Hearing John le Carre's analysis of current events and the state of neoconservative politics is like coming home after a long-suffering vacation. I have always loved John le Carre's novels, which have taught me taught me far more about political maneuvering and world events than most of my formal education.
I have not posted on this blog for a long while----I had to post John le Carre's comments about the neocon oligarchs that are currently robbing our heritage from beneath our noses: "My own dark suspicion is that the neoconservatives in the U.S. -- the powerful and secretive few that they are -- actually believe that they can use these kind of provocations to homogenize the Islamic threat, bring everybody forward, radicalize them, and then bomb the hell out of them."
Right on----He is straight-to-the-point, cutting through a whole lot of bullshit in one fell swoop.
"The enemy is indefinable. They are giant organizations with one foot in Liechtenstein and the other in the Netherlands Antilles, who hold their board meetings in England. And when you know that Tony Blair is more concerned about the opinion of Rupert Murdoch than about what his electorate thinks, you do worry. I see an erosion of nationhood and democracy exactly as Mussolini described it. He said: "Democracy ends and fascism begins where political power and corporate power are inseparable." You could have added religious and press power to that list. All four are at the fingertips of the right wing in the U.S."
Ahhhhh....Like cold water while you're crossing the desert. I will try to find the entire interview----I need more!!
His upcoming book, The Mission Song, takes place in Congo. Can you ask for anything better from a novel?? It has all the elements of a great book: Exotic locale, highly nuanced political intelligence, well-developed characters, tending towards the historical fiction genre. Do the patriotic thing and buy me a copy.
Think Progress brings our attention to one of Bush's PR events gone horribly awry----
The dialogue from this event follows:
Q You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you’d like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are –
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not your favorite guy. Go ahead. (Laughter and applause.) Go on, what’s your question?
Q Okay, I don’t have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that I — in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and –
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: No, wait a sec — let him speak.
Q And I would hope — I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I’m saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about.
THE PRESIDENT: It is, yes. (Applause.)
Q And I know that this doesn’t come welcome to most of the people in this room, but I do appreciate that.
THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate –
Q I don’t have a question, but I just wanted to make that comment to you.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate it, thank you. Let me –
Q Can I ask a question?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m going to start off with what you first said, if you don’t mind, you said that I tap your phones — I think that’s what you said. You tapped your phone — I tapped your phones. Yes. No, that’s right. Yes, no, let me finish.
I’d like to describe that decision I made about protecting this country. You can come to whatever conclusion you want. The conclusion is I’m not going to apologize for what I did on the terrorist surveillance program, and I’ll tell you why. We were accused in Washington, D.C. of not connecting the dots, that we didn’t do everything we could to protect you or others from the attack. And so I called in the people responsible for helping to protect the American people and the homeland. I said, is there anything more we could do.
And there — out of this national — NSA came the recommendation that it would make sense for us to listen to a call outside the country, inside the country from al Qaeda or suspected al Qaeda in order to have real-time information from which to possibly prevent an attack. I thought that made sense, so long as it was constitutional. Now, you may not agree with the constitutional assessment given to me by lawyers — and we’ve got plenty of them in Washington — but they made this assessment that it was constitutional for me to make that decision.
I then, sir, took that decision to members of the United States Congress from both political parties and briefed them on the decision that was made in order to protect the American people. And so members of both parties, both chambers, were fully aware of a program intended to know whether or not al Qaeda was calling in or calling out of the country. It seems like — to make sense, if we’re at war, we ought to be using tools necessary within the Constitution, on a very limited basis, a program that’s reviewed constantly to protect us.
Now, you and I have a different — of agreement on what is needed to be protected. But you said, would I apologize for that? The answer — answer is, absolutely not. (Applause.)
Ummmm.....Anyway, Bush already got sent to the White House's Time Out chair for 10 mintues the other day so he doesn't need to apologize (or make coherent sense) to anybody, goddammit.
As for our hero, Harry Taylor, he will no longer be allowed on any commercial flights going in or out of the United States, as his name has been added to the no-fly list. Sorry, Harry---Better luck next time. Oh, and that echo you hear while you're talking on the phone? Just a little wiretap we like to use on those people we refer to as "Enemy Combatants."
Another thing---that lady sitting next to Harry Taylor----Bill Clinton has a job for her requiring that gaping mouth and creative uses for a cigar. Hehehehehehehe.
¶ 5:39 PM0 commentslinks to this post
James Tegnelia, the director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, explains it all: "On Thursday, it was a Pentagon official musing about the spectacle of detonating a 700-ton explosive in the Nevada desert – a test blast set for June 2 dubbed "Divine Strake" that the official said might remind some of the days of open-air nuclear testing, before the blasts were moved underground to avoid the danger of radioactive fallout.
"I don’t want to sound glib here, but it is the first time in Nevada that you’ll see a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas since we stopped testing nuclear weapons," said James Tegnelia, head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Pentagon unit that is working on technical aspects of how to destroy deeply buried enemy weapons."
I don't mean to sound glib here---Given all of the nuclear tests that have been conducted on Nevada's soil, and the nuclear waste that has been left behind, how much radioactive dust will be kicked up by the detonation of this 700-ton explosive?
I've always believed that "immigration politics" are racist politics.
Within the context of "immigration politics," our society actively partitions human beings into the following seperate (not equal) groups: 1) citizen or 2) noncitizen.
