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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Prism of Pain, GWOT, and, the US-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act

10:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

C’mon, pups, we’re clearly losing the R2P ‘Hearts and Mind’ campaign in the MENA…!

The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East

… His findings sometimes reflect significant differences in the opinions in these countries but more often demonstrate basic commonalities. At a time when some pundits see crises in Syria and elsewhere leading to the marginalization of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the region’s politics, Telhami forcefully pulls readers back to it, labeling it a “prism of pain” through which Arab publics view the region — even if their leaders do not. Arabs overwhelmingly view Israel and the United States as the greatest threats they face. This produces inconsistent preferences: manifested, for example, in their pushing for the establishment of democratic institutions in their own countries while admiring antidemocratic leaders who defy the United States, such as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Telhami argues that that no U.S. president will make a dent in Arab anti-Americanism so long as Washington maintains its uncritical support for Israel and continues to deploy significant U.S. military forces in the region.

On the other side of the global ledger…

Why Vladimir rules and Obama bombs

On both the NSA saga and the Syrian crisis, Putin played chess while Obama played checkers with himself – and lost.

Every year, Forbes magazine publishes its list of the heads of state, financial titans and business moguls who “truly rule the world.” Predictably, a sitting US president – the commander-in-chief of the most lethal armada in the history of the world – usually gets the top spot.

Not in 2010 though, when Barack Obama was overtaken by then Chinese President Hu Jintao in the aftermath of the Wall Street-provoked financial crisis. And not in 2013, when the winner is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Not by accident, China and Russia are the most influential among the BRICS group of emerging powers. The US corporate media’s rankings such as Time’s Person of The Year may be irrelevant, and usually extremely provincial. But as a PR coup, American recognition of Putin’s soft power is priceless, even coming after de facto recognition by the overwhelming majority of the real ‘international community’: the developing world.

To its credit, Forbes stresses how “anyone watching this year’s chess match over Syria and the National Security Agency leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics.” {…}

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing, National Intelligence Director James Clapper was adamant that the NSA and the CIA cannot spy on any political leader via his/her private mobile phones without permission from the White House. So no matter the spin, Obama knew, among others, about the spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff and German Chancellor Angel Merkel.

You don’t need to have read Orwell to note this is yet another instance of the imperial Masters of the Universe worldview. It’s ‘legitimate’ to spy on Americans. It’s ‘legitimate’ to spy all over the global South – including the more influential BRICS. {…}

The proverbial US Think Tankland Cassandras will be left endlessly carping about the ‘stagnating’ Russian economy, ethnic and religious ‘tension’, ‘political atrophy’ because of Putin’s ‘authoritarianism’, and assorted ills. Nonsense.

This essay by top blogger The Saker meticulously outlines the key plot twists and undercurrents of the past 20 years of US-Russia relations – including the now-proverbial Putin demonization.

Back to the facts on the geopolitical ground. Putin has seized the moment and now is arguably the key actor trying to build an emerging, alternative multilateral order. As for imperial lame duck Obama, he seems destined to keep bombing in more ways than one.

Now, in my last Mashup, I’d pointed out the serious BS emanating from our AIPAC, bought-and-paid-for, Critters on Iran, well they doubled down on the buffoonery…

Forget Sanctions: House Hawks Pushing for Iran War

Bill Would Green-Light Attack on Iran

While most of the effort of the Obama Administration has been trying to convince an unwilling Congress to “delay” any new sanctions as Iran negotiations move forward, a collection of hawks in the House of Representatives are looking to move beyond that dispute and just flat out start a war.

The ironically named “United States-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act,” would condemn Iran for “deception” dating back to the 1980s, and would authorize President Obama to attack Iran whenever he decides talks have “failed.”

Let’s get real here, pups…

Propaganda & Ignorance in Reporting on Iran

Whenever tensions over Iran’s nuclear energy program appear to dissipate and rational, fact-based reporting begins to replace agenda-driven rhetoric in the press, the folks over at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington D.C. think tank that specializes in producing highly speculative assessments of the nuclear capabilities of countries loathed by the U.S. government, release a new study full of hypotheticals, allegations, and innuendo intended to restore alarmism to front pages and TelePrompTers.

