Spencer, Geller Smear Giraldi, Paul

The completely dishonest hate and fear Muslims lobby has spent the last few weeks crying their eyes out over all the guilt by association being applied to them by those noticing that the accused mass murderer from the Norway attacks thinks they’re just great [.pdf] and recommends their blogs to you for further “study.”

These are the same people whose entire game is pushing their ridiculous Protocols of the Elders of Islam nonsense that combines all Muslims on earth into an evil aggressor Islamo-fascist caliphate conspiracy of terrorism bent on enslaving us under Sharia law.

And now Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, two of the very worst of these wannabe-Gaffneys, are smearing Antiwar.com writer Philip Giraldi, and by extension, congressman Ron Paul.

Giraldi’s crime? Well, nothing. Just some old time guilt by association is all. This time the hoax/bigot/lunatic site “Veterans Today” reprinted his article “Neo-Cons and Muslim Haters” — about Geller, Spencer et al — which they apparently copy/pasted from the website of the Council for the National Interest, where Giraldi is executive director.

(Giraldi confirmed to me that he has no connection whatsoever with the kooks at “Veterans Today.”)

But Spencer and Geller couldn’t be bothered to find the original post, or they did, but then lied anyway. Giraldi writes for VT, they claimed, so he’s an anti-Semite, and Ron Paul is too since Giraldi has been an adviser to him!

(And what a dummy Phil is, they claimed, for getting the caption wrong, when it was not included in his post at CNIOnline.)

Who cares, why blog it? I don’t know.

Anyway, when I called them out in the comments, they both simply deleted the comments and then banned me.

For the record, here’s the now-deleted comment I wrote on both of their sites:

“All it took was 5 seconds on Google to find that this article was written for the Council for the National Interest, and was simply copy/pasted by the racist-loon site Veterans Today. Giraldi does not write for them, nor did he use that picture in his original. http://www.cnionline.org/neo-cons-and-muslim-haters/ But then again who listens to you but Breivik the mass murderer anyway?”

There. So now you know. Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are dishonest-types.

The Ass Saw the Angel, the A-holes Reached for the Whip

And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

And God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way and his sword drawn in his hand. And the ass turned aside out of the way and went into the field, and Balaam smote the ass to turn her into the way.

Numbers 22:21-23

America is in peril. A grim specter from yesteryear stalks the land, threatening to starve hardworking defense contractors. Our current wars might be snuffed out before they reach drinking age, and a potential intervention or two might even be aborted.

Trembling yet? You should be, because isolationism is back, and it’s haunting the halls of our capital. All those American bullets, missiles, and drones whizzing about might have lulled you into thinking that everything was fine, but top analysts say otherwise. Two honchos at Freedom House fret:

The debate about America’s world role recently has taken a disturbing direction. Prominent figures in both parties – including a number of the announced Republican presidential hopefuls – have anchored their rhetoric on demands for American withdrawal from various conflict zones and from international engagement generally.

Voices on the political margins – Dennis Kucinich on the left and Rand Paul on the right – are increasingly echoed by figures from the mainstream. Even President Obama has succumbed to the prevailing mood with his unfortunate June reference to “nation building here at home.”

Disturbing! And there’s more:

The isolationism that is gaining momentum is especially pernicious given the prospects for political change in the greater Middle East. If there is an issue where vigorous American leadership and American interests are organically related, it is the contemporary struggle for democracy in the Arab world.

And if there is one place where “vigorous American leadership” is roundly trusted and desired, it is surely the Arab world. But back to those “unfortunate” calls for “nation building here at home.” In June, Christopher Hitchens sniffed out that trend and tore it apart:

This [John Edwards’ lack of sexual sophistication, or something] is dispiriting. But not as small-time and small-minded as the recent line adopted, from Dennis Kucinich to John Boehner and by the National Conference of Mayors, to the effect that any expenditure overseas is a theft from the good people of Waterloo (or, if you insist, Winterset), Iowa. You have heard it: A bridge or a well in Kandahar is one less facility for our hurting heartland. We should be tending to business in our own backyards.

Hitchens will have none of that. What is it with these hicks from Cleveland and Bowling Green and West Chester Township and Waterloo and their sub-constant enthusiasm for shrapnel-ready projects? By the way, Waterloo is the hometown of Hitchens’ latest hate crush, Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann enraged Hitchens by “pathetically advocating that we leave Col. Qaddafi alone”:

For Bachmann to choose this moment to say that the loony of Libya poses no threat is to disqualify herself from any consideration for high office.

Indeed. As Hitchens said elsewhere in the same article,

We need candidates who know about laboratories, drones, trade cycles, and polychrome conurbations both here and overseas.

Especially the drones, because those mobile laboratories of democracy can be used to liberate polychrome conurbations overseas, which will, in turn, raise morale here during the contraction phase of the trade cycle. Everybody wins, so long as the isolationists don’t.

But I’m not too worried about Michele Bachmann slowing down the perpetual-war machine that Hitchens and friends have worked so hard to maintain. Apparently, Frank Gaffney has her ear, and I trust that, whip in hand, he will dispel any reservations about empire from her silly little head.

Why Are People Grudgeful?

Timothy P. Carney weighs in on the “Cato purge”:

[Brink] Lindsey will be portrayed as a martyr, excommunicated for his heresies from the Right’s dogma. In this role, he joins neoconservative writer David Frum, who was driven from the American Enterprise Institute after praising Obamacare.

Lindsey and Frum followed parallel paths. In 2002 and 2003, Lindsey – contra most libertarians – prominently beat the drums for invading Iraq. Meanwhile, Frum played the conservatives’ Robespierre, trying to purge from the Right those who opposed the invasion, whom he slurred as “unpatriotic conservatives.”

Lindsey, when he admitted in 2006 that invading Iraq was a mistake, still billed himself as “extremely controversial” and open-minded in the face of dogma. Frum, today, basks in the Left’s praise as an independent thinker. But Lindsey and Frum, in backing Bush’s invasion then and supporting Obama now, were the opposite of dissidents: They consistently supported those in power who were fighting for more power.

This pattern doesn’t make Lindsey or Frum sycophants, but it undermines their claim to be dissidents.

Amen.

The reason I keep banging on about Iraq War supporters – including the “born-again doves” – is simple: The road out of militarism and empire runs through the ruins of the Washington establishment that got us here.

First, there must be some penalty for supporting wars of aggression, even in a non-governmental role. I don’t mean a legal penalty, obviously, but shaming, shunning, boycotting, and the like. But everywhere you look, the very people who sold the Iraq War have not only not paid for their bloodthirsty idiocy, they’ve often been promoted. Second, as long as even “reformed” warmongers hold positions of influence, there’s always the danger of relapse. Clearly, the personality defects that contribute to the endorsement of monstrosities don’t go away quickly, if ever. For example, here’s one ex-Bushbot-turned-Obamaton sticking it to the White House’s critics:

Personally, I’m not satisfied with the job they [Obama & co.] are doing (unemployment is horrible, they’ve spent too much time negotiating with Republicans, the drone wars, the civil liberties issues, Lloyd Blankfein is still a free man, etc.), and think there have been some real failings and some real let-downs. But I will belly crawl over broken glass while someone pours lemon juice and rubbing alcohol on me to vote for the Democrats in November.

Note how drone wars and civil liberties fall behind “negotiating with Republicans” on this list of sins. To paraphrase Mick Jagger, could you use a lemon-squeezer, dude? I volunteer.

I could go on – there are so many targets – but instead, I’ll leave you with a thought experiment. Imagine that the invasion of Iraq had succeeded on the war supporters’ own terms, and the U.S. had crushed all armed resistance within a few months and set up some plausibly “pro-American” Potemkin democracy that didn’t need a foreign army to defend it from the citizenry (this requires a lot of imagination, I know). Let’s assume that the U.S. military had accomplished this by really taking the gloves off, as many war supporters urged in the days when the occupation began to implode. Thus, in our counterfactual, the Iraqi civilian casualty count is roughly the same as the actual count today, anti-American sentiment is inflamed throughout the Muslim world, and Iran is the unquestioned dominant regional power, all for a preventive war against a fabricated threat. Do you think that our born-again doves – much less the dead-enders who still think the war was a good idea – would have had any moral or even practical second thoughts? Or do you think they’d be doing a sack dance in the peaceniks’ faces and demanding the destruction of the next country on their list?

UPDATE: I think this sort of amends-making is a wonderful idea, but I suggest it for people who have abetted acts of mass destruction. How many prosthetic limbs could the Brinkster buy with his disposable income? Shoot, Andrew Sullivan could probably fund half a dozen orphanages across Iraq if he cut his personal expenditures back to bare subsistence levels. Let’s make this happen!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpCghKWnzC0[/youtube]

YouTube of Iran Debate

Below is the 2 1/2 hour entirety of that Iran debate at UCR on April 1, 2010. Featured speaker was Reese Erlich. Panelists were Erlich, Larry Greenfield, Christopher Records and myself. The host was Louis Vandenberg. Thanks to Joe Briggs for putting this on his YouTube account.

One correction: After this conference, I learned from Syed Saleem Shahzad that the Jundallah that the CIA and JSOC use against Iran is different from the Jundallah that KSM used to be the leader of. However, they are both radical Salafi civilian-bombing terrorists, so same difference.

Coulter unsheathes her blades on neocons. we yawn.

Ann Coulter went  Jungle Red* on neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney this week over their demands that GOP Chair Michael Steele resign. The fun stuff comes at the back end of her WorldNetDaily column on Wednesday. First she seems shocked that her fellow Republicans would even suggest one’s support for war is tied to his support for the troops. Then she goes right for the throat, Bill Kristol’s throat:

But now I hear it is the official policy of the Republican Party to be for all wars, irrespective of our national interest. What if Obama decides to invade England because he’s still ticked off about that Churchill bust? Can Michael Steele and I object to that? Or would that demoralize the troops? Our troops are the most magnificent in the world, but they’re not the ones setting military policy. The president is – and he’s basing his war strategy on the chants of Moveon.org cretins. Nonetheless, Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney have demanded that Steele resign as head of the RNC for saying Afghanistan is now Obama’s war – and a badly thought-out one at that. (Didn’t liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?) I thought the irreducible requirements of Republicanism were being for life, small government and a strong national defense, but I guess permanent war is on the platter now, too. Of course, if Kristol is writing the rules for being a Republican, we’re all going to have to get on board for amnesty and a “National Greatness Project,” too – other Kristol ideas for the Republican Party. Also, John McCain. Kristol was an early backer of McCain for president – and look how great that turned out! Inasmuch as demanding resignations is another new Republican position, here’s mine: Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney must resign immediately.

Matt Cockerill over at The American Conservative blog calls this an “antiwar column.” Maybe. That would be hopeful. Certainly James Antle thinks the Tea Party movement is ripe for it. And it is refreshing to hear a Republican hatchet decry unconditional support for war after nearly ten years of unconditionally supporting war. But it’s her terrifying interpretation of history that splashes ice cold water on the whole fantasy:

Yes, Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after Sept. 11. Within the first few months we had toppled the Taliban, killed or captured hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and arranged for democratic elections, resulting in an American-friendly government.

Then Bush declared success and turned his attention to Iraq, leaving minimal troops behind in Afghanistan to prevent Osama bin Laden from regrouping, swat down al-Qaida fighters and gather intelligence.

Having some vague concept of America’s national interest – unlike liberals – the Bush administration could see that a country of illiterate peasants living in caves ruled by “warlords” was not a primo target for “nation-building.”

By contrast, Iraq had a young, educated, pro-Western populace that was ideal for regime change.

Cockerill asks if Coulter’s outcry “is progress or mere partisanship? Time will tell.” My gut is this is Ann lashing out at the enemy in her own Long War against the conservative elite at the Weekly Standard and National Review. It is Ann making sure that Obama completely owns the disaster in Afghanistan by rewriting current and past history on a fourth grade reading level. It is Ann making sure we don’t forget she is still around and is one tough broad.

But it is not a step forward, but a shuffle in place, her stilettos still kicking out at the usual “cretins” in her universe, a place where Bush is Popeye and Obama is Olive Oyl, and where Coulter spits, “no grass grows, ever.”**

* From The Women (1939): “I’ve had two years to grow claws mother. Jungle red!”

** Also from The Women: “You’re passing up a swell chance, honey. Where I spit no grass grows ever!”