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Oh, Good

Dr. Krauthammer wants another war. Dare I hope that was an April Fools Day column? Sadly, I do not.

April 1, 2005 | Permalink

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When will people stop using the "war on terror" construction. Call it a "war against terrorists." It makes my ears shrivel when I hear people say w.o.t. Clearly, as practiced, the war on terror is prosecuted by instilling in western peoples an abject fear of others. War with terror against terror... seems difficult.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 1, 2005 10:56:46 AM

When Dear Leader's polls go down the toilet, brown people who worship the wrong God have to die.

It's the Bush Doctrine.

Recall that before 9/11

-- Bush's polls tanked
-- They had already decided to 'do Iraq'.

The bigger an elephant you need to make disappear stage left, the bigger the puff of smoke you need stage right.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina | Apr 1, 2005 11:09:14 AM

can we really infer that CK wants WAR from this op-ed? he merely states: "We need, therefore, to be relentless in insisting on a full (and as humiliating as possible) evacuation of Syria from Lebanon, followed by a campaign of economic, political and military pressure on the Assad regime. We must push now and push hard."

seems to me that CK wants war just because you want him to want war.

Posted by: jk | Apr 1, 2005 11:16:10 AM

Yeah jk, military pressure means driopping rose petals.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 1, 2005 11:17:59 AM

Rob, but is that what CK intended? i.e, does he "WANT WAR?" that's a very strong conclusion to infer from an ambigious statement. those that love to ridicule and disdain neo-cons will reflexively say that it does. i'm not convinced, but i do, i hope, have an open mind. so persuade me...and i might add, this is not the first time Matt has misquotes

Posted by: jk | Apr 1, 2005 11:37:57 AM

can we really infer that CK wants WAR from this op-ed?

Only if you're literate.

Posted by: JP | Apr 1, 2005 11:51:07 AM

military pressure = war??????????

Posted by: jk | Apr 1, 2005 11:54:26 AM

"Yeah jk, military pressure means driopping rose petals."

Or having naval forces stationed offshore, troops nearby, and continuing military support for Israel. Military pressure is not ipso facto proof of a desire to go to war.

It's a legit question, Matthew. What is it about Krauthammer's op-ed that makes you think that he wants war rather than wanting regime change in Syria?

Posted by: Dave Schuler | Apr 1, 2005 11:58:59 AM

Everyone also knows that Syria is abetting the terrorist insurgency in Iraq.

By the same measure, everyone also knows that the world would be a more temperate and peaceful place if someone rolled Charles Krauthammer off a cliff.

If by "everyone knows", one means "the same crack squad of right-wing intel analysts who invented the mobile-biowarfare-winnebago currently assumes, based on zero hard evidence," then I suppose Mr. Krauthammer is not technically lying. He is, however, still the corporeal manifestation of Satan.

Posted by: Violet | Apr 1, 2005 12:06:40 PM

War or not would depend on what CK considers enough movement on the part of Syria. In Iraq, not having WMD's or working with Al-Qeada wasn't enough. Was there anything Iraq could have done to avoid invasion other than shoot Saddam and invite the US army in to set up bases? Maybe, but we will never know. So, what does Syria have to do, really? I see little difference between this Syria bashing and the Iraq bashing before the war, and I doubt the purpose is any different. It is to build the case for military action.

Posted by: ted | Apr 1, 2005 12:09:49 PM

Krauthammer is obviously a very sick and angry man. It is apparent from watching him on Fox that he has a lot of internal rage that he has been unable to work through in a constructive fashion, even though he is supposed to be a psychologist or psychiatrist, I do believe.

Posted by: coffeequeen | Apr 1, 2005 12:15:05 PM

What is it about Krauthammer's op-ed that makes you think that he wants war rather than wanting regime change in Syria?

Fool me twice, shame on...

Posted by: washerdreyer | Apr 1, 2005 12:20:15 PM

"It's a legit question, Matthew. What is it about Krauthammer's op-ed that makes you think that he wants war rather than wanting regime change in Syria?"

For Christ's sake, Dave. How are you going to use "naval forces and troops nearby" to apply "military pressure" to the Assad regime just by having them stand around the borders whistling and waving? Especially since Krauthammer said explicitly that he wants us to start applying "military pressure" on Syria AFTER we have forced them out of Lebanon. (Meanwhile, of course, Iran's mullahs continue to romp their way to the Bomb unhindered.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw | Apr 1, 2005 12:29:13 PM

Probably Krauthammer is trying to expand his wheelchair basketball league. You can't blame him for that.

Posted by: gcochran | Apr 1, 2005 12:36:56 PM

Military pressure is not ipso facto proof of a desire to go to war.

maybe not in a strict interpretation, but it has to be seen as such by the party you're trying to pressure, otherwise it's just a parade.

Posted by: cleek | Apr 1, 2005 12:42:37 PM

Now that Bush has embarked on a program to reform the middle east, he should proceed to run the table as much as possible as long as he has some momentum. Syria is a ripe next step. I doubt that a millitary invasion would be launched, but it is necessary to have a "bad cop" in the background and cowering progressives shrieking at the comming war in Syria to get Assad's attention.

If middle east reform falls apart in the next few years, then progressives hava a real chance to take over the government and implement a more reality-based middle east policy.

Posted by: Robert Brown | Apr 1, 2005 1:11:36 PM

By "more reality-based middle east policy", do you mean the policy that existed before Bush? That was very loosely based on reality.

And yes, you can have military pressure without war. What we did in Kosovo was military pressure, but not war.

Posted by: Nudnik | Apr 1, 2005 2:17:09 PM

Doesn't Charles realise that, if Syria becomes something other than a authoritarian state, we'll have one fewer government to which we can render our suspected terrorists for torture?

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Apr 1, 2005 2:54:01 PM

I don't know what the progressive policy will be in the middle east if Bush fails except that 1) no violence will be involved, 2) the U.N. will be the controlling legal authority, 3) multi-national summit meetinga of the interational comunity will be a central srtategy, 4) the value of middle east resources will be reduced as a crash alternative (non-nuclear) energy program is subsidized, and 5) Isreal will not ne supported.

Posted by: Robert Brown | Apr 1, 2005 3:03:27 PM

"What we did in Kosovo was military pressure, but not war."

We flew planes into Serbian airspace and dropped bombs on Serbia, some of them in Belgrade. We committed acts of war.

A blockade is also an act of war. If we use naval vessels to prevent the shipment of Iranian weapons to Syria, that would be an act of war.

Just what can we do, short of acts of war, that will convince Syria to leave Lebanon?

Posted by: Njorl | Apr 1, 2005 3:14:15 PM

"Just what can we do, short of acts of war, that will convince Syria to leave Lebanon?"

I guess I have to wonder how Syrian troops in Lebanon make a detrimental difference in my safety, or that of the United States. Seems like a problem we can confidently let someone else solve.

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Apr 1, 2005 4:48:50 PM

"does he "WANT WAR?" that's a very strong conclusion to infer from an ambigious statement."

Remember the last time around? And afterwards, all the Bushite babble about how the president never actuually SAID that Saddam posed an imminent threat, the president never actually SAID that Saddam had WMD, the president never actually SAID that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

No more! You ain't getting away with it this time! "Fool me once--won't get fooled again," as somebody once said . . .

Posted by: rea | Apr 1, 2005 6:00:40 PM

Based on his general views, I suppose that Krauthammer would like the US to invade Syria. However, it is quite unlikely Bush would actually order an invasion. US troups are over-extended, the American public wouldn't support it, and the US is in the very enviable position that the rest of the involved international community, including France, Syria's traditional allie Russia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, is pressuring Syria to withdraw from Lebanon.

My impression is that Bush is hoping that the withdrawal plus continued pressure will lead the Syrian government to eventually collapse.

Posted by: Les Brunswick | Apr 1, 2005 6:30:54 PM

Oh, goodie!!! So we're facing a recalcitrant and tenacious insurgency in Iraq that's costing us thousands of casualties and hundreds of billions of dollars, enduring worldwide humiliation from Abu Ghraib and ongoing prison abuses there, alienating the world and spurring multilateral alliances that exclude the US at an alarming rate, basically wrecking our volunteer military and falling 30-40% short of recruiting objectives, and so Charles Krauthammer's solution is... get us sucked into yet ANOTHER quagmire in neighboring Syria. Which unlike Iraq, has not been battered by a decade of sanctions and actually has a modern enough military to cause us some pain.

You gotta love CK's logic. I guess the idea goes something like, if we're already stuck in one mess, why not create yet another mess for ourselves to distract from the woes of the first mess? Before long, we'll be stuck in enough damn foreign quagmires that the media won't know which quagmire to pay attention to, and then everybody will go back to their fierce debates about the latest American Idol contestant to be voted down or Survivor showboater to be voted off the island. As they say in the Guinness commercial, BRILLIANT!!!

Idiot Krauthammer apparently fails to appreciate the fact that if we attack Syria, we will have no allies whatsoever-- Tony Blair's fellow Labour Party MP's will sedate and tie a straitjacket around him before they let Blair kiss Bush's ass all the way to Damascus. And we would be invading a second country on a flimsy pretext, creating a place full of millions of violently hostile people who despise us to the core.

Worst of all, the Asian central bankers who basically control the fate of our economy by propping our debt-- they're already moving out of the dollar and US bonds and T-bills in droves, toward the Euro and oil and gold. If we invade Syria, there'll be a stampede, and then you might as well use those dollars in your wallet as paper towels to clean up spills in the kitchen, cuz they won't be good for much else.

Posted by: Wes Ulm | Apr 2, 2005 7:32:56 AM

"Nudnik" said, "And yes, you can have military pressure without war. What we did in Kosovo was military pressure, but not war."

Would you regard it as war if some other nation did to us what we did in kosovo?

Posted by: J Thomas | Apr 3, 2005 10:56:44 AM

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