Archive for middle east

Vindicated: Tons of banned chemical weapons destroyed. Chickenhawks won't care.

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There's an editorial in today's Los Angeles Times titled, "Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons shows the U.S. may know what it's doing after all." Wait. So President Obama did something-- dun dun dun-n!-- right? Vindicated, at last!

[I]t was a rare bit of good news to hear from the administration on Monday that the United States had "finished neutralizing" hundreds of tons of the most deadly chemical weapons belonging to the regime of President Bashar Assad of Syria. This was a milestone in the diplomatic process that began a year ago this week when the Assad government was accused of using sarin gas to kill more than 1,000 people in a rebel-held suburb near Damascus. [...]

Conservatives assailed the plan as naive and feckless, as a projection of American weakness; Obama's supporters called ita fulfillment of his campaign promise to negotiate with those who were willing to talk in good faith.[...]

[N]egotiation and diplomacy are a better alternative to what would otherwise have been airstrikes followed by likely civilian deaths and a worrisome creep toward war.

"How dare Obama stop and think before he bombs?" Of course, now that the president has succeeded in accomplishing a goal sans war, he had to ruin it all (yes, that was sarcasm) by being all presidential and making a statement about the ghastly beheading of journalist James Foley by those despicable, brutal ISIL animals (sincere apologies to animals) responsible for his execution.

That will mean only one thing: John McCain and his trusty sidekick Li'l Lindsey Graham will appear on every Sunday talk show and be given a platform to call out President Obama's feck and demand that we go to war.

Again. I don't claim to know what the answer is, but our endless wars in the Middle East sure didn't succeed in eradicating terrorism or spreading Exceptional American Democracy across the region. However, BushCo and their pride-and-joy illegal invasion of Iraq did succeed at one thing: Failure. Sending more young Americans into battle is not always the answer, Johnsey (McGraham?).

Here is a partial transcript of the president's remarks via WaPo. Way to rev up the chickenhawks, Pres. O (yes, that was also sarcasm):

Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL....

He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there. Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world....

Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declare their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.

So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim, out of expediency, that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is, they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior...

The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done....

From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies.

One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.

drum beat smaller

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Bill Kristol Says 'Hogwash' To Any Iraq War Hawk Apology Possibilities

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Image courtesy @ColMorrisDavis

 

Bill Kristol, fresh from his Morning Joe pummeling by MSNBC pundit John Heilemann link here , spent a good deal of time last week fielding questions about his doubling down on the decision to go into Iraq.

And his call to action that slammed liberal peaceniks as lacking feck. Feck is becoming highly overrated among the BushCo NeoCon Senior Set.

Kristolry

Image courtesy our Twitter friend Mel Neuhaus, @acehanna54 Click to enlarge.

Erin Burnett got a shot at Kristol over at CNN, and he (to our delight) included that prized intellectual conservative descriptive: 'Hogwash!'

She had a provocative Tweet from Senate leader Harry Reid to tweak Kristol's self-elevated nose with.

Have a gander.


"I'm not apologizing for something that I think was not wrong," Kristol opined firmly. "The war to remove Saddam was the right thing and necessary thing to do."

"Apologies would be in order for the neoconservatives who banged the war drums so disastrously, Bill," swiftly came from a neighboring Carl Bernstein, thank you Carl.

"Hogwash!" Kristol bellowed!

The Old White Guys UnCompassionate Conservative Club, headed by Cheney or Kristol or whomever is sick enough to want that chair, is clearly alive and disturbed. And increasingly loud and given to public hissy fits.

On MSNBC's Hardball Monday evening, Chris Matthews gave the Axis of Feeble his own unique shout-out. [Truly, pardon the quiet shouting, but Tweety means so well.]

Bring on 2014!

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President Obama to speak on Iraq at 12:30 EDT

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President Obama

President Obama will speak of the changes in Iraq in recent days at 12:30 pm EDT today.

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Paul Bremer Gets Reamed A New A**hole By Erin Burnett

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Burnett Bremer

Sometimes watching someone squirm makes us feel uncomfortable. But when they bring it on themselves, not so much. CNN's Erin Burnett had Iraq Warlord and Bush confident and liar-in-chief Paul Bremer on her show last night. He didn't last long. A bob, a weave and then Burnett landed blow after blow against this fraud masquerading as a man. Without any doubt, he's lucky Obama didn't prosecute him for war crimes and treason against this country. And how does he repay this generosity? He blames Obama for what he (Bremer) left behind.

If you want to see the Thrilla in Vanilla, The Battle of the B's, or The Bremer's Bash, here you go-- front row seats. Better put on some plastic clothing. Erin draws blood early. Watch the cut over Bremer's eye when Erin quickly attacks on this CNN clip:

"People, a lot of people are watching you right now and they're —they're hearing you give your ideas of what to do. And they're saying, 'but aren't you the guy who got us in this mess?'"

