Thursday, May 04, 2006

Vindicated By Their Own Mess?

Andrew Sullivan writes:
One thing that today's high gas prices strongly suggest is that, whatever else it was, the Iraq war was surely not about oil. If you care about cheap oil above everything else, you'd have found some deal with Saddam, kept the oil fields pumping, and maintained the same realist policy toward Arab and Muslim autocracies we had for decades.
This is like a lawyer arguing that because his client used the wrong combination on a safe, surely he didn't mean to steal anything. It is backasswards---interpreting intent based on an undesired result.

In addition, it is ascribing competence and intellectual rigor to the Bush administration---the assumption that it thought the war through carefully beforehand, weighing the risks and possible consequences, instead of using its patented faith-based, "kids rolling around on the lawn" approach. Based on what we know now about the prewar planning, and in light of Katrina, Miers, Kerik, Plamegate and everything else, exactly how is that assumption justified?


Blogger Thomas said...

It also ignores the fact that if it was 'about oil' it wasn't 'about oil' for American consumers, it was 'about oil' for the oil companies, who do seem to be doing okay.

5/04/2006 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting logic. I lost $2,000 in Las Vegas once. Therefore proving that my original intention was NOT too win some easy money.

5/04/2006 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sully is a fool or believes his readers to be. Iraq is and has been always about oil, but not cheap oil for american citizens. It is about US control of the spigot of oil. Oil going to China, Japan, etc.

5/04/2006 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I like Sullivan usually but he does tend towards wingnut stupidity sometimes, I mean logic like this is just idiotic. I am not too bright but even I rememebr Feith or one of those Morons declaring that the reconstruction would be payed for by oil. Another one said on Meet the Press or some other show something to the effect that this will be a completely different war, Iraq is floating on an ocean of oil. Its really ridiculous to suggest that oil had nothing to do with Iraq. It gets old wasting time refuting the Bullshit. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, America may simply just wither under the weight of its own Bullshit storm.

5/04/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Way to knock him down a few rungs! Bravo, TCR!

Sullivan's gotta allow comments. (cough cough, coward)

5/04/2006 4:27 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Also, TCR, from Monday's Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Well, we did check in to that. And Lawrence Lindsey, the chief economic adviser to the president, did in fact say—and let’s look at the quote now. At the time he said that—just the opposite. He said the key issue is oil, and a regime change in Iraq would facilitate an increase in wolf oil, which would tend to oil prices.” That is Lawrence Lindsey.

And then of course later on, as we went to war, Paul Wolfowitz said, not only would it bring cheaper oil, but that oil of Iran would largely pay for the reconstruction of Iran. He was quite clear on this—of Iraq. And now the president’s top guy practically, Dan Bartlett, is denying all that. What is true?

WALLACE: Well, I don’t know the context of Larry Lindsey’s comment. Certainly the reasons for going to war in Iraq are reasons that you have examined in great detail here and I am happy to go into them. I mean, having a democracy...

MATTHEWS: No, no. I’m sorry. I will interrupt you for the first time. I have not done it so far.


MATTHEWS: The context is September 2002, as the argument was made to Congress why we should go to war. And Lawrence Lindsey, the chief economic adviser to the president, said it’s hard to say whether the economic effects would be positive or negative of war. There are enormous uncertainties about what might happen. It depends on the prosecution of the war. But under every plausible scenario the negative effect is quite small relative to the economic benefits that would come from a successful prosecution of the war.

Here is the chief economic adviser of the president advising on the benefits which will come from—no one will say we went to war because of oil by itself. He says the key issue was oil, to repeat him, and a regime change in Iraq would facilitate an increase in world oil and that means cheaper oil for us.

Isn’t that in fact the word of the president, his chief economic adviser, that Wolfowitz coming out in making the case for war. We know that Paul was quite a hawk, making the case for war by saying don’t worry about all of the costs after this war because their own oil over there in Iraq is going to pay for it. These don’t add up today, do they? Are they still true or are they inoperative?

WALLACE: We all certainly enjoy the benefits of 20/20 hindsight.

MATTHEWS But this was pre-sight. This was predictions made to get us to go to war. And I am just asking you, were they wrong?

WALLACE: Well, Chris, even what you read was caveated in a great deal of uncertainty.

MATTHEWS: Where? Where?

