Note to Mitt Romney: Get Out of the Foreign Policy Gutter

-


In contrast to a number of progressives I know, I was generally supportive of and applauded the early stripes of foreign policy realism that former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney displayed during the beginning of his campaign.
Romney had a first rate national security advisor in former State Department Policy Planning Director Mitchell Reiss and had others I respect like Nixon Center President Dimitri Simes on his formal advising team.
And then Romney said that America not only didn’t need to shut down Guantanamo but needed yet another Guantanamo detention facility. He lost me there with that gratuitous flick and other flippancies he uttered that seemed to compete with how much fear he could stir up in the audiences he was speaking to.
Romney, who is a likely candidate for the GOP presidential race in 2012, is again out pumping up fear. I just received this request for funds to the GOP this morning in which he starts out with an empathetic comment towards Israelis living in fear — and then paints the Iran government as completely fanatical. This is not realism — nor even sensible on any level. Iran may have radicals — very true — but the country as a whole is shrewdly run to maximize its interests.
We need to understand that Iran is calculating that the US is weak, disorganized and unserious about our objectives. To counter Iran’s course, we need to respond to the way in which the regime is reading the mixed signals the US and West are sending. That would have been a smarter Mitt Romney comment — something akin to what the pre-candidate Mitt Romney would have said.
I too feel for Israelis that live with some level of fear — but I also have seen first hand what the perversities of Occupation have done to the Palestinians.
Note to Mitt Romney: Watch the tape above of the treatment of a Palestinian by Israeli border police.
Fear-mongering is a crappy way for the GOP to raise money or to animate a new presidential run.
— Steve Clemons
Editor’s Note: This is the Mitt Romney note that his folks sent this morning:

Friend,
I have been to Israel twice — most recently in 2007. I came away encouraged by what I saw. If we lived in a neighborhood like Israel’s, with suicide bombers crossing into our country to kill children in school buses, I’m not sure we could tolerate it. That people actually immigrate to Israel, rather than fleeing from the violence of the Middle East, is a testament to their courage, faith and character. But there is a clear and present danger, above all other threats in the region, and that’s Iran.
Iran represents the biggest threat to Israel and peace. Here’s how I describe Iran in a column I wrote last week for Human Events:
“The Iranian regime is unalloyed evil, run by people who are at once ruthless and fanatical. We should stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It will not. And agreements, unenforceable and unverifiable, will have no greater impact here than they did in North Korea. Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence. President Eisenhower said it well: ‘The care of freedom is not long entrusted to the weak and timid.'”
Please help us spread the message about Iran, its reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and what that means for Israel with your most generous contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or even the maximum $5,000, today.
Thank you again for your continued support,
Mitt Romney
P.S. We’ve recently launched a new SMS text messaging program, and as one of our most dedicated supporters, I hope you’ll sign up today to receive exclusive, real-time updates by texting “Go” to GOMITT (466488).

Comments

46 comments on “Note to Mitt Romney: Get Out of the Foreign Policy Gutter

  1. Paul Norheim says:

    “And Paul, it’s better to stay away from the “number of words” issue.”
    Hey, Questions, cheer up! Every tenth thread or so at TWN is like a big novel, or a
    huge (and often rather bad) Socratic dialogue or symposium, collectively made by you,
    POA, me, WigWag, Nadine, DonS and a lot of others. I find this slightly comical from
    time to time…
    “Note that if you treat me as a rational agent, and not as a Mossad agent, you
    instantly rile up POA. You should decide if you want to keep him as an ally here, or
    have him start dismissing you. At some level there’s a popularity contest running
    underneath the posts, and if you find me rational at all, you’ll be tossed in the ash
    heap with WigWag and me, and maybe even Nadine. A terrible fate indeed.”
    Ok, let me “do a Norheim” (OA`s expression), i.e. quoting myself:
    “I do not regard myself as belonging to a certain group, as opposed to another group –
    I prefer to represent and express my own views and opinions. And to agree and disagree
    with (almost) everyone on a case to case basis. One of my goals is to surprise myself.
    I seldom succeed in this, and have to work on it.”
    You mentioned POA – I guess he and I occasionally “agree to disagree” – I haven`t
    noticed any big issues or conflicts in this regard.
    But yeah, perhaps I should try to get tossed in the ash heap and say hello to Nadine
    for a change? Or perhaps the opposite camp?
    I don`t know, Questions, would you advise me to settle down in a group here, and
    always attack those that the rest of the group attack, and support every single member
    of that group all the time? Hm… I`ll give it a thought. But I`m not very clever on
    group loyalties and group thinking, so I`m not sure it would work.

    Reply

  2. Outraged American says:

    What do those “progressive” authors who question the power of
    the Israel Lobby have in common?
    Hums Jeopardy theme now.
    You really are sometimes too ridiculous for words.
    What wars are we, the US, actively engaged in with countries
    beyond the ones who aren’t stated “enemies” of Israel, by
    Israel’s reckoning?
    HITS THE BUZZER. Answer:
    “What is Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.”
    Double Jeopardy round now “The US is threatening military
    action of which country, also an (imaginary) enemy of Israel.
    HiTS THE BUZZER.
    Answer:
    “What is Iran, Alex.”
    Go away and take Norm- the-most-annoying-voice-in-the-
    world Chomsky with you and also Finklestein, whose octave
    range in normal conversation could cause dogs to howl on Mars,
    which is where Nadine has opted to move Israel.
    A good choice because then the Zionists and the Zionist lites
    will be fighting with the natives, suicide microbes, over large
    stretches of sand and a few drops of water so you’ll feel right at
    home.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    “The authors’ claim that the Israel lobby is a major factor in the formulation of overall U.S. Middle East policy is plainly false. Indeed, U.S. policy in the Middle East over the past several decades—orchestrating military interventions and CIA-backed coups, backing right-wing dictatorships, peddling neoliberal economic policies through the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions, undermining the United Nations and international law, imposing sanctions against nationalist governments, etc.—is remarkably similar to U.S. policy toward Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. If the United States can pursue such policies elsewhere in the world without pressure from the Israel lobby, why is its presence necessary to explain U.S. policies in the Middle East?
    If the agenda advocated by the Israel lobby was substantially at variance with U.S. foreign policy elsewhere in the world, one could make a strong case that these lobbyists were influential. However, that is simply not the case. This is why some of the most outspoken opponents of U.S. foreign policy in general and of U.S. support for Israel in particular—such as Noam Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Mitchell Plitnick, Simona Sharoni, Joseph Massad, Steve Niva, and Norman Finkelstein—have raised serious questions about the supposed power of the Israel lobby, noting that it is responsible, in the words of Professor Massad, for “the details and intensity but not the direction, content, or impact of such policies.” ”
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/05/israel-lobby-how-powerful-it-really
    Yet another take on the W and M piece…. And on THELOBBY.
    Read the whole thing. It’s interesting.

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    Wave your magic wand, eliminate AIPAC. Then, in this imaginary realm, describe US/ME policy. What would we be doing differently? With whom would we be aligned? How much money would “ship” somewhere else and be dumped right back into some MC’s district via a defense contractor?
    Do you really think that if AIPAC didn’t exist, we’d be lining up to send weapons to Hamas? Do think that if AIPAC didn’t exist, we’d not sell weapons to Israel? Do you think that we don’t already sell weapons to Arab and Muslim nations? How much exclusion and false choice-making is there? Do a little speculative exercise to the best of anyone’s limited knowledge. We’ll never know for sure, of course, but speculative thinking can be useful.
    No AIPAC. What’s the result?

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “For all I know, it’s hardly AIPAC at all”
    Like I said; a liar or a fool. Does anyone reading questions’ bullshit REALLY believe he could HONESTLY advance such a premise? This is one of those occassions when questions actually enters the realm of the absurd.

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    Do you understand that “coerce” “bribe” and “blackmail” have to exist in a system of reelection concerns, that many other forces also are at work, that credit-claiming is a funny thing, that many politicians simply AGREE with the AIPAC line even without any help from AIPAC, that if AIPAC started claiming control over, say, gravity, you’d probably believe that even though gravity is independent of what AIPAC does.
    MCs can vote how they like. Really.
    If they want to be re-elected, they are constrained by a VARIETY of forces. AIPAC does not determine whether or not every MC gets his or her office back after the election.
    AIPAC may well claim credit for such things. Credit-claiming is not the same as actually being responsible for things.
    AIPAC lines up much of its desire with other forces in the universe and that alignment is responsible for a lot.
    Citing FROM THE AIPAC WEBSITE a list of bills that AIPAC supported that passed into law proves nothing at all. If you can’t see that basic point about what proof is, there’s really no point in continuing this. It simply isn’t PROOF just cuz big ol’ bad ol’ AIPAC sez it iz.
    I’ve already been over standards of proof in the field, and though Paul has made fun of the “scientific” nature of the point, it’s not scientific, it’s fucking common sense, the thing he keeps championing. Just because AIPAC claims credit for a handful of bills a)doesn’t prove they deserve credit b)doesn’t give their failure rate so that their success rate can be calculated c)doesn’t show why the bills passed.
    You love giving AIPAC credit as the intelligent designer of ME policy just like you love giving credit to Israel for disappearing websites and you love insisting that someone is forcing Steve Clemons to say or not say things…. You really love having some authority out there who dictates what happens. And you don’t seem to have much in the way of tolerance for the unpatterned, the evolutionary, the multiply-caused, the random noise of the universe.
    It isn’t ALL AIPAC. It may well not be LARGELY AIPAC. For all I know, it’s hardly AIPAC at all.
    And MCs can go against AIPAC all they want. Maybe AIPAC will fund the occasional challenger in the primaries. I’m sure that if a group of MCs agreed to work together, AIPAC couldn’t afford to challenge them all. So figure out why that doesn’t happen. (Maybe there are enough actual active aware constituents in enough districts that the US/ME policy is basically supported, or not enough awake aware constituents so people don’t care….)
    Maybe the jobs in the defense industry matter a whole lot more than you give credit for. AIPAC doesn’t create those jobs. And AIPAC doesn’t threaten them. But they fit in with AIPAC’s publicly stated pro-Israel stance (“pro” with a particular slant, that is.)

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Have I done any of this? I assume it was directed at me……”
    No. Thats my point. Your denial of the lobby system that COERCE, BRIBE, and BLACKMAIL our politicians into committing these actions are just as despicable, just as disingenuous, as if you had denied the other. You know what I think of you, the disdain I have for you. Why keep asking me to repeat it?

    Reply

  8. DonS says:

    Maybe I’m not referring to you Questions? Maybe I am not? In any case,you seem preternaturally interested in pursuing the minutiae of the Foreign Agent Registration Act for someone who professes no interest in legal matters and says he is not bent on serving the cause of right wing Zionism, however circuitously. But you’ll get that answer about the same time, and it will satisfy you as little I suspect, about the same time ‘Nadine’ get’s the answer to her red herring about what’s a small country to do when it’s attacked by all those big bad rockets (which response she is now laughably calling upthread a “surgical strike”).

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    DonS,
    Thanks for the “sick puppy” reference. I’d still like to get the lawyer’s explanation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act you seem certain will fix whatever is broken with our political system.
    Sincerely, (cough, bark, cough, woof arf)
    ONE SICK PUPPY

    Reply

  10. questions says:

    POA writes,
    “Paul, what if someone was to deny that the United States supplies Israel with the arms and munitions that Israel uses against the Palestinians?
    What if someone was to deny that the United States supports Israel at the UN, using its veto power to enable Israel to continue its policies of expansion and human rights abuses?
    What if someone was to deny that the United States is seeking to set the Goldstone report aside?”
    Have I done any of this? I assume it was directed at me……
    And again, I will say over and over, AIPAC is not the only pressure on the US Congress, and there may well be more potent forces. Gee, that’s so hard to understand. Proof positive that I work for Israel.
    And Paul, it’s better to stay away from the “number of words” issue. It reminds me of the film version of the Mozart play by Schaeffer — the Salieri character walks around in idiot fashion mumbling, “Too many notes. Too many notes.” What a moronic concern. Like all those Republican MCs who complain that a bill is 1500 pages — and that’s just too long for anything.
    Use the words it takes. Let’s face it, POA uses few of his own words, and most of his words are “fog, bullshit, obfuscation (lord, what a word) and insect.” Maybe he should try for more.
    Note that if you treat me as a rational agent, and not as a Mossad agent, you instantly rile up POA. You should decide if you want to keep him as an ally here, or have him start dismissing you. At some level there’s a popularity contest running underneath the posts, and if you find me rational at all, you’ll be tossed in the ash heap with WigWag and me, and maybe even Nadine. A terrible fate indeed. Remember, he doesn’t respond to me anymore. Why, he doesn’t even read past the first paragraph or 5 or whatever it was he said…..

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Gentlemen,
    as you may have noticed, Questions and I are about to write a novel the size of
    Tolstoi`s “War and peace on the Tzipi Livni thread below, in the form of a
    “dialogue”. My answers to all your questions are somehow buried in that monster
    thread.

    Reply

  12. DonS says:

    Paul has an unerring Scandinavian sense of openness and good will. That otherwise wonderful set of traits can sometimes obscure simply seeing a sick puppy for what it is.
    Rather, think Bergman.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I should have mentioned this in my first response to you, James, but let me do it now:
    I think it`s unfair to characterize Questions this way”
    Paul, what if someone was to deny that the United States supplies Israel with the arms and munitions that Israel uses against the Palestinians?
    What if someone was to deny that the United States supports Israel at the UN, using its veto power to enable Israel to continue its policies of expansion and human rights abuses?
    What if someone was to deny that the United States is seeking to set the Goldstone report aside?
    Would you consider these denials honest, or pragmatic?
    Well, your faculty of “common sense” obviously tells you that AIPAC and the various Israeli lobbies DO exert the kinds of pressures on our politicians that coerces them into continuing the above mentioned policies. So in truth, denying the strong influence that Israel has on United States foreign policy, as it applies to the Middle East, is just as disingenuous as claiming we don’t arm them, or we don’t finance and support them.
    I find it hard to believe that you completely buy into questions’ constant stream of equivication and obsfucation. The old adage that “thou dost protest too much” fits questions to a tee. We have seen him employ every possible mental gymnastic to deny the obvious, at times even entering the realm of the absurd. Do you really think such intellectual contortions are founded in conviction or honesty?

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    “They are and will remain ideologues with no concern whatever with how things play out,
    especially in terms of human misery.”
    I should have mentioned this in my first response to you, James, but let me do it now:
    I think it`s unfair to characterize Questions this way.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, questions, at last you and I can agree on something….
    James HAS paid “careful attention” to your writing.

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    JamesL,
    Thank you deeply from my heart for the kind words about my soul. You’re so right that I don’t care how things work out and I’m just an ideologue. I’m spending today hoping for the destruction of all the people I’m ideologically committed to seeing destroyed! Indeed, I really don’t care the slightest bit for any suffering of humans or animals anywhere on the planet and I’m hoping for maxed out destruction!
    I don’t love or even like truth. I don’t love or even like life. I am committed to maxed out pain and suffering in the universe. Especially for all the people I hate as I am as racist as can be and as nasty as can be. I’m sure you can get all of this information about me from all of my posts ranting at the existence and wicked influences on the world of one or another group of people.
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and thanks for the good faith readings and careful attention to my writing.
    All the best, smallest possible q-questions.

    Reply

  17. kotzabasis says:

    Clemons has kept his silence to my question. It was a wise thing to do. It’s better to keep silent about one’s political escapades in illusions and wishful thinking than in ‘confessing’ about one’s political ‘sins’ and moral flaws in the godless realm of politics where no expiation is given.

    Reply

  18. Outraged American says:

    Pathological hang-up with Israel? Israel’s cutting off water to the
    Palestinians.
    Paul, I covered the entire world, including domestic issues, for
    the last five years.
    In my unconsidered opinion as well as Mohamed El Baradei’s
    ISRAEL IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE WORLD.
    My health is predicated on the kids’ health, and there are two
    coming up on draft age.
    Mark my words — an attack on Iran will mean a draft.
    Iran IS NOT A THREAT TO THE US. And it’s not a threat to Israel.
    Go shove it where the sun don’t shine, which I guess is Norway
    in a month.

    Reply

  19. Paul Norheim says:

    James,
    thanks for your thoughtful comment. I hear you. With regards to the “pragmatism” of the
    United States, especially during the last decade (but even long before that), I`ve
    regarded what is defined as “the political centrum” in US politics as more and more
    weird, insane, paranoid, arrogant, belligerent, threatening, and often ignorant.
    However, I do not define myself as “anti-American”.
    Your respect for Norwegians facing physical realities and dealing with it may be a bit
    exaggerated. Most Norwegians are provincial, ignorant, narcissistic, and too wealthy
    (not me; I`m only narcissistic) to really care. Still they think they are Nr One on
    generosity, humanitarian aid etc. (Who knows: Perhaps they are?)
    As to my approach here, I generally try to treat people I discuss with AS IF they were
    pragmatic, rational human beings. There are exceptions – for example, I do not regard
    Nadine as a pragmatic, rational human being, but a fanatical propagandist. But this is
    my general principle. Sometimes I`m wrong. And most likely, I am not such a pragmatic,
    rational guy either all the time.
    I think I`ve had some fights with almost every single regular poster here one time or
    another. Still, I hope that most of us somehow respect and like each other to some
    degree – at least I enjoy reading most of the commenters here – Tahoe Editor defenitely
    excluded; Outraged American certainly included. I often laugh when I read Outraged`s
    comments – although I think she has a pathological hangup on Israel. It`s not good for
    her health, nor the health of the discussions at TWN, in my view. I really enjoy
    disagreeing with WigWag, whom I believe has been much nicer towards me than I on some
    occasions have been towards her (or is it him? Nevermind.)
    I have respect and sympathy for JohnH; and I have on many occasions pointed out that I
    regard POA basically as an old fashioned American common sense moralist whom I really
    respect, despite some disagreements. To be honest, sometimes I get fed up by his rants,
    but I would start crying like a child if he stopped writing here. TWN would not be the
    same without POA, WigWag and Dan Kervick (Dan is my favorite commenter here, and I guess
    I`m not alone in admiring his posts).
    I do not regard myself as belonging to a certain group, as opposed to another group – I
    prefer to represent and express my own views and opinions. And to agree and disagree
    with (almost) everyone on a case to case basis. One of my goals is to surprise myself. I
    seldom succeed in this, and have to work on it.
    “And because their fundamental perspective is one of compassion you should cut them some
    slack.”
    I doubt that POA and JohnH have serious reasons to complain in this respect (I hope they
    shout out loudly if I`m wrong). Perhaps you`re right with regards to Outraged (and
    samuelburke). I`ll think about it.

