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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 4, 2011 2:31 PM. The previous post in this blog was Don't audit, don't audit so, don't audit so close to me. The next post in this blog is Beaver State falls short. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pardon our skepticism

But this is more than a little hinky.

Obama seems to be going into full bunker mode now, reminiscent of Nixon. He's also giving the Republicans all the material they need to bounce him from the White House. Fortunately, they don't have a viable candidate, at least not yet.

Comments (58)

Not sure if OBL died years ago, or a few days ago, or he may not really be dead at all. They could be putting the tweezers to his berries right now for all we know.

Hard to trust the government at all anymore, and not because of paranoia, but because of a long history of lies.

If I were Gadaffi however I would still be somewhat concerned at the sound of approaching helicopters.

I'm intrigued about the continuous backtracking and backfilling being done about the actual shooting of OBL. The story keeps changing: he was armed, he wasn't armed, he resisted, it was the "fog of war", it doesn't matter anyway because he was a bad dude. Which of course he was, and he reaped what he sowed. But that and the withholding of the photos does cast a pall of conspiracy over what should be a great, unblemished success.

Why would he release them? To revel in death? To further inflame Arabs? Should Obama make a bloody effigy and dance around it on the White House lawn?

And why precisely do you or I have a "right" to see such photos? The pentagon has photos of all kinds that we don't get to see.

Islamic law calls for the washing of the body, so I also think this is questionable. If they washed the body, the photos take a few seconds, so what's the problem?

Maybe they didn't wash the body and now are between a rock and a hard place.

Here is what happened since Sunday:

Jon Brennon made some mealy-mouthed remarks about a woman being with Bin Laden, and a whole lot was read into those remarks by journalists who printed irresponsible stories without fact-checking it.

Leon Panetta irresponsibly implied that the photo would be released even though he is no position to make that call and was talking out of his butt.

The White House had to correct these people for getting carried away in the hubbub of the "news cycle" and speaking about things they don't fully understand.

That's it. That's your conspiracy.

Not a question of rights Snards. As the others say, there is a question of trust. The article also addresses it by dismissing that as being of no consequence. They wouldn't believe us anyway, I suppose!

Journalists printing stories w/o checking facts? Say it isn't so!

Just wait a week and wikileaks will release the photos.

Im just amazed that a liberal President gave the OK for the execution of an unarmed prisoner. And then essentially admitting it on national TV.
This has to be a first in that regard.

If this was Bush, everyone would be going nuts about "justice" and "trials" and the killing of an unarmed man in front of his family.

I'm just not sure how we ended up in a place where we all demand to see every photo a Navy Seal takes and personally handle the President's birth certificate.

There seems to be an exponential growth in the doubt of basic facts in this country. At this rate we'll all be doubting gravity five years from now.

There is nothing in this story to imply anything other than that poorly-sourced news was flying fast and hot the day after a major story was broken. There is no substantial evidence to cast doubt on the basic parameters of the story.

Puts me in mind of the Press attributing the valor of a Salem man, Sgt. Donald Walters, to Jessica Lynch.

The press made the mess and then blamed their mad error on the military. Meanwhile, the gallant fight of Walters got plowed under.

OBL is dead and anyone mug enough to consort with him had to know the job was dangerous when he took it.

You can thank Henry Paulson and the boys for making it obvious to the public that everything is about money, and the politicians are puppets, liars, or both.

The fact that the mainstream media is nearly dead adds to the skepticism. People used to trust what Walter Cronkite told them. Now there's the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report.

Snards has it right in his/her first post. Bush was widely criticized (and deservedly so, in my opinion) for releasing the photos of Saddam's sons' bodies. Why and how is this different?

Why would he release them? To revel in death? To further inflame Arabs? Should Obama make a bloody effigy and dance around it on the White House lawn?