Critical to the success of ISIS’s efforts and the endless self-promotion of its president, David Albright, are the dutiful stenographers in the media who eagerly promote to large audiences their claims as unchallenged fact, without even a shred of skepticism or hint of journalistic integrity…

The Institute for Speculation and Iran Scaremongering

Under a hysterical headline – “Iran may be a month from a bomb” – Dorell posted what is effectively a press release for a new ISIS report. In his article, Dorell not only presents ISIS head David Albright, a former IAEA inspector, as an unimpeachable expert source and uncritically regurgitates his claims about the potential timeline for Iran achieving nuclear breakout capacity, but also deliberately omits vitally important information which might undermine the ultimate goal of fear-mongering about Iran…

U.S. Director of National Intelligence has repeatedly noted that, even were this decision to be made sometime in the future, “Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a weapon-worth of WGU [weapons-grade uranium] before this activity is discovered.”

Honestly pups, this is what we’re reduced to…

I want American foreign policy to fail

Drones, wiretapping foreign leaders, NSA out of control: Change will only come when our foreign policy truly fails

It is difficult, and it will never be any other, to be an American and write in an American publication that the best thing to befall our great country would be a series of resounding defeats. It is upside down. It is bitter. And it is time.

Failure will make Americans a better people, their country a more humane country, and the world a more habitable world. This the only honest conclusion to draw as the outlines of official American thinking in the 21st century emerge from the mists of endemic misinformation.

Let us ask ourselves: What do the following developments, all now in the news, commonly reflect? Why is it better to view them all at once, parts of a single phenomenon, rather than separately (as our media incessantly encourage us to do)? {…}

Untamed spookery, diabolic weapons and prosecutorial trade arrangements to be forced down others’ gullets as if they were geese tell us all about ourselves and our plans. In any choice between primacy or world order — the prescient coinage of Stanley Hoffmann, a Harvard historian of the Cold War — Washington insists on the former. It continues to choose the unilateralism of the last century over the multilateralism that is the unmistakable sine qua non of our time. Military hardware and territorial dominion — 20th century technologies — trump coexistence and the mahogany tables of diplomacy, which are the technologies of our time.

And if you didn’t get the original terra, terra, terra, memo, the ADL’s Abe Foxman spelled it all out for ya…

The Jewish Condition: Then, Now, and in the Future

…It seems that people such as this hack — people who think wars of mission, armed interventions galore, and all associated strategies and tactics are yesteryear’s thinking and played poorly even yesteryear — these people are isolationists.

They are weak. The president was weak on Syria. A strong America is an America that remains engaged. Remaining engaged means intervening when American values and interests are at stake. Intervening means the deployment of might. {…}

And then on top of that comes this drive to find agreements with Iran on the nuclear issue. Now let me be clear: if we can reach a satisfactory deal with Iran that ensures that if Iran is deceptive or abnegates that agreement, it couldn’t in a short time break out and speedily move to a bomb, I’d be all for it. The concern is the context: America seems desperate to avoid a confrontation with Iran; the Iranians, aware of that, are playing it to a fare-thee-well.

Not only are they talking the language of moderation, but they are already offering substantive proposals that may appear more giving than they really are. Again, it’s not impossible that things can work out well, but when it appears to come from a perception of American weakness, it doesn’t bode well. {…}

I hope that we get our act together. I hope Congress starts to think of the bigger picture. I hope we are truly able to keep all options on the table, whether vis-à-vis Iran or Syria, without rushing to military action.

Make no mistake about it. If what we are seeing now is the beginning of a deep change in American foreign policy it will be bad for the Jews.

Don’t believe for a second that there is an alternative to American leadership when it comes to Israel’s security, peace in the Middle East, safety and security for Jews in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Still, all in all, as I look to the Jewish future and the role of ADL on the occasion of our centennial, I am an optimist. Again, I am an optimist on Israel. I am an optimist on American Jews. And, despite the concerns I have expressed here, I remain an optimist about America, about the good sense of the American people, the track record over the last 70 years about its ability to overcome the obstacles to governance and to recognize that American leadership in the world is good for America, good for the world and good for the Jewish people.

God Help Us All…! *gah*

by CTuttle

Let Us Call Terror, Terror…

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle


Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

I’ve been screaming ‘bloody murder’ about this Syrian miasma for sometime, I would peg the starting point from early January, when the EU/GCC/US/Nato first started to pivot from Libya to Syria. As Col. Lang wrote today; Terrorism in Syria…

The Obama administration, pre-occupied with its re-election and the need to sooth its financial backers, continues to support the neocon policy position that all anti-establishment revolution is good in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The simple truth that there are not and will not be governments in the ME made up of “good guys” seems beyond the reach of “scholars” at AEI and WINEP as well as members of the Foreign Service.

What we have in Syria is revolutionary civil war waged by the forces of salafist Sunni Islam against the forces of the Alawis, the Druze and the Christians. In this civil war the Sunni salafists are backed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US, US media and I suppose Israel in some underhanded way. Iran backs the Assad government, and Iraq is edging its way closer toward the position of the Mullocracy in Teheran.

The war has not been going well for the Sunni insurgents. Assad and company are not willing to surrender to the UN or anyone else since they know that they will be put down like the proverbial dogs if they do.

Logically, the Sunni salafists have now resorted to the kind of large scale terror that has characterized the last ten years in the greater ME.

Let us call terror, terror…

Yes, let’s call it for what it really is! Now, let’s look at some of the ‘sources’ of that specific terror threat, Syria says attackers came from “well known” countries, and, Syria envoy says British, French, Belgian fighters killed…

Syria’s UN envoy said Thursday that British, French and Belgian nationals were among foreign fighters killed in the country’s mounting conflict and that there was Al-Qaeda involvement.

The ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, told the UN Security Council that 12 foreign fighters had been killed and 26 detained in recent clashes with Syrian forces.

“We have a list that contains 12 names of foreign terrorists killed in Syria, including one French citizen, one British citizen, one Belgian citizen,” Jaafari told the 15-member council.

He said a list of the 26 foreigners detained had been sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the Security Council.

The 26 have “confessed they are terrorists and entered Syria to carry out terror operations,” he added. Some were “associated” with Al-Qaeda.

The ambassador later told reporters that those detained were mainly Tunisians and Libyans but there was one Palestinian and one Jordanian.

All of the “confessions” have been shown on Syrian television, Jaafari said.

The ambassador said that recent bomb attacks in Syria “carried the stamp of Al-Qaeda methods.”

Jaafari renewed condemnation of Gulf Arab states and Turkey who he accused of backing the foreign fighters and Syrian rebels.

Meanwhile, in Aleppo today, while Syrian forces stopped one car bomb, another one detonated…

An explosion hit Syria’s northern city of Aleppo Friday, just hours after state TV said the army had foiled a would-be suicide attack in the city, raising fears the country is drifting toward an Iraq-style insurgency.

Elsewhere across the country Friday, peaceful protesters defied Syrian army gunfire and took to the streets in the tens of thousands to protest the rule of President Bashar Assad.

The anti-Assad Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said no one had been killed by the Aleppo blast close to the ruling party headquarters, which came a day after twin bombings in Damascus left scores dead.

“Initial details indicate that the Aleppo blast was targeting the local branch of the ruling Baath party and there is no information until now on the number of victims that fell in the explosion,” the British-based group said in an email… {snip}

…Thursday’s bombings have raised fears that extremist elements could be taking advantage of the deadlock in Syria to stoke the unrest.

An Islamist group calling itself Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility online for the Damascus attack, the SITE Monitoring Service said Thursday.

It said two bombs it had placed near a military headquarters on a central highway in the capital on May 5 had killed around 20 guards. For many, the Al-Qaeda-style tactics recall those once familiar in the country’s eastern neighbor, Iraq, raising fears that Syria’s conflict was drifting further away from the Arab Spring calls for political change and closer to a bloody insurgency.

“Syria is slowly but surely turning into another Iraq,” said Bilal Y. Saab, a Syria expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Even Hezbollah was saying today; Hezbollah chief says Syria may descend into Iraq-like abyss…

Now, lets look at a common thread that wends it’s insidious ways through the tapestry, that is the Middle East, and our GWOT, namely, the House of Saud…! From; 15 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11, to Iraq’s ‘awakening’, Libya, Bahrain, and, even Yemen, the Saudi-fueled Salafist/Wahabbi based Sunni Insurgency has led the way.

Emptywheel did an awesome job of connecting-the-dots in some of the House of Saud’s nefarious machinations, yesterday…

Cluster Bombs on the Head of a Saudi Pinpoint

Congratulations to the NYT, which offers the superlative version of a story everyone seems to be writing today. It describes a whole host of reasons why we should not trust the Saudis.

That collaboration appears to have intensified over the past two years, despite a long history of mistrust rooted in the role of Saudi hijackers in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The relationship was tested again last year when Saudi leaders responded furiously to American endorsement of the revolt that ousted a Saudi ally, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. American diplomats were surprised and angered in turn soon afterward when Saudi Arabia sent troops to help put down unrest in neighboring Bahrain.

[snip]

The counterterrorism cooperation has not been without bumps, officials from both countries acknowledge.

In 2007, the Federal Bureau of Investigation quietly sent a handful of agents to Saudi Arabia to work with officials there on a classified counterterrorism strategy, according to a senior American official who was briefed on the program. After several months, however, the two sides disagreed on a common strategy, and the F.B.I. agents went home.

Internal State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to several news organizations revealed American frustration with Saudi Arabia in curtailing financial supporters of many extremist activities.

“It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” said a classified cable sent by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in December 2009, concluding that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

But ultimately concludes that in spite of all this evidence, our partnership with the Saudis is working just great…

Yes, indeedy, we do in fact have the AP, and our entire agitprop, Western Lamestream Media peddling that very same Neo/Ziocon Snake Oil… Saudis emerge as key US ally against terror…

*gah*

by CTuttle

The NDAA’s ‘Targeted Assassinations’ is a Sordid Bipartisan Affair

7:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Mojo’s Adam Serwer penned a must-read (emphasis added):

Bipartisan Approval for Targeted Killing of Suspected Terrorists

When it comes to targeted killing of American citizens, both major political parties have President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s back.

Top officials and legislators from both the Democratic and Republican party have expressed public support for the Obama administration’s drone strikes against American citizens who were suspected of terrorism abroad. It’s not just legislators either—a majority of Democrats and liberals approve of Obama’s targeted killing policy.

The president of the United States has a responsibility, consistent with his legal authorities, to keep the country safe. And that’s what he did,” Bush-era Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith told NPR’s Tom Ashbrook Monday, while discussing the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, a suspected member of Al Qaeda and US citizen who was killed in a US government-directed drone strike. “Americans have been targeted and killed in past wars, in the Civil War, and in World War II as well, nothing like this kind of scrutiny has ever occurred before.Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

The Road to Tyranny And Real Men go to Tehran…

7:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

“The modern liberal state … often uses deception to gain its ends — not so much deception of the foreign enemy, but of its own citizens,who have been taught to trust their leaders.” – Howard Zinn

It should be noted that our recent rapid descent into Tyranny is truly predicated on our vast ‘foreign entanglements’ that George Washington famously warned us about…

…Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it 7 It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests…

Now, let’s put some modern names to those nations and/or undue foreign influences, he had so clamored about, namely: our misbegotten GWOT, AIPAC, Israel, and Iran…!

Let’s first look to the homefront… America the Battlefield: The End of the Rule of Law…

America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued for the past ten years, has forever altered the political and legal landscape of our country. It has chipped away at our freedoms and is unraveling our Constitution. Even now, with Osama bin Laden having been killed and al-Qaeda dismantled by a series of high-profile assassinations, the war hawks continue to rattle their sabers. Yet while more and more Americans join the call for a de-escalation of military actions abroad, those clamoring for war have turned their focus inwards. As Senator Lindsay Graham recently remarked as an explanation for his support of legislation allowing for the indefinite detention of Americans, “Is the homeland the battlefield? You better believe it is the battlefield.”…

…Taken collectively, these provisions re-orient our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the rule of law — our U.S. Constitution, becomes the map by which we navigate life in the United States. In short, this defense bill not only decimates the due process of law and habeas corpus for anyone perceived to be an enemy of the United States, but it radically expands the definition of who may be considered the legitimate target of military action…

…Of all of the egregious actions of the United States government in the past decade, this may be the most outrageous. That our lawmakers, sworn to uphold the Constitution, would even consider voting on a provision that completely eviscerates the rule of law is appalling. Unfortunately, this is the state of our government, a government that has been allowed to run wild since 9/11.

As we ratchet down the wars abroad, we must call upon our leaders to shore up the rule of law and civil liberties at home. There is absolutely no excuse for the continued abuse of power that we as a nation have endured for so long.

As Col. Wilkerson notes in that clip above, DoD is responsible for about 2/3rds of our entire Intel Apparatchik, what he left out was the fact that DoD has already out-sourced much of that mission to Private Contractors, invariably, to the largest War Mongers/Arms Exporters/MultiNational Corporations, ad nauseum, in the World…!

How readily could the impetus shift from the pursuit of Al Qaeda and radical Muslims(here and abroad), to say, Palestinian activists, anti-war and international solidarity activists, and/or even OWS participants…?

As Kevin Gosztola noted back in August, Obummer has already laid out the basic framework…

Decoding the White House Strategy for Preventing Violent Extremism

…The White House has released its strategy for “countering violent extremism in the United States.” The strategy seeks to encourage the development and use of community approaches to addressing “all types of extremism that lead to violence, regardless of who inspires it.” It immediately makes clear that Muslim Americans have “categorically condemned terrorism” and have worked “with law enforcement to help prevent terrorists attacks” and even gone so far as to help with “programs to protect their sons and daughters from al Qaeda’s murderous ideology.”

Unequivocally made clear is the fact that the White House rejects a framework that specifically sets out a strategy, which focuses efforts and resources on Islamic extremism. It promotes the idea that all groups and individuals are susceptible to violent extremism and not all violent extremists are or have been Muslims. It concludes, “Any solution that focuses on a single, current form of violent extremism, without regard to other threats, will fail to secure” America and America’s communities. It finds government officials and the American public should not “stigmatize or blame communities because of the actions of a handful of individuals.”…

No Definition of “Extremism” or “Extremist”

The framework seems to be a reasonable and well-rounded approach to any current or future threat of violent extremism. However, the strategy does not define “extremism.” It doesn’t define what the White House considers to be an “extremist.” The strategy makes numerous statements that would essentially exclude certain individuals. It notes, “A particular ethnic, religious or national background does not necessarily equate to special knowledge of violent extremism.” It finds strong religious beliefs do not equal violent extremism. And, it makes clear “opposition to government policy is neither illegal nor unpatriotic and does not make someone a violent extremist.”

It may be encouraging that “extremism” or “extremist” is not defined. Defining extremism might portend curbs on individual’s free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and even rights to freedom of the press. However, “extremism” is relative. Not defining the terms gives just as much if not more leeway for law enforcement abuse…

So whom would the individual ‘communities’ label as potential ‘extremists’ and/or ‘terrorists’…? How ‘local’ would that actual decision be made to label someone, and/or any entity as ‘extremist’…?

Far and away, we need to be very wary of AIPAC’s insidious influence over our own elected Congress, and, it’s ungodly devotion to Israel’s every little obsession…! A true case in point…

AIPAC posterizes Obama in Senate, 100-0

If you want to understand the pressure that Obama is under from the Israel lobby, consider this greasy story: Last week three high Obama officials urged Senators not to pass an amendment to the huge Defense Authorization Act that would apply far stiffer sanctions to Iran’s central bank than the Obama administration wanted. Two of the officials went to the Hill, and said the amendment would send oil prices higher, among other damaging effects.

But the Senate rebuffed the administration and voted unanimously, 100-0, for the sanctions.

Why did the Senate put aside appeals from Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, under secretary of the Treasury David Cohen, and Wendy Sherman, #3 at the State Department, all saying that the bill would be bad for business and bad for the U.S.’s efforts to build a coalition on Iran? Why did John Kerry, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, acknowledge Tim Geithner’s letter against the legislation, and then vote against his president?

…And AIPAC took its scalp: It promptly organized a campaign to thank the Senators for voting for the sanctions.

Then after the Senate version passed, Adam Kredo reported that Howard Berman in the House was going to “fall on his sword” for the Obama administration and “water down” the legislation in the House. Stop the presses– Berman then sent Kredo a long email saying I will do nothing of the sort. And why? Because Berman’s district is being redrawn, and he’s in competition with liberal Democrat Brad Sherman, who is even more supportive of sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.

Jeffrey Goldberg anchors the lobby relay team with this post calling for military strikes on Iran and saying Obama fails to understand the seriousness of the Iranian threat…

AIPAC famously can get 70 Senators’ signatures on a napkin inside of a day, as Goldberg himself reported. AIPAC got 76 Senate signatures on this letter to Obama rebuking his stance on Israel back in the spring of last year. There were 87 Senate signatures on this Senate letter of June 2010 telling Obama to back Israel’s murderous response to the flotilla. When Gerald Ford thought to “reassess” Israel policy, he got a letter with 71 Senate signatures.

This time AIPAC got 100 against Obama!

I’m truly aghast…!

