Off to See the Xian Warriors: What are Your Thoughts on Pumping Up the Size of America’s Military?

-

pict-Xian-Warrior5.jpg
One of my good friends in Dem foreign policy circles is Rand Beers. He constantly makes sense to me and seems (thus far) immune from some of the insecurities I often see among Dems who are trying to posture on defense and security issues. He heads the Democratic leaning National Security Network along with Heather Hurlburt — and they are a refreshing anomaly in a field of Dem national security pundits who never got the joke that the overly muscled guy at the beach really wasn’t all that strong.
A strong and smart national security policy today probably means rewiring the Pentagon, shrinking it some areas and puffing it up in others. But to be strong on national defense, the last thing a Presidential candidate and his team should do is to become Pentagon-huggers. Today, we spend more on our national defense than all other nations in the world combined — and yet, Americans don’t feel secure.
That is a management problem. So far, both McCain and Obama have responded by promising to increasing the size of the military by more than 90,000 soldiers. Throwing more money and more humans at a management problem is a mistake.
This is what is on my mind today as I tour the ancient Chinese capital city of Xian and visit the army of terra cotta warriors buried with Emperor Qin Shihuangdi, who my friend Edith Terry just wrote “burned books and so on. . .but still had a great way of taking his leave of the planet in style. . .”
— Steve Clemons

Comments

137 comments on “Off to See the Xian Warriors: What are Your Thoughts on Pumping Up the Size of America’s Military?

  1. kyle says:

    shourt and sweet i like this

    Reply

  2. Daniel N. Williams says:

    A vigilante, of a sort, myself (religious militia leader, I suppose), I have no moral qualms with the strategy. It would enhance my career, indefinitely.
    My only concern would be media attentions, as the Phelps family has achieved, in their stupidity. The pressure to remain impeccably intimidating would be high.
    As it stands, I am eager to militia and religious militia at that. If the government wants me, I will begin with regional contracts, optimistic that I am highly capable at, at least, a regional level.
    “Wyrd of God Militia”, we are called. Recognition of arcana, psionic talent and actual basic training distinguish us as an international prodigy.
    “Juicer Units” (chemically-enhanced partisans), “Dream Shamans” (cunning escorts or “hunch boys”) and “Voodoos” (out of body men) make us every bit as intimidating as one would have to be, I think. We are eager to get our hands dirty.

    Reply

  3. Daniel N. Williams says:

    They are in an arms race with all mob entities, I have noticed. Unlike political affiliates, the knack for intimidation shown by America’s vigilante presence might very well ward off “media scandals”.
    If America is going to have armed citizens, such groups might as well have dialogue with government and the law. We are not as prejudiced a society as we once were.
    As such, I have been forming my own militia. Not vigilantism, in the classic sense, but apt to hurt trends in crime and scandal, as I have said above.

    Reply

  4. Daniel N. Williams says:

    We might empower a handful of vigilante organizations, more aggressive than the
    Chicago metro group, “The Angels”. This
    maneuver might be very seasonal and can
    and would free up police units for low-
    risk military functions.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yeah, Carroll, pretty amazing. Google ‘im, and you find out he’s all over the blogosphere, bad mouthin’ Obama. But, hey, at least he knows where Trojans are manufactured.

    Reply

  6. Kathleen says:

    Well I happen to love Circe and would love to serve Dopey and Darth a special brew…oink, oink

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    It’s time for this thread to die.
    I feel like I have wandered into the high school’s lit teachers lonely hearts club.
    Before this goes any further I think you all need to take the book club back to the book section.
    I don’t know what Freud would say but maybe it’s not a good idea to reveal so much of yourselves on a blog this widely read.
    And if this is the same wig wag as the one at the Hillary PUMA blog below and I think it is, I hope your book conversations aren’t heading toward more of wig wag finding Obama in Penelope’s travails and injecting the man -woman, sex and sexism thing into politics.
    It is definitely too weird for most readers here.
    http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/book-confluence/
    wigwag, on July 3rd, 2008 at 10:57 pm Said:
    Another great line from the beginning of the book was in the chapter where Penelope first describes her marraige. She says:
    “Under the old rules only the important people had marraiges because only the important people had inheritences. All the rest was just copulation of various kinds-rapes or seductions, love affairs, or one night stands, with gods who said they were shepherds or shepherds who said they were gods.”
    That’s Obama to a tee, a shepherd who thinks he’s a god.
    WigWag, on July 3rd, 2008 at 10:48 pm Said:
    My favorite line in the book (I apologize for skipping ahead) comes when Odysseus returns to Ithica in disguise. Of course, Penelope recognizes him instantly but doesn’t let on that she does. This reminds me of Obama so much, “..Also if a man takes pride in his disguising skills, it would be a foolish wife who claimed to recognize him; it’s always imprudence to step between a man and the reflection of his own cleverness.”
    I just loved that.
    Ironically, the character that reminded me most of the good Senator from Illinois was not one of the male characters, it was Helen. You know, the narcissim, the self absorbtion, etc,”

    Reply

  8. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, you asked me a couple of questions regarding Ethiopia
    above.
    I actually answered you in my reply about translations, but that
    part somehow mysteriously disappeared.
    Short answer: Axum is great. But google on the Ethiopian
    churches in “Lalibela” – then you`ll see something really
    exceptional in world architecture.

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    New? Sure. Improved? Huh?
    I suppose that what I should do is call a bunch of people “stupid” or “asshole” or “jackass” for being stupid, asshole-ish, or jackass-y and leave it at that. It would be more authentic than citing the texts that inform my thought processes. Okay.
    Now I quote from ArthurDecco:
    (asked wide-eyed from behind coke bottle glasses framed by a bad haircut, chapped lips, chipped teeth and even worse skin.)
    (Because that’s how I imagine you see us in your mind’s eye, judging by how you disrespect us with your dishonesty.)
    I don’t see anyone this way, I mean no disrespect and I can’t say as I’m dishonest because I believe what I write. I might be wrong, but dishonest? Nope.
    I don’t, by the way, keep books in my “school sandwich bag”. I don’t even have a school sandwich bag. Also, nothing was deliberately obscure, no names were dropped to impress anyone. In fact, my original book reference was just to go find some basic texts on Congress and how it functions so that the institutional complexities become clear enough that the AIPAC is everything argument might ease up. I mentioned a few other major political texts because I honestly think that they help inform how power functions in government. Old texts are alive with current issues. And yes, the fact that Kant figured out a couple hundred years ago that borrowing money to fund wars, keeping standing armies, reserving issues to fight about during peace treaty negotiations — that he figured out that this kind of policy is bad for peace I personally find to be interesting, especially since we violate his suggestions routinely.
    Instead of attacking those of us in the conversation and in troll-like behavior interrupting a conversation, you could have joined with a book suggestion of your own, or ignored us just as POA implored.
    You took offense for whatever reason. We insulted you? We committed a crime? We were pretentious by changing the topic to something other than calling people “jackasses”? Whateveh.
    And if you wouldn’t mind explaining what you mean by
    It was this paragraph, which, naturally, contains some minor aspects of both sins, you being you
    I would appreciate it. I’m not sure how I’m being illogical and Talmudic simultaneously, but I’m willing to be informed and corrected if you have an argument that would do so. Or you could just keep calling me a propagandist troll snob who sees everyone as ugly and socially inept. But again, whateveh.
    And as for “Ripper”, what exactly did you rip?

    Reply

  10. arthurdecco says:

    WigWag said: “It’s funny Mr. Decco, POA ridiculed Questions reference to books above and now you’re doing the same thing. You should give literature a try, Mr. Decco. The redemptive power of great literature is amazing. Who knows, maybe even you’re not beyond redemption.”
    Listen to the rhythm, to the heart-beat of what I write, WigWag. I sing with my own voice.
    I listen to and subliminally record the beats of living because I listen carefully. I love the English language – the language we all think and write in here. I read voraciously. I read widely. I read irresponsibly and indiscriminately. I never stop reading. And yet I never forget what it is that I’m reading…
    It is you that appears to have trouble recognizing the distinction between artifice, (which you seem to consider art), and reality.
    (I wish your husband touched you more…with the honesty and tenderness I receive from my partner…perhaps then the rest of us wouldn’t suffer so from your…your dishonesty.)
    Literature, as promoted by the weird little group that is oozing all over the Washington Note just now, appears to be a prop to you and the rest of your clones – a weapon to use against your imagined foes – (and let’s not forget it’s influence as a fashion accessory!)
    (btw, The thought of you reading a brilliant book and then deconstructing it to better reflect your prejudices fills me with horror, WigWag.)
    So please stop pontificating about and promoting the brilliant books that have affected you – you’re only diminishing them with your support.
    Paul, Shut up. You’re like a foghorn on a sunny day.

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    “Everyone needs a good editor…I wish I had one…(wink)”
    Indeed! Perhaps among the best statements on the whole
    thread, arthurdecco.
    On blogs we usually don`t have editors. Everybody can become
    writers on the world wide web, which principally is a good thing.
    The bad news: we`re forced to become our own editors.
    The fact is that most of us are lousy editors of our own texts –
    even the best writers USUALLY have blind spots here, and this I
    know from experience at publishing houses. You would be
    surprised if you saw how many excellent texts from famous
    writers that actually contained a lot of weak spots, whole
    chapters, even bigger parts that had to be removed. I`m not
    very familiar with Canadian literature, but one of the most
    famous American examples is Thomas Wolfe, who wrote some
    very intense and generous novels between the two world wars –
    generous in every sense of that word.
    When Thomas Wolfe arrived at his publishing house with a new
    “book”, it came in the shape of a truck load of paper. He had
    done his job: writing plus/minus 30 000 pages filled with
    words. Now it was his editor`s job to make novels out of that
    truck load. So who actually made those great novels – Wolfe or
    his editor?
    Frequently I experienced that quite famous Norwegian writers
    delivered a manuscript to a publishing house, and I was asked
    to read it and make a judgement. One week later i returned, and
    said to the publisher that in my view, two and a half chapter
    was good here. The rest was – well… average, weak, maybe bad
    – or did not connect to the rest.
    Two and a half chapter?
    “Excellent!” the publisher said. Then we have some material we
    can work with, something the writer can build on and develop
    further.
    When I write books, I have editors. And I `ve been very happy
    with those I`ve got so far (some editors are lousy, or don`t
    connect to what you`re trying to do).
    My last one had as his motto that “The devil is in the details”
    (is that how you express it in English as well?). And while you
    may argue, if you`ve read the result, that it was lousy anyway,
    you have no idea how much my texts were improved by the
    editor discovering just small details: a poorly chosen verb, to
    many adjectives in one sentence…whatever…Details.
    On the internet, on most blogs, we don`t have that kind of
    luxury. And be sure: all of us are blind for some weak spots,
    some formulations or sentences we regret that we`ve written
    for this or that reason, perhaps even the whole damned
    comment. And usually the software is made so that we are not
    allowed to edit it.
    Most texts improve considerably if we use the technique of
    omitting. Deleting words, sentences, paragraphs (occasionally
    perhaps moving the first part toward the end, or to the middle)
    – but basically: deleting the crap. Asking ourselves: what are
    you really trying to say here? (or even before that: is it really
    necessary to say this?) Then to remove the stuff that makes that
    message unclear, vague, or complicates it in unnecessary ways.
    Reformulate sentences, chose words that are more precise, and
    try to imagine how the reader interprets it.
    The reader does usually not know you, nor your motives or
    inner thoughts. The reader often is unfamiliar with everything
    else you`ve written. And you don`t know the reader. She? He?
    Old? Young? Background? – Nada.
    But the biggest problem, I think, boils down to one word:
    SPEED. Blogs are dialogues, and more often than not, it seems
    more important for us to get our message out rapidly, then to
    take the necessary time to edit our own texts. If we had taken,
    say ten minutes more in average to read through our own texts,
    perhaps also first write them in a text editing program, and
    then pasting the comment into the blog, i believe that it would
    make a huge difference. Even, or especially the deleted parts of
    our texts may often change the course of the whole thread.
    That`s how I see it.
    The other method to become good writers, improve our editing
    skills, becoming our own critics, which simply means: becoming
    better READERS (and I do not intend to be polemical or ironical
    here) is a simple one, that I strongly believe in as a life long
    method: reading good texts. Reading the best writers. We do
    have better access to them than ever before. In libraries. Book
    shops, Free or paid on the net.
    I`ll stop my rant here (it`s one of my pet subjects). And it
    makes me happy to know that when Steve gets his next phone
    or e-mail message, confirming that Senator Hagel will support
    Obama, or when he writes a new post about another important,
    or not so important issue, this very long thread will disappear
    into the archives.

    Reply

  12. arthurdecco says:

    I’ve read more of the posts here since I contributed last. You really do take yourselves seriously, don’t you?
    I’m always thinking to myself, “Geez, I wish I could have said that differently”, after posting an opinion on a blog thread.
    This time I have.
    I’ve re-written my earlier post after re-reading it before I saved it to my ‘D’ drive.
    I suppose it’s all of this discussion of artsy/fartsy, transforming literature and, tangentially, profundity, from the self-described Sensitive Souls in the room. It made me want to do better than simply toss off another Ripper to ‘questions’ like I tried to do the first time through…
    Sadly, I’ve had to settle for a slightly more streamlined Ripper – it appears I don’t have the parts to write like Kant, even if I wanted to… (wink).
    Here Goes:
    Now you kute kidz have turned this political blog into your Pet Book Review? Recommendations yanked from your school sandwich bag, stuffed with deliberately obscure tomes but mostly with predictable lists of the kind of books people only pretend to read while they’re getting politely drunk on someone else’s booze, and of course (!), demanding literatoore you just ahh door reading at the beeeeach? My gawd, I’m so oh oooh impressed with your literary acumen and you’re so, oh, obvious sensitivity to…………..to……….to what, exactly?…? ?
    (give me a minute – I’m chortling…(and I think I might have something in my eye – it’s teary – could I be sad? Naw… that’s unbridled laughter doing that to me……….Whew!…!!)
    Okay…okay….I’m back.
    Kidz, what a magnificent, monumental, even gigantical display of the hubris and the self-love Narcissists show to the rest of us during their every waking moment! Though it doesn’t it surprise me, coming as it does, from you few.
    This is the Washington Note, not the Miami Beach Book Club For Gurlz Of A Certain Age, fer crissakes, (Mr. Norheim’s involvement in this masturbatory celebration notwithstanding.)
    psst, ‘questions’…it wasn’t your unbridled gushing, or your over the top, uncritical support for Sweetness’ peculiar opinions, unimaginative rhetoric and deliberate lies that moved you into the ‘Troll’ column for me. It wasn’t even your at turns Herculean refutation of logic combined with your dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin, Talmudic justifications for appallingly bad behavior.
    It was this paragraph, which, naturally, contains some minor aspects of both sins, you being you:
    “”This new fallacy captures the idea that just because AIPAC wants it and we do it doesn’t mean that AIPAC CAUSED it. AIPAC may have wanted the Iraq war, but so did vast quantities of other people, including some 90% of US citizens and huge majorities of both houses of Congress and the president and the “Coalition of the Willing”. AIPAC may want some arms deal or other, may get some arms deal or other, but I’ll bet the arms manufacturer wanted it too, and so did others. AIPAC may get a lot of what it wants, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN that AIPAC determines the policy. “In accord with” doesn’t mean “because of”. (Straight from Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, by the way.)”
    Gee! Wow! Gosh! Like I’m like totally im Pressed! Especially with the Kant Slant! Tell me, did you go to school to learn how to do that?
    (asked wide-eyed from behind coke bottle glasses framed by a bad haircut, chapped lips, chipped teeth and even worse skin.)
    (Because that’s how I imagine you see us in your mind’s eye, judging by how you disrespect us with your dishonesty.)
    …How’d I do with the rewrite, ‘questions’? Did you better get the picture I was painting for you?
    Everyone needs a good editor…I wish I had one…(wink)
    I wish we all had one…

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, Calvino is actually one of my favorites – that`s why I
    chose his books in Italian.
    Mann I`ve read mostly in Norwegian translations. I don`t know
    about the English translations of Thomas Mann (except one of
    “Death in Venedig”, which I found in a bookstore in Nairobi
    some years ago, which seemed good.) In general, I think
    translators 50 years ago were more “free” in their
    interpretations when they translated than now, they omitted
    passages they thought were boring or irrelevant etc. In Norway
    we have got new translations of the collected works of Tolstoy
    and Dostojevskij, as well as Kafka, because of that. I guess the
    same applies for English (with a lot of exceptions, of course). I
    once read an article in the New Yorker about an old American
    lady who had spent her life translating everything of
    Dostojevskij and, I think, also Tolstoy many years ago (forgotten
    her name) to English, according to those old and more lazy
    principles. I would guess that, as a rule of thumb: the newer, the
    better.

    Reply

  14. WigWag says:

    Wow, Paul, I envy your background and the opportunity that you have had to live in so many different places. I always wanted to visit Ethiopia but the closest I have come is eating in Ethiopian restaurants. I have read about the wonderful archeological sites in Gondar and Auxum? Have you been to either of these places? They are supposed to be spectacular. I did know that Haile Selassie and his predecessors claimed to be descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. And I think I have read that the architecture of churches in Ethiopia is different than in the West because they are circular rather than rectangular. Do I have this right?
    Yes, I think your right, Dr. Faustus is probably better off left to the dead of winter. I have picked it up but never gotten very far. I asked you about what languages you read because I was wondering whether you read Mann in the original German or in English or Norwegian. I’ve always wondered how much is lost in the translation from German into English.
    As for Calvino, if you haven’t actually read him, I am sure you will enjoy him. His background is not totally dissimilar to yours. He was actually born in Cuba, but spent most of his younger years living in Italy after his parents took him there. Eventually he married an Italian woman and stayed permanently. Not only is he an extraordinary author (Barron in the Trees, Cosmicomics and The Nonexistant Knight are also fun)but he actually wrote several screenplays and libretti for operas as well. Of course, he died tragically young.
    I also find it refreshing to take a break from politics for a while. I can’t believe that Steve minds, and I actually think it’s therapeutic.

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks – and cheers, question!

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    PaulNorheim,
    What a beautiful essay!
    I just want to thank you for this before this whole thread disappears into the archives — it’ll happen tomorrow I’d guess.
    The basic humanity here is something! And what a life to reflect on!

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    I would say that these literary and philosophical digressions are
    wonderful and refreshing in the middle of the heat, and I hope
    our host agrees.
    WigWag, your ad hoc quote of the Dickinson poem was really to
    the point. I`ll admit that my list contains some texts that may
    not be exactly “summer reading”, but I`m sure we would be
    surprised by what some people (also on this thread) have
    carried in their bags on the way to the beach.
    But yeah, you`re right: Conrads prose IS dense: I think I`ve
    read somewhere that he spent much time searching for rare and
    unusual English words, exactly because it was his second
    language. The same may be the case with Nabakov and Brodsky
    (both Russians), but not with Cioran (Rumanian), who insisted
    on writing a more “classical” French, and succeeded in that.
    If I read or speak other languages than Norwegian and English? I
    may have mentioned somewhere before that I grew up in
    Ethiopia. In our first period there, during the 60`s, I lived with
    my parents, who were teachers in a rather mixed linguistical
    environment. According to my parents, I spoke fluently
    Norwegian, English and Amharic (the main language in Ethiopia)
    as a child, and they also once saw me translate what some
    German girls said to some Ethiopian kids. I was no Wunderkind
    or anything like that – we all grew up with several languages,
    and did not distinguish clearly between them or question that
    fact. (I don`t know – but perhaps Steve Clemons has similar
    experiences from growing up in Asia?) Here in Bergen, in the
    western part of Norway, I often miss that kind of environment. I
    find it boring to only meet Norwegians and be forced to speak
    Norwegian all the time; and this is one of the reasons why I
    really enjoyed staying two weeks in New York, two summers
    ago.
    When we returned to Norway after our first period in Africa (I
    was six), I forgot my English, Amharic and German after just a
    couple of months. Three wonderful languages, one of them
    (Amharic) very difficult; learned in the seemingly effortless way
    kids learn language (no grammar studies..) – and suddenly: all
    gone! We went back for four years in the 70`s, but then I
    attended a Norwegian boarding school in Addis Ababa, and I
    never learned to speak Amharic fluently again.
    Now I read, and once in a while also translate German texts
    (mainly essays: Gottfried Benn, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Jünger),
    that get published in literary magazines or books. I can read an
    interview or a political article in French, but find it hard to read
    French novels (almost never poetry), and I never write in French.
    The same goes, but to a lesser degree, for Spanish and Italian. I
    seldom get the possibility to speak any of these languages – not
    even English. I would love to learn one of those latin languages
    properly – mainly because of the literature. (By the way, WigWag,
    on a trip to Perugia in Italy some years ago, I bought several
    books of Calvino in Italian, among them “Invisible Cities”,
    because I`ve always dreamt of learning that beautiful language
    before I die, and my learning method is to read favorite authors
    or stuff that interests me – sometimes with a Norwegian
    translation besides the original text.)
    When you`re a kid, you usually don`t look at your environment
    or circumstances as something strange or exotic: This is your
    world.
    As a grown up, I´ve reflected much upon the years in Africa.
    My parents were missionaries, and during the revolution in the
    mid 70`s, my father was the director of a College educating
    teachers, called The Ethiopian Evangelical College (financed and
    built by the Lutheran World Confederation).
    Often in history, missionaries came before the colonialists,
    preparing the ground, so to speak. But Ethiopia was never
    colonized, it remained independent (except for the Italian
    occupation from 1936-41). As a matter of fact, Ethiopia was an
    Empire and a colonizing power itself, and managed to grab their
    territorial part of Africa, among the rest of the (European)
    powers during the 19`th century. Ethiopia had as well been a
    Christian state since the 5`th century, 600 years before
    Christianity reached Norway, and 16 centuries before Swedish,
    Norwegian, Indian, German and American missionaries came to
    the country.
    Emperor Haile Selassie allowed them to enter the country, but
    denied them access to the northern parts of Ethiopia, where the
    Orthodox Church was well established. They had to work in the
    south, and to build a hospital and a school everywhere they
    established a missionary station. For Haile Selassie, the
    missionaries were useful for two reasons: they served his
    ambitions to modernize the country, and they may become
    helpful in stopping the conversions to Islam in the southern and
    western parts of the country, which he wanted to control for
    religious, but also for political reasons. Jerusalem was an
    important part of the Ethiopian Christian narrative, and Haile
    Selassie claimed to be a direct descendant of King Solomo.
    This way, the work of the foreign missionaries in Ethiopia was a
    bit unusual: not an instrument for later European colonization,
    but an instrument for the African Emperor`s own political
    projects. But it was also a religious project, for Haile Selassie,
    but especially for the Evangelical missionaries, among them the
    Norwegians, who moved to Ethiopia after they were thrown out
    of China by Mao in 1949.
    Thus I grew up in an environment that was a product of several
    crossing plans and projects; some small, some grand, some
    political and ideological, some religious. And I had of course no
    idea of that when I was a kid. I may also add my mothers more
    romantic and adventurous tendencies as a crucial factor here
    (she was the active one in convincing my father that it was
    God`s plan to go to Ethiopia. She did not only read the Bible,
    but also loved travelogues and descriptions of adventurous
    expeditions to distant and exotic parts of the world. Sometimes
    I`ve asked myself whether she read the Bible and those books a
    bit like Don Quijote read adventurous and romantic fiction – and
    later tried to act as if the world itself was as wonderful and
    adventurous and meaningful as the books she read. I think my
    mother would never have accepted a prosaic life as a teacher in
    a small town in Norway. And who knows, if God had not told
    her to go to Africa, she may have become a Madame Bovary,
    and taken a lover?
    Why am I writing all this stuff about my background? Because I
    feel tired of the polemics in this thread? Because I am a
    narcissist? Perhaps. But if you want, you may also read parts of
    it as a political commentary or analogy to the subjects above.
    I would guess that I estimate the influence of AIPAC, the
    neocons, hawks in Israeli politics, not to mention the myths
    about Israel most of us learned at school as kids – as much
    bigger than WigWag or “question” do. But it`s true that the
    issues are complex. This is one of the reasons why I love
    Borges. As you may know, he regarded religion, as well as
    philosophical speculations, as belonging to the genre of
    fantastical or magical literature. A person belonging to a
    particular faith may strongly disagree. But if you look at the
    complex issue called “Middle East politics”, one of the main
    issues discussed by our host as well as ourselves here, you see
    how fictions, strong narratives, old myths, demonization, faith,
    rumors, fear, hate and hope become parts of Realpolitik,
    become realities, difficult to distinguish from other hard facts:
    oil, land, elections, money, wars, soldiers, civilian victims,
    occupations, humiliation.
    WigWag: Felix Krull is a very funny book about a wonderful
    charlatan. Doctor Faustus is great, but it`s perhaps literature for
    cold and dark winter months…
    I don`t have any books present where I`m writing this.
    Catullus, or Catul, was a Roman writer, I`ve read a translation
    to Norwegian done by two of my best friends. He may be more
    POA`s than WigWag`s cup of tea: short poems, very direct,
    often aggressive, with a lot of vulgarisms and invectives. His
    poems have survived for 2000 years; a friend of mine read them
    in a Norwegian bar once for people who never read litterature,
    and they loved it. Most translations are very polished, and make
    Catullus`raw or rude prose almost indistinguishable from Steve
    Clemons` more sober and polite prose. If you find a modern,
    uncencured translation, he may occasionally sound a bit like
    PissedOffAmerican in his best moments.
    Basho: japanese classical haiku poet, famous for his
    travelogues, a mixture of prose and poetry. Here, of course,
    translations are crucial. I don`t know the English ones; I`ve only
    read Scandinavian translations.
    Gottfried Benn, German expressionist – poet and essayist,
    supported Hitler for a while, but realized the mistake as early as
    in 1934. Not allowed to publish in Germany during the Third
    Reich; and not during the allied occupation either – until 1949, i
    think. There is a early great exchange of letters between him
    and the much younger Klaus Mann, Th. Manns radical son, who
    warned Benn about his political choices. Benn later admitted
    that Klaus Mann was right.
    Transtr̦mer Рwonderful, clear, but enigmatic Swedish poems,
    translated to English, at least in anthologies, but sorry again, I
    don`t know the titles – I`ve read him in Swedish and Norwegian
    (those languages, as well as Danish, may be considered as
    different dialects of the same language.)
    This post became too long. But I must confess that it was a
    pleasure to write in a non-polemical style again.

    Reply

  18. questions says:

    The lord works in mysterious ways, and I’m an atheist, actually. Here I was just talking about books, especially one which seemed utterly to the point Carroll raised about humiliation. Not an obscure title, but one that won what I think is Britain’s highest lit prize, one by a pretty well-established author whose mother is a pretty well-established author. Seems like good credentials for the thread….
    Little did I know that I was being used by a higher purpose — the destruction of the comment section of one of my favorite blogs. Oh how honest deeds can be so perverted by nefarious intent. Or something like that!
    Destruction by book. There outta be a law!

    Reply

  19. questions says:

    Well, I’m a troll at last! And a propagandist! and I guess a bullshit artist, or if not artist, at least practitioner of the form! Wow!
    There’s a Latin phrase for this as, by the way — ad hominem argument (or maybe it’s argumentum ad hominem) — it means “argument to the man”. Basically, when you don’t know what else to say, insult the other person. It comes up in Plato and in Aristotle’s Rhetoric. An old old tactic. But a really effective one because now I’m sure you’ve convinced everyone, including me even, that I’m not honest in my thinking!
    ……
    In fact I don’t pretend to read while getting drunk. But whatever. Nothing here is obscure, a couple of them have been turned into popular movies, Heart of Darkness is what Apocolypse Now is based on, all are likely in print and widely available at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and the like. Lots of people read these books, talk about them and learn from them and criticize them. Books are a part of my life, not for narcissitic showing off. Sorry if a list of favorite books causes you so much pain, but if the laughter was good, happy to provide it.
    The point of turning the thread partly over to a Ladies’ Auxiliary Book Club was to ease some of the intensity. Not such a terrible thing in my opinion.
    And I don’t really see your point about the paragraph you quote. It just seems like common sense to me that AIPAC doesn’t cause everything to happen even if some of what happens is what AIPAC wants. It’s not propaganda, it’s freshman logic.
    If you want rain, and you do a rain dance, and it rains, did you CAUSE the rain? Did you even help it along? Or were the two events merely coincidental? Hmmm. It’s a tough one.
    If you wish upon a lucky star and your wish comes true, did you make it happen?
    If you turn on a light, did you cause the light to come on? Well, in part you did, but you also needed a working bulb, electrical service, wiring, and so on.
    If you ask your friend for a favor, and your friend does the favor, your asking helped, but so did the friend’s willingness and ability. Here the causation, again, is mixed.
    If you hit a wall in frustration and it makes a sound, you caused the sound. Of course, you needed a wall and the bodily conditions that allow movement….
    Causation is complex and all I’ve ever maintained on this thread is that a lot more goes into ME policy than AIPAC’s fervent wishes and requests and threats. Doesn’t seem so complicated to me. But I’m an idiot and now a troll too. Whateveh.
    Carroll (so sorry to bring this up) has a post on the train thread straight from the Nation magazine about oil and the ME. Oil, mind you, and not AIPAC. Because AIPAC isn’t the only thing there is. It’s A thing. Not THE thing. Such a modest point and so many spilled electrons. Oh my.
    I think I’ll go read a good book!!
    *This just deserves repeating because of its brilliance!*
    QUOTATION ALERT:
    My gawd, I’m so oh oooh impressed with your literary acumen and you’re so, oh, obvious sensitivity to…………..to what, exactly?…? A Google-styled reading list?
    (give me a minute – I’m chortling…(and I think I might have something in my eye – it’s teary – could I be sad? naw… that’s unbridled laughter doing that to me……….Whew!…! Thank gawd!)
    …..
    Who raised you pompous spawn?
    ……
    Also, the “Kant slant” is proper sourcing of a close paraphrase. I use his language, I source it. No big or unusual or narcissistic deal.
    I really need a book.

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    POAs Soliloquy
    Please Arthur, Ignore Man! I have a plan. I’m your my bud, Arthur.
    I need your help. You’re my one ally. Norheim’s been captured. God only knows what they’re doing to him. Stick with me and we can save the comments section. I know what I’m doing, I’ve been through this before.
    The idea, the driving force, is to destroy the comment section of this blog. Don’t help them do it. My God, they’ve sunk so low that they’re actually talking about books. If they’re capable of that, they’re capable of almost anything.
    Please. I need you Arthur!

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Arthur, the jackass suckered Norheim into this bullshit, don’t allow yourself the same mistake.
    Ignore, man.
    Please.
    The idea, the driving force, is to destroy the comment section of this blog. Don’t help them do it.

    Reply

  22. WigWag says:

    Yes, yes Mr. Decco, we already know that when it comes to reading if it’s not Mein Kampf, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion or Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique series, you’re not interested. Of course you think no one actually reads the books mentioned by Questions, Paul Norheim or me. You’re a fellow traveler of the book burners not the book readers.
    Who couldn’t easily imagine you in a black shirt standing by a bon fire, happily tossing book after book into the flames. How rewarding that would be for you!
    Here’s what you and POA are just too dumb and narcissistic to understand. You don’t get to decide what subjects are appropriate at the Washington Note, you don’t get to decide who can comment and you are not the arbiters of who is a troll and who isn’t. Your just one guy or maybe two guys with an opinion and not a very informed one at that.
    It’s funny Mr. Decco, POA ridiculed Questions reference to books above and now you’re doing the same thing. You should give literature a try, Mr. Decco. The redemptive power of great literature is amazing. Who knows, maybe even you’re not beyond redemption.
    Of all the books mentioned above, I suggest you think about the title of Conrad’s book “Heart of Darkness.” While you’re thinking about it, look in the mirror and decide if you like what you see.

    Reply

  23. arthurdecco says:

    Now you kute kidz have turned this political blog into your pet book review site? Recommendations yanked from your school sandwich bag of deliberately obscure tomes but mostly predictable lists of the kind of books people only pretend to read while they’re getting politely drunk on some one else’s booze, and of course(!), demanding literatoore you just ahh door reading at the beeeeach? My gawd, I’m so oh oooh impressed with your literary acumen and you’re so, oh, obvious sensitivity to…………..to what, exactly?…? A Google-styled reading list?
    (give me a minute – I’m chortling…(and I think I might have something in my eye – it’s teary – could I be sad? naw… that’s unbridled laughter doing that to me……….Whew!…! Thank gawd!)
    Okay…I’m back.
    Kidz, what a magnificent, monumental, even gigantical (if preposterous) display of the hubris and self-love narcissists show to the rest of us during every waking moment of their living! Why doesn’t it surprise me, coming as it does, from you few?
    Who raised you pompous spawn?
    This is the Washington Note, not the Miami Beach Ladies’ Auxiliary Book Club.
    …yawn…
    psst, questions…it wasn’t your unbridled, gushing, over the top, uncritical support for Sweetness’ peculiar opinions, unimaginative rhetoric and deliberate lies that moved you into the troll column for me. And it wasn’t your at turns Herculean refutation of logic combined with your dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin, Talmudic justifications for bad behavior either. It was this paragraph, which, naturally, contains some aspects of both:
    “”This new fallacy captures the idea that just because AIPAC wants it and we do it doesn’t mean that AIPAC CAUSED it. AIPAC may have wanted the Iraq war, but so did vast quantities of other people, including some 90% of US citizens and huge majorities of both houses of Congress and the president and the “Coalition of the Willing”. AIPAC may want some arms deal or other, may get some arms deal or other, but I’ll bet the arms manufacturer wanted it too, and so did others. AIPAC may get a lot of what it wants, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN that AIPAC determines the policy. “In accord with” doesn’t mean “because of”. (Straight from Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, by the way.)”
    Wow! Like I’m like totally im Pressed! Especially with the Kant slant! Tell me, did you go to school to learn how to do that or does dishonestly disseminating propaganda and unadulterated bullshit just come naturally to you?

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    Funny you should mention “The Stone Angel” because it just opened today. It stars Ellen Burstyn and Ellen Page (the preternaturally talented young actress who starred in Juno and who is reputed to be extraordinary in the Tracey Fragments which opens next week). The movie is directed by Kari Skogland who also adapted the screenplay from the book by Margaret Laurence. If you are interested, I think there is a review of the movie in today’s New York Times.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    Wow! You all have my bookcases in your homes too!
    Basho wrote haiku and is a favorite (I went through a thing…) A lot of ancient Chinese philosophy is amazing! Mencius, Chuang Tzu, Mozi are all really fun to read and re-read. The Tao Te Ching by perhaps Lao Tzu is wonderful –avoid new agey translations! Taoism is a really interesting political philosophy with a lot of traps but a lot to offer anyway. If you look up the translator Burton Watson on the Columbia University Press website, you’ll find all kinds of stuff. He’s translated tons of Chinese poetry into English as well.
    I read just about every Indian novel that comes out in the states. For whatever reason, I have a habit of gravitating to post colonial lit that highlights the brutality of colonialism. I can’t stand violence in movies and my son has been assigned the task of telling me when to close my eyes or even to tell me not to go see a movie(role reversals anyone?!), but with novels I just go to town on this stuff. The one set in the Philippines may have been the hardest emotionally to get through — can’t remember the name. The tetralogy by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “The Buru Quartet” set in Indonesia is another favorite. That was both amazing and heart rending. Totally worth the stress carried over 4 novels. He won a Nobel prize I think. Died in the past few years.
    There’s a new movie out called “The Stone Angel” — the tetralogy by Margaret Laurence that forms the basis for this movie kept me pinned to a chair for days and days! Canadian, sprawling, incredible!!!!

    Reply

  26. WigWag says:

    Actually, Paul Norheim, you made me think of one Emily Dickenson poem I do like (printed below). It actually reminds me of some of the discussion/comments at the Washington Note.
    A Man may make a Remark
    A Man may make a Remark —
    In itself — a quiet thing
    That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
    In dormant nature — lain —
    Let us deport — with skill —
    Let us discourse — with care —
    Powder exists in Charcoal —
    Before it exists in Fire.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    Paul, your list is quite erudite although I have to confess that it might be a little heavy for beach reading. I have read some of the authors you mentioned. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is one of my favorite books and I also read Lord Jim. As I am sure you know, Conrad was Polish but wrote in English. The language is quite dense and if you can get through it in English I’m really impressed! For a non native English speaker to read Conrad is more than most native speakers can achieve.
    I really like Thomas Mann and have read three of his books: Buddenbrooks, which I thought was a snore, The Magic Mountain, which was okay, Felix Krull Confidence Man, which was hysterically funny (and, of course, his novella Death in Venice.) If you haven’t read Mann’s Felix Krull, I can’t recommend it strongly enough. Unlike most of Mann it is really funny. You won’t stop laughing from the time you pick it up until the time you put it down. Out of curiosity, Paul, are you fluent in lanugages other than Norwegian and English? How many languages can you read in?
    From your list, I have read most of Borges’ short stories (I am a magic realism fan) and I have read some but not all of Montaigne’s Essays. Your recommendation is a good one. I think tonight I’ll fish it out, dust it off and look at it again.
    As for Catullus, Basho, Gottfried Benn and René Char, I haven’t read anything. Can you recommend some titles? As for Emily Dickenson, I think everyone in the United States loves her except for me. I’m not sure why, there’s just something about her that I don’t like. I am embarrassed to say I haven’t heard of the poet Thomas Tranströmer. Any information about him will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    Kiran Desai, The Inheritence of Loss. Okay, I’ll try that. From your description it sounds a little bit like “Brick Lane” Monica Ali’s first book (which has been made into a movie and is the indy theaters now). Of course, Ali’s book is about a Bengali family living in London and the alienation that they experience being a minority family living in a strange city. If you haven’t read it, think VS Naipaul if he was a woman.
    The book was well received when it came out. Ali won Granta’s prize for the best young British novelist and “Brick Lane” was short listed for the Man Booker prize in 2003. She also wrote Alentejo Blue which was published in 2006. It was solid but not great.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, I would like to add a couple of novels of Conrad, Gogol,
    Thomas Mann and Virginia Wolf to this list, as well as a few short
    stories of Kafka and Borges – perhaps also some Catullus, Basho,
    Emily Dickens, Gottfried Benn, René Char, and Thomas
    Tranströmer in the poetry section.
    And if you prefer non-fiction, perhaps some essays of
    Montaigne?

    Reply

  30. questions says:

    BOOK CHAT!!
    Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss — just finished it today. A lovely sustained reading of the many many reactions to humiliation (it’s on topic even!) It’s set against Indian separatist movements, British colonialism in India, love and identity and coming of age, being old and having regrets and burying the regrets, wealth and poverty, theft of property, illegal immigration, coming home, losing everything and having nothing. Each of these issues creates its own kind of humiliation, each character experiences something humiliating. And funny thing is, they don’t all turn to violence and of those who do, some even express regret. And funnier even, the characters are not zionists!!!
    Yes, it’s fiction, but so is Podhoretz’s memoir, as all memoirs must be.
    Man Booker prize, two generations of novelists in the family. (Her mother is Anita Desai.) She also wrote Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard which I read a few years ago.

    Reply

  31. questions says:

    It’s fine if you think I’m an idiot! It’s fine if you think I have “some agenda of [my] own”.
    I will try this again…. The moment of humiliation is a moment of emasculation and the use of aggression to compensate is a moment of re-masculation. Does it move an entire segment of foreign policy? I kind of doubt it. The Christian evangelicals waiting to shoot up to heaven once the promised land is properly populated certainly don’t have this experience. And beefy guys who support the policy don’t have this experience and oil men don’t have this experience and a lot of national security people don’t have this experience. Norman Podhoretz claims to have this experience and he’s not sufficient to drive policy.
    On Chafee’s comment, he does not go on to claim that every vote he took on Israeli issues was driven by AIPAC and the quotation does not prove that AIPAC was the only force he felt. The quotation is limited in its testimony to, Yes, I needed to think about their position because they could make my re-election harder.
    This passage does not at all shoot down my central belief that AIPAC does not single-handedly drive American foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel and the middle east. AIPAC is one pressure group. Maybe it’s even a really effective pressure group. But without a whole bunch of desires, pressures, and odd bedfellows, AIPAC wouldn’t be able to do much.
    Look, already, you need the Jewish zionists and the Christian zionists together. You need to toss in the oil people, the national security people, the democratization people, the cold war people, the islamophobes, the people who represent largely Jewish districts where there’s positive pressure from the constituency, the representatives with largely evangelical constituencies who are into the all-rise-to-heaven thing (I don’t have enough detail in my brain on this one to characterize it more fairly). And likely there are other groups as well who push for the current policy. (Oil company lobbies? Arms dealers, generic drug manufacturers, a bunch of hi tech companies are Israeli….)
    SUDDENLY, you have a LOT of people supporting the current policy, and thus you have the current policy. It’s not somewhere near 2% and 20% alone. (And that’s somewhere near 22% of the population — a fifth of the total population doesn’t have a right to push for what it wants? What kind of democracy is this?? But are zionist Jewish people really near 2% of the US population??) Most of the Jewish people I know have views similar to mine (funny, that) and would very much like to see Palestinian self-determination and a decent Palestinian economy, and an end to check points, bulldozing, border guards, the wall, the destruction of olive orchards, the return of land, good roads available to all….. As a matter of fact, I know a lot of people who would like this very same thing. It’ll happen when the opposite is not structurally determined.
    My whole point over and over and over again is that policy comes from moments of coalition, from a wide range of pressures on legislators, from resource issues (oil) and older school concerns (cold warriors) and from people who make money (arms dealers)…..
    It’s not rocket science to see that it takes more than one pressure group. Chafee acting alone could do nothing at all. Chafee and 25 other senators acting together could do nothing. It takes hundreds and hundreds of people to make the policy world turn around. They are not all zionist Jewish people and evangelical Christians. The payoff for military bases in the mideast, for having a tight alliance with Israel, for fighting a whole lot of wars is HUGE. Maybe you don’t really realize what a benefit war is for huge swaths of the country? Maybe you don’t see that the current policy really does serve one version of US interests? Maybe you’ll swear off oil? I am personally not fond of war and I personally am disgusted with a wide variety of things my country has done. We’ve sent troops everywhere on the globe, we’ve had the CIA do unspeakable things…. But we do this because there’s enough of a coalition of people to let it happen. There’s a big payoff to a lot of people for military action everywhere.
    Keep thinking I’m an idiot or worse. I have no problem with being judged this way. I feel that I have a reasonable argument that is well-structured, open to evidence, changeable should evidence tell me otherwise. I’m not a dogmatist and were I to hear testimony from hundreds of Congress members that DESPITE all of the kicking, screaming and protesting from MAJORITIES of their constituents, the media, and a host of pressure groups, they felt they had no choice but to buckle under and do AIPAC’s bidding, and that this pressure stayed constant over years and issues such that ALL of US policy was shaped by AIPAC, I’d have to change my view and say that AIPAC has become G-d. I doubt that there is any chance of this, but if it happens, as I said, I’m not a dogmatist.
    Sorry to have misassumed your gender, and sorry you didn’t get the “gay” references — emasculating a guy means making him female in a sense, (“e” means out of or removal of, and so “to emasculate” is to remove the maleness, and once you remove the maleness, you have femaleness (see Aristotle and many many texts in feminist philosophy for this) and gays are often considered feminine males, and if you note the number of times I used parentheses and question marks around “gay” you might have picked up the attempt at something like humor/reductio ad absurdem style. Sorry if it wasn’t clear enough. Just my idiocy shining through…. Doesn’t matter a thing about my sexual preference, but I’ve posted in the past bits and pieces of my life, so it’s there for the research…. It really was a joke! And a response to the overly simplistic poorly thought out psychoanalyzing of what humiliation does to people. It frequently silences people and makes them disappear (see Jean-Francois Lyotard’s The Differend). It’s not merely a trigger for outward aggression. Again, everything is so much more complex than you make space for, and yet you want these simple stories that mask the complexity. It would be easier if all the short Jewish guys who ever got beaten up became violent zionists. And it would be easier if the whole policy-making apparatus of the US just kowtowed to that short but suddenly really potent crowd…. A cosmic oy. It isn’t easy, it isn’t simple. Human behavior, human desire, human psychology are all complex. Just don’t listen to Podhoretz, you’ll be better off in your understanding of the world!
    QUOTATION ALERT:
    have said I think his take on the Jewish neo’s and the other neo’s for that matter is “probable and possible”. There are trillions of confirmations on this kind of result in certain people who have feelings of humiliation
    Couple of things on this passage, by the way: “probable” is not the same as “possible” — really, not the same. And “trillions” is a very large number.

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions Jul 11, 11:35AM
    I confuse I can’t make sense of your and others arguments either because you go off in all directions instead of sticking to the original subject. You inject what you want to inject into Lobe and any others who write on this subject.
    I have said I think his take on the Jewish neo’s and the other neo’s for that matter is “probable and possible”. There are trillions of confirmations on this kind of result in certain people who have feelings of humiliation.
    And I still don’t see how you got anything about gays in Lobes article. Are you gay yourself and feel mistreated because of the attitude of some people toward gays? If you have been here any length of time you should have noticed that 99.9% of the people who comment here support gay’s and their civil rights. How do you know Lobe isn’t gay? Would what he said make any difference if he was?
    Lobe was writing about the backgrounds of the jewish neo’s having shaped their beliefs and the trolls wants to convert his article and my post to talk about the jews at large and gays?
    And:
    “If you don’t see the gendered subtext Carroll, re-read. You’re most likely a guy, so you should be able to understand this. It’s there loud and clear. You get beaten up, you’re a woman (or a gay man which is basically the same thing) and so you strap on a bigger dick (a gun, a cannon, a rocket launcher, an entire army ..”
    I am a female not a guy. And am old enough to understand discrimination against women as well as discrimination against gays but I don’t make my gender or personal feelings the centerpiece of every political issue or let it color every subject I look at and discuss. I try to be objective first and then look at the human or moral issues and not argue whatever my position or thinking may be from personal emotions. You really should learn to compartmentalize your thinking when looking at issues instead of throwing everything but the kitchen sink into it.
    And:
    And the reason I frequently quote or post statements from others is those others are in a position to have more information on and experience with a issue than I personally have.
    Such as your statement:
    “I hope all of this explains why the AIPACMONSTER theory of American foreign policy is so wrong-headed and simplistic. Again, it takes a lot of overdetermination of action before action occurs. AIPAC is neither a necessary nor sufficient cause of American action
    Vr. Former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee’s statement:
    “Chafee spoke of the power of the lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which he says has served to “stifle debate” in America on critical Middle East issues. Members of Congress feel the pressure from the group, Chafee said, and if a certain policy suggestion isn’t followed, “they come after you.”
    Now who is the most creditable and who should I believe is the most objective on AIPAC and whether or not it screws with congress and our US ME policy and foreign aid……..you and the trolls or Chafee? Or dozens of other political figures and policy people who are actually involved in the deliberations of US and world policy I might add? Or will you make the case that Chafee is an anit-semite or use the good troll standby “generalization” that not everthing everyone says is true or will you simply ignore this point?
    The point in my comments is and always will be that a cult of jewish zionist with a lobby and a cult of evangelical nutcases devoted to a ‘foreign country” and all the myths surrounding it, and that make up less than 2% and 20% respectively of our 300,000,000 + population shouldn’t be dictating or even trying to influence American policy when it affects the welfare and future of all Americans.
    I don’t want to insult you but there is no other way to say this:….if you don’t get it you are either an idiot or your comments come from some agenda of your own.

    Reply

  33. WigWag says:

    “Sweetness and WigWag have what seems to me very different writing styles”
    I only wish that my writing style was half as good as sweetness. I’v said this before but I am happy to say it again. Of all the people who comment or post regularly at the Washington Note, sweetness has the most lucid writing style. Of course, the content is always good, but the language is clear, concise and just a pleasure to read. My guess is that sweetness is either an academic or a professional author.
    Not to make sweetness blush, but reading his/her comments is one of the great pleasures in coming to the Washington Note.

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    The Questions challenge to unleash the better angels of our nature through a discussion of books sounds like a noble suggestion to me right now. In the hope of hearing some good suggestions from others, I offer my recomnedations for summer reading.
    Fiction, Older,
    The Decameron (Boccaccio), 100 very entertaining stories told by seven women and three men escaping from the Black Death in Florence by heading to the countryside. They entertain themselves (and us) by telling interesting and funny stories.
    Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), stories told by people of various backgrounds on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Cheeky, ribald and remarkably modern, it is not necessary to read it in the “olde” English. Get a modern translation. I promise you will love it. How can a book written 700 years ago be so modern? By the way, anyone who reads the chapter entitled the “Wife of Bath’s Tale” will realize that she may have invented modern feminism.
    Don Quixote (Cervantes) The first modern novel. It’s funny, sad and extraordinary insightful about human nature. The recent translation by Edith Grossman is great, great, great! So is the introduction by Harold Bloom. Some people think he’s reactionary, but they’re wrong. He may be old fashion but he’s not a reactionary.
    The Aneid (Virgil) The translation by the great classist Robert Fagles (who died in February, 08) is wonderful. The verse is fluid and not hard to follow. It’s Virgil’s retelling of Homer’s Odyssey a millennium later as a tribute to Caesar Augustus. It’s the mythical story of the founding of Rome with the Trojans as the Roman ancestors. Not only is The Aneid compelling, but if you read it, it gives you great insight into Dante’s tour guide through hell, (Virgil)
    Fiction Newer
    100 Years of Solitude (Garcia-Marquez) Magic Realism at its best. This book has the best first line ever, “Many years later as he faced the firing squad, Colonial Aureliano Buendia remembered the time his father first took him to discover ice.”
    Invisible Cities (Calvino) A fictionalized and wondrous account of Marco Polo describing his travels to Kublai Khan. It’s quite philosophical. If I had to have one book on a desert island it might be this one because it is so transcendent.
    Non Fiction Older
    The Histories (Herodotus) Tells the histories of the Greco-Persian wars. Very engaging and much more readable than Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War which I hate to admit, I wasn’t smart enough to understand, or patient enough to plough through.
    Non Fiction Newer
    Black Lamb Gray Falcon (West) Rebecca West’s three volume travel adventure of her trek through the Balkans after World War I with her husband and a tour guide (who was actually her lover). The writing is incredible and her description of the places she visited is amazingly alive. As a bonus, it provides great insight into what is happening in that part of the world today. While it’s not a classic in the sense of some of the books mentioned by Questions, it may be the most enjoyable work of non fiction that I have ever read.
    Poetry Newer
    Leaves of Grass (Whitman) especially the Calamus Poems and especially the earlier editions. Vivid and frankly erotic! Whitman is a genius. Truly the American Shakespeare. Like all geniuses, his work is incredibly audacious.
    Odes (Neruda) Of course Pablo Neruda is one of the greatest poets in the Spanish language. While his work can be erotic and political, unlike one of his heroes, Walt Whitman, Neruda had quite a sense of humor. This comes across most clearly in his odes. My two favorites are “Ode to a Pair of Pants” and “Ode to an Artichoke.” When I am feeling blue, I return to them again and again.
    Anyway, I offer this in the hope that a break in the discussion about such an angry subject might be just what the doctor ordered on a beautiful Friday afternoon!

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    On Fallacies of Logic:
    Social scientists talk about how “correlation is not causation” meaning that just because two things happen together doesn’t necessitate a causal relation. One trivial example is the relationship between the consumption of ice cream and the murder rate. (Has a lot more to do with summer than any relationship between ice cream and murder.) A more significant example may well be that between vaccines and autism. There may be a temporal relation, but no causal relationship has been established.
    People who speak Latin talk about “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacies which means something along the lines of “after and therefore because”. Just because a chair falls right after I’ve gone by doesn’t mean that I caused the chair to fall. And yet my mom feels perfectly happy yelling at me that I’ve just done something terrible. I proclaim my innocence loudly!! Just because I lobbied a Congress member who then voted my way right after we talked doesn’t mean for certain that I convinced that Congress member to vote my way. There’s temporal relationship, but no causal relationship has been established until the Congress member says, Well, it was the lobbying that did it and I had no other thought besides the lobbying and I never would have come to this vote without the lobbying.
    I propose a new kind of logical fallacy and if I spoke Latin, I’d come up with a cute name for it — maybe modus zions or something.
    This new fallacy captures the idea that just because AIPAC wants it and we do it doesn’t mean that AIPAC CAUSED it. AIPAC may have wanted the Iraq war, but so did vast quantities of other people, including some 90% of US citizens and huge majorities of both houses of Congress and the president and the “Coalition of the Willing”. AIPAC may want some arms deal or other, may get some arms deal or other, but I’ll bet the arms manufacturer wanted it too, and so did others. AIPAC may get a lot of what it wants, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN that AIPAC determines the policy. “In accord with” doesn’t mean “because of”. (Straight from Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, by the way.)
    Causation is a special relationship between two events such that a prior event has some kind of mystical power to bring about the posterior event. (See David Hume’s Enquiry on Human Understanding for a lovely discussion of this issue.) In order to argue that AIPAC has CAUSED every single bad middle east policy there’s ever been, you need to show that every policy maker who’s ever voted in AIPAC’s direction only had eyes for AIPAC. Most likely, such an enquiry would find that, yes, sometimes AIPAC figured in, but always there were other issues large and small that went into the decision-making process. Members of Congress aren’t going to risk re-election to side with AIPAC, so if they don’t think their constituents want it and they think that a fair number of constituents might actively oppose the vote, they won’t vote for AIPAC. Once you have AIPAC and a member’s constituency agreeing, how can you single out AIPAC anymore?
    George Bush wanted to invade Iraq a long time ago and he wanted a pretext. It wasn’t AIPAC’s doing even if AIPAC also wanted it.
    We don’t do everything Israel demands unless we get something out of it, at which point, what’s the motivator? Israel’s demand, or our payoff?
    I hope all of this explains why the AIPACMONSTER theory of American foreign policy is so wrong-headed and simplistic. Again, it takes a lot of overdetermination of action before action occurs. AIPAC is neither a necessary nor sufficient cause of American action. It is a side dish (to mix metaphors. Sorry!) I do not deny that lobbyists can move votes. I will deny that they do so outside of a whole host of other causal mechanisms, each of which is part of the process. Again, politics happens on a small scale, it is not moved by monsters.

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    At the risk of losing the little bit of respect I seem to have garnered from ArthurDecco, I have to thank Sweetness for a very direct refutation of Carroll’s latest contribution. It’s really at the point where I can’t process the attempts at argument from Carroll. Using Podhoretz’s memoir of humiliation (from a book review?) to PROVE that Zionists are all feminized, emasculated, humiliated men who are missing both testicles, the testoterone to nourish the organs, and a penis big enough to be visible is just too much for me. If you don’t see the gendered subtext Carroll, re-read. You’re most likely a guy, so you should be able to understand this. It’s there loud and clear. You get beaten up, you’re a woman (or a gay man which is basically the same thing) and so you strap on a bigger dick (a gun, a cannon, a rocket launcher, an entire army and an occupation force) and you swear it’ll never happen again. And then you join the Israeli Defense Force in spirit only because really you still have no male sex organs… OY. MAYBE it explains Podhoretz. MAYBE. It still doesn’t come anywhere near explaining how US policy towards the mideast has developed over time. Podhoretz is NOT US policy, does not make US policy, and isn’t the most widely respected journalist either. It takes a majority of Congress, a president, a bunch of advisors and judges and press and constituents and a whole lot of other countries all acting together to make international policy. Podhoretz just isn’t multiple or god-like enough to do it by himself.
    We have a conception of US interests that includes no left wing governments on the planet, control of every single mineral or product we might ever need, openness to any and every repressive regime so long as minerals come our direction and the repression is right wing, not left wing. Does Israel help with this at some level? A resounding yes! It’s not “zios and neos”, it’s a warped notion of US interests that sadly has probably been largely responsible for the impossible levels of wealth this country has accumulated. What would gas cost if EVERY petroleum worker in the world were paid a living wage and petrol wealth were spread evenly throughout the countries of origin? What would our computers cost, our cell phones and all the other stuff we use were the wealth spread evenly and through living wages? Here’s our policy dilemma then. If we pay 1st world wages, we pay astronomical prices for STUFF. If we pay 3rd world wages, we can shop. If we’re militarized in our foreign policy, we get by cheap and we get to buy cheap. If we’re humane, it’ll cost some big bucks. Every mile you drive, every bit of gas you use is subsidized by this system. You want the Palestinians to be treated well, start walking and stop shopping.
    People, it’s not AIPAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It’s not the Jewish people of the world!!!!!
    It’s not inauthenticity and the wrong people in control!!!!!!
    It’s not neos and zios!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And Mr. Decco, if you want to toss me into your troll column, go for it. I don’t at all feel that I am here to distract from the main argument and cause dissension in the ranks so that we can never again have a pure thread and talk about what really matters. In fact, my concern on this thread has been over and over again that bad argumentation, irrational anxiety and ignorance of how government works lead to bad policy analyses and the very worst set of responses to the analysis. If you don’t a)know what’s wrong b)understand how we got to what’s wrong c)blame wiesly, then your solutions will be at best wrongheaded, and at worst, horrific. Getting the neos and zios out of government isn’t the solution because they aren’t the problem and aren’t capable of being the problem. The problem is so deeply structured, is so rooted in how we live and what we expect and what our standard of living is, that setting up American-style pogroms (hey, it’s why I’m here instead of in Russia!) is not going to do anything good at all. And please just spend a few minutes thinking about the havoc of 4 dollar and 5 dollar gas. We exit the middle east, it’ll be so much worse for us. Be careful what you wish for lest it come true.
    And the high speed train fantasy (from a newer thread) is just that, a fantasy. It won’t save us from our gas foolishness. The land deals that would be needed, the ripping up of precious highway lanes to make space for train tracks (highways are the only large intact slices of land where we could do this)– it’s not going to happen people. And high speed trains will get you 500 miles, but not tweny-five. And it’s those 25 mile trips we need to be able to make. My region has had endless fights over transit funding. In DC it’s horrible because it’s 2 states and the District who have to agree. Bus rapid transit is new on the scene, but it’s for 3 mile trips, not 25, and not rural-to-town for work and back again.
    So if we can’t end petroleum use, how are we supposed to deal with the middle east?
    And POA, to the best of my knowledge, WigWag lives in Florida, I don’t. I have posted only ever under the name “questions”, not under “Sweetness” (whose postings I read eagerly and happily). I am not now nor ever have been Sweetness, though what a Bear he was! Sweetness and WigWag have what seems to me very different writing styles. So please stop insinuating that there’s only one person here who doesn’t think that AIPAC is the be-all and end-all of evil in the universe. I have no reason to pretend that there are multitudes whom I agree with. I find it mentally easier to share the burden of my views and I’m always happy to see a Sweetness post, but it’s not necessary for me to create multiple personas in order to perpetuate an illusion. I have enough friends I can talk to in person about these issues that I don’t need to fake internet buddies.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Though, I will say this, being caste as the perpetual outsider because of one’s ethnicity or religion does take its toll. You might try it some time, and see how it affects you and your family. In short, if you’ve been humiliated and treated as second class citizens for a couple few centuries, then it does tend to skew your outlook”
    I know lots of jews, particularly in the Malibu, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills area, and I can assure you, they are hardly treated as “outsiders”. In fact, being an “outsider” is precisely how I feel when visiting or working with these Jewish Americans.
    Theres “utter bullshit” contained in this thread, allright. For example, to say that jews are “treated as second class citizens”, in the United States, is absolute pure unmittigated “utter bullshit”.
    And yes, you’ve got a skewed outlook, but not for the reasons you cite, nor because you’re jewish. But because you are apparently unable to deviate from the script, even when the script is obviously founded in fiction, and designed to misinform. Its not your ethnicity spawning societal disdain, its your deceptiveness.
    With all this nattering crap, excuses, rationales, pseudo-intellectual citing of past tomes and authors, and proclamations of victimhood at the hands of history, you still fail to explain, justify, or exonerate Israel for its tremendous human rights abuses in the Middle East, or its unhealthy and burdensome influence on both our politicians and our foreign policy in the Middle East. Nor justify the fact that my tax dollars are subsidizing the many abominational policies and influences of a foreign nation that has repeatedly in past history, and even now, worked against the best interests of the United States.
    And please, spare me this shit about the Israeli lobbies being no more influential than tobacco, oil, etc. Thats ridiculous, disingenuous, dishonest, deflective, and just plain unbelievable. And you know it. So be informed, when you make such an argument, this poster considers you not much more than a simple liar, attempting to skew MY outlook. And THAT ain’t gonnna happen.

    Reply

  38. Sweetness says:

    “That itself is a human/sociological impossibility.”
    To address your first suggestion, I have. It isn’t simply Jewish
    writers who have recorded the travails of the Jews over time. So
    I’ll see ya, and raise you one: Try reading anyone whose views
    don’t conform to your theory about Jews, anti-semitism, etc.
    I appreciate your long quote on the neocons; but it’s worth
    remembering they are a small, small segment of the Jewish
    population–much smaller, say, than the number of white
    southerners who perpetuated Jim Crow. So, while THEY may be
    fueled by feelings of humiliation, I don’t think that’s particularly
    the case with Jews in general.
    Though, I will say this, being caste as the perpetual outsider
    because of one’s ethnicity or religion does take its toll. You
    might try it some time, and see how it affects you and your
    family. In short, if you’ve been humiliated and treated as second
    class citizens for a couple few centuries, then it does tend to
    skew your outlook.
    I mean, if a person IS subjected to humiliating treatment, isn’t
    normal and natural to feel…humiliated?
    Nevertheless, as we can see from the list of Nobel Winners, and
    Jews’ massive participation in any society where they’ve been
    allowed to participate, they don’t tend to wallow in self pity.
    They get out there and contribute. And then, often, that leads to
    the complaint that they participate TOO much. Too many Jews
    in government. Too much Jewish ownership of media. Jews and
    Hollywood. They own Wall Street, fer crissakes! Here a Jew;
    there a Jew; everywhere a Jew Jew. As Arthur frequently
    complains, they’ve Judaized the whole society!
    Hey, even you want them out of our government–or is that just
    neo-zios? Personally, I’d rather get all the southerners out of
    government. What with 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow, and their
    total support for every right wing political movement and
    candidate to come along, they have done more damage to the US
    than our recent crop of neos. After all, a Clean Break was
    written in 1996, but it wasn’t until Bush won twice, with
    overwhelming support from our southern friends, and hardly any
    support from the Jewish community, that we got 9/11,
    Afghanistan, Iraq and now, maybe, Iran. I still think of those
    poor zaides and bubbes in Florida who mistakenly voted for
    Buchanan–their votes alone could have saved the day!
    Anyway, to get to the point of your quote above: The fact of
    Jewish travail and misfortune over the centuries is not in
    question. For example, the Jews WERE expelled from Spain;
    WERE forced to convert, etc. The question is why. You say they
    must have done something because how could one people be
    the subject of so much persecution without having done
    something. I say, you could just as easily turn that theory on its
    head: How could one people, out of all the peoples, have such a
    perverted psyche that wherever they go, they alone do
    everything in their power to bring the ultimate misfortunes down
    on their heads? Why would they do that? What did the Spanish
    Jews have to gain from being expelled and killed or forced to
    convert? Even their leaders …who had the MOST to lose. Your
    theory is a theory, but it doesn’t have much to recommend, just
    looking at it naively
    Your theory is reminiscent of folks who used to blame Africans
    for selling their brethren to the slavers. Or sadists who claim
    that the masochist really wants to get beaten. Or rapists who
    say the girl was dressed provocatively…as if the perp just
    couldn’t help himself.
    But in some ways, we don’t have to theorize. We have much
    church writing on the Christ killers. We have the history of the
    passion plays. We have Mein Kampf. We have the Protocols,
    which were PROVEN to be forgeries. We have all sorts of
    documentary evidence of anti-Semitic views down through the
    ages. And much of it does NOT say: “We hate Jews.” Much of it
    gives very detailed reasons for why Jews are an evil influence on
    society. And much of the focus is on their “leaders,” whoever
    they are, who “cause” the gentiles to persecute their unfortunate
    brethren.
    ( Just as a side note, Norman Podhoretz is as much a leader of
    the Jewish community as Bull Connor, or Jesse Helms, was of
    yours–probably less, because we never voted for Norman.)
    So, for example, Henry Ford doesn’t say that he hates Jews, he
    just thinks that the International Jew (and this was before Israel,
    mind you) is sort of a disease on society. Kevin MacDonald, and
    your friend arthurdecco, take a similar view, though gussied up
    with pseudo sicence (that also, BTW, is used to “prove” that
    blacks are inferior intellectually). Arthur and Kevin don’t hate
    Jews; they just want Jews to stop participating so robustly in
    society. They’re Judaizing the place!
    Now, are there evil Jews and dumb shit Jews? Are there Jews who
    piss off gentiles? Are the neos, some of whom are Jews, evil?
    Yes. Some Jews even make a point of gambling on Christmas
    just to make sure no one takes them for Christians.
    But I fail to see how any of those things justifies or explains in
    any way the expulsion from Spain, the passion plays, the
    pogroms, the holocaust, the expulsion from Arab countries
    (where presumably they were also indigenous folk) or their
    enforced second-class citizenship. Talk about blanket
    persecution and collective punishment for the presumed
    wrongdoing of a few! I just don’t get it and I don’t accept it and
    I don’t buy any sort of clever reasoning or pseudo science
    designed to justify it.
    It’s complete and utter bullshit.

    Reply

  39. arthurdecco says:

    When you compare the quality of the thinking that lies behind the posts in the latter half of this thread, it quickly becomes apparent who the trolls are, questions.
    Though I should admit that while I mostly may not agree with your posted opinions, I don’t consider you one of the trolls. (At least, not yet. lol)
    I’m appreciating your passion, candor and forthrightness. There doesn’t appear to be any malignant dishonesty in you of the type we’ve been witness to all-too-often lately.
    I hope you keep posting, pushing and prodding. It makes the resultant conversation stronger.

    Reply

  40. questions says:

    Perpetual Peace is a breeze! Not at all like the First Critique. And he does a wonderful job of letting us know that there are some clear rules for coming towards world peace. One of my favorites is that you cannot fund wars through borrowed money. If you can borrow money for war then you have at your disposal the treasury of every nation on the planet and war will never end. I find the prescience chilling every time I read that passage. He also has a lovely curiosity about how, since the globe is spherical, people will end up scattered all around and will eventually bump into each other again. Given the geometry of civilization, we really have no choice but to learn to live with each other. We cannot escape one another. And if we don’t wage peace, nature kind of takes over and does it for us by scattering us across the planet and making us need each other for trade.
    The Republic is a long study of political life and human psychology and how they interact. Books 8 and 9 are chilling in how they show the downfall of the state from one that works to total murderous tyranny. The descent is inevitable and comes from human desire. It’s a thing to watch the world and try to figure our where Plato might place us at this moment.
    Anyway, I’m bookish and I find reading can be intense and informative…..
    And I find it interesting how we all seem to have different notions of who the trolls are. We could perhaps turn the thread into a favorite books book review. I put the Republic at the top of my list!

    Reply

  41. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions, years ago I read the first 100 pages of his “Kritik der
    reinen Vernunft”, slowly, and in German, but although I may have
    good intentions, I honestly believe that I lack the mental discipline
    and patience required to spend years studying Kant. I don`t
    blame Kant, I blame myself for that. But yeah, I want to read his
    “Perpetual Peace” treaty one day.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Sweetness
    You should read history written by objective historians that had no dog in the hunt and not by strictly jewish writers with a dog in the hunt.
    If it is your contention that jews or their leaders never contributed to the anti-semitism then you are saying that in the history of the universe jews/zionist alone are the only ethnic, religious group/people that is completely innocent of any wrongdoing or evils. That nothing they ever did contributed to any society’s
    dislike or opinion of them. Not in Roman times, or Europe or Russia or Germany or the ME or anywhere. That every society since the begining of time has persecuted and disliked the jews for no reason except they are jews. That jews alone out of all the world’s people have never committted any acts or been involved in any political or cultural movements or activies that might have made them enemies or made them despised by some other group.
    That itself is a human/sociological impossibility.
    That claim sounds just like the inane claim after 911 that our enemies hate us “just because” we are who we are….and not for anything we have actually done.
    There is not a sane person with a normal IQ anywhere on earth that would buy either of those claims.

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican Jul 10, 11:18PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thanks POA, but having Paul and the trolls as enemies is actually a good character reference.
    “If you want to make enemies, try to change something”….unknown

