Of Bucy Bots and Wilmer’s Thoughts On Humanitarian Bombs

by lizard

When it comes to state politics in Montana, I’m probably the least informed contributor at 4&20. Twelve years living in this weird bubble called Missoula, with only three years actually paying attention to local politics, doesn’t gain me much unique insight.

BUT, as an outsider, without any investment of time or money in any active campaigns, I can speak as a somewhat average consumer of our state democracy, examining a bit more objectively the packages being sold.

Like Pam Bucy. Apparently the bow on her gift-wrapping is her status as Helena Insider. I infer this from the duplicitous Cowgirl(s) site (no link, you know where to find “her”) and the flak-contagion Pogie received for this post at Intelligent Discontent.

Based on that, and reading that Pam’s been keen on killing Medicinal Marijuana, my vote is more than likely going for Jesse Laslovich.

Denny’s seat I’m having a little more trouble with. Dave Strohmaier’s “social host ordinance” was a waste of time, IMO, and it doesn’t seem like he’s got wider traction outside the bubble, so I’m leaning toward Franke Wilmer, but with reservations.

Franke is touted as informed when it comes to foreign policy. Part of her pedigree in the bio on her website regarding her scholarly work reads:

Franke Wilmer came to Bozeman in 1991 to accept a position on the faculty of Montana State University. Her research has focused on war, ethnic conflict, and indigenous peoples’ self determination. Franke has written three books, numerous articles and been an invited guest lecturer in the US and abroad. She conducted field research in former Yugoslavia during the war and over five years following the Dayton Peace Accords.

After reading the bio, I found the ISSUES button and read the two paragraphs dedicated to foreign policy:

In an age where terrorist attacks pose the greatest threat to national security, the most effective tools are intelligence with a global reach and well-trained and well-equipped U.S. military Special Forces, not 80,000 troops on the ground in two countries. The greatest threat we face today comes from unconventional enemies that will not be defeated by conventional military tactics.

I have visited more than 50 countries to do research or as an invited speaker and am a professor of international relations. I have spent significant time in an active war zone. I know the great personal costs of war to civilians and military personnel. When we are asked to send our young men and women as well as our tax dollars overseas for a military intervention, we need someone in Congress who will ask the right questions and show restraint in supporting those requests.

I think there’s some decent messaging here, but the lead in framing of Wilmer’s stance features the kind of red meat I reflexively gag on. Getting beyond the arguable claim that terrorist attacks pose the GREATEST threat to national security, the following endorsement of the still-evolving Obama doctrine ( light footprint NATO-style regime change and JSOC assassinations) is going to make it difficult for Franke Wilmer to be the kind of congressperson she claims to want to be, someone who will ask the right questions.

One of many “right questions” to be asking: how’s Libya doing? Not so good.

“While the Canadian government celebrated Gadhafi’s overthrow, the countries in the region were feeling the effects.

The Libyan strongman not only had provided aid for many African nations, but employment for their citizens. His demise set into motion a mass exodus of workers back to their original countries.

That, in turn, created a domino effect as those nations struggled to deal with hundreds of thousands of traumatized and impoverished people, according to a recently released UN report for the Security Council.

Crime and drug and human smuggling have spiked in the region and the return of more than one million people to their homelands has worsened an “already challenging, humanitarian, development and security situation,” the report noted.

But Gadhafi’s overthrow did breathe new life into one organization — al-Qaida.

As Gadhafi’s forces retreated from NATO’s relentless air attacks, theyabandoned bases and ammunition depots holding thousands of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles. In the chaos that engulfed Libya, the sites were quickly pilfered, either by rebels or black marketeers.

African nations were the first to sound the warning. In late March, just weeks into the conflict, Chad’s president, Idriss Deby Itno, told journalists that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM as it is known, had obtained missiles and small arms from abandoned Libyan stockpiles. “This is very serious,” he said. “AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region.”

Canada was slow to recognize the problem. In April, Canadian Forces spokesman Brig.-Gen. Richard Blanchette said the military didn’t have any information about missing armaments or missiles.

But a month later, Algerian intelligence also was warning that looted Libyan weapons were in the hands of AQIM.

“The region has turned into a powder keg,” Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s foreign minister, later would tell delegates to an anti-terrorism conference. “Things have changed and degraded since the Libya crisis and the region is on a war path. With stolen weapons circulating, al-Qaida’s total impact is growing.”

There are serious consequences for how the US&Co bumble-fuck around in the Mid-East and Africa. I hope candidate Franke Wilmer is willing to consider the potential blowback of Obama’s preference to use low-casualty humanitarian/terrorist-killing bombing of a half dozen countries to get at those “unconventional enemies”.

  1. Mark Miwertz

    Well, I’m sure this will give you even more reason to pause, but imo Wilmer is the best of the bunch and deserves any Democrat’s support. In the end, Daines’ lead will be insurmountable, I think.

    And I’m supporting Laz right on thru the general regardless of party affiliation for the same damn reason you cite.

  2. Turner

    I’m not sure what your quibble with Wilmer is. Is there a greater threat to national security (if we understand this to mean an action leading to the deaths of large numbers of Americans) than terrorist attacks?

    What would that threat be? What is Franke missing?

    • lizard19

      terrorism is a tactic, that’s my first quibble. it’s used both by foreigners and by US citizens, so it’s a threat that shouldn’t be relegated solely to the area of foreign policy, where terrorism is used to justify projecting US imperial ambitions. in terms of actual deaths caused, not having access to affordable health care is a bigger threat than terrorist attacks.

      and I thought I was pretty clear in voicing my concern over Franke’s endorsement of Obama’s military doctrine. obviously my opinions are perceived as pretty radical to some when it comes to criticizing Obama and the whole left’s obsession with humanitarian interventions, but if terrorism is such a concern, then actions taken by this administration to actually STRENGTHEN the boogemen in al-Qaeda should be examined just a bit more closely, don’t ya think?

      • Turner

        Wilmer didn’t say that “terrorism” (your word not hers) is the greatest threat. She said that “terrorist attacks” are. In light of the numerous Al-Qaeda-type attacks against our country, both ones that were successful and ones that were thwarted, I don’t see how you can argue with her claim.

        We’re an imperialist country. That doesn’t mean that we should stop protecting our people against those imbittered by our imperialism.

        • lizard19

          I know you don’t see how I can argue with her claim. but I am, and I will say it again. I don’t think terrorist attacks represent the biggest threat to our national security.

    • JC

      More Americans died in Iraq as a result of our declaring war on the faux terrorists than died in the 9/11 attacks.

      Is that what you mean as the greater threat to national security as measured by loss of american lives?

      If so, I agree that for instance, that a U.S. attack on Iran, and the large number of american and other lives lost–and the resulting revenge attacks (“chickens coming home to roost”) both domestic and abroad– are a grave threat to our national security.

      • Turner

        I hope you’re not suggesting that I, or Wilmer for that matter, supported the invasion of Iraq. I actively protested against it. And I’d protest our attacking Iran, too.

        • lizard19

          what about Libya? did you read the whole piece I linked to?

        • JC

          No, I wasn’t suggesting that you guys supported the invasion. It’s just that more americans died during the war than during the attack that was used to justify the war.

          I’m just saying that U.S. foreign policy is a greater threat to our national security than any terrorist attacks have been.

  3. petetalbot

    I’m waiting for the Missoula County Democrats to hold a forum/debate (hint,hint) for all the congressional Democratic candidates. I’d like to note that Strohmaier’s support of LGBT issues has been outstanding, though.

  4. Paul

    The Bucy Bots over on the cowgirl site get rather unbearable. Any comment that is not 100% positive for Bucy suddenly will get drowned out by all the pro Bucy posts. I am convinced at this point that cowgirl has multiple log in names and uses them all when attacking Jesse supporters. Actually judging from the internet blogs I would say that cowgirl is the only place that seems to think Pam will win the primary, and oddly her supporters (that are like attack dogs on cowgirl seem to evaporate outside of that site.

    • lizard19

      Paul, you got yourself quite a few stars for that comment. the cowgirl is what it is. for example, they’ll play the gender card when it’s politically advantageous, then allow the attack dogs (the ranger) to mock superficial aspects of a woman’s appearance and perceived actions (“nutcutting”) when the political winds shift.

    • I’m a bucy supporter. just showing up to let you know I’m not a bot : )

      though we disagree on the AG race, I am in agreement that Franke Wilmer is a good pick for Congress. Happy Thursday,


    • Jennifer Davies

      I don’t know what a bot is, presumably you mean someone pretending to be multiple people. I guessing this blog will be able to tell that I’m not doing so from my IP address. I appreciate the opportunity to comment and respect other’s rights to their own opinions. I support Pam Bucy and those that support her like Montana Conservation Voters and EMILY’s list. But if Jesse Laslovich wins the primary I’m sure folks will rally behind him too.

