Clemons, Walt, Drezner & Rothkopf Respond to Paul Wolfowitz

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paul wolfowitz steve clemons.jpg(photo of Paul Wolfowitz and Steve Clemons at Australian Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Sydney — Kirribilli House, 16 August 2009. When taken, Paul Wolfowitz remarked, “I don’t know whose reputation will take more of a hit for this picture — yours or mine. . .”
Paul Wolfowitz penned a provocative critique of foreign policy realism in this week’s Foreign Policy magazine.
Four responses to Wolfowitz were posted online last night in a series called “Is Paul Wolfowitz for Real?

Stephen Walt, “Just Because He Walks Like a Realist. . .
David J. Rothkopf, “A Neocon in Realist’s Clothing

Daniel W. Drezner
, “Capitalization Matters
Steve Clemons, “Failing to Note the Difference When the U.S. Power Tank Is Full or Near Empty

Look forward to hearing thoughts of others on this discussion.
I will be at Waldens Coffeehouse in Reno, Nevada this morning.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

78 comments on “Clemons, Walt, Drezner & Rothkopf Respond to Paul Wolfowitz

  1. Outraged American says:

    I’m changing my homeland’s name to Feminazistan so that
    hetero wedding parts get bombed by US forces on a regular
    basis. Sorry POA, only dykes and eunuchs allowed. Which would
    exclude me, but then I’m the Kim Jong Il of Feminazistan.
    I love antiwar.com, but this is true dreck from Raimondo about
    our favorite caveman on dialysis:
    The Ghost of 9/11
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/09/01/the-ghost-of-
    911/
    The idea that our ongoing genocide in Afghanistan is all to do
    with vengeance and nothing to do with the Caspian Sea oil
    reserves and the military/ industrial complex needing a war, any
    war, to enrich the richers, is just…dum.
    Dum.
    Al Qaeda doesn’t f-ing exist beyond being a loose network of
    Muslims enraged at UsRael’s War on Islam.
    When I was covering that tragedy that was our two assaults on
    Fallujah — it’s an ongoing assault — but I’m talking about the
    mindless slaughter in 2004, I was struck by the assurances
    given to A-Mur-Cans that Al Qaeda had established a base in
    Fallujah.
    It was a f-ing load of hooey. Fallujah was our Guernica. There
    was also Tal Afar and Samarra.
    We should all be tried as war criminals. Americans are the “good
    Germans” of the 21st century.
    And it enrages me that the death of my friend on Sept. 11 has
    been used to slaughter more than a million people and destroy
    the lives of millions more.

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, one minute you’re cutting them off, and the next minute they’re a requirement for entry.
    Oops, no pun intended.

    Reply

  3. Outraged American says:

    We don’t need no pizza guys in Feminazia. Unless they bring
    sausages.

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “OK POA, you can come into Feminatzia, but only on a guest visa. We’ll have to castrate you at the border. Will only take a second”
    Why the hell would I want to enter a nation populated exclusively by women if you’re gonna cut my riggin’ off?
    Look, I’m coming in as a fully equipped pizza delivery guy, or no deal.

    Reply

  5. questions says:

    My turn! I post here so that POA can make me feel better about myself. I’m heavily into self-esteem development and he’s so much nicer to me than are my friends! And Dan and Paul, though you are lesser deities, you contribute as well. Thanks for the memories!

    Reply

  6. Outraged American says:

    OK POA, you can come into Feminatzia, but only on a guest visa.
    We’ll have to castrate you at the border. Will only take a second.
    Philip Giraldi, former CIA counterterrorism, talking about Sibel
    Edmond’s recent testimony. Thurs., Sept 3, 5 PM Central USA time.
    Stream it at the WhatReallyHappened.com site.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    I would love to comment a bit more on this subject, but I have a deadline
    on Thursday morning.
    Just one thing: I think the size of the “party” is an important factor.
    Too small, and it would be very boring, and eventually die out; too big,
    and most readers and commenters wouldn`t have taken the time to navigate
    through the hundreds (or thousands) of comments.
    What do we have here? 30 more or less regular commenters, 10 to 15 of
    them very active? Almost perfect.
    As to possible influence – who knows? Certainly not we who write inside
    this bubble. How many readers of TWN read the comment section once in a
    while? Again: no idea.
    To some extent it reminds me of some early 19th century local newspapers:
    lots of polemical comments and articles signed by pseudonyms; a kind of
    “primitive” literary/political culture colored by the personalities of
    the writers. The obvious difference: Clemons is certainly not local, but
    central AND global; and the issues are far from provincial. This makes
    TWN a blog full of paradoxes.
    Perhaps sites like this will “mature” over time (but I love the rawness
    and freshness of the blog), or perhaps TWN is an exception that will
    unfold for a while and than disappear. In any case, I feel lucky and
    privileged having discovered this blog a couple of years ago. I`ve never
    commented on political issues nor written strictly political articles
    before that.

    Reply

  8. ... says:

    never miss a chance to take some pot shots at kervick angle biter.. you lower yourself every time you do this, but of that you seem not to care… thanks for a brilliant example of narcissism…

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, what a bunch of narcissistic crap.
    Its fun to post, its mentally stimulating, and it opens doors to a kind of back and forth that is unattainable to most of us offline.
    Mostly, I work, so these pieces of shit in Washington can tax me and maintain their lifestyles, and use my money to prove to the world that we aren’t what we claim to be. So, I find this outlet relaxing, stimulating, and emotionally self-cathartic.
    Is there a certain amount of vanity involved? For me, I suppose so. But for the most part, I don’t give a shit what you think of my opinions or ideas. Such a large number of posters, evident through their comments, are moral midgets anyway. Read Kotz’s bigoted and paranoid world view as it pertains to Muslims. Who wants to impress that slobbering ghoul? Or Wig-wag’s shameless Hillary worship and all accepting attitude towards Israel’s evil and heavy handed oppression of an entire people. Questions’ inability to formulate a single coherant and solid stance on any issue because he’s so immersed in diverse philosophical teachings that he’s turned himself into an intellectual and philosophical shizophrenic. Then theres Kervick, who will say anything as long as it sounds smart, and it usually does. (Trouble is, sometimes what sounds smart this week is completely polar to what sounded smart last week)
    But thats people, isn’t it? How many parties do you attend where everyone is of the same mind, all likable? I read all of them, all the above, all Steve’s comments, all of his guest poster’s stuff. Its just all so friggin’ interesting, and stimulating to my own thoughts and opinions.
    Then you have the delightful ones, the ones you never know what mood and mind will prompt them to type. Arthur, Norhiem, Easy, OA. Always puts a smile on my face. Particularly Norhiem’s unpretentious intelligence, (such a contrast to Kervick). Or Arthur’s avante garde approach, independent and artfully presented.
    And some, the truly rare GOOD people. Rare offline and on, such as Kathleen, who has realized a lifetime of real engagement and activism, and really has made a difference that few of us ever achieve.
    Admit it. Its fun. And self empowering, even if it impresses no one, and changes nothing.
    And hey, once in a while, on a good day, you might even get to say something like “These pieces of shit in Washington…yadayada..”, and know that one of the pieces of shit is reading, and realizing, “He’s talking about ME, and he’s right.”
    Smile, Wolfowitz, you monstrous piece of shit.

    Reply

  10. Dan Kervick says:

    Personally, WigWag, I’m pretty sure the reason I write things on blogs is the desire to have an influence on the way worldly events and government decisions actually go. I don’t care if anybody notices me personally as the voice having the influence, or knows my name. The desire to have an influence is really the whole reason I started writing about political matters back in 2001 and 2002. Before that, I gave politics only passing attention.
    Now, I’m perfectly well aware that the effort to have an influence is, for me, given my lowly station in life, just as quixotic a quest as the quest by others to get noticed. But my hope is that of the many things I write, most of which just evaporate into the aether after possibly entertaining some other person who has as little power as I do, one or two of these thoughts might somehow bubble up onto the desk and into the brain of some guy whose job is much more important than mine is, and who then says, “Hey, that’s a great idea. I’m so glad I thought of it!” I’m content to aim and fire at 1000 big things that might be giants, even if 999 of the blows hit only windows, and I don’t even know which one luckily strikes an actual giant.
    Sure this can all seem pretty futile, but what are we supposed to do, just give up trying to influence the world because influencing it is hard? Or mope because no one “notices” us?
    Public discussion does, on occasion, have an impact on elite decision-making, although we can rarely say for sure how the influence occurs. It would be much more satisfying to know for sure if and when any of one’s words had an influence on affairs beyond our own everyday sphere. But all we can do is exert ourselves, put our thinking out there and hope for the best.
    I don’t have my own blog because I am an opportunistic parasite. I reckon my ideas are more likely to influence somebody in a position of power if they are attached to Steve Clemons’s blog, since he knows a lot of powerful people, than they would be if they were posted somewhere else in the vast blogosphere under a title like “Dan Kervick’s Wonderful World of Thought”. I also just don’t have the time to manage a whole blog and keep it up. I’ve got a job and a real life, and no administrative assistants or magic gnome helpers, which is why I am posting now at 1:30am.
    I like to keep things on a fairly impersonal level, but I can get pissed off by taunts and insults like anyone else.
    I write comments on issues like international law, and try to argue persuasively for the extension of governance and the rule of law to broader jurisdictions, because I think that is the right direction for the world to go in, and I hope that if I and others write effectively enough about it, then we might be able to contribute in some small way to international law actually being extended and growing more powerful. I probably won’t live to see much of this, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
    And lately, I’ve really come to hate defeatism and misery, which strike me as lazy and self-indulgent.
    I’m a sort of old-fashioned utilitarian lefty of the sort I once heard Milton Friedman complain about. He said the left loves “humanity”, but lefties don’t love individual humans. I guess that’s sort of me. The sphere of people I actually love is very small, and I also don’t cultivate many friendships. My least favorite genre is biography. I just don’t find the lives of individual people all that interesting, including my own. They all seem pretty much the same, and their pains and sufferings all seem pretty much the same. But all those individual pains add up to great big blobs of pain that are worth trying to do something about.
    I actually have a strong sense of privacy and have a bit of a phobia about being “noticed.” I don’t mind if you and a few other people on this blog, and on a handful of other blogs, know of my existence, but I prefer to keep a low profile, and want zero minutes of fame.

