Is it safe to say that when the military turns against their commander in chief, that that should be a good enough sign that the commander in chief’s war policies are bad?
A new article delves into this question: just what has Condoleezza Rice done as Secretary of State? Is it her intervention that stopped the Israel-Lebanon War? Has she accomplished anything in stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology? Has she done anything to stop North Korea’s belligerence? Has she done anything to solve The Sudan genocide? Has she done anything to stop this war between Somalia and Ethiopia? Has she gotten the insurgency in Iraq to come to a political table and participate in governing Iraq? Just what exactly has Condoleezza Rice done as Secretary of State?
Moreover, just what did Condoleezza Rice do as National Security Adviser?
And was she this inept as Provost of Stanford?
Let me tell you, we’re lucky that we have such few conflicts to deal with right now…
How low, and how far to the right must Mitt Romney go to prove himself a conservative to the voters of South Carolina? He now is blackmailing Massachusetts lawmakers into passing his gay marriage amendment against their wishes.
Governor Mitt Romney may refuse to move ahead on automatic pay raises for lawmakers unless they vote next week on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, a top administration official said yesterday.
The thing is that this pay raise is constitutionally required, so technically, Romney would be breaking the law to force them to vote. Moreover, the incoming governor can simply give them their automatic raise. So what the hell is Romney thinking? Is he really doing this to score conservative points? Is that how base conservatives really are these days? Seriously, Mr. Romney, what has happened to you?
Officials do not see any threat on New Year’s parties. Of course not, there’s no election coming up. No need to stir fear in the hearts of voters….
To borrow a famous line from the Senator from Mississippi, Mr. Trent Lott, if Reagan had chosen Ford instead of Bush “we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years.”
In an interview in 2004 that was apparently embargoed—take a wild guess who embargoed this interview from going public—President Gerald Ford said Bush was very wrong about invading and occupying Iraq.
Where are realists like Ford in the Republican party these days?
Chalk one up to the incompetence of the Bush Administration. By diverting our attention from Afghanistan and taking on a second project in Iraq, we’ve left Afghanistan weak these past five years, to the point now that Iran’s influence is felt very strongly in Afghanistan now, as much as in Iraq.
So…..just how was the mission in Iraq supposed to fundamentally alter the Middle East in our favor?
The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report showing that Curt Weldon’s claims that Able Danger knew of Mohammed Atta before 9/11 and were thwarted in their attempts to warn America are baseless and false, as we reasonable people knew. Curt Weldon and Rick Santorum are men who will go to their graves thinking differently. Well they are now out of position of power and influence, so that helps. There is still so much work to be done though to get past this hysteria and hyperbole, to a point where Americans can think clearly and logically, as well as ethically and morally about our enemy. There is still too much raw anger in the air…
Great article in today’s LA Times on how Pakistan is aiding and abetting the Taliban in Afghanistan. I wonder why we are not angry at Pakistan, like we are at Iran. After all, Pakistan is ruled by a dictator with nuclear weapons, and Osama Bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan. Why do we give them a free ride?
“‘Nationalism’ is the pathology of modern developmental history, as inescapable as ‘neurosis’ in the individual, with much the same essential ambiguity attaching to it, a similar built-in capacity for descent into dementia, rooted in the dilemmas of helplessness thrust upon most of the world (the equivalent of infantilism for societies) and largely incurable.”
by Tom Nairn, The Break-up of Britain, pg. 359.
Why do I call this the quote of the year? I really actually mean the quote of the past six years. I believe America has turned ultra-nationalistic in recent times. Take Virgil Goode’s letter to his constituents, in which he shows that it is his belief that Muslims do not represent American culture. His view of his nation does not include the Muslim. Nothing could be more infantile and wrong. But, nationalism being what it is, it can hardly be pinned down to one definition or another. As Benedict Anderson defines it in his work, Imagined Communities, “the nation: it is an imagined political community—and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign. It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” (pg. 6)
I might add that nationalism is not just about who we are, but perhaps more importantly as who we are NOT. This difference between the imagined communities is the key to the destructive aspect of nationalism. Can an American who strongly believe in his community “America” identify in any way with, say, the community imagined by Iranians? and vice versa. Nationalists often, also, turn on their own if they aren’t ideologically pure. They paint tainted members of the imagined community as traitors to the cause, anti-community (e.g. anti-American, or “blame America first”).
Can our country get away from nationalism? Tom Nairn thinks it is “incurable,” and from the continual glorifying of the individual or group who fights to the death for the cause of the community…well, that doesn’t help. As Anderson continues:
Finally, it is imagined as a community, because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. Ultimately, it is this fraternity that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much to kill, as willing to die for such limited imaginings.
So Representative Virgil Goode stands by his bigoted remarks about Muslims elected to Congress in the United States…well, let’s give his letter a twist and see what we see:
Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the [Torah] in any way. The [Jewish] Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more [Jews] elected to office and demanding the use of the [Torah]. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from [Israel] to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more [Jews] in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.
The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A [Jewish] student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the [Torah]. My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The [Torah] is not going to be on the wall of my office.” Thank you again for your email and thoughts.
Why do we despise people like Mel Gibson for his drunken rants against Jews, but treat as ho hum such comments from a Congressional Representative towards another religion? I realize that Muslims have not had their own Holocaust like the Jews have…but why do we hold one group, one religion at such a high standard, and don’t really care when another religion is treated the same?
