Archive for the 'neoconservatives' Category

John Kyl (R-Arizona) Says Regime Change Should be Ultimate U.S Goal in Iran

This past week Iran was once again in the headlines. A Summer of violence inflicted on dissidents by the military and security forces following the Iranian Presidential “election” in June, as well as fears that the Islamic Republic could soon acquire nuclear weapons; have gained the country much attention and has created much concern.

Last week at the United Nations, the country’s “President” faced protests by those denouncing his brutish tactics against Iranian protesters in his own country. His diatribes against Israel and denial of the holocaust caused many to walk out during his speech before the United Nations last week. And intelligence of a subterranean facility connected to the country’s nuclear program; elicited rebukes and renewed talk of International sanctions by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and even Russia to a lesser degree.

Now, as the United States remains mired in two Middle Eastern conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq (both countries next to Iran), some of the neocons in the United States think maybe two millitary stalemates aren’t enough.

It appears that Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) and outgoing Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) are mulling regime change in Iran. Kyl and Bond who each appeared on Sunday morning political talk shows, aren’t yet urging an all out Iraq-style pre-emptive war just yet, nevertheless he says regime change should be the ultimate objective of the United States in its policy towards Iran.

“What we’re trying to do here eventually is get a regime change,” he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Get a group of people in there that are more representative of the Iranian people, that we really can talk with in a way that might end up with a good result. I think it’s very difficult to do that with the current leadership and especially the elected president,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

My Pavlovian response to such rhetoric is usually a mix between a roll of the eyes, fear of another military adventure that ends in an outright fiasco, and anger that anyone could be stupid enough to be so cavalier after what we have endured with Iraq. But the so-called election this past Summer (and no Senator Kyl he isn’t the “elected President” of Iran he stole the election at least as far as we can tell) shows that there is a reservoir of suspicion and resentment towards Amadinejad that has gone beyond him and was so audacious as to be aimed even at the Mullahs who hold the real power in the country.

Action should be taken for sure, and as of now it appears that Obama is attempting to adopt the approach similar to that George HW Bush took in 1990 following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq; attempting to build legitimacy with the International community specifically within the UN membership to denounce and punish Iran, rather then the bungled neoconservative model of the Iraq war.

As Josh Marshall on TPM points out, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates even says that any sort of military action towards Iran would have limited results. After attacking any facilities what is to say that Iran won’t immediately work to rebuild such capabilities? Would we once again be forced to militarily reconstructing the entire sociopolitical framework of a nation where we are viewed with suspicion and whose culture Americans by and large have little familiarity with? Such a move would further destabilize the global economy, driving further up the price of oil. Not all the weapons sites are likely known in Iran since U.S Intelligence in the country is scant at best if existent at all. It sits in a region where its two neighboring countries Iraq and Afghanistan have unstable, inept regimes that are seen as effective by much of their citizenry and are just possibly fragile enough to also be forced from power in reaction.

The international community would likely not stand alongside the United States and Israel in such an attack, and such talk would only cause Iran to expedite the development of a nuclear program and do something that this summer shows Ahmadinejad and the government were never able to do and that is make him legitimate in the eyes of the Iranian people. His tirades and fear mongering would be validated and any opening the U.S may have had with the Iran citizenry could be very well sealed shut if we are perceived as trigger happy. An attack on Iran could turn more of them against us and in the wake of such an attack we could see a flood of Iranians crossing into Iraq armed with a newly formed hatred in their hearts and thousands of U.S soldiers in their sights.

Finally, the government of Ahmadinejad is not the body that really hold the bulk of the decision making power is done by the mullahs and the Grand Ayatollah. In the larger configuration of things Ahmadinejad is a minute component in the more vast system of the Iranian elite.

If we have learned anything from nearly a decade of struggle and Afghanistan and our invasion of Iraq, its that War and regime change are something that is easy to spout off about, but violent, costly, and painstaking to carry out. We are already locked in two wars rebuilding two nations,to enter a third would be the most absurd and tragic of follies.

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Neocons Froth at the Release of Journalists from North Korea

The top story today was no doubt the return of former U.S President Bill Clinton and recently freed journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee who had been imprisoned in North Korea since earlier this March, when according to reports they had accidentally crossed from China into North Korean territory. Subsequently they were given a “trial” in North Korea and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment in a forced labor camp.

But on what is said to have been a “private” mission former U.S President Bill Clinton went over to the totalitarian country and was able to get the two journalists pardoned, returning them to the shores of America and the arms of relieved families and a grateful nation. In exchange for what? A few photographs with a despot.

