American Politicians’ Love Affair with Israel


Jon Stewart: allowable opinions on Israel in American politics range from “I unequivocally support Israel and might bomb Iran” to “I unequivocally support Israel and will definitely bomb Iran!”
Meanwhile, members of the Israeli leadership offer harsh criticism for Netanyahu and his aggressive foreign policy. They must be pro-mullah anti-semites . . . or at least that’s what the logic of U.S. politics would dictate. Additionally, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said that an Israeli strike on Iran would lead to devastating consequences for Israel.

In response to all this Mark Shea points out the obvious:

Meanwhile, an opposition leader in Iran notes that Iranians, who are remarkably like human beings, have this bizarre tendency to solidify behind their leaders when foreigners start dropping bombs on them and that, because of this inexplicable patriotism and love of their homeland, an attack on Iran would be a “gift from God for the mullahs“. Me: I’d like to see the mullahs gone and their opposition, which seems to want out of the Bronze Age, take their place. Indeed, I even remember that, crazy as it sounds, something similar happened in our country after 9/11 with people like Rosie O’Donnell thanking God that George Bush and not Al Gore was president and getting in line to support their leadership in the face of huge violence done to their country.

Yup, Iranians are *gasp* human beings and, as such, fear the same things we fear, want the same things we want and generally behave much like we do. Out of the 73 million human beings living in Iran, turns out many of them want to be a part of the modern world and peacefully associate with other countries – yes, even America. Sure, their leadership is corrupt and responsible for human rights violations and political demagoguery but lets not shoot ourselves in the foot by herding the Iranian people to the wholehearted support of their tyrannical leaders, begging Ayatollah to defend them from the American military juggernaut. Short of Iran attacking us, we must restrain ourselves from using any kind of military intervention – either on our own initiative or in support of an Israeli strike. The answer is not sanctions, either, as this too breeds resentment among the common Iranian against the United States and leads private industries in Iran to fail, allowing the government to step in, take over, and further extend their power over the Iranian people. Instead, we must engage in free trade and cultural exchange to win over the populace and initiate genuine diplomacy.

Essentially, it comes down to upholding Just War Doctrine and treating people like people. Then maybe we’ll get somewhere. I’m not saying it’ll be easy but it sure beats Israel and Iran bombing each other to oblivion.

These Cronies Must Go


RT.com points out the corruption and hypocrisy of Washington politicians who contradict our own top brass and intelligence agencies on foreign policy in favor of serial warfare benefiting the military-industrial complex all at the expense of the very people they were elected to serve:

Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn), Lindsey Graham (R – SC)  and John McCain (R-AZ) stick together through thick and thin. They are frequently seen side by side, both physically and politically, and the most common speech they seem to  give has to do with the need for more war.

Brian Becker, National Coordinator for the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, said, “These three haven’t met a war that they don’t like.”

Together, they led the charge to amp up the effort in Afghanistan.

“We need more troops there, American troops,” said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn) at a Senate hearing on Afghanistan in 2009.

“IED attacks by the enemy have gone up by a thousand percent,” said Sen. Graham at the same hearing.

“In the words of Admiral Mullen,” Sen. McCain said, “time is not on our side.”

InAugust, 2009, the three of them met with Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi at a time when it was in the United States’ interests to call him friend.

Less than two years later, they called for him to be replaced.

“If you want Gaddafi to go,” said Sen. McCain, “then one of the steps among many would be to establish a no-fly zone.”

On CNN, Sen. Lieberman made the case for involvement to the American people.

“Will the world stand by and watch a leader like Qadhafi slaughter his own people?” he asked.

Perhaps the most constant target for the three senators is Iran.

“If we use military action against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities. We should destroy their ability to make conventional war,” said Sen Graham. “They should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float.”

Even in 2010, Sen. McCain’s sense of urgency with Iran was immense.

“We keep pointing a gun and we haven’t pulled a single trigger and its time we did,” he said.

But two years later, that lack of immediate military action hasn’t resulted in Armageddon, or anything like it.  Still the calls for action expand – now across the globe

“The Iranian nuclear program is a threat to the entire world,” said Sen Lieberman this week in his speech at AIPAC.

And on Monday on the Senate floor, Senator McCain made the case for airstrikes in Syria.

“Foreign military intervention is now the necessary factor to reinforce this option,” he said.  “Assad needs to know that he will not win.”

Babka said it is a nearly identical debate to the ones in the past.

