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August 27, 2008

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michael

I guess since Jake Tapper says its a distortion then I guess the McCain campaign must be lying

Michael Kennedy

Sounds like a quibble to me. Obama got into trouble by saying he would meet Akhmadinejad without conditions. Then, when called on it, he went to the position that Iran is not a threat. I will allow that McCain is slightly distorting the words but not the meaning.

MayBee

I agree with you, TM.

bgates

You know the other passage that does that, is where Obama says, "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela -- these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us "
and I look forward to howls of outrage over the truncation of that second sentence from people who have the phrase "100 years" tattooed on their foreheads.

narciso

Two days later, he said it was a threat; yet he voted against sanctioning the IRCG
(Vevak Sepah-Pasdaran) which has been the
main exporter of that threat; in Lebanon, Iraq,today, Azerbaijan tomorrow. Also the source of major political figures,Larijani, Jalilli,Ahmadinejad,Mike Hersh's pen pal Mohzen Rezai. The left will insinuate that Chalabi has some ties to Gen. Suleimaini, and Frouzanda; as the hatchet job bio by Aram Roston, suggests they will not consider
going after the real threat themselves; the Iranian state. It's not unlike Michael Moore attacking the Saudis because of their ties to Bush and vice/versa; not because of Wahhabism's influence on any society that comes in contact with it. Interestingly the ties of Khalid al Mansour; a business associate of Saud investor Waleed Talal to Obama's acceptance at Harvard' pointed out first by fmr. NY politico and empresario Percy Sutton(whose radio stations, actually tried to rationalize the Central Park rapisrs back in 1999)go unremarked. Biden of course, if of a similar mindsetregarding the IRGC as well as his statements against Israel back in 1982; during the Lebanese war, that marked the beginning of the Iranian takeover of the country. A similar fate, that would have befallen Iraq, if his partition plan gone into effect.

Joan

Depends on what kind of event is considered "tiny." Thirty Iranian terrorists infiltrating this country, poisoning city water supplies, setting bombs off in two New York subway lines or Chicago-L train would be devastating. The intent behind Obama's words -- where he seems to think Iran wishes us little or no harm -- seems naive to me.

Re distortions: My goodness, the airways and print media have been filled with Democratic distortions for years. I say "stick it to them."

Danube of Thought

The threat is the anonymous detonation of one or more nuclear weapons in American cities. Anyone who doesn't consider that a threat is dangerously unprepared for the presidency.

anduril

In evaluating the candidates' respective positions on Iran it may be useful to rehearse the events of 2003, to which I alluded in my post on Russian policy (heh, there's a joke in there). To refresh memories a bit, I pointed out that Iran, through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, offered to put every aspect of US - Iran relations on the bargaining table in Geneva (there had, I believe, been previous such meetings). The Iranian initiative was prompted by their extensive help to the US during the Afghan campaign. Apparently they thought that their no strings attached help in Afghanistan might prompt the US to consider reviving relations with Iran. Instead, after Bush decided to stiff those who gave us the most help in Afghanistan (Russia and Iran), without even an acknowledgment, relations deteriorated--geez, who woulda thunk that? Anyway, maybe someone will address that whole radical concept substantively here--that it can sometimes be useful to talk to people with whom we have disagreements. Or is that idea only for "squishes."

So here's Gareth Porter's summary of the Iranian initiative: Neo-con cabal blocked 2003 nuclear talks. And to save everyone trouble, here's a red meat quote:

The same neo-conservative veto power also prevented the administration from adopting any official policy statement on Iran, those same officials said.

Lawrence Wilkerson, then chief of staff to secretary of state Colin Powell, said the failure to adopt a formal Iran policy in 2002-03 was the result of obstruction by a "secret cabal" of neo-conservatives in the administration, led by Vice President Dick Cheney.

"The secret cabal got what it wanted: no negotiations with Tehran," Wilkerson wrote in an e-mail to Inter Press Service (IPS).
The Iranian negotiating offer, transmitted to the State Department in early May 2003 by the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, acknowledged that Iran would have to address US concerns about its nuclear program, although it made no specific concession in advance of the talks, according to Flynt Leverett, then the National Security Council's senior director for Middle East Affairs.

Iran's offer also raised the possibility of cutting off Iran's support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad and converting Hezbollah into a purely socio-political organization, according to Leverett. That was an explicit response to Powell's demand in late March that Iran "end its support for terrorism".

In return, Leverett recalls, the Iranians wanted the US to address security questions, the lifting of economic sanctions and normalization of relations, including support for Iran's integration into the global economic order.

Leverett also recalls that the Iranian offer was drafted with the blessing of all the major political players in the Iranian regime, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. [sic. I think it should be Khameini.]

Realists, led by Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, were inclined to respond positively to the Iranian offer. Nevertheless, within a few days of its receipt, the State Department had rebuked the Swiss ambassador for having passed on the offer.

