Meh Culpa

Fandango Friday: Chas Freeman’s appointment to NIC


Scaramouche from Early Dance Circle

While I’m waiting for my laundry before I head out to print an exam and Fed-Ex it (::gasp::) to the East Coast, I thought I’d mention a few things about Chas Freeman’s appointment to the National Intelligence Council (NIC). Really, it’s not all that bad. Israel would like you to think so, as would all the legislators and lobbyists who would say I’m anti-Semitic if they knew I existed, and thank goodness they don’t, but that doesn’t mean the appointment is bad for the United States.  And the United States’ interests are what we need to be worried about.  We are in far more danger from what folks are now calling Islamic extremists than we are from Israel.  Sure, the Israelis have The Bomb–in fact, Israel has a number of Bombs–but I’d like to see them get one over here.  (NOT. That was a rhetorical device)

On the other hand, there are Muslim extremists sympathizing with Palestinians, ticked off about our occupation of Iraq as well as about the war in Afghanistan, and threatening to overthrow Pakistan, which is right next to Afghanistan if you hadn’t noticed. Understanding how Arabs, Persians and various other Muslim groups think is rather crucial for protecting the interests of our country. It is actually Rocket Science.

Contrary to the way they’ve been portrayed in the past, Arabs aren’t fools.  Neither are Muslims. There is no Al-Farabi for Dummies published anywhere in the world, nor should there be.  Muslims / Arabs/ Persians had a lock on the Greek philosophers while Europe was in the so-called Dark Ages.* No Christian philosopher would even come close until Thomas Aquinas, and then, not so much, because people in the Middle Ages liked to make everything fit into nicely arranged pigeonholes. (The world is less scary when you can do that.)  Anyone who can understand how Arabs and Persians and Muslims in General think–and if anyone can, it’s Freeman–is bound to be good for the US.  We just haven’t been able to do it before, or at least not so’s you’d notice.

Let’s not forget that not understanding Iraqis got us into a passel of trouble we’re still paying for. We didn’t even have enough translators to fight the war we started, and that hurt us. We also didn’t trust our own Muslim citizens to help us out and that hurt us, too. The neo-cons stuck us with what’s-his-head, Chalabi, and he was a nightmare. Talk about lousy intelligence!  Oy vey.

And another thing–I’ve mentioned this before in a rhetorical device-y sort of way–Israel’s policies don’t seem to be helping Israel at all, and they haven’t for as long as I can remember.  (That would be way back to the 1967 War, mind you.)  The missiles from Gaza (and sometimes Lebanon) haven’t stopped.  Iran is still fulminating.  And Syria would really like the Golan Heights back.  Egypt is quiet because we give ’em money.  Let’s see what happens when their fearless dictator leader dies.  Mubarak’s over eighty, so it could happen at any time.

I don’t see why we need to duplicate Israel’s mistakes. We don’t need to use unnecessary force against “enemy combatants,”**  or occupy countries full of Arabs, Persians, or Muslims.  We need diplomacy and good intelligence.  Charles Freeman can help with both. You know, when I get the time and read a bit of Israeli news, I see lots of tweaking over various things Israel complains are jeopardizing our alliance.  Some of the stuff is really minor. (You should check it out some time.)  Sure, the Israelis were angry when Bush 43 wouldn’t join them in a war against Iran and only gave them a wildly expensive defensive missile detection thingy, but they freak when Obama (or anyone else with a little influence) sneezes, and that’s just silly.

I could pretty much say the same about Freeman’s relationship with China that lots of people are complaining about because they’re scared of his pragmatism.  He’s the guy who translated for Nixon on the Epic Trip Going Where No President Had Been Before.  We could use a little understanding of China, too–and yes, it’s more Rocket Science–because we owe the Mainland a bajillion (not a technical term) dollars and are likely to owe much more as long as  we’re on  China’s good side.  See, the deal is that we’re involved in a Struggle To Survive and if we muck  it up with ideology, we’ll be full of fail.  Bigtime fail.

Besides, I don’t think we have a whole lot to brag about in the human rights department after the last eight years.  Do you?  😦


* You can blame that on the folks who torched the Library in Alexandria, whoever they were.

** Wait until you hear what I think of Obama’s current policies about torture, state secrets, and expanding US Air Bases.

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March 6, 2009 Posted by | Afghan War, appointments, Arab world, borrowing, Bush administration, China, diplomacy, Economy, Egypt, Foreign policy, National Security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Equal Opportunity Snark

  • Cheney cracks me up almost as much as Michelle Malkin. He thinks he’s lovable. To whom?
  • According to rumor, LiveJournal may be biting the dust.  Sup cut about one-half to two-thirds of its US staff, calling it restructuring.  Not precisely the diction I’d be using for a “growing company.”
  • Obama is proposing useless tax cuts as part of his stimulus package.  WTF?!  That’s part of what got us into this mess in the first place.   Somehow this does not look like CHANGE, it looks like playing kissy-face with Republicans, what with erasing all those earmarks the McCain team decried during the campaign that Obama said wouldn’t amount to a hill o’ beans when compared to our current nightmare budgetary problems. And, you know, a good share of those tax cuts is going to big business and such. Where is the Trickle-Up, I ask you?
  • Seems as if both Republicans and Democrats have forgotten for whom we voted and why.  Now is not the time for ideological rejection of New Deals or Keynsian  style rescue packages.  I agree with Paul Krugman:

What gets lost in such discussions is the key argument for economic stimulus — namely, that under current conditions, a surge in public spending would employ Americans who would otherwise be unemployed and money that would otherwise be sitting idle, and put both to work producing something useful.

  • Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General? You’ve gotta be kidding.  Item one against Gupta (and that’s all you need): his slipshod analysis of Sicko.  Dude not only got the numbers all wrong,  he accused Michael Moore of lying. What a dolt.  I thought Gupta was on crack.

January 8, 2009 Posted by | appointments, Bush administration, Cheney, Congress, earmarks, Economy, Executive branch, layoffs, stimulus package, tax cuts, transition | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Tis the Season of Much Folly

These are a few of the things I’m tired of hearing (or reading) about:

  • Rod Blagojevich.  Throw away the key already!  Well, not really.  Just do the impeachment thing and let us know what happens.  We have more important items to think about, such as how a 25 year-old taken into custody at Camp Cropper in Iraq can die of a “heart attack.”  (Last instance reported Monday, December 15)
  • Sarah Palin.  The election is over.  With any luck, so are her presidential ambitions.  I’m praying for obscurity  or ignominy by 2012.
  • Karl Rove.  OMGWTFBBQ!  Didn’t Bush 43 send him back to Texas? Is Rove so desperately in need of a job that he has to go back to D.C.?  Karl, go home. We don’t want you any more, and if the Republicans had any cojones (or any sense) they’d kick you to the curb. Who helped lose the last election? You.   Sometimes vicariously, but it was still you.
  • That Obama’s cabinet picks aren’t progressive enough.  The blush is off the American Beauty before Obama’s even been inaugurated. What’s up with that? Give the guy a chance to do some real damage before complaining!
  • Rielle Hunter and Ashley Alexandra Dupre.  I’m sad for the former’s baby, but I have no sympathy for women who knowingly sleep with married men.  Especially if they exploit their, err, connections by sitting down for an interview with Diane Sawyer.  ( I have very little respect left for Diane, either. )
  • W. and Cheney.  Need I say more?  Probably. I give you:  an International War Crimes Tribunal.
  • The War on Christmas.”  Oh Bill-O, please.   Stop.  You can have your Christmas–in all it’s anti-Semitic glory.  (Gah.)  Just remember where it came from:  Mithras (sol invictus) was born on December 25, so said Emperor Aurelian in the Third Century BCE.

If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know.

Falalalala-lalalala!

December 17, 2008 Posted by | "heart attacks", appointments, Bush administration, Cabinet, corruption, Executive branch, far right, Foreign policy, Geneva Conventions, Iraq, Iraq War, liberal, religion, torture, transition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment