Friday, September 22, 2006

Harkin Says What Liberals Are Thinking

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said yesterday what most liberals are surely thinking about Hugo Chavez's UN diatribe--even though they might say otherwise. He is quoted as saying,

"Let me put it this way, I can understand the frustration, ah, and the anger of certain people around the world because of George Bush's policies... We tend to forget that a few days after 9-1-1 thousands, thousands of Iranians marched in a candlelight procession in Teheran in support of the United States. Every Muslim country was basically on our side. Just think, in five years, President Bush has squandered all that."

Harkin evidently didn't get the memo that most everyone else did, including Jesse Jackson, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, Chuck Schumer and others.


Psyclist said...

Have you seen this recent news:

John, your post doesn't necessarily capture that one can disagree with the President and be offended by a lunatic rant that is out of form for any head-of-state/diplomat.

In my humble opinion our present issues in Iran and North Korea are an extension of King George's state of the union speach where he identified the axis of evil. As you know, we attacked Iraq. The two others on the hit list have now attempted to create nuclear weapons. We have been speaking loudly and telling others not to get their hands on the big stick that the US has.

On Iraq, the above link represents what many liberals have been saying for some time; whereas, the disingenuous King George has asserted that the war in Iraq has made the world safer.

John said...


I'm not sure what that first sentence means. The point of my post on Harkin was to show that Harkin isn't spewing the 'party line' on Chavez by denouncing him. Rather than denounce Chavez completely, he affirmed his message.

So Harkin is simply saying what I believe liberal Democrats are thinking along the lines of Harkin, yet denouncing Chavez.

New York Senator Charles Schumer denounced Chavez completely by stating,

"Well, two things. Number one, what he said -- I said this yesterday -- despicable, disgusting. The worst part is not what he says, but what he does, he's really ruining Venezuela. He's nuts, he's crazy, he's a bad guy. But he craves attention. The more attention he gets, the crazier he gets. You know, he's like somebody who goes to Times Square and drops their trousers."

Harkin could have done the same, yet he was more eager to score political points against Bush.

John said...


Now to address your primary point about Bush's foreign policy.

North Korea has been working on attaining nuclear weapons for years. In fact they began development in force after Clinton allowed them to work on nuclear power plants in the mid 1990's. So to state that this is something new after Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech is disingenuous.

Iran is hostile to the United States, and has been for years--not because of what Bush said about them, but because they are a radical Islamic state--bent on a new Caliphate.

I remain sceptical about that intelligence document. It has been the media (and liberals' tactics) to leak damaging information about the Bush administration and withhold anything that would temper the damage that the Bush administration takes on these leaks.

Once we know the full truth of the document I suspect that as always, things won't be as bad as they are made out to be. But you'll only know that if you read the back pages of the newspaper or listen to someone like Limbaugh.

Psyclist said...

The blanket generalization of what people with political affiliation believe is akin to stereotyping and bigotry. Are these Christian values?

Hah! Get my information from Rush Limbaugh...maybe Al Franken or Michael Moore would be a good sources as well. These people thrive on political strife and do not present a comprehensive or balanced perspective. Each has a specific political agenda.

Psyclist said...

There is a difference between having a nuclear program in place and running with disregard to international pressures. There is a marked change in the pace of pursuit of nuclear "energy" by these two countries.

The outward pursuit of nuclear weapons (uh, I mean energy) is a clear and present shift from their past practices. NK kicking out the IAEA and breaking IAEA seals on their facilities is a recent development. As part of sealing the facilities, US was providing fuel oil to supplement their enegy needs. Upon Bush taking office, he cut this fuel oil export.

You are correct about Iran; however, their outward pursuit of nuclear "energy" is new. Seems to me that Iran is sitting on piles of oil and nuclear "energy" is about the most ridiculous of excuses.

BTW-Articles on the back pages of newspapers are editorials and consist of opinion-not fact. Taking those editorials out of the context of opinions and assigning them as fact is a very risky approach. I recall when I moved to Illinois during a political debate, the content of a editorial came up as fact. That "fact" was untrue and was used as campaign fodder. It was a democrat that used this disgusting tactic. Back to Rush Limbaugh, during the few times that I have listened to Rush speak about "news" he draws on his favorite source, the New York Times editorial page.

Is it a surprise that the opinions of the largest circulation newspaper in the largest city (with strong liberal leanings) would have left-leaning opinions written? Is this a massive media conspiracy or a mechanism to raise subsriptions and sell adds for more money. It may be a surprise to some that a newspaper costs much more than 50 cents to publish. Newspapers earn their revenue from advertisers who pay based on circulation. Consider this, would a strongly conservative paper (from the editorial perspective) have the same circulation in a densly populated American city as a liberal paper (from the editorial perspective). It is the same reason that Air America is only present in strongly liberal markets.

John said...


I probably could have been more specific than "liberal Democrats," but that does seem to nail it quite accurately. Not many "liberal Democrats" would have any disagreement with Harkin's comments.

Believe it or not, I googled Charles Schumer and Hugo Chavez and the Limbaugh site is the first site I found that had the full statement from Schumer.

John said...


Sure, NK and Iran have moved more aggressively (at least outwardly) towards nuclear technology in the past few years. But it is beyond speculative to think they would have done any differently with a different foreign policy.

NK and Iran (and Iraq at the time) did represent the clearest national security threats to the US at the time of the Axis of Evil speech. Do you deny that? The fact that they still represent the greatest national security threat signifies nothing more than we still must find resolution.

NK and Iran kicking out inspectors now means nothing more than they can no longer do the nuclear work with inspectors in the country--they need space.

BTW - My comment about the "back pages" of the newspaper merely meant that anything that clears up or makes Bush look better after an initially damaging leak is hidden in the portions of the newspaper that few look at. It doesn't make the front pages like the damaging leak.

Psyclist said...

I do not deny that Iran, Iraq and NK represented a significant "precieved" threat at the time. I disagree that they represented the greatest threat. Don't quote me, but I believe that the Axis of Evil was originally Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan, and Pakistan was later changed to North Korea to prevent an Islamic backlash. Iran and North Korea were significantly greater threats than Iraq. Iraq was contained and not a threat. This has been shown by the facts on the ground. I don't believe the "evidence" you posted earlier represents proof of WMD in Iraq, because the munitions found were beyond their functioning shelf life and no indication of how long the munitions were past their shelf life.

Labeling countries "evil" is pretty reckless as is labeling the President of US a devil. The label of evil is part of the black and white approach of our president. Good/Evil, With/Against, aka isolationist.

I believe the fact that NK and Iran are our most significant threat is due to everyone (US included) digging in their heels on their agendas.

John said...

This is pretty much what I expected from Bush on the intelligence leaks. I still expect that Bush will be proven correct.

John said...


You don't seem to think Iran and North Korea are real and imminent threats to the world. Is that correct? Do you believe they are really only threats because of the world (particularly American) pressure?

I wholly affirm President Bush's black and white approach to foreign policy. He sees the world in much the same way I do.

Psyclist said...

I believe that Iran and North Korea are and have been more imminent threats to the US than Iraq. Afganistan is a significant threat as well.

Do you disagree that these countries represent a more significant threat than Iraq did at the time we invaded? My problem is going to war with the weakest of our threats for reasons that are crap. What were the reasons: Connection to terror (wrong), possession of WMD(wrong), make the world safer(debatable, but in my opionion-wrong).

The Neo-con view is that we are bringing democracy to the middle east, and we are making the world better by bringing democracy to the region. Isn't Israel a democracy in the region? Don't we have good relations with other countries in the region? Why do we not pressure those allies to be the shining light of democracy?

We are at WAR and thousands are dead and tens of thousands of Americans are injured. That in no way accounts for the tens- to hundreds-of-thousands of dead Iraqis. I mentioned before that my cousin is in the national guard and is performing entry work (kicking down doors) in Iraq. Is this the best use of the national guard?

Our troops are overextended and we have a tremendous problem with Iraq. As you know, we can't leave, and we do not have the ability to engage enemies on two fronts. What if Iran or NK become a significant problem? Are you ready to be drafted?

So, good/evil, alive/dead. Will you share GWB's world view with a military uniform?

John said...


Arguing about the war in Iraq and the war on terror is going to take us in circles and convince neither of us of anything.

I do believe Iraq was unfinished business and at the time a more imminent threat than either Iran or NK.

Of course Israel is a democracy but its presence has not had the effect that a Muslim democracy in the region would (and hopefully will have).

I do not believe that the war on terror will come to instituting a draft. But if it came to me being drafted, I certainly wouldn't run from it.