Monthly Archives: September 2009

Selling another war

Paul Craig Roberts can’t believe that we’re falling for another bunch of lies from the War Party:

Does anyone remember all the lies that they were told by then-president Bush and the “mainstream media” about the grave threat to America from weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? These lies were repeated endlessly in the print and TV media despite the reports from the weapons inspectors, who had been sent to Iraq, that no such weapons existed.

The weapons inspectors did an honest job in Iraq and told the truth, but the mainstream media did not emphasize their findings. Instead, the media served as a Ministry of Propaganda, beating the war drums for the U.S. government.

Now the whole process is repeating itself. This time the target is Iran.

This time around, however, things are different. The American public is sick of war, the military is in shambles, and truth is, we’re broke. So our handlers are bringing back their best hucksters:


Kelley Vlahos takes a long, hard look at how the Kagans do it. Essential reading for understanding how war-fever is spread.

Is O’Reilly Growing Skeptical of War in Afghanistan?

Maybe. Did anyone watch O’Reilly tonight? He was giving McCain, who was on there defending a “surge” in Afghanistan, a very hard time. I would describe him as almost dismissive of McCain.

Addendum: Regardless, he is still beating the drums for war with Iran. Do these clowns ever learn? Did he not even listen to his own criticisms of the war in Afghanistan? They can’t not meddle. It is an irresistible impulse it seems.

You’d think a shrink would know better

Charles Krauthammer on the late Irving Kristol:

At 20, he got a job as a machinist’s apprentice at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He realized his future did not lie in rivets, he would recount with a smile, when the battleship turret he was working on was found to be pointing in the wrong direction. It could only shoot inward — directly at the ship’s own bridge.

I can’t imagine a better metaphor for the Neocon ideology Kristol would later create — a worldview that claimed to advance an irresistable democratic empire, but instead launched wars that gutted our economy, weakened traditional liberties, and wrecked the military.

Southern populist terrorism

Robert Stacy McCain lets Andrew Sullivan have it for his anti-Southern rantings about the murder of a part-time teacher and census worker in Kentucky. McCain promises to travel to the scene of the crime and do some actual fact-finding, something the opinionated Sullivan deems unnecessary — after all, it is the South, right? Hit McCain’s tip jar so he can afford to do this story. Think of it as hitting Sullivan, who’s clearly the number two most pompous pseudo-conservative on the ‘net.

Number one is still secure.

The Conservative [sic] Action Project Serves Up Another Lame Foreign Policy Memo

They need to stick to economics and social issues because they have served up two lame Memos on foreign policy. They are clearly stuck in Cold War interventionist police the world mode.

Notice, however, that Richard Viguerie didn’t sign this one. I wonder if he caught flack for signing the last one. Also, note that the President of the Free Congress Foundation signed it. This is very unfortunate. The late Paul Weyrich was already fully in the non-interventionist camp when he passed, and he would not have signed this nonsense.

There is something to be said for not publicly flagellating yourself. It is unbecoming. So the Memo writers have a partially legitimate point. The way to go about this would be to send messages through diplomatic channels and letting your actions speak louder than your words. Bringing the troops home would say a lot more than will empty public apologies.

The problem with what they have written is that it is just more blind, mindless interventionism. For example, America should have NOTHING to say about the Israel/Palestine situation at all. It is none of our concern. And “conservatives” citing UN resolutions is both laughable and sad.

My Latests on the Conservative Action Project is Up at Intellectual Conservative

A Memo to the Conservative Action Project

Recently, a group known as the Conservative Action Project has been issuing “Memos to the Movement,” meaning the conservative movement. All the Memos are signed by several significant conservative movement activists. The Memos address various policy issues and appear designed to present a unified and authoritative voice of conservatism and from which disparate activists can take both talking points and policy direction. Not every memo is signed by the same people, but there are some regulars.

The Purpose of the Conservative Action Project appears in the heading of the Memos.

The Conservative Action Project, chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, is designed to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. Participation is extended to leaders of groups representing all major elements of the conservative movement—economic, social and national security.

This alone is not objectionable although those of us on the paleo or alternative right should be forgiven if we see an attempt to perpetuate “three-legs-of-the-stool” movement conservatism in that last line. Most of the Memos so far have been largely acceptable form an alt-right standpoint although they have been predictably movementy. For example the Memos on the Health Care Bill and the Stimulus Package provide wonkish critiques and measured responses but fall short of assailing them both as the unconstitutional usurpations that they are.

Unfortunately, the Conservative Action Project really showed its true movement colors with their latest offering on missile defense. The “national security” they refer to in their nod to the three legged coalition does not seem to be the actual security of the United States, but the security of Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Israel, etc. (Funny but I don’t find protecting Poland anywhere in the Constitution.) The reaction on the alt-right has been harsh and deservedly so.

More …

Paul Craig Roberts is Now Officially Off the Reservation: Endorses Single-Payer Health Care

For a long time I have been defending PCR against the claim from more mainstream conservatives that he is or has become liberal, a claim they base on his opposition to the War, opposition to Bush, writing at CounterPunch, etc. These people are usually completely ignorant of PCR’s background. But after this latest rant, I am not sure I can any longer defend him. He has come out in favor of a single-payer health care system. He seems to have either such an axe to grind against insurance companies and the system that he has embraced a policy counter to his conservative instincts just to spite them, or he really has drifted to a populist leftist position.

Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the Feds to do ANYTHING regarding healthcare. Period. End of discussion. If you want health care reform at the Federal level then bother to amend the Constitution or shut up. The only things that I can think of that the Feds could constitutionally do re. health care is dismantle the unconstitutional programs and regulations that are already in place and change the patent laws re. pharmaceuticals. If anyone can think of anything else then I would like to hear it.

The Little Green Meltdown

If you haven’t kept up with the meltdown of the pro-war, any-war crowd, you’ve been missing some of the grandest entertainment on the ‘net (see here, here, and here, for example).

Seems Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, though he was all for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, can no longer tolerate his conservative allies who also want to halt Third-World immigration in order to preserve Western, Christian culture. Johnson, of course, is the more logically consistent here — Bush & Co. always justified their wars as egalitarian, globalist crusades aimed at crushing backward (traditional) cultures, with just enough fabrications about protecting Americans from attack to justify a pre-emptive war. Patriotic conservatives who blindly followed the president and supported his aggressive wars have recoiled from Johnson’s accusations that they’re “racist” and “white supremacist.” They counter by accusing him of betraying conservatism and having mutated into a leftist.

The conservative bloggers are wrong — again. Charles Johnson hasn’t changed. What’s happened is that they were fooled. In fact, now that DC’s splendid little wars aren’t fun anymore, the unnatural coalition that backed them is falling apart. What else but a nation-building crusade wrapped up in patriotic language could induce well-meaning, patriotic Americans to do the bidding of lefties such as Christopher Hitchens, Charles Johnson, Hillary Clinton, and Irv Kristol?

The Iraq and Afghan adventures were conceived as classic leftist projects to destroy traditional societies and reconstruct them into models of egalitarianism. The Neocons, who’re nothing but body-snatching leftists, were going to accomplish what LBJ failed to do with his Great Society/Vietnam campaigns. The Neocons intended to impose their world democratic revolution at home and abroad — that’s why they supported amnesty for illegal aliens at home while American soldiers died trying to remake the Middle East. Those wars took more resources away from Americans and placed them in the hands of the central government, as all wars do. The additional powers our handlers in DC have appropriated, including domestic spying and “preventive detention” for enemies of the government, are now in the hands of Obama and his cronies.

The party’s over, the bill has tripled the deficit, and folks like Charles Johnson have woken up with what they consider coyote-ugly bedmates. No wonder he’s chewing his arm off.

Rush Needs to Untie the Other Half of His Brain

I normally listen to sports talk radio in the morning (the great Mike and Mike) because our local morning political talk guy is a GOP hack, but this morning I happened to catch Rush Limbaugh’s morning update. The subject was Obama’s dreaded liberal internationalism, which Rush of course thinks is a bad thing. I think Obama’s liberal internationalism is a bad thing too, but not just because it is liberal but also because it is internationalist. Rush has no problem with internationalism. He just wants unilateral, bellicose, shoot first internationalism and not that mushy liberal type. There could be nothing more internationalist than spreading democracy by force of arms and telling another sovereign nation what kind of weapons it can or cannot have for the sake of a third nation we supposedly have some obligation to defend.

The sad thing is, Rush really does believe that his brand of bellicose internationalism is the polar opposite of and the conservative alternative to Obama’s alleged liberal internationalism. But it is neither. The true opposite would be a philosophy that rejects internationalism in favor of particularism. Something you might call America First.

For the Rushes of the American “right” internationalism is just assumed. It is taken for granted. They can’t even think in terms that aren’t internationalist. But internationalism of this sort is inherently liberal. (Conservatism can be cosmopolitan. It does not require hostile parochialism, but it rejects the assumptions that underlie modern internationalism.) Conservatism is inherently particularist, nationalist (in the good patriotic sense), regionalist, localist and decentralist. So if Rush wishes to speak for the right he should be countering Obama’s liberal internationalism with conservative particularism, but he is so far from getting that.

Rush brags of having half his brain tied behind his back. Well perhaps he should untie it and make an effort to begin to understand how his bellicose internationalism is neither conservative nor the opposite of the liberal internationalism Obama is peddling.

Setting the Record Straight on Patrick Swayze

If I read one more Patrick Swayze obit that begins with “star of “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing”" I think I am going to scream. Obviously if all was right with the world the obits would identify him as the ”star of “Roadhouse” and “Red Dawn.”" “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing” are black marks on his otherwise fine career that should be flushed down the memory hole forever. Good grief, the man is dead. Allow him to rest in peace without tarring his good name with incessant references to those two cinematic abominations. Everybody makes mistakes. That chick flick phase was just something he went through between good scripts. The man had to eat. Please cut the guy some slack.

