Lincoln Chafee’s “Bolton Letter” to Secretary of State Rice

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The following is Senator Lincoln Chafee’s letter to Condoleezza Rice, implying in the first paragraph that if a vote had been held on September 7th, Bolton would have received a “no” vote from the Senator.
The pdf of the letter is here.
Chafee writes:

September 7, 2006
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
US Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice:
I write to you with regard to the nomination of John Bolton to be US Representative to the United Nations. Today, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations was scheduled to have a vote on Mr. Bolton’s nomination. The decision on whether to hold that vote is in the Chairman of the Committee’s hands. Chairman Lugar decided to hold the vote over to a later date, and I support that decision.
It is no secret that I have serious questions about this Administration’s policies in the Middle East. As we tackle enormous problems in the region, most notably with Iran and Iraq, I believe we need to be successful in forging alliances. A critical part of that work is accomplished by our Ambassador to the UN.

One of the key issues with many of our allies is the situation with the Palestinians. I support the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with its neighbor Israel. I believe progress on this front would be beneficial for the Palestinians, and futher America’s, and Israel’s security. The President, and you, frequently have spoken in favor of establishing a Palestinian state. On February 26, 2003, President Bush said “Success in Iraq could also begin a new state for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic state.” On February 22, 2005, the President said “Israel must freeze settlement activity.” And on April 14, 2004, the President wrote to then-Prime Minister Sharon, “The United States supports the establishment of a Palestinian state this is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent, so that the Palestinian people can build their own future in accordance with the vision I set forth in June 2002 and with the path set forth in the roadmap.”
Phase one of that Road Map states clearly that Israel will freeze all settlement activity. Yet, just this week, it is reported that 690 homes will be built in the West Bank settlements of Maale Adumim and Betar Illit. While the official US policy hs been against settlement activity, no credible observer could think that the US could not do more to stop these new actions.
While I am a strong supporter of Israel, and believer her security is non-negotiable, we should have a more balanced approach — so that both sides can see that we are an honest broker for peace. I have been a long-time critic of the disparity between the rhetoric and the actions of the Administration on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. However, now I fear that even the rhetoric is going to stop. Is this expansion of settlement activity a signal that holding both sides to their commitments under the Road Map is no longer official US policy?
It is my hope that answers will be forthcoming about our policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Committee can reconvene to debate Ambassador Bolton’s confirmation.
Sincerely,
Lincoln Chafee

This letter’s contents are completely consistent with the questions and tough encounter between Senator Chafee and Bolton during Bolton’s re-nomination hearing.
TWN saw this clearly and highlighted the fact that Chafee’s concern about US-Middle East policy was undermining his previous support of Bolton.
Besides focusing like an eagle on his every word and move, Chafee gave withering, laser-like glares at two others during that first Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting in July.
The first was his “I’m really irritated at you” body language directed towards Senator Barbara Boxer when she somewhat obnoxiously said that it seemed that among the Senators there, “only Senator Voinovich was changing his vote.” Chafee looked really ticked — and one could easily tell that he was trying to empathically tell her that she should stop trying to presume his vote.
Chafee also seemed to say “enough is enough” in his body language when Senator Norm Coleman asked a gratuitious question of Bolton:

Sen. Norm Coleman:
Ambassador Bolton, Now that you have been up at the UN for a while, gotten inside and seen how it works up close, have you come to think that some of your earlier views of the UN were misplaced, or think that some parts of the institution are better and other parts worse? What do you think now of the UN after being up there? Have your views changed at all?
Ambassador John Bolton:
Nope, not a bit (laughter)

That is the point in the hearing that Senator Voinovich SHOULD HAVE BEEN SQUIRMING in his chair because John Bolton had in four short words repudiated everything positive that Voinovich had written and said about Bolton in the preceding days. Voinovich had said that Bolton had improved, was good on the job, and had convinced Voinovich that he not only respected his work and the United Nations but believed that the kind of diplomatic work he was doing had great value for the nation. None of these perspectives are consistent with Bolton’s view of the UN or of American diplomacy before he showed up his first day.
But the one who moved uncomfortably in his seat, turned a bit red, and just — again — looked ticked was Lincoln Chafee.
The bottom line is that the administration didn’t tend Chafee well and has been giving him treatment not much different from that given Jeffords before his defection. I believe that we need sensible moderate Republicans — and on Middle East policy, it is hard to find people more sensible in the Senate that Senators Chuck Hagel and Lincoln Chafee.
I just need to say here as well that the kind of letter that Chafee sent to Rice exhibits great staff work — and that foreign policy advisor Mark Silverman and legislative director Debra Brayton deserve credit for impressive staffing. Chafee clearly knows the Middle East mess well — and this view is not gratuitously offered but is just obvious from watching the tape of his encounter with Bolton — but he’s got people arming him with quality material to make his case.
It will be interesting to see how Rice responds.
As I reported earlier, the first “deputies meeting” in more than a year will shortly be assembled to discuss the Israel-Palestine problem, and Rice might offer that to Chafee as evidence of movement by the administration and aa a benchmark of seriousness. He should not be too easily convinced that there is anything fundamentally new in the administration’s game plan for Israel — but this could be part of a response to Chafee.
Secondly, several U.S. Senators have separately told me that they have received calls from various Jewish organizations and Israel-affiliated interest groups stating “A Vote Against Bolton is a vote against Israel.”
Senator Schumer himself has helped to propogate this idiocy inside the Democratic Senate caucus, and a number of other Foreign Relations Committee Democrats went to him and urged him “strongly” to stuff it and keep the Bolton prosletyzing to himself — at least until the Committee had done its work.
Two things here. First, Shumer and Senators from both political persuasions should remind AIPAC that REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS HAVE BOTH BEEN VITAL STEWARDS OF THE US-ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP AND OF ISRAEL’S INTERESTS IN THE UN. To conflate John Bolton’s confirmation with the question of Israel’s ultimate interests and of America’s concern for Israel is reckless over-personalization of this matter and could seriously backfire.
Bolton’s renomination effort started when Israel had been attacked and when Israel had the moral highground. Things are blurrier now and did not go well. The enthusiasm for making Bolton the annointed and legitimated spear-carrier to help broker an Israeli-Arab-Persian future has been muted by the fact that politically, tilting only towards Israel at the expense of all other players in the region isn’t constructive diplomacy. For its own sake, Israel must get out of the zero sum game approach in the Middle East to secure its own future and interests — and John Bolton is a total zero sum agitator.
The State Department’s 7th Floor considers the confirmation process still alive — though on life support. Senior Republican and Democratic staffers — and I’ve talked to a lot of them — consider the confirmation dead.
But this recess appointment and confirmation has had many, many twists and turns — and has had a Lazarus like quality from time to time.
So, I’m sticking with my prognosis that this effort is done for all real purposes. Some optics may emerge to make it look like it’s still somewhere in the hopper — but it won’t come up, not unless “something” changes again to compel Lugar to throw his weight once more behind this troubled confirmation — and Lugar is at the point of telling the administration that it has simply failed to do the things that needed to be done to confirm Bolton.
Lugar may have already made such a statement — cryptically — to other Senators on the Committee.
And the problem is not just with Democrats — in fact, the concerns about Bolton have always been more profound with key “national interest” Republicans.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

37 comments on “Lincoln Chafee’s “Bolton Letter” to Secretary of State Rice

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  2. gwenllyn says:

    I love him. He has got to be my soul mate. I know him, I did campaign work for him. I love the same things he does, he is a great guy, esp. to animals. Shoeing horses for a living isn’t easy, not everybody can do it. You fools are out of it. He is a very intelligent guy. I hope he gets to read this.

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    Well, if you don’t care about politics, you leave the playing field to those who do. Arguably, conservatives have been plotting their ascent to power since the mid 1960s. What have we been doing, other than assuming that anyone sane agrees with us? In other words, we’ve been doing nothing. And if you don’t stay involved for the rest of your life, we are likely to go right back to this point, even if we do manage to clean the cesspool out.
    Posted by MP at September 10, 2006 02:55 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am not saying I haven’t been politically aware or involved…I am saying I have not been married to either party or ideology, or labled myself progressive or liberal or conserative…although if I had to come up with a label it would be somewhere betweeen centrist and liberal. I have switched party registrations about 4 times in my life and think now I will stay on the roles as unaffiliated….I vote and work for whoever makes sense to me and seems to have an ounce of ethics… and against whoever I think is a total piece of fill in the blank. I could care less about parties, my concern is what is best for everyone in this country in both the short and long term and this 2 party trap exist only because we go along with it…and you see where that has gotten us.
    My over riding political concern is cleaning the influence and money corruption out of Washington ..once that is done every citizen might have a shot at fair representation…and until you do that..everything else is just sticking your pinkie in the dike.

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  4. MP says:

    “Heres the deal, if they’re stealing the fuckin’ election, how the hell can you claim to know how close it is?”
    A couple of things: 1) I never claimed to be able to tell how close the election is. My point was only about it being “close,” however you want to define that. 2) Polls and exit polls can give you an idea that the election is relatively close. They aren’t perfect, but they help. 3) GOTV drives give folks some idea of how many votes they can count on. 4) Traditional voting patterns in a district can be a guide to future results.
    Strange, atypical results for a district can be a tip-off someone is stealing the election. Again, the district in Florida clearly never voted for Buchanan especially in the numbers they apparently did. If the numbers had been closer, or it had been a different district, it would have taken more work to say, “Hey, these votes aren’t right.” (And this was with paper ballots.) It’s only when the election is close that it becomes easier to pass off and pass over discrepancies that are the result of fraud and therefore easier to hide the fraud.
    If NYC suddenly went for Bush, it would be a big sign that something fishy was up. Anyone perpetrating fraud that way would be leaving himself open to immediate attack. It wouldn’t be very smart.
    The fact that presidential elections actually take place on lots of local levels under local jurisdiction is another safeguard against huge numbers of votes being stolen or changed, because it would require a huge amount of coordination among lots of independent polling places. Not impossible, but much harder.
    Is it possible for someone to steal a presidential election by stealing or changing a huge number of votes across the board? It may be–black box may help me with this–but I think it’s much, much harder for the reasons mentioned above. Much, much easier–and therefore smarter–to change a relatively few votes that make a big difference. Otherwise you risk getting caught because of obvious discrepancies.
    So, one protection against voter fraud is to make the election an overwhelmingly clear victory. It also helps with other things, like governing and getting your policies passed.
    Also…lots of people here express opinions that are more or less well argued…have more or less proof behind them. You are among them on occasion. But this should be a forum where we express views that aren’t always full cooked. Why pound on me?
    I’m actually one of the few people on this site who’s admitted to having changed his views based on something someone else said. If you want to disagree with me…or challenge something I’ve said…fine. But I don’t need the pounding.

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  5. elementary teacher says:

    MP, Yes, I’m Alicia.

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  6. Pissed Off American says:

    MP……..
    Again, I need to stick to my guns and tell you to go do your homework, then talk about it. You keep making claims about the issue on one hand while admitting you haven’t done your homework on the other hand.
    Heres the deal, if they’re stealing the fuckin’ election, how the hell can you claim to know how close it is?
    “Okay, I just took a look at this…and it looks REALLY VERY GOOD. Giving folks the tools to ensure the integrity of the process. I’m sold and will look at this in more depth. I think it’s entirely in keeping with what I described above.”
    And THAT statement just convinced me you are CLUELESS about the issue, more so than I realized, (if you haven’t followed Harris’ work). Get educated, MP, THEN jack your jaws about this issue.

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  7. MP says:

    The 39th comment, I believe, was from Alicia. Is that you, Ele? Maybe I counted wrong.

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  8. elementary teacher says:

    MP, No apologies needed; I was writing to my favorite cowboy. BTW — My post about voter fraud appears in a thread below:
    September 6, 2006
    Bush Alert: Bush Speech Today on Detainee Issue
    Comment 39

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  9. elementary teacher says:

    Carroll, It’s the Sunday before the anniversary of 9-11. I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much your diligence and timely responses have meant to me. I read all of your contributions and I look for you every day. You’re in my heart for what you do here. ET

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  10. MP says:

    “I am not really a life long political junkie or activist with a progressive cause…I am just a totally pissed off American and want to see that cess poll in DC cleaned out so our children and the rest of the world won’t have to deal with it all over again.”
    But Carroll, with all due respect, this is the nub of the issue. One big reason we’ve come to this point in our country is that, as a country, we don’t pay attention and we don’t get involved on an ongoing basis. Americans have never liked politics, going all the way back to Jefferson. And this shows up in our abysmal voter turnout numbers…and even worse participation rate in political organizations. It takes a crisis to get us to act at all and then we’re dealing with a crisis. In a word, we’re not very good citizens. We’d much rather go about our business and private lives and leave the dirtiness of politics to those willing to sully themselves. In part this is because life has always been pretty good for non-black folks. We’re also not a very intellectual people, so ideological debate–so important in other countries –leaves most Americans cold.
    Well, if you don’t care about politics, you leave the playing field to those who do. Arguably, conservatives have been plotting their ascent to power since the mid 1960s. What have we been doing, other than assuming that anyone sane agrees with us? In other words, we’ve been doing nothing. And if you don’t stay involved for the rest of your life, we are likely to go right back to this point, even if we do manage to clean the cesspool out.

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  11. Carroll says:

    Carroll, bringing the “house of cards down” isn’t gonna work, unless you’re willing to be a martyr.
    In fact, the ONLY response to this madness is to vote, and active participation in the political system, so that we can have our way again. The idea of a quick fix for the neocon pillage is a booby-trap. You, I and the rest of progressive America must commit to fighting and winning a war against them, even if it takes the rest of or lives to accomplish it.
    Posted by Jerome Gaskins at September 9, 2006 02:43 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Well Jerome all I can say is I am not willing for it to take the rest of my life…I am not really a life long political junkie or activist with a progressive cause…I am just a totally pissed off American and want to see that cess poll in DC cleaned out so our children and the rest of the world won’t have to deal with it all over again.

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  12. MP says:

    “Active support of those that have proven to have some effectiveness, and offer avenues of activism. Bev Harris at blackboxvoting.org is a prime example. She makes credible demands, get results, and offers us avenues to make our own demands.”
    Okay, I just took a look at this…and it looks REALLY VERY GOOD. Giving folks the tools to ensure the integrity of the process. I’m sold and will look at this in more depth. I think it’s entirely in keeping with what I described above.

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  13. MP says:

    Carroll, POA, and Elementary:
    Carroll: No, not toughs, but people who are trained and vigilant. About 50 volunteers. Ordinary folks and some quite old. In smaller races, I admit, you may not need as much muscle as one might have needed in Florida. But still training–perhaps even of the non-violent resistance sort–is probably still enough. And more than enough in most places. Who knows? Maybe we really are in for a battle royal.
    (In some cases, the corruption of the process is all local in nature. INOW, it’s not the neocons trying to steal the election, it’s this or that power broker, Republican or Democrat, trying to assert his or her power, build a fiefdom. But in 2004, we all feared the Republicans were going to try and steal the election, so that was our primary focus in Virginia.)
    I can’t speak to which race or which state for obvious reasons. But in 2004, there was a well-publicized and mostly national effort to train and field these kinds of volunteers in key battleground states. My wife and I did participated in Virginia in key districts. Most of the folks were Dems, but the ad hoc organization was non-partisan and the tactics were designed to ensure that EVERYONE had all legal access for casting his/her vote. Any intimidation, lack of machines, withholding of provisional ballots and the like were recorded and immediately reported to a central office which then reported them to the state AG (I believe). I believe you couldn’t go inside the polling station unless a voter requested help, but the presence of help was made clear to all who entered the polling station. We set up tables with signs and literature, etc., outside each polling place. I believe the organization was called something innocuous like Victory 04. I can find the name for you if you like.
    This was NOT an underground movement, by any means. At least in Virginia, it was organized, plausibly enough, by a bunch of lawyers and, at first, they were seeking mostly lawyers as volunteers but, eventually started accepting “lesser” types. And there were detailed training sessions and volunteers were given field materials and phone numbers to call if they witnessed problems.
    They had trouble getting enough volunteers for this effort. They focused a lot on Florida, for obvious reasons. They had a fair number of folks in Ohio, too, I think, but perhaps not enough.
    At least in Virginia, both parties have access to the check off lists, especially if an election is contested. Laws vary, though, from state to state, as even federal elections are run locally and under local jurisdiction (I believe).
    POA: I see your point. I haven’t stayed “mum.” I just haven’t had anything to add on the point. Nor have I had time to really delve into the materials you’ve provided. I’m sorry. There is so much to keep up with. Mostly, I’ve disputed your assertion that our votes simply don’t count. Thus far, I’ve concluded they do. But here’s the deal: People won’t care about something they don’t participate in. Historically, Americans have never cared much about the vote as evidenced by very low voter turn out since forever. (Israeli turn out is as high as 84%.) Long before Florida, it was common to hear people say, “My vote doesn’t count.” I think Florida and Ohio put the lie to that old saw. If the margin of difference had been larger–if more folks had simply gotten off their duffs and checked the boxes–it would have been much, much harder to steal the election IMO. Elections are stolen, mostly, when they are too close to call. Arguably, Daley stole the 1960 election for JFK by stuffing ballot boxes. Nixon decided not to contest the election.
    However, the process does require vigilance and participation. I’ve tried to introduce folks to one way they can be vigilant: voter protection groups. The issue of electronic voting machines is vexing and needs correcting. Voter protection groups can’t really address that problem so easily. So, to the degree that Diebold is stealing elections for Republicans, I’m not sure what to say about that …yet. I do think that historical voting patterns could be used as a basis for disputing election results on some kind of mathematical basis. Witness that district in Florida that “voted” for Buchanan. It was immediately obvious to everyone that the result was bogus. No math was needed. But much more needs to be done on this front to reassure everyone that the machines aren’t rigged and a reliable recount can take place. Gerrymandering is also a big problem IMO.
    Elementary: I’m sorry. I missed your post. Please repost. I would check around in your local area for word about voter protection groups. They may go under various names. I’ll try to find something and post it. In districts that are heavily Dem or Repub, you may not find these groups simply because the dominant party doesn’t feel threatened and the minority party never feels it has a chance. These groups are mostly present in battleground areas, where there is a real contest. So, if you don’t live in a contested area, you may not find a group like this.
    On the other hand, as we saw in San Diego, a safe district can become a contested district, so you could organize such a group if you feel there is a chance of winning. The more people feel that their vote counts–that they have a chance of putting their person into office–the more likely they are to vote. GOTV is more than half the battle IMO.
    For example, we thought (mistakenly) that if we could turn out enough people in Northern Virginia (a heavily Democratic area) we could swing Virginia, a largely red state, to Kerry. Mathematically, it WAS possible because Northern Virginia is so much more heavily populated than the rest of the state. But, as I recall, a lot more folks turned out in the hinerlands as well and we didn’t enough of a turn out in Northern Virginia.

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  14. elementary teacher says:

    A horse told me.

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  15. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, did you get my update on voter fraud? I posted it a thread or two ago. I have been trying to educate myself on that topic, — so gimme some sugar.
    Posted by elementary teacher
    Damn, my personna must be failing. How’d you know I was capable of sugar?

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  16. Pissed Off American says:

    “My question goes to methods–what methods of demanding do you have in mind?”
    Active support of those that have proven to have some effectiveness, and offer avenues of activism. Bev Harris at blackboxvoting.org is a prime example. She makes credible demands, get results, and offers us avenues to make our own demands.

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  17. elementary teacher says:

    Well, did you get my update on voter fraud? I posted it a thread or two ago. I have been trying to educate myself on that topic, — so gimme some sugar.

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  18. Pissed Off American says:

    There is something incredibly hinky about someone that requests links so they can educate themselves about voter fraud, then stays mum about the info he has recieved, then claims to have a wife so actively involved. But hey, stranger things have happened, after all, we have a monkey boy for a President.

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  19. Carroll says:

    Right now, as we write, my wife is organizing a voter protection group to oversee an election in a particular state. They are making sure there are enough devices (there is no electronic voting here), making sure no one gets hassled or turned away, making sure everyone who qualifies gets to use a provisional ballet, making sure “interpreters” don’t take advantage of non-Englishing-speaking voters so they vote a “certain” way. Making sure final vote tallies match the check off lists. Making sure the outcomes correspond, more or less, to historical patterns. And so on.
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Well, that is interesting MP…who does your wife work or volunteer for?
    I ask because if she is organizng a election watch in another state in which she does not reside she has to be working for or with some party or candidate. And correct me if I am wrong but I don’t know of any state that allows anyone but election officals or volunteers appointed by election officals in any city or county to take part or have access to registeration check off sheets or vote tallies.
    Does she have a gang of toughs like Bolton did in Flordia who will bust into the counting room?
    Sounds interesting. Enlighten us.

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  20. MP says:

    “The KEY is getting on the streets and DEMANDING that they COUNT our votes, MP. How long are you going to IGNORE the problem?”
    Okay, just for my benefit here, because others may understand what you’re proposing. What do you mean by “demand?” Demonstrations outside precincts where we chant, “Count every vote! Make every vote count!”
    My question goes to methods–what methods of demanding do you have in mind?
    Right now, as we write, my wife is organizing a voter protection group to oversee an election in a particular state. They are making sure there are enough devices (there is no electronic voting here), making sure no one gets hassled or turned away, making sure everyone who qualifies gets to use a provisional ballet, making sure “interpreters” don’t take advantage of non-Englishing-speaking voters so they vote a “certain” way. Making sure final vote tallies match the check off lists. Making sure the outcomes correspond, more or less, to historical patterns. And so on.
    I’ve already written my congressman to ask him what he’s done or doing to support Conyer’s work. And I intend to keep pressing him. Or at least give me a reply as to where he stands on the issue
    Far from not recognizing a problem, my family is putting leather on the street to try and correct the problem, at least on a local basis.

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  21. Pissed Off American says:

    And yes, “war”. Are you unwilling to fight for our democracy? Because that is EXACTLY what the stakes are. This Administration is an ENEMY of our rights and freedoms, and must be FOUGHT like any enemy should be that threatens our Democracy.

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  22. Pissed Off American says:

    Hehehe….here we go again,.
    The KEY is getting on the streets and DEMANDING that they COUNT our votes, MP. How long are you going to IGNORE the problem?

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  23. MP says:

    “In fact, the ONLY response to this madness is to vote, and active participation in the political system, so that we can have our way again. The idea of a quick fix for the neocon pillage is a booby-trap. You, I and the rest of progressive America must commit to fighting and winning a war against them, even if it takes the rest of or lives to accomplish it.”
    Yes. But war? Strange how quick we are to adopt the conceptual frameworks of our opponents. But yes, voting is the key.

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  24. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Carroll, bringing the “house of cards down” isn’t gonna work, unless you’re willing to be a martyr.
    In fact, the ONLY response to this madness is to vote, and active participation in the political system, so that we can have our way again. The idea of a quick fix for the neocon pillage is a booby-trap. You, I and the rest of progressive America must commit to fighting and winning a war against them, even if it takes the rest of or lives to accomplish it.

    Reply

  25. Carroll says:

    POA — I understand your perspective on Israel, but I have to just reply back that when Shalit was kidnapped and before the incursion into Gaza, I believe that the consensus in the country and in DC was that Israel ..Steve
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Well…that’s the problem you see…”the consensus in the country and in DC”….BECAUSE the “consensus in the country” was “outrage” at Israel, not agreement…PROVING once again that DC is totally divorced from reality and from the non jewish, non evangelical, average American’s opinion.
    You know how to tell when a politican is getting ready to tell lie ?…they start with..”the american people think”…”the american people want”…” “the consensus is”…or “clearly”,
    If the “consensus” count is taken from only AIPAC, Jews and evangelicals you got a hell of a blowback to look forward to eventually.
    One, actually the only, smart pollester guy I have heard nailed it last week…he said the independents were so pissed off they wern’t even going to vote..that’s me, pissed off like POA…I would rather bring this house of cards down right now and suffer the consquences than let it continue another day.

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  26. Pissed Off American says:

    “As nearly a million refugees return to what may or may not be left of their homes, 100,000 unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for them and their children. Kids pick up such bombs because of their resemblance to toys”
    Amnesty International has a real problem with what occurred in Lebanon, as do a number of other human rights organizations, and international law watchdogs. Israel’s answer to their concerns? Well, the response to Amnesty International’s concerns was to call them “anti-semitic”, of course. What a suprise.

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  27. elementary teacher says:

    As nearly a million refugees return to what may or may not be left of their homes, 100,000 unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for them and their children. Kids pick up such bombs because of their resemblance to toys:
    http://tinyurl.com/rm28x
    Pix of the killer toys:
    http://tinyurl.com/rrhpr
    Did the United States of America finance this satanic re-make of ‘Toys for Tots’?

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  28. Matthew says:

    Defeating Bolton’s nomination is the first step to restoring institutional sanity to our foreign policy. The only benefit of the “unipolar moment” should be that America and her democratic allies used this time to establish a real international legal system, which should have have tied all the emerging powers into a human-rights supporting legal framework. Bolton is a symbol of our rejection of that future. Here’s my challenge to the Neo-Cons: What will the world be like when the Chinese Ambassador sounds like the American one?
    Steve: Are you familiar with James Lovelock’s recent statements about pending catastrophic environmental change? Is the NAF doing any programs on environmentalism and foreign policy?

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  29. elementary teacher says:

    Israel is at the center of international trade in the drug ecstasy, according to a document published last week by the U.S. State Department:
    http://tinyurl.com/8yoi
    unChristian amen corner,
    The above report is *not* what Jesus would do. Drug dealing is unscriptural. The sanctity of human life IS. Wake up about what you support with money and how you use your influence in Jesus dear name. Get out of bed with ruthlessness, quit ethnic hating, stop believing lies, stop financing lies and deeply research what you support. Seek peace and pursue it.

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  30. lalalaylow says:

    OT, but something that should but an interview that should be on the front page of the NYT and everyone should know about;
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_09/009469.php

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  31. lalalaylow says:

    Voting or supporting Bolton tells that you give your blessings to the arch Neo-con approach to the Middle East and the rest of the world. It can mean nothing else, and after the disaster the Neo-con fantasy has brought to our country, it is traitorous to insist in going on in that failed vein. It is traitorous to be beholden to the interests of a foreign government. It is traitorous to hold the prospects of ones own election above the prospects of your country. What politician will be the first to say “I don’t want right-wing Jewish money, give it to my opponent if he/she wants the chains of it!” and vote solely for American interests. Free at last!
    But getting down to the crux of the biscuit. A vote for Bolton is a vote for war with Iran; bombing their nuclear facilities. That is what AIPAC and right-wing Jewish groups see in Bolton. They surely acknowledge that a US ambassador to the UN will always have Israel’s interests covered, but with Bolton they are assured that he will carry the banner of War with Iran proudly, and when the time comes Bolton will be taking his orders from the Cheney cabal, not Rice. It is this that motivates strong right-wing Jewish support, a hustle into attacking Iran. And the Neo-con nightmare lives on.

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  32. liz says:

    Bolton is the epitomy of all that is wrong in America. He is arrogant, hot headed, misguided and has misplaced loyalities. He is not liked and has no chance of succeeding at the UN> Bush could use this opportunity to appoint someone ” healing”, someone with a better reputation for America, someone the public all around the globe could perhaps respect. I know someone like this is out there…. the person will most likely not want to bow to Bush though. I see the US in the worst possible position because Bush is staying the course here with this nomination that is not going to be approved. Meanwhile back at the farm, it gets a spin like no other and America is being persecuted by other nations of the world. Bolton allows this. A new face would be a tremendous asset at the UN. It may help restore some credibility, robbed by NeoconKing Bush

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  33. Pacific Coast Ron says:

    Dear Steve,
    My understanding is that there is no legal barrier to another recess appt., again playing the games played in ’05 on interpretation of “recess” so that it might be sprung as soon as possible in ’07.
    Is this correct? Could we have your disquisition on any political obstacles, among your DC circles, to such a move?
    Note to readers: it’s up to us to make as much noise as possible against Bolton (and ALL neo-connery) as often as possible and as obnoxiously as possible to power-holders and media, so they can begin to get it.
    Further note: I’m almost as radical as POA .. but I love reading TWN because it brings out the moderate in me. nevertheless .. are we about to the point where the Brutal, Terrible Time-tested Logic of War requires those of us who want Bush out of power ASAP to hope for a defeat, which would no doubt be very bloody and ugly, of the American expeditionary army in Iraq? Before Nov. 7 ? Or will just mentioning this bring a great wailing among the DLCer’s, latent imperialists and outright Zionist fanatics? I’m trying to figure it out myself, and don’t mind being provocative …

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  34. Jerome Gaskins says:

    BOLTON MUST GO, and Israel needs to be less influential in American politics.

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  35. Matt says:

    Rhode Island is so fu*&in’ awesome! Go Rhodey!

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  36. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — I understand your perspective on Israel, but I have to just reply back that when Shalit was kidnapped and before the incursion into Gaza, I believe that the consensus in the country and in DC was that Israel — in that case — had been assaulted and held the moral high ground. Yes, I know about the legacy of other stuff — and have written about that, but I do believe that Israel was in a place where the Hamas and Hezbollah incursions, killings and kidnappings created an opportunity for the White House to exploit for domestic gains not just with American Jewish groups — but with Christian fundamentalistic groups focused on Israel.
    Now I need to get some sleep…just back from New York.
    best, Steve Clemons

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  37. Pissed Off American says:

    Steve, Israel has not had the “high moral ground” for some time now, since WAY before Bolton slthered onto the scene. Like I said on a previous thread, Bolton’s reason for being at the UN is to render any UN opposition to Israeli or U.S. policy useless. And he has done a bang up job of it. Israel’s criminal treatment of Lebanon underscores that fact, as does its complete disdain and violations of the cease-fire resolution. To claim that Israel has had the “high moral ground” these past five years just flies in the face of reality. Wake up and smell the dead bodies, Steve.

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