Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
John McCain: "We need Joe Biden for secretary of state."
Today he wails that he didn't know, that nobody knew the truth about Iraq's alleged "weapons of mass destruction," but it cannot be said that Biden was all that eager to discover the truth, either. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee in 2002, Biden was in a position to ensure that a real debate took place on the issue. Yet, in the hearings held by his committee, not a single antiwar "expert" was called: all were spear-carriers for the War Party....
Biden was chosen for the number-two spot because he is thought to strengthen the Obama campaign in the area of foreign policy, where the candidate is considered weakest. Biden is presented as a man of experience, and a foreign policy maven to boot. However, it is precisely in the realm of foreign policy that Biden falls far short. Biden supported the president's war policies, at least in terms of ends if not means...
Biden has been one of the War Party's most reliable servants, endorsing as "absolutely correct" then-President Clinton's attack on hapless Yugoslavia – like Iraq, another example of a war in which the "enemy" represented no danger to the U.S. and whose crimes were vastly overstated. This earned him the approbation of John McCain, who, on April 11, 1999, declared to Tim Russert on Meet the Press: "We need Joe Biden for secretary of state." An astounded Russert asked: "Is that an offer by President McCain?" McCain replied: "Absolutely!"
Monday, August 25, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Robert Higgs on the "Ratchet Effect" and World War I
According to the description, Higgs discusses the legacy of Woodrow Wilson’s Cheney, Edward Mandell House, House’s rise to power and links to big money men, Philip Dru Administrator: A Story of Tomorrow – the blueprint for a fascist America written by House in 1910-11, how House took advantage of Wilson’s narcissism to get America into World War I, the consequences of American intervention in that war, the concept of the “ratchet effect” of government expansion explained in Crisis and Leviathan, why most perceived governmental “failures” are really successes if you understand the intentions, the true character and beneficiaries of the American empire, the economics of the world’s oil market and the buried truth that all of state power is rooted in fear.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
How the War in Georgia Started
The Bush administration appears to be trying to turn a failed military operation by Georgia into a successful diplomatic operation against Russia.
It is doing so by presenting the Russian actions as aggression and playing down the Georgian attack into South Ossetia on 7 August, which triggered the Russian operation.
Yet the evidence from South Ossetia about that attack indicates that it was extensive and damaging.
The BBC's Sarah Rainsford has reported: "Many Ossetians I met both in Tskhinvali and in the main refugee camp in Russia are furious about what has happened to their city.
"They are very clear who they blame: Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili, who sent troops to re-take control of this breakaway region."...
Human Rights Watch concluded after an on-the-ground inspection: "Witness accounts and the timing of the damage would point to Georgian fire accounting for much of the damage described [in Tskhinvali]."
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Police Beating Demonstrators in Georgia's "Growing Democracy."
Peters called for massive sanctions against Russia. The obliging reporter egged him on by volunteering that Georgia had a "growing democracy." Perhaps she missed this revealing footage from 2007 showing police in that country beating up demonstrators to enforce martial law.
A Query on Two Secessions: Kosovo and South Ossetia
Saturday, August 09, 2008
August 9, 1945, A Date that Will Live in Infamy
President Truman ordered this attack even though Japan was already effectively defeated. It possessed no capability to harm Americans in their home territory, and its surrender was only a matter of time, especially in light of the Soviet Union’s declaration of war against Japan on August 9, four days after its unilateral abrogation of the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, and its initiation of military actions against Japanese forces in Manchuria. Japan, not yet a rich country, was militarily and economically exhausted from the wars in which it had been engaged since 1937. The Japanese government sought only reasonable terms, including retention of the emperor as the nation’s supreme political authority.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Hurston and Paterson: Two Individualists Against the Atomic Bomb
Novelists Zora Neale Hurston and Isabel Paterson had much in common including opposition to the New Deal and a shared belief individualism. Both also opposed the dropping of the atomic bomb.
In 1946, Hurston, who later supported the presidential campaign of Robert A. Taft, wrote that she was "amazed at the complacency of Negro press and public" towards Truman's foreign policy actions.
According to Hurston, Truman "is a monster. I can think of him as nothing else but the BUTCHER of ASIA. Of his grin of triumph on giving the order to drop the Atom bombs on Japan. Of his maintaining troops in China who are shooting the starving Chinese for stealing a handful of food....Is it that we are so devoted to a 'good Massa' that we feel that we ought not to even protest such crimes? Have we no men among us? If we cannot stop it, we can at least let it be known that we are not deceived. We can make any party who condones it, let alone orders it, tremble for election time."
Carla Kaplan, ed., Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (New York: Doubleday, 2002), 546.
At about the same time, Paterson cited the atomic bomb as an example of Truman's use of science “to fry Japanese babies in atomic radiation.” Their deaths did not even have practical value to Paterson, who had predicted an almost immediate surrender of the Japanese upon the landing of a U.S. invasion force. The only bright spot for her was that Truman compromised his demand of unconditional surrender by letting the Japanese to keep the emperor.
Stephen Cox, The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2004).
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
McCain's Role in Creating the Anti-Iraq Anthrax Hysteria
In making these statements, of course, McCain played a key role in creating the climate of fear that led many Americans to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Solzhenitsyn and "the absurd project to impose democracy all over the world."
In 2005, for example, he declared that:
It [democracy] must not be forced [upon people] like a cap. Democracy can only grow upwards, like a plant. Democracy must begin at the local level, within the local self-government. Only then can it develop further....Solzhenitsyn slammed the US policy, saying that over ten years ago, the US "launched an absurd project to impose democracy all over the world." "The US has a strange idea of democracy - they first interfered with the Bosnian situation, bombed Yugoslavia, then Afghanistan, and then Iraq." "Who is next, perhaps, Iran?" the writer wonders. "The US must understand that democracy cannot be introduced by force, by the army," he said.