Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dershowitz And The Case For Israel

Here's a piece by Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Professor, making the case for Israel's current and ongoing military action against Hamas.

It's difficult to argue against retaliating in great force against a foreign government which fires rockets at one's own citizens. If Mexico, still seething over the loss of Texas, were to do that I suspect the reaction from Washington would be swift and sure. Clearly, it wouldn't take decades of rocket fire and suicide bombings before decisive and effective action was taken.

The timing is interesting, only less than a month before we have a new seated president. The current occupant, as Garrison Keillor calls Bush, has pretty much abdicated, leaving us with, not one president at a time, but in actual effect, no president. Bush and Cheney are on the talk show circuit patting themselves on the back for their crimes against humanity.

Obama has been quite open in his assertions that Israel has a right to defend itself against deadly threats. I suspect that both Bush and Obama, who is supposed to have been briefed on such stuff, have essentially told Israel that if it wants to demolish Hamas buildings, 'go ahead, knock yourselves out, but get it done and over with before January 20, 2009. After that we'll get back to you'.

Speaking of timing, it should not be lost on anyone that Israeli elections are scheduled for February, 2009. The credentials of the well known contenders are pretty much hard line.

I can understand Dershowitz's observation that the UN, Europe and Russia opposition to Israel's actions only serve to encourage and enable Hamas, even though, at least from the point of view of the UN and Europe, their opposition might be motivated mostly out of humatarian concerns.

Watching the News Hour tonight I was struck by the significant face time given to the plight of the residents of Gaza, with emphasis on women and children in great distress. I'm personally not aware of significant face time given to the plight of residents of the towns on the receiving end of Hamas rockets.

What I can't stop thinking about is that Hamas decided to renew the rocket attacks against the civilian populations of towns within the range of its rockets, a range that has been extended significantly. Why did they choose action which can only be seen as a provocation? They must have done so with full expectation that Israel would react as they have, and that their people would be a grave risk. Perhaps they don't see those in harm's way as "their people". After all it seems pretty much acknowledged that the rockets are being fired from populated areas, making Hamas vulnerable to criticism that they are hiding behind the skirts and pants of their women and children.

I have been critical of Israeli politicians when they implemented policies which essentially resulted in a blockade of Gaza, creating scarcity of essential items like food and medicine.
Since Israel removed itself from Gaza I think this burden has shifted onto the backs of Hamas.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bob Herbert's Important Summation To The Jury; Us.

Here is Bob Herbert's summation of what wrath Bush the 43rd has wrought upon us.

It's timely and powerful, and should not be forgotten by us, the jury of his peers, the citizens of the US.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thoughts from Patrick Lang

Colonel Patrick Lang, on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, comments on the recently renewed fighting in Gaza in two of his posts.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/12/a-tabouleh-line.html

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/12/a-tabouleh-line.html

Leanderthal. Lighthouse Keeper

Kristol Richt

William Kristol is even loonier than I thought. Here's his Monday NYTimes diatribe.

Typical tactic of right wingnuts; they accuse their opponent of the very same nasty behavior of which they are guilty.

And how far out in right field does one need to be to dump on Maya Angelou?

Perhaps this is his last column with the Times. His contract is up at year end. Maybe he'll find a fringe gig in Canada?

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friedman on Energy

Tom Friedman has beaten the drum for energy independence for years. This might be his best effort on the topic.

Certainly it's good timing.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Frank Rich on the Obama/Warren Connection

Here's a link to Frank Rich's column in today's NYTimes on Obama's choice of Rick Warren to make the invocation prayer.

It's the best I've come across on this issue. That's just my opinion of course, but blogs are nothing if not opinions.

I thought that the gay bishop, Gene Robinson, raised a valid point. The purpose of the prayer is to invoke the presence of God on the occasion of the inaugural and on the one being inaugurated. Clearly human beings project on God the points of view they hope God will espouse. So it's legitimate to question what version of God the minister wishes to invoke.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, December 26, 2008

An Elected Mafia Hit?

Here's a piece on a story which seems to be emerging, finally, after a number of days being ignored in the MSM. Why? Too hot to handle, maybe?

It's the story of a man who had been subpoenaed to testify in a vote rigging case in Ohio in the 2004 election in which Kerry had been ahead by 4% late, but lost by 2.5% to Bush, and where, in Franklin County, Ohio, "Bush received 4258 votes in a precinct where only 638 voters cast ballots".

The man, piloting his own single engine plane, died when he crashed trying to land on Dec 19, 2008. Seems he'd been warned not to fly because his plane might have been sabotaged.

He had been Rove's IT expert.

This is another story about possible Bush administration crimes, and which should not be allowed to disappear from the news. Apparently it appeared, disappeared, then reappeared in the New York Times. Speculation has it that someone wanted to get it out in the news and someone higher up wanted to quash it.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

The Best Cartoon

Surely this Wasserman gem, the first one display at the link, must be the best cartoon of the year, at least.

As an added treat for clicking on the link. you will get to smile again at earlier ones.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stoke the Fire

Here's another log to throw on the Bonfire of the Vanities.

Prosecute the bastard!!


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

The Schnorrer

Here's a fun little story from The Old New Englander about gifts and giving in trying times.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Getting to the Heart of the Matter of War Criminals

Here's an article which includes statements from legal experts on the issue of trying members of the Bush administration for war crimes.

I'm heartened that there are those who are doing what they can to keep this issue in front of the American people.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

War Criminals and Their Apologists

Glenn Greenwald, of Salon.com is one of the journalists who won't let go of the pant leg of the crowd that defends the war criminals, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Arrington, Yoo, etc.. And he shouldn't.

In this piece he takes to task these people, some for their intellectual dishonesty and some people for their "standard American exceptualism --more accurately: blinding American narcissism masquerading as a difficult moral struggle". Then he goes on to say, "But that almost give it too much credit. Really, this is nothing more than stunted adolescence" which he proceeds to describe and justify.

It is a very good indictment of, not just the actual war criminals who have been our leaders for the best part of a decade, but those who claim that torture, when done by Americans, is justified because it is done for the right and best reasons, and done by people with good hearts.

In the old days the label The Ugly American was used to describe American tourists by those in countries who experienced many Americans as arrogant and condescending.

People in those countries would now be justified in using a term like The Frightening American.

People like Greenwald and Pat Lang, of the blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, are still clamoring for prosecuting the actual perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and they are right to discredit those in this country who are too eager to excuse these thugs as protectors of Americans.

So, What Else Is New?

Here's a NYTimes editorial on the continuing flow of lies out of Washington, DC about Iraq and troop levels.

A year ago I wrote on this page that I didn't expect much to change in the US treatment of the Middle East situation after the election, regardless of who won. Here's more evidence of that.

Seems all that has to be done to keep "tens of thousands" of troops there indefinitely is to change their name from soldiers to trainers.

We have our own Green Zone. It's inside the Beltway of DC. And like the Green Zone in Iraq politicians inside it ignore wall themselves off from the people who elected them, the one view that is truly bipartisan.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Classic Neocon Chutzpah

Here's a piece from Martin Feldstein of the WSJ arguing typically for military spending. They have a one track mind and a lot of chutzpah.

It's time for attention to our own infrastructure folks. For a good piece on that read Tom Friedman here.

Now, if the Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Battalions and Seabees want to build and repair roads and bridges at home, let them knock themselves out. They've certainly had a lot of recent training and experience trying to rebuild Iraq.

Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater need not apply.


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

That Still Small Voice

I hear that still small voice crying in the wilderness, unceasingly. "Peace and love to all, and to all a good night".

My father hear my prayer
Before I go to rest.
It is a little child
Who cometh to be blessed.

Forgive me all my sins
And let me sleep this night,
In safety and in peace
Until the morning light.

God bless Mommy and Daddy, Sister Jeanne, Aunt Hopie, Aunt Darlene, all my friends, and God bless everybody.

Amen.

Colors of War

Patrick Lang is retired military. You might have seen him on the News Hour.

His blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis, is one I follow.

'pl', as he signs himself, talks and writes well about military matters. He's been especially outspoken in his contempt for the Bush administrations tragic military adventures in the Middle East.

