Kagan’s right: Security trumps all

Frederick Kagan has it exactly right in today’s Wall Street Journal: "Security Should Be the Deciding Issue." An excerpt:

As the scale of the economic crisis becomes clear and comparisons to the Great Depression of the 1930s are tossed around, there is a very real danger that America could succumb to the feeling that we no longer have the luxury of worrying about distant lands, now that we are confronted with a "real" problem that actually affects the lives of all Americans. As we consider whether various bailout plans help Main Street as well as Wall Street, the subtext is that both are much more important to Americans than Haifa Street.

One problem with this emotion is that it ignores the sequel to the Great Depression — the rise of militaristic Japan marked by the 1931 invasion of Manchuria, and Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933, both of which resulted in part from economic dislocations spreading outward from the U.S. The inward-focus of the U.S. and the leading Western powers (Great Britain and France) throughout the 1930s allowed these problems to metastasize, ultimately leading to World War II.

Is it possible that American inattention to the world in the coming years could lead to a similarly devastating result? You betcha.

A couple of things to note: Mr. Kagan doesn’t express a preference for either Obama or McCain. Of course, folks likely to vote for McCain are more likely to agree with him that security overrides such considerations as the economy. Democrats love it when the economy is the one thing on the table; just ask James Carville. And of course, I’ve had arguments with bud here about the relative importance of foreign affairs vs. the domestic economy. He thinks the economy is everything, and to me it’s less important (not to mention simply being something I hate to spend time talking or thinking about, because it has to do with money).

And, yeah — I trust McCain more on national security. At the same time, I don’t think Obama would be all that bad. Yes, he continues to insist upon being wrong about Iraq. But I think he has calculated that he has to be consistent there; his views on the rest of the world aren’t nearly as MoveOn.orgish.

But set all that aside, and the main thing I’m saying here is that I agree with Mr. Kagan: For us we turn inward fretting over our pocketbooks at the expense of ignoring our proper role in the world would be extraordinarily dangerous. Yeah, we can do both. But not the economy at the expense of international security.

38 thoughts on “Kagan’s right: Security trumps all

  1. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama, with his lack of work experience, lack of legislation, complete lack of foreign policy knowledge, socialist friends, Muslim financiers, and hatred of our military,… simply can’t be trusted with any power.

  2. bud

    Of course economic and other domestic issues are more important than military issues. Kagan suggests that it was the deteriorating state of the world’s economy that culminated in WW II. So in a sense I agree with Kagan.
    Aside from that, the issues of the 30s are very different than the situation today. There really aren’t any military threats even remotely comparable to the Nazis, Japanese militarists or the Soviet Union. We’re spending a half trillion a year (actually much more when you count Iraq/Afghanistan) to counter a rag-tag bunch of extremists who are unlikely to ever threaten more than a tiny handful of Americans.
    On the other hand, the economic catastrophe we’re facing is likely to claim many lives, though few will make the headlines. It’s just not as sexy for the media to talk about mundane issues of household economics as it is to discuss war and threats from abroad. But the resulting carnage is just as real.

  3. Barchibald T Barlow

    Fortunately in today’s world we have a chance at both economic prosperity and national security through international trade. Trade partners have an incentive against conflict in that they have connected economies. (This why I don’t understand this talk of economic sanctions on Iran)
    Unfortunately trade is becoming demonized in the eyes of the American public. I suppose this is thanks to rhetoric such as “unfair trade tactics by the Chinese” and “trade hurts the American worker.” Of course this is untrue as trade benefits all. Even unfair trade is better than no trade.
    This is about the one area in which I would be excited about a McCain presidency (at least based on what he says). As for Obama, it makes you wonder how he could oppose something like the Colubia FTA which would give US companies much of the tariff free access to Columbian markets that Columbians already enjoy in our markets!