    Reply

  11. kotzabasis says:

    The ‘vultures’ Norheim and POA are flying in support of the top ‘vulture’ Kervick to pick and feed on the dead carcasses of their OWN MAKING.
    Paul
    I’ve never resiled from what I said about Sarah Palin and have published in several of my blogs the exchanges with you including the point you think I left out. Even the solid Kervick was rattled to such an extent with the initial ‘ascendancy’ of Palin that he was impelled to write half a dozen posts in one thread on TWN about her which I pointed out to him in one of our exchanges with each other.
    POA
    The quote of Vergil, needless to say, applies solely to the morally and spiritually strong.
    WigWag
    Thanks for your psychologically incisive comment and your SWEET intervention in our bitter spat.

    Reply

  12. ... says:

    too much hot air from wiggy, but i suppose it makes sense given he’s working so hard to justify a jackass… i agree with poa – kotzabasis is a jackass for all intensive purposes.. i’ve never read a post from him that didn’t seem like someone who was frothing at the mouth.. if doing the best imitation he can muster of that labyrinth of darkness cheney is all he has, then let him keep it on his own blog, where it can remain largely ignored.. who needs a poor mans version of cheney, when the real one isn’t worth keeping??
    the local wolftwitz cheney duo in action at twn have wigwag and kotzabasis for stand ins..

    Reply

  13. WigWag says:

    Personally I like most of the comments that both Dan Kervick and Kotzabasis post. I especially look forward to reading their comments because while I usually disagree with them, they both write clever, well thought-out and well written remarks.
    The bickering is juvenile (I plead guilty to engaging in it myself from time to time) but the substance that comes from these Washington Note regulars is worth the price of admission. The Kotzabasis blog is entertaining and informative and I wish Kervick had a blog of his own; if he did I would be a frequent visitor.
    At the risk of interfering in their spat, I think Kotzabasis is on to something with his Don Quixote metaphor; but it doesn’t just apply to Dan Kervick, it applies to most of the people who write the posts as well as the comments at the Washington Note.
    Like most of us, Don Quixote was a small person of no great significance. According to Cervantes he,
    “lived on an occasional stew, beef more often than lamb, hash most nights, eggs and abstinence on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, sometimes squab as a treat on Sundays-these consumed three fourths of his income.”
    What Don Quixote really wanted more than anything else was to be noticed; his tragic flaw was narcissism, he wanted to be consequential in a cosmic sense. In a certain regard what he was seeking was immortality.
    Whether it’s Steve Clemons bragging a little about attending a party in JFK’s old residence given by the “great” Maureen Dowd or WigWag or POA or Kervick or Kotz penning overwrought commentary, isn’t the whole endeavor just a little bit narcissistic? Isn’t one of the motivations for producing a blog or commenting on one, a desire to be noticed or to be just a little bigger than we are in real life?
    Kotzabasis mentioned the incident in the book where Don Quixote tilts with the windmills.
    That’s certainly the most famous scene in the book but it’s not the only example of self deception. In one scene, the Don and Sancho sit blindfolded on a wooden mule and convince themselves that the mule is flying through the heavens to a far off land.
    In another chapter Don Quixote becomes convinced that demons have enchanted his great love. Dulcinea of Toboso, and converted her from the most beautiful woman on earth to the most ugly. The Don is convinced that the only antidote that can restore her great beauty is for Sancho to mortify his flesh.
    In yet another chapter the Don is deceived into believing that puppets in a puppet show are evil doers who he attacks and destroys with his sword.
    Are any of the people who post or comment at the Washington Note immune from this kind of self deception? Don’t we all operate from a plethora of preconceived notions that we are loathe to abandon; the objective evidence be damned?
    Of course Cervantes (who may have been a converso) wrote Don Quixote during the height of the Spanish Inquisition. The church authorities saw apostasy everywhere they looked. No wonder then that Cervantes has Don Quixote repent before he died.
    At the end of his life, lucidity returns and the Don recants; he rejects his previous life of chivalrous knight errantry. He realizes that during the period of his delusion he was breaking several commandments all of them dealing in one way or another with pride.
    Don Quixote goes to his just reward as a penitent. While this may not have been what Kotzabasis had in mind when he assailed Kervick, I do think the greatest novel ever written does have alot of relevance to what we do at the Washington Note.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And all of us need to adopt Vergil’s, Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito”
    Precisely why I repeatedly tell you what a jackass you are, and how detestable your opinions and comments are.

    Reply

  15. kotzabasis says:

    Kervick
    It’s not in the nature of this “old man” to insult personally Steve, you, or anyone else. But I do ‘insult’ unrealistic, weak, and moralizing political arguments especially when they pretend to have their source in realism. You on the other hand in your effeteness (I use the word NOW advisedly as I know how it pricks your overweening ego to a fizzling sound of abuse, this is your “critical circumstance”) to argue and ‘defeat’ my argument with conventional ‘weapons’ you desperately resort to the use of your nuclear ‘weapon’, GRAMMAR, to demolish my argument.
    I don’t need your courtesy and civility, although I value it, but your cogent arguments, sans personal abuse, “street-fascist commando and kicker of Muslim asses,” so I can sharpen my own. And all of us need to adopt Vergil’s, Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.

    Reply

  16. Dan Kervick says:

    “Some months ago I googled on “kotzabasis”, and discovered that virtually every exchange I`ve had with him at TWN had been pasted into his own blog. I assume that he regards these ridiculous polemical exchanges as milestones in the ongoing war between those who defend, and those who weaken and destroy Western civilization.”
    And clearly, the Følsenkråpp moral debauchery stands at the pinnacle of the precipice of the source pouring waterfalls of degeneration down upon the pusillanimity of the intellectual weaklings and the promiscuity of the Oslo harlots handing the Norwegian blood line over to the impending Muslim genetic conquest of the land of the fjords.

    Reply

  17. Norwegian Shooter says:

    First of all, wow! You’ve got a true community here! Walt, Rothkopf and Drezner together had less than 10 commenters.
    I judged the 5 contestants on use of “scare” quotes and I am please to say that you got an A+++++++++.
    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/08/23/real_realism#comment-81253

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Besides, Paul, I’m beginning to wish those two hadda won. I think it would have been far more humorously entertaining to have been screwed by McCain/Palin than it is getting screwed by Obama/Biden.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…that picking Sarah Palin as his VP candidate was a proof of John McCain`s political genius”
    Hey, what makes you think Kotz is “embarrassed” by that statement?
    My bet? He’s undoubtedly proud of it, and can come up with a myriad of Twilight Zone excuses why McCain lost that have NOTHING to do with Palin.

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    BTW, the only thing Kotz didn`t paste into his own blog from our exchanges, was the comment where I quoted one of his perhaps most embarrassing statements last year: that picking Sarah Palin as his VP candidate was a proof of John McCain`s political genius.
    At least I couldn`t find it anywhere. Perhaps Kotz could provide us with a link, if I happen to be wrong on this?

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I have almost always treated you with courtesy and civility, Kotzabasis………”
    Kervick, its just so much simpler, from the beginning, to call a jackass a jackass. Kotz qualifies. Why you think he has earned any civility these past couple of years is beyond me.

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    “By the way, I don’t regard a Saturday evening slingshot toss from Kotzabasis the Impaler on his trusty donkey as a “critical circumstance”.”
    Dan, don`t be surprised if Kotz sees this as a titanic confrontation of some sort, and don`t be surprised to find your comments quoted on his personal blog.
    Some months ago I googled on “kotzabasis”, and discovered that virtually every exchange I`ve had with him at TWN had been pasted into his own blog. I assume that he regards these ridiculous polemical exchanges as milestones in the ongoing war between those who defend, and those who weaken and destroy Western civilization.

    Reply

  23. Dan Kervick says:

    I have almost always treated you with courtesy and civility, Kotzabasis, despite the fact that almost every one of your posts is riddled with demeaning personal insults toward Steve and the other people who write here. Since your writing is so convoluted and ineffectual, and your pretensions are so laughable, it’s usually easy enough just to regard you as a eccentric old crank. But the willingness to laugh off insults isn’t endless.
    By the way, I don’t regard a Saturday evening slingshot toss from Kotzabasis the Impaler on his trusty donkey as a “critical circumstance”. Now go back to saving civilization from the invading Saracen hordes. I have to attend to some business concerning the drowning rains from the clouds of the tempests in the firmament over the valleys leading to the pit of the abyss of my intellectual inferiority.

