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May 25, 2008



What, he contradicts the latest NIE. He's got cake all over his face and hands, but Where's the Cake?

Embraced al-Maliki? What is wrong with this picture and this half man, Kerry?

JM Hanes

We're all unilateralists now!

Danube of Thought

At the link under my name is an open letter from some Iranian-American human rights activists to Barack Obama on the subject of talks with Iran. (Hint: they think it would be a real bad idea.)


I like this comparison, are the chances of McCain asking Kerry to be his Veep as high as the chances that Kerry asked McCain to be his?

Arthur Culvahouse is leading the search for McCain's running mate. The last leader of a search for a successful Veep was Dick Cheney.


Isn't it amazing what family and money could do to propel this stupid, sick shit so far?



My first post was going to be on the subject you addressed. I was under the impression Iran had stopped their nuclear activities, there was no evidence the government of Iran was aware they were supplying the insurgents and what the hell is wrong with embracing the elected leader of Iraq?


I keep wondering how these tools get away with the carp they continue to spread. But then I realize who they are addressing and it makes perfect sense. Anyone who supports a candidate on reporting for duty and hope and change will lap up his diatribe, never realizing he is using what neocons have said all along. All you have to do is say Bush is bad, blah, blah, blah. And the crowd roars.


Heh, Sue, so far the most damaging thing the Democrats can think of to say about McCain is that he's running for Bush's third term. Hoi polloi is going to look at that line like a well fed fish.

JM Hanes

Wake me up when a reporter actually asks Obama what he intends to say when he talks to Ahmadinejad.


Hey, Pofarmer, read the WSJ today about the lawsuit to reduce the Federal mandate about ethanol. Corn may come down!

This may be the way to go. Governors suing the feds. Alaska is suing about polar bears, and now Texas about ethanol. Why can't we just judge the scientific evidence anymore. Why must it become legal evidence before the truth can be adjudicated?


There is going to be a big long fight over the ethanol. The EPA has until the end of July to make a decision, and they have the power to call a timeout in the ethanol mandates.

There is just too much evidence of the foolishness of biofuel made from corn. Now, in the face of a cooling globe while CO2 continues to rise, the arguments against biofuel will prevail. Sell corn futures.


"Why must it become legal evidence before the truth can be adjudicated?"

Over lawyering.


Well, yeah, but in this case science has been overwhelmed by the politicking and it's because power and money are involved.


"Heh, Sue, so far the most damaging thing the Democrats can think of to say about McCain is that he's running for Bush's third term."

It's been said before but is worth repeating. If you're offering Carter's second term, a Bush third term has a certain appeal.

"Now, in the face of a cooling globe while CO2 continues to rise, the arguments against biofuel will prevail. Sell corn futures."

Well, I didn't sell any futures but opted for Rice Krispies over Corn Flakes for the kids on my last grocery run.

Talking is a comfortable substitute in some quarters for actually doing something. Cart-horse, ends-means. Confusion abounds, still, in Kerryville.


It's been said before but is worth repeating. If you're offering Carter's second term, a Bush third term has a certain appeal.

I hadn't heard that before. I like it.


Obama's foreign policy will transcend the old fashioned diplomacy of the Bush years where we collaborated will our allies and even our old adversaries in talks with difficult regimes.

Instead we are going to adopt an "Obama Knows Best" diplomacy, an if any of our allies don't like it, we'll send Michelle to live with them.

J. Peden

"The Wisdom In Talking"? Just how would our negotiating toward appeasement/surrender make Iran weaker?

Not to mention that Kerry himself is actually a poster-child against his own proposition - that there is "wisdom in talking".

Not to worry, All things are possible through Obama.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Meanwhile in the real world, Iran isn't much for talk:

Iran has secretly paid Iraqi insurgents hundreds of thousands of American dollars to kill British soldiers, according to a leaked government document obtained by The Telegraph.

The allegations are contained in a confidential "field report" written by a British officer who served in Basra during one of the most dangerous periods of the conflict. The report, which has never been made public, shows the full level of Iran's involvement in the insurgency for the first time.