To tell the truth I was surprised that this much was able to be accomplished over a forty-eight hour period; especially since the names and incident as unjust as it is had faded from the headlines. Obviously this was planned beforehand, but nonetheless the aim of this mission by the ex-President obviously was to come home with these two hostages and that was accomplished.

But despite achieving that objective many on the far right and the neocons bemoan that it is negotiating with terrorists and horrible regimes. That we should not be engaging in dialogue much less posing for photos with them. Ex-acting U.S Ambassador to the UN and noted neoconservative John Bolton says this was merely rewarding bad behavior and possibly emboldening our enemies. Sean Hannity, the whitehouses ambassador to the radio waves during the Bush/Cheney administration echoed that sentiment. Most have the decency and logic to at least preference their condemnations with “I am glad the girls are home”. But ex-Clinton aide and neoconservative Dick Morris says the girls she be punished for what they did. They should remain stashed away in the tombal prisons of this Stalinist nation, toiling day and night for having accidentally stumbled into North Korean territory.

(H/T: Crooks and Liars)-

Carlson: How are we supposed to get the girls home, though, Dick? And I only have 30 seconds. How are we supposed to get them home?

Morris: I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe they don’t come home. Maybe they go to North Korea and live with the consequences of their decision to go there.

So much for that spreading of democracy across the world that Dick and the other neoconservatives were so hopped on back in the Bush/Cheney administration.

But aside from the post-rational reasoning of this clown, what is their alternative? So what if Kim Jung Ill has two or three photos of him with Bill Clinton? Kim Jung Ill has scant if any credibility anywhere in the world and is noted as despot. In doing this we as America show that we care about our people, which is more then can be said about the leader of North Korea? And does this really put us in a worse spot then before? What, now that a former president sat down with a dictator we can’t shake our fists and talk about how much we want to bomb North Korea? How much we condemn their nuclear program and their atrocious human rights record? Please somebody tell me how sitting with a former U.S president can be seen as essentially surrendering to North Korea? We got two of our citizens back whose only crime was getting lost and being from our great land, and from what we can tell now all it took was a few photos? I might be insane but a few photos seems like a minor price for the world’s most powerful country to pay for two of its citizens.

By the logic of these critics we shouldn’t have gotten our Navy men back on the USS Pueblo in 1968, when it was captured by North Korea, and in order to get them back to the security and haven of our land we had to apologize for having one of our submarines off their shores. Or that during World War II we should have risked losing the war, and not formed an alliance with one of the twentieth century’s most detestable tyrants Josef Stalin, because that involved us not only meeting and talking with him, but allying ourselves with him to exploit the weakness of our common enemy during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, which ended up loosening the once iron grip Hitler and the Nazis had in the Eastern European theater. Yeah, what a mistake that was. Or how about during the Cuban missile crisis, when in order to avert a nuclear holocaust we ended up gasp negotiating with the Soviet Union to stave off nuclear Armageddon.

Or how about 1972 when Richard Nixon, a Republican and at the time ally of many conservatives (such as Pat Buchanan) traveled to China and ended up opening relations with the communist nation, to exploit the divides between China and their communist rival the Soviet Union which ultimately was a crucial element in ending the cold war?

But the best comparison I heard was on the Political Animal, where reference is made to Michael Crowley who quipped After all, “even the right’s cherished embodiment of American machismo, Ronald Reagan, was willing to trade arms for hostages.” , referencing Reagan’s arms for hostages deal in the 1980s, where Reagan actually sold U.S weapons to Iran, enemies of the United States, in order to secure the release of American hostages. But hey at least he didn’t pose for a photo with the Ayatollah Khomeini. Just once I would like to hear someone bring up the arms for hostages deal when conservative commentators begin maligning this latest move by Clinton. I wonder if Dick Morris would then reply by saying that the hostages in the 1980s should have had to live with consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

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Glenn Beck’s truth for clunkers

Additional funds were approved for the ‘cash for clunkers’ program, where Americans can turn in an old car for a rebate on a new fuel efficent vehicle. Now who could hate that? American consumers support it overwhelmingly, the bussiness community and car dealerships are supported in times of hardship by it, and steps are taken towards the reduction of air pollution. Now who could hate that? Well Fox News self professed ‘rodeo clown’ Glenn Beck as well as Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, and New Deal basher Jonah Goldberg; who sat doing the only thing they seem to know how to do; comparing the present day United States government to Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Beck says that a viewer told him that on the government Cars website, that discloses guidelines and information about cash for clunkers, it is said that as a result of participating in the program your personal computer and its contents are the property of the Fedreal government and they now own your computer. Repeatedly Beck urges people not to go to cars.gov to check for themselves.

A real cracker jack investigative team you got there Beck. This segment was talked about by my grandparents who are ardent Beck watchers this weekend when I visited them and they thought it was true. I myself wondered about it and it sounded far fetched to me so I checked on the site and saw nothing. Then the Daily Kos also debunked Beck’s paranoid warnings, stating that the site where the warning appears is not Cars.gov (dispite the logo that says CARS in the corner of the page, but esc.gov. The message is the terms of use on a login page for users on the site and the only users who can log into the site are car dealers, ho have been vetted and are registered participants in the cars for clunkers program, not consumers. Even the conservative site Little Green Footballs acknowledges Beck is off the reservation on this one.

1. If you are a consumer visiting cars.gov (the “cash for clunkers” website) the Federal government cannot take control over your computer, nor will it ask permission to do so.

2. The “Terms of Use” statement to which Beck refers in this clip is not from cars.gov. Rather it is a login page for dealer transactions located at esc.gov.

3. The only people who can get login credentials for the esc.gov site are dealers who have been screened and registered for the “cash for clunkers” program.

4. To summarize: the page in question isn’t on cars.gov and can only be used by dealers who have already registered. Consumers won’t be impacted by any of this.

But if we included facts rather then absurdities woven together into one big paranoid delusion, Glenn Beck wouldn’t have an excuse to compare the President and America to Nazi Germany. Listening to these guys one would think that the worst thing Hitler and the Third Reich did was not the countless invasions and the atrocities of the holocaust, but massive government spending,healthcare, and a cars for clunkers style program.

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NY Times Reports that Cheney Advocated the Use of Millitary Forces on U.S Soil to Apprehend Terror Suspects

A report over the weekend from the New York Times, states that in 2002 President Bush was advised then by— surprise, surprise— Vice President Dick Cheney and several Cheney allies that the President should deploy elements of the U.S Military to be deployed into a Buffalo, NY suburb to apprehend the so-called Laqawana six, a sextet of Yemense immigrants suspected of being an Al-Queda cell.

The rationale for a measure that resembles a measure that would be taken in a South American, African, or Middle Eastern autocratic government; then an American government was that the amount of evidence was not sufficient to charge the men and find them guilty. Cheney, his chief legal advisor David Attington, and some of the more neoconservative elements of the administration and Defense Department also advocated the use of Federal Military troops to apprehend the men and hold them as enemy combatants.

Thankfully for the people of Buffalo New York, the Empire State, legal precedent, U.S History, America, domestic security, and the U.S Constitution; Bush rejected the proposal by Cheney, and in a phrase I would seldom use in describing the actions of the Bush/Cheney administration— cooler heads prevailed. The FBI arrested five of the six individuals while the one remaining member was apprehended overseas.

WASHINGTON — Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials.

Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.

Mr. Bush ultimately decided against the proposal to use military force.

Regardless of the actual outcome and decision however, it is tragic and horrifying that the U.S Federal government would even contemplate using U.S military forces on its own soil to apprehend terrorism suspects and set a precedent that could allow this to be done in the future and done for other reasons. You show me a government that unleashes its armed forces on its domestic soil with no oversight, and I will show you a land ruled by tyrants. Even if you support the secretive nature and acquisition of Executive power under the Bush/Cheney administration is a non-issue and the President was bold and successful with his foreign and national security policy; do you really want say the Obama administration tio have such a power to deploy U.S military forces into U.S cities and small towns to arrest terror suspects and be used for intelligence gathering purposes? I don’t, nor would most of those who truely treasure freedom. I don’t think any administration without the approval of congress and the respective states should have that power.

The fourth Amendment of the U.S Constitution forbids unreasonable search and seizure of Americans, residences, and property. A 1878 law, the Posse Compatius Act made law in the wake of southern reconstruction, prohibits the deployment of active duty U.S military forces on U.S soil without the explicit consent of the Congress or the Constitution.

The fact that this would be suggested by any administration is shocking, terrifying and a sorry point in the history of the constitution, the American Executive Branch, and U.S History. But what is not surprising is that a suggestion would be expressed so vigorously and with such zeal if expressed at all would be from someone in the Bush/Cheney administration, and even less surprising is that it would be expressed by Dick Cheney, who relishes the accumulation and showcasing of authoritarian Executive power and such contempt for the freedoms and checks and balances that secure the values of freedom, that he comes off as being more fit as the leader of a third world military Junta or a totalitarian regime, then a strong liberty loving republic with robust democratic roots such as America. Cheney and other elements in the Bush/Cheney administration have mocked the idea of oversight, shunned anything resembling public disclosure for nearly anything, believes the fourth amendment and other privacy and civil liberties freedoms that are the reason America is great, and have cast aside the Geneva Conventions and the concept of Human Rights that America and much of the civilized world have promoted for a little over half a century.

Many in America now, especially on the Conservative right are accusing Obama and the federal government of overreach into the affairs of states and endangering freedom with such policies as the Stimulus package and his call for Health Care Reform; even calling branding him a socialist and a fascist. However, some of these same elements aren’t disturbed by such a blatantly illegal and atrocious exercise of power; and are ignorantly willing to cede any freedom if it is under the auspices of security. That is when questioning the government and applying laws that ensure that law abiding Americans and the foundation that the great chapel of America is constructed on, is most vital and that when some of the interests of the public and elements of the U.S government diverge the greatest.

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Eric Cantor (R-VA) Calls for Judeo-Christian Values in the Middle East?

And they wonder why the Muslim world hates us. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) seems to be channeling Rudyard Kipling style jingoism for policy in the Middle East. Insisting that the best way to ease tensions in the Middle East is to make sure that our actions and policies are “firmly grounded in Juedo-Christian principles”. I don’t know which is more reckless and stupid; perhaps forgetting that p every nation with the exception of Israel has a Muslim majority or that he and other neoconservative zealots don’t care.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Christian Zionists that U.S. policies in the Middle East must be “firmly grounded” in Judeo-Christian principles.

“Reaching out to the Muslim world may help in creating an environment for peace in the Middle East, but we must insist as Americans that our policies be firmly grounded in the beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition upon which this country was founded,” said Cantor (R-Va.), the House minority whip and the only Jewish Republican in Congress, in a speech to the Christians United For Israel annual conference in Washington.

I have said said it before, if one thinks that a majority white christian country can with a bible in one hand and an M-16 in the other can go to a region of the world that you are culturally and historically unfamiliar with (and whose culture and language you are so dismissive of), whose language you don’t speak, and view it as some opportunity to convert them to Christians and make thier countries into a region in the mold of United States, you are in the minds of many netural parties in the region validating the claims of Al-Queda that Europe, the United States, and Israel are imperialists seeking to desecrate Muslim and Arab culture, as well as sovereignty; thus allowing our enemies to make this an even more nationalistic holy war and rallying more support for the anti-western sentiment.

I just hope that this was merely political pandering to the nut job neocons and not something that Cantor and any serious policy maker believes in. Because we are already fighting an enemy who seeks to spread a perverted and distorted form of a religion with missionary zeal through a-symmetrical millita -style means. The last thing we need is to become a power that with arrogance goes around the globe using the twin elements of fanatic missionary zeal and violence to do the same by using a twisted version of Christianity or Judaism, with our millitary. It would be futile, horrific.

Besides just because our nation is built on a Juedo-Christian philosphy (that at least according to the Treaty of Tripoli of 1796 is questionable in and of itself) doesn’t mean that all nations are too. America is not the world. We have always espoused a principle of self-determination for peoples and lands throughout the globe, and those who actually believe we should exercise in Foreign policy a Judeo-Christian Foreign policy in a Muslim land, are not only ignorant but violate that principle of self-determination.

And another thing, if you want to be a religious evangelist that’s fine. But don’t do so in public office.

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Fox News and Genetics

Once a cable news morning talk show host has made comments basically saying Americans are, “marry other species”, Fox News realizes you may have gone over the line.

But wishing death on U.S soldiers captured by our enemies and accusing them of desertion, is still okay? Damn, Fox News sets such high standards.

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The Most disgusting Thing to come out of the Post Rationalist Neocon right- Please Osama Attack Us Again

Saw this disgusting dispatch around the blogosphere from the Dick Cheney Neoconservative post rationalist world today. The message of ex-Intelligence officer turned author , turned right wing lunatic Michael Scheurer, because we haven’t gotten attacked the only way we can prevent getting attacked eight years after being attacked is to be victim to a bigger attack, namely a nuclear attack by Osama Bin Ladden. Bin ladden is our only hope is what they are saying.

Its sad. Most people who lived through September 11, 2001 saw tragedy and carnage visited upon us, a nightmare. But some narrow element, especially the neoconservatives; it seems look back at that and see not tragedy, and don’t react with sorrow but respond by seeing it as a political opportunity or campaign issue. They are truly depraved to say the least.

Fitting these statements were made on the Fox News show of right wing zealot Glenn Beck, who it saddens me is actually viewed as a voice of truth by some who are close to me.


H/T: Crooks and Liars

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