oh, the hypocrisy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, May 6, 2007.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    quotes like this are why i get so frustrated w/ bush-enablers/defenders who have no sense of irony, hypocrisy, or history.

    quotes from when clinton was president:
    (p.s. i've not verified any of these quotes)
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Hey, it's how the whole political deal works, now as in the past. It's the same deal with those past quotes as now, with a bunch of Democrats yowling against Bush, who were all happy to support the anti-Saddam rhetoric all through the 1990s and voted for going into Iraq.

    The party OUT of power is always pure. The party IN power is always evil and badnasty. They just take turns, is all.

    About the only one in Congress who's consistent is Ron Paul. He keeps worrying about the Constitution, and therefore he's laughed at--you should pardon my cynicism...

    'Rat
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #3
    Bush is interested in making money for his friends, that's about it.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    "Bush is interested in making money for his friends, that's about it."

    Actually, that just doesn't come across as being one of his characteristics. I wouldn't disagree insofar as those around him, but Dubya himself doesn't come across as wired up that way. At the gut level, I don't think he equates money with power the way so many VIPs do. And, if anything, he seems naive about that aspect of people...

    'Rat
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #5
    See how good he is at playing stupid? He's even got you convinced.
     
  6. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #6
    rat, i don't think it's fair to dismiss such hypocrisy as business as usual.

    this whole GWoT / iraq misadventure was accompanied by a complete smear of the dems and anyone left-of-center in this country. my patriotism was questioned, and clinton is oft-blamed for not "getting bin laden."

    it has been mentioned many times on this board that the GOP congress was not on board about terrorism or the thread posed by UBL. review the first quote above, from mcconnell:
    nobody seems to remember the obstructionist role the GOP congress played in all this, thus making today's hypocrisy not at all obvious to the layperson. it is vitally important that we remember who said what, and who did what, when it comes election time.

    because beating a hammer and saying "GOP good defense, liberals eat cheese run to surrender house" isn't doing this country any favors.
     
  7. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #7
    The striking irony in all of this, is that for all the protestations by Repbus of Clinton's war in the Balkans, that engagement was one of the most successful we've ever had, militarily. We had pretty much zero deaths of our military, and we achieved our objectives. Yes, we're still there, but we are welcomed, and not hated. It's been as unqualified a success as one can have these days when it comes to military engagements and state-building. Yet the Repubs obstructed and criticized all the way. Despite it all, Clinton had a shining success with the Congress against him.

    By contrast, with full control of all branches of the government - even almost full support of the Democrats (until quite recently), Republicans have utterly, utterly, utterly botched Iraq. All the arguments they used against Clinton suddenly vanished from their lips and their memories. Now, instead, they vilify the Democrats for merely pointing out the obvious - the emperor has no clothes, and Iraq is an utter defeat.

    Oh the hypocrisy, indeed.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Lee, in part my opinion comes from his history in Texas, both before his entry into politics, and as governor. He's just never really acted as though money meant all that much. I don't pretend to be privy to his private thoughts; it's just an impression from a fairly long period of time. Fifteen years, now...

    zim, I'm not trying to defend anybody. I just don't see a whole heckuva lot of difference between the people of the two parties, or that what's going on now is any different than back in LBJ's time, or later tenures. I will say it's become noisier and nastier, these last dozen or so years. More vicious...

    'Rat
     
  9. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #9
    Corpse - You are one of the very few people I have read that understand the fantastic job Clinton did in the Balkans.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    Our patriotism is still being question. Sushi just did it the other day, saying we don't support the troops because we think Bush didn't plan the war very well. Guliani's been doing it, the rep from OC just kinda did it, and there are probably a billion other examples I could give. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they just keep right on doing it. They have nothing left, so I chalk it up to desperation.

    Clinton is still blamed too for wrecking the military, again, also despite all evidence to the contrary.

    I bring it up all the time. ;)

    Will do. Only wish the press did more. Gotta get my irony from Jon Stewart and Bill Maher because most of the MSM doesn't seem to have access to their old footage for some reason. WMDs, ties to Al Qaeda, being greeted with flowers, and all the other things they got wrong should be being played over and over again with the proof of how they were wrong right next to it, but we don't get that either.

    Some of us have very short, and often selective, memories though and could use some reminders of who was right and who was wrong, let alone the hypocrites who criticize one side while defending the other for the same things.
     
  11. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    Your are correct in that the Balkans were a military success but you must admit that the Milosevic was unable to defend himself against NATO or the US. If anything, the US policy was too cautious.

