As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Our Current Class Of Elites

If the guys in power now are supposed to be the workaday types and those like Obama who have a different viewpoint on national security the elitists, can we get the elitists into power as soon as possible? I don't remember the White House beer-drinking contest as central to governance, but I do pretty much know that a President can launch an unnecessary war.

Elite #1, Doug Feith.

LEHRER: The public was never told that the Parade of Horribles were considered possibilities. Instead we were told it would be a cakewalk. Were you–

FEITH: You weren’t told that by the administration. Absolutely not.

Except when you were told it here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Elite #2, Dick Cheney.

I mean, if I look at what [Ahmadenijad's] beliefs supposedly are, the allegation that the return of the 12th Imam is something to be much desired, and that the best contribution that a man can make is to die a martyr facilitating that return, and all that goes with it, I always think of Bernard Lewis, who has said that mutual assured destruction during the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviets meant peace and stability and deterrence. But mutual assured destruction in the hands of Ahmadinejad may just be an incentive.

Bernard Lewis is the guy who decided that Iran was going to launch a nuclear attack on Israel on the date on the Islamic calendar when the Prophet Mohammed entered Jerusalem. So the elite Dick Cheney believes in numerology.

Elite #3, John McSame.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona may not have been paying the closest of attention last week during hearings on the Bush administration’s Iraq policy.

Speaking Monday at the annual meeting of the Associated Press, McCain was asked whether he, if elected, would shift combat troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to intensify the search for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

“I would not do that unless Gen. [David] Petraeus said that he felt that the situation called for that,” McCain said, referring to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Petraeus, however, made clear last week that he has nothing to do with the decision. Testifying last week before four congressional committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee on which McCain is the ranking Republican, Petraeus said the decision about whether troops could be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan was not his responsibility because his portfolio is limited to the multi-national force in Iraq.

Decisions about Afghanistan would be made by others, he said.

Actually, this isn't really a mistake, per se. McCain really believes that our entire foreign policy should be hijacked and held hostage to the situation in Iraq. I'll leave it to you to decide whether it's wise to cede our military readiness to the hope of changing events on the ground. Especially when the events changing typically fall along the lines of the Iraqi security forces deserting their posts like they did yesterday.

Elite #4, the most smug and self-satisfied elitist of all, George W. Bush.

RADDATZ: All during that period -- April, May, June, July [of 2006] -- when things were really going downhill, people were talking about there being civil war.

BUSH: Yes.

RADDATZ: .You were saying, 'We're winning. We have a plan for victory. We are winning,' up through October [...]

BUSH: Well, yes. I think we -- and I wanted -- that's as much trying to bolster the spirits of the people in the field as well as -- look, you can't have the commander in chief say to a bunch of kids who are sacrificing either, "It's not worth it," or, "You're losing." I mean, what does that do for morale? I'm the commander in chief of the military as well, obviously, as, you know, somebody who speaks to the country. And if you look at my remarks, they were balanced. They weren't Pollyannaish.

Yes, the President is saying here that he had to lie to the nation for the sake of troop morale. As Phillip Carter puts it:

I was in Iraq during this time in 2006. I remember well how the violence spiraled out of control after the Samarra mosque bombing in February 2006. How every single indicator pointed in the direction of doom; how all our advisory efforts seemed to produce little to no security improvement; how we felt like spectators watching a civil war engulf Iraq, with too few troops to make a difference, and no political direction to do so.

All through this period, I remember the president, his senior aides and senior military commanders toeing the party line that things were going swimmingly. The dissonance between the rhetoric from Washington and our experience in Iraq was stark. WWe knew the ground truth. Being deceived by our senior political leaders certainly didn't change that, nor did it help morale at all. If anything, it hurt morale by undermining confidence in the chain of command. Put bluntly, if you can't trust your generals and political leaders to tell you and your families the truth, how can you trust them at all?

It's disappointing to hear now, two years after the fact, that the president was knowingly bull----ing us the whole time. And that he justified such dishonesty in the name of supporting the troops and protecting their morale. That's an insult to America's men and women in uniform (and their families), who deserve to be told the truth by their political leaders about what's going on. It's also an insult to us, as voters, who deserve the truth so we can make the right decisions in the voting booth.

That's about the most elitist thing I've ever heard.

UPDATE: I forgot Elite #5, Bill Kristol, who's pushing the meme that Obama is some kind of Marxist who believes religion is the opiate of the masses, when the Kristol family has basically believed this all their lives.

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