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View Full Version : Newt falls-- the reason is....?



Soflasnapper
12-20-2011, 10:16 AM
I'm asking for opinions on this one.

My take is that people really didn't remember what this guy did and didn't do, and the negative ads run by his competitors and their PACs reminded everyone of what they didn't like about him back in the day. So my answer is that the negative ads against him (which I find accurate) have caused this.

I know one now missing poster has always claimed it was the mainstream media ganging up on anyone who had a good chance to beat Obama. In this case, however, Newt had a much WORSE chance of beating him than does Romney, according to the head-to-head polling that's out there. So, the ganging up in this case would be the GOP senior figures, against the guy who would do worse against Obama, by most opinion.

sack316
12-20-2011, 12:12 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm asking for opinions on this one.

My take is that people really didn't remember what this guy did and didn't do, and the negative ads run by his competitors and their PACs reminded everyone of what they didn't like about him back in the day. So my answer is that the negative ads against him (which I find accurate) have caused this.

I know one now missing poster has always claimed it was the mainstream media ganging up on anyone who had a good chance to beat Obama. In this case, however, Newt had a much WORSE chance of beating him than does Romney, according to the head-to-head polling that's out there. So, the ganging up in this case would be the GOP senior figures, against the guy who would do worse against Obama, by most opinion. </div></div>

I agree that the ads have a lot to do with it, so I won't add anything to that.

I do admire his attempts to run a positive campaign himself. I doubt he will ever win my support, but that is one aspect of him I do like (although perhaps his decision to do so was because if he started firing at others, he knows how much ammo is out there to fire back if he were to campaign negatively).

I also must admit I like how prepared he always seems, and how quickly he is ready with an answer. It's not often an answer I agree with, but do respect that he is ready at the helm when questions come his way.

But there is also enough negative to keep myself (and many others) away. Seems to be a cycle going on of fickle voters on the republican side. We've seen Bachmann, Perry, and Cain all peak and charge out into a lead... then fizzle back out soon after.

The primaries may be more about timing than policies.

Sack

cushioncrawler
12-20-2011, 02:43 PM
Krappynomicysts are waiting waiting for their entry onto the stage again -- rehearsing their lines in the wings.
mac.

"That it should come to this!".

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry".

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so".

"Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind".

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions".

"Can one desire too much of a good thing?".

"True is it that we have seen better days".

"Off with his head!"

"The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch".

"Tempt not a desperate man".

"If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?".

"I like not fair terms and a villain's mind".

"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt".

"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall".

"The miserable have no other medicine but only hope".

"He hath eaten me out of house and home".

"Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer".

"Delays have dangerous ends".

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers".

"Having nothing, nothing can he lose"

"I 'll not budge an inch".

"We have seen better days".

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him".

"Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more".

"For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men".

"what 's done is done"

"Nothing will come of nothing."

"Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest".

"The worst is not, So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.' "

"To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on".

"The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief".

"You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely".

"Out of the jaws of death".

Sev
12-20-2011, 04:43 PM
I'm not a huge fan of Newt or Romney.
Newt believes in Global Warming.
Romney is anti second amendment.
Both have more baggage than that. However those are two of my hot button issues.

However both have been pretty much flogged to death by the media.

eg8r
12-20-2011, 05:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So, the ganging up in this case would be the GOP senior figures, against the guy who would do worse against Obama, by most opinion. </div></div>I disagree. I would consider this ganging up to be by GOP senior figures against the guy they don't want to win the nomination, which does not necessarily have to do with the viability of this person beating Obama.

Perry was a good example. The Bush supporters in Texas were all against Perry because he did not back everything Bush did and refused to follow Bush. This had nothing to do with Perry's ability to beat Obama but rather they just did not like Perry because he would not bow down to their demands.

eg8r

Sev
12-20-2011, 05:25 PM
Jeb Bush may be getting into the race.

Soflasnapper
12-20-2011, 05:30 PM
So it sounds as if you agree with me who is doing it, but disagree with me as to why they are doing it. Or, that might be what you're saying, in any regard.