  4. Phillip

    “Our proper role in the world”? Sounds like something Medvedev would say. Millions worldwide would get a queasy feeling in their gut hearing that phrase. And who gets to decide what that proper role is?
    There is currently no military juggernaut (outside of the US) to compare in size and territorial ambition to Japan and Germany of the 1930’s. However, there are nations to be concerned about. I don’t think anybody is overlooking them. That we got suckered into some really bad moves because of the 9/11 attacks did not put us in any better position to deal with the truly large-scale geopolitical threats.
    Meanwhile, as far as the mideast goes, nothing we do will be terribly effective until true progress is made on the Israeli-Palestinian question. Obama’s election will herald real promise on that score. The opposition is so paralyzed by frozen thinking that they cannot even allow reasonable discourse on this incendiary topic.
    An example: read this and dare to say it is anything but reasonably considered discussion of the legitimate concerns of the Palestinian people. It’s by one Rashid Khalidi, and it reads like a pretty good place to start when thinking about this intractable problem.

  5. Rich

    It’s not a question of isolationism or the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive defense. What we need is a foreign policy based on the principles of realpolitik. I.e., nations do not have friends; they have interests, and one of those interests is the maintenance of the balance of power in a viable and reasonable secure state system in which the various alliances and groupings are not dangerously counterpoised against one another.
    A return to realpolitik would not only imply a fundamental concern to maintain a worldwide balance of power, but would also contain these ingredients:
    1) no involvement in the affairs of other states unless American interests are directly concerned;
    2) no state- or nation-building to drain our national treasury; the rhetoric of human rights and democracy could be used to advance our interests wherever necessary, but would not become a basis for sending troops to the antipodes of the world and attempting to build democracies out of nations that have had no experience of it whatsoever;
    3) no interference in the spheres of influence of the world’s power centers other than our own; a reaffirmation of the Monroe Doctrine for our hemisphere would be implicit in this policy;
    4) no pre-emptive military strikes against any power on the planet unless we had direct evidence that the homeland was imminently threatened;
    5) a commitment to multilateral diplomacy to resolve international problems; the U.N. should be reformed and strengthened so that military interventions could operate effectively under its aegis much as occurred during the first Gulf War.
    6) a commitment to reducing our dependence on foreign debt while strengthening free-trade agreements around the world and assuring the free flow of commodities at reasonable prices such as oil that are essential to the proper functioning of our capitalist economy. To do this, American policy should see to undermine cartels such as OPEC through diplomacy with individual members while quietly making it clear to them that an oil policy inimical to our interests would trigger economic sanctions and other unpleasantness if our national economic security were threatened.
    7) non-interference in the internal affairs of other states would become the norm, rather than the exception. Preachment to the world about American exceptionalism would cease forthwith.
    8) a recognition of the idea that the first duty of any state in the international state system is to maintain complete sovereign control over the territory and borders of the state so as to allow for peaceful external relations and order within the state.
    9) an acceptance of the notion that every nation does not need to have a state in order to realize its national aspirations, and that the first duty of a state toward its citizens, regardless of their ethnic background, is to maintain law and order without our commenting internationally on the nature of that order, unless it is universally recognized to be egregious and odious and ONLY when it is in our national interest to do so.
    11) for a state to exist, it must be viable economically, politically, socially, and be able to exercise complete sovereignty over its territory and borders.
    12) a commitment to respecting international treatises legally negotiated and an insistence that others do the same.
    Under a policy of realpolitik, the US would strengthen its relationship with the various states of the world through diplomacy and multilateral institutions such as the U.N., the G8, etc., while respecting the spheres of influence under the sway of the world’s power centers and insisting on worldwide acceptance of the Monroe Doctrine for this hemisphere. There would be no more nation-building, not even in Afghanistan. Foreign aid would be tied to friendly relations. We would not interfere in the interal affairs of Russia, Chine, Vietnam, Iran, or anyone else. Our support of Israel would remain firm so long as Israel maintained a commitment to an eventual two-state solution to the Palestinian Question within secure and internationally recognized borders. Most importantly, we would never have invaded Iraq and we would have done nothing more than overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan. We would have maintained complete silence over the Russian invasion of Georgia and we would have extracted from the Russians in return a commitment not to criticize us as we dealt with states closer to home such as Cuba and Venezuela.
    I think Obama has the intellectual and academic background to understand the foregoing and be able to engage such ideas intelligently while offering evidence for and against the various positions taken under the rubric of realpolitik.
    McCain, however, seems to know only the military angle and would entangle us needlessly and at great expense on the world stage to maintain our imperial overstretch.
    I like what Pat Buchanan once said about our country: we are a republic, not an empire. And we need to start acting like the powerful but polite republic that, by its example–not its words, can influence the world, rather than taking Geo. Bush’s ham-handed, unsophisticated approach that has so antagonized people around the world.

