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2003-10-20 Home Front
Sen. Leiberman - we must drain the swamp, and then seed the garden
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Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 9:35:38 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6473 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 Seems like a poorly chosen metaphor in wake of what Saddam did to the Shi'ite marshlands in southern Iraq. Coalition troops have been working to replenish the swamps.

Not a bad article--I certainly agree with lines like "Winning this war requires that the United States maintain its military dominance and forcefully apply it to deter and defeat tyrants and terrorists alike," and I agree that the Islamic countries need to become more prosperous, but I think that's more an internal thing. Until Muslims see another Muslim country advance (Afghanistan and Iraq, primarily), I don't believe they'll ever look in the mirror but keep blaming the West.
Posted by Dar  2003-10-20 10:04:42 AM||   2003-10-20 10:04:42 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 Down the line, I agree with almost everything he says.
I've got two comments:
1) He advocates more funding for Foggy Bottom. Foggy Bottom is a large part of the problem, coddling dictators.
2) Our biggest failure in Afghanistan was not cleaning up Wazaristan, Baluchistan, NWFP and Riyadh.
Posted by Dishman  2003-10-20 10:28:02 AM||   2003-10-20 10:28:02 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 Lieberman is the only Dem candidate I really care for. But he seems to have a problem with being excessivly corny at times, with his sterotypical Washington politician mannerisms, and his way of speaking. It isn't just Lieberman who does it, it's just that Lieberman looks the most akward doing it. Everyone wants to be Mr. Populist-leader-of-the-middle-class-roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pump-your-fist-in-the-air-guy, but I think it looks so corny and obvious. Joe shoud just be Joe, because he has the best attitude and ideas of the bunch.
Posted by g wiz 2003-10-20 10:38:49 AM||   2003-10-20 10:38:49 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 I read the article. It was filled with the kind of open ended, "We must change the perception of...", "We must encourage...", "We must support..." type comments that sound good in the abstract. However, it was absent any real specifics and it had no ideas in it that haven't been vetted many times before.

Posted by mhw 2003-10-20 11:07:59 AM||   2003-10-20 11:07:59 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 Mixed metaphor alert...
Posted by mojo  2003-10-20 11:28:09 AM||   2003-10-20 11:28:09 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 He suffers from that old DEM ailment Feelings. He wants to feel good but can't as long as the other party holds power. TUMS and Oxycontin in moderate doses should do the trick.

Posted by Anonymous 2003-10-20 12:23:01 PM||   2003-10-20 12:23:01 PM|| Front Page Top

#7 RE: Funding Foggy Bottom - Heres what Joe has to say:
"Yet, since the end of the Cold War, we have sold short many critical tools of public diplomacy. The United States Information Agency was eliminated, and State Department posts around the world have reduced the general public's walk-in access and closed the lending libraries that once stood open to all visitors. The United States Foreign Service, which represents the most significant official American presence overseas, has also been underfunded. We need to think and work long and hard about how to better convey our values not only to opinion leaders and elites, but to the people at large in the public square."

State may be filled with folks who dont share the strategic vision outlined in this essay. But I dont think closing lending libraries, or understaffing consulates, is likely help with that.

Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 12:43:43 PM||   2003-10-20 12:43:43 PM|| Front Page Top

#8 MWH, you hit the nail on the head.

Call me cynical, but it just sounds like a request for more funding to "moderate" Muslim organizations. Scoff, like those groups will ever send him a DIME in campaign contributions. It seems to escape him that it is unlikely that they will ever get past the fact that he is Jewish.

Oh well, at least he's saying mostly good things that we can all agree with, in a meaningless sort of way.
Posted by B 2003-10-20 12:45:32 PM||   2003-10-20 12:45:32 PM|| Front Page Top

#9 Re: muslim countries achieving prosperity internally

Read what he says on economic development closely - He does NOT call for a large foreign aid program (other than in Iraq and Afghanistan) What he DOES call for is more TRADE. What he asks of the US is that we assist these countries in entering the WTO. And that meanwhile, and perhaps in addition to that, we also establish bilateral trade deals, preferences, etc. The obvious parallel is the Caribean Basin Initiative, which ISTR was initiated by RONALD REAGAN. Now the question is, do we think transforming the muslim/arab world is as important now, as stopping Communism in Central America and the Caribean was then?
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 12:48:09 PM||   2003-10-20 12:48:09 PM|| Front Page Top

#10 MHW - and does the Bush admin have specifics for what they will be doing a year from now? Do they have plans that go into specifics - well I suppose they do - a Powell plan, a Rumsfeld plan, a Wolfowitz plan, and a Tenet plan - all of which disagree with each other :) . We get specifics from this admin only for whats currently at hand - what theyve actually done - for Joe that would be his congressional record, and his statements of approval and disapproval of Bush admin acts. So its a question of which set of specifics, and which set of plans, you prefer (at least academically - since I doubt we will ever get to see Joe head to head with Bush on the ballot :( )
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 12:53:37 PM||   2003-10-20 12:53:37 PM|| Front Page Top

#11 g wiz - if I was to go by mannerisms and personal style, Id certainly have to place Dubya near the BOTTOM (certainly below Dean). However things are too serious for that.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 12:56:06 PM||   2003-10-20 12:56:06 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 Specifics:

"But many in the Muslim world are blinded to these realities by our close alignment with regimes whose behavior is inconsistent with the American values we otherwise work so hard to uphold and defend. The United States should steer a new course-one closer to American values and closer to the values that grow from our common humanity.

We can and must demonstrate to ordinary people throughout the Islamic world that the United States will take risks to support their freedom, aspirations and quality of life. We must make those values a premise of our alliances and a condition of our aid."

Now he doesnt go and mention Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan by name. That would hardly be appropriate at this time. But I cant think to what else this refers.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 1:02:18 PM||   2003-10-20 1:02:18 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 The flaw in your argument LH is that you assume the premise of this article is correct, "Moderates are competing with extremists for control in the vacuum our military victories leave, with precious little support from the United States and its allies."

That just isn't true and you know it. That accusation is nothing more than pure politics, marring an otherwise good analysis. It's too bad Lieberman needed to stoop to the level of politics when making his point, because instead of making him look like a bi-partisan player working for a common good, it makes him look petty and small.

Posted by B 2003-10-20 1:17:51 PM||   2003-10-20 1:17:51 PM|| Front Page Top

#14 To liberalhawk. The specifics of the Bush administration plan to deal with Islamofascism are carried out day by day, country by country. It certainly is true that there is no unifying theme other than 'terrorism is bad' and it is also true that Bush is not taking a hard line against the terrorism enablers and financiers in Saudi Arabia and it is also true that in some countries we are supporting secular or secular leaning dictators to keep the terrorists in check and it is true that the administration hasn't taken the obvious counterterrorism step of icreasing the required MPG ov SUVs. However, based on the mush that is in Lieberman's article it is difficult (I would say impossible) to infer that he would do a better job on any of these real issues.
Posted by mhw 2003-10-20 1:27:01 PM||   2003-10-20 1:27:01 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 I'm sure that getting Saudi Arabian into the WTO should be our highest priority.
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-20 2:21:40 PM||   2003-10-20 2:21:40 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 Lets wait until the French figure this thing out and then we can copy them.
French Examine Selves With Muslim Crisis
I think the whole issue hinges on the whole headscarf in the school question. Non?
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-20 2:28:02 PM||   2003-10-20 2:28:02 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 B - when youre running for office, you tend to minimize the good things your opponent did - Dubya did the same thing in regard to the Clinton admin, etc etc. And I think he gives some good specifics on what the admin is NOT doing - I could add some more.

MHW - thats what I meant - For Bush admin you have specific actions - even if they are only responding to every crisis that hits their desk and not doing any planning at all (which I dont necessarily claim) Its obvious that someone not in office doesnt have those kind of specifics - its unfair to compare a strategy piece by Joe with the mix of good things and bad things the admin is doing every day.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 2:45:11 PM||   2003-10-20 2:45:11 PM|| Front Page Top

#18 Super - I dont think he said it should be our highest priority - but one example of a specific.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 2:46:40 PM||   2003-10-20 2:46:40 PM|| Front Page Top

#19 precious little support:

well ive got to say that I still dont understand the admin position on Afghanistan, and I also think that until the last month the effort in Iraq was inadequate. Did you see Rummys op-ed piece a little while ago? Responding to the argument that we arent doing enough nationbuilding - basically it was along the lines of "we need to let them do most of it themselves, or we'll create too much co-dependency" I mean geez - I understand the argument that foreign aid in the long term undercuts domestic reform in 3rd world countries - but these are EMERGENCIES dammit - we lose Iraq to chaos, or worse an Islamic state, and we're FAR worse off strategically than we were before we went in. The Iraqis may be better off - but we're worse off. We have to WIN in Iraq - and frankly it doesnt matter very much if we get the Iraqis addicted to sub optimal fiscal policies - we wont get to the long term if we dont win the short term (and all indications are that they are not fools in regard to their economic development, anyway - and we can always wean them of aid later) I mean this just sounds like an admin that is (or at least WAS) putting ideology above success in Iraq and Afghanistan - now I dont think EVERYONE in this admin does so ( id wager that Wolfowitz does not) but unfortunately the other voices are louder than Wolfie's.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 2:55:01 PM||   2003-10-20 2:55:01 PM|| Front Page Top

#20 The more Lieberman gets right on Foriegn Policy the more likely the Democratic primary voters will turn away from him. Thats the sad Catch-22 of the modern Democrats.
Posted by Yank 2003-10-20 2:57:21 PM||   2003-10-20 2:57:21 PM|| Front Page Top

#21 The time to flesh out the details is later in the campaign, with debates, position papers, etc. This essay stakes out a broader strategy - by staking out a position focusing on nation-building and human rights, it sets him apart from the "We dont do nation building - we dont worry about democracy" asepct of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Powell foreign policy - while still remaining apart from the "We're doves" point of view of Dean (and maybe Clark) the "lets use the UN more" approach of Kerry, and the "lets talk domestic policy instead" approach of Edwards and Gephardt. (BTW, of course one risk politically is that the Wolfie positions emergerges triumphant in the admin, and the admin gets serious about nationbuilding and democracy promotion - good for the country, but bad for Joes campaign)
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 3:05:44 PM||   2003-10-20 3:05:44 PM|| Front Page Top

#22 Yank - thats possible, indeed, and i wouldnt bet the house on Joe getting the nomination. OTOH we havent had a head to head fight on foreign policy among the dems since 1972. 1976 - while obviously less hawkish than Scoop Jackson, Carter appeared more hawkish then Udall, et al - but the main battle was over domestic policy, IIRC. 1980 - kennedy - Carter was a battle over social and economic policy. 1984 - Mondale, believe it or not, attempted to position himself as more hawkish than Gary Hart. In any case that was again a largely domestic race. 1988 - with Hart out of the race, and Gephardt and Gore faded early, Duke was certainly more "hawkish"then Jesse Jackson. Gore couldnt get any traction by being more hawkish then duke, but thats cause foreign policy simply wasnt high on the radar screen in 1988. 1992 - again Clinton beat Tsongas, Jesse Jackson, and Tom Harkin, in a race where foreign policy hardly mattered. in 2000 Gore was marginally more "hawkish" than Bradley, but again FP didnt really matter.

So its impossible to say what role FP will play in 2004. Northern Demo electorate (excluding New York State) tend to be very dovish - but southern ones much less so - South Carolina will be interested - both Joe and Edwards have connections to the black electorate that Dean doesnt have - will the war be enough to enable Dean to make big inroads in the black vote? And the biggest issue - with so many candidates, how does the vote split? Do Joe and Edwards and Gephardt split the hawkish vote? Does Clark split the doves with Dean, or does he hurt Kerry? Ideal for Joe is to knock out Edwards and Gephardt early, while Kerry and Clark stay in against Dean. Thats probably his best shot at actually winning the nomination.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 3:16:04 PM||   2003-10-20 3:16:04 PM|| Front Page Top

#23 LH, what I was implying was that the Saudis ought not be coddled any longer. I'm not sure that getting China into the WTO was the right thing to do, but I'm not sure that it isn't. I am pretty sure that the Saudis ought to be treated as an enemy that we may or may not have to continue trading with.
As far as the dem's go, I would have very few problems with Joe if he got elected. My over-riding priority for national governemtn is national defense.
Has anyone else read The Six Dilemmas of the Moderate Islamist by Michael Vlahos in Tech Central Station?
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-20 3:59:02 PM||   2003-10-20 3:59:02 PM|| Front Page Top

#24 Liberalhawk, I would welcome some serious foreign policy discussions because I think for the average American that is still the number one issue and if the Democrats don't take it seriously, if they continue the Bush=Hitler style of non-arguement that gets big cheers in the debates so far, they won't have a chance.

The US government works better as a two-party system.
Posted by Yank 2003-10-20 4:01:13 PM||   2003-10-20 4:01:13 PM|| Front Page Top

#25 super - good point - im not sure how Joe reconciles advocating for Saudi at the WTO, with lots of other stuff thats sounds hardline wrt to Saudi. Carrot and stick, maybe?
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 4:22:26 PM||   2003-10-20 4:22:26 PM|| Front Page Top

#26 As a guy who's worked in Egypt for an Uncle Sam-funded organization devoted to the promotion of English, I read the article with interest. I understand that Joe needs to work out the specifics, but I still think he needs some serious revisions.

As for the canard of "looking the other way while many regimes in Muslim nations have denied their citizens human rights and economic opportunity..."
Well, I look forward to Prez Joe telling Mohamed VI in Morocco to the Sultan of Oman to impose true democracy, freedom of press, assembly, etc. When they tell him to go to hell, he'll just come back that all they need to do is to portray the "...extensive traditions of tolerant and moderate Islam, ones that can support and engender political and economic reform." Then I'm sure the rulers will wise up and follow.
Women? Doubt if Joe has the backbone to follow that up. Don't you see, Joe, so many in your party abhor value-based foreign policy. Quick question. Please tell me how you would respond Saud al-Faisal's telling you that Saudi already has human rights and democracy since the Kingdom follows Sharia law, the LAW OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH. Plus any citizen who has a gripe can petition any prince. Answer, quick, please.

We won't close our eyes and ears to Anti-American propaganda in state-run media and state-sponsored mosqus and madrassas? We'll just need a new commitment to foster responsible, independent communication? Oh, OK. Then what's been our problem all along?

There's a lot more to say about Joe's piece, but the Muslim world's biggest problem is not being able to look in the mirror and saying, "I see what my problem is." Joe thinks we and our allies are going to fix it all up as if interlocutors exist on the other side who see eye to eye with us.
Tell you what Joe. Tell your pals in the race and in the senate that the best way to change things in Muslim world is to vote for and support the $87 billion for Iraq. (Glad enough voted for) I hope Iraq becomes a beacon light to the rest of the region. Only then will the necessity of change then be understood. Talk to Albright and other UN-lovers that the Iraq thing is already "internationalized".

And you know the biggest tragedy of it all, Joe, especially since you obviously have put a lot of thought into your article? 99% of Muslims won't believe that you are sincere since you're Jewish.
Posted by Michael 2003-10-20 4:47:01 PM||   2003-10-20 4:47:01 PM|| Front Page Top

#27 Read what he says on economic development closely - He does NOT call for a large foreign aid program (other than in Iraq and Afghanistan) What he DOES call for is more TRADE

LH--Trade for what? Calling for more trade is all well and good, but what do they produce besides oil (and opium) that we want? We already do billions of dollars of trade in petroleum--what good does that do the average Muslim? It sure buys nice cars and personal jets for the sheiks and princes.

Japan has practically no natural resources, but they've become an economic powerhouse since being devastated in WWII. The Middle Eastern countries with their oil have an inherent advantage over Japan, but with their medieval policies they'll never do anything but waste it on providing sinfully lavish lifestyles for the tiniest percentage of their population while blaming the Jews and the West for their own squalor.

That's why I say the changes must be internal.
Posted by Dar  2003-10-20 4:52:28 PM||   2003-10-20 4:52:28 PM|| Front Page Top

#28 dar - morocco exports Phosphate - not sure off hand what Tunisia and Jordan export, but it aint oil. I think theyre trying to export labor intensive stuff like clothing, etc - just like the asians, central americans, Bengalis, etc.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 4:58:59 PM||   2003-10-20 4:58:59 PM|| Front Page Top

#29 Internation Herald Trib

"Textiles, clothing and leather goods account for a whopping 45 percent of Tunisia's total exports; that sector has been growing by an annual average of 8.6 percent in real terms since 1991.

Many textile exporters are well-known foreign companies - including Adidas, Benetton, Cacharel, Chevignon, Guy Laroche, Lacoste, Lee Cooper, Levi Strauss, Old River, Wrangler and Yves Saint Laurent - that manufacture in Tunisia. " Europe is the principle market.

Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 5:04:24 PM||   2003-10-20 5:04:24 PM|| Front Page Top

#30 michael = yup, thats the obvious counter from the Bush admin - "there aint nothing we can do with these guys we aint already doing" Thats where Joe needs to get more specific. I note that today Mubaraks police clamped down on a pro-democracy protest. Egypt gets $2 billion a year in US aid. How about we start by giving Mubarak a good talking to? Maybe then we reduce the $2 billion by the amount he spends on police ops against democracy, the way we threatened to reduce aid to Israel by the amount spent on the parts of the security fence we dont like?

Basically what can we take away - only what we're giving them. If theres a state we're not giving anything to, obviously theres nothing we can take away, but then its hard to blame us for them. And lets focus on the most egregious cases, not every state from Morocco to Oman - and lets use rewards as well as punishments.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-20 5:10:00 PM||   2003-10-20 5:10:00 PM|| Front Page Top

#31 g wiz - if I was to go by mannerisms and personal style, Id certainly have to place Dubya near the BOTTOM (certainly below Dean). However things are too serious for that.


I couldn't agree more. I dont consider myself a big Bush supporter, in fact I voted for Gore last time around. I don't think I'll be able to vote for a Dem this time around for obvious reasons, unless Lieberman wins the nom, in that case it'd be a much tougher decision. I only mentioned his mannerisms because I think it might turn a lot of people off, it wouldn't turn me off, jus sayin. Whew!
Posted by g wiz 2003-10-20 5:54:37 PM||   2003-10-20 5:54:37 PM|| Front Page Top

#32 I have to agree on mannerisms and personal style. Every time I hear Tony Blair speak I wish W. had half the poise and eloquence he possesses.

Bush definitely wasn't my first choice for the Republican nomination in 2000. I was looking at McCain and, even earlier, Elizabeth Dole as my choices.

Even now, I'm very hesitant to vote for him. I agree with his military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I like the tax cuts, but I am appalled at the growth of government spending.

Lieberman is the *only* one of the Dems I would consider voting for--and "consider" is open to interpretation--but I doubt he'll get the nomination in any case. I'll likely be voting for Bush in 2004 and hoping the government hasn't grown to the point there's a new taxpayer-funded bureau for wiping my ass (after requesting the service 6-8 weeks beforehand in triplicate) by 2008.
Posted by Dar  2003-10-20 9:58:12 PM||   2003-10-20 9:58:12 PM|| Front Page Top

#33 Don't worry DAR the Bushies have expanded the Federal gov't more than any Democrat could have hoped for "Office of Homeland Security" ring a bell--the fascistic ring of that chills my blood
Posted by NotMikeMoore 2003-10-20 10:46:37 PM||   2003-10-20 10:46:37 PM|| Front Page Top

#34 Of course--all of the Rantbourgeois have forgotten that all the Arabs supported Bush--didn't want no Jooooo a heartbeat away from the Presidency
Posted by NotMikeMoore 2003-10-20 10:48:01 PM||   2003-10-20 10:48:01 PM|| Front Page Top

#35 labor intensive stuff = sweat shops
Posted by anon 2003-10-21 8:16:11 AM||   2003-10-21 8:16:11 AM|| Front Page Top

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