    Reply

  24. kotzabasis says:

    You have just penned the wrath of your moral weakness and your irremediable political effeteness, young man.
    Tu Ne Cede Malis is not your motto. Nietzsche somewhere said that it is in critical circumstances that one shows his character. And you have certainly shown yours.

    Reply

  25. Dan Kervick says:

    um … that was supposed to be “breaking point OF meaning”.
    Damn, nothing like screwing up a well-turned dish of a grammatical bungler with a bungle of my own.

    Reply

  26. Dan Kervick says:

    Hey, watch who you’re calling “effete”, old man.
    Your writing is generally clumsy and turgid, and your metaphors strained past the breaking point or meaning into self-parody, yet you hilariously work the word “intellectual” into almost each one of your convoluted run-on sentences. Now, I know you play a rough-and-tough, street-fascist commando and kicker of Muslim asses on the internet, but I’m guessing you’re earnestly faking it in the manhood department just like you are in intellectual one.

    Reply

  27. kotzabasis says:

    Kervick
    It’s a counter naivety on my part to the serial naivety of your whole argument framed in your multiple posts about international law and effete moralizing about geopolitics that shows that the ‘shower’ of your ideas comes from the clouds.

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    “You’re too old to be anarchist, aren’t you?” (Dan Kervick)
    There was a time when I was much younger that I did find Kropotkin intriguing. But then I discovered Marcuse and he spoiled me on Kropotkin.
    But you’re right; I’m much to old for all of that now.
    About the most intellectual thing I do these days is watch Jacques Pepin reruns on PBS.

    Reply

  29. JohnH says:

    The UN is a good example. Theoretically set up to be a world “parliament,” the General Assembly is basically powerless–by design. And the Secretary General, who once carried some moral authority, is now nothing more than a silent, ceremonial figure. Again, by design. All the power once flowed to the Security Council, a club of the richest with token alternating representative by others deemed acceptable to the permanent members. And when the Security Council ceased behaving according to the dictates of the US (Kosovo, Iraq, Iran), well, then the Security Council got marginalized and NATO became the US’ preferred international enforcer.
    The IMF and World Bank were financial institutions set up by the United States in which it maintained a controlling interest and allowed Europe and Japan to be junior partners. Keating is proposing a realignment given the new power relationship evident in the world today, so that other rich, illegitimate governments can share in setting the rules that the weak must obey.
    And lurking silently just below the surface (you can see their fins occasionally) are the powerful economic interests, who use their governments to do their bidding and “legitimize” the rules that favor them. But you will never see realists, neocons or TWN talk about the role of these sharks, because they underwrite them and prefer to operate in the dark.

    Reply

  30. ... says:

    johnh – when the laws are made to protect the interests of corporations instead of little people we get what we have today.. the same applies to international law.. when regulations aren’t in place, we get what we witnessed in the financial mess of the past year, whether locally or globally.. in this case, letting the fox (federal reserve) be the regulator won’t work..
    i’m skeptical of the ability of international law to govern the world as well, when i know that specific interest groups will be vying for leverage, influence and a corruption over these same laws… one can look at the UN to see how the meddling goes on.. the basic ideology is sound, but their are those who ruin it by always putting themselves before others defeating the idea of anything international…do we decide we won’t go ahead with this idea given their will be those like wigwag that would like nothing more then for it to fail? it is a negative option echoed by those who are unwilling to look beyond the past.. i’m not sure what type of world they’d like their ancestors to inherit, but it isn’t a very pretty one with no vision or hope for something better..

    Reply

  31. JohnH says:

    Laws are supposed to regulate behavior, making all act according to a mutually agreed set of norms. The problem is that, as institutions cover larger and larger groups of people, they become more and more aloof from the people whose consent they must have to remain legitimate. Some Europeans (French, Irish, Danes) question the legitimacy of an elite bureaucracy in Brussels setting rules for all Europeans. Or of having a European Constitution permanently bind the EU to NATO.
    Lots of people around the world had problems with the WTO, an elite set of people–mostly commercial interests–going behind closed doors to set rules for the world, rules that could override local environmental laws and other local protections.
    In this country, we have seen the Federal Reserve and the Treasury bend whatever rules it takes to prevent big bankers from being held accountable. The Congress lavished Trillions on commercial interests to keep them afloat. But was there any help for mortgage holders under water? Any health care program for the unemployed? No. Only the wealthy need apply for bailouts.
    So I think Wigwag is right. There is widespread skepticism about the legitimacy of international laws–deservedly so, considering how they were made and who they were made for. And there is increasing skepticism about the legitimacy of a US government run by Big Oil, Big Pharma and Merchants of Death.
    Nonethless, Dan Kervick is right that a globalized system needs global rules. But with large powerful states and gigantic corporations setting the terms, I don’t know how you can ever get a legitimate result, rules that would be fair to everyone.

    Reply

  32. Dan Kervick says:

    “States don’t intervene in the internal affairs of other states because of their odious conduct but only when their explicit intentions and actions threaten the vital interests of a nation.”
    That’s a very naive statement, Kotzabasis.

    Reply

  33. Dan Kervick says:

    “And international law, to that extent it’s honored at all, is honored mostly in the breach. No one takes it seriously, especially the most powerful nations in the world. They never will. Because international law is largely illegitimate this isn’t particularly surprising.”
    WigWag, we appear to be talking past each other. You want to focus on the grand reaches of international humanitarian law and the international law of war, and the notable failures in these areas. I’m mainly interested in the humdrum of everyday international law, laws that are used routinely and successfully every day in regulating the affairs among nation-states and their citizens, particularly in the areas of commerce, travel and transportation, territoriality, criminal prosecution, etc.
    There is a substantial record of past success in bringing various forms of behavior under the influence of rules that have a wider sphere of application than just a single national territory. I think that at this point in world history we need more such rules, more treaties and more institutional bodies dealing with such things as trade and finance, energy supplies, environmental regulation. It’s hard work and it takes time to create these things, but the hard-won successes of the past provide no basis for a general cynicism.
    Again, you are simply wrong when you say things like “no one takes international law seriously.” There are schools around the world that train international lawyers and grant them degrees in international law. Once people take these degrees, they do not just sit around just twiddling their thumbs, dreaming utopian dreams. They go to work for governments and other organizations, advising and counseling, bringing national policies in line with international regulation, bringing cases to the organizations that have been empowered to adjudicate them, arguing and judging those cases, and implementing the decisions. No prosperous modern state could conduct its foreign relations in a sophisticated and effective way without a bunch of international lawyers on board.
    It’s up to us whether we want to extend the rule of law, and give it jurisdictions and powers beyond its current scope. I imagine there were people who thought following the American Revolution that the newly independent states could never achieve and live under a broader system of law. But they were wrong. The reach of law was extended. I imagine there are many people in Europe who thought the same thing about their 20th century efforts to create trade and labor laws binding on all European nations. But they were wrong too. I know for a fact that their governments take these laws seriously, because if they didn’t there wouldn’t be so much grumbling about the occasional inconveniences of living under them.
    We can continue to build on those successes. We can create legal systems for the management of other aspects of the global material relations: trade, energy supplies, environment, labor, weapons. I can understand some pessimism and disappointment about the limited actual achievements of the past; but why all the cynicism and ultra-conservativism about the effort and very idea? You’re too old to be anarchist, aren’t you.

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The realist Clemons, Oops, the “hybrid realist,” refuses, even at this late stage, to acknowledge that it was this far from near empty tank that defeated the insurgency in Iraq and that under the strong and imaginative leadership of General Petraeus won the war in Mesopotamia”
    The neocon propandist Kotzobasis, oops, the “liar neocon”, refuses, even at this late stage, to acknowledge that it was this near empty tank that bribed the insurgency in Iraq and that under the politically driven and misdirected leadership of General Petreaus stalled the inevitable civil war in Iraq.

    Reply

  35. kotzabasis says:

    You have an inundation of posts falling from the Niagara heights of Norheim and Kervick, including yours, replying to the insanity of WigWag’s posts. So, don’t you also doubt the sanity of Norheim and Kervick, and your own?

    Reply

  36. ... says:

    kotzabasis quote “both the intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq was not due to odious behaviour but to the potential and real threat these two rogue states posed to the US and the West in general.” we have those here who have diametrically opposed views, kotzabasis on the one hand who must believe this ”’real threat”’ he always reminds us of, and myself who see the ”’real threat”’ being that of a country that has become nothing more then a military industrial complex run amok… take yer pick..
    paul if i could offer one suggestion.. don’t try reasoning with an insane person.. you laid it out very well in your 11:08pm post as did dan in his 8:31pm post…

    Reply

  37. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    you treat Europe as a monolith. You ignore the progressive and democratic forces, the
    enlightenment and the agents of tolerance. You ignore the European struggle against
    oppression and authoritarianism, against colonialism, against the reactionary church,
    against slavery, against fascism, etc. etc, within the European continent.
    You ignore the fact that some of the best traditions within America represent a
    continuation of traditions and thoughts expressed in Europe.
    I`am fed up with your Europhobia, of your attempt to portrait those Europeans who today
    support international law as a mere continuation of the colonizers, fascists and ethnic
    cleansers of yesterday – not recognizing that Europe is that, but also the opposite;
    that some of the voices expressing themselves in Europe today may represent a
    continuation of those traditions which fought against the abominable forces you
    described above.
    And their critique of what they see as the worst aspects of America today, may
    represent a continuation of their critique of what they yesterday regarded as the worst
    aspects of Europe.
    Europe is not, and has never been a monolith.

