Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Family Way

When it was disclosed that Sarah Palin's 17 year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant, the McCain campaign informed the public that the daughter "intends to marry the father." Of course, she would never think of terminating the pregnancy because she has family values.

Straight Talk Express, Pt. 1

Lindsey Graham, spokesman for the McCain campaign, answers queries on Sarah Palin's national security bona fides as follows:

1. She's Commander in Chief of the Alaskan National Guard.
2. Her state is right next to Russia.

When asked if Palin will be ready on Day One, Graham says, "Rather her than Obama - she's way more ready than he is."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Honk if You're Ready on Day One!

The policy director for John McCain summed up the foreign policy experience of presumptive Veep candidate Sarah Palin by pointing out that as Alaskan Governor, Ms. Palin is Commander-in-Chief of the Alaskan National Guard.

Go, you Huskies!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Twin Suspension

Sunday, June 03, 2007

At the Museum

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back on the Blog

Z in the R is B on the B. Let's talk about Jimmy Carter. The former President is getting skewered in the press for his new book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, comparing Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with South Africa' apartheid era government. Carter has been slammed as a bigot and worse.

Carter's wise enough to have expected a shitstorm. Taking a position that no U.S. President could take while in office, Carter is challenging journalists and the pro-Israel lobby to take him on. Carter's ready for them. One of the most controversial statements Carter makes is that the media and powerful lobby do not offer a diversity of opinion on Israel's actions.

As a Jew, I once took for granted that Israel can do no wrong. In the late 1990's I made my only trip to Israel, which sparked my interest on the conflict with the Palestinians. I no longer take Israel's bona fides for granted. And I cannot accept that Fatah and Hamas are the incarnation of evil, as I was taught to believe. Carter, to his credit, says that we need to examine the case with a fresh view on the merits. The attempt to silence a critic is proof of the fact that the subject is censored.

Carter put his enormous good will and reputation in play to spur a new view of the Middle East crisis. He thinks he's earned the benefit of the doubt through his own peace-making, humanitarian works. He deserves fair consideration, and we should join him by making our own evaluations, rather than dismissing him out of hand. The peace process will not suffer from a candid appraisal of both sides.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Closing Time

This blog is being closed for repair. We hope to reopen soon.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What Do We Have for Our Contestants?

Even though it ranks #4 on Amazon's sales list, don't count me among the buyers of the Iraq Study Group Report. Not that I wouldn't like to read it but the reviews have stopped me cold. The report recommendations read like a fairy tale. The ISG Study Group Report states 79 recommendations for changing U.S. position in the Iraq War. A central tenet of the report is the need for a "diplomatic offensive" with Iran and Syria foremost. The correct term is "peace talks." Iran and to a lesser extent Syria are the two winners thus far in the Iraq War. A diplomatic offensive really means getting them to the table and seeking terms for a truce, by which the U.S. can withdraw.

Bush rejected the idea. In one sense, he's right. He cannot win the war by negotiating with Iran. He will come home empty-handed or worse. Iran, willing to meet, would tie the nuclear enrichment program to any negotiation. The result will be capitulation or stalemate in Iraq, and reactors in Teheran. However, there is no alternative to negotiation, especially when other, meaningful issues exist. The US really has no better option in the broader picture than to negotiate until there is agreement or impasse. But that is not about ending the war. That's about realigning the globe, which is what the Report really seems to be saying.

Bush therefore is wrong in rejecting negotiation out of hand. His uncompromising policies
have isolated this country; his view is that any change of position is an admission of defeat or failure, and he doesn't do admissions. The headline coverage out of Egypt is that the report marks the end of Iraq policy and effectively the end of the Bush administration. "The next two years will be a vacuum," the moderate paper states.

Now, that's the kind of negotiation the Iranians would love: keep that border porous for another two years. While the White House vacuums, Iran will annex Shiite Iraq, the Kurds will split off and war with Turkey, and the Sunni minority will either retreat into Jordan and Syria or remain and be slaughtered. As the number of US troop casualties rises, Congress, charged out of its inertia, will cut off funding or otherwise force redeployment. Compared to that scenario, even bad negotiations seem good.