This distinction of citizen v. noncitizen is not an issue of legitimate/illegitimate immigration, social services infrastructure, cultural barriers, etc. The distinction of citizen v. noncitizen has everything to do with degrading a population of human beings to exist on a lower strata than a different population implicitly considered superior.
In the United States, the Senate is currently considering immigration "reform" that would drastically affect our resident subhuamn-designates, noncitizen "aliens": "Both House and Senate versions of the bill share the same punitive spirit. At the moment, being in the U.S. unlawfully is a civil violation, not a crime. But current versions of the bill would make it a felony, resulting in possible prison time as well as deportation. Both versions of the bill would also criminalize many forms of humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants. The House version, for instance, makes it a felony for anyone to "assist" an unlawful immigrant to "reside or remain" in the U.S. This means that a church volunteer who serves hot meals to illegal immigrants could end up in prison.
Such punitive provisions are mean-spirited and foolish. But many of our elected leaders are so busy measuring the border for a new barbed-wire fence that they never stop to seriously consider alternatives to cracking down on illegal immigration.
Here's a radical idea: Instead of spending the $206 billion the Center for American Progress estimates it would take to implement a five-year policy designed to detect, prosecute, imprison and deport people found here unlawfully, what if the U.S. stopped trying to punish all illegal immigrants? "
Citizens are not willing to acknowledge the racist underpinnings of their citizen status in society----it threatens their sense of self-worth. Rather than punish ourselves with thought-provoking questions regarding our personal culpability in the modern, racist infrastructure of the United States, we look instead towards escalated punishment of the "Others."
Watch out, citizens of the United States---If you eventually succeed in your dream to remove all "illegal aliens" from this nation, you will have nobody left to blame for the problems that shall remain..........Nobody except yourself.
¶ 12:55 PM0 commentslinks to this post
Thursday, March 09, 2006
US Nuclear Non-Proliferation Strategy: Step 1: Allow India to import nuclear fuel so you can move on to Step 2....... Step 2: Attack Iran for wanting the same thing.
"This week America and others were insisting at the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran not be allowed to bend the anti-nuclear rules out of shape to further what are assumed to be its weapons ambitions. So why does Mr Bush propose doing just that for already nuclear-armed India?"
Well, the Bush administration wants you to have answers, dammit, so you can look to the testimony of Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, for the Full International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday: ""President Chirac, Prime Minister Blair, Prime Minister Howard and ElBaradei have all expressed support of the President's initiative with India," Burns said. "We think we are far better off bringing India into the non proliferation system. It is seeking inclusion while Iran is seeking exclusion," Burns added.
"The Europeans are solidly with us; Japan and Australia are with us. But most importantly India has voted twice with the United States at the IAEA against Iran," Burns said." (Emphasis mine.)
Hmmmmm...... Is that what this is all about? India's votes against Iran at the IAEA???
Ah yes.....India voted against Iran two times at the IAEA; in September 2005 and February 2006.
"1. The Indian delegation has studied the draft resolution tabled by the EU-3 yesterday. There are elements in the draft which we have difficulty with. For example, the draft recognizes that "good progress has been made in Iran's correction of the breaches and in the Agency's ability to confirm certain aspects of Iran's current declarations". In view of this, finding Iran non-compliant in the context of Article XII-C of the Agency's Statute is not justified. It would also not be accurate to characterize the current situation as a threat to international peace and security.
2. Having said that, we find that the draft has addressed the two major preoccupations of our delegation. Firstly, we have all along been advocating that more time be given to enable us to explore all possible avenues for reaching a satisfactory resolution of the issues that have arisen. The draft resolution has conceded that by leaving it to the next Board meeting to take a decision concerning how to handle this matter.
3. Secondly, we were opposed to the matter being referred to the UN Security Council at this stage, because we did not believe that this was justified in the circumstances. We welcome the fact that the draft resolution has agreed to keep the matter within the purview of the Agency itself. Our support for the resolution, despite our reservations, is based on the premise that the intervening period will be used by all concerned to expand the diplomatic space to satisfactorily address all outstanding issues. India supports keeping the door open for dialogue and consensus and avoidance of confrontation."
Such fortitude in the face of pressure from the US and the EU3!! Heheheheheeeeee.....
Ummmm....Wait a minute...... Was I just talking about India's fortitude in the face of pressure? Nevermind. It seems that India, despite its supposed belief that the Iranian matter did not warrant the UN Security Council's attention, turned around and voted, in February, to send the Iranian matter before the UNSC. What on Earth made India change its mind?
Here's a clue-----I quote Robert Einhorn, Senior Advisor for the Center of Strategic and International Studies, when he spoke before the House International Relations Committee last October (2005):
"During a September visit to Tehran, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh made public remarks supportive of Iran’s position on the nuclear issue and critical of the approach taken by the United States. The remarks produced a sharp backlash by Members of Congress across the political spectrum, including several strong supporters of India, who made clear that India’s failure to side with the U.S. on the Iran nuclear issue would jeopardize Congressional support for the legislative changes needed to implement the U.S.-India nuclear deal." (Emphasis mine.)
So now, we have the Bush administration airing its talking points to legitimize the India-US nuclear deal so Congress can use its rubber stamp.
***By the way, don't you just love how the mainstream media refers to this nuclear deal as the N-deal? God forbid we actually say the word nuclear.....Especially since President Bush has some trouble pronouncing that particular word......
According to the Washington Post article:
"The White House on Wednesday fired back at critics of a landmark U.S.-India nuclear agreement and insisted the deal will enhance efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons." (Italics mine.)