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Between the Lines

August 31, 2004

Debating the wrong war

Toronto Sun columnist Eric Margolis notes that while the GOP convention is guarded by 37,000 cops – a force he says is twice the size of the Canadian army – the candidates are wasting time debating the wrong war.

As this strange spectacle unfolds, the Bush and Kerry campaigns are arguing furiously about the 30-year-old Vietnam War -- at a time when the U.S. is losing the wars it is now waging in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Neither candidate has advanced any cogent or realistic plan for dealing with these military-political quagmires. Bush keep intoning meaningless platitudes like "we've got to stay the course." But at least he has been consistent about Iraq, even though consistently and disastrously wrong. Kerry keeps shifting his position, and has seriously damaged his credibility by trying to be both pro-war and anti-war at the same time.

Perhaps they'll get around to the real issues post-convention. But don't count on it.

Meanwhile, Bush the optimist appears to have become a pessimist on the "war on terrorism":

“I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.”

This is the same president who has been telling us confidently for the last three years that we can prevail and that we will prevail, no matter what it takes. Now, instead of turning them into grease spots on the sand, it sounds like we're going to subject them to peer pressure. Can you imagine what the president's supporters would be saying about Kerry had he uttered those words? Wimp; appeaser; friend of the terrorists; why does he hate America so? Bush performs one of those flip-flops he so derides in others and … nothing. Where's the outrage, war hawks?

I view Bush's acceptance of a minimal level of reality as a step forward for him. Not a big enough one to make me want to vote for him, but progress at least. He ought to get out of the White House more often. Permanently. Of course, for that to happen Kerry needs to start acting like he deserves to live there.

Well, we've got two months.

Posted by tbrown at 12:02 PM

The Florida voting solution

View it here.

Posted by tbrown at 11:58 AM

Backyard bloggers

They've arrived and they're doing a good job. Check 'em out here.

Posted by tbrown at 11:56 AM

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Debating the wrong war
The Florida voting solution
Backyard bloggers


Blogs to watch

Abu Ardvark
Andrew Sullivan
Atrios Eschaton
Best of the Web
Drudge Report
Joe Conason (subscription required)
Josh Marshall
Kaus files
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Real Clear Politics
The Corner
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar

Mideast blogs

Salam Pax (Iraq)
G. in Baghdad
L.T. Smash (U.S. military in Iraq)
Lady Sun (Iran)

City blogs

L.A. Examiner

Africa blogs

Cathy Buckle

Media blogs

Dan Gillmor's eJournal
Media Whores Online


Newspapers online (guide to papers on the web)
International Herald Tribune
The Guardian U.K.
New York Times (free registration required)

Economy blogs

Brad DeLong

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