Palin’s Real Effect

My father has a PHd, is extremely well spoken and written, broadly and deeply educated, worldly, is quite liberal, has a very gentle nature and is unshakeable in his convictions. I have tried many times to get him to write here for us, but I’ve failed as yet. I will keep trying as everyone here reading will benefit from his thoughts, perspectives and essays. But I digress.

This morning, while talking to him about the debate, he mentioned something that I found interesting enough to post about. He said that Palin had hurt McCain much worse than anyone may have thought.

First reaction: Duh.
Second reaction, eyes wide and one eyebrow lifted as he made his point.

Sara Palin has been exposed as a breathtakingly shallow and uneducated mess, a liar and unable to put her thoughts together in a coherent way or create anything that looks like leadership. OK good – with you so far. Here’s the rub: America is now attuned to shallow. They are comfortable with the notion that she’s lying. They are seeing, first hand, what shallow and an inability to think strategically look like. And then they turn their eyes to McCain.

It is my father’s assertion, that Palin has actually been pivotal in exposing these unvirtues in such a way that America can get allergic to them regardless of education, left/right leanings or partisanship. Suddenly, rather than looking like a firm and confident leader, they are seeing someone in McCain that is simply better at hiding their shallowness than she is. Suddenly, firm conviction and singleness of purpose looks like distraction from the fact that he can’t handle more than one thing at a time. Suddenly, his repetitious campaign rhetoric looks more like a desperate one-trick pony act than the actions of a man with singular vision.

Combine this notion with NutBalls excellent post on McCain’s inability to look Obama in the eye (see previous post) and you get a real picture of the campaign, the people, and why the trend lines are moving the way that they are.

It is conceivable, that the political process is going to work correctly this time and expose the character of people in time for the election. And it is conceivable that the American people will begin to open their eyes a bit and see that the emperor has no clothes. Or that Oceania is not really at war with Eastasia. Or that a cut in capital gains tax is not really a tax break for the middle class. Or that tax breaks for oil companies is not really good for our own pocketbook.

War is NOT Peace.
Freedom is NOT slavery.
Ignorance is NOT strength.

I find myself uncommonly hopeful today.


  1. SFNathan says:

    Fantastic post Perkiset.

    I had to laugh out loud when I read it, and then scrolled up and noticed for the first time your insertion of Sarah Palin in the picture between McCain and Bush.

    That made me cry. roflmao:

    Anyway, real change for a nation takes time, but I think the public is slowly moving in the direction of appreciating we need to go in a new direction as a nation. It will be so powerfully validating for all of us to see this country make a choice to move in the direction I think we are headed.

    In some ways, the same old demons of our culture will still be there, but despite that, we seem to be moving into a new era of appreciation of reason, thoughtful decision making, diplomacy, and a desire to be a partner with the world community.

    This could be the equivalent of America’s flavor of the month (like a four to eight year cycle), where the lessons of George Bush are fresh in our memory now, but in a few years, we will swing back to conservatism.

    On the other hand some cycles are more like 30-40 year cycles. From Roosevelt to Johnson, we lived in a more liberal era. From Nixon to Bush, we have lived in a more conservative era.

    We may be seing more than just a flavor of the month change. It’s possible that we might be seeing a slow, tectonic shift away from politics that are dominated by the conservative critique of big government and rise of the religous right which have dominated politics of the last several decades. The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Katrina, the Wall Street Collapse – all of these are large enough events burned into the consciousness of the public that may be large enough to push us in the direction of a tectonic shift.

    Time will tell, but I think everyone can sense that we are ready for something new.

  2. braindonkey says:

    I have had similar thoughts about Palin. Is she possibly stupid enough, hollow enough, simple enough, maniacal enough, high and mighty enough, and overtly delusional enough, that Americans might actually start to see it, and by result start paying attention to the person who selected her, McCain.

    When they do, they will see a trite, sniveling, troll, who seems to exude the very entitlement he despises. He exudes the hypocrisy he abhors. He is vindictive, narrow minded, and single purposed.

    Unfortunately, I think your father under estimates the astounding level of blindness in this country and the desire to “be right”, even at all costs. Many people, most in fact, will vote for the same person they said they would vote for from the start, either because of blindness, or because they are stubborn. Our only hope is the independents, who might not even show up at all from what I have been reading…

  3. braindonkey says:

    Oh I have to add something related.

    Last night, though I didn’t post it, I realized a very very concerning thing.

