…comes from Glenn Greenwald. I’ve always admired Greenwald; however, I found myself cheering in agreement as I read his latest article, “Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies”. He suggests that voters will have to decide for themselves on the lesser of evils (as usual). In doing so Greenwald pushes to the surface the numerous actions Obama has taken that goes directly against what self-righteous progressives are all about. It’s long, but read it. It is truth. Yes, even the part about the newsletters. Here is an excerpt:
The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “Ron Paul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.
The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations withdrones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has wagedan unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.
He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.
Ron Paul is on fire. That is my opinion of his performance in this first GOP debate. Of course, I’m biased. Feel free to make your own judgement after watching the entire debate below. There were a few stellar moments from Ron Paul, including his answer when asked about legalizing drugs, and his answer about being the “Founding Father” of the Tea Party movement regarding Michele Bachmann.
I don’t agree with a lot of what Herman Cain says, but I have to admit he has charisma that will give him a lot of support. Expect the other candidates to start attacking him if his poll numbers go up. I think they will.
Gary Johnson did very well with a few odd moments. If I’m looking at him through social-con or neo-con eyes voting for him would likely be impossible. He did come off as a very honest “make the hard choices” candidate. Sort of like Cain without the charisma.
Pawlenty seems to be channeling John McCain a bit too much and Santorum just comes off as angry. Both seem to be going after the George W. Bush voting block; however small that is these days.
Last week Donald Rumsfeld went on the Opie and Anthony radio show to promote his new book, “”. It was an odd interview to begin with. Opie and Anthony are not known for their hard-hitting political interviews, but rather, numerous fart and sex jokes. Comedian Louis C.K. was in studio during the interview, and decided to ask Donald Rumsfeld a humorous question. You can listen to the interview here:
Compare that interview with the rather hard-hitting tough journalistic interview Judge Andrew Napolitano did last night with The other Donald:
And here is the Judge after the interview, saying that Rumsfeld described the interview as the “toughest” he’s had. I’m thinking he wishes he’d rather be asked if he’s a lizard by Louis CK than be interviewed by the Judge again.
Please take some time to watch video of the debate embedded below. It truly demonstrates the dividing line between non-intervention and intervention. Both Fein and Kuhner provide excellent arguments, however I feel that Fein missed an opportunity to point out a serious flaw in Kuhner’s interventionist logic.
First, Kuhner does not dispute and therefore admits Fein’s assertion that the war on terror is a perpetual war. Later, Kuhner cites putting the Japanese in interment camps during WWII was a necessary and temporary evil. He argues that during times of war we must be willing to sacrifice some of our liberties so that we can be more free down the road once the fighting is over.
Fein could have jumped on this point by asking Kuhner the following question:
If we are in a perpetual war aren’t the civil liberties sacrifices we are making also permanent?
Equating the war on terror with WWII is like saying Coca-cola and orange soda taste the same. I bet Kuhner and his interventionist peers would be unhappy if they ordered a Coke and were brought orange soda instead.
In case you missed it, Ron Paul had some time for his favorite pastime today, questioning the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke. Then later he enjoyed a relaxing speech on the House floor where he took the obviously crazy position that the U.S. government shouldn’t be assassinating Americans.
First, his opening speech and questioning of Bernanke.
I’ve seen many people incredulous that Ron Paul could somehow win the CPAC 2010 straw poll. I’ve seen it on Twitter, emails, blogs, and comments on blogs. I’ve read that people call him “crazy” or “liberal”. I even witnessed someone say they would vote for Hitler if he was running against Ron Paul. Yeah, and Ron Paul is the crazy one.
So if you believe Ron Paul is crazy on foreign policy I ask you to watch the following videos and learn why it’s quite possible Ron Paul is actually the sane and constitutional one on foreign policy.
If you don’t have 90 minutes to spare to watch both videos in their entirety then go to 16:55 of the 2nd video and just watch Jacob Hornberger’s speech. If you do have 90 minutes then please watch both parts in their entirety. This video is from last Saturday afternoon at CPAC 2010 from a panel discussion called, “Why Real Conservatives Are Against the War on Terrorism”.
The panel is made up of:
Philip Giraldi, former CIA officer.
Karen Kwiatkowski, retired U.S Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and a variety of roles for the National Security Agency.
Bruce Fein, associate deputy attorney general from 1981 to 1982 under President Ronald Reagan.
Neo-conservatives like to use the expression “cut and run” when describing the Ron Paul-style non-interventionist desire to pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and close our many bases in other countries. If we embraced the “cut and run” strategy instead of the “surge” strategy we would already be well on our way to winning the so-called “War on Terror”. I use the words “on our way” to emphasize that such a war can never be won in the classic sense. There can only be varying levels of success.
The idea would be to trade in America’s my-gun-is-bigger-than-yours foreign policy for a more constitution-oriented, defense-focused effort. Sure, it would permit the terrorists to openly claim victory. So what? This is the kind of victory that, in the end, helps reduce terrorism. Once victorious, what is their recruiting incentive?
I know what you’re thinking: “But they hate us because we are free! They’ll just continue what they are doing!”
“They hate us because we are free” is the neo-conservative equivalent of the “truther” claim that “9/11 was an inside job”. Just because it becomes a convenient narrative for pundits on either side doesn’t necessarily make it true.
Ron Paul appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live last night as part of a panel to discuss some issues of the day. No, Ben Stein did not appear with Paul this time. They discuss foreign policy and the terrorism threat. The segments are in 2 parts below.
Quote of the Day: “Stare into the abyss and the abyss stares into you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been celebrating the supposed success of torture as an interrogation method to protect us from terrorism. Cheney claims that . . .
* Waterboarding and sleep deprivation turned Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) into the C.I.A.’s best source on Al-Qaida.
* KSM then provided information that led to the arrest of Iyman Faris, an alleged Al-Qaida sleeper agent sent to the U.S. to plan attacks on New York landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge.
* The C.I.A. officer who interrogated KSM, Deuce Martinez, said he used traditional interrogation methods, and not the infliction of pain and panic.
* And Ali Soufan, a former F.B.I. agent who oversaw the interrogation of another major terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, says that Mr. Zubaydah talked before he was subjected to waterboarding and other abuse, and that “using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions.”
Whom should we believe — Mr. Cheney, or the agents who did the interrogations? The answer seems obvious. However, we believe there’s an even greater argument from principle to be made here. Even if torture were the most effective and reliable interrogation method possible, it would still be wrong to use it, both morally and practically.
* We must not become that which we claim to oppose.
* We must set an example for the world of how people should behave.
* And we must count all the costs and risks to which we subject ourselves when we violate our own most sacred values.
The whole world now knows that the supposed “land of the free and home of the brave” . . .
* Kidnaps people and sends them abroad to be tortured
* Holds people in captivity without due process
* Practices acts of torture for which it has prosecuted others
* Does not practice what it preaches
Our hypocrisy has undoubtedly recruited far more terrorist candidates than have ever been caught by using torture. The Cheney-Bush policy was, and is, self-defeating, even if it could really be demonstrated that torture occasionally results in useful information. Sadly . . .