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Oh. Goody.

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If you liked George W. Bush’s foreign policy, you’ll probably love Jeb’s.

And this stuff matters. Reading this thread, I remain amazed by all the people who still think that Bush II’s decision to invade Iraq is a puzzle that requires some triple-bank-shot explanation. Political gains and securing an oil supply and financial self-interest may have had a marginal effect in some cases, but really the simplest explanation is by far the most plausible: we invaded Iraq because the persons most responsible for foreign policy in the Bush administration had long favored much more use of military force in general and the invasion of Iraq in particular. Getting most of the same gang back together is a really horrible idea.

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  • joe from Lowell

    Porter Goss was a miserable failure of a Director of Central Intelligence.

    Porter Goss is from Florida, and carried out a political purge of CIA management who opposed the neoconservatives. He fired 90 people within 10 days of taking office.

    A miserable failure, with political connections to Jeb, who abused his power in a way that reduced our capabilities, in the service of advancing an ideological line.

    Jeb is his own man, though; he’d probably bump Goss up to DNI.

    http://www.newsweek.com/terror-watch-undoing-gosss-cia-purge-110175

    • liberalrob

      You misunderstand, Porter Goss was a fantastically successful Director of Central Intelligence. After all,

      Porter Goss…carried out a political purge of CIA management who opposed the neoconservatives.

      So, mission accomplished. I’m sure we’re still reaping the “benefits” of his “success.”

      Diaz-Balart’s presence on the team is a tell as well. Not that any of it comes as a surprise.

      • joe from Lowell

        He was a miserable failure even from the Bush administration’s point of view. He lasted about a year and received strangely muted praise when he resigned.

        • liberalrob

          He just lost a turf war with Negroponte, looks like to me. Who BTW is also on the team. It’d be irony of ironies for Goss to wind up as DNI, the same position Negroponte had when Goss got eased out.

          • joe from Lowell

            Do really good DCIs frequently lose turf wars?

            • liberalrob

              Why wouldn’t they? Goss had no control over Negroponte being the golden boy at the time. DNI was part of the whole post-911 GWOT rollout. Of course W would support DNI over DCI.

              Goss had served his purpose. So he was expendable.

              • joe from Lowell

                Why wouldn’t they?

                Because they’re supposed to be good?

                • liberalrob

                  I see you’re in the reality-based community.

                • tsam

                  Republicans have a long and distinguished history of appointing “good” people to high level posts.

                  Heckuva job, Gossie.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I see you’re in the reality-based community.

                  Yes indeed, I don’t look back at events and then (only after the fact, of course) make up story lines to explain why that must have been the plan all along.

                  Tell us, rob, was the collapse of Iraqi society and the subsequent destabilization of the region Dick Cheney’s plan all along? And the idea that it was a massive fuckup that spiraled out of control just a cover story?

                  I’ve been seeing a lot of that one lately.

                • liberalrob

                  Yes indeed, I don’t look back at events and then (only after the fact, of course) make up story lines to explain why that must have been the plan all along.

                  Party-pooper.

                • joe from Lowell

                  OK, that’s funny.

                • Pseudonym

                  Everything was going great thanks to the SURGE™, until Obama stole the election and stabbed our troops in the back by signing the Status of Forces Agreement.

            • Craigo

              Do really good DCIs frequently lose turf wars?

              Depends on your definition of “good.” Being a good intelligence professional does not mean that you are a good bureaucratic infighter. Trotsky won the Russian Civil War for the Reds, and got squeezed out by the clerk who managed the membership rolls.

              This is in general, not specific to Goss’s case. I really couldn’t say.

  • Brett

    Seriously, it’s in all the memoirs from former insiders and people like Bob Woodward. Bush’s people really, truly believed that they could topple Saddam Hussein and install a US- and Israel-friendly democratic Iraqi government with relative ease – and they silenced any voices who said otherwise (while eagerly being taken in by the voices telling them to go through with it, like Ahmed Chalabi).

    • WabacMachinist

      Either that, or they simply believed that the US should pick a crappy little country and throw it up against the wall every few years just to show everyone who’s boss.

