Even Our Allies Are Going to Hate Us

Spotted via Jurist

An Italian official speaking anonymously said Friday that a judge in Milan has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents for their alleged role in aiding the deportation of an imam to Egypt [Washington Post report]. Italian newspapers claim the Milan seizure and deportation of an Egyptian known as Abu Omar in 2003 was part of the CIA's “extraordinary rendition” program to move terror suspects to a third country without court approval. The reports claim six other agents are under investigation for the deportation of Omar, believed to have fought alongside jihadists in Afghanistan and Bosnia before being taken to a joint US-Italian military base for interrogation. The US Embassy in Rome [official website] would not comment on the report. AP has more.

Suppose a space alien or demon got elected President and decided to try to ruin the country. Short of starting a nuclear exchange (but see Korea, Pakistan, and weapon sales from former USSR), how substantially would this hypothetical being's conduct differ from the current administration's policy of polarizing the people, torturing captives, claiming the right to detain US citizens indefinitely in solitary confinement without trial our counsel, huge trade deficits, bankrupting the public fisc, starting a war based on lies, undermining health, safety and environmental rules, and taxing the poor in order to give tax breaks to the hyper-rich? Discuss.

OK, never mind, here's a simpler problem: Can anyone name three important things this administration has done right? I suppose many might say the initial decision to invade Afghanistan — although the ultimate execution of the mission was so botched that I'd say that doesn't really count.

Homeland security? Arguably a good idea in principle. So far, mostly money down a rat hole with random assaults on civil liberties.

Seriously: what are this administration's successes? And don't say “no more 9/11's”: I think the administration deserves about the same credit for that as they deserve for failing to prevent the original attack — lots or little, take your pick.

If you are radically anti-abortion, you can fairly count the judicial appointments policy. I wouldn't, but in some eyes I think that fairly counts as one “success.” Anything else?

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13 Responses to Even Our Allies Are Going to Hate Us

  1. Mike says:

    Bush — through his tax cuts — has effectively pushed funding for some pretty major programs onto the shoulders of states (e.g. unfunded “no child left behind” mandates”). It has caused most states to fall upon terrible budget shortfalls. This could be seen as a victory by some conservatives, in that the federal gov’t is funding fewer social programs. Major cuts to medicaid and other programs that serve the poorest amongst us are probably victories to some. It’s a shame in my opinion, but I suppose it depends on your perspective.

  2. Matt says:

    It can’t properly be called a success, since it hasn’t passes yet and likely never will, but the Bush proposal for implementing some sort of guest-worker program is the best immigration proposal to come along in quite a while. Of course, it was put on the back-burner after sept. 11th, and the regressive and awful immigration policies put in place by the administration out-weigh the good here most likely. Also, it’s mostly western republicans preventing the passage of this bill, so the republicans at large get no benifit.

  3. Doran Williams says:

    Let us give credit where it is due, and praise Bush for his successes in: De-stabilizing the Mid-East, thereby providing a reason, or excuse, for keeping a US military presence there for years to come. Dividing – de-stabilizing – America, thereby making it possible for the Republican crazy wing to stay in power. Impoverishing the American middle class, thereby assuring his plutocrat friends of a labor force willing to work at anything, just gimme a job. Expanding the federal debt beyond all belief, thereby assuring that those of the future middle class who do have jobs will be strapped with such a tax load that they and yea, verily, their descendants unto the seventh generation will be a quiescent labor force. Contracting liberty in this country, even while proclaiming his goal of spreading it world wide, thereby proving that The Big Lie is the best of all. Once you just recognize what Bush’s real goals are, you start to see that he has been a great success.

  4. Mike says:

    The “public” is beginning to wake up the the realities of Bush’s goals, if slowly.

    I feel good about the few years to come. It seems that Bush has less “political capital” than he originally so arrogantly stated after this last election. He may come to realize that “political capital” is easily taken for grant, and even more easily lost. If he doesn’t come to such a realization, it’s to his peril; he’ll stay as out of touch as he has been for the last six months, and ultimately the republicans will pay in 2006.

  5. Ereshkigal says:

    Can anyone name three important things this administration has done right?

    T-ball games at the White House.

    It’s the only non-paranoid thing that I can remember happening at the White House since January 2001.

  6. Brett Bellmore says:

    Since I voted for him entirely to prevent Kerry from achieving things that I thought were bad, I don’t HAVE to point to positive accomplishments by this guy. No accomplishments are GOOD, when the alternative was bad accomplishments.

