The Hard and Narrow Third Path Won the Day

September 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Foreign Affairs, Historical, International Affairs, Obama!, politics straight up | Leave a comment
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Tobruk, Libya. One hour after Tobruk fell, such scenes as this were common. Roofless buildings stand among scattered masonry and wreckage of motor vehicles in a corner of the bomb-torn town which had been one of the main supply ports for Rommel’s army in North Africa. c.1942? (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

I am glad that I won’t have to explain to my own children why the world stood aside, its decision allayed by an American President whom I supported, and allowed a mass genocidal massacre for the second time in almost as many decades.

thereisnospoon@Digby’s Hullabaloo


Words to live by

October 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Posted in elections, Historical, politics straight up | Leave a comment
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The great Bartholdi statue, liberty enlightening the world: the gift of France to the American people. Chromolithograph, published by Currier & Ives, c1885. (Library of Congress)

“There is nothing patriotic about … pretending that
you can love your country but despise your government.”

President Bill Clinton, May 1995

Attention Eric Cantor: This is what “adult, responsible leadership” looks lke

April 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Bush, politics straight up, Reality Bites | Leave a comment
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Vodpod videos no longer available.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) delivered the Republicans’ weekly address yesterday and among the many idiotic things that came out of his mouth was that if only voters would give them another chance, Republicans would provide “adult, responsible leadership.”

Well, Mr. Cantor, apparently you were asleep from January 2001 through January 2009. If the many disasters caused by Republicans during those years is any example of what they would do if given another opportunity, I hope Americans are smart enough to decline to give them that opportunity any time soon.

Thanks, Crooks & Liars, for the video!

The Marc Rich Pardon.

January 17, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Department of Justice, Foreign Affairs, politics straight up | 1 Comment
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President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House, Washington, D.C.  March 8, 1977.  (Marion S. Trikosko, photographer)

President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House, Washington, D.C. March 8, 1977. (Marion S. Trikosko, photographer)

Well, knock me down with a feather.

Echoing [then Israel’s prime minister Ehud] Barak’s pleas on behalf of Rich were Clinton’s old friend Shimon Peres, former Mossad director general Shabtai Shavit, and a host of other important figures in Israel and the American Jewish community. Winning the pardon was a top priority for Israeli officials because Rich had long been a financial and intelligence asset of the Jewish state, carrying out missions in many hostile countries where he did business.

* * *

Meanwhile the fugitive financier, as he is still known, has never returned from his lair in Zug, Switzerland, to the United States. (The mainstream press never mentions that, either.) In other words, he has never used the pardon — perhaps because he would first have to pay up tens of millions of dollars he owes in back taxes, a condition set by Clinton.

Clinton’s decision is subject to harsh criticism in both substance and appearance, even by smart people who know the truth. But the pardon power exists so that presidents will be free to make such hard choices for reasons of state. As a lame duck, Clinton had no other means to induce his Israeli partner to take any risk for peace. All of this has been ignored ever since by the likes of Arlen Specter and the Washington Post — and was obscured once more because Holder didn’t want to start an argument with the Washington establishment, which forgets nothing and, even more reliably, learns nothing.

It was more entertaining to gossip about what a putz Clinton was than to look at what else was going on.

What is really irritating to me is that the word “impeachment” was bandied about after the pardon of Marc Rich. But while we were living through eight years of endless impeachable offenses streaming out of the Bush administration, the public was told, no, no, impeachment is too divisive.


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