Monday, 07 January 2008

ODS

Ken Berwitz

Bush Derangement Syndrome has reached ridiculous status, bordering on insane.  But ODS  (O'Reilly Derangement Syndrome) is starting to give it a run for its money.

What would you say if I told you that someone is implying Mr. O'Reilly might facilitate the assassination of Barack Obama?  You'd think I did a header down a flight of stairs and hadn't quite come back to full consciousness, right? 

Well, what's Robert Brustein's excuse?  Read this jaw-droppingly imbecilic commentary, blogged in the Huffington Post and reported by Brian Maloney of www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com - complete with video:

'STIMULATING' HIT MEN

Crackpot Liberals Claim O'Reilly's Risking Obama's Safety

Though it's not a surprise to see the "progressive" left go nuts attacking Bill O'Reilly
after his confrontation with an Obama aide in New Hampshire, their line of "reasoning" has quickly descended into partisan kookdom.

Is it really reasonable to suggest Obama may soon face assassination, an event now somehow inspired by the FOX News Channel host? That's the wacky assertion of the Huffington Post, where former Harvard professor and onetime Yale dean Robert Brustein has succeeded in stealing Oliver Stone's conspiratorial thunder:


The extraordinary surge of confidence and goodwill generated by the Obama victory in Iowa has brought hope to many American hearts that our sorely divided country may at last have a chance to be united again.

That same condition is also increasing fears that, with all this expectation embodied in a single man, he might fall victim to an assassin's bullet. America does not have a very distinguished record regarding the protection of its more inspirational public figures, beginning with the death of Abraham Lincoln at the hands of an an actor in Ford's Theatre. In the course of a single decade in the twentieth century, Jack Kennedy was shot in a Dallas motorcade; Martin Luther King was killed on a Memphis hotel balcony; and Bobby Kennedy was gunned down in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel. No wonder Colin Powell decided not to run for president in the 2000 election. Some estimates gave him a 20 percent probability of being picked off at the podium.

After the recent murder of Benazir Bhutto, we realize once again that nothing excites the forces of hate and fear more than the prospect of decency and reconciliation. And if Obama wins the New Hampshire primary, as now looks likely, the incidence of violence on the campaign trial will increase exponentially. The recent chilling encounter in New Hampshire between Bill O'Reilly and an Obama aide was a forecast of how easily mad dog media men can stimulate mad dog hit men.

In this case, O'Reilly played both roles. Because he believed Obama's aide to be standing in front of his camera, the O'Reilly Factor Factotum, his face distorted with rage, showered abuse on the 6'8" aide and physically shoved him out of his way.


On that occasion, the Secret Service moved in quickly to cart the offensive O'Reilly away from the scene of confrontation. But what safeguards do the government have in place to prevent some ravenous red state acolyte from deciding there is no place in American politics for a man with African blood? Is our Secret Service any better equipped for such contingencies than Musharriff's secret police? And what will be the official government position should such an attempt succeed? The Musharraf rationale? That the victim assassinated himself by appearing in public?



Aside from the fact that Obama is certainly no JFK, Bhutto, Lincoln or King, if Brustein has any substantive information related to the candidate's safety, he should alert the authorities at once. Otherwise, the entire premise of his piece is pure hot air.

Elsewhere, liberal blogger Steve Young at least tries to
make a case for an Obama boycott of O'Reilly's show based on the host's stances, but the senator would be foolish to miss the opportunity: a true "uniter" and leader wouldn't be afraid of dissenting viewpoints or anyone on television.

And of course, MSNBC and the libtalk crowd will be making hay out the incident later today, with many cheap shots expected from the O'Reilly- obsessed
Keith Olbermann.


But as additional still shots and video clips emerge from the altercation, it's clear their contention that O'Reilly is a threat has about as much credibility as Stone's JFK movie. In the top left image, taken by an al-Reuters fotog, the Secret Service agent is merely keeping Bill and the oversized Obama tuffy at arm's length.

There's no indication O'Reilly was "frisked" or "carted away", as the left contends. In fact, at one point, the agent is seen having a quick laugh and makes no attempt at keeping the Factor host away from Obama himself.

If Bill was seen as a threat, he wouldn't have been allowed within a mile of the candidate.

Don't take your Radio Equalizer's word for it, there are two new video clips available of the incident.
Here's the first:





And the second, via C-SPAN:





In addition, O'Reilly will air his own footage of the event on tonight's Factor. Based on what we've seen so far, what has emerged is a ticked off cable host, upset over being intentionally blocked.

According to the Salem News,
he was in fact blocked on purpose:


The FOX host stood in a fairly unpopulated part of the room at first. Once he was spotted the Obama staffers reportedly began to huddle. Three policemen showed up, too. One of them stood in front of O'Reilly until the talk show host asked him to move.

That is when Obama's staffer Marvin Nicholson took up the same post the policeman had stood, in front of the Fox camera.

O'Reilly yelled, "You're blocking our shot."

At that point Nicholson reportedly said, "Oh, am I?"


If intentionally blocked in the same way, would Keith Olbermann or any of his mainstream media friends have remained calm? In this business, not bloody likely. Careers in broadcasting are not for the weak or timid among us. .

Would this have happened if it were a liberal and/or leftward commentator trying to get a visual shot and then an interview with, say, John McCain?  Not a chance. 

But when Bill O'Reilly - far and away the most watched cable news personality in prime time and someone who continues to triple keith olbermann's ratings even after almost 5 years of olbermann's nightly PMS-fest - tries to do what any reporter would do?  Not only is it ok to prevent it, but his effort is responsible for a future assassination attempt.

George Bush, watch out.  BDS may be pretty nutty, but ODS is breathing down its neck.


AN EXCELLENT ANALYSIS OF MITT ROMNEY'S STATUS

Ken Berwitz

If you'd like to see an excellent, intelligent analysis of how Mitt Romney stands so far, look no further than the one provided by Jonathan Martin and Jim FandeHei of www.politico.com this morning. 

Here it is:

Romney dials down expectations hard

By: Jonathan Martin and Jim VandeHei
Jan 6, 2008 10:16 PM EST

Mitt Romney, a dominant favorite in New Hampshire just weeks ago, said Sunday that a "close second" to Arizona Sen. John McCain would be a significant feat on Tuesday.

The almost frantic downsizing of expectations for the former Massachusetts governor came as the candidate and his staff are publicly and privately preparing to explain away what would be a disheartening loss and shift to a last-ditch strategy predicated on his ability to outlast and outspend his rivals, according to sources inside the campaign.

"This is a must-win state for him," Romney said of McCain, in a Politico interview Sunday. "If he doesn't win here, I don't know where he is going to win. So for me it's can I catch John McCain can I keep him from getting this?"

Left unsaid was that Romney has led in state polls for much of the race, and McCain only caught him recently.

The Romney campaign has the feel of one bracing for a possible loss, including the tell-tale emergence of behind-the-scenes clashes. Several Romney advisers described internal disputes over strategic missteps leading up to Iowa with some contending Romney should have focused earlier on his ability as a Washington outsider and businessman to change the political process and fix Washington's big problems.

Instead, he emphasized his conservative positions on abortion, immigration, and  other hot-button issues opening himself up to a devastating perception that he is an opportunist and phony. In an interview with ABCs This Week on Sunday, Romney acknowledged that the flip-flop label has hurt him, though he said it is unfair.

In the Politico interview, Romney dismissed talk of staff tension and made it unmistakably clear that he will simply turn attention to Michigan and elsewhere if he falls short here Tuesday.

Romney said a close second-place finish would be impressive considering the attention McCain has paid the state over the past eight years.

Romney said the time he spent parked in Iowa, where he came up short to former Arkansas Gov.
Mike Huckabee, prevented him from spending as much time in New Hampshire as McCain. If I can beat him here, that is really saying something, he said. If I can come in a close second, that also says something."

Romney's closest advisers have also ratcheted down expectations. One Granite State backer described McCain as "the president of New Hampshire" three times in a five-minute conversation Saturday.

Another Romney adviser offered: "Just remember that John McCain got 50 percent against George W. Bush in 2000," surely laying the groundwork for a comparison between McCain's margin of victory eight years ago with the result on Tuesday.

To supporters and surrogates, Romney's campaign is distributing a similar message. Internal talking points obtained by Politico also cite McCain's past success.

"Sen. McCain has always been strong in New Hampshire," reads the message e-mailed out to Romney backers Sunday morning. "He won the primary in 2000 and for the past few months, has been campaigning in the state almost exclusively."

And, the note continues, McCain's "strategy is based on winning independent voters who identify with his more liberal positions."

Romney had hoped to use wins in Iowa and New Hampshire as a slingshot into the later states.

But now he's in real danger of opening with two emphatic losses that will demoralize supporters and raise questions about whether those who know him best are rejecting him. He was governor of neighboring Massachusetts and has spent years and millions of dollars laying the groundwork here and in Iowa.

Privately, his top advisers said the more severe a loss here is, the more difficult it will be for them to overcome skepticism about his prospects. "It needs to be close," said one strategist.  Asked what that meant, this source said: "Not like Iowa," where Romney suffered a nine-point loss to Huckabee.

Interviews with several top advisers made plain internal tensions over the strategic direction of campaign that spent more than all of its rivals combined in this state.

The dispute pits Romney's original ad team, led by Alex Castellanos, against the consultants he brought on from McCain's team after the senator's summer implosion, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, according to several Republicans close to the campaign.

It centers on who pushed hardest for the months-long emphasis on conservative issues that often exposed Romney's penchant for shifting positions and who wanted to amplify the messages he is using now focusing on changing Washington.

The dispute has simmered for months but it is starting to boil over as problems mount and aides start framing who is to blame for setbacks.

Romney said tension inside his campaign over strategic decisions has not been a big deal. He blamed reporters  not his advisers  for forcing him to focus intensely on his conservative views instead of the message of change he is carrying to every event in New Hampshire.

"I get asked a lot about my conservative credentials, largely by members of the media," he said in the interview. "I go on TV and it's like: 'Tell me about your church, tell me where you stand on abortion.'

"There is no question the focus of my campaign has been on changing Washington."

But Romney last fall downplayed his outsider message, choosing instead to outflank then-top rival
Rudy Giuliani on the ideological right. Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the campaign never entirely dropped the outsider approach but he did concede "the emphasis was not on the change message during that period."

Even now it is clear the issue he hopes to ride to victory in the final days here is immigration, a red-meat and in some ways conventional issue by the standards of a campaign that in both parties has been dominated by appeals for transformational change in the political culture.

At every event, Romney pounds McCain for leading the congressional effort to provide illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship. Romney said he will force all illegal immigrants out of the country but he refuses to detail precisely how and when.

He said illegal immigrants who arrived very recently would be deported immediately, but that he would support allowing a slower deportation process for those with families and deeper roots.

"That would be negotiated," he said. "For a lot of people it would be immediate. They have been here a short time, they are not paying their taxes, so [they should] just go right home." He said this could be as quick as 90 days.

Some Romney advisers are worried they do not have enough time to peel voters away from a surging McCain, even with an immigration position that is popular with many conservatives. So a McCain victory here will likely be chalked up by Romney partisans to the role of independents in the primary.

If Romney loses, he will pivot quickly to Michigan, where he grew up and his father George Romney was governor in the 1960s. Romney's campaign team is already preparing their Wolverine State campaign and they've already filled his schedule with retail events there, hitting conservative-dominated western Michigan for the first few days before turning to population centers like Detroit and Lansing.

In mail and TV spots there, they'll drive the candidate's change message, and if he loses here, they will continue to contrast with McCain on Washington experience, immigration and taxes.

Should Romney's New Hampshire loss be close, an adviser previewed their spin as: "Look at our body of work over 10 days. We came in first in Wyoming and second in Iowa and New Hampshire. Who else can match that?"
.

That's very well thought out, isn't it?  Makes loads of sense.

I especially like Romney's promise - absent any specifics - that he will force all illegals out of the country.  Unfortunately for him this is wintertime, so no one will be able to see whether his lawn has been mowed or his gardens weeded.  If Romney is running as scared as he seems to be at this moment, I suppose he could just let everything go to pot and assure voters it is because the illegals he famously had tending the property are no south of the border.

My personal exectation (this is not a prediction) is that McCain beats Romney in New Hampshire but not enough to knock him out of the race.

Mitt Romney - whom I respect a great deal as an executive - is in the process of learning a lesson that politicians seem to never catch onto until it is too late.  It is better to present your real views and let people like or dislike you for who you are, then to either change them over and over again or state them so vaguely that no one knows what side of things you are on.

 

Daniel Caldwell If you want to see where Romney stands on the issues, look it up on his website. www.mittromney.com/Issues/index If that is not easy enough to navigate, I also like www.ontheissues.org/Mitt_Romney.htm (01/12/08)


NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS

Ken Berwitz

Last week I put up the final polling just before Iowa's caucuses.  The next day we saw how far off some of them were.

Hey, let's do it again with New Hampshire.

Here, courtesy of www.realclearpolitics.com, are the final polling data for the New Hamphire primary. 

First we have the Democrats: 

Poll

Date

Sample

Obama

Clinton

Edwards

Richardson

Spread

RCP Average

01/04 - 01/06

-

36.9

29.2

18.8

5.9

Obama +7.7

CNN/WMUR/UNH

01/05 - 01/06

599 LV

39

30

16

7

Obama +9.0

Suffolk/WHDH

01/05 - 01/06

500 LV

35

34

15

3

Obama +1.0

Marist

01/05 - 01/06

636 LV

36

28

22

7

Obama +8.0

Rasmussen

01/05 - 01/06

1203 LV

38

28

18

8

Obama +10.0

CBS News

01/05 - 01/06

323 LV

35

28

19

5

Obama +7.0

USA Today/Gallup

01/04 - 01/06

778 LV

41

28

19

6

Obama +13.0

Franklin Pierce

01/04 - 01/06

403 LV

34

31

20

6

Obama +3.0

Strategic Vision (R)

01/04 - 01/06

600 LV

38

29

19

7

Obama +9.0

Reuters/CSpan/Zogby

01/04 - 01/06

844 LV

39

29

19

--

Obama +10.0

American Res. Group

01/04 - 01/06

600 LV

39

28

22

4

Obama +11.0

FOX News

01/04 - 01/06

500 LV

32

28

18

6

Obama +4.0

 As you can see, it is the Obama and Hillary show, with Obama ahead in every poll by a 1% to 13% margin over Ms. Clinton,  John Edwards way behind and Bill Ricardson is halfway back to New Mexico..

 

Poll Date McCain Romney Huckabee Giuliani Paul Thompson Spread
RCP Average 01/04 - 01/06 33.5 28.7 11.4 8.7 7.4 2.7 McCain +4.8
CNN/WMUR/UNH 01/05 - 01/06 31 26 13 10 10 1 McCain +5.0
Suffolk/WHDH 01/05 - 01/06 27 30 9 10 8 2 Romney +3.0
Marist 01/05 - 01/06 35 31 13 5 8 4 McCain +4.0
Rasmussen 01/05 - 01/06 32 31 11 10 8 3 McCain +1.0
Franklin Pierce 01/04 - 01/06 38 29 9 8 7 2 McCain +9.0
USA Today/Gallup 01/04 - 01/06 34 30 13 8 8 3 McCain +4.0
Strategic Vision (R) 01/04 - 01/06 35 27 13 8 7 5 McCain +8.0
Reuters/CSpan/Zogby 01/04 - 01/06 34 29 10 9 6 3 McCain +5.0
American Res. Group 01/04 - 01/06 35 27 12 10 7 2 McCain +8.0
FOX News 01/04 - 01/06 34 27 11 9 5 2 McCain +7.0

McCain is ahead of Romney in all but one of the polls by as much as 9%, with one poll showing Romney ahead by 3%.  Huckabee, Giuliani and Paul are fighting for 3rd place with Fred Thompson barely on the board.

If these data are anywhere near correct, they show that Mike Huckabee, for all his cachet with rural Iowans, has little to offer non-evangelical Christians in the Republican party.  