    Reply

  38. kotzabasis says:

    Don Quixote with the ever present Sancho Panza at his heels was attacking windmills with his lance. Don Clemons NOT with the ever present Sancho Panza at his heels, Dan Kervick—but in critical moments you can count that real pals will show up—is attacking the impregnable cogitative fortress of Wolfowitz with a toy tank whilst Sancho Kervick is riding his intellectual hard working donkey at galloping speed to refill Clemons “near empty” tank so they can demolish the modestly crafted and cogent realistic argument of their bete noire Wolfowitz. It’s in the images of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza that the ‘slayers’ of the wolf are made.
    The realist Clemons, Oops, the “hybrid realist,” refuses, even at this late stage, to acknowledge that it was this far from near empty tank that defeated the insurgency in Iraq and that under the strong and imaginative leadership of General Petraeus won the war in Mesopotamia. And by defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq America became stronger not weaker as Clemons argues in his piece. But it will become weaker if as a result of the staggering foolishness of Obama in withdrawing US forces from the urban areas of Iraq prematurely that has led to a resurgence of bombings, which if they continue to increase could reverse the relative security of Iraq post-surge and its great potential to build democracy in the country and become a lodestar for the whole region, as both generals Petraeus and Odierno had warned the Obama administration. And for such a dire outcome the total responsibility will fall upon the “hybrid realists” or “policy realists” that according to Clemons rule the roost in Washington.
    For a realist, of whatever ‘variability’, to argue in the aftermath of 9/11 that the war in Iraq was a Wilsonian idealistic intervention to impose American values and democracy on the country shows how out of his depth Clemons is of any kind of realism. Wolfowitz clearly states that the purpose of the war in Iraq was not to “impose” democracy by force but to “remove a threat to national and international security.” And as he says one can criticize the rights and wrongs of the war without diverting from its purpose. Moreover on the issue of Quaddafi’s decision to give up his WMD programs Clemons contradicts his pivotal contention that America’s intervention in Iraq weakened its geopolitical power. For if that was the perception why should Quaddafi need the “assurances” of a weakened America that “he could remain in power” as a trade-off for giving up his nuclear program, as Clemons states? Once again Wolfowitz is right on this point. Quaddafi relinquished his WMD programs because of ‘feared American will,” to quote Wolfowitz, because of America’s projection of power, of ‘can do’ might that defeated both the Taliban and the elite forces of Saddam within few weeks. It was also this display of US will and power that induced Iran to a silent cooperation with the United States in the suppression of the Taliban when the former invaded Afghanistan.
    Dan Kervick also is out of his depth in realpolitik with his moralizing piece. He states that “we should forbear from intervening because of ODIOUS behaviour to us.” States don’t intervene in the internal affairs of other states because of their odious conduct but only when their explicit intentions and actions threaten the vital interests of a nation. And both the intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq was not due to odious behaviour but to the potential and real threat these two rogue states posed to the US and the West in general.
    Moreover, international laws in themselves and checks and balances cannot be the balm for the internal and external conflicts of nations in an anarchic world without some dominant power backing these laws and check and balances with an implicit force and its explicit use when necessary. And in our era this invidious burden and responsibility ineluctably falls on the shoulders of the United States. “Liberty and civil peace” cannot fall like manna from the sky.

    Reply

  39. SansS says:

    Where is the Prince of Darkness? Wolfowitz’ and Cheney’s boss, Richard Pearl?
    There are dark forces at play here beyond the nice academic discussion. It sure looks like fear is still the weapon and the shield is impermanent.
    Wigwag, your rigid mind can’t make your arguments fluid. You seek a crack in moral foundations for what purpose?
    You sound like a foreign agent. What influences do you represent?

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I strongly recommend that you all read the comments at the end of this “American Conservative” article about Sibel Edmonds’ sworn deposition. Particularly note the comment of the known Turkish lobbyist, using the name “David Israel”. He would make Nadine, Wig-wag, and questions proud.
    http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2009/08/27/sibel-edmonds-speaks-but-no-one-is-listening/
    It is still inexplicable to me why Steve ignores this story, no matter what kind of “tiff” he had with Sibel. He could easily go in the back door through Friedman, who has expressed a like for Steve, and a willingness to discuss it with him on or off the record.
    This story overshadows Watergate in its import and implications. And it is certainly of greater import than Wolfowitz’s satanic skull faced grin, and whatever demonic musings he might have to offer on foreign policy or American “power”.
    There seems to be a general concensus here that if we simply don’t recognize and discuss Sibel’s story, it will simply disappear. Is that the way of a democratic society that claims a representative form of government and an all inclusive and fair body of laws that all must abide by??
    All this intellectual fluff and pomp that takes place here on a daily basis counts for naught if common sense conclusions and logical trains of thought are thrown to the wind. In short, most of it is based on the bullshit premise that our “national interests” drive foreign policy. But just under the surface of that illusion, there are the very real and nagging inconsistencies of the “official story” behind 9/11, the lies that drove us into Iraq, and the lies that are putting us into confliuct with Iran. And, of course, the assertions of people such as Sibel, who have been inside the beast, and have chosen to tell us what resides there.
    There can be no denying that the rule of law was discarded by the Bush Administration, and is recieving the same irreverence by the Obama Administration. Further, we are being driven further and further into escalating military action in Afghanistan, and the clusterfuck in Iraq in falling apart at the seams.
    Is this what we voted for? And can we honestly expect anything else when we ignore the assertions of the rare individuals that have the guts and the wherewithal to attempt to bring the corruption into the light of day?
    This country is in REALLY deep shit. That means us, you and I. To see a story such as Sibel’s ignored, does not bode well for our futures, or for our freedoms. If Sibel is a liar with an axe to grind, than disprove her accusations. Bring them out into the light of day, and disprove them. But this legal gagging, this media silence, and the avoidance shown by those such as Steve Clemons, only adds credibility to Sibel’s assertions.
    What is Washington afraid of, and if Sibel’s accusations are true, who else is being bribed, who else is being blackmailed? What other foreign policy issues and arenas have been decided by corruption, bribery, or blackmail? Is this why Obama has caved in on the Israeli settlements? Are our politicians being bribed or blackmailed into a war with Iran?
    What is “realist” about ignoring Sibel’s sworn testimony?

    Reply

  41. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag says: “The international legal system will
    never recognize or make operational the principle
    of equal protection.
    That makes international law is a fraud.
    Always was; always will be.”
    —————————————-
    Honestly, I don`t understand your point, WigWag.
    Let`s make a variation of your statement:
    “The LAW will never recognize or make operational
    the principle of equal protection.
    That makes LAWS a fraud.
    Always was; always will be.”
    Then insert, let`s say Chappaquiddick for
    Chechnya, and Ted Kennedy for Putin.
    Is Chappaquiddick an argument against laws as
    such? Or against the implementation of laws? Are
    you suggesting that we should resign confronted
    with the power of the powerful on the
    international arena? But put our money in laws on
    the domestic arena? If so: why?
    90% of your arguments against international laws
    can be applied to laws in general. However, I
    doubt that you are opposed to the principle of
    laws as such.
    Are you?
    Take a minute to reflect on the genealogy of laws
    and the implementation of laws through history.
    Most of the time, laws have de facto defended the
    rights of the wealthy and powerful. For thousands
    of years, it`s been so. Is that an argument
    against laws?
    Around 1850 globalization started for real (Marx
    describes the processes eloquently in his Manifest
    at that time). At the same time, nationalism
    started to spread like swine flu over the planet,
    first in Europe, than on other continents – in
    other words: at a time when nationalism was doomed
    and made obsolete by the technological
    developments – evident in the 20`th and 21.
    century.
    But this is still a relatively recent development
    – in the context of world history. We`re all
    trying to cope with the new situation, with all
    it`s paradoxes and dilemmas. Are you really saying
    that law is a worthwhile attempt in domestic
    affairs, but not in international affairs?
    Forgive me the perhaps too long perspectives, but
    I think they are to some extent appropriate here,
    given your categorical dismissal of laws in
    international affairs. Your arguments is an echo
    of arguments that could have been raised against
    laws as such during the Roman Empire.

    Reply

  42. ... says:

    “In the United States we have a legal principle called equal protection. We understand that a legal system that applies laws to some people but not to others is illegitimate. Of course this is a principle that is apparently inoperative in the international arena.” wigwag quote… it is inoperative in the USA at present as witnessed by their actions globally and locally as well wigwag… that doesn’t mean one needs to cultivate a negative fatalistic attitude as you do here…
    “No one takes it(international law) seriously, especially the most powerful nations in the world. They never will.” wigwag quote… why the negative fatalistic attitude wigwag? powerful nations become just the opposite for similar reasons.. they don’t take others seriously enough when they need to, and they aren’t interested in all the things you like to think of the usa as representative of…too bad the usa has lost its moral and ethical compass to such a degree internationally…
    “The international legal system will never recognize or make operational the principle of equal protection.” wigwag quote… i am sure there were some at the beginning of another era that thought slavery would never end, or justice would never be possible in many places either, but that didn’t stop those with some vision and foresight to create what we have today in many respects…. with attitudes like yours wigwag, you may as well crawl into bed and die.. it amounts to a similar thing…

    Reply

  43. WigWag says:

    “First, even if one is only looking for good salesmen for international law, who better to recommend international law to others than people who have suffered greatly in the past on account of its absence?” (Dan Kervick)
    It’s not a question of who is or who is not a good salesman. A lemon is a lemon regardless of who sells it. And international law, to that extent it’s honored at all, is honored mostly in the breach. No one takes it seriously, especially the most powerful nations in the world. They never will. Because international law is largely illegitimate this isn’t particularly surprising.
    Nor is it surprising that European passion for international law began at just the time that Europe’s influence in world affairs began to wane as their military capabilities became increasingly anemic. Of course Europe didn’t choose to see its military power dwindle; it didn’t for example make a choice to select guns over butter. Europe’s military capabilities became exhausted after centuries of internecine warfare that left all of the European powers devastated, broke and dependent for protection on the United States.
    Here’s a little thought experiment for you Dan; should Slobodan MiloÅ¡ević have been in the dock at the Hague charged with committing crimes against humanity? How exactly did Milosevic even arguably violate international law?
    We know that he was indicted in 1999 for allegedly committing crimes against humanity for his role in ordering Serbian troops in Kosovo, which was then internationally recognized as a province of Serbia, to attack and displace Muslim Kosovars of Albanian descent. We know that several hundred to a few thousand Kosovar Albanians were killed and that tens of thousands were forced to flee from their homes.
    We also know that after rotting in jail for several years he died of a heart attack after Yugoslavia War Crimes officials denied Milosevic’s requests for appropriate treatment in a hospital setting. No one cared because everyone was convinced that Milosevic was a war criminal.
    At just about the same time there was another Muslim province in a Slavic dominated nation being attacked and destroyed. Tens of thousands of Muslim citizens of that province were displaced and made homeless. That country was Russia; that province was Chechnya and that city was Grozny.
    Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian air force to level the city of Grozny; the historical example most similar is the Allied bombardment of Dresden during World War II. In 2003 the United Nations described Grozny as the most “destroyed city on Earth.” The number of deaths in Chechnya exceeded the number of deaths in Kosovo by at least a factor of ten; destruction of the physical infrastructure in Chechnya was incomparably greater than the destruction of the physical infrastructure of Kosovo.
    Did the United Nations create a war crimes commission for Chechnya? Was Vladimir Putin indicted the way that Milosevic was? Did Bill Clinton bomb Russia the same way that he bombed Serbia? Did NATO forces spend tens of millions of dollars searching for Russian Generals to extradite them to The Hague the same way they did for Serbian Generals? Did the Americans, English, French, Germans, Italians and Scandinavians decide to punish Russia by recognizing Chechnyan independence the same way that they recognized Kosovar independence?
    The answer to these questions is self evident and those answers put the lie to the claim that international law is legitimate. The only difference between the behavior of Russians in Chechnya and the Serbians in Kosovo is that the Russians are militarily powerful and they have a Security Council veto while the Serbians don’t.
    In the United States we have a legal principle called equal protection. We understand that a legal system that applies laws to some people but not to others is illegitimate. Of course this is a principle that is apparently inoperative in the international arena.
    It is both Utopian and frankly naïve to think that international law will ever be applied to powerful nations in the same way that it is applied to less powerful or weak nations. It is absurd to think that international legal principles will ever be as binding on nations that possess a Security Council veto as those that don’t.
    The international legal system will never recognize or make operational the principle of equal protection.
    That makes international law is a fraud.
    Always was; always will be.

    Reply

  44. ... says:

    any way to put down the europeans is all it is.. pauls word eurogynist is very appropriate..

    Reply

  45. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag, your assertions about who is or is not “in a position” to recommend international law to others evoke a very bad form of argument.
    First, even if one is only looking for good salesmen for international law, who better to recommend international law to others than people who have suffered greatly in the past on account of its absence?
    But more to the point, if the only people whose recommendations should be heeded and taken seriously are those whose ancestors never violated those recommendations themselves, then human progress would be impossible. Would you say that Europeans have no business promoting modern medicine abroad through organizations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres because of their historical record of employing leeching and other forms of quackery in earlier times? The fact that Europeans historically engaged in various forms of savagery beyond their borders does not somehow disqualify them from recommending more civilized forms of behavior and governance today.
    In any case, as I’m sure you know, the soundness of an argument does not depend on the nature or background of person making the argument. The case for international law stands or falls on the plausibility of the premises that are used to argue for it, and the quality of the argumentation leading from those premises to the conclusion. It doesn’t matter who is offering the argument.

    Reply

  46. ... says:

    wigwag quote “I never suggested that Europe be treated like a “pariah continent.” What I suggested is that Europeans, who are the prime advocates for the benefits of international law, are in no position to recommend it to others. Only after their centuries long enterprise of ethnic cleansing was complete (or nearly complete) did they start to support the transnational institutions at the root of international law.”
    many parallels exist with israel at present wigwag.. that is something you might want to consider…
    europe is in a much better position to recommend this having experienced war and all its effects directly, unlike the usa which hasn’t.. one could say the japanese attacked pearl harbour but it pales in comparison to what europe has gone thru…the usa is always quick to make war on others soil. consequently they are definitely not in a position to take any leadership role in anything of this nature at this point.. at every turn of event up to and during the initial war in iraq the usa leadership took every chance it could to brainwash its citizens into thinking the UN was something to be trashed and nothing else…
    perhaps wigwag is a little testy as he is unhappy with the fact wolftwitz casts such a pale light on everything he is connected with which includes a few obvious things that will be left unmentioned that dear old wiggy shows some attachment towards..

    Reply

  47. Outraged American says:

    Wig, I guarantee that Mearsheimer is not anti-Jew.
    Nor is Walt: he’s married to a Member of the Tribe, and I am too.
    The Israel lobby is a problem. Its actions led to the Iraq war and
    might lead to an attack on Iran.
    We never got much oil out of Iraq.
    Our primary suppliers are Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia
    and Nigeria.
    Again, Israel risks the lives of all Jews (including members of my
    family and my spouse) when Zionists conflate their actions with all
    Jews.

    Reply

  48. JohnH says:

    Sadly, American behavior is making a major contribution in erosion of credibility of the “rule of law.” Invading Iraq, torture, warrantless wiretaps, coddling their own terrorists (Posada Carriles), and winking and nodding at the most egregious corporate and financial scams. What has resulted is a two-tier system–those above the law, and those under it.
    But that may change. Things seem to be rapidly returning to the good old days when the wealthy enacted poaching laws to make sure they got all the good stuff, shutting everyone else from their game. Once the wealthy get their hired legislators to ensure that the laws enshrine their rights, then they will no longer have to be above the law, because they bought the laws.

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The Americans don’t; witness the invasion of Iraq”
    Or the Symington Amendment of our own body of laws, that make it illegal to fund these bloodthirsty expansionist monsters, the Israelis.
    But if its international treaties you want to show examples of us pissing on, lets go right to the Torture Convention, that renders Holder’s selective investigations and prosecutions illegal. He is bound by law to pursue ALL the people involved in torture, the framers of policy as well as the lowly satanic pieces of shit doing the fingernail pulling.
    Or how about the NPT? What right do we have to threaten Iran because of their COMPLIANCE with the NPT?

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “International law is a charade. Nobody takes it seriously other than a few naive “progressives.””
    Its quite disheartening seeing the complete loss of our moral compass. Wig-wag’s argument has one design; to justify policies and actions that are immoral and inhumane. I have always argued that there is a dearth of integrity or character at the base of wig-wag’s commentary. However, I needn’t exert the effort, for wig-wag consistently underscores my assertion.

    Reply

  51. WigWag says:

    “That’s rich, 95 years after the Germans and Austrians started WW I, and 70 years after the Austrian/German Hitler attacked a neighboring country and triggered WW II, our Eurogynist WigWag makes it sound as if the whole Europe started these wars, and by implication suggests treating 21st century Europe en bloc as a pariah continent in international relations. (Paul Norheim)
    I never suggested that Europe be treated like a “pariah continent.” What I suggested is that Europeans, who are the prime advocates for the benefits of international law, are in no position to recommend it to others. Only after their centuries long enterprise of ethnic cleansing was complete (or nearly complete) did they start to support the transnational institutions at the root of international law.
    And by the way, it wasn’t just the Austrians or Germans; it was the French, the Belgians and before that the Dutch ad Spanish.
    And I think, Paul that you’re forgetting about a little institution called the British Empire; you may want to consult the history books to see what that Norwegian national hero, Knut Hamsun, thought about them.
    When you finish that, you might want to reflect on the history of Russia under the Czars and after that, the Soviet Union. And let’s not forget that the Ottoman Empire straddled the continent of Europe and Asia and had numerous skirmishes and worse with European powers.
    “But the international laws that are binding on the US, for example, are mainly due to treaties that were ratified by the United States Senate with at least 60 votes. I fail to see how this procedure is any less republican than the procedure we use to enact our domestic laws.” (Dan Kervick)
    That’s true, but international laws aren’t made exclusively by the Americans, the Europeans or by democratic nations in general; they’re made by international institutions comprised of governments ruled by kings, queens, potentates and dictators. So how exactly does an international jurisprudence developed in part by these nations have any legitimacy?
    And even if this wasn’t a problem, the preeminent international institution today is the United Nations. A significant proportion of nations comprising the General Assembly hardly govern with the consent of their citizens. The Security Council is run primarily by nations who think the rest of the world should be bound by resolutions that could be vetoed if those nations didn’t like how the resolutions might affect them.
    International law is a charade. Nobody takes it seriously other than a few naive “progressives.”
    As European power continues to decline and as China and India become increasingly powerful, I wonder whether respect for international law and international institutions will be getting stronger or weaker.
    I’d be happy to place a bet on that one.

    Reply

  52. Dan Kervick says:

    The legitimacy of law is based on the consent of the governed; international law is not based on the consent of the governed and is thus illegitimate.
    I hear this kind of thing frequently, but it mystifies me. Some people seem to be under the impression that international laws are simply dreamed up by some academic jurist somewhere who attempts to enact the law by sheer pronouncement. But the international laws that are binding on the US, for example, are mainly due to treaties that were ratified by the United States Senate with at least 60 votes. I fail to see how this procedure is any less republican than the procedure we use to enact our domestic laws.
    Some international laws are explicitly written into those treaties. Others are enacted because those treaties explicitly delegate certain law-making powers to regulatory bodies; so the people through their legislature pass on their consent, in republican fashion, to be bound by rules devised by these other bodies. That’s no different in principle from the manner in which we are bound by rules written by regulators in the executive branch departments under authorities granted by congressional legislation.
    If we don’t want to be bound by these laws, we can withdraw from the treaties at any time. But if we do not withdraw from them, we signal our continuing consent to be so bound.
    Not only do many people in the world believe in international law, WigWag, but it is used and adjudicated every day in regulating the intercourse among nations. Every time you cross a border, for example, you witness international law being put into effect. But departments of our government and other governments work every day with trained international jurists to make sure their actions conform to the international rules they have agreed to be bound by and use to regulate their conduct.
    For the rest, WigWag, your argument seems to be that because international law is frequently violated, it isn’t real and nobody believes in it. But there are many domestic laws that are violated every day, and that doesn’t mean the law isn’t real or that people don’t generally believe in it.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    “After three centuries of butchery and self-
    immolation that they inflicted not only on
    themselves but on the rest of the world do they
    really think they’re in a position to preach the
    virtues of international law?”
    That`s rich. 95 years after the Germans/Austrians
    started WW I, and 70 years after the
    Austrian/German Hitler attacked a neighboring
    country and triggered WW II, our Eurogynist WigWag
    makes it sound as if the whole Europe started these
    wars, and by implication suggests to treat 21.
    century Europe en bloc as a pariah continent in
    international relations.

    Reply

  54. WigWag says:

    “There is a crying need right now for new and better institutions for global governance. It is a very important, in my estimation, to get to work building such institutions, and then to sustain them by upholding their principles” (Dan Kervick)
    I’m afraid that’s utopian nonsense.
    No one in the world really believes in international law. The Chinese don’t; they continue to occupy Tibet; the Russians don’t; they continue to eye the former Soviet Republics just waiting for the chance to pounce; the Israelis don’t; consider their questionable behavior in Palestine; the Arabs don’t; the protections in international law for civil liberties and the “rights of man” are not even acknowledged. The Americans don’t; witness the invasion of Iraq.
    Even the main proponents of international law, the Europeans don’t. When the English and French couldn’t get the Security Council to recognize Kosovo as an independent state, they (along with the United States) went ahead and recognized it anyway.
    Are Security Council resolutions supposed to be part and parcel of international law? What type of law is it, where some parties can veto resolutions that might apply to them in ways they don’t like while the vast majority of nations can’t?
    The people who pay the greatest lip service to international law are the Europeans. How ironic is that? After three centuries of butchery and self-immolation that they inflicted not only on themselves but on the rest of the world do they really think they’re in a position to preach the virtues of international law?
    After massive genocide, population expulsion and ethnic cleansing on a scale unknown before in human history the Europeans have finally organized themselves into linguistically, religiously and ethnically more or less homogeneous nation states. Do the Europeans really think they’re in a position to urge the rest of the world to adopt a legal code that they themselves couldn’t adopt until their process of ethic sorting was complete? Perhaps when the rest of the world finishes sorting itself the way the Europeans did, international law will become more viable.
    The problem with the concept of international law is that it’s a fraud not designed to protect the powerless, but perpetrated on the powerless by the powerful.
    The legitimacy of law is based on the consent of the governed; international law is not based on the consent of the governed and is thus illegitimate.
    While few will admit it, virtually every nation in the world understands that international law is largely irrelevant and will remain irrelevant far into the future. What’s not irrelevant is power. Never has been, never will be.
    The neoconservatives and the realists agree about one thing; it’s the rule of the jungle out there.
    They’re both right about that.

    Reply

  55. samuelburke says:

    Holder announced the August 24 appointment with the proviso that anyone who engaged in torture at the urging of senior Bush administration officials would be exempted from prosecution.
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/crime/1727-holder-appoints-torture-prosecutor-rejects-nuremberg-principle
    Holder said torturers “need to be protected from legal jeopardy when they act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance. That is why I have made it clear in the past that the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. I want to reiterate that point today, and to underscore the fact that this preliminary review will not focus on those individuals.”
    “I was only following orders” is now apparently a complete defense under the Holder Justice Department. But this was precisely the defense rejected at the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War from German soldiers who had committed war crimes. The accused claimed they should be held innocent from punishment for killing Jews and others because they were only following the Führer’s legal orders. Although there were numerous problems with the Nuremberg trials, the one truly worthwhile precedent to come out of the tribunals was the principle that men are always responsible for their own actions.

    Reply

  56. pauline says:

    Let’s talk turkey, Mr. Clemons.
    from Brad Friedman’s reporting on Sibel Edmonds’ sworn testimony —
    “High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.”
    http://www.bradblog.com/?cat=58

    Reply

  57. thetruth says:

    Nice photo Clemons. You two make a cute couple.
    This motherfucker spilled trusting American soldier blood to test-run a “strategy” cooked up in his coddled neocon think-tanks. And now he shows not a bit of intellectual honesty, nor does any of his neocon ilk, and yet you can find the space to have a laugh with him over all of it.
    This piece of trash wasted other peoples’ lives, destroyed their families, their physical health, their mental health.
    Real nice to see you yuck it up for a photo-op with him. We wouldn’t want to break fucking protocol after all and embarass a complete failure who contributed to the deaths of thousands of people to test run some high-school level thesis on the Middle East.
    This is exactly what is wrong with Washington’s Versailles-type culture.

    Reply

  58. JohnH says:

    What if you could show that the American government manifestly does NOT work in its own national interest? This could be shown to be the case if you could find a clear and present danger where the US government is doing absolutely nothing, in part because their propagandists in the think tanks are oblivious the threat (probably because their corporate underwriters have not paid them to pay attention.)
    It appears that the Chinese government understands the future much better than their American counterparts and is willing to act on their beliefs by banning exports of strategically important rare earth metals. “New technologies have…increased the value and strategic importance of these metals, but it will take years for fresh supply to come on stream from deposits in Australia, North America, and South Africa. The rare earth family are hard to find, and harder to extract.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6082464/World-faces-hi-tech-crunch-as-China-eyes-ban-on-rare-metal-exports.html
    So what are the realists doing if not directing the government to behave in ways that advance the national interest? Answer: arguing with each other about how to define their brand, play power games, defend “benevolent” hegemony, spread the American way of life, etc. Meanwhile, China negotiates deals with countries like Iran that America shuns for no good reason, other than wounded pride.
    So lets go back to basics: why can’t realists explicitly define America’s vital strategic interests? Is it because they really don’t have a clue as to what they are?
    By contrast the Chinese apparently have no problem defining their vital strategic interests.

    Reply

  59. Dan Kervick says:

    Nobody can deny that what happens inside states can and does have a tremendous influence on what happens in relations among states, and to people who live beyond those states’ borders, so we all do have an interest in the internal affairs of other states. However, we also have an interest in preserving a world system in which nation-states possess certain sovereignty rights, even though the preservation of that system sometimes requires that we forbear from intervening in other countries to address behavior that appears odious to us.
    This same principle applies to all enlightened forms of governance. How my neighbors raise their kids can obviously have an impact on me. They could grow up to be vandals or criminals; or shiftless bums who are a drain on society and its treasury. Despite this, we maintain a social order in which I am not permitted to bang down my neighbors’ doors and start taking charge of their kids’ lives, even if I am smarter and more capable than their parents and strong enough to knock down their door. This form of restraint and check on unilateral action is necessary to liberty and civil peace, and in the long run produces more capable and accountable citizens, even if the practice comes at the cost of many individual outrages along the way.
    We also have to preserve a lively awareness of just how difficult it to re-order the social framework of another country, and how many different forms of blowback and unintended consequences can result. Most of us don’t even know how to make these changes in our own households and neighborhoods.
    The new, softer Wolfowitz seems eager for us to forget the recklessly violent and dangerously radical brood among whom he used to nest. He wants to bury all the old extremism under the rug, and have us forget about such heady concepts as “the unipolar moment”, “perpetual benevolent hegemony”, the “new American century” and the rest of the dotty and revolutionary unilateralism that was only a few years ago so popular among his force-drunk cronies and their enthusiastic fellow-travelers.
    Such views were always based on a bizarrely distorted understanding of the current historical situation, a mad overestimation of the extent of American power deriving from a triumphalist mania sniffed like cocaine in the post-Cold War, 1990’s after-party. But personally I would’t want to live under a unipolar or near-unipolar world order, even if such an order were possible, and even if my own country was standing at the pole. I can’t understand how anybody with even a thimbleful of democratic spirit could support such a thing. I continue to believe in checks and balances. To the extent such a unipolar world order ever exists at any time, it is decidedly sub-optimal and very dangerous, and people of good will and enlightened understanding should work to replace it with something more balanced, more just and less inherently destabilizing.
    There is a crying need right now for new and better institutions for global governance. It is a very important, in my estimation, to get to work building such institutions, and then to sustain them by upholding their principles. It is especially important to uphold the principles when the temptations to violate them are strongest, and that’s something Wolfowitz’s America signally failed to do during the ascendancy of his clique. I deplore the way American liberal and neoconservative elites have run roughshod over international law in recent years, replacing respect for the rule of law with braggadocio, exceptionalism and morally zealous enthusiasms. The Wolfowitz neoconservative clique in particular was marked by a profound and radical contempt for international institutions and international order. Many of our elites continue to ignore international law, to neglect international law, to dismiss international law and to demean international law. Our impoverished political discourse is still shockingly lacking in even token gestures of respect for the very idea of a rule of global law, and our ordinary citizens are encouraged to believe in the supremacy of the morally self-assured conscience over the mere law.
    Realism in its many confused forms, just like every other major foreign policy orientation preached by professional Washingtonians, worships at the altar of the national interest, and sees national power as the ultimate end of our national actions. That’s not my creed. I try to give more weight to the global interest. Since I don’t work for the US government, I have the luxury of defending this common-sensical and balanced doctrine. But if you work for the government, you are required to adhere to the extreme and psychopathic dogma that your nation-state should act solely to advance its own power interests, and should take an interest in the well-being of others only to the extent that their well-being serves your own nation-state’s power. It’s strange: we recognize individuals who think and behave this way as being developmentally, cognitively and affectively stunted and perverse. But the doctrine is just as sick in affairs among nations as it is in affairs among persons.
    Many liberals and neoconservatives of the past two decades went on quite a bit about spreading the American Way of Life. I’m pretty ambivalent about the American Way of Life, myself. There are some parts of it I admire, and other parts I deplore and hate. With regard to the latter, I would recommend that other countries do what they can to quarantine American perversions inside America, and prevent them from infecting your own countries. One of those perversions is the extreme form of capitalism of which many of my fellow-Americans are so fond, with its contempt for the public economic sphere and its commercialization of all human relations. Back in the 90’s and at the beginning of this new century, lots of liberals were obsessed with the virtues of neoliberalism, market fundamentalism, free trade, deregulation and the privatization of everything, and were eager to spread that approach everywhere. It may turn out to be a blessing for the world that the American Way was discredited by the Great Global Recession, so that there is less pressure now to extend the American system of exploitation, Ponzi finance, ruthlessness, Social Darwinism and flim-flam to the four corners of the world.
    The other thing non-Americans would be advised to resist is the extreme American faith in the efficacy of violence, the American way of guns, and Americans’ stunning moral complacency about death, destruction, abuse and routine murder. It’s not that there aren’t other places in the world that exhibit similar savagery, but few of those other barbarians hold themselves out as models of civilization to be emulated. Don’t let the lurid, Tarantino-like horror-farce of American death culture get a grip in your countries.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Bill would give president emergency control of Internet
    by Declan McCullagh
    Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.
    They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.
    The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10320096-38.html
    But of course! What good is a compliant, cowardly, and corrupt Fourth Estate if the citizens can simply seek the truth through alternative outlets? The question is, who is the lucky lying posturing treasonous fraud that gets to declare a “cybersecurity emergency” in conjunction with a false flag terrorist attack?
    Stay tuned for the next “trifecta”. Brought to you via CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, sans the annoying intrusion of the truth.
    Just imagine, in what light would we see Paul Wolfowitz were it not for the internet?

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Did you smell sulfur?”
    Our leader’s olfactory sensors no longer recognize the smell of sulfur.
    But they can smell money, even if its soaked in blood.
    Over a million dead in Iraq, and he’s grinning ear to ear. He should be hung. And he would be, if we were what we claim to be.
    We hung Saddam, and his legacy is no more detestable than Wolfowitz’s. And Wolfowitz isn’t done yet.

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  62. WigWag says:

    Paul Wolfowitz is obviously one of those people perpetually drunk by what comes out of his mouth, not what goes into it. But his four opponents are hardly any better; it’s painfully obvious that they scribbled their responses never pausing for a thought.
    About the only insight in the five essays came from David Rothkopf; to paraphrase him paraphrasing Henry Kissinger, the debate is never so overwrought as when the stakes are so trivial.
    Steve Clemons’ response to Wolfowitz was particularly banal. It consisted mostly of a litany of the various permutations, penumbras and emanations of the label *realist.*
    Here’s what we learned from Clemons:
    1) Barack Obama is behaving like a *semi-realist.*
    2) Hans Morgenthau was, and his disciple John Mearsheimer is, a *gold standard .999 pure realist.*
    3) *Academic realists* are not worth engaging but today’s *policy realists* are much smarter than their intellectual forbears, the *Kissinger-style realists.*
    4) Zbignew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft don’t agree on everything but they’re both *hybrid realists.*
    5) Not only are Brzezinski and Scowcroft *hybrid realists,* they’re members of a new tribe of *hybrid realists* called *ethical realists.*
    6) Another name for *ethical realism* is *progressive realism.*
    7) Paul Wolfowitz thinks he’s a *hybrid realist* but he’s not a member of the same tribe as Brzezinski and Scowcroft. He’s not a *ethical/progressive realist,* he’s a *democratic realist* (at least he thinks he is).
    8) Steve didn’t mention it in this essay, but there is yet another type of realist; the *crack cocaine realist.* Anyone who wants to see what they’re about should read some of Flynt Leverett’s work.
    Clemons, Walt and the others get a chill up their spine when given the opportunity to skewer Wolfowitz; who can blame them?
    But what exactly have Brzezinski or Scowcroft done to advance American interests? How is the United States safer, more secure and more prosperous as a result of their government service?
    Come to think about it, how is the United States safer and more prosperous because of Henry Kissinger?
    Has there been a *realist* since George Kennan who has played a positive role in U.S. foreign policy?
    I was glad to see Helena Cobban post a comment though. After such a mega dose of realism, it’s nice to retreat to fantasy land for a while

    Reply

  63. dalivision says:

    He must still have holes in his socks.

    Reply

  64. Jackie says:

    Outraged American and Helena,
    I was wondering about the spitting on the comb thing, too. Since Wolfowitz is holding his hair in place I just don’t think he had time. That was the most disgusting portion of Farhenheit 911. O.A., as for the sulfur smell, that made me laugh out loud. I still crack up when I think of Chavez at the U.N. in 2006.

    Reply

  65. Helena Cobban says:

    Yeah, Steve, but you need to tell us if Wolfie did his old “spit on a comb” trick before the pic was taken. As in the movie “No end in sight”.
    Only one of these two men belongs in a war-crimes court– and it ain’t you.

    Reply

  66. William Schirano says:

    A fantastic debate…It reminds me of the Krauthammer/Fukuyama
    debate a number of years ago (has it been that long?)
    I’ve always held a similar position to Rothkopf that the labels we
    attach to one’s political conclusions are meaningless. What we must
    instead look closely at is the thinking that drives the conclusions of
    realists and neoconservatives/Wilsonians.
    Clearly, these two groups process the world differently than one
    another. That, I believe, ought to be the most important variable in
    how we separate good policy makers from poor ones.

    Reply

  67. dirk says:

    This guy has no credibility in my opinion.
    He was a strong proponent of an aggressive war, and should be in a cell, awaiting trial in The Hague, along with his other war-mongering cronies and bosses.
    To engage him in an exchange of ideas, gives him credibility he doesn’t deserve.

    Reply

  68. easy e says:

    Steve Clemons said: “Wolfowitz’s brand of foreign policy may work better in certain
    times…”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Only when Wolfowitz is behind bars where he belongs.

    Reply

  69. Paul Norheim says:

    Steve Clemons said: “Wolfowitz’s brand of foreign policy may work better in certain
    times — at times of a state’s overwhelming hegemonic dominance in world affairs — but
    may be quite inappropriate and ineffective when that same state’s power has sagged and
    is limping, needing reinvention and clear accomplishment.
    Today is the time of realists of a variety of sorts — mostly because of the realities
    that Wolfowitz and his Bush administration colleagues unleashed in the world.”.
    —————————-
    Steve, your formulation may be explained as an opportunistic maneuver to highlight the
    virtues of your particular brand of realism in our times. But it intrigues me: Does it
    imply that your “progressive realism” is less of a conviction – and more a result of
    tactical considerations? That there is a time for an “inner Nixon”, and a time for an
    “inner Wolfowitz”, and that if America regains its past glory and power, the time has
    come for the return of the “inner Wolfowitz”?
    Seems to me like a rather depressive pendulum, swinging in eternity from Wolf… to
    Nix… to Wolf…to Nix…
    Aut Caesar aut Nihil?
    What do you think? Will we, a couple of decades from now, live to see a grey haired
    Steve Clemons (with a couple of very old and wise dogs!) eagerly encouraging a new
    POTUS to find his inner Wolfowitz?

    Reply

  70. Outraged American says:

    Did you smell sulfur? And spit?

    Reply

  71. ... says:

    a few steve clemons quotes
    “To not recognize that the Iraq war — no matter how legitimate and necessary Wolfowitz feels that war was — deflated American power is a significant gap in his analysis. Had the Iraq invasion not occurred, had the Bush team dealt a crushing blow to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and come home, the world and America would be in a different place.” indeed.. wolftwitz is a bad chess player as i see it and a dishonest person for his unwillingness to acknowledge his responsibility in it all…
    “One of the issues I wish Wolfowitz had raised but regrettably neglected is the importance of America demonstrating by example the kind of democracy we hope others aspire to.” wolftwitz would like to get everyone to move back in time to a world where torture is the norm…. lets try it out on him to see if he can acknowledge any of his bullshit…
    “Wolfowitz’s essay is sensibly drafted and intelligent. There is significant insight in the piece — but not enough introspection.” steve, there’s no reflection whatsoever on his part… i feel like i am reading some of the same bullshit today from those advocating war in iran who also demonstrate no ability to reflect…

    Reply

  72. JohnH says:

    “People propose doing various things with our foreign policy.” And the realists–at least outwardly–seem oblivious as to who those people are and why they are proposing what they propose, even though many of them are major underwriters of think tanks.
    The foreign policy crowd thinks that everything is about “maximizing the nation’s position” and “addressing vital strategic interests.” Reality is much more crass and casts doubt on the realists’ moniker–is realist foreign policy any less of an oxymoron than political science?
    Part of the problem lies in the fact that nations are often not the protagonists. In Honduras, for example, John Perkins has come to the conclusion that the coup was a response to Zelaya’s attempt to raise the minimum wage. American fruit companies (banana growers) and sweat shop operators felt threatened along with the rapacious local oligarchy. So they apparently got together with elements of the US government and the Honduran military and threw Zelaya out. Interestingly enough, Aristide also tried to get the minimum wage changed right before he was ousted from Haiti.
    In the cases of Iraq, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and even little Bolivia, there are important commercial interests at play, trying to influence the situation both in Washington and abroad. Some of these interests have bigger budgets than the local, national government.
    With the health care debate, people are beginning to see how commercial interests dominate policy decision making. The same is obviously true in foreign policy. But foreign policy theorists seem to have no way of accounting for foreign policy decisions apart from states pursuing “national interests.” Special commercial interests co-opting foreign policy have no place in their power equations.
    Yes, the debate about the true nature of foreign policy seems arid, precisely because the debaters intentionally leave out many of the stakeholders and their interests. Now that the health care debate has forced the sordidness of domestic policy making into the open, perhaps people will be receptive to seeing foreign policy decision making for what it is. And it won’t be pretty.

    Reply

  73. ... says:

    a couple of priceless quotes from wolftwitz..
    “No one is against the national interest,” he sure fooled a lot of folks on that one..
    “I believe, to the contrary, that the purpose of the war was to remove a threat to national and international security. Whether the Iraq war was right or wrong, it was not about imposing democracy,” who gets to decide wolftwitz – the usa or israel, or someone as a stand in (like yourself) for both perhaps??
    “Brutal regimes will not behave better if the United States speaks nicely about them.” that is why i trash the usa regularly for its war crimes and willingness to torture and it has a lot to do with the encouragement of people like wolftwitz.
    i can’t read past page 4.. he has lost all credibility and while it might be instructive to learn from ones mistakes he shows not acknowledgment of them, but rather a continuation of the same dogma that paved the way for where the usa is at present – in the trash can internationally..

    Reply

  74. Dan Kervick says:

    Much of the debate about the true nature of foreign policy realism, as a set of doctrines, seems arid. People propose doing various things with our foreign policy. We can generally debate and argue about whether or not to do those things without worrying about whether those things constitute an implementation of the supremely flexible doctrine of realism. The additional questions of academic classifications add little.

    Reply

  75. JohnH says:

    I loved Steve’s phrase: “The “hybrid realism” to which most policy practitioners subscribe entails using American power in ways that increase and enhance America’s power position.”
    Now could one of these hybrid realists please explain clearly why the United States continues to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, and to threaten Iran, Venezuela, and Russia? And exactly how do those activities increase and enhance America’s “power position?” If they don’t believe in the current policies, they should clearly define what they believe them do be. Then they should clearly define America’s vital strategic interests and follow with what America’s goals and ambitions should be. They should also explain why they are not more vocal in your opposition–if they actually believe the current policies to be misguided.
    Lets take Iran as the first example. Do the hybird realists really feel threatened by the Iranian nuclear program despite the fact that there is no evidence of its existence? Doesn’t the fact that they are threatened by non-existent threats call into question their ability to accurately discern reality, a curious trait for a “realist?” And didn’t they vehemently oppose the Iranian regime before there ever was any uranium enrichment? If so, then it is not uranium enrichment that is the issue, but the Iranian regime itself. What is it about that regime that is so threatening to America’s vital strategic interests?
    Hint: they need to start the discussion by defining America’s vital strategic interests, something that realists, preferring ethereal theories of power equations, refuse to specify.
    Come on, enough of hiding behind vague generalities–out with it!!!

    Reply

  76. gaetano says:

    Their is a new word that will be used to fight all this agression and corruption from with in the government. I shoudn`t say “new”,actually,Its a word ment for the american citizen,and will stop all this BS. The word is “PATRIOT”.WE the patriots of the united states ,one nation,under GOD will use this word and and kill off all those who do not conform to our law.

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As amazing as it may seem, the following excerpt is from “American Conservative” magazine.
    “Those who are interested in issues like widespread corruption of our elected officials by foreigners have no doubt followed the ex-FBI translator turned whistle blower Sibel Edmonds saga for the past few years. Sibel has finally testified in court under oath about some of the things that she learned while working for the bureau. The testimony was in a court in Ohio about two weeks ago. A full transcription and a useful summary appear at….”
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7374.
    “In short, she names a number of Congressmen including former Speaker Dennis Hastert who took money from Turkish lobbyists. She also identifies senior State Department and Pentagon officials who apparently did the same, including our friends Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith. Interestingly, she claims that Grossman blew the cover of Valerie Plame’s company Brewster Jennings back in 2001, causing CIA to shut it down, so Robert Novak was not guilty of exposing the CIA cover mechanism. In another interview given a few weeks ago, Edmonds claims that CIA was working closely with al-Qaeda in the Balkans and continued to do so until 9/11.”
    End excerpt.
    Does a democratic society, with a representative government, a responsible Fourth Estate, and a body of laws that apply to ALL of its citizens, ignore assertions such as these?

    Reply

  78. PissedOffAmerican says:

    US Won’t Press Israel on Settlements
    US Promises Not to Press for East Jerusalem Freeze
    by Jason Ditz, August 27, 2009
    While the US State Department publicly insisted the official Obama Administration on the Israeli settlements had not changed, privately diplomats are saying that the adminstration has done a virtual 180, backing off pretty much all its demands with respect to Israel’s settlement activity.
    At this point, the US had agreed to completely abandon complaints over Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967. Though the US will not publicly endorse the continued construction it will no longer ask Israel to freeze them.
    About all they got was a dubious promise from the Netanyahu government to not issue new construction permits for settlements in the West Bank for nine months. Even this promise likely means little, as thousands of already approved construction projects will continue in the meantime and the Israeli government is already talking about an exit strategy from the program, even though it hasn’t officially halted the permits yet.
    continues…….
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/27/us-backs-off-israel-demands-promises-flexibility/
    How much of this is due to the mutiny of key Democrats, such as Reid and Hoyer? Apparently, it matters not if players like Wolfowitz are sidelined by the retreat of of the neo-cons.
    Yet one more Obama flip-flop goes in the history books.
    What “US power tank”? Its increasingly obvious that Israel is calling the shots on a wide range of foreign policy arenas.
    No United States media is willing to touch Sibel Edmonds’ assertions that blackmail is being used to influence American politicians as it applies to foreign policies.
    It matters not who is squatting in the White House. The party might change, the face might change, and the crew of administrative criminals might change, but the corruption is bi-partisan, and the force behind Wolfowitz differs not from the force behind Obama. Power and greed. Unbound by law, and dangerously megolomaniacal, the Washington elite have become murderous thugs on a global scale.
    Our nation doesn’t fall tomorrow. It fell a long time ago. No Fourth Estate. No operable checks and balances. No representation for the people. And no rule of law for those in power.
    Taxation without representation. We’ve arrived.

    Reply

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