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Politics served up with a smile... And a stilletto.

Published: Sat, 17 Mar 2018 13:36:50 +0000


By: EntropyIncreases

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:20:08 +0000

#4, Africans should really be able to feed and educate themselves. They have accomplished great things historically. But strongmen like Mugabe squander their resources, turning a breadbasket into a charity case. The US is doing great things in Africa, with AIDS education, research, prevention, medicines. Anti-malarial initiatives which have saved multitudes. Micro loans to allow hard working entrepreneurs survive and thrive. Not that I think those should be actions our federal government takes, but our government is far more progressive than I like, and probably more than you are aware (of :-)).

By: EntropyIncreases

Tue, 20 May 2008 21:14:01 +0000

#4, we must focus on credible threats. If Mexico poses a threat, we need to spend some resources on it. I agree that we are not in Iraq to promote democracy. Promoting democracy is a strategy to blunt the credible threat many felt Iraq posed to the US. It was not an end and is only a partial means, as paying partial attention to Gen. Petraeus' two major appearance before Congress would have made clear. Your characterizations of Iraq as some kind of colonial harbinger seem off, since we handed over power some time ago. Our military over there has not been used to push our will down the GOI's throat. I actually think democracy in Iraq poses a regional threat to the bad guys, which is part of the strategy. Iran is not doing well internally. But they are capable of wreaking havoc on the region. I am guardedly optimistic about what is happening in Iraq, but guardedly pessimistic about much of the rest of the world. The actions against the Mehdi militia, Iranian Quds force, including the Iranian Special Groups, AQI all seem to be doing well. AQI is dying. Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army units are doing better. But corruption is still a huge problem. Do you think we would have been better off using $600 Billion in massive USAID initiatives in our hemisphere or continent? Do you really want to ignore the sacrifices of our citizens and squander our accomplishments? I want them home yesterday, but only if the day before that they accomplished their mission. If we deem the mission impossible, then bring them home. But the soldiers on the ground seem hopeful and committed, so I must be, also. Mr. Moran, what actions should we take in Lebanon? Diplomatic? Aid? Should we arm the Druze population more heavily than they already are? Should we seek to influence the balance of power to allow others to stand up to Hezbollah? Should we try to convince the allies of Hezbollah that their alliance is foolish? And should we do any of these overtly? Or covertly? Lebanon is a mess. It is horrible that a country like that should be reduced to this, but they are scarred by their civil war and by Syrian/Iranian ham-handedness over decades. Setting up a proxy seems foolish with risk. The fault lines seem stark, and they seem to have been exacerbated by Hezbollah's actions. But Hezbollah also emerged more powerful, apparently. Thanks for any additional input.

By: Saint Michael Traveler

Sun, 18 May 2008 19:03:55 +0000

Iraq, Persain Gulf and Lebanon What are we doing in Iraq, Persian Gulf and Lebanon, region about 7000 miles away from our USA home? We have killed a lot of people in Iraq and are paying a price for our invasion of the land. The price is being paid by people in our great Armed Forces and our children who have to pay for the cost of our adventurisms. Don't believe it for a minute that we are in the Middle East to give them democracy. Let us do that in our own backyard, our own hemisphere. Please travel to Mexico, our nearest neighbor. Let us spend some of our money and expertise to better the life for these people. Really if we want to do something right, spend the money and manpower in Africa among the neediest people in the world. Feed them and educate them. We can’t even fool ourselves anymore. Does the old colonial technique, separating nations into groups then making them to fight each other, works anymore? The Middle East will do best without the United States; they have done it over 4000 years. No thanks, they say: “we would not need your democracy.” Please let us go home. We have a lot of things to do in our own Old USA and hemisphere.

By: DrKrbyLuv

Sun, 18 May 2008 15:32:18 +0000

You mentioned that Professor Barry Rubin, a recent guest on your radio show, said “To date, the US (and France) have remained largely in the background, letting Saudi King Abdullah carry most of the diplomatic load. But should the US then try to “organically merge” with the pro-democracy Sunnis in Lebanon to match the Iranians and Hizbullah?” This is a great point and in my opinion, further evidence of one of Bush’s biggest strategic blunders. He has placed too much trust in our “allies” the Saudis and Pakistan. These are the very people most responsible for the growth of radical Islam. How can we continue trusting them to help broker our interests in the world when clearly we have totally different and often conflicting interests. I hope the US works directly with Lebanon in making sure they have the resources needed to demand that Hizbullah either disarm and become a political party or, be disarmed as criminals. However, the onus to stop Hizbullah squarely falls at the feet of Lebanon’s 2/3 non-shia population. If they are content to capitulate, it will come to be.

By: busboy33

Sun, 18 May 2008 11:50:42 +0000

Assuming the Iranian influence in Lebanon is as you describe, the question now becomes does the Admin engage the situation there or uses it as a casus belli for a direct Iranian attack. I suppose there is always the third option of twiddling their thumbs, but I pray they aren't that foolish. Or foolish enough to attack Iran. No - there are measures we can take to bolster Siniora far short of war. There are risks - but depending on what we do, they are manageable. ed.

By: may

Sat, 17 May 2008 22:52:46 +0000

Guess who said this? "the American people can look back at the track record of George Bush, supported by John McCain, and say to themselves, let’s see, we were told that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There were none. We were told that we would be there relatively briefly. We have been there over five years. We were told that this would cost maybe 50 billion, 60 billion. We are now on $600 billion. We were told this would make us safer and that this would be a model of democracy in the Middle East. Hasn’t turned out that way. We were told this would not serve as a distraction in Afghanistan. You have Bin Laden sending out videotapes, today. And our own intelligence estimates say that Al Qaeda is stronger now in Afghanistan and in the foothills of Pakistan than in anytime since 2001. And Iran is stronger now than before we invaded. So the American people are going to look at the evidence and they are going to say to themselves, you know, we don’t get a sense that this has been a wise foreign policy or a tough foreign policy or a smart foreign policy. This has been a policy that often times has been revolved around a lot of bluster and big talk but very little performance. What the American people want right now is some performance."