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Saturday, 9 August 2003
From an Anonymous Howard Dean Supporter (in Its Master's Voice?)
I received this as a comment on an entirely different subject, but since the poster went to the trouble, I will oblige him. My comments are interspersed in italics.

As Howard Dean noted...

The United States has a special role to play in world affairs as an historic inspiration to those around the world seeking democracy, freedom, and opportunity.

Sure. People respond to us because they know their history. That's why the current generation of young people from France and Germany to South Korea is infected with an extreme ignorance of American sacrifice for their countries' sake.

Our own fight for independence, democracy, and basic human rights has allowed us to act as a moral force in world affairs and a guiding light for other nations.

"Moral force" never rooted out a tyrant and this so-called "guiding light" never helped the oppressed to see but for the reality of American military and economic might backing it all up. That's the half of the equation that pie-in-the-sky types like you always leave out. Nothing gets done until Uncle Sam brings the toys.

In the last century, our strength as a nation was measured more by the extent to which others emulated and respected us abroad than by the extent to which they feared and loathed us.

Divorcing fear from respect in geopolitical terms is a childish notion, frankly. The threat of force is always there. If other nations have emulated our example, it's because they saw for themselves what dividends it paid to do so.

Under George W. Bush, this nation has lost its way.

Melodramatic garbage.

Not only are we less secure at home and abroad, we have squandered our role as the inspiration and guiding light for other peoples.

None of what you are saying is true. Quantify our loss of security, please. Are you blaming Bush for 11 September? Do you doubt that we could respond to any situation we had to at this very moment with as much force as was needed?

As for what we have squandered, it seems to me that when a country is falling apart anywhere in the world, you see the natives waving signs and American flags and screaming for our help into the lenses of any TV camera they can find. They're not asking for the French or the Germans to come because they know who has the will and the way to help ---and it ain't those wankers.


I seek to restore America's rightful place in the world and its moral leadership in world affairs.

Meaningless rhetoric.

We remain the sole superpower in the world as Madeleine Albright once put it, the "indispensable power" for addressing so many of the challenges around the world.

Why does attributing this banality to Madeleine Albright make my skin crawl? Couldn't you have referenced someone whose judgement matters?

But we cannot lead the world by force,

"So, we'll do it with weakness!"

and we cannot go it alone.

Well, we usually have the English-speaking peoples to help out.

We must lead toward clearly articulated and shared goals and with the cooperation and respect of friends and allies.

You and the governor will soon discover that clarity of purpose and coordination of power in geopolitics is neither achievable nor desirable. Hegemons like the United States will wind up fucking ourselves if we ever again allow so-called allies like France and Germany to drag us down. It was the obstructionism and moral cowardice of those countries, be reminded, that gave Saddam the time he needed to further conceal his weapons programs. Had we acted quickly, those stockpiles might have been much more easily found.

But what's all this about clear goals and cooperation? Sounds like a U.N. sorta deal. And it would benefit us how? We'd give it all we had just to answer to a failed colonial power or a reconstructed fascist state? To hell with that.


I seek to restore the best traditions of American leadership. Leadership in which our power is multiplied by the appeal of democratic ideals and by the knowledge that our country is a force for law around the world, not a law unto itself.

The only thing I can draw out of this is a vague sense of self-loathing.

I will not divide the world into us versus them.

Okay. We'll just become them and forget about us.

Rather, I will rally the world around fundamental principles of decency, responsibility, freedom, and mutual respect. Our foreign and military policy must be about the notion of America leading the world not America against the world.

This is simple gibberish, Howie. When American and British soldiers go into Iraq and liberate its people from 30 years of dictatorial oppression, THAT is a force for decency and freedom. We took responsibility and acted on it. We didn't sit back and stroke ourselves at a big round table: we acted as a force for good.

I opposed President Bush's war in Iraq from the beginning.

Translation: "I am somewhat different from my fellow-campaigners."

While Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly evil and needed to be disarmed, it did not present an immediate threat to U.S. security that would justify going to war, particularly going to war alone.

This is a perfect example of Democratic hypocrisy and doublespeak. Yes, Saddam was a bad guy who needed to be removed, but it could have been done with another year or two of talking with the French and blah, blah, blah. You can't make moral cowards act! You have to act and then rub their noses in the shit of their own indecision. More time spent talking and the guy who isn't any danger to anyone suddenly has weaponized anthrax and the missiles to deliver them. Was there something in his character or in his past that made you think that he could be brought to his senses and dealt with peacefully? What crap. Furthermore, guv, we didn't act alone. We had the help and approval of many nations. The lie that we acted unilaterally will only live amongst you who hate this country and wish to denigrate it.

From the beginning, I felt that winning the war would not be the hard part winning the peace would be. This administration failed to plan for the postwar period as it did for the battle, and today we are paying the price.

Howard Dean has repeatedly demonstrated his incompetence and ignorance regarding the United States military and is unqualified on that basis alone to speak to any strategic or operational aspect of the war or its aftermath.

I sure do hope y'all manage to get him the nomination. Just imagine! A George McGovern without any of the moral or experiential authority to oppose anything. You're practically guaranteeing a second term to the man you hate the most in this world. What a throat-slitting irony.



Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:48 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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