Here is his story of a strange happening at Christmas time, in Vietnam, many years ago.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Still Time to Fire Him, Except He Was Elected

Here's a piece claiming, via an FBI leak, that Cheney did in Valerie Plame.

He's scum. One more reason he should be criminally indicted.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Words and a Picture on a Hot Topic

Here's a piece by Melissa Etheridge on the subject of Rick Warren's selection to make the invocation at the inaugural.

She is apparently gay and has a wife and family.

Is she remarkable and courageous for her stand, now backing Obama's choice of Warren, or is she naive and under the spell of a personable, but right wing bigoted preacher?

While I continue to think that Obama made his first mistake by awarding Warren such a pulpit and platform for his anti gay and anti-abortion views, I do understand that Obama, if he's anything, is committed to bringing all sides to a table of talk.

Though Obama is a member of the UCC church, certainly not a right wing institution, and has access to, and could have invited one of, any number of articulate and faithful preachers, I'm going to fall back on my admiration for his overall value set, as revealed during the last few years.

Here's Andrew Sullivan's offering which is all the more poignant because he is a Catholic, married, gay man.

Here's a Wasserman cartoon that sums it up.

And, not to be exclusionary, here's the Pope's pronouncements on homosexuality. Note that homosexuality is not a sin, but homosexual sex is. Huh? When will they get it, or quit refusing to get it, that this is a genetic thing? Oh well, those of the Inquisition didn't get it, or refused to get it, when Galileo told them we're not the center of the Universe.

It's a science thing, not a morality thing Bennie. Just another inconvenient truth to bear, your Whateverness. Sorry about that.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, December 22, 2008

In The Words Of A Maineiac

A resident of Portland, ME, interviewed for the News Hour had the line of the day.

Asked what it was like to deal with more snow today on top of an already hefty snowfall he said, "It's kind of like shoveling the tide".

Full Disclosure:

Four of the best years of my life were spent living in Maine.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

The Evidence Mounts Against Rick Warren

Here's a timely piece which confirms Rick Warren's bigoted morality. Seems he's trying to hide his views by removing them from his website. Sorry, but the horses have already left the barn. You can find them all over the media and the web.

His selection to make the invocation at the inaugural is Obama's first obvious mistake.

And it is not offset by Lowry's selection to pronounce the benediction. There is no happy medium when it comes to extreme bigotry.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Birds of a Feather

Fox News is ballyhooing it's Christmas with Rick Warren show.

Perhaps Barrack should ask Sean Hannity to introduce Warren at the Inaugural.

In the interest of inclusiveness of course.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Sunday, December 21, 2008

America; Homeland Uber Alles

Here's a link to Cheney on Fox News, with Chris Wallace.

It's tragic that someone this nasty, spiteful, hateful, paranoid, vengeful (add your own pejoratives) has had such a strong influence on what this country has done in the name of its citizens for the last eight years.

Many Americans said they liked Bush because he was someone they'd like to have a beer with. Guess they didn't count on the nature of the guy who would be tending bar, nor did they take into account that Bush is a self described recovering alcoholic, who exhibits the personality characteristics of what's known as the dry drunk.

It's been reported recently that Bush, when he was told by his advisers that the economy was tanking, said, "How did we get here?"

I think the electorate needs to ask itself that very same question and pay attention to the answers, since they might be helpful in precluding it happening again, though I'm not sanguine about the prospects.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spread The Outrage

First let me say that I've just heard on the Lehrer News Hour that Rev. Lowry, a civil rights advocate, will pronounce the benediction at the inaugural. That news has been totally ignored in the main stream media, which has jumped all over the more controversial selection of Rick Warren to make the invocation.

The selection of Lowry is, of course, commendable, but it doesn't offset the effect of selecting Rick Warren for the invocation. As the gay rights guy on the News Hour just observed, selecting a rabbi to pronounce a benediction after an openly anti-semitic minister made an invocation wouldn't somehow make Jews all satisfied and happy.

But secondly, the media is focusing only on the insult to homosexuals. They absolutely have a right to feel outraged.

But so do decent, reasonable people of all faiths and decent, reasonable people who ascribe to no religious faith.

Rick Warren, by his own story, says he differs from the right wingnut James Dobson only in tone. By that admission he likens himself to a bigot. He deserves respect and credit for his human rights work and his AIDS work. However, he is still way far right in the Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian movement, and his selection does not, as Obama insisted today, add to the prospect of healing he preaches any more than would the selection of Jeremiah Wright.

It's being said in the media that Rick Warren is becoming the successor to Billy Graham as the nations' minister, the guy presidents of both parties will welcome to the White House and whose counsel they might seek. It's also been said that the selection of Warren for the invocation is not a nomination for a cabinet position. Both observations are relevant. But one might also say that a member of the cabinet in only one administration is not likely to be as influential or carry as much weight as someone who is called the nation's minister.

Obama is naive if he's counting on his selection from two extreme views to balance out somehow. Five is the average of zero and ten, but it doesn't reduce the meaning or value of zero and ten. It's much more likely that his selections will stir passions in the ranks of both the extreme conservative and the extreme liberal camps.

As a congregant of the United Church of Christ surely he must be aware of any number of religious leaders whose participation would not be polarizing, but still effective and meaningful.

Then again, sometimes I think Obama actually likes to stir the pot and turn up the heat. Only time will tell if he also has the wisdom to cool things down. He's become known for his intellect and his cool, but that's not the same as wisdom.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Rising Concern

Here's today's Times editorial on the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the US torturing of prisoners.

And here's the most disturbing part of the editorial. "Given his other problems---and how far he has moved from the powerful stands he took on these issues early in the campaign---we do not hold out real hope that Barack Obama, as president, will take such a politically fraught step".

It's disheartening that the New York Times editorial board felt the need to write that.

That step they refer to would be to hold the offending officials accountable for their unlawful actions by ordering his Attorney General to do what's necessary for justice to be upheld.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Greed to Madoff to Exile

The famous double cross combination.

Here's more detail about the people he chose to swindle.

It would be better for him had he believed what Yahweh told the prophet Amos to say to the Chosen People back around 700 BCE. It had to do with "Chosen" being about responsibility not privilege, and that destruction and exile would be their punishment.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Is Not Good,( with corrections and additions)

Washington Monthly has a piece today on Obama choosing Rick Warren as invocation minister for his inauguration. It includes many reasons why he should not be awarded such a highly visible role. It's tantamount to endorsement by the incoming administration for his "non-negotiable", right wing views on abortion and sexual orientation.

And here is the Cheat Sheet's contribution.

And then there's his unbelievable endorsement of Sean Hannity's suggestion that we should "take out" the president of Iran.

The man has too much in common with the likes of the James Dobsons of the world and the neocons we thought we kicked out of office in November.

I've been fine with and actually supportive of Obama's team selections so far. But this is not good. Even though we're not talking about a cabinet position it provides Warren too influential a platform for his far rightwing views. There should be just as much outrage over this as if Obama had chosen Jeremiah Wright to make the invocation. Just as 5 is the mathematical average of the numbers 0 and 10 but is not actually the absolute number 5, honoring extremists doesn't result in a centrist position. Obama chose Warren apparently because of his human rights advocacy and AIDS work. Unfortunately Warren is better known for his oppostion to abortion and gay rights which he says are "non-negotiable".

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Arrogance Addendum

Here's a piece from the Cheat Sheet which adds emphasis and documented evidence to what I wrote in So You Thought You Knew Arrogance.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And You Thought You Knew Arrogance

Here's Cheney redefining arrogance in and by his own words.

Hard to believe, but there it is. Is he daring anyone to indict him? Is he jealous that Rumsfeld and Bush got the most print in the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on torture?

I agree with Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com who insists that these guys should be indicted as war criminals. He says that to excuse them in the name of trying to heal and bring together the country as Obama talks about is to tell people in such positions of authority that they can violate laws, the Constitution and plain decency with impunity.

That's why impeachment is not a Constitutional crisis but the solution to one.

Out of office, beyond impeachment, there is criminal indictment, if not in the Hague, at least in our own American courts of law. They obviously have no respect for the court of public opinion. Cheney has said, "So?", and Bush has said, "So what?"

Surely at least these three deserve the second of the two realities known as Crime and Punishment.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Gene Robinson on Lemmings and the GOP

Here's a great piece by Gene Robinson of WaPo on the Southern GOP Senators who blocked the loans to Detroit. He doesn't say never, just not now.

As usual he makes more sense of DC politics than most. And he often grins in the process.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, December 15, 2008

They Are!!

Here's a piece by Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com that says the recent report of the bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report, "all but declares Bush and Rumsfeld to be war criminals". THEY ARE.

Sadly this report will be swept under the rug like all those that castigate high ranking politicians.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Consistency, Hobgoblins and Little Minds

Here's a piece to which one can only say about W. Bush that he's true to his "principles" to the bitter end.

The title of his legacy should be, "I've got mine, get your own".

Perhaps the best description of W. Bush came from Garrison Keillor who referred to him as, "that dim, small man".


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Galileo and I

Talk about being presumptuous; nevertheless it seems that he and I wrote about a similar frustration when confronted with the powers that be in the world of religion.

I'm reading Simon Singh's book, "Big Bang" and came across this quotation from
Galileo Galilei. "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

Here is a stanza from a poem I wrote and included in a collection called The Poet and the Pendulum, which was published in 2001. The poem's title is A Riddle.

It's hard for me to understand
That, given all our senses,
We must decide without their use;
Our minds are only fences.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Touching Isn't It?

Here's a link to an article which I found interesting and enjoyable. Some years ago I read a book about the sense of touch being the very first sense evolved. This is reminiscent of the insights in that work, with the added benefit of humor.

I know, I know; the only form of humor lower than the pun is sarcasm, sayeth my English professor friend, D.B. Heines, PhD.

Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, December 8, 2008

What Will Make All The Difference?

Here's a link to a piece from the news aggregator Cheat Sheet on two Conservative writers' views on government size and spending.

Here's a link to the original piece from Emil W. Henry, Jr and here is a link to William Kristol's screed in today's New York Times. Note that both columns are referenced in the piece from Cheat Sheet. I wrote an email to Kristol along the following lines.

'You are so predictable; a neocon, loyal and patriotic, not to your country, but to making money through making war.

Even as you advise your right wing GOP cronies about the reality of government today you use the forum to beat the war drums for spending on the military/industrial complex agenda, rather than on the nation's civilian infrastructure which is crucial to the security and the economy in times of both peace and war.

For you and the neocons there's no money to be made in peace, but billions to be made in wars for which you and your co-conspirators can cheer from the cowardly safety of the sidelines.

Someone said that shoutings of patriotism are the last refuge of the scoundrel.'

Taylor Caldwell wrote about scoundrels like Kristol in her 1970's novel, Captain and the Kings, exposing jingoism and those who make money by supplying arms to all sides in a conflict.

And here is a link to Rudyard Kipling's poem, Recessional, in which The Captains and the Kings Depart. Some things exist and are true outside of time.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

James Carroll on SAD, Plus Comments

Here's James Carroll's contribution to the season of our discontent, the dark nights of our souls and the promised deliverance of Christmas. It is well expressed of course, being a James Carroll piece.

I posted a comment on behalf of those of us, a small minority to be sure, for whom Fall and Winter are welcomed, and Spring and Summer are to be endured. SAD for us is about a superfluous abundance of light, and the absence of light is experienced as a time for cozy.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Grateful Again For Gail Collins

Here's Gail Collins, once again writing about something very important and providing some good laughs in the process.

Ya gotta love 'er.

P.S. The spell checker ignored my last line. Doesn't build confidence.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thriving In The Face Of Adversity, Really

Here's an article about an industry which is thriving in a down economy, because it's business is taking advantage of adversity, as in war.

The neocons love it. And by the way, they haven't gone away, since the election, they've just gone to ground. Makes them even more dangerous.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oogedy-Boogedy

Here's Kathleen Parker writing more about the need for the GOP to recognize that using the language of faith rather than the language of reason in the public square is driving people away.

She refers to Ecclesiates in making her point that there is a time and a place for everything.

I particularly like her thought that God's not the problem. It's his fan club.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why Do I Blog?

Here's Andrew Sullivan's answer to that question. It works for me too.

Andrew publishes on the blog The Daily Dish, for Atlantic Magazine.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Murder in the Name of God

Here's the Daily Dish's report on yet another example of evil done, recommended or proposed in the name of God; using the Bible as the authority to commit murder. And here is the Washington Monthly's treatment of the story.

It's about Sean Hannity of Fox News, on "taking out" the president of Iran, and Rick Warren, a popular Evangelist, agreeing, live, publicly on national television. This is the crap Fox News calls fair and balanced.

It is just plain sick.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

EZ Bailout Request Form

Here's Vanity Fair's EZ Bailout Request Form.

Nothing could be easier for getting in on the action.

Hat tip to: http://minstrelboy.blogspot.com

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saxby Shameless

Saxby Chambliss has retained his Senate seat by beating his Dem rival Martin handily. Sure says something about Georgia Republicans. I used to live in Georgia and it's a good place to be from.

Saxby Shameless is the guy who called Max Cleland a coward in the 2002 senate race.

Cleland is a triple amputee as a result of wounds suffered in Vietnam. Coward? Hardly?

Chambliss a sleaze? You betcha.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Dangerous Policy In Need Of Much Exposure

Here's a good report on the plans being implement to deploy the US Military, not to be confused with the States' National Guards, on US Soil. It is a violation of Posse Comitatus, a long standing prohibition of doing just that.

A major reason for its prohibition is that the US military boss is the President as Commander-in-Chief, and this is a classic element of dictatorships and fascist tyrants. The governors of each of the fifty states are the commanders of their National Guards. That's an effective bulwark against an increasing unitary executive as we have been experiencing for the last eight years.

This is a topic in need of substantial exposure, and the main stream media is treating it like a hot potato.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Kristol Indictments Continued

Add this to your College of Kristol Knowledge.

Here's another Andrew Sullivan Daily Dish post. It's about William Kristol's support of Cheney/Bush torture. He is morally bankrupt to be sure.

The New York Times should fire him. They have David Brooks as a decent Conservative columnist. They should not have a morally bankrupt one.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Response to Kristol

Earlier today I provided links to two columns, one by William Kristol and one by Roger Cohen, both found in today's New York Times. The purpose was to highlight the contrast in language and rhetoric of the two men writing about conflicts.

Here's a link to an Andrew Sullivan Daily Dish excerpt from a Juan Cole piece which can be read as a response to Kristol's war mongering message.

It's difficult to support the New York Times' retention of Kristol as a responsible columnist. Just recently he beat the drums for invading Somalia. He blames Russia the scrap with Georgia, even after the facts say otherwise. In his column today he beats the drums for India to declare war on Pakistan as the proper response to the Mumbai terrorism.

He's a neocon, and neocons are all about making money through war, supplying arms to both sides of conflicts which they have done their best to exacerbate. He shouts about patriotism, nationalism and militarism, like a wolf in sheep's clothing.

He, like neocons over the centuries, is not patriotic in the least. He, like they, are loyal to the making of huge sums of money by fanning the flames of hatred in the name of patriotism. They in fact betray those who are true patriots, people whose love of country includes criticizing it for the kind of immorality which includes preemptive wars, invasions of sovereign nations and the supplying of arms for the purpose of making fortunes at the cost of millions of lives.

They are those who, as Cheney said, and like Cheney, live on the dark side. They must be exposed for what they are, the truly evil. Juan Cole and Richard Cohen are two who shine bright lights on their shadowy domain.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Talk About Contrasts!

Here are links to two articles in today's New York Times.

The first link is to William Kristol's piece, Jihad's True Face.

The second is to Richard Cohen's piece, Try Tough Love, Hillary.

The contrast is stark.

Kristol is still using the language of neocons to stir up ethnic animosities, claiming that only nations can respond to terrorism. It is militaristic at its core, claiming that patriotism, nationalism, in other words war, is the first only correct response to terrorism. He and his neocons are always into preparing future battlefields on which they and their military/industrial complex friends can play with their obscene toys.

Cohen writes about the Obama/Clinton team's need to get tough with Israel, in a diplomatic approach. How counter cultural compared to that of the past eight years.

Both men are Jews, and both are US citizens, Cohen by naturalization, Kristol presumably by birth. That seems to be the limit of what they have in common.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper