Friday, June 25, 2010

Weasel Time, Part CDLXXXII

A day after replacing the top American general in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama said Thursday that U.S. troops could remain in significant numbers in the country well after his withdrawal timeline begins next summer.

Though his plan calls for the start of a troop withdrawal in a year, “We did not say, starting in July 2011, suddenly there will be no troops from the United States or allied countries in Afghanistan,” Obama said at a joint White House press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“We didn’t say we’d be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us,” Obama said. “We said we’d begin a transition phase that would allow the Afghan government to take more and more responsibility.”

The answer was Obama’s clearest description of his timetable for bringing troops home from the war – a schedule many analysts felt was unrealistic with the Afghanistan conflict growing more violent and difficult to manage.

Obama’s answer seemed to run counter to the description of the Afghanistan troop-withdrawal timeline Vice President Joe Biden gave to author Jonathan Alter. In a recently-published book on Obama’s first year as president, Alter quotes Biden as saying, "in July of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it."

Biden’s office, however, has since downplayed the statement, saying Biden had made a hurried, off-hand remark.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Amid the mass of responses to Barack Obama's "stand-up moment" in his firing of Commandant von McChrystal, a couple pretty much sums up the rot and uselessness of the current faux left in these United States.

From Mr. X, we have:
So here’s how I read the goat entrails. McChrystal was “taking one for the team” and setting Petreus up for a White House run while throwing the burning bag of poo that is Afghanistan on Obama’s doorstep. Obama’s recent public petulance made me think that he was about to angrily stamping all over the burning bag of poo in an effort to show “leadership” by firing McChrystal and putting in his own brand of boot-licker. That would have given him complete ownership of the Afghan mess while demonstrating his thin-skin and short temper for all to see. It is a perfect cocktail to fire-up the Republican base while sticking Obama with the Afghan failure — both with cries of a "stab in the back". It appears that the Obama people sniffed the poo in the burning bag and threw it right back where it belongs — in Petraeus’ lap. The only sensible thing to do was:

1. Regretfully accept McChrystal’s resignation
2. Appoint the only true expert in counterinsurgency we have, a true hero and patriot, David Petraeus, to salvage the Afghan operation for the national good
3. Put a less insubordinate general over Petreus

Now the Afghan war can claim two more casualties — the careers of Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus (the military’s boot-licking enablers-in-chief of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, respectively) while it slogs on to the pull-out date. It remains to be seen whether Obama will have the stones to stick with the withdrawal date, or if his only trick is playing clever politics with the generals, but I’m glad to be able to feel good about something he’s done and plan to savor the moment.
Savor this as well.

Amazing. After 18 months of nothing but treachery and incompetence (actually longer, since Obama showed his cards the day after election with the appointment of Rahm the Fixer), there are actually sentient creatures still buying the Obama-Three-Dimensional Chess Act. Of course, it isn't just the betrayal of everything he ran on, it's this:

Some genius.

Following at the same site, we have Mr. Y:
The Rolling Stone article said that McChrystal voted for Obama (a rare act I'm sure for a General) and it was President Obama who gave Stan his "own war" to run. So, why would he now be part of a secret Republican conspiracy to put Petraeus in the White House while destroying his career?
Mr. Anti-Conspiracy Grown Up announces the destruction of Mr. Death Squad's career. Let's see how destroyed this prick's career is in about a year's time, when the US is forced to either bug-out or send in another couple hundred-thousand "war-fighters."

How did the "left" get to be so dumb? But then this isn't the left, is it?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Haibane III

Third episode of Haibane Renmei, "The Temple"

Part I.

Part II.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal Nacht

It says here that Stanley von McHimmler -- well-known strategic incompetent and serial child-murderer -- said what he said to Rolling Stone magazine in order to get fired.

McHimmler's media and Congressionally-adored Kandahar mass-murder plan -- once scheduled to begin right about now -- has been postponed until autumn in the face of almost total collapse in the US military's position in Afghanistan. While politically his "Commander-in-Chief" is not only on the ropes, but just about out of the ring.

Look for Wee Stanley to be talking about a "stab in the back" in the months ahead.

Justin Raimondo.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Just two weeks after being installed as Japan’s prime minister, Naoto Kan has outlined an economic agenda that will deepen the divide between rich and poor. His government last week signalled a huge cut in corporate tax rates from 40 to 25 percent, while indicating that the country’s highly unpopular sales tax could be doubled from 5 to 10 percent. The announcements follow a G-20 meeting of finance ministers two weeks ago that called for a U-turn in fiscal policy internationally —away from the stimulus packages advocated during the 2008-09 global financial turmoil and towards drastic austerity measures.

