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Monday, January 05, 2009

The Real Winner of the Iraq War

He is pictured on the left. Iraqi Prime Minister Al Maliki just returned from a cordial meeting in Iran with his most important foreign ally.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another of Obama's Hawks: Rahm Emanuel

We should all continue to hope that Obama will be a peace president, but that does not mean that we should ignore the considerable evidence that indicates otherwise.

For example, his new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is very much from the hawkish wing of the Democratic party. It was Emanuel who was instrumental in getting a clause dropped from the defense appropriations bill requiring Congressional approval for an attack on Iran. Scott Horton has compiled several revealing quotations about Emanuel from the last few years. For the links, see here.

Raimondo: “[E]xamine the CNN photo of Nancy’s coronation and notice its composition: Rahm Emanuel to the left of her, Hoyer to her right – a veritable Praetorian Guard that is little short of menacing. The former torpedoed antiwar candidates in the primary and snubbed them in the general election, while the latter defeated antiwar leader Jack Murtha – frowning in the background – for majority leader on the strength of a smear campaign of extraordinary proportions. Are the men surrounding Madam Speaker an honor guard, or a police escort? Who’s in charge here?”

Raimondo: “The Rahm Emanuel wing of the party – Democratic congressional campaign committee head Emanuel routinely opposed antiwar candidates in the party primaries – is determined to keep the party on a “centrist,” i.e., objectively pro-war course, raising all the old canards about the alleged “weakness” of Democratic candidates on issues related to national security.”

Raimondo: “I would point out that, in a year when the Iraq war is the major issue in races all across the country – and when opposition to the war is at an all-time high, representing nearly 60 percent of voters – the Democrats’ congressional campaign, led by Rahm Emanuel, opposed antiwar candidates with a slate of their own pro-war candidates in the Democratic primaries. In many instances, the Democratic candidate is more pro-war than the Republican.”

Lobe: “Turkey has been aided as well by an expensive lobbying campaign organized and led by a former Republican speaker, Robert Livingstone, and Richard Gephardt, who, as the former Democratic House Leader, had co-sponsored a similar resolution. They have also been joined by several key lawmakers considered close to the so-called Israel Lobby, including the influential Democratic Caucus chairman, Rep. Rahm Emmanuel.”

Safire: “What about Rahm Emanuel, the most powerful voice in the House of Representatives that agrees with Hillary Clinton on foreign affairs. He’s a hawk. And although he’s a rootin’ tootin’ liberal on domestic affairs, he is a hawk on foreign affairs. I was at the—a roast for him for Epilepsy Association, and Hillary Clinton was there, and I said, quite frankly, here you have the hawkish side of the Democratic Party. If they get together, the bumper sticker will read ‘Invade and bomb with Hillary and Rahm.’”

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin/Biden Foreign Policy Positions.

Here is an excellent breakdown of the views of Palin and Biden on foreign policy from the indispensable antiwar.com

The first and only 2008 Vice President Debate is over, and between Governor Sarah Palin’s “shout out” to third-graders from a particular elementary school and imploring “Joe Six-packs” and “Hockey Moms” to band together or Senator Joe Biden’s quip about the “ultimate bridge to nowhere” and comments about how much time he spends at the Home Depot in Wilmington, Delaware the two actually spent quite a bit of time discussing their respective positions on foreign policy.

On Iraq

Republican nominee Sarah Palin insisted that “we have a good plan” in Iraq. She further declared that the success of the surge was “proven” and claimed incorrectly that American forces in Iraq were back down to pre-surge levels. She also praised General David Petraeus as a “great American hero,” and insisted that there was a plan in place for withdrawal.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden claimed that the deal presently being negotiated by President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki was essentially Senator Barack Obama’s plan. He also insisted that there needs to be a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, which Gov. Palin condemned as “a white flag of surrender.”

Sen. Biden promised “we will end this war,” while Gov. Palin insisted that the US military commanders would be the ones who will tell the President when the war is finished. Gov. Palin also claimed “deep respect” for her opponent’s family and their service in Iraq. Her respect for Sen. Obama, however, she said was a different matter. Sen. Biden retorted that Senator John McCain had been “dead wrong” on the war in Iraq.

Sen. Biden also insisted his vote in favor of the use of force in Iraq was not really a vote in favor of war, to which Gov. Palin quipped that the Senator “was for it before he was against it.”

Later, the two clashed on whether the war in Iraq was the center of the war on terrorism. Sen. Biden predicted that any future attack against the homeland would come from Afghanistan or Pakistan, while Gov. Palin maintained that both Gen. Petraeus and al-Qaeda agree that Iraq is the real center of the conflict.

On Iran

Both candidates agreed that Iran could not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Gov. Palin went the extra mile, declaring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “not sane” and insisting that Iran couldn’t even be allowed a civilian nuclear energy program. She also attacked Sen. Obama for saying he would meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions.