Exactly how the decision was made is not known. "As with many of these issues of national security decision-making, there are no fingerprints," Wilkerson told IPS. "But I would guess Dick Cheney with the blessing of George W Bush."

As Wilkerson observes, however, the mysterious death of what became known among Iran specialists as Iran's "grand bargain" initiative was a result of the administration's inability to agree on a policy toward Tehran.

anduril

I suppose that the Iranian initiative in essence was an offer to meet and talk with no preconditions. That is to say, they outlined their entire position without making demands on the US. That's considered a pretty humble approach in diplomatic circles, and our response was the back of our hands. The remarkable thing was rebuking the Swiss Ambassador for even forwarding the letter. He represented US interests in Iran, since we had no diplomatic relations--what was he supposed to have done?

Enlightened

I agree - McCain's group should not distort. In fact they should clear up the "Iran" issue in the first debate. Obama should be coached enough by Joey by then to completely rebut his own remarks/thoughts/nuances/visions of Iran.

Sue

I don't care enough either way. If Obama didn't exactly say it, he sure thought it, of that I am sure. They will quibble and the press will cover no matter what McCain says or does.

bgates

Obama should be coached enough by Joey by then to offer Iran 200 million dollars?

Chicago Machine Investigations

Nothing to see here, please move along...

No 'smoking gun' in Obama relationship

narciso

Ah Leaverett, most recently appearing as a Central Asia expert, favoring Russia over Georgia of course, and Gareth Porter, one of Chomsky's original deniers of the Cambodian holocaust; solid bunch all. What
does 'acknowledging the nuclear program mean' anyways we know they have one, we don't know the extent of it; how close they
are to a bomb. Hezbollah was almost exclusive a Iranian product cultivated by the IRCG; Hamas and Islamic Jihad (al Arian and Ramadan Shallah's outfit) is less so, but their goals are the same, a theocratic
state in the Palestinian regions. How the secret faction; really Cheney is a secret
player; more than likely the faction that prevailed. Besides, anyone who we ended up dealing with the last time we did a back channel to the Iranians; none of Feridoun
Nezhi Nezhad, who would later direct the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Sammy

Where did the Soviet Union say exactly that they would "wipe us of the planet" ?

anduril

The South Ossetians are Iranian, so maybe these links aren't so OT:

Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions, By Dmitry Medvedev

You won't find many US papers that will point out that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were Autonomous Regions--not simply part of Georgia in the old Soviet Union, nor that the Georgians had a history of oppressing the peoples of those regions, but it does happen to be true:

Not all of the world’s nations have their own statehood. Many exist happily within boundaries shared with other nations. The Russian Federation is an example of largely harmonious coexistence by many dozens of nations and nationalities. But some nations find it impossible to live under the tutelage of another. Relations between nations living “under one roof” need to be handled with the utmost sensitivity.

After the collapse of communism, Russia reconciled itself to the “loss” of 14 former Soviet republics, which became states in their own right, even though some 25m Russians [Comment: that's actually a lot of people.] were left stranded in countries no longer their own. Some of those nations were un­able to treat their own minorities with the respect they deserved. Georgia immediately stripped its “autonomous regions” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of their autonomy.

Can you imagine what it was like for the Abkhaz people to have their university in Sukhumi closed down by the Tbilisi government on the grounds that they allegedly had no proper language or history or culture and so did not need a university? The newly independent Georgia inflicted a vicious war on its minority nations, displacing thousands of people and sowing seeds of discontent that could only grow. These were tinderboxes, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russian peacekeepers strove to keep from igniting.

But the west, ignoring the delicacy of the situation, unwittingly (or wittingly) fed the hopes of the South Ossetians and Abkhazians for freedom. They clasped to their bosom a Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, whose first move was to crush the autonomy of another region, Adjaria, and made no secret of his intention to squash the Ossetians and Abkhazians.

ben

I don't see a problem with the ad. Obama said Iran was tiny, compared to the Soviet Union. Well I think people are smart enough to understand tiny means tiny. Any description of size is always relative to something else. So if I say Israel is tiny, I am not comparing it to Lebanon, I am comparing it to larger countries or even average size countries. By equating Iran to Cuba and Venezuela Obama is in fact using "tiny" to describe it as small and non-important, a serious error in judgment.

narciso

The French abandoned Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia; whose population was less than 8-10% but still a sizable (Algeria had representation in the National Assembly.The people in those republics, kicked out the Russians, are are less than cordial wih those that seem to have collaborated with them. A closer analogue is Chechnya, that the Russian can't seem to leave alone for several centuries at a time.

royf

 Ah yes Flynt Leverett!

 


The Rogue Weasels By Kenneth R. Timmerman
FrontPageMagazine.com
| February 16, 2007
Flynt Leverett, known to readers of this page as “Our Man Flynt,” continues to make hay in Washington by spreading tall tales about the willingness of Iran’s clerical elite to “cut a deal” with the United States.