“Once again, almost with Pavlovian response, these guys come and say, well we gotta go to war,” he said

The mood  of the American people may have  shifted to ending the wars but the perpetual lobby for war does have its supporters, among them – defense contractors.

“They’re very popular with the military industrial complex which sees every new adventure, every new invasion, every new occupation, every new major bombing campaign as an investment,” Becker said.

But it’s an investment fewer Americans want their country to make as they have already lived through the consequences of the previous military adventures.

Remember, these are the exact same individuals who gave us the NDAA, SOPA, the PATRIOT Act, Kill Switch and more. Neoconservatives like Lieberman, Graham and McCain leave no room in their despotic ideals for preserving the integrity of our constitution, defending the rights of Americans or respecting the authority entrusted to them. These cronies must go.

The Fabricated Threat of Iran


Russia Today sums up the American political climate concerning Iran:

“Iran could attack the United States in a much more fearsome way,” claims CNN. “We have to assume that Hezbollah would be the proxy for Iran and could well carry out the attack,” it specifies.

“Some believe that New York could eventually be on Iran’s hit list,” Fox News scares.

The American media might be exaggerating the Iranian threat as the US military officials say the contrary.

US intelligence, personified by Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, officially states that Iranian attack on America is unlikely, saying “The agency assesses that Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict” – unless the US attacks first, the general adds.

Moreover, America’s intelligence community hasruled out allegations that Iran is creating a nuclear bomb a long time ago. The Los Angeles Times reports that 16 special service agencies have all reached the same conclusion.

Sasan Fayazmanesh, from California State University, says similar reports a few years ago were ignored by Washington, because they did not sit well with its ultimate goal in Iran.

“It is an issue of regime change. The National Intelligence Estimate is many years old, it’s first came up in 2007, […] it judged with high confidence that as of fall 2003 Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program,”

he said.

“Nevertheless, when it first came out during the Bush administration, they’ve dismissed [it], obviously the Obama administration is not going by this report either.”

Actually, the US has had a political quarrel with Israel over Iran. Tel Aviv openly demands Washington support and participate in a military attack on Iranian nuclear objects, while the Obama administration has been reluctant on any military action against Iran, hoping sanctions and strong wording will do the same job.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey called the idea of an air strike on Iran “foolish”, “destabilizing” and “not prudent.”

For his intractability the general was ostracized by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused Dempsey of “serving the Iranians.”

However fantastic it might sound, two US Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, sided with Netanyahu against the top brass of their own army.

The layout appears to be intriguing. The US government at the moment does not support a military operation against Iran. The US Army intelligence dissuades from harsh actions against the Islamic Republic.

But the US mass media and some agenda-driven lawmakers apparently know better what is good for America, and are actively sculpting an enemy image of the Tehran regime.

Both our military leaders and our intelligence agencies have repeatedly made it quite clear that there is a blatant lack of evidence that Iran poses any real threat to our national security. Yet, the mainstream media continues to whip up hysteria and politicians in Washington continue their call-to-arms – labeling Iran enemy #1 and demanding US military aggression against the Islamic Republic. My question to the citizens of America is this: whose claims should you allow to mold your views on American foreign policy and Iran? The US military’s top officials and intelligence agencies who have the authority and expertise to make statements regarding threats to our national defense and defensive strategies? Or armchair generals in Washington and the mass media who make decisions based on amassing votes and special-interest support and  keeping their ratings high?

3 1/2 Time-Outs Fat Tuesday (Vol. 4)


Hosted by LarryD of AotA

Just like Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes, except it's half as long and twice as good.

1

I’ve been benched from running track ever since I developed hamstring tendonitis a few weeks ago. I started, unknowingly, with a weak arch in my left foot which led to the tendonitis as well as pelvic rotation problems. Then, compensating for tendonitis got me into problems with my left knee. With physical therapy my hamstring has loosened up and my pelvic rotation is corrected but I’m still dealing with an unstable arch and a bum knee. In the meantime I’ve taken up training for . . . rock climbing.

I have very little experience with rock climbing or the types of exercise that the training requires but I’m excited to try something new. When I started training my max-out for pull-ups was only 5 and, while that’s more than many people can do, I also have a very light build (long-distance runner) so its not like I’m lifting very much.

My first excursion is in two weeks. Its gonna be legen – and I hope no one reading this is lactose intolerant because the second half of this word is – dairy! Legendary!