    Reply

  20. Outraged American says:

    JamesL, that’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever called
    me. I saw a lot of pain when I was traveling, and since, and have
    tried hard to change the amount of pain in the world and not
    cause more.
    One of the things I will never get is why anyone would
    deliberately cause another person pain.
    As I’ve mentioned, I was there for the LA Rodney King riots, and
    I remember vividly, as anyone who was there would, Rodney
    King begging, “Why can’t we just get along?”
    I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen, and volunteering for
    the last five years in independent news has made me less sure
    that it will happen, but at least one can try to change things.
    As the Israeli writer Amos Oz said, paraphrasing, “It’s better to
    take a teaspoon of water to a raging inferno than to let it burn.”
    Or as the old proverb goes, “It is better to light a single candle
    than to curse the darkness.”
    Every time I start to lose hope, I remember the face of a girl who
    I held as she died of starvation — she’d been found outside of a
    tea shop in Calcutta by the nuns, and had been laying there for
    days, with her child standing there oblivious as to what was
    happening, and remember that I’ve been, for whatever reason,
    given tremendous opportunities, and it’s my responsibility to
    help heal the world rather than destroy it.

    Reply

  21. JamesL says:

    Paul N,
    Your absense had been oppressive. But I have read your recent posts and have some input. You have some things wrong. You need to jack things around in your head. Having worked for, and enjoyed working for, a Norwegian company in my colored past, I must disabuse you of the notion you apparently hold that modern America is pragmatic. It is not. Not in any way like Norwegians who must face the cold and dark of physical reality and DEAL WITH IT. Not in the least. The turning point happened some time when I was away from my (wife’s) desk where the all-important computer resides. But America is no longer concerned in any way with outcomes. It is concerned with stances and looks (how do I look today? How do you like my Blackberry? How about my tattoo?). POA and OA (despite their wild rhetoric) and John H remain compassionate pragmatists, that is: how are things working out? Do we need to change something? How are you getting on? The Moon is Down and all that. And because their fundamental perspective is one of compassion you should cut them some slack. Nadine and questions (tiniest ‘q’ possible) (not to mention excremental Kotza) don’t give a shit. Let me repeat that: Don’t give a shit. They are and will remain ideologues with no concern whatever with how things play out, especially in terms of human misery. Obama’s broad shoulders” of Chicago; Midwest farmers’ shoveling grain to “feed the world”, Pennsylvania’s steelworkers leaving chunks of their body’s retirement into every pound of steel… they’ve moved on and left you high and dry in some Norwegian fjord, reminiscing by your lonesome in some Norwegian monologue about the American myth. The American myth used to be pragmative. No more. I know. I grew up where pragmatism was still functional, where one’s future was more determined by the health and intellectual vigor of one’s neighbors than anythong else. I now deal every day with the interactions of Americans wih their physical environments every day, like radical carpenter POA, and know that any myth of compassionate practicality is long dead and stone cold. I don’t say this lightly: it means my family and childrens’ future is bleak, but that’s the way it is.

    Reply

  22. Neo Controll says:

    How very poignant a concern for the ordinary folks of Iran, “Nadine”.
    From the voice of neocon/Likudist disinformation — “Nadine” — to your ears.
    –NCHQ

    Reply

  23. nadine says:

    “[Romney] paints the Iran government as completely fanatical. This is not realism — nor even sensible on any level. Iran may have radicals — very true — but the country as a whole is shrewdly run to maximize its interests.”
    This is one of the core false assumptions of “realism”. You think the Iranian government has the same interests you would in their shoes, the interests of Iran. Not so! The current Ahmedinejad/Khamenei/Revolutionary Guard regime is not working to maximize the interests of Iran. It is working to maximize its own interests, its revolutionary ideology, above all its continuance in power, no matter how much damage that does to Iran.
    If you think I’m wrong, please point out which actual actions of the regime in the last six months – the stolen election, the crackdown, the support of Hamas, Hizbullah, insurgencies etc, benefit the country or people of Iran? There’s a reason the demonstrators in Tehran chanted “No to Lebanon! No to Gaza! Yes to Iran!” They know this when this regime has to chose between the Islamic revolution and Iran, it chooses the revolution every time.

    Reply

  24. brigid says:

    Steve, when you tout GOP politicians like Mitt Romney in the reality based “moderate” or “pragmatist” community, it undermines your credibility. How can you possibly be surprised at this? This is the party of “Christian” Zionists like Chuck Hagee who want to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians out of Palestine, and nuke Iran so that we can bring on Armagedon and the Second Coming that much sooner.

    Reply

  25. JamesL says:

    > What the hell happened to the J Street thread….
    Just a tiny part of the bloodstained fabric.

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What the hell happened to the J Street thread with those two yahoos holding their protest signs???
    (Insert the Twilight Zone jingle here.)

    Reply

  27. Outraged American says:

    Amnesty Intl report-Israel curbing water to Palestinians.
    26 October 2009
    JERUSALEM – Human rights group Amnesty International said in
    a report published on Tuesday that Israeli restrictions prevent
    Palestinians from receiving enough water in the occupied West
    Bank and Gaza Strip.
    The report says Israel’s daily water consumption per capita is
    four times higher than that in the Palestinian territories.
    http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m59388&hd=&size=1&l=e
    We’ve done the same in Iraq, guess we learned well from our
    Israeli masters.

    Reply

  28. JamesL says:

    A distinction must be made between radical Zionism and Israel. But in practical terms, when people vote to keep radical policies in power, those policies become the property of all voters. Same for Israel. As long as radical Zionism directs the course of Israel, there is no functional difference. Democracy is supposed to take care of that mismatch, but democracy does have its flaws. Strictly speaking, radical Zionism is an existential threat to the US, as well as to Israel.

    Reply

  29. Outraged American says:

    Aspirin companies stocks probably skyrockets when Kotz posts
    because I just swallowed a 1/2 bottle of St. Joseph’s trying to
    wade through the second paragraph of Kotz’s bilge without
    having to close the blinds, put an ice pack to my forehead and
    have a lie-down.
    But I’ll take you on Kotz : The word, or rather words, “Western
    Civilization” is an oxymoron. We, by which I mean the US and
    not your bloody band of yobs Down Under, used white
    phosphorus and not just in Fallujah.
    We, Israel’s dittoheads, bombed water treatment plants, places
    of worship, schools, and used torture techniques taught to us
    by.. guess whom?
    Yisreal. To humiliate Muslims, or anyone who got in our way.
    The true Grand Appeasers, the Chamberlains, are every single
    member of the US government who don’t stand up to Israel. As
    Mohamed El Baredei just said, ISRAEL IS THE GREATEST THREAT
    TO PEACE.

    Reply

  30. ... says:

    2nd try, lol…

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I really am intrigued. I just reread Romney’s bit of fearmongering horseshit, and I still can’t figure out how his fearmongering horseshit differs from the left’s fearmongering horseshit.
    Perhaps Steve will enlighten me.
    Or not.
    And AIPAC has been defecating crap like Romney’s all over the halls of Congress for years now. I’m suprised everyone in Washington isn’t wearing rubber boots embossed with the Israeli flag. So what makes Romney so special that he gets Steve’s attention? Surely Steve isn’t telling us having your head up your ass over Israel is a strictly partisan affliction?

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….but at the time I was under the surgeon’s knife”
    I didn’t know they could reverse a lobotomy.

    Reply

  33. kotzabasis says:

    This is a question that I was to put to Clemons from another thread but at the time I was under the surgeon’s knife. Since my question, however is not completely unrelated to the present thread, I’m posing it here.
    The question is related to Clemons ‘sweet’ emotional rapprochement to the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, in the face of the ‘bitter’ realities of the Middle East. Is the West including that outpost of Western civilization, Israel, and especially the U.S., currently engaged in a mortal fight with a hard core fanatical Islam which includes its terrorist satrapies Hamas and Hezbollah or not? If the answer to the question by the “hybrid” realist Clemons, to use his term, is in the affirmative, then the latter is the grand appeaser toward fanatical militant Islam. If he answers it in the negative, with all the expected equivocations that he is capable of, then he is afflicted by an incurable virus of political necrophilia.
    But in my humble opinion, Clemons will go down in the chronicles of American history, if he ever makes its footnotes, as the mini American Chamberlain in contrast to Churchillian mettle and sagacity. Appease! Appease! is the clamour of the prophet.

    Reply

  34. Outraged American says:

    Disgusting. Beyond disgusting is how US pols whore themselves out
    to the Israel lobby and the boobs on here deny that the Israel lobby
    has as much power as it does.
    And I don’t mean boobs as in tits.

    Reply

  35. Josh Meah says:

    whatever Romney’s positions may be, I’m sure he’s
    the perfect example of a candidate that has gotten
    lost in his own spin.
    I, too, thought some of his positions early on in
    his run for the presidency were fairly sensible.
    They were more practical, resonated with widely
    agreed upon facts, and were less filled with
    hyperbole.
    Since then, he’s become one of “The Smartest
    People in the Room.” We all know how that went for
    Ken Lay…
    Romney should just stay away from the federal
    government. The world would then be a marginally
    better place, and even an incremental good is an
    absolute good.

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    …,
    10,000 words
    10,000 words
    10,000 words
    All for you.
    And if two MCs want a lobbyist to do their thinking for them, well, welcome to the asylum. I honestly don’t care if their words come from a lobby or not. That’s so much not the issue. The question is, did the lobby CAUSE their views or FOLLOW their views. And do their views shape US policy or not. The jury is out.
    10,000 words
    10,000 words
    10,000 words
    POA’s burp — and he doesn’t even say, “Excuse me please.”

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    regarding poa’s 1241pm post….
    questions, can we get a few 10,000 word minimum posts from you on this???

    Reply

  38. JamesL says:

    It’s fun and fuzzy to think we’re the good guy and the other guy is the bad guy. Lest we forget the hand the US has had in its own current Afghan tarbaby, a reminder that Brzezinski was not only unrepentent but happy that the US had managed to draw the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, to “give them their own Viet Nam”. The US did this by helping create the Taliban, who we encouraged with words, money, and weapons to hate the foreigners. The Brzezinski quote is available even to people in Afghan caves via the tubes.
    The ten year Soviet occupation started in December of ’79. The Soviets killed a million of the 32 million Afghans and made refugees out of 5 million, figures quite similar to those of the US in Iraq. The decade of the Soviets was followed by a decade of civil war. Which was closely followed by the US invasion. The rubble has scarcely stopped bouncing for nearly 40 years. The average Afghan life expectancy is 44 years. Most Afghans have known nothing but war their entire lives. How would you feel if you were an Afghan and read Brzezinski’s quote? Of course one must have an intact imagination to do this.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You can read the Hoyer/Cantor whoresmanship here, in GIF form if you don’t want to bring up the PDF.
    http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/05/15/gop-democratic-leader-inadvertently-expose-israeli-lobbyists-behind-their-letter-to-obama/
    Frankly, I don’t see much difference between Romney’s “gutter” stance and that of the majority in Congress. And I must opine that Reid and Hoyer’s efforts to undermine Obama’s stance on Isr/Pal are FAR more damaging to actual policy than Romney’s sucking up to Israel is. After all, Reid and Hoyer have the backing of the majority in Congress, as opposed to Romney’s disadvantage of being a whore for Israel in the minority party. I imagine the Israeli’s are far more generous with their bribery of the Dems than they currently are when trying to bribe the right.
    But regardless, its kinda ironic seeing Romney get taken to task by Steve for voicing what seems to be a common mindset on the left. Whoring for Israel is NOT a partisan endeavor. It is one of the treasons that MOST of Washington engages in, in a wholly bi-partisan manner. If you’re turning tricks in Congress, odds are one of your johns is an Israeli lobbyist. And they don’t care which side of the bed they mount you from.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hoyer and Cantor forget to take ‘AIPAC’ off file name of letter to Obama on Middle East peace.
    Earlier this month, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to President Obama regarding the Middle East peace process. The letter says that the U.S. “must be both a trusted mediator and a devoted friend to Israel,” adding that “Israel will be taking the greatest risks in any peace agreement.” The Washington Post’s Al Kamen writes today about a discovery he made when opening the computer file version of the letter, in an item titled “Now, That’s Lobbying”:
    Curiously, when we opened the attachment, we noticed it was named “AIPAC Letter Hoyer Cantor May 2009.pdf.”
    Seems as though someone forgot to change the name or something. AIPAC? The American Israel Public Affairs Committee? Is that how this stuff works?
    Matt Yglesias observes, “It is worth noting, however, that while public talk at the AIPAC conference was about devotion to peace, the substance of this letter is to try to make people think there will be a domestic price to be paid for any serious effort to push for a solution. This is similar to how Israel’s land grabs in-and-around Jerusalem are at odds with the Israeli government’s public presentation of itself as interested in peace and disturbed by the lack of a credible partner.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/05/15/hoyer-cantor-aipac-letter/

