Commenter Archive

Comments by Rex Caruthers

On “No alternatives

Obama is a moderate leftist,but he is charactorized as a radical leftist. Therfore he should have been much more radical than he was,and he would not be one percentage point worse off:Single payor universal healthcare,brought the troops home vietnam style,reestablished Glass Steagall,gone the FDR route on Infrastructure projects to generate jobs,and told the Republicans to f--k themselves, Had he done that,he would not be any less popular than he is,and he would have joined FDR as the great F--k the upper class populist.
As it is,he looks like a jerk,and nobody respects him,neither his enemies or his would be friends.
Despite all that,I like him without repecting him.

On “The great set-up

If unemployment stays high,2012 could produce another turnover surge. If there's another "disaster",like 9/11,or Weimar,well,Last in,First Out. All things being equal,Obama could win in 2012,despite being the "Weakest" President in my memory which goes back to Eisenhower,and I define weakest,in the sense that he was positioned in 2009,to make some coherent policy,but he made a mess of it,so far trying to be the great uniter.
Until,the Republicans find a unifying candidate like Reagan/Nixon,I'll assume Obama will win.
My dream election in 2012 would be Obama/Palin,but too often,my dreams fail to solidfy.

On “The Iraq Syndrome

Americans will often choose the route of self sacrifice in the percieved defense of America;not quite so eager in the defense of/helping hand for another nation. That why I'm against an all professional army in the case of nation building ambitions of the CIC. In the case of an actual attack on the US,no need for a Draft usually,everyone wants to help if its for real. Obviously,if Bush,on 9/12 had wanted a declaration of War/A Draft,he could have had both,he had his reasons not to go that route,although,I've never read a convincing explanation on that decision.
So why did we need a WW2 draft? In my opinion,neither Germany nor Japan were "Deeply" feared to conquer us by force. I would have fought it as a one front war against Japan,and then turned to Germany later. I'm sure there were/are many good arguments against that Strategy,but an obvious plus would have been that full concentration on the one front first,could have allowed us to clean up that mess much faster than we did,and our coming in the war late(WW1 Style) would have put terrible leverage on the GermanGeneral staff.


CK/ Neither we nor the Iraqis have or had the real world option of strictly minding our own business. That’s now how our real world works.

That's true about various common interests maybe even including regional war,but,the Iranians wants democracy just as badly as the Iraqis did,and still,that's their problem,they proved they could change their own regime in the past,they did that without our help.



My point exactly in giving Victor a chance to make his case,his case was very anemic. I heard Tony Blair bleeting on NPR today about how the Iraqis wanted our way of life,and that's fine,but what does that have to do with us?/or that's their problem/Blair never went there.
The worst way to nation build,(1)destroy a nation,(2)send a bunch of ignoramuses* to the destroyed nation,(3)Have them rebuild it.
*Ignorant about the nation they are rebuilding.


Here's the Best case scenario for the Iraq War by Victor Davis Hanson,a smart guy,for NRO,a friendly forum for Victor.

"So was Iraq worth the cost?--- The truth about Iraq is that, for all the tragedy and the loss, the U.S. military performed a miracle."
(1)After nearly seven years, a constitutional government endures in that country.
(2) all 23 of the writs for war passed by the Congress in 2002--were met and satisfied by the U.S. military."
(3) Libya gave up its WMD program;
(4)Dr. Khan’s nuclear franchise was shut down;
(5)Syria left Lebanon;
(6)American troops in Saudi Arabia, put there as protection against Saddam, were withdrawn.
(7) the destruction of al-Qaeda in Iraq helped to discredit the entire idea of radical Sunni Islamic terrorists
(8)the loss of thousands of foreign radical Islamists in Iraq had a positive effect on U.S. security
(9) Kurdistan was, prior to 2003, faced with the continual threat of genocidal attacks by Saddam Hussein; today it is a booming economy. All that would have been impossible without U.S. intervention.

Good list,Right? If Hanson can't justify it,who can?


Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan so reminded me of LBJ selling us on Vietnam,it was uncanny.

On “Unsettling Israel

the policy was adopted by Israel for it’s supporters, Rex.
Israel did not acquire the material for the nukes on their own and the origin of the material wouldn’t be questioned as long as its existence wasn’t acknowledged.

Fuster,it's garbage,your explanation doesn't give it any credibility. In other words,the policy is vestigal. We know the origin,France. Therfore,it's past time to dump it.


and no moral basis for anyone else to support Israel over its enemies.

The policy of ambiguity is also a big pain in the ass for Israeli supporters. It's time to get past that BS.


Maybe we should put up a “JRub monitor” – though I’d like to see it broken down into number of words as well as posts. With a little more effort, you could sort out it according to topic areas or key words.

Key Words:
Israel Good most important ally very important friend
Bush Good
Iraq War-worth it,surge,we won
Iran Bomb bomb
Obama Bad
Against Obama Good
Liberals Bad
Conservatives Good
Neo-Cons Best


The day is only HALF over,and here is the score at CONTENTIONS'
Total Posts 21/13 by JRUB,and still not a single new thought/concept.

I'm probably the only one here that finds this fascinating,but her pay plan might be the key to her productivity.


But we were apparently afraid that millions of Jews would suddenly descend upon the US and change our way of life.

So we preferred that they be slaughtered? Rather than inconvenience us? What are you saying?


Be that as it may, any surrender agreement would not have mentioned the extermination camps.

It would have mentioned whatever we wanted it to mention. The German General Staff was ready to dump Hitler in 1943 according to Speer,as long as the Germans had been able to retain control of their country/protection against the Russians,they would have made the deal.
Hitler,and all his SS pals would have been thrown under the Bus.Millions of Jews could have been saved,


GJ/and the country was unanimously for the unconditional surrender of its enemies

Not a good policy for those Jews in Concentration Camps.


15 Posts/11 by JRUB(same opinions on the same topics as yesterday,last Friday,last Thursday----)
TG for Saturdays


CK/Not to damn him with faint praise, but why do you put BHO on the list? He seems to be odd man out for his lack of fierce commitment to any particular utopianism.

I put him on there because of his beliefs that have no basis in fact,mainly about War and our Economy.

Here's an example on the Economy:
"The fact remains, however, that the kleptocratic rulers in the US, EU, and other debt-burdened countries know exactly what they are doing: to let the recession drag on, to take advantage of the crushing recession in order to extract “enough” concessions from the working people until welfare states are dismantled and labor costs in the more developed capitalist countries are made competitive with those of the less-developed countries. This explains why despite new signs of further global economic contraction, the reigning governments in these countries (whether they are nominally headed by Socialist, Social-Democratic, Labor, Democratic, Conservative or other parties) are maintaining their coordinated abstention from expansive or stimulating fiscal policies while continuing their brutal spending cuts on health, education, wages, pensions, and the like.
This is not to say that these governments do not want to have economic growth or job-creation—they do—but that they want them on their own (Neoliberal) terms, that is, through Neoliberal policies that would create jobs that would pay wages on a par with those of workers in less-developed countries. In other words, they prefer the kind of lopsided economic growth whose fruits would be reaped mostly by the wealthy—the so-called trickle-down or supply-side economic growth. As writer/reporter Patrick O’Connor points out, “In the US, Europe and other advanced capitalist economies, the aim is permanently reducing the living standards of working people."


For those of you who are not true believers,here's some excellent analysis on our fiscal health;our economic woes being at the core of a lot of systemic irrationalism around the world.

In order to fix our economic system,we have to make a decision,this is a decision no one in the world political /economic system wants to make:
(1)We make a LONG TERM COMMITTMENT to restore the economy by buttressing the currency with assets in order to restore stability. Like all long term investments,this choice will have some very unpleasant intended/unintended consequences,with the upside being a very robust economy.
(2)We make a SHORT TERM COMMITTMENT by keeping our current system while eliminating the "Debt OverHang/Trillions in Debt Forgiveness". This would free up Trillions in short term borrowing/spending,but we eventually would end up where we are today,having chosen #2,see #1


And the settlers are THE problem

No,they are A problem,they are a microcasm of the irrational forces that believe what they believe is Truth/Fact without evidence. The Islamists,Ayn Rand,Jennifer Rubin,Sarah Palin,BHO,W43,NPOD are all in this camp of Utopian True believers,see Eric Hoffer's book on the subject.


The big picture is that there is a worldwide conflict,in words and deads,between the True Believers of Religion,and the Secular,Big City dwellers,with the religious and secular moderates stuck between. This may very well be the "Real"underbelly of what is destabilizing America,which appears to be a political,social debate It would like to call it Renaissance/Reformation 2,with this huge exception. During RR1,we had as a side product of the Conflict,one of the great outpouring of the ARTS in history. Alas,RR2 is producing one of the greatest generations of public idiocy on record.

On “Shorter Everyone


So by removing all the what ifs from your statement,the bottom line is that the Palestinian/Arab strategy of "NO" might be sucessful in that it is turning Israel into a "Radical" Theocracy/Fundementalist type of Zionism,as opposed to a secular,cosmopolitan Zionism

A side thought: Maybe the Republican strategy of "NO" is turning us into a Christian Fundementalistcentric nation,which has a high probability of turning anti-Semitic as well as anti-Islamist.


miguel cervantes wrote:
Yes because pulling out of Hebron and Rafah, really worked out, remind me again.

So Taub is mistaken,that's OK,I'm not personally/emotionally involved in these issues;I just find them interesting,like a really good chess game. I hope you send him your opinions.


George,CK,Fuster,MC,I think this is an important article,and I would like your opinions,also,what would the CONTENTIONS line be on this?

"WILL Israel remain a Zionist state? If so, what kind? These are the important questions in Israeli politics today, and will be looming over the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority scheduled to begin Thursday in Washington.
The secular Zionist dream was fundamentally democratic. Its proponents, from Theodor Herzl to David Ben-Gurion, sought to apply the universal right of self-determination to the Jews, to set them free individually and collectively as a nation within a democratic state. (In fact, the Zionist movement had a functioning democratic parliament even before it had a state.)
This dream is now seriously threatened by the religious settlers’ movement, Orthodox Jews whose theological version of Zionism is radically different. Although these religious settlers are relatively few — around 130,000 of the total half-a-million settlers — their actions could spell the end of the Israel we have known"


miguel cervantes wrote:
Chambers one recalls had thought he had joined the side likely to lose,
he did remark on the Conservative tendency to ‘shoot their wounded’
Burnham was much more an ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’ as close to a Spenglerian in the national zeitgeist

The Bad News:Nobody in the current Conservative movement has the intelligence of either Chambers or Burnham
The Good News:Some Conservatives today are waking up to some degree. See Conrad Black above and his work on FDR;read the following by Jed Babbin,"After seven years of American occupation, those goals are as distant as they were in 2003."


On the narrow issue of your Divorce plan, it’s just a terrible as well as fantastical idea, and, whenever you bring it up, I naturally assume you’re joking to make a point.

If the Federal Government had decided to allow secession in 1861,which I would have supported,there would always have been the possibility of reintegration on a voluntary basis/East-West Germany. If there were a serious secession movement today,I would support it,as opposed to forcing the secessionists to be yoked to a system that they despise.


Hannity is more an orthodox conservative

I wonder what W Chambers would have thought of Hannity;it wouldn't be pretty.

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