Why do they hate America?

In the leadup to the Iraq war, we were repeatedly told that anyone who disagreed with the rush to war, or criticised the Bush Administration, was “anti-American”. It now appears that the majority of Americans are anti-American. A string of polls has shown that most Americans now realise that Bush and his Administration lied to get them into the war and that it was a mistake to go to war. The latest, reported in the NYT is this one from the Pew Research Centre.

It has a lot of interesting statistics on the views of Americans in general, and various elite groups. The truly striking figure is Bush’s approval ranking among leading scientists and engineers, drawn from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. In Aug 2001, it was 30 per cent – not strong but not negligible either. In Oct 2005, it’s fallen to 6 per cent, with 87 per cent disapproving. I’d guess that the scientists in the sample are more hostile than the engineers (though, obviously, the engineers must be pretty hostile). Looking around science-oriented blogs and websites, I’d say that the attitude of Academy members is pretty representative of scientists in general. Anytime you find a favourable remark about Bush you can count on it that the site is an astroturf operation like Flack Central Station or the aptly-named Junk Science.

Scientists and engineers are not generally seen as a highly political group, but they can recognise enemies when they see them, and no government in US history has been more anti-science than this one.

Update: In the comments thread at CT and elsewhere, it’s been denied that anyone ever asserted that opposition to the war was anti-American. This post from Media Matters gives a number of instances, and there are more in the CT comments thread. Others, like Instapundit, preferred objectively pro-Saddam

170 thoughts on “Why do they hate America?

  1. Wait until he gets the mathematicians going. The bible was enough to warrent moves to ban gay marrige, logically the born again christian president will soon move to define pi as 3!

  2. These, sensible, realistic and rational Americans are the true patriots. I ask all who believe that the Bush Clique has made life difficult for the world, imagine how difficult it must be to live next door to them and their crazed loyalists.

    The Bush Clique in the wake of 9/11 hijacked large parts of the American Constitution, perpetrated extraordinary rendition upon it and tortured it into something quite unrecognisable. Now the American people are recovering their senses. They are demanding that the Bush Clique show some respect for constitutional processes and some acknowledgment of the plain truth.

    The Republican Party, more commited to survival than to any particular set of policies or principles, is about now beginning to brace itself for the struggle to pry the Party away from the death-grip of the Bushites. This is likely to be a very grisly process.

    When Bush won the 2004 election I opined that this victory represented the high-water mark of the Radical right this time round. I see no reason to change my opinion on this.

    Go America! I’m on your side.

  3. The Independent newspaper has a major article on the Pentagon’s admission that white phosphorus shells were used in Fallujah a year ago.

  4. In a post headed “Worse Than You Can Imagine” dated 17/11/05, Brad DeLong’s weblog (http://delong.typepad.com/) has a post beginning (after a brief intro):

    ‘A North Carolina man who was charged yesterday with accepting kickbacks and bribes as a comptroller and financial officer for the American occupation authority in Iraq was hired despite having served prison time for felony fraud in the 1990’s. The job gave the man, Robert J. Stein, control over $82 million in cash earmarked for Iraqi rebuilding projects.

    ‘Along with a web of other conspirators who have not yet been named, Mr. Stein and his wife received “bribes, kickbacks and gratuities amounting to at least $200,000 per month” to steer lucrative construction contracts to companies run by another American, Philip H. Bloom, an affidavit outlining the criminal complaint says. …’

  5. Isn’t it amazing that the Iraq government is suggesting we leave? Having put all the effort in, they want to see our boys back home. What an opportunity to ‘piss-off’,but John and Alex think, this, is still not the time to “cut and run”.

    Suspect, we will be the last to leave. Were there any stats about ‘linguist academics’, who i suspect would have picked up the bullshit from the very beginning? ie, when George first opened his mouth.

  6. Chris (Lord) Patten, the former Tory Cabinet Minister and governor of Hong Kong, raised the very topic of “anti-Americanism” in an interesting speech he gave to the Australian Institute of International Affairs here in Melbourne last Tuesday.

    There is a man who (like myself in this respect, but of course with incomparably more talent and influence) is not only pro-American but has lived, breathed, eaten, slept, and dreamt American culture ever since his early 20s. (Back then, as he himself said, very few British politicians were doing so except Roy Jenkins.) So Lord Patten exhibited in his speech a sense of genuine hurt, as well as astonishment, that the dopier sort of neocon now calls him “anti-American”.

    Oddly enough I’ve never met any American in Australia who’s used the epithet. Nor have I been the victim of it myself on any of the numerous occasions I’ve visited the States. No, only Terror Australis’ native-born dingalings have ever hurled it – a few times – at me.

  7. I went to America for the first time in my life this year. I must say I loved it. I was struck by the natural beauty of the place. And I found the vast remote emptyness of big expanses very surprising. Drive from LA into the mountains and the city just disappears into desert. I have been to remote stretches in the Northern Territory and as such I had naively felt that we had a monopoly on remote places. Its just not so.

    I fell in love with Zion national park. And Americans at home are as open, hospitable and friendly as you will find people anywhere. And industrious to boot. If I wasn’t happily Australian I would be happily American.

  8. Why do they hate America? Because they’re Democrats:

    “As in past America’s Place in the World surveys, the sample of opinion leaders includes more Democrats than Republicans or independents. Perhaps not surprisingly, the biggest decline in Bush’s approval rating since August 2001 has come among scientists and engineers – the most heavily Democratic group.”

    “By contrast, influential groups that include relatively high percentages of Republicans, such as military leaders, have a more positive view of Bush’s job performance. The military leaders also are more optimistic about prospects for success in Iraq than are members of other groups.”

  9. I was hoping that someone would come along to restate the view that any American who opposes Bush is a traitor.

    A minor correction, though, JF. If you look at the polling data, you’ll find that Independents mostly agree with Democrats as regards Bush’s lies and on their evaluation of his performance. So, you should have written

    “Bcause they’re not Republicans”

    Other than that, 10 out of 10.

  10. I thought that looked like a fishing expedition, PrQ, but that would be like saying that if you oppose Howard you are a traitor. My problem would be that this would make me a traitor at times and a patriot at others. Too confusing.

  11. J F Beck:

    Young-earth creationism, intelligent design, “no global warming” are all part of the Republican platform, for some reason. There is non-zero number of scientists who believe such things, but it’s hardly surprising that the overwhelming majority of US scientists reject such crap and don’t identify themselves as Republicans.

    That’s the reality based community for you.

  12. It’s not just the Democrats who are traitors. Even George Will, who is to conservative commentary what Shane Warne is to leg spin bowling, has jumped off Bush.

    The self-hating American traitors should be sent to Guantanamo Bay, forthwith.

  13. Well has the Spengler article I linked to got any truth to it?(I don’t know him/her? from a bar of soap but he seems like a good fit with the Asia Times general flavour) Or is anti-Americanism simply tall poppy syndrome? Tasmanians and mainlanders, Kiwis and Aussies and so forth. OTOH, since the fall of the Berlin Wall have leftists just got more sulky over time at picking losers and now increasingly take their frustrations out on a big winner? A mixture perhaps?

  14. Settle kiddies. JQ overstated the whole speaking out against Bush gets one painted as anti-American scenario. My comment was simply a continuation of JQ’s hyperbolic premise.

    Certainly there are America-hating elements with the American left but I don’t really see this as a significant problem, which is why I’ve written little to nothing about it.

  15. In an interview in “The Age ” Chris Patten made no effort to conceal his distaste for Cheney,whom he called “conspiratorial” ,and “very easy to dislike” and also “the Honorary Patron on the Washington branch of the Israel-Likud party “..leaving no doubt of his dislike of Bush Mid-east policies in general.

  16. Anecdotal, but the US Mid-Atlantic office I worked in a couple of years ago when all this happened was largely populated by scientists and engineers. The majority were highly critical of Bush, to the point that several lifelong American Republican Party voters, changed their vote. One of my mates, an engineer who is what would be called the Republican base prior to 2002, has called him the worst president ever.

    The Bush administration has been hostile to empiricism. Most of the cabinet members and secretaries which have left or been thrown out were empiricists – starting with Whitman and O’Neill. There is only room for ideologues in the Bush Administration. IMHO this goes directly against science and engineering culture.

  17. John, a significant cause of the hostility from engineers is due to that constituency’s feeling of betrayal on offshoring and excessive technical immigration. Your phrase: “they can recognise enemies when they see them,” captures the response.

    The US arm of the prestigious IEEE has formal policy positions opposing Bush policy in these areas. It says: “The offshoring of high wage jobs from the United States to overseas locations is currently contributing to unprecedented levels of unemployment among American electrical, electronics and computer engineers. Offshoring also poses a very serious, long term challenge to the nation’s leadership in technology and innovation, its economic prosperity, and its military and homeland security.”

    It also supports restrictions on temporary worker immigration and stronger workforce protections.

  18. I tend to find it rather ironic that Bin Laden and 9/11 truely united the U.S.A. through their disgusting actions. Since then Bush has continually found ways to divide the country.

  19. Excuse my naivety but my take is that this is mainly the fruits of the neo-cons hijacking Republican conservatism turning what was often inept short term foreign policy into incompetent and arrogant stupidity. I would assume that Rove isn’t a neo-con just a savvy political player, if so why would he let Bush get so entrenched with these gung-ho ideologues?

  20. “Why do they hate Iran?”

    I have never been to Iran. Art and History aside I am pretty sure I would hate it. I find the notion of theocracy really outrageous.

    I am inclined to be sympathetic towards the thesis of Robert Baer who thinks Iran has been waging a silent war against the USA since 1979. I think that Bush invaded the wrong country. Iraq as a mostly secular state was not a major sourse of Islamic terrorism. Reagan was probably right to back Iraq in the war with Iran. And we should keep an eye on the Saudi Arabia also.

    Robert Baers book “See no Evil” is a compelling read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Baer#Articles

  21. observa,

    Re Spengler article: It totally misses the point that adults don’t need leaders and stereotyping is no longer fashionable.

  22. “I would assume that Rove isn’t a neo-con just a savvy political player, if so why would he let Bush get so entrenched with these gung-ho ideologues?”

    It’s an interesting question, Simon.

    A parallel may be seen in the way in which briefly, crucially and disastrously, G. Gordon Liddy was able to convince John Mitchell that Operation Gemstone was a worthwhile project for CREEP to fund. It had no identifiable benefit commensurate with any money or resources expended on it. Yet support for it came to be seen as support for the President’s most heart-felt desires. And on that basis Watergate and all the other lunacy went forward.

    Similarly, it seems, Dick Cheney played the G. Gordon Liddy role in a rather more direct way in convincing Bush himself that his own previoiusly unacknowledged deepest desires lay in the direction of an invasion of Iraq. I really do believe that Bush thought that Iraqi oil would pay for it as well.

    Woodward’s book on the decision for war indicates just how perfunctory was any discussion in the White House about the issues necessarily consequent upon invasion, such as occupation and nation-building after military victory.

    The famous Downing Street Memos also provide a British perspective on their surprise about lack of planning.

    Moreover, British ambassor Sir Christopher Meyers in his memoir shows how prominent was Cheney in pre-war discussions with the British.

    And finally and crucially to the gathering firestorm in DC over the decision for war, the stream of intelligence justifying invasion was thoroughly contaminated by Cheney’s and Rumsfelds Office of Special Plans redaction of CIA material. both Bush and the Congress were reading the same intelligence — Cheney’s lies.

  23. Well, any American who supports US independence is clearly a traitor ipso facto, and furthermore in favour of terrorism against supporters of the legitimate regime.

  24. “The majority were highly critical of Bush, to the point that several lifelong American Republican Party voters, changed their vote. One of my mates, an engineer who is what would be called the Republican base prior to 2002, has called him the worst president ever.”

    At this point, George Bush ahs succeeded in alientating not only liberals and moderates but also a large part of his base.

    It’s interesting that his right-wing critics have exactly the opposite complaints to his liberal critics – he has’t been sufficiently vigorous in pursuing the war on terror, hasn’t been radical enough in his domestic agenda and hasn’t appointed enough conservatives to the bench.

    The universality of the condemnation and the range of justificatiosn make me think that the rejection of Bush by the Ameircan public is mroe abotu emotional factors than it is about reasoned politics.

  25. “I would assume that Rove isn’t a neo-con just a savvy political player, if so why would he let Bush get so entrenched with these gung-ho ideologues?”

    Well it was the widely ridiculed (in advance) “energise your base” strategy that one Bush re-election.

  26. just by the by, but have you ever noticed how many al qaeda-linked terrorists are engineers? it’s bewildering: khalid shaikh mohammed, ramzi yousef, mohammed atta, ziad jarrah, ahmed al-ghamdi, marwan al-shehhi, said bahaji, zacarias moussaoui and mohammed sadeek odeh all had training in at least one field of engineering. a quarter of the 9-11 bombers were engineers. the big cheese himself, osama, graduated from uni in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering.

    something to think about, especially given the [usually correct] perception that “Scientists and engineers are not generally seen as a highly political group”.

  27. Another reason engineers and scientists scorn the Bush government can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, definition A.1.a of the word “ignorant”: Destitute of knowledge, either in general or with respect to a particular fact or subject; unknowing, uninformed, unlearned.

    Ignorance is astonishingly widespread in the USA. I could, no doubt, start a flame war of stories about ignorant citizens of the USA, such as a professor of modern history from a mid-Western university, whom I met in 1978, who did not know that Australia had taken part in the Vietnam War. In the Bush government we find not only ignorance of history, science and geography but an adolescent refusal to concede that these include anything non-obvious but worth knowing.

    Pity, really, as my experience, like that of Terje, has been that they are generous, friendly and industrious.

  28. Roberto:

    The fact that Bin Laden points out stuff e.g. that the US likes to invade places and kill people doesn’t mean that either:

    a) the US doesn’t actually do this stuff, or

    b) the US should continue to do this stuff simply because Bin Laden objects to it.

    When you invade countries and kill people, a whole lot of people will object. Maybe enough to start another round of terrorist attacks. E.g. the London Undergound. Duh.

  29. Snuh says:- “just by the by, but have you ever noticed how many al qaeda-linked terrorists are engineers? it’s bewildering: khalid shaikh mohammed, ramzi yousef, mohammed atta, ziad jarrah, ahmed al-ghamdi, marwan al-shehhi, said bahaji, zacarias moussaoui and mohammed sadeek odeh all had training in at least one field of engineering”

    Yes, I have noticed this Snuh. And I also note how few have done tertiary humanities and social sciences type courses. Maybe a more well-rounded liberal education, as opposed to a rigid specialist edication, would help innoculate those who are susceptible to terrorism.

  30. In the leadup to the Iraq war, we were repeatedly told that anyone who disagreed with the rush to war, or criticised the Bush Administration, was “anti-American�.

    Funny , my recollection was that anyone who agreed with the US/Australian/British etc etc , methodical , reasoned and well argued argument for the liberation of Iraq or supported the Bush Administration for it’s determination to do so , was repeatedly pertrayed as a “suckhole” or a supporter of American imperialism etc.

    I wonder what our grandchildren will think?

  31. “Funny , my recollection was that anyone who agreed with the US/Australian/British etc etc , methodical , reasoned and well argued argument for the liberation of Iraq…”

    Just to clarify Jim. You ARE talking about the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

  32. The iraq war support it or disagree with it, the issue has been extremely blurred around one man and his supposive “clique” who have somehow garnered such frothing condemnation in intellectual circles, in which… might i suggest, that it is only because he is not one of them? For that matter, neither am i! I suppose that signifies me as certifiably stupid right?!

    To be clear, i am a firm bush supporter, period! But, i do recognize ones God given right to disagree with him or me, period! I do not like the constant character assasinations constantly being played out by both sides against those of opposing views, and only wish we can somehow develope the ability for critical reasoning without feeling the need to politicize every single issue of historical significance, and then categorize them into tiny little details and then think we are so smart by calling them soundbites, if that is possible!?

    If Mr. Bush lied to us, then so did the rest of the world ‘s intelligence communities. Or, if Mr. Kerry or any other democrats are so anti-american & unpatriotic, then i suppose the 50+ million who voted for him are too, which would be just as ignorant as the statement that “Bush lied, people died”! Ignorancies can and does work both ways.

    It’s been quite some time since i’ve seen such a bunch of non-issues as these, take center stage and then be presented to me as if it really reflects the reality of the current enviroment, in todays much different era of unstability.

  33. 400-3. boys. The Democrats don’t even have the courage of their own rhetoric.

    So who gives a damn if these impotent poseurs are patriotic or not.

  34. With a 400-3 Senate vote to not pull out of Iraq this GWB “split” is pure hyperbole.

    Those that hate the US are just haters.

  35. Well, perhaps not all is lost. This interesting story points to the success of Arab-Americans (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2781) and the point is clear that: “if cultural impediments are behind the Arab world’s disappointing performance, what explains Arab Americans’ incredible success? The answer, of course, is opportunities and institutions. Arabs in the United States have access to ample opportunities to prosper and can rely on powerful institutions to protect their civil, political, and economic rights to do so. Indeed, the census data show that Arab ancestry mixed with markets and meritocracy creates a potent fuel for success.”

    And further on: “(Arab) leaders should be ashamed when they see their emigrants prospering in the United States while their own people are miserable. ”

    All this on the back of: “Whereas 24 percent of Americans hold college degrees, 41 percent of Arab Americans are college graduates. The median income for an Arab family living in the United States is $52,300—4.6 percent higher than other American families—and more than half of all Arab Americans own their home. Forty-two percent of people of Arab descent in the United States work as managers or professionals, while the same is true for only 34 percent of the general U.S. population. For many, this success has come on quickly”

    Yep, America is a shocking country to live in. I guess it explains why people are in such a rush to migrate there? How long is the entry cue to get into Iran or Syria etc etc

  36. Markets and trading (local and international) have been part of the Arab culture for a long time. Moreover, it seems to me those who have traded in the markets in North Africa (bazaars), where prices are negotiated, would have an advantage in negotiating individual work contracts over those who were brought up in a type of market economy where haggling was frowned upon.

    The trouble with the argument in Roberto’s post is that there may be more than one notion of ‘success’ in the world and it seems to me the ‘big cheeses’ (to borrow a term from snuh) in the world try to convince the ‘little cheeses’ that their notion of ‘success’ is the right one. And, it seems, the little cheeses don’t like the methods used by the ‘big cheeses’.

  37. The Media Matters link hardly proves that anyone was “repeatedly told anyone who disagreed” with the war was anti-American. The link basically shows one person, Ollie North saying that one other person, John Kerry, was anti-American. And North makes it clear that Kerry has taken several anti-American positions, his comment isn’t even limited to the Iraq war issue. Unfortunately, the dems (and I’m an independent, not a dem or repub) are now using the same smoke and mirrors with the “unpatriotic” label that they are trying to hang on various people who haven’t even used the term to describe anyone else.

  38. Terje Peterson, your comment that “Bush invaded the wrong country” is quite interesting. With no UN resolutions demanding that Iran take any specific action, how would you have justified such an attack on Iran? Are 18 UN resolutions against Saddam meaningless?

  39. “With a 400-3 Senate vote to not pull out of Iraq this GWB “splitâ€? is pure hyperbole.”

    That IS an impressive result. Especially considering that there are only 100 members of the US senate.

    I hadn’t realised that they were using Diebold machines to count the ballots.

  40. “And further on: â€?(Arab) leaders should be ashamed when they see their emigrants prospering in the United States while their own people are miserable. â€? ”

    As I have noted before, one reason for allowing migration from repressive countries is exactly to encourage the growth of expatriate communities capable of acting as interlocutors and exemplars between liberal democracies and those countries.

    The prominent role played by expats in post-Soviet Eastern Europe illustrates this.

  41. That 400-3 house vote on the question of immediate withdrawal from Iraq is as bogus on any vote the House may take on the following motion:

    “That this House relinquishes forever any claim to question in any way the policies and actions of the Executive in the conduct of the war in Iraq.”

    I imagine that this motion would also be voted down 400-3 or thereabouts.

    If the opponents of the Bush Clique in the House, both Democrat and Republican, had their wits about them, they would have moved an amendment to that ridiculous motion to the effect that the Bush Clique set firm and explicit and testable benchmarks for the commitment of more or fewer troops to Iraq.

    The motion as it stood is a sign of fear and desperation on the part of the House supporters of the Bush Clique. Their resolve is paper thin. This is a final gesture of defiance in face of the electoral tidal wave that is about to overwhelm them.

  42. What’s all this sudden fuss about proving that folks really believed Iraq had WMDs? I thought it was all about regime change and injecting the vaccine of democracy into the region.

    Regardless of the talking points du jour, I think everyone can agree on two things:

    The WMDS weren’t bloody there.
    Iraq is an unholy mess (and Aghanisitan ain’t looking too good either.)

    If this was the private sector so beloved of the Bush adminstration, heads would have rolled by now over such a titanic fuckup. It’s Enron does Central Asia.

  43. “Car bombs kill 48; Bush says war on track�
    – see the Right Wing does have a better sense of humour.

  44. Actually we find some black humour in the notion that when Saddam and his henchmen killed the same 48 and quietly bulldozed their unpleasant handiwork, then that was preferable because we were all peaceful secularists together. Peace in our time I believe it’s called.

  45. How about the keeslapper when you guys claimed that you were killing 100,000 Iraqis and blowing $500 billion in order to save those 48 lives per day?