The Bushie machine dislike of Perry did not prevent him from soaring to the top of the ratings, only to plummet, and that plummeting was more from his debate 'performances' than the kinds of relentless negative commentary and negative ads we've seen against Gingrich.

Perry appeared to lose his appeal by too much stumbling/bumbling, and what was worse, taking a compassionate dissent from the standard GOP line on immigrants, while attacking those who disagreed as 'having no heart.' That line really frosted my conservative brothers, for one example, and I've heard that said of other anti-immigrant conservative types as well.

But back to Gingrich-- I find it almost hard to believe that the dedicated partisans who make up the primary voter field (for both parties) could possibly not know all this stuff about Gingrich, and would just now be getting acquainted with that rich mother lode of material his past represents. But I think that's true.

eg8r
12-20-2011, 09:41 PM
Nah, I think it is still too soon for a Bush.

sack316
12-21-2011, 09:36 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
But back to Gingrich-- I find it almost hard to believe that the dedicated partisans who make up the primary voter field (for both parties) could possibly not know all this stuff about Gingrich, and would just now be getting acquainted with that rich mother lode of material his past represents. But I think that's true. </div></div>

My opinion: it's reflective of our short attention spans. Of course most of the voting base remembers the negatives about Newt and things he's done. But presently he's a guy passionate and well informed in his debates who appears sharp as a tack when responding to questions. Though I won't agree with all his answers, I'll admit he looks impressive when speaking. So what is seen in present tense (from the Republican perspective) is a guy most suited to debate Obama, and possibly beat him. But then the ads come, reminding everyone about things, and the past becomes the present tense. A certain percentage won't care, another portion will get the light bulb over their head and say "Oh yeah, that guy!" /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Kind of like Michael Vick. Went from a popular player to a national villain. Comes back, and it takes a little time for the masses to warm up to him... still villain. Suddenly he gets on field and performs well, having a career season last year. Nobody has forgotten what he did wrong, but right then it didn't matter, he was a "hero" of sorts again and resumed status as one of the more popular NFL players. If Brees, Manning, and Brady decided to buy airtime and showed 30 second spots of Vick (the villain one), everyone would be reminded again and his "polling" would go down too. Although situationally, nothing would have changed.

Sack

eg8r
12-21-2011, 10:01 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Though I won't agree with all his answers, I'll admit he looks impressive when speaking.</div></div>Remembering this was the only requirement for Dems when they chose Obama over Clinton. Then again, it was the only requirement of Dem voters when they voted for Obama over McCain. Experience does not seem to be a requirement at all anymore.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
12-21-2011, 01:08 PM
I can't agree with that at all.

If there was any one key, it was that Obama opposed the Iraq war, and HRC, to be a serious Washington player, supported it, like all the "serious" people on the Dem side.

That was also in play for the general election. McCain was a big war booster, and had to have surgery to take his lips off of W's posterior.

While I would also argue there was far more going on that this, if you want to boil it down to one thing, this thing is the closest to being that one thing, far beyond the 'looks impressive, sounds impressive' thing, which was icing on the top by comparison.

Anti-war is a very American position of long-standing, and it even has appeal for Republicans (cf: Ron Paul). It has very strong appeal for Democrats who aren't so Zionist that they'd do the wrong thing for this country if it were favored by the Likud government of Israel (the war with Iraq, e.g.).

Sev
12-21-2011, 09:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Nah, I think it is still too soon for a Bush. </div></div>

Its never to soon for bush. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Sev
12-21-2011, 09:14 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I can't agree with that at all.

If there was any one key, it was that Obama opposed the Iraq war, and HRC, to be a serious Washington player, supported it, like all the "serious" people on the Dem side.

That was also in play for the general election. McCain was a big war booster, and had to have surgery to take his lips off of W's posterior.

While I would also argue there was far more going on that this, if you want to boil it down to one thing, this thing is the closest to being that one thing, far beyond the 'looks impressive, sounds impressive' thing, which was icing on the top by comparison.

