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Winter Solstice Open Thread… ;) 19 December 2006

Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, Bolivia - Evo Morales, Brazil - Lula, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, South America, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.
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Snowboarder on the Zugspitz, Germany's highest peak [spiegel.de]

From Spiegel.de

[A]ccording to a recent European climate study, winter sports lovers are suffering from the warmest Alpine temperatures in some 1,300 years. The unseasonable temperatures have forced ski resorts to offer hiking holidays and bears to seek out new, colder hideaways for their winter hibernation.

The Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera reported over the weekend that from Piemont to Venice, “only 50 percent of the slopes are skiable.” Some Italian ski slope and cable car operators have asked the government to declare a state of emergency and compensate them for their lost business. Evidently, not many ski bums were keen to trade in their snowboards for hiking boots.  [snip]

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UPDATE, 11:30 am

As we seem to be in Europe… Who is IOZ builds off the  Anne Applebaum column in the Wapo:

[E]urope is rightfully skeptical of military solutions, and despite long talk of a unified European security force, there’s no European constituency pushing for an American-style interventionist military to bestride the globe enforcing some sort of social-democratic-values hegemony. This, of course, is what Applebaum means when she says no one “here” believes that Europe “is going to replace the United States anytime soon.”

In their failure to take over our failures are they damned.  [...]

The West, in this formulation, is as fanciful a political entity as the rightwinger’s fearful caliphate (from Borneo to Bilbao and back again!). What possible “unified policy . . . and joint strategy” can emerge? What possible good would a war fought under the NATO banner–that seems to be what Applebaum is really advocating–do that a war fought under the American banner is not doing? What, precisely, is a “resurgent Iran.” The last time Iran surged, so to speak, the Safavids were running a pseudo-Sufi empire and the powers of Europe were busy giving smallpox to the native population of North America.  [snip]

Where do these sloppy columnists, opinion writers, editorialists come from?  And there are so many of them.  They spawn, rather spontaneously obviously…

In other non-noooz, Biden is on C-Span endlessly talking…  The relentless and endless Road to the White House series (gonna be a dull two years if no one breaks the scripts)…  Can no one pull the plug on the evident uselessness of public political conversation (or whatever it is) in America?

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Too good not to repeat… ;) 

posted without further comment (none needed)…

[A]nyone who has ever spent any degree of time as a prominent blogger knows full well that there are a lengthy and strict series of accountability norms and mechanisms that political bloggers must obey, or else be ostracized and face irrelevance. Here are just a few of the ways in which bloggers are held accountable:  [snip]

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UPDATE, 2:55 pm… ;)

Moving right along here… from Stop Me Before I Vote Again with a well placed kick from the left.. :)

Delicious:

There’s a wonderfully comic kaffeeklatsch of self-important thumbsucking over at TPM Cafe about this “concert of democracies” scheme that recently floated out of the Woodrow Wilson school of international affairs, at Princeton, midwifed by ten pages’ worth of professors, think-tankers, Pentagonians, and the odd journalist. They’re all such mighty thinkers, these folks, and the noise of little mental wheels spinning is enough to deafen you. 

The Princeton document weighs in at a hefty 96 pages, and it is written in a slightly more sprightly style than the average Foreign Affairs article — perhaps one of the odd journalists lent a hand on the wordsmithing. Still, it’s pretty soporific. Fortunately, the TPM Cafe popularizers have broken it down into digestible little amuse-bouche nibbles, suitable to the attention spans of the Netroots [...]

In short, what we have here is a thoroughly Wilsonian project — wonderful, really, how institutions like Princeton University and the Democratic Party can maintain such a remarkable level of consistency in their patterns of thought and behavior across the chances and changes of almost a century. The 96-page doorstopper even manages a stylistic echo of Wilson’s own smarmy grandiloquence:  [snip]

A lovely ramble… the SMBIVA version that is…

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hmmm Tony Snow used “contretemps” this morning at the WH presser…  Oh… surely he is effete?  He must be!  He used it to deny there is division in the WH between JCs and “WH advisors”….  as in “the president is not involved in a contretemps“…  

That would be over Iraq, the war in Iraq… btw.  IF the president can remember… so busy they are with Christmas and Hanukah parties… and how many red 8.5K Oscar de la Rentas can dance on the head of a WH doorknob.

I am not keeping up, I don’t know the latest on Barney…

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UPDATE, 3:30 pm

 Oh oh.  En garde!  Defensive moves required to avoid being rained upon:  Open Umbrellas Immediately!.  Incoming front of heavy sleet and rain.. with slush underfoot to soon appear…

Major fall out to come from select Blahhgers:  Cheney is called to testify for defense in CIA leak case…

Whew… so far just ”called”.  That means much speculation for weeks – if not months - as to what that really means!

Washington – Vice President Dick Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the CIA leak case, an attorney for Cheney’s former chief of staff told a federal judge Tuesday.

    “We’re calling the vice president,” attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who is charged with perjury and obstruction.

    Early last week, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said he did not expect the White House to resist if Cheney or other administration officials are called to testify in Libby’s trial, expected to begin in January. [snip]

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UPDATE, 4:30 pm

Oooo Don’t miss Chomsky on Democracy NOW!, Amy excerpts from a recent talk he gave in Boston.  The early snips are on the ISG but the more interesting is the later snips on S America (from where Chomsky has just returned):

NOAM CHOMSKY: I’ll start with last weekend. Important city in South America, Cochabamba, with quite a history. There was a meeting last weekend in Cochabamba in Bolivia of all the South American leaders. It was a very important meeting. One index of its importance is that it was unreported, virtually unreported apart from the wire services. So every editor knew about it. Since I suspect you didn’t read that wire service report, I’ll read you a few things from it to indicate why it was so important.

In last Saturday, the South American leaders agreed to create a high-level commission to study the idea of forming a continent-wide community similar to the European Union. This is the presidents and envoys of all the nations, and there was the two-day summit of what’s called the South American Community of Nations, hosted by Evo Morales in Cochabamba, the president of Bolivia.

The leaders — reading just now –agreed to form a study group to look at the possibility of creating a continent-wide union and even a South American parliament. The result, according to the — I’m reading from the AP report — the result left fiery Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, long an agitator for the region, taking a greater role on the world stage, pleased, but impatient — normal stance. They went on. It goes on to say that the discussion over South American unity will continue later this month, when MERCOSUR, South American trading bloc, has its regular meeting that will include leaders from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. [snip]

NC enumerated a few of the high points from the meeting, then goes on:

[T]his is the first time since the Spanish conquests, 500 years, that there has been real moves towards integration in South America. The countries have been very separated from one another. And integration is going to be a prerequisite for authentic independence. I mean, there have been — I’m sure you know — attempts at independence, but they’ve been crushed, often very violently, partly because of lack of regional support, because there was very little regional cooperation, so you can pick them off one by one.

That’s what happened since the 1960s. The Kennedy administration orchestrated a coup in Brazil, the first of which happened right after the assassination was already planned. It was the first of a series of falling dominoes. Neo-Nazi-style national security states spread across the hemisphere. Chile was one of them, but only one finally ended up with reaching Central America, with Reagan’s terrorist wars in the 1980s, which devastated Central America, similar things happening in the Caribbean. But that was sort of a one-by-one operation of destroying one country after another. And it had the expected domino effect. [some dominoes are OK - Might as well laugh... - Mcat]

It’s the worst plague of repression in the history of Latin America since the original conquests, which were horrendous. It’s only beginning to be understood how horrendous they were. [snip]

He goes on to call South America the most exciting place on earth, just now, due to the changes bubbling up.  And then after referencing Haiti recent elections, comes this rather consummate comment on the US:

[I]n fact, in our elections, the issues are unknown. There’s careful efforts to make sure that the issues are unknown to the public, for good reasons. There’s a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy. So you have to keep away from issues and concentrate on imagery and delusions and so on. The elections are run by the same industries that sell toothpaste on television. You don’t expect to get information from a television ad. You don’t expect to get information about a candidate from debates, advertisements and the other paraphernalia that goes along with what are called elections here.

