Sunday, January 13, 2008

Misrepresenting war mongering neocons....

In a weird blog titled "Neocon and Sonderkommando," Art Downs attempts to confuse the issue of the role played by neoconservatives, mostly Jewish individuals with dual allegiance to Israel and the U.S., in that order, in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

Policies devised by arrogant neocons have been adopted by the Cheney-Bush administration and the result has been highly counterproductive for both, Israel and the U.S.

Only one of the Republicans campaigning for the presidency, Ron Paul, has had the guts to call it as it is, namely, that actions taken by the U.S. in the Middle East have led to actions taken against the U.S., including the tragedy of 9/11.

U.S. military presence on Arab/Muslim lands coupled with the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict have enraged much of the Middle East and the unprovoked war on Iraq has served to aggravate a bad situation.

"How would we like it if foreign troops established bases in the U.S." asks Mr. Paul.

Answer: We would not tolerate such a presence.

The question then becomes: Why is it so difficult to understand that Arabs/Muslims are as outraged as we would be if the roles were reversed?

Speaking of neocons, Art Downs reaches the following conclusion:
Some of these executives may be Jewish and they seem to be supporting the Democrats. Could these be part of the latter-day sonderkommando syndrome?
Huh? Supporting the Democrats?

Last time I checked, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Max Boot, H. Ledeen, John Podhoretz, Abrahams, to mention just a few, were members of the Republican party.

Why Art Downs would want to misrepresent their party affiliation, is a mystery that only he can unravel. After all, anyone with even a slight interest in politics knows that these individuals are right-wingers who drag our nation into an unprovoked war that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals, both Americans and Iraqis.

That resentment and hatred leads to terrorism is a no-brainer.

If Israelis prefer to live behind walls rather than allow the establishment of a viable Palestinian state and live in peace with their neighbors, is something I'll never understand. However, it is their decision to make.

But for Israelis to be allowed to use the U.S. military as their proxy to achieve their objectives, is a decision for the American people to make. Unfortunately, they were never asked to make that decision as they were dragged into an unprovoked war that was on the neocon-Israeli "to do" list.

Hopefully, the next U.S. president, whoever she will be, will take the U.S.'s best interests into consideration....FIRST and foremost.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A soldier speaks for me and millions of others....

I have nothing to add to his comments given that he speaks the truth and nothing but the truth.

Speaking of truth, when it comes to the unprovoked war on Iraq, Mr. Ron Paul is the only Republican who has the guts to call it as it is: A major Bush-Cheney policy blunder, pushed by neoconservatives, that must be corrected by ending the war.

Huckabee, McCain and other Republicans believe that we must "finish the job" in order to "leave with honor."

Huh? Honor" What is "honorable" about using the U.S. military as baby sitters in a fractured nation that is unable to reach common ground?

Obviously, our young men and women deserve better than be dragged into an unprovoked war based on greed on the one hand and Israeli demands for "regime change" of leaders in the region who are not of their liking on the other.

Sure, we have interests in the Middle East, but enraging Arabs/Muslims by occupying their lands, is definitely not going to make us, or Israel for that matter, "safer."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A question for my buddies Dana and Art

I see that Dana and Art, two of my cyberspace buddies, are still undecided as to which of the right-wingers they will vote for.

Soooooo, here comes a suggestion: How about Ron Paul?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lieberman's dual allegiance

It should come as no surprise that Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew with dual allegiance to Israel and the U.S., in that order, decided to support John McCain for president given the latter's strong support for the Iraq war.

Now that Iraq has undergone several bloody years of ethnic cleansing, and with U.S. troops serving as "baby sitters" as a result of the "surge," the Cheney-Bush administration has been in a position to continue wasting zillions of U.S. tax payers' dollars in a desperate attempt to save face as they prepare to leave the scene.

That these highly incompetent individuals were allowed to serve a second term, is incomprehensible to those of us who believe in efficient and effective government.

It is no secret that Israelis and their neoconservative cohorts in the U.S. have been instrumental in driving our nation into an unprovoked war on Iraq given their stated goal of "restructuring the Middle East in their image."

The arrogance of such an attitude is breathtaking in scope given that Israel is viewed as an intruder in a region dominated by Arabs/Muslims.

However, their objectives were embraced by Cheney-Bush since they had their own agenda, namely, to "liberate" Iraq from Saddam in order to pave the way for access of U.S. corporations to Iraq's energy infrastructure.

The fact that Saddam was doing business with nations such as Russia and France, while U.S. corporations were unable to do so due to the embargo, was a situation they were determined to rectify.

