Nightmare Confirmed: Things Are Soooo Bad. . .

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Sometimes in Washington after years of networking and bridge-building, doors are opened to some extraordinary meetings where elite political players and policy makers really do discuss how to govern the world while sipping wine.
I really can’t discuss the participants or venue of a dinner I attended last night but suffice it to say that some of America’s and Europe’s leading current and former political personalities were there — 60 people only — and among them a few former Secretaries of State and foreign ministers, top intelligence officials, think tank chiefs, Senators and House Members, former National Security Advisors and Secretaries of Defense. The attendance list was extraordinary.
And the conversations — on the whole — were about the crappy condition of America’s national security position. The guests in this dinner probably represented key participants in any new strategic consensus for the country. If there were brlliant, silver bullet ideas that might help this country move quickly beyond its problems, it would have been in such a crowd where such notions might be taken seriously and have impact.
But nothing. Absolutely nothing. People were depressed and dismayed about current conditions. One very, very senior Bush administration official when asked by me what ideas he had to stabilize Iraq and stop our slow bleed situation said he had exhausted what he felt was possible.
Another top tier official when another guest pushed him to move the President into some rational deal-making that might trigger a more fruitful trend, ominously said “don’t hold your breath.”
Many TWN readers have already known and posted commentary on how screwed America is in its current situation — but still, it’s a different thing when actually dining and drinking with folks in mega-power positions who concur.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

96 comments on “Nightmare Confirmed: Things Are Soooo Bad. . .

  1. DonS says:

    . . . and here’s some added grist for the ongoing “debate” as to just how much influence the foreign government lobby called AIPAC has on U.S. politics. If this has shown up already,forgive the duplication):
    http://www.forward.com/articles/report-fbi-in-expanded-aipac-probe/
    Seems they can’t keep their mitts of much.

    Reply

  2. DonS says:

    Been away a couple of days, but I gotta get acomment in on this reveltory thread.
    Said upthread:”Well Steve…. You’re the inside man. Please tell us why it takes these people that you wined and dined with sooooo long to admit the obvious?”
    Also said upthread: “they” put their pants on one leg at a time too.
    Simple fact, we all get “identified” with the culture/organization, milieu, friends, groups, etc., we travel with unless we actively work against such identification. That is difficult and, when one travels in circles where such serious attempt at “objectivity” is not coveted, damn near impossible.
    It has always amazed me — a halfway intelligent, highly “educated” person — that there are actually individuals populating the upper reaches of government, and similar oragnizations, who act as if they feel themselves qualified (or maybe they actually feel qualified) to make huge decisions affecting the lives of millions of individuals around the world. Without theorizing on a psychology of power, my guess is that such cadres are not different in their makeup and struggles than the rest of us, just with more widereaching effect from their actions — the actions of hypnotized, sleep walking individuals, conditioned and reinforced in their conditioning daily.
    Once in a while a shock wakes them/us momentarily, but we soon fall back asleep.
    On the institutional level it only takes a few individuals with corrupted souls (personalities if you prefer), well placed towards the top, to insure a corrupted conditioning and outcome.
    And when the process of checks and balances is either abdicated or preempted . . . well, extrapolate your own story line. Forget a government of laws.

    Reply

  3. David Gilmartin says:

    Here’s a different perspective: The boundaries of middle eastern countries, with consequent ethnic groupings and cutting up of groupings came about 100 years ago, by imperial nations and for imperial interests, NOT by the peoples of the areas. So how about imagining a process of involvement and self-determination of boundaries, groupings, territories, etc. by those who are “of” this part of the world?

    Reply

  4. SloJoe says:

    Clemons, I hope you are still are still reading this thread.
    Next party, bring up the whole “consent of the governed” thing to your friends in the context of Iraq.
    You do remember the “consent of the governed”, don’t you? And your friends, they remember it too, right? We all love Jefferson, don’t we?
    It is, after all, the foundation – the qaeda if Arabic is your thing – of our democracy.
    Shouldn’t this be a factor in our thinking? What is the will of the Iraqi people?
    I only bring it up because all these smart people posting here didn’t, and I’m drunk enough to put aside my usual reticence.
    Give it some thought, or not. It’s just a stray post I won’t remember tomorrow.

    Reply

  5. Marky says:

    Um, Kate, that’s what I said,
    lol
    Don’t include me in that bunch—I’m not.

    Reply

  6. Kate in Michigan says:

    I am tired of the ranting and insults being posted by Pissed Off American, Marky/MP and Winnepeger on the Israeli/911 subject, and I suspect that most of the other readers of this blog are sick of it too. Please take your argument elsewhere — you can exchange personal email addresses or start up your own blogs. Enough on this subject. It is not relevant to Steve’s original article.

    Reply

  7. Pissed Off American says:

    Has anyone on this blog ever seen this piece of shit, Winnepeger, post anything of substance? If so, would you kindly point it out to me?

    Reply

  8. Marky says:

    Rapier,
    Iraq is not a sideshow, if we accept your analysis. Population reduction will mean that survivors can get a greater share of the coming “tsunami of wealth”.
    AIDS can help a lot too, especially if we stop providing drugs to Africa and let half the population die.

    Reply

  9. rapier says:

    I fail to see any problem with the US national security position. There is no existential threat to America. Iraq has altered nothing in that regard. It has quickened the decline of a weak state but weak states are devolving anyway. States in general are in decline.
    If I am right we are on the cusp of a gigantic rally in the financial markets. All elites in all developed and developing nations are now focused upon nurturing the explosion of money and credit which is fueling a tsunami of wealth. Yes that wealth is being concentrated at the top but then that is always the way it has been, except for the aberrant detour of the post WWII period. States and nations are not the generators of this wealth. That wealth is being created by the mechanisms of modern finance and crucially globalization and labor arbitrage. The levers of state are now operating thru central banks and corporate elites, especially of the financial variety to assure that markets remain stable thru direct and indirect intervention.
    Iraq is a sideshow. It doesn’t mean a thing.

    Reply

  10. winnipeger says:

    “My question still stands. Unanswered.”
    …and unanswered… and unanswered… and unanswered…
    POA is beyond foolish on this count and everyone on this blog knows it.
    nobody agrees with this crackpot BS.

    Reply

  11. MP says:

    POA quotes me: “”Please tell me how ANYTHING in this post shows, proves, even gives the slightest credence to the idea that Israel was behind 9/11? ”
    My question still stands. Unanswered.
    I’m perfectly willing to say that, in an absolute sense, I don’t know who perpetrated these crimes. You are the one who is arguing FOR a theory. And it’s the old one: Cherchez the Israelis. They are the usual suspects and ALWAYS behind it. Problem is, you have NO proof for it, and I’m simply pointing that out. The burden of proof here is on you, not me.
    Let’s put it this way: Even if there are legitimate questions surrounding who dunnit doesn’t mean it was the Israelis.

    Reply

  12. MP says:

    “But you refuse to accept POSSIBILITIES that I cite, because of lack of evidence, yet you advance certain depictions of 9/11 as being fact, based on the same kind of lack of evidence.”
    I accept that it’s possible. Based on what I’ve seen, however, it’s not very likely. From what I’ve seen, it’s much more likely that bin Laden/al Quaeda perpetrated the attack. Lots and lots of curious facts, if they are facts, such as Atta’s passport, don’t necessarily add up to much for me. Lots of strange physical things happen in a disaster of this sort. Read ESG’s Court of Last Resort to up your tolerance for the truth of improbable things occurring.
    POA writes: “And, MP, I presented a THEORY here. I never directly alleged that Israel was the chief architect of 9/11.” That’s right, and Bush never said directly that Dems were traitors, but of course he did. This is the way you’ve taken to arguing–by innuendo. Otherwise, why bring in the dancing Israelis? Even if they are Israeli agents–unproven–what’s the connection to 9/11? There is none, except the one you’re implying with your “theory.” There’s also the strange occurrence of the plane flying bin Laden family members out of the country just after 9/11, when all other planes were grounded.
    POA writes: “Gee, care to show us how much money Hamas or Hezbollah is dumping in the pockets of our Senators and Congressmen, MP?” Gee, I’m tempted to respond that all you really care about is the money coming out of your pocket, not a real solution to a real problem. But I know your ethics extend a bit beyond your own pecuniary interest. So I will answer, none that I’m aware of. On the other hand, we are dumping billions into the pockets of Egyptian rulers and no one seems upset about that. We have spent billions on arms deals with SA and no one seems upset about that. Carroll continues to predict how US troops will be dragged into protecting Israel when, in fact, our troops have ONLY been used in the ME in the service of Muslim countries…Kosovo…SA bases…Beirut in the 1980s… Kuwait in 1990s…Afghanistan in the 1980s. And of course every time you fill up your truck, you support the racist regime in SA.
    POA writes: “Really? Care to cite those occassions for us?” I’d have to find the exact cites for you. But Rabin didn’t support AIPAC’s press to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. AIPAC has supported the Greater Israel agenda, and many Israeli leaders do not, as should be obvious from even a glance at the news. Even Sharon abandoned that dream.

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    “Please tell me how ANYTHING in this post shows, proves, even gives the slightest credence to the idea that Israel was behind 9/11? Maybe that’s not even your thesis, given how flimsy this is. But I LOVE the “New Jersey homemaker” detail. It brings to mind all those 50s sci-fi movies where the lone farmer comes across the flying saucer carrying the first wave of alien invaders.”
    Of course you love it, MP, because all it does is describe the event that brought these five people to the attention of the authorities, rather than address what the authorities found in the act of aprehending and detaining them. Of course, you would rather not address the whole of the story. One quite telling part of this is the internet purging of the Fox News reports on this story. Fox removed Cameron’s report from their website for a reason. What do you suppose that reason is?
    Or is now when you are gonna tell us Fox News is “just another media source”, just like AIPAC is “just another lobby”?

    Reply

  14. Pissed Off American says:

    “like i said, POA, you post a bunch of uninformed and unsubstantiated bullshit.”
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!! Great, you blithering idiot. Lets see YOUR substantial contributions here.

    Reply

  15. winnipeger says:

    In actuality, MP, there is more evidence that these five Israelis were employed by a front operation for the Mossad than there is that Bin Laden masterminded 9/11. There are those in the FBI, according to credible press releases at the time, that believe that these guys were Mossad. But the Bin Laden page on the FBI website illustrates that the FBI has no direct evidence that proves Bin Laden’s participation in 9/11.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at November 18, 2006 12:15 PM
    nobody should bother engaging this whacko in further debate on this subject.
    let him stand in the corner alone with his dunce cap and his cabinets.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    “Rabin comes to mind, when Israeli leaders did NOT support AIPAC’s agenda.”
    Posted by MP
    Really? Care to cite those occassions for us?

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    “I would agree, you can’t leave out Israel. But you also can’t leave out Hezbollah, Hamas, SA, Iran, Egypt. And yet your comments repeatedly suggest that Israel and AIPAC are pulling all the strings.”
    Gee, care to show us how much money Hamas or Hezbollah is dumping in the pockets of our Senators and Congressmen, MP?

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    “Please tell me how ANYTHING in this post shows, proves, even gives the slightest credence to the idea that Israel was behind 9/11? Maybe that’s not even your thesis, given how flimsy this is. But I LOVE the “New Jersey homemaker” detail. It brings to mind all those 50s sci-fi movies where the lone farmer comes across the flying saucer carrying the first wave of alien invaders.”
    Lets turn it around, MP. How about you show me proof Bin Laden was involved. Start by telling us why 9/11 is not mentioned as one of Bin Laden’s crimes on the FBI website.
    And if you want to bring “aliens” into this, I suggest you examine the plausability of the alleged circumstances involving the discovery of Atta’s passport. Frankly, I believe a disc landing in my front yard is far more plausible than Atta’s passport flying out of his pocket and landing on the sidewalk to be picked up and turned in IMMEDIATELY as the buildings were burning is equally unbelievable. But hey, if you want to buy into that kind of fantasy, thats your business.
    But you refuse to accept POSSIBILITIES that I cite, because of lack of evidence, yet you advance certain depictions of 9/11 as being fact, based on the same kind of lack of evidence. Tell me, MP, who were the mis-identified participants in this crime, and why was the list never revised when it was discovered that some of the SUSPECTS were mis-identified?
    And, MP, I presented a THEORY here. I never directly alleged that Israel was the chief architect of 9/11. Yet, for you and Winnipeger’s purposes, you have felt it necessary to imply that that is EXACTLY what I did. Such a deflection is built of straw, and further underscores your need to twist and pervert the positions of those whose opinions you oppose.
    In actuality, MP, there is more evidence that these five Israelis were employed by a front operation for the Mossad than there is that Bin Laden masterminded 9/11. There are those in the FBI, according to credible press releases at the time, that believe that these guys were Mossad. But the Bin Laden page on the FBI website illustrates that the FBI has no direct evidence that proves Bin Laden’s participation in 9/11.

    Reply

  19. winnipeger says:

    like i said, POA, you post a bunch of uninformed and unsubstantiated bullshit.
    make like a good, middle-aged cabinet maker and prove your assertion that mossad agants masterminded the 9-11 attacks.
    your foolishness is on display for all to see.
    maybe it’s time for you to start yelling and swearing at people again.

    Reply

  20. MP says:

    “And frankly, POA’s statement that “And you CANNOT separate AIPAC from ANY discussion about current political events and climate either” is merely a repackaging of the old canard that the Jews control the world or cause all the wars or have all the money and can buy all the votes.” Oh bullshit. If you think you can separate Israel from any intelligent conversation about current events in the Middle East than you are eiither a damned liar or a hopeless idiot.”
    Your statement said “current political events” NOT events in the ME. But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt: You weren’t saying that AIPAC controls America, just American foreign policy in the ME. I would agree, you can’t leave out Israel. But you also can’t leave out Hezbollah, Hamas, SA, Iran, Egypt. And yet your comments repeatedly suggest that Israel and AIPAC are pulling all the strings. At least these are the only folks you’re worried about. Sorry, it’s not a reasonable assumption, and it’s this kind of assuming that leads some folks, not me but some folks, to assume that you’re anti-Semitic. Otherwise, you’d be looking at the bigger picture.

    Reply

  21. MP says:

    POA writes: “”AIPAC and Israel are not synonymous, so your last argument falls flat.” Then tell me, MP, if AIPAC and Israel are not “synonomous” who, exactly, was Franklin spying for? Frankly, Marky, your argument that AIPAC and Israel is not “synonomous” is some of your worst stuff yet.”
    They aren’t synonymous: On a basic level, one is the state filled with Israelis; the other is a lobbying group of Americans. AIPAC supports (at least currently) a rightwing agenda. There are many in Israel who do not. There have been any number of times, Rabin comes to mind, when Israeli leaders did NOT support AIPAC’s agenda. Therefore, the two are not synonymous.

    Reply

  22. MP says:

    Doesn’t this say it all when it comes to what passes for “proof” or “important questions that need answering”?
    The White Van
    Were Israelis Detained on Sept. 11 Spies?
    June 21 — “Millions saw the horrific images of the World Trade Center attacks, and those who saw them won’t forget them. But a New Jersey homemaker saw something that morning that prompted an investigation into five young Israelis and their possible connection to Israeli intelligence.”
    Please tell me how ANYTHING in this post shows, proves, even gives the slightest credence to the idea that Israel was behind 9/11? Maybe that’s not even your thesis, given how flimsy this is. But I LOVE the “New Jersey homemaker” detail. It brings to mind all those 50s sci-fi movies where the lone farmer comes across the flying saucer carrying the first wave of alien invaders.
    As I said before–and I mean it seriously–I will renounce my support for Israel if they are proved to be the masterminds behind the 9/11 massacre. But this is nothing but garbage. It’s not even worth rebutting–there’s nothing there to rebutt.

    Reply

  23. Pissed Off American says:

    http://tinyurl.com/fa8l
    The White Van
    Were Israelis Detained on Sept. 11 Spies?
    June 21 — “Millions saw the horrific images of the World Trade Center attacks, and those who saw them won’t forget them. But a New Jersey homemaker saw something that morning that prompted an investigation into five young Israelis and their possible connection to Israeli intelligence.
    Maria, who asked us not to use her last name, had a view of the World Trade Center from her New Jersey apartment building. She remembers a neighbor calling her shortly after the first plane hit the towers.
    She grabbed her binoculars and watched the destruction unfolding in lower Manhattan. But as she watched the disaster, something else caught her eye.
    Maria says she saw three young men kneeling on the roof of a white van in the parking lot of her apartment building. “They seemed to be taking a movie,” Maria said.
    The men were taking video or photos of themselves with the World Trade Center burning in the background, she said. What struck Maria were the expressions on the men’s faces. “They were like happy, you know … They didn’t look shocked to me. I thought it was very strange,” she said.
    She found the behavior so suspicious that she wrote down the license plate number of the van and called the police. Before long, the FBI was also on the scene, and a statewide bulletin was issued on the van.
    The plate number was traced to a van owned by a company called Urban Moving. Around 4 p.m. on Sept. 11, the van was spotted on a service road off Route 3, near New Jersey’s Giants Stadium. A police officer pulled the van over, finding five men, between 22 and 27 years old, in the vehicle. The men were taken out of the van at gunpoint and handcuffed by police.
    The arresting officers said they saw a lot that aroused their suspicion about the men. One of the passengers had $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock. Another was carrying two foreign passports. A box cutter was found in the van. But perhaps the biggest surprise for the officers came when the five men identified themselves as Israeli citizens.
    ‘We Are Not Your Problem’
    According to the police report, one of the passengers told the officers they had been on the West Side Highway in Manhattan “during the incident” — referring to the World Trade Center attack. The driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers, “We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.” The other passengers were his brother Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari.
    When the men were transferred to jail, the case was transferred out of the FBI’s Criminal Division, and into the bureau’s Foreign Counterintelligence Section, which is responsible for espionage cases, ABCNEWS has learned.
    One reason for the shift, sources told ABCNEWS, was that the FBI believed Urban Moving may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation.
    After the five men were arrested, the FBI got a warrant and searched Urban Moving’s Weehawken, N.J., offices.
    The FBI searched Urban Moving’s offices for several hours, removing boxes of documents and a dozen computer hard drives. The FBI also questioned Urban Moving’s owner. His attorney insists that his client answered all of the FBI’s questions. But when FBI agents tried to interview him again a few days later, he was gone.
    Three months later 2020’s cameras photographed the inside of Urban Moving, and it looked as if the business had been shut down in a big hurry. Cell phones were lying around; office phones were still connected; and the property of dozens of clients remained in the warehouse.
    The owner had also cleared out of his New Jersey home, put it up for sale and returned with his family to Israel.
    ‘A Scary Situation’
    Steven Gordon, the attorney for the five Israeli detainees, acknowledged that his clients’ actions on Sept. 11 would easily have aroused suspicions. “You got a group of guys that are taking pictures, on top of a roof, of the World Trade Center. They’re speaking in a foreign language. They got two passports on ’em. One’s got a wad of cash on him, and they got box cutters. Now that’s a scary situation.”
    But Gordon insisted that his clients were just five young men who had come to America for a vacation, ended up working for a moving company, and were taking pictures of the event.
    The five Israelis were held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, ostensibly for overstaying their tourist visas and working in the United States illegally. Two weeks after their arrest, an immigration judge ordered them to be deported. But sources told ABCNEWS that FBI and CIA officials in Washington put a hold on the case.
    The five men were held in detention for more than two months. Some of them were placed in solitary confinement for 40 days, and some of them were given as many as seven lie-detector tests.
    Plenty of Speculation
    Since their arrest, plenty of speculation has swirled about the case, and what the five men were doing that morning. Eventually, The Forward, a respected Jewish newspaper in New York, reported the FBI concluded that two of the men were Israeli intelligence operatives.
    Vince Cannistraro, a former chief of operations for counterterrorism with the CIA who is now a consultant for ABCNEWS, said federal authorities’ interest in the case was heightened when some of the men’s names were found in a search of a national intelligence database.
    Israeli Intelligence Connection?
    According to Cannistraro, many people in the U.S. intelligence community believed that some of the men arrested were working for Israeli intelligence. Cannistraro said there was speculation as to whether Urban Moving had been “set up or exploited for the purpose of launching an intelligence operation against radical Islamists in the area, particularly in the New Jersey-New York area.”
    Under this scenario, the alleged spying operation was not aimed against the United States, but at penetrating or monitoring radical fund-raising and support networks in Muslim communities like Paterson, N.J., which was one of the places where several of the hijackers lived in the months prior to Sept. 11.
    For the FBI, deciphering the truth from the five Israelis proved to be difficult. One of them, Paul Kurzberg, refused to take a lie-detector test for 10 weeks — then failed it, according to his lawyer. Another of his lawyers told us Kurzberg had been reluctant to take the test because he had once worked for Israeli intelligence in another country.
    Sources say the Israelis were targeting these fund-raising networks because they were thought to be channeling money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, groups that are responsible for most of the suicide bombings in Israel. “[The] Israeli government has been very concerned about the activity of radical Islamic groups in the United States that could be a support apparatus to Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Cannistraro said.
    The men denied that they had been working for Israeli intelligence out of the New Jersey moving company, and Ram Horvitz, their Israeli attorney, dismissed the allegations as “stupid and ridiculous.”
    Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, goes even further, asserting the issue was never even discussed with U.S. officials.
    “These five men were not involved in any intelligence operation in the United States, and the American intelligence authorities have never raised this issue with us,” Regev said. “The story is simply false.”
    No ‘Pre-Knowledge’
    Despite the denials, sources tell ABCNEWS there is still debate within the FBI over whether or not the young men were spies. Many U.S. government officials still believe that some of them were on a mission for Israeli intelligence. But the FBI told ABCNEWS, “To date, this investigation has not identified anybody who in this country had pre-knowledge of the events of 9/11.”
    Sources also said that even if the men were spies, there is no evidence to conclude they had advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. The investigation, at the end of the day, after all the polygraphs, all of the field work, all the cross-checking, the intelligence work, concluded that they probably did not have advance knowledge of 9/11,” Cannistraro noted.
    As to what they were doing on the van, they say they read about the attack on the Internet, couldn’t see it from their offices and went to the parking lot for a better view. But no one has been able to find a good explanation for why they may have been smiling with the towers of the World Trade Center burning in the background. Both the lawyers for the young men and the Israeli Embassy chalk it up to immature conduct.
    According to ABCNEWS sources, Israeli and U.S. government officials worked out a deal — and after 71 days, the five Israelis were taken out of jail, put on a plane, and deported back home.
    While the former detainees refused to answer ABCNEWS’ questions about their detention and what they were doing on Sept. 11, several of the detainees discussed their experience in America on an Israeli talk show after their return home.
    Said one of the men, denying that they were laughing or happy on the morning of Sept. 11, “The fact of the matter is we are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event.” – ABC News (Archive – Reprint) (09/21/02)

    Reply

  24. Pissed Off American says:

    “AIPAC and Israel are not synonymous, so your last argument falls flat.”
    Then tell me, MP, if AIPAC and Israel are not “synonomous” who, exactly, was Franklin spying for?
    Frankly, Marky, your argument that AIPAC and Israel is not “synonomous” is some of your worst stuff yet. It is quite telling too that you completely IGNORE my comments about espionage when I point out that AIPAC and the ADL have been CAUGHT, red-handed, committing acts of espionage. If you are going to put forward a rebuttal, it hardly behooves you to pick and choose small snippets of my commentary while ignoring the bulk of the argument. You are quick to deny AIPAC’s power, yet you are completely derilict in countering Winnipeger’s or MP’s obvious bullshit about AIPAC being “just another lobby”. Such a stream of argument from you underlines a lack of objectivity in your arguments. “Bias”, I believe it is called.
    So, I ask you again, can you name other lobbies whose agents have been caught committing acts of espionage against the United States? And, if not, how can you possibly consider AIPAC “just another lobby”, OR consider them as not being “synonomous” with Israel?
    AIPAC, admittedly, on its own website, touts itself as an advocate for Israel’s interest. Such a reason for existence is obvious on its face. Are we to believe that there is no strong collusion between the Israeli government and the Israeli intelligence services with AIPAC when forming an agenda for AIPAC’s actions and efforts?
    “Not synonomous”, my ass. If you are going to offer rebuttals, at least try to come up with something that is even slightly convincing, will you?
    The idea that a huge portion of our Congress and Senate are in the pockets of an entity that has repeatedly committed acts of espionage against the United States is appalling, and should alarm EVERY American. The fact that AIPAC is little more than a front for the effort to directly manipulate the foreign policy of the United States through bribery and incentives is truly a sad state of affairs.
    “Not synonomous”??? I will tell you what is “not synonomous”; Israel’s interests, and our own.

    Reply

  25. Pissed Off American says:

    Here Winnipeger, heres a short piece from what you have in the past cited as being one of your “local papers”. Of course, that was before you told us you lived in the United States, after being caught making a statement that made it obviious you were NOT a Canadian, as you claimed to be.
    But, irregardless, it is pretty well accepted that Urban Moving Systems was a Mossad front, and that the operator of that company fled America on the heels of these five AGENTS arrest. And no, that is NOT just unsubstantiated allegation. As you KNOW, and continue to DENY, there were quite a few mainstream media sources that followed events as they unfolded in regards to this CELL of Israeli agents, and their arrest and subsequent deportation.
    You know, Alec, you might wanna consider dropping this. As so often happens, you react with your usual Ad Hominem, instead of addressing the material you are confronted with, then you end up in the unenviable posaition of having to deny that that can no longer be denied.
    Or, of course, you can just shove it up your…..
    http://tinyurl.com/yd7l2s
    U.S. arrests of Israelis a mystery
    by Doug Saunders, The Globe & Mail [Toronto]
    Dec. 17, 2001
    LOS ANGELES — U.S. officials have arrested, detained and questioned hundreds of people on vague suspicions of ties to terrorism since Sept. 11, but a few dozen cases are especially mysterious: They are Israelis, young and apparently Jewish, working in the United States on temporary visas and have little obvious connection to Islamic extremism.
    The U.S. government has offered no explanation for the detentions, estimated to be as many as 60 in number, and some of them have begun speaking out in protest and asking courts to end their detention. But Washington appears to be treating them as palpable threats: Many remain in jail. Most have been charged with immigration violations, and either have been or will be deported.
    Based on what the Israelis say about the questions they have been asked, federal officials appear to believe they are either Muslim extremists hiding behind false Israeli identities or spies working for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.
    If the latter is the case, it raises the possibility that Washington is using its antiterrorism campaign as an excuse to round up other groups of people it wants out. “They asked if I was spying on anybody,” said Yaniv Hani, 22, who spent four weeks in custody after Sept. 11 and now faces charges from the Immigration and Naturalization Service for working with an improper visa. He said Federal Bureau of Investigation officials asked him whether he was really Muslim before switching to questions about possible ties to Mossad. Mr. Hani worked for a number of years for Israel’s military police.
    Israel has protested the arrests. Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington, said the FBI has not contacted Israel about spying allegations, and that “not a single one has been charged with intelligence violations. It has all been visa violations.”
    Another possibility is that the FBI suspects the Israelis of taking part in a clandestine operation. A majority of those arrested were employees of a Florida company, Quality Sales, that hires vacationing Israeli youth to work at vending carts in U.S. shopping malls.
    Thomas Dean, a lawyer for the company, acknowledged that the Israelis had been issued the wrong type of visa, since they were tourists on working vacations rather than permanent workers. However, he noted that their cases had all been labelled “special interest” by the INS, a new designation indicating that they are suspects in the antiterrorism campaign, not regular immigration violators.
    “Clearly that was what the FBI, from the very beginning, was very interested in talking about — their activity in the Israeli military or any kind of intelligence agency.”
    (Israel does have a history of spying against the United States, even though the two nations are officially allies. The most famous case is that of Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. military official convicted in 1987 of espionage for stealing top U.S. military secrets on behalf of Israel.)
    Also, five of the Israelis came to the FBI’s attention after they were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage. The FBI seized and developed their photos, one of which shows Sivan Kurzberg flicking a cigarette lighter in front of the smouldering ruins in an apparently celebratory gesture.
    Steven Noah Gordon, a lawyer for the five, told The New York Times that their behaviour may have been offensive, but said the behaviour was not criminal — “and they were being treated as if it was.” The five have since been deported.
    U.S. officials have offered no explanation for the arrests, even to immigration judges. Last month, when the INS asked that bail be denied to 11 of the Israelis, a judge rejected the request, saying the government had been less than forthcoming with evidence.
    “Although the [INS] alleges that these cases are ‘special,’ it has failed to present any credible evidence of the basis for this finding,” Judge Elizabeth Hacker wrote. “The service has failed to submit any evidence of terrorist activity or of a threat to national security.” – The Globe & Mail (Reprint)

    Reply

  26. Samantha says:

    Ladies and Gentleman Inside The Beltway,
    I have some inferential intelligence material which should prove to be very insightful and beneficial. I believe that bi-partisanship is much needed given all that is occuring domestically and on an international level today. Not a stranger to your city, I completed one of my internships in Washington D.C., while completing my undergraduate degree and am now doing some client development for the Williams Inference Service while in the process of applying to law school. If possible, would someone please kindly point me in the direction of an individual with whom I could communicate with in order to develop leads for client development in the D.C. area? Thank you in advance for your gracious consideration of my request. (For your reading pleasure, a bit of background.) The Williams Inference Service provides business intelligence. As the oldest and most respected name in inferential scanning, Williams Inference has been reporting to clients for over thirty years.Today, more than seventy major corporations throughout the world rely on Williams Inference for unique insights to anticipate and profit from change. The Williams Inference Service Package and Training Program help them achieve superior performance – year after year. The Williams approach of inferential scanning focuses attention on those areas of the outside world where change impacts the business environment – be it economic, political, social, cultural, technological or regulatory. As with all intelligence work, the Williams Inference starting point is the search for clues -anomalies – irregularities, surprises and the unusual. These anomalies are early indications of change, and may easily be missed in today’s morass of obsolete and meaningless data. Williams Inference maintains a staff of readers who monitor a broad spectrum of global information and select the anomalies. Sources include over 200 publications, financial markets, popular culture and demographic shifts. Although apparently unrelated on the surface, these anomalies often reveal a pattern of change. Recognising these patterns and exploring their implication is the essence of the Williams Inference service. “The real is not given to us, but put to us by way of a riddle.”
    – Albert Einstein

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    Huumm…looks like all kind of plans for the ME quagmire and guesses as to what plans might be are circulating here and abroad. I think the Europeans see it more clearly, but it requires Bush to eat crow on his axis of evil.
    The Financial Times has a good short summary about the rock and hard place we are in and the possibles to solve it. Of course they make sense, but since George is crazy I doubt he will do the sensible.
    “Road to peace in Iraq is through Jerusalem and Beirut”
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/23e093fc-765e-11db-8284-0000779e2340.html
    And here is another one along the same lines. It seems most realistic minds are thinking in the same track.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1061-2455147,00.html
    Meanwhile, another look into the dispute and the congressional reach of AIPAC and how the AIPACer’s still don’t understand that soft or hard, they are a “Foreign” lobby, for a “Foreign” country. They better get it soon because in the only two US options left on Iraq and the ME, Israel either loses totally or loses partially.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/789167.html

    Reply

  28. winnipeger says:

    wow. don’t have time to read this thread, but i just saw my name mentioned above… and so flateringly!
    I see that the “Pissed Off Asshole” is making more friends. well, everyone has at least one talent.
    hey, POA, tell us more about those 9-11, dancing israelis! you know, the part about how they were mossad agants who had orchestrated the attacks.
    it’s great stuff. really.
    uninformed and unsubstantiated bullshit.

    Reply

  29. Alex says:

    Well.
    It sounds like Nero’s fiddle lessons won’t be getting any better?

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    “Perhaps I’m the only one……….”
    Not at all, Marky, the ass Winnipeger seems to be in your camp as well. That’s a real bonus for you, because with all his other screen names, you have a whole frikkin’ ARMY that agrees with you.

    Reply

  31. Marky says:

    Sloppy reasoning, POA—-yet another reason for you to slow down, write less and think more.
    AIPAC and Israel are not synonymous, so your last argument falls flat.
    And FYI, I have never thought about you at night. As a matter of fact, I’ve never thought of you except when I’m reading this blog.
    Sleep well.
    Now Bertignac—there was a person to disturb one’s dreams! lol

    Reply

  32. Pissed Off American says:

    “And frankly, POA’s statement that “And you CANNOT separate AIPAC from ANY discussion about current political events and climate either” is merely a repackaging of the old canard that the Jews control the world or cause all the wars or have all the money and can buy all the votes.”
    Oh bullshit. If you think you can separate Israel from any intelligent conversation about current events in the Middle East than you are eiither a damned liar or a hopeless idiot.

    Reply

  33. Pissed Off American says:

    “Why should I read your comments when they are so long and cover so much of the same ground from day to day?”
    Good question. If that’s how you feel about my posts, than it is definitely quite ignorant of you to read them.
    Which begs the question: Why do you?
    (PS…….
    if you can find a post of mine that is “mostly in caps”, I’d like to see it. Fact is, there is no way to italicize on this blog, so I use caps instead. Sorry it doesn’t meet your standards for me to do so.
    Tell me Marky, how well are you sleeping these days? It must be tough being so worried about what some middle-aged cabinet maker in central California is saying on a blog. Vicodin, might work. Or, try valium. Or hey, take a hint from Rush, and pop fifty or so Oxi-Contins. Get back to me when you are properly sedated, will you?)

    Reply

  34. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “I am thinking we need to find the AIPAC “position” papers of the blue dogs dems and in particular those of the newly elected dems who have signed up with the blue dogs. While it might not be the sole factor behind any Iraq or Iran votes of the more war hawkish dems, it will certainly be a factor by the very fact that they agreed to submit their positions on Israel to AIPAC for approval.”
    Here we have the same kind of reasoning: “While it might not be the sole factor behind Iraq or Iran votes…” and we run right past any other factor other than obeisance to the Lobby. Why not look at those other factors too? We also run right past the idea that these reps might support Israel because…they support Israel. I wonder why Israel is considered so indefensible that it is impossible to believe that some reps might genuinely want to support her warts and all. The notion that Israel is the cause of all our security problems right now requires one to believe all of the evil things said about Israel and NONE of the evil things ascribed to the other actors in the world. Ludicrous. But this is what passes for reasoning here.
    Carroll, I read the paragraphs you’ve assembled in your link. All they show is that 1) these reps support Israel, and 2) AIPAC is damn serious about getting support for Israel and plays hardball. But it is ludicrous to say–and no proof has been offered–that the Lobby CONTROLS, as opposed to influences, US foreign policy while all the apparent actors, such as the Pres and VP and SecDef are merely pawns in the game.
    And frankly, POA’s statement that “And you CANNOT separate AIPAC from ANY discussion about current political events and climate either” is merely a repackaging of the old canard that the Jews control the world or cause all the wars or have all the money and can buy all the votes…while the poor gentiles are the hapless victims without any power whatsoever. Garbage.

    Reply

  35. MP says:

    POA writes: “Marky, if in fact the circumstances surrounding 9/11 did not occur in the manner we have been told they did, than there is not one single issue here that we discuss that isn’t profoundly affected. You cannot base an entire body of discussion on a foundation that is fabricated and flimsy.”
    POA you run past all the interesting questions with the word “if.” Because, if in fact there was no controlled demolition as many civil engineers have argued and has been posted here. If in fact, the “dancing Israeli’s” had nothing to do with it..if, in fact, a bunch of Saudi terrorists in fact did do the deed as directed by OBL…as most of the evidence thus far supports…then all of your arguments have nothing to do with a single issue of importance that has been discussed here…except perhaps the propensity of some here to blame Israel and AIPAC for everything that ails us.
    I’ve read the Sibel Edmonds stuff and Rodriguez stuff and frankly it doesn’t prove a thing.
    I’ve said it here before and will say it again: If it turns out that the Israelis masterminded 9/11, I will renounce the state forever. But thus far, all you’ve produced is innuendo and unusual coincidences and circumstances. In fact, it is your assertions and innuendo that are flimsy, if not fabricated (at least by you). It isn’t the repetitiveness that gets to me, it’s the lack of real support for your assertions.

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    Posted by Pissed Off American at November 17, 2006 03:31 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    I am thinking we need to find the AIPAC “position” papers of the blue dogs dems and in particular those of the newly elected dems who have signed up with the blue dogs. While it might not be the sole factor behind any Iraq or Iran votes of the more war hawkish dems, it will certainly be a factor by the very fact that they agreed to submit their positions on Israel to AIPAC for approval. Because with Olmert and Bibi touring the US to drum up support for attacking Iran AIPAC is going to be applying a lot pressure on congress.
    Here are some of the 2004 electee’s position papers submitted to AIPAC but I have no idea how to get any out of the newly elected except to call their offices when they take office and see if will make them public. And if not, well then, their hometown newspapers need to be nudged to ask them why not.
    I am not pro or con Pelosi but think we need to help her cut the Iraq/Iran hawks off at the knees every way we can.
    http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:1NN8BOyGuOoJ:www.aipac.org/result.cfm%3Fid%3D1711+Dan+Boren+%2B+Israel&hl=en&lr=&strip=1

    Reply

  37. Marky says:

    Well POA, the repetitiveness gets to me.
    Why should I read your comments when they are so long and cover so much of the same ground from day to day? You don’t advance your cause by ranting so much. I’m someone who probably has similar politics to yours, but I’m just tired of the self-righteous bombastic crap.
    Perhaps I’m the only one, in which case I’ll take my well-deserved, verbose, MOSTLY IN CAPS thrashing and then go to my corner.

    Reply

  38. Pissed Off American says:

    “In his case, I believe he had ulterior motives involving Israel.”
    ROFLMAO!!! Oh Marky, the irony.

    Reply

  39. Pissed Off American says:

    Marky, if in fact the circumstances surrounding 9/11 did not occur in the manner we have been told they did, than there is not one single issue here that we discuss that isn’t profoundly affected. You cannot base an entire body of discussion on a foundation that is fabricated and flimsy. And your comment about my so called 9/11 “conspiracy theories” being “shit” did NOT single out the argument about the possibility of a controlled demolition. Your comment was seemingly all inclusive to ANY questioning of the official 9/11 line of pure unadulterated CRAP. So once again, if you want to actually DEBATE the various aspects of the official 9/11 story that do not hold water, than bring it on. But just because YOU think the huge deception that launched the political events leading up to our current crisis is “off topic”, don’t expect me to concur. I see a direct linkage here to ALL the events occuring in the current political scene.
    And you CANNOT separate AIPAC from ANY discussion about current political events and climate either. To do so is absolute denial. When an incoming congress is tasked to provide individual written essays on their stance towards Israel, than we too, as American citizens, deserve and NEED to know what that stance is. The idea or argument that AIPAC is like ‘any other lobby” is pure unadulterated HORSESHIT. And I find it intersting that you abide such arguments from the likes of Winnipeger without commenting, yet you are constantly lamenting Carroll or my underscopring of this issue. Likewise, when Winnipeger defends the ADL as non-activist, you might hazard to point out that members of the ADL have been PROSECUTED for crimes of espionage against the United States, as have members of AIPAC. Perhaps you or the clown Winnipeger, or for that matter, MP, will care to inform this forum what other lobbies, besides the Israeli ones, have actually been caught committing crimes of espionage against the United States? And while you are at it, why don’t you explain to us why it is that you feel we should not discuss an individual Representative’s perceived, proven, or alleged alliance with an entity that has shown a propensity to commit crimes of espionage against the very people these so called “Representatives” are tasked to represent.
    ANY discussion about the course of events in the Middle East, MUST, by intellectual necessity, include a discourse about what role Israel plays in those events, AS WELL AS what our own representative’s opinion is as to the role of Israel. And when you have Israeli lobbies pouring money into the coffers of these representives, it is not only an intellectual imperative that you inform yourselves of the representative’s stance in regards to Israel, it is in fact IRRESPONSIBLE not to.
    Of course, you have every right to determine what issues YOU FEEL are relevant to a discussion of events and policies as presented on this forum. But you certainly have no right to determine FOR ME what issues I see as relevant to those same events, policies, or policy-makers.

    Reply

  40. Marky says:

    Yes, Lewis was a bigtime supporter of the war.
    In his case, I believe he had ulterior motives involving Israel. I was more thinking that if the common man and a few reporters actually knew something about the French and British experiences with the Arab world, the war would have gotten far less public support.
    Michael Ware’s reports from Iraq these days are just dripping with venomous sarcasm towards the US government. Where was his kind of reporting before the war?
    Just as with Glenn Beck, you have to wonder why CNN promoted the views of people like Kenneth Pollack—a clear agent provocateur if I ever saw one. There was a conspiracy in the media, perhaps tacit, to give Bush as much support as possible for the war.

    Reply

  41. MP says:

    “MP, perhaps the lack of Arab speakers and the ignorance of Arab history has something to do with it.
    The French would never make the fatal assumptions that the American elite did. ”
    They might not make it AGAIN anyway. Yes, I agree with what you say, but I’m not sure it would be a prophylactic. Bernard Lewis knows something of the Arab world and I THINK he was in favor of the invasion (though I could be wrong).

    Reply

  42. Reader says:

    HyperIon2:
    Have you made a donation to this blog so Steve Clemons can invest in an upgrade of its features? Steve is very, very, very bad about soliciting donations, but your donation would help remedy such problems.

    Reply

  43. HyperIon2 says:

    regarding: Maybe these wine-sipping Americans should take a leaf from the “Book of Nero”!
    um, it IS about emperors…and their new clothes.
    so the insiders at the cool party have realized that our emperor is naked. but they still haven’t gotten to the point where they are going on record about it.
    great.
    OT but…it is REALLY annoying when a comment submission error causes the poster to have to “wait a short amount of time before being able to post again”.

    Reply

  44. Reader says:

    Jacques Chirac was right in 2003. The right was wrong. Sometimes the truth is unappealing. True friends always deliver it, non obstante.

    Reply

  45. Marky says:

    P.S to POA,
    Start your own blog if you want to discuss 9/11 conspiracy theories. You might get a decent readership. I’m tired of reading the same thing day after day in the comments—that’s all.
    My criticism about your sources is specifically about the report which questions how the towers fell. Simply from looking at the signees—especially the major ones—I see it as something to be ignored.
    That’s my opinion, but I think many other people see a report with a cold fusion crackpot as lead author as bunk.

    Reply

  46. Marky says:

    MP, perhaps the lack of Arab speakers and the ignorance of Arab history has something to do with it.
    The French would never make the fatal assumptions that the American elite did.

    Reply

  47. MP says:

    I have to agree with POA and others on this: For a long time, it has been apparent to me that there is no good solution to our situation in Iraq. Leave or stay, the situation will only get worse.
    It is also astounding to me that the “people in the know”–the people with the power to do something–seem so blind to the obvious. James Fallows wrote an excellent article in the Atlantic Monthly in late 2002 that forecast just about everything that’s come to pass in Iraq.
    If he knew–and he was relying on the judgements of others–how come those in power didn’t know? Or didn’t care to know? Or knew and didn’t care. It’s hard to believe that Bushco would have gone into Iraq if they had known where it was going to end up–but maybe they would have.

    Reply

  48. Reader says:

    Jack & TLittle:
    I suggest you enter the world of reality. Explore facts not fiction. Inform yourselves. Dig deeper. Your current sources of information are tainted.

    Reply

  49. vachon says:

    Dear Jack,
    I work in the real estate industy. My life has changed a whole lot in 12 months. Not for the better. I appreciate your attempt to put things in perspective, but I think you’re perspective needs to get a little closer to the people who are actually on the ground every day.
    At 51, I don’t relish working 2 jobs, but it’s been my reality for 4 months now. If we weren’t spending billions in Iraq, maybe we wouldn’t have to “mortgage” our interest rates to overseas bidders. Maybe we could spend some of that money on building a real economy that real workers can be secure in. Maybe even help them with health care or child care or more education. (I wanted to go back to school this semester but that went to hell). God forbid, maybe even balance the budget, like I am struggling to do (what a wuss I am). With the housing industy so badly depressed, I may now have to go to 2 1/2 or 3 jobs, assuming I can find another one (my second job is seasonal) and also assuming I have the emotional and physical stamina to do them.
    So let me assure you, this war changed a lot of people’s lives. I suggest you look into some of them.
    vachon

    Reply

  50. Jack says:

    Some facts. The US economy is the world’s most powerful and growing apace. The US military is much stronger than any in the world, and the gap is growing. The US university and R&D is the world’s best.
    What follows from this?
    The US is not screwed, the US is not toast. The US can only “lose”, not lose the Iraq war. No matter what happens, your life, and my life, will not change that much.
    If the US “loses” in Iraq, many Iraqis lose much. Even so, without the war, they would still be under Saddam’s thumb. I’ll bet there are many, certainly not all, who prefer the current situation.

    Reply

  51. RonK, Seattle says:

    Steven — I take it the evening’s national security perspective extended well beyond our immediate Mesopotamian predicament.
    There are simple ways to stay the course, and simple ways to get out, but all of them leave us stranded on the same planet with worst-case sequels that are worse by orders of magnitude.
    Not a thinking and drinking circle for the faint-hearted.

    Reply

  52. Pissed Off American says:

    “The national interest demands rejection of the Gates nomination. Electoral victory for Democrats in the Electoral College in 2008 demands an aggressive attempt to block this umpteenth attempt to appoint an unqualified incompetent to high office.”
    Posted by PUBLIUS
    Gee, Publius, haven’t you been paying attention? The media is already selling us a Democratic party in dissarray and conflict. It is only a matter of time before this Administration’s media whores have shifted the blame for Iraq to the left. Besides, the next substantial “terrist attack” against us will prove once and for all that we NEED the Bush team to protect us from the evil-doers, and the Democrats are just weak appeasing ninnies with no plan and no backbone. And make no mistake, the next “tri-fecta” is on the way.

    Reply

  53. PUBLIUS says:

    The first constructive thing these hand-wringing elites can do is work behind the scenes and publicly to defeat the Gates nomination. This is a moment in history when the affection for incompetence on the part of the current commander-in-chief and the need for competence in repairing a disastrous UNILATERAL military experiment peculiar to the conditions of the Middle East (not Cold War USSR, not China) are at their acme. Either the Gates nomination must be defeated or the commander-in-chief must pay a hefty political price debited from his much vaunted political capital if he unwisely insists on placing Gates in this critical leadership position. The national interest demands rejection of the Gates nomination. Electoral victory for Democrats in the Electoral College in 2008 demands an aggressive attempt to block this umpteenth attempt to appoint an unqualified incompetent to high office.

    Reply

  54. Pissed Off American says:

    “Bush learns lesson from Vietnam:”
    “If you put your hand on a hot oven, you only lose if you take your hand off the hot oven.”
    Posted by bakho
    Thats not the lesson Bush learned from Nam. The lesson Bush learned from Nam was…..
    “If I want to snort coke, get a cushy TANG posting stateside, then go AWOL, daddy will protect me.”

    Reply

  55. Frank says:

    Well said Markey. I support the call for Powell to step up to the plate and be the patriot we thought he was prior to the UN speech about Iraq’s WMD prowess. Powell could really serve the nation by publically calling for Bush/Cheney impeachment. This is the road to his redemption, thereby regaining some of the integrity he so ignominiously lost when appearing before the UN offering “evidence” of Iraq’s WMD arsenal.
    I characteize his silence equivalent to Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” waving of a paper with Hitler’s signature on it agreeing to non belligerence.
    History at this moment in time will not deal kindly with his silence, occuring then and now.
    I don’t envy the man I once admired as one of our nation’s treasured statesman. Without his help, the American people now see this administration for what it really is, Nuremburg quality criminal.

    Reply

  56. Sophie says:

    The “nightmare” isn’t confirmed by your dinner party–it’s (re)confirmed when a Washington insider like yourself turns around and publishes your evening like it’s news for the rest of us.
    At issue is when do our “leaders” set down their cabernets, emerge from their undisclosed locations to face Reality, and DEAL WITH IT? (Or are we all supposed to just put a plastic bag over our heads, lace up our new tennis shoes, and hope we get beamed up to a spaceship behind the next comet?)

    Reply

  57. bakho says:

    Successful diplomacy and a political settlement is the way out of Iraq. Bush thinks all diplomacy is appeasement. We are so screwed.
    Bush learns lesson from Vietnam:
    If you put your hand on a hot oven, you only lose if you take your hand off the hot oven.
    Everyone knew that Bush did not have the credentials to be president when he was first elected. His own people admitted it. We were assured Bush would listen to competent advisors.
    Chance the Gardener rules

    Reply

  58. Pissed Off American says:

    “I personally, with my insignificant voice, call on Colin Powell to do the right thing one last time, forgetting his own place in history, destroying his ties to the elite which raised him up to power, and serving the highest patriotic cause as well as the moral good of trying to save the people of Iraq from Bush’s butchery of botchery.”
    “Anyone care to join my call ?”
    Posted by marky
    Already have, Marky, YEARS ago. And I feel the same about Wilkerson. I believe BOTH of these men have the evidence and the knowledge we could use to not only IMPEACH Bush and Cheney, but to INDICT them as well. But obviously their misguided optimism about their future place in the history books prevents them from implicating themselves in the biggest CRIME ever perpetrated against the people of the United States. Namely, the fabricated justifications and rationales for the invasion of Iraq.
    And by the way, Marky, if you EVER want to actually DEBATE the official story of 9/11 with me, rather than just offering your delusional denials and insults, bring it on. We will start with Sibel Edmonds, and work forward from there.
    If you believe the official story about 9/11, with all its impossible “coincidences”, you are a God damned idiot.

    Reply

  59. ken melvin says:

    Now, some ask that we expend more, stay the course, fight to win, … we all know how that comes out. We have, justifiably, lost. We are also losing in Afghanistan and don’t know it. The more we fight the bigger the war. This war that some want to fight to victory hasn’t even started. We would wind up fighting the Arab world, just as Osama wishes. There needs be a tribunal to see how this came to be. All who acted to perpetrate this disaster need be held to account. And, our whole Middle-East policy needs be reviewed and revised.

    Reply

  60. Pissed Off American says:

    “In order to go forward the security of Iraq must be the most important goal, once we have security we can move forward with assisting the Iraqis to build an economy, representative government, etc.”
    Gee, Little guy, haven’t you noticed, THAT’S the very line of shit we’ve been fed now since Bush loaded his codpiece up with socks and bellowed “mission accomplished” from the deck of a carrier.
    If you haven’t noticed, genious, we are arming and training the very same people that are marauding about as death squads, torturing people, and committing mass kidnappings. How the fuck are you going to achieve “security” under those kinds of conditions?
    And by the way, Little, where, exactly did you hallucinate a vision of me advocating a course of action? Quite to the contrary, I have pointed out that both we and the Iraqis are fucked if we withdraw. But, see, heres the catch; they, (and we), are also fucked if we remain. There IS NO SOLUTION that has any foundation in realistic optimism. If we remain, we will have to do so with an iron fist, and we will have to use that iron fist for an eternity. We broke it, we bought it. Thats the ONLY way you will establish “security” in Iraq. And if you think we can use an iron fist to establish “security”, then simply install some puppet to keep the peace, I gotta ask you:
    How well did that work in Afghanistan?
    Wake up, you are living in a fantasy. Haven’t you heard? Humpty Dumpty CAN’T be put back together.
    And, by the way. Your bullshit mantra about Iraq being part of the “global war on terrorism”, if true, just means that we are LOSING that war. You want to WIN a war against terrorism, you God damned idiot? Try FEEDING people instead of sodomizing them with chemical lightsticks.

    Reply

  61. Frank says:

    All this commentary is an indirect testimony to the leadership qualities of Saddam. Saddam knew the sickening formula for ruling disparate religious zealots. He achieved stability at the point of a gun. Democracy at the point of a gun is an oxymoron, hence unworkable. What we will settle for will be a government leaning towards the model of Egypt’s government.
    Maliki is not getting the hints we are putting out to him to act with prejudicial violence to suppress the militias. If, and once he does so, a fait accompli despotism, which we will gratefully support, will be realized, and we can get to the real business of why we are there, and that is the extraction of oil.

    Reply

  62. Pissed Off American says:

    “Steve, I am getting a little pissed off by your accounts of the great and the good. Is there something else you can do besides sipping wine with the usual suspects?”
    Posted by Alan
    Well, there’s always Starbucks.

    Reply

  63. Pissed Off American says:

    “Any of the names mentioned in Sibel Edmonds’ most recent article? Just curious…”
    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov06/Edmonds15.htm
    Posted by dqueue
    Haven’t you noticed? They don’t discuss Sibel Edmonds here. It disturbs their fantasy about 9/11.
    William Rodriques doesn’t exist here either.
    But hey, if you want to believe in teleporting passports, this is the place for you.

    Reply

  64. Alan says:

    The worst think that has afflicted Washington is the Thinks Tanks. Out of those institutions we have had a steady stream of mind numbing rubbish; a ready seat for every ex-politician who belongs to the inner circle and a self reinforcing elite; and yet another source for opinion pieces that pass for thoughtful commentary on the talk shows and cable tv. Thankfully a lot of these folks (Pletka? Perle? ) are now too embarrassed to appear and account for their cheerleading.
    Steve, I am getting a little pissed off by your accounts of the great and the good. Is there something else you can do besides sipping wine with the usual suspects?
    Alan

    Reply

  65. dqueue says:

    Any of the names mentioned in Sibel Edmonds’ most recent article? Just curious…
    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov06/Edmonds15.htm

    Reply

  66. PrahaPartizan says:

    Steve, by all rights and in the name of justice, you must name these people you were speaking with. Their complicity in starting and abetting this war, this godawful nightmare, demands that their identities be made known to the American public since they have accepted the American voters’ dollar in return for having trust be placed in them. They cannot be allowed to ever enter public service again in this area. They are failures and we, as American voters, should be shown the courtesy of learning who they are. I realize you don’t want to burn sources, but they are the polluted well from which this epidemic sprang.

    Reply

  67. Marcia says:

    This situation our country is in did not fall down the chimney like a Xmas surprise, it has been build brick by brick When Corporations were declared to have the rights of individual persons the foundations were laid. When laws regulating the media were revoked it was evident the worm was in the fruit.
    Legalised bribery is now the law of the land and the iron hand that controls government. Who defines “American interests” that must be defended at all costs? Americans corporations represent America’s interests the same way United Fruit represented Guatemala.
    We are a democracy in name only.
    Our generational responsibility is horrendous. The oil remaining in the ground is all the oil there is, for us and for future generations. It is a precious liquid, when it is gone there will not be any more. We are so selfish that we simply do not care. Our working motto is literally, “After us the flood.”
    These obsessional power mad old men, who themselves will soon be gone, have the obscenity, while the misery of humanity is spread for all to see, to want more power, means to more destruction—in our name, and they will probably get it. They pay for it—with their money and other peoples lives.
    The pending economic crisis, when it comes, may well hold a shining mirror to our faces and rub our noses in what we have become through vile negligence, greed, lying, cowardice and worst of all indifference.

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  68. Carroll says:

    Sorry it hits you so hard Steve because I normally share your belief that solutions can always be found if we just put enough brain power to it…but welcome to reality.
    We have a president that is probably a closet drunk, a vice president that is paranoid insane, a congress, including the “new” one, that is so morally bankrupt and corrupt they actually applauded using cluster bombs on civilians.
    Our goverment is not capable of reforming itself and doing the right or even the smart thing. It will take a catalyzing event to shake America back to it’s roots and Iran may just be our Appointment in Sumara.
    I have some cocktail napkins though, embossed with the word C-O-U-P, if you would like to have them for your next party.

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  69. weldon berger says:

    TLittle: What troops? We don’t have any more.
    Steve: Since no one in your circles seems to have any better ideas, why don’t you adopt the suggestion I made a few weeks ago: get yourselves together, hie your butts down to the White House and chain yourselves to the fence until you think you’ve adequately conveyed the gravity of the situation to the press, the public and your less active colleagues.
    You know perfectly well that Bush is the first and most intransigent obstacle standing in the way of an even remotely rational approach to Iraq. Do something about it other than commiserating with like-minded smart people over dinner. There’s really no reason to take you and “a few former Secretaries of State and foreign ministers, top intelligence officials, think tank chiefs, Senators and House Members, former National Security Advisors and Secretaries of Defense” seriously when you’re all in the process of demonstrating that you think circumstances don’t warrant putting your asses on the line, which is to say that you think the country isn’t important enough to warrant putting your asses on the line. How’s that going to look in the history books?

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  70. daCascadian says:

    The first step in clearing up the mess that is Iraq & the Middle East is to stop listening to anyone that has been anywhere near D.C. & sucking up to the fascist rightwing mouth pieces. That includes just about anyone in that town above the pay grade of mail courier or truck driver.
    Phonies they are; by their works shall ye know them & boy, do we know their works.
    Disinfect D.C. should be the operative phrase.
    Fu*kin suckups
    “…With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power…” – Henry Wallace

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  71. RichF says:

    1. You could pick up a few newspapers in 2003, pre-war, and unlike the Secretaries of State and Senators at that soiree, know Bush had no evidence for war, but was going into Iraq anyway. Greg Thielmann and Houghton Woods viewed Colin Powell’s UN speech as an obscene joke–having read the Newsweek article on those two, I felt the same way as I watched.
    2. ga73 is right: These folks have spent their entire lives soaking in, living in, adapting to, or learning to impress the ossified, insular culture that generated this disaster in the first place. That mistake starts with the indefensible notion that they can swear oaths to uphold the Constitution and then turn around the next minute and rationalize its abuse, degradation, cheapening, and betrayal. And then wonder why the war went wrong.
    3. I remember watching Tom Friedman eagerly and condescendingly lecture a citizen at a pre-war town hall that it would be easy, we’ll rebuild Iraq like we did Japan & Germany, war is a positive thing, the WMDs are a threat, a very real threat in the hands of Saddam, and it’s not about oil, they’ll greet us as liberators.
    But the guy from the audience wasn’t fooled. Said that ‘this is a big mistake, you have no evidence, we haven’t been attacked, we’re being muscled and hustled into an ill-advised war–and WE’RE BREAKING the law & social contract to do it.’
    Yet Tom Friedman kept condescending and lecturing and ignoring– HE WOULDN’T LISTEN. Friedman was too busy cheerleading and laboring to show how smart he was to glomm onto the fact that he was wrong. That the Average Guy in the audience had him dead to rights. Friedman: ‘War can be a Good Thing!’
    So this is why the Constitution explicitly says anyone can become President. Don’t have to be from DC or NY–you can be from Hope, AR or Plains, GA, or Bumblef_ck, ND–and you’ll DO A BETTER JOB than those Insiders who continually self-assign themselves Rulers. Their mindset is still delivering birth defects to kids in Vietnam exposed to Agent Orange–which also killed my neighbor, a Vietnam Vet.
    5. Why do they get the POTTERY BARN RULE so srong. When you break something, you don’t get to stay in the store indefinitely breaking oodles of pottery! They make you LEAVE. And they make you pay for the stuff you broke.
    Why our Glorious Senatorial Leaders get that message so wrong is beyond me.

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  72. Robert Morrow says:

    these mega-powerful people helped cause America’s weakened position with appeasing Iran, Syria and North Korea as 2/3 merrily chug along getting nuclear weapons.
    By the way, I don’t understand internationalists talking about “America’s” security situation. If one is an internationalist, by definition, one does not believe in the country the USA or our national sovereignty. Why complain about the USA’s security position if you don’t believe in the USA?
    All you folks in DC are going to be the first to go when the Iranian whackjob gets long range missiles to deliver their soon to be acquired nuclear payloads.

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  73. parrot says:

    Too bad so many of our so-called leaders are actually afraid of being seen as weak or admitting a mistake…hubris is an ugly word for a reason and the fact that the folks at the top aren’t willing to open things to debate or incapable of imagining a way out is, frankly, a statement on the quality of our democracy, our leadership, and our standing in the world at this juncture in history.
    Thanks for the report…oh, and next time you are a dinner like that, be prepared to point out that those folks who are willing to admit they are wrong and make sudden, bold, diplomatic moves, are more likely to succeed in a situation like this than unimaginative dolts. Well, don’t say that literally…I mean, I really do want them to go hat in hand to the UN and fund it and basically ask to be saved by it. But, if even that won’t work, even if we were to offer to fund a massive UN peacekeeping force, then, well, I guess we got a lot less than we paid for over the past half dozen years and about all we deserved for letting Bush & Co. manipulate us into a mess that they are appearing to be incapable of getting us out of.

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  74. Jacob Matthan says:

    Maybe these wine-sipping Americans should take a leaf from the “Book of Nero”!
    Try “fiddling”. 🙂

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  75. marky says:

    Steve,
    Perhaps you will flirt with supporting impeachment now?
    Many of your readers have never thought there was any chance of dealing rationally with Bush on Iraq—we thought that Bush himself was the core of the failed policy, the decider-in-chief who was personally, intimately involved in all the details of this crusade, and as such, was more of an obstacle to change than even Cheney.
    I think as a rhetorical stance you have argued otherwise, but surely you admit now the ploy has failed, if it ever could have worked.
    Let’s not forget that the British press report that Bush is drinking again.
    As a WaPo article of Thursday noted, the worst-case scenario for Iraq is not a failed state, but a regional war to control the territory and oil of Iraq. Right now Bush is operating partly in denial mode, but even worse, he is trying to make “one last push”, not for the purpose of improving the situation in Iraq, but in order to delay the perceived total failure of the Iraq expedition to a point in time at which the Democrats could be blamed for failure.
    Not to mention that the proposed tilt towards the Shiites is a strategy that maximizes the likelihood that neighboring, Sunni states would want to intervene to protect their brethren in Iraq.
    The total amorality of playing with millions of lives for the purpose of domestic political gain is the cornerstone of Bush’s “war on terror”, and as such it will end only when his Presidency ends.
    Impeachment is justified: it is overdue: it is the only remedy. Bush and Cheney must be impeached, after which they can be tried for numerous domestic crimes such as fabricating evidence for a war, and after which they should be tried and sentenced to the severest punishment in international court for war crimes.
    There is little likelihood of the latter events
    taking place, but impeachment is the absolute minimum of what is necessary to restore the polity, and it gives a small hope of creating a basis of trust upon which fruitful US-Iraqi talks can begin.
    I can think of one person above all who owes it to the American public to make a public call for impeaching Bush, on the grounds of fabricating a cause for war, and then even worse, botching it.
    That one person is a man, formerly of great stature and some moral authority, who played a great role in creating trust that Bush would have a sound policy, during the election of 2000. That man then played a key, central role in creating the impression that the case for war with Iraq was solid. That man failed to stand up to Rumsfelf or Cheney. He failed to fall on his sword to save the Republic, choosing instead to commit moral seppuku in the service of a dishonest war which violates the main charge of the Nuremberg trials—waging aggressive war.
    That man failed then to speak up in time for the public to make an informed choice about the state of the Iraq war in 2004. That man failed to stand up to the demonization of war opponents as unpatriotic and even terrorist supporters.
    That man is Colin Powell, who ever since My Lai has had a false reputation as a moral straight shooter. This man, Mr. Powell, having totally disgraced himself, putting loyalty to the Bush junta over love of country time and time again—he is the lowest of the low, and yet still he has great stature in the minds of the public.
    Today, he can do a true service for the country in calling for impeachment of Bush—solely for the reason of Iraq. He can fall on his sword one last time, this time most likely to be unjustly villified instead of unworthily praised.
    Colin Powell owes it to the country to tell the truth about Iraq—his role in it, Bush’s dishonesty, Rumsfeld’s incompetence. He owes it to the country to lay out the case for impeachment on the most serious grounds possible—misleading a country into an illegal war.
    I personally, with my insignificant voice, call on Colin Powell to do the right thing one last time, forgetting his own place in history, destroying his ties to the elite which raised him up to power, and serving the highest patriotic cause as well as the moral good of trying to save the people of Iraq from Bush’s butchery of botchery.
    Anyone care to join my call ?

    Reply

  76. steambomb says:

    Well Steve…. You’re the inside man. Please tell us why it takes these people that you wined and dined with sooooo long to admit the obvious?

    Reply

  77. Easy E says:

    Sorry, but POA’s argument is substantive and TLittle’s argument is misguided. It’s time to get away from stay-the-course and move toward out-of-the-box.

    Reply

  78. Zathras says:

    I hope the wine was good.
    Would one be going too far to speculate that a prime reason for the depressed mood you report is the general lack of confidence that steps that might be taken to recover our position internationally cannot be taken by the current administration? It’s not just a matter of inclination or will, but also a matter of ability. To take just one example, a celebrity-driven media culture absolutely celebrates an official like Condoleezza Rice. She’s a woman, she’s black, she’s pretty and articulate and has access to the President — which to Washington journalists who crave access may be even more attractive than her personal “story” or her appearance.
    The problem is that Rice is a weak Secretary of State, as weak as her equally overpraised predecessor though in somewhat different ways. Her closeness to the President reflects her status as a courtier, not a counselor; the qualities that make her an admired public celebrity are all but irrelevant to the task of running American foreign policy.
    I don’t mean to single her out, as Sec. Rice is not the weakest link in the administration, except to make a point about the gap that has opened between the things our political culture values in public officials and the things we actually need in public officials. Americans in politics and the media, including I daresay most of the people Steve has been sharing cocktails with in Georgetown, have gotten used to reflexive deference to public figures able to maintain a good public image. Sec. Rice has been able to maintain such an image despite years of seriously substandard performance; even now it would be considered bad form in Washington to go on television and point out that she is not up to the job of being Secretary of State and ought to step aside.
    As long as that kind of deference persists America’s international position will continue to suffer. The most brilliant silver bullet ideas aren’t worth much if we don’t have first-rate people able to fashion them into policy. At the highest levels of government, we not only don’t have such people, we don’t have many people in Washington willing to say in public that we don’t have them.

    Reply

  79. bob mcmanus says:

    “This new congress can only do the one thing that it is adamantly against: commit more troops to Iraq.”
    Understand the trap:commit more troops or deny the troops, doesn’t matter. The war instantly belongs to Bush and the Democratic Congress.

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  80. TLittle says:

    Maybe I am one of the few that read this blog calling for more troops, but I have pointed out the following:
    1. Iraq has been grossly mismanaged
    2. Donald Rumsfeld needed to go
    3. A stable Iraq will better help us deal with Iran
    4. All measures of diplomacy and international law must be backed by force
    It is a sad reality that Iraq is going this poorly, but any staged withdrawal without the mechanisms in place to continue that country’s growth will only lead to a more volatile Middle East and American threat.
    I am not calling for endless occupation. All things end, but we need them to end on our terms. This is an ideological war now.
    You are right, they do not hate us for our freedoms, but like it or not, this is an ideological war. It may not have been that way in the beginning, but that is what it has become. The potential for the Arab world to use a withdrawal in Iraq for propaganda purposes will only worsen public opinion toward America.
    The system is not perfect, but we need to win. Judging by your sentiments, as belligerent and indirect as they were, you are one of the many Americans who will be unable to see a justification for sending more troops.
    This is a global war on terrorism without boundaries. Not all countries will be like Libya and voluntarily submit to the IAEA and abandon all of its nuclear programs.
    As for securing the country, it is simple strategy. You do not build something that will be bombed the next week. You do not hire contracting firms to work in Iraq when their workers are being kidnapped. You do not build a stable economy when you have market places exploding with car bombs. In order to go forward the security of Iraq must be the most important goal, once we have security we can move forward with assisting the Iraqis to build an economy, representative government, etc.
    Neither faction wants us there. So we may have to divide the country, we cannot leave them to do it on their own, because that would truly be a civil war. However, I will concede that the drawing of any boundaries will likely result in civil war.
    “Pissed Off American” I point out that although you may have won some cheap points, your comment purely rests on an ad hominem fallacy. Next time, make your argument contain something substantive.

    Reply

  81. jason says:

    Steve,
    I think part of the problem is being stuck with too many people that are afflicted by group think.
    I find you to be a very intelligent thinker, but this comment sums it up best:
    ‘If there were brlliant, silver bullet ideas that might help this country move quickly beyond its problems, it would have been in such a crowd where such notions might be taken seriously and have impact.’
    Our ‘leadership’, including many so-called moderates are too enraptured by what could happen if we leave, that they don’t understand that they won’t or can’t believe it is already happening.
    Frankly, if our President was really a man, he would step down in disgrace. He has proven (if nothing else) that he is incapable of honestly assesing the situation, and without that you cannot decide a smart course forward.
    I think Larry Johnson has some very intelligent comments on what to do next: http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/11/behaving_like_a.html
    I am assuming that he was not at your dinner, since you already said no one there has any good ideas. Just that statement alone should be enough for us all to realize, that just because a person was/is a Secretary of State or Think Tank Chief, does not mean they are courageous leaders or outside-the-box thinkers. In fact these are the types of people that got us into this situation.
    Sincerely,
    Jason

    Reply

  82. gq says:

    Let’s see. The GOP screws up our country domestically and internationally. They get us in an unwinnable situation in Iraq. They make us less secure and in put us in greater risk for more large scale terrorist threats. The Dems take over and have few options. The GOP then blames the Dems for all the problems and gets to hold on to their “strong on defense” misnomer. It’s worked for them in the past. It’s also worked with “fiscally responsible” even though the GOP has not been fiscal responsible since maybe Eisenhower.
    Poor way to govern, but at least it allows them to win elections. It’s also nice to know that the media lets them get away with it.