There’s a lot of fuss on the left about election irregularities, like, you know, the voting machines were tampered with, they didn’t count the votes right, and so on. That’s all accurate and of some importance, but of far more importance is the fact that elections just don’t take place, not in any meaningful sense of the term “election.” And so, it doesn’t matter all that much, if there was some tampering. I suspect that’s why the population doesn’t get much exercised over it. The concern over stolen elections and vote tampering, and so on, is mostly an elite affair. Most of the country didn’t seem to care very much. “OK, so the election was stolen.” I mean, if you’re flipping a coin to select a king or something, it doesn’t matter much if the coin is biased. That seems to be the way most people feel about it. And there’s some justification. [snip]

It is long and there is more than the snips… ;)

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UPDATE, 8:10 pm…

Blood soup, humans as croutons.

Analogies come to mind: the Bulge, Stalingrad, the Battle of Algiers. It will be total war with all the likelihood of excesses and mass casualties that come with total war.

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UPDATE, 9:30 pm

Jonathan Cook in Electronic Intifada:

Do America and Israel want the Middle East engulfed in civil war?

[A]ll of these outcomes in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq could have been foreseen — and almost certainly were. More than that, it looks increasingly like the growing tensions and carnage were planned. Rather than an absence of Western intervention being the problem, the violence and fragmentation of these societies seems to be precisely the goal of the intervention.

Evidence has emerged in Britain that suggests such was the case in Iraq. Testimony given by a senior British official to the 2004 Butler inquiry investigating intelligence blunders in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq was belatedly published last week, after attempts by the Foreign Office to hush it up.

Carne Ross, a diplomat who helped to negotiate several UN security council resolutions on Iraq, told the inquiry that British and US officials knew very well that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs and that bringing him down would lead to chaos.  [snip]

There follows a rhetorical back and forth, a series of “whys”, “why chaos” as a plan, etc., drawing along anyone who thinks there are any rules left… Then some hard grit:

[L]ast week the Israeli website Ynet interviewed Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli citizen and co-founder of MEMRI, a service translating Arab leaders’ speeches that is widely suspected of having ties with Israel’s security services. She is also the wife of David Wurmser, a senior neocon adviser to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Meyrav Wurmser revealed that the American Administration had publicly dragged its feet during Israel’s assault on Lebanon because it was waiting for Israel to expand its attack to Syria.

“The anger [in the White House] is over the fact that Israel did not fight against the Syrians … The neocons are responsible for the fact that Israel got a lot of time and space … They believed that Israel should be allowed to win. A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hizbullah. It was obvious that it is impossible to fight directly against Iran, but the thought was that its [Iran's] strategic and important ally [Syria] should be hit.”

Wurmser continued: “It is difficult for Iran to export its Shiite revolution without joining Syria, which is the last nationalistic Arab country. If Israel had hit Syria, it would have been such a harsh blow for Iran that it would have weakened it and [changed] the strategic map in the Middle East.” [snip]

Another who should move to Israel (fully) and sit shiva for America.  To be blunt.

[T]he reason is that a chaotic and feuding Middle East, although it would be a disaster in the view of most informed observers, appears to be greatly desired by Israel and its neocon allies. They believe that the whole Middle East can be run successfully the way Israel has run its Palestinian populations inside the occupied territories, where religious and secular divisions have been accentuated, and inside Israel itself, where for many decades Arab citizens were “de-Palestinianised” and turned into identity-starved and quiescent Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin.

