As much as I love that he has turned on the Bush administration quite harshly, it must be remembered that this man did NOT speak out when he should have. And as this video from the good folks at Talking Points Memo show, he was highly critical of Richard Clarke who did exactly what he is doing now, writing a book in the heat of an election year about events that transpired while he was in office a year and a half previous.
I’m sorry Mr. McClellan, but history will not remember you well. Enjoy the money you make from your book. I for one will not pay you a single penny.
If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office.
Those that don’t pass muster will be overturned, he said.
During a fund-raiser in Denver, Obama — a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School — was asked what he hoped to accomplish during his first 100 days in office.
“I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution,” said Obama
Thank you, Mr. Obama.
And you thought Fox News couldn’t get a lower standard of depravity.
Yep, he indeed said that. What do you guys think? Did the Nazis do the work of the Lord on the Jews?
Beautifully done, Mr. Ross. Way to use your investigative skills to burst the bubble on the right.
Note the importance of how the Muslim world is already starting to view McCain. Unless McCain truly separates himself from the likes of the hateful Paster Parsley, he will, if he wins in November, already be at a great disadvantage in a part of the world where we need a vastly improved leader than the one we currently have.
Thomas Friedman has written another op-ed about the Middle East. Frankly he should have retired his thoughts on the Middle East in 2002 when he gave up reason and supported the war in Iraq. But sadly, we still have to hear him get involved in that which he does not understand, or that which he would rather frame in a particular way, setting the stage for future American leaders to view the Middle East a particular way. He does so with this new op-ed. He writes:
The next American president will inherit many foreign policy challenges, but surely one of the biggest will be the cold war. Yes, the next president is going to be a cold-war president — but this cold war is with Iran.
That is the real umbrella story in the Middle East today — the struggle for influence across the region, with America and its Sunni Arab allies (and Israel) versus Iran, Syria and their non-state allies, Hamas and Hezbollah. As the May 11 editorial in the Iranian daily Kayhan put it, “In the power struggle in the Middle East, there are only two sides: Iran and the U.S.”
For now, Team America is losing on just about every front. How come? The short answer is that Iran is smart and ruthless, America is dumb and weak, and the Sunni Arab world is feckless and divided. Any other questions?
The outrage of the week is the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah attempt to take over Lebanon. Hezbollah thugs pushed into Sunni neighborhoods in West Beirut, focusing particular attention on crushing progressive news outlets like Future TV, so Hezbollah’s propaganda machine could dominate the airwaves. The Shiite militia Hezbollah emerged supposedly to protect Lebanon from Israel. Having done that, it has now turned around and sold Lebanon to Syria and Iran.
Note all the problems in this, the simplistic view of something complex, the easy labels, and so on. First comes the overall theme, the overall framing that Mr. Friedman wishes his readers to view America’s foreign policy vis-a-vis the Middle East: A Cold War. See, Americans are quite familiar with the term “Cold War,” or so Mr. Friedman thinks. But from our one and only example of a “Cold War” there sure isn’t any real comparison between the two examples. However, in both examples, one thing is very, very, sadly true: the United States misreads both opponents. The Soviet Union took over eastern Europe to set up a buffer zone between itself and Germany (after two betrayals who would be dumb enough NOT to?). Did the Soviet Union have plans to go into western Europe? Nope. But that was the fear in the United States. That, however, set up the confrontations in the rest of the world, where the Soviet Union felt it needed to expand to protect itself from the threat faced by the United States. We did the same, setting up bases in far off countries, delving into the internal affairs of far off nations we had no business messing around with.
In this op-ed, you can almost feel Mr. Friedman’s desire for this to be a reversion to the more simplistic life under the Cold War. So simple it was. Them = bad guys, Us = good guys. The United States, though, is a real fickle bitch. We used the Soviet Union to destroy Nazi Germany, only to turn around and use those same Germans to undermine the Russians. Most of the real saving battles of World War II on the European front occurred between Russia and Germany (as they had a generation previous in World War I). Without the Soviets, Germany would have overrun the entire western front and given the United States no ability to truly make a beachhead in France. In any case, this is a tangent.
So back to the main point, the situation in the Middle East today is not a Cold War. The troubles of the Middle East are unfortunately from our doing, not Iran’s. We are the ones who removed a democratically elected president of Iran back in the 1950s, installing the shah and bringing repression back to the Iranians, leading to their Revolution and to the situation we see today. We are the ones who installed the Ba’ath Party in Iraq, leading to Saddam Hussein and the rest of that sad story.
The second place that Mr. Friedman gets things wrong is in tying Iran, Syria and Hezbollah as basically one entity working in harmony on every little point. If something occurs that undermines our position, it surely must be because of that dastardly “Axis of Evil!” Surely there are no local politics involved. Surely Hezbollah has no local politics to deal with that has nothing at all to do with Iran. Hezbollah is a powerful entity within Lebanon even without Iran.
What Mr. Friedman cannot seem to understand is that this is truly different than the Cold War. Poland had little choice but to do what the Kremlin ordered. But Syria is really not under the control of Iran. I highly doubt we will ever see Iran send tanks to Damascus to breakup a revolution like Budapest, Hungary. But see, thinking all that is getting into complex situations, and Mr. Friedman doesn’t really want Americans to think more deeply about this situation. He would rather have us look simplistically at the Middle East. Them = bad guys, Us = good guys. End of story, as Mr. Friedman would like to frame it.
Mr. Friedman, it is best if you stick to talking about global warming or globalization or anything else that has nothing to do with the Middle East. You’ve put your foot in your mouth far too much vis-a-vis the Middle East. Let us not forget how you framed the war in Iraq.
Should anyone ever consider listening to YOUR opinion of what to do in the Middle East? Never.
This man endorses John McCain for president.
You have a choice to make this November, America. Publish peace or make war. It is your choice.
I wonder if she realizes that her actions two years ago have led to this.
Nothing more to add.
Michael Gordon carries the water for the Bush administration yet again, unquestioningly passing along any information “American officials” wish to pass along to their best enabler, Mr. Gordon. This time is it the salacious news that Hezbollah (our mortal enemy) has been training Iraqis in Iran (duh duh duh!)!
There has been debate among experts about the extent to which Iran is responsible for instability in Iraq. But President Bush and other American officials, in public castigations of Iran, have said that Iran has been consistently meddlesome in Iraq and that the Iranians have long sought to arm and train Iraqi militias, which the American military has called “special groups.”
In a possible effort to be less obtrusive, it appears that Iran is now bringing small groups of Iraqi Shiite militants to camps in Iran, where they are taught how to do their own training, American officials say.
Because of course, “American officials” are, er…uh, never wrong. But just read those two paragraphs closely. Iran, responsible for instability in Iraq? Who is the biggest provider of weapons and training in Iraq of various militias and non-state actors? Why it is the United States! In a competition between the United States and Iran, which of the two nations has directly killed more civilians than the other? Uh, this should be a no brainer, but for those kool-aid drinking war supporters, the answer is the United States. It is the United States that is sowing instability in Iraq at a far greater rate than Iran could ever do.
Those dratted meddlesome Iranians. If it weren’t for those blasted kids and their dog!