Kan was finance minister in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)-led government of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. The DPJ ousted the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had held office virtually unbroken for more than half a century, in national lower house elections last August. Over the subsequent nine months, support for the Hatoyama government plunged from a high of around 70 percent amid continuing economic uncertainty. Hatoyama resigned on June 2 after his back down on an election promise to shift a US military base out of Okinawa triggered large local protests and a further collapse in support to less than 20 percent.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

South of the Border

Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali on their new Hugo Chavez documentary:

South of the Border:

Saturday, June 19, 2010


As the political future of the Obama Administration reaches levels not seen since Jimmy Carter (fast approaching Rod Blagojevich territory), Uncle O. seems to be trying to out-Nixon Richard Nixon for panic-based moves. His 6/15 Oil Spill address from the Oval Office is already considered to be a classic disaster, moving even chumps such as Olbermann, Chris Matthews and the always sickening Maureen Dowd to derision. The White House War on the Press (this press???) is in full battle mode. But not anywhere near as ferociously as Team Obama's war on the American people.
The Pentagon's spy unit has quietly begun to rebuild a database for tracking potential terrorist threats that was shut down after it emerged that it had been collecting information on American anti-war activists.

The Defense Intelligence Agency filed notice this week that it plans to create a new section called Foreign Intelligence and Counterintelligence Operation Records, whose purpose will be to "document intelligence, counterintelligence, counterterrorism and counternarcotic operations relating to the protection of national security."

But while the unit's name refers to "foreign intelligence," civil liberties advocates and the Pentagon's own description of the program suggest that Americans will likely be included in the new database.
Most specific is the Adminstration's war on all domestic whistle-blowers and leakers in general, and Julian Assange and his heroic WikiLeaks in particular. Assange is literally on the run for his life -- in hiding from an American President who claims the right to murder anyone on the planet, including US citizens, if he feels that person is a national security threat. If exposing the internal workings of a corporate-fascist empire is a threat to national security, then Assange certainly is a threat. When the great Dan Ellsberg was arrested by the Nixon Administration for releasing the Pentagon Papers, the press, the progressive community, and the Democratic Party all screamed bloody hell. Who is screaming now, when a contemporary leaker of far more important information is in Obama's gunsights?

Not much screaming, but a full and brave discussion of just what is happening.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sweet Sixteen!

Whether out of exhaustion or tightness, the first three quarters were one of the worst-played championship games in NBA history.

But then. . .

And sweetness and joy. . .

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Give 'Em Helen

From a January 6, 2003 exchange between then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and Helen Thomas.
HELEN THOMAS: At the earlier briefing, Ari, you said that the president deplored the taking of innocent lives. Does that apply to all innocent lives in the world? And I have a follow-up.

FLEISCHER: I refer specifically to a horrible terrorist attack on Tel Aviv that killed scores and wounded hundreds. And the president, as he said in his statement yesterday, deplores in the strongest terms the taking of those lives and the wounding of those people, innocents in Israel.

THOMAS: My follow-up is, why does he want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?

FLEISCHER: Helen, the question is how to protect Americans, and our allies and friends—

THOMAS: They're not attacking you.

FLEISCHER:—from a country—

THOMAS: Have they laid a glove on you or on the United States, the Iraqis, in eleven years?

FLEISCHER: I guess you have forgotten about the Americans who were killed in the first Gulf War as a result of Saddam Hussein's aggression then.

THOMAS: Is this revenge, eleven years of revenge?

FLEISCHER: Helen, I think you know very well that the president's position is that he wants to avert war, and that the president has asked the United Nations to go into Iraq to help with the purpose of averting war.

THOMAS: Would the president attack innocent Iraqis?

FLEISCHER: The president wants to make certain that he can defend our country, defend our interests, defend the region, and make certain that American lives are not lost.

THOMAS: And he thinks they are a threat to us?

FLEISCHER: There is no question that the president thinks that Iraq is a threat to the United States.

THOMAS: The Iraqi people?

FLEISCHER: The Iraqi people are represented by their government. If there was regime change, the Iraqi—

THOMAS: So they will be vulnerable?

FLEISCHER: Actually, the president has made it very clear that he has no dispute with the people of Iraq. That's why the American policy remains a policy of regime change. There is no question the people of Iraq—

THOMAS: That's a decision for them to make, isn't it? It's their country.

FLEISCHER: Helen, if you think that the people of Iraq are in a position to dictate who their dictator is, I don't think that has been what history has shown.

THOMAS: I think many countries don't have-people don't have the decision—including us.
In a fine tribute to Thomas, Paul Craig Roberts embraces her as the diamond in the dungheap known as the White House Press Corps.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Special Friend

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bulletin: Chris Matthews About to Vomit

Out of the mouths of boobs.