Not only are the mullahs willing to talk to us, says Flynt. The alleged offer they made in April 2003 was “more substantive, more detailed, than the Chinese proposal that came into the Nixon administration” that opened the way for Nixon’s trip to China in 1972.

At a conference in Washington on Wednesday sponsored by the center-left New America Foundation, Leverett distributed copies of the one page Iranian proposal and a cover letter to the U.S. Department of State from Tim Guldemann, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran who served as the intermediary for the Iranians.

Leverett said he “downloaded” the document from the Washington Post websiteon Wednesday. The Washington Post said they obtained the document, “which had not been previously disclosed,” from “a source who felt its contents were mischaracterized by State Department officials.” Drip, drip.

Just coincidentally, Leverett on Wednesday accused Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice of lying to Congress and misrepresenting the contents of the Iranian document when she was questioned about it last week. “Secretary Rice owes me an apology,” Leverett said with a pout.

Leverett says he first saw the document, which was faxed to the State Department, “just days” before retiring from the CIA in May 2003. He had just returned to CIA from a stint at the National Security Council, where he had been Senior Director for Middle East Initiatives, and was processing out of government.

That means he came contact with the alleged Iranian “roadmap” while he was covered by his CIA non-disclosure agreement, which prohibits him from discussing materials he encountered while working for CIA unless they have specifically been cleared by CIA for publication. (CIA has repeatedly refused Leverett’s efforts to get this material declassified, a subject that has made him angry at the Bush White House.)

Leverett enjoys tweaking the noses of government inquisitors, apparently without fear of Patrick Fitzgerald-style persecution (a fate apparently reserved only for neo-cons like Scooter Libby).

“I know [the document] went up to Secretary Powell,” he says, “because my wife and sometimes co-author, Hillary Mann, wrote a memo” to Powell and “attached a copy of the document” to it. Hillary Mann was then working at the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, and was enthusiastic about the alleged Iranian proposal, he said.

Such a memo – if it were more than just a hand-written cover note –undoubtedly would have been classified. Law would bar its unauthorized disclosure.

Leverett claims that Powell was intrigued by the Iranian offer, but told him and his wife a few weeks later at a cocktail party that he “couldn’t sell it at the White House.”

This isn’t just the story of a leak – although it is that, too. It is an effort by the Left to rewrite history at a critical time for U.S. policy toward Iran.

Leverett and his supporters at the New America Foundation would have us believe that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, negotiated a single-spaced, one-page “roadmap” for resuming U.S.-Iranian relations that included Iran’s recognition of the state of Israel, and that he actually intended to keep his side of the bargain.

This is credible because Iran “already negotiated with Israel” during the Iran-contra arms for hostage deals, Leverett argues.

He would also have us believe Khamenei was willing to cooperate with the United States in stabilizing Iraq, and in weaning Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups from terrorism.

In exchange, the United States was to provide Iran with security guarantees, including a pledge to “refrain from supporting” Iranian opposition groups, something – alas! – we have yet to do in any serious way. The U.S. was also expected to acquiesce to Iran’s nuclear programs. And all this, was supposed to usher in Peace in Our Time.

There are too many problems with Leverett’s story to enumerate. But here are just two:

• The Iranian regime has long conducted a dialogue with the United States through a variety of diplomatic channels. At the time this alleged Iranian proposal was sent by the Swiss ambassador, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Iranian ambassador to the UN Javad Zarif were meeting regularly to discuss Afghanistan and Iraq.

Had the Iranians wanted to make a new proposal to the U.S., that was the established, authoritative channel they would have used. The Swiss embassy in Tehran was the least trusted of the several back channels that then existed.

• Ambassador Tim Guldimann writes in his cover letter to the alleged offer that he worked out the details of the proposal in several meetings with Sadeq Kharrazi, a former deputy foreign minister, nephew of the foreign minister at the time, and relative of the Supreme Leader through marriage.

Guldimann claimed that Kharrazi presented the document to then president Khatami and foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, where they “went through every word of this paper.”

And yet, not long after Guldimann transmitted the “roadmap” document to the State Department, Kharrazi was arrested for “unauthorized contacts” with the United States. So much for “authoritative.”

As for the Islamic Republic of Iran, which regularly vows to “wipe Israel off the map,” being secretly willing to recognize Israel, perhaps Leverett forgets that the faction of Supreme Leader in waiting, Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, exposed the Iran-contra talks in 1986, to head off any kind of deal with America and to head off even tacit recognition of Israel.

Why are Flynt Leverett and the Left bringing out a story that hardly merits a footnote in a dusty history-book at this point in time? Because they still hope to convince the administration to strike a “grand bargain” with the regime in Iran.

Negotiating with this regime is a sucker’s game. It makes buying a Persian carpet at a rigged auction look like a fantastic deal. The Europeans negotiated with Tehran from 2003-2006. The Iranians agreed repeatedly to suspend their nuclear enrichment programs, and repeatedly broke their promises. That’s how we got to where we are today.