2

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey made news this week by calling an Israeli-led attack on Iran in the near future “destabilizing” and “not prudent.” Which is great because its in our best interest and, probably the world’s at large, that we do not go to war with Iran – especially when Russia and China have both threatened to come to aid Iran against us. However, Israel denounced General Dempsey, calling him a servant of Iran. Unfortunately, this is too common a reaction, not just abroad but here at home, whenever anyone opposes Israel. Israel is a secular state and not the sacred God’s people that so many Americans make them out to be. We are all God’s people. Instead, Israel should be treated like any other sovereign ally. We should respect them and collaborate – but ultimately we need to do what is in our best interest and right now that means not instigating a war with Iran.

Israel disagrees, however, as their Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon explicitly called the Obama administration“hesitant” in their unwillingness to attack, which was followed by a warning only a day later by the nation’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which he urged the US to “move from words to deeds.” Sorry, Israel, but America has enough war on its hands and, as a sovereign nation, you step over the line of authority when you demand that we fight your battles for you. I hope our leadership doesn’t cave to Israel’s demands, or their lobbyist arm, AIPAC, because we cannot afford another decade of war entrenched in the Middle East.

3

Ron Paul has a new ad slamming Santorum. It states, “Santorum voted to raise the debt ceiling five times, double the size of the Department of Education, then supported the biggest entitlement expansion since the ‘60s.” That, I was aware of. However, also in the ad, Santorum is alleged to have voted in favor of outfitting former North Korea leader Kim Jong Il with financial aid, as well as offering support to the government of Egypt. Elsewhere, the Senator is linked to okaying millions in funding for Planned Parenthood, despite openly opposing abortion. I’ve heard the Planned Parenthood allegations before but I haven’t seen proof (I also haven’t looked yet); if anyone knows more about this I’d be interested in hearing more.

3 1/2 

I’m too tired and busy to come up with a 3 1/2 so Calvin will see you out.

Iran Won’t Attack Says US Intelligence


Turns out that, according to US military intelligence, Iran will not attack us first. If there is to be an Iran-US war then our own intelligence believes that it will be us who initiates it – and with politicians like Gingrich and Santorum vowing to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program via any option necessary such a preemptive war on the part of the US does not seem unlikely.

However, conservative Catholics must accept that if our best intelligence views the likelihood of Iranian aggression as unlikely then we have no grounds upon which to justify any military action whatsoever as defensive without the threat of attack and therefore cannot abide by just war doctrine and attack Iran at the same time.

On the other hand, preemptive strikes against Iran will surely result in a war with foreseeably terrible consequences such as the closing of the Strait of Hormuz,  missile strikes against US targets and our allies, possible terrorist mobilization, even nuclear launches if Iran were to have that technology. Not to mention that both China and Russia have pledged their support for Iran.

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization states “What we are witnessing here is a build-up towards a military confrontation. These sanctions constitute the staging of a military agenda. In turn, we have massive deployment of US military hardware, troops going to Israel to be stationed in Israel, more troops go to Kuwait, [American] naval forces are entering the Persian Gulf.” Michel Chossudovsky continues, “This war has already started. There are drone attacks, there are special [American] forces inside Iran and there is financial warfare. The WWIII scenario is unthinkable. This war would extend from the Mediterranean to the Chinese border. It could possibly include Russia and China. We could find ourselves at a very critical crossroads.”

Linkstorm: The Americanist Edition


Fantasizing about peeing on dead Afghan soldiers is patriotic but joking about a Superbowl ad is categorically un-Americanist and cannot go unpunished. 

After tough sanctions, Iran meets some of Obama’s demands . . . sort of.

NATO airstrike kills seven children aged between seven and 15 and one adult who was a 20-year-old mentally-handicapped person.

Apparently, not only is it okay for America to be the policemen of the world, but we have a responsibility to to do so. We, “must keep an eye on the entire world.” White man’s burden, anyone?

President Obama decides that its okay for wealthy corporations to contribute to his campaign when merely 16 months ago he called the very same super PACs a “threat to Democrats” and a “threat to democracy.”

Santorum says that as president he would demand Iran “open your facilities, you begin to dismantle this nuclear program, or we will dismantle it for you.” Even though Iran has a far more transparent nuclear program than the United States and we retain the right to our own massive nuclear arsenal. Gingrich and Romney both complain that China is “cheating” in order to bolster their economy. Romney wants to take measures that could lead to sanctions against America’s biggest importer – never mind that China would almost certainly considered such measures an act of war. 

Patrick Vandapool provides a fitting illustration for Americanist ultra-nationalism.