To make an attempt at providing proof. But hey--it's not like our government has lied to us or covered up its actions before, right? Here's a question: Why shouldn't I exercise my right to question the government? Because it makes you uncomfortable? Too bad. Jefferson called questioning your own government's actions and words the "highest form of patriotism". Are you a patriot, Snards?

The White House had to correct these people for getting carried away in the hubbub of the "news cycle" and speaking about things they don't fully understand.

All the information you're speaking of came from the White House, big guy. Direct your disdain there.

And why precisely do you or I have a "right" to see such photos?

You really want to talk about the US government's respect of citizen "rights"? Good one.

Kinda moot point - Either you believe him or you don't. Pictures could be PhotoShopped.

Right now, if the Rs had a half-way decent candidate, I think he'd be more scared, but, hey, he can glom onto this for a bounce.

So I guess we wait for the next tape. Obama should remember Bush Sr after Kuwait had just as much of a bounce.

There seems to be an exponential growth in the doubt of basic facts in this country.

Who created that doubt, I wonder? Let me guess--it's all created in the minds of the doubters, right? And heck--what "basic facts" are being disbelieved here, and why do you personally believe them? That might be a more interesting comment.

At this rate we'll all be doubting gravity five years from now.

Proof of gravity is readily available to everbody.

Other white meat, then I strongly suggest you invest lots and lots of time and energy into the theory that Osama Bin Laden wasn't killed on Sunday.

You should probably spend the rest of your life tracking down "the truth" to the ends of the earth. Be sure to regale everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner with the latest "proof" you've dug up with like-minded "patriots" on the internet.

Boy, will us gullible non-patriotic types feel like suckers when you drop your latest incontrovertible evidence on us. Someone will certainly look foolish, alright.

If members of the administration knew that Osama bin Laden was long dead but wanted to pretend that they took some military action just now to kill him, why wouldn't they just say he was killed in a drone strike or bombing raid in which his body was obliterated? Why stage an elaborate piece of theater and then claim that they had the body and had photos of it but that they disposed of the body at sea and won't release the photos?

In other words, if the administration is making this up, why is it making up a story sure to provoke the conspiracy theorists?

Your conspiracy theory doesn't make sense. But then again, making sense isn't the motivation behind ridiculous consipiracy theories.

And what's with the "Nixon bunker" business? What's that supposed to mean?

I don't see how photos serve any useful purpose, and they could cause a lot of mischief. I think I'd make the same decision. Actually killing the guy when he was unarmed and effectively in custody does seem a little bit out there. I hope they aren't adopting that as a general standard for due process.

Obama comes out at 10:30 at night, reads a canned speech full of jingoism and slogans, delivers an implausible story, won't look anybody in the eye, won't take questions, and then marches back to the West Wing. Total Nixon.

If pictures are required, Reuters bought some from enterprising Pakistanis:

"Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons."
http://yhoo.it/iWijxC

Of course, they are not the photos Reuters wanted, but they were available. Perhaps their evolving history will provide a hint of what would be done with photos of a bloody, recently terminated ObL.

Mr Obama is hardly "into full bunker mode now"; rather, today he presided over a wheelchair race for military personnel maimed in the continuing wars. He also promised to get them the assistance they need. All televised.

Mr. Obama's decision to preclude images from being interpreted as triumphalism is entirely appropriate to defending our military in the field from the additional suicidal reprisals the images might stimulate. Civilians, too.

Fight fiercely, Snards.

Other white meat, then I strongly suggest you invest lots and lots of time and energy into the theory that Osama Bin Laden wasn't killed on Sunday.

So far, I've invested no more than you ahve telling everyone else not to question the matter.

Someone will certainly look foolish, alright.

You mean, like Colin Powell when he found out he was duped about Iraq, and spoke about it publicly? Or do you mean more like when we found out that the Bush Adinistration was lying about WMDs? Or a bit further back, when it turned out the US government was secretly selling arms to Iran? It's a tough choice--there are so many ways to look foolish.

Snards, enjoy the turkey. I'm here all week.