To put Israel’s hasbara apparatchik into it’s proper perspective…

US college kids against Iran regime, but vague on details

…The survey of over 500 college students across the United States was conducted by a research firm in conjunction with December 10’s international Human Rights Day to gauge American undergraduates’ perception of human rights issues.

“The results clearly indicate that human rights are a priority for American young people and that they consider Iran to be a serious human rights violator, but they’re not informed about the specifics of those violations,” Iran 180 director of outreach Chris DeVito said. Iran 180 is a coalition of NGOs demanding Iran reverse its human rights practices.

According to the survey, 91 percent of college students think Iran either has problems with human rights or is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, with 34% selecting Iran as the worst offender – more than any other country…

As a Baha’i, I’m well aware of Iran’s human rights issues, but, does that validate our need to bomb them into the stone age…? Note that there’s no mention of any sort of Mushroom Cloud…!

Anyways, besides our own stellar record on ‘human rights’, what about Israel’s treatment of their own women, much less, the plight of the Palestinians…?

Now, as those War drums beat ever louder, why are we ignoring the overt warnings…

Former Mossad chief: Israeli attack on Iran must be stopped to avert catastrophe

Meir Dagan speaks out against military offensive on Iran, expresses concern that Defense Minister Barak believes Israel only has less than a year to carry out an attack.

Dagan even went so far as to say it would be ‘disastrous’ and was the ‘stupidest idea’ he’s ever heard…!

Israel, America and Britain Soon to Launch WW3 ?

Will sanity ever prevail…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

A Mixed Bag on the Obama Doctrine

5:48 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle


You can read a copy of the speech here…

Even the Dalai Lama chimed in on Obama’s Nobel speech and award yesterday. Having accepting the same award some twenty years earlier, I thought he’d be the perfect one to start with…

Being the Dalai Lama one would expect him to be optimistic…

Despite the world’s problems he says he never gets depressed… …"No, depressed is no use…

…Better to remain optimistic and make effort, effort, then no regret…

…If you are depressed and lost hope then, I think, at the end of our life we may develop regret…

…If I do something, maybe some positive things might happen but if I miss that, then you feel much regret…

…So it’s better to remain optimistic and make effort. Effort, determination then you feel no regret…

…We try our best but then reality is impossible to materialise, OK, then no problem…

..If you see in reality there is possibility, making some change but due to lack of enthusiasm, lack of vision, then that will be a disaster."

Sage advice indeed…!

I think his philosophy slipped a disc…

"I think if you are realistic, it may have been a little early but it doesn’t matter, I know Obama is a very able person…

…Sometimes these individual persons rely on different advice from different people so like former President Bush junior, as a human being I really love him, really wonderful person, very honest, very truthful

…But I think due to his advisers’ views, some of his policies have been a disaster…

The spiritual leader described Mr Obama as "young and energetic".

"I think the Nobel Peace Prize gives him more encouragement and also gives him more moral personal responsibility,"

I’m very concerned about too many of the ‘advisors’ currently surrounding Obama, across the political spectrum, but, I digress…

When you have the Righties like RS’s Erick Erickson crowing…

I was surprised by Obama’s speech. Parts sounded like full throated support for the Bush doctrine.

It truly gives one reason to pause and reflect on what was actually said…

Sadly, too many progressive voices agree with Erick…!

Juan Cole starts off today…

…If it is true that the Nobel committee awarded President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush, they must have been dismayed to discover that Bush’s war on terror remained the framework for Obama’s acceptance speech.

It was a great speech, with its references to Gandhi and King and its emphasis on human rights and economic justice. It was not a speech Bush could or would have given.

…But Obama ultimately failed to escape the pull of the GWOT…

Spencer Ackerman headlines…

The Obama He Said He Was, Not The Obama You Thought He Would Be

A sad tale indeed…

Greg Sargent asks some poignant questions…

Realistic idealism? …Idealistic realism?

There’s enough here to rankle left and right alike. The left may object to the hint that in certain cases it’s acceptable to impose American values by force, for the good of other nations. The right may point out that carries accents of the Bushian moralizing about American values that so often infuriated liberals and America’s allies abroad. (Though Bush eschewed the international system and diplomacy in a way directly at odds with Obama’s overall approach.)

Either way, Obama seems to be trying to recast idealism in foreign policy as of a piece with realism, in the sense that a realistic and self-interested view of the world should hold that American ideals are more likely to foster peace and stability…

Join the chorus…!

What are your thoughts…???

cross posted at Relaxed Politics…