Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bomber Obama

There may be such a thing as absolute truth, but evil is, without question, a relative commodity, especially when it comes to elections. I rejected Hillary Clinton as a suitable presidential candidate because of her penchant for kissing up to the neocons. She was going hook, line and sinker for their Iran narrative the same way she took the bait on Iraq. As president of the United States, John McCain would be the most dangerous human being in the history of civilization, so he made for an even worse candidate than Hillary.

On May 19, the (then) least of three evils made the most rational foreign policy statement uttered by a presidential candidate since World War II: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela—these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us."

Perhaps more importantly, Barack Obama displayed a greater aptitude for the commander in chief job than McCain and Clinton combined when he said that Iran spends “one-one hundredth of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen.”

Indeed, who in his right mind would consider it a sign of weakness to listen to a nation that, to paraphrase former Central Command chief William Fallon, we could crush like ants if we needed to? McCain thinks it’s a sign of weakness, of course, but remember; the question stipulated "right mind," so "Gramps" doesn't count as a correct answer.

McCain returned fire, noting that his opponent's awareness of Iran's military insignificance shows "the depth of Senator Obama's inexperience and reckless judgment." McCain's rant was pretty comical, in fact, up until the moment Obama made the mistake of taking him seriously and answered, “Let me be absolutely clear: Iran is a grave threat.”

That's the kind of remark that makes you wish Obama's foreign policy advisers would take him aside and tell him, "Don't say dumb stuff like that, huh?" Unfortunately, a couple of Obama's top foreign policy advisers have been saying some pretty dumb stuff themselves.

Bad Company

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is a pro-Israeli think tank founded in 1985 by Martin Indyk, a former research director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). High profile neoconservatives Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and James R. Woolsey serve on WINEP's advisory board.

WINEP's Presidential Task Force on the Future of U.S.-Israel Relations recently released a report titled How to Deepen U.S.-Israel Cooperation on the Iranian Nuclear Challenge. The report stated among other things that the U.S. and Israel should discuss policy options that include "preventive military action" against Iran.

Signatories to the report included, not surprisingly, McCain advisers Woolsey and Vin Weber. Obama supporters should find it disconcerting that the signatories also included two of their candidate's foreign policy experts: Tony Lake and Susan Rice.

For somebody who talks constantly of making a "change" in the way America plays with the rest of the world, Obama sure sounds at times like he's up to the same old shell game. Despite his often moderate, rational sounding statements about Iran, Obama seems to have accepted the neocons' Iran bashing nonsense from the outset of his presidential bid. In September 2004 he said that missile strikes might be a viable option to destroy nuclear sites in Iran. In March 2007, speaking to a pro-Israeli audience in Chicago, he called Iran "a threat to all of us." Now his proxies are agreeing that the U.S. and Israel should consider preemptive deterrence measures against Iran.

All this because of the wholly unsubstantiated neoconservative claims that Iran is arming and training Iraqi militias and has ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons. The Bush administration promised in January 2007 to provide proof of Iran's direct role in killing U.S. troops in Iraq. A year and a half later, it has yet to produce a stitch of credible evidence. The most compelling testimony we have that the Iranians ever pursued nuclear weapons is the recent National Intelligence Estimate that says they abandoned their program in the fall of 2003. Since Russia only started building Iran's first reactor in the fall of 2002, whatever nuclear weapons program Iran had must have been the kind of thing Spanky and Alfalfa could have slapped together in Darla's back yard over summer vacation.

So what in the wide world of sports, arts and sciences are two of Obama's key foreign affairs advisers doing at a conference with a neocon infested, AIPAC affiliated think tank and signing off on its Persian Peril policy?

If Club Obama plans to let Israel keep leading us around by the foreign policy tool, we might just as well hand the keys to McCain. With Gramps behind the wheel, there's at least a chance he'll doze off before he backs out of the driveway.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword . Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now. Also catch Russ Wellen's interview with Jeff at The Huffington Post and Scholars and Rogues.


  1. If Obama's statements about Iran didn't, his backing down on telelcom immunity sure let the air out of the balloon. At this point, just looking for something, anything from an Obama administration.

    Regarding US ability to crush Iran like ants. . . since winning the "total war" of WWII, bullying has become increasingly acceptable to Americans. You see it in sports all the time where it's all about taking advantage of an opponent's weakness.

    While rejoicing in the NY Giants' 1991 Superbowl win, I coudn't help thinking that their dominating offensive line reflected a tactic in the Gulf War at the time. Remember bulldozers burying Iraqi soldiers alive in their trenches?

    "whatever nuclear weapons program Iran had must have been the kind of thing Spanky and Alfalfa could have slapped together in Darla's back yard over summer vacation"

    You're showing your age, Jeff. At least you watched "The Little Rascals" in repeats like I did.

  2. Yeah, repeats,that's right. Before cable, the only thing independent stations had to show for cheap were old movies. I saw a lot of Marx Bros. and W.C. Fields flicks that way.

    Too bad they've been forgotten now.


  3. wkmaier10:30 AM

    I was unimpressed by Obama's FISA doubletalk, not to mention his take on the Supreme Court ruling against the death penalty for child rape. It's obvious he's tacking center.

    But I tell ya, listening to some of those people being interviewed on NPR this morning, (sigh). Nothing ever changes anymore.

    On the side note, I used to watch a lot of Abbott & Costello and 3 Stooges repeats on the TV back in the old days. ;-)

  4. WK,

    You bring up a good point about party nominees tacking to center. I normally expect it, but man, a BO who promises change and delivers same-o is unacceptable, as is continuing to take marching orders from Israel.