"Actually killing the guy when he was unarmed and effectively in custody does seem a little bit out there. I hope they aren't adopting that as a general standard for due process."

I agree with you, if I go by higher moral and legal standards. But once torture of unarmed, completely controlled prisoners became acceptable--or at least unpunished--in the U.S., then killing an admitted mass murderer during the course of a military raid in a foreign country doesn't seem so horrible.

Given the political climate in this country, the notion of putting Osama bin Laden on trial is unimaginable.

"Obama comes out at 10:30 at night, reads a canned speech full of jingoism and slogans, delivers an implausible story, won't look anybody in the eye, won't take questions, and then marches back to the West Wing. Total Nixon."

Or:

President Obama addresses the nation as soon as practical after Osama bin Laden has been confirmed to have been killed. There is no live audience for this quickly planned address, so he looks directly into the TV camera. He delivers a calm and intelligent speech, remarkably free of triumphalism and jingoism under the circumstances, telling the public what happened and calling for a sense of national unity. [He is, after all, the President; calling for a sense of common purpose is one thing that Presidents are elected to do.] When he finishes his address to the nation, he turns and walks away. Total Obama [and I'm glad he's our President].

President Obama addresses the nation as soon as practical after Osama bin Laden has been confirmed to have been killed.

Why did he do it "as soon as practical"? Why not at 8am the next morning, or noon the next day? These are rhetorical questions, because all you can do is speculate--and presume some logical reason.

How do you know when bin Laden was "confirmed to have been killed", exactly? It's a rhetorical question, because saying it's true because somebody says it's true isn't always good enough.

Mr. Obama's decision to preclude images from being interpreted as triumphalism is entirely appropriate

Ahh, "appropriate". You mean like "America's decision to send armed military personnel into a sovereign nation is appropriate"? Or "Muslim rites after killing an unarmed terrorist is appropriate"? Or "immediately flying the body hundreds of miles to a warship, then quickly prepping and dumping it into the sea is appropriate"?

"Appropriate" is meaningless here, because there's no standard which readers will agree on. Revenge is what people are after, not some long-term moral principle. People will justify any action that fits their world view as "appropriate". Me, I'm entertained by readers who will on one hand condemn Adams when he says something (due to past lies), but completely trust the government's statements (despite past lies).

A hasty snapshot of an old swarthy guy with lethal blunt force trauma to the forehead is hardly evidence of the identity of the victim, especially in this era of photomanipulation. It is either political posturing or prurient perversion.

I'm glad OBL is dead.
I'm glad the R's had as much fun on their scavenger hunt for a birth certificate as we had for Texas National Guard AWOL documents.

Gregory Peck can't join the cast of The Boys from Brazil 2: Search For OBL

And I have no interest in snuff films.

Let's get back to the main stories....

Old Zeb, that's just pussyfooting around, to quote the GOP's conscience. It's much tougher (and therefore more American) to drag the corpse around the steets near Ground Zero and then mount his head on the fence in front of the White House. Then people would Really, Really Know it's OBL. Because, if this Kenyndosian can make people believe he was born in Hawaii, he can make them believe OBL is dead even if there is no body.

he looks directly into the TV camera

Wrong.

remarkably free of triumphalism and jingoism under the circumstances

Wrong.

he turns and walks away

Right.

I have a hard time going to a funeral home to view even a close relative or parents. Maybe on a moral basis or whatever. I equate the OBL photos in similar category.

I think that Ubama will eventually show the photo(s) for a popularity bounce when the time is needed. The recent days on part of this administration (or any) regarding the media play is all orchestrated. The confusion is all subterfuge.

What is the upside to showing the photo? The deathers will not find it persuasive.

"today he presided over a wheelchair race for military personnel maimed in the continuing wars."

That's good, hope it didn't interfere with any WH concerts or golf games.

Sorry, this guy is just the Dem version of Bush.

Thanks all the same but I am doing what John Oliver on the Jon Stewart show is doing....watching THE William and Kate wedding again and again and again and....
Ooo! the dress...the kisses...the hats...