See, Bush is selling a message. Facts that do not fit this message must not get out, or the message will fail. What is the message? That Iran is bad, and that Iran does not wish to work with the world, so the best option is war. That is the message the Bush administration wishes for America to see. They do not want America to know, or better said, remember, that Iran actually has cooperated with the United States in places like Afghanistan. That would be detrimental to their efforts to paint Iran as intractable and evil. Plus, it would make people ask why publicly the Bush administration states that it does not wish to talk with Iran, while in the back they do so anyways.
What is this all about? This is about Flynn Everett, who has written an op-ed for the New York Times. It was cleared through the CIA, but the White House got a hold of the document and redacted their own lines, things they don’t want America to see, mainly that Iran was cooperative with the United States in securing Afghanistan’s western border, and other help. The New York Times went ahead and published the op-ed with the redacted lines in black, so the whole world could see just what Bush did not want you to see. Mr. Everett writes a second piece to go with the op-ed explaining the portions that the White House redacted.
Indeed, the deleted portions of the original draft reveal no classified material. These passages go into aspects of American-Iranian relations during the Bush administration’s first term that have been publicly discussed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former Secretary of State Colin Powell; former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; a former State Department policy planning director, Richard Haass; and a former special envoy to Afghanistan, James Dobbins.
National security must be above politics. In a democracy, transparency in government has to be honored and protected. To classify information for reasons other than the safety and security of the United States and its interests is a violation of these principles. It is for this reason that we will continue to press for the release of the article without the material deleted.
What is the administration afraid of? If the truth sets us free, and freedom is the administration’s utmost drive…well…why is it then so secretive? What does it not want Americans to remember about Iran? Why now?
Vali Nasr shares with us the problem of this apparent surge. What Bush is apparently planning is a war with al-Sadr and his militia. He’s apparently wanting to flatten Sadr City. Boy, could you come up with a worse strategy? Continue Reading What The Surge Really Means On the Ground in Iraq…
Wow, I’m really liking the old Romney! He voted for Paul Tsongas, the liberal Democrat back in 1992. That’s who I wanted to win back then. How ’bout that! What happened Romney? Why vote for a very liberal candidate? Were you preparing yourself for your failed run for Senate in 1994 in Massachusetts, and figured the best way to prove your “liberal” credentials to the voters of that very liberal Northeast state is to vote for the local kid?
Here’s a brief bio on Paul Tsongas. I knew there was a reason I liked him back then!
In particular, he focused on the United States budget deficit and its harmful effects, a cause he continued to champion after his primary campaign ended by co-founding The Concord Coalition
I wonder if Tsongas were alive today and running again if Romney would even think about voting for him…I doubt Tsongas would have changed his opinion over these past 16 years.
I just watched the trailer for the new movie coming out in March 2007 called “300.” It looks like a gorgeous artistic film, along the lines of Sin City from 2005. I noticed something in the trailer, the theme of the film seems to be “few stood against many,” which I’ve noticed is a common theme in American filmmaking recently, the glorification of the few against incredible insurmountable odds. The few also happen to be “free men,” the ideal utopian group that has their lives interrupted by an invading force. (Mel Gibson used this too in his film Apocalypto). It seems we’re getting fancier, more professional, more artistic, in our worship of the hero, the warrior, the David against a massive Goliath. I’m noticing a lot of glorifying of the hero and the warrior, the soldier in everything around us here in America, and not just entertainment. But in all these cases, these heroes and warriors rely on the ethically and morally compromising arm of flesh to succeed, and one has to wonder if we drink too much in their glory to rely on God for our protection. President Spencer W. Kimball warned us about our worshiping of the gods of steel and muscle. Can we escape this worship when it is all around us?
Furthermore, can we ever get something this beautifully artistic without all the violence and gore? I still want to see Sin City for its style and cinematography, but am kept away by the brutishness and coarseness of its violence.
UPDATE: Oh, fittingly, the enemy in this show is the Persian Empire….
Okay, so I was thinking yesterday about this scripture:
Colossians 3:12 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
I’ll quote the next few verses later, because this message is quite powerful. But I was just curious about the phrase “bowels of mercies.” Where does it come from? What is it about our bowels that seem to emanate mercy? Doesn’t mercy come from charity and the heart? What do you all think?
Here’s the rest of the message:
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
This is how successful revolutions and changes in power start: with the students first. The young generation in Iran clearly are quite moderate and the key to a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Western countries, Sunni Arab countries and Iran. America needs to stop rattling her saber and accept these moderates, like Khatami. However, if this is any indication the future doesn’t look good even for moderates in Iran, at least if Republicans win in 2008. It seems Republicans really don’t see any alternative except war with Iran in America’s future. So sad.
No, some things will never be forgotten.
Tony Blair. Seeing his legacy in shambles, tied to Iraq and George Bush, is nobly trying to get away from the fact that he sold the WMDs and the threat far more ably and intellectually than Bush could ever have done. He is cruising the Middle East right now, calling for an alliance against evil, those dastardly Iranians. Of course, he does not speak in such brutish terms, as we in America are accustomed to from our right-wing compatriots, but thus is his desire. Continue Reading Blair’s Alliance of the Good…
Representative Virgil Goode (not living up to his name) shows that racism and bigotry is alive and well in Congress. Just who is he trying to score points with? Which hearts is he trying to inflame? What fire is he trying to stoke? Continue Reading Racism and Bigotry Alive and Well in Your Congress America…