Obama’s drone strikes, Jeremy Hunt and a deficit of meaning
Earlier in the week, Joe Becker and Scott Shane of The New York Times revealed that US President Barack Obama has “embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties” in drone strikes that in effect classifies “all military-age males” in a strike zone as “combatants”. The report highlights a concern that this has led to “deceptive estimates” of civilian casualties in a way that Glenn Greenwald over at Salon has described as “nothing less than sociopathic”; he also notes that news organisations now reporting drone strikes must avoid the term at the risk of “knowingly disseminating a false and misleading term of propaganda”.
But the implications run even deeper. The revelation in the New York Times proves a continuing government effort of a supposedly Liberal and ‘Open’ government to use ‘transparency’ and media briefings for political objectives. When the Bush administration was shown to have been briefing journalists through the medium of anonymous sources to justify the Iraq War, news outlets (not least The New York Times) were terrified to find they had been manipulated into reiterating government propaganda. Though many papers changed their policies on anonymous sourcing as a result of this vast oversight, the revelation about the definition of the term “combatants” proves how governments continue to develop strategies to obfuscate and confuse the media to garner support for their policies.
In the UK at the Leveson inquiry, Jeremy Hunt became the most recent politician to trumpet the necessity of a free press for democracy. Which was ironic, because, like Obama, he was trying to create a situation with no perceivable political “wriggle room”; that is, drone strikes only killed “combatants” so Obama did not have to decide as to whether or not there would be civilian casualties, and Jeremy Hunt, in my eyes, involved lawyers, Ofcom and the OFT in overseeing the BSkyB bid to show that he was not making the decision without the regulators, even though the final prerogative for the bid lay with him.
While the two cases are certainly very different in substance, it is clear that a certain strategy has been undertaken not only in terms of presentation but also in order to justify decisions that have been made.
When politicians hide behind decisions from institutions like Ofcom and the OFT or even referenda in order to make potentially risky decisions, that is one thing. What is quite another is when those institutions become justification in themselves for any decision, regardless if it was recommended; in the Jeremy Hunt case, Ofcom made a clear recommendation that the bid be referred to the Competition Commission and Hunt declined to do so, instead undertaking a complex process of Undertakings in Lieu (UILs) with News Corporation. Yet much of his proof of lack of bias at the Leveson Inquiry still focused on the fact that he had referred the bid to Ofcom.
Obama’s example is even more drastic. A word alone – “combatant” – has become justification for death. If we ask why they were killed, we are told it is because they are “combatants”. If we ask why they were “combatants,” the response is because they were killed. This tautological reasoning is used to push through ideological agendas almost unthinkingly by governments. For example, think of the insistence on the word “Revolution” in Cuba, which is used to justify everything from agrarian reform to political imprisonment; or perhaps the words “State of Emergency” in Syria, which are used to justify violence against civilians; then again, isn’t the word “Recession”, which has been used to justify all kinds of economic and social measures in this country by the Coalition government that have little or nothing to do with the Recession, not similarly employed?
Politicians should no longer be allowed to hide behind words while trumpeting a free press. The Leveson Inquiry has shown that there is not only a problem with the media in the country, but with governments and politicians who seek justification for their own policies in the way they have portrayed them to news outlets.
The crisis of the media we are going through is also a crisis of the word and language, where the former have been reinterpreted and the latter has been used to create a confusing deficit in meaning; with that has come a lack of trust. Hopefully with the increased scrutiny that governments and the media are finally getting, we will see a renewed emphasis on words and their meanings, and one day we’ll be able to trust people in power and the media.
Why do I feel that this drone proliferation is going to be used for another 911 type of attack?ReplyDelete
From Voice of America:ReplyDelete
US Drone Strike Kills 10 Militants in Pakistan
Posted Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 at 4:05 am
Security officials in Pakistan say a U.S. drone strike has killed at least 10 militants in the country's northwestern tribal district.
From Pakistan Observer:
Peshawar—In a fresh US drone attack in South Waziristan at least two people were killed who were reported to be important commanders of the Mullah Nazir group of Taliban.
The CIA operated pilotless planes that had intensified their attacks in the recent months have hitherto been hitting the North Waziristan agency (NWA) killing scores of people. However, the South Waziristan agency was targeted after a pause.
Reports reaching here from Wana the headquarters of SWA said the predator plane targeted a vehicle in Khusi Khel village some five kilometers west of the Wana City Saturday early morning with the hell fire missiles.
“The American drones fired a couple of missiles on the vehicle traveling in the open though close to the residential area that destroyed the vehicle completely”. Official sources told Observer that at least two people who were later recognized as Commander Rehman Ali of Mullah Nazir group and one of his accomplice who was also a local commander. Reports said scores of people from the nearby area rushed to the site of the missiles attack and shifted the dead bodies to the unknown place.
It may be recalled that the US drones in five attacks in the last week of May in the North Waziristan agency killed over two dozen people. According to official claims those killed included a few foreign militants.
The American CIA operated infamous drones, launching missile attacks in the Pakistani tribal belt since August 2004, have killed more than three thousand people in over 300 hits mostly in North and South Waziristan agencies.
No doubt, a big majority of the drone’s victims remained the innocent tribals as is also admitted by the international watch dogs. The appeals made by the successive Pakistani government to those at the helm of affairs in Washington to honour the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan and put halt to the drone attacks that were only proving counter-productive in the so called war on terror, however, always went unheeded.
"Why do I feel that this drone proliferation is going to be used for another 911 type of attack?"ReplyDelete
FWIW, the use of drones echoes the German use of submarines in the First World War. The Germans may have been legally correct in announcing their policy of unrestricted warfare before they started sinking ships but ultimately lost the war in the court of world-wide opinion.
Drone strikes may be necessary but at an unacceptable cost.
The media has been mostly supportive of the drone effort, usually repeating (without question) the Pentagon line on how effective the drone strikes have been in eliminating top leaders in Al Qaeda. Where drone strikes have been questioned in the media it's usually something pragmatic along the lines of whether the strikes actually produce more radical Islamists than they eliminate.
Far more troubling, however, is the moral dimension of what are, in fact, targeted assassinations. The U.S. is wittingly or unwittingly creating a global drone culture that says 'hey, if you've got the drones, use them'. This is simply wrong and will come back to haunt us in the long run.
Everything always comes back to haunt you in the long run. :)ReplyDelete
Kaliforneeyay got 114,000 Megawatt Hrs from Renewables, yesterday.ReplyDelete
In short, Obama's killing terrorists, and it's driving the Republicans Nuts.ReplyDelete
BTW, Ethanol, yesterday, on the CBOT, was $1.97/gal.ReplyDelete
Romney as a "booze" problem.ReplyDelete
Right now, he's the proverbial "blank slate" to which everyone can ascribe their deepest wishes, and warm fuzzy daydreams. Soon, however, he's going to be forced to "declare his intentions" as regards ethanol (something he has in the past supported,) and other Renewables.
If he toes the Party/Big Oil Line he can kiss Iowa, and, possibly, Ohio goodbye (maybe even Indiana w/o which no Republican can possibly win the WH.)
If he vacillates he risks damping the turnout in his own base (rabid tea-partiers) ala. John M. McNutz.
I have to echo Jenny's sentiments to a degree.
Not an issue at the moment, the drones will be eventually, cheap and efficient vehicles for for delivering death. Everyone wants them and will eventually get them. The problem now is, the US can't turn back. That genii is out of the bottle.
But that changes nothing about their use by the US. There is no moral justification for taking one innocent life in pursuit of some dick. Al Queda has been the excuse for every atrocity we've commited since 9/11. Need justification for some action? Al Queda. Need to justify some interventionist policy? Al Queda. Need to escuse some screw-up? Al Queda.
This president is an amoral individual whose first instinct is to brag, whose second is to make excuses, and whose third is to lie.
Earlier in the week, Joe Becker and Scott Shane of The New York Times revealed that US President Barack Obama has “embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties” in drone strikes that in effect classifies “all military-age males” in a strike zone as “combatants”.
In Libya, I recall when hundreds of innocents including women and children were killed by drone attacks, NATO's response was always, "These are 'unconfirmed' reports." True in a sense, given that in NATO-speak these reports could only be 'confirmed' by NATO and they had no incentive to do so.
It is only in the past few weeks that the lies have become so obvious that NATO had to admit their culpability. But this gets back to the author's point about umbrella groups. It wasn't the US, or Britain, or France that apologized for the atrocities, it was the collective NATO.
I like the coined phrase 'deficit of meaning'.
Although, old chestnuts like 'sociopathic' are also kind of neat.
This president is an amoral individual whose first instinct is to brag, whose second is to make excuses, and whose third is to lie.ReplyDelete
As was said in the sixties, “knowing that."
Not that long ago, the US army claimed that ,”they owned the night.”ReplyDelete
Night optical lenses were classified, unattainable and very expensive. GPS was owned by the military.
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Three dozen drones please. No need to wrap them.ReplyDelete
” do you take Pay-Pal?"ReplyDelete
Barack Obama is an amoral individual?ReplyDelete
Thank God! I had all the moral predidency I could stand under GW Bush.
The moral ones tm want to send a few hundred thousand troops, and set up a "moral" democratic society in tribal lands to further the consumption of their Alabama "slave produced" doo-dads.
Obama just wants to send a drone, kill the bad guys, and call it a day. I vote for the latter.
Rufus, IMO, your morality is at best 'flexible' kind of like Obama's definition of 'combatant' or 'kinetic engagement'.
Discussions of Morality is for pussies, and poets (but, I repeat myself,) Q.Delete
We may not be at war with "Islmam," but we are, most certainly, at war with a significant subset of the assholery.
The important thing is to conduct said conflict as efficiently, and economical as possible.
You are hilarious. One of the frightened many who are willing to accept the term 'collateral damage' when applied to innocent women and children on the chance that it might save poor little Rufus from a terrorist attack, the probability of which is already about one chance in millions.
Efficiently and economically?
More bullshit. We started out bombing high level Al Queda operatives. The effort has now moved to mid-level capos. With Obama's new definition of 'combatants' the fight has expanded geometrically to include most males in the ME. It is proof that the WOT is a war without end and a handy excuse for any clusterfuck the boys in D.C. can dream up. The 'costs', in lives and treasure, will go on forever.
During the Spanish Inquisition, the church killed innocent people to save their souls. Today we do it for words like 'democracy', 'humanitarianism', R2P, 'responsibility to protect'.
We could do with a little more honesty and a few less 'heroes'.
Whutever you say, Bubba. No more worshipping of da drones.Delete
BTW, I don' know if you noticed, but 9-11 was a pretty expensive event. But, be that as it may, you want to leave asscrackistan, and quit bommin' de folks? Fine by me. Tomorrow ain't soon enough.
But, you're right about one thing; to me, "morality" don' have a damned thing to do with it. I'm just tired of the expense, and aggravation.
The problem, of course, it the Pakistani Government doesn not have "sovereignty" in Wazeristan. In Texas if you don't kill your rattlesnakes the neighbors will kill them for you.ReplyDelete
Know Your Drones
I really, really, really, do not like Henry Kissenger but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I agree with most of what he says here especially about the importance of the national state and the dangers to seeding an individual state's authority and responsibility to international orgaizations, causes, and ideals.
Attack Syria? I don't think so.
Sorry, I really, really, really do Not read Kissenger.ReplyDelete
"In short, Obama's killing terrorists, and it's driving the Republicans Nuts."ReplyDelete
In short, Rufus is an immoral idiot, and he's nuts.
...as if "killing terrorists" is a goal unto itself, devoid of any Intel which could prevent another 9-11, which some of us would really like to do.ReplyDelete
... _ _ _ ...ReplyDelete
(Be sure to watch in full screen)
I watched it, nice vid. Time the moving image of eternity maybe.Delete
And ever has it been that love knows notReplyDelete
its depth until the hour of separation.
- The Phrophet
The death of a dear one is the most profound of all sorrows.
The grief that comes with such a loss is intense and multifaceted, affecting our emotions, our bodies, and our lives.
(from the begining of a book her best friend gave me)
That's true Doug. Hang in there, good fellow.Delete
"Why do I feel that this drone proliferation is going to be used for another 911 type of attack?"
Maybe because Doug thought of a bomb-laden RC - Controlled Cessna decades ago?
Quirk: This president is an amoral individual whose first instinct is to brag, whose second is to make excuses, and whose third is to lie.ReplyDelete
Jenny refers to the other players with "the Pentagon line" and the media questioning in regard to the subject of 'name that thing' (my phrase) which is "targeted assassination."
Two points (and a question):
First is the Agency Problem of government (again, for the sake of proper citation, a Richard Fernandez subject but He didn't invent it.) This country is neither represented, nor governed nor controlled by the man in the WH (as AlQ and bin Laden learned the hard way.) Obama is not the first [expletive] to sit in the White House. (One could posit that the string of mediocrities at the federal level succeeding Ike and Truman have been hard on this country - and the world.)
If one accepts the Agency Problem over that of a string of bad presidents (as I do), then the solution, call it a course-correction, for the ship of State, will, of necessity be broad in scope - and duration. USA, in the America sense, has a fixation with heroes and the heroic. Witness the Die Hard genre. I have nothing against heroes but they are no longer part of the solution set. At least not for me.
GWB should have been the final nail in this coffin of 'one man riding in on a white charger' (now presumably a white 1997 Datsun.) The two Bush terms were largely compromised by his chosen administration, starting with Cheney. The team was rotten from the inside. The lead man, GWB, made it worse by delegating authority, something Obama does to refrains of lazy, stupid, incompetent *and* corrupt, all of which might be true, as it appears to have been for every President since Truman, to one degree or another.
The second point is a reformulation of the first. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the rise of religious-inspired and sponsored terrorism ushered in a new era for which the USA response was either (a) don't mess with us, we will crush you and your neighbor (conservatives) or (b) let's get together, preferably at a nice resort in Switzerland, and chat internationally about how to resolve our conflicts amicably (progressives) (to the derisive snort of divorce lawyers in the background.)
Neither approach has been particularly effective at encouraging a consideration of the moral encroachments introduced by modern weapons technology - drones and targeted assassination.
In fact, if one wanted to push the morality point into even more contentious territory one could note the work of concerned Hollywood players in various African hotspots. Rufus writes: "But, you're right about one thing; to me, "morality" don' have a damned thing to do with it. I'm just tired of the expense, and aggravation." Hollywood is making the exact same point: enough with killing, the raping, and the violence. At some point nobody needs a philosopher (or a priest) to intone that people can't live like this. Take the pun if you like.
So we enter (another) age where morality faces off against weapons of mass destruction. It will probably surprise, let alone interest, nobody that I lean towards the Rufus side on this subject. I'm all for morality. I'm told it's a good thing. In the right quantity and at the right times.
Right now I favor showing a little muscle - and teeth (which is, dare I say, fully consistent with the neocon element within Romney's foreign policy team, depending on where the needle is on their daily comitment-to-democracy meter.)
FWIW my question is: Where is Mrs Clinton? Perhaps more to the point, where is Bill Clinton and his (huge) Foundation, largely funded by heavy hitters from the ME. How quickly the world, maybe just the media, seems to forget how profoundly connected this man is.
Everyone but Rufus and Doug over analyse things. (though Doug gets to the heart of the matter, and Ruf often goes tangent)Delete
Let's face it, none of the self important fucks back in D.C. have a real clue what to do. And, neither do we.
Therefore it makes as much sense to go fly fishing.
It's easy to say all presidents are the same. In fact, most here have said it at one time or another. But it's irrelevant, right now. Obama is the only president we have, right now.
Citing the agency problem with regard to domestic problems may be an appropriate argument but not so when talking about national security or foreign affairs where the president has tremendous power and latitude whether assumed legitimately or not.
As for the rest of the argument, I'm sorry but it skirted a number of issues in general terms and I'm not sure what exactly your point or position is on any of them
For instance, what does 'favor showing a little muscle' mean? And, given Rufus' position on Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran, I am a little uncertain what it is you are agreeing with him on.
If you are talking about morality, my impression of the philosophy is "Yea, I guess morality is ok, if it doesn't cost anything."
RE: Agency problem when talking about national security or foreign affairs where the president has tremendous power and latitude whether assumed legitimately or not.Delete
I will agree that it's less of an impediment, but still an obstacle. The NS/FP team includes a bunch of institutional players that need to move in a (reasonably) unified direction, which they did not do under GWB, but seem to be doing under BHO.
As for the rest of it, you're getting into details and white papers. As a leader, I would be instructing staff to do a., b., c., and d., in that order and by this date with no more than two-page executive summaries and heavily footnoted. I sometimes wonder to what extent that process of front-end information management has been compromised or abandoned.
The point about morality is just what I said - the distinction between absolute and situational *should* be clearly defined (in an ideal theoretical world) - at both the institutional level and the individual level, and yes I think there is a difference (relating back to agency which changes things quite a bit.) In the real world, messaging is important.
Why does our legal system have so many gradations of criminality? Is it because we have abandoned our commitment to absolute morality? I don't think many would argue that. "Events, my dear boy, events." And circumstances.
If you say so, Teach.
But I don't buy a bit of it.
B'Day party to go to.
That's good because I wasn't selling anything.Delete
(FTR, I though B and his wife were doing the "Teach" thing until some pudgy gopher goofed up the plan, now the pro are coming in.)
. _ ..
. _ _ .
I love that picture.ReplyDelete
Gates is the only one with the appropriate gaze.
BHO and Hillary the most removed from reality/captured by the politics.
That Bitch with the Polka Dot Hose is disgusting.ReplyDelete
The cells are some of the least used in the world – they occasionally hold pickpockets caught in St Peter's Square but the last time all three were full was in 1971, when four employees of the Vatican's telephone exchange were accused of stealing pontifical medals from the papal apartments.ReplyDelete
The cells, known as D cell, Q cell, and B cell, are dank, dark, doomy and dungeness.
The verbose Max...ReplyDelete
...to be ignored.
Short-span point being it will take a lot more than wit, derision, or political rhetoric to make me "hate" Obama, as a man or as a President, any more than I "hated" GWB or the Seven Dwarfs preceding him.Delete
(In the interest of disclosure, I admit to hating Cheney, Wolfowitz and Feith. And a few others for whom I felt no particular fondness but ancient history.)
I love Cheney.Delete
BHO hates America as it is.
Eisenhower was a "Dwarf?"Delete
Nope. Just counted back seven because I'm in the "muddled middle." Don't care what letter follows the name.Delete
The modern presidents, after Eisenhower and Kennedy (too short), are a mixed bunch. My gut tells me we haven't heard the last from Clinton, arguably the smartest of them all.
Maybe tied with Nixon.Delete
The depth of your insight underwhelms.Delete
The pure pleasure of annoying the shit out of you people is its own reward.Delete
I thought the Fortress was a B-17.ReplyDelete
I got to get into one in Truckee or Reno.
...a flying aluminum skin in search of flak.
No shit. I've been in one too. A perfect description.Delete
That's the way it was.ReplyDelete
from Vaticano Romano Affiliato -ReplyDelete
In a transcendentally bold and flawfully executed operation early this morning circa 1:00am Vatican time, one Paolo 'Paolito' Gabriele, personal Butler to the Pope, was liberated from the Vatican Prison System and escaped into the night. Gabriele, sometimes accursed by the Congress of the Cardinals, who was accused of stealing the Pope's personal correspondence, and golden snuff box, for personal gain, had been convicted in secrecy by the Vatican Star Chamber Court of treason.
While details are still lacking, some of the Vatican security forces seem to have 'gone missing', while others seem to have been temporarily incapacitated by a 'mystery malady'.
Interpol, the international police organization, is reporting that 6 hours later in the day Gabriele was seen swimming the last stretch of Lake Geneva atop a noble white steed with oddly shaped dark markings, and landing on Big Foot Beach there.
The City of Lake Geneva (see map below) is a widely recognized and acclaimed city in Switzerland, which is known as an international place of refuge.
City of Lake Geneva including Big Foot Beach here -Delete
Big Foot Beach here--Delete
where Paolito is reported to have landed.
Agriculture payments on way out --ReplyDelete
I knew this was going to happen. When things get tough, you turn on the farmers first.
These direct payments were a simplified replacement of the earlier price support system, which was a replacement of the earlier parity system, which went back to FDR.
When the next cyclical commodity price collapse occurs, we will be back to Farm Aid Concerts and Willie Nelson, and the whole opera will begin again.
At this point the USDA might as well be renamed the USDFS - The United States Department of Food Stamps.
This will all be music to the ears of those highly refined eastern monied, who consider the best way to become acquainted with that old out dated entity, the farm, is through the tinted windows of a chauffeur driven air conditioned limosine.
.. .- -- -- .. ... ... --- ..- .-. .. ... -.-- -. --- -.. -....- .... . .-. . .. ... .. - --..-- .. -.-. .- -. -.. --- -. --- --- - .... . .-. --..-- .--- ..- ... - .-.. .. -.- . .-.. ..- - .... . .-. ... .- .. -.. .-.-.- --.- -.-- --- ..- .-- .- ... -- .- --. -. .. ..-. .. -.-. . -. - --..-- - .- -.- .. -. --. -.. --- .-- -. - .... .- - ..-. .- - -.-. --- .--. .-.. .. -.- . - .... .- - .-.-.- .--. .-.. . .- ... . .... . .-.. .--. .--. . --- .--. .-.. . --..-- -.-. --- -. - .- -.-. - .- -- . .-. .. -.-. .- -. .- -- -... .- ... .- -.. --- .-. ..-. --- .-. ..- ... .-.-.- -... .-.. . ... .. -. --. ... --..-- -.. .- .-.. .ReplyDelete
Those Drones look like pretty effective, and mission-appropriate weapons to me.ReplyDelete
Has anyone seen Ayman Al Zawahiri out prancing around stirring up the troops, recently? Yeah, me neither.
The man's job title is "Commander in Chief." I haven't heard any serious people, recently, make a case for expanding that to "Moralist in Chief."
Main Morality Mogul?ReplyDelete
FDR firebombed Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo, and never flinched.ReplyDelete
Truman killed hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children at Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and, in his own words, went to bed, and slept like a baby.
Richard Nixon, in the only sane moment of the Vietnam War, bombed the shit out of Hanoi (and, damned near won us the war doing it - Giap later said that they were willing to stick it out 3 more weeks, and then they were going to throw in the towel.)
On the other hand, the one action that probably cost us far more in lives and treasure than any other in Iraq was when GWB let the fainthearts talk him into pulling the Marines back from a stunning victory at Fallujah I.
The job of the President is not to "get the vapors" at the thought of bad things happening to our enemies' wimmin, and chillens. The "most mainest" of all jobs of the President of the United States is to keep the country Safe, and Win her wars.
Morality's "got nothin' to do with it."
They ran out into the streets in Wascrackistan and ooolaooolaooola'd when OBL knocked down the Twin Towers. Let'em go out into the street and ooolaooolaooola at the grim reapers. I smile just thinking about it.ReplyDelete
Morality, you are hilarious!!! These computer attacks are worse than the drones. The US or Israel sent the Stuxnet virus and now boast about it openly also. Stuxnet virus is as dangerous as a nuclear bomb. Imagine if Bushehr had gone into meltdown or exploded, how many tens of thousands people would have died and vast areas Iran contaminated. Its by great fortune & skill that Iranian engineers managed to stop the virus before it completed its evil design. May US, Israel & Western Imperialists be cursed for all eternity. Iran should withdraw from the talks with the devil immediately.ReplyDelete
Would that not have been a good thing if Iran's nuke reactors had melted down...Delete
that as martha stewart would say would be a "good thing".
could not happen to a more deserving place than iran...