Is it a coincidence that this momentous event wiped off the news the fact that we just killed Gaddafi's son and grandchildren? And destroyed a school for Down's kids in Libya? No, wait -- those events were staged. The killing of Osama wasn't. Trust your government. Uh huh.

Don't underestimate the strategy of giving the conspiracy community something to gnaw on. I believe there are plenty of things our government does not want us contemplating. Some could be quite devastating for them.
When secrets like these exist, a pageant must be presented to the People to keep them from any real discovery. Think of the War on Terror as a long movie. The villain of the piece was Osama and with the 10th anniversary rolling around it was time to give the crowd a Happy Ending.
Then it's onto the next pageant, or the next sequel.


I'm fascinated by the apparent timeline of Bush's dismantling of the CIA unit that focused on bin Ladin. When was that? 2005?
Some reports say that bin Ladin has lived in this compound for 5 or 6 years. How far back is that? 2005?
Then yesterday Rumsfeld makes a point of saying we shouldn't go too hard on Pakistan over this. Interesting.
He says it in the context of them not knowing bin Ladin was there - the least plausible tidbit in this whole story. Maybe he's trying to deflect from the notion that Pakistan did know but they were doing exactly what they agreed to...with us. Just a thought.

Behind the curtain is another curtain. We've got to look behind the curtain behind that.

I'm no expert on terrorism, but I would think that the killing of Bin Laden might be all the motivation the radicals need. Do we really think there are people out there saying, "Well, I'm mildly upset that they killed this guy and made him our martyr ... but I'll be REALLY pissed and want to take action if they release the photos!"

There is no conspiracy, just more stupidity from an administration that doesn't know which way to go in the past three days. With all the planning about killing / capturing Bin Laden, wasn't anyone thinking about what happens next?

The entire drama dirge is planned waaay ahead, and knows awfully completely what comes next.

To see or not to see the photos, that is the question ... everybody's talking about it, and nobody's watching Foreign Policy going on in politics ... what comes next is a 'Terror Incident' (false flag, American-on-American or, powermad men vs. fearful sheep fatalities) and then the police state oppression is ratcheted tighter -- Uncle Santa Evil Claus, he knows when you are sleeping / he knows when you're awake / he knows if you've been good or bad and that's a capital offense -- because oppression is protection, and security is necessary, from the 'enemy' inside the gates who we already know in advance who dunnit ... when it happens ... soon.

I re-recommend the LINK of previous mention; it shows phony-shopped death photos ... and everybody's talking about it.

Or visit the front Splash Page of Veterans Today.COM for daily updates, of what macho military veterans say today. (Hint: USGovt conspiracy working on a Mil.Indus. full-employment mission, another Nine-Eleven Op HOAX this way comes, we already know 'who' does it ... yes, that's what mil.vets say, those scurrilous unpatriotic deadbeats with eye-witness hands-on experience [parody alert], they say 9/11 was a hoax, not only is Al Qaeda a propaganda myth of fiction, but also, they say, bin Laden died in Dec. 2001 ... but what do mil.vets know, they're all probably conspiracy-theorist 'truthers' ya'think?)

This was the most staged "operation" in recent decades. Of course the official story is going be inconsistent- because it never happened. It's the most fantastic story possibly created, no mission has ever gone that well.

1st issue: travel and approach. They had to fly with choppers hundreds and hundreds of miles out of non-friendly territory, in fact a town with 67 battalions? Military operations don't happen behind enemy lines, period. That's a good way to meet your maker in a hurry.
Also, choppers don't have a lot of range, wiki says the combat range of a UH60 is 600km- Abbatabad to the Afgan border is 250km. Since they started out in PK, that's plausible, but what about 40mins of hovering included? They wouldn't have planned such a risky operation if it wasn't staged and risk losing 6 helos and tons of Americans.

