Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stretched

That about says it.

I have been stretched way too thin to produce a cogent post the last couple of days. Hopefully I can get one together this evening. Until then, use this as an open thread.

Thanks for reading.


20 comments:

Rocket said...

Don't mind if I do. Remember which country was supposed to take the lead in the green revolution (new taxes and all) thanks to it's hyperactive President who had found a new cause for which it could lead the world.

Well it was France of course!

Last Saturday the hyperactive midget came out with a great line at the salon de l'agriculture (which is held every year in Paris.) as he tried to appease the French farmer's wrath. (They ain't makin no more money)

His words were

L’environnement, ça commence à bien faire ! »

translated

The environment, that's enough already!

This cave in on another promise done in order to appease the most powerful farmer's union in France (around regional election time) who demanded a respite in the application of certain environmental measures.

Once again shows the rest of the world that most of what comes out of France is trashtalk. Too difficult to integrate. Well then just drop them!

And now they are a reintegrated member of NATO.

Greg said...

Two or three years ago, who thought Iraq would be on the verge of a successful transition to democracy? Iraq is also poised to become a very wealthy country, now that the oil is flowing. Even I wasn't that optimistic. Who today can say Iraq isn't better off, and the US as well, without the Butcher of Baghdad in charge? Of course, we can always debate whether the cost was worth it, but it seems beyond doubt that we now have an arab ally in the heart of the middle east. Mission accomplished!

Rocket said...

Mission accomplished!

I'm as happy as you to see Saddam deposed and replaced by a budding Democracy but I think it is long from being mission accomplished. It will never be mission accomplished. Arab countries have never lent themselves to being democracies and my fear is that once our troops are gone they will either take another strongman or fold in a matter of weeks.

Anonymous said...

Rocket No. 1 … I think what you are describing is no more/no less than politics. It is how politics is done no matter where in the world you go besides the Soviet Union (The Sequel) and China, where nothing has changed in the past 5,000 years. The fault doesn’t lay with Sarkozy … it lies with any citizen of France who thinks they can believe anything a politician says.

I have to agree with Rocket No. 2 about Iraq. If democracy takes hold there, that would be great. We have no right to expect this is so, however. Nations without a democratic culture are hard pressed to evolve into one simply because we wish it. I seem to recall that American democracy didn’t work very well in South Vietnam, either. If anyone thinks that any form of democracy will work in Afghanistan, they’re smoking Afghanistan’s number one export; most of the Stan’s look upon democracy as a weakness worthy of exploitation. Iraq may be voting right now, and in may even work well-enough for a few years. At some point, however, another Saddam will raise his head and all our combat casualties will have suffered for nothing. And this bothers me a great deal.

TMG Six Actual

Mary Ellen said...

Crap, LAS, if you start writing cogent posts you're going to screw up the entire Internet and possibly the entire universe! Not to mention, you'll make blogs like mine look even worse than it already is.

Slack off...it's the American way.
;-)

A.C. McCloud said...

Who knew a Prius could reach 90 mph!

LASunsett said...

//Well it was France of course!//

Thanks. It was on the tip of my tongue and I just couldn't spit it out. I mean I wanted to say that, but just wasn't sure.

;)

LASunsett said...

//Two or three years ago, who thought Iraq would be on the verge of a successful transition to democracy? //

I would say not many. I wasn't sure.

I really am hoping they can make a go of it. But like Rocket and LTC TMG Inc., I think the jury is still out on how they will survive without some element of strict authority over them.

Saddam came to power in 1979. Iraqis were so used to being oppressed, it became part of their culture. It was centered in fear. In one sense, we can say that made the people politically dependent on government. They needed the structure.

Time will tell.

LASunsett said...

//I seem to recall that American democracy didn’t work very well in South Vietnam, either.//

It had a rough go here in the early days of this country too. The loyalists must have been the "dependent on government crowd" of that era. They did everything they could to subvert U.S. cause.

LASunsett said...

//Crap, LAS, if you start writing cogent posts you're going to screw up the entire Internet and possibly the entire universe! Not to mention, you'll make blogs like mine look even worse than it already is.