WALLACE: He says there are a great number of uncertainties. And I think that...

MATTHEWS: But under every plausible scenario the negative effect is quite small relative to the economic benefits. Under every plausible scenario, the president’s chief economic adviser is saying we are going to benefit from cheaper oil if we go to war.

WALLACE: Well, I think he was speaking...

MATTHEWS: Is that inoperative?

WALLACE: He was speaking about the realities of the global energy market and certainly the challenges we see and the pain we feel at a pump is the result of a global energy market that is stretched to its limits. The demands that countries like India and China put on the global energy market are realities that we are all experiencing. When we go to the pump it is not just because supplies are tight. It is because of the impact of the global market.

5/04/2006 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the Iraqi gold production doing? They doing anything with copper or silver?

I'm not saying Iraq has nothing to do about the current oil situation, but I suspect what the federal reserve is doing with their printing press is doing a lot more to push prices up.

I keep hearing about all the demand China and India are introducing to the market, but I have not seen one station running out of gas. Supply is not the problem.

5/04/2006 11:56 PM  
Blogger Ahistoricality said...

Man, I thought that argument bit the dust two years ago, because they never would stop talking about oil....

5/05/2006 1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching the history channel last night and there was a show on called "Declassified" and it was on WWI. I had a few thoughts of the then/now variety:

1. The Espionage Act, spying on fellow Americans (and even in schools), arresting them for not buying war bonds, etc.- does this sound at all familiar???? Of course hanging a number of African Americans after a riot in Houston, because they were so afraid of their reaction to fighting for a "Democracy" in Europe when many had no hope for getting in America, has been something this administration has not done.

2. Progressives and other war protesters like the Irish (who had no desire to "save" the English) seemed to be more vocal and active in resistance to WWI than we were in the run-up to Iraq. Heck even southerners weren't fully on board.

3. Wilson's PR campaign sounds a lot like the Bush's. Planting pro-war stories in the papers and planting audience members in movie theater audiences to support the war after a little pro-war reel (or whatever it was called) shown.

I always knew the administration love retreads - Cheney, Rummy, Negroponte - who knew they would borrow so many things from Wilson.

5/05/2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to add to my last post, there is this which I rembembered when I hit submit and which was why I was posting in the first place...

4. All the secret deals about between the allies on how to split up various geographies when Germany was defeated. They mentioned how the motives of European allies were just as much about business/economics and world power than about democracy/freedom and other highbrow motives.

5. I also remember thinking that while it was nice that the allies defeated Germany, they ended up having to fight a much worse, much more dangerous Germany a few decades later. Iraq parallels???

6. While fighting in WWI was relatively short for the US (as compared to the allies) there were more casualties in non combat (i.e. training) situations if my memory was correct. I thought, Iraq war was "short" and we have had more casualties after is was supposedly all over.

5/05/2006 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Peter VE said...

Cui Bono?

How about attributing one reason (not the only one) for the war to the actual outcome?
The potential increase in Iraqi oil production were the sanctions on Iraq to have been lifted would have a downward pressure on world oil prices; this would have a consequent downward pressure on oil companies profits.

5/05/2006 10:32 AM  
Blogger vkk1_hypno said...

Visualization is a tool that has been used for thousands of years by initiates of all the metaphysical schools. Today, it is incorporated into top athlete's daily routines and is used in business affairs frequently. It's use is wide-spread among highly successful people, either consciously or unconsciously, aware of its create power. So if it has stood the test of time and is still being used by high achievers we must come to the conclusion that it works! But has it ever worked for you?

If you answered 'yes' to the above question then you know how powerful this technique can be. If, on the other hand, you gave the more likely answer 'no' then take heart for I am about to reveal to you a sure fire way of reaching your objectives through this mostly misunderstood art.

The trouble with visualization is simple - its in its name!

When studying and contemplating the art of visualization most people have the impression that they must create visual images and make them real or life-like. Many people, in fact the majority, find this almost impossible to do. Even if they can formulate a solid picture of their objective they find it extremely difficult to sustain the image for any length of time. Either the image fades, changes or other intruding thoughts intervene.

This type of visualization is almost impossible to sustain and luckily it is not at all necessary. Why? Because it is in the subconscious mind that your visualization needs to be placed and there is good news. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between an imaginary event and a real one. Your visual image only needs to be a strong visually as any other imagined event. However, that is only half the story.

