Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rudy and the Fox debate

Ann Althouse listened in on a conference call with Rudy and some A-list bloggers. (I, of course, was not invited). Ann must be on the A- list, because she didn't get a chance to ask a question.

She thinks the guy did a good job. I think Rudy is an idiot. I think he'll make a terrible president and his answers about the middle east show that clearly. He touts that as his strength and he just clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

She said of his comments

Jim Garrity (sp?) of National Review asks whether Ron Paul should be included in the Republican debates. Giuliani says that what Paul said about 9/11 last night is something he'd have been surprised to hear anyone say even in the Democratic debate. Giuliani seemed to know that some people are talking about whether he characterized Paul's comment fairly last night when he lit into him, because he said he listened to it again and that there was "tremendous confusion in what [Paul] was saying." Paul said that because of our attacks on Saddam, al Qaeda wanted to kill us. That didn't make sense. Giuliani emphasized that he has been studying Islam and Islamic terrorism since the 1970s when he was in the Ford administration, and he knows that the reason they hate us is because of our freedom, notably our freedom of religion and the freedom for women.


They hate us because of our freedom? I didn't beleive that when the idiot Cheney said it, and I don't believe it now. Ron Paul actually got it right in the debate, the attacked us becuase we meddle in middle eastern politics. Our bombing of Saddam throughout the 90's was just part of that, they didn't attack us becuase they wanted to avenge Saddam (as Rudy seems to want to imply Paul said). They want us to leave them alone. That's pretty much it.

With our meddling we make ourselves an attractive target to them. That's not to justify their attack on us 9/11, but it's why it happens. They don't give a shit one way or another about our freedom. They just find our freedom an easy target to attack.

Rudy got it wrong in the democratic debate when he tried to explain Shai/Sunni conflict in terms of a split in religious dogma 600 years ago. Today's conflict is a tribal conflict between those two groups, not a religious one. It may have begun as a religious conflict 600 years ago, but it's become a very simple us v. them conflict today, having nothing much to do with religion anymore. Rudy seems to fail to understant that in any way.

This guy just does not have the intellectual capacity to do the job. I can't imagine that Ann doesn't see that clearly. Maybe I just have too many filters on my own vision.

UPDATE

David Nicoson said on rec.gambling.poker


I'm not sure if this is pessimism or optimism, but I think it's
entirely possible that Giuliani understands the report and made this
statement anyway, knowing it's the sort of thing that makes people
clap.


The problem with that kind of cynical explanation is that it doesn't expalin what he said in the 1st debate about Sunni/Shia conflict. He attributed their conflict to specific dogma related to details about prophets from over a century ago. That may have been true over 1,000 years ago but it has nothing to do with the conflicts today.

Today's conflicts are tribal -- in group/out group conflict, us. v them. Saddam was a Sunni, but he wasn't religious. The ruling Sunni dominated the Shia because of tribal relationships, theres almost nothing about the civil conflicts in Iraq that is related to religious dogma.

Many of the leaders come from religious institutions, but that's just becuase all the other institutions have been destroyed. Rudy's use of belief in specific religious dogma to explain the civil war in Iraq demonstrates a fundemental misunderstanding of the political dynamics in the middle east and a fundemental misunderstanding of terrorism.

His only claim to presidential competence is expertise about terrorism and how to fight it. His competence in that area is clearly an illusion, he's not even competent at the only thing he claims a competence in. He has no chance of ever becoming a good President. He might be able to get elected. He'll never govern competently though.

We don't need another 4 years of government incompetence.

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