I am trying to figure out what kind of United States has developed where the toughest Israelis in the world, the top Israeli military brass, want a U.S. ambassador in Syria, and other gestures, whereas the true impediment to that are right wing Republican Senators supported by a militant wing of the American public goaded on by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and of course Charles Krauthamer. Where do these Americans get the arrogance to be even more violent in their politics than the Israeli military? I think it is legitimate to take sides within the Israeli debate, but I do not understand being to the right of the right of the Israeli military. Of course, there is no logic to politics, there is only the logic of vote grabbing, and one gets votes in America today by demonizing any and all foreigners you can get your hands on, …
This is an important unnoticed piece that helps piece together the corruption of power during the Bush years that led to the Iraq debacle. It deserves study to help solidify democratic checks and balances to avert this in the future. Democratic systems require constant vigilance in order to checks and balances to work in ever changing circumstances.
Pentagon Office Home to Neo-Con Network
By Jim Lobe
An excerpt from the article:
The Office of Special Plans (OSP), which worked alongside the Near East and South Asia (NESA) bureau in Feith’s domain, was originally created by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to review raw information collected by the official U.S. intelligence agencies for connections between Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
Retired intelligence officials from the State Department, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have long charged that the two offices exaggerated
Abu Ghraib Prisoners
This is a must read for those who want to follow the steadily unfolding truths behind Cheney’s commitment to torture and violence. That it comes from a commtted fellow Republican in a very senior position makes it even more credible. Read the whole article by Laurence Wilkerson here. The essential lie that Cheney keeps telling is that President Obama is endangering the country by not following Cheney’s commitment to torture. Below are excerpts:
First, more Americans were killed by terrorists on Cheney’s watch than on any other leader’s watch in US history. So his constant claim that no Americans were killed in the “seven and a half years” after 9/11 of his vice presidency takes on a new texture when one considers that fact. And it is a fact.
There was absolutely no policy priority attributed to al-Qa’ida by the Cheney-Bush administration in the months before
Rush Limbaugh and others have been quick to associate the President with the swine flu and all other ills, it seems. Apparently this is a convenient way for Obama to get his choice for Director of Health and Human Services quickly appointed. The reality of this hate radio is shocking.
I have been thinking long and hard for many years about Richard Hofstadter’s famous essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics“. This is one of the most important essays in American history by one of the most influential and insightful of America’s historians.
Here are some critical quotes:
American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.
A very moving article by Maureen Dowd on Powell’s performance on television. It really represents a turning point, in my opinion, in the history of conservative America. Powell has called out the haters in his own Republican political party. He asks the right question, finally, ‘what if Obama were a Muslim’? What difference should it make in democratic America. What does trouble me is that Powell falls into a trip that many conservatives around the world fall into, he bonds based on a sharing of war with other men. I understand that he bonded with this Muslim soldier, but I wish it was not over war and death. Here is the picture that Powell stared at for an hour and that led to his epiphany:
The news is more and more shocking from the pews of the McCain/Palin rallies, but even more so from Palin herself. The flirtation with promoting racial hatred and violence is getting stronger, and they need to be told to stop before they bring the country to the brink. This is a turning point for the United States. Frank Rich warns:
What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin. Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.” He is “palling around with terrorists” (note the plural noun). Obama is “not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.” Wielding a wildly out-of-context Obama quote, Palin slurs him as an enemy of American troops.
By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the
The recent U.S. report on Muslim engagement was crafted carefully by a very bipartisan group in which I played a role, but this article argues that it strongly favors Obama’s foreign policy.
U.S.: Bipartisan Group Urges Deeper Diplomacy with Muslim World
WASHINGTON, Sep 24 (IPS) – In an implicit indictment of President George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” and the hawkish pronouncements by Republican candidate John McCain, a bipartisan group of nearly three dozen U.S. leaders called here Wednesday for Bush’s successor to place much greater emphasis on high-level diplomacy — including direct engagement with Iran and Syria — in dealing with the Middle East and the Muslim world.
In a 152-page report, the group, which included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Bush’s former Deputy Secretary of State and McCain adviser Richard Armitage, also called for any new administration to work “intensively for immediate de-escalation
Note this extremely well-argued realist piece from Robert Pelletreau and Ed Walker in the Boston Globe. All of my experience in Syria suggests to me that most of their points are accurate and should be appealing to the more rational side of the Bush team in its last months. It can only help the reputation of the Republicans to aggressively pursue a new approach to Syria right now. It could be the foreign policy success that has eluded them for eight years. Here is an excerpt:
Dr. Sami Taki, a close associate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said in late July that Syria might change its alliance with Iran if Syria achieves peace with Israel.
The United States stands to gain a great deal from an Israeli-Syrian agreement. Having served as US ambassadors to five Middle East countries, we are convinced that a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace is essential to
Excellent progress has been made in the Middle East due to the clever replacement of the United States as a third party. First Turkey, which helped engineer the official channel of a rapprochement between Syria and Israel, and now France in terms of a rapprochement of Syria and Lebanon. They have both played pivotal roles in dramatically changing the possibilities on the ground. I heard through the grapevine that Syrian officials had said over a year ago, “If you see us moving toward Iran it means war, if we move toward Turkey it is peace.” This does not mean that Syria does not maintain a deep relationship with Iran, but all its major public moves of late are moving Syria toward Turkey and France.
Most significant is that for the first time in modern history there is a real chance that Syria and Lebanon will engage in an amicable separation…