Thursday, January 07, 2010

Glen Greenwald's Insightful Analysis: My latest hero is Glen Greenwald of Salon.com. I do not always agree with everything he says but on so many issues the man is a verbal veracity machine.

He said the following: "It's truly astounding to watch us -- for a full decade -- send fighter jets and drones and bombs and invading forces and teams of torturers and kidnappers to that part of the world, or, as we were doing long before 9/11, to overthrow their governments, prop up their dictators, occupy what they perceive as holy land with our foreign troops, and arm Israel to the teeth, and then act surprised and confused when some of them want to attack us. In general, the U.S. only attacks countries with no capabilities to attack us back in the "homeland" -- at least not with conventional forces. As a result, we have come to believe that any forms of violence we perpetrate on them over there is justifiable and natural, but the Laws of Humanity are instantly breached in the most egregious ways whenever they bring violence back to the U.S., aimed at Americans. It's just impossible to listen to discussions grounded in this warped mentality without being astounded at how irrational it is. What do Americans think is going to happen if we continue to engage in this conduct, in this always-widening "war"?"

For his whole post see: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

My response:

Glen's editorial on why they hate us is brilliant. I call him my verbal veracity machine. And yet, assuming he is Jewish as I am, I am always uncomfortable at his indictment of Israel. Do I think Israel always does everything correct or always acts in a moral way? No, of course, I do not but when the left waxes generally lugubrious toward the Islamic or Palestinian cause it makes me squirm. I know his words have some truth but really, Glen, do you think if the US made a 360 degree about face foreign policy toward Israel that Muslims would cease all violent activity? I highly doubt it. Moreover, there is NO question in my mind if that were to happen the state of Israel, yes, the Jewish state of Israel would be dust.

Is that what you want? Truly, how would anyone, for example, who was homosexual fare in Muslim lands? How do they fare in Israel? I often use that as a yardstick for how democratic and humane a country is. I think homosexuals fare MUCH better in Israel and there is no about that. As you say the illumination of the would be suicide bomber was stated in Haretz newspaper in Israel. Is the Israeli position ever touted in any Muslim land? Rarely.

Glen does the Holocaust mean nothing to you? Is Jewish history meaningless? Do you think, given the chance, that Israel's neighbors would like nothing more than to, as they say so often, drive Jews into the sea?

I simply do not know WHY the left is so in love with the Palestinian cause. Is your memory so short that you cannot see the reality of what I think is your own people? How do you think you would survive in Arab lands? Not well I suspect and neither would I.

I cannot give up my support for the only democracy in that violent neck of the woods. I can, though, ask the government of Israel to think well when they decide to use force!
Mid-term Malaise: I am experiencing mid-term malaise. The loss of the problematic Senator Dodd was expected and leaves the door open for AG Dick Blumenthal to keep the seat in Democratic hands in Connecticut. North Dakota’s 30 year Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan is a huge loss but he probably would have lost anyway in November. He read the tea leaves and North Dakota is a red state. It is a year incumbents are in disfavor as there will be Republican loses as well which may eclipse the Democratic ones.

Those turnarounds are not at the center of my sadness. It is those dyspeptic tea leaves that have me concerned. Something much more profound and much more disturbing is the culprit. If I wrote a book I would entitle it "How I Went from the Heights of Hope to the Depths of Despair in One Year." Last year, at this time, I was ebullient. The same time this year I need Prozac pills. It’s a dramatic change. What accounts for it?

The president I loved and thought was different from all other politicians morphed into something I loath -- just another politician. In order of importance my reasons are as follows: First: the economy. Barack Obama picked a treasury team who were part of the very cause of the economic disaster. Geithner, Summers, their mentor Rubin, Bernanke and others are sunk knee deep into the swamp that is Wall Street and were, in fact, the choreographers of the exotic instrument dance which led to the fall. In other words, he put the foxes in charge of the chicken coup to pull us out of the quicksand they created. Should we be at all surprised that our tax money went to Wall Street bonuses? Those bonuses if not unethical should have been illegal. They should have been fought, if they had to, in the courts until the proverbial hell freeze over. It means that while Wall Street looks (for now) a bit improved. Main Street remains in double digit unemployment and worse the same exact bank/investment too-big-to-fail dance continues.

Second: Healthcare. He was NOT engaged when we needed him most during the right wing gun toting, Obama is a Nazi sign-carrying summer of insanity which saw people yelling at each other and literally biting fingers off. He decided a nice vacation in Martha’s Vineyard would be in order. He should have hit back hard at those intellect-starved tea baggers and sign carrying lunatics. He didn't until the autumn. By then it was too late and worse he abandoned the very thing he said was the most important part of healthcare during his campaign – the public option. He let a divided Congress tediously construct a complex bill with no one, seemingly, at the helm to steer the ship.

Third: Obama is losing his base. The president reneged on almost every promise of his campaign. He is not holding Bush illegalities accountable and he is committing this country to yet more expensive, never-ending and eternal war. He has abandoned gays as well as those who care about a small matter of Constitutional civil libertarian principles and who supported him 20 to 1. He fed them crumbs because Rahm Emanuel said it wasn't important to worry about the base. But it is very important because the base provides excitement and the fervor he needs to sustain his presidency. If we do not vote, he will not get re-elected.

Without jobs for Main Street Democrats and the president will have cooked their own goose malaise. He reached out to Republicans who turned their backs. He turned the other cheek which works nicely in religion but does NOT work in politics. You NEED your base and I need to take my pills!
Midterm Malaise: Here is my analysis of domestic political events now as I see them with the loss of Congressional Democrats for 2010. I posted them on McClatchy News. The second post was a response to a guy who thinks the American people are not so stupid as to vote for Republicans again in 2010. It is off the top of my head and not great writing as one is limited on a blog:

The BOTCH is multi-fold. FIRST is the economy that is the MOST important part. Putting the causes of the economic disaster the foxes in charge of the chicken coup was DISASTROUS. It meant the focus was on Wall Street and not Main Street where a good recovery has yet to be seen, bonuses that should NOT have happened even IF it fought out in the courts did. (2) Obama lost his base. To gays who supported him 20 to 1 he was unconscionable and fed them crumbs because Rahm Emanuel said it wasn't important to worry about the base. But it is very important because the fervor for him is critical to maintain power. (3) Obama reneged on almost every promise of his campaign, holding Bush illegalities unaccountable, civil liberties and war (4) Healthcare. He was NOT engaged when we needed him during the summer. He should have hit back hard those intellect STARVED tea baggers. He didn't. He let a divided Congress try to do it. They didn't. We needed him. He is a HUGE disappointment seemingly erudite and aloof. Something is missing in Barack Obama and I don't what.

Answer to a guy (Tom Degan) on McClathy News: YES, the American people are stupid enough not to think back a year when the Republicans were the worst curse on this nation and brought us to the brink of a HUGE depression and lied us into war killing hundreds of thousands. The bailouts were necessary but ignoring Main Street was a huge blunder as were the bonuses. The American people's memory is thin and they will care in November if their condition is better which means JOBS JOBS JOBS. Without jobs for Main Street Democrats with the help of Geithner and Summers and Obama have cooked their own goose. A Paul Krugmanesq economic team was needed. Obama picked the WRONG economic team! They better work miracles because they are SURELY going to need it in November and beyond. I was part of Obama's base. I LOVED him and had such hope. He is a HUGE disappointment to me. He reached out to Republicans who almost literally spit in his face. He turned the other cheek. Works in relgion does NOT work in politics. You NEED your base!