Koch Brothers Open Thread Sports Syria

Then vs. Now

That’s right. You’re either with the Cowboys or you’re against ‘em.


Artist – Jen Sorensen

In other news, the U.S. deficit is down 35 percent from this time last year, falling to $755 billion in Fiscal 2013 which will end this month.

Meanwhile, a secret Koch Brothers group that donated $236 million to GOP candidates in 2012 has been revealed. The group is called Freedom Partners. Because of course it is.

  • Lady Bug
  • kfreed

    Thank you for the Koch link. Adding to the pile.

  • mrbrink

    From the company that brought you Liberty Shackles, Voluntary Subordination, Authoritarian Populism and Superior Inferiors comes…Freedom Partners!

    Catch the depravity!

  • Freibiergesicht

    Is it just me or are the loudest voices on the left against intervention in Syria people who are on record supporting the Iraq war?

    • Schneibster

      I’d like to be able to prove that. Do you have links or an analysis?

      • Freibiergesicht

        Nothing substantial aside from drunken conversations with my husband about his parents and their fellow boomers, and noting Jon Stewart’s bias against intervention in Syria and his kinda-sorta support for the Iraq war (it wasn’t super hawkish, but he seemed genuinely confused over the issue despite, you know, all evidence that it was a really bad idea). Oh and Chris Matthews. And pretty much all of congress who is opposed to intervention in Syria, since almost all of them voted for Iraq (except my beloved Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who is nothing if not consistent). Oh and Glenn Greenwald himself, who may try to nitpick over whether he supported Iraq, but is totally on he record as supporting hte war in Afghanistan 100%.

        I have a pretty simplistic theory that a bunch of supposed progressives, caught up in post 9/11 fear and jingoism, supported Iraq (and Afghanistan! People forget that there were some of us who were against that war ALSO) despite the fact that plenty of evidence existed at the time that made it clear the pretext for the war was a lie. Rather than dealing with their own mistake, they now frame any idea of any intervention anywhere for any reason as part of the same evil, lying notion that led to Iraq. Any experience or evidence to the contrary gets ignored – remember, everyone said Libya would be ‘another Iraq’. We accomplished our aims there, that was the end of it, yet no one is comparing a Syrian strike to Libya – they’re comparing it to Iraq. Or Vietnam. Both are ludicrous.

        • Lady Bug

          There was an excellent segment on PBS (I think it was PBS) about how we have a tendency to “over learn” the lessons of previous interventions/wars. For example, we didn’t intervene in Bosnia for three years because there was fear we’d get bogged down in another quagmire like Vietnam. We didn’t intervene at all Rwanda because of what happened in Somalia with Black Hawk Down. We intervened in Kosovo in part (IMO) because of what happened in Rwanda. My guess would be that if the Syrian chemical gas attack occurred on August 21 1999 there would be many more people, both in the public and in (especially) in congress who would support military action against the Assad regime, maybe not an absolute majority, but certainly more than you have now…

    • Lady Bug

      The New Republic has an article entitled “The New Truthers” about Americans who deny Syria used chemical weapons. I fully understand after Iraq people (and not just Americans) are weary of American intelligence. But, after the intelligence agencies of the U.S., U.K. France and independent organization such as Human Rights Watch all point to the Assad regime as being responsible for the chemical weapons attack to deny there was a chemical weapons attack or that Assad’s regime was responsible is not only ignorant it’s offensive.
      I’ve studied the Bosnian genocide and met with survivors, and as with Syria, the situation in Bosnia also prompted an alliance of the far right & far left to deny war crimes. As with the Syrian deniers, no matter what the evidence presented, they continue to deny that the Bosnian Serb regime committed crimes, while blaming all crimes on the Bosniak /Bosnian Croat side (as aside, as in the Syrian Civil War, all sides committed atrocities in Bosnia, but the vast majority of crimes were committed by forces under the control of either Serbia, or the Bosnian Serb army/militias). I also know what this type of denial actually does to the victims and families. I know of one man who’s family was murdered during the war in Bosnia had a panic attack after going online and reading blogs, forums and articles written by so-called “intellectuals” essentially saying that was happen to his family didn’t happen and that it was all a hoax.
      As I explained to a mutual acquaintance, the people who deny the crimes in Bosnia, or Syria or wherever, don’t really care about those countries, they don’t even care about the Serbs or Syrians that they say they fear with be victims of U.S/UN military action. Instead, it’s all about the US. They see everything in black/white as zero sum game, with the U.S. as being a source of evil in the world, to such an extent that they have no moral qualms about defending war criminals or denying those crimes took place.


      This is *not* about those who oppose military strikes on Syria, there are plenty of good reasons to be opposed or weary of strikes, but when you use denial and ignorance (I’m looking at you Alan Grayson) as justification for not intervening in Syria you should no longer be taken seriously. JMHO.

      BTW: while the report has issued yet, preliminary leaks suggest that the UN Report will point to Assad as being responsible for the CW attack.

      • Lady Bug

        Oh just as an aside, there is also people on the far left who have denied the Rwandan genocide. Even after dealing with some of their same b.s. regarding Bosnia for years, I was genuinely shocked that they were denying what happened in Rwanda. I (wrongly) thought the scale of the genocide and overwhelming evidence would have convinced even the most Anti-American partisan leftist that genocide took place. I was wrong. Apparently the fact that US has supported the regime of Paul Kagame after the 1994 genocide is enough to not only deny the genocide but claim that the Hutus were victims of the genocide.

        • nathkatun7

          Thank you Lady Bug for highlighting the Bosnia and Rwanda genocides. Any who denies that these two genocides took place is living in the land of Fantasia.

          • Lady Bug

            I completely agree! There is certainly room for debate over U.S. foreign policy, the role of the media, how the word “genocide” is used/misused, the usefulness/morality of humanitarian intervention, etc. Where I draw the line are people who refuse to acknowledge the facts, determined by independent reports, international courts, DNA tests and even confessions of the perpetrators, and instead are reduced to polemics that do nothing but serve their own (narrow) ideological interest.

        • kfreed

          “there are also people on the far left who have denied the Rwandan genocide.”

          Consider it a clue, revealing that these people aren’t actually ON the left. Libertarians aren’t lefties.

          • Lady Bug

            Point well taken. Although I’m using the term “far left” because that’s how most of them (Michael Parenti, Diane Johnstone, Ed Herman etc.) are described/self described.

        • Lech Lesiak

          I find it telling that so few people mention Rwanda. If there is one instance when military intervention could have saved a lot of lives, it’s Rwanda. Hundreds of thousands died, thanks in good part to St. Madeleine Albright and her foot-dragging. Rwanda was a mass slaughter. Libya and Syria are civil wars.

          • Lady Bug

            Good point. I believe Clinton said that Rwanda was the biggest regret of his presidency. I agree that this was far from the finest moment in U.S. history (that’s an understatement), as maddening as the US behavior was at the time, the behavior of France, who was allied with the Hutu led government was even worse. (Not that I’m mitigating or excusing U.S. officials for their policy during the genocide).

            If you get a chance, I’d recommend the documentary: The Ghosts of Rwanda ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/) which explores not only the genocide but the role of the international community.

            Samantha Power argues in her book “A Problem From Hell” that there really isn’t any political price for ignoring mass slaughter/genocide. Heck, we *KNEW* Saddam Hussein was gassing Kurdish civilians in places like Halabja, and not only did nothing, we publicly blamed Iran! There seemingly was/is no political price to pay for ignoring genocide in another country.

            But, to paraphrase that famous line, “who today remembers the U.S. government’s response to Halabja, Cambodia or Rwanda? ”

            Members of the Clinton admin were genuinely upset about the atrocities committed in Bosnia, but we intervened because the political cost of non intervention (both with regards to NATO and politics at home-Bob Dole was very assertive in favor of intervention in Bosnia) finally outweighed the political cost of non intervention. In Bosnia there was also a wide range of seemingly disparate interests all pushing for intervention: Muslim groups, Jewish groups, human rights organizations, Republicans, Democrats, even the Quakers were at one point pushing for some sort of intervention.

          • Lady Bug

            I don’t know as much about Syria as I should, but in terms of responsibility for war crimes, the reports I’m reading recently reminds me of the conflicts in the Balkans, where all sides are responsible and victims of war crimes, but one side (in case the Syrian gov’t) is responsible for both a greater number of war crimes and the most serious war crimes, including not only the chemical weapons attack, but attacking hospitals. So while all sides in this civil war are certainly guilty of atrocities, they’re not all equally guilty.

          • Lech Lesiak

            Sounds about right to me.

      • kfreed

        They tell me the moon landing was faked, too. Who am I to believe anymore?/snark

      • Freibiergesicht

        It’s been ages since I considered myself a fan, but I was stunned to read about Noam Chomsky’s history of denying or downplaying atrocities in Bosnia and Cambodia. Your comment is an excellent bit of analysis as to why.

        • Yeah, I’ve been reading some about Chomsky’s early denial of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge. And I think I’ve seen his influence in what I heard from a lot of lefties I knew about Bosnia/Kosovo when it was going on, and I was living in my own personal media blackout. The U.S. and NATO were just bombing willy-nilly for no reason, except that the U.S. is evil and NATO is its evil spawn!!!

          Now that I’ve learned more about it, I’m shocked. I need to rid myself of some of the things I picked up in some circles.

          I’ve been disgusted with a lot of U.S. foreign policy in my life, but the insistence that the U.S. is the root of all evil is getting daft and worn. That such an attitude denies changes for the good, tells us that that narrative is a fetish that provides the people who embrace it with some kind of mystical righteousness as they imagine themselves toppling the evil empire with their scorn.

        • Lady Bug

          Thank you, there is a great website called “Balkan Witness: News , Background and Progressive Perspectives on the Yugoslav Wars” They have an entire section exposing and critiquing war crime deniers: as they write:

          ” It is no surprise that the regime of Slobodan Milosevic and its propagandists sought to
          deny or justify its war crimes against the peoples of Kosovo and Bosnia. It is shameful, however, that
          various Western commentators who claim to be progressives have repeated these lies and
          justifications – even after most of them have been disproved. In this absurd spectacle
          they rationalize the destruction of villages and populations thought to harbor
          “terrorists” – the very actions that the movements against
          the wars in Vietnam and Iraq have so
          vigorously opposed.”

          I know the guys who run the website and they have a strong background in both progressive politics and the former Yugoslavia, speaking the language(s) and having made extensive visits to the region both before and after the war.



      • Kerry Reid

        Well, Cenk Uygur denied the Armenian genocide, so …

        (Not that he is remotely an intellectual, of course.)

        • Lady Bug

          He should read “A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility” by Taner Akcam…

    • kfreed

      No, it’s not just you. We’ve noticed the giant piles of RW manure blocking the freeways:

      “Glenn Beck Turns Hippie Peacenik, ‘Cause War Is A Progressive Trip, Man”


  • Schneibster

    I propose Obama is to blame for the reduced deficit.

    Err, oh wait…

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I’m proud to say that I’m against cowboys, whether political or Dallas.

    • Lady Bug