"Look, you're the guy who ran Iraq for George W. Bush."

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President Obama Addresses New Iraq Insurgency

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Iraq President Obama

From all reports the Iraqi security forces just abandoned their posts and turned tail and ran - this after millions of dollars spent on weapons and training. President Obama discussed possible US reactions to the crisis this morning.

From YouTube:

President Obama told reporters on Friday that the escalating conflict in Iraq is not only a military matter. He stressed that leadership in Iraq needs to engage in the crisis and that the US will take several days to assess the situation there before taking any action.

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Surprise: Newest American Saboteurs are Democratic Senators

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When you hear names like Charlie Schumer, Mark Warner, Cory Booker, Kay Hagen, Mary Landrieu, Bob Casey and Richard Blumenthal, you usually hear that some Democratically sponsored bill has their support. And usually you're right, give or take one of the above.

Yet recently, led by Senator Bob Menendez, these US elected officials to the upper house have been sold a bill of goods. And it's not a jobs or education bill. Nor is it some health plan or civil rights issue. It's war.

Real war. A potential nuclear war.

Why these guys? This isn't the Republican Party war stalwarts, Lindsay Graham and John McCain. These are normal people -- at least as normal as it gets in the senate.

The truth is these new Hawk senators are on the dole. Not necessarily news there -- all elected officials are influenced by lobbyists. But this time, and I'm going to take heat for this, it's the Jewish Mafia. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It's the most influential Jewish lobby group in the US. And historically they have backed candidates who fight for justice and equality in social issues, and political ones when it comes to Israel.

Now Israel has a special place in my heart. Not just because it's the Jewish homeland and I was born a Jew, but my wife is a Sabra, a native born Israeli. And once you have that in your blood, you're generally a dyed-in -the-wool supporter of anything the Israeli Knesset (parliament) proposes.

This brings us to war and peace. For nearly 30 years we've been in a cold war with Iran. We've had no formal diplomatic talks with them and we've been the world leader in getting other nations to impose austere economic sanctions against them. That was until about four months ago. There was a breakthrough. John Kerry reported back to the US that talks on stopping or at least tightening nuclear safeguards with Iran were possible. But like all negotiations, there's a bit of 'give a little' to 'get a little.' The price for us was to hold off on further economic sanctions while negotiations would take place (a six months moratorium). The price to the Iranians is to allow open international monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program -- full inspections.

This was a great tit for tat -- especially as pressure was building for war between our two countries.  That would ultimately would result in a nuclear conflagration. There's no way around that. Yet here's a potentially peaceful solution at hand. The only ones unhappy in that region are Saudi Arabia (remember where the 911 trainees spent much of their pre-attack time) and Israel -- the other nuclear armed country in the region who doesn't want any competition in weapons superiority. And I can understand that.

Obviously those in the pocket of the neo-cons -- the entire GOP party hierarchy -- were against this. But the Democrats? How could they be against peace -- especially one their President is working so hard to accomplish? And if you're looking at public opinion, over 60% favor a peaceful solution with Iran over war. So how could 16 Democrats come out and favor new sanctions which would lead to Iran pulling away from the negotiating table?

Obama was told in no uncertain words that new sanctions  against Iran would be a line in the sand by the their President. Secretary of State Kerry was told the talks would be DEAD if Congress passed new sanctions by the Iranian Foreign Minister. So until we find a reason not to, why not give peace a chance?

The Republicans want war and they've been able, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. to stir the pot and brainwash the Jewish senate members (or those gentile members who aren't totally anti-semitic) by selling a bill of goods that peace negotiations can't be trusted. Netanyahu along via the dangerous and borderline deranged John McCain (who's totally bonkers) contacted his influential PAC, the AIPAC, and forced them to exert pressure on the weak and vulnerable among the Democratic senators. Face it, backbone is not a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Chris Hayes:

Finally, some sense of sanity. Obama spoke to the Democratic Senate Caucus last night and evidently they've seen the light of their wayward ways.

UPDATE: Since this airing, according to WAPO:

But editorial boards and commentators have harshly condemned the push for a vote. Many Senate Democrats have continued to remain silent, which could well be a sign of an unwillingness to sign on to the bill. A couple Dem senators have come out against it in the last couple of days, joining 10 Dem committee chairs who have already done the same. At last whip count, this bill will not get past Harry Reid and is now considered dead.

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Video- Former Israeli PM, Army Commander Ariel Sharon Has Died

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One of the first "political" names I remember hearing as a child.

(CNN) -- Ariel Sharon, whose half century as a military and political leader in Israel was marked with victories and controversies, died Saturday after eight years in a coma, Israeli Army Radio reported. Sharon was 85.

Sharon died at Sheba Medical Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Tel Hashomer.

The Israeli statesman was a national war hero to many Israelis for his leadership, both in uniform or as a civilian, during every Israeli war.

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