Thursday, December 28, 2006

There Are Too Many Cooks Spoiling the Broth!

Bush is getting recipes from all sides for his 'all new' Iraquagmire Stew.

He says he's "making good progress toward coming up with a plan that we think will help us achieve our objective".

I know I'm not spilling the beans to my knowledgeable readers who know that how so many people the Decider 'listens' to, his decision will not be fixed in his mind until he hears from the last person who speaks to him. And we all know that's always the very patient Dick Cheney. This process of cooking up America's next bowl of Mess-o-Potamian stew won't be over until Darth Vader whispers.

Until that moment arrives, the media's headlines will string us along in suspense? NOT!

Personally, I would bank on the veracity of General William E. Odom's Six Brutal Truths about Iraq which Indicted Plagiarist was good enough to post in a comment on my 17-December column.

William R. Polk, co-author of the brand-new monograph, Out of Iraq, makes this Informed Comment about the inadequacies of the Baker-Hamilton recommendations, in part:
. . . The Americans must learn that when a bully falls down people gather around to kick him while he is down, not to offer help.

. . . . what Arab nations would be likely to contribute troops to the proposed international stabilization force? And how could it be assured that these troops would remain under UN control and not act on behalf of their donor nations?

. . . . positive element in Baker-Hamilton is the admission that we need to get out of Iraq. The negative aspect of Baker-Hamilton is that it does not realistically face what that means. What it does, understandably given its origin and composition, is to attempt reach a compromise. Such compromises, of which diplomatic history affords many examples, are attractive because they preserve reputations, cover over mistakes and seem statesmanlike.
All of the king's horse thieves and all the king's pundits cannot put Bush and Cheney's pottery barn back together. They have simply broken too many pots.

As I suggested in these pages on December 17, hanging out in Iraq there is no shortage of thugs with well-armed gangs who know how to fight. They may not be disciplined units at the moment, but they will gain discipline and credibility faster than any of the so-called Iraqi police and armies drawing our pay and serving at our beck and call.

That's the bare-naked basics of 'regime change' anyway: exchanging one regime with another, replacing one thug with another.

There are rumors that Saddam will be summarily executed, perhaps this weekend. Personally, I oppose the death penalty, but only on abstracted pragmatic grounds. In this case, however, removing Iraq's Tony Soprano with dispatch may be helpful in expediting history. The thug is dead - long live the thug. Remember the Bolsheviks' seemingly pointless execution of the Romanovs? As long as the trappings of the deposed regime's thugs are allowed to hang around, future thugs are
less disposed to make their moves.

That's what we need to have happen in Iraq, ASAP!

We need to get out of their way, so Iraqi thugs can select a future thug-in-chief and we we can stop being their godfather.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

On Trying, Convicting and Sentencing War Criminals

Quelle différence!

Whoever would think we are splitting hairs?

The first principle of the Nuremberg trials was to hold nations accountable for crimes against peace. From the start, this constituted a problem with trying Saddam for genocide and war crimes in the aftermath of Bush and Cheney's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI).

It was the United States that committed aggression by invading Iraq based on false premises and promises, thereby violating that same Nuremberg principle. The Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq was conducted without a mandate and in violation of international law.

So here is a summary of Saddam's criminal record:

On July 16, 1979: Takes over as president from al-Bakr; launches purge of Baath.

On Sept. 22, 1980: Sends army into Iran, setting off eight-year war.
Well, that's pretty quick (430 days) after becoming commander in chief. Bush took almost twice time (787) after becoming president to launch his preemptive UULUIUOI on 20-Mar-03.

If Bush and Cheney have their way, by responding to the Iraqi
insurgency with a surge of their own, our currently violent occupation of Iraq is well on its way of being prolonged eight years or longer.

