Saturday, April 15, 2006

another

From DC:
When principled conservatives whose first allegiance is to truth, honor and the Consitution finally accept that the war was a mishandled mistake, then there is no way back for this administration. ...Bush's approval ratings have a floor of about 35 percent -- Americans who, rather predictably, will support the President regardless of circumstances. So when Bush collects 38 percent approval, I figure that the 3 points above that base includes conservative Americans like my friends -- not people who see me as the enemy, but countrymen with different opinions.

And that 3 percent is far more important to the president's agenda than are his 35-percent base of Bush-cult believers. Because reasonable, credible citizens are persuasive...

22 comments:

Russ Steele said...

This old retired guy is just like the Clinton Generals, still fighting the Soviets. They do not under, but our troops on the line do:

"In the last six months, the U.S. Army is seeing 15 percent more soldiers re-enlist than expected. This continues a trend that began in 2001. Every year since then, the rate at which existing soldiers have re-enlisted has increased. This despite the fact that 69 percent of the troops killed in Iraq have been from the army. New recruits continue to exceed join up at higher rates as well.

All this is extremely important, especially when there is a war going on. Experience saves lives in combat, and more of the most experienced troops are staying in. This means that, a decade from now, the army will have a large and experienced corps of senior NCOs. That, in turn, means the younger troops are likely to well trained and led.

The army makes a big thing, internally, about the number of troops re-enlisting, especially within combat units that are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Pictures of mass re-enlistments are published in military media, but the civilian media has generally ignored this phenomena. Also ignored, except by some local media interviewing locals who are in the army, is the positive attitude of the troops, especially those in combat units. The large number of re-enlistments occur because the troops believe they are making a difference, and winning. This is especially true for soldiers who have come back to Iraq on a second tour, and noted the improvements since the first tour."

Link: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20060414.aspx

Russ Steele said...

The last post should read 'understand"

Bruce said...

Yes, of course, "Strategy Page" the place to get your facts, "for the thinking person".

Unbelievable.

Anna said...

Bruce (or Russ), what's the background behind "Strategy Page"? (what are your reasons for your evaluation of its credibility, and could you back these reasons up with links or other references?)

I'd never heard of the site before this.

Anna said...

(And Russ, am I correct in inferring that your comment above answers a previous question I asked you? (namely "Do you think that principled conservatives should be standing up and repudiating this administration? (which as David Brin points out is not conservative by any stretch of the imagination)", which I asked in response to your comment to my "men behind the curtain" curtain post)
i.e. that your answer is "No"?

(fyi in case you don't revisit after commenting here, I'll alert you to this q. via email)

Anonymous said...

I believe 'Strategy Page' is largely an outgrowth of work and writings by James Dunnagin. If you don't know who he is, the main thrust of his work has been to quantify military analysis as a sort of giant spread sheet problem, ie. an attempt to merge operations research to conflict I suppose. A lot of people have heard the name in reference to war gaming (both civilian and military) in the 1970s.

There's really not much in the way of political overtone here, or what passes for politics these days (Bush vs. antiBush).

If anything, any morale issue you might have with this kind of thing might stem from the Herman Kahn-esque approach. Human lives are viewed as currency to be spent to achieve a given aim.

Anonymous said...

Oops.

'Moral'.

Russ Steele said...

Facts are facts Bruce, the recruitment numbers have been posted in multiple place on the Internet, not in the main stream press because they do not fit the anti-war templet. If the facts are wrong, show me!

Russ Steele said...

Anna to grasp what is going on in the Pentagon, you need to read some of Thomas Barnetts work, starting with the Pentagon's New Map. There is a struggle going on over budgets. For example the old navy with it's nuclear tipped missiles does not have much of a role in a fight with terrorist, yet they want new subs. But who is the enemy? The Air Froce wants new supersonic fighters. Who is the enemy? Once the tanks take Bagdad, they are not much use in a war on terror, but small units of special forces are and what Barnett call the Sys Admin forces, those who can rebuild a country, once it is taken with overwhelming force. The big artillery, big tank and large unit Generals who came up through the ranks fighting the Soviets are having problems with the force transformation. Some of there treasured traditions are being trampled on by Rummy. Me, I was part of the big nuclear Air Force, but today I am with Rummy, it is time for transformation. We need overwhelming power to take out the bad guys in Gap nations, but then we need the Sys Admin folks to rebuild and bring the rogue Gap nation in to the Core. To understand the Cores and Gap concept go to Barnett web site, and read his March 2003 Esquire article here: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/published/pentagonsnewmap.htm Then look that his map on the main page of his web site.

Russ

Anna said...

Russ, in short, do you think that principled conservatives should be standing up and repudiating this administration?

yes/no [because...]

Please don't make me infer your answer from your comments, since I've been known to infer wrongly.

Russ Steele said...

Anna:
I am not sure where you are trying to take me, but I am not going there. What the hell is a principled conservative? For that mater what is an unprincipled conservative?

Russ

Anna said...

> "What the hell is a principled conservative? For that mater what is an unprincipled conservative? "

You're right Russ, I wasn't being specific enough.

Let's go back to Daniel's
"principled conservatives whose first allegiance is to truth, honor and the Constitution..."

I'll say that a principled person is someone who values, and acts based on, principles other than just self-interest. Some principles are "truth, honor and [adherence to] the Constitution". Another principle is loyalty - to family, to tribe, to party, to rulers, to religion, to country, to culture, to species.

Someone whose overriding principle is loyalty (to the Bush administration, for example) is principled, which my wording (in "do you think that principled conservatives should be standing up...") overlooks.

So, I should rephrase:
Do you think that conservatives whose first allegiance is to truth, honor and the Constitution (i.e., those not ruled by self-interest and for whom loyalty is not the overriding principle) should be standing up and repudiating this administration?

Russ Steele said...

Anna:

I do not think the Bush administration has violated the Constitution, if that is what you are asking. I would keep an open mind, but I looked at the law and it has several escape clauses. I listened to the retired judges and the Attorney General and could not find any dishonesty in his assessment. If you have proof to the contrary, I would consider it.

Anonymous said...

""principled conservatives whose first allegiance is to truth, honor and the Constitution...""


Oh, here's a good one.

A question for the blogger. What is the Constitutional right to the following?

. Privacy
. Abortion
. Paper money
. Interstate sales taxes

Anna said...

Russ, I don't have what it takes to engage on this one tonight. However I've got a trio of nice links, that I'll put up shortly.

And if a commenter with a pseudonym (or real name) were to ask a question, I'd likely respond.

pseudonym said...

""principled conservatives whose first allegiance is to truth, honor and the Constitution...""


Oh, here's a good one.

A question for the blogger. What is the Constitutional right to the following?

. Privacy
. Abortion
. Paper money
. Interstate sales taxes

Anna said...

I believe 4th for the first, 9th for the first and second; consult your local reference librarian or attorney for the others.

(or wiser yet, for all of them)

pseudonym said...

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


= right to an abortion plus a right to privacy? That seems like a bit of stretch. Could you elaborate please? That looks to me more like the Constitution takes a pass on the subject.


(or do you mean Section 9? Which seems to be as related to the question as the Bill of Rights.)

Anna said...

> Could you elaborate please?

no.

"consult your local reference librarian or attorney for the others.

(or wiser yet, for all of them)"

One question for you though, P.:
What are you for?
as in, "in favor of"?

no need to answer if you don't want to.

pseudonym said...

"no"

So you are basically asking whether conservatives believe in something that you won't discuss? Is it important to understand the Constitution before you see if others have an 'allegiance' to it?

I suppose, in the final analysis, that the 'Constitution' is just a series of syllables that means whatever the speaker wants it to mean. A more full definition might include it's use in winning arguments via mentioning it.

Anna said...

P, did you see the preview for the film "Thank you for smoking"?

There was a line in it that reminded me very much of you.

(To others, if any - we've had this same basic discussion many times offline. It's worth expanding into a post of its own, which I'll do shortly.)

Anna said...

Apropos - TomDispatch's A Cult of Presidential Power - The Unrestrained President and Jay Rosen's latest on Bush's moves to decertify the press.
From the former:

"if you can establish a presidential right to order torture (no matter how you manage to redefine it) as well as to hold captives under a category of warfare dredged up from the legal dustbin of history in prisons especially established to be beyond the reach of the law or the oversight of anyone but those under your command, you've established a presidential right to do just about anything imaginable.
...
...perhaps, the true genius of the American system as imagined by its founders [was] the understanding that any form of state power left unchecked in the hands of a single person or group of people was likely to degenerate into despotism (or worse), whatever the initial desires of the individuals involved."

Someone I know (who's since morphed into a different political beast entirely) once agreed - with sincerity - that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty".

I don't know how to wake him up.