    However, the Dayton Accords were a total and utter failure. The creation of the Republic Srpska means that peace and more importantly, economic developemnt, has still failed to come to Bosnia. It would have been much better to carve off that backward crescent and give it Serbia.

    As devastating and inhumane as the expulsion of ethnic Germans from eastern Europe was in the post WWII era, it served the purpose of lessening ethnic strife. Why the US didn't insist on the resettlement of Serbs from Bosnia after the war is beyond me. The idea that any Serbs in Bosnia or any Bosniaks in Serbia would ever get a fair chance was absolutely ludicrous. How do you forgive your neighbor when he killed your children and raped your wife?

    Clinton did the right thing by going into Bosnia but he totally failed when it came to negotiating at Dayton. The Balkans remain a volatile area and it wouldn't take much to set it off again. And, as long as 60% of Bosnia's budget is spent on running an impossibly unwieldly government, the economy and the lives of its citizens will remain in poverty. Much less the morass that is Kosovo.

    It's all fine and dandy to tout "military success" but as we've seen only too well in Iraq, it's not the military that matters in the end, but the diplomacy.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    And two years too late.
     
  14. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #14
    As was Saddam, and every other country we've taken on. None of them could defend against us militarily. Yet, we failed in most since WWII, while we had a brilliant success agaist Serbia. There really are no qualifications as far as the military success goes here - unlike Vietnam or Iraq, or Lebanon, or most of the other sorry misadventures we were involved in since WWII.

    You know, I agree with you. It would have been preferable to re-arrange populations, a la post WWII Germans in Eastern Europe. I will merely point out, that one of the reasons we had less of a nasty fight on our hands replete with guerilla resistance, is precisely because we curtailed our ambitions. Would we have prevailed, had we been more ambitious? I suspect yes, we would - but it was a risk. More importantly, you are really underplaying or not appreciating how it would impact our consensus role. You are making the same classic mistake that the critics of Bush Sr. make wrt. Iraq 1. There was a mandate we had, and a consensus coalition, as we did in Iraq 1, and Bush Sr. rightly was extremely concerned to keep that coalition intact. The alternative we see in what Bush Jr. did. That consensus and coalition would have totally fallen apart had we suddenly started engaging in what would have been perceived as ethnic cleansing or colonial style map drawing. You'd have significant resistance from pretty much everybody. Not good. Was it still possible - I'd wager yes, but it would not be easy, in fact, it'd be very, very, hard with possibly much higher casualty price. You are forgetting and underestimating just why it is that we can continue to be in the region without having a guerilla movement on our hands, as we had in almost every other engagement post WWII. We're still there, but we are there without being hated - that counts for an awful lot.

    That's the price you pay. When we concluded Iraq 1, we had to still patrol large parts of Iraqi territory. Yet, that was infinitely better than what we have today in Iraq. We are doing even better in the Balkans. Nobody is taking potshots at us - as Saddam did in the no-fly zones. We didn't leave a dictator in place - as we did with Saddam. We are not forced to maintain a sanctions regime - as we had to after Iraq 1.

    Yes, Balkans remain volatile. And I'm afraid we'll have to be there for awhile yet. More importantly, slow progress is being made. Croatia and Slovenia are well on their way - it started well before we got there, but it's now solidified and I think no longer a flash point. There are some messes left over. Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro. Yet, slowly, ever so slowly Serbia is on the way to rejoin the civilized world. Kosovo will have to go independet - that's pretty clear to everyone, and it'll happen in time. What is needed most here is just time - and since we are not paying the price in blood, it's time we have. It's not neat and pretty and surgery quick as after WWII, but the world is not as it was after WWII either... the trauma of WWII allowed the expulsion of Germans to be a mere blip on the radar screen as against the monstrous hell that the war was. It was very different in the Balkans during the 90's.

    We had a brilliant military success in the Balkans with no deaths to our military - something you cannot say about any other major armed intervention we had post WWII. We are there today, without being fought. The state building is not perfect. Yet the final score card must be called a success - not a platonic ideal, but perhaps about as well as can be realistically had in these times. Certainly, compared to Iraq, it's like heaven on earth. I give Clinton, if not an A+, a solid A.
     
  15. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #15
    At the time, Clinton was denounced bitterly of course. There were those on the political left that denounced it as yet more US Aggression and imperialism.

    NATO didn't have the authorization of the UN for its campaign......doesn't that make this one of those "illegal wars" that people here are always complaining about?
     
