culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Monday, September 20, 2004
Another capitalist against Bush, or "There's going to be a draft."
An ongoing area of fascination here in Skimbleland consists of those people who manage vast amounts of money — the raison d'etre and chief lubricant of the Republican Party — and yet fully recognize that George W Bush is bad for business. One more is Wall Street veteran and former money manager at two of the most respected investment firms around, Capital Research & Management and PrimeCap, David Richards (interview by Sandra Ward in
Barron's, sub. req'd.):
Q: Let's segue into the issue you raised of political stability.
A: Bush is taking the country in a direction that is very different than it had been going in for the last 50 years. The notion of pre-emptive wars and the pre-emptive war that we have in Iraq is a failed strategy. If [Deputy Defense Secretary] Paul Wolfowitz were a money manager, and he made the forecast about weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqis greeting the American forces with flowers, and then declared "mission accomplished," when in fact we were totally unprepared for the uprising we face there, he would have been fired for incompetence. No one responsible for these decisions has been fired. If you had a big money-management company with bad research and bad portfolio managers making bad judgments, that would be the end of that company.

Q: Yes, and I believe there's been a few examples of that.
A: These people are delusional. They are deluded by the apparent military power of the United States. There are three levels of military power, and we have a great advantage in one: the middle level. The top level is the ability to produce atomic weapons and missiles. Now the Chinese can do it. The Russians can do it. The Israelis can do it. The Indians can do it. The Pakistanis can do it. The British can do it. Nobody has an advantage, and these weapons cannot be used without blowing the world to smithereens. In that sense, they are useless. The middle level is about projecting force, and that's what we're good at. We have airplanes. We have aircraft carriers. We have guided missiles. We have electronics. We have all that in profusion. There we have an advantage. However, at the third level, we have no advantage at all, and that's in guerrilla warfare and in controlling territory. That's the problem in Iraq. We needed a multiple of the number of troops that we have there to control that country. Unlike the Russians and the Chinese and many of the European countries, we don't have a conscript army.

Q: Are you suggesting we'll reinstate the draft?
A: If Bush gets elected for a second term, and he's faced with an army that is overextended, there's going to be a draft. That will divide this country further. That's where the political crisis comes in. Because of the military overextension, you have some terrible decisions that have to be made. The draft is one. The second involves the budget. The war costs are much greater than they should have been.

Q: Bring this back to your point that our power in the world is diminishing?
A: The power diminishes because of this huge growth over the next 10-to-20 years of Asia. Also, our unilateral policies are angering the world, and it isn't unreasonable to consider Western Europe joining with the Russians and creating a huge power bloc against us.
Other capitalists who disapprove of Bush policies, explicitly or implicitly, include Seth Glickenhaus and Warren Buffett.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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