The Secret Seizure and “Progressive” Democrats’ Failure of Heart

Attorney General Eric Holder with Deputy AG James Cole, who made the call to seize two months of phone records of 20 AP reporters.

AG Eric Holder with Deputy AG James Cole, who made the call to secretly seize two months of records of 20 phone lines of AP reporters in search of a  leaker in the Obama administration.

My first instinct when I heard Monday’s revelation of the DOJ’s secret seizure of certain AP reporters’ work and home phone records was to say to myself, I’m glad I voted for Jill Stein.

My second was to fume over how infuriating this story is, what ham-handed ineptitude it displays. If there’s only one area of Obama’s administration that progressive Democrats who voted for him twice should agree with me about it’s this nauseatingly phony tougher-than-Bush approach to questions of national security. I mean, if I were the same person I was in, say, 2004 and had voted for Obama’s second term, I would be having some serious cognitive dissonance issues to deal with today. On the other hand, these are the same people who boasted loudly for half the campaign season about Osama bin Laden’s death (rather than his capture, which would really have been something to boast about), so chances are they won’t be too upset over anything Obama does in the name of national security. Continue reading

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A Tory on Britain’s Sinking into an American-made Quagmire

Rory Stewart, Tory MP from Cumbria, made these observations on the 10th anniversary of British collusion with the Bush-Cheney catastrophe in Iraq. He describes the situation well and asks excellent questions, especially the very last one in this excerpt.

[O]ver the last eighteen months, this relationship has unraveled
First, contrary to the Vice-President’s predictions, the Iraqis have
insisted that every last US soldier depart. They have refused visas to
so many US diplomats that half the new multi-billion dollar Embassy is
empty. As the last US troops withdrew, they were attacked by a Shia
terrorist group; two months later that group was brought into the
Iraqi government. The day that the last soldier left, the Shia
Prime-Minister sent tanks to arrest the Sunni Vice-President.
President Obama personally called the Kurdish leader – who had been
one of the US’s closest allies – asking him to step aside and allow in
a more balanced government. The Kurdish leader refused. Three months
ago, Vice-President Biden begged the Iraqi Prime-Minister not to
release an Iranian terrorist commander, (who had been arrested by
British troops. The Iraqi Prime-Minister ignored the Vice-President,
and released him.

In August and September, Iraqi banks were teaming up with the Iranian
government to break sanctions. Iranians were being allowed to ship
weapons through Iraq to prop up the Syrian regime. And in December,
the Iraqi Prime-Minister, who arrested 615 Sunni Arabs in an hour, a
year ago, lined up his troops against the Kurdish militia. On one day
last year, there were simultaneous attacks in ten cities, killing
fifty and wounding two hundred.

Saddam – an extreme dictator – has gone. The media is much freer now.
Many young Iraqis, and particular Kurds, are very grateful that the
old regime has fallen, and are proud of their new culture. But the
international community has not achieved its objectives – however
often it redefines them. First, we aimed to create a ‘democratic Iraq,
at peace with itself and its neighbours’. By 2009, we talked only of a
stable, representative government, a place where terrorists could not
operate, and “an ally”. Instead, after a decade, a trillion pounds,
and more lives than anyone would want to count, we have helped to
create a place, which sometimes looks like a corrupt and fragile
democracy, and sometimes like a Shia rogue state – somewhere on a
scale between Iran and Pakistan.

The question for Britain is what aspect of our culture, our
government, and our national psychology, allowed us to get mired in
such catastrophe?

Hat tip, once again, to The Browser.

AIPAC and the Evils of Republicratism

Gung ho at AIPAC

Gung ho at AIPAC

MJ Rosenberg makes these observations on his eponymous blog:

It’s hard to watch the AIPAC conference for more than a few minutes at a time. For me, the worst part is the pandering (and lying) by Democratic politicians eager to raise money for their next campaign.

So far, Joe Biden has been the worst. He is heavily funded by the Adler family of Miami Beach (he even brought President Obama to their home for a fundraiser), one of the big AIPAC families. Here is Biden talking about how the head of the Adler klan and another AIPAC mogul gave him his “formal education” on the Middle East. (Not to mention all that money.

And, of course, Biden (like John Kerry) knows better than his AIPAC speeches indicate. I have talked to him about Israel and Palestine.He can name the top Palestinian leaders in Fatah and Hamas and tell you the differences between their respective positions. He believes Israel needs to end the occupation and talk to Hamas. He would not dare say it publicly, although he has said  it so often privately that it is amazing the media never reports it.

But Biden does what he thinks he has to because, for politicians like him (that is, pretty much all politicians), nothing is more important than keeping donors happy. Call him a hypocrite but he cries all the way to the bank.

The Republicans are different. Supporting the occupation and threatening war with Iran come naturally to them. They don’t need lobby money for their campaigns and they don’t get Jewish votes anyway.  (This is not to say that they don’t like Sheldon Adelson’s money, just that as the pro-business party, they don’t need it). They support Netanyahu because they believe that the west needs to crush the Muslim world. They do not feign Islamophobia. It’s them.

Do we not hear echoes of  Yeats in this accurate picture of today’s politics?: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity.” Continue reading