2nd issue: The assault.
No Americans reportedly died, therefore
there is no way the helicopter teams faced/expected resistance, especially with only 20 operators. Helos are extremely vulnerable to gunfire. Obviously the inhabitants would hear the choppers hovering low to the ground (low because they needed to insert the teams) and fire at the 65ft long targets. They even reported an RPG was fired? Yeah right- it couldn't miss at point blank range.

The construction of the building made for good defensive positions. Notice the interior walls, very difficult to breach/scale, especially undetected. They didn't climb over them. This leads to the assumption that the team repelled onto the roof-SOP to clear top to bottom. In a small, concrete house they would have had to walk through many "fatal funnels" and the efficacy of resistance is certain in these situations. Impossible for no friendly casualties unless there were no fighters- which if there were they wouldn't have launched the operation and risked failure.

3rd: the extraction: Gravity is on your side when you are repelling, but not for extraction. Take a look at the premises and tell me where you could land a 65ft helicopter? Can't. So how they get all those 20 guys+a dead corpse+computer gear and other documents all back on the helo? Well you do it with a winch, but there's only 1, maybe 2 per helo. Only room for one helo to hover above the roof. Another risky factor is that helos crash all the time by themselves for no particular reason, so that is a part of the story that is factual and commensurate with realty.

I believe the PK ISI knew all along where he was and bin laden died peacefully in his sleep or was killed by them. The US initiated a pre-planned body recovery, maybe 3-4 operators went in. Yay.

It's laughable reading the "Authorized Journalists" accounts and just how little analysis or thought occurs before they print. There's such huge parts of the official story that gloss over events and by merely comprehending their words reveals an irreconcilable account within the narrative. These lazy idiots need to stop blindly recanting the gov propaganda as fact. Case in point the max story of the father/toddler when the 'O' initially printed as fact the the intercom system was working, quoting trimet-a party with a motive to lie! Lo and behold the intercom was working fine and the operator just didn't care to listen to a father's frantic pleas, a more plausible explanation commensurate with the reality that public workers are uncaring due to their lack of consequences for their actions.

Examining incentives can explain much about behavior.


Oops - I guess typos happen. I meant "of."

Obviously, this guy deserved to have a bullet in the head, and that's what the very capable and professional SEAL Team 6 squad did on behalf of the victims of 9/11. Thank God that our country has that kind of capability. Did the people in the Twin Towers have even a split second chance to defend themselves or beg for mercy before they were incinerated by the minions of this monster? Did you see the video footage of the people who literally leaped from 50 plus stories to their deaths rather than wait to be cooked alive? We have monsters in our midst, and sometimes it's just a matter of putting a .50 cent bullet through their brain and moving on. When you deal with monsters in the extra-judicial realm of international terrorism, beyond the scope the niceties of due process and the like, you just have to nut up and do what needs to be done. Comparing Obama to Nixon? Somehow, something tells me that if it was your wife or child who was burned alive by this scourge on humanity, you wouldn't give a rat's ass how he was put down. You would just say "thank you" and leave it at that. Disclosing photos of Osama's head with the brains splooging out the side only serves as a recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda, and panders to the to the Donald Trump birther freaks. I say let them sit and spin on it, and kudos to Barack Obama, the CIA and SEAL Team Six for a job well done.

Additional kudos to the CIA for finding a way to get Osama off their pension rolls. Lord knows we need the cash now.

Releasing the photos now is a moot point now. The idea that he is alive has already been set into to many minds in the Mid. East.

President Obama had a real opportunity to quell Osama's death cult, too bad he dithered it away.
JMO.

I concur with Jack’s assessment that there was a news management timing linkage between the Sunday night announcement and the Qaddafi bombing fiasco.

The Pakistan mission was a black operation; so much of what we’ve been told is a distraction or a distortion. The operators won’t reveal what actually happened in comprehensible detail, lest they make themselves personally vulnerable and degrade their ability to succeed in the future. That’s the way it is and IMO (since I am relatively sure we got OBL someway, sometime, somehow) we should be glad for it. The administration is full of neophytes (starting right at the top) and political spin meisters who don’t get how these things work and are so anxious to take credit that they hang themselves spinning the deceptions into outright lies. They all ought to just keep their traps shut.

