EU Seeks to Anull Loretta Lynn’s Marriage

Follow-up to the Romanian Gypsy child bride brouhaha:

The Romanian child protection agency has forced Ana-Maria to separate from her 15-year-old husband and has required both children to live at home with their parents in the Transylvanian town of Sibiu.

The Romanians caved to the EU, in other words. Thank God this horrible scourge has been defeated! Of course, the marriage was not a legally-sanctioned one to begin with, but who cares? Just so long as American and Western European do-gooders earn another badge. Not that their meddling is likely to do the young lady much good:

Although [the bride’s father, who arranged the marriage] has nominally complied, there is considerable doubt over whether the government edict is being obeyed, because the two families are next-door neighbours and there is a gate that links their properties.

Support Israel’s Attack, Or… Support It!

If you haven’t read my “Looking Behind Ha’aretz’s Liberal Image“, you may expect Israel’s “liberal newspaper” to stand up clear and loud against the recent Israeli aggressive escalation, in which Sharon, breaching a cease-fire that had lasted for some 20 years, sent his jets to bomb a target deep inside Syria.

Well, let’s see all what Ha’aretz actually had to say.

(1) Editorial, 7.10:

“The bone of contention is not Israel’s right to strike at those who operate against it under the cover of Assad. Israel has the right […]; but this does not testify to the wisdom of such moves. […] The Syrian president could, contrary to Israeli expectations, cause an additional escalation […] There is a need for tight control to prevent a move planned as minimalist from leading to a major escalation.”
-So now we know it: Sharon had the right to attack Syria, and his intentions were benevolently “minimalist”; at worst, if escalation occurs, it will be blamed on Syria.

(2) Columnist Amir Oren, 7.10, reiterates the same line in a nutshell, for readers who missed the point:

“Is that a shrewd plan, or a wild gamble? The answer depends upon Syria’s response.”

(3) From Gideon Samet’s column, 8.10 – a writer considered extremely dovish – the future historian would be able to assume that the attack was not uncontroversial in Israel:

“Criticism of the air force sortie into Syria behind the back of Bashar Assad was completely predictable”, Samet writes. He doesn’t even bother to reveal the arguments of that criticism. His own view is that “Syria deserved that little blow” – yes! – but he does warn, to maintain his critical image, that “The action in Syria may be a fragment of the regional strategy of a leader whose dangerous potential has been fulfilled on more than one occasion.”

-So here you have the entire spectrum that “liberal” Ha’aretz offers to its readers: Either you support Israel’s attack and warn (of) Assad; Or you support Israel’s attack and warn (of) Sharon. How did they say it in Latin? Tertium non datur – there is no third option.

One Hell of an Investigation

From Reuters:

The White House on Tuesday ruled out three top aides as the source of a news leak identifying an undercover CIA officer whose husband was critical of Bush administration Iraq policy.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he had talked to each of the aides ahead of a 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday for officials to turn over information in a Justice Department probe of the leak.

He left open the possibility the leaker would never be found. “I think all of us in this room know that it sometimes can be difficult to determine anonymous sources. But let me emphasize … no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States,” he said.

So the White House simply asked Karl Rove, Lewis Libby, and Elliot Abrams whether they committed a felony or not, they said “no,” and they’re cleared? And they mocked Hans Blix’s interrogatory methods in Iraq?

Rattled by the Rush?

Or just bored by the self-amused oxyconservative? Check out a real alternative to the establishment media: the Philip Dru show. It’s on-air in Austin, but the website features audio interviews with the likes of Ivan Eland, Greg Palast, Alan Bock, and Jesse Walker– talent on loan from God, you might say (but please don’t).

The Big Tent

Every once in a while someone will point out some theme that I disagree with in an article posted on AWC & ask me why, if I disagree, I bother doing the work of editing the site’s letters section, etc. But, in fact, it’s not possible (never mind necessary or desirable) to agree with everything since AWC presents such a wide variety of viewpoints.

Take two of today’s highlights, for example: Justin Raimondo’s “Israel is the Problem – Our Problem” and Christopher Layne’s “The Cost of Empire” (The American Conservative). Both reject the stated reasons for the invasion of Iraq, & suggest other motivations. Justin: “the strategic doctrine at the heart of U.S. Middle Eastern policy” is “the installation of Israel as regional hegemon.” Bush went to war “for Israel’s sake.”

Layne, on the other hand, doesn’t mention Israel as even a partial motivation. Instead, Layne claims, the invasion was a logical outcome of the “offensive realism” theory of international relations, which has guided US foreign policy since World War II. Specifically:

“The administration went to war in Iraq to consolidate America’s global hegemony and to extend U.S. dominance to the Middle East by establishing a permanent military stronghold in Iraq for the purposes of controlling the Middle Eastern oil spigot (thereby giving Washington enormous leverage in its relations with Western Europe and China); allowing Washington to distance itself from an increasingly unreliable and unstable Saudi Arabia; and using the shadow of U.S. military power to bring about additional regime changes in Iran and Syria.”, the politics website where everyone doesn’t have to agree on everything.