Anti-war is a very American position of long-standing, and it even has appeal for Republicans (cf: Ron Paul). It has very strong appeal for Democrats who aren't so Zionist that they'd do the wrong thing for this country if it were favored by the Likud government of Israel (the war with Iraq, e.g.). </div></div>

Starting to look like Obama is gearing up to go to war with Iran.
Cant wait to see you support that if it occurs.

eg8r
12-21-2011, 09:48 PM
Yeah, I don't agree with that at all. I guess you guys are all anti-war until our President illegally enters another country to murder a murderer. At that point you guys are all packing heat and asking to be sent in.

The anti-war garbage is a seasonal idea. It is more a "what have you done for me lately" mindset. This country was as pro-war as you can get on 9/12. While at the time I was in favor of going into Iraq, now I feel we would have been better off staying in Ashcanistan and finishing the job. Americans started their "anti-war" season when W forced us into Iraq.

eg8r

eg8r
12-21-2011, 09:49 PM
I doubt he will waste his time. He has an election to win and we all know that he is getting ready for his bus tours to talk to "middle" America and tell them about this "dream" he has for "hope and change".

eg8r

Qtec
12-22-2011, 02:48 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Americans started their "anti-war" season when W forced us into Iraq.

eg8r </div></div>

People who are "anti-war", are against <u>all wars</u>. In this case, most of the people you are calling "anti-war" were against a specific war and they weren't protesting for nothing.

Millions like myself were saying, "Hey, the evidence does not match their conclusions. WTF is going on here."

Now we know. They lied, misled and just made things up.

Every reason given by the Bush neo-cons for the invasion of Iraq has been debunked. What happened was that Bush and the neo-cons decided to use the the 9/11 attack as an excuse to further their agenda. In this case, invading Iraq.[ A country who had nothing to do with 9/11!]





Q

sack316
12-22-2011, 09:24 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I can't agree with that at all.

If there was any one key, it was that Obama opposed the Iraq war, and HRC, to be a serious Washington player, supported it, like all the "serious" people on the Dem side.

That was also in play for the general election. McCain was a big war booster, and had to have surgery to take his lips off of W's posterior.

While I would also argue there was far more going on that this, if you want to boil it down to one thing, this thing is the closest to being that one thing, far beyond the 'looks impressive, sounds impressive' thing, which was icing on the top by comparison.

Anti-war is a very American position of long-standing, and it even has appeal for Republicans (cf: Ron Paul). It has very strong appeal for Democrats who aren't so Zionist that they'd do the wrong thing for this country if it were favored by the Likud government of Israel (the war with Iraq, e.g.). </div></div>

I thought the key was the unrealistic puppies and rainbows promised for the economy.

Granted I'm sure the war situations had a strong effect in the general election, it still wouldn't explain the primaries (Mrs. Clinton isn't exactly a war monger).

I think pretty talk, being "cool", and (very wisely) using social media won 2010. He managed to bring out whole groups of demographics to the polls in droves, where historically their turn out isn't as strong (youth and minorities).

Sack

Soflasnapper
12-22-2011, 10:59 AM
Starting to look like Obama is gearing up to go to war with Iran.
Cant wait to see you support that if it occurs.

God forbid. I don't support that now, and I won't support it if it happens.

The wholly foreign-policy-challenged GOP nomination field supports it 6-1, however. (Dr. Ron Paul the honorable exception, and my apologies to Amb. Huntsman if I've mischaracterized his position).

Soflasnapper
12-22-2011, 11:12 AM
Granted I'm sure the war situations had a strong effect in the general election, it still wouldn't explain the primaries (Mrs. Clinton isn't exactly a war monger).


Well she and her husband weren't racists, either, but it was portrayed that way, just as she was portrayed as a war-monger. She was given a chance, and could have taken it as expiation, to say her support for the war had been a mistake and that she regretted it. She declined to do so, following an old maxim of politicking.

As between O and HRC, there was very very little difference on most policy matters, and so this difference on the war position was indeed blown up to be THE CRITICAL DIFFERENCE, as a matter of policy disputes. Yes, she touted her superior experience, and etc., but that superior experience led her to almost exactly the policy positions of O (hence, no great advantage on those), but the WRONG position (according to the Dem base, in by then hindsight) on the Iraq war, to her great disadvantage).

Soflasnapper
12-22-2011, 11:26 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Yeah, I don't agree with that at all. I guess you guys are all anti-war until our President illegally enters another country to murder a murderer. At that point you guys are all packing heat and asking to be sent in.

The anti-war garbage is a seasonal idea. It is more a "what have you done for me lately" mindset. This country was as pro-war as you can get on 9/12. While at the time I was in favor of going into Iraq, now I feel we would have been better off staying in Ashcanistan and finishing the job. Americans started their "anti-war" season when W forced us into Iraq.

eg8r </div></div>

Ron Paul was against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Most of the country did indeed support the Afghanistan war, although out of plenty of lies and propaganda. However, prior to the Iraq War's being started, the American people were about evenly divided. It was only as of its commencement that the people turned to stronger majority support for the war, partially out of patriotism.

Since you've addressed me as one of 'you guys,' I'll say you've mischaracterized my position, and the position of any real anti-war person (of which there are likely millions-- see Ron Paul for an example). I didn't think either of the two wars were just or justified (although some wars may be). I didn't support going into Afghanistan, and bombing and killing in Pakistan has still less justification. I didn't support the first Gulf War, or the recent bombing of Libya, and going further back, invading Panama to arrest (well, really, to kill) Noreiga was another atrocity of warfare I opposed. I donate regularly to the American Friends Service Committee, which is dedicated to ending war everywhere, along with other similarly purposed donations.

But you're fairly accurate about a broad swathe of the people, who are not really anti-war as a whole, however much they may on occasion oppose this or that war. That would include most Democrats along with most Republicans.

All this would change in a heartbeat if two conditions were imposed for wars: 1) all families get their young adult children exposed to a mandatory draft for such wars, and 2) an immediate surtax is imposed on all income, but on a sliding scale, to pay for the wars, and make sure they do not add to the national debt.

For, if we never pay for the wars, put them on the charge card of the national debt, and a very small volunteer (or mercenary) force does the fighting and pays the price of dying or being disabled for life, among the small society of military families, people just do not seem to realize the enormity of the wicked nature of war and why it is to be so devoutly avoided if at all possible.

Qtec
12-22-2011, 09:46 PM
Its a process of elimination.
Perry was a front runner until he showed himself to be a bumbling idiot.
Cain was a front runner until his past indiscretions caught up with him.
If Mitt was a Christian he would be home and dry despite him being the King of Flip-Flops, but he is still the favourite.

Bachmann and Santorum! Religious nut jobs.

Huntsman? Not radical enough. Which leaves Paul and Newt.

Paul has no chance after this.

Paul, being too honest. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pfBKKh0C2eo)

Which leaves Newt.

Q

eg8r
12-22-2011, 10:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Most of the country did indeed support the Afghanistan war, although out of plenty of lies and propaganda. </div></div>Which lies and propaganda was that?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Since you've addressed me as one of 'you guys,' I'll say you've mischaracterized my position,</div></div>I really don't care about your characterization. Basically you have a serious problem with revisionist history in reference to the Afghan war.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">All this would change in a heartbeat if two conditions were imposed for wars: 1) all families get their young adult children exposed to a mandatory draft for such wars, and 2) an immediate surtax is imposed on all income, but on a sliding scale, to pay for the wars, and make sure they do not add to the national debt.
</div></div>Yep and France would have funny jokes about us being walked on by Germans under the shade trees.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For, if we never pay for the wars, put them on the charge card of the national debt, and a very small volunteer (or mercenary) force does the fighting and pays the price of dying or being disabled for life, among the small society of military families, people just do not seem to realize the enormity of the wicked nature of war and why it is to be so devoutly avoided if at all possible. </div></div>I am surprised you didn't post an image of the unicorns and rainbows over your fireplace.

eg8r

eg8r
12-22-2011, 10:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">People who are "anti-war", are against all wars.</div></div>LOL, and yet again you open your mouth and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt just how dumb you are.

