Bad Taste

-

newseals.ap.wh.jpg
Note to Obama Spokesman Bill Burton and Campaign Director David Axelrod:
This is probably not a good thing to repeat. Reflects hubris.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

162 comments on “Bad Taste

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    Many candidates have measured the Oval Office drapes prematurely. But Barack Obama is the first to redesign the presidential seal before the election.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121443823260805375.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

    Reply

  2. Sweetness says:

    I would say that virtually no one who comments on this blog
    “invents” him or herself. However, there are a number of people
    here who continuously accuse others of this without a single stitch
    of evidence to support their paranoid delusions. Yet they continue
    their quixotic pursuit–often with nasty invective–to uncover the
    “perps” and expose their nefarious plans to “take over” this blog
    or…whatever. These are the stupidest of all the stupid comments
    that appear here.

    Reply

  3. not stupid says:

    Republicans Whine About Legality of New Obama Logo. Their Use of Similar Logos Doesn’t Bother Them
    By: Nicole Belle on Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 3:45 PM – PDT
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/06/23/republicans-whine-about-legality-of-new-obama-logo-their-use-of-similar-logos-doesnt-bother-them/

    Reply

  4. Carroll says:

    Posted by RabbleRouser Jun 24, 7:21PM – Link
    I can understand people concerned about other posters
    inventing themselves on the internet, but everything I have said
    about myself is true.
    Me too…in fact there are several posters on here that I would not mind at all having my full name and location…but there are also many nutcase lurkers on blogs that make sharing that information on a public blog dangerous.
    I belong to an email group however that formed from like minded posters on another site during the run up to the Iraq invasion and our group continues to this day and gives me lot of information and articles that I would never have time to find if doing it by myself.

    Reply

  5. arthurdecco says:

    RE: Sweetness Jun 24, 8:55PM
    If all that Hizbollah, Amal, and Friday Prayers in Tehran, (nice touch that), are doing is printing and displaying predictable posters in Lebanon and shouting out mindless mantras at public religious events in Tehran, I can’t think they’re much of a threat to Israel.
    Notice how Israel doesn’t waste time doing the “posters and public vilification of their enemies thing”. Instead, they get right down to it – they kill innocent women and children from the air with missiles fired from Apache helicopter gun ships and F16’s, they indiscriminately release millions of unexploded bomblets all over south Lebanon in the final days of their pathetic pulverization of that country, they refuse medical treatment to dying Palestinian patients, they withhold the basic necessities of life from all of Gaza by closing the borders to necessary foodstuffs and medical supplies, they restrict employment, separate family members, deliberately target and destroy public infrastructure, including medical, they undercut the fairly elected government by hiring criminals to disrupt daily life, they prohibit trade, they deliberately destroy agricultural produce, they regularly murder “Hamas militants’ without the benefit of a legal process, let alone a trial in front of a judge and a jury of their peers, (while fully expecting the rest of us to take their word for why they’re justified in killing people we’re told nothing about!)
    In sum, I’m wondering why the epithets hurled Israel’s way aren’t MORE extreme. I’m wondering why the posters printed don’t display the body parts of the civilians that have been dismembered by the IDF and REALLY get people pissed off.
    But one thing I’m not wondering about is who is ultimately responsible for the conflagration in our modern Middle East, Sweetness, your attempts to distort the public record notwithstanding:
    “that the state of Israel … must be obliterated.”
    That’s a beaut. Tell me, did you make that up yourself, or did you require coaching?

    Reply

  6. WigWag says:

    POA, as Jackie Gleason used to say, “How sweet it is!”

    Reply

  7. RabbleRouser says:

    Why should Israel exist — is the Torah a legal document?
    And why should Israel and its fan club be allowed to destroy the
    world via an attack on Iran?
    I come from another persecuted ethnic group, one of many
    persecuted ethnic groups — Jews don’t hold the Gold Medal on
    persecution.
    And the Persecuted Ethnic Group that I come from was promised
    a homeland after WW II by the British. We never got it.
    My husband is a Jew, and he is way more anti-Zionist than I am.
    Right now, the U.S. Congress is supporting Israel above the U.S.,
    as evidenced by House Bill 362, which basically means that the
    U.S. is going to unofficially declare war on Iran via a blockade.
    Congress is willing to destroy “our country” for Israel.
    Israel is a country of 5.8 million people, some of whom do not
    have full citizenship rights. And that doesn’t even begin to count
    the Palestinians in the “Occupied Territories” i.e., PRISON CAMPS.
    Israel has used my tax dollars to kill thousands of people, and
    that figure doesn’t even count the people whom the Israel lobby
    killed in Iraq, which is more than a million.
    So, do I think that Israel has a “right to exist”?
    NO.
    The Arabs had nothing to do with the Jewish Holocaust, so Israel
    should have been put into Germany.
    Now, Israel’s going to take our kids to fight another of her wars,
    this one in Iran.
    If we allow our congress to get away with allowing HR 362 (a
    resolution to, in effect, declare war on Iran) we have committed
    national suicide and the genocide of the rest of the world.
    I WILL NEVER SEND THE CHILDREN WHOM I LOVE TO DIE FOR
    ISRAEL.
    Put Israel in Germany, take away her nuclear weapons, and let
    the world live in peace, at least for a short time.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, I certainly understand why you feel this “thread turned into shit.” You like the threads that become sanctuaries for bigots, jew haters, and critics of Israel whose claims are so over the top that they are in fact anti-Semitic”
    I won’t be reading, or responding to, your useless garbage comments anymore. Engage someone else with your ignorant horseshit.

    Reply

  9. Sweetness says:

    “In some ways, the continuing row over his call for the complete
    destruction of Israel must baffle Iranian President Mahmoud
    Ahmadinejad. All he did, after all, was to turn up at a routine
    anti-Zionist event and repeat the standard line—laid down by
    the Ayatollah Khomeini and thus considered by some to be
    beyond repeal—that the state of Israel is illegitimate and must
    be obliterated. There’s nothing new in that. In the early ’90s, I
    can remember seeing, in the areas around Baalbek in Lebanon
    that were dominated by Hezbollah and Amal, large posters of the
    by-then-late Khomeini embellished (in English) with the slogan,
    “Israel Must Be Completely Destroyed!” And I have twice been to
    Friday prayers in Tehran itself, addressed by leading mullahs and
    by former President Rafsanjani, where the more terse version
    (Marg bar Esrail—”Death to Israel”) is chanted as a matter of
    routine; sometimes as an applause line to an especially deft
    clerical thrust.”
    http://www.slate.com/id/2140947/

    Reply

  10. arthurdecco says:

    Paul Norheim said: “WigWag even missed arthurdecco so much that he begged him to get back to the arena again with his “Ode to RabbleRouser, Carroll and Arthur Decco” above. And of course arthurdecco was grateful to be back, and immediately attacked his good old enemy (as if he wanted to thank him).”
    Paul, I have no idea what your game is but I’m not playing. Your comment is bullshit. I responded to the lies WigWag was disseminating – not to “get back in the game” but to correct the record. Perhaps it’s a translation thing. Or a reading comprehension thing… I’m sick and tired of the same discredited lies being repeated as if they were truths, ad nauseum.
    Wig wag is no more my “enemy” than Saddam Hussein was or George Bush is or you or Carroll are – She’s simply a lying asshole who never tires of hurling infantile insults at those who call her on the crap she posts.
    If you disagree with anything I type, please call me on it and buttress your argument with facts, but stop the crap – it diminishes you and the very positive contributions you make to the comments here.
    Paul Norheim said: “Still, I often get a bizarre feeling that we are kids in the school yard, looking for entertainment. And suddenly a couple of boys how up, ready for a fight, and we get excited.”
    Speak for yourself, Paul.
    I’m here to be informed, challenged and challenging. I leave the titillation to the children in the room. That being said, I refuse to be bullied or insulted because my opinions make some other poster uncomfortable. This isn’t a children’s party – most of us are concerned with the state of our world – we wouldn’t be reading and contributing here if this was simply a place to come to “get excited”. You are insulting us all with your theory.
    I can think of many other ways that I’d rather use to “get excited” than dealing with delusional propagandists like WigWag in an otherwise productive on-line forum about our overly politicized world.
    …and WigWag?… You need a break, honey. Bigga time!

    Reply

  11. RabbleRouser says:

    I can understand people concerned about other posters
    inventing themselves on the internet, but everything I have said
    about myself is true.
    Carroll — thanks for the Ackerman letter and the list of
    supporters of HR 362. They’re going into a press release to the
    media for a bi-partisan group determined to kick out every
    member of congress who supports that bill, HR 362, AKA the
    Iran War Resolution.
    My point about swimming pools in L.A. is that while “our” mayor
    and two city council members enjoy a trip to Israel paid for by
    our tax dollars (and AIPAC, it’s still not absolutely clear what the
    %s are, but some of the money spent on the L.A. mayor and two
    city council members trip to Israel, definitely came out of L.A.
    tax payer $$$ according to the Mayor’s office)—
    — we, the taxpayers of Los Angeles are left with massive
    budget cuts all across the board. But more than $1,00,000 in
    the Parks & Recreations department, courtesy of our mayor,
    while L.A. SWELTERS.
    So the pro-Israel lobby affects us on the LOCAL level up to the
    national level, with both Obama and McCain pledging an attack
    on Iran (i.e., global suicide) because of the sway of another
    country’s lobby on the U.S. government and media.
    How F-ed up is that?
    As we like to say in L.A. “Totally.”

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    Yeah, Wigwag, I saw it now: he was angry, and insulted you.
    But from there to these grand anti-Semite charges?
    And Ironbelle: that comment was more to the point than your
    terrible spamming habits during the last weeks. More of that,
    please, and less of this campaign spamming!

    Reply

  13. WigWag says:

    Yes, Paul Norheim, POA’s comment is on this thread at June 24th, 12:13 am (perhaps you were looking at pm).
    Carroll, you were invited to a dinner party? Where was it? The John Birch Society perhaps? The German American Bund? The Silver Legion of America? Or maybe you were having dinner with Arthur Decco’s friend Kevin MacDonald.
    I know that you’d find like minded people in any of those locations. Why anyone else would want to break bread with the likes of you, I will never know.

    Reply

  14. Sweetness says:

    Actually, Keith, what doesn’t happen much here is…thinking.

    Reply

  15. Keith M Ellis says:

    “Or, of course, if you want the abridged version of the handbook…..
    1) Make shit out of a thread, until its deteriorated in the exact manner and direction you intended it to.”
    That’s what you do here every day.
    I don’t agree with WigWag, but this thread is yet another example of several commenters negatively affecting discourse by their misuse of a thread as if it were their own private playground. Speaking of bad taste, Carrol continues to use this comment space as her blogging medium. If you can call posting, with little commentary, articles and portions of articles from the mainstream media “blogging”. One thing’s for sure: it sure as hell isn’t commenting.

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    let me quote you:
    “You may not like to hear it Paul, but there is too much
    acquiecense to bigotry on some of these threads. It shouldn’t be
    tolerated. There are times you’ve made the same point yourself.”
    You`re right, WigWag, I don`t like to hear it.
    But when bigotry is becoming really, really intolerable to my
    ears, I tend to address it directly to the person concerned -
    don`t you think?
    I`m sure you can create more entertaining confrontations with
    this nasty attack on someone else. But I can`t say that I`m
    impressed.

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, regarding the first POA comment you referred to, it fits
    into several of my comments above.
    The second one: (PissedOffAmerican Jun 24, 12:13AM), I can`t
    find.
    Was it on this thread?

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, I really regret being sarcastic about you and POA
    attacking each other ad hominem the other day.
    Why don`t you continue to wait in excitement for him to call you
    a pissant, jackass, or similar childish words, so you can deliver a
    similar kind of reply? That would really make the atmosphere
    better than what you have created by this kind of attack.
    More ad hominem, please, if stopping it make you channeling it
    in more nasty ways.

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    Paul Norheim, I think I’ve called out Carroll for what she is several times on this thread. I’ve made it abundently clear that she’s just another in a long line of KKK, David Duke type commentators.
    As for POA, I am merely responding to two comments made by him that referenced me. If you’re interested, here they are; reread them at your leisure:
    PissedOffAmerican Jun 23, 9:01PM
    PissedOffAmerican Jun 24, 12:13AM
    You say, “Why don`t you attack me instead: I happen to agree with POA and a lot of others that US foreign policy, media and more are too much influenced by AIPAC, Neo-cons, Zionists, central parts of the Israeli government, as well as certain parts of the Evangelical Christian community, lobby money and you name it.”
    That’s all fine with me, Paul. I don’t agree with it, but I don’t think it’s automatically bigoted. I just think it’s wrong.
    But POA specifically accused me of “turning the thread into shit.” Apparentley he didn’t think Carroll’s (or RabbleRouser’s)Jew hating rants turned the thread to shit. He thought it was my ridicule of the hate filled commentators that turned the thread to shit.
    That tells me something, Paul. I don’t know what it tells you.
    You may not like to hear it Paul, but there is too much acquiecense to bigotry on some of these threads. It shouldn’t be tolerated. There are times you’ve made the same point yourself.

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    Again, WigWag,
    these are really nasty and unfair tactics. Your claims are that this
    and that person are anti-Semitic. And then you avoid a direct
    confrontation with those named persons, and instead accuse
    POA, of all people, using the method of PURE PSYCHOLOGICAL
    SPECULATION, of being the anti-Semite. You`re begging him to
    really become the PissedOffAmerican, aren`t you?
    “POA, I certainly understand why you feel this “thread turned into
    shit.” You like the threads that become sanctuaries for bigots, jew
    haters, and critics of Israel whose claims are so over the top that
    they are in fact anti-Semitic.” (WigWag)
    I`ve never seen anything as sophistically nasty here before.

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Paul..
    Follow the bread crumb trail.
    For months and months no one on here has hardly discussed Israel at all or paid much attention to that particular issue. We have been focusing on the candidates and other things.
    Then another wig wag pops up and inserts the “jew bashing” accusations into discussions so they can get picked on and cry foul.
    Must be some kind of political S&M addiction.

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    Hey WigWag,
    You accuse Caroll, RabbleRouser and arthurdecco here.
    So why on earth are you going after POA in this thread?
    I don`t buy it.
    Why don`t you attack me instead: I happen to agree with POA
    and a lot of others that US foreign policy, media and more are
    too much influenced by AIPAC, Neo-cons, Zionists, central parts
    of the Israeli government, as well as certain parts of the
    Evangelical Christian community, lobby money and you name it.
    So why are you attacking POA, who has repeatedly said that this
    is not about the “Jews”???
    School yard nostalgia? Searching for a weak spot?
    Hey: If you want to attack the ones you mentioned, why not do
    that directly?
    Come on WigWag, this is really beyond your dignity.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag Jun 24, 12:42PM
    Quit yer whining wiggie…you have totally lost your arguements. As they said to Hillary..have the dignity to step down.
    BTW, I and I’am guessing many others have the exact same conversation and opinions with others in our real lives as we do on this blog.
    At a dinner party this past weekend I met an older gentelman who had moved here from NY and who had a relative killed by the Israelis in the King David Hotel bombing. Political correctness is dead honey and not a deterrent to discussing Israel anywhere by anyone. The conversation that insued after this gentleman’s story started a discussion of Israel in particular and the US/ME in general that I am sure you would have found threatening.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Sweetness
    “Yes, but you’re spreading it around. If you stand by it–and I assume
    you do–fine. But don’t tell me, “Well, a Jew wrote so: a) it must
    be okay, and b) don’t look at me, I’m just the linker.”
    That is not what I am saying, I don’t care if a quote is by a jew or gentile or arab…I use many jewish sites/writers for info because I think many of them are of course more insiders into the whole Israeli issue.
    But yes I do agree with most of the ones I quote here, and use them because I find they normally express my own thoughts even more accurately than I do.
    A jew’s opinion is not necessarily worth more than anyone elses on Israel but they do most of the writing about the Israeli issue on the net and have contact within and around the zionist community so I read them on matters concerning US/Israel.

    Reply

  25. WigWag says:

    POA, I certainly understand why you feel this “thread turned into shit.” You like the threads that become sanctuaries for bigots, jew haters, and critics of Israel whose claims are so over the top that they are in fact anti-Semitic.
    Many of the criticisms of Israel made on the Washington Note are intelligent and reasonable. But let’s see what we have on this thread. We have Carroll, criticizing a program to teach French school children about the holocaust, by putting a reference to murdered children in quotes (thus implying it never happened); we have RabbleRouser blaming Israel (and by extension Americans who support Israel)for reducing the hours at his local swiming poll; we have Carroll again, who somehow thinks it legitimizes criticism of French President Sarkozy to mention that one of his grandparents was Jewish. And finally we have Carroll once more, expressing her belief that “the Jewish presence in the establishment has had the effect of stifling debate…”
    Of course, Carroll thinks her comments are okay because she is parroting some of them from other people who are Jewish and RabbleRouser thinks it’s okay because “his spouse is Jewish.” And let’s not forget Arthur Decco, who has been remarkably restrained on this thread, but who is a Washington Note regular, who is a disciple of someone who thinks Jews are genetically programmed to be cunning.
    Yes, I get it, POA, you and some other folks here just want to be left alone to spew or enjoy the bigoted rants without having anyone spoil your fun. I understand that you thought the Washington Note was a refuge for you. Carroll’s comments, RableRouser’s coments, they’re not allowed in polite society anymore. This is one of the places you thought was left where you could enjoy them in peace.
    Sorry, POA. Wrong!
    It’s funny, POA, that you don’t like the direction this thread took. After all, it took the same direction so many threads take. No matter what the content of the subject that Steve posts, the comments always come back to Israel and Jews. Take a look for yourself. The post was about the Obama logo. I was the first person to comment, exactly on topic. The second person to comment was RabbleRouser; the comment was about Iran. And as predictably as the night follows the day, next thing you know, Carroll (who claims to be producing an great opus on the subject) was off and running with her rants about Israel and Jews.
    I get it, POA, that would have been just fine with you. Nothing wrong with the thread so far. But once a few commentators, called these comments what they were, bigotry, then you thought the debate headed downhill.
    And as for your delusion that WigWag and Sweetness are the same person, I guess you just can’t imagine that two different people might find these rants here hateful. Wrong again.
    And just one more thing, POA, you don’t approve of people inventing “personas” to express their point of view? That’s ironic, just a few threads back, you were in full Elmer Fudd mode, now it’s a gentler, POA you’re trying to display. But it’s the same old, POA. It’s the one who loves the hate-filled threads.
    So here’s the deal, POA. Unless forcibly removed, I’m not going anywhere. Most of the critics of Israel who comment here are smart, fair and articulate. If I disagree with what they say, I will do so respectfully. I learn alot from many of them. But if Carroll or Arthur or others spew bigotry, I’ll call it exactly what I think it is; whether it spoils your fun or not.

    Reply

  26. Sweetness says:

    “Late Update: 10:20 AM … Not a suicide. Subsequent reports
    suggest that the soldier, who was patrolling the perimeter from a
    high vantage point, fell and his gun misfired.”
    –reprinted from Josh Marshall

    Reply

  27. Sweetness says:

    “You are not paying attention or you would see that 90% of all
    my quotes on the subject of Isr and AIPAC come from Jews
    themselves..the ones the zionist call self hating jews.
    And the quote below that wig wag atributed to me was actually
    said by jewish Philip Weiss, that was clear in the paragraph I
    lifted from his site and provided a link to:”
    Carroll, far be it for me to approve of everything or anything any
    Jewish person has to say. They are perfectly capable of saying
    vile things, too. It isn’t even very Jewish to agree with other
    Jews, and certainly not BECAUSE they are Jewish.
    Here’s an extreme example: There were black slave owners here
    in the USA. Did that justify white slave owning? Juan Williams
    says many things that I’m sure many black people disagree with.
    Does that make Juan right or wrong? Blacks frequently use the
    N-word; does that make it okay to use?
    I do think this, however, and it’s a special problem in this
    Internet age when posting and linking is so easy and done so
    profligately and people don’t read so carefully (in part because
    it’s harder to read on screen):
    If you post something, YOU assume responsibility for it. It
    becomes yours unless you qualify it in various ways. It doesn’t
    cut it to say: “Well, don’t look at me…HE wrote it.” Yes, but
    you’re spreading it around. If you stand by it–and I assume
    you do–fine. But don’t tell me, “Well, a Jew wrote so: a) it must
    be okay, and b) don’t look at me, I’m just the linker.”
    Your concerned about education? This routine would (or should)
    never cut it in academe.

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    And I guess I could also deliver parts of your reply, POA:
    Before the courts have looked seriously into the 9/11 event and
    the subsequent misuse of that event from the White House, as
    well as Downing street Nr. 10, trust will not be reestablished.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    “One expects a reasonable amount of integrity to be employed
    as to how honestly we represent ourselves here. For myself, I
    allow myself to expose personal information about my life, but
    NOT to expose contact information or exact location (…).
    Truth be told, gender, station, and proffession DO matter when
    one is considering political standpoints, as it provides insight
    into the motives and histories through which someone has
    arrived at their own personal political ideologies.”
    Excellent point, POA. That should`ve been the gentlemen`s and
    -womens`agreement in the blog world.
    As a non-American I feel that there is an unusual lack of trust
    on many levels now, not only in the US, but also in the UK (just
    look at what the readers say after every report of avoided
    terrorist attacks – let`s say in The Guardian (OK, leftist paper,
    but still…): many of the commentators don`t believe a word of
    what the government says regarding “threats” after 9/11 and
    subsequent events).
    But do you remember, POA, that also I was under suspicion
    when I posted my first comments at TWN?
    Trust is not easily earned here. My point? I don´t know, just
    that the atmosphere is rather filled with suspicions in the
    current political climate.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Just another observation on Israel:
    “French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the Knesset today, and after saying that France would always be Israel’s friend, declared that Jerusalem must be divided to make way for the Palestinian capital, and all the Jews in the West Bank must be deported to Israel. Benyamin Netanyahu spoke later and said:
    Calling Sarkozy a “true friend of Israel,” Netanyahu said, nevertheless that “Jerusalem will never be divided, just as no person would ever think of dividing any European state. We will never return to the 1967 borders and we will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Withdraw all US money and support and see how fast Isr would change it’s mind about dividing Jerusalem.
    And btw, as Sarkozy was at the airport today to fly back to France shots were fired and the Israelis said it was an IDF guy in the crowd who “shot himself”.
    Hummm…I can think of better places to shoot yourself. Ten to one the guy was about to assassinate Sarkozy after his speech on Jerusalem and got shot by the Israelis security guards.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jun 24, 7:28AM
    Good observations.
    “Wouldn`t WTN end up as an amateurish and
    lifeless copy of Foreign Affairs or something in that genre?”
    It frequently does…some people like to play at wonking…nothing wrong with that but the fact that policy wonking by the amateurs and the professional wonkers in and out of DC for the past 7 years has produced absolutely no changes for the better in our policy.
    And yea we do turn into highschoolers every now and then…most often when trolls show up with their baby whines. Our reaction to them I think is another good indication of how fed up the majority is with Orwellingdom talky-talky and spin.

    Reply

  32. Paul Norheim says:

    DonS, when I re-read my comment after it was “accepted” by
    captcha, I saw that “worst” was not the word I had in mind.
    Unfortunately you don`t get even 5 minutes to edit your text
    here. This is occasionally even more painful for me as a
    Norwegian, but this was not the issue here. And I don`t say this
    as an excuse, but as an opportunity to make a further point.
    It would have been more precise if I said: “And perhaps the
    saddest thing is that it`s all virtual, behind monikers, personas.”
    (You could also turn it towards: “… the weird thing” or “the
    absurd thing is…” – and thus given it a different accent and
    meaning.)
    Then I re-read the following passage: “WigWag even missed
    arthurdecco so much that he begged him to get back to the
    arena again with his “Ode to RabbleRouser, Carroll and Arthur
    Decco” above. And of course arthurdecco was grateful to be
    back, and immediately attacked his good old enemy (as if he
    wanted to thank him).”
    And I saw that it would have be more elegant if i formulated the
    last sentence more like this: “And of course arthurdecco was
    grateful to be back, and immediately thanked his good old
    enemy by attacking him.”
    (I don`t quote this to attack arthurdecco or WigWag once
    again; i believe we are all more or less implied in this game, on
    the level I was talking about).
    These are considerations regarding precision, economy and
    style. But there are other, probably more important reasons to
    stress this as well. Our thoughts and opinions would be more
    clearly expressed if we took five extra minutes to re-read what
    we`ve written, before we challenged the Captcha-barrier. We
    would perhaps also be more economical regarding adjectives
    (and perhaps even more inventive in our selection of invectives?
    ). It would sometimes also give us a welcome opportunity to
    control our feelings.
    And who knows: those who may have build up fictional
    characters behind their monikers may do a more credible
    performance, avoiding that their immature or sincere emotions
    destroy their persona? I am not thinking about anybody in
    particular here. The fact is that no one here know who we are
    talking to. This does not necessarily make this discourse more
    fake than in “real life”: it may encourage more honesty as well
    as more dishonesty. But the theater is obviously different than
    in the social life outside the www.
    Steve Clemons is well known, and behaves very different than
    most of those commentators here, unknown or famous,
    insignificant or “prominent”, who write behind a moniker.
    I don`t consider this issue off topic. Actually it defines the form
    of this blog; it creates different limits regarding “freedom of
    speech”, and influences the posts written by the host, as well as
    the content created by these mostly anonymous commentators
    (and among them, some become very “familiar” to the readers).

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    Sweetness
    You are not paying attention or you would see that 90% of all my quotes on the subject of Isr and AIPAC come from Jews themselves..the ones the zionist call self hating jews.
    And the quote below that wig wag atributed to me was actually said by jewish Philip Weiss, that was clear in the paragraph I lifted from his site and provided a link to:
    “”it says everything I say: the
    Jewish presence in the establishment has had the effect of stifling debate…”

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This internet thing just lends itself to subterfuge and deception by the ease by which someone can use various personnas with which to argue ideologies, disrupt discourse, imply expertise, or slander individuals.
    One expects a reasonable amount of integrity to be employed as to how honestly we represent ourselves here. For myself, I allow myself to expose personal information about my life, but NOT to expose contact information or exact location, so these sick little trolls cannot take their games and harrassments offline.
    Truth be told, gender, station, and proffession DO matter when one is considering political standpoints, as it provides insight into the motives and histories through which someone has arrived at their own personal political ideologies.
    To me, there is nothing slimier, online, than someone who invents personnas in an attempt to manufacture credibility or imaginary community support. To repeatedly come here under assumed and fabricated personnas in order to disrupt the discourse is despicable, and can only be considered the action of a very sick individual, with no integrity or moral fiber.

    Reply

  35. DonS says:

    Paul says “And perhaps the worst thing is that it`s all virtual, behind monikers, personas.”
    I’m not sure its the “worst” thing, but it is interesting in that, over time there is something a little substantial that attaches — to the rest of the reading community — to the screen name. Food for thought.
    And, as the old saying goes, “don’t feed the trolls”, it just encourages them. Its so easy for a newbie, e.g. WW, to become a troll (I’ve done it a time or two myself somewhere I think). Of course, anyone can do it sequentially, by just changing names.

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    Not exactly what I meant, Sweetness – I was thinking more about
    the school yard stuff… but thanks anyway.

    Reply

  37. Sweetness says:

    Good insight, Paul. I tend to agree.
    When people feel their own lives, and the lives of their loved ones,
    are at stake, things naturally get heated and over the top.

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    What can I say?
    Even my last sentence ended “miserable” – it should have ended
    MISERABLY!

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    What would we all be without our enemies?
    WigWag even missed arthurdecco so much that he begged him
    to get back to the arena again with his “Ode to RabbleRouser,
    Carroll and Arthur Decco” above. And of course arthurdecco was
    grateful to be back, and immediately attacked his good old
    enemy (as if he wanted to thank him).
    It often seems as if WigWag and his friends would cry if “the
    usual suspects” suddenly disappeared, not ready for a fight at
    any given moment; and as if the “usual suspects” would miss
    WigWag & Co as well if he suddenly disappeared (“Where have
    all the Zionists gone?”).
    Don`t think for a moment that I am innocent or above all this,
    and I don`t want to be too moralistic here.
    But it`s hard to overlook a bizarre contrast between this
    perpetual game, and the seriousness of some of the issues
    discussed in these fights.
    Sometimes I think that we are not better then those Washington
    insiders we love to despise – except that they may profit
    economically on these games, while we stay poor; our only
    benefit is on a psychological level, small rhetorical triumphs.
    Poor bastards…
    I have no reason to think that most people contributing on the
    blog are not sincere in their engagement, but watching us again
    and again falling into the same traps is a bit depressing.
    As POA said somewhere above: “We are human here.” Yes,
    indeed we are (except for the bloody spammers!).
    And as Caroll said: “Let the off topics flow, at least they are
    passionate statements on critical issues in this country and not
    just insipid chit chat for political lonely hearts and people who
    like to type.”
    The trick is to talk on topic, or to develop interesting and
    relevant digressions.
    And if you think about it: would the quality of these comments
    improve if all were of a more polite and academical sort, lacking
    any passion? Wouldn`t WTN end up as an amateurish and
    lifeless copy of Foreign Affairs or something in that genre?
    Somehow a lot of the issues here are human, and without a
    certain amount of passions, the discourse would actually not
    rise to the level of the problems, but sink below it.
    Still, I often get a bizarre feeling that we are kids in the school
    yard, looking for entertainment. And suddenly a couple of boys
    show up, ready for a fight, and we get excited.
    And perhaps the worst thing is that it`s all virtual, behind
    monikers, personas.
    Just my to cents, after seeing this thread ending rather
    miserable.

    Reply

  40. Sweetness says:

    Still more grist for Rabble’s mill…
    Today, the Washington Post notes, just below the fold, that Swim
    Clubs Struggle to Stay Afloat: As Memberships Dry Up, Fewer
    Funds are Available to Pay for Repairs.
    I guess those funds are going to Israel, huh? Even without the
    aid of the Mayor. What was that Mayor doing in Israel?
    Delivering suitcases of American money to fill Israel’s coffers?
    ROFLMAO.
    The fact that this line of reasoning gets ANY play here or is
    treated with any degree of seriousness really impeaches the
    posters involved. What will we learn of next? Polluted air: a
    Zionist plot.

    Reply

  41. Sweetness says:

    “Iran is insisting on relations with the US on equal terms,
    soverign nation to soverign nation. IF we had relations with Iran
    on this basis we, the US, would have trade and other commerce
    with Iran. Iran though would not be obligated and could not be
    forced to have relations with Israel. The US might make request
    in Israel’s behalf but not “demand” anything in Israel’s behalf.
    The US might find that being “friends” with the 2nd largest oil
    rich nation in the ME to be more beneficical to us than forcing
    Israel down any Iran’s (& ME) throat(s)…”
    Yes, I do see. However, if the two countries really are dealing
    mano a mano, it doesn’t mean the US loses leverage, except the
    leverage to impose. But Iran doesn’t have the leverage to
    impose, either. So the thesis would appear to amount to “oil
    blackmail”– something it’s hard to imagine Americans looking
    kindly on–in order to do what? Force the US to abandon its
    support of Israel? Pursue expansionist policies? Arm Hezbollah
    with impunity? I mean Israel is ALREADY isolated. So what more
    can they do? And what would the US be abandoning Israel for?
    To suck at the teat of Iran’s oil wealth? To fill the coffers of a
    regime that really is theocratic, that not only represses its own
    people, but apparently seeks “regime change” in Israel–a
    sovereign and democratic state? Seems to me that this
    argument always circles back to Israeli worries about Iranian
    aggression toward her backed up by nukes.
    You know, I can understand understand why some people hate
    Israel. I understand people’s disgust at what’s happened to the
    Palestinians. But it is hard for me to imagine Americans trading
    Israel for Iran. But then again, maybe this is the kind of America
    you and Pissed long for–you know, the American of the good
    old days. What? Where might made right?
    And this little tidbit from you: “”it says everything I say: the
    Jewish presence in the establishment has had the effect of
    stifling debate…” is truly as vile as anything you complain of. It
    seems it’s hard for you to keep “the Jews” and the “Zionists”
    straight.

    Reply

  42. rich says:

    Steve,
    Also violating the norms of polite society—Senator John McCain.
    McCain had the bad taste and chutzpah to hock three different knockoffs of the Presidential Seal.
    For? Glad you asked.
    The Republican Presidential Task Force.
    The Republican Senatorial Inner Circle.
    I like this one best:
    The Republican Presidential Roundtable.
    Sounds very . . . Presidential. But, I guess when you appoint a whole Round Table before you’re even elected King of the Britons, you can afford to appear all Monty-Python-y.
    McCain’s use of Presidential Seal imagery grabs for the whole brass ring, keeping intact the Eagle’s chest—both seals cover it with a red, white & blue shield—to associate McCain with the Office of the President.
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/06/23/republicans-whine-about-legality-of-new-obama-logo-their-use-of-similar-logos-doesnt-bother-them/
    Better to face plain reality, as told by Dennis the Peasant: ” .. you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!”

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    POA
    ..let wig wag all s/he wants.
    It’s the perfect example of all our conclusions about that particular cult and showcases how easily the zionist posturing and arguement disolves into nonsense when confronted by someone who actually uses facts about a subject.

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    Why zionist like Wig Wag and the zionist cult in the US are a threat to America, Americans, other Jews and all living things. Every American and decent person has an obligation to call them out and call them what they are wherever we find them.
    http://www.muzzlewatch.com/?p=382#more-382
    Reasoned Debate and the Fear of Reprisal at Harvard
    Posted by Rob Lipton
    Academic freedom, relatively unfettered by corporate business interests, is one of the last bastions of free speech and inquiry in the US. That is precisely why people like Alan Dershowitz and Daniel Pipes, extensively discussed here, intrepidly do their utmost, despite assertions to the contrary, to stifle such activity. No matter one’s point of view, the ability to have multi-vocal academic discussion is a core activity of a functioning democracy. In this spirit J. LORAND MATORY discusses in detail his own worrying experience as a long time Harvard faculty member. His effort to have the Harvard faculty “commit itself to fostering a civil dialogue in which people with a broad range of perspectives feel safe and are encouraged to express their reasoned and evidence-based ideas” was tabled by the Faculty of Arts and Science precisely because it could allow such reasoned debate about I/P. He goes in to detail on censorship occurring to him and others, such as Norman Finklestein, in and around the Harvard Campus.
    What Do Critics of Israel Have to Fear?
    By J. LORAND MATORY
    Published On Thursday, June 05, 2008 12:22 AM
    At what point do imbalances in access to money, media, and society’s administrative apparatuses constitute the censorship of dissent? Recent events at Harvard provide an exhaustive example.
    At the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) meeting on Nov. 13, 2007, I moved “that this faculty commits itself to fostering a civil dialogue in which people with a broad range of perspectives feel safe and are encouraged to express their reasoned and evidence-based ideas.” Expressing the fear that voting down so self-evidently reasonable a proposition would be embarrassing, my colleagues voted massively (74-27) to “table” the motion—that is, to end discussion of it and to avoid a vote. They did so because the motion had arisen in the context of what many of my more silent colleagues regard as the widespread censorship of dissent about Israel-Palestine on campus and in the nearby bookstores that are an essential part of the intellectual life of the University. Moreover, as I showed on this page last November, the vote unambiguously violated Robert’s Rules of Order, the standard of parliamentary procedure in Faculty meetings. The fervor of their conviction blinded 74 Ph.D.’s to the fact that they were proving my point.
    The massive displacement of people that resulted from Israel’s founding 60 years ago is the object of willful forgetting in American foreign policy and of baffling ignorance by the American public in general. How else could we justify the massive and ongoing theft of the Palestinians’ native land since the mid-20th century—subsidized annually with upwards of three billion dollars from the U.S. government—while we correctly enforce the right of Jewish refugees to recover European properties from which they were displaced in the mid-20th century? If we do not recognize the equality of Palestinian and Jewish rights, how can we avow the equality of the rights belonging to Tibetans and Han Chinese, Sahrawis and Moroccans, Africans and Americo-Liberians, women and men, blacks and whites, gays and straights?
    However, on no other issue at Harvard have I ever heard of the disinvitation of even one invited speaker, much less three. In 2002, Harvard’s Department of English invited Tom Paulin—Oxford professor and one of the finest living British poets—to speak, but promptly disinvited him after then-University President Lawrence H. Summers expressed disapproval of Paulin’s criticisms of Israel. Though the Department later voted to reverse the disinvitation, Paulin has never come to campus. In 2005, DePaul historian Norman G. Finkelstein, who has both sharply criticized Israeli military conduct and accused Harvard Law School Professor Alan M. Dershowitz of plagiarism, had been invited to speak at Harvard Book Store but was abruptly disinvited without explanation. While Finkelstein cannot prove that Dershowitz was responsible for the disinvitation, the Dershowitz modus operandi is evident in the hundreds of pages of threatening legal correspondence which document Dershowitz’s campaign to stop publication of Finkelstein’s book at University of California Press (UCP) and had evidently succeeded at doing so at the New Press. Dershowitz even wrote—using Harvard Law School letterhead—to ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to stop the book’s publication.
    Some have opined that, with the passing of the Summers administration in 2006, these threats to free speech about Israel have ended. However, in 2007, long after Summers’ departure, Martin A. Nowak—Professor of Mathematics and Biology and Director of Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics (PED) —invited Rutgers biologist Robert L. Trivers to speak on the occasion of his receipt of the prestigious Crafoord Prize in biosciences from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Hours before the scheduled speech and party, according to Trivers, Nowak abruptly rescinded the invitation and said that he was doing so under the orders of someone he would not identify. Also according to Trivers, Jeffrey Epstein later admitted ordering the cancellation and said that he had done so under pressure from Dershowitz. Epstein, a legal client of Dershowitz, had donated the funds used to establish PED, which, according to other sources, depends for its future effectiveness on further funding from him.
    Dershowitz, who is also a Faculty Affiliate of PED, had complained of a letter to the Wall Street Journal in which Trivers described Israel’s attacks on Lebanese civilians during the 2006 invasion as “butchery.” He also called Dershowitz a “Nazi-like apologist” for justifying it, and told Dershowitz to “look forward to a visit” from him if his public justifications continued. Trivers denied any intent to threaten or harm Dershowitz physically. In 2008, it was a professor from outside of PED who ultimately invited Trivers anew. Notwithstanding Dershowitz’ dramatic claim to have posted his karate-expert secretary at his office door to protect him, Trivers delivered a brilliant and well-attended speech, which took him nowhere near Dershowitz or his office. That Trivers was disinvited in the first place remains an unwashed disgrace to Harvard, unprecedented since the McCarthy era with regard to any issue other than Israel-Palestine.
    Two of the three major local bookstores have participated in this censorship process. I have mentioned Harvard Book Store’s disinvitation of Finkelstein. In 2002, Hillel Stavis, owner of the now-defunct Wordsworth bookstore in Harvard Square, played a prominent role in a highly damaging donor boycott of public radio station WBUR, on the grounds that it allegedly broadcast pro-Palestinian points of view too freely. Following my December 2007 lecture at Harvard Law School about the context of my FAS motion, in which I referred to Stavis as having “led” the boycott, he screamed at me from the audience and threatened to sue me.
    Dean of FAS Michael D. Smith invited Dershowitz to the Dec. 11 Faculty meeting to contest these reports. Dershowitz said that he “was unaware of any attempt in his 44 years at Harvard to prevent speech, comments, or arguments about the issue of Palestine.” Yet, in order to state his disagreement with it, he acknowledged that Paulin had indeed been disinvited. Dershowitz also acknowledged alleging to the Harvard University Police that Trivers had threatened him, implying that his allegation may have led other University officials to disinvite him. While also claiming that Finkelstein had threatened him, Dershowitz flatly denied that Finkelstein had ever been disinvited–a claim that Finkelstein disputes. Most readers will wonder whether so many people are actually threatening Dershowitz, or whether the mere accusation has not become a conveniently hands-free way for Dershowitz to keep some people off campus.
    I am happy that Dershowitz was able to speak for himself at the Dec. 11 FAS meeting. However, it should be noted that his involvement in the discussion—beyond his distribution of flyers at the meetings and his multiple Crimson articles—arose from an uneven application of the rules. On the one hand, I was required to jump through every possible procedural hoop in order to raise these incidents for discussion in the FAS meeting, and it cost me significant time, effort, and social capital to secure my undeniable right as a Faculty member to do so. For example, before acknowledging a full month later that they had erred in allowing the “tabling” of my Nov. 13 motion, officials told me repeatedly that they had been right, that I should take my discussion elsewhere, and that my proposal to resume discussion and to take a vote by secret ballot was “strange.” On the other hand, the rules were stretched to allow Dershowitz, a Law School professor, to speak at an FAS meeting. According to the Rules of Faculty Procedure, “The Dean of the Faculty…may invite [non-FAS professors] to attend as observers [emphasis mine],” but neither the term “observers” nor any other passage in the Rules suggests the right to speak.
    Finally, my colleagues and I hold the strong suspicion that a recent tenure case was terminated because of the candidate’s non-academic writings about the Israel-Palestine issue. Faculty rules forbid me to disclose any further details. Despite the brevity with which this case must be treated, the potential for political bias in tenure decisions is the most serious and frightening of threats to free speech and to Harvard’s reputation for excellence. Every one of the dozen junior faculty members who have privately expressed support for my motion have also expressed fear of doing so publicly.
    For some people, such disinvitations, compromises to the tenure process, donor boycotts and threats thereof, legal threats, appeals for state governors to intervene in the peer review and publication process, and one-sided bending of the rules are themselves merely instances of “free speech”—mechanisms in what Dershowitz calls “the marketplace of ideas.” For others, they are bold threats to the process of scholarship, debate, and the free dissemination of information. They also result in the loss of career opportunities to which scholars are rightfully entitled. One Faculty member who asked not to be named here spoke of “a campaign of intimidation,” saying, “If you are perceived as being ‘anti-Israeli,’ …[and] you’re up for some honor or some position, you might not get it,” or you might, through “behind-the-scenes retribution,” lose what you already have. Another colleague wrote, “we are not able to have reasoned debates about Israel without someone yelling anti-Semitism.”
    Some have interpreted my apparent lack of fear and my recent success in publishing these ideas in The Crimson as proof that there is neither censorship nor fear of criticizing Israel on campus and in the US generally. They should know, first, that both The New York Times and the Boston Globe have repeatedly refused to publish my editorials on this issue. Moreover, I am afraid.
    Much of a professor’s global effectiveness depends on the personal esteem and cooperation of deans, administrators, and fellow professors. Even my annual salary increases are determined by officials who appear to feel threatened by my bringing up this issue. Furthermore, I have received a stream of insulting and threatening emails calling me, among other things, an “anti-Semite,” a “pussy,” and a “mentally inferior black jew-hater.” Some called for my dismissal. It is difficult to stand up while everyone else is sitting down. One risks the hammer.
    In the Dec. 11 faculty meeting, Dean of the Extension School Michael Shinagel and I re-introduced the motion with an amendment acknowledging the ideals and the gaps in the 1990 legislation. Incredibly, many express the faith that this legislation, which had been formulated to balance the rights of speakers at Harvard against those of disruptive protesters, had all along been sufficient to guarantee free speech generally on campus. The scope of the legislation, however, was far removed from the phenomena of disinvitation, politically biased tenure deliberations, and donor boycotts. Moreover, the laissez-faire principle of the earlier legislation had done nothing to remedy situations in which the most popular, most confidently-voiced, best-financed, and best-administratively-supported positions are allowed to drown out all others.
    Opponents labored to poke holes in the motion because it arose in the context of an issue close to home. The circus of amendments and motions—amid universal uncertainty about the applicable rules of procedure—prompted me to withdraw the motion altogether. My only hope was that those who are tempted in the future to disinvite a speaker or torpedo a tenure case over politics will at least think twice. In the end, however, most of my colleagues literally groaned in collective denial, convinced that their defeat of our motion disproved that there had been ever been any problem in the first place. Only one concrete proposal apparently survived the abortive free-speech debate of fall 2007. At my suggestion, Dean Smith recommended to University President Drew Faust the establishment of a University-wide Committee on Free Speech, consistent with the unfulfilled recommendation of the 1990 legislation. Six months later, there is still no Committee.
    Harvard has known me for 31 years. I was promoted from within, by two separate departments, an outcome of the closest examination of scholarship, citizenship, and collegiality known in the academic world. Moreover, I am the faculty co-chair of one of the largest University-wide associations of faculty and administrators. Yet those who feel chastened by my complaint now comfort themselves by whispering the self-serving rumor that I am “not a team player.” The kind of team player who would comfort such detractors might have felt at home in Dixie, Nazi Germany, or the Bush White House, but he or she does not deserve tenure in the Acropolis of world education. Tenure affords and demands a finer moral compass. We must act on the wisdom that justice withers when intended for just us. And “free speech” is nothing but the self-congratulation of the moneyed and the mighty when the university does not fulfill its unique calling to defend this principle for all.
    J. Lorand Matory ’82 is professor of anthropology and of African and African-American studies.
    ©2006 Jewish Voice for Peace

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Congrats, WigWag, you turned another thread into shit. Mission accomplished.
    After that childish bit of crap you posted “”Ode to ….”, you’re going to have the balls to start quoting posters here, interjected with your sarcasm?
    You’re bound and determined to push buttons until you get this comment section shut down aren’t you? You don’t care how many troll names you use, how many people you call anti-semitic, how many threads you derail with your slimey cowardly little schtick, or how many people aren’t buying your cheap carnival act.
    You’re a really sick little puppy.

    Reply

  46. WigWag says:

    Carroll, your posts are so colorful, I thought it might be fun to collect some of your greatest hits from this thread.
    So here, for everyone’s enjoyment are Carroll’s greatest hits (drum roll, please):
    Posted by Carroll Jun 21, 12:57PM
    “Bad taste is everywhere, it’s a national disease.”
    Posted by Carroll Jun 22, 4:37PM
    “Pay attention now kiddies. All this election gossip is misdirecting your focus.”
    Posted by Carroll Jun 22, 8:50PM
    “French President Nicolas Sarkozy is of jewish heritage and after beating out his female opponant came into office with the lowest approval rating in hisory…”
    Then his attempt to insititue a government educational program requiring 10 year old school children in France to “adopt” the life of a jewish child “murdered” in the holocuast…..well, he won’t be around long. He’s a another nutcase. Gawd, can you get any more replusive than this idea. How sick can you get?”
    Posted by Carroll Jun 23, 12:52AM
    “However, as I discovered in the course of researching my book Treacherous Alliance – the Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States…”
    Posted by Carroll Jun 23, 3:08AM – Link
    “I am not a psychiatrist and haven’t slept in a Hoilday Inn recently…”
    “Did you know that one of the major traits of paranoid individuals is projecting their fears and faults onto others?”
    “It’s a means of maintaining their own delusional state.”
    “They aren’t delusional as long as it’s everyone else that is delusional including their doctors and all other people around them.”
    “Which is why extreme paranoids usually don’t respond to normal therapy and have to live on corrective drugs to function in a normal world.”
    “Lucky for you the ghetto of southern Florida isn’t exactly a normal world. LOL”
    “BTW, paranoids often have weight and a variety of other health problems real and imagined. How’s your health?”
    Posted by Carroll Jun 23, 11:02PM
    “My father in law went to medical school at Harvard and my brother went to business school at Harvard. That was, of course, way before Lawrence Summers and the xscreaming zionist Dersh landed there and turned an open intellecutal institution into a witch hunting den.”
    “Fortunately the two universities, Duke and Yale, my children end up at haven’t yet bowed to any censorship…a good reason for more Americans to donate to their favored university so they aren’t forced to accept money with ulterior motive strings attached.”
    “The parallels between the nazi’s total control of not only Germany’s government, but their press and schools and eventually their whole society and what is slowly happening in the US in those areas should set off alarm bells.”
    “it says everything I say: the Jewish presence in the establishment has had the effect of stifling debate…”
    Wow Carroll, that was great! Please make sure you let us all know when that book of yours comes out. I’m sure it’s headed for the top of the best seller list!

    Reply

  47. Carroll says:

    Sweetness..let me see if I can explain this to you.
    “Excellent quote, Carroll. This is indeed part of TP’s thought. But
    it’s hard to see how this logic works. For example, it’s hard to
    see how a rapprochement between Iran and US hurts Israel.
    There was a strong bond between the US and Iran during the
    shah’s time–when the Iran was no threat and even an ally of
    both countries–and it didn’t diminish US support for Israel.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The bond between the US and Iran during the Shahs time was dicated by having a US appointed Shah governing Iran…he was the US’s man.
    Now..you understand what that kind of ‘relationship” with Iran was?
    Because the Shah was the US’s man on a string Iran was forced to have relations with Israel.
    Following me so far?
    When Iran overthrew the Shah both the US and Israel got ditched.
    IF…(follow me once again)…IF the US were to establish relations with Iran without having a US puppet leader in Iran like the Shah, then the US would to deal with Iran mano mano…one nation to another on equal terms.
    Iran is insisting on relations with the US on equal terms, soverign nation to soverign nation. IF we had relations with Iran on this basis we, the US, would have trade and other commerce with Iran. Iran though would not be obligated and could not be forced to have relations with Israel. The US might make request in Israel’s behalf but not “demand” anything in Israel’s behalf. The US might find that being “friends” with the 2nd largest oil rich nation in the ME to be more beneficical to us than forcing Israel down any Iran’s (& ME) throat(s)…
    Get the “difference” yet in how this “different” relationship with Iran would affect Israel? If not, than I am going to have to assume that you are either seriously dumb or just pretending you don’t get it.

    Reply

  48. Carroll says:

    Posted by pauline Jun 23, 2:34PM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    No, I hadn’t seen that but I am not surprised. There is no end to what our s***-for-brains politicans will hand our money to.
    They poured money into and provided a good living for Cuban terrorist exiles for years by funding Radio Marti.
    US taypayers have made who knows who many “exiles” in the US millionaires.

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    Unfortunate and sad is that Harvard has lost some of it’s reputation..especially on the Israel issue.
    My father in law went to medical school at Harvard and my brother went to business school at Harvard.
    That was, of course, way before Lawrence Summers and the xscreaming zionist Dersh landed there and turned an open intellecutal institution into a witch hunting den.
    Havard has taken a well deserved beating over the last six years…as have some other universities for caving to the tactics of the very hard core zionist. Fortunately the two universities, Duke and Yale, my children end up at haven’t yet bowed to any censorship…a good reason for more Americans to donate to their favored university so they aren’t forced to accept money with ulterior motive strings attached.
    One of the worst aspects of the zionist community in our country has been the assault on our universities and the represensible tactics they use against educators and academics who don’t tow the zionist line. Beside the political aspects of the zionist and Israeli war crimes linked with the US, this is probably my biggest concern with this cult. When past and even current history is revised and distorted in our learning institutions you know the US is in grave danger. The parallels between the nazi’s total control of not only Germany’s government, but their press and schools and eventually their whole society and what is slowly happening in the US in those areas should set off alarm bells. When I first became aware of this I ran across a zionist group called Camera…who posted pictures of professors they called anti-semitic and self hating jews on their site. They encourage students to turn in professors if they say anything that is critical of Israel. Freeing our institutions of higher learning from censorship should be an issue in the election .
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2008/06/page/5/
    Harvard Prof Says ‘Money, Media and Establishment’ Choke Dissent Re Israel
    This is an amazing piece by Harvard Anthropology Prof Lorand Matory. Published in the Crimson because no one else will publish it, it says everything I say: the Jewish presence in the establishment has had the effect of stifling debate over Israel and denying status to those who speak of Palestinian suffering. Consider this eloquent first sentence:
    At what point do imbalances in access to money, media, and society’s administrative apparatuses constitute the censorship of dissent?
    Matory then goes on to name several instances of censorship at Harvard.
    on no other issue at Harvard have I ever heard of the disinvitation of even one invited speaker, much less three.
    Continue reading “Harvard Prof Says ‘Money, Media and Establishment’ Choke Dissent Re Israel” »

    Reply

  50. WigWag says:

    Oh, I don’t know, POA. There seems to be a lot of interesting comments from lot’s of different perspectives here. Except for one or two anti-semitic comments, I don’t think this thread is too bad at all.
    Do you want to police these threads too?

    Reply

  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, WigWag, thats NOT the playbook I’m talking about. I have no doubt in the poll, nor do I have any animous towards Israelis, Jewish or Arab. Its not suprizing Arabs want to live in Israel, is it? Nor is it suprising both sides want to live in peace, is it? Trouble is, whether Arabs “want” to live in Israel isn’t the issue, is it? Where else are the Pals gonna go, WigWag?
    And it is the policies of Israel I take umbrage at, not the wishes of the Israeli populace. And it is increasingly obvious, that just like here, the government of Israel is not acting in the people’s best interests. You doubt me? Check out the rising popularity of membership of groups such as “Peace Now” and “Americans for Peace Now”. And don’t try to feed me this horseshit about “being a member”, like you did under your last troll name.
    And BTW, WigWag, what you did on this thread is despicable. You must think you are dealing with idiots. And THIS regular TWN poster, at risk of being banned, tells you you ain’t fooling but a very few, if any. And you can take your “anti-semite” schtick and shove it right where the sun don’t shine.

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its pretty amazing, ain’t it? Israel is buying our politicians, one by one, even on the local level, openly and with Washington’s blessing.
    You should see it here in Kern county. The political structure, talk radio bias, and general MSM, are so effin’ ignorantly redneck that we have government officers openly lying to the citizens while politicizing the dispensation of thier duties. Our head county clerk, Ann Barnett, suddenly declared that her office would no longer perform civil unions, because of a lack of funds. I guess she just figures we’re all too dumb to wonder at the coincidence of her making this announcement right on the heels of California legalizing gay marraige.
    Off topic, I realize. But when these pieces of shit on a local level exhibit this kind of arrogance and abuse of power, one has to wonder if the lack of accountability in Washington is what empowers them and makes them believe they can get away with this horseshit.
    This kind of arrogance and “Fuck you people, I’ll do whatever I please” kind of governance is EXACTLY what made Obama’s seal so obscene. Instead of adopting a symbol that implied empowerment of the people, the idiot flashed his badge at us. It amazes me that more people can’t see the arrogance and out of touch elitism telegraphed by such a gesture.
    No doubt his next “symbol” will be far more seeeeensitive to the peeeeople, because of the flack generated by the seal. But sorry, the cats oughta the bag, this guy has shown me far too much, and set off way to many alarm bells.
    God help us, but a McCain presidency wouldn’t suprise me in the least.
    Bear in mind too, these posturing pieces of shit in Congress have done NOTHING to secure the integrity and security of the actual electoral process. There is absolutely no reason not to expect the same kinds of clusterfucks and corruption we saw in 2000 and 2004.

    Reply

  53. WigWag says:

    Is this the playbook you mean, POA?
    Poll: 77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country in the world
    By Bradley Burston, Haaretz Correspondent
    Tags: Harvard, Israeli Arabs, poll
    A recent opinion poll conducted by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found that 77 percent of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country in the world.
    The survey of 1,721 Israelis, both Arab and Jewish, also showed that 73 percent of the Jews and 94 percent of the Arabs want Israel to “be a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities.”
    The Kennedy School said in a statement that the poll produced a number of results it termed surprising, pointing to a higher level of co-existence than might have been anticipated.
    According to the poll, 68 percent of Jewish citizens support teaching conversational Arabic in Jewish schools to help bring Arab and Jewish citizens together.
    The data also showded that more than two-thirds of Israeli Jews (69 percdent) said they believed that contributing to co-existence was a personal responsibility.
    “Every day, innovative experiments in coexistence are going on,” Pittinsky said.
    “People on the ground in Israel are running community centers that enable cultural exchanges; in bilingual schools?like the Hand in Hand network of schools – young Jewish and Arab children become culturally conversant with each other. These deserve as much attention as rockets and roadblocks. They should be nurtured, studied, funded, and reported in the media. Ultimately the most successful efforts should be launched on a wider scale.”
    By the way, if you think that perhaps the Kennedy School is some kind of Zionist controlled entity, please remember that right now it’s two most famous faculty members have the following last names; Mersheimer and Walt.

    Reply

  54. RabbleRouser says:

    I just talked to Los Angeles mayor Villa-la-whore-sa’s office.
    It turns out erstwhile L.A. Mayor Villa-la-whore-sa’s six day
    jaunt to Israel with L.A. City Council member Wendy Gruel
    (whose district contains the pool we tried to swim in yesterday)
    and L.A. City Council Member Dennis Zine, was paid for by the
    Department of Water and Power, as well as the airport and port
    authorities for the city of Los Angeles.
    HUH???
    And why didn’t Villa-la-whore-sa (D-Israel) come clean when
    first asked by the press about who was paying for his trip to
    Israel?
    So the citizens of Los Angeles, whose DWP (Department of Water
    and Power_ bills are going through the roof (we had a three
    month one for more than $800), along with the gas prices, are
    paying for city council members and “our” mayor to tour Israel??
    OUR FACILITIES (hospitals — check out Martin Luther King/
    Drew Medical Center) are closing or curtailing their services,
    while “our” public servants are swanning around Israel?
    And, in Villa-la-whore-sa’s case, promising Los Angeles’s
    allegiance to Israel.
    F-them. F everyone who is willing to sacrifice the lives, as well
    as the quality of lives of U.S. taxpayers for another country.
    And after USrael attacks Iran… F us all.
    Oh, by the way, feel free to call up Senator Evan Bayh’s office (D-
    Israel) and ask him why he authored Senate Resolution 580
    After-all AIPAC is lobbying the Democrats to attack Iran, we,
    who love our children, should lobby both parties to do the
    OPPOSITE.
    Link to SR 580
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=sr110-580

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh yes. I remember the drill. 1) Bait the thread with a post about Israel, 2) initially feign a moderate standpoint that increasingly becomes pro-zionist, 3) reap the exact kind of response that you KNOW you will eventially get, 4) then pull the ‘ol anti-semitic horseshit out of your hat.
    Or, of course, if you want the abridged version of the handbook…..
    1) Make shit out of a thread, until its deteriorated in the exact manner and direction you intended it to.

    Reply

  56. Kathleen says:

    oooops…. only one “M” in possumus.

    Reply

  57. Kathleen says:

    The seal is gone?? Hmmm… if you click on the “this is hubris ” link, you’ll see lots of chatter about a Latin phrase, Vero possummus… they say means Yes we can…clever, but funny. I love Latin, but Vero possummus sounds like we’d be playing lots of possum. More accurately, Vero possummus means Truly, we can..

    Reply

  58. arthurdecco says:

    POA, I don’t think that Sweetness and WigWag are the same person posting under different tags. It’s more likely they’re simply two like-minded true-believers reading off the same scripted talking points memo that gets delivered to them daily from ‘Head Office’.
    Oh…and WigWag, that was a tour de force rebuttal you offered up to my criticism of your sad sack propaganda. …Oh, you didn’t have a word to say about it…?
    Pity, I was ready for a chuckle after a challenging day at work.
    (Psst, WigWag, I post from Canada and POA hails from California. It’s not likely we’re the same person.)
    Sweetness,
    Either you’re not very bright or you’re being deliberately obtuse in your response to RabbleRouser’s: “”And if you can’t see the correlation between spending our tax dollars fighting needless and endless wars for Israel…”.
    It seems apparent to me that RabbleRouser wasn’t suggesting that ALL the wars the United States has fought have been fought for Israel, just that the wars the United States is presently fighting, (with no end in sight in either in Iraq or Afghanistan, btw), are being fought in the interests of right wing Israel, not in the interests of the United States of America or its citizens. As will the war against Iran, if it ever comes, be fought in the interests of right wing Israel – not the United States of America.
    I hope that clears up whatever confusion you may have been suffering because of your demonstrated lack of reading comprehension skills.

    Reply

  59. WigWag says:

    Obama drops the seal!
    Senator Obama’s campaign announced this afternoon that they would not be using the seal that Steve showed above. His use of the seal was widely ridiculed all over the internet and he will be selecting another logo, the campaign announced.
    Well, this is good news. Finally a good flip flop. Flip flop on FISA; bad. Flip flop on Campaign Finance; bad. Flip flop on Campaign Seal; good.

    Reply

  60. pauline says:

    Carroll wrote:
    “Here’s a challenge for all posters.
    Do some real research on what the Saudis and other Gulf leaders are actually saying.
    Read the Gulf news and the international papers, not the US press. . .”
    Carroll, have you seen this story?
    “Lost in Translation: Alhurra—America’s Troubled Effort to Win Middle East Hearts and Minds”
    http://www.propublica.org/feature/alhurra-middle-east-hearts-and-minds-622

    Reply

  61. Sweetness says:

    “And if you can’t see the correlation between spending our tax
    dollars fighting needless and endless wars for Israel…”
    Leave it to Rabble to repeat the easiest cliches instead of, ah,
    thinking. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that we invaded Iraq for
    Israel’s sake. Please name one other “needless and endless” war
    we have fought for Israel? OTOH, we have fought a war for
    Kuwait and for Kosovo. We’ve also had plenty of skirmishes or
    mini-wars on this side of the Atlantic. And of course, we did
    plenty of help Saddam fight his war against Iran–back when
    Saddam was our buddy. And let’s not forget Viet Nam. No,
    America fights wars, endless or not, all on her own.
    The image of your husband planting dandelions for exercise
    strikes me as about right: You’re well paired.
    BTW, the old gambit of “I’m a Jew, too,” or “I’m married to a
    Jew”–and therefore can say whatever stupid thing about Jews or
    Zionists or Israel you want–doesn’t hold water and never did.
    Jews are just as capable of saying stupid, and even antisemitic,
    things as non-Jews. Take a look at Bobby Fischer for an easy
    example. Giving Jewish words extra weight just because they
    come from the mouths of Jews is, well, not very Jewish at the
    very least–and probably racist at worst.

    Reply

  62. WigWag says:

    “The writing styles, semantics, and arguments of two of our posters seems to be remarkably similiar. Ya gotta love this internet thing, with just the click of your mouse, you can be an army.”
    So POA, you’re finally coming clean. I always thought you and Arthur Decco were the same person.
    Thanks for letting me know this, RabbleRouser: “BTW: Wig Wag- my spouse is a Jew.” And your spouse has to live with you? Please give him/her my sympathy.
    Carroll. Good to hear that your sister is a pyschiatrist. That should make it very easy for her to refer you to one of her colleagues. Ask for that referral, Carroll. It could only help.
    Sweetness, If, POA was referring to you and me when he said two posters are very similar in “writing style” and “semantics”, I am flattered. Your writing is extremely lucid. I would consider it a compliment to have anyone say my writing style is anything like yours.

    Reply

  63. Sweetness says:

    Oh yes! An army of two! But they’re Jewish AND they’re Zionists, so
    who knows what power they wield.
    ROFLMAO.
    Almost as funny as your support of Rabble’s rambling inanities.
    Gotta luv the internet for giving him a forum and convincing
    people like you. You’re spooked, friend. I suggest you check
    under your bed before falling asleep.

    Reply

  64. Kathleen says:

    POA… an Anonymous Army, a la Roverator.

    Reply

  65. ... says:

    Relevant: http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/06/hubris.php
    the national political press corps, which is used to Democratic candidates who are indecisive, overly humble, or insecure. When was the last time a Democrat was actually confident about anything?

    Reply

  66. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The writing styles, semantics, and arguments of two of our posters seems to be remarkably similiar. Ya gotta love this internet thing, with just the click of your mouse, you can be an army.

    Reply

  67. Kathleen says:

    No better way to express “the audactiy of hope” than this seal… good marketing technique.

    Reply

  68. Sweetness says:

    More grist for Rabble’s mill. Today, the Washington Post
    features this headline above the fold: Fuel Costs May Force
    Some Kids to Walk: Montomgery Weighs Altering School Bus
    Rules” In the Washington, D.C. heat, humidity, and pollution no
    less!
    Our kids’ health is endangered!
    Now, how do we get to the bottom of this as a good
    “investigative journalist”? Well, we could blame those nasty
    Arabs for choking off the supply and raising prices. But in this
    self-same article, we see Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi saying that SA
    plans to increase production.
    We could look to China and India and other Asian tigers sucking
    untold amounts of this limited supply of fuel…and blame them.
    Or we could say that the supply is limited, but we’ve hardly
    reached the end of it, and blame Canada and Mexico, where we
    get most of our oil. Why do they hate us and our kids?
    Maybe we should blame Henry Ford and Rockefeller for making
    the US a car-centric country. OTOH was known to hate Jews, so
    maybe we leave that one alone.
    Or we could turn our attention to Congress and
    environmentalists who prevent the US from drilling for more.
    The Congress is controlled by Zionists, so that theory has got
    some possibilities–except there are quite a few gentiles in the
    environmental movement. We’ll cast them as figureheads for
    the real players.
    Or we could look to the NYMEX on the theory that speculation
    has really jacked prices beyond the level that demand and
    supply would dictate. Of course, there are plenty of gentiles on
    Wall Street, but everyone knows that Wall Street is Jew Town so
    we may have hit the jackpot with this one.
    Rabble’s new headline: Greedy Zionists Force Kids to Suffer Heat
    Prostration and Be Late for Class

    Reply

  69. arthurdecco says:

    Wig Wag said: “After all, the Iranians have called for the annihilation of Israel.”
    This statement is a bald-faced lie. As anyone who has followed this whole rotten mess knows. The rest of the declarative statements that follow it in your post are no better. My gawd, what a collection of dangerous nonsense you have filling your head!
    Please, go back to dissing Obama at every opportunity – at least when you’re doing that you’re not advocating for the murders of millions in the interests of the racist state of Israel and its supposed American supporters.
    & in regards to: “Posted by WigWag Jun 22, 10:33PM , Ode to RabbleRouser, Carroll and Arthur Decco”
    I hadn’t even commented on this thread yet when you wrote this piece of delusional crap, Wig Wag. Why include my name in your heading?
    You need to volunteer more, step out with your family and friends, stop reading right wing Jewish-centric newspapers and believing the idiotic lies they disseminate and stick your head out of your ass long enough to see what’s actually going on in the world.
    And it wouldn’t hurt for you to develop some maturity to match your claims of old age. The moment the subject turns to Israel’s perfidy, even when its you who changes the subject, you write like one of those pimple-faced Zionist keyboard kommandos who contribute bilge non-stop to the comment sections of the Jerusalem Post.
    Grow up, fer crissakes!

    Reply

  70. Sweetness says:

    “The Israelis saw danger in a rapprochement between Tehran
    and Washington, believing this would inevitably see the U.S.
    sacrifice some of its support for Israel in order to find a larger
    accommodation with Iran, in pursuit of U.S. strategic interests in
    the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Iran would become
    emboldened and the U.S. would no longer seek to contain its
    growth.
    The balance of power would shift from Israel towards Iran and
    the Jewish State would no longer be able rely on Washington to
    control Tehran. “The Great Satan will make up with Iran and
    forget about Israel,” Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University in
    Israel noted. [16]
    Excellent quote, Carroll. This is indeed part of TP’s thought. But
    it’s hard to see how this logic works. For example, it’s hard to
    see how a rapprochement between Iran and US hurts Israel.
    There was a strong bond between the US and Iran during the
    shah’s time–when the Iran was no threat and even an ally of
    both countries–and it didn’t diminish US support for Israel.
    So it’s a little hard to see how this “balance of power” shifts if the
    US makes a deal with Teheran now. The US isn’t likely to start
    calling Israel all those awful names. The US isn’t likely to
    legislate a Deny The Holocaust Day. What does it even mean
    that the US “no longer seeks to contain its [Iran's] growth”? Does
    it mean that, despite all the words spilled here an elsewhere,
    that Iran really is expansionist? That Iran really does want to
    knock off Israel? That the US would encourage, or turn a blind
    eye, to Iran arming Hezbollah (we pretty much do it now) for its
    final assault on Israel?
    Or what? And if this is what “Iran’s growth” means, it’s hard to
    see why anyone would support it? After all, there is such a hew
    and cry that the Zionists are expanionist and may even be trying
    to take over the world because they occupy the territories, it’s
    hard to imagine why any right thinking person would support
    this sort of “growth.” After all, Iran has plenty of land and
    resources.
    So, you’re right, of course, this TPs thesis, but it’s a piece of it
    that seems quite strange to me.
    Now, of course, since we all know that the US–the Congress,
    the White House, and probably the Supreme Court–are on
    Israel’s payroll–and at least two of these branches are under
    direct Israeli control, it’s a little hard to see how this comes
    about in any event.

    Reply

  71. TokyoTom says:

    Steve, nice title, but the “bad taste” I feel is in my mouth from seeing you post on such nonsense when there are REAL issues that it is more important to call Obama on, such as his support for Blue Dog dems against Democratic challengers and his failure to lead on the FISA immunity issue.
    Where is the Obama that said this before?
    “I have consistently opposed this Administration’s efforts to use debates about our national security to expand its own power, whether that was on the Iraq war, or on its power grab to curb our civil liberties through domestic surveillance programs. It is time to restore oversight and accountability in the FISA program, and this proposal — with an unprecedented grant of retroactive immunity — is not the place to start.”-Barack Obama October 18, 2007, 7:18PM
    “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.” Bill Burton October 24, 2007, 1:18PM
    In any case, these are simply expressions of POSITIONS, not any indication that Obama himself is interested in leading or making a difference.
    Steve, you should be questioning whether Obama really wants to lead, or simply wants to be in charge of directing the federal pork spigots rather than rocking the boat.
    Does wasting time on form when substance is crying out for attention tell us something about how seriously you want us to take you, Steve?

    Reply

  72. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag Jun 23, 1:05AM
    Hummm…you use the description delusional a lot wiggie.
    I am not a psychiatrist and haven’t slept in a Hoilday Inn recently but my sister in law actually is a psychiatrist who treats hospitalized nutcases so I take a interest in the subject.
    Did you know that one of the major traits of paranoid individuals is projecting their fears and faults onto others?
    It’s a means of maintaining their own delusional state.
    They aren’t delusional as long as it’s everyone else that is delusional including their doctors and all other people around them.
    Which is why extreme paranoids usually don’t respond to normal therapy and have to live on corrective drugs to function in a normal world.
    Lucky for you the ghetto of southern Florida isn’t exactly a normal world. LOL
    BTW, paranoids often have weight and a variety of other health problems real and imagined. How’s your health?

    Reply

  73. Carroll says:

    Well at the (hopefully) end of this thread we have learned that Wig Wag’s thought process stems from insecurity about being jewish and zionist.
    And that Linda think everyone but her comments too much and is off topic and rude but that we should all be interesed in her dinner revelations and what she did with her lawn sprinklers. LOL
    I haven’t had time for several months until just recently to read TWN or comment but I see nothing has changed on TWN.
    Let the off topics flow, at least they are passionate statements on critical issues in this country and not just insipid chit chat for political lonely hearts and people who like to type.

    Reply

  74. WigWag says:

    Got it! Israel isn’t afraid of getting nuked by Iran. They’re afraid that if Iran plays its cards right, in a few years, Obama or McCain will be kowtowing to Iran instead of them.
    Where did Israel get that from, Carroll? Could it be from President Sarkozy’s Greek/Jewish paternal grandfather? Did he whisper it to Netanyahu from beyond the grave?
    My goodness, you’re delusional.

    Reply

  75. Carroll says:

    Sweetness
    Since you are quoting Parsi you must mean the Trisa Paris who wrote Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran & the US?”
    Which you must not have read or you would see that he supports my contention that war with Iran is not so much about nukes as it is about protecting Israel’s favored position with the US and continuing to have the US advance Israel’s economic interest and status in the ME.
    May I recommend Tony Karon’s blog…you might learn something from his articles and his guest contributors…like Parsi.
    http://tonykaron.com/2007/10/09/iran-the-inflatable-bogey/
    To anyone following the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, it ought to have been very clear that Israel was not unduly worried about Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary Iran being a “new Nazi Germany,” as today’s rhetoric would have it — after all, Israel was actually delivering weapons to Iran on behalf of the Reagan Administration. The fact that today, these two countries that share a strategic rivalry with the Arab world are, rhetorically at least, at one another’s throats is also based on each side’s reading of its strategic interest: Israel began talking up an Iran threat in the early ’90s in order to maintain its privileged position in U.S. national security policy in the wake of the Gulf War; Iran began championing the Palestinian cause, and Palestinian rejectionism, as a way of pressuring Arab governments to counter its potential isolation in the region during the post-Gulf War period.
    However, as I discovered in the course of researching my book Treacherous Alliance – the Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States, not only does Netanyahu’s characterization of Iran have little relationship to reality; Netanyahu himself knows this better than most. Outside of the realm of cynical posturing by politicians, most Israeli strategists recognize that Iran represents a strategic challenge to the favorable balance of power enjoyed by Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East over the past 15 years, but it is no existential threat to the Israel, the U.S. or the Arab regimes.
    Iran’s dismissal of Israel’s conciliatory signals convinced the Netanyahu government that just like in the Iran Contra affair, Tehran only wanted to mend fences with the U.S. and had no real interest in rebuilding its ties with Israel.
    Therein, of course, lay the real threat from Iran.
    The Israelis saw danger in a rapprochement between Tehran and Washington, believing this would inevitably see the U.S. sacrifice some of its support for Israel in order to find a larger accommodation with Iran, in pursuit of U.S. strategic interests in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Iran would become emboldened and the U.S. would no longer seek to contain its growth.
    The balance of power would shift from Israel towards Iran and the Jewish State would no longer be able rely on Washington to control Tehran. “The Great Satan will make up with Iran and forget about Israel,” Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University in Israel noted. [16]
    Israel’s relative regional importance to the U.S. would decline with a warming of ties between Washington and Tehran.
    Today, Israel is facing a similar situation, but with one big difference. Iran is far more powerful than it was in 1996, while the power of the U.S. to impose its will in the Middle East has diminished considerably.
    The difficulties confronting the U.S. in Iraq and technological progress in Iran’s nuclear program may compel Washington to recognize that its best interests lie in a grand bargain with Tehran.
    But the general view in Israel today is the notion that such negotiations must be prevented, because all potential outcomes of a U.S.-Iran negotiation are perceived to be less optimal for Israel than the status quo of intense U.S.-Iran enmity that threatens to boil over into a military clash.”
    >>>>>>>>>
    Quelle Surprise!…sounds to me like he is saying the same thing I am saying. That Israel’s obsession with Iran is not so much about nukes as it is about protecting their position with the US that allows them to maintain their economic and protected staus in the ME.
    Or put more bluntly ..Israel is egging the US and Iran to war so Israel won’t end up as the ugly stepchild in a US-Iran relationship and lose all the US money and favors they have survived on since 1948.

    Reply

  76. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, everytime we ship a few billion off to Israel, one has to look for a little perspective. When we go to war, partially at Israel’s behest, it really narrows down where to go look for that perspective…..
    The Urban Institute, in conjunction with the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC), in 1996 projected that each year, 2.3 million to 3.5 million people experience homelessness in America. The survey found that 23 percent of all homeless persons – and 33 percent of all homeless men – are veterans. By taking 23% of the total range for veterans, that would indicate there are between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans who are homeless at some time during the year. To get the full report “Helping America’s Homeless,” published by The Urban Institute Press in 2001, visit
    http://www.urban.org.
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) produces an annual CHALENG Report (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups), which estimates the number of homeless veterans based on requests for services at participating agencies. In the 2003 CHALENG Report, the VA estimated there were 313,087 homeless veterans on any given night in America. The 2005 report placed the number at 194,000, with nearly 400,000 veterans likely to experience homelessness at some time during the year. The state-by-state estimate for FY 2005 is available at
    http://www.nchv.org/page.cfm?id=81.
    Like I commented to Paul on another thread, I’d really prefer my tax dollars aren’t used to kill Muslims, thank you very much. But hey, if ya wanna spend it taking care of our vets, have at it.

    Reply

  77. Linda says:

    RabbleRouser,
    I never meant you in any of the above–and actually had started a response to you many hours ago.
    First I apologize to you for my illegal (?) last vote in LA in 4/05 by absentee ballot for Antonio. I moved to Atlanta on 4/30. It makes my point that no matter for whom I vote–they often disappoint me. That includes JFK, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, but I’d probably have been more unhappy with the Republican. My last vote in NYC primary in 6/70 before moving to LA is one I never regretted–for Bella Abzug.
    I liked Shirley Franklin, but now our budget is all screwed up too. The public swimming pools are open, but there is a total ban on ourdoor residential watering. It always had been limited hours for three days a week. I did here what any good So Cal citizen would do–took out grass, put in plants and shrubs, and a drip automatic sprinkler system with rain shut off–and a few months later it was illegal to use it!
    I probably agree with you on almost every issue as I do with the most liberal progressive Democrats. It’s in the pragmatism of voting where we part company, as I do strongly with many of the So Cal ADA bunch.
    No one has stated more often here than I have, that voting for President is a risky business. I think it is impossible to predict in advance what the record of any President will be. But I do know that based on his record, Obama is the most liberal Progressive candidate we’ve had in decades, and I think he’s the best we can do this year.
    I didn’t vote for Nader in 2000, and it makes even less sense to me to do so in 2008 in GA, if he even will be on tha ballot. Others have pointed out repeatedly that a vote for McCain, Nader, write-in, or not voting helps McCain. I’ve always said that if Hillary won the nomination, I’d vote for her. I really can’t understand the logic or rationale of an angry protest vote that can only help the candidate with positions the farthest from one’s own. But in CA, voting Green for your beliefs won’t turn CA red this year. Voting for Hillary in FL as a protest does matter for the coasts of both CA and FL.
    And I will add one thing that is local but perhaps newsworthy and was much discussed at dinner tonight. Early polls have some limited value when they produce surprising results. So currently here in GA Bob Barr is taking enough votes away from McCain to put Obama slightly in the lead. So far, I haven’t noticed anyone on TWN for Bob Barr. I like a 50-state strategy, and I attribute that to Howard Dean and Obama.

