One sick puppy.
I'm used to seeing vile op-ed pieces in major newspapers, but some examples of vileness are so
vile as to be awe-inspiring. One such piece is this call for war against Iran
, published in the Washington Post, by Joshua Muravchik. He's a neocon identified as "a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies."
(Didn't Paul Linebarger have a similar gig at the same institution? He was CIA.)
Muravchik is a die-hard Israel-firster who wrote what we may consider the official response to Max Blumenthal's Goliath
. I haven't read it, but the above-linked review gives us the basics: Palestinians = Nazis, so let's all go back to the view of Israel we got from Leon Uris's Exodus
Excuse me while I vomit.
The Republican House. The quote that everyone is talking about today
comes from Republican congressman Charlie Dent:
“We really don’t have 218 votes to determine a bathroom break over here on our side. So how are we going to get 218 votes on transportation, or trade, or whatever the issue?”
And now, it seems, Republican distaste for governance is endangering an infrastructure bill -- one that business leaders
insist is necessary.
People used to say that conservatives care only about business. No longer. Now, ideological purity trumps all other concerns.
I blame the rise of libertarianism. As long as our political culture is ruled by fanatics committed to a strict "all gummint is evil" philosophy, then we can expect to see more of the nonsense that Dent describes.
This Congress has done nothing, nothing, nothing
except nearly screw up the Homeland Security bill and give Netanyahu a chance to spew bellicose bullshit (a gambit which only made Netanyahu look bad). Oh yes: And they also become pen pals with the Iranian Ayatollahs in order to point out America's inherent unreliability
. The letter sent by this Congress came perilously close to outright treason.
More about that Iran letter:
I've seen many good articles about this great congressional blunder, but the best analysis is this one
by Gareth Porter...
Those members of Congress don’t arrive at their positions on issues related to Iran through discussion and debate among themselves. They are given their marching orders by AIPAC lobbyists, and time after time, they sign the letters and vote for legislation or resolution that they are given, as former AIPAC lobbyist MJ Rosenberg has recalled.
This Israeli exercise of control over Congress on Iran and issues of concern to Israel resembles the Soviet direction of its satellite regimes and loyal Communist parties more than any democratic process, but with campaign contributions replacing the inducements that kept its bloc allies in line.
Some say that AIPAC drafted the letter. Maybe.
Who WAS Ben Bradlee?
When Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post died last October, he was lionized -- and practically deified -- as the Grand Old Man of American journalism. Those ultra-laudatory eulogies ignored the man's highly troubling links to the covert world.
Jim DiEugenio, a friend to this humble blog, has done some extraordinary research into the hidden aspects of Ben Bradlee's career. I thought I was pretty hip to this stuff, but what Jim has uncovered surprised even me
. Part one of his investigation is here
; part two is here
Most people will be surprised to learn that Bradlee was good friends with Richard Helms, the CIA's most mysterious director. (Some will be surprised to learn that Helms had any
friends. That guy made Lord Voldemort seem warm and fuzzy.)
Here's a little squib that should give you some idea as to how the Washington Post became what it became:
In the 1950s, Bradlee not only worked as a U.S. government propagandist in France with close ties to Operation Mockingbird, the spy agency’s project for penetrating and influencing the U.S. news media, but he developed close personal ties to the CIA’s Cord Meyer, a senior clandestine services propagandist considered a leader of Operation Mockingbird.
Meyer and Bradlee each married sisters from the same well-to-do family, Mary and Tony Pinchot, respectively.
This passage tells us a lot -- and not just about Bradlee, and not just about the Washington Post. It points to a hidden truth about the mainstream media. What DiEugenio has written is not just a story about things that happened many years ago: That which happened then also happens now.
Now you know why some news events get covered, and some get covered up
Did the US help to create ISIS?
That claim has been at the heart of several Cannonfire posts. Similar points are raised in this excellent piece
by Tim Anderson (Or "Prof. Tim Anderson" as he habitually signs himself).
So what is the broader evidence on Washington’s covert links with ISIS?
Not least are the admissions by senior US officials that key allies support the extremist group. In September 2014 General Martin Dempsey, head of the US military, told a Congressional hearing ‘I know major Arab allies who fund [ ISIS ]‘. Senator Lindsey Graham, of Armed Services Committee, responded with a justification, ‘They fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight [Syrian President] Assad, they were trying to beat Assad’.
The next month, US Vice President Joe Biden went a step further, explaining that Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia ‘were so determined to take down Assad … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad … [including] al Nusra and al Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world … [and then] this outfit called ISIL’.
That's what I like about Joe: Such a blabbermouth, he is. Seriously: The only way we are going to get any honest dialogue in this country is to elect a president who really, really likes the sound of his own voice, and who keeps oopsing
his way over the line separating the sayable from the unsayable. That's why I hope Biden runs.
A short while ago, this humble blog linked to some important stories demonstrating that the US had engaged in a "marriage of convenience" with the Nusra Front, a.k.a. Al Qaeda in Syria. Nusra is now being hilariously rebranded as the "moderate" opposition to Assad -- an image that is almost
as convincing as those photos of Giuliani in drag.
But what is the difference, really, between Nusra and ISIS? Not much...
Other evidence undermines western attempts to maintain a distinction between the ‘moderate rebels’, now openly armed and trained by the US, and the extremist groups Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS.
As ISIS came from Iraq in 2013, its Syrian bases have generally remained in the far eastern part of Syria. However Jabhat al Nusra (the official al Qaeda branch in Syria, from which ISIS split) has collaborated with Syrian Islamist groups in western Syria for several years. The genocidal slogan of the Syrian Islamists, ‘Christians to Beirut and Alawis to the Grave’, reported many times in 2011 from the Farouk Brigade, sat well with the al Qaeda groups. Farouk (once the largest ‘Free Syrian Army’ group) indeed killed and ethnically cleansed many Christians and Alawis.
Understand? The Obama administration has been palling around with Muslim groups that kill Christians.
You'd think that the Republican party would make much of this, but no. You'd think that the professional Islamophobes would make much of this, but no.
Why not? Because the Islam-hating right-wingers in America cannot bring themselves to go against the wishes of Israel, and Israel wants rid of Assad. At any cost.
The 'strange bedfellows" factor doesn't matter, ethnic cleansing doesn't matter, the destruction of a great culture doesn't matter. Even a covert alliance between the US and Al Qaeda doesn't matter
. Assad must go: All other concerns are subsidiary. If the "regime change in Syria" scheme requires the massacre of Christians and other minorities in Syria -- well, so be it.