      • liberalrob

        I was just about to go look up that very quote. :)

        This is what passes for shrewd foreign policy among these people.

      • tsam

        Nothing Freudian about that. Nosireee.

    • CrunchyFrog

      Go back and read the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) paper of 1998. They believed that they’d all fall like dominos. Afghanistan was for practice in the “outsourcing” model of occupation. Iraq, then Syria, then Iran, then any place else in what they called the “Arc of Instability” which, of course, sat on incredible carbon deposits. Remember the conservative slogan of 2002? “Everyone wants to invade Iraq. Real Men want to invade Iran.”

      They dreamed of an oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel via Jordan. They imagined that tax cuts would lead to a libertarian paradise in Iraq and elsewhere.

      The most horrifying paragraph of all in this 1998 paper was the one that mentioned that Americans would probably not support such a plan of conquest in the absence of an event of the magnitude of Pearl Harbor. The paper said nothing more about that topic – just left it there hanging.

      All of this would have been just a random bit of words written by nobodies had it not been signed by so many men who would become key players of the GWB administration.

  • tsam

    Negroponte and Wolfowitz

    Way to think outside the box, Jub. Way to hunt down the most competent statesmen, Jub. Way to be just another incompetent bike seat sniffer, Jub.

    Shit. This is NOT good.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      well, it’s a long time til fall, when the primary thing gets rolling. jeb! spread some money around iowa recently, trying to make it obvious he’s not one of the crazies by passing it to our relatively non-insane republicans. i kind of wonder if he can thread that particular needle

      • tsam

        Hard to say. There are a whole lot of Southern states with a whole lot of reactionary wingnuts frothing at the mouth to elect an outright fascist so we can finally get some goddamn freedom up in this joint.

        I like Jub because it sounds like those Ewoks in Return of the Je…oh I need to shut up now.

    • Phil Perspective

      People forget. Jebster was actually the Bush boy that signed the PNAC founding statement. Yes, William “The Bloody” Kristol’s outfit.

  • joe from Lowell

    John Negroponte. Otto Reich. The whole Latin American coup team. Loverly.

    • Ben in VA

      All I needed to know was “Paul Wolfowitz”. That sums up everything.

      • liberalrob

        “OK, W the fckup screwed up the plan, but it was a good plan; so let’s try it again! It’ll work this time for sure!”

        • Ben in VA

          The war will pay for itself! Remember that from Wolfowitz?

          I’m having 2003 flashbacks already.

          • liberalrob

            Still waiting for us to be greeted as liberators…

            • tsam

              Any minute now…just be patient. Then you’ll be sorry for opposing war like a sissy liberal.

        • Davis X. Machina

          It’s like the new Oceans Eleven franchise, only it’s not funny, and none of the heists come off, and everyone in Las Vegas dies.

          • Lee Rudolph

            only it’s not funny, and none of the heists come off, and everyone in Las Vegas dies.

            One out of three ain’t bad.

    • ColBatGuano

      I don’t see Elliot Abrams in there….

      • liberalrob

        Lurking in the shadows at CFR.

  • Redbeard

    Well, Scott, I beg to differ.
    I assert that getting most of the old gang back together is GREAT idea, IF it is inside a penitentiary!

  • dmsilev

    So, if the first time is tragedy and the second time is farce, what is the third time? Resigned resignation?

    Can we at least get the gritty reboot of the franchise?

  • In slightly related news, the entire wingnut ragegasm surrounding Marie Harf is really disheartening.

    • Ben in VA

      What I want to know is who the hell organizes the ragegasms. Is there some kind of secret wingnut blast fax? Every wingnut I know and on TV decided to jump on the woman all of a sudden, and they are all repeating the exact same talking points, word for fucking word. This happens in every right wing outrage of the week. For being the supposed party of rugged individualism when it comes to media talking points it’s like they’re the Bolsheviks.

      • joe from Lowell

        Step 1: Make up line of bull because it’s momentarily politically useful.

        Step 2: Every right-wing outlet in the world repeats the stuff you just made up with ruthless discipline.

        Step 3: Conservatives, even high-up ones, then believe the stuff you just made up, because now they’ve seen it confirmed by three or four sources they consider very reliable.

        Step 4: Republican candidates base their political strategy on the thing you just made up.

        There is no potential downside to this at all. Say, did you hear that Obama didn’t call the Benghazi attacks terrorism? Man, Romney can really kill him with that in the debate!

        • tsam

          Roll, snowball, roll.

        • Ben in VA

          I think my favorite ones from 2012 was the whole ROMNEY IS SURGING TO VICTORY !!!!! ZOMG Reagan landslide!!!11 OMFG MINNESOTA AND PENNSYLVANIA NOW IN PLAY lone of bull from the last week of the campaign, something completely contradicted by ever single objective data point imaginable

          They really believed it, too, which made their tears that much sweeter.and I still don’t get how being deluded about the state of the race is politically useful.

          • Ben in VA

            I mean, this stuff was just utterly delusional. It’s almost Baghdad Bob level.

            • Craigo

              That was one of my favorites. Either a delusional Romneyite made massive buys on Intrade, or a semi-cunning Romneyite made massive buys on Intrade. Either way, he swung the conventional wisdom singlehandedly.

              • joe from Lowell

                Trying to swing Intrade seems like something you could crowd-source.

                • Craigo

                  If I remember correctly, a post-election analysis showed that one whale made most of the late Romney buys. I’ll try to dig that up.

                  Edit: Here we go. It was one-third, not most as I said. And still a possibility that it was one account funded by multiple donors.

                  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2322420

            • dmsilev

              If Dick Morris’s oft-repeated theory is correct

              Even with exponential notation and other such tools, I’m not sure modern mathematics is up to the task of accurately determining such a small probability.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Step 2A: Most mainstream outlets report the event as news because, of course, it shows up in Drudge and other right wing sites that the top editors of mainstream sites rely on for their personal news.

          • Craigo

            Or it trended on the Twitter.

          • joe from Lowell

            Although they have the good grace to put “Is” before the right-winger’s claim and “?” at the end.

            Is Mitt Romney Surging to Victory?

      • keta

        Well, I explained all this a while ago in a post to Roy’s joint exposing the weekly right wing pundit circle jerk. Yes, literally a circle jerk.

        It was deemed too descriptive and icky, but I stand by the veracity.

        • runsinbackground

          Man, I really miss The Voice Explores the Right-Wing Blogosphere.

    • tsam

      Disheartening, but entirely predictable. She’ll be joining Susan Rice in the list of candidates for the Antichrist.

      • Ben in VA

        VAN JONES!!11! Remember that one?

        • tsam

          Oh yes. And all these CZARS TOLDJA HE’S A COMUNIST BECAUSE RUSSIAN.

          I loved that one. Fully displayed their ignorance of Russian history and American government. But pointing that out didn’t slow them down a bit. They’re dedicated, those crazy varmints.

          • Ben in VA

            I hear there are Czars at the Ground Zero Mosque.

            • tsam

              The terrorists are winning everything like Charlie Sheen, man. Clearly we need some rigid leadership to shove down some throats.

            • Davis X. Machina

              No one can afford the parking. Those are Zipczars.

    • Pseudonym

      Well, remember all those stories about the Montana bill that would outlaw yoga pants?

  • Ben in VA

    Not even the American voter can be dumb enough to elect another Bush.

    He can go on NAND on about how he’s his own man, but people will notice his staffers and advisers are all retreads from his father and brother,

    • liberalrob

      Just like they noticed W’s were all retreads from his father and Reagan?

      • Ben in VA

        Both Reagan and his father are thought of much more positively by the American voter than Dubya.

        • tsam

          I’m not sure people pay much attention to that sort of thing.

      • tsam

        And fucking Nixon, of all the stupid shit…

    • CrunchyFrog

      Not even the American voter can be dumb enough to ….

      I’m sorry. There is no possibly way to finish that sentence and make it truthful.

      • calling all toasters

        “…swallow an entire voting booth and choke to death.”

        HA!

      • Malaclypse

        “make Nader anything but a spoiler.”

    • Davis X. Machina

      Not even the American voter can be dumb enough to elect another Bush.

      Does re-electing Dubya in 2004 count, or do they have to be different Bushes?

    • keta

      Not even the American voter can be dumb enough to elect another Bush.

      Thanks for the mirth. Rueful, but still mirth.

    • joe from Lowell

      Not even the American voter can be dumb enough to elect another Bush.

      Would you mind not saying that anymore?

      The American voter is likely to take that as a challenge.

  • Malaclypse

    This proves there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties. Nader/Akavian 2016!

    • joe from Lowell

      There is a picture that made the rounds on the far-left blogosphere of Hillary Clinton with John Negroponte.

      They were both invited to the same think tank event. He spoke, then passed behind her on his way back to his seat.

      WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

      • Lt. Fred

        To be fair, the criminal Negroponte shouldn’t be accepted in polite company and Clinton was wrong to allow herself to be that company. But that problem is obviously much broader than her.

    • Ben in VA

      Heighten the contradictions!

      Nacht Hitler, uns!

      • Davis X. Machina

        When the contradictions are down to about four minutes apart, wake me up.

      • Warren Terra

        “Nacht”?

        • joe from Lowell

          Nacht, Hitler. Nacht, John Boy.

          • Hogan

            I love you, man.

        • Vance Maverick

          “Nach” was probably intended.

          • Lee Rudolph

            Or nacho. Soup Nazi, Nacho Hitler. Makes sense to me.

          • Warren Terra

            Or Nicht?

            (To be clear: yes, I knew “nach” was intended. But I thought it was funny, and JfL’s joke was good)

            • tsam

              Nachts that say Nih!

  • calling all toasters

    I guess we’ll be invading Iran within a year if he gets in.

    That’s a way more intelligent plan than negotiating a stop to their development of nuclear weapons.

    Because [waves hands angrily].

    • tsam

      Well, the negotiations seem to be working. We don’t NEED a fucking example to point to when we’re trying to say that diplomacy is for losers and killing everyone is the only way to handle an international dispute. That’s what Boehner is doing–trying to scuttle the negotiations by bringing Bibi over to show us more pictures of cartoon bombs. I hope he does balloon animals this time.

      • calling all toasters

        The 2nd Amendment guarantees freedom of killing– that’s why they hate us for our freedom. Because we keep killing them.

    • Davis X. Machina

      I don’t know. They can bomb it all they want, but invade? Ground forces, that sort of thing.

      That’s a country the size of the Louisiana Purchase, with a population of 75 million.

      And they’re soooooo not going to greet us as liberators.

      You’d need twenty full divisions, halfway around the world….

      • calling all toasters

        Oh, sure, if you want to actually win. But what if you only need to have our press report it as a win?

        Also, the cost of the war can easily be paid for with tax cuts for the rich.

      • heckblazer

        Also, Iran borders the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of the world’s oil transits ad which is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point…

        • runsinbackground

          Do you think the Yellow Fleet would have been allowed to exist if any of the ships involved had been oil tankers?

      • tsam

        A geographically big country with 25 million was Iraq. We hit em with an overwhelming force of 300,000 and not enough reserves to rotate guys out in one or two tours. These dopes dont worry too much about reality. All we need is an incompetent moron to run the place in the aftermath and dismantle and destroy all the infrastructure. If that’s not a recipe for success I don’t know what is.

    • Pseudonym

      But regime change in Iran worked so well in 1332 1953…

      • heckblazer

        It stopped the nationalization of Anglo-Persian Oil Company, didn’t it?

  • Lt. Fred

    Which begs the question – why did the neocons in Bush’s foreign policy shop favour the use of military force in general, and in Iraq in particular? Why did they favour it so determinately that they were willing to lie about it?

    I think economic interest is a fairly strong explanation for that. “Just because”? Not so much.

    • Monty

      Saddam flinging scuds into Israel might have had something to do with it.

      • Lt. Fred

        I meant the other Bush.

    • Pseudonym

      That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

  • MartinAlexander

    I just don’t understand how anyone still listens to these guys anymore….failure after failure and yet still people run to them for advice.

    • rea

      Kill a man and you’re a murderer, kill a million and you’re a statesman . . .

      • stryx

        What about if you kill a war criminal?

        Asking for a friend.

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