    Did McCain pick Palin, intentionally, because she would be such an utter train wreck, and that would draw attention away from him?

    I can’t believe that this is even a remotely acceptable possibility, but then I remembered something. This is politics, which is just like the fame game. Ugly dudes marry supermodels to create a disconnect, making people think “well he must not be that ugly” or “he must be rich” etc. Supermodels marry ugly dudes so they don’t seem like they are only into looks or shallow.

    In those two worlds, politics and fame, you have to suspend all the rules, and even the most absurd thing you can think of as a reason someone does something, might actually be true.

    So, did McCain gamble? Did he pick a trainwreck that would distract away from his car accident that he is? Normal world, the trainwreck would distract. But when you chose to cause the trainwreck, people will start to wonder why you would want to cause such a horrible thing, and turn the microscope on you.

    Of course, this can all easily be trumped by the stupidity of voters.

  4. perkiset says:

    @ SFNate – Thanks so much, and BTW, really deligthful to have you come by :-) I think it is a reasonable argument that we *might* be seeing such a sea change (at a glacial pace) and I join your optimism in that regard. I think, however, it is also important to hold Obama’s feet to the fire to make sure that, the first time the national curtains and carpet match in many decades, we sieze the opportunity and better the nation. It would be a travesty for forward movement and great hopes to be derailed by government as usual. All that said, I REALLY agree with you that the people are really ready for something different, and I think so long as Obama can demonstrate that he is ready, they will be satisfied.

    @BDonkey – Listening to the press, Cafferty, blog posters and even radio personalities, I think there is a surprising amount of hesitation about McCain. Perhaps not gigantic, but a few percentage points will be all we need. I also don’t know that people consciously sense this, or more to our discussion at your blog, perhaps it is a natural and unconscious discomfort – indescribable and abstract, but present nonetheless.

    @ Gamble – Did McCain gamble? oh YEAH man. Palin was the biggest Hail Mary the world has ever seen. I think he knows how much trouble he is in and needed ANYTHING to get the campaign back on track. I think he was just hoping that they could make it through a few short weeks, much like Ahnold in Caleefonia – a greatly abbreviated vetting period MIGHT let a bonehead through the process without much dissection. In this case, I think he underestimated the radically pissed off middle/left and their desire for something they can count on. Rove and his mechanisms worked well 8 years ago because we were still distracted by a blow job and a blue dress… it was easy to look good beside the sleazy notion of a cigar at that point. Now, with REAL problems at our doorstep, the American people seem to want more substance. Lord I hope so.

  5. Edgar says:

    You guys are preaching to the choir. Geez, how did I know that your dad was a super educated liberal? Hmmm, shocking.

    Just remember that the polls indicated that kerry and bush were REALLY REALLY close…and then bush won by a total landslide.

    You know, I get the feeling that if these same “polls” had shown a clear advantage for mcain, your post would have been about how polls are inaccurate.

    You guys are so hard left you should move to Venezuela, put some lipstick on and kiss Chavez’s left wing ass in public!


    Guys, open your friggen eyes! Mcain picked her cuz she’s a woman. Period. That’s called politickin’

    That’s how people vote. They say, “oh, I think this person looks SOOOOO nice. I will vote for her or him”

    Are all you guys from California or something? I see so much hate coming from the left it is actually quite scary.
    You guys talk about how “stupid” palin is and really make all these personal attacks. What contempt for someone you have never spoken to!?!?

    Look, Mcain is an old man and old men have wisdom. He’s been in politics for ages and knows how the system works. He has gone against his own party so often that I really don’t like him politically.

    He was the first republican to challenge the bush admin strategy in iraq. The repubs hated him for it but it turns out he was right.

    If he were president instead of Bush in 2003 the war would have been over YEARS ago. If obama was president in 2oo3 we would have come home in defeat!

    There are like, 200 million idiots watching football every weekend and GOD HELP US if the team they are rooting for loses!! Riots, fights, unruly drunken behavior etc… But it’s ok if our soldiers come home defeated. After all, it’s only a war and not a friggen sports event.

    Mcain had the vision and understanding to bring this war to an honorable close years ago and neither bush nor obama had the same courage or insight.


    If Bush were the one to get a blowjob in the white house I think all you guys would take it quite seriously. In fact, you should change your little picture from Mcain, Bush and Palin to reflect history and truth. Put a picture of Clinton and Monica up there cuz those are the real culprits when it comes blowjobs in the WH.

    @Advice to all: Stop being wrong about everything would ya :D

  6. Edgar says:

    BTW I am replying to this post and the other one mentioning the polls.