Back to reviewing Saddam's record:
March 28, 1988: Uses chemical weapons against Kurdish town of Halabja, killing estimated 5,000 civilians.
That's pretty Bad... So, how many civilian deaths is Bush's UULUIUOI responsible for? 600,000? Back to Saddam's record:
Aug. 2, 1990: Invades Kuwait, leading to war with U.S.-led coalition which liberates Kuwait the following February.
Okay, okay! Saddam beats Bush, 2-1, as far as launching unprovoked wars of aggression. That's a clear cut distinction. Off with his head!

As for Bush, History will - at best - let him plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Martyrdom for Moslems and forgiveness for Christians...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Special Day,

but Just an Average Sunrise in Paradise...
The best of Season's Greetings to all who do me the honor of entrusting their thoughts to these pages.
Beach, Biker, Cooper, Cyber, Dr. Maxtor, E, Emily, FoodBlogger, GetaLife, Gnade, Guthrum, Hills (Jr & Sr), IP, LTE, Lil'Bill, M.D., Mad Mike, Malfrat, Messenger, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Newt, Not Yo'Mama, Patriot, Pekka, Pinks, Recidivist, RJH Jr, Schmog, Skip, Star, Stella, Wizard and Soros' Proxy (last but definitely not the least!).

After this interlude was over, my 88-Year old Redoct (Dobie years) was totally pissed off that I had not moved from my perch on the sand berm. When I tried to stand in the loose sand he knocked my ass down the slope and then, adding injury to insult, bit me (breaking skin) as I tried to rise. Now , he hasn't done that puppy trick in years.

So here's a raised tip of my Corona to all of my friends in these pages - hoping that this season also brings back to you a similar rejuvenation. Dawg knows, every man needs a good bite every so often.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Moving the Linguistic Goal Posts in the So-Called "War" Against Terror

I have finally found some one who agrees with me!

A little past the first anniversary of Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI), I wrote, Is there anyone in the universe who agrees with my interpretation of George W. Bush's speech of 20 September 2001?

Remember that speech? I picked out as pivotal the point when Bush said,
Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
And my reaction (in part) was:
There's the phrase, "every terrorist group of global reach". To me it meant focus. We were not going after everyone with a particular vengeance or backyard spat in every corner of the world. We were not declaring war against the IRA in Northern Ireland, We were not going into Russia to fight the Chechens. We were not going into Turkey to fight the Kurds' PKK. We weren't air-dropping into rural Columbia to fight the FARC, flying into Spain to suppress the Basque ETA, or convoying to Sri Lanka to pacify the Black Tigers of Tamil. We weren't about to pave Kashmir. We weren't going to misconstrue our mission of anti-terrorism with intervention in bloody civil wars in Sub-Sahara Africa in Angola, Burundi, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea-Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria-Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania-Zanzibar, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Nor, therefore, was this a war against the various terrorist groups in Palestine (Hamas and Hezbollah); only against "terrorist groups of global reach".
Well, I'm immensely gratified to have found someone who 'gets it'! It's Robert Parry, a pundit-journalist who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. This week Parry takes it further in his Global War on Radicals. (I am condensing):
In other words, Bush’s early goal of defeating “terrorist groups of global reach” was narrow enough to be achievable.

The war, in effect, targeted al-Qaeda and similar organizations that not only embraced terrorism as a tactic but had the capability to reach across international boundaries to inflict civilian casualties, like the 9/11 attacks. Bush also added to his hit list governments, like the Taliban in Afghanistan, that harbored these terrorist groups.

However, after the quick U.S. victory over the Taliban in winter 2001-02, Bush shifted the war’s focus in two important ways:

First, the war against “terrorist groups of global reach” transformed into the “global war on terrorism,” an important distinction.

Suddenly, U.S. Special Forces were not responsible for just defeating al-Qaeda and a few other groups with global ambitions but were instead waging a global war against a variety of terrorist groups that presented threats mostly to local authorities. Some were “home-grown terrorists” with no links to al-Qaeda or other international organizations.

Second, Bush decided to settle some old scores with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who was despised by Bush’s neoconservative advisers who dreamt of remaking the Middle East into a land of passive Arabs who would take direction from Washington and accept peace terms from Tel Aviv. So Arabs wouldn't think this was all about them, Bush coined the phrase "axis of evil" that lumped together Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

Since 2003, after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Hussein and an Iraqi insurgency emerged to fight the occupying army, the U.S. news media has lent a hand in blurring the American public’s distinctions between the Iraq War and the “war on terror.”

Iraqi insurgent attacks on U.S. soldiers, especially the deadly roadside bombs, often were described as “terrorist” incidents by the American news media, though the attacks didn’t fit the classic definition of “terrorism.”

Just recently, as I was listening to my car radio, a CNN newscast came on to report that an American soldier had been killed in Iraq by a “terrorist sniper.” By definition, however, the shooting of a soldier occupying a foreign country – though horrible on a human level – is not an act of “terrorism,” since no civilians are involved.

Yet, in the sloppy vernacular of the U.S. press corps, the word “terrorism” came to mean any violent act that officials in Washington didn’t like, a kind of geopolitical curse word.

In other words, the war against “terrorist groups of global reach,” which became the “global war on terrorism,” now has morphed into what might be called the “global war on radicals and extremists,” a dramatic escalation of the war’s ambitions with nary a comment from the U.S. news media.

So, under Bush’s new war framework, the enemy doesn’t necessarily have to commit or plot acts of international terrorism or even local acts of terrorism. It only matters that Bush judges the person to be a “radical” or an “extremist.”

While the word “terrorism” is open to abuse – under the old adage “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” – the definition of “radical” or “extremist” is even looser. It all depends on your point of view.

Bush’s decision to set wider parameters for this global war also represents a grave threat to the American Republic because Bush has asserted that he, as Commander in Chief, must hold “plenary” – or unlimited – powers as long as the conflict continues.

By stretching the definition of the “war on terror” into something so elastic that it has no discernable shape and no determinable end, Bush and his successors will get to set aside the Constitution indefinitely, essentially creating an American autocratic system for the foreseeable future.

So, this “new kind of war” – as Bush’s supporters call it – will require not only the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers but will deform the U.S. government beyond recognition, ultimately making it an international pariah state disgraced by having forsaken its own ideals of justice and tolerance.

In the end, Bush’s vision of the future also means the United States must turn its back on the Founding Fathers, who were considered “radicals” and “extremists” in their own age because they rejected the “divine right of kings” and insisted that all people are created equal and are endowed with “unalienable rights.”
In other words, by invoking the rights of preemptive and preventive war, Bush's UULUIUOI's has hijacked our American Republic out of its traditions and legacy as a force for freedom and peace in the world.

Now we have become a rogue nation, armed, dangerous and looking for trouble.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Remember that Old Vietnam Refrain?

Pssst! Send more troops!!!

With Secretary Don Rumsfeld and gate-keeper Steve Gambone no longer keeping the gates, the Pentagon is leaking. Through the cracks in the floor and door jams, Bush's dirty little secret is seeping out. Cheney wants to do an additional 'surge' deployment of 20,000 extra troops lasting possibly six to eight months.

Sources say that the Joint Chiefs have taken a firm stand to the effect that the White House still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives to the Stay The Course 'strategerey'.

It isn't that Bush is just staying the course, hoping something will turn up and save his legacy (because it's always easier to be lucky than good). It's that his Republican sponsors want him to postpone American withdrawal until his inevitable Democratic successor can be stuck 'losing Iraq'. Bush's ultimate legacy, at this point, can only be resuscitated by a renewal of Republican hegemony in 2012. If it costs even more in blood and treasure to lay the grounds for swiftboating a 'defeatocrat' administration beginning in 2008, more's the pity.

The truth is we don't need 20,000 more troops in Iraq. We need 100,000 fresh troops there. And we don't have them. The occupation is already costing $2 billion a week. So how, exactly, are we going to afford the extra 20,000 troops? Robert Reich (needing no introduction), states
. . . defense appropriations continue to raise military pay 3.1 percent a year, considerably faster than civilian pay is rising.

Cash isn’t the Pentagon’s only lure. The military is also offering signing bonuses up to $30,000 for jobs in high demand. You can get up to a $150,000 cash bonus for re-enlisting if you’re with the Special Forces. And all recruits are eligible for up to $50,000 to offset the costs of higher education and up to $65,000 to pay back college loans. Not to mention generous housing, child care, and health benefits.
The joint chiefs have taken a firm stand on this 'surge' tactic because they believe this moment in time may be the last chance to save the armed services from being 'broken' and to curb Bush's unrestrained and counterproductive militarization of the war against terror.

The question is will Congress stand up? More to the point, will We-the-People stand up?

It is time for Republicans and Democrats to stand up together and demand that we are out of Iraq and/or Bush is out of the White House by November 2008. One or the other, whichever comes first.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bush's Occupation of Iraq Will Not Hold: Goons & Thugs Rule

We Should Re-Deploy Out of Shiiastan and Sunnistan . . . Now.

Saturday's Conference of Reconciliation turned out to be a bust.

Bush promoted the gathering of political leaders inside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. It was billed as a conference of reconciliation, a key initiative to bring the mostly Shiite and Kurdish factions face-to-face with former Baathist adversaries.

But few extremist Shiite or Sunni factions responsible for most of the violence attended the closed-door meeting.

None of the 20 or so former Baathists and ousted generals expected to attend showed up, and none of the exiled Baathists thought to hold sway over some insurgent groups attended, even though the government offered to pay their way and provide security. Only about five former Baathist officials among the 200-300 or so attendees.

That's because they don't feel safe! Conference coordinator Nasser al-Ani cited security concerns as the biggest factor in keeping them away:
They don't feel safe. The situation is unstable, and there's a lot of mistrust. This is one of the missions of the conference, to build trust.
Najib al-Salihi, a former army officer who heads a political group called the Free Officers and Civilians Movement, said he fears the reconciliation offer comes too late to bridge the vast divide that has emerged between a government dominated by religious Shiite parties on the one hand and an insurgency dominated by Sunni religious extremists on the other.

The political bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, who is allied with al-Maliki and whose militia is blamed for many of the killings, boycotted the meeting, refusing to sit down with Sunni extremists.The Sadrists control 30 seats in the 275-member parliament, which makes them one of the three largest forces in Mr Maliki’s Shia-led coalition but belies their true strength as what is almost certainly Iraq’s largest mass movement.

Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organization, the second-largest Shiite militia, said he doubted the reconciliation initiative would help end the violence soon.
We hope this conference will achieve good results, but that doesn't mean there will be an effect right away on the streets. Reconciliation . . . could take months, or years even.

One Sunni-led group represented in parliament, the National Dialogue Front, also boycotted the session, saying it would not "sit down with the people who are killing hundreds and hundreds of civilians every day," said the front's leader, Saleh al-Mutlaq.

The Iraqi National Accord, headed by former U.S. favorite Ayad Allawi, walked out of the meeting, saying the government had not extended invitations to enough political groups to make the conference worthwhile: few attendees had influence over the many armed groups constituting the insurgency.

Ayyad Jamaladeen, a member of parliament from a secular political bloc called the Iraqi List, said that before there could be reconciliation between warring factions who refuse to be a part of the political process, there has to be broader agreement between those in the government.

Leaders of the hard-line Sunni Muslim Scholars Assn. condemned the conference, releasing a statement that called it "a card played by Maliki in order to save Bush's face." Suleiman Harith al-Dhari, Iraq's leading Sunni cleric, is wanted under an arrest warrant issued this month for inciting sectarian violence, accuses the government of bias.

Salih Mutlaq of the National Dialogue Council, a Sunni Arab slate that includes former Baathists, said in a statement that the group would boycott the conference until the government dissolved sectarian militias, released detainees and restored former officials to their jobs.

The Congress of the Iraqi People of Adnan Dulaimi (fundamentalist Sunnis), boycotted, also.

Guerrilla leader Abu Wisam al-Jash'ami did not have a representative attending.

Abu Mohammed also did not represent the Iraqi Regional Command of the Baath (IRCB) at Bush's National reconciliation conference. The leader of the IRCB, Izzat Ibrahim, Saddam's former vice president is still a fugitive with a $10 million bounty on his head.

Nothing is said of Abu Deraa. As the self-appointed defender of his Shia kith and kin, his nom de guerre is "The Shield". But to his Sunni foes – and many of his own people – only one name does justice to the savagery with which Abu Deraa wages Iraq's sectarian war. His real name is Ismail al-Zerjawi; that's only one of the reasons he's thought of as the Shiite version of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: his speciality is the electric drill through the back of the skull rather than a sword to the neck. Rumors persist recently of his death, but his current appearance is not known.

Nasir Ani, a parliament member on the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party slate, said he would urge former army officers to apply for military jobs so
we can make use of their expertise. . . We should help those who initiated this process. It is a step toward success.
But the Iraqi army opened its doors to former officers more than a year ago, with no effect on the violence, and its ranks now are almost full.

And what about this army available to Maliki's control? In a countryside where there is no shortage of motivated and experienced - if undisciplined - armed groupings, militias, and criminal gangs, the so-called Iraqi army and the so-called Iraqi police have no armor or high tech capabilities. Their personnel have enlisted to serve and sustain massacres and mass kidnappings only because joining mass unemployment is the alternative. Money talks, but when the fighting starts, they walk.

And that's what our Anglo-American Coalition forces should do now. Walk, ride, fly back into deployment in Kuwait and Kurdistan. Or, as Rumsfeld would say, 'points east, west, south and north somewhat. . . .'

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Hope Everyone Is Satisfied & Happy

You finally Got Him!

Problem solved?

The Real Iraqi Game Is Still in the Baghdad Bowl

To help you keep score, click on the picture below.
But don't expect me to hand you a program.

Go Iraq!!!

At this Hour, Iraq Finds Itself on the Threshold of Good News!

Iraq's national football team beat favorites South Korea 1-0 earlier this week to get through to the final of the Asian Games.

There has already been great jubilation. But nothing compared to what may be coming!

The final is against Qatar (within hours).

A 25-year-old Iraqi doctor, Amer al-Harky told the BBC News:
If we win it will be the beginning of a new Iraq. I think Iraq's chance to win it is 50%. They are a good team and have a chance, but Qatar has better opportunities, because it is playing in its own country.
(Where in Baghdad did you expect it to be played?) The Iraqis are also without their best player, Younis Mahmoud, who was suspended for time-wasting in the semi-final.

The state television channel Iraqiyya has already started its pre-game coverage hours before the 1300 GMT kick-off. It is the first final the national football team have reached in 24 years, uniting Iraqis across the country.

If the team wins, expect a frenzy of celebration - and gunfire across towns and cities, the usual way Iraqis mark big events. The US embassy has been warning employees to be inside once the game starts, because of the risk of being hit by falling rounds.

The national team is young - 90% of them are under 21. It is also mixed, with both Shias and Sunnis appearing on the pitch for the final.

Coach Yahya Manhel has had to drive his players back and forth to Jordan - along some of Iraq's most dangerous roads. Three of his predecessors have resigned because of death threats. A football federation official was murdered. The coach received death threats.

Several Iraqi professional players have been kidnapped. One was killed by a stray bullet while training. Consequently, many of the players are based abroad. And because of the violence, they did most of their training outside Iraq.

Iraq needs this win!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

America's Map for the 21st Century?

Wanna See My Map?

This is my definitive map of Talibanistan, Darfur's genocide, the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Straits, Palestine, and Iran's nuclear sites, (not to mention the future of our domestic American economy and infra-structure). It's all rolled up into ONE!! Wanna see it?

This is why we are impotent on the world stage. On 12 September 2001, we were the world's last global power. On 20 March 2003, when Bush began his un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI), we began our current long and interminable descent from being a 1st rate world power into some middling ranking.

How would you describe it? Are we not merely the number one spectators of the world scene in the already grossly disfigured 21st Century? (When we are not distracted by Paris Hilton?) Maybe the United States has become the number one complainer, pleader, griper, accuser, etc. Because that is all we can be as long as our sword is buried in I-Rock.

The diplomacy we can conduct is laughable. Bush and Cheney have turned Teddy Roosevelt on his head. With them at the helm, our U.S.A. is reduced to talking loudly and carrying a wimpy, drooping stick in front of us.

Baker and Hamilton's ISG Report directs the United States to be more multilateral with Syria and Iran? Yeah, a good idea whose time has come last came on 9-12-01. But that means we'll be asking them to help us pull Bush and Cheney's chestnuts out of the range of fire in Iraq's free-for-all. So that we can have a graceful exit?

I don't know how many carrots we have left, but our big stick is stuck in the desert of Iraquagmire. As Frederick the Great once observed,
Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.
Until Bush and Cheney leave the stage or we leave Iraq - whichever happens first - America's international audience will wait impatiently and not altogether politely for the musicians to arrive.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mileposts, Benchmarks, Timelines & Bullshit

Narrated by Glenn Kutler,

Dec. 11, 2006:
Three years and nine months after the U.S.-led Coalition began its war against Saddam Hussein, researchers have quietly recorded another grim milestone in the cost of the conflict. American military casualties have now exceeded 25,000.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Clean Break

A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

Early Neocon thinkers were closely associated with Israel's right-wing Likud Party; some went on to write a 1996 paper, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," that urged incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to roll back Syria, work to effect regime change in Iraq, and refuse to return the occupied territories to the Palestinians. I suggest that the old title be reprised with new content.

A second generation of Neocons, including Robert Kagan, William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz, continued to believe in American exceptionalism and the virtues of force, but they added an idealistic note: America should not just battle evil but also promote democracies around the world. For application of Neocon's uncritical thinking, bromides and policies, readers can visit my Kool-Aid Kafeteria.

In a very real sense, it seems to me, that certain precepts of the recent Irag Study Group report offer an alternative Clean Break from the past five years (post 9-11) of Bush-Cheney's Middle Eastern foreign policy as well as a new, realistic and more promising Strategy for Securing the Realm. As a matter of fact, the ISG's recommendations delineated below represent what many of us - speaking for myself, of course - hoped for, expected, and thought Bush was promising to a joint session of Congress on September 20th 2001.

The ISG Report recommends in its Executive Summary:
Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation. The issue of Iran’s nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents, and terrorists in and out of Iraq.

The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush’s June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel’s right to exist), and Syria.

As the United States develops its approach toward Iraq and the Middle East, the United States should provide additional political, economic, and military support for Afghanistan, including resources that might become available as combat forces are moved out of Iraq.
Of course, the barn door's open now and the fox and the wolf are raiding our chickens in Iraq. With our pants down in Iraquagmire, we will be misleading ourselves if we think we can just make nice and draw a get-out-of-Iraq-gracefully card. Hard decisions will have to be made by an American leadership which is credibility-challenged at the moment, nationally and internationally.

But on the regional level a clean break must be made from the past five years to free us up to do that right thing. I submit that requires two decisive changes:
  1. A public decision to severe any linkage between American policy and Israeli expansion and retention of their settlements on the West Bank. That means guaranteeing Israel's territorial integrity up to the 1967 borders, and nothing else. Aid to Israel should be stopped until its government adopts a credible schedule of withdrawal from those settlements.

  2. Legislation which requires the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires those who receive funds or act on behalf of a foreign government to register. AIPAC has been for too long the most powerful and best known pro-Israel lobby that has distorted American foreign policy away from pursuing our national interests as well as constricting appropriate Congressional oversight.
On these two issues, American long term interests in the Middle East compel a clean break in behalf of securing the realm.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Arlington West

1,361 Days.
2,929 Killed in Action.