Markos picks apart the latest right-wing talking point.
Telecom expert Art Brodsky warns it’s no slam dunk.
Suppose you were a US government official and you read the following in a Russian or Chinese state-owned newspaper op-ed page:
One of the most intriguing ideas is the creation of a treaty-based “Concert of Autocracies” that, like COMECON or the Warsaw Pact, would admit members only if they met strict requirements. The new institution would allow the authoritarian states to work together as a concerted force within such institutions as the United Nations and could eventually replace the United Nations as a forum for legitimizing international security actions if the United Nations itself proved resistant to reform.
Holy shit, right? New Cold War! Right there in the newspaper. So how are Russian and Chinese officials supposed to react to Jackson Diehl’s op-ed in The Washington Post?
Jonah Goldberg receives (and republishes) email from some real morons:
1. The toppling of a regime that was a constant threat to its neighbors and, potentially at least, to us.
2. Removing the Iraqi threat allowed us to move our troops out of Saudi Arabia. The US presence in the Kingdom was the #1 motivator for Bin Ladenism, and the long term benefits this will have after Iraq are hard to calculate but will no doubt be significant.
3. Worst possible case scenario, we retreat to Kurdistan. No matter what happens in Greater Iraq, the liberation of the Kurds and the implantation of a nascent democracy there is a genuine success.
4. Also in the worst case scenario, we retreat not only to Kurdistan, but also to Kuwait. The virtual military encirclement of Iran will remain, and that is important. An encircled Iran, even with a nuke, is a far different scenario than the opposite.
Toppling a regime that was a potential threat to its neighbors and to the USA is an accomplishment if and only if it’s not replaced with a more threatening situation like, say, pervasive chaos.
The other points all seem to involve misunderstanding the pre-war status quo. Kurdistan enjoyed de facto autonomy from Baath Iraq before the war. Our troops could have been moved out of Saudi Arabia and into Kuwait and Kurdistan before the war. Iran was “encircled” before the war. And what does encircling Iran accomplish, anyway? This seems like the kind of thing someone who’s been playing too much Diplomacy would care about.
We’re going to try and devise some new strategies, hopefully with the President’s concurrence…Our soldiers, sailors and airmen should not be in there, risking their lives, losing their lives to stop a Civil War.” — Sen. John Warner (R-VA), once one of the staunchest supporters of the administration’s Iraq policy, speaking today in Charlottsville, Virginia.
Last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly took aim at the retailer Crate & Barrel in his latest “War on Christmas” segment. O’Reilly cited a recent article in which Crate & Barrel spokeswoman Betty Kahn is quoted saying, “We would definitely not say Merry Christmas.”
O’Reilly claimed to have “confirmed” the quote was accurate. As a result, he said he would no longer shop at the store, and alleged that the six Muslim imams removed last week from a US Airways flight “wouldn’t get handcuffed in Crate & Barrel if they started chanting and stuff.” Watch it:
But in an interview with ThinkProgress, Kahn said her quote was misconstrued. Crate & Barrel has no policy encouraging or discouraging store employees from saying “Merry Christmas” or any other greeting. Kahn said she was trying to communicate that the store does not actively require employees to say “Merry Christmas.”
Kahn’s explanation is supported by the fact that Crate & Barrel’s website features various Christmas promotional materials, including a special Christmas section (located at CrateandBarrel.com/Christmas), pictured below:
Full transcript: Read more
Alcee Hastings drops out of the race for Intel Committee Chair, while Pelosi is still said to be very unlikely to pick Jane Harman. Sounds like a win-win to me. And, frankly, good for Hastings who seems to me to be doing the right thing here rather than allowing questions about him to cloud the broader question.
CQ reports, “House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi was to meet with Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) late Tuesday to close the door on his bid to become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, a congressional aide said. But Pelosi, D-Calif., has not yet decided who will get the job, according to the aide.”
“Let’s just have the civil wars and let the crumbs crumble and the cookie crumble where — because I’m fed up with this. … Fine, just blow the place up. Just let these natural forces take place over there instead of trying to stop them, instead of trying to use — I just — sometimes natural force is going to happen. You’re going to have to let it take place.”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case in which Massachusetts, ten other states, and a handful of environmental groups challenge the Bush administration’s refusal to implement policies that curb carbon dioxide emissions.
The Clean Cars Campaign has posted a summary (including links to the briefs of petitioners and respondents) that provides a straightforward explanation of the legal case. It also lays out specific questions the court will answer, the actions that may be required by the administration, and what is at risk for the climate, the government, and the automobile industry.
The briefing and the Clean Cars Campaign’s primer are extremely useful tools in understanding the court case and its implications. How sad that saving the climate has come to this: Suing the Administration to adopt genuine climate solutions, rather than the administration pursuing genuine climate solutions on its own.