This is all a diversion from the really important story: Whether or not Trigg is Bristol Palin's and not Sarah Palin's kid.

"Actually killing the guy when he was unarmed and effectively in custody does seem a little bit out there. I hope they aren't adopting that as a general standard for due process."

I certainly hope they ARE adopting it as a general standard for due process, when it comes to handling people like OBL. They had to have a scenario well implanted in the backs of their minds...OBL had a switch of some kind ready to blow the whole place to high heaven before allowing himself to be handled by scum kafir infidels, his wife-slave set eyes upon by other males, his corpse dangled over the sharks, his phone numbers captured, etc etc etc.

In fact, you have to imagine that some ISI demon had smuggled a nuclear bomb in there and helped him rig it to go off at the appropriate time, just to make sure....

As far as Obama goes, my moment of benevolent feelings towards him on Sunday night have regressed. He had a historic opportunity and blew it, in classic smug weasel-wimp golfer style. He should have given one of his fine and dandy speeches about how we are on the side of the people who are vulnerable to getting blown up everywhere, every day, and, with trademark flourish, used a pointer to indicate the OBL features on the photo that struck him as so "it's him."

I certainly hope they ARE adopting it as a general standard for due process, when it comes to handling people like OBL. They had to have a scenario well implanted in the backs of their minds...OBL had a switch of some kind ready to blow the whole place to high heaven before allowing himself to be handled by scum kafir infidels, his wife-slave set eyes upon by other males, his corpse dangled over the sharks, his phone numbers captured, etc etc etc.

Now imagine those exact words coming out of the mouth of an Iraqi civilian who just saw an American attack kill his wife and children (yes, that's happened repeatedly).

Let me guess--not the same thing, right? Americans don't do bad things, right? We've never been "that bad", right?

More Iraqi civilians died in the first *week* of our current Iraq excursion than in all of 9/11. Since then, the body count from direct American military activity has climbed into the tens of thousands, even by the most conservative estimates.

You see, the problem I have is that of a double standard: Americans go berserk when they see an American soldier decapitated and drug through the streets of a foreign city, but feel entirely justified in calling for the same treatment of their enemies (or worse). The arrogance behind that mindset is what leads nations down the dark path, every time. *Every* time. And we're getting pretty far down the path.

OWM,

Berserkness extends to the people who died yesterday (Baghdad, 16 kids watching soccer in a cafe); the other day (marrakesh, 16 people taking coffee, including a talented travel writer, Peter Moss, blown up by a suicide bomber); the other other day (Pakistan, 61 people including a bunch of kids, killed in a mosque); the other other other day, can't remember where, Pakistan probably, many people dead in a Sufi shrine; so many other days, so many mothers and children at a food distribution center in NW Pakistan. Russia's poet laureate in the making, killed at the airport by some pre-schizophrenic teenager, schooled in the art of suicide bombing, hailing from Chechnya, where women who don't wear the hijab get gunned down in the street.

I don't hold us blameless, we created OBL, supported Hussein, prop up the slaveholder Saudis with our thirst for oil...and continue to deny there is any, er, problem with religion, folks.

But in the grand scheme of the universe, our military does not target marketplaces, food distribution centers, trains, planes, airports, synagogues, mosques, churches, cafes, and buildings capable of holding 50,000 people. Does this fact carry no moral weight, for you, at all?

Do the sheer numbers of the dead due to our occupation of two, now three, countries, far outstrip the numbers of dead that may have been saved, past and future, through the counterterrorism infrastructure that those occupations have made possible? They may indeed dwarf our misguided (or malicious, depending on your mindset) attempts to shape history; but I would prefer to withold judgment.