  6. Brad Warthen

    Our “proper role in the world” is neither one governed by a sense of moral equivalence about the U.S. and neo-Stalinist Russia (and I really, really hope you were being ironic there, Phillip), nor the isolationism of the Pat Buchanans of the world.
    We are the world’s greatest power, and with that comes responsibility. And that means intervening in Bosnia and in Somalia. It means engaging in useful trade with Colombia, and opposing Venezuela in its efforts to undermine that country. It means standing as a beacon of hope to the world — a place where talented people can come to get an education, and either return to their home countries to build them up into viable trading partners and hothouses for liberal democracy, or staying and working here to keep our economy vibrant. It means using every bit of influence we can muster to form a united international front against Iran obtaining the nuclear weapons with which it proposes to glassify Israel. It means getting our own financial house in order because of the devastating effects that economic turmoil here has on the rest of the world — when the U.S. sneeze, the rest of the world gets pneumonia.
    It’s understanding how interconnected we all are, and that isolationism simply does not EXIST as an option. Because of the sheer size of our economy and the extent of our political influence across the globe, plus the critical importance that U.S. military power plays in GLOBAL security, we have a dramatic effect on the world by what we don’t do as well as what we do.
    That’s what I say our proper role is. But Phillip asks, who decides? We do, through the representatives we elect. The Congress and the president decide how we play our role — although the role itself is largely established; all we are left to do is decide how to act in light of that role.
    Please tell me, Phillip, that you understand these things, and that you don’t seriously see any sort of equivalence between THIS country — the greatest liberal democracy in history, the country that has shed millions of times as much of its blood in the service of the interests of OTHER peoples as any other country in history — and a neighborhood bully like the current regime in Russia.
    It is imperative in a leader to understand that difference and to communicate it to the world.
    Yes, there’s a whole side argument we could have here, in which you would say that we can’t, say, intervene in Iraq and still communicate that difference to the world. I would strongly disagree. But surely we can agree that there IS such a difference, and that it should be communicated to anyone who professes to be confused.

  7. Randy E

    There is a major difference between the US in the 30s and the US today. We are currently in the 7th year of war and we are fighting TWO WARS. Our military, both troops and resources, are stretched to the point that generals admit we cannot handle another crisis. In the 30s we did not have a war to finance while in economic crisis. Withdrawing our global cops to rebuild America has become essential.
    The escalation of foreign powers hostile to America won’t occur today because we leave a vacuum of power by turning to domestic issues. The escalation is occuring NOW because of our cowboy diplomacy and the police action in Iraq.
    Iran’s power escalated in the past few years. North Korea is emboldened because we are compromised. Al-quida and the Taliban have reconstituted and are a grave threat again. Pakistan is unstable and Osama is still poking Uncle Sam in the eye.
    We are spending ourselves into oblivion but bomb bomb bombing Iraq and Iran are more important issues? That’s an easy position to take when you have a well to do job or own 7 houses and 11 cars.

