There was discussion among world leaders and foreign policy experts about Iran's defiant nuclear stance and talk about the option of the use of force against Tehran during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week. From Reuters -
Kenneth Pollack, an expert on Iran at the Brookings Institution, a U.S. think-tank, said the military option was ''sub-optimal,'' but not impossible.
Although Israel has reserved the option of military force, Pollack said the United States would be the only country with the air power to carry out the ``hundreds of sorties a day'' required, possibly for weeks, to knock out Iran's air defenses and destroy anywhere between several dozen and several hundred facilities linked to its nuclear program.
"It would mean going to war with Iran and I think it's fair to figure that the Iranians would not sit by idly," he said.
"We've had some Iranian leaders say very explicitly that they would strike back...at a time and place of their own choosing, and that time and place would likely be soonish in Iraq and Afghanistan."
"If you think it's bad now (in Iraq), imagine 6,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence agents joining in the insurgency."
I have a good idea, American political leaders: Let's not act as Israel's little attack dogs. We recognize them as good allies, but that shouldn't mean you can sell the souls of our young men and women to them in their haste to use force against their enemy du jour. Israel's itchy - but it's OUR trigger that their fingers want to be on. You 'big boys' are playing with our American sons and daughters' lives when you're talking U.S. military intervention. We've watched Bush botch Iraq. We're watching you ever so closely now.
It's really no wonder that Military recruitment is suffering. When the service for which a person volunteers has to repeatedly resort to compelling the retention of those who want to leave, especially in a war that we now know was never necessary, volunteerism is bound to become a markedly less popular notion. The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended, and according to a Reuters report, court challenges to the "stop-loss" policy have fallen flat.
Hamas Win Shows U.S. Foreign Policy is a Lemon It's the near-perfect recipe for unmanageable instability in the Middle East Nice job with your Post 9/11 strategy, Karl Rove.
Bush doesn't care quite as much about the new democracy in Palestine as he cares about PEACE.
Bush doesn't care quite as much about PEACE in Iraq as he does about the new democracy.
Is it any wonder that Bush's Middle East foreign policy is a loser?
Brit Hume called Palestine's free and fair elections "interesting" this morning on Fox News Sunday.
You have to admit, that's quite a contrast to Hume's glowing claptrap about the direct, sudden, and magical connection between voting and "liberty":
"Everybody saw on Al-Jazeera, among the Arabs, the free elections in Iraq under American auspices. It showed that we were sincere in the invasion in not being after oil or hegemony, but in bringing liberty."
Bottom line, Anthony Cordesman, military analyist and Iraq expert for the Center for Strategic and International Studies was right when he told Fox News,
"Merely having people go to the polls can always be claimed to be a success. And I'm sure the [Bush] administration will claim just that, while a good part of the Arab world will claim it's a failure."
And now we see the opposite happening in Palestine. Bush decries the rise of Hamas, at the willing and free hands of the Pelestinian purple-fingered people, as a failure of liberty.
It leaves you to wonder just what "liberty" means to George W. Bush and his administration. It has little to do with freedom. It reduces any consistent form of logic behind his lofty rhetoric (a la Inauguration speech 2005) to tepid publum.
Insisting that the Iraq war was "a necessity" after all of America can see that it was not, Seanate majority leader Bill Frist said today, to Tim Russert on Meet the Press, that he would have conducted the war differently, knowing what he knows today. When asked about the surprising victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections, Frist said that democracy was still valued - that it is important for voters to have freedom to choose. He said that it increases transparency.
What is transparent - as clear as a bell - is that our foreign policy has driven the Palestinians straight to Hamas - and nearly every Middle Eastern election straight to the hardest lines. Anyone who would deny that fact is clearly not living in the real world, for you'd have to be blind, deaf, dumb, or dead to have not yet noticed our current presence as occupiers in a major Middle Eastern nation.
We've spent over almost $2 billion since 1993 for aid to Palestine - and got no political bang for the buck. We've lost hearts and minds in the Middle East because of Iraq. We are embarrassed. We have to now look tough, because of the Bush doctrine, and totally withdraw our support for the people of Palestine in order to punish their government, which we have deemed as a terrorist organization. The immorality of this very thought - the known suffering that the Palestinian people will have to endure because they dared to exercise, through free elections, their option toward their own freedom and democracy drives home what I've been saying here for three years. Bush is the wrong president to have had at this crucial time. Fatah was no hippie tree-hugging peace organization, either.
We should voice our strong support for Israel's right to exist - and for the people of Israel. We should also remember that Israel has a major stock of weaponry, inculding 200-400 nukes, and we don't have to coddle them - they are perfectly capable of defending themselves. We certainly don't have to BE a de facto Israel. I want heavy neoconservative thought out of our White House (their warped minds are far more dangerous than Monica Lewinsky's lips), but I see that we'll have to wait at least three years before that will ever have a chance of happening. George W has shown, by his every action, that he is one of them. The attitude projected in his post Palestinian election rhetoric is telling America that all hope for peace is lost in the Middle East - and that kind of total abandonment of hope is NOT indicative of good leadership.
Congress members and political leaders - you'd be smart to pick up the football where the President has dropped it. Speak with some reason, some moral leadership, and some integrity now - or I fear we can only expect more violence and instability of which our Military is clearly not capable of handling at the present time. Nations will start to line up against nations.
If I didn't know better, I'd swear Bush was gunning for a WWIII. Worst leader in American history.
ABC's Bob Woodruff is a high-profile journalist and co-anchor of ABC's "News World Tonight." His serious injury by a roadside IED about 12 miles north of Baghdad while embedded with the 4th Infantry will surely send shockwaves throughout the nation. The overall tone of ABC's reporting on Iraq, and perhaps other cable news reporting (the incredibly tilted FOX News notwithstanding), is inevitably bound to change toward something far more somber. ABC cameraman Doug Vogt was also seriously injured in the incident.
My prayers are with Bob, Doug, and their families.
Eliot Spitzer spoke at the Sheetmetal Workers Hall on Pulaski Street in Syracuse on Satuday. Syracuse was Spitzer's third stop of the day. He also made visits to Buffalo, Rochester and Westchester County.
Desperate Republicans have been upset because Eliot Spitzer has been tough on their special interests - the big businesses that have been systematically robbing everyday New Yorkers.
He said that we need to see decency, fairness, and openness in government - and apply them to health care, education, etc. We have seen enough of the ever-growing gap between the haves and have nots in New York State. We shouldn't be shy about speaking up about how we feel. We need to do something different. We have to rattle the cages. You don't change the world by whispering. You'll never change the status quo by accepting it. We will not succeed unless we reform our state government
Eliot Spitzer says that what the people care about - and what we have to focus on - is improving the lives of our kids, so they'll stay here, they'll put down their roots, they'll buy homes, and become part of the community.
Are you at risk for heart disease? Click on the preview to see a video with Katie Couric and Dr Lori Mosca, author of Heart to Heart : A Personal Plan for Creating a Heart - Healthy Family [see at Amazon.com].
A recent national study conducted by the American Heart Association showed that fewer than 50% of American women know that heart disease is their leading killer.
The Nagurney's circa 1972 - when we didn't have to worry about our hearts ;)
A special note: Prayers go out to Dr. Mosca's Aunt Sandy, who had to have emergency surgery here in Syracuse this week. Sandy - we all love you and are pulling for you.
Joan Bokaer: Megachurches & Canadian Shift to Right
Theocracy Watch's Joan Bokaer has wriiten a thought-provoking story [TalkToAction] about the "Toronto Blessing" and how political organizing by congregants of megachurches may be affecting Canadian politics.
To be fair, the new Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, came across as a moderate conservative, studiously avoiding discussion of social issues during the campaign, but then so did Bush in 2000. I hope that our Canadian friends wake up in time to stop their Religious Right from winning a strong majority in Parliament.
"It's as though the spirit of dissent is silenced from Bully Boy's ass to Joe Lieberman's mouth and then throughout the rest of the party."
- Third Sunday Estate
Third Estate Sunday Review on Dems Third Estate Sunday Review (Jim, Dona, Jess, Ty, "Ava" - five students enrolled in the same journalism program) on the state of the Democratic party.
They say that even Howard Dean seems like he's taking heavy doses of Lithium these days.
I agree with their thoughts on Al Gore. He is a strong voice for the Democrats - an accomplished orator, a patriot in the truest sense of the word - a realist - and trustworthy.
I hope Jim, Dona, Jess, Ty, and "Ava" have heard Senator John Edwards out there fighting for labor and the working poor, while engaging young Americans to get involved with service and advocacy... admitting that his IWR resolution was a mistake and calling Bush "the worst president in our lifetime." You can extend hope and be a realist at the same time, it's a damned tough line to toe in life, and I think that's what we need so desperately in a leader. It's important to remember that these people aren't Gods - they are all too human. When we hear one talking to us and it strikes a familiar and important chord in our gut, I think we owe it to them to listen and not hold them to an overly idealistic standard. When we hear them saying something we sense is totally wrong, we also need to speak out - at lightning speed. Politics is like the shark - hungry - survival its only concern - ready to strike at what is easily overcome - waiting for no man or woman. What makes a great leader is the soul that miraculously survives the survival instinct.
Blind Bush supporters are guilty of false idol worship. Howard Dean's probably tired. The mainstream media is slow to wake up and he's had an uphill battle all the way - being nearly eaten by his own while being pulverized by the Right. Lord - wouldn't anyone feel like they'd need lithium by now if they were Howard? He's still got balls, he's just learning how to squeeze them into the places where he can put them to best use.