Category Archives: International Relations

Bush Shoe-Thrower May Get Fifteen Years

Was it worth it?


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Filed under All Politics is Local, Bush, International Relations, Iraq Occupation, U.S. Foreign Policy

Malcolm X On Violence

“If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.”
Speech, Nov. 1963, New York City. (link)


Filed under Defining Freedom, Framing, Historical Quotes, International Relations, Malcolm X: Progressive Model, Quotes to Ponder, Racism in America, U.S. Foreign Policy

Jimmy Carter: Obama’s Human Rights Opportunity

Yes he can.

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Human Rights, International Relations, Obama, Obama Advice, Progressive Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy

Samantha Power Not A Wrap

Although it seemed she might be, she ain’t.

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Filed under Hillary Clinton, International Relations, Progressive Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy

How Will Clinton Look If She Turns Down Secretary Of State?

Last night at the bar my friend schooled me on why the Clinton pick for Secretary of State.  I’m now convinced it was.  Moreover, who the hell saw that coming?

And, as the pundits said it’s unlikely she would turn it down after the leaks about their meeting. I would think so, but the idea occurs to me that Obama might be even more savy than my conversation last night acknowledged.

Let’s say for a moment that Clinton turns him down.  She’s done more irrational stuff in the past, so although as my bar conversation last night concluded, it’s in her best interest to accept, she may not at the last moment (just like she did not concede after she lost the primary).

I think Obama’s six is pretty well covered. If Clinton turns him down, it kind of makes her look like an asshole.  Clinton supporters could no longer argue Obama somehow wronged her, was unfair to her, or didn’t  treat her with respect.

The fact that he extended the olive branch in such a huge way puts the future onus on her to return the gesture.

It’s hard to imagine somebody offered one of the most coveted jobs in the administration, turning it down, and then undercutting and maligning the person who offered it.

By offering it to Clinton, he also receives cover from attacks by Hillary supporters to select Richardson, now considered a traitor by the Clinton camp. They can’t really object to Richardson if Clinton was his “first choice.”

It may very well be, as is often true, that you offer things to people, but hope they don’t accept.

However, I think it’s probably more likely she’s just waiting to accept in order not to look desperate.

Personally, I hope she declines because I’m tired of hearing about and dealing with her and her weird issues.

I’m sure Obama is as well.

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Filed under Hillary Clinton, International Relations, Obama, Obama Advice, U.S. Foreign Policy

Samantha Power A Wrap?

I hadn’t counted on it, but had hoped Samantha Powers would have a prominent role in the Obama administration, at least as an advisor.

That looks . . . less likely . . . in light of Clinton as Secretary of State, since she called Clinton, and I quote, “a monster.”

At the time, based on the kind of campaign she was willing to run, I agreed. Then again, I didn’t blurt it out as a member of a campaign based on hope and unity.

Maybe, she can still just advise Obama, without any interaction with Clinton.

It seems likely Clinton is less forgiving than Obama.

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Filed under Hillary Clinton, Human Rights, International Relations, Obama, U.S. Foreign Policy

Osama Bin Laden Wants John McCain To Be President

Osama Bin Laden wants McCain to be elected President. He does. I said it.

The idea for this post came from watching Meet the Press today. John Kerry and Ted Thompson swung by, and I was reminded how a last minute message from Osama Bin Laden probably tilted the last election back to GW.

It’s worth thinking hard about.

A few days before the last election, Osama Bin Laden appears out of nowhere. His appearance arguably changes the state of the race.

Do you think somebody who was able to orchestrate the most devastating terrorist attack against us would somehow misjudge his effect on our presidential race? And, given that, does it not occur to you that he would attempt to tilt the race in a manner that he felt furthered Al Qaeda’s interests?

Do you think it was simply coincidence that he timed it a few days before the election?

Why so many people did not or do not understand about Al Qaeda, is that they want bellicose, simplified, and lone ranger massive military responses to its attacks.

They want the United States to use its military force against radical islamic factions in an as many countries as possible.

They certainly want us to stay in Iraq as long as possible, and all the more certainly want us to wage war against Iran.

In short, a McCain presidency would do exactly and precisely what Osama Bin Laden wants.

Now, this seems somehow wrong to say. The Republicans have gone forward insinuating that Obama would somehow be preferred by international terror networks, because he is somehow foreign, or in other words, because he is not white. So I hesitate to make the above titled proclamation about Al Qaeda’s preferences.

Yet, unlike the Republican talking point about Obama, my statement is actually true.

John McCain has said:

“I will follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell”

Although it might freak out the standing leader of a dictatorship (assuming they have no nuclear weapons) , that is not Al Qaeda. What John McCain doesn’t understand is that radical islamisists don’t care if they live or die.

I’ll say it again. Suicide bombers and their equivalents, do . . . not . . . care . . . if . . . they . . . live . . . or . . . die.

They are simply not scared by the supposedly big bad John McCain. They are not scared of anybody‘s threats – because they don’t care if they live or die.

All that they want, is to create instances where it is as easy as possible to engage in conflict with Americans forces as possible. They want to increase the possibility of Americans harming civilians, denigrating Islam, and otherwise changing public favor further against them.

Strategically, they want American occupation of Middle Eastern nations, it inflames the region and strengthens their ranks.

What Al Qaeda is afraid of, is a measured, thoughtful, informed strategic response to terrorism.

They are afraid of the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And, they are afraid of losing the Middle Eastern public’s support where an American President is engaging and winning the hearts and minds of the Middle East.

They are afraid of Barack Hussein Obama.

Any person who has taken a decent undergrad course on the Middle Eastern conflict/politics could tell you this. That’s why I am always so frustrated by John McCain and George Bush.

I don’t think John McCain has taken that course.

After writing this post, I looked over Osama Bin Laden’s previous statements on the eve of the election in 2004.

In a chilling way, the 2004 statements have come to pass:

We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah,” bin Laden said in the transcript.

He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, “using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers.”

“We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat,” bin Laden said.

He also said al Qaeda has found it “easy for us to provoke and bait this administration.”

“All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations,” bin Laden said

As part of the “bleed-until-bankruptcy plan,” bin Laden cited a British estimate that it cost al Qaeda about $500,000 to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001, an amount that he said paled in comparison with the costs incurred by the United States.

“Every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars, by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs,” he said. “As for the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars. (via CNN)

Chilling because it is so true.

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Filed under Cost of War, Decision 2008, International Relations, Iraq Occupation, McCain, Supporting the Troops, U.S. Foreign Policy