Matthews and Keith Olbermann react to Obama's Oval Office Address on the oil spill.
Olbermann: It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.

Matthews: Jimmy Carter time.

Olbermann: Nothing specific at all was said.

Matthews: No direction.

Olbermann: I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling.

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying Secretary of Energy Chu has a Nobel prize. I'll barf if he does it one more time.

Matthews: A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk.

Matthews: I don't sense executive command.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mr. Slick and the Slick

Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone has written a massive investigative piece proving that all significant blame for the BP destruction of the American Gulf (and the Earth?) belongs with Barack Obama.

Amy Goodman with the journalist.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mistah Hearst, He Dead

As a 12-year veteran of Hearst Magazines, I couldn't help be fascinated by the firestorm directed against the company ignited by comments of Hearst newspaper reporter Helen Thomas, and Helen's lightning quick apology. My, the self-righteousness of the company and of the Family in particular. Daughter Victoria Hearst especially went off in her condemnation of Thomas and in her defense of the po' little besieged state of Israel, the week of the Marva Marmara massacre.
"I urge Hearst Corporation CEO Frank Bennack to make a public apology to the Worldwide Jewish Community, assuring the Jewish people that the Hearst Corporation is not anti-Israel."
No, but it sure has become anti-human. Hearst Magazines, under the cheeseball leadership of Cathie Black -- and fully supported by the Family -- has been on a slash-and-burn campaign against its own products for more than 10 years now. Back in the day (say up until the turn of the Millennium), each Hearst title had its own cache -- a different history, size, smell, paperweight, readership, and cover style. Each magazine had its own turf and the EICs would fight bloody battles to not let the scourge of advertorial ruin the day.

A battle lost long ago. Starting with the replacement of Ed Kosner as Esquire Editor-in-Chief with GQ procurer David Granger, all those who defended their title's color and traditions were bounced. So now Hearst is in the grip of little but slick pimpery, losing money by the cartload, and symbolized by that godawful new Tower. (Classical Hearst extended itself into a college campus, with titles cribbed among 4 or 5 buildings surrounding 57th Street & Broadway. And the old Deco headquarters leveled by the Tower was a thing of beauty. Originally built in 1929, intended to be its own 48-floor skyscraper but finished at only 6-floors because of the Depression, it had the opal glimmer of marmoreal lamps and discreet mahogany-lined walls in offices secured from the outside world by blinds, shutters, and heavy drapes.)

Ted Rall on the great Helen Thomas.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

John Wooden, 1910 - 2010


His greatest team, and their only loss.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What If Iran Had Done This?

There would no longer be an Iran.
A U.S. citizen who lived in Turkey is among the nine people killed when Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish aid ship heading for the Gaza Strip, officials said today. The victim was identified as Furkan Dogan, 19, a Turkish-American. A forensic report said he was shot at close range, with four bullets in his head and one in his chest, according to the Anatolian news agency. Dogan was a high school student studying social sciences in the town of Kayseri in central Turkey. He was born in Troy, N.Y., and moved to Turkey at the age of 2. He will be buried in his hometown tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Party Known as Scum weighs in.
While the Obama administration takes a wait-and-see approach to the newest crisis in the Middle East, some Democrats in Congress stand firmly behind Israel’s raid of a Turkish flotilla en route to Gaza.

New York Democratic Reps. Anthony Weiner, Jerrold Nadler, Gary Ackerman, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) have all vigorously supported Israel’s boarding an aid ship bound for the blockaded Gaza — an act that resulted in ten deaths and a U.N. condemnation.

The comments expose a bit of daylight between the White House and some staunch defenders of Israel in Congress. Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said the administration is “greatly supportive of [Israel’s] security. That’s not going to change.” And in a statement, the White House said it had “regret” for the deaths but supported an investigation to uncover the facts.

Pro-Israel Democrats aren’t being so nuanced.

I think that members of the United States Congress understand why the blockade was in place against Hamas and support it, once you start at that place, a boat that bows into the teeth of that blockade isn’t going to be viewed sympathetically,” Weiner said. “To the extent that any time that there is a flare-up of tensions, it’s bad for U.S. and Israeli efforts of peace. We obviously had a bad weekend.”

Ackerman, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, said he “strongly support(s) Israel’s right to defend itself, and the right of Israel’s naval commandos, who were executing a legal mission, to defend themselves by using force when they were brutally attacked.”

He called Hamas the “true villain in this drama.
And of course there's the Afrikaner Party.
Some conservative commentators and lawmakers are pointing the finger of blame at President Barack Obama over Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla that ended with the death of nine activists.