    Reply

  78. RabbleRouser says:

    BTW: Wig Wag- my spouse is a Jew.
    My spouse was as disappointed as I was that the pool was
    closed, if not more so. He’s now out planting things, like
    dandelions, so that he’ll have more to weed later, to take out his
    physical frustration that he didn’t get to do laps.
    And if you can’t see the correlation between spending our tax
    dollars fighting needless and endless wars for Israel, and the
    shut-down of essential services– hospitals, schools, road
    repairs, swimming pools ( I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere that
    physical fitness is very important for both physical and mental
    health ;-) then you’re not really getting it.
    Again, we could invade Mexico for oil for about 1/millionth of
    the price of invading Iraq and have our troops home on the
    weekends, and all they’d have to be treated for would be alcohol
    poisoning and maybe syphilis.
    As I said in another thread, I’m sure Puerto Vallerta is much
    more fun to occupy than Fallujah.
    Oil was in the $20/barrel range back in 2002, now it’s in the
    $140 range with experts predicting $170-$250 / barrel range
    even if USRAEL doesn’t attack Iran. If USRAEL does attack Iran,
    oil prices could go into the $300-$350 per barrel range.
    So tell me again about how the U.S. invasion of Iraq was about
    oil. And then go and sign-up to fight for Israel in our next not-
    about-oil war.

    Reply

  79. Paul Norheim says:

    “…so we’ve had posts on this thread on FISA and telecom
    immunity, Israel, Iran, nuclear threats, the latest Presidential polls
    (when I don’t think they are worth looking at until September),
    predictions of which states which candidate will carry, predictions
    of what Obama will or won’t do if elected…” (Linda)
    So you would say that none of those issues are in any way
    connected to the Obama seal?

    Reply

  80. Linda says:

    Morton,
    I think it’s that ad hominem fallacious arguments are different in person, as they all were, before cyberspace made them also virtual. In person social controls are in place. If it gets too hot, one party leaves or both decide to cool it or there’s violence, or somebody else intervenes. Most people here would never insult others face-to-face as they do on-line, and then it goes on and on ad nauseam, as it never would in person. I try not to do that in person or on-line. In the real world, I end up avoiding people who do it because they aren’t adding to discussion or debate or being courteous and respectful of others.

    Reply

  81. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, Linda, you told us earlier today that the seal thing was a non-issue.
    I note there are a number of threads going right now that don’t deal with the “seal thing”, and haven’t been “derailed” by “the usual suspects”.
    You can’t find anything in those other threads you find worthy of comment, or reflection?
    You’re gettin’ a bit predictable yourself, Linda.

    Reply

  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, WigWag baits a thread, then drops his anti-semitism bomb.
    Not sure without going back over the thread, but I would bet that no one has mentioned “Jews” on this thread except WigWag.
    Its gettin’ old.

    Reply

  83. Linda says:

    Some time with a four-year whose best of infinite questions was: “Which is bigger China or Russia?”, nice dinner, and a play by Sarah Ruhl who earns her “genius” award with every word she writes, and I have new perspective:
    I consider TWN to be like Steve’s property where we are invited as guests. He decides the topics he wants to post, and people respond to that topic. If he says, “Open thread,” that’s fine for any topic. Sometimes he posts a lot in one day, or like this weekend, there just was the Obama seal post. And I really personally would prefer that people stick to the topic. There is a group of people who visit and post every day about whatever is on their minds and treat TWN like their own chat room—so we’ve had posts on this thread on FISA and telecom immunity, Israel, Iran, nuclear threats, the latest Presidential polls (when I don’t think they are worth looking at until September), predictions of which states which candidate will carry, predictions of what Obama will or won’t do if elected, Sarkozy, lists of how every member of Congress voted on roll call(Assume most of us know about Thomas if we want to know that, and extensive quotes from “Network!”
    And since these same people are posting all the time, what they will say is predictable day-after-day. A lot of the vitriol and ad hominem attacks also seem to be among these same posters.
    Steve doesn’t have time to keep people on topic—so I suggest that Steve might have an open thread every day for those who want to discuss their own topics. I don’t claim to speak for anyone else, but it is so irritating that I am close to not wanting to visit TWN any more.

    Reply

  84. Sweetness says:

    If the US withdraws its aid, I’m more than sure Israel does fine.
    Hopefully we’ll get to see. Of course, all economies go up and
    down all the time.
    I, personally, have no problem with Israel signing the NPT. I think
    she should.
    Who said Israel didn’t have nukes? I think that’s been pretty well
    established, yes? And that’s what I said above.
    Dubai is doing well on oil and tourism. We’ll see how they do when
    the oil runs out. But take a look at some of the other economies.
    And try the beach at Santa Monica…

    Reply

  85. WigWag says:

    Ode to RabbleRouser, Carroll and Arthur Decco
    By WigWag
    RabbleRouser, so sorry to hear about those pool hours being cut. It’s those goddamned Jews again. If it wasn’t for them, we could all swim 24/7; we could swim whenever the spirit moved us. And have you checked out the price of food lately? It’s so expensive. All those damn Jewish farmers in Iowa just keep raising those corn prices. And I can’t even afford to go on vacation anymore. But I wouldn’t want to anyway. Flying has become such a hassle. It’s those damn Jews who own all the airlines. The more uncomfortable they make it for the rest of us, the happier they are. But what really pisses me off most of all is how none of this gets reported in the press. So many of those reporters are Jewish. And Jews own just about every major newspaper and television station in the world.
    And that new French President, Sarkozy, what a bastard he is. I actually heard that one of his grandparents was Jewish. Yeah, that explains alot. It seems he actually wants French school children as young as 10 years old to learn about the holocaust (as if that really happened).
    You know, I heard that when Jews make their Passover matzoh, they use the blood of christian boys and girls. Hey everyone, make sure you keep a close watch on on your kids next Spring. That is unless you want them showing up in a matzoh box.
    You know what really kills me. I heard that Israel actually has a higher per capita GDP than some European countries like Poland or Spain or Portugal. They have a higher per capita income than Saudi Arabia or Iran. They have no oil but they make all that money. They must be stealing it from the Arabs or printing it. Everyone knows that Jews are good with money. That’s why so many of them are international bankers and have names like Goldman.
    The Jews sure don’t need our money. That money was supposed to go for increased hours for our swimming pools. I thought if Obama was elected he might actually put the Jews in their place. But can you believe it? He’s sponsoring legislation to increase military aid to Israel by 25 percent.
    Please someone, rescue us from their clutches! Wait, we have one last chance. We can always hope that Ahmidinejad gets his hand on a nuke. That could solve all our problems.

    Reply

  86. RabbleRouser says:

    Sweetness,
    Surely you must be joking? Either that (and/or) you’re a
    member of Israel’s international propaganda team Megaphone,
    instituted by none other than Tipsy (that’s a pun) Tzipi Livni.
    Tipsy might get to be Prime Minister of Israel when Olmert gets
    kicked out for corruption.
    Sweetness, let’s say for argument’s sake, that the U.S. withdraws
    the billions in aid it give each year to Israel — what would then
    happen to Israel’s economy?
    Sweetness, what if the nations of the world demand that Israel
    sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and then demand
    inspections of Israel’s nukes?
    Sweetness, why would the U.S. (and Germany) provide Israel
    with submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons if Israel
    does not have nuclear weapons?
    Sweetness, have you taken a look at some of the Arab countries
    lately? Dubai seems to be doing really well. I’ll take that “15th
    century” economy any day.
    Sweetness, we’re on to Israel’s Megaphone propaganda tricks.
    You stay in Israel and leave us, our kids and our money (well,
    there’s nothing left of that thanks to the U.S. War on Iraq for
    Israel) alone.

    Reply

  87. Sweetness says:

    “AND MY POOL HAS REDUCED ITS HOURS BECAUSE OF BUDGET
    CUTS ACROSS THE BOARD THAT HAVE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH
    OUR WAR IN IRAQ FOR ISRAEL.”
    This really is the silliest thing I’ve read all week–though I’m sure
    many are ready to buy it. Real demagoguery.

    Reply

  88. Sweetness says:

    “Israel’s thing with Iran has never been soley about nukes…what
    Isr really wants is for Iran to be back under the US thumb as it
    was during the Shah’s days when Israel had access to Iranian oil
    and trade. Most of the nuke hype coming from the zionist is
    really aimed at Isr gaining more economic leverage in the ME to
    survive and keeping their own nukes to enforce the economic
    domination they so desperately want in the ME.”
    Well, this is a bit of a mishmash. If you read Trita Parsi, you’ll
    learn that Israel and Iran are already doing a brisk trade in oil.
    It’s a little hard to see how Israel having nukes, which they’ve
    had for decades (presumably) has anything to do with gaining
    economic leverage. How? What would the mechanism be? Plus
    their economy is actually in pretty good shape. Enforcing
    economic domination in the ME? When have they ever been
    economically dominant in the ME? They don’t have the
    resources or population to be economically dominant. There are
    too many other people who, by the way, would do well to do
    business with Israel (and they know it). Unfortunately, the Arabs
    do a pretty good job all on their own of keeping their economies
    in the 15th century.

    Reply

  89. RabbleRouser says:

    The comment thread at the Huffington Post on the Democratic
    capitulation on telecom immunity often eerily echoes what I’ve
    been typing here about Obama and the Dems. and their non-
    support of the Bill of Rights.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/bush-gives-
    dems-stds_b_108254.html
    Oh by the way Linda, I went out this afternoon (heeding your
    advice ;-) hoping to do laps at my neighborhood pool (which is
    actually miles away — that’s how bad it is in Southern California
    –many of the lap pools have been shut down) only to find that
    they’d cut the hours, on one of the hottest days that So Cal has
    seen yet.
    When I asked the nice young man behind the counter why the
    pool hours had been cut he said that the city of Los Angeles
    decided to do it, plus charge a lot more to get in. He was upset
    too, as were all the other people wanting to take a swim.
    I asked the nice young man, “So we’re paying $12 billion a
    month to kill people on the other side of the world in Iraq, and
    yet L.A. City Council can’t keep one of the few pools in the San
    Fernando Valley open for more than a few hours on a weekend?”
    That got a great response from my fellow disappointed Los
    Angelenos waiting in line to swim. It’s friggin hot out here.
    Now, our ” Los Angeles mayor” Anthony Villa-la-whore-sa (D-
    Israel) just took a trip to Israel and he refused to say who paid
    for it.
    But, back when Israel was bombing Lebanon, Obama and Villa-
    la-whore-sa both supported the bombing. In fact, L.A. Major
    Villa-la-whore-sa, who intends to become the first Hispanic
    president of the U.S., stood up and said that, “Los Angeles
    stands by Israel.”
    Right next to him was my former L.A. City Council member, Bill
    Rosendahl.
    I’m a resident of Los Angeles and I don’t support Israel, so Villa-
    la-whore-sa’s statement about all of Los Angeles standing by
    Israel was factually incorrect.
    But the bottom line is this:
    *Obama supports Israel, no matter what she does.
    *The pro-Israel lobby lied us into Iraq and is now trying to lie us
    into Iran.
    * That will kill us.
    AND MY POOL HAS REDUCED ITS HOURS BECAUSE OF BUDGET
    CUTS ACROSS THE BOARD THAT HAVE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH
    OUR WAR IN IRAQ FOR ISRAEL.
    McCain is MUCH worse, but Obama is NO saint.
    NO MORE WAR.
    Hold Obama and all the Dems feet to the fire until we get Israel
    out of U.S. foreign policy, because only then can we restore our
    own economy and perhaps my pool will open for a few minutes
    when people who work can actually swim there.

    Reply

  90. WigWag says:

    Perhaps the only thing that will work to prevent an attack on Iran is the Howard Beale approach:
    “Howard Beale: [shouting] You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,
    [shouting]
    Howard Beale: ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:
    Howard Beale: [screaming at the top of his lungs] “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

    Reply

  91. Carroll says:

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy is of jewish heritage and after beating out his female opponant came into office with the lowest approval rating in hisory. Can we assume the French didn’t want to bvote for a woman?
    Then his attempt to insititue a government educational program requiring 10 year old school children in France to “adopt” the life of a jewish child “murdered” in the holocuast…..well, he won’t be around long. He’s a another nutcase. Gawd, can you get any more replusive than this idea. How sick can you get?
    Anyway Sarkozy’s approval ratings are now hovering around 0. I hope he has another job lined up. Unlike the US the French do their political revolutions with real knives.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/955859.html

    Reply

  92. Mr.Murder says:

    Why not let the standards of free market safety through deregulation apply to Iran?
    It is a cure all for many things.

    Reply

  93. Paul Norheim says:

    Not only France and Italy: Germany will probably not say no this
    time – since “Israeli security needs” are involved.
    And I doubt that this is about “deterrence”.

    Reply

  94. Carroll says:

    Here’s a challenge for all posters.
    Do some real research on what the Saudis and other Gulf leaders are actually saying.
    Read the Gulf news and the international papers, not the US press. I can count on one hand the so called reporters that show up in the US press that aren’t’ either shills for some interest group or neo-zio partisans.
    Contrary to opinons expressed about Saudis wanting the US to attack Iran you will find that they have been saying loud and clear..”Don’t Do It”. They made a big point of this at the Davos meeting this year. The Saudis in particular have gone to great lenghts to try and get an agreement with Iran on nuclear development to the extent of proposing setting up a Arab nuclear regional allience for developing nuclear power that would include Iran. The Saudis have lived with ME intrigue forever, they would rather continue to live with it than risk it all by attacking Iran.
    Here’s another challenge…find out what requirements the US is putting on or trying to extract from Iran other than just dropping their nuclear development.
    Israel’s thing with Iran has never been soley about nukes…what Isr really wants is for Iran to be back under the US thumb as it was during the Shah’s days when Israel had access to Iranian oil and trade. Most of the nuke hype coming from the zionist is really aimed at Isr gaining more economic leverage in the ME to survive and keeping their own nukes to enforce the economic domination they so desperately want in the ME.
    So if anyone has the time to ferret out the requirements the US has laid out before they even talk to Iran I bet you find some bennies and demands in there for Israel that Iran would never agree to…and the likehood of another US Shah ever being installed in Iran is next to nil. Almost all if not all Isr trade and relations in the ME is the result of US strongarming these countries in Israel’s behalf…without that strngarming Israel would be entirely shut out of ME trade. The Egypt cotton deal comes to mind and is an excellent example of why the US is so resented in the ME and considered a stooge of the US zionist. The only way Isr is ever going to regain the financial advantages it had previously in Iran or make any inroads into other Arab countries trade and relations, many of whom still maintain a boycott of Israel, is for the US to turn it into a post war Berlin…hence the Isr drive to bomb the shit out of it. That is much quicker than waiting centuries for a turnaround in Iranian and ME attitude toward Isr and the US.
    The only ace in the pocket of the Israelis and zios has always been getting the US to do their dirty work for them thru their jewish lobby pressure on the US congress.
    My opinion, from observation and history, is that the zionist aren’t very bright over all…it’s like they have a self destructive gene. So far they have relied on holocuast history and victimhood claims and trying to liken themselves to Americans and Israel as like America to advance their agenda with the public. And on threats and money to advance their agenda in our congress. I think they have blown that cover and lost the sympathy of most people due to the war crimes Israel’s carries on in Palestine. If the jig isn’t quite up yet it’s well on the way to being up…especially if the US gets entangled with Iran.
    It’s gonna be interesting. Those of us fed up with US congress’s Israeli fetish can take comfort in one thing…even if the zios win on attacking Iran, Israel will be the biggest loser.

    Reply

  95. WigWag says:

    One more thing, DonS. I bring this to your attention not to be snarky but because you might find it informative. The hostility to Iran is not limited to the US. Apparentley the President of France is also actively hostile to Iran. Here are some snippets of what Sarkozy said on his arrival in Israel today.
    Last update – 23:40 22/06/2008
    By Barak Ravid and Haaretz Service
    “In his welcome speech, Olmert said, “In all my meetings with the French president I have encountered a deep understanding for the security needs of the State of Israel and the complex challenges it faces, as well as a personal, strong and unconditional commitment to Israel’s security and the preservation of its qualitative edge in the region…
    Peres welcomed the French leader by saying, “France has left an imprint on Israel’s revival, a revival you recently referred to as ‘one of the most significant events in the 20th century. Frances contribution to the foundation of the state of Israel did not stem from an opportunistic sentiment, but was sparked by the noblest of human values…”
    On the question of Iran, Sarkozy described it as a matter of primary importance for the entire world “and Israel is not alone in this matter. We will protect Israel and we will stand by your side.”
    Not that I think Israel needs protection from France. What was the last military operation that went well for them? But his comment about protecting Israel and standing by Israel’s side is telling. For those who are unaware of it, the Foreign Minister of Italy said something very similar last week. It is widely known that Silvio Berlusconi (again the Prime Minister) is considered close to Israel and very hostile to Iran.
    The new leaders of France and Italy may not be George Bush lite, but they have a very different view of the middle east than their predecessors. A tougher approach to Iran seems to be in the offing. Let’s hope that it is the type of deterrence that I am talking about and not a precurson to anything more unthinkable.

    Reply

  96. DonS says:

    ” I am surprised to hear you say that “Nuclear deterrence never worked well for 50 years
    Its true. We were lucky.
    ” If you are of a mind to respond, I wonder why you think that. It seems to me that the only time a nuclear bomb was ever used was when only one country had the bomb.”
    Your conclusion doesn’t prove the premise.

    Reply

  97. WigWag says:

    DonS, I am surprised to hear you say that “Nuclear deterrence never worked well for 50 years.” If you are of a mind to respond, I wonder why you think that. It seems to me that the only time a nuclear bomb was ever used was when only one country had the bomb.

    Reply

  98. DonS says:

    clarification to above: the initial quote is Wigwag characterizing my comment. Sorry for any confusion. My point is that there is a spectrum and the US can certainly be biased towards a positive regional solution even though its immediate security is definitely not threatened as is alleged all the time. We are certainly “interested” as behooves our “great power” status. But we are not using that status very wisely.

    Reply

  99. DonS says:

    Wigwag says “the U.S. has no dog in this fight, and that it adopts your view that it should be completely unbiased about disputes in the Middle East. I think it would still be in American interest to prevent a conflagration in the Middle East”
    Wigwag, I did not say “unbiased”. I said “no dog”; “evenhanded”, “good offices”, honest broker”. None of which are possible. It is impossible because the US tilts TOTALLY in the other direction, it insists on seeing the situation as totally polarized. (axis of evil you know)
    To raise the ante to add more potential violence just to abet Israel’s desire to strike Iran — and let’s just throw in the other arab states desire to diminish Iran as you suggest — is totally in the wrong direction. Nuclear deterrence never worked well for 50 years, it was insanity, and probably promoted regional conflicts because everyone was afraid to pull ther nuclear trigger.
    The thought of a nuclear deterrence pact in a post cold war world goes in the wrong direction. In fact it is so wrongheaded that’s it should be an embarrassment to even recall that Hillary felt like promoting the possibility was appropriate for a civilized person.
    Also, why should the US, except for sentimental reasons towards Israel, commit itself to be dragged into a regional conflict. Fatalistically, I already think most US politicalns already assume the US would get embroiled anyway if Iran struck Israel (just how stupid woud they have to be to do that?).

    Reply

  100. WigWag says:

    Thanks, Pauline for the link. Funny isn’t it? The Washington Post and Newsweek each come out with a poll within one day of each other, and the polls are so different. What really makes this funny is that the Washington Post and Newsweek are owned by the same company.