Let's let sofla respond to you...<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sofla</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But you're fairly accurate about a broad swathe of the people, who are not really anti-war as a whole, however much they may on occasion oppose this or that war. That would include most Democrats along with most Republicans.
</div></div>He is referring to a ton of people that referred to themselves as "anti-war" during the war with Iraq. Who are we to make the decision is they really are "anti-war" or not? LOL qtip to the rescue.

eg8r

eg8r
12-22-2011, 10:17 PM
I think we should all take the approach Clinton did with Yugoslavia and not go to war unless they start bombing us here.

eg8r

Qtec
12-22-2011, 10:32 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Who are we to make the decision <s>is</s>[<span style="color: #3333FF"> are</span> ]they really <s>are</s> "anti-war" or not? LOL qtip to the rescue.

eg8r </div></div>

Fixed that for you. I know English isn't your strong point /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif !

http://peacemakervoices.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/iraq_protest_trim.jpg

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/att/site1/20070318/xin_5603041810128351551743.jpg

Pretty specific.

Q

Soflasnapper
12-23-2011, 12:09 PM
Quote (me):
All this would change in a heartbeat if two conditions were imposed for wars: 1) all families get their young adult children exposed to a mandatory draft for such wars, and 2) an immediate surtax is imposed on all income, but on a sliding scale, to pay for the wars, and make sure they do not add to the national debt.

Yep and France would have funny jokes about us being walked on by Germans under the shade trees.


I don't follow you. In WWII we both imposed a draft and heavy additional tax rates to pay for the war, as I suggested was the policy we should return to for when we have a war, in order not to have unnecessary wars and limit wars to serious ones where we have the willingness to do these unpleasant things. Are you now arguing we should have tried to fight WWII without the draft and without the extra war taxation?

ME: Most of the country did indeed support the Afghanistan war, although out of plenty of lies and propaganda.

Which lies and propaganda was that?

The whole thing. That the Taliban was bin Laden, or al-Qaeda, when they were simply religious fanatics of another kind who limited their focus to their own country. They had bin Laden imposed upon them, when we rousted him out of Sudan. Among the many foreign officials who warned Washington about the impending attacks was the Taliban foreign minister, who traveled to DC to make this warning in person.

That Afghanistan had the slightest thing to do with 9/11. Didn't. Most of the alleged perps were Saudis, maybe with an Egyptian or two. Who was not alleged to be among the perps? Any single Afghan person at all.

That Afghanistan had refused a legitimate extradition request. They had not. They asked to see some slight proof, or evidence establishing probable cause, as any other effort at extradition would require. They said that if they saw anything like that, they'd extradite him to a third party country for trial. We never tried their word on that, because... we never presented any evidence of any kind that would provide probable cause. Because there was no evidence of that nature.

After more than a year had passed where we had the complete run of al-Qaeda quarters in Afghanistan, the FBI director stated publicly that no scrap of paper, or shred of evidence, had been found concerning the plotters or any direction of them by al-Qaeda or bin Laden. That remains the case. That was after Sec. State Colin Powell had promised a white paper detailing the alleged mountain of evidence against bin Laden 'soon,' which NEVER came forward, and the UK 'dodgy dossier' created using 12-year old grad student work.

Gayle in MD
01-03-2012, 12:04 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> All this would change in a heartbeat if two conditions were imposed for wars: 1) all families get their young adult children exposed to a mandatory draft for such wars, and 2) an immediate surtax is imposed on all income, but on a sliding scale, to pay for the wars, and make sure they do not add to the national debt.

</div></div>

Tap, Tap, Tap!

Gayle in MD
01-03-2012, 11:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I can't agree with that at all.

If there was any one key, it was that Obama opposed the Iraq war, and HRC, to be a serious Washington player, supported it, like all the "serious" people on the Dem side.

That was also in play for the general election. McCain was a big war booster, and had to have surgery to take his lips off of W's posterior.

While I would also argue there was far more going on that this, if you want to boil it down to one thing, this thing is the closest to being that one thing, far beyond the 'looks impressive, sounds impressive' thing, which was icing on the top by comparison.

Anti-war is a very American position of long-standing, and it even has appeal for Republicans (cf: Ron Paul). It has very strong appeal for Democrats who aren't so Zionist that they'd do the wrong thing for this country if it were favored by the Likud government of Israel (the war with Iraq, e.g.). </div></div>



<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITEE TESTIMONY -- ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI
February 1, 2007

Mr. Chairman:

Your hearings come at a critical juncture in the U.S. war of choice in Iraq, and I commend you and Senator Lugar for scheduling them.

It is time for the White House to come to terms with two central realities:

1. The war in Iraq is a historic, strategic, and moral calamity. Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America's global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by Manichean impulses and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability.

2. Only a political strategy that is historically relevant rather than reminiscent of colonial tutelage can provide the needed framework for a tolerable resolution of both the war in Iraq and the intensifying regional tensions.

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

A mythical historical narrative to justify the case for such a protracted and potentially expanding war is already being articulated. Initially justified by false claims about WMD's in Iraq, the war is now being redefined as the "decisive ideological struggle" of our time, reminiscent of the earlier collisions with Nazism and Stalinism. In that context, Islamist extremism and al Qaeda are presented as the equivalents of the threat posed by Nazi Germany and then Soviet Russia, and 9/11 as the equivalent of the Pearl Harbor attack which precipitated America's involvement in World War II.

This simplistic and demagogic narrative overlooks the fact that Nazism was based on the military power of the industrially most advanced European state; and that Stalinism was able to mobilize not only the resources of the victorious and militarily powerful Soviet Union but also had worldwide appeal through its Marxist doctrine. In contrast, most Muslims are not embracing Islamic fundamentalism; al Qaeda is an isolated fundamentalist Islamist aberration; most Iraqis are engaged in strife because the American occupation of Iraq destroyed the Iraqi state; while Iran--though gaining in regional influence--is itself politically divided, economically and militarily weak. To argue that America is already at war in the region with a wider Islamic threat, of which Iran is the epicenter, is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Deplorably, the Administration's foreign policy in the Middle East region has lately relied almost entirely on such sloganeering. Vague and inflammatory talk about "a new strategic context" which is based on "clarity" and which prompts "the birth pangs of a new Middle East" is breeding intensifying anti-Americanism and is increasing the danger of a long-term collision between the United States and the Islamic world. Those in charge of U.S. diplomacy have also adopted a posture of moralistic self-ostracism toward Iran strongly reminiscent of John Foster Dulles's attitude of the early 1950's toward Chinese Communist leaders (resulting among other things in the well-known episode of the refused handshake). It took some two decades and a half before another Republican president was finally able to undo that legacy.

One should note here also that practically no country in the world shares the Manichean delusions that the Administration so passionately articulates. The result is growing political isolation of, and pervasive popular antagonism toward the U.S. global posture.

It is obvious by now that the American national interest calls for a significant change of direction. There is in fact a dominant consensus in favor of a change: American public opinion now holds that the war was a mistake; that it should not be escalated, that a regional political process should be explored; and that an Israeli-Palestinian accommodation is an essential element of the needed policy alteration and should be actively pursued. It is noteworthy that profound reservations regarding the Administration's policy have been voiced by a number of leading Republicans. One need only invoke here the expressed views of the much admired President Gerald Ford, former Secretary of State James Baker, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and several leading Republican senators, John Warner, Chuck Hagel, and Gordon Smith among others.

The urgent need today is for a strategy that seeks to create a political framework for a resolution of the problems posed both by the US occupation of Iraq and by the ensuing civil and sectarian conflict. Ending the occupation and shaping a regional security dialogue should be the mutually reinforcing goals of such a strategy, but both goals will take time and require a genuinely serious U.S. commitment.

The quest for a political solution for the growing chaos in Iraq should involve four steps:

1. The United States should reaffirm explicitly and unambiguously its determination to leave Iraq in a reasonably short period of time.

Ambiguity regarding the duration of the occupation in fact encourages unwillingness to compromise and intensifies the on-going civil strife. Moreover, such a public declaration is needed to allay fears in the Middle East of a new and enduring American imperial hegemony. Right or wrong, many view the establishment of such a hegemony as the primary reason for the American intervention in a region only recently free of colonial domination. That perception should be discredited from the highest U.S. level. Perhaps the U.S. Congress could do so by a joint resolution.

2. The United States should announce that it is undertaking talks with the Iraqi leaders to jointly set with them a date by which U.S. military disengagement should be completed, and the resulting setting of such a date should be announced as a joint decision. In the meantime, the U.S. should avoid military escalation.

It is necessary to engage all Iraqi leaders--including those who do not reside within "the Green Zone"--in a serious discussion regarding the proposed and jointly defined date for U.S. military disengagement because the very dialogue itself will help identify the authentic Iraqi leaders with the self-confidence and capacity to stand on their own legs without U.S. military protection. Only Iraqi leaders who can exercise real power beyond "the Green Zone" can eventually reach a genuine Iraqi accommodation. The painful reality is that much of the current Iraqi regime, characterized by the Bush administration as "representative of the Iraqi people," defines itself largely by its physical location: the 4 sq. miles-large U.S. fortress within Baghdad, protected by a wall in places 15 feet thick, manned by heavily armed U.S. military, popularly known as "the Green Zone."

3. The United States should issue jointly with appropriate Iraqi leaders, or perhaps let the Iraqi leaders issue, an invitation to all neighbors of Iraq (and perhaps some other Muslim countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Pakistan) to engage in a dialogue regarding how best to enhance stability in Iraq in conjunction with U.S. military disengagement and to participate eventually in a conference regarding regional stability.

The United States and the Iraqi leadership need to engage Iraq's neighbors in serious discussion regarding the region's security problems, but such discussions cannot be undertaken while the U.S. is perceived as an occupier for an indefinite duration. Iran and Syria have no reason to help the United States consolidate a permanent regional hegemony. It is ironic, however, that both Iran and Syria have lately called for a regional dialogue, exploiting thereby the self-defeating character of the largely passive - and mainly sloganeering - U.S. diplomacy.

A serious regional dialogue, promoted directly or indirectly by the U.S., could be buttressed at some point by a wider circle of consultations involving other powers with a stake in the region's stability, such as the EU, China, Japan, India, and Russia. Members of this Committee might consider exploring informally with the states mentioned their potential interest in such a wider dialogue.

4. Concurrently, the United States should activate a credible and energetic effort to finally reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace, making it clear in the process as to what the basic parameters of such a final accommodation ought to involve.

The United States needs to convince the region that the U.S. is committed both to Israel's enduring security and to fairness for the Palestinians who have waited for more than forty years now for their own separate state. Only an external and activist intervention can promote the long-delayed settlement for the record shows that the Israelis and the Palestinians will never do so on their own. Without such a settlement, both nationalist and fundamentalist passions in the region will in the longer run doom any Arab regime which is perceived as supportive of U.S. regional hegemony.

After World War II, the United States prevailed in the defense of democracy in Europe because it successfully pursued a long-term political strategy of uniting its friends and dividing its enemies, of soberly deterring aggression without initiating hostilities, all the while also exploring the possibility of negotiated arrangements. Today, America's global leadership is being tested in the Middle East. A similarly wise strategy of genuinely constructive political engagement is now urgently needed.

It is also time for the Congress to assert itself.


The President of the United States and Secretary of State would restore some of their lost luster by making some combination of James Baker, Lee Hamilton, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Brent Scowcroft co-Middle East Envoys to help take this penultimate quagmire we are in a direction that might start a virtuous cycle of possibilities rather than the disaster that is unfolding.


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Hard to believe that some would embrace another Bush in the White House, given the disastrous consequences of the other two we have already had to survive!

G.


The definition of Republican Policies: fascism n. a merging of the interests of big corporations and government, adjoined with a systematic curtailment of civil liberties

Gayle in Md.

pooltchr
01-03-2012, 12:10 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm asking for opinions on this one.

My take is that people really didn't remember what this guy did and didn't do, and the negative ads run by his competitors and their PACs reminded everyone of what they didn't like about him back in the day. So my answer is that the negative ads against him (which I find accurate) have caused this.

I know one now missing poster has always claimed it was the mainstream media ganging up on anyone who had a good chance to beat Obama. In this case, however, Newt had a much WORSE chance of beating him than does Romney, according to the head-to-head polling that's out there. So, the ganging up in this case would be the GOP senior figures, against the guy who would do worse against Obama, by most opinion. </div></div>

Newt dropped because of the negative attack adds, and the simple fact that other candidates had the funds to launch a smear campaign that Newt couldn't financially match.

Newt peaked when he went head to head in debates with the other candidates. So, it would seem that while he may well be the best and most well informed candidate, that isn't enough to overcome a huge negative add campaign.

Steve

Soflasnapper
01-03-2012, 05:23 PM
Seems we agree, then, on the top-line reason for Newt's fall-- the ad campaigns against him.

Interestingly, a lot of that came from the shadowy outside super-PAC or Citizens United-enabled spenders, who together spent more than any single candidate. Who were they? They don't really have to say (other than their name, that is).

Newt was very much in favor of the Citizens United ruling, and its chief effect right now has been to doom his campaign in the cradle.

Rough justice, but justice, I would say. (Especially since those ads were (almost all) correct, and the reasons they stated were the same reasons I already didn't want him, just with a longer memory than perhaps most. The other oddity is probably that had **I** or anyone mainstream media, let alone the left media, mentioned these facts, Newt would have been unscathed by such revelations, because they would be treated as untrue on their face, based on their provenance. It took ads from other r-w-rs to be credible to that electorate, just as only Nixon could have gone to China.)

Gayle in MD
01-03-2012, 05:48 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Seems we agree, then, on the top-line reason for Newt's fall-- the ad campaigns against him.

Interestingly, a lot of that came from the shadowy outside super-PAC or Citizens United-enabled spenders, who together spent more than any single candidate. Who were they? They don't really have to say (other than their name, that is).

Newt was very much in favor of the Citizens United ruling, and its chief effect right now has been to doom his campaign in the cradle.

Rough justice, but justice, I would say. (Especially since those ads were (almost all) correct, and the reasons they stated were the same reasons I already didn't want him, just with a longer memory than perhaps most. The other oddity is probably that had **I** or anyone mainstream media, let alone the left media, mentioned these facts, Newt would have been unscathed by such revelations, because they would be treated as untrue on their face, based on their provenance. It took ads from other r-w-rs to be credible to that electorate, just as only Nixon could have gone to China.) </div></div>

LOL.

If this President is so bad, how come none of the old line, politically experienced, campaign savvy Republicans wanted to run against him?

They all backed up, and decided to let the Tea Party types, bring in the clowns.

None of them can beat the president, and they know it.

The realistic ones, just sat on the bench, waiting for 2016.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Gingrich sabotaged himself, like he always does.

We have at least four Republican candidates, who believe that women who have been raped, and children who were victims of incest, and/or rape by a stranger, should be forced to carry the unwanted fetuses of their rapests to term.

We have one candidate who has flip flopped on every single issue, one who is hated by most of the women in this country, and three or four who show signs of irrational, psychological problems, like Santorum, for example, who is a racist and a misogynist.

Bachmann, who is intellectually challenged.

Paul, who is also a racist, and a misogynist.

What a line up!

Clowns and liars extraordinaire.

Yes, gingrich was all for the C.U. S.C. decision...lol, there is some poetic justice, after all. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

G.

LWW
01-04-2012, 02:53 AM
The reason is the leftist hate machine wants Romney as the nominee.