  16. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The legal situation was substantially different. In the case of the Balkan war, Russia specifically brought forth a draft resolution opposing the use of force by NATO. It was then voted on. A few countries (such as Namibia) voted for the Russian resolution. However, it did NOT pass. This is different from the Iraq situation where the military invasion was required to be approved by a vote - and the U.S. illegally went ahead without the vote. So, in one case you had a resolution opposing use of force in Kosovo - and it didn't pass, so NATO went ahead. In the other case, a vote to go ahead was required, and NOT obtained, and then the U.S. illegally went ahead anyway.

    Further, note that Serbia was in a state of war, having attacked both Croatia and Slovenia, and low level hostilities were still ongoing. When you attack and are in a state of war, you lose your immunity from military intervention under international law. That's what happened to Serbia/Yugoslavia. We invaded Iraq when Iraq was not at war with anyone.

    Indeed there were critics of this war from left to right. Just as there will always be f.ex. pacifists and isolationists. I'm neither. I believe there are just wars - of defense, and of attack in case the offending party attacked another country. And WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF INTERNATIOANAL LAW, I believe in intervention when necessary. The Balkan war was such. Meanwhile, the Iraqi war was neither legal nor ethical nor wise.
     
  17. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #17
    The UN Charter only allows for war under two circumstances; either by the authorization of the Security Council or for self-defense.

    NATO's attack was NEVER authorized by the Security Council. NATO didn't even bother with the UN because it knew Russia would veto any resolution giving authorization. The draft you mention was basically Serbia's objection to being invaded, and with three members of NATO on the Security Council and having the power to veto any resolution, well, no chance Serbia's objection was ever going to pass.

    Under the UN Charter, that only leaves self-defense as a legitimate justification and that's what NATO claimed for its intervention in Serbia....but seriously, did anybody really believe that an impoverished and already partly dismembered Serbia/Yugoslavia presented a military threat to NATO? That's about as plausible as Bush's claim that Iraq presented a threat.

    No, Serbia wasn't at war with its neighbors Slovenia and Croatia when Nato attacked and hadn't been for several years. The fighting with Slovenia had ended years before with the Brioni Accord in 1991. Fighting with Croatia had stopped as part of the Dayton Accords in 1995. While both Iraq and Serbia had been at war with their neighbors previously, neither were at the time they were attacked.

    I would agree with that.........but when NATO intervened in the internal affairs of Serbia, it did so without any legal justification. It was all done on the moral conviction of a "just war" and the sheer military power of NATO. So far, things have gone NATO's way.

    Bush hoped for the same in Iraq, but we all know how that's turned out.

    As for Serbia, one hopes that war is actually over....but that's far from certain given the unresolved status of Kosovo's future.
     
  18. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Any discussion of international law as it pertains to a conflict with so many parties, will necessarily be very complex - and when you're dealing with the Balkans, you can multiply that by at least a factor of ten :).