    Reply

  101. RabbleRouser says:

    We here in the U.S. get our oil from Canada, Saudi Arabia,
    Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela.
    We have no business in the Middle East except to protect the
    country that rules us, Israel.
    Which has at least 200 nuclear weapons plus delivery systems
    (provided by us) that can reach Europe, western Russia, north
    Africa and South Asia.
    The Democrats are wolves – their leadership, starting from
    Emanuel, Hoyer, Berman, Schumer, work for Israel.
    As do the Republicans. Every member of congress except for
    about three, do Israel’s bidding.
    Rahm Emanuel actually volunteered for the Israeli army (the IDF)
    during the first Persian Gulf War in 1991– and now Emanuel is
    in charge of who gets into congress on the democratic ticket.
    Again, I cover the Middle East.
    Get Israel out of U.S. foreign policy.
    We will die, all of us, our children, millions if not billions of
    people around the world will die if or rather when Israel or the
    U.S. attacks Iran.
    Get Israel, and its double agents in the U .S. government, like my
    very own Congressman Howard Berman, OUT OF U.S. FOREIGN
    POLICY RIGHT NOW!!!
    I’m not kidding when I say our lives depend upon it.

    Reply

  102. pauline says:

    WigWag:
    While nothing is set in stone with polls, Newsweek has Obama with a 15% lead. While other polls don’t show the big bounce that was expected with HRC dropping out, Obama, for better or worse, still shows high single digit leads.
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/Newsweek_poll_Obama_leads_McCain_by_06202008.html

    Reply

  103. WigWag says:

    DonS, let’s assume for the minute that you’re right; that the U.S. has no dog in this fight, and that it adopts your view that it should be completely unbiased about disputes in the Middle East. I think it would still be in American interest to prevent a conflagration in the Middle East that disrupts oil supplies. Anyone who is against needless death and injury in Iran and the Middle East should be against attacking Iran. Doing that would be a disaster. But it would not result in the result Carroll mentioned, it would result in tens of thousands of deaths in Iran and it would probably result in the West (U.S., Europe)carving up Iranian oil supplies amongst themselves with the help of Iran’s Sunni Arab neighbors. It doesn’t matter whether you love or hate Israel; attacking Iran is a bad idea. If you agree with this, than an alternative strategy is needed. My suggestion of an alternative strategy is deterrence. One of the cornerstones of deterrence is the threat to use force if force is used first by the country you are trying to deter. The threat has to be credible and it has to be articulated forcefully. Otherwise no one is deterred. One more thing, DonS, I think you are underestating the enmity between the Sunni Arab states and Iran. Most of what I have read by experts in the field suggests that these states detest Iran even more than Israel does. It is widely acknowledged that the country that would be happiest if Israel attacked Iran (other than the United States) would be Saudi Arabia. Even if Israel didn’t exist, a good case argument could be made that the competition between the Sunni states and Iran would be even worse than it is today. It would still be in the US interest to deter Iran even if Israel had never been created. Whatever you think of Israel, a peaceful middle east is better for everyone. Deterrence not violence is the best strategy to achieve that (I think).
    One more thing. You are right. No one knows whether Iran will or will not develop nuclear weapons in the short or medium terms. That’s another reason why attacking them is a terrible idea. It’s another reason deterrence works. If they don’t develop a weapon, no one has been killed. If they do develop a weapon, they are deterred from using it.
    Paul, what I meant above is that during the Cold War hardly any blood was shed between Nato and the Warsaw Pact because each side deterred the other. I don’t see why that strategy can’t work in the Middle East. I did make a mistake in my comment to you. I said “no one including the Russians and Chinese want to see oil triple in price.” I meant to say no one including the Indians and the Chinese want to see oil triple in price. If oil tripled in price, Putin would be laughing all the way to the bank. Why should Russia play a positive role in helping to peacefully resolve this dispute? Economically Russia is better off the longer and more violent it becomes. And why wouldn’t Russia want to see the U.S. and Europe suffer? That would be the same Europe and U.S. that wants to expand Nato right up to the Russian border and recognized Kosovo over Russian objections and with no UN mandate. It’s hard to see why the US and Europe think Russia should play a helpful role when they treat Russia so shabbily.

    Reply

  104. Carroll says:

    Any discussion of which Arab countries would line up for or against who or what they do is pretty pointless without considering Russia.
    I said 6 years ago and I’ll say it again…Russia is back, it’s a world power again. Russia paid off all their Soviet era debt..billions and billions, and paid it off early yet. And Russia has as many and even more nukes than we do. Russia has plenty of oil and gas and no debt. We on the other hand are living on IOU’s and a screwed military and a consumer economy.
    The Arab countries, or more to the point their leaders and Kings, are going to first and foremost do whatever it takes to keep their own personal thrones and power seats. That puts them directly in between the US and their own populations..in case you haven’t looked at ME ppoopulation polls lately on the US.
    Add Russia might dicide to do,.. and well….I wouldn’t count on the usual allies sticking to the US.
    When Putin looked into Bush’s eyes he saw a rabbit. He probably looks at the neos & zios like a farmer look at the pigs he put into his uncultivated woodlands to clean it up. After the pigs do their job and root out the underbrush they make good barbecue.

    Reply

  105. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Pretty naive to think that Iran is the only one “evil” enough to launch a first strike. In light of its treatment of the Palestinians, and its illegal bombardment of Lebanon with a few million cluster bomblets, one has to consider the very real possibility that it is Israel that poses a nuclear threat in the Middle East.
    And is there any doubt that Iran would be severely retaliated against, by the United States, if they launched a strike against Israel? The trick, for Israel, is getting us to launch a strike “sooner than later”. A false flag incident would do the trick nicely. Its not as if they are incapable of such covert evil, is it? I mean, after all, don’t we have concrete evidence of Israeli false flag incidents, as well as Mossad agents posing as Al Qaeda?
    It seems there are those here that always want to paint Israel wearing the white hat, and Iran the black one. History, however, does not seem to support such a simpleton’s argument.
    Fond of pointing out the somewhat misleading canard that Iran has called for Isreal’s inihilation, it seems these modifiers of history are prone to forget that it is Israel and the United States that has threatened Iran with nuclear attack, implied by strongly worded admonitions, despite the fact that Iran has apparently broken no treaties with its nuclear activities, nor has been shown irrefutably to even have an n-weapons program.
    Considering the recent side show where evidence could not be produced linking Iran to weapons in the Iraq theatre, despite Petreaus’ Bushlicking assertions to the contrary, as well as the uncanny similarities to the propaganda blitz that preceded the invasion of Iraq, Iran would be foolish not to prepare for and protect against an attack by the US or Israel.
    We hear much bluster these days from our politicos of both sides of the aisle about “Israel’s right to protect itself”. Odd that we don’t cede that same right to the Iranians.
    ‘Course, if your mindset tells you that the Iranians are simply “lunatics”, then they become fairly dispensible as a people, don’t they? My suggestion would be to exchange the term “terrorists” for “lunatics”. In so doing, you make it quite fashionable and PC to incinerate a few hundred thousand of them.

    Reply

  106. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, Turkey may actually also have one reason NOT to want
    an attack on Iran to take place: The kurdish issue you
    mentioned. Instability in the kurdish areas of Iran may spill over
    the Turkish borders (as we saw recently with the Kurdish parts
    of Iraq.
    Just one point more; it simplifies the matter to much if one
    claims that the nuclear weapons kept peace between the arch
    enemies in Europe, France and Germany, after WW2. The issue
    is complicated (with a divided Germany etc,), but the nuclear
    weapons were more relevant regarding Western Europe versus
    the USSR, and on a bigger level: USA versus USSR. The two
    world wars can be considered as European civil wars that other
    regions were dragged into. The cold war may in this perspective
    be viewed as the first global war.
    The frightening prospects if an attack on Iran may cause
    instability in that country, is that the whole region, from Israel
    and Lebanon through Syria, Iraq, Iran and even Central Asia may
    become extremely chaotic and unstable. Then there are several
    “perfect storm” scenarios that may drag from, say a couple, to a
    handful of external powers into the conflict. In different ways,
    this has a potential to become a new global war, this time a very
    warm one. This is one of the reasons why every “player”, small
    and large, should be extremely cautious.

    Reply

  107. Carroll says:

    Posted by DonS Jun 22, 4:54PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    I posted the bill before I saw your comment but yep….congress is going to keep creeping toward the go button and have it all ready to use as soon as some incident or false false pops up.
    In some regards I am becoming quite heartless and not caring about an attack on Iran where it concerns the blowback on the American people…my atitude is becoming we deserve it because so many are so stupid as to not concentrate on the real problem of our government which is the underlying corruption that will be what brings about an act of this kind. If the definition of Stupid is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then that describes our hysterica about which “party” wins the elections. It doesn’t matter who your put in the cart if the cart has no wheels. And the wheels of this democracy fell off a long time ago. And congress is the Trogan horse within our gates…has been for decades.
    BWTTGASO

    Reply

  108. DonS says:

    Wigwag, you were being so reasonable up to this post — I almost let down my guard ; ) Then you said
    “The best and safest way for the U.S. to deter Iran without attacking it, is for the U.S. to bring Israel, Saudia Arabia and potentially other Sunni Arab states under it’s nuclear umbrella. That is to say that if Iran were ever to attack any of those countires with nuclear weapons it might acquire, then the U.S. would destroy Iran.”
    There you go again, assuming the US and Israeli interests are the same. We have no strategic dog in this fight absent AIPAC influence. Now we’re not going to get into another round — or at least I’m not — of dual loyalties and all that are we?
    BTW, when we talk about “Iranian nuclear weapons” we are talking some imaginary 5 – 1- 15 years off. So why the hype to attack now? Probably because it all sound so threatening, fear mongering and the like. “Annhiliation of Isreal” sounds so permanent — even if mistranslated.

    Reply

  109. Carroll says:

    Closer,…and closer,…and closer…it creeps…..another Iran war bill.
    I will skip over all the “whereas-s” listing Iran evilness and go right to the heart of this bill. Which is demanding Bush essentially “blockade” Iran….a naval sea blockade, which btw is an act of war ..there is not even a pretense of working with the UN on this.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/hc362_ih.xml
    HCON 362 IH
    110th CONGRESS
    2d Session
    H. CON. RES. 362
    Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony, and for other purposes.
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    May 22, 2008
    Mr. ACKERMAN (for himself and Mr. PENCE) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
    blah,blah,blah….so on and so forth.. to get to (3)
    (3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo…..” entering or departing Iran”; …and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program;
    Cosponsors [as of 2008-06-15]
    Rep. Rodney Alexander [R-LA]
    Rep. Thomas Allen [D-ME]
    Rep. Joe Baca [D-CA]
    Rep. Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD]
    Rep. Shelley Berkley [D-NV]
    Rep. Brian Bilbray [R-CA]
    Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R-FL]
    Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R-TN]
    Rep. Jo Bonner [R-AL]
    Rep. Dan Boren [D-OK]
    Rep. Robert Brady [D-PA]
    Rep. Paul Broun [R-GA]
    Rep. Corrine Brown [D-FL]
    Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite [R-FL]
    Rep. Michael Burgess [R-TX]
    Rep. Dan Burton [R-IN]
    Rep. David Camp [R-MI]
    Rep. John Campbell [R-CA]
    Rep. Christopher Cannon [R-UT]
    Rep. Eric Cantor [R-VA]
    Rep. Christopher Carney [D-PA]
    Rep. Donald Cazayoux [D-LA]
    Rep. Steven Chabot [R-OH]
    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D-MO]
    Rep. Howard Coble [R-NC]
    Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN]
    Rep. Michael Conaway [R-TX]
    Rep. Jim Costa [D-CA]
    Rep. Joseph Crowley [D-NY]
    Rep. Henry Cuellar [D-TX]
    Rep. John Culberson [R-TX]
    Rep. Danny Davis [D-IL]
    Rep. David Davis [R-TN]
    Rep. Norman Dicks [D-WA]
    Rep. David Dreier [R-CA]
    Rep. Eliot Engel [D-NY]
    Rep. Michael Ferguson [R-NJ]
    Rep. Jeffrey Fortenberry [R-NE]
    Res.Com. Luis Fortuño [R-PR]
    Rep. Virginia Foxx [R-NC]
    Rep. Barney Frank [D-MA]
    Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen [R-NJ]
    Rep. Jim Gerlach [R-PA]
    Rep. Louis Gohmert [R-TX]
    Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D-TX]
    Rep. Virgil Goode [R-VA]
    Rep. Barton Gordon [D-TN]
    Rep. Kay Granger [R-TX]
    Rep. Samuel Graves [R-MO]
    Rep. Al Green [D-TX]
    Rep. Raymond Green [D-TX]
    Rep. Phil Hare [D-IL]
    Rep. Jane Harman [D-CA]
    Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL]
    Rep. Robin Hayes [R-NC]
    Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R-TX]
    Rep. Peter Hoekstra [R-MI]
    Rep. Tim Holden [D-PA]
    Rep. Steny Hoyer [D-MD]
    Rep. Samuel Johnson [R-TX]
    Rep. Stephanie Jones [D-OH]
    Rep. Steve Kagen [D-WI]
    Rep. Patrick Kennedy [D-RI]
    Rep. Mark Kirk [R-IL]
    Rep. Ron Klein [D-FL]
    Rep. Joseph Knollenberg [R-MI]
    Rep. John Kuhl [R-NY]
    Rep. Doug Lamborn [R-CO]
    Rep. Nicholas Lampson [D-TX]
    Rep. James Langevin [D-RI]
    Rep. Steven LaTourette [R-OH]
    Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D-IL]
    Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R-NJ]
    Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY]
    Rep. Frank Lucas [R-OK]
    Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D-NY]
    Rep. Donald Manzullo [R-IL]
    Rep. Kenny Marchant [R-TX]
    Rep. James Marshall [D-GA]
    Rep. Jim Matheson [D-UT]
    Rep. Carolyn McCarthy [D-NY]
    Rep. Michael McCaul [R-TX]
    Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R-MI]
    Rep. John McHugh [R-NY]
    Rep. Michael McNulty [D-NY]
    Rep. Kendrick Meek [D-FL]
    Rep. Michael Michaud [D-ME]
    Rep. Bradley Miller [D-NC]
    Rep. Candice Miller [R-MI]
    Rep. Gary Miller [R-CA]
    Rep. Harry Mitchell [D-AZ]
    Rep. Jerry Moran [R-KS]
    Rep. Marilyn Musgrave [R-CO]
    Rep. Edward Pastor [D-AZ]
    Rep. Mike Pence [R-IN]
    Rep. Todd Platts [R-PA]
    Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX]
    Rep. Jon Porter [R-NV]
    Rep. Tom Price [R-GA]
    Rep. George Radanovich [R-CA]
    Rep. James Ramstad [R-MN]
    Rep. Dave Reichert [R-WA]
    Rep. Rick Renzi [R-AZ]
    Rep. Thomas Reynolds [R-NY]
    Rep. Ciro Rodriguez [D-TX]
    Rep. Michael Rogers [R-AL]
    Rep. Michael Rogers [R-MI]
    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA]
    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL]
    Rep. Peter Roskam [R-IL]
    Rep. Steven Rothman [D-NJ]
    Rep. Edward Royce [R-CA]
    Rep. Timothy Ryan [D-OH]
    Rep. James Saxton [R-NJ]
    Rep. Adam Schiff [D-CA]
    Rep. Allyson Schwartz [D-PA]
    Rep. David Scott [D-GA]
    Rep. Peter Sessions [R-TX]
    Rep. Joe Sestak [D-PA]
    Rep. John Shadegg [R-AZ]
    Rep. Christopher Shays [R-CT]
    Rep. Brad Sherman [D-CA]
    Rep. Heath Shuler [D-NC]
    Rep. William Shuster [R-PA]
    Rep. Albio Sires [D-NJ]
    Rep. Adam Smith [D-WA]
    Rep. Adrian Smith [R-NE]
    Rep. Christopher Smith [R-NJ]
    Rep. Clifford Stearns [R-FL]
    Rep. John Sullivan [R-OK]
    Rep. Betty Sutton [D-OH]
    Rep. Thomas Tancredo [R-CO]
    Rep. Lee Terry [R-NE]
    Rep. Patrick Tiberi [R-OH]
    Rep. Edolphus Towns [D-NY]
    Rep. Mark Udall [D-CO]
    Rep. Peter Visclosky [D-IN]
    Rep. Timothy Walberg [R-MI]
    Rep. Zach Wamp [R-TN]
    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D-FL]
    Rep. Henry Waxman [D-CA]
    Rep. Lynn Westmoreland [R-GA]
    Rep. Robert Wexler [D-FL]
    Rep. Charles Wilson [D-OH]
    Rep. Addison Wilson [R-SC]
    Rep. Rob Wittman [R-VA]
    Senate co sponsors here
    http://capwiz.com/aipac/issues/bills/?bill=11457536&cs_party=all&cs_status=C&cs_state=ALL
    You know, I have said before if it wasn’t for the needless destruction and death of innocents I would love to see Israel or the US attack Iran for sole reason that I believe the fallout here and world wide would bring about the end of Jewish zionist interference in America and probably the end of Israel as it exist now. And in what would be left of the US, we would finally have the opportunity for a total clean up of our corrupted beyond reform political system and government. It’s obvious to me it’s gonna take some major pain like what we would experience in this to ever get America back to basic democracy.

    Reply

  110. DonS says:

    Carroll, so yes, Ackermanand Pence would like to have everyone sign on to their ginned up pre-justification for an eventual attack — by someone.
    The language in the resolution that has folks particularly concerned is:
    ” . . . demands that the President . . . imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement . . . .”
    That amounts to a declaration of war — confrontation and interdiction, etc.
    Now will this resolution get the usual reaction from the congressional bobbleheads??? Of course.

    Reply

  111. WigWag says:

    Paul, I think DonS really hit it on the head. It is simply not credible to think the Israeli “war games” were conducted without the cooperation of lots of nations and transnational alliances. The Israeli’s are worried about the existential threat that an Iranian nuclear weapon poses to them. After all, the Iranians have called for the annihilation of Israel. The Turkish military is “thick as thieves” with the Israelis and they hate Iran’s religioisity which they view as a threat. They remember all too well when Iran was a secular nation and they view clerical control in Iran as a bad example that threatens the secular society that Ataturk established. The Sunni Arabs have hated Persians not for centuries but for millenia. An attack on Iran that caused oil to spike to $250 a barrel would be a win-win for them. The Kurds (I know they don’t really count in a geopolitical sense) would love to see the type of turmoil that characterizes Iraq to take place in Iran so they could carve out their own autonomous region. Nato can’t stand the thought of Iran having intermediate and long range missles capable of hitting Nato countries. The EU is horrified at the thought of proliferation and the US is horrified at the thought of any threat to its hegemony. Now no one, including the Russians and Chinese want to see oil triple in price, but it does seem that the stars might be slowly aligning in favor of an attack on Iran.
    Where I may disagree with you, Paul, is on what the alternative to attacking Iran might be. To me, the best alternative is constructive engagement through diplomacy and deterrence. Deterrence means threatening to attack Iran if it attacks another country with nuclear weapons (that it might acquire). If Iran does get a nuclear weapon, Israel’s nuclear weapons don’t provide a detterent to Iran. Why? Because a first strike by Iran could destroy Israel’s ability to respond. The best and safest way for the U.S. to deter Iran without attacking it, is for the U.S. to bring Israel, Saudia Arabia and potentially other Sunni Arab states under it’s nuclear umbrella. That is to say that if Iran were ever to attack any of those countires with nuclear weapons it might acquire, then the U.S. would destroy Iran.
    When Mrs. Clinton said this a few months ago (perhaps in an inartful way)she was roundly attacked by progressives here and elsewhere. I think that that attack on her was not smart. She was merely saying what is obvious; deterring Iran is much, much better than attacking it.
    This type of deterrence kept the peace in Europe for 60 years after two world wars the cost Europeans 80 million lives. It is the best way of dealing with a potential Iran possessing nuclear weapons.

    Reply

  112. Carroll says:

    Pay attention now kiddies. All this election gossip is misdirecting your focus.
    “Take a Stand Against Iranian Bullying: ”
    Co-Sponsor H. Con. Res. 362 May 28, 2008
    Dear Colleague:
    We write to encourage you to join us as sponsors of H.Con.Res.362, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony. As the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, we have been monitoring with growing concern Iran’s manifest efforts to destabilize and reshape the Middle East, to block efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and, worst of all, to acquire the means to produce enriched uranium, the key to producing nuclear weapons. Iran is backing and arming militias and terrorists fighting the United States and our allies in both Iraq and Afghanistan; it is the proud patron of both the Hamas take-over in Gaza and the Hezbollah insurrection against the Lebanese government; it is the major funding source for numerous terrorist groups and, increasingly, its fellow state-sponsor of terrorism, Syria; it is supporting Islamist sectarian groups in places like Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen; and, it is radically reorienting regional security calculations (e.g., the sudden interest among Sunni Arabs in commercial nuclear power). In various public statements, Iranian leaders proudly take ownership of these policies and promise more of the same. Meeting the threat posed by Iran is an urgent requirement for the United States, and a challenge that will require us to work closely with the international community, and especially with partners in the Middle East. Though the stakes are high and time is short, the resolution is explicit in stating that meeting the challenge from Iran must be done using all appropriate political, diplomatic and economic levers, and that “nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran.” The threat from Iran is real and growing, and Congress needs to sound the alarm to ensure that today’s efforts by Iran at subversion and proliferation do not, tomorrow, become the seeds of new and more terrible conflict in the Middle East. Please contact Dalis Blumenfeld (dalis.blumenfeld@mail.house.gov) at the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia at 202-225-3345 if you’d like to be added as a sponsor.
    Sincerely, s/ Gary L. Ackerman s/ Mike Pence Chairman Ranking Minority Member House Subcommittee on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East & South Asia Middle East & South Asia

    Reply

  113. DonS says:

    This is the perfect time to squeeze Obama into signing on/slipping into agreement — even if tacit — to agression against Iran, despite his brave sounding words about diplomatically engaging without preconditions.
    Indeed, AIPAC has gotten exactly what they want, for the outgoing administration and putative incoming one to be on the same page as far as endorsing an attack on Iran, either directly or indrectly, for the purpose of doing the neocon/Likudist/Zionist business. Endorsing “exercises”, based on a publically stated attack scenario, is tantamount to endorsing attack. But, as El-Baradi has pointed out, this is worst of the worst possibilities for the region.
    America has no more dog in this fight than it did in invading Iraq. But it will be spun into a strategic imperative.
    Far from differentiating himself from this insane path, Obama capitualtes in the set piece kabuki, and shows himself to be a captive of, rather than a player in the formualtion of policy that could prove crucial to a shift in foreign policy direction.
    This is the big test. The true measure of Obama’s ability to be a player in the foreign policy arena is now, when he is being squeezed to commit himself to a direction. He’s failing pretty miserably it seems.

    Reply

  114. Amir says:

    …And i promise u that they have no ball to
    contribute in any kind of attack to Iran, because they know that there will be hard revenge in some point in time for them so if they help the aggressors it will be hidden

    Reply

  115. Paul Norheim says:

    “What I worry about is that we may be witnessing the start of a
    perfect storm of idiocy. An alignment between factions in Israel,
    Nato, the EU, the Sunni Arab world and Turkey all of whom would
    like to see an attack on Iran for their own reasons. Even the
    stateless Kurds would be happy to see an attack on Iran.
    And it’s beginning to look like regardless of who is elected, the
    next president will happily go along for the ride.”
    Good point, WigWag.

    Reply

  116. Amir says:

    “You may not like the Israelis, you may even think they are awful; but you have to admit they’re not stupid. There is no way they would attack Iran without the full support of the United States and most of the countries in the region. What I worry about is that we may be witnessing the start of a perfect storm of idiocy. An alignment between factions in Israel, Nato, the EU, the Sunni Arab world and Turkey all of whom would like to see an attack on Iran for their own reasons. Even the stateless Kurds would be happy to see an attack on Iran”
    These countries (except Israel and in someway Turkey) are not independent at all. They are only puppet of USA administration.

    Reply

  117. WigWag says:

    Pauline, Senator Obama is not climbing in the polls. Actually the polls are all over the map, but it is widely agreed that his hoped for bump after Senator Clinton dropped out never materialized. The Washington Post poll published this morning, actually shows Obama behind among likely voters. In case you’re interested, here’s some of what the Washington Post said:
    By Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, June 22, 2008; Page A01
    “…Even so, just over half of whites in the new poll called Obama a “risky” choice for the White House, while two-thirds said McCain is a “safe” pick. Forty-three percent of whites said Obama has sufficient experience to serve effectively as president, and about two in 10 worry he would overrepresent the interests of African Americans.
    Obama will be forced to confront these views as he seeks to broaden his appeal. He leads in the Post-ABC poll by six percentage points among all adults, but among those who are most likely to vote, the contest is a tossup, with McCain at 48 percent and Obama at 47 percent…But to win in November, Obama most likely will have to close what is now a 12-point deficit among whites. (Whites made up 77 percent of all voters in 2004; blacks were 11 percent, according to network exit polls.”)”
    I still can’t see Obama losing in November. After all, it’s the electoral college that counts, not the popular vote. But almost any Democratic candidate would be further ahead of McCain in the polls than Obama is now. He can definitely win, but he’s a weak candidate who can win, not a strong candidate who can win.
    DonS, while I do not share your feelings about Israel, everything you said in your comment is absolutely right. This exercise could only have been carried out with the approval (and probably enthusiastic support) of NATO, the EU, Greece and Turkey. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if several of the Sunni Arab states were also clued in in advance.
    You may not like the Israelis, you may even think they are awful; but you have to admit they’re not stupid. There is no way they would attack Iran without the full support of the United States and most of the countries in the region. What I worry about is that we may be witnessing the start of a perfect storm of idiocy. An alignment between factions in Israel, Nato, the EU, the Sunni Arab world and Turkey all of whom would like to see an attack on Iran for their own reasons. Even the stateless Kurds would be happy to see an attack on Iran.
    And it’s beginning to look like regardless of who is elected, the next president will happily go along for the ride.

    Reply

  118. DonS says:

    Here’s another take (from Helena Cobban)on the posturing/warmongering that our Israeli friends and their enablers just seem to control, and that Obama compliantly mealymouths:
    “Any military attack by one country on the land of another is an act of war. Let’s not forget that. Warmongers have always sought to cloak the nature of their actions in euphemistic mendacity. The euphemism favored by Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt, the authors of the Cakewalk “Last resort” paper favor, is “preventive action.”
    “Oh my! It makes it sound as admirable and low-risk as a measles-inoculation campaign in a low-income neighborhood, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled for a moment.
    “Some first important points to note about the reported Israeli exercise:
    1. If indeed it was of the scale reported by Gordon and Schmitt, then it was one large, very noticeable, and very expensive exercise. Two questions: Why have we not heard about it from other sources in Greece and the eastern Med before now? And why, if it was kept quiet until now, did these Pentagon officials choose to tell us about it now?
    2. Over the years, it was the US that gave Israel the vast majority, if not all, of the air platforms used. These would be the same kind of platforms (i.e. planes and choppers) that would be used in the attack on Iran that is apparently being considered by Israel. But the transfer of all such weapons from the US to any other country is always attached to strict conditionality regarding the uses to which they can be put. Do we have any reason to think that the US would, actually, allow Israel to use these planes to bomb Iran? And why should it allow Israel to train to do so? These are very important questions.
    3. The airspace over Greece and the eastern Med is part of Greece’s and NATO’s clearly understood area of operations. What authorities within Greece or NATO gave permission for an exercise of this nature to be conducted? What operational support did the Israelis receive in its conduct from either Greece or NATO?
    4. The exercise looks to have been extremely expensive to conduct. Was any portion of that cost paid by the US? If not, how did Israel fund it?
    “One inescapable conclusion: There is no way this exercise was carried without direct coordination with US and and probably also NATO commanders at, presumably, the highest level. In that sense, therefore, it was not solely an “Israeli” exercise. It was a US-condoned or perhaps even US-supported or US-funded exercise, carried out by Israeli pilots in planes given to Israel by the US.
    “An important corollary: If Israel should build on what it learned in the exercise and actually undertake an act of war against Iran, then the US would be just as closely implicated in (and responsible for) that act of war as it was for the conduct of the training exercise. . . .
    Here’s a link to the whole piece:
    http://justworldnews.org/archives/002963.html

    Reply

  119. pauline says:

    I can’t thinking we haven’t heard the last from. . .Hillary. Yes, she’s taking a month off after campaigning, but does she know something we don’t?
    Is Obama going to get amBUSHed somehow, not by guns, but by a story that knocks him out as the “acceptable” dem candidate? After a long rest from her month of vacationing (how does that work anyway, “hey, boss, I’m tired and don’t want to work for a month, but keep sending me my checks,) with her pantsuit just back from the dry cleaners she’d be ready to “step in” as the savior dem candidate.
    As Obama continues to rise in the polls, somehow I sense something fishy in the bizarro world of American political theater. Are we ready for surprise “acting”??

    Reply

  120. WigWag says:

    Israel Justified over Military Exercise – Obama
    Gulf News ^ | 06.21.2008 | Gulf News
    Israel justified over military exercise – Obama
    Agencies Published: June 21, 2008, 10:35
    “Florida: US presidential candidate Barack Obama said that Israel is justified in providing for its security amid the “extraordinary threat” posed to it by Iran.
    He spoke after The New York Times quoted unnamed US officials as saying that Israel had carried out a large military exercise this month that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
    Democrat Obama, who is running against Republican John McCain in the November election, was asked at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida whether Israel was right to carry out the exercise.
    He said that the Jewish state was right to be concerned about the anti-Israel comments of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and about Tehran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas.
    “And so there is no doubt that Iran poses an extraordinary threat to Israel and Israel is always justified in making decisions that will provide for its security,” Obama said.”
    The Dreyfuss Report
    Robert Dreyfuss on 06/20/2008 @ 10:50am
    “The stunning display of air power by Israel in early June, unannounced but widely noticed by intelligence services worldwide, means that Israel has officially enforsed the policy of John McCain’s presidential bid.
    By sending more than a hundred F-15s and F-16s across Greece and the Mediterranean in a practice mission for a large-scale attack on Iran, the Israelis have upped the ante dramatically. The New York Times, which reported the action, quotes a Pentagon official who said that it was all about sending messages:
    “They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said. “There’s a lot of signaling going on at different levels.”
    But the most important message is to the American political system. McCain has made a point of his willigness to escalate the crisis with Iran.”
    From a policy point of view, none of this bothers me very much. I think it’s just posturing. The costs of attacking Iran are much higher than the costs of cotaining Iran, even if Iran has nuclear weapons. But it does prove, once again that at least in foreign policy, McCain=Obama.

    Reply

  121. RabbleRouser says:

    Linda,
    With all due respect, I think that you’re over-reaching when you
    imply that people who comment on here aren’t doing other
    things to change the political climate.
    I am a journalist and I cover national and international issues. I
    also do volunteer public relations work for causes (stopping an
    attack on Iran, trying to stop the telecom immunity bill) that I
    believe in. I put in about 40 hours last week on those causes
    alone.
    The primary issue in this campaign is which candidate will
    stand-up to the pro-Israel lobby and stop an attack on Iran.
    An attack on Iran will mean the end of the world as we know it,
    causing sky-rocketing fuel prices that will have a domino effect
    on every aspect of life for every citizen on this Earth, even the
    “lost” tribe just found in the Amazon.
    Obama pledged his fealty to Israel just about three weeks ago at
    the AIPAC convention, and promised that he would do
    everything in his power to stop Iran.
    That and his stance on telecom immunity makes him an
    undesirable candidate for me.
    Every American has been denied rights guaranteed under the
    Bill of Rights since the Cheney junta took charge, even before
    September 11.
    Airports and the TSA thugs have directly affected the way that I
    do business, because I will not fly and be subjected to that
    unwarranted (literally) humiliation. I have to telecommute, but
    it’s also affected my personal life because I have to drive many
    hours to see my family, including my elderly parents.
    BUT now the Democrats have had control of Congress for a
    year-and-a-half and WHAT HAS CHANGED???
    Nothing — in fact that’s wrong — OUR LIVES HAVE GOTTEN
    WORSE.
    And we have a candidate, Barack Obama, too scared to restore
    the Bill of Rights, and too frightened of the Israel lobby to
    demand a withdrawal from Iraq and no attack on Iran.
    So, what’s in it for me if Barack wins? Will he immediately push
    to rescind the “Patriot” Act?
    Will he immediately use Iraq’s oil to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure,
    while we leave our permanent military bases?
    Will he kick the Israel lobby out of U.S. foreign policy before we
    fund yet another one of Israel’s wars with our blood and
    treasure?
    The Demon-craps are leading the charge against an attack on
    Iran, though, in typical chicken-hawk manner, not physically.
    Emanuel, Berman, Sherman, Israel, Wexler, Schumer, Hoyer,
    Reid, Pelosi, et al and ad nauseam, are so tied-up with the Israel
    lobby that they are willing to destroy OUR country and the rest
    of the world to do its bidding.
    BTW: JFK was the president who got us into Vietnam so you
    might want to rethink that analogy. And Truman was the only
    person on Earth to authorize the use of not one but TWO atomic
    bombs.
    Anyone who thinks that Obama means change only needs to
    examine his record, and the record of the Democrats. It’s one
    thing to be hopeful, it’s another to be will-fully blind.
    Also, if you examine McCain’s voting record on veterans’ issues,
    including ones having to do with the POW/MIA issues, it’s
    horrible. Not only has McCain voted against issues important to
    veterans & POWs / MIAs, he’s worked behind the scenes to
    sabotage them.
    Do a little research, the bubbles might burst.

    Reply

  122. Morton says:

    Linda, if you’re still reading, I agree.
    Why virtual individuals become the target of the comments here, I’ll
    never know.

    Reply

  123. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A great selection, “Via”, some of the best I’ve seen. Nuthin’ targeting Cheney though, or some of the other neos. You’re missing a a field to be sown.

    Reply

  124. Linda says:

    Thanks, Spunmeyer.
    I wrote in a hurry, both seriously and in jest, and I probably would have edited out the banana peel reality show line:
    1. I did not mean it to give Obama an obvious advantage.
    2. I am not ageist. I worked in geriatics, and I’m almost as old as McCain.
    3. I do support the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    4. I respect John McCain’s service to our counry and his war injuries.
    5. I didn’t mean anything racist or to give Obama any advantage because Africans and African-Americans often seem to hold more records in track and field events.
    6. I’m not smart/creative/or whatever enough to figure out how some virtual person will read meaning into that. And I mostly I don’t have time to bother.

    Reply

  125. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Immediatly after posting the above, the first internet snippet I stumble upon names the Bush appointed panelists,(commissioners), for the newly formed “Commission on Wartime Contracting”.
    Why am I laughing? Well, the fact that Dov Zakhiem landed a position on this commission strikes me as humorous.
    His qualifications? He presided over the dissappearance of two TRILLION dollars while pretending to be “Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Defense”.
    Perhaps this genius that dreamed up Obama’s “seal” can have HIS incompetence rewarded as well. Give that clown a promotion, its the American way.

    Reply

  126. DonS says:

    As Atrios reminds us, w/r/t FISA, this is how Mr. Play It Safe Obama will be treated — whether he’s supporting FISA because he want’s the power or because he is trying to defuse the right wing and show he’s “tough” on national security. (not that his tendency to be reckless to the right isn’t obvious to anyone who’s seen him court AIPAC):
    “As I’ve written before, Democrats will regret embracing the expansion of executive power because a President Obama will find his administration undone by an “abuse of power” scandal. All of those powers which were necessary to prevent the instant destruction of the country will instantly become impeachable offenses. If you can’t imagine how such a pivot can take place then you haven’t been paying attention.”

    Reply

  127. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The competence level of the decisions made by the aides and campaign staff speaks to the level of competence of the candidate. You might not want it to be so, but thats the way it is. We have suffered through eight years of poor appointments and incompetant White House staffing, cronyism, and appointments based sole on political bent and malleability. You’re damned tootin’ I’m gonna pay attention to the decisions and actions of a candidate’s staff, as well as the candidates ability to choose competant staff. And when I see this level of arrogant symbolism and remarkably idiotic action, I am going to catalogue it in my opinion of that candidate. And I’ll tell ya what, this seal business ranks as grossly amateur, and in remarkably poor taste. You might wanna give Obama a pass for this, but I don’t. Maybe if he fires the idiot responsible for this, loudly and publically, I’ll revise my opinion.
    Perhaps, if Obama was the possible successor of an Executive Administration that didn’t hold itself to such a lofty esteem, above and beyond the law and the wishes of the people, the arrogant symbolism of this seal could be overlooked
    And in turn, perhaps if the Bush Administration’s dismal record in its choice of cabinet appointments and diplomatic postings wasn’t so grossly damaging and prone to cronyism, there would not be suych a spotlight on the competence of aides and appointed figures.
    But like it or not, every little nuance of Obama’s choices, actions, apparent self image are fodder for scrutiny. And this seal thing does not instill optimism about Obama on a number of fronts.
    And as far as “the quality of the commentary” goes, we are human here, and if we digress or show a bit too many warts, perhaps you need to venture back into Fantasy World, where we choose Presidents by what we “hope” they will do, no matter the reality of their actions.
    Isn’t it about time for you to tell us how Obama only voted for the FISA bill because he “had to”, but after he gets elected, you’re quite sure he will fulfill your most profoundly positive fantasies for the future, and ban domestic spying forever?

    Reply

  128. Spunkmeyer says:

    Linda, you’ve read my mind. Thank you.

    Reply

  129. Linda says:

    Everybody maybe should “chill,” get away from your computers and blogs more, do something fun, take a walk, work for the candidate of your choice–but at least stop and objectively read this thread and the even longer one recent one on campaign finance to gain a little perspective.
    This is probably the most important Presidential election in my lifetime, and the first President for whom I voted was JFK. It is a very clear cut choice on policy, issues and the direction of the country.
    I hope but doubt that the media and pundits will rise above the kind of silly non-issues like the topic of this thread–and stop reading all kinds of things into it. Are we going to decide this election by just waiting to pounce on stupid mistakes of either campaign, as they both will make them–and then ascribe them to the hearts/minds/characters/souls of the candidates?
    Then we might as well just set up a reality show with banana peels on the floor and see who falls down the most.
    Of course, I have often stated my reasons for my choice to vote for Obama–not feelings not reverence not cult-like awe or “Obamabotism.” But I really don’t take very seriously when virtual people ascribe all kinds of motives to me.
    So why are y’all wasting so much time calling each other names, worrying and wondering about gender, engaging in cheap amateur psychoanalysis?
    That’s a question to answer off-line–not here.
    But the deterioration in quality of comments is quite clear. And the campaign has barely begun.
    I’m sure by now the logo that had a shelf-life of one day is ancient history and will not be an important issue in the campaign. It’s almost like a Rorshach test to see how people interpret it. Go back and read the comments from that POV.
    So here’s my first and only thought on it as a really dumb and funny mistake worthy of “The Daily Show”: Some “brilliant” person decided to help get the Latino vote and translated “Si se puede” into Latin.
    For most of the existence of TWN, I commented very seldom. I’ve had reason to need to be at home a lot in the past week and killed time by commenting more. Most people who read TWN don’t comment at all or seldom. I’m rejoining them.

    Reply

  130. Neo Controll says:

    Susan, I detect no “obamabots” in any post above; perhaps one posted after yours. Read much?
    –NHQ

    Reply

  131. D Bulow says:

    I’m having a little trouble understanding why anyone would get exercised about this. But then again, we do seem to be living in a time of disproportionate responses. It can be read as a witticism.