But in the grand scheme of the universe, our military does not target marketplaces, food distribution centers, trains, planes, airports, synagogues, mosques, churches, cafes, and buildings capable of holding 50,000 people. Does this fact carry no moral weight, for you, at all?

Really? Prove it. Because events in Afghanistan and Iraq are stunning in their proof of the opposite. Here's one small, recent example. Does this fact carry no moral weight, for you, at all? Let me guess--that linked story was "just a few bad apples".

Do the sheer numbers of the dead due to our occupation of two, now three, countries, far outstrip the numbers of dead that may have been saved, past and future, through the counterterrorism infrastructure that those occupations have made possible?

Yes, I hear your argument loud and clear: the end justifies the means. It was Machiavelli's main argument. It was Hitler's main argument. It was Mussolini's main argument. In fact, it's the argument of every coward, of every demagogue, of every dictator in history. And in the end, it's like shooting a gun pointing at yourself.

Oh for heaven's sake, there are sadist monsters everywhere and there are bound to be a few in the US military as well. If those vermin hadn't been in Afghanistan they would have been murdering prostitutes on Craigslist or something. This does not have any bearing on our overall policy in Afghanistan, which spares civilians as much as possible, and essentially involves rebuilding the country for them.

Ah, there just appears to be no end to the self-hatred. Please forgive me if I just cannot bring myself to join in the fun.

and there are bound to be a few in the US military as well

So--a "few bad apples", then. Got it.

Please forgive me if I just cannot bring myself to join in the fun.

Please forgive me if I can't bring myelf to ignore the bigger picture of history and actions. Like, for example, how bin Laden used to be an American friend, feted by the Bush family repeatedly--when killing Russians.

Let's cut the crap. The US, like any empire, makes friends and enemies at the stroke of a pen, and the propaganda follows to justify it. Reagan called bin Ladn and the Mujahadeen fighting the Russians "the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers" (look it up for yourself). Donald Rumsfeld called Saddam Hussein "a good friend"--when he was cooperating with American Middle East interests. What's sickening is when people to make history out to be only the part they choose to tell, and vigorously overlook the rest. Pointing out the nonsense of American foreign policy is "self-hatred"? That's a good one.

Hey, I'm confused: Are we for al Quaeda, or against it?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html

Whaddaya think, Gaye? It's so confusing, this American foreign policy thing. It's so hard to tell the "evil" guys from the "good" ones.

Actually, I know all about it, OWM. I saw the same movies and read the same books you did, I'm sure.

I'm not taking issue with the obvious fact that we, like any other, are a flawed nation, society, decision-making body, empire, whatever, and that we have made a lot of mistakes and continue to do so.

But I don't agree that we are not a force for good in the world.

Now, if we would just start making our own heroin, switch to electric cars, produce our own oil, cut off relations with Islamofascists, and pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, we will be in good shape. We have tried nation-building in Afghanistan, Russia tried too, and I think we are up against a reality we cannot change; when a nation's common saying is "women are for babies and boys are for sex", well, it's should be clear at a certain point that it's time to cut bait.

But I don't agree that we are not a force for good in the world.

Gaye, if you know all about it, and stil believe that statement, I'm not sure what to tell you. My main initial point was: who decides what "appropriate" is? But I guess when you're an empire operating globally and practicing deep propoganda, "appropriate" means "Whatever Perpetuates the Empire".

How are we being a "force for good" in Libya, by the way? Consider the answer carefully, because "getting rid of Qadaffi is being a force for good" is an insufficient answer.

I never said we were being a force for good in Libya. The whole North African region is a screaming powderkeg and Europe recognizes the need to protect its borders, hence military engagement/detente. Noone wants another 100K dead in Algeria and adding to the law and order equation is the only option they have.

Syria is a perfect example of how we operate as best we can under very, very scary circumstances that are for the most part out of our control. Noone in their right mind wants Assad to fall. Syria makes sectarianism in Iraq look like a Woodstock love-fest. If you want Rwanda/Uganda/Iraq/Lebanon all over again, magnified many times, and an absolute bloodbath, yeah, take the Alawites down and watch what will happen...

And then every naive critic wants to know why we aren't saying anything about Syria.

I never said we were being a force for good in Libya.

Didn't say you did. I was asking for a comment on that story, given that you *did* say we're "operating as a force for good" abroad.

The whole North African region is a screaming powderkeg and Europe recognizes the need to protect its borders, hence military engagement/detente. Noone wants another 100K dead in Algeria and adding to the law and order equation is the only option they have.

That's a good theory, except (a)*America* initiated the organizing and executing of the operation, not Europe. I wonder why that is, if Europe is concerned about a "powderkeg" at its border?

Syria is a perfect example of how we operate as best we can under very, very scary circumstances that are for the most part out of our control.

How odd that "we" operate "in Syria". Could it be that the "evil" we see in Syria equates to "people who won't cooperate with US national interests in Syria"?

European governments have sticky domestic political opposition to war of any kind for any reason. Good for them. (Of note is that the pacifism in Europe engendered by the horrors of the first world war led to appeasing Hitler, which led to the second world war. Orwell said it well: "pacifism is for those with guns and money between themselves and reality". Nonetheless, pacifism is good.)

I haven't been following Libya as closely as you have perhaps, but it's my understanding that operational control shifted to NATO and that France and Italy are running the show there now.

And while I hate to squabble over the internet, my point about Syria was that we were NOT messing around with Syria (and that we are basically pretending like Syria doesn't even exist). Syria doesn't currently serve our interests, and Syria post-genocide won't serve our interests either. But I think it IS in our, and everyone's interest, to avoid genocide.

Of note is that the pacifism in Europe engendered by the horrors of the first world war led to appeasing Hitler, which led to the second world war

Oh, cut the crap. Europe and the UK lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers in WWI, and weren't "pacifists". If you're pretending to be a student of history, and you're honest, then you know that history doesn't play out like a comic book with black hats and white hats (unless, apparently, you're George Bush). And, the US was barely involved in that conflagration. Know why? Because it "didn't want to get involved".

Orwell said it well: "pacifism is for those with guns and money between themselves and reality".

You mean, like all the guns and money Gandhi had? Or Martin Luther King had? The quote is ironic, too, because Orwell was born into wealth. Here's another famous quote of his: "Do not imagine that for years on en you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the sovietic regime, or any other regine, and then suddenly return to honesty and reason."

I'm sure he would never, ever apply those words to an American regime, though.

my point about Syria was that we were NOT messing around with Syria (and that we are basically pretending like Syria doesn't even exist)

My goodness. If you really believe that (and don't have reliable access to the Internet, and have never heard of U.S. covert involvement), then I've got some land in Pakistan to sell you.

The U.S. has had dealing with Syria (and some form of sanctions too, strangely) for many years. The U.S. has crossed the Syrian border more than once to perfrm raids. The story goes on.

But here's one important reason why the U.S. is handling Syria more carefully than Libya--Iran. The U.S. doesn't want to risk open conflagration with Iran, because unlike Iraq, Iran has a well-equipped, heavily armed, long-range air and land military. A battle involving Iran would potentially involve serious war, and not the kind that happens when the US invades severely underequipped, ill-prepared countries. Libya? It doesn't have any strong, vocal friends that the US is worried about.

And Gaye, my initial comment applies to WWII, too. The high-school history class view of WWII--that somehow, everybody was wimpy and therefore war happened--is like Sarah Palin writing the history of the Eskimos. It's absurd, superficial, and like all selective storytelling, omits every important fact that doesn't fit that thesis. I'm not going to write a post explaining the roots of WWII, but suffice it to say that the "roots" don't begin in the 20th century, Hitler didn't attack because everybody was "appeasing" him, and the German war machine wasn't built and deployed because Germany believed nobody would fight back.


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 220
At this date last year: 67
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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