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Divisive alarms

Justin Webb | 03:13 UK time, Monday, 17 November 2008

It looks as if the Hillary Clinton job rumours are true though not necessarily at State. But I am hearing squeals here in Washington from Obama loyalists who regard a Clinton re-birth - anywhere, though particularly at State - with unabashed horror. Would be counter to everything Obama believes, one senior figure (a definite player in the new administration) mutters. His thinking is not really based on policy but on drama and dramatic style. The Clintons are ghastly to work for: divisive, driven by demons and rages and angst whose real cause is too deep-seated to be capable of anything but psychological analysis. To have them in charge of the nation's foreign policy - whatever Henry K says - would be disastrous: this is the argument. Will Barack hear the anguish or is he already cut off from the troops?

Comments

  • 1. At 03:41am on 17 Nov 2008, Ptrsln wrote:

    Sorry, but they (or at least one of them) were in charge of the nation's foreign policy for eight years, and it wasn't exactly a disaster.

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  • 2. At 03:49am on 17 Nov 2008, hontogaijin wrote:

    hmm...

    i was a mere high schooler, more ignorant of the ways of politics than i am now, when bill clinton was in office; that and i never really followed ms. clinton's political background. that being said, please forgive my question:

    how is it that the clinton's psychologically shaken? did i miss something?

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  • 3. At 03:53am on 17 Nov 2008, BraunSA wrote:

    Justin, this points to the DNC more than anything. Obama had to make a "deal with the devil" once he won the primary. Just like McCain needed Palin, Obama needs Bill at least to get elected. Now that he has arrived, he can't simply eject the Clinton machine. Although that would be his smartest move if he did, and seek a "team of rivals" that has a little integrity...

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  • 4. At 03:59am on 17 Nov 2008, iongauge wrote:

    From now on everything that obama does will be considered 'divisive'. That's the price he will have to pay for having shaped himself as 'the mirror that reflects everyone's hopes'.

    (clinton out, clintonites disappointed. Clinton in, hardcore supporters disappointed. Gates out, moderate republicans disappointed, Gates in... and so on)

    Eventually the number of choices will be high enough to see if there is some clear bias on them. Right now we are just a bunch of obama-junkies starting the post-election cold turkey.

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  • 5. At 04:06am on 17 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    The worst thing Obama could do would be to take Clinton on as Secretary of State. (1) She will try to subvert him. (2) Bill will be back on the scene with his questionable deals.

    One of the best things about the Obama win was the demise of the Clinton machine, which was the essense of special interests and lobbyists. Obama is supposed to be against that.

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  • 6. At 04:15am on 17 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    Obama promised honest government. The Clintons do not represent honest government.

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  • 7. At 04:18am on 17 Nov 2008, BraunSA wrote:

    I would also add that by seeing the non-reaction to Hillary backfired on the new-administration and now they are stuck with the actuality unless they can torpedoe it some other way before it happens...
    "Politics is a risky game" and like a game of hearts, you might need to play "nil" and hope you can sluff a good card...

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  • 8. At 04:25am on 17 Nov 2008, rl wrote:

    #5,

    I see where you are coming from but I think Obama is too strong a character to just bend over to the Clinton's. I think she would be a perfectly good choice and would maybe get some of his skeptics on his side.

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  • 9. At 04:49am on 17 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    8, hain.

    The anti-Obama Hillary faction turned out to be a myth latched onto by the media. Were there that many discontented Clintonites Obama would never have been elected.

    The Clintons certainly do not represent change. Obama would be much better off with an experienced negotiator such as Richardson, who would not grab the spotlight. Hillary Clinton is aggressive and abrasive, not the best qualities for a Secretary of State. She would also demean Joe Biden which is not a great idea.

    Most of all, I don't trust the Clintons. They have been dealt a serious blow to their machine and are not forgiving types.

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  • 10. At 04:49am on 17 Nov 2008, Wil wrote:

    Stop trying to make OBAMA fail. Let him choose his own team and see if it works. It seems that the republican are going all out to make sure Obama cannot choose his own team.
    They do not want to give Obama a chance even at the expanse of their own country

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  • 11. At 05:10am on 17 Nov 2008, Darcy1799 wrote:

    While it was true that in the past (1990s) the Clintons may have been seen as difficult to work for, I think with age they have mellowed. At the Democratic National Convention, Senator Clinton seemed to have reached a nexxus with maturity, experience, and her own love of the USA and the Democratic party. With Obama's leadership setting the tone, the Clintons should do well in Washington.

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  • 12. At 05:44am on 17 Nov 2008, US airspace wrote:

    His biggest mistake would be to give Richardson the post. An absolutely disloyal and irrational person.

    During the primaries Hillary was totally marginalised by the democrats and it didnt look like it was her doing. If anything it looked like the Democrats were too dazed by the Obama cult and/or they didnt like her centrist agenda. Calling her divisive is the biggest lie of the far left democrats.

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  • 13. At 05:44am on 17 Nov 2008, rl wrote:

    #9,

    Seeing as Biden was primarily chosen for his foreign policy expertees, any Secretary of State would "demean" him in some way because the Secretary of State seems to do most of the International relations.
    That's not my point though. The point is if Obama wasn't too scared to run against her for the Democratic nomination then why would he be too scared to disagree with her in the White House when he's the President and she is just (potentially) the Secretary of State.

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  • 14. At 05:45am on 17 Nov 2008, SanYing wrote:

    Who told you Justin that:
    'The Clintons are ghastly to work for - driven by demons, rages, angst that are too deep-seated to be capable for anything but psychological analysis?'
    Your demons? Your angst?
    And how do you know Justin that Bill will be the shadow Secretary of State behind Hillary?

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  • 15. At 05:48am on 17 Nov 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    #2: allmymarbles expresses it well. Those of us who lived through the Clinton years remember that it was in many ways an ongoing soap opera.

    Much of what occurred could not be even mildly described and make it past the moderators, and rightly so.

    However, in the interests of fairness: Overseas, the Clintons command some true respect and affection. It's a bit like Tony Blair, who is regarded with much more affection here than at home. That may be useful to the incoming President.

    My misgivings stem from their history of duplicity, amoral conduct, and their pursuit of power for its own sake. Not that they are unique in this regard--but they have been particularly brazen.

    Hilary just doesn't have a comfortable relationship with the concept of truth, one recent example being her colorful description of dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. It was a complete fabrication, out of whole cloth, offered up as a true account.

    In my cynical moments, I wonder if a deal was quietly struck early last summer: She stands aside, is given State Department to run. Bill also to be given a high profile role...

    Impossible to say with certainty.

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  • 16. At 05:58am on 17 Nov 2008, rl wrote:

    #15
    "In my cynical moments, I wonder if a deal was quietly struck early last summer: She stands aside, is given State Department to run. Bill also to be given a high profile role..."

    --------------------------

    When did she "stand aside"? From what I saw she campaigned hard for the nomination and then gave Obama her delegates at the Democratic convension like every losing runner does.
    That's only from what I saw, I may be wrong but it does seem very unlikely that that's what happened.

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  • 17. At 06:16am on 17 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    The U.S. was far better off under the Clinton administration than under the current one. Remember our lovely surplus?

    Bill may not be the man I'd want to marry, but as a president, I liked him well enough. And I think Hillary would be a good Secretary of State.

    If you're looking for someone perfectly moral, you'll have to look outside the political arena and maybe even outside the human race.

    We're a crafty, self-absorbed species.

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  • 18. At 06:27am on 17 Nov 2008, Stan wrote:

    "it wasn't exactly a disaster."

    Well no, not if you discount the lost opportunities to stop bin Laden before he became really effective, failure to treat the first WTC bombing in 1993 as the terrorist attack it was, instead calling it a simple crime (like Obama wants to do in future).

    Then there's the deliberate failure to act regarding Rwanda....

    Limp reaction to Saddam's increasing pushing of the sanctions envelope and resulting oil for food corruption at the UN and elsewhere.

    Then there's the Baltic bombing "NATO" campaign, for what ?

    Clinton fiddled while the AQ threat grew.

    Some record.

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  • 19. At 06:28am on 17 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    Can anyone tell how many criminal indictments were handed down to people in the Clinton administration?

    Not a list of greivances. Actual criminal indictments.

    Now: How about criminal indictments in the Reagan administration?







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  • 20. At 06:33am on 17 Nov 2008, rl wrote:

    #18,

    But then now there is:

    1. A never-ending war in Iraq
    2. A never-ending war in Afganistan
    3. Tensions with Iran
    4. Tensions with Russia
    5. No progress on North Korea
    6. A not-as-warm relationship with the EU

    Admittedly some of those things are long term and not purely Bush's fault but he hasn't done much to help himself or America

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  • 21. At 07:25am on 17 Nov 2008, Parrisia wrote:

    Hillary is UNSUITABLE for State. He has voted the wrong way ("for") on one of Barack's strongest pre-election themes (the Iraq War).

    She is also wrong for any other government post. With her strong personality and personal agenda, she will try to overshadow Pres.Obama. Will he dare fire her if at some point she starts disobeying?

    Barack,
    it's OK to respect the Party and its sacred icons but this has got to be your administration not the Grand Clinton Revival

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  • 22. At 07:29am on 17 Nov 2008, Parrisia wrote:

    @ Allmymarbles (#5)

    Couldn't agree more

    @ BranUSA (#3)

    Sadly it seems to be that way

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  • 23. At 07:49am on 17 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Considering that Obama hired Rahm Emanuel
    as his chief of staff, putting Hillary on the
    payroll is a non-event. In all, Obama is
    practicing the principle of keeping his
    friends close, but his enemies closer.

    Bill Ritchardson is too much of a pleaser
    to be Sec. of State. That's why the
    North Koreans love him.

    Personally, I would be glad for Hillary
    to watch over this slippery devil, Obama.


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  • 24. At 07:51am on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    I don't really understand why Hillary Clinton would be thought of as Secretary of State except that it's an 'important' job.

    It looks as though Barack Obama's people and hers have reached a consensus that she cannot be just another member of the cabinet.

    That means if she's not Secretary of State she might inhabit some 'special' role. Perhaps connected with healthcare, where I believe she has significant expertise.

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  • 25. At 07:51am on 17 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #2, hontogaijin, (whatever that means),
    that's psychologically shaken, not stirred.

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  • 26. At 07:54am on 17 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #15, OldSouth, as for Hillary's "relationship
    with the concept of truth," just wait until
    we see what this new administration does
    with the budget!

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  • 27. At 07:55am on 17 Nov 2008, smileytm303 wrote:

    Justin, nb sp. "disastrous." Mr. Webb is excitedly stirring it again, to no avail. Watch while our new president makes the polarizers of the last 16 years look small. Watch and learn.

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  • 28. At 08:15am on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    The thing about these moves in terms of understanding how a Barack Obama presidency will be is that including Hillary Clinto seems entirely political.

    I don't believe Barack Obama thinks she will bring much of skill to the table - even in healthcare, there are probably many others who have good contacts, etc - he wants to included her for her political base.

    The same could be said of including some republicans in the cabinet. It may be early-presidency posturing but it fits with his very cautious approach to politics in general.

    In world terms, it means US policy will develop and become manifest slowly and carefully. Not sure that's good for crises but in other matters it may suit.

    If true, it also makes him extremely lucky that the economic / financial crisis developed when it did.

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  • 29. At 08:41am on 17 Nov 2008, hontogaijin wrote:

    @#25 "hontogaijin, (whatever that means)"

    it's japanese for "real/true foreigner", but it's a tad on the offensive side.

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  • 30. At 08:53am on 17 Nov 2008, possumpam wrote:

    Obama will be signing the death of our hopes
    for a better world under his leadership, and for
    the death of his own political future, if he
    allows either Clinton within spitting distance of office in his Government.

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  • 31. At 09:08am on 17 Nov 2008, AWNRDC wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 09:33am on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #168 (previous thread) Ed Iglehart
    This shows British opinion in favour of British troops remaining in Iraq 7 months after it started. It also implies that there has been a majority in favour from the invasion up to that point.

    I do not pretend that British opinion was ever wholheartedly in favour of the Iraq War but it's another of the many myths of that conflict that it was simply and completely rejected by popular opinion here.

    The same sentiment applies with a different timeframe but a similar media campaign in the USA.

    An anti-war petition with at least 'hundreds of thousands' of signatures (I have heard it put at two million) was handed in to 10 Downing Street before WW2 - when collecting such signatures was very difficult. Making war is not popular, nor should it be.

    This is not trivial. The media campaign surrounding the Iraq War has undermined the idea that western goverments can wage war in any cause. That has significantly reduced western diplomatic leverage - most obviously in Sudan.

    The current two-thirds majority in British opinion against the Afghanistan War is a case in point. That war is high up Barack Obama's list of priorities, according to Justin Webb.

    The level of unpopularity of the Afghan War cannot be due to the politics of the Iraq War. The Afghanistan War has a completely different international political basis - but it suffers from the same media image.

    #163 (previous thread) dceilar
    You did not answer the point that Saddam Hussein was clearly responsible for the sanctions-based deaths in Iraq but John Pilger blamed the sanctions regime. I call that lying.

    To Nick-Gotts from an earlier thread - presumably you also want all of the heads of government of NATO indicted by the ICC for their participation in the 'illegal' war in Kosovo ?

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  • 33. At 09:56am on 17 Nov 2008, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    10. Wil_Ng wrote:

    "They do not want to give Obama a chance even at the expanse of their own country"

    Sorry, are you referring to Republicans now or to Democrats at the start of Bush-43's first term?

    I feel no obligation to support or aid Obama's application of any policies I object to or that I consider destructive to the god of the country just because he is the new boy.

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  • 34. At 10:04am on 17 Nov 2008, CymroGwy wrote:

    Has this article been run past your defamation lawyers?

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  • 35. At 10:22am on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #21 Parrisia
    Joe Biden also voted in favour of the Iraq War and he is Barack Obama's vice president designate.

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  • 36. At 10:27am on 17 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    Just as with the VP pit is Obama's right to pick whom he wants,as long as they are qualified.

    both Clinton and Richardson are qualified.

    So far Obama is being pragmatic in his choices, which is a relieft to the majority of us.

    the last thing we need is anyone listening to the extreme left; such as the haters of the Daily Kos.

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  • 37. At 10:41am on 17 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    I won't pretend to know much about American politics, especially the Clinton era. It seems to me however that Richardson would be a better candidate than Clinton. I may be wrong as I am not particularly knowledgable about either of them. He seems like the option more alligned with Obama's position though.

    Peace

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  • 38. At 10:50am on 17 Nov 2008, GeordieMee wrote:

    He motivated his voters on the slogan "CHANGE" ,,, this would be a change for the worse to just have the 'Clinton' machine back in office.
    He has to move forward not take the country and the system back 10 years.
    Hillary has proven time and time again to be vindictive and to have her in the 'State' job would be re-inventing Bill as well because they come as a team and only play for themselves.