Sen. Biden denied the charge, insisting that Sen. Obama would not meet with the Iranian President without certain preconditions being met. He also claimed that Iran was not close to getting a usable nuclear weapon, however in a later comment he claimed the nation was drawing “closer to a bomb.”

On Pakistan

Both candidates likewise agreed that stability in Pakistan was a major concern. Sen. Biden went further in this declaration however, warning that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was a threat to Israel and that a stable government needs to be established there to win the hearts and minds of the tribal area residents.

On Afghanistan

The two candidates clashed bitterly regarding a quote by General David McKiernan regarding whether or not “surge principles” in Afghanistan would be successful. Sen. Biden maintained correctly that Gen. McKiernan cautioned that an Iraq-style surge would not be successful in Afghanistan, while Gov. Palin insisted that the quotes in no way meant that an adaptation of “surge principles” to Afghanistan might not work.

Sen. Biden called for “more money” and “more troops” in Afghanistan, while Gov. Palin attacked Sen. Obama as “reckless” for pointing out that US forces had killed Afghan civilians in air raids.

On Israel

Both candidates declared their love for Israel, with Sen. Biden claiming to be “Israel’s best friend” in the United States Senate. Biden also condemned the Bush Administration’s policy on Israel as an “abject failure” and bragged that he and Sen. Obama had opposed the elections in the West Bank which brought Hamas to power. He also supported a call to place NATO troops in Lebanon to protect Israel from Hezbollah, and said the failure to do so had led to Hezbollah gaining a legitimate role in Lebanon’s government.

Gov. Palin, meanwhile, said that the US must take steps to assure Israel that it will never allow a “Second Holocaust,” which she accused Iran of plotting. She also praised Israel as a “peace-seeking nation” and cited their relationships with Jordan and Egypt as a successful track record of making peace with their neighbors.

On Sudan

Sen. Biden expressed his support for military intervention in Darfur, responding to a question about whether Americans would support it with “the American public has a stomach for success” and saying that “we should rally the world” to halt the genocide in Darfur. Gov. Palin gave a slightly more reserved “all options are on the table” comment with respect to the situation in Darfur, while trumpeting her efforts to divest the Alaska Permanent Fund from Sudanese investments.

On Bosnia

Sen. Biden used his support for US military intervention in Bosnia during the 1990s as an example of a successful US war he helped to start. He called himself a “catalyst for change” and termed the situation “genocide,” insisting that the Bosnian strategy “worked.” He also claimed that Bosnia and Kosovo have “relatively stable” governments.

On Nuclear Arms Control

Gov. Palin insisted that dictatorships which hate America for its tolerance mustn’t be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. In particular she mentioned Iran and North Korea. She said a nuclear attack would be “the end all be all” of too many people, and claimed that America’s nuclear arsenal was simply for deterrent purposes, which she termed a “safe, stable way to use nuclear weapons.”

Sen. Biden attacked Sen. McCain for opposing American participation in the test ban treaty, saying that the world needs a “nuclear arms control regime.”

What Was Missing:

Conspicuously absent from the debate was any substantive mentioning of Russia, the expansion of NATO, the war in Georgia, or the prospect of a new Cold War. Also unmentioned were the US role in the conflict in Somalia, the role of AFRICOM, or any foreign policy with respect to Venezuela, Colombia, or any other nation in South America.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Horton/Kushner Debate on Terrorism at Texas A&M

As I predicted, this is well worth watching. Harvey Kushner makes all the standard pro-war Republican arguments and Scott Horton overwhelms him with evidence to the contrary. I doubt Kushner has ever experienced anything like this.

For the youtube, see here

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Scott Ritter on Antiwar.com (The Topic is Iran)

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Gordon Prather on Iran's Nuclear Program

Here is a youtube of Scott Horton's interview of Gordon Prather on Iran's nuclear program (or lack thereof):

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Does Obama Support the Bush/Pelosi Secret War in Iran?

The most important section of the Hersh article (cited below) is his finding that the Democratic leadership has approved a $400 million dollar plan to wage a secret war on the Iranian government. Where does Obama stand on this on extremely dangerous plan? Why doesn't someone ask him? It is hard to believe that he does not know about it. Hersh reports the following:

The Democratic leadership’s agreement to commit hundreds of millions of dollars for more secret operations in Iran was remarkable, given the general concerns of officials like Gates, Fallon, and many others. “The oversight process has not kept pace—it’s been coöpted” by the Administration, the person familiar with the contents of the Finding said. “The process is broken, and this is dangerous stuff we’re authorizing.”


Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Coming War With Iran?

Seymour Hersh has the latest developments.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama's Hawkish Speech on Iran/Israel Before AIPAC

Obama's sabre-rattling claims in this clip are debunked by running commentary from George Galloway who, ironically, is an Obama supporter.

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