Residual Troops Around the World

A lot of discussion happens on MyDD about how fully to withdraw the troops from Iraq. Should we leave embassy troops is pretty much a consensus yes. When discussing if there be counterterrorism operations, humanitarian missions or soldiers training Iraqis, though, there is a lot of disagreement.

I thought it would be useful to gather the opinion on America's many other foreign bases as a way of narrowing in on why troops should or should not stay in Iraq at all.

We have 71,000 troops stationed in Germany, 47,000 in Japan, 37,500 in South Korea. The German divisions patrolled the Iraqi no-fly zone prior to 2003, take care of the seriously wounded from Iraq, fought in Bosnia and Kosovo and provide a huge amount of logistical support. The Asian troops largely practice for the possibility of a North Korean attack. There are also large bases in Britain, Italy, and Turkey. In total, the US military has at least 700 bases in 130 countries (this does not include embassies).

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Creative Class Progressivism - Is this what we want to be?

Chris wrote in his Drinking Liberally post:

In addition to overtly political and media-oriented work conducted with progressive interests in mind, the progressive movement is also part of a social movement. It is connected to the growing dominance of "creative class" values within much of American culture, and to the rise of a new structure of the public sphere based not on mass membership institutions but upon self-starting, micro-targeted social networking. Contemporary progressivism has become more than just about our political beliefs, but also about the way we conduct many other aspects of our daily lives.

I was completely floored. Aren't we supposed to fight for the least among us and to empower them? To define an entire movement as reflecting the values of high-income, largely white, urban professionals seems antithetical to the world I want to live in. Moreover, to then claim, as I often read on this site, that the same movement is fighting for some sort of "general" liberalism, free from interest group politics, is astounding.

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Why is Clinton popular?

Chris has done an excellent job of showing that Hillary Clinton's lead in the polls is not solely due to name recognition. That's not to say that it isn't too early to say anything conclusive, but rather to say that, based on the present information, Clinton really is preferred to many candidates - in particular John Edwards who is also very well known.

I'm curious to hear to what the myDD community attributes HRC's lead (and please don't say name recognition again!) I feel like the anti-Clinton sentiment here would be more successful if you guys had a sense of what made her popular.

Is it that the media treats her favorably? Maybe, but they adore both Obama and McCain as well. Is it her image? Her policies? That she's a woman? That everyone wants to go back to the 90's? Each of these answers implies a very different course of action. So why is Clinton liked right now? Let the conversation begin!

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Swing States and the Dems

We talk a lot here about electability - both the myth and the reality. It seems like the best way to discuss electability is to go through the swing states, one by one, and see who could win there.

I'm going to make two big assumptions. The first is that the electoral map will be broadly similar to 2004. In other words, Giuliani isn't swinging New York, there isn't another terrorist attack, and so on. The swing states are the same. For that reason, I'm going to count any state won by both Gore and Kerry as safe. I know that they aren't - especially Minnesota and Wisconsin - but if we can't deliver those seats to any of the three major candidates, we've got bigger problems. In any case, that's 248 electoral votes.

The second assumption is that the candidates run a good enough campaign along their current lines. I'd consider Kerry's campaign to have been well run - could've been better, but he did decently against an incumbent president during a war - so this isn't a particularly high bar. I'm just not going to factor in likelihood to make a big gaffe or to hire fools. Hillary will run a DLC/motherhood campaign, Edwards a populist campaign and Obama will be hopeful platitudes masking progessivism.

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Liking Clinton, from the left!

I should start this diary with a disclaimer. I have, over the past year, supported Edwards, Warner, Edwards again, Richardson and Obama. So I'm nothing if not easily convinced. But while the spirit has me, I'd like to do the heretical on this website - praise Senator Hillary Clinton and push for her victory.

It makes sense to me to start with why I supported all the other guys in the past. I'm a big union man, so Edwards is my default. I liked Warner's having raised taxes in VA a lot and thought that showed the kind of stuff it takes to govern well. Richardson has the resume and energy is probably my number 2 issue. Plus I think Latinos will be the key. Finally, Obama strikes me as the one who has that special something that really gets you places - he reminds me of JFK and Reagan in his way of making speeches that are often Rohrschach blots. None of those opinions have changed, so what has?

Simply put, Clinton has won a complete skeptic over on every count. First, despite the general sense in the MSM and the overwhelming hurricane of opinion in the netroots, I've found her to be a real progressive. When she talked about childcare on The View, I realized that she has a very good understanding of what low-income families need and how the government can improve that. It Takes a Village is in many ways a bigger challenge to neo-liberalism and hyperindividualism than anything on the table in America today.

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A Leftist Canon?

This is my first diary and, it seems from comments on an earlier thread, I'm probably about to start off on the wrong foot. So while I hope I spark a big debate, I'd appreciate a few comments on the format, too.

I want to extend a tangent of the TPMCafe discussion of the netroots and in particular Max Sawicky's argument against the netroots. After making a very good historical argument about the ideologies of SDS, he makes the following claim:

The 60s left read Marx, Trotsky, Luxembourg, Lukacs, Chomsky, Franz Fanon, Malcolm X, C.L.R. James, Ernest Mandel, Joan Robinson, Herbert Marcuse, Michael Harrington, Saul Alinsky. What does the netroots read? Don't Think of an Elephant?

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