Update from Steve — Strategic Planning is Going Well

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Steve just called in from Spectacle Lake via satellite phone to make sure readers have not abandoned TWN in his absence. He’s happy to report no run-ins with any bears thus far but is prepared to fend them off with his self-taught Davy Crockett maneuvers. Apparently the wilderness air does wonders for strategic planning.
–Sameer Lalwani

Comments

60 comments on “Update from Steve — Strategic Planning is Going Well

  1. Kathleen says:

    The Greeks conceived of “democracy” but it was the Romans who developed the Republic, with a legislative branch and plebiscites.
    In any case, we’re all imperfect humans with imperfect systems. Hopefully together we can perfect our processes.
    Did anyone happen to catch Keith Olberman’s report on Rove’s resignation? He quoted from Rove’s book on the first time he saw Gee Dub.
    The Roverator seems to remember everything GeeDub was wearing, the first time he “laid eyes on” Dopey, noting that he “exuded” charisma, with his aviator’s jacket, jeans, cowboy boots, and hat.
    Sounds like a man crush to me.
    Meanwhile, home on the range, turds and blossoms at Crawback Mountain will be doing “their thang”.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    I’m not sure what people you think are “pre-civilized”, less evloved, 17th century societies…. no democratic governance anywhere?
    Posted by Kathleen at August 15, 2007 05:30 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    I am taling the royalty system and King George and his fellow rulers …. there was no democratic rule for 9 out of ten countries and societies in the 1600’s.
    The Greeks invented the “Republic”…the original concept of which is even better ..what our’s was meant to be…before it became so corrupted…and as far as I am concerned we can put the native Indians back in charge….they are bound to do better than we have.

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    When I say “our founding fathers’ I am speaking as someone who was born in the US, and therefore as a citizen, and the “founders” as those who signed the Declaration of Indpendence, who were from all 13 Colonies, and whose thinking crafted a near perfect document for the concept of equality before the law and an effective way for implementing it, except if you were native or black or female. I wasn’t thinking of whose toes touched land first.
    I’m not sure what people you think are “pre-civilized”, less evloved, 17th century societies…. no democratic governance anywhere?
    Our republic was based on the early Roman republic, with three branches of gov’t, bicameral legislature, but a solo executive rather than the Roman Triumvirate for an executive. Personally, I prefer the Roman executive… less monarchial.
    Native peoples may not have had our brand of democracy, but they had their decision making processes, one of which was achieving consensus before acting on behalf of the group.
    I do agree that those Pilgrims who became the Bush dynasty do not quite get the Constitution or they get it but don’t give a damn because they prefer a monarchy, Torries to the end.
    Where is Brutus when you need him?
    An interesting article in today’s Washington Post, by Monica Hesse.
    Rove’s Mob Remark: An Age Old Social Slur.
    http://washingtonpost/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/14/AR2007081401703

    Reply

  4. pauline says:

    Here’s a story worth noting —
    “See Who’s Editing Wikipedia – Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign”
    “On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company’s machines. While anonymous, such changes typically leave behind digital fingerprints offering hints about the contributor, such as the location of the computer used to make the edits.
    In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself. And it is far from an isolated case. A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources, and for the first time puts comprehensive data behind longstanding suspicions of manipulation, which until now have surfaced only piecemeal in investigations of specific allegations.”
    more at —
    http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/08/wiki_tracker

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    According to GQ:
    THE 50 MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE IN D.C.
    In Washington, you are either a person with power or a person who acts like he has power. How do you tell the contenders from the pretenders? We canvassed the city’s top think tankers, congressional aides, and political journalists to find out. Herewith, the 50 men and women who make it all happen (but not anyone named Bush or Cheney)
    …here was the ranking of “the lobbies”, they come in tied for sixth place for most powerful person in DC.
    6. HOWARD KOHR
    51
    Executive Director, AIPAC
    BILL NOVELLI
    66
    CEO, AARP
    WAYNE LAPIERRE
    56
    Executive Vice President, NRA
    BILLY TAUZIN
    64
    President and CEO, PhRMA
    In 2006, the four interest groups they command spoke for 40 million members and thirty-two drug companies, racked up $43 million in lobbying expenses, and threw their considerable weight around to keep a slew of unpopular laws on the books and uphold the status quo. (Most Americans believe in some form of gun control, for instance, but no one in Congress is willing to stick his neck out on the issue—for fear of getting shot with some totally legal semiautomatic hunting weapons.) Thanks to the influence their groups wield that’s both detectable (money given to campaigns) and subtle (the personal relationships built with committee members of both parties), don’t expect any big changes to our Israel or prescription-drug policies in coming years.
    >>>>>>>>
    And to put this into perspective…out of the 40 million in this collective Lobby membership, more than 35 million are in the AARP group, 4 million in the Gun lobby membership, that leaves 1 million between the Drug industry and AIPAC.
    A little out of proportion wouldn’t you say? Not to mention that the new CEO of AARP, Norvelli, is a former insurance exec and the one who struck the deal for the new drug plan with Bush..a nice bonus for Norvelli in the new AARP drug insurance plans. The AARP like the Chamber of Commerce has been overtaken by big “biz” execs. As for AIPAC they are “foreign” agents. Maybe the NRA has the right idea, we should all have guns…to protect us from the lobbies.

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  6. Carroll says:

    Yesterday I was listening to NPR while in the car and heard a rehash of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon which gave the numbers of 158 Israeli troops killed and 1300 “civilians” in Lebanon killed…it didn’t say how many Hezbollah if any had been killed.
    So this from Col Lang is interesting:
    « Check Special Forces story on TA | Main
    Barak will “fix” the IDF
    “A focus on counterterrorism and guerrilla warfare in recent decades has weakened Israeli ground forces by creating a mind-set averse to accepting casualties, according to an initial assessment by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
    Mr. Barak, a former army chief of staff, a former prime minister and arguably Israel’s most decorated soldier, took over the defense portfolio two months ago with a mission to rebuild the army after a disastrous war with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon last summer.
    Examining the lessons of the war, colleagues say, Mr. Barak has been disturbed by how far the ground army had regressed since fighting in 1982 against Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization and the Syrian army in Lebanon.” Abraham Rabinovich
    ————————————————————–
    All those who thought I was excessively harsh last year in criticizing IDF performance in Lebanon should consider this. Those who claimed as a part of the usual Israeli propaganda campaign that the IDF had won against Hizbullah should also take note.
    The IDF and US forces have now had so much contact that they begin to resemble each other. The shared aversion on the part of commanders to accepting necessary losses in mission accomplishment is merely one example. In Iraq, commanders are reported to be so casualty shy that operations are often not pressed for that reason. Why? Dead soldiers can easily mean the end of a career.
    In the case of the IDF, the “rot” in the forces extended far past the tactical level of operations and planning. The conception on the part of the general staff and the government which led to a bombing campaign intended to break the will of the Lebanese was deeply flawed. This application of classic strategic bombing theory was as bad an idea as it proved to be. Douhet’s theories were embraced by such people as Hugh Trenchard, Curtis Lemay and “Bomber” Harris. They have never worked well as a predicate of national victory. People will point to the Balkans in the ’90s as an example of vindication for these ideas, but it has been argued that this is not so. A discussion of that would be welcomed. pl”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It is doubly interesting to me because I got into an arguement with a stuanch zionist way before Lebanon about how quick the IDF would have it’s ass handed to them because they had no experience any more except being overarmed and overtanked against stone throwing children and ragtag bombers.
    Israel in particular and the US as well will never fight a conventional or guerilla war to the last man, the Arab insurgents and freedom fighters will. It’s their land.
    How long until, in order to avoid “losing” their empire goal will it be until Isrmerica reaches for the weapon of last resort and nukes someone?

    Reply

  7. Sandy says:

    http://www.counterpunch.com/roberts08152007.html
    The Peculiar Relationship
    “No American President Can Stand Up to Israel”
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS August 15, 2007
    “No American President can stand up to Israel.”
    These words came from feisty Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations (1967-1970) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1970-1974). Moorer was, perhaps, the last independent-minded American military leader.
    Admiral Moorer knew what he was talking about. On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked the American intelligence ship, USS Liberty, killing 34 American sailors and wounding 173. The Israelis even strafed the life rafts, machine-gunning the American sailors leaving the stricken ship.
    Apparently, the USS Liberty had picked up Israeli communications that revealed Israel’s responsibility for the Seven Day War. Even today, history books and the majority of Americans blame the conflict on the Arabs.
    The United States Navy knew the truth, but the President of the United States took Israel’s side against the American military and ordered the United States Navy to shut its mouth. President Lyndon Johnson said it was all just a mistake. Later in life, Admiral Moorer formed a commission and presented the unvarnished truth to Americans.
    The power of the Israel Lobby over American foreign policy is considerable. In March 2006, two distinguished American scholars, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, expressed concern in the London Review of Books that the power of the Israel Lobby was bending US foreign policy in directions that serve neither US nor Israeli interests. The two experts were hoping to start a debate that might rescue the US and Israel from unsuccessful policies of coercion that are intensifying Muslim hatred of Israel and America. The Israel lobby was opposed to any such reassessment, and attempted to close it off with epithets: “Jew-baiter,” “anti-semitic,” and even “anti-American.” Today Israeli citizens who oppose Zionist plans for greater Israel are denounced as “anti-Semites.”
    Many Americans are unaware of the influence of the Israel lobby. Instead they think of the US as “the world’s sole superpower,” a macho new Roman Empire whose orders are obeyed without question or the insolent nonentity is “bombed back to the stone age.” Many Americans are convinced that military coercion serves our interest. They cite Libya, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now they are ready to bring Iran and Pakistan to heel with bombs.
    This arrogance results in the murder of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of men, women and children, a fate that many Americans seem to believe is appropriate for countries that do not accept US hegemony.
    Coercion is what American foreign policy has become. Macho superpatriots love it. Many of these superpatriots derive vicarious pleasure from their delusions that America is “kicking those sand niggers’ asses.”
    This is the America of the Bush Regime. If some of these superpatriots had their way every “unpatriotic, terrorist supporter” who dares to criticize the war against “the Islamofacists” would be sent to Gitmo, if not shot on the spot.
    These Bush supporters have morphed the Republican Party into the Brownshirt Party. They cannot wait to attack Iran, preferably with nuclear weapons. Impatient for Armageddon, some are so full of hubris and self-righteousness that they actually believe that their support for evil means they will be “wafted up to heaven.” [see
    It has come as a crippling blow to Democrats that “their” political party is comfortable with Bush’s America, and will do nothing to stop the Bush regime’s aggression against the Iraqi people or to prevent the Bush regime’s attack on Iran.
    The Democrats could easily impeach both Bush and Cheney in the House, as impeachment only requires a majority vote. They could not convict in the Senate without Republican support, as conviction requires ratification by two-thirds of Senators present. Nevertheless, a House vote for impeachment would take the wind out of the sails of war, save countless lives and perhaps even save humanity from nuclear holocaust.
    Various rationales or excuses have been constructed for the Democrats’ complicity in aggression that does not serve America. Perhaps the most popular rationale is that the Democrats are letting the Republicans have all the rope they want with which to produce such a high disapproval rating that the Democrats will sweep the 2008 election.
    It is doubtful that the Democrats would assume that men as cunning as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney do not understand the electoral consequences of a low public approval rating and are walking blindly into an electoral wipeout. Rove’s departure does not mean that no strategy is in place.
    So what does explain the complicity of the Democratic Party in a policy that the American public, and especially Democratic constituencies, reject? Perhaps a clue is offered from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune news report (August 1, 2007) that Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison will spend a week in Israel on “a privately funded trip sponsored by the American Israel Education Federation. The AIEF–the charitable arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)–is sending 19 members of Congress to meet with Israeli leaders. The group, made up mostly of freshman Democrats, has plans to meet with Isreali Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and [puppet] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The senior Democratic member on the trip is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has gone three times. . . . The trip to Israel is Ellison’s second as a congressman.”
    According to the Star-Tribune, a Republican group, which includes Rep. Michele Bachmann (R, Minn), led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R, Va) is already in Israel. According to news reports, another 40 are following these two groups during the August recess, and “by the time the year is out every single member of Congress will have made their rounds in Israel.” This claim is probably overstated, but it does show careful Israeli management of US policy in the Middle East.
    Elsewhere on earth and especially among Muslims, the suspicion is rife that the reason the war against Iraq cannot end, and the reason Iran and Syria must be attacked, is that the US must destroy all Muslim opposition to Israel’s theft of Palestine, turning an entire people into refugees driven from their homes and from the lands on which they have lived for many centuries. Americans might think that they are merely grabbing control over oil, keeping it out of the hands of terrorists, but that is not the way the rest of the world views the conflict.
    Jimmy Carter was the last American president who stood up to Israel and demanded that US diplomacy be, at least officially if not in practice, even-handed in its approach to Israel and Palestine. Since Carter’s presidency, even-handedness has slowly drained from US policy in the Middle East. The neoconservative Bush/Cheney regime has abandoned even the pretense of even-handedness.
    This is unfortunate, because military coercion has proven to be unsuccessful. Exhausted from the conflict, the US military, according to former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, is “nearly broken.” Demoralized elite West Point graduates are leaving the army at the fastest clip in 30 years. Desertions are rapidly rising. A friend, a US Marine officer who served in combat in Vietnam, recently wrote to me that his son’s Marine unit, currently training for its third deployment to Iraq in September, is short 12-16 men in every platoon and expects to be hit with more AWOLs prior to deployment.
    Instead of re-evaluating a failed policy, Bush’s “war tsar,” General Douglas Lute, has called for the reinstitution of the draft. Gen. Lute doesn’t see why Americans should not be returned to military servitude in order to save the Bush administration the embarrassment of having to correct a mistaken Middle East policy that commits the US to more aggression and to debilitating long-term military conflict in the Middle East.
    It is difficult to see how this policy serves any interest other than the very narrow one of the armaments industry. Apparently, nothing can be done to change this disastrous policy until the Israel Lobby comes to the realization that Israel’s interest is not being served by the current policy of military coercion.”

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  8. Carroll says:

    Bless those like Greenwald who are adddressing the real enemy…the “DC septic and incest tanks of orwellian bipartisan collusion”. How can anyone not see that this whole system is what must be destroyed if America is to have any future?
    Glenn Greenwald
    Tuesday August 14, 2007 06:14 EST
    Enforcing the community’s foreign policy orthodoxy
    (updated below – updated again – Update III – Update IV)
    A rather spirited exchange occurred yesterday on the question of Iraq between Atrios, on the one hand, and, on the other, Michael Cohen and Shadi Hamid at Democracy Arsenal, a foreign policy blog for various Democratic members of the Foreign Policy Community. The primary topic was whether those Democrats such as Will Marshall of the DLC — who not only supported Bush’s invasion but also actively enabled the whole litany of abuses of the last six years — should be considered discredited and shunned.
    In the course of defending Marshall’s honor, Michael Cohen — who worked in various foreign policy positions as part of the Clinton administration and then for various Democratic politicians — argued that: “Like it or not, there was a defensible case for war in Iraq. . . . . Did this justify war? In my view, absolutely not. But that doesn’t morally invalidate the people who believed that war was appropriate.” Thus, he argued, people who supported that war are perfectly credible and Democrats should treat them with the respect they deserve.
    In the course of defending the credibility of Democratic war proponents, Cohen says this:
    Surely, a defensible case for war does not mean that we should have necessarily gone to war. It’s a view that I share. There is a good argument to be made for going to war against Iran and North Korea — that doesn’t mean we should do it.
    Just marvel at that. Not only, according to this Democratic foreign policy expert, were there “good arguments” for attacking and invading Iraq (a country which neither attacked nor threatened to attack us), there are also now what Cohen calls “good arguments” for starting wars against two more countries (at least) that have also not attacked us (or anyone else for that matter). And this is not Bill Kristol talking — at least not here. Rather, it is the view of someone who not only works within the Democratic Party foreign policy establishment, but — like the Brookings Institution — is situated on the so-called “liberal” end of the spectrum (Cohen worked for Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd, among others).
    * * * * *
    The Number One Rule of the bi-partisan Foreign Policy Community is that America has the right to invade and attack other countries at will because American power is inherently good and our role in the world is to rule it though the use of superior military force. Paying homage to that imperialistic orthodoxy is a non-negotiable pre-requisite to maintaining Good Standing and Seriousness Credentials within the Foreign Policy Community.
    Conversely, one who denies that premise reveals oneself to be deeply unserious and unworthy of meaningful discourse. While differences on the “when” and “how” are permitted, there is virtually no debate within the foreign policy establishment about whether the U.S. has the right to continue to intervene and attack and invade and occupy other countries in the absence of those countries attacking us. Hence, to Cohen and his colleagues, it sounds perfectly normal and natural to say that the U.S. has “good reasons” to start wars against a whole host of countries because — as bizarre and abnormal and unfathomable that idea is for most of the world — it is an implicit, unexamined belief among our foreign policy elites that the U.S. is entitled, more or less, to use military force even in the absence of being attacked or threatened with attack.
    This orthodoxy is not merely passively accepted, but actively enforced. The principal goal is to ensure that it remains a bi-partisan view so that, in turn, the question of America’s role in the world is never subject to any real debate. The three “crazy, insane, wacko, fringe” presidential candidates are Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and Dennis Kucinich. Yet the only thing they have in common (other than having been elected multiple times to the U.S. Congress) is a belief that the U.S. has been using its military force illegitimately by using it against other countries that are not attacking us. But that belief, standing alone, is enough to eject one from the mainstream, because it violates the central consensus of the establishment.”

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  9. Carroll says:

    When you get down to it, even our Founding Fathers, fresh off the boat, ruled by force and used some repressive tactics against the hands that fed them, that first Thanksgiving Day.
    The rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree, or should I say Bush?
    See:
    http://wonkette.com/politics/sins-of-the-father-dept'/bush-sr-living-out-his-last-days-in-shame-287750
    Posted by Kathleen at August 11, 2007 12:38 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I can’t get that link to work. But one of the things that most irritates me is the myth of America’s “founding” and the constant use of “our” founders by people who know nothing about the reasons or true thinking of the actual founders.
    The ships that first landed on these shores, from the Spanish in Fla to Walter Raleigh in NC, the “first failed” Lost Colony at Manteo, that I lived within a stones throw of, and the “first successful” colony in America at Jamestown Va. in 1614 where my ancestors landed, were pure “adventurism” and “commerical” forrays into the “unknown lands”.
    Bush is from the later Plymouth Rock immigrants of 1620 who were steerage hole Linden Seperatist who slithered onto Plymouth rock, married their cousins and proceeded to burn witches.
    While no one disputes the tactics used on the native Indians in establishing America, I have no patience with those who try to compare or excuse “present day agression and conquest” by comparing the past century tactics and moral turpitude of the lesser evolved societies of the 17th century universe who had no democratic governing rule anywhere at the time.
    Unless of course their point is that the world has blips of genetically inferior people who are incapable of evolving and remain stuck in the “pre civilized” centuries.

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    WP/NYT: U.S. to designate Iranian Revolutionary Guards corps a terrorist organization:
    … For weeks, the Bush administration has been debating whether to target the Revolutionary Guard Corps in full, or only its Quds Force wing, which U.S. officials have linked to the growing flow of explosives, roadside bombs, rockets and other arms to Shiite militias in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Quds Force also lends support to Shiite allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and to Sunni movements such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
    Although administration discussions continue, the initial decision is to target the entire Guard Corps, U.S. officials said. The administration has not yet decided when to announce the new measure, but officials said they would prefer to do so before the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly next month, when the United States intends to increase international pressure against Iran. …”
    >>>>>>>>>
    And we will attack any country that harbors terriers…isn’t that how it goes? Upward and onward to our own Fall of the Fourth Reich.
    BWTTGASO

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Maybe the reason Rove isn’t attracting much attention is the insiders are busy trying to save their portfolios and the elite are researching what country to loot next now that the US seems headed to the toliet.
    Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned
    By Jeremy Grant in Washington
    Published: August 14 2007 00:06 | Last updated: August 14 2007 00:06
    The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.
    David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.
    These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.
    Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
    “Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”
    Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.
    While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.
    In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.
    “I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.
    “One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.
    The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.
    “With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks,” said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm.
    Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an “unsustainable path”.
    “Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call.”
    Mr Walker said he would offer to brief the would-be presidential candidates next spring.
    “They need to make fiscal responsibility and inter-generational equity one of their top priorities. If they do, I think we have a chance to turn this around but if they don’t, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably”.
    The Financial Times Limited 2007
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Does anyone believe that the dem or repubs in control of congress of the WH will practice “fiscal responsibility”? I don’t. America is not their first concern. They are all above America now, they are living in the DC and global la la land where they are untouched and unconcerned about petty domestic matters like the bankruptcy of America. Like CEO’s they will get their golden parachutes off the top, their benefits and retirement will continue when bankruptcy is declared and the “employees” will be left high and dry holding the bag.
    Meanwhile the flow continues….12 billion a week on Iraq and I don’t know if that even includes the contracts for the 160,000 private mercs in Iraq, an increase of 30 billion to Israel, a few billion to Egypt and Jordon, gawd knows how much funny money in the pentagon going toward overthrowing Iran.
    Hear the great sucking sound in this country in the collapsed bridges, crumbing highways, mold ridden vets hosptial, uninsured children, outsourced jobs, wide open borders, american retirement funds invested overseas, posion products from “most favored” trade nation China, Katrina disaster funds that went toward building milion dollar condos in NO instead of destroyed neighborhoods, the 40 million in uninhabitable trailers in La., overnight evaporated hedge funds,
    the higher property and state taxes we have all been paying because Federal funds returns to states were sucked off into reelection pork and war and cronyism, 1.6 billion spent by the WH on feeding TV stations prepackaged, ready-to-air news stories that touted administration policies ccording to the GAO, a roaring economy? that includes double diget inflation in the ‘essential” foods groups according to the The Labor Department’s most recent inflation data,…I could go on but it’s too depressing.
    Get it yet?….you’ve been looted. Lock, stock and barrel….by your own “democracy” and decades of “legistation” by and for special interest. Dems, repubs, they are both the same. And neither will turn this around because every decision they make is colored by their own special political interest.
    They should all be destroyed and there should be a politican hanging from every lamp post in DC. If Steve’s planning doesn’t include some kind of coup he is wasting his time.

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  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I don’t know what interest Steve has in maintaining the status quo, but it is obvious that there are many toes he will not step on, period. Reid is one. AIPAC. Hagel. And others.
    More later.
    Hehehe…….

    Reply

  13. JohnH says:

    Matt Yglesias comments on “The Silence of the Think Tanks.”
    http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/08/the_silence_of_the_think_tanks.php#comments
    Though I have not read the book, the shoe weems to fit the Washington Note and the Center for American Progress, both of which engage in a lot of self censorship, i.e. silence. For example, they never will level with their readers about those “vital strategic interests” in the ME or what America is really fighting for. And so, they represent just another cog in dysfunctional Washington, where Congress gets an approval rating of 14% and the President 30%. But hey, who cares, think tanks get their funding whether or not informed people outside Washington believe what they produce. Their underwriters only hope they can fool enough of the people enough of the time…

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  14. pauline says:

    Here’s some glowing words on the ethics-rover.
    [Rove] is quitting his White House job with little likelihood that the political agenda he set will be fulfilled…more recent attempts at major changes in the law — overhauling the Social Security and immigration systems — failed. Rove’s vision of an enduring Republican majority was deat a blow by defeats in congressional elections last November. [Bloomberg]
    [F]ew people, including his Republican allies, believe Rove succeeded in what he set as his ultimate goal: creating a long-lasting GOP majority in the country. [Washington Post]
    Mr. Rove leaves the White House anything but victorious. His legendary reputation was seriously diminished by the Republican defeats of 2006. He is blamed in Republican circles for many of the political problems President Bush has suffered in a difficult second term. [New York Times]
    Strategist Karl Rove’s departure from the White House may signal the official end of an era of ambition. US political realignment, if it’s happening, appears to favor Democrats. And today, the administration�s domestic agenda is at best stalled — and at worst gone with the wind. [Christian Science-Monitor]
    Karl Rove leaves the White House unbowed and unindicted, but also under investigation and unsuccessful in meeting a goal even more ambitious than navigating his friend to the Oval Office. For Rove, the even-bigger picture has been establishing a durable Republican majority. [Austin American-Statesman]
    The GOP’s wipeout in 2006 would suggest that Mr. Rove did not achieve this goal, notwithstanding his brave parting words about Republican victory in 2008. And if the manufactured polarization of the Bush-Rove years did not even serve its ostensible purpose, then what was the good of it? [Washington Post]
    Mr. Rove has stonewalled Congress’s legitimate efforts to investigate. Rove failed his own party, as well as the American people, when he counseled President Bush to turn every serious policy debate — Social Security, the war in Iraq, even terrorism — into one more political dogfight. [New York Times]
    [I]t’s hard to believe he’d be going home if his grand vision of Republicans forever had held together instead of imploding. [Chicago Sun-Times]
    [T]he politics of polarization that once served President Bush so well eventually undermined his quest for a legacy of achievement in office, while deflating Rove�s own dream of a Republican ascendancy at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. On Monday, Rove quit while he was behind. [Los Angeles Times]
    Fortunately, reality finally is catching up with Karl Rove. Lincoln famously said that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Rove has pushed those boundaries, but ultimately, he could not escape them. [Salt Lake Tribune]
    http://thinkprogress.org/

    Reply

  15. pauline says:

    I didn’t realize rove had not graduated from college. No wonder he was such good friend’s with bushwacker. Too bad for us he missed all those ethics classes.
    Speaking of ethics, how about big al’s new powers?
    WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts.
    The rules implement a little-noticed provision in last year’s reauthorization of the Patriot Act that gives the attorney general the power to decide whether individual states are providing adequate counsel for defendants in death penalty cases. The authority has been held by federal judges.
    Frustrated with the pace of changes – and believing that judges were part of the problem – death penalty advocates Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) led a successful effort to include language in the Patriot Act last year that let the attorney general, rather than judges, decide whether states were ensuring death row inmates had adequate legal representation.
    Others have doubts about giving Gonzales in particular more power. His judgment has been challenged over his handling of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year, among other matters.
    Death penalty foes also say his record on the issue inspires no confidence that the rules will be administered fairly. As legal advisor to then-Texas Gov. George Bush in the 1990s, he gave what many saw as cursory treatment of clemency petitions of capital defendants whom the state subsequently put to death.
    “It is almost a cruel joke for Congress to have said, ‘What we would like to do is improve the way states handle these’ . . . and then put it in the hands of, all people, the attorney general,” said Lawrence Fox, a Philadelphia lawyer who teaches legal ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. “It really is quite extraordinary. He is the chief prosecutor of the United States. He couldn’t possibly be unbiased.”
    Fox said he would have problems with any attorney general wielding that power.
    full article at –
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/14/3151/

    Reply

  16. rich says:

    My current theory: Steve is working night and day to wrap up the final draft–in a unique collaborative effort–of Haruki Murakami’s next novel.

    Reply

  17. steambomb says:

    Well here we are two days into the Rove resignation anouncement. Does anyone else get the sense that there is a select group that Steve seems to not dare write about?

    Reply

  18. Contrarian says:

    What is ECT…Evangelicals and Catholics Together?

    Reply

  19. rich says:

    A golden opportunity for some clearly baseless and wholly arbitrary speculation about just what Steve’s been strategizing about.
    This impossible timing: Has he been dirECTing Karl Rove’s removal from a lame-duck White House, while holed up in a secure location?
    Not in my view.
    But that should get the ball rolling.
    Arranging East Asian re-investment in the American housing “market”?
    Completing a re-alignment (read: purge) of Brookings’ internal political orientation to remove the pernicious influence of NON-CENTRIST, non-realist, less-than-honest ‘scholars’ Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack? Who were never war critics, but whose opportunistic timing betrays some insight into Brooking’s role in American foreign policy?
    The floor is ripe for speculation–any of which is head-&-shoulders above (& more responsible than) ongoing political debate.
    Discuss.

    Reply

  20. kgb says:

    Any reason why there hasn’t been anything new up since Aug. 9?

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It looks like the Rove resignation completely escaped Steve’s radar.

    Reply

  22. Kathleen says:

    Oh my God, why are they wondering what the hell to do? Are they still listening to James Carville, who, in my opinion, has a conflict of interest, when it comes to Impeachment, and high crimes in high office?
    In psychoanalytical terms, it seems Demz and the MSM are exhibiting “selective inattention”, a subconscious process by which an individual simply doesn’t see or hear that which conflicts with what they want to beleive or not believe. It’s an unconscious ostrich approach. And the more people doing that at the same time, the better convinced they are.
    Conforming, anyone? Group think, folks? 9/11.9/11,9/11. What color is the code today? Yellow, orange, red????
    It’s a joke. Many Congresscritters criticized the Iraqi Parliament for taking August off, then sold our freedom down the tubes, to get on with their August break.
    Demx don’t know the first thing about momentum. They keep putting on the brakes, when they should be accelerating. That’s a strategy? Pathetic.
    If they want their jobs back, they can get the corps to buy them. I don’t do farce.
    Call me when impeachment is ON.

    Reply

  23. DonS says:

    Just returned from my own little vacation — well 6 weeks in Canada — call it a prelude to retirement.
    Back to the heat. Its amazing how weeds can take over a garden in 6 weeks. But bonus is that tomatoes are coming in. Basil survived. And pepers should start to produce well now that they dont have to compete with the weeds. Back to the job later this morning. Oh well.
    I’ve been out of touch with high speed or even dial up at the house. The local library was main source of high speed connexion and we were just too damned busy to spend much time there. And Canadian papers are very expensive, especially now at virtual parity between the US and Canadian dollar.
    So I’m reluctantly weaning back into reality of “American” life and it looks like nothing’s changed for the better. No surprise. I almost felt like a naughty child not being tuned into the latest disaster afflicting the rickety ship USA. Almost.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    E.J. Dionne has a column in today’s Post that well illustrates the fallacy of this type of calculation. His piece, “Why the Democrats Caved,” says that last weekend, “about 20 House Democrats huddled in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to decide what to do about a surveillance bill that had been dumped on them by the Senate before it left town.”
    According to Dionne, many of the Democrats “were furious.” They felt that they had “negotiated in good faith with Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence,” and given the administration all the room it needed “to intercept communications involving foreign nationals in terrorism investigations while preserving some oversight.”
    But the administration wanted more and Democrats in the Senate gave it what it wanted. Hence, it was up to the House to draw a line:
    At one point, according to participants in the Pelosi meeting, the passionate discussion veered toward the idea of standing up to the administration — even at the risk of handing President Bush a chance to bash Democrats on “national security,” as is his wont . . . But the moment passed. Even some very liberal Democrats worried about the political costs of blocking action before the summer recess. That Saturday night, the House sent the president a bill that, as a disgusted Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) put it, with just a touch of exaggeration, ‘makes Alberto Gonzales the sheriff, the judge and the jury’.
    Dionne describes the Democrats’ collapse as yet another example of how national security and civil liberties issues have been “debated in a climate of fear and intimidation, saturated by political calculation and the quest for short-term electoral advantage.” And he points out that the Republicans came out winners on two points:
    They got the President the bill he wanted and, as a result, they created absolute fury in the Democratic base. Pelosi has received more than 200,000 e-mails of protest, according to an aide, for letting the bill go forward.
    Which makes you wonder about the wisdom of this sort of political calculation. And it also makes you wonder what sort of political advantage there is in betting on this type of Democratic Party.

    Reply

  25. Sandy says:

    Alexander Cockburn has a good column today at Counterpunch on how the Dems have “blown it”. What NON-choices they are!
    It’s amazing, really, that the American public has caught on as well as they have to all these — left and right — “spineless bunch of slimeballs whose connecction to reality has diminished to the point where it rivals Bush’s….” as JohnH says. One thing is sure, it isn’t the mainstream media they can count on for the truth. It must be the netroots!
    For example, if you are an admirer of Glenn Greenwald (as I am), you will be able to read the TRUTH of pieces like this on Iraq that got so much play and attention — that recent piece by O’Hanlon and Pollack, that is:
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/08/12/ohanlon/
    “…O’Hanlon and Pollack appeared on at least 10 major television news programs. Other than Blitzer, no interviewer even raised the issue of whether they were overly-dependent on the U.S. military for their information, none probed the basis for their claims, and Pollack and O’Hanlon never once even alluded to the questionable nature of what they had been shown (even though O’Hanlon “apologized” for not disclosing it in the Op-Ed when I pressed him on it). And from what I reviewed, not a single one ever identified either of them as having been pro-war and pro-Surge, and they themselves never bothered to mention that as they were hailed as hard-nosed “critics” of the administration — thus helpfully preserving the dramatic television storyline that “harsh critic of the Bush administration” went to Iraq and found Great Progress.
    These interviewers just all stood by, excited and oozing enthusiasm, as Pollack and O’Hanlon lavished tales on the country of the grand and glorious progress we are finally making in Iraq. The host on the very-very-liberal NPR began the Pollack interview by gushing: ‘If you’ve been searching the papers for good news from Iraq, we found a little on the Op-Ed pages!’ Vapid, mindless and absurd.
    After all this time, and everything that has happened under the Bush presidency, nothing has changed. Michael Gordon and the NYT continue to publish one war-fueling story after the next on its front page based on nothing other than the unverified claims of government and military officials. Our ‘journalists’ do not have even an iota of instinct to question or probe anything they hear from our war-mongering Serious Experts and Serious Political Leaders.
    And the Foreign Policy Community is led by highly revered propagandists whose ‘scholarship’ violates the most basic and obvious principles of research and disclosure — all in the service of prolonging still further a war for which they bear profound responsibility. This, in turn, is driven by the overarching and self-absorbed fear that they will be forced to acknowledge their own wrongdoing and culpability. And thus we will remain occupying and waging war in Iraq, through the end of the Bush presidency and beyond.”
    — Glenn Greenwald

    Reply

  26. JohnH says:

    If Bush can’t end the war in Iraq, Democrats will–maybe someday, they think, perhaps.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/us/politics/12dems.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5090&en=ad4324c44c78bf95&ex=1344571200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss
    The reasons for staying? Edwards, to intervene in a genocide and a civil war. Like, those things have not already happened on our watch? Hillary, to fight terrorism and protect those mysterious vital strategic interests, whose revelation must be avoided lest it expose state secrets. (Let me help you Hillary–it’s the oil, stupid.) Obama, to provide security for American personnel, fight terrorism and train Iraqis. (Nice talking points, Obama, but totally devoid of strategic substance.)
    What a gutless, spineless bunch of slimeballs whose connection to reality has diminished to the point where it rivals Bush’s!

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Pollster Justifies Why it is OK to Exclude Ron Paul from Texas Poll
    July 22, 2007
    http://tinyurl.com/ytxhad

    Reply

  28. Kathleen says:

    While I agree that organized crime rules by force and uses similar tactics as NeoNutzis do, I think the liikeness ends there.
    “The Mob” is penny ante compared to the Carlyle Group. They don’t kill near as many people while cloaking their greed in claims of defending God and Country. They are criminals, and if you do business with them, you’re a criminal too, not a Patriot.
    “The Mob” boss, if Hollywood is to be believed, would send his own son to do the whacking. NeoNutzis send other people’s sons and they carpet bomb whole populations, defoliate whole countrysides, without regard for the wholesale carnage, for a buck.
    No, I think it’s an insult to organized crime to compare them to NeoNutzis. They have more honor than the hypocrites from the Carlyle Group who infiltrated our gov’t and improperly influenced our nation’s policies, subverting our Constitutional process for personal gain, without regard for the price in others’ blood and money.
    If “The Mob’ were running the show, Osama would have been wearing cement shoes a long time ago, if Hollywood’s portrayals are to be believed.
    When you get down to it, even our Founding Fathers, fresh off the boat, ruled by force and used some repressive tactics against the hands that fed them, that first Thanksgiving Day.
    The rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree, or should I say Bush?
    See:
    http://wonkette.com/politics/sins-of-the-father-dept'/bush-sr-living-out-his-last-days-in-shame-287750

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen at August 11, 2007 08:58 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    No, Tony’s “second” in the mob is his nephew.
    I am “likening” the US neo’s (Tony) and the uber war zionist (nephew) to a mob gang.
    If you don’t call the tactics in what has gone on, is going on, visa via Iraq, Iran, the ME in general by US-Isr a Mafia, Inc, then I don’t know what to call it.
    Rule by force, looting, threats, intimidation, blackmail, protection rackets,extortion,lawlessness, carving up territories for mob members, etc….
    Anyone can be in the mob, it’s a non and multi ethnic equal opportunity criminal club.
    As for zonist being organized crime, they qualify as organized and as junior partners in crime with the US mafia congress….the bombing of civilian Lebanon and cluster bombs comes to mind.
    Time to quit referring to these people as “politicans”, “governmental”, “interest groups” yada, yada, call them what they are … criminals, plain and simple.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen at August 11, 2007 08:58 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    No, Tony’s “second” in the mob is his nephew.
    I am “likening” the US neo’s (Tony) and the uber war zionist (nephew) to a mob gang.
    If you don’t call the tactics in what has gone on, is going on, visa via Iraq, Iran, the ME in general by US-Isr a Mafia, Inc, then I don’t know what to call it.
    Rule by force, looting, threats, intimidation, blackmail, protection rackets,extortion,lawlessness, carving up territories for mob members, etc….
    Anyone can be in the mob, it’s a non and multi ethnic equal opportunity criminal club.
    As for zonist being organized crime, they qualify as organized and as junior partners in crime with the US congress….the bombing of Lebanon and cluster bombs comes to mind.

    Reply

  31. Kathleen says:

    Carroll… Tony Soprano has an Israeli nephew? Are you suggesting a connection between organized crime and Zionism?
    I don’t watch the Sopranos because I get a little tired of Hollywood’s portrayal of Italians always as criminals, as though there are no non-criminal Italians. One would think there were no other kinds of criminals, either.

    Reply

  32. liz says:

    Tell Steve if he is really worried about the readers, he should post new picturea of Annie and Oakley……. Everybody loves his pups LOL LOL ( JOKE)

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    It seems to me that there are inordinate numbers of sadist and sexual peverts in the religious and political industries.
    Why do you suppose that is?
    S.A. pastor arrested on assault warrant
    Jeorge Zarazua
    Express-News Staff Writer
    A San Antonio pastor and an employee of his Christian boot camp were arrested today on aggravated assault charges, accusing them of dragging a girl behind a van after failing to keep up with others during a running exercise.
    Investigators with the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office arrested Charles E. Flowers shortly before noon at the Faith Outreach Center in northwest San Antonio, said Brad E. Bailey, a spokesman for the Schertz Police Department.
    The department assisted Nueces County authorities in the arrests because some of the camp’s training exercises occur in Schertz.
    Bailey said boot camp trainer Stephanie Bassitt was arrested later in Kirby.
    Authorities said both boot camp officials restrained a girl June 12, tying her to the back of the truck before dragging her on her stomach at the Love Demonstrated Ministries boot camp in Banquete, about 10 miles west of Corpus Christi.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    Phil Weiss, one of my favorites for his common sense outlook on “the Lobby” and Jewishness vrs “the zionist” just posted this:
    “Walt and Mearsheimer Banned in Chicago”
    Unbelievable! that Walt and Mearsheimer have been banned from speaking in Chicago. Again proving the profs’ argument about the strength of the Israel lobby. Where is Alan Dershowitz? Even he ought to decry this censorship, which is only forcing the discussion of an important issue underground-ish, to the blogosphere. I guess that is what the lobby wants. If the Global Council in Chicago dignifies the argument, well, then it could get on to the cover of Time. As one of the commenters says on the site linked above, this sort of behavior just builds the backlash.
    Here is WSJ article he refers to:
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2007/08/07/speechless-in-chicago/
    August 7, 2007, 6:33 pm
    Wall Street Journal
    Speechless in Chicago
    Jay Solomon reports on controversy over a planned speech.
    The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled a September speech on U.S.-Israel relations and Washington’s pro-Israel lobby by two prominent U.S. political scientists.
    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were scheduled to use the Sept. 27 address to outline their upcoming book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” which is expected to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux early next month. But the president of the Chicago Council, Marshall Bouton, canceled the event under pressure from critics who were uncomfortable with the academics’ arguments, according to a letter drafted by Mearsheimer and Walt to the Council’s board.
    These opponents of the event argued that the two political scientists could only address the Chicago Council if someone from the opposing side, “such as Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, concurrently appeared on stage with the authors.
    “One might argue that our views are too controversial to be presented on their own,” Mearsheimer and Walt wrote. “However, they are seen as controversial only because some of the groups and individuals that we criticized in our original article have misrepresented what we said.”
    Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Walt, on the faculty at Harvard, set off a political firestorm last year when they penned an article for the London Review of Books, called the “Israel Lobby,” that argued pro-Israel interest groups had distorted U.S. policies in the Middle East. They also argued that these groups played a central role in promoting the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq.
    Since the original article appeared in March 2006, the two academics have appeared at a number of ventures to explain their views, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Press Club and Georgetown University. But a number of leading Jewish-American organizations, such as the ADF and the American Jewish Congress, have consistently charged that Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s views are anti-Semitic and overemphasize the power of the pro-Israel lobby.
    Mearsheimer and Walt deny being anti-Semites and said the charges are designed “to discourage respected organizations like the Council from giving us an audience.”
    >>>>>>>>

    Reply

  35. Carroll says:

    Question, Carroll, who is Tony?
    Posted by Kathleen at August 10, 2007 08:55 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The “Saprano’s”..Tony, the “boss”.

    Reply

  36. Kathleen says:

    Great comments, guys. I really appreciate this thread, tragic as the topics are….Pauline, Carroll, JohnH.
    It’s astounding how easy it is to fool the Democratz on Iran now. Not a thing was learned from the lead up to and implementation of the Iraq debacle. It’s obvious no one in Congress is reading the fine print, again.
    Rove is a Master Manipulator and Democratz are behaving like Pavlovian lab rats. They will salivate simultaneously all the way to Martial Law, which is why Busholini and Darth don’t care about poll numbers. No more elections, permanent residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Use the Constitution for toilet paper.
    Question, Carroll, who is Tony?

    Reply

  37. JohnH says:

    More of what Hillary and the foreign policy/national security mob won’t tell you: there’s oil in Darfur.
    http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/Oil_in_Africa/oil_in_africa.html
    So the Iraq war with over 600,000 extra deaths (year old estimate from Lancet) is just some random sectarian violence while Darfur is genocide? Give me a break! The only difference is in who is doing the killing and whose PR team gets to frame the issue.

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    As Forest Gump’s moma (would have) said…voting is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you are getting until they are in office.
    Except you do if you pay close enough attention. P. Murphy was promoted and shilled for by the “progressive” KOS…anyone who hasn’t tuned in to the fact that KOS is a shill for the ‘establishment”….well I have to laugh.
    Patrick Murphy Hails Bipartisan Passage of his “First” Bill
    Thursday, 12 July 2007
    Congressman Murphy’s Bill Condemns Boycott of Israeli Academia, It is his First Bill to Receive a Full Vote and Passed the House Unanimously
    (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the House of Representatives passed Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy’s (D-8th District) resolution that repudiates the University and College Union (UCU) of the United Kingdom for their boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
    This was Rep. Murphy’s first resolution to receive a vote on the floor of the House and it received unanimous bipartisan support. The bill – H.Res 467 – was passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee late last month, clearing a key hurdle in its path toward a vote on the House floor.
    Murphy’s legislation condemns the UCU and urges governments and educators throughout the world to reaffirm the importance of academic freedom and open dialogue. The resolution also urges the general members of the UCU to reject the call of the union’s leadership to boycott Israel both economically and culturally.
    In a similar move recently, the Association of University Teachers and National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education passed resolutions in 2005 and 2006 supporting a boycott of Israeli academia.
    Those two unions later merged and formed the UCU. Britain’s National Union of Journalists called for a boycott of Israeli goods earlier this year. The resolution passed the House unanimously by a margin of 414 to 0.
    “We have to continue to fight for academic freedom and for the open exchange of cultural and economic ideas. This resolution, this vote, does just that,” said Congressman Patrick Murphy. “When the forces of hate attack Israel, they attack American values – and today we stood up for our ally and our values. I am very pleased that this important bill received such wide, bipartisan support.”
    Excerpts from Congressman Murphy’s Floor Speech (As Delivered):
    “I rise today to offer a resolution to let the world know that this House stands opposed to anti-Semitism and re-affirms our support for academic freedom.”
    “Israel is a stable democracy that shares our values. This is rare in a region of the world where few nations have democracy, rule of law and religious freedom.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I happen to have seen Murphy’s speech on c-span…the funny thing about it was during his speech the c-span camera kept cutting to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who was standing up facing him in the first row of seats on the floor…..at the end of his speech the c-span camera cut to her again and caught her saying to Murphy..”very good”.
    Yea, all dissent must be boycotted…all the world is wrong except Big Tony and his strung out Israeli nephew.
    LOL

    Reply

  39. Carroll says:

    The US Congress of Poodles for Israel
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Aug. 7, 2007 20:56 | Updated Aug. 8, 2007 9:51
    Congress tightens scrutiny of Israel boycotters
    By MICHAEL FREUND
    The US Congress recently passed a bill containing a provision that places foreign entities which enforce the Arab League boycott of Israel under greater legislative scrutiny, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
    The Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, which was initiated by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York who chairs the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, received bipartisan support and was signed into law by President George W. Bush late last month.
    Its primary aim is to reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an inter-agency team chaired by the Treasury Secretary which monitors foreign investment in America.
    The CFIUS was at the center of a political firestorm in Washington early last year, after it approved the sale of six major US ports to a firm owned by the Arab gulf state of Dubai. The sale was later nixed under public and congressional pressure.
    The new law contains language, initiated by California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman, requiring the secretaries of state, commerce and treasury to report to Congress on investments in the US by “foreign governments, entities controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government, or persons of foreign countries which comply with any boycott of Israel.”
    In an interview with the Post, Maloney said she was confident the bill would have an important impact.
    “The new reforms I helped put in place now require the committee to report to Congress on a regular basis,” Maloney said. “The CFIUS process will remain confidential, but Congress will now have more information and greater oversight. If a firm is enforcing the anti-Israel boycott, that will come out and we’ll know about it.”
    The change came in part as a result of a report in a February 2006 issue of The Jerusalem Post that first revealed that the government-owned Dubai Ports World, which was slated to acquire the six US ports in question, actively enforced the trade embargo against Israel.
    MEANWHILE…
    Calls grow for boycott of Israel
    Ed O’Loughlin
    July 14, 2007
    The Dutch Government has warned a Rotterdam company to stop supplying construction equipment for Israel’s 700-kilometre Palestinian separation barrier, a new turn in the international campaign to boycott Israel.
    According to news reports, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen, recently told the company that its contract to supply cranes was “undesirable”, in light of the International Court of Justice’s ruling, three years ago this month, that the project broke international law.
    This warning, from a government normally considered friendly to Israel, comes amid a mounting international campaign to boycott Israel because of its occupation of Arab territories seized 40 years ago.
    This week the US Congress unanimously passed a resolution condemning as “anti-Semitic” the proposed boycott of Israel by a British academics’ union.
    “When Israel comes under attack from hatemongers, it is American values that are also under attack,” the resolution’s main sponsor, Congressman Patrick Murphy, said.
    Last week, the British Transport and General Workers Union joined Unison, Britain’s largest union with 1.3 million members, in voting for a boycott of Israeli goods and sporting contacts, similar to that imposed on apartheid South Africa in the 1980s.
    In South Africa, the trade union congress COSATU is spearheading its own campaign.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I guess this means the Dutch are also our list.
    Congressional definition of Anti-Semitic:
    Standing up for justice, human rights and American principles.

    Reply

  40. JohnH says:

    Bush/Cheney do not negotiate with Iran because there is nothing to negotiate. No Iranian regime with a smidgeon of legitimacy will ever hand over control of their energy assets. And Bush/Cheney will stop at nothing less. So what’s to negotiate?
    But Bush/Cheney are really playing with armageddon here. If faced with certain destruction, Iran can reasonably be expected to respond in kind by taking out oil producing facilities throughout the Persian Gulf.
    The time for addressing the industrialized world’s energy consumption problem is really long past due. (And doing so would reduce the accelerating pace of global warming.)
    Kucinich is right to link oil, global warming, and ME foreign policy. Hillary and the other front runners know this but prefer to put it into the category of “foreign policy issues left unsaid.”

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    My sentiments exactly.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    We Have No Hope
    Cenk Uygur
    Posted August 10, 2007 | 11:47 AM (EST)
    “According to McClatchy Newspapers, Dick Cheney is on the precipice of convincing Bush to attack Iran. Diplomacy has gone nowhere because Cheney set a precondition that could not be met (stop enriching uranium before we negotiate over whether you should enrich uranium). There are almost no competent pro-diplomacy advocates inside the administration. All the generals who disagreed have been replaced. And the so-called opposition party is the biggest set of push-overs in the history of this country.
    Do you think the Democrats will be able to stop Bush if he decides to strike Iran? If you do, you have no idea what you’re talking about. It is an IGNORANT position to think that Democrats would even fight back against military strikes aimed at Iran, let alone effectively stop them. The Democrats WILL fold like a house of cards the minute the first bomb is in the air. They will rally around the flag like a bunch of trained Pavlovian dogs.
    They are absolutely, positively no match for Dick Cheney. I loved those nonsense stories we read in the mainstream press about how Dick Cheney had lost his power inside the White House. I didn’t believe it for a second, and I was right.
    All of the increased rhetoric about Iran coming out of our so-called generals in Iraq is not a coincidence (I call them so-called generals because the only thing that allowed them to rise up the ranks and to be where they are is their loyalty to Cheney and Bush – and the fact that everyone who was brave enough to voice dissent has already been fired or resigned).
    This is a surge of propaganda against Iran. I saw this movie before. And now just like the lead up to the Iraq War, we have a shift in the reason for attacking Iran. “They are about to have nuclear weapons” didn’t quite do the trick, so Cheney switched to, “They are attacking our troops in Iraq, are you going to let them get away with that?”
    Man, does Cheney know how to push Bush’s buttons?! He knows that the idiot fancies himself a tough guy, so any argument that starts with, “are you going to let them get away with that?” is a total winner. Never fails. Interesting that Cheney has never asked Bush why he let Osama bin Laden get away with 9/11.
    The changing rationale for the Iran War proves that Cheney doesn’t give a damn about any of the stated reasons, just like he never gave a damn about so-called weapons of mass destruction or democracy in Iraq. He just wants war, by any means necessary.
    We have a vice president who is seriously unbalanced. We have a president who is seriously unintelligent. And we have an opposition party who is seriously unprepared for the challenge. It’s a recipe for disaster.
    Our only two allies are – believe it or not – Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates. The problem with Secretary Rice is that she is as incompetent as her boss. She is one of many people who remain in the Bush White House because of her intense loyalty to Bush rather than any degree of accomplishment. She has been manhandled and steamrolled so many times by Cheney that it’s hard to look at her in the face. It’s embarrassing.
    Will anyone stand up and tell the president, “You’re vice president is absolutely nuts. Stop listening to him!!!” Of course, not. The problem is you can’t fit Bush’s giant ego into his pea-sized brain. And to tell him he’s been an idiot for listening to Cheney all along would bruise his ego and make him go the other way.
    So, that leaves us with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The last great hope for peace. Isn’t that funny? Someone who in previous administrations might have been considered a hawk and a paragon of conservatism is the dove in this administration. Gates stands out as the only hope for a sane policy because he is the only person in the administration who is both sane and competent. But can he do it alone? My guess is no.
    If only there were a Democratic Party that could help him apply pressure form the outside. Pause for laughter again. The degree of my disdain for the toothless Democrats is indescribable. We are about to push into a second (third, depending on how you’re counting) unimaginably stupid and reckless war – and they have no idea how to stop it. They are completely incapable of fighting back. I’m not even sure they know what’s going on. They seem like feckless, clueless, sad little kids running around the hall as Vice Principal Cheney yells at them.
    Please, please prove me wrong. And show me how you’re going to stop this war. This is what I mean by “we have no hope.” Everyone reading this knows for a fact that the Democrats cannot and will not stop this attack against Iran. And that they will fall in line like sheep the minute the bombing starts. You know it, I know it and even they know it.
    So, their best defense is, “Oh, I’m sure it won’t happen.” And they’ll say afterward, “How could we have known that Bush would abuse the authority we gave him?” Sound familiar.
    By the way, I haven’t mentioned the pitiable Republicans in Congress yet. But they are the dumbest of them all. The whole party is hanging by a thread. Republicans might not win another national election for twenty or thirty years if they attack Iran and it becomes the mess it is bound to become.
    Half of these Republicans will lose their beloved seats and their cherished power because they went along with Cheney and Bush who have said for years that they don’t give a damn about popularity (and hence democracy and hence Republican seats in Congress). Yet, they continue to rubberstamp. From time to time there will be some sound and fury signifying nothing. But for the most part, they are willingly walking off a cliff.
    At least the Democrats will gain electorally from the mess in Iran. It is jaded and horrible, and honestly, I think they are too daft to even understand that calculation. But as much as the country will suffer – and it will be partly the Democrats fault for not fighting back – the Democratic Party will gain seats and power (though they certainly don’t deserve it). The Republicans, on the other hand, are following General Custer to their last stand. If they can’t stop Cheney before he convinces the president to bomb Iran, they’re done for. And I don’t believe they can. I’m not sure that anyone can break the Jedi mind lock Cheney has on Bush.
    Which brings us back to Secretary Gates, the last great hope. I don’t see how he’s going to do it without any external or internal help. His allies are incompetent and his adversaries well entrenched.
    If he succeeds, no one will know and warnings like mine will seem like they were overheated paranoia. The mainstream press, the Democrats and the Republicans will all say, “See, we told you there was nothing to worry about. There is no need for alarm or action. Just sit back and hope for the best. Everything will be fine.”
    If he fails, then everyone will say, “There is no way anybody could have seen this coming.” The few of us who totally saw this coming – like almost all of you reading this – will scream that we saw it all the way.
    We wrote about it, we read articles warning about it, we listened to the experts that told us what was coming. And the mainstream will blithely ignore it and pretend that all the people who were against the war have no credibility and all the people who brought you the war have all the credibility.
    Well, I am at the point where I don’t really know what more we can do. We tried. And it looks like we are on the precipice of failing. Enjoy the next war, because it will be almost as good as this war, but with worse planning (the harder it is to convince the country to go to war, the more of a surprise it has to be (we had to act right away and didn’t have time to consult Congress) and the less planning there will be).
    We are on the edge of disaster and the country sleeps. I hope I’m wrong. I hope sober heroes win the fight in the quiet of the night.
    I hope I seem like an alarmist in hindsight (like Richard Clarke was, right?). I hope people say I got all worked up for nothing and complacency was the right strategy. But I doubt it. My guess is a few people will quote this article many years from now in a futile effort to tell people, “But people did see it coming!”
    Cenk Uygur is co-host for The Young Turks. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business and Columbia University Law School, Cenk joined the prestigious Philadelphia law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in their Washington DC office. He then worked as an entertainment lawyer for Parcher, Hayes & Liebman in New York City.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over

    Reply

  42. pauline says:

    Giuliani should burn in h*ll for eternity for his 9/11 lies.
    “9/11 workers outraged by new Rudy claim”
    BY CELESTE KATZ
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Friday, August 10th 2007
    Rudy Giuliani drew outrage and indignation from Sept. 11 first-responders yesterday by saying he spent as much time – or more – exposed to the site’s dangers as workers who dug through the debris for the missing and the dead.
    Speaking to reporters at a Cincinnati Reds ballgame he caught between fund-raisers, the GOP front-runner said he helped 9/11 families and defended himself against critics of how he managed the attack’s aftermath.
    “This is not a mayor or a governor or a President who’s sitting in an ivory tower,” Giuliani said. “I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I’m one of them.”
    His statement rang false to Queens paramedic Marvin Bethea, who said he suffered a stroke, posttraumatic stress disorder and breathing problems after responding to the attacks.
    “I personally find that very, very insulting,” he said.
    “Standing there doing a photo-op and telling the men, ‘You’re doing a good job,’ I don’t consider that to be working,” said Bethea, 47.
    more at —
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/08/10/2007-08-10_911_workers_outraged_by_new_rudy_claim.html

    Reply

  43. Kathleen says:

    Honk, Honk!!

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    Honk if you are tired of this.
    Honk twice if you know the dems are grey elphants painted white.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    August 6, 2007
    Bush’s Middle East Arms Deals
    White Elephants
    By URI AVNERY
    The King of Siam knew how to deal with domestic opponents: he would present them with a white elephant.
    White elephants are rare in nature, and therefore sacred. Being sacred, they may not be put to work. But even a sacred elephant does eat, and eat a lot. Enough to turn a rich man into a pauper.
    My late friend, General Matti Peled, one time Quartermaster General of the army, pointed out the similarity between this elephant and many of our gifts from the President of the United States.
    According to the stipulations of the grant, most of it must be spent in the United States. Let’s assume that Israel needs Merkava tanks, made in Israel. Or anti-missile systems, also made in Israel. Instead of acquiring these in Israel, the Israeli army buys American airplanes, which it does not need.
    A state-of-the-art military airplane is an immensely expensive object. True, we get it for nothing. But like the white elephant, the airplane is very costly to maintain. It needs pilots, whose training costs a fortune. It needs airfields. All these expenses add up to much more than the price of the airplane itself.
    But which army can refuse such a wonderful present?
    THE MIDDLE EAST is now being invaded by a herd of white elephants.
    This week it became known that President Bush is about to supply Saudi Arabia with huge quantities of the most advanced weapons. The price tag is 20 billion (20,000,000,000) dollars.
    Ostensibly, the arms are needed to strengthen Saudi Arabia against the Great Satan: Iran. In Saudi eyes, this is now the great danger.
    How did this happen? For centuries, Iraq served as a wall between Shiite Persian Iran and the Sunni Arab Middle East. When President Bush toppled the Sunni regime in Iraq, the whole region was opened up to the Shiite power. In Iraq itself, a Shiite government was installed, and Shiite militias roam at will. The Shiite Hizbullah is growing in power in Lebanon, and Iran is extending its long arm to all the Shiites in the region.
    Allah, in his infinite wisdom, has seen to it that almost all the huge Middle East oil reserves are located in Shiite areas: in Iran, in the South of Iraq and the Shiite areas of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf principalities. If these reserves slip away from US control, it will cause a drastic change in the balance of power, not only in the region but in the entire world.
    Therefore, the strengthening of Saudi Arabia – ruled by conservative Sunnis – makes a lot of sense from the American point of view. However, the arms deal is quite irrelevant to this.
    The Saudis do not need weapons. They have an instrument that is much more effective than any number of airplanes and tanks: an inexhaustible supply of dollars. They use it to finance friends, buy influence and bribe leaders.
    On the other side, Saudi Arabia is unable to maintain the weapons that are flowing to it. It does not have enough pilots for the airplanes it is buying, nor crews for the tanks. The new weaponry will collect sand in the desert, like all the expensive weapons it has bought in the past.
    So what is the sense in buying more weapons to the tune of 20 billions?
    Well, the Saudis are selling oil to the Americans for dollars. A lot of oil, a lot of dollars. The United States, with a huge gap in its balance of trade, cannot afford to lose these billions. So, in order to make it possible for the US to carry this burden, the Saudis must give back at least a part of the money. How? Quite simple: they buy American arms that they don’t need.
    This is a merry-go-round that benefits all. Especially the Saudi princes. Saudi Arabia is blessed with a great abundance of these – some 9000 (nine thousand) princes, all belonging to the House of Saud. A prince has a lot of wives, a wife has a lot of offspring. Some of them are arms dealers, who automatically receive fat commissions from the arms billions. (It is easy to work it out: a mere one percent of 20 billions amounts to 200 million. And they would laugh at a commission of one percent.)
    The princes have, therefore, a vested interest in this convenient arrangement.
    THIS IS where Israel enters the picture.
    Every arms deal made by the White House needs the assent of Congress. In Congress, the “friends of Israel” – the Jewish and the Evangelist lobbies – rule supreme. Any senator or congressman can forget about being reelected if he offends one of these lobbies.
    When Israel raises its voice against an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the White House has a problem. The more so since there is a certain logic to the Israeli objection: the Saudi airbase in Tabuk is but a few minutes flying time from the Israeli port of Eilat.
    What to do? Easy: give us a present of weapons, in order to maintain “the balance of power” and our “qualitative superiority over all the Arab armies combined”.
    So, together with the 20 billion deal with the Saudis, President Bush decreed that the American yearly grant of military assistance to Israel should be raised from 2.4 billion to 3 billion. This means that in the coming ten years, Israel will receive arms to the value of 30 billion dollars.
    Apart from the small part of the grant that Israel is allowed to spend elsewhere, this huge sum must be spent in the United States. From the economic point of view, the gift to Israel is really an immense boost to the American arms industry. It will enrich the arms producers, who are so dear to Bush’s heart. It will also show the American public how their wise president creates a lot of nice new jobs for them.THAT, OF course, is not the end of the story.
    It would be unacceptable to “strengthen” the rulers of Saudi Arabia in such an impressive way, without giving something to the other kings, presidents and emirs who cooperate with the Americans. Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf emirs expect their share, too.
    The new arms deals will, therefore, amount to 40, 50 and God knows how many more billions of dollars.
    That’s not bad for the arms producers, who helped Bush get elected and continue to support him. Not bad for the arms merchants, the princes and all the others who profit, the corrupt regimes that rule the Middle East (and, in this respect at least, Israel has succeeded in becoming an integral part of the region.)ALL THIS could be amusing, were it not for the dark side of these circular deals.
    When I was a child, I was taught that one of the most despicable human types is the arms merchant. He is quite different from all other kinds of trader, because his merchandise is death. His riches are drenched with blood.
    The title “arms merchant” was, at that time, a stinging insult, one of the worst. A person would not introduce himself as such any more than he would admit to being a hired killer.
    Times have changed. The arms dealer is now a respectable person. He can be a celebrity, an object of adulation for the gutter press, a friend of politicians, a generous host of members of the government.
    Weapons have their own life. They strive to realize their potential. Their mission is to kill. A general whose arsenals are full tends to fantasize about “war this summer” or “war this winter”.
    The killing potential of weapons is getting “better” all the time, and their producers need testing grounds. Some days ago, one of our generals revealed on television that under an American-Israeli agreement, the Israeli army is obliged to report to the American military establishment on the effectiveness of all kinds of arms. For example: the accuracy of “smart” bombs and the performance of airplanes, missiles, drones, tanks and all the other instruments of destruction in our wars.
    Every “targeted killing” in Gaza or use of fragmentation bombs in Lebanon serves also as a test. The leveling of a neighborhood in Beirut, the death of women and children as “collateral damage”, the ongoing amputation of limbs by fragmentation bombs in South Lebanon – all these are statistical facts that are important for American arms manufacturers to know, so they can improve their merchandise.
    A deal is a deal, and goods are goods.
    IN THE same week that these huge arms deals were announced, Ehud Olmert spoke about a dialogue (unlimited in time) about the (nonbinding) principles for a final status agreement. Condoleezza was again buzzing around the region’s capitals, smiling and talking, embracing and talking.
    Saudi Arabia is hinting that perhaps-perhaps it may be ready to sit with Israel at the table of the “peace meeting” that may take place in the autumn. This is also intended to make it easier for Congress (meaning: the pro-Israeli lobby) to confirm the arms deal.
    Bush’s people have announced for the umpteenth time that a “window of opportunity” is now open. (Not a “gate of opportunity”, not a “door of opportunity” but a window. As if windows were for walking through rather then looking through.)
    All this activity somehow reminds me of another story about the white elephant:
    An American billionaire had set his mind on acquiring a white elephant, in order to impress his peers. But it is strictly forbidden to export white elephants from Thailand, because they are so rare.
    A shrewd operator promised to get him a white elephant, and even told him how he would go about it: he would paint the elephant gray before smuggling him out.
    And indeed, at the promised time a crate arrived, and out walked a gray elephant. When the gray paint was scrubbed off, a white elephant was revealed. But with a bit more scrubbing, the white paint also came off, and underneath – the elephant was gray.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    Stragety For Progressive Terriers
    Shoot their plane down.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Aug. 9, 2007 1:56 | Updated Aug. 9, 2007 16:16
    Hoyer to Abbas: Don’t talk to Hamas
    By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JERUSALEM POST
    Meanwhile, US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has warned Abbas not to talk to an unreformed Hamas about reentering a unity government ahead of a visit to Israel and the West Bank next week.
    “Dealing with Hamas and being in any coalition with Hamas [without Hamas accepting international demands to stop terrorism and recognize Israel] would be something which we would look on with opposition and suspicion,” Hoyer (D-Maryland) told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview Wednesday. He said such a government would be a “setback” and a “cause for concern.”
    Hoyer’s comments followed a Post report that officials from Abbas’s Fatah party have been conducting secret negotiations with Hamas about a possible reconciliation, with the help of mediators from Arab countries.
    He called for “more biting” sanctions against Iran at the United Nations and for Europe to cut its trade with Iran in order to halt the development of a nuclear weapon, which he warned would destabilize the Middle East.
    There is also the potential for the massive arms deal to Saudi Arabia to threaten stability in the region, as well as Israel’s security, Hoyer warned, unless proper precautions are taken. He would not go so far as to oppose the deal, as many other Democratic Congressmen have, but did indicate he had some concerns about its implications.
    Hoyer said aid to Saudi Arabia, as well as Egypt, had not in the past resulted “in the kind of positive support that I would have hoped for.” He was strongly supportive of aid to Israel.
    He said the specifics of the deal, which had originally been expected to be concluded this week, would be the subject of discussions between a delegation of some 20 Democratic members of Congress and Israeli leaders.
    Hoyer will be leading the delegation on a weeklong trip that will include meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Abbas.
    Most of the Congressmen are in their first terms, including Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim member of Congress. It will be his second trip to Israel since being elected in November.
    The trip is being sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, an independent, nonprofit charitable organization affiliated with AIPAC, which is also leading another trip for Republican representatives
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Reply

