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May 11, 2008

Comments

Mike W

Good essay, Jeff, but I am always flummoxed when people suggest we had the best of motives for invading Iraq. Cheney was clearly the driving force, with Dubya along got the ride. I have never been entirely sure of their motives - oil, empire, or just more pork for the military-industrial complex. Let call them the "American Empire" faction.

The other faction is in fact quite easy to read, although remarkably little commented upon publically. The actual neocons - Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, etc., dominated the whole second-tier of political power in this process, and their motivation should be clear to any American adult who's capable of reading. They're pro-Israel, plain and simple, and want American blood & treasure spent to knock out any nation even potentially threatening to that small nation. Their colleagues in the media - Kristol, Krauthammer, Ledeen etc. - bang the war drums relentlessly for exactly the same reason. Now they're after Iran, which can hardly be construed as such a threat to the US as to require another war.

Recently Douglas Feith was interviewed by "60 Minutes", and as I expected, the word "Israel" never came up. It's positively Orwellian to me, like discussing the Cold War without ever mentioning Communism. We have a false, cowardly moral sensibility in this country that deems an honest discussion of our support for Israel to be beyond polite discussion, but which treats any number of Iraqi deaths as being too trivial to cover. I cannot see how any thinking American can deem this to be in our interest.

Jeff McMahon

I suspect the motives are multi-layered, that in the end the criminals, do-gooders, and incompetents behind the war have stories so twisted that they themselves forgot their original intentions. However, there is a do-gooder element and the idea of imposing any government over there ignores the fate of the Soviet Union when they got occupied in Afhganistan. What's amazing is that of course liberals criticize the war but so did the conservative champion William F. Buckley and others of his camp. I belong to the camp of honesty and competence, which means I don't have a whole lot to believe in.

Mike W

When it comes to war, the "Liberal" v. "Conservative" thing is strictly a red herring by now, about as worth taking seriously as "Spy vs. Spy" from Mad Magazine is. The Imperial City, Washington, is pro-war, and that's all that counts. The people in D.C. bear none of the cost or suffering they impose and thus little reason to change their ways. Buckley is an interesting case. He seemed ambivelant about the neocons towards the end, rejecting much of their agenda but also rejecting what he saw as the anti-Semitism of paleocons like Pat Buchanan. If you want a taste of the old left/right split back when it meant something, take a gander at this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8

Jeff McMahon

Oh, yeah, an infamous acrimonious exchange. Vidal kind of lost his mind in his sympathetic portrayal of the T McVeigh.

I agree the Left Vs. Right should be relegated to Spy Vs. Spy. A good analogy.

On another subject: I just heard Ed's Proton at his house. The speaker sound is huge and amazing. The FM was quite good. But I didn't hear AM. Ed said it isn't that good. If you can find a deal on one, wow.

Mike W

I like Buckley's Ivy-League attempt at being a tough guy in that clip. He threatens to "sock" Vidal in the face, and he'll "stay plastered". Buckley was so effete at that point that Vidal is dead butch by comparison.

As far as the Proton goes, I'm kind of in Ed's debt for steering me away from it. I already have the Emerson MBR-1 sitting on the shelf waiting to go back on eBay and a Proton would have done the same. I'm using an old HK stereo receiver for AM/FM till the 750 shows up. Those old stereo receivers are available cheap on eBay and the Yamahas especially have great tuners on FM and AM. Sounds great, but it's a bulky solution that can't serve as a substitute for a good table radio indefinitely.

Now if you'll excuse me I will get back to listening Bob Brinker pretending to have cared about energy policy before it came back into fashion a year or so ago.

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