  8. Phillip

    Brad, it would take a book to describe the ways in which you and I differ in the way we see America in the world. Suffice it to say that in all the non-military facets you described, education, beacon of hope to the world, getting our own house in order, etc., we certainly agree. And true isolationism is not an option, and is well nigh impossible in today’s world.
    Greatest liberal democracy in history…maybe. But that verdict could change, depending on how we wield this great power to which you allude. To arrogantly say that America always does things for noble reasons therefore any military action we take by definition is justified, well you see where that leads. Your reference to shedding blood in the service of other peoples certainly was true in the case of WWII. But our record in the past half century is not so stellar. We’ve slaughtered thousands of innocent people, supported dictators in the persecution and killing of their own people, under the guise of “national security.” Our record is not unblemished. We have sins to account for.
    You say we decide through our elected representatives. But the people throughout the world who might be affected by our military actions, what vote do they get?
    It’s not whether you or I see moral equivalence: we’re both Americans. But—surprise, surprise—much of the world does not necessarily see every action we take as being in some nobler cause, but rather as a means to advance American self-interests. When we hear Medvedev speak of Russia’s proper role in the world, we roll our eyes. But guess what, millions of people around the world also roll their eyes when they hear that kind of talk coming from the US.
    Why do we stand up for some people and not for others? If we are so committed to the causes of freedom and self-determination, why are we selective about the situations in which we intervene?
    Because some are in our self-interest more than others.
    America is a great nation, but it has not been infallible. We are militarily strong, but that does not confer upon us the right to conduct ourselves as a nation in ways that we would not countenance from other nations. We must be a responsible citizen of the world. Otherwise, our power is hollow, empty, doomed to decay from within.

  9. Lee Muller

    Obama’s PLO buddy, Rashid Khalidi, also wrote works of praise of Black September, the group which killed the Olympic athletes at the 1972 Munich games.
    It is no coincidence that Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn dedicated their book, Prairie Fire, to Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian who assassinated Robert Kennedy in 1968.
    Sirhan Sirhan was also a follower of the same radical Muslim sect as Saddam Hussein, who at that same time was plotting his seizure of power in Iraq.

  10. jfx

    The “side argument” that could be had about Iraq is no side argument at all. The Iraq situation is critically illustrative of America’s good intentions gone wrong, and the slog through quicksand that comes from over-reaching on moral grounds.
    As the world’s greatest power, we must be sure that we apply military force with extreme discretion.
    We must also be sure that, if we are going to use our war machine, the fundamental premise for using it is absolutely correct…at least as absolutely correct as we can possibly discern. This requires an intensely rigorous critical self-assessment from our leaders. They must look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if their own motives are both reasonable and transparent, and they must search for historic precedent and expert consensus. They MUST NOT lean too heavily on academic theory, personal ideology, or raw emotion.
    In order for us to be “right on Iraq”, the fundamental premise of our military interventionism must be validated as accurate. We see this is a major problem. Initially, our invasion and occupation was premised on national security. In the wake of that exploded premise, with no WMD and no nuclear program anywhere in sight, we Mission-Creeped into a large-scale nation-building exercise, ongoing to this day. Is this our role in the world? To take a badly squashed lemon, and keep squeezing, until we can finally claim lemonade on a technicality? “The surge worked! See? We were right on Iraq!”
    As the world’s greatest power, we are probably the one country on Earth that can afford to change the mission, dump in an incomprehensible quantity of money and manpower, and keep plugging away until we finally get to claim some sort of victory on points. But this does not seem to be a proper role for us, especially as it does so little to really guarantee lasting peace.
    Drastic military interventionism of this sort creates an instant welfare state, which we, the American citizens, must nourish and shelter. We encountered this same dilemma in South Vietnam. The liberated government that we must continue to feed and protect will talk tough to save face in the region, but behind the scenes they will happily sign all manner of agreements that keep us, the occupying entity, deeply committed to the fledgling government’s physical and financial security, for generations to come…
    …unless we come to our senses and recognize our limits. This is the hardest thing about having so much power. It is hard to maintain prudent perspective on our limits, and stay within them. Just as we have become a nation that habitually overextends itself on credit, we’ve a nasty habit since the second World War of overextending ourselves on morality, often in an overt military manner.
    We can get away with this when the target of our good intentions is tightly contained, with few variables that may cause unforeseen repercussions, such as our intervention in Panama.
    But is there anywhere in the world more volatile, with more slippery variables, with more potential for runaway repercussions, than the current spot where we have parked our massive military apparatus in a badly-premised intervention?
    If we decide to go to war in such a place, we better be damn sure about it. We better make sure it’s for all the right reasons, and that we absolutely have to do it. And if, after all that, our working premise is still blown, we better damn well be honest about it, and face the mistake, and learn from it, instead of finding creative new ways to convince ourselves that we’re still doing the right thing.

  11. greg

    To sum it up…people with a world view of Randy or Phillip want to tear America down and recreate it in their image…even though that image is untested, vague, or perhaps silly. When they look at any “thing”, the problem is always America’s fault, and their way would be better.
    Take greed for example. It is a human condition. ..but they see it as a particularly American trait. They take a common, sinful attitude present in all men on the planet and turn it into “American corporate greed”, or the “American patriarchic class system” taking advantage of the poor. They fail to see the same greed in each and every country in the world…they particularize it as an American problem and therefore look to some way to cure this “American” problem, not a human problem. They are trying to cure the wrong problem! The result is class warfare…which is antithetical to any progress on the very problems they claim to try to repair.
    This flawed world view is multiplied a hundred times over as they blame America for everything. When asked where on this earth they find things better in a particular way, they usually can’t point to a place. Their rage at the awful America always trumps reason.
    Obama is their hope to replace the old way, with their new. And what havoc their world view would wreak. I have lived under socialism…I have lived in countries where, in the name of “the people” , anything was acceptable. And it was a daily observance of sin, greed and the unbridled use of power of the rich and powerful against the middle and lower classes. I pray I never see that here, but it appears we will… Commissar Randy E will not be happy with Obamaism either, as he will soon find out Obama is not interested in him, only the power his vote and money can provide to Obama and Company.

  12. gre

    Why is it no one ever says what Obama has done, or what he has run, that would entitle him to be preisdent?
    when you throw away the Oneship worship…what is left? Blind faith?

  13. Phillip

    Greg, you’re wrong. First of all, like a typical neocon, you say that anybody who dares to say that America is not perfect is a “blame-America-first”-er. That is designed to stifle dissent.
    I do believe in a kind of American exceptionalism. But I think that folks like Brad, and maybe you, and the other neocons, have taken the idea of American exceptionalism to the extreme to think that somehow Americans as human beings are somehow exceptional in the world, in God’s eyes.
    I don’t. I don’t think greed is a particularly American trait at all. All the peoples of the planet have the same potential for good, and for ill. Brad seems to believe that America has been chosen by God to decide what is right for world, and to enforce that by military means if necessary.
    I simply say that Americans put their pants on one leg at a time, the same way that the citizens of Iran do, or any other country in the world. (where they wear pants, anyway!)
    Brad also gets confused about what has made America the greatest liberal democracy in the world. It is not our military power and/or willingness to use it. It is the strength and pliability of our domestic political/economic structure, the power of the ideals of the Founding Fathers, and our ability (through the wisdom of their precepts) to continually adjust course, to self-correct. Saying that any criticism of America is “seeking to tear America down,” well, I just believe that attitude is not in accord with American ideals of democracy.
    We were not necessarily the “superpower of the world” when we entered WWII. Through national will and sense of purpose, we helped good prevail. But we fell into a trap, the trap Eisenhower warned about in 1961, of creating a permanent military-industrial complex that would ITSELF make demands to be fed, to be sustained, to be USED now and again.

  14. Lynn

    It simply isn’t possible to think sensibly about national security without thinking about economics — that awful stuff, money, is far more interesting to many people than it is to Brad.

  15. Herb Brasher

    Phillip, you really should write a book. You write well, and your arguments are well-done. You are either well-read, or have traveled abroad a good deal, or perhaps both. Hats off.

  16. Michael Rodgers

    For advice about the right approach for national security, I turn to President Dwight David Eisenhower. He’s the one who warned us about the military-industrial complex that Philip spoke about above.
    I heard President Eisenhower’s speech on the fantastic program Worldview, from WBEZ Chicago. The speech is played at about the 32 minute mark.
    Sen. McCain’s claim of straight talk pales in comparison with the straight talk of President Eisenhower. Here are Eisenhower’s words:
    “The worst to be feared, and the best to be expected, can be simply stated. The worst is atomic war.
    “The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and labor of all people; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the people of this Earth.
    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
    “This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
    “The cost of one modern, heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities; it is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population; it is two fine, fully equipped hospitals; it is some 50 miles of concrete pavement.
    “We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than eight thousand people.
    “This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taken. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.
    “Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

  17. Lee Muller

    Randy E, do you have the courage to post your real name and the name and address of the school where you claim to teach?
    I would like to send them a link to the libel you post above.

  18. greg

    Philip labels people “neocons”, then dismisses their ideas…and you call that well written?

  19. Rich

    None of you is taking a realistic position about American foreign policy, although Philip comes close. He at least is willing to grapple with the idea that this country is not ordained by God to spread its ideology around the world.
    Many Americans cling to the idea of our alleged exceptionalism–that somehow this nation is a shining city on the hill and an example for the rest of the world.
    After all, we saved Europe from fascism and soldiered on throughout the Cold War! But who will save us from ourselves as our economy collapses and we find ourselves caught in two interminable wars due largely to our imperial overstretch?
    Yale professor Paul Kennedy wrote a book in 1987, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. It along with Kissinger’s Diplomacy are worth re-reading.

  20. JimT

    I’ve never understood why so many people think Republicans “own” national security any more than I understand why they think Republicans own God. Clearly, there is no reason to believe either.

  21. Lee Muller

    The Democratic Party has been taken over by 1960s draft dodgers and stooges for the KGB, and now is running a racist who attacks “the rich” whites and Jews as villains, who wants a fascist model government controlling the economy… financed by millions in illegal contributions from Arab countries…. and you wonder why real Americans don’t trust the Democratic Party with our security?

  22. Lee Muller

    We don’t know who you are are where you are, Randy, and we have no reason to believe anything you say. You make up outright lies and try to smear people, because you are unable to discuss issues like an adult.

  23. Barchibald T Barlow

    The Democratic Party has been taken over by 1960s draft dodgers and stooges for the KGB, and now is running a racist who attacks “the rich” whites and Jews as villains, who wants a fascist model government controlling the economy… financed by millions in illegal contributions from Arab countries…. and you wonder why real Americans don’t trust the Democratic Party with our security?
    Posted by: Lee Muller | Nov 1, 2008 8:15:44 PM
    Is this guy serious? ^^^^

  24. Lee Muller

    Suppressed video – Obama wants to bankrupt coal industry.
    Obama is telling moderate voters that he
    “supports clean coal” technologies, but he has been telling the environmental extremists that he would use carbon taxes and regulations to ensure that no more coal or nuclear plants are built – not just for generating electricity, but for heat, making steel, making glass, etc.
    Barack Obama actually flat out told the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) that he was willing to see the coal industry go bankrupt in a January 17, 2008 interview:
    “The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.
    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.
    It’s just that it will bankrupt them. ”
    Joe Biden has also said the “there is no such thing as clean coal”.
    On the rope line after an event in Maumee, OH (Sept 2008), Biden told an environmental activist who questioned why coal is necessary given clean, effective alternatives like wind and solar, “we’re not supporting clean coal.” – FOX News video 9/23/2008 and in archives

  25. Lee Muller

    Suppressed video – Obama wants to bankrupt coal industry.
    Obama is telling moderate voters that he
    “supports clean coal” technologies, but he has been telling the environmental extremists that he would use carbon taxes and regulations to ensure that no more coal or nuclear plants are built – not just for generating electricity, but for heat, making steel, making glass, etc.
    Barack Obama actually flat out told the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) that he was willing to see the coal industry go bankrupt in a January 17, 2008 interview:
    “The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.
    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.
    It’s just that it will bankrupt them. ”
    Joe Biden has also said the “there is no such thing as clean coal”.
    On the rope line after an event in Maumee, OH (Sept 2008), Biden told an environmental activist who questioned why coal is necessary given clean, effective alternatives like wind and solar, “we’re not supporting clean coal.” – FOX News video 9/23/2008 and in archives

  26. bud

    Is this guy serious? ^^^^
    – BTB
    It’s best to just ignore Lee. He lives in some sort of parallel universe where facts really don’t matter. And he thrives on the attention. I finally quit reading his posts altogether about a month ago.

  27. Lee Muller

    I merely post facts, all documented, exposing Obama as a racist socialist, and his followers and uninformed at best.
    That is why they attack Obama’s critics personally, and avoid discussing Obama’s racist, socialist agenda for wrecking the economy and stripping us of our individual liberty.

  28. Lee Muller

    When Obama said, “Electricity prices will skyrocket”, it shows that he knows the impact of bankrupting 80% of the generating facilities in America, and he doesn’t care. It is part of his plan to destroy our economy.
    Look at the other parts of the Obama-Biden agenda:
    * “Revolutionize the automobile industry” by having government sit on the boards of directors and tell them what models they can produce.
    * Destroy the construction industry with taxes on homes larger than 2,400 square feet, destruction of credit, and suppression of wages with millions of illegal Mexican laborers.
    * Destroy farming with EPA mandates to retrofit pollution controls, and ban diesel tractors.
    * Stop oil and gas exploration and levy “excess profits taxes” on the meager 8% profit of oil companies.
    The socialists are attacking the largest economic sectors. They want to bring us down to the level of the rest of the world, because they see us as “greedy” for “consuming 20% of the world’s resources”.

  29. rich

    It seems clear that you live in an alternative universe. You bandy about terminology of which you clearly have no understanding and you make wild accusations to justify what I suspect is your real motivation for voting against Obama. And I think you know what I am driving at.
    Face it: the Republicans have screwed up the economy and involved us in unpopular foreign wars. They’ve cut taxes while dramatically increasing military and other expenditures. And their conservative wing is standing on the mountaintop waiting for the Rapture as we speak.
    May it take them away and leave us all behind in peace as soon as possible.

  30. Lee Muller

    What “terminology” is it that I don’t understand?
    As a degreed economist, I think I understand socialism in detail, both as an economic system and as a political system.
    Only government can screw up the economy, because free markets will regulate themselves.
    The tax cuts of 2001 produced an economic recovery from the Clinton Recession of 2000, which generated enough new tax revenue to pay for the war in Iraq and balance the budget.
    The deficits are entirely due to excessive social welfare spending. Roll all that back to the 2000 levels, and the budget would be balanced.
    The GOP was wrong to vote for deficit spending, but the deficits in 2001-2006 were HALF what the Democrats tried to pass.
    With the Democrats in control for just 18 months, they have run up more debt than in the previous 6 years. Half the deficit spending is to cover up the mortgage crisis created by Democrats, which sold houses to blacks and Hispanics with bad credit. 5,000,000 of those Hispanics were illegal aliens.
    Next year, Obama and Pelosi propose a $1.0 TRILLION deficit.

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