Oh how the mighty hath fallen (Part XXIXVI)

Poor, poor George. The NY Times editorials are famously reserved and “prudent,” so it’s refreshing – and somewhat startling – to see them so willing to tell it like it is.

After President Bush’s disastrous visit to Latin America, it’s unnerving to realize that his presidency still has more than three years to run. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can’t afford an American government this bad for that long.

In Argentina, Mr. Bush, who prides himself on his ability to relate to world leaders face to face, could barely summon the energy to chat with the 33 other leaders there, almost all of whom would be considered friendly to the United States under normal circumstances. He and his delegation failed to get even a minimally face-saving outcome at the collapsed trade talks and allowed a loudmouthed opportunist like the president of Venezuela to steal the show.

It’s amazing to remember that when Mr. Bush first ran for president, he bragged about his understanding of Latin America, his ability to speak Spanish and his friendship with Mexico. But he also made fun of Al Gore for believing that nation-building was a job for the United States military.

Three agonizing, endless, dreary grinding years. I am so, so glad to be out of America during my country’s most abysmal episode ever.

The Discussion: 24 Comments

Also, of the 30 or so latin American countries who are potential signatories to the FTAA, all but 5 are hedging on signing on.

In fact, speculation abounds that the 5 who are adamant about not signing will be bypassed and other countries will sign on as they see fit. Brazilian and Argentinian disputes have to do with subsidies, not a dislike of Bush. The only ‘leader’ of report is Chavez, who is a bafoon and a hypocrite, but a rich one.

Don’t feel sorry for Bush. The economy chugs along, Iraq is a measurable success, and every attempt at spinning anything remotely against his favor has failed miserably( what ever happened to Mother Sheehan, Katrina etc al? ). In fact Bush’s biggest danger is from conservatives for his obtuse spending habits.

I have no doubt that no matter how poorly Bush fares in the future, blockheads such as yourself will ruin the credibility of any erstwhile Democratic candidate. Bake on Richardo!

November 8, 2005 @ 12:42 pm | Comment

The war in Iraq is “a measurable success”? By what possible measure?!

Go ahead, keep telling yourself that everything is working fine, keep insulting people who disagree with you (a number which grows larger by the day and is a clear majority in the US), because you don’t have a f**king leg to stand on.

Absolutely pathetic.

November 8, 2005 @ 1:31 pm | Comment

I forget- are Bush’s poll numbers the lowest since Nixon or the lowest recorded?
It’s telling to note that Bush’s truest believers are in Iraq, and they’re all there because they either have little education or no chance of meaningful employment outside McDonald’s. Still, I’m practically certain that only 1/3 of them, like the national average, think Iraq is doing so well that it merits continued involvement.

November 8, 2005 @ 3:02 pm | Comment

The war in Iraq is “a measurable success”? By what possible measure?

Working public infrastructure( schools, roads, plumbing etc.), nascent democracy, effect on the Middle East as a whole( Libya, Pakistan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc. ), removal of Saddam, exposing of the corrupt Oil for Food scandal, development of sophisticated weaponry and battle tested troops and equipment, absurdly low casualty rates. And lets not forget Afghanistan. By any measure what we have now is infinitely preferable to a Sadaam era regime

But surely your question is rhetorical. You’ll find negatives no matter what. And swearing does not makes you sound intelligent.

they’re all there because they either have little education or no chance of meaningful employment outside McDonald’s. Still, I’m practically certain that only 1/3 of them, like the national average, think Iraq is doing so well that it merits continued involvement.

Heh. You manage to both be factually wrong and insult our armed forces in one fell swoop. See Lisa above with regards to manners. Anyhoo, re-enlistment rates are excellent. Unlike the 4 people that regularly post here, most soldiers believe in something worth fighting for. Unlike the unbearably smug, cynical, and ignorant lot that you two compromise.

Speaking of hobby horses Lisa, hast your sympathy for your fellow Americans, you know the ones you were ‘uncontrollably crying’ for in New Orleans dissapated so quickly? All those post’s about ‘Nero’ and such, then nothing. Hmmm. Perhaps it’s because you never cared in the first place and simply like to hang your hat where convienent, no?

Anyway, here’s hoping Arnolds ballot initiatives pass to add to your impending sense of doom.

