This is going to be a bit of a disorganized, stream-of-consciousness roster of items on which I feel I owe some comment. Short and brief.
First of all, I have been pestered by quite a number of people and posters about Cheney/Bush and impeachment. Go back and read the blog. TWN has been one of the most persistent and compelling (in my view) vehicles for making the case against Cheney and his team. I wish those pursuing impeachment well. That said, I’m a realist. I have already spoken out against Cheney — and said that he needs to be contained, confined, and booted. But impeaching him or Bush — and failing — will blow the Dem’s chances next round out of the water. So, those engaged in the enterprise should follow their passions. I want to contain Cheney and his team in ways that I think have real traction and move a sensible agenda forward.
Second, this is old news. But I have been really bothered by Senator Robert Menendez’s endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s presidential aspirations. The price no doubt is her support of a backwards, counterproductive embargo against Cuba. Hillary Clinton believes in engagement with China, with Vietnam, and with other Communist states. She believes in “engagement”, people to people exchanges, and the 21st century/bridge to the future stuff her husband used to speak to.
But on Cuba, she is protecting an anachronistic, Cold War-fashioned policy that has been frozen for 40 years. This makes no sense.
I intend to encourage people who meet her everywhere in the country to go out of their way to ask why she can endorse such an incredibly backward and failed national policy towards Cuba that George Bush has taken to new absurd levels. With the stroke of a pen, George W. Bush tightened an already idiotically tight travel ban for Cuban American families.
Now, Cuban Americans must choose between attending their father’s funeral, or their mother’s. If they go to Cuba, which current law allows them to do under license once every three years, they may see a parent or family member who is sick — and then go back to the U.S., only to be unable then to attend a funeral if life turns death’s direction.
Why isn’t Hillary blowing that policy out of the water?! Tell me, please, that Senator Robert Menendez is not asking for the perpetuation of what is really an anti-Cuban-American policy that perpetuates the interestes of Venezuela, China, Israel, Europe, and just about everyone else but us in Cuba.
Third, the Washington Post is developing a story on new facilities in Iran designed to prepare for an attack. I can’t say more now, but it should be out over the weekend. And to my original sources — don’t worry — I found other sources. But while this is not “huge” news, it is significant to know that Iran is preparing for Cheney.
Fourth, for those looking for Congressional level political hope, Jonathan Powers is great. I have a profile in the works on him — but other distractions have impeded my progress on it. He is an Iraq War veteran who cared about the Iraqis — who set up a foundation working with Iraqi orphans — and who traveled with Gunner Palace director Michael Tucker for a period helping to market one of the most brilliant inside treatments on the insanity of the Iraq War that I have seen. You should kick his tires. I think he is someone who will take back some the terrain from bad guys.
Fifth, in case you missed it, this was one of the oddest items I have seen in some time. Giuliani’s campaign called for donations in the Jerusalem Post. Before you get too crazed, it is “legal” for Israeli-Americans who carry US passports to donate to American presidential campaigns.
But Guiliani panders in this letter:
Guiliani advertising in the Jerusalem Post
As a longtime friend and staunch supporter of Israel during my entire public life, I want to share with you my deep concern for the Jewish state and ask for your support as I campaign to become the next President of the United States.
We are at a crucial moment in history. We are once again at a point where the free world’s resolve in fighting evil is being tested.
In the 1990’s, we had the blinders on with regard to Islamic terrorism. Coddling terrorists — even applauding for winning the Nobel Peace prize as was done with Yasser Arafat — is a policy we cannot return to.
Yet, these blinders are still worn by some people who wish to lead our country.
In neither of their debates did the Democrats mention Islamic fundamentalist terrorists and the threat they pose to our country. One candidate has even said that the global war on terror is nothing but a bumper sticker slogan. It makes the point that I’ve been making over and over again — that the Democrats, or at least some of them, are in denial.
I promise you that if elected President, I will make sure this country remains on offense against terrorism. But I need your help and support to get there. Will you consider giving $1,000, $500, $250, $100 or $50 to my campaign?
Israel and the United States share common values. We cherish freedom, democracy, and human life. Our shared values have attracted common enemies. The terrorists Israel is fighting are the same terrorists America is fighting, and we must continue to fight them together.
Last week Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced that the world would soon witness the destruction of Israel. This 2008 presidential campaign will determine how we deal with statements like these and the madmen who make them.
I stand by Israel and I’ll never embrace a terrorist like Arafat, a tyrant like Ahmadinejad, or a party like Hamas.
Will you join me and support my campaign for President so we can continue to work together? Your contribution of $1,000, $500, $250, $100 or $50 will go a long way in helping us to ensure victory.
Please consider signing up for my email list as well. Doing so will keep you up to date on the latest news from my campaign.
A Giuliani administration won’t accept business as usual. We will stay strong amidst the threats of tyrants and we will stay on offense against the terrorists.
This Giuliani plea would make a great vignette in Team America, World Police II.
And nearly lastly, I have a quote in The Guardian today warning my acquaintances on the left, the middle, and the reasonable right not to make the mistake of underestimating President Bush’s enduring influence and his Lazarus-like ability to continue to matter after some moment of reinvention. His numbers are incredibly low — but it doesn’t seem to make much difference in what he chooses to do.
And in other news, I am flying to Berlin today — and am sitting in JFK Airport now — the one some Trinidadian terrorists wanted to blow up, allegedly. Terrorism, Terrorism, Terrorism.
I think that Gordon Brown is finally getting it right by burying and abandoning the term, “Global War on Terror.” That is leadership.
But I will be in Berlin until next Thursday — and blogging from there.
— Steve Clemons