. A couple of Jew supremacists promoting Jew supremacy and policy goals in a Jew dominated society…..and being treated respectfully by the JudenTV and JudenPresse. Who could possibly explain such a phenomena?

  39. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    Exactly right.
    The US hasn’t won a war since WWII exactly because of the above (not that we should have been fighting a single one of them to begin with.)

  40. Adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake.

    The lesson of Iraq II, in contrast to the invasion and occupation of Germany and Japan, is straightforward. Iraqis aren’t Germans or Japanese, in general.

    When I was a teenager, I assumed they were. They’re not. Events have definitively proven this.

    Obviously, Das Racist.

    Whatever. It is not my fault. I didn’t make anyone anyway. I am merely saying what is in front of my eyes.

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better. Das Racist.

    But my lying tastebuds say otherwise.

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better.
     
    You had me until this paragraph. Japanese cuisine is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, cuisines in the world. Food from Iraq ain't.
    , @Lugash

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?
     
    Well, there was that whole "We invaded on a pack of lies, blew apart the power structure and turned the entire country into a Saw movie". I can see why the Iraqis were pissed about that. Japan and Germany realized they were at fault, we haven't. We could have tried loosening up the rules of engagement more under the "if you don't love us we'll kill you" tactic, but Vietnam shows how that turned out.
    , @Wilkey
    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    They responded better to occupation because the people there are smarter, knew they were defeated, and wanted to get on with their lives.

    The fact that Germans and Japanese are smarter than Afghanis and Iraqis is extremely important, but the middle part is important, too: they knew they were defeated. We smashed their countries and burned their cities to the ground. And the Russian Army raped their women seven ways to Sunday.

    With Iraq we never did that. Why? Because to officially defeat them we never had to. And we never had the moral authority to beat them in the way we beat Germany and Japan. Germany and Japan were invading the world and slaughtering innocent civilians. They had to be stopped. Iraq was an ugly place but since Kuwait it had left everyone alone.

    One, if you go to war it helps to have the moral authority to truly defeat your opponent. Two, if you don't truly defeat your opponent (and aren't even willing to) the occupation is going to be a tough go. Three, if your justification for going in is "we're really going to make this country a nicer place" then you've screwed yourself from the beginning. Four, (and this be raciss) if you do plan on occupying and rebuilding the country afterwards it (a) helps if you have solid building material (i.e., a country of people smart enough to know how to do shit) and (b) are willing to shred any cultural tradition that keeps it backwards (e.g., suppressing Islam and cousin marriage). Five, when we went in we never even accepted that we would have to do any of this shit. Iraq is about the size of California. There probably wasn't many more men in our initial occupying army (~150,000) than there were law officers in California.

    Bill Kristol and Max Boot are simply evil. They want to waste American blood and money on causes and in ways they would never use Israeli blood and money. They want America to waste it's young men's lives (during a catastrophic decline in birthrates, no less) on optional wars with no conceivable benefit for the American people. And if we win we get to keep absolutely nothing. They damn sure never ask Israel to insert itself into pointless wars, and when Israel does start a war (always with a neighbor, not halfway around the world) Israel gets to keep the land. There are a few smallish countries in Central America that sure need modernizing (e.g., Honduras, El Salvador). I propose Israel invade them, fix them up, let them keep all the land, and let hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran and Honduran refugees move to Israel. That's as realistic as anything Boot and Kristol have suggested for the American military. And if Israel doesn't have enough troops well, per Boot, they should grant citizenship to any Iraqi, Nigerian, or Zimbabwean who is willing to join the IDF for a few months and fight a pointless war in El Salvador.
    , @donut
    "I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?"

    Their other option was invasion and occupation by the Soviet Union . In Poland and the Baltic states guerrillas fought the Soviet "liberators" for years after the end of the war .
  41. is somebody seriously asking why two pro israel war mongers are still around? hmm what else do they have in common with new elite.. can’t think of anything off hand.

  42. Wm. Kristol has never been considered an ‘expert’ on anything. He’s a lapsed history professor who landed positions in the White House PR apparat, then went on to a career as a purveyor of topical commentary in his position as a magazine editor. Unlike, say, Richard Brookhiser, he’s done little writing on historical topics since competing his dissertation. Charles Krauthammer was something of an expert, but on matters about which he seldom wrote after 1984. Max Boot actually is something of a policy maven, though he has no history of having worked in public agency. He’s an ‘expert’, but one with truncated experience and unreliable judgment. In re unreliable judgment, you might say the same about Andrew Bacevich.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Here's Tucker's great explanation of Max Boot's status as an expert (I'm copying directly):

    [ p. 83:] Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at tht Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affaiers and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."

    None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one of the world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track recored of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.


    [p. 87:] Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.
     
    There are ~ 5 1/2 pages on Max Boot and 9 1/2 pages on Bill Kristol in Ship of Fools. Added together, they do beat TN Coates, if by "beat", any publicity is good publicity - probably not applicable here!
    , @Mr. Anon

    Wm. Kristol has never been considered an ‘expert’ on anything.
     
    He might not be an expert on anything, but that has never stopped anyone from being considered one. The many TV and press outlets who have featured him or his writings clearly considered him to be one.

    Max Boot actually is something of a policy maven, though he has no history of having worked in public agency.
     
    So? That doesn't mean he hasn't had influence. Boot has been employed teaching US military officers. That's kind of disquieting. He's not the most influential person in Washington. He doesn't have to be. There are armies of people like him, all reading from the same script, essentially. Boot is just one of the more repellent ones.
  43. Donald Trump and Max Boot and William Kristol all support the REFUGEE OVERLOAD attack that is destroying the United States.

    • Replies: @densa
    Obama definitely transformed America. He seemed to have had a particular hatred of Idaho. What was their sin, white potatoes?
  44. @Dave Pinsen
    Great retort to Boot’s response to this.

    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1096519309734612993?s=21

    Hey that depends on whose ,mail boxes are being hit.

  45. @countenance
    It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. “We should never have been in Iraq,” Trump announced, his voice rising. “We have destabilized the Middle East.” (snip) Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

    And then the Presidency.

    It is instructive to note that the two human beings who have won the Presidency since the President who signed off on the Second Iraq War were/are both open opponents of that war during their campaigns.

    and in two shakes and a dime did just the opposite.

  46. They survive because they are professional war peddlers. America’s military-industrial complex rates wars based on the total cost of war, the higher the better.

    Just take a look at this table, and you’ll see why Boot and Krystol are beloved swamp creatures:

    https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/c/costs-major-us-wars.html

  47. Kristol’s funniest gambit came when he was searching for a third party candidate in 2016, hoping to draw enough votes from Trump to put Hilary Clinton in the White House.

    Who was Kristol’s choice? NRO columnist David French, whom I live not far from. What was funny? I asked people in Columbia, Tennessee if they had ever heard of David French? All but one, who’s a political junkie, had never heard of him.

    French, after much prayer and thought, decided he didn’t have the money or name recognition to mount a presidential campaign. French’s columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Does anyone know what French does for a living? IIRC, he has a Kentucky law license, not a Tennessee license, and he doesn't live within commuting distance to any towns in Kentucky.
    , @Wilkey
    "French’s columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol."

    Which is just a whole lot of "WTF?" Jeb Bush was exactly all of that, and had a hundred million dollars to burn, and look how well he did. Kasich was fairly similar to that, too, and he came in a distant third. But Bill Kristol thought that an unknown internet columnist with exactly those beliefs would somehow be the key to victory.

    Kristol's plan wasn't that French would win. It was that French, who is a staunch evangelical, would tear away enough votes in states with lots of evangelical Christians to throw the election to Hillary. In Utah they did the same thing with Mormon candidate Evan McMullin. It was a brazen attempt at boob bait for bubbas, with the bubbas, in their minds, being conservative, religious Mormons and evangelicals. If his support for the Iraq War didn't tell you what you needed to know about Kristol, his dim view of the goys should do the trick.
  48. It’s kind lame to repeat over and over, but it’s really still about that damned kristol boot stomping on our faces..forever

  49. @Tyrion 2

    Adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake.
     
    The lesson of Iraq II, in contrast to the invasion and occupation of Germany and Japan, is straightforward. Iraqis aren't Germans or Japanese, in general.

    When I was a teenager, I assumed they were. They're not. Events have definitively proven this.

    Obviously, Das Racist.

    Whatever. It is not my fault. I didn't make anyone anyway. I am merely saying what is in front of my eyes.

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better. Das Racist.

    But my lying tastebuds say otherwise.

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better.

    You had me until this paragraph. Japanese cuisine is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, cuisines in the world. Food from Iraq ain’t.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Obviously Japanese and German food is better.

    Though an Iraqi wife will actually cook more often, so there's that. Perhaps the ideal is a woman with a Japanese IQ and looks, Iraqi woman values, who will produce children with Germanic genes and phenotype?

    http://khoollect.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Marie-Kondo-e1483303830160.jpg
  50. @David In TN
    Kristol's funniest gambit came when he was searching for a third party candidate in 2016, hoping to draw enough votes from Trump to put Hilary Clinton in the White House.

    Who was Kristol's choice? NRO columnist David French, whom I live not far from. What was funny? I asked people in Columbia, Tennessee if they had ever heard of David French? All but one, who's a political junkie, had never heard of him.

    French, after much prayer and thought, decided he didn't have the money or name recognition to mount a presidential campaign. French's columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol.

    Does anyone know what French does for a living? IIRC, he has a Kentucky law license, not a Tennessee license, and he doesn’t live within commuting distance to any towns in Kentucky.

    • Replies: @11B4P

    Does anyone know what French does for a living?
     
    David French works for the left as controlled opposition.
    , @David In TN
    French and his wife Nancy collaborated on a book about his time in the army. It had little information about his civilian life. French sometimes goes to a Columbia law office during the daytime, no idea what kind of law he does.

    After graduating Harvard Law, French went to New York and then Philadelphia, "lectured" at Cornell.

    Nancy French has ghostwritten books for some celebrities.

    They moved to the Columbia, Tennessee area (living outside the city) about a decade ago.

    David French's maternal grandfather was the principal of my elementary school. French didn't mention him in his book, even though this explains his roots in Maury County.
  51. One of my friends joked that Max Boot really puts the “foreign” in foreign policy expert.

  52. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    Yes, the cleverer-than-thou notion that COIN isn’t about violence is tripe — it absolutely works when the political will exists to support it.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
  53. anonymous[241] • Disclaimer says:

    No matter what the same people are heard through the megaphone year after year. They are promoted and make a living giving their opinions which always turn out to be worse than worthless. Who is it that’s supporting them?
    These people have the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on their hands. This isn’t just an abstract contest of ideas for the millions of people killed, maimed, traumatized and turned into wretched refugees thanks to US actions. Only a handful of humanitarian and religious minded people in the US seem to be concerned about the atrocity inflicted upon millions of people overseas. This is not just about spreading values or other vague lies but about the massive war criminality that’s taken place with propagandists like Boot and Kristol leading the parade. What is wrong with these people? Haven’t they satiated their blood-lust by now? Are these people even human?

  54. @Tyrion 2

    Adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake.
     
    The lesson of Iraq II, in contrast to the invasion and occupation of Germany and Japan, is straightforward. Iraqis aren't Germans or Japanese, in general.

    When I was a teenager, I assumed they were. They're not. Events have definitively proven this.

    Obviously, Das Racist.

    Whatever. It is not my fault. I didn't make anyone anyway. I am merely saying what is in front of my eyes.

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better. Das Racist.

    But my lying tastebuds say otherwise.

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    Well, there was that whole “We invaded on a pack of lies, blew apart the power structure and turned the entire country into a Saw movie”. I can see why the Iraqis were pissed about that. Japan and Germany realized they were at fault, we haven’t. We could have tried loosening up the rules of engagement more under the “if you don’t love us we’ll kill you” tactic, but Vietnam shows how that turned out.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Japan and Germany realized they were at fault...
     
    Japan came to no such realization. Nor was one necessary. The Japanese understood that they lost the war and worked with SCAP in productive ways, which is sort of Tyrion's point.

    We could have tried loosening up the rules of engagement more under the “if you don’t love us we’ll kill you” tactic, but Vietnam shows how that turned out.
     
    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.

    A better point would simply be to say that no matter how many Afghans and Iraqis we killed, whoever was left would still be too incompetent to run a modern civilized society. That was not true of the Germans and Japanese after WW2.

  55. Anon[105] • Disclaimer says:

    “Does anyone know what French does for a living?”

    There are a lot of ways to funnel money to someone with the right views; groups that wish to maintain a base of influencers often find busy work for their minions. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy had some kind of BS “consulting” job.

    Edit: Did a quick search, and it turns out that French has a fellowship with the non-profit The National Review Institute. I can’t imagine that pays much…or does it? He’s also a writer for the National Review, a controlled op outlet. Not surprisingly, The National Review has kept this guy around after he publicly stated last year that he’s no longer a republican. As with Boot and Krystal, French is kept around because he has the right views and not necessarily because his views are right or even popular – can’t imagine The National Review thinks it’s going to attract actual republicans with this Trump-basher hanging around. But, of course, they don’t and that’s not really their purpose, is it?

    PS. French’s Wikipedia page is pretty funny. There is a brief section where the writer complains that people were mean to poor David on Twitter and even called him a “cuckservative” on the internet. Someone even sent this man a picture of a gas chamber. Poor David. I bet he’d almost rather go back to Iraq than take more of that horrendous abuse.

    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir

    French has a fellowship with the non-profit The National Review Institute. I can’t imagine that pays much…or does it? He’s also a writer for the National Review, a controlled op outlet.
     
    The NRI is a 501(c)(3) public charity. You should be able to find his pay from its Form 990 filings, which are public records. I do not recall what it was, but I do remember seeing one Form 990 reporting that Kevin Williamson was paid $250,000/yr. This was before his abortive move to The Atlantic. NR took him back after that, which might be described as a triumph of hope over experience. Goldberg and Nordlinger also were indicated as receiving six-figure salaries, though not as much as Williamson's.
  56. @Art Deco
    Does anyone know what French does for a living? IIRC, he has a Kentucky law license, not a Tennessee license, and he doesn't live within commuting distance to any towns in Kentucky.

    Does anyone know what French does for a living?

    David French works for the left as controlled opposition.

  57. “Why Are Boot & Kristol Still Around?”

    The better question is why is John Bolton around Trump (along with important Jews–they ALWAYS seem to be up to no good!). I thought Trump was going to drain the swamp by now.

    https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/02/13/what-is-stopping-john-bolton-from-convincing-trump-to-bomb-iran/

    Perhaps Trump’s words to Bolton is ‘I didn’t need to do this.’ That phrase probably has little bearing for Trump on the legal challenges regarding his declaration of a national emergency for the border wall.

    And for my adoring fans out there, make no mistake that we should have much, much more funds for hiring border agents and fortifying areas along the border, as well as reducing significantly H1B visas (so bizness can hire American career womyn!) and enforcing current laws to arrest and jail business owners who employ illegal immigrants. Ultimately, Congress should be acting on this matter, but (D)’s AND (R)’s use immigrants as their household pets. Do not be suckered into believing otherwise.

    Be mindful that Trump is ONLY going this route to feed his ego. Remember, he employed illegals and outsourced his clothing line. He is a showman who ultimately does things for himself.

    What do YOU think, Mr. Sailer?

  58. @Dave Pinsen
    Great retort to Boot’s response to this.

    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1096519309734612993?s=21

    Excellent.

    For people wanting to set up anon twitter accounts with pics, but not use someone elses, AI is here to help:

    https://mashable.com/article/website-ai-faces-gan-technology/

    About 60% of them look realistic enough at full resolution, 3/4 in reduced twitter profile pic size.

    https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

    Need a gmail for it too? Reset an old android phone or tablet. The signup will let you get a gmail without a telephone number confirmation.

    • Replies: @Lot
    I see this site makes it hard to download images.

    The newest desktop firefox lets you screenshot download anything in a right click menu.
  59. @Tyrion 2

    Adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake.
     
    The lesson of Iraq II, in contrast to the invasion and occupation of Germany and Japan, is straightforward. Iraqis aren't Germans or Japanese, in general.

    When I was a teenager, I assumed they were. They're not. Events have definitively proven this.

    Obviously, Das Racist.

    Whatever. It is not my fault. I didn't make anyone anyway. I am merely saying what is in front of my eyes.

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better. Das Racist.

    But my lying tastebuds say otherwise.

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    They responded better to occupation because the people there are smarter, knew they were defeated, and wanted to get on with their lives.

    The fact that Germans and Japanese are smarter than Afghanis and Iraqis is extremely important, but the middle part is important, too: they knew they were defeated. We smashed their countries and burned their cities to the ground. And the Russian Army raped their women seven ways to Sunday.

    With Iraq we never did that. Why? Because to officially defeat them we never had to. And we never had the moral authority to beat them in the way we beat Germany and Japan. Germany and Japan were invading the world and slaughtering innocent civilians. They had to be stopped. Iraq was an ugly place but since Kuwait it had left everyone alone.

    One, if you go to war it helps to have the moral authority to truly defeat your opponent. Two, if you don’t truly defeat your opponent (and aren’t even willing to) the occupation is going to be a tough go. Three, if your justification for going in is “we’re really going to make this country a nicer place” then you’ve screwed yourself from the beginning. Four, (and this be raciss) if you do plan on occupying and rebuilding the country afterwards it (a) helps if you have solid building material (i.e., a country of people smart enough to know how to do shit) and (b) are willing to shred any cultural tradition that keeps it backwards (e.g., suppressing Islam and cousin marriage). Five, when we went in we never even accepted that we would have to do any of this shit. Iraq is about the size of California. There probably wasn’t many more men in our initial occupying army (~150,000) than there were law officers in California.

    Bill Kristol and Max Boot are simply evil. They want to waste American blood and money on causes and in ways they would never use Israeli blood and money. They want America to waste it’s young men’s lives (during a catastrophic decline in birthrates, no less) on optional wars with no conceivable benefit for the American people. And if we win we get to keep absolutely nothing. They damn sure never ask Israel to insert itself into pointless wars, and when Israel does start a war (always with a neighbor, not halfway around the world) Israel gets to keep the land. There are a few smallish countries in Central America that sure need modernizing (e.g., Honduras, El Salvador). I propose Israel invade them, fix them up, let them keep all the land, and let hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran and Honduran refugees move to Israel. That’s as realistic as anything Boot and Kristol have suggested for the American military. And if Israel doesn’t have enough troops well, per Boot, they should grant citizenship to any Iraqi, Nigerian, or Zimbabwean who is willing to join the IDF for a few months and fight a pointless war in El Salvador.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Shorter version: Brits and French were better and more ruthless imperialists than us.

    They failed to make liberal democracies out of any Muslim or African state. Perhaps the only exception are a few islands or places with substantial non-black/Muslim populations like South Africa and Lebanon 1950-1980.
  60. @Pincher Martin

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better.
     
    You had me until this paragraph. Japanese cuisine is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, cuisines in the world. Food from Iraq ain't.

    Obviously Japanese and German food is better.

    Though an Iraqi wife will actually cook more often, so there’s that. Perhaps the ideal is a woman with a Japanese IQ and looks, Iraqi woman values, who will produce children with Germanic genes and phenotype?

    • Replies: @Svigor
    Way too Rube Goldberg. German woman with 18th century German woman values FTW.
    , @TTSSYF
    Yes, she's pretty, but do you really like those eyes?
  61. @Lot
    Excellent.

    For people wanting to set up anon twitter accounts with pics, but not use someone elses, AI is here to help:

    https://mashable.com/article/website-ai-faces-gan-technology/

    About 60% of them look realistic enough at full resolution, 3/4 in reduced twitter profile pic size.

    https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

    Need a gmail for it too? Reset an old android phone or tablet. The signup will let you get a gmail without a telephone number confirmation.

    I see this site makes it hard to download images.

    The newest desktop firefox lets you screenshot download anything in a right click menu.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    What's so hard about the [PriSc] button? Then, just paste it into a new MS-Paint file.
  62. @David In TN
    Kristol's funniest gambit came when he was searching for a third party candidate in 2016, hoping to draw enough votes from Trump to put Hilary Clinton in the White House.

    Who was Kristol's choice? NRO columnist David French, whom I live not far from. What was funny? I asked people in Columbia, Tennessee if they had ever heard of David French? All but one, who's a political junkie, had never heard of him.

    French, after much prayer and thought, decided he didn't have the money or name recognition to mount a presidential campaign. French's columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol.

    “French’s columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol.”

    Which is just a whole lot of “WTF?” Jeb Bush was exactly all of that, and had a hundred million dollars to burn, and look how well he did. Kasich was fairly similar to that, too, and he came in a distant third. But Bill Kristol thought that an unknown internet columnist with exactly those beliefs would somehow be the key to victory.

    Kristol’s plan wasn’t that French would win. It was that French, who is a staunch evangelical, would tear away enough votes in states with lots of evangelical Christians to throw the election to Hillary. In Utah they did the same thing with Mormon candidate Evan McMullin. It was a brazen attempt at boob bait for bubbas, with the bubbas, in their minds, being conservative, religious Mormons and evangelicals. If his support for the Iraq War didn’t tell you what you needed to know about Kristol, his dim view of the goys should do the trick.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Quite true. Nobody thought that McMullin or French could win. Their candidacies (aborted, in French's case) were intended as spoilers to throw the election to Hillary, whom the never-Trumpers clearly preferred over Trump. As a President, Hillary would have been, in terms of outcome, virtually indistinguishable from Jeb, Kasich, Rubio - pretty much the whole Republican field. The term Uniparty isn't all that untrue.
    , @Prof. Woland
    As race reemerges as the primary identity for whites to in-group, religious identity becomes less important and that includes relics like Boot and Kristol as well as French and McMillian. This is one reason they are so uptight regarding Trump. It is forcing everything out into the open. Every religious group has made their bid to try their hand at influencing politics Originally it was WASPs then Catholics but in the last 50 years it has been Jews, atheists (who flew under the banner of socialism, feminism, and LBGT), and Evangelicals. Of recent it has been Mormons and now Muslims trying out their power. All of the groups are sick of each other. In a time where America is choosing up sides in a cold civil war, there is no room for religious (((neutrals))) who play both sides hoping to later ingratiate themselves with the winner.
  63. @Wilkey
    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    They responded better to occupation because the people there are smarter, knew they were defeated, and wanted to get on with their lives.

    The fact that Germans and Japanese are smarter than Afghanis and Iraqis is extremely important, but the middle part is important, too: they knew they were defeated. We smashed their countries and burned their cities to the ground. And the Russian Army raped their women seven ways to Sunday.

    With Iraq we never did that. Why? Because to officially defeat them we never had to. And we never had the moral authority to beat them in the way we beat Germany and Japan. Germany and Japan were invading the world and slaughtering innocent civilians. They had to be stopped. Iraq was an ugly place but since Kuwait it had left everyone alone.

    One, if you go to war it helps to have the moral authority to truly defeat your opponent. Two, if you don't truly defeat your opponent (and aren't even willing to) the occupation is going to be a tough go. Three, if your justification for going in is "we're really going to make this country a nicer place" then you've screwed yourself from the beginning. Four, (and this be raciss) if you do plan on occupying and rebuilding the country afterwards it (a) helps if you have solid building material (i.e., a country of people smart enough to know how to do shit) and (b) are willing to shred any cultural tradition that keeps it backwards (e.g., suppressing Islam and cousin marriage). Five, when we went in we never even accepted that we would have to do any of this shit. Iraq is about the size of California. There probably wasn't many more men in our initial occupying army (~150,000) than there were law officers in California.

    Bill Kristol and Max Boot are simply evil. They want to waste American blood and money on causes and in ways they would never use Israeli blood and money. They want America to waste it's young men's lives (during a catastrophic decline in birthrates, no less) on optional wars with no conceivable benefit for the American people. And if we win we get to keep absolutely nothing. They damn sure never ask Israel to insert itself into pointless wars, and when Israel does start a war (always with a neighbor, not halfway around the world) Israel gets to keep the land. There are a few smallish countries in Central America that sure need modernizing (e.g., Honduras, El Salvador). I propose Israel invade them, fix them up, let them keep all the land, and let hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran and Honduran refugees move to Israel. That's as realistic as anything Boot and Kristol have suggested for the American military. And if Israel doesn't have enough troops well, per Boot, they should grant citizenship to any Iraqi, Nigerian, or Zimbabwean who is willing to join the IDF for a few months and fight a pointless war in El Salvador.

    Shorter version: Brits and French were better and more ruthless imperialists than us.

    They failed to make liberal democracies out of any Muslim or African state. Perhaps the only exception are a few islands or places with substantial non-black/Muslim populations like South Africa and Lebanon 1950-1980.

  64. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    We killed about 50 times the Iraqis/Afghans as the other way around.

    Rules of engagement couldn’t have been that restrictive with that ratio.

    Probably they weren’t ideal in retrospect. But that’s completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons. There was talk of 50k us deaths to defeat Saddam before the invasion. That is still better than being wrong like Boot. But it flows from the same source: overestimating Arabs.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons.
     
    How was he "right for the wrong reasons"?
    , @ben tillman

    Probably they weren’t ideal in retrospect. But that’s completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.
     

    Screw the "disaster" aspect. It was EVIL both in regard to the people who were defrauded into paying and dying for it and in regard to the people they and their money killed.

    And "the disaster" wasn't just foreseeable; it was foreseen -- by Steve, Justin Raimondo, the Lew Rockwell libertarians, and everyone on the "racist" right.

    , @Tyrion 2
    Different phases of the wars had different RoE. A lot of the time Western military forces have literally been acting under the same rules as what a civilian could. That is, lethal force could only be applied against someone who you believe to be an immediate danger to human life. Or, in the US's case, also property.

    Prosecuting a war under such circumstances is extremely impractical.

  65. @Tyrion 2

    Listed in one place, Boot’s many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk.
     
    Ha, also, exactly.

    Yeah, you’re reminding me now. After I wrote my comment above, I remembered (it’s only been 3 days, so …) the description in Tucker’s book of all the damn warmongering advice out of this guy over the years. On some, I may be getting it confused with Kristol, but Mr. Carlson tears both of those guys a new one.

    The timeline Carlson give is about 1 year after another – “then he advised us to invade country X”, “next year he had an op-ed published in the _____ strongly recommending we invade countries Y and Z” etc. (with all capital variables standing for countries in the Middle East and North Africa) and this goes on for a a few paragraphs.

  66. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    “Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces,” he wrote. “Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    No, you are wrong. You didn’t quote the entire paragraph. The first sentence references notorious events in which American (and French) forces suffered casualties during foreign interventions. This is taken from a book called “The War on Terror”, where those two sentences appear right next to each other (albeit in separate paragraphs) and are part of a passage that mentions a “lack of will”. Anyway, the term “casualties” 0ften implies american forces. The Pentagon is squeamish about talking about the real costs of war, in those places we make war – they even invented the famous weasel term “collateral damage” to minimize its impact.

    Boot may have also meant collateral damage, but he was also clearly talking about our casualties. Carlson’s interperetation of what Boot said is essentially apt – Boot finds Americans insufficiently willing to shed their own blood in the furtherance of his aims.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    You know nothing about modern warfare. Sadly, neither does Tucker Carlson. Fortunately he'd happily admit it. Nonetheless, on this single point, he is wrong. You are also wrong on this, but then you're wrong on practically everything.

    Pretend otherwise. Whatever. You're stupid and clueless.
    , @Chris Mallory

    Boot finds Americans insufficiently willing to shed their own blood in the furtherance of his aims.
     
    Nothing but the truth.
  67. @Lot
    We killed about 50 times the Iraqis/Afghans as the other way around.

    Rules of engagement couldn't have been that restrictive with that ratio.

    Probably they weren't ideal in retrospect. But that's completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons. There was talk of 50k us deaths to defeat Saddam before the invasion. That is still better than being wrong like Boot. But it flows from the same source: overestimating Arabs.

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons.

    How was he “right for the wrong reasons”?

    • Replies: @Lot
    He was right to oppose the Iraq invasion. His fear of 50k us deaths defeating Saddam was wrong. It wasn't even 1% of that.
  68. @Lugash

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?
     
    Well, there was that whole "We invaded on a pack of lies, blew apart the power structure and turned the entire country into a Saw movie". I can see why the Iraqis were pissed about that. Japan and Germany realized they were at fault, we haven't. We could have tried loosening up the rules of engagement more under the "if you don't love us we'll kill you" tactic, but Vietnam shows how that turned out.

    Japan and Germany realized they were at fault…

    Japan came to no such realization. Nor was one necessary. The Japanese understood that they lost the war and worked with SCAP in productive ways, which is sort of Tyrion’s point.

    We could have tried loosening up the rules of engagement more under the “if you don’t love us we’ll kill you” tactic, but Vietnam shows how that turned out.

    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.

    A better point would simply be to say that no matter how many Afghans and Iraqis we killed, whoever was left would still be too incompetent to run a modern civilized society. That was not true of the Germans and Japanese after WW2.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.
     
    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.

    Our rules of engagement might not have been militarily expedient, but they were hardly a model of humanitarian restraint.
  69. @Wilkey
    "French’s columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol."

    Which is just a whole lot of "WTF?" Jeb Bush was exactly all of that, and had a hundred million dollars to burn, and look how well he did. Kasich was fairly similar to that, too, and he came in a distant third. But Bill Kristol thought that an unknown internet columnist with exactly those beliefs would somehow be the key to victory.

    Kristol's plan wasn't that French would win. It was that French, who is a staunch evangelical, would tear away enough votes in states with lots of evangelical Christians to throw the election to Hillary. In Utah they did the same thing with Mormon candidate Evan McMullin. It was a brazen attempt at boob bait for bubbas, with the bubbas, in their minds, being conservative, religious Mormons and evangelicals. If his support for the Iraq War didn't tell you what you needed to know about Kristol, his dim view of the goys should do the trick.

    Quite true. Nobody thought that McMullin or French could win. Their candidacies (aborted, in French’s case) were intended as spoilers to throw the election to Hillary, whom the never-Trumpers clearly preferred over Trump. As a President, Hillary would have been, in terms of outcome, virtually indistinguishable from Jeb, Kasich, Rubio – pretty much the whole Republican field. The term Uniparty isn’t all that untrue.

  70. @Pincher Martin

    Japan and Germany realized they were at fault...
     
    Japan came to no such realization. Nor was one necessary. The Japanese understood that they lost the war and worked with SCAP in productive ways, which is sort of Tyrion's point.

    We could have tried loosening up the rules of engagement more under the “if you don’t love us we’ll kill you” tactic, but Vietnam shows how that turned out.
     
    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.

    A better point would simply be to say that no matter how many Afghans and Iraqis we killed, whoever was left would still be too incompetent to run a modern civilized society. That was not true of the Germans and Japanese after WW2.

    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.

    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.

    Our rules of engagement might not have been militarily expedient, but they were hardly a model of humanitarian restraint.

    • Replies: @fnn
    The bombs in Vietnam were mostly dropped on jungle (e.g., Ho Chi Minh Trail) and the bombs dropped in Germany were almost entirely meant to "dehouse" urban workers.

    BTW, isn't most of that jungle now gone, cut down by international corporations?
    , @Pincher Martin

    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.
     
    For Americans, the Vietnam War was much longer than WW2. The first U.S. bombing campaign against the North was in 1962 and Operation Linebacker was in 1972. By comparison, the U.S. didn't start bombing Germany until mid-1942. By mid-1945, it was over.

    The U.S. also had serious military allies in the fight against the Nazis. That was not true in the Vietnam War, even though various militaries did give what was mostly symbolic help or material aid. The exception might be the South Koreans who deployed considerable numbers of troops to South Vietnam.

    U.S. rules of engagement in the Vietnam War also prevented the military from using much of anything other than bombs against the North, which surely affected the number of bombs the U.S. dropped. But even those bombing campaigns were restricted. Often their purpose was not military, but diplomatic. We were dropping tonnage to send a message, but not to inflict maximum damage or secure a military goal.

    Anyone who thinks the U.S. took it easier on the Germans in WW2 than it did on the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in the Vietnam War is an idiot.

  71. @Art Deco
    Wm. Kristol has never been considered an 'expert' on anything. He's a lapsed history professor who landed positions in the White House PR apparat, then went on to a career as a purveyor of topical commentary in his position as a magazine editor. Unlike, say, Richard Brookhiser, he's done little writing on historical topics since competing his dissertation. Charles Krauthammer was something of an expert, but on matters about which he seldom wrote after 1984. Max Boot actually is something of a policy maven, though he has no history of having worked in public agency. He's an 'expert', but one with truncated experience and unreliable judgment. In re unreliable judgment, you might say the same about Andrew Bacevich.

    Here’s Tucker’s great explanation of Max Boot’s status as an expert (I’m copying directly):

    [ p. 83:] Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn’t exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at tht Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affaiers and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict.”

    None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one of the world’s Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don’t need a track recored of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that’s required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you’re in. That’s good news for Max Boot.

    [p. 87:] Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.

    There are ~ 5 1/2 pages on Max Boot and 9 1/2 pages on Bill Kristol in Ship of Fools. Added together, they do beat TN Coates, if by “beat”, any publicity is good publicity – probably not applicable here!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I should have paid attention during the 5-minute edit window - all the blockquote is Carlson's writing and should all be in italics. The site has had this minor bug for a long time, in which italic tags don't hold across multiple paragraphs, within or not-within blockquotes.
  72. @Art Deco
    Wm. Kristol has never been considered an 'expert' on anything. He's a lapsed history professor who landed positions in the White House PR apparat, then went on to a career as a purveyor of topical commentary in his position as a magazine editor. Unlike, say, Richard Brookhiser, he's done little writing on historical topics since competing his dissertation. Charles Krauthammer was something of an expert, but on matters about which he seldom wrote after 1984. Max Boot actually is something of a policy maven, though he has no history of having worked in public agency. He's an 'expert', but one with truncated experience and unreliable judgment. In re unreliable judgment, you might say the same about Andrew Bacevich.

    Wm. Kristol has never been considered an ‘expert’ on anything.

    He might not be an expert on anything, but that has never stopped anyone from being considered one. The many TV and press outlets who have featured him or his writings clearly considered him to be one.

    Max Boot actually is something of a policy maven, though he has no history of having worked in public agency.

    So? That doesn’t mean he hasn’t had influence. Boot has been employed teaching US military officers. That’s kind of disquieting. He’s not the most influential person in Washington. He doesn’t have to be. There are armies of people like him, all reading from the same script, essentially. Boot is just one of the more repellent ones.

  73. “Why Are Boot & Kristol Still Around?”

    “Why Are Boot & Kristol Still Alive?”

    There, FTFY.

  74. @TED
    Boot and Kristol are still around because they are the Kardashians of politics. Just famous for being famous, nothing more.

    ” they are the Kardashians of politics”

    Nah, Kardashians are far smaller asses.

    The wars will continue until someone comes up with a paradigm where peace is as efficient a means of looting the taxpayer for the benefit of the elites as war currently is.

  75. @Achmed E. Newman
    Here's Tucker's great explanation of Max Boot's status as an expert (I'm copying directly):

    [ p. 83:] Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at tht Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affaiers and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."

    None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one of the world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track recored of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.


    [p. 87:] Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.
     
    There are ~ 5 1/2 pages on Max Boot and 9 1/2 pages on Bill Kristol in Ship of Fools. Added together, they do beat TN Coates, if by "beat", any publicity is good publicity - probably not applicable here!

    I should have paid attention during the 5-minute edit window – all the blockquote is Carlson’s writing and should all be in italics. The site has had this minor bug for a long time, in which italic tags don’t hold across multiple paragraphs, within or not-within blockquotes.

  76. @Paleo Liberal
    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.

    They isn’t just the case that Kristol et. al. are telling people in government what they want to hear – they are telling them what Kristol et. al. want them to hear.

    As to why people like Boot and Kristol still have influence? Because their World view has not been discredited within the halls of government – it is still the reigning orthodoxy. It may be out of favor with Tucker Carlson, but he is the only voice on FOX for whom that is the case. The rest of the FOX News zoo of talking heads are still %100 behind the Forever War. It may be unpopular with a significant share of the electorate, but what do they count for? Their job is to vote, not to have thier vote mean anything.

    And one should not discount the importance of the Military Industiral Complex. Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard was founded largely with a grant from Lockheed Martin, and they continued to support it with advertising. Why does Lockheed Martin need to advertise in a magazine (or anywhere for that matter)? Is a Republican lawyer in Rockford going to buy a Hellfire missile? Or even take a General in the Petagon involved in procurement – it’s not like he doesn’t already know about a major defence contractor. The advertising they place in media outlets is simply a way of subsidizing those outlets – outlets which make propaganda they find useful. And LockMart is not the only such company; Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Alliant ATK, etc. And there are lots of small to medium sized companies that profit from the forever war – all those companies that provide training, logistics, compliance, etc. Warfare is a huge business in this country.

    https://corpwatch.org/article/us-lockheed-stock-and-two-smoking-barrels

    • Replies: @Anon1
    Good points.
  77. Q: Why?
    A: Sheldon Adelson.

  78. @PiltdownMan
    As Andrew Sullivan ably pointed out a few weeks ago, the establishment will never say no to a war. Ergo, no matter how incompetent and wrong they might be, there will be an eager and powerful audience that wishes to hear voices such as Boot and Kristol.

    As Andrew Sullivan ably pointed out a few weeks ago, the establishment will never say no to a war.

    And I’m afraid that isn’t going to change until the US gets well and truly shellacked in a war.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Friday night the girlfriend and I hit a couple craft breweries in Somerville, MA, hipster heaven for those not able to afford Cambridge. As she took in all the soft soiboi neckbeards in flannel and sock hats, she said that she's beginning to understand what I mean when I say that a major conflict against a real enemy would be a total disaster for America.

    In the iSteve noticing category, ALL the interracial couples we saw were white female/other, including THREE Asian guys with chubby white girls. If that becomes a "thing", think of the increased friction in black/Asian relations! Thank God that chubby white girls are pretty thick on the ground.
  79. @Hypnotoad666
    Iraq and Afghanistan were costly experiments. In a sense, though, you can't say they were failures as experiments. Because we did successfully test the hypothesis: i.e., can you transform a Third World Muslim nation into a stable democracy?

    The answer of course was a resounding "No."

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    And the answer to that question will, of course, be “yes”.

    • Agree: Trevor H.
  80. Look at that Twitter responses to Boot’s comment, brutal. But I don’t think it matters an iota, these yahudi people have the loudest and biggest megaphone.

    What will be interesting is that if there is a provocative incident in future, would this left-right alliance hold against yahudi imperialism?

  81. They have not done so badly. Unfortunately traditional diplomatic playing on one county off against another does not work with crazy Muslims. Bush the Elder’s foreign policy experts Eagleburger (only professional diplomat to be Secretary of State) Scowcorft and Baker tried using Iran as cop on the ME beat and after giving the Shah’s Iran a massive amount of armaments they found themselves facing Revolutionary Iran and to keep Islamic revolution-spreading Iran in check it was thought best to use Saddam to counter Iran but he was irrepressible in his ambition, certainly by the weak restraint in the message that American Ambassador to Saddan April Glaspie was ordered to convey as Saddam was mounting a build upon the border with Kuwait just prior to the invasion.

    The foreign policy establishment did understand that MEcountries just don’t like America controlling and restricting them and will go postal, no one understood as evisenced by .While presidential candidate Ross Poirot publicly alleged during the debates that the Guff War had come about because Pres GHW Bush had told Saddam he would be allowed to take the north of Kuwait and he exceeded that. In fact Pres GHW Bush merely was too tactful with Saddan, but the main problem was the US had built him up with every kind of assistance for armaments and even a potential for nuclear weapons until Israel bombed his reactor in 1981,

    I happen to think countries can be conceptualised as living things that, if they have the wherewithal, will fight on their own account. It too didficult to control them on a loose rein in the way Bush the Elder tried to, for one thing they are really stupid and for another they have no domestic advisors opposing their crazy ideas.

    If left alone Muslim Middle Eastern counties will start fighting among themselves and intervening militarily in civil wars outside their own borders. Sadly, allowing them a measure of independence to run their own affairs and counting on their sense of self preservation has been tried and was disastrous.

  82. Let’s broaden the category to include their entire style of thinking. Why are they still around?

  83. Tucker is great. So good that just to troll the Donald, I’m going with the Tucker 2020 meme until someone primaries the Populist Pretender.

    In light of Trump’s remark about immigrants in greater numbers than ever, I noticed Boots and Kristol both have designs on them.

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. “The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones,” he wrote in the Los Angeles Times. When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there’s less political backlash at home.

    In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would “take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings” who supported Trump.

    Another reason to replace us; the natives have caught on.

    • Replies: @Roger
    So Max Boot has a plan to kill illegal aliens?! I may have to revise my opinion of him.
  84. @Wilkey
    "French’s columns are mostly whiny cuckservatism, neocon foreign policy, and virtue signaling, which was his appeal for Bill Kristol."

    Which is just a whole lot of "WTF?" Jeb Bush was exactly all of that, and had a hundred million dollars to burn, and look how well he did. Kasich was fairly similar to that, too, and he came in a distant third. But Bill Kristol thought that an unknown internet columnist with exactly those beliefs would somehow be the key to victory.

    Kristol's plan wasn't that French would win. It was that French, who is a staunch evangelical, would tear away enough votes in states with lots of evangelical Christians to throw the election to Hillary. In Utah they did the same thing with Mormon candidate Evan McMullin. It was a brazen attempt at boob bait for bubbas, with the bubbas, in their minds, being conservative, religious Mormons and evangelicals. If his support for the Iraq War didn't tell you what you needed to know about Kristol, his dim view of the goys should do the trick.

    As race reemerges as the primary identity for whites to in-group, religious identity becomes less important and that includes relics like Boot and Kristol as well as French and McMillian. This is one reason they are so uptight regarding Trump. It is forcing everything out into the open. Every religious group has made their bid to try their hand at influencing politics Originally it was WASPs then Catholics but in the last 50 years it has been Jews, atheists (who flew under the banner of socialism, feminism, and LBGT), and Evangelicals. Of recent it has been Mormons and now Muslims trying out their power. All of the groups are sick of each other. In a time where America is choosing up sides in a cold civil war, there is no room for religious (((neutrals))) who play both sides hoping to later ingratiate themselves with the winner.

  85. Great article. I hope he runs for office.

  86. Boot and Kristol must have pictures of someone doing something with a farm animal. Something they shouldn’t be doing.

    • Replies: @anon
    Like killing and eating it?
  87. @Tyrion 2

    Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die.
     
    Great essay, but this point is wrong. Boot meant the opposite of what Tucker accuses him of. Rules of engagement restrict US forces and their combat effectiveness. They have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    Basically, either you appreciate the realities of war and do what it takes to win or you don't fight it. I prefer not to fight it, but the middle ground of fighting it with kid gloves on is just stupid.

    Great essay, but this point is wrong.

    Not so. You just disagree with the way Carlson framed it. It’s a perspective or an interpretation–not an objective fact that can be disputed.

    You can disagree with it, of course, but you’ve marshaled opinion, not fact, when disputing it.

    They [rules of engagement] have been far too narrow for wars like these and have led to more US troops being killed just as they have saved the lives of many enemy combatants.

    That’s an opinion masquerading as a conclusion asserted as fact.

  88. @Hypnotoad666
    Iraq and Afghanistan were costly experiments. In a sense, though, you can't say they were failures as experiments. Because we did successfully test the hypothesis: i.e., can you transform a Third World Muslim nation into a stable democracy?

    The answer of course was a resounding "No."

    The question now is whether we ignore the lesson we spent all that blood and treasure to learn.

    You could have made a logical argument for both the initial attacks on both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Rumsfeld’s original idea of using special forces plus air power and local Afghan allies made sense, and had driven the Taliban from power in 6 months. The mistake was “compassionate conservative” W’s transition to nation building, but in that he was abetted by NATO and later Dems calling A-stan the “real” war.

    In Iraq, if you hadn’t read Steve’s piece on how inbred the country was, you could have made an argument for it too: maybe democracy would calm the Muslims down; you’d be able to end the “blockade” on Iraq, which was one of Bin Laden’s grievances; and it would be, in Dennis Miller’s phrase, a “shoot the cuffs” war to intimidate other WMD-makers. Tucker himself supported the war initially.

    But to support it after we saw all those premises invalidated and then to support interventions in Libya and Syria, as Boot has, is nuts.

    • Replies: @Anon1
    What "WMD makers" are you talking about?
  89. Boot and Kristol were successful getting the United States mired in the Middle East to protect Israel. As long as American forces are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran is surrounded and contained. Boot and Kristol are still around because they achieved what they and their superiors wanted to achieve. They are the living embodiment of Jewish privilege, which is the only real privilege in this country.

    • Agree: densa
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    They are the living embodiment of Jewish privilege, which is the only real privilege in this country.
     
    While this might be true, both hacks are primarily living embodiment of a complete degeneracy of the American "elites" much of which is not Jewish at all. Basically, for the last 15 or so years I observed an astonishing corruption and decline of American "foreign policy" and military academe and "expertdom"--it is pathetic.
  90. @Lot
    Obviously Japanese and German food is better.

    Though an Iraqi wife will actually cook more often, so there's that. Perhaps the ideal is a woman with a Japanese IQ and looks, Iraqi woman values, who will produce children with Germanic genes and phenotype?

    http://khoollect.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Marie-Kondo-e1483303830160.jpg

    Way too Rube Goldberg. German woman with 18th century German woman values FTW.

    • Replies: @Lot
    I'd be cool with her too, but don't fight the hypothetical.
    , @Anon1
    Polish women FTW.
  91. @Achmed E. Newman
    I just finished the book Ship of Fools yesterday. As I wrote in the Peak Stupidity reviews - Part 1 and - Part 2 - there are indeed a number of Sailerisms in there. It could of course be independent thinking along the same lines, but, man, eleven and a half pages of evisceration of T.N. Coates?!* (That's right at 5% of the book.)

    Tucker does a number on those 2 neocons in his book, with greater detail on Bill Kristol, as Mr. Carlson used to work for him.

    Mr. Carlson's biggest, mostly-encompassing explanation for our problems are that the elites have no "noblless oblige". If they'd only been like the elites of old that were closer in wealth and culture to the peons, he figures things would be different. In particular, Mr. Carlson says that the old left that used to push back against the right in politics is now one and the same. He does not mention much that the old conservatism is pretty much gone in national politics.

    Tucker is also very, very careful in his chapter on race, "Diversity Distraction", the title of which gives away his explanation. I understand why he is very careful, but I doubt iSteve readers and the alt-right would agree with him. In his chapter of feminism/genderbenders, he defends the early feminism of Betty Friedan, and this makes him not a true conservative.

    All that said, Ship of Fools is a very good book, and I hope it sells 5 million copies. That'd be a good thing for America.


    .

    * Two other things are Tucker's breaking up the first 1/2 of the book into the 2 main chapters that are basically "invade the world" and "invite the world" and his joking about the Lazarus poem under that Statue of Liberty being part of the Constitution. Hmmm ... maybe you are reading now - write a comment in code, Tucker, if you are here.

    Thanks for the summary, Achmed. Carlson is obviously an iSteve reader. (Along with David Brooks and another NYT “conservative” columnist whose name escapes me.)

    You’d be surprised how well-read he is. I have it on good authority that he’s familiar with my work, too, though he’s never going to leave a trail of bread crumbs on that matter.

    In any event, that he would rip Coates a new one is good news, on the iSteve front in particular, and on the racial front, in general.

  92. I only wish that Trump got it as Carlson seems to be getting it. Might we say, “Tucker Carlson in 2020!”?

  93. @Achmed E. Newman
    I just finished the book Ship of Fools yesterday. As I wrote in the Peak Stupidity reviews - Part 1 and - Part 2 - there are indeed a number of Sailerisms in there. It could of course be independent thinking along the same lines, but, man, eleven and a half pages of evisceration of T.N. Coates?!* (That's right at 5% of the book.)

    Tucker does a number on those 2 neocons in his book, with greater detail on Bill Kristol, as Mr. Carlson used to work for him.

    Mr. Carlson's biggest, mostly-encompassing explanation for our problems are that the elites have no "noblless oblige". If they'd only been like the elites of old that were closer in wealth and culture to the peons, he figures things would be different. In particular, Mr. Carlson says that the old left that used to push back against the right in politics is now one and the same. He does not mention much that the old conservatism is pretty much gone in national politics.

    Tucker is also very, very careful in his chapter on race, "Diversity Distraction", the title of which gives away his explanation. I understand why he is very careful, but I doubt iSteve readers and the alt-right would agree with him. In his chapter of feminism/genderbenders, he defends the early feminism of Betty Friedan, and this makes him not a true conservative.

    All that said, Ship of Fools is a very good book, and I hope it sells 5 million copies. That'd be a good thing for America.


    .

    * Two other things are Tucker's breaking up the first 1/2 of the book into the 2 main chapters that are basically "invade the world" and "invite the world" and his joking about the Lazarus poem under that Statue of Liberty being part of the Constitution. Hmmm ... maybe you are reading now - write a comment in code, Tucker, if you are here.

    I bought TC’s book in December and read it one evening. Achmed is right that he hammers the argument that our current elite don’t like their fellow country men very much. I was surprised at how much he went after Kristol and Boot. He said Kristol was a Trumpian until the Donald started talking about ending our endless pointless foreign adventures. You will like the book if you like TC on tv.

  94. @Kaiser von nova
    Max Boot only appears to have been wrong about everything. In reality, all of his policy goals have been achieved. He cleverly inverts subject amd object in his sentences.

    He cleverly inverts subject amd object in his sentences.

    As in one of Steve’s key riffs: “Who? Whom?”

  95. Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”

    Tucker’s misapprehending (or pretending to misapprehend) the job description of “foreign policy experts”. It is to be wrong, unanimously.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.

    Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”

     

    They also got 9/11 itself wrong.
  96. @Paleo Liberal
    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.

    That’s part of it. But the other part of the equation is even scarier. Our elites genuinely believe a lot of what they say. They really do think that the rest of the world has a burning desire to be carbon copies of the United States, and that it is our job to help them get there, be it through bayonets and bombs, economic sanctions, or the media and State Department forcibly exporting American norms to cultures where they are not wanted. Unversalism and Whiggishness have deep roots in American culture and psychology, so there’s nothing to be done about that in and of itself, but the past quarter century is a good example of what happens when those tendencies run rampant without any corrective mechanisms.

    There’s no greater disconnect between the American public at large and American elites-media, military, economic, and political-than in foreign policy, in my reckoning. John Quincy Adams was the anti-populist of his day when he explained that America’s job was to set an example and act as a lighthouse, and warned against going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. But now, the situation is 180 percent reversed. It isn’t your typical Trump voter (the neo-Jacksonians) who wants to subordinate our relationship with Russia or China down to their treatment of gays or journalists, it is the New York Times, and the people who want to nuke Iran preemptively probably would prefer Jeb Bush to Donald Trump as President. Since The Donald is not exactly a model of intellectual consistency or work ethic, they can convince him to do a lot (although Trump occasionally seems to realize that when push comes to shove, his reelection depends on the voters, which has led to Republican Senate actively denouncing Trump’s recent proposals/efforts to get out of Afghanistan and Syria), but there’s no getting around the fact that his nomination and election was a repudiation of interventionism among the lay public on a scale that we haven’t seen since before WWII.

    • Replies: @ACommenter

    But the other part of the equation is even scarier. Our elites genuinely believe a lot of what they say.
     
    One of the most bizzare things I read from wikileaks was a state department email saying how the problems for muslims in France was because the french elite were so Christian/Pro-Christian...
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    They really do think that the rest of the world has a burning desire to be carbon copies of the United States
     
    They think that because a large proportion of the world does want to come here, but there are three problems with that (1) Liberals do not want them to assimilate, (2) the immigrants want to bring their culture with them - they don't understand that their culture is why they want to leave wherever they came from, and (3) we don't want them to come here, (but we would be happy to have our Liberals go there).
  97. @Lot
    I see this site makes it hard to download images.

    The newest desktop firefox lets you screenshot download anything in a right click menu.

    What’s so hard about the [PriSc] button? Then, just paste it into a new MS-Paint file.

    • Replies: @Lot
    There are a few different workarounds including print screen, but this is a single step.
    , @Lot
    There are a few different workarounds including print screen, but this is a single step.
  98. Anonymous[846] • Disclaimer says:

    Why are they still around? Surely you jest. Their tribe runs the FED and Wall St., so they have unlimited funds. Their outlets can lose money and it doesn’t matter. The goal is to push propaganda; profit is not an issue.
    Yes, they are lying douchebags, same as the rest of the Jewish owned media. The lying isn’t even noticed anymore since lying has become institutionalized.

  99. @Mr. Anon

    “Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces,” he wrote. “Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”
     
    No, you are wrong. You didn't quote the entire paragraph. The first sentence references notorious events in which American (and French) forces suffered casualties during foreign interventions. This is taken from a book called "The War on Terror", where those two sentences appear right next to each other (albeit in separate paragraphs) and are part of a passage that mentions a "lack of will". Anyway, the term "casualties" 0ften implies american forces. The Pentagon is squeamish about talking about the real costs of war, in those places we make war - they even invented the famous weasel term "collateral damage" to minimize its impact.

    Boot may have also meant collateral damage, but he was also clearly talking about our casualties. Carlson's interperetation of what Boot said is essentially apt - Boot finds Americans insufficiently willing to shed their own blood in the furtherance of his aims.

    You know nothing about modern warfare. Sadly, neither does Tucker Carlson. Fortunately he’d happily admit it. Nonetheless, on this single point, he is wrong. You are also wrong on this, but then you’re wrong on practically everything.

    Pretend otherwise. Whatever. You’re stupid and clueless.

    • Agree: Thomm
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    You apparently know nothing about reading, or deducing meaning from context. Boot said what Carlson said he said. As to being wrong on everything - that sounds like projection. You are the a**hat who thinks he knows everything there is to know about America, despite not living here, and being wrong in almost every particular. You should write for The Economist.

    Idiot.
  100. OT: Why are Boot and Kristol still around? And why is David Crowley, his wife and child dead before he could produce his debut film “Gray State”?

    The trailer looks awesome, btw, one of the best I have seen. The comments on the youtube video are worth flicking through.

    http://www.policestateusa.com/2015/gray-state-suicide/

    Apologies if this is old news for some. He died in 2015 and in 2017 there was a documentary about what happened, which I haven’t seen.

  101. @Mr. Anon

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.
     
    They isn't just the case that Kristol et. al. are telling people in government what they want to hear - they are telling them what Kristol et. al. want them to hear.

    As to why people like Boot and Kristol still have influence? Because their World view has not been discredited within the halls of government - it is still the reigning orthodoxy. It may be out of favor with Tucker Carlson, but he is the only voice on FOX for whom that is the case. The rest of the FOX News zoo of talking heads are still %100 behind the Forever War. It may be unpopular with a significant share of the electorate, but what do they count for? Their job is to vote, not to have thier vote mean anything.

    And one should not discount the importance of the Military Industiral Complex. Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard was founded largely with a grant from Lockheed Martin, and they continued to support it with advertising. Why does Lockheed Martin need to advertise in a magazine (or anywhere for that matter)? Is a Republican lawyer in Rockford going to buy a Hellfire missile? Or even take a General in the Petagon involved in procurement - it's not like he doesn't already know about a major defence contractor. The advertising they place in media outlets is simply a way of subsidizing those outlets - outlets which make propaganda they find useful. And LockMart is not the only such company; Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Alliant ATK, etc. And there are lots of small to medium sized companies that profit from the forever war - all those companies that provide training, logistics, compliance, etc. Warfare is a huge business in this country.

    https://corpwatch.org/article/us-lockheed-stock-and-two-smoking-barrels

    Good points.

  102. @Mr. Anon

    “Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces,” he wrote. “Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”
     
    No, you are wrong. You didn't quote the entire paragraph. The first sentence references notorious events in which American (and French) forces suffered casualties during foreign interventions. This is taken from a book called "The War on Terror", where those two sentences appear right next to each other (albeit in separate paragraphs) and are part of a passage that mentions a "lack of will". Anyway, the term "casualties" 0ften implies american forces. The Pentagon is squeamish about talking about the real costs of war, in those places we make war - they even invented the famous weasel term "collateral damage" to minimize its impact.

    Boot may have also meant collateral damage, but he was also clearly talking about our casualties. Carlson's interperetation of what Boot said is essentially apt - Boot finds Americans insufficiently willing to shed their own blood in the furtherance of his aims.

    Boot finds Americans insufficiently willing to shed their own blood in the furtherance of his aims.

    Nothing but the truth.

  103. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Faraday's Bobcat
    Well, war used to mean you took and held territory, like when we defeated Mexico in 1848.

    At some point war changed to stuff like backing client regimes (Central America) or just general destabilization with no real plan (Libya). Our kids get killed and we foot the bill and take the eternal blame, to benefit some vested interest.

    That change happened before Boot and Kristol came along. They just took stock of the new thinking and adapted it to their own priorities. I can hand Billy Ray Scruggs a gun and drop him off in Islamistan to reinforce the insurgents? Vat's not to like? Two problems at once it solves.

    At some point Billy Ray might smarten up. Then :

    One day down near the entrance gate
    There was an awful din.
    A hundred hens, all out of breath,
    Were begging to come in.

    “Oh let us in!” these poor birds cried,
    “Before we do expire!
    ’Tis only by the merest INCH…”

    This epic has no end because
    No matter how you fight ’em,
    Those HENS will show up EVERY TIME
    — And so ad infinitum!

  104. @anonymous
    We know, Steve.

    Only you and Tucker and senile commenters here somehow manage to pretend to care about (((these))) issues and still not know. The non-senile goyim know

    Someday you'll have to explain this boomer mental illness.

    Yes, this is spot on. The sad truth is that the elite, both the right and the left, detest the common American people, and the fact that Boot and Kristol keep their positions is just added evidence of this. Kudos to Tucker Carlson for his willingness to send this message to the American people. He cannot say it outright, but the gist of his rants can be boiled down to “You American people are hated by the elite that run things here, regardless of their party affiliation or support. Plan, prepare, and act accordingly”

  105. @densa
    Tucker is great. So good that just to troll the Donald, I'm going with the Tucker 2020 meme until someone primaries the Populist Pretender.

    In light of Trump's remark about immigrants in greater numbers than ever, I noticed Boots and Kristol both have designs on them.

    In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. “The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones,” he wrote in the Los Angeles Times. When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there’s less political backlash at home.
     

    In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would “take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings” who supported Trump.
     
    Another reason to replace us; the natives have caught on.

    So Max Boot has a plan to kill illegal aliens?! I may have to revise my opinion of him.

  106. @Anon
    Could one be so cynical to think that since it is not the 'kinsmen' of the neocons dying, in large part, that they are more cavalier with casualties? Serious question, how much do {they} hate us?

    Serious question, how much do {they} hate us

    I don’t think people even begin to comprehend how much they hate us.

  107. @Mr. Anon

    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.
     
    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.

    Our rules of engagement might not have been militarily expedient, but they were hardly a model of humanitarian restraint.

    The bombs in Vietnam were mostly dropped on jungle (e.g., Ho Chi Minh Trail) and the bombs dropped in Germany were almost entirely meant to “dehouse” urban workers.

    BTW, isn’t most of that jungle now gone, cut down by international corporations?

  108. @Achmed E. Newman
    I just finished the book Ship of Fools yesterday. As I wrote in the Peak Stupidity reviews - Part 1 and - Part 2 - there are indeed a number of Sailerisms in there. It could of course be independent thinking along the same lines, but, man, eleven and a half pages of evisceration of T.N. Coates?!* (That's right at 5% of the book.)

    Tucker does a number on those 2 neocons in his book, with greater detail on Bill Kristol, as Mr. Carlson used to work for him.

    Mr. Carlson's biggest, mostly-encompassing explanation for our problems are that the elites have no "noblless oblige". If they'd only been like the elites of old that were closer in wealth and culture to the peons, he figures things would be different. In particular, Mr. Carlson says that the old left that used to push back against the right in politics is now one and the same. He does not mention much that the old conservatism is pretty much gone in national politics.

    Tucker is also very, very careful in his chapter on race, "Diversity Distraction", the title of which gives away his explanation. I understand why he is very careful, but I doubt iSteve readers and the alt-right would agree with him. In his chapter of feminism/genderbenders, he defends the early feminism of Betty Friedan, and this makes him not a true conservative.

    All that said, Ship of Fools is a very good book, and I hope it sells 5 million copies. That'd be a good thing for America.


    .

    * Two other things are Tucker's breaking up the first 1/2 of the book into the 2 main chapters that are basically "invade the world" and "invite the world" and his joking about the Lazarus poem under that Statue of Liberty being part of the Constitution. Hmmm ... maybe you are reading now - write a comment in code, Tucker, if you are here.

    I bought the book in support of Carlson when advertisers were threatening him, etc. If not out of pity out of charity– i was genuinely surprised how astute the book was. One of the best political books I have read in recent years..

  109. @nebulafox
    That's part of it. But the other part of the equation is even scarier. Our elites genuinely believe a lot of what they say. They really do think that the rest of the world has a burning desire to be carbon copies of the United States, and that it is our job to help them get there, be it through bayonets and bombs, economic sanctions, or the media and State Department forcibly exporting American norms to cultures where they are not wanted. Unversalism and Whiggishness have deep roots in American culture and psychology, so there's nothing to be done about that in and of itself, but the past quarter century is a good example of what happens when those tendencies run rampant without any corrective mechanisms.

    There's no greater disconnect between the American public at large and American elites-media, military, economic, and political-than in foreign policy, in my reckoning. John Quincy Adams was the anti-populist of his day when he explained that America's job was to set an example and act as a lighthouse, and warned against going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. But now, the situation is 180 percent reversed. It isn't your typical Trump voter (the neo-Jacksonians) who wants to subordinate our relationship with Russia or China down to their treatment of gays or journalists, it is the New York Times, and the people who want to nuke Iran preemptively probably would prefer Jeb Bush to Donald Trump as President. Since The Donald is not exactly a model of intellectual consistency or work ethic, they can convince him to do a lot (although Trump occasionally seems to realize that when push comes to shove, his reelection depends on the voters, which has led to Republican Senate actively denouncing Trump's recent proposals/efforts to get out of Afghanistan and Syria), but there's no getting around the fact that his nomination and election was a repudiation of interventionism among the lay public on a scale that we haven't seen since before WWII.

    But the other part of the equation is even scarier. Our elites genuinely believe a lot of what they say.

    One of the most bizzare things I read from wikileaks was a state department email saying how the problems for muslims in France was because the french elite were so Christian/Pro-Christian…

  110. “Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever.” Most Americans, Kristol said, “grew up as spoiled kids and so forth.”

    Doesn’t this just perfectly describe Bill Kristol himself?

  111. @Lot
    That is excellent work. I knew Boot was bad, but not that bad.

    It is actually from Tucker's book, excerpted in TAC.

    Tucker Carlson is the closest thing to a hero on the national stage at this point. No wonder they’re attacking his home and his family now.

    I hope he’s extra careful, because he’s skirting the bounds of “permissible” speech lately–though doing it with skill–and that sort of behavior can lead to real trouble.

    At the rate he’s going, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see some bogus charges leveled at him from a trailer park skank, or whomever TPTB next come up with to do their dirty work.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
    Tucker is careful to not cross the line. I watched him the other night interview JD Vance and they were talking about the differences between the Democrats and Republicans but managed to avoid the central question regarding race. It could have been really good but they settled for safe and boring knowing what the consequences could be.
  112. @ben tillman

    Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”
     
    Tucker's misapprehending (or pretending to misapprehend) the job description of "foreign policy experts". It is to be wrong, unanimously.

    Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”

    They also got 9/11 itself wrong.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
    Ha, ha. You are right. Good catch.
  113. @Charles Pewitt
    Donald Trump and Max Boot and William Kristol all support the REFUGEE OVERLOAD attack that is destroying the United States.

    https://twitter.com/ramzpaul/status/1096634460546781185

    Obama definitely transformed America. He seemed to have had a particular hatred of Idaho. What was their sin, white potatoes?

  114. @Art Deco
    Does anyone know what French does for a living? IIRC, he has a Kentucky law license, not a Tennessee license, and he doesn't live within commuting distance to any towns in Kentucky.

    French and his wife Nancy collaborated on a book about his time in the army. It had little information about his civilian life. French sometimes goes to a Columbia law office during the daytime, no idea what kind of law he does.

    After graduating Harvard Law, French went to New York and then Philadelphia, “lectured” at Cornell.

    Nancy French has ghostwritten books for some celebrities.

    They moved to the Columbia, Tennessee area (living outside the city) about a decade ago.

    David French’s maternal grandfather was the principal of my elementary school. French didn’t mention him in his book, even though this explains his roots in Maury County.

    • Replies: @dr kill
    Didn't they adopt several diversity signals?
  115. @Achmed E. Newman
    I just finished the book Ship of Fools yesterday. As I wrote in the Peak Stupidity reviews - Part 1 and - Part 2 - there are indeed a number of Sailerisms in there. It could of course be independent thinking along the same lines, but, man, eleven and a half pages of evisceration of T.N. Coates?!* (That's right at 5% of the book.)

    Tucker does a number on those 2 neocons in his book, with greater detail on Bill Kristol, as Mr. Carlson used to work for him.

    Mr. Carlson's biggest, mostly-encompassing explanation for our problems are that the elites have no "noblless oblige". If they'd only been like the elites of old that were closer in wealth and culture to the peons, he figures things would be different. In particular, Mr. Carlson says that the old left that used to push back against the right in politics is now one and the same. He does not mention much that the old conservatism is pretty much gone in national politics.

    Tucker is also very, very careful in his chapter on race, "Diversity Distraction", the title of which gives away his explanation. I understand why he is very careful, but I doubt iSteve readers and the alt-right would agree with him. In his chapter of feminism/genderbenders, he defends the early feminism of Betty Friedan, and this makes him not a true conservative.

    All that said, Ship of Fools is a very good book, and I hope it sells 5 million copies. That'd be a good thing for America.


    .

    * Two other things are Tucker's breaking up the first 1/2 of the book into the 2 main chapters that are basically "invade the world" and "invite the world" and his joking about the Lazarus poem under that Statue of Liberty being part of the Constitution. Hmmm ... maybe you are reading now - write a comment in code, Tucker, if you are here.

    Tucker, say “gay Nazi bodybuilder” into your next show, not necessarily all at once, and let us know you know we know.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    There's no particular reason he'd got to use that phrase, is there, Jack? How about that recent term from the commenter Space Ghost "grey journalism"? If he uses that, we'll know.
  116. @Anon
    Could one be so cynical to think that since it is not the 'kinsmen' of the neocons dying, in large part, that they are more cavalier with casualties? Serious question, how much do {they} hate us?

    Could one be so cynical to think that since it is not the ‘kinsmen’ of the neocons dying, in large part, that they are more cavalier with casualties?

    As far as Kristol, Boot, and Bret Stephens are concerned, casualties among old-stock Americans are a feature, not a bug, of overseas wars. Each of these worthies, of very shallow root in American soil, has made a public statement that he’d prefer to deport old-stock Americans and replace them with supposedly “hard-working” wetbacks and other third-world flotsam and jetsam.

    Why? Because the United States of America was not the creation of their ancestors, and it is grievous to them that the descendants of its founding stock are still around to remind them of that.

  117. They are MADE men.

  118. @Anon
    Could one be so cynical to think that since it is not the 'kinsmen' of the neocons dying, in large part, that they are more cavalier with casualties? Serious question, how much do {they} hate us?

    How much do the neocons hate us?

    Lots and lots. Look at the butcher’s bill.

  119. @Anon
    "Does anyone know what French does for a living?"

    There are a lot of ways to funnel money to someone with the right views; groups that wish to maintain a base of influencers often find busy work for their minions. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy had some kind of BS "consulting" job.

    Edit: Did a quick search, and it turns out that French has a fellowship with the non-profit The National Review Institute. I can't imagine that pays much...or does it? He's also a writer for the National Review, a controlled op outlet. Not surprisingly, The National Review has kept this guy around after he publicly stated last year that he's no longer a republican. As with Boot and Krystal, French is kept around because he has the right views and not necessarily because his views are right or even popular - can't imagine The National Review thinks it's going to attract actual republicans with this Trump-basher hanging around. But, of course, they don't and that's not really their purpose, is it?

    PS. French's Wikipedia page is pretty funny. There is a brief section where the writer complains that people were mean to poor David on Twitter and even called him a "cuckservative" on the internet. Someone even sent this man a picture of a gas chamber. Poor David. I bet he'd almost rather go back to Iraq than take more of that horrendous abuse.

    French has a fellowship with the non-profit The National Review Institute. I can’t imagine that pays much…or does it? He’s also a writer for the National Review, a controlled op outlet.

    The NRI is a 501(c)(3) public charity. You should be able to find his pay from its Form 990 filings, which are public records. I do not recall what it was, but I do remember seeing one Form 990 reporting that Kevin Williamson was paid $250,000/yr. This was before his abortive move to The Atlantic. NR took him back after that, which might be described as a triumph of hope over experience. Goldberg and Nordlinger also were indicated as receiving six-figure salaries, though not as much as Williamson’s.

  120. @Chris Mallory
    You have to remember that Lil Maxi Boot back in 2001, said :
    "This is not a war being won with American blood and guts. It is being won with the blood and guts of the Northern Alliance, helped by copious quantities of American ordnance and a handful of American advisers. After Sept. 11, President Bush promised that this would not be another bloodless, push-button war, but that is precisely what it has been." http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j111901.h

    So not two months after the Afghan invasion, Boot's complaint was that not enough white Christian Americans were dying. The first 3 months of the Afghan invasion were wildly successful with limited US causalities. The US only suffered 7 causalities in 2001 and only 4 of those were combat related. We only screwed up when we stayed in Afghanistan after the start of 2002.

    Lil Maxi Boot is just another example of why immigration has been bad for America.

    Max Boot is cold-hearted about the blood and the guts of other people, and other people’s loved ones.

    The wars he wants have cost him nothing. I want him out of my country.

  121. @David In TN
    French and his wife Nancy collaborated on a book about his time in the army. It had little information about his civilian life. French sometimes goes to a Columbia law office during the daytime, no idea what kind of law he does.

    After graduating Harvard Law, French went to New York and then Philadelphia, "lectured" at Cornell.

    Nancy French has ghostwritten books for some celebrities.

    They moved to the Columbia, Tennessee area (living outside the city) about a decade ago.

    David French's maternal grandfather was the principal of my elementary school. French didn't mention him in his book, even though this explains his roots in Maury County.

    Didn’t they adopt several diversity signals?

    • Replies: @David In TN
    "Didn't they adopt several diversity signals?"

    The Frenches adopted an Ethiopian girl. French spoke at "Conservative" meetings. While at the podium, he would hold up his adoptee for the audience to see.
  122. @MarkinLA
    Why is the pathetic NeverTrumper (Ben Shapiro) who backed that biatch Michele Fields and her lies back on the radio? He had to slither away when the Fields hoax was starting to crumble but now he is back. I wonder if him being Jewish has anything to do with it. It sure can't be because he is worth listening to.

    Oh c’mon, Ben Shapiro is one of the smartest guys out there and he gives leftists fits.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    He may give leftists fits, but he is nothing more than an Israel firster chickenhawk. Everything gives leftists fits. He would be more than happy to make holocaust denial a criminal offense.
  123. I ran my own consulting firm for 20 years, during which time I was routinely paid to conduct research, training or strategic consultations in large companies to advance the executive management team’s agenda, which they could have easily conveyed themselves but did not because they wanted it to look like it originated with an outside “expert”.

    Kristol and Boot are engaged in the same scam. They are doing what successful consultants do: listen to the client, understand the objective, and repackage it attractively enough to get the rubes to agree to whatever agenda you’re selling.

    It is probably no surprise to any reader how quickly you can become an expert if you do this successfully and often enough. And if you belong to the same “clubs” as executive management, then all the better.

  124. Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled “The Case for American Empire.”

    Max Booted thug

  125. @Mr. Anon

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons.
     
    How was he "right for the wrong reasons"?

    He was right to oppose the Iraq invasion. His fear of 50k us deaths defeating Saddam was wrong. It wasn’t even 1% of that.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    He was right to oppose the Iraq invasion. His fear of 50k us deaths defeating Saddam was wrong. It wasn’t even 1% of that.
     
    He didn't merely oppose the invasion because of the possibility of casualties, but for other reasons too - like that it was a foolish adventure that did not serve our interests. I.e., he was right for the right reasons.

    We've lost more than 500 people (1% of 50 k) in Iraq - in the occupation. And when did he ever say we'd lose 50 k? Perhaps in 1990/91 before the the (our) first Gulf War, I don't know. By 2003, did anybody think that the invasion of Iraq was going to be all that difficult? Their army had largely proved to be a paper tiger in 1991.
  126. @Svigor
    Way too Rube Goldberg. German woman with 18th century German woman values FTW.

    I’d be cool with her too, but don’t fight the hypothetical.

  127. @Mr. Anon

    Yeah, like rules of engagement were not in force for American troops during the Vietnam War.
     
    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.

    Our rules of engagement might not have been militarily expedient, but they were hardly a model of humanitarian restraint.

    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.

    For Americans, the Vietnam War was much longer than WW2. The first U.S. bombing campaign against the North was in 1962 and Operation Linebacker was in 1972. By comparison, the U.S. didn’t start bombing Germany until mid-1942. By mid-1945, it was over.

    The U.S. also had serious military allies in the fight against the Nazis. That was not true in the Vietnam War, even though various militaries did give what was mostly symbolic help or material aid. The exception might be the South Koreans who deployed considerable numbers of troops to South Vietnam.

    U.S. rules of engagement in the Vietnam War also prevented the military from using much of anything other than bombs against the North, which surely affected the number of bombs the U.S. dropped. But even those bombing campaigns were restricted. Often their purpose was not military, but diplomatic. We were dropping tonnage to send a message, but not to inflict maximum damage or secure a military goal.

    Anyone who thinks the U.S. took it easier on the Germans in WW2 than it did on the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in the Vietnam War is an idiot.

    • Agree: David In TN, Thomm
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    I didn't say we took it easier on Germany than on Vietnam. But Germany was a modern industrialized nation. Vietnam was not. We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved.
    , @nebulafox
    There's also the fact that the character of the Vietnam War changed drastically in a way that WWII didn't. In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all. The VC, while obviously supplied by Hanoi, was really its own thing until the Tet Offensive, dominated by Communist Southerners who had their own agenda. (US intelligence failed to make this distinction.) In 1972, things were far more conventional. The enemy was North Vietnamese regulars with tanks, heavy artillery, and the like, and the VC being reduced to NVA auxiliaries-the NLA at the Paris talks were puppets by this point, in contrast to the pre-Tet era when things would have been more grey. The South had a functioning government, if a highly corrupt, rickety one. By that stage, Vietnam had become more like Korea 2.0 than the unprecedented guerilla conflict it had been in 1965.

    In effect, LBJ and Nixon were fighting completely different wars. Yes, Operation Linebacker was much more effective than Rolling Thunder, but a big part of why was because the North Vietnamese had shifted to a strategy that was far more vulnerable to conventional bombing. (And part of the reason Nixon had that option at all was a completely different geopolitical scene.)

  128. @Paleo Liberal
    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.

    Boot and Kristol are still around because they are the Kardashians of politics. Just famous for being famous, nothing more.

    Partly true.

    They also thrive because they tell the ruling neo-con oligarchs what they want to hear, and the oligarchs pay their salaries.

    Partly true, my ass. But the rest of your comment is close to the truth.

    They thrive because they tell the public what the “ruling neo-con oligarchs” want the public to hear.

  129. @Svigor
    Way too Rube Goldberg. German woman with 18th century German woman values FTW.

    Polish women FTW.

  130. @Tyrion 2

    Adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake.
     
    The lesson of Iraq II, in contrast to the invasion and occupation of Germany and Japan, is straightforward. Iraqis aren't Germans or Japanese, in general.

    When I was a teenager, I assumed they were. They're not. Events have definitively proven this.

    Obviously, Das Racist.

    Whatever. It is not my fault. I didn't make anyone anyway. I am merely saying what is in front of my eyes.

    Iraqi food is superior to both Japanese and German (only just for Japanese.) As my Rabbi said, you want Iraqi in-laws, their food is simply better. Das Racist.

    But my lying tastebuds say otherwise.

    I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?

    “I think Japan and Germany reacted better to invasion and occupation by America than Iraq. Is that merely my opinion?”

    Their other option was invasion and occupation by the Soviet Union . In Poland and the Baltic states guerrillas fought the Soviet “liberators” for years after the end of the war .

  131. @Lot
    We killed about 50 times the Iraqis/Afghans as the other way around.

    Rules of engagement couldn't have been that restrictive with that ratio.

    Probably they weren't ideal in retrospect. But that's completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons. There was talk of 50k us deaths to defeat Saddam before the invasion. That is still better than being wrong like Boot. But it flows from the same source: overestimating Arabs.

    Probably they weren’t ideal in retrospect. But that’s completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.

    Screw the “disaster” aspect. It was EVIL both in regard to the people who were defrauded into paying and dying for it and in regard to the people they and their money killed.

    And “the disaster” wasn’t just foreseeable; it was foreseen — by Steve, Justin Raimondo, the Lew Rockwell libertarians, and everyone on the “racist” right.

    • Agree: donut
  132. @Svigor
    Anti-war types tend to overestimate how important Trump's anti-war positions were to both Trump, and to his winning the presidency. He was saying "let's bomb the Hell out of ISIS, let's destroy ISIS" the entire time he was saying we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, and we shouldn't go into Syria.

    Trump's major break with the GOPe was the day he announced his candidacy by firing all his guns at the immivasion. I remember saying here that day that Trump could win the election if he stuck to his guns. And that I'd vote for him if he did.

    And (((Big Media))) and the Democrats have been going ape over his immigration policies ever since.

    I’m kind of “going ape” over the c**suckers immigration policies myself .

  133. @Tyrion 2
    You know nothing about modern warfare. Sadly, neither does Tucker Carlson. Fortunately he'd happily admit it. Nonetheless, on this single point, he is wrong. You are also wrong on this, but then you're wrong on practically everything.

    Pretend otherwise. Whatever. You're stupid and clueless.

    You apparently know nothing about reading, or deducing meaning from context. Boot said what Carlson said he said. As to being wrong on everything – that sounds like projection. You are the a**hat who thinks he knows everything there is to know about America, despite not living here, and being wrong in almost every particular. You should write for The Economist.

    Idiot.

    • Troll: Tyrion 2
  134. @Pincher Martin

    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.
     
    For Americans, the Vietnam War was much longer than WW2. The first U.S. bombing campaign against the North was in 1962 and Operation Linebacker was in 1972. By comparison, the U.S. didn't start bombing Germany until mid-1942. By mid-1945, it was over.

    The U.S. also had serious military allies in the fight against the Nazis. That was not true in the Vietnam War, even though various militaries did give what was mostly symbolic help or material aid. The exception might be the South Koreans who deployed considerable numbers of troops to South Vietnam.

    U.S. rules of engagement in the Vietnam War also prevented the military from using much of anything other than bombs against the North, which surely affected the number of bombs the U.S. dropped. But even those bombing campaigns were restricted. Often their purpose was not military, but diplomatic. We were dropping tonnage to send a message, but not to inflict maximum damage or secure a military goal.

    Anyone who thinks the U.S. took it easier on the Germans in WW2 than it did on the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in the Vietnam War is an idiot.

    I didn’t say we took it easier on Germany than on Vietnam. But Germany was a modern industrialized nation. Vietnam was not. We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    I don't want to relitigate the Vietnam War, but much of what you say is either not true or misleading.

    For the latest example:


    We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved. [My emphasis]
     
    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it's the Chinese. I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany. We also chose not to use ground troops in the north, unlike what we did in WW2, which made us even more reliant on bombing than we otherwise would've been. When the only option is to bomb, you're going to bomb a lot more than if you have other options.

  135. @Lot
    We killed about 50 times the Iraqis/Afghans as the other way around.

    Rules of engagement couldn't have been that restrictive with that ratio.

    Probably they weren't ideal in retrospect. But that's completely beside the point. The occupation was a FORESEEABLE disaster.

    The people who correctly foresaw it should be writing for WaPo, not Boot.

    Some people like Pat B were right for the wrong reasons. There was talk of 50k us deaths to defeat Saddam before the invasion. That is still better than being wrong like Boot. But it flows from the same source: overestimating Arabs.

    Different phases of the wars had different RoE. A lot of the time Western military forces have literally been acting under the same rules as what a civilian could. That is, lethal force could only be applied against someone who you believe to be an immediate danger to human life. Or, in the US’s case, also property.

    Prosecuting a war under such circumstances is extremely impractical.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Prosecuting a war under such circumstances is extremely impractical.
     
    No, decisively winning a war under such circumstances is impractical. If your goal is just to be there and fight, it hardly matters. American forces are not in the middle east to win anything - not to win anything for America, at least.
  136. @Lot
    He was right to oppose the Iraq invasion. His fear of 50k us deaths defeating Saddam was wrong. It wasn't even 1% of that.

    He was right to oppose the Iraq invasion. His fear of 50k us deaths defeating Saddam was wrong. It wasn’t even 1% of that.

    He didn’t merely oppose the invasion because of the possibility of casualties, but for other reasons too – like that it was a foolish adventure that did not serve our interests. I.e., he was right for the right reasons.

    We’ve lost more than 500 people (1% of 50 k) in Iraq – in the occupation. And when did he ever say we’d lose 50 k? Perhaps in 1990/91 before the the (our) first Gulf War, I don’t know. By 2003, did anybody think that the invasion of Iraq was going to be all that difficult? Their army had largely proved to be a paper tiger in 1991.

  137. @Tyrion 2
    Different phases of the wars had different RoE. A lot of the time Western military forces have literally been acting under the same rules as what a civilian could. That is, lethal force could only be applied against someone who you believe to be an immediate danger to human life. Or, in the US's case, also property.

    Prosecuting a war under such circumstances is extremely impractical.

    Prosecuting a war under such circumstances is extremely impractical.

    No, decisively winning a war under such circumstances is impractical. If your goal is just to be there and fight, it hardly matters. American forces are not in the middle east to win anything – not to win anything for America, at least.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    You just believe that because you want to.
  138. @njguy73
    Boot and Kristol must have pictures of someone doing something with a farm animal. Something they shouldn't be doing.

    Like killing and eating it?

    • Replies: @njguy73
    You know, the way things are headed, I wouldn't be surprised if 100 years from now, eating a cow will be a crime and having sex with one won't be.
  139. @Pincher Martin

    During the Vietnam War, the US dropped about three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as we did on Germany in WWII.
     
    For Americans, the Vietnam War was much longer than WW2. The first U.S. bombing campaign against the North was in 1962 and Operation Linebacker was in 1972. By comparison, the U.S. didn't start bombing Germany until mid-1942. By mid-1945, it was over.

    The U.S. also had serious military allies in the fight against the Nazis. That was not true in the Vietnam War, even though various militaries did give what was mostly symbolic help or material aid. The exception might be the South Koreans who deployed considerable numbers of troops to South Vietnam.

    U.S. rules of engagement in the Vietnam War also prevented the military from using much of anything other than bombs against the North, which surely affected the number of bombs the U.S. dropped. But even those bombing campaigns were restricted. Often their purpose was not military, but diplomatic. We were dropping tonnage to send a message, but not to inflict maximum damage or secure a military goal.

    Anyone who thinks the U.S. took it easier on the Germans in WW2 than it did on the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in the Vietnam War is an idiot.

    There’s also the fact that the character of the Vietnam War changed drastically in a way that WWII didn’t. In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all. The VC, while obviously supplied by Hanoi, was really its own thing until the Tet Offensive, dominated by Communist Southerners who had their own agenda. (US intelligence failed to make this distinction.) In 1972, things were far more conventional. The enemy was North Vietnamese regulars with tanks, heavy artillery, and the like, and the VC being reduced to NVA auxiliaries-the NLA at the Paris talks were puppets by this point, in contrast to the pre-Tet era when things would have been more grey. The South had a functioning government, if a highly corrupt, rickety one. By that stage, Vietnam had become more like Korea 2.0 than the unprecedented guerilla conflict it had been in 1965.

    In effect, LBJ and Nixon were fighting completely different wars. Yes, Operation Linebacker was much more effective than Rolling Thunder, but a big part of why was because the North Vietnamese had shifted to a strategy that was far more vulnerable to conventional bombing. (And part of the reason Nixon had that option at all was a completely different geopolitical scene.)

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    There’s also the fact that the character of the Vietnam War changed drastically in a way that WWII didn’t.
     
    It did, but the U.S. was bombing in Vietnam from the very beginning - before most Americans even knew they were in Vietnam. See Operation Farm Gate.
  140. @Dave Pinsen
    You could have made a logical argument for both the initial attacks on both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Rumsfeld’s original idea of using special forces plus air power and local Afghan allies made sense, and had driven the Taliban from power in 6 months. The mistake was “compassionate conservative” W’s transition to nation building, but in that he was abetted by NATO and later Dems calling A-stan the “real” war.

    In Iraq, if you hadn’t read Steve’s piece on how inbred the country was, you could have made an argument for it too: maybe democracy would calm the Muslims down; you’d be able to end the “blockade” on Iraq, which was one of Bin Laden’s grievances; and it would be, in Dennis Miller’s phrase, a “shoot the cuffs” war to intimidate other WMD-makers. Tucker himself supported the war initially.

    But to support it after we saw all those premises invalidated and then to support interventions in Libya and Syria, as Boot has, is nuts.

    What “WMD makers” are you talking about?

  141. Why are you not approving my comments?

  142. @anonymous coward

    Why Are Boot & Kristol Still Around?
     
    The answer to that question would be antisemitic. Sorry.

    That’s funny. …yes, as always—humor is directly linked to obviousness.

  143. Actually the war was initially very like Korea and organised with the knowledge that it could turn into another Chinese invasion, but after the la Drang Valley in which (apart from an ambush after the battle caused by an unwell field commander losing his grip , formed up communist main force unit were hammered mercilessly) it became obvious that US mobility and B52 bombing could not be defeated.

    In the run up to WW2 the US built a plane to fly across the Atlantic and bomb Germany, of course they had the power to crush Vietnam, and all the advice from the Joint Chiefs was to escalate bombing extremely rapidly. Following communist gains in Laos and Vietnam, General Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, promised: “If we are given the right to use nuclear weapons, we can guarantee victory.”. JFK was sickened, but Lemnitzer, commander of UN forces during the Korean war was explaining the simple truth. Kennedy wanted to use counter-insurgency and reforms to the South Vietnamese government, and win in Vietnam. But they were mutually incompatible objectives because the kind of democratic reforms that America kept pushing on Diem just were hardly a practicable means to reduce the popular support for the Communists while there was a low level war going on.

    Kennedy thought he could do it all with the Green Berets, but the army knew better, as as premier tactician General Harold Johnson (Army chief of staff ) 1964-68) said, real counter insurgency required full mobilization of US resources and calling out of the reserves. There were however enough troops for “Pacification” a la Operation Speedy Express

    The policy under this operation in a densely populated area was to target “people running, people in black pajamas, civilians past night-time” … in the Mekong Delta where any human present could be killed. These zones helped the 9th Division achieve an unlikely enemy-to-GI kill ratio of 134:1 in April 1969

    Pacification was effectively just killing civilians in the area and getting VC by being willing to kill a very high proportion of innocent people (eg “e “Number one killer” of unarmed civilians, …helicopters “would hover over a guy in the fields till he got scared and run and they’d zap him” ). This culling of men of military age denuding whole districts of them only added to the political strength of the Communists.

    In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all

    Whose fault was that?
    A book Elbridge Durbrow, Ngô Đình Diệm and the Turn in U.S. Relations, 1959–1961 makes clear that the complaints about Diem were largely unfounded. The JFK administration’s false perception that Diem was much of the problem ended in Diem’s assassination just before Kennnedy’s own, and if Oswald had any doubt about saving Castro by killing JFK before, he certainly didn’t afterward

    The bombing of North Vietnam was very restricted, except for the latter part of Linebacker II AKA the Christmas Bombing (‘a “maximum effort” .. to “destroy major target complexes in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas’), which led to condemnation by the Pope, the Swedish PM calling Nixon insane, and a tremendous domestic loss of political capital for Nixon, and the USA internationally. Nixon’s attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    The military and president Nixon's assessment to bomb North Vietnam was accurate and effective.
    , @Art Deco
    Nixon’s attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    Had nothing to do with Watergate. Gordon Liddy was hired as General-Counsel of the Committee to Re-Elect the President in December 1971 and presented his plans for an espionage campaign contra the Democratic Party to John Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, and John Dean in January 1972. Liddy had been employed on John Dean's staff previous to that and was detailed to the White House Plumbers, whose activities included wiretapping a mess of people (e.g. Morton Halperin) and burgling the office of Lewis Fielding, MD (who had Daniel Ellsburg on his patient roll). Off the books espionage was a Nixon Administration signature. The puzzle over Watergate was just what dirt they all were looking for at DNC hq, with various parties contending they were looking for information about Maureen Dean's work as a call girl (supposedly in possession of a DNC secretary) and John Dean suggesting they were looking for dirt on Lawrence O'Brien's business dealings with Howard Hughtes.
    , @Mr. Anon
    You've got your timeline all wrong. The Christmas Bombing happened around Christmas of 1972, and was a gambit to force a settlement at the Paris Peace Talks, so that Nixon could extract our ground forces from the war in 73'. It happened about a month after Nixon won reelected and six months after the Watergate break-in. It had nothing to do with Watergate.
  144. @San Fernando Curt
    Boot and Kristol were successful getting the United States mired in the Middle East to protect Israel. As long as American forces are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran is surrounded and contained. Boot and Kristol are still around because they achieved what they and their superiors wanted to achieve. They are the living embodiment of Jewish privilege, which is the only real privilege in this country.

    They are the living embodiment of Jewish privilege, which is the only real privilege in this country.

    While this might be true, both hacks are primarily living embodiment of a complete degeneracy of the American “elites” much of which is not Jewish at all. Basically, for the last 15 or so years I observed an astonishing corruption and decline of American “foreign policy” and military academe and “expertdom”–it is pathetic.

    • Agree: Ibound1
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    An excellent example of that which you describe is General Jack Keene, a reliably bellicose voice on military affairs who is a frequent FOX News contributor. He was one of the authors of the "the surge" in Iraq, and is now affiliated with the Institute for the Study of War, a neo-con think-tank founded and run by one of the Kagan clan. Apart from whatever cynical motives he might have, he probably thinks that the country is still the country he knew in his prime in the 70s and 80s. These people don't realize that that country is dead. They are trapped in the past and determined that America should have no sane future.
  145. Why? Because America is a secular theocracy and the beliefs they express are the beliefs of the Established Church of the DC Party. Trump is a heretic, not merely someone who disagrees. That is why the clerics in the DC Media Inquisition hate him so.

    America is way past thinking logically about anything.

  146. @Sean
    Actually the war was initially very like Korea and organised with the knowledge that it could turn into another Chinese invasion, but after the la Drang Valley in which (apart from an ambush after the battle caused by an unwell field commander losing his grip , formed up communist main force unit were hammered mercilessly) it became obvious that US mobility and B52 bombing could not be defeated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KESpSi4JTuc

    In the run up to WW2 the US built a plane to fly across the Atlantic and bomb Germany, of course they had the power to crush Vietnam, and all the advice from the Joint Chiefs was to escalate bombing extremely rapidly. Following communist gains in Laos and Vietnam, General Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, promised: "If we are given the right to use nuclear weapons, we can guarantee victory.". JFK was sickened, but Lemnitzer, commander of UN forces during the Korean war was explaining the simple truth. Kennedy wanted to use counter-insurgency and reforms to the South Vietnamese government, and win in Vietnam. But they were mutually incompatible objectives because the kind of democratic reforms that America kept pushing on Diem just were hardly a practicable means to reduce the popular support for the Communists while there was a low level war going on.

    Kennedy thought he could do it all with the Green Berets, but the army knew better, as as premier tactician General Harold Johnson (Army chief of staff ) 1964-68) said, real counter insurgency required full mobilization of US resources and calling out of the reserves. There were however enough troops for "Pacification" a la Operation Speedy Express

    The policy under this operation in a densely populated area was to target "people running, people in black pajamas, civilians past night-time" ... in the Mekong Delta where any human present could be killed. These zones helped the 9th Division achieve an unlikely enemy-to-GI kill ratio of 134:1 in April 1969
     
    Pacification was effectively just killing civilians in the area and getting VC by being willing to kill a very high proportion of innocent people (eg "e “Number one killer” of unarmed civilians, ...helicopters “would hover over a guy in the fields till he got scared and run and they’d zap him” ). This culling of men of military age denuding whole districts of them only added to the political strength of the Communists.

    In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all
     
    Whose fault was that?
    A book Elbridge Durbrow, Ngô Đình Diệm and the Turn in U.S. Relations, 1959–1961 makes clear that the complaints about Diem were largely unfounded. The JFK administration's false perception that Diem was much of the problem ended in Diem's assassination just before Kennnedy's own, and if Oswald had any doubt about saving Castro by killing JFK before, he certainly didn't afterward

    The bombing of North Vietnam was very restricted, except for the latter part of Linebacker II AKA the Christmas Bombing (‘a “maximum effort” .. to “destroy major target complexes in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas’), which led to condemnation by the Pope, the Swedish PM calling Nixon insane, and a tremendous domestic loss of political capital for Nixon, and the USA internationally. Nixon's attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    The military and president Nixon’s assessment to bomb North Vietnam was accurate and effective.

  147. Need to put yourself in post-9/11, pre-fracking 2001, where most people thought it was a matter of time before there was another attack and Middle East oil was vital to our national interests. It was not stated outright, but the assumption was either fight the wars abroad, or we end up curtailing civil liberties domestically, well beyond the Patriot Act.

    Afghanistan, from the beginning, was a lost cause. Most people high up knew this. There was no chance of a lasting democracy. The ongoing war effort was largely to save face and display deterrence for other nations.

    Iraq was a conveyor belt of bad decisions. The biggest mistake was the attempt to convert from a Sunni-run dictatorship to multicultural democracy. Had Saddam & cronies been summarily executed, while mid-level Baathist leadership been left in, the situation would probably be salvageable. Paul Bremer — suitable as an extra in Burn After Reading — deserves infamy: the decision to disband the Iraqi army was one of the dumbest decisions in the last 50 years of US foreign policy.

    As dumb as W was, Obama’s Middle East policy was unforgivable, in its pointlessness, loss of life and failure to learn a single lesson from W’s eight years. Obama’s “Don’t Do Stupid Sh!t” foreign policy managed to destabilized the majority of Middle Eastern nations, caused a civil war, made Russia look like the good guy, and emboldened Iran.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Need to put yourself in post-9/11, pre-fracking 2001, where most people thought it was a matter of time before there was another attack and Middle East oil was vital to our national interests. It was not stated outright, but the assumption was either fight the wars abroad, or we end up curtailing civil liberties domestically, well beyond the Patriot Act.
     
    We got both - wars abroad and curtailment of civil liberties. And the Patriot Act is quite bad enough by itself. Add to it the TSA and any number of other post-911 innovations, and we are quite a bit less free than we were in the 20th century and headed for being less free still.

    Of course, the one option that would have accomplished something useful, shutting off the flow of immigration from muslim countries and taking a hard look with an eye towards deportation at the ones already here, was never considered. Just making the environment unwelcoming enough would have caused many muslim non-citizens to self-deport.

    But we never do what would actually work, because defending the actual country and it's people is not what is important to the government and those it serves.

  148. @Sean
    Actually the war was initially very like Korea and organised with the knowledge that it could turn into another Chinese invasion, but after the la Drang Valley in which (apart from an ambush after the battle caused by an unwell field commander losing his grip , formed up communist main force unit were hammered mercilessly) it became obvious that US mobility and B52 bombing could not be defeated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KESpSi4JTuc

    In the run up to WW2 the US built a plane to fly across the Atlantic and bomb Germany, of course they had the power to crush Vietnam, and all the advice from the Joint Chiefs was to escalate bombing extremely rapidly. Following communist gains in Laos and Vietnam, General Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, promised: "If we are given the right to use nuclear weapons, we can guarantee victory.". JFK was sickened, but Lemnitzer, commander of UN forces during the Korean war was explaining the simple truth. Kennedy wanted to use counter-insurgency and reforms to the South Vietnamese government, and win in Vietnam. But they were mutually incompatible objectives because the kind of democratic reforms that America kept pushing on Diem just were hardly a practicable means to reduce the popular support for the Communists while there was a low level war going on.

    Kennedy thought he could do it all with the Green Berets, but the army knew better, as as premier tactician General Harold Johnson (Army chief of staff ) 1964-68) said, real counter insurgency required full mobilization of US resources and calling out of the reserves. There were however enough troops for "Pacification" a la Operation Speedy Express

    The policy under this operation in a densely populated area was to target "people running, people in black pajamas, civilians past night-time" ... in the Mekong Delta where any human present could be killed. These zones helped the 9th Division achieve an unlikely enemy-to-GI kill ratio of 134:1 in April 1969
     
    Pacification was effectively just killing civilians in the area and getting VC by being willing to kill a very high proportion of innocent people (eg "e “Number one killer” of unarmed civilians, ...helicopters “would hover over a guy in the fields till he got scared and run and they’d zap him” ). This culling of men of military age denuding whole districts of them only added to the political strength of the Communists.

    In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all
     
    Whose fault was that?
    A book Elbridge Durbrow, Ngô Đình Diệm and the Turn in U.S. Relations, 1959–1961 makes clear that the complaints about Diem were largely unfounded. The JFK administration's false perception that Diem was much of the problem ended in Diem's assassination just before Kennnedy's own, and if Oswald had any doubt about saving Castro by killing JFK before, he certainly didn't afterward

    The bombing of North Vietnam was very restricted, except for the latter part of Linebacker II AKA the Christmas Bombing (‘a “maximum effort” .. to “destroy major target complexes in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas’), which led to condemnation by the Pope, the Swedish PM calling Nixon insane, and a tremendous domestic loss of political capital for Nixon, and the USA internationally. Nixon's attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    Nixon’s attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    Had nothing to do with Watergate. Gordon Liddy was hired as General-Counsel of the Committee to Re-Elect the President in December 1971 and presented his plans for an espionage campaign contra the Democratic Party to John Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, and John Dean in January 1972. Liddy had been employed on John Dean’s staff previous to that and was detailed to the White House Plumbers, whose activities included wiretapping a mess of people (e.g. Morton Halperin) and burgling the office of Lewis Fielding, MD (who had Daniel Ellsburg on his patient roll). Off the books espionage was a Nixon Administration signature. The puzzle over Watergate was just what dirt they all were looking for at DNC hq, with various parties contending they were looking for information about Maureen Dean’s work as a call girl (supposedly in possession of a DNC secretary) and John Dean suggesting they were looking for dirt on Lawrence O’Brien’s business dealings with Howard Hughtes.

    • Replies: @Sean
    The “White House Plumbers” had been created to plug the leaks concerning the secret bombing of Cambodia, which Nixon feared would increase congressional and public opposition to the war. It was the begining of a train of events that led to the Watergate break ins and bugging (the exact purpose of which remains unclear to this day).
  149. @Sean
    Actually the war was initially very like Korea and organised with the knowledge that it could turn into another Chinese invasion, but after the la Drang Valley in which (apart from an ambush after the battle caused by an unwell field commander losing his grip , formed up communist main force unit were hammered mercilessly) it became obvious that US mobility and B52 bombing could not be defeated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KESpSi4JTuc

    In the run up to WW2 the US built a plane to fly across the Atlantic and bomb Germany, of course they had the power to crush Vietnam, and all the advice from the Joint Chiefs was to escalate bombing extremely rapidly. Following communist gains in Laos and Vietnam, General Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, promised: "If we are given the right to use nuclear weapons, we can guarantee victory.". JFK was sickened, but Lemnitzer, commander of UN forces during the Korean war was explaining the simple truth. Kennedy wanted to use counter-insurgency and reforms to the South Vietnamese government, and win in Vietnam. But they were mutually incompatible objectives because the kind of democratic reforms that America kept pushing on Diem just were hardly a practicable means to reduce the popular support for the Communists while there was a low level war going on.

    Kennedy thought he could do it all with the Green Berets, but the army knew better, as as premier tactician General Harold Johnson (Army chief of staff ) 1964-68) said, real counter insurgency required full mobilization of US resources and calling out of the reserves. There were however enough troops for "Pacification" a la Operation Speedy Express

    The policy under this operation in a densely populated area was to target "people running, people in black pajamas, civilians past night-time" ... in the Mekong Delta where any human present could be killed. These zones helped the 9th Division achieve an unlikely enemy-to-GI kill ratio of 134:1 in April 1969
     
    Pacification was effectively just killing civilians in the area and getting VC by being willing to kill a very high proportion of innocent people (eg "e “Number one killer” of unarmed civilians, ...helicopters “would hover over a guy in the fields till he got scared and run and they’d zap him” ). This culling of men of military age denuding whole districts of them only added to the political strength of the Communists.

    In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all
     
    Whose fault was that?
    A book Elbridge Durbrow, Ngô Đình Diệm and the Turn in U.S. Relations, 1959–1961 makes clear that the complaints about Diem were largely unfounded. The JFK administration's false perception that Diem was much of the problem ended in Diem's assassination just before Kennnedy's own, and if Oswald had any doubt about saving Castro by killing JFK before, he certainly didn't afterward

    The bombing of North Vietnam was very restricted, except for the latter part of Linebacker II AKA the Christmas Bombing (‘a “maximum effort” .. to “destroy major target complexes in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas’), which led to condemnation by the Pope, the Swedish PM calling Nixon insane, and a tremendous domestic loss of political capital for Nixon, and the USA internationally. Nixon's attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    You’ve got your timeline all wrong. The Christmas Bombing happened around Christmas of 1972, and was a gambit to force a settlement at the Paris Peace Talks, so that Nixon could extract our ground forces from the war in 73′. It happened about a month after Nixon won reelected and six months after the Watergate break-in. It had nothing to do with Watergate.

  150. @nebulafox
    There's also the fact that the character of the Vietnam War changed drastically in a way that WWII didn't. In 1965, it was a mass insurgency in a country with no functioning civil government at all. The VC, while obviously supplied by Hanoi, was really its own thing until the Tet Offensive, dominated by Communist Southerners who had their own agenda. (US intelligence failed to make this distinction.) In 1972, things were far more conventional. The enemy was North Vietnamese regulars with tanks, heavy artillery, and the like, and the VC being reduced to NVA auxiliaries-the NLA at the Paris talks were puppets by this point, in contrast to the pre-Tet era when things would have been more grey. The South had a functioning government, if a highly corrupt, rickety one. By that stage, Vietnam had become more like Korea 2.0 than the unprecedented guerilla conflict it had been in 1965.

    In effect, LBJ and Nixon were fighting completely different wars. Yes, Operation Linebacker was much more effective than Rolling Thunder, but a big part of why was because the North Vietnamese had shifted to a strategy that was far more vulnerable to conventional bombing. (And part of the reason Nixon had that option at all was a completely different geopolitical scene.)

    There’s also the fact that the character of the Vietnam War changed drastically in a way that WWII didn’t.

    It did, but the U.S. was bombing in Vietnam from the very beginning – before most Americans even knew they were in Vietnam. See Operation Farm Gate.

  151. @Art Deco
    Nixon’s attempts to to conceal it in the face of the inevitable leaks was the begining of a train of events that ended in Watergate.

    Had nothing to do with Watergate. Gordon Liddy was hired as General-Counsel of the Committee to Re-Elect the President in December 1971 and presented his plans for an espionage campaign contra the Democratic Party to John Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, and John Dean in January 1972. Liddy had been employed on John Dean's staff previous to that and was detailed to the White House Plumbers, whose activities included wiretapping a mess of people (e.g. Morton Halperin) and burgling the office of Lewis Fielding, MD (who had Daniel Ellsburg on his patient roll). Off the books espionage was a Nixon Administration signature. The puzzle over Watergate was just what dirt they all were looking for at DNC hq, with various parties contending they were looking for information about Maureen Dean's work as a call girl (supposedly in possession of a DNC secretary) and John Dean suggesting they were looking for dirt on Lawrence O'Brien's business dealings with Howard Hughtes.

    The “White House Plumbers” had been created to plug the leaks concerning the secret bombing of Cambodia, which Nixon feared would increase congressional and public opposition to the war. It was the begining of a train of events that led to the Watergate break ins and bugging (the exact purpose of which remains unclear to this day).

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    I believe the Plumbers were created in the wake of Elsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers.
  152. @Dave Pinsen
    Great retort to Boot’s response to this.

    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1096519309734612993?s=21

    Yes, and if your head’s in the oven and your feet are in the freezer, on average, you’re at 98.6.

  153. @Lot
    Obviously Japanese and German food is better.

    Though an Iraqi wife will actually cook more often, so there's that. Perhaps the ideal is a woman with a Japanese IQ and looks, Iraqi woman values, who will produce children with Germanic genes and phenotype?

    http://khoollect.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Marie-Kondo-e1483303830160.jpg

    Yes, she’s pretty, but do you really like those eyes?

  154. @anon
    Like killing and eating it?

    You know, the way things are headed, I wouldn’t be surprised if 100 years from now, eating a cow will be a crime and having sex with one won’t be.

  155. @Sean
    The “White House Plumbers” had been created to plug the leaks concerning the secret bombing of Cambodia, which Nixon feared would increase congressional and public opposition to the war. It was the begining of a train of events that led to the Watergate break ins and bugging (the exact purpose of which remains unclear to this day).

    I believe the Plumbers were created in the wake of Elsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Nixon's problem was with people who had worked for Defense Secretary Clark M. Clifford during the Johnson administration’s efforts to, as they saw it, commence peace talks, although the North Vietnamese demanded the capitulation of the south as well as US withdrawal, which was a non starter. Nixon saw it quite differently he thought LBJ halted bombing for domestic political advantage at election time to stop Nixon winning and making it very difficult to start it up again in order to get the North Vietnamese to see reason. Clifford seems to have given officials the impression that Nixon was keeping the war going for his own electoral advantage. The North Vietnamese took advantage of cession of the heavy bombing to launch an offensive inflicted many casualties of US troops.

    Morton Halperin, a former high official in the LBJ administration (currently a senior advisor to the Soros foundation) had learned about the secret bombing of Cambodia while assistant to Kissinger, Haplern was suspected of being source for the 1969 story in the NYT about the secret bombing of Cambodia that forced Nixon to stop the bombing and, so Nixon always insisted afterwards, cost hundreds of Americans killed. Without a warrant, they had Halpern's home bugged.

    It was Kissinger who was steamed up about his, and McNamara's, former advisor Elsberg (who had suddenly became worried about Vietnamese casualties) . Nixon suspected Halpern and other former Johnson administration officials Warnke, and Gelb, who had documents on Vietnam at the Brookings Institution. The first seriously illegal action authorized by Nixon was a safebreaking for the documents Gelb had at Brookings. So the Keystone Cop's known as the Plumbers were somewhat later in the train of events that leaks about the bombing and Nixon's attempt to stop them so he could end the war by bombing the Vietnamese to accepting peace with the US only had got started.

    In the latter part of Linebacker two, Nixon released B52s from the previous restrictions aimed at minimizing casualties on the ground and this sudden escalation rapidly got the North Vietnamese to reconsider their position. But it brought Nixon a great deal of criticism. The Pentagon Papers were not about Nixon at all they were about previous administrations policy up to and including LBJ of course.
  156. @Debo
    Need to put yourself in post-9/11, pre-fracking 2001, where most people thought it was a matter of time before there was another attack and Middle East oil was vital to our national interests. It was not stated outright, but the assumption was either fight the wars abroad, or we end up curtailing civil liberties domestically, well beyond the Patriot Act.

    Afghanistan, from the beginning, was a lost cause. Most people high up knew this. There was no chance of a lasting democracy. The ongoing war effort was largely to save face and display deterrence for other nations.

    Iraq was a conveyor belt of bad decisions. The biggest mistake was the attempt to convert from a Sunni-run dictatorship to multicultural democracy. Had Saddam & cronies been summarily executed, while mid-level Baathist leadership been left in, the situation would probably be salvageable. Paul Bremer -- suitable as an extra in Burn After Reading -- deserves infamy: the decision to disband the Iraqi army was one of the dumbest decisions in the last 50 years of US foreign policy.

    As dumb as W was, Obama's Middle East policy was unforgivable, in its pointlessness, loss of life and failure to learn a single lesson from W's eight years. Obama's "Don't Do Stupid Sh!t" foreign policy managed to destabilized the majority of Middle Eastern nations, caused a civil war, made Russia look like the good guy, and emboldened Iran.

    Need to put yourself in post-9/11, pre-fracking 2001, where most people thought it was a matter of time before there was another attack and Middle East oil was vital to our national interests. It was not stated outright, but the assumption was either fight the wars abroad, or we end up curtailing civil liberties domestically, well beyond the Patriot Act.

    We got both – wars abroad and curtailment of civil liberties. And the Patriot Act is quite bad enough by itself. Add to it the TSA and any number of other post-911 innovations, and we are quite a bit less free than we were in the 20th century and headed for being less free still.

    Of course, the one option that would have accomplished something useful, shutting off the flow of immigration from muslim countries and taking a hard look with an eye towards deportation at the ones already here, was never considered. Just making the environment unwelcoming enough would have caused many muslim non-citizens to self-deport.

    But we never do what would actually work, because defending the actual country and it’s people is not what is important to the government and those it serves.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  157. @Andrei Martyanov

    They are the living embodiment of Jewish privilege, which is the only real privilege in this country.
     
    While this might be true, both hacks are primarily living embodiment of a complete degeneracy of the American "elites" much of which is not Jewish at all. Basically, for the last 15 or so years I observed an astonishing corruption and decline of American "foreign policy" and military academe and "expertdom"--it is pathetic.

    An excellent example of that which you describe is General Jack Keene, a reliably bellicose voice on military affairs who is a frequent FOX News contributor. He was one of the authors of the “the surge” in Iraq, and is now affiliated with the Institute for the Study of War, a neo-con think-tank founded and run by one of the Kagan clan. Apart from whatever cynical motives he might have, he probably thinks that the country is still the country he knew in his prime in the 70s and 80s. These people don’t realize that that country is dead. They are trapped in the past and determined that America should have no sane future.

  158. @Trevor H.
    Tucker Carlson is the closest thing to a hero on the national stage at this point. No wonder they're attacking his home and his family now.

    I hope he's extra careful, because he's skirting the bounds of "permissible" speech lately--though doing it with skill--and that sort of behavior can lead to real trouble.

    At the rate he's going, we shouldn't be too surprised to see some bogus charges leveled at him from a trailer park skank, or whomever TPTB next come up with to do their dirty work.

    Tucker is careful to not cross the line. I watched him the other night interview JD Vance and they were talking about the differences between the Democrats and Republicans but managed to avoid the central question regarding race. It could have been really good but they settled for safe and boring knowing what the consequences could be.

  159. @Mr. Anon
    I didn't say we took it easier on Germany than on Vietnam. But Germany was a modern industrialized nation. Vietnam was not. We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved.

    I don’t want to relitigate the Vietnam War, but much of what you say is either not true or misleading.

    For the latest example:

    We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved. [My emphasis]

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it’s the Chinese. I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany. We also chose not to use ground troops in the north, unlike what we did in WW2, which made us even more reliant on bombing than we otherwise would’ve been. When the only option is to bomb, you’re going to bomb a lot more than if you have other options.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it’s the Chinese.
     
    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren't bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or "America" - the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/vietnamese-americans-are-no-longer-a-lock-for-the-republican-party/

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we've squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage - by, essentially, being "Team America".

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we'll find out just how popular we are. My guess is that the answer will be.............not very much.
    , @nebulafox
    > I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    Agreed. Vietnam is a young country, to boot, most people don't remember the 1960s.

    The Vietnamese are an *extremely* pragmatic, unsentimental people, to the point of being stereotyped for it by other Asians. They would probably be genuinely shocked that Americans could possibly think that the memory of the war could in any way, shape, or form take precedence over deterring the lurking colossus to the north. Even at the height of Sino-Vietnamese "friendship", things were tense, as no amount of glossy lip service to internationalism could hide the fact that Vietnamese Communism was an intensely nationalistic affair at a time where Mao's China was undergoing its Trotskyite phase. It was under Chinese pressure that Ho Chi Minh agreed to the partitioning of Vietnam in '54, and Chinese laborers during the Johnson-phase of the war were kept under strict surveillance by the secret police, completely segregated from the populace under armed guard.

    Vietnam did a pretty good job of playing them off against the Soviets for a while, but the balancing act couldn't overcome thousands of years of historical reality in the end. The ultimate alignment of Vietnam with the USSR over China had as much to due with that as it did with post-Tet ideological factors and China's post-CR decision to seek rapprochement with the USA.

    The other thing to remember is that what we call the "Vietnam War" was really a Vietnamese civil war which the Americans almost stumbled into. This tends to be obstructed because of the effect the war had on an America that was already in massive cultural forment, but to think of the conflict as a fundamentally American one, in terms of the actual war, is hugely misleading.

    >As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany.

    Quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to bombing. We dropped more bombs on Cambodia and Laos in the early 1970s than we did on Japan during WWII, and it didn't prevent an ultimate Communist takeover of both countries.

    We got more done in four months with Operation Linebacker than we did during the whole of the 1960s, not least because Linebacker was far more competently executed-the North Vietnamese were taken completely by surprise. But as I mentioned, that would have been pointless if the North Vietnamese didn't shift to a more conventional style of war that was vulnerable to mass strategic bombing of infrastructure, factories, and tanks crossing the border.
    , @Mr. Anon

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War.
     
    I wasn't speaking primarily of the Vietnamese people, with whom I am not familiar, as you are. I was speaking more generally. Our bombing of Vietnam lost us a lot of goodwill around the World.
  160. @Achmed E. Newman
    What's so hard about the [PriSc] button? Then, just paste it into a new MS-Paint file.

    There are a few different workarounds including print screen, but this is a single step.

  161. @Pincher Martin
    I don't want to relitigate the Vietnam War, but much of what you say is either not true or misleading.

    For the latest example:


    We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved. [My emphasis]
     
    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it's the Chinese. I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany. We also chose not to use ground troops in the north, unlike what we did in WW2, which made us even more reliant on bombing than we otherwise would've been. When the only option is to bomb, you're going to bomb a lot more than if you have other options.

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it’s the Chinese.

    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren’t bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or “America” – the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/vietnamese-americans-are-no-longer-a-lock-for-the-republican-party/

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we’ve squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage – by, essentially, being “Team America”.

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we’ll find out just how popular we are. My guess is that the answer will be………….not very much.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren’t bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans.

    You could go to Vietnam and talk to an actual Vietnamese person. Because, as what lyrical minded commentators around here would dub a "serious nation", they, unlike us, bother to know history: meaning they are aware that whereas the US was a threat for a couple of decades, China was (and still is) a threat for a couple of millennia, going back to the Han Dynasty.

    >America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we’ve squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage – by, essentially, being “Team America”.

    I can't argue with this, but I'd emphasize the last 25 years in particular. Again, John Quincy Adams hit the nail on the head: serve as an example for others to emulate rather than going on foreign adventures. We tried both during the Cold War, and one worked. Our ruling classes inexplicably decided to abandon the successful route and double-down on the failed one after the USSR fell.

    , @Pincher Martin

    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren’t bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or “America” – the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.
     
    Based on the Vietnamese in Vietnam, of course. Why don't you go there and find out? It's almost a cliché how pro-American they are.

    Read Nebula Fox's two recent comments to me and you. You simply have no idea what you're talking about when you say the Vietnamese hate Americans because we bombed them so much. To most Vietnamese, many of whom are young, the Vietnam War is simply as irrelevant as the War of Roses is to you.

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we’ve squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage – by, essentially, being “Team America”.
     
    Like most idiots who work backwards from theory to facts, you veer off in a conveniently generalized direction when talking about a specific claim that you had wrong. We were talking about Vietnamese attitudes toward Americans.

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we’ll find out just how popular we are.
     
    Well, the Vietnamese communists laid us low, and we are extremely popular in their country. And that's despite lot of anti-American propaganda coming out of Hanoi that the Vietnamese population ignores.
  162. @Mr. Anon

    Prosecuting a war under such circumstances is extremely impractical.
     
    No, decisively winning a war under such circumstances is impractical. If your goal is just to be there and fight, it hardly matters. American forces are not in the middle east to win anything - not to win anything for America, at least.

    You just believe that because you want to.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    You just believe that because you want to.
     
    No, I have come to that conclusion because there is no other reasonable explanation.

    Can you explain American war aims? If so, tell the American government, because they seem unable to do so. They don't even bother to anymore.

    Nitwit.
    , @William Badwhite

    You just believe that because you want to.
     
    You should resist the urge to respond to every single sentence in every single response to your posts. You're approaching "Corvinus" status.
  163. @Pincher Martin
    I don't want to relitigate the Vietnam War, but much of what you say is either not true or misleading.

    For the latest example:


    We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved. [My emphasis]
     
    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it's the Chinese. I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany. We also chose not to use ground troops in the north, unlike what we did in WW2, which made us even more reliant on bombing than we otherwise would've been. When the only option is to bomb, you're going to bomb a lot more than if you have other options.

    > I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    Agreed. Vietnam is a young country, to boot, most people don’t remember the 1960s.

    The Vietnamese are an *extremely* pragmatic, unsentimental people, to the point of being stereotyped for it by other Asians. They would probably be genuinely shocked that Americans could possibly think that the memory of the war could in any way, shape, or form take precedence over deterring the lurking colossus to the north. Even at the height of Sino-Vietnamese “friendship”, things were tense, as no amount of glossy lip service to internationalism could hide the fact that Vietnamese Communism was an intensely nationalistic affair at a time where Mao’s China was undergoing its Trotskyite phase. It was under Chinese pressure that Ho Chi Minh agreed to the partitioning of Vietnam in ’54, and Chinese laborers during the Johnson-phase of the war were kept under strict surveillance by the secret police, completely segregated from the populace under armed guard.

    Vietnam did a pretty good job of playing them off against the Soviets for a while, but the balancing act couldn’t overcome thousands of years of historical reality in the end. The ultimate alignment of Vietnam with the USSR over China had as much to due with that as it did with post-Tet ideological factors and China’s post-CR decision to seek rapprochement with the USA.

    The other thing to remember is that what we call the “Vietnam War” was really a Vietnamese civil war which the Americans almost stumbled into. This tends to be obstructed because of the effect the war had on an America that was already in massive cultural forment, but to think of the conflict as a fundamentally American one, in terms of the actual war, is hugely misleading.

    >As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany.

    Quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to bombing. We dropped more bombs on Cambodia and Laos in the early 1970s than we did on Japan during WWII, and it didn’t prevent an ultimate Communist takeover of both countries.

    We got more done in four months with Operation Linebacker than we did during the whole of the 1960s, not least because Linebacker was far more competently executed-the North Vietnamese were taken completely by surprise. But as I mentioned, that would have been pointless if the North Vietnamese didn’t shift to a more conventional style of war that was vulnerable to mass strategic bombing of infrastructure, factories, and tanks crossing the border.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Agreed. Vietnam is a young country, to boot, most people don’t remember the 1960s.
     
    I agree that the youth and pragmatism of the population matters, but the Communist leaders did put out a lot of anti-American propaganda in the years after the Vietnam War and most young Vietnamese just ignored it.

    The pro-American feelings aren't just of recent vintage, either. I remember reading about similar sentiments in The New Republic all the way back in the late nineteen-eighties when the Soviets still had a base in Vietnam.

    As to Vietnamese feelings about the Chinese, of course you're going to be a lot more nervous about your large neighbor to the north, with whom you have had an aggravated and often violent relationship for a millennia, than you are about the distant power which hasn't shown much interest in you other than a twenty-year period from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies.

    Quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to bombing.
     
    I agree. Which is why weighing tonnage as a moral matter, as Mr. Anon does, is just as wrong as weighing it as a strategic matter. We were often dropping bombs in Vietnam because we had no idea what else to do.
  164. @Mr. Anon

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it’s the Chinese.
     
    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren't bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or "America" - the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/vietnamese-americans-are-no-longer-a-lock-for-the-republican-party/

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we've squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage - by, essentially, being "Team America".

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we'll find out just how popular we are. My guess is that the answer will be.............not very much.

    >Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren’t bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans.

    You could go to Vietnam and talk to an actual Vietnamese person. Because, as what lyrical minded commentators around here would dub a “serious nation”, they, unlike us, bother to know history: meaning they are aware that whereas the US was a threat for a couple of decades, China was (and still is) a threat for a couple of millennia, going back to the Han Dynasty.

    >America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we’ve squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage – by, essentially, being “Team America”.

    I can’t argue with this, but I’d emphasize the last 25 years in particular. Again, John Quincy Adams hit the nail on the head: serve as an example for others to emulate rather than going on foreign adventures. We tried both during the Cold War, and one worked. Our ruling classes inexplicably decided to abandon the successful route and double-down on the failed one after the USSR fell.

  165. @Mr. Anon

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it’s the Chinese.
     
    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren't bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or "America" - the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/vietnamese-americans-are-no-longer-a-lock-for-the-republican-party/

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we've squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage - by, essentially, being "Team America".

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we'll find out just how popular we are. My guess is that the answer will be.............not very much.

    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren’t bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or “America” – the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.

    Based on the Vietnamese in Vietnam, of course. Why don’t you go there and find out? It’s almost a cliché how pro-American they are.

    Read Nebula Fox’s two recent comments to me and you. You simply have no idea what you’re talking about when you say the Vietnamese hate Americans because we bombed them so much. To most Vietnamese, many of whom are young, the Vietnam War is simply as irrelevant as the War of Roses is to you.

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we’ve squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage – by, essentially, being “Team America”.

    Like most idiots who work backwards from theory to facts, you veer off in a conveniently generalized direction when talking about a specific claim that you had wrong. We were talking about Vietnamese attitudes toward Americans.

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we’ll find out just how popular we are.

    Well, the Vietnamese communists laid us low, and we are extremely popular in their country. And that’s despite lot of anti-American propaganda coming out of Hanoi that the Vietnamese population ignores.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Based on the Vietnamese in Vietnam, of course. Why don’t you go there and find out? It’s almost a cliché how pro-American they are.
     
    And they of course were telling you the truth.

    Okay, suppose they were - I'm not saying they weren't. I haven't been there, you have.

    Imagine how much they would love us if we had only exterminated all of them.

    I really don't care if they love us or hate us. What I care about is that we behaved immorally, and we shouldn't have.


    Like most idiots who work backwards from theory to facts, you veer off in a conveniently generalized direction when talking about a specific claim that you had wrong. We were talking about Vietnamese attitudes toward Americans.
     
    Like most idiots who are enamored of empire, you seem keen to justify the behavior that is destroying this country. Do you think America will have a lot of friends when we need them? I rather tend to think everyone will take a kick at us while we're down.
  166. @nebulafox
    > I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    Agreed. Vietnam is a young country, to boot, most people don't remember the 1960s.

    The Vietnamese are an *extremely* pragmatic, unsentimental people, to the point of being stereotyped for it by other Asians. They would probably be genuinely shocked that Americans could possibly think that the memory of the war could in any way, shape, or form take precedence over deterring the lurking colossus to the north. Even at the height of Sino-Vietnamese "friendship", things were tense, as no amount of glossy lip service to internationalism could hide the fact that Vietnamese Communism was an intensely nationalistic affair at a time where Mao's China was undergoing its Trotskyite phase. It was under Chinese pressure that Ho Chi Minh agreed to the partitioning of Vietnam in '54, and Chinese laborers during the Johnson-phase of the war were kept under strict surveillance by the secret police, completely segregated from the populace under armed guard.

    Vietnam did a pretty good job of playing them off against the Soviets for a while, but the balancing act couldn't overcome thousands of years of historical reality in the end. The ultimate alignment of Vietnam with the USSR over China had as much to due with that as it did with post-Tet ideological factors and China's post-CR decision to seek rapprochement with the USA.

    The other thing to remember is that what we call the "Vietnam War" was really a Vietnamese civil war which the Americans almost stumbled into. This tends to be obstructed because of the effect the war had on an America that was already in massive cultural forment, but to think of the conflict as a fundamentally American one, in terms of the actual war, is hugely misleading.

    >As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany.

    Quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to bombing. We dropped more bombs on Cambodia and Laos in the early 1970s than we did on Japan during WWII, and it didn't prevent an ultimate Communist takeover of both countries.

    We got more done in four months with Operation Linebacker than we did during the whole of the 1960s, not least because Linebacker was far more competently executed-the North Vietnamese were taken completely by surprise. But as I mentioned, that would have been pointless if the North Vietnamese didn't shift to a more conventional style of war that was vulnerable to mass strategic bombing of infrastructure, factories, and tanks crossing the border.

    Agreed. Vietnam is a young country, to boot, most people don’t remember the 1960s.

    I agree that the youth and pragmatism of the population matters, but the Communist leaders did put out a lot of anti-American propaganda in the years after the Vietnam War and most young Vietnamese just ignored it.

    The pro-American feelings aren’t just of recent vintage, either. I remember reading about similar sentiments in The New Republic all the way back in the late nineteen-eighties when the Soviets still had a base in Vietnam.

    As to Vietnamese feelings about the Chinese, of course you’re going to be a lot more nervous about your large neighbor to the north, with whom you have had an aggravated and often violent relationship for a millennia, than you are about the distant power which hasn’t shown much interest in you other than a twenty-year period from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies.

    Quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to bombing.

    I agree. Which is why weighing tonnage as a moral matter, as Mr. Anon does, is just as wrong as weighing it as a strategic matter. We were often dropping bombs in Vietnam because we had no idea what else to do.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    The pro-American feelings aren’t just of recent vintage, either. I remember reading about similar sentiments in The New Republic all the way back in the late nineteen-eighties when the Soviets still had a base in Vietnam.
     
    Whatever. Given the increasing propensity of vietnamese in America to vote for the Democrats - the obviously anti-American party - we didn't buy ourselves any lasting good favor.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/05/from-loyal-to-lost-vietnamese-voters-and-the-california-gop/

    I agree. Which is why weighing tonnage as a moral matter, as Mr. Anon does, is just as wrong as weighing it as a strategic matter. We were often dropping bombs in Vietnam because we had no idea what else to do.
     
    Dropping bombs because you don't know what else to do hardly makes the dropping of the bombs more moral.
  167. @Jack Hanson
    Tucker, say "gay Nazi bodybuilder" into your next show, not necessarily all at once, and let us know you know we know.

    There’s no particular reason he’d got to use that phrase, is there, Jack? How about that recent term from the commenter Space Ghost “grey journalism”? If he uses that, we’ll know.

  168. @Mr. Anon
    I believe the Plumbers were created in the wake of Elsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers.

    Nixon’s problem was with people who had worked for Defense Secretary Clark M. Clifford during the Johnson administration’s efforts to, as they saw it, commence peace talks, although the North Vietnamese demanded the capitulation of the south as well as US withdrawal, which was a non starter. Nixon saw it quite differently he thought LBJ halted bombing for domestic political advantage at election time to stop Nixon winning and making it very difficult to start it up again in order to get the North Vietnamese to see reason. Clifford seems to have given officials the impression that Nixon was keeping the war going for his own electoral advantage. The North Vietnamese took advantage of cession of the heavy bombing to launch an offensive inflicted many casualties of US troops.

    Morton Halperin, a former high official in the LBJ administration (currently a senior advisor to the Soros foundation) had learned about the secret bombing of Cambodia while assistant to Kissinger, Haplern was suspected of being source for the 1969 story in the NYT about the secret bombing of Cambodia that forced Nixon to stop the bombing and, so Nixon always insisted afterwards, cost hundreds of Americans killed. Without a warrant, they had Halpern’s home bugged.

    It was Kissinger who was steamed up about his, and McNamara’s, former advisor Elsberg (who had suddenly became worried about Vietnamese casualties) . Nixon suspected Halpern and other former Johnson administration officials Warnke, and Gelb, who had documents on Vietnam at the Brookings Institution. The first seriously illegal action authorized by Nixon was a safebreaking for the documents Gelb had at Brookings. So the Keystone Cop’s known as the Plumbers were somewhat later in the train of events that leaks about the bombing and Nixon’s attempt to stop them so he could end the war by bombing the Vietnamese to accepting peace with the US only had got started.

    In the latter part of Linebacker two, Nixon released B52s from the previous restrictions aimed at minimizing casualties on the ground and this sudden escalation rapidly got the North Vietnamese to reconsider their position. But it brought Nixon a great deal of criticism. The Pentagon Papers were not about Nixon at all they were about previous administrations policy up to and including LBJ of course.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    The Pentagon Papers were not about Nixon at all they were about previous administrations policy up to and including LBJ of course.
     
    I am aware of that. You have indeed made a case that Watergate lay, at least in part, in Nixon's desire to bomb the living f**k out of Southeast Asia, but you originally placed it all on the Christmas Bombings, which made no sense as they post-dated the Watergate break-in.

    But to summarize the whole squalid war: we bombed the living f**k out of 'em, about - what? - 2 million vietnamese died (many, if not most of those killed by us), ended up with in excess of 50,000 of our own war dead, not to mention many more maimed and/or scarred for life, and ultimately left in disgrace hanging out the doors of the last helicopters lifting off the roof of the embassy in Saigon. It would have been bettter if we had just taken a pass.
  169. To reignite the NeoConservatism as the dominant philosophy in the Republican party once the MAGA train leaves the station. If that doesn’t work they’ll be trotted out by Establishment media as examples of how good conservatives should behave.

  170. @Mr. Anon

    As Andrew Sullivan ably pointed out a few weeks ago, the establishment will never say no to a war.
     
    And I'm afraid that isn't going to change until the US gets well and truly shellacked in a war.

    Friday night the girlfriend and I hit a couple craft breweries in Somerville, MA, hipster heaven for those not able to afford Cambridge. As she took in all the soft soiboi neckbeards in flannel and sock hats, she said that she’s beginning to understand what I mean when I say that a major conflict against a real enemy would be a total disaster for America.

    In the iSteve noticing category, ALL the interracial couples we saw were white female/other, including THREE Asian guys with chubby white girls. If that becomes a “thing”, think of the increased friction in black/Asian relations! Thank God that chubby white girls are pretty thick on the ground.

  171. @dr kill
    Didn't they adopt several diversity signals?

    “Didn’t they adopt several diversity signals?”

    The Frenches adopted an Ethiopian girl. French spoke at “Conservative” meetings. While at the podium, he would hold up his adoptee for the audience to see.

  172. @PSR
    Oh c’mon, Ben Shapiro is one of the smartest guys out there and he gives leftists fits.

    He may give leftists fits, but he is nothing more than an Israel firster chickenhawk. Everything gives leftists fits. He would be more than happy to make holocaust denial a criminal offense.

  173. @Achmed E. Newman
    What's so hard about the [PriSc] button? Then, just paste it into a new MS-Paint file.

    There are a few different workarounds including print screen, but this is a single step.

  174. @Tyrion 2
    You just believe that because you want to.

    You just believe that because you want to.

    No, I have come to that conclusion because there is no other reasonable explanation.

    Can you explain American war aims? If so, tell the American government, because they seem unable to do so. They don’t even bother to anymore.

    Nitwit.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico

    Can you explain American war aims?
     
    Remove any capacity Saddam Hussein had for WMD and remove Saddam Hussein. We should have removed him the first time when we sent 500,000 troops to the Saudi desert.

    Give Iraq the ability to develop its oil resources. Something that wasn't happening with Saddam Hussein.

    Do I agree with these aims or how they were carried out? Not necessarily. But it should have been obvious in 1992 that this was going to happen eventually. If it didn't happen in 2003, do you really believe Saddam or one of his sons would still be running Iraq in 2019?
    , @Tyrion 2
    Initially, the aim was do to Iraq what was done to Germany and Japan. That is create an examplar of successful liberal values, economic progress and social peace. Essentially, to create both an ally and a democratic beacon in the heart of the Middle East. Just as West Germany was in Europe and Japan remains in Asia.

    Of course, that rested on the assumption that Iraqis were just like Germans...which is a big assumption...but then not making that assumption is racist...except to say how Iraqis are actually superior...so really it should have gone swimmingly!
  175. @Pincher Martin

    Agreed. Vietnam is a young country, to boot, most people don’t remember the 1960s.
     
    I agree that the youth and pragmatism of the population matters, but the Communist leaders did put out a lot of anti-American propaganda in the years after the Vietnam War and most young Vietnamese just ignored it.

    The pro-American feelings aren't just of recent vintage, either. I remember reading about similar sentiments in The New Republic all the way back in the late nineteen-eighties when the Soviets still had a base in Vietnam.

    As to Vietnamese feelings about the Chinese, of course you're going to be a lot more nervous about your large neighbor to the north, with whom you have had an aggravated and often violent relationship for a millennia, than you are about the distant power which hasn't shown much interest in you other than a twenty-year period from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies.

    Quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to bombing.
     
    I agree. Which is why weighing tonnage as a moral matter, as Mr. Anon does, is just as wrong as weighing it as a strategic matter. We were often dropping bombs in Vietnam because we had no idea what else to do.

    The pro-American feelings aren’t just of recent vintage, either. I remember reading about similar sentiments in The New Republic all the way back in the late nineteen-eighties when the Soviets still had a base in Vietnam.

    Whatever. Given the increasing propensity of vietnamese in America to vote for the Democrats – the obviously anti-American party – we didn’t buy ourselves any lasting good favor.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/05/from-loyal-to-lost-vietnamese-voters-and-the-california-gop/

    I agree. Which is why weighing tonnage as a moral matter, as Mr. Anon does, is just as wrong as weighing it as a strategic matter. We were often dropping bombs in Vietnam because we had no idea what else to do.

    Dropping bombs because you don’t know what else to do hardly makes the dropping of the bombs more moral.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Whatever. Given the increasing propensity of vietnamese in America to vote for the Democrats – the obviously anti-American party – we didn’t buy ourselves any lasting good favor.
     
    You really have trouble keeping to the topic, don't you? We were discussing the people the U.S. bombed in the Vietnam War - i.e., the Vietnamese and their progeny. Not Vietnamese-Americans and their progeny, most of whom were our allies in the war.

    By the way, the older generation of Vietnamese-Americans did vote Republican, for the same reason older Cuban-Americans voted Republican. They were anti-Communist.

    But the end of the Cold War ended that rationale for voting, and younger generations of Vietnamese-Americans proceeded to gravatitate to the Democrat Party, which is the natural home for recent immigrants and their children who feel like outsiders to the country.

    Dropping bombs because you don’t know what else to do hardly makes the dropping of the bombs more moral.
     
    Depends. If you're just making a run at an old target that both you and the North Vietnamese know is a target, and hence civilian deaths are minimized, that's certainly far less lethal a military action than invading North Vietnam would've been.
  176. @Sean
    Nixon's problem was with people who had worked for Defense Secretary Clark M. Clifford during the Johnson administration’s efforts to, as they saw it, commence peace talks, although the North Vietnamese demanded the capitulation of the south as well as US withdrawal, which was a non starter. Nixon saw it quite differently he thought LBJ halted bombing for domestic political advantage at election time to stop Nixon winning and making it very difficult to start it up again in order to get the North Vietnamese to see reason. Clifford seems to have given officials the impression that Nixon was keeping the war going for his own electoral advantage. The North Vietnamese took advantage of cession of the heavy bombing to launch an offensive inflicted many casualties of US troops.

    Morton Halperin, a former high official in the LBJ administration (currently a senior advisor to the Soros foundation) had learned about the secret bombing of Cambodia while assistant to Kissinger, Haplern was suspected of being source for the 1969 story in the NYT about the secret bombing of Cambodia that forced Nixon to stop the bombing and, so Nixon always insisted afterwards, cost hundreds of Americans killed. Without a warrant, they had Halpern's home bugged.

    It was Kissinger who was steamed up about his, and McNamara's, former advisor Elsberg (who had suddenly became worried about Vietnamese casualties) . Nixon suspected Halpern and other former Johnson administration officials Warnke, and Gelb, who had documents on Vietnam at the Brookings Institution. The first seriously illegal action authorized by Nixon was a safebreaking for the documents Gelb had at Brookings. So the Keystone Cop's known as the Plumbers were somewhat later in the train of events that leaks about the bombing and Nixon's attempt to stop them so he could end the war by bombing the Vietnamese to accepting peace with the US only had got started.

    In the latter part of Linebacker two, Nixon released B52s from the previous restrictions aimed at minimizing casualties on the ground and this sudden escalation rapidly got the North Vietnamese to reconsider their position. But it brought Nixon a great deal of criticism. The Pentagon Papers were not about Nixon at all they were about previous administrations policy up to and including LBJ of course.

    The Pentagon Papers were not about Nixon at all they were about previous administrations policy up to and including LBJ of course.

    I am aware of that. You have indeed made a case that Watergate lay, at least in part, in Nixon’s desire to bomb the living f**k out of Southeast Asia, but you originally placed it all on the Christmas Bombings, which made no sense as they post-dated the Watergate break-in.

    But to summarize the whole squalid war: we bombed the living f**k out of ’em, about – what? – 2 million vietnamese died (many, if not most of those killed by us), ended up with in excess of 50,000 of our own war dead, not to mention many more maimed and/or scarred for life, and ultimately left in disgrace hanging out the doors of the last helicopters lifting off the roof of the embassy in Saigon. It would have been bettter if we had just taken a pass.

    • Replies: @Sean
    I got it a bit mixed, yes; thanks for pointing that out. It is not clear what the Watergate break in was about, but it likely was very little to do with the original objective the Plumbers were supposed to achieve. The lack of grip concerning the Plumbers activities and much more importantly, ordering officials to lie to Federal investigators about Watergate, were serious mistakes by Nixon.

    Was Vietnam a mistake? It could have been passed on, but conflict with the Soviets might well have taken on a much more dangerous form. It was better to fight the USSR and China as Third World Communism in proxy wars than in Western Europe " In 47 days in the fall of 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces suffered 26,667 dead as part of 120,000 casualties in the Meuse-Argonne campaign."

    https://www.historynet.com/book-review-vietnam-the-necessary-war-michael-lind-vn.htm

    For the past generation, Lind points out, the war has been considered not only a disastrous defeat (which it was) but also an easily avoidable mistake (which it was not, any more than was the Korean War) [...] Most of the brickbats that so-called progressives and radical leftists tossed earlier at... presidents or their successors won their wars, so the libels did not stick. Johnson and Nixon lost their war, so the libels stuck to them.

    Lind points out that Truman and Eisenhower early in the Cold War, like Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the conflict’s final stages, held much stronger cards than the presidents in office in the middle of it. John Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon faced a Soviet Union that had recovered from World War II, that was growing in military power and diplomatic prestige and that was far from being bankrupted by military competition with the West
     
    The USSR had momentum and a lot of people saw it in the same way China is being looked at now. It had conventional superiority in Western Europe, and the US contrary to its rhetoric was in reality not going to start a nuclear war over an invasion of Europe. The contest switched to proxy wars in which the US eventually gave as good as it got and somewhat assisted the armaments race overheating of the Soviet system. If the US had sat on its hands out of fear of another Korea, exactly what effect that might have had on encouraging adventurism by the Soviet leadership is something none can say. It would have been taking some kind of risk not to take up the challenge in Vietnam though.

    If you go looking for trouble you will find it, but looking as if you are completely harmless can get you targeted as well. Avoiding Vietnam, would have meant accepting the risk of something 10 times more destructive. Without a formula for guaranteeing no trouble at all American presidents including Nixon took the middle way.
  177. @Pincher Martin

    Based on what? Vietnamese who are here? A lot of those were people lived in cities in the South (that weren’t bombed) or who were alligned with the Americans. Even then, do vietnamese in America really like America (the traditional country) or “America” – the nation of immigrants, yada, yada, yada.
     
    Based on the Vietnamese in Vietnam, of course. Why don't you go there and find out? It's almost a cliché how pro-American they are.

    Read Nebula Fox's two recent comments to me and you. You simply have no idea what you're talking about when you say the Vietnamese hate Americans because we bombed them so much. To most Vietnamese, many of whom are young, the Vietnam War is simply as irrelevant as the War of Roses is to you.

    America had a lot of political capital in the World after WWII. And in the intervening time, we’ve squandered a lot of it by acting like reckless, ham-handed dicks on the World stage – by, essentially, being “Team America”.
     
    Like most idiots who work backwards from theory to facts, you veer off in a conveniently generalized direction when talking about a specific claim that you had wrong. We were talking about Vietnamese attitudes toward Americans.

    In extremis, when we have been laid low, we’ll find out just how popular we are.
     
    Well, the Vietnamese communists laid us low, and we are extremely popular in their country. And that's despite lot of anti-American propaganda coming out of Hanoi that the Vietnamese population ignores.

    Based on the Vietnamese in Vietnam, of course. Why don’t you go there and find out? It’s almost a cliché how pro-American they are.

    And they of course were telling you the truth.

    Okay, suppose they were – I’m not saying they weren’t. I haven’t been there, you have.

    Imagine how much they would love us if we had only exterminated all of them.

    I really don’t care if they love us or hate us. What I care about is that we behaved immorally, and we shouldn’t have.

    Like most idiots who work backwards from theory to facts, you veer off in a conveniently generalized direction when talking about a specific claim that you had wrong. We were talking about Vietnamese attitudes toward Americans.

    Like most idiots who are enamored of empire, you seem keen to justify the behavior that is destroying this country. Do you think America will have a lot of friends when we need them? I rather tend to think everyone will take a kick at us while we’re down.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    And they of course were telling you the truth.
     
    I'm not relying just on personal experience. Every American has this experience in Vietnam. Why don't you use a search engine and discover it second-hand for yourself.

    I really don’t care if they love us or hate us. What I care about is that we behaved immorally, and we shouldn’t have.
     
    If you don't care whether they love or hate us, then stop making shit up about it. You can hate U.S. policy in Vietnam without making up a bunch of BS about how you think it changed current Vietnamese attitudes towards Americans for the worse.

    If the facts are only going to get in the way of your moral ideology, then dispense with the facts and stick to plain moralizing.
  178. @Pincher Martin
    I don't want to relitigate the Vietnam War, but much of what you say is either not true or misleading.

    For the latest example:


    We also dropped a lot of bombs on South Vietnam, which was our ally. We indiscriminately killed a lot of people who were ostensibly on our side. It is no wonder that we are not loved. [My emphasis]
     
    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Vietnamese hate any nationality, it's the Chinese. I would say that the Vietnamese are about as pro-American a population as exists today. And that is both in the north and south of the country.

    As to U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War, we bombed the country, sporadically, for a decade, which is three times as long as we bombed Nazi Germany. We also chose not to use ground troops in the north, unlike what we did in WW2, which made us even more reliant on bombing than we otherwise would've been. When the only option is to bomb, you're going to bomb a lot more than if you have other options.

    Your presentation here makes it seem as if the Vietnamese still hold a grudge against Americans because of the prosecution of the Vietnam War.

    I wasn’t speaking primarily of the Vietnamese people, with whom I am not familiar, as you are. I was speaking more generally. Our bombing of Vietnam lost us a lot of goodwill around the World.

  179. @nebulafox
    That's part of it. But the other part of the equation is even scarier. Our elites genuinely believe a lot of what they say. They really do think that the rest of the world has a burning desire to be carbon copies of the United States, and that it is our job to help them get there, be it through bayonets and bombs, economic sanctions, or the media and State Department forcibly exporting American norms to cultures where they are not wanted. Unversalism and Whiggishness have deep roots in American culture and psychology, so there's nothing to be done about that in and of itself, but the past quarter century is a good example of what happens when those tendencies run rampant without any corrective mechanisms.

    There's no greater disconnect between the American public at large and American elites-media, military, economic, and political-than in foreign policy, in my reckoning. John Quincy Adams was the anti-populist of his day when he explained that America's job was to set an example and act as a lighthouse, and warned against going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. But now, the situation is 180 percent reversed. It isn't your typical Trump voter (the neo-Jacksonians) who wants to subordinate our relationship with Russia or China down to their treatment of gays or journalists, it is the New York Times, and the people who want to nuke Iran preemptively probably would prefer Jeb Bush to Donald Trump as President. Since The Donald is not exactly a model of intellectual consistency or work ethic, they can convince him to do a lot (although Trump occasionally seems to realize that when push comes to shove, his reelection depends on the voters, which has led to Republican Senate actively denouncing Trump's recent proposals/efforts to get out of Afghanistan and Syria), but there's no getting around the fact that his nomination and election was a repudiation of interventionism among the lay public on a scale that we haven't seen since before WWII.

    They really do think that the rest of the world has a burning desire to be carbon copies of the United States

    They think that because a large proportion of the world does want to come here, but there are three problems with that (1) Liberals do not want them to assimilate, (2) the immigrants want to bring their culture with them – they don’t understand that their culture is why they want to leave wherever they came from, and (3) we don’t want them to come here, (but we would be happy to have our Liberals go there).

  180. @Mr. Anon

    You just believe that because you want to.
     
    No, I have come to that conclusion because there is no other reasonable explanation.

    Can you explain American war aims? If so, tell the American government, because they seem unable to do so. They don't even bother to anymore.

    Nitwit.

    Can you explain American war aims?

    Remove any capacity Saddam Hussein had for WMD and remove Saddam Hussein. We should have removed him the first time when we sent 500,000 troops to the Saudi desert.

    Give Iraq the ability to develop its oil resources. Something that wasn’t happening with Saddam Hussein.

    Do I agree with these aims or how they were carried out? Not necessarily. But it should have been obvious in 1992 that this was going to happen eventually. If it didn’t happen in 2003, do you really believe Saddam or one of his sons would still be running Iraq in 2019?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Sure those, were our ostensible war aims in 2003. Can you explain them now? Can you explain our war aims in Afghanistan, going on 17 years in? I haven't even heard a military or government official attempt to explain what they are now.
  181. @Mr. Anon

    You just believe that because you want to.
     
    No, I have come to that conclusion because there is no other reasonable explanation.

    Can you explain American war aims? If so, tell the American government, because they seem unable to do so. They don't even bother to anymore.

    Nitwit.

    Initially, the aim was do to Iraq what was done to Germany and Japan. That is create an examplar of successful liberal values, economic progress and social peace. Essentially, to create both an ally and a democratic beacon in the heart of the Middle East. Just as West Germany was in Europe and Japan remains in Asia.

    Of course, that rested on the assumption that Iraqis were just like Germans…which is a big assumption…but then not making that assumption is racist…except to say how Iraqis are actually superior…so really it should have gone swimmingly!

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Even the specific type of authoritarian political culture wasn't the same for most of Germany's history. Imperial Germany, while hardly a paradigm of republican virtue, was neither totalitarian nor backwards. There were elections and political parties. The state bureaucracy was well-streamlined and under control. Universal suffrage was granted for all men above 25. Censorship was moderate at worst and nonexistent at best. Germans could travel abroad freely without any problems. All of this stands in sharp contrast to the Third Reich, or the Tsarist regime next door (where nobody knew which bombings were the ohkranka and which were the leftist radicals by the end) as a contemporary example: and pretty much all of Iraq's history as a nation-state.

    The one commonality between American postwar experiences in the German speaking world (I use this term because the Wilsonian obsession with dismantling the Hapsburg realm proved to be even more disastrous than what we did in Germany) and the Arab speaking world lies not post-WWII, but post-WWI. In both cases, progressive intellectuals on the East Coast persistently refused to understand the place and culture as it was to the locals, rather than how they wished to be from their offices.

  182. @Mr. Anon

    The pro-American feelings aren’t just of recent vintage, either. I remember reading about similar sentiments in The New Republic all the way back in the late nineteen-eighties when the Soviets still had a base in Vietnam.
     
    Whatever. Given the increasing propensity of vietnamese in America to vote for the Democrats - the obviously anti-American party - we didn't buy ourselves any lasting good favor.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/05/from-loyal-to-lost-vietnamese-voters-and-the-california-gop/

    I agree. Which is why weighing tonnage as a moral matter, as Mr. Anon does, is just as wrong as weighing it as a strategic matter. We were often dropping bombs in Vietnam because we had no idea what else to do.
     
    Dropping bombs because you don't know what else to do hardly makes the dropping of the bombs more moral.

    Whatever. Given the increasing propensity of vietnamese in America to vote for the Democrats – the obviously anti-American party – we didn’t buy ourselves any lasting good favor.

    You really have trouble keeping to the topic, don’t you? We were discussing the people the U.S. bombed in the Vietnam War – i.e., the Vietnamese and their progeny. Not Vietnamese-Americans and their progeny, most of whom were our allies in the war.

    By the way, the older generation of Vietnamese-Americans did vote Republican, for the same reason older Cuban-Americans voted Republican. They were anti-Communist.

    But the end of the Cold War ended that rationale for voting, and younger generations of Vietnamese-Americans proceeded to gravatitate to the Democrat Party, which is the natural home for recent immigrants and their children who feel like outsiders to the country.

    Dropping bombs because you don’t know what else to do hardly makes the dropping of the bombs more moral.

    Depends. If you’re just making a run at an old target that both you and the North Vietnamese know is a target, and hence civilian deaths are minimized, that’s certainly far less lethal a military action than invading North Vietnam would’ve been.

  183. @Mr. Anon

    Based on the Vietnamese in Vietnam, of course. Why don’t you go there and find out? It’s almost a cliché how pro-American they are.
     
    And they of course were telling you the truth.

    Okay, suppose they were - I'm not saying they weren't. I haven't been there, you have.

    Imagine how much they would love us if we had only exterminated all of them.

    I really don't care if they love us or hate us. What I care about is that we behaved immorally, and we shouldn't have.


    Like most idiots who work backwards from theory to facts, you veer off in a conveniently generalized direction when talking about a specific claim that you had wrong. We were talking about Vietnamese attitudes toward Americans.
     
    Like most idiots who are enamored of empire, you seem keen to justify the behavior that is destroying this country. Do you think America will have a lot of friends when we need them? I rather tend to think everyone will take a kick at us while we're down.

    And they of course were telling you the truth.

    I’m not relying just on personal experience. Every American has this experience in Vietnam. Why don’t you use a search engine and discover it second-hand for yourself.

    I really don’t care if they love us or hate us. What I care about is that we behaved immorally, and we shouldn’t have.

    If you don’t care whether they love or hate us, then stop making shit up about it. You can hate U.S. policy in Vietnam without making up a bunch of BS about how you think it changed current Vietnamese attitudes towards Americans for the worse.

    If the facts are only going to get in the way of your moral ideology, then dispense with the facts and stick to plain moralizing.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    If you don’t care whether they love or hate us, then stop making shit up about it. You can hate U.S. policy in Vietnam without making up a bunch of BS about how you think it changed current Vietnamese attitudes towards Americans for the worse.
     
    As I explained above, I wasn't primarily talking about the Vietnamese. Our conduct of the war lowered the esteem in which we were held around the World.

    Why are you so f**king bent out of shape about this? Get bent more, for all I care, twit.
  184. @Pincher Martin

    And they of course were telling you the truth.
     
    I'm not relying just on personal experience. Every American has this experience in Vietnam. Why don't you use a search engine and discover it second-hand for yourself.

    I really don’t care if they love us or hate us. What I care about is that we behaved immorally, and we shouldn’t have.
     
    If you don't care whether they love or hate us, then stop making shit up about it. You can hate U.S. policy in Vietnam without making up a bunch of BS about how you think it changed current Vietnamese attitudes towards Americans for the worse.

    If the facts are only going to get in the way of your moral ideology, then dispense with the facts and stick to plain moralizing.

    If you don’t care whether they love or hate us, then stop making shit up about it. You can hate U.S. policy in Vietnam without making up a bunch of BS about how you think it changed current Vietnamese attitudes towards Americans for the worse.

    As I explained above, I wasn’t primarily talking about the Vietnamese. Our conduct of the war lowered the esteem in which we were held around the World.

    Why are you so f**king bent out of shape about this? Get bent more, for all I care, twit.

  185. @Johnny Rico

    Can you explain American war aims?
     
    Remove any capacity Saddam Hussein had for WMD and remove Saddam Hussein. We should have removed him the first time when we sent 500,000 troops to the Saudi desert.

    Give Iraq the ability to develop its oil resources. Something that wasn't happening with Saddam Hussein.

    Do I agree with these aims or how they were carried out? Not necessarily. But it should have been obvious in 1992 that this was going to happen eventually. If it didn't happen in 2003, do you really believe Saddam or one of his sons would still be running Iraq in 2019?

    Sure those, were our ostensible war aims in 2003. Can you explain them now? Can you explain our war aims in Afghanistan, going on 17 years in? I haven’t even heard a military or government official attempt to explain what they are now.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    Can

    I
     
    - as in me - explain them now? Yes.

    Some things don't need to be explained honestly by "officials." And some things shouldn't be.

    We are using Afghanistan as a very expensive real-world, live-fire training environment for special forces, elite light infantry, drone operators, F-15/16/18/35 and helicopter pilots.

    And it's not really a war.

    Iraq was the last war. Sixteen years ago.

    Libya, Yemen, Syria. Not wars as far as the US military is concerned. They are only wars if you live there.

    , @Johnny Rico
    The one American who probably exerted the most influence regarding Afghanistan from the 1980s to the present is Robert Gates.

    He felt that the US abandoned Afghanistan once it had bested the Soviets there in 1989 and the Soviets abandoned Afghanistan. And that this power vacuum led to al-Qaeda.

    When he returned to power under Bush in 2006 or something and then stayed under Obama he was determined not to let that happen again.

    He gave several interviews and repeatedly made statements to that effect.

    The Soviets continued to fund the Afghan Central Gov't until 1994.

    The question is how long it will take the Taliban to return to power once all American military assets are removed from the country. Probably about 6 seconds.

    I don't think any American President is keen on that happening on her watch.

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.
  186. @Tyrion 2
    Initially, the aim was do to Iraq what was done to Germany and Japan. That is create an examplar of successful liberal values, economic progress and social peace. Essentially, to create both an ally and a democratic beacon in the heart of the Middle East. Just as West Germany was in Europe and Japan remains in Asia.

    Of course, that rested on the assumption that Iraqis were just like Germans...which is a big assumption...but then not making that assumption is racist...except to say how Iraqis are actually superior...so really it should have gone swimmingly!

    Even the specific type of authoritarian political culture wasn’t the same for most of Germany’s history. Imperial Germany, while hardly a paradigm of republican virtue, was neither totalitarian nor backwards. There were elections and political parties. The state bureaucracy was well-streamlined and under control. Universal suffrage was granted for all men above 25. Censorship was moderate at worst and nonexistent at best. Germans could travel abroad freely without any problems. All of this stands in sharp contrast to the Third Reich, or the Tsarist regime next door (where nobody knew which bombings were the ohkranka and which were the leftist radicals by the end) as a contemporary example: and pretty much all of Iraq’s history as a nation-state.

    The one commonality between American postwar experiences in the German speaking world (I use this term because the Wilsonian obsession with dismantling the Hapsburg realm proved to be even more disastrous than what we did in Germany) and the Arab speaking world lies not post-WWII, but post-WWI. In both cases, progressive intellectuals on the East Coast persistently refused to understand the place and culture as it was to the locals, rather than how they wished to be from their offices.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
  187. @Mr. Anon

    The Pentagon Papers were not about Nixon at all they were about previous administrations policy up to and including LBJ of course.
     
    I am aware of that. You have indeed made a case that Watergate lay, at least in part, in Nixon's desire to bomb the living f**k out of Southeast Asia, but you originally placed it all on the Christmas Bombings, which made no sense as they post-dated the Watergate break-in.

    But to summarize the whole squalid war: we bombed the living f**k out of 'em, about - what? - 2 million vietnamese died (many, if not most of those killed by us), ended up with in excess of 50,000 of our own war dead, not to mention many more maimed and/or scarred for life, and ultimately left in disgrace hanging out the doors of the last helicopters lifting off the roof of the embassy in Saigon. It would have been bettter if we had just taken a pass.

    I got it a bit mixed, yes; thanks for pointing that out. It is not clear what the Watergate break in was about, but it likely was very little to do with the original objective the Plumbers were supposed to achieve. The lack of grip concerning the Plumbers activities and much more importantly, ordering officials to lie to Federal investigators about Watergate, were serious mistakes by Nixon.

    Was Vietnam a mistake? It could have been passed on, but conflict with the Soviets might well have taken on a much more dangerous form. It was better to fight the USSR and China as Third World Communism in proxy wars than in Western Europe ” In 47 days in the fall of 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces suffered 26,667 dead as part of 120,000 casualties in the Meuse-Argonne campaign.”

    https://www.historynet.com/book-review-vietnam-the-necessary-war-michael-lind-vn.htm

    For the past generation, Lind points out, the war has been considered not only a disastrous defeat (which it was) but also an easily avoidable mistake (which it was not, any more than was the Korean War) […] Most of the brickbats that so-called progressives and radical leftists tossed earlier at… presidents or their successors won their wars, so the libels did not stick. Johnson and Nixon lost their war, so the libels stuck to them.

    Lind points out that Truman and Eisenhower early in the Cold War, like Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the conflict’s final stages, held much stronger cards than the presidents in office in the middle of it. John Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon faced a Soviet Union that had recovered from World War II, that was growing in military power and diplomatic prestige and that was far from being bankrupted by military competition with the West

    The USSR had momentum and a lot of people saw it in the same way China is being looked at now. It had conventional superiority in Western Europe, and the US contrary to its rhetoric was in reality not going to start a nuclear war over an invasion of Europe. The contest switched to proxy wars in which the US eventually gave as good as it got and somewhat assisted the armaments race overheating of the Soviet system. If the US had sat on its hands out of fear of another Korea, exactly what effect that might have had on encouraging adventurism by the Soviet leadership is something none can say. It would have been taking some kind of risk not to take up the challenge in Vietnam though.

    If you go looking for trouble you will find it, but looking as if you are completely harmless can get you targeted as well. Avoiding Vietnam, would have meant accepting the risk of something 10 times more destructive. Without a formula for guaranteeing no trouble at all American presidents including Nixon took the middle way.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >I got it a bit mixed, yes; thanks for pointing that out. It is not clear what the Watergate break in was about, but it likely was very little to do with the original objective the Plumbers were supposed to achieve. The lack of grip concerning the Plumbers activities and much more importantly, ordering officials to lie to Federal investigators about Watergate, were serious mistakes by Nixon.

    Campaign intelligence to dig up dirt, most likely. The team that broke into the Watergate hotel was being assembled for a different purpose and under different management (Mitchell in 1972, Ehrlichman in 1971) than the Ellsberg break-in the previous year. The only thing the two illegal operations had in common was-crucially-some of the staff members and the cult of macho paranoia in the Nixon White House that spawned it.

    Nixon wasn't so much scared of the Watergate break-in itself, as he had nothing to do with it, but what Watergate could reveal. The campaign tricks were ugly, but not especially novel in US politics, nor ultimately Presidency-threatening. It was the national security stuff that Nixon knew could undo him, especially in a rapidly changing post-Hoover political culture. Nobody had brought black-body operatives inside the White House and directly answerable to the Presidential inner circle before. Some of the CREEPers had been on that original team and could talk about things like Ellsberg, to say nothing of even more violently illegal things like the Huston Plan in 1970. That's the reasoning behind the coverup.

    >Was Vietnam a mistake?

    Moral issues aside, we put way too much investment into South Vietnam relative to its actual geopolitical worth. This had negative consequences because we began to neglect the bigger picture. Richard Nixon was the first major US politician to-albeit gingerly-point this out in 1967 when he began testing the waters of another Presidential run and giving signs in elite Republican circles as to what his foreign policy agenda would be. Nixon was attracted to Henry Kissinger as a possible advisor because he seemed to be on the same page of generally viewing the national hyper-focus on Vietnam-both in the government and outside it-as missing the forest for the trees.

    But, to be fair, JFK and LBJ faced a very different outlook in Southeast Asia than Nixon did. The region was sharply transitioning at the time, ironically enough, to the American advantage due to local politics, despite the quagmire in Vietnam. A lot of countries that looked vulnerable to Maoist inspired takeovers in the early 1960s were far more secure by the early 1970s. One example was Indonesia, where the pre-Suharto PKI was the largest non-ruling Communist Party in the world: and they weren't exactly Salvador Allende style bourgeois wine-drinkers, with their posters showing Westerners being gruesomely bayoneted throughout the misery of famine-addled Sukarno-era Jakarta!

    (Another example: people are impressed by Singapore's economic success in hindsight, but in the 1960s, an outside observer would have been even more impressed that Singapore *survived* at all.)

    The big mistake, however, was failing to pick up that Maoist China was running its own show by then, and were the only ones interested in setting the world on fire, especially after Brezhnev came to power in Moscow. And far from unquestioning support, North Vietnam had a complex and often cynical relationship with both. That's not to say that the USSR and China had no influence, but just like us and, say, the South Koreans, the client state could and did often take control of events in a striking way.

    >The USSR had momentum and a lot of people saw it in the same way China is being looked at now.

    That's true. But that's also wrong: the USSR was a fundamentally unstable construct internally long-term in a way modern China isn't.

    >If the US had sat on its hands out of fear of another Korea, exactly what effect that might have had on encouraging adventurism by the Soviet leadership is something none can say. It would have been taking some kind of risk not to take up the challenge in Vietnam though.

    But Vietnam was not Korea in the 1960s. (In 1972, it was far closer, though still had some key differences.) South Korea was invaded by North Korea conventionally. South Vietnam faced a native insurgency fueled by the actions of the South Vietnamese government, that was aided by the North. The Viet Cong viewed themselves as equal partners with the North, not as their subordinates. They wanted a unified Vietnam, sure, but the South and North were to join as co-equals, rather than one side conquering the other.

    Of course, Hanoi didn't see it that way. Which is probably one of the reasons Tet went the way it did. The way the Politburo thought of it, even if it turned out to be a military disaster to follow Chinese advice (and it was, as General Giap openly predicted), it would have the positive effect of purging out the VC and gave them fuller control of the war effort. And that's exactly what happened. The VC went from being its own prickly guerilla force to being basically an auxiliary force for the NVA.

    >Avoiding Vietnam, would have meant accepting the risk of something 10 times more destructive.

    I don't agree: the Vietnamese were interested in dominating Indochina, but they had neither the capability or the interest to go further, and the USSR and China were too busy fearing nuclear war with each other for a big conflict with the US to be triggered over a backwater like Vietnam. But hindsight is 20/20, and withdrawal brought its own set of risks, from domestic right-wing backlash to sending all kinds of unpleasant messages to people whom Nixon/Kissinger wanted to eventually get to sit down and talk peace with their own neighbors-the Israelis, the Japanese, the South Koreans, and West Germans. If the Nixon Doctrine was going to work and the US was ultimately going to scale back military committments, our allies were going to need to trust that we weren't just going to abandon them at the drop of a hat.

  188. @Tyrion 2
    You just believe that because you want to.

    You just believe that because you want to.

    You should resist the urge to respond to every single sentence in every single response to your posts. You’re approaching “Corvinus” status.

  189. @Mr. Anon
    Sure those, were our ostensible war aims in 2003. Can you explain them now? Can you explain our war aims in Afghanistan, going on 17 years in? I haven't even heard a military or government official attempt to explain what they are now.

    Can

    I

    – as in me – explain them now? Yes.

    Some things don’t need to be explained honestly by “officials.” And some things shouldn’t be.

    We are using Afghanistan as a very expensive real-world, live-fire training environment for special forces, elite light infantry, drone operators, F-15/16/18/35 and helicopter pilots.

    And it’s not really a war.

    Iraq was the last war. Sixteen years ago.

    Libya, Yemen, Syria. Not wars as far as the US military is concerned. They are only wars if you live there.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    We are using Afghanistan as a very expensive real-world, live-fire training environment for special forces, elite light infantry, drone operators, F-15/16/18/35 and helicopter pilots.
     
    Conducted for the benefit of the Chinese and Russians, so they will know how to defeat us?

    You've explained nothing. If you are so keen to fight, why don't you go do so. You sound like what is known as a "patriotard".
  190. @Mr. Anon
    Sure those, were our ostensible war aims in 2003. Can you explain them now? Can you explain our war aims in Afghanistan, going on 17 years in? I haven't even heard a military or government official attempt to explain what they are now.

    The one American who probably exerted the most influence regarding Afghanistan from the 1980s to the present is Robert Gates.

    He felt that the US abandoned Afghanistan once it had bested the Soviets there in 1989 and the Soviets abandoned Afghanistan. And that this power vacuum led to al-Qaeda.

    When he returned to power under Bush in 2006 or something and then stayed under Obama he was determined not to let that happen again.

    He gave several interviews and repeatedly made statements to that effect.

    The Soviets continued to fund the Afghan Central Gov’t until 1994.

    The question is how long it will take the Taliban to return to power once all American military assets are removed from the country. Probably about 6 seconds.

    I don’t think any American President is keen on that happening on her watch.

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.
     
    I rather think the familes and loved ones of those (several hundred) men killed there since 2011 care.

    Tell me, have you ever served - served in harm's way, or are you just another chickenhawk blowhard?

    In any event, you sound like an amoral ghoul.
  191. @Sean
    I got it a bit mixed, yes; thanks for pointing that out. It is not clear what the Watergate break in was about, but it likely was very little to do with the original objective the Plumbers were supposed to achieve. The lack of grip concerning the Plumbers activities and much more importantly, ordering officials to lie to Federal investigators about Watergate, were serious mistakes by Nixon.

    Was Vietnam a mistake? It could have been passed on, but conflict with the Soviets might well have taken on a much more dangerous form. It was better to fight the USSR and China as Third World Communism in proxy wars than in Western Europe " In 47 days in the fall of 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces suffered 26,667 dead as part of 120,000 casualties in the Meuse-Argonne campaign."

    https://www.historynet.com/book-review-vietnam-the-necessary-war-michael-lind-vn.htm

    For the past generation, Lind points out, the war has been considered not only a disastrous defeat (which it was) but also an easily avoidable mistake (which it was not, any more than was the Korean War) [...] Most of the brickbats that so-called progressives and radical leftists tossed earlier at... presidents or their successors won their wars, so the libels did not stick. Johnson and Nixon lost their war, so the libels stuck to them.

    Lind points out that Truman and Eisenhower early in the Cold War, like Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the conflict’s final stages, held much stronger cards than the presidents in office in the middle of it. John Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon faced a Soviet Union that had recovered from World War II, that was growing in military power and diplomatic prestige and that was far from being bankrupted by military competition with the West
     
    The USSR had momentum and a lot of people saw it in the same way China is being looked at now. It had conventional superiority in Western Europe, and the US contrary to its rhetoric was in reality not going to start a nuclear war over an invasion of Europe. The contest switched to proxy wars in which the US eventually gave as good as it got and somewhat assisted the armaments race overheating of the Soviet system. If the US had sat on its hands out of fear of another Korea, exactly what effect that might have had on encouraging adventurism by the Soviet leadership is something none can say. It would have been taking some kind of risk not to take up the challenge in Vietnam though.

    If you go looking for trouble you will find it, but looking as if you are completely harmless can get you targeted as well. Avoiding Vietnam, would have meant accepting the risk of something 10 times more destructive. Without a formula for guaranteeing no trouble at all American presidents including Nixon took the middle way.

    >I got it a bit mixed, yes; thanks for pointing that out. It is not clear what the Watergate break in was about, but it likely was very little to do with the original objective the Plumbers were supposed to achieve. The lack of grip concerning the Plumbers activities and much more importantly, ordering officials to lie to Federal investigators about Watergate, were serious mistakes by Nixon.

    Campaign intelligence to dig up dirt, most likely. The team that broke into the Watergate hotel was being assembled for a different purpose and under different management (Mitchell in 1972, Ehrlichman in 1971) than the Ellsberg break-in the previous year. The only thing the two illegal operations had in common was-crucially-some of the staff members and the cult of macho paranoia in the Nixon White House that spawned it.

    Nixon wasn’t so much scared of the Watergate break-in itself, as he had nothing to do with it, but what Watergate could reveal. The campaign tricks were ugly, but not especially novel in US politics, nor ultimately Presidency-threatening. It was the national security stuff that Nixon knew could undo him, especially in a rapidly changing post-Hoover political culture. Nobody had brought black-body operatives inside the White House and directly answerable to the Presidential inner circle before. Some of the CREEPers had been on that original team and could talk about things like Ellsberg, to say nothing of even more violently illegal things like the Huston Plan in 1970. That’s the reasoning behind the coverup.

    >Was Vietnam a mistake?

    Moral issues aside, we put way too much investment into South Vietnam relative to its actual geopolitical worth. This had negative consequences because we began to neglect the bigger picture. Richard Nixon was the first major US politician to-albeit gingerly-point this out in 1967 when he began testing the waters of another Presidential run and giving signs in elite Republican circles as to what his foreign policy agenda would be. Nixon was attracted to Henry Kissinger as a possible advisor because he seemed to be on the same page of generally viewing the national hyper-focus on Vietnam-both in the government and outside it-as missing the forest for the trees.

    But, to be fair, JFK and LBJ faced a very different outlook in Southeast Asia than Nixon did. The region was sharply transitioning at the time, ironically enough, to the American advantage due to local politics, despite the quagmire in Vietnam. A lot of countries that looked vulnerable to Maoist inspired takeovers in the early 1960s were far more secure by the early 1970s. One example was Indonesia, where the pre-Suharto PKI was the largest non-ruling Communist Party in the world: and they weren’t exactly Salvador Allende style bourgeois wine-drinkers, with their posters showing Westerners being gruesomely bayoneted throughout the misery of famine-addled Sukarno-era Jakarta!

    (Another example: people are impressed by Singapore’s economic success in hindsight, but in the 1960s, an outside observer would have been even more impressed that Singapore *survived* at all.)

    The big mistake, however, was failing to pick up that Maoist China was running its own show by then, and were the only ones interested in setting the world on fire, especially after Brezhnev came to power in Moscow. And far from unquestioning support, North Vietnam had a complex and often cynical relationship with both. That’s not to say that the USSR and China had no influence, but just like us and, say, the South Koreans, the client state could and did often take control of events in a striking way.

    >The USSR had momentum and a lot of people saw it in the same way China is being looked at now.

    That’s true. But that’s also wrong: the USSR was a fundamentally unstable construct internally long-term in a way modern China isn’t.

    >If the US had sat on its hands out of fear of another Korea, exactly what effect that might have had on encouraging adventurism by the Soviet leadership is something none can say. It would have been taking some kind of risk not to take up the challenge in Vietnam though.

    But Vietnam was not Korea in the 1960s. (In 1972, it was far closer, though still had some key differences.) South Korea was invaded by North Korea conventionally. South Vietnam faced a native insurgency fueled by the actions of the South Vietnamese government, that was aided by the North. The Viet Cong viewed themselves as equal partners with the North, not as their subordinates. They wanted a unified Vietnam, sure, but the South and North were to join as co-equals, rather than one side conquering the other.

    Of course, Hanoi didn’t see it that way. Which is probably one of the reasons Tet went the way it did. The way the Politburo thought of it, even if it turned out to be a military disaster to follow Chinese advice (and it was, as General Giap openly predicted), it would have the positive effect of purging out the VC and gave them fuller control of the war effort. And that’s exactly what happened. The VC went from being its own prickly guerilla force to being basically an auxiliary force for the NVA.

    >Avoiding Vietnam, would have meant accepting the risk of something 10 times more destructive.

    I don’t agree: the Vietnamese were interested in dominating Indochina, but they had neither the capability or the interest to go further, and the USSR and China were too busy fearing nuclear war with each other for a big conflict with the US to be triggered over a backwater like Vietnam. But hindsight is 20/20, and withdrawal brought its own set of risks, from domestic right-wing backlash to sending all kinds of unpleasant messages to people whom Nixon/Kissinger wanted to eventually get to sit down and talk peace with their own neighbors-the Israelis, the Japanese, the South Koreans, and West Germans. If the Nixon Doctrine was going to work and the US was ultimately going to scale back military committments, our allies were going to need to trust that we weren’t just going to abandon them at the drop of a hat.

  192. @Johnny Rico
    Can

    I
     
    - as in me - explain them now? Yes.

    Some things don't need to be explained honestly by "officials." And some things shouldn't be.

    We are using Afghanistan as a very expensive real-world, live-fire training environment for special forces, elite light infantry, drone operators, F-15/16/18/35 and helicopter pilots.

    And it's not really a war.

    Iraq was the last war. Sixteen years ago.

    Libya, Yemen, Syria. Not wars as far as the US military is concerned. They are only wars if you live there.

    We are using Afghanistan as a very expensive real-world, live-fire training environment for special forces, elite light infantry, drone operators, F-15/16/18/35 and helicopter pilots.

    Conducted for the benefit of the Chinese and Russians, so they will know how to defeat us?

    You’ve explained nothing. If you are so keen to fight, why don’t you go do so. You sound like what is known as a “patriotard”.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    You are mentally ill.
  193. @Johnny Rico
    The one American who probably exerted the most influence regarding Afghanistan from the 1980s to the present is Robert Gates.

    He felt that the US abandoned Afghanistan once it had bested the Soviets there in 1989 and the Soviets abandoned Afghanistan. And that this power vacuum led to al-Qaeda.

    When he returned to power under Bush in 2006 or something and then stayed under Obama he was determined not to let that happen again.

    He gave several interviews and repeatedly made statements to that effect.

    The Soviets continued to fund the Afghan Central Gov't until 1994.

    The question is how long it will take the Taliban to return to power once all American military assets are removed from the country. Probably about 6 seconds.

    I don't think any American President is keen on that happening on her watch.

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.

    I rather think the familes and loved ones of those (several hundred) men killed there since 2011 care.

    Tell me, have you ever served – served in harm’s way, or are you just another chickenhawk blowhard?

    In any event, you sound like an amoral ghoul.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    You sound like kind of a pussy.
    , @Johnny Rico
    2014 in Afghanistan. 2011 in Iraq.

    Stop changing the goalposts. I'm not going to play that game with you.

    I'm sorry nobody here seems to meet your standards. You must be a ton of fun at parties.
  194. @Mr. Anon

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.
     
    I rather think the familes and loved ones of those (several hundred) men killed there since 2011 care.

    Tell me, have you ever served - served in harm's way, or are you just another chickenhawk blowhard?

    In any event, you sound like an amoral ghoul.

    You sound like kind of a pussy.

  195. @Mr. Anon

    There have been virtually no American casualties there since 2011, I think. So nobody cares.
     
    I rather think the familes and loved ones of those (several hundred) men killed there since 2011 care.

    Tell me, have you ever served - served in harm's way, or are you just another chickenhawk blowhard?

    In any event, you sound like an amoral ghoul.

    2014 in Afghanistan. 2011 in Iraq.

    Stop changing the goalposts. I’m not going to play that game with you.

    I’m sorry nobody here seems to meet your standards. You must be a ton of fun at parties.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    You must be a ton of fun at parties.
     
    I'm not a pathetic chump who imagines himself to be a character out of a Heinlein novel.

    Idiot.
  196. @Mr. Anon

    We are using Afghanistan as a very expensive real-world, live-fire training environment for special forces, elite light infantry, drone operators, F-15/16/18/35 and helicopter pilots.
     
    Conducted for the benefit of the Chinese and Russians, so they will know how to defeat us?

    You've explained nothing. If you are so keen to fight, why don't you go do so. You sound like what is known as a "patriotard".

    You are mentally ill.

  197. @Trevor H.

    Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered “experts.”

     

    They also got 9/11 itself wrong.

    Ha, ha. You are right. Good catch.

  198. @Johnny Rico
    2014 in Afghanistan. 2011 in Iraq.

    Stop changing the goalposts. I'm not going to play that game with you.

    I'm sorry nobody here seems to meet your standards. You must be a ton of fun at parties.

    You must be a ton of fun at parties.

    I’m not a pathetic chump who imagines himself to be a character out of a Heinlein novel.

    Idiot.

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