An Obama administration official gets it (partly) right.
Philip Gordon is "a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East." He gave a major address in which he decried the occupation of the West Bank and the dehumanization of the Palestinians
“Israel confronts an undeniable reality: It cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability,” Gordon said. “It will embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric and feed mutual dehumanization.”
There are a couple of things wrong with this statement. First, the use of the future tense in that last sentence is just silly: These things have happened already. Second, Israel is not a democracy, since many of the people who must live under the dictates of that government do not have a vote.
Gordon wants a two-state solution, based on a return to the status quo pre-1967. I might have agreed with this notion not long ago, but sadly, the time has passed. The world must demand regime change. The very concept of a "Jewish state" is racist and must end.
Gordon won't say that, of course. But he is taking a step in the right direction.
(Incidentally, the Middle East Monitor reports that One Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days for the past 13 years
. Kind of puts things in perspective, dunnit?)
I can't believe that some of my readers are still defending the Greenwald-haters over at Pando. Yes, they are at it again.
I've rarely seen a more obvious operation. As I've said before: If you are trying to identify a well-recompensed media ratfucker, one key "tell" is the "any stick to beat a dog"
approach. The Pando folk have approvingly linked to stories which criticize Greenwald for divulging America's secrets -- and at the same time, Pando critiques Greenwald not dumping everything he has on the public.
Are the Pando writers are being paid by the national security infrastructure to publish their attacks? C'mon. Grow up
At least they were honest enough to publish these comments from readers:
how irresponsible from Pando. Really I'm not surprised. They have covered this story horribly. Makes me think they have an agenda with all this. Couldn't it be more obvious?
forgive me but what is the point you are trying to make; I don't honestly understand.
All you need to know about Pando can be found here
. You don't need to read between the lines very deeply.
Is Hillary too tainted?
Lambert, usually seen over at Corrente, has published a piece in Naked Capitalism which goes over the tale of Hillary's Iraq war vote
. Frankly, I'm not sure we need to rehash this business yet again, certainly not on a sub-atomic level of detail. The world of 2002-2003 was a very different place from the world of today.
Lambert is certainly correct when he says "We know that the Bush administration was lying on Iraq WMDs, that there was no “intelligence failure,” but a massive and successful disinformation campaign." The whole point
of a disinformation campaign is to mislead people, and senators are a prime target. Seen in that light, Lambert's own recollection of the period is more exculpatory than he intends:
I remember these events vividly, because I started blogging at Eschaton that summer. It was like playing whack-a-mole: The aluminum tubes! The white powder! “British intelligence has learned!” The yellowcake! They were one and all lies, debunked within days, and then — collective #facepalm by the much more united left of that day, which the Democrats had not yet succeeded in wrecking — we got to hear Colin [genuflects] Powell retail what we knew to be lies at the UN! Except it wasn’t like whack-a-mole; it was whack-a-mole; Col. Sam Gardner’s research suggested at least 50 stories were planted in the press. The operation had a $200 million budget, and was run by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG)
Lambert goes on to ask: "Are we really to believe that the famously networked Clinton machine couldn’t have reached out to somebody in official Washington to find out that Bush was selling a crock of shit on Iraq?" I'm not sure that there were any truth-tellers to be found in that town during that period. As I recall, the entire governmental infrastructure spewed the same spew in perfect synch.
I'm more interested in what Hillary Clinton did as Secretary of State. Let's face it: Her record is genuinely troubling.
Lambert notes that her book has nothing to say about the use of a drone to kill American citizen Anwar al Awlaki. Perhaps we should give her a pass there, because she may be hiding the details of a covert operation. I've argued in many previous posts
that there's a hidden side to the Awlaki tale. (His death, let us recall, was never verified by the government of Yemen.)
That said, there's a lot more to the drone issue. (See the CNN interview with Alan Grayson embedded a couple of posts down.) The sad truth is that I have never seen Hillary criticize her former boss on this score, and I have no reason to believe that she would be more circumspect in her use of this terrible weapon.
Lambert stands on firm ground when he discusses Hillary Clinton's misleading version (as recounted in her book) of the Ed Snowden story:
As Clinton must know from the Iraq WMDs/WHIG debacle, the media context is completely corrupt, being riddled with disinformation; for example, the NSA has consistently said that Snowden could not have gotten “primary documents” we only now learn he got. How is a debate to be had except on the basis of trustworthy evidence?
“[CLINTON:] When [Snowden] emerged and when he absconded with all that material, I was puzzled because we have all these protections for whistle-blowers.”
First, Clinton ignores that Snowden was a contractor and has no whlstleblower protection. Second, Clinton ignores that Snowden is charged under the Espionage Act, and that means he’ll be gagged in court if he tries to make a whistleblowing case. Third, Clinton ignores the fates of Drake, Kiriakou, and Manning.
Fourth, and again, what Clinton ignores that the executive branch’s disinformation capabilities, as shown in the Iraq WMD campaign, make it very hard for whistleblowers to get the word out; and ignores the proven capabilities of the US government to execute US citizens without trial, as shown by Obama’s “kill list,” which make whistleblowing dangerous (as if an Espionage Act conviction weren’t dangerous). Back to Clinton:
“[CLINTON:] If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been.
No, he could not have been; for the four reasons given above. In addition, Clinton ignores that Snowden did contact NSA oversight with his concerns, via email. The only way to spark the debate was to release the documents, as Snowden did.
All very true. On the other hand, the sad and infuriating fact is that we can hardly expect any serious presidential candidate to endorse or excuse Snowden's actions. If Hillary were even to hint
at such a thing, she would spend the rest of her life talking about nothing but Snowden, Snowden, Snowden -- and she would never have a chance at the White House.
In sum, I find Lambert's passionately-written piece to be important and worthy, but not entirely persuasive.
To me, the most damning argument against Hillary Clinton appeared five days ago in the New York Times
. A faction of the neocon movement has decided that Hillary could be good for their cause...
Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.
Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted in The New Republic this year that “it is clear that in administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya.”
And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.
It’s easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton’s making room for the neocons in her administration. No one could charge her with being weak on national security with the likes of Robert Kagan on board.
God help us all.
Can you imagine what would happen to the cause of liberalism if, after eight years of Obama, we had to put up with another Dem administration in which foreign policy is run by guys like Kagan or Boot? Could the Democratic party brand even survive
If Hillary Clinton does not divorce herself from the neocons, true Dems must divorce themselves from her