Open Thread – Any Subject

I will be occupied with something for a few days.  pl

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16 Responses to Open Thread – Any Subject

  1. Mad Dogs says:

    Thanks for the open thread Pat!
    Might as well take advantage of it, so here goes. *g*
    Regarding today’s declaration by Secretary of State Condi “I know nothing” Rice that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and its Quds force component are “terrorist organizations”, it seems this Administration’s campaign to go to war with Iran has passed their next planning milestone.
    One wonders if the Administration’s designation is meant to allow them to use the existing AUMF (Public law 107-40, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists) as the controlling authority to attack Iran.
    The ratchet has moved up another notch.
    For those who state that these folks couldn’t fool us again after their failure with the last go-around with Iraq, I politely say, yes they can.
    The Administration knows that despite the fact that their previous sack of lies will limit the public’s approval to just those remaining 30% true believers, all of the Congresscritters are far more vulnerable to the PR campaign underway.
    And for the most part, have bought every PR tarred brush of Iran as legitimate. Remember how the Senate recently voted unanimously for Joe Lieberman’s diatribe against Iran. That is not likely to change.
    And I still stand by my prediction of March 08 as the likely date of real hostilities with Iran.
    More ratcheting to come in the next 5-6 months. Watch for it, and don’t be surprised when it shows that Iran can no right.
    That Iran “forced” us to smack ’em.
    “They wouldn’t admit to building nuclear weapons, so we’ll have to punish them.”
    Kinda like “Have you stopped beating your spouse?”

  2. chimneyswift says:

    The stunning incompetence of the current administration seems only rivaled by their bloodlust.
    I have thought for some time that many of the more powerful people in this world are locked into a psycho-drama in which they are projecting their death fantasies onto the world they are helping to run. Leaving the Middle East in nearly irreprable shambles would fit right in with this.

  3. Will says:

    ever wonder where this “terrorism” stuff originates?
    the James Petras article in wikipedia is a window. The pertinent stuff keeps on getting deleted, but the relevant nugget, just sociological data is archived in the talk page- still there, but a google layer deeper.
    “Interestingly, the latest edit line reason for the deletion is that it is “POV.” Indubitably, it is Petras’ POV. More that that, some of it just plain sociological fact- just statistics from Richard Cohen and Forbes. The rest his opinion. I’m not going to get into a wheel war. Just want to point out the facts and opinion. There should be room in an encyclopedia for diverse balancing views. And there should be more in the views section than the Jewish and Israel stuff.
    * Power of Israel in the United States
    Petras has put his views in a book on this topic. He puts forth the thesis that American Jewry are less than 2% of the population, yet represent 25-30% of U.S.’s wealthiest families (citing Forbes). He asserts that they wield their wealth effectively. As an example(citing Richard Cohen in the Washington Post) — supplying 60% and 35% of the total contributions respectively of the American Democratic and Republican political parties. Petras maintains that little public discussion is allowed about this financial power.
    Petras maintains that this supposed Jewish influence in the Unites States affects Israel and Middle East Warfare. Petras has the view that Israel has engaged in ongoing military adventures with U.S. support and he has the view that these actions are contrary to U.S. national interest and are inexplicable without the Lobby connection. He repeats the analysis that neoconservatives embroiled America into the Iraq War under pretextural reasons to further greater Israel’s interest. He has claimed that neoconservative Jewish organizations accurately reflect what he sees as the “dual loyalties” of the vast majority of American Jews. He further notes that pro-Israel neoconservative hawks are now urging war with Iran. He coins a new term -“Zioncon.”
    Petras analyzes the Global War or Terror as overblown and a way to mischaracterize resistance movements as “terrorists” and delegitimitize them.
    Petras engages in an eight part analysis of Noam Chomskys criticsm on the “Lobby.” He disagrees with Chomsky. ”

  4. Donovan says:

    With the AUMF, and being that Sen Clinton voted for the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to be labeled as terrorist, then these combined factors will haunt Hillary in the voting booths.
    If Bu$h bombs Iranian sites well before the Democratic primary she will have nobody to blame but herself as her numbers tank.

  5. pbrownlee says:

    Foggy Bottom blues?
    “U.S. requiring envoys to serve Embassy in Iraq
    “WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department said Friday it will begin ordering diplomats to serve in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers to work at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the first such large-scale call-up since the Vietnam War.
    “Beginning Monday, 200 to 300 diplomats will be notified that they have been identified as ‘prime candidates’ to fill 40 to 50 vacancies that will open next year at the embassy, said Harry Thomas, director general of the Foreign Service.
    “Those notified that they have been selected for a one-year posting will have 10 days to accept or reject the position. If not enough say yes, some will be ordered to go to Iraq and face dismissal if they refuse, Thomas said.
    “Starting Nov. 12, our assignments panel will assign people to Iraq,’ he told reporters in a conference call. ‘Under our system, we have all taken an oath to serve our country, we have all signed (up for) worldwide availability.
    “If someone decides… they do not want to go, we will then consider appropriate action,’ Thomas said. ‘We have many options, including dismissal from the Foreign Service.’
    “Only those with compelling reasons, such as a medical condition or extreme personal hardship, will be exempt from disciplinary action, Thomas said. He said the process of deciding who will go to Iraq should be complete by Thanksgiving.
    “Diplomats who are forced into service in Iraq will receive the same extra hardship pay, vacation time and choice of future assignments as those who have volunteered since Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this past summer ordered Baghdad positions to be filled before all others around the world.
    “There are currently about 200 Foreign Service officers working in Iraq, enough to meet the current staffing requirements, but about 50 more will be needed by next summer.”
    Great to know things are going so well.

  6. jonst says:

    CS wrote;
    >>>The stunning incompetence of the current administration seems only rivaled by their bloodlust.<<<< No, actually is not only matched, but surpassed, by the utter failure (in many cases, indifference) of the American people, via their representatives, to stop either the incompetence, in action. Or the blood lust.

  7. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    <"stunning incompetence of the current administration">
    Chimneyswift, accurate characterization indeed.
    W’s official National Strategy (so-called) itself is a product of stunning incompetence. Although its makers think they are quite clever and use revived-warmed over 19th century British Imperial strategy in their Neo-Mackinder (ho hum)”unipolar” world fantasy.
    But it is not just W, and some Neocons. It is the entire dominant imperial faction of the US foreign policy Establishment itself that is the problem. And it runs in both political parties. So likely we will get same or a slight variation (imperialism with a human face) under the Democratic regime to come in 08 and 12.
    Here is an excellent Juan Cole critique per the Middle East:
    “The Collapse of Bush’s Foreign Policy
    From Turkey to Iraq to Pakistan, the mounting chaos proves the White House is just winging it.”
    by Juan Cole
    This piece fills in some blanks:
    “The Bush administration has only itself to blame for the quandary it faces with Turkish forces poised to intervene in northern Iraq.”
    The coming National Strategy and foreign policy is already outlined in the Princeton Project’s documents. This is one useful codification of the US foreign policy Establishment’s concepts and direction for 2008 and 20012, irrespective of which party wins.
    It is a lot to wade through but it can help one understand where, for example, McCain and Romney are getting their anti-UN and pro new freedom “coalition” concepts. And where the move to include Israel in NATO comes from. Dems also use it….so it is bi-partisanly stunningly incompetent one might conclude.

  8. Nancy says:

    I think we, the American people, are like passengers on a runaway train. We are looking out the window watching life whiz by, not realizing the track will soon run out.
    My husband and I were in Paris before the Iraq War and the streets were filled with a million people protesting. It seems this administration will soon involve us in another war, with Iran and we do nothing but watch the scenery pass by.
    I include myself in this scenerio. What happened to our passion. our outrage?

  9. Kerim says:

    One question the more informed of you might answer for me:
    Could the junta currently residing in the White House, use the pretext of a major terrorist attack on US soil ( a more shocking 9.11 if you will) occuring before the next presidential election, to declare a state of emergency, activate presidential special powers and remain in power (martial law and abolishing the republic would be additional goodies).
    Would there be any legal grounds that would support this (at least partly)?
    Maybe I’ve seen too many movies, but am just wondering if the ultimate objective is not much more than “just” Iran.
    Am curious to read what people thoughts on this are.

