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The Obama Legacy
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A recent interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic confirmed that President Barack Obama during his last few months in office has become focused on his legacy as president, considering how he would like to define himself in the widely anticipated monstrous presidential library that soon will be rising in his name at the University of Chicago.

To be sure, Obama’s record as president has been mixed. As a traditional non-GOP non-neocon conservative I have been dismayed by a number of domestic policies, most particularly gender pandering, as well as by the Administration’s tendency to periodically produce the race card for political gain and employ racial tokenism in its senior level appointments while actually doing little to help working people of any color in this country. That the White House should feel it important to further dumb down educational standards to make them more “inclusive” while also mandating what kinds of toilets one is allowed to use in schools or insisting that women should by right have jobs in the military that they are physically incapable of performing is little more than blatant appeals to the proclivities of some perceived constituencies in the Democratic Party in an election year. It has nothing to do with actual constitutional rights and is not what one elects a president to do.

Obamacare is something more serious and, in my mind, disastrous. In my own experience, working for a non-profit foundation, I saw health insurance for our three employees go from less than $1,000 per month to nearly twice that in 2013 the first year Obamacare was introduced then to more than $3,200 per month in 2014 with a warning that it would go up again by at least 25% in 2015. At that point we were compelled to drop the insurance. Now it appears that several large health insurance companies are also refusing to participate in the program because of the losses that they are sustaining.

Obamacare might make sense for that proportion of the population that cannot afford healthcare at all unless it is paid for in full by the government or heavily subsidized, but what about the rest of us? The concept of providing mandatory insurance coverage bothers me somewhat constitutionally speaking but it is the failure to make any attempt to control prices while turning the system over to for profit insurance companies that resulted in a plan that was guaranteed to fail. At what point will healthcare become unaffordable for most people? That point might soon be here.

But the real Obama legacy might well be his foreign policy. He has done two things that I think were admirable. First, against stiff domestic opposition from Congress and the media as well as threats from the Israeli government, he was able to enter into a multilateral agreement with Iran to limit and monitor that country’s nuclear program. Second, he took major steps to normalize relations with Cuba, something that was long overdue. Both of these steps were and still are controversial but both served U.S. national interests. I do not believe that Iran ever posed any serious threat against the United States but an agreement that would limit the country’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon has to be considered good for everyone except the Israelis and their many fans in Washington who want a war.

Likewise, the sanctions and restrictions on travel to Cuba did nothing to liberalize the country or change its government. Cuba as an alleged exporter of terrorism was a product of 1980s fearmongering, most of which was carried out by Cuban exiles and the politicians they were able to buy or coerce, some of whom are named Rubio, Cruz and Ros-Lehtinen. Cuba will change for the better much more quickly now that it does not have an existential enemy just over the horizon that it can point to justify its one-party rule type of government.

But the Obama legacy in foreign policy also has considerable downside. One might argue, and I might even agree, that the president has been averse to heavy handed military intervention in other countries, the hallmark of the preceding George W. Bush Administration. But if Obama has been reluctant to get deeply into conflict zones he has nevertheless extended the range laterally, getting involved in more places more often than Bush did. He and his advisers have embraced the principle that the United States has the right, indeed the duty, to serve as not only the absurd “Leader of the Free World” but also as the arbiter of international standards for nearly everyone else, beliefs that drove the regime change in Libya as well as the attempts to do the same in Damascus. Indeed, Obama, having pointlessly drawn “red lines,” would have greatly escalated his intervention in Syria over the fraudulent claims of regime use of chemical weapons if the intelligence had not been so flawed and the popular reaction against more war had not been so pronounced.

And Obama has also employed new weapons to eliminate suspected terrorists that even the Bushies were reluctant to use, most notably assassination by drone of U.S. citizens without any serious due process based on a White House managed “kill list.” The White House has demonstrated leadership in the use of killer drones globally, with at least nineteen countries now following suit and deploying the armed version. ISIS is also believed to be developing its own drone capabilities. Drones protect the operator, who is often many miles away from the killing field, but they are far from the precision instruments of death that the Pentagon and CIA have claimed them to be. Thousands of civilians have died in strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the two most targeted of the seven countries that have experienced attacks from armed U.S. drones under orders from Obama.

When challenged in court over extrajudicial killing and torture, Obama has not hesitated to invoke state secrets privilege to derail the proceedings, having done so more times than all his predecessors combined and making it impossible for anyone to obtain redress against the government through the judiciary. He has also pursued and punished alleged whistleblowers more aggressively than his predecessors. A president who promised transparency and accountability apparently decided that government secrecy was really much more to his taste.

Obama’s most troubling legacy is, however, something he inherited and expanded on from his predecessor. His successful assertion of an unconstitutional executive right to exercise preemptive and nearly constant intervention everywhere in the world under his own authority has de facto institutionalized the practice. And it has been accomplished without any challenge or hindrance from the judicial and legislative checks and balances built into the Constitution of the United States plus only limited pushback from the media.

Under Obama the United States currently has “boots on the ground” in seven countries, an expansion of the “war on terror” that he inherited from George W. Bush. They are Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and the Philippines. The only countries with multiple thousands of U.S. military on the ground are Afghanistan and Iraq, but the numbers are also rising in every other country where there is a presence. Plus there is considerable offshoring of military intervention, using airpower based at various points in the Middle East as well as carrier based planes and cruise missiles. All the fighting in every country is focused on “militant Islam,” which, not surprisingly, many of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims have noticed.

And there is more. The White House has persisted in dealing with Russia as if it were an enemy rather than just a competitor. It has shifted troops into Eastern Europe close to the Russian border and has installed anti-ballistic missile defenses. It has provided military equipment and advisers to dysfunctional frontline states like Ukraine and Georgia while snubbing outreach by President Vladimir Putin. It was only when Russia pulled America’s chestnuts out of the fire in Syria that the White House reluctantly decided that cooperating with Putin was a lot better than allowing the bloody status quo to continue.

China, which, like Russia, threatens the U.S. only in the feverish fantasies of some neoconservatives, has also been on the receiving end of a pivot to Asia, with America’s armed forces staging demonstration flybys and naval displays of strength to discourage the Yellow Peril. It has also led to the usual disparaging of foreigners being not quite like us, with the White House producing gems like urging support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it is better if we determine trade policy rather than China, which doesn’t “share our values.” Never mentioned is the perception that “managed trade” has recently been great for elites and globalists like the Clintons, Bushes and Romneys but terrible for the working and middle classes in most of the countries involved.

So it is ironic that Barack Obama, whose margin of victory in 2008 was clearly due to voters who wanted peace, has become the stealth war president, continuing most of what he inherited while starting two new wars in Syria and Libya. Some have likened his two terms of office as a continuation of George W. Bush, but in reality he is in some ways worse as Bush openly played the “new sheriff in town” while Obama has wrapped his aggression in high minded platitudes and dissimulation. But the most serious damage he has done has been here at home, to the Constitution. His successful assertion of virtually unrestrained executive authority to initiate military action that expanded on the Bush precedent will surely be welcomed by Hillary when she opts to bomb Tehran in January 2017.