Cheers.

November 8, 2005 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

“Working public infrastructure”?! Oh, come on! Do you think if you just keep lying enough times we’ll believe you?

With regards to insults, I’m not the one who started them, buddy. But what the heck? You are a liar and a coward, with an oddly appropriate handle.

Go Cheney yourself.

November 8, 2005 @ 3:58 pm | Comment

Savage, you’re a piece of work. If you think this is just me saying these things, you’d better wake up. The whole world is up in arms about Bush, Americans included. Iraq is still a basket case and will drag on for years and years. You can say we’re winning if it makes you feel good, the way the Powerline geniuses insist, but it simply isn’t supported by fact. And if we do actually “win” and they become a sister state of Iran, will it have been worth all the death and money and heartache? Will it have been worth teating America apart at the seams?

Cindy Sheehan is a joke, and I never refer to her anymore; she certainly disappointed me when she aligned herself with the Moore crowd. But there are lots of mothers and brothers and fathers out there carrying the torch, even the paretns of Pat Tillman (himself a dedicated opponent of the war in Iraq).

Reading your smug insistence that things are just peachy, I wonder how you reconcile this with reality. If this is success in your eyes, I’d love to see what a Bush failure would look like.

November 8, 2005 @ 4:19 pm | Comment

Looking at all the top headlines after typing “Iraq” into the google news search option, I found this:

PakistanTimes.net 36 terrorists die in Iraq military offensive
Al-Qaeda to launch ‘offensive’ in Iraq to counter US operation on … Forbes
Four US soldiers die in Iraq checkpoint suicide bombing Scotsman
Widespread Iraq violence leaves swath of casualties Seattle Times
Washington Post Gunmen assassinate another lawyer in Iraq, throwing Saddam trial …
CBC News, Canada – 2 hours ago
The killings cast doubt on Iraq’s ability to proceed with the case, and a prominent war crimes prosecutor said the trial should be moved to another Arab country …
Almendhar Senators to set Iraq inquiry timetable
CNN – 4 hours ago
… panel. WASHINGTON (CNN) — Six senators are meeting Tuesday to set out a new schedule for investigating prewar intelligence on Iraq. …
Dems Push Iraq Intel Investigative Panel FOX News
Robert Scheer: Lying with Intelligence Yahoo! News
No Evidence of Pressure on Iraq Data, Senator Says New York Times
Los Angeles Times – CNN – all 263 related ยป
Rumsfeld Taps 92,000 GIs for Iraq Rotation ABC News
US troop contingent in Iraq could be smaller if things get better
China Daily US Marines Kill Five Insurgents in Iraq
US war crimes in Iraq?
Aljazeera.com, UK – 6 hours ago
Americaโ€™s justification for invading Iraq(that Saddam Hussein is a dictator who committed hideous crimes against humanity and violated international law
Where anywhere in this is there good news? What papers does this idiot read? What scum. He lets his poorest and most disadvantaged countrymen fight for him over something he doesn’t even care about, only to sit back and gloat.

