The rediculous nature of this report is, unfortunately, not going to be unique as Obama emerges as the Democratic nominee. From the site:
“Nothing in Barack Obamaâ€™s history or his choice of advisers suggests he will be a friend to Israel,â€ said Hobbs. â€œOn the contrary, supporters of Israel should view a possible Obama administration with extreme caution, as Americaâ€™s ally is being put in the cross-hairs by the anti-Jewish left.”
Now this statement is notÂ only is this horribly factually inacurate, it’s just pathetic politics.
Russia has announced that they might support further sanctions against Iran if the Arab nation does not cease it’s use of uranium enrichment centrifuges and water reactors used to create plutonium. As you ninjas know, I hope, Iran is being accused of pursuing these nuclear weapons. Naturally, the international community will go to great lengths to ensure that does not happen.Â They have no reason to gain the required materials to build a nuclear weapon for civil(ian) electric purposes.Â The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations institution, has said that Iran has recently been more cooperative in providing transparency regarding it’s nuclear program, but they still refuse to cooperate fully. Iran claims they have no nuclear weapons program and there nuclear ambitions are purely civil, meant for electricity. But, I’m thinking, if this is the case there is no need for them to be enriching uruanium and trying to gain plutonium.
Last year, there was a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released. This report sad that Tehran halted it’s nuclear weapons program in 2003, but this does not mean they don’t have aspirations to get nukes someday.
Not as much blood splattering as one would have expected last night. Both candidates remained cool, calm and collected. And they were both very much on top of their game.
Is it just me or were these “mediators” very antagonizing? Russert was asking stupid questions and the candidates handled him well. He tried to draw parralels to the life and times of Farrakhan to Obama, trying to bring about some guilt by association.Â He also tried to put over crazy hypotheticals and expected the candidates to have policy issues for rediculous situations (such as re-invading Iraq, or Iraq telling us to immediatly withdraw from their country). He’s a moron.
Hillary was stupid for complaining about receiving the first quesetion all the time and referencing an SNL skit. I don’t know what she was trying to do, but she got booed. It was also poor decision making to try and say “Well I think we need to be stronger and say reject and not denounce,” in referencing Barack’s position on Farrakhan. And Barack said, “Sorry, waht’s the difference? Okay, I denounce and reject Farrakhan.”Â
My favorite moment of the debate was after the clip of Clinton making fun of Obama for being a dreamer and creating a painting of a world uniting and problems being solved (“and the clouds will open up and the sun will shine” … etc etc.), the clip ended Obama said “Sounds good” then credited her with a great performance and solid delivery.
To end the night it was Obama to start in with the feel-good moment which I thought was a great way of saying, it’s been good Hillary, it’s been real … but it hasn’t been real good, but now I have to go win the general election.
Just so you ninjas know. There will be another debate tonight between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It will go from 9 – 10:30 and will air on NBC. Be sure to check back here for a run-down of the important aspects of what should be a bare-knuckle assault on Obama from Clinton.
The impending doomsday for team Hillary is one week from today when Texas and Ohio will have their primary elections.
I love that picture.
Earlier today I posted about a great Op-Ed piece in the Post this morning about the fact that the PAA has expired. Well, this group, “Defense of Democracies” has taken it upon themselves to spread the message that we’d just better reconsider!
Great article here about just who these people are.
Old news by now, but just in case you missed it. Raul Castro was unanimously elected as Cuba’s new preisdent yesterday. Raul has been acting as President since Fidel’s intestinal surgery in 2006 sidelined him from official duties. The vote yesterday just made his title official. Many hope that Raul with at least begin to open Cuba up to state-run capitalism (oh-so different from socialism?) and help create a connection with the international community that was not allowed to exist because they didn’t want to deal withÂ Fidel.
[pictuerd above: Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Raul Castro, Fidel Castro]
I’d like start offering you ninjas some clips from the father of American neo-conservatism: Ronald Wilson Reagan. His legacy is remarkable. I think it is important to your ninja status that you understand what his administration stood for and what his aims were. He is the most important figure in Conservative thought as we understand it today. Think what you will of him, but understand his politics.
A very powerful Shia cleric in Iraq, Maqtada al-Sadr, with a very powerful following has proclaimed that his militia’s ceasefire against rivals and the USÂ will be extended for another six months. He will be a crucial figure in the future of Iraq.
Moqtada’s father was a very powerful and respected Shia cleric throughout the Muslim world. He was murdered along with Moqtada’s two brothers, supposedly on the orders of Saddam Hussein. In 2003 Sadr’s creation of the Mahdi army gained much support in Sadr City, a neighborhood of Baghdad, and beyond.Â It has a reported following of thousands of Iraqis. This is the force that recognizes the ceasefire.
Since theÂ new Irarqi governmnet has been formed al-Sadr has not lent to its credibility, denouncing it’s legitimacy and refusing to get involved. He invisions aÂ cleric run state (a la Iran).Â He says the purpose of this new ceasefire is so that his group might further an ideological stance within the Iraqi system.Â
One thing that both candidates left out of the debate last night when talkingÂ about the sucess of teh US military surge in Iraq is that it has coincided with this ceasefire. This has been a huge reason why there has been such successful surge results.Â al-Sadr knows that the longer he holds out of taking his own action, the more he can contribute to temporary stability and, hopefully, the withdrawl of foreign troops.Â
Remember Iran? That country next to Iraq that is enriching uranium and is supposed to be the “Pest to the West” (term hereby copyrighted by MNP)?Â It seems that the last major news we’ve seen concerning the clericly run state was back when an NIE (an intelligence report) was released siting that Iran had halted their nuclear weapons development as far back as 2003. Well, they’re back this month, making the front page of the Economist, and American Conservatives are shaking. Stanley Kurtz’s piece from the National Review claims:
Yet, as the truth about the NIE report emerges from decidedly non-neocon sources like The Economist, itâ€™s increasingly clear that the real NIE story is actually a Republican warning come true. Dovish intelligence analysts eager to discredit the administration and tie its hands have not only distorted and betrayed the truth about Iran, they have undercut and infuriated the very European diplomats Americaâ€™s doves look to for approval and assistance. The NIE lied. Europeâ€™s peacemakers cried. Seizing on this story could bring national security back into the heart of this election campaign â€” and for all the right reasons.
First and foremost: “the truth” about the report isn’t coming from souces like the Economist being able to analyze it. Now, I’m not going to say that Iran definitely isn’t trying to build nukes-I mean, as recent as yesterday Iran was making international news after the launch of a rocket/long range missle apparatus which would greatly assist their efforts to drop a nuke if they should ever procure one-however, do I think that even if Iran did, somehow, get their hands on a nukeÂ they would turn aroundÂ and blow us up immediately because they’re just those type of people? My ninjas, please! Of course not. They may be a proud people, butÂ not so much that they’d ensure their destruction to stick it to us.Â Would it be a security threat, yeah. Would the proper way to deal with that situation be to antagonize them and push them closer to a forging a strong relationship with someone like China (I say this because in the future they might benefit from one another’s relationship with the US)? My ninjas please! Of course not.
So, why is Kurtz arguing for Iran’s importance as an election issue? He doesn’t look like a tough-guy…:
Because he believes that Iran can get their hands on a nuke in the next four years, and if the military option to engage Iran is off the table for now than he fears the international community has given Iran the green light to take this initiative.Â Listen, just becuase we are not eagerly awaiting a time when we can strike Iran for being a punk doesn’t mean we’re playing nice. It’s their move now, and you bet your bottom dollar they understand the international community will not at all tolerate their being a nuclear power. And should that even come to fruition, it won’t be a secret, we’ll know. Right? NeitherÂ Obama nor HillaryÂ is willing to comprimise American security for a shot at diplomacy with Iran.
I don’t know if you ninjas know, but Kenya recently had an election where the opposition party was expected to win and they didn’t. The results have been escalating into what is now considered and ethnic cleansing. Here is a blog from someone who is there doing some great reporting.
I found this via the Daily Dish.
Note: from now on I am going to try and post after every David Broder opinion column from the Washington Post. You should all read it anyways because the man is good.
Case and point: Today’s article (12/5) highlights the most important events of the international community according to how they might affect the U.S. Broder tells us that things are different than they were two weeks ago. Now, his near perky article must have been a result from this weeks BIG STORY: the NIE report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Anywho, he got me thinking about how much I want a Democrat in the White House, AND a Democrat controlled Congress. This would be the ill na na, ninjas. Actually … f*ck that, I just don’t want Giulliani or Romney-Bushified chuckle heads. If the Reps cared about themselves they would rally around McCain with Huckabee as the VP. Huckabee is ill because he’s the Republican I could see stabbing the neo-cons right in the heart and letting the blood drip all over him. Interesting guy.
The point is, ninjas, change is on the horizon. If you live in a swing-State, I plead with you: don’t vote for an asshole. Take the time to listen to how these candidates talk, what they talk about, their demeanor, their grace or lack their off … In all sincerity, I think Hillary Clinton should get the nod.
Ninjas, the war on terror needs to end. Because it’s not really a war on terror, this government seems to be all too pleased to feed this fire.
Times are tough, my ninjas … at least for GDubz, who just can’t get anything to come together for him. Yesterday came a release, the National Intelligence Estimate, which is a report from all of intelligence from all 16 of the departments of intelligence we have: the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, etc. etc. etc.