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    Dear questions…
    It beats me how you worked “gays” into Lobe’s article on Humiliation or inferred something about gays from the use of the term sissy. Sissy is a schoolyard term used by children or bullies.
    I see no connection to gays or to Lobe saying the jews are monolithic in Lobe’s article at all. I don’t know why you keep harping on jews not being monolithic, I haven’t seen anyone say they were on here. This is about the zionist honey, the zionist.
    I think you didn’t read his article:
    Speaking of Humiliation
    After posting Mohammed Omer’s account of his treatment at the hands of Israel’s Shin Beth ten days ago, I was reminded of a passage I had just read in the New Yorker’s excellent profile by Connie Bruck of Freedom’s Watch’s co-founder and biggest financier, multi-billionaire and staunch Likudist, Sheldon Adelson:
    “Adelson, whose countenance often suggests that he is spoiling for a fight, takes pride in being an outsider, who has suffered rejection and ridicule but has avenged every slight, many times over. Vindication is sweet, if never quite sufficient…”
    “Adelson’s father, a Lithuanian immigrant, was a cabdriver in Boston, and his mother ran a knitting shop from home, in a tenement in Dorchester. Sheldon, his three siblings, and their parents all slept in one room. He and other Jewish boys in the neighborhood were beaten up by Irish youths.”
    The last point immediately brought to mind the similar childhood experience of another staunch Likudist, Norman Podhoretz. As he recounted in his famous 1963 Commentary essay, “My Negro Problem — and Ours,” Podhoretz suffered a series of humiliating encounters with “Negro” youths both in schoolyards and other venues close to his predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn throughout his childhood. According to a review of Podhoretz’s latest book, ‘World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism,’ by Ian Buruma, those encounters, which included beatings, contributed decisively to Podhoretz’s later politics, which Buruma describes as ”the longing for power, for toughness….”
    Podhoretz’s original essay, admirable in its honesty, explores the origins of his “fear and hatred” of “Negroes” and finds them in his earliest memories when he could not understand why it was they who “were supposed to be persecuted when it was the Negroes who were doing the only persecuting I knew about — and doing it, moreover, to me. …The Negroes,” he went on, “were tougher than we were, more ruthless, and on the whole better athletes.” It was thus in a confrontation with a Negro gang that Podhoretz underwent his “first nauseating experience of cowardice” that, with it, came the “appalled realization that there are people in the world who do not seem to be afraid of anything, who act as if they have nothing to lose.” To him, Negro life “seemed the very embodiment of the values of the street — free, independent, reckless, brave, masculine, erotic …But, most of all, (Negroes) were tough; beautifully, enviably tough, not giving a damn for anyone or anything” in a world where “sissies” was “the most dreaded epithet of an American boyhood.” (Italics in the original.)
    I have been thinking about the relationship between humiliation and the neo-conservative worldview — particularly the rage at much of the world that seems to underlie its more hard-line personifications, such as those of Podhoretz or Adelson or Caroline Glick or, for that matter, Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle — since I first read “My Negro Problem” a long, long time ago. Of course, the latter three were presumably never physically beaten as were Podhoretz or Adelson, but their rage, their obsession with “toughness,” their contempt for softness (diplomacy) and devotion to “hard power” all suggest that they may have suffered their own humiliations.
    For example, in Perle’s roman a clef, aptly titled ‘Hard Line,’ you find this description of the childhood of the protagonist, Michael Waterman:
    “He had not always been so zealous or so tough. The only jewel in the crown of a Los Angeles kosher butcher named Sam and his wife, Esther, Michael Waterman was born in 1943 and grew up in a two-bedroom, one-bath stucco bungalow on Hayworth Street in the Fairfax section of Los Angeles, equidistant from his father’s shop and the storefront temple where Same went to pray. A slight, precocious child, Michael suffered heavily at the hands of his schoolmates. When most boys his age spent their free time playing baseball, football, or tennis, Michael’s parents insisted, with the best of intentions, on giving him cello lessons four days a week. So during the fifth through eight grades — crucial years for youngsters — Michael Waterman didn’t carry a fielder’s mitt or shoulder pads to school, but a heavy black leather instrument case. Instead of weekends at the beach, he spent his time indoors practicing scales. He was small and perpetually pale and thin and wore orthodontic braces. He was …different. And so his classmates picked on him in the instinctive, impersonal cruel way of preadolescents, and Waterman withdrew like a turtle inside an emotional shell.”
    In reality, Perle’s parents were both better off and less pious than depicted in this passage, according to his biographer, Alan Weisman, but I don’t doubt that much of the rest of Perle’s description of “Waterman’s” childhood is a more or less accurate reflection of his own sense of being an outsider, a kind of “sissy” forced to endure cruel and humiliating taunts, even as he later got his revenge by excelling at debate and subsequently at political intrigue in Scoop Jackson’s office and beyond. One has only to look at the remarkably curious and vaguely pathetic sequence in “The Case for War,” his production in last year’s “America at the Crossroads Series” on PBS, when he revisits his high school in Hollywood and draws particular attention to and gazes longingly at the names of its movie-star graduates painted garishly above the lockers in the hallway, as if their glamour and celebrity proved something special about himself. Those few seconds conveyed a much more insecure personality than his Beltway identity as the very embodiment of toughness and a “Hard Line.”
    Jacob Heilbrunn’s suggestion of a social, as well as a personal, connection between humiliation and what he correctly calls the neo-conservative “mindset” (as opposed to “ideology”) was, along with his description of the movement’s Trotskyite origins, the most compelling part of his book, ‘They Knew they were Right: The Rise of the Neocons’. “The social exclusion experienced by Jews at the hands of the WASP elite” that persisted in the US well into the 1960s stirred a “deep resentment” among many of the movement’s most influential leaders, notably Irving Kristol and Podhoretz, according to Heilbrunn. Indeed, he notes, Podhoretz has described the neo-conservative movement as the war against the “WASP patriciate.”
    Neoconservatives “know that they will never be accepted by the establishment,” Heilbrunn goes on in a later passage about Perle. “Indeed, they outwardly revel in the knowledge that they are outsiders. But beneath the veneer of confidence is a seething rage at the government bureaucracy and social elites.”
    That rage is on extravagant display throughout the extremely angry book that Perle wrote with David Frum in 2004, “An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror” (as well as on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal), in which the authors pour unremitting scorn on the CIA and the State Department (and Europe) for their failure to understand, let alone seriously address, the apocalyptic threat that faces them in the form of what Podhoretz calls “Islamofascism.” And, ironically, in describing the origin of that threat, they cite the centuries of humiliation experienced by the Muslim world at the hands of the West and, more recently, Israel. The 9/11 attack, in their view, was about “restoring injured pride through the destruction of the symbols of an opposing civilization.”
    “The Islamic world has lagged further and further behind the Christian West; since 1948, it has repeatedly been humiliated even by the once disdained Jews,” they write. “These defeats and disasters have been more than a wound to Muslims: They directly challenge the truth of Islam itself.” And that in turn has fueled a “murderous rage” throughout the Middle East. “Religious extremists and secular militants; Sunnis and Shiites; communists and fascists – in the Middle East, these categories blend into one another. All gush from the same enormous reservoir of combustible rage.”
    Rage deriving from humiliation is a compelling concept, whether the humiliation originates in physical abuse, personal taunts, social exclusion, or membership in a group, nation, or civilization that has been colonized, occupied, or otherwise subdued or dominated by foreign powers. But the last kind of humiliation is certainly not unique to the Islamic or Arab worlds. Indeed, hard-line neo-conservatives — when pressed to elaborate on “why they hate us” — often draw parallels between the causes of “Islamofascism” and the rise of Nazism in a Germany humiliated and enraged by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. In recent years, they’ve also warned against the threat of a revanchist Russia eager to restore the Soviet empire and its superpower status; the emergence of an aggressive and ultra-nationalist China, determined to avenge the humiliations it has suffered since the 1840 Opium War and reclaim its status as the world’s “Middle Kingdom;” and even the plotting of the perfidious French who, by manipulating the EU to oppose the U.S., can redress, according to neo-con historiography, the undying shame they presumably must feel about both their Nazi collaboration and their subsequent rescue by Anglo-Americans! The message from these examples is clear: those whom one should most fear are those who feel, whether rightly or wrongly, that they have been humiliated and are unwilling to forgive, if not forget.
    What is remarkable — and what really struck me when reading “An End to Evil” — is that Jewish neo-conservatives never seem to acknowledge that they, too, may be susceptible to a similar sense of collective historical humiliation — and the rage that it can create — arising from the centuries of abuse experienced by Jews that culminated in the Nazi Holocaust. Indeed, the book’s tone was so angry that it occurred to me that the authors might be projecting some their own “combustible rage” onto Arabs and Muslims, in particular. (Ironically, Podhoretz proves helpful here: in his 1963 essay, he notes that, “The psychologists …tells us that the white man hates the Negro because he tends to project those wild impulses that he fears in himself onto an alien group which he then punishes with contempt.”) That’s not to say that Perle and Frum and other hard-line neo-cons are incorrect about the existence of feelings of humiliation and anger among Muslims in the Greater Middle East; I just wonder to what extent their own rage, of which they seem much less conscious, exaggerates those feelings and their pervasiveness in the region.
    Of course, the Holocaust and its impact on the worldview of contemporary American Jews, the great majority of whom are much more open to accommodation with the Muslim world and Palestinians than hard-line neo-cons, is an overwhelming subject. (For those who are interested, I addressed some aspects of the subject in an article I wrote three years ago, called “From Holocaust to Hyperpower, although I also stongly recommend “The Holocaust in American Life” by Peter Nozick). But, for purposes of this post, the image of Jews going to their deaths “like lambs to the slaughter” — an image that first became dominant during the formative years for the generation that includes Perle, Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, among others in the early 1960s when the Eichmann trial and “Judgment at Nuremberg”, among other events, brought the Holocaust much more forcefully into the public domain than it had been before — was deeply, deeply disturbing, even at a time when victimhood had gained a certain moral stature thanks to the civil rights movement, and identity politics was on the rise. While Israel’s stunning military victory in 1967 offered a remarkable and highly welcome antidote to the image of Jews as helpless victims, the war — along with other events of the time, including the rise of the Black Power and anti-war movements — also reinforced among a not insignificant number of Jews a sense of vulnerability and insecurity, as well as the notion that Jews had to be tough to survive. Indeed, it was shortly after the war that Podhoretz steered ‘Commentary,’ the flagship publication of the American Jewish Committee, sharply to the right on foreign-policy issues, in particular, and that Rabbi Meir Kahane, who popularized the slogan “Never Again” with its multiple connotations of humiliation, shame, militancy, and rage coming out of the Holocaust, founded the Jewish Defense League. (This was before “Never Again” was appropriated by anti-genocide movements that wanted to make the idea universal, rather than specific to Jews, as Kahane had intended.) Kahane, a man filled with rage, emigrated to Israel in 1971 where he formed the Kach Party, which was put on Israel’s and the State Department’s terrorism lists after one of its U.S.-born militants, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinian worshipers and injured more than a 100 more at the Mosque of Abraham/Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994. (Kahane himself was assassinated in New York in 1990.)
    While more recent historical research has suggested that the “lambs-to-the-slaughter” paradigm was over-simplified, and Holocaust-related museums and school curricula have tried over time to present a more-nuanced image, the Jew-as-victim has remained dominant through most of the last 40 years or so, and the fact that the Holocaust itself has become so thoroughly integrated into American culture and education, primarily through the efforts of the “Israel Lobby,” has probably not helped in that respect. And while the image no doubt helps ensure continued U.S. support and sympathy for Israel, it has also perpetuated a sense of humiliation for at least some Jews. Consider, for example, this passage in Rich Cohen’s 1998 book, “Tough Jews”, a paean to Jewish-American gangsters, like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, who Cohen sees as the perfect counterpoint to the Jew-as-victim paradigm. Cohen, who was born in 1968, writes of both his embarrassment and anger with the Holocaust unit taught in school.
    “You see, for people like me, who were born long after Germany was defeated, the worst part of the Holocaust was never the dead bodies; it was the way Jewish victims were portrayed. In history class at my junior high school in Illinois, we were forced to sit through films, spooled by some A/V geek, that showed images of the Holocaust: all those Jews waiting to be shot, looking ahead with already dead eyes, trees in the background, hands covering genitals. In none of those pictures was there even a faint suggestion of personality, an individual. There was only a silent, wide-eyed mass, the shame of being marched naked, being seen by women, by men …For forty minutes I would sit there, surrounded by non-Jewish classmates, my eyes burning my neck starting to itch. At recess I would walk up to Clay Mellon, biggest kid in our school, the bully who ran everything, and say, ‘You stupid asshole.’”
    Cohen doesn’t tell us what happened next, but the message is pretty clear: humiliation leads to aggression, however ill-considered or indirect it may be. Moreover, the humiliation doesn’t even have to be up close and personal, as with physical attacks or verbal taunts; in this case, it was conveyed by a film strip created 40 years before and half a world away. Is it no wonder that Arabs and Muslims get angry when they see video of violence perpetrated against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers or settlers broadcast on their television screens in real time or read Mohammed Omer’s account of how he was treated by Shin Beth?
    So, might humiliation — whether in the form of physical beatings by the “Other”, as experienced by Adelson and Podhoretz and their generation; or taunting and social exclusion, as experienced by Perle and his generation; or learning about (through watching old film strips and photos and other means) the mass murder of a collective group of which you are a member, even if two generations removed, or some combination of two of the three, or all three — produce a rage that would translate into extremely and even irrationally aggressive policy recommendations against a perceived threat? At the least, it would make such a result more likely. Yet, while hard-line neo-cons recognize that dynamic in other groups, particularly those they see as enemies, they never seem to see how it might apply to their own experience and outlook.
    At the same time, rage and aggression is clearly not an inevitable outcome of humiliation, however it is incurred. Most Jewish Americans have been exposed to one, two, or even all three of these kinds of humiliations but, unlike the hard-line neo-cons like Adelson, Podhoretz, Perle, and Frum, they still oppose attacking Iran and favor withdrawal from Iraq; they still support territorial compromise a two-state solution with the Palestinians for whose plight they even express some sympathy; and they are not obsessed with “Islamofascism,” nor, in Buruma’s words, do they “[long] for power and being tough.” So, while humiliation may well be a necessary condition for the kind of extremism that hard-line neo-cons espouse, it may not be sufficient by itself.
    It may be that the timing of the humiliation(s) experienced by the individual in relation to his or her own emotional and social development, as well as the degree to which the individual is traumatized by the experience(s), are key factors that trigger the anger and aggression that, in my view, underlie the neo-conservative worldview. In that respect, I found a reaction to Buruma’s essay by a reader of Josh Marshall’s blog, talkingpointsmemo.com, last September, particularly compelling. Although closer in age to Perle, the reader, “PK” was subject to beatings — in his case, by Italian and Irish kids — of the kind experienced by Podhoretz and Adelson in their youth. Here’s what he writes about Buruma’s analysis of Podhoretz, although I suspect he would apply it to Adelson, if not the others, as well:
    “The simple explanation is that Podhoretz is suffering the rage of the impotent. When I was a young Jewish kid in the fifties, I lived in an area that was 90% Irish and Italian Catholic. I still like to joke that growing up I thought my middle name was “kike”.
    It was not unusual for my small crowd to be constantly bullied and intimidated by these other kids. Most of us were bookish and only a few of us were big enough or tough enough to fight back when it inevitably came to blows. Over the years, most of figured out a way to make peace and by the time we were in high school, some sort of truce had evolved.
    Yet with all of that, when I feel I am being pushed around, my mental state conjures up what can only be called violent fantasies of revenge……..inflict the beating on my persecutor that I couldn’t inflict as a kid but that was the source of humiliation to me.
    I am sure that Podhoretz must have had the same type of internal reaction. The difference is that he must have a personality defect and has been unable to evolve past the primitive emotional level of his childhood. Add a towering intellect and powerful personality and you get the kind of miscreant that throughout history has lead [sic] people into monumental carnage as a means to overcome their own insecurity and feelings of helplessness.
    I know this may sound like pop psychology from a layman but in a lot of respects I can relate to the experiences Podhoretz had as a kid and the feelings it engendered. The difference is that I have learned that hatred and revenge are poisonous to the soul. Podhoretz makes the mistake of believing that if he can only find a way to conquer his “enemies”, it will somehow mitigate his own sense of inadequacy. Where he has gone, there is no coming back, nothing would ever be enough, there will always have to be a new enemy, always another affront to his manhood, always another way to prove he is not that weak little impotent Jewish kid afraid of being beaten up.”
    As Franz Fanon wrote in “The Wretched of the Earth,” “Violence is a cleansing force [that] …frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inactivity: It makes him fearless and restores his self-respect.” Remarkably, that quote appears in Perle’s “An End to Evil” as part of the passage devoted to explaining the origins of Muslim and Arab extremism. Compare it with Charles Krauthammer exulting in the smashing victory achieved by the U.S. in Afghanistan –
    “What talks in the region? Power. …The elementary truth that seems to elude the experts again and again — Gulf War, Afghan war, next war — is that power is its own reward. Victory changes everything, psychology above all. The psychology in the region is now one of fear and deep respect for American power”
    >>>>>>>>>

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Just drop it Norheim. My point was that there’s plenty here to discuss or debate without this constant piling on about Carroll’s posting.
    I get it. You don’t like her posting.
    Do you think Carroll is suddenly going to start posting about knitting, or water on Mars, if you keep harping on her?
    Or have you decided you want to see this blog’s comment section devoted to an endless pissing match about Carroll’s posting, augmented by the brilliant kind of trollspeak you see above, whose author (s?) are currently delighted that they have suckered you into chumming the waters.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    Unfair and you know it POA. I have said repeatedly that I do not favor current ME policy. What I take issue to is the whole AIPAC monolith thing. I have said over and over that policy works on the micro level with individual judgments and the presentation of AIPAC in this thread is as this macro monster omnicapable of omnieverything.
    Mocking reading? Whateveh.

    Reply

  47. Paul Norheim says:

    “I see you didn’t respond to my (…) post about “Peace Now”.”
    (POA)
    I checked that one. The one about Obama`s “flip flop” position
    regarding Iraq?
    Guess who wrote what immediately after your comment?

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yeah, I’ll be sure to bone up on my Plato reading.
    Perhaps then I’ll feel better about sending Israel billions so they can murder Palestinians, torture journalists, and bullshit the American public into sending our kids off to die.
    Perhaps Plato will enlighten me sufficiently that I will embrace Islamophobia, and start agreeing with this horseshit that AIPAC is just like any other lobby.

    Reply

  49. questions says:

    Ahh, I have such wonderful Payton images running through my brain! He was a good soul, as are you!
    And sadly, they are paired with:
    It’s “The Humiliation”, stupid. The feelings of inferiority and and insecurity that drives the zionist mentality. And it also drives their groupies like Sweetness and Wiggie. Identifying as Jews and history’s victims and seeing themselves as the “wimps” of history they want to make up for their past sissy-ness by acting like the tough guys who use to beat them up. (an actual copy/pasted quotation from Carroll)
    I’m not sure how to respond rationally to this diatribe (I originally typed “diatripe” a serendipitous typo/neologism).
    I doubt that most Zionists feel inferior any more than any other self-determination-seeking people feels inferior. Sissy-ness? Now we’re crossing into homophobia too? So Zionists are definitionally a bunch of gay guys who have been beaten up so often that now they strike back and in some “Revenge of the Nerds” style plot they lure unsuspecting innocent Americans to betray their country by supporting a toe-hold nation in the middle east? Oh my. I just don’t think I can be rational in response to such irrationality. And yet I feel so deeply that rationality is our only hope.
    So one last (I HOPE) painful time….
    Jewish people are not a monolith. Jewish people are not a tribe. They do not betray every country in which they reside. They do not cause people to hate them by separating themselves from the dominant culture. The whole notion of this traitor race that must be driven from here is so so so so beyond the pale. And yet here it is again in some bizarre eternal return of the same.
    Israeli aggression exists within a SYSTEM of aggression and payoff, of people on both sides of the river gaining political power by playing up mutual hostilities. As I said above somewhere, politics is always of the small, not of the grand. Individuals get payoffs for voting patterns, for rhetoric, for banners, for lapel pins, for the position of a hand during a song…. Until NO ONE gets a sufficient payoff from aggression, aggression continues. So instead of doing fairly uninformed psychoanalysis of aggression and inferiority in the Jewish gay male, try (through the miracle of Occam’s Razor) a simpler story. The middle east will find peace when peace pays more than war. US policy will shift when politicians find a shift pays more than the status quo. Most likely these shifts will occur when: we don’t have an oil-based economy, when the entire generation of cold warriors is gone from the political scene (remember Condi Rice was trained as a Sovietologist, so there’s still a youngish generation of cold warriors out there), when a charismatic Palestinian arises and we all fall in love, when so many have died that there’s no energy left for death anymore, when arms manufacturers stop selling to both sides. My best guess is that some combination of many of these conditions and probably several I haven’t though of — when these come together and some stars are aligned in some way… peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars…. I’m not holding my breath, but I kind of think it’ll have to happen eventually. Kant has a lovely essay called “Perpetual Peace” and it gives some really nice advice on gaining peace, but notes that peace will happen eventually anyway. Here’s hoping.
    (And Paul, I have never been able to make myself read Arendt though I’ve tried mightily! But whatever Eichmann said about Kant couldn’t possibly be right. I have come to love Kant’s ethics after years of working with the text.)
    So in the end we are left exactly where we began. There is a desire for an easy easy story about the big bad (?gay?) Zionists who pervert all that they touch and who need to be driven from the kingdom. Not realizing just how many epicycles have been added to the paths of the stars, many people find this seemingly simple story quite compelling. Middle east policy is unique in its perversion and the perversion is caused by the disproportionate power of (gay) Zionists. Meanwhile, what’s been ignored is just how perverted all US foreign policy is, even the stuff (gay) Jewish people ignore (Africa and Latin America and the island nations.) What’s also been ignored is that there really aren’t enough (gay) Jewish people in existence to work the system. Also ignored is the entire way that the US political system functions. Also ignored is that Saudi Arabia provided the bulk of the 9/11 bombers (REALLY counter to US interests, I’d suspect), provides a lot of funding for terrorists (probably not in US interests), doesn’t have a huge contingent of Americans supporting it (certainly not Zionists!), is pretty internally nasty to its people (so much for spreading democracy. Sheesh, women can’t drive there), is not beloved everywhere in the middle east, and yet is BFF with the USA. Hmmm. No (gay) Jewish people conspiring on this one….. Could it be, hmmm? OIL and bases? And toe-holds geographically? Hmmmm. Could it be that US policy has lots to do with toe-holds and oil? Hmmmm. Hard to know. And maybe less to do with (gay) Zionists.
    My prescription, as always, is for people to do some basic text book reading. There are numerous books on the politics of interest groups, on how the Congress/House/Senate all function. There are books on voting patterns, districts, media and how all of these impact Congress. Go read! Not from the internet, but from university presses where there’s actually been an editorial process. Even read Mearsheimer and Walt on the “Jewish lobby” — at least they try for an argument, they both have PhDs and years of (not beloved by me) scholarship. Get to a library or Amazon or an independent bookstore with a good political science section and READ!!!
    If you have time to diatripe here, you have time to read actual books. Come back with better arguments that are informed by history and thought. Read Plato’s Republic, his Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo and Meno, and Kant’s Perpetual Peace and his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. You might come out knowing more than when you went in. It could be good for you. Many of these books have public domain translations available online for free. Give yourselves a graduate education in policy and politics and Judaism. You can do it cheap or free, in private without shame, and you’ll shed epicycles and have simpler arguments. Occam would be proud!

    Reply

  50. Paul Norheim says:

    “I see you didn’t respond to my post about Israel waving the
    pom-poms to send more American kids off to die. Or (…)
    No, you’de rather feed the trolls”
    Just one thing: during the last 48 hours I`ve been commenting a
    bit on a possible Israel attack on Iran, how the press is dealing
    with this, commenting on a Wolfowitz article, been involved in
    polemics with “cotzabasis” and WigWag regarding that article etc

    I would not exactly characterize that as “feeding the trolls”.

    Reply

  51. Steve Clemons says:

    OK folks — let’s stop going after each other. I will get some more posts up today from my perch in Hong Kong. I want you to rip into some policy/political stuff — it’s way more fun and more constructive for readers.
    I finally have some dependably consistent wifi here.
    best, steve

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, still wondering why people so often are upset with Carroll?”
    Actually, Paul, I’m wondering more and more why you seem to be contributing to and encouraging the destruction of this comment section with this horseshit.
    You don’t like what Carroll posts?
    You like this disruptive shit from WigWag and his entourage of like-minded screen names more?
    You must, as I don’t see you decrying the destruction of yet one more thread by the kind of ignorant banter we see above.
    Perhaps you prefer the brilliant contributions of this Ironbelle troll?
    I see you didn’t respond to my post about Israel waving the pom-poms to send more American kids off to die. Or respond to the post about “Peace Now”. Or see fit to comment on Israels treatment of the award winning Palestinian journalist. Or Weiss’s impressions of the AIPAC conference.
    No, you’de rather feed the trolls, than mewl and whine when its pointed out that thats EXACTLY what you are doing.
    But, hey, I’m just getting sucked into this worthless horseshit just once more with my comment.
    Do me a favor, don’t throw this “POA, still wondering why…blahblahblah” kind of crap at me. I’m not your army, and if I feel the need to comment about Carroll’s contributions here I sure as hell don’t need your baiting or goading.
    Get back on track, Norheim, not that it should matter to you, but you’re throwing away my respect for you. And there was a time that respect was substantial.

    Reply

  53. Sweetness says:

    A mensch…and Walter Payton back from the dead.
    You’re most welcome. You deserve much more.

    Reply

  54. Sweetness says:

    “In it Churchill said that Jews caused much of the anti-semitism
    themselves because of their “tribalism” and “disregard” of others
    in the societies they lived in and were basically led around by
    the nose by their political zionist figures.”
    Look Carroll, here’s the problem. Just because XYZ said ABC
    doesn’t make it so. That includes Churchill. Churchill actually
    has to prove it just like anyone else. So do Tutu and Carter. And
    you. But you never do; you simply copy and paste. It’s pathetic.
    Second, even if your paraphrase above were correct, anti-
    semitism LONG predates Zionism. So, back in the day of, say,
    1492, when Jews were expelled from Spain and/or were forced
    to convert or be killed, there were no Zionists to blame things
    on. Just Jews. And they, for the most part, LIKED Spain. It’s the
    site of one of the greatest flowerings of Jewish poetry and
    intellectual endeavor. But the Jews did NOT hold the real keys to
    power–interesting history there.
    Third, since when is “tribalism” a just cause for hating and killing
    those in the tribe? As far as “disregard” goes, what power do
    you think Jews living in little towns of Eastern Europe had vis a
    vis the larger society? Did some Jews do bad things? Yes. So?
    All people do. So? Why does that justify, or even cause, the
    group to be hated? Why is that even a reasonable analysis or
    argument?
    Fourth, maybe Churchill was an anti-Semite. I don’t know.
    Haven’t looked into it. It was not uncommon for many people to
    hold what I would call anti-Semitic views without actively
    hating, or acknowledging any hatred of, Jews. Arthur most
    definitely falls into that category. Maybe you, too.
    Fifth, in Germany prior to WWII, it is a fact that Jews did NOT
    keep themselves apart. Were not tribal. Spoke German.
    Considered themselves good Germans. Loved Germany. So
    Churchill’s “analysis” falls falsely flat. For example, this from
    Wiki (as long as posting):
    “A higher percentage of German Jews fought in World War I than
    that of any other ethnic, religious or political group in Germany
    —in fact, some 12,000 died for their country.[7][8] The
    chancellor during the first two years of the war, Theobald von
    Bethmann Hollweg, was the son and grandson of German Jewish
    public servants. Ironically, it was a Jewish lieutenant, Hugo
    Gutmann, who awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, to a 29-
    year-old corporal named Adolf Hitler. When Hitler came to
    power in 1933, Gutmann left Germany and escaped to the
    United States.”
    Imagine that! So much for dual loyalties.
    In October 1916, the German Military High Command
    administered Judenzählung (census of Jews). Designed to
    confirm accusations of the lack of patriotism among German
    Jews, the census disproved the charges, but its results were not
    made public.[9] Denounced as a “statistical monstrosity”,[10]
    the census was a catalyst to intensified antisemitism and social
    myths such as the “stab-in-the-back legend”
    (Dolchstosslegende).[11][12]
    Imagine that!
    Many German Jews received high political positions such as
    foreign minister and vice chancellor in the Weimar Republic. The
    Weimar constitution was the work of a German Jew, Hugo
    Preuss, who later became minister of the interior. Marriages
    between Jews and non-Jews became somewhat common from
    the 19th century; for example, the wife of German Chancellor
    Gustav Stresemann was Jewish.”
    Imagine that! Maybe Winnie shoulda read up. Doesn’t sound
    much like them folk were keeping themselves apart and
    disregarding others, does it? Christ, a Jew gave young Hitler his
    Iron Cross–what ingratitude!
    Sixth, in terms of posts being word for word the same, Jews
    have heard the crap you spew, word for word, for a long long
    time. It’s word for word the same. The America First committee
    during the war–the same. The Protocols–the same. It’s
    always the same dreary, uninformed junk. And it’s always used
    to justify hatred and mistreatment and even killing of Jews. I’m
    sorry you don’t understand that history; it’s just a fact, whether
    you’re willing to recognize it or not.
    You even seem to think that any of this is a revelation–as if you
    were discovering this Jewish Conspiracy for the first time–
    connecting the dots where others were too dim or too afraid to
    “see the connections.” This stuff is old as dirt. LOTS of people
    have preceded you and Art. It’s comical that you think you are
    breaking new ground -:) Anyone who thinks this garbage is new
    and a revelation isn’t educated on the subject.
    The fact that you can find reams of folks repeating this garbage
    online, even famous ones, doesn’t make it true, but you seem to
    think it does -:) How fucking dumb can you get? That’s your
    particular problem: You seem to think that if you post a link
    with a lot of words, it must be true. If the words are spoken by
    someone famous who might have done a few good things
    otherwise, like Churchill, they must be true. If that person is a
    Jew, then it’s a royal flush, because who knows the truth about
    Jews better than a Jew! Hey, now you’re thinking!
    You must have had a really, really, REALLY bad education. Your
    heuristic methods are laughable. You’d be thrown out of any
    respectable department of history. Scratch that, thrown out of
    any 6th grade history class.
    And, it is YOU who always seem to be in a tizzy about some
    revelation of real or purported Jewish misdoing, sort of like
    Chicken LIttle screaming, “Look! The Jews did something bad!”
    As if ANYONE with half a brain and ANY education could be
    surprised that Jews do bad things or that some otherwise normal
    people have always been willing, even eager, to accuse Jews of
    doing everything from killing Christ to sucking the water out of
    LA swimming pools. It’s and old, old, OLD story, and the joke is
    on you if you don’t know it.
    Arthur and you get ridiculed because what you write on this
    subject is contemptibly ignorant and buffoonish and you try to
    pass it off as serious, revelatory citizen scholarship.
    Then again, maybe y’all just LIKE spreading the slime.

    Reply

  55. Paul Norheim says:

    So folks, you like and admire Winston Churchill, right?
    And Churchill said that the Jews caused much of the anti-
    semitism themselves. Ergo: you have to agree with that
    statement, since you like Churchill.
    Sorry Carroll, I got no emotional hang up this time, but a logical
    hang up. Crap is crap. From Churchill`s, arthurdecco`s or
    Carroll`s mouth, its still the same old shit.
    Carroll, you often write or link to important stuff. But it`s getting
    increasingly difficult to read you and sort out the good stuff,
    when you serve such bad smelling shit like that above.
    POA, still wondering why people so often are upset with Carroll?

    Reply

  56. Carroll says:

    Still going on?
    Well let’s educate Sweetness and Wigwag.
    First if you hate arthur you should really hate Churchill..a paper of his was just published last year when a government researcher came across it.
    In it Churchill said that Jews caused much of the anti-semitism themselves because of their “tribalism” and “disregard” of others in the societies they lived in and were basically led around by the nose by their political zionist figures.
    To which Sweetness will respond..Churchill was an anti-semite! like Carter!…like Tutu!..like all the anti semites. I can heard it now…”that ‘s why Churchill let the jews die!..just like the US let the jews die (in the middle of a world war II )”! The whole world is anti-semitic”! “We are the only innocent people on earth!” “Everyone is out to get us”!
    Why, we might ask do the attitudes of those like Sweetness and Wig wag come from? Why does Sweetness deride blonde, blue eyed children when no one has made insulting remarks about dark or dark eyed semitic or jewish children?
    Well Jim Lobe described in a article what many have already written, including several books, about the zionist and the core of their delusions:
    http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=164#more-164
    It’s “The Humiliation”, stupid. The feelings of inferiority and and insecurity that drives the zionist mentality. And it also drives their groupies like Sweetness and Wiggie. Identifying as Jews and history’s victims and seeing themselves as the “wimps” of history they want to make up for their past sissy-ness by acting like the tough guys who use to beat them up. That’s why trolls like Sweetness and Wiggie post so much nonsense that has nothing to do with the points made about the zionist or Israel. They have mental and emotional “issues” due to their identification as jews or maybe something else that has nothing to do with jews, I don’t know. But not knowing history or choosing to ignore it or cherry pick it, they resort to nonsense that has nothing to do with what anyone actually said about the zionist influence or the Israeli political issue in the US. You can find thousands of post like Sweetness’s anywhere people are talking about Israel..almost word for word the same kind of teenagey rants that attempt to use black humor and exaggeration and kindergarten like taunting rhetoric instead of actually saying anything. The next time she is on I will go find a dozen or so to show how similar they are no matter what blog they are on. Sites like DKos and LGF are full of the same kind of post when Israel is the subject, almost identical to Sweetness.
    However.
    To make sure this post isn’t wasted for the other readers who are interested in the real politic of what is going on re Iran and Israel and the US and not emotional hang ups.. here is Col Lang’s latest on that. He once again dispells the myth of the Iran threat to the US. I like that he makes the point I have made many times, that there is also nothing culturally or historically similar about the US and Israel or Americans and Israelis or the zionist. Israel and the US and Jewish zionist and Americans are as different as night and day. ..and we need to stay that way and we will unless we let this zionist and Isralei fetish in our congress change us.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/07/when-interests.html
    When interests collide – The US, Israel and Iran
    Quite a few Americans are now beginning to grasp the idea that Israel is a foreign country, a country which seeks to advance its perceived or real self-interest in all matters.
    In the past, most Americans have thought of Israel as a kind of “suburb” of Miami or New York City that just happened to be in the Middle East. Anti-semitism is largely a thing of the past in the US. What has taken the place of that particular bigotry has been a paternalistic affection for Israel as an outpost of Western and indeed American values in the Arab World. How did that happen?
    Movies and television productions like “Exodus” have been a continuing feature of American life for at least fifty years. The Holocaust Museum in Washington is a major feature of capital region tourism and high school class trips from all over the country. Protestant evangelicals have a special place for Israel in their system of belief. The cumulative effect of these and similar phenomena has been to create the illusion that US and Israeli interests are identical and likely to be always identical. This notion is both sentimental and egregious.
    Israel is a country which was established to foster the interests of a particular ethno-religious group over all others. In that way Israel and Pakistan have much in common.
    The United States is a country that revers the idea of freedom of and from religion. The United States has always sought the melding of its populations into one, new and hybridized group. This has not always been successful but it has remained the “national” zeitgeist for a long time.
    These ideological goals are fundamentally in opposition to each other.
    Now we have the case of Iran and its putative nuclear weapons program. The US intelligence community judged in the latest NIE on the subject that the Iranians are far, far from the ability to design and manufacture a nuclear warhead that could be “mated” to the Shihab-3 missiles that Iran fired recently in what was probably a counter threat to the the US and Israel. Mitt Romney said on television this morning that he doubts the judgments of that NIE. What his qualification would be for making such a judgment is another subject. Could it be that a foreign intelligence service has briefed him on its own judgments and he prefers those judgments?
    The Israeli government and its intelligence services do not subscribe to the logic of nuclear deterrence. Being possessed of only two major targetable population zones (Tel Aviv and Haifa) they correctly reason that they can not possibly”ride out” a counter-value first strike by an adversary. Following that logic they believe they must eliminate any potential nuclear threat before it materializes. The intentions of such an adversary and the ability to deter capabilities are not something they are willing to gamble on. Of even more immediate concern to the Israelis is the clear diminution in their ability to militarily and diplomatically dominate the future that would accompany acquisition of a deliverable nuclear capability by any of its neighbors or even the possession of a plausible and unpredictable future nuclear capability by any of the same countries.
    The United States has very different interests in this matter. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. The US project in Iraq pins the United States to the maintenance for some years of a substantial force in that country. That force is a kind of hostage to peace between the US and Iran. Logistics, and the sheer numbers of possible Iranian influenced combatants in Iraq are major potential threats to the US force in Iraq.
    In addition; the vulnerability of the oil transport route out of the Gulf, the unavailability of US ground forces for a new war, the further wreckage that would be inflicted on the US political position in the world, and the havoc that would be wrought on the oil futures and spot markets are major factors that the US should consider in deciding on a course of action vis a vis Iran.
    Most importantly, Iran is not anything like a threat to the United States. It might be someday, but that time is a long way off. The present threat is to the Middle East nd to Israel specifically.
    Israel and its partisans are now engaged in seeking enough “leverage” to have the US do their will in this matter. Let us sober up in the United States and remember that we are the dog and they are the tail. “……..pl
    09 July 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

    Reply

  57. questions says:

    Sweetness,
    Walter Payton? Mensch? Womensch? Thanks!

    Reply

  58. Sweetness says:

    Evan Almighty! Arthur really is a treasure trove. In case anyone
    missed this jewel, or failed to get it, I reprint it with
    commentary:
    Arthur: “IMO, we can either allow rampant, rumbling anti-
    Semitism to fester, to grow amongst the mumbling, grumbling
    members of the American, even all the Western societies, or, we
    can nip it in the bud by zealously prosecuting the worst of the
    obvious Zionist traitors that are still threatening the security of
    America, Britain, even Canada, by fomenting strife firstly with
    Iraq and now Iran because that policy serves the interests of
    right wing, extremist Israelis. Let’s charge them with treason.
    Because that’s what it is. Treason. Their interests are not the
    interests of America, Britain or Canada.
    Sweetness: Ah, so antisemitism is caused by the Jews
    themselves. Arthur is only trying to protect the tribe…protect
    the tribe by blaming the tribe.
    Hitler came to power because Germany had forgotten how to
    fight back against undeserved, unbalanced influence. That
    wasn’t a constructive governmental policy, was it?
    Sweetness: Hitler came to power BECAUSE of the Jews! The Jews
    have nothing to complain about because they themselves
    brought about their own demise. Germany forgot how to purge
    the Jews, so Jewish influence midwifed the Nazi movement, and
    caused their own purging. Christ, it’s almost Christ-like.
    Crucifixion was a part of God’s plan–but instead of God, Jews
    play the starring role in this pageant.
    So…
    Either arrest the influence of the Zionist traitors who presently
    control the foreign policy of the administration of America or be
    responsible for the growth of generalized anti-Semitism.
    Sweetness: So, we either get rid of the Jews, put them back in
    their place because, hey, they aren’t Americans and aren’t due
    the same rights as other Americans to, for example, petition
    their government, or…we get rid of the Jews. Tails I win; heads
    you lose.
    That’s how I see it. And I see it that way because that’s how it’s
    always been.
    Sweetness: Don’t you like that word “always”? I wonder how far
    back “always” goes? To the crucifixion? Before? Certainly back
    to BZ–before Zionism. Before Israel. No, these are just the
    latest chapters in the malevolent influence of the 12 tribes of
    Israel and their toadies.
    You either fight back against the dark pressures allied against
    your society and government or you’re taken over for a time
    until the pressures build to the point where the society
    collectively and destructively deals with the problem. That’s
    history.
    Sweetness: Ah yes…the “dark pressures” arrayed against those
    sweet little blond-eyed, blue haired Christian chillun’s. Seen
    The Passion, lately? With the devil slithering through the crowd
    of Jewish onlookers? Got evil?

    Reply

  59. Sweetness says:

    First to questions: Bravo. You talk sense to insanity. What else
    can one say? Thanks for taking the time and making the effort.
    You are a citizen in the truest sense of the word.
    Now to the “fun.” I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this
    sequence from arthurdecco:
    (He starts off kinda normal:)
    questions, Thank you for the opinions you expressed in your
    last post. I apologize for comparing you to WigWag. You’re not
    the same. I was flippant and unfair when I typed my
    comparison. I’m sorry.
    (He remains kinda normal for paragraph two:)
    “Of course the situation in the Middle East isn’t a comic book
    with comic book solutions. Of course there are subtleties that
    continue to confuse us all.”
    (Then BOOM! The raving maniac that’s got him by the balls,
    throat and mind, leaps out like a zany Paul Reubens character!)
    “But the bottom line is that Zionist Jews in the United States of
    America ultimately control the American government at this
    time, other influences and pressures notwithstanding.”
    (Ferget all them subtleties. Why bother when the real cause is to
    easy to hand and name? The “ultimate control” rests with those
    “Zionist Jews”! Hey, it doesn’t matter that Bush, Cheney,
    Rumsfeld, Powell, and Rice are all “Christians, as are most
    members of Congress, as are most members of our military, as
    are most members of the Supreme Court, as are most
    Americans, it’s that tiny Zionist fraction of the Jewish 3% who
    ultimately control…not just our ME policy…why think so small?
    …but the ENTIRE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT! Plus all our
    municipal swimming pools! Wow. Evan Almighty! Carrying
    around this dire knowledge is surely enough to drive anyone
    insane!
    At the risk of parsing this too finely, it isn’t even “Zionists”
    anymore, it’s Zionist Jews! That Arthur is much more interested
    in the Jews than the Zionists was established beyond a
    reasonable doubt a few threads back, and here it is again.)

    Reply

  60. Kathleen says:

    Orrr, it takes a troll on the party dole or gov’t payroll to patrol certain sites for the purpose of identifying gov’t issues and enforcing the party line…

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, here we go again. It takes a real sick individual to participate in an online forum for the sole purpose of disruption.

    Reply

  62. WigWag says:

    Forget it, Questions, our gig is up! Mr. Decco is too smart to fall for that satire feign of yours. He’s already organized a Crusade to head to Jerusalem to search for our leaders hiding place. As we speak, he’s on Kos, inverting every letter in every third post so he can figure out what you will be commenting on tonight. You were originally planning to give it a rest? Well Mr. Decco actually knew you were planning to do that before you did.
    Attention, Mr. Decco, Carroll, POA and RabbleRouser, I am going to do you a huge favor that will save you alot of work. Go to the video store immediately and rent the movie “Sleeper” by Woody Alan (a Jew, of course). That movie will provide you with the roadmap of how the Jews plan to rule the world in the future.
    There may still be time to stop their diabolical plot. If anyone can do it, you guys can!

    Reply

  63. questions says:

    I really really really was going to give it a rest at this point (and good morning to everyone!), but I just have to say that I LOVE WigWag’s satire! It gets right to the monolith issue, right to the “Policy Central”/Zionist hand on the throat of American foreign policy….. There is, in fact, no policy central, no Zionist hand. There are, once again, multiple people who come to their positions in multiple ways without any direction from an Intelligent Designer.
    Were I affiliated with some institution that brought in a speaker whose views were so far beyond the pale that even I, one of the more tolerant and patient and willing to listen, people I know, even I could end up protesting that person’s speech. Would I suddenly be part of AIPAC or the Zionist hand on the throat? Well, no. I’d be a regular individual who was concerned enough about something to register a complaint. There are enough people who, on an individual level, behave this way that maybe it seems conspiratorial or organized, but “seems” is not “is”.
    ArtDeco (I love the name and used to live in an ArtDeco building!) it’s your “bottom line” notion that worries me. You can go so easily from “of course” there are subtleties to but still it’s the Zionist Jews who run things that I fear that the subtleties part of the sentence just falls away. It’s more than subtleties anyway. Policy is made by many many individual decisions and calculations. The decisions made by elected officials frequently are based on re-election, re-election is always based on pleasing a majority of constituents, and there just aren’t enough Zionist Jewish people out there to make up the majority of every Congressional District and every local and state office and the whole country and the electoral college. So if it looks like a conspiracy, but there aren’t enough co-conspirators, you really have to look at alternate explanations. One such explanation (which I’ve offered before) is that a lot of people support the support of Israel because they have their own agendas. Some people have over time been mostly concerned with the Cold War. Israel is a middle east hedge against the spread of evil communism. Some people have supported the support of Israel because they make money off of arms deals, or because there are arms manufacturers in their districts. Some people have supported the support of Israel because they think that controlling middle east oil is crucial for the stability and security of the US. (For everyone who has now complained about high gas prices, the ME policy was designed to avoid even higher prices.)
    So look at this brief list of some of the possible reasons that various people could come to support the support of Israel. There’s no monolithic cause for the voting pattern, no Zionist monster under the bed. Rather, there are numerous individuals who come independently to the same place at the same time. AIPAC is not everywhere all at once and capable of pulling every puppet string on every Congress member. AIPAC can’t hit up every Congressional district and Senate seat simultaneously, while still forcing the president and the entire administration to behave in certain choreographed ways. (I hope you can see a trace of paranoia here!) No one pulls all of the strings and there aren’t even strings. There are 435 members of the House each of whom wants re-election until retirement. They each have vastly different districts with vastly different levels of attention paid to a wide range of issues. Not everyone is a Zionist.
    So in the end, I’d just ask everyone to think about why you’re so invested in creating a monolithic Boston Strangler who is everywhere all at once. Yes Israel has serious problems (many of which seem perhaps to stem from having a parliament with minor parties who end up holding coalitions together and demanding outrageous policy in return). No, these problems don’t come from monolithic anything. Politics is much more the art of the small than it is the art of the grand. From where we sit, it all looks grand, but legislators make individual calculations about most issues. The calculations are based on re-election, currying favor with other members, looking good in the press, getting post-Congressional employment, re-election re-election re-election, and even doing good work for a good government. (Phis is all poli sci 101.) Sometimes those calculations coalesce and we get a war, sometimes they don’t and we get FISA. And sometimes they don’t and we get lousy energy policies. Once again, it’s not a Zionist conspiracy to run the universe. Make it pricey for YOUR representative to support the support of Israel’s current foolishness and the support will melt away. That’s our job as citizens.
    And really I do so want to give this topic a rest because at this point it seems that everyone has taken on a role and has repeated that role over and over…..
    (Oh, and land developers are profoundly involved in American foreign policy — suburban sprawl is a land development issue and an energy issue all rolled into one. (And no, not a conspiracy. Just a huge number of individual decisions based on profit and comfort and consumption.) Just imagine if gas hits, say, 8 bucks a gallon. How are all of those suburbanites going to move their SUVs and children around? Well, we’re going to have wars to provide the cheapest energy we can so that those wo moved further and further out, who prefer strict zoning and low density and roads and roads and roads can keep up their lifestyle and the investment they’ve made in their houses. It’s hard to let that amount of property value melt away. (Though we’re getting better at losing paper value!)
    And I guess, one more thing. US policy in Latin America is pretty wicked too. And here you can see the anti-communism issue loud and clear, and not a whiff of Zionists-under-the-bed.

    Reply

  64. arthurdecco says:

    questions, Thank you for the opinions you expressed in your last post. I apologize for comparing you to WigWag. You’re not the same. I was flippant and unfair when I typed my comparison. I’m sorry.
    Of course the situation in the Middle East isn’t a comic book with comic book solutions. Of course there are subtleties that continue to confuse us all.
    But the bottom line is that Zionist Jews in the United States of America ultimately control the American government at this time, other influences and pressures notwithstanding.
    Period.
    There is no room for argument on this subject.
    (Your attempts to equalize the effects that “college students” and “land developers” have on American foreign policy, that is. LMAO! [sorry for mocking you…])
    This is an issue that Americans have to collectively acknowledge and deal with constructively. It can’t be dealt with by ignoring it or by painting a Happyface on it. Surely you, questions, can acknowledge that this issue is blight on American democracy. Most Americans, by a substantial margin, want their government to deal even-handedly with the interests in the Middle East according to the latest polls – they don’t want their government coming down on Israel’s side just because.
    IMO, we can either allow rampant, rumbling anti-Semitism to fester, to grow amongst the mumbling, grumbling members of the American, even all the Western societies, or, we can nip it in the bud by zealously prosecuting the worst of the obvious Zionist traitors that are still threatening the security of America, Britain, even Canada, by fomenting strife firstly with Iraq and now Iran because that policy serves the interests of right wing, extremist Israelis. Let’s charge them with treason. Because that’s what it is. Treason. Their interests are not the interests of America, Britain or Canada.
    Hitler came to power because Germany had forgotten how to fight back against undeserved, unbalanced influence.
    That wasn’t a constructive governmental policy, was it?
    So…
    Either arrest the influence of the Zionist traitors who presently control the foreign policy of the administration of America or be responsible for the growth of generalized anti-Semitism.
    That’s how I see it. And I see it that way because that’s how it’s always been. You either fight back against the dark pressures allied against your society and government or you’re taken over for a time until the pressures build to the point where the society collectively and destructively deals with the problem. That’s history.
    What do you think offers the best hope for America? …Or for Jews, generally? The status quo? Or intelligent, informed political change designed to remove the Zionist hand from the throat of American foreign policy?
    PS: WigWag, please have your health care professional adjust your psychotropic medication.

    Reply

  65. WigWag says:

    WIGWAG MAKES A PUBLIC APOLOGY TO ARTHURDECCO!
    I want to make an announcement especially directed to POA/ArthurDecco. Even though you speak with one voice, it’s just too complicated to address you by both of your names, so is it okay if I just call you Arthur Decco or Mr. Decco?
    Mr. Decco, I want to publically ask your forgiveness for having underestimated you. Your thoughts are profound, your intelligence is remarkable, but it’s your powers of perception that are truly extraordinary; I am in awe.
    It is just amazing how you so quickly ascertained that I write eerily like questions. How did you know that I have been studying every comment that questions contributes in the attempt to duplicate the questions style, syntax and grammatical form? Immediately after seeing a comment from questions, I retire to an easy chair with note pad in hand and work for hours to try and mimic questions’ style. I am so flattered that you think my hard work is paying off and that my mission to come as close as I can to sounding like questions is bearing fruit. Thank you so much, Mr. Decco for noticing. Kathleen thought that my grammatical style and that of Ironbelle were eerily close. It is much more flattering to have you think that I sound like questions (sorry, Ironbelle).
    If your deep powers of perception stopped there, that would have been more than adequate to demonstrate your incredible intellect. But in another extraordinary feat, you have somehow uncovered our closely guarded secret about the talking points that we get from “Policy Central.” Please Mr. Decco, reveal how you uncovered our secret. Now that you’ve uncovered the truth, I might as well come clean. Yes, WigWag and questions, the Zionists and 90 percent of the Jews actually get our talking points from central command.
    At 2200 GMT every evening, we tune our secret radios into a frequency that no one knows about, and we get our talking points. Then we all fan out to the TV stations and radio station, to newspapers and websites to promote our massive campaign of disinformation. I was specifically assigned to the Washington Note by my handler (I can’t reveal his/her name). I don’t know if Questions and I have the same handler, because Policy Central operates on an need to know basis.
    Now that you have this much figured out, I might as well tell you the rest. As hard as it may be to believe, AIPAC is only a front. And I know you won’t believe this, FOX News is a front also. It’s part of our plan to manipulate the American public and distract them from focusing on the real center of operations.
    Actually, as Carroll knows, we get our orders from the real ruler of the world. I hope I’m not scooping anything Carroll was going to put in her book, but here’s how it works. The ruler of the world operates from a tunnel deep under ground in an undosclosed location in the Old City of Jerusalem. Using a secret code that no one has deciphered and using a communications technology that was pioneered at Hebrew University using research funds provided by the American tax payer, the ruler sends his messages to his lieutenants located underneath the gold vaults at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Actually, RabbleRouser got a hint of this when he noticed that the hours at his swimming pool in Los Angeles were being cut back. You see, the dollars that were originally going to pay for the life guards were diverted instead to the program that developed all of this secret technology.
    From there, his orders are relayed first to the partners at Goldman Sachs and then to the Secretarires of State, Defense and the Treasury. And then comes the most remarkable twist of all. These administration figures cow tow to AIPAC and FOX News just to divert the attention of real American patriots like yourself, from the true source of our orders. What is the source of those orders? Well Carroll was probably planning to reveal this when the paperback copy of her book came out, but I’ll tell you now. We get our orders from none other than the Daily Kos website. You see, Mr. Decco, if you take every third post at the Daily Kos and invert every letter in every word and then read from right to left (like Hebrew)that’s where we get our orders. Questions and I and millions of Zionists do this everyday. That’s how “Policy Central” gets us the talking points we share with you at the Washington Note.
    Mr. Decco, thank you again. Now that I have this off my chest I feel so much better.
    You are a great man!

    Reply

  66. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jul 09, 9:47PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Oh now we have graduated to serious allegations?
    You have dug your own hole and now your feelings are hurt?
    Like I said to questions I am not going to justify to you anything I say anymore because it is seeming like you just want the attention and to keep the personal stuff going instead of discussing anything on or off topic. If you have something to say about my comments you should address it to me directly and use specific examples of the langauge I used that you find objectionable or don’t agree with instead of generalizing and theorizing about me and other posters.
    Instead of addressing us directly you use a general post at large to criticize other posters motives,character or langauge and pretend that it is polite discourse.
    And here you are, still clinging to your personal feelings instead of addressing the lessons of Mayer’s story. I guess it’s true you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.
    I am done with discussing this, move on.

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    Carroll,
    Thanks for Washington’s Farewell Address. Since I need to be productive for a while, I will read it at my leisure.

    Reply

  68. questions says:

    ArtDeco,
    Questions is not WigWag and often does not agree with WigWag on Israel issues. And questions does not receive policy directives or memos or policy e-mails from anyone. My inbox is limited to family and friends. I don’t subscribe to any newsletters.
    My main point is that I just don’t see Israel as a Monster Under the Bed or as the Prime Mover of all American foreign policy, or as the devil incarnate or as an illegitimate voice in US policy making. I generally don’t think there’s such a thing as an illegitimate voice, though I certainly hear a lot of voices I’d rather not. I support Palestinian rights and I think that there is real utter brutality commited against the well-being of this group of people and I wish fervently for a different policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians. I dislike the settlement policy, I dislike the horrid behavior of teenage boy border guards who have been raised with racist views. I won’t go so far, though, as to say that Mearsheimer’s “Israel lobby” is the monolithic driver of all that is ill with US policy in the middle east. In fact, policy is driven by such a broad set of incentives that picking any one is insufficient and not likely to be useful. And further, when the one that is picked is the “Israel lobby” and not, say, the re-election desire or the constituent service desire or the respond to pressure desire, then I wonder about the motivations of the speaker. So, I am similar to WigWag and others in my concern about those who harp on this ONE CAUSE of evil in the universe, but I differ with WigWag I’m pretty sure at any rate) in my sense that the Israeli government would do do better and be more true to its precepts by humane treatment of the Palestinians.
    I think that the after-effects of the Cold War, the concern about US oil access, and currently a certain strain in some Christian/evangelical thinking should be subject to examination, along with the entire way that Congress members react to pressure. None of these is the “Jewish lobby” and each of these is constitutive of US policy in the middle east.
    I don’t feel that I’m rehashing old arguments, that I’m being a duck, that I’m merely quoting from e-mailed policy statements direct from AIPAC-Central. I simply have a sense that policy is the result of a profoundly complex set of motivations and desires, and that merely charging the “Israel lobby” is both intellectually dishonest and the result of incomplete thinking. You can think a pooicy is bad and not see a monster under the bed creating the policy.
    (For whatever reason, I’m reminded of the silliness over intelligent design. Complexity can come into being without a grand and intelligent designer. We don’t need the concept of G-d in order to explain life, and we don’t the concept of the “Israel lobby” to explain US policy in the middle east.)

