Sensible Foreign Policy Players Move UP: David Huebner to New Zealand; Christian Brose to McCain Staff

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WAXMANPINCUSBROSTPRIEST.jpg(photo: Matthew Waxman, Walter Pincus, Dana Priest, and Christian Brose; photo credit: Steve Clemons)
My good friend and occasional intellectual jousting mate, Christian Brose, is leaving Foreign Policy magazine and becoming Senator John McCain‘s senior foreign policy adviser. This is terrible news for Foreign Policy as Brose was a walking hybrid of progressive realism and liberal interventionism.
Christian Brose is a brilliant idea-smith who also happens to be great with words. As the Washington Post once noted, as the youngest member of Condoleezza Rice’s speech writing team, he found her voice better than others — and that voice involved foreign policy components of realism and idealism. One of the great attributes of Brose is his ability to really hear all sides of an issue and to wrestle with them on their merits. He has always been open to my own thinking and policy prognostications both when at the Department of State and at Foreign Policy — even when I was not in territory that was mainstream and comfortable.
McCain made an excellent choice in Brose, and as folks who follow me on Twitter know — I have been impressed with Senator McCain’s track back to common sense/straight talk politicking recently.
huebner.jpgAnd on another front, Barack Obama has chosen another great friend from my past, David Huebner, who was both a neighbor and colleague of mine in Asia matters in Southern California in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
Huebner will be Barack Obama’s first gay Ambassadorial appointment (hopefully there will be more). David Huebner who has been active for decades in the Asia Pacific arena will become the next US Ambassador to New Zealand.
Huebner has also been an active human rights and anti-discrimination advocate for years. I remember when he went on to the board of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and motivated many, including me, to become more publicly engaged in gay and lesbian policy issues. Huebner and a few other of my friends did this when it was not yet “safe” for some in conservative professional circles to do so. His leadership really changed my course.
I appeared in the movie Outrage, produced and directed by the Academy Award-nominated Kirby Dick, which appeared the other night on HBO and which is available through Netflix and the like.
I would not have “come out” without friends like David Huebner who were a key part of my support group when I was running one of the more established non-profit organizations in Southern California.
This news leaked out through the intrepid reporting of Kerry Eleveld, White House correspondent for The Advocate, and this news from the administration just days before President Obama speaks to the annual gala dinner of the Human Rights Campaign.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

58 comments on “Sensible Foreign Policy Players Move UP: David Huebner to New Zealand; Christian Brose to McCain Staff

  1. ... says:

    oaky thanks questions! captcha seems to be working more regularly for me as well… maybe something has changed in the back end of twn….

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    …, this one –
    http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Paper-Scissors-Theory-Everyday/dp/0465009387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255387181&sr=8-1
    Len Fisher is the author. It’s fun, easy reading, a few prisoners dilemma payoff scheme diagrams, but otherwise a breeze.
    Worth the 10 or 12 bucks.
    Thanks for following through.
    Is it just me, or does the captcha seem to work on the first try? And didn’t Tahoe post a multi-linked piece? Is life great or what….

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    …,
    “Give the Rock Paper Scissors book a try” simply means get a copy and read it. It’s easy reading, a nice primer on game theory and how the field helps explain or describe a wide range of human behaviors and ways to negotiate around prisoners dilemma-style dilemmas.

    Reply

  4. ... says:

    my view on the usa’s reason for being in the mid east is primarily oil and to a lesser extent it’s about israel in so far that israel is the usa’s bench head in the mid east.. if it can somehow tip the power equation in favour of israel, it will do so..

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    JohnH,
    no, I actually meant us who write comments under
    the posts of Clemons, Katcher etc.
    Many commenters here have said “it`s Israel”;
    others, especially you, have said “it`s oil.”
    Is it oil, Israel, or both, or something else?
    There is obviously a disagreement among some
    commenters here about this, and a discussion among
    us about this would be interesting. Perhaps…
    “…do you think Norway, with its oil funded trust
    fund, would pick up the Social Security tab for an
    American emigre?”
    If it were up to me, you would be most welcome,
    John, and yes, you would have social security
    here. But it`s getting increasingly harder to get
    permission to stay in Norway – regretfully; even
    the newly elected Labour/Socialist government have
    just recently announced further restrictions
    (which the Socialist party itself opposes).
    We`re becoming less and less generous, John. I
    don`t like what I see, and I`m afraid we`ll end up
    as a new Kuwait within a decade.

    Reply

  6. ... says:

    johnh – in related news…
    Steep Losses Pose Crisis for Pensions
    Two Bad Choices for Funds: Cut Benefits Or Take Greater Risks to Rebuild Assets
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/10/AR2009101002360.html

    Reply

  7. JohnH says:

    Paul Norheim–do you think Norway, with its oil funded trust fund, would pick up the Social Security tab for an American emigre?

    Reply

  8. JohnH says:

    Paul Norheim said, “Oil or Israel? Strong opinions on both sides at TWN – but not an issue discussed directly among the commenters during the last two years – as far as I`ve noticed.”
    I assume you’re referring to the likes of Clemons, Katcher, etc. They have NEVER made a post about the reasons for occupying Iraq in the 3-4 years I have been commenting. The closest was a comment Clemons made after Greenspan talked about oil as the motive. Greenspan said, “I thought everybody already knew.” Clemons said, “Of course it’s about oil. But it’s more complicated than that.”
    So we’ve spent a $trillion in Iraq. Social Security has been issued IOUs from a bankrupt government. And nobody will provide an official reason for spending the $trillion (or two or three). And no well connected insider will provide an informed, “unofficial” explanation of the reason together with the complexities surrounding the issue. Personally, I think I’ve done as good a job as anyone, given the circumstances.
    Official Washington is simply in “don’t ask, don’t tell” mode about Iraq…and Afghanistan…and Iran, etc.
    Disgusting. Simply disgusting.

    Reply

  9. ... says:

    questions, it isn’t exactly good foreign policy – i agree…however, it would be much better then what the usa is offering at present…
    you lost me on the “Give the Rock, Paper, Scissors book a try.” take a page out of my book? is what you are trying to say? i’m lost…

    Reply

  10. questions says:

    Dose of your own medicine is not exactly good foreign policy. Yes, the Israelis have encouraged the radicalization of their neighbors. Yes, that is stupid policy. Even Plato had it figured out that Greeks shouldn’t destroy Greeks in war, there shouldn’t be corpse stripping, destruction of croplands and the like. After all, they are neighbors, you’ll have to live with them again, and so you shouldn’t destroy the chances for peace. Kant had this figured out too. The Israelis don’t have it figured out. It’s tragic. It’s stupid. I’ve been over this before. Still, radicalizing the Israelis would be tragic and stupid on our part.
    Prisoner’s dilemma readings — neither side can cooperate rationally because neither side can guarantee that the other side will continue to cooperate after the first side does. Hence confidence-building exercises and the like. Attempts at foreclosing some options so that others are suddenly rational. The holding of Gilad Shalit is rational on the part of the Palestinians because it limits Israel’s options. It’s sad when hostage keeping is rational. And it’s this kind of move that has to be made less rational.
    Give the Rock, Paper, Scissors book a try. It’s fun, easy, quick, and it’ll give you some insight into the I/P situation as well as all sorts of competitive, non-communicative moments we all go through.

    Reply

  11. ... says:

    questions viewpoint “Forcing from the outside will cause problems.”
    this is israels policy towards the people of palestine and it has been for some time…
    adopting a similar approach towards israel would be giving israel a dose of its own medicine and if they are unwilling to adopt a different approach to palestine, they need to be given in return what they like giving out… they could learn a lot from it…

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    Paul,
    I don’t argue against stopping butchery. I argue that some methods of stopping butchery might lead to more butchery. Butchery I could do without. Really.
    Concretely, as I have argued regarding Israel — stopping the funds may cause alliance issues of great significance, I don’t know as this is outside my field. Stopping funding may well drive Israel all the more to the nutty right and to more butchery. The difference will be who’s paying. POA seems to be most happy simply not paying. Nevermind the inhumanity thing. Cultural change, as I have argued, needs to be an internal process filled with all the things that make people feel safe and secure. Forcing it from the outside (the Shah in Iran…) leads to bad things (Khomeini in Iran).
    The US thought Mossadegh was bad news. People here think Netanyahu is bad news. Organic internal change will work better for dealing with actual bad news. Forcing from the outside will cause problems. Some Super-Netanyhu, for example.
    Re Afghanistan, again, were it easy to pick options, we’d be done with it already. Many many people understand the competing values. Not sure why you don’t.
    Third ways of various sorts take time and effort to pick out. It’s not really paralysis in the end, it’s finding what a good and non-obvious solution might be.
    What does anyone think of the NYT headline about the Turks and Armenia?

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    Oil or Israel?
    Strong opinions on both sides at TWN – but not an issue discussed directly among the
    commenters during the last two years – as far as I`ve noticed. That`s strange. And I
    look forward to the debate.

    Reply

  14. JohnH says:

    OA-Yes, we could have negotiated for Iraqi oil. And we could have disrupted the flow to regimes we don’t like without controlling Iraq.
    But there were three things that the Bush criminal gang found enormously attractive about Iraq–
    1) It was ripe for the picking.
    2) By owning Iraqi oil, the US would never again have to deal with a tin horn, nationalist tyrant trying to sell in non-dollar currencies or disrupting the flow of Iraqi oil. (Both of which Saddam did.)
    3) By selling off the oil fields to private contractors, who are driven to produce flat out to maximize profits, there was the possibility of flooding the market with cheap oil and ultimately breaking OPEC, assuring a return to the era of dirt cheap oil. The result would have been that Bush would have been a hero to the entire industrialized world (except for Big Oil, which has cozy relations with OPEC, and doesn’t like producing dirt cheap oil, either.)
    Of course, there is no denying that eliminating Saddam, who had the unbelievable chutzpah to compensate Palestinian victims of Israel, removed a minor irritant for the Zionists, an irritant that the Jewish state conflated into an exitential threat, as always.

    Reply

  15. Outraged American says:

    JohnH, we could have negotiated for the oil. Saddam was our
    buddy, and threaten to bomb Iraq if anything went wrong, which
    we already were. We did have Saddam under control.
    I really do like your posts, but that Iraq was for oil is a specious
    argument. Your contention that rather than keep Iraq as an ally
    it was worth this blood and treasure, $3 trillion, to destabilize
    her completely just doesn’t add up.
    Read the paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
    Realm” the realm being Israel. Written by Feith, Perle, the
    Wurmsers, et al, for Netanhayu last time he was Prime Minister
    of Israel in 1996.
    And I don’t know if you saw my post about where the US does
    get its oil from, so here it is again:
    http://tinyurl.com/yh9kyu2
    And for those who live in fear of tinyurl:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publicatio
    ns/
    company_level_impo

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    “And please Paul, read “The Israel Lobby & US
    Foreign Policy” — ” (OA)
    I read the long article that was the fundament of
    that book – in the London Review of Books – and it
    made lot of sense to me.

    Reply

  17. JohnH says:

    questions–you miss the point. Sure, there are a ton of plausible reasons to explain something. The real question is why the official stated reasons generally turn out to be false. Why can’t they take their agenda out of the closet?
    And, since Washington won’t confess to its motives, why shouldn’t the rest of us are free to make a case for the most likely motivations, reprehensible as they may be?

    Reply

  18. JohnH says:

    This is where OA and I disagree about oil. OA is correct that the US is in no way dependent on Iraqi oil. However, CONTROL of Iraqi oil is critical to us corporate hegemony. Control of Iraqi oil allows the US to decide who gets the oil in case of shortages: China or America’s junior partners, Japan, Europe, etc. And, in case of war, Iraqi can be seen as a gigantic fueling station for flights all across Western and Central Asia, the areas where conflict is most likely to break out. In addition, control of Iraqi oil allows the US to funnel controls to Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, Halliburton and Schlumberger, not to Chinese and Russian producers.
    The fact that the US has had to recognize some suspended Chinese contracts in Iraq in no way changes this. It is only a measure of how Chinese influence has risen.

    Reply

  19. Outraged American says:

    Questions, hon: I presented FACTS about how much oil we get
    from Iraq. FACTS. STATISTICS. We don not get anywhere near a
    lot of our oil from Iraq.
    It was recently revealed that Rumsfeld had quotes from the
    Bible, and I’m guessing the Old Testament / Jewish Torah,
    because the New Testament is all about peace & love, put into
    George Dumbya Bush’s Pentagon briefings.
    We all know that unlike his father, The Dumbster was a Born
    Again, and they think that enemies of ISRAEL will never go to
    heaven.
    Watch the 700 Club — Christian Zionists are rabid lunatics
    about Israel and they make-up the GOP voting base.
    So don’t tell me Iraq was about OIL.
    And please Paul, read “The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy” –
    Mearsheimer and Walt staved off a debacle but even today
    Israel’s threatening an Iran attack by Christmas (ah,the priceless
    chutzpah of the Jewish state trying to rile up the fundies by
    mentioning Christianity’s holiest day) unless “sanctions are in
    place.”
    Sanctions that will kill millions of innocents.
    ARTICLE from the Israeli online news source Ynet:
    Iran: Israel’s threats inexplicable
    Iran’s ambassador to UN demands Security Council take steps
    against comments made by Ephraim Sneh, who said Israel would
    attack Iran if sanctions weren’t in place by Christmas
    He was referring to an interview given by former Deputy Defense
    Minister Ephraim Sneh to the Sunday Times in which he said that
    if Iran were not further sanctioned by this Christmas Israel would
    attack the country.
    continues
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3787724,00.html

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    “Paul, analysis paralysis might work better than bomb now and ask questions later???”
    (Questions)
    “Finally, “why should analysis AS A RULE lead to paralysis” — well, I don’t think it’s a
    RULE, but the more you study, the less you find you know. That should be a pretty damned
    common experience.” (Questions)
    ———————————————————-
    I agree, that`s a common experience. On the other hand, I would also claim that you actually
    learn something by studying. I think that`s a pretty damned common experience too!
    But you go much further than saying that by reading and studying, you realize how little you
    know, how complex the issues are; and that this can generate doubt, confusion – even
    paralysis. You actually defend paralysis! That`s a pretty extreme position. It`s as if you
    advocate being some sort of Buddha or mystic, not walking around and watching all the
    suffering in the world – no, a Buddha studying geopolitics and reading up on game theory and
    foreign affairs with one goal in sight: to end up in a state of confused paralysis!
    I`m not trying to be ironic here; I`m serious: Perhaps you really should become some sort of
    Buddhist instead – studying old Indian classical texts and watch the water of river Ganges -
    instead of studying political processes in the US Congress and advocating for geopolitical
    paralysis? Perhaps you really are a misplaced Buddhist, and that you would have been less
    unpopular if you went straight to the sources of Wisdom – instead of attempting to inflict
    your desired paralysis on those who are engaged in political debates? Or perhaps you may
    explore the rich traditions of Jewish or Christian mysticism?
    I agree that the American political culture is extremely action oriented, and choses the
    military option more often than I would like to see. Your formulation is: “Bomb now and ask
    later.” As an alternative, you go to the other extreme, and defend analytical paralysis.
    Perpetual questioning. But there are actually a whole range of options between those two
    extremes – both on the action side, and on the analysis side.
    What provokes people at the Washington Note most of all, I think, is that when they
    criticize actions that obviously are highly destructive, you intervene and say: “Hey! how do
    you know that stopping these actions would improve the situation?” And then you deliver your
    usual questions, leading to the familiar state of confused paralysis.
    By doing so, you actually take ownership of these horrible actions. The implication of
    warning people against stopping bad actions (regardless of your arguments), is that you
    defend those actions. Morally speaking, this kind of intellectual intervention is an
    extremely dubious tactical move.
    Political activists usually try to intervene to stop bad actions. Or to promote “good”
    actions with the aim of stopping “bad” actions. Your preferred form of activism is of a rare
    kind: you usually intervene to stop those who try to stop bad actions. Not because you
    defend those bad actions, no, mind you, they`re horrible, you say – but if you stop them, it
    may have unintended consequences!
    I`ve never seen such strange tactics before. Original? Sure. Wise? Don`t think so. Annoying?
    You bet. Don`t be surprised, Questions – next time you argue against stopping some butcher
    (arguing that not slaughtering parts of the population may actually have certain worse
    consequences than slaughtering them); don`t be surprised when the protesters get suspicious
    of your motives.

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    Paul, analysis paralysis might work better than bomb now and ask questions later?? Think about how US foreign policy works — we are militarized, we have moneyed interests in the war machine, testosterone interests in the war machine (look at the rhetoric around Obama’s peace prize and the “emasculation of America” and look at POA’s constant whining about how the US has to bend over and be penetrated by one penis or another — left, right, same anxiety) — I think analysis is a far better thing to advocate than yet another “just war” when we don’t really have the meaning of “justice” down. We cannot define “American interests” and yet that’s a guide for war. We don’t really seem to know what the fuck we’re doing, and yet we keep doing.
    To take one more example, look at the OA/JohnH debate about oil and the Iraq war — do we really know whether or not control of oil fields was an issue? Do we really know if the market would be sufficient? If it was Halliburton? If it was Bush’s father complex? If it was, ummm, Israel’s pernicious influence on US foreign policy….. The number of possibilities is large. We don’t know what we did, let alone what we should do next.
    Analysis is not so terrible. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why people here freak so much about the idea of our not knowing what to do and our needing to talk/write/think/ask/study.
    As for “lack of response” — that was snark. If indeed I’m so horribly unlistened to and unpopular and I ought to shut the fuck up (as I’m told regularly) I still seem to get people trying to grapple with the fog I post. If it’s really fog, it’ll dissipate on it’s own as the day progresses. That’s what fog does in the clear sunlight of obvious truth.
    If it’s so clear what should happen and what things mean, then there’s no debate necessary and it would be impossible for there to be differing views and disagreements. It would all be settled and the clear light of truth, like the sun shining down on us, would call us forward and upward and we’d land in the realm of forms, the fields of philosophy, and all questions would have answers so clear that we’d all have to find something else to do.
    In fact, though, there’s not a clear statement of US interests, of what school of foreign policy we should subscribe to (realists, liberal interventionists, people who think misperception is the thing, the game theorists, the human rights advocates, hegemony, international cooperation….) we don’t know who our friends and enemies are, we really just don’t know what the fuck we’re doing.
    So if I refuse to take sides in some situations, it’s because I see competing values that really honestly compete. How, for example, do you weigh the damage the Taliban do to the damage US soldiers do? Really, how do you weigh this? Do you simply lean over to non-intervention as a principle, so nevermind Afghan women? Do you do the intervention thing automatically so nevermind the blowback issue?
    If Afghanistan were simple, it would have been solved. There are competing values. Legitimate, competing values. Anything anyone picks will be flawed because there are competing values. So we have to pick the lesser of the evils OR find some third way through that isn’t simply ignore the women or ignore the damage we do. And it takes a huge amount of debate and discussion and bellyaching to figure out how to structure such a third way.
    This new opt-out option for health reform here looks like a potentially really good idea. It may solve huge numbers of problems about states’ rights and local self-determination, the need to get health reform through, pre-empting some lobbying crap, giving political cover to reps — and look what it took for someone to come up with it and have it gain some traction.
    Debate needs to go on until there’s an actual good idea out there.
    The idea that I’m a fog machine deliberately trying to make it hard for people to think clearly is so fucking foolish only POA could have come up with it, and probably only decco should be echoing it. My concern is that we not act for action’s sake, but that we do our best to know something in advance and try to find ways to deal with the consequences on all sides.
    And if that leads to paralysis for a while, well, paralysis might be better than, ummm, fucking invading Iraq turned out to be. Non-intervention, intervention — we don’t have rules for when to do either one because they are not so easy to negotiate. Powell’s rules are insufficient.
    Finally, “why should analysis AS A RULE lead to paralysis” — well, I don’t think it’s a RULE, but the more you study, the less you find you know. That should be a pretty damned common experience. It’s only when you think you already know stuff that study doesn’t call forth your own limitations. But then, you don’t bother studying because you already know everything there is to know.
    My personal bet is that POA didn’t read the entire Edmonds corpus for example, and certainly didn’t read the sources for the various reports. So he reads less and knows more. Steve delved and found less than POA. I dived and found less than POA. Reading more makes you know less in a funny way. Life is full of paradoxes, isn’t it?
    (and yes, this is a lot of words, so those of you who object to a lot of words need not post the fact that I have posted a lot of words because I am already noting the number of words just for you because it’s really silly to use a lot of words for anything as simple as foreign policy or the implications of arguments or what we should do about anything because wow words are wasteful.)