    Reply

  132. susan says:

    you Obamabots will excuse anything than falls from the mouth or
    the lap of the Chosen One. give me a break.
    this reminds me too much of the Bush “halo” pix that used to
    populate the news when the cult of personality was at it’s peak.
    we don’t need to replace one vainglorious, narcissistic
    megalomaniac with another.

    Reply

  133. bob h says:

    A little too Emperor Jones about this.

    Reply

  134. Mr.Murder says:

    Wait until you see what idea he has to replace “Billy Beer” with….

    Reply

  135. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    The criticism against the Obama campaign shows no valid ground or justification since it is the legal and moral prerogative of the would-be President to lodge a campaign focusing his future agena which in the camp of the American public, does win favour and advocacy.

    Reply

  136. Josh says:

    The Obama campaign has mastered the art of propaganda like many of the most offensive dictators around the world. This seal is another in a long line of using slogans to convince people that he’s the President to be. Why promote your name when you can feed them what they want to hear and see?
    That said, this case goes beyond hubris, and the Obama campaign’s use of the Presidential seal borders on illegal:
    Here’s The Law: 18 USC Sec. 713 …
    (a) Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
    (b) Whoever, except as authorized under regulations promulgated by the President and published in the Federal Register, knowingly manufactures, reproduces, sells, or purchases for resale, either separately or appended to any article manufactured or sold, any likeness of the seals of the President or Vice President, or any substantial part thereof, except for manufacture or sale of the article for the official use of the Government of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”
    Prison time . . . hmmmmm. :)

    Reply

  137. kovie says:

    He’s drinking his own Kool Aid. Not a good sign. This is what happens when you succeed too quickly and relatively easily, and insulate yourself in a cocoon of establishmentarian supplicants. Sic transit gloria, Barack. Stick to the substantive stuff, and drop the arrogant crap that’s just plain embarrasing for someone operating at your level.
    And I’m not even going to get into my anger and disappointment over his pathetic FISA stance.

    Reply

  138. Zathras says:

    Well, yes, hubris and bad taste, mostly the latter. But probably also the product of too much coffee and not enough sleep on the part of the campaign staffers who came up with this design.
    People do dumb things in campaigns that they wouldn’t do in an environment that allowed them more time to think, and perhaps gave people above them in the organizations more chances to sidetrack really bad ideas like this. Now, if this emblem was really Sen. Obama’s idea or he approved it, boo on him. But I’d be pretty surprised to learn that he was spending any time at all on something like this.

    Reply

  139. Thomas Frank says:

    Tulip oh tulip, you scream so laud. Don’t hesitate to divine taste.

    Reply

  140. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Steve, this is a David Brooks worthy imaginary-non-issue”
    Bullshit. If Obama, or his campaign staff are so friggin’ detached that they couldn’t foresee how offensive this would be to many of us, than they stand a good chance of handing this election to McCain. How many more blundering misteps can we expect from these buffoons?
    Gads, what a carnival, on all sides.

    Reply

  141. DonS says:

    Here’s part of the Glenn Greenwald piece that isn’t quite as harsh as some of us would be, but hits some important points:
    ” Whatever the motives — and I don’t know (or much care) what they are — Obama has embraced a bill that is not only redolent of many of the excesses of Bush’s executive power theories and surveillance state expansions, but worse, has done so by embracing the underlying rationale of “Be-scared-and-give-up-your-rights.” Note that the very first line of Obama’s statement warns us that we face what he calls “grave threats,” and that therefore, we must accept that our Leader needs more unlimited power, and the best we can do is trust that he will use it for our Good. . . .
    [snip]
    “If there is one good thing that can come from this week’s horrific embrace by Obama and our bipartisan political establishment of warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, perhaps it will be that the illusions of “lily-ness” about Barack Obama can finally fade away and be replaced by a more realistic perception of what he is, what his limits are, and the reasons why he merits real scrutiny, criticism and checks — like everyone else pursuing political power does. Recall that the very first thing that he did upon securing the nomination was run to AIPAC to prostrate himself before them and swear undying fealty to their militant pieties. There will be plenty more of these sorts of ugly rituals to come. Whether you think he is engaging in them out of justifiable political calculation or some barren quest for power doesn’t much matter. . . .
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/21/obama/index.html

    Reply

  142. leo says:

    Steve, this is a David Brooks worthy imaginary-non-issue. From Brooks I’d call it partisanship.

    Reply

  143. Carroll says:

    Posted by RabbleRouser Jun 21, 1:39PM
    Glenn Greenwald over at Salon can give info about a PAC that’s
    starting. Its purpose is to fire Democratic House Majority Leader
    Hoyer (D-Israel) and others who enabled this telecom immunity
    atrocity to pass the House.
    I’m donating — Hoyer’s a slime who leads congressional trips to
    Israel and lies about it.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I’ll sign up for this…an excellent way to use our political donations for a real purpose.
    We should start putting all our money into PAC’s aimed at getting rid of corrupt slime like Hoyer….never, never give money to the “parties”…that’s just keeping the corruption fed.

    Reply

  144. Carroll says:

    More good taste:
    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=a_new_legal_challenge_to_israeli_settlements
    A New Legal Challenge to Israeli Settlements
    In a pioneering court case, Israeli human rights activists are asking the Supreme Court to grant an order to demolish homes being built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
    Gershom Gorenberg | June 19, 2008 | web only
    The photo, taken from the air, shows the red roofs of the houses of Ofrah, one of the best-known Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Between the existing houses one can make out the shells of nine new homes under construction. Computer-overlaid thin green lines show the division of the land on which the settlement sits — parcels owned by Palestinian residents of the nearby village of Ein Yabrud. The photo is Exhibit A in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by five residents of Ein Yabrud, with the backing of two Israeli human-rights groups. The residents are asking Israel’s Supreme Court for an order to demolish the homes being built on their land

    Reply

  145. alan says:

    POA: you are on point. Here is a guy who hasn’t won the election and his minions are trotting out a pre-presidential seal! Hubris: the first step down the road to defeat, if he is not careful. Step back, Senator, and win first. Then you can get your backdrop arranged. Incidentally, Senator, ask GWB. It is one of his special skills. Remember Mission Accomplished?

    Reply

  146. RabbleRouser says:

    One of my relatives, who is far from being an adult, unless you
    consider a five-year-old an adult (George Dumbya springs to
    mind,) is going through a crisis that is not self-inflicted.
    I know that I’m on the “special screening” list because I get the
    SSS marked on my boarding pass every time I fly, which is
    NEVER in the last three years. So I’m pretty sure, given what I do
    (journalist often covering international news) that my phones are
    being tapped, and my emails read, despite that I am doing
    absolutely nothing wrong under the laws of this country.
    WHY SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE “RIGHT” TO LISTEN
    IN ON THE PHONE CALLS/ READ THE EMAILS OF AMERICANS
    WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN ACCUSED OF A CRIME?
    The caps were deliberate. I am screaming at my fellow
    Americans to wake-up the F up.
    I have to discuss delicate issues with other relatives about our
    mutual relative, so that we can resolve her plight, and the
    GOVERNMENT IS LISTENING IN???
    Some bored FBI agent or whoever, gets to hear calls relating to
    Thai food orders (does eating Thai food make me a “terrorist”
    because, after-all, there are Muslims in Thailand) in between
    anguished personal calls about my relative, and my missing dog.
    What fun the guy who has to listen in on my phone calls must
    be having.
    The right-to-privacy of a five-year-old is being violated
    because the F-ing Demon-Craps in Congress can’t stand-up to
    a “president” with the LOWEST POLL-RATINGS SINCE POLLING
    BEGAN???
    So the Dumbos help the Repulsives ERASE THE FOURTH
    AMENDMENT!!!!
    And Barack AKA The Saint Obama goes along with it?
    Harvard Law Review Editor — Change Man???
    Sure, Barack as pres beats McInsane, everywhere but foreign
    policy, where they are AIPAC controlled dittoheads. And that’s
    the only place that counts because an attack on Iran, which both
    have pledged AIPAC, is tantamount to national suicide.
    But Barack’s stance on FISA and telecom immunity???
    Why vote for this tool if he and the DEMOCRATIC- controlled
    congress can’t stand-up for the Bill of Rights?
    Glenn Greenwald over at Salon can give info about a PAC that’s
    starting. Its purpose is to fire Democratic House Majority Leader
    Hoyer (D-Israel) and others who enabled this telecom immunity
    atrocity to pass the House.
    I’m donating — Hoyer’s a slime who leads congressional trips to
    Israel and lies about it.
    We need to get all these traitors out, and Obama recently has
    just been proving to me that far from “change” the Democrats
    promise us more of the same spiral into chaos and oblivion via
    an atack on Iran, and the complete decimation of our Bill of
    Rights.
    And if anyone else lives in Howard Berman’s district, progressive
    democrats of L.A. are meeting today to figure out how to oust
    him. I don’t have details but maybe the site does Berman, (D-
    Israel) is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and
    just gave an a*s-kissing speech to our Dear Leaders, i.e., AIPAC.

    Reply

  147. Carroll says:

    Now for some good taste:
    The Oil Meeting at Jeddah
    “Saudi Arabia will press consumer nations at an oil meeting in Jeddah this week to take action to curtail the speculation it sees as a major factor behind high oil prices, a newspaper reported on Saturday.
    “Governments have a role in organising (oil) markets and structuring them in a way that prevents speculators behaving in a manner that has led oil prices to reach their current levels,” Deputy Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was quoted as saying in the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat daily.
    The prince was discussing a paper Saudi Arabia will present to an unprecedented meeting of consumer and producer countries in Jeddah on Sunday. He said the Saudi paper had been prepared in coordination with the oil producer cartel OPEC. ” Reuters
    ————————————————————————–
    We are about to enter a period in which a major lesson will be taught to the world regarding the fact that market prices are more a product of mass perception and a form of hysteria than they are of “hard data.”
    Greed feeds greed. Prices in oil have been rising because there was money to be made in the atmosphere of “casino” gambling fostered by the impatience of the young and ruthless adventurers who dominate the derivatives markets.
    In the “make or break” games that are played in those markets perception is more important than reality. The impressions made on each other by “players” at lunch in restaurants where the amount of the check would feed families for weeks or months in the developing world are more important than any statistics on supply and demand.
    The US government has now focused on the men in mega suits from Italy. Some have been indicted, others will walk the “perp” walk in a process of reduction of the the risk of unrest that has been the unintended effect of the functioning of unrestrained commodity futures markets.
    The Saudis are going to lend a hand in that process this weekend. The amount of the increase in their production is not significant as an incremental rise in the world’s oil supply. Its significance lies in their stated intent to cripple the process of parasitic speculation in a vital commodity. pl
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKL2132604120080621
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?

    Reply

  148. Carroll says:

    Really bad taste: Monkey’s pretending to be silverbacks, scare stories, the NYT, the WP, the coming Hezbollah attack on the US and Canada, code red, Hitler lives in Iran, ad nausum.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/06/overflight-clea.html
    Overflight Clearance for an Israeli strike at Natanz
    “The exercise involved Israeli helicopters that could be used to rescue downed pilots, the newspaper reported.
    The helicopters and refuelling tankers flew more than 1,400km (870 miles), roughly the distance between Israel and Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
    The New York Times reported that Israeli officials declined to discuss the details of the exercise.
    A spokesman for the Israeli military said the air force “regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel”. ” BBC
    ——————————————————————–
    We went over this once before in a study of what Israeli routes would likely be in an attack on Natanz. Rick Francona has looked at this on his blog. He is a skilled and experienced air force officer and I trust his judgment as I always did.
    My thoughts on the overflight clearance issue:
    “Overflight Clearance” is the granting of permission for one country’s military or civilian aircraft to fly over and through the air space of another sovereign political entity. For one country to overfly the territory of another without permission is a clear violation of international law which invites engagement by air defense forces of the country overflown or any country that has effective authority to grant or deny overflight permission.
    “could be used to rescue downed pilots” Really? Where? Routes to and from Natanz would have to cross some combination of the territories of Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Turkey.
    Jordan and Saudi Arabia are extremely unlikely to grant overflight clearance for this purpose. Presumably this would include Search-Air Rescue (SAR) missions over their territory as well as the strike itself. Egress from Iran after a strike might well involve Israeli aircraft with combat damage or mechanical problems. Downed aviators in Jordan, Iraq or Saudi Arabia would be a distinct possibility. Are the Israelis envisioning fighting their way into and out of these countries on SAR missions? Would the United States, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Iraq allow damaged Israeli aircraft to land on airfields in Iraq or these other countries?
    Is Turkey going to grant Israel overflight clearance for a routing of the strike or SAR that would enter Turkey at its Mediterranean coast near Iskendurun, turn east to reach Iranian kurdistan, then south to Natnz and return by same route? Opinions?
    Is a Syrian route a realistic possibility? Certainly the Syrians are not going to grant such overflight permission. Was the “celebrated” Israeli mission in Syria a while back a test to see how difficult it would be to use Syrian airspace?
    Finally, there is the issue of whether or not the Israelis would have overflight clearance for Iraqi airspace at all. At present, the US exercizes airspace control for Iraqi airspace under the authority it has from the UN for the coalition’s operations. This authority from the UN is to expire soon. Because of this (and other reasons), the US is seeking acceptance from the Iraqi government for two agreements. One is a SOFA agreement and the other amounts to a mutual defense and cooperation pact. Among the things the US wants under these agreements is a continuation of its authority over Iraqi airspace. The Iraqis are reluctant to concede this as well as a number of other points.
    I wonder why. pl
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7465170.stm

    Reply

  149. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, JohnH, by now you realize that I have a hellova lot more to say than just some stated disgust about Obama’s choice of graphics.
    But really, I think you are mistaken in giving this issue short shrift. His willingness to stand at the podium and display such unfettered narcissism and arrogance is a direct window into this man’s pysche. And personally, I find it terrifying. To adopt such a symbol, right on the heels of George Bush’s supreme reign as President, shows an unbelievable detachment from the people, and what manner of “change” we truly pine for. In my book, this man, by displaying such symbolism, leaves the realm of “just another posturing politico”, and enters the realm of “a dangerously narcissistic megalomaniac”.
    He has always sounded warning bells in my head, as has the media’s manufacture of his meteoric rise to celebrity status. The soft tolling of those warning bells were just replaced by the earth rattling din of claxons.

    Reply

  150. DonS says:

    “all we can talk about is Obama’s graphics? ” Well, John, you don’t really need a 4th amendment in a fascist state.
    Oh, yeah, we could also [not] talk about the AIPAC-insisted blockade of Iran resolution making its way through the House:
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9377
    Or the AIPAC-insisted end run around congress before attacking Iran that Ms Pelosi so helpfully enabled:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9393

    Reply

  151. Carroll says:

    Bad taste is everywhere, it’s a national disease.
    But refusing to prosecute traitors is worse than bad taste. Who needs terriers when we have Jay Rockefeller in congress.
    http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/06/investigation-update-three-days-in-rome.html
    Investigation Update: Three Days In Rome
    When Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence presented the final installments of the committee’s long-awaited pre-war intelligence investigations to the press earlier this month in the Senate gallery, they demurred when reporters asked them if they intended to pursue possible charges against Bush administration officials whom the senators said had exaggerated the case for war based on the intelligence available to them.
    “Nothing else would get done, on Clean Air, FISA, anything,” committee chairman John “Jay” Rockefeller (D-WV) explained why the committee would be reluctant to call for possible charges against US officials. “If we pressed for that, it would be like impeachment.”
    Mother Jones has learned that one subject of one of the recent Senate Intelligence committee reports has told associates that he has hired a defense attorney in connection to a federal investigation. Pentagon civilian official Harold Rhode, a civilian employee of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessments who participated in controversial meetings with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar in Rome and Paris, did not respond to messages sent to his home and Pentagon emails inquiring about the Senate’s report on the Ghorbanifar channel, and questions over a possible federal investigation involving him and the hiring of an attorney.
    Revelations that Iran Contra figures Ledeen and Ghorbanifar were involved in a new channel to the Bush administration set off alarm bells throughout the US government, and prompted multiple inquiries into whether the channel amounted to an unauthorized covert action and a possible counterintelligence threat. The latter issue was never resolved, after a top Pentagon official shut down the counterintelligence inquiry only a month after it had begun.
    The CIFA investigation was halted only a month after it began by then Defense Department intelligence czar Stephen Cambone, the Senate report found. The CIFA report raised the possibility that “Ghorbanifar or his associates are being used as agents of a foreign intelligence service to leverage his continuing contact with Michael Ledeen and others to reach into and influence the highest levels of the US government.”

    Reply

  152. JohnH says:

    The House of Representatives signs away the 4th Amendment, and all we can talk about is Obama’s graphics? This is typical, corporate media-style diversion from real, pressing issues: Obama’s support of warrantless wiretapping.
    Oh well, what goes around comes around. Bush could spy on Democraps, and now maybe Democraps will spy on Republiscum. The difference is that Republiscum won’t take it sitting down. After 8 years ignoring the Constitution, they will suddenly rediscover it and loudly demonize anyone violating their rights.

    Reply

  153. Carroll says:

    AP: “Hagel says he’d consider VP offer from Obama. Meantime, NY mayor Bloomberg’s got Obama’s back in Florida”
    Be still my heart! Ask Hagel Obama.

    Reply

  154. DonS says:

    Incredibly “bad taste”. If you’ve gotta perside over a declining country, might as well pretend its not, I guess.
    Not that any of the rest of the poseurs has a thing to recommend them. Can we just agree they all show hubris without measuring the scale? That would be, like, honest.

    Reply

  155. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ya know, its reached a point where our activism is far more patriotic than our vote. I hope that the numbers of people realizing this basic fact grow exponentially in the near future, or this nation is history.

    Reply

  156. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Unbelievable.
    After eight years of an Executive Administration that holds itself above and separate of the law, and presumes to commit international and domestic crimes of unprecedented scale….
    This God damned idiot Obama picks a seal that is equally as presumptive and self empowering symbolically? The asshole isn’t running for “Obama of the United States”.
    Any possibility I would vote for this guy is history now. He doesn’t get it. And this seal is actually frightening in its arrogance and self agrandizing symbolism. What’s next, uniforms for the more youthful of his followers?

    Reply

  157. rich says:

    I noted the skillful use of imagery on Obama’s website earlier this season. The radiant light of manifest destiny. The eagle, the branches, arrows and the rising sense this path is topping a hillcrest to greet a new vista and the unfolding landscape of a new era. Skillful.
    The seal, though, is overreach. You don’t want a faux seal, or go around with a changeable coat of arms. The Man is not the Office. Right? >crickets<
    Obama’s message men are overworking this, and what resonated well is now boomeranging. I’d return to the original, simple sybolism, but quick, because now is not the time to adopt a defining seal like a new suit when authenticity drew voters so effectively. And Obama’s far more authentic than any care to admit. After all, what could be more authentic than bowling badly? Credit for trying. No credit for trying too hard.
    Steve—any chance of posting Feingold video for those unable to watch the livestream??

    Reply

  158. RabbleRouser says:

    I don’t intend to vote for Obama because I don’t want the blood of Iranians on my hands, to add to all the blood there already from just being a citizen of the U.S. in our wars for Israel & the military/ industrial complex. I’m going for Nader.
    I do think that this seal is a bit over the top, and will put people off, especially since “progressive” democrats are pissed at Obama for not standing-up on FISA and telecom immunity. So the backlash against Obama has begun, and I don’t think this seal will help.

    Reply

  159. WigWag says:

    Why shouldn’t his logo reflect hubris? Hubris define him. It defines his campaign and it defines many of his supporters.
    My suggestion for McCain is that his campaign should go to the website of AARP to look for ideas for his logo. i am sure he can find something appropriate there.

    Reply

Add your comment

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