There was, obvious, an alternative to war, namely, to allow inspectors to complete their jobs and once they had determined that WMD were non-existent, the embargo could have been lifted and U.S. corporations allowed to bid for contracts in Iraq.

But, that was not to be. After all, Bush was also intent on proving who was the "real man" in his family given that Poppy refused to go into Baghdad during Gulf War I.

Israel, on the other hand, was intent on using the U.S. military as its proxy to get rid of neighboring leaders it did not like. Iran is clearly next on its list of "regime change" in the region.

Amazingly, much has been said and written about Lieberman's peculiar choice of backing a Republican for president, particularly since he had been chosen to run for Democratic V.P. by Al Gore. Predictably, the fact of his dual allegiance is nowhere to be found in the debate surrounding his support for a Republican aspirant to the presidency.

The fact that U.S. and Israeli interests in the geopolitical sphere are not always one and the same is obvious to any objective observer.

The question then becomes: Do we really want leaders in positions of power with dual allegiances to the U.S. and a given foreign nation?

Last time I checked, that was patriotism was all about.

The fact that Lieberman is in a position to throw the Senate back into Republican hands clearly weighs on steps that can be taken by Democrats given their slim majority in Congress.

Hopefully, the 2008 election will result in the selection of a candidate who has, first and foremost, the U.S.'s best interests at heart.

If Israel were a true ally of the U.S., it would have made a major effort to settle the bloody, never-ending conflict with Palestinians by allowing the establishment of a VIABLE Palestinian state with E. Jerusalem as its capital.

Reason: U.S. support for this bloody conflict has played a major role in the resentment and hatred by Arabs/Muslims vis a vis the U.S. Coupled with U.S. military presence on their lands, it has clearly led to the tragedy of 9/11.

Among the presidential candidates of both parties, only Libertarian Ron Paul understands, and has the guts to express, what should be obvious to everyone but is carefully concealed by members of both parties.

Actions taken by Israel have not only hurt U.S. interests in the region but Israelis as well. Had a viable Palestinian state been born, Arabs/Muslims in the region were willing to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, thereby paving the way for their nation to become the center of a flourishing region.

Given Israel's expertise in many areas and the need for such expertise in the region, one can only wonder why they waste their time hiding behind a wall and pretending that their Jewish State of Israel is a democracy as opposed to the theocracy it clearly is.

These are the double standards that drive Arabs/Muslims up a wall, as well as many others around the globe. A nation with two sets of laws, for Jews and non-Jews, is clearly not a true democracy.

As for Lieberman, he obviously doesn't get it either. His Jewishness trumps everything, including allegiance to his own party as well as the U.S.

Now, if the majority of Americans want another four years of Cheney-Bush, all they have to do is vote for McCain. He is clearly determined to continue the highly counterproductive foreign policy devised by right-wing Israelis and right-wing Americans.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It's the Double-Standards stupid!

On his latest trip to the Middle East, Sec. of Defense Gates hoped to convince Arab/Muslim leaders to support U.S. policy vis a vis Iran.

Instead, he was faced with complaints of double-standards and hypocrisy, given the U.S.'s unilateral and unambiguous support for Israel.

In an article entitled "Gulf Challenges US on Iran, Israel" by the Associated Press, several delegates to the security conference in Bahrain said the US was "hypocritical for supporting Israeli nuclear weapons and questioned Washington's refusal to meet with Iran."

Furthermore, Abdul-Rhaman al-Atillah, secretary of the six-nation cooperation council, stated that not considering Israel a threat to security in the region is considered "a biased policy based on double standards."

Needless to say, this view is shared by most nations around the globe given that it is indeed a double standard.

As a result, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism has been on the rise, particularly since Cheney-Bush decided to ignore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until just recently.

By attempting to convince Arab Sunnis that Iranian Shiites are a threat to the region, Gates hoped to garner their support for tougher sanctions on Iran. Seemingly, they did not oblige.

While there may not be much sympathy for Shiites among Sunnis in the region, they are still preferred to Israelis who, in the words of Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani:
"We can't really compare Iran with Israel. Iran is our neighbor, and we shouldn't really look at it as an enemy. I think Israel, through 50 years, has taken land, kicking out the Palestinians, and interferes under the excuse of security, blaming the other party."
In short, Sec. Gates was encouraged to speak to Iranians directly, particularly not that Arabs had traveled to the U.S. and met with Israelis at Annapolis, MD.

