Editor's note: Justin Raimondo is on vacation until Monday.
As a reward for killing
1,400 Palestinians in the Gaza blitzkrieg, ignoring
to stop the building of "settlements" on the
West Bank, and vigorous efforts to breach
our security and steal highly
classified information via its Washington fifth column, Tel Aviv has been
reassured by President Barack Obama that $30
billion in aid will not be cut. World
financial crisis? Impending
US bankruptcy? Obama's newfound sense of fiscal responsibility? Put it out
of your mind. All it takes is one phone call from Chuck
Schumer, a tête-à-tête with Nancy
Pelosi, and an editorial
in the Washington Post, and – poof! – "change" turns into continuity.
Obama will keep Bush's promise, and you can take that to the bank.
The other side of the coin in the Charles
Freeman fracas is that the Lobby is positioning itself within the Obama
administration, even as it shoots down its most visible critics. Freeman's demise
is paralleled by the
rise of Dennis
Ross, pro-Israel hard-liner
and neocon-aligned supporter of the
Iraq war, who will handle the
Iran portfolio (!) in the State Department. Michael Crowley over at The
New Republic reports
the Ross appointment was "unveiled by e-mail under the cover of darkness,"
while Richard Holbrooke
and George Mitchell, the other two Middle East-related State Department
"fixers," were given a flourish of trumpets. Crowley and others find
this puzzling, yet indicted
spy for Israel Steve Rosen,
Charles Freeman's scalp on his belt, explains
it well: "A lobby," wrote Rosen in an internal AIPAC memo, "is
like a night flower. It thrives in the dark and wilts in the sun."
Don't expect Ross to travel to Tehran and meet with the mullahs. Instead, he'll
be lurking in the shadows of Washington:
"Unlike Mitchell and Holbrooke, he will not be an envoy or negotiator
who poses for photos with foreign dignitaries: His influence will be in Washington.
According to the State official, Ross will play a 'strategic policy planning'
role, akin to the department's Office of Policy Planning, which currently lacks
strong expertise in Iranian and Middle Eastern affairs. One former Foggy Bottom
official likens Ross's shop to 'an in-house mini think-tank' focused on Iran
You know, kind of like this
in-house mini think-tank…
Hey, remember that little
incident the other day, in which a couple of flimsy-looking Chinese fishing
trawlers implausibly "harassed" a gigantic U.S. "research"
ship (i.e., spy ship) lurking quite close to a sensitive Chinese military base?
Yeah, well, anyway, the U.S. protested
– those bully-boy Chinese actually threw "wooden
planks" into the ocean to block the USNS Impeccable's course!
– and now Washington has its answer, as reported by the Financial
"Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday urged the U.S. to take measures
to guarantee its 'good credit,' expressing concern about the 'safety' of his
country's huge holdings of U.S. government debt. …
"About 70 percent of China's near-$2,000bn foreign exchange reserves
are believed to be in U.S. dollar assets. 'We have lent a huge amount of money
to the United States,' Mr. Wen told the annual press conference that marks the
close of the National People's Congress, China's parliament. 'Of course we are
concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am a little bit worried.
I request the U.S. to maintain its good credit, to honor its promises, and to
guarantee the safety of China's assets.'"
I love it when a Communist country lectures the U.S. about its lack of fiscal
responsibility. This is Beijing's way of saying that the U.S. is, as Mao put
it, a "paper tiger." Or, as Clint Eastwood put it: "Go ahead,
make my day"…
"Both parties colluded in catastrophically misguided policies of militarism
and jingoistic xenophobia. We succumbed to panic and unreasoning dread. We got
carried away with our military prowess. Our press embedded itself with the troops
and jumped into bed with our government. We invaded countries that existed only
in our imaginations and then were shocked by their failure to conform to our
preconceptions. We asked our military to do things soldiers can do only poorly,
if at all. Our representatives pawned our essential freedoms to our commander
in chief in exchange for implied promises that he would reduce the risks to
our security by means that he later declined to disclose or explain."
That's Charles Freeman on what happened to our foreign (and domestic) policy
during the post-9/11 era, and reading it, one wonders: how did such a rational,
intelligent opponent of groupthink ever get as close as he did to being appointed
to a top-to-middling position in the U.S. government? …
Fun link: Hands off