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Conyers: “We’re not doing impeachment, but he can talk about it,”

July 15, 2008 Leave a comment

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has been forced by public pressure to hold a hearing on Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich’s article of impeachment against George W. (the Moron) Bush. He vows this hearing will not lead to an impeachment.

Full story here:

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Barry meets world…

July 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Those who take the time to read Barack’s speech will note its tightly written promise to continue business as usual – minus killing another 1.2 million Iraqis over the next eight years.

The setup of the speech is rather prosaic: America is surrounded by a sea of terrible threats, from which the military, diplomatic, and economic might of the nation must protect us – it helps if you throw in September 11, 2001 to graphically illustrate your point:

Today’s dangers are different, though no less grave. The power to destroy life on a catastrophic scale now risks falling into the hands of terrorists. The future of our security – and our planet – is held hostage to our dependence on foreign oil and gas. From the cave-spotted mountains of northwest Pakistan, to the centrifuges spinning beneath Iranian soil, we know that the American people cannot be protected by oceans or the sheer might of our military alone.

The attacks of September 11 brought this new reality into a terrible and ominous focus. On that bright and beautiful day, the world of peace and prosperity that was the legacy of our Cold War victory seemed to suddenly vanish under rubble, and twisted steel, and clouds of smoke.

Notice how he framed this setup: “the world of peace and prosperity that was the legacy of our Cold War victory seemed to suddenly vanish under rubble, and twisted steel, and clouds of smoke.”

Somehow, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, a veritable Garden of Eden had flowered within our borders, only to struck down by 19 lunatic hijackers.

Absent, of course, is any reference to the decade-long strangulation of Iraq, as well as, the training and equipping of Osama bin Laden and his fanatical gang by the United States government.

Absent, also, is any explanation for why, if indeed we were living in the Garden of Eden, we still needed aircraft carrier groups prowling every ocean.

If you notice here, Barack is using the template we have uncovered in the NSC-68: inspire fear in the rubes prior to reaching into their pockets:

As President, I will pursue a tough, smart and principled national security strategy – one that recognizes that we have interests not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi, in Tokyo and London, in Beijing and Berlin. I will focus this strategy on five goals essential to making America safer: ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Not that we have any problems with some of these ideas. For instance, who wouldn’t want to end the war in Iraq, round up bin Laden, and, all those loose nukes?

By why stop there? Barack said he seeks a world with no nuclear weapons – why did he not use this opportunity to propose the U.S. destroy the ones it has? If charity begins at home, should not disarmament begin there also?

And, why is it necessary to:

keep a residual force to perform specific missions in Iraq: targeting any remnants of al Qaeda; protecting our service members and diplomats; and training and supporting Iraq’s Security Forces, so long as the Iraqis make political progress.

And, why, after the war is finished, does Barack promise:

I will restore our strength by ending this war, completing the increase of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 marines, and investing in the capabilities we need to defeat conventional foes and meet the unconventional challenges of our time.

We would ask of this last promise: would this not make it easier for the next Moron to embark on the next evil adventure? How is the security of the nation increased by placing even greater number of men, women and material in the hands of the president to deploy as he or she sees fit?

***

Barack states, we know if the next attack comes against the United States it will come from the Pakistan-Afghan border region.

But, can he tell us why it will come from there?

Should we not have some idea of the motivations of al Qaeda before we commit ourselves to expanding the war in that region, and even pushing it into western Pakistan?

Should we not inquire as to whether some measure short of war might address the grievances of this insignificant gaggle of murderers?

If we can engage the Axis of Evil, why can we not engage cave dwellers before committing the live of Aghan and American citizens to expanded conflict?

If Israel could meet with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, why is so hard to reach for some level of agreement with al Qaeda?

If the United Kingdom could sit down with the Irish Republican Army, why is it so hard to sit across from bin Laden and negotiate some agreement?

Is it really necessary to commit thousands of troops to ongoing military operations of some unknown length to shut down a rogue band of nobodies in caves?

Finally, how more effective will American forces be than the battered over-extended Soviet forces who were forced to flee Afghanistan with their tails between their legs?

***

Being a Democrat, Barack is always ready to commit taxpayers’ money to some illusory scheme to solve some pressing issue through what, hilariously, they refer to as public investment.

