Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Idaho Democrats -- Against The Mexican War!

Vizzini: He didn't fall? Inconceivable!
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
--The Princess Bride

Ever since I got kicked out of the Republican Party for supporting Democrat Larry Grant for Congress, I've been worried about the Idaho Democratic Party convention that was held this weekend. Mostly, I was worried that my new party would come out of the convention with all sorts of weird ideas that I wouldn't be able to support, especially about the Global War on Terror.

It turns out I didn't need to worry. My observations over the last couple decades have been that both political parties are made up of "regular" people and the "others". (Depending on which party you're talking about, the "others" can be referred to as "moonbats" or "black helicopter whackjobs".) I suspected that, although the moonbattier Idaho Dems make a lot of noise, the adults were actually in charge of the party... it turned out I was right. Here are some excerpts from a report about the convention showing how they dealt with the more radical fringe:
Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett of Ketchum said the platform means little to Democrats holding office.
"For the people in office and in the Legislature, it has very little impact on our daily lives," Stennett said. "Ultimately, platforms are used by opponents to pick out the left-wing and right-wing points and try to tie them around candidate's necks..."
...Some delegates breathed a sigh of relief after voting to strike from the platform party support for the creation of a federal Department of Peace and Nonviolence.
The statement, suggested by Canyon County delegate Sunny Freeman-Genz, would have committed the state party's support for the creation of a federal-level department to work on peaceful resolution of conflict in both state affairs and at the community level.
The part I was worried about was what they'd say about Iraq. At first, I was somewhat surprised to see that the platform didn't mention Iraq at all, but then I realized what had happened -- the adults in the room had put one over on the "less worldly" delegates. Here's what they ended up putting into the platform under the "Peace" heading:
a. We support those serving in the military and their families, at home and abroad, in wartime and in peace.
b. We reject a foreign policy of unilateral, preemptive war.
That last part is brilliant. It makes the progressives think they've spoken Truth To Power by boldly risking being sent to Guantanamo by opposing the war in Iraq, when actually it means no such thing if you look at it closely. Let's review the history of major wars in the U.S., and see which ones they would have opposed based on this statement:

1) War of 1812: Because we didn't officially ally ourselves with the French, who were fighting the British at the same time, we can call this one unilateral. However, since we went to war in response to specific provocations by the British, it wasn't preemptive.
2) Mexican War: Yep, this one was pretty much unilateral and preemptive. They'll oppose a replay of this one.
3) Civil War: Didn't have to do with foreign policy, and launched in response to the attack on Ft. Sumter. It's safe from Idaho Dems.
4) Spanish-American War: It turns out in retrospect that the Spaniards didn't really sink the USS Maine, so this pretty much was unilateral and preemptive. However, since we didn't know it until decades later (when Admiral Rickover pretty much showed that Maine had been sunk from an internal explosion) the people fighting it didn't think it was preemptive at the time. We'll call this one a toss-up, and won't protest too much if we start hearing some "McKinley lied, people died" chants when Idaho Dems meet.
5) WWI: Definitely not unilateral, and the Germans used unrestricted submarine warfare against us. It's a good war for Idaho Dems.
6) WWII: This war was pretty much unilateral against the Japanese during 1943-1944, and kind of preemptive against Germany, but I think that overall it would pass muster.
7) Korean War: This was approved by the UN Security Council, so it wasn't unilateral.
8) Vietnam War: Again, we thought we'd been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, so it wasn't preemptive in our minds; plus, we had our Australian and South Vietnamese allies with us, so not unilateral.
9) Desert Storm: Not unilateral -- lots of allies. Same with Kosovo. And Afghanistan (which was also not preemptive).

10) Iraq: During major combat operations, we fought with our British, Australian, and Polish allies by our side, so it clearly wasn't unilateral. Iraq had been shooting at our airplanes patrolling the no-fly zones, so we were attacked first. This one seems to get a pass from the Idaho Dems, based on what they say they "reject".

Note that if we were to go into Iran, we'd probably have at least our Israeli allies fighting with us, so not even that war would be unilateral. It looks to me that Idaho Dems are just as willing to support an aggressive foreign policy as the Republicans are, at least from what their platform says. Good for them!

I do realize that some of them may not understand the meaning of "unilateral", and say that it really applies to Iraq since we didn't have enough allies. I'd ask them if they supported the apparently "unilateral" American invasion of Normandy during WWII, since there we were pretty much only joined in the landing by the Brits, Poles, Aussies, and Canadians. Maybe they'll say it's unilateral if we don't have Canadians involved.

Unrelated post-script: Vizzini was wrong about the meaning of the word "inconceivable". Hopefully he was also wrong when he named the most famous "classic blunder" as "never get involved in a land war in Asia".

6 Comments:

Blogger girlfriday said...

How long have you lived in Idaho?

6/27/2006 1:27 AM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

I happen to have met Helen Chenoweth when she came through Jacksonville, FL on her JBS speakers tour. She's a real nice lady, a True Patriot (a dirty word these days) and not the "whackjob" she's made out to be. I don't remember specifically what she said, we're going back over 10 years now, but her comment about black helicopters was taken out of context. Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information, and should be taken with a grain of brine.

6/27/2006 6:25 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Girlfriday -- I first lived in Idaho in 1990, but didn't move here permanently until 2 years ago. (I even moved here from California!) I figured I'd get a break though because my wife is from here, and her family moved here in the 1800s.

Sonarman -- She made enough "pro-militia" comments during her time in Congress that I feel fairly comfortable putting on the extreme edge of the Republican party.

6/27/2006 6:33 AM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

Perhaps Chenowith is on the edge of the Republican party, and everybody has misguided opinions about one thing or another. But personally, if I had to choose between anarchy and the cradle-to-grave socialistic nanny state of the other end of the political spectrum, I go with ol' Ben Franklin, who said, "I prefer a little danger with my liberty."

And she's still a nice lady... ;-}

6/27/2006 6:35 PM

 
Blogger Julie in Boise said...

Hey Bubblehead, I was at the convention and I enjoy your assessment of it (as well as your larger thoughts on adults being in charge of the party).

The Dept of Peace idea was rejected fairly soundly, with some amusing comments. My favorite had something to do with fear and loathing over whom George W Bush would put in charge of such a department.

Anyway, as you point out, the plank about opposing unilateral, preemptive war is subject to broad interpretation. I come down on the side of Iraq being unilateral mainly because the war (as we all know now and many of us knew then) was based on a jerry-rigged assembly of bad intelligence that the admin KNEW was bad.

The neocons wanted this war and did everything they could to make it happen, and that ranks as premeditated and preemptive (not to mention immoral) in my book.

6/29/2006 7:57 AM

 
Blogger rrockbeast said...

I once voted for a democrat. In the first election I was old enough to vote in, I voted for John Glenn. Like your candidate, his rhetoric and campaign platform sounded so good that it was hard to believe they were being espoused by a democrat. It turns out that it was too good to be true.

You have to know that no matter what they say prior to being elected, if elected, they will toe the party line or not be reelected (Joe Lieberman).

I don't agree with everything the Republicans in the administration and Congress do or say, but I’m surely not going to switch parties just because I got my pu feelings hurt by someone’s criticism of my views.

So, you are made feel better by this…

Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett of Ketchum said the platform means little to Democrats holding office. "For the people in office and in the Legislature, it has very little impact on our daily lives,"

… which is demonstrated by my first two paragraphs.

And this…

a. We support those serving in the military and their families, at home and abroad, in wartime and in peace.
b. We reject a foreign policy of unilateral, preemptive war.

That last part is brilliant. It makes the progressives think they've spoken Truth To Power by boldly risking being sent to Guantanamo by opposing the war in Iraq, when actually it means no such thing if you look at it closely.

… which smacks of the same wordsmithing railed against by those who must suffer through endless PowerPoint briefings; and makes you feel good, even though it is disingenuous.

I’ve worked for a lot of people during my career(s). I always preferred the boss who would tell me what they thought of me to my face, rather than praise me in public and then stab me in the back with a fitness report (mine or theirs).

Ever hear the phrase “Don’t piss in my ear, and then tell me its raining?”

And this is classic from Julie in Boise…

The Dept of Peace idea was rejected fairly soundly, with some amusing comments. My favorite had something to do with fear and loathing over whom George W Bush would put in charge of such a department.

… rejected, not because it’s a moronic idea, but because they’re afraid of who W would install? I really don’t think they would have to worry about that, because it wouldn’t happen,

C'mon, you really don't want to play in same sandbox as these guys do you?

6/29/2006 8:53 AM

 

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