....the reports of Iran's involvement came from a network of 25 sources, which included a former Iraqi army general, prominent businessmen, local sheikhs and council leaders.


They talked to Hitler.


The simple reality is that the Democrats are intentionally lying - again - about the efforts that are ongoing.

Danube of Thought

The U.S. (though not FDR) was talking to Japan on December 6, 1941.


Reminiscent of the cliche from the old B movies "You keep them talking whilst I try and get round the back of them".


Now http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/05/what-the-farc-w.html>Jake Tapper says, ¿Que?

Cecil Turner
Bush engages in self-deception arguing that not engaging Iran has worked.
Actually, I think the argument is more along the lines of "containment ain't workin'; maybe bombing will." We can send Kerry in about 48 hours prior to negotiate with 'em, if he likes.

Notice, again, that Obama didn't say that his Administration through the Secretary of State or other representatives would "talk" (and please, by "talk" we mean negotiate) but that he personally would meet with Ahmadinejad (give it up Joe Klein).

Because only Obama himself can correct the misunderstandings caused by Bush's cowboy diplomacy. Through hat-in-hand diplomacy.

All without (for those multilateral fetishists) consulting our allies first either.

And Bush is the arrogant unilateralist?


Bingo, SteveMG.


Here's http://thepage.time.com/transcript-of-obama-press-availability-2/>Obama Today, illustrating SteveMG's point:

Q: [paraphrase] Question about why people outside the United States are reacting so strongly to the campaign?

BO: Well I think people are frustrated with seven years of unilateral foreign policy that seems to disregard the interests and concerns of others countries. And to the extent that I’ve spoken of a different kind of foreign policy, one that listens, one that seeks to build and strengthen alliances around mutual interests, I think that’s something that people are hungry for. They want America to lead; they just don’t want America to bully. And having a decisive break from the foreign policy of the last eight years will make us more safe over the long term and strengthen the cooperation that we get from other countries.

Q: [paraphrase] Do you think America has sometimes been a bully?

BO: I think they’re right that America has ignored the concerns of the international community, often times in very brusque ways that are almost seemed designed to offend. We can pull up quotes from Cheney and Rumsfeld where they essentially said that other countries don’t matter. That’s in sharp contrast to the way the first George Bush, George Bush, Sr., operated. The painstaking amounts of work that Jim Baker put in to set up the coalition for the Gulf War. The way they would engage and conduct exercises even with countries that in a realistic way weren’t that important militarily, and yet the United States would treat them with respect and a sense of equality. All that made a difference when we had to go in, there were folks there. We ended up spending $20 billion on the Gulf War, that’s one of the consequences of having allies.

GWB is the one that forced NK into 6 party talks specifically to involve our other countries in the region.
Europe is leading the way on the talks with Iran.

What in the world is this man talking about?


McCain will slice and dice this BS later in the campaign, and in the foreign policy debate.


From LGF:

Obama: Bush is Responsible for Chavez (Bzzt! Wrong!)

Sun, May 25, 2008 at 9:06:22 am PST

On Friday Barack Obama spelled out his Latin America policy (it’s just like his Middle East policy—talk to everybody), and inadvertently supplied another example of his stunning ignorance of history and naive foreign policy ideas. The speech is transcribed at the official Obama campaign web site: Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas.

Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples’ lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region.

No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.

This is pathetic. Hugo Chavez came to power during the Clinton Administration, and was first elected President of Venezuela in 1998, two years before the Bush Administration took office.

UPDATE at 5/25/08 9:15:04 am:

This is far from the first time Barack Obama has been wrong about a simple historical fact.

I’d like to hear him answer some simple questions about world history, to see exactly how much he really does know. No blow-dried media talking head will ever do this, of course, but I suspect people would be in for a real shock if they knew the depths of his historical ignorance.

Soylent Red

Would it be too much to ask, just once, for some Republican Senator, or better yet, John McCain to set the record straight on camera.

I'm not talking about mealy-mouthed Congressspeak either. How about a nice reverberating, "Senator Obama, if you believe what you're saying you're stupid. If you don't, you're a liar."

Is that too much to ask for in an election year?


If you ask me (okay, I'm still going to type anyway), this is a good metaphor for Obama's foreign policy approach with our enemies: Link.

Sure, give them want they want; they'll stop.


Is that too much to ask for in an election year?

YOU have my vote Soylent. One more thing. How about an addendum to the VA bill. I believe each returning veteran should be allowed to "bitch slap" the Representative or Senator of their choice.

Patrick R. Sullivan
Actually, I think the argument is more along the lines of "containment ain't workin'; maybe bombing will."

Which was pretty much what got them to release the hostages in January 1981.

Soylent Red

"bitch slap"

Change the wording to "reauchambeau"
and I'm in.

Cecil Turner
Do you think America has sometimes been a bully?
There is nothing so destructive of understanding states' strategic interests than the regrettable tendency to anthropomorphize governments. The idea that sweet pure reason (and treating nations like equals) would result in goodwill and an immediate demilitarization is risible nonsense. Self-interest demands prudent preparation for conflict, and the Iranians are no more immune to that consideration than we are.

Placed into perspective in the current situation, Iran is the most powerful of the Islamic states and beset on all sides (at least from their vantage) by creeping westernism. Lacking sufficient military power to challenge it directly, the powers-that-be engage in covert actions, leverage economic muscle to engage strategic allies, and imply a threat to the Straits of Hormuz choke point. Those factors--plus the claimed legitimacy of speaking for Muslims in general--lets it hit well above its weight diplomatically. But its relatively minuscule military power, as with all the Islamic states, is its biggest weakness. And a nuclear deterrent would solve most of its problems at a stroke.

The idea that they're going to be talked out of nuclear weapons because of a perceived thaw in US-Iranian relations is absurd. They've taken the measure of US and UN politicking, and decided the biggest down side to continued intransigence is desultory sanctions (and those likely to be end-run by states like the PRC). In that eventuality, it would be silly not to continue weapons development. Negotiations aren't going to change that; at least without a convincing military threat . . . and that's the one thing Kerry and his fellow travelers (particularly including Obama) are perfectly incapable of.



I'm concerned about a large number of instances where the Congresscritters present an unreasonably small target.


The Russians talked to the Iranians,there is an anecdote.Some Russians had been taken hostage,a Russian envoy went to negotiate their release,it is said he removed his expensive watch,threw it down and stamped it underfoot and said,"That is your Holy City of Qom if the hostages are not released".
Whether true or apocryphal,it might be time for Obama to consider what make of watch he wears.Nix the Rolex.


"...at least without a convincing military threat"

I think Iran is vulnerable to low tech attacks on its extremely limited refining capability. Asymmetry works both ways.


I want someone to ask Mr. I-won't-engage-in-unilateralism if his meeting directly with Ahmadinejad will force other world leaders to meet directly with him.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Fareed Zakariah mentions that there's good news:

...finally we have a well-researched, independent analysis of the data relating to terrorism, released last week by Canada's Simon Fraser University. Its findings will surprise you.

....The Simon Fraser study notes that the decline in terrorism appears to be caused by many factors, among them successful counterterrorism operations in dozens of countries and infighting among terror groups. But the most significant, in the study's view, is the "extraordinary drop in support for Islamist terror organizations in the Muslim world over the past five years." These are largely self-inflicted wounds. The more people are exposed to the jihadists' tactics and world view, the less they support them. An ABC/BBC poll in Afghanistan in 2007 showed support for the jihadist militants in the country to be 1 percent.

In Pakistan's North-West Frontier province, where Al Qaeda has bases, support for Osama bin Laden plummeted from 70 percent in August 2007 to 4 percent in January 2008. That dramatic drop was probably a reaction to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but it points to a general trend in Pakistan over the past five years. With every new terrorist attack, public support for jihad falls. "This pattern is repeated in country after country in the Muslim world," writes Mack. "Its strategic implications are critically important because historical evidence suggests that terrorist campaigns that lose public support will sooner or later be abandoned or defeated."

