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Thread: Great Column. Paul Krugman hits the nail

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    A Willful Ignorance
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Published: October 28, 2003

    According to The New York Times, President Bush was genuinely surprised to learn from moderate Islamic leaders that they had become deeply distrustful of American intentions. The report on the "perception gap" suggests that the leader of the war on terror has no idea how badly that war which must, ultimately, be a war for hearts and minds is going.

    Mr. Bush's ignorance may reflect his lack of curiosity: "The best way to get the news," he says, "is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff." Two words: emperor, clothes.

    But there's something broader going on: a sort of willful ignorance, supposedly driven by moral concerns but actually reflecting domestic politics. Surely it's important to understand how others see us, but a new, post 9/11 version of political correctness has made it difficult even to discuss their points of view. Any American who tries to go beyond "America good, terrorists evil," who tries to understand not condone the growing world backlash against the United States, faces furious attacks delivered in a tone of high moral indignation. The attackers claim to be standing up for moral clarity, and some of them may even believe it. But they are really being used in a domestic political struggle.

    Last week I found myself caught up in that struggle. I wrote about why Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister a clever if loathsome man who adjusts the volume of his anti-Semitism depending on circumstances chose to include an anti-Jewish diatribe in his speech to an Islamic conference. Sure enough, I was accused in various places not just of "tolerance for anti-Semitism" (yes, I'm Jewish) but of being in Mr. Mahathir's pay. Smear tactics aside, the thrust of the attacks was that because anti-Semitism is evil, anyone who tries to understand why politicians foment anti-Semitism and looks for ways other than military force to combat the disease is an apologist for anti-Semitism and is complicit in evil.

    Yet that moral punctiliousness is curiously selective. Last year the Bush administration, in return for a military base in Uzbekistan, gave $500 million to a government that, according to the State Department, uses torture "as a routine investigation technique," and whose president has killed opponents with boiling water. The moral clarity police were notably quiet.

    Why is aiding a brutal dictator O.K., while trying to understand why others don't trust us and doing something to create that trust isn't? Why won't the administration mollify Muslims by firing Lt. Gen. William Boykin, whose anti-Islamic remarks have created vast ill will, from his counterterrorism position? Why won't it give moderate Muslims a better argument against the radicals by opposing Ariel Sharon's settlement policy, when a majority of Israelis think that some settlements should be abandoned, and even Israeli military officers have become bitterly critical of Mr. Sharon?

    The answer is that in these cases politics takes priority over the war on terror. Moderate Muslims would have more faith in America's good intentions if there were at least the appearance of a distinction between the U.S. and the Sharon government but the administration seeks votes from those who think that supporting Israel means supporting whatever Mr. Sharon does. It's sheer folly to keep General Boykin in his present position, but as Howard Fineman writes in a Newsweek Web-exclusive column, the administration doesn't want "to make a martyr of a man who depicts himself as a Christian Soldier, marching off to war."

    Muslims are completely wrong to think that the U.S. is engaged in a war against Islam. But that misperception flourishes in part because the domestic political strategy of the Bush administration no longer able to claim the Iraq war was a triumph, and with little but red ink to show for its economic plans looks more and more like a crusade. "Election Boils Down to a Culture War" was the title of Mr. Fineman's column. But the analysis was all about abortion and euthanasia, and now we hear that opposition to gay marriage will be a major campaign theme. This isn't a culture war it's a religious war.

    Which brings me back to my starting point: we'll lose the fight against terror if we don't make an effort to understand how others think. Yet because of a domestic political struggle that seems ever more centered on religion, such attempts at understanding are shouted down.

  2. #2
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 11:38 AM
    [b] A Willful Ignorance
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Published: October 28, 2003

    According to The New York Times, [/b][/quote]
    Who was the reporter for the Times....Jayson Blair? This is the blind leading the blind, er...left leading the far left!!

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 12:17 PM
    [b] Who was the reporter for the Times....Jayson Blair? This is the blind leading the blind, er...left leading the far left!! [/b][/quote]
    Once again you blatantly display your ignorance.

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    Well that's it then.....since we all know the NY Times is committed to telling only the absolute 100 % unadulturated truth this certainly is the damning evidence the liberals have been looking for to crucify the Bush administration.........or..........more likely it's yet another article in a series of left wing ideological drivel that pretends to be presented in a fair and reasoned manner but in actuality is little more than the continuance of the NY Times leftist propoganda.

    I'll vote for B !.

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    Krugman is full of sh*t, and people have called him on it repeatedly. The Krugman Truth Squad is particularly comprehensive and hilarious. Not a single word out of Krugman's pen can be trusted, although he usually saves his lying for economic issues. Here is a small sample of Krugman being completely exposed as a fraud:

    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad200310221113.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...00310221113.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad200310150951.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...00310150951.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad200310281051.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...00310281051.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad091503.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...squad091503.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad091603.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...squad091603.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad062703.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...squad062703.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad060903.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...squad060903.asp[/url]
    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/truthsquad060503.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_luskin/...squad060503.asp[/url]

    Have fun reading this stuff Tail.

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    It an op-ed piece thus opinion.

    I agree with his opinion.

    The National Review Sucks!

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 04:19 PM
    [b] It an op-ed piece thus opinion.

    I agree with his opinion.

    The National Review Sucks! [/b][/quote]
    Jets 5 has correctly pointed out the guy's a fraud.....how can something that most likely is based in half truths and lies be considered by anyone as rational opinion to be agreed with ?.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 03:19 PM
    [b] It an op-ed piece thus opinion.

    I agree with his opinion.

    The National Review Sucks! [/b][/quote]
    Keep deferring to the Times, Tail.

    Obviously its an opinion, and his justifications of this opinion are based on lies and distortions. The word "opinion" is not an excuse to misrepresent facts.

    Krugman is been exposed often. It is hilarious that you used people like him and Maureen Dowd as references, or the NY Times.


    You know their slogan, "Accuracy Schmaccuracy - at least we're diverse!"

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by MARYLAND JET[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 04:50 PM
    [b] Jets 5 has correctly pointed out the guy's a fraud. [/b][/quote]
    How exactly?

    By citing the National Review?

    That dog don't hunt.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators+Oct 28 2003, 04:58 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (tailgators @ Oct 28 2003, 04:58 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--MARYLAND JET[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 04:50 PM
    [b] Jets 5 has correctly pointed out the guy&#39;s a fraud. [/b][/quote]
    How exactly?

    By citing the National Review?

    That dog don&#39;t hunt. [/b][/quote]
    " How exactly ".....by exposing Krugman for what he is, a typical left wing ideologue who is willing to make assertations that are not factually correct.

    " By citing the National Revue ".....Well, by their own admission the Times record for accuracy lately leaves alot to be desired so I would say the revue is the more credible of the two.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 04:19 PM
    [b] It an op-ed piece thus opinion.

    I agree with his opinion.

    The National Review Sucks&#33; [/b][/quote]
    I&#39;m "ignorant" because I don&#39;t agree with his opinion and for calling the Times for what it is? [b]Talk about ignorance&#33;&#33; [/b]

    Just another example of the hypocritical left....they can implement their 1st ammmendment rights to berate out President but God-forbid someone implement&#39;s their 1st ammendment rights to speak out against one of them or their opinions...well that&#39;s just ignorant&#33;&#33;

  12. #12
    While we&#39;re airing out our opinions on who can be "trusted", anyone got hard evidence to prove that the &#036;500 million Uzbekistan base is bull****? Or do I have to read through 12 URLs of right wing op-ed to find a similarly tossed off counterclaim?

    As this is the only actual cited fact in an article of opinions (which I also happen to agree with), your case that Krugman is a total fraud would have a lot more weight if you disproved one of the key pieces of evidence in his editorial rather than ranting about how the NY Times is more biased and propaganda-slanted than the National Review (which to me is like saying Ford Expeditions waste more gas than Hummers).

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 29 2003, 08:25 AM
    [b] While we&#39;re airing out our opinions on who can be "trusted", anyone got hard evidence to prove that the &#036;500 million Uzbekistan base is bull****? Or do I have to read through 12 URLs of right wing op-ed to find a similarly tossed off counterclaim?