  46. Let’s look at Iraq closely:

    • freed 26 million people from one of the most oppressive governments
    • The car bombings etc – well the insurgents are killing fellow Iraqi/Arabs/Muslims – the Coalition isn’t!
    • ps: Afghanistan has had stable elections and a new democratic government, and women voted
    • The insurgents favourite past time is brutal (religious inspired) beheadings
    • Successful constitutional and representative focused elections, all despite the threat and actuality of insurgent threats
    • The Iraqi Interim government appointed a Kurdish, as the President , the first non-ethnic Arab to be appointed to such a powerful position in the whole Arab world.
    • The PM is a Shiite
    • The government has stood for 2 years straight
    • The Kurds and the Shiite continue to work to include Sunni representation into constitutional and representative government issues.
    What is the current alternative to a pullout – throw open Iraq to capture by a bunch of unelected, theocratic fascists would love nothing more that to ‘spread the love’.

    As to the issue re: WMD

    I quote from the following:

    “Here is what was known by 1998 based on Iraq’s own admissions:

    * That in the years immediately prior to the first Gulf War, Iraq produced at least 3.9 tons of VX, a deadly nerve gas, and acquired 805 tons of precursor ingredients for the production of more VX.

    * That Iraq had produced or imported some 4,000 tons of ingredients to produce other types of poison gas.

    * That Iraq had produced 8,500 liters of anthrax.

    * That Iraq had produced 500 bombs fitted with parachutes for the purpose of delivering poison gas or germ payloads.

    * That Iraq had produced 550 artillery shells filled with mustard gas.

    * That Iraq had produced or imported 107,500 casings for chemical weapons.

    * That Iraq had produced at least 157 aerial bombs filled with germ agents.

    * That Iraq had produced 25 missile warheads containing germ agents (anthrax, aflatoxin, and botulinum).

    Again, this list of weapons of mass destruction is not what the Iraqi government was suspected of producing. (That would be a longer list, including an Iraqi nuclear program that the German intelligence service had concluded in 2001 might produce a bomb within three years.) It was what the Iraqis admitted producing. And it is this list of weapons–not any CIA analysis under either the Clinton or Bush administrations–that has been at the heart of the Iraq crisis. ”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/content/public/articles/000/000/003/236jmcbd.asp

  47. I guess that 94% of American engineers referred to in JQ’s original post don’t know about the good news that Roberto has cribbed at such exhaustive length.

    Shame! Shame! Shame! Fox News!

    See what happens when you start pandering to liberal elites? Caffe Latte gets spilled all over the Talking Points.

    Meanwhile type any of the key words in this more or less randomly selected snippet into Google to gain some idea of the political and moral limits of the Bush Clique’s military adventure in Iraq:

    “Recruitment is collapsing, both for the regular Army and Marines, and for the reserves and the National Guard. Parts and even ammunition are in short supply. Morale is at an all time low and sinking.”

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_dave_lin_051118_admit_it_3a_the_us_has.htm

    I guess that professional engineers aren’t among the most likely demographic to sign up for active service. But then again, which demographic is?

  48. Let’s look at Iraq closely:

    Afghanistan has had stable elections and a new democratic government, and women voted

    Actually I’d say that’s a rather broad view of Iraq.

  49. “That in the years immediately prior to the first Gulf War, Iraq produced…”

    And what proportion of that list had been destroyed under UN supervision prior to 1998?

  50. “•The government has stood for 2 years straight”

    Umm, no.

    Remember the eections in January? They were in all the papers.

  51. Anytime you find a favourable remark about Bush you can count on it that the site is an astroturf operation like Flack Central Station or the aptly-named Junk Science.And your evidence of these being fakes is…?
    Astroturf – artificial “grassroots”, right?
    Look, know such things as evidence and so on are mere inconveniences to you, but unsupported and insulting statements like that reflect poorly on those making them – be they right or left.
    I’m a Right Wing Death B*tch who blogs on Science, Enginering, Facts and Politics.
    So I take your insult personally. Please withdraw and apologise. Or put up evidence that my blog’s “Astroturf” as you put it.

  52. I’d love to see some quotes, some dates and names, some evidence of some kind to support your charge that “anyone who disagreed with the rush to war.. or criticised Bush.. was called anti-American”.

    Watching our news here in the USA every day, I found that if one marginal person used the word “unpatriotic” one time, it resulted in 100 news stories which showed video of or quoted Democrats complaining that Bush and the Republicans were calling all the Dems “anti-American”… But I never did hear Bush or any of his team use “anti-American” or “unpatriotic” in the sense we’re speaking of here, when describing any American at any time in any context. You might have heard a couple of Fox News pundits speculating as to whether someone was unpatriotic, but it was NOT a theme of the Bush people.

    It IS a theme of the whining left here in the states, complaining that they’re being called that. But who is saying it about them? I can’t find the quotes, I can’t remember the occasions, I’ve got NOTHING on it. Do you?

    Dave
    Texas

    p.s. Bush began exploring the war option at the beginning of 2002. We invaded in the spring of 2003. FIFTEEN MONTHS. That’s some speedy “rush to war” there, pal.

  53. Ian Gould :

    Actually I’d say that’s a rather broad view of Iraq.

    You deliberately omitted the “ps” which makes the context of the statement clear. I know you’re trying to be clever with such cheap and misplaced pedantry, but it just makes you sound like a wanker, and the fact that you’re wrong makes you look even sillier.

  54. Nabakov, Actually, we know the WMD were there. Saddam admitted it when he supplied a list of WMD and components (albeit an incomplete one according to Mr Blix) to UN inspectors detailing what he had allegedly done with them. The question is and always has been, what happened to all of it.

  55. Ian Gould,
    Iraq has had a government since before January 2005. You might recall all the whining that the Iraqi Provisional government was a US puppet.

    As to what proportion of the list had been destroyed under UN supervision prior to 1998, that’s um, what the UN inspectors were trying to determine. Unfortunately Saddam blocked them from doing so, thereby violating his ceasefire obligations.

  56. Zoe, Tech Central Station was set up as part of a lobbying operation by James Glassman. The details are at
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0312.confessore.html

    Steve Milloy’s (Junk Science) history of funding by the tobacco industry has been well documented also, notably at Tim Lambert’s site (check the blogroll).

    These are easily the most prominent “science” sites that are generally supportive of the policies of the Bush Administration, and they are Astroturf sites. There are a string of others, such as Alexis de Tocqueville Institute and many more listed here
    http://timlambert.org/2004/05/adti/

    I’m sure there are exceptions to this pattern, though I haven’t run across any lately. I read you as saying you’re a scientist, and run an independent pro-Bush blog. If so, I apologise to you for any insult taken.

    Dave, the links were provided in the update, but Google would have found them for you if you’d bothered to look.

    As a general point, there seems to have emerged a pattern of demanding links to support statements of easily checkable facts. In future, please do your own Google search first, before making such demands. If you come up empty, then ask me for my sources.

  57. Katz Says: November 20th, 2005 at 9:08 pm “I guess that professional engineers aren’t among the most likely demographic to sign up for active service. But then again, which demographic is?”

    I can’t comment about the US, but on Friday, the Australian Retail Study Centre at Monash University revealed findings into GenY, and their (future) employment interests (and to Monash’s surprise) GENY rated highest professions/careers such as defence and the police (anything involving a uniform it appears).

    Maybe the decline in military recruitment in the US is a result of other factors than a simplistic interpretation offered.

  58. “Ian Gould,
    Iraq has had a government since before January 2005. You might recall all the whining that the Iraqi Provisional government was a US puppet.”

    Avaroo do you understand the difference between “a” and “the”?

  59. “I can’t comment about the US, but on Friday, the Australian Retail Study Centre at Monash University revealed findings into GenY, and their (future) employment interests (and to Monash’s surprise) GENY rated highest professions/careers such as defence and the police (anything involving a uniform it appears).”

    Maybe the US Marines should send some recruiters to uniform-loving Australia.

    If they did, then some of our more vociferous RWDBs could put their butts where their mouths are. (For some this would involve only minor, cosmetic surgery.)

    No doubt there are many reasons why young Americans are sitting on their hands when offered the honour of serving their country.

    I’m not aware of any polling on that interesting question.

    But I’d like to wager that the unattractive prospect of full immersion in a futile, cynically misconceived quagmire ranks fairly high.

  60. Katz Says: November 21st, 2005 at 10:17 am “”If they did, then some of our more vociferous RWDBs could put their butts where their mouths are. (For some this would involve only minor, cosmetic surgery.)”

    Why not, let the LWFWs add it to the proceedure-list heavy medicare schedule. Another opportunity to pay the (private sector) VMOs lots more money out of taxpayers $$.

  61. “If they did, then some of our more vociferous RWDBs could put their butts where their mouths are. (For some this would involve only minor, cosmetic surgery.)”

    Why wait? I’m sure Haliburton could fidn a suitable use for their talents in Iraq.

    Unless, like Dick Cheney during Vietnam, they have “other priorities”.

  62. “If they did, then some of our more vociferous RWDBs could put their butts where their mouths are.”

    They won’t put their buts anywhere near danger. This is epecially true in the States, where it is largely the poor (white and black) and minority youth who are recruited for military service. You won’t find the children of the well to do doing their bit for ‘democracy, freedom and the American way’, in the middle east or anywhere else for that matter. Cheney, Bush and the rest of the mad neo con crowd handily managed to avoid military service the last time the US went on a frolic to preserve ‘freedom and democracy’, and that pattern is repeating itself this time around.

    However this fact is being increasingly noted in the US and many commentators have written that one of the most potent reasons for joining up in the military is the chance to obtain post school education and training, for those who otherwise would not be able to obtain it in the ‘market’ that there now exists for post schoool training.

    This may well explain the growing popularity of the army and the Police in this country as career choices, especially now since general employment rights conditions and pay can be expected to deteriorate rapidly in the wider labour market. So every cloud has a silver lining-less apprenticeships and training in the ‘open labour market’, but more people offering for service in the epolice and army. Excellent result!

  63. QUOTE: Terje Peterson, your comment that “Bush invaded the wrong country� is quite interesting. With no UN resolutions demanding that Iran take any specific action, how would you have justified such an attack on Iran?

    RESPONSE: With great difficulty. But they could have let Iraq do it and support them with arms and funds.

  64. Holy Cow, what a bunch of nonsense all condensed in one website.

    1-no one ever said those who disagree with Iraq are un-Patriotic.
    2-The House of Reps, not Congress, voted 400-3 last night.
    3-Ooh, Scientists don’t like Bush. Any proof? Funny how Bush is the only US pres. to allocate Fed Funds for Stem Cell Research.
    4-Kyoto was ORIGINALLY turned down 98-0 by Congress in 1998, and just who was President then?
    5-Since when is Creationism a Policy of the Republicans?
    6- Iraq and Afghanistan are lost causes. Gosh, you’d better tell the billion or so Afghans and Iraqis who voted, you know, for their new and non-Totalitarian Govts.
    7-Is this website the result of years of Marxist thought? Scary, and good luck!

  65. “4-Kyoto was ORIGINALLY turned down 98-0 by Congress in 1998”

    Some Dude, that would be the Senate and not Congress.

    Guess you don’t have to be a Marxist to get your facts wrong.

  66. To the aptly named Stoptherubbish –

    “where it is largely the poor (white and black) and minority youth who are recruited for military service.”

    I think you’ll find that the poor and lower middle class have, throughout history, staffed militaries in all countries. The positions historically reserved for toffs have been thrown open – the officer class ceased to be the exclusive domain of “gentlemen” in the late 19th century. And yes, that applies even in the workers’ paradises of Sweden, France, Germany etc.

    The military is an attractive option for people who want to go to university in the US. What’s so wrong with that? The American higher education system is the best in the world because of its user pays ethos and relative independence from government funding. This means you get a better degree, but it costs more. Joining the military to cheaply put yourself through uni sounds like a perfectly rational, sensible choice for a young person to make. I’d wager anything that the vast majority of people, once their tours of duty are up and they’ve got their degrees, are more than happy with the deal they struck with the military*. In fact, it sounds like a great way to empower people who may not have the resources to go to university. Still, the satisfaction of the individuals involved doesn’t mean much if the concept offends your misplaced sense of egalitarianism, huh?

    *And please don’t say “I bet the ones who joined for college and got killed in Iraq aren’t happy” – that’s pathetic and will be slapped down in two seconds flat.

  67. Oh, wow, Katz, you really caught me there. Perhaps, you could find some typos in my post, too. Perhaps, I didn’t stop completely at all the Stop Signs on my drive home today. Oooh, Katz, you’re quite the detective. You know, my shoelaces are untied as I write this, so I guess that pretty much invalidates this post, too.

    And actually, if you were an American, you’d realize that Senate and Congress are used interchangeably.

    But anyway, care to refute what I wrote? Or shall you just nitpick and continue to feel superior?

  68. And Bill Clinton signed Kyoto in the full knowledge that the Senate wouldn’t ratify it in a pink fit. And they still won’t.

    Doesn’t matter – it’s Bush’s fault somehow.

  69. I can feel superior to you SD without having to nitpick.

    That shoelace problem of yours can be fixed with velcro.

    How do you know I’m not a US citizen?

  70. Katz –

    Are you saying Some Dude is wrong in his assertion that “Congress” and “the Senate” are used interchangeably?

    If not, then I guess that makes you a pedant, and an erroneous one at that – the untouchable (and I mean that in the Indian, not Eliot Ness sense of the word) of any intelligent discussion.

    I also hope you are an American citizen. Because if you’re not, that question you pose would further emphasise your twerp status.

  71. “And Bill Clinton signed Kyoto in the full knowledge that the Senate wouldn’t ratify it in a pink fit. And they still won’t.”

    1. Clinton didn’t sign Kyoto, gore did.

    2. Neither the Senate nor the House ever voted formally on Kyoto. The Senate voted on a motion not to ratify any climate change treaty “that would adversely affect trhe US economy”. As a result, Clinton never formally presented the Protocol for ratification.

    3. The McCain Leiberman Climate Stewardship Bill (co-sponsored by that notorious Marxist Senator John McCain) was defeated 43-55 in 2003 with at least two other Republicans supporting the bill. The US is one mid-term away from sane global warming legislation.

    http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Newscenter.ViewPressRelease&Content_id=1171

    I’m sure that the detail in my response will get me labelled a pedant but if I omitted it I’m equally sure I’d be accused of failing to support my arguments with facts.

  72. “1. Clinton didn’t sign Kyoto, gore did.”

    Huh? So? Clinton was the prez. His signature is all that matters. Are we talking about the same Al Gore who in the late ’90s took a whole bunch of campaign money from the airline industry while at the same time stifling a Govt. report saying that the security of the US airline industry was woeful? That Al Gore? Gosh, I wonder how many on the 9-11 flights were complaining of icebergs melting as the planes… oh, never mind.

    Right, nothing like Laws to really protect the environment. Why, praytell, are the most undeveloped countries the ones with the most enviro problems? Hmm, well, it could be because economic growth actually stimulates enviro protection. Anyone up for some bottled water from Africa?

    And as for the countries that have signed onto Kyoto, it’s all rainbows and unicorns now is it? Hey, maybe you can ask France stop with all the Car-be-ques. It really is getting hot over here.

    But you know what’s really amazing? This whole thread was started because some “Professor” stated that those who opposed the Iraq War were labeled as unpatriotic. Hmm, after several dozen posts, still have yet to see any proof.

    That’s okay, I’m still chuckling over the Climate Stewardship Bill. Hmm, the Earth and the Solar System vs. a pair of dimwitted politicians? So let me get this straight: religious people are fools because they believe the Bible, but enviros who think that old men with $100 haircuts will be able to stop the Earth from changing temperature are what, enlightened?

    Oh, and McCain is a twit. His name is on one of the worst bills ever to be enacted into law, Campaign Finance Reform. And Bush should be vilified for having signed it.

  73. Umm, SD, did you actually read the update (posted well before you arrived here) and follow the links? Or did you just take Tim’s word for it that there wasn’t any evidence and dive straight in?

  74. “Huh? So? ”

    So I was fascinated by the sheer number of factual errors you could squeeze into a single sentence.

    “Hmm, after several dozen posts, still have yet to see any proof.”

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/huston/051119

    “On November 17th, Representative John Murtha (D, PA) called for the USA to prove that Osama bin Laden is right with his contention that Americans are cowards. He proposed that the US immediately pull its troops from Iraq.”

    http://mensnewsdaily.com/blog/longenecker/2005/11/u-word-mothra-loses.html

    UnAmerican is what applies now to the left in America. Long overdue.

    Go ahead, say it to yourself. Say the word out loud: Un-American.

    Notice how truly it applies to the likes of the Democrats now, all of them.

  75. Katz,
    You are being a bit of a pedant above. SD may not be right, but perhaps you could answer his substantive point without getting hung up on the difference between one of the consituent bodies of the Houses of Congress and the Houses of Congress themselves.
    The chances of a US president, of whichever stripe, getting Kyoto ratified by the Senate and then getting substantive legislation through Congress (both Houses) are so close to zero it is not worth them spending political capital on. It would be much better for them to try to get through a bill protecting wilderness or something else that is possible.
    The chances of France, Germany or anyone else meeting their Kyoto commitments are also quite low, so the whole process probably merely made the problem worse by providing an excuse for a lot of bureaucrats and other self important windbags to fly to Kyoto and other nice places for exotic lunches and a large amount of talking.
    It has put it on the agenda, so perhaps it was useful. Who knows – but it will not get through the US Houses of Congress.

  76. I was living in the USA post 9/11 and during the lead up and invasion of Iraq. I used to count the seconds between speech lines for GWB to mention the word “terror or Terrorists” there were even examples where the word was not approprate to the sentence. Key words used over a 2 year period were – Terror, Patriotic duty, The American Way, Freedom, You are either with us or against us’ and many more. The press seemed to have hunkered down after 9/11, and anyone challenging the President was vocally castigated and accused of being unpatriotic or worse, a ‘Saddam lover’. The hysteria was astounding. Any anti-American views that the rest of the world may have, is not considered seriously in America and, is blown off as ‘They are jealous’. I was often shocked to hear such comments. These comments were often made in National current affairs shows, and not limited to local reporting.
    I feel that lately, the press is finally speaking out, and hope that the Americans will continue to take off their rose coloured George glasses.

  77. To the writer from Texas, who claimed that he never heard the word Anti-American on television, or someone being accused of it, I refute that claim. Though I cannot give dates, I heard it constantly on CNN, Fox, NBC, PBS, ABC. The majority of current affairs shows, had guests on who would accuse anyone disagreeing with the Iraq invasion and the President, as being unpatriotic. The president did indeed utter these words, as did others speaking from the White House. Even Oprah Winfrey was abused for asking the question post 9/11 – “Why do they hate us?” Even more insulting, was that anyone wanting to discuss whether the US should be in Iraq, was often accused of abandoning the soldiers, and not supporting the troops.

  78. Holy Cow, I stand corrected. Several pundits/bloggers called people unPatriotic/Anti-American. Well! That settles it. I never even heard of 2 of them. And neither have 99% of most Americans. I’m sure I can round a few Americans to say that Elvis is still alive. So would that trump what the official Coroner said of Elvis?

    Okay, let’s try this again. Who cares what Joe Schmo says? Did Bush/Cheney/Rummy call anyone unPatriotic? No! That’s the point. The Only Point.

    Professor: you quote Media Matters and Sean Hannity. Again, soooo? S. Hannity is a pundit. Who gives a rats ass what he says?

    Seriously, is this the best you guys can do? Oh, no, someone called me UnPatriotic. Sob. Sob. If it’s not true, why do you care? Seriously, when Coulter and Hannity speak of the threat of Islamofascism or other public policy, I doubt you take them seriously. So why do you take their “insults” seriously?

    Take a look at what the Left has been saying for 5 years: Bush Lied, War for Oil, War for Haliburton. Ever been to a “peace” rally? I have and I see signs calling for Bush’s murder, calling Bush Hitler. I see signs promoting Communism and for the violent overthrow of the US Govt. Gosh, how could anyone mistake that for being unPatriotic?

    “he president did indeed utter these words, as did others speaking from the White House. Even Oprah Winfrey was abused for asking the question post 9/11 – “Why do they hate us?â€?”

    Because it’s a moronic question. The U.S., while far from perfect, is a force for good on this planet. When B. Clinton was prez we saved Muslims from Genocide. We buy their oil (at prices they set) and they buy palaces. When Muslims come to the US, we respect their religion and allow them to practice it in peace.

    The question is moronic because when the US is attacked, you want to understand the motives, but when the US fights back, you don’t look for motives, you look only for political gain (Bush lied, war for oil).

    Okay, you tell me why they hate us.

  79. “Key words used over a 2 year period were – Terror, Patriotic duty, The American Way, Freedom, You are either with us or against us’ and many more.”

    This is a perfect illustration of the vacuousness of the Left. What should the prez of the US be saying? What, would a countrywide handholding session, complete with “Why do they Hate us” posters and songs actually solve the problem of TERRORISTS MURDERING INNOCENT PEOPLE?

    Ay-yi-yi. It’s amazing how your love of Marxism/Socialism (’cause that’s really what the fight is about; you guys could care less about Iraq and its people, etc., if you did, you would be cheering the ouster of Saddam.) has corroded your brains. Do you understand that if you are not a Muslim, the terrorists want you dead?

  80. “I never heard of these guys”

    SomeDude, you’ve demonstrated your ignorance pretty thoroughly in this thread. The fact that you’re ignorant of (or, more likely have conveniently forgotten) something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    And, fairly obviously, the allusion in the post didn’t take the form of weeping and wailing, but of a mildly snarky introductory remark. It’s you (and others) who’ve been wailing that they’ve been traduced by having their own words, or the words of pundits they cheered on at the time, thrown back at them.

  81. AR, I never mentioned Kyoto. Nor have I mentioned the American political response to Kyoto.

    My point in regard to SD was a small but precise one.

    My message to SD: “Before accusing other people of being ignoramuses, take a look in the mirror to make sure that “ignoramus” isn’t written on your own forehead.” (A little tip for SD, the word will appear backward in the mirror.)

  82. “The chances of a US president, of whichever stripe, getting Kyoto ratified by the Senate and then getting substantive legislation through Congress (both Houses) are so close to zero it is not worth them spending political capital on.”

    See my comments on the McCain Leibermann bill.

    “The chances of France, Germany or anyone else meeting their Kyoto commitments are also quite low,”

    Kyoto was desinged to promote international rtrade in permits. If it is economically rational for those countries to buy permits from other countries this is a good thing.

    Or have you now converted to a belief in mercantilism or autarky Andrew?

  83. “Okay, let’s try this again. Who cares what Joe Schmo says? Did Bush/Cheney/Rummy call anyone unPatriotic? No! That’s the point. The Only Point.”

    Pity you failed so miserably in making it first time around.

  84. If we set “Joe Schmo” equal to “Some Dude” then everybody seems to agree.

    Did I miss something?

  85. Tink,
    call me unreliable,but your unsupported word that you’ve constantly heard things that reinforce your view is not sufficient for me.(And,some of my best friends were liberal arts majors,so don’t accuse me of being a snob.)No one in the government or media has ever used the term”Saddam lover”,the phrase “American way” is part of the famed triad of “Truth,justice ad the American waay” in Superman tv show and bubbele,there are terrorists.
    But wait,you’ve quoted Oprah.

  86. Yes, Right Wing pundits and mouthpieces spouting off vitriol and bile, and outright lies is one thing. We lefties should wear this smear as a badge of honour.

    But what about Karl Rove? He’s no mere smearer. He’s known, and acknowledged by the Empty Cranium himself, as “Bush’s Brain”.

    There is Rove’s smear of liberals as unpatriotic. These words were uttered at the New York State Conservative Party in June 2005. Among friends, Rove got caught up in the moment and revealed the way in which the GWOT could be used to label liberals as unpatriotic.

    “Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. . . . Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: ‘We will defeat our enemies.’ Liberals saw what happened to us and said: ‘We must understand our enemies.’ ”

    I’m not the first to remark that this is a complete falsification of history. The record shows that the United States was united in Bush’s robust response to the Taliban.

    Too many liberals were swept along by Bush’s idiotic and illegal invasion of Iraq. And many liberal leaders and opinion shapers still haven’t regained their balance.

    However, the American people have looked critically at the motivations, mismanagement and dire likely consequences of the Iraq fiasco. Many of them now look to liberal leaders to show some courage and seek a sane way forward.

    Yes, these liberals deserve severe criticism for their pusillaminity. Maybe some of them are so thoroughly discredited that they should just withdraw.

    But whatever happens, American public opinion will find some outlet for expression.

    Bush and Rove are terrified of this. Thus, Rove is calling the Right Wing base to action.

    And that speech quoted above is just the beginning of a very bitter rearguard action by a thoroughly discredited administration.

  87. Wow! I am gob-smacked at the bizarre allegations here that have absolutely no basis in reality. If the reality of the hated Republicans and the evil Bush aren’t enough, you just make crap up and the rest of the crowd just laps it up. You people have become unhinged.

  88. Ian Gould,
    I may like McCain, but that does not mean I agree with him on this. Even if the treaty was ratified (and changing a further 5 votes in the Senate would be very difficult) enabling legislation would still have to get through the House and then the Senate. With all the oil lobby money and the isolationist sentiment in there that is even less likely.
    You would (if you have read many of my posts here) already have a fair idea on my position on merchantilism. I will take that as a jibe, then. The problem with tradable credits is that someone has to have some credits to trade. The only country that may have some is Russia due to the collapse in its economy over the last 10 years – but even that is now looking unlikely. If everyone is in a debit position the trading of credits is not just difficult.

  89. “I am gob-smacked at the bizarre allegations here that have absolutely no basis in reality.”

    Such as?

  90. “The only country that may have some is Russia due to the collapse in its economy over the last 10 years – but even that is now looking unlikely. If everyone is in a debit position the trading of credits is not just difficult.”

    Actually I believe there aree expected to be a number of countries with permits to trade. For that matter, the EU as a whole is much closer to meeting its overall target than most people realise because of the incorporation of the foremer East Germany.

    Additionally there’s another soruce of credits you haven’t considered – the Clean Development Mechanism.

  91. Wow. Abusive right wing trolls popping up all over a thread about America’s standing in the world. Gee, what a suprise.

  92. Corwin and to others:
    I heard the comments, I watched their lips move. I was not and am not making the comments up. My reference to Oprah was the fall out that occurred just because she asked a hard question – “Why do they Hate us”.
    Actually your response to someone saying that they heard these comments, fits well with the right wing method of spouting vitriol and insults, but take no responsibility if others do not agree or like the comments.
    Many many times I sat with my jaw dropping at what I heard coming out of seemingly intelligent people. I no longer reside in the USA,(returned home a year ago) so cannot comment on television current affairs currently screening, and the only news show I see from the States is Jim Lehrer live.

    By the way, I am not being personal, merely making comments on my observations, so prefer that I was not called Marxist, etc.

  93. Andrew certainly. It may take me a day or so. I’ll be off the net for most of the day tomorrow.

    In the meantime here’s the CDM homepage:

    http://cdm.unfccc.int/

    Quote:

    First emission credits issued under the Kyoto Protocol

    The Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) today issued the first ever certified emission reductions (CERs) under the Kyoto Protocol. These credits were issued for two hydroelectric projects in Honduras. ‘La Esperanza Hydroelectric Project’ is expected to initially generate annually 37,000 CERs and is registered in partnership with Italy, while the ‘Rio Blanco Small Hydroelectric Project’, in which Finland has a stake, produces 17,800 CERs per year.

    You might also like to take a look at the International Emissions Trading Association website:

    http://www.ieta.org/ieta/www/pages/index.php?IdSitePage=954

    From that site you mgiht want to note this story:

    http://www.ieta.org/ieta/www/pages/index.php?IdSitePage=954

    Anatoly Chubais certainly seems to think Russia will have substantial credits to sell.

  94. Ian Gould responded to a request for proof that the Bush team or Republicans in general were calling anyone against the war “unpatriotic” or “anti-American”, and the three links he smugly posted in response led me to:

    Ann Coulter (pundit)

    Warner Todd Huston (columnist I never heard of)

    Somebody named Longenecker (blogger I never heard of)

    Ann Coulter is neither a politician (too bad, I’d vote for her) nor a member of the Bush administration in any context whatsoever. The other two people are simply unknown.

    Mr. Gould, you do well with smug, but you strike out in 3 whiffs when you try to provide proof that calling people “anti-American” was in any way Bush policy. He never did it, nobody in the administration ever did it, no politician ever did it so far as I know. And I reckon if someone had done it, you’d have had a link for us.

  95. Its amazing how those who swallow the myth of US/UK “basic benevolence” populate this thread. These people are among the pundits who have put aside the reams of lies about Iraq WMD, links with terrorist groups etc and have now retreated to the usual refrain for US intervention: ‘bringers of democracy’. Last year, when Bush said he wanted to “bring democracy to the Middle east” (and, by association, suppose he meant South America, Asia, Africa, Mars, Pluto etc), his rhetoric was met with reverential awe amongst most US commentators. A few were critical of the means he had used, but the basic idea was beyond critique. Its all part of the “American creed” that several US bloggers are promulgating here. And its all an illusion.

    If you want to truly find out about a person’s intentions, you don’t ask the guy with the stick, but the guy getting hit with the stick. In a patriarchal family, you don’t ask the patriarch but the matriarch or the children. Well, several polls were held in Iraq last year that coinicided (by accident) with Bush’s great democracy pronouncement. And there were Iraq’s who believed that the US had invaded Iraq to bring democracy: 1%. More than 60% thought the Americans had invaded to control Iraqs resources (especially oil) and to privatize the economy to benefit foreign corporations. But only 1% thought they were there to spread democracy, in contrast with 100% of US pundits. This should have been news, but wasn’t. Moreover, most Iraqis were sure that, even if they were allowed to vote, that the US old only allow a democracy that they could “control”. In other words, you can have any democracy you like as long as you do what we tell you to. This should be hardly controversial, because its exactly the kinds of democracies the US have supported since the end of the second world war: top down regimes run by local elites closely tied to powerful US elites. Latin America is littered with these kinds of governments, in which there is effectively little difference between the candidates ad parties, and where most of ther countires wealth is expatriated by US interests.

    The thing the western establishment fears, and always has done, is independent development; in other words, that other countries whose resources we covet will embrace nationalistic non-aligned governments who wish to redirect the wealth of their own resources internally to benefit all sectors of society. If anyone here bothered to read declassified planning documents (I have done), they’d see that its virtually impossible to find concern for human rights in any of them. Instead, US/UK planners have continually exressed concern that they will ‘lose control’ or ‘influence’ of other countries resources, and that these lands might embrace nationalist governments which redirect their own wealth internally but which negatively affect western business interests. Our planers thus don’t support independent development, they are instead worried about it! Again, the corporate media in the US/UK says nothing about this issue, but its all there in black and white.

    I know that this sharply contradicts the myth of ‘basic benevolence’ that has become an important part of the non-existent “American creed”. The fact is that terrorism and barbarism are standard paracticies on ‘our’ side: only the technology is different. The attack on Iraq was purely and simply godfatherly aggression. Iraq was another defenceless punching bag that was worth the trouble. The US waged an illegal terrorist war for several years against Nicragua during the 1980’s, and was found guilty at the World Court for “illegal use of aggression” which left several tens f thousands dead and the country ruined, perhaps never to recover. The US vetoed a UN security council resolution condeming the aggression and lost a vote on the issue by 153-3 at the general Assembly of the UN. Their response? Increase the terrorist war against the Nicaragua. The country, which had the fastest growing economy in Latin America by 1984 (5 years after the US client, Anastasio Somosza, was overthrown in a popular revolution), and was called by the Inter American Development Bank as a “model economy for the region” at the time, was soon to become the second poorest in the western hemisphere, thanks to the US-backed war. Nicraragua now has the second highest rate of infant mortality in the world. This shows you exactly what happens when a country takes an economic path that is independent of the US corporate establishment. The fear was that other countries in Latin America would see the success of the Nicaraguan model, and follow suit. This terrified the political elites in the US under Reagan, whose Secretary of State (George Schultz) said “We have to cut out the cancer” (meaning Nicaragua).

  96. No, if you want to know the intentions, you ask the guy doing it. If you ask the guy getting it, that tells you what those intentions are worth – in this case, sod all.

    There’s a huge assumption among the doers that democracy is actually good, and that that is actually what they are working towards. Both are dubious at the least. As George Bernard Shaw put it in the materials with “Man and Superman”, “do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you; your tastes may be different”.

  97. I’m trying to imagine how a United States with thoroughly malign intentions for the rest of the world might like to see the world ordered.

    I distinguish “malign” from “enlightened self-interest” because every nation has legitimate interests which may impact upon the interests of others. But I don’t have any ready criteria for determining the boundary between these two orientations in the ralationship between one country and the rest of the world. So I may stray either side of that line in the following discussion without meaning to.

    1. There are enormous contradictions between the interests of multinational corporations and corporations whose orientation is overwhelmingly domestic. The Bush administration seems more wedded to the interests of national capitalism, especially the middle-sized oil cormporations, whose ambitions seem to be to provide privileged access of American consumers to ever-dwindling supplies of oil. The oil majors, on the other hand, care only about a free market in oil. They don’t care who buys the oil.

    2. A narrowly chauvinist trade policy might involve a mercantilist approach to maximising exports and minimising imports. It might also demand unequal trade treaties akin to that imposed on Japan in the 1850s. But the Bush administration doesn’t seem to be interested in such an approach, despite fitful fretting about the magnitude of US trade deficits. Foreign access to US markets is very free, much more so than to other major economic players.

    3. The Bush admininstration is fixated on the rhetoric of democracy and freedom. I believe this has several overlapping and contradictory motivations.

    a. The Israel lobby, led by the neocons, used this as a justification for a robust US support of Israeli territorial maximalism. But resent events suggest that this impulse has weakened. However, not before much damage was done.

    b. Again, the neocons persuaded nationalist oil interests that the Iraq adventure would be good for them. This needed rhetorical cover. Democracy and freedom are tried and true cover stories.

    c. The Republican Party needed a cause to fortify their base and to delegitimise their political opponents. 9/11 added enormous weight to this political attack. This is old-fashioned smear politics and as such does not add to the notion that the Bush administration is particularly malign in the world.

    So my tentative conclusion about the malignity of US influence in the world is that the US is malign in patches for some of the time. However, the complex of interests swirling through the decision-making centres of the US are so dynamic and so contradictory, it is not wise to make any hard-and-fast statement on this subject.

    Overarching all of this is the fact the the US is a democracy. And the marginal US voter is now conscious of and irritated by the consequences (if not the motivation) of the more malign aspects of Bush’s foreign policy.

  98. Some dude: “1-no one ever said those who disagree with Iraq are un-Patriotic.”

    Dave: “Ian Gould responded to a request for proof that the Bush team or Republicans in general were calling anyone against the war “unpatrioticâ€? or “anti-Americanâ€?,”

    Good job shifting the goal-posts.

  99. “And I reckon if someone had done it, you’d have had a link for us.”

    A google seach on “Unamerican” produces 517,000 hits.

    If you want to search more than the first 30 or 40 of them (which is what I did) feel free to do so.

  100. PM,

    I don’t quite agree with you. Its no use asking the ‘guy doing it’ (meaning the person dishing out the punishment) as you say because it is quite likely that they will lie to hide their real agenda. They certainly are not going to admit that they are spending billions of dollars and killing tens of thousands of people to support the interests of a narrow, privileged elite. They’ll always camouflage the real agenda, whereas the ‘victims’ have no real reason to say anything other tha the truth. The Iraqi people know full well why the US is there. They know the historical precedents, and they can see the utter hypocrisy of US-UK foreign policy. They know full well that the US supports vile regimes that traditonally support its business interests (e.g. Colombia, Nigeria, Indonesia under Suharto, Iran under the Shah, Iraq until Saddam ‘slipped the leash’). The list is endless.

  101. PML,
    You say their tastes may be different. Possibly; but how do you tell what their tastes are if there is not real way for them to express them. On the purely theoretical level if there is no way to freely and regularly choose between the possible options then there is no real way to work out what their tastes are.
    As soon as you do that – whoops, you have a democracy. For anyone to stand on the sidelines and say that they have a dictator because that is what they want is an absurdity.
    .
    Ian,
    Thanks for the links – it looks like the trading idea might work. Strange how market based solutions tend to. I will look with interest at the development of the market, and I will be very interested to see how big the demand side gets compared to the supply. It will have to come down to enforcement – something I do not trust certain, particularly European, contries to do much of.
    I will await your promise further links.

  102. In the leadup to the Iraq war, we were repeatedly told that anyone who disagreed with the rush to war, or criticised the Bush Administration, was “anti-American�

    Wow, has any sentence ever been more closely analysed than that one? I certainly remember the Murdoch press pushing the line that anti-war sentiment was based on kneejerk anti-Americanism, but I’m not going to hunt down links to satisfy a few wingnuts in denial. Why are they so touchy? Oh yeah, that’s right…

  103. Andrew,

    I am sure that ‘their’ tastes aren’t any different from ‘ours’, but what exactly is the ‘flavor’ of the alleged democracy the US intends to create in Iraq? It should be patently obvious that any elected government will be mostly impotent and will be subservient to political and corporate elites in Washington. If Iraq makes overtures towards with Shia in Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, as it inevitably will if left to its own devices, then wishes to re-arm and confront the old enemy of the region (Israel), do you think the US will allow any of this? Any more than it supports non-aligned development in the America’s? The tragic examples of Guatemala (1954), Nicaragua (1984-89), Cuba (post 1959) Chile (1973) Haiti (ongoing) as well as support for Iraq’s regime (1980-90). the overthrow of Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), and Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965-66) as well as long standing support for iron-fisted regimes around the world (e.g. Colombia, Nigeria, South Africa under apartheid, Mbutu in Zaire) should make it clear that America supports democracy as long as the countires do as they’re told and don’t even think about following an independent path. The vilification of populist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela should make this point even more crystal clear. Its a myth that the US supports democracy; in reality, it supports plutocratic regimes run from the top down with close ties to US elites.

  104. If Iraq was at some future date threatening to invade Israel are you saying that the worlds last super power should not intervene?

    For a moment lets imagine that Saddam was still running things. Now if Iraq wished to re-arm and confront the old enemy of the region (Israel), do you think the US will allow any of this?

    Your point about Israel is irrelevant to the question of Iraqi democracy. Under the old Iraqi regime or the new Iraqi regime the USA would not allow Iraq to attack Israel without a US response. In that particular regard Iraq is no more at the mercy of the USA than it ever was.

  105. It is quite possible to be anti-American without hating Americans, on the same principle as hating the sin but loving the sinner. It’s quite realistic to describe Americans as the first victims of this particular abstract yet incarnate “America”. Of course, for certain cultures that doesn’t pose an ethical dilemma; they are quite willing to attack Americans as part of attacking America, and they can do it quite dispassionately. This is why there is little point looking for hatred – it might be as absent as it was between many participants in the Irish troubles in the 1920s.

    Panther in message no. 35 might be interested in looking at http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese238.html to see some US observations on whether or not “all” intelligence supported the US official position on Iraq before the invasion.

    Roberto, your reasoning at the end of message 39 is spurious. People immigrating into the USA are partly leaving poor home environments (sometimes made that way by the USA). It also leaves out the other places people go to – the survivor bias I see so often. For instance that observational data leaves me out; my options on emigrating from the UK were basically the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – and I left out the USA and South Africa on my first cut.

    Somebody with references and links might be able to substantiate for Avaroo something I can’t back up at the moment, i.e. that Saddam Hussein did not stop UN inspections but only those that he had reason to suspect (as it happened, correctly) contained US intelligence agents. However he later opened the door for further inspections, but no inspections were made.

    JH, I incline (as I state above) more to the view that Americans are the first and self deluding victims of their particular idolatry. That is, they are more likely to be sincerely wrong than lying. But even if they are lying, you are more likely to get their particular state of mind from them than from outside inference, if you want fine detail. For what it’s worth, the outside observations suggest that they sincerely expected to find weapons of mass destruction and were not cynical liars on that point; if they had been, they would have brought some to plant.

    AR, I am not disputing that people are unlikely to want a dictator. But it is a false dichotomy to infer that they actually want democracy, let alone any specific Procrustean bed form that actually fits someone else. They might not even know what they do want, or they might not want to play together at all – the spectrum is rather large. With dilemmas, you are not guaranteed to get an answer. Perhaps sometime I will post something about my own analysis of three major incompletenesses of democracy – it does not define “we, the people”, it is susceptible to capture and agenda control via editing and repeated retries until it comes right (sorry, “until the people are ready”), and it is not a source of values and ethics but at best a transmitter of them (means, not ends – that way idolatry lies).

  106. Terje,

    I am just saying that the real concern of US elites is that Iraq, an economic prize they wanted so dearly since Saudi Arabia is highly unstable, will never be allowed to follow an independent path. Most of the economy (except for the oil, as this would be too obvious) has already been carved up for privatization as part of the neoliberal plan; the oil will inevitably follow. I have provided some examples of many countries that tried to embrace nationalist forces but where this was crushed, either directly or through the use of proxies.

    What you also appear to saying is that the grand imperial strategy of the Bush regime (the Natonal Security Document of 2002), whereby (a) the US can wage offensive preventive wars against countries it deems to be a threat, and (b)attack those that harbor terrorists will be considered to be terrorist states must be unilateral. In oter words, if this doctrine were to be considered universal, almost any country could attack its neighbour, and since the US habitually harbors many known terrorists and other human rights violaters (e.g. Orlando Bosch, Emmanuel Constant, Prosper Avril and many others who live in comfortable retirement homes in Florida, California etc) the US wold also be considered a ‘terrorist state’.

    This document actually therefore collapses under the weight of its own protocol. Thus, the US can support terrorist states (e.g. Turkey, Algeria etc.), and can unilaterally wage wars of aggression, as well as harbor terrorists and human rights violaters, but nobody else can unless they have the approval of The Bush cabal. Haiti has been trying for years to get Emmanuel Constant extradicted for mass killings attributed to him, but the state department in Washington doesn’t even respond to the requests. It seems that Constant carried out much of his butchery with US approval, and thus it is feared he would ‘spill the beans’ if tried before a Haitian court, so he lives comfortably in New York City.

    The unilateral doctrine is hardly new, but other administrations kept it in their back pocket and used it where necessary. The current DC regime has brought it out into the open.

  107. “Avaroo do you understand the difference between “aâ€? and “theâ€??”

    Ian, do you understand that just because you don’t care for the Iraqi government that existed before January 2005 does not mean they didn’t have one?

  108. PMLawrence,

    “Somebody with references and links might be able to substantiate for Avaroo something I can’t back up at the moment, i.e. that Saddam Hussein did not stop UN inspections but only those that he had reason to suspect (as it happened, correctly) contained US intelligence agents.”

    Not according to UN inspectors. See Hans Blix early 2003 report.

  109. Terje,

    “RESPONSE: With great difficulty. But they could have let Iraq do it and support them with arms and funds.”

    You are suggesting that in 2003 the US should have supplied arms and money to Saddam Hussein to take on Iraq? After having thrown Saddam out of Kuwait, would this not have been somewhat hypocritical?

    I’d still like to know what justification you would have used for military action against Iran in 2003.

  110. The above post should have read

    “You are suggesting that in 2003 the US should have supplied arms and money to Saddam Hussein to take on IRAN?”

  111. QUOTE: What you also appear to saying is that the grand imperial strategy of the Bush regime (the Natonal Security Document of 2002), whereby (a) the US can wage offensive preventive wars against countries it deems to be a threat, and (b)attack those that harbor terrorists will be considered to be terrorist states must be unilateral.

    RESPONSE: No I did not infer any of that. I simply stated that even if Iraq was not invaded in 2003 it would not have been allowed to take up arms against Israel without a US (and probably a UN) response.

    However it is true that the US can wage offensive wars against almost anybody it feels like. For the moment it remains the worlds sole super power. I would rather there were no super powers but we have to deal with reality.

    And the “war on terror” creates an ideological cover for all sorts of errant policy. Just as the “war on drugs” and the “war on poverty” does.

    Don’t mistake me for somebody that supports the Iraq invasion of 2003. I was against it for a whole host of reasons. Mostly to do with it being a massive waste of US blood and treasure.

  112. The “War of terror” was a godsend to Bush and pennies from heaven for the arms manufacturers. The military arms manufacturing lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington. With a war, that is not likely to end anytime in the forseeable future, billions of dollars are going to be poured towards the arms manufacturers, it also allows current stockpiles to be used up to make way for the latest cutting edge technological weapons. Think back to Reagan and his Star Wars initiative, which pretty much everyone knew wouldn’t work but he still invested trillions in it.

    Bush has already advocated that the USA increase its nuclear weapons stocks. Considering that the US already has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world, there can be no sane reason to want more apart from wanting to appease a powerful lobby.

    Rumsfield’s policy of using less troops and more of the weaponry, also plays into this scenario.

  113. QUOTE: Think back to Reagan and his Star Wars initiative, which pretty much everyone knew wouldn’t work but he still invested trillions in it.

    RESPONSE: It forced the soviets to compete, sent them bankrupt and ended the cold war. It was not all bad even if it was mostly rhetoric.

  114. PML,
    You have failed to say how people can express their will except through a democratic process. “I am not disputing that people are unlikely to want a dictator. But it is a false dichotomy to infer that they actually want democracy…” means, to me, that you believe a people can have a choice of leadership, or style, without a democratic choice. Of course the particular style and the other issues you identified are problems.
    How do the people express their will except through a universal, free secret and regular democratic expression?
    .
    Yes the US has a peculiar, to say the least, way of doing this. Yes, there are problems, and yes, it could have been executed better: but do you seriously believe that the Iraqi people had more choice in their own destiny under Saddam than under the (however deficient) democratic process they now are putting into place?
    .
    PML, please answer my first question first – do not jump straight to the second.

  115. There are lots of public decisions that I don’t think should be done democratically.

    The US was founded as a “constitutional republic”. In theory this should mean that its leaders are choosen democratically but lots of things are not done democratically. The rule of law for instance demands a level of consistency independent of “majority will” in a specific instance.

    I would also prefer more small democracies than a single big democracy.

  116. “America is a republic, not a democracy”, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 2001.

    Yet American judges are often elected by popular vote.

    So the relationship between “democracy” and “rule of law” in the United States is a complex one.

  117. “Avaroo do you understand the difference between “a� and “the�?�

    “Ian, do you understand that just because you don’t care for the Iraqi government that existed before January 2005 does not mean they didn’t have one?”

    Go back and reread the original post in which it was asserted that the fact that the Iraqi government had lasted for two years was one of the signs of progress.

    In fact, for much of those two years, Iraq was directly administered by Paul Bremer.

    Forget the propaganda for a second and read the actual reprots coming form Iraq – the government is riddled with in-fighting and corruption and survives in large part because of American pressure.

  118. “Thanks for the links – it looks like the trading idea might work. Strange how market based solutions tend to. I will look with interest at the development of the market, and I will be very interested to see how big the demand side gets compared to the supply.”

    There’s around two hundred years of evidence that commodity prices – apart from occasional spikes like the current oil price – tend to fall due to technological advancement and continous improvement in competitive markets.

    My opinion, as an economist, is that if you make GHG reductions a commodity, the same trend will apply.

  119. Terje (November 24th, 2005 at 9:03 am)

    That is not strictly true. The Soviet empire was already in deep, deep economic shit before Reagan became President, he just dealt a final blow.

  120. Arguably, the high oil prices of the 70’s and early ’80s had kept the Soviets (barely) afloat and the fall in oil prices in the mid-80’s was what finished them off.

  121. Question to Ian Gould:

    Are you using the term ‘commodity’ as defined in theoretical models of competitive private ownership economies (eg Arrow-Debreu, Radner, etc) or as understood in empirical classification systems such as ‘labour markets’, ‘commodity markets’ and made precise in national accounting data?

  122. Ian Gould,

    Thanks for the clarification of your usage of the term ‘commodity’ in your post of 24 November 2005, 11:34 am.

    While I have not looked at the time series of commodity prices (as quoted on the markets called commodity markets) for a few years, your point regarding their decline during the past 200 years is one that is widely acknowledged in Development Economics. The point of interest is the decline in relative prices. That is, industrially produced commodities (a type of Arrow-Debreu ‘commodities’) have become more expensive relative to natural produce and commodities (ie other types of Arrow-Debreu ‘commodities’). This explains to some extent why countries like New Zealand and Argentina have lost their relatively high rank in national income per capita lists during the past 60 years. This decline in prices for natural produce and marketable natural commodities relative to marketable produced commodities is also one of the difficulties in reducing ‘uneven development’ (a term coined by Hymer in the 1960s) in the global economy (‘world poverty’ is a term currently used by some to refer to the phenomena). Over time, the less industrialized countries have to sell greater quantities of natural produce or marketable natural commodities to buy say, one Boeing of any type or one Airbus of any type or one Mercedes of any type or one desalination plant of any type. So, there is a point (survival) where access to markets is no longer a sufficient condition for improving the material welfare of people in some countries. But this is not the argument you put forward.

    You argue: �If you make GHG reductions a commodity, the same trend [declining relative prices] will apply�. [Term in brackets added to convey the meaning]
    I can’t follow your argument because:
    1. GHGs (green house gases?) are commodities in the sense of Arrow-Debreu (‘described by their physical properties, time of availability, location of availability). But they are not marketable commodities (lack of exclusiveness in consumption) which enter the time series data you have used.
    2. A ‘competitive private ownership market’ solution to the production of GHG would require negative prices. To the best of my knowledge no theoretical solution exists for this problem and there is no empirical data either.
    3. Tradable pollution rights for say GHG do not constitute a ‘competitive market’ solution because a non-market agent is required to first determine the total amount of allowable GHG in the ‘global economy’. Only pollution rights are tradable during the time of their validity.
    4. The idea of having a market for pollution rights can be traced to what is known as a “Lindahl equilibrium�.
    5. The idea of the Lindahl equilibrium is to find prices for ‘externalities’ (by products for which there is no market). Pollution (unwanted externality) would require negative prices. The ‘prices’ for pollution are costs which do not enter the commercial calculus (market failure; absence of negative prices) unless imposed by a non-market agent (pollution tax).
    6. How do you achieve making ‘GHG reductions’ a commodity? The only way I know is via step 5, which requires a non-market agent. Furthermore, in the case of GHG, it requires agreement among governments (I don’t believe in miracles – nothing less would seem to be required to achieve voluntary agreement on ‘a number’ by ‘everybody’ in the world on a particular day.)
    7. Suppose we would have a ‘polluter pays’ legislation and it would be enforceable at negligible costs. Which prices would decline over time?
    Regards
    Ernestine

  123. I think what Ernestine is saying is that enforcement will encourage cheating, by both the polluter (to reduce costs) and government (to increase national income). If I am wrong, Ernestine, please correct. If I am right, Ian, could you please explain the enforcement provisions of Kyoto that will work to mitigate both corporate and government cheating?

  124. AR, what “the people”? Whatever “democracy” you provide gets circular on that point. As I pointed out, sometimes you don’t get an answer. I didn’t fail to state how you could get an answer, I pointed out that you simply couldn’t jump to any conclusion on the point. It is certain that the Iraqi regime as now set up will only get an answer supporting the idea that “the people” want it. Space does not permit a full demonstration.

    When you think about it, you will see that that shows that your second question is also meaningless.

    However it is certainly true that individual Iraqis and the things with which they identify – clans, sects, or even the whole of Iraq no matter that they do not agree on what that might be – are definitely less well served by being under a puppet regime than under whatever might have emerged under (and more importantly after) Saddam Hussein. Right now they experience oppression, repression, and no hope of an independent destiny. Of course, what goes on today may well create a sort of Dr. Moreau reworking of them which might then be satisfied with itself – but it would most definitely not be something that could emerge from any sort of self identification that any of them have now. That’s how this thing works.

    Avaroo, UN reports of what they did earlier do not show whether or not Iraq later offered further inspections – the reports won’t show anything about inspections not undertaken.

  125. QUOTE: or even the whole of Iraq no matter that they do not agree on what that might be

    RESPONSE: This is the fickle thing about national pride. Even though aussies all love Australia they are all talking about something subtly different when they say “Australia”. For some Australia means our culture of mateship, for others it is our liberal traditions, yet others might love it for our socialist traditions and lots of us just like the beaches. We are unified in our love for an abstract concept that we don’t even entirely agree on.

  126. IanGould, nothing will change the fact that Iraq has had a provisional government for more than 2 years. I know it’s inconvenient but it’s true nevertheless. Try to get past knee jerk reactions when confronted with evidence that disproves your point. btw, the “progress” began when Saddam was booted out of power, well over 2 years ago.

  127. PML,
    So there is no way for the people, however defined, to express their will. You appear determined to say that, because you cannot find a comprehensive definition of “The People” that democracy is meaningless – at least as far as I can follow your argument. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
    If my interpretation is correct, does that mean that democracy is impossible?

  128. Avaroo, if the Bush administration is happy with the result of the installation of the present Iraqi government, such as it is, for its investment of 250 billion dollars, then so be it.

    I guess Bush’s Republican loyalists are praying that the American people will be as easily satisfied come the November 2006 mid-term elections.

  129. Katz, the Iraqi election is up to the Iraqi people.

    As an independent, I like having a choice during elections.

  130. “IanGould, nothing will change the fact that Iraq has had a provisional government for more than 2 years. I know it’s inconvenient but it’s true nevertheless.’

    no, in fact, as I’ve pointed out it has had three distinct governments in that period. Their primary point of continuity is, as you point out, that they are provisional (i.e. temporary, ad hoc and lacking in substance and legitimacy.)

    Or perhaps you feel that the fact that insurgents haven’t actually managed to capture Baghdad is a major cause for celebration.

  131. Ernestine,

    Thank you fror cosnidered and detailed response. It will require some time for me to respond to it appropriately – probably some time this weekend.

    I will point out that the Kyoto markets are quite complex, we are in effect dealing with three commodities which should in theory be fungible but may not be in practice.

    These are permits to issue a specificied quantitiy of greenhouse gases; credits for reductions in emissions from certain sources and credits for sequestration (i.e. for afforestation).

    Andrew: I will address your comments at the same time I respond to Ernestine.

  132. AR, you are wrong. You are mixing up some rather deep generalities with the specifics of the Iraqi situation. The generalities should show the limits and incompletenesses of democracy as a system, not that it is meaningless but that extreme claims for it don’t stand up. The specifics of Iraq should show that Iraq is not a candidate for meaningful democracy – not that democracy is always meaningless.

    Avaroo, you cannot go from genuine UN reports about earlier events to evidence about whether or not Saddam Hussein later invited inspectors in (and was not taken up on his offer). Your response is as bad as the factually accurate comments on Monty Python’s Norwegian Blue parrot – “look at the plumage”. Your facts are accurate but not to the point.

  133. Andrew (24/11/05, 10:34pm),

    No, I wasn’t thinking of enforcement and incentive issues. But these are interesting, too.

  134. I don’t want to become pedantic,but do want to challenge some blatant imprecisions.terje talks of “trillions” spent for “Star Wars”.Presumably,he knows what a “trillion” is.Being off by a factor of 1000 doesn’t make me feel what he says in anything is reliable.that’s larger than the entire defense budget(stuff like subs,salaries,tanks,bribes oil)during the second Reagan administration.Don’t be that far wrong if you want to be taken seriously.
    Secondly,to Tbell/1952.I’m not questioning your truthfulness,just your
    sorces.Because you believe something happened doesn’t make it so.Two vignettes to illustrate.Piaget spent decads of his life stating he recalled an episode when his nurse battled a kidnapper attempt to take him,while he was in his stroller.he was very detailed in his recollections.In the last few years of her life the nurse confessed it a story to swell her self importance.
    And when I was young,I tried to convince a woman she wasn’t pregnant.Despite a negative urine,blood and an ultrasound showing an empty non gravid uterus,she remained convinced she could feel the baby moving.So knowing something to be true ,isn’t really a powerful argument for me.(In Zelazny’s “Last Defender of Camelot”,Lancelot tells Merlin,”The burden of proof is upon one who professes to be a moralist..”Wise words.

  135. corwin,
    I think Terje was referring to a US trillion (1,000,000,000,000), not the British trillion / former Australian Trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) dollars. I do not know if spending on StarWars would have been trillions plural, but it was certainly in the high hundreds of (U.S) billion. At most, he is out by a factor of two or so – not 1,000.

  136. Corwin,

    YOU SAID: {terje talks of “trillions� spent for “Star Wars�.Presumably,he knows what a “trillion� is}

    However I did no such thing. I merely quoted somebody else who talked of trillions. I made no statement at all about the cost of Reagans star wars program. If you look back over this discussion you will find that you have made a mistake in attributing a comment to me that was not in fact my comment.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  137. PMLawrence, all we have to go on to determine whether or not Saddam complied are UN inspector reports. I understand that you don’t want to do this, because your case falls apart if we look at what UN inspectors said. The facts may be inconvenient for you but they are nonetheless the facts.

  138. “no, in fact, as I’ve pointed out it has had three distinct governments in that period.”

    elected by Americans?

    “Their primary point of continuity is, as you point out, that they are provisional (i.e. temporary, ad hoc and lacking in substance and legitimacy.)”

    Obviously the Iraqis who are voting disagree with you Ian.

    “Or perhaps you feel that the fact that insurgents haven’t actually managed to capture Baghdad is a major cause for celebration.”

    Actually it appears that you feel that their failure to capture Baghdad is cause for pouting. You don’t have to like the Iraqi government, any Iraqi government. Wherever did you get the idea that the legitimacy of Iraq’s government was subject to your approval?

  139. Tell you what avaroo, give me a dollar today, then give me a dollar tomorrow and a dollar the next day.

    Then the following day I’ll give you the dollar back.

    You point ot electio nas the sacred proof of the legitimiacy of the Iraqi government – then inist that this applies to Bremer’s and Allawi’s governments, neither of which was elected.

    As for your final smear – great illustration of the “everyone who doesn;t support Bush is pro-terrorist” McCarthyism that was the original topic of this thread, by the way – read my other posts on Iraq here, the ones where I argue that a loss in Iraq would be catastrophic for the Iraqis and the west.

    However, I believe that the persistent lies about the course of the war are the principal reason for the lack of public support for the war in the US – and that is the now the greatest threat to the situation in Iraq.

    You, for partisan advantage and to evade any personal moral responsibility for being a cheer-leader for the murder of 100,000+ Iraqis, think that people should be lied to about the situation in Iraq.

    I, on the other hand, believe that an honest appraisal of the istuation there is essential to win.

  140. Avaroo, when all you have to go on is a set of UN reports, that does not justify jumping to a conclusion. If you don’t know enough, you don’t know enough. And I have certainly come across a wide range of assertions that Saddam Hussein accepted UN inspections without restrictions to keep out US spies, right at the end when he was desperate. This offer was not taken up; it’s something that did not produce an event, certainly not one recorded in the UN reports.

    So, you can cite all the UN reports you want and it won’t provide evidence on the point. And we can remain in any degree of uncertainty with the evidence, and we do not have to jump to any conclusions.

  141. “6. How do you achieve making ‘GHG reductions’ a commodity? The only way I know is via step 5, which requires a non-market agent. Furthermore, in the case of GHG, it requires agreement among governments (I don’t believe in miracles – nothing less would seem to be required to achieve voluntary agreement on ‘a number’ by ‘everybody’ in the world on a particular day.)�

    I agree that government intervention is probably necessary as a matter of practicality to achieve a sufficient reduction but I will point out that it is not an absolute requirement. We have already seen voluntary reductions and voluntary trading schemes undertaken in which firms voluntarily reduce emission or purchase credits for emissions.

    It seems to me, in theory, that if sufficient private philanthropic funds were provided to purchase such reduction credits, a given reduction target could be met without government intervention. (I concede however than, in practice, the scale of funds required make such an approach impractical.)

    “7. Suppose we would have a ‘polluter pays’ legislation and it would be enforceable at negligible costs. Which prices would decline over time?�

    Emission reductions and sequestration are essentially technological issues:

    For example, if sufficient firms adopt highly efficient microgenerators of the type offered by firms such as Capstone, the price of such generators will fall as the technology matures and the scale of production increases.

    Similarly, the cost of afforestation is likely to fall over time: better species of tree will be developed; planting techniques will improve, uncertainties over issues such as fire insurance will resolve; the risk premium required for invest in a new industry will decline and so on.

    I will point out that there are existing successful examples of emission trading:

    http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/750/Trading_in_pollution.html

    “From emission levels of 10 million tonnes for affected units of SO2 in 1990, emissions fell to less than five million by the end of the decade. Moreover, this was achieved at much lower costs than had been anticipated: original estimates of permit prices in the first phase of the programme had ranged between US$181 and US$981, but actual prices have hovered around US$150 and have rarely been in excess of the lower band of estimates.�

    A constant nominal price over a decade is, of course, equivalent to a decline in constant dollar terms.

    The issue which you and Andrew raise regarding fraud and enforcement issues are hardly unique to emission trading. There are elaborate mechanisms to monitor emissions from regulated sources and verify reductions. Where governments have imposed emission taxes they have a clear incentive to enforce these rules.

    In point of fact, one of my principal concerns about Kyoto is that there may be little incentive on governments to achieve compliance. If a country exceeds its emission quota for the first emission period, it simply deducts the excess from its permissible emissions for the next period. There is no other penalty involved – this was one of the concession demanded by the Clinton administration and the fact that such major concessions had been made to the US was one reason for the anger at the Bush administration’s repudiation of the treaty.

  142. With regard to the question of EU progress on its Kyoto targets:

    http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/climat/progress_report.htm

    Projected progress of the EU based on Member States projections

    The ‘business-as-usual’ scenario (with existing measures) suggests that between the base year and 2010, EU-25 emissions will decrease by 4.7% while EU-15 emissions will decrease by only 1.0 %. This will leave a gap of 7.5% regarding the Kyoto target from 1990 and 2010.

    Most Member States have identified additional policies and measures to achieve their commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. If these are implemented , EU-25 emissions will have decreased in 2010 by 9.4% from base year level. The EU-15 emissions, on the other hand, will have decreased in 2010 by 7.7%. In addition, the intended purchase of Kyoto Mechanisms by 40 Mt CO 2 eqivalent emissions amounts to 0.9% of the base year emissions. Therefore, EU-15 is forecasted to reach its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.

  143. Ian,

    Thank you very much for your detailed responses. I hope it didn’t spoil your week-end.

    On first reading, the prices of the pollution credits seemed to have behaved rather like IPOs.

    Regards
    Ernestine

  144. Ian, you have been reduced to whining that “everyone who doesn’t support Bush is pro-terrorist”. And it only took about 3 posts. Congratulations.

    How is an independent “partisan”? Can you simply not abide people disagreeing with you? My voting record is far more democratic than it is republican. I’m all for an honest appraisal of the situation. It’s a shame that you are not.

  145. PMLawrence, assertions that Saddam accepted inspections without restrictions by people who were not in a position to know (i.e. anyone who wasn’t a UN inspector) don’t count. Any moron can make an assertion. UN inspector reports are the ONLY evidence which count. If you had any UN inspector reports that corroborated your claim that Saddam cooperated without restrictions, you’d be holding them up and screaming that they were proof positive. Sadly for you, you do not have any such reports. Because they don’t exist. Because he didn’t cooperate unconditionally.

  146. “Ian, you have been reduced to whining that “everyone who doesn’t support Bush is pro-terroristâ€?.”

    I have?

  147. “See above” when there are a hundred or so previous messages isn’t particularly helpful.

    In my last message to you I specifically complained about exactly that.

    It appears your literacy skills are on par with your numeracy skills.

  148. See your message, Nov 27 8:09am. You were not complaining about me saying “everyone who doesn’t support Bush is pro-terrorist” because nowhere have I said that. Complaints about things I haven’t said are not my problem, they are yours.

  149. Anybody interested in reading the report “Crude Designs”, which formed the basis for the Independent article of 22/11/05 (referred to in my earlier comment) will find it downloadable from http://www.carbonweb.org/crudedesigns.htm. This report makes a convincing case for regarding oil as the major motivation for the Iraq invasion and occupation and discusses the pros and cons of various types of contractual arrangements for oil extraction in Iraq. It is dated Nov. 2005.

  150. Avaroo, I don’t think you have been paying attention. Right at the beginning what I did was cast doubt on your unsubstantiated assertion that Saddam Hussein blocked all inspections. I invited anyone with references to supply them – but I don’t have to, since I wasn’t trying to support a position but elicit and bring out information.

    And UN reports are not the definite evidence that Saddam Hussein made an open offer of imspections; since the offer was open, it should be available somewhere on the public record. UN reports inherently don’t report on things outside what was presented to them, so they can’t be used to prove or disprove a negative with any reliability (which was the point I was making about them).

    But there’s little point commenting further on this area; We’re just going round in circles. As the old saying has it, you can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.

  151. PMLawrence, what you’d have to do is cast doubt on UN inspector reports. And so far, you haven’t done that despite being given many oppotrunities.

  152. “In the leadup to the Iraq war, we were repeatedly told that anyone who disagreed with the rush to war, or criticised the Bush Administration, was “anti-Americanâ€?.”

    No you weren’t. That’s nonsense.

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