    Yeah, I think I saw every Stooge short made on Captain 11 out of St. Louis, and a lot of A&C on that channel too. Also saw quite a bit of Harold Lloyd, who lamentably is quite forgotten now.


  5. Commander, I don't disagree with anything you, and all the above posters say.

    However, I also know we have four more months to go before anybody casts a vote for president.

    Agreed, the Obama campaign has been mostly funded by over 1.5 million donors, with small contributions.

    All that aside. Who, as in (what voting bloc) with unlimited financial, and organizational resources, could derail this election, for Obama, at this stage of the game? If "the game" is not played to their liking? I was reading in Ha'aretz the other day, there are now 1,000 new millionaires in Israel. Imagine that.

    Hard as it is for me, I'm trying to be pragmatic about this. I know nothing will change if McCain is elected. And, I know that Obama has to be elected, before he can change anything.

    So, I'm still so mad I could spit. However, I know that my only chance at change in Washington, is an Obama administration, with a veto proof Senate.

    So, what good is it, if you win the battle (say against FISA legislation) and you lose the war (say the election in November) because you have handed to the Republicans one more thing with which to attack you, and paint you "soft" on national security?

    Progressives have been looking for the guy who would "bring the gun to the knife fight" ever since John Kerry got swiftboated,in 2004.

    Obama brought the AK-47. That he's using it, gets no complaints from me. It's past time that Rove got "Roved."

  6. EL,

    I certainly sympathize with your sentiment, but I don't need to play that game, and somebody has to keep screaming about the shameful amount of influence Israel has on U.S. foreign policy.


  7. Yeah, Harold Lloyd was great. Wasn't he the one that hung from the clock? Maybe he's on Netflix. I used to have an autographed 8.5 x 11 of him, but sold it.

  8. Yes, he's the clock guy. I wish I could remember the name of that movie. It was pretty funny, I thought.

    Lloyed financed his own films and was quite rich when he hung it up.


  9. William Bollinger3:38 PM

    Safety Last.

    Jeff, you keep right on on bustin their chops. Otherwise, they tend to forget what they originally promised. I don't know what bothers me most. Politicians who say whatever it takes to get elected, or people stupid enough to keep falling for it.

  10. Commander, I agree with you. Totally. Unequivocally. And, I will scream along with you. I know that AIPAC cannot intimidate, financially. The Obama internet organization has rendered their financial support --- not relevant.

    However, from a GOTV perspective, and from a physical support perspective, they could still possibly inflict a world of hurt. Otherwise, neither candidate would pay them any mind at all.

    My hope was, and is, that Obama would look more toward "J Street" than AIPAC.

    And, I still believe that those changes, that will affect how we formulate foreign policy, still may require a lot of work from the bottom up.

    Some of the changes that I would see with an Obama in the White House: A new/different Secretary of State. A new/different foreign policy. A new/different Attorney General. A new/different set of federal prosecutors. A new/different energy policy. A new/different CIA Director. A new/different FBI Director. A new/different Secretary of Defense. That's my hope for some change.

    The pro-war guy in Georgia that is supporting Obama, and that he in turn is supporting --- has an opponent. I'll make a modest donation to that opponent.

    Commander, we do what we can. In the case of Donna Edwards, in Maryland, -- it made a difference.

    So.... we do what we can.

    You old movie buffs. I saw a Laurel and Hardy not too long ago on Turner Classic Movies. The skinny guy got hit in the head, and turned into a genius -- who ran an English prep school. The heavier one was relegated to "manservant." And, of course there was the inevitable bump on the head again, which made everybody normal. I can't remember who is Ollie, and who is Stan. They both are funny as heck. The one bit of tv I watch -- on occasion. It's a treasure.

  11. wkmaier3:47 PM

    I have a biography of Harold Lloyd, pretty interesting. But my favorite is Buster Keaton.

  12. WK,

    I think The General is one of the 10 best film comedies ever made. Talk about a lesson in using conflict for humor.


    The skinny one is Stan, who was the actual "brains" behind the team.


    Yes! Safety last, thanks for the link. That opening scene is hilarious.

  13. I just remembered; I always thought Harold Ramis, no movie comedy slouch himself, emulates Lloyd's look.


  14. wkmaier8:15 PM


    I know I have The General on VHS, taped some years ago (hmm, the commercials might be You Tube worthy!), pretty sure I bought it on DVD. What was the one where the house falls down around Keaton? That was a gag that was actually as dangerous as it looked. It was mapped out, etc. and Keaton did it. I love old films. There was a theater a few towns over that showed silents (flickers) up to several years ago. (sigh)

    BTW, I played Abbott in a "Who's on First" sketch at a High School Talent Show years ago. Not tooting my horn, but we did bring the house down. :-)

  15. I have General on DVD with Steamboat Bill. I recall reading that the house falling scene was incredibly dangerous indeed.


  16. wkmaier9:02 AM


    Just a suggestion, what about doing an occasional post on something unrelated to the Insanity We See Every Day?

    This is fun talking about old silent comedians, it can keep us from joining The Borg of Stupid. ;-)

    Anyway, I'm off to AK for a week, keep fighting the good fight!

  17. Maybe I'll start that in the sidebar, wK, or maybe we'll link to another blog page.


  18. Martin Indyk gets on my last nerve.

  19. Mine too. He's eepy-cray.

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