Reflections on the USS Liberty and Gilad Shalit: Disproportionate Response

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A group of armed Palestinians, some connected to the militant wing of Hamas, did penetrate Israel’s border security and did kidnap a young soldier, Gilad Shalit. Those who defend the action say that it was in response to Israel’s killing 7 members of an innocent Palestinian family. It was wrong to kidnap the soldier — absolutely wrong, and the G-8 leaders have said that; but they have also condemned Israel’s perceived disregard for the safety and value of innocent Palestinian…

DoD Makes Small Step In Right Direction: Mentally Disordered Gays Now Not Disordered

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A small win for the good side. I wrote last week about Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s personal views on gay people being at odds with an outrageous practice in the Pentagon that still classified homosexuals as “mentally disordered.” A blogger buddy who has been covering this has just learned that the Department of Defense has stopped that practice. It doesn’t change the ridiculous policy of “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell”, but it’s progress. I should be back in the U.S. on Thursday….

TWN Site: OPEN THREAD

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Well, if the home page is visible to you — post away. Steps are now being taken to move my site to a new host and servers, and the problems the site has been having should be resolved shortly. I’m still in Muscat, Oman with many thoughtful defense and national security strategists from around the Middle East — and am watching on the BBC and Al Jazeera the Israeli incursion into Gaza. Should be pretty lively debate tomorrow at this…

What Is Happening to the TWN Website??!

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I have had hundreds of emails asking what was wrong with The Washington Note website. It hasn’t been loading properly. Some people get blank pages, partial pages, or notes that the site has been suspended and referring to “accounts payable.” Let me assure everyone that there are no billing problems, but it does seem that my site has outgrown the resources and environment of a very generous host who has helped me build TWNthese last couple of years. I do…

The War of Ideas: Quick Hit Campaigns More Than Long Term Plays

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David Kaplan of US News & World Report has an insightful short piece out on the bureaucracy of U.S. public diplomacy and Karen Hughes’ efforts to “win the war of ideas”: U.S. effort on war of ideas draws skepticism. Even as jihadist networks become tougher to combat, the United States still lacks a comprehensive strategy to thwart the ideological forces fueling their growth, say critics. In response, the administration recently launched its latest attempt to coordinate the “war of ideas”…

NATIONAL SECURITY FOR FAMILIES: IT’S FOR KIDS TOO — ESPECIALLY KIDS!!

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Every time I seem to go on a long trip — this time to Muscat, Oman for a foreign policy conference — I get stuck in airports and surf the net looking for front organizations that neoconservatives and their fellow-traveling Jesse Helmsian pugnacious nationalists have set up. I’ve just found one that gives me over-the-top creeps. Visit www.FamilySecurityMatters.org — a site seemingly devoted to convincing a large cross-section of Americans that they must fear terrorism — really fear it, now…

Dick Morris Says Lieberman Should Depart Democratic Party

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Interesting commentary at Political Wire from Dick Morris on Lieberman’s increasingly gloomy prospects in the Democratic Primary against rival Ned Lamont in Connecticut: I think Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) will lose the primary and will be so crippled by the defeat and Ned Lamont (D) so empowered, that he will lose the general election as an independent. Sen. Jacob Javits (R-NY), in 1980, could have avoided defeat by not fighting the Republican Primary against Sen. Al D’Amato (R-NY) and running…

Lawrence Wilkerson, Carl Ford, Paul Pillar Headline Senate DPC Hearing

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I will be on a plane to Muscat, Oman on Monday — for a foreign policy/national security conference on the Middle East — but those of you who can should attend this hearing, which hopefully will air on C-Span. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee is organizing on Monday a “special oversight hearing” on pre-war intelligence on Iraq. These types of special hearings — which are not official Congressional hearings but still potentially significant — should have been used far more…

THE “DISORDERED”: Donald Rumsfeld’s Gay Staffers

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The Pentagon apparently classifes homosexuality as a “disorder’ even though the mental health profession abandoned that practice three decades ago. It is well known that Don Rumsfeld has had numerous gay advisors — particularly Stephen Herbits whom Rumsfeld has known since 1967 — and today has a coterie of young men on his staff, running errands, carrying his attache case, doing advance work — and at minimum, several of these people are gay. I have spoken to two of them…