This regime is simply trying to buy time as they perfect their nuclear weapons program. And if they can also elicit a security guarantee that will eliminate the one thing they truly fear – an organized, coordinated opposition, with support from the West – then they’ll throw in tea along with the carpet.

Today the Iranian regime and their sympathizers in Washington are hoping to sucker a wounded White House into a similar arrangement as the one just announced by the U.S. with North Korea. Failing that, they plan to stretch out the negotiations until well after George W. Bush leaves the White House, when they think they can get a better deal from a Democratic administration.

Larry Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to Colin Powell throughout his tenure as Secretary of State, lent support to Leverett’s fairy tale of a cooperative and reasonable Iran. He said that Powell thought the Swiss proposal “had the potential to be significant,” but that “he never acted on it” because he was “awfully damned busy doing damage control.”

The Bush administration has “the most dysfunctional national security decision-making process that we’ve had in a long time,” Wilkerson said.

He acknowledged that the Swiss ambassador’s communication “was not handled as it should have been, even at State.”

But when challenged by Washington Institute for Near East Policy scholar Patrick Clawson, Wilkerson admitted that the Swiss proposal had been reviewed and rejected by the State Department’s top Iran experts, who had seen dozens of such proposals in the past.

“In other words, the State Department professionals who knew Iran best were not happy with it,” Clawson said.

“Yes,” Wilkerson acknowledged.

This week, we learn, the Swiss are at it again. The Debkafile reveals – and pro-regime websites in Tehran confirm – that “Swiss emissaries” have floated yet another proposal for Peace in Our Time with Tehran.

This time they say that “Iran will be allowed to produce a predetermined quota of enriched uranium against its pledge not to exceed this limit or produce it up to weapons grade.”

To believe that any of these proposals are reasonable or valid, we have to believe 1) that the regime is willing to publicly talk to the United States, 2) the regime is willing to place verifiable limits on its nuclear program, and 3) the regime can survive if it abandons its anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric.

It wasn’t true in 2003. And it isn’t true today.


PeterUK

"We will bury you",Nikita Khrushchev .

GMax


Wait a damn minute. Obama spent two months flogging the quote of McCain and staying in Iraq for 100 years. Hell when the audience is sufficiently progressive, he still rolls it out today. Even though it was clear that McCain said immediately he meant as presence like Germany Italy and Korea, not fighting for 100 years.

So based on that, I see the word "tiny" in the quote Jack Tapper has up. Good enough for me.

When Obama admits the distortion on the 100 years thing, I will be willing to discuss if this is fair or not fair. But both sides must be allowed to fight under the same rules.

bad

For just a moment when I saw an ad about Obama called "tiny" I hoped it was not phallically based.

Pat Curley

So Iran is only tiny compared to the Soviet Union, not tiny compared to, oh, say the USA? And yes, it is not a serious threat compared to the Soviets who could have destroyed the entire country, while the Iranians (if they get the bomb) could only destroy one city.

Doggone that McCain and his distortions.

PeterUK

"For just a moment when I saw an ad about Obama called "tiny" I hoped it was not phallically based."
No,just a phallacy.

bad

LOL Peter

ben

Obama has built a Greek temple facade to speak from on the night of his coronation. Obviously he is working really hard to dispel the undeserved Messiah, Second Coming, Celebrity, etc. image.

ParseThis

I found this juxtaposition amusing and helpfully explanatory:

IRAN-U.S. THAW '97 VOA 23 December 1997 - HOPES FOR A THAW IN U-S-IRAN RELATIONS CAME TO PROMINENCE IN 1997 FOLLOWING THE VICTORY OF A MODERATE CLERIC IN IRAN'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN MAY.

IRAN NUKE PROGRAM VOA 23 December 1997 - A PUBLISHED REPORT SAYS IRAN IS ONLY TWO YEARS AWAY FROM DEVELOPING A USABLE NUCLEAR WEAPON -- CLOSER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT IN THE WEST. THE REPORT IN "THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES" IS ATTRIBUTED TO ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE SOURCES.

ParseThis

I found this juxtaposition amusing and helpfully explanatory:

IRAN-U.S. THAW '97 VOA 23 December 1997 - HOPES FOR A THAW IN U-S-IRAN RELATIONS CAME TO PROMINENCE IN 1997 FOLLOWING THE VICTORY OF A MODERATE CLERIC IN IRAN'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN MAY.

IRAN NUKE PROGRAM VOA 23 December 1997 - A PUBLISHED REPORT SAYS IRAN IS ONLY TWO YEARS AWAY FROM DEVELOPING A USABLE NUCLEAR WEAPON -- CLOSER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT IN THE WEST. THE REPORT IN "THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES" IS ATTRIBUTED TO ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE SOURCES.

anduril

royf, thanks for the article. See, I don't wanna just jerk people's chains--I actually want to understand what's in the best interests of the US.

Is it possible that all this talking by Iran is just "buying time?" I imagine so. If so, the ploy has worked and continues to work--despite the fact that we've rebuffed them every time. No talk. No carpet. No tea. But they keep their program running. So where's the advantage in our policy?

One area in which the article was a bit deceptive, I thought, was that it seems to suggest that we've never got anything for all the back channeling. Here's what the Leveretts say (yes, their apparently a team): Opportunity Knocked

Indeed, listening to most media outlets, one gets the impression that the Islamic Republic is nothing but a rogue regime committed to the destruction of the United States—or, at least, of Israel. Yet, while Tehran pursues a range of policies that work against U.S. interests, it also has a history of working with Washington, most recently on Afghanistan and Iraq. And, from an American perspective, these interactions have been highly productive.

Watching TV and reading the newspapers one would be led to believe that the participation of U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns in the meeting with Jalili was the “highest-level” and most significant U.S. diplomatic interaction with the Islamic Republic since 1979. This is factually incorrect. Both Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Secretary of State Colin Powell participated in UN-sponsored discussions on Afghanistan with their Iranian counterpart; Powell also met with the Iranian foreign minister in 2004 in regional talks about Iraq.

Moreover, during the last two decades, working-level U.S. officials have repeatedly engaged in substantive exchanges with Iran over a range of specific issues—over U.S. hostages in Lebanon during the 1980s and early 1990s, over support for beleaguered Bosnian Muslims during the mid-1990s, and over Afghanistan and al-Qaeda during 2001–2003. Most recently, U.S. and Iranian officials have met to discuss political and security problems in Iraq’s postconflict stabilization.

In Lebanon, Bosnia and Afghanistan too, Tehran did much—not all, but much—of what was asked of it. For example, in official U.S.-Iranian negotiations over Afghanistan—in which one of us, Hillary Mann Leverett, participated from 2001 to 2003—the Iranians deported hundreds of suspected al-Qaeda operatives who had fled Afghanistan, warned that insufficient attention to postconflict stabilization would leave pockets of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters to reemerge later, delivered important regional warlords to the bargaining table to support creation of a pro-American, post-Taliban political order under President Hamid Karzai, and dissuaded anti-American warlords from acting as “spoilers.”

Furthermore, while these negotiations were ongoing, Tehran was not spinning centrifuges or enriching uranium, and Hezbollah—Iran’s chief terrorist proxy—was kept on a tighter leash than has been the case during the last several years.

Even in Iraq, where Iran’s role is often portrayed by the Bush administration and its allies as hostile and destabilizing, Washington’s reluctant participation in Iraqi-brokered security talks with Iranian representatives has had positive results. Since those talks commenced in early 2007, Iran has brokered critical ceasefires between Iraqi government forces and various Shia militias that have helped to lower the overall level of violence in Iraq. Tehran has also provided consistent recognition and support for the U.S.-backed Maliki government in Baghdad—something which America’s Arab allies have yet to do in a sustained way. If one considers the extent to which Iran could be acting through various proxies to damage the U.S. position in Iraq, it is hard to avoid the politically unpopular conclusion that Tehran has actually been relatively restrained in its resort to proxy violence in Iraq during the past eighteen months. And, the record suggests that, if the Bush administration had been more forward leaning in pursuing serious dialogue with Iran over Iraq, Tehran would be cooperating with a wider range of U.S. goals there.

Iranian officials involved in interactions with the United States over Lebanon, Bosnia and Afghanistan have told us that Tehran worked with Washington on these issues not only because U.S. and Iranian interests overlapped, but also because Iranian leaders hoped that issue-specific cooperation would trigger a broader process of U.S.-Iranian rapprochement. However, successive U.S. administrations terminated such cooperation with Iran, primarily because of concerns about domestic political blowback in the United States or—in the case of the current Bush administration—ideological antagonism toward the Islamic Republic, a charter member of President Bush’s “axis of evil.” This not only imposed opportunity costs on American interests in the Middle East—by foregoing the possibility of better relations with a key regional actor—but also hardened Iranian perceptions that the United States is unwilling to live with the Islamic Republic.

See, that's why I have a problem with Timmerman. For him, it's all monochromatic, and anything that doesn't fit his picture he doesn't mention. The Leveretts have no problem stating forthrightly that "Tehran pursues a range of policies that work against U.S. interests," but they're willing to consider whether some of those issues can be worked out. Why, then, can't Timmerman even consider whether the US and Iran might be able to work out some sort of understanding? Why won't he look at the whole picture?

bad

Speaking of advertising:

...Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern, Humphrey - the woman's hat was a roll-call of losers. She might as well have worn a giant L on her head.

LUN

Doug Santo

The add is not a distortion. The clear implication of Obama's speech from which the excerpts in the add were taken was that Iran was a minor power and the threat posed by Iran was overblown. I hope this add gets wide distribution. The add conveys an important message that every voter should hear. If voters think the add is a distortion, so be it. They can vote for Obama.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

ben

Thanks for the non-sequitur Parse This. I guess this means that if everyone thinks Iran is only 6 months away from a nuclear bomb now we should ignore it because the Israelis were wrong in 1997. Good thinking!

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Well take heart guys and gals, ol' man McCain still has this to brighten everyone's day.

Anbar Province Will Be Transferred on Monday… As RNC Convention Kicks Off

ParseThis

Bonus fun:

Late 1991: In congressional reports and CIA assessments, the United States estimates that there is a ‘high degree of certainty that the government of Iran has acquired all or virtually all of the components required for the construction of two to three nuclear weapons.’ A February 1992 report by the U.S. House of Representatives suggests that these two or three nuclear weapons will be operational between February and April 1992.”

Enlightened

What's your point Parse? That US and coalition intelligence agencies suck?

Except, of course, the renowned Ambassador Wilson who apparently is so plugged into the nuclear proliferation network he knows more than numerous worldwide intelligence agencies, and therefore debunked them all.

It must be the Plame factor.

Enlightened

Here's a thought. Let's petition "President and Superstar Celebrity" Barak Obama appoint a Iran Nuclear Task Force. I nominate BHO's Celebrity Change and Hope Thinkers and Leaders for the initial Q&A with no provisos:

Tim Robbins
Sean Penn
Ben Affleck
Bill Maher
Susan Sarandon
Beyonce Knowles
Madonna
Charlize Theron
Cheryl Crow

If they could just go and ask the main questions of that tiny little country -
"Hey, y'all gonna drop a bomb on our heads"?
"When are y'all planning to drop the Big One?"
"Have y'all had the nukes since 1991 or so"?
"Is Joe Wilson the son of God?"
"Is someone as purty as Valerie Plame really a super-secret spy"?
"If The Messiah loses, can we come live here"?

I am quite certain they will get to the bottom of what ails Iran.

PeterUK

"Obama has built a Geek temple facade to speak from on the night of his coronation".

Better.

Sue

Is anyone watching the nomination and roll call? I wonder if these people really believe what they are saying about Obama?

Sue

They had to send out the congresswoman from Florida that was Hillary's co-chair to denounce McCain's ad with Hillary. ::grin:: Good job Hillary.

Sue

There is that education again. Ask Obama why he isn't touting his work at CAC. I double dog dare you congresswoman.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

McCain campaign sent text to Fox calling the "the temple" the "Barackopolis" and it gave dress code instructions, including which togas to wear.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Oh and for the "clinging God and guns" crowd, traditional clothing acceptable.

Sue

I don't get it. They have made something out of nothing, what a great country, let's change it.

Sue

Well, Hillary's delegates are dumping her. Arkansas cast all their votes to Obama.

bad

Did someone say Toga Party? Thats hope I can change for!!!

matt

I agree with Danube. One nuclear device turns a non threat into a very real and reprisal in kind threat. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) was a linchpin of American strategic policy until 1989. With the greater possibility of use by terrorists or rogue states, they have to be brought to heel well before the possibile eventuality. This lowers the threshold for accountability tremendously.

If Ahmedijad rattles sabers, then he has to be taken seriously despite a present belief that he does not at present have the means to use nukes. This was the same dilemma posed by Saddam.

Of greater concern is Pakistan, where the government is veering out of control. They have nukes, and a powerful subset within the Intelligence Service who actively support the Taliban. If the Pakistani government continues to allow Talibanistan to grow within the Tribal Areas, then we will eventually have to take action to prevent the fall of Afghanistan as they step up their activity there. Failure to do so would only have delayed an eventual return to the lawless state that precipitated the growth of Al Queda and the Taliban in the first place, and they will have had another 7 -10 years to strengthen their empire. The threat must be neutralized, as this particular mentality has no desire to protect themselves from the use of nuclear devices in retaliation, as they will all get 77 virgins and the women and children don't matter anyway. In their minds, everyone can be a "martyr".

Thus whoever wins in November is faced with the long term problem, and in that part of the world force trumps everything else. The Iranians have very successfully stymied any sanctions or punishment while thumbing their noses wih the help of China, France, and Russia. Meet the new paradigm, same as the old paradigm.

Enlightened

Hmmmmm. If I had been for Hillary, and was holding out till the very last second, and she releases her delegates after mewling about The One - I might be ticked off enough not to vote for her in 2012. Just sayin in case that's her master plan.

At least Billy Jeff still loves her.

bad

At the risk of sounding like a hopeless romantic, maybe the adversity of the primary season sparked something between them Hill and Bill. Its pretty obvious they found someone thay hated more than each other. Common ground is a starting place.

MayBee

I may be an oddball, but I think Hillary and Bill do love each other, but in more of a sibling sort of way.

PeterUK

bad,
Yes you are hopelessly romantic.

bad

Peter that was great. How funny!

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I posted this in the other thread, but it seems more fitting here. Via Planet Moron:

Q: Did you see the part where Bill Clinton mouthed the words “I love you” when Hillary was about to start her speech? That was kind of sweet.

