Flip sides

Ok, ok, ok, I have to post some things around the ideological spectrum. Starting around the right-wing anti-war libertarian pole, Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo had three interesting pieces, but as always I take him with a grain of salt. First, the Democrats may have flipped around, and become the more militarily interventionist party. Is this too hard to believe?

[Chalmers] Johnson cuts right to the essential issue, which is not just the plethora of bases, but certain recently-established military installations:

"At the same time, they don't say anything about 14 permanent bases being built in Iraq. Four are already built: Tallil Air Base, Baghdad, the one in the north near Mosul and the one over on the border with Syria. They don't say anything about the bases in Jabuti, in the Saharan Desert, in Mali and places like that."

Neither Kerry nor Bush wants to talk about those particular bases, or what they imply. Whatever their disagreements over particular nuances, both "major" party candidates support the concept of a semi-permanent American military presence in Iraq.

Beyond that, this mutual nonaggression pact underscores the role of the two parties as twin pillars of a foreign policy based on hubris, and rooted in the grating, militant self-righteousness of our ruling elites that has – rightly – made us the objects of worldwide opprobrium.

The idea of permanent military bases in Iraq is simply ghastly, as most Americans can intuit by this point. Every permanent base there, established and maintained in such a bloody fashion, would irresistably attract every militant in the middle east.

"Good!" they say. "Bring the Terrorists out to fight!!! Bring em on, hash it out over there, stay on offense!"

Yeah. That's working out smoothly. Such a strategy is BASED on abusing and disrespecting the occupied nation, because then the goal is to turn into a bloody wasteland, you cannot but reach disaster.

Next story: the improbable tale of Israeli counterterror expert and sexual harrassment victim Golan Cipel. Now, some might say that it's a little odd to have an Israeli citizen acting as the main counter-terror czar in a crucial place like New Jersey. But wait, there's more! Evidently Cipel—or someone else named Golan Cipel—worked at the Israeli Consulate General in New York City, handling the public relations side of government activities. Raimondo's column has all sorts of interesting links to Internet search archives, such as the Google USENET archives that include a ton of the "Israel Line" government press releases that Cipel helped write. And, according to Raimondo, he's made a few interesting statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict here and there.

Also, Raimondo cites one hell of an odd posting from the right-wing FreeRepublic.com news site from November 2002 that says:

NJ has within its borders a scandal which makes the Clinton/Lewinsky matter a walk in the park. The press has danced around the real issue. It will be revealed that what has occured in the Garden State is a scandal of the greatest importance. It will lead to the resignation of its current Governor James McGreevey due to his abuse of office and the NJ tax payers to prop up Golan Cipel. The nature of their real relationship is on the verge of breaking into the spotlight. This will be earth shattering.

To: deepthroatnnj
I know what it is. That Isreali friend of McGreevy's who was on the payroll is really his gay lover.
2 posted on 11/03/2002 2:26:41 PM PST by Rodney King

Perfect accuracy nearly two years ago, filched away on this madcap right-wing site. I find that rather stunning... In any case, Cipel sounds like he was fairly close to the Israeli intelligence services. Oh well.... besides this the neo-cons are lining up to sneak into the opposition. Check the door for sweaty, militant old bureaucrats, please. In a column about the late libertarian Mike Mayakis he referred to an old piece about how Superman was anti-war...and Captain America saw Nixon hang himself? Meanwhile this cheesy piece asserts that comics suddenly got political out of nowhere. Right.

There are some sweet political ads that Errol Morris is making for MoveOn.org. Seemingly modeled on the Apple Switch ads, that Morris also made, these are pretty sweet, and remind me of Fog of War because of the "Interrotron," a teleprompter-based interview device that Morris put together to really extract a directness from people. See the ads on this delightful PAC donation page.

Christopher Hitchens is such an idiot, I can't believe he got suckered into defending Ahmed Chalabi. What the hell?

I will summarize a few nice bits from Billmon, who has gone fishin' for a while. On the Valerie Plame/Get Scooter front, the prosecution zeroes in, but will Libby defend himself by claiming that other reporters already knew Plame was an agent? An older story asks if it will end at the Supreme Court.

To flip to the right, we have some columns from SoldiersForTheTruth.com, a really interesting source for perspectives on the strange mush of tortured politics of today's U.S. military. John Lehman from the 9/11 Commission says, damn right we are after the Islamic fundamentalists, so where's the leadership? The editor of DefenseWatch, Ed Offley, says we need to get more alert about Muslim soldiers as "the enemy within" acting for Al-Qaeda. I liked the bit by the site's main editor, David Hackworth, about a nation, divided again:

...Kerry’s campaign push on how he Ramboed his way through the war – for four months – rubs a lot of vets the wrong way. And it does take its toll on those of us who prefer our heroes to be modest, unassuming types like Alvin York – who stayed the course until it was “Over, over there.”

But politics and style aside, Kerry did serve with distinction in Vietnam when he easily could have avoided that killing field. His service to his country shouldn’t be diminished by the same despicable, politically motivated tactics visited upon Sens. John McCain in South Carolina and Max Cleland in Georgia, also Viet vets. This kind of gutter-bashing doesn’t belong in American politics, and vets shouldn’t allow themselves to be used as ammo for cheap shots at one of their own.

The stalwart Brown Water Navy warriors who fought at Kerry’s side say he was A-OK, which is good enough for me. The muckrakers such as John O’Neill and his Swiftboat snipers – who didn’t sail on his boat but served anywhere from 100 meters to 300 miles away – are now coming off like eyewitnesses when in fact not one of their testimonies would hold up in a court of law. A judge would call these men liars and disallow their biased statements.

I’ve been in a fair number of battles in my lifetime, first fighting for my country in several hot wars, then covering a dozen conflicts as a correspondent. And I’ve learned that if you can’t see the fight right up close, smell it, hear it and touch it, you can’t possibly bear witness.
[......]
[John] O’Neill and his chorus of haters are still in their get-Kerry mode. I suspect the decades-long fury is still fueled by Kerry’s high-profile anti-war stance when he returned home. That was a position that was taken by hundreds of thousands of other Viet vets, including myself in 1971 – which, according to Joe Califono's recent book, Inside: A Public Life, almost cost me my life.

There's been a huge flareup around Georgia/Russia/the illustrious fragments of Ossetia in the Caucasus, where of course nothing makes sense at first glance. SFTT has a guest column about what could be a war on terror tar baby against the Russians. And why not freak out? The world's longest natural gas line, under construction, is only a few miles away.

Not just Ted Kennedy, but hundreds of people are being screwed by airline watch lists. Ught.

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