I begin this weekly retrospective with the United States. The Congress of the United States is at recess as it deals with the so-called Sequestration. The Republicans have begun a Public Relations Push to tell the Country about their own views and to
I have been quite amused at the lineup of leading luminaries from the Republican Party coming out as they have. One of the most amusing ones has been Lindsey Graham, the Senator From South Carolina who has been on a quest to basically be against anything Barrack Obama is for. At the State of the Union, I saw the President reaching out to shake the hands of Lindsay Graham and his Best Friend For ever, John McCain as he worked his way up to the podium to present his report to the People of the United States and the World. What is so sad is how the Republicans have made a fool out of themselves as they blocked the Hagel Nomination. The absurdity of the debate was shown by Ted Cruz of Texas coming out and claiming that Chuck Hagel was on the take from the Government of Iran. Of all the nonsense I have seen coming out of the Republicans, this one topped it all.
They have also stymmied efforts on avoidance of the fiscal cliff by pushing the fiction that they need leadership on this issue. I can’t understand why the political leadership in the Country will be amenable to a 80 Billion Dollar immediate hit on the economy as the economy continues to be anemic at best. The challenge continues to be generating aggregate demand that must be generated in order to help with the on-going recovery. The President discussed this very thing yesterday during a White House Talk on this issue.
The Republicans have also been on a rampage to somehow slow the progress towards some semblance of Gun control. I am especially sickened by what I read on Gun Control. As I was out driving out in Town for the day, I heard about a car jacking and shooting in one of the top communities in Southern California. People were subject to carjacking and at least 3 people had died as a result of the shooting. People continue to fall victim to the rampant violence.
Beyond the daily “grind” of politics, there is history. One of the hardest shows I saw was Hubris on MSNBC. Although I understand the “tilt” that the network has, the fact that there was a clear policy aimed at deceiving the American People is something that is well known and documented. As an “outsider” I kind of feel vindicated because I knew that the war was wrong and the advent of the War led me to launch what has now evolved into “Outsiders”. They interviewed key players who basically debunked everything that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney said.
One of the key actors that played the part in the deception was Chalabi. I wrote about him back in 2008:
Source: Really Long Link retrieved 2/20/2013
As I read and thought about Iraq this past week, I wondered about this man. He was a man who assured the Bush Administration that our soldiers will be treated as liberators. Yet, he was never held to account. I read that somehow he is still involved. He has a lot of nerve, that’s for sure. On a serious note, there is quite a lesson to be learnt by future Administrations, though. You have to talk to everyone, understand where everyone is coming from and be a true, honest broker. We have lost so much because of this man and how the President took us into a war that did not have to be fought.
The need to talk to everyone and keep all lines of communication open was underscored by the Israeli Daniel Levy, when he said recently, “….if you’re not talking to everyone, you’re going to be Chalabied every time….” (Courtesy: http://www.time.com, retrieved May 24, 2008). I could not have said it better myself.
I do wonder, though, how Chalabi sleeps at night.
I think this program is especially timely as one of the major complaints John McCain raised was that Chuck Hagel was one of the few lonely voices who raised his voice. The Democrats went along with it. What I find especially striking (and the media itself admitted it) was how the so-called Mainstream Media bought into the deception and never asked the tough questions. Those who were brave enough to speak up–including men like Joe Wilson–were hounded. Their story on the Movie Fair Game is another indictment of the pivotal decision by George W. Bush that will haunt the United States and the World for years to come. What is also tragic is that the United States has fought in two major wars under false pretenses. The question is if the United States will actually learn or not.
As the United States deals with some profound domestic political challenges, The World also remains a very tough place. President Obama is preparing to leave for the Middle East to visit Israel. I was surprised when I saw that the newly elected Israeli Prime Minister has appointed Tipzi Livni as Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator with the Palestinian Leadership. This gives me some hope that there may be some movement on the Peace Front. I have held out such hopes before–only to be disappointed. The reality on the ground, though, is different. Settlement building has gathered pace and the repression of the Palestinians by the Israeli Military is very much the reality. I want to be hopeful–but I wonder if that is unrealistic. Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and Bahrain are continuing to experience various levels of economic and political challenges that is probably keeping all the folks at the State Department responsible for those “desks” up late at night.
There continues to be a few stable “oasis” out there. The UAE continues to thrive. Dubai appears to have shaken off its’ near collapse. Abu Dubai’s Royal Family just announced a 45 Billion Dollar Real Estate Investment in Pakistan. Qatar continues to flex its’ muscle regionally and internationally with the moves it continues to make supporting the Palestinians and bankrolling the Syrian Opposition. Oman seems to be stable and Yemen seems to somehow be contained–although the Drone wars are continuing. A recent report about US Drone bases in Saudi Arabia continues to underscore how War is being transformed–in somewhat scary ways.
When will we learn?