One can only wonder if Cheney-Bush will ever understand that when Arabs/Muslims are asked to chose between supporting policies that are in the interests of Israel and support for ANY other nation in the region, they will side with the latter.

IF and when the U.S. administration decides to pressure Israel into allowing the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with E. Jerusalem as its capital, this attitude on the part of Arab nations will change.

Until that happens, however, Arabs/Muslims will not allow the U.S. to promote further division between Sunnis and Shiites, regardless of how many differences there may be among them.

But then, if there is one thing that can be said of's their total inability to function effectively in a world where policies based on arrogance and "machismo" are highly counterproductive.

Mr. it's my way or the highway Bush, is simply a caricature of what a real, insightful leader is all about.

The sad part is that we will have WASTED eight years when he finally leaves office not counting the thousands of lives lost and the zillions of tax payers' dollars that could have been used for construction as opposed to....destruction....:-(

Saturday, December 08, 2007

An Amazing Spectacle to Watch

I listened to Hank Paulson on the tube, ex-Mr. Goldman Sachs, presently Sec. of Treasury, talk about the incredible mortgage mess that was triggered by individuals such as...Hank Paulson.

He was CEO of Goldman at the time many of these sub-prime loans were bundled, shipped all across the globe, and loaded with derivatives (options and futures) that even most experts do not understand.

The sub-prime mortgages at the heart of this issue are not the whole problem given that, in relative terms, the number of individuals unable to refinance or repay their mortgages is small. However, what was left unmentioned is the leverage of derivatives that were slapped on these bundled securities that are rumored to be in the trillions.

True, derivatives can result in enormous profits given their leverage. However, if incorrectly positioned, they can lead to humongous losses. Obviously, Greed Street got it wrong. While no one knows for sure the extent of the losses incurred in these transactions, they continue over hanging financial markets and threaten the whole system.

To understand how this incredible MESS started, one must go back in time to the beginning of the Bush administration with its emphasis on the "ownership society" and tax cuts as well as Mr. Greenspan's willingness to lower interest rates to next to nothing, thereby flooding the system with liquidity in an effort to rekindle the economy.

Those of us watching his "generosity," could not help but wonder where the money trees were growing from which these $$$ were being picked.

While ownership is indeed a worthy goal of most individuals, it was understood in the pre-Bush era that in order to own a home, certain qualifying requirements must be met. Yes, a down payment was among them as were potential earnings to determine if a given candidate qualified for a given loan amount.

But, all those requirements went the way of the dinosaur once the system was flooded with cheap dollars.

Banks and S&Ls had a field day issuing mortgages to both, qualified and non-qualified buyers...owner occupied as well as speculators.

The name of the game: Anything Goes!

Pre-approved credit card solicitations flooded our mail boxes and credit was extended to most individuals with the ability to sign on the dotted line.

It did not take long for Wall St. a.k.a. GREED STREET to participate in the "Games People Play," and the result became a threat to the global financial system.

Predictably, economic growth accelerated in the short run and prices of homes started to go up...and up....and up....leading to a frenzy with all the signs of a potential bust.

And bust they did, leaving in their wake a disfunctional debt market that continues overhanging the economy not only to this day but for many days/months to come.

Spending non-existent funds was the hallmark of the "conservative" Bush administration. The enormous cost of the unprovoked war on Iraq was financed by foreigners with $$$ they collected from the American consumer as the trade imbalance of payments continued growing.

Meantime, back at the ranch, the dollar started tanking and continues tanking to this day. Against the Euro, the dollar lost roughly half of its value during the Bush years. Americans traveling overseas are shocked by the prices they must pay given that their former almighty dollar is on life support.

If there ever was an administration that threw caution to the winds, the Bush-Cheney administration is it. They waged a very costly war while cutting taxes for the wealthiest in our nation, never asking where the money to repay our debts would come from.

Amazingly, "conservative" Republicans in Congress were silent as this saga unfolded and they were still in the majority. Had Democrats behaved in such an irresponsible manner, all hell would have broken loose.

The question then becomes: with friends like these....who needs enemies?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Armageddon," temporarily postponed?

I see that Bush's "Armageddon" has, seemingly, been temporarily postponed. given the latest conclusions reached in the NIE report.

In an article published in the Wash Post titled "The Right Nuclear Red Line" by Gareth Evans, the author correctly reaches the following conclusion after returning from a trip to the Middle East:
But the psychological arguments I heard were a different story: This is a country seething with both pride and resentment against past humiliations, and it wants to cut a regional and global figure by proving its sophisticated technological capability
Finally, an individual who seemingly understands what lies at the very core of Iran's insistence it be allowed to proceed in accordance with standards spelled out in the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

If it's one approach Arabs/Muslims will not tolerate, it is public humiliation.

The latest NIE report opens the door for a new approach to Iran, regardless of loud voices of protestation coming from Israel and their neoconservative cohorts in the U.S. Israelis would be much better served if they allowed the establishment of a viable Palestinian state since it would go a very long way toward alleviating the anti-Israel/American sentiment in the region.

Resolving this never-ending bloody saga is of the essence for the very simple reason that Arabs/Muslims see in the humiliation of Palestinians, the humiliation of them all.

Needless to say, the double-standards applied to Israel vis a vis the Arab/Muslim world are, understandably, resented.

On the one hand, Israel proclaims to be a "democracy" while on the other hand it demands to be recognized as a Jewish state, otherwise known as a theocracy. With two sets of laws, one for Jews and one for non-Jews, it can hardly be considered a true democracy.

Hopefully, the heated rhetoric emanating from the Administration will give way to serious negotiations and save the world the pain of witnessing yet another assault on a Middle Eastern nation.

Those of us who abhor war, are fed up with policies adopted by Bush-Cheney-neocons, whose war mongering, arrogant stance has been so highly counterproductive in terms of lives lost...treasure wasted...and U.S. standing in the world at its lowest level in decades.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Karl Rove Marathon

Run Karl run....

I watched him run his mouth this morning on FOX News Sunday, his favorite right-wing watering hole. In incredibly fast succession, he told a lie...followed by a distortion...a lie...distortion...a get the picture....

Of all the outrageous babble that shot out of his mouth, what I found most insulting and deceptive was: "Democrats don't support our troops."

It was, of course, not the first time that such lies emanated from the lips of his as well as other members of the Administration. For reasons that escape me, "supporting our troops" means ordering them to risk their lives while awaiting the decision of Iraqis of who will kill whom and when...who will steal what from whom...who must be bribed to get a job...

But, it was not this allegation that made me fall off my chair given that I had heard it before. Suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, Rove shocked and awed his audience by insisting that it was Democrats, not Republicans, who pushed Bush into war on Iraq at an accelerated pace.

WOW! Talk about gall!

Those of us who had carefully watched the deceptive tactics used by Bush-Cheney to entrap the American people into supporting their unprovoked war were truly shocked, to put it mildly. I simply could not believe what I was hearing.

True, I should be used to outrageous statements by now, given the many I've heard during the past seven years. However, there should be a limit to the abuses perpetrated by those who are presently intent on rewriting history.

By the way, I hear that the "surge" has been declared a success, and according to Administration officials, we are now "winning" in Iraq. Well, that being the case, why not bring our troops home?

I, for one, strongly support our troops, and it is precisely for that reason I want them to come one piece. Isn't that what "support for our troops" is truly all about?

It was one thing to launch war on the Taliban and al Qaeda after 9/11, a war that was almost universally supported. It was quite another to use the tragedy of 9/11 to scare the American people into supporting an unprovoked war on yet another Arab/Muslim nation.

Had right-wingers truly cared for our troops, they would have been true to what their leaders proclaimed over and over again: WAR is a LAST resort. Sadly, nothing was further from the truth since preparation for war was well on the way long before the Congressional vote to authorize it took place.

And regardless of how many words Rove uses to justify the unjustifiable...when everything is said and done: ACTIONS speak louder than words.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

"I coulda stayed home and baked cookies...."

Hillary Clinton has come a long way since she uttered those words, words that later would come back to haunt her....

As one of the freshly baked, well-educated female professionals that would fall into the "F-AAA" category ("Assertive, Aggressive, Abrasive"), her tone and mannerism was viewed by many as arrogant (it was) and righteous. In short, it left much room for improvement.

Obviously, a very bright woman, Mrs. Clinton has come a long way from that shaky start. Much subdued in tone and attitude, she ran a very successful race for Senator of New York. Her systematic, well-planned approach to the job she ran for, her willingness to let bygones by bygones vis a vis Republicans, her thorough familiarity with the issues that mattered to voters, resulted not only in her election as senator but also to a very successful re-election.

Fast forward to the present....

As she runs for president of the U.S., the first woman with a realistic chance to make it to the top of the most powerful nation on earth, Hillary is displaying, once again, the same serious, systematic approach to running that served her so well in the past.

Fully aware that she still has high negatives as a result of the Clinton witch hunt, relentlessly pursued by right-wingers during her husband's two terms in office, she trusts that the good judgment of the majority of Americans will make it possible for her to achieve her goal. Those who have listened to her in the debates, have almost unanimously approved of the manner in which she has conducted herself: poised, well-informed and at the height of her intellectual prowess.

If there ever was a candidate who carefully studied the issues during most of her adult life, it was indeed Hillary Clinton. If there ever was an individual who learned from his/her mistakes, it was Hillary Clinton. If there ever was a candidate exposed to the demands of the White House, it is Hillary Clinton.

In sum, if there ever was a moment when this great nation needs the services of an insightful, common sensical, experienced individual to restore its rightful place among nations, Bill and Hillary have what it takes. And, yes, we will get two for one this time around. Both of them insightful and experienced.

True, Bill was dragged into impeachment procedures because he lied about sex and demonized by his opponents. However, he never lied about issues that dealt with life and death, as is presently the case in the Oval Office. Furthermore, he worked tirelessly for peaceful coexistence, as is presently not the case.

As a result, Bill is liked and respected all across the globe while, sadly, the man presently sitting in the Oval Office took the opposite approach, namely, "it's my way or the highway" and, predictably, failed.

Needless to say, Bill would be an enormous asset to Hillary as, say, America's roving ambassador in search of mutual opposed to confrontation.

A much needed change in this era of globalization when free TRADE should be front and center, not "shock and awe."

We've definitely had enough shocks during the past seven years to last us a lifetime....

Is U.S. Foreign Policy in the U.S.'s Best Interests?

To the insightful observer, it has long been obvious that U.S. foreign policy is largely devised in Tel Aviv in conjunction with so-called neoconservatives in the U.S., most of whom are Jewish-Americans with dual allegiance to Israel and the U.S., in that order.

The problem with this approach is that what is deemed in Israel's best interests by these individuals is, more often than not, not in the U.S.'s best interests.

In fact, the never-ending, bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fueled resentment and hatred in the region against both, Israelis and their U.S. sponsors for decades and is one of the root causes that led to terrorism in the region.

Reason: The humiliation of Palestinians is viewed in the Arab/Muslim world as the humiliation of them all.

If there if there are two words in the Arab/Muslim world with a negative connotation, they are...public humiliation.

After seven years of neglect, Mr. Bush, in a belatedly effort to save something, anything to make his legacy less painful, has directed his attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the behest of his Sec. of State, Ms. Rice.

Needless to say, skepticism prevailed when representatives of 49 nations met in Annapolis, Md. this week. This skepticism was well placed given that just a few short days after the conference adjourned, members of the Administration, at the behest of Israelis, withdrew the document that had called for a U.N. resolution based on the agreement for a peaceful resolution of the conflict before the end of 2008.

Soooooo, what else is new?

Time and time again the Administration embraced policies devised by neoconservatives in the U.S. and Likudniks in Israel whose primary objective was "to restructure the Middle East."

In essence, the U.S. would use military force to get rid of Israel's neighboring leaders whom they deemed as their enemies, starting with Iraq.

Bush-Cheney, on the other hand, had promised their campaign supporters in the energy field that they would have access to contracts in Iraq once the occupation had succeeded. Given the U.S. embargo against Iraq, U.S. corporations had been unable to participate in the development of oil fields. Contracts signed by Saddam were primarily with Russian and French corporations.

The alternative course of action, namely, to await the result of inspectors who had been given carte blanche by Saddam to inspect his nation at will after they were re-admitted, was cut short before they were able to certify WMD non-existence.

Since war had been pre-determined, the last thing Bush-Cheney wanted to hear is that WMD were indeed nowhere to be found in Iraq.

Had inspectors been allowed to complete their task, the embargo could have been lifted and U.S. companies could have proceeded to bid for contracts, given their unsurpassed expertise in building energy infrastructures.

But, that was not to be, given that hawks in the U.S. and Israel were, unfortunately, in charge and the decision to go to war had been before the tragedy of 9/11 occurred.

The fact that Iraq had nothing to do with this tragedy played absolutely no role in making the decision. It simply played a role in convincing the American people that getting rid of Saddam was "of the essence" since he supported "terrorists" and "mushroom clouds" were building on the horizon.

And so, the world was "shocked and awed" as bombs and missiles were dropped on a largely unprotected population. As the bombs fell, the goodwill toward the U.S. that had prevailed after 9/11 around the globe, instantly evaporated.

And, the rest is history....a bloody history that continues unfolding with no end in sight.

By the way, I noticed that Mr. Rove is busy these days attempting the re-write history on this issue. But, that will be a blog for another day.