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  • 39. At 10:56am on 17 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 34 ~ CymroGwy

    You raise in interesting point.

    In the past few days this site has been used by some people to hurl around theories and viewpoints which are well beyond the pale of human decency.

    Whilst the BBC seems to be happy to host this bile, one does have the comfort that the security services can at least keep an eye on people who feel compelled to air their extreme views to the public.

    They may find that their own Washington correspondent has a bit of trouble with his security clearance in the event of HRC's mooted appointment being ratified.

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  • 40. At 11:04am on 17 Nov 2008, Bobsy26 wrote:

    What's the US political equivalent of Chancellor of the Exchequor?

    I think we're seeing a repeat of Blair/Brown with Obama/Clinton. Obama will be looking to neutralise his biggest opponent in the Democrats by getting her on-side, rather than having her as a possible voice of dissent in the Senate.

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  • 41. At 11:06am on 17 Nov 2008, hacked account wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 42. At 11:12am on 17 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Well its a relief not to be talking about Israel, the previous post was starting to get a bit heated. Not sure about Clinton at State, but there are some heavyweight republicans out there who like the idea.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/11/16/republicans-praise-idea-of-hillary-clinton-as-secretary-of-state/?iref=werecommend

    I don't think Obama made a deal with her though. He did not need to. He beat her in the primaries, and she had no option but to support him otherwise her political career would have been over. Likewise, considering her presidential ambitions, it is in her interest to support and work with the Obama team, whether or not she ends up been offered a job.

    Am interested to see what comes of Obama's meeting with McCain later today. Anyone got any ideas?

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  • 43. At 11:17am on 17 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    41 ferme: success at last!

    I too had some problems, I was never able to work out why, perhaps some of the longer term posters here may know ... I put mine down to my browser (safari on a mac), but the last few weeks all has been well. I do know that large chunks of text, copied and pasted are not appreciated, better to post a link instead.

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  • 44. At 11:17am on 17 Nov 2008, KAS1865 wrote:

    It is my belief that the USA will rue the day it Elected Obama. His Victory was a triumph of Show over Substance and I see much of Blair about him.
    The hype carried him through and appealled to many people who, like it or not, made their choice solely on Colour or dislike of Bush.Many of those who voted for him would have voted for a box of Detergent if it was presented in the same way.
    Obama used 1000s of words yet said very little. He made promises that any thinking person knows will be almost impossible to keep. Not only that, but he failed, for the most part, to outline how those promises will be kept.
    I have seen little since he won the Election to ease my fears. Infact his recent comments and "Policy Statements" serve to underline them.
    Obama and the Dimocrats, look ready to surrender in Iraq, are already discussing how much extra to tax Gas and how much more to take of the American working man to fund the American Idle.
    My Heart goes out to America, I Country I have long admired, and where I own a Holiday home, God Help her.
    The people that voted for this inexperienced First Term empty, though shiney, shell will I hope, be the ones to suffer most but what concerns most is that when America sneezes, we catch a cold, though more likely, with this man in the Whitehouse, it's more likely to be Flu

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  • 45. At 11:17am on 17 Nov 2008, Tut_Aint_Cummin wrote:

    I think this is an offer she will have to refuse, because of Bill Clinton's Foundation and the people who support him around the world.

    It makes Obama look good on paper but they know she cannot accept it, so they will give it to either Kerry or Richardson.

    Doubt she will get anything else. After all the objective is to keep Bill Clinton as far away as possible.

    There is no place to go in the Senate so this is the end of her political ambitions.

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  • 46. At 11:24am on 17 Nov 2008, AndrettiFan wrote:

    Barack Obama's a smart man given to much thought before he acts or speaks. He will pick the best team to get the job done. No worries here at all. America is on the verge of a new beginning. In President-Elect Obama, it has the chance to embrace a new spirit of unity, co-operation and team work to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

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  • 47. At 11:52am on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #306 (previous thread) Nick-Gotts
    Small factual error.

    Japan was on the opposite side to Germany in WW1 right from the start.

    I would also like to see whatever evidence you have that suggests that Germany would have won WW1 if the USA had not entered it.

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  • 48. At 12:00pm on 17 Nov 2008, TheHandOfHistory wrote:

    I think President Obama should choose Senator John Kerry (D - Mass) as Secretary of State. Kerry would be an excellent choice as he is very interested in foreign policy, is able to speak French fluently and generally knows his stuff.

    I think Hillrod (D - NY) would be better placed at the health department though my inkling is that Dr.Howard Dean (D - VT) will get that job. Besides, a few weeks ago when Fox News asked Hillrod if she would serve in an Obama cabinet, she said "I think Senators are best left in the Senate."



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  • 49. At 12:17pm on 17 Nov 2008, doctor-gloom wrote:

    She'll be better off doing a talk show, or something like that. That's her future. I'm sure someone like Ted Turner'll back her. Maybe even bring in Bill. Make it a double act.

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  • 50. At 1:02pm on 17 Nov 2008, lochraven wrote:

    Under Clinton the national debt was erased, the economy was in great shape, and everybody was happy. Except for personal indiscretions, which the news media had a field day exploiting and the republicans fanned the flames, the American people got more than their moneys worth and Hillary was one of the powers behind the throne.
    Whether Hillary would have made a good president, we'll probably never know, but she has what it takes to do so.
    I'm cheering Obama on, we need him to succeed, big time. And he will need all the help he can get. Experience counts and if he tosses Hillary aside, I will certainly question his judgment.

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  • 51. At 1:04pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:

    46 Andrettifan
    I marvel at your confidence in Barack Obama!
    Till now during his political life he has done absolutely nothing of any consequence or note, yet you, others on this blog, and others round the world in bliss ignorance display astounding confidence in him.
    Suddenly after achieving nothing other than win an election with massive media support, a massive amount of money, and a well-run campaign, Obama is to become a ninth day's wonder, will cure all ills, is a man of strength of character, wisdom, and "given to much thought before he acts." From what did you learn this - and I didn't? This is worse than pathetic! Talk about a rising cult of the personality - founded upon feathers!
    Never have a I seen a president elected upon so little substance. It's as if most of the electorate has taken leave of its senses, common sense not just not common, but totally absent.
    That aside, the Clintons are self-serving and self-centered, and one way or another they will show their true colors and prove divisive. If Hillary were to prove as useless as the windbag Madeleine Albright, the country has a problem with her as Secretary of State. Just wait for more of the "soap opera" of which allmymarbles spoke.

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  • 52. At 1:10pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Then there's the Baltic bombing "NATO" campaign, for what ?" - Stan_Expat

    Good question! What was the firebombing of Stockholm all about, huh?

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  • 53. At 1:14pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "To Nick-Gotts from an earlier thread - presumably you also want all of the heads of government of NATO indicted by the ICC for their participation in the 'illegal' war in Kosovo ?" - chill0

    Yes.

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  • 54. At 1:15pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:

    44 KAS1865

    Very well said! Some sanity at last in a sea of empty-headedness and nonsense. When a nation as a whole loses its moral compass this is the result. Wisdom deserts it, superficiality and feckless thinking takes over.

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  • 55. At 1:17pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "the last thing we need is anyone listening to the extreme left; such as the haters of the Daily Kos." - MagicKirin

    Well MK, you're clearly one of the "haters of the Daily Kos", and I agree we don't want Obama listening to the likes of you, but I would not have expected you to describe yourself as "extreme left"!

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  • 56. At 1:21pm on 17 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    52 Nick:

    Everyone remembers the singeing of Stockholm. Sadly the ethnic cleansing of the Lapplanders is rarely discussed.

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  • 57. At 1:22pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #50 lochraven
    This article by the Cato Institute argues persuasively that Bill Clinton did not intend to balance the budget (I assume that is what you mean).

    It argues that in part the strength of the economy did it and in part a Republican Congress forced it on him.

    I have no objection to Bill Clinton doing what he was elected to do but that did not primarily involve balancing the budget.

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  • 58. At 1:25pm on 17 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    44 & 54:

    Aaaah, I think its love ... : )
    Ok, ok, I'll be nice. Why don't we see what happens, and leave the unbridled pessimism and optimism aside.

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  • 59. At 1:29pm on 17 Nov 2008, t_mike wrote:

    Surely the Clintons are a spent force in American politics? Hillary gave away just how venomous she could be during the primaries and looks more than a little tarnished, and Bill seems increasing unpredictable, a distraction in the background with a dubious past. Hillary's defeat was the perfect opportunity to bury them both, so why seek to bring them back in?

    Less of this raking up of Dean, Kerry, Clinton, Emanuel - surely some new blood would be a good thing at the whitehouse, something which Obama attracts very well. He has the political capital, and for the moment is accountable to no one, so a few new faces wouldn't go amiss.

    It's exciting to read how many people link
    1) the abilities of Bill with Hillary (one has charisma)
    2) what hillary is likely to be able to bring to State with Bill's foreign policies (surely very different roles in very different times)
    3) the policies of america and their influence on the world. (the stability of the clinton era had a lot to do with the collapse of communism, and I certainly agree that bill should have resolved afganistan, iraq etc while it could still be done peacefully)

    also hillary has spoken openly of "obliterating" a country which poses no threat to america. awesome qualification for the international face of america.

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  • 60. At 1:37pm on 17 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    I think someone (Ed, I think) mentioned in a previous blog that Hillary is quite an ambitious person who wants the top job. Yet there are not many POTUS who have been Sec of State - well, not recently anyway. Has she given up on trying to be President? Or does she think she can buck the trend?

    She may still refuse the job after all of course!

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  • 61. At 1:38pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #53 Nick-Gotts
    To clarify this further - you would be happy to see Bill Clinton; Gerhard Schroeder; Jacques Chirac and all of the 23 other NATO heads of government subject to arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court ?

    You don't think that might undermine the ICC's credibility a little ?

    I believe - by the way - that you could argue that not pursuing 'international law' would undermine the ICC's credibility.

    I believe that the ICC's lack of remarks on the Kosovo conflict (or the Iraq War for that matter) is a comment on 'international law', not on the ICC.

    There have been suggestions that the protagonists in the Iraq War could face the ICC because of the actions of their troops in Iraq (i.e. torture, etc) but I have seen no suggestion by the ICC that anyone could be prosecuted for the invasion.

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  • 62. At 1:50pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Japan was on the opposite side to Germany in WW1 right from the start." - chill0

    I'm well aware of that and did not suggest otherwise. I do suggest that had Germany won WWI (which would have affected Japan only marginally if at all), their common hostility to the USA would soon have led to an alliance, as in fact it did in real life.

    "I would also like to see whatever evidence you have that suggests that Germany would have won WW1 if the USA had not entered it."

    Read the book I recommended, Stevenson's "1914-1918: The History of the First world War". Briefly, as I said, Germany knocked Russia out of the war in 1917, and was able to transfer troops to the western front. Of the other major Allies, Italy and France were both near exhaustion. As Stevenson says in Ch.14:
    "Crucial in Britain, Italy, and France was the perception by political leaders that even without Russia they could still win. The United States was essential to this perception."
    Once the USA declared war in April 1917 (in response to Germany's foolish resumption of sinking American ships in January, and the "Zimmerman telegram"), US troops in Europe took a long time to build up, but financial and logistic support for the Allies made a huge difference, as did the ability to tighten the blockade of Germany. Even so, Germany nearly broke through in the west in March-June 1918. On 5 June, the British cabinet discussed withdrawing the BEF from the continent. 1 million people had fled Paris by then - it had come within range of German guns. If the Germans had broken through, they could have reached the coast, forcing evacuation of the BEF; and captured Paris, forcing France out of the war and securing long-term control of Belgium and the Channel ports. Britain could possibly have fought on in the Mediterranean and Middle East, but Germany would have been able to redeploy resources to support Austria-Hungary and Turkey there; and without US financial help, Britain itself would have been near-bankrupt.

    In short, it was a "damned close-run thing" even with the USA. Without the USA, a German victory is as certain as any such counterfactual can be.

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  • 63. At 1:51pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #59 t_mike
    You left out Rwanda which Bill Clinton has acknowledged as his biggest foreign policy mistake.

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  • 64. At 1:57pm on 17 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    Chill0

    Have the USA signed up to the ICC? I know they had signed up to the UN Declaration of Human Rights and use it when it suits them (and ignore it when it doesn't), but I was lead to believe that they are not bound by any international law - a rouge State?

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  • 65. At 2:00pm on 17 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    Obama being pragmatic is 'change'. The US has had eight years of a dogmatic president, does it really need anymore? HRC may or may not be an ideal candidate for SS but along with the suggestion that Gates will remain at Defence you have to admit Obama is trying to reach out to a broad spectrum of US opinion.

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  • 66. At 2:02pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    chill0@61,
    Yes. As you imply, it is not politically feasible, but international law is quite clear. War is only permitted in self-defence, or in pursuance of a UN Security Council resolution. The Kosovo War arguably had a moral justification (although this is much flimsier than often suggested), but this should be a matter for a formal ICC decision that it is not in the interests of justice to prosecute, or of mitigation. We've seen some of the secondary consequences of the Kosovo war recently: as Putin says, if Kosovo is entitled to independence, why not South Ossetia and Abkhazia? If NATO can intervene in the former case, why can't Russia in the latter?

    The Iraq invasion was, prima facie, a straightforward war of aggression, and those responsible, major war criminals.

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  • 67. At 2:02pm on 17 Nov 2008, Chiefy1724 wrote:

    Just a thought, but I was under the impression that all of the cabinet-level appointments had to go before a confirmation hearing before a committee of the full senate and that therefore an appointment as such as not "automatic" ?

    Is there any guarantee, therefore, that even if BO nominates HRC as SecState, that she will pass that hurdle ? Lets assume 60/40 and that the GOP all vote against her. It could be 58/40 depending on the timing as there will be two free senate seats as Obama and Biden have to stand down.

    (How does that work. Appointment by State Governor or fresh senatorial elections ? Could be back up to 60/40 before inauguration day)

    Can she vote for herself (or does she have to stand down as a senator before being nominated ? There's a question.)

    Are there 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 Democrats in the senate with axes to grind against the Clintons ?

    Could be an interesting session that one. Anyone have any answers to my queries ?

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  • 68. At 2:07pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "a rouge State" - dceilar

    What's that? One which bases its foreign policy on made-up evidence?

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  • 69. At 2:19pm on 17 Nov 2008, regular_josephina wrote:

    One good thing about it. It would keep Hiliary traveling. She'd never be here to stick her nose in stuff, and it would probably keep Bill out of the way as well!

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  • 70. At 2:20pm on 17 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    Chill0

    #163 (previous thread) dceilar
    You did not answer the point that Saddam Hussein was clearly responsible for the sanctions-based deaths in Iraq but John Pilger blamed the sanctions regime. I call that lying.


    If you want to accuse someone of lying take it up with them.

    Why did the US and UK continue with the sanctions then? They certainly had no effect on Saddam.

    Is this your crocodile tears for these poor Arabs who you believe in helping by blowing them up? I'm sure you'll dig up some report somewhere that states how thankful they are!

    It all sounds very colonial - the white man's burden!

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  • 71. At 2:21pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #62 Nick-Gotts
    In #306 (previous thread) you said:
    'In WWI, if the US had not intervened, Germany would have won, and would have dominated Eurasia. How long would the US have been safe, and able to maintain its foreign trade, once Germany built the world-class navy it planned, and allied with Japan?'

    Why would you think Germany would ally with Japan when Japan had attacked German possessions throughout WW1 ?

    This Wikipedia article suggests that Germany was losing on the home front already in 1917.

    Germany did not 'knock Russia out of the war' - which suggests it was done militarily. They did transport Lenin across Germany which caused the Russians to withdraw from the war for political reasons.

    The German 1918 offensive was halted without American intervention. It was also seen as a 'last gasp' in terms of warmaking resources because of the (primarily British) naval blockade on Germany.

    After the Americans were introduced the Germans lost heavily militarily. That was partly because of the lack of war materiel which had been expended in the earlier offensive.

    It is perfectly possible that that military collapse would have happened without the Americans because of the problems on the German 'home front'.

    I am sure you will want to dispute what I am saying. Much of what I have said above comes from my own reading about that war - I am interested in the history of warfare - and in detail from the Wikipedia article.

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  • 72. At 2:26pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #66 Nick-Gotts
    By your definition of the legality of war, Britain's entry into WW2 would have been illegal had the ICC existed then.

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  • 73. At 2:32pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #66 Nick-Gotts
    I do not dispute what you say about Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    I believe 'international law' is much too feeble a concept to address issues like these.

    I wish that there was a central and independent police force / army in the world to prevent conflicts with gloabl institutions like the ICC and UN to arbitrate them.

    Unfortunately, we are a long way from that and until then, talk of 'international law' is merely political.

    I believe, by the way, that UNSC 1674 might have made both the Iraq and Kosovan wars 'legal' even in your terms had they post-dated it but I'm not sure.

    It was certainly welcome.

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  • 74. At 2:49pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #70 dceilar
    Bill Clinton's administration introduced the policy of regime change in Iraq. Sanctions were aimed at achieving that.

    I am afraid I find your remarks about 'crocodile tears' offensive.

    I believe that based on Saddam Hussein's history and likely events had there been no war, the war resulted in a net saving of Iraqi lives. I have explained that more than once in earlier threads in which you have participated.

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  • 75. At 2:53pm on 17 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    Sounds like a load of drivel. HC would probably do a competent job but personally I think US would be better off with her serving in the Senate.

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  • 76. At 2:54pm on 17 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    44. At 11:17am on 17 Nov 2008, KAS1865

    Nice of you to be so concerned for the people of america.
    I suppose as a holiday home owner in the states you are not exactly in touch with america.
    or understanding of what it takes to live in america, seeing as you only like to be here for your hols.

    Nice to get your medical treatment for free somewhere and come on holiday to your little place in the states.

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  • 77. At 3:01pm on 17 Nov 2008, SunshinePlus wrote:

    Better the Clintons be under Obama's umbrella than "free agents". I disagree with your assessment.

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  • 78. At 3:14pm on 17 Nov 2008, mikewarsaw wrote:

    He should nominate her for the Health Care reform. That will be her third rail, her nemesis.

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  • 79. At 3:20pm on 17 Nov 2008, lochraven wrote:

    #57 ChillO:

    So you read an article from CATO. Well everybody's entitled to an opinion.
    What you miss is the leadership which translated into confidence that Clinton brought to the persistency. This confidence is the same thing we Americans, and the world, are feeling towards Obama. After Obama's win, stock markets around the world went up, and he's not yet the president. They have since gotten over their giddiness of his win, and stocks have fallen again. When Obama is sworn in, I think the stock marked will rise again.
    I said in my post that Obama will need all the help he can get because he can't do it alone, and neither could Bill Clinton. But he was the driving force just as Obama will be only because we believe in him as we believed in Clinton. That's called leadership.

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  • 80. At 3:22pm on 17 Nov 2008, north_of_49 wrote:

    Once again the people of USA display their misconceptions. Not all of them can be a Bill Gates or Opra Wilfrey. Some of them are just not smart enough, others don't have the karma & 3M+ are incarcerated for their entrepreneurship. They seem to have to all be correct and if someone is not doing it their way will punish the offender. On the other hand they are prepared to give the shirts off their backs.
    Most of the posters on this blog seem to think USA will go to hell on a handcart if their favorite is not in a position of power. They seem to think religion, colour of skin and wearing a flag pin proves ones loyalty and ability to govern.
    GWB had 8 years as president =. He served 2 terms as governor of Texas. Despite all that experience, leaving office he is one of if not the lowest approved president in the history of the USA.
    This is by way of example that experience doesn't necessarily make one more able or successful.
    What is this foreign policy that USA has? It seems that if a country has something the USA wants and/ or does what USA demands everything is possible.
    That type of policy requires little in the way of experience just big guns. GWB has 8 years of foreign policy experience and what has it done for America ?

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  • 81. At 3:40pm on 17 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #79 lochraven
    Since 2000 I believe there has been fear at the prospect of a failure in the American electoral system itself, which would be a catastrophe in US governance.

    The stock market reversed within hours, as you said. I do not believe that was a comment on Barack Obama personally either, it's just that the markets are extremely volatile.

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  • 82. At 3:42pm on 17 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #55

    Do you have anything constructive to add to the discussion?

    Or are you wasting an entry attacking me?

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  • 83. At 3:59pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:

    88 north_of_49
    Just in case you didn't notice, Islamic extremists operation out of Afghanistan attacked the U.S. Among many other acts of terror, two embassies in East Africa destroyed and hundreds of Africans killed, the USS Cole attacked in Aden harbour with 17 sailors killed. And then came 9/11 and almost 3,000 killed.
    Did you really expect Bush and the U.S. not to retaliate to those attacks, or respond to a war of terror launched by al Qaeda and other elements in the Muslim world? Before that occurred, what did the U.S. 'want' in Afghanistan?
    Your comments are all too typical of mindless Canadian anti-Americanism! It also reflects what a leading Canadian sociologist a few ago stated on t.v. "Canadians don't believe in any much any more" - religion or anything else. Just a smug, self-satisfied notion that Canada has got it all right when all round the evidence is, like elsewhere, things are coming apart, from health-care to real human rights and free speech.

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  • 84. At 4:09pm on 17 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    51. At 1:04pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:
    46 Andrettifan
    I marvel at your confidence in Barack Obama!
    Till now during his political life he has done absolutely nothing of any consequence or note, yet you, others on this blog, and others round the world in bliss ignorance display astounding confidence in him.
    Suddenly after achieving nothing other than win an election with massive media support, a massive amount of money, and a well-run campaign, Obama is to become a ninth day's wonder, will cure all ills, is a man of strength of character, wisdom, and "given to much thought before he acts." From what did you learn this - and I didn't? This is worse than pathetic! Talk about a rising cult of the personality - founded upon feathers!"

    Well it is pretty pathetic to maon about the election result. Obama will be president get over it.

    And as for achievement - he's just become the next president of the US - a pretty significant achievement is about the eyes of every sane person.

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  • 85. At 4:10pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    chillo@72,
    The current standard of legality of war is absolutely linked to the existence of the UN Security Council, for all the latter's failings: currently, it's that or the "law of the jungle". The case of Britain coming to the defence of Poland would be covered by the collective right of self defence. Article 51 of the UN Charter says: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations".

    Like you, I greatly welcome UNSC 1674 as a strengthening of international law. I don't think it would make Kosovo legal - while there was certainly some persecution of Albanians, it was nowhere near genocide. It would certainly not make Iraq illegal - Saddam's past crimes notwithstanding, there was nothing like genocide, or oppression worse than in many other places, going on in 2003. 1674 cannot be interpreted as a general right to invade a country violating human rights in any way.

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  • 86. At 4:12pm on 17 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "His thinking is not really based on policy but on drama and dramatic style. The Clintons are ghastly to work for: divisive, driven by demons and rages and angst whose real cause is too deep-seated to be capable of anything but psychological analysis. "


    Very incisive Justin.

    Now if we can get back to the real world. Both Clintons are extremely capable people, intelligent and well-informed.

    Of course they are "driven" - that is er politics

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  • 87. At 4:16pm on 17 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    On a previous thread, someone gave me a very coherent explanation of why HC would want to be Secretary of State rather than Secretary of health, Education and Welfare.

    Could she repost it here?

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  • 88. At 4:20pm on 17 Nov 2008, markingtime wrote:

    Probably missed something during the recent Obama v Mccain happening, but I thought that the Clintons had a date in court for the much delayed Peter Paul case, at the end of November.
    Are these rumours of a political position another ploy to delay or fillibust the case ? Anybody know the score here ?

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  • 89. At 4:29pm on 17 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "83. At 3:59pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:
    88 north_of_49
    Just in case you didn't notice, Islamic extremists operation out of Afghanistan attacked the U.S. Among many other acts of terror, two embassies in East Africa destroyed and hundreds of Africans killed, the USS Cole attacked in Aden harbour with 17 sailors killed. And then came 9/11 and almost 3,000 killed. "

    Hmmm just in case you didn't notice hundreds of innocents were killed in a Sudanese perfume factory bombing - which the US admitted it was mistake.

    So many Afghan women and children have been killed by the US that even Karzai has denounced the tactics.

    "Did you really expect Bush and the U.S. not to retaliate to those attacks, or respond to a war of terror launched by al Qaeda and other elements in the Muslim world? Before that occurred, what did the U.S. 'want' in Afghanistan?"

    You tell us. The US gave the warlords and drug dealers stinger missiles, heavy weaponry etc. which they used to destroy the country in the 80s.

    "Your comments are all too typical of mindless Canadian anti-Americanism! It also reflects what a leading Canadian sociologist a few ago stated on t.v. "Canadians don't believe in any much any more" -"

    And Americans believe in too much, like "intelligent" design.


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  • 90. At 4:29pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:

    84 Simon 21
    Is that really the best you can do with a response?
    No wonder you support him!

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  • 91. At 4:37pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    chill0@71,
    Since Germany did in fact ally with Japan 20 years after WWI, suggesting they would have done so had Germany won WWI is hardly far-fetched.

    Lenin came to power because he promised peace - Russian armies had practically stopped fighting anyway and their support systems had disintegrated. That's military defeat.

    I don't see anything in the wikipedia article suggesting the Allies could have won without the USA. Certainly Germany as well as the Allied powers was under great strain by 1917, but received a boost to morale in the victory over Russia. The article in fact it mentions the American role in halting the German 1918 offensive - although this was of limited importance compared to the financial, logistic and morale effects I mentioned before. Once the German 1918 western offensive failed, it was obvious to the German military leaders that they could not win, because US troops would appear in ever-increasing numbers. Hence they engineered the armistice, having put the left into government to take the blame. The collapse of the home front came after Ludendorff had decided to seek an armistice.

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  • 92. At 4:37pm on 17 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    90. At 4:29pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:
    84 Simon 21
    Is that really the best you can do with a response?
    No wonder you support him!



    So you concede the point, good.


    Next time concentrate on what is happening instead of recycling the slogans of the last failed election campaign.

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  • 93. At 4:45pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "are you wasting an entry attacking me" - MagicKirin@82

    Oh, I don't consider it wasted at all! I still stand absolutely flabbergasted at your gall in offering your pompous advice to a man you were vilifying in the most offensive terms a couple of weeks ago. Indeed, seldom has my flabber been quite so gasted.

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  • 94. At 4:45pm on 17 Nov 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Who was it that said 'Better to have 'em inside the tent...'

    As true today as it ever was, and as true for business life as well as politics...

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  • 95. At 4:46pm on 17 Nov 2008, bj1987 wrote:

    I realise that my opinion in these matter is largely irrelevant considering that i am british, but there are a few points i'd like to make.

    In my opinion any position offered to HRC will be largely an effort to eliminate the partisan nature of the current political climate as he promised to do in the run up to the election and in his victory speech, it is of no more consiquence than picking a republican for a major cabinet role as i'm sure we will see in the coming weeks. If the primarys taught us anything it is that BO (lol) has nothing to fear from ms Clinton or her supporters he could of easily picked her as his VP choice and would of had a much easier time in the poles. The fact that he picked JB is an indication of the decisive educated leadership we can expect from him in the future.

    Although it would be nice to see a few high profile new faces (though i'm sure we will soon) it is important to remember the early failings of the inexperienced Clinton administration, and remember that in a democratic society new faces emerge all the time and the important task of the imediate future is to implement some sense of stability. I realise that America is very much a central right country and that it is going to take a long time to adapt to the idea of having a clearly leftist president, however, i would revel in the fact that President Obama is clearly a realist and is unlikely to push forward any radical socialist policies. He will most likely try to form a cabinet consisting of a few strong characters from both sides, thus allowing him to appear as a leader that transcends party politics, though i can imagine there will be plenty of new faces. The important thing is that Obama is clearly an intelegent man with a clear understanding of what his beliefs are.

    I would also like to point out to any comparison to Tony Blair isn't nessecarily a bad thing. Tony Blair was for a long time one of the most popular leaders of the UK managing to win 3 general elections only loosing popular support after the invasion of iraq. He is a very deceptive person but he did radicly modernise the approach of the labor party. If Mr Obama turs out to be anything like Tony i think that many people will be very pleased. It would be nice to see an America with free healthcare, respectful foriegn policy, legalised gay marrage, a well regulated free market, a respectable human rights record, a considerate environmental policy, no guns, and a less corporate influenced goverment. In times like these the world needs somewhwere to look to for a vision of what the new world could be like. It would be nice if that place could be a united Europe but i don't think that will come until the latter days of this great depression.

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  • 96. At 4:57pm on 17 Nov 2008, robloop wrote:

    89 Simon21
    You were talking about Afghanistan, not Sudan.
    Canadians troops, too, have unintentionally killed civilians.
    The U.S. provided the Afghan mujihadeen with missiles to help them get rid of the Russians who had invaded their country. It did - after the Russians had laid waste the country and caused hundreds of thousands to flee their country and live in refugee camps.
    And you don't think Canadians believe too much? Anyone who believes the CBC or Toronto Star has a serious problem.

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  • 97. At 4:58pm on 17 Nov 2008, leo wrote:

    I think Obama should make Hilary the Secretary for Defense. That would have enable him to shut up his critics and take revenge for all the comments during the primaries: make her responsible for bringing troops home immediately from Iraq and let her have a good appreciation of the whole "ready to be commander in chief" question.

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  • 98. At 4:59pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    By the way, a number of people are misinterpreting JW's post. The "Clintons are ghastly to work for" stuff is attributed to "a senior figure" who will (according to JW, whose record of prediction is admittedly not 100%) definitely be in the administration. He's not expressing his own opinion here.

    Since MagicKirin@83 is kind enough to solicit my opinion, I think Obama was wise to offer the post - Clinton is certainly capable - but will be relieved if she turns it down, as I expect her to do. It would place her under his authority, and in effect at his mercy - the President can sack the Sec. of State any time he likes. He can't sack a senator.

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  • 99. At 5:09pm on 17 Nov 2008, lawchicago wrote:

    Washington has great experience with psychological basket cases just look at Bush and his demons .

    Hillary would get the job done and get the ear of the world . I do not really have a big problem with her appointment at all . Dr. Rice need to go back to academia She doesn't have the stuff needed for that tough job

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  • 100. At 5:12pm on 17 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #95 bj1987:

    "Although it would be nice to see a few high profile new faces (though i'm sure we will soon) it is important to remember the early failings of the inexperienced Clinton administration, and remember that in a democratic society new faces emerge all the time and the important task of the imediate future is to implement some sense of stability."

    It is a good point, bringing in fresh faces is good but not if it means things don't get done. There's an argument that if the Clinton administration had understood how to 'work the levers of power' better they might have gotten their healthcare reforms through.
    Secretary of State is possibly the best option for Hilary, any backseat drving by Bill might actually be useful!

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  • 101. At 5:22pm on 17 Nov 2008, ray564k wrote:

    How about a blog on what the defeat is going to do to the Republican Party Justin? They've lost many of their most moderate representatives and senators, and are almost completely out of the North East.

    There will be a huge debate about whether they need to shift to the right or become more moderate- and it's my prediction that those advocating a hard line to the right, get back to Reagan stance, will win.

    This will mean a real Conservative (much more so than McCain) fighting the 2012 election- and, unless Obama has been a major disaster, will probably end in defeat.

    All the demographic indicators show that the white working class vote Republicans rely on is diminishing as a share of the electorate, and that the Hispanic vote (which Obama won in spite of McCain's overtures on Amnesty/Immigration) is set to increase massively.

    The Republican Party's coalition of business, white working class, social values voters, isn't going to be enough any more, and they WILL have to expand to gain more votes in other areas of the electorate.

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  • 102. At 5:27pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hainesoides (20),

    " he [Bush] hasn't done much to help himself or America"
    Oh, I think he's helped himself alright...As have Cheney and Daddy Bush, and all.

    Peace and a hand in the till
    ed

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  • 103. At 5:32pm on 17 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    #74 Chill0

    I apologise for the crocodile tears remark. It was too extreme. The point I'm making is that I don't see how anyone can justify helping a group of people by bombing them - regardless of any other considerations. Saddam may have carried on killing his civilians, but it is still a priori knowledge.

    Sanctions did have a role in the deaths of many civilians regardless of the Oil-For-Food programme. The programme was capped at 20 billion dollars, which a third went to the UN and Kuwait, the rest amounted to 190 dollars for each Iraqi over a three year period. Pitiful!

    How could Iraq, for example, purchase more medical equipment and supplies when sanctions were forbidding it? The US used depleted uranium in it's illegal cluster bombs. The vaccines from the UN were held back because the allies believed that they could be used for chemical weapons against his people!! It seems the Allies only like the Allies killing Arabs; they don't like it when Arabs start doing it!!

    All this info can be ascertained from Pilger's website, but, of course, he's a liar. The Allies and the sanctions had no effect on the Iraqi population, it didn't happen. Those children didn't die because of us. Nothing to do with us.

    The liar also says that the Kurds were involved in the smuggling of oil into Turkey - one good reason why they did well under the OFF programme as opposed to the rest of the country. Also George Bush Sr introduced sanctions on Iraq in the wake of the annexation of Kuwait in 1990 and they carried on until the 2nd Gulf War. Clinton merely continued the policy.

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  • 104. At 5:46pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chill0 (32),

    " #168 (previous thread) Ed Iglehart
    This shows British opinion in favour of British troops remaining in Iraq 7 months after it started. It also implies that there has been a majority in favour from the invasion up to that point.

    I do not pretend that British opinion was ever wholheartedly in favour of the Iraq War but it's another of the many myths of that conflict that it was simply and completely rejected by popular opinion here."
    You should really read the poll itself. 48% thought the war "unjustified" as opposed to 41% "justified"; 51% thought troops should "remain" (since they were already there), and 38% were "satisfied"" with Blair as PM (58% not), and only 28% had any confidence in the US conduct of the war....

    Sorry, but the poll doesn't make the point you think it does.

    Peace is better than war
    ed

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  • 105. At 6:07pm on 17 Nov 2008, LongStrangeTrip wrote:

    There was such an explosion of speculation in the media on the possibility of Hillary for the Secretary of State position, I can't remember how it came about.

    I think Hillary would be better as Attorney General than Sec'y of State.

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  • 106. At 6:08pm on 17 Nov 2008, johnez1 wrote:

    I may be old-fashioned but surely the point is for Obama to appoint the best possible Secretary of State as he sees it, whoever that may be - ex-rival, political unknown, whatever. Kennedy if I recall right passed over Adlai Stevenson to appoint an unkown diplomat, Dean Rusk, who was a success for two admministrations in the manner which first Kennedy, then Lyndon Johnson, wanted him to be.

    There are other ways of re-balancing the Democratic Party and other posts which would do honour to Hillary Clinton and use her abilities. For Secretary of State it is hard to resist the tremendous signal Colin Powell or another non-white woman or man would send to the world; but always with the proviso that Powell, or another person of colour, is able enough. If not, settle for Clinton or some other whitey. The problems Obama's administration will has to face are so urgent that the only criteria he can afford to spend much time on in apppointments is that the candidate must be of the highest possible effectiveness.

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  • 107. At 6:13pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sarah Palin can be damaging to your health

    "Does anyone have a sock? A cork? A bar of soap, even? Because Sarah Palin will simply not. stop. talking. And I, for one, am willing to try anything that works. For some reason, her siren song of folksiness, labyrinthine sentence structure and downright refusal to be silenced have come together to generate some kind of perfect media storm."
    Peace and foot in mouth
    ed

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  • 108. At 6:19pm on 17 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    There has been some comment that the appointment of HRC would sideline Joe Biden and his Foreign Relations expertise.

    I believe that Biden was selected as VP for two reasons - firstly to bring the foreign relations experience during the election which Obama was accused of lacking.

    Secondly, as Vice President to bring his 35-year knowledge of the House and Senate to the White House. This follows the model of JFK in his selection of LBJ who had been in the House and Senate since 1937. As a bonus LBJ delivered Texas, as Joe the Vice President delivered Pennsylvania to the ticket.

    With the enormous burden he has taken on, having a good VP to deal with Congress is going to be a vital part of the Obama jigsaw.

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  • 109. At 6:21pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And the vetting goes on....

    "A team of lawyers trying to facilitate the potential nomination spent the weekend looking into Mr. Clinton's philanthropic organization, interactions with foreign governments and ties to pharmaceutical companies, a Democrat close to both camps said. While Mr. Clinton has used his foundation to champion efforts to fight AIDS, poverty and climate change around the world, he has also taken millions in speaking fees and contributions from foreign officials and businesses with interests in American governmental policies.

    Obama advisers are discussing what Mr. Clinton would need to do to avoid a conflict of interest with the duties of his wife, who is said to be interested in the post. "That's the first and most important hurdle," said a senior adviser to Mr. Obama. "He does good work. No one wants it to stop, but a structure to avoid conflicts must be thought of.""
    Peace and a clean breast
    ed

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  • 110. At 6:21pm on 17 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 67. Chiefy:

    "(How does that work. Appointment by State Governor or fresh senatorial elections ? Could be back up to 60/40 before inauguration day)"

    It is left to individual states to set their own rules. In most cases (and both Obama's and Biden's seats fall in this category) the governor appoints someone to fill out the remainder of the term. Since Members of the House serve two year terms and the Senate six year terms, there can be quite a difference in how long the temporary appointment lasts. It is not unheard-of for the spouse of a deceased Representative or Senator to be appointed to fill out the term. Or it can be a way for the governor to pay off political favors or introduce an up-and-coming member of their party.

    The governors of both Illinois and Delaware are Democrats, so they will likely appoint Democratic replacements, but things can get dicey if the governor is of the opposing party and Congress is evenly split along party lines.

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  • 111. At 6:25pm on 17 Nov 2008, Granten wrote:

    Its true that Lincoln did indeed bring many of his enemies into office, but its also true that the vast majority of presidents have not. It is always a dangerous move to put your enemies into positions of real power.

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  • 112. At 6:27pm on 17 Nov 2008, bayleyco wrote:

    Ok #1, if you say so but what about 9/11...

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  • 113. At 6:29pm on 17 Nov 2008, drb638 wrote:

    she has no qualifications, diplomatic or academic and she would be very difficult to fire

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  • 114. At 6:50pm on 17 Nov 2008, Jeebers76 wrote:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, maybe this will help, I'm not sure.

    Hillary has a great strength, that of being able to get things done through deals. The problem is, that strength is paired with a VERY strong willpower and ego to go with it. For Obama to use her in office, he has got to convince her of his way of thinking at least to a certain point. Then, place her in a position where she doesn't have TOO much free reign, but enough that she can do what she does best. It can't be in the spotlight, because she is abrasive, although VERY effective. The more he can convince her, the more power she will have because of the higher seat she'll get. Apparently, he didn't think she could be trusted as far as the VP spot.

    Obama needs to do this to help unite the Democrats, as they will need ALL their strength to pull the USA out of this jam, and eventually the world along with them, by default. Like it or not, the USA has a lot of influence. Nobody should have that much influence, IMHO, and I AM an American!

    I have no real opinion of Hillary Clinton, I feel pretty neutral about her. Her husband has his own problems, but he isn't the issue. I am hoping that nothing I've written will offend anyone. I'm trying to be helpful.

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  • 115. At 6:54pm on 17 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    I agree with Magic:
    "Just as with the VP pit is Obama's right to pick whom he wants,as long as they are qualified."

    "So far Obama is being pragmatic in his choices, which is a relieft to the majority of us."

    And loch:

    "Under Clinton the national debt was erased, the economy was in great shape, and everybody was happy. Except for personal indiscretions, which the news media had a field day exploiting and the republicans fanned the flames, the American people got more than their moneys worth and Hillary was one of the powers behind the throne.
    Whether Hillary would have made a good president, we'll probably never know, but she has what it takes to do so.
    I'm cheering Obama on, we need him to succeed, big time. And he will need all the help he can get. Experience counts and if he tosses Hillary aside, I will certainly question his judgment."

    So I'll just use their remarks and go to work.


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  • 116. At 6:56pm on 17 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    111

    "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." - Sun-tzu

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  • 117. At 7:09pm on 17 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    johnez1 (#106), you think Dean Rusk was a "success"? I'd say he was a mixed bag at best. This bio:

    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1024

    describes him as a "chief architect of U. S. involvement in Vietnam. As the Vietnam debacle dominated events in my early adulthood, I would consider that connection sufficient to make him a failure. Of course, there was plenty of blame to spread around, going back to Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles, and forward to Nixon and Kissinger.

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  • 118. At 7:13pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Why things have gone silent?

    "On Wednesday, the call came in from Chicago: President-elect Obama wanted to meet with Sen. Clinton, in private, the next day.

    According to Democratic sources, Clinton disclosed the information to only three people and swore them to secrecy....
    The subterfuge did not work -- Clinton was spotted as she boarded the plane in New York. It wasn't until later that day, when a pool reporter noticed a second motorcade of black SUVs leaving the underground garage of the Chicago federal building where Obama is holding court, that journalists began to ask whether Clinton had just taken a private meeting with Obama.

    Initial confirmation seemed to come from an unnamed Clinton spokesperson who allegedly told NBC's Andrea Mitchell that Clinton was in Chicago for "private business." Mitchell later clarified that she heard the words from a Clinton "adviser," not from Clinton's Senate office. (The New York Times, in a correction today, attributes "media reports" for the misinformation.)"
    Peace and keeping secrets...
    ed

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  • 119. At 7:18pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Five reasons hy HRC should not be Secretary of State

    Hmmmmmm
    ed

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  • 120. At 7:24pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Ok #1, if you say so but what about 9/11..." - bayleyco

    Tsk. And there's me thinking that happened under George W. Bush, who ignored relevant warnings.

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  • 121. At 7:49pm on 17 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    30, possum.

    "Obama will be signing the death of our hopes for a better world under his leadership, and for the death of his own political future, if he allows either Clinton within spitting distance of office in his Government."

    I agree. I said something similar to this on Obama's website, under "foreign affairs."

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  • 122. At 8:14pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Clinton was spotted as she boarded the plane in New York..."

    but striped by the time she reached her destination?

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  • 123. At 8:21pm on 17 Nov 2008, proles wrote:

    The whole impending Obama presidency can be regarded with "unabashed horror". It only underscores once again that the Obama phenomenon is based solely on drama and not on policy - like a dismal real-life re-run of Tthe West Wing. Hillary in charge of anything, let alone Sec. of State, is just another harbinger of doom; and further confirmation of the complete lack of sudstance in the new regime in Washington. Anyone with the approval of a mass murderer and war criminal like Henry K. has to be viewed with the most extreme trepidation. Unfortunately, if thus selected, Hillary would be another in a long line of psycho's at State like Henry K., Al Haig, Maddy Albright, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, et. al. Such an appointment would be almost as disatrous for the innumerable victims of American foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere as that of the new Chief-of-Psycho's, Rahm Emanuel. Will Obama Copacabana hear their anguish, or is he already cut off from Iraqis and Palestinians and Afghani?

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  • 124. At 8:21pm on 17 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    Re The Harper's piece on HRC ~

    I believe that when she entered the Senate in 2000 she did, in fact, surprise people by proving herself, contrary to expectations, capable of being a solid team player. Admittedly she had the goal of the nomination in sight, but - to use an old friend of a word - she's no maverick.

    She also established a reputation of being a hard worker and knowing her stuff.

    So the problem - as always - comes down to Bill.

    My fear would be that a past or future indiscretion (and they seem to be financial rather than sexual these days) would become a great rumbling cauldron of a rumour which, as in the 1990's, would distract the whole administration from the job they need to do. His flaky behaviour during the primaries doesn't give great confidence.



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  • 125. At 8:24pm on 17 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    lockraven (#50), no, Clinton did not erase the national debt. You are thinking of the annual deficit. Huge difference.