  46. Sweetness says:

    Wright wrote back to say that the article was intended to shine a spotlight on the rising chorus for tougher, if not military, action by the same people who cheerlead the Iraq invasion. (Her other articles have focused on the other side of the debate.) She is very worried about this and is committed to reporting on this issue and not letting go of it.

    Reply

  47. Kathleen says:

    For those intereted in Israelis who oppose their gov’t, see http://www.awalls.org
    Good letter, Sweetness. I’d be particlulary interested in an aticle which did include the real deal from El Baradei. That really is the bottom line upon which we should make our decisions, as it should have been with Iraq.
    Those “same people” must have some leftover Niger stationary.

    Reply

  48. pauline says:

    Steve,
    Have upi?
    Published: Aug. 6, 2007 at 11:17 AM
    Commentary: Embarrassing history
    By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
    UPI Editor at Large
    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) — The Palestinians call Israel’s 1948 war of independence their nakba, or catastrophic ethnic cleansing, or forced exile. The Israelis, for their part, have steadfastly rejected any suggestion of ethnic cleansing as calumny in all its anti-Semitic horror.
    Historic revisionism is now under way. Without fanfare, just below the media radar screen, the Israeli Education Ministry has approved a textbook for Arab third-graders in Israel that concedes the war that gave birth to Israel was a “nakba” for the Palestinians. The textbook refers to the “expulsion” of some of the Palestinians and the “confiscation of many Arab-owned lands.”
    Textbooks for Jewish Israelis in the same grade make no such verbal concession. But Israel’s “new wave” historians have been combing through fresh material now available from the British mandate period and Israeli archives that document the history of Israel before and after it became a state. Long-lasting myths are being debunked.
    Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian and Haifa University lecturer, whose ninth book is titled “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” documents how Israel was born with lands forcibly seized from its Palestinian inhabitants who had lived there for hundreds of years.
    During the British mandate (1920-1948), Zionist leaders concluded Palestinians, who owned 90 percent of the land (with 5.8 percent owned by Jews), would have to be forcibly expelled to make a Jewish state possible. Pappe quotes David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, addressing the Jewish Agency Executive in June 1938, as saying, “I am for compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it.”
    Pappe outlines Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), which followed earlier plans A, B and C, and included forcible expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians from both urban and rural areas with the objective of creating by any means necessary an exclusive Jewish state without an Arab presence. The methods ranged from a campaign of disinformation — “get out immediately because the Jews are on their way to kill you” — to Jewish militia attacks to terrorize the Palestinians.
    The first Jewish militia attacks, says Pappe, began before the May 1948 end of the British mandate. In December 1947 two villages in the central plain — Deir Ayyub and Beit Affa — were raided, and their panicked Palestinian inhabitants fled. Jewish leaders gave the order to drive out as many Palestinians as possible on March 10, 1948. The terror campaign ended six months later. Pappe writes 531 Palestinian villages were destroyed, and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities were emptied of their Palestinian inhabitants.
    There is no doubt in Pappe’s mind that Plan D “was a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.”
    Plan Dalet began in the rural hills on the western slopes of the Jerusalem mountains halfway on the road to Tel Aviv, according to Pappe. It was called Operation Nachshon, and served as a model for massive expulsions using terror tactics. Pappe also details what he calls the “urbicide of Palestine” that included attacking and cleansing the major urban centers of Tiberias, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Safad and what he calls the “Phantom City of Jerusalem” once Jewish troops shelled, attacked and occupied its western Arab neighborhoods in April 1948. The British did not interfere.
    Lobbied by the World Zionist Organization and its guiding spirit Chaim Weizmann, who became the first president of Israel (1949-52), the British decided in favor of a Jewish state in Palestine in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. This was a letter from the British Foreign Secretary to Lord Rothschild (Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild), the leader of the British Jewish community, for relay to the Zionist Federation. The British also pledged indigenous Arab rights would be protected as they divvied up the Ottoman Empire.
    The myth was then created of “a land without people for a people without a land” even though the “empty land” had a flourishing Palestinian Arab population. The U.N. partition plan of Nov. 29, 1947, gave the Jews 56 percent of Palestine, with one-third of the population, while making Jerusalem an international city. The Jewish part included the most fertile land and almost all urban areas.
    When the British handed power to the Jews on May 15, 1948, including the influx of survivors from Hitler’s concentration camps, two-thirds of the population was still Palestinian.
    The first Arab-Israeli war quickly followed as the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas who had been attacking Jewish forces since November 1947. The Arabs failed to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state and were defeated. The war ended with four U.N.-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
    Commenting on Pappe’s historical research, Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut and editor at large of the Beirut Daily Star, writes, “Many Israelis will challenge Pappe’s account. Such a process should ideally spark an honest, comprehensive analysis that could lead us to an accurate narrative of what happened in 1947-48 — accurate for both sides, if it is to have meaning for either side.”
    An Israeli official textbook for Palestinian third-graders, says Fares, “that fleetingly acknowledges the Palestinian trauma of exile and occupation in 1948 is an intriguing sign of something that remains largely unclear.” The “something” is worth exploring and reciprocating, “if it indicates a capacity to move toward the elusive shared, accurate, truthful account of Israeli and Palestinian history that must anchor any progress toward a negotiated peace.”
    The consensus in Israel today, says Pappe, is for a state comprising 90 percent of Palestine “surrounded by electric fences and visible and invisible walls” with Palestinians given only worthless cantonized scrub lands of little value to the Jewish state. In 2006, Pappe sees that 1.4 million Palestinians live in Israel on 2 percent of the land allotted to them plus another 1 percent for agricultural use with 6 million Jews on most of the rest. “Another 3.9 million live concentrated in Israel’s unwanted portions of the West Bank and concentrated in Gaza that has three times the population density of Manhattan,” notes Pappe. Back from the Middle East last week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said prospects are good for a two-state solution. A “viable and contiguous” Palestinian state, pledged by the Bush administration, remains a pipe dream.
    http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Analysis/2007/08/06/commentary_embarrassing_history/1248/print_view/

    Reply

  49. karenk says:

    Hey, bears gotta eat too!!

    Reply

  50. John says:

    Steve – By the way, your message from Spectacle Lake comes on the heels of Rep. Reichart’s (R-WA8) proposal to add 26,000 acres to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness designation. Perhaps a thinnly-veiled attempt to green his record (Reichert’s among the ranks that doesn’t concede that global warming is “real”), but good news for Washington’s public lands.
    I couldn’t resist the opportunity for my first post. Enjoy your time in the wilderness and hope all is well! Your old friend, JVL

    Reply

  51. Lurker says:

    When I called to complain about the new FISA bill, the goon at Hoyer’s office told me, and I am quoting, that, ” If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of.”
    And the Democrats are the OPPOSITION party???
    Steny Hoyer, buddy, please stay over in Israel forever, and I’ll send you a care package of knee pads every two weeks.

    Reply

  52. Carroll says:

    Evidently a lot of people were wondering about Wright’s article.
    From Col Pat Lang:
    What “Carrots” Have Been Offered to Iran?
    When I first read this article I was tempted to think that Robin Wright had gone over to “the dark side” as Vice President Cheney calls it. A closer inspection reveals that she is actually compiling a list of the current “group think” among the Jacobins and their auxiliaries.
    It is quite egregious for the Jacobins to argue that Iran has not responded to a diplomatic effort in which carrots and sticks have been offered. What carrots? Whenever Rice or Satterfield talk about diplomacy on Television we are treated to a vision of glowering bluster demanding Iranian compliance in Iraq. Period!!!
    Our “negotiating” strategy toward Iran is nothing but a demand for their surrender. Period!! How Middle Eastern we have become in so short a time.
    The AEI types that Wright mentions are consistent in the fullness of their fantasy life just as they were before Iraq.
    This is log-rolling. Don’t be rolled. pl

    Reply

  53. Daniel Greenberg says:

    That’s a lovely picture. Here’s hoping he has a terrific ‘vacation’. :)
    Oh, and definitely watch out for those bears. I have it on good authority that they’re the number one threat to America.

    Reply

  54. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sandy at August 9, 2007 03:12 PM
    Posted by Sandy at August 9, 2007 03:52 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Amen. Excellent catches.
    This morning as I was reading the news that Hoyer was heading up a week long trip to Israel of 80 congressmen during their congress recess to meet with Israeli officials I got a call from my congressman, who is spending August in his home district, and his office doing a survey on Iraq withdrawal-China Trade- the national debt and trade deficit and several other issues.
    But he is one of the dozen or so out of the hundreds who is actually tending to Americans interest.

    Reply

  55. Sandy says:

    And, Steve, I do hope your strategic planning includes the fact that CHINA holds us hostage (U.S. dollars and Treasury bonds) and that your planning includes what we will do when they retaliate against Bush’s stupid moves and hubris:
    http://www.counterpunch.com/roberts08082007.html
    August 8, 2007
    Uncle Sam, Your Banker Will See You Now …
    In the Hole to China
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS August 8, 2007
    Early this morning China let the idiots in Washington, and on Wall Street, know that it has them by the short hairs. Two senior spokesmen for the Chinese government observed that China’s considerable holdings of US dollars and Treasury bonds “contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency.”
    Should the US proceed with sanctions intended to cause the Chinese currency to appreciate, “the Chinese central bank will be forced to sell dollars, which might lead to a mass depreciation of the dollar.”
    If Western financial markets are sufficiently intelligent to comprehend the message, US interest rates will rise regardless of any further action by China. At this point, China does not need to sell a single bond. In an instant, China has made it clear that US interest rates depend on China, not on the Federal Reserve.
    The precarious position of the US dollar as reserve currency has been thoroughly ignored and denied. The delusion that the US is “the world’s sole superpower,” whose currency is desirable regardless of its excess supply, reflects American hubris, not reality. This hubris is so extreme that only 6 weeks ago McKinsey Global Institute published a study that concluded that even a doubling of the US current account deficit to $1.6 trillion would pose no problem.
    Strategic thinkers, if any remain who have not been purged by neocons, will quickly conclude that China’s power over the value of the dollar and US interest rates also gives China power over US foreign policy. The US was able to attack Afghanistan and Iraq only because China provided the largest part of the financing for Bush’s wars.
    If China ceased to buy US Treasuries, Bush’s wars would end. The savings rate of US consumers is essentially zero, and several million are afflicted with mortgages that they cannot afford. With Bush’s budget in deficit and with no room in the US consumer’s budget for a tax increase, Bush’s wars can only be financed by foreigners.
    No country on earth, except for Israel, supports the Bush regimes’ desire to attack Iran. It is China’s decision whether it calls in the US ambassador, and delivers the message that there will be no attack on Iran or further war unless the US is prepared to buy back $900 billion in US Treasury bonds and other dollar assets.
    The US, of course, has no foreign reserves with which to make the purchase. The impact of such a large sale on US interest rates would wreck the US economy and effectively end Bush’s war-making capability. Moreover, other governments would likely follow the Chinese lead, as the main support for the US dollar has been China’s willingness to accumulate them. If the largest holder dumped the dollar, other countries would dump dollars, too.
    The value and purchasing power of the US dollar would fall. When hard-pressed Americans went to Wal-Mart to make their purchases, the new prices would make them think they had wandered into Nieman Marcus. Americans would not be able to maintain their current living standard.
    Simultaneously, Americans would be hit either with tax increases in order to close a budget deficit that foreigners will no longer finance or with large cuts in income security programs. The only other source of budgetary finance would be for the government to print money to pay its bills. In this event, Americans would experience inflation in addition to higher prices from dollar devaluation.
    This is a grim outlook. We got in this position because our leaders are ignorant fools. So are our economists, many of whom are paid shills for some interest group. So are our corporate leaders whose greed gave China power over the US by offshoring the US production of goods and services to China. It was the corporate fat cats who turned US Gross Domestic Product into Chinese imports, and it was the “free trade, free market economists” who egged it on.
    How did a people as stupid as Americans get so full of hubris?

    Reply

  56. Sandy says:

    Well done, Sweetness! It will be interesting to hear if she replies. I could never have been so circumspect about the subject!
    One doesn’t want to imagine the Robin Wrights in league with the neo-cons. All their ideas and advice have been. disastrously, W R O N G!!!
    For example:
      August 9, 2007
    US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    This week the Russian and Chinese militaries are conducting a joint military exercise involving large numbers of troops and combat vehicles. The former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan, Kyrgkyzstan, and Kazakstan are participating. Other countries appear ready to join the military alliance.
    This new potent military alliance is a real world response to neoconservative delusions about US hegemony. Neocons believe that the US is supreme in the world and can dictate its course. The neoconservative idiots have actually written papers, read by Russians and Chinese, about why the US must use its military superiority to assert hegemony over Russia and China.
    Cynics believe that the neocons are just shills, like Bush and Cheney, for the military-security complex and are paid to restart the cold war for the sake of the profits of the armaments industry. But the fact is that the neocons actually believe their delusions about American hegemony.
    Russia and China have now witnessed enough of the Bush administration’s unprovoked aggression in the world to take neocon intentions seriously. As the US has proven that it cannot occupy the Iraqi city of Baghdad despite 5 years of efforts, it most certainly cannot occupy Russia or China. That means the conflict toward which the neocons are driving will be a nuclear conflict.
    In an attempt to gain the advantage in a nuclear conflict, the neocons are positioning US anti-ballistic missiles on Soviet borders in Poland and the Czech Republic. This is an idiotic provocation as the Russians can eliminate anti-ballistic missiles with cruise missiles. Neocons are people who desire war, but know nothing about it. Thus, the US failures in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Reagan and Gorbachev ended the cold war. However, US administrations after Reagan’s have broken the agreements and understandings. The US gratuitously brought NATO and anti-ballistic missiles to Russia’s borders. The Bush regime has initiated a propaganda war against the Russian government of Vladimir Putin.
    These are gratuitous acts of aggression. Both the Russian and Chinese governments are trying to devote resources to their economic development, not to their militaries. Yet, both are being forced by America’s aggressive posture to revamp their militaries.
    Americans need to understand what the neocon Bush regime cannot: a nuclear exchange between the US, Russia, and China would establish the hegemony of the cockroach.
    In a mere 6.5 years the Bush regime has destroyed the world’s good will toward the US. Today, America’s influence in the world is limited to its payments of tens of millions of dollars to bribed heads of foreign governments, such as Egypt’s and Pakistan’s. The Bush regime even thinks that as it has bought and paid for Musharraf, he will stand aside and permit Bush to make air strikes inside Pakistan. Is Bush blind to the danger that he will cause an Islamic revolution within Pakistan that will depose the US puppet and present the Middle East with an Islamic state armed with nuclear weapons?
    Considering the instabilities and dangers that abound, the aggressive posture of the Bush regime goes far beyond recklessness. The Bush regime is the most irresponsibly aggressive regime the world has seen since Hitler’s.
     
     Find this article at:
    http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=11422
     

    Reply

  57. pauline says:

    Steve:
    It’s way too hot where I’m at today. I think I’ll just have to pour another glass of iced tea and sit back and listen to a little Merle Haggard.
    Why don’t we liberate these United States,
    We’re the ones that need it the most.
    Let the rest of the world help us for a change,
    And let’s rebuild America First.
    Our highways and bridges are fallin’ apart;
    Who’s blessed an’ who has been cursed?
    There’s things to be done all over the world,
    But let’s rebuild America First.
    Who’s on the Hill and who’s watchin’ the valley?
    An’ who’s in charge of it all?
    God bless the Army an’ God bless our liberty,
    And back-dump the rest of it all.
    Yeah, men in position are backin’ away: Freedom is stuck in reverse.
    Let’s get out of Iraq, an’ get back on track, and let’s rebuild America First.

    Reply

  58. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness at August 9, 2007 02:49 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Indeed.
    One has to wonder who she is aiming this at. Is the general reader familiar enough with the people she quotes to know their agenda?

    Reply

  59. Carroll says:

    I hope Steve’s stragetic planning includes the R and C word as options on the table just in case.

    Reply

  60. Sweetness says:

    Sameer/Steve,
    Here’s a letter I sent to Robin Wright at WaPo about her article on Iran in today’s paper.
    Dear Ms. Wright,
    I’m a long time reader and admirer of your reporting and analysis. This is the first time I’ve been moved to write you. I found your article today on Iran disturbing in a number of ways, which I thought I’d share with you:
    1) You talk about the “emerging debate” over what to do about Iran’s nuclear program, its current status, and how best to react to it–but you quote only one side of the debate. The conservative side: Kristol, AEI, Hoover, WINEP, Heritage, Pletka, and Podhoretz. If I’m not mistaken, these folks are, for the most part, neoconservatives who are on record as favoring one approach–a military one.
    But what about the other side of the debate from folks like the New America Foundation? What about quoting El Baradei? What about Nasr? What about quoting folks who see the situation differently and who have different ideas about what to do? In fact, there may be more calls for smarter diplomacy alongside the calls for a “tougher stance”–and your readers should know about them.
    The uninformed reader could easily come away from your article thinking that there is an emerging consensus about the need to “get tougher” with Iran when, in fact, the debate is much more diverse than the opinions expressed in your article.
    2) You also quote, and thus give credence to, people who are not experts on Iran (at least as far as I know). Podhoretz most certainly is not an expert, and he gets two paragraphs, and an incendiary quote about Hitler! Danielle Pletka, based on her bio, is most certainly not an expert on Iran either. Kori Schake would appear to have no credentials on Iran. Patrick Clawson appears to have no Iran expertise other than via the books he’s written espousing his hawkish perspective–but no academic credentials in the area. Michael Eisenstadt appears to be an expert on Arab-Israeli issues, but not on Iranian ones. And so on.
    So, overall, I’m perplexed and dismayed by your choice of people to quote. Average readers expect that people quoted in a news article have substantive expertise in the subject at hand. Quotes from these people say, in effect, that the reporter and her paper regard these people as experts, as sources of reliable and objective information. I have a hard time believing that these people fit the bill in this case.
    3) Your article states that the administration is experiencing an “internal crisis of confidence” over the “viability of its diplomatic strategy.” That may be. But from where I sit, US-Iranian diplomacy has barely gotten off the ground. I don’t expect you to advocate for one position or another in this article, but you are leaving the impression, through omission, that the US and Iran have been talking up a storm, but have gotten nowhere. This strikes me as misleading–but perhaps you know more about the true state of US-Iranian negotiations to date.
    Clearly, no article, and certainly not a relatively short one, can do justice to all opinions. However, your article was so completely dependent on the views of hawks, it feels quite out of balance to me. Given how important this issue is–and how disastrous the Iraq adventure has been for everyone– and how, as you say early in the article, these calls for toughness are reminiscent of those preceding the Iraq invasion and are being voiced by the same people–we need to pay more attention to the “gathering storm” of opinion calling for military actions against Iran.
    In any event, I’d be interested in your reactions to these points.

    Reply

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