November 8, 2005 @ 4:51 pm | Comment

Look, I don’t really have time to respond to rednecks, but this guy obviously never graduated from any school that offered critical thought.
“Working public infrastructure”
THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE PETROL FOR TO COOK WITH AND THEY ARE SITTING ON ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING OIL RESERVES LEFT! (I’m capitalising so he can understand better). THE US HAS DESTROYED ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE, REMEMBER? SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS? they areested doctors so they wouldn’t tell the world about casualty numbers. DO YOU HAVE ANY FACTS OR ARE YOU BSing?
“nascent democracy”
WOMEN HAVE EVEN LESS RIGHTS NOW! THERE IS CHAOS EVERYWHERE!
effect on the Middle East as a whole( Libya, Pakistan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, etc. )
PAKISTAN?!?!?!?! DIDN’T THEY PROMISE ELECTIONS BEFORE THE INVASION, AND NOW THREW THAT OUT? SAUDI ARABIA?!?! This is all like suggesting that the Berlin Wall fell because of US foreign policies rather than ignoring shifts in culture and situation.
“removal of Saddam”
THROUGH LIES SURE. AND HOW MANY MORE HAVE BEEN KILLED BY ANGLO-AMERICAN FORCES THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN MURDERED BY SADDAM?
exposing of the corrupt Oil for Food scandal
WHILE IGNORING EVERY INNUMERABLE SCANDAL BACK HOME… (umm- you guys were the ones who sold him the weapons and propped up his regime and the Taliban regime i the first place, no?)
“development of sophisticated weaponry and battle tested troops and equipment”
NOT SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF. YOU USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST A BRUTALISED POPULATION YOU CREATED. WELL DONE. AND NOW YOU’VE TRAINED THE INSURGENTS YOU’RE GOING TO COWARDLY CUT AND RUN LIKE VIETNAM, LIKE AFGHANISTAN ETC.
absurdly low casualty rates
FOR WHO? YANKS? THE NAZIS HAD LOW RATES OF CASUALTIES IN 1940, IT DOESN’T DO THEM CREDIT
“And lets not forget Afghanistan.”
UMMM… YOU’VE NEVER BEEN THERE, AND I BET YOU WOULD NEVER DARE. WHAT SHOULDN’T WE FORGET? HOW YOUR COUNTRY TOOK ITS HAND OFF THE BALL TO INVADE ANOTHER COUNTRY, AND NOW DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO DO?
God Richard, this is why I don’t bother commenting on US-related stories you offer. You end up debating with religious fanatics and imperialists whose country can do no wrong as long as its flag is flown everywhere.

November 8, 2005 @ 5:03 pm | Comment

Keir, I know all about it. And why should you bother engaging with them? You can’t win, because they sneer and simply insist they are right while ignoring all the evidence. There’s a reason so many people were in favor of the invasion two years ago and dead-set against it today, including conservatives like Brent Scowcroft and William F. Buckley. Commenters like Savage reflexively blame it on “liberals,” and portray us as being on the fringes. Never mind that they are the ones now on the fringes (and that is a measurable fact), and never mind that for all our alleged victories, the insurgency only gets stronger while our support dwindles. You won’t win, so don’t let it get to you.

November 8, 2005 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

Here’s more to support the Groper’s claims of how terrific things are (note how above he puts a nice spin on “re-enlistment” while ignoring the crisis in recruitment).

The number of new recruits who scored at the bottom of the Army’s aptitude test tripled last month, Pentagon officials said, helping the nation’s largest armed service meet its October recruiting goal but raising concerns about the quality of the force.

Former Army Secretary Thomas E. White said the service was making a mistake by lowering its standards. “I think it’s disastrous. You are throwing the towel in on recruiting quality,” said White, a retired general whom Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fired in 2003 over other policy differences.

Advertisement
“We have clear experience from the 1970s with recruiting a sizable number of people from the lowest mental categories,” said White. After the Vietnam War, the Army accepted a higher proportion of low-scoring recruits, leading to training and discipline problems, he added.

To achieve last month’s recruiting targets, 12 percent of those accepted by the Army had the lowest acceptable results. They scored between 16 and 30 points out of a possible 99 on an aptitude test that quizzes potential soldiers on general science, mathematics and word knowledge.

Just what we need – an army of blithering idiots.

November 8, 2005 @ 7:03 pm | Comment

Groper, take a hike. You can’t come here and insult people the way you do. Thanks.

November 8, 2005 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

While I don’t have the impression that things are going as well as Savage says, the impression that I get from most of you is that it’s hopeless.

Also, Keir — the people in the military now skew towards the upper class. Before, (pre-Iraq) the military came equally from all income brackets. Now, the lower class no longer sees it as a safe bet, thus it’s skewing towards more well-off folk.

November 8, 2005 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

Sean, I used to really believe we were winning, and that victory was ours. See this post, for example, to see how open-minded I was on this subject back when I was more naive. Now I am much less open-minded and much less sanguine. I’m always willing to change my mind and acept new viewpoints, but when I see the numbers every day and read that we can’t sustain or support our forces, I have to face reality.

November 8, 2005 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

I should clarify that I called Groper a liar and a coward in response to a comment of his that was so nasty that it was deleted.

November 8, 2005 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

Golly, I hope Groper is enjoying the election results. 3 out of 4 of Ahnuld’s propositions are losing, with the 4th too close to call.

And Red State Virginia just elected a Democratic governor.

November 9, 2005 @ 12:13 am | Comment

How short your memories all are! Do you SERIOUSLY believe that all the anti-US sentiment in the world is caused by George Bush!? Do you have no recollection of riots, protests, banner-waving … from a time before the Bush presidency!? If there are anything unique about events in Argentina, I fail to see it.

November 9, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

Mmm, no, not all of it. I remember Vietnam (kind of), and that was pretty bad. And Reagan. But you can’t claim anti-US sentiment hasn’t gotten a helluval lot worse since Bush.

Oddly enough, though I’m no huge Clinton fan, he gets cheering crowds just about everywhere he goes…I’m appreciating him a lot more in retrospect.

And hey, AHNULD IS LOSING!!!!! Every single one of his friggin’ propositions, should the results hold…

November 9, 2005 @ 12:56 am | Comment

Isn’t it cool, Lisa?

I have a pretty good memory, FSN9. There were never massive riots and condemnations on anything even close to this scale for Clinton or even Bush 1. I think Reagan enocuntered some, and nixon certainly did. but no other president has generated such raw, visceral hatred wherever he goes.

November 9, 2005 @ 1:38 am | Comment

I am SO happy! I mean, every one of Ahnuld’s props went down, and that wretched parental notification prop went down as well.

Yeah, California!!

November 9, 2005 @ 10:26 am | Comment

Glad to hear the news from California!!!

I was notified by mail that my absentee ballot was on its way, but it never arrived (if you enjoy gambling, try the Chinese postal system), so I’m relieved that nothing was decided by a single vote! ๐Ÿ™‚

Regarding the Groper, sounds like he must be a “Math” major …

Mindless flag wavers are a menace to peaceful society everywhere, whether it’s the “hong qi” or the “stars-n-bars”.

November 9, 2005 @ 7:52 pm | Comment

Not that I have any dog in the fight… but why on earth would anyone oppose an anti-gerrymandering ballot? Baffles me.

November 9, 2005 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

Sean, I am totally with you in principle regarding gerrymandering. It’s a huge problem nationally – and in fact Cal Pirg supported 77. But given what Tom DeLay has managed to do with districts in other parts of the country (Texas, Ohio, etc.), I am simply not willing to take the chance of “disarming” at this point and losing Democratic seats. This does need to be addressed, but I think it needs to be addressed on a larger level than state by state.

November 9, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

Also, I thought that this whole special election in California was an insult and a huge waste of money. I did vote yes on 79, but I didn’t mind in principle to see it go down. The whole thing never should have gone forward, and I think that one of the reasons that Ahnuld lost is that people were just ticked off about having the election in the first place. Though that may have made the thing closer than it would have been otherwise; a lot of people were so disgusted that they just stayed home.

November 9, 2005 @ 9:43 pm | Comment

Sean, simply labeling a measure as “anti-gerrymandering” doesn’t make it so. I had two main objections to it: the mechanism and the motive.

As for the mechanism, it seems to me to be very naive to assume that because a panel is made up of retired judges it will ipso facto be immune to seeking partisan advantage. After all, judges are political animals like the rest of us.

Setting up a troika to draw district lines just invites whoever it is that gets to name the members of the troika to unbalance it in favor of his own party. In fact, whichever party supplied two of the three members could pretty much count on getting its way unless one of those members is so committed to dispassionate analysis as to qualify for robothood.

And, if the majority is trying to steamroll the process in favor of their party, what is there to prevent them from accomplishing it? The minority member raising a public stink? Our existing legislative bodies are already quite good at doing that, and are at least somewhat amenable to being shamed out of really foolish or venal plans by public pressure.

I really couldn’t see Arnold’s Big Idea being likely to improve the process of drawing legislative districts either in fairness or decorum.

Regarding motive, I found the idea of the party of Delay championing a putatively “anti-gerrymandering” measure to be both humorous and highly suspicious. I also saw all four of the Governator’s measures as being part of a temper tantrum against the Legislature and an attempt to increase his own personal power irrespective of larger consequences.

So that’s why I personally voted against these measures. I’m sure that there must be steps we can take to prevent a party which happens to enjoy a legislative majority from trying to use redistricting to lock itself into power. I’m equally sure that these steps won’t be something which gets bought onto the ballot in our broken initiative process.

November 10, 2005 @ 6:21 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.