Friday, April 30, 2010

Word, twice

Invictus on the trial of Khadr :
This whole trial is emblamatic of the false promise and true face of the Obama administration, which has tried to paper over the worst excesses of the previous administrtion with glitzy wallpaper and superglue, but in the end have nothing new to offer but the same old policies of torture, indefinite detention, bogus military commissions (aka kangaroo courts), and secret prisons, not to mention frame-ups, and draconian attacks on justice, as in the recent case of Syed Fahad Hashmi, a U.S. citizen held in solitary confinement for three years in a NYC jail on trumped-up or exaggerated charges of "material support to terrorism".
I strongly suggest reading the post, and the linked article by David Frakt that takes apart the 'manual' (released the day before the trial) for the so-called military commissions:
The Administration's decision to press forward with the first war crimes trial of a child soldier in modern history is unfathomable. That the Administration would then try to ensure a conviction by attempting to rewrite the law to create a new war crime is reprehensible.

Timing is everything

Obama's kowtowing to the energy establishment by opening big new areas to offshore drilling must have seemed a big win leading into the mid-terms. The money was on the way, the gods placated, and a rosy future loomed.

Alas, an evil spirit has reared its angry head, killing eleven unfortunates, and spewing a black tide of oil just at the wrong moment. Katrina II is now in full swing for Louisiana, angry clouds swag on the deep, driving a shit load of death onto the unfortunate creatures dependent upon Mother Nature.

Waiting for the new new energy policy will be a painful process. But perhaps before the midterms it might come to fruition. Nuclear!!

But bad timing can be a curse that repeats itself.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A good point

That said, a reactionary racial profiling law in an economically wounded Sunbelt pensioners village hardly approaches an extant, supralegal, federal regime in which a single office is vested with the dictatorial power to dispose of all human life as it sees fit.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The party's over

Obama's nuke fest seems to have gone off with more a whimper than a bang, which perhaps we should be thankful for in a certain sense, but the whole exercise was, like the Copenhagen climate meeting, a poorly run show that accomplished little of what it set out to do.

It seems proper to blame the diplomats for insufficient or incompetent preparation. Clinton's record in that regard so far is abysmal, but such is the disarray in US policies it's unfair to single her out. Besides, the DoD is now in charge of all the important diplomatic missions these days anyway.

Obama is another story. The snub by Netanyahu was entirely predictable, using the affair to pressure China (though the press) on Iran was ill conceived, and it was left up to poor Ukraine to give the only 'breakthrough of the party.

The failure seems to have now provoked or been a part of another spate of saber rattling versus Iran, including an explicit listing of Iran and N. Korea as possible nuclear targets. Since these noises have been frequent in the past, it's easy to be too sanguine about them. We can hope that while Obama is weak and fairly incompetent, he is not crazy. But that, of course, has as of yet not been proven.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Push Sanctions?

NYT Headline:

U.S. Says China Will Push Sanctions Against Iran

From the same article:

China has also agreed to begin negotiating the wording of a United Nations resolution that would impose additional sanctions on Iran for defying the international community on its nuclear ambitions. But administration officials cautioned that China’s agreement to start talking about the resolution did not imply that it would support robust sanctions against Tehran — a step it has historically resisted.
It took three reporters to write the article, it jumps from arms control to currency manipulation to missile treaties. All under a headline that misstates what is reported. "Why bother?" we ask plaintively.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Israeli PM Netanyahu has just issued a firm nyet about attending Obama's big nuclear pow-wow. I call that a bigger bitch slapping than that he bestowed on Joe Biden.

Clearly, Obama will not be pleased, but it's hard to imagine what he can do, see that there are no dinner invitations to be late for, or to omit issuing. He might stamp his little feet, but I doubt it.

China Matters speculated that Obama wants to make real changes to the NPT., If that was the case, no nations other than the most subservient (Europeans) will consider any modifications that leave out one of the most powerful and unpredictable arsenals in the world.

Asserting the right to assassinate US citizens, and raining drone fired missiles down on Pashtun villages may give Obama the illusion that he's big and strong, but the Israeli reminder keeps coming back, "You are a weakling, little Obamabitch.".

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Who runs Peter?

Peter Galbraith, fired from his job with the UN for failing to keep his mouth clothed, continues to be a one man anti-Karzai bandwagon, basically accusing the mayor of Kabul of being a drug impaired dirty hippie.

What is interesting is that the guy is such a one stop shop for Karzai bashing, with a media megaphone at his beck and call. Already forgotten, evidently, was his little escapade in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he tried to wheel and deal his way to a share of the Tawke oilfield, while promoting oil autonomy for the Kurds in the Iraqi constitution.

It's as hard to believe that he was just a free agent in Iraq, it's harder to believe that he wasn't working for someone else than the UN in Kabul, and his current job as Karzai slammer is obviously in someone's interest besides his own. Question is, who?