    As this is the only actual cited fact in an article of opinions (which I also happen to agree with), your case that Krugman is a total fraud would have a lot more weight if you disproved one of the key pieces of evidence in his editorial rather than ranting about how the NY Times is more biased and propaganda-slanted than the National Review (which to me is like saying Ford Expeditions waste more gas than Hummers). [/b][/quote]
    Glad to have you back Jet Set. If you&#39;d bother to read through the URLs I posted, you&#39;d see that a team of investigators has painstakingly gone through Krugman&#39;s columns and have disproved literally hundreds of his "cited facts." (Believe me, there are many more I could have also included) The funniest one is a transcript of an interview Krugman did with Russert in which Russert mentions the Krugman Truth Squad and some of its particularLY JUICY points, and Krugman stammers and says, "Uh, well, I mean...I write a lot of columns and can&#39;t be expecetd to check [i]everything[/i]."

    Funny stuff. I don&#39;t believe a word this jackass says and that is based upon what has clearly been exposed as his CONTINUED lack of respect for veracity. Call it ad hominem if you want to - but his personal duplicity coupled with the institutional and ADMITTED duplicity of the NY "Once Upon A" Times makes Krugman about as credible in my mind as Ann Coulter is in yours. You agree with him, so that&#39;s that. We all have our biases.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 29 2003, 09:25 AM
    [b] While we&#39;re airing out our opinions on who can be "trusted", anyone got hard evidence to prove that the &#036;500 million Uzbekistan base is bull****? Or do I have to read through 12 URLs of right wing op-ed to find a similarly tossed off counterclaim?

    As this is the only actual cited fact in an article of opinions (which I also happen to agree with), your case that Krugman is a total fraud would have a lot more weight if you disproved one of the key pieces of evidence in his editorial rather than ranting about how the NY Times is more biased and propaganda-slanted than the National Review (which to me is like saying Ford Expeditions waste more gas than Hummers). [/b][/quote]
    As far as the hard evidence to prove or disprove Krugman&#39;s assertations about the &#036; 500 mil to Uzbekistan I don&#39;t have it, I suspect that we did and whether we did or didn&#39;t to me personally is not the point.

    To me, the point is the NY Times sees no problem at all having someone like Krugman write hit piece after hit piece against this administration while espousing his leftist agenda and tries to sell it to the public as an open / honest assessment as to where we stand.

    Surely there had to be a reason the administration gave the money to Uzbekastan, I don&#39;t spend 24 - 7 - 365 trying to analyze and understand every move the administration makes but I believe this administration has the countries best interests at heart so there had to be some reason for it but Krugman didn&#39;t even try to find out, his whole agenda is about Bush bashing which is fine as long as it&#39;s not presented in a forum disguised as real news.

    Some other examples of his not presenting the whole story are his comments about Gen Boykin.....He states it&#39;s " politics " keeping the Gen from being rightly fired.....there is another side to the story which he refused to allude to which is the Gen didn&#39;t say or do anything that should cause his dismissal in alot of peoples opinions.

    All as I understand it the Gen did was speak at some churches { his 1st amendment right } about his opinions, he didn&#39;t say anything imflammatory or " anti - islamic " to or about moderate muslims, if his opinion is that people who would kill other innocent people in the name of religion are following a false God well good for him, firing him for making those comments is absurd, {for chrissakes, IMHO we should pin another star on him for showing some balls }, but Krugman makes the case the administration is playing politics when in actuality it is he that is bringing this up for pure political reasons.

    His other comments to me are laughable as well, there are obviously two sides to the Isreali settlement issue but to even allude to the other side of the story would obviously be counter productive to the real reason behind the story which is to try to embarress the present administration in any way possible, objectivity is just something Krugman and the Times in general want the reader to believe they have when in truth they have absolutely none.

    And as for the Times&#39; credibility as a whole, even they admit their record for accuracy lately leaves alot to be desired so for me that&#39;s the major diference { other than ideology } between the Times and the Revue.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by tailgators+Oct 28 2003, 03:58 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (tailgators @ Oct 28 2003, 03:58 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--MARYLAND JET[/i]@Oct 28 2003, 04:50 PM
    [b] Jets 5 has correctly pointed out the guy&#39;s a fraud. [/b][/quote]
    How exactly?

    By citing the National Review?

    That dog don&#39;t hunt. [/b][/quote]
    National Review is respected. Hey, they fired Ann Coulter because she said outrageous things and didn&#39;t want her to be associated with them anymore. Surely you lefties respect THAT?&#33;

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    [i]All as I understand it the Gen did was speak at some churches { his 1st amendment right } about his opinions, he didn&#39;t say anything imflammatory or " anti - islamic " to or about moderate muslims, if his opinion is that people who would kill other innocent people in the name of religion are following a false God well good for him, firing him for making those comments is absurd, {for chrissakes, IMHO we should pin another star on him for showing some balls }, but Krugman makes the case the administration is playing politics when in actuality it is he that is bringing this up for pure political reasons.[/i]

    And let&#39;s not forget..this man (Gen Boykin) is willing to make the supreme sacrifice for the 1st ammendment unlike clowns like Krugman who reap the benefits from the hard work of people like the General by implementing their 1st ammendment rights to the fullest yet scold others who practice the same....can you, once again, say liberal hypocrisy??&#33;&#33;

  17. #17
    Well, to cut right through the opinions on opinions, the Uzbek thing is more or less true as per:

    [url=http://www.terrorismanswers.com/coalition/uzbekistan_print.html]http://www.terrorismanswers.com/coalition/...stan_print.html[/url]

    [url=http://www.house.gov/international_relations/democratic/fpb_cen_asia.html]http://www.house.gov/international_relatio...b_cen_asia.html[/url]

    Anyway, the point is: this is not some huge outrage, it&#39;s business as usual. No different than what we do in Saudi Arabia, and I&#39;m having a hard time seeing any difference in what we did with Saddam in the mid 1980&#39;s. A wink, wink, some lip service, and lots of money and weapons for oppressive dictators so we can have some bases there and pretend they are "allies".

    It&#39;s not even a Bush phenomenon either; this sort of thing, as Republican partisans are always quick to point out, happened right through the years between the Bushes (sounds like a UGA football game). Though this Administration is definitely leading the way in having its few select corporate buddies directly profiteer off each "Strategerific" military and oil project while using the taxpayers&#39; money to give to these dictators.

    I just don&#39;t want to hear bluster from the Right about how Bush is taking no s**t from the oppresive governments of the middle east, is cutting off ties and aid to known terroristic dictatorships, and is universally about helping "democratize" them. Nothing of the sort is happening anywhere besides Iraq, and until the country is really being run as a democracy independent of the Pentagon that claim is a prediction and not a fact.

    If your hatred of Krugman blinds you from even seeing his point that continually throwing money in this manner at these sorts ofpeople does not set a good example for winning over the Middle East and eliminating "terrorist funds", then so be it. I&#39;m sure the more rational among you just see this as a slow process that requires step by step "strategery" in aiding some strange bedfellows on the way to zero tolerance of Middle East scum dictators. Good luck holding your breath to see Bush take a tough stance on anyone who didn&#39;t thumb their nose at his daddy. Weren&#39;t we supposed to be invading Syria by now? :rolleyes:

    As for downplaying Boykin&#39;s rhetoric, why bother? You know damn well what he meant, and MD Jet&#39;s point is true; a lot of Americans see it Boykin&#39;s way, this pretty much is a war on A-rabs and Muslims, not a war on terrorism per se. That&#39;s why so many of them were happy to trade Iraqi body count for Saudi or Afghan, whether or not any Iraqi had anything to do with 9/11. Muslims and arabs dying = revenge for the WTC.

    I would never claim this is a belief of the MAJORITY of the right-wing or even people who call themselves Christian in this country, but IMO it&#39;s a LOT more than, say, the number of people who want America to scrap its military and become a Communist utopia -- to use just one of the caricatures the Right loves to pin on anyone who doesn&#39;t trust George W. Bush.

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    So Jet Set, you are criticizing Bush for not invading Syria? Yeah - if he had invaded you&#39;d be pumped, I imagine. Hmm....

    Bush is stupid, has no clue, and it&#39;s all about his dad and his oil buddies - will that impress liberal academics at cocktail parties? ;) Krugman always hammers at Bush personally and never mentions what you did; that this has gone on for a long time and that circumstances create strange bedfellows. He is a hyper-partisan hack, like Coulter. You dismiss EVERYTHING she writes and she checks her facts much more than Krugman does. If your hatred of her blinds you from the fact that many liberals were sensitive to communism and are unpatriotic (gasp - even prior to Bush becoming Prez&#33;) than "so be it." ;)

    Did it ever occur to you that the "terrorists" we are fighting are ALL Muslims? [b]Logic 101 dude:[/b] All terrorists we are at war against are Muslims. All Muslims are not terrorists. Therefore, we are not at war with all Muslims. Got it? Cause I am pretty sure Boykin said &#39;fanatical&#39; or &#39;radical&#39; Islam - if you don&#39;t think that&#39;s what we are at war against that you are living in a cave or are just "blinded" by your partisanship. Exactly what was wrong with his statements? or at least the[i] sections[/i] of which were actually released&#33; I would have thought you&#39;d be championing his "diverse" opinions...hell, even Wesley Clark writes about the need for diversity in the military - now a guy expresses an opinion and all of a sudden the free-speech and diversity police are trying to censor him? But that can&#39;t be right, caise that would mean they are hypocrites. You guys were all about not reprimanding those GIs who were *****ing during the war to the newspapers, not this guy should be canned or is a moron? Yeah, nice moves.

    You are a bright guy, but save the implied intellectual superiority that you have for most Americans and for Bush. I am pretty sure you don&#39;t have an MBA from Harvard. You don&#39;t agree with the Iraq war, fine. But to contend that people who do support it are merely unsophisticated dittoheads who want to "kill brown people" for revenge is fantastically arrogant.

    Please define "terrorism" in the context of the current war on terrorism and please, COMPLETELY SEPARATE it from Islam and infidels. I am pretty sure we aren&#39;t hunting down the Shintoist and Hindus who have been trying to kill Americans for decades and I am pretty sure Buddhists don&#39;t explode nail-filled bombs in cafes that rip apart infants.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 29 2003, 02:19 PM
    [b] As for downplaying Boykin&#39;s rhetoric, why bother? You know damn well what he meant, and MD Jet&#39;s point is true; a lot of Americans see it Boykin&#39;s way, this pretty much is a war on A-rabs and Muslims, not a war on terrorism per se. [/b][/quote]
    I don&#39;t understand how you could say the Generals point was that this is a war against " A-rabs and muslims " and not on terrorism ?.

    To me, the Gereral had a very clear point, by stating that anyone who would kill innocent people in the name of religion is following a false God he is not indicting the majority of muslims who { I hope } agree with that sentiment.

    Who he is impugning are the radical muslims who wish to do us harm, or, put another way, the terrorists, how you think his meaning translates to all A-rabs and muslims is beyond me, there is no hidden meaning in his words as far as I can see, he&#39;s just stating we are at war versus the terrorists and their backwards philosophies.

    And while there are many who wish to cloud up the issue of who we are fighting and why we&#39;re in Iraq in the first place the administration has been consistant throughout this whole process and IMHO has adequately explained it&#39;s actions, If you think the people we are fighting in Iraq consist mostly of patriotic Iraquis I&#39;d have to disagree, yes, there are some Baathists who would like to take back the country but the majority of the people we are going up against are terrorists from other countries.

    And IMO the reason that it&#39;s so important to those terrorists that we get out of Iraq are many, first and foremost is if they were to force us out they would be there to fill the void which is unacceptable, that&#39;s why this has turned into a war against the terrorists in Iraq, they want to have a country basically run by them and also embarress us in the region and the world and believe if they inflict enough casualties on us we will lose our will and get out, if that were to happen God help us all and thank God we have an administration that will not allow it.

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    Tru dat, Maryland&#33;

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