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Archives: September 2008

Troopergate and Palin

Witness flips in troopergate. A private contractor now admits under oath that she was pressured by Palin’s office over Palin’s attempt vindictively to fire her ex-brother-in-law.

Kaptur: Playing Wall Street Bailout

Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) on how the Reality Game, “Wall Street Bailout,” is played: See also Chalmers Johnson at Tomdispatch.com on the Pentagon Bailout Fraud.

Saudi Oil Moguls fear Hybrid Cars

Saudi Arabia wants lower petroleum prices. As a country with enormous reserves, Riyadh would like to preserve their value. In contrast, countries like Algeria with relatively shallow reserves want to get top…

Iraqi Hopes for US Troop Withdrawal

One of the things that struck me about Friday night’s debate on the time line for troop withdrawal was that McCain appeared to believe that how long US troops remain in Iraq…

Debate Fact Check 5

About that claim by McCain that he warned about the mortgage crisis: McCain: “But — but let me — let me point out, I also warned about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…

Debate Fact Check 3

Did Henry Kissinger advise direct talks with Iran at the highest levels? Yes. Kissinger gave an interview with Bloomberg Television News Service on March 14, 2008: ‘ “One should be prepared to…

Debate fact-check 2: The Surge

In the debate, McCain promised ‘victory’ in Iraq and praised the surge. First of all, it isn’t ‘victory’ if Baghdad’s best hospital doesn’t even have working elevators any more. Second of all,…

Fact-Checking 1

Fact-checking the debate (transcript available here). For Pakistan and the controversy over McCain’s ridiculous assertion that Pakistan was a ‘failed state’ in 1999 when Musharraf made his coup, see my “McCain’s Holiday…

Debate Fact Check 4

McCain said in the debate: ‘ So we have a long way to go in our intelligence services. We have to do a better job in human intelligence. And we’ve got to…

CBS Poll of Independents: Obama Won

Keith Olbermann just read out the results of a snap poll of 500 uncommitted voters commissioned by CBS News just after Friday night’s presidential debate: (The snap poll is here): Obama won:…

Palin’s Russian Roulette

Palin’s Russian Roulette

On being a Russia expert by virtue of contiguity: “We have trade missions back and forth,” Palin told Couric. “We, we do, it’s very important when you consider even national security issues…

US Helicopters Fired on By Pakistani Troops

Pakistani troops fired on US military helicopters on Thursday. Pakistani officials insisted that the helicopters, which were not hit, had strayed into Pakistani territory. The Pentagon denied this charge. President Asaf Ali…

McCain Rushes Campaign to Nowhere

Mao Zedong announced the adage by which John McCain is clearly living now: “The enemy advances, we retreat. / The enemy camps, we harass. / The enemy tires, we attack.” Mao was…

Cole in Salon: Bashing Ahmadinejad

My column is out at Salon.com: “Obama goes over the top in bashing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:” Once again, U.S. politicians, including both Sarah Palin and Barack Obama, pile on the Iranian president. Why…

Palin wasTalking with Karzai about his Son!

You know those ballyhooed meetings of Sarah Palin with world leaders? What if they weren’t even talking about foreign policy? Since the press was kept out, how would we know? But the…

US-Iran Relations

Riz Khan on US-Iranian relations, interviewing Gary Sick. Veteran diplomat Edward P. Djerejian also weighs in on US-Iranian relations: ‘You negotiate peace with your adversaries and enemies, not with your friends. That…

Royal Dutch Shell Deal in Iraq

Aljazeera English on the Shell deal with Iraq to develop natural gas. Critics of the deal say there was no competitive bidding. Supporters say it will help the British, Dutch and Iraqi…

Chorev Reviews Hafez on Suicide Bombers

Suicidal Ambitions: Human Bombs and the War in Iraq By Matan Chorev Review of Mohammed M. Hafez Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom (Washington, DC: United States Institute…