  5. ladybug

    Wilmer is an extremely loyal Democrat who will try very hard to keep her coloring within the prescribed lines. She’s a strong campaigner, has been predictable but somewhat disengaged from politically-active constituents during live-fire incidents at legislative sessions. Between sessions she’s almost invisible.

  6. Turner

    You’re voting for Laslovich instead of Bucy? You know, don’t you, that they’re running for different offices?

  7. Matthew Koehler

    I’m certainly not closely following the Bucy/Laslovich primary race; however, I did see this interesting comment posted this morning over at Ochenski’s latest column: http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/here-we-go-again/Content?oid=1537402.

    Having crossed swords with some of these lobbyists in the past (such as Cary Hegreberg, when he was the head of the MT Wood Products Association), and as a progressive, I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable voting for someone who’s being bank-rolled by these resource extraction lobbyists.


    Posted by Dan on February 23, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    It’s time for some forward thinking politicians. I am tired of those who are in the pocket of the extractive industries. One such politician is Jesse Laslovich, a twenty-something running for Attorney General, the state’s top law enforcement position.

    Here is a selection of the extractive industry lobbyists that are supporting him over his primary opponent.

    Leo Berry, Lobbyist, Coal Mountain Mining, BNSF, Monsanto, hosted a fundraiser for Laslovich

    Cary Hegreberg, Executive Director, Montana Contractors Assn. gave $50

    Geoffrey Feiss, Executive Director, Montana Telecommunications Assn. $50

    Debbie Shea, Executive Director, Montana Mining Association $50

    John MacDonald, Lobbyist, Gallatin Public Affairs (Arch Coal) $200

    Ronna Alexander, Executive Director, Montana Petroleum Marketers Assn.$100

    Jesse Luther, lobbyist, Monsanto, Yellowstone Insurance Exchange, BNSF Railway $100

    E.J. Redding, lobbyist with Rehberg’s staffer Dustin Frost $50

    • Paul

      Geoffrey Feiss represents all the little telecommunications business. He usually seems to spend most his time trying to protect small local internet companies from bresnan. Montana telecommunications assn does not have the resources to “bankroll” hence the 50 bucks that I suspect is actually from Geoffrey personal account not a $50 PAC check.

      Jesse was a Senator from Anaconda and BSNF has a major facility in Silver Bow county that all of Montana benefits from. Either this is a PAC check from BSNF or it is a personal check from Mrs. Luther, neither are signs of “bank rolling.” Also Debbie Shea is a Butte resident who I also assume gave $50 from her personal checking account, as you will find she donates to almost every democrat candidate from Butte/Anaconda. Besides the Mining Association is located on the MT Tech campus. Also another great resource for Montana and the area that Jesse grew up.

      Most of the post is nitpicking small donations from citizens. I almost guarantee that Feiss and Shea will not be on Tim Fox’s campaign report. The reality is that Jessse’s broad support base makes him the better candidate to win the state wide election. During primary season hardened democrats sometimes forget that Montana is a purple state, at best, and outside of 2008 generally sports a shade of red. We need to win the AG race and I think both candidates should be talking money wherever they can get it. Especially since anonymous corporate money is about to flow freely into the state and we all know that Fox and other republican’s like Rehberg have no problem being “bank rolled” by corporations.

  8. jackruby

    Wow i didnt know that once you donate 50 bucks to a candidate you are considered to now own them. That post from ‘dan’ that was reposted by Koehler looks like it was cut and pasted from an earlier Bucy bot posting on Cowgirl.

  9. Hector

    I like Matt Koehler, and that’s why it is hard for me to understand why so many of the Bucy Bots and the Cowgirl aliases treat him like and extremist and even call him different variations of environmental nutcase, but when it comes to bashing Jesse he just lets the cowgirls use him like a tool.

  10. Debby Johnson

    Be careful what you say. Rumor has it that Cowgirl takes the IP addresses of people who post on their website and miss use state resources to find a persons identity then they send threatening emails and make claims that they will use their website to smear those who post alternative opinions. I heard that they recently did this to a few Laslovich supports so they would not post on the website anymore. Those types of antics really hurt the intregerty of the Governors office.

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