The Robertson Jihad
I have decided that this post shall look delirious. Sorry.
"Up is down"ism as a graphic.
I thought this was fantastic. A nice profile of Douglas Feith and what a horrible role he has played in the health of Zionism and the United States alike, from the Village Voice's Bush Beat. More background on Doug Feith, his role in Iraq and the Office of Special Plans. A really fabulous article by Feith in 1993 in which he highlights his extreme racism and fanatical views of the West Bank settlements (this was written when they were a fraction of current size)
The weaving around the bigshot Democratic centrists regarding Iraq. Why the hell should I care what another internet pundit like Yglesias says? i don't know, this navel gazing is tiresome but at least these guys are trying to get a grip on it. (also via dailykos)
Joe Klein always seems to piss me off, with his holier-than-thou wisdom that has turned out to be worthless time and again. And here it drips with contempt for those who dare to challenge his orthodoxy, while he spins around and admits that it's evaporated, but the 'naive' types somehow don't get it, as always:
Perhaps he feels the pain more intensely than other Presidents, knowing that the real war in Iraq, the one that began after he proclaimed that "major combat operations are over," was not anticipated by his Administration, a colossal failure of planning and execution. It is also possible that there is more than crude political calculation to the President's failure to attend funerals; his refusal to intrude upon the private grief of the families has presidential precedent. But the inability to acknowledge these terrible losses leaves an aching void in the rest of us. It isolates the general public from the suffering that is a dominant reality of life in military communities.
And that is why the awkward anguish of Cindy Sheehan has struck a chord, despite her naive politics and the ideology of some of her supporters. She represents all the tears not shed when the coffins came home without public notice. She is pain made manifest. It is only with a public acknowledgment of the unutterable agony this war has caused that we can begin a serious and long overdue conversation about Iraq, about why this war—which, unlike Vietnam, cannot be abandoned without serious consequences—is still worth fighting and why we should recommit the entire nation to the struggle. This is a failure of leadership, perhaps the signal failure of the Bush presidency.
Sheehan defends herself. Meanwhile, back at the Crazy Ranch: US Christian Broadcaster Calls for Chavez Assassination
Pat Robertson said the United States has the ability to "take out" Mr. Chavez, and said he thinks the time has come to use that ability. Mr. Robertson accused Mr. Chavez of supporting communism and Muslim extremism, and said that killing him would be a "whole lot cheaper" than starting a war.
Chavez is no doubt a source of concern for Washington, if only because Venezuela is America's fourth-largest foreign oil supplier. Chavez's erratic and often bellicose anti-U.S. rhetoric—he publicly called Bush an "ass____" in Spanish last year—as well as his desire to sell less oil to the U.S. and more to ideological allies like China, are hardly comforting as gas nears $3 per gallon. But neither is Chavez's embrace of nations like Iran, and nor is the fact that he's leading a politically potent (and, to the Bush Administration, potentially destabilizing) wave of angry neo-leftism in Latin America, from Argentina to Mexico.
But Chavez holds cards that make remarks like Robertson's all the more incendiary on the Latin American street, where language like "U.S. imperialism" suddenly has currency again. One is the past: Latin Americans have too many vivid and bitter memories of U.S. intervention in their countries—operations that sometimes included brazen assassinations —which is why the Bush Administration got burned by accusations it backed a failed coup against Chavez in 2002. Another is democratic legitimacy: Chavez, for all his authoritarian tendencies, is a democratically elected head of state who last year won a national recall referendum approved by international observers.
Libertarian griping about the War on Terror eroding freedoms. True enough. Bush vs. Benedict: Catholic neoconservatives grapple with their church’s Just War tradition. Another libertarian griping about how our constitution has been hollowed out. Was the Credit too loose?
Stories from the Gaza withdrawal:
NY Daily News: Hand-to-hand fight in Gaza. Bush: Next step after pullout is working gov't. in Gaza Strip.
Fascinating tale of the former West Bank civil administrator, who basically made himself an enemy of the settlers.
Bush might just be crazy then:
Is Bush Out of Control?
By DOUG THOMPSON
Aug 15, 2005, 05:46
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Buy beleaguered, overworked White House aides enough drinks and they tell a sordid tale of an administration under siege, beset by bitter staff infighting and led by a man whose mood swings suggest paranoia bordering on schizophrenia.
They describe a President whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with “get out of here!”
In fact, George W. Bush’s mood swings have become so drastic that White House emails often contain “weather reports” to warn of the President’s demeanor. “Calm seas” means Bush is calm while “tornado alert” is a warning that he is pissed at the world.
Decreasing job approval ratings and increased criticism within his own party drives the President’s paranoia even higher. Bush, in a meeting with senior advisors, called Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist a “god-damned traitor” for opposing him on stem-cell research.
“There’s real concern in the West Wing that the President is losing it,” a high-level aide told me recently.
A year ago, this web site discovered the White House physician prescribed anti-depressants for Bush. The news came after revelations that the President’s wide mood swings led some administration staffers to doubt his sanity.
Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports an anti-Bush propaganda, the reports were later confirmed by prominent George Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a “paranoid meglomaniac” and “untreated alcoholic” whose “lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad” showcase Bush’s instabilities.
“I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed,” Dr. Frank said. “He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated.”