 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: Barack Obama, Obamacare 
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  1. Note Obama’s recent deployment of American combat troops to Syria, Yemen, Libya, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and even the nation of Georgia. This extreme imperial overreach will cost billions of dollars annually and may cause a major war. Obama is making a mockery of his Nobel Peace prize. It seems like our Generals want to spark a war before Trump arrives and orders them home.

    We see little of this news in our corporate media, but endless Trump smears, like that he may have called a few reporters 25 years ago and pretended he was his spokesman. Yet no news of H. Clinton’s illegal and disastrous overthrow of the wealthiest African nation – Libya. That nation had free health care until Hillary “freed” it, and thousands perished.

    Here is a great, short video clip of an American Admiral baffled by common sense offered by a reporter who explains that NATO’s expansion is provocative, not Russia’s reaction.

    • Replies: @VisPacem
    , @tbraton
  2. let’s be a little more optimistic and hope trump gets in.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  3. utu says:

    “First, against stiff domestic opposition from Congress and the media as well as threats from the Israeli government, he was able to enter into a multilateral agreement with Iran to limit and monitor that country’s nuclear program. ” – It sounds too good to be true. I do not believe that POTUS has that much power to be able to go against the Israel lobby. It can’t be for real!

  4. “Barack Obama, whose margin of victory in 2004 was clearly due to voters who wanted peace”

    It just seems that long, Phil, because nothing substantial changed in our dirge to destruction.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    See the forest for the trees?

    Does an illiterate narcissistic parroting *ss-clown have a legacy?

    Why focus on Obongo, a hapless character that outdoes even the North Korean characterization of himself, when his white masters pulling his strings is perfectly visible and everywhere to be seen?

  6. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says:

    OJ and Obama have something in common. Both got away with murder. OJ killed Nicole and some Jewish guy, and Obama’s wars killed countless people in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine.

    Both crooks go free.

    This vermin Obama who destroyed entire nations will rake in $100 million from speeches within the first 5 yrs after he leaves Office.

    This is a sick country.

    Damn the Glob that made Obama prez.

  7. Kiza says:

    Dear US citizens, if you think Obama was bad and warmonger, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Even in her first year of presidency, Hitlary Clinton will escalate all of Obama’s wars and start twice as much new wars – especially the one against Iran and a direct one against Russia, instead of getting Turks to shoot-down Russian planes.

    As to Trump, he is an unknown. Does he want to and will he be able to resist the MIPC (Military Industrial Propaganda Complex)? I wish I knew, the old skeptic in me says – tough chance!

    To Oslo: the Democratic Super PAC would like to nominate Hitlary Clinton for the Nobel Peace Prize even before she is elected. Why wait almost a year as for Obama? Why wait for her to kill her first million of people to get the peace prize? Give it to her now and only the total population of the planet (that is billions) will be the limit.

  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Mr. Obama was first elected in 2008, not 2004. It does seem that long, though, doesn’t it?

    Mr. Giraldi, although one of my favorites here, unwittingly contributes to the President-as-Emperor syndrome by chronicling our government in these terms. The Congress that has enabled all of these horrible, unconstitutional developments, and the courts that when given the chance have largely condoned them, are barely mentioned.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  9. VisPacem says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    “I barely got a history of degree from the University of South Florida.”

    That this sort of vacuous, ignorant technocratic idiot who may affect international policies of the U.S. and the destiny of the world is utterly incredible!

  10. @anonymous

    Thanks anonymous – I corrected the date, and you are absolutely correct that the enabling of Obama and Bush in their overreach is a product of congressional and judicial failure.

    • Agree: tbraton
    • Replies: @anonymous
  11. geokat62 says:

    As usual, great article Phil. Not to be overly pedantic, but I would have recommended the addition of these words to your closing sentence:

    “His successful assertion of virtually unrestrained executive authority to initiate military action that expanded on the Bush precedent will surely be welcomed by Hillary when she opts to bomb Tehran in January 2017,” after entering into a Faustian bargain with The Lobby – one in which she will become the first woman POTUS in exchange for taking the “special relationship” to the next level.

    • Replies: @iffen
  12. tbraton says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    “Yet no news of H. Clinton’s illegal and disastrous overthrow of the wealthiest African nation – Libya. That nation had free health care until Hillary “freed” it, and thousands perished.”

    Actually, the NY Times ran a long two-part article (Sunday and Monday) at the end of February, which is rather surprising considering that the Times is clearly in Clinton’s corner. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/us/politics/hillary-clinton-libya.html (you can click on the link to Part II at the end of Part I)

    In contrast, the Times this past Sunday ran a ridiculous hit piece on Donald Trump and his relationship with women, which has been discredited by the principle woman featured in the article. That same Sunday, the NY Post ran an article on the Clinton Foundation’s diversion of several million dollars to a company owned by a close female friend of Bill Clinton’s, and the Times, thus far, has not written a word about that scandal. I watched a couple of talk shows on Sunday which alluded to the Times’ article and “Trump’s problems with women,” which was a totally spurious representation of the incompetent anti-Trump propaganda.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  13. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Philip Giraldi

    You’re very gracious. With another cup of coffee in the tank, I see that you do, in fact, mention more substantially the other, servile “branches” of the national government.

    The problem, for which you bear no fault, is that people have accepted this imperial descent. I should have ended my previous comment, ” … are barely considered by American voters, who seem to have accepted the notion that they need to think about what is done in Washington only every fourth year.”

    I want to also thank you for engaging those of us who submit comments.

  14. @tbraton

    Thanks. I too read the Times article with astonishment. It made the point that Trump is attracted to beautiful women. So am I and so are most of the men I know. You better believe that the media will be Hillary’s fifth column in the upcoming presidential campaign. There are multiple hit pieces nearly every day in rags like the Washington Post and the most critical thing they can come up with about Hillary is that she is not an effective campaigner (meaning that they wish she were more effective). She is the epitome of a corrupt establishment candidate who will do terrible damage to our country if she and Bill are empowered again.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @tbraton
  15. iffen says:
    @geokat62

    I would have recommended the addition

    I knew that we could depend on you to fill in the blanks, geo. But then, not everyone agrees that the blanks are there so that is a problem.

    Faustian bargain

    Doesn’t one have to have a soul in order to enter into this bargain?

    • Replies: @geokat62
  16. Marcus says:

    Hard to find many positives, I guess Iran and Cuba? I had hopes that he would drive a harder bargain with Israel, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

  17. Rehmat says:

    Naturally, Mr. Giraldi, no one expect Jeffrey Goldberg , the Israeli prison guard turned Israeli propagandist, to acknowledge that Barack Hussein Obama during his eight years in the White House has tried his best to go in American history as the country’s FIRST JEWISH PRESIDENT by destroying several anti-Israel Muslim nations.

    “I think when it is all over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first Jewish president,” – Abner Mikvaner, former Chicago’s Zionist Congressman, a Federal Judge and White House counsel to former president Bill Clinton.

    https://rehmat1.com/2008/12/13/obama-the-first-jewish-president/

  18. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The ‘hope&change’ thingy hasn’t panned out very well, has it? Are we any better off now than before he took office? Answer is no. He seems to have been just a PR frontman rationalizing policies made elsewhere, by the ‘deep state’ or however one wants to term it. The Iran and Cuba initiatives were long overdue ones that took place while he was in office so he takes the credit even though he probably was out golfing or fundraising at black-tie parties while others decided it was time to do it. He has no original thoughts whatsoever but just relies on refining already existing formulas. Being black and being gay were the main two things he seemed to have a personal interest in.

  19. Kiza says:
    @Philip Giraldi

    Dear Mr Giraldi, to offer to you and to readers a view from the remote provinces of the USraeli empire, please let me provide an update from Australia. Even for the usual high-sycophancy standards of the Australian MSM, the anti-Trump campaign breaks new ground. I have never seen such open hunting season on any individual ever (not even Paulin Henson was treated like this – Australians know well who she was). There is virtually no program which has news in its name or current affairs, which does not engage in the bashing and daily. Last time I watched, they brought a lady who worked for the Carson’s campaign and tried to bash her up for not accepting that Trump is a vile misogynist. They softly promote Clinton and bash Trump up hard. Therefore, the problem with the Australian MSM is the same as with their US counterpart – they really think they can get away with absolutely anything, their belief in the limitless stupidity of their audience.

    Firstly, it makes me wonder what all these ass-lickers, including British Cameron and the Australian presstitutes will do if the US people’s will wins by electing Trump.

    Secondly, the ferocity of MSM anti-Trumpism in Australia suggests that Trump may not be an agent of faux change like Obama (Mr Ron Paul may be wrong about Trump).

    Finally, the behaviour exhibited by the establishments in the provinces makes me think that if Trump really shakes up the Status Quo in the empire, the ripple effect will be felt to the furthest corner of the empire. The ossified Washington establishment is only the visible part of the iceberg, whilst there is a deep hierarchy below the surface. In other words, it is not only the Washington cockroaches who are scared for their feed, the provincial ones are in total panic.

    • Replies: @schmenz
  20. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says:

    We now have a contest between Illiberals(as liberals are not liberal) and Unconservatives(as conservatives are not conservative). Illiberals follow PC, and Unconservatives also follow PC, only one step behind.

    If there is a way by which the Democrats and Republicans grow closer, it is by betraying their core principles. Democrats dump the People by favoring vain homos and immigrant scab-labor who favor the globalist elite minority, esp the Jews. And Republicans dump true values and tradition to win favor with globalist elite neocons. Thus, both sides prioritize serving the political and economic interests of the globalist Jewish elite minority. It’s no wonder that there is greatest amity between both parties at AIPAC orgies where Hillary and Trump could be doing a 69 on each other.

    Why is it like this? It’s because politics in the US is essentially ethno-dominant.

    When Wasps ruled America, political coloring followed Wasp interests.

    Now that Jews rule America, both ideologies of right and left reflect Jewish interests.
    Jews are more dangerous because, unlike Wasps, they don’t admit to their power and privilege. They keep mentioning ‘white privilege’ to hide their own.

    We need to remove the smoke-and-mirrors and de-abstract the political struggles.

    It’s not about left vs right or liberal or conservative.

    It is mainly about Jews vs whites vs blacks vs browns vs yellows, and etc.

    ‘Diversity’ is also smoke-and-mirrors that obfuscate issues. Blacks have been fooled into thinking ‘diversity’ is good for them since it will ensure Democratic victory over the Republican.
    But look at California. Diversity via more immigration has led to Hispanic/Asian eclipsing of black power. Indeed, blacks have more clout in the Republican Deep South where the mix is mostly white and black. If Democrats win by more diversity, it mean the rise of Jewish-white-illiberal-Asian-Hispanic power than black power.

    Whites tried for colorblind society but the rise of multi-culturalism and diversity-mongering destroyed that, and there is no going back.

    It is all about identity. So, white people need to ask “is it good for whites?” before “is it liberal?” or “is it conservative?” When both ‘liberalism’ and ‘conservatism’ are so cucked out, whites need to put whiteness first and foremost.

    Identitarianism is the only option.

    WHITE LIVES MATTER.

    That is the only way, the only thing that matters now.

  21. bondo says:

    oreobama synagogue/house negro hoofer and songster ball player and fly swatter liar and mass murderer psychopath and comic

    ready for 2 maybe 3 more nobels. how many millions murdered = a nobel

    iraq/pak/afgan (never to end) libya syria (also never to end) palestine (the 2 pebbles left) yemen lebanon (trying to exhaust hezbullah iran (forget the nuke BS. still war) ukraine/russia n korea china different war to be waged against cuba already started venezuela brazil honduras argentina pretty sure the azeri-armen conflict begins in DC and others cant recall

    cant forget war most near:

    u.s. middle class lower class dumpster class. the 75% headed for dumpster alley

    war war war all with a smile joke

    nothing christian about him.

    killer knowing he will get away with genocide on top of genocide

    pure jew (simply note israel the pure unrestrained jew in action)

  22. It’s pretty clear that Bibi hates Obama. Bibi wanted the U.S. to destroy the Persians for him because he can’t do it himself. So Obama cant be all bad. But Obama leaves the country poorer and less free than he found it. Not because he tried and failed but because he served only the deep state. That is his legacy.

  23. schmenz says:
    @Kiza

    Kiza,

    I would bet, being the cynic I am, that if Trump accepts the Adelson millions (please God he won’t) you will see a sudden change in the media depiction of Trump. They will still criticize him of course, but with far less virulence. He will suddenly emerge as “presidential” and not so bad after all.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    • Replies: @iffen
  24. iffen says:
    @schmenz

    being the cynic I am

    I doubt that you are all that cynical.

    I suspect that you suffer from Jews on the Brain Disease like a good many of the commenters and contributors to Unz.

    God, I hope I can’t catch it just by reading Unz and the comments.

    • Replies: @schmenz
    , @geokat62
  25. schmenz says:
    @iffen

    As I said, iffen, I hope I’m wrong.

  26. Phil, you’ve managed to find THE ONLY two good things that Obama has done. Naturally these are opposed by psychos like Hillary.

  27. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says:

    Washington Consensus is built on Liberals being Illiberals and Conservatives being Unconservatives. Both are, however, totally united in their pro-Zio-Globalism.

    US politics isn’t about Liberals vs Conservatives.

    It is about Illibs versus Uncons.

    Illiberals use PC to undermine true liberalism(freedom of thought & expression and rule of law), and Unconservatives undermine true conservatism(respect for tradition, continuity, and rule of law).

    So, even when ‘Liberals’ win, we have Illiberalism. Even when ‘Conservatives’ win, we have Unconservatism.

    So, we need to talk about Illibs and Uncons.

  28. Dr. X says:

    So it is ironic that Barack Obama, whose margin of victory in 2008 was clearly due to voters who wanted peace

    Voters didn’t “want peace.” Republican voters wanted decisive victory, and Democrat voters wanted to blame Bush.

    …[Obama] has become the stealth war president, continuing most of what he inherited while starting two new wars in Syria and Libya.

    Not only did Obama lie outright about about ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two new ones he started are blatantly in violation of the War Powers Act of 1973. Which just goes to show that the so-called “peace movement” is comprised of partisan hypocrites. Can you imagine what MoveOn.org and Code Pink would have done if Bush had bombed Syria and Libya without Congressional authorization? You’d have Vietnam-style riots and they’d be smashing windows and burning cars.

    Republican wars = bad, Democrat wars = good.

    Obama has also employed new weapons to eliminate suspected terrorists that even the Bushies were reluctant to use, most notably assassination by drone of U.S. citizens without any serious due process based on a White House managed “kill list.”

    And the arrogant little punk in the White House actually had the gall to brag “I’m pretty good at killing people.” Yeah, Barry, I’d like to see you lead a bayonet charge, Mr. Tough Guy…

    God… how much lower can this country possibly sink?

    • Replies: @annamaria
  29. annamaria says:
    @Dr. X

    The legacy: http://thesaker.is/takfiri-terrorists-us-plot-against-resistance-nasrallah/
    Comments section: “…an astonishing milestone in the truth being told about the mercenary terrorists created by the US as an attack against Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Iran – on behalf of Israel…This attack is now admitted in the words of US figures such as Hillary Clinton and Gen. Wesley Clarke.”

  30. geokat62 says:
    @iffen

    God, I hope I can’t catch it just by reading Unz and the comments.

    If you are so concerned about catching it, why not do the safe thing and leave?

    But something tells me you’re willing to risk hanging around here, just so you can continue your self-appointed job of acting as the Thought Police – i.e., actively searching for people who commit unsavory “thought crimes.”

    • Replies: @iffen
  31. geokat62 says:
    @iffen

    But then, not everyone agrees that the blanks are there so that is a problem.

    Some more blank filling:

    Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler

    Last night Chris Matthews did a Hardball segment titled, “How Hillary Became a Hawk,” with Mark Landler, whose reporting for the New York Times on Clinton’s foreign policy has been so electrifying in recent weeks. Landler just published a book called Alter Egos, about the struggle over foreign policy between (secretary of state) Hillary Clinton and (president) Barack Obama.

    Hillary Clinton “was most willing to see interventions ending with a good outcome. That’s what made her very different from President Obama who I think generally viewed interventions as ending with a bad outcome,” Landler said.

    Landler: She still defaults to the belief that American intervention can be a good thing. Obama simply had a different view of these interventions… The Iraq war was for him a formative foreign policy experience. Probably the most important one he had, and the one he brought into office with him. Where she had seen some things work out well. The Balkan intervention–

    Matthews: Her key decision politically which hurt her in the 2008 race was supporting the authorization for going to war in Iraq. How did she turn on that… How did she get to that decision. How has she reviewed it since?

    Landler: First of all, She’s acknowledged that was a mistake

    Matthews: What’s that mean, though, what’s mistake mean?

    Landler: OK, she’s acknoweldged that was a mistake because she said she wasn’t given access to the full intelligence dossier, right?

    Matthews: That’s not a mistake.

    Landler: And the point is she didn’t read the full NIE that actually talked about whether Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or not.

    Matthews: Well did he have nuclear weapons? I’ve got no evidence that ever have suggested we knew or thought he did. But they sold it.

    Landler: That’s right. She sort of hung it on her being deceived by the administration when the argument is she probably didn’t do adequate due diligence to figure out the truth.

    Matthews: Why did she want to vote yes?

    Landler: I think it was a combination of what I said earlier, which is her own instincts, plus you have to also acknowledge, New York senator, post-9/11, worried about her own–

    Matthews: Concerned about Israel, too.

    Landler: Precisely. Worried about her own possible political future.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/supported-matthews-landler/

    • Replies: @Dr. X
  32. iffen says:
    @geokat62

    I am learning way too much in this rabbit hole to leave now. I have never learned so much in such a short time, some things from you geo. I must say one has to wade through with heavy boots sometimes. That is my real interest. I do like for people to be straight forward, not disingenuous, not deceptive. I do look for thought crimes. I am watching your comments to see if I can determine if you were truthful when you told be you didn’t know what 88 meant. I think you were pulling my leg. That’s okay if you were. I am not as concerned with thought crimes as I am with people who have them and write about them and then expect me not to notice. Go ahead, be a WN, a fascist, a racist, or an 88, just don’t pretend you are the 2nd coming of Mother Teresa when you (not you geo, the editorial you) do it.

    I clicked the edit. I thought we were developing some rapport. I would never ask you to leave, shut up, maybe, but never to leave.

  33. Dr. X says:
    @geokat62

    Israel OWNS Hillary Clinton like a pimp owns a call girl.

    Hillary’s daughter is married to a Jew. Bill Clinton’s entire foreign policy team during the 1990s was Jewish — William Cohen, Secretary of Defense; Madeline Albright, Secretary of State; Shmuel Berger, National Security Adviser (who pled guilty to the crime of stealing NSA documents from the National Archives to protect the Clinton legacy); and Wesley Clark, architect of the unprovoked U.S. attack against Serbia. (Yes, Clark is Jewish. Surprised the hell out of me, too.)

    If Hillary get elected (shudder) Tel Aviv will be the de facto capital of the U.S.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @geokat62
  34. “WHITE LIVES MATTER.”

    Everybody’s do, as Trump pointed out when he talked about the ‘yuge’ number of foreigners killed by these useless wars.

    But truth be told, no lives matter, except their own, to the elites who own politicians and policy.

    Red and yellow, black and white, we ain’t precious in their sight.

  35. I am curious Phil – how much independence do you think high level politicians have? We have seen over the course of many years a seemingly similar direction of our government in most all important ways outside of occasional social causes for as long as I can remember. We saw both Bill Clinton and Obama speak like leftists before they were elected, not entirely, but to a good degree, and then when elected we saw a seeming continuum of political will at that level of power – both economically and in foreign policy (neoliberal + neoconservative both at the same time). I say seeming because it seems to be that although it appears that the power dynamic at the highest levels appear unchanged regardless of the occupant of the oval office or who fills seats in congress – policy does seem to slightly shift – but to me it looks like it is based more on trial and error then a strategic shift based on the shift of one administration or political party in power to another.

    Also, what do you think of the current assault in the media on the Saudis? All negative for more than a month now. Plus all the bad press towards the Iraqi leadership lately? It looks to me that the powers that be are trying to get them both to accept the end of the Syrian conflict AND the break-up of Iraq with the creation of a Kurdistan as a base for American power in the region. Do you think that it is possible? I don’t think Hillary wants to be involved in that mess – too many eyes are on her now when it comes to foreign policy, making it difficult to go down that road for her if she wants to be reelected in 2020, at least I believe that is the thinking – not to prove her naysayers correct when they claim she is a neocon and too hawkish. Making it likely for Obama to be the one to quickly get wanted foreign objectives in that region quickly taken care of before the election.

  36. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think you meant to write: “If Trump gets elected (shudder) Jerusalem will be the de facto capital of the U.S.” You do recall Trump’s speech before AIPAC?

  37. Kiza says:
    @Dr. X

    From what I read, Chelsea’s husband is Jewish but he is not a member of the clan. He has been a failure in finance, because he bet on Greece just before the wolves were unleashed. This could be lies, of course, but I feel that you are barking up a wrong tree when involving the daughter. Simply, Hillary is pimp Bibi’s main call girl, yes. Billy a call boy, yes. But leave the daughter out.

    In general, not everybody Jewish is the member of the clan (member of the chosen). I thought this was obvious but maybe it needs saying again and again because some people lose perspective.

    • Agree: edNels
    • Replies: @iffen
  38. geokat62 says:
    @Dr. X

    Israel OWNS Hillary Clinton like a pimp owns a call girl.

    Careful, the thought police may come knocking on your door in the middle of the night to ask you a few questions. It will be clear from their line of questioning that they are trying to establish whether you are afflicted with “Jews on the Brain Disease.” Those that are deemed so afflicted are immediately sent off to Gitmo for rehabilitation. Once at Gitmo, you will be subjected to Adorno’s F-scale test (the F stands for Fascist) to confirm whether their suspicions that you are suffering from an authoritarian personality structure were correct. A score of above 80 on the F-scale test usually indicates that the subject may be suffering from severe antisemitism. You will only be released iffen when your test score drops below 80.

    • Replies: @iffen
  39. bondo says:

    somewhere sometime during first term the obamanation declared he didnt care if he was re elected.

    so why didnt you show any back bone and try to accomplish something worthwhile for americans?

    forgot

    your mission did not include americans.

    your mission was jewry/israel and the non jews in the .001%

    mission accomplished.

    more or less.

    still gotta find more lunatics to shovel into syria.

    before you go can we see those blank 28 pages?

  40. iffen says:
    @Kiza

    people lose perspective

    I always try to pay attention to what an expert in the field has to say on the subject.

  41. iffen says:
    @geokat62

    Israel OWNS Hillary Clinton like a pimp owns a call girl.

    Only until such time as another pimp offers her a better deal.

    Some, many, all.

    Many (most?) authoritarian personalities are not fascists, all fascists are not Nazis, some fascists are not anti-Semitic, all Nazis are anti-Semitic.

    Iffen when I get my anti-Semitic test perfected, I will give you a copy, geo. It is in the early stage of development, not even a beta available.

    I may have to follow your missives during the election, geo. I am a little confused as to whether an Edelson supported Trump would be better for the US than a Netanyahu supported Clinton.

  42. @Lemurmaniac

    If you think trump would be any different, you are gonna have a bad time.

    @article obama care is stupid as fuck, we need a single payer system. for the entire country.

    • Replies: @bondo
  43. bondo says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    obamacare aka the health care obamanation Is stupid for americans.
    but
    the prez cares nothing for americans.
    that program is to insure insurance cos get premiums.
    get subsidized
    be indebted
    even after death

  44. tbraton says:
    @Philip Giraldi

    PG, I am a creature of habit. For many years, I used to watch the PBS News Hour from 6 to 6:30 and then switch over to NBC Nightly News from 6:30 to 7. About a year ago, I changed my routine somewhat, switching to Fox News from 6 to 6:30, but sticking with NBC News from 6:30 to 7. I am appalled by what purports to pass as “news” on NBC these days. Last Friday, for example, they led off with a story the Post had run that morning about Trump supposedly posing as his publicist back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Then, for the next 10 minutes, we were treated to a blatant anti-Trump flurry of stories where you had to search for news value. It was like an infomercial for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party. I am aware that the networks have always been somewhat biased in their presentation of the news, but they seem to have abandoned all subtlety in their conversion to outright propaganda organs. Back in ’92, for example, when Bill Clinton was running on “it’s the economy, stupid,” I can remember NBC Nightly News running a clip virtually each evening showing a long line of workers showing up for an announced job opening somewhere in the U.S., even though the economy had bottomed out in March 1991 after one of the shortest and mildest post-WWII recessions. I do not remember NBC Nightly News running similar shots during the first few years of the Obama Presidency, when the economy experienced a much more severe downturn. I don’t know whether that was because there were fewer job openings during the Obama recovery or whether Americans were just not as interested in working as they were before.

    After thinking about that NY Times hit piece against Trump on Sunday, I have concluded that the one woman Trump would definitely not like to see in a bikini is Hillary Clinton.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  45. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @tbraton

    Anybody else happen to see Jeopardy the other night? No TV in our home, but I have become a fairly regular viewer at the home of a loved one.

    Anyway, the special “power” contestants playing for their charities of choice were Anderson Cooper, someone named Lara Logan (?) with shimmying cleavage, and former R figurehead Michael Steele. Mr. Trebek’s opening yikyak with Mr. Steele was a painfully scripted swipe at (an unnamed) Mr. Trump in the context of the GOP’s need to become more serious at the nominating convention — downright creepy.

    None of the three contestants was very impressive; each seemed pretty shallow and witlessly self-absorbed. The final question, a layup, sought the name of the country, other than India and Afghanistan, with predominant Pashtun and Punjabi populations. Mr. Cooper and Ms. Logan correctly named Pakistan. Mr. Steele couldn’t even hazard a guess — “a country far, far away” was his response.

    Someone could use snips to create a powerful indictment of our supposed betters. I’m still not voting. But it’s becoming easier to root for Mr. Trump!

    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
  46. @anonymous

    Yes, my dear anonymous, I watched that episode of Jeopardy!, and was appalled at the ignorance of the “Power” contestants. The same was true of the episode whose contestant panel included Meet The Press host Chuck Todd who also revealed his own gobsmacking ignorance (his two competitors also showed how benighted they are).

    But I didn’t need to watch those episodes to have long ago recognized that too many of the West’s leading lights are as dim as the underside of a sewer plate.

    • Replies: @tbraton
  47. geokat62 says:

    Here’s what antiwar.com has just posted at the top of their homepage, as part of their latest fundraising campaign:

    $3.5 Billion Isn’t Enough – Israel Wants More

    And you’ll be paying for it!

    Yes, the Israelis want more. And our craven politicians are going to give it to them. Who will pay for it? The answer is: you!

    When the powerful Israel lobby tells the politicians in Washington [to jump], their response is: “How high?” That’s because they don’t work for you – they work for the lobbyists who fund their campaigns.

    Even as Israel defies the US, insults our officials, and shoots Palestinian children dead in the streets, they have the nerve to demand yet more cash from our fast-emptying coffers. And they get it!

    But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Unlike other “peace” groups, we don’t turn a blind eye to this outrage. We’ve been exposing the Israel lobby for 20 years, as long as we’ve been around.
    http://antiwar.com

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @annamaria
  48. geokat62 says:
    @geokat62

    It looks like Yakov Hirsch will also have to be subjected to the F-scale test:

    So Chas Freeman gave a speech in Moscow! Is that here to suggest Chas Freeman is some sort of traitor? Or is it supposed to remind people of the Pale of Settlement? Definitely “Moscow” means something bad for Freeman. Maybe Eli Lake just put Moscow there to let each individual reader make their own negative association. So Chas Freeman in “Moscow” said that Israel has some fanatical supporters who are very aggressive in pursuing what they claim is in the American Interest but was ALWAYS in the state of Israel’s interest. Perhaps “fifth columnist” is too strong a term, but then again it may not be. We are going to explore that question in the coming weeks. And what if we discover together that 5th columnist is the most appropriate word; well then we are stuck in a situation where the truth is anti-Semitic.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/readers-realists-mearsheimer/

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @anonymous
  49. iffen says:
    @geokat62

    Thanks for the link, geo. I thought is was a very good and informative article. That type of writing and dissection is right up my alley.

    I notice by your bolding that you and I both keyed on a very interesting line.

    we are stuck in a situation where the truth is anti-Semitic

    I am filing this question away for further thought.

    My 1st instinct is that the truth cannot be anti-Semitic.

    OTOH it is evident that the “truth” of the differences in genetic variation between groups can fall into the technical definition of what has traditionally been defined as racism.

    Hard problem.

  50. tbraton says:

    PG, there are a number of stories out this morning concerning statements made by Donald Trump in a call-in to Morning Joe this morning re Syria and ISIS. He made it clear that he would focus on defeating ISIS and not Assad. For example, the International Business Times had the following report: http://www.ibtimes.com/donald-trump-isis-defeating-islamic-state-not-assad-syria-part-proposed-presidential-2371781 with the headline “Donald Trump On ISIS: Defeating Islamic State, Not Assad In Syria, Part Of Proposed Presidential Foreign Policy.”

    The article contains these paragraphs:

    ” “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said it sounded as if Trump was taking a consistent line on foreign policy, clarifying: “You wouldn’t have gone into Libya. You wouldn’t have gone into Iraq. You wouldn’t go into Syria. You wouldn’t have fought Assad.”

    ” “Right,” Trump agreed. “But I’ll go after ISIS big-league,” he added.

    Scarborough then remarked: “So what you’re saying is, Assad can stay in power. That’s not your interest.”

    Trump replied that the U.S. has “bigger problems than Assad” and that he would tell the military to “knock the hell out of ISIS, which we could have done originally.” ”

    I have been arguing for some time that Trump should make as a part of his campaign attack against Ms. Hillary the fact that she voted for the Iraq War as a U.S. Senator, pushed for the Libyan War as SOS under Obama, and has argued as a candidate for illegal “no-fly zones” over Syria, all of which Trump opposed. It looks like Trump is on the same page. And he seems to recognize that the threat to the U.S. and the West comes not from Assad but from ISIS.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    , @anonymous
  51. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @geokat62

    And what if we discover together that 5th columnist is the most appropriate word; well then we are stuck in a situation where the truth is anti-Semitic.

    “If antisemitism is bad, it’s against truth; if something is true, it’s not bad. I’m not interested in the word antisemitism; the word is very dangerous.”

    “But the bishop calls you antisemitic.”

    “The bishop can call me a dinosaur, he can call me an idiot, he can call me what he likes. This is not a question of name-calling, this is a question of historical truth. Historical truth goes by evidence and not by emotion. There’s certainly a huge exploitation — Germans have paid out huge numbers — billions and billions of Deutschmarks . . . because the Germans have a guilt complex over their having gassed 6 million Jews, but I don’t think there were gas chambers.”

  52. @tbraton

    And he seems to recognize that the threat to the U.S. and the West comes not from Assad but from ISIS.

    Agree with most of what you wrote, but precisely what threat does ISIS pose to the “U.S. and the West?”

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    , @tbraton
  53. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @tbraton

    Sorry, but I want a candidate who recognizes that no “threat to the U. S. and the West” comes from ISIS, either.

    • Replies: @tbraton
  54. @SolontoCroesus

    I don’t want to answer for anyone but ISIS definitely is a threat. However, it is not a serious threat and does not require an entire federal government mobilized to squash it, which is a byproduct of the current anti-terror policy. Helping people in the region to fight it is the sensible policy. Going in with a heavy hand to do it the American way is not a good idea and will not produce a good outcome.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  55. tbraton says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    I seem to recall an attack that took place in Paris late last year in which a number of people (130 or more) were murdered and the attack was supposedly organized by ISIS. As far as Trump is concerned, he won’t become President (assuming he is elected) until January 20, 2017, eight months from now. By that time, I expect that Assad and the Russians will have captured Deir ez-Zor, 120 miles NE of Palmyra, where an operation is currently underway to lift ISIS’s siege, and Raqqa, 100 miles NNE of Palmyra. Those operations, if successfully completed, will largely eliminate ISIS as a threat in Syria, so Trump’s words may become irrelevant as far as Syria is concerned. With the loss of revenues from stolen Syrian oil, ISIS is likely to wither away in Syria. Even if events do not play out as I predict, it seems infinitely preferable to have as President someone who doesn’t want to establish “no-fly zones” over Syria and who realizes that the real threat comes from ISIS, not Assad.

  56. tbraton says:
    @Auntie Analogue

    Each weekday, the NY Times runs a little box with the title “JEOPARDY! Clue of the Day,” which poses the answer to which you have to ask the proper question, with the answer to the prior day’s problem stated at the bottom. Since I seldom watch Jeopardy, I gather the problem posed in that day’s Times is the same as the final answer on that evening’s show. I saw that problem in Tuesday’s Times, as I recall, and I was able to come up with the correct answer: Pakistan. (Upon closer examination I see the Times ad states: “For the correct response, watch Jeopardy! today or look in this space tomorrow in the Times.” BTW that exclamation point after Jeopardy! indicates where Jeb!!! found inspiration for his campaign signature, “Jeb,!” before certain demented individuals started making dramatic changes to it in mockery of Jeb!!!’s campaign.)

    As far as the contestants are concerned, Anderson Cooper is the gay son of Gloria Vanderbilt. Lara Logan is the former swimmer from South Africa with the dynamite body who became a “war correspondent” for CBS News before becoming for a time one of the correspondents on “60 Minutes.” She is known for being a victim of a mass rape attack in Egypt a few years ago when she was covering the mass demonstrations in Cairo. But, before that, she managed to have an affair with a married man while on assignment abroad, married him after he ditched his wife, and then had another affair while married. So, she seems like a pretty hot number, which may explain all those high profile interviews she was able to obtain in Afghanistan and Iraq. I seem to recall that she got into trouble on “60 Minutes” as a result of a false story, which led to her suspension from that show. As far as Michael Steele is concerned, he ran unsuccessfully for a statewide office (U.S. Senate, as I recall) in Maryland before he was elevated to be head of the RNC largely because he was black and where he did an absolutely dreadful job before being replaced by the very capable Reince Pribus. He also impressed me as being a very glib man with absolutely no knowledge, so his performance on Jeopardy didn’t surprise me.

  57. @Philip Giraldi

    I luv ya Phil, and thanks for responding, but imo this issue has to be “taken to the next level.”

    A few days ago I caught part of a conversation over WPKN Bridgeport, CT with Rami Khouri http://www.alternativeradio.org/collections/spk_rami-khouri/products/khor005 , who explained with irrefutable lucidity the historical context that led to the rise of Al Qaeda and then ISIS. Among many important concepts Khouri presented, the most important was his strenuous criticism of John Kerry’s efforts to engage Hollywood film moguls to “change the narrative” on Muslim angst. It is not the narrative that needs to change, says Khouri, but the reality of every day Arab life in the region.
    Thus, Khouri would probably agree that ” Going in with a heavy hand to do it the American way is not a good idea and will not produce a good outcome,” but “Helping people in the region to fight it is not the sensible policy,” absent an honest understanding of the full scale of the Arab/Islamic context. Arguably, such an understanding is walled off from the comprehension of American policy-makers by the Israeli-concocted GWOT.

    To the extent that ISIS is NOT a creature incubated and nurtured by US-Israel (which I would argue it is), the late 19th- and early 20th- century evolution of the zionist movement, from “persecuted” Russian Jewish peasants financed by Western-based Jewish financiers like Jacob Schiff, the Warburgs and Rothschilds, has a lot in common with the grievances of disaffected Arabs and former Ottoman empire Muslims, beginning most saliently with Wilson’s betrayal of the promise of self-determination at the same time that Wilson was influenced by Bernard Baruch & a host of other zionists to favor Jewish nationhood in Palestine.

    The parallels are, in short, AlQaeda = the broader zionist movement; ISIS = the Jabotinskyites.

    WWI, the Balfour declaration & the Versailles treaty are foundational to a coherent understanding of what is going on in the ME – KSA – Iran – Israel today.

    I sense some furious backpedaling against the significance of the Balfour Declaration — see, for example, Thomas Weber and especially Charles Maier in this discussion of “Who is to blame for WWI.” Weber, of German ethnicity, asserts that “Balfour is not that significant,” and that “Jews have little interest in the history of WWI;” while Maier, who is Jewish, says that the Balfour declaration follows the pattern of British imperialism — with no mention of the concerted efforts of zionist leaders such as Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion to acquire Palestine from the British.

    This backpedaling suggests to me a desperate attempt to sustain a status quo that is rapidly unraveling: Arabs and Muslims in the region have risen in revolt against western oppressor and they will resist until their goals are achieved. ISIS is either the shock-troop of the Arab revolt, or the ultimately less-than-clever scheme by zionist-neoconish-US supine foreign policy makers to subvert the Arab quest for autonomy.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  58. tbraton says:
    @anonymous

    “Sorry, but I want a candidate who recognizes that no “threat to the U. S. and the West” comes from ISIS, either.”

    Since you have already told us that you haven’t voted for a R or D since 1976 and have no intention of voting this year (at least a poster named “Anonymous” stated that), what possible difference can it make to the rest of us? You remind me of that funny line from the hilarious movie “Clueless,” when Cher insists on giving romantic advice to her girlfriend Tai played by Brittany Murphy, who irritably responds, “who would want the advice of a virgin who can’t drive?”

    • Replies: @anonymous
  59. RobinG says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Thank you, gramps. Nothing more interesting, but also elusive (than the cause of WWI). An Amazon commenter on The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark wrote, “Historians of all stripes are in a catfight over this question as we speak. Ideology and the worldviews of the various “experts” has an impact on their opinion.”

    I can’t enter that dispute, but my view on everything is ecological, i.e. there are innumerable factors constantly at play, so any analysis that points the finger in one direction (whether MIC, Israel or the Queen of England, etc.) is bound to be incomplete.

    The Balfour Agreement was certainly a factor. The thing about Jews is that they are very cohesive, they pay attention to what’s going on and they share it with each other. Laudable qualities, actually. So it’s no surprise that the Zionists could be very opportunistic. Recognizing a trend, they calculated how to use it to their advantage.

    Here’s another panel, from the same time-frame as yours. (There was plenty of debate around the 100 year anniversary.) It’s also available at C-SPAN. Can we, without clarity on WWI, avoid those mistakes — even as we invent new ones?

    World War I – One Century Later – Historian Panel

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Sam Shama
  60. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It won’t make any difference to you, apparently. But even if your mind is closed, there may be others who read articles and comments here to inform their decision about whether and, if so, how to vote.

    I am convinced that voting is not only fruitless for those of us who want our drunk-with-power Uncle Sam to sober up, but has become a charade that serves only to keep Americans gulled and lulled. Did you vote for Mr. Reagan, who promised to abolish Mr. Carter’s Department of Education? Which winning candidate since has ever delivered on a promise to scale back any of the national governance under which you live? If you’re convinced that Mr. Trump is the one who will do so, why is that?

    You might want to focus on making your case, not chasing off anonymous heretics.

    • Replies: @iffen
  61. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @tbraton

    Looks like I may have used the wrong reply button — #60 was in reply to your #58, tbraton.

  62. iffen says:
    @anonymous

    but has become a charade that serves only to keep Americans gulled and lulled.

    Some of us are like the lounge lizards that fall in love with somebody new every weekend. She takes that special outfit out and puts it on and she feels good. This is the night!

    Every four years we drag our hopes and dreams and childhood civics out and think, “This is it, this time for sure.” It feels good, dammit! We can’t help ourselves, it’s who we are.

    • Replies: @anon
  63. iffen says:
    @RobinG

    The thing about Jews is that they are very cohesive, they pay attention to what’s going on and they share it with each other. Laudable qualities, actually. So it’s no surprise that the Zionists could be very opportunistic. Recognizing a trend, they calculated how to use it to their advantage.

    No one else here seems to want the job, so I will do it.

    I have to question whether this is an example of anti-Semitism.

    Are Jews more cohesive than any other group?

    Do they pay better attention than any other group?

    Are they more communicative within their group than any other group?

    Are Zionists opportunistic? In what context is opportunism a bad thing?

    Is calculating when a trend is good for one’s group a bad thing?

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  64. annamaria says:
    @geokat62

    “The Widening Cracks in Zionism:”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/05/20/the-widening-cracks-in-zionism/

    The highlights:
    “…the situation is that ordinary American Jews are “far more critical of Israel than the Jewish establishment.”
    The numbers of questioning American Jews have continued to grow… The Israeli Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulay said, “I cannot allow myself to call such a person a Jew,” and, “We cannot allow these groups to get near the Torah of Israel.”
    Things appear potentially even worse when we hear Israel’s Intelligence Minister Israel Katz calling for the “targeted killing” of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) leaders: http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-calls-for-civil-targeted-killings-of-bds-leaders/5517420. In the U.S., many of these leaders are Jewish.
    “Such official Israeli attitudes make a mockery of the claims of American politicians, such as Hillary Clinton, that Israel “is built on principles of equality, tolerance and pluralism. … And we marvel that such a bastion of liberty exists in a region so plagued by intolerance.” It should be noted that in January 2016 the Israeli Knesset rejected a bill that would have secured in law equality for all the country’s citizens.

    Reaction out of Israel to reports of the growing alienation of American Jews has been aggressively negative. After all, Israel is the centerpiece of Zionist ideology – its grand achievement. Being the subject of criticism by growing numbers of Jews, in the U.S. or elsewhere, is utterly unacceptable to those now in charge of Israel’s ruling institutions.”

    Here the question of allegiance comes to the fore.

  65. @iffen

    1. I have to question whether this is an example of anti-Semitism. [meaning, anti-JEWISHism, antipathy for Jews just because they are Jews]

    2. Are Jews more cohesive than any other group?
    3. Do they pay better attention than any other group?
    4. Are they more communicative within their group than any other group?
    5. Are Zionists opportunistic? In what context is opportunism a bad thing?
    6. Is calculating when a trend is good for one’s group a bad thing?

    The answers to #2. thru #6. can be surmised if one can substitute any other ethnic group for “Semite” or “Jew” in #1., and consider if the characteristics of 2. thru 6. apply to that other group.

    For example, do persons of Irish origin in USA
    ~demand and receive special protections;
    ~or vast amounts of money for Ireland;
    ~or exemptions from rules to which every other state/group in USA complies, such as FARA;
    ~or hugely disproportionate representation in US government, universities, media;
    ~or disproportionately deferential treatment by US politicians & decision-makers;
    ~or access to the private information of a large swathe of US citizens via penetration of US security and financial systems;
    ~or political perqs for Irish people in USA and for Ireland, etc.?

    re #6, “Is calculating when a trend is good for one’s group a bad thing?”

    It is “a bad thing” when the trend that is “good for one’s group” produces that good at the cost of, or to the detriment of, or by exploiting the resources of, the larger community, especially when done by chicanery (i.e. “Mercurian,” – see Yuri Slezkine) or other less-than above-board means. In that case, it amounts to demanding special privileges, unwarranted and not available to any other group, therefore violating the equal rights of all persons guaranteed by US Constitution.

  66. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @iffen

    She takes that special outfit out and puts it on and she feels good. This is the night!

    — or would be The Night if the damn dress would accommodate an extra 20 pounds.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @iffen
  67. geokat62 says:
    @anon

    She takes that special outfit out and puts it on and she feels good. This is the night!

    I thought he was referring to how Killary feels when she puts on her favourite pantsuit.

  68. iffen says:
    @anon

    Those extra pounds don’t matter, after one six-pack they all look like Erin Burnett.

  69. geokat62 says:

    Sharansky disses American Jews for assimilating, then tells ‘major donors’ to universities to stop BDS:

    Now here comes a major Jewish leader — who opposed President Obama’s Iran deal proudly — saying that American Jews have to serve on the battlefront for Israel in the United States.

    Do these people have any idea that they are fostering anti-Semitism? A wealthy Jewish audience of 500 gathers to talk about Israel, and their obligation to fight for Israel, and not a word is said about Palestinian conditions but people are wringing their hands about access to the Western Wall for American Jews, and the richest people in the crowd are exhorted to put pressure on universities through their donations to shut down free speech against Israel on campuses. From a guy who once called on American Jews to pressure the Soviet Union on behalf of Jews when he was in prison…

    There are thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons right now, fighting to end a system of ethnic discrimination against them. And a lot of young American Jews know this and are on their side. Some day we will dance on Zionism’s grave.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/sharansky-assimilating-universities/

  70. tbraton says:

    Not that anyone needs convincing re the NY Times’ deep animus toward Donald Trump after last Sunday’s front page (mis)hit piece re Donald and the beautiful woman he has known, but this Sunday’s Times has a hilarious example of how deep the animus goes. On page 26 of the print edition, there is an article by Gina Bellafante about Warby Parker, a company started in 2010 to sell “good-looking eyeglasses” that didn’t cost hundreds of dollars. In the second paragraph, there is this passage:

    “Warby Parker has done very well, opening stores across the country that evoke libraries (another, most recently in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn) and generally distilling knowledge-class branding to its essence. Each pair of glasses seems to say, “I don’t know anyone who has ever met anyone who has ever thought about voting for Donald Trump.” ” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/nyregion/at-warby-parker-a-sense-of-exclusion-in-a-low-price.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fnyregion&action=click&contentCollection=nyregion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

    So the test at the NY Times appears to be that, to be acceptable, one can’t even know anyone “who has ever thought about voting for Donald Trump.” Apparently, the ghost of Pauline Kael (circa 1972) still hovers over Manhattan.

    • Replies: @iffen
  71. iffen says:
    @tbraton

    “Apparently, the ghost of Pauline Kael (circa 1972) still hovers over Manhattan.”

    For those of us with lesser depth, would you explain this?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  72. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @iffen

    I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.
    Quoted by Israel Shenker, “Critics Here Focus on Films As Language Conference Opens,” The New York Times (1972-12-28)
    Often quoted as “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”; referring to George McGovern’s loss to Richard Nixon in in the 1972 presidential election.

  73. iffen says:

    “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”

    Thanks. I have seen this before in different contexts. It is instructive. I should keep it in mind.

  74. Sam Shama says:
    @RobinG

    Hi Robin & Geo,
    Quick thoughts. OT somewhat, but I reckon this Moshe Yaalon resignation will mark as the watershed event in recent Israeli politics, when essentially the defense leadership will have initiated a restraint on extremist civilian politics!! It might also signal the turning point of zionism as we have gotten accustomed to, or demolish it entirely.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @RobinG
    , @RobinG
  75. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    it might also signal the turning point of zionism as we have gotten accustomed to, or demolish it entirely.

    Thanks for sharing, Sam. As they saying goes: from your lips to God’s ears.

  76. RobinG says:
    @Sam Shama

    Moshe Arens concurs. “Yaalon’s ouster is likely to be a turning point in Israel’s political history,” he wrote in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper. “A political earthquake is in the offing. It may take a little time, but it is coming. The law of unforeseen consequences is at work.”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2016/0523/Is-fascism-rising-in-Israel

    Of course, hard to be optimistic when now Obama’s arming Viet Nam. Is the ‘pivot to Asia’ his ‘Carter doctrine’? Are these consequences unforeseen? Some legacy.

  77. RobinG says:
    @Sam Shama

    And then there’s the Holocaust Memorial Day speech of General Ya’ir Golan, apparently not reported here although hotly discussed in Israel.

    “If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the Holocaust, it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”
    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1463759865

  78. The O-legacy is millions of diplomacy, directly or indirectly, to help bury the peaceful truth but create new realities for standing for next diplomacy. Then they become diplomacy-victims well wrapped.

  79. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Sometimes I can’t decide if Obama as the Pervert in Chief, the Deviant in Chief or the Jihadist in Chief. Mostly I think he was all three.

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