    Reply

  69. arthurdecco says:

    It IS a shame that this has turned adversarial, POA. But I’m sick and tired of the blatant HYPOCRISY and SANCTIMONIOUSNESS that has started to permeate the bog.
    I’ve had enough of it.
    I’m mad as hell.
    And I’m not going to take it anymore.

    Reply

  70. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions Jul 09, 8:46PM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    If your questions are serious ones, then nothing I can say would enable you to understand the answers so I am not going to waste the space.
    Here read this instead..although my money is on you not readng it. With minor adjustments to reflect the globe becoming smaller and the US growing in wealth and therefore power, the “fundmentals” and cautions expressed in it remain the ideal for a democratic country.
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/washing.htm

    Reply

  71. arthurdecco says:

    Mr. Norheim, my reference to you was in passing – a flick of my wrist towards a person I now consider a disingenuous, narcissistic prognosticator. That reference to you was a small part of an otherwise focused post about the profound unfairness exhibited by the American political establishment, its enablers and propagandists towards its own citizens.
    And for that you thought you needed to write a mock-Shakespearian Act 2!?!
    I suppose I should apologize for having called attention to you in this way. But I don’t think I’m prepared to after enduring your deliberate distortions of my opinions.
    …You and your “research”. (rolls eyes) about as comprehensive and deep as a tabloid feature.
    If you could only devote the intellectual energies you assign to these embarrassingly self-serving, unfocused and ineffectual protest posts to cognitively rebutting the ideas presented to you in the posts you take exception to… imagine how much more productive this conversation could be!
    (And not just with me.)
    (Actually, I’d rather you ignored me – think of me as a buzzing nuisance who means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
    PLEASE.)

    Reply

  72. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its a shame this has turned adversarial. I think a good part of it has to do with misinterpretations and oversensitivity on our parts.
    With jackasses like Ironbelle posting here, its truly a pity to see Norheim trading barbs with Arthur and Carroll. God knows, theres plenty of world travesty that we can be unified in opposing. And if we really want to pile on anyone, lets bury these ignoarant drooling jackasses like Ironbelle.
    For what its worth, I really think Paul has over-internalized Carroll’s Eichmann quote. I certainly didn’t see the comment as a direct attack on Paul, but rather as a general comment about how complacently the masses will allow themselves to be funneled into less than stellar assemblies of warped ideologies, that can easily be described as evil. Only by a collective murmuring of “ho-hum” does such a march of the masses sign on to evil.
    The situation in Gaza is not a “ho-hum” situation. Nor is a million dead in Iraq. Or a sixth of the Iraqi population currently refugees. Nor is the spectre of an Israeli fueled conflict with Iran. Frankly, the current situation in the Middle East eclipses ALL OTHER ISSUES, and poses the greatest danger to world stability, various nation’s economic security, and has the greatest chance of inflating into a worldwide military conflict.
    And like it or not, Irael is right in the middle of this fuckin’ mess. And they are throwing matches on the fire, PARTICULARLY as it applies to pressure on our politicians, and the massive propaganda program aimed at demonizing Iran, exaggerating the threat posed by Iran, and trying to scare the shit out of American citizens sufficiently enough that they will be willing to sacrifice their sons and daughters to another epic fuckin’ lie.
    And you can mince words, and try to avoid insulting the sensitivities of a very small but powerful percentage of our population, but you can’t logically deflate the truth about how powerfully influential Israel is in determining the foreign policies of our government. If you attempt to do so, than in my mind you are either a liar, or an idiot. There is no middle ground.
    Paul, I don’t know if you were postinbg here when I was monitoring the AIPAC website, but many here will recall that I exposed BALD FACED LIES posted on their website about Iran’s nuclear program and capabilities. Paul, those bald faced LIES are aimed at US, the citizens of the United States, in an effort to drive us to war.
    Mince words if you must. But don’t expect us to.

    Reply

  73. Paul Norheim says:

    “IMO, this studied veneer of Reasonableness we’re seeing so
    much of lately looks to be both the latest threat to societal
    sentience and the latest limp strategy for taking our collective
    eyes off the ball, (& not just here on the Note, I’ve noticed.)
    (arthurdecco)
    “The “banality of reasonableness” you like to practice comes just
    before the banality of evil. (Caroll in a comment to me above)
    “This studied veneer of Reasonableness”… the “banality of
    reasonableness”… could someone please enlighten me on how I
    incorporate that tendensy, in a way that comes “ just before the
    banality of evil” (a phrase referencing directly to Hanna
    Arendt`s almost 50 year old studie of Eichmann, and how
    Eichmann legitimated his administration of the genocide of Jews
    by saying that he followed Kants “categorical imperative”?
    To be honest, I don`t have a clue. Is it because I usually chose
    to be polite in my posts here, using arguments instead of
    invectives? I apriciate well chosen and inventive use of
    invectives, as I have said before referring to POA, someone I
    would say has a rather moderate and common sense view of the
    world, formulated in a somewhat “extreme” language that I
    usually enjoy reading – but yeah, personally I`ve chosen a
    different language. I`ve also stated that the passion,
    desperation and alarmist language often seen among some
    commentators here is more adequate in times like this then a
    rational, business as usual kind of language. But I also apreciate
    a clear, calm analysis of political subjects, also in critical times.
    Does this make me an exponent of the “banality of
    reasonableness”?
    Is it because I`ve exchanged opinions with WigWag when she
    seemed to say something I found interesting, although I
    disagreed?
    Is it because I in the post that directly generated that
    expression from Carroll, mentioned that I could not see why his
    last example was a good reason to go off topic? (I`ve also
    stated that I like reading digressive or OT remarks when they
    are interesting).
    Or is it just a primitive revenge, because I have adressed what I
    honestly believed to be a coherent anti-semitic world view from
    one poster here, and then his allies wanted me to taste the
    same medicine – even if the claim (associating me with Adolf
    Eichmann) was wild and very far off?
    Honestly, I am just guessing randomly here, clueless. Enlighten
    me on how my approach specifically may lead to Eichmann and
    Auschwitz.
    These are serious allegations from people I usually have
    respected. You have a job to do, explaining – with documenting
    quotes or arguments – why my attitude is related to the mindset
    that lead to the German genocide.

    Reply

  74. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I just got an email from “Peace Now”, and they are now offering tours of the settled areas. Great idea. Perhaps these tours can serve to counteract the propaganda value of the Israeli chaperoned “censored” tours…..
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=182&docid=3314
    A Series of Tours – July 2008
    The continuing construction in the settlements is creating situation that will soon be impossible to reverse – it will destroy the option of a two state solution.
    Peace Now invites you to join us on a series of organised tours in the land of the settlements.
    In the month of July, Peace Now will be holding 3 guided tours of the West Bank.
    Each tour will deal with different subject and will allow a close up look of the reality that is taking place so close to home, yet seems far from our day to day life.
    4.7.08 – Outposts and Isolated Settlements
    Small places – large problems. Travel deep into the West Bank at the farthest locations, where the most isolated settlements sit in the heart of the conflict.
    Tour Path: Migron- the largest outpost in the West Bank. Bet El, Ofra and Shilo the most ideological settlements
    11.7.08 – Roadblocks, Fences and Freeways
    The Settlement enterprise has turned the Palestinian daily life into an impossible task.
    Tour Path: The fence in Elkana and the House that ended up on the wrong side. The Shmoron Freeway, Emmanuel and Kedumim and the path of the fence. Hawra Roadblock and others.
    18.7.08 – Hebron – A City Controlled by Settlers
    Walking tour of the Palestinian city now under the control of handful of radical right wing settlers. The tour includes a meeting with a Palestinian family who live in the area.
    Tour Path: Shuada St. – the centre of Hebron which has been turned into a ghost town, the Situnai Market, Avraham Avinu neighbourhood, Beit Hadassah and visit with Palestinian family that lives next door to settlers
    All tours are held in Hebrew and depart from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
    To register your place on the tours call:
    From Tel Aviv Area and North: Tammy: 054 8080498
    From Jerusalem and South: Emilie: 054 4405157
    Read what Eva Ferrero, one of the participants in the first tour, wrote in her blog…
    http://www.mideastyouth.com/2008/07/05/a-trip-to-“settler-land”-–-july-4th-2008/

    Reply

  75. arthurdecco says:

    Carroll and POA, Thank you both for focusing on what’s really going on and dealing forthrightly with the all-too-predictable dissemblers who only ever appear intent on muddying your waters instead of dealing heads-on/honestly with the substance of your posts.
    Questions writes eerily like Wig Wag.
    I’m not remotely suggesting they’re the same person but I have to wonder if they’re receiving the same talking points emails/memos from some “Policy Central”.
    And of course, Mr. Norheim is still being “Let’s put words in everyone’s mouth”, Mr. Norheim. (yawn) I see little hope of that changing.
    IMO, this studied veneer of Reasonableness we’re seeing so much of lately looks to be both the latest threat to societal sentience and the latest limp strategy for taking our collective eyes off the ball, (& not just here on the Note, I’ve noticed.) And because it’s just as patently obvious as the earlier deceits and conceits that have been used exactly like this with exactly the same intent, it’s as doomed to failure as everything else that’s been desperately thrown at us since the proliferation of unedited/uncorrupted information on the internet.
    Could any of you reading me here and now ever dream you’d be reading such a diverse, discomfitting cross-section of opinion and facts on any one of the influential and well-financed mainstream print media mouthpiece’s letters to the editor page?
    Not bloody likely.
    And as far as the elderly Russian Jewish immigrants question goes… Where are their children in this equation? Shouldn’t the children of these elderly immigrants be bearing the primary responsibility for their care under the philosophical tenets of the New Right? What’s happened to the neo-Cons’ allegiance to “The Market Reigns” and “Self-Reliance”? Why haven’t they been screeching about this blatant socialist subsidization of the Never-Contributed and Useless?
    Seems peculiar to me. Almost as if there’s a double standard or something. Naw…couldn’t be. Those unfortunate souls that lost everything they had in New Orleans have been richly compensated for their losses, haven’t they – provided with hope and a ticket to the future back in the neighborhoods they grew up in? And Americans have never been more loved and respected in the world they share with everyone else, right, because their leaders share their largess with the world’s oppressed?
    Yup, the American government and the powers behind it are always thinking of how to improve the lives of ALL Americans, not just the Russian Jewish immigrants who came here to lessen the burden and responsibility of the Russian State’s support for them in their infirm, expensive old age.
    Come on, admit it – Everything is Perfect in America and this is just another small slice of why that’s so.

    Reply

  76. questions says:

    For someone living where you can’t talk about AIPAC, you are certainly talking about AIPAC, it’s published about, written about…. There’s nothing top secret here. And if Congress isn’t holding enough hearings on the impact of AIPAC to make you happy, then do the kind of work Ralph Nader did on behalf of consumers and force Congress to take account of the monster under the bed. (Not, again, that I think AIPAC is any more a monster than any other interest. And again, it’s not AIPAC that’s the issue, but the pressure system. And, again, the pressure system exists for a good set of reasons you might not want to get rid of. If Congress can’t be pressured, THAT’S a lot closer to totalitarianism than the current system.) You seem to want a responsive Congress, but one that responds only to your idea of America. In a plural society, you’re not likely to get what you want.
    You don’t, admittedly, argue that AIPAC runs the world, but you do seem to say that AIPAC runs and corrupts US foreign policy, and I went an extra step, I suppose, and suggested that running US foreign policy is akin to running the world. Sorry if I’ve misinterpreted your postition. The quoatation marks, by the way, were not meant to be marking alleged quotes from you; rather, they were noting a common position. Sorry again for the miscue.
    Your desire for authenticity, for what seems to me to be a demand for a system that represents you because you’ve reached a level of Main Street purity is a little troubling.
    Cleaner government is an ideal but the devil is, as always, in the details. If people in my job classificaton hire a lobbyist to put pressure on a group of Congress members so that we can have better pay, better working conditions, better benefits, is that corruption? If a union helps a candidate is that corruption? If a group of small Main Street-style business people lobby for federal loans, is that corruption? Are we allowed to ask things of our Congress members? Are we allowed to make their risks worthwhile? Should there be no money in the system? Traceable, public money in the system? What do you do about free speech and money issues? Who is allowed to ask Congress for service and who not? If an individual constituent needs service from an individual member, is that acceptable? How do you draw the lines between acceptable and unacceptable influence? What does “foreign” really mean when AIPAC is domestic?
    I don’t mean these questions insincerely. I think they are crucial issues to work through and I think they are incredibly tough to answer and I think this difficulty makes cleaning up government a whole lot harder than Main St. vs. Wall Street in an ultimate showdown, or foreign influences vs. authentically American influences. The notion of authenticity and line-drawing is more complex than your position allows for. Cleaning up government requires understanding for real what the dirt is. Money? Foreigners? Lobbyists? Rich lobbyists? Lobbyists for the rich? Lobbyists for labor? Lobbyists for small companies? For big companies? Who’s allowed to ask the US government for redress and who must be turned away at the door?

    Reply

  77. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions Jul 09, 7:40AM – Link
    Carroll, again, why choose Israel and zionism over endless other issues?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Why? I have answered that a thousand times.
    I choose it because unlike the oil lobbies, the WS lobbies, and all the other special interest lobbies we talk about and are free to talk about, and hold congressional hearings on that don’t serve the common good, it is the one that some people don’t want discussed…or if it is discussed they want it watered down to the point where we all accept their activities as “normal.” When we have “Enron hearings” on foreign influence on our government then I won’t have to belabor the point any more will I?
    Ipso facto…someone has to discuss it.
    It is human nature for free thinking people to talk about the pink elephant every time they are told not to think about the pink elephant in the room.
    And:
    “If we get rid of all zionist pressure groups in the Congress, will that be enough for you? You may still not get what you want, but will the system then be pure enough to make you happy? Are there other pressure groups we’ll need to exile as well? At what point is the political system going to be clean enough for you?”
    No, it won’t. It will be clean enough for me when speical interst don’t create wars, don’t ruin the real American economy, which is Main Street, not Wall Street, when we have a non coporate interest press and media, when politicans can’t accept special interest money in return for their votes which affect all Americans.
    Sounds like you aren’t interested in that kind of government.
    Instead of me explaining why I am for a cleaner government maybe you should explain why you are ambivilant about cleaner government.
    And:
    “You have one perspective you are stuck on, and given the history of this perspective, it’s rather disturbing. And no, it’s not a matter of irritating and therefore being a moral hero. In fact, you are playing a rather nasty game with a nasty history, and it might be worth wondering if you’re (in true Nixonian fashion) too busy counting the number of Jewish people in the administration. The obsession is, perhaps, telling”
    Don’t bother insinuating that I am a anti-semite, as I have said before that kind of slur has absolutely no effect on me or what I say. In fact your obsession with labeling or insinuating people are anti-semites is perhaps more telling.
    And:
    “BUT I don’t think that, POA, your rhetoric or Carroll’s is constructive. And I don’t think the “AIPAC is a monolith that runs the world” rhetoric is true or helpful.”
    What is really not helpful to anyone except perhaps yourself is for you to make up words and put them in my and POA’s mouth. Neither one of us has said any such thing as AIPAC is a monolith that runs the world. Perhaps you don’t realize that you are lying or perhaps you do and don’t think anyone will notice, but nevertheless you need to stick to what we have actually said.
    This is the last time I am going to explain my position to you. I am not going to change my statements on the zionist “out of defference” to the jews anymore than I am going to change my rhetoric on my own government just because it is “my government”.
    If it walks talks and quacks like a duck it is a damn duck…and it’s going to be called a duck.

    Reply

  78. questions says:

    It all depends on how you tell the story whether you you will find an evil zionist behind every curtain. Why do 76 or 94 or 100 senators ever sign anything? Because they feel that their re-election chances depend on it, or because they feel that their status within the Senate depends on it, (and that status helps determine re-election) or because they feel it is right (and being right helps re-election chances….)
    So, is the demon the evil zionists, or is the demon re-election or is the demon a complacent electorate or is the demon evangelicals who want to hasten the return of their deity or is the demon oil issues, arms deals, containment, spheres of influence, leftover Cold Warism….
    You can tell the story of the events in a lot of different ways– a point I’ve made before. I have a hard time thinking that if only the evil zionists were gone, then US policy would be fine. In fact, a lot of policy stands are overdetermined because a large number of very different interests coalesce around a policy. ME policy works this way. A lot of people make money (and careers)off of the current policy and they are not all Jewish, not all Israelis, not all neocons, not all zionists in spirit.
    Real stories are enormously complex, real motivations go way beyond “zios and neos”, and I fervently wish that the complexity were better understood so that the policy could better be changed. “American Jews” are as divergent as “Israeli Jews” and there just isn’t a monolithic creature watching over policy, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt notwithstanding.
    It’s time for a new way to characterize Israeli politics such that people feel anti-Semitism won’t be well-served by the change. Carroll’s kind of language doesn’t move that project forward at all, and in fact makes it ever less likely to happen. Lose the gloss of “evil zionist under the bed” and you might be able to convince people that the Israeli left is worth listening to.
    Again, I totally agree that Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is screwed up, and that US policy doesn’t make anything better, BUT I don’t think that, POA, your rhetoric or Carroll’s is constructive. And I don’t think the “AIPAC is a monolith that runs the world” rhetoric is true or helpful.

    Reply

  79. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Questions” asks “why choose Israel and zionism over endless other issues?”
    We could ask that question about any of these “issues” he cites, couldn’t we? In “Questions” commentary we see the same timeworn and stale implication that somehow the Israeli influence on foreign policy differs little from the many other influencing entities, such as the oil industry. To be blunt, thats pure unadulterated bullshit. You can survive in Washington without being a lackey to the oil industry. But try standing up to Israel.
    Heres an excellent piece by Philip Weiss describing his impressions as he attended the latest zionist orgy, celebrating its sway over the vast majority of the sold-out whores in Washington.
    http://amconmag.com/2008/2008_06_30/article3.html
    An excerpt……..
    Yet before you get out your handkerchief, reflect that AIPAC has for more than 30 years promoted the colonization process. In 1975, when President Ford wanted to reassess Mideast policy over Israeli intransigence, he was cut off at the knees by an AIPAC letter signed by 76 senators. Then in 1989, when James Baker went before AIPAC and told them to give up their idea of a Greater Israel including the West Bank, George H.W. Bush received a letter of anger signed by 94 senators. In both instances, AIPAC was hewing to the Israeli government line and nullifying American policymaking.
    No, AIPAC’s change of heart cannot be ascribed to the good thinking of American Jews. They’re not thinking at all. They have passed on their full powers of judgment to the Israeli government. In that sense, the Zionists in that hall might best be compared to Communists of the ’30s and ’40s, who also abandoned their judgment to a far off authority even as they argued this and that subclause codicil in intense councils. On my train ride back to New York, a little rich kid of about 14, traveling with his uncle in the seat behind me, called his parents to complain that Obama’s views on Israel seemed “tailored” and “he’s never really stood up for Israel.” Indoctrination, pure and simple.

    Reply

  80. questions says:

    Carroll, again, why choose Israel and zionism over endless other issues? Demand for oil and cheap energy, which has been stoked by the past several administrations, is an issue you don’t bring up. Cheap energy may have a lot more to do with our middle east policy than does zionism, but you are so focused on finding zionists behind every door that you don’t see that there are a lot of other stories that can be told to explain the same set of events. From the perspective of an administration zionist, everything is zionism. From the perspective of a former Halliburton director, everything is Halliburton. From the perspective of an oilman, everything is high oil prices and big profits. From the perspective of a land developer, everything is about land deals, big money, and subsidies for roads. From the perspective of any individual Congress member, everything is focused on re-election. You have one perspective you are stuck on, and given the history of this perspective, it’s rather disturbing. And no, it’s not a matter of irritating and therefore being a moral hero. In fact, you are playing a rather nasty game with a nasty history, and it might be worth wondering if you’re (in true Nixonian fashion) too busy counting the number of Jewish people in the administration. The obsession is, perhaps, telling.
    Policy is a complicated business with a lot of people coming to the same position for a wide variety of reasons. Anti-Communism could explain the taking in of elderly Soviet Jewish people, as could humane concern, as could a desire to “show off” the humanity of America, as could constituent pressure, as could favor trading in Congress, as could media pressure…. Read more on what motivates members of Congress to vote as they do before you find grand zionist conspiracies behind every vote.
    And if you want some kind of noble return of America to the Americans, please define this nativism. Which Americans get to claim the slices? Who is authentic enough to put pressure on Congress to get the results he or she wants? Who deserves representation? It’s all a little more complex than your position seems to have room for. If we get rid of all zionist pressure groups in the Congress, will that be enough for you? You may still not get what you want, but will the system then be pure enough to make you happy? Are there other pressure groups we’ll need to exile as well? At what point is the political system going to be clean enough for you?

    Reply

  81. Carroll says:

    More piling on. And why you ask? Because Americans understand ego and greed in our capitalist imperial government, now they need to understand the foreign interest of the zio-neo’s in our government. Now that we have broken up this AIPAC/zionist taboo we have all the pieces of the puzzle of Iraq and Iran…Ego for Bush, Oil for Cheney and Israel for the zionist. The perfect storm.
    The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (Hardcover)
    by Stephen J. Sniegoski (Author), Paul Gottfried (Preface
    “That the security of Israel has been central to the foreign-policy worldview of the neo-conservatives is one of the least discussed and most taboo aspects of the movement. Sniegolski has long been among the most dogged researchers who have tried to bring this to light.” —Jim Lobe, Washington Bureau Chief, Inter Press Service (IPS).
    “Sniegoski breaks new ground and pulls no punches in his analysis of the neocon-driven policies that brought about war with Iraq. He broadens the inquiry into many areas that desperately need sunshine and clarity.” —Philip Giraldi, former CIA officer, partner in Cannistraro Associates, national security consultants, and contributing editor, The American Conservative
    “Telling the truth in America today is more professionally risky than ever before, but happily Sniegoski couldn’t care less. His rendition of recent American history is utterly absorbing.” —Thomas Woods, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
    Product Description
    Although it is generally understood that American neoconservatives pushed hard for the war in Iraq, this book forcefully argues that the neocons’ goal was not the spread of democracy, but the protection of Israel’s interests in the Middle East. Showing that the neocon movement has always identified closely with the interests of Israel’s Likudnik right wing, the discussion contends that neocon advice on Iraq was the exact opposite of conventional United States foreign policy, which has always sought to maintain stability in the region to promote the flow of oil. Various players in the rush to war are assessed according to their motives, including President Bush, Ariel Sharon, members of the foreign-policy establishment, and the American people, who are seen not as having been dragged into war against their will, but as ready after 9/11 for retaliation.
    Now children how hard is it to understand that what we have had is a group of US Israeli centric zionist in this adm massaging the ego of our village idiot president with sugar plums of being a freedon defending, democracy spreading great among presidents in collusion with the seperate agenda of a paranoid psychopathic and greed driven Cheney?
    And if you think the Bush adm has been bad in it’s fudicary duty to the US you probaby don’t want to think about what the dems in congress have done to aid this cabal.
    But just to stay on topic …sure, go ahead give congress a bigger/smaller army, it won’t make any difference.

    Reply

  82. Carroll says:

    Just call me rentlentless..and lookie this one doesn’t leave out our nutbag evangelicals.
    http://www.blockislandtimes.com/articles/2008/07/08/news/news6.txt
    Chafee on the war, Middle East
    By Peter Voskamp • Monday, July 7, 2008 2:40 PM EDT
    Former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee spoke to the Block Island Times before his talk at Harbor Baptist Church on July 1.
    He said that in his estimation there were a number of agendas at work behind the drive to invade Iraq.
    He said that oil played a partial role, but there were also those who predicted that if democracy were shown to take root in Iraq, it would spread across the rest of the Middle East. Others pushed for the war for the sake of Israel’s security, he said.
    Chafee also pointed to the Project for a New American Century, which was formed during the Clinton administration. Its membership called for regime change in Iraq long before 9/11, and many of the PNAC signatories, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon official Richard Perle and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, to name a few, found themselves in positions of power in the George W. Bush administration.
    Chafee sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; he was the chair of the Middle East subcommittee.
    Chafee said that Wolfowitz, arguably the war’s chief architect, “painted a compelling scenario” where “dual victories” were possible — defeating terror through liberating Iraq while simultaneously forging a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, according to Chafee, there exists a “cabal” of rightwing Christians and Jews in the country who will “never give up land for peace,” as they consider the West Bank and Gaza “part of the promised land in the Old Testament.”
    Chafee suggested that was the reason Wolfowitz was ushered out of the Pentagon and to the World Bank.
    He spoke of the power of the lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which he says has served to “stifle debate” in America on critical Middle East issues. Members of Congress feel the pressure from the group, Chafee said, and if a certain policy suggestion isn’t followed, “they come after you.”
    “Ninety-nine percent is not good enough.”
    He is heartened by the appearance of the new, more moderate pro-Israel lobbying group called J Street.
    While the U.S. press had its moments, Chafee said that in comparison to the European press, it did not aggressively question the administration’s motives for going to war “on a totally false premise” — i.e. the weapons of mass destruction.
    “They knew there weren’t any WMDs,” says Chafee, and points to Andy Card, former chief of staff for George W. Bush, and head of the White House Iraq Group, who later said the weapons argument was the administration’s best “selling point.”
    How does he read the current saber rattling vis-?-vis Iran?
    He says the current administration is “very adept at not telling the truth,” and he can’t be sure, based on the spun intelligence that paved the way into Iraq, that that involving Iran isn’t more of the same.
    “You can’t trust them, so you don’t know what to believe anymore.”