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    “I often see them as verging on a state of analysis-paralysis.”
    Precicely, JohnH.
    And Questions, you said: “I will continue to post despite my profound unpopularity and
    despite the fact that no one bothers to read what I write, hence the utter lack of
    response to what I write.”
    Profound unpopularity AND lack of response?
    Actually you receive a lot of response, questions, although of a different kind than
    you`ve expected. Why? Here is what I think:
    On many highly controversial issues, you inject your questions, almost always “verging on
    a state of analysis-paralysis”. This understandably provokes a lot of anger and ridicule
    (which you shouldn`t take personal), because your approach is exactly the same regardless
    of the issue (resulting in paralysis), and because you almost always refuse to take side -
    as if taking side was some sort of crime against Philo-Sophia.
    Why should analysis AS A RULE lead to paralysis? That`s the question you should ask
    yourself.

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    questions–I posed my questions to you because–and I may be mistaken–I read you as trying to present alternative interpretations. Some may read them as trying to justify things that are going on. Others may read them simply as speculation. I often see them as verging on a state of analysis-paralysis.
    Now what’s the point of asking all the questions? Wouldn’t we all be better off if our political leaders told us the truth and presented the context and complexities of the decisions they have to make? 99% of the American public would surely doze off within minutes. But the rest of us would be assured that the politicians are acting in the PUBLIC interest, not the special, corporate interest, or their own vainglorious interests.
    So I say, let’s dispense with the questions and let’s bring the truth out of the closet.

    Reply

  24. JohnH says:

    Good. It seems that we’re agreed that the goal should be honest discussion, not obfuscation and ambiguity.
    Now if we could only persuade the major monied interests, and their shills in government, the media and at major think tanks…

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    JohnH,
    I can’t begin to understand why you’re asking these questions of me. Discussion is what I try, even if I’m frequently greeted with calls of “obfuscation” and “fog” and now “neocon”??!! and the like.
    The problem is that I’m not really sure that what you describe as the process is quite the process we go through in setting foreign policy. There are huge huge issues about resources, about keeping people under control, about all the neo-con Huntington/omigod the people are running riot… political order stuff. I’m not one to freak out at this level, and I think that there are probably a lot of institutional structures that can work better than hegemony. But hegemony makes a kind of game theoretic sense, and until we have a different set of strategies, we will do the prisoner’s dilemma, grab what we can, control, and end up in prison nonetheless strategy.
    So you have the Huntington people on one side, and you have, say, Coca Cola or DynCorp on the other. And you have Congressman X in the middle. Congressman X is well-served by DynCorp’s donations, AND DynCorp provides JOBSJOBSJOBS in the home district. Coca Cola wants the same market, same access, same donations, same jobs programs. So all three of these, for very different reasons (re-election, military contracts, carbonated beverages) work together to do what we do. Add to this a few Huntington think tankers who have decided that if people don’t have oil and soda, they’ll go crazy and riot and society will break down, and add to them a few other types and you get basically a good faith policy that has lousy effects. Real fears, real jobs, real careers, real lives — all gaming together.
    So I’m not in the least against “honest discussion” though somehow you seem to think I am. What I’d like is reasonable definitions of terms instead of the careless tossings, a reasonable framework against which to analyze events, without the conspiracy crap, and something like a civil set of posts that look at some of this stuff and try to find the traps we get into as we pursue good faith, if stupid in the long run, policies.
    It would be good for us all to remember that the one major insight the right has about oil is that our whole economy is profoundly utterly completely and thoroughly dependent on cheap oil. Even POA wasn’t celebrating 4 dollar gas. It breaks people. It ruins lives. It makes earlier good faith decisions about where and how to live become absolute disasters. We’re given incentives to move out of the city, we’re told transit is bad for us, and then we’re handed 4 dollar gas to fill our behemoths we were told we needed in order to stay alive and be powerful. It’s a raw deal, and the pain is raw. Now imagine 5 or 6 dollar gas, and inflation all over the place. Think through the bread lines, riots, racial tension, anti-immigrant shit and on and on. Think tankers are right to run through the scenario.
    We need better solutions than hegemony, but hegemony fits the plans of so many so well that it ends up being what we do. This is the in we need, this is where to try to push the country. Every non-communicating competitor is going to want hegemony. The rules of the game have to change.
    I hope this makes sense. I’m never sure around here.

    Reply

  26. JohnH says:

    questions–you may not think that the role of the state is to assure that it biggest corporations survive and that its citizens benefit from their products, otherwise known as the lifeblood of the industrial economy (oil), but a lot of people in Washington do subscribe to that way of thinking.
    But the question remains: in a democracy, where consent of the governed is important, shouldn’t the goals of foreign policy be open to public view and discussion along with the costs and benefits, moral and financial?
    In a democracy, why should a self selected group of foreign policy “experts” (shills for corporate America) take foreign policy into the closet and adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” about America’s real ambitions. And why should that “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy extend to even the most absurd, nonsensical explanations that neo conmen can dream up?
    Isn’t it time to “out” the policies and have a real discussion? Can the outcome of honest discussion possibly be worse than what we’ve got today?

    Reply

  27. ... says:

    okay questions… maybe i am being a bit hard piling on here… i find your writing approach mostly laborious… in that regard perhaps you share a lot with plato!

    Reply

  28. questions says:

    JohnH, did you read the rest of my post? Did you get the “IF” part of the if/then question? Did you notice that I don’t think that’s what a state is meant for? Did you know that there’s something of a tradition of arguing for that, but that I turned to the Republic which actually argues for the right alignment of souls and the control of desire and the serving of the object of the craft one practices rather than oneself?
    Translated into English, that means that the point of a state is to make sure that its citizens are well-educated, that philosophers who value TRUTH both guard and are guarded such that no tyrants rise up into power, that we all are in a position to control our desire, live well, not devour our children, choose our lives wisely. Gee, that’s some serious neocon shit I’m into, huh.
    Umm, I think you didn’t notice any of that. You got caught up on the first sentence.
    The point of all of this is that not everything everyone does is corrupt. There are lots of ways to go wrong, including being wrong about the purposes of a state. And the way to stop being wrong is to discuss stuff, think, rethink, and re-rethink. But if you think you have it right at the outset, you never debate and you never entertain alternatives. (That’s Plato from the Meno.)
    So, no, I don’t think we should be fighting endless resource wars, and no I don’t think the neocons have it right. BUT, I don’t think they are all universally corrupt. I think most people are of good faith, but many are mistaken.
    So make me the bad guy if you need to.
    And …, you don’t really know what you’re talking about, so it’s ok. I’m not a neocon, and find my posts as you will. I can take it! And if Steve decides he needs to kick me off the blog, he will. Until then, I will continue to post despite my profound unpopularity and despite the fact that no one bothers to read what I write, hence the utter lack of response to what I write.
    By the way, …, get over the “nemesis” crap, please. It’s not about mortal enemies combating each other to the death. It’s about trying to figure out why things happen so we can respond with wisdom instead of with stupidity.
    Note that OA on a different thread attacks me for saying it was all for oil. Of course, I’m not arguing either side, I’m citing what other people have said. And yes, I’m familiar with the bringing it to market issue….
    See, no one knows if it was all for oil or not. Probably, for some people it was all about oil. For some it was all WMD. For some it was profiteering….. Big events have lots of parts to them. I doubt there will ever be a single narrative to explain it all.