  10. stanley Henning says:

    Steering a course toward Armageddon
    Ever since 911 I have watched my beloved country sink deeper and deeper into an abyss of blind, flailing ignorance. It appears that we are approaching the point of no return in sacrificing America in a Middle East tribal garbage pit, where Israel is really no more than one of the tribes, albeit the most cohesive one. Yes, Israel! Beyond terrorism, oil, and whatever, this whole mess really seems to be about Israel, and it may very well signal the beginning of the end for our great nation unless we can wake up, face the facts, get our priorities straight, and steer a more reasoned course.

  11. Dave says:

    NPR’s Morning Edition ran a pretty odd story on Friday. Thought I’d share a link.
    Their reporter in Baghdad claims that the head of Sadr’s militia in west Baghdad invited NPR to attend the interrogation of three members of one of the ‘renegade’ splinter groups, who confessed under torture to being paid by Iranians to stir up all kinds of trouble.
    Audio available at the link. It’s about 4 minutes.

  12. Mark K Logan says:

    Jonst wrote:
    “No, actually is not only matched, but surpassed, by the utter failure (in many cases, indifference) of the American people, via their representatives, to stop either the incompetence, in action. Or the blood lust.”
    I think he’s got it nailed.
    There is a Miller Center
    talk given by Fred Schwarz
    about his book “Unchecked and Unbalanced” that covers
    this subject very nicely.
    It’s about an hour, and it’s a gem, IMO.

  13. Will says:

    thesis, antithesis, synthesis; the turn of the screw; cycles; adaptation.
    things cannot continue as they are. ultimately & unexpectedly there will be change when you least expect it. the high point of insanity had to have been Feith, Wolfwitz, Bolton, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Hadley, et al. Surely that was the blackest of the night.

  14. Jamie le Notre says:

    Are we starting to see the endgame for Nato. Finally, when a member state (Turkey) is having its territorial intgrity assulted by a known and recognised terrorist organisation, the US turns its back on them, just so it can get continued local support in Northern Iraq.
    Barzarni and Talibani are doing nothing to solve the problem in their own country, in essence they are supporters of Terrorism. Perhaps this is due to the covert activities of the Peshmerga mercenaries in North Western Iran.
    Turkey and Iran both share a common problem of Kurdish terrorist activities in the provinces that border Norhtern Iraq. Regionally who can Turkey really call upon to support their ongoing problem with the Kurds, Syria and Iran. Both Terrorist countries as far as the US is concerned. So if an alliance is formed between the three, does that mean that a NATO member state will become a state that supports terrorism.
    In some respects, I feel that the US fails to understand the regional animosities towards the Kurds, they’ve taken money and weapons fron Israeli “Businesses” which will do then no favours at all with the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi man in the street.
    So as the US turns its back on a NATO ally what will happen to it as an entity… I would be surprised if the Germans, Spanish or Italians will contribute to an future US war effors (Iran), the new joiners of NATO Poland, Hungary etc will have second thoughts. Who will be left? an English speaking club, Canadians, UK and Austalia (with a few Safa mercenaries employed by Blackwater).

  15. Will says:

    MODO (Maureen Dowd) has that way of putting deja vu all over again in retrospec in a made up interview with tim russert and darth vader:
    “CHENEY: Well, the difficulty here is, each time he has rejected what he was called upon to do by the international community. I’m not sure now, no matter what he says, that anyone would believe him. He’s pretending he doesn’t have W.M.D., just like Saddam.
    RUSSERT: But Saddam didn’t have W.M.D.
    CHENEY: He did, Tim.
    RUSSERT: He did?
    CHENEY: Ever wonder what happened to them?
    RUSSERT: What happened to them?
    CHENEY: Think about it, Tim.
    CHENEY: Oh, we have, Tim. The sanctions were announced Thursday. It’s now Sunday. I think things have gotten so bad inside Iran, from the standpoint of the Iranian people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ”

    RUSSERT: It’s so close to the next election, Mr. Vice President, shouldn’t you just keep on the diplomatic track and let the next president make this decision?
    CHENEY: You really want Rudy Giuliani playing with the nuclear button, Tim? Now, that’s insane. ”
    I may have to agree with Pumphead about Guliani,
    What are the chances of teaching the flatheads to learn to say TAKFIRI SALAFISTS instead of ISLAMOFASCISTS?

  16. Cliedlilt says:

    I’ve just registered at the forum. This is my first message.
    Please don’t become angry about me.
    Thank you.

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