    Reply

  41. JamesL says:

    Kidnapped reporter David Rohde on the Taliban, excerpts:
    “Rhode describes how his captors talked not just of events in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but dwelt on casualties in Iraq and among the Palestinians. Their views may have been geographically broad, but were narrowly focused thanks to education limited to religious schooling and jihadi videos of suicide bombers, beheadings, and ambushes. Debate proved pointless.”
    “Their hatred for the United States seemed boundless,” wrote Rhode. “Nothing I said … seemed to change their minds.”
    “They remained unfazed about hating Christian missionaries while they tried repeatedly to convert Rohde; they cried over the killing of civilians by militaries, but cheered their own killing of dozens of civilians in suicide car bombs.”
    (snip)
    “I thought what was interesting was how the Taliban were able to hold internally inconsistent views about the US with no apparent cognitive dissonance on their part,” says Stephen Biddle, a senior fellow for defense policy on the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.”
    I don’t see much difference substituting “right wing American fundamentalist Christians” or “Zionists” for “Taliban”, and “Iran” for “United States” in the above graphs. It appears that if cognitive dissonance is present in any of those groups, it is not strong enough (or resolution is held at bay by other forces) to keep people from gleefully killing other people. Selective compassion is non-functional compassion. No political solution is possible while these kinds of views are held by those parties. Blaming others when we have the same problem is a false argument. If you want to find enemies everywhere, you will find enemies everywhere.
    HT Ed Wallace at Inside Automotive for the link.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20091023/wl_csm/orohde

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “My concern is that we are applying pressure to the wrong party in this dispute,” said Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). “I think it would serve America’s interest better if we were pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran, and less time pressuring our allies and the only democracy in the Middle East to stop the natural growth of their settlements.”

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    June 15, 2009
    President Barack Obama
    The White House
    Washington, DC
    Dear Mr. President:
    I am writing in support of your decision to make the Middle East a priority for your administration. I also applaud you for reiterating during your recent speech in Cairo the importance of America’s “unbreakable” bond with Israel.
    Like you, I am deeply committed to bringing peace to this critical, but troubled, region. I believe negotiations will be successful only with a renewed commitment from the Palestinians to be a true partner in peace. Arab states in the region must also act to support the peace process. All parties must recognize Israel’s right to exist, end terrorism, and respect previous agreements made with Israel.
    The pursuit of peace is never easy. Many difficult decisions lie ahead. I hope your administration will work behind the scenes with all involved on the steps they must take to move forward.
    As these discussions continue, it is also vital this process not take away from your commitment to deal with the ongoing threat from Iran. Iran has continued to call for Israel’s destruction while repeatedly defying the international community with its nuclear program. I believe that resolving the problem of Iran’s nuclear program will help facilitate the Arab-Israeli peace process you and I both seek to promote.
    Last year, the Senate passed my bipartisan resolution to proudly celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the modern state of Israel and recognize the historic kingdom of Israel, which was established more than 3,000 years ago. Today, we must once again stand with our ally and ensure the continuation of the Jewish state.
    I look forward to working closely with you to achieve the goal of a long and lasting peace in the Middle East, one in which a Palestinian state is willing to live side-by-side in peace with a strong and secure Israel.
    Sincerely,
    Harry Reid
    United States Senator
    Nevada

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, Steve, as you know, I was being a bit tongue in cheek. But the letter the Dems, led by Reid, sent to Obama asking him to back off on the Israelis and put the heat on the Palestinians really doesn’t imply a much different mindset than Romney’s, does it? And haven’t a few of these leading Dems stated that Iran is the REAL issue, not Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, or the settlements? And, uh, how helpful is Clinton’s publically assumed stance of “Yeah, we’ll talk to Iran, but it won’t do any good”.
    By the way, it is the AIPAC website that coined the term “illicit” to describe Iran’s nuclear program. It is rather telling that the Obama Administration has adopted the same terminology, is it not?

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *