(part of) You Are Here: Explorations in Search of Current Reality

My Blogs Why write 4 different blogs? Good question, but it seemed to make sense at the time. Most energy is going into The Real Truth Project

The Eisenhower Socialist ; The Real Truth Project ; What Was the Cold War? ; The Ontological Comedian

See also Tales of the Early Republic, a resource for trying to make some sense of early nineteenth century America.

(Just to clarify things a little, Eisenhower wasn't really a socialist though he could easily get labeled one today, as could Abraham Lincoln or most every other Republic president until recently. And I'm not really a socialist either.)


Friday, April 16, 2010

Spectator Article, "Karl Rove The Man Who Elected Obama

I was just passed a link to an article in The Spectator, "Karl Rove The Man Who Elected Obama" (http://spectator.org/archives/2010/04/05/the-man-who-elected-barack-oba), from The Spectator, an online magazine that proudly features "The Largest Selection of Liberal-baiting Merchandise on the Net!"

The thesis is more or less that Karl Rove "admits" in his memoirs that there was ample proof that Iraq had "WMD"s, but he, Karl Rove, was too busy to thwart the Democrats' malicious claims that Bush "lied" (his quotes) on WMDs, and this led to Obama's election.

It seems like kind of a gratuitous way of getting Obama and Rove in the same sentence.

The author of the article relates his own experience: "I was having lunch with Dr. Laurie Mylroie, one of America's leading students of terrorism in general, and Iraqi terrorism in particular. Laurie was beside herself with anger. Why wasn't the Bush administration citing Gen. James Clapper, the Director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, who said that satellite imagery proved conclusively that shortly before the war's outbreak, Iraq had transferred its weapons of mass destruction to Syria?"

So we have it on Mylroie's authority that, according to Clapper, satellite imagery "proved conclusively that
Iraq had transferred its weapons of mass destruction to Syria?

What sort of authority is
Mylroie? A quote from Daniel Pipes, from his web site says about her "Everything, everything, everything was connected to Saddam," said her former collaborator, Daniel Pipes. She also became hostile toward old friends and colleagues who didn't see the world her way. When Pipes publicly endorsed the predominant view that anti-U.S. terrorism was caused primarily by radical Islamic fundamentalists and questioned her Saddam-centric view of world terrorism, Mylroie accused Pipes of endangering the welfare of the republic. "My charge against you is that you are, at the periphery, responsible for the death of Americans," she e-mailed Pipes on March 7, 1999. "And furthermore, that more Americans will die, if people continue to listen to your version of events."

I'm pretty sure Pipes is too much of a radical conservative for me, and
Mylroie is too much for him.

Still, we have an assertion that
'satellite imagery "proved conclusively that Iraq had transferred its weapons of mass destruction to Syria'.

Later in the article, Rove is paraphrased from his book "
in a chapter entitled "Bush Was Right on Iraq," [Rove said] that Clapper, Sada and Ya'alon all maintained that Saddam had transferred his weapons of mass destruction to Syria on the eve of the war.
A bit of a step down from "conclusive proof".

It seems likely to me that this is old news given a new spin by Rove, with Rove's sort of "mea culpa" to give it some extra credibility.

Shattan rather surprisingly asks, of the Bush administration, "
Why was it so tongue-tied, so unsure of itself, so unwilling to answer its critics?" Does anyone else remember it that way?

Why I am an Eisenhower Socialist

I am about as socialistic as Dwight Eisenhower (the president before Kennedy for those who don't remember) -- which makes me by the standards of Fox News and WABC radio commentators a complete raving Marxist.

I'd like to at least consider the case that the U.S. is today less socialistic than it was in the 1950s when some people had 90+% marginal income brackets, and Interstate Highways were starting to replace state roads and state or privately owned turnpikes and bridges for getting around the country. The post office had a monopoly on shipping packages; there were no Fedex or UPS. The "Phone company" was another monopoly that was called private, but was so tightly controlled and supported by the government that it didn't act like a normal private company). Its research and development division - Bell Laboratories, was more like a giant university than like any part of any business that exists today, and we have them to thank for the transister, integrated circuits, and lasers, the foundation of the whole top level of modern technology. Broadcasting networks were governed by the "fairness doctrine" (so Fox news would not have been possible).

The state and federal park system was being built up -- compare it to the tacky private tourist destinations that are mostly a thing of the past now -- the little museums and zoos, the wax museums, the cave tours, etc. They were "free market" but somehow didn't provide such a satisfying experience.

Oh, and William F. Buckley's National Review was pretty socialist compared to today's version, printing an extremely critical review of Atlas Shrugged, and disowning the John Birch Society's Robert Welch for calling Eisenhower "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy."

And yet, when conservatives implicitly compare this age to some golden age when the middle class prospered, a family could get by on one salary, before the sexual revolution and before the radicals took over education, etc., what age are they thinking of?