Funny the stuxnet only effected the centrifuges. Amazing how you exaggerate that into it almost causing an explosion...Delete
what a liar you are...
Iran should pray to the moon god that they get out of this mess alive.ReplyDelete
Go hang a homo from a crane, fareed, go stone some women to death, cut some clits while you are at it, persecute some Bahais, kill a few Chritians, you got better things to do than hang around here.ReplyDelete
Slap your wife or girlfriend around, while you are at it, if you have a wife or girlfriend. Don't let 'em go out in public alone, you might lose 'em.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
You neglect the most important moral imperative of all:Delete
Bury your womenfolk up to their heads, then stone said heads to
atone for their sin of allowing themselves to be raped.
Get with the program, Bob!
You think you're better than them, or something?
In what sense?
(Common doesn't count.)
Morality's "got nothin' to do with it."ReplyDelete
No, it does not.
Wretchard keeps raising the narrative "that makes us no better than them."
Yes and no.
We are 'no better' in one sense.
But, in another sense, we are enviably better.
Which sense will prevail?
Witness the primary objective of Iran and tell me it's all about morality.
Maybe. Emphasis on the ambiguity.
You sell yourself short.
Keep pushing, fareed -ReplyDelete
Israel fitting nuclear arms on German-supplied subs: report
AFPAFP – 2 hours 56 minutes ago
An Israeli navy boat escorts a Dolphin class German-made submarine named Tekuma (Hebrew for renaissance) off the coast of the Mediterranean port of Haifa in 2000. Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday. (AFP Photo/)
An Israeli navy boat escorts a Dolphin class German-made submarine named Tekuma (Hebrew …
Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday.
The magazine said in a cover story that Berlin had until now denied any knowledge that German submarines were being used as part of an Israeli atomic arsenal.
But former high-ranking officials of the German defence ministry told Der Spiegel that the government always assumed Israel was putting nuclear warheads on the Dolphin-class vessels.
The article, based on a months-long probe, cited files from the foreign ministry in Berlin indicating the West German state was aware of the practice as early as 1961.
In Israel, foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said only: "I can confirm that we have German submarines. It's no secret.
"As for the rest, I am not in a position to talk about their capacity," he told AFP.
Israel is the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power.
Germany has already supplied Israel with three of the submarines in question, footing most of the bill, and another three are to be delivered by 2017 under a recently signed contract.
Meanwhile Israel is weighing whether to order three more, according to the report.
"The Germans can be proud to have ensured the existence of the state of Israel for several years to come," Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak was quoted by Der Spiegel as saying.
The opposition Social Democrat Party called Sunday on Chancellor Angela Merkel's government for an explanation.
"The federal government must provide information so that we know if the submarines delivered by Germany can be potentially equipped with nuclear warheads," party spokesman Rolf Muetzenich told Der Spiegel.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said all submarines had been delivered unarmed.
"The federal government will not speculate on subsequent arming," he said.
The report said Germany hoped to see Israeli concessions on settlements on Palestinian land and approval for the completion of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the assistance.
Israel sees its existence under threat if its arch-foe Iran goes nuclear. Like the United States, it has refused to rule out bombing Iranian nuclear sites.
Germany, bearing the historical guilt of the Holocaust, is Israel's closest ally in Europe.
But it has sharply criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pro-settlement policies in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem as undermining peace efforts with the Palestinians.
Tensions between Germany and Israel flared in April when Nobel prize-winning German author Gunter Grass published an inflammatory poem warning that a nuclear-armed Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people (with a) first strike."
You folks were better off with the Shah, who had a pretty wife, and his sanity.
Morality's "got nothin' to do with it."ReplyDelete
Not until we can agree on common decency.
Talk to fareed.Delete
I thought I was.Delete
There's nothing wrong with fareed that about 14 centuries of cultural debriefing can't fix.
What odds that "fareed" is a real person?Delete
Seriously following this birthday-going, dog-walking little blog?
I haven't seen a reply to my query about whether "Max" is in fact Trish, returned.Delete
German officials say no single idea can be adopted on its own. To see the whole picture of what Europe will look like in the future, they say, all the pieces of the puzzle are necessary.ReplyDelete
One piece of the puzzle that is still missing is France. Now that all ideas are being put on the table, it is still unclear if Mr. Hollande will soften his opposition to a tough, German-style fiscal union.
"European institutions have started working and we are mobilized to make sure this process yields results at the late June summit," a senior French official said.
The result is at once heartening and chastening. This is a winnable election for Mitt Romney.ReplyDelete
But he can’t win simply by asserting that things are worse than they’ve ever been. He needs to win most of the 40 percent of the public who think things are getting better, if at an unacceptably slow rate.
Sticking with the guy we’ve got would be a disaster—and not just because he’ll waste some more money on foolish solar energy projects. If Romney explains why where we are with Obama is unacceptable, why whither we are tending is even worse—and why his own alternative path forward is superior—then we trust the American people to make the right choice in November.
The judge said that building four 350ft turbines, a proposal from the company Sea & Land Power and Energy which had already been rejected by both council and government inspectors, would harm the character and appearance of the beauty spot on the edge of the Norfolk Broads.ReplyDelete
There are 3,144 onshore wind turbines in Britain, in just over 300 wind farms, with another 500 turbines offshore.
Rob Norris, a spokesman for RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind industry, said: "This poll is evidence of the true level of support for wind energy in the UK. Although there's a vociferous minority who don't support renewable energy, the better-informed majority understand the many benefits."
Still, council member Tom LaBonge feels that he served his district well by outlawing plastic bags at grocery stores.ReplyDelete
"That one percent [of plastic bags in the waste stream] pollutes the river," says LaBonge. "You want to go out to the river with me?
I'll show it to you."
I liked biodegradable paper sacks. But I'm ready to throw in the towel. Now I know a purpose for the large canvas Obama-faced carryall I picked up at a yard sale. Just who is going to complain about this??Delete
And it is true there is considerable amount of plastic stuff swirling around in those big eddys out in the Pacific Ocean.
When a black persons face is consumed, will the cannibal be charged with a race-hate crime, or will he get off by simply claiming he prefers dark meat?ReplyDelete
In charge of rebuilding infrastructure in Australia's biggest state, Nick Greiner is steeped in Australian corporate and political history, and is one of the country's best-known company directors.ReplyDelete
WSJ: What's your feedback from offshore investors on Australia's political situation?
Mr. Greiner: I think international investors are bemused. They look at the macro level of the Australian economy, which is clearly one of the developed world's outstanding performers on any criteria and compare it to criticism of the government by Australians offshore.
WSJ: You've created a diverse portfolio of board commitments. What are your thoughts on the role of boards versus management?
Mr. Greiner: I unashamedly am interested in trying to get to the heart of issues and I don't feel that boards add an awful lot when they get remotely into detail because they can't. Management run companies, not boards.
WSJ: How are you seeing the Australian investment-banking landscape at the moment?
Mr. Greiner: It's clearly difficult, there are fewer transactions, very little equity capital markets activity and essentially no IPOs bar the CLP TRUenergy IPO, which has enlisted Rothschild as financial adviser. There's little debt capital markets activity because most companies have restructured their balance sheets.
Growth In Australia
The rap lyricist of the all-female hip-hop/R&B trio TLC was killed in an automobile accident while on vacation in Laceiba, Honduras. The 30-year old, LISA "LEFT EYE" LOPES, lost control of the car while driving 7 passengers on a treacherous road in Central America. Miraculously, no one else in the car was injured.ReplyDelete
TLC enjoyed tremendous success during the 1990’s including 3 multi-platinum albums, "Ooh…On the TLC Tip," "Crazy, Sexy, Cool" and "Fanmail." Despite high record sales, fan and critical accolades the group declared bankruptcy in 1995.
A year prior to the bankruptcy, the late Lopes set fire to her then-boyfriend and football star, ANDRE RISON’s million-dollar mansion.
She was subsequently convicted of arson and sentenced to 5 years probation and received a $10,000 fine. In 2001 Lopes released a solo album, "Supernova," which turned out to be disappointing in sales and radio attention.
5 years probation and received a $10,000 fineDelete
That seems a little on the easy side for burning someone's mansion down.
Maybe the guy wasn't in it though, but what are the odds she thought he was?
Well, there's always the inevitable civil suits.
Her sentence was reduced because Rison is a one percenter.Delete
Taking from the rich is a victimless crime.
Ah, that makes perfect sense then. Open season on mansions, and all those in them.Delete
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of a summit in Beijing next week as tensions rise over Tehran's nuclear drive, a Kremlin official said.ReplyDelete
"Meeting Ahmadinejad will let Putin personally feel the tension around the Iranian issue and how it is perceived in Tehran," Kremlin foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told reporters last week in comments that were embargoed for release until Sunday.
Putin and Ahmadinejad agreed to meet over the phone and the initiative came "from both sides," Ushakov said.
The meeting will come as Russia prepares to host the latest round of talks on June 18 and 19 between world powers and Iranian negotiators in a bid to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme.
The Moscow talks will follow a meeting last month in Baghdad where the six world powers -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany -- confronted Tehran over its intention to enrich uranium despite fears it was building a nuclear bomb.
The talks achieved little in two days of intense discussions besides setting up the next meeting in Moscow.
Like Western capitals, Russia "was not too happy" with the outcome of the Baghdad talks, but "understood the main thing, which is readiness of both sides to continue talks," Ushakov said.
Fareed’s post occurred within this time frame from one of these locations:ReplyDelete
United States Mankato, Minnesota
Canada Mississauga, Ontario
United States Houma, Louisiana
United States Williamsport, Pennsylvania
United States Mobile, Alabama
Greece Athens, Attiki
What produces the "unknowns"?Delete
I can narrow it, but I won’t.ReplyDelete
In the last hour, 15% of all visitors were from outside the US, including Greece, Israel, Brazil, Australia, Germany, UAE, UK, Cyprus, Italy, Scotland and way North in Canada. The largest group from Germany and Australia. 14% unknown.ReplyDelete
Technically, I should also mention Hawaii.ReplyDelete
President Obama accelerated a wave of cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities that began under the Bush administration, The New York Times reported.ReplyDelete
Obama chose to ramp up the attacks even after the computer virus, known as Stuxnet, became public in 2010. The virus, which was developed by the United States and Israel, is the first major U.S. cyber weapons operation, according to the Times.
The U.S. has only recently acknowledged it’s developing cyber weapons and has not admitted to using them before.
After the virus went public, the Times reported, Obama asked in a meeting on the program: “Should we shut this thing down?”
The administration decided against it, and the cyber program, code-named “Olympic Games,” was responsible for disrupting enrichment efforts at Iran’s Natanz plant and temporarily taking out 1,000 to 5,000 centrifuges, according to the Times.
News of the cyberattacks could upend nuclear negotiations with Iran, which are set to resume in Moscow next month.
The attack could also play a role in the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney has frequently criticized Obama for standing idly by on Iran and allowing it to advance its nuclear weapons program.
The report cited unnamed current and former U.S., European and Israeli officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the program is classified and parts of it continue today.
Israel’s involvement in developing the virus was crucial, according to the officials, and played a secondary role by convincing the Israelis not to carry out a pre-emptive military strike.
The Stuxnet code that was developed caused the centrifuges to suddenly speed up or slow down, destroying delicate parts of them, the report said. The virus infiltrated the Natanz nuclear facility through thumb drives.
The United States, Israel and others suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons, while Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
I know you've all been panting for this, so I provide--ReplyDelete
Alfalfa prices on the rise.
Australia! I think I know who that handsome dude was!ReplyDelete
Maybe these folks will quickly move beyond the recall if Barrett loses. After all, five months is a long time to let those wounds heal.ReplyDelete
Of course, there’s another reason Obama might want to avoid Wisconsin—one that would not likely occur to Democrats in the state or their union brothers. Perhaps the White House understands that the reforms are working and recognizes that they’re increasingly popular among Wisconsin voters.
And that, it seems to me, would be the most devastating indictment of the recall yet.
After falling short with her "fiscal compact" on budget discipline, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for much more ambitious measures, including a central authority to manage euro area finances, and major new powers for the European Commission, European Parliament and European Court of Justice.
She is also seeking a coordinated European approach to reforming labor markets, social security systems and tax policies, German officials say.
Until states agree to these steps and the unprecedented loss of sovereignty they involve, the officials say Berlin will refuse to consider other initiatives like joint euro zone bonds or a "banking union" with cross-border deposit guarantees — steps Berlin says could only come in a second wave.
The goal is for EU leaders to agree to develop a road map to "fiscal union" at a June 28-29 EU summit, where top European officials including European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will present a set of initial proposals.
European countries would then put the meat on the bones of the plan in the second half of 2012, several European sources have told Reuters, including a timetable for overhauling EU treaties, a step Berlin sees as vital for setting closer integration in stone.
"The fundamental question is relatively simple. Do our partners really want more Europe, or do they just want more German money?" a government official in Berlin said.
As Hillary Clinton might say, "Never waste a good crisis."
It sounds like they will be forced to get more Germany. Not the Greeks and the Italians are the un-Germans. Won’t work.Delete
I meant to raise the subject earlier but got distracted:ReplyDelete
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Fill in the blanks.
Viktor Frankl has it right, and nothing new about it.Delete
But I got to take a piss, and get back to sleep, is my hierarchy of needs.
There, I've eliminated one need, one need to go.....Delete
Any Hindu worth his chakras would have told you the same, 5 thousand years ago.
Well, I knew it. You meet one need, another goes unfilled. The sun also rises, the bird chirps, sleep becomes impossible.Delete
'I love the rich running day, and we see one sun. Better still, I love the night, we see 'em all.'
Day is life, our senses see one sun. Night is death, and senseless, we see 'em all.
With the distraction of our worldly senses we are rendered frustrate in apprehending the source, without distraction we see the all.
Ask an NDE'r. But don't shoot yourself to get there.
Life is a fall, and a forgetting, a catastrophe with a purpose. Death, the antidote, a birth and remembering, a fulfillment and bliss.
If you don't believe me.
But don't shoot yourself to get there.
Now I need a smoke.
That's the thing about needs, at least in the old dialectical materialism.
One damn need breeds to another, no end to it!
...nothing new about it.Delete
Depends on where you live. Without explictly defining the intended audience, the comment was directed at the "fareed's" of the world, on the off chance one of them is pounding sand at an obscure little blog hung together by rhetorical bailing wire and bubble gum.
You wanna play with the big ball "fareed" ya gotta learn how to hit the stitches.
And that takes some training - more than required to sling around the fanciful words.
Here's how it works (pay attention, it's complicated): you start at the bottom and you work your way up. The pyramid.
More on the negative and positive (for those who may or may not be skulking about cloaked in shadows of seething despair):Delete
Viktor Frankl once recommended that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast of the United States be complemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast:
Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.
There are reportedly plans to construct such a statue.
That' a good idea, but the people on the west coast might well tear the statue down.Delete
“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”ReplyDelete
― Meister Eckhart, Sermons of Meister Eckhart
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
“Only in the eyes of love you can find infinity.”
― Sorin Cerin, Wisdom Collection: The Book of Wisdom
"I am a transparent eyeball."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I see through not with my eyes."
-I think Emerson but can't find the quote.
Just another day in the neighborhood, from JihadWatch -ReplyDelete
Afghanistan: Islamic supremacists poison 97 more girls for the crime of going to school
Jun 03, 2012 07:43 pm | Robert
Girls going to school: a grave sin. Poisoning girls who go to school: pleasing to Allah. "97 Takhar students poisoned," by Nadar Azizi and Zarghona Salehi for Rawa News, June 2 (thanks to Wimpy): PAN, May 27, 2012: Once again radicals opposing girls’ education on Sunday poisoned more than three...
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France: Islamic holy man and his wife are jailed for mutilating the genitals of their four daughters
Jun 03, 2012 07:24 pm | Robert
Even the sanitized translation of this Islamic legal manual makes it clear that Islamic law calls for female genital mutilation: "Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the...
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France: Muslim mob attacks three Jewish students with hammer and iron bars
Jun 03, 2012 06:27 pm | Robert
Venting their aggression on those whom the Qur'an designates as the worst enemies of the Muslims (cf. 5:82). And Pamela Geller makes some trenchant observations about the way that AFP identifies the attackers: "Of course, the AFP description of the jihadists is at the bottom of the article. Here again...
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Nigeria: New Islamic supremacist group claims different understanding of jihad
Jun 03, 2012 06:06 pm | Robert
Unfortunately for those many, many people given to wishful thinking and fantasy-based policymaking, this group's idea of jihad doesn't involve hugs and teddy bears, either. "New Islamist group emerges in Nigeria, claims ‘different’ understanding of Jihad," from Al Arabiya, June 3: A new Islamic group in Nigeria has pledged to...
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Iran's Supremo: "What the enemies of Iran fear, and must fear, is not a nuclear Iran but the Islamic Iran"
Jun 03, 2012 05:32 pm | Robert
Why should the benign and tolerant Religion of Peace be anything that anyone should fear? Alas, the Ayatollah did not explain. "Ayatollah: West fearful of Islamic Iran," from UPI, June 3: TEHRAN, June 3 (UPI) -- Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, said Sunday the West was more fearful...
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Iran threatens to target U.S. bases if attacked
Jun 03, 2012 05:24 pm | Robert
Let us develop a nuke and destroy Israel, or we'll destroy Israel and your military bases. More threats and murder from the mullahcracy of peace: "Iran threatens to target U.S. bases if attacked," by Marcus George for Reuters, June 2 (thanks to all who sent this in): DUBAI (Reuters) -...
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Egypt: Pro-secular presidential candidate warns that Muslim Brotherhood will terrorize Christians, act as if "Palestine is the capital of Egypt"
Jut another day in our neighborhood.ReplyDelete
Along with the behavior of muslims, I have been observing the behavior of my squirrels, now numbering three.
They have an exquisitely tuned Circadian rhythm. Not up at dawn, or before dawn, like the birds (whose chirping I have begun to believe makes the sun rise) these fellows (pets are people too) seem to get up when the sun first lofts its fiery head above yon mountaintops. They seem to eat only in the a.m., perhaps they go to the mall in the afternoon, like us. Sundown, they are down. Maybe they don't eat in the afternoon though, after stuffing themselves in the morning to satiation on my offerings. A few more days, I think I will have them answering to my whistle -chow time!
Around here, we shoot people who feed animals.
Wild animals don't need it except possibly in the extremes of winter.
Their expansive populations offer proof of that.
The results of the feeding, deer tearing up lawns and migrating into the streets to cause accidents, fat rabbits who are the bane of domestic dogs, squirrels that mock you behind your back, various other vermin, rodents, and pests, weeds caused from any commercial bird seed that drops to the ground.
You will sometimes have the isolated nut job throwing bread crumbs that attract geese that shit all over the parks and the neighborhoods, but most of the time the two main groups who feed the animals are 'hunters' who, too lazy to hunt, bait and older folk approaching senility.
In Detroit, you are unable to feed your selves, clothe your selves, employ your selves, entertain your selves, without drugs, or raise your own children, and you spend all your time driving aimlessly about, driving better drunk than sober.
You probably do shoot people who feed squirrels. You all have guns. And use them on your selves, but not often enough. Then, you rifle your dead for their belongs, and shoes.
In Mississip we just shoot (and eat) the squirrels.ReplyDelete
I fatten them up first.Delete
But you have no cold weather there, so don't have to.
-... --- -... .-- .... . -. .-- . - .-- --- -... .-. . .- -.- --- ..- - --- ..-. .... . .-. . .-.. . - ... .--- ..- ... - .-.. . .- ...- . --.- -... . .... .. -. -.. -.. .- .-.. .ReplyDelete
Most people get tired of the inconvenience of stepping on, and around, the rattlesnakes that come to feed on the squirrels.ReplyDelete
We don't have rattlesnakes up this high, too cold. Down in the valley you find them. I really don't shoot squirrels, except when I was a kid I shot some ground squirrels, or gophers.ReplyDelete
Obama tank on Intrade --ReplyDelete
I've been on a roll --
Told Ruf twice to bet I'll Have Another, and that the spread on Intrade was a great opportunity.
Nobody listens to an alfalfa farmer though.
If you had bet every horse in every Belmont Stakes race in the last fifteen years you would have almost doubled your money.ReplyDelete
Explain why, in 200 words or less.
A lot of longshots win the Belmont.Delete
Nobody listens to anybody anymore. (Except Bill Clinton who's supposed to be an accomplished listener.)ReplyDelete
That "brag, make excuses, lie" sequence evolved by Q upthread in reference to Obama describes about half of the people with whom I have worked or otherwise encountered at one time or another. I can only imagine that my 50% (I was in one of the "cleaner" professions but it seems as if office environments spontaneously combust into their own unique "Mad Men" brew of simmering humanity) shoots straight up to 99% in the incestuous world of politics.
And even the "B-ME-L" syndrome is tiny tater tots compared to the social psychopathy that seems de rigeur for serious power contenders.
Zuckerberg tumbles from the top 40 billionaires list.
Nobody listens to him anymore either.
Wealthy investors are shying away from U.S. stocks and putting more money into private companies, real estate and commodities, according to a study.
According to IPI, the moves are part of a broader shift, with the wealthy looking for hard assets rather than more speculative financial investments. “We are seeing a general movement toward owning real assets, and backing companies with real businesses, including startups," said Mindy Rosenthal, executive director of IPI.
We are listening you. (No irony here.)Delete
That's kind of what I thought Deuce (although I'm still not sure of your tone.)Delete
The word I use is Yikes.
With the first of the new ships set to be delivered in 2014, the stealth destroyer is being heavily promoted by the Pentagon as the most advanced destroyer in history -- a silver bullet of stealth. It has been called a perfect fit for what Washington now considers the most strategically important region in the world -- Asia and the Pacific...
If the president loses in November, the left, ever in search of narratives, will settle on this one: Barack Obama was simply too good for America.
Even Obama supporters are worried about what they see as failures of the Obama presidency and are offering up reasons for it. Do the three books discussed here give us truth, excuses, or merely self-delusion? We report, you decide.
Perhaps the most unattractive personality trait that emerges from the various descriptions of the president is that he constantly feels underappreciated and is prone to bouts of self-pity. Obama complained that “events had conspired against him,” we read in Showdown. “He would routinely note that he had been handed ‘a real shitty deal’ when he entered the White House.” Prior to the 2010 election, a former senior White House official recalls to Corn: “The world seemed to be going to shit. The president was doing his best, but it was impossible to get credit.”...
The president and members of his economic team “believed they had not received sufficient credit for having passed a variety of modest-sized job measures.” In speaking about the business community, Obama complained:
“I saved these guys when the economy was falling off a cliff. Now I get nothing but their venom.”
Dammit. It's not my fault. [LINK]
You know I am going to like any article that has words like 'irenic' and 'plenetic' in it.
Got kind of a Nixon-esque feel to it.Delete
Who would have thought that a Neo-con organization would do a hatchet job on Obama?Delete
Who would have thought that a Neo-con organization would do a hatchet job on Obama?
And using his own words and those of his supporters to do it too. Sounds like dirty tricks.
To bad we don't have Nixon to kick around anymore. :)
It is interesting that apologists for Obama applaud his robust military positions (ie intervention in Libya) as well as his rationalizations in the name of 'democracy' and 'humanitarianism', all defining characteristics of the neocon philosophy; yet, minimize some arguments against Obama because they come from those same neocons.
Does Obama compromise national security in trying to get re-elected? Similar to the access granted to the film producers doing the documentary on the taking out of OBL, other questionable examples abound.
I've been saying Obama is toast for months.ReplyDelete
Nobody listens to me.
Even told how to make money on the prospect.
If folks had acted when Obama was over 60 could cash in right now.