If all you had to do was just imagine stuff and your world automatically changed to reflect your imaginings this world would be full of chaos (not to mention all those creepy crawly bug-eyed monsters!). Therefore, there are a few more steps to complete before the visualization is passed to the subconscious for manifestation.

Let's try a little experiment. Remember a scene from your past that has a lot of good feelings around it. Any good memory will do, like the first time you heard the words "I love you" from your partner, an amazingly spectacular sunset, a great holiday event or your last birthday. Pick one and remember it. How clear is the image? Can you remember any sounds? What way did you feel? Is there any sense of touch, taste or smell? Identify how your memory works. Is it mostly visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or of a feeling nature?

Now we are going to create an imagined event in our lives that has the same strength and potency as that image. So relax and let's go.

Imagine something that you do everyday, something that you did yesterday, today and will do tomorrow. Let us take the example of waking up tomorrow morning. Don't try to add or take anything away, just think about it and analyse the scene. Is it dark or light? Are you lying next to someone in bed? Do you still feel tired? Has the alarm clock sounded? Are you irritable that you have to get up or full of joy at the dawn of a new day?

You will find that the imagined event is very similar to the memory with probably one key difference - your point of perspective. Is the memory behind you and the future event in front of you? Is one to the left and one to the right? Maybe they are both in front of you or the future seems to move in a clockwise direction. Whatever the perspective the thing to notice is that they are very similar in appearance.

Now imagine doing your future event a week from now, then a month from now, then six months from now. Where are those images placed? Are they moving further away, going clockwise, from left to right? This is your time-line and using it is important in visualization as you will see later.

Ok, let's imagine something that is very unlikely to happen and see where it differs from the last image.

Imagine you are sitting somewhere familiar which is extremely comfortable and relaxing to you. Now imagine that a person you know well comes up to where you are and says "hello". Imagine them telling you that they want to show you a new trick. All of a sudden they have three juggling balls. They throw them in the air and begin to juggle with ease. Then they begin to whistle one of your favourite tunes. You suddenly realize that there is a strong smell of flowers in the room and notice a vase of them just behind the juggler. Imagine laughing loudly at the scene and feeling joyful at the experience. Then the person juggling leans forward stands on leg and puts the other leg outstretched behind them. All the while still juggling and whistling. Then they begin to hop on their leg as a small bird flies over to perch on their head. Once you have the imagined event and stayed with it a few moments just let it fade.

Ok open your eyes. What was the difference between the two images? Can you spot any? Did you use more, less or roughly the same senses in your fantasy event as you did in the future one? Did you see them from different angles? Was the picture bigger in one than the other? Was the sound clearer, the feelings more acute or the smell stronger? Take some time and go back to each scene in your mind. How does the future event differ from the fantasy one? Are you looking at both from a different vantage point? Do you see yourself in the image of one but not the other? Analyse the scenes and see where they differ.

Have you identified how the future event differs from the fantasy one? If you have then its time to make visualization work for you! Take a goal that you have been working on or would like to achieve. Nothing too far-fetched at this point please! Pick something that is possible but at the moment seems a little impractical. Once you have it form a mental image of what it would be like to have, be or do that thing or be in that experience. Remember to form it the same way you do a memory. Give it the same strength visually, in sound, feeling, taste and touch - use your mind in its natural state. All you have to do is imagine the scene.

Ok how does it differ from the scene of waking in the morning? Can you identify the differences in perspective, sound, taste, touch, feelings and what you hear?

Now there will be one other key thing that differs in the images- it is very simple but often overlooked. You know that the future event is going to happen! This is reflected in the way we experience the image. So what we are going to do is fool your subconscious mind into thinking your goal is definitely going to happen by manipulating your goal image!

Once you know what the differences are in each image begin to change the goal image so that it is seen the same way as the future event in your imagination. Place the visualized scene in exactly the same position with the same perspective as your future event.

Place it in the correct position on your time-line. You may already begin to feel that the goal is more possible. Visualise in this way everyday and you will condition your subconscious mind to manifest the experiences necessary to make your goal attainment certain.

One more thing to remember: During the day think about your goal often. This reinforces the visualization and will begin to dispel doubt from your mind.

8/26/2006 8:03 AM  
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