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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tony Blair, Sarah Palin, Israel, Iraq and Iran:

Here's a great piece by Stephen Walt on Tony Blair's recent admission that Israelis played a role -- not the decisive role, but a role -- in the decision to invade Iraq. First, Blair's admission:
"As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this."
Walt adds:
Blair's comments fit neatly with the argument we make about the lobby and Iraq. Specifically, Professor Mearsheimer and I made it clear in our article and especially in our book that the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government. But as the neoconservative pundit Max Boot once put it, steadfast support for Israel is "a key tenet of neoconservatism." Prominent neo-conservatives occupied important positions in the Bush administration, and in the aftermath of 9/11, they played a major role in persuading Bush and Cheney to back a war against Iraq, which they had been advocating since the late 1990s. We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq. However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of "regional transformation" that would eventually include Iran.
I'll add this. The presumptive GOP front-runner at this point is Sarah Palin, who kept an Israeli flag -- and no other flag -- in her office. And she is proud of that:
"The only flag at my office is an Israeli flag," she was quoted as saying, "and I want you to know and I want Israelis to know that I am a friend."
She has also been careful to wear an Israeli flag pin while making appearances as the newly-crowned Queen of the Tea Partiers.

What does this tell us? Not that Sarah Palin is part of some mythical ominpotent Jewish conspiracy. But it does tell us that she is a neocon.

Her takeover of the Tea Party movement indicates that the populist strain within that movement (a strain which does not have a knee-jerk pro-Israel attitude) has given way to the neocon strain. The spirit of Dick Cheney has animated a new body.

As Walt points out, what the neocons really want is Iran. They supported the Iraq invasion only because they thought it would lead to an Iran invasion. When they belatedly understood that the Iraq fiasco actually impeded their planned attack on Iran, some of the neocons tried to re-write their personal history.

They may try to change the past, but they never will change their goal for the future. Iran is the prize. If a neocon wins in 2012, prepare for World War III.
Maybe it says she's a neocon, or maybe it says that she's a fundamentalist who believes that the existence of Israel is a precondition for the Second Coming.

Regardless, it's the self-proclaimed progressives who made her what she is - and if they keep it up, they'll end up putting her in the White House.
On the bright side, it's February 17th now, and we did not (as far as I know) experience anything close to the end of the world yesterday.

Okay, let us in on it. A neocon wins the White House and starts a war with Iran. Does this turn into WWIII because Russia and China are going to jump to a nuclear confrontation to defend Iran?
The fact that she is a "neocon" should not come as a surprise. She is being fed the talking points ny the neocon advisors and expresses them by using religious underpinnings to support her "positions".

The reference to "divine intervention" in her latest speech merely showcases the fact that going to war with Iran will be seen as another example of "god's will", just as invading Iraq was Bush's excuse.

These people are dangerous yet they shroud themselves in religious righteousness to mask their intent.
Scary proposition.

The new meme circulating the blogs [I read it recently in a John Batchelor essay, Sarah Palin repeated the same and presumably Buchanan wrote a column, too]is that Obama might start a war with Iran to spike his faltering poll numbers. The tail wagging the dog attack that Republicans used against Bill Clinton. Perhaps, Palin and her ilk are seriously worried they won't get a chance to usher in WWIII.

But I agree--the endless and stupid attacks on Palin only increase her Joan of Arc status. And as a POTUS? What a disaster we'd be looking at, again.
From some commentary I picked up from September of last year:

Photographs of her office show that this Israeli "flag" to which Palin refers is a pathetic 5-inch paper flag stuck in the jamb of one of the windows. Moreover, there are two other (full-size, cloth) flags in the office, of Alaska and the U.S. Can this candidate open her mouth without fibbing? Why lie about something so elementary?


This is accurate as I recall the facts of that day as they developed in the wake of her claim then. So what Palin claims? Not so much, as is typical with her.

Anon 9:00-- I agree that the kind of Heathers attack the media puts on anyone they chose, apparently, is worrisome, and their similar attacks on Gore were both false and gravely injured the country.

However, in Palin's case, while they do serve to bolster her cult of personality followers, they've had the opposite effect on the public, who have been correctly educated that she is unqualified for the presidency (and a MAJORITY of even the GOP agree with that). Plus very low approval ratings commensurate with the non-qualification figures. Nothing wrong with those results of these attacks so far.

We've already had the experience of electing an empty vessel mind, into which was poured the entirety of the neo-con foreign policy madness (see: 'The Rise of the Vulcans'). It was devastating, and the country may never recover from it. We will always be in debt to W's policies.

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