A Nation of Masochists

“I send my tormentor hurrying hither and thither in the service of my suffering and desire.” – Mason Cooley (d.2002) I have concluded that Americans, who pretend in public to be straitlaced,…

Truck Bomb Caught on Tape

Aljazeera English shows and analyzes a just-released security tape from the Marriott in Islamabad, showing the bomb-laden truck ramming the security perimeter. There were two initial explosions on the truck, probably to…

Islamabad Bombing puts Pressure on US-Pakistan Ties

Bloomberg argues that Saturday’s bombing of the Marriott in Islamabad will likely put pressure on US/ Pakistani relations. The bombing was a clear signal from militants that the Pakistani government must back…

Ahmadinejad Censored, Distorted in US Media

60 Minutes Interviewed Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad a couple of years ago. They cut some key passages out of the interview. I’ve made the same point at Informed Comment in the past.…

The Rain in Spain falls Mainly on McCain

John McCain seems to have gotten confused in an interview about Spanish prime minister Zapatero and someone in Latin America. When pressed he kept talking about Latin America and “this hemisphere.” Did…

Arab Reaction to Ascent of Livni

Reuters on Tzipi Livni’s likely stance on negotiating with the Palestinians. Palestinian reactions to Tzipi Livni becoming head of the Kadima Party, a rightwing party that splintered from the even more rightwing…

Afghanistan: Taliban hit US Security Firm, 23 Dead

Taliban in Afghanistan attacked the convoy of the US security firm, US Protection and Investigations, on Friday. 23 persons were killed in the clash,including 15 Taliban attackers. A US predator attack on…

Dirty Wars in Baghdad

We know Iraq has been the scene of several wars in recent years. But it seems increasingly clear that it has been a set of dirty wars. Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that…

Drake: In Pursuit of Osama Bin Laden

Richard Drake writes in a guest book review for IC, reprinted by the author’s permission from The Great Falls Tribune, 7 September 2008 : In Pursuit of Osama Bin Laden Barack Obama’s…

Biden: And the Economy . . ?

Biden complains that his GOP rivals virtually ignored the economy in favor of snarky personal attacks. At a time when the Republican Party is forced into socialist policies in taking over two…

Zardari President; 65 Killed in Bombings, Clashes

For the nine years before 2005, Asaf Ali Zardari, widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was in prison facing corruption charges. On Saturday Zardari was elected president of Pakistan. Ironically, given…

Marrin: Choice of Palin Dishonorable

A conservative Republican woman who idolizes Margaret Thatcher decries McCain’s choice of Palin as cynical and dishonorable: ‘ In choosing a woman he doesn’t know or understand, purely for electoral advantage, he…

Capital of Khazar Kingdom said Found

Capital of Khazar Kingdom said Found

Russian archeologists are saying they have found the capital of the Khazar state. This largely Turkic state was multicultural, but its ruling sept converted to Judaism, which it used as the state…

Palin Watch

Reactions to Sarah Palin: Rick Steiner at Seattle P.I. slams the governor for her poor record on the environment. He says she has not taken climate change seriously, despite the thinning of…

Rambo and the Mean Girl

Rambo and the Mean Girl

The Republican Party convention in St. Paul gave us two American film narratives in an attempt to shift the national political debate away from issues and accountability to personalities and fluffy ideals.…

Noonan on Palin: They Blew It!

One thing is what conservative pundits are saying in public about the McCain-Palin ticket. Another thing is what they think in private. Thanks to an accidental open-mike moment, we know the latter…

CNN Does its Job, McCain Punishes It

Campbell Brown of CNN asks McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds some hard questions about Sarah Palin’s national security experience and refuses to let him get away with illogical and self-contradictory answers. John McCain…

US Turns over Al-Anbar; Is al-Maliki Too Cocky?

The US has handed over security duties in al-Anbar Province to Iraqi troops and police. Maj. Gen. John Kelly warns,however,that al-Anbar needs an infusion from the central government of cash for reconstruction…