Case For Nixon
Guardian writer Jeff Jarvis says As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama.
I voted for Obama reluctantly, but never did I imagine he would become another Richard Nixon.
What are you thinking, Mr President?
Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?
Never did I imagine that you would instead become another Richard Nixon: imperial, secretive, vindictive, untrustworthy, inexplicable.
As a journalist, I am frightened by your vengeful attacks on whistleblowers – Manning, Assange, Snowden, and the rest – and the impact in turn on journalism and its tasks of keeping a watchful eye on you and helping to assure an informed citizenry.
As a citizen, I am disgusted by the systematic evasion of oversight you have supported through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts; by the use of ports as lawless zones where your agents can harass anyone; by your failure on your promise to close Guantánamo, and this list could go on.
As an internet user, I am most fearful of the impact of your wanton destruction of privacy and the resulting collapse of trust in the net and what that will do to the freedom we have enjoyed in it as well as the business and jobs that are being built atop it.
You can’t argue that Armageddon is on the way and that al-Qaida is on the run at the same time.
No, I think it is this: secrecy corrupts. Absolute secrecy corrupts absolutely. You have been seduced by the idea that your authority rests in your secrets and your power to hold them.
Transparency is another principle you promised to uphold but have trammeled instead.
You could decide to end what will be known as the Obama Collect it All doctrine and make the art of intelligence focus rather than reach.
You could decide to respect the efforts of whistleblowers as courageous practitioners of civil disobedience who are sacrificing much in their efforts to protect lives and democracy. If they are the Martin Luther Kings of our age, then call off Bull Connor’s digital dogs and fire hoses, will you?
You could try to reverse the damage you have done to the internet and its potential by upholding its principles of openness and freedom.
You could. Will you?
Case For Bush
Next consider Syrian warmongering turning Obama into Bush’s ‘clone’
US president Barack Obama is repeating the pattern of actions of his predecessor, George W. Bush, in his push for a military solution in Syria, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman of the Russian Duma, Aleksey Pushkov said.
“Obama is fiercely moving towards war in Syria, just like Bush moved towards war in Iraq. Just like in Iraq, this war won’t be legit and Obama will become Bush’s clone,” Pushkov wrote on his Twitter page on Sunday.
On Sunday, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stressed that the US military is ready to expedite a military plan in Syria if the order comes from the country’s president.
“President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option – if he decides to employ one of those options,” Hagel said.
Who Declares War?
“Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording: [Congress shall have Power…] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water“
Isn’t bombing other countries an act of war? Well, such inconveniences does not stop warmongering presidents in either party.
Reflections on a Moral Obscenity
In response to Reflections on “A Moral Obscenity”: How Long Ago Was a War Against Syria Decided? reader Terry writes …
“Yup, it was just those war-mongering conservatives and neocons that forced Bush to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Oh wait…. What did they do after that? Oh yeah, they then immediately helped the Iraqi people establish a government elected by the Iraqi people and then prepared to leave.”
Yes and No. It was indeed Dick Cheney and a bunch of warmongering authors of Project for the New American Century that led Bush down an idiotic path.
With its members in numerous key administrative positions, the PNAC exerted influence on high-level U.S. government officials in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush and affected the Bush Administration’s development of military and foreign policies, especially involving national security and the Iraq War.
Results Are In
To what avail? Did the war in Iraq do the US good? Iraq good? Anyone good but the warmongers who want perpetual war?
The answer is no, of course not. We wasted over $1 trillion dollars bombing the hell out of Iraq on a pack of lies.
There were no WOMDs in Iraq. Bush lied and so did Rumsfeld.
Hussein and Al Qaeda were enemies. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq in Hussein’s regime, but Iraq is a hotbed of Al Qaeda activity now.
Under Hussein there was religious tolerance. Now, Catholics are killed for their religion. The Sunnis and Shiites are also killing each other.
No Success Stories
Yes, Hussein was a brutal, evil dictator, but Iraq is worse off now. Pater Tenebrarum makes an excellent case in Iraq and Other Interventionist ‘Success Stories’.
Please give it a read.
CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran
Inquiring minds may also want to read Foreign Policy Magazine article from yesterday CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran
The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.
In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.
The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.
U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.
“The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn’t have to. We already knew,” he told Foreign Policy.
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
Note the hypocrisy and the idiocy of US foreign policy best described as “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
Convincing The Public
President Obama is on a media blitz to convince the US public to support another inane war. Obama is using the same tactics as Bush and for that matter Hitler.
Does that sound too harsh? It isn’t.
Interview With Gestapo Founder on Drumming Up Support For War
From an interview with Hermann Göring Nazi founder of the Gestapo, Head of the Luftwaffe, in a jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946) ….
Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
So Which Is It?
Is Obama another Bush clone or another Nixon clone?
The correct conclusion (in regards to foreign policy but not domestic policy) is both.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock