Showing posts from November, 2007

liberty-oriented foreign policy

Blake succinctly summarizes the problem : for all our rhetoric about freedom, in practice our foreign policy has been pro-Western instead: The United States says it supports democracy, but ends up backing pro-Western leaders when push comes to shove. Take the case of Pervez Musharraf, whom U.S. President George W. Bush described Tuesday as "somebody who believes in democracy" despite the fact that the Pakistani leader has suspended the Constitution, thrown many of his opponents in jail, and gone after independent media outlets. Or consider the Palestinian territories, where the White House called for elections and then blanched when the distasteful Hamas won them fair and square. Is it any wonder that U.S. rhetoric on democracy isn't taken seriously? The policy has been consistent across political parties and presidential administrations, though only the Bush Administration has staked so much rhetorical capital on freedom. As The Arabist notes, we are essentially pursuing

those wacky mullahs!

The Economist reveals that the Ayatollah apocalyptic quote that Norman Podhoretz is throwing around doesn't actually seem to exist . Norman Podhoretz, when pressed for a source, says it was Amir Taheri . And that the quote was from 1980. And that the dog ate the quote in subsequent compilations of the Ayatollah's speeches. thus spake the Tool: The quote, along with many other passages, disappeared from several subsequent editions as the Islamic Republic tried to mobilize nationalistic feelings against Iraq, which had invaded Iran in 1980. The practice of editing and even censoring Khomeini to suit the circumstances is widely known by Iranian scholars. This is how Professor Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, the Director of the Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland and a specialist in Islamic censorship, states the problem: “Khumayni’s [sic] speeches are regularly published in fresh editions wherein new selections are made, certain references deleted, and various a

"an excellent question"

Charles Bird at RedState recently made an articulate and principled case for John McCain . Ultimately, for Charles (who I respect very highly), it came down to one thing: character. Keep that in mind when watching this:

Obama's speech

Obama's speech at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa has received a lot of plaudits, from myDD to David Yepsen : Obama has a real talent for this. I still remember the feeling I had when I heard his speech at the DNC convention in 2004... it was like Howard Dean redux. He delivered the same message again: "I don't want to pit red America vs blue America. I want to be the President of the United States." But while Obama did a fantastic job of highlighting the leadership failure of the Bush Administration, and differentiated himself admirably and with honor from Hillary Clinton (entirely unlike Edwards has done of late), the question remains in my mind, just where is the proof that Obama can deliver? Obama's recent validation of the frame that there is a "crisis" in Social Security is a symptom of a deeper problem with Obama that the speech doesn't illuminate. Obama seems in many ways as committed to the establishment as Hillary. He says he is chan

Hillary is Gore

It's 2000 all over again, and this time it's blogs who are the mainstream media (though the mainstream media is also the mainstream media). Case in point: Kos takes Hillary to task ! Hillary said she paid a tip but actually the waitress says she didn't even though the manager says she did and the campaign she did but now there's questions about her TRUTHFULNESS and lol OMFG HILLARY"S WEBSITE HASN'T UPDATED WITH THIS!! I am paraphrasing somewhat. Why are the liberal netroots so eager to buy into the bogus frames and smears of the right? As far as I can see it's because it's just too tempting not to pile on. Fundamentally, Hillary's crime is not sharing the dogma about Iraq withdrawal. And because of that, every smear on the right is going to get serious traction on the left. This is dangerous brinksmanship. If Hillary beats Rudy, it will be in spite of teh netroots, not because of it. If she loses, then the netroots become the Green Party circa 200

Dean Defense

Dheeraj Chand tears Matt Stoller a new one for making utterly asinine and ill-informed complaints about Howard Dean's tenure as DNC Chairman. Highly recommended.

Pakistan roundup

Please visit City of Brass for a roundup of the blogsphere reaction to the state of emergency in Pakistan.

Musharraf declares state of emergency in Pakistan

General Musharraf. Not President... General. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 3 — The Pakistani leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, declared a state of emergency tonight, blacking out all independent news media and confronting Supreme Court justices who are deliberating on the recent vote to re-elect him. Witnesses said that police forces had surrounded the Supreme Court building, with justices still inside. Earlier, the justices were ordered to sign a provisional constitutional order enabling the emergency decree, with the government leaving implicit that any failing to do so would be dismissed. Still, a panel of at least 6 of the court’s 11 justices, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhrythis, rejected the order, according to Pakistani news reports before the blackout. The six gathered at the Supreme Court building. Cellphone transmissions were blocked around the building. The police also blocked access to the Parliament and to the homes of Supreme Court justices. Cellphone transmis