Saturday, May 10, 2008

Support for US attack on Iran grows in Middle East

The potentially transforming events in the 2008 campaign are matters of war and peace. Both may be in play between now and November, in ways that add extra volatility to the presidential race. Let's start with war: The United States is already fighting two of them, in Iraq and Afghanistan. But judging from recent statements by administration officials, there is also a small, but growing, chance of conflict with Iran.

The administration is signaling the Iranians that they need to stop supplying and training Shiite militias in Iraq -- or run the risk of U.S. retaliation. The Maliki government in Baghdad, worried about the danger of escalation, is passing this message to Tehran, but so far the only consequence has been that the Iranians have broken off talks in Baghdad that were aimed at stabilizing the situation.

Saber rattling from the Bush White House may seem almost routine, but pay attention to the comment last week by Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Iran is not going away. We need to be strong and really in the deterrent mode, to not be very predictable."

The risk of a U.S.-Iranian confrontation is growing in part because Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the Middle East are so eager for it. "Behind closed doors, we are praying that the Iranians will make a mistake so that you will have a reason to attack," one Saudi told me this week. Another prominent Arab official said he hopes the United States will strike Iranian training camps just over the border from Iraq.

How would a U.S.-Iran confrontation play out in the campaign? Obviously, that depends on how you read the American political mood. Usually, we assume that the nation rallies around the party of war, but that's less certain in this case. America is war-weary, and it mistrusts President Bush. So a military skirmish with Iran might backfire, adding to public dissent -- much as happened with the Nixon administration's attack on Viet Cong sanctuaries in Cambodia in 1970.

Adding to the combustible mix is Hillary Clinton's hawkish position on Iran, which has support from the center-right of the party even if she drops out. Her rhetorical threat to "totally obliterate" Iran if it launched a nuclear attack against Israel was sharper than anything that has come out of the Bush White House. The anti-Iran stance from centrist Democrats blunts John McCain's appeal as the tough-guy candidate. But it complicates the Democrats' argument for withdrawing U.S. troops rapidly from Iraq, since the main beneficiary of such a move would be Tehran.



The Democrat defence of voter fraud

(Toon via Mamacita)



Real economic truth: "Does the media accurately report economic news? Some are raising that question after the release of several highly anticipated economic reports last week. The new data show that the United States is not in a recession, as the economy continues to grow. Fewer jobs have been lost than expected, with unemployment staying low at 5 percent. And the stock market has been surging over the last few months, with the Dow Jones Industrials average rising back over 13,000 last Thursday. But many news articles are painting a different picture. 'The bruised economy limped through the first quarter of this year,' the Associated Press reported. '... as housing and credit problems forced people and businesses alike to hunker down.' The article noted in the second paragraph that, 'the statistic did not meet what economists consider the classic definition of a recession.'"

British judge has obviously never heard of the age of responsibility: "A paedophile who molested an 11-year-old girl escaped jail yesterday when a judge ruled the victim had "welcomed" his advances. Judge Robert Atherton triggered outrage when he told Manchester Crown Court the child had invited Jon Dixon's attack as she had a "sexual awareness" that would make someone twice her age blush. The judge rejected an assessment by the probation service that Dixon, 20, posed a "high risk of serious harm to children".

Stopping promiscuity key to aids prevention: "The fight against the Aids epidemic in Africa is founded on ineffective strategies and should focus on male circumcision and reducing promiscuity, according to leading scientists in the field. HIV containment is generally based on the "three pillars" - promotion and provision of condoms, HIV status testing and treatment of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can increase the risk of becoming infected. There is little evidence, however, that any of these methods works well in sub-Saharan Africa, where two thirds of the 33.2 million people who carry the virus live, a review for the journal Science has found. It was published in a special issue to mark the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes Aids." [They think they can stop Africans from sleeping around by lecturing them??]

Hillary: Big rewards?: "Hillary may not want to stop until there's blood on the Convention floor, but apparently Big Rewards Await Clinton If She Ends Campaign Now. Like a Discover card, there are cash rewards. One of the most inviting is the near certainty that the Obama campaign would agree to pay back the $11.4 million she has loaned her own bid, along with an estimated $10 million to $15 million in unpaid campaign expenses."

Al-Masri the Egyptian falls : "Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq was captured today in the northern city of Mosul according to the Iraqi ministry of defense. Al-Masri's life parallels that of al-Qaeda itself. Born an Egyptian he followed al-Qaeda's fortunes from the Middle East to Central Asia and back. According to US sources, Masri was born in 1967, "joined the Muslim Brotherhood, and in 1982 ... joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which later became part of al-Qaeda. He went to Afghanistan in 1999, where he became an explosives expert. In 2004 he was put in charge of al-Qaeda's overseas networks, and in 2006 he succeeded al-Zarqawi as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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