  7. perkiset says:

    @Edgar: Wow, how quickly the right forgets the foundation upon which it built the current regime: extreme partisanship, absolutely despicable ads and politicking against anything or anyone that stood in their way.

    @ Palin & Politicking: Well, if we’re voting for student council then she can be all the politicking fodder she/McCain wants her to be. This is the arguably the second most important job in the WORLD. I’ve outlined that I have, in fact, empathy for her because of the bus she’s been thrown under, but utterly disagree with everything she says and she is, in fact, ridiculously underqualified for the job and a bimbo.

    You really see hatred coming from the left? And it’s so hard to figure out why? After one of the most popular presidents of all time is impeached for lying about a blowjob, your guy takes us into war on a lie and uses the most despicable tactics I’ve ever seen to accomplish his goals. The rank and file right wing, Bush supporters and blind supporters of more of the same deserve everything they get for having destroyed so much of our country.

    @ War in 2003, McCain and Obama: Ah, you’re one of those. So you must believe that we can A) jump into a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, B) destroy their infrastructure, C) try to impose an utterly different political structure on a people where 50% of them think we are infidels walking on their land, and then D) bomb them into loving us and democracy huh?

    So you think that McCain’s age has given him “wisdom” eh? I’d say that all we see is a man that has sold out his “code of honor” to try desperately to become president. How a guy that lay in a prison bed during a war we lost suddenly knows exactly how to win another one is beyond me, and his decisions thus far have shown it. I’d bet that you are of the party that says the surge has worked marvelously. What happens when we finally pull out man? You really believe that we’ve bombed them into believing that we have it all right? You think that the bad guys will just sulk away in defeat?

    @ Blowjobs: Are you kidding me? I could not give two shitz about blowjobs or whatever those folks want to do in office. See, that’s a predictably right-wing position: as if that matters. I don’t care what ANYONE does behind closed doors. If they do the job that I have hired them for, then I wish them happiness in everything else. The fact that we wasted so much time and taxpayer money on exercising the hatred of the likes of Newt on a fools errand amazes me.

    And your posts here demonstrate that the right can dish it out (frankly in ways that Dems never even think of) but can’t take it when the glove’s on the other hand.

    Get used to it Edgar, lots of smart people are no longer going to let the hate-based polarization of the Rove-type politicians continue to get away with it.

  8. braindonkey says:

    You are right, I probably would go off the deep end screaming about a Bj from Bush. You know why? Because of his religion, and the fact that he brings it into his politics. I don’t give two shits who gets blown by who. Matter of fact, I think they would all get along a hell of a lot better if they would all just have a good big ass orgy. But when a self righteous holy warrior makes a 10 commandments level mistake, I have to point my finger in disdain.

    @Palin. I agree, she was picked because she was a woman. That in itself, makes her a lame duck. It also makes McCain a political prick for actually having balls to do that, for that reason. There are quite a few more qualified female choices that could have been made. But instead, he opted for young and pretty. Whaddadick.

    @war. Meh, monday morning quarterbacking. They are all at fault to some extent. But McCain and Bush’s win at all cost mentality is draining us, both financially, and mentally.

  9. Edgar says:

    @”Wow, how quickly the right forgets the foundation upon which it built the current regime: extreme partisanship, absolutely despicable ads and politicking against anything or anyone that stood in their way”

    What despicable ads are you talking about anyways? I don’t align myself with Bush either but for entirely different reasons than you and Brian. What I am trying to highlight is that you have a major, major bias (in fact a predetermination) with which you view everything. You are hypocritical in your judgment and don’t even realize it. You are looking at things from WAY on the left.

    @Palin: Why is she not qualified? She’s a governor of a state. That’s more executive experience than Obama has. My gut feeling tells me that She is not ready to be president in case Mcain dies.
    But I never hear people on the right talk about how ‘stupid’ obama is. It’s always this person pent up wrath that is inside the heads of loony lefties that cracks me up :D

    Iraq had nothing to do with 911 and I don’t recall anyone but the left trying to associate the two. If I’m wrong then show me and I’ll take it.

    The Persion Gulf war ended when Saddam signed a treat. The deal was, and always is with a treat, that he had to abide by the treaty or suffer the consequences. He violated the treated consistently for 12 years. That’s the ’12 year rush to war’ that the liberals are always saying we ‘rushed’ into. 12 years of thumbing his nose at the world and in clear violation of the agreement.