A: Yes it was. It would have been sweeter if he’d been looking at Hillary, though.

Enlightened

I am rather curious as to why Mrs. One hates Hill so?

She was shooting daggers at her during her speech. Hmmm. What did Hill do...........

Thomas Jackson

Guess this falls into the same category as the Wright distortions. We all know how peace will be achieved if we cut our nuclear arsenal in half, but lets not stoop to calling Osama clueless.

Why that's not the Osama I know.

Sue

The roll call is so silly.

Rick Ballard

"but in more of a sibling sort of way"

MayBee,

So they could wear matching Guantanamo Orange outfits?

Sue

The Clintons are such wimps. They should have fought all the way.

ben

Fox News is calling the Greek Temple Obamapolis...the Obama campaign will now devote two days "explaining" what its all about...so so far its Hillary and Bill and the PUMAs and the Temple Convention, they are trying to fit Obama in somewhere.

Soylent Red

"but in more of a sibling sort of way"

Well they are from Arkansas.

Sue

Soylent,

Groan....

anduril

matt, I agree that Pakistan's nukes are more of a worry than any threat Iran poses for the time being. In fact, I'll bet the Iranians are plenty worried about those Sunni's in Pakistan--think about what we've been going through with Sunni's (al Qaeda) and Shiites in Iraq. The Taliban are every bit as nuts as al Qaeda, for my money. Maybe it gives the Iranians something to talk about with us? Maybe that's why they helped us in Afghanistan?

bad

The temple is to distract us from______.

SukieTawdry

I guess McCain went for the "distortion" because it was too hard in a short campaign ad to illustrate Obama's profound ignorance about and abysmal lack of understanding of US-Soviet relations in the 60s, 70s and 80s and the series of events that ultimately brought down that Wall as evidenced in those two paragraphs.

Now Botox Nancy is on-stage with a gaggle of female House members talking proudly about the fact that for the first time ever, female delegates outnumber male. Perhaps that's what happened to the Democratic party--it's been feminized to death. Where have all the real men gone? Ah, now it's Maxine Waters at the podium. I don't know what she's blathering about, but Southern California just dropped dead from embarrassment.

JM Hanes

Oh Yawn. Obama must be really worried about the women's vote.

I'd be willing to bet that the Obama team wrote every word of Wexler's speech. I'm sure he must have loved being levered in to Pelosi Lady's Night.

I think the excitement is already over for tonight.

PeterUK

The stage of your Dear Leader is rather Kim Jung Il. Unless it's a Grateful Dead reunion.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Calif. was already dead from embarrassment when Nan took the stage and Boxer calling the "California passes."

Imagine what it is like to have to live here.

JM Hanes

Oh BTW, Tonight's Theme is SECURING AMERICA’S FUTURE.

The headline prime-time speaker on Wednesday will be Vice Presidential Nominee Senator Joe Biden

Featured speakers will include:

Former President Bill Clinton; former Senator Tom Daschle; Governor Bill Richardson and Senators Evan Bayh, John Kerry and Jay Rockefeller. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Convention home state Senator Ken Salazar, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, and Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) along with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth will lead a tribute honoring those who give so much to secure our nation’s future – veterans, active duty military and their families.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Why do they have Bill Clinton speaking on security night? He wasn't exactly the security prez, now was he? He should have done economics.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

It looks like Bobby Jindal is going to be put to his first real test as governor with Gustav bearing down toward New Orleans. He has already declared the area a disaster area and activated the National Guard.

But what a bummer that it is scheduled to make land at the start of the Repub. convention. Jindall says if that happens, he will cancel on his Wednesday night convention speech.

Elliott

Fox says Obama may appear tonight at the convention hall Hopeodrome.

anduril

I was assembling a piece of furniture this afternoon with the windows open and I heard my neighbor saying: Oh, I was for Obama from the get go. That was the same neighbor who once told shortly after moving in that he was disappointed at the lack of diversity in our suburb. I was like, didn't you drive around the town before you bought, for goodness sake? Up and down the street? In this day and age a simple google search will find almost anything you want in that line. I mean, the guy's got a PhD in physics and he can't figure out the demographics of the town he's buying in? I've always avoided politics with him.

Elliott

The McCain campaign is quite right to direct attention to the sartorial concerns of Thursday evening. It is the Invescoture, after all.

bgates

When I see Bill Clinton, I don't think "Securing America's Future," I think "Fathers Lock Up Your Daughters".

JM Hanes

PUK:

Nope. If you scroll down you'll see it's Italian. According to MayBee, Dear Leader is Tomorrow.

So, I've managed to merge the Obama head from this animated gif (if it comes up McCain, just wait a second) onto the lead figure (with an Obama logo for a halo), and get them into the bleachers. I still haven't found any Beijing drummers, but it looks like there won't be much in the way of destractions from the convention floor. Biden's going to be pretty anticlimatic after the Clinton Show, isn't he? It's pretty slim pickings when Dennis Kucinich comes in second to the Clinton's in the charisma stakes. Rockefeller is in negative territory here.

Pagar

The fact that anyone would believe that these people are going to help Obama, in any way, to Secure America's Future is terrifying.

" former Senator Tom Daschle; Governor Bill Richardson and Senators Evan Bayh, John Kerry and Jay Rockefeller. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Convention home state Senator Ken Salazar, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, and Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) along with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley."

And Here is their first effort to secure America.

""ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors."

Ann


Mitt Romney spiked at Tradesports.com today. Glenn Beck had some expert on that said the same thing happened to Biden days before his announcement. :)

Sara (Pal2Pal)

OMG, I think Instapundit has just given me a heart attack:

TAX THE RICH: California Ballot Initiative to Impose 45% Income Tax, 55% Wealth Tax & 36%-54% Exit Tax.

JM Hanes

Melissa Etheridge singing "Give Peace a Chance"? -- after "The Times They Are Changing!" You can't make this stuff up. And the Dems claim the GOP is stuck in the past?

JM Hanes

Why would anybody attempt Born in the USA?

JM Hanes

What do suppose the "exit tax" is, Sara? I suppose you'd really rake in the money by making folks pay to jump ship.

Terry Gain

It's a great ad, except "unfit" would have been a better word than "unprepared".

Ann

There has to be a special place in hell for Harry Reid.

That is my answer.

JM Hanes

Harry Reid is such a creep.

Jane

JMH - I see you have a new hobby. Where is the finished product ending up?

I thought for a while about creating a deck of playing cards with all the people who have landed under the bus. Perhaps a T-shirt concession stand is in order too.

Can't believe I turned into harry Reid. ~shiver~

JM Hanes

Now if you want somebody who just outright lies about his opponents, Reid's your guy.

Jane

Charlie is that you on Instapundit?

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I suppose you'd really rake in the money by making folks pay to jump ship.

I just got a visual of the Calif./Arizona border with toll booths where you have to pay to get the hell out of Dodge or whatever Calif. city equivalent to Dodge.

Unfortunately, I think it might be p.c. for "death tax."

JM Hanes

Jane:

You missed big Jay Rockefellerrrr zzzzz.

I'm not sure the current product is actually going to get finished. It's sort of like those girls in twin sets with circle pins, who used to do needlepoint at choir practice in college. Had to have something to occupy my mind during the convention. I like the idea of the playing cards though!

Snake oil and elixirs. Reid should know. The guy is a regular font of mixed metaphors.

JM Hanes

p.c. for "death tax"
Now that's funny!

Rick Ballard

Steve Diamond doesn't like Bulldoggy any better than he likes The One.

Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that Ms. Obama hired David Axelrod, the campaign manager for Senator Obama, to help her re-brand the University's program to steer blacks away from emergency room services at their medical center.


What a team.

He better be careful. Bulldoggy has a nasty bite.

bad

An exit tax is a tax you pay to leave the state, city, county, etc. Sometimes its just on business, other times on individuals.

hit and run

Will there be a Night Three thread?

I only ask because I really suck at multi-threading.


JM Hanes

Me too hit. I wouldn't blame TM for not bothering to put [yawn] one up, so I figure on hanging around here until somebody tells me different.

Madelaine Albright, I think she probably enjoyed lying for Bill Clinton.

BobS

H & R: I can't handle the multi-reading. keeping the Playboy in the bathr was so much easier.

bad

Lets be more affirmative:

Madelaine Albright enjoyed lying under Bill Clinton.

BobS

Dis anyone hear Dennis Kucinich say that Georgia invaded South Ossetia? Talk about a seperate reality

bgates

Sara, bad, the "exit tax" is apparently a both an estate tax and a sort of ransom you'll have to pay before the state lets you move.

I foresee huge housesitting/home break-in opportunities as the rich figure out the number of days they have to keep out of CA to avoid being counted as residents.

M. Simon

My estimate is that the US believes the Iranians are two to three years away from a rocket deliverable nuke(s) based on the deal with Poland.

If we can be patient and keep the pressure on a war with Iran is not necessarily in the offing. They are blockading themselves:

1. Under investment in oil infrastructure.
2. Subsidies for POL which keep the economy creaking along, but use is inefficient and rising.

#1 and #2 are the reasons net export is declining. Expected to go to zero in the 2010 to 2015 frame.

3. They have had a bad harvest this year and are slated to buy 5 to 9 million tons of US wheat since there is no other wheat on the market. (Note: 1.5 million tons delivered to date) Normal wheat consumption is 15 million tons a year.

#3 argues against belligerence from either side for the time being.

Also note that the opening of Syria to the Russian fleet may be due to #3 as well. Iran may be strapped for cash. Esp with oil prices declining.

bad

..both an estate tax and a sort of ransom you'll have to pay before the state lets you move.

WOW! Thanks for the update. Once again I am guilty of too little cynicism.

M. Simon

How The War In Georgia Started

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