Archive for June 24th, 2011

“Rockstar four-star” to head the CIA

“Rockstar four-star” to head the CIA

 General Unease: ‘Rockstar’ 4-star Petraeus brings baggage to CIA

General Petraeus at least had the courage to convey that US support for Israel against the Palestinians was a threat to US troops in theater (see the following UK Newstatesman blog entry):

General Petraeus Leaked Emails about Israel:

Above New Statesman blog entry was mentioned in following Press TV interview:

Pro-Israel Biased Media Threat to US Security:

Will Israel Kill Americans Again (email exchanges with General Petraeus mentioned near end)?

Buchanan on Afghan quagmire

Is Obama Only Postponing the Inevitable?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Friday – June 24, 2011

In deciding to pull all of the 30,000 troops from the surge out of Afghanistan, six weeks before Election Day 2012, but only 10,000 by year’s end, President Obama has satisfied neither the generals nor the doves.

He has, however, well served his political interests.

A larger drawdown would have risked the gains made in Kandahar and Helmand and invited a revolt of the generals, some of whom might resign and denounce Obama for denying them the forces to prevail.

Sen. John McCain, citing some generals, is already saying that, with fewer troops and more missions per unit, U.S. casualties will rise.

A smaller drawdown would have enraged the left, whose support is indispensable to Obama’s winning a second term.

So, our president did what comes naturally: cut the baby in half.

Strategically, removal of 30,000 troops in 15 months means that Obama has given up all hope of victory over the Taliban. Gen. MacArthur’s dictum — “In war, there is no substitute for victory” — is inoperative in yet another American war.

Obama’s strategic goal now is the avoidance of defeat, until the election of 2012 is behind him. And by retaining 70,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan during the fighting season and political season of 2012, he has an insurance policy against a Taliban Tet-style offensive or major U.S. military reversal as voters begin to fill out absentee ballots.

In the post-speech analysis, there was much chatter about a “political solution” — a peace conference including Pakistan, India, Russia, China and Iran that would bring the moderate Taliban and Karzai government together to iron out their differences.

This is self-delusion, born of hope not rational analysis.

Have we not been here before? With Mao’s Communists and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists being pushed toward a coalition by Gen. George Marshall in the late 1940s. With the Viet Cong and North and South Vietnamese making peace in Southeast Asia in 1973.

Like the old communists, the Taliban are all-or-nothing people.

They have a vision, an agenda grounded in religious faith about how a society should be structured, about how men and women should live. They fought their way to absolute power in the 1990s. And they have shown themselves more willing to die for their beliefs and leaders than the Afghan National Army.

This is not to denigrate the brave Afghan soldiers who have bled and died. But the Taliban have not needed U.S. training, U.S. arms, U.S. air and fire support or U.S. paychecks to go into battle. All the suicide bombers who give up their lives are — Taliban.

They recruit themselves. And for 10 years the Taliban have battled U.S. soldiers and Marines, backed up by NATO troops, to what Gen. Stanley McChrystal called “a draw.”

And if Afghanistan has become a stalemated war between the Americans and Taliban after a decade in which 1,600 Americans have given their lives and 12,000 have been wounded, how well will the Karzai regime and ANA make out when the Americans, the best soldiers in the world, depart, and they face the Taliban alone?

“This war does not lend itself to a military solution” is the cliche of the hour. And, surely, if the United States cannot achieve victory over the Taliban with 100,000 troops, we are unlikely to achieve it with 70,000, or however many may remain after 2014.

But has anyone heard the Taliban concede, “This war does not lend itself to a military solution”? Even should the Taliban come to the table and agree to compete democratically, does anyone think it will be faithful to a commitment given to the infidel Americans, once the infidel Americans depart? Why should they?

Over the next 15 months, the United States will be pulling out all or almost all of its 50,000 troops from Iraq, plus the 30,000 from the Afghan theater.

Our NATO allies will execute similar drawdowns.

This will leave Iraq up for grabs. But the Islamic world will see the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan for what it is: a retreat, forced upon a war-weary America by Islamic holy warriors who are the sons of the mujahedeen who drove out the Red Army in the 1980s and helped to bring down the Soviet Empire.

Make no mistake. Obama is headed for the exit ramp, and the Karzai government and Afghan army will not succeed where that same government and army, backed by 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops, could not succeed.

McCain and the neocons will blame what is coming, a terrible day in Kabul and across Afghanistan, on those who refused to soldier on, no matter the cost in blood and treasure.

But the people who should be indicted by history are not those who, after half a trillion dollars and a decade of bleeding, decided to cut America’s losses, but those who stampeded this country into two of the longest and least necessary wars in the history of the republic.



DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: Vietnam Redux (for Afghan quagmire):

U.S. cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting

Ron Paul On War, Liberty, Bailouts & The Federal Reserve – Home – The Daily Bail

Crosstalk: Pullout Doubt

Keep in mind that the US went into Afghanistan because of 9/11 and 9/11 tragically happened because of US support for Israel:

What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? See testimony most didnt’!:

See Los Angeles Times article near top of

Israel and 9/11:

Democracy is never achieved through occupation – Afghan activist

Democracy is never achieved through occupation – Afghan activist (see links in right margin as well):
Crosstalk: Pullout Doubt

‘JINSA John’ Bolton Tells Congress to Bomb Iran, Support Terrorist MEK

Bolton Receives Warm Reception as He Tells Congress to Bomb Iran, Support MEK

Thursday, June 23, 2011
By: David Shams – News

“I’ve argued for [military strikes against Iran] for about three and a half years,” John Bolton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today. “It’s a big mistake to conclude, as I believe the Administration has, that a nuclear Iran can be contained and deterred.”

John Bolton

“I’ve argued for [military strikes against Iran] for about three and a half years,” John Bolton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today.  “Absent military action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Iran will have weapons much sooner rather than later,” Bolton said.  “It’s a big mistake to conclude, as I believe the Administration has, that a nuclear Iran can be contained and deterred.”

Even as Bolton called for bombing Iran, President Bush’s controversial former Ambassador to the UN received a warm reception from Republicans and many Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  The Chairwoman of the committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, even went so far as to say “I love John Bolton.”

In addition to his calls for military action against Iran, Bolton made several bold assertions that went unchallenged by the committee.  He claimed that nuclear Iran could not be contained because of the religious beliefs of Iranian leaders, arguing that containment worked against the Soviet Union because its rulers were atheists.  Hence, he said, Moscow had valued life more than Tehran does because the Politburo did not believe in the afterlife.  “[Soviet leader Nikita] Kruschev was considerably saner than the Iranian regime,” Bolton said. 

But numerous experts have contradicted Bolton’s argument about Iran’s strategic calculus.  The Pentagon concluded in a recently issued report that Tehran is motivated by a cost-benefit analysis and that its “first priority has consistently remained the survival of the regime.”

Bolton also claimed that Iran could enrich enough highly enriched uranium to make one bomb in one and a half months or four bombs in six months, estimates that are dramatically more alarmist than consensus estimates. 

But Ollie Heinonen, a Senior Fellow at Harvard University and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s former chief of safeguards, who was largely overlooked at the hearing, disagreed with Bolton’s estimates.   Heinonen explained that that process could take anywhere from 6 to 12 months, but only if Iran kicked out international inspectors and made an all-out effort to enrich uranium to weapons grade.

The conversation also turned to terrorism.  Rep. Duncan (R-SC) claimed that there are extensive links between Iran and al-Qaeda and asked Bolton for his thoughts of the relationship.  Bolton responded, “I don’t think we know what the connection is, but I think it’s something to worry about.”  He then conceded there may be “no connection at all” but said that still, the U.S. should be fearful that al-Qaeda could get a nuclear weapon from Iran.

At the same time, Bolton and several members of Congress, including Reps. Sherman and Dana Rohrabacher expressed support for the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, which is designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization that operates as a cult.  Before the hearing started, Bolton’s aide approached a group of MEK supporters in attendance and told them that he supported their efforts.  Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen even made a point to greet the group and shake the hands of each of the MEK supporters.  Even as Bolton called for bombing Iran, he acknowledged doing so would likely ignite a broader regional war, but dismissed the costs as worth the effort.  “I think [Iran’s] most likely response would be to unleash Hezbollah and perhaps Hamas for rocket attacks against Israel,” Bolton said.  No follow up questions were asked on the matter.


War With Iran? US Neocons Aim to Repeat Chalabi-Style Swindle

Winners and Losers (by Philip Giraldi)

US Neocons’ New Overtures to Terrorist Opposition Group in Iran

Something Rotten This Way Comes

More on the ‘JINSA crowd’ via following articles:

Serving Two Flags
JINSA Flag & General Officers Ad

Justice Department Refuses to Release Jonathan Pollard Clemency Request

Justice Department Refuses to Release Jonathan Pollard Clemency Request- IRmep

Thursday, June 23, 2011 6:08 PM
From: “IRmep”
Since September, 2010 the Israel Lobby Archive has sought public release of Israeli spy Jonathan J. Pollard’s application for clemency filed with the US Pardon Attorney (OPA) and related correspondence.  Presidential pardons for US citizens committing crimes for Israel have been repetitive and problematic.  President Bill Clinton pardoned arms smuggler and Iran-Contra affair operative Adolph Schwimmer (1917-2011) despite his refusal to file the mandatory statement of contrition.  President Geoge W. Bush quietly pardononed smuggler Charles Winters (1913-1984) after intense behind the scenes lobbying.

IRmep’s final in a series of FOIA appeals for release was narrow, seeking only Pollard’s statement of contrition and sections of Pollard’s pardon request to President Obama indicating his awareness of the significant harm he caused to US national security.

On June 17, 2011, the Office of Information Policy of the US Department of Justice ruled that no segment of Pollard’s clemency appeal could be released stating, “After carefully considering your appeal, I am affirming OPA’s action on your request .  OPA properly withheld certain information that is protected from disclosure under the FOIA pursuant to 5. U.S.C. section 552(b)(6).  This provision concerns material the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties.”

The Justice Department did release additional documents under the Pollard FOIA.  On January 28, 2008 pro bono counsel for Pollard from Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP sought access to a classified memo filed by former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger to aid in sentencing.  This request, filed directly to then AG Michael Mukasey by Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman was denied by J. Patrick Rowan on June 12, 2008.

Lauer and Semmelman failed in a similar court attempt to gain access to the Weinberger memo in 2006.

The Justice Department, in response to the FOIA, also released a 2009 IRmep essay published at titled “Pro-Israel Pardons and Leniency Too Costly to Continue” by Grant F. Smith.

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