    This format does not allow for a comprehensive discussion, so we'll just have to do the best we can. First, we should separate the legal case for the war, from the facts on the ground. The legal case can be made, and was made - it's not the very sturdiest we've ever seen, but it'll just hold under legal scrutiny. It certainly is not even in the same class as Iraq 2, where we are dealing with blatant illegality. The draft resolution I was referring to, was not Serbian as you put it - it was as I stated Russian, and China, Namibia and Russia voted for it. It lost. What I think you may be confusing this with is the completely separate legal motion by Serbia (or actually to be nitpicky, not Serbia, but Yugoslavia - though admittedly it amounts to the same thing, still legally, I'm obliged to point out that it was Yugoslavia) brought as a complaint not to the U.N. but to the International Court of Justice at the Hague, and it was a complaint against NATO countries. The court refused to hear the case based on standing - which is why it matters that it was Yugoslavia that brought the complaint. Since the court refused to hear it (some may feel it was based on a technicality), that complaint also failed (I don't have the papers, but if someone is motivated, they can dig through, maybe it's listed on some ICJ website). You are of course entirely right about the U.N. Charter, but you forget that Clinton had a much better legal team and was much more careful to cover his behind with legal work... this was not the amateur Bush gang :). So, what they latched onto was self-defense. The legal claim was, that Yugoslav actions were a direct threat to other countries, in this case NATO members. That was the legal cover. I said, we must separate the legal from the facts on the ground. Legally, since it referenced self-defense, it would pass U.N. Charter criteria, the question is would that be substantiated by a finding of evidence support (facts on the ground). The latter of course, was tenuous - certainly in the short and perhaps even medium term, it was frankly bunk. That truth, was what emboldened Russia to draft their resolution with a hope that if you confine the findings to a short-medium time frame, they'd get enough votes (on the merits) to get it passed, and so stop any military intervention. It didn't pass. And it didn't pass because it is also equally true, that while fair minded people could not make a case for short-medium scenarios, the same fair minded person would have to say the long term was at least eminently plausible. Indeed, historically the Balkans are famous for their instability sparking enormous wars which involved all their neighbors - and that powerful case, together with Milosevic's track record and actions at that very time, pushed people decisively to vote as they did. And so, the war was a done deal - with full legal backing, based on long term self defense arguments. Note that the case with Iraq was dramatically different. The U.S. tried to make, and failed to make a case for why Iraq was an imminent danger to anyone, or indeed a medium or long term danger. Perhaps, if Bush had a better legal team, things would have turned out differently, but I'm not even sure of that. After all, when teams were sent in (Blix) for fact finding missions, they were unable to come up with anything that would make a case, short, medium or long term - all the while Bush was chomping at the bit. The case was so weak - (indeed there was no case per Blix), that in order for anyone to even censure Saddam, the U.S. had to promise to go to the SC for final approval of military action - otherwise, even the measures which were passed, would have been vetoed (by Russia and France, possibly even China). So, when the U.S. then turned around and attacked Iraq without getting the approval WHICH WAS SPECIFICALLY AGREED TO by the U.S. it was completely illegal. That's drastically different from the Yugoslavia case - where nobody had to bargain that way, nobody had to promise to seek a resolution (as the U.S. was forced to in the case of Iraq), and so from a legal point of view, they had cover for the attack. There was no cover, and a clear blatant illegality plus betrayal when we attacked Iraq. If anyone needs to ask why we are so despised by the diplomatic world, there you have it: the SC didn't want to give the U.S. even the first resolution, so Bush gave his word, that if they did give it to him, he'd come back and ask for a final resolution to use force - at which point he broke his word, he never came back to ask for the resolution as he promised, and instead he attacked, illegally, Iraq. It was a betrayal. You cannot even imagine how profoundly that damaged us in world diplomacy - it's the kind of stunt that Hitler might pull, but not a man of honor. Bottom line, the legal case for the war against Yugoslavia and and the case for Iraq, are truly in different universes.

    Oh brother... man, do you realize what it would take to fully flesh out what happened in the Balkans over that period of time :( There are books written about it, and I cannot possibly do that immensely complicated story justice in a post, no matter how long - so I used shorthand statements trying to telescope the story into a few sentences... inevitably it lead to misunderstandings. What I meant was that Serbia was in a state of war - continuously at a low level of hostility. Indeed, they signed accords, but that's not how things worked. Point number one, it is impossible to overemphasize that the accords did not reflect all the parties on the ground (I didn't want to get into the details as this was really outside of what I wanted to write about) - the accord was nominally not between Serbia and Slovenian (91), or Croatia (95), but Yugoslavia and the independent states. The distinction is important. The war had many, many, many participants: the Federal troops (Yugoslav), Serbia, and critically, Serbian nationalists in Slovenian and Croatian territory who were directly controlled by Belgrade, plus assorted separatists (Serb territory outside of Serbia) and completely freelance thug organizations. When Yugoslavia signed the accords, it was on paper a deal between the Federation and Slovenia (or Croatia). So far so good. And then we get to the other part - the Federation was a bit of a fiction in that the reality was that all decision making power was in Belgrade. So, the Federation withdraws their troops... peace, right? Well, wrong - because at that point, Belgrade immediately switched to exploiting their assets of the Serbian nationalists on "enemy" territory. And low-level hostilities continued for years and years - instigated and supported by Belgrade, but using the Serb Nationalists (the Sudeten German trick). So yes, on paper you could say: the Yugoslav-Slovenia or Yugoslav-Croatia war ended in 91 and 95 - the reality is that low level hostilities continued right up until the next war (and in some territories, like Macedonia, for long after the NATO war). That is what I meant, when I said, that Serbia was in a state of war with low level hostilities continuing - because that was the reality which NATO took into account, and more importantly formed one of the decisive arguments at the U.N. against the Russian resolution.

    As I explained above, I'm afraid the legal case for war was made successfully - again, not the sturdiest, but it definitely passes legal muster (if not the smell test for the short-medium term findings of fact). That's vastly different legally speaking from what happened in Iraq. Bush may have hoped for whatever it is that he hoped, but he did not have even a shadow of a legal case - instead, he had betrayal and an illegal aggressive war which will continue to haunt us until our inevitable defeat. Vastly different scenarios along every plane.

    And yes, the Balkans are not done yet. I'm cautiously optimistic about things continuing to work out. I have no such illusions or hopes for the Iraqi misadventure, short, medium or long term - it's a total, utter, and comprehensive disaster.
     

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