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  • 126. At 8:27pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    OBAMA, BUSH SPEAK PRIVATELY FOR AN HOUR IN OVAL OFFICE

    “That's an hour of my life I'll never get back,” says Obama.

    WORLD NEWS
    Thick Brown Cloud of Soot Covering Much of Asia Poses Grave Threat To TV reception, life on earth.
    Putin Behind Bill to Extend Russian President's Term
    Law would change limit from four to a hundred years.

    Peace and Irony
    ed

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  • 127. At 9:02pm on 17 Nov 2008, EMC wrote:

    It's called "reaching across the isle". It's neither a sign of weakness nor divisiveness, but intended to bring the best out of those who would otherwise seek to destroy you. Gordon Brown had done the same with Peter Mandelson.

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  • 128. At 9:55pm on 17 Nov 2008, Thetompom wrote:

    I was surprised at the reported choice, but I think Hillary could make a good Secretary of State - she has some background from traveling around the world and being in the White House and Senate and can quickly learn what she needs to know. She seems to have good instincts for running a bureaucracy and hopefully she will be comfortable enough to avoid abrasiveness with foreign leaders, unless that abrasiveness reflects instructions from her boss. She is tough and smart and those can be assets. The odd thing is that Bill gets huge fees for making speeches around the world. Don't know if this creates a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict of interest. It won't be in her interest to get into a public conflict with President Obama - that would hurt her future Presidential hopes and he could fire her if she made a lot of trouble (like President Truman and General MacArthur). Being Secretary of State will give her much publicity and strengthen her future chances of being President or some other attractive future job in academia or heading an international foundation. I suppose the main reasons for choosing her would be her influence in Congress and the desire to make her supporters happy. Richardson would also be a good choice - particularly since Hispanics were so important in the election.

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  • 129. At 10:08pm on 17 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Granten (#111), the members of Lincoln's cabinet were not, as you say, "enemies," but (in Godwin's word) "rivals." The difference is not whether they may have their own ideas, but whether they will stab you in the back over them.

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  • 130. At 10:29pm on 17 Nov 2008, laughingworldparty wrote:

    If Hillary Clinton is the wise woman I think she is, she will stay as far away from the Obama administration as possible. She'll run for Governor of New York and be in a good position....just in case "change we can believe in" turns into a "diaster right before our eyes."

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  • 131. At 10:37pm on 17 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Gary_A_Hill,

    The story is told of a new British MP, being shown the ropes by an experienced party colleague. Being brought into the Commons chamber, and told "Our party all sit on this side", he waves at the opposite side of the Chamber and says "Ah, so those benches are where the enemy sit!"

    "No, no, no!", replies his colleague. "That's the opposition! All your enemies will be on this side!"

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  • 132. At 00:12am on 18 Nov 2008, gc wrote:

    Well many of Obama's team are Clintonite: Rahm Emanuel was in the Clinton Administration.
    Ghastly to work for eh? If you don't want the Clintons around fine, but then stop apointing Clinton people.
    Your claims about working for the Clintons Justin are remarkable and unsubstatiated.
    One final thing, they are a team, but Hilary is certainly not Bill. Whatever she does she will be on her own.

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  • 133. At 00:48am on 18 Nov 2008, Shivari wrote:

    I'm sure Hillary would relish the task of getting her hands dirty cleaning up a mess on a day-to-day basis. So how about a role as dog-walker for the Obama family's new pet?

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  • 134. At 01:34am on 18 Nov 2008, rajendra007 wrote:

    Come on Justin's horrified squealers, there is no reason to be hysterical! The Clintons are not demons and if Barack appoints Hilary at the State Department, he will still be the President. Have no fear for Barack even if you had bad experience working FOR the Clintons, Barack will not be working for Hilary because the President does not work for the Secretary of State. Let me tell you, the US was more popular overseas during Clinton presidency than any other presidency of recent times. Clintons are no demons; some of your FELLOW Democrats even voted for Hilary. Don't squeal, don't be horrified or don't be hysterical. Barack is a big boy and he will be fine!

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  • 135. At 01:41am on 18 Nov 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    #67 Chiefy1724

    Good questions!!

    'Could she vote for herself (or does she have to stand down as a senator before being nominated ? There's a question.)'

    Don't know--there have not been many instances in which someone was nominated to State directly from the Senate. It would be unseemly were she to vote for her own confirmation, but that has never restrained either of the Clintons in the past!

    'Are there 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 Democrats in the senate with axes to grind against the Clintons?'

    Maybe more! But there still is a tradition (frayed a bit) of allowing a first-term President to choose his own team in the Cabinet. The Republicans still hold that elections have meaning, and although some might oppose her, enough would follow tradition to assist in her confirmation.

    Now, if BHO were nominate Hilary or Bill to the Supreme Court, all bets would be off, and the gloves would come off. Secretaries of State last about four years, serve at the pleasure of the President, and can be shown the door. Federal judges serve for life.

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  • 136. At 01:46am on 18 Nov 2008, Wil wrote:

    To #33 : Schwerpunkt

    What policies are you talking about? This is just choosing people. Nothing was implement and people are already crying foul. They simple do not want Obama to succeed. They rather America suffer badly then Obama succeed. I guess some even hope Obama to perform worse than Bush.

    You can also see Bush and friends already starting to set up Obama. The fire sell of land to Drill oil. The deadline of withdrawal from Iraq etc. Should not these descision be left to the next president? And if things went bad due to these decision, Obama get the blame.

    I also wonder if Obama can set up an independent team to investigate the extend Bush adminstration lie and sell out America to Oil cartels. This iraq war is practically tax payer paying money to contractors and Oil cartels ( who has influence in the current white house).

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  • 137. At 01:51am on 18 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    133 - That's just lame. Even the tiresome righties are (occasionally) more creative.

    Obama is intelligent, well-educated, logical, and reasonable. He'll govern from closer to the center than I'd like. Pragmatic to the core. I knew that when I voted for him. If other people saw him through the prism of their own hopes, too bad.

    He, and not his backers or hangers-on, was elected President. He'll name the people he wants and whining, back-biting, unrealistic expectations, poor sportsmanship, and lousy jokes won't affect his choices.

    Oscar Wilde said 'nothing was more aggravating than calmness.' But I find it Obama a refreshing change after the blithering, shoot-from-the-hip little [4-letter word] who's leaving us the poorer - in so many ways - for his presence in the White House.


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  • 138. At 03:44am on 18 Nov 2008, Susan Bird wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 139. At 03:55am on 18 Nov 2008, Susan Bird wrote:

    #133 Shivari

    You're an idiot! You should go and clean streets or toilets.

    Hillary was a lawyer and a smart one at that. She is very capable and I think I have never any heard criticism of her in her role as Senator for NY. She has done a marvelous job during the Obama rallies and she is has a vast "knowledge" and she has experience to do the job. She will (if chosen) be able to hit the ground running.

    There are a lot of jealous people out there. It would appear that it is OK for Tories (UK) and Republicans to do well but not OK for Democrats or New Labor to.

    The Clintons were successful during their time at the White House and they had their issues like every one else. Who is perfect??

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  • 140. At 04:05am on 18 Nov 2008, bethpa wrote:

    Hillary is ambitious and my guess is that she will try to deal with issues in the ME...like the Israeli/Palestinian problem.

    The sticking point to Hillary becoming Secretary of State may be Bill's finances...which might have some foreign funds from people not liked by most Americans.

    I supported Obama as did everyone I know in the US. With my small sample ...Hillary has support to become Secretary of State.

    Hillary would cause more trouble for Obama in the Senate and Ted Kennedy has said he wants to handle the health care legislation in the Senate.

    (Its not a perfect world.)

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  • 141. At 04:10am on 18 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #119, Ed, Obama is sending her out of the
    country for extended periods of time, right?
    That could be a major consideration of his.

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  • 142. At 04:14am on 18 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #136

    It depends how you define wanting Obama to suceed.

    Do I want the economy improve and the nation to remain safe under a Obama administration. Yes.

    but I do not want a bailout for the 3 U.S automakers? No a chapter 111 is more beneficial in that they can eliminate bad models, become efficent and get rrid of the Union entitlments.

    Because the parasitic UAW won't contribute in helping solve the problem.

    Do I want the 40% who don't pay income taxes to get a handout? No

    there is legitimate criticsm of a President's policies.

    But if Obama chooses qualified people for his cabinent, let them be approved.

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  • 143. At 04:32am on 18 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    The primary numbers were pretty close:
    17,535,458 48.1%
    17,493,836 48.0%

    The "Super Delegates" gave it to Obama.

    So there are about as many people who think Hillary could be President as Obama.

    He needs to give her a decent post. Maybe she should finally dump Bill (good Pres/awful husband)and get on with her life.

    Obama is smart and in charge. When he makes his choices, they'll be well thought out - no matter what some of the rest of us think.

    Later....





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  • 144. At 09:25am on 18 Nov 2008, illiterato wrote:

    I know this is a blog, but do house styles cease to apply?

    Casual omission of pronouns and references to former Secretaries of State with names that make them sound like 90s white rappers are very un-BBC.

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  • 145. At 09:45am on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Burrowing in...

    "Just weeks before leaving office, the Interior Department's top lawyer has shifted half a dozen key deputies -- including two former political appointees who have been involved in controversial environmental decisions -- into senior civil service posts.

    The transfer of political appointees into permanent federal positions, called "burrowing" by career officials, creates security for those employees, and at least initially will deprive the incoming Obama administration of the chance to install its preferred appointees in some key jobs.
    ...
    The personnel moves come as Bush administration officials are scrambling to cement in place policy and regulatory initiatives that touch on issues such as federal drinking-water standards, air quality at national parks, mountaintop mining and fisheries limits.

    The practice of placing political appointees into permanent civil service posts before an administration ends is not new. In its last 12 months, the Clinton administration approved 47 such moves, including seven at the senior executive level. Federal employees with civil service status receive job protections that make it very difficult for managers to remove them. "
    Nice jobs if you can keep 'em!

    Peace and Entrenchment
    ed

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  • 146. At 10:07am on 18 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 145

    If they need any help with this, they can always ask the UK how it's done.

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  • 147. At 10:37am on 18 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    Has anyone remarked on how comfortable Obama seems within his skin at this point in time ?

    Following his Friday video, his 60 minutes interview and then his meeting with John McCain, he appears confident and vigorous - and has allowed some of his humour to shine through.

    Given all the problems that he faces, this is pretty amazing and must give huge encouragement to his team.

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  • 148. At 10:50am on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #104 Ed Iglehart
    You missed the bit in this article (a Guardian article) where it says:


    There is still majority support for US and British troops to remain but a growing and significant minority - 42% - believe Mr Blair should follow the example of the new Spanish government and bring the army home within six months

    All I got wrong was the date. This article is dated April 20th 2004, a year after the start of the Iraq War.

    Contrast that with an opinion poll published on 14th Nov 2008 on Afghanistan. It says that 68% of British people want British troops out of Afghanistan within 12 months.

    Do you think British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan ?

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  • 149. At 11:14am on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Do you think British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan ?" - chill0

    Yes. The western intervention is doing more harm than good. In particular, the civilian casualties and the attempts to stop opium production are solidifying support for the Taleban; while the raids into Pakistan have created an extremely high level of anti-western feeling in that country. Withdrawal is risky, but staying is bound to be disastrous.

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  • 150. At 11:37am on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #91 Nick-Gotts


    Since Germany did in fact ally with Japan 20 years after WWI, suggesting they would have done so had Germany won WWI is hardly far-fetched.

    That assumes both countries would have followed the same foreign policy routes if Germany had won WW1 as if Germany had lost.

    Japan may well have seen the rise of the militarists but it would probably have been trapped in many disputes with Germany about German overseas territories taken by Japan in WW1.

    Considering the lingering dispute between Japan and Russia over the Kurile Islands which was much exacerbated by WW2, these possessions would have been a constant source of problems between Japan and Germany.

    ...The article in fact it mentions the American role in halting the German 1918 offensive...

    Perhaps you misread 'Australian' as 'American' in the article.

    ...After heavy fighting, however, the offensive was halted. Lacking tanks or motorised artillery, the Germans were unable to consolidate their gains. The sudden stop was also a result of the four AIF (Australian Imperial Forces) divisions that were "rushed" down, thus doing what no other army had done and stopping the German advance in its tracks...

    This was the halt of the main German spring offensive 'Operation Michael'.

    American divisions were used to backfill the exhausted British and French divisions and I have no doubt that they played some role in all of this but it was not significant.

    They did play a part in the subsequent counteroffensive but the German army was so depleted in materiel because of the blockade that they were pushing at an open door - the allies took many tens of thousands of prisoners.

    The German military did not 'engineer an armistice' (although Ludendorff wanted one) because of the Americans. They were forced into it by political conditions in Germany which parts of the military resisted to the bitter end.

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  • 151. At 11:39am on 18 Nov 2008, Parrisia wrote:

    chill0 #35

    I read you. No more wrong choices (Hillary) then. One (Biden) is enough.

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  • 152. At 11:55am on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chill0 (148),

    "You missed the bit in this article (a Guardian article) where it says:

    There is still majority support for US and British troops to remain [my emphasis] "
    I didn't miss anything. Your original argument was that there was majority support )in UK) for the war. This is not proved by a poll which shows support for troops remaining. What that demonstrates is support for the troops, not support for the war.

    I remain of the opinion that support for the war was, at its highest, roughly 50/50, and that even that level was only achieved through blatant overstatement of the "intelligence" used to make the case.

    You have not yet provided any material (poll data or otherwise) which indicates otherwise.

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

    And, yes, I do believe we should get out of Afghanistan, at least militarily, and that the best way to deal with the opium crop is to buy it all, and cut out the middlemen. No foreign power has ever managed to control or "stabilise" Afghanistan - just have a look at the terrain - and we have the chutzpah to speak of invading Iraq, which is even bigger and more rugged.

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  • 153. At 11:59am on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #149 Nick-Gotts
    The question is, what do you think would happen to Afghanistan if ISAF withdrew ?Barack Obama plainly thinks there would be major problems and I agree with him.

    It's not just Afghanistan, Pakistan was partially destabilised by the situation in Afghanistan when the Russians were still there.

    I believe that if ISAF withdrew, Pakistan might fall into the same kind of disastrous state Afghanistan reached.

    Afghanistan was going in the same direction as Somalia after the Russians left. Somalia is an object lesson in what can happen when a geographical area is inhabited only by antagonistic armed groups - run by 'warlords' - and their victims.

    Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

    I agree that what has to happen is that the population of Afghanistan becomes prosperous through economic activity. Maybe melons, maybe something else.

    The Taleban is trying to prevent this economic activity from happening, so the Taleban has to be brought around, probably by a combination of military and political means.

    I believe that means there will have to be a military presence there for a long, long time. Can you suggest a better alternative ?

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  • 154. At 12:02pm on 18 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 145

    Concerning permanent ideological appointments.

