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June 23, 2006

How Much Is Jim Henley Right?

He is exactly right:

There is nothing whatsoever uncertain about this war business. I personally believe that a swift strike through the Low Countries will knock France out of action so I can concentrate my forces against the Czar. I believe that once I get my army across this creek near Manassas Junction secession will crumble; you will probably want to come out and watch. I’m damned certain that the way to preserve the Hapsburg Empire is to show the freaking Serbs we won’t put up with their terrorist monkey business. I think I should be able to conquer Canada in a few months. I think that the time to grab the Fao Penninsula is now, while Iran is distracted and weak. And I know, just know, that there’s no history of ethnic strife in Iraq like there is in the Balkans.

To find out what moved him to write this, you must read it all.

Posted at June 23, 2006 11:06 AM | TrackBack

I want to emphasize that in every case mentioned, there were also people who stated firmly and clearly that strikes through the Low Countries, Manassas, Serbia, Canada and the Fao Peninsula would UTTERLY FAIL.

I enjoyed Henley's argument. But it really isn't that experts are wrong. It is really that morons choose the 'expert' that agrees with them.

Posted by: Alexis S at June 23, 2006 12:05 PM

They are also highlighting the abject failures of the Cheney adminstration's policies, which have let things get to the point where "experts" can now talk about pre-emption.

Um, no. They are legitimizing preventive war, which is something that should be completely unacceptable behavior on the part of anyone who hopes to be part of a future Democratic administration (as these two clearly do).

I am given to understand Perry is advising Clark. If that turns out to be so, Clark needs to hear from anyone who ever thought of supporting him that a clear renunciation of preventive war is the only way for him to regain their money and vote.

The Post op ed page is not the place where Stephen Colbert-type irony shields are found.

Posted by: Nell at June 23, 2006 02:02 PM

Oh man! Let's not start throwing "preventive war" around in the house. We're gonna break something. I'm amazed this isn't already a Repug football.

Posted by: spiiderweb at June 23, 2006 07:47 PM

I saw that Perry was a professor at Stanford University so I naturally wondered if he was a member of the Hoover Institute. And sure enough Perry is listed as a fellow at their website. This of course explains much. Perry is listed as a U.S. Korea relations expert.

And if you did not know Perry is in fine company because one of his fellow fellows is Condoleezza Rice of let's invade Iraq fame.

One can learn more about the Hoover Institute at the People for America website.

Here are few choice blurbs:

Hoover is well-known for its prominent influence over national Republican policy.

Some of Hoover's major issues: education reform that centers around private school vouchers and charter schools, dismantling affirmative action, privatization of social services, "flat tax" and other tax reduction schemes, deregulation of industry, Reagan's policy legacy, and "character education."

Hoover is well-known for its influential role in developing President Bush's economic policy, the Hoover Institution is "the...conservative think tank President Bush looks to for ideas."

Forging strong ties between right-wing ideologues, right-wing think tanks and right-wing policy makers; many of its scholars have worked for various Republican Presidential Administrations-- Nixon, Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and the current President W. Bush.

Currently there are 8 Hoover fellows on the Defense policy board advising Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

Quotes About Hoover:

Vice President Dick Cheney, Feburary 2003 Hoover Overseers Meeting:
"I do think we are off to a good start, and it is important that we have the support and enthusiastic involvement of organizations like the Hoover Institution, one of the leading think tanks and sources of ideas. Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, John Taylor, and many others have been key as we developed our campaign and policy. We want to thank you for what you have done for us and ask you to be a part of the debate during the next few years."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, February 2003, Hoover Overseers Meeting:
"I'm delighted to be able to be here. I just came out of a meeting with the president with Mitch Daniels, who I understand is going to be here soon. And I saw Karl Rove over there, who I guess is going to be one of your panelists or something later today. They're all friends of Hoover and recognize that this institution is surely one of the -- America's great centers of learning."

* * * * * *

So there you have it, Cheney thanks them for a source ideas, Karl Rove is a friend of the Hoover Institute. It is an institute alright, and institute for the insane and deranged. And is the think tank that Bush looks too when he wants ideas. So why should anyone be surprised when Perry is promoting the same kind of mistake we made in Iraq?

Posted by: rob payne at June 24, 2006 02:50 AM

rob payne,

Ok I'll bite. What was the purpose of the op-ed? Perry is part of the Hoover machine. Why op-ed in the Washington Post, who is the audience? Everyone that matters knows what hoover is about already. So why wapo a position that is so obviously wrong that it actually defeats the position it presents? Stupidity? Playing to the groundlings? What?

Clark having been a general in the actual military knows damn well how many dead, etc. Who was the audience for the op-ed? It sure wasn't the administration.

Posted by: patience at June 24, 2006 05:40 PM


I'm not asking anyone to bite. Does everyone know what Hoover is about, really? How do you know that, have you asked them? And who are these people that matter? And why do they matter?
If you are asking me who the op-ed is aimed at I would guess it is the DLC taking aim at voters for the elections, more of the liberal war hawk stuff, in other words more of the usual DLC democrats are tougher on security than republicans are posturing.

Posted by: rob payne at June 24, 2006 07:26 PM

rob payne,

People that matter in relation to NK.

Foreign policy players, former, current, and future. Large corporations with lobbying interests with business ties to NK, SK, or Japan. Individuals who carry enough weight to have regular dealings with NK, SK, or Japan at a highlevel. Persons involved in any of the international organizations who traffic in the same area.

All these people have an ability and an interest through their ties to have some effect. Collectively they represent the parties that are in both a position to pay to play to get government policy going and to have some interest in that government policy.

And all these people have to be well aware of who all the other interests are in their small part of the game. It's a smallish number of people- a wapo oped is like a superbowl ad, relative to the size of the audience of people who matter. You don't do brand awareness advertisement to people who are already in the business. You also don't do this type of advertisement to influence the current administration. So who is the audience?

Your claim is it's the DLC playing to some potential high powered hawkish base in hopes of gearing up for a 2008 run. Could be. I hope not. But it could be. I would hate to think that that DLC actually thinks it can out Cheney, Cheney. Or that the people who would back Cheney will some how suddenly want to be Pepsi drinkers in 2008. If this is the case, the DLC is just as hopeless as everyone thinks. The clumsiness of the article justifies high derision of its authors and backers. They will infact have lost their minds.

Because clearly if you want to stop an NK missle program, blowing it up on the launch pad is not the most efficient or effective way of doing so. And the authors of the paper have to know this and so do the smallish group that matters relative to NK. Therefore the people who advocate such a position publically are either highly stupid, or their actual intention goes well beyond "pre-emptive warfare". Either way they have no place in a leadership position.

Further if you want to out-Cheney Cheney copycat is not the way to go. We know his public image is that he is a 1 percenter. If you want to be the best one percenter you have a strategy that does not permit missles to every get to the launch pad. You have to prevent uranium from ever being close to being refined. You fight the battle well before the bullets are in the guns, not while the troops are on the march.

It is very possible I have given more credit to Perry/Carter than they have deserved. The voters you are proposing that being addressed in the oped are really "donors". Because the populous voting base, doesn't do foreign policy analysis, unless and until enough of their sons and daughters come back in caskets as a result of foreign policy. And until the Dean revolution the populous boting base by and large did not donate to candidates, in numbers to effect electorial opinion.

Iraq- not on the radar screens of voting Americans post-1991, pre-2000. NK even with all the talk from the Perry/Carter ad- not on the populous voting base radar.

Posted by: patience at June 25, 2006 01:34 PM


That is a very good post, well written and thought out. I tend to believe in the simpler explanation of things as in Occum's razor which says that the simplest explanations are usually the correct one.

I am not saying that you are wrong and I don't know for a fact what is behind this preposterous idea put forth by Perry and Carter. That it is political posturing is only a guess on my part but it would be typical of the DLC who I have come to dislike in a very intense manner.

All the polls show that Americans believe Iraq was a mistake and probably now see that imperialism in its many forms is a flawed concept. However the DLC seems to be still living in the Clinton years when Clinton stole the republican's thunder by stealing their own issues. Those tactics may have worked then but when you consider the polls it is obviously out of date and unrealistic in the present time.

I also believe that Bush has inflamed the situation in North Korea with is ridiculous macho stance and insults that he flings at foreign leaders. When you are dealing with a nut case like the one in North Korea it is not wise to upset them with insults as Bush has done with his axis of evil malarkey.

This administration likes to leak information at opportune times and this whole thing smacks of manipulation of either the public or perhaps even sending a message to North Korea which is a dangerous game to play. Recently they leaked a plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq once before the midterm election and again before the election in 2008 and we are all supposed to fall for these obvious manipulations of public opinion and one has to wonder just how stupid we are all supposed to be. Now that I think about it this seems even more likely than a DLC posturing for elections the true source may well be with the Bush Administration and Karl Rove or someone like him.

But who knows at this point? This is all just guesswork on my part and your ideas are as valid as anything else I have heard or read.

Posted by: rob payne at June 25, 2006 03:09 PM