    Reply

  83. btree says:

    While we’re at it, I thought I’d mention this piece by Simon Tisdall – US plans last big push in Iraq
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1948713,00.html
    “The Iraq Study Group buys time for the president to have one last go. If the Democrats are smart, they’ll play along, and I think they will. But forget about bipartisanship. It’s all about who’s going to be in best shape to win the White House.
    The official added: “Bush has said ‘no’ to withdrawal, so what else do you have? The Baker report will be a set of ideas, more realistic than in the past, that can be used as political tools. What they’re going to say is: lower the goals, forget about the democracy crap, put more resources in, do it.”

    Reply

  84. Easy E says:

    Nightmare confirmed, things are sooooo bad????????????
    Wow! It’s just bizaare that those “in-the-know” and “inside-the-beltway” are just GETTING IT. Most of us don’t fall into either category but saw the oncoming trainwreck shortly after this crowd took power in 2001.
    I used to think that it was just a matter of the general public being asleep. Sheep. That may be the case, but there’s a whole bunch close to the levers of power that chose to look the other way. Let alone the leadership that hijacked our constitution and committed these crimes.
    Until a sense of outrage finally takes hold in this country that brings these criminals to justice, along with some sort of societal/moral atonement, things will only get worse. Much worse.
    America needs a new Paul Revere…………..

    Reply

  85. Pissed Off American says:

    “If there were brlliant, silver bullet ideas that might help this country move quickly beyond its problems, it would have been in such a crowd where such notions might be taken seriously and have impact.”
    Thats an interesting comment, Steve, seeing as how, in the long run, its these people that got us INTO this mess. This didn’t happen overnight, or over the course of just one Administration’s tenure. Have you ever pondered the irony of the fact that disgraced politicians with bad ideas invariably end up in think tanks?

    Reply

  86. beth says:

    Worst. President. Ever.

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  87. RAM says:

    I’m just a small-town newspaper guy but I could see clearly where all this was going to end up when Bush’s neocons started hyping the invasion of Iraq. Why couldn’t all the people who are supposed to have actual expertise in the subject see it? Was I the only one who listened to Colin Powell’s U.N address with amazement as he piled one unsupported supposition on another only to hear it lauded on the editorial pages of major newspapers from coast to coast? I understand that people were frightened after 9/11, but who would have believed our media and government would both go nuts at the same time?
    Georgie Anne Geyer said a few months ago that anyone who had bothered to read the Encyclopedia Britanica entry on Iraq should have realized we were on a fool’s errand from the start, and she was right. We lost the war the day we allowed unrestrained looting in Iraq—and we had no choice but to do that because there simply weren’t enough troops to do the job right.
    Now there are simply no good options. And meanwhile we keep hearing that “the next six months” will be critical—the same line we’ve been getting for three years. The fact is, nobody knows what to do. Which is why we should never have gotten involved in the first place.

    Reply

  88. Pissed Off American says:

    This new congress can only do the one thing that it is adamantly against: commit more troops to Iraq. All resources must be put into the military action underway there. In the event there is a failure in security, Iraq will fail politically and economically.
    There is a lot of information to analyze and a lot of concerns with potential “blowback” effects. We must sacrifice rebuilding the nation in order to secure it.
    Posted by TLittle
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!
    Yes, thats the answer, endless occupation, and kill any rag head that stands in our way!!! Thats it!!! More fuckin’ troops!!! Nuke em’, by God.!
    You sir, are an idiot.
    They don’t hate us for our freedoms, they hate us because of people like YOU. You EPITOMIZE why someone will strap on a bomb and sacrifice themselves in the hopes of killing someone JUST LIKE YOU.
    Who the hell are YOU to advocate “sacrificing rebuilding the nation in order to secure it”? This is these people’s HOME, you blithering idiot. We have ALREADY “sacrificed rebuilding” the place. Good God, we’ve RAZED the place, for chrissakes. The infrastructure is GONE. Kaput. Fini. How much more “rebuilding” can we sacrifice?
    If we remain to “secure Iraq”, than we can plan on being there FOREVER, because the ONLY way the Iraqis will accept our presence is by TOTAL MILITARY SUPPRESSION OF ALL DISSENT AND INSURGENCY. Which side do you intend to ERASE first, the Sunnis or the Shiites? Because NEITHER faction wants us there.
    Or hey, maybe you’re gonna just kill them ALL off?

    Reply

  89. Ben Rosengart says:

    I fear that nothing can get better in Iraq until Bush is off the scene.
    I hope that we can now enter an era when the debate on Iraq need not be stifled and one-dimensional. When ideas can come from Democrats, Republicans, allied and even antagonistic nations abroad.
    To my mind, we haven’t yet had a real discussion of what should happen in Iraq. For the past five years (yes, five years), only a handful of voices have been heard in the halls of power — and not terribly insightful voices, at that.
    I don’t see any answers — staying in Iraq or withdrawing, each seems worse than the other. The only hope I see is that real debate can now begin. What makes me sad is that I don’t expect that debate to have any effect for at least another two years. I wonder how many Iraqis and Coalition soldiers will die in those two years.

    Reply

  90. Pissed Off American says:

    Gee Steve, welcome to Bushworld. What, did you finally pinch yourself?
    Well, now that you are awake, perhaps you will ponder how it is a thread about torture has absolutely NO mention of General Sanchez, who blatantly and unabashedly perjured himself in front of Congress, and has NOT been held accountable. Gonzales perjured himself as well. There is no argument that he did. No accountability. No Phase Two report. No accountability. The list goes ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…
    Now, some cowardly son of a bitch at one of these elitist high dollar dinner parties you attend says he has “exhausted what he felt was possible”?
    Where were these mealy mouthed fuckers when Bush, Rummie, Cheney and the OSP were OBVIOUSLY AND IRREFUTABLY lying this nation into this mess in Iraq? Where were these despicable cowards when Cheney was scapegoating grunts for his part in instituting policies of TORTURE? When the citizens of New Orleans were purposely abandoned to ruin? When this lying treasonous sack of shit Administration was sacking Habeaus Corpus?
    There are FAR TOO MANY of these COMPLICIT YES-MEN having second thoughts about the very policies they abided, condoned, and supported. It is TRULY like a bunch of odorous plaque-ridden RATS jumping ship. Trouble is, it isn’t just the Bush Administration that is sinking, its the whole damned country. And these bastards sipping wine and tsk-tsking the Bush Administration are JUST AS GUILTY of steering us here as Bush is. Even MORE SO, because THEY were SUPPOSED TO BE part of the checks and balances, and they FAILED MISERABLY at thier patriotic duty.
    And now we hand it over to the cowards that let it all transpire with nary a peep of solid dissent. And we are supposed to be optimistic?
    Guess what? THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO IRAQ. The dying will escalate if we stay, and the dying will escalate if we go. And with the fall of Iraq, so goes our moral standing in the world community, and our last vestiges of credibility.
    There IS NO QUESTION that Bush and Cheney, with a dozen or so of their lieutenants, belong in a prison for the abuse of their powers. But they will NEVER spend one minute behind bars. And THAT simple fact belies any greatness that this nation may lay claim to.
    The United States of America is toast.

    Reply

  91. klevenstein says:

    I believe the phrase is “it’ll get worse before it gets…
    Worse”.
    Not looking too good for us. It seems we desperately need someone of greater diplomatic skill, along with someone of greater leadership skill, than the present field has to offer.

    Reply

  92. TLittle says:

    I don’t know if the situation is truly that bad. It is disheartening to hear. Perhaps that last best hope is to divide Iraq into three separate parts, much like Berlin and Germany after World War II with Baghdad at the center. If the US is able to at least stabilize a democracy in some part of the new regional governments to take shape then that would be a marginal success.
    Again, any concession of defeat on behalf of the United States in part or as a whole is not only a strategic failure, but an ideological/ philosophical one as well.
    Can Iraq be stabilized? I feel that it can. However, the cost is assuredly more in bodies and dollars than the United States people will likely want to commit.
    This new congress can only do the one thing that it is adamantly against: commit more troops to Iraq. All resources must be put into the military action underway there. In the event there is a failure in security, Iraq will fail politically and economically.
    There is a lot of information to analyze and a lot of concerns with potential “blowback” effects. We must sacrifice rebuilding the nation in order to secure it.

    Reply

  93. winnipeger says:

    well, steve, we all put our pants on one leg at a time and we all bleed red.
    the undeniable truth is that u.s. national security may be in worse shape than at any time since WWII. what makes our current situation worse is that we have largely orchestrated our own insecurity.
    i’m not surprised to hear that none of your “fancy” dinner guests had a clue, after all, the emperor wears no clothes.
    calling all angels… we got a mess on our hands.

    Reply

  94. ga73 says:

    The problem is that the same old re-treads are the ones that make the same old foreign policy. It boggles my mind that these so-called “experts”, mainly in DC think they know so much just because they happen to be in DC. I think this was a problem with the run up to the Iraq war when everyone, like lemmings in the punditocracy would expound on the speed and efficiency of the war and the necessity of it. Then afterwards, they would say things like “no one” could have predicted what has since happened. I suppose “no one” means outside of their DC circle of squash partners. The odd thing is how similar that rhetoric was to Bush saying, after Katrina, that “no one” could anticipate the breach of the levees in New Orleans.

    Reply

  95. Steve Clemons says:

    Greg — I’m increasingly of the view that the Baker-Hamilton study group will be flirted with, hyped, and dropped. It may be the only hopeful course now — but we make a mistake thinking it’s the way out of this and that the President is resolved to do the heavy-lifting that needs to be done. more soon, Steve

    Reply

  96. Greg Priddy says:

    The “don’t hold your breath” comment is rather disheartening to those of us who held out some hope, particularly after Rumsfeld was dumped, that Bush 43 might start listening to some of the Bush 41 crowd.
    If Bush remains stubborn, I fear that things will get much worse before they get better… and some of the damage may be irreparable by that point.

    Reply

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