This afternoon, CNN host Ashleigh Banfield took Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) to task over his comments concerning his opponent, Tammy Duckworth. Walsh responded with a condescending repetition of the host’s name that topped out at 93 times. ThinkProgress has the video, with the counter to confirm. Watch it:
Former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum may have ended his presidential campaign in April, but his conspiracy theorizing about Barack Obama’s foreign policy hasn’t stopped. Santorum, who has previously stated that if elected president he would attack Iran and claimed Obama is helping Iran acquire nuclear weapons, told right wing radio host Steve Malzberg on Thursday that Obama may bomb Iran in October to ensure his reelection.
Read the exchange:
STEVE MALZBERG: Even doing something against Iran, which probably fundamentally in his core, he doesn’t want to do because all he wants to do is have dinner with Ahmadinejad.
RICK SANTORUM: … Foreign policy is just something that is a distraction to him. Something that we will deal with later….What he believes he needs to do to win the election is some sort of October Surprise…there is no question that is one of the things that I’m sure he will look at.
MALZBERG: We’re talking about possibly attacking Iran. You wouldn’t be surprised?
SANTORUM: I don’t know…It would not surprise me that this president would do anything to let the country know that he’s on the watch and that he is a vital player in keeping us safe.
Obama has declared numerous times that the military option is on the table, but the administration has also spoken honestly about the negative consequences of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice stated in March that the administration sees a diplomatic resolution as “the best and most permanent way” to resolve the crisis. That position was echoed by the Mitt Romney campaign last month.
Senate Bill Conditions Egypt Aid On Public Disclosure Of Security Budgets | A draft Senate bill proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) would condition U.S. financial support for Egypt on the public disclosure of Egypt’s military and police budgets. Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid — Israel is the largest recipient — and 65 percent of that aid goes to the military. Egypt receives an average of $1.6 billion a year in U.S. aid. The bill also stipulates that Egypt uphold the 1979 peace treaty with Israel as well as “guarantee basic freedoms, including freedom of expression, the right of civil society organizations to operate freely, and the right to establish political parties.” The House of Representatives proposed a similar bill but without the disclosure requirement.
Expert Panel: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Was Result Of ‘Collusion’ Between Japanese Government, Regulators And Plant Operators | Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant accident last year was a preventable disaster resulting from “collusion” between the Japanese government, regulators and the plant operator, an expert panel said in a report released today. The panel found that the Fukushima nuclear disaster was the result of “man-made” failures before and after the March 11, 2011, earthquake. “Across the board, the Commission found ignorance and arrogance unforgivable for anyone or any organization that deals with nuclear power,” said the report. “We found a disregard for global trends and a disregard for public safety.”
Black, a publisher, columnist, and Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords declared that, “most of the world worked better in colonial times,” and went on to list the colonial accomplishments of the British, the Belgians and the Dutch. He surmises:
No one could seriously dispute that almost all of sub-Saharan Africa, all of North Africa except Morocco, all of the Middle East except Israel and Jordan and most of the oil-rich states, and the entire former British Indian Empire were better governed by Europeans.
Black’s casual defense of colonialism fails to even hint at the humanitarian costs of colonial projects in Asia and Africa or the long-term destabilizing heritage left by Europeans in their former colonies.
During the British Raj, Indians suffered some of the worst famines ever recorded. In the Great Famine of 1876-78, approximately 10.3 million people died. During the Indian famine of 1899-1900, between 1.25 and 10 million died. Professors Mike Davis and Amartya Sen explain those catastrophies as stemming from British colonial policies.
Black mildly chastises the Belgians for being “inexcusably heavy-handed in the Congo,” but defends them for “never generat[ing] the horrific casualties that have routinely occurred in the civil strife in that country in 50 years of independence, much less the approximately 1 million dead in a single month in the Rwandan massacres of the Tutsi in 1994.” That claim overlooks the Belgian government’s own admission that half the population died during the Congo Free State period of 1885 to 1908, implying a death toll of approximately 10 million.
And while Black admits “the Dutch were no joy in Indonesia, but the natives did not run amok,” he is either unaware, or willfully chooses to ignore, the deaths of Indonesians during the Indonesian National Revolution between 1945 and 1949. During this period, an estimated 45,000 to 100,000 Indonesians died fighting the Dutch and civilian casualties ranged between 25,000 and 100,000.
The National Review took a principled stand in denying outright racists, such as John Derbyshire, access to their magazine. They should show a similar sensitivity toward columnists who celebrate European colonialism while overlooking, and in some cases denying, millions of deaths in Africa and Asia.
Rep. Joe Walsh: All Tammy Duckworth Does Is Talk About Her Service | Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) backed off his claim that his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee who lost both her legs in Iraq when insurgents hit her helicopter with an RPG, is not a “true hero,” in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday. Walsh continued his attacks on Duckworth, complaining that “all she does is talk about her service.” Veterans “don’t throw [their service] in your face,” said Walsh. Watch the interview:
National Security Brief: U.S. Prepares For Massive Logistical Challenge Of Withdrawing From Afghanistan
–The reopening of critical U.S. supply routes through Pakistan sets the stage for a mammoth logistical challenge as the U.S. military prepares to bring home 100,000 shipping containers and 50,000 wheeled vehicles from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
–The Palestinian Authority signaled on Wednesday that it is prepared to exhume the body of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in response to pleas from his widow to investigate claims that he may have died from polonium poisoning.
–One day after Russia and China joined the U.S. and other major powers in calling for a transitional government in Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper that holding onto his office “doesn’t mean anything to me” and “you should never stay in office one day if the people do not want you; and the elections are the means through which the people show whether they want you or not.”
–Spinoff groups from al Qaeda are increasingly involved in insurgencies in Africa and the Middle East, making “al Qaeda [...] a useful label for any group that essentially pursues local aims but wishes to exaggerate its reach and sophistication,” Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the al-Qaeda-Taliban Monitoring Team at the United Nations tells Reuters.
–Iran’s export of oil in July may fall below half the average shipped in 2011 before new Western sanctions — driven in large part by Japan and South Korea’s decision to halt all Iranian imports this month — took effect.