The University of Maryland's Center for International Development and Conflict Management (I wish academic centers would come up with shorter names!) has released another revealing study, documenting a 54 percent decline in the number of organizations using violence across the Middle East and North Africa between 1985 and 2004. The real rise, it points out, is in the number of groups employing nonviolent means of protest, which increased threefold during the same period.

Cecil Turner


Personally I prefer the "Rochambeau" spelling because I like the story that it's named after the Revolutionary War General (who just happened to come up with the winning strategy in concert with Washington and Adm DeGrasse). I can't, however, find convincing evidence that's the origin of the term, though many claim it's so.


Red hot investment advice. Can't miss:

Go long on K-Y Jelly. Hoard bullets.


What, I wonder, Patrick, was the form of the non-violent means of protest?

S Graham

IMO, the change that the Dems are offering,we don't need.We are winning the war on terror.Thank you ,Patrick, for that informmation.
The election of Obama would signal to the world that we have given up.A huge step backward.How could we be that stupid?


You all really have to read Jake Tapper's "What the FARC was Obama talking about", along with its 2 updates.


Cecil, the Rochambeau could be named after the Revolutionary War campaign. After all, the French (and American) forces were quickly moved south to deliver a decisive blow for the war against the British.



For those of you who are science buffs, a heads up.

4 PM Pacific, 7 PM Eastern, the Mars Exploration "Phoenix" lander is landing and you can watch it live on Discovery Science. On Direct TV that is channel 284, check your listings.

They will be landing at the Mars northern pole area. The lander is expected to have a 90 day shelf life, the same as the little rovers who could, "Spirit" and "Opportunity" that landed in 2004 and are still going strong, sending back over 100,000 pictures along with scientific data.


OTOH BO is unquestionably an expert on corruption, hailing as he does from Chicago.
That should come in handy when dealing with the Middle East.


Wonder how the "expert" on international diplomacy with extremists and terrorists feels about this news?

Exclusive: Iran’s paying druggie rebels £150 a month to kill Brits

Iran is paying insurgents hooked on heroin £150 a month to kill British troops in Iraq, according to secret documents leaked to the Sunday Mirror.

The cash - more than the average wage in Iraq - is allegedly channeled through fanatical cleric Moqtadr al Sadr to pay for his Mehdi Army, which controls much of Basra and Northern Iraq.


The information was discovered by soldiers who recruited more than 25 spies in six months inside Iraq’s second city. A report marked “restricted”, says al Sadr’s henchmen get fighters hooked on heroin to ensure their loyalty.

The report’s author, Major Chris Job says: “We learnt from a number of our KLE (informers) that the source of the problem was the level of unemployment in Basra. JAM (Arabic name for Mehdi Army) using funding from Iran paid the unemployed youths in the region of Û300 (£150) per month to attack MNF (Coalition Forces).

Charlie (Colorado)

Sara, thank you --- your timing was perfect, and I had just awakened from a nap and wasn't coherent enough to remember. I've got it on now.

JM Hanes


"There is nothing so destructive of understanding states' strategic interests than the regrettable tendency to anthropomorphize governments."

Amen to that! Your clear headed assessment is like a breath of fresh air. Can I vote for you somewhere?


Anthropomorphizing governments is merely a subset of the progressive agitprop strategy to reduce all political issues to pop psychobabble.

Hence you get the "politics of fear" meme that purposely ignores or denies that a fear MAY be rational, the above mentioned "bully/aggressor" meme, etc.



Major Cecil "Kermit" Turner fires the 25mm cannon over California's Chocolate Mountains Bombing Range.

This is how a Harrier pilot "votes".:-)


Mars apparently was mission accomplished but it's not on my discovery channel.

JM Hanes

Do you suppose Obama has decided to bandy "preconditions" about in so many ways in so places that it finally loses all meaning? That's the only explanation I can think of to explaing his Friday remarks, per The Caucus Blog:

In a speech before an influential Cuban American group here, Mr. Obama said he would meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro “at a time and place of my choosing.” He derided Senator John McCain and other Republican critics for embracing hard-line approaches that have failed.
“John McCain’s been going around the country talking about how much I want to meet with Raul Castro – as if I’m looking for a social gathering or I’m going to invite him over and have some tea,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s not what I said and John McCain knows it. After eight years of the disastrous policies of George Bush, it is time to pursue direct diplomacy, with friend and foe alike, without preconditions.”
On another subject altogether, can anybody tell me if unions are big players in Chicago politics?

glasater: The cool factor will definitely not be a problem!

Cecil Turner

Can I vote for you somewhere?

Thanks, but I fear I'm temperamentally unsuited to the task. And glasater, that gunnery stuff was a blast, but it's a young man's game--and I fear my productive years (at least on that score) are long past.

J.M. Heinrichs

Could be; in the early 80s Lebanon, one of the freedom fighting factions kidnapped a Russian Embassy official and threatened to return him in pieces, if their demands were not met. The Russians sent in a SPF section who 'captured' a relative of the Faction's leader. They removed one or two body appendages, and sent them on with a suggested RV to exchange loved ones. The exchange was successful and the Russian Embassy personnel continued their duties unharmed.



The reaction to Obama's 'taquiya' speech is nothing short of amazing, and not in a good way; My local paper, the Miami Herald, who despite it's McClatchy/Knight Ridder overseers, is generally pretty good on the Cuba/Venezuela/Colombia question; yearsago, had reports from former DISI(Venezuelan
political police)officers about Libyan,Iraqi
& Iranian support behind Chavez's first coup, back in '91, which had sufficently deleterious effects on the Venezuelan economy; to provoke his election seven years later. Chavez tried a "fabian"strategy
of not directly nationalizing industries but his support from former Montonero turned far right advisor Cerasole,his appointment of former REd Flag guerilla
Ali Rodriguez,to the head of OPEC had not a small effect on the last big spike in oil prices, in 1999-2000; which along with Greesnpan's negligence at the interest rate
wheel; popped the tech bubble. negligence at the famous Vargas Flood of 1999; which claimed tens of thousands of lives. There is even reports of Chavez pre 9/11 trip to the Middle East, particularly Iran, where he 'wished for a mighty blow to bring America down" The March 22, 2002, coup d'etat by members of the bourgeosie and uncasheered military forces; lost their nerve while he was under detention, and consequently returned to power. He has since initiated a 'rolling purge; of opposition media, cement companies, foreign oil holdings etc, granted sanctuary to AQ, Hezbollah personnel and jihadi websites. In addition to sanctuary to FARC personnel, supporting likeminded candidates, in Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Mexico, et al.

I say this all to preface that the coverage of that speech, economically and politically
as anything Obama has ever said; and that takes effort. is being swallowed up hook, line and sinker. Despite the fact, that Andres Oppenheimer, the Argentine commentator has pointed out that Obama's policies, abandon Colombia to the FARC guerillas, Mexico to the drug gangs,and all the concommitant effects upon the region. He seems to hold out for 'hope and changitude" as well.


Venezuela is in fact a state sponsor of terrorism, while Iraq no longer is.


J.M. Heinrichs ,That's the version of the story I heard.


Jalilli, by the way, seems to have the same 'diplomatic' profile as Michael Hirsch's 'penpal Mohzen Rezai, Mr. Jaffari, now head of the IRCG Quds force,the previous negotiator Larijani, a future presidential rival to Ahmadinejad; all Iranian Quds force/Vevak Sepah Pasdaran
(Iranian foreign security service) all but
the penultimate negotiator Hassan Mousavian
who delivered a missive to the Grand Ayatollah Khameini on the progress of the deception operations against the IAEA and
the Allied negotiating team;2003-2005. Surprisingly, this document never made into the December '07 NIE, fancy that.


Michael Hirsch is a total nitwit. Has he ever said one rational thing? If so, I've not seen it.


The saddest thing about john kerry is that he still thinks his babblings are relevant.

Soylent Red


In case I've never said it, you bring excellent dish to the discussion. Like clockwork, every time. Good on you.


"The saddest thing about john kerry" IMO is
he caused the enemy to fight on. American military members died in Vietnam because John Kerry told the enemy if they would just hold on, he would defeat America and they would win. They held on and he defeated America.

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