You'd think that his victory in Iowa would build momentum, wouldn't you?  Well, not if it was only among a specific segment of the voters.  When they aren't there, Huckabee isn't either.  And, despite what people like James Dobson and his pals think, the USA is not an evangelical Christian enterprise. 

Tomorrow we will probably be laughing  at a lot of these data.  Let's talk about it then.


PEACE PARTNER UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Here is another in the series of updates designed to keep you informed as to how the peace process is making out.  Today's installment comes from an Israeli checkpoint near the Erez crossing (between Israel and Gaza):

Gaza Strip: IDF kills terrorist 'couple'

Two armed Palestinians, a man and a woman, approached IDF troops near the Erez Crossing Monday afternoon and started shooting, prompting return fire, Army Radio reported.

The two combatants were killed in the incident. The IDF found additional ammunition on the scene, including an explosive device on the woman's person.

Soldiers said the two were holding hands, apparently pretending to be a couple. Palestinian sources named the woman as Usma Abu Fanuna, of the Nuseirat refugee camp.

No casualties were reported among the soldiers.

According to the IDF, female bombers were responsible for the deaths of up to 37 Israeli civilians through the seven years of the Second Intifada.

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying the woman managed to detonate the explosives on her person rather than being killed by the soldiers. .

Yes, these are the wonderful folks who the UN expects Israel to make peace with. 

Let's see, we have Gaza, which is controlled by the terrrorist organization hamas, which won a majority in the palestinian parliament and then violently removed the elected leaders of Gaza's other terrorist group, fatah. 

And we have Judea and Samaria (the west bank) where the terrorist group hamas has a majority in parliament but the President - at least until hamas doesn't want him there anymore - is abu mazen (also known as abu abbas), who heads the terrorist group fatah.

Which of these two groups will stop terrorist attacks on Israel.  Which of these two groups does not applaud them?  Which of these two groups demands that palestinian Arab children be taught there is a sovereign state of Israel, albeit with disputed land areas?  Which of these two groups demands that palestinian Arab children be taught that Jews are human beings rather than the spawn of monkeys and pigs.

And when does the UN, which runs many of the schools in Gaza, starts giving a damn about what is being taught in them?

But the UN, which has done such a stellar peacmaking job in places like Sudan, and Rwanda as well as numerous other "peaceful" places, demands that Israel make peace with the people who elected hamas and fatah to rule them;  people who teach these things to their children.

Yeah, right.


GOLDEN GLOBES: A CASUALTY OF THE WRITER'S STRIKE

Ken Berwitz

Goodbye Golden Globes.  If the following "inside information" article is right, the award show will not take place even remotely the way it usually does.  Why?  Because of the writer's strike. 

Here are the particulars, courtesy of Nikki Finke of www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com:

UPDATE: NBC And Hollywood Foreign Press Cancel Televised Golden Globes Hoopla; Big Show Scrapped In Favor Of Stripped Down News Telecast

MONDAY NOON: ! I've just obtained the unofficial NBC schedule for the Golden Globes on January 13th. Though the big ceremony itself is canceled, NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions have strung together a series of "news" telecasts that should allow them to use up all the airtime already allotted for the show and sold to advertisers:

"There will be a press conference this afternoon announcing that the Globes Awards ceremony will not go on. Here is the plan:
-- At 9 PM there will be a press conference covered by NBC News announcing the Golden Globe winners. (9pm-10pm)
-- At 8 PM, we are negotiating with Dick Clark Enterprises for a one-hour retrospective/clip show.
-- At 7 PM, we will air a Dateline with clips and interviews with nominees. (Currently scheduled to air for two hours on Saturday night.)
-- At 10 PM, we will broadcast an "Access Hollywood" style, Golden Globes party show...visiting the various parties in Hollywood

MONDAY AM: So the Hollywood writers strike can now claim its first awards show casualty. I'm hearing from my sources that NBC will not be broadcasting the big Golden Globes show as planned for January 13th. Nor will even a full frills unbroadcasted dinner party be held, either. Instead, a stripped down news telecast will be aired exclusively by NBC News from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, site of what was supposed to be the big show, where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will announce the Golden Globe winners who won't be present in the room.

Here's what will happen next: The nominees -- actors, directors, writers, producers, etc -- will have a Red Carpet event outside the Beverly Hilton. Then they'll go inside and attend all the various Golden Globes side parties already planned for each film and TV show. The winners will have the choice of swinging by an HFPA table to pick up their awards and then strolling into a press room for photos and interviews. "It'll now be a news event where the actors can still get all glammed up," a source told me.

I've not yet received any official confirmation of any of this. But insiders tell me that NBC Universal topper Jeff Zucker and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which bestows the Golden Globes made the decision together to scale everything back into a news event. .

Personally, I find myself primarily in sympathy with the writers.  Their product is what they write.  Why should they not be compensated for the use of their product?  When new technologies emerge, why should others profit from the use of their product within these technologies while they get nothing?

Also, can anyone tell me who benefitting from this strike?  Can anyone show me which side is winning? 

I know that the producers THINK they can win because the losses they are sustaining at this moment might be more than compensated for by the additional profits they will realize if they beat the writers and/or break their union.  But a) the longer it goes on the less likely that is and b) this strike is going to cause - probably already has caused - hard feelings that will affect their working relationships for years and years to come.

I hope it ends soon.


HILLARY'S LATEST IRAQ POSITION (READ IT FAST BEFORE IT CHANGES AGAIN)

Ken Berwitz

The folks at www.sweetness-light.com have put together a compendium of Hillary Clinton's various positions on troop withdrawals in Iraq.  Anyone who thinks that Ms. Clinton has values beyond valuing a seat in the oval office should read it and learn the truth:

Hillarys Latest Flip-Flop On Troops In Iraq

January 7th, 2008

From the ABC News transcript of the Democrats New Hampshire debate:

TRANSCRIPT: ABC News/Facebook/WMUR Democratic Debate

GIBSON: So, I want to ask all of you: Are any of you ready to say that the surge has worked?

And Senator Clinton, let me start with you, because when General Petraeus was in Washington in September, you said it would take a willful suspension of disbelief to think that the surge could do any good.

CLINTON: And thats right. Because, remember, the purpose behind the surge was to create the space and time for political reconciliation, for the Iraqi government to do what only it can do and trying to deal with the myriad of unresolved problems that confront it.

And as your report said, you know, we have the greatest military in the world. We send in more of our troops, they will be able to dampen down the violence.

But there has not been a willingness on the part of the Iraqi government to do what the surge was intended to do, to push them to begin to make the tough decisions. And in the absence of that political action, 23 Americans dying in December is totally unacceptable.

You know, there is no more cause for us to be there if the Iraqis are just not going to do what they need to do to take care of their own country.

So its time to bring our troops home and to bring them home as quickly and responsibly as possible.

And unfortunately, I dont see any reason why they should remain beyond, you know, today.

I think George Bush doesnt intend to bring them home. But certainly I have said when Im president I will. Within 60 days, Ill start that withdrawal.

And yet this is what was reported by the New York Times last March:

Clinton Sees Some Troops Staying in Iraq if She Is Elected

By MICHAEL R. GORDON and PATRICK HEALY

March 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, March 14 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton foresees a remaining military as well as political mission in Iraq, and says that if elected president, she would keep a reduced but significant military force there to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.

In a half-hour interview on Tuesday in her Senate office, Mrs. Clinton said the scaled-down American military force that she would maintain in Iraq after taking office would stay off the streets in Baghdad and would no longer try to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence even if it descended into ethnic cleansing.

In outlining how she would handle Iraq as commander in chief, Mrs. Clinton articulated a more-nuanced position than the one she has provided at her campaign events, where she has backed the goal of bringing the troops home.

She said in the interview that there were remaining vital national security interests in Iraq that would require a continuing deployment of American troops.

The United States security would be undermined if parts of Iraq turned into a failed state that serves as a petri dish for insurgents and Al Qaeda, she said. It is right in the heart of the oil region. It is directly in opposition to our interests, to the interests of regimes, to Israels interests.

So I think it will be up to me to try to figure out how to protect those national security interests and continue to take our troops out of this urban warfare, which I think is a loser, Mrs. Clinton added. She declined to estimate the number of American troops she would keep in Iraq, saying she would draw on the advice of the military officers who would have to carry out the strategy

And more recently, from Hillarys lengthy exegesis on her foreign policy in the November/December 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs:

Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century

By Hillary Rodham Clinton

From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007

As we redeploy our troops from Iraq, we must not let down our guard against terrorism. I will order specialized units to engage in targeted operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and other terrorist organizations in the region. These units will also provide security for U.S. troops and personnel in Iraq and train and equip Iraqi security services to keep order and promote stability in the country, but only to the extent that such training is actually working.

I will also consider leaving some forces in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq in order to protect the fragile but real democracy and relative peace and security that have developed there, but with the clear understanding that the terrorist organization the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) must be dealt with and the Turkish border must be respected.

And yet now Mrs. Clinton says she cant see a single reason to leave any US troops in Iraq beyond today.

Cant the smartest woman in the world, this genius even remember her former positions?

Are they that unimportant to her?  .

Personally I think sweetness-light.com is too kind.  They accommodatingly left out Ms. Clinton's original position which was to authorize President Bush to use military force there -- after making several statements that she knew Iraq had WMD's.  Like this one, which Ms. Clinton stated well into her first term as a U.S. Senator and just months before our invasion:

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery program and his nuclear program.  He has given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al qaeda members.  It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons":  Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

Interesting, isn't it, that with the same intelligence information President Bush had Ms. Clinton came to the same conclusion.

But that was then and this is now.  Votes are votes and in the world of Clinton anything you can say to get them is fair game.  So her positions shift like college kids on a Twister mat.

Hubby Bill might have been able to pull this off.  He certainly did it while president.  But this not Hubby Bill, this is Wifey Hill.  And as I have said in the past, she has 100% of his willingness to lie, but no more than 20% of his talent for it.

 

steve schneider i especially enjoyed hillary educating us on the election in pakistan which last week she got wrong and no one called her on it, she did get it right at the debate. it was also very interesting to hear that she was responsible for schip which was signed into law in 1996, wasn't she elected in 2000? and lets not forget how "we" tried to take out bin ladin but he had left before the strike. was she responsible for the delay in giving the military the go ahead? maybe she just meant "we" as in the american people. who knows with her. it is fun watching her implode. steve (01/07/08)


THE UNREADABLE LUNATIC LEFT

Ken Berwitz

It's a pretty good bet you have never heard of a man (this is an assumption, I don't know for sure) named Adaner Usmani. 

Lucky you.

I just read - or, more exactly, waded neck-deep through - his latest column in the Harvard Crimson.  As a service to you I then waded through several of his previous columns. 

If there is a less readable lunatic left writer on earth, I am pleased to say I have not come across his/her material.

When it comes to the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade, this guy is not only a charter member, but an inspiration to the group.  Put another way, his head is so far up his rectum he can probably read his hat size through his ear canal.

Since I subjected myself to Usmani's latest LAMB manifesto, I feel you should at least have a chance to see what I read on your behalf.  Here it is for your, er, enjoyment:

Can Liberals End the War?
Anti-war action must be grounded in anti-imperial convictions
Published On 1/6/2008 11:56:05 PM
For the contemporary American Democrat, the brazen U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has been an epoch-making event. Naturally, liberal politics has made the war its rallying point: Insofar as the catastrophic situation in the region correlates to the incapacities of the Bush coterie, a Democratic alternative is expected in the White House by January 2009, at which point liberals everywhere anticipate a decisive break from the follies of the past.

However, beneath the optimism exuding from these dissidents there lurk very sinister premises that call their politics into question. Opposition to the Iraq War, when waged by the Democrats and their allies, has been scarred by its imperiality: Their activism has refused to recognize the occupation of Iraq as evidence of Americas hegemonic aspirations. In fact, liberal opposition typically enacts at least two imperial premises: first, that American lives and interests matter more than Iraqi ones, and second, that American foreign policy is generally benevolent. What opposition to the invasion of Iraq needs is a reappraisal of its relationship to Empire; unless it rejects explicitly the premises of that project, it will only help reproduce the tragedies that it purports to oppose.

First, the national interest. In its bumbling attempts to legitimize its misdeeds in Iraq, this administration rarely hesitates to claim that if we werent fighting them over there, theyd be fighting us over here. Setting the arguments spuriousness aside, it should be self-evident that it cynically appeals to a corrupt ethos; it can only be justified if Americans agree that the fact of mass-slaughter in Iraq is morally less problematic than potential mass-slaughter in the U.S. The obvious corollary of that position is that Iraqi lives matter less than American lives. We can agree that the rhetoric might often prove effective, because it feeds off residual patriotism and a climate of pervasive fear-mongering. But clever tactical ploys do not sound ethical precepts make.

Nationalism of this sort, of course, is foundational to any imperial project, insofar as Empire presumes the moral correctness of its expansive reach. And in its quest for consensus (or better polling figures, as todays tired political climate would have it), it only requires that not too many Americans disagree that their governments foreign policy be directed by a mandate to secure hegemony. In everyday rhetoric, includingtellinglyamong todays Democratic presidential hopefuls, this often translates into a pledge to protect national interests, come what may.

On our campus, official liberal opposition to the invasion of Iraq reproduces the pitfalls of this patriotism. I think back to the Harvard Democrats vigil marking the fourth anniversary of the invasion, whose Facebook invite featured prominently a red-white-and-blue-hued image of an American soldier. Again, even if we recognize that an American group trying to mobilize a (largely) American population will likely be most effective using American symbolism, constructing opposition to the invasion of Iraq on this sentiment will never challenge the entire enterprise fundamentally enough. To call for troop withdrawal on the basis of troop trauma leaves open the possibility of future interventions which might be less traumatic, when what really needs to be reasserted explicitly is the heinousness of Empire. Consider, for example, the comparatively muted response of liberals to the devastation of Afghanistan. Though there, in the words of the heroic Malalai Joya, American support for fundamentalist warlords [makes] a mockery of democracy, fewer troop casualties and lower overall costs allow Democrats to turn a blind eye.

Second, a faith in the good intentions of the American nation spawns two types of arguments about Iraq. The first variant, largely confined to the political Right, connives to apportion blame for the mess in Iraq to the Iraqis themselves. Aside from ignoring Coalition troops direct hand in Iraqi deaths (according to the Lancet study, 56 percent of all cases where a perpetrator was known, amounting to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), not to mention their role in fomenting Iraqs sectarian bloodshed, this claim whitewashes the gross illegality of their presence. In the words of the Nuremberg Tribunal, preemptive aggression of this sort constitutes the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole. Wheres the International Criminal Court when it matters?

A second variant of the belief in American benevolence deserves closer scrutiny. Here the incorrectness of the invasion of Iraq is admitted, but a select cabal of criminals is held responsible. Yet not only does this willfully ignore the bipartisan makings of the occupation itself (from Democrats sanctioning the initial invasion to their pithy, insipid opposition today), it demonstrates a deep-seated refusal to engage the historical role of the Democratic Party in fashioning imperial policy. In the specific context of Iraq, one only has to point to the murderous regime of sanctions in place from 1991-2003, which were conducted with the active consent of Clintons government (and condemned as genocidal by the former UN humanitarian coordinator in Baghdad). Or more generally, consider JFKs misadventures in Vietnam and Cuba, or even reputed peacenik Jimmy Carters preemptive meddling in Afghanistan.

Agitation against the invasion of Iraq simply must be purged of its imperial premises. As long American liberals neglect to make their opposition to Empire public and prominent, they will only continue to impede efforts to build a peaceful, habitable world.

Adaner Usmani 08 is a social studies concentrator in Dunster House. His column appears regularly
.
 
I never attended Harvard, so I don't know what a "social studies concentrator" is.  I do know that, for orange juice at least, it's not as good when it is made from concentrate, so maybe that explains the quality of Mr. Usmani's efforts to show me the correct path.
 
Also, his name may raise the issue of how that Harvard education is being financed.  Usmani is paying for it anyway?  Not mine, I'm happy to say.  Is it possible that this quality of "thought" is being nurtured through a scholarship? 
 
If ever there was a case of someone needing to get his/her head out of a dark, foreboding (and very smelly) place, this is it.
 


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!