    Rember that Cheney/Bush went to the American Heritage Institute for their list of job applicants and then used that as their recruitment pool!

    Watch out, America!

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  • 155. At 12:08pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #66 Nick-Gotts


    ...but international law is quite clear. War is only permitted in self-defence, or in pursuance of a UN Security Council resolution...

    This principle appears to have been reiterated by Lord Bingham today but I do not understand its origin.

    For instance, if a UNSC resolution conflicts with the UN charter (I believe 1674 could conflict with Article 2 para 7), which takes precedence ? Who arbitrates that ?

    There is a 'Convention on Genocide' 1948 to which almost all members of the UN are signatories. Does that take precedence over UNSC resolutions and the UN Charter ?

    That is why I believe 'international law' is, for the time being, an oxymoron.

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  • 156. At 12:09pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    If we (NATO) were to leave, I can't see the current administration keeping control of anywhere but Kabul. There would be a high likelihood of the Taleban taking over, and at the best the country would probably fragment into areas controlled by various tribal groupings, the Taleban and what remained of the Karzai administration. That Al Qaeda and other terrorist factions could regroup there would be a real worry.
    Having said that, I agree with Nick (149) that the situation is worsening, for the reasons he mentions. There are others too, corruption in the Karzai government being one.
    We should at least try to complete some of the major infrastructure projects currently under way, and try to leave the Afghan security forces in some functional state. A radical idea (whether we stay or not) would be to purchase the opium from the farmers at the normal rate, while encouraging a gradual change to other crops. I am not quite sure what we could do with it, but just taking off the market would probably be worth the money.
    Sadly though, it is hard to see a positive outcome at the moment. Our continued presence will end up creating yet more anti-western feeling, and the probable growth of more groups intent on attacking the west. The situation in Pakistan is not helping either.

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  • 157. At 12:14pm on 18 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 96

    Canada's print media are completly dominated by one chain and thoroughly unreliable.

    The CBC is now a tool of the Conservative government.

    This is an example of the utility of the BBC to the World!

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  • 158. At 12:18pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    152 Ed:

    I agree with the idea of buying the opium! Even if we were to destroy it, it would be money well spent.

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  • 159. At 12:25pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #152 Ed Iglehart
    I believe that if the average British person voted for their troops to remain in Iraq they didn't just want them to be shot at. Otherwise, why not vote for them to leave ?

    This was a Guardian poll, there were ample opportunities in it to express such an opinion, as you highlighted earlier. They did not.

    #153 expresses my opinion on Afghanistan, for what it's worth (I suspect you will think not much).

    The problem with buying (and destroying what is not medically required) the poppy crop is politics. I don't disagree with it, as I think I have said to you elsewhere.

    I hope Barack Obama takes it up but I doubt it.

    In the long term there has to be an alternative to poppy anyway otherwise the poppy crop just becomes a cash cow for the warlords.

    That needs aid workers / foreign government workers. The foreign workers need security. Tell me how that's done ?

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  • 160. At 12:36pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #151 Parrisia
    You should know that I am in favour of the Iraq War. Always was.

    I have doubts about Joe Biden's general character rather than his stance on the war.

    Hillary Clinton ? I believe she would have been a good president. Whether she can be anything else, I don't know.

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  • 161. At 12:42pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Self Evident,

    Regarding the opium, there is plenty of legitimate medical need, and, until the self-defeating prohibition approach to misuse is changed, there will continue to be tremendous money to be made in illegal trafficking.

    If we took the entire Afghan crop out of the illicit market as both you and I suggest, cultivation elsewhere would no doubt surge, so long as the inflated market produced by prohibition existed.

    I am not a fan of opiate use, but, so far as I have been able to learn, addicts are able to function normally if given an assured clean supply, and the 'need' to engage in criminal activity to fund a habit is removed. The biggest downside would be unemployment in the "war on drugs" industry.

    Peace and free drugs
    ed

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  • 162. At 12:43pm on 18 Nov 2008, cyrilcroydon wrote:

    I think she would make a good Secretary of State.

    She's far more popular abroad than she is at home and it also keeps her away from the Senate, where she could start plotting against Obama

    Off topic, but a great article by Lionel Shriver about Sarah Palin. If she was fat and ugly, she never would have got as far as she did

    Also a Great episode of reliable sources from CNN.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZFnJwfymw4


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/14/do1404.xml

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  • 163. At 12:50pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chill0,

    "This was a Guardian poll, there were ample opportunities in it to express such an opinion, as you highlighted earlier. They did not."
    It was commissioned by> the Guardian. There were only four questions. There was not "ample" opportunity to express 'such an opinion'. There were only the set questions. Read the pdf. As an expression of such an opinion, I consider the disapproval of Blair a pretty good proxy. Can you suggest any other significant factor in his unpopularity?

    Peace and an end to bellicosity
    ed

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  • 164. At 12:55pm on 18 Nov 2008, happywillie wrote:

    I TOTALLY agree with San Ying, I had all but given up reading this blog as Justin is SO clearly anti Clinton

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  • 165. At 1:33pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #161 Ed Iglehart
    Sorry to butt in to your conversation.

    I agree that drugs should in principle be legalised.

    A House of Commons committee asked experts to rate drugs accoring to their destructiveness. They rated alcohol 5th (i.e. 5th most harmful) out of 20.

    They rated Ecstasy much, much lower. It appears to be hardly harmful at all. The cause celebre of the anti-Ecstasy lobby, Leah Betts, was not actually killed by the drug.

    She was killed by hypernatremia - excessive water consumption - which arguably happened because the drug was illegal. She had none of the pharmaceutical warnings that a legal product would have carried.

    Heroin was above alcohol - but I agree with you that heroin addicts can function in society. The problem with that is that heroin is extremely addictive.

    The point is to take a sane approach to the problem which we certainly are not now.

    I suppose I should say that I am teetotal (since 1976) and I have never consumed illegal drugs. I do not see why other people should not consume such drugs if they want to, however.

    A portion of our society wants to escape in various ways for a proportion of the time. I have no problem with that and I don't see why we try to stop them.

    There is some evidence that drugs can debilitate society - Prohibition in the USA was intended to prevent industrial workers getting drunk on the job and Russia has a major drink problem.

    The solution to that is to eradicate the boring, mindless environment in which those people have to live, not to eliminate the only escape mechanism they might have.

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  • 166. At 1:53pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #163 Ed Iglehart
    Sorry about not reading the poll properly. You are right, I didn't.

    My original point still stands. The pollees could have said they wanted the troops pulled out of Iraq and they did not.

    This against a backdrop in which the Spanish government had done precisely that, it's not as though it was a difficult option.

    The unpopularity of Tony Blair was undoubtedly associated with the Iraq War. However, he was also voted second most popular choice for prime minister (to Margaret Thatcher) if they were at 'the peak of their powers' in a poll in April 2008.

    Given his association with the Iraq War which you highlighted, is that a vote in favour of the war ?

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  • 167. At 2:03pm on 18 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    Chill0

    Afghanistan will never be won militarily - just ask the Russians! We need to invest in their infrastructure and eradicate poverty there to overcome the Taliban.

    On the issue of opinion polls supporting the troops I don't know what point you are trying to make! The British will always support the troops in this way regardless of whether they support the war or not. It seems to be a desperate ploy by yourself to justify the unjustifiable - the invasion of Iraq! There are no justifications for the killing of men, women, and children for an alleged greater good - only excuses! You know your History, how many times have we seen this happen in the past for some so called greater good by totalitarians?

    As you are a Vegan you seem to support the right to life of animals higher than your fellow human. I'm a veggie because I believe that humanity should see itself as the shepherd of Being that cares for all beings. How can we do that if we don't care for each other?

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  • 168. At 2:04pm on 18 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #162

    It speak to the superficiality of many voters.

    Likewise if Barack Obama looked and had the mannerisms of Charly Rangel would he have got this far?

    Not a complaint just an observation

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  • 169. At 2:27pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #167 dceilar


    Afghanistan will never be won militarily - just ask the Russians! We need to invest in their infrastructure and eradicate poverty there to overcome the Taliban

    I don't believe Afghanistan will be won militarily. If you read my posts you will see that I believe the military (ISAF) is required there to provide security for those who will really win.

    There are no justifications for the killing of men, women, and children for an alleged greater good - only excuses!

    That means you not only want Saddam Hussein to remain in power but also Adolf Hitler.

    You know your History, how many times have we seen this happen in the past for some so called greater good by totalitarians?

    Well, er, never. The totalitarians just say they want lebensraum or arabisation or something.

    As you are a Vegan you seem to support the right to life of animals higher than your fellow human

    No I don't. I would always put human life above animal life.

    However, I am vegan because I like animals and I don't have a lot of time for humans. We have a choice, animals do not.

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  • 170. At 2:32pm on 18 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 168

    Magic ~ it is far more important than just superficiality.

    People want their leaders to look fit, healthy and in charge of the situation (why else - even before the TV age - was FDR always filmed standing? )

    If a Secretary of State is going to be criss-crossing the world, the first thing that would lose our confidence in that person is if they look permanently exhausted.

    In the same way, Obama's obvious vigour contrasts with the grey exhaustion of George W. Bush. After eight years of trying to sort out the world, OHB may look the same, but at the moment the new administration is sending out a visual message of strength of capability.

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  • 171. At 2:37pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    167 dceilar: WW2?

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  • 172. At 2:43pm on 18 Nov 2008, Shivari wrote:

    #139 susanbird1

    Ouch! I may be an idiot, but at least I have a sense of humour (or humor). I think you'll find that it was a J-O-K-E. Ok, so not the greatest quip ever made, but political types often take matters - and themselves - so seriously that sometimes it's healthy to puncture the bubble...

    Life went on before Bush (mark I), the Clintons and Bush (mark II), and life will go on after Obama... I appreciate that you feel passionately about Hillary (maybe you *are* Hillary???) but one day it will all be a forgotten footnote in history.

    To adapt an old cliche, no-one ever said on their death-bed "I wish I'd taken a greater interest in politicians..."

    As for my getting a job cleaning streets or toilets, your implication seems to be that such work is demeaning in comparison with being a smart lawyer or Senator. My instinct is to say that such attitudes are *exactly* why we have the current financial crisis. Society applauds, encourages and rewards greedy self-serving power-seekers, while Joe the Plumber and Jane the Cleaner scrabble for the crumbs.

    And I don't think that Obama - with or without Hillary Clinton - will change that. For 11 years New Labour have had their snouts in the trough just as much as the Conservatives they replaced...

    So forgive me if I don't get very excited about politicians...






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  • 173. At 2:48pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    165 Chill0:

    i agree with you. I think it may take some time to happen though. Attitudes will have to change, and the political climate will have to be conducive. Even if implemented there would still be those who cross from use to abuse. The problem though, would be one of health instead of crime. In the Afghan situation I think the purchase of the opium crop makes a great deal of sense.

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  • 174. At 2:58pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Self explanatory

    Peace and time will tell
    ed

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  • 175. At 3:05pm on 18 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    23. gunsandreligion

    One word, 'exactly'. Putting Hillary in the SoS position is a non issue.

    30. possumpam wrote:

    "Obama will be signing the death of our hopes for a better world under his leadership, and for the death of his own political future, if he allows either Clinton within spitting distance of office in his Government"


    Pam, I think you have summed up what I was going to add to this post. Not that I ever was an Obama voter,
    but with his win
    I have found it is a win for the world as well.

    I will be as ever, a critic or praiser of his work. From the look of his start up team, his posted policies and interviews, he looks more than ever to be just an extension of the Clinton presidency.

    That said, I pray for my new president, his children and wife. God Bless America.

    ------------ peace -------------

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  • 176. At 3:07pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chill0,

    "
    There are no justifications for the killing of men, women, and children for an alleged greater good - only excuses!
    "
    That means you not only want Saddam Hussein to remain in power but also Adolf Hitler."
    "
    Shame on you! Terrible rhetorical fallacy!

    Peace and valid rhetoric
    ed ;-)

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  • 177. At 3:14pm on 18 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    126. At 8:27pm on 17 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:
    OBAMA, BUSH SPEAK PRIVATELY FOR AN HOUR IN OVAL OFFICE

    "That's an hour of my life I'll never get back," says Obama.

    Did he 'really' say that????

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  • 178. At 3:21pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #176 Ed Iglehart


    Shame on you ! Terrible rhetorical fallacy !

    Which is...?

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  • 179. At 3:26pm on 18 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    I'm no expert, but here's excerpt from Wikipedia on why Iraq war and "Bush Doctrine" are 'wrong':

    An international agreement limiting the justifiable reasons for a country to declare war against another is concerned with jus ad bellum. In addition to bilateral non-aggression pacts, the twentieth century saw multilateral treaties defining entirely new restrictions against going to war. The three most notable examples are the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war as an instrument of national policy, the London Charter (known also as the Nuremberg Charter) defining "crimes against peace" as one of three major categories of international crime to be prosecuted after World War II, and the United Nations Charter, which binds nations to seek resolution of disputes by peaceful means and requires authorization by the United Nations before a nation may initiate any use of force against another, beyond repulsing an immediate armed attack against its sovereign territory.

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  • 180. At 3:30pm on 18 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Chill0, I agree with Ed here. There are more honest ways of pointing out the statement was not fully thought out You chose a dishonest one that does you no credit.

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  • 181. At 3:31pm on 18 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    161.
    Ed it is true that addicts given legal clean drugs do better than addicts not ever seen by a doctor taking "doctored" drugs.
    In liverpool they did a test not free needles etc, but prescriptions of Heroin, not Methadone.
    They found that those addicts gave up the illegal lifestyles and behaviour and got on with things.

    Got their lives back together .

    1/3 of brits have an alcohol problem as some people would see it , just lucky for them they are in a country where it is legal,. So the stresses of the illegal behaviour do not effect them.

    Unless they move to Saudi or somewhere where it is illegal.
    then when forced with breaking the law or stopping the "addiction" gets put to the test.
    A non addict will make the sensible decision to forget the alcohol while in Saudi.
    Many who never have seen themselves as an addict decide to have that tipple when offered, and sometimes they get caught.
    Now unless they enjoy being in a Saudi Jail the definition of addiction comes into play.
    "when your drug of choice makes your life unmanageable".
    Being in jail is sometimes considered a good reflection of that.

    According to the regular wisdom The drinker should at this stage reflect on how they got there and whether or not the have a "problem" with alcohol or not.

    On release most probably end up back in the UK getting Drunk to celebrate, with most around crying foul about the unfair saudi anti alcohol laws and harsh punishments.

    Yet if it were drugs the person had taken most hardly give a damn if that country executes them.

    That is hypocrisy.

    And most of those drinkers out there who say all drugs are bad and should be criminal offences should remember that prohibition never worked for alcohol in the US and the war on drugs won't either.

    In the interest of fairness I suggest a total ban on the production of alcohol.

    Just as they have banned the production of Hashish in afganistan.
    which by the way was the preferred crop before we got them growing opium in order to flood russia with drugs(part of the cold war plan there, it worked).

    Medical Marijuana legal in many states of the us contains chlorophyl and cellulose not present in the hashish that would be safer.
    BBC reported that the "skunk" weed grown is causing more "cannabis psychosis" than hash.
    And yet the laws in america make hashish the same criminal offence as Heroin.
    Ridiculous really.

    Now if it were legal the afgans could be growing a crop that is indiginous to the area , that is a part of the culture, that is not opium.

    It must be hard for some to see someone offering a "legal" bottle of jack for an illegal lump of hash. In a country that has a history and culture with hash not alcohol.

    Funny enough the reason hash was made illegal to trade world wide was not at americas insistence but at the behest of Egypt.
    Because they accused the Israeli army of flooding Egypt with pot in the belief they would not be so willing to fight.

    Ridiculous accusation after all we enlightened who have seen refer madness know pot makes you a gun shooting ax wielding psychopath.


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  • 182. At 3:33pm on 18 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    Chill0

    There are no justifications for the killing of men, women, and children for an alleged greater good - only excuses!


    That means you not only want Saddam Hussein to remain in power but also Adolf Hitler.


    Interesting, does it?. It seems you believe in the axoim that you must force people to be free. What do you do to people who don't want your version of freedom? Read your Karl Popper! Better still, read the US constitution!

    You know your History, how many times have we seen this happen in the past for some so called greater good by totalitarians?


    Well, er, never. The totalitarians just say they want lebensraum or arabisation or something.


    So all the totalitarians are either German or Arab who existed mostly in the 20th century? Can't you think of more? Did Pinochet kill Leftists for lebensraum?

    I would always put human life above animal life. I am vegan because I like animals and I don't have a lot of time for humans. We have a choice, animals do not.

    This seems a contradiction to me, you put human life above animal life yet you have little time for humans.

    Did the Iraqi civilians have a choice in being invaded and they're children shot at? Then again they're only human after all!

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  • 183. At 3:34pm on 18 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    What, cause Henry KanDealwiththedevilger supports HRC you think she can't do the job? Hmm, that will be tricky, but even tricky-er for Hillary will be following in Condi's steps.

    Alot of the peace we have been able to broker, was due to Condis abilities, without being well known and a former first lady,.. and so much of her work is not mentioned in the States.

    Even with landing under straphing gunfire behind her, Hillary in the position of SoS is very dangerous, for Hillary and Bill, as what terrorist organization wouldn't like to capture them of worse?

    With that said and standing secret service protection for former presidents and first ladies, I think that a Hillary SoS is a non issue as it can't be done.

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  • 184. At 3:39pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    chill0@150,
    If the Japanese seizure of German possessions would have been such an obstacle if Germany had won WWI, why wasn't it one in real life?

    From the article you linked to:
    "American divisions, which Pershing had sought to field as an independent force, were assigned to the depleted French and British Empire commands on 28 March. A Supreme War Council of Allied forces was created at the Doullens Conference on 5 November 1917.[74] General Foch was appointed as supreme commander of the allied forces. Haig, Petain and Pershing retained tactical control of their respective armies; Foch assumed a coordinating role, rather than a directing role and the British, French and U.S. commands operated largely independently."
    That's what I was referring to with regard to an American role. American troops were actively engaged in the first counter-attacks.

    It's bizarre that you link to the wikipedia article on the German Revolution in support of your contention that the German defeat was due to political conditions at home, since that makes clear that the decision to seek an armistice (28 September), and the making of the fact of defeat public (5 October) preceded the outbreak of the "Sailor's Revolt" (24 October) which began the revolution. In essence, you appear to have fallen for the "stab in the back" legend, as Ludendorff intended.

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  • 185. At 3:40pm on 18 Nov 2008, Clive Hill wrote:

    #179 frayedcat
    That also makes the Kosovan war and Russian entry to and occupation of Georgian territory 'illegal'.

    The problem with all of this is that the world has not yet worked out what to do about large scale 'terrorist' (call it violent activity oif you prefer) activity - particularly when that activity crosses national boundaries or is state sponsored or aided.

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  • 186. At 3:43pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Doug,

    "A lot of the peace we have been able to broker, "
    Examples please.

    Peace and a better broker
    ed

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  • 187. At 3:50pm on 18 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    #185 chill0 - I think the UN is supposed to be the 'work-out'...but if the US and Russia undermine the UN it won't work out. I thought it was obvious when US went into Iraq that Russia and Israel would be next to adopt the "Bush Doctrine". Russia fighting to preserve its access to oil reserves, since US now piping oil from under former USSR border through Afghaniston and Iraq. And disagree with #183 - I think Condi Rice incompetent.

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  • 188. At 4:28pm on 18 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    186. Ed Iglehart

    Examples,... don't have any. I do know that shes been involved in talks with the Palistinians and Israel, some momentary peace though whether her work meant anything is for history to tell.

    I have not the time to seek solid answers. More so I offer her accomplishments in terms of "The lack of war",.. and of her involvement where talks were initiated by the United States,... for trade reasons, taxing reasons or other,.. not that I know her effectiveness or lack there of.

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  • 189. At 4:45pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "at the best the country would probably fragment into areas controlled by various tribal groupings, the Taleban and what remained of the Karzai administration" - selfevidenttruths

    That's exactly the situation now.

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  • 190. At 4:48pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    chill0@153,
    The point I made is that foreign intervention is making things worse in Afghanistan, not better: solidifying support for the Taleban, and causing bitter anti-western feeling in Pakistan. There is no way to change this; getting out is thus the only sensible option.

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  • 191. At 4:51pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Ed@152,

    Iraq is much less rugged than Afghanistan! It is also smaller.

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  • 192. At 4:52pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Doug,

    "More so I offer her accomplishments in terms of "The lack of war",.. "
    Not too much 'lack of war' to brag about. Absolutely no sign of any benefit in the Holy Land. Even less evidence of her genius in real accomplishments than many complain about Obama...and she's been 'on the job' for years.

    Peace and a better broker (still waiting)
    ed

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  • 193. At 5:01pm on 18 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    #189 - aren't bits controlled by tribal groupings Afghanistan's natural state - isn't that what Afghanistan is and wants to be?

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  • 194. At 5:27pm on 18 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 191 - Nick - Gotts



    Less rugged maybe but smaller ?

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  • 195. At 5:28pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nick (192),

    I meant Iran! Silly me!

    Peace and easy terrain
    ed

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  • 196. At 5:29pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    frayedcat@189,
    Certainly its state ever since who-knows-when. Whether it "wants" to be that way - well, I don't think that's terribly meaningful. Point is, outsiders are not going to be able to make it into a unitary state, let alone a representative democracy.

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  • 197. At 5:38pm on 18 Nov 2008, U12831485 wrote:

    183, DougTexan wrote:

    Alot of the peace we have been able to broker, was due to Condis abilities, ...

    _____

    That's a bit rich, to say the least.

    When was the last time a single country's foreign policies where more devastating globally ?

    National Security Advisor , Secretary of State, well done.

    _______

    Fritz K.

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  • 198. At 5:40pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    193 frayedcat:

    Quite possibly, but there is the resurgent Taliban ...

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  • 199. At 5:41pm on 18 Nov 2008, ellisaltoro wrote:

    I am an American. My father had a proposal for HC. He believes that Obama should appoint her to the supreme court...she is a lawyer. And that way, no chance for president, but with a lasting effect on the legal landscape...Supreme Court Justices are there for life.

    What do people think?

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  • 200. At 5:50pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    196 Nick:

    I think you meant to refer to frayedcat@193. Re you@189: Well yes except NATO is currently providing some level of security.
    I agree with your point 196. When we leave, the question may well be whether the Taliban will achieve their former power or whether it remains fragmented.
    The west's concern is obviously that under either state of affairs the country will continue to spawn terrorism. How do you think we can deal with that, that is if you agree with the assertion.

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  • 201. At 5:51pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    199ellisa: Very hard to see her being confirmed. I imagine ferocious opposition from the right.

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  • 202. At 5:52pm on 18 Nov 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    Obama is in charge of his cabinet. Clinton would not be my choice (Kerry was a good suggestion), but if he gets the assurances about Bill's business dealings and investments, along with an agreement of what role (if any) Bill plays, then it is his decision to make. She did help with his campaign in the end and this may be an olive branch, reminiscent of Lincoln reaching out to his political rivals.

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  • 203. At 6:00pm on 18 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Maybe the best we can hope for (a bit of realpolitik) is a moderate Taliban government which, in exchange for ties and financial assistance from the west, promises to curtail the activities of al Qaeda et al.
    Yeh I Know, some hope!

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  • 204. At 6:04pm on 18 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 199

    No one doubts HC brillance and she was an intern during the Watergate hearings.

    But her major legal expereince was corporate law in Arkansaw.

    People complain about Clarence Thomas experience but his as far as the cases the Supreme Court usually addresses surpasses hers.

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  • 205. At 6:09pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    "If You Leak, You're Gone": Obama Transition Team

    "Several Obama transition staffers have put a version of that quotation in transition co-chief John Podesta's mouth.

    Many of the major staff appointments so far - Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, Greg Craig as White House counsel, the fact of the Clinton meeting, along with details about internal thinking on Gitmo and other subjects - have escaped whatever barriers the Obama team has set in place. "
    It's a leakier boat than it was....

    Peace and good caulking
    ed

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  • 206. At 6:18pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    International "Laugh at Lieberman" day!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Peace and a Pop at the Weasel!
    ed

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  • 207. At 6:24pm on 18 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    ellisaltoro (#199), coincidently, HRC, WJC, and Obama are all lawyers, and have all taught constitutional law. Nevertheless, they are all politicians, not legal scholars. While there have been political appointments to the US Supreme Court, they have always been controversial. Appointments to the USSC are usually judges with an established record of respected written opinions.

    I think that there would a great deal of opposition to either Clinton being appointed to the USSC, and I don't expect an attempt at appointment.

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  • 208. At 6:26pm on 18 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    This will infuriate Marbles but the Democrats in the Senate voted to let Joe Liebermann keep his position as head of the commitee Homeland Security.

    Most americans and people around the world recognize his great service to this country and humanity

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  • 209. At 6:28pm on 18 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    Is it the Taleban that is objectionable, or strict Sharia law, or a particular leader or leaders of the Taleban? Is Sharia law a human rights violation? I like the bit prohibiting the charging of interest. Did the UN sanction incursion into Afghanistan, and not Iraq?

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  • 210. At 6:30pm on 18 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    I agree with the spirit of 202, but Hillary would have been my choice as President, not Secretary of State. I wanted 8 years of Clinton/Obama, then 8 years of Obama and anyone he chose as VP.

    After that I wouldn't have to worry, because I expect to be dead by then. My main goal: Keeping right-wingers as far from the Presidency as possible. Every time they get into power life for the rich gets better, life for the rest of us gets worse.

    A person from the middle or lower socio-economic sector voting for a Republican is like a seal voting for a Great White shark - natural prey supporting those who feed on them. But that's OK with a lot of righties because they in turn are fed with soul stirring platitudes about "family values" and other tasty little catch phrases.

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  • 211. At 6:33pm on 18 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    #194 eightypercent

    Less rugged maybe but smaller ?

    I agree with you. Afghanistan and Iraq are roughly the same size. Looking at the map of the region though it reminds me of how much Iran is encircled by what they would call hostile forces. I wonder how Americans feel if Iranian troops were controlling Mexico and Canada!

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  • 212. At 6:55pm on 18 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    There is Hope

    Peace and the Children
    ed

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  • 213. At 8:08pm on 18 Nov 2008, somelilli wrote:

    #116

    I sort of agree with you. When I was in school the difficult kids would be given leadership positions because that was often the only way to 'manage' them. Now what does one give to Hillary and her 18million cracks on the glass ceiling- a small positon would seem insulting.

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  • 214. At 8:28pm on 18 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 67 Chiefy1724 wrote:

    "Just a thought, but I was under the impression that all of the cabinet-level appointments had to go before a confirmation hearing before a committee of the full senate and that therefore an appointment as such as not "automatic" ?"

    From Boston.com

    "The possibility of Clinton as the top American diplomat has been met largely with bipartisan approval in the political establishment, with Republican figures such as former secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona - both high-profile supporters of McCain during the general election - calling her well-suited for the job."

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  • 215. At 8:29pm on 18 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Ed, #212. Thanks for the link. I am both appalled and encouraged at the same time. I think that we can both agree that Waverli is someone Alaska can be proud of.

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  • 216. At 9:05pm on 18 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    Re 212

    Thank you, Ed.

    A truly remarkable letter. I wonder how long before she's completely ostracized in her community?

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  • 217. At 10:26pm on 18 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#212Edinglehart

    Thank you!

    Yes there is hope. If some of us older folk are having trouble "getting it" a lot of our young do!

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  • 218. At 11:01pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "Most americans and people around the world recognize his [Lieberman's] great service to this country and humanity" - MagicKirin

    Most people around the world have never heard of him. And what's this supposed "great service"?

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  • 219. At 11:07pm on 18 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    eightypercent@194,
    Come on, these things are not hard to look up! According to wikipedia Iraq is 437,072 sq.km., Afghanistan is 647,500 sq.km. I see Ed says @195 that he meant Iran, which explains things.

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  • 220. At 11:13pm on 18 Nov 2008, mdalerwill wrote:

    As for HRC as Secretary of State, I am skeptical. I should think an effective Sec of State would need a keen ability to read his/her audience and situation and adapt his/her approach accordingly. During her run for the Democratic nomination, I didn't see that in HRC. In my opinion, she never quite got the message or the delivery right. Very scientific of me, I know. (Yes, that's sarcasm at my own expense.)

    I don't really have anyone in mind, but is my hope that Obama will fill his cabinet with people of diverse opinions and strategies, so they can argue it out in front of him and provide the food for thought he needs to set reasoned policies.

    And finally, for those few posts I've read yet again contending that no reasonable thinking person could possibly have voted for Obama....that song is getting very tiresome.

    To KAS1865 (#44), most of America's working men (and women) don't earn over $250k a year, so Obama's tax policy will not be taking from them to give to the lazy masses. However, McCain's plan to tax work benefits and eliminate employer-provided health insurance would have hit me and most of the American middle class square in the forehead. Is that straight-forward enough? I am a thinking person and I voted for Obama. You can disagree with me all you want and I won't even call you a name, but how about you stop marveling at the supposed stupidity of people who disagree with you? And hoping we all suffer for having voted the way we did? That's just..... Well, I'll let your sentiments speak for themselves.

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  • 221. At 11:22pm on 18 Nov 2008, mdalerwill wrote:

    Re #101,

    I don't see much hope for the Republican Party embracing the moderate road. As a moderate Republican myself, marginalized as a RINO for not voting the straight party ticket with religious fervor, I find the rank and file ready to toss us out as turncoats. It will be interesting to see if someone else is willing to court our vote.

    I also wonder if moderate Democrats have the same problem.

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  • 222. At 11:31pm on 18 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    "In a speech last fall, De-
    fense Secretary Robert Gates pointed
    out that his department spends more
    on health insurance than the State
    Department spends on foreign affairs,
    and made an unusual pitch for a 'dra-
    matic increase in spending on the civil-
    ian instruments of national security.'" (from "Human Quicksand" in Harper's Sept. 2008)


    Whoever gets the job, they better be good. Under Bush particularly, the State Department has been neglected, and not only in terms of expenditure. Bush's enthusiasm for a "kinetic" foreign policy has relegated State to the status of the military's stable boy (i.e., left to sweep up the sh*t, and shut the barn door, usually long after the horse is gone).

    If the experience of the last 8 years has taught us anything, it is that the military, while very, very good at breaking things, is equally inept at "state building." Like it or not, having involved itself in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is now in no position to simply walk away. I have confidence that Obama recognises this, and will give the State Department both the personnel and budget equal to the tasks it is facing.

    Yours,
    A Canadian Pinko, with fingers crossed

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  • 223. At 00:24am on 19 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nick and 80% and all,

    "eightypercent@194,
    Come on, these things are not hard to look up! According to wikipedia Iraq is 437,072 sq.km., Afghanistan is 647,500 sq.km. I see Ed says @195 that he meant Iran, which explains things."
    And, strange as it might seem, I recommend the CIA world fact book, and they even have a Kids' section

    Peace and Junior Spies
    ed

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  • 224. At 00:41am on 19 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "208. At 6:26pm on 18 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:
    This will infuriate Marbles but the Democrats in the Senate voted to let Joe Liebermann keep his position as head of the commitee Homeland Security.

    Most americans and people around the world recognize his great service to this country and humanity"

    How wonderful you speak for most Americans. When were you appointed?

    Got the election bit wrong of course,but doubtless you are the chosen spokesman.

    To be uncharitable, Mr Lieberman would not have got this position to secure his vote in a tight Senate would he?


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  • 225. At 00:46am on 19 Nov 2008, karenykarl wrote:

    Hillary is a wonderful choice for Secretary of State. Every world leader already knows her, and with Bill, Obama gets two Secretaries of State for the price of one.

    My only concern is that perhaps Hillary's brand of diplomacy is a little bit too conservative for my taste, but the direction that Obama's foreign policy will take is still yet to be determined.

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  • 226. At 01:34am on 19 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Ed@223,
    Oh I use the CIA World Factbook myself - often very useful when raving righties come out with some particularly egregious piece of piffle. A successful ruling elite needs to avoid straightforward factual errors - most of the deciet is done by misdirection and selectivity. Of course, the most raving righties of all consider the CIA to be a communist front.

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  • 227. At 09:21am on 19 Nov 2008, Parrisia wrote:

    @ Chill0 (#160)

    it is sad to hear that anyone could be "for war"

    it is even sadder to insist on being pro-war after it has been clearly demonstrated that this particular war in Iraq has been a disaster

    Repent - it's never too late

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  • 228. At 10:19am on 19 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To #47 Chill0

    Nobody "won" WW1. There were only losers, with Germany losing the most (thanks to the Treaty of Versailles), which some can argue led to world war 2.

    Peace

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  • 229. At 11:49am on 19 Nov 2008, KAS1865 wrote:

    76 Jack
    A fine attempt at an Insult so just a couple of facts re your post:

    My Holiday Home, in Maryland, is where I plan to one day retire. I also employ a number of American Citizens so my finger is on the pulse of the American Status.

    As for my "Free Health Care" a couple of facts that may interest and inform you, and those who hold up "Universal Health Care" as such a wonderful thing.

    Anyone who knows anythig about the United Kingdom's National Health Service knows the quality of service is poor, due to the lack of funding rather than the sterling efforts of the Staff.

    FACT 1 .

    My Contribution to the NHS, through National Insurance, are actually GREATER than the "Private" Health Care Premiums than anyone I know, or employ in the United States.

    My own UK Health Insurance, not only for myself, but for my four Family Members is actually less than my National Insurance Contribution.

    I have NO opt out of the NHS, in essence its another Tax, which means, although I do not use the NHS I am still paying for the service. Therefore I am funding the Health Care of others, many of whom have never paid a penny into the communial pot.

    I wonder how many more millions more Illegal Immigrants that sort of system would attract, especially from South America. the American working man, and woman, will,again be picking up the tab for the feckless and idle.

    Jack your vain attempt at a put down has simply allowed me the opportunity to highlight just one example of Obama's lack of joined up thinking and how a few well placed buzz words, ("Health Care for all)ppealling to those that think, quite wrongly, they may get something for nothing)

    Thank you

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  • 230. At 12:46pm on 19 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    KAS (229),

    "My Contribution to the NHS, through National Insurance, are actually GREATER than the "Private" Health Care Premiums than anyone I know, or employ in the United States."
    National Insurance pays for pensions, etc., not for the NHS, but you should know that, shouldn't you.

    Peace and an informed state of mind
    ed

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  • 231. At 1:04pm on 19 Nov 2008, KAS1865 wrote:

    230

    Ed it seems that you misunderstood my point, due to my missing out a crucial sentence, for this I apologise.

    The point I was making is that many Americans seem to believe that Government run schemes are for the most part, free or at worse cheaper than those available in the Private Sector.

    Obama has promised all sorts of schemes which many of those that voted for him think they will get something for nothing when, as you no doubt know, generally the opposite is the case.



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  • 232. At 1:27pm on 19 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    KAS,

    "Ed it seems that you misunderstood my point, due to my missing out a crucial sentence, for this I apologise."
    I accept your apology, but there doesn't seem to be a missing sentence, but rather a completely mis-conceived one.

    Nor did I misunderstand your point. I too am a true believer in the First Law of Thermodynamics, but also a true believer (from direct experience) in the generally high quality service and treatment provided (at taxpayers' expense) by the NHS.

    Peace and Access
    ed

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  • 233. At 2:33pm on 19 Nov 2008, KAS1865 wrote:

    I could not agree more Ed.

    MRSA, long waiting lists, (in some recorded cases), up to two years. Operations cancelled daily.

    Under paid over-worked Medical Staff, more Administrators than beds, no innovation.
    Health Trusts shutting facilities and millions of pounds in the Red

    Just the sort of "First Class service" our American friends will love especially when it will cost them far more than the services they currently get.

    Incidently, no one who requires Treatment in the US is ever refused under the current system.

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  • 234. At 3:11pm on 19 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    KAS,

    "I could not agree more Ed."
    Do I detect Irony?

    I suspect (and hope) any service implemented in the USA will at least drive down the presently exhorbitant cost of drugs, and perhaps also the similarly exhorbitant costs of often superfluous "tests". If not, it will be a tragic failure of political will.
    "We must crush in its birth the aristocracy

    of our moneyed corporations, which

    dare already to bid defiance to

    the laws of our country."

    -- Thomas Jefferson, 1812
    Peace and an end to Corporate Rule
    ed

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  • 235. At 4:47pm on 19 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Rahm Emanuel challenges CEOs on Health Care Reform

    "President-elect Barack Obama's incoming White House chief of staff challenged chief executives and other business leaders Tuesday night to join the new administration in a push for universal health care, saying incremental increases in coverage won't be acceptable.

    "When it gets rough out there, a lot of business leaders get out of the car and say, 'We're OK with minor reform.' I'm challenging you today, we're going to have to do big, serious things," Rahm Emanuel said, speaking to The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, a conference convened to elicit corporate opinion on the challenges facing the new president.
    ...
    He said business leaders should help find solutions to the middle-class squeeze or face a revolt. "We need a strategy as a country to make sure they have an opportunity to move up that ladder,""
    Watch him in action

    Peace and Access
    ed

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  • 236. At 5:07pm on 19 Nov 2008, mdalerwill wrote:

    KAS1865,

    I won't argue with your personal experience with the NHS; it is what it is.

    However, I will say that my personal experience with the healthcare system in the UK was great. The only difference I found in the experience was that UK doctors didn't spend as much on big plush offices as some American doctors do. I didn't mind.

    The systems in our two countries were a frequent topic of conversation while I lived there, and my British friends would not have traded their system for ours for anything. The big exception for them was dental care.

    My experience of the healthcare system here in the States is also very different from what you describe. I find that our system works (to varying degrees) for the wealthy, the very poor, and the healthy. Mind you, the poor can wait in emergency rooms for 9 or 13 or even 24 hours for care quite routinely. Many can't find private doctors who will accept the state healthcare plans for the poor, so that is their only option.

    The middle class here, again, is the endangered population. They can't get state benefits because they make too much money, which isn't much. They have to hope their employer provides health insurance, usually covering a portion of the monthly premiums for the employee. Covering an entire family, even with the employer covering part of the premium, is enormously expensive. One major healthcare issue, and the private insurance companies will try to prove it was a pre-existing condition, refuse to pay the expenses, and cancel the policy. Middle class people can and do lose everything, savings and home, because they cannot afford to pay for treatment of a serious illness.

    Many seniors go without some of all of their medications during certain times of the year, when coverage from one program lapses and they have to go out of pocket until the next program picks up.

    My point being, it's not all that rosy here, as you may find after retirement. I don't know that an American NHS would be the best solution, but something certainly needs to change.

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  • 237. At 5:42pm on 19 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Ed, I suggest that we do not need employers to bear the cost and then pass this on to the customers. We need to reduce the cost significantly. Pharmaceuticals charge too much, insurance companies charge too much and lawyers take too much. Tackle these three areas and then the cost is a lot easier to bear.

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  • 238. At 11:43pm on 19 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sean's Pa,

    Of course I totally agree.

    Peace and sensible costs
    ed

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  • 239. At 05:04am on 20 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    Having just returned from major surgery and feeling rather the worse for wear, this, from Justin, is what greets me:

    The Clintons are ghastly to work for: divisive, driven by demons and rages and angst whose real cause is too deep-seated to be capable of anything but psychological analysis.

    How does he actually know, empirically, what the former President was like to work for? Perhaps from being too cosy with Dick Morris, whose opinions are for sale to the highest bidder. To make such statements simply indicates the bias of the writer since I feel sure that he was never employed in any capacity by the United States Government nor The White House. If there had been some simple modifier, that would have been acceptable, but as written, it is not.

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  • 240. At 12:29pm on 20 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David,

    I'm not sure you realised that the opinion was attributed to unidentified third part(ies). I suspect such perceptions may be at least as frequent as more favourable ones...opinions differ.

    Peace and a speedy recovery
    ed



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  • 241. At 6:33pm on 20 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #240. Ed Iglehart - Thanks for the good wishes, but my point was, and remains, that Justin made a declarative statement rather than suggesting others felt that way about Mr and Mrs Clinton. I thought America did rather well under the former President; he must have done something right!

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  • 242. At 7:14pm on 20 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David,

    I too, have a fondness for the Clinton presidency, but you really should read what Justin wrote:

    "one senior figure (a definite player in the new administration) mutters. His thinking is not really based on policy but on drama and dramatic style. The Clintons are ghastly to work for: divisive, driven by demons...."
    The proximate pronoun.

    Peace and a reluctance to take offence
    ed

    And do get well soon.

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  • 243. At 9:52pm on 20 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    David,
    Don't forget Clinton signed into law the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which had a very considerable part in causing the asset/credit bubble (of course it was pushed through Congress primarily by Republicans at the behest of bankers, and could have been repealed by Bush, but clinton must take his share of the blame). Not to mention setting the precedent for illegal wars, in Kosovo.

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  • 244. At 11:00pm on 20 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    229. At 11:49am on 19 Nov 2008, KAS1865 wrote:
    76 Jack
    A fine attempt at an Insult so just a couple of facts re your post:

    My Holiday Home, in Maryland, is where I plan to one day retire. I also employ a number of American Citizens so my finger is on the pulse of the American Status.

    As for my "Free Health Care" a couple of facts that may interest and inform you, and those who hold up "Universal Health Care" as such a wonderful thing.

    Anyone who knows anythig about the United Kingdom's National Health Service knows the quality of service is poor, due to the lack of funding rather than the sterling efforts of the Staff.

    FACT 1 .

    My Contribution to the NHS, through National Insurance, are actually GREATER than the "Private" Health Care Premiums than anyone I know, or employ in the United States.

    My own UK Health Insurance, not only for myself, but for my four Family Members is actually less than my National Insurance Contribution."

    Maybe because you make NHS contributions.

    Where are your doctors, nurses training again?

    "I wonder how many more millions more Illegal Immigrants that sort of system would attract, especially from South America. the American working man, and woman, will,again be picking up the tab for the feckless and idle."


    I wonder if all immigrantsd are as lazy and feckless as you seem to think they are. Maybe you should not judge others as your would behave.

    Thank you

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  • 245. At 11:02pm on 20 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "233. At 2:33pm on 19 Nov 2008, KAS1865 wrote:
    I could not agree more Ed.

    MRSA, long waiting lists, (in some recorded cases), up to two years. Operations cancelled daily.

    Under paid over-worked Medical Staff, more Administrators than beds, no innovation.
    Health Trusts shutting facilities and millions of pounds in the Red

    Just the sort of "First Class service" our American friends will love especially when it will cost them far more than the services they currently get.

    Incidently, no one who requires Treatment in the US is ever refused under the current system."




    Hmmm but we in Western europe do live longer than our American friends don't we?

    And our US friends seem to admire our system not the other way round.

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  • 246. At 11:13pm on 21 Nov 2008, mproven wrote:

    #1 It wasn't exactly brilliant either.

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  • 247. At 11:50pm on 21 Nov 2008, Orville Eastland wrote:

    A few comments:
    While the Clintons were in charge of our foreign policy they promulgated the lie that Iraq was in possession of WMD. (This was debunked by Iraqi defector Hussein Kamil in 1995, and confirmed further by Scott Ritter in 2000.) Their policies on Iraq was a major reason for Bin Laden's anger at the USA.
    To the best of my knowledge, Clinton has not changed. Bill Clinton was defending Bush's invasion iof Iraq in 2004. Hillary Clinton was supporting the Iraq invasion right up until before she announced her candidacy.

    As for the ICC remark, yes, it would be very credible to have Clinton or Bush or various other foreign leaders hauled before them. It would give the people of the world a greater faith in the ICC and the UN system. And, further, it would increase respect for international law. (And perhaps domestic laws as well?)

    As for Obama naming Clinton... can someone sue him for false advertising? This isn't change, and we can't believe in her...

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