Thursday, September 27, 2007

Burden Of Proof

Revisiting a post of mine from June, when optimism ran high about a change in Iraq policy come this month or early 2009 at the latest:
But those hoping for a dramatic change in policy may be disappointed. Occupations tend to be self-perpetuating. And remember, Nixon had huge anti-Communist credibility but still felt compelled to prove his toughness once in office. If Hillary wins, will she have any less to prove as a Democrat and a woman?
Based on her comments during the past week, particularly on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," Hillary's starting to feel she has a lot to prove. Vis-à-vis Iraq, she's moving ever closer to offering voters a Bush third term, against the backdrop of a Bush-Clinton dynastic perpetuation. Appealing, eh?

By the way, the rest of the world gets to vote on our Iraq policy well before we do next November. Voting has been active for the past few years, actually, and the polls never close. The latest results are here and here.


Blogger Spider said...

TCR, or anyone,

Since I never took any business classes in college (only math and music), what are the y-axis in each of those graphs? What is the U.S. Dollar being compared to? What is gold being compared to?

I do have enough common sense in me to know that the value of the U.S. dollar is falling and that the value of gold is rising, in general. Just asking for some specifics about those graphs.

(Also, I do have enough sense to know how this f*%#s with our economy even with all the b.s. people may say that our economy is "strong".)


9/27/2007 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boggles the mind.

With the Democratic primaries sooo front-loaded this election, the leading candidates are apparently already pre-emptively moving toward the middle.

Here's what I don't understand tho: if Iraq is such a powerful and defining issue among Democrats, then why isn't Richardson the one with the huge lead?

9/27/2007 9:04 AM  
Anonymous RW said...

"if Iraq is such a powerful and defining issue among Democrats, then why isn't Richardson the one with the huge lead?"

It may be that the Democrats have caught the same disease that ruined the Republican party: Win at any cost (and you still need the South to win)

9/27/2007 11:51 AM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

That isn't true any longer. The Republicans are fast becoming a South only party. A lot of western states are trending Democratic. Ohio is no longer controlled by Republicans. The South isn't as vital as you might think.

9/27/2007 2:07 PM  
Blogger Shicho said...

...not so sure about the candidates will get to offer a 3rd Bush term in whatever guise: the Iraqi parliament is will probably vote the US out this January and Maliki will have no choice but to go along with it. Once that happens, the US’s already tenuous legal standing in Iraq will be undercut to the point of…nothing.

Right now, as defined by the limited scope and powers that Congress blindly handed Current Occupant to invade Iraq, the US is in country illegally. Should the Iraqi parliament pass legislation that demands our immediate withdrawal – as looks likely – what then?

Add to that what Current Occupant has already acceded – that troops MUST start rotating out of Iraq in April simply because of numbers – and the idea of any more Bush terms and another 100 Years’ War is folly…

9/27/2007 6:34 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Once that happens, the US’s already tenuous legal standing in Iraq will be undercut to the point of…nothing
LOL...the people of Iraq? What stinking planet are you living on? Do you not understand what is going on here? The people of Iraq have no say in the matter. It is not there country. Our political elite have taken it from them. Some of them are fighting to get it back. That is what is going on here. The only smart thing for the American to do is bet against his own gold. Lots of it. Although silver is probably a better buy right now. IMHO. Need proof who owns Iraq. Here it is...its not like they are trying to hide it or anything...sheesh!!!

9/27/2007 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Think said...

The U.S. HAS NO legal standing in Iraq, tenuous or otherwise. Did the Soviet Union have any "legal standing" when it launched a war of aggression against Finland in 1939? Did Germany have any legal standing when it launched a war of aggression against Poland a couple months earlier? Face it America: When your country launches a war of aggression that makes it the aggressor (or to put it in terms most Americans can understand, the "bad guy"). Just because unprovoked aggression is done by the U.S. does not by any means turn it into something noble. It is aggression just the same.

9/27/2007 7:36 PM  
Blogger Shicho said...

think & goldhorder -

points taken.

however, a) the major difference between the old USSR and the US is we still must at least appear to care bout the host country - if the Iraqi Parliment votes us out, we really don't have any choice but to leave else - despite the obvious jokes available here - come under possible sanctions by the UN and/or World COurt, neither of which does the current administration want...

in fact the only reason we're still in country is Current Occupant is insane, as well as unable to responsibility for his own mistakes, as well as an intellectual lightweight, as well as...

b) regarding the article on a federated Iraq - old news: this option has been discussed at least as far back as 2004. In current context it seems a last ditch effort by all concerned as a way to present Shrub with a 'win' so we can get out of Iraq without pulling a full-scale intervention on Current Occupant.

but the numbers are inviolable - withdrawal starts in April. Shrub may be able to complain and draw out 'complete' withdrawal until after he's out of office, but that's it...

9/27/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"..if the Iraqi Parliment votes us out, we really don't have any choice but to leave else..."

You really think Bush really gives a damn what any Iraqi thinks or wishes?

We are led by a liar, warmonger and a religous bigot. If he were a member of the german government of the 30's and 40's we would have convicted him and strung him up at Nuernberg. BUT because he is our President he is naturally not guilty. Talking about double standards.

Why any foreign government would listen to such a liar is beyond me.

How the mighty have fallen!!!

When he will finally leave office, he will have destroyed our reputation, our army, our dollar, our constitution and any hope that we will have a united people. Not that he has just about done all that already. But by 09 he may well have achieved it to such a degree that we will never recover.

Hail to our chief!

9/28/2007 10:40 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said... are in denial. We will not be out of Iraq by April 2008. We will not be out of Iraq by April 2012. The only thing that will get us out of Iraq is a complete economic collapse. We have at least 10 more years before things get serious here. I guess it could happen sooner but our military power and bullying by our federal government will probably get the other central governments to prop up the confidence scheme the "global economy" is running on for another decade or so.

President Carter: “An attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.” This new policy, known as the Carter doctrine, he explained was necessitated by the “overwhelming dependence of Western nations on vital oil supplies from the Middle East.”

In 1975 in Harpers, then-secretary of state Henry Kissinger authored under a pseudonym an article, "Seizing Arab Oil." Blissfully unaware that the author was his boss, the highly respected career ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, committed the mother of all faux pas when he told a TV audience that whoever wrote that article had to be a "madman." Akins was right; he was also fired.

Just before the March 2003 attack, Chas Freeman, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for President George H.W. Bush, explained that the new policy was to maintain a lock on the world's energy lifeline and be able to deny access to global competitors. Freeman said the new Bush administration "believes you have to control resources in order to have access to them" and that, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. is uniquely able to shape global events – and would be remiss if it did not do so.

9/28/2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

It is not the people...or the UN...or the world court...or the American public...that decides American foreign policy. It is our leaders in DC and their masters who run the finance industry, the arms industry, and the oil industry that decides what American foreign policy is. If you think Hillary Clinton is going to pull out of Iraq you are bat s#$% crazy. Bush has been more belligerent than our past leaders. Clinton will turn to a more inclusive aggressive foreign policy. We'll let European governments in on the killing and Muslim domination. The more I look at our foreign policy of the last 50 years the more I understand that the fascist ideology that supposedly lost in WW2 might have won out after all. Might makes right.

9/28/2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

TCR, I understood that you were about to comment on the Fed action in detail after you came back.

9/28/2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, having the Iraqi parliament vote that the US should leave (no matter how unrepresentative it is of the sentiments of the Iraqi population) would give cover to any US politician who then, and only then, said he would withdraw all US troops. No more worry about there being a bloodbath after we go -- we were asked to go and we went.

9/28/2007 9:14 PM  
Blogger Chris F. said...

This may strike some as a question asked by beginners, but I really think it points out a very important point about spin and this current regime.

Why, when economists are interviewed on television, do they speak only of current employment indexes and not of America's median income and how much it has fallen over the last eight years (forget the increasing income gap)? And why is it that nobody seems to think that when Americans make less that it does not impact the economy in any fashion, positive or negative? Instead we talk about low unemployment rates as compared to a sluggish housing market. It seems to me, lower income equals slow housing market. Thoughts?

Don't get me wrong. Comparing the increasing value of gold against the decreasing value of the dollar is most definitely not lost on me, especially as a measure of how our economic system is failing the nation. However on a more practical level, indexing Americans' incomes against cost-of-living measures could be equally revealing of how truly bad the current economy is.

9/29/2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I see so far, Hillary is just going to be Bush-lite. Granted, there won't be quite so much mind-numbing stupidity when she speaks, acts or moves.

But the basic tone of her presidency will feel about the same.

9/29/2007 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FOR the TCR, this is slightly off topic on this post; but u posted about inflation and what it does to the stock market.

here is another prespective--i'm not affliated with the site--

9/30/2007 12:23 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Austrian economics covers the business cycle under a fiat currency in great detail. Having an inflationary currency is great for Wall Street(Low borrowing costs)...bad for the working poor and elderly on fixed budgets. It is the ultimate hidden tax. The father of our current economic model was not coy about the benefits of a fiat money system...John Maynard Keynes

"By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens."

The educated and wealthy benefit a great deal from this system. They can count on the business cycle...buying and selling gold...or stocks...or trading currencies when they see a shift in the cycle. You can make a decent living at it if you have enough capital.

Our country has major problems on the horizon. We have been spending money hand over fist while we have a demographic event on the horizon that is going to put a huge strain on the federal budget. Short term...sure...maybe foreigners buy up US assets and the dollar gets a bit of momentum. Long term...that isn’t going to cut it. We are talking Argentina/Zimbabwe stuff here. Unless we tell the elderly to start begging in the street. Damn baby bomber generation deserves it. Of course we can always just give $5k to every new born that should solve the problem....ROTFL

9/30/2007 12:16 PM  
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