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April 16, 2003

well look who's anti-American now

Yep, our buddy Bill Clinton.

The guy who sent a few cruise missiles into Iraq to "reprimand the dictator" for not complying with numerous UN resolutions. He refused to send armor to Somalia. This Clinton powered military bombed an asprin factory in the Sudan in response to the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania {corrected, hat tip croow blog}. And we also bombed the hell out of Bosnia but didn't send ground troops until the peacekeeping phase.

My take on this? The Democrats are so out of favor they can't even comprehend.

My take on Slick Willy? He wishes his balls were 1/10th the size of Dubya's. That man knows how to take care of what Clinton and his own Father could not, with grace and dignity.

Clinton said,

"Our paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us."

Yes Bill, anyone who targets civilians working in two towers, supports homicide bombers financially or ideologically is wrong.

Apparently, Clinton doesn't feel that any government regime who kills and rapes their own citizens might be a threat to the rest of the free world. If you don't see how the concept of "prevention" is important, than why support pregnancy prevention (Bill you DO use condoms, doncha?), or disease prevention? I have a free ticket to China for ya.

Seriously -- if prevention is a moot point then why bother with all the anti-republican propaganda the sole purpose of which is to prevent GWB's re-election?

But I guess we have Bill to thank for one thing -- Saddam planned this war using his Somalia tactics. And the Black Hawk Down movie his Hollywood supporters made. Thank gawd for that one small favor.

I've got Janeane Garofalo's number....I think she and Bill might have a lot in common. And she might be more fun in bed than that halfwit he's been cheating on.

UPDATE: Tim Blair and Andrea Harris weigh in. Andrea's sot some hilarious gems in there "Mr. Smarty Pants said this recently, and it sure sounds like an opinion off the short bus to me" Go check it out!

Posted by Moxie at April 16, 2003 1:52 AM |icon_su.gifStumble It! |85x10-digg-link.gif | del.icio.us



The Dem's are totally irrelevant.

The difference is doing the right thing; not just saying the right thing! You gotta do both of 'em.

Very powerful entry.


Posted by: Lynn Carrier at April 16, 2003 5:53 AM

I always knew there had to be an island of sanity somewhere on the left coast. Turns out it's at Moxie's house.

Posted by: Trevor at April 16, 2003 5:56 AM

People are still listening to this goon?

Posted by: Aaron the Mad at April 16, 2003 6:11 AM


Posted by: Mike at April 16, 2003 7:11 AM

Apparently, Clinton doesn't feel that any government regime who kills and rapes their own citizens might be a threat to the rest of the free world.
  1. I think his intervention in Kosovo puts the lie to that.
  2. Besides, he supported our intervention in Afghanistan — which, as you recall, played a direct role in the whole World Trade Center business.
  3. What's more, he's on the record as not opposing the idea of intervention in Iraq as much as the timing.
  4. Query: are your banking your argument on the notion that every nation that kills or rapes its own citizens is inherently a threat to the rest of the free world? We consider regard that kind of conduct noxious, vile, and beyond the norms of international behavior, no doubt — but I don't even think this White House would go so far as to treat every single country guilty of such abuse as a mortal threat to the American way of life.
  5. If that is your position, which of the following countries shall we send the troops to set straight next?
    1. Uzbekistan?
    2. Turkmenistan?
    3. China?
    4. Burma?
    5. Iran?
    6. Saudi Arabia?
    7. Egypt
    8. Syria?
    9. Turkey?
    10. Cuba?
    11. Venezuela?
    12. North Korea?
    13. Moldova?
    14. Belarus?
    15. Haiti?
    16. Zaïre?
    17. Sudan?
    18. Liberia?
    19. Morocco?
    20. Algeria?
    21. Zimbabwe?
    Feel free to make this multiple choice.
  6. I read the article you linked to, and looked in vain for any talk of "prevention." Can you point out where Clinton used the word?
  7. Would you see intellectual justification today for:
    1. Chinese prevention of the secession of Taiwan?
    2. Indian prevention of a Pakistani nuclear attack?
    3. Turkish prevention of the creation of an independent Iraqi Kurdish state?
    4. North Korean prevention of an American invasion?
    If not, why not?
  8. how does the quote that Time cites here:
    – Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out"
    square with any reasonable definition of the words grace or dignity?
  9. One more question, because I've been stumped about this for a long time: why, if Bill Clinton doesn't even have "balls . . . one-tenth the size of Dubya," do some believe it so vital to deride every word the man says?
I eagerly await your reply.

(By the way: just to correct the scorecard, it was Bush the Elder who put us in Somalia. And, as I recall, when Clinton used cruise missiles on Baghdad in a step that you seem to regard as pusillanimous, his opponents at the time accused him of wagging the dog — which would seem to imply a belief that he used too much force. So which will it be: shall we condemn him for using too much force, or too little?)

Posted by: Greg Greene at April 16, 2003 7:13 AM

What a blowhard. Ignore him.

Posted by: mrmister at April 16, 2003 8:36 AM

I'm just chiming int to say I don't know who the 'other greg' is, and personally I don't agree with his arguments at all, which only seem to exist on this blog to be incendiary. Awful nice that he thinks the way he does, but I don't particularly care.

(Now watch moron boy not understand the last 4 words of the previous paragraph and prepare some sanctimonious response to this...)

Posted by: greg at April 16, 2003 9:39 AM

Here's Clinton's biggest problem and why he won't shut the heck up:

Clinton is pissed as hell because history won't remember him as a great president. I guess it never dawned on Billy boy that great leader's make hard decisions and don't always do the most popular thing. I sometimes wonder how many important decision Clinton made that were not decided by one opinion poll or another, what an ass.

Also as for the wagging the dog comment, no one would have been in a position to accuse him of that if Clinton had learned to keep it in his pants.

As for Somalia, the problems started after Clinton took office. The black hawk down incidient was a collosal military blunder for the Somali's. Worse then what happened to the NVA after The Tet Offensive, but since Clinton was guttless it turned into a political victory for the Somali's. A real leader would have used it as an opportunity to show America's strength in a time of tragedy, instead Clinton showed the world that we can't handle a gut check.

I find it amazing that anyone is willing to defend Clinton anymore.

Posted by: Dimitrios_s at April 16, 2003 9:44 AM

He he - You brought one ignorant lefty out of the woodwork. He is as paranoid as Garofalo, Robbins, and Moore - although I must admit that Greg Greene has a better command of the language.

Great piece! I've got yer back, babe.

Posted by: RightWingTexan at April 16, 2003 9:45 AM

Clinton is a dishonest, opportunistic, corrupt piece of shit. He's as much a leader as a 10 year old is responsible. He was derelict in his duties as President, and because of that, 3,000 of my neighbors are dead, and there's a really big fucking hole in my back yard.

Anyone who wants to defend the piece of utter shit can come on over to NYC. I'll happily introduce them to a few children who no longer have parents because of Clinton's stellar foreign policy.

As for the Democraps, they've been steadily sliding further and further towards the extremist left, all in an effort to do what their entire political ideal is based on: Do whatever the Republicans aren't. To those ends, they've been increasingly slinging mud towards the Bush administration in an effort to prevent his re-election.

Fortunately, their efforts are in vain. I highly doubt anyone other than Bush will be sitting in the oval office come 2005, and around 70 percent of the country seems to agree with me at this point.

Posted by: Mr. Lion at April 16, 2003 9:59 AM

I believe that the objection voiced had more to do with the moral argument of whether it was right to invade a country on false pretences. The British proof reported to the UN turned out to be a plagiary of a paper written by a student which had been posted on the internet, and the American evidence, well, even the Pentagon recently admitted was alternately false or questionable.

As was pointed out above, there are many countries that rape, murder and kill their own population Ė including a number of prominent allies of the States, some even relying on direct support from the federal government to prop up their own governments (Saudi Arabia for example). Given this, why select this particular country to invade? And why now?

If the reason for this invasion was to spread liberty and democracy, then why donít we extend the same standards to our own allies? Why do we continue to fund them?

As for Clinton Ė and I really donít like the man - but the question he posed seemed to be fair: Could we do more good in the world by working together with others (ie France, Germany, and Britain), or alone Ė and footing the bill for all of it?

Saddam gassing the Kurds: 1 (see here - warning big pdf) 2 3
Iraq as a nuclear power: 1 2 3 4 5
Al Qaeda ties to Iraq: 1 2 3

Posted by: adrian at April 16, 2003 1:26 PM

Love the Moxie. Love the Moxie. Love the Moxie.

Posted by: Stan Shivell at April 16, 2003 1:47 PM

I was watching C-Span last night and Mr. Tim Robbins was giving a written statement. I have borrowed a quote from this monstrosity he calls a speech.

"This past weekend, Susan and I and the three kids went to Florida for a family reunion of sorts. Amidst the alcohol and the dancing, sugar-rushing children, there was, of course, talk of the war. And the most frightening thing about the weekend was the amount of times we were thanked for speaking out against the war because that individual speaking thought it unsafe to do so in their own community, in their own life. Keep talking, they said; I haven't been able to open my mouth."

I just wonder where his friend works, and what community his friend resides in. I have not heard of any community "beat downs" because someone expressed their views on the war, however misguided they are. Furthermore, the reason right minded individuals have a problem with "activists" like Robbins and his crew, is that they don't simply give the reasons they feel the war is wrong, but they insist on name calling and empty threats. Ugh...I have mangaged to ingnore these people thus far but they just make my head hurt and I needed to rant. Sorry mox reader.

Posted by: Furious George at April 16, 2003 2:03 PM

Moxie is now my new hero

Posted by: James at April 16, 2003 2:19 PM

I, for one, cannot wait for an opportunity to use the word "pusillanimous" in a conversation at our next dinner party: "Well Ted, I believe your pusillanimous use of weed & feed instead of an organic fertilizer shows your true colors at last."

Also, I don't think we have to send, like, all of our troops to the 21 outlaw nations Greg helpfully outlined for us (kudos for the ordered list, too -- saved me from having to count). Couldn't, like, a batallion or two handle Morocco? I mean come on, it's Morocco for heaven's sake.

Well, whatever, I'm going to go read some more at Bartleby's.

Posted by: Brian at April 16, 2003 3:09 PM

By the way: just to correct the scorecard, it was Bush the Elder who put us in Somalia.

No, the fighting in Somalia was in 1993 -- Clinton was president.

Posted by: moxie at April 16, 2003 3:24 PM

A response to Greg Greene's questions:

1. How much of a risk did Clinton take compared to Bush? I don't think Kosovo is in the same league as Iraq and doesn't really prove Clinton would made the same decision as Bush.

2&3. If that was his view he wasn't loud about it.

4. Er, maybe you don't understand the post. Evil cannot be exterminated. However, it can be minimized somewhat and that is what this whole campain in Iraq (in my view)is all about.

5. Whoever directly supports attacking American people and/or interests. If you find out(not imagine) about a movement to do that what should we do? When diplomacy works, great!
When it does not, again I ask, what should we do?

6. Clinton implied that prevention or preemptive attacks are unrealistic and unprofitable.
I think that is why Moxie used that term.

7. You are comparing apples to oranges. How is the situation between China and Taiwan similiar to the U.S. and Iraq? India and Pakistan are in a religious war at this time and may well blow each other to bits. Unlike India and Pakistan the U.S. isn't arguing about a piece of land it claims is theirs. Turkey is an ethnic issue, not about WMD. The North Korean government is in an extreme case of psychosis. Thank God, they seem to be getting the hint from China to back down.

8. Quoted off the record. Should I quote everything you say to your confidants?

9. We learned these tactics from you.

Posted by: george at April 16, 2003 4:19 PM

Hey, that's SENATOR Halfwit to you!

And smile when you say that!


Posted by: BarCodeKing at April 16, 2003 4:46 PM

  • Right Wing Texan:
    He is as paranoid as Garofalo, Robbins, and Moore . . .
    paranoid: 1. Relating to, characteristic of, or affected with paranoia. 2. Exhibiting or characterized by extreme and irrational fear or distrust of others: a paranoid suspicion that the phone might be bugged.

    As Inigo Montoya said in The Princess Bride: "What is this word you keep using? I do not think it means what you think it means."

  • Moxie:
    No, the fighting in Somalia was in 1993 -- Clinton was president.
    From the U.S. Army:
    On 3 Dec 92, the JCS issued a warning order to USCINCENT to execute Operation RESTORE HOPE, initiating direct U.S. intervention in Somalia.
    George H. W. Bush served as president until noon of January 20, 1993.

    I consider myself a fan of your blog — we just happen to disagree on this one. Hope you don't take unbrage.

  • Greg:
    Awful nice that he thinks the way he does, but I don't particularly care.
    Right back at ya.

Posted by: Greg Greene at April 16, 2003 5:21 PM

Technically Greg is correct on the fact that Bush Sr. put the troops in Somalia. However you can still fault Clinton's administration for botching the operation. The UN Unanimously voted to send an Offensive Force into Somalia to protect the Aid Operations that were not able to deliever relief to the Starving people of Somalia because of the fighting between war clans. The Clans were preventing the food from being distributed. After the Unanimous vote, Bush Sr. Order the deployment of 27,000 US Troops the region. He got defeated by Clinton and then the Botched Mogadishu incident happened under clintons watch. This event was a disaster for US Foreign Policy in that it taught the world that Americans were afraid of Combat Deaths and Casualties. This mentality is arguably what kept Saddam Hussein from doing what needed to be done to prevent a war in Iraq. To back that claim up we're going to use the fact that he was distributing copies of Black Hawk Down as an instruction manual. So Moxie's Point is still entirely correct. But Bush Sr. Did get the troops in there. However, since the Scorecard was blaming Clinton for the incidents in Somalia in 93. He still gets that big nasty "F" for FAILURE when it comes to Military Operations.

Posted by: Stan Shivell at April 16, 2003 5:32 PM

Oh yea. I've never seen Black Hawk Down. Anyone care to comment(that is familiar with the history of the event) as to whether or not I should rent it?

Posted by: Stan Shivell at April 16, 2003 5:38 PM


Without any evidence of WMD's in Iraq to date, and the UN pushing for a non-violent solution at the time, what exactly could Saddam have done to appease the Bush administration? I find that statement suspiciously vague.

Posted by: adrian at April 16, 2003 5:47 PM

Moxie, why would Bill Clinton use condoms? It's not like he's going to impregnate Monica's tonsils.

Posted by: Alan Anderson at April 16, 2003 6:09 PM

What a great post. I usually read you for the non-political stuff, but when you decide to chime in it seems to be right on the mark.

The important thing to remember about Somalia is that Clinton is the one that refused the requests for more armored support and he is the one that pulled the plug after the action caused a few KIA's. That operation should have pointed out the bravery and determination of the American soldier and not allowed to become the political debacle it turned into.

for Stan: Rent the movie. It is very good. Even better, read the book first and you'll enjoy the movie even more (and that is rare, usually the movie can't compare to the book, but this one complements it quite well!)

Lastly, Moxie, yesterdays pic was entirely too awesome. The Veronica Lake look really suits you, along with that fantastic smile. Keep up the great work: writing and photos!

Patrick in MT

Posted by: patrick at April 16, 2003 7:02 PM

Greg Green, you're right about Bush 1 first putting the US in Somalia; Operation Hope which was a success. Whereas Clinton put the US back into Somalia at the request of th Secretary General of the UN in act of nation building. Clinton's action was a disaster. Here is the history:

In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes--one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew.

Posted by: murph the serf at April 16, 2003 7:16 PM

A friend of a friend in Hollywood assures me Janeanne "ain't all that" in the sack. She apparently has this "Why are you F'ing me?, ironic-loser girl" thing going on.

No thanks.

Posted by: James Hudnall at April 16, 2003 7:23 PM

In my personal view, full compliance with the UN would have been a nice starter. I don't know if you noticed or not, but from the beginning Saddam knew he was going to get attacked one way or another. He did NOTHING to appease the United States, instead he tried to bring the International community together to STOP the united states, this is not bargaining. You can illustrate this by analyzing his strategy before the war and then during the war. First, he tried his absolute damndest from the beginning to convince the world that what Bush wanted to do would be in violation of International Norms. (Don't attack without International Approval etc..) The international community at the same time proposed an ultimatium to Iraq, cooperate with UN Inspectors etc.. They showed minimal cooperation and as a result you ended up getting more and more "Tricks" from Saddam. He relluctantly gave into demands of the UN (1 by 1 very slowly and never fully) and slowly provided information that the inspectors and UN wanted.(But note, not all at once as the International Community HAD asked for). The result of this tactic was to lengthen the rift that existed across the Atlantic. It was no secret that there was a clear difference in the way that the members on the Security Council viewed the Inspectors. USA, correctly assumed, that the Inspectors should be in Iraq to determine if Iraq was disarming. This required the Inspectors to NOT have to look for the weapons or evidence. This should have been provided, and as Blix even stated there were gaps in the information. France, Germany, etc... saw the inspectors as more of a way to find and destroy the weaopns. So everytime there was a violation the USA said : They Violated 1441, while France and Germany said "Look the Inspectors are working give them more time!" The effect of this game was to remove support from the International community for military action. This didn't work out for Saddam. We attacked, and rightly so. The next phase for Saddam was to attempt to remove US Public Support. This is the Mogadishu Strategy. The United States can not handle Casualties. For some reason or another (our military kicks ass) Mass Casualties on our side have yet to occur. Saddam clearly wasn't looking to bargain, especially since his only options were (intially) to completely disarm and to fully comply with the United Nations. (Neither of which he did so even if you say there were no weapons he never complied with the UN.)
Now. The united states eventually redefined "Disarmament" as the removal of Saddam's Regime. Which was a good idea IMHO. This brought Saddams options to essentially Die. Or Go into exile (Which was kind of scuffed by Rummy stating they'd be tried for war crimes). Now, you might ask why did we need to remove him? My best argument, keeping him in power insures the deaths of a hell of a lot of his citizens. Getting him out brings about the possiblity of Civilian casualties, which did happen, but they are far less in number than the number that Saddams Regime would have produced. And why should we care about the Iraqi's? I can't give you a straight answer on that, in the past our Foreign Policy has been highly scizo in who we support and don't (i'm still pissed we didnt' go into Rwanda), however I am of the political persuasion that we should use our power where ever we can to fix the planet. If that brings about a lot of US resentment then so be it. Sometimes the Medicine you need leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. And, as long as Israel exists the United States won't be the most hated country in the world. (And we have been #2 for a while now. France a close Third). Had Saddam done what the United Nations had asked (at any point in the past 12 years) we wouldn't be here right now. (Actually we are in Iraq because of the Peace Protestors During the 60's but thats an entirely different rant. Ironically funny though.) It's not the fault of the United States that the United Nations can't live up to its responsibilites.


Posted by: Stan Shivell at April 16, 2003 7:28 PM

Greg, Stan et al...

The list is of Clinton military failures.

Doesn't matter who put us into the situation. The major Somalia failure occured under Clinton as Commander in Chief.

That's not debateable. I fact checked before I posted this piece and nothing has changed in the history books since last night.

Posted by: moxie at April 16, 2003 7:37 PM

Ole Slick is a self-indulgent poseur and should put a sock in it because he ain't gonna be able to triangulate himself into the history books at any higher a level of esteem than say, Franklin Pierce. He's irrelevant, and just like the rest of his Demo fellow travelers, particularly the nine dwarves running for the nomination, should be ignored.

Posted by: Namfos in DC at April 16, 2003 7:44 PM

Don't include me in that list!!! All I did was say Yes Greg is right that we put troops there under Bush. But the last line of that post commented on the fact that the point in question is WHO botched the damned thing up.

However, since the Scorecard was blaming Clinton for the incidents in Somalia in 93. He still gets that big nasty "F" for FAILURE when it comes to Military Operations.


Posted by: Stan Shivell at April 16, 2003 8:07 PM

"And, as I recall, when Clinton used cruise missiles on Baghdad in a step that you seem to regard as pusillanimous, his opponents at the time accused him of wagging the dog — which would seem to imply a belief that he used too much force."

The hell? Uh, no... it implied only that military action the day before your ass is impeached (which was called off, what, mere hours after you were?) is a tad suspicious. These same Republicans were gung-ho all year long to take Saddam out. No Republican was saying it was too much force in any way, shape or form. And, I note, very few Democrats.

Posted by: HH at April 16, 2003 8:21 PM

Slight correction: The bombing of the aspirin factory was in '98 in response to the embassy bombings. Clinton's response to the 2000 USS Cole bombing was exactly jack-squat.

Saddam was supposed to appease the UN since 1991... all he had to do was destroy all his WMDs. The man had 12 years. And the idea that there isn't evidence that they were ever there is a bald-faced lie. The fact that we haven't found any for absolute 100% sure a week after Baghdad was liberated does not suddenly mean they were never there.

Posted by: HH at April 16, 2003 8:28 PM

Dear Moxie,

The comment about Janeane Garofalo was extremely
unkind, but I'm sure you know that. Nothing like that good old Republican compassion. Ah yes.
How strange. Just reading your thing makes me not want to do this anymore.


Anyway, good luck with your thing.

Posted by: esmith at April 16, 2003 8:49 PM

awwwww, I'm gonna go cry now ;)

Posted by: moxie at April 16, 2003 8:53 PM

You seem to reduce your charge against Clinton re: Somalia to having been chronologically unlucky. To state that "[t]he major Somalia failure occured under Clinton as Commander in Chief" is technically correct — but the unraveling only became possible because troops were there executing a mission concieved in the days of the former President Bush.

Someone declared earlier that "Clinton put the US back into Somalia at the request of the Secretary General of the UN in act of nation building." Sorry, no sale. One couldn't put troops back in Somalia; they hadn't left. What took place under Clinton was a mere renewal of the authorization of the UN mission — a procedural filip to let the mission continue.

Don't believe me? Check the record:

Established to take over from the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) -- a multinational force, organized and led by the United States, which, in December 1992, had been authorized by the Security Council to use "all necessary means" to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia. The mandate of UNOSOM II was to take appropriate action, including enforcement measures, to establish throughout Somalia a secure environment for humanitarian assistance. To that end, UNOSOM II was to complete, through disarmament and reconciliation, the task begun by UNITAF for the restoration of peace, stability, law and order.
You're free to continue pointing out that the Somalia mission happened to fail during the Clinton presidency. But blaming Clinton for that — even though the failure happened on his watch only because he inherited an ill-concieved situation — is a bit like blaming Churchill for the spanking the Brits took for a year or so after he took over as PM. And just as unfair.

Posted by: Greg Greene at April 16, 2003 8:57 PM

No sorry Greg -- no reduction in charge.

I don't back down on what I said, if it's not clear then perhaps I shouldn't bother commenting further.

Posted by: moxie at April 16, 2003 9:04 PM

GG is still dodging the key statement. Was it or was it not Slick who refused the request for more armor? Who was CIC when that request was made?
Further we now know from Slick's military attache's unprecedented tell all book that Slick "dodged" phone calls that could have gotten us OBL and then "dithered" till it was too late. THAT at least was NOT "chronological bad luck." I note that GG has NOT responded to the
dismembering of his other less than cogent points.
And I too am amazed that anyone can continue to defend Der Slickmister, if for no other reason than the way he LEFT office. If nothing else would you would think those "pardons" would have made the man's character clear to any thinking person. Give it up GG the "man" is unrehabilitatable.

Posted by: highland tuck at April 16, 2003 9:37 PM

George (not the furious one):

  • 1. How much of a risk did Clinton take compared to Bush? I don't think Kosovo is in the same league as Iraq and doesn't really prove Clinton would made the same decision as Bush.
    Not so fast — come back to the subject. I took issue with the statement that "Clinton doesn't feel that any government regime who kills and rapes their own citizens might be a threat to the rest of the free world." [Emphasis added.] Whatever you happen to think about Kosovo, you have to agree that the Yugoslav government killed and raped its own citizens. That amounts to a prima facie refutation of the argument that Clinton somehow categorically saw no evil when it came to rogue nations, whether or not you think the action was as much of a "risk."
  • 2&3. If that was his view he wasn't loud about it.
    I cited a column from a major newspaper, and a speech to the ruling party of Great Britain. Pretty loud, if you ask me.
  • 5. Whoever directly supports attacking American people and/or interests. If you find out(not imagine) about a movement to do that what should we do? When diplomacy works, great!
    When it does not, again I ask, what should we do?
    You're shifting the terms of argument again. The issue is not what I think about what action we should take when we find out about a hypothetical movement out to harm the United States; it's whether we have a duty to treat any regime that "kills and rapes [its] own citizens" as a "threat to the free world" that warrants military action.
  • 7. You are comparing apples to oranges. How is the situation between China and Taiwan similiar to the U.S. and Iraq? . . .
    I don't think they are, actually. But the real question is how we tell officials in China why we have just cause for "prevention," while they don't. If you believe in prevention as sound foreign-policy doctrine [I don't, and even some Republicans hold that view], you have to be prepared to explain why it won't lead to outcomes that — like the ones I described — disrupt world order and harm the interests of the United States.

Posted by: Greg Greene at April 16, 2003 9:38 PM

Re: Somalia

Back up the truck and buy this. The troops most certainly did leave, when in May '93 Clinton called the deal done and recalled most of the troops. Later that same year, Rangers and Special Forces were sent back in to try and restore some order. Those troops were denied the heavy armor they asked for by the Clinton adminstration.

Two months after the debacle memorialized by Black Hawk Down, Sec. of Defense Les Aspin resigned, acknowledging that his decision to not send armor had been in error.

Don't believe me? Check the official web site of the Dept. of Defense.

Let's not pretend that the failure of the mission in Somalia and the loss of U.S. troops there was not the fault of the Clinton presidency, which as it happens is how Slick Willie probably spins it as well. Blaming former Pres. Bush ? who sent troops to assist in relief of a massive famine, not for nation building, a la Clinton ? is just plain wrong.

Posted by: Brian at April 16, 2003 9:42 PM

This is why I laugh when Donks say that "Bush always blames Clinton"... we got nearly 8 straight years of "that was the previous administration's fault."

Posted by: HH at April 16, 2003 10:13 PM


Thank you for the response, and I agree with you regarding Iraqís non-compliance (they were called on it by the by the UN arms inspectors), and the reasons which led up to the conflict. However, the same arms inspectors seemed to believe that the Iraqiís were moving to comply (albeit slowly).

I donít agree as to the necessity of this war. I believe (in my horribly spoiled western kinda-way) that any call to armed battle should be the last resort in any conflict. When you are taking about human lives, itís always better to find a neater solution by any means. Thatís not to way that I believe that war should be abolished, nor that it is not necessary (us being human and more than a little contentious), but I believe that it should always be a last resort.

In this case, the reasons Iíve heard from Bush seem to ring a little hollow; if the war really was about spreading liberty and democracy, or ridding Iraq of their (seemingly absent) WMDís then why donít we hold the same standards up to our allies or ourselves?

There were many good reasons to go to war with Iraq, but instead weíre feed a series of lines via the presidentís State of the Union speech and the evidence presented to the UN. These reasons turn out not to be true, and there seems to be every indication that this was known by the president prior to their announcement (please see my fist response to this thread above). So why did all those Iraqi and American people die? Was it worth sending thousands of people to an early grave? Was it worth destroying all those homes and families?

As I mentioned earlier there are a number of countries that commit really terrible crimes against their peoples, and a number of them are our allies. So why pick Iraq? Why now?
Presuming that the reasons that were stated by Bush for this war were true (vis-a-vis the WMD, and the horrific treatment of the Iraqi peoples and the Kurds at the hands of Saddam), then why do we not seem to hold our allies, nor ourselves up to the same standards?

Turkey, for example, seems to be determined to wipe out itís Kurdish population, and we seemed prepared to let them do so (accompanied by a substantial bribe) in exchange for allowing us to use their country as a staging point for the coming conflict; then we turn around and talk about the mistreatment of the Kurds at the hands of Saddam. How is that right?

Posted by: adrian at April 16, 2003 10:20 PM

awwwww, I'm gonna go cry now ;)

Ouch. Right in the inflated sense of self importance.

You're just sizzling tonight, Mox. I liiiike it. :)

Posted by: Mr. Lion at April 16, 2003 10:36 PM

Mr. Lion, Junior high debate club, err I mean political debate brings out my snide side.

It reminds me why I typically avoid the topic entirely!

Posted by: moxie at April 16, 2003 10:45 PM

Mox, you should really consider a career in network political commentary. Being snide and cynical is a requirement for entry, and you handle both oh-so-very-well. :)

Snide Moxie rocks.

Posted by: Mr. Lion at April 17, 2003 12:17 AM

I liked Bill Clinton. I voted for him once. I find it interesting that in all the Clinton bashing I've read no one points to "The China Incident". I'm going on memory here so fact check away. Loral was hired by China to shoot a satellite into space for them. The satellite blew up. Loral provided China with a detailed analysis and inadvertently gave away the missle code firing sequence. Oops. Clinton pardoned Loral. For this and other obvious blogged on reasons I no longer like Clinton. His anti-war stance isn't helping either.

Posted by: Kim at April 17, 2003 6:44 AM

Greg Greene:

I was a company commander in Mogadishu, USMC. We fed thousands every day, and were shot at every night. From Dec. 1992 till April 1993 we had Armor and treated the threat of the dozen or so warring factions as real. Having overwhelming force on the ground, we stopped the real fighting beyond the night-sniping, and were able to stop the mass starvation that had been the norm for over a year. We created peace of a sort.

When the Marines were replaced by the US Army, April 1993, the Civilians running our military decided not to take the threat seriously, and the Army was not allowed Armor. The administration made the decision to subordinate the US presence to the UN policimakers on the ground in Somalia. A more arrogant bunch of idiots could not be imagined (the UN relief team in Somalia, the UN in general), at least I have never experienced worse. Accepting UN rationals, the Clinton administration then abandoned the previous policy of neutrality between the Somalii factions and decided to attempt to bring down Mohammad Farah Aideed, the strongest warlord. The Clinton administration ignored the corrupt animus behind the UN, Boutros Gali and Kofi Annon personally hated Aideed from their previous years of conflict (Aideed had been foreign minister for Somalia befor the current 10 year civil war). The events depicted in Blackhawk Down were caused when an impatient Administration decided to take out one of the warring factions but still did not take them seriously and authorize the firepower necessary for the new mission.

US Special Forces and Army Rangers conducted many raids, without sufficient firepower and without an armor back-up if the raid force extraction plan failed. In Sept. 1993 the extraction plan failed. The US forces still completed the mission, and fought their way out of a neighborhood of 500,000 where every teenager had an RPG of AK-47.

But, still, Americans followed strict rules of engagement to minimize civilian casualties, often endangering themselves in the process. Just as the US Military is doing today in Iraq. Clinton then abandoned this hard won victory. No suprise, Clinton has no guts, and had no regard for those he put in harms way.

Both the Book and the Movie, Blackhawk Down are accurate depictions, but light on the history of the conflict.

Moxie, this California ex-pat loves your site.

Posted by: Steve Malynn at April 17, 2003 7:11 AM

oops, should read RPG or an AK-47. When I was in Mogadishu we traded meals to pre-teen kids for mortar and anti-tank rounds. Mogadishu was utter chaos, with guns and drugs everywhere and the primary economy.

Posted by: Steve Malynn at April 17, 2003 7:16 AM

"Doesn't matter who put us into the situation. The major Somalia failure occured under Clinton as Commander in Chief."

OK, and September 11 occured under Dubya as Commander in Chief. Of course, the right-wing blogosphere (and I know Moxie isn't really part) being the paragon of consistency that it is, Clinton tends to get blamed for 9/11 a lot.

"2&3. If that was his view he wasn't loud about it."

Was Clinton "loud about" his remarks the other day? I wouldn't have known he said a word if not for conservative media outlets. His support of the Afghanistan campaign wasn't widely publicized because you guys couldn't rip him for it.

It's hypocritical for the right to say "Why won't Clinton shut up? Face it--you all need him.

Posted by: Charlie T. at April 17, 2003 7:50 AM

I admit I haven't read the entire comments thread. That said, I have a couple thoughts about our 42nd president:

Moxie, you are both precisely correct and precisely wrong. How is that possible? Most of the accounts I've read about Clinton's political career in the three years since he left office pretty much say the same thing: he's more interested in making EVERYONE happy than in doing the right thing. As a result a number of his statements (and his actions) conflict with each other and make it difficult to pin him to a specific stance.

For example, while he may seem like he's against the war in Iraq, I saw him in person on the University of Iowa campus about five weeks ago. He said that he agreed with the need to press Iraq to disarm. He said he believed that the Iraqi government doesn't do ANYTHING without being forced to. He basically said he agrees with the policy completely, but wouldn't go so far as saying he supports the war.

The reason is because this way both pro and anti-war folks could leave the speech believing that Clinton supported their view. It was typical Clinton, sitting squarely on the fence. It's more because of that unwillingness to take a stand than his impotent foreign policy that I believe Clinton was/is something of a coward.

Posted by: Jeffrey Utech at April 17, 2003 8:04 AM

Moxie. You.. Simply... Rock. Here's to another out of the political closet right leaner out there! (Though, imaginably, even in DC it is a tad easier than LA for our type)

Posted by: JenRaj at April 17, 2003 10:18 AM

Jeffrey U. You're right on the money as to Clinton's political cowardice. His personal morals also reflect his political life. He is a seducer in every sphere, he gives his audience -- whether the press, congress, interns, hollywood, academia, europe, whoever is in his sights -- what they want to hear, in exchange for what will satisfy Clinton at the moment, or what he can get.
For all his ability to "triangulate" Clinton achieved little because he sought personal gratification and accolade, and had no serious policy goals -- Clinton did not make decisions for the primary purpose of helping anyone else, ever.

Posted by: Steve Malynn at April 17, 2003 11:31 AM

Charlie T: I hope you can see the difference between Somalia and 9/11.

In Somalia the US Military was executing the policy of the Clinton administration, and succeeding in what was a questionable tactic towards resolving "regime change" there. "Country Building" was the term in 1993, and when it proved too tough for Clinton, he cut and ran. Clinton abandoned Somalia to continued chaos rather than reinforce his policy. Clinton never re-thought his decision to subordinate policy making to the UN. So see Rwanda and 800,000 killed.

9/11 was an unforseen attack by foreign nationals, members of a international terrorist organization that Clinton did not consider important enough to take serious action against, despite escalating attacks overseas. The Bush administration also did not forsee an attack like 9/11. But after 9/11 Bush took effective action, and promised to fight all terrorism that threatened to cross borders. Bush is acting on his promises. Bush continues to put his political life on the line, and makes hard decisions with goals beyond his own personal gratification.

Posted by: Steve Malynn at April 17, 2003 11:43 AM


"the real question is how we tell officials in China why we have just cause for 'prevention [in Iraq],' while they don't [in Taiwan]."

The answer is simple, we'll use our most effective and pursuasive diplomats: Mr Boomer, Mr Attack Sub, Mr Abrams, Mr Bradley, The entire air force family and their cousins, the military and marine attack helicopers, and let us not forget the Cruise missiles. These venerable diplomats will pursuade the chinese to listen to us.

The day that they don't, the Chinese aren't going to listen to Mr Powell, either.

Please don't tell me that you actually believe that the Chinese would say, "we were going to preemptively invade Taiwan, but since the Americans have never acted preemptively, we can't do it."

About the most that could possibly happen is that China could say, "they post a threat to us" and we reply, "they don't post a threat to you". The doctrine of preemption rests on there being an actual threat. The fact of disagreement in the world is nothing new -- that's why armies were invented in the first place.

We were never in a peaceful age where (large) militaries were restrained by international law, so it's not much of an argument to say that we've abandoned it. It's much like claiming that the bombs in Iraq introduced death into the world. Sorry, but death was a pre-existing condition. So was preemption. We no more brought pre-emption into the world in Iraq than we brought death into the world in Iraq.

Posted by: Chris at April 17, 2003 11:50 AM

Jeff U:

"OK, and September 11 occured under Dubya as Commander in Chief."

People aren't complaining that bad things happened in Somalia (except as they were the result of bad choices on Clinton's part, but that's secondary), people complain about how Clinton handled the bad things that happened in Somalia. Clinton responded to injury by putting his tail between his spread legs, lying on the ground, and peeing on himself (for those who don't recognize the description, that's how dogs signal extreme submissiveness). Bush responded by hunting down our enemies and destroying them, and has not yet stopped because our enemies are not yet gone.

It's not what happened, it's how they reacted to it that makes them so different from each other.

Posted by: Chris at April 17, 2003 11:54 AM

Charlie T. can't possibly believe that criticism of the planning, etc. of a specific military action is comparable to criticism of previous action or, in many cases, inaction against a terrorist network, responsible for the massacre of thousands of civilians in this country. Then again perhaps he has his partisan blinders on.

Posted by: HH at April 17, 2003 1:03 PM

An example of why Clinton is criticized for his handling of al Qaeda...

Posted by: HH at April 17, 2003 1:08 PM

dude, you are so unpatriotic. f**kin dissing a former president in a time of war! f**kin unity man! i'm unlinking moxie.

Posted by: brian at April 17, 2003 6:12 PM

I suppose this would be when someone throws a hissyfit -- but sadly Brian, I really don't care.

Posted by: moxie at April 17, 2003 6:15 PM

oh jeezus, now i can't be sarcastic? :(

Posted by: brian at April 18, 2003 7:13 AM

Chris: Not my quote. I don't have much to say about who is to blame for what.

Steve: I tend not to think that Clinton was necessarily self-serving. Generally it appears he meant to do good, but he failed to recognize that sometimes good is done at the expense of one group's temporary happiness. That is, his presidency tended to be paralyzed by the fear that someone might actually disapprove of him.

Posted by: Jeffrey Utech at April 18, 2003 7:31 AM

Jeffrey, I can buy that characterization except for the fact that his desire to appear to give all things to all people was wedded with an tremendous amorality. Without a personal compass, he is not able to tell good, so he is adrift in moral relativism. He used everyone. He honored no one and nothing above his desire at the moment.

Domestically, when faced with political disaster, the Gigrich House, he manuevered and coopted the Republican policies. Thus the record of conserviative legislation wedded with statist executive orders. He disappointed his liberal followers but they carried his water because he led a liberal executive and appointed a liberal judiciary. His genius was that he could make both individuals and political groups take bullets for him, while he wiggled out from one disaster after another.

In domestic policy the potential for disaster caused by wrong federal policy is mitigated by the fact that our daily living is local, there are layers of government and civil institutions the feds still do not control. But in foreign policy Clinton's equivocating and liberal internationalist tendencies were disasterous. In this sphere the Federal is unchecked, the State Department is inherently liberal, and Senate checks are simply the power to deny, not the power to create policy.

Posted by: Steve Malynn at April 18, 2003 11:35 AM

Jeffrey U: Sorry about that. it was obviously meant for Charlie T. My apologies.

Posted by: Chris at April 18, 2003 11:46 AM

Chris, fahgetabadit. I agree with a lot of what you wrote, I just didn't want to seem like I was contradicting it.

Posted by: Jeffrey Utech at April 18, 2003 1:03 PM

After two years of Clinton's presidency, people didn't even remember that Bush the Elder had held the office. Now you can't stop talking about Clinton during Bush the Younger's term.

I guess the Bush men don't make very compelling presidents, do they?

Posted by: BCL Powers at April 18, 2003 1:46 PM

BCL, most of that has to do with the fact that Clinton can't stop seeking the limelight.

Bush the elder was quite happy to return to his somewhat regular life.

Posted by: moxie at April 18, 2003 1:52 PM

I always wondered why you never posted anything political. Now I know. :-)

Posted by: ErikZ at April 20, 2003 12:16 PM

obviously you guys think that you have a lot of knowledge about the various historical blunders committed by Clinton or Bush (1 or 2). i wanna know how many of you have degrees in history or political science. yeah, didnt think so. this is my take on Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dubya cant seem to make up his mind on the exact reason for attacking Iraq. Democracy? WMD? Not complying with UN? what? we havent found any WMDs so far and something tells me that we wont find any substantial evidence of them anywhere in Iraq. i believe that Saddam Hussein probably destroyed all his weapons when he learnt that a US attack was inevitable. anyway, the funny thing is, Saddam Hussein got the weapons from the United States. i'll give you a minute to let that info sink in. When the US was trying to get rid of the leadership in Iran, it assassinated the then leader of Iraq, brought Saddam into power and gave him an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons. and after the first Gulf War, President Bush Sr. decided to leave him in power and let him keep the weapons too. If it werent for that, we would not have lost all the men we did in this Gulf war. thats all i gotta say.

Posted by: sht tlkr at May 8, 2003 10:50 AM


Man, I always thought it was 'learned'. No wonder I can't get above a B+ in my writing class.

Posted by: greg at May 8, 2003 10:56 AM