    Reply

  29. ... says:

    johnh – thanks for articulating that… you’re questions nemesis… i am sure there will be a long winded answer coming right up for you!!

    Reply

  30. ... says:

    questions, your posts are mostly a distraction.. you could make a good diplomat for some neocon gov’t though and i think you need to seek them out… most here find your posts basically full of shit.. in other words, i agree with paul on this.. it is unfortunate that poa has made such an impression on you that you resort to referring to someone being infected with poa ism…. but then poa also has a valid read on you too and of that you can’t deny… he is just regularly blunt about it, unlike paul…
    perhaps we can talk music or philosophy.. we are on different pages when we talk politics as it relates to foreign policy issues… that’s for sure..

    Reply

  31. JohnH says:

    Finally some questions sheds some light–”If the state exists merely to serve its own people, then the con part of the neo cons is right to grab all the fucking oil and rare metals and land it can.”
    Great! Let’s debate that. What is the cost-benefit of grabbing all the f*cking oil we can? And–oh my God–turns out, it costs $Trillions. And oh BTW, the oil is only worth a fraction of that? Why not spend the $Trillions on implementing an energy plan? Why do the fearless leaders refuse to look reality in the face? Don’t we live in a democracy? Aren’t ordinary people entitled to have their voices heard on how the $Trillions are spent? Or is it only oil companies and defense contractors whose voices count?
    Why must Washington maintain a strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about its motives? Whose benefit does it serve?
    You misunderstand the oil acquisition problem. Sure, oil will flow to market–if it’s produced. But the problem today is that not enough new oil is being brought to market. And there is no good way to force ME petro-states to produce as much cheap oil as the West wants. Petro-states coffers are overflowing with money. They don’t need more. So why produce more oil? Besides, whatever they leave in the ground will be worth more tomorrow.
    Bush thought he had that problem licked by selling off Iraqi oil fields to private oil contractors, who would produce flat out to maximize their profits. Only problem was that Big Oil didn’t agree, so the Shell executive running the oil ministry stuffed the plan. And “our” Iraqi government refused to cooperate in legislating a permissive new oil law. So, Iraqi still isn’t producing more despite the $trillion or so invested in the military campaign.
    So now, having spent at least a $Trillion, we have no more oil. The major lesson? You can put a gun to an oil producer’s head, but you can’t make him produce. But now the neo conmen, having been brilliantly successful in Iraq, want to reproduce the fiasco in Iran. And they should be allowed to perpetrate the con without the American people even realizing why the monies are being wasted?
    Give me a break! It’s my future Social Security checks that are being flushed down the toilet.

    Reply

  32. questions says:

    Paul, I’m forever saying to you “Oh give me a fucking break.”
    The point is that there are a lot of seemingly non-corrupt reasons for people to adopt a lot of positions I basically disagree with.
    If the state exists merely to serve its own people, then the con part of the neo cons is right to grab all the fucking oil and rare metals and land it can.
    That’s a big fucking IF.
    If you read the Republic you discover that the practitioner of a craft has as his function the care of the object of the craft, and not the care of the self. So, in this reading of a state, it’s not the state’s riches that are the object of the state, but the people within and even outside of the state who matter. And even more, it’s the well-funcitioning of the souls of all that matter. We aren’t to make things worse for others, we aren’t to try to do what is not properly ours to do. One person, one function. Money-making falls to the wayside. Kind of makes sense.
    But in the US, if one were to get on TV and say to the citizens, hey, because we didn’t invade a bunch of countries and we didn’t kill a bunch of people, oil is going to cost 300 dollars a barrel AND we have no energy plan to come up with a substitute…. Good luck with that speech and the kind of instability that arises from it.
    You stuff in some game theory and you realize that SOMEone will come up with the idea of invading to get the oil and you start to see the problems. Competitive world. Competitive parties. Competitive politicians. Limited or no cooperation. Limited or no communication. Independent operators. And here we are. All without real moral turpitude. Amazing how complex situations can arise through the actions of independent agents.
    So no, once again, I do not have to DEFEND the actions of the neo cons in order to UNDERSTAND some of the sturcutral motivations.
    And by the way, the oil control motive is debateable as oil generally seems to come to market so long as there’s market for oil. So there’s probably a lot more to figure out about why we invadedin the first place.
    But really Paul, you show this kind of suspicion of my motives pretty routinely. I think you’re infected with POAism, though you don’t have it super bad.

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    Thanks Paul. Since Steve has front paged this “incredible” story, I guess we’ll continue there . . .

    Reply

  34. Paul Norheim says:

    DonS,
    I`ll do some research and see who are the current members of the Nobel Committee in Oslo.
    I`ll get back to you later, ok`?
    I`m just as surprised as you are.
    I think Little Oslo attempts to do just like Little Norheim tries to do here at TWN: to
    make his weak, provincial voice heard in Washington DC. The voice of Oslo is obviously
    more loud than the voice of Norheim. Still, I would guess that the outcome would be
    approximately the same.

    Reply

  35. DonS says:

    Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for “efforts to strengthen diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”,
    Must be time for more troops in Afghanistan and more sanctions on Iran, if not a bomb or two. Maybe blow up a couple of wedding parties in Pakistan to celebrate.
    The idea of the committee that somehow giving the new US pres and attaboy will encourage a more gentle, humble foreign policy tests credulity. America doesn’t do humble anymore; just talks a good line (for the record, of course, Obama said he was “humbled”). Just shoot me.
    Since I’m probably way too cynical about this,and even think it might encourage Obama to ‘stay the course’, perhaps our resident Norwegian could tell us just what is in that Oslo water, eh Paul?

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    “Even the con-end of the neo-cons are likely concerned with resource acquisition because
    that’s how they see the gaining of political stability.”
    Questions: Are you sleeping? Are you stupid? Are you confused? Or are you just trying do
    distract, to con?
    JohnH specifically addressed the invasion of Iraq as a con operation, resulting in more
    than a million dead Arabs. He`s done this ca 1000 times before at TWN, asking for the
    real motives behind the bluffs. And you react by defending the “con-end of the neo-cons”
    being concerned citizens and rambling about game theory!
    In questions` language: They are “concerned with resource acquisitions”. They may be
    bad, but not so bad, because perhaps they are “concerned”, so they may be good as well,
    although perhaps not 100 % good, but not 100 % bad either bla bla bla…
    In JohnH`s language: IT`S ABOUT OIL.
    So, what you should address here, is whether it is morally and politically defensible to
    invade a nation and cause more than a million dead Arabs for the sake of “resource
    acquisitions” by lying to the American people and the world?
    Because this is actually the central question here.
    You`ve studied philosophy and have chosen “questions” as your moniker. Yet you seem
    incapable of cutting the crap, defining some core issues and pose the relevant
    QUESTIONS.
    If you want to defend how “the con-end of the neo-cons” conned the American people into
    the invasion of Iraq, then for heavens sake have the guts to defend them. Courage,
    honesty, clarity and a will to make choices are actually also essential virtues in the
    history of philosophy. Fog may be a starting point, but certainly not the goal.

    Reply

  37. questions says:

    Try reading __Rock, Paper, Scissors__
    http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Paper-Scissors-Theory-Everyday/dp/0465009387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255081550&sr=8-1
    – newish book, popular, fun, easily understood — all about game theory and how often we run into competitive situations with inadequate communication such that we end up worse off acting independently than we would acting together. It’s all over the place and it might do a far better job explaining all those “crooks” you all are seeing everywhere.
    There’s a lot less moral turpitude than you might think. Even the con-end of the neo-cons are likely concerned with resource acquisition because that’s how they see the gaining of political stability. If you take the risk of instability very seriously and toss in some heavy duty chauvinism/patriotism/AmericaFirstism, maybe you get neoconism.
    The problem might lie with some combination of the inability to communicate well and coordinate well with other nations and AMERICA FIRST.
    The escapes are difficult, but there are ways out of game theory situations. And some of them even allow for a certain amount of selfishness. My sense is that that’s where Sunstein would like to send the world. If self-regard can underpin morality, we’re all going to be in better shape because self-regard trumps concern about others every time.
    Kant works on the self/other dilemma as well with the Categorical Imperative. When you “legislate” according to the Categorical Imperative, you are placing yourself in a position of legislating for all rational beings, but since you’re in the category of “rational beings” you’re actually legislating for yourself as well. We just have a hard time seeing it that way sometimes. But the goal is the same in game theory. Get out of the situation you’re stuck in so that you can avoid the lower end payoffs; see yourself within a game or a system so that you take the system into account; pre-foreclose some decisions so that you simply cannot settle for defection and the low-end payoffs.

    Reply

  38. ... says:

    dons – i liked you comments..
    wigwag, while i like your idea of being open to contrary views, i do think some of what you’re saying here today comes out of your flying off the wall the other day…
    wigwag quote to johnh “You don’t like it when they question your patriotism; why should they take you seriously if you question their integrity?”
    patriotism and integrity are very different.. integrity overshadows patriotism to such a degree as to render a comparison meaningless… one is primarily a con to be a part of a narrow interest club, the other is the real thing…the leaves some of us bringing up the issue of integrity regularly… those who advocate war, or only mention concern for some but not others appear to lack much in the way of integrity.. i can think of a few posters here who fall into this..
    wigwag quote “But there were millions of neocons, neoliberals and just plain folks who genuinely were convinced that Iraq had those weapons. Do you have any reason to doubt that either Senator McCain or Christian Brose fall into that category?”
    these are the same ones who are essentially telling us the same bullshit and lies about iran, to which i would have to include you.. no wonder you’re such a regular defender of the neo cons wigwag… i’m sure it isn’t lost on anyone here either..keep on making excuses for shedding the blood of others.. the iraq escapade is a good example to reflect on and express some humility over.. it appears patriotism is more important to integrity to the neocons and that is shown in their prioritization of war when many other options are and were available…

    Reply

  39. arthurdecco says:

    “You don’t succeed in modern day DC by being anything other than a back stabbing self-serving liar. And there ain’t no “civil” way of putting that.” POA
    It certainly appears that way…

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Seems to me it doesn’t matter what ideology these bastards in DC hang their jock strap on, they ALL exhibit an immoral and unethical body of behaviour. Liars, thieves, megalomaniacs, adulters, con men, tax dodgers, traitors, murderers, the list goes on and on.
    I do not ask this question tongue in cheek…
    Does the general population have the percentage of crooks, liars, perverts and power mad pieces of shit as our body of representatives does? I find it hard to even conceive of the high percentage of “Representatives” that have shown themselves to be total scum. And right, left, it doesn’t matter. It seems, anymore, the whole issue of party is little more than a wedge, nurtured by the media and the body politic to keep us citizens bickering while they ALL hand us a royal screwing. Keep us stupid of the facts, like Olberman and Maddow do, create the kind of anger and division we see the likes of Hannity or Limbaugh nurturing, and use the resultant civil disharmony to distract us from the fact these pieces of shit are looting the coffers domestically and selling us out internationally. I see no more respect for the rule of law from the current Administration than we saw from the last Administration. And our current AG is the same kind of ass licking lackey for the President that Gonzalez was.
    More war, more domestic evesdropping, no accountability, laws ignored, same secrecy, same kind of bullshit propaganda leading us towards another deadly foreign policy debacle…what the fuck has changed except the names of the players?
    DonS, why even bother with civility?? These murderous bastards have killed over a million and a half Iraqi innocents since 1991, and, in truth, the number is probably much higher. ALL FOR GOD DAMNED LIES. We gave Saddam a wink and a nod to go into Kuwait, and we’ve been murdering Iraqis ever since. And it ain’t just the neocons. It is this whole writhing mass of scum that has soiled and shat upon EVERY TENET that this country was founded upon. Do you REALLY think this sack of shit Reid and his ilk are any less corrupt, any less contemptable than Steele and his ilk? If so, you are simply not paying attention.
    You don’t succeed in modern day DC by being anything other than a back stabbing self-serving liar. And there ain’t no “civil” way of putting that.

    Reply

  41. DonS says:

    I am sick to death of dancing around the edges of civility with the absolute sickness of US policy in the world — and trying to find ways to avoid seeing that policy for the harm it has wrecked on the world.
    If Obama has a moral code that in any way corresponds to his outsized intellect, he will start knocking heads and exhibit some remorse for the inexcusable footprint, however well intentioned (and I doubt that’s much) , that the US has begotten.
    Pound for pound, the US has killed more innocents than Al Quaeda and all other ‘terrorists’ combined.

    Reply

  42. JohnH says:

    Wigwag–there are indeed honorable neocons. People like Francis Fukuyama, who have publicly rethought their positions. But where is Fukuyama now? Since he rethought his position on Iraq, he has been consigned to oblivion.
    Then there is the virulent strain: the neo conmen. These are the people who, like Wolfowitz, seized on Iraq’s supposed WMDs, merely for ease of marketing the invasion. There are neo conmen who insist that they support freedom and democracy, but condemn the election of Hamas as illegitimate. Then there are the neo conmen who still assert that America is in Afghanistan to promote a stable democracy, like the one they promoted for Iraq! Then there are the neo conmen who insist on the urgency of countering Iran’s nuclear weapons program, despite the lack of any concrete evidence that a program exists. There are neo conmen who insist on regime change in Venezuela for democracy’s sake, even though most Venezuelans firmly believe they are living in a thriving democracy.
    Over the years that I have watched the neo conmen operate, I have concluded that they will say anything to realize their agenda of American hegemony, trumpet any lie to ensure military control of energy-rich regions of the world. They tend to support any solution to a problem, as long as it was a military solution.
    While I regard their agenda as problematic, I find their duplicitous and deceitful means for realizing their ambitions to be despicable, for their lies and false pretenses frame the debate in a way that precludes honest debate about their agenda. Sadly, I find most “realists” to be almost as despicable as the neo conmen, for they condone the lies and half-truths with their silence.
    And, yes, I’m happy to have a beer with someone I disagree with. As I said at the outset, I wholeheartedly support people who sincerely hold different opinions. But I despise people who present themselves in noble terms and then behave in ignominious ways, people who allegedly champion human rights and then sign onto programs that result in America’s leaving millions dead, maimed, or homeless in the name of false pretenses or for no reason whatsoever.

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The snake lady is kissing ass. I wonder what it is leading up to. Perhaps she just regrets showing us whats underneath those scales.

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    I don’t think you’re being entirely fair, JohnH. Hard as you may find it to believe, there are many neocons who don’t believe in deceit and deception any more than you do. They just have a different opinion than yours. You don’t like it when they question your patriotism; why should they take you seriously if you question their integrity?
    Yes, there were several Bush Administration officials who can be classified as neocons who adopted a policy of deliberately deceiving the public about putative Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. They should be criticized severely.
    But there were millions of neocons, neoliberals and just plain folks who genuinely were convinced that Iraq had those weapons. Do you have any reason to doubt that either Senator McCain or Christian Brose fall into that category?
    I agree with you that Iraq was a horrible mistake; but millions of Kurds and Shia in Iraq disagree; they believe that their future prospects are far brighter because of the American invasion. You or I may not think the benefits of the Iraq invasion outweigh the costs, but is someone who has a different point of view so outrageous that they shouldn’t be debated respectfully?
    Treating people who have different opinions than you as less intelligent than you are, is a sign of intellectual weakness, moral feebleness and extraordinarily narcissism.
    I disagree with Steve Clemons on almost everything. But I do think his approach is a breath of fresh air, especially in the blogosphere. Most foreign policy blogs as well as political blogs feature posts where the blog operator gets down in the gutter with the people who comment. It’s as if those bloggers thought that the quality of their posts is in direct proportion to the nastiness of their vitriol.
    Clemons almost never stoops to that level. Personally I find it refreshing that his ambition for the Washington Note is for it to be a forum that’s more sophisticated and edifying than the fare that can easily be obtained by tuning your television to Fox News or even MSNBC. Have you noticed that there’s not a regular guest who appears on MSNBC who is more thoughtful, sober and intelligent than Steve? If there is even one, I’d like to know who it is.
    Washington, D.C. would be a more civil place where better decisions were made, if more people would adopt Clemon’s approach to debate. The Washington Note would be a better blog if the people who comment (including me) stayed out of the gutter and followed Steve’s example more closely. By the way, JohnH, one of the reasons that I enjoy reading your comments so much is that they are not only intelligent, but they are invariably well written and polite.
    Most importantly, if more people in the media took Steve’s approach, Americans would be better informed and the debate over issues in this country would be less rancorous and juvenile than it usually is.
    I don’t usually agree with Steve so I don’t want his foreign policy ideas to prevail, but I do wish that the world of Washington, D.C. was made up of alot more people just like him.
    Don’t you ever go out for a beer, JohnH with people you completely disagree with? I don’t know about your Thanksgiving Dinners, but mine are full of people who vehemently disagree about politics. We still manage to get along and enjoy each other’s company.
    Why should Washington or the Washington Note be any different?

    Reply

  45. JohnH says:

    “Steve…can recognize the legitimacy of views he disagrees with.” I wholeheartedly support people who do that. But why endorse people–like neocons and their fellow travelers–whose primary public modus operandi is deceit and deception? Where is the legitimacy of their views? Where was the legitimacy is Saddam’s WMDs and all the false pretenses that led us into Iraq?

    Reply

  46. Linda says:

    Great, but…
    Foreign policy advising in DC and embassy in New Zealand are pretty safe places to be–so I can’t help thinking that these appointments mean little (perhaps just ways to silence gay community) if Obama Administration still does nothing about “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
    It should be demanding that Congress act on that rather than continuing to gay military who speak Arabic, etc. Those men and women are in harm’s way and deserve better.

    Reply

  47. ... says:

    motto : flattery will get you everywhere…

    Reply

  48. Steve Clemons says:

    WigWag – thanks. You understand the approach I try to take well. Very much appreciate you noting this.
    Outraged — Ugh…You caught me with a bad error. Wish I could say I wasn’t responsible for the headline that said Australia rather than New Zealand, but I was rushing and had little sleep. It was an unintentional goof. my apologies to all sides…
    Steve

    Reply

  49. WigWag says:

    “Huebner will be Barack Obama’s first gay Ambassadorial appointment (hopefully there will be more). David Huebner who has been active for decades in the Asia Pacific arena will become the next US Ambassador to New Zealand.” (Steve Clemons)
    That’s great news for Huebner who certainly got what would have to be considered a “plum” posting, but it comes with a challenge. The Ambassador to New Zealand is also the Ambassador to Samoa and Samoa is certainly facing challenges right about now.
    The fact that Huebner is gay should not distract attention away from Obama’s mediocre record on gay rights. Not only has no progress been made on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but Administration officials have suggested recently that the policy won’t be revoked until the war in Afghanistan is concluded; which of course could be a long time in the future.
    Apropos of Christian Brose, John McCain supports a “full in” policy on Afghanistan and said earlier in the week that his greatest fear is that Obama would take “half-measures” which McCain fears will be the worst of all possible worlds. Presumably, Brose agrees with McCain about this.
    I do think that it shows both integrity and moxie on Steve’s part that he can recognize the legitimacy of views he disagrees with and the intelligence and sincerity of those who have opinions different from his.
    Steve’s example is a good one; lots of people in Washington and at the Washington Note could learn from Steve’s approach. It seems to me that Steve eschews outrage and anger and that he’s rarely pissed off. Instead he seems to believe in and enjoy intelligent debate.
    Good for him.

    Reply

  50. Outraged American says:

    Steve, you do realize that Australia and New Zealand are two
    different countries?
    The Ozzies and the Kiwis kind of hate each other, so if we’re
    sending one ambassador to both in the misguided way we usually
    conduct US foreign policy, they might be offended. Even if
    Huebner can do a first class impression of Liza Minnelli in Cabaret.
    Sorry Steve, couldn’t resist that one. I lived in West Hollywood too,
    and probably was that neighbor who burned a cross in front of
    your apartment building to protest all the used condoms my dog
    would eat on our once a month walk.
    SMILE.

    Reply

  51. Bart says:

    McCain might have turned out better had he not the III after his name. Trying to be worthy of it, he only could crash aircraft.

    Reply

  52. JohnH says:

    POA already said it, but I’ll repeat it anyway: SPINMEISTER. If Brose found Condi’s “voice,” it was not the voice of “realism and idealism” but that of BS posing as realism and idealism. Condi was the consummate BS-er. Like her boss, she lied with such regularity that I came to realize that whatever she said, I could count on the opposite being true.
    If you look on his blog, you see him quoting Eliot Abrams on how to promote democracy! Or praising neo conmen, and defending them as mainstream.
    Sad that Steve would stoop to praise people whose main contribution seems to be BS.

    Reply

  53. DonS says:

    As long as we are taking off on McCain, let’s hope Brose has a very thick skin. It’s not a secret that McCain is irritable; my source, a very, very close McCain confidant calls it ‘anger issues’. So Brose may just wind up telling McCain what he is happy hearing anyway.

    Reply

  54. brigid says:

    Oh, good, maybe Christian Brose can do a better job of selling a “surge” in Afghanistant than McCain is doing.

    Reply

  55. Outraged American says:

    McCain sandbagged both currently serving US GIs and POW/MIA
    families. From Pulitzer Prize winning author Sydney Schanberg,
    the inspiration for the movie “The Killing Fields”
    McCain and the POW Cover-up
    The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left
    behind in Vietnam
    Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The
    Nation Institute. This is an expanded version, with primary
    documents attached, of a story that appears in the October 6,
    2008 issue of The Nation. (Watch Schanberg’s appearance on
    Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.
    By Sydney H. Schanberg
    September 18, 2008
    John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image
    as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard
    to hide from the public stunning information about American
    prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home.
    Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored
    and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the
    most revealing information about these men buried as classified
    documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically
    imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and
    their families became instead the strange champion of hiding
    the evidence and closing the books.
    continues
    http://www.nationinstitute.org/p/schanberg09182008pt1
    McCain is a bully and a thug. Maybe this new guy will help him
    find his heart, but I doubt he has one, even though he’s eaten
    the heart out so many others. McCain (I will put in the word
    “allegedly” although I have spoken with people who were
    present, because I live in his stupid state and the man is a
    vicious fuck in my and many other Arizonans’ opinions and
    might put a hit out) physically assaulted a woman protesting
    what he did to his fellow POWs in the hall outside his Capitol Hill
    office.
    I held off on throwing a shoe at McCain’s former mansion,
    because it was hot this summer in Phoenix for the first time
    ever, and then I’d have to walk home barefoot, but I have a
    bunch of shoes that the kids have outgrown.
    Rather than give them to charity, maybe, I’ll just gently place one
    in front of that evil man’s ex-home because I’m sure I’d be
    arrested if I pounded one on the gate despite that this mansion
    is no longer one of McCain’s 13? 15? 17? 28? homes.

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anyone going to work as a foreign policy advisor for the likes of McCain or Obama are not “advisors”, but instead are spinmeisters.
    Does anyone really believe what is “advised” even vaguely resembles what is revealed to those of us that are supposed to be “represented” by these foreign policies? Surely we all know the motives behind policy do not match the reasonable directive of protecting our “national interests”, so these “advisors” are necessarily party to the deception.
    And how is McCain suddenly elevated to the status of someone who engages in “common sense/straight talk politicking”. His feathers still have the distinct coloration of a meat eating hawk, and the only way one could find his “politicking” common sensical is if they are content with the perpetual state of war these bastards seem intent upon inflicting upon us.
    I’m sorry, but no matter the altruistic designs of these youngsters joining the staffs of our current crop of “politicians”, they are in fact entering the realm of unfettered power, corruption, and criminality. To see them enter such a door is not cause for celebration, anymore than embracing the devil is.

    Reply

  57. samuelburke says:

    “I have opposed the Iraq war since before it began, but it only became personal for me about a year and a half ago, on April 29, 2008. I remember the moment well. I had flipped open the Washington Post and there, on the front page, was a color photo of a 2-year-old Iraqi boy named Ali Hussein being pulled from the rubble of a house that had been destroyed by American missiles. The little boy was wearing shorts and a T-shirt and had on his feet flip-flops. His head was hanging back at an angle that told the viewer immediately that he was dead. That small boy looked remarkably like my little grandson, similarly attired, who was sitting beside me eating his cereal. When I gasped at the photo, my little guy looked up at me and grinned, wondering why grandpa was crying.
    Four days later, on May 3, a letter by a Dunn Loring, Va., woman named Valerie Murphy was printed by the Post. Murphy complained that the Iraqi child victim photo should not have been run in the paper, because it would “stir up opposition to the war and feed anti-U.S. sentiment.” I suppose the newspaper thought it was being impartial in printing the woman’s letter, though I couldn’t help but remember that the Post had generally been unwilling to cover anything antiwar, even ignoring a gathering of 300,000 protesters in Washington in 2005. Rereading the woman’s complaint and also a comment on a Web site suggesting that the photo of the dead little boy had been staged, I thought to myself, “What kind of monsters have we become?” And in truth we have become monsters, bipartisan monsters wrapped in the American flag. Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, once said that killing 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions was “worth it.” Every day our Democratic administration continues the policies of the preceding Republican administration as it bombs and kill farmers in their fields, children in their schools, doctors and patients in hospitals, and families in wedding parties. We do it using pilotless drones, helicopters, and airplanes flying so high in the sky that they are invisible to those on the ground. The slaughter is strictly 21st-century high tech, death from the skies, bloodless, without looking into the eyes of those we are killing. We do it because our leaders tell us we need to kill to keep others from attacking us, but we all know it is a fraud. Does any American really believe that what is going on in either Iraq or Afghanistan has anything to do with genuine threats against the United States?
    The more we kill, the more we give cause to those who hate us, guaranteeing that the bloodshed will never end. Whatever our government does or does not do, we will surely leave Iraq and Afghanistan some day, and those two countries will quickly learn to live without us. Last Thursday, U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Pentagon, “I’m not sure we will ever see anyone declare victory in Iraq, because first off, I’m not sure we’ll know for 10 years or five years.” If Odierno had deliberately sought to define his war in terms borrowed from National Lampoon, he could not have done any better. One thing that is for sure is that there will be no friendly crowds as the last C-17 lifts off from Bagram Airbase, and we will leave only hatred behind us – hatred and the dead, hundreds of thousands of dead.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2009/10/07/epitaph-on-empire/#

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