Patriot Games

Steven Taylor passes on word that the Patriot Act is suddenly turning into a major political plus for the Bush Administration. I’ve got some misgivings about parts of the act, but this stands to reason. One can’t–honestly, anyway–simultaneously complain that Bush and Co. didn’t do enough with the disparate intelligence information they had prior to 9/11 and fault the legislation that aims at solving the most serious problem that we’ve identified.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Oh, hell yes we can complain! If my doctor misdiagnoses my hernia, that’s bad. If he tries to fix it by amputating my foot, that’s worse.

  2. Paul says:

    Perhaps James should have said one can not “honestly and intelligently” complain…

  3. legion says:

    I see. So before any debate even begins, disagreeing with your basic assumptions makes me either dishonest or stupid. Feh.

PATRIOT GAMES

Matthew Yglesias calls out Glenn Reynolds for a recent post update:

Somebody just sent me a “but Bush said the war was over!” bit of snarkmail. Uh, no, he didn’t. Bush actually said that major combat was over in Iraq. The war on terror — really the war on fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, and those who back them — is nowhere near over. Bush knows that, and he’s said it repeatedly.

I actually got several variations on this theme, from antiwar types who always seem glad when people die in Iraq, so long as they’re Americans or our allies. They’re usually the same people who puff up if you “question their patriotism.”

I don’t question it. They’ve put its existence beyond question by wishing for America to lose.

Says Matthew:

Ah yes, those antiwar “types” who “seem” glad when Americans die in Iraq.

Is there a significant faction among the anti-war Left that takes joy in American casualties and other setbacks in Iraq, because they prove that the war was wrong and weaken Bush’s chances for re-election? Sadly, yes. We certainly have more than enough examples of such extremism.

If Glenn’s point is simply that the type of people who send him e-mails with gleeful “aha!” quips whenever there is a setback fall into that camp, then he’s quite likely right. If he’s suggesting that most–or even a large plurality–of opponents of the war fall into that camp, then he’s certainly wrong.
(more…)

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JC says:

    I love this. It’s okay to slam Clinton on his policies and take joy when they failed. You can whip the crap out of the Democrats. You can lambaste Clinton for just about everything he did militarily and in the area of foreign policy.

    But when someone does this on the left regarding Bush, it’s now a crime almost equivalent to treason.

    You guys are good. The “high horse” trick is pretty laughable, though.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Who was taking joy when Clinton was getting Americans killed with his idiotic policies in, say, Somalia? No one of whom I’m aware.

  3. JC says:

    Well, no one is taking joy at seeing people killed in Iraq, either. Despite your wonderful propaganda to the contrary. But like Somalia, it is not going to stop “us” from taking political advantage of the fallout. Gee, wasn’t Dole doing that?

    And then there’s the Republicans refusing to support the troops during Clinton’s regime. Or did you forget about that? I mean, who on the left is doing this?

    If I don’t agree with the action (the war), and I think it will lead to disaster (which it is), what the heck is wrong with saying “see, I told you so”. I don’t quite understand the issue. I don’t want any more soldiers to die, and I think this policy of the administration is doing just that.

    Worse, I think we have a bona fide situation where there is literally no good way out. None. And that’s due to the way the war was prosecuted (bitch slapping the UN, doing it despite a vast majority of the world’s population saying we shouldn’t do it). Now the situation is degenerating to precisely the situation Bush ’41 feared would happen, and which is why he didn’t do it back in the first Gulf War.

    I really want to know what the alternative, politically correct way to protest this whole pile of crap is. We can’t say “we told you so”. We can’t take political advantage of this insanity. We can’t point out that our troops are dying for a complete lie. We can’t do anything but just shut up and be good little boys.

    And you wonder where the rage is coming from.

  4. JC, while the more conservative Republicans may have asserted President Clinton was “derilict in his duties” in the 1990s, Bob Dole never politicized Somalia the way Democrats have politicized Iraq, and I think you’re letting your partisanship cloud your memory. (I’ll tell you one thing Dole did politicize briefly, and that was the massacre at Srebrenica. As Samantha Power has argued, Dole’s political pressure on Clinton in the run up to 1996 forced the administration to take Bosnia seriously. I view that as a good thing.)

    To reiterate what James has said, however: there’s a difference between capitalizing on bad policy politically, which is what most Democrats have attempted to do, and HOPING FOR FAILURE, which is something people on the Democratic Underground, IndyMedia, and in left-wing editorial pages (think Ted Rall) have done. The line of decency between being the loyal opposition and being scum (for lack of a better word) is well out on the fringe right now, and it’s incumbent on Democrats to not allow that line to move anywhere near the mainstream.

  5. JC, while the more conservative Republicans may have asserted President Clinton was “derilict in his duties” in the 1990s, Bob Dole never politicized Somalia the way Democrats have politicized Iraq, and I think you’re letting your partisanship cloud your memory. (I’ll tell you one thing Dole did politicize briefly, and that was the massacre at Srebrenica. As Samantha Power has argued, Dole’s political pressure on Clinton in the run up to 1996 forced the administration to take Bosnia seriously. I view that as a good thing.)

    To reiterate what James has said, however: there’s a difference between capitalizing on bad policy politically, which is what most Democrats have attempted to do, and HOPING FOR FAILURE, which is something people on the Democratic Underground, IndyMedia, and in left-wing editorial pages (think Ted Rall) have done. The line of decency between being the loyal opposition and being scum (for lack of a better word) is well out on the fringe right now, and it’s incumbent on Democrats to not allow that line to move anywhere near the mainstream.

  6. Paul says:

    Well, no one is taking joy at seeing people killed in Iraq, either

    Two words: BULL SHIT

  7. Aakash says:

    I like the last sentence of this blog entry, before the “Update.”

    There is a lot of partisanship on both sides in the current situation, as it true in many (most?) situations like this.

    Many of my fellow conservatives and Republicans blasted President Clinton’s policies – on domestic and foreign issues – during the last administration. And we were correct to do so. Clinton’s interventionist, globalist, foreign policy was horrible, and it hurt our military, hurt our country, and was partly responsible for many of the problems that we have today.

    During the time before the Iraq war, and through today, there have been many opponents of this war who are conservative, Republican, pro-soldiers, pro-veterans, and pro-America. I have been emphasizing this point over the past year in my online writings.

    Matthew’s comment above makes a good point, though. From what he, James, and Prof. Reynolds are saying, it seems that there are people like those they describe – these people are anti-America, and truly oppose our country and our soldiers.

    But I am pleased at the good way that James and Matthew deal with this issue, in this entry, and I like Prof. Reynolds’ comments in that update. (Some of the pro-war bloggers, such as many of the neoconservatives and the staunch Bush partisans, do not appear to be willing to acknowledge these things in their writings.)

    Because of this, I think that I will have to blogroll ‘Outside the Beltway’ (also, it seems to be a famous weblog)… I’ve commented here before; as I may have said there, this looks like a good site.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. JC says:

    Yea, I think I’m just going to start characterizing all the right on the basis of the FreeRepublic and LuciAnne crowd. I figure it’s only fair now.

    Just an aside, I now love the fact that the Right is preaching political correctness. The irony is sweet.

  9. James Joyner says:

    John,

    You really need to start reading posts before commenting on them.

  10. JC says:

    Well, perhaps. But I think it’s a appropriate. I keep hearing how the democrats are “dancing on people’s graves” in joy over Iraq. Perhaps some are. But it’s hardly a party wide behavior. My comment was more to draw the distinction of pulling out the examples of a few idiots as exemplars for the group. Because that is what’s happening. If I were to post that all republicans are based on the Freepers and LuciAnne crowd, with Ann Coulter as the exemplar, you’d have much the same reaction that I did.

    But I still stand by my “politically correct” comment. That’s precisely what this is, and I hated it when the left did this as well.

PATRIOT GAMES

PATRIOT GAMES: Fred Kaplan wonders whether the Patriot missile is any good. He points out, quite correctly, that the missile–which was designed to shoot down large airplanes not small Scuds–not only didn’t work in Desert Storm but arguably caused more harm than it did good.

Ironically, the missile was the darling of that war because of Pentagon propaganda and a press corps that wouldn’t know a missile from a pogo stick. It has since been redesigned primarily as an anti-missile system, and may turn out to be quite useful in this war, but already has a major black eye because of the tragic downing of a British Tornado this weekend.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.