Now, this report claims that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons development in 2003. President Bush has said that he did not know about this information prior to last week. Whaaaaaaaaat? My Ninja, Please. Bush is trying to claim that though there was new information which surfaced as early as July, he wasn’t told what this new information was until he was briefed on this report last week. I can probably say that he isn’t smart enough to know that he’s insulting our intelligence.
Now us hopeful bleeding hearts (or just practical folk) upon hearing this thought that this might just be reason enough for the Bush team to take the possibility of an air strike on Iran off the table. However, according to Bush’s response the the report, nothing has changed.
For those of you silly enough to think Giulliani is a solid choice in 2008, this is the statement from his Middle East policy man, Norman Podhoretz, essentially claiming the intelligence community is purposefully doing Iran a favor. [Ed: Podhoretz, a known idiot]
Turns out I was wrong, Dick Cheney is interested in diplomacy. His definition of it leaves a tiny bit to be desired, though…
Well, I would love to have one giant peace conference, to see our adversaries come sit down on the other side of the table, and negotiate a treaty here — like we did at the end of World War II onboard the USS Missouri — and have the problem solved.
Seriously, he said this. Now, those of us who have opened a history book from time to time know that the “peace conference” on the Missouri was preceded by this:
Take a moment to really consider the implications of that quote, though. The Vice President of the United States either truly doesnâ€™t understand basic facts about American history; or he thinks that the only way to negotiate with one’s enemies is to firebomb and nuke them into complete submission first. Neither is exactly encouraging.
The White House seems to have a default position whenever it’s asked about Iran, which is to claim that it’s “pursuing the diplomatic track,” or something to that effect. Every time I hear it, I start waiting for some reporter to stand up and tell Dana Perino, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” On Tuesday, the claim that we’re using diplomacy was buttressed by the point that Bush is meeting with the leaders of France and Germany next week. Can’t help but notice, though, how that’s not meeting with Iran.
See, it’s a funny thing about diplomacy. It requires intricate, obscure techniques, like talking to the other country. Not labeling their military a supporter of terrorists and freezing their assets. Not warning third parties that inaction will lead to Armageddon. If they were serious about this, they’d be proposing high-level talks at a nice resort on the French Riviera next month. That way, best case, they solve the differences between the two nations; worst case, they spent a week in Nice. Not much downside there. Beyond that, it’s not like it would lose Bush any political support. He’s already more than established his “tough-on-terror” credentials. To go ubergeek for a moment and use the post’s second obscure quote: “There is an old Vulcan proverb: only Nixon could go to China.” Same deal here. Of course, it’s so logical and so potentially worthwhile that it’s totally guaranteed that Bush won’t do it.
Instead, they’ll stick to what they’ve been doing: letting Cheney ramp up the rhetoric while Secretary Rice tells the Iranians that she’d be glad to talk to them about their nuclear program, just as soon as they agree to give up their nuclear program. Take a moment to digest the logic behind that one.
Oddly enough, it’s not an attitude limited to foreign policy. Check out the first set of answers regarding the Mukasey nomination here (video from TPM):
See, Senate Democrats who are worried that Michael Mukasey might be a radical authoritarian who’s OK with letting the President waive Congressional law, ignore judicial orders, and allow American agents to torture prisoners? Just give him the keys to the Justice Department! Then you’ll have all the answers you want when you ask him to testify again. Or, possibly, when the Deputy AG arrives on the steps of the Capitol to inform you that your services are no longer necessary and the Executive Branch will take it from here.
I’m in the midst of watching Frontline, which tonight focuses on the growing tensions between the United States and Iran. I’m continually amazed by the level of access and analysis they bring to their topics, and tonight’s is no exception. They’ve managed to get interviews with top American officials, as well as prominent members of the Iranian parliament. The whole piece is now online at their website, I highly recommend that you watch it.
One thing that struck me as especially staggering was a document known as the “grand bargain.” Soon after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. received a document, apparently from moderates within the Iranian government, proposing negotiations over a set of basic issues. They asked that the U.S. stop trying to overthrow their regime, take Iran off the “Axis of Evil,” and agree to a set of security arrangements. In return, the Iranians would aid the U.S. in stabilizing Iraq, abandon all attempts to build nuclear weapons, and cease aid to terrorist groups in Lebanon and Palestine. The Bush Administration dismissed it without even bothering to reply.
Now, clearly there was serious disagreement as to how serious the offer was, the actual ability of the writers to follow through on it, and so forth, but how do you not pursue that? Worst case, it’s bullshit, in which case we’ve lost nothing. Best case, we put an end to 27 years of hostility and gain an incredibly valuable strategic partner in the Middle East. This is Diplomacy 101. Hell, it’s Art of War 101, winning your objectives without spilling blood.
I’m definitely going to have more to say on this later, but the combination of 3 am and detailed discussion of U.S.-Iranian relations rarely ends well. Come back tomorrow for politricks’ take on the events that got us where we are now.