On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain told Fox News that the Obama administration's calls for a settlement freeze in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem set the stage for the deadly May 31 incident.

"This is another step in a chain of unfortunate events beginning with President Obama’s insistence that there be a freeze, as a precondition for peace talks, a freeze on settlements in Jerusalem," McCain told Fox's Sean Hannity. "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement."

Talk show host Michael Savage linked President Obama to the flotilla raid much more directly. Savage told listeners that he believed the Israeli commandos sent on board the Mavi Marmara were "betrayed" so that their deaths would be "good PR" for Israel's allies. (No Israeli service members died in the raid.) And he suggested it was the Obama administration that pressured Israel into "dangling [its] soldiers like bait into a tank of sharks."

As far as I know, it was Obama's administration that told them how to do this attack," Savage said. "It was probably one of America's peace-loving generals, who knows which one of them did it."

Savage then went on to suggest an even stranger theory: That the flotilla itself was set up by political extremists in the United States who have been linked to Obama.

"There are Web sites that are alleging that this was orchestrated not so much by Turkey but by the United States, from Chicago, by Bill Ayres and Bernadette Dhorn, who are members of the Free Gaza group."
The West Bank, hell. Looks like the entire Eastern seaboard is IDF occupied territory.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sayonara Hatoyama

Incredibly, the Prime Minister of Japan Hatoyama Yukio and secretary general Ozawa Ichiro of the DPJ announced their resignations this week. Only nine months after the historic booting of the hated LDP -- an election triumph based in substantial part on the DPJ promise of greater separation between Japan and the increasingly despised USA -- the resignations come two weeks after Hatoyama announced his capitulation on the most important part of the DPJ promise: closing Futenma airbase on Okinawa. (Hatoyama announced it would be merely moved to another part of the island.)

Three things:

-- Japan will not be able to remove Uncle Sam's grip on its balls until it elects a female Prime Minister. If she can get over the zaibatsu-yakuza wall, the vampires in Washington will be easy pickings.

-- The 21st Century disconnect between the politics of election and the politics of governing is once again exposed. The public state has now been completely swallowed by the deep state.

-- Hatoyama Yukio remains an honorable man. After nine months of realizing Japan's locked-in, subservient relationship to the US, and not having the leadership capacity to unlock it, he resigned: to minimize dangers to his party and to his country. Compare that to one Barack Hussein Obama, the individual who not only has broken every campaign promise (implied or otherwise) he made in 2007-08, but in most cases has done the opposite of what was promised, and so has endangered the very existence of the Democratic Party (good riddance), in what is sure to be an unprecedented rout this November.

One leader is a man; and a failure. The other has made everything much worse; except for his family's wardrobe and future book deals.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Blonde Beast

Justin Raimondo.
In understanding how the Israelis justify killing sixteen civilians in international waters – and kidnapping hundreds – we have to look at it from the viewpoint of a savage. Now I don’t mean by that term someone necessarily wearing animal skins, and wielding a club: savages can wear Armani suits, and wield nuclear weapons, as the history of the twentieth century attests. In the West, however, the culture and especially religious belief prevents the celebration of savagery as civic virtue: when we commit atrocities, we justify it as a proportionate use of force in retaliation for previous acts of aggression by the victims of our wrath. Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and the arguments used to buttress the case for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians – come to mind. The death of innocents is explained away as “collateral damage.”

The savage mind, however, works differently. Shorn of what we would recognize as a moral sense, the savage glories in his capacity for pitiless violence. It’s a survival mechanism: in his world, red in tooth and claw, instilling fear in your opponent means winning more than half the battle. As a survival strategy, it’s like the one inmate who mutters ominously to himself while exhibiting all the characteristics of a violent psychotic: the other prisoners give him plenty of space because they think he’s liable to do anything. So, too, in the case of the Israelis, who are signaling their willingness to go to any lengths in order to instill the fear of their wrath far and wide.

Yes, they’re telling us, not even you in the West – our “friends” and allies – are exempt. We’ll kill your people, and kidnap them with impunity. We’ll steal your secrets, and the identities of your citizens: we’ll spy on you, and collaborate with your enemies (and ours). Nothing is beneath us. The voice of the Israeli Attila rings loud and clear, and it is telling us what was clearly said by Ron Torossian, organizer of the June 1 “we stand with Israel” demonstration outside the Turkish UN mission:
“I think we should kill a hundred Arabs or a thousand Arabs for every one Jew they kill.”

This precisely describes the guiding principle of the Israelis’ strategic vision: respond to a few stray rockets with a full-scale invasion and prolonged occupation and blockade. Respond to the imaginary “threat” of a ship full of unarmed “activists” and journalists by launching a military assault, murdering sixteen and wounding a good number of the survivors. Torossian, who has taken on the job of defending this act of savagery, is at least honest in accurately transmitting the Israeli view and its implications. After all, why stop at killing a mere thousand Arabs: why not a hundred thousand, or a million?

This is the voice of the savage being raised in the midst of our advanced industrial civilization: it’s as if a giant atavism suddenly reared its shaggy head above the New York City skyline, shaking its fist and roaring as skyscrapers tremble. It is Nietzsche’s blond beast speaking in Hebrew. The IDF is beyond good and evil, the settlers Overmen with Brooklyn accents.

To add a note of hilarity to this foreboding scene, we have the Israelis and their amen corner claiming the crew and passengers “ambushed” the poor defenseless IDF, complaining that they beat their assaulters with whatever makeshift weapon they could lay hands on. The “proof” that this was a boatload of “militants” – terrorists, in fact, in league with al Qaeda and Hamas – is that they defended themselves. It’s funny how, even in justifying a brazen assertion of dominance, the defenders of the Jewish state revert to the role of the victim. Old habits are hard to break, but one has to wonder: what kind of mental processes allow a person to make such arguments?

We are dealing, here, with a sociopathic tendency that only takes on the superficial appearance of a political ideology. The classic profile of the sociopath is one so fixated on the fulfillment of his own desires that every means are used to achieve his ends. Out of such raw materials serial killers are made, and also dictators like Stalin and Hitler. Add the animating factor of religion to the mix, and a monster arises out of the bubbling brew, a bestial creature bereft of morality, and without any check on its inherently destructive nature.

In Israel’s case the creature can more accurately be termed a monster in the Frankenstein mold, that is, a monster created by the mad scientists who have been in charge of US foreign policy since the Reagan years. We nurtured the young Frankenstein when he was but a babe in the cradle, recognizing the Jewish state at a crucial moment in its development, and since that time subsidizing it, arming it, and protecting it from its own worst impulses – until, today, we have a perfectly monstrous juvenile delinquent turned sociopath on our hands, who’s mugging the neighbors, stealing from our wallet, and thumbing his arrogant nose at all and sundry for good measure.

Have the Israelis gone crazy? The Mediterranean Massacre answers that question with a resounding yes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Husband & Wife

"The Engagement" from September '95.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Purple & Gold

When the playoffs began seven weeks ago was there anyone who paid attention to the 2009-10 regular season predicting a Lakers/Celtics NBA finals? Alas.

It's been tough to care about team sports since the birth of my daughter. I root for the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Lakers as much as ever, but the ups and downs emotionally are much flatter. However, being a Lakers-lover for 35 years and a Celtics-hater for just as long, not in this case. . .

Compared to 2008, the pluses for L.A.:

Motivation has flipped. The prime motivator this time is Kobe's drive to overcome '08. Removed is the "haven't won a thing in 22 years" motive on the part of the Smeltics.

Home court has flipped.

Pau Gasol better and much more a part of the team.


The "Big Three" (yeah, sure) two years older.

No P.J. Brown.

No Eddie House.

No James Posey.

No Leon Powe. (Boston's major size and rebounding advantage from '08 now mostly gone.)

Kendrick Perkins will be suspended at least one Finals game. (Probably one in Boston, as Phil Jackson earns his bread.)

Doc Rivers has clearly outworn his welcome, hence Boston's regular season.

Rasheed Wallace now with the Celtics.

Vladimir Radmanovic no longer with the Lakers.

Pluses for Boston:

Worse L.A bench than 2008, and that was crap. Basically the bench is one man, Lamar Odom.

Rondo much better.

Nate Robinson.

No Sam Cassell.

Bynum again no factor, despite being two years older and a more important part of the team architecture than in '08. Trade the party guy, preferably for Chris Bosh.

Fisher two years older. He certainly will not play as well against Boston as he did against the Suns.

Perhaps most important, we're not starting from an equal spot. Looking back, the 2008 Celtics were clearly a better team than the 2008 Lakers. Looking back, perhaps the best NBA team since the '01 Lakers.

So the question is, do the pluses and minuses add up enough for L.A. to overcome the '08 gap? Probably. At least enough to make it a coin-flip. The series will come down to calls, injuries, bounces, luck.

Much like the Detroit Pistons in 1988, Boston won't be able to win the title on the Lakers' home floor, so it's either Celtics in 5 or L.A. in 7 -- and this Boston team just ain't that good. Lakers in 7. In reality, a wash.