Wednesday, March 7, 2012

War is hell!



With all the bellicose words coming out of Congress and on the campaign trail regarding Syria and Iran,  I"m reminded of the decades we got by on Strategies of Containment and efforts at detente with long standing enemies.  But, here is Netanyahu trying to drag the US into a war with Iran, despite advice to the contrary by his military advisers back in Israel, and Republican senators and presidential wannabes all too eager to engage in yet another "Holy War."

24 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see Obama call out his Republican detractors, particularly Romney,

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/iran-obama-assails-republican-candidates-beating-drums-war-195123840.html

    who should know better.

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  2. It is not a game, which these guys like to think of it as. (As far as I can tell Romney knows next to nothing except maybe how to make money -- he strikes me as a dullard.)

    I'm a big fan of Chris Matthews in spite of his faults, but I have to agree with most of this review of his book (which I didn't read) and particularly his analysis of Hardball and other cable news politics. It's all a game to them:

    http://www.tnr.com/book/review/jack-kennedy-elusive-hero-chris-matthews

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  3. It has to be better than O'Reilly's and Beck's books. What jokes!

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  4. I would agree on Romney. Not a very "Super Tuesday" for him, barely able to hold off Santorum in Ohio and only winning half the states in contention. Very hard to generate any excitement around him. Republicans will have a very weak candidate to sell in the general election.

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  5. What the Republican primary season shows is that Republicans are incapable of governing their own party. If that isn't a strong argument for not letting them govern the country, I don't know what is.

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  6. Worse, the candidates themselves, particularly Romney, aren't able to manage their own campaigns. Throw literally millions of dollars at a state and barely win against someone like Santorum? Hmmmm... not very promising manager if you ask me.

    It does show, however, that contrary to what the Republicans want us to believe, this nation really can afford to tackle some of its major problems in education, health care, infrastructure. We just need to move some of those millions to benefit the nation rather than the major media outlets.

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  7. This is perhaps the ugliest political campaign I have ever seen. Remember these guys all patting themselves on the backs at the debates last year, like good sports, each trying to outdo the other in their attacks of Obama. Now it is every man for himself, taking the level of rhetoric down to its most degrading level. Attacking Obama on Iran is just plain criminal. Here he is trying to steer a course through Scylla and Charybdis and keep the US out of war, and these fucking morons just go on and on about bombing Iran. I realize it is for domestic consumption among their lather-mouthed electorate, but I would think even Newt Gingrich would know that Americans in general have no interest in engaging in another war, and that this type of rhetoric only makes the Republicans' chances in November that much more difficult. Such a self-defeating election cycle.

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  8. I suspect the talk of war grows out of criticism they've been getting for all their focus on phoney social issues. But because every last one of them is unqualified, they decide to pimp for another war if it will get them a few more votes. Not only is this pimary campaign high on the ugly scale, it is reaching new lows on the mendacity scale.

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  9. Not to mention their war on women: leave them barefoot and pregnant -- but not a penny for health care or education for children after that.

    Really hard to believe we have to fight these battles on the home front, particularly after the great line about occupying Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure the rights of women. Oh, yeah, and ensuring the rights of all citizens to vote.

    What will they ever think of next?

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  10. As I was saying:

    www.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/us/texas-womens-clinics-retreat-as-finances-are-cut.html

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  12. It is truly despicable to see decisions like these made on purely ideological grounds by well heeled (male) legislators who never have to worry about getting pregnant or about securing health care.

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  13. Here's a funny one. Pat Robertson admits the war on drugs has failed,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/us/pat-robertson-backs-legalizing-marijuana.html?_r=2&hp

    a rare moment of rationality in an otherwise deeply addled mind.

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  14. What gets me about this latest round of Iran bashing is how Netanyahu comes over here and tries to appeal directly to the American people, when he has failed to convince fellow Israelis of the need to strike Iran. Apparently, only 1 in 5 Isrealis support a military strike without US backing. Being the astute politician that he is, he tries to get US backing, but as Jon Stewart pointed out the
    "nuclear" duck was probably not the best metaphor. Here's a great spoof of his reference to a duck,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fyTGfoft68

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  15. That clip was painful to watch. As for a military strike, I am beginning to think that the U.S. and the Israelis are engaging in theater and subterfuge. If Obama has shown us anything, it's that he prefers doing things quietly. There are ways to disrupt the Iranians' plans that do not involve troops. I look for something clandestine in the coming months rather than a military strike.

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  16. I guess this war was hell, too --

    I watched Game Change last night. I read the book in two sittings when it came out, but seeing it acted out (and well) adds an extra dimension for sure. Steve Schmidt said he felt like he was having an out of body experience watching it, so my guess is it hits pretty close to the bone. Scary what people will do to win, even bringing in someone as out of her depth as Palin was/is.

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  17. We can thank McCain's choice of so unqualified a running mate for a dolt like Santorum. Although I'm probably guilting of forgetting how much of a dolt our 43rd President was.

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  18. Good point. And to think they were running away from George W in that campaign. Not so much to out dolt him but to counter the growing elitism of the party.

    In that regard I felt like they were fair to Palin -- she was just in way over her head.

    There was a moment at the very end of the movie where McCain goes back to Palin and congratulates her for being one of the new leaders of the party and cautions her against embracing the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. It will divide (or kill) the party he warns. That was about the only time where the curtain seemed to fall and the truth came off as fiction (although I could be wrong -- it might have been in the book). And it is certainly true.

    Definitely worth watching for those of us of the political junky persuasion.

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  19. I don't think it was the "elitism" so much, as George was the ultimate "common man" with his homespun style, as it was he presided over the worst economic collapse since 1929. Our slip into the 70s recession had been more gradual. This was a flat out collapse, a seeming reputation of the supply-side economics the Republicans had been shoving down our throats for the better part of 30 years. But, there was Mackie with a chance to seize the moment when Dubya invited him to take part in the WH discussions and he just sat there like a deer frozen in the headlights. This to me was the turning point of the campaign. The Republicans simply had no answers. Not even a soccer mom could save the day.

    I don't know whether I really want to watch the movie, but probably will just because I like Julianne Moore so much.

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  20. The people who voted for George W may have believed the homespun nonsense, but he was a man born with a few hundred silver spoons in his mouth and other places -- and a network of very wealthy power brokers who picked up the pieces repeatedly when he ran his businesses into the ground.

    They make the point in Game Change (and the movie) that the rise of Obama signaled a new generation of leaders and voters, not interested in the same old upper class white men running the country. They needed to "change the game" with their VP pick. Palin really was homespun -- and then some!

    As Chris Matthews likes to complain, it also initiated a real celebration of the know-nothings in the party.

    I'm no fan of Moore, but she does a credible job here. Harrelson as Schmidt is the real star, though.

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  21. Plus, as bad as McCain appeared at that conference table after he suspended his campaign -- what a joke that was -- I don't think the public fully appreciated how truly bad the situation was until after Bush was gone. Reading the accounts now, it was a lot worse than any of them wanted to say -- or even admit. Another mess George Jr. left for someone else to clean up.

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  22. You don't like Julianne Moore? The horror!

    I'm not saying George W was genuine by any stretch of the imagination, but he sold himself as a homespun Texan and for the most part was accepted as such.

    I don't know how much stock to put in a book or a movie like this. I don't think either Mackie or Palin would have been very forthcoming, so it comes down to Helleman's and Halperin's impressions, mostly gleaned from the tube itself from what little I saw.

    I think the public had a pretty good idea how bad the situation was, the stock market lost 40% of its value, and saw vividly that McPalin had no answers, just more of the same, but with a little lipstick put on it, not that Palin would have had much to say in a McCain White House. God forbid!

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  23. McPalin was truly one of the worst Republican campaigns ever run, and I hope the Republicans repeat themselves this time around. Can you imagine a Romney-Santorum ticket? That's what it is shaping up to be.

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  24. The recent serial killing in Afghanistan is a real shocker,

    http://news.yahoo.com/analysis-obamas-afghanistan-problem-gets-worse-205508359.html

    Obama and Congressional leaders try to explain it away as stress, but it is more than that, it is part of a disturbing pattern of events that include Abu Graib and other heinous examples of American soldiers showing complete contempt for the citizens of the countries they find themselves in.

    I think we forget that many of these soldiers are little more than hooligans and hayseeds who opted for military service as a way out of their troubled youths and lack of work prospects. The fact that the detained killer is a staff sergeant is all the more disturbing, as you figure he has at least 10 years in the service, enough time to flush out whatever pathetic hole in the wall he came from. Instead, it seems his hatred toward Muslims was simply cultivated during his service.

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