    Slow ass united nations resolutions prolonged the inevitable but war finally came. Personally, I think iraq will be a successful semi democratic country and in the long run that is better for the USA. Look at Japan as an example.

    @Mcain and Wisdom

    “How a guy that lay in a prison bed during a war we lost suddenly knows exactly how to win another one is beyond me, and his decisions thus far have shown it.”

    Perk…Mcain is duly given credit from both side on his early strategic insight regarding the need for a surge, three years before Bush implemented it. Iraq was totally spinning out of control until the surge, which Mcain advised much earlier. This should be easy to understand.


    “Get used to it Edgar, lots of smart people are no longer going to let the hate-based polarization of the Rove-type politicians continue to get away with it.”

    Can you show me something hateful Rove said please?

  10. braindonkey says:

    No one is qualified to be president. Every President says that. The reason palin is a target is because the reps have been swinging that qualification banner since day 1 of Obama, and then they intro someone even less? lol. The main qualification for pres is to want better for the people, and to be a motivator. Do they need to be an expert in everything? no, they have advisers. Do they need to be an expert in anything at all? no. They only need to be able to understand and make their own decisions once they are presented with all the arguments. Like a judge. A good president asks more questions to better make a decision, a bad one, just makes a decision regardless. Palin is not smart, and as a matter of fact, so utterly ignorant it is astounding. The “my parents didn’t pay for me to backpack europe” is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. She had no passport because she doesn’t have any interest, and that is a disqualification in my opinion.

    you are correct regarding the treaty, at least in my understanding as well. However, it still does not validate our unilateral response. Regardless of the “coalition of the willing” bullshit that was created, the fact is most countries that joined us, did so because we already had committed, and they are allies. Afgan is the target, if the target moves, you move with it, and leave the previous one behind. That is the proper strategy and tactic when hunting a specific target. Capturing and changing political structure, requires the strategy being currently employed, which of course, is why the strategy currently is the one in action. It’s not to get terrorists, it’s to create democracies.

    Both sides are guilty of bad ads of course. No one who is sane would deny that. However, the McCain campaign is editing sound bites down so far that they are manufacturing completely untrue statements that have nothing to do with the context of the statement itself. example:
    Frankly I am expecting to start seeing ads where they just stitch together individual words to make Obama say something like ‘I hate white people’. Sure both sides manipulate, but McCain is taking it to that unacceptable step of manufacturing.

    I actually can’t speak to this, since at this point it has become so muddied as to who wanted what when. I don’t even think any of them know anymore. My personal opinion however is that we should not have gone to iraq when we did. It may have eventually been required, when other countries agreed, but not when we did. It took focus from the target in afgan. But since we did, we should have done it with the most overwhelming force possible. You don’t shoot a bear with a gun that you think is “good enough”. You shoot that bear with a gun that you KNOW is good enough, no matter how tough that bear is. We did not do that. Who’s fault that is, who knows anymore, but the war powers act gives me a hint.

    Of course we are biased, as is everyone. Even people who claim they are independent are usually full of shit, always voting for dems or reps. Ask any indy you know, who they voted for last. If they say dem for example, ask them when the last time they voted rep was. Then giggle as they blanch and sputter. It’s in everything we do, why not politics. But that does not mean that you are not capable of seeing the bias from both sides. Of course FOX is rightwing, and NBC is leftwing, and CNN is homogenized vanilla. We all get that. But the problem is that the lies are getting so absurd that even the reporters and anchors who try their best to maintain balance, can’t even do it. When you have long time anchors losing their shit in the middle of an interview because of the utter craziness of what the rep is saying, you know something is wrong.

    Btw. Just realize, about 2 years ago, I would have voted for McCain. If he ran against Bush and Kerry in the 2004 election, I would have voted for him. But today, his handlers have turned him into such a trainwreck of a lies and snotty mockery of all-things-not-McCain, that I can’t fathom ever having been pro-McCain. It’s kind of sad to watch actually.

  11. perkiset says:

    Nice post BD.

    @ Despicable ads: jeez man, let’s take it all the way back to Willie Horton, which is the reason for the “I approve this message.” Then you must have been asleep if you didn’t watch Bush and Rove just slaughter McCain’s character in 2000 (a bastard black child? Are you KIDDING me?), then Al Gore’s via Clinton (in fairness, Clinton handed them that election because of his behavior, even if the truth was that he won because os a Floriday supreme court coup). Then Rove v. Kerry in 2004 and watching the bare-toothed lying and subtle imagery that tries to link the black guy with “Where da white women at?” OK, so not all of the stuff is pure ads – some is whisper campaign, but regardless of the method, the impetus and origin are the same.

    @ Palin: The best and most respected CONSERVATIVES are scared to death of her. The Republican party still wants her because they want to win – but good conservatives (whom many I call friend and who’s intention is the same as mine, a better America) are calling for her to retire from the ticket! The reason that no one calls Obama stupid is that he has demonstrated, in trial by fire, that he has the stuff. Palin’s only good presentation was reading a speech from a teleprompter written for her by the McCain elite. Other than that, when she opens her mouth she demonstrates her lack of gray matter with prodigious capability.

    @ Iraq: “I don’t recall anyone but the left trying to associate the two” … Oh. My. Word. You really must try to listen to some other stations Edgar. That’s a stunning statement. Breathtaking in it’s ignorance. Simply incredible. The fact that you can’t recall anything else simply speaks more to what you listen to than any form of truth.

    @ Angry Left: I am not a bomb throwing radical, man. I was INCREDIBLY pissed off at Clinton for having disgraced our country as he had. I felt that the attacks by Bush against McCain were so violently horrible that I’d have voted for McCain on GP. Progressives are pissed off BIG at the moment because Republicans and their neocon policy has executed such horrible things both here and abroad – and that means in yours and my name – that it is difficult to see how we will return to the strength and honor we once maintained. Moreover, the Sarah Palin nomination is such a mockery of the process, such a blatantly political move with the second most important job in the WORLD that it’s an insult to all thinking people. An INSULT. Compared to her, Dan Quayle looks like an international scholar.

    @ Surge: Address this for me: Unlike South Korea, whos people do not see our presence there as an insult to the dirt they walk upon, Muslims see our presence in the middle east as infidels defiling their land simply by our existence on it. Where does the “surge” handle the notion of winning hearts and minds? Just because we’ve shooed the cockroaches from the easily spotted parts of the kitchen floor, do you not think they are laying eggs in the cupboards and just hanging out till we turn the lights off? Exactly like how we first sacked Iraq, huge overwhelming military actions can, for a short while, convert any situation. But there is no exit strategy – no plan for Iraq to truly live on its own without us. There is only we stay there forever – which is a real problem, because as we stay, so shall we continue to foment & stoke the flame of hatred that lives in the heart of extremists in the area.

    The answer is for us to leave as small a footprint there as possible while we get ourselves energy independent and then leave. Let them have the sand. Let them be as backwards and 14th century as they want to be. The real way to create an economy that we can trade with is for the people to, of their own volition, covet a 50″ flat screen. So long as they are distracted by our presence they will not be able to mature as a nation ergo, they will not develop into a nice-playing member of the international community.

    Anyone that has kids knows that you cannot force upon them something they are not ready for – and to do so has unexpected and unwanted complications.

  12. Edgar says:


    I agree we should have gone into iraq full force. We should have killed everybody in falluja too instead of tip toeing around their friggen sacred temple. It’s war ya know? Do what you gotta do and come home.

    As far as afgan and iraq strategically pulling one another apart goes I don’t know. I’m no General Patton. But it seems to me that if we can fight the third reich on europe and the Japanese in the Pacific then we can squash these terrorists too. Bush wants war but then when he gets war he only fights it half assed. He tried to fight a clean ‘PC’ war. An antiseptic war.

    Pakistan is the problem as far as I’m concerned. Let me be clear about this. Bush has been giving the Paks billions and billions of dollars every year for the last 8 years or so. Musharrif was dicking around on the fence and was a horrible ally. Yet Bush never got tough with him and kept sending the money.

    That is an example of failed foreign policy if you ask me.


    “Clinton handed them that election because of his behavior, even if the truth was that he won because os a Floriday supreme court coup”

    It wasn’t a coup. It was GORE who took it to the supreme court and it would have turned out the same anyway. Not to mention it was a 7 to 2 vote I believe. Both liberals and conservatives alike saw it the same way for a change.

    “@ Surge: Address this for me: …Muslims see our presence in the middle east as infidels defiling their land simply by our existence on it. Where does the “surge” handle the notion of winning hearts and minds?

    When Petreus briefed congress on his strategy and sold them on his surge plan, he clearly stated that part of the plan was to talk to tribal leaders all around iraq and get to know them etc… Show them that we only want the bad guys. Along with that we were also busy killing boatloads of insurgents from iran, afgan, syria and saudi arabia.

    This plan of Petreus is not new. It’s a counter insurgency strategy that has been employed before many times throughout history. It’s worked before and it worked now.

    As far as exit strategy goes I think we are already on that road. It’s a simple plan. Hold iraq until the iraqi army is ready. Then go to afg.

    Just because we’ve shooed the cockroaches from the easily spotted parts of the kitchen floor, do you not think they are laying eggs in the cupboards and just hanging out till we turn the lights off? Exactly like how we first sacked Iraq, huge overwhelming military actions can, for a short while, convert any situation. But there is no exit strategy – no plan for Iraq to truly live on its own without us.”

    @”The answer is for us to leave as small a footprint there as possible while we get ourselves energy independent and then leave. Let them have the sand. Let them be as backwards and 14th century as they want to be. The real way to create an economy that we can trade with is for the people to, of their own volition, covet a 50″ flat screen.”

    Yeah I hear ya there. Alternative energy is number one. For both economic and national security reasons. But even though these middle eastern nations want to be backward ass 14 century people they are still dangerous.

    As you said, hate lives in their extremist muslim hearts. Add to that an ‘infidel’ mindset and a couple of nukes and it could really get out of hand.

    Bottom line is we can’t let that happen. It might not be fair that we have nukes and they don’t but that’s how it is. Life isn’t fair. But can you imagine a world where these folks have nukes like us???????? Extremists like that can never have nukes and that means war doesn’t it.

    Guys, I’m supposed to be building links :D so I better get going.

  13. braindonkey says:

    link building?! Don’t you have that automated?!?!? PHAIL. :)

  14. perkiset says:

    @ Iraq & Afghan: We should never have been in Iraq and we’ll never “win” there. And I’m WICKED afraid of Afghanistan boys. The problem here is that at no time in history has an occupying force EVER succeeded in Afghanistan. They are as nimble and used to incursion as the Vietnamese and we will be thwarted there just as the Russians were, along with laundyr list of other countries and imperialists that have tried to dominate her.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people think that force is the best way to deal with things. In some cases, force is the only way: I think that it is true, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaski actually saved lives – even Japanese lives, because as horrible as it was, the blinding flash of reality caused a reboot and rethink of their entire strategy. Japan would have fought to the last man woman and child if we’d invaded their shores, and we’d have suffered horribly as well during a campaign like that.

    But the middle east is different. Where WWII Japan was on an imperialistic excursion driven by need for resources, the middle east is driven by irrational religious extremism which cannot so easily be bombed into submission. Although this is an unpopular position among hawks, sanctions and exclusion from the world market work quite well. Simple test: how many troops had to go into Libya to get Khadafi to change his ways? None – and no, it was not that he was scared of us bombing him as well. The slow erosion of lack of funds was like water over rock – it eventually decays and crumbles.

    Patience is not very sexy and doesn’t work well for the American psyche. People either laugh or do not understand Sun Tzu when he said, “If you sit by the river’s edge long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by.”

    Rather than risking our boys in a place where “winning” is not realistic at all, we should be focusing our money, talent, time and resources on growing ourselves and simply working to exclude the assholes from international commerce. You right wingers are supposed to be free market people, let the free market work against them. If you really believe what you say, then let it do its work.

    @ “Only the bad guys” / Petraeus and the tribes: see, here’s the problem: it doesn’t matter WHY we’re there – if we ARE there, we’re infidels on their land. Regardless of paid-off tribal leaders being OK with us there today, even as we hunt and “cleanse” the area, we foster more hatred because we are defiling their land. This is actually pretty simple, but is beyond anyone that can not understand the nuance and subjugation of religion over the unwashed masses. Please remember Ho Chi Minh when we said, “You can kill 10 of my men for every 1 I kill of yours. But even at that rate, I will win and you will lose.” Hmmm. Those that _________ history are __________ to repeat it…

    @ Nukes: Here’s a thought: get the hell out of their land, sequester & sanction them so that they cannot afford to build nukes and we take away both their motivation and means. They are not going to “fight us over here” unless we are still “over there.” We’d be better off trying to find and eradicate Christian terrorists, Nazis and psycho nutjobs here in the US while the middle easterners fight over their sand than we are being over there.

    We do not need our boys on the ground over there to assist us with fighting the possibility of nukes in Iran. We need a top-flight spook network and some nicely targeted cruise missiles for the unlikely/unfortunate possibility of a site that must be upgraded to rubble. Anything else is ego and ineffectual.