And while we are on the subject of Patrick Swayze’s obit, every one should also contain a react from his “Roadhouse” co-star Terry Funk (who really cares what Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg think?!) and some reference to his classic SNL dancing skit with Chris Farley.

I Guess I’m a “Tenther” Then

A “Tenther,” you know, one of those crazed wackos who wants the Fed Gove to follow the Tenth Amendment.

Here MSNBC liberal shill David Shuster calls the Tenth Amendment “a bunch of bologna” and cites the “general welfare” clause as proof. His argument is laughably easy to disprove historically. Is he really that clueless regarding the history of the “general welfare” clause debate?

Eight Years Later

Eight years later, we can safely say that the dreaded terrorists have won. The effect of terrorism is to cause such a collapse in the mindset of the target population that they are forced to change their very way of life. That happened immediately after 9-11 and has only gotten worse since. If you don’t believe this is true, then consider these words I’ve written the next time you have to throw away your travel-size bottle of shampoo before you board a plane. About a month after 9-11, Congress passed the infamous USA PATRIOT Act which was the start of a series of “homeland security” measures which only serve to trample our constitutional liberties.

Most of the common sense security measures which are both constitutional and effective (like securing our borders) have yet to be implemented. Today we still retain a suicidal open-borders policy coupled with mass immigration, both legal and illegal. Not a decade after 9-11, our elected officials are still trying to offer amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Our equally suicidal free trade policies have contributed to a lack of port security. The multinational corporations simply will not allow any stifling of their importation of cheap goods and cheap labor.

On the foreign policy front, what has our reckless warfare produced eight years later? We’ve driven the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan, but we’re still there today and the fighting is just as intense as ever. A few months ago, Taliban forces were within 60 miles of Pakistan’s capital city. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden has never been killed or captured and Al-Qaeda still freely operates in many parts of the world. The new Afghan government which replaced the Taliban has become just another corrupt regime as the recent elections there have shown. Afghanistan itself has become yet another protectorate of the American Empire. Continue reading

9/11 Memories

Author’s Note: I was stationed at Andrews AFB, Maryland on 9/11. The following day I responded to the Pentagon. My memories of those two eventful days are posted at Sharper Iron. I also post it below.

While most of you reading this site know we favor a non-interventionist foreign policy and opposed the invasion of Iraq, we must be careful not to overlook the tragedy of that day because we resent the way it was later exploited.

On “11 Sep 01” I was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. (Former military will recognize the dating convention.) For those unfamiliar with Andrews, it is in Maryland on the outskirts of Washington, DC and is most famous for housing Air Force One. “Ah, now it rings a bell,” you say.

I was in charge of our base’s alcohol and drug rehabilitation services, and 11 September started out an uneventful day like any other. The patients (in my business the more politically correct term is “clients”) had gone down for a smoke break. Almost all recovering addicts smoke. Go figure. They came back frantically instructing us to turn on the TV. An airplane had hit the World Trade Center. Needless to say, not much more rehabbing got done that day.

We were all, clients and staff, watching live as the second plane flew into the South Tower. What had been speculated about and suspected, terrorism, was confirmed. What happened after that could best be described as ordered chaos.

Continue reading

Obama = Bush on steroids?

In a conversation today I heard an apt phrase to describe Obama: “Bush on steroids.” Look at the policies. Obama has:

- Increased Bush’s military budget

- Tripled his deficit

Continued the same suicidal free-trade policies

- Expanded nation-building plans in the Middle East

and

- Indicated that he probably seek an even wider amnesty for illegal aliens.

Any other examples?

Challengers to the Left of Obama, Challengers to the Right

While I’m busy trying to gin up interest in a primary challenge to Obama from his populist right, the lefties are considering a challenge from the left if he abandons a “public option.” May I suggest Van Jones as a possible candidate.

I think this is great. Despite a lot of talk every election cycle about polarization, American politics is actually tightly centrist. Compare it to European politics for example. But things do seem to be polarizing recently. Obama has embolden both the right and the left. A group of ultra-libs demanding orthodoxy from Obama and willing to play suicidal politics if they don’t get it, IMO creates space on the right for the same kind of radicalism.

Addendum: Just to be clear, I guess another way to put this would be that the centrist consensus is eroding. This could be a dangerous thing as it could result in the plurality election of  far, far lefties. But it could also result in the election of genuine constitutionalists. I believe before true Constitutionalism can advance, the tight centrist grip on our politics must be broken. Or perhaps the increased polarization could lead to dissolution.

He’s Tan, Rested and Ready: Traficant 2012!

Years ago there was a joke about Nixon after he was impeached. It surfaced every presidential primary season. It went something like “He’s Tan, Rested and Ready: Nixon 19XX” Well I have a brilliant idea. Traficant should challenge Obama in the Democratic primary in 2012. He could challenge him as an authentic populist. I floated the idea on Facebook, and so far it has been well received. If it happens, remember you heard it here first.