Since energy has morphed from a simple problem of pollution and high gas prices into, “national security crisis,” Barack has outlined an impressive program to address it:

For the sake of our security – and for every American family that is paying the price at the pump – we must end this dependence on foreign oil. And as President, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Small steps and political gimmickry just won’t do. I’ll invest $150 billion over the next ten years to put America on the path to true energy security. This fund will fast track investments in a new green energy business sector that will end our addiction to oil and create up to 5 million jobs over the next two decades, and help secure the future of our country and our planet. We’ll invest in research and development of every form of alternative energy – solar, wind, and biofuels, as well as technologies that can make coal clean and nuclear power safe. And from the moment I take office, I will let it be known that the United States of America is ready to lead again.

It is best, when introducing a political gimmick, to loudly proclaim, “political gimmickry just won’t do,” and Barack has learned this lesson well.

To briefly address this: the oil crisis is not a national security crisis! Unless you are Washington politician bent on turning it into one – and treating the legitimate demands of every other nation for access to the resources necessary to human life as a threat to your survival.

Conservation is easier than nonsense phrases like public investment, and does not require $150 billion dollars over the next ten years to realize.

All the United States government has to do to achieve massive conservation of energy, and reduce its output of greenhouse gasses, is reduce the work week to four or even three days – bing! No crisis.

All in all, once Barack’s commitment to end the brutal slaughter of Iraqis is removed from this speech – and that promise is more than enough reason to vote for him – it is just another pathetic joke foisted on us by Washington.

So much for the non-politician.

Because, we are sure you missed this…

July 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Partial transcript of the CNN Sunday program, Fareed Zakaria GPS:

ZAKARIA: Oil and food prices are sky-high, world markets are down, and the American economy seems to be slinking into a long slump. Just how scared should we be?

Well, I’ve gathered three of the top economists in the world to talk about all of this.

Lawrence Summers served as the United States’ secretary of Treasury, then as president of Harvard University. Paul Krugman is the must-read op-ed columnist for the “New York Times.” And Columbia University professor, Jeffrey Sachs, has spent years giving emergency assistance to economies around the world in the form of advice.

The first question to you, how scared should we be? In other words, are we in the phase of a crisis where the pain has been felt, and there’s going to be a long, slow working out of this pain? Or are there more unpleasant surprises to come?

You know, what innings are we in?

JEFFREY SACHS, DIRECTOR, THE EARTH INSTITUTE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, ECONOMIC ADVISER TO GOVERNMENTS: I don’t know if Paul and Larry agree exactly, but one thing that could be added to this is the question of whether there’s a way to counteract the downturn itself, not whether one should pump up the economy, and so forth. But is a recession at this point unavoidable? This is going from, you know, gloom to gloomier.

But I would say yes, and that the attempt early on in the next presidency to have a big stimulus and keep pushing, and do everything we can to avoid the downturn, would actually prove to be fruitless at this point, because there are so many imbalances that have been built into the U.S. economy in the last decade, and especially in the last few years, and now added to the — now added on by the global markets — that consumers really are going to have to adjust.

They’ve not been saving for years. The housing market is not going to be the way the economy is going to recover. There’s going to have to be a lot of structural change in the U.S. economy. There’s going to have to be export-led growth to an important extent, because we’ve been borrowing on an amount that we will not continue in the future…

ZAKARIA: So, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), a recession will actually have an effect of cleansing the system. It will take out some of these unsustainable imbalances.

SACHS: No, what I’m saying is that, the idea that there really are enough gears right now to just keep that headline measure of the total size of the economy growing at some positive, close-to-normal rate, is just not the case. We don’t have tools like that, that can do that.

And there are so many problems that need adjustment right now, and such a legacy of imbalance, that I think that heroics to stop a downturn wouldn’t work.

****

Full transcript here.

Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (11)

July 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Continued from here:

Kennan’s Long Telegram was succeeded by an extended article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” published, according to Wikipedia, in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. Kennan predicted the demise, and/or moderation of the Soviet Union, owing to a long accumulation of unresolved, and chronic internal problems – including badly unbalanced economic development, totalitarian methods of governance, and generational changes which would eventually have expression with the Communist Party structure itself.

His article was warmly received in the United States, and he became something of a celebrity in all the right circles. His celebrity status even showered notice on his daughter, who was in college at the time.

According to Wikipedia, “His oldest daughter Grace … recalls fellow students calling her ‘Miss X’ in college. ‘He went from a normal, nice father to the father who wrote the X article,’ recalls Grace. ‘It was a big shock to discover that my dad, who had been just my dad, suddenly became public property.'”

Kennan felt the United States could, with adequate determination, and subtle, sophisticated pressure, contain the Soviet Union until such time as its internal conflicts would lead to its demise, or, drastic change. His policy of containment, formed the over-arching objective for NSC-68.

But there, at least in Kennan’s view, the similarities ended.

Kennan long rejected association with policies of the Cold War that came to be connected with his advocacy of containment. According to Wikipedia, Kennan saw containment as a political and economic policy, involving, of course, such adoption of means as were exemplified by the Central Intelligence Agency, but also economic assistance to rebuild and stabilize friendly countries.

NSC-68 was not about creative diplomacy and black bag operations. It was a less a reflective contemplation of the character of the Soviet system than it was a militant call to arms which would have the practical effect not only of virtually ensuring decades of American-Soviet conflict, but would entail something that was unthinkable until then: permanent American military expansion powered by an equally expansionist economic policy.

The picture drawn of Soviet capabilities by the authors of NSC-68 was stark, terrifying, and graphically described:

In present circumstances the capabilities of the USSR to threaten U.S. security by the use of armed forces, are dangerous and immediate:

a. The USSR, while not capable of sustained and decisive direct military attack against U.S. territory or the Western Hemisphere, is capable of serious submarine warfare and of a limited number of one-way bomber sorties.

b. Present intelligence estimates attribute to Soviet armed forces the capability of overrunning in about six months all of Continental Europe and the Near East as far as Cairo, while simultaneously occupying important continental points in the Far East. Meanwhile, Great Britain could be subjected to severe air and missile bombardment.

c. Russian seizure of these areas would ultimately enhance the Soviet war potential, if

sufficient time were allowed and Soviet leaders were able to consolidate Russian control and to integrate Europe into the Soviet system, this would permit an eventual concentration of hostile power which would pose an unacceptable threat to the security of the United States.

In six months, according to the authors of NSC-68, the American democracy could be surrounded by a sea of Soviet puppet states threatening it from all sides. Worse, according to the authors:

… by no later than 1955 the USSR will probably be capable of serious air attacks against the United States with atomic, biological and chemical weapons, of more extensive submarine operations (including the launching of short-range guided missiles), and of airborne operations to seize advance bases.

These words were written against a backdrop of great upheaval in the immediate postwar period:

In India, Great Britain was watching its colonial system unravel under the persistent resolve of determined nationalists – as Britons drove the Winston Churchill government out of power. In short order, anti-colonial war erupted against all the colonial powers.

In France, Communists appeared poised on the verge of victory in national elections, with France mired in its Dirty War, in Vietnam.

And, in China, these ugly predictions came against the backdrop of the victory of the Chinese Communist Party over the forces of China’s Kuomintang Party – bringing the number of people under non-capitalist governance to more than a quarter of the human race.

Uncle Sam’s club was open, but it was quite unclear it would have any customers:

The USSR has already engaged the United States in a struggle for power. While it cannot be predicted with certainty whether, or when, the present political warfare will involve armed conllict, nevertheless there exists a continuing danger of war at any time.

To assure its security, the authors proposed the United States undertake a permanent expansion, “of military readiness which can be maintained as long as necessary as a deterrent to Soviet aggression, as indispensable support to our political attitude toward the USSR, as a source of encouragement to nations resisting Soviet political aggression, and as an adequate basis for immediate military commitments and for rapid mobilization should war prove unavoidable.

Domestically, the government should, “Assure the internal security of the United States against dangers of sabotage, subversion, and espionage.

The over-riding goal of economic policy was not to be assuring the improvement in the standard of living of Americans, but to, “Maximize our economic potential, including the strengthening of our peace-time economy and the establishment of essential reserves readily available in the event of war.

Finally, the government would need to mount an aggressive propaganda campaign to, “Keep the U.S. public fully informed and cognizant of the threats to our national security so that it will be prepared to support the measures which we must accordingly adopt.

Of course, in the fine print of the report was this disclaimer: “Soviet military capabilities as set forth in this paper, while constituting potential threats to U.S. security which must be recognized, do not represent an evaluated estimate of Soviet intentions to utilize these capabilities…

In other words, “So far as we know, the Soviet Union has no intentions of doing any of the things we have outlined, but: BOO!

Given our own experience in the course of the events leading to this present war in Iraq, however, this footnote is a chilling reminder of the lengths to which Washington deliberately embarked on a strategy of wrapping its adversaries up in the very cloth of its own intentions.

The parallel with the present war is both astonishing for its brazen regurgitation of the earlier arguments, and disappointing in their lack of originality.

To be continued