That conclusion may look foolhardy, but then again so does the White House’s view that it is engaged in a “clash of civilisations” which it can win with a “war on terror”.

All states are capable of acting in an irrational or self-destructive manner, but Israel and its supporters may be more vulnerable to this failing than most. That is because Israelis’ perception of their region and their future has been grossly distorted by the official state ideology, Zionism, with its belief in Israel’s inalienable right to preserve itself as an ethnic state; its confused messianic assumptions, strange for a secular ideology, about Jews returning to a land promised by God; and its contempt for, and refusal to understand, everything Arab or Muslim.

If we expect rational behaviour from Israel or its neocon allies, more fool us.

Yes… more fool us.

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And why oh why do people who think themselves “liberal” reveal a yearning for Reagan?  In any form?  He was no unifying event in America. Certainly no healer.  We are still under his yoke (and that of his kitchen cabinet *, others of the same ilk), in my opinion.  Certainly many of his horrors simply rose up and joined with Bush…

* bit of a whiff off that link, but it came up quick and had the info I wanted.

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UPDATE, 4:45 am Wednesday

Chris Hedges is up in Truth Dig, on Israel, apartheid, the Palestinians… and the US:

[]Israel, with no restraints from Washington, despite the Iraq Study Group report recommendations that the peace process be resurrected from the dead, has been given the moral license by the Bush administration to carry out what is euphemistically in Israel called “transfer” and what in other parts of the world is called ethnic cleansing. 

Faced with a demographic time bomb, knowing that by 2020 Jews will make up only 40 to 46 percent of the overall population of Israel, the architects of transfer, who once held the equivalent status in Israeli society of the Ku Klux Klan, have wormed their way into positions of power in the Israeli government. 

Washington and Israel, I suspect, know the cost of this repression.  But it is beginning to appear as though they accept it—as the price for ridding themselves of the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has installed in his Cabinet a politician who openly calls for the expulsion of the some 1.3 million Israeli Arabs who live inside Israel. Avigdor Lieberman’s “Israel Is Our Home” Party, part of Olmert’s governing coalition, proposes involuntary transfer in a region populated mostly by Arab citizens of Israel, shifting those people to a future Palestinian state that would include Gaza, parts of the West Bank and a small slice of northern Israel. All Israeli Arabs who continued to reside in the territory of transfer would automatically lose their Israeli citizenship unless they took a loyalty oath to the state and its Jewish symbols.  The inclusion of Lieberman, the David Duke of Israel, into the Cabinet is an indication to most Palestinians that the worst is yet to come.  [snip]

For all who flipped out over the title of Jimmy’s book (amazing to me that Conyers called the title ”inappropriate” and told Jimmy it should be changed) Hedges entitles his, Worse than Apartheid.

It is a semi-rough thread, but there was this comment. 

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Korb and Bergman are up in the American Prospect

[T]he neoconservative architects of the war claim that those who oppose increasing the number of troops do not understand the implications of failure in Iraq. But they have it backwards.

Those who opposed the war from the outset understood the difficulty and scope of the task at hand, while the war’s architects are the ones only now coming to grips with the catastrophic implications of a possible civil and regional war.

Kagan’s plan reflects the same intellectual failings and operates along the same assumptions (especially, putting too much faith in limitless efficacy of U.S. military power) that were responsible for the United States invading with too few troops and without a realistic plan in the first place.  [snip]

There is this as well.  But let’s not pussy foot around as so many political and military writers do … it is what the US wants:

[A]dditionally, this operation would severely undercut the Maliki government. Sending additional troops would be the equivalent of a no-confidence vote in that government and the Iraqi security forces, and could lead to the government’s collapse. Many of Maliki’s backers vehemently oppose any U.S. troop increase and would blame Maliki for failing to stop it. Opinion polls show that Iraqis want us out. Increasing our troop presence would only bolster the view that U.S. forces intend to remain as permanent occupiers. [snip]

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UPDATE, 6:33 am Wednesday…

In 25 minutes or so Bush will have a presser and apparently take a few questions (AP man!, as he addressed the first reporter called on recenttly). 

I have to say this is a very good week for Bush to discuss the military, “growing” the fodder forces (Army and Marines) and what ever else his black heart decides to gift us with…  No, it is.  Stop for a minute and think of Miss Tara, blonde flower of the South (and working it to death, NYC spun her tiny head) dependent on the largesse of Mr Trump (what a pair!).  And three white guys who went up the mountain, apparently unprepared in what they carried with them for a deadly winter excursion on a very tough peak.  I hear not a single use of “responsibility” for any of the lot of them…

 Farley from TAPPED.  Where do these soft slides get started?

Unlike the post-Vietnam era, there is no Red Army for the U.S. Army to face down, and thus no clear rationale for large land forces. Of course, a similar argument could be made for large naval forces, but the Navy budget includes the Marine Corps and the USN can both project force ashore and protect sea lanes.

Exhaustion is like bile rising from the recesses.  Clue in, please, to all the talk of the ”Long War”… It is not just Max Boot, blithering for the Long War right now on C-Span…it is also the Democrats.

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7:04 am:

Oh don’t look now, but George is speaking to us from the “Indian Treaty Room” in the Eisenhower Executive Bldg.  In case you missed the narrative for years, his comments are all Terra Terra Terra. 

7:07 am:

He just told us to go shopping.

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UPDATE, 11:22 am Wednesday…

[I] would imply that there were people like this online, but then I would be engaging in the strawmen tactics I often decry. Even if I wasn’t doing that, and I named names among bloggers who were unfair to Reid because he made one unfortunate comment, then I would be abusing my podium to make less powerful members of the netroots and blogosphere look bad. And I suppose, if it were not for the outcry, Reid would not have made such a clear statement on his opposition to escalation in Iraq. Or, maybe there was a way to encourage him to do that without acting an an utterly hysterical manner that only fueled the MSM buzz on the subject.

Since I am not going to talk about any of that, my original statement on this entire episode stands: now that we are in the majority, we need to move past endless parsing of the words our leaders say, and focus instead on the policies they intend to pursue. [snip snap]

 Let me say:  pickup a towel and apply behind the ears.  It may help.

Other than that, I’d add the petty Dem party thugdom in BlahgSnot land is truly boring.  There is some significant push back in the thread (it is a genuinely stupid posting, to be blunt)… and some cute tension between Boyz.  More Towels!  To Aisle 10!  Ring for a Blog Maid!

Sure I am laughing… :)

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Comments»

1. cactus ed - 19 December 2006

Bowers’ so-called “market accountability” of blogs will keep me chuckling all day. Happy Yule, pagans everywhere!

2. D. Throat - 19 December 2006

“Barack the Vote” – DC Event tonight for DraftObama.org
by Hlinko

For heavens sakes … do they think people are so stupid that they can’t put two and two together. Isn’t Hlinko the very same GOP registered “Draft Clark” movement person with very strong Arkansas connections.

I call the “Obama movement” the Displacement Strategy… these operatives aren’t grassroots they are hired invasive weeds taking up all of the ground space and blocking out the light so no one else can germinate an opposition.

Hilliary knows that no way can she win over the grassroots, but she can always just buy the netroots. … So the next best thing is to keep the field barren covered with astroturf and plastic flowers. Obama has about enough chance to win as a marigold. If she can’t control the grassroots well at least she can stop them from growing on Gore. And for a buck Netrootz Inc. never met a dollar it didn’t like.

3. marisacat - 19 December 2006

cactus ed… LOL that snip from Bowers is so good (or bad conversely) that I think I have to repeat it in the post above… the only time I did that previous was with Philip Longman and the DLC breeder “Quiverfull” crap.

Throat… thanks for reminding me! I had forgotten that the Draft Clark contingent, the one best known on Dkos, was a mixed marriage. And I sure had forgotten that Hlinko was the repub.

I don’t much like the parties (consider both failures) but I really dislike the colonisation and the Trojan Horses…
;)

4. JJB - 19 December 2006

Re Applebaum, take a look at her CV and tell me she isn’t a spook with journalistic cover.

Anne Applebaum was born in Washington, DC in 1964. After graduating from Yale University, she was a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and St. Antony’s College, Oxford. In 1992 she won the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust award for journalism in the ex-Soviet Union. Between East and West won an Adolph Bentinck prize for European non-fiction in 1996. Her husband, Radek Sikorski, is a Polish politician and writer. They have two children, Alexander and Tadeusz.

Q: What do the Yale University and CIA alumni associations have in common?

A: Everyone. (goak here)

Aside from her attendance at Tom Buchanan and Nick Carraway’s alma mater, there’s enough other suspicious stuff there to make be think it’s impossible she isn’t what I claim she is.

She’s undoubtedly one of the most turgid writers I’ve even encountered. I first noticed her when she was writing for Slate, and put up a column about how the British government was selling the poor, wonderful Ulster Loyalists down the river to the nasty IRA. Her ignorance on that subject was appalling, and I greeted her addition to the WaPo‘s Op Ed page, and to its Editorial Board. She’s even been given space in The New York Review of Books, much to my horror. She’s used those august pages to trash people who’ve dared to tread on her claimed turf of Soviet Gulag history, I guess the academic in her couldn’t resist indulging in that old habit. Other than that, her WaPo pieces tend to be full of “on the one hand this, on the other hand that” prose that never comes to any real conclusions about the subject at hand.

5. marisacat - 19 December 2006

JJB.. I read her too at Slate. And was not impressed. Then noticed the move to the Wapo. [sigh]. I think I saw her a couple of years ago in interview with Brian Lamb, his old Sunday book interview. I was TOTALLY unimpressed. I wonder whose tool she is, at CIA.

LOL … and I have just watched an odd Charlie Rose with matt Damon, DeNiro and ‘what is her name’ – Jolie – on the new movie on the CIA. What a juxtaposition.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 December 2006

re: Applebaum

shit floats to the top.

7. ms_xeno - 19 December 2006

I miss the good old days, when bloggers were happy with the occasional bakesale.

bayprairie’s comments in the earlier thread put me in mind of how radio was in the days before the FCC stepped in to reign in the anarchy (fans self) of local control and demote most commentators to the status of either listeners, or “pirates.”

My guess is that the Big Box Blog bigshots figure they’ll get hired on in the brave, new post-McCurry/McCain world of the McInternet. After all, I’m sure a few local boys here and there around the country made the jump to for-profit radio once for-profit radio was all there was… >:

8. marisacat - 19 December 2006

My biggest horselaugh (lately) has been the ad for the HPV vaccine at MyDD.

LOL… ;)

9. CSTAR - 19 December 2006

I “love” the word “content “(I know, I really “hate” the word content). Love/hate bah

It requires you to produce original content that can’t be found anywhere else.

For some reason, this makes me think of “All Bran”.

10. marisacat - 19 December 2006

LOL Breakfast of Champions, I’m sure the boyz would say … ;)

11. AlanSmithee - 19 December 2006

I can’t figure this out. Is Bowers a complete flaming pompous jackass or just a fair-to-middlin’ comedian? Nobody with the slightest bit of selfawareness actually writes like that, right? I mean, after passing gradeschool?

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 December 2006

thanks for the Chomsky. In a sane nation he’d be heard more widely, if only to energize a real debate.

13. TustonDAZ - 20 December 2006

Not that it matters much, but it looks like the Psychopath in Chief is not having fun…shifty fucker is pissed and selfpitying and very uncomfortable…

Bush: “Damn the torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead!”