    That said, he IS a pretty wretched President, and it’s a dirty shame the Democrats insist on running candidates who are such a threat to a large segment of the population’s way of life, that we’re reduced to voting for non-entities like Bush in self defense. If you ever managed to get over some of your weirder obsessions, like gun control, or defending abortion of infants that are already viable enough to deliver live, the GOP would be in serious trouble.

  7. Brett Bellmore says:

    My advice is, forget running members of Congress; You’ve been making social issue votes matters of party discipline for so long, they’ve all got tainted voting records. Look at the states Republicans carry; Some of them have Democratic Governors who actually know how to appeal to people who don’t live within 50 miles of the east or west coast.

    And then hope like hell the GOP establishment is able to spike the Draft Condi movement.

  8. Patrick (G) says:

    Brett,
    let me get this straight: You voted to re-elect someone you consider a wretched president because you were afraid of what a Democratic Senator could accomplish with Veto power against a solidly Republican Congress ?

    You might want to consider taking a refresher civics course, and a little bit more skepticism with your Republican propaganda

  9. Mr. Flibble says:

    Here’s one success, or, at least, something that distinguishes him from other presidents:

    Except for the tax cuts for the rich, you could count on Bush to do exactly the opposite of what he says he is planning to do. Everything! I mean, most pedestrian presidents simply fail to keep their promises, but it really takes something extra to turn around 180 degrees and do the polar opposite. Bush ran as a conservative is damn near the most “liberal” president in history, if one defines liberalism the old Republican way as meaning big government, fewer civil liberties, a weak army, etc., etc (as we well know, “liberal” today simply means “traitor”). And don’t get me started on the “compassionate conservative” tag he wore during his first presidential campaign.

  10. Brett Bellmore says:

    Patrick, look up “Executive order” in the encyclopedia. The President controls the branch of government that actually DOES things; If he really wants, he can do an awful lot of damage even without the cooperation of Congress.

  11. Paul Gowder says:

    Brett: do you seriously believe that gun control and abortion are worse than starting random quagmire-wars in the middle east on false pretenses?? I truly don’t understand conservatives. I just don’t. What could John Kerry possibly do in the area of guns and abortions that is possibly worse, from any concievable political slant, than telling ridiculous lies to scare the American people into permitting him to conquer a foreign land, sending our soldiers into a land that they’ll probably be mired in for a decade to kill thousands upon thousands of innocents and preside over the destabilization of an entire region and the looting and destruction of priceless art and archelogical treasures from the dawn of human civilization, in order to ensure that his cronies in the oil biz profit?

    What — that was in the even imaginable set of possibilities in the worst Christian Coalition/Gun Nut Nightmare — could John Kerry do that could cause more human misery for more immoral motives and using more immoral means than that?

  12. James Wimberley says:

    A partallel item in today’s news was that Spanish prosecutors may be forced to set free Imad Yarkas, an el-Qaeda suspect they believe was involved in setting up 9/11, because the USA wil not allow them to interview Ramzi bin al-Shibh, held by the CIA in a secret location since his capture in 2002. See http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/06/24/news/spain.php. It is apparently more important to the US government that no outsider ever see Mr al-Shibh than that another major terrorist suspect walks free. Just what has been done to al-Shibh?

  13. Joe says:

    “If you ever managed to get over some of your weirder obsessions, like gun control, or defending abortion of infants that are already viable enough to deliver live, the GOP would be in serious trouble.”

    Hmm, let’s see, must stop these, so a “wretched president” is a the best we can do given the situation.

    But, darn, if the all the top Democratic presidential candidates (and various others in office) supported the 2A. And, darn, if the debate (supported by the SUPREME COURT) is the inclusion of the word “health” so that the >1% of abortions involved would not threaten the life and ability of mothers to have more babies in the future.

    So, your “reasons” amount to butkiss as well as tiresome spin. Noting that the “wretched president” DID do various things (including increasing federal spending) as well as the deaths of many overseas (more than a well executed war would have brought) that surpasses the numbers of abortions the purely symbolic ‘partial birth abortion’ legislation (not blocking all abortions in fact, just a method) will prevent (likely about 0) (actually including the word “health” would probably lead to a law upheld by the courts, which might actually do something), I do not see how it works out to the best.

    Heck, maybe there are other reasons to vote for guys like Bush. I need a bit more than your sadly cheap shots though

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