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I didn't even want to read all of this. It is getting old! Bolton could eat these people for breakfast! Once, I had a fight with one of my host sons. I told him that the Germans just wanted to be the last ones eaten. Nothing has changed my mind. Although, I would now add that Germans don't want to loose the money from the market that was Iraq's oil for food bonus!
Don't ask for my sons to save you! Don't ask them to spill their blood for you! We have done that before and there is no reason to do it again! Save yourself, if you can!
The Daughter, wife and mother of soldiers! One son is currently in Iraq!

Bolton? A blockhead? My, my, my. This Spoerl character doesn't seem to know much, does he? I doubt that he even looked, but I suspect if he did he learned that he couldn't find any examples of what Bolton did wrong because Bolton and his European cohorts were on the same side of many of the important issues (with the exception of Israel, of course -- no surprise there). In fact, given the perceived dislike of Bolton, I was surprised myself at some of his accomplishments.

Oh well. Anyone who relies on these rags for their information gets exactly what they deserve.

Well, no wonder that the democrats want Bolton out.
He is so critical of UN...that's totally different from the view that the left has on UN.
As about the Spiegel readers themselves, I have noticed that myself. They never question anything Spiegel has to say.

This is somehow off-topic, sorry for bringing this here, but for me it is important.
What do you think about the Prager - Ellison controversy?
I like Prager, but that's not the reason I think he's right.
After reading his 2005 columns about US having judeo-christian values, I think he has a point.
If the americans care about their values, in my opinion, they should decide (and I'm not saying laws here) what the congressmen should take an oath on.
What makes me wonder is, anyway, that no-one seems to agree with him. Is that really so?

Andrew Sullivan patiently explains to that imbecile, Victor Davis Hanson, who is, alas, in "denial," that the American people are genetically incapable of winning insurgencies, and that their imminent skedaddle from Iraq, the latest in a long line of abject cut and runs, is really quite unavoidable, and, in fact quite justified, after their display of incomparable and historically unprecedented "patience" in Iraq. The patience of the Romans in their struggle with Carthage pales in comparison. Sullivan, as you may recall, was a loud cheerleader for the war once upon a time. Now poor, long suffering Andrew has the thankless task of explaining to VDH and the rest of us idiots why defeat is inevitable, unavoidable, and certain.

Helian

You made me read Sullivan again, after many years. In a way it was welcome; I realize I haven't missed a thing.

Sullivan is nothing like VDH. Sullivan is all about his (changing) emotions and personal feelings in his "analysis". He displays a certain sharpness of the pen, but not of the mind.

VDH is an accomplished historian with a sharp mind and with no time for rethorics, who analyzes the present through his vast knowledge of the past. Anyone who thinks this approach is flawed should pick up a history book (more than one would be helpful). He/she would realize that the saying "history repeats itself" is not a literary embellishment (a la Sullivan), but a cold fact that historians like VDH know to be true.

Having said all that, I can't blame Sullivan in this particular instance. Not more than I blame the ones who voted for cut-and-run, sorry, redeployment, in the last elections. We deal now with the side-effects of the American success. For many people, in fact starting with the 60's generation, the tenacity of past-generations Americans who built this country is a thing out of VDH's history books. For those people wars are being fought and won in about 90-120 minutes - the length of a Hollywood movie. Anything longer than that and the mind starts to wander to that instant McChicken after the movie.

With this kind of attitude America will not be able to face successfully the Islamist challenge and the post-Islamist challenges (which will undoubtedly come) in the far future. The need and the expectation for instant gratification will have to be replaced, at least partly, by some of the qualities of the men and women from VDH's history books. Until that happens, it will be like the Griswalds in 'National Lampoon's War On Terror" - part of the family unwilling and the other part dragging along the unwilling ones.

The only open question is what will make the American people rediscover some "old-fashoined" values - will it be a one (or more than one) catastrophic event, or will it be a gradual and steady awakening to the realization that the rest of the world doesn't live by American Time, but by Greenwich Time, which is about half the speed of American Time.

"Andrew Sullivan patiently explains to that imbecile, Victor Davis Hanson, who is, alas, in "denial," that the American people are genetically incapable of winning insurgencies"

This is both playing with words and goal post shifting. The US has pretty much beaten the Iraqi insurgency. The current problem is Iraqi against Iraqi sectarian violence.

Funny: All the time I - as a German - have supported President Bush, including the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, this Baker study group wants to leave the Iraqis alone and / or make a "grand bargain" with Iran?! The recommendations of this group are a bad joke, but the government I have always supported and defended doesn't seem think so.

John Bolton can't continue his great and important work at the UN, Rumsfeld has been replaced with someone who gets support from Democrats (which usually is a bad sign)... I have to remember myself that it is the majority of the voters themselves who are responsible for these more than unfortunate developments. They may get the "peace" they seem to wish for, the media as well. But I feel sorry for the rest of our American friends, as well as for the Iraqis, many more in the region and of course for us Europeans, who will very likely also suffer from the consequences of the emboldenment of the Islamists around the world. And leaving Iraq would mean exactly that. I'm afraid a another (really) big terrorist attack will need to happen to open the eyes of so many people who think Islamists can somehow be appeased. On the other hand, demographics here in Europe work for them anyway.

@WhatDoIKnow

"Sullivan is nothing like VDH. Sullivan is all about his (changing) emotions and personal feelings in his "analysis". He displays a certain sharpness of the pen, but not of the mind."

I think his heart is in the right place, but otherwise your comment sums him up pretty well. When someone goes all out to promote a war, and then proposes we bring in someone like John Kerry to "win" it, you have to suspect he has a screw loose somewhere. I don't mind someone like Sullivan taking issue with VDH, but condescending to him? Tut-tutting because he's in "denial?" That's taking intellectual hubris to absurd levels. Sullivan needs to go back and read some of his own "self-parody alerts."

@Mir

"I have to remember myself that it is the majority of the voters themselves who are responsible for these more than unfortunate developments."

One generation can turn things around in a hurry, can't it? It appears that the baby boomer generation, of which I am lamentably a member, will now enjoy the unique distinction in American history of having lost not only one, but two wars. Of course, they are aging rapidly, and one can hope that later generations will be of sterner stuff. Unfortunately, the worst of them dominated the educational establishment and journalism, so the poison they spread is likely to survive them.

Just as the U.S. and the Communists fought the Cold War in places like Korea, Vietnam, Angola and Afghanistan, the battle in Iraq has become part of a larger ideological conflict going on in the West. We not just at war with the Islamofacists, but also with a worldwide Leftist/Socialist movement that seeks to destroy American sovereinty and the right to self-determination everywhere.

Despite the obvious negative consequences for the Iraqi people and the world in general, Leftists in America and Europe actively encourage, and sometimes abet, the facists thugs in Iraq. They do this because they believe that an American defeat in Iraq will diminish America's image worldwide, while enhancing their own. Propaganda is an important part of any war, and, in the "worst" tradition of Pravda and Goebbels, Spoerl's egregious propaganda piece is part of the current Cold War.

As far as Andrew Sullivan is concerned, well, he snapped when Bush refused to support gay marriage and has ever since been ranting hysterically about anything he thinks may damage the Bush administration. I don't understand why anyone at all reads him anymore.

The Spoerl article is abyssmal piece of writing.

I would like to pick up some of Ray's comments, though.

My impression of Bolton as an UN envoy: a good choice if you see the UN meerly as a tool to use or disregard depending on whether it suits your purpose or not on the issue at hand. I do not think his attitude has changed much during the last decade (John R. Bolton, 1994, emphasis by me):

  • What else do you want to look at — Other than our national interests?
  • The United States makes the UN work when it wants it to work. And that is exactly the way it should be because the only question, the only question for the United States is what’s in our national interests.
While it is important to keep your country's interests in focus, to my opinion Bolton does so by neglecting any interests other countries (east, west, friend, foe, neutral, christian, muslim, whatever) may have, however valid. I read him as my-country-only.

What has Bolton achieved? Right now only one item comes to my mind: US and China Unite to Block G4 Plan (This is not intended to start a discussion on the pros/cons of an enlarged Security Council). Other than that - please give me some refreshers.

About the videos: First off, the Kurds definitely were overjoyed to see Saddam go. However I doubt your first video from Baghdad to be a good choice for showing the population's reaction. When it comes to the "crowd" scenes after time mark 1:44 you see close-ups only. Take a look at this site about the toppling of the Saddam statue and do check the pictures (New pictures of " crowd" in the square) they link to:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm

The up close action video of the statue being destroyed is broadcast around the world as proof of a massive uprising. Still photos grabbed off of Reuters show a long-shot view of Fardus Square... it's empty save for the U.S. Marines, the International Press, and a small handful of Iraqis. There are no more than 200 people in the square at best. The Marines have the square sealed off and guarded by tanks. A U.S. mechanized vehicle is used to pull the statue of Saddam from it's base. The entire event is being hailed as an equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling... but even a quick glance of the long-shot photo shows something more akin to a carefully constructed media event tailored for the television cameras.
Don't get me wrong, Saddam was a killer, Kurds and Shi'a are happy and think the war worth it, as polls show. Just be aware that at the very minimum the last minute of the video is staged propaganda - propaganda like you will find it in any war.

It really is funny to have this correspondent accuse Bolton, or any neo-conservative, of being an America Firster. Proves his total ignorance. America First was the American crew that wanted to appease Nazi Germany a la Chamberlain. Whatever neo-cons are, they are obviously not appeasers.

As for blue, I doubt very much (and you give no evidence) that Bolton was oblivious to the interests of other countries. It's just that the business of the US is to advance US interests, not those of other countries. As your example shows, Bolton was perfectly capable of using the interests of other countries to advance the interests of the US.

I value Bolton's work at the UN differently in the Security Council and the General Assembly.

From The Economist: An ambassador's fight for life:

“If Bolton left tomorrow, progress would be possible on almost every front where it is now stalled,” one senior Western diplomat fumed. “He has succeeded in putting almost everyone's backs up, even among some of America's closest allies. His main achievement has been to break the unified coalition of the North and unify the previously fragmented South.”

[...]

But it left a bad taste, especially after what many developing countries saw as Mr Bolton's bullying tactics in last year's negotiations over a wide-ranging set of proposals to overhaul every aspect of the UN, drawn up by Mr Annan. The ambassador's insistence on hundreds of last-minute amendments brought a flood of counter-proposals from a group of middle-income developing countries, including Pakistan, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela. The final “Outcome Document” from last year's summit was a pale shadow of Mr Annan's bold blueprint.

[...]

His ideas for reform are often sensible, such as rationalising the overlapping functions of different UN departments and agencies, and selecting officials on merit rather than by country of origin. And even foes admire his intelligence, wit and energy. But his rigidity, coupled with an abrasive arrogance, has been counter-productive.

On the other hand his work on the security council went better; Reuters: Bolton front and center of U.N. Security Council issues:

Bolton also had difficulties with European ambassadors, who should have been his closest allies. But he worked intensively with France on a ceasefire resolution, 1701, to halt the Israeli-Hezbollah war in Lebanon this summer.

[...]

"It is to me really disappointing to see Ambassador Bolton go," said Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima. "He has been an exceptionally skillful diplomat at the United Nations at a time when it faced very challenging issues like reform."

"In the Security Council John Bolton was spearheading a number of important issues," Oshima said, singling out a resolution to rein in North Korea's nuclear program, where "he really spearheaded this effort to get a Security Council resolution adopted in a very speedy manner."

[...]

"In some ways, he seems to have been more an ambassador to the Security Council than to the United Nations as a whole and I think he has done very well there," said Edward Luck, a Columbia University professor and U.N. expert.

But the problem, Luck said, is his actions in the General Assembly, which is increasingly polarized between developing and developed countries over changes to U.N. management practices, finances and a new human rights body.

"He is very good on preaching on reform but not good at doing it" raising the question of "whether he wants to strengthen it or find excuses for abandoning it," said Luck.

blue,

You seem to think the UN is important.

Given that there is little to debate on this topic.

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