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 December 2006

Bush goes all McCarthy on a reporter:

Q: If you conclude that a surge in troop levels in Iraq is needed, would you overrule your military commanders if they felt it was not a good idea.

Bush: That’s a dangerous hypothetical question. I’m not condemning you, you’re allowed to ask anything you want. Let me weight and gather all the recommendations from Bob Gates, from our military, from diplomats on the ground, interested Iraqis point of view and then I’ll report back to you as to whether or not I support a surge or not. Nice try.

15. marisacat - 20 December 2006

I thought she turned a tad white. But she did not fall back… I missed her follow up question, I think the mic did not pick it up clearly…

16. JJB - 22 December 2006

MCat,

That Cook piece you link to and quote missed one of Meyrav Wurmser’s other important positions, as that of Director for the Center for Middle East policy at the extreme far right-wing Hudson Institute, which was founded by Herman (“Thinking About The Unthinkable”) Kahn and Max Singer in 1961s. This little blurb from her bio page should tell you everything you need to know about the mindset of this organization:

Through her work at MEMRI, Wurmser helped to educate policymakers about the Palestinian Authority two-track approach to “negotiating peace” with Israel: calling for peace in the English press and with Western policymakers while inciting hatred and violence through official Arab language media. A recent BBC documentary noted that whereas almost every other Western and Israeli observer allowed their hopes for peace to cloud their judgment of the Oslo process, Wurmser’s acute knowledge of the Palestinian Authority’s tactics led her to realize that the Oslo process was doomed to failure from the outset.

Obviously, a spook of the disinformation specialist variety. It’s all there, the think tank affiliation, the journalistic career of being published only in money losing periodicals kept alive solely to serve as outlets for propaganda, the founding of an organization so blatently a tool of a secret service that even the MSM has to acknowledge that it’s “rumored” to have intelligence agency “connections.” When I saw that quote about Bush wanting the Israelis to attack Syria, I thought it was a rumor which she heard at something like 12 degrees of separation from the original source and therefore so mangled in the repeated retellings that it was ridiculously distorted. Having thought about it for a couple of days, and now being more familiar with her CV, I think it was a deliberate lie that she was hoping to have spread far and wide. Just what the exact reason for disseminating this information is, I have no idea, these people do things that seem to make little or no sense until much, much later, but since the Israelis seem to have made a decision to foment a civil war among the Palestinians, I would guess that this is some bit of propaganda meant either to frighten someone into doing something, or just a way of trying to make the Israelis seem like a more responsible actor than they indeed are.

At any rate, many years ago I knew both the aforementioned Max Singer and Yehezkel Dror, another Hudson alumnus I believe, who has also been at the RAND Corporation, and has served in many positions in the Israeli government bureaucracy, including the Ministry of Defense. They were both at a NYC think tank at which I worked for 3 years, though I don’t believe they were in residence there at the same time (Robert Kagan was there at one point as well). Here is an “interview” with Dror (it seems actually to be just him regurgitating his ideas with no second party involved) that gives an excellent summary of his thinking on various current matters.

Incidentally, Max’s cause celebre back then (1982-83) was promoting the contras. That seems a bit out of his normal Zionocentric focus, but then one recalls the Iran/Contra scandal, and Israel’s very significant role in providing the Iranians with materiel necessary to continue its war against Saddam. I’m not suggesting that Max was actually involved in that business, just pointing out how extensive such operations are, and just how many people are involved in doing the tremendous numbers of tasks that these things entail.

Incidentally, one of my memories of Max concerns his talking about how at his son’s expensive, tony, private academy (a Jewish prep school), the soccer team his kid played on had been lousy until a number of Iranian Jews (who’d fled the Islamic revolution) had enrolled and joined the team. Now they were one of the best teams in whatever league it was they played in. He seemed quite pleased about this, although the overthrow of the Shah must have caused him much tsuris only a few years earlier.


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