    Reply

  83. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jul 09, 12:43AM – Link
    Let`s get this straight, Carroll.
    Exactly half an hour after accusing me of having a mentality that
    “comes just before” the mentality of the prominent genocidal Nazi
    mass murderer and Kant reader Adolf Eichman, you`re inviting
    me to participate in a refreshingly provocative dialogue?
    Is that correct?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Correct.
    And I didn’t “accuse” you being Eichman, it was a warning of how the banality of reasonableness can slid into the banality of evil.
    As far as I can remember I have never commented on your personal thought processes or motives until you commmented on me, but not to me, personally numerous times. But as far as I am concerned if you can’t stand the heat you shouldn’t be in the kitchen..in my case I have turned the heat into water off a duck’s back in order to press my points forward. I suggest you do the same.
    As I feared, the substance of the Mayer’s quotes as it relates to to US and world events flew right over your head. You choose instead to make a post about your hurt feelings.
    But I forgive your off topic’ness in doing that.:)

    Reply

  84. Carroll says:

    Here’s a hint Paul to “getting” my post:
    “to think about fundamental things”
    I am the alarmist, as is POA and others. You play whatever role you choose. For myself I will have no regrets about anything I have said, even if by some chance we are saved from total disaster in this country.
    And there is no better example of Mayer’s description of the “the gradual habituation of the people” than those who argue that..”that’s just the way it is” concerning special interest lobbies and govenment by groups of interest that have nothing to do with the common good and by the politics of “only what affects me.”
    They are so far gone they accept this as the rightful functioning of a democratic government. And they are the problem.

    Reply

  85. Paul Norheim says:

    A great and important text, Carroll. But after being associated
    with Eichmann, I`m not in the mood of discussing Germany from
    1933- 1945 as a metaphor for the current US government.

    Reply

  86. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jul 09, 12:05AM – Link
    Where do you get the inspiration to quote Hannah Arendt on
    Eichman as a weapon against someone who think that your
    example was bad, Carroll?
    I`m impressed. “The “banality of reasonableness”…just before the
    banality of evil.” The Germans…Kants moral philosophy… Wow!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    You really should read more of my posts Paul. I have quoted from “They thought They Were Free’, the defining book on German society during the Nazi regime, several times.
    Let us see if repeating it enables you to grasp the point of my rants on what I post, because in this century the characters have exchanged roles, but the mentality of the characters is the same…but I expect this will also fly right over your head.
    They Thought They Were Free
    The Germans, 1933-45
    Milton Mayer
    “What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.
    “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
    “This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
    “You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do.
    You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”
    “Those,” I said, “are the words of my friend the baker. ‘One had no time to think. There was so much going on.’”
    “Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you.
    *Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to.
    Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?
    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop.
    Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
    “How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.
    “You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.
    “Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’
    “And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it.
    These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic.
    Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.
    “But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes.
    That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
    “And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.
    “You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.
    “Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.”

    Reply

  87. Paul Norheim says:

    I have not said that, POA, not even “through insinuation”.
    I have said that people should not be careless regarding the risk
    of combining critical language with the anti-semitic vocabulary –
    and this I´ve said specifically addressed to Carroll as well. I have
    accused him of carelessness. It´s a big step from there to anti-
    semitism. And it`s a big step from anti-semitism to Adolf
    Eichmann.
    Don`t associate me me with the trolls. Their business is not
    mine.

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    On the contrary, Paul, isn’t it Carroll that is usually accused, through insinuation, of having “the mentality of the prominent genocidal Nazi mass murderer and Kant reader Adolf Eichman”???

    Reply

  89. Paul Norheim says:

    Let`s get this straight, Carroll.
    Exactly half an hour after accusing me of having a mentality that
    “comes just before” the mentality of the prominent genocidal Nazi
    mass murderer and Kant reader Adolf Eichman, you`re inviting
    me to participate in a refreshingly provocative dialogue?
    Is that correct?

    Reply

  90. Carroll says:

    BTW Paul
    I am flattered you read my post so carefully, but I would more flattered if you would make an effort to connect the dots in the information I post and respond to the subject instead of my style and motivations.
    Instead of what you think of me, how about giving us your thoughts on why the US congress, 1)first punished Russia with trade sanctions specifically because they were preventing jews from immigrating and then second, 2) specifically increased US welfare to Russian jewish immigrants when Russian finally allowes them to immigrate.
    And CONTRAST it to our Congress’s policy for the “old, poor disabled” in that case to our congress’s policies regarding the “old,poor,disabled” elsewhere as in countries war torn such SA, and as in Iraq where we accepted only a handful of Iraqi immigrants, even the ones that were working for the US forces there who lives were danger.
    And then you could EXPAND your comments by contrasting the example of my post to our Congress’s policy to the “old, poor, disabled,” and “children” in places like Gaza.
    I know it is not your normal style to provoke, arouse passion, or stir the indignation of decent people but give it a try, you might like it.

    Reply

  91. Paul Norheim says:

    Where do you get the inspiration to quote Hannah Arendt on
    Eichman as a weapon against someone who think that your
    example was bad, Carroll?
    I`m impressed. “The “banality of reasonableness”…just before the
    banality of evil.” The Germans…Kants moral philosophy… Wow!

    Reply

  92. Carroll says:

    Thank you POA!
    And Paul, my intent is to make people uncomfortable. If I make you uncomfortable that is good.
    I am not interested in being liked or admired or agreed with by 100% of the people who comment here.
    I am only interested in that 20%..as in the old adage that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. The work in this case being pointing out the bottom line in our cureent sorry condition.
    The “banality of reasonableness” you like to practice comes just before the banality of evil.
    If you don’t believe that, ask the Germans about the slippery slope of reasonableness.

    Reply

  93. Paul Norheim says:

    POA, Steve Clemons writes about a lot of issues in The
    Washington Note. Do you disagree with my statement that the
    issue of “special interests blackmailing this government” (Caroll)
    – is ONE among a handful of other very important domestic and
    foreign policy issues? Although you, Caroll and others may (or
    may not) say that he should write more about, or perhaps write
    more directly about that issue – to claim that discussing other
    topics here “is nothing but verbal masturbation for amateur
    wonks” (Caroll) seem a bit odd to me (and i was not at all
    referring to “pro-Israel” or “anti-Israel” opinions here).
    Despite all this “verbal masturbation” by the host and the
    commentators about several other issues, TWN has a lot of
    readers. And judging by the threads here, 99 % of the
    commentators seem passionately interested in other issues AS
    WELL AS the one and only subject worthy of Carrolls interest.
    I am not playing tactical games here, POA. I just found Carrolls
    “example” (how America allowed Russian Jews, disabled, as well
    as elders, to immigrate to America in the 70`s and 90`s, and
    subsequent laws that made it easier for them to stay in the US)
    very odd, just like his attack on virtually everyone who seem to
    think that there are actually A HANDFULL of important subjects,
    not only one.
    Ok, Carroll may even agree that she exaggerated a bit there: I
    don`t want to stress this point. But this came on top of the old
    timer Carroll`s rude treatment of someone I`ve not seen
    commenting here before – Delia. This pissed me off.
    POA: you are familiar with my arguments about the importance
    of distinguishing between a “critical language” (regarding israel)
    and a language that borrows phrases and attitudes from the
    long and nasty tradition of anti-semitism. You may or may not
    believe me, but actually I don`t have a habit (or weird kind of
    hobby) of branding people as “anti-semitic.” Publicly, I´ve only
    done this once, and that was here at TWN, in a case where I saw
    a text that too me was impossible to interpret in another way.
    In private contexts, I think i`ve done it twice in my entire life.
    Let me quote you: “And yes, there are less than a handful, such
    as yourself, that attempt to communicate a discomfort with her
    style and rhetoric, but from a more moderate position.
    But underneath that “moderate” tone, it seems one can detect a
    back door approach to the time-worn accusation of “anti-
    semitism”. In truth, I find this extremely oily, and as distasteful,
    (if not more so), than a direct accusation of bigotry.”
    POA, you should know that I am not afraid of calling a spade a
    spade when I see one. My discomfort is exactly that –
    discomfort. I really found Carrolls latest example distasteful,
    and saw no reason why she should interrupt a topic by
    mentioning it, and then insult a newcomer here (as far as i
    know) – Delia – who disagreed with her.
    And frankly, I`m a bit fed up by the fact that if I express this or
    that opinion, I`ll immediately be corrected and advised: please
    shut up… don`t say that… you`re just feeding the trolls! I can`t
    write a sentence without hypothetically getting support by
    someone I don`t like or agree with on crucial issues, and whose
    agreement with me is based on very different motives. I`m
    aware of that, and try to balance it by questioning their
    arguments on those crucial issues. That`s my method.
    I have recently agreed with Carroll that if a thread really
    becomes dull, interesting off topic comments are far better than
    more dull comments. But in this case, I think Caroll would have
    done better by writing dull comments on topic.
    “Carroll recieves kudos as well, fairly often, from posters.”
    Regrettably not from me, until now… I admit being one of those
    who enjoy reading good stuff, and rarely give others kudos for
    what they have written. And when they write something that
    provokes us, we write an angry comment. Carroll have written
    countless of excellent comments. And your response reminds
    me of being more generous.

    Reply

  94. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Norheim.
    Perhaps you, (and we), would be well served by speaking for yourself, instead of for “most of the readers and commentators”. Frankly, I haven’t seen any trend to the commentary here that would support your assertion. I do see a block of posters that are admittedly pro-Israel, that seem to be “offended” by Carroll’s comments, and have demonstrated the depth of their chagrin by constantly labeling her “anti-semitic”, and repeatedly singling her out for what can only be described as “troll behaviour”.
    And yes, there are less than a handful, such as yourself, that attempt to communicate a discomfort with her style and rhetoric, but from a more moderate position.
    But underneath that “moderate” tone, it seems one can detect a back door approach to the time-worn accusation of “anti-semitism”. In truth, I find this extremely oily, and as distasteful, (if not more so), than a direct accusation of bigotry.
    Carroll recieves kudos as well, fairly often, from posters. We are just supposed to discount THEIR opinions, and take your assertion as fact?
    Don’t you think Carroll has been singled out for derision enough? And don’t you think she deserves to have the subject content of her posts debated, instead of this constant debate about her motivations, semantics, and real or imagined prejudices?
    Personally, I’m sick of seeing Carroll piled on. And it seems that when one poster smacks her, it just brings out the goon squad, and thread after thread ends up being derailed.
    Frankly, I read what interests me here. I can usually skim the first few words of a post, and determine whather or not it is something that interests me, or not. If it doesn’t, my mind rarely is engaged enough to finish reading it. So really, if its “off topic”, I really don’t give a shit, as I ain’t going to finish reading it anyway. And if it does interest me, why should I care if its off topic?
    Now.
    Considering my history here, and rereading the above last three paragraphs of my commentary, I have come to the conclusion that I have just committed an epic episode of blatant intellectual hypocricy.
    Oh damn.

    Reply

  95. Paul Norheim says:

    “Am I serious?
    Yes.
    Do I think the above is a reason to burn Washington to the
    ground?
    No.
    I am using it as an example of one of thousands of examples of
    how Washington thinks it is their right to use America and our
    resources to benefit special interest and themselves and not a
    government that is suppose to represent America and IT’S
    citizens.
    Do you truely not get the point I am making?” (Posted by Carroll
    Jul 07, 10:18PM)
    I get your point, Carroll. (Everybody who`ve read five or ten of
    your comments have got your point).
    But why was it so urgent to comment OT here… just to prove
    your main point once again, after 999 other examples in other
    threads? Then you triumphantly found example number 1000,
    which, to be honest, is one of the worst examples you could
    have come up with to illustrate your case.
    You may well argue for not allowing disabled and old Russian
    Jews to immigrate to your country, both in the mid 1970`s and
    in the mid 1990`s – at a time when Russia was chaotic, when
    poor people had a very hard time because of the brutal and
    abrupt transition from mafia communism to mafia capitalism,
    and when some of the most aggressive ultra-nationalistic
    demagogues in Russia had a lot of support. And of course I am
    not saying that the United States can afford, or should open the
    borders for everybody who is suffering on the planet. Nor
    should America be extremely generous to certain groups, and
    completely ignore other people in similar circumstances.
    It`s obvious that Israel and Israeli interests has too much
    influence over US policy. But I was surprised that you felt it so
    urgent to bring up this 12 to 38 year old case about the fate of
    old and disabled people in a thread about the size of the US
    military.
    You say that I`m playing dumb. No. I`m a bit surprised. And a
    bit disappointed.
    And then you insult people like Delia, who also happen to
    disagree with you.
    “Using “moral universalism” rhetoric as a reply to complaints
    that our government doesn’t represent the true interest of it’s
    citizens is a way to avoid the real point or pretend it has some
    other motive.
    There are probably six year olds who would understand the
    purpose of using the “moral rhetoric.”” (Carroll)
    She did not use “moral universalism” in that post. She was
    specific.
    And no one can blame you, Carroll, for preaching moral
    universalism. You pick your cases carefully and deliberately.
    You concluded your comment to Delia by saying: “And frankly
    anything other than discussing how Americans are going to end
    this government by special interest game in DC is nothing but
    verbal masturbation for amateur wonks.”
    Anything other? Verbal masturbation? Well, your host obviously
    disagree with you on that one. Most of the readers and
    commentators as well. I really recommend you to start your own
    blog.

    Reply

  96. Sammy says:

    I don’t feel secure now and security level increases each day. But my insecurity has absolutely nothing to do with the fear that terr-ist kidnap me as I walk my doggie in th park.
    My insecurity comes from waking each day and realizing the George and Dick are still wrecking havoc on this country and the world.
    And from realizing that they are not done, that more horror is to come.

    Reply

  97. Sweetness says:

    Questions writes:
    “Auto companies have perverted US policy. Hedge fund
    managers have perverted US policy. The AMA has perverted US
    policy. Anti-communism has perverted US policy. Cuban ex-
    patriots have perverted US policy. Oil companies have perverted
    US policy. Racism has perverted US policy. Evangelicals have
    perverted US policy. Unions have perverted US policy. Educators
    have perverted US policy. Students have perverted US policy. Old
    people have perverted US policy. The baby boom perverted US
    policy. Anxiety perverts US policy. Overconfidence perverts US
    policy……
    Any and every group that has ever formed has pushed for policy
    in its favor and against the good of some other group. When you
    harp for forever and a day on the perversions of one particular
    group’s pressure, it calls to mind questions.”
    To this and your second post: YES. YES. YES. Exactly right. A
    perfect 10.

    Reply

  98. Kent Burns says:

    As a nation we will have, at some point, to address the question of what we want to be. Currently, we are on a militaristic path to Empire warned against by no less a light than President Eisenhower some fifty years ago. We have something like 800+ military bases all over the planet and as you point out spend an obscene amount of our treasure on more military equipment and manpower. Until we make a conscious decision to turn away from Imperialism as a foreign policy nothing will change. I hope, but do not expect, such a change to begin next year with a new Obama Administration. I don’t think our nation can survive long term if we do not make such a change.

    Reply

  99. rich says:

    James Baker and Warren Christopher are busily proving how hostile they are to the American Constitution.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/08/opinion/08baker.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
    Rather than fixing the War Powers Act, they’re actively compounding the grievous institutional errors that brought us first Vietnam and now Iraq, enabled by the current practice of deviating openly from Constitutional obligations.
    Their position is profoundly irresponsible. And it shows a real lack common sense, rational behavior, or I might add, loyalty to the country they presume to serve.
    This is not rocket science. But Baker and Christopher are hell-bent on short-circuiting the explicit Constitutional process for Declaring War. Their proposal formalizes the status quo, turns power and process on its head, and names a slightly enlarged group of Congressmen to facilitate the betraying.
    >>>
    “We believe our proposal is good for the presidency because it would eliminate a law that every president since Richard Nixon has treated as unconstitutional, while giving the president the political benefit of forcing Congress to take a position on going to war. And it would do so without insisting that the president get the consent of Congress.
    The statute is good for Congress because the legislative branch would get a more significant role when the nation decides whether to go to war. Some may argue that Congress should have the dominant role in war powers debates.”
    <<<
    What’s remarkable is the degree to which Baker and Christopher are plainly and openly dishonest.
    Never mind that the position these men espouse is deviant—they seek to codify and affirm the cheapened process that’s literally cost this country everything that matters for the past 60 years—without apology.
    It is Congress’s explicit, mandated Power to Declare War. No other process is legitimate, and we’ve paid an enormous price for pretending otherwise. Yet Baker & Christopher actually suggest our dear Prznts have had trouble getting Congress to ‘take a position’ on going to war.
    As though Congress ineffectually ‘take a position’ or irresolutely passing a ‘resolution’ on going to war would EVER be sufficient. Or could ever legitimate an offensive war initiated by the Executive branch. Face it: No President since FDR has tried to follow the law by getting a Congressional Declaration.
    The willful illiteracy displayed by Baker and Christopher has degraded this country, abused our soldiers in battle, and cost this country blood, treasure, and moral standing. We cannot explain our foreign policy by referencing the liberties and processes defined in the Constitution, when we do not base our actions on those explicit processes.
    Nothing about the Constitutional mandate that Congress Declare War impinges in any way upon Presidential powers or responsbilities.
    Of ALL the things that’ve gone wrong with this country, this stands alone at the top of the list.
    In Vietnam, the idiocy of American policy was summed up by the general who said, “We had to bomb the village in order to save it.”
    NOW, we’ve got these so-called statesmen trying to tell us “We have to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.” Whatever Baker & Christopher’s agenda is, it’s not an American one.
    Same for the FISA-NSA—4th Amendment ‘controversy’: When Congressfolk try to tell you, that, “Hey, we had to destroy the 4th Amendment and eviscerate the Constitution in order to save your Liberties,” you know the country is in deep, deep trouble.
    Illegal wiretapping—see COINTELPRO and Hoover, have always been used in this country to illegally intimidate, blackmail, repress, blacklist from jobs, and harrass innocent Americans—for their political views.
    That’s how it’ll be used again.

    Reply

  100. questions says:

    POA,
    All I’m saying is that “US interests” is not an objective phrase. Selling arms to whatever group is in the interests of arms dealers; it’s not my preferred way of running the world, however. Spending huge amounts of tax money to suburbanize, pave, and car-ify the landscape is in the interests of people who have made huge amounts of money from this whole process; again, it’s not my preferred way of living and spending. Responding to the humanity of the Palestinians would certainly be moral, reasonable, and something I think is demanded by duty; but I can’t say that there aren’t historically determined reasons for US policy and I can’t say that there isn’t a conception of US interests that finds the status quo acceptable. In fact, the status quo has (sadly) served a lot of interests.
    The point of this is that “US interests” is not the best grounding for policy — it’s a malleable phrase that can be taken to mean a lot of conflicting things to a lot of conflicted people. Arms dealers, neocons, oil interests, MIC people, ALL find that the current policy is in their interests, and they are part of the US. (And remember that the military industrial complex is a HUGE jobs program in the midst of recession, and it’s in every Congressional district in the country. And that corporate money gets spread into cultural and educational institutions, into the stock market and retirement plans…it’s everywhere and not so easy to get rid of anymore. What is in our interests, then?)
    Much better, near as I can tell, to ground policy on some notion of humane decency, and to stop using pejorative language to characterize certain positions. (Mostly, I have found myself very uncomfortable with “Carroll’s” language and I would like to find some other way to express the issues.)
    So do I think we need a very different policy in the ME? Yes. Do I think we should be more aligned with the Isreali left? Yes. Do I think that that we should be working to give Palestinians recognition? Yes. I think all of this not because I’m convinced that US interests would be served (on top of everything else, “US interests” is a profoundly selfish way of looking at the world), but because human decency demands that we not help support a system that destroys people in the name of oversized profits.
    It’s not about fixing the pot holes on MY street, it’s about basic medical treatment for someone’s kid; it’s about stopping the bulldozing of someone’s house and the shooting destuction of someone’s wedding….

    Reply

  101. Carroll says:

    Continuing to make my point:
    Ten years ago a young Army major, H.R. McMaster, published a history of American escalation of the war in Vietnam, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. [1]
    McMaster’s argument, stripped to its core, was that against their own best judgment the joint chiefs passively acquiesced to White House pressure to expand the war.
    Johnson, with his eye on a second term, did not want to be the first American president to lose a war, and the joint chiefs did not want to run their careers aground.
    Despite the harshness of McMaster’s conclusion his book was widely read in the Pentagon and made a deep impression on a generation of rising officers, many of them now of flag rank and in positions of responsibility.
    [1]
    [*] McMaster, a 1984 graduate of West Point, went on to distinguish himself in Iraq, where he later served as an adviser to the American commander there, General David Petraeus. His name was recently added to an official Army list of nominees for promotion to brigadier general. McMaster is also one of the Army’s leading theorists of counterinsurgency.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And we are discussing giving a bigger or smaller army to a President and a congress who will argue that the bigger or smaller army is just the ticket to invade x,y or z?
    Pleazzzzee….how many times do the little people have to be taught their lessons…Vietnam wasn’t enough? Iraq wasn’t enough? Shrinking congress and the powers of the Presidency to a size where we can more easily oversee our political criminal class is more worthy of concern than what kind of new army we are going to give them to play with.

    Reply

  102. Carroll says:

    Posted by Delia Jul 07, 7:36PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Perhaps you are sincere and think you are being fair minded or perhaps you have fallen for, or perhaps you are using the “langauge” for some issue dear to your heart.
    Whatever the case be aware that Americans have had a decade or more of learning the “langauge.”
    When I stress the point that the US government does not represent Americans you reply with an immigrant issue as if that was the sole issue and not one of many examples.
    Using “moral universalism” rhetoric as a reply to complaints that our government doesn’t represent the true interest of it’s citizens is a way to avoid the real point or pretend it has some other motive.
    There are probably six year olds who would understand the purpose of using the “moral rhetoric.”
    Ah, moral universalism rhetoric as used in the immigration issue …”this is a land of immigrants” as a reply or “people who angry misplace their anger” on “foreigners.
    Anything to bury the real point. If I had a dime for every time I have seen this “language” game, cause it is used by everyone and every movement with an agenda,.. or more importantly…a dime for every time I have heard Americans say…”My government doesn’t represent me anymore”…I could buy out Forbes top ten billionaires.
    In case you don’t realize it…that’s what this election really is about. Obama didn’t get the response he got for being cute and black he got it for saying “WASHINGTON NEEDS TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THE HANDS OF SPECIAL INTEREST AND CHANGED TO SERVE AMERICANS.”
    And frankly anything other than discussing how Americans are going to end this government by special interest game in DC is nothing but verbal masturbation for amateur wonks.

    Reply

  103. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions Jul 07, 5:35PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There is nothing that needs to be called into question. I mean exactly what I say.
    I want the neo and zio and Israeli influence out of my government. Period.
    I am harping on it and will continue to harp on it as long as they are harming this country’s interest and ginning up wars in the ME.

    Reply

  104. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jul 07, 5:43PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Am I serious?
    Yes.
    Do I think the above is a reason to burn Washington to the ground?
    No.
    I am using it as an example of one of thousands of examples of how Washington thinks it is their right to use America and our resources to benefit special interest and themselves and not a government that is suppose to represent America and IT’S citizens.
    Do you truely not get the point I am making?
    If Washington had asked Americans if they wanted to take in half a million immigrants who would not be able to learn english or support themselves and put them on American welfare for the rest of their lives how do you suppose Americans would have voted?
    If the point is humantarian considerations for these people then why did congress punish Russia with the Jackson-Vanik amendment, thereby making Russia less capable of having an economy and taking care of these people on their own?
    Don’t play dumb.
    We were so “concerned about Iraqis human right we almost starved them out with sanctions..now we are so “concerned” with giving Iranians democracy we are about to bomb them.

    Reply

  105. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There really isn’t a thing that is “US interests” that Carroll’s favorite target perverts”
    What the hell? Are you claiming that our subsidation of Israel’s genocidal treatment of the Palestinian’s isn’t harming “US interests”?
    How about the billions of dollars we’re flushin’ down the toilet over there? Tell ya what, if its a choice between filling the pothole on my culdisac, or buying the Israeli army another damned box of Uzi ammo, I know where I want MY tax dollars to go.
    Just remember you said that, and the next time those bastards do a false flag attack on one of our “US interests”, I’ll remind ya how harmless they are.

    Reply

  106. Delia says:

    I think a lot of this discussion has gotten sidetracked. The main point is military spending. Other western countries are using the resources that we in the US channel into the military into spending on education, health care, infrastructure, social security, etc. All these other areas are stigmatized as “socialism” and allowed to deteriorate. But as peoples’ lives worsen you see a lot of displaced anger where people are not really sure what the real cause is, so they direct it at immigrants, at foreigners, at whomever seems like an outsider. And there’s no shortage of talking heads to help them along.

    Reply

  107. questions says:

    Oh the typos…. Not ex-patriots! Ex-patriates…. There’s a perversion of meaning.
    And yes, I’m guessing that “Carroll” should think through just what “US interests” are — as if they could be separated and essentialized and not related to a particular group of citizens. There really isn’t a thing that is “US interests” that Carroll’s favorite target perverts.

    Reply

  108. Paul Norheim says:

    Caroll, are your serious?
    Would you really use the case of extended SSI benefits to
    “immigrants unable to learn english in 7 years or (…) too old to
    work” as an argument for burning “Washington to the ground”?

    Reply

  109. questions says:

    Auto companies have perverted US policy. Hedge fund managers have perverted US policy. The AMA has perverted US policy. Anti-communism has perverted US policy. Cuban ex-patriots have perverted US policy. Oil companies have perverted US policy. Racism has perverted US policy. Evangelicals have perverted US policy. Unions have perverted US policy. Educators have perverted US policy. Students have perverted US policy. Old people have perverted US policy. The baby boom perverted US policy. Anxiety perverts US policy. Overconfidence perverts US policy……
    Any and every group that has ever formed has pushed for policy in its favor and against the good of some other group. When you harp for forever and a day on the perversions of one particular group’s pressure, it calls to mind questions.

    Reply

  110. Carroll says:

    Continuing my research into the bill that extended SSI for non citizen immigrants beyond 7 years…and the main beneficiaries of the bill, the 573,000 Russian Jewish immigrants during the 90’s I found some background on how this influx of Russian immigrants came about.
    It seem that congress created the Jackson-Vanik Amendment in 1974 which denied Russia normal trade relations until they let Russian Jews immigrate out of Russia..one million immigrated, half to Israel and half to the US…we got all the old ones who are now on US welfare.
    Here once again we have the US strong-arming other nations on trade relations for some special interest that has nothing to do with US commerce or doesn’t contain any benefits to the US and obviously harms diplomatic relations with Russia and other countries we practice this blackballing on.
    The only insecurity I have is congress. They are the ones that need to be bombed since they are the only real threat to the US. They create more enemies for the US than you can count.
    In 2006 congress lifted the Ukraine from the provisions of Jackson-Vanik but Russia is still under it as far as I know. I have to do some further research to find out if anything has changed.
    House okays normal trade relations for Ukraine
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The U.S. House of Representative voted on Wednesday to establish permanent normal trade relations with Ukraine by revoking a Cold War provision tying Kiev’s trade status to the rights of Jews to emigrate.
    The 417-2 vote came two days after the United States and Ukraine signed an agreement paving the way for the former Soviet Republic to join the World Trade Organization.
    It also follows Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s complaint on Tuesday that Russia was still subject to the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment. U.S. trade officials say they hope to reach a WTO accession deal with Moscow this year.
    Rep. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, said he “reluctantly” supported removing Jackson-Vanik for Ukraine. Although the country does allow Jews to emigrate, it has failed to deal with “rampant anti-Semitism,” he said.
    He pointed to one Ukrainian university, the Interregional Academy of Personal Management, that he called a “disgrace to the civilized world” because of its anti-Semitism.
    Although Yushchenko has condemned anti-Semitism and criticized the university, his government should go further and revoke the university’s license, Lantos said.”

    Reply

  111. Carroll says:

    Oh yea and let’s make sure the little children don’t feel secure either.
    Teachers get guidance on how to relay the lessons of Sept. 11
    Wednesday, July 02, 2008
    BY JOHN MOONEY
    Star-Ledger Staff
    As chairman of the national 9/11 commission, former Gov. Thomas Kean has gone before the president, Congress and other powerful dignitaries with lessons of Sept. 11.
    Yesterday, Kean spoke to an ar guably more-influential audience when he shared many of those same lessons with educators crafting a curriculum for teaching New Jersey’s children about the attacks.
    “You have an enormous responsibility,” Kean told the group gathered at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. “How to teach this terrible event and get across these things to our children, you are vested with that incredible responsibility. But if I have faith in anything, I have faith in teachers.”
    The setting was a conference kicking off a yearlong effort to develop curriculum and resources for teachers faced with a dual chal lenge of teaching the history and context of the terrorist attacks in communities that witnessed them.
    And with about 100 educators in attendance yesterday, it was clear the hurdles don’t stop there. There are rising demands on teachers throughout the year, scant resources in textbooks and elsewhere and even the timing difficulty of aniversaries that come only days after schools open.
    “We need to be dealing with this in totality … more than a simple commemoration,” said Robert Barnshaw, a Gloucester Township teacher. “And in the pattern of the year, Sept. 11 is probably not the best time to be doing that.”
    To hear Kean and others speak, Sept. 11 could easily be its own course, although most agreed it’s a topic better infused across different subjects and even into nurses’ and counselors’ offices.
    “It’s an event that’s absolutely unique in the history of this coun try and needs to be treated as such,” said Kean.
    The former governor’s national commission in 2004 penned a scathing report on the lead-up to the attacks, with widespread blame meted out for security lapses and policy failures. While mincing few words yesterday in sharing those lessons with teachers, Kean also implored them to tell students about the courage and action that arose from the attacks, from the heroism on Flight 93 to the activism of survivors’ families.
    “Tell the story in the classroom about those who suffered losses simply unimaginable, but also about what came out of that loss that was absolutely amazing,” said Kean, a former teacher. “As part of 9/11, you have to tell that story.”
    The ultimate report will be modeled off New Jersey’s successful Holocaust curriculum, which is not specifically mandated by the state but has provided background and lesson plans for teachers.
    Most at the conference agreed there’s a need for such guidance, but they also said the task of teaching the many facets of Sept. 11 will only begin there.
    “It’s not a cut-and-dry issue,” said Vincent Soccodato, social studies supervisor in Woodbridge. “And not something that will be going away anytime soon.”

    Reply

  112. JohnH says:

    “And yet Americans don’t feel secure”
    “Where are all these people who don’t feel secure anyway?”
    In Washington: their perks and prestige as Master of the Universe are on the line…
    Let the purge begin!

    Reply

  113. janinsanfran says:

    The only thing that is going to get the U.S. out of the ruling the world by force business is economic collapse. We seem to be working on it.

    Reply

  114. Carroll says:

    And OT but I become furious every time I look thru all the idiotic bills congress passes.
    I found one tonight they passed in 1996 to extend SSI past the original 7 years for non citizen immigrants because they couldn’t learn english in 7 years or were too old to work.
    And you won’t believe who pushed this in congress and with good old bubba Clinton..well you probably will…hint…in the 1990’s we took in almost half a million jewish Russian immigrants that Israel lured out of Russia….it appears they dumped the old and disabled ones in the US and sent the rest to Israel.
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/hearings.asp?formmode=view&id=6003
    But congress didn’t want to extend unemployment benefits for working CITIZEN Americans recently..damn amurkins who pay all the bills shouldn’t have any of them damn “entitlements”.
    American citizens better start raising their own army so they can….BURN WASHINGTON TO THE GROUND AND START OVER.

    Reply

  115. Mr.Murder says:

    Don’t knock Mexican gangsters.
    The Army lowered recruiting standards and its largest recruiting office is in Mexico City.
    Guess who’s coming to fiesta dinner?

    Reply

  116. Carroll says:

    Should we increase the army or shouldn’t we? Should, shouldn’t, should, shouldn’t, etc,etc, etc.
    What damn difference does it make when we are doing NOTHING about the real problem? What will our shit for brains and corrupt politicans do with a larger or smaller army? Is a larger or smaller army going to make them any less corrupt or any less stupid?
    You might as well offer a monkey the choice of a Honda or a Hummer, the only difference will be the size of the wreck.

    Reply

  117. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Where are all these people who don’t feel secure anyway?”
    In San Fernando, Lamont, Arvin, Pacoima, South Eastern Bakersfield, East Los Angeles, and most of the other urban areas of the western United States. Hiding from the Mexican gang bangers.

    Reply

  118. Carroll says:

    “And yet Americans don’t feel secure”
    Gawd…I hate those people who whine around about “their safety.”
    Where are all these people who don’t feel secure anyway?
    Someone please round them up and put them in some safe locked down mental institution. Maybe then we can have some peace.

    Reply

  119. Paul Norheim says:

    Looking for reasons why the United States have lost so much
    prestige and authority, one may start by asking a couple of
    questions related to my comment above:
    1) Why, where and how are the Americans fighting “illegal
    enemy combatants”?
    2) How do they treat these combatants when they capture
    them?
    Someone here at TWN once pointed out that if John Yoo`s
    definition of torture was correct, John McCain was never
    tortured.
    I am also surprised why General Wesley Clark`s recent
    comment created such a media storm. If being a POW qualifies
    for becoming a leader of a nation, America have for the last
    years been very busy producing future presidential candidates
    at Guantanamo and elsewhere around the world.

    Reply

  120. Delia says:

    Th United States already spends far and away more on its military than the rest of the world put together. How much is enough? Paul Norheim above is absolutely correct, but I’m afraid that no one in the American debate will want to listen to his historical examples precisely because of the myth of American exceptionalism. “None of this applies to us, because we’re different.” So goes the line of thinking.
    The general culture becomes ever more militarized. the mainstream media goes into hysterical fits when General Wesley Clark mildly suggests that it doesn’t necessarily follow that McCain is qualified to be President simply because he was a POW. Unfortunately, anyone, Democrat or Republican, who is anywhere near the real sources of power seem absolutely unwilling to contemplate any course that would bring the military under control or lessen the US military “footprint” in the world, which is what really needs to be done, both to salvage our democracy and our economy, as well as our place in the world. We’ll probably have to take the course of Goliath. Power corrupts and all that. But better than Lord Acton is Nietzsche: “Power makes stupid.”
    And yes, I’m an American.

    Reply

  121. Paul Norheim says:

    As a non-American, I agree with those who say that the issue is
    inseparable from a re-thinking of the role of the United States
    in the world. The current decline in power, prestige and
    credibility makes this a good opportunity for such reflections.
    Questioning the myth of American exceptionalism is a good
    place to start.
    Secondly, the acceptance of dangers as a fact of life. No human
    being under the sun can be 100% secure, and every time
    someone act like a Goliath, a David will enter the scene.
    The third big issue is a frequently repeated problem: the
    military-industrial-congressional complex.
    The draft will simply create an even larger Goliath in an era of
    asymmetrical warfare. The French learned this as early as under
    Napoleon, when the Grande Armèe attacked Spain, and met
    resistance from “illegal combatants.” The same happened
    shortly after, during the French-Russian war – and you`ve seen
    this in Vietnam as well, the last time you had the draft. Only
    fools would suggest that the current warfare in Iraq and
    Afghanistan can be solved by reinstalling the draft.
    Unfortunately, the current American leadership is not immune
    against foolishness and incompetence, and if you add greed,
    you have dangerous mix.

    Reply

  122. questions says:

    “and yet Americans don’t feel secure” — these words are the centerpiece. We don’t feel secure because we have a culture that hasn’t yet made peace with death. We have simulated death everywhere — movies, news casts, roller coasters, highway speeding, shark attacks and now, killer tomatoes. But despite all of this largely simulated death, we are so uncomfortable with actual death that we pervert the health care system with endless unneeded drugs (cholesteral MAY not be the real devil, cancer drugs give patients 3 months, osteopenia doesn’t predict osteoporosis which doesn’t predict hip fractures….) We dope up, tube up, militarize, conquer, arm ourselves with 2nd Amendment-approved guns…all to avoid the death that’s waiting for us anyway. We need a dose of Socrates who simply didn’t fear death. Without the fear, we can’t justify the MIC, the preemptive wars, the guns, the drugs….
    I’m not saying that we should all just die today to get it over with, but we really do need to make peace with the inevitable in a way that we just don’t. Think through the meaning of Terry Schiavo.

    Reply

  123. Kathleen says:

    Geeeezuzz- god, how beastial have we, as a nation become, when we allow a couple of yellow, but privileged, chicken-hawk draft-dodgers send single Moms into combat while keeping their own sorry asses and their spawn, safe and sound and securely invested, off shore? on peace, not War, Ralph Nader proposes reinstating the draft and drafting elected officla’s children first..
    Female U.S. Casualties More Common in Iraq War
    By Kevin Mooney
    CNSNews.com Staff Writer
    July 02, 2008
    (Editor’s note: Changes the number of non-combat incidents.)
    (CNSNews.com) – More American servicewomen have been killed serving in Iraq than were killed serving in either Operation Desert Storm or in the Vietnam War, according to a Cybercast News Service database.
    So far, 97 American women, including seven single mothers, have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The average age of these female casualties is 27.
    Non-combat incidents such as suspected suicides, physical stress, accidental gun wounds, helicopter crashes and vehicular accidents account for 39 (or about 40 percent) of the female causalities in Iraq, while 58 of the female casualties (or nearly 60 percent) have been caused by hostile action, the analysis shows.
    The U.S. Defense Department confirmed these figures in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) by Cybercast News Service.
    Twenty of the U.S. servicewomen killed in Iraq were killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or by explosions that were probably IEDs, the Cybercast News Service database shows.
    Other female soldiers perished when their units came into contact with small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, mortar fire and suicide bombers.
    The female casualty numbers reported thus far in Operation Iraqi Freedom outpace other recent conflicts. In the Gulf War, for example, there were 16 female casualties among the 41,000 female service members deployed as part of Operation Desert Storm. In Vietnam, there were 8 female casualties among the 7,465 women who served in theater.
    The Department of Defense told Cybercast News Service it could not immediately state the full number of servicewomen who have served in Iraq since the beginning of the war. However, as of this January, there were 10,262 female service members deployed there.
    In the Korean War, there were 17 casualties among the 1,000 U.S. servicewomen who served in theater, DOD data shows. However, 11 of these casualties were Navy nurses who died in a single plane crash, according to Kristin Gilpatrick, a public relations assistant with the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation.
    Defense Department records show that there were about 400,000 women who served in U.S. military worldwide during World War II and that 543 of these women “died in the line of duty,” said Gilpatrick.
    Aircraft accidents, vehicle accidents and illness were responsible for most of these deaths, but Defense Department reports also indicate that 16 female service members died as the result of enemy fire in WW II.
    That means that the 58 U.S. servicewomen already killed by hostile action in Iraq equal almost four times the number of U.S. servicewomen killed by hostile action in all of World War II.
    The casualty figures reported for female service members in Iraq should be a major source of concern for policymakers on Capitol Hill, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), told Cybercast News Service.
    Although it is widely understood that women will be deployed in “harm’s way” at the brigade level, existing rules preclude them from being placed “at the tip of the spear” in ground combat, she explained.
    Nevertheless, Defense Department officials and the U.S. Army in particular are violating current regulations that require combat battalions to be all male, she said.
    Existing rules have been “stretched, re-defined, blurred and disregarded” without congressional authorization to the great detriment of female soldiers, Donnelly maintains. While she ardently supports female participation in the armed forces, Donnelly is opposed to intermixing males and females in combat battalions where unit cohesion is vital.
    “The situation is totally out of hand,” she said. “There are no regulations that have any teeth at all in the army, they are being routinely ignored and Congress is allowing this to happen without exercising any oversight.”
    However, Donnelly did offer praise for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who launched his own investigation into the issue of women in combat in 2005. Hunter essentially ended a 15-year lapse in congressional oversight on the deployment of female service members, Donnelly said.
    The congressional committee did consider legislation that would have provided for stricter enforcement of existing regulations in 2005. However, the Defense Department persuaded committee members to refrain from moving the legislation to the floor in exchange for the Defense Department doing a study.
    The end result was a report produced through the RAND Corporation that essentially “rubberstamped” U.S. Army practices, Donnelly contends.
    The demands and expectations now attached to female service members already are having an impact on family dynamics that should greatly concern policy makers, she continued.
    “There is a vast social experiment now underway in the Army, and it’s alarming to see how far this administration has allowed it to go,” Donnelly argued. “What’s happening now is not normal. It is outside of the law and official policy, and our female soldiers deserve better.”
    Female soldiers have come under attack in Iraq, not because of any unofficial shift in Pentagon policy, but because “the nature of the conflict” positions them in harm’s way in certain instances, Les’ Melnyk, a Defense Department spokesman, told Cybercast News Service.
    “We don’t have fixed front lines [in Iraq] because of the manner in which the war is being conducted,” he explained. “This sometimes means those units that do not have a direct combat mission do come under attack, and of course women are going to defend themselves and they have acquitted themselves quite well.”
    Even so, the rules of service dating back to 1994 that exclude women from being assigned to combat units below the brigade level continue to be observed, Melnyk maintained.
    “They are not being assigned to infantry battalions or armor battalions where the primary role is to engage the enemy,” he said.
    But Donnelly is not convinced that the U.S. military is upholding regulations that are designed to safeguard women. She also is concerned about the impact military service is having on family relations.
    The instances of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are much higher for women than they are for men, according to the CMR. Moreover, female soldiers suffer from a “great deal of pain and grief” as a consequence of separation from children and other family members, Donnelly said. It is necessary for young mothers to become “emotionally distant” from their children as a survival mechanism that enables them to endure the deployment, she said.
    Unfortunately, it is difficult to “bridge the gap” and re-establish relationships when they return home, Donnelly added.
    Twelve female casualties in Iraq left behind one or more children, according to the Cybercast News Service database. Seventeen of the female casualties were married and seven were single mothers, the analysis showed.
    The District of Columbia’s non-voting congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) held a forum in April highlighting the contributions that female National Guard members have made in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although she is critic of the Iraq War and Bush administration polices, Del. Norton said she had “deep love and respect” for those who volunteer to serve in the armed forces.
    Stephanie Wade, a member of the 547th Transportation National Guard Unit in Washington D.C., took part in the forum. She served from September 2006 to September. 2007 at the Tallil Airbase outside the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.
    Wade was deployed during the height of the insurgency and experienced several mortar attacks on her base. After each attack it was her job to be sure everyone was accounted for and to help assess any damage.
    “You never know where a rocket is going to land — it could land right next to your trailer,” she said.
    She also was responsible for intelligence-gathering efforts for the benefit of convoys traveling “outside the wire” into combat areas where IEDs were positioned.
    Although the time away put a strain on her family life, Wade said she did not have any trouble re-connecting with her two young girls and is very active in her community.
    “I keep a house full of kids,” she said. “I keep myself surrounded with my two girls and their friends from school.”
    The larger issue at work here concerns recent policy changes that now result in women “assuming heavier burdens and greater risks” than at any time in U.S. history, Donnelly said.

    Reply

  124. Linda says:

    Agree with pretty much all of the above. If we continue this way, American Empire will decline as will this country. We may honor those who choose to serve (even though it often is for opportunities for education) and because they are injured and die so that none of us or our children are drafted. But there will never be another greatest generation as there was in WWII when people were willing to sign up and be drafted to truly fight for our country. Wars that the majority of citizens don’t understand or support and aren’t declared by Congress don’t work out very well.
    That won’t happen again for many reasons including technology of war and many political changes around the world. In the 21st century we have to find a way to make peace and not war.

    Reply

  125. Beth in VA says:

    If we add more troops, that’s fine as long as tie that to dollar for dollar decreases in the amount we spend on privitization of the military. We need to get rid of most or all of the mercenaries and military contractors that have little or no oversight.

    Reply

  126. Kathleen says:

    A pumped up military is antithetical to the concept of world peace. Pumping up the military because some armchair warrior intent on ruling as a “War President”‘ rather than governing a Democracy, pumped up the threats against us to justify securing product for private companies, at taxpayer expense, in blood and treasure, is a formula for tyranny.
    I would rather we spend our treasure on international humanitarian./peacekeeping missions, making friends, not enemies around the world. Pumping up the military to address fake threats is like taking Viagra when there is no real attraction happening. Try a new approach.

    Reply

  127. Bartolo says:

    Sad is that nowhere in the mainstream media do we see any discussion of realistic alternatives to our current defense posture. All we get on any given topic are sound bites.

    Reply

  128. JimD says:

    Let’s start by leveling the playing field. Draft all 18-26 year olds in America into the army. No exemptions. Then let’s start a debate about the military budget and policy.

    Reply

  129. tbaum says:

    Force structure must always depend upon the definition of the mission. So far, the defined mission of our military has been completely consistent with an imperial offensive mission and not at all with a sufficient defensive mission. Before we even consider a proposal to increase our forces, we should step back and decide up front and clearly whether we wish this nation to continue as an imperial power aiming to conquer and/or control others and their resources for our selfish benefit or whether we finally wish to step back and provided enough military force to adequately defend ourselves. If it is the first, then there is no real limit to the size of the force structure we will need. If it is the latter, then we already have far more military force than we need and we are wasting far more of our wealth and resources on it then we need to do.
    As to Obama’s and McCain’s specific proposals, they both should be required to define precisely just what mission those additional forces are needed to accomplish. That just might be a real eye opener.
    4gqchh

    Reply

  130. amir says:

    Iran: War or Privatization: All Out War or “Economic Conquest”?
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20080704&articleId=9501

    Reply

  131. jonst says:

    Keep destroying the economy and you’ll get more volunteers Mr. M.
    Steve, there is no chance that any candidate today could stand a chance running for President advocating cutting the military. I suspect a slim majority of the American people support cutting the defense budget. But it is a non-starter to the powers that be and their lap/attack dogs in the media.

    Reply

  132. PacificCoastRon says:

    If the mission were just to defend the territories From Key West to the Bering Sea against all _actual_ threats of foreign military action, it could be done for what, one-tenth, one-twentieth of the current cost ?
    A cost which is, according to some calculations, LARGER THAN THE MILITARY BUDGETS OF ALL OTHER NATIONS COMBINED.
    And yet we do not enjoy the security of all other nations combined, not even close. We do not enjoy the security of a Denmark or a Papau New Guinea, rather much less. One could say our cost is inflated because we are covering the costs of global military hegemony over Denmark and Papau New Guinea, But why are we doing that?
    What if we actually had a policy calling for increased cooperation with other nations and building international cultures, standards and institutions which made warfare less likely ?

    Reply

  133. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    The true yardstick regarding the US military project has to be indexed or based in terms of two opposite propostions or perceptions:US doctrine of implementing the dictates of neoutilitarianism-advocationg for expansion in the US military while the other one is the US doctrine of promoting humanistic globalism-correctly demanding the cut in the size of the US military.Pragmatically, the present US administration or the next should give priority to downnsize the US military to prevent the US economy from the seemingly harrows of a shipwrecked future.

    Reply

  134. JohnH says:

    The national security problem is much bigger than any simple “rewiring.” It starts with the American government’s grandiosity, spurred on by defense contractors and their subsidiaries in the corporate media. Americans never asked the US military to annex Iraq’s oil fields, to control oil production at the spiggots, to prop up the corrupt tyrants who produce most of the world’s petroleum, or to jealously guard the world’s current and potential pipelines (Afghanistan) and sea lanes. The Bush administration foisted this role on the American people and onto the people of the world.
    The US government’s messianic mission to control the world’s oil has driven the discretionary budget deeply into the red, necessitating massive borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund and China and Japan. Besides making the United States beholden to foreign governments and tanking its currency, excessive and wasteful military spending will make it impossible to fund Social Security, Medicare, healthcare, and jeopardize the security of a large part of American society.
    Could we please have a discussion of America’s proper military role in the world, and soon– before it bankrupts the government and ends the American way of life that the military is supposedly protecting?

    Reply

  135. Mr.Murder says:

    It’s a volunteer army, you can’t make more troops appear when demand lacks.
    We’ve also lowered recruiting standards. Nobody has yet to address qualitative aspects of this new policy.
    Who’s going to mention a draft?
    The Obama solution is to employ more mercs at far greater cost and with less operational control, Geneva loopholes, etc.
    Will the next POTUS be inducted at Den Haag?

    Reply

  136. LInda says:

    I just don’t feel like repeating versions of things I’ve posted for years on TWN about military-industrial-Congressional-academic complex, Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, and the total lack of management, oversight, and fiscal accountability of DOD’s budget.
    Instead I’ll post something people might find useful as the biggest and best show to date on the entire Xian excavation will be coming to US from UK this year and next starting right here in Atlanta for five months. The following paragraph is from website of High Museum in Atlanta (www.high.org) that you can visit for details and includes other places in U.S. where it will be:
    The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army opened at the British Museum on September 13, 2007, and ran through April 6, 2008. It will subsequently travel to the High Museum, where it will be on view from November 16, 2008, to April 19, 2009. The objects featured in the exhibition will also travel to the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, Calif., the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Texas, and the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., where they will be presented within a different curatorial framework.
    I’m pretty sure, but not positive, that only Atlanta will have the entire same show that was at the British Museum. I saw some of them at LA County Museum of Art years ago. So you don’t have to go to China to see them.

    Reply

Add your comment

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