Slack off...it's the American way.
//

So ME, what are you trying to say here? Am I being too earnest? Can I have jelly donuts in the barracks? What's the square root of an isosceles triangle?

;)

LASunsett said...

//Who knew a Prius could reach 90 mph!//

You know AC, I am not so easily given over to conspiracy theories like some. But there is something very weird about this.

It will probably end up with a few different theories being thrown around in the narrative.. No one will be able to prove any of them and yet, they will debated well into the future.

Z said...

not to have you blogging a regular post is STRETCHING my patience :-)

Greg said...

Before 1945, had the Japanese ever had anything other than an emperor-god ruling over them? No. But they are a leading democracy now. Before the first Americans created our form government, we had not known democracy. The fact that it hasn't existed before tells us nothing about whether it will work in the future.

Suggestions that Arabs can't do democracy are, well, I'll be polite and call it bullshit.

Name an American who would go vote under threat of death. I know not one. Yet Iraqis did it in droves. Several times now. I am sufficiently convinced of their desire for democracy.

Anonymous said...

Greg, you provide a flawed argument because the example doesn’t stand up to actual history. For most of Japan’s history, the Emperor was no more than a figurehead until the Meiji Restoration, which came in 1868 —subsequent to the time when Admiral Perry demanded that Japan open its doors to western trade. Before the Meiji Restoration, Japan’s defacto ruler was a shogun; after the restoration, they called him prime minister. A rose by any other name is still a rose, eh? We can say, therefore, that Japan flirted with the vestiges of parliamentarian democracy seventy years before the end of World War II, and we can say that Japan behaved democratically during its pre-war aggressiveness in China and on the Korean Peninsula. This would be true even if we pretend that parliaments provide anything beyond limited democracy, emphasis on the word limited.

I think the discussion would provide more entertainment if we examine the evolution of Arab culture since the western powers first exercised control over the Middle East. Syria today has a president and a parliament, but we should not pretend Syria is a democracy any more than Saudi Arabia is a democracy. Iraq previously had a president named Saddam Hussein, and a ‘ruling party’ in parliament. Now they have a president yet again, but only time will tell us whether Iraq has a democratic culture. If nothing else, it is a reminder that we live in interesting times.

Mustang

LASunsett said...

//Suggestions that Arabs can't do democracy are, well, I'll be polite and call it bullshit.//

I looked back on my comment and did not find the word "can't". I just think it is too early to celebrate the transition.

I think it's great that they have the guts to vote under such duress. I think it's great that they now have to opportunity to carve out a future that includes a democratically elected government. But in my view, the real test will come when the U.S. pulls out completely.

I may be dead by the time the true course of that nation is known. But make no mistake about it, I am pulling for them because they may be the only hope for that region, especially if the Iranians are not able to overthrow the mullah. regime.

Leslie said...

Whether or not an American would go vote if under the threat of death is yet to be seen. Don't sell us too short. It depends on the principle on which a person stands as to whether that person would face death for something...

Anonymous said...

“Stretched.”

It was only a matter of time. Don’t worry, though … you are in good company. I heard that Harry Reid’s grandfather had his neck stretched too. He was a horse thief; so Stan and me are dying to know what you did. Remember, anything you tell me here will be maintained in strict confidence.

Your Friend

Eric Cartman

Leslie said...

A little cocoa butter might help with those stretch marks.

Smile

A.C. McCloud said...

You know AC, I am not so easily given over to conspiracy theories like some. But there is something very weird about this.


What, like suddenly the same government that owns GM and Chrysler start finding dangerous conditions on the non-union Toyota and sick another govt outfit and the state-ruined press on them? Nah..too far fetched.

LASunsett said...

//What, like suddenly the same government that owns GM and Chrysler start finding dangerous conditions on the non-union Toyota and sick another govt outfit and the state-ruined press on them? Nah..too far fetched.//